by AJ Steiger Year Published: 2021 Fantasy
A stunningly imagined world, page-turning thrills, and a pair of unlikely heroes on an epic quest make this unique and immersive dark fantasy—from acclaimed author A. J. Steiger—perfect for fans of Holly Black and Kelly Barnhill.
Simon Frost lives in a curious place, where magic is used by the very best Animists to do wondrous things—like call upon imps, wraiths, and all manner of monsters to right wrongs, deliver justice, and accomplish feats no human could achieve.
Simon Frost is not one of those Animists, though he’s been trying to become one for years.
When a plea arrives from a distant hamlet, preyed upon by an abominable monster, Simon sees the opportunity to finally prove his worth.
But upon arriving in the tiny village, Simon finds not just a monster but a key to his past—and a pathway into an unbelievable future.
From Harper Collins
by Ali Stroker Year Published: 2021 Realistic Fiction
A heartfelt middle-grade novel about a theater-loving girl who uses a wheelchair for mobility and her quest to defy expectations—and gravity—from Tony award–winning actress Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz
Thirteen-year-old Nat Beacon loves a lot of things: her dog Warbucks, her best friend Chloe, and competing on her wheelchair racing team, the Zoomers, to name a few. But there’s one thing she’s absolutely OBSESSED with: MUSICALS! From Hamilton to Les Mis, there’s not a cast album she hasn’t memorized and belted along to. She’s never actually been in a musical though, or even seen an actor who uses a wheelchair for mobility on stage. Would someone like Nat ever get cast?
But when Nat’s family moves from California to New Jersey, Nat stumbles upon auditions for a kids’ production of Wicked, one of her favorite musicals ever! And she gets into the ensemble! The other cast members are super cool and inclusive (well, most of them)— especially Malik, the male lead and cutest boy Nat’s ever seen. But when things go awry a week before opening night, will Nat be able to cast her fears and insecurities aside and “Defy Gravity” in every sense of the song title?
From Amazon book description.
by Ryan Calejo Year Published: 2019 Fantasy
The Lightning Thief meets the Story Thieves series in this middle grade fantasy inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian Peninsula and Central and South America.
Charlie Hernández has always been proud of his Latin American heritage. He loves the culture, the art, and especially the myths. Thanks to his abuela’s stories, Charlie possesses an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the monsters and ghouls who have spent the last five hundred years haunting the imaginations of children all across the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Central and South America. And even though his grandmother sometimes hinted that the tales might be more than mere myth, Charlie’s always been a pragmatist. Even barely out of diapers, he knew the stories were just make-believe—nothing more than intricately woven fables meant to keep little kids from misbehaving.
But when Charlie begins to experience freaky bodily manifestations—ones all too similar to those described by his grandma in his favorite legend—he is suddenly swept up in a world where the mythical beings he’s spent his entire life hearing about seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Hispanic folklore and into his life. And even stranger, they seem to know more about him than he knows about himself.
Soon, Charlie finds himself in the middle of an ancient battle between La Liga, a secret society of legendary mythological beings sworn to protect the Land of the Living, and La Mano Peluda (a.k.a. the Hairy Hand), a cabal of evil spirits determined to rule mankind. With only the help of his lifelong crush, Violet Rey, and his grandmother’s stories to guide him, Charlie must navigate a world where monsters and brujas rule and things he couldn’t possibly imagine go bump in the night. That is, if he has any hope of discovering what’s happening to him and saving his missing parents (oh, and maybe even the world).
No pressure, muchacho.
From Simon and Schuster
by Catherine Murdock Year Published: 2022
Two unlikely friends—Federico, in sixteenth-century Rome, and Bee, in present-day New Jersey—are linked through an amiable cat, Leonardo Da Vinci’s mysterious wardrobe, and an eerily perfect sketch of Bee. Newbery Honor author Catherine Gilbert Murdock’s Da Vinci’s Cat is a thrilling, time-slip fantasy about rewriting history to save the present. This inventive novel will engross anyone who loved When You Reach Me and A Wrinkle in Time.
