Posted in new releases

Trying to Save What’s Important: New Releases

Check out these middle grade new releases coming out on September 21st, about characters trying to save things be it the world or their own worlds, whether they are facing monsters or prejudice these characters stand up and face their fears.

Amira & Hamza: The War to Save the Worlds

Amira & Hamza: The War to Save the Worlds (Amira & Hamza, 1) by [Samira Ahmed]

On the day of a rare super blue blood moon eclipse, twelve-year-old Amira and her little brother, Hamza, can’t stop their bickering while attending a special exhibit on medieval Islamic astronomy. While stargazer Amira is wowed by the amazing gadgets, a bored Hamza wanders off, stumbling across the mesmerizing and forbidden Box of the Moon. Amira can only watch in horror as Hamza grabs the defunct box and it springs to life, setting off a series of events that could shatter their world—literally.
 
Suddenly, day turns to night, everyone around Amira and Hamza falls under a sleep spell, and a chunk of the moon breaks off, hurtling toward them at lightning speed, as they come face-to-face with two otherworldly creatures: jinn.
 
The jinn reveal that the siblings have a role to play in an ancient prophecy. Together, they must journey to the mystical land of Qaf, battle a great evil, and end a civil war to prevent the moon—the stopper between realms—from breaking apart and unleashing terrifying jinn, devs, and ghuls onto earth. Or they might have to say goodbye to their parents and life as they know it, forever.…

Amazon: Amira and Hazma: The War to Save the Worlds

Maya and the Return of the Godlings (Maya and the Rising Dark)

Maya and the Return of the Godlings (Maya and the Rising Dark) by [Rena Barron]

The threat from The Dark is far from over. Twelve-year-old Maya knows this. After crossing the veil between the two worlds, saving her father, and narrowly escaping the sinister clutches of the Lord of Shadows, tensions between the human world and The Dark are higher than ever. And even worse, Maya’s orisha powers as a godling are out of control.
 
Now a guardian in training, Maya spends her days patching up veils with her father and cleaning up near-disasters like baby wormholes that her erratic powers create. But when Maya and her friends discover that something went terribly wrong during their journey to bring her father back to the human world, they are forced to return to The Dark and restore what they left behind, the one thing keeping the veil from falling: her father’s soul.
 
The Lord of Shadows is mobilizing his forces for an all-out war against the human world. And this time, Maya and her friends will need all the help they can get. Even if that means teaming up with their greatest enemies, the darkbringers.

Amazon: Maya and the Return of the Godlings

Room to Dream

Room to Dream (Front Desk) by [Kelly Yang]

Mia Tang is going for her dreams!

After years of hard work, Mia Tang finally gets to go on vacation with her family — to China! A total dream come true! Mia can’t wait to see all her cousins and grandparents again, especially her cousin Shen. As she roams around Beijing, witnessing some of the big changes China’s going through, Mia thinks about the changes in her own life, like . . .

1. Lupe’s taking classes at the high school! And Mia’s own plans to be a big writer are . . . stuck.

2. Something happened with Jason and Mia has no idea what to do about it.

3. New buildings are popping up all around the motel, and small businesses are disappearing.

Can the Calivista survive? Buckle up! Mia is more determined than ever to get through the turbulence, now that she finally has . . . room to dream!

Amazon: Room to Dream

Posted in new releases

Culture-Finding your way

Whether it’s in your own home at or at school these books deal with finding your own way when dealing with a majority culture or trying to understand a minority culture. These books are about mixing of cultures.

Eleven-year-old Danny’s life is turned upside down when his Chinese grandmother comes to live with his family in England. Things get worse when Danny finds out he’ll have to share his room with her, and she took the top bunk! At first, Danny is frustrated that he can’t communicate with her because she doesn’t speak English—and because he’s on the verge of failing math and Nai Nai was actually a math champion back in the day. It just feels like he and his grandmother have nothing in common. His parents insist that Danny help out, so when he’s left to look after Nai Nai, he leaves her at the bingo hall for the day to get her off his back. But he soon discovers that not everyone there is as welcoming as he expected . . . Through the universal languages of math and art, Danny realizes he has more in common with his Nai Nai than he first thought. Filled with heart and humor, Danny Chung Sums It Up shows that traversing two cultures is possible and worth the effort, even if it’s not always easy.

