Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Tween Reads

Tween Reads
December 2015
"A library doesn’t need windows… We have books, which are windows into worlds we never even dreamed possible."
~ from Chris Grabenstein's Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
Recent Releases
House Arrest
by K.A. Holt

Novel in Verse. Home and school: these are the only two places that 12-year-old Timothy is allowed to go after he's caught with a stolen wallet. Though he was just trying to help his struggling single mom pay for his baby brother's medical treatments, he's sentenced to house arrest, as well as to visits with a psychologist and a probation officer, and to keeping a journal for a whole year. These journal entries, written in easy-to-read free verse, offer readers a window into Timothy's stress, anger, hope, and snarky humor. For another story in which a journal reveals the inner life of a so-called delinquent, pick up Mark Goldblatt's Twerp.
No True Echo
by Gareth P. Jones

Science Fiction. Eddie Dane's boring life gets a lot more exciting after the arrival of eccentric, attractive Scarlett White. Sure, Scarlett's behavior is cagey and her questions about his mother's death are a bit personal. But it's not until after he witnesses a shocking murder and gets caught in a repeating time loop -- always returning to the day he meets Scarlett -- that Eddie realizes he should have asked a few more questions of his own. If you like this intricate, thought-provoking tale about teens traveling through time to prevent disaster, you may also enjoy the time-twisting suspense and romance of Cristin Terrill's All Our Yesterdays.
A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic
by Lisa Papademetriou

Fantasy. One unusual old book links two very different girls in this lighthearted, offbeat fantasy. Kai is spending the summer with her quirky grandmother in Texas, while Leila is visiting her dad's family in Pakistan. Yet when each girl discovers and writes in a copy of The Exquisite Corpse, she's able to see the other's writing! As Kai and Leila write up their summer experiences, The Exquisite Corpse's plot (an old-fashioned romance) is gradually revealed…and altered. If you relish intriguing books that encourage you to find connections between multiple storylines and points of view, you don't want to miss A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic
The Lightning Queen
by Laura Resau

Magical Realism. For Teo and Esma, destiny strikes during their childhood in the 1950s, when Esma and her Romani family visit Teo's Mixteco community in the dusty Mexican mountains. Teo is grieving the loss of his twin sister, but spirited Esma (who calls herself the "Queen of Lightning") puts "the spark of life" back in him. Though Esma's fortune-teller grandmother predicts that their friendship will be lifelong, even lasting into the lives of their grandchildren, readers are fast-forwarded to the present day, where older Teo and Esma have lost touch. Can their grandchildren figure out how to reunite them so they can fulfill their destiny? Find out in this magical and deeply moving read. 
Codes and Puzzles
The Tomorrow Code
by Brian Falkner

Science Fiction/Thriller. When New Zealand teenagers Tane and Rebecca receive a desperate SOS from their future selves, they embark on a dangerous quest to stop an impending ecological disaster that could mean the end of humanity. A scientific experiment gone horribly awry threatens the planet with lethal organisms as Tane and Rebecca race against time to unravel the clues in the messages they continue to receive. This adrenaline-pumping eco-thriller includes plenty of codes and puzzles alongside the action and will have readers on the edges of their seats to the final page.
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library
by Chris Grabenstein

Mystery. After billionaire game designer Luigi Lemoncello builds a cutting-edge new library in their town, Kyle Keeley and a dozen other 12-year-olds win the opportunity to preview the new building during an overnight lock-in. Once they're inside, however, they're given a challenge: they've got to find their way out of the library using only the resources they find in the library. Cool technology, sly gaming references, and bookish in-jokes combine with clever puzzles in this "instantly engaging and wildly creative mystery" (Booklist). A sequel, Mr. Lemoncello's Library Olympics, is due out in January 2016.
Code: A Virals Novel
by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs

Science Fiction. As a hurricane barrels toward their South Carolina island home, 14-year-old Tory Brennan and her friends are caught up in a deadly puzzle. It began as a geocaching game, a fun way for Tory and her "pack" of fellow Virals (human teens with wolf DNA) to use their skills. But as the elaborately coded caches become more dangerous, the mysterious "Gamemaster" grows more threatening, leaving Tory desperate to find and destroy a final, explosive cache before the storm hits. Third in the thrilling Virals series, Code can be read as a standalone, but if you're curious about the origin of Tory's pack, you'll want to start with the 1st book, Virals.
The Expeditioners and the Treasure of Drowned Man's Canyon
by S.S. Taylor

Fantasy. In a futuristic world characterized by retro-steampunk technology and previously unknown lands, Kit West and his siblings, Zander and M.K., are devastated by the mysterious disappearance of their father, a famous explorer who ran afoul of the corrupt Bureau of Newly Discovered Lands. After discovering a map hidden by their father, the West kids race to follow it to a hidden treasure, eluding government agents and giant green slugs along the way. Fans of fantasy adventures such as Rick Riordan's various demigod series and Philip Reeve's Larklight trilogy are sure to enjoy this 1st book in the Expeditioners series, and may want to keep reading through the 2nd book, The Expeditioners and the Secret of King Triton's Lair.

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