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

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 new releases, Reviews

Red, White, and Whole Review

Red, White, and Whole by [Rajani LaRocca]

Summary

Reha feels caught between two worlds in her private school where she’s the only Indian American, and at home with her families traditions and holidays. She wants to be like all the other girls not to disrecpect her traditions but try something new too. But she feels like she doesn’t meet her family’s strict expectations she feels especially disconnected from her mother.

Though their names are similar her mother’s, or Amma’s name Punam means “moon” and Reha’s means “star” but she feels like they are worlds apart.

Then Reha finds out the Amma is sick, really sick, and everything else falls by the wayside, Reha doesn’t care about being a new cool girl. She’ll be virtuous and learn everything her parents want her to, she’ll do everything she can to make her mother well.

Reha, who wants to be a doctor even though she can’t stand the sight of blood will be perfect daughter if it means saving her mothers life, the question is will it be enough?

Review

This was a beautiful book in verse. Every chapter felt like a poem. I also love the way it incorporated the time period, it felt like you were in the the 1980’s especially due to the music. I love the the way Reha works in the ancient Indian story to deal with her own situation. I also especially love the aerogramme at the end I literally almost cried it was so sweet. The ending to the book wasn’t what I was imagining but it was actually perfect.

Posted in new releases

January 2021 Middle Grade New Releases

1) The Sea in Winter

Another great outing by Indigenous author Christine Day!

Maisie Cannon has had a rough year ever since she hurt her leg. It’s taken away the thing she loves most, her ballet training and auditions.

While her blended family is loving and supportive Maisie knows they just don’t get how hopeless she feels. Her family’s midwinter roadtrip along the coast near the Makah community where her mother grew up doesn’t hold the same excitement as previous years.

How can she explain to her family when her anxieties and dark moods start to hurt as much as her knee. How can she continue to be strong when inside she feels like a cold and roiling sea.

Amazon: The Sea In Winter

2) Root Magic

A wonderful book about the Gullah people who I’ve never seen in a middle grade book before (please correct me if I’m wrong!)

Set during 1963 when things are changing for Jezbel Turner. Her beloved grandmother has just passed away. Her family is the target of harassment from the local police deputy. And with school integration beginning in South Carolina Jez and her twin brother are going to start school with a bunch of new kids.

But the biggest change comes from their Uncle Doc who tells them he’s going to train them in rootwork. Jez and her brother Jay have alway been intrested in the African American folk magic, that has been in their family for generations.

They are especially curious about the potions and powers Doc and Gran would make for the people on their island. But Jez soon finds out her family’s power is much bigger than she ever could have imagined, and not a moment too soon. Because her family will have to deal with both natural and supernatural evil as it comes to town and it’s going to take every bit of Jez’s magic to see this problem through.

Amazon: Root Magic

3)The Forest of Moon and Sword

The Forest of Moon and Sword (Paperback)

Set in seventeenth-century Scotland at the height of the witch trials, when Art’s mother is accused of witchcraft she becomes determined to get her back.

Twelve-year old Art lives with her mother in a small village in Scotland, her mother has always helped the village by making potions to cure the sick, but now the townspeople claim she’s a with. One night she’s arrested and taken to England.

Art trust nature to get her mother back, she takes her horse, a sword, a tightrope, a herbal recipe book and begins a journey through the wild forests.\

But does she know enough about nature’s signs and symbols to not be led astray, will she reach her mother in time before it’s too late. In this lyrical adventure with folklore at its heart Art will have to trust herself and her connection with nature to find her mother.

Amazon: The Forest of the Moon and Sword.

4)The Nightmare Thief

Life was perfect for Maren Partridge before her sister’s accident. Now her sister is in a coma and her parent are talking about the hospital bills, and putting her sister Hallie in a long term care facility. Maren knows what this is code for, Hallie never getting better.

While Maren isn’t worried about Hallie she works in her family’s dream shop, with her Gran Gran Lishta where she can hand craft any dream imaginable. The shop only has one rule. Dreams cannot be given without the person consent.

Maren has never had a problem with this until Hallie got sick, if dream can help people with other problems then maybe they can help heal her sister. Maren’s certain she can cure Hallie with a few well-chosen dreams. And when no one is watching, she slips her a flying dream.

