Check out these exciting easy and fiction titles that were published in August.
ELEMENTARY PICTURE BOOKS
All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle (ill. by Mike Curato). 9781627796422. 2017. Gr PK-3.
Because of their poverty, many Cubans have learned to care for their old cars. In this picture book, a young Cuban boy and his family take their beloved—and old—car into the city to visit relatives. Great for learning about a new culture, great for the lovely verse narrative, and great for the beautiful art.
The Bad Seed by Jory John (ill. by Pete Oswald). 9780062467768. 2017. Gr PK-2.
A sunflower seed is certain that he has become “baaaaaaaaad” after a narrow escape from being eaten. He wants to be good again, but he doesn’t remember how. Preschool and primary students will enjoy listening to this; they’ll appreciate the humor and the dilemma, and might even come up with suggestions to help.
Boo Who? by Ben Clanton. 9780763688240. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Boo is the new kid, and even though the other kids are welcoming, he doesn’t fit in—can’t catch a ball, doesn’t feel a tag—until they find a game that he is great at!
Dogosaurus Rex by Anna Staniszewski (ill. by Kevin Hawkes). 9780805097061. 2017. Gr PK-3.
Ben is thrilled when his mom says he can adopt a puppy. And at the shelter, he finds the perfect dog and names her Sadie. But his new huge pet is a lot of trouble, and the reader will see why—Sadie is a dinosaur!
Invisible Lizard by Kurt Cyrus (ill. by Andy Atkins). 9781585363780. 2017. Gr K-2.
Napoleon the chameleon is trying to make new friends, but how can he meet someone when he keeps blending in to the background? Children will root for Napoleon and cheer when he is finally noticed—and they might have their own stories about feeling invisible.
The Knish War on Rivington Street by Joanne Oppenheim (ill. by Jon Davis). 9780807541821. 2017. Gr K-2.
In New York City, two immigrant families open stores across the street from each other, both selling knishes—ending up in a marketing and price war. Based on a true story (from 1916) and a great example for units on economics.
Mighty Moby by Ed Young (ill. by Barbara DaCosta). 9780316299367. 2017. Gr PK-2.
An adventure based on the classic Moby Dick, with a humorous surprise ending.
Monster Trucks by Joy Keller (ill. by Misa Saburi). 9781627796170. 2017. Gr PK-2.
What do monsters do when they’re not doing Halloween work. Why, they drive huge construction and emergency vehicles, of course. Keller puts a spin on the ever-popular big trucks book, with a fitting match of monsters and trucks (a yeti drives a snowplow). More funny than scary, this will be a lively read-aloud in a classroom, or a quieter bedtime story at home.
Most People by Michael Leannah (ill. by J.E. Morris). 9780884485544. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Kids are warned about strangers from parents and teachers, as well as hearing media reports about immigrants, homeless people, teen boys (especially those of color), and other “dangerous” people. The characters in this book see another side of unfamiliar people as they walk through city streets—they see the kindness and helpfulness within a community.
Next Year by Ruth Vander Zee & Gary Kelley. 9781568462820. 2017. Gr 1-3.
As Calvin grows from childhood to adulthood, he and his parents endure four years of dust storms and drought following “Black Sunday” in 1935, and he becomes determined to preserve the land rather than exploit it.
Not Friends by Rebecca Bender. 9781772780260. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Giraffe and Bird are definitely not friends; in fact, they insist that they really can’t stand each other. But when they end up alone during a storm, they realize that maybe the other isn’t so bad, even though they really are not friends.
Nothing Rhymes with Orange by Adam Rex. 9781452154435. 2017. Gr K-3.
A bunch of fruit gets together for a sing-along—the theme being how great each one is. But songs rhyme, and Orange is upset when he realizes that nothing rhymes with his name. Or does it?
One Day House by Julia Durango (ill. by Bianca Diaz). 9781580897099. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Wilson likes his elderly neighbor Gigi, and tells her all the things he wants to do to help her improve her run-down house—all the while secretly recruiting the members of his ethnically diverse community to pitch in and make her house safe, neat, and pretty.
The Only Fish in the Sea by Philip C. Stead (ill. by Matthew Cordell). 9781626722828. 2017. Gr PK-2.
When Sadie finds out that Amy threw her birthday goldfish into the sea, plastic bag and all, she borrows a boat and sets of with friends to rescue the endangered pet. Sadie and friends are all characters from Stead’s Special Delivery.
Professional Crocodile by Giovanna Zoboli (ill. by Mariachiara Di Giorgio). 9781452165066. 2017. Gr K-3.
