Check out these exciting easy and fiction titles published in April. Everything here is realistic, including historical fiction, mysteries, and adventure. Happy reading!
ELEMENTARY PICTURE BOOKS
Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal. 9780763693558. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela asks her father why she has so many names. Her father tells stories from their family history to teach Alma that having so many names speaks of a rich family lineage. Alma begins to understand that one days she will have a story of her own.
Bark Park! by Trudy Krisher (ill. by Brooke Boynton-Hughes). 9781481430753. 2108. Gr PK-2.
Dogs have a great day at the dog park in this rhyming and riotous read-aloud.
The Breaking News by Sarah Lynne Reul. 9781250153562. 2018. Gr PK-3.
A young girl doesn’t know how to cope with the reaction of her parents and teacher to disastrous news. When her teacher tells the class to “look for the helpers,” she looks for ways that she can help by showing small kindnesses.
Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets : A Muslim Book of Shapes by Hena Khan (ill. by Mehrdokht Amini). 9781452155418. 2018. Gr PK-3.
As she did with colors in Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors, Khan uses Muslim buildings, objects, and traditions to demonstrate geometric shapes and motifs.
Everything You Need for a Treehouse by Carter Higgins (ill. by Emily Hughes). 9781452142555. 2018. Gr K-2.
A treehouse can be built with just a couple of boards and some nails, but for those who want a bit more, check out this lovely picture book.
Farmer Falgu Goes to the Market by Chitra Soundar & Kanika Nair. 9788181903129. 2018. Gr K-2.
As Farmer Falgu takes his produce to the market, a series of incidents causes all his eggs to crack. When he reaches the market, he decides that instead of trying to sell his nearly ruined produce, he will use the cracked eggs and sell omelets instead.
The Fishing Lesson by Heinrich Boll (ill. by Emile Bravo). 9780802855039. 2018. Gr PK-1.
A tourist scolds a fisherman taking a nap in his dinghy for his laziness, telling him that if he went out more, he would be more successful. But the fisherman has his own lesson to teach.
Goldfish on Vacation by Sally Lloyd-Jones (ill. by Leo Espinosa). 9780385386111. 2018. Gr PK-3.
With all their friends on vacation for the summer, three siblings are left with only their goldfish to play with. Then they notice that the old fountain down the street is being repaired, and someone has put up a sign: “Calling All Goldfish Looking for a Summer Home,” and the summer turns out to be not so dull after all. This tale is based on a true story.
Grains of Sand by Sibylle Delacroix. 9781771472050. 2018. Gr PK-3.
A young girl is disappointed that her family vacation to the beach is over. She and her brother collect the grains of sand from their shoes and plant them, imagining all the fun beach things that could grow.
Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall. 9780316362382. 2018. Gr PK-3.
This picture book follows the caretaker of an iconic lighthouse as he tends to the light and his family while showcasing the sea, the wildlife, and the changing seasons.
I Got It! by David Wiesner. 9780544309029. 2018. Gr PK-3.
A young boy is in the outfield during a baseball game, and as a fly ball comes towards him, he imagines all the disappointment and humiliation he might feel if he misses it, which makes him determined to succeed.
I Really Want to See You, Grandma by Taro Gomi. 9781452161587 2018. Gr PK-2.
Yumi and her grandmother really want to see each other, but when they both set out from their homes at the same time they keep missing each other.
I Walk with Vanessa : A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoet. 9781524769550. 2018. Gr PK-3.
This wordless picture book portrays the helplessness and anger that arises after incidents of bullying, and how an act of kindness can inspire a community.
The King of Bees by Lester L. Laminack (ill. by Jim LaMarche). 9781561459537. 2018. Gr K-3.
Henry is fascinated by the bees his Aunt Lilla cares for and he would love to help with them. But she says he must wait until he is older.
Little Brothers & Little Sisters by Monica Arnaldo. 9781771472951. 2018. Gr K-3.
Four pairs of sibling demonstrate through play and daily life the struggles and joys of being a younger sibling.
