Check out these exciting easy and fiction titles that were published in October.
As promised, today’s recommendations are for speculative fiction, which includes horror, fantasy, science fiction, and dystopian and post-apocalyptic. Enjoy!
ELEMENTARY PICTURE BOOKS
Accident! by Andrea Tsurumi. 9780544944800. 2017. Gr K-2.
By accident Lola the armadillo knocks a jug of juice all over her parents’ favorite chair. Alarmed. she flees to the library, setting off a chain of events leading to the library and a group of equally alarmed friends in similar pickles—all of whom need to find a way to just say sorry.
After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again!) by Dan Santat. 9781626726826. 2017. Gr PK-3.
Humpty Dumpty is an avid birdwatcher who loves to be up high on the city wall. After his famous fall, however, he’s now terrified of heights and can no longer do the things he loves best—until one day when he must summon the courage to face his fear.
Fox and the Bike Ride by Corey R. Tabor. 9780062398758. 2017. Gr K-2.
It is time for Fox and his friends’ annual bike ride. Fox is not looking forward to it because his friends like to take everything slow and steady, and he wants something more exciting, adventurous, maybe even with a bit of danger! His friends have no idea what they’re in for!
Giant Pants by (Ye Olde) Mark Fearing. 9780763689841. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Where are Belbum’s pants? After a frantic search for his pants, the giant visits all his friends to ask if they have any pants he can borrow. Finally, the embarrassed giant has to go to town in his underwear to ask the tailor to make him some new pants—only to get a big surprise when he gets back home.
Good Day, Good Night by Margaret Wise Brown (ill. by Loren Long). 9780062383105. 2107. Gr PK-1.
What happened to Margaret Wise Brown’s bunny from Goodnight, Moon? Loren Long illustrates a previously unpublished story about a bunny’s activities from morning until night.
Great Big Things by Kate Hoefler (ill. by Noah Klocek). 9780544774773. 2017. Gr K-2.
A little mouse goes on a difficult journey just to bring a small gift to a friend.
The Great Puppy Invasion by Alastair Heim (ill. by Kim Smith). 9780544999176. 2017. Gr K-2.
A young boy named Teddy lives in a town where cuteness is forbidden. So when the town is invaded by adorable puppies, everyone panics. But they soon realized the puppies are harmless and lovable.
I Want That Nut! by Madeline Valentine. 9781101940372. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Mouse and Chipmunk both want the same great big beautiful nut, and they argue about who deserves it more…until the nut’s real owner comes to claim it. This story provides a good lesson in sharing and friendship.
I’m Afraid Your Teddy Is in Trouble Today by Jancee Dunn (ill. by Scott Nash). 9780763675370. 2017. Gr PK-2.
When a child returns home from school, the youngster is greeted by the police. He learns that the his teddy bear invited all its friends over for a wild party and the stuffed animals got into trouble writing on the walls, jumping on the bed, and having a dance party.
The Library Book by Tom Chapin (ill. by Michael Mark). 9781481460927. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Using the lyrics to Tom Chapin and Michael Mark’s “The Library Song,” this picture book celebrates the magic of reading and of libraries.
The Lumberjack’s Beard by Duncan Reedie. 9780763696498. 2017. Gr K-3.
Jim the lumberjack is good at his job: cutting down trees in the forest. But he doesn’t realize that those felled trees were home to many animals and birds. Where are they going to live now? He offers his beard, but soon it is just too much. He needs to think of a better solution.
Meow! by Victoria Ying. 9780062440969. 2017. Gr PK-1.
In this almost wordless book (the only word is “meow”), a kitten tries unsuccessfully to get her family to play. Even small children will be able to read this book with expression.
Milo : A Moving Story by Tohby Riddle. 9781760111632. 2017. Gr K-2.
Milo is an average dog living in an ordinary house with a fairly ho-hum job as a messenger and a few friends. But one day, after an argument with a friend, a crazy wind blows his kennel to the top of a skyscraper. Following the advice of a migrating bird, Milo sets off on an adventure to find his friends.
No Room for Baby! by Emile Jadoul. 9781771388412. 2017. Gr PK-1.
