BOOK NEWS: September 12, 2017

It’s Patriot Day in the United States today. If you are looking for books for kids/teens that talk about the events of September 11, 2001, I can recommend America Is Under Attack; Nine, Ten; and All We Have Left. You can also find more suggestions here.

There are lots of great books releasing this week. Let’s take a look:

Books for Kids


The Nutcracker: A BabyLit Dance Primer – I love that classic books and other works are being turned into board books for the youngest readers. This one comes out just in time for the holiday season.
Book of Gold – A boy looks for a special book that turns to gold and contains the answers to every question. I’m curious about this one.
Fly Guy’s Big Family – Book 17 in the Fly Guy series. I loved having these in the library at school because they were great stories that students enjoyed that were written at a fairly simple reading level.
His Royal Highness King Baby: A Terrible True Story – This sibling rivalry tale takes a royal spin when the main character, who considers herself the princess in the family, loses her prime role to a new baby.
Imagine That: How Dr. Seuss Wrote the Cat in the Hat – A picture book biography of Dr. Seuss that specifically looks at the journey to publication for The Cat in the Hat. Two fabulous authors/illustrators put this one together; I think it will be excellent.
Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library – A picture book biography about Arturo Schomburg, a man with a passion for African-American history whose personal book collection was the cornerstone of what has become the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. How cool! I can’t wait to read this one!
The Disastrous Magical Wishes of Classroom 13 – Book 2 in the Classroom 13 series. An unlucky teacher finds a genie in a lamp, and the genie offers each student one wish. What could go wrong with that?
The Great Troll Quest – Book 5 in the Ella and Owen series about twin dragons. These early chapter books are darling!
Hero Dog! – A new series from Branches based on a true story. These are written by a young girl who is a reporter in real life and the books are based on stories she wrote as a reporter. I am so excited about this new series!
Judy Moody Tooth Fairy – I am a huge Judy Moody fan. I love these full color short chapter books for young readers who aren’t yet ready for Judy and her brother Stink’s full books – or who just want shorter adventures with their favorite characters.
Just Dance – A girl takes over a newspaper column for the summer where she is supposed to report about anything exciting going on in town. This sounds like a sweet story.
Roar of the Thunder Dragon – Book 8 in the Dragon Masters series from Branches. Branches books are my favorite things to recommend for young readers branching out into short chapter books.

Books for Older Kids/Teens/Young Adults

Abby in Wonderland – Book 9 in the Whatever After series about Abby and her brother who have a habit of falling into fairy tales and changing the story. This is a cute series!
Caleb and Kit – A boy with cystic fibrosis meets a mysterious girl who changes his life but it’s not clear if she is changing it for the better or for the worse. This sounds terrific.
The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole – A girl’s friendship with a lonely black hole helps her see her own loneliness. This is a unique premise, but the heart of the story sounds right up my alley. This is on my list.
Deadzone – Horizon, book 2. This particular book is by the spectacular Jennifer Nielsen. This series is about a group of kids who crash in what should be the arctic, but instead they find themselves in a secret jungle. This is the sort of series that has an overarching story arc, but each book is written by a different author. These have been super popular. The 39 Clues, Infinity Ring, The Voyagers series,  work like this. Very fun.
The Dragon of Fortune – First there was Geronimo Stilton, a mouse reporter. Then there were themed books like Journey Through Time and Cavemice . Then there was the Kingdom of Fantasy series. This is the second “Special Edition” in that series. My students couldn’t get enough of these books when I was teaching.
The Exact Location of Home – The latest from Kate Messner is a treat! I am reviewing this one tomorrow.
The Explorer – A group of kids must survive in the Amazon after their plane crashes. Books like this tend to stress me out, but my students always loved them. If you have kids who love survival/adventure novels, check this one out.
The Great Hibernation – All of the adults in a community fall into a deep sleep, and the kids are left to fend for themselves. This book was initially on my list because I love the author, Tara Dairman’s All Four Stars series. But the premise of this one is too good to pass up. This is high on my list for this week.
The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match – Book 2 in the Great Shelby Holmes series. I discovered I not only had a copy of book one on my TBR shelves, but I actually had two! I really, really wanted to read that book. I have popped this one up to the top of my pile. I’m really eager to check it out. I love middle grade mysteries.
In the Deep Blue Sea – Book 2 in the Jack and the Geniuses series about three foster kids who work with a scientist. Two of the kids are brilliantly smart. Jack is more street smart than book smart, and this time he is trying to solve a mysterious sabotage at an electricity plant that harvests energy from the ocean. I loved book one! Great for kids who love science!
The Journey Home – Book 2 in the Wilder Boys series. I wrote about book one last month. After traveling across the country to find their father, now the boys are trying to get home. This sounds like a terrific adventure series. It’s a reprint of a previously released book, now under the MAX line. I’d love to read both of these books.
Swing It Sunny – Sequel to Sunny Side Up. In this graphic novel, Sunny is back home after a summer with her grandfather in Florida, but nothing back at home is what she expected. I really enjoyed book one. Looking forward to this one.
Z on Location – From the folks at American Girl comes book 2 in the Z Yang series about an aspiring film maker. I missed book one, but this looks really cute. I know so many kids who want to do their own videos and films. A timely series.
Where is Easter Island?
Where is the Mississippi River?
The Final Spark – The 7th and final book in the Michael Vey series about a kid with electrical powers. I have book 1 on my TBR shelves. I need to get caught up on this one.
Lone Stars – A football coach who used to play for the Dallas Cowboys starts to show the side effects of numerous concussions, and his prize player wants to help him. I tear up just reading the description. I will definitely be reading this.
Slider – A kid decides to compete in a pizza-eating competition to win money to pay off what he put on his mom’s credit card. There are extra nuances to this story with an autistic younger brother and some friend issues. This is an older-middle grade/teen story that sounds great.
Warcross – Warcross is a video game that has become a way of life. A teen hacker works as a bounty hunter to find those who illegally bet on the game. She’s so good at what she does, she is invited to be a spy in this year’s international championships. Of course there is more going on in the game than anyone expects. This book has been at the top of my September wish list since I first heard about it. I have several Marie Lu books on my TBR shelves, but this one will likely get read before I even tackle any of her previous series. I have already requested this from the library.

