Book Mail: Luchadores, vampire hunters, mediums, witches, and more!
I know the saying is that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but do you think I can teach a semi-young dog to read? I feel like that’s the only way I will ever get through all the books that show up here, if I can just teach Charlie how to read and write up little reviews for me while I’m at school. However, given his propensity to run full speed into a closed sliding screen door, I suspect his capacity for reading may not be great. I guess for now I’ll share everything that comes in here and on Twitter, do my best to read as much possible, and pass everything on to new homes.
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.
Tales to Keep You Up at Night by Dan Poblocki, Marie Bergeron (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9780593387474 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 08/16/2022, Ages 10-13)
From the co-author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series The Magic Misfits comes a spectacularly creepy novel that will keep you up way past bedtime. Perfect for fans of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark!
“Grab a flashlight and a blanket—this lives up to its titular claim.”— Kirkus Reviews
Amelia is cleaning out her grandmother’s attic when she stumbles across a book: Tales to Keep You Up at Night. But when she goes to the library to return it, she’s told that the book never belonged there. Curious, she starts to read the stories: tales of strange incidents in nearby towns, of journal entries chronicling endless, twisting pumpkin vines, birthday parties gone awry, and cursed tarot decks. And at the center of the stories lies a family of witches. And witches, she’s told, can look like anyone…
As elements from the stories begin to come to life around her, and their eerie connections become clear, Amelia begins to realize that she may be in a scary story of her own…
With hair-raising, spine-chilling prose, Dan Poblocki delivers a collection of interconnected stories that, if you’re anything like Amelia, is sure to keep you up late in the night.
Tumble by Celia C. Pérez (ISBN-13: 9780593325179 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 08/16/2022, Ages 9-12)
From the award-winning author of The First Rule of Punk and Strange Birds, a dazzling novel about a young girl who collects the missing pieces of her origin story from the family of legendary luchadores she’s never met.
Twelve-year-old Adela “Addie” Ramírez has a big decision to make when her stepfather proposes adoption. Addie loves Alex, the only father figure she’s ever known, but with a new half brother due in a few months and a big school theater performance on her mind, everything suddenly feels like it’s moving too fast. She has a million questions, and the first is about the young man in the photo she found hidden away in her mother’s things.
Addie’s sleuthing takes her to a New Mexico ranch, and her world expands to include the legendary Bravos: Rosie and Pancho, her paternal grandparents and former professional wrestlers; Eva and Maggie, her older identical twin cousins who love to spar in and out of the ring; Uncle Mateo, whose lucha couture and advice are unmatched; and Manny, her biological father, who’s in the midst of a career comeback. As luchadores, the Bravos’s legacy is strong. But being part of a family is so much harder—it’s about showing up, taking off your mask, and working through challenges together.
Daybreak on Raven Island by Fleur Bradley (ISBN-13: 9780593404638 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 08/23/2022, Ages 8-12)
From the critically acclaimed author of Midnight at the Barclay Hotel comes a thrilling new middle grade mystery novel inspired by Alcatraz Prison.
Tori, Marvin, and Noah would rather be anywhere else than on the seventh grade class field trip to Raven Island prison. Tori would rather be on the soccer field, but her bad grades have benched her until further notice; Marvin would rather be at the first day of a film festival with his best friend, Kevin; and Noah isn’t looking forward to having to make small talk with his classmates at this new school.
But when the three of them stumble upon a dead body in the woods, miss the last ferry back home, and then have to spend the night on Raven Island, they find that they need each other now more than ever. They must work together to uncover a killer, outrun a motley ghost-hunting crew, and expose the age-old secrets of the island all before daybreak.
Seton Girls by Charlene Thomas (ISBN-13: 9780593529348 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 08/30/2022, Ages 14-17)
A smart and twisty debut YA that starts off like Friday Night Lights and ends with the power and insight of Dear White People.
Seton Academic High is a prep school obsessed with its football team and their thirteen-year conference win streak, a record that players always say they’d never have without Seton’s girls. What exactly Seton girls do to make them so valuable, though, no one ever really says. They’re just “the best.” But the team’s quarterback, the younger brother of the Seton star who started the streak, wants more than regular season glory. He wants a state championship before his successor, Seton’s first Black QB, has a chance to overshadow him. Bigger rewards require bigger risks, and soon the actual secrets to the team’s enduring success leak to a small group of girls who suddenly have the power to change their world forever.
A Greek Adventure by Frances Durkin, Grace Cooke (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781631636776 Publisher: North Star Editions Publication date: 09/01/2022 Series: Histronauts Series, Ages 8-10)
When the Histronauts travel back in time to ancient Greece, they’ll need your help to uncover the secrets of the past. Join them on their journey as they visit the Acropolis, watch the activities that inspired the Olympic Games, and paint masks for a thrilled Greek tragedy at the amphitheater.
