Xar, the son of the wizard king, is known for being a troublemaker–disobedient, destructive, leading his ragtag entourage of sprites and snow cats into all kinds of danger. And the fact that at thirteen his magic still hasn’t come in makes him even more unruly. Wish, the warrior princess, is downright weird. Her limp, her eyepatch, and her odd interests make her hardly fit to call herself a warrior. But the mischief of these two sworn enemies reaches new heights when two forbidden errands collide in the Badwoods. Xar has come to set a trap for a witch, the darkest, most evil magic creature ever to exist, which everyone believes are extinct, but whose magic Xar hopes to steal. Wish enters the Badwoods chasing her pet, an iron spoon that must be magic and is therefore thoroughly forbidden (much to her young Assistant Bodyguard’s anxiety). She also has a magic sword she found near her mother’s dungeon that has an inscription claiming that it kills witches. And unfortunately for both Wish and Xar, that sword may be blood-curdlingly necessary.
As much as this novel is the thrilling start to a creative and engaging new fantasy series, it is a coming of age tale for two very different protagonists, each struggling to find a place in their respective society and to work through a complicated relationship with their respective intimidating parent. I suspect that the cheeky omniscient narrator would have annoyed me had I not been listening to the brilliantly performed audiobook. But otherwise, I loved everything about it. Can’t wait for the next installment!
I highly recommend the audiobook (performed by David Tennant), a well-deserved Odyssey Award Honor recording.
Lots of new books and sequels have been announced for 2018! Here’s a quick rundown of upcoming YA titles. (Summaries and age ranges are based on publisher information and release dates may change.)
YA Continuing Series
True Queen by Sarah Fine (1/2)
Book 3 of Imposter Queen. Ages 12 & up.
Naondel by Maria Turtschaninoff (1/9)
Book 2 of The Red Abbey Chronicles. Ages 14 & up.
You Won’t Know I’m Gone by Kristen Orlando (1/16)
Book 2 of The Black Angel Chronicles. Ages 13 & up.
Poison’s Cage by Breeana Shields (1/16)
Sequel to Poison’s Kiss. Ages 12 & up.
Purple Hearts by Michael Grant (1/30)
Final book of Front Lines. Ages 14 & up.
Shadowsong by S. Jae-Jones (2/6)
Sequel to Wintersong. Ages 12 & up.
Daughter of a Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller (2/27)
Book 2 of Daughter of the Pirate King. Ages 12-18.
The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro (3/6)
Book 3 of Charlotte Holmes. Ages 14 & up.
Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi (3/18)
A new arc of Shatter Me. Ages 14 & up.
The Invasion by Peadar O’Guilin (3/27)
Sequel to The Call. Ages 14 & up.
Children of Daedala by Caighlan Smith (4/1)
Sequel to Children of Icarus.
Trouble Never Sleeps by Stephanie Tromly (4/24)
Book 3 of Trouble Is a Friend of Mine. Ages 13 & up.
The Universe Is Expanding and So Am I by Carolyn Mackler (5/29)
Sequel to The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big, Round Things. Ages 14 & up.
City of Bastards by Andrew Shvarts (6/5)
Sequel to Royal Bastards. Ages 16 & up.
The Merciless IV: Last Rites by Danielle Vega (6/12)
Final installment of The Merciless. Ages 14 & up.
Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas (9/5)
Book 6 of Throne of Glass. Ages 14 & up.
YA Historical Fiction
Blood and Sand by C.V. Wyk (1/16)
An enslaved warrior princess of Thrace and a young gladiator join forces in a rebellion against the Roman Empire. Ages 13-17.
What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper (2/20)
The only member of her family too survive the Holocaust, a girl searches for connection to her Jewish identity and the people around her. Ages 14 & up.
Mapping the Bones by Jane Yolen (3/6)
During the Holocaust, Polish twins are subjected to horrific tortures and preserve the memory of their experience through poetry. Ages 12-18.
Suitors and Sabotage by Cindy Anstey (4/24)
A young lady finds herself in a difficult position when she falls in love with her suitor’s younger brother. Ages 12-18.
Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All by Candace Fleming, et al. (5/1)
Seven stories by seven YA authors paint a picture of the drama of the Tudor court. Ages 12-18.
She Loves You (Yeah, Yeah, Yeah) by Ann Hood (6/26)
In the throes of the tumultuous 1960s and a disappointing year at school, a girl hopes that a whirlwind roadtrip to see the final world tour of the Beatles will set her life back on track. Ages 14 & up.
YA Fantasy & Sci Fi
Ink by Alice Broadway (1/2)
After her father’s death, a girl discovers that one of his tattoos brands him a criminal, and her world turns upside down. Ages 12 & up.
A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole (1/2)
A teen discovers a startling truth about her family and the secret government experiments that threaten to unravel a tenuous peace with an indigious population. Ages 13 & up.
Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely (1/2)
After the second Civil War, a skilled teen sharpshooter makes a name for herself in the new West. Ages 15 & up.
The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Gläser (1/2)
A girl discovers a magic book, and everything she writes in it comes true. Ages 12 & up.
Between the Blade and the Heart by Amanda Hocking (1/2)
One of Odin’s Valkyrie must decide whether or not to help a mortal boy exact revenge. Ages 12 & up.
Everless by Sara Holland (1/2)
A teen must return to the dangerous city of her birth in order to steal more time for her dying father’s lifespan. Ages 13 & up.
As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti (1/2)
As his eighteenth birthday approaches, a boy must figure out what his one wish in the world would be since it is guaranteed to come true. Ages 14-17.
Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (1/9)
Two scholars follow a message from an alien race to a temple of riches and danger on a strange planet. Ages 14 & up.
Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh (1/23)
A necromancer must join forces with an alluring and irritating mage to defeat the bloodthirsty Shades. Ages 12 & up.
Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen (1/30)
After marrying into a rival kingdom to broker a peace deal, a young woman discovers her own magical abilities which threaten the tenuous peace and her own safety. Ages 14 & up.
The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton (2/6)
A girl with the power to bestow beauty on the otherwise gray people of her world finds her values challenged when she gets a glimpse at the true nature of the elite class to which she belongs. Ages 12 & up.
Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza by Shaun David Hutchinson (2/6)
The daughter of a virgin mother discovers she has the ability to perform miracles and must try to prevent the end of the world. Ages 14 & up.
Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre (2/13)
A teen criminal escapes jail time by accepting an interstellar exploration mission on a sentient spaceship. Ages 13 & up.
Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare (2/20)
After spending her whole life in a world that her mother wrote into existence, a girl must cross over to the real world to find her kidnapped mother. Ages 12-18.
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (2/27)
A girl with unconventional ideas escapes being sent to a nunnery and tries to find her place in a world where she is expected to be a damsel in distress. Ages 13 & up.
The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen (2/27)
A young noblewoman refuses to let herself be a political pawn when she is captured by rebels who oppose the cruel king whom her father serves. Ages 14 & up.
Mind Over Matter by R.T. Martin (3/1)
A boy gains telekinetic abilities on his sixteenth birthday. Ages 12-18.
Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (3/6)
The daughter of a slaughtered maji must tame the power inside of her to bring down the oppressive regime that outlawed magic. Ages 14 & up.
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo (3/6)
A viscious siren princess is transformed into a human and must cut out the heart of a siren-hunting prince to break the spell. Ages 14 & up.
Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (3/6)
When three long-dead witches send their spirits to inhabit the bodies of young women and exact revenge on the male ancestors of the townspeople who executed them, a girl tries to rescue the new boy in town. Ages 14 & up.
Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton (3/13)
The youngest in a line of cursed witches struggles with her limited abilities when a book offering prices for various spells is published in her hometown. Ages 14 & up.
Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (4/3)
In the wake of the rising of the dead soldiers that halted the Civil War in its tracks, a young woman of color is being trained to fight the dead while a more dangerous political battle simmers around her. Ages 14 & up.
Sleight by Jennifer Sommersby (4/3)
After her mother’s shocking death during a circus performance, a teen girl is plagued with visions as she attempts to uncover the dark secrets of the circus and the boy she loves. Ages 14 & up.
Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake (4/10)
Two teens from opposing clans share a dark vision of the future and must join forces against the evil that threatens them all. Ages 14 & up.