Federico doesn’t mind being a political hostage in the Pope’s palace, especially now that he has a cat as a friend. But he must admit that a kitten walking into a wardrobe and returning full-grown a moment later is quite odd. Even stranger is Herbert, apparently an art collector from the future, who emerges from the wardrobe the next night. Herbert barters with Federico to get a sketch signed by the famous painter Raphael, but his plans take a dangerous turn when he hurries back to his era, desperate to save a dying girl.
Bee never wanted to move to New Jersey. When a neighbor shows Bee a sketch that perfectly resembles her, Bee, freaked out, solidifies her resolve to keep to herself. But then she meets a friendly cat and discovers a mysterious cabinet in her neighbor’s attic—a cabinet that leads her to Renaissance Rome. Bee, who has learned about Raphael and Michelangelo in school, never expected she’d get to meet them and see them paint their masterpieces.
This compelling time-slip adventure by Newbery Honor author Catherine Gilbert Murdock is full of action, mystery, history, art, and friendship—and features one unforgettable cat.
Includes black-and-white spot art throughout of Da Vinci’s cat by Caldecott Medalist Paul O. Zelinsky, as well as an author’s note about the art, artists, and history that inspired the novel .
From Harper Collins
by John Cusick Year Published: 2020
A 31st-century boy and a 21st-century girl team up to save the universe, evade an evil race of bog mutants, and make a quick pit stop to visit the moon in Dimension Why.
John Cusick’s middle grade debut will transport you to a vast fantasy world full of absurd humor that will keep you gasping all the way to the twist ending
.Lola Ray was a normal 21st-century girl until a poorly timed sneeze in an X-ray machine flung her a thousand years into the future. To get back home, she’ll have to team up with Phineas T. Fogg, a 31st-century boy whose only friend up until now has been his talking teddy bear and whose overprotective parents have never let him leave his high-tech apartment.
Together, Lola and Phin will have to cross the galaxy, brave a mysterious invitation to tea, and escape a race of all-powerful interdimensional beings who are convinced that Lola knows the answer to the universe’s biggest question . . . the question of The End.
From Harper Collins
by Gene Luen Yang Year Published: 2020
In his latest graphic novel, Dragon Hoops, New York Times bestselling author Gene Luen Yang turns the spotlight on his life, his family, and the high school where he teaches.
Gene understands stories—comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins.
But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him “Stick” and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it's all anyone can talk about. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that’s been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships.
Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’s lives, but his own life as well.
by Gary Paulsen Year Published: 2021
A mesmerizing memoir from a literary legend, giving readers a new perspective on the origins of Hatchet and other famed survival stories.
His name is synonymous with high-stakes wilderness survival adventures. Now, beloved author Gary Paulsen portrays a series of life-altering moments from his turbulent childhood as his own original survival story. If not for his summer escape from a shockingly neglectful Chicago upbringing to a North Woods homestead at age five, there never would have been a Hatchet. Without the encouragement of the librarian who handed him his first book at age thirteen, he may never have become a reader. And without his desperate teenage enlistment in the Army, he would not have discovered his true calling as a storyteller.
An entrancing account of grit and growing up, perfect for newcomers and lifelong fans alike, this is the famed author at his rawest and most real.
by Jacqueline Woodson Year Published: 2020 by Gary D. Schmidt Year Published: 2021
In this unforgettable, gently humorous novel, New York Times bestselling, award-winning author Gary D. Schmidt tells two poignant, linked stories: that of a grieving girl and a boy trying to escape his violent past.
Meryl Lee Kowalski is sent to a girls' boarding school in fall 1968 to move on from her grief over a close friend's death. Matt Coffin is on the run from a criminal gang, afraid that anyone he cares about is at risk. When their paths cross, the pair’s connection begins to shape each of their lives. As their loneliness is gradually replaced by friendship, Meryl Lee finds unexpected allies and a sense of purpose, while Matt finds a new family and hope for the future.
This riveting novel is Wednesday Wars author Gary D. Schmidt at his best, weaving in powerful themes and raising tears and laughter in equal measure.
"Set in 1968, Just Like That is part of an outstanding series that began with Newbery Honor recipient The Wednesday Wars and continued in Okay for Now, a finalist for the National Book Award. While each book can be read separately, overlapping characters and themes enrich each other in understated and often profound ways." (BookPage starred review)
From Amazon book description
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