February 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Ghostly Guinea Pigs, Time-Travelers, and Seelie Wars | Fiction Series Update

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Broach, Elise. Revenge of Superstition Mountain. 304p. (Superstition Mountain: Bk. 3). Henry Holt/Christy Ottaviano Bks. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780805089097; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781627792387. LC 2014005283.

Gr 4-6 –The Barker brothers and Delilah are back on Superstition Mountain for one last secret climb, determined to solve its mysteries and get back into the gold mine that was covered by the avalanche in book two. A satisfying end to a fun and creepy series.

Flower, Amanda. Andi Under Pressure. 176p. (Andi Boggs: Bk. 2). Zonderkidz. 2014. Tr $10.99. ISBN 9780310737025; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9780310737681.

Gr 4-6 –Twelve-year-old Andi, the indomitable sleuth who uncovered a long-dormant family mystery following the death of her parents in Andi Unexpected (2013), now turns her attention to unexplained pranks at a science camp. Short chapters keep up a fast pace in this thrilling yet poignant tale.

Greenwald, Lisa. Pink & Green Is the New Black. 272p. (Pink and Green: Bk. 3). Abrams/Amulet. Oct. 2014. Tr $16.95. ISBN 9781419712258.

Gr 4-6 –Now in eighth grade, Lucy Desberg, who turned her family’s pharmacy into an eco-friendly spa earlier in the series, has plenty on her mind: dating, dances, and boys. Infused with beauty and makeup references and peppered with “Lucy’s [tips] for surviving eighth grade,” Greenwald’s latest has an intimate, “girl to girl” feel that will resonate with those on the verge of teen (and tween)hood.

Korman, Gordon. Memory Maze. 240p. (The Hypnotists: Bk. 2). Scholastic. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545503297; ebk. $16.99. ISBN 9780545503334. LC 2013032043.

Gr 4-6 – Well-plotted with clever dialogue, the second installment in this highly absorbing series features Jax Opus, a young hypnotist, taking on some new and disturbing powers when he agrees to help an old, rich, and powerful man. Jax takes on the man’s memories, which lead him down a dangerous path.

Lynch, Chris. Walking Wounded. 208p. (Vietnam: Bk. 5). Scholastic. Oct. 2014. Tr ISBN 9780545640138; ebk. $17.99. ISBN 9780545640176.

Gr 5 Up –Four best friends all sign up to fight during the Vietnam War. Though they promise to come home together, one friend doesn’t survive and the remaining three must grapple with the truth about his death. The narrative switches among the various first person perspectives—even that of Rudi’s ghost. A haunting and unsettling series that tempers the violent aspects of war just enough for the audience, without sacrificing the bitter and heartbreaking emotional truths.

McCafferty, Megan. Jessica Darling’s It List 2: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Friends, Foes, & Faux Friends. 208p. (Jessica Darling’s It List: Bk. 2). Little, Brown/Poppy. 2014. Tr $17. ISBN 9780316245043; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780316245029. LC 2013039845.

Gr 6-10 –Jessica Darling is starting seventh grade, trying her best to navigate changing friendships and the mysteries of boys—with cringe-worthy embarrassments at every turn. A good series for tweens who have made their way through “Dork Diaries” (Aladdin) but are not quite ready for “Gossip Girls” (Little, Brown).

Moss, Marissa. Bombs Over London. 190p. (Mira’s Diary: Bk. 3). Creston. 2014. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781939547125.

Gr 6-9 –Veteran time-traveler Mira finds herself in London during World War I. Readers will enjoy this enthralling glimpse of history (H. G. Wells, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Emmeline Pankhurst all make appearances) related by the endearing Mira, whom SLJ previously called an “intelligent, creative, and vulnerable protagonist.”

Pankhurst, Kate. A Cupcake Conundrum. ISBN 9781438004594. LC 2013949192.

———-. The Ghostly Guinea Pig. ISBN 9781438004600. LC 2013949196.

ea. vol.: illus. by Kate Pankhurst. 176p. (Mariella Mystery Investigates). Barron’s. 2014. pap. $5.99.

Gr 2-5 –Nine-year-old Mariella Mystery investigates possible sabotage at a bake-off and a teacher who may be haunted by the ghost of a former pet in these gentle mysteries aimed at newly independent readers. Cheerful black-and-white cartoon drawings break up the text and evoke the look of a sleuth’s case file. Sweet, solid choices for those making their first forays into chapter books.

Stone, Jeff. Jackal. 240p. (The Five Ancestors: Out of the Ashes: Bk. 3). Random. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780375870200; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780375970207; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780375987618. LC 2013033920.

Gr 6-9– In the fifth and final book of this spin-off to the original “Five Ancestors” series (Random), Jake trains with a cycling team in China and explores his jackal side. Fans of the series won’t be able to put down this latest page-turner.

Yolen, Jane & Adam Stemple. The Last Changeling. 304p. (The Seelie Wars: Bk. 2). Viking. Nov. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780670014354; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9780698155046.

Gr 4-8– Mother-son team Yolen and Stemple return to the “refreshingly atypical” characters they introduced in The Hostage Prince: Prince Aspen, a Seelie raised at the Unseelie Court, and Snail, a midwife’s apprentice. Fans will be eager to see the fallout of the war the pair inadvertently caused in this action-packed jaunt, ideal for fantasy newcomers.

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

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