Check out these exciting easy and fiction titles that were published in April.
ELEMENTARY PICTURE BOOKS
Away by Emil Sher (ill. Qin Leng). 9781554984831. 2017. Gr PK-2.
A young girl, wishing she could spend more time with her busy mom, is adamant that she is not going to summer camp, while her mother calmly assures her that she will have a good time. Their handwritten notes—some funny, some tender—tells the story.
The Blue Songbird by Vern Kousky. 9780762460663. 2017. Gr PK-3.
A little blue bird travels the world in search of a song only she can sing, and all the friends she meets along the way help her find a truly special and unique song.
The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken. 9780735227927. 2017. Gr PK-3.
Celebrate the beauty of mistakes in art by seeing how a mistake can be transformed into something wonderful.
Carrot & Pea : An Unlikely Friendship by Morag Hood. 9780544868427. 2017. Gr PK-1.
Colin the orange carrot slice is nothing like Lee and his little green pea friends, but, in the end, they still find a way to be pals.
Hand Over Hand by Alma Fullerton (ill. by Renne Benoit). 9781772600155. 2017. Gr K-3.
A young Filipino girl begs to go fishing with her grandfather, even though “fishing is not for girls.” He finally relents, despite the amusement of the other fishermen. They stop laughing when she makes the biggest catch!
Kings of the Castle by Victoria Turnbull. 9780763692957. 2017. Gr PK-2.
At the beach with his dog Boris, George (a monster) is building a sandcastle when a strange creature walks out of the sea. When it seems like the creature prefers his dog, George starts to walk away in disgust. Can the two monsters learn to communicate with each other?
The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors by Drew Daywalt (ill. by Adam Rex). 9780062438898. 2017. Gr K-2.
In the Kingdom of Backyard, the Empire of Mom’s Home Office, and the Kitchen Realm, there live Rock, Paper, and Scissors, unbeaten warriors who just want to find their match. As they go on their own journeys, they find each other and fight, and a legend is born.
Magic Spell by Julie Paschkis. 9781481422109. 2017. Gr K-2.
The Great Aziz can turn a dish into a fish, a rose into a hose, and more, but it’s his long-suffering assistant Zaza who keeps things from getting out of control. But when the magician turns Zaza’s wig into a pig, he might have gone too far!
Poor Louie by Tony Fucile. 9780763658281. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Louie the pooch’s days were perfect with Mom and Dad until Mom’s stomach started growing larger and larger. He really gets worried when they start bringing home two of everything. Is there double trouble ahead for Louie?
Ready, Set, Build! by Meg Fleming (ill. by Meg Jarvis). 9781499801750. 2017. Gr PK-1.
Head out with a builder and his friend through a day of work—planning, digging, lifting, and building. What are they making?
Rolling Thunder by Kate Messner (ill. by Greg Ruth). 9780545470124. 2017. Gr K-2.
Follow the motorcycles—all ridden by veterans—on the Rolling Thunder Ride for Freedom, a demonstration held every Memorial Day in Washington DC. The Ride honors the men and women of the American armed forces.
Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler. 9780062424327. 2017. Gr PK-2.
When Jonah decides he wants to rule the playground, he draws up maps, plants his flag, and becomes King Jonah. Everyone agrees to obey his rules in order to play on the playground—except Lennox. Lennox wants to rule as queen instead! When she and Jonah go to war, they drive all the other children away. They decide to give up their crowns and kingdoms to make the playground fun again.
Shawn Loves Sharks by Curtis Manley (ill. by Tracy Subisak). 9781626721340. 2017. Gr PK-3.
Shawn loves sharks and is so excited when his teacher says they will all be doing reports on predators to share with the class. But the topic of sharks goes to his nemesis, Stacy, and Shawn is assigned the leopard seal—how lame. What will he do when Stacy finds out that leopard seals are a shark’s prey?!
Stop Feedin’ da Boids! by James Sage (ill. by Pierre Pratt). 9781771386135. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Swanda is sad to leave the wildlife behind and move to New York City, but when she discovers pigeons live there she decides she can feed them. However, Swanda soon learns that it is a bad idea to feed one pigeon, because one pigeon soon becomes too many to handle.