Amazon: Danny Chung Sums It Up

Partly Cloudy by [Tanita S. Davis]

Lightning couldn’t strike twice, could it? After a terrible year, Madalyn needs clear skies desperately. Moving in with her great-uncle, Papa Lobo, and switching to a new school is just the first step.

It’s not all rainbows and sunshine, though. Madalyn discovers she’s the only Black girl in her class, and while most of her classmates are friendly, assumptions lead to some serious storms.

Papa Lobo’s long-running feud with neighbor Mrs. Baylor brings wild weather of its own, and Madalyn wonders just how far things will go. But when fire threatens the community, Madalyn discovers that truly being neighborly means more than just staying on your side of the street— it means weathering tough conversations—and finding that together a family can pull through anything.

Award-winning author Tanita S. Davis shows us that life isn’t always clear, and that partly cloudy days still contain a bit of blue worth celebrating.

Amazon: Partly Cloudy

Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero by [Saadia Faruqi]

Yusuf Azeem has spent all his life in the small town of Frey, Texas—and nearly that long waiting for the chance to participate in the regional robotics competition, which he just knows he can win.

Only, this year is going to be more difficult than he thought. Because this year is the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an anniversary that has everyone in his Muslim community on edge.

With “Never Forget” banners everywhere and a hostile group of townspeople protesting the new mosque, Yusuf realizes that the country’s anger from two decades ago hasn’t gone away. Can he hold onto his joy—and his friendships—in the face of heartache and prejudice from the culture around him ?

Amazon: Yusef Azeem is not a Hero

Posted in new releases

Family: Finding and Fighting for family.

In these new releases protagonists have to fight for their family both found and biological, will they win out and be able to help their families succeed?

Say It Out Loud

Say It Out Loud by [Allison Varnes]

Charlotte Andrews is perfectly fine being quiet–in fact, she prefers it. When she doesn’t speak, people can’t make fun of her stutter. But when she witnesses bullying on the school bus and doesn’t say anything, her silence comes between her and her best friend.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, her parents signed her up for musical theater. Charlotte doesn’t want to speak onstage, but at least she doesn’t stutter when she sings. Then, just as she starts to find her voice, the arts program is cut. Charlotte can’t stay silent anymore.

So she begins to write. Anonymous encouraging notes to her classmates. Letters to the school board to save the school musical. And an essay about the end of her best friendship–and her hope that she can still save it.

Words could save Charlotte Andrews and everything she believes in . . . if she just believes in herself enough to speak up.

Carry Me Home

Twelve-year-old Lulu and her younger sister, Serena, have a secret. As Daddy always says, “it’s best if we keep it to ourselves,” and so they have. But hiding your past is one thing. Hiding where you live—and that your Daddy has gone missing—is harder.

At first Lulu isn’t worried. Daddy has gone away once before and he came back. But as the days add up, with no sign of Daddy, Lulu struggles to take care of all the responsibilities they used to manage as a family.

Lulu knows that all it takes is one slip-up for their secret to come spilling out, for Lulu and Serena to be separated, and for all the good things that have been happening in school to be lost.

But family is all around us, and Lulu must learn to trust her new friends and community to save those she loves and to finally find her true home.

Elvis and the World As It Stands 

Most shelter animals dream of going home with a forever family. But for Elvis, being chosen by Mrs. Pemberton is a nightmare. He’s been separated from his sister, Etta, and is determined to get back to the shelter to find her. In spite of himself, Elvis becomes curious about ten-year-old Georgina Pemberton, who builds LEGO skyscrapers in her bedroom while navigating her parents’ separation. The longer he’s in his new home, the more he starts recognizing new feelings: admiration for Georgina’s creations, affection for the other pets, and even empathy for the Pembertons—despite their inability to listen. 

As Georgina sets out to build her most important skyscrapers yet—the Twin Towers—Elvis realizes that maybe both humans and animals can take a page from Georgina’s Big Book of American Architecture and “build a world of their own choosing,” even if the choices aren’t what they’d initially expected.

Posted in new releases

Heroine on a Mission

Here are a few select titles coming out tomorrow that I thought you might find interesting these books are filled with different girls doing things to save the place they love. Each heroine is working on something different but her journey is important.