Every morning, Mr. Crocodile gets ready for another day on the job. After his alarm rings, he brushes his teeth, picks out the right tie, boards the train, and finally arrives at his place of work–and his job might surprise you!
See Fred Run by Kevin Bolger (ill. by Ben Hodson). 9780062286024. 2017. Gr K-2.
Dangerous animals chase Ed and Fred through the jungle in this easy reader companion to Fun with Ed and Fred. Ed is narrating, and readers will soon see that he also controls the action. When Fred realizes he is a pawn, he demands to be let out of the book.
This Beautiful Day by Richard Jackson (ill. by Suzy Lee). 9781481441391. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Usually people expect a beautiful day to be warm and sunny, but a rainy, stormy morning doesn’t dampen the spirits of the three children in this picture book. On the contrary, they find plenty of rollicking adventures both inside and out.
Waiting for Goliath by Antje Damm. 9781776571413. 2017. Gr PK-3.
Bear waits on a bus station bench for his friend, Goliath. Though seasons pass and other animals tell him Goliath isn’t coming, Bear remains faithful. Readers will be delighted to see what Goliath is when he finally shows up!
ELEMENTARY CHAPTER BOOKS
The Adventures of Caveboy (Caveboy, Book 1) by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen. 9781619639867. 2017. Gr 1-3.
The first in a humorous series of early chapter books about a Stone Age boy, his family, and his pet rock.
Ban This Book by Alan Gratz. 9780765385567. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Amy Anne’s favorite book is From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, so when it is removed from the library shelves, she is ready to do battle and stand against censorship!
Forest World by Margarita Engle. 9781481490573. 2017. Gr 4-7.
Edver barely knows his father who lives in a remote village Cuba, so he is not happy when the travel ban is lifted and he is sent there to visit. He expects a boring summer, but doesn’t expect to meet a sister he never knew about! Realizing that both of them love nature and want their mom to come to Cuba, they post a message about finding a new butterfly species—but they attract danger instead.
I Survived the American Revolution, 1776 (I Survived) by Lauren Tarshis. 9780545919739. 2017. Gr 2-5.
An eleven-year-old boy, on his way to visit his father, is trapped in a bloody battle between American and British troops.
The Last Panther by Todd Mitchell. 9780399555589. 2017. Gr 4-7.
A young girl discovers a family of Florida panthers that were thought to be extinct. She sets out into the wilderness to find a way to keep them safe from poachers who want to sell them and conservationists who want to put them in a zoo.
The Losers Club by Andrew Clements. 9780399557552. 2107. Gr 3-6.
When Alec’s teacher warns him about reading his book and not paying attention in class, Alec decides to create a club after school for the express purpose of silent reading, calling it the Losers Club. He doesn’t expect anyone else to join, and is surprised at its popularity…and at how much he enjoys interacting with others.
Mort Ziff Is Not Dead by Cary Fagan. 9780143198475. 2017. Gr 3-5.
When Norman wins $1000 in a contest, his parents let him decide how to spend it. They want him to buy a new car for the family (it’s 1965), but he decides that the family needs a vacation in Florida. At their hotel, he finds out that a once-famous comedian has just lost his job, and he determines to help save the old man’s career.
Olive and the Backstage Ghost by Michelle Schusterman. 9780399550669. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Olive’s mother had been a star in the theater as a child, and Olive wants to follow in her footsteps. Disheartened by her mother’s critical comments, Olive stumbles into Maudeville, a beautiful old theater, and the proprietor gives her a starring role. She likes her castmates, though they aren’t all quite human anymore, until she starts to realize that something is not quite right about the theater.
Pablo and Birdy by Alison McGhee. 9781481470261. 2017. Gr 4-6.
As a tiny baby, Pablo was found floating in an inflatable raft, alone except for a protective bird. Pablo is frustrated that no one knows where he came from. Birdy might know, but she doesn’t talk—or fly. And as Pablo’s tenth birthday nears, questions again are repeated. Why was Pablo in the boat? Is he a pirate baby? And could Birdy be a legendary Seafaring Parrot? And will the predicted winds of change bring fortune gained—or fortune lost?
A Properly Unhaunted Place by William Alexander. 9781481469159. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Ingot is the only unhaunted town in the world, and Rosa is not happy to be moving somewhere without ghosts. Jasper has always lived in Ingot and never seen a ghost. When an evil spirit attacks during a local festival, Rosa and Jasper must combine forces to find out what is happening in Ingot—and why.