Max Explains Everything : Grocery Store Expert by Stacy McAnulty (ill. by Deborah Hocking). 9781101996447. 2018. Gr PK-3.
Kid-expert Max relates everything there is to know about going to the grocery store, from surviving the produce section obstacle course, to grabbing candy at the checkout lane.
Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (ill. by Ebony Glenn). 9781534400597. 2018. Gr PK-2.
A young African American Muslim girl tries on her mother’s headscarf, called a khimar or hijab. The yellow khimar means the most and as she wears it throughout the day, feeling the love of her family both Muslim and non-Muslim.
My Teacher’s Not Here! by Lana Button (ill. by Christine Battuz). 9781771383561. 2018. Gr PK-1.
Kitty and her fellow students are worried when they find out that Miss Seabrooke is home sick from school today. They wonder who will sing the class songs with them, who will help them zip up their jackets, and who will remind them all about bathroom time. Certainly not Mr. Omar, the substitute teacher. It is up to Kitty to show Mr. Omar the way.
Shark Nate-O by Tara Luebbe & Beck Cattie (ill. by Daniel Duncan). 9781499804966. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Nate loves sharks and spends every day reading shark books and watching TV with sharks in it—but he can’t swim. When his brother teases him about this, Nate works hard to be able to swim as fast and as gracefully as a shark and make the swim team.
Ten Cents a Pound by Nhung N. Tran-Davies & Josee Bisaillon. 9781772600568. 2018. Gr K-3.
A young girl loves her family and her village, but she also wants to go to school and see what’s beyond her small community.
What If… by Samantha Berger (ill. by Mike Curato). 9780316390965. 2018. Gr PK-3.
A child who likes to draw and write stories imagines what would happen if there were no pencils, paper, or other tools for being creative.
ELEMENTARY CHAPTER BOOKS
Charlie & Frog (Book 1) by Karen Kane. 9781368005821. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Bored at his grandparents’ place for the summer, Charlie worries when a woman who always greets him in sign language disappears. With his new friend Frog (Francine), who wants to be the world’s greatest detective, he is determined to find out what happened.
Class Action by Steven B. Frank. 9781328799203. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Sam is suspended for protesting the amount of homework he is assigned in sixth grade. With the help of his elderly neighbor attorney, he decides to file a class action lawsuit to declare that homework is unconstitutional. Along with a growing group of friends and family, Sam takes his fight all the way to the Supreme Court, learning quite a bit about the justice system along the way.
The Doughnut Fix (Book 1) by Jessie Janowitz. 9781492655411. 2018. Gr 3-6.
Tristan loves living in New York City, where he can try out the foods at the nearby delis and has learned to bake, so he is appalled when his parents move the family to a tiny town with no restaurants or bakeries. Not one! When he finds that the owner of the general store hasn’t made his “life-changing” chocolate cream doughnuts for years, he and his new friends go on a search for the recipe, hoping to start a new business in this sleepy town.
Ebb & Flow by Heather T. Smith. 9781771388382. 2018. Gr 4-6.
In a collection of free verse poems, Jett recounts his horrible year at a new town and school, and his return to his grandmother’s house on the coast for the summer where he tries to come to terms with everything that happened.
The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave. 9780553535327. 2018. Gr 4-6.
In 1906, Amihan lives in the leper colony on the Philippine island of Culion. She spends her days taking care of her mother and playing with the island’s butterflies. One day, a man from the health department arrives and announces that all the healthy children will be removed to a different island to help prevent them from getting the disease. When news of her mother arrives on the new island, Amihan is desperate to get back.
The Orphan Band of Springdale by Anne Nesbet. 9780763688042. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Due to World War II, Gusta leaves her parents in New York City for her grandmother’s orphanage in Maine. The only thing of value she brings with her is a beautiful French horn, a gift from her father, which she refuses to sell. As she struggles to adjust, she becomes inspired by a story her mother told her about a coin-like “Wish” that her sea-captain grandfather hid. And as the war rages, she watches patriotism turn to prejudice, and learns about alien registration drives and family secrets.
