Great Speculative Easy/Fiction Titles for September 2018

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Check out these exciting easy and fiction titles published in September. You’ll find magic, talking animals, dystopian societies, science fiction, and fantasy. Happy reading!

ELEMENTARY PICTURE BOOKS

AM I YOURS?  BASS PLAYS THE BASS AND OTHER HOMOGRAPHS  CRASH, SPLASH, OR MOO!  GIRAFFE PROBLEMS  GOOD MORNING, NEIGHBOR

Am I Yours? by Alex Latimer. 9781682630440. 2018. Gr PK-2.
After a dinosaur egg is blown out of its nest, a group of friendly dinosaurs try to determine what sort of species is in the egg so that they can return the baby to its parents.

The Bass Plays the Bass and Other Homographs by Gene Barretta. 9781250175076. 2018. Gr K-3.
The Zoola Palooza has come to town with a bunch of instrument-playing animals ready to give a concert…and to teach readers about homographs including bass, bow, and more.

Crash, Splash, or Moo! by Bob Shea. 9780316483018. 2018. Gr PK-1.
Mr. McMonkey is the host of the game show CRASH, SPLASH, OR MOO! A clam and a cow are challenged to do a series of stunts, and it is up to the reader to decide how each will end up. Will the daredevils crash, splash, or moo?

Giraffe Problems by Jory John (ill. by Lane Smith). 9781524772031. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Cyrus the giraffe does not like his long and bendy neck. He’s tried everything to disguise it but nothing works. Just when he’s ready to give up, a turtle named Edward comes by and complains that he has the opposite problem. Edward soon helps Cyrus understand that Cyrus’s neck has a purpose.

Good Morning, Neighbor by Davide Cali & Maria Dek. 9781616896997. 2018. Gr PK-2.
When Mouse decides one morning he needs an egg, he sets out to find one. Each animal he meets, he greets with “Good morning, neighbor!” The animals join Mouse on his search until he has gathered everything he needs—to bake a cake.

IMAGINE!  STEVES  T. REX TIME MACHINE  THERE'S A HOLE IN THE LOG AT THE BOTTOM OF THE LAKE  WILD BEAST

Imagine! by Raul Colon. 9781481462730. 2018. Gr K-3.
In this wordless picture book, a brown-skinned boy visits the Museum of Modern Art and is awed when the paintings come alive and take him on an adventure before returning to the museum. As the figures from the painting remain in his mind, the boy begins to make art of his own.

The Steves by Morag Hood. 9781492669142. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Two puffins meet, and when they find out that both are named Steve, angers flare while they try to decide who was the first Steve, the best Steve. Their silly arguments will have readers giggling.

T. Rex Time Machine by Jared Chapman. 9781452161549. 2018. Gr PK-3.
When two hungry dinosaurs go through a time machine, they find themselves in the amazing modern world. As they try to figure out how to get back home, they start to wonder why they would want to leave. The hilarious dialogue will make a great read-aloud and keep readers laughing.

There’s a Hole in the Log at the Bottom of the Lake by Loren Long. 9780399163999. 2018. Gr PK-3.
This popular song makes a great cumulative tale that not only helps new readers by the repetition, but also gives them a good laugh when combined with the addition characters that Loren Long adds in his illustrations.

The Wild Beast by Eric Walters (ill. by Sue Todd). 9781459815896. 2018. Gr PK-3.
This African tale of the formation of the universe tells how the wildebeest was made from the parts left over after the other animals were created.

ELEMENTARY CHAPTER BOOKS

DACTYL HILL SQUAD  GHOST ROAD  HAUNTING OF HOUNDS HOLLOW  HOUSE WITH CHICKEN LEGS  OTHERWOOD  RA THE MIGHTY : CAT DETECTIVE  SMOKE AND MIRRORS

Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel Jose Older. 9781338268812. 2018. Gr 4-6.
In Civil War-era New York City, dinosaurs roam the streets as the raptor-mounted armies fight in the South. Magdalys Roca from the Colored Orphan Asylum is on a field trip when the Draft Riots break out, and she and her friends escape to the Dactyl Hill neighborhood—where black and brown neighbors have set up a refuge from the dinosaurs and the threats of the evil Manhattan magistrate, Richard Riker. With the help of the Vigilance Committee, they learn to fly on dactylback; and along with new friends and dinosaurs, they plot to take down Riker.