With an exciting mix of graphic novel, facts, and activity, The Histronauts series is a perfect way to bring history to life.
The Slugger’s Shadow by Bob Temple (ISBN-13: 9781631636738 Publisher: North Star Editions Publication date: 09/01/2022 Series: In the Clutch Series, Ages 8-10)
Aaron is a 12-year-old baseball phenom, but only when he’s playing in the field. At the plate, he struggles. Now, it’s the last inning of the last game of the season, and Aaron’s in the batter’s box, down by one with the bases loaded. Just as he steps up to the plate, Aaron spots his superstar-athlete older brother, Will, who completely abandoned him at the worst possible time. Can Aaron come through in the clutch when his team needs him most, and will his brother come through for him and their family?
In the Clutch hooks readers with a do-or-die moment from youth sports, then rewinds to show how the books’ young athletes found themselves needing to perform under pressure.
Still Serving: The Inside Scoop on One Veteran’s Life by Anita Storey, Nathalie Ortega (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781631636509 Publisher: North Star Editions Publication date: 09/01/2022 Series: Eastside Extra Series, Ages 8-10)
Sixth graders Anika Veerkar, Benicio “Benny” Flores, and Libby Abrams have gotten used to being kicked out of their homes due to their endless questions. So when Anika’s mother sends them to the grocery store on an errand, they suspect their questions were the culprit once again. But when they see who is behind the checkout counter, all of their trouble-making questions condense into one: Why does someone who could be retired choose to still work? Between popsicle breaks and jumps in the pool, this simple question leads the friends all around their community as they explore the facts and personal stories of veterans.
Anika, Benny, and Libby are neighborhood friends—and known to be relentlessly curious. They’re always asking questions, and their interest in sharing the answers has led them to start an online newsletter. Encouraged by their parents, they venture out into the community to investigate the most engaging mysteries.
BIG LIES: from Socrates to Social Media by Mark Kurlansky, Eric Zelz (ISBN-13: 9780884489122 Publisher: Tilbury House Publishers Publication date: 09/06/2022, Ages 13-18)
In his new book for young readers Mark Kurlansky’s lens is the art of the “big lie,” a term coined by Adolf Hitler. Kurlansky has written Big Lies: From Socrates to Social Media for the next stewards of our world. It is not only a history but a how-to manual for seeing through big lies and thinking critically.
Mark Kurlansky’s bestselling works of nonfiction view the history of the world through unexpected lenses, including cod, salt, and paper. In this new book for young readers his lens is the art of the big lie. Big lies are told by governments, politicians, and corporations to avoid responsibility, cast blame on the innocent, win elections, disguise intent, create chaos, and gain power and wealth. Big lies are as old as civilization. They corrupt public understanding and discourse, turn science upside down, and reinvent history. They prevent humanity from addressing critical challenges. They perpetuate injustices. They destabilize the world.
As with his book World Without Fish, Kurlansky has written A History of Big Lies for young readers, the future stewards of our world. It is not only a history but a how-to manual for seeing through big lies and thinking critically. “I hope that you will keep asking yourself what is true as you read this book and live your life,” he entreats readers at the outset. “If the Age of Enlightenment is not to be followed by the Age of Chaos, we have to think for ourselves.”
A History of Big Lies soars across history, alighting on the “noble lies” of Socrates and Plato, Nero blaming Christians for the burning of Rome, the great injustices of the Middle Ages, the big lies of Stalin and Hitler and their terrible consequences, and the reckless lies of contemporary demagogues, which are amplified through social media. Lies against women and Jews are two examples in the long history of “othering” the vulnerable for personal gain. Nor does America escape Kurlansky’s equal-opportunity spotlight.
The modern age has provided ever-more-effective ways of spreading lies, but it has also given us the scientific method, which is the most effective tool for finding what is true. In the book’s final chapter, Kurlansky reveals ways to deconstruct an allegation. Is there credible, testable evidence to support it? If not, suspect a lie. A scientific theory has to be testable, and so does an allegation. Who is the source? Who benefits? Is there a money trail? Especially in the age of social media, critical thinking counters lies and chaos.
“Belief is a choice,” Kurlansky writes, “and honesty begins in each of us. A lack of caring what is true or false is the undoing of democracy. The alternative to truth is a corrupt state in which the loudest voices and most seductive lies confer power and wealth on grifters and oligarchs. We cannot achieve a healthy planet for all the world’s people if we do not keep asking what is true.”