But someone is watching, a strange new customer, Ms. Malo to the shop has been watching Maren, and she knows what she’s been up to with trying to heal Hallie. Now she’s planning to blackmail Maren into creating custom nightmares’ for a dark and terrible purpose. Now she must make a choice protect her family or the town she loves?

Amazon: The Nightmare Thief

Photo by Aditya Vyas on Unsplash

Posted in Blogmas, new releases, YARC

December New Releases Middle Grade

Never After: The Thirteenth Fairy (The Chronicles of Never After, 1)

North Pasadena, is the perfect town. The sun shines every day, the grass is always the perfect green, there even isn’t any bullying at Filomena Jefferson-Cho progressive school. Still she feels a little down an out about her sleepy suburban town. Until one day when she is walking home something strange happens.

Filomena is being followed by a character from her favorite book series, Jack Stalker. He’s one of the heroes in the Thirteenth Fairy series, a book series that Filomena loves about a brave girl with her ragtag group of friends who save the world from an evil enchantress.

Filomena figures she must be dreaming or something, but Jack insists he’s real and he also needs Filomena to follow him at once. Filomena soon finds herself in a magical world of evil fairies and and beautiful princesses. But Filomena must find the truth behind the fairy tales if she wants to save herself and the kingdom of Westphalia from an evil queen and her armies.

MELISSA DE LA CRUZ is the #1 New York Times, #1 Publisher’s Weekly and #1 Indie Bound bestselling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for readers of all ages, and edited the inspiring anthology of true stories, Because I Was a Girl. She grew up in Manila and moved to San Francisco with her family, where she graduated high school salutatorian from The Convent of the Sacred Heart. At Columbia University, she majored in art history and English. Melissa de la Cruz lives in West Hollywood with her husband and daughter.

Amazon

Brilliant Books

This book is due out on December 1st.

A Wolf for a Spell

Zima’s wolf family has long feared humans–especially witches–but when her family is threatened Zima must seek the help of the infamous Baba Yaga.

But Baba Yaga’s help never comes for free, and it just so happens she need a wolf keen nose for the plan she’s brewing. Before Zima knows what’s happened the witch has cast a body switching spell and run off into the wood in her body, leaving her in Baba Yaga’s.

Just as Zima’s getting this all sorted out a young village girl named Nadya is also seeking Baba Yaga’s help, and when she meet Zima (as Baba Yaga) the two realize they have a common enemy. But with danger closing in Zima must unite the wolves, the witches and the villagers against an evil that seeks to threaten them all.

Karah Sutton has loved Baba Yaga, ballet, and blini ever since she had to do a research project on her Russian heritage in the third grade. Her hunger for adventure inspired her to move from Kentucky to New Zealand, where it was rumored she would find talking trees and the occasional wood elf. Karah spent four years as a bookseller before she turned to writing her own fiction. A Wolf For a A Spell is her first novel.

Visit her online at KarahSutton.com or follow her on Twitter @Karahdactyl

Pauliina Hannuniemi is a Finnish illustrator with her Bachelor of Arts from Metropolia UoAS. This is her first book.

Amazon

Brilliant Books

This book will be released December 1st.

Girl Giant and the Monkey King

Eleven-year-old Thom Ngho just wants to fit in at her middle school. It’s kind of hard to do that when you’re keeping a secret. Thom secret is big she’s strong like super duper strong. Freakishly strong.

Soon Thom finds herself swept up in an ancient and fantastical world of demon and dragons. But magic can’t cure everything and when she tries to make a deal with the trickster god the Monkey King to get rid of her super strength, she might realize she’s in over her head.

Van Hoang earned her bachelor’s degree in English at the University of New Mexico and her master’s in Library Information Science at San Jose State University. Girl Giant and the Monkey King was her debut novel. She was born in Vietnam, grew in up Orange County, California, and now resides in Los Angeles with her husband and two dogs.

Amazon

Brilliant Books

This book will be released December 1st.

A special thanks to Brilliant Books for helping me find these titles and extra information.

