Book Mail: New books from Candice Iloh, Emiko Jean, Kelly Barnhill, and more
I am deep in the slump of February, which is always a slog, but especially a slog at this point in the school year—when it spring break ever coming?—and is especially especially a slog when it’s been so ridiculously cold in Minnesota for so long. Our little rescue dog from Texas arrived here in November and is probably like, is Minnesota always a frozen nightmare state? Just mostly, little dog, just mostly.
One good thing: book mail. It’s a little treat that shows up on my doorstep and serves as a reward to open after I finish all of the other garbage of my day (am I lumping my job and parenting and existing into the term “garbage”? Yep. See: slog).
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.
Speak Up, Speak Out!: The Extraordinary Life of Fighting Shirley Chisholm by Tonya Bolden (ISBN-13: 9781426372377 Publisher: National Geographic Publication date: 01/04/2022, Ages 10-14)
From award-winning author Tonya Bolden comes a biography of the first Black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and the first Black woman to run for president with a major political party: Shirley Chisholm.
Before there was Barack Obama, before there was Kamala Harris, there was Fighting Shirley Chisholm. A daughter of Barbadian immigrants, Chisholm developed her political chops in Brooklyn in the 1950s and went on to become the first Black woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. This “pepper pot,” as she was known, was not afraid to speak up for what she thought was right. While fighting for a better life for her constituents in New York’s 12th Congressional District, Chisholm routinely fought against sexism and racism in her own life and defied the norms of the time. As the first Black woman in the House and the first Black woman to seek the presidential nomination from a major political party, Shirley Chisholm laid the groundwork for those who would come after her.
Extensively researched and reviewed by experts, this inspiring biography traces Chisholm’s journey from her childhood in a small flat in Brooklyn where she read books with her sisters to Brooklyn College where she got her first taste of politics. Readers will cheer Chisholm on to victory from the campaign trail to the hallowed halls of the U.S. Capitol, where she fought for fair wages, equal rights, and an end to the Vietnam War. And while the presidential campaign trail in 1972 did not end in victory, Shirley Chisholm shows us how you can change a country when you speak up and speak out.
Katie the Catsitter Book 2: Best Friends for Never by Colleen AF Venable, Stephanie Yue (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781984895660 Publisher: Random House Children’s Books Publication date: 02/15/2022, Ages 8-12)
Calling all Raina Telgemeier fans! It’s back to school for Katie the Catsitter in this purr-fectly irresistible graphic novel series about friendship, heroes, and cats (lots of cats)!
Katie loves skating with the Wheelas and the fact that she’s officially a superhero sidekick. But now that school’s starting, everything’s changing. The Mousetress is getting blamed for things Katie knows she didn’t do. Sidekick training is NOT as exciting as she’d hoped. Katie’s best friend Beth is back in town and Beth’s new boyfriend is always hanging around (ugh!). Not to mention that all of Katie’s friends are mad at her. Fixing this will be harder than any skateboarding trick. But with the help of 217 slightly out of the ordinary cats, Katie’s going to try!
Can she clear the Mousestress’s name, uncover the real supervillain, and become the sidekick (and the friend) she’s always dreamed of being?
Kelcie Murphy and the Academy for the Unbreakable Arts by Erika Lewis (ISBN-13: 9781250208262 Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates Publication date: 03/01/2022 Series: The Academy for the Unbreakable Arts #1, Ages 8-12)
Brimming with Celtic mythology, action, and danger, Erika Lewis’s Kelcie Murphy and The Academy for the Unbreakable Arts introduces readers to a new kind of magical school and a warrior who must choose with which side of an epic battle her destiny will lie.
The Otherworld is at war. The Academy for the Unbreakable Arts trains warriors. And Kelcie Murphy—a foster child raised in the human world—is dying to attend.
A place at AUA means meeting Scáthach, the legendary trainer of Celtic heroes. It means learning to fight with a sword. It means harnessing her hidden powers and—most importantly—finding out who her parents are, and why they abandoned her in Boston Harbor eight years ago.
