Post-It Note Reviews: Quick peeks at 8 new titles
Post-it Note Reviews are a great way to display books in your library or classroom, a way to let kids recommend their favorite titles without having to get up in front of everyone and do a book talk, and an easy way to offer a more personal recommendation than just the flap copy offers.
All descriptions from the publishers. Transcriptions of the Post-It notes are below each description. Reading those is your best bet—carpal tunnel has made my handwriting mostly a disaster.
Freestyle: A Graphic Novel by Gale Galligan (ISBN-13: 9781338045819 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 10/18/2022, Ages 8-12)
From New York Times bestselling author Gale Galligan, a fun, high-energy graphic novel about friendship, family, and the last hurrahs of middle school. Cory’s dance crew is getting ready for a major competition. It’s the last one before they graduate eighth grade and go their separate ways to high schools all over New York City, so they have to make it count! The group starts to have problems as their crew captain gets increasingly intense about nailing the routine, and things go from bad to worse when Cory’s parents ground him for not taking his grades seriously. He gets stuck with a new tutor, Sunna, who he dismisses as a boring nerd… until he catches her secretly practicing cool yo-yo tricks. Cory wants to learn the art of yo-yo, and as his friendship with Sunna grows, he ends up missing practice and bailing on his crew — and they are not happy about it. With mounting pressure coming from all sides, how is Cory supposed to balance the expectations of his parents, school, dance, and his new friend?
(POST-IT SAYS: Perfection! Great story about talent, dreams, and friendship. Bright colors, a diverse cast, and lots of joy. Readers who recognize Galligan’s work from BSC will snap this up especially quickly!)
Welcome to Feral by Mark Fearing (ISBN-13: 9780823448654 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 11/22/2022 Series: Frights from Feral #1, Ages 8-12)
How many kids will go missing before this town admits it’s haunted? Find out in this freakily fun new graphic novel series!
Feral has everything a small town should have: Main Street, City Hall, a population just over sixteen thousand . . .
But Feral also has secrets. Mysteries. Unexplained disappearances.
In five spooky stories, an intrepid young resident invites readers to look a little closer at this scenic rural town. Are you game to investigate what’s going on in Feral? If you pay attention, you might notice something where it shouldn’t be.
Be careful, though. Whatever you do, do not go into the Messner Mansion. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
With vibrant art, clever humor, and heaps of unsolved mysteries, animator Mark Fearing conjures a fearsome saga out of small-town terrors. The first entry in this inventive new series is sure to scare young readers silly.
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
(POST-IT SAYS: All day long at school kids want graphic novel recs and recs for scary/creepy books. This collection is both. Fun paranormal stories of life in a weird town. Bonus: large panels with minimal words.)
Winona Forever part 4 by Shawn Patrick Boyd and illustrated by Elijah Henry (learn about purchasing options here)
On Halloween 1987, The Outcasts (Darby, Boots, Sci-Fi and Pretty Boy) join up with three popular kids to hunt down a supernatural relic in a haunted priory. As they unlock clues to its location, they find unexpected first loves, surprising heroes and a cutthroat secret society out to claim the relic for its own dark purposes.
Winona Forever is a suspenseful mystery-thriller for anyone who loves the 80s but doesn’t have a time machine to get there.
(POST-IT SAYS: The series wraps up with the kids, secret society, and, yes, Winona Ryder duking it out so the relic can give them what they deserve. Fun indie comic for fans of the 80s, mysteries, and the supernatural.)
Mending the Moon by Emma Pearl, Sara Ugolotti (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781645675600 Publisher: Page Street Publishing Publication date: 11/01/2022, Ages 4-8)
One fateful night, the moon shines so big and so bright that it is too heavy to hold itself up in the sky. When it tumbles down and breaks into many glimmering pieces, Luna sees the whole thing. Her grandfather Poppa warns that without the moon in the sky, the oceans will stop moving and the earth will start to wobble. Luna and Poppa must mend it, but they may not be able to do it all on their own.
The mountain is alive with creatures big and small whose watchful eyes also saw the moon fall. Together, can they find all the shards, stick them together, and get the moon safely back into the sky?
In this enchanting tale with a timeless, folklore feel, a girl, her grandfather, and all the animals of the mountain hold the power to set the world right and forever leave their mark on the moon.
(POST-IT SAYS: This was lovely. I spent a lot of time looking at the beautiful artwork. A gentle story about mending a broken moon that works as a good metaphor/reminder that things don’t have to be perfect to be okay.)
We’re in This Together: A Young Readers Edition of We Are Not Here to Be Bystanders by Linda Sarsour (ISBN-13: 9781534439290 Publisher: Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers Publication date: 11/29/2022, Ages 10+)
An inspiring and empowering young readers edition of We Are Not Here to Be Bystanders, the memoir by Women’s March coorganizer and activist Linda Sarsour.
You can count on me, your Palestinian Muslim sister, to keep her voice loud, keep her feet on the streets, and keep my head held high because I am not afraid.