Rescue by Jessie Haas. 9781629798806. 2018. Gr 3-6.
Animal lover Joni likes her new friend Chess, who is a passionate animal activist. But when Chess “rescues” some miniature horses from a neighbor, Joni needs to find a way to confront Chess without ruining their friendship.
The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee by Deborah Abela. 9781492662112. 2018. Gr 4-6.
India and her family love to watch the Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee on TV, and they convince shy India, a terrific speller, to sign up.
You Go First by Erin Estrada Kelly. 9780062414182. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Twelve-year-old Charlotte Lockard and eleven-year-old Ben Boxer live across the country from each other and know each other from an online Scrabble game. Although they are different in many ways, the two find friendship and connection as they face family issues and the turmoil of middle school.
MIDDLE SCHOOL FICTION
Chasing Helicity (Book 1) by Ginger Zee. 9781484780381. 2018. Gr 4-7.
Everyone has a passion, and Helicity’s passion is the weather, as well as science and math, and would love to be a storm chaser. Disappointed when she isn’t placed in honors classes, Helicity goes for a horseback ride and is caught in a tornado.
Deep Water by Watt Key. 9780374306540. 2018. Gr 5-8.
When her scuba instructor father falls ill, Julie takes over, leading two clients on a dive while her father stays in the boat. The reckless clients, a father and son, won’t listen to Julie and get into trouble, and when Julie surfaces, her father and the boat have disappeared. It’s up to Julie to get the injured clients to safety before sharks show up.
Every Shiny Thing by Cordelia Jensen & Laurie Morrison. 9781419728648. 2018. Gr 5-9.
Lauren’s brother is at a boarding school for kids on the autism spectrum. After her mother is arrested, Sierra is placed with a foster family in Lauren’s affluent neighborhood. Now fast friends, Lauren wants Sierra’s help with a scheme to raise money for autistic children who can’t afford services like her brother has. But when Sierra finds out that it involves theft, she realizes that she has a lot to lose if she helps Lauren.
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes. 9780316262286. 2018. Gr 4-8.
Jerome is mistakenly shot by a white police officer, and as a ghost, observes the turmoil in his community as a result of his death. The ghost of Emmett Till helps Jerome understand how systemic racism led to his death and how far the effects of his death really go by introducing him to the grieving daughter of the police officer who struggles with her father’s actions.
The Girl with More Than One Heart by Laura Geringer Bass. 9781419728822. 2018. Gr 5-8.
After Briana’s father dies, she finds no comfort in family or home. She doesn’t even want to try to write for the school literary magazine or pursue the possibility of romance. Briana will need to find a way through the storm of her life by relying on her own inner self.
Gone to Drift by Diana McCaulay. 9780062672964. 2018. Gr 5-8.
When his grandfather, Maas Conrad, goes missing during a fishing trip in the ocean outside of Kingston, Jamaica, Lloyd braves the mysteries of the ocean to find him. As he does, he learns that most people in his community make little effort to look, but he finds allies in his friend Dwight and a dolphin researcher named Jules. Together they learn more about the sea and the people who use it.
Love Double Dutch! by Doreen Spicer-Donnelly. 9781524700003. 2018. Gr 4-7.
MaKayla is excited to take her double Dutch team to the national championship at Madison Square Garden, until her mom says MaKayla will be living with her aunt in North Carolina for the summer. With her dreams shattered, MaKayla crossly leaves her home, but then finds that double Dutch is hugely popular in the South—and maybe she can convince her snooty cousin to help her make a team.
Rebound by Kwame Alexander. 9780544868137. 2018. Gr 5-7.
In the summer of 1988, twelve-year-old Chuck Bell is sent to stay with his grandparents, where he discovers jazz and basketball and learns more about his family’s past.
Until Tomorrow, Mr. Marsworth by Sheila O’Connor. 9780399161933. 2018. Gr 5-7.
