J Historical Fiction

CALICO GIRL by Jerdine Nolen

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Callie knows that one day she will be free like her father, who was granted his freedom by Mistress Catherine, his half-sister.  But slavery’s cruel reality has never felt more real than when her brother is sold to an unknown plantation in Alabama only a few months into the war.  Callie can hardly bear to think that she will never see him again, even though she knows it is likely.  It’s a good thing Master is leaving to fight for the Confederacy, or else Callie might not be able to hold her tongue.  Just a few weeks after Master’s departure, unbelievable news reaches the plantation.  Since Virginia has seceded from the Union, Fort Monroe has been accepting runaway slaves as “contraband of war” and refusing to return them to their masters.  The slaves in the fort are free.  The children can even go to school!  Embracing the possibility of freedom, Callie and her family head to Ft. Monroe to begin a new life as “contraband.”

Although I was raised in Virginia, I never learned about Ft. Monroe and the thousands of Virginian slaves who found their freedom there.  Callie’s story presents a fascinating history as well as a thought-provoking reflection on what it means to be a slave, “contraband,” or free.  Although I wasn’t fond of the omniscient narration style, I would highly recommend this book to middle grade historical fiction readers.

MIDNIGHT WITH OUT A MOON by Linda Williams Jackson 

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Rose is out picking cotton when she hears the news that Levi was shot and killed for registering to vote. She is grief stricken and can’t understand why her grandmother seems to think Levi deserved to die for trying to vote.  There are a lot of things Rose doesn’t understand about Ma Pearl.  Like why she lets Queen lie in bed all day while Rose and Fred Lee work in the field.  Is it really just because Queen’s skin is lighter than Rose’s?  When Rose’s Aunt Belle comes to visit from St. Louis and tells Rose about her work with the NAACP, Rose is torn between worry for her aunt and the others who are “stirring things up” and her dream of leaving Mississippi and starting a new life up North. But when a boy from Chicago is lynched in her town for whistling at a white woman, Rose must figure out for herself where she stands and how she can change her world.

This novel does not shy away from the brutal reality of Emmett Till’s murder. Rose’s authentic point of view invites readers to share in the fear, anger, and grief of living through that summer in Jim Crow Mississippi.  But the courage and sense of self-worth that Rose develops on the wake of the tragedy is inspiring.  I highly recommend this novel to middle grade and teen historical fiction fans who are mature enough to process the violence of the subject matter or who are reading with adult guidance.  

THE WARDEN’S DAUGHTER by Jerry Spinelli

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Cammie has always been somewhat famous.  After all, her father is the warden at the prison.  And her mother died somewhat dramatically by pushing Cammie’s baby carriage out of the path of an oncoming milk truck.  Cammie has always gotten by with just her dad in their apartment at the prison.  But the year she is about to become a teenager, she realizes her dad isn’t enough.  While her best friend is obsessed with fashion and getting on Bandstand with Dick Clark, Cammie becomes obsessed with honing a mother figure for herself.  The best candidate: Elosha, the prisoner who cleans their apartment.  

Cammie must come to terms with her mother’s sacrifice through experiencing the sacrificial love of others in this historical coming-of-age novel.  Driven by well-developed characters, the novel will grab middle grade readers who enjoy realistic fiction as well as historical fiction readers. It also has plenty of meat for book group discussions.

New Books to Look for in 2017 (Children’s and YA)

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What do we have to look forward to in 2017?  Quite a lot of new Middle Grade and YA novels!  While not comprehensive, this list should supply you with numerous titles to consider for your 2017 reading list.  If you are looking forward to a soon-to-be released book that I’ve neglected, feel free to add it in the comments.

For highlights of upcoming adult novels, check out the Publisher’s Weekly Adult Announcements: http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/new-titles/adult-announcements/article/72250-spring-2017-announcements-all-our-coverage.html.

Please note:  The dates listed below may change, especially for titles due to be released later in the year!  Also, I haven’t read any of them yet, so the plot blurbs and age ranges below are based on info from publisher’s websites and reviews.

MG CONTINUING SERIES

Robot Revolution by James Patterson  (Jan 16, 2017)
Newest book in the House of Robots series.  Ages 9-12.

Secret Origins by James Riley (Jan 17, 2017)
Book 3 of Story Thieves.  Ages 8-12.

Fenway and Hattie and the Evil Bunny Gang by Victoria J. Coe (Jan 24, 2017)
Sequel to Fenway and Hattie. Ages 8-12.

