Aru Shah and the End of Time is the opening title in Rick Riordan's "Rick Riordan Presents" imprint, which will publish fantasy titles by authors from underrepresented communities incorporating their cultures' mythology/folklore into their stories. I'm super excited, since fantasy can certainly use more diversity. This has already received outstanding reviews!
Erin Peabody continues her awesome Behind the Legend series with Dragons; each title examines the history of legendary figures/creatures such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, unicorns, and more. (Have my fingers crossed for a UFO/aliens title soon!)
Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors was immediately popular at all three of our library locations when we received our copies, so I'm sure that Crescent Moons and Painted Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes will be just as successful. Author Hena Khan is also the author of one of my favorite 2017 reads, Amina's Voice.
I adore the Jasmine Toguchi series; it's one of my new favorites. Jasmine Toguchi, Drummer Girl continues the series that introduces a piece of Japanese culture into each story (this one involves a taiko drum).
Love Double Dutch! follows Kayla, a double dutch competitor, whose competition days are in jeopardy when she moves to North Carolina. Doreen Spicer-Donnelly created the Disney Channel's Jump In movie, so she knows her double dutch stuff.
Martial arts figure skating, people! I am definitely ready for Peasprout Chen: Future Legend of Skate and Sword, which has received amazing reviews.
I'm sorry that Rescue and Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship won't be here in time for our Thunder Dog related programs about senses and animal careers for children/teens, because I know it's going to be a massive hit. Rescue had plans to be a Seeing Eye Dog, but the powers-that-be decided that he should be a service dog instead. When he meets Jessica, a young girl whose life has changed dramatically and suddenly, he realizes and understands his new purpose as they ultimately rescue each other. This is based on the real-life experiences of Jessica Kensky, who underwent double leg amputee surgeries (she and her co-author/husband are survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing; the background of her injuries are discussed in the author's endnote and not in the main narrative).
I'm enjoying HarperCollins Christian's relaunch of the Faithgirlz brand; while not great literature, they are fun reads for those looking for contemporary Christian titles written for tweens. Shining Night continues the Lena in the Spotlight series, which features a young girl who finds fame after starring in a popular Christian film (much like Alena Pitts, the young co-author of the series).
Honestly, I'm not a big fan of "The House That Jack Built" stories as read alouds. They tend to aggravate and bore me as I read them aloud. However, I've looked at several excerpts from This is the Nest That Robin Built that it might be an exception (it's also by the fabulous Denise Fleming).
Tournament Trouble starts a new series (Cross Ups) about video game tournaments; will be popular with many readers!
I am normally not a big science fiction/fantasy fan, but we have three new/upcoming YA fantasy titles that I cannot wait to read:
The Belles features a society in which beauty is tightly controlled; people are born naturally grey and must rely on The Belles to transform their looks. This has already shot up the bestseller charts AND has amazing reviews.
By the time you read this, Children of Blood and Bone will have debuted its #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list. This West African inspired fantasy has already been hailed by Entertainment Weekly and Teen Vogue, so it should be a monster hit.
I'm not sure what to expect when I read Dread Nation, but having followed Justina Ireland on Twitter during the final publication process (and its pre-publication buzz), I'm ready for this Civil War alternative history horror novel to be a knockout read.
I really enjoyed Siobhan Vivian's The List, so I'm super excited about Stay Sweet. It's a story about an ice cream parlor in the summer; who wouldn't want to read that?
I'll be Gone in the Dark is also burning up the bestseller lists and racking up superb reviews (this is why snobbery about bestsellers annoys me, but don't get me started). Michelle McNamara was investigating one of the most notorious cold cases in California history when she suddenly died two years ago; her book was completed by her lead researcher. Stephen King thinks it's an amazing read.
The mania over Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton musical has inspired an uptick in Hamilton-related books (including YA author Melissa de la Cruz's series). My Dear Hamilton follows Eliza Schuyler Hamilton's coming of age during the American Revolution; the colonial and Revolution time periods are some of my favorite time periods, but not a very popular time for historical fiction, so I'm super excited.
On Brassard's Farm is reportedly an honest look at farm life, which I'd much rather read than the umpteenth story about buying land and interacting with the quirky local people (doubly so if it's set in the South or abroad).
One of my very favorite books when I was a middle school student was this big, beautiful book about Andrew Lloyd Webber's life and career up to the Aspects of Love musical/end of second marriage time period (I was a musicals-obsessed child, but not so much anymore). It was gorgeous, and since the man has had a rather tumultuous personal and business life, somewhat revealing (Oh, we have a copy! If I didn't have a million books checked out, I would look at it for nostalgia reasons. I recommend it.). I just checked out Unmasked and I so want to read it immediately, but I have other things to finish first. Memoirs can be tricky things as opposed to biographies, as you're relying on someone's personal recollections and explanations of one's tumultuous personal and business life, but can still be worthwhile reads (even if you're side-eyeing what you're reading).
Varina is a historical novel about the (much younger) wife of Jefferson Davis; I had a mixed reaction when I read a recent transcript of a recent GalleyChat praising the book (Civil War historical fiction is not really my thing), but I'm going to give it a try, since many on GalleyChat loved it.
To keep up with the latest additions to our collection, subscribe to Wowbrary!
Jennifer Schultz, Youth Services Librarian, Fauquier County Public Library