During the Vietnam War, a young girl gets a paper route, hoping to help her family save enough money to send her peace-loving older brother to college and keep him from being drafted. She tries to stay positive with the help of an old man on her paper route, who she has never seen but exchanges letters with. Funny and heart-warming, this book is told only in their letters, and Reenie and Mr. Marsworth have a history that Reenie just might uncover in their letters.
The War Below by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch. 9781338233025. 2018. Gr 4-7.
After capture by the Nazis, Ukrainian Luka is forced to work in a labor camp until he smuggles himself out, leaving his best friend Lida behind. He becomes part of an underground resistance force that are fighting both the Nazis and the Soviets. It’s very dangerous, but he hopes both to rescue Lida and get back home to his father.
Without Refuge by Jane Mitchell. 9781541500501. 2018. Gr 4-8.
As civil war sweeps through Syria, Ghalib and his family decide to make a desperate dash toward Europe.
HIGH SCHOOL FICTION
All Out of Pretty by Ingrid Palmer. 9781939547484. 2018. Gr 10-12.
For sixteen-year-old Andrea, beauty and friendships are a liability and academic achievement is the key to her future. But survival becomes paramount after her addict mother claims custody and puts them at the mercy of her drug dealer boyfriend.
Antipodes by Michele Bacon. 9781510723610. 2018. Gr 10-12.
After a mortifying and disastrous birthday week ruins Erin’s reputation, relationship with her boyfriend, and chances for a swim team captaincy, her mother decides that the only chance for an Ivy League future is for Erin to study abroad…in New Zealand. Despite the modest homes and the lack of anything “important” happening in the community, Erin finds that everyone there is happy and wonders how to get that contentment for herself.
Cold Hard Truth by Anne Greenwood Brown. 9780807580851. 2018. Gr 8-12.
Emmie is trying to reclaim her life after a year of dating her mom’s dealer, Nick—a relationship that ended with him in prison after she testified against him. While serving juvenile community service, Emmie meets Max, a boy with anger issues trying to overcome his own troubled past. The two are drawn into a tenuous relationship. But when their pasts come back to haunt them, they’ll have to learn to trust each other.
The Fall of Grace by Amy Fellner Dominy. 9781101936238. 2018. Gr 8-12.
When Grace’s mother is arrested for embezzling money from the hedge fund she manages, Grace searches for clues for her mother’s innocence—or for hidden money that she hadn’t spent. After searching at home and finding nothing, Grace heads out to their Colorado vacation home, followed by Sam, whose family lost everything because of her mother.
Folded Notes from High School by Matt Boren. 9780451478207. 2018. Gr 9-12.
It’s 1991 and Tara is a senior in high school, with a hot jock boyfriend and a fantastic best friend. She’s also poised for the role of Sandy in South High’s production of “Grease.” Her world turns upside down when freshman Matthew has an amazing audition for the role of Danny Zuko. Tara’s outrage that a freshman is in the spotlight turns into something else: adoration. Tara begins to mentor Matthew, but it quickly turns into something more that threatens her social standing.
I Was Cleopatra by Dennis Abrams. 9781773060224 2018. Gr 9-12.
When Shakespeare was writing his plays, it was unlawful for women to act on the stage, so young handsome men played the female parts. One such actor was John Rice, and this fictional biography chronicles both Rice’s career and his off-stage life.
In Her Skin by Kim Savage. 9780374308001. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Jo is a con artist, but now she is planning her biggest con yet: impersonating a missing girl from a wealthy family. It works—the family welcomes her with love. But they are also hiding secrets, and Jo might find her new safe nest to be a dangerous place.
Lizzie by Dawn Ius. 9781481490764. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Lizzie Borden is desperate to escape her father and stepmother’s bed and breakfast because of the physical and psychological abuse she suffers. It gets so bad that she has regular blackouts that coincide with her menses, with increasingly violent behaviors. In the months leading up to the legendary murders, Lizzie’s struggles with her illness, her desire to escape the inn, and a growing romance with the maid, Bridget.