Town Is by the Sea by Joanne Schwartz (ill. by Sydney Smith). 9781554988716. 2017. Gr 1-3.
A young boy spends a simple, uneventful day by the sea, his mind is never far from his father, who spends his day digging for coal deep in the mine.
A Walk in the Forest by Maria Dek. 9781616895693. 2017. Gr PK-1.
Follow a young boy as he discovers the wonders—real and imaginary—in the forest.
Zebra on the Go by Jill Nogales (ill. by Lorraine Rocha). 9781561459117. 2017. Gr PK-3.
When children are angry with parents, they threaten to run away to the circus. But where does the circus run away to?
ELEMENTARY CHAPTER BOOKS
At the Bottom of the World (Jack and the Geniuses, Book 1) by Bill Nye & Gregory Mone. 9781419723032. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Traveling to Antarctica for a prestigious science competition, Jack and his genius foster siblings, Ava and Matt, become caught up in a mystery involving a missing scientist.
The Banana-Leaf Ball : How Play Can Change the World by Katie Smith Milway (ill. by Shane W. Evans). 9781771383318. 2017. Gr 4-6.
When Deo’s family flees their home in Burundi, they end up in a refugee camp where resources are scarce. When a bully named Remy targets Deo, Deo takes comfort in making a banana-leaf ball to play with. Then a coach arrives to show the kids how to play soccer and things begin to change for Deo and Remy. Includes a real-life example of Deo, and a list of organizations that are using sport and play to change the world.
Charlie & Mouse (Book 1) by Laurel Snyder (ill. by Emily Hughes). 9781452131535. 2017. Gr 1-4.
This early chapter book (the beginning of a series) follows two imaginative brothers through a day spent together.
The End of the Wild by Nicole Helget. 9780316245111. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Fern likes to spend time in the forest behind her rundown home, where she lives with her father, who suffers from PTSD. Her mother and brother died in an accident, and the forest is safe and comforting-until the arrival of a fracking company threatens to ruin her refuge.
The Explorers : The Door in the Alley (Explorers, Book 1) by Adrienne Kress. 9781101940051. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Sebastian hates to take risks and always follows the rules until he crosses paths with a pig in a tiny hat, finds a door in an alley that opens to the home of a very secret society, and discovers a mysterious puzzle box. Evie, an orphan, is sad but safe in a boarding school until thugs chase her, looking for a key. When the two meet, they realize that the puzzle box might hold the secret to finding Evie’s grandfather and his group of daring explorers.
Henry and the Chalk Dragon by Jennifer Trafton. 9780986381881. 2017. Gr 3-5.
Henry’s chalk drawing of a dragon on the door of his room comes alive and stows away in his lunchbox. The dragon wreaks havoc in Henry’s classroom and in the entire school—and Henry must use all of his imagination to capture it and save the school.
Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar. 9780399546440. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Author Behar has crafted a story based on her own experience of adjusting to life in New York City as a young Cuban Jewish girl in 1966. Just as Ruthie feels like she’s settling into her new world, she’s terribly injured in a car accident. Confined to her bed in a body cast for nearly a year, Ruthie struggles with her loneliness, but finds strength within herself as she heals.
Rooting for Rafael Rosales by Kurtis Scaletta. 9780807567425. 2017. Gr 4-7.
Rafael, a boy in the Dominican Republic, wants only to play baseball in the major leagues when he grows up. Maya worries that the problems causing the death of bees will cause irreversible harm to the environment. This book switches back and forth in time and place between Rafael as a boy and Maya as she follows Rafael’s first year in baseball’s minor leagues.
The Wingsnatchers (Carmer and Grit, Book 1) by Sarah Jean Horwitz. 9781616206635. 2017. Gr 4-7.
Felix, apprentice to a magician (the kind who does tricks, not real magic), loves to build automatons, but they can’t really do anything either. He almost can’t believe it when he sees Grit, a magical fairy princess with one wing. Dangerous cat-like creatures called Wingsnatchers have been attacking fairies, and maybe together her magic and his knack for mechanics can stop them.
MIDDLE SCHOOL FICTION
Apartment 1986 by Lisa Papademetrious. 9780062371089. 2017. Gr 5-8.