The Secret Sheriff of Sixth Grade by Jordan Sonnenblick. 9780545863209. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Maverick decides to model himself after his favorite superheroes. One of the last things his father gave him was a toy sheriff’s badge, and he decides to wear it to remind him to help make school a better place—since he isn’t doing very well at improving his home situation.
Summer on Earth by Peter Thompson. 9781943978304. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Things are pretty depressing at Grady’s farm after his father died, and they worry about money as they mourn his dad. But things start to look up the day after Grady wished on a shooting star, and handyman Will shows up. Will is actually Ralwil Turth, an extraterrestrial whose ship crashed on their land, and at first he just wants to fix his ship and leave. But soon everyone is in trouble, and Grady needs to find a way to help both his family and Ralwil.
Tumble & Blue by Cassie Beasley. 9780525428442. 2017. Gr 4-6.
When two people in 1817 two people came upon the golden gator during the blood-red moon, neither one received the legendary gator’s single wish. Instead, one family ended up with the gift of good luck, while the other one was cursed with bad fortune. Generations later, another blood-red moon is predicted, and Tumble and Blue are determined to find the gator and reverse the curse.
The Van Gogh Deception by Deron Hicks. 9780544759275. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Who is the boy found wandering in the National Gallery in Washington, DC? He has no idea who he is or how he got there, but he does know a lot about art. It turns out that he is being pursued by a gang of criminals who want to stop him from telling what he knows and ruining their scheme. But what does he know? He doesn’t remember that either!
Wedgie & Gizmo (Book 1) by Suzanne Selfors. 9780062447630. 2017. Gr 2-5.
We hear a lot about the problems faced by kids in blended families, but what about their pets? Gizmo the (evil genius) guinea pig is not happy in this new situation, and he is VERY unhappy having to share his person’s attention with Wedgie, the dog. Gizmo and Wedgie take turns narrating in this hilarious chapter book for newly independent readers.
MIDDLE SCHOOL FICTION
Best. Night. Ever. : A Story Told from Seven Points of View by Jen Malone. 9781481486606. 2017. Gr 4-7.
Seven middle school students narrate the hilarious experiences leading up to and on the night of their first school dance. Each voice is written by a different middle grade author.
The Countdown Conspiracy by Katie Slivensky. 9780062462558. 2017. Gr 4-7.
Miranda and five other kids from around the world have been selected to go on the first manned mission to Mars. During training, they must learn to do scientific tasks and get along, despite being attacked and receiving death threats. While heading to Mars, they realize that there is more to this mission than they were told, and the crew will need to work together to save not only themselves but many people back on Earth.
Guardians of the Gryphon’s Claw (Sam London Adventure, Book 1) by Todd Calgi Gallicano. 9781524713652. 2017. Gr 5-7.
Recruited by Dr. Vantana, an eccentric zoologist—to do what? he wonders—Sam is sent on an expedition around the world. On the way, Vantana tells him that mythical creatures are real, including the gryphon that has been frequenting Sam’s dreams. Their task is to make sure that Gryphon’s Claw, which keeps mythical creatures hidden from people, is safe. This series opener is fast-paced and exciting, and readers will be excited for more adventures.
In Some Other Life by Jessica Brody. 9780374380762. 2017. Gr 7-10.
Kennedy is glad that she decided not to go to a renowned academy and attend the public school with her new boyfriend; three years later, they are still together. But when Kennedy walks in on him kissing her best friend, she wonders if she made the right choice—and she’s about to find out. The next morning, she awakes to find herself a popular student at the academy, and everything is terrific. So why isn’t she as happy as everyone thinks she is?
Laugh Out Loud by James Patterson & Chris Grabenstein. 9780316431460. 2017. Gr 5-8.
Jimmy wants to start a publishing company run by and for kids. Though he is ridiculed by adults, he is determined to realize his dream. Jimmy’s hilarious story has some autobiographical aspects (one of his associates is named Chris Grabbets), and has a positive message for readers: Dreams can come true!
The List by Patricia Forde. 9781492647966. 2017. Gr 7-10.
After the catastrophic Melting, the survivors live in the city of Ark. Life there is difficult, with many things either restricted or downright forbidden. Even speech is limited; only 500 words are allowed, and anyone who uses words not on the List are severely punished. Letta, the new Wordsmith, can read all the words ever written, but now the leaders of Ark tell her she must trim the List. Letta must decide if she will comply or refuse to lose more words.
Patina by Jason Reynolds. 9781481450188. 2017. Gr 4-8.