Rewind by Carolyn O’Doherty (4/10)
A girl who can rewind time to solve crimes must decide whether to accept a medication which will allow her to live longer but interfere with her abilities. Ages 14 & up.
The Fandom by Anna Day (4/24)
At Comic Con, a girl and her friends are transported into the world of their favorite book and she must take on the role of the heroine to insure that the story isn’t destroyed. Ages 14 & up.
Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian (4/24)
After a decade in captivity, a princess vows to destroy the regime that killed her mother and stole much of her life. Ages 14 & up.
Ride On by Gwen Cole (5/1)
In a sunless world, two teen outlaws seek sanctuary while being pursued by a vicious gang. Ages 12-18.
Whisper by Lynette Noni (5/1)
A prisoner whose voice has catastrophic power finds herself at the center of a twisted government plot. Ages 14 & up.
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson (5/8)
When her BFF allegedly commits suicide, a girl vows to find out what really happened, and winds up bring her BFF and a couple of other girls back from the dead to act as disoriented vigilantes. Ages 14 & up.
Furyborn by Claire Legrand (5/22)
A prophesied queen and a young rebel bounty hunter are separated by centuries, yet their survival and the fate of the world depends on one another. Ages 13 & up.
The Supervillain and Me by Danielle Banas (7/10)
The younger sister of a superhero finds her worldview challenged when a supervillain rescues her from muggers. Ages 12-18.
Storm-wake by Lucy Christopher (7/31)
In a retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, a girl finds her worldview challenged when a she meets a “wild boy” and a shipwrecked stranger on the isolated, stormy island where she lives with her father. Ages 12 & up.
#Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil (8/7)
A wrongfully-convicted teen finds herself in the midst of a social experiment where convicts are hunted and killed live on social media. Ages 14 & up.
These Rebel Waves by Sara Raasch (8/7)
Three teens from different regions are caught in a violent clash fueled by religious fervor and a fear of magic. Ages 14 & up.
Disasterland by James Patterson and Robison Wells (8/27)
Following a nuclear explosion, a teen discovers strange new abilities which he must use to uncover a government conspiracy. Ages 13 & up.
YA Mystery & Thrillers
Before I Let Go by Marieke Nijkamp (1/2)
When her best friend dies in mysterious circumstances, a girl won’t let the dark Alaskan winter stop her from finding out what really happened. Ages 14-17.
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson (1/16)
A teen enrolls in a boarding school with an infamous past only to discover that the legendary murders are repeating themselves and its up to her to solve the mystery. Ages 14 & up.
Losing Brave by Bailee Madison and Stefne Miller (1/30)
A girl uncovers a dark mystery as she searches for her missing sister. Ages 13 & up.
You Will Be Mine by Natasha Preston (2/6)
Mysterious, anonymous letters lead to disappearances. Ages 14 & up.
I Stop Somewhere by T.E. Carter (2/27)
A girl’s first high school relationship turns abusive and ends with a viscious assault, which she then must watch happen to other girls while she waits for someone to find her. Ages 14 & up.
White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig (4/24)
When his sister’s boyfriend is murdered–and she’s the one holding the knife–a teen has one night to figure out what happened and clear her name. Ages 14 & up.
Blink by Sasha Dawn (5/1)
A teen is obsessed with the mystery of the girl who was kidnapped from his community twelve years ago, and the new girl who just showed up may have the key to the mystery. Ages 14 & up.
The Lies They Tell by Gillian French (5/1)
With her father the scapegoat in a deadly fire, a girl tries to uncover the truth from a complicated web of secrets and lies. Ages 14 & up.
The Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl (6/5)
Five teens gathered to unravel the details surrounding a friend’s shocking death receive a visit from a mysterious man and discover that time has stopped–and restarting it might cost someone their life. Ages 14 & up.
YA Realistic Fiction & Romance
Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet by Jennifer L. Armentrout, et al. (1/2)
A collection of short story romances featuring a diverse range of protagonists. Ages 14 & up.
Don’t Cosplay with My Heart by Cecil Castellucci (1/2)
A girl finds a sense of freedom in pretending to be someone else when her family life and friendships seem to be out of control. Ages 12 & up.
Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle (1/2)
After witnessing a tragic accident, two teens start performing random acts of kindness and find themselves drawn closer to one another. Ages 14 & up.
Busted by Gina Ciocca (1/2)
A girl’s side business of spying on friends boyfriends to catch them cheating becomes a problem when she falls for one of the cheaters. Ages 14-17.
You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon (1/2)
Two twins who couldn’t be more different must find a way to connect when they learn that one of them has inherited the gene for Huntington’s Disease. Ages 14 & up.
A Taxonomy of Love by Rachael Allen (1/9)
A novel of the complex, evolving relationship of two teens over a period of six years. Ages 13 & up.
Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke (1/9)
A teen questioning the Christian faith in which she was raised finds herself expelled from high school and moves into a Big Brother-style reality show house at a local community college. Ages 14 & up.
Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard (1/12)
A mute girl with crippling anxiety finds her voice when she befriends a deaf boy and begins communicating in sign language. Ages 14 & up.
Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (1/16)
After a violent attack in another part of the country, a Muslim-American teen faces racism and hatred as she tries to fit into her community. Ages 14 & up.
All That Was by Karen Rivers (1/16)
When a teen’s best friend’s body washes up on the beach, she must come to terms with the horrible fight they had the day before her death. Ages 12 & up.
A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi (1/23)
A refugee family faces a harrowing journey from Syria to Greece. Ages 12 & up.
The Last Girl on Earth by Alexandra Blogier (1/23)
The last surviving human hidden among the alien conquerers risks everything when she falls in love. Ages 12 & up.
Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann (1/23)
Fearing that her asexuality might not be understood, a girl is horrified when she begins falling in love again. Ages 13 & up.
The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane (1/30)
After losing her memory in a plane crash, a teen girl tries to reinvent herself with the help of a handsome stranger. Ages 12 & up.
Say You’ll Remember Me by Katie McGarry (1/30)
A governor’s daughter falls in love with a juvenile delinquent who was convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Ages 13 & up.
American Heart by Laura Moriarty (1/30)
A teen finds her preconceptions about Muslims challenged when she meets an immigrant desperate for freedom. Ages 13 & up.
This Is Not a Love Letter by Kim Purcell (1/30)
When her boyfriend who had been the target of violent bullying disappears, a girl must face the racism of her community as she tries to figure out what happened. Ages 14 & up.
The Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis (1/30)
Isolated in his strict Greek family, a boy tries to come to terms with his attraction to another guy. Ages 14 & up.
The Disturbed Girl’s Dictionary by NoNieqa Ramos (2/1)
After her school labels her as “disturbed,” a girl begins creating a dictionary labeling everything else in her life–from her incarcerated father to her cheating mother to her best friend who no longer speaks to her. Ages 14 & up.
Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi (2/6)
When an indecisive boy falls in love with an aspiring crossword puzzle writer, his life becomes an adventure. Ages 12 & up.
Broken Battered Hearts by Kami Garcia (2/6)
After her boyfriend’s physical abuse shatters her dreams of becoming a professional athlete, a girl must decide whether it is safe to fall in love again. Ages 14 & up.
All We Can Do Is Wait by Richard Lawson (2/6)
When a bridge collapses, a group of teens must confront emotional issues in their pasts and futures as they wait at the hospital for news of their loved ones. Ages 14 & up.
Layover by Amy Andelson and Emily Meyer (2/6)
On an adventure-filled layover in L.A., two stepsiblings must confront their romantic feelings for each other. Ages 14 & up.
The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith (2/6)
A teen and her siblings pull their lives back together after their mother is arrested for killing their abusive father. Ages 14 & up.
When My Heart Joins the Thousand by A.J. Steiger (2/6)
A neuroatypical girl is biding her time until her legal emancipation and trying to forget her painful past when she finds herself falling in love with a boy as physically fragile and she is mentally. Ages 14 & up.
Mercy Rule by Tom Leveen (2/20)
A toxic high school sports environment leads to a horrific incident of school violence. Ages 12 & up.
