Check out these exciting easy and fiction titles published in February. Everything here is realistic, including historical fiction, mysteries, and adventure. Happy reading!
ELEMENTARY PICTURE BOOKS
Anywhere Artist by Nikki Slade Robinson. 9781328707369. 2018. Gr K-2.
A young artist makes art from not just traditional materials, but from all the stuff she finds around her.
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller (ill. by Jen Hill). 9781626723214. 2018. Gr PK-1.
When a young girl named Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, a classmate tries to comfort her, without much success, and then contemplates what being kind really means and how she can help Tanisha.
Big Tree Down! by Laurie Lawlor (ill. by David Gordon). 9780823436613. 2018. Gr PK-2.
When Big Tree falls after being struck by lightning, community helpers arrive to cordon off the area, shut off the power, and clear the tree from the road. With the power out, the neighbors come together to light bonfires, cook out, and share stories of Big Tree. The wood from Big Tree goes on to become firewood, mulch, and seating in the community, and in the autumn, neighbors plant a sapling they affectionately call Little Tree.
A Couch for Llama by Leah Gilbert. 9781454925118. 2018. Gr PK-2.
When the Lago family’s new couch falls into a field on their way home, the llama that lives there gets a very big surprise. He’s never seen a couch before. Initially he’s not impressed, but it doesn’t take long for him to love it. And when the Lago family returns for their couch, they know just what to do to help this couch-loving llama be happy.
Florette by Anna Walker. 9780544876835. 2018. Gr K-2.
Mae and her family move from the country into the city. She misses growing things, but one day Mae comes across a tiny flower outside a florist’s shop and starts a garden of her own.
I Can Be Anything! Don’t Tell Me I Can’t by Diane Dillon. 9781338166903. 2018. Gr PK-3.
A young girl named Zoe repeatedly states that she can be anything she wants to be. Despite a voice asking “but what if you fail?” Zoe responds, “Go away, voice… I can be anything… but first, I have to learn to read. And don’t tell me I can’t!”
Jinx and the Doom Fight Crime! by Lisa Mantchev (ill. by Samantha Cotterill). 9781481467018. 2018. Gr PK.2.
Two siblings, Jinx and Doom, are normal kids—except that they also turn into super heroes and fight crime. One day, they realize that they can use their powers for good and not mischief.
Kate, Who Tamed the Wind by Liz Garton Scanlon & Lee White. 9781101934791. 2018. Gr PK-3.
To stop the wind from blowing everything upside down, young Kate uses her old wheelbarrow to drag some young trees up a steep hill where she plants them, providing a little green, along with the wind protection, to the man who lives on the hill.
Warbler Wave by April Pulley Sayre with Jeff Sayre. 9781481448291. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Simple text and photographs introduce young readers to the warbler species of bird and how they use their abilities to migrate far over the world.
ELEMENTARY CHAPTER BOOKS
The 11:11 Wish by Kim Tomsic. 9780062654946. 2018. Gr 4-7.
Megan wants to reinvent herself at her new school, but on the first day she is thrown in the middle of a power struggle between two popular girls. On a dare, she makes a wish for magic just as the classroom clock chimes 11:11. Her wish comes true, but with unexpected side effects. Now she is charged with organizing an epic event to start Spirit Week—without using magic—and if she can’t deliver, her social life at her new school is doomed.
The Art of the Swap by Kristine Asselin & Jen Malone. 9781481478717. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Hannah is the daughter of the caretaker at the museum The Elms. Amongst the stories of the original occupants of the mansion-turned-museum, the legend of a stolen painting of the tween heiress Maggie Dunlap most intrigues Hannah. But when she discovers a magical mirror, she learns she can swap places with Maggie, who is very excited to live with modern freedoms, while Hannah races to stop heist of the painting.
Best Buds Under Frogs (Rizzlerunk Club, Book 1) by Leslie Patricelli. 9780763651046. 2018. Gr 2-5.
Lily’s first act at her new school is to throw up on somebody’s shoes. Fortunately, she is taken under the wing of Darby, who likes frogs and other weird stuff. Together the new BFFs form the Rizzlerunk Club. Shortly after, Darby’s former BFF, who had moved to London, returns. How will these relationships turn out?
Frederik Sandwich and the Earthquake That Couldn’t Possibly Be by Kevin John Scott. 9781492648536. 2018. Gr 4-6.
After an earthquake that never should have happened, Frederik decides to investigate the cause himself after the mayor convinces everyone in town to forget the incident. When Frederik accidentally meets Pernille Yasemin Jensen, together they seek out answers. Their travels lead them into some of the scarier places in their town, where they uncover a conspiracy, decades in the making.
The Heart and Mind of Frances Pauley by April Stevens. 9781524720612. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Lonely Frances isolates herself at home and at school, and her relationship with her older sister Christinia breaks down. Her only real friend is Alvin, the elderly bus driver who seems to understand Frances’ need for isolation. Overcome with grief after Alvin dies, Frances slowly begins to bridge the gap between herself and Christinia and a few of her classmates.
