Book Mail: Maps, dangerous creatures, horror writers, the Green Book, and more!
There was a time during this pandemic when I would go weeks without getting book mail. Not the case any longer! My cart of books to attempt to read is overflowing and no matter how many books I send out the door (to my kid’s high school, to my elementary school, through giveaways), just as many reappear soon after. Good problems to have, I know.
Here’s a look at what has arrived here lately. Get out your TBR lists, your order lists, your library card, and be ready to dive into lots of new and interesting books!
All descriptions from the publishers.
Prisoners of Geography: Our World Explained in 12 Simple Maps (Illustrated Young Readers Edition) by Tim Marshall, Grace Easton (Illustrator), Jessica Smith (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781615198474
Publisher: The Experiment Publication date: 11/30/2021 Edition description: Illustrated Young Readers Edition, Ages 8-18)
The secret world history written in the mountains, rivers, and seas that shape every country’s politics, economy, and international relations—and our own lives—is revealed in this illustrated young readers edition of Prisoners of Geography, the million-copy international bestseller.
History is a story—and it’s impossible to tell the whole tale without understanding the setting. In this eye-opening illustrated edition of the international bestseller Prisoners of Geography, you’ll learn to spot connections between geography and world affairs in ways you never noticed before.
- How did the US’s rivers help it become a superpower?
- Why are harsh, cold and swampy Siberia and the Russian Far East two of that country’s most prized regions?
- How come Japan prefers to trade along the coasts instead of across its land?
- What do the Himalayas have to do with war?
With colorful maps that capture every continent and region, plus hundreds of illustrations that illuminate how our surroundings shape us, this one-of-a-kind atlas will inspire curious minds of all ages!
Shirley and Jamila’s Big Fall by Gillian Goerz (ISBN-13: 9780525552888 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 12/14/2021, Ages 8-12)
For fans of Raina Telgemeier and Victoria Jamieson, this middle grade graphic novel series tells the story of Shirley and Jamila, two girl detectives on a mission to stop their school’s biggest bully once and for all
As Jamila settles into the rhythms of classes and after-school basketball practice, Shirley has a new mystery on her mind. Her old enemy Chuck is up to his usual tricks: He’s been blackmailing kids all over school, and Shirley knows that she and Jamila can put a stop to it.
They hatch a plan: They’ll break into his house late one night and recover all the notes Chuck’s been using to blackmail innocent kids.
But while Shirley and Jamila are at the house, another intruder arrives—an intruder who can help them put a stop to Chuck’s crimes once and for all.
A Curious Collection of Dangerous Creatures: An Illustrated Encyclopedia by Sami Bayly (ISBN-13: 9781615198245 Publisher: The Experiment Publication date: 12/14/2021 Series: Curious Collection of Creatures, Ages 8-14)
From the frightening murder hornet to the fierce wolverine—a visual trove of the most dangerous animals on the planet, from the author of the beloved A Curious Collection of Peculiar Creatures
When you think of dangerous animals, what comes to mind—a great white shark, a rattlesnake? What about the hooded pitohui, with its extremely poisonous feathers, or the coffin ray, which electrocutes its prey? Dangerous animals get a bad rap—and they can be pretty scary!—but that’s precisely what makes them remarkable. A Curious Collection of Dangerous Creatures pairs beautifully detailed illustrations with awesome facts about 60 of Earth’s most lethal animals—some that will surprise you, such as the blue-and-yellow macaw and the common otter. With this encyclopedia in hand, you may well steer clear!
What’s more, these fascinating creatures need our help: Many are endangered, and we can’t ignore them any longer. It’s time to find a fearsome creature to love . . . from a safe distance!
Publisher’s note: A Curious Collection of Dangerous Creatures was previously published in Australia under the title The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Dangerous Animals.
Dark Hearts: The World’s Most Famous Horror Writers by Jim Gigliotti, Karl James Mountford (Illustrator), Danielle Vega (Foreword by) (ISBN-13: 9780593222782 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 12/28/2021, Ages 10-17)
Sometimes the truth can be much scarier than fiction. And this collection is no exception. Uncover what fascinated and frightened some of our favorite horror writers of all time.
