As we, at last, enter some form of Spring, we wanted to give you a peek at snippets of some of the excellent children’s fiction* coming out over the next two months – perfect for reading outdoors when the sun’s out (or hiding indoors when it’s not)!
*Age recommendations are in brackets next to the title
EVERY SHINY THING by Cordelia Jensen & Laurie Morrison (8+)
About Every Shiny Thing:
In this beautifully constructed middle grade novel, Lauren’s autistic older brother has recently been sent to a therapeutic boarding school, and it seems to Lauren that her parents are unfairly ‘living it up’ now that he’s gone. Lauren joins a simplicity group at her Quaker school and recruits Sierra, her new neighbour, for the group. She misunderstands the group’s anti-materialism mission and slowly begins to take things from her parents and to shoplift, using the money she gets selling stolen goods to give to kids on the autism spectrum. Meanwhile, foster kid Sierra has been in a toxic relationship with both of her parents, as an enabler and caretaker. Sierra realises she’s falling into the same enabling patterns with Lauren. And Lauren must learn that what she is doing is not fighting injustice, however good her intentions. Told in alternating viewpoints between Sierra’s verse chapters and Lauren’s prose chapters, this is a story about fairness for young readers first grappling with an unequal world.
THE GIRL WITH MORE THAN ONE HEART by Laura Geringer Bass (8+)
About The Girl With More Than One Heart:
When Briana’s father dies of a heart attack, she feels a new heart grow inside her body. Through this heart, her father’s voice speaks to her. It guides Briana through her grief as well as her new, not-so-normal life at home. When her mother’s own grief becomes debilitating, Briana feels like she’s solely responsible for her autistic little brother, Aaron. As she begins to spend much of her time and energy caring for Aaron, she begins to wonder: did his special needs hurt her father’s very fragile heart? The voice of Briana’s ‘new heart’ helps her to navigate the messy uncertainties, as she balances her first feelings of romance, making new friends, and following her dream of writing for the school newspaper. And as Briana finds strength and knowledge in herself, she’s finally able to let go of her new heart and rely solely on her own.
LUMBERJANES: THE MOON IS UP (Book #2) by Mariko Tamaki (illus. Brooklyn Allen) (8+)
About Lumberjanes: The Moon Is Up:
Welcome to Miss Qiunzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet’s Camp for Hardcore Lady Types. The five scouts of Roanoke cabin—Jo, April, Molly, Mal, and Ripley—love their summers at camp. They get to hang out with their best friends, earn Lumberjane scout badges, annoy their no-nonsense counsellor Jen . . . and go on supernatural adventures. That last one? A pretty normal occurrence at Miss Qiunzella’s, where the woods contain endless mysteries. As the camp gears up for the big Galaxy Wars competition, Jo and the gang get some help from an unexpected visitor—a Moon Pirate! Book Two will focus on Jo, the ingenious inventor of the group who also happens to be trans.
Pub date: 08 May 2018
TINY INFINITIES by J.H. Diehl (10+)
About Tiny Infinities:
When Alice’s dad moves out, leaving her with her troubled mother, she does the only thing that feels right: she retreats to her family’s old Renaissance tent in the backyard, determined to live there until her dad comes home. In an attempt to keep at least one part of her summer from changing, Alice focuses on her quest to swim freestyle fast enough to get on her swim team’s record board. But summers contain multitudes, and soon Alice meets an odd new friend, Harriet, whose obsession with the school’s science fair is equal only to her conviction that Alice’s best stroke is backstroke, not freestyle. Most unexpected of all is an unusual babysitting charge, Piper, who is mute—until Alice hears her speak. A funny and honest middle–grade novel, this sharply observed depiction of family, friendship, and Alice’s determination to prove herself—as a babysitter, as a friend, as a daughter, as a person—rings loud and true.
Pub date: 08 May 2018
BOOKISH BOYFRIENDS by Tiffany Schmidt (14+)
About Bookish Boyfriends:
Boys are so much better in books. At least according to Merrilee Campbell, 15, who thinks real-life chivalry is dead and there’d be nothing more romantic than having a guy woo her like the heroes in classic stories. Then she, her best friend, Eliza, and her younger sister, Rory, transfer to Reginald R. Hero Prep–where all the boys look like they’ve stepped off the pages of a romance novel. Merri can hardly walk across the quad without running into someone who reminds her of Romeo.
When the brooding and complicated Monroe Stratford scales Merri’s trellis in an effort to make her his, she thinks she might be Juliet incarnate. But as she works her way through her literature curriculum under the guidance of an enigmatic teacher, Merri’s tale begins to unfold in ways she couldn’t have imagined. Merri soon realizes that only she is in charge of her story. And it is a truth universally acknowledged that first impressions can be deceiving…
Pub date: 01 May 2018
VALLEY GIRLS by Sarah Lemon (13+)
About Valley Girls:
When 17-year-old Rilla is busted for partying 24 hours into arriving in Yosemite National Park to live with her park ranger sister, it’s a come-to-Jesus moment. Determined to make up for her screw-up and create a stable new home for herself, Rilla charms her way into a tight-knit group of climbers. But Rilla can’t help but be seduced by experiences she couldn’t have imagined back home. She sets her sights on climbing El Capitan, one of the most challenging routes in Yosemite, and her summer becomes one harrowing and ecstatic experience after another: first climb, first fall two thousand feet in the air, first love. But becoming the person Rilla feels she was meant to be jeopardises the reasons why she came to Yosemite—a bright new future and a second chance at sisterhood. When her family and her future are at odds, what will Rilla choose?
Pub date: 08 May 2018
Sarah’s brilliant DONE DIRT CHEAP is also now out in paperback!
THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL by Maxine Kaplan (14+)
About The Accidental Bad Girl:
After getting caught ‘in the act’ with her best friend’s ex on the last day of junior year, Kendall starts senior year friendless and ostracised by her peers. She plans to keep her head down until she leaves for the prestigious Young Astronomers Talent Search program in three months. But after discovering her online identity has been hacked and she’s being framed for drug theft, Kendall is drawn into a tenuous partnership with the mastermind of a drug ring lurking on the outskirts of her Brooklyn private school. The longer she plays the role of ‘bad girl,’ the more she becomes her new reputation. If she wants to preserve her only chance of escaping high school early, repairing her tattered reputation, and ultimately saving her neck, she’ll have to decide who she really is, and own it. Friends and enemies, detectives and drug dealers—no one is who they appear to be. Least of all Kendall.
Pub date: 15 May 2018
FINAL DRAFT by Riley Redgate
About Final Draft:
18-year-old Laila Piedra doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, and doesn’t sneak into the over-21s club on Canal Street. The only sort of risk Laila enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he dies suddenly – and is replaced by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist who sees nothing at all special about Laila’s writing. Sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed, Dr. Nazarenko thinks that to write anything worthwhile requires suffering. At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. She walks the extra mile in every assignment until at last Nazarenko notices her. Soon Laila is hiking through the Catskills during a thunderstorm in March; she’s discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, and the beauty of temporary flings and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity–that enduring the unendurable is the way to greatness. But happiness is its own herculean task with its own rewards…and rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.
Pub date: 12 Jun 2018
Look out for NOTEWORTHY by Riley Redgate, out now in paperback!