The Ghost Road by Charis Cotter. 9781101918890. 2018. Gr 3-6.
Ruth and her cousin Ruby are staying the summer in Newfoundland. Ruby believes in spirits and fairies, and Ruth believes in science and facts. Soon the girls are caught up in a family mystery. They learn that twins are born to every generation of their family, that one of each pair of twins possesses a supernatural ability, and that they both die young.  Ruth and Ruby must find the answers to family secrets along Ghost Road.

The Haunting of Hounds Hollow by Jeffrey Salane. 9781338105490. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Lucas’s family has moved to an old mansion in the boonies, near a small town called Hounds Hollow—especially when he discovers that the area is haunted by ghost dogs. Afraid at first, Lucas begins to realize that the ghosts are actually protecting the town from something much, much worse. With two new friends, he sets out to solve the mystery of his new home

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson. 9781338209969. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Marinka lives with her grandmother in a house that wanders around on chicken legs. Her grandmother, a Yaga, guides the dead to the afterlife and is training Marinka to be a Yaga, too. But all Marinka wants is a friend, and when she finds one, she’s so excited that she breaks her grandmother’s rules—causing her grandmother to disappear. Now Marinka must find her grandmother in the afterlife before it’s too late.

Otherwood by Pete Hautman. 9780763690717. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Stuey Becker likes spending time in Westdale Wood by the house he shares with his artist mother. It is in the woods where he meets Elly Rose, who lives on the other side of the woods, and the pair learn that they share a birthday and have family history in common. While they are in the woods one day, something unbelievable happens. Then Elly disappears, the town is thrown into chaos, and her parents want the woods leveled. Stuey knows what happened in the woods that fateful day—but no one will believe him.

Ra the Mighty : Cat Detective by A.B. Greenfield. 9780823440276. 2018. Gr 2-5.
Ra, spoiled cat of the Pharaoh, spends his life napping in the sun and waiting for snacks. He’s not interested in finding a missing amulet. Khepri, his scarab beetle friend, is as obsessed with the mystery as he is with dung, and prods Ra into helping him investigate people and places throughout the palace. Notes as well as a glossary and a pronunciation guide will familiarize young readers with ancient Egypt. This is the first title of an engaging series.

Smoke and Mirrors by K.D. Halbrook. 9781534405042. 2018. Gr 4-7.
When Sasha, the child of Cirque performers, enters fifth grade, she begins getting bullied by the native Islander kids, leaving her frustrated. One day, a mysterious smoke turns her parents into birds as they perform, leaving Sasha and her brother in a race to rescue them.

SPLINTERED LIGHT  SWEEP : THE STORY OF A GIRL AND HER MONSTER  THIS IS WAR  VERY RICH  VOYAGE OF THE DOGS

The Splintered Light by Ginger Johnson. 9781681196237. 2018. Gr 4-6.
After his brother Luc disappeared, Ishmael lives with his mother on their poor and colorless farm. When a sudden ray of light divides into colors Ishmael has never seen before, he sets out to search for his brother, knowing that Luc will have the answers. He finds Luc at an artisan’s community, being trained as a Color Keeper. Ishmael is drawn to his own future as a Color Keeper, but when a disaster destroys most of the color and light, he is torn between his destiny and his family.

Sweep : The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier. 9781419731402. 2018. Gr 4-6.
After the loss of her father, ten-year-old Nan Sparrow works as an assistant to a chimney sweep in nineteenth-century England. One day, she drops her favorite possession in a fireplace and accidentally creates a golem made of soot and ash. Together the two outcasts try to carve out a new life.

This Is War (Cats vs. Robots, Book 1) by Margaret Stohl & Lewis Peterson. 9780062665706. 2018. Gr 3-6.
The robot planet and the cat planet have been enemies for ages. When they find out that humans on the tiny backward planet of Earth have created a powerful Singularity Chip that could tip the power balance between cats and robots, both planets send representatives to Earth to steal the Chip. The main action is carried out between human twins, their home’s Artificial Intelligence unit, a couple of stray kittens, and the cat next door, and this first in a series is a high-interest and hilarious adventure.

Very Rich by Polly Horvath. 9780823440283. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Rupert’s family lives in a small house in a poor neighborhood, with little money for extras or even food. While walking through a rich neighborhood on Christmas, he is accidentally zapped by their fence, and the family invites him in to make amends. The eccentric family members all feel guilty, and throughout the book, they each take Rupert on crazy, laugh-out-loud adventures.

Voyage of the Dogs by Greg Van Eekhout. 9780062686008. 2018. Gr 4-6.
A human and dog astronaut crew are in a state of hibernation, on their way to a faraway planet. But when the dogs wake up early and find themselves alone, they know something has gone very wrong. They set out to try to find where the humans went and why they left, before they run out of fuel, food, and oxygen. This sci-fi book has plenty of laughs as well as excitement.