Leon worries that there is no room in his house for a new baby penguin—not in his room or on Mama’s lap or on daddy’s shoulders. Leon’s place is between Mama and Daddy, so there’s no room there either. So where is a little brother penguin to go? No worries. Leon comes up with the best answer—in big brothers arms!
Pigeon P.I. by Meg McLaren. 9781328715616. 2017. Gr K-2.
A yellow canary named Vee comes to the office of pigeon private investigator Murray, who has been unwilling to work since his partner skipped town. But Vee insists that the detective find two of her friends who have been birdnapped! The investigation leads Murray into shady areas—and trouble. Fortunately, help comes in the form of a small but brave yellow canary who might make a perfect new partner.
Rapunzel by Bethan Woollvin. 9781682630037. 2017. Gr K-3.
In this retelling of the familiar fairy tale, Rapunzel rescues herself from the witch that imprisoned her and becomes a witch hunter.
Shelter by Celine Claire (ill. by Qin Leng). 9781771389273. 2017. Gr PK-2.
When a terrible snowstorm rolls into the forest, two strangers, a tall bear and a shorter bear, arrive seeking shelter. One animal family after another turns them away. However, one young fox shows them kindness by offering them a lantern, and when danger comes to the fox’s den, the bears return his kindness by saving his family.
Where Are You, Wilbert? By Bardur Oskarsson (ill. by Marita Thomsen). 9781771473019. 2017. Gr K-3.
When a rat has trouble finding his big gray friend while playing hide-and-seek, he asks a crocodile for help in this hilarious story of failing to see something that’s right in front of you.
Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer (ill. by Richard Jones). 9780544313347. 2017. Gr K-2.
A fox watches the other animals prepare for fall, but he doesn’t know what he should do. The others advise him about their own innate behaviors, but he doesn’t like any of them. Finally, he meets another fox who has be perfect suggestion—to watch “a million snowflakes fill the air” and dance!
The Wolf, the Duck, & the Mouse by Mac Barnett (ill. by Jon Klaasen). 9780544313347. 2017. Gr PK-3.
When a mouse is swallowed by a wolf, he learns that a duck devoured earlier has set up a table to enjoy the food the gluttonous predator eats.
ELEMENTARY CHAPTER BOOKS
The Adventurers Guild (Book 1) by Zack Loran Clark & Nick Eliopulos. 9781484788011. 2017. Gr 4-7.
In one of the last cities still populated after the world fell victim to monsters, Zed and Brock are best friends, with high hopes for the future. Their plan is for Zed to join the Mages Guild, and for Brock to join the Merchants Guild, and together they will work to make the city thrive. All their plans are upended when they both find themselves in the Adventurers Guild instead, and must defend against the Dangers that threaten them all.
The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig. 9781524700447. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Amelia’s hope and belief in magic gave Father Christmas the magic he needed to make his first Christmas journey around the world. But now Amelia is imprisoned in a workhouse and no longer believes in magic. Father Christmas can’t make his trip without her faith, so he heads off to London to find her.
Have Sword, Will Travel by Garth Nix & Sean Williams. 9780545259026. 2017. Gr 4-7.
When friends Odo and Eleanor discover a sword in the dried-up river, Odo pulls it out of the mud and it starts to talk! It is enchanted and has been lost for many years, but now it claims that Odo is its new master—and a knight! And knights and enchanted swords—and their squire—must go on a quest to slay the dragon that must be interfering upstream and release the river again.
The Nutcracker Mice by Kristin Kladstrup. 9780763685195. 2017. Gr 2-5.
While the human dancers are practicing for the premiere of “The Nutcracker” in 1892 St. Petersburg, Russia, the secret mice ballet company is rehearsing for their own performance below the stage. But the ballet is full of evil mice; will rodents even come to the show?
The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie. 9781481477048. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Leaving behind her life and friends in Florida to move with her family to Chicago isn’t exactly Tessa Woodward’s idea of a good time. But she finds herself with bigger problems than homesickness when she realizes her new house is haunted. With the help of her three new friends, she’ll need to get to the bottom of what happened at her house a hundred years ago so the spirit haunting her can finally rest in peace.
The Princess Imposter by Vivian Vande Velde. 9781338121476. 2017. Gr 3-6.