Who are the people who make our hearts race and our minds spin? Why are they so good at making us fear what goes bump in the night? What are the stories behind the writers who give us goosebumps? Dark Hearts is a collection of fourteen short biographies of the world’s best-known horror writers, including Mary Shelley, Shirley Jackson, Neil Gaiman, R. L. Stine, Stephen King, Bram Stoker, and others. Their stories are gathered in this beautiful, gift-able book that is perfect for any horror fan.
Here’s to Us by Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera (ISBN-13: 9780063071636 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 12/28/2021, Ages 14-17)
Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera reunite to continue the story of Arthur and Ben, the boys readers first fell for in the New York Times bestselling rom-com What If It’s Us.
Ben survived freshman year of college, but he’s feeling more stuck than ever. His classes are a slog, his part-time job working with his father is even worse, and his best friend Dylan’s been acting weird for weeks. Ben’s only real bright spot is his writing partner Mario, who’s been giving him a lot of Spanish lessons and even more kisses. Mario’s big Hollywood dreams make Ben start to dream bigger—and the choices he makes now could be the key to reshaping his future. So why can’t he stop thinking about a certain boy from his past?
Arthur is back in New York City for the first time in two years, ready to take the theater world by a storm as the world’s best . . . intern to the assistant of an off-off-Broadway director. Of course, it sucks to be spending the summer apart from his sweet, reliable boyfriend, Mikey, but he knows their relationship is strong enough to weather the distance. Which is why it’s no big deal when his ex-boyfriend Ben stumbles back into the picture. And it’s definitely fine that Ben’s blissfully happy with some mystery boy. First loves are special, but it’s way too late for what-ifs. Right?
Even as the boys try to shake off the past, they keep running into each other in the present. Is this the universe trying to tell them there’s a do-over in their future?
Here’s to Us is sure to be welcomed by fans old and new of these authors and their previous collaboration, What If It’s Us. Critically acclaimed and bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera combine their talents in these smart, funny, heartfelt novels about two very different boys who can’t decide if the universe is pushing them together—or pulling them apart.
Courage: My Story of Persecution by Freshta Tori Jan, Zainab Nasrati (Editor), Zoe Ruiz (Editor), Amanda Uhle (Editor), Dave Eggers (Editor) (ISBN-13: 9781324016670 Publisher: Norton Young Readers Publication date: 01/11/2022 Series: I, Witness, Ages 9-12)
Continuing this propulsive middle grade nonfiction series, a young woman once persecuted by the Taliban shares her journey to becoming a community activist.As a girl and as part of an ethnic minority in Afghanistan, Freshta Tori Jan was persecuted relentlessly. Her family faced kidnappings and daily murder attempts on the bus, on the way to school, in the workplace, and beyond. Freshta’s school was shut down by the Taliban, and many of her friends were murdered and shot. Her journey through poverty, terrorism, and other forms of injustice has enabled her to be a voice for those unable to share their stories and those unable to receive the opportunities she has sought. She believes in empowering youth in order to bring about change and be the leaders of today and tomorrow.
With a voice that is both accessible and engaging, Freshta brings forward a captivating first-person account of strength, resilience, and determination, and delivers compelling narrative nonfiction by young people, for young people.
Who Was the Voice of the People?: Cesar Chavez: A Who HQ Graphic Novel by Terry Blas, Mar Julia (Illustrator), Who HQ (ISBN-13: 9780593224496
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 01/11/2022 Series: Who HQ Graphic Novels, Ages 8-12)
Discover the story behind Cesar Chavez and the Delano Grape Strike in this moving graphic novel — written by award-winning author Terry Blas and illustrated by Ignatz-nominated cartoonist Mar Julia.
Presenting Who HQ Graphic Novels: an exciting new addition to the #1 New York Times Best-Selling Who Was? series!
Follow Cesar Chavez and the National Farm Workers Association, as they set out on a difficult 300-mile protest march in support of farm workers’ rights. A story of hope, solidarity, and perseverance, this graphic novel invites readers to immerse themselves in the life of the famous Latino American Civil Rights leader — brought to life by gripping narrative and vivid full-color illustrations that jump off the page.