With her parents constantly bickering after her father’s job loss, Callie tries to find a way to cope by skipping school. Soon one day turns into two, then three. And when Callie meets a boy her age doing research at all the museums around the city, it seems to make sense she should join him. What she discovers outside her school walls might just be the answer to her growing questions about her grandmother’s desire to go back to 1986.
Ashes to Asheville by Sarah Dooley. 9780399165047. 2017. Gr 5-8.
After her Mama Lacy dies, Fella is forcibly taken away from her other mother, Mama Shannon, and her sister, Zany, by the court, who think she will be better off with a blood relation. Now Fella has to adjust to life with her grandmother, whose home has many comforts Fella was not used to. Then one night Zany shows up unexpectedly and plans to run away with Fella in order to scatter the ashes of Mama Lacy and discover their true selves.
Between Two Skies by Joanne O’Sullivan. 9780763690342. 2017. Gr 7-10.
In Bayou Perdu, Louisiana, Evangeline holds two titles in the under-sixteen fishing rodeo and loves nothing more than being on her skiff between the bayou water and the open sky. Her peaceful life is totally changed by Hurricane Katrina. Chaos tears her world apart, but it also causes her to meet Tru, an attractive boy her age. However, love is hard to develop when neither of them seems to have a home anymore.
The Football Girl by Thatcher Heldring. 9780385741835. 2017. Gr 6-9.
Flag football teammates Caleb and Tessa become more than just friends the summer before they enter high school. Now Caleb is trying out for football and Tessa is supposed to try out for cross country with her two best friends. However, when she decides she likes football more than running, and wants to try out with Caleb, she is torn between her dreams and others’ expectations.
Girl with a Camera : Margaret Bourke-White, Photographer by Carolyn Meyer. 9781629795843. 2017. Gr 6-9.
A fictional biography of Margaret Bourke-White. Growing up in the early 20th century, Bourke-White was a tomboy. She planned to become a herpetologist, but became interested in photography in college. Her skill as a storyteller behind the lens helped her land the cover of the first issue of Life magazine, and in World War II she was the first female war photojournalist.
Journey Across the Hidden Islands by Sarah Beth Durst. 9780544706798. 2017. Gr 5-8.
On their twelfth birthday, twins Seika and Ji Lin set off with their winged lion on the traditional emperor’s journey. They are princesses of the Hidden Islands, and this is a routine trip to meet the dragon that protects their realm. But their journey becomes anything but routine when they are attacked and discover that their home faces an unknown danger.
Speed of Life by Carol Weston. 9781492654490. 2017. Gr 6-9.
Missing her mother who died last year, Sofia finds an anonymous outlet for her personal questions and deep, dark secrets in the Dear Kate advice columnist. But then, much to Sofia’s horror, her father starts dating Kate.
Under Locker and Key by Allison K. Hymas. 9781481463430. 2017. Gr 5-8.
Jeremy considers himself a “retrieval specialist”—if something has been stolen or confiscated at school, he can retrieve it by the end of the day. Becca sees it differently; he is a thief and she is determined to stop him. When one of Jeremy’s retrievals results in the master key landing in the wrong hands, Jeremy and Becca team up to end the crime wave at school.
Willows vs. Wolverines by Alison Cherry. 9781481463546. 2017. Gr 5-7.
Best friends Izzy and Mackenzie love going to summer camp, but this year their parents sent them to a different camp—and they aren’t in the same cabins! Even worse, Izzy’s cabin is planning an all-out prank war with a rival boys’ cabin, and Mackenzie feels left out. Will their friendship survive the summer?
HIGH SCHOOL FICTION
Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett. 9781481478779. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Seventeen-year-old Bailey moves to California to live with her father and, perhaps, finally meet an online friend and fellow film buff. Soon, though, she finds herself attracted to an annoying co-worker.
Bang by Barry Lyga. 9780316315500. 2017. Gr 10-12.
Sebastian was only four when he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister. Now a decade later, he’s decided that living with the guilt is too much. But Aneesa, the new Muslim girl, sees him for who he really is and not for his horrific past. When his past is revealed, Sebastian finds himself right back where he started—planning to end his life the same way he ended his sister’s so long ago.