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL FICTION

 ASSASSINATION OF BRANGWAIN SPURGE  IGNITE THE STARS  IMPOSTORS  MONA LISA KEY  SMALL SPACES  TALES FROM THE INNER CITY  WITCH BORN

The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson & Eugene Yelchin. 9780763698225. 2018. Gr 5-8.
Uptight elfin historian Brangwain Spurge is to be catapulted into goblin territory where he must deliver a peace offering to their dark lord, and in the process, spy on the goblin kingdom. The goblin archivist, Werfel, is happy to show Brangwain around, but through misunderstandings and cultural blunders, these two academics may throw their kingdoms into war.

Ignite the Stars (Book 1) by Maura Milan. 9780807536254. 2018. Gr 7-10.
Seventeen-year-old criminal mastermind Ia Cocha has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth; but when she’s captured, her identity is revealed. The Commonwealth decides to use Ia’s talents and enroll her in the military academy where she plots her escape, until she meets new acquaintances and begins to question her loyalty. Outside the academy, dark forces muster their strength and threaten not only the Commonwealth, but the entire universe.

Impostors (Book 1) by Scott Westerfeld. 9781338151510. 2018. Gr 7-10.
Frey is her twin sister’s body double and closest friend. While Rafi is raised to be the perfect daughter, Frey is trained as a killer whose only job is to protect Rafi. Their powerful father sends Frey, as Rafi, as collateral during negotiations for a precarious deal; but the son of the rival leader, Col, begins to see the killer, not the princess, despite Frey’s perfect imitation. The deal begins to unravel and Frey questions whether she can tell Col the truth, which means becoming her own person.

The Mona Lisa Key (Time Castaways, Book 1) by Liesl Shurtliff. 9780062568137. 2018. Gr 4-7.
When Matt, Ruby, and Corey Hudson discover their subway train is actually a time-traveling eighteenth-century frigate captained by a mysterious pirate, they are thrown into a series of adventures that offer cryptic clues about their past and their future.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden. 9780525515029. 2018. Gr 4-7.
After the tragic death of her mother, Ollie finds respite from her grief through books. One day, she encounters a frightening woman throwing a book into the river, and without thinking, Ollie takes the book. She reads about an old family, whose deaths are linked to a pact made with “the smiling man.” On a class trip to an old farm, Ollie discovers gravestones that have the exact names of the people she’s been reading about. On their way home, the bus breaks down, and the bus driver offers an ominous warning, “Run.”

Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan. 9781338298406. 2018. Gr 6-8.
Tan’s latest collection of illustrated short stories feature alternate world relationships between humans and animals, both wild and domestic, in an urban setting.

Witch Born by Nicholas Bowling. 9781338277531. 2018. Gr 6-9.
Fleeing to London after seeing her mother burned at the stake as a witch, Alyce begins to learn about her own powers. With some very important and powerful people on her trail, she and her new friends find themselves drawn into a secret supernatural war that threatens the fate of the world.

 

HIGH SCHOOL FICTION

AFTERIMAGE  ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT WALLFLOWER  BLADE SO BLACK  DARK DESCENT OF ELIZABETH FRANKENSTEIN  DEEPEST ROOTS  FOR A MUSE OF FIRE  GIVE THE DARK MY LOVE

Afterimage by Naomi Hughes. 9781624145971. 2018. Gr 9-12.
When an explosion destroys her part of the city, Camryn is the only survivor. She and her now-deceased mother are blamed as being part of the conspiracy that set the bomb. In her search for the truth, she meets Quint, a transparent young man wearing a lab coat (is he a ghost?) whom only she can see. She decides to trust hum, and together they search for answers—but they find more than they are looking for in this sci-fi thriller.

Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower by Christian McKay Heidicker. 9781481499132. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Phoebe and her mother run from monster after monster under the watchful gaze of Phoebe’s other-worldly father who warns the pair when the next attack will come. Phoebe just wants a normal life, but when her mother vanishes, Phoebe is left to fend for herself against the monsters.

A Blade So Black (Book 1) by L.L. McKinney. 9781250153906. 2018. Gr 9-12.
In this urban fantasy, Alice is a Dreamwalker, trained to kill creatures known as Nightmares. But when her life in Atlanta begins to clash with her job as a Dreamwalker, Alice finds herself caught between two worlds, and her feelings for two boys, all while the Nightmares continue to rage against her. When her mentor is poisoned, Alice learns she must travel deep into Wonderland to find the anecdote, deeper than she’s ever gone before.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White. 9780525577942. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Rescued from an abusive situation, five-year-old Elizabeth is taken in by the Frankenstein family where she befriends the young volatile Victor. She works hard to become indispensable, and it doesn’t take long for Elizabeth and Victor to become inseparable, even as she contends with this vicious temper and depraved requests. As the years pass, Victor leaves home and Elizabeth tracks him down to a Bavarian town where she discovers the horror of what he’s been doing.

