Eventually, we'll get colder weather, perfect for staying indoors and catching up on new books. Keep these books in mind:
Hereville: How Mirka Got Her Sword
I am on pins and needles for this book. I am DYING to read this book. Have I exaggerated enough? I don't think so. Who is Mirka? As the cover reveals, she's "yet another troll-fighting 11 year old Orthodox Jewish girl." This is getting *fantastic* reviews. There's humor, adventure, and (Orthodox) Jewish culture and customs. Aaaaand....it's a graphic novel. Hello! Who's with me on this one?
Three Quarters Dead
Wooo! Richard Peck has a new ghost story/horror story. This one involves the popular girls' clique at school...uh oh.
Five Flavors of Dumb
Piper becomes the manager of her classmates' band, with all the headaches and drama that entail. According to the reviews, it's also an honest and engaging portrayal of a teen who happens to be deaf (rather than a story about a "teen deaf character"). Read what the reviews say about this and tell me if you're just as excited to read this as I am: Piper "learns important lessons about music and music hype, while growing closer to her family and friends in the process" (Publishers Weekly") and "[M]aking Piper the manager of a rock band never feels like a cheap trick (pardon the pun) because Piper is not a Great Deaf Character but a great character who is deaf(Kirkus Reviews)." And for those of you who came of age in the 90s and still harbor a deep down desire to chuck it all and move to Seattle, you'll want to check this out. Wow-sign me up for that!
I am loving Nikki Grimes's Dyamonde Daniel series. She's such a fun character. In her latest saga, Nikki gets mad at her mother when she won't buy her expensive high-top sneakers. She NEEDS those sneakers. Her mother, in a "scary-soft" voice (love that), decides that Dyamonde needs to learn the difference between "wants" and "needs." Horn Book says that it's "an honest yet funny look at life in families where money is an ongoing issue." Boy, do we need this story now! Fantastic. This series gets better and better.
Sam's a hacker who just may end up saving his country. Kirkus calls this "geektastic" and a "cyberthriller that reads like a video game."
Any story involving kids, candy, and adventure will undoubtedly be compared to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. But, as the success of The Candy Shop War and other stories show, children find candy-related stories irresistable. 4 children compete to make delectables for the Confectionery Association Conference. Mystery over a missing ingredient sets off the real hijinks. School Library Journal recommends this for The Mysterious Benedict Society fans, of which there are many.
Chick -n- Pug
A little chick, enamoured with the superhero in his favorite book, seeks adventures just like his favorite hero. Oh, CUTE.
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares
The publisher is out of stock on this title, but our copies are already here and waiting to be processed. Boo yah! Set in New York during Christmas-time, this involves a pair of teens dashing around Manhattan and tracking down clues. It seems to be in the same hipster mode as the authors' previous collaboration, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist, but it doesn't seem as edgy or provocative as that one. I just know there's a late night Christmas/Hanukkah mosh pit. I'm really, really eager to read it.
Don't Want to Go
I adore Shirley Hughes's picture books. If you're not familiar with them, you are definitely missing out! The stories feature realistic and everyday emotions of children, and the illustrations are calm and warm pastels. Lily's mom is sick and dad can't take time off from work, so Lily must go to a family friend's house. Of course, Lily is not keen on this plan. Luckily, Melanie is a patient and child-friendly person. At the end of the day, Lily's father arrives to pick her up, but Lily, naturally, doesn't want to go!
Young Tom Edison is the "double great" grandson of the famous inventor. When he discovers a centuries-old family secret, he is thrown into a high-stakes mystery that just may prevent his family from moving. It's received excellent reviews and sounds like a fun adventure-mystery novel, with some biographical information about Thomas Edison thrown in.
The Fortune of Carmen Navarro
Another YA retelling of a classic story? Luckily, I'm loving the ones I've read so far, so keep bringing them on as long as they're well-written. Told from the perspectives of four teens, The Fortune of Carmen Navarro is the tragic (I'm taking a wild guess) story of musically inclined independent Carmen and besotted military cadet Ryan. The Fortune of Carmen Navarro is based on the opera, Carmen, and on the short story upon which the opera was based. Interestingly enough, Walter Dean Myers has also written a YA novel based on Carmen, out in Spring 2011.
Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing
I'm not sure how many teens even know who Janis Joplin was, but this has received so much attention that I felt like I should order it for the library and check out the response. It would definitely be a unique choice for a Women's History Month assignment, and young tragic rock and movie stars really never lose their aura. The author spoke and wrote extensively with Joplin's family and friends, which adds to the strength and appeal of the book. I know only a little bit about Joplin's sadly short life, so I will absolutely check this out when it's on the shelves.
King of Ithaka
Hey, hey, hey! School Library Journal just named this one of the best books of the year. Very cool. King of Ithaka tells the story of The Odyssey from Telemachos's, the son of Odysseus, point of view.
Neko Ramen 1: Hey! Order Up!
A YA graphic novel (from Japan) about a cat running a ramen restaurant. Yes, it may sound weird, but keep in mind that it's from Japan: they know how to do the trendy cute deal.
Pecan Pie Baby
Yes! A "new baby" story that happens to feature an African-American family. I am very happy. The author is fabulous, too.
Whoa! We already have three holds on this book. I'm not surprised. McKinley is famous for her gorgeous storytelling. Pegasus is the story of a young princess and her pegasus (winged horse). It's received superb reviews.
The Red Hen
I'm enjoying this father-daughter collaboration within the Emberley family. They've changed the Little Red Hen characters slightly, but the story ending is the same (hooray! I don't care for the "sanitized" versions of the fairy tales.). Can't wait to read this to my story time crowd.
Singing Away the Dark
I'm sure quite a few children in our county will relate to this story of walking to the bus stop on a dark winter morning (although perhaps not as long of a walk). The expansive dark of the rural countryside slowly awakening to the day has been illustrated to genius effect, according to the stellar reviews.
Sweet Treats and Secret Crushes
Sure, it's very early for Valentine's Day stories, but this sounded like such a winner that I couldn't resist. When seventh-grade friends are stuck in their Brooklyn apartment day during a Valentine's Day blizzard, they decide to make something out of the day by making fortune cookies and delivering them to their neighbors. There's the inevitable friendship and boy drama, of course, but nothing terribly shocking. These type of stories do well among our YA patrons, so I'm hoping that it's a success.
A Tale Dark and Grimm
Oh, hello. Adam Gidwitz has taken the lesser-known aspects (read: unsanitized) of the Grimm fairy tales and spun them into a novel. This debut novel has received outstanding reviews, but is not for the faint of heart, apparently!
Yikes! I better hurry up with the books I already have checked out before I start on these books! Hope you can find something here that you enjoy.