Hope Springs

This heroine is out to find a home a when she finds one save the town she loves.

Eleven-year-old Jubilee Johnson is an expert at three things: crafting, moving, and avoiding goodbyes. On the search for the “perfect place,” she and her Nan live by their Number One Relocation Rule — just the two of them is all they need. But Jubilee’s starting to feel like just two is a little too close to alone.

Desperate to settle down, Jubilee plans their next move, Hope Springs, Texas — home of her TV crafting idol, Arletta Paisley. Here she meets a girl set on winning the local fishing tournament and a boy who says exactly the right thing by hardly speaking at all. Soon, Jubilee wonders if Hope Springs might just be the place to call home.

But when the town is threatened by a mega-chain superstore fronted by Arletta Paisley, Jubilee is faced with skipping town yet again or standing up to her biggest bully yet. With the help of her new friends and the one person she never thought she’d need — her Momma — will Jubilee find a way to save the town she’s come to love and convince Nan that it’s finally time to settle down?

Amazon: Hope Springs

Ghost Girl

Ghost Girl by [Ally Malinenko]

This heroine has to embrace her differences and save her town from something spooky!

Zee Puckett loves ghost stories. She just never expected to be living one.

It all starts with a dark and stormy night. When the skies clear, everything is different. People are missing. There’s a creepy new principal who seems to know everyone’s darkest dreams. And Zee is seeing frightening things: large, scary dogs that talk and maybe even . . . a ghost.

When she tells her classmates, only her best friend Elijah believes her. Worse, mean girl Nellie gives Zee a cruel nickname: Ghost Girl.

But whatever the storm washed up isn’t going away. Everyone’s most selfish wishes start coming true in creepy ways.

To fight for what’s right, Zee will have to embrace what makes her different and what makes her Ghost Girl. And all three of them—Zee, Elijah, and Nellie—will have to work together if they want to give their ghost story a happy ending.

Amazon: Ghost Girl

The Renegade Reporters

The Renegade Reporters by [Elissa Brent Weissman]

These heroine and her friends have to get to the bottom of a mystery of why they are being watched.

Ash and her friends are reporters. They were ready to lead their school news show, The News at Nine, sponsored by Van Ness Media, when an unfortunate incident involving a dancing teacher, an irresponsibly reported story, and a viral video got them kicked off the crew. So Ash, Maya, and Brielle decide to start their own news show, The Underground News. And soon they stumble on a big lead: Van Ness Media, the educational company that provides their school’s software, has been gathering data from all the kids at school. Their drawings, their journals, even their movements are being recorded and cataloged by Van Ness Media. But why? Ash and her friends are determined to learn the truth and report it.

Amazon: The Renegade Reporters

Check out all these books coming out tomorrow! And enjoy their adventures.

Posted in new releases

Challenges at Hand : New Releases

This week’s group of new releases is a diverse bunch, from facing magic, tradition or your own personal challenges theses heroes and heroines face it all and come out on top!

Etta Invincible

Etta Invincible by [Reese Eschmann]

Twelve-year-old Etta Johnson has Loud Days where she can hear just fine and Quiet Days where sounds come from far away and she gets to retreat into her thoughts. Etta spends most of her time alone, working on her comic book about Invisible Girl, the superhero who takes down super villain Petra Fide and does all the things Etta thinks she can’t.

But when Louisa May Alcott, a friendly Goldendoodle from across the street, disappears, Etta and the dog’s boy, Eleazar, must find their inner heroes to save her. The catch? LMA has run onto a magical train that mysteriously arrived at the station near Etta and Eleazar’s houses. On-board, they discover each train car is its own magical world with individual riddles and challenges that must be solved before they can reach the engine room and rescue LMA.

Only, the stakes are even higher than they thought. The train’s magic is malfunctioning and spreading a purple smoke called The Fear through the streets of Chicago. Etta and Eleazar are the only ones who can save the city, save Louisa May Alcott—and save each other.

Amazon: Etta Invincible

Margie Kelly Breaks the Dress Code

Margie Kelly’s perfect skirt was dress coded on her very first day of middle school. Upset and embarrassed, Margie spends the whole day wearing oversized gym shorts. So much for starting sixth grade with confidence!

But when Margie realizes that the dress code is only applied to the female students and not the boys, Margie gets mad. Really mad.

