There’s no doubt that Louis Sachar, the Newbery Medal-winning author of Holes, knows how to draw in his readers. His latest book, Fuzzy Mud, reads like a middle school version of Contagion―it’s a thriller that will have readers quickly turning its pages.
In Jennifer Bradbury’s exciting new work of historical fiction, River Runs Deep, 12-year-old Elias is suffering from tuberculosis in 1842. He’s sent from his home in Norfolk, Virginia, to recover in an underground hut in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. He will be cared for by the real-life Dr. John Croghan, who during one winter ministered to 16 tuberculosis patients, who sought the benefit of the cave's dank air and lived in small rooms built by slaves.
Young readers are lucky to have a new book posthumously published by Bernard Waber, the talented creator of more than 30 titles, including the beloved Lyle the Crocodile series.
Bernice Gets Carried Away begins with a zinger: “It was a horrible, dreary day, and it suited Bernice’s mood just fine.” This young cat stands sulking behind a tree while her animal friends enjoy an outdoor birthday party. No doubt young readers will sympathize with Bernice’s plight, since birthday parties can frequently be filled with intense emotions and overwhelming disappointment.
When author Jen White was 12, she and her sister and cousin were mistakenly left behind at a gas station for six hours during a family camping trip―no one had seen the girls get out of the camper. Years later, White’s first novel, Survival Strategies of the Almost Brave, begins with 12-year-old Liberty being abandoned by her father at a gas station along with her 8-year-old sister, Billie.
I have long been a fan of the superb artwork of Wendell Minor, and Daylight Starlight Wildlife is yet another winner in his long list of children's publishing accomplishments. It's a simple book, suitable for young preschoolers, yet full of understated depth in both prose and illustrations.
Lane Smith is a hilarious, irreverent and award-winning children's illustrator and author, with titles under his belt like The Stinky Cheese Man and The True Story of the Three Little Pigs. His first middle grade novel, Return to Augie Hobble, starts out just as one might expect.
Troy Andrews is a 29-year-old bandleader and jazz musician who has performed at the White House, the Grammys and with the likes of U2, Eric Clapton and Prince. He developed his own style of “SupaFunkRock” and, in a wonderful collaboration with award-winning illustrator Bryan Collier, shares his story in Trombone Shorty.
Sleepless Knight is a fun camping story told in comic book form for preschoolers and young elementary school students. Creators James Sturm, Andrew Arnold and Alexis Frederick-Frost have previously published a series of award-winning Adventures in Cartooning books, and the fun continues in their new story featuring the exuberant Knight and his sidekick, Edward the horse.
It’s 1948, and 11-year-old Tate P. Ellerbee’s teacher wants each of her students to choose a pen pal, hoping that “new worlds will unfold in front of you, and you’ll see your own world through fresh eyes.” Tate decides to write to rising country singer Hank Williams. She pours her heart out to her idol in letter after letter, even though he sends her fan photos but never writes back.