Words and Their Meanings by Kate Bassett
Available September 8, 2014 from Flux
Grief and guilt are powerful forces. Powerful enough to transform how you see the world, and, even, how the world sees you. Anna O’ Malley has been transformed by these forces, touched by death and plagued by her belief that it was her doing. Once a talented and promising writer, she now devotes herself to coffin yoga and selecting the perfect Patti Smith quote to inscribe on her skin. It’s Mateo, a boy who sees the real Anna, despite the guilt and grief that consume her, who slowly leads her back to the land of the living. But death isn’t done with Anna yet. When her grandfather’s health begins to fail and she discovers a shocking secret written on an origami swan, she sets out to uncover hard truths about the people she loves. In the process, Anna must learn to accept the past and face the future. Words and Their Meanings is a beautifully told story about family, love, loss, secrets, and, above all, forgiveness and acceptance.
Jackaby by William Ritter
Available September 16, 2014 from Algonquin BFYR
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Abigail Rook defies convention when she flees her stifling home and lands in New England, looking for adventure and in desperate need of a job. R.F. Jackaby is an investigator specializing in cases odd and supernatural and in dire need of an assistant (as his previous assistant was rather unceremoniously transformed into a duck). When a serial killer begins stalking New Fiddleham and the police hit a dead end, Jackaby and Abigail take on the case, convinced there's something supernatural afoot. William Ritter's debut is reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, but with a delightful paranormal twist. With a fresh cast of characters, a compelling, bloody mystery, and witty banter, Jackaby will leave readers asking for more.
The Only Thing Worse Than Witches by Lauren Magaziner
Available August 14, 2014 from Dial/Penguin
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When Rupert Campbell answers a curious posting for a witch's assistant, he directly defies his mother's command to stay far, far away from any and all witches. But Witchling Two doesn't seem very scary... Apart from being a terrible spell-caster, she's actually quite nice and quite possibly the best friend Rupert's ever had. But humans and witches aren't meant to mix and soon the two friends find themselves in deep trouble. Will Witchling Two be able to pass the tests required to become a full-fledged witch? Will Rupert survive his terrifying and distinctly witchy teacher, Mrs. Frabbleknacker? And can Two and Rupert's friendship survive the forces that threaten to keep them apart? Humor, a smart lesson about friendship, and an evil witch or two makes The Only Thing Worse Than Witches a middle grade win!