Next week, middle grade kids will be fighting over the next titles in two ongoing series, the sixth in The 39 Clues: Cahills vs. Vespers series (Scholastic), this one by best selling adult author David Baldacci, and a new series about the warrior cats, Dawn of the Clans #1: The Sun Trail, by Erin Hunter (HarperCollins). In Young Adult, the popular Delirium series comes to a close and another new series begins. These are just a few of the titles highlighted below and on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of March 4.
Young Adult — Series
Requiem, Lauren Oliver, (HarperCollins; Listening Library)
The heavily anticipated conclusion to the trilogy (Delerium, Pandemonium), the first of which is currently in development for a possible FOX TV series. It does not disappoint, it’s a Spring 2013 Kids’ Indie Next List pick: “In the final book of the Delirium trilogy, Lena is in an impossible place — and it only gets worse. Oliver uses the points of view of Lena and her best friend, Hana, to give the reader perspective inside and beyond the wall, making the tale all the more interesting when their stories converge. Alex’s indifference pains Lena but she must stay strong for Julian who is quickly falling in love with her. As much as she tries to deny it, her heart will always belong to Alex — if only he would realize that. Oliver ties up all the loose ends in this thrilling conclusion.” —Alexis Duell, Market Block Books, Troy, NY
Also in print for the first time next week is the Delirium Stories (HarperCollins), which features the novellas Hanna, Annabel, and Raven, originally published as ebooks.
Unremembered, Jessica Brody, (Macmillan/FSG BYR)
First in a series, about a girl who wakes up from plane crash with no idea who she is. She’s become famous for surviving, but only one strange boy claims he knows her. Prepub reviews are mixed, but I found this one a compelling, suspenseful read and am looking foward to book 2.
Middle Grade — Series
Cal Ripken, Jr.’s All-Stars: Wild Pitch, Cal Ripken, Jr. and Kevin Cowherd, (Hyperion)
The third book in Ripken’s All-Star series captures the excitement and drama of baseball as well as the interpersonal relationships of the team members and coaches. Next reads for Jake Maddox and Matt Christopher fans.
Middle Grade — Stand Alones
The Center of Everything, Linda Urban, (Harcourt Children’s Books)
From the author of two of the best middle grade novels of the last ten years, A Crooked Kind of Perfect and Hound Dog True, another gem, a satisfying story of community and family, friends and relationships. And donuts. Also a Spring 2013 Kids’ Indie Next List pick: “Everything in Ruby Pepperdine’s life has been wrong since her beloved grandmother died. Even her two best friends aren’t talking to her anymore. With the town gearing up for Bunning Day — the annual celebration of the invention of the doughnut — Ruby knows she has just one chance to make things right. But what if she makes the wrong wish? Ruby will win your heart as she navigates the rough waters of grief and friendship and growing up.” —Sandy Scott, The Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT
The Cats of Tanglewood Forest, Charles Vess, Illus. by Charles de Lint, (Hachette/Little, Brown YR)
Children’s librarians might remember the picture book Circle of Cats by the same team. This lushly illustrated expanded chapter book edition of the out-of-print original will capture the middle grade fantasy readers.
A Little Book of Sloth, Lucy Cooke, (S&S Margaret K. McElderry)
Cute Overload is positively dark and depressing compared to this factual picture book account of a sloth rescue center located in Costa Rica (see if you can resist this video from the sanctuary). Adorable Mona-Lisa smiling sloth faces with sleepy eyes, cuddling, hugging, hanging and napping. Irresistable.
Busy-Busy Little Chick, Janice N. Harrington, Illus. by Brian Pinkney, (Macmillan/FSG BYR)
Just when librarians are bemoaning the dearth of picture book folktales, Harrington (The Chicken-Chasing Queen of Lamar County, an Irma Black Honor Award, 2006) gives us this deliciously read-aloudable version of The Hen’s House told by the Nkundo people of Central Africa.
“Mama Nsoso’s chicks shivered in their cold, damp nest”
“Peo-peo, Mama, Peo-peo. We’re chilly-cold. Our tummies are chilly-cold. Our feet are chilly-cold We’re chilly-cold all over.”
Little Chick notes that even his bottom is “chilly-cold.“
Although Mama has promised to build a new house for her chicks, she is easily distracted by tasty treats…”crunchy-munchy, sweety-meaty, big fat worms!” Tomorrow she will work; today she and her chicks will eat big fat worms.
And so it goes, yet Little Chick is not eating the “ crunchy-munchy, jumpy-jumpy, cricky-cracky crickets.” He is hard at work creating their new home. Pinkney has hit his stride as he confidently renders the chicken family in broad strokes, filling the pages with color, light and movement. We feel the chicks shivering in the damp mud of their leaky hut. We bounce along with Little Chick on a stark white background as he gathers materials for building. The rhythm of his brushstrokes make real the wind that “swooshed and made them cold.”
Flood, Alvaro F. Villa, (Capstone)
This timely wordless picture book speaks volumes about coming of a storm and the resulting flood. A family’s idyllic farmhouse surrounded by nature -a river and green fields is threatened by the impending weather. We witness the family prepare, then leave their home as the rain begins pounding down. In two dramatic double page spreads, the house is front and center as floodwaters wash through the interior walls. There is hope as the waters recede and although adults will shake their heads at the seemingly “easy” cleanup and restoration, children will find comfort in the sunny end.
Lottie Paris and the Best Place Angela Johnson, Illus. by Scott M. Fischer (S&S Books for Young Readers)
Second in the Lottie series takes this imaginative energetic child to the “best place to be” — the library, of course. Perfect for pre-library visits.