The mischievous fairies have hatched a plot—Princess Gabriella, used to castle life, wakes up in a crowded fairy hut on the other side of her kingdom, while Fairy Phleg has replaced Gabriella and is enjoying all sorts of new luxuries. Gabriella finds that the trade is for a bet she has gotten caught up in, and now she must figure out how to pass the ultimate princess test of the fairies, while Phleg’s antics may thrust the kingdom into a war.
Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eagar. 9780763679231. 2017. Gr 4-6.
After her parents, both famed marine scientists, are killed in a tragic accident, Fidelia Quail is kidnapped by the pirate Merrick the Monstrous who wants to use Fidelia’s marine knowledge to find his treasure that is lost on the ocean floor. Fidelia guesses there is something Merrick isn’t telling her, and she must use all her wits to navigate the ocean without her parents and figure out Merrick’s mystery before she runs out of time.
Ruby & Olivia by Rachel Hawkins. 9780399169618. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Twins Ruby and Olivia are very different. Ruby is quiet and considered a good girl, while Olivia is loud and overbearing. When Ruby takes the blame for Olivia’s misbehavior, they are both sent to a summer camp for troublemakers. Their job is to sort through the contents of an old abandoned house, but as they work, they realize that the house might still be inhabited—but by who? The girls will need to work together to solve the mystery.
Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin. 9780553538182. 2017. Gr 4-7.
After their father disappears into the woods and their mother becomes lost in her own grief, sisters Snow and Rose find themselves facing mysteries they never imagined and curses they must work together to break. This is a reimagining of the classic fairy tale “Show White and Rose Red.”
Watchdog by Will McIntosh. 9781524713843. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Vick and Tara are thirteen-year-old twins living alone on the streets of Chicago in the near future. Tara built a robot dog they call Daisy to be their companion and protector. But Daisy isn’t an ordinary robot dog—she’s something quite special. And when the local mob boss, Ms. Alba, notices how special Daisy is, she’ll stop at nothing to take her from the twins.
The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell. 9780316508339. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Young wizard prince Xar, who has no magic, and warrior princess Wish, an outcast, team up on an adventure that brings them to witches long believed to be extinct.
MIDDLE SCHOOL FICTION
La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust, Book 1) by Philip Pullman. 9780375815300. 2017. Gr 6-10.
Malcolm listens to everything that happens at his parent’s inn on the bank of the Thames. He becomes embroiled in intrigue, however, when he comes across a message which warns of a dangerous substance called Dust. Suddenly, the people he spies on seem to have much different motives, all related to a mysterious and powerful baby girl named Lyra, and Malcolm must do anything to make sure Lyra stays safe from those who want to harm her.
Better Off Undead by James Preller. 9781250066480. 2017. Gr 4-7.
After dying in a bad bike accident (wear your helmets, folks!), Adrian has returned from the dead—and must now go back to middle school. Not much has changed there; he’s still unpopular. But he notices plenty of things that are happening in the world—scary, apocalyptic things. And when his new allies notice that drones have been secretly following Adrian, they find that powerful villains want him. They need to find the creeps and save not only Adrian, but maybe even the world.
Dragonfly Song by Wendy Orr. 9781760290023. 2017. Gr 5-7.
An abandoned baby is left outside the Great Hall, and is taken in to be a slave. Mute and from unknown parents, she is called No-Name until she discovers her real name is Aissa. Every year two tributes—one boy and one girl—are subjected to the bloody bull dances; if they survive, their communities will no longer have to pay tribute to the king. No one has ever survived. But at twelve, tired of being abused and rejected, Aissa volunteers to dance with the bulls.
Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather. 9780553539516. 2017. Gr 6-8.
Samantha Mather, fifteen, is having recurring dreams of the Titanic. But while she is awake, she receives strange missives and visions of those who went down with the ship.
Polaris by Michael Northrop. 9780545297165. 2017. Gr 5-8.
On a scientific expedition on the shore of the Amazon rainforest, the crew of the Polaris mutinies after some botanical discoveries are brought on board the ship. Six of the youngest crew members had been locked in the captain’s quarters during the mutiny. The crew had tried to blow up the ship, but the children saved the ship, planning to sail back to civilization. But they don’t realize that what was brought on board will reproduce and try to kill them.