Long Live the Queen by Gerry Swallow (Jan 24, 2017)
Sequel to Blue in the Face: Magnificent Tales of Misadventure. Ages 812.

The Unwanteds Quests #1: Dragon Captives by Lisa McMann
Book 1 in a continuation of The Unwanteds.  Ages 8-12.

The Bodies of the Ancients by Lydia Millet (Feb 14, 2017)
Book 3 of The Dissenters series.  Ages 10-12.

Tut: My Epic Battle to Save the World by P.J. Hoover (Feb 28, 2017)
Book 2 of Tut: My Immortal Life.  Ages 8-12.

Point Guard by Mike Lupica (Mar 7, 2017)
Home Team  Book 3.  Ages 8-12.

In Over Their Heads by Margaret Peterson Haddix (Apr 11, 2017)
Sequel to Under Their Skin.  Ages 8-12.

The Song of Glory and Ghost by N.D. Wilson (Apr 18, 2017)
Outlaws of Time #2.  Ages 8-12.

Hello Stars! by Alena & Wynter Pitts (Apr 25, 2017)
Faithgirlz/Lena in the Spotlight.  Ages 8-12.

The Fallen Star by Tracey Heche (May 2, 2017)
Book 3 of The Nocturnals.  Ages 7-12.

The Emperor of Mars by Patrick Samphire  (July 18, 2017)
Sequel to Secrets of the Dragon Tomb. Ages 8-12.

The Ship of the Dead  by Rick Riordan (Oct 3, 2017)
Book 3 of Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard.  Ages 10 & up.

Frank Einstein and the Bio-Action Gizmo by Jon Scieszka  (Oct 17, 2017)
Book 5 in the Frank Einstein series. Ages 8-12.

MG FAMILIAR AUTHORS

One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes (Jan 3, 2017)
A poetry collection weaving the words of Harlem Renaissance poets with Grimes’ own poems. Ages 10-14.

Jay Versus the Saxophone of Doom by Kara Kootstra (Jan 3, 2017)
A young hockey player finds a new challenge learning the saxophone. Ages 8-12.

The Wardens Daughter by Jerry Spinelli (Jan 3, 2017)
Through her unique experiences growing up in a prison, a girl comes to terms with the sacrifice that took her mother’s life. Ages 9-12.

The Sweetest Sound by Sherri Winston (Jan 3, 2017)
After being abandoned by her mother, a shy girl discovers her own talent and a community in a church choir.  Ages 9-12.

The Silver Gate by Kristin Bailey (Jan 10, 2017)
When a father threatens to sell his daughter into servitude because of her disability, two children seek freedom in a fairy realm.  Age 8-12.

The Matchstick Castle by Keira Graff (Jan 10, 2017)
Two children discover a wooden castle and eccentric family in the forest of Boring, Illinois.  Ages 8-12.

Hideout by Watt Key (Jan 10, 2017)
A boy finds another kid repairing a cabin in the woods and uncovers a web of secrets. Ages 10-13.

Train I Ride by Paul Mosier (Jan 24, 2017)
On a long train trip to her new home, orphan Rydr comes to terms with her own past through her interactions with fellow passengers.   Ages 8-12.

Gorilla Dawn by Gill Lewis (Jan 31, 2017)
Two children imprisoned in a rebel camp rescue a baby gorilla and escape into the jungles of the Congo.  Ages 9-14.

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloan (Jan 31, 2017)
A girl finds a sense of purpose playing a munchkin in a school production of The Wizard of Oz.  Ages 8-12.

The Castle in the Mist by Amy Ephron (Feb 7, 2017)
Two children discover a mysterious castle in the English countryside.  Ages 8-12.

Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson (Feb 14, 2017)
Two of the last kids left on Mars get ready to flee the planet with the rest of the humans until they make a startling discovery.  Ages 8-12.

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng (Feb 28, 2017)
To give aliens a taste of life on Earth, a boy records an epic roadtrip on his iPod and plans to launch it into space .  Ages 10-13.

The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming by J. Anderson Coats (Feb 28, 2017)
A girl joins the stream of Civil War orphans and widows moving to Washington territory and finds a rough, challenging new life in the West. Ages 8-12.

Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail (Feb 28, 2017)
A version of Cyrano de Bergerac with texting.  Ages 10-14.

Effie Starr Zook Has One More Question by Martha Freeman (Mar 7, 2017)
A city girl uncovers secrets spending the summer on a family farm.  Ages 8-12.

