ETHAN MARCUS STANDS UP - Michelle Weber Hurwitz
Perennial good kid Ethan Marcus has just done the unthinkable: refuse to stay seated during class. He’s not causing a riot; he’s not wandering around; he’s just sick of sitting. But the rules aren’t designed for Ethan, and so he is sent to the principal’s office. When Ethan’s sentence results in a Reflection Day—McNutt Middle School’s answer to detention—his faculty advisor suggests that Ethan channel the energy that caused his “transgression” by entering the school’s Invention Day Competition. Ethan is not exactly Mark Zuckerberg, so he doubts his ability to make anything competition-worthy. That’s the department of his slightly older sister Erin. But as Ethan and his buddy Brian get into the assignment, they realize they might actually have something. Enter Romanov, the resident tech whiz, who refuses to give them tips. But Erin is furious at her formally slacker—now traitor—brother. Meanwhile, Erin’s friend Zoe is steering clear of Erin’s drama after realizing that she may be crushing on Ethan. Then there’s Brian who has bigger things to worry about, and finally loner kid Wesley, who may know more than others realize...
THE UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL - Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
WHO RUNS THE WORLD? SQUIRRELS! Fourteen-year-old Doreen Green moved from sunny California to the suburbs of New Jersey. She must start at a new school, make new friends, and continue to hide her tail. Yep, Doreen has the powers of . . . a squirrel! After failing at several attempts to find her new BFF, Doreen feels lonely and trapped, liked a caged animal. Then one day Doreen uses her extraordinary powers to stop a group of troublemakers from causing mischief in the neighborhood, and her whole life changes. Everyone at school is talking about it! Doreen contemplates becoming a full-fledged Super Hero. And thus, Squirrel Girl is born! She saves cats from trees, keeps the sidewalks clean, and dissuades vandalism. All is well until a real-life Super Villain steps out of the shadows and declares Squirrel Girl his archenemy. Can Doreen balance being a teenager and a Super Hero? Or will she go . . . NUTS?
POTTYMOUTH AND STOOPID - James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
David and his best friend Michael were tagged with awful nicknames way back in preschool when everyone did silly things. Fast-forward to seventh grade: "Pottymouth" and "Stoopid" are still stuck with the names—and everyone in school, including the teachers and their principal, believe the labels are true. So how do they go about changing everyone's minds? By turning their misery into mega stardom on TV, of course! And this important story delivers more than just laughs—it shows that the worst bullying doesn't have to be physical...and that things will get better. A great conversation starter for parents to read alongside their kids! Official Notice to Parents: There is no actual potty mouthing or stupidity in this entire book! (Psst, kids: that second part might not be entirely true.)
THE EXPLORER - Katherine Rundell
The fiery crash of a six-seater plane, following the apparent heart attack of its pilot, leaves British teens Fred and Con and Brazilian children Lila and her brother Max stranded in the Amazon jungle, having escaped the flames and left relatively unhurt, but with little knowledge of how to survive. Strangers to one another, the three young teens must overcome their emotional baggage and learn to cooperate in order to deal with the needs and antics of five-year-old Max. Building a raft, they intend to follow the river to Manaus using a map they find hidden in a tree, but their journey leads them to an ancient lost city and a strange man who is possibly a famous explorer who disappeared years before. The author's knowledge of the flora and fauna of the Amazon lends authenticity to the setting as the children experience both beauty and danger, pooling their own limited knowledge to build a fire, extract honey from a beehive, eat grub pancakes, watch cavorting pink dolphins, adopt a baby sloth, avoid treacherous piranhas and caimans, and face their fears and personal histories.
THE WILD ROBOT - Peter Brown
Can a robot survive in the wilderness? When robot Roz opens her eyes for the first time, she discovers that she is alone on a remote, wild island. She has no idea how she got there or what her purpose is—but she knows she needs to survive. After battling a fierce storm and escaping a vicious bear attack, she realizes that her only hope for survival is to adapt to her surroundings and learn from the island's unwelcoming animal inhabitants. As Roz slowly befriends the animals, the island starts to feel like home—until, one day, the robot's mysterious past comes back to haunt her.
THE MAD WOLFE'S DAUGHTER - Diane Magras
One dark night, Drest's sheltered life on a remote Scottish headland is shattered when invading knights capture her family, but leave Drest behind. Her father, the Mad Wolf of the North, and her beloved brothers are a fearsome war-band, but now Drest is the only one who can save them. So she starts off on a wild rescue attempt, taking a wounded invader along as a hostage. Hunted by a bandit with a dark link to her family's past, aided by a witch whom she rescues from the stake, Drest travels through unwelcoming villages, desolate forests, and haunted towns. Every time she faces a challenge, her five brothers speak to her in her mind about courage and her role in the war-band. But on her journey, Drest learns that the war-band is legendary for terrorizing the land. If she frees them, they'll not hesitate to hurt the gentle knight who's become her friend. Drest thought that all she wanted was her family back; now she has to wonder what their freedom would really mean. Is she her father's daughter or is it time to become her own legend?
THE BOOK OF BOY - Catherine Gilbert Murdock
Boy has always been relegated to the outskirts of his small village. With a large hump on his back, a mysterious past, and a tendency to talk to animals, he is often mocked by others in his town—until the arrival of a shadowy pilgrim named Secondus. Impressed with Boy’s climbing and jumping abilities, Secondus engages Boy as his servant, pulling him into an action-packed and suspensful expedition across Europe to gather the seven precious relics of Saint Peter. Boy quickly realizes this journey is not an innocent one. They are stealing the relics and accumulating dangerous enemies in the process. But Boy is determined to see this pilgrimage through until the end—for what if St. Peter can make Boy’s hump go away? A surprising and unforgettable tale for readers of all ages.
THE SNEAK THIEF - Faith Harvey
Thanks to her sneak-thieving skills, Hush Cantrell can fend for herself. Which is a good thing, since her mom's the last person to look out for her. Hush's life isn't all roses, but when her new friend Desiree enters the picture, things start looking up. That is, until Hush's luck runs out and she's finally caught. Now Hush has to turn over a new leaf: her only alternative to the dreaded "juvvie" is a job at Miz Tromp's Nursery. There Hush gets more than she bargained for--she learns for the first time how to make good things grow. But soon Hush realizes something strange is happening to her: she can actually seepeople's pain--and take it away. Pretty soon Hush and Desiree are on a mission to rid their town of pain. What could possibly be the downside to that? With an appealing southern voice and a hint of magical realism, Sneak Thief is a funny and life-affirming story of one girl lost--and found.
HELLO UNIVERSE - Erin Entrada Kelly
In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and she loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so he can concentrate on basketball. They aren’t friends, at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms.
ONE MIXED UP NIGHT - Catherine Newman
Two best friends on the run... to IKEA. Frankie and Walter aren’t really running away. Just like the kids in their favorite book, they are running tosomewhere. Specifically, a massive furniture store. They’ve been obsessed with the Ikea catalog for years. So they make a plan, pack their backpacks, give their parents the sleepover switcheroo . . . and they’re in. One night all on their own, with no grown-ups or little brothers. One night of couch jumping, pillow forts, and unlimited soda refills.
One night of surprises and twinkle lights and secrets they have been keeping—and waiting to share.
One unforgettable night in Ikea.