February 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Brand-New Chapter Books and Old Favorites | Fiction Series Update

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New Series

Broach, Elise. The Miniature World of Marvin & James. illus. by Kelly Murphy. 112p. (The Masterpiece Adventures: Bk. 1). Holt/Christy Ottaviano Bks. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780805091908. LC 2013036081.

Gr 1-4– In a companion to the acclaimed Masterpiece (Holt, 2008), best friends James (a boy) and Marvin (a beetle) are separated for a week while James goes on vacation. Marvin has to make do with his irritating cousin, Elaine. Their hijinks are highlighted in this charming and humorous chapter book series opener about friendship and adventure.

Holub, Joan & Suzanne Williams. Cinderella Stays Late. Bk. 1. ISBN 9780545519830; ISBN 9780545633840.
––––. Red Riding Hood Gets Lost. Bk. 2. ISBN 9780545519847; ISBN 9780545633857.
ea vol: 192p. (Grimmtastic Girls). Scholastic. 2014. pap. $5.99. ebk. $5.99.
Gr 3-5– The authors of the “Goddess Girls” series (S. & S.) take on the leading ladies made famous by the Brothers Grimm. The books feature a diverse cast and give the fairy tales modern makeovers. In Cinderella, new girl Cinda teams up with her friends Red, Snow, and Rapunzel to save Prince Awesome’s ball from her stepsisters’ treachery. In Red Riding Hood, the title character battles stage fright while trying out for the school play but might have to put her acting skills to work when she confronts the possibly villainous Wolfgang in the Neverwood forest.

Quinn, Jordan. The Lost Stone. Bk. 1. ISBN 9781442496910.
––––. The Scarlet Dragon. Bk. 2. ISBN 9781442496934.
ea vol: illus. by Robert McPhillips. 128p. (The Kingdom of Wrenly). S. & S./Little Simon. 2014. pap. $4.99.
Gr 1-3– Eight-year-old Prince Lucas and Clara, the daughter of the queen’s seamtress, pair up to explore the Kingdom of Wrenly. In The Lost Stone, the duo encounter fairies, trolls, dragons, and wizards as they hunt for the Queen’s missing emerald. In The Scarlet Dragon, Lucas and Clara help care for a sick baby dragon. They travel through dangerous troll territory to find the special berries that will cure the magical creature. Each volume features a large typeface, short chapters, and black-and-white illustrations. Ideal for newly independent readers.

Schroeder, Lisa. Caitlin’s Lucky Charm. Bk. 1. ISBN 9780545603720; ISBN 9780545605144.
––––. Mia’s Golden Bird. Bk. 2. ISBN 9780545603775.
ea vol: 192p. (Charmed Life). Scholastic. 2014. pap. $5.99. ebk. $5.99.
Gr 3-6– Caitlin, Hannah, Mia, and Libby meet at summer camp and become BFFs. They buy a charm bracelet together, vowing to take turns with it, hoping that it will bring good luck to the girl wearing it. Caitlin struggles at a new school while her family deals with money issues. Budding photographer Mia faces down the gossip mill at her school when a famous actress notices her work. With a nod to Ann Brashares’s “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” books (Delacorte), this series for the tween set features protagonists from diverse backgrounds.

Schwab, Victoria. New Beginnings. 208p. (Everyday Angel: Bk. 1). Scholastic. 2014. pap. $6.99. ISBN 9780545528467; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9780545530545.

Gr 3-7– Aria is young guardian angel on a mission to help three girls; once she does, she’ll be able to gain her wings. Her first charge is Gabby Torres, who is relieved and anxious to be starting at a new school and hopes that she can shed her “girl with a sick brother” identity. The first in a series showcasing tweens with “everyday” conflicts, it will engage middle schoolers.

West, Tracey. Rise of the Earth Dragon. illus. by Graham Howells. 96p. (Dragon Masters: Bk. 1). Scholastic/Branches. Aug. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780545646246; pap. $4.99. ISBN 9780545646239; ebk. $4.99. ISBN 9780545646338.

Gr 1-3– In this heavily illustrated chapter book series for newly independent readers, eight-year-old Drake is chosen by the magical Dragon Stone to train dragons along with three other Dragon Masters-in-training. The four students must learn to connect with their dragons and discover their unique powers.


Continuing Series

Adderson, Caroline. Jasper John Dooley: NOT in Love. illus. by Ben Clanton. 132p. (Jasper John Dooley: Bk. 3). Kids Can. 2014. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781554538034.

Gr 1-3– All Jasper wants to do is play knights and dragons, but his friend Isabel insists on playing babies and planning their wedding. Yuck! At least she has a cool trampoline in her backyard. Like the previous two installments, this third book features short chapters, ample white space, and periodic black-and-white illustrations.

Allen, Elise. Winter’s Flurry Adventure. illus. by Paige Pooler. 160p. (Jim Henson’s Enchanted Sisters: Bk. 2). Bloomsbury. 2014. pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781619632677.

Gr 1-3– In this second book in this series, created by the Jim Henson Company, readers meet Winter, one of the four seasonal Sparkle Sisters. Winter’s best friend, a polar bear named Flurry, gets jealous when a baby arctic fox arrives.

Ball, Nate. On Impact! illus. by Macky Pamintuan. 128p. (Alien in My Pocket: Bk. 4). HarperCollins. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780062314925.
Gr 1-3– The silly sci-fi series with reluctant reader appeal is back for a fourth installment. This time, Zack is stuck at home with a broken arm and an annoying little brother. As in the previous books, instructions for a hands-on science experiment are included.

cheng, Andrea. The Year of the Fortune Cookie. illus. by Patrice Barton. 176p. (An Anna Wang Novel: Bk. 3). Houghton Harcourt. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780544105195.