Who Sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott?: Rosa Parks: A Who HQ Graphic Novel by Insha Fitzpatrick, Abelle Hayford (Illustrator), Hanna Schroy (Colorist), Who HQ (ISBN-13: 9780593224465 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 01/11/2022 Series: Who HQ Graphic Novels, Ages 8-12)
Discover the story behind Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott in this compelling graphic novel — written by Oh My Gods! author Insha Fitzpatrick and illustrated by #DrawingWhileBlack organizer Abelle Hayford.
Presenting Who HQ Graphic Novels: an exciting new addition to the #1 New York Times Best-Selling Who Was? series!
From refusing to give up her bus seat to a white passenger to sparking civil rights protests across America, explore how Rosa Parks’s powerful act earned her the title “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.” A story of resistance, strength, and unwavering spirit, this graphic novel invites readers to immerse themselves in the life of the American Civil Rights leader — brought to life by gripping narrative and vivid full-color illustrations that jump off the page.
Game On: 15 Stories of Wins, Losses, and Everything in Between edited by Laura Silverman (ISBN-13: 978-0593352786 Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers Publication date: 01/18/2022, Ages 12-17)
A charming and inclusive YA anthology all about games—from athletic sports to board games to virtual reality—from editor Laura Silverman and an all-star cast of contributors.
From the slightly fantastical to the utterly real, light and sweet romance to tales tinged with horror and thrills, Game On is an anthology that spans genre and style. But beneath each story is a loving ode to competition and games perfect for anyone who has ever played a sport or a board game, picked up a video game controller, or rolled a twenty-sided die.
A manhunt game is interrupted by a town disappearing beneath the players’ eyes. A puzzle-filled scavenger hunt emboldens one college freshman to be brave with the boy she’s crushing on. A series of summer nights full of card games leads a boy to fall for a boy who he knows is taken. And a spin the bottle game could end a life-long friendship.
Fifteen stories, and fifteen unforgettable experiences that may inspire readers to start up that Settlers of Catan game again.
Overground Railroad (The Young Adult Adaptation): The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America by Candacy Taylor (ISBN-13: 978-1419749490 Publisher: Amulet Books Publication date: 01/25/2022, Ages 12+)
A young reader’s edition of Candacy Taylor’s acclaimed book about the history of the Green Book, the guide for Black travelers
Overground Railroad chronicles the history of the Green Book, which was published from 1936 to 1966 and was the “Black travel guide to America.” For years, it was dangerous for African Americans to travel in the United States. Because of segregation, Black travelers couldn’t eat, sleep, or even get gas at most white-owned businesses.
The Green Book listed hotels, restaurants, department stores, gas stations, recreational destinations, and other businesses that were safe for Black travelers. It was a resourceful and innovative solution to a horrific problem. It took courage to be listed in the Green Book, and the stories from those who took a stand against racial segregation are recorded and celebrated.
This young reader’s edition of Candacy Taylor’s critically acclaimed adult book Overground Railroad includes her own photographs of Green Book sites, as well as archival photographs and interviews with people who owned and used these facilities. The book also includes an author’s note, endnotes, bibliography, timeline, and index.
When the World Turned Upside Down by K. Ibura (ISBN-13: 9781338746266 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 02/01/2022, Ages 8-12)
What do you do when the world shuts down? A heartwarming story of friendship and overcoming adversity in a time of COVID, When the World Turns Upside Down is about community, giving back, and understanding the world around us through the power of generosity from debut middle grade author K. Ibura.
Nobody expected a tiny little virus to change the whole world in such a big way, especially not Shayla, Liam, Ai, and Ben. But when school closes to keep everyone safe, their lives turn upside down. It is one thing to learn that the outside world isn’t safe, but why does it seem that the virus is causing trouble inside their homes too?
As they each struggle to adjust to life in quarantine, they discover they are not alone: their apartment building is full of people who need their help. Working together, they begin to see that there is power in numbers. When they cooperate, they can ease each other’s challenges and help their neighbors through tough times. It’s a lesson they’ll need when protests explode in the streets. Soon, each friend has to decide what it means to be part of a community—and how much they’re willing to do to make this world safer for everyone.
Set against the onset of COVID, When the World Turned Upside Down navigates issues of race and social justice in a heartwarming story of generosity, friendship, and the power of youth.