The dress code is keeping girls stuck in detention all day and away from learning. The boys act like they own the school. And the teachers turn a blind eye to the hypocrisies taking place in the halls, classrooms, and clubs. Something has to change! And Margie knows just how to do it. She’ll plan a school-wide protest that challenges the dress code with her best friend, Daniela, and fellow classmates Jamiya and Gloria.

But as Margie moves forward with her plans, she comes to realize some hard truths about herself. Will Margie recognize her own privilege and make meaningful change for all students?

Amazon: Margie Kelly Breaks the Dress Code

Ten Thousand Tries

Ten Thousand Tries by [Amy Makechnie]

Twelve-year-old Golden Maroni is determined to channel his hero, soccer superstar Lionel Messi, and become captain of his soccer team and master of his eighth grade universe…especially since his home universe is spiraling out of orbit. Off the field, Golden’s dad, once a pro soccer player himself, is now battling ALS, a disease that attacks his muscles, leaving him less and less physically able to control his body every day. And while Mom says there’s no cure, Golden is convinced that his dad can beat these challenges , just like any opponent, they just have to try.

Golden knows that if you want to perfect a skill you have to put ten thousand tries in, so he’s convinced if he can put that much effort in, on and off the field, he can stop everything from changing. But when his dad continues to decline and his constant pushing starts to alienate his friends and team, Golden is forced to confront the idea that being master of your universe might not mean being in control of everything. What if it means letting go of the things you can’t control so you can do the most good for the things you can?

Amazon: Ten Thousand Tries

Posted in new releases, Recommendations

She Gets It Done: New Releases 1st Week of July

We’ve got a lot of heroines this week. The books see our heroines drawing their way to success, managing friendship, or finding their destiny, what the problem, she has it covered.

Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom 

Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom by [Sangu Mandanna]

Kiki Kallira has always been a worrier. Did she lock the front door? Is there a terrible reason her mom is late? Recently her anxiety has been getting out of control, but one thing that has always soothed her is drawing. Kiki’s sketchbook is full of fanciful doodles of the rich Indian myths and legends her mother has told her over the years.

One day, her sketchbook’s calming effect is broken when her mythological characters begin springing to life right out of its pages. Kiki ends up falling into the mystical world she drew, which includes a lot of wonderful discoveries like the band of rebel kids who protect the kingdom, as well as not-so-great ones like the ancient deity bent on total destruction. As the one responsible for creating the evil god, Kiki must overcome her fear and anxiety to save both worlds–the real and the imagined–from his wrath. But how can a girl armed with only a pencil defeat something so powerful?

Amazon:Kiki Kallira Breaks A Kingdom

Clash

Clash (A Click Graphic Novel) by [Kayla Miller]

There’s a new kid in town! From the moment Natasha sets foot in class, it’s clear she’s one of the coolest kids in sixth grade. Everyone wants to be her friend, including Olive . . . but things might not be so easy.
 
Olive tries her best to befriend Nat, but it seems like the only thing they have in common is that they both want to hang out with Olive’s friends! Watching as Natasha gets closer with some of her best buds, Olive can’t help but worry that they’re starting to like Nat more than they like her . . .  and who could blame them? Nat is just that cool . . . and Olive is, well, just Olive.
 
The New York Times best-selling author-illustrator Kayla Miller delivers a nuanced look at navigating middle school friendships and the importance of both empathy and respect.

Amazon: Clash (A Click Graphic Novel)

It End In Fire

It Ends in Fire by [Andrew Shvarts]

1. Infiltrate Blackwater Academy
2. Win the Great Game
3. Burn Wizard society to the ground  As a child, Alka witnessed her parents’ brutal murder at the hands of Wizards before she was taken in by an underground rebel group. Now, Alka is deep undercover at the most prestigious school of magic in the Republic: Blackwater Academy, a place where status is everything, where decadent galas end in blood-splattered duels, where every student has their own agenda. To survive, Alka will have to lie, cheat, and kill to use every trick in her spy’s toolkit. And for the first time in her life, the fiercely independent Alka will have to make friends, to recruit the misfits and the outcasts into her motley rebellion.

But even as she draws closer to victory—to vengeance —she sinks deeper into danger as suspicious professors and murderous rivals seek the traitor in their midst, as dark revelations unravel her resolve. Can Alka destroy the twisted game… without becoming a part of it?