Gr 2-5– In this pitch-perfect sequel, Anna juggles the usual “starting middle school” trials in addition to trying to fit into both her Chinese and American cultures, spurred by her trip to China with her former teacher. Anna’s new friend Andee helps her with this big step by sending her fortune cookies with personalized notes. Barton’s winning illustrations continue to delight.

Doan, Lisa. Jack and the Wild Life. illus. by Ivica Stevanovic. 144p. (The Berenson Schemes: Bk. 2). Darby Creek. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781467710770.

Gr 2-4– After an adventure in the Caribbean, Jack’s parents have a new get-rich-quick scheme. This time, Jack finds himself in Kenya—up a tree, trying to avoid being the lunch for an angry honey badger. This adventure-filled series fills a gap between shorter chapter books and longer middle grade fiction.

Egan, Kate with Mike Lane. The Incredible Twisting Arm. illus. by Eric Wight. 160p. (The Magic Shop: Bk. 2). Feiwel & Friends. 2014. pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781250040442.

Gr 1-3– After finding the magic shop in The Vanishing Coin (Feiwel & Friends, 2014), Mike decides he wants to ride his bike downtown to the shop by himself. But convincing his parents that he is mature enough to ride alone may take quite a bit of magic. Includes ample black-and-white illustrations and instructions on how to do several fun magic tricks.

Gale, Emily. My Super-Spy Diary. illus. by Joelle Dreidemy. 128p. (Eliza Boom: Bk. 2). S. & S./Aladdin. 2014. pap. $5.99. ISBN 9781481406529.

Gr 1-3– In this follow-up to My Explosive Diary (S. & S./Aladdin, 2014), the quirky kid inventor has her hands full when her dog Einstein falls in love with the canine next door.

Harper, Charise Mericle. Just Grace Gets Crafty. illus. by Charise Mericle Harper. 192p. (Just Grace: Bk. 12). Houghton Harcourt. Jul. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780544080232.

Gr 1-4– The frank and hilarious Grace and her best friend Mimi have entered the school craft fair. Peppered with Grace’s comics, this charmingly depicts school and family strife with the beloved third grader’s witty flair.

Klise, Kate. The Circus Goes to Sea. illus. by M. Sarah Klise. 144p. (Three-Ring Rascals: Bk. 3). Algonquin. 2014. Tr $15.95. ISBN 9781616203658.

Gr 1-3– Sir Sidney’s Circus sets sail on board the SS Spaghetti, but things are not looking good. The animals are wary of a sea adventure, and Miss Flora Endora LaBuena LaPasta doesn’t want Barnabas Brambles to come along. Winsome illustrations throughout, quick chapters, and zany antics make this latest installment on par with the previous books in the series.

Klise, Kate. Greetings from the Graveyard. illus. by M. Sarah Klise. 160p. (43 Old Cemetery Road: Bk. 6). Houghton Harcourt. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780544105676.

Gr 4-7– The ghostly trio from Spence Mansion is debuting a greeting card company called “Greetings from the Graveyard.” But when an ex-girlfriend threatens to publish the love letters of Ignatius B. Grumply and the town of Ghastly is plagued by two escaped convicts, trouble ensues. Told in illustrated letters, court transcripts, and newspaper clippings, this hilarious series entry will be a hit with fans and even garner new ones.

McDonald, Megan. The Big Bad Blackout. illus. by Peter H. Reynolds. 144p. (Judy Moody & Stink: Bk. 3). Candlewick. 2014. Tr $14.99. ISBN 9780763665203.

Gr 1-3– In this third, full-color installment in the series featuring the Moody siblings, a blackout encourages the whole family to discover activities that don’t require electricity.

McDonald, Megan. Judy Moody, Mood Martian. illus. by Peter H. Reynolds. 208p. (Judy Moody: Bk. 12). Candlewick. Aug. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9780763666989.

Gr 1-3– In the 12th book of the popular series, Judy dares herself to try out a new mood. It’s Backwards Day, so she spreads good cheer, smiles at everyone, and is nice to her stinky little brother.

McKay, Hilary. Lulu and the Rabbit Next Door. illus. by Priscilla Lamont. 112p. (Lulu: Bk. 4). Albert Whitman. 2014. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9780807548165; pap. $4.99. ISBN 9780807548172.

Gr 1-3– One of Lulu’s five pet rabbits is a bit of a loner. When she notices that her next-door neighbor has a bunny in need of proper love and attention, Lulu and her cousin Mellie devise a plan to make the two bunnies friends and keep the owner engaging the pet with fun bunny activities.

Nix, Garth & Sean Williams. Blood Ties. 192p. (Spirit Animals: Bk. 3). Scholastic. 2014. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9780545522458.

Gr 1-3– In the third installment of this multiplatform fantasy adventure series, Nix and Williams team up to tell the story of Meilin and Jhi, her panda spirit animal, as they help her father defend her homeland of Zhong.

Parish, Herman. Amelia Bedelia Goes Wild! illus. by Lynne Avril. 160p. (Amelia Bedelia Chapter Books: Bk. 4). HarperCollins/Greenwillow. 2014. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9780062270580.

Gr 1-3– Amelia and her friends build a zoo in her backyard (with stuffed animals) in this fourth book in the series chock-full of zany black-and-white illustrations.

Paris, Harper. The Mystery of the Stolen Painting. illus. by Marcos Calo. 128p. (Greetings from Somewhere: Bk. 3). S. & S./Little Simon. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781481402972.

Gr 1-3– In the third book of this series that combines mystery, adventure, and far-off places, siblings Ethan and Ella go to Paris. When they visit the Louvre, a famous painting is stolen and the pair help in the search, all while looking for a secret crêperie recommended by Grandpa Harry.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

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