All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir (ISBN-13: 9780593202340 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 03/01/2022, Ages 14+)
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sabaa Tahir comes a brilliant, unforgettable, and heart-wrenching contemporary YA novel about family and forgiveness, love and loss, in a sweeping story that crosses generations and continents.
Lahore, Pakistan. Then.
Misbah is a dreamer and storyteller, newly married to Toufiq in an arranged match. After their young life is shaken by tragedy, they come to the United States and open the Cloud’s Rest Inn Motel, hoping for a new start.
Juniper, California. Now.
Salahudin and Noor are more than best friends; they are family. Growing up as outcasts in the small desert town of Juniper, California, they understand each other the way no one else does. Until The Fight, which destroys their bond with the swift fury of a star exploding.
Now, Sal scrambles to run the family motel as his mother Misbah’s health fails and his grieving father loses himself to alcoholism. Noor, meanwhile, walks a harrowing tightrope: working at her wrathful uncle’s liquor store while hiding the fact that she’s applying to college so she can escape him—and Juniper—forever.
When Sal’s attempts to save the motel spiral out of control, he and Noor must ask themselves what friendship is worth—and what it takes to defeat the monsters in their pasts and the ones in their midst.
From one of today’s most cherished and bestselling young adult authors comes a breathtaking novel of young love, old regrets, and forgiveness—one that’s both tragic and poignant in its tender ferocity.
K-Pop Revolution by Stephan Lee (ISBN-13: 9781338751130 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 04/05/2022, Ages 12-18)
She thought that debuting in a K-Pop band was the finish line, but it was only the beginning. Because now it’s not only Candace’s company judging her—it’s the entire world. How will she find the courage to stand by her beliefs, even when powerful forces are trying to shame and silence her…
In the sequel to K-Pop COnfidential, Candace is a Rookie idol. Her life is suddenly filled with the fans, cameras, and glamor of stardom: She and her boyfriend, YoungBae, are a K-Pop power couple; she’s a walking icon at Brandt Foreign School; and her new girl group, known simply as THE GIRLS, is poised to break records across the industry. With her status as the industry’s K-Pop Warrior, she has all the clout at her disposal to make waves. Right?
Her label, S.A.Y., promises to help make the sweeping changes for the industry to become a more humane and compassionate place for artists. But what will happen when the road to a record-breaking debut isn’t as smooth as they’d planned? When a rival girl group emerges to steal the spotlight, carrying the message of change better than Candace ever could, she’ll have to decide what it’ll cost her and her bandmates to stand up for their beliefs. And as the world turns against her, with online bullies scrutinizing her every word, there’s only so much that one person can take.
From the top of the world to the brink of disaster, Candace is going to have to figure out why the world is out to get her. And she’s not going to be able to do it alone.
How far does one girl need to be pushed to start a K-Pop Revolution?
Primal Animals by Julia Lynn Rubin (ISBN-13: 9781250757296 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 05/24/2022, Ages 14-18)
Protect the girls
Arlee Gold is anxious about spending the summer at the college prep Camp Rockaway—the same camp her mother attended years ago, which her mother insists will help give Arlee a “fresh start” and will “change her life.” Little does Arlee know that, once she steps foot on the manicured grounds, this will prove to be true in horrifying ways.
Even though the girls in her cabin are awesome—and she’s developing a major crush on the girl who sleeps in the bunk above her—the other campers seem to be wary of Arlee, unwilling to talk to her or be near her, which only ramps up her paranoia. When she’s tapped to join a strange secret society, Arlee thinks this will be her shot at fitting in…until her new “sisters” ask her to do the unthinkable, putting her life, and the life of her new crush, in perilous danger.
Together We Burn by Isabel Ibañez (ISBN-13: 9781250803351 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 05/31/2022, Ages 13-18)
An ancient city plagued by dragons
Eighteen-year-old Zarela Zalvidar is a talented flamenco dancer and daughter of the most famous Dragonador in Hispalia. People come for miles to see him fight in their arena, which will one day be hers. But disaster strikes during one celebratory show, and in the carnage, Zarela’s life changes in an instant.