The Midnight Gang by David Walliams. 9780062561060. 2018. Gr 3-6.
After an accident in gym class, Tom ends up in the awful hospital children’s ward run by a wicked matron. But after dark is the patients’ time to shine, as they become the Midnight Gang and escape to wonderful worlds created from their wildest imaginings.
Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans by Russel Ginns. 9781524720001. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Samantha’s uncle mysteriously disappears, leaving behind extravagant gifts for her siblings. But to Samantha he leaves only an old, rusty, red umbrella that may contain clues to his whereabouts.
Stanley Will Probably Be Fine by Sally J. Pla. 9780062445797. 2018. Gr 3-6.
Stanley has anxiety and sensory processing disorder, and he loves comics. When he faints during a safety assembly, he imagines a superhero to help him cope. He uses this coping mechanism when he visits San Diego with his neighbor Liberty to participate in a comics trivia treasure hunt to get passes to Comic Fest. He hopes the passes will win back his best friend, Joon, who has started hanging out with the popular kids.
MIDDLE SCHOOL FICTION
The Ambrose Deception by Emily Ecton. 9781484788387. 2018. Gr 4-7.
Three Chicago students, Melissa, Wilf, and Bondi, are unlikely participants in a competition for a ten-thousand-dollar scholarship, unaware that there is much more at stake.
Between the Lines by Nikki Grimes. 9780399246883. 2018. Gr 7-10.
A group of high school students grow in understanding of each other’s challenges and forge unexpected connections as they prepare for a “boys vs. girls” poetry slam. The author includes a note about foster home care.
Checked by Cynthia Kadohata. 9781481446617. 2018. Gr 6-9.
When his dog, Sinbad, develops cancer and Conor chooses to give up hockey to help pay for treatment—leading him to question who he is without the sport that defines him. Along the way, he begins to notice more about his friends and family, giving Conor a better sense of where his priorities should lie.
Hunger : A Tale of Courage by Donna Jo Napoli. 9781481477499. 2018. Gr 6-9.
In 1846 Ireland, at the height of the potato famine, twelve-year-old Lorraine and her family struggle to survive in Country Galway.
The Misfits Club by Kieran Crowley. 9781250079268. 2018. Gr 4-7.
Brian, Hannah, Sam, and Chris live in Newpark where nothing happens. When they were eight, they had started The Misfits Club, which sadly is disbanding. It has not solved any mysteries and now is the beginning of their last summer together. When Amelia joins their group, they decide to investigate a spooky house—and discover stolen property. Maybe they have time for one more adventure!
The Not-So-Boring Letters of Private Nobody by Matthew Landis. 9780735227989. 2018. Gr 5-8.
Oliver, a Civil War buff and weekend reenactor, is partnered with two misfits to create a documentary about the wartime experience of a Civil War contemporary. While they conduct research in local historical societies, collaborate on a script, and edit the film, they discover secrets about their Pennsylvania soldier and learn how to be friends with each other.
One True Way by Shannon Hitchcock. 9781338181722. 2018. Gr 5-8.
Allie and Samantha, two middle school girls in the 1970s American South, struggle with their growing feelings for each other, and find challenges and support from unlikely places.
Playing Atari with Saddam Huseein : Based on a True Story by Jennifer Roy with Ali Fadhil. 9780544785076. 2018. Gr 5-7.
For forty-two days in 1991, eleven-year-old Ali Fadhil and his family struggle to survive as Basra, a city in Iraq, is bombed by the United States and its allies.
R Is for Rebel by J. Anderson Coats. 9781481496674. 2018. Gr 5-8.
Malley is on the run. Her pursuers had captured and tortured her parents, who were part of the Milean resistance. She is sent to a reform school, and despite mistreatment and threats of the workhouse, she meets other young rebels, and together they plan to take over the school.
Snapstreak : How My Friends Saved My (Social) Life by Suzanne Weyn. 9781328713469. 2018. Gr 5-7.
Eighth graders Vee, Lulu, Megan, and Gwynneth enter a local television station’s contest for the pair of students who can prove the longest-running “snapstreak.”
HIGH SCHOOL FICTION
All Out : The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages edited by Saundra Mitchell. 9781335470454. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Young adult authors share historical fiction short stories featuring predominantly queer figures across cultures, time periods, and identities. The stories contain themes such as retellings of classic fairy tales, teens who fall in love during memorable historical events, and forbidden relationships across centuries.
All We Can Do Is Wait by Richard Lawson. 9780448494111. 2018. Gr 7-12.
Five teenagers from different backgrounds meet in the waiting room of Boston General Hospital seeking information on their loved ones after a bridge collapse. Each teen goes through their own private struggles as they try to deal with the potential loss of their loved ones. (The reader is given information that the characters aren’t privy to, which brings each teenager’s motivations for being there into question.)
American Panda by Gloria Chao. 9781481499101. 2018. Gr 7-12.
Mei Lu tries to live up to her Taiwanese parents’ expectations at MIT—to become a doctor and marry a Taiwanese boy. But no expectations they place on her can overcome the fact that she is a germaphobe, doesn’t want to become a doctor, prefers dancing to science, and is in love with a Japanese American boy.