Amazon: It Ends in Fire

Rise to the Sun

Rise to the Sun by [Leah Johnson]

From the author of You Should See Me in a Crown, Leah Johnson delivers a stunning novel about being brave enough to be true to yourself, and learning to find joy even when times are unimaginably dark.

Olivia is an expert at falling in love . . . and at being dumped. But after the fallout from her last breakup has left her an outcast at school and at home, she’s determined to turn over a new leaf. A crush-free weekend at Farmland Music and Arts Festival with her best friend is just what she needs to get her mind off the senior year that awaits her.

Toni is one week away from starting college, and it’s the last place she wants to be. Unsure about who she wants to become and still reeling in the wake of the loss of her musician-turned-roadie father, she’s heading back to the music festival that changed his life in hopes that following in his footsteps will help her find her own way forward.

When the two arrive at Farmland, the last thing they expect is to realize that they’ll need to join forces in order to get what they’re searching for out of the weekend. As they work together, the festival becomes so much more complicated than they bargained for. Olivia and Toni will find that they need each other, and music, more than they ever could have imagined.

Packed with irresistible romance and irrepressible heart, bestselling author Leah Johnson delivers a stunning and cinematic story about grief, love, and the remarkable power of music to heal and connect us all.

Amazon: Rise to the Sun

Posted in new releases

Summer Book Releases: Mental Health, Family, and Grief

Summer is coming and giving us some great new books, lots on mental health which I think anyone who has read the blog for more than a second knows I’m happy about. If this is your first post, I love the discussion of mental health in mental grade fiction. (Covered!)

How to Become a Planet

How to Become a Planet by [Nicole Melleby]

For Pluto, summer has always started with a trip to the planetarium. It’s the launch to her favorite season, which also includes visits to the boardwalk arcade, working in her mom’s pizzeria, and her best friend Meredith’s birthday party. But this summer, none of that feels possible.
 
A month before the end of the school year, Pluto’s frightened mom broke down Pluto’s bedroom door. What came next were doctor’s appointments, a diagnosis of depression, and a big black hole that still sits on Pluto’s chest, making it too hard to do anything.
 
Pluto can’t explain to her mom why she can’t do the things she used to love. And it isn’t until Pluto’s dad threatens to make her move with him to the city—where he believes his money, in particular, could help—that Pluto becomes desperate enough to do whatever it takes to be the old Pluto again.
 
She develops a plan and a checklist: If she takes her medication, if she goes to the planetarium with her mom for her birthday, if she successfully finishes her summer school work with her tutor, if she goes to Meredith’s birthday party . . . if she does all the things that “normal” Pluto would do, she can stay with her mom in Jersey. But it takes a new therapist, a new tutor, and a new (and cute) friend with a checklist and plan of her own for Pluto to learn that there is no old and new Pluto. There’s just her.

Amazon: How to Become a Planet

No One Returns From the Enchanted Forest

They say no one returns from the Enchanted Forest―but that won’t discourage Pella. Earthquakes are destroying her village, and worst of all, they’ve caused the Midsummer Festival to be canceled. According to legend, the Earth Queen is to blame for these violent quakes―and the Earth Queen’s tower lies at the heart of the Enchanted Forest. Late one night, Pella sneaks away to find the Earth Queen and give her a piece of her mind. But she’s not afraid―she’s never afraid.

It’s Bix, Pella’s sister, who does the worrying for both of them. She’s the one, after all, who was tasked with keeping her sister safe after they lost their parents. But despite her fears and the very real dangers that lie ahead, Bix will do anything to protect her little sister―even walk into the Enchanted Forest with only a ball of yarn to guide them home.

They say no one returns from the Enchanted Forest. Will Bix and Pella be the first?

Amazon: No One Returns from the Enchanted Forest

Hazel Bly and the Deep Blue Sea

Hazel Bly used to live in the perfect house with the perfect family in sunny California. But when a kayaking trip goes horribly wrong, Mum is suddenly gone forever and Hazel is left with crippling anxiety and a jagged scar on her face. After Mum’s death, Hazel, her other mother, Mama, and her little sister, Peach, needed a fresh start. So for the last two years, the Bly girls have lived all over the country, never settling anywhere for more than a few months.