Books for Adults

Asking for Truffle – First in the Southern Chocolate Shop Mystery series! Chocolate is definitely a “must buy” trigger for me. This book is on my wish list.
Body on Baker Street – Book 2 in the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop Mysteries. I have book one on my wish list – anything with a book store is automatically going to be on my reading list!
Cat Got Your Secrets – Book 3 in the Kitty Couture Mystery series about a pet boutique. I would love to try one of these soon.
Death at the Seaside – Book 8 an the Kate Shackleton mystery series. The covers of these books always catch my eye! I haven’t read any of the books, but I would love to try one out. These take place in 1920s England. If you are fan of English mysteries or historical mysteries, check this series out!
Doom with a View – Book 2 in the Merry Ghost Inn series about a woman and her grandmother who open a bed and breakfast with a ghost. I will be reviewing this book later this week.
Who Is the Black Panther? – A new novel based on the comic series from 2005. I prefer novels to comics (although, I do love comics), so I am looking forward to reading this one. Marvel is producing more of these (Planet Hulk will come out in October). I don’t know if the stories will line up with the new movies this fall/winter or if they are just capitalizing on popular characters due to the movies.
Anxious for Nothing – This is the cornerstone piece of Max Lucado’s latest batch of products, this time addressing anxiety, focusing specifically on Philippians 4:6-7. I love Lucado’s work, but on this particular topic, I am hesitant. I don’t know if this is looking at a more generalized anxiety that everyone experiences from time to time or if it is meant to address a clinical level of anxiety. I’d like to see this one in person.
Back and Forth: Using an Editor’s Mindset to Improve Student Writing – For writing teachers.
Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone – The latest by Brené Brown, author of Daring Greatly and Rising Strong, focuses on what it means to truly belong in our current culture. This is an author I buy automatically. I have pre-ordered this one, and I’m looking forward to digging into it.
Finish: Give Yourself the Gift of Done – My philosophy is that if Jon Acuff wrote it, I need to read it. I follow his social media, all of his many newsletters, and I have even gone to another state to see him at a signing. I have given up on most of the other “personalities” I followed because they seemed to only want to sell me something. Jon seems to want to help me. He provides a lot of free content that I can use. Then, when he does have something to sell, I am happy to shell out my money. I pre-ordered this one weeks ago (Jon offers lots of pre-order incentives), so I just have to wait by my mailbox for this one!
The Four Tendencies: The Indispensable Personality Profiles that Reveal How to Make Your Life Better – This is the latest book from Gretchen Rubin (The Happiness Project). Since I enjoy her work and LOVE anything about personality type, this one is on my list.
Less Fret, More Faith: An 11-Week Action Plan to Overcome Anxiety – As I mentioned, Max Lucado has a new book and other materials out this week that look at anxiety. I am curious to see this particular piece – a “pass along booklet” – in person.
Stan Lee: The Man Behind Marvel (September 15th) – We are big Stan Lee fans in my family! We even met him several years ago at a convention. This is the sort of biography that our whole family would read.
Star Wars Cross Stitch – I used to do cross stitch quite a bit, but I have gotten away from that the last few years. But these fun patterns could get me to pick up a needle again.
Unshakable Trust: Finding the Joy of Trusting God at All Times in All Things – New from Joyce Meyer is a book on trust. I love Joyce’s teaching, but the last book I tried was not a good fit for me. I prefer the books that are a Bible study to the ones that are just anecdotes and general “self-help.” I’ll be checking this one out in person.

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