Aflamenco dancer who must become a dragon hunter to save her family legacy
With the Dragon Guild trying to wrest control of her inheritance from her, Zarela has no choice but to train to become a Dragonador. But when the most talented dragon hunter left in the land — the infuriatingly handsome Arturo Díaz de Montserrat — withholds his help, Zarela cannot take no for an answer. Without him, her world will burn.
Home Field Advantage by Dahlia Adler (ISBN-13: 9781250765840 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 06/07/2022, Ages 13-18)
Amber McCloud’s dream is to become cheer captain at the end of the year, but it’s an extra-tall order to be joyful and spirited when the quarterback of your team has been killed in a car accident. For both the team and the squad, watching Robbie get replaced by newcomer Jack Walsh is brutal. And when it turns out Jack is actually short for Jaclyn, all hell breaks loose.
The players refuse to be led by a girl, the cheerleaders are mad about the changes to their traditions, and the fact that Robbie’s been not only replaced but outshined by a QB who wears a sports bra has more than a few Atherton Alligators in a rage. Amber tries for some semblance of unity, but it quickly becomes clear that she’s only got a future on the squad and with her friends if she helps them take Jack down.
Just one problem: Amber and Jack are falling for each other, and if Amber can’t stand up for Jack and figure out how to get everyone to fall in line, her dream may come at the cost of her heart.
Dahlia Adler’s Home Field Advantage is a sparkling romance about fighting for what – or who – you truly want.
Long Story Short by Serena Kaylor (ISBN-13: 9781250818416 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 07/26/2022, Ages 14-18)
Serena Kaylor’s Long Story Short is a debut YA rom-com about a homeschooled math genius who finds herself out of her element at a theater camp, where she learns about friendship, love, and how to be herself.
Beatrice Quinn has spent sixteen very serious years studying to get into Oxford University. Homeschooled and a whiz at statistics, Beatrice knows that she belongs at Oxford, where she will finally find people who understand her. She thought the hardest part would be getting in, not convincing her parents to let her go. They’ve put a halt to her plans until she can prove she’s able to make friends with people her own age and function in social situations. Their solution: Shakespearean theater camp and a detailed list of teenage milestones to check off. She has six weeks to show her parents she can pull off the role of “normal” teenager and won’t spend the rest of her life hiding in a library.
Unfortunately, hearts and hormones don’t follow any rules, and there is no textbook for teenage interactions. When she’s adopted by a group of eclectic theater kids, and immediately makes an enemy of the gorgeous popular son of the camp founders, she realizes that relationships are trickier than calculus. As the summer draws to an end, and with Oxford on the line, this girl genius stumbles through illicit parties, double dog dares, and more than your fair share of Shakespeare. But before the final curtain falls, will Beatrice still feel like Oxford alone is enough?
Accomplished: A Georgie Darcy Novel by Amanda Quain (ISBN-13: 9781250817815 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 07/26/2022, Ages 13-18)
Georgiana Darcy gets the Pride & Prejudice retelling she deserves in Amanda Quain’s Accomplished, a sparkling contemporary YA featuring a healthy dose of marching band romance, endless banter, and Charles Bingley as a ripped frat boy.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Georgiana Darcy should have been expelled after The Incident with Wickham Foster last year – at least if you ask any of her Pemberley Academy classmates. She may have escaped expulsion because of her family name, but she didn’t escape the disappointment of her big brother Fitz, the scorn of the entire school, or, it turns out, Wickham’s influence.
But she’s back for her junior year, and she needs to prove to everyone – Fitz, Wickham, her former friends, and maybe even herself – that she’s more than just an embarrassment to the family name. How hard can it be to become the Perfect Darcy? All she has to do is:
– Rebuild her reputation with the marching band (even if it kills her)
– Forget about Wickham and his lies (no matter how tempting they still are), and
– Distract Fitz Darcy — helicopter-sibling extraordinaire — by getting him to fall in love with his classmate, Lizzie Bennet (this one might be difficult…)
Sure, it’s a complicated plan, but so is being a Darcy. With the help of her fellow bandmate, Avery, matchmaking ideas lifted straight from her favorite fanfics, and a whole lot of pancakes, Georgie is going to see every one of her plans through. But when the weight of being the Perfect Darcy comes crashing down, Georgie will have to find her own way before she loses everything permanently—including the one guy who sees her for who she really is.
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About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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