When the family arrives in Rose Harbor, Maine, there’s a wildness to the small town that feels like magic. But when Mama runs into an old childhood friend—Claire—suddenly Hazel’s tight-knit world is infiltrated. To make it worse, she has a daughter Hazel’s age, Lemon, who can’t stop rambling on and on about the Rose Maid, a local 150-year-old mermaid myth.

Soon, Hazel finds herself just as obsessed with the Rose Maid as Lemon is—because what if magic were real? What if grief really could change you so much, you weren’t even yourself anymore? And what if instead you emerged from the darkness stronger than before?

Amazon: Hazel Bly and the Deep Blue Sea

Posted in new releases, Recommendations

Heroes, Homecoming, and Bollywood Musical Adventures: New Releases for the Week.

I thought I’d present you with a unique group of heroes in the books that are releasing this week.

Not All Heroes

Summary

Even though her family moved across the country for a “fresh start” after her little brother’s death, eleven-year-old Zinnia Helinski still feels like she’s stuck waiting for her new life to begin. Then she spots her new neighbor, Kris, climbing down the fire escape of their apartment building. He’s wearing a black eye mask! And Spandex leggings. . . . And a blue body suit?

Soon Zinnia finds herself in a secret club for kids who want to be heroes. The Reality Shifters don’t have superpowers, but they do have the power to make positive change in their neighborhoods. And a change is just what Zinnia is looking for!

At first, she feels invincible. Zinnia finally has friends and is on the kind of real-life adventures her little brother, Wally, would have loved. But when her teammates lose sight of their goals, Zinnia must find the balance between bravery and recklessness, and learn to be a hero without her cape.

Author

Josephine Cameron grew up writing and singing in Northern Wisconsin but currently lives in Maine, where she writes fiction for young readers and teaches music and songwriting to K-8 students. Josephine received her MFA in creative writing from the University of Notre Dame.

Her song “Long Track Blues” was included in the New York Times Bestseller “Hip Hop Speaks to Children,” a book/CD set edited by Nikki Giovanni. Josephine is the author of the critically acclaimed Maybe a Mermaid and A Dog-Friendly Town, which received three starred reviews and was a Parents magazine Storytime Pick. Her newest novel, Not All Heroes, is a Junior Library Guild selection.

Amazon: Not All Heroes

May the Best Man Win

May the Best Man Win by [ZR Ellor]

Jeremy Harkiss, cheer captain and student body president, won’t let coming out as a transgender boy ruin his senior year. Instead of bowing to the bigots and outdated school administration, Jeremy decides to make some noise—and how better than by challenging his all-star ex-boyfriend, Lukas for the title of Homecoming King?

Lukas Rivers, football star and head of the Homecoming Committee, is just trying to find order in his life after his older brother’s funeral and the loss long-term girlfriend—who turned out to be a boy. But when Jeremy threatens to break his heart and steal his crown, Lukas kick starts a plot to sabotage Jeremy’s campaign.

When both boys take their rivalry too far, the dance is on the verge of being canceled. To save Homecoming, they’ll have to face the hurt they’re both hiding—and the lingering butterflies they can’t deny.

Author

Zabé / Z. R. Ellor is a writer and lit agent from Washington, DC. He holds a BA in English Lit and biology from Cornell University. When not writing, he can be found running, playing video games, and hunting the best brunch deals in Dupont Circle.

Amazon: May the Best Man Win

That Thing about Bollywood

Summary

You know how in Bollywood when people are in love, they sing and dance from the mountaintops? Eleven-year-old Sonali wonders if they do the same when they’re breaking up. The truth is, Sonali’s parents don’t get along, and it looks like they might be separating.

Sonali’s little brother, Ronak, is not taking the news well, constantly crying. Sonali would never do that. It’s embarrassing to let out so many feelings, to show the world how not okay you are. But then something strange happens, something magical, maybe. When Sonali gets upset during a field trip, she can’t bury her feelings like usual—instead, she suddenly bursts into a Bollywood song-and-dance routine about why she’s upset!

The next morning, much to her dismay, Sonali’s reality has shifted. Things seem brighter, almost too bright. Her parents have had Bollywood makeovers. Her friends are also breaking out into song and dance. And somehow, everyone is acting as if this is totally normal.