On January 17, 2017, Linda Sarsour stood in the National Mall to deliver a speech that would go down in history. A crowd of over 470,000 people gathered in Washington, DC, to advocate for legislation, policy, and the protection of women’s rights—with Linda, a Muslim American activist from Brooklyn, leading the charge, unapologetic and unafraid.
In this middle grade edition of We Are Not Here to be Bystanders, Linda shares the memories that shaped her into the activist she is today, and how these pivotal moments in her life led her to being an organizer in one of the largest single-day protests in US history. From the Brooklyn bodega her father owned to the streets of Washington, DC, Linda’s story as a daughter of Palestinian immigrants is a moving portrayal of what it means to find your voice in your youth and use it for the good of others as an adult.
(POST-IT SAYS: An immensely readable memoir of identity, activism, organizing, and social justice. Readers get to follow Linda from childhood to her role as co-organizer of the Women’s March in 2017. Inspiring, uplifting, and moving.)
The Tryout: A Graphic Novel by Christina Soontornvat, Joanna Cacao (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781338741308 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 11/01/2022, Ages 8-12)
GAME FACE ON.
This pitch perfect graphic memoir about courage and competition, friendship and belonging is perfect for fans of Smile, New Kid, Rollergirl, and Real Friends.
When cheerleading tryouts are announced, Christina and her best friend, Megan, literally jump at the chance to join the squad. As two of the only kids of color in the school, they have always yearned to fit in—and the middle school cheerleaders are popular and accepted by everyone. But will the girls survive the terrifying tryouts, with their whole grade watching? And will their friendship withstand the pressures of competition?
Hilarious and highly relatable, The Tryout by two-time Newbery Honoree Christina Soontornvat and shining new talent Joanna Cacao will make you laugh, cry, and cheer!
(POST-IT SAYS: A fantastic graphic memoir about fitting in, being excluded, race, self-confidence, identity, friendship, and so much more. From the art to the writing to the palpable emotions, this is a superior book in every way.)
Nothing Interesting Ever Happens to Ethan Fairmont by Nick Brooks (ISBN-13: 9781454945574 Publisher: Union Square Kids Publication date: 10/04/2022 Series: Ethan Fairmont, Ages 8-12)
E.T. meets Stranger Things in this middle-grade novel series from author and award-winning filmmaker Nick Brooks. With crossover appeal, this fun, engaging series has plenty of nostalgia nods for adults to appreciate as well as young readers.
Something cool happening in Ferrous City? Not a chance. Until one day . . . when self-proclaimed genius inventor Ethan Fairmont runs into an abandoned car factory to avoid a local bully and accidentally stumbles across his ex–best friend Kareem, new kid Juan Carlos, and an extraterrestrial visitor. Cheese (the alien) is stuck on Earth and in need of some serious repairs, spicy snacks—and absolute, total secrecy. That’s easier said than done when mysterious agents descend on Ferrous City to search for Cheese. With time running out and their family and friends in potential danger, can Ethan, Kareem, and Juan Carlos pull off an intergalactic rescue before they’re all found out?
Weaving issues of racial profiling, community struggles, and everyday life in a fast-paced science fiction adventure, Brooks’s debut middle-grade series is destined to be a favorite out-of-this-world adventure for kids 9–12. A timely—and timeless—sci-fi epic for fans of Tristen Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky and the Artemis Fowl series.
(POST-IT SAYS: Good fun—inventions, new and changing friendships, an alien, and lots of adventure. This was a fun and funny read. Fans of science fiction will love this. This is the first book in a planned series.)
Undercover Latina by Aya de León (ISBN-13: 9781536223743 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 10/11/2022 Series: The Factory, Ages 10-14)
A Latina teen spy goes undercover as a white girl to stop a white supremacist terrorist plot in a fast-paced middle-grade debut from a seasoned author of contemporary crime fiction.
In her debut for younger readers, Aya de León pits a teen spy against the ominous workings of a white nationalist. Fourteen-year-old Andréa Hernández-Baldoquín hails from a family of spies working for the Factory, an international organization dedicated to protecting people of color. For her first solo mission, Andréa straightens her hair and goes undercover as Andrea Burke, a white girl, to befriend the estranged son of a dangerous white supremacist. In addition to her Factory training, the assignment calls for a deep dive into the son’s interests—comic books and gaming—all while taking care not to speak Spanish and blow her family’s cover. But it’s hard to hide who you really are, especially when you develop a crush on your target’s Latino best friend. Can Andréa keep her head, her geek cred, and her code-switching on track to trap a terrorist? Smart, entertaining, and politically astute, this is fast-paced upper-middle-grade fare from an established author of heist and espionage novels for adults.
(POST-IT SAYS: Stellar read. 14-year-old Andréa’s life is complicated—she’s an undercover spy—and her mission, to track a white supremacist, is unlike any plot I’ve seen before. A complex story with lots of depth and unexpected twists.)
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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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