Four kids are chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that might even make it to the Junior Olympics if they can learn to work together. But they come from very different backgrounds and have wildly different personalities that often clash. Patina runs to get away from her problems at home, but can she learn to control her anger enough to work as a team?
Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things by Betsey Aldredge & Carrie DuBois-Shaw. 9781507202807. 2017. Gr 7-10.
Samantha’s embarrassing family secret? Her parents hunt for Wood Apes—or sasquatches, as most people know them. And now they are one of two teams on national TV racing to be the first to find one. To make it worse, one of the other team is a prep-school snob who doesn’t hide his disdain for her family. The friction and attraction between Sam and her adversary (reminiscent of Pride & Prejudice) threaten to distract them from the fact that there really might be a sasquatch out there.
Things That Surprise You by Jennifer Maschari. 9780062438928. 2017. Gr 5-8.
Emily doesn’t like the changes that are happening during her first year of middle school. Her parents have just divorced, her sister is living at a treatment facility to learn to handle her anorexia, and her best friend Hazel has new interests and friends. Emily just wants things to be the way they were—or at least be able to keep up.
Thornhill by Pam Smy. 9781626726543. 2017. Gr 6-9.
Two interweaving stories are set in the same place at different times. In 1982 Mary’s diary tells of the bully that makes life miserable at Thornhill, an orphanage. As Thornhill is about to close, all the other girls have left, leaving Mary alone with the bully. Ella’s story is told in pictures; in 2017 she has just moved into a house next to Thornhill. When she sees a girl at the window of the abandoned house, she decides to befriend her. Readers who like suspense and the supernatural will love this book.
Us, in Progress : Short Stories about Young Latinos by Lulu Delacre. 9780062392145. 2017. Gr 5-8.
Young Latinos living today are the focus of this collection of 12 short stories drawn from current headlines. The protagonists are from diverse cultures and geographic populations. These stories describe what it is like to be Latinx in the United States today.
The Whole Sky by Heather Henson. 9781442414051. 2017. Gr 4-8.
A young horse whisperer is determined to find out what has caused the mysterious illness that is attacking pregnant mares and killing their foals at horse farms in Kentucky. At the same time, she is dealing with her mother’s death and her father’s grief and alcoholism.
HIGH SCHOOL FICTION
All Rights Reserved (Word, Book 1) by Gregory Scott Katsoulis. 9780373212446. 2017. Gr 9-12.
In Speth’s world, everyone 15 and older must pay for the words they speak as well as gestures they communicate with. When her boyfriend commits suicide rather than pay off his family’s huge debt, Speth decides to rebel by going silent. Others are inspired to follow her lead—but the government and large corporation that benefit from speech are not pleased.
The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes. 9780803740716. 2017. Gr 9-12.
German dissident Ava Dreyman left only a diary when she was killed in an East Berlin prison, but, years later, that diary might hold the answer to the disappearance of Molly’s mother. She’ll gets help from Pepper, a Kuwaiti American; they fly to Germany looking for answers, but find secrets, lies, and danger in this suspenseful mystery.
Backfield Boys by John Feinstein. 9780374305925. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Jason, a wide-receiver, and Tom, a quarterback, make an impressive team, and are thrilled to be given full-ride scholarships to an elite boarding school. But when they arrive at school, the discover that the football program is deeply racist, as the coach makes Jason the quarterback, while Tom, who is black, is given the receiver position. They protest, but, among the rising tension, are they willing to give up their scholarships?
The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee. 9781419725487. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Perfectionist Genie is in control of her life, until she finds that she is the reincarnation of the legendary weapon of the Monkey King. And demons have escaped from the Chinese hell, and she is the only one who can stop them. Only by training with Quentin Sun, teen manifestation of the Monkey King, will she learn to master her powers and save the world. She also needs to finish her homework and maintain her grades so she can get into Harvard!
The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones. 9780316314596. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Dee trades her heart and two years of labor to a demon in order to escape her alcoholic parents. She finds herself in a group of other “heartless” teens, doing the demon’s bidding. The group works well together and becomes close, and soon Dee wishes that she still had her heart.
In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan. 9781618731203. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Elliot is small for his age and can’t keep his smart mouth shut, both of which make him a target for bullies. During a class trip, he somehow finds himself in a magic land of elves and other fantastical creatures—and is loudly unhappy to be in a land of no technology where everyone trains for war. His inability to keep his mouth shut and general grouchiness makes this a hilarious and irreverent fantasy.
Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. 9780316349000. 2017. Gr 10-12.