Baseball Genius by Tim Green and Derek Jeter (Mar 7, 2017)
A boy with a talent for predicting pitches tries to save his favorite Yankee’s career.  Ages 8-12.

The Enemy: Detroit, 1954 by Sara Holbrook (Mar 7, 2017)
A teen is forced to confront her prejudices when a German girl moves to her class.  Ages 10-14.

Fish Girl by David Wiesner and Donna Jo Napoli (Mar 7, 2017)
A mermaid in an aquarium befriends a human girl and dreams of escaping her tank.  Ages 10-12.

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold (Mar 14, 2017)
A boy with autism befriends a baby skunk and hopes to keep it as a pet.  Ages 8-12.

When My Sister Started Kissing by Helen Frost (Mar 14, 2017)
With her mom expecting a new baby and her sister starting to date, a girl fears her family is growing apart.  Ages 10-12.

The Metropolitans by Carol Goodman (Mar 14, 2017)
On the day of the attack on Pearl Harbor, four teens uncover magic in an Arthurian manuscript as they try to prevent another attack on American soil.  Ages 10-13.  

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly (Mar 14, 2017)
The lives of four very different kids intertwine when a prank goes horribly wrong.  Ages 8-12.

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan (Mar 14, 2017)
A Pakistani-American girl struggles to retain her cultural identity despite pressure to “Americanize” herself.  Ages 8-12.

Love, Ish by Karen Rivers  (Mar 14, 2017)
A girl’s cancer diagnosis threatens her dream of becoming a Mars colonist. Ages 9-14.

Big & Little Questions (According to Wren Jo Byrd) by Julie Bowe (Mar 21, 2017)
A girl tries to keep her parents’ divorce a secret and risks losing her best friend.  Ages 8-12.

Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel by Kimberly Willis Holt (Mar 28, 2017)
A girl is sent to live at her grandfather’s old motel and struggles to build a relationship with him.  Ages 8-14.

Girl With a Camera by Carolyn Meyer (Apr 4, 2017)
A historical novel about the first female photojournalist in WWII. Ages 8-14.

Jack and the Geniuses by Bill Nye and Gregory Mone (Apr 4, 2017)
Three children travel to Antarctica to find a missing scientist.  Ages 8-12.

The Emperor’s Treasure by Kat Zhang (May 2, 2017)
On a family trip to China, two children search for a long-lost treasure.  Ages 8-12.

The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby (May 16, 2017)
Three teens must solve an ancient architectural puzzle in order to save their homes. Ages 8-12.

Finding Mighty by Sheela Chari (May 30, 2017)
Two neighbors follow clues to find a boy’s missing brother.  Ages 8-12.

Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder (May 30, 2017)
On a mysterious island, nine children live together until the inevitable day once a year when the eldest is taken away and a new young child is brought to join them.  Ages 8-12.

I Love You, Michael Collins by Lauren Baratz-Logsted (June 20, 2017)
Inspired by a school assignment, a girl begins writing letters to Michael Collins, the astronaut who stayed on the ship during the 1969 lunar landing.  Ages 8-12.

Bubbles by Abby Cooper (July 18, 2017)
A girl whose life seems to be falling apart suddenly starts seeing people’s thoughts in word bubbles above their heads.  Ages 10-12.

One for Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn (July 18, 2017)
A girl dies of the influenza epidemic and returns as a ghost to torment her bullies.  Ages 10-12.


MG DEBUTS

Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson (Jan 3, 2017)
The lynching of Emmett Till prompts the granddaughter of a sharecropper to join the fight for justice.  Ages 9-12.

The Someday Birds By Sally J. Pla (Jan 24, 2017)
A boy with autism goes on a wild road trip with his family so that his father, a wounded veteran, can seek medical treatment. Age 8-12.

The Ethan I Was by Ali Standish (Jan 24, 2017)
After losing his best friend in an accident, a boy finds new friendships in a new town.  Ages 8-12.

Crooked Sixpence by Jennifer Bell (Jan 31, 2017)
Two children search for magical treasures in an underground city.  Ages 8-12.

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson (Feb 28, 2017)
When a toddler disappears, a boy with OCD is the last to have seen the child alive, and all of his neighbors are suspects.  Ages 8-12.

The Fearless Traveler’s Guide to Wicked Places by Pete Begler  (Mar 1, 2017)
A girl embarks on a quest to rescue her mother from witches.  Ages 8-12.

Vilonia Beebe Takes Charge by Kristin L. Gray (Mar 7, 2017)
Believing that a pet might help her mom overcome her sadness at the death of her grandmother, a girl tries to become responsible enough to get a dog. Ages 8-12.