Sonali knows something has gone wrong, and she suspects it has something to do with her own mismanaged emotions. Can she figure it out before it’s too late?

Author

Supriya is an author, illustrator, and screenwriter who grew up in the Midwest, where she learned Hindi as a child by watching three Hindi movies a week.

Amazon: That Thing About Bollywood

Posted in new releases

Released this week, from contemporary to mythology to history.

Released this week were a variety of books to choose from depending on what your interest was, from contemporary to history, mythology with a twist. Presented here are just a few of the new books released this week starting with:

Bea Is for Blended

Bea is used to her and her mom being a two-person team. But with her mom getting married, their team is growing, by her mom new husband Wendell, his three boys and two dogs, and a cat.

But finding her place in her new blended family is tougher than she imagined, however, she’ll need a team behind when Bea finds out her school might not get the all-girls soccer team they’d been promised.

Bea soon learns that the bigger the team, the stronger the fight, and for the girls to get what the where promised, they are going to need a squad behind them

Author

Lindsey Stoddard has written other classics, Right as Rain and Brave like that she is also a former teacher who live with her family in Vermont and loves skiing and being on the beaches of Lake Champlain.

Amazon: Bea is for Blended

This book released May 4th 2021

Finding Junie Kim 

Junie Kim just wants to fit in, she’s not the type to draw attention to herself. But after racist graffiti appears at her middle school she must choose between staying silent and speaking out.

Then Junie’s history teacher assigns a project and Junie decides to interview her grandparents about their unbelievable experiences as children during the Korean War. Through hearing their stories Junie comes to admire her grandma’s fierce determination to overcome impossible odds and her grandpa’s unwavering compassion during wartime.

But as racism becomes more pervasive at her middle school. She must use the same skills her ancestors did as she finds the courage to do what is right.

Finding Junie Kim is a reminder that within all of us lies the power to overcome hardship and emerge triumphantly.

Author

Ellen Oh is the co-founder of We Need Diverse Books (WNDB), a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing diversity in children’s literature. Originally from New York City, Ellen lives in Potomac, Maryland, with her husband and three children and has yet to satisfy her quest for a decent bagel.

Finding Junie Kim released May 4th 2021.

The Best Worst Summer

In this tale told across time Peyton is sure this is going to be the worst summer ever. She’s lonely and bored. She had to leave her best friend behind when her family moved. There isn’t any excitement until she comes across a box buried in her backyard, with a message: I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. Things are about to get interesting.

Back in 1989, it’s going to be the best summer ever for Melissa and Jessica. They have two whole months to goof off and explore and they are going to even buy a time capsule! But when one girl’s family secret starts to unravel, it seems like things might not go exactly as planned.

Told in alternating chapters from Peyton in the present to Melissa in 1989, it’s a story of mystery and two sets of unforgetable characters.

The Best Worst Summer

Author

Elizabeth Eulberg is the author of novels for teens and young readers, including internationally best-selling YA novels The Lonely Hearts Club and Better Off Friends, and the acclaimed Great Shelby Holmes middle-grade series.

Her newest novel, The Best Worst Summer released on May 4, 2021. Elizabeth now lives in London, where she spends her free time going on long walks around her favorite city in the world and eating all of the scones. ALL OF THEM.

Last Gate of the Emperor

Last Gate of the Emperor by [Kwame Mbalia, Prince Joel Makonnen]

Yared Heywat’s life is isolated in Addis Prime. It’s a hardscrabble city with rundown tech lots of rules and not much to do. It doesn’t help that his uncle is a worrywart and bionic lioness Besa is on his tail. But they are still his only family his only friends.

Still, you can’t always stay out of trouble and his need for thrill-seeking and wisecracking sense of humor make Yared a star player on the underground augmented reality game The Hunt for Kaleb Obelisk.

But when rules change and Yared has to log in with his real name, it triggers an attack that rocks the city. In the chaos his Uncle Moti disappears. Suddenly all the stories Yared’s uncle told as boy are making sense and coming to life, about kingdoms in the sky and city razing monsters.

Somehow Yared is at the center of them? Together with Besa and Ibis–a game rival turned reluctant ally Yard must find his uncle and maybe his place in a forgotten, galaxy-spanning war.