But Then I Came Back by Estelle Laure. 9780544531260. 2017. Gr 9-12.
After a month in a coma, Eden finds it hard to resume her life and can’t shake the feeling that she might have dragged something back with her from the near-afterlife. When she sees Jaz, lying in a coma a few doors down from her in the hospital, Eden realizes that she’s seen Jaz before, in a place Eden didn’t know was real. Eden forms a bond with Joe, Jaz’s best friend, and begins to open up to experience life.
Definitions of Indefinable Things by Whitney Taylor. 9780544805040. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Hurt too often, Reggie refuses to be a romantic, especially since she is dealing with depression. However, when she meets Snake, her heart starts feeling warm and fuzzy—until she finds out he has a very pregnant ex-girlfriend who is still in his life. In spite of it all, Reggie falls for Snake, and together the three teens must learn to define depression, friendship, and love.
Defy the Stars (Book 1) by Claudia Gray. 9780316394031. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Noemi is a soldier sworn to protect planet Genesis. Abel, a highly-advanced machine considered an abomination to the people of Genesis, wants only to protect his creator. They are forced by chance to go on a daring journey through the stars to end the war between Genesis and Earth.
Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr. 9780062434593 2017. Gr 9-12.
Gem has been the primary caregiver for her sister Dixie in a home where their father only occasionally pops back into their lives. When he tries to reenter their lives, the two sisters are suspicious—especially when they find a bag of cash he hid. Taking the cash, they embark on a trip to Seattle on their own, learning things about themselves and each other that could change their lives forever.
Grendel’s Guide to Love and War by A.E. Kaplan. 9780399555541. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Tom Grendel enjoys the quietness of the neighborhood where he and his veteran father live. Mostly surrounded by senior citizens, he mows their yards and admires Willow, the girl who just moved in, from afar. When her brother Rex starts throwing wild parties that trigger Tom’s father’s PTSD, Tom decides to put a stop to the madness and discovers a strength within himself he never knew he had.
The Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianna Baer. 9781419723025. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Sixteen-year-old Quinn Cutler, daughter of Congressional candidate, is pregnant with no memory of having had sex. When word gets out, some claim she carries the next Messiah.
Missing by Kelley Armstrong. 9780399550331. 2017. Gr 9-12.
After a chance encounter with an injured boy, Winter Crane questions if all the teenagers who left her town did so voluntarily.
North of Happy by Adi Alsaid. 9780373212286. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Carlos’s wealthy family lives in Mexico City. He looks up to his older brother, Felix, who has always taken his own path. After Felix’s death, Carlos still feels his brother encouraging him to leave home and follow his dreams of being a chef. He runs away to Seattle, getting a job as a dishwasher at a famous restaurant and hopes to prove his skills to his boss. But things fall apart when he falls for the chef’s daughter.
Speak of Me As I Am by Sonia Belasco. 9780399546761. 2017. Gr 8-12.
Fate conspires to bring Melanie, a girl hurting from losing her mother to cancer, and Damon, a boy hurting from the suicide of his best friend, together as they join their school’s production of “Othello,” Both hope the play will be a distraction. Instead, the play becomes a test of who they truly are, both together and on their own.
Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer. 9780062440877. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Half-sisters Isabelle and Aurora have many differences but have always been extremely close. Both had some of their senses taken by the faeries when they were young: Aurora lost her voice and Isabelle lost her sight. When an argument causes Isabelle to run away, Aurora goes after her, but she is caught by an evil faerie queen. Now Isabelle must risk everything to save her.
Toward a Secret Sky by Heather MacLean. 9780310754749. 2017. Gr 10-12.
Maren has recently been plagued by horrible dreams and visions. Things take a terrifying turn when one of those dreams becomes real. With the help of her friend Gavin, she learns the truth about her deceased mother—she was part of a secret society of demon hunters. And now Maren must decide if she’ll pick up where her mother left off or turn her back on a fight that needs her.
The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares. 9780385906302. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Though Sasha and Ray share the same house each summer and even sleep in the same bed, the two have never met. Their parents had once been married, but have long since divorced and started new families, but neither would part with the beautiful old house on Long Island. But Sasha and Ray’s worlds are about to intersect, and what comes next will surprise everyone.