Flip Turns by Catherine Arguelles (ISBN-13: 9781631636356 Publisher: North Star Editions Publication date: 09/13/2022, Ages 9-13)
Thirteen-year-old Maddie just wants her classmate Lucas to leave her alone. He keeps asking her out—as if she hasn’t already said no a thousand times! Focusing on her competitive swim team, the Electric Eels, Maddie tries to ignore him, hoping he’ll stop harassing her.
But then, when someone starts sabotaging Maddie’s family-owned pool—glass on the deck, ketchup in the pool, followed by a “code brown”—Maddie worries it’s her “admirer” trying to get even. After Maddie’s parents rule the problems at the pool just harmless pranks, Maddie and her best friend, Ez, decide to investigate on their own. Could it be Lucas? And how can Maddie get him to leave her alone once and for all? The future of the Electric Eels and Maddie’s family legacy are on the line.
The Vanquishers by Kalynn Bayron (ISBN-13: 9781547609772 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 09/20/2022, Ages 8-11)
In the world of the Vanquishers, vampires were history . . . until now.
“A sharp vampire tale full of bite, heart, and humor.” —Rena Barron, author of the Maya and the Rising Dark series
“Boog and her friends will capture your heart in an instant.” —Mark Oshiro, author of The Insiders
Malika “Boog” Wilson and her best friends have grown up idolizing The Vanquishers, a group of heroic vampire hunters who wiped out the last horde of the undead decades ago. Nowadays, most people don’t take even the most basic vampire precautions—the days of garlic wreaths and early curfews long gone—but Boog’s parents still follow the old rules, much to her embarrassment.
When a friend goes missing, Boog isn’t sure what to think. Could it be the school counselor, Mr. Rupert, who definitely seems to be hiding something? Or could it be something more dangerous? Boog is determined to save her friend, but is she ready to admit vampires might not be vanquished after all?
No one ever expected the Vanquishers to return, but if their town needs protection from the undead, Boog knows who to call.
Inspired by Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Watchmen, this adventure launches readers into an exciting new series.
Spells for Lost Things by Jenna Evans Welch (ISBN-13: 9781534448872 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers Publication date: 09/27/2022, Ages 12-18)
From the New York Times bestselling author of Love & Gelato comes a poignant and romantic novel about two teens trying to find their place in the world after being unceremoniously dragged to Salem, Massachusetts, for the summer.
Willow has never felt like she belonged anywhere and is convinced that the only way to find a true home is to travel the world. But her plans to act on her dream are put on hold when her aloof and often absent mother drags Willow to Salem, Massachusetts, to wrap up the affairs of an aunt Willow didn’t even know she had. An aunt who may or may not have been a witch.
There, she meets Mason, a loner who’s always felt out of place and has been in and out of foster homes his entire life. He’s been classified as one of the runaways, constantly searching for ways to make it back to his mom; even if she can’t take care of him, it’s his job to try and take care of her. Isn’t it?
Naturally pulled to one another, Willow and Mason set out across Salem to discover the secret past of Willow’s mother, her aunt, and the ambiguous history of her family. During all of this, the two can’t help but act on their natural connection. But with the amount of baggage between them—and Willow’s growing conviction her family might be cursed—can they manage to hold onto each other?
The Second Death of Edie and Violet Bond by Amanda Glaze (ISBN-13: 9781454946786 Publisher: Union Square & Co. Publication date: 10/04/2022, Ages 12-17)
Travel beyond the veil in this thrilling and chilling supernatural debut with timely feminist themes, perfect for fans of Kerri Maniscalco—inspired by lives of real teenage twin mediums in the 19th century.
“Deliciously chilling and edge-of-your-seat suspenseful.”
—Nina LaCour, Printz Award–winning author of We Are Okay
Edie and Violet Bond know the truth about death. The seventeen-year-old twins are powerful mediums, just like their mother—Violet can open the veil between life and death, and Edie can cross into the spirit world. But their abilities couldn’t save them when their mother died and their father threatened to commit them to a notorious asylum.
Now runaways, Edie and Violet are part of a traveling Spiritualist show, a tight-knit group of young women who demonstrate their real talents under the guise of communing with spirits. Each night, actresses, poets, musicians, and orators all make contact with spirits who happen to have something to say. . . notions that young ladies could never openly express.
But when Violet’s act goes terribly wrong one night, Edie learns that the dark spirit responsible for their mother’s death has crossed into the land of the living. As they investigate the identity of her mysterious final client, they realize that someone is hunting mediums…and they may be next.Only by trusting in one another can the twins uncover a killer who will stop at nothing to cheat death.