Who Let the Gods Out? by Maz Evans (Mar 28, 2017)
A mortal by gets mixed up with the Greek gods when an evil daemon runs amok on Earth.  Ages 8-12.

The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi (Mar 28, 2017)
A girl and her friends must rescue her baby brother from inside a mechanical puzzle board game.  Ages 8-12.

Viva, Rose! by Susan Krawitz (Mar 30, 2017)
When a girl’s brother joins Pancho Villa’s revolutionaries, she sets out to convince him to come home, but winds up kidnapped.  Ages 8-12.

Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren (Apr 4, 2017)
A girl intentionally gets sent to an icy prison in order to help her twin sister escape from the inside.  Ages 8-12.

The Wingsnatchers by Sarah Jean Horowitz (Apr 25, 2017
An apprentice who creates mechanical illusions and a magical Faerie princess team up to solve a mystery and win a competition. Ages 10-14.

Dingus by Andrew Larsen (May 2, 2017)
A boy faces a boring summer vacation until he makes a terrible mistake.  Ages 8-12.

Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson (May 2, 2017)
When a note passed in class is intercepted, a shy girl’s life collides with the life of a popular girl.  Ages 8-12.

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya (May 16, 2017)
A boy uses poetry and protest to take on the land developer threatening his family’s restaurant.  Ages 10 & up.

Felix Yz by Lisa Bunker (Jun 6, 2017)
After a science experiment gone wrong accidentally fuses him to a fourth dimensional being, a boy blogs about his life in the days leading up to the experimental procedure that will be used to separate them.  Ages 10-12.

One Shadow on the Wall by Leah Henderson (Jun 6, 2017)
Although he promised his father he’d keep the family together, a Senegalese orphan is tempted to join a gang of malicious boys to keep them from stealing his spirit.  Ages 8-12.

Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen (Jul 4, 2017)
A girl enters spy training to find a missing agent: her mother.  Ages 8-12.

*****

YA CONTINUING SERIES

Wayfarer by Alexandra Bracken (Jan 3, 2017)
Sequel to Passenger. Ages 14 & up.

Windwitch by Susan Dennard  (Jan 10, 2017)
Witchlands novel.  Ages 14 & up.

Beheld by Alex Flinn (Jan 10, 2017)
New fairytales in the Kendra Chronicles.  Age 14 & up.

The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman (Jan 31, 2017)
A Lady Helen novel.  Ages 12-18.

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer (Jan 31, 2017)
A graphic novel in the Lunar Chronicles world.  Ages 14 & up.

Rise of Fire by Sophie Jordan (Feb 7, 2017)
Book 2 in Reign of Shadows series.  Ages 14 & up.

The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig (Feb 28, 2017)
Sequel to The Girl From Everywhere.  Ages 12-18.

The Boy She Left Behind by Gregg Olsen (Mar 14, 2017)
Book 2 of Vengeance.  Ages 14 & up.

The Adjustment by Suzanne Young (Apr 18, 2017)
The Program, Book 3.  Ages 12-18.

Black Tempest by Ryan Dalton (Apr 25, 2017)
Book 2 of the Time Shift Trilogy.  Ages 12-17.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han (May 2, 2017)
Book 3 of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.  Ages 14 & up.

Count All Her Bones by April Henry (May 2, 2017)
Sequel to Girl, Stolen.  Ages 12-18.

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (May 2, 2017)
Book 3 of A Court of Thorns and Roses.   Age 14 & up.

The Battlemage by Taran Matharu (May 9, 2017)
Conclusion to The Summoner trilogy.  Ages 12-18.

A Million Junes by Emily Henry (May 16, 2017)
Sequel to The Love That Split the World.  Ages 12-18. 

Seeker by Veronica Rossi (May 16, 2017)
Book 2 of Riders.  Ages 12-18.

Refuge for Masterminds by Kathleen Baldwin (May 23, 2017)
Book 3 of A stranje House.  Ages 12-18.

The Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (May 23, 2017)
Book 2 of The Dark Artifices. Ages 14 & up.

Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead (Jun 27, 2017)
Book 2 of the Glittering Court series.  Ages 14 & up.

Now I Rise by Kiersten White (Jun 27, 2017)
Sequel to And I Darken.  Ages 14 & up.

YA FAMILIAR AUTHORS

Because of the Sun by Jenny Torres Sanchez (Jan 3, 2017)
A girl travels from Florida to New Mexico to process her mother’s violent death. Ages 14 & up.

Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist (Jan 3, 2017)
A blind teen falls in love but questions his feelings when an operation restores his sight.  Ages 12 & up.

Life in a Fishbowl by Len Vlahos (Jan 3, 2017)
A teen girl’s terminally ill father auctions himself on eBay.  Ages 14 & up.

The Radius of Us by Marie Marquardt (Jan 17, 2017)
Two teens who have survived trauma find a connection on their first meeting.  Ages 14 & up.

History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (Jan 17, 2017)
A boy’s life begins to unravel when his ex-boyfriend dies.  Ages 14 & up.

The Careful Undressing of Love by Corey Ann Haydn (Jan 31, 2017)
A group of girls believe they are cursed when the boy they love suddenly dies. Ages 14 & up.

That Burning Summer by Lydia Syson (Jan 31, 2017)
A teen girl hides an injured Polish pilot who has crashed in England and does not wish to return to war. Ages 14 & up.

Fire Color One by Jenny Valentine (Jan 31, 2017)
A young arsonist is sent to England to live with the wealthy father she has never met.  Age 12-18.

Factory Girl by Josanne La Valley (Feb 1, 2017)
A girl works in appalling conditions in a factory in China to earn money to save her family’s farm. Age 14 & up.

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza (Feb 7, 2017)
An exiled empress and the boy falsely accused of killing her must unite to overcome a galactic evil.  Ages 14 & up.

At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson (Feb 7, 2017)
A teen’s best friend disappears and seems to have been erased from everyone else’s memories.  Ages 14 & up.

A Tragic Kind of Wonderful by Eric Lindstrom (Feb 7, 2017)
A teen fears her friends will abandon her if they find out she has bipolar disorder. Age 14 & up.

The Lost Girl of Astor Street by Stephanie Morrill (Feb 7, 2017)
In Jazz-Age Chicago, a girl embarks on a mission to find her missing best friend.  Ages 12-18.

Romeo and What’s Her Name by Shani Petroff (Feb 7, 2017)
An understudy wishes she were playing the lead opposite the boy of her dreams, until she has to actually step into the role and realizes she is totally unprepared.  Ages 12-18.

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham (Feb 21, 2017)
A teen girl discovers a skeleton that provides a link back to the Tulsa race riots a century earlier. Age 14 & up.

Sad Perfect by Stephanie Elliot (Feb 28, 2017)
A girl tries to hide her eating disorder from the boy she loves.  Ages 14 & up.

10 Things I Can See from Here by Carrie Mac (Feb 28, 2017)
A girl struggling with anxiety falls in love with a girl who isn’t afraid of anything.  Ages 14 & up.

The Free by Lauren McLaughlin (Feb 28, 2017)
A teen in juvie comes to terms with his past and who he wants to be in the future.  Ages 12-18.

A Good Idea by Cristina Moracho (Feb 28, 2017)
When her best friend is murdered, a teen returns to her hometown to plot revenge.  Ages 14 & up.

Waking in Time by Angie Stanton (Mar 1, 2017)
A young woman traveling backward in time meets a young man traveling forward in time and falls in love.  Ages 14 & up.

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (Mar 7, 2017)
A young witch accidentally raises her brother from the dead and discovers her own dark powers come at a price.  Ages 12-18.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz (Mar 7, 2017)
As he nears the end of high school, a boy begins to question his place within his adopted family.  Ages 14 & up.

Nemesis by Brendan Reichs (Mar 21, 2017)
Brought together by murder and nightmares, two teens must sift through lies and conspiracy, hoping to save their doomed planet.  Ages 14 & up.

Worthy by Donna Cooner (Mar 28, 2017)
An app that asks students whether girls are worthy of their boyfriends causes high school relationship chaos.  Ages 14 & up.

Just Another Girl by Elizabeth Eulberg (Mar 28, 2017)
Two best friends struggle with their crush on the same guy and the secrets they keep from each other.  Ages 14 & up.

Frogkisser! by Garth Nix (Mar 28, 2017)
A princess whose kiss can break curses goes on a quest to reclaim her kingdom from her evil stepparents.  Ages 12 & up.

100 Hours by Rachel Vincent (Mar 28, 2017)
A Spring Break beach trip turns into a nightmare when six teens are kidnapped.  Ages 14 & up.

The Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianne Baer (Apr 4, 2017)
A teen becomes the center of attention when she discovers she is pregnant but has no memory of ever having sex.  Ages 14 & up.

Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray (Apr 4, 2017)
A soldier and a machine on opposite sides of an interstellar war find themselves on a joint mission.  Ages 14& up.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemper (Apr 4, 2017)
A grieving girl leaves letters at her mother’s grave and makes an unlikely connection with the troubled classmate who finds them and responds.  Ages 14 & up.

Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean (Apr 4, 2017)
An orphaned girl is targeted by the enemies her parents left behind and embarks on a frantic mission to save the lives of those around her.  Ages 14 & up.

Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr (Apr 4, 2017)
Two sisters struggling to care for each other despite their poverty find surprising challenges and opportunities when their estranged father returns.  Ages 12-18.

Duels & Deception by Cindy Anstey (Apr 11, 2017)
A young heiress is kidnapped along with a poor law clerk and, to her dismay, finds herself falling in love with him.  Ages 12-18.

Unearthly Things by Michelle Gagnon (Apr 11, 2017)
A modern Jane Eyre, in which an orphan moves in with a wealthy family with dark secrets.  Ages 12-18.

Missing by Kelley Armstrong (Apr 18, 2017)
A girl discovers that the scores of teens who supposedly left her hometown over the years may actually have been murdered.  Ages 14 & up.

The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares (Apr 25, 2017)
Though their parents were once married and they share half siblings, a boy and girl have never met until one summer at a shared beach house when their lives intersect.  Ages 12-18.

Dreamfall by Amy Plum (May 2, 2017)
Teens must battle their worst nightmares in virtual reality when an experimental insomnia treatment goes horribly wrong.  Ages 14 & up.

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (May 2, 2017)

A girl masquerades as a boy to join an all-male a capella group. Ages 12-18.

My Future Ex-girlfriend by Jake Gerhard (May 16, 2017)
Three eighth graders struggle with their first relationships, hoping to hang onto their girlfriends so they don’t start high school as losers. Ages 12-18.

The Go-Between by Veronica Chambers (May 9, 2017)
When her actress mom gets a job in LA, a girl goes from being the most envied teen in Mexico City to the kid everyone assumes is the daughter of a “domestic.”  Ages 12-18.

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord ( May 16, 2017)
A girl finds her faith challenged when her mother’s cancer returns and her life begins to unravel. Ages 14 & up.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo (May 30, 2017)
A girl studies Korean romance movies to figure out how to get the attention of the boy she likes.  Ages 12-18.

House of Furies by Madeleine Roux (May 30, 2017)
A maid at a Gothic boarding house hopes to save a young man from the harsh punishments inflicted by her employer on his house guests. Ages 14 & up.

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley (Jun 6, 2017)
After her brother dies, a girl returns to her hometown and exchanges letters with the boy she once loved by hiding them in the pages of books.  Ages 14 & up.

Internet Famous by Danika Stone (Jun 6, 2017)
When a teen blogger begins flirting with a fan online, a troll starts harassing her.  Ages 12-18.

Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson (Jun 13, 2017)
A girl about to embark on a journey to Mars discovers a journal from the past and the stories of two other girls facing life-changing moments.  Ages 12-18.

Roar by Cora Carmack (Jun 13, 2017)
A Stormling princess, born without her family’s signature magic power, tries to steal power for herself in order to avoid an arranged marriage.  Ages 14 & up.

Bad Romance by Heather Demetrios (Jun 13, 2017)
When her relationship turns abusive, a teen struggles to escape it.  Ages 14 & up.

Be True To Me by Adele Griffin (Jun 13, 2017)
Two teen tennis rivals compete for the love of the boy of their dreams.  Ages 14 & up.

All the Ways the World Can End by Abby Sher (July 11, 2017)
With her dad dying and her best friend moving away, a girl feels like the world is ending.  Ages 12-18.

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell (Jul 18, 2017)
A young thief is sent back in time to steal a book and save a mysterious and perhaps sinister magical order.  Ages 12-18.

Lucky in Love by Kasie West (Jul 25, 2017)
A teen wins the lottery and everyone starts treating her differently–except the boy she has a crush on, who hasn’t heard the news yet.  Ages 12-18.

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle (Aug 8, 2017)
Two teens begin to lose important things, until they find a mysterious spellbook that lets them bring things back from the past–even things that should have stayed lost.  Ages 14 & up.

YA DEBUTS

The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser (Jan 3, 2017)
A girl discovers the power to jump into books and must stop a mysterious thief from altering her life.  Ages 12-18.