The Calculus of Change by Jessie Hilb. 9780544953338. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Overweight and pretty, high school senior Aden gets caught up in an exciting new friendship that quickly turns into unrequited love—at least on Aden’s side—even while it helps her get closer to her deceased mother’s heritage.
Down and Across by Arvin Ahmadi. 9780425289877. 2018. Gr 8-12.
Iranian American Scott has no idea what he wants to do with his life. His parents want him to choose a career and apply for college. But when they visit Iran for a month and leave him home, Scott skips town and travels to Washington, D.C. to visit a famous professor for advice about success. There he meets Fiora, a college student, who writes crossword puzzles. During his summer of freedom, he finds answers about himself and his future in unexpected places.
A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena. 9780374305444. 2108. Gr 9-12.
Zarin is a free-spirited orphan girl with a poor reputation in her school and community in Saudi Arabia. When she and her friend Porus are found dead in a gruesome car accident, the religious police uncover more than anyone expected about who this girl was. The pasts of both reveal the sexist double standard of life in Saudi Arabia, and the angst of a teenage girl growing up abused and alienated in a place that didn’t want her.
Hamilton and Peggy! : A Revolutionary Friendship by L.M. Elliott. 9780062671301. 2018. Gr 9-12.
In 1777, Peggy Schuyler lived in the shadows of her sisters, until she joins the revolutionary war effort, becoming friends with Alexander Hamilton and witnessing some of the most momentous events of the late eighteenth century.
Hooper by Geoff Herbach. 9780062453112. 2018. Gr 8-12.
Adam was abandoned at a Polish orphanage when he was found and adopted by Renata, an American studying abroad. At his new home in Minnesota, basketball becomes his lifeline, his “passport”. If only school, with its language classes and bullies, could be as easy. When he is accepted to an elite AAU team, he discovers a new kind of discrimination in his organization’s racism against black players.
The Last to Let Go by Amber Smith. 9781481480734. 2018. Gr 9-12.
After her mother kills her abusive father, Brooke and her siblings find themselves alone for the first time ever. Without parents or stability, Brooke goes through a year of firsts while also confronting the darkness in her family.
This Heart of Mine by C.C. Hunter. 9781250131652. 2018. Gr 10-12.
Leah is being kept alive by an artificial heart carried in her backpack, but this will only work for a few years. Complicating a search for a replacement heart is Leah’s rare blood type. When a heart does become available, she discovers that it had come from a boy in her school, a boy who committed suicide. But when she meets Matt, the boy’s brother, they find that they are having the same disturbing dream—and that the death may be suspicious.
This Tiny Perfect World by Lauren Gibaldi. 9780062490070. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Penny has her future mapped out, a future that includes staying in the small town where she grew up, going to community college, taking over the family diner, and marrying her high school sweetheart. But then she wins a scholarship to an elite theater camp, and her future isn’t so clear anymore.
What the Night Sings by Vesper Stamper. 9781524700386. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Fourteen-year-old Gerta Rausch thought she was Gerta Richter, a talented Aryan singer and musician, until she and her father were discovered by the Nazis and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. When she is freed from the camp at the end of World War II, she must rebuild her life without her family and come to terms with her Jewish identity. One day Gerta meets Lev, a fellow teen survivor, and falls for him. It is with his help that she slowly rediscovers the music she once loved.
Winterfolk by Janel Kolby. 9780062487001. 2018. Gr 8-12.
As long as she can remember, Rain has lived in the Jungle near the Winterfolk, a camp for the homeless, growing up in this hidden place, learning to be invisible. When the Seattle authorities decide to do a sweep to clear out the Winterfolk, her friend King wants Rain and her father to leave with him—but Rain can’t imagine living anywhere else. Before they leave, Rain convinces King to take her into Seattle, where they get separated and Rain decides to try to save her people.
ADULT CROSSOVER FICTION
The Clarity by Keith Thomas. 9781501156939. 2018. Gr 11-Adult.
Eleven-year-old Ashanique has a unique ability: she can remember the memories of other people. During a visit from psychologist Matilda Deacon, who studies how memories are stored, Ashanique recalls memories of the murderous Night Doctors—who were also mentioned by one of Matilda’s patients before he committed suicide. Ashanique and her mother have been running from an assassin her whole life, and Matilda realizes the consequences if they are caught.
Force of Nature by Jane Harper. 9781250105639. 2108. Gr 11-Adult.
A corporate retreat takes a deadly turn when one of the colleagues doesn’t come out of the woods. The remaining co-workers each give the Federal Agent investigating the case a different version of events, leaving him to untangle a very tangled and deadly web of lies.
Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern. 9780062678966. 2018. Gr 11-Adult.
Kit, librarian at a small-town public library, loves the peace she finds among books—that is, until Sunny, a young home-schooled teen girl, gets arrested for shoplifting a dictionary, and the judge assigns her to do community service at Kit’s library. Sunny’s arrival is only the beginning of changes to Kit’s life, as other offbeat patrons are drawn to them.