Losers Bracket by Chris Crutcher. 9780062220066. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Annie cannot seem to get away from her birth family, despite living a moderately decent life with her foster parents. But she keeps getting drawn back into the drama. After an argument at a swim meet, her nephew goes missing, and it takes the combined efforts of everyone to put the pieces of the puzzle together to get him home safe.
Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington. 9780765392275. 2018. Gr 8-12.
Vee (Virginia) is thrilled to have a summer internship touring with bands on a reality show. Then she learns that Cam, her first love—and first heartbreak—will be on the bus, too.
Picture Us in the Light by Kelly Loy Gilbert. 9781484726020. 2018. Gr 9-12.
At an exclusive Silicon Valley high school, Danny Cheng is an artistic scholarship kid, which makes him stand out from his classmates. After the death of a friend, Danny’s life deteriorates even more when his father loses his job and the family is forced to move. One day he discovers a box in his father’s closet that contains old letters and a file on one of the most powerful families in Silicon Valley, forcing him to confront the secrets of his family history.
Rebel with a Cupcake by Anna Mainwaring. 9781525300332. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Jesobel is a no-nonsense girl with a love of cupcakes and great confidence despite being a big girl. But when a wardrobe malfunction puts her in the crosshairs of a mean girl, Jesobel’s confidence is quickly diminished. When a boy she has a major crush on invites her to a party, she wonders if her focus on food is keeping her from a life she really wants.
Relative Strangers by Paula Garner. 9780763694692. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Jules always wanted a tight-knit family, but she never knew her father and isn’t close to her ex-addict mother. When she looks for a baby picture for her senior yearbook, she is shocked to learn that she was in foster care for the first two years of her life. She sets out to learn the truth about her past and to find this loving family who had hoped to adopt her, but when she finds them, what she learns could break her heart once again.
Sam & Ilsa’s Last Hurrah by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan. 9780399553844. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Twins Ilsa and Sam are throwing one final dinner party before their grandmother moves to Paris and sells the apartment. The rules of the party are simple: each twin can invite three guests without telling the other who the party-goers are. As the dinner progresses, secrets, old grudges, and sibling rivalry take center stage.
Someday, Somewhere by Lindsay Champion. 9781771389310. 2018. Gr 9-12.
A girl from a gritty New Jersey neighborhood becomes enamored with a violin prodigy when her class is taken to a concert at Carnegie Hall. When she tracks him down, they both find something magnetic in the other.
Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett. 9781481478809. 2018. Gr 9-12.
When teens Zorie and Lennon—best friends once, until Lennon broke Zorie’s heart at homecoming—are stranded in the California wilderness together on a glamping (glamorous camping) trip, they must put aside their differences and come to terms with lingering romantic feelings in order to survive.
The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson Haddix. 9781481417648. 2018. Gr 9-12.
As small children, Avery and Kayla were good friends, but their lives and statuses have changed and pulled them apart. Avery is rich, athletic, and popular, and Kayla is…not. So when Avery’s father decides to invite Kayla to go with their family on a trip to Spain, neither girl is happy. But in Spain, the girls discover a secret both families hid from them—and it may draw them together or push both families apart.
The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles) by Amy Spalding. 9781510727663. 2018. Gr 7-12.
Abby lands an internship at her favorite boutique, where she falls for her fellow intern, Jordi, and finds herself competing against him to win a paid job. As Abby begins to feel more confident, her new best friend Jax tries to help her to prove to Abby’s mother that Abby is her own woman. Then Jordi publishes photographs that cause Abby to feel betrayed, and she tries to reconcile her private sense of self-worth with the image others have of her.
Troublemakers by Catherine Barter. 9781512475494. 2018. Gr 7-10.
When east London is targeted by a bomber, Alena, who was raised by her half-brother and his boyfriend, begins researching her long-dead activist mother; and the more she learns, the more rebellious she becomes. Her relationship with her brother becomes strained as Alena learns more about the relationship between her brother and mother.