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti (Jan 3, 2017)
Following a wild theory, a teen tries to track down a girl who disappeared.  Ages 14 & up.

Frostblood by Ella Blake (Jan 10, 2017)
A teenage Fireblood conceals her powers from the Frostblood rulers until she must use them to save her world and avenge her mother’s death.  Ages 14 & up.

You Don’t Know My Name by Kristen Orlando (Jan 10, 2017)
A teenage spy’s career is jeopardized when she falls in love.  Ages 12-18.

A List of Cages by Robin Roe (Jan 10, 2017)
As assistant to the school psychologist, a teen boy must help his former foster-brother open up about his troubling secrets.  Ages 14 & up.

Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields (Jan 10, 2017)
A teen whose kiss can kill works as an assassin until she gets an assignment she can’t complete: to kill the boy she loves.  Ages 14 & up.

After the Fall by Kate Hart (Jan 24, 2017)
A girl struggles to balance her relationships with her best friend and his brother–her secret boyfriend–when tragedy strikes.  Age 14 & up.

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson  (Jan 24, 2017)
Convicted of murdering an infant when she was nine years old, a pregnant teen must fight for the right to keep her baby.  Ages 14 & up.

Caraval by Stephanie Garber (Jan 31, 2017)
Two sister run away to escape arranged marriage and get swept up in a magical and deadly game. Ages 14 & up.

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles (Jan 31, 2017)
A teen girl and a bounty hunter from Hell get wrapped up in a romantic adventure.  Ages 14 & up.

Wait for Me by Caroline Leech  (Jan 31, 2017)
A Scottish Red Cross volunteer falls in love with a German POW during WWII. Age 14 & up.

The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom (Feb 7, 2017)
To save her father from the vicious men holding him prisoner, a teen girl must become as cruel as the assassins and spies she faces.  Ages 14 & up.

Traveler by L.E. DeLano (Feb 7, 2017)
When a boy she thought existed only in her imagination shows up in real life, a teen learns that she has the ability to travel to alternate realities and that in every one of them, she is dying.  Ages 14 & up.

#famous  by Jilly Gagnon (Feb 14, 2017)
A photo goes viral and sweeps a girl and her crush into a whirlwind or fame that may or may not be worth it.  Ages 12-18.

American Street by Ibi Zoboi (Feb 14, 2017)
A girl struggles to adjust when her family moves from Haiti to Detroit.  Ages 12-18.

Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle Van Arsdale (Feb 28, 2017)
Although she was raised to fear the soul eaters of the forest, a girl feels a connection to the creatures that killed the adults of her village and goes in search of them.  Ages 14 & up.

Confessions of a High School Disaster: Chloe Snow’s Diary by Emma Chastain (Mar 7, 2017)
While her mom is in Mexico working on a novel, a girl chronicles her life in high school.  Ages 12-18.

A Psalm for Lost Girls by Katie Bayerl (Mar 14, 2017)
When an abducted girl returns, the sister of a dead girl begins an investigation into her sister’s death and uncovers secrets about the abduction.  Ages 14 & up.

Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy (Mar 28, 2017)
The discovery that her father has a child from an affair prompts a teen to go on  a rebellious journey of self-discovery.  Ages 14 & up.

Zenn Diagram by Wendy Brandt (Apr 4, 2017)
A math wiz who sees visions of people’s emotions falls in love with a troubled new kid.  Ages 14 & up.

The Exo Project by Andrew DeYoung (Apr 4, 2017)
Desperate money, a boy volunteers for a 100 year mission to search for a new habitable planet after Earth is tainted by solar radiation.  Ages 12-18.

Keeping the Beat by Marie Powell and Jeff Norton (Apr 4, 2017)
A teen girl band wins a talent contest and embarks on an adventure that ends in tragedy.  Ages 14 & up.

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer (Apr 11, 2017)
Two sisters with different faerie gifts find their lives torn apart when they are plunged into an enchanted dream world.  Ages 12-18.

The Takedown by Corrie Wang (Apr 11, 2017)
A faked video of a girl having sex with her English teacher goes viral and threatens to destroy her life. Ages 14 &  up.

Sucktown, Alaska by Craig Dirkes (May 1, 2017)
After getting kicked out of college his first semester, a young man struggles to find his way in the most boring town in the world.  Ages 16 & up.

Textrovert by Lindsey Summers (May 2, 2017)
When a boy and girl who dislike each other accidentally swap phones, they get to know and like each other better through text messages.  Ages 14 & up.