I Miss You, I Hate This by Sara Saedi (ISBN-13: 9780316629829 Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publication date: 10/11/2022, Ages 14-18)
The lives of high school seniors Parisa Naficy and Gabriela Gonzales couldn’t be more different. Parisa, an earnest and privileged Iranian American, struggles to live up to her own impossible standards. Gabriela, a cynical Mexican American, has all the confidence Parisa lacks but none of the financial stability. She can’t help but envy Parisa’s posh lifestyle whenever she hears her two moms argue about money. Despite their differences, as soon as they met on the first day of freshman year, they had an “us versus the world” mentality. Whatever the future had in store for them—the pressure to get good grades, the litany of family dramas, and the heartbreak of unrequited love—they faced it together. Until a global pandemic forces everyone into lockdown. Suddenly senior year doesn’t look anything like they hoped it would. And as the whole world is tested during this time of crisis, their friendship will be, too.
With equal parts humor and heart, Parisa’s and Gabriela’s stories unfold in a mix of prose, text messages, and emails as they discover new dreams, face insecurities, and confront their greatest fears.
The Witch Hunt by Sasha Peyton Smith (ISBN-13: 9781534454415 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers Publication date: 10/11/2022, Ages 14-18)
The lush and pulse-pounding sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Witch Haven follows Frances and her fellow witches to the streets of Paris where family secrets, lost loves, and dangerous magic await.
Months after the devastating battle between the Sons of St. Druon and the witches of Haxahaven, Frances has built a quiet, safe life for herself, teaching young witches and tending the garden within the walls of Haxahaven Academy. But one thing nags; her magic has begun to act strangely. When an opportunity to visit Paris arises, Frances jumps at the chance to go, longing for adventure and seeking answers about her own power.
Once she and her classmates Maxine and Lena reach the vibrant streets of France, Frances learns that the spell she used to speak to her dead brother has had terrible consequences—the veil between the living and the dead has been torn by her recklessness, and a group of magicians are using the rift for their own gain at a horrifying cost.
To right this wrong, and save lives and her own magical powers, Frances must hunt down answers in the parlors of Parisian secret societies, the halls of the Louvre, and the tunnels of the catacombs. Her only choice is to team up with the person she swore she’d never trust again, risking further betrayal and her own life in the process.
Drawing Outside the Lines: A Julia Morgan Novel by Susan Austin (ISBN-13: 9781684631599 Publisher: Sparkpress Publication date: 10/18/2022, Ages 10-14)
Meet the brilliant, fearless, and ambitious Julia Morgan. In 1883, eleven-year-old Julia visits the amazing new Brooklyn Bridge—an experience that ignites within her a small but persistent flame. Someday, she decides, she too will build an astounding structure.
Growing up in horse-and-buggy Oakland, Julia enjoys daring fence walks, climbing the tallest trees, and constantly testing her mother’s patience with her lack of interest in domestic duties and social events. At a time when “brainy” girls are the object of ridicule, Julia excels in school and consistently outsmarts her ornery brothers—but she has an even greater battle ahead. When she enrolls at university to study engineering, the male students taunt her, and the professors belittle her. Through it all, however, Julia holds on to her dream of becoming an architect. She faces each challenge head-on, firmly standing up to those who believe a woman’s place is in the home. Fortunately, the world has yet to meet anyone like the indomitable Miss Morgan.
Drawing Outside the Lines is an imagined childhood of pioneering architect Julia Morgan, who left behind her an extraordinary legacy of creativity, beauty, and engineering marvels.
The Love Match by Priyanka Taslim (ISBN-13: 9781665901109 Publisher: Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers Publication date: 01/03/2023, Ages 12-18)
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before meets Pride and Prejudice in this delightful and heartfelt rom-com about a Bangladeshi American teen whose meddling mother arranges a match to secure their family’s financial security—just as she’s falling in love with someone else.
Zahra Khan is basically Bangladeshi royalty, but being a princess doesn’t pay the bills in Paterson, New Jersey. While Zahra’s plans for financial security this summer involve working long hours at Chai Ho and saving up for college writing courses, Amma is convinced that all Zahra needs is a “good match,” Jane Austen style.
Enter Harun Emon, who’s wealthy, devastatingly handsome, and…aloof. As soon as Zahra meets him, she knows it’s a bad match. It’s nothing like the connection she has with Nayim Aktar, the new dishwasher at the tea shop, who just gets Zahra in a way no one has before. So, when Zahra finds out that Harun is just as uninterested in this match as she is, they decide to slowly sabotage their parents’ plans. And for once in Zahra’s life, she can have her rossomalai and eat it too: “dating” Harun and keeping Amma happy while catching real feelings for Nayim.
But life—and boys—can be more complicated than Zahra realizes. With her feelings all mixed up, Zahra discovers that sometimes being a good Bengali kid can be a royal pain.
Filed under: New Releases
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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