When Kelcie tests into the school, she learns that she’s a Saiga, one of the most ancient beings in the Otherworld. Secretive, shunned, and possessed of imposing elemental powers, the Saiga are also kin to the Otherworld’s most infamous traitor.
But Kelcie is a survivor, and she’ll do whatever it takes to find her parents and her place in their world. Even if that means making a few enemies.
The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill (ISBN-13: 9781643750743 Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill Publication date: 03/08/2022, Ages 10+)
A new instant-classic fantasy from Newbery medalist Kelly Barnhill about the power of generosity and love—and how a community suffers when they disappear.
Stone-in-the-Glen, once a lovely town, has fallen on hard times. Fires, floods, and other calamities have caused the people to lose their library, their school, their park, and even their neighborliness. The people put their faith in the Mayor, a dazzling fellow who promises he alone can help. After all, he is a famous dragon slayer. (At least, no one has seen a dragon in his presence.) Only the clever children of the Orphan House and the kindly Ogress at the edge of town can see how dire the town’s problems are.
Then one day a child goes missing from the Orphan House. At the Mayor’s suggestion, all eyes turn to the Ogress. The Orphans know this can’t be: the Ogress, along with a flock of excellent crows, secretly delivers gifts to the people of Stone-in-the-Glen.
But how can the Orphans tell the story of the Ogress’s goodness to people who refuse to listen? And how can they make their deluded neighbors see the real villain in their midst?
My Dearest Darkest by Kayla Cottingham (ISBN-13: 9781728236414 Publisher: Sourcebooks Publication date: 03/29/2022, Ages 14-18)
Wilder Girls meets The Craft in this Sapphic horror debut that asks: what price would you be willing to pay to achieve your deepest desires?
Finch Chamberlin is the newest transfer student to the ultra-competitive Ulalume Academy… but she’s also not what she seems. Months before school started, Finch and her parents got into an accident that should have left her dead at the bottom of the river. But something monstrous, and ancient, and terrifying, wouldn’t let her drown. Finch doesn’t know why she woke up after her heart stopped, but since dying she’s felt a constant pull from the school and the surrounding town of Rainwater, like something on the island is calling to her.
Selena St. Clair sees right through Finch, and she knows something is seriously wrong with her. But despite Selena’s suspicion, she feels drawn to Finch and has a sinking feeling that from now on the two will be inexplicably linked to one another.
One night Finch, Selena, and her friends accidentally summon a carnivorous creature of immense power in the depths of the school. It promises to grant every desire the girls have kept locked away in their insecure hearts—beauty, power, adoration—in exchange for a price: human body parts. But as the cost of their wanting becomes more deadly, Finch and Selena must learn to work together to stop the horror they unleashed, before it consumes the entire island.
Jagged Little Pill: The Novel by Eric Smith, Alanis Morissette, Diablo Cody, Glen Ballard (ISBN-13: 9781419757983 Publisher: Amulet Books Publication date: 04/26/2022, Ages 14-18)
A timely and gutsy YA novel based on the Tony and Grammy Award winning musical from Alanis Morissette, Diablo Cody, and Glen Ballard!
Swallow it down—what a jagged little pill . . .
Jagged Little Pill: The Novel follows the intertwining lives of five teens whose world is changed forever after the events at a party.
Adopted Frankie struggles to see eye-to-eye with her mother—who would rather ignore a problem and preserve their “perfect” life than stand up for what’s right. Jo just wants her mom to accept her queer identity—and is totally crushed when Frankie, the only person who really gets her, finds herself infatuated with someone new. Phoenix tries to find his place at the new school and balance wanting to spend time with Frankie but knowing he also has to help out with his sick sister at home. Bella wants to enjoy the end of high school and just head off to college without a hitch. Everyone expects Frankie’s brother Nick to be the golden boy, but even though he just got into his dream school, he’s not even sure he’s a good person. Each of their stories intersects when Bella is sexually assaulted at a party, and it looks like the perpetrator might get away with it.