Where I Live by Brenda Rufener (2/27)
A homeless teen living in her high school finds her secret in jeopardy when she begins reaching out to another teen who may be a victim of abuse. Ages 14 & up.
Honor Code by Kiersi Burkhart (3/1)
A girl with dreams of attending Harvard enrolls at an elite high school with sometimes uncomfortable social conventions and faces a moral dilemma when telling the truth about “the worst night of her life” seems like it may put her in conflict with the strict norms of the school. Ages 14 & up.
The Science of Breakable Things by Tae Keller (3/6)
A girl hopes to win a science competition and to use the prize money to help her mother overcome her depression. Ages 8-12.
The Place Between Breaths by An Na (3/6)
A teen helps tirelessly at her father’s genetic lab, searching for a cure for the schizophrenia that took her mother away from them, when she begins to fear the disease is taking hold of her as well. Ages 14 & up.
The Beauty That Remains by Ashley Woodfolk (3/6)
When they each lose someone they love, three teen bandmembers turn to social media to process their grief. Ages 14 & up.
Twelve Steps to Normal by Farrah Penn (3/12)
A girl tries to piece her life back together after her father gets out of rehab for alcoholism. Ages 14 & up.
Fire Song by Adam Jones (3/13)
After his little sister’s suicide, a boy tries to face his feelings for his best friend as well as a future that looks nothing like he had hoped it would. Ages 14 & up.
Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles (3/20)
When a party turns violent, police are called in and shoot and kill an African American teen, leaving his twin brother to try to cope with the loss and understand police brutality. Ages 14 & up.
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan (3/20)
When her mother commits suicide, a girl believes she has turned into a bird and travels to Taiwan in search of her. Ages 14 & up.
Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi (3/27)
After a not-so-graceful first meeting, two teens communicate and fall in love via text message to avoid the awkwardness of in-person contact. Ages 14 & up.
And She Was by Jessica Verdi (3/27)
When she learns that her overprotective mother is transgender, a girl sets out on a roadtrip to learn about her family and come to term with her mother’s identity. Ages 14 & up.
Troublemakers by Catherine Barter (4/1)
A girl who was raised by her brother starts digging for information on her mother’s death and learns something about herself. Ages 13 & up.
Freefall Summer by Tracy Barrett (4/3)
When she falls for a college-age student of her father’s sky-diving drop zone, a teen lies about her age and soon finds her lies spiraling out of control. Ages 14 & up.
Folded Notes from High School by Matt Boren (4/3)
The most popular senior in school finds her worldview challenged when she falls for the freshman nobody who somehow got the lead in the school musical. Ages 14 & up.
Someday, Somewhere by Lindsay Champion (4/3)
A girl from a financially unstable family in Trenton falls for a gifted (and privileged) teen violinist she hears play at Carnegie Hall. Ages 12-18.
Losers Bracket by Chris Crutcher (4/3)
When her young nephew goes missing, a teen, her foster parents, and her social worker try to find him and keep him safe from her birth family. Ages 12-18.
As She Fades by Abbi Glines (4/3)
After a horrible car crash leaves her boyfriend in a coma, a girl finds herself falling for another boy as they spent endless hours in the hospital with their respective loved ones. Ages 14 & up.
Rebel with a Cupcake by Anna Mainwaring (4/3)
An unfortunate wardrobe malfunction leaves a girl feeling self-conscious about her weight and wondering if she should change herself to attract the boy of her dreams. Ages 12-18.
Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert (4/10)
A teen boy discovers a box of secrets in his parents’ closet and learns shocking truths about his family and the life he thought he knew. Ages 14 & up.
Sam and Ilsa’s Last Hurrah by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (4/18)
Twins’ intense sibling rivalry brings plenty of drama to a blowout graduation party. Ages 14 & up.
A Prom to Remember by Sandy Hall (4/24)
Five very different students have different experiences attending the same prom. Ages 14 & up.
Stay Sweet by Siobhan Vivian (4/24)
When the feminist owner of the ice cream stand passes away, one teen must decide whether to continue working there under the new management (the owner’s nephew) with whom she butts heads. Ages 12-18.