Just a Normal Tuesday by Kim Turrisi (May 2, 2017)
A girl struggles to deal with the aftermath of her older sister’s suicide.  Ages 14 & up.

The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beatty (May 9, 2017)
A matchmaker’s apprentice is recruited as a spy and enters the world of military espionage.  Ages 12-18.

City of Angels by Kristi Belcamino (May 9, 2017)
A homeless teen investigates the disappearance of another homeless girl she met on the streets of LA.  Ages 14 & up.

It Started with Goodbye by Christina June (May 9, 2017)
After being falsely accused of a crime, a teen under house arrest tries to start a graphic design business.  Ages 12-18.

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura (May 9, 2017)
Two girls from different cultural backgrounds fall in love.  Ages 14 & up.

Antisocial by Jillian Blake (May 16, 2017)
Private lives become public when students at a wealthy prep school are hacked and their secrets exposed.  Age 14 & up.

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus (May 30, 2017)
A teen who created a school gossip app is murdered in detention, and all four of the other students in the room with him had a motive.  Ages 12-18.

When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (May 30, 2017)
Two teens whose parents have arranged their marriage meet at summer camp.  Ages 12-18.

Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser (Jun 6, 2017)
In exchange for her father’s release from prison, a girl sail a mysterious cargo over the realm of the river god. Ages 12-18.

NETTIE AND NELLIE CROOK: ORPHAN TRAIN SISTERS by E.F. Abbott

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Twins Nettie and Nellie spent a lot of time together, just the two of them.  Their father was often away for long periods of time to find work, their older brother worked all day, and sometimes their mother would disappear for weeks–especially after their baby sister died.  But one day a man arrives to take the children away, saying that they are not being cared for properly.  At six years old, Nettie and Nellie find themselves in an orphanage, even though their parents are still alive.  Not long afterward they are put on a train and sent West with a group of other children in search of “forever homes.”  But some homes are not as wonderful as they are cracked up to be.

Based on the true story of the Crook sisters, Abbott’s book gives readers a glimpse into what it might be like to be placed in foster care or adopted in the early twentieth century.  Neither the characterization nor the settings are particularly vivid; the book is plot driven.  But the subject matter is interesting, and may especially appeal to readers now that Simone Biles’ Olympic wins are raising awareness of what foster care and adoption are like today.  I would recommend this book to third and fourth grade readers who are interested in history.

CHASING SECRETS by Gennifer Choldenko

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At the turn of the twentieth century, San Francisco is a bustling hub of industry with ships coming into port from all over the world.  When rumors begin to circulate that a ship has brought the bubonic plague, the educated members of society and doctors, such as Lizzie’s father, do their best to reassure people that there is no plague danger.  But Aunt Hortense is still reluctant to the let Lizzie go with her father on his medical calls, which she considers to be unbecoming for a young woman even without the danger of plague.  Lizzie still manages to get herself tangled up in the plague controversy, however, when the nervous citizens erect a quarantine around Chinatown.  The family’s cook, Jing is trapped in the quarantine, and Lizzie discovers that Jing has been hiding a secret at home:  his son, Noah.  As Lizzie tries to find a way to get Jing out of the quarantine, she begins to uncover more secrets and isn’t sure she likes what she finds.

This well-written historical fiction novel is difficult to put down.  Every aspect of it is engaging–from Lizzie’s struggles with friendships at school to her controversial dreams of being a doctor to the secrets surrounding the plague scare and the racism it fueled.  I highly recommend it to middle grade readers who enjoy historical fiction!

If you liked Chasing Secrets, you might like some of these titles.

 

 

CAST OFF by Eve Yohalem

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When Petra flees from home, she knows she can never return.  Her father chases her through the streets, brandishing a fire poker.  If he catches her, he will kill her.  If she goes to the police, they will return her to him.  Desperate, she stows aboard a ship leaving Amsterdam for Indonesia, knowing full well that if she is discovered, she may be cast overboard.  Fortunately, the person who discovers her is Bram, a biracial ship’s boy who knows exactly what it’s like to live as a second class citizen.  Friendship makes life easier for both Petra and Bram, but a six month voyage at sea is filled with so many dangers that one wrong choice could lead to a watery grave.

This adventure-filled story about two kids seeking freedom will appeal to middle graders who love historical fiction.  As seafaring adventures go, it lacked the intensity of Castaways of the Flying Dutchman and the tight story arc of The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle.  But the setting was vivid; you get a sense of being trapped on a crowded ship for six months.  Definitely worth reading if you like middle grade historical adventures.