The Deepest Roots by Mairanda Asebedo. 9780062747075. 2018. Gr 9-12.
All girls in the town of Cottonwood Hollow, Kansas, are born with a special talent, like being able to fix anything that’s broken, attract any man with just a smile, and heal any wound. Rome, Lux, and Mercy view their talents as curses, as the magic doesn’t help them in their day-to-day lives. In fact, their gifts always seem to backfire. When a mysterious diary leading to a treasure is discovered, the girls learn that the treasure they’re led to is not what they are expecting.

For a Muse of Fire (Book 1) by Heidi Heilig. 9780062380814. 2018. Gr 9-12.
When Chakrana is taken over by the Aquitans, Jetta, whose family is a well-known troupe of shadow performers, must hide the forbidden magical abilities which allow her to see spirits and bind them to her puppets. Desperate to gain access to a spring rumored to cure mental instability so she might cure her own bi-polar disorder, Jetta and her family try to impress the king with the very magic he has forbidden. Soon, Jetta finds herself in the chaos of a rebellion as secrets from her family’s past come to light.

Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis. 9781595147172. 2018. Gr 8-12.
Nedra is studying medicinal alchemy at Yugen Academy. As a scholarship student from the North, she doesn’t quite fit in with her wealthy classmates. She is also more studious than they are. She wants to find a cure for the plague that is decimating the North and that is spreading toward the cities. Upset that the emperor does nothing to solve the problem, she turns to necromancy—and not even her new romance with Grey will be able to stop her.

GOOD DEMON  LANTERN'S EMBER  NIGHTINGALE  NOT EVEN BONES  ROOM AWAY FROM THE WOLVES  RULE OF ONE  STRANGE GRACE

The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas. 9781419731273. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Clare and the demon that possessed her were like sisters, as the demon—called Her—made Clare feel brave and less lonely. After an exorcism, Clare is miserable and wants her sister back.  The demon left clues behind and Clare teams up with the reverend’s son to scour her small Southern town in a search for her sister.

The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck. 9780399555725. 2018. Gr 9-12.
In the mortal world, witch Ember O’Dare has a strange pull towards an ancient bridge in the town of Hallowell. She doesn’t know that the bridge is a gateway to the Otherworld and protected by Jack, the watchman whose job it is to keep mortals out—which should be a simple task if it weren’t for the fact that he and Ember are falling for each other. Despite his warnings, Ember crosses the threshold into the Otherworld, and Jack is forced to rescue her before both realms descend into chaos.

Nightingale by Amy Lukavics. 9781335012340. 2018. Gr 9-12.
June is not like other young teens in 1951; she is headstrong and independent. She doesn’t want to be a little homemaker for her domineering man her father has picked out for her. She wants to travel and write dark fiction, so she rebels—and her parents have her committed to an asylum. The Institution, as it is called, uses fear and brutality to keep its inmates in check, and June begins to wonder if everything that happens there is real or a hallucination. But she is sure that the Institution must be brought down before all of them are to survive.

Not Even Bones by Reecca Schaeffer. 9781328863546. 018. Gr 10-12.
After her mother kills them, Nita dissects the bodies of supernatural beings and sells their organs on the black market. But when she refuses to vivisect a live boy, she is taken prisoner herself and sold in the boy’s place—as she isn’t quite human herself. Now she must face her own morality as she tries to escape by becoming a monster herself.

A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma. 9781616203733. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Bina leaves her mother and step-family after suffering years of lies. She travels to Manhattan’s West Village and Catherine House—a women’s refuge that’s been in place for nearly 100 years—where she was meant to go years back when she and her mother escaped her abusive father. Bina befriends a neighbor, Monet Mathis, who shows her how the strange, archaic rules and the pledges bring the women together in supernatural ways—ways that help explain more about Bina’s mother and the house itself.

Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton. 9781534402089. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Long ago, a village made a bargain with the devil: to ensure they will not suffer from disease, blight, and pain, every seven years when the Slaughter Moon rises, the village must sacrifice a young man in the Devil’s Forest. This year, the Slaughter Moon rises early, and the devil demands three sacrifices, not just one.

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