Moving, heartfelt, and raw, Jagged Little Pill: The Novel draws on the musical’s story and gives readers deeper glimpses of the characters. It’s a story about the power of voicing your pain, standing up for what’s right, and finding healing and connection.
The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow, Liz Lawson (ISBN-13: 9780593431115 Publisher: Random House Children’s Books Publication date: 05/03/2022, Ages 14-17)
Who killed Brooke Donovan? It’s the biggest mystery of the summer, and everyone in Castle Cove thinks it’s the wrong guy. Fans of One of Us Is Lying and Riverdale can’t miss this page-turning who-done-it that’s sure to be the next must read Young Adult thriller!
Last summer, Alice Ogilve’s basketball-star boyfriend Steve dumped her. Then she disappeared for five days. Where she went and what happened to her is the biggest mystery in Castle Cove, because she’s not talking. Or it was, at least. But now, another one of Steve’s girlfriends has vanished: Brooke Donovan, Alice’s ex–best friend. And it doesn’t look like Brooke will be coming back. . .
Enter Iris Adams, Alice’s tutor. Iris has her own reasons for wanting to disappear, though unlike Alice, she doesn’t have the money or the means. That could be changed by the hefty reward Brooke’s grandmother is offering to anyone who can share information about her granddaughter’s whereabouts. The police are convinced Steve is the culprit, but Alice isn’t so sure, and with Iris on her side, she just might be able to prove her theory.
In order to get the reward and prove Steve’s innocence, they need to figure out who killed Brooke Donovan. And luckily Alice has exactly what they need—the complete works of Agatha Christie. If there’s anyone that can teach the girls how to solve a mystery it’s the master herself. But the town of Castle Cove holds many secrets, and Alice and Iris have no idea how much danger they’re about to walk into.
Wind Daughter by Joanna Ruth Meyer (ISBN-13: 9781645674368 Publisher: Page Street Publishing Publication date: 05/17/2022, Ages 14-17)
A hauntingly beautiful fairy tale about love and loss, this Echo North companion novel is perfect for fans of the Winternight Trilogy.
In the dark, cold reaches of the north lives a storyteller and his daughter. He told his daughter, Satu, many stories—romances like the girl who loved a star and changed herself into a nightingale so she could always see him shining—but the most important story he told her was his own. This storyteller was once the formidable North Wind, but he lost his power by trading it away in exchange for mortality—he loved her mother too much to live without her. The loss of his magic impacted more than just their family, however, and now the world is unraveling in the wake of this imbalance.
To save the North, Satu embarks on a perilous journey to reclaim her father’s magic, but she isn’t the only one searching for it. In the snow-laden mountains, she finds herself in a deadly race with the Winter Lord who wants the North Wind’s destructive powers for himself.
Satu has the chance to be the heroine of her own fairy tale, only this one has an ending she never could have imagined.
Break This House by Candice Iloh (ISBN-13: 9780525556237 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 05/24/2022, Ages 14+)
From Printz honoree and National Book Award Finalist Candice Iloh, a novel about a teenager reckoning with her family’s–and her home town’s–secrets.
Yaminah Okar left Obsidian and the wreckage of her family years ago. She and her father have made lives for themselves in Brooklyn. She thinks she’s moved on to bigger and better things. She thinks she’s finally left behind that city she would rather forget. But when a Facebook message about her estranged mother pierces Yaminah’s new bubble, memories of everything that happened before her parents’ divorce come roaring back. Now, Yaminah must finally reckon with the truth about her mother and the growing collapse of a place she once called home.
