NEW DECEMBER BOOKS
CHILDREN OF REFUGE - Margaret Peterson Haddix
After Edwy is smuggled off to Refuge City to stay with his brother and sister, Rosi, Bobo, and Cana are stuck alone—and in danger—in Cursed Town in the thrilling follow-up to Children of Exile from New York Times bestselling author, Margaret Peterson Haddix. It’s been barely a day since Edwy left Fredtown to be with his parents and, already, he is being sent away. He’s smuggled off to boarding school in Refuge City, where he will be with his brother and sister, who don’t even like him very much. The boarding school is nothing like the school that he knew, there’s no one around looking up to him now, and he’s still not allowed to ask questions! Alone and confused, Edwy seeks out other children brought back from Fredtown and soon discovers that Rosi and the others—still stuck in the Cursed Town—might be in danger. Can Edwy find his way back to his friends before it’s too late?
DRIVE FOR FIVE - Christopher Pike
There are certain moments that simply transcend sports. They become larger than life and bigger than anyone ever thought possible, leaping off the field, the court, or the diamond and into the annals of not only history, but the very fabric of the American milieu. We all just witnessed such a moment on February 5th, 2017, when the New England Patriots battled back from the largest deficit in Super Bowl history to once again become world champions and secure Tom Brady’s legacy as the greatest quarterback of all time. Amid a season of controversy, turmoil, and the most tumultuous political climate of our lifetime, the Patriots won. In spite of becoming entangled in the national spotlight on several occasions, the Patriots won. And in spite of being faced with any number of circumstances that would sink almost every other franchise in the NFL, the Patriots won. The season began with the fallout around Deflategate and losing their MVP-caliber quarterback for the first four games of the season, but honestly, the Deflategate saga was just a small part of it all. This is the story of how the Patriots rallied together as a team to surpass their obstacles on and off the football field and how that led to a remarkable run to the title – and the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history.
MRS. SMITH'S SPY SCHOOL FOR GIRLS - Beth McMullen
A girl discovers her boarding school is actually an elite spy-training program, and she must learn the skills of the trade in order to find her mother in this action-packed middle grade debut.
After a botched escape plan from her boarding school, Abigail is stunned to discover the school is actually a cover for an elite spy ring called The Center, along with being training grounds for future spies. Even more shocking? Abigail’s mother is a top agent for The Center and she has gone MIA, with valuable information that many people would like to have—at any cost. Along with a former nemesis and charming boy from her grade, Abigail goes through a crash course in Spy Training 101, often with hilarious—and sometimes painful—results. But Abigail realizes she might be a better spy-in-training than she thought—and the answers to her mother’s whereabouts are a lot closer than she thinks…
THE PERFECT SCORE - Rob Buyea
From the author of Mr. Terupt! No one likes or wants to take the statewide assessment tests. Not the students in Mrs. Woods’s sixth-grade class. Not even Mrs. Woods. It’s not as if the kids don’t already have things to worry about. . . . Under pressure to be the top gymnast her mother expects her to be, RANDI starts to wonder what her destiny truly holds. Football-crazy GAVIN has always struggled with reading and feels as dumb as his high school–dropout father. TREVOR acts tough and mean, but as much as he hates school, he hates being home even more. SCOTT’s got a big brain and an even bigger heart, especially when it comes to his grandfather, but his good intentions always backfire in spectacular ways. NATALIE, know-it-all and aspiring lawyer, loves to follow the rules—only this year, she’s about to break them all. The whole school is in a frenzy with test time approaching—kids, teachers, the administration. Everyone is anxious. When one of the kids has a big idea for acing the tests, they’re all in. But things get ugly before they get better, and in the end, the real meaning of the perfect score surprises them all.
SOLO - Kwame Alexander
Blade never asked for a life of the rich and famous. In fact, he’d give anything not to be the son of Rutherford Morrison, a washed-up rock star and drug addict with delusions of a comeback. Or to no longer be part of a family known most for lost potential, failure, and tragedy, including the loss of his mother. The one true light is his girlfriend, Chapel, but her parents have forbidden their relationship, assuming Blade will become just like his father.
In reality, the only thing Blade and Rutherford have in common is the music that lives inside them. And songwriting is all Blade has left after Rutherford, while drunk, crashes his high school graduation speech and effectively rips Chapel away forever. But when a long-held family secret comes to light, the music disappears. In its place is a letter, one that could bring Blade the freedom and love he’s been searching for, or leave him feeling even more adrift.
WONDERLING - Mira Bartok
Have you been unexpectedly burdened by a recently orphaned or unclaimed creature? Worry not! We have just the solution for you! Welcome to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer. Part animal and part human, the groundlings toil in classroom and factory, forbidden to enjoy anything regular children have, most particularly singing and music. For the Wonderling, an innocent-hearted, one-eared, fox-like eleven-year-old with only a number rather than a proper name — a 13 etched on a medallion around his neck — it is the only home he has ever known. But unexpected courage leads him to acquire the loyalty of a young bird groundling named Trinket, who gives the Home's loneliest inhabitant two incredible gifts: a real name — Arthur, like the good king in the old stories — and a best friend. Using Trinket's ingenious invention, the pair escape over the wall and embark on an adventure that will take them out into the wider world and ultimately down the path of sweet Arthur's true destiny. Richly imagined, with shimmering language, steampunk motifs, and gripping, magical plot twists, this high adventure fantasy is the debut novel of award-winning memoirist Mira Bartók and has already been put into development for a major motion picture.