Posted in Uncategorized

Ritu Weds Chandni

Ritu Weds Chandni

I got early access to this book through NetGalley yay them!

Summary

This book is not only sweet but educational about the situation for queer couples in India. Told from the perspective of one of the bride’s younger relatives. Ayesha is excited to attend her cousin Ritu’s wedding, her cousin is going to lead a ceremony which is traditionally lead by men and not everyone is happy about that.

The ceremony involves the family going through the town riding on a horse to see Ritu’s bride Chandni but when bigots get in the way and seem to ruin the wedding Ayesha starts dancing and reminds them that no matter what happens there is still something to celebrate.

I appreciated the glossary at the end though most could be gleaned from context, as well as the authors note about why he chose to write this story.

Review

This is picture book so it’s pretty short, not much to say other than what I said above other than that the illustration is lovely, the book just feels lively because of the rich colors present in the illustrations. I’d read it again just to look at it, I also loved the stylized illustrations of the horses they rode throughout the book.

Anyway it was a very cute book, totally 5 stars.

Amazon: Ritu Weds Chandni

The book will be released December 1st!

Image by rajesh koiri from Pixabay

Posted in Blogtober, new releases, YARC

November YA New Releases

Now we’ve established I’m not the hugest reader of Young Adult but some of these look really good. Also the Factory Witches of Lowell has a super cheap pre-order making it almost a crime not to buy.

The Factory Witches of Lowell

The Factory Witches of Lowell by [C. S. Malerich]

Seriously, it’s a book about maybe queer witches and class warfare, sign me up.

They’ve got abominable working conditions, unsympathetic mill owners and hard hearted managers. The mill girls at Lowell know when enough is enough. They are going on strike, but with everything against them they may have to rely on their secret weapon: a little bit of witchcraft to be sure no one leave the picket line.

The women of Lowell, Massachusetts aren’t asking for much. They just want their freedom, in the form of fair wages, decent room and board. And a chance to escape the cotton mills before the lint clogs their lungs, but when Boston owners decide to raise the worker’s rent.

The girls go on strike. Their ringleader is Judith Whittier, she may be new to Lowell but she’s no stranger to the picket line and the class warfare that goes with it. She’s already seen one strike fold and she’s intent to never see one fold again. Fortunately her best friend-and maybe first love?-Hannah has a gift for the dying art of witchcraft.

Amazon: The Factory Witches of Lowell

The book is due to be released November 10th.

I’m in no way affiliated with the book or author but seriously the Kindle is like $4

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling

Anna Chiu got a lot on her plate and that’s not just because she help’s out at her father’s restaurant. When she’s not helping there she’s looking after her brother and sister or her mother whose debilitabing mental illness making it impossible for her to get out of bed.

When she meet her father’s new delivery boy Rory, he is a welcome distraction and a look into what being a normal teen could be like, even though she knows truly that things aren’t right at home. But when her mother finally does get out of bed and her condition worsens Anna and her family question everything they understand about themselves and each other.

Themes of culture, mental illness and family are balanced with a sweet romance. For a feel good read with and important message.

Amazon: The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumping will be released November 10th

Soulswift

Soulswift by [Megan Bannen]

In Gelya world she is a Vessel, a girl who channels the word of the One True God through song. She lives cloisted with other vessels of her faith, and she believes, —as all Ovinists do—that the world was saved when a saint imprisoned Elath the Great Demon centuries ago, saving humanity from earthly temptation.

But things are never that simple and when Gelya stumbles into a deadly cover-up by the Ovinist’s military she find herself reluctantly teamed up with Tavik, an enemy solider to survive. Tavik, belives Elath is actually a mother goddess who must be set free, but while he manages to open her prison he accidently turns Gelya into Elath unwilling human vessel.

Now the Ovinists are after them and they are in a race against the clock, she and Tavik must find a way to exorcise Elath’s presence from her body. A lot is on the line, but they aren’t sure what. If they are successful will they stop the countdown to the end of the world, or will they be the cause of the earth’s destruction.

Finally as Tavik and Gelya spend more time together another question remains, once Elath is exocised what will become of Gelya?

Amazon: Soulswift

Soulswift is due for release November 17th.

Image by pasja1000 from Pixabay