Tentacle & Wing by Sarah Porter. 9781328707338. 2017. Gr 5-7.
Ada was born a chimera, possessing both human and animal DNA. She was determined to keep her secret, but is accidentally outed at age twelve and sent to live in a quarantine for other chimera’s—called “kimes”—where she meets others like herself. She soon suspects that the facility designed to keep her safe might have a secret agenda that could start a war between humans and kimes.
Timeless : Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic (Timeless, Book 1) by Armand Baltazar. 9780062402363. 2017. Gr 5-8.
Diego was born into a world were the past, present, and future exist in one space. When his father is kidnapped, Diego and his friends will stop at nothing to save him. Not only does Diego need his father, but the future of the world depends upon his father’s safety.
The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, Book 1) by Jessica Townsend. 9780316508889. 2017. Gr 5-8.
Morrigan was born on Eventide, the unluckiest day of the year, so she is blamed for everything that goes wrong. She is also cursed to die on her eleventh birthday. She has accepted her fate until a strange man named Jupiter whisks her away to the city of Nevermoor. Jupiter tells her that, to find a home in the city, she must compete in four dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, but to win she must find her own extraordinary talent. But Morrigan is sure she has no such talent.
Unicorn Power! (Lumberjanes, Book 1) by Mariko Tamaki & Brooke Allen. 9781419727252. 2017. Gr 5-8.
The five scouts in Roanoke cabin—Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley—love their summer camp for “Hardcore Lady Types”. They especially love the supernatural adventures. But their hike up the mountain doesn’t go as planned, because…well, unicorns! This new series is a novelization of the graphic novels.
HIGH SCHOOL FICTION
All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvatter. 9780545930802. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Beatriz, Daniel, and Joaquin are three cousins in the Soria family; all the members of the family have the ability to perform miracles of unexpected and unusual natures—Beatriz feels nothing, Daniel makes miracles for all but himself, and Joaquin runs a renegade radio station as host Diablo Diablo. All three cousins want to change the family for the better, but when they wish for that miracle, they get something none of them expected.
All the Wind in the World by Samantha Mabry. 9781616206666. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Sarah Jac Crow and James Holt fall in love, but working in the endless fields of a drought-stricken Southwest in the near future, they must hide their love from those who would use it against them. Quietly, they save money for a house on the coast until tragedy sends them both on the run to another ranch, possibly cursed, where the balance of their lives tilts and their love may have a higher price than they ever imagined.
Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi. 9780448493909. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Taj is an aki, a sin-eater. When mages call forth sin from people, these sins come out as beasts that the aki must battle, defeat, and consume. Each time he does, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin, and the guilt of the sin stays in his mind. When Taj is summoned to eat the sin of the king, he discovers a dark conspiracy that might destroy both him and the kingdom.
The Book of Lies by Teri Terry. 9780544900486. 2017. Gr 7-10.
Quinn and Piper are twins separated at birth, and who meet for the first time at their mother’s funeral. No one else realizes that they have met, and so they decide to trade places to learn about the other’s life. As they struggle to learn the truth, they realize that a dark spell causes them to run at night with a pack of ghost hounds—and that a dark inheritance will end up destroying one of them.
Dare Mighty Things by Heather Kaczynski. 9780062479860. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Cassandra Gupta, eighteen, has long been preparing for the most important and secret competition on Earth—the chance to go to space. To secure her spot on the mission, she must compete against the best and smartest of her peers. Along the way, she makes friends out of people who were her competitors, but soon she begins to suspect that the true purpose of the mission is being concealed from them.
Devils & Thieves (Book 1) by Jennifer Rush. 9780316390897. 2017. Gr 10-12.
In the town of Hawthorne, magic users are called “kindled,” and Crowe is the dangerous leader of a kindled motorcycle gang named the Devils’ League. When the entire kindled motorcycle community arrives in town for an annual festival, rumors fly that someone is practicing forbidden magic—and people are going missing. Jemmie is forced to tap into her own magical abilities and team up with Crowe to find their loved ones and stop an evil spell before it can be fulfilled.
Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Book 1) by Julie C. Dao. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Beautiful eighteen-year-old Xifeng, raised by a cruel aunt who says the stars have destined her to be Empress of Feng Lu, must decide if she wishes to exploit the dark magic that can make her dream real. If she does, she will have to spurn the man who loves her.
The Glass Spare (Book 1) by Lauren DeStefano. 9780062491282. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Wilhelmina, the fourth child and only daughter of the king of Arrod, discovers to her horror that she has the ability to turn what she touches into rare jewels. Fleeing from her father, who wishes to use her power for his never-ending wars, she runs into Loom, a crown prince exiled from his kingdom. He wants her help to save his country. Their ability to find common ground might be the only thing that can save them.
The Hollow Girl by Hillary Monahan. 9781524701864. 2017. Gr 9-12.
After she is attacked by five boys—one of which is Silas, the son of her Welsh Romany chieftain—and her friend, the half-Roma Martyn, is killed, Bethan, apprentice to the green healer Drina, asks her mentor how to bring Martyn back from the dead. Learning of the gruesome ritual that can do this, Bethan gives the five boys an ultimatum—apologize, or else become the ingredients for her dark spell.
The Innocence Treatment by Ari Goelman. 9781626728806. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Born with a disorder that causes her to believe everything she is told, Lauren opts for an operation to fix her condition. But within months, she has become paranoid and violent, and becomes convinced that is has been genetically engineered as an experiment to test a chemical that the government wants to use on disobedient citizens. This story is told through Lauren’s journal entries and medical records, which were compiled and annotated by her sister years after the events.
The Last Namsara (Askari, Book 1) by Kristen Ciccrelli. 9780062567987. 2017. Gr 8-12.
Asha is her father and king’s dragon slayer. She has agreed to destroy the First Dragon in exchange for not having to marry the cruel commandant of the army. But the Old One, a god, tells her she must instead protect dragons. But can she discover the secrets that have been kept from her and escape her bondage? Will she be a weapon or a hero?
Last Star Burning by Caitlin Sangster. 9781481486132. 2017. Gr 8-12.
Sixteen-year-old Sev’s mother betrayed their city and has been displayed in a state of eternal sleep above the Traitor’s Arch. Sev has been branded as the daughter of the traitor and must work extra hard to prove her value. But when she is blamed for a bombing, Sev and a boy named Howl go on the run in search of the truth.
The Memory Trees by Kali Wallace. 9780062366238. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Sorrow Lovegood’s life has always been influenced by tales of women who have come before her, strong ancestors who long ago settled an unusual apple orchard in Vermont, renowned for its strange history. One winter night, everything changes—her sister, Patience, is tragically killed, her mother breaks down, and Sorrow is sent to live with her father in Miami. Years later, Sorrow returns to the orchard determined to get answers.
The Power by Naomi Alderman. 9780316547611. 2017. Gr 11-Adult.
One day a new force gives teen girls and women immense electrical power that allows them to cause pain and even death, drastically upending society. After the power is awakened, the lives of a rich Nigerian boy, a foster kid, an ambitious American politician, and a tough London girl converge with devastating consequences.
Satellite by Nick Lake. 9781524713539. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Teens Leo, Orion, and Libra have been born and raised on “Moon 2,” a satellite orbiting Earth. It is the only home they have ever known, and their only parents have been a team of astronauts training them to become strong enough—in mind and body—for a dangerous trip to Earth, their first trip to the planet in their lifetimes.
Strange Fire (Anchor and Sophia, Book 1) by Tommy Wallach. 9781481468381. 2017. Gr 9-12.
After an apocalypse was brought on by the greed of man, the survivors band together and form a new religious civilization called the Descendancy. Clive and Clover, sons of a well-respected Descendant minister, discover a scientific community intent on reintroducing the blasphemous technologies of the past, setting into motion a holy war between the two civilizations that will endanger their relationship and humanity itself.
That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston. 9781101994979. 2017. Gr 9-12.
In a near-future Toronto where the British Empire never fell, Helena, August, and Margaret are caught off-guard by the discovery of a love so intense they are willing to change the course of the monarchy to keep it.
Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. 9781250124555. 2017. Gr 7-12.
For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, hiding a terrible legacy, until mysterious Fel arrives and Estrella helps him explore his dangerous past.