THE LAST KIDS ON EARTH and the ZOMBIE PARADE - Max Brallier
The zombies are disappearing. This might seem like a good thing, since zombies eat your brains, but normal human kid Jack Sullivan is suspicious. He keeps hearing an eerie shrieking noise that seems to be almost summoning the zombies—but to where, and for what (probably) foul purpose? Jack, his three best friends (maybe the only people left on Earth), and their pet monster Rover need to get to the bottom of this. Along the way they encounter a lot more than they bargained for, including a giant Wormungulous, a pizza parlor monster hangout, an ancient evil who destroys worlds, and a stereo system that is totally the bomb. Can Jack figure out why the zombies are vanishing . . . before he and his friends are next?
MICHAEL VEY - THE FINAL SPARK - Richard Paul Evans
The final book in the Michael Vey series opens with the Electroclan facing a devastating loss: Michael is missing. He made the ultimate sacrifice to save his friends and now he’s gone. What is next for them and the revolution? The battle on the island of Hades ended with a devastating explosion that left the island a smoking ruin and much of Hatch’s army dead. However, Hatch survived and while his plans have certainly suffered a setback, he’s more determined than ever to bring the world’s governments under his control. But first, he wants to wipe out the Resistance and capture the remaining members of the Electroclan.
As Hatch’s forces storm into action, it seems nothing can stand in their way. The Electroclan is divided. The voice is captured, and Michael’s mother is being used as bait to lure the leader of the Resistance out of hiding. Can anything—or anyone—stop the Elgen? Or is this the end?
LONE STARS - Mike Lupica
Clay is a quarterback's dream. When he zips across the field, arms outstretched, waiting for the ball to sail into his hands, there's no denying him the catch. Like most Texans, Clay is never more at home than when playing football. And his coach, a former star player for the Dallas Cowboys, is just like a second father. But as the football season kicks off, Clay begins to notice some odd behavior from his coach—lapses in his memory and strange mood swings. The conclusion is painful, but obvious: Coach Cooper is showing side effects of the many concussions he sustained during his playing days. As Clay's season wears on, it becomes clear that the real victory will be to help his coach walk onto that famous star logo in the middle of Cowboys Field one last time—during a Thanksgiving day ceremony honoring him and his former Super Bowl-winning teammates.
BOW WOW - Spencer Quinn
A bull shark in the swamp? No one in the Louisiana town of St. Roch believes it at first, but when a local boy has a face-to-face encounter with the toothy monster, every big fisherman is called out for the hunt. There's a big cash bounty on the shark. Sharp-eyed Birdie Gaux and her handsome dog Bowser can't help noticing that shark fever is causing some shady doings in town. For instance, where is Snoozy, the clerk who works at the Gaux family fishing store? He's the town's best fisherman, but suddenly he's missing. Is a rival bounty hunter behind Snoozy's suspicious disappearance? Or perhaps the marine biologist who said he'll do anything to keep the shark alive? Birdie and Bowser are determined to find Snoozy and bring him home safe, but the job is more dangerous than they know. Bowser better practice his paddling: He and Birdie are heading for deep waters . . .
SPACED OUT - Stuart Gibbs
The moon base commander has gone missing and Dash Gibson is on the case in the second mind-boggling mystery of the Edgar-nominated Moon Base Alpha series from the New York Times bestselling author of Belly Up and Spy School. There's nowhere to hide on the world's first moon base. After all, it's only the size of a soccer field. So when Nina Stack, the commander of Moon Base Alpha, mysteriously vanishes, the Moonies are at a total loss.
Though he may be just twelve years old, Dashiell Gibson is the best detective they've got. But this confusing mystery pushes him to his limits. Especially since he has his own huge secret to protect. With the fate of the entire human race hanging in the balance, will Dash be able to solve the mystery of the missing Moonie?
MAGNUS CHASE AND THE GODS OF ASGARD - Rick Riordan
Magnus Chase, a once-homeless teen, is a resident of the Hotel Valhalla and one of Odin's chosen warriors. As the son of Frey, the god of summer, fertility, and health, Magnus isn't naturally inclined to fighting. But he has strong and steadfast friends, including Hearthstone the elf, Blitzen the dwarf, and Samirah the Valkyrie, and together they have achieved brave deeds, such as defeating Fenris Wolf and battling giants for Thor's hammer, Mjolnir. Now Magnus faces his most dangerous trial yet. His cousin, Annabeth, recruits her boyfriend, Percy Jackson, to give Magnus some pointers, but will his training be enough? Loki is free from his chains. He's readying Naglfar, the Ship of the Dead, complete with a host of giants and zombies, to sail against the Asgardian gods and begin the final battle of Ragnarok. It's up to Magnus and his friends to stop him, but to do so they will have to sail across the oceans of Midgard, Jotunheim, and Niflheim in a desperate race to reach Naglfar before it's ready to sail. Along the way, they will face angry sea gods, hostile giants, and an evil fire-breathing dragon. Magnus's biggest challenge will be facing his own inner demons. Does he have what it takes to outwit the wily trickster god?