The Harper Effect by Taryn Bashford (5/1)
When she is kicked off the tennis team, a young athlete must figure out who she is outside of the sport that defined her. Ages 14 & up.
Ship It by Britta Lundin (5/1)
A fan-fiction writer and a TV actor clash at comic-con over whether the actor’s character might be gay and the fall-out is a growing experience for both. Ages 14 & up.
Summer Constellations by Alisha Sevigny (5/1)
A girl is conflicted when she learns that her summer romance has been with the son of the developer who is planning to turn the campground into a resort–until he offers to help her thwart his father’s plans. Ages 14 & up.
A Lite Too Bright by Samuel Miller (5/8)
The grandson of a famous novelist who disappeared in the last week of his life embarks on a journey to uncover the truth about his grandfather’s death. Ages 14 & up.
Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch (5/8)
After stumbling upon a travel guide to Ireland, a teen embarks on a roadtrip to restore her relationship with her brother and mend a broken heart. Ages 14 & up.
Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff (5/15)
A romantic vacation goes awry when a girl catches her boyfriend cheating and then winds up stranded at the airport with him. Ages 14 & up.
From Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon (5/22)
Through letters to female filmmakers (her professional idols), a girl chronicles her creation of a film festival entry, and the unexpected romantic complications that come along with it. Ages 14 & up.
Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton (5/22)
After a near death experience, a jock decides to make his school a better place and enlists the aid of a bullied “nobody” to go after the people who are ruining it. Ages 13 & up.
Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth (5/29)
A teen desperate to move off of the reservation meets a girl who just moved back on and together they try to navigate the challenges of racism, finding an artistic voice, and of course, winning a rock band competition. Ages 14 & up.
Mariam Sharma Hits the Road by Sheba Karim (6/5)
To escape the wrath of one girl’s parents, three Pakistani-American teens embark on a spontaneous whirlwind of a roadtrip.
Save the Date by Morgan Matson (6/5)
A teen imagines that her sister’s wedding weekend will be a perfect reunion with her older siblings–just like old times–but instead, chaos ensues. Ages 13 & up.
Always, Forever, Maybe by Anica Rissi (6/5)
A girl starts keeping secrets from her best friend lest she judge her boyfriend as he gets increasingly possessive. Ages 14 & up.
Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone (6/5)
After a terrible fight in which they both said unforgivable things, two teens face a seemingly insurmountable rift in their friendship. Ages 13 & up.
The Summer of Us by Cecilia Vinesse (6/5)
On a post-high school roadtrip through Europe, five friends must confront secrets and tensions that threaten their friendships. Ages 14 & up.
The Year of Living Awkwardly by Emma Chastain (7/3)
Life gets awkward when a girl loses out on a part in the school musical and her former best friends are wrapped up in their own problems and hanging out with the most popular girl in school. Ages 12-18.
The Impossibility of Us by Katy Upperman (7/31)
After her brother is killed in Afghanistan, a girl coincidentally falls in love with an Afghan boy, to the discomfort of her family. Ages 14 & up.
When Princess Anna of Trallonia hears her older sister Morven scream, she isn’t sure whether it is a big deal or not. After all, screaming is one of Morven’s favorite pastimes. It turns out to be sort of a big deal. Anna’s step-step-father, the Evil Duke Rikard, has turned Morven’s latest suitor into a frog. After swearing an oath to change him back, Anna learns that the task may be more complicated than she thought, as it will require a magic lip balm with ingredients such as the blood of a retired druid and freshly plucked cockatrice feathers. More troubling is the news that Duke Rikard plans to have her killed. So Anna and Ardent, the royal dog, set off on their quest for the magic lip balm, collecting a gaggle of transformed creatures along the way.
Hilarious, quirky, yet grounded by relevant social commentary, this fairytale is delightful from beginning to end. I highly recommend it to teen and tween fantasy readers!
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 8–12.
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.
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)
A 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.
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.
