What lengths would you go to in order to attract the attention of your crush? In Jake Gerhardt's debut middle-grade novel, three eighth-grade boys are all crushing on the same girl: Miranda Mullaly. Told in the alternating voices of class clown Sam, studious Duke, athletic Chollie and oblivious Miranda, this comedy of errors is a breezy, fun read.
Gerhardt perfectly captures those awkward middle-school years with lots of humor and plenty of heart. In a Behind the Book essay, he shares his own hilarious story of noticing girls for the first time.
Summer may be drawing to a close, but it’s not over yet when “Grandma and Grandpa say COME.” In Marc Harshman’s latest picture book, One Big Family, a regular-sized family does just that.
As our kids and students mature in reading ability, we often recommend they read the classics. Treasure Island and The Swiss Family Robinson are a couple that teachers and librarians would suggest, yet the language of those classics is archaic and can be difficult for emerging readers, much as they might like the stories. Author Cylin Busby has written a historical novel that can bridge the gap between readiness and understanding.
Much has been made lately of the so-called (and very popular) “meta” trend in picture books, which feature intrusive narrators who acknowledge that the action is happening in . . . well, a book. Snappsy the Alligator is one such story, and it’s likely that, when 2016 is over, we’ll look back on it as one of the funniest picture books of the year. It definitely kicks off 2016 in high spirits.
While children’s literature is replete with Beatrix Potter’s critters and their accompanying stories, there are far fewer biographical books on the beloved author, let alone tales about her that reflect her style of writing. Deborah Hopkinson and Charlotte Voake have joined forces to create a one-of-a-kind children’s book that mirrors the curious world of the inimitable Beatrix Potter.
Patches the calico cat is on a mission to find a special place of her own. A golden leaf pirouettes by the window, teasing her to follow. Filled with longing, she springs at the screen and chases the leaf into the wide, wide world. She’s never been on an adventure before, but one glance at the blue-and-gold sky tells her that thousands of special places must await her.
It may be hard to imagine a high-energy book that features two brothers arguing about whether to read or surf, but Surf’s Up delivers in a cowabunga way. The brothers are two frogs named Bro and Dude, and illustrator Daniel Miyares brings them wonderfully to life with vivid colors, froggy-eyed expressions and plenty of heart-stopping wave action.
Sara Pennypacker, author of the light-hearted Clementine series, proves with her new novel that she’s capable of writing stories with more heft and just as much heart.
Henry Cole’s Brambleheart is an enchanting coming-of-age adventure with an unlikely hero: a chipmunk named Twig who just can’t seem to find his place in the world. Twig lives in the Hill—a towering heap of metal, glass and plastic bric-a-brac discarded by humans—and, like the other animals there, he’s expected to find a trade. At school, each of his fellow students seems to already have a niche: Lily the rabbit is a whiz at twisting grass into sturdy rope, and Basil the weasel is a pro at metal craft. When it’s Twig’s turn to weave or weld in front of the class, he never fails to get flustered.
In this exuberant story from the award-winning duo of Doreen Cronin and David Small, a castle that resides in a fragile glass kingdom is maintained by a spirited fairy named Bloom, though she’s too rough around the edges for the royalty who live there. Her footsteps are heavy, she has dirt in her teeth, and she tracks mud everywhere.