EXIT STRATEGY - Lauren Allbright
Twelve-year-old Ross tries to discover the formula for being funny and getting his new classmates to like him in this laugh-out-loud MAX novel! Ross Stevens has changed schools twelve times in the last three years but when his beloved Pops becomes ill, Ross and his mom must plant roots—which means no more school moves. And no more moves mean no more school exits, and Ross has perfected the science of leaving a school with an epic prank. Worse, it means he will actually have to learn how to make friends and do a science project, two things he’s never had to do before. Then Ross hits on a hypothesis: if pranks are cool because they are funny then maybe he could discover the formula for funny! If his nerdy “peer review” partner doesn’t cramp his style and if the embarrassing notebook full of his “research” doesn’t get out, then maybe Ross can actually be happy staying in one place.But can he really figure out the formula for ultimate middle school happiness?
UP TO THIS POINTE - Jennifer Longo
Harper Scott is a dancer. She and her best friend, Kate, have one goal: becoming professional ballerinas. And Harper won’t let anything—or anyone—get in the way of The Plan, not even the boy she and Kate are both drawn to. Harper is a Scott. She’s related to Robert Falcon Scott, the explorer who died racing Amundsen and Shackleton to the South Pole. Amundsen won because he had a plan, and Harper has always followed his model. So when Harper’s life takes an unexpected turn, she finagles (read: lies) her way to the icy dark of McMurdo Station . . . in Antarctica. Extreme, but somehow fitting—apparently she has always been in the dark, dancing on ice this whole time. And no one warned her. Not her family, not her best friend, not even the boy who has somehow found a way into her heart. It will take a visit from Shackleton's ghost—the explorer who didn't make it to the South Pole, but who got all of his men out alive—to teach Harper that success isn't always what's important, sometimes it's more important to learn how to fail successfully.
THE PLAYER KING - Avi
England, 1486. King Henry VII has recently snatched the English Crown and now sits on the throne, while young Prince Edward, who has a truer claim, has apparently disappeared. Meanwhile, a penniless kitchen boy named Lambert Simnel is slaving away at a tavern in Oxford—until a mysterious friar, Brother Simonds, buys Lambert from the tavern keeper and whisks him away in the dead of night. But this is nothing compared to the secret that the friar reveals: You, Lambert, are actually Prince Edward, the true King of England!
With the aid of the deceitful Earl of Lincoln, Brother Simonds sets out to teach the boy how to become the rightful English king. Lambert has everything to gain and nothing to lose, or so he thinks. Yet in this dangerous battle for the throne, Lambert is not prepared for what’s to come—or for what it really means to play at being a king.
MOO - Sharon Creech
When Reena, her little brother, Luke, and their parents first move to Maine, Reena doesn’t know what to expect. She’s ready for beaches, blueberries, and all the lobster she can eat. Instead, her parents “volunteer” Reena and Luke to work for an eccentric neighbor named Mrs. Falala, who has a pig named Paulie, a cat named China, a snake named Edna—and that stubborn cow, Zora. This heartwarming story, told in a blend of poetry and prose, reveals the bonds that emerge when we let others into our lives. Written in verse.
INVASION: THE STORY OF D-DAY - Bruce Bliven Jr.
June 6, 1944: The greatest amphibious invasion the world had ever seen was launched, involving thousands of ships, incredible planning and preparation, and a million courageous soldiers, sailors, and airmen willing to sacrifice their lives for victory. Author and journalist Bruce Bliven was there that day, on the beaches of France, and he recounts it all, from the risky plans developed by the American and British military leaders through the daring landing itself. Most important, he shares stories of individual bravery shown by soldiers who waded or parachuted ashore in what became the turning point of the war.
SLIDER - Pete Hautman
David can eat an entire sixteen-inch pepperoni pizza in four minutes and thirty-six seconds. Not bad. But he knows he can do better. In fact, he’ll have to do better: he’s going to compete in the Super Pigorino Bowl, the world’s greatest pizza-eating contest, and he has to win it, because he borrowed his mom’s credit card and accidentally spent $2,000 on it. So he really needs that prize money. Like, yesterday. As if training to be a competitive eater weren’t enough, he’s also got to keep an eye on his little brother, Mal (who, if the family believed in labels, would be labeled autistic, but they don’t, so they just label him Mal). And don’t even get started on the new weirdness going on between his two best friends, Cyn and HeyMan. Master talent Pete Hautman has cooked up a rich narrative shot through with equal parts humor and tenderness, and the result is a middle-grade novel too delicious to put down.
THE GHOSTS OF GREENGLASS HOUSE - Kate Milford
Welcome back to the irresistible world of Greenglass House where thirteen-year-old Milo is, once again, spending the winter holidays stuck in a house full of strange guests who are not what they seem. There are fresh clues to uncover as friends old and new join in his search for a mysterious map and a famous smuggler’s lost haul. This exciting sequel to a beloved book that was praised in a starred review as "an enchanting, empowering read" is sure to thrill both fans and newcomers. Like its predecessor, it's a smart, suspenseful tale that offers ghosts, friendships, and a cast of unforgettable characters, all wrapped up in a cozy mystery.
MAX TILT: FIRE THE DEPTHS - Peter Lerangis
When thirteen-year-old Max Tilt happens upon his great-great-great-grandfather Jules Verne’s unfinished, unpublished manuscript, The Lost Treasures, he doesn’t realize that he’s found the answers to all his problems. And Max has a lot of problems—his mother is sick, his father is out of work, and his home is about to be foreclosed on. But when Max and his cousin Alex discover that Verne’s last work reveals everything he wrote was fact, not fiction, they realize that the book holds the key to something incredibly valuable. A treasure that can save his house—and maybe his entire family. But Max and Alex aren’t the only ones who know about Verne’s clues. Spencer Niemend, a strange skunk-haired man who has spent his life researching Verne’s works, is bent on reshaping the world with the hidden treasure. To find it first, Max and Alex must go on an adventure that’ll take them from the broken remains of an underwater city to the very jaws of a giant squid to the edges of a whirlpool from which no one has ever emerged alive. First in a series.
TRASH - Andy Mulligan
In an unnamed Third World country, in the not-so-distant future, three “dumpsite boys” make a living picking through the mountains of garbage on the outskirts of a large city. One unlucky-lucky day, Raphael finds something very special and very mysterious. So mysterious that he decides to keep it, even when the city police offer a handsome reward for its return. That decision brings with it terrifying consequences, and soon the dumpsite boys must use all of their cunning and courage to stay ahead of their pursuers. It’s up to Raphael, Gardo, and Rat—boys who have no education, no parents, no homes, and no money—to solve the mystery and right a terrible wrong.
THE UNEXPECTED LIFE OF OLIVER CROMWELL PITTS - Avi
In the seaside town of Melcombe Regis, England, 1724, Oliver Cromwell Pitts wakes to find his father missing and his house flooded by a recent storm. He’s alone in his ruined home with no money and no food. Oliver’s father has left behind a barely legible waterlogged note: he’s gone to London, where Oliver’s sister, Charity, is in trouble. Exploring damage to the town in the storm’s aftermath, Oliver discovers a shipwreck on the beach. Removing anything from a wrecked ship is a hanging offense, but Oliver finds money that could save him, and he can’t resist the temptation to take it. When his crime is discovered, Oliver flees, following the trail of his father and sister. The journey is full of thieves, adventurers, and treachery--and London might be the most dangerous place of all.