Magnus has been homeless for the past two years–ever since he saw his mother murdered by the wolves with the glowing blue eyes. He has been avoiding the police (because who would believe his story?) and avoiding his Uncle Randolph because those were his mother’s last words to him. But when his Uncle Frederick and cousin Annabeth show up in Boston looking for him and hinting that he might be in danger, Magnus decides to break into Randolph house and look for some answers–or at least some free food. Unfortunately, Randolph catches him in the act and whisks him away to Longfellow Bridge muttering something about Norse gods, his mother’s death, and his life being in danger. At first Magnus thinks that his uncle is crazy, but after he is able to summon a magical sword from the depths of the river and is subsequently killed by a Norse fire god, he is convinced otherwise. Magnus winds up in the Norse afterlife at Hotel Valhalla with a bunch of other heroic dead kids who are waiting for the end of the world. But the end may be closer than everyone thinks, and Magnus finds himself on a whirlwind quest with a Valkyrie, an elf, and a dwarf to face the wolf that had his mother killed and stop the apocalypse.
Enjoyable, but no Percy Jackson. Magnus has plenty of exciting adventures, but his brief time at Hotel Valhalla is not enough to establish meaningful ties with the other residents, who are all underdeveloped. It is no match for Camp Half-Blood with its internal rivalries, friendships, shifting alliances, and everything else that made the demigod summer camp experience so relatable–and an experience the reader could wistfully daydream about having. I enjoyed the book and will definitely read the sequels, but if you want to really get hooked on Rick Riordan (or get another reader hooked on Rick Riordan) definitely start with The Lightning Thief.
It’s not that Zach doesn’t care what other kids think of him. He does his best to hide his secret imaginative life from his friends on the basketball team. But it’s worth the risk of getting caught in order to keep playing the game with Poppy and Alice. When Zach is being William the Blade, it is like his whole identity changes; he becomes a pirate. And the creepy bone China doll they pretend is their queen really seems to have deadly powers. When Zach’s dad throws away all of his action figures, Zach feels like his world is falling apart. He can’t get up the courage to tell Poppy and Alice why he can’t play anymore. But the bone China doll isn’t about to let Zach go so easily. A ghost appears to Poppy in a dream and suddenly Zach and his friends find themselves on a real adventure every bit as dangerous and magical as any of their games.
This creepy adventure story combines the family and friendship tensions of growing up with an intriguing ghost story. I wouldn’t call it scary, but it definitely has a chilling tone at times. The main thrust of the book, however, is the evolving character relationships and Zach’s coming of age. I would recommend this book to middle grade readers who enjoy fantasy adventures set in the real world.
There are some cliff-hangers just itching to be resolved this year! Here are some of the 2014 sequels and series finales for books that I’ve blogged the past couple of years.
Hollow City by Ransom Riggs — released January 2014
The long, long, long awaited sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children has finally arrived! I just started it, and a quick piece of advice–make sure you either remember Miss Peregrine really well or you reread it before you start Hollow City. The sequel picks up exactly where book one left off and it doesn’t give you many reminders. I know those cheesy shoe-horned in summaries used to drive me nuts when I was a kid (“The main character thought back on his previous year, which had included so many important plot points, such as. . . . “), but now that I don’t have time to reread an entire series every time a new book comes out I’m kind of lost without them. Just one of the many downsides of adulthood.
The Boy in the Smoke by Maureen Johnson — February 24, 2014
What we really want is a sequel to The Madness Underneath because of the cliff-hanger-of-shock-and-weeping. But instead she’s giving us a novella prequel to tide us over. At least we’ll get to hear about Stephen’s childhood. Not that it will be so much comforting as increase our anxiety and anticipation for . . .
The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson — September 16, 2014
Ok, Maureen. Make with the resolution already.
File Under: 13 Suspicious Incidents by Lemony Snicket — April 1, 2014
Speaking of prequels and teasers, 13 short mystery stories starring detective Lemony Snicket will be coming out this April. But what we are really waiting for is . .
Shouldn’t You Be in School? by Lemony Snicket–September 30, 2014
Book three in the All the Wrong Questions series.
Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan — October 7, 2014
Percy Jackson’s final installment (take two) will be released this fall and answer all of our burning questions. Will Gaea’s evil plan succeed and the mortal world perish!? Ok, we can probably guess the answer to that one. But is he going to kill off one of the demigods? I don’t know about you guys, but that prophecy has me kind of antsy… Any guesses about who might break their oath with a final breath?