Historical Fiction. They may have escaped from the freak show where they used to perform,
but it's still hard for acrobat Clarissa and fur-covered, aspiring detective
Wild Boy to blend into everyday life in Victorian England. The two friends find allies in the secret crime-fighting society known as the Gentlemen, and are soon handed
a perilous case: to find the source and the antidote for a rare poison that’s spreading death and terror
throughout London -- all the way to the queen herself. This "thrilling, gory, head-rushing" (Kirkus Reviews)
sequel to Wild Boy is perfect for readers who like steampunk-style
Thriller. Princess X, the sword-swinging,
comic book superheroine created by fifth-grade friends May and Libby,
died on the day that Libby was killed in a car crash. So why is May, now
16, suddenly seeing stickers and graffiti featuring Princess X? It all
leads back to a recent underground
webcomic about the princess – a webcomic full of cryptic details which
indicate that Libby might be alive, in danger, and purposefully leaving
clues for May to find. Alternating between Princess X's illustrated
exploits and May's investigation (both on the
internet and in real-life Seattle), this techno-thriller is short,
savvy, and satisfying.
Since her mom died, 12-year-old Lily spends a lot of time taking care
of her four-year-old brother, Adam. Though it seems clear that Adam is
on the autism spectrum, Lily's
stepdad doesn't want to admit it, or seek out support for Adam. When
Adam meets and bonds with Nori, a wild dolphin being treated for cancer
at a local marine park, Lily is excited that Adam has found a friend.
But she can't help but wonder: is continuing Adam's
dolphin-assisted therapy worth keeping Nori in captivity? For another
realistically complicated look at family and human-animal relationships,
try Hurt Go Happy,
also by Ginny Rorby.
You'd think that the ability to see memories attached to objects would
be useful when starting a new school, but it's not much help to
eighth-grader Raine. She still has
to put up with the school's mean-girl clique, whose bullying seems more
sinister when memories reveal that they know more than they're telling
about the recent disappearance of fellow student Emily. Though following
Emily's memories becomes increasingly risky,
Raine feels compelled to find the missing girl. Combining authentic
middle school social drama with supernatural mystery, Raine's dogged
search for the truth is bound to keep you turning pages.
Fiction. As the only American Indian kid in the gifted program at a
mostly white school, seventh-grader Lewis Blake feels like he may as
well be from a different planet.
He's just about given up hope of making friends when he and new student
George connect over their shared love of the Beatles. Still, Lewis is
afraid that he can never be honest with George about his messed up
family and their life on the poverty-stricken reservation.
Set in 1975 against a backdrop of classic rock (there's even a playlist
included), If I Ever Get Out of Here
is an unhurried, authentic story of unlikely friendship.
Fiction. Breaking Gramps out of the nursing home wasn't the original plan. It's just the result of several disappointments for awkward,
eccentric Tyson. First,
his best friend ditched him because Tyson likes Taylor Swift more than
football. Then, his long-awaited hunting trip with Gramps was cancelled
due to Gramps' failing health (and some recent grizzly bear attacks in
the area). These setbacks only made Tyson more determined to prove his
worth as an outdoorsman, which is why he and Gramps are sneaking off for
some illicit elk hunting. But is Gramps' health
-- or Tyson's courage -- up to the challenge? Similar to Jack Gantos or
Jordan Sonnenblick, debut author Ryan Gebhart skillfully balances
realistic emotions with irreverent humor.
It's not exaggerating to say that Ana's life feels like a zoo -- after
all, her family lives in one. Moved there by her zookeeper parents, Ana
doesn't want her seventh grade
classmates to know about her unorthodox new neighborhood. Too bad her
famous grandfather is making a reality show about the family! Facing
unwanted fame and missing her best friend (who recently moved away), Ana
copes by making zoological "creature files" about
her classmates. Honest, funny, and poignant, Ana's story continues in
the sequel, How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel.
If a zoo sounds like your ideal habitat, you might also enjoy Stuart Gibb's Belly Up
Shortly before her 13th birthday, usually timid Tara gets caught trying
to steal a goat -- the school's mascot -- from the principal's office.
As punishment, Tara's parents
send her to spend the summer with her aunt and uncle in tiny Willow
Falls rather than taking her to Madagascar with them. But instead of the
boredom she expects, Tara finds mystery and a bit of magic in the
charmed little town and its unusual inhabitants. While
she may be shy, Tara has a lot of personality, and her wry narration is a
highlight of this companion novel to 11 Birthdays
and Finally. For more birthday tales full of colorful characters,
but touched by a good bit more magic, check out Ingrid Law's Savvy