Authors

New York Times Best Selling Author Kwame Mbalia who is the co-author of LAST GATE OF THE EMPEROR with Prince Joel Makonnen, from Scholastic Books. A Howard University graduate and a Midwesterner now in North Carolina, he survives on Dad jokes and Cheezits.

The Last Gate of the Emperor released May 4 2021.

The Last Shadow Warrior

Twelve year old Abby Beckett is proud of heritage. She comes from a long line of Viking warrior known as the Aesir. She’s spent entire life training to hunt down Grendels, just like her mother did before she died. There is just one problem, no one has seen a Grendel in centuries.

Now the Viking council wants to disband the Aesir forever. If that weren’t enough when Abby’s dad is in an attack that leaves him in a coma, Abby must take refuge at Vale Hall a mysterious school in Minnesota. She soon finds out she’s the one being hunted, by a Grendel no less but when she alerts the Viking council, they acuse her of making up stories like her mother.

To protect her father and clear her mother’s name, Abby goes on a dangerous quest to discover the truth. A journey that brings her face to face with some unlikely foes including a sea monster with a wicked backhand, and a dark Valkyrie with a fondness for bingo. Abby quickly realizes she’s facing a plot to destroy the Aesir for good and that the threat comes from somewhere within the school, now all she has to do is find them before it’s too late!

Desperate to protect her father and clear her mother’s name, Abby goes on a dangerous quest to discover the truth–a journey that brings her face-to-face with some unlikely foes, including a Ping-Pong-playing sea monster with a wicked backhand, and a dark Valkyrie with a fondness for bingo. Abby quickly realizes that someone at the school is trying to stop her progress and destroy the Aesir for good. And only she can unravel the sinister plot before it’s too late.

The Last Shadow Warrior Released May 4 2021.

Author

But in either case, Sam Subity is very likely imagining himself fighting mythical creatures or at the prow of a dragon ship feeling the wind and sea spray on his face alongside his own Viking queen and their two Vikelets. His greatest hope is that in reading his books, you too may be transported to another place where, for a little while, you can exchange the ordinary for the extraordinary. 

Posted in ARCs, new releases, Reviews

Willa of Dark Hollow Review

NOTE: Willa of Dark Hollow is a stand-alone story that does not require reading any of the author’s previous books Even though this is the case I would personally recommend at least the other Willa book. If you want the depth to the world read the Serafina books. The series arent connected. However, they run parallel to each other in an interesting way that bears putting reading the extra books if you have time.

Willa of Dark Hollow has already awarded a prestigious Kirkus Star. Kirkus has called it a captivating, stirring tale of family and friendship.

Thank you to NetGalley for the chance to read this wonderful book.

Summary

After going against her clan in the last book Willa is a Faeren girl with a foot in two worlds. By birth she’s Faeren. The Faeren are an ancient race of forest people that have lived in the mountains since the beginning of time. But the Faeren put her out, and now she’s living with a kind human Nathaniel who she considers her father and her sister and brothers.

They’ve peacefully made their home in the Great Smoky. But it’s a new century and times are changing bringing loggers to their peaceful home. When human crews start cutting down great swaths of the forests she loves. Willa feels helpless to stop them, how can she stop such powerful destroyers of the forest and powerful machines.

When Willa discovers a mysterious dark hollow filled with strange and beautiful creatures. She soon realizes it contains a terrifying force. Is unleashing its dangerous spirits the key to stopping the loggers.

Willa must find a way to save the people and animals she loves and take a stand against the all-consuming darkness meant to destroy her world.

Willa Smoky Mountains

Review

I’m a huge Robert Beatty fan. Its main themes deal with human and nature’s interconnectivity. Willa is personally dealing with her past and her future. She has to deal with what humans mean for the forest, and what the forest fighting back might mean to her, she has to figure out who she truly cares about, human, animal, Faeren, and forest. And figure out the best way to save them all from potential destruction.

Not to mention the mysterious and deadly creatures that are now filling the forest. Willa has to figure out what is going on all with the help of her new friend Adelaide. A girl who seems strangely familiar, and who becomes a fast friend to Willa. But when the fight for the mountain comes to Willa, will she and her allies have enough to withstand the darkness of both the humans and mountain and finally have a chance at saving the place they love for good.

Amazon: Willa of Dark Hollow