Tokyo Dreaming by Emiko Jean (ISBN-13: 9781250766632 Publisher: Flatiron Books Publication date: 05/31/2022 Series: Tokyo Ever After #2, Ages 12-18)
Return to Tokyo for a royal wedding in Emiko Jean’s Tokyo Dreaming, the sequel to the Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick and New York Times bestseller Tokyo Ever After
When Japanese-American Izumi Tanaka learned her father was the Crown Prince of Japan, she became a princess overnight. Now, she’s overcome conniving cousins, salacious press, and an imperial scandal to finally find a place she belongs. She has a perfect bodyguard turned boyfriend. Her stinky dog, Tamagotchi, is living with her in Tokyo. Her parents have even rekindled their college romance and are engaged. A royal wedding is on the horizon! Izumi’s life is a Tokyo dream come true.
Her parents’ engagement hits a brick wall. The Imperial Household Council refuses to approve the marriage citing concerns about Izumi and her mother’s lack of pedigree. And on top of it all, her bodyguard turned boyfriend makes a shocking decision about their relationship. At the threat of everything falling apart, Izumi vows to do whatever it takes to help win over the council. Which means upping her newly acquired princess game.
But at what cost? Izumi will do anything to help her parents achieve their happily ever after, but what if playing the perfect princess means sacrificing her own? Will she find a way to forge her own path and follow her heart?
The Witchery by S. Isabelle (ISBN-13: 9781338758962 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 07/26/2022, Ages 14-18)
A bewitching debut by S. Isabelle, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Zoraida Córdova, and Maggie Stiefvater!
THE HAUNTING SEASON IS HERE AND THE WOLVES ARE AWAKE.
Haelsford, Florida is a Hellmouth. Or at least, that’s what Logan, a new witch struggling to control her powers, thinks as she arrives to begin the new school year at Mesmortes Coven Academy. She is immediately taken under the wing of the infamous Red Three. Iris, a deathwitch, who wants nothing more than to break the town’s curse; Thalia, the talented greenwitch, is on the run from her religious family and a past that still haunts her; and Jailah is one of the most powerful witches at the academy but her thirst for power may lead her down a dark path.
With the Haunting Season approaching, Wolves will soon rise from the swamp to kill and the humans and witches must work together to survive the yearly onslaught. And the stakes couldn’t be higher as two boys from the Hammersmitt School prepare to make their first sacrifices to the witches in exchange for protection.
But old dangers lie in wait and the cost to break the curse may be greater than any witch or human could ever know.
The Stars Between Us by Cristin Terrill (ISBN-13: 9781250783769 Publisher: St. Martin’s Publishing Group Publication date: 08/02/2022, Ages 14-18)
Cristin Terrill’s YA novel The Stars Between Us is set in a glittering new world, about a girl who discovers that behind the glamor and romance, the world is teeming with conspiracies, secrets, and murder…
There’s always been a mystery to Vika Hale’s life. Ever since she was a child, she’s had an unknown benefactor providing for her and her family, making sure that Vika and her sister received the best education they could. Now, Vika longs for a bigger life than one as a poor barmaid on a struggling planet, but those dreams feel out of reach. Until one day Vika learns that her benefactor was a billionaire magnate who recently died under suspicious circumstances, and Vika has shockingly been included in his will. Invited to live on a glittering neighboring planet, Vika steps into a world she can hardly believe is real.
The only blight on Vika’s lavish new life is the constant presence of Sky Foster, a mysterious young man from Vika’s past who works for her benefactors. She doesn’t like or trust Sky, but when she narrowly escapes an explosion and realizes someone is targeting the will’s heirs, Vika knows Sky is the only one who can help her discover the identity of the bomber before she becomes their next victim. As Vika and Sky delve into the truth of the attacks, they uncover a web of secrets, murder, and an underground rebellion who may hold the answers they’ve been looking for. But Sky isn’t who he seems to be, and Vika may not escape this new life unscathed.
In The Stars Between Us, Cristin Terrill sweeps readers away to a Dickensian-inspired world where secrets are currency and love is the most dangerous risk of all.
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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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