Suzette is glad to be back home after attending a year of boarding school, but she is worried that her stepbrother Lion will still be angry with her. Breaking her promise, she had told their parents that his bipolar disorder was getting worse. She’s trying to get him to trust her again, when he starts to lose control again. And she is also worried about her feelings for her old roommate.
Lost Boys by Darcey Rosenblatt. 9781627797580. 2017. Gr 7-12.
During the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, boys as young as twelve were conscripted as soldiers. Raza, at the urging of family and friends, enlists in the Iranian army with his friend Ebi, only to discover that boy soldiers are used as cannon fodder. Raza ends up in an Iraqi POW camp; only his passion for music and his strong friendships will help him to survive the cruelty and danger.
Mr. 60% by Clete Barrett Smith. 9780553534665. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Matt—a.k.a. Mr. 60%–does just enough in school to keep from being expelled. He is also the school’s drug dealer. No one knows that he has no time to study and sells drugs because he is taking care of his uncle, who is dying of cancer. Forced to join an extra-curricular activity, Matt is partnered with Amanda, a friend he never expected to want or need.
The Secret History of Us by Jessi Kirby. 9780062299468. 2017. Gr 9-12.
After a near-fatal car accident, Liv awakens to find that she not only cannot recall what happened during her week-long coma, but is also having trouble remembering anything from high school. Her family and friends try to fill in her gaps, but what they say doesn’t feel right—until she meets the tough guy who rescued her.
Solo by Kwame Alexander. 9780310761839. 2017. Gr 9-12.
In this verse novel, Blade, son of fallen rock star Rutherford Morrison and the late Sunny Morrison, is struggling with his father’s addiction and his girlfriend’s betrayal when he learns he was adopted. He sets out on a coming-of-age journey to find his birth mother who is teaching in a small village in Ghana.
Truthers by Geoffrey Girard. 9781512427790. 2017. Gr 8-12.
Katie is used to her dad being brought home drunk, but she was shocked to find out that he has been put into a mental institution for threatening government leaders and ranting about a 9/11 conspiracy. Hoping to help him, she starts delving into the terrorism which happened when she was a baby, and her research leads her to the secretive world of Truthers. Are they crazy—or correct?
When I Am Through with You by Stephanie Kuehn. 9781101994733. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Ben is in jail, and he has time on his hands. That is why he is writing down exactly what happened on one fateful school camping trip in the mountains, revealing who lived and who died, and especially what happened between him and Rose as he tries to explore the difference between perfect cruelty and perfect love.
Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popovic. 9780062436832. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Like their mother, Iris and Malina have a supernatural “gleam,” a unique ability to manipulate beauty. Their mother demands that they keep their gifts secret and forbids them to fall in love. When someone tries to murder their mother, the girls discover a terrible secret behind her harsh rules: that one of their ancestors was responsible for a curse on the entire family that could destroy them. This is the first of a duology.
Wonder Woman : Warbringer (DC Icons, Book 1) by Leigh Bardugo. 9780399549731. 2017. Gr 7-12.
The classic backstory of Wonder Woman has always focused on feminism and equality, but this updated version adds comedy, cinematic action, and a diverse cast of characters for a great read that will have appeal far beyond DC fans.
ADULT CROSSOVER FICTION
The Burning Girl by Claire Messud. 9780393635027. 2017. Gr 10-Adult.
Two young girls, joined at the hip from childhood, gradually grow apart as they grow up.
The Doll Funeral by Kate Hamer. 9781612196657. 2017. Gr 11-Adult.
When Ruby finds out that she is adopted, she gathers the courage to run away from her abusive father and is determined to find her real parents. Accompanied by her imaginary friend Shadow Boy, she is taken in by a group of children who live in a rundown mansion. Ruby begins to discover her family’s secrets and to understand what “family” really means.
The Luster of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller. 9780735210783. Gr 10-Adult.
A twelve-year-old boy with a motor speech disorder and a knack for finding things heads out into and under New York City with his overweight dog to find his mother’s lost Book, the foundation of her magical bakery.
The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter. 9781524760120. 2017. Gr 10-Adult.
Thirteen years after the Martian invasion was stopped by Earth’s bacteria, they are planning a new assault. Will humans be ready for them? A sequel to H.G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds.
The Ready-Made Thief by Augustus Rose. 9780735221833. 2017. Gr 11-Adult.
Framed by a former friend for a crime committed by that friend, Lee is on the run. She is now on the lam with Tomi, young hacker she met at a home for runaways. They find themselves pursued by a secret society that seems to think she holds the answer to their what they seek. But Lee has no idea what they want, or why she is so important to them.