League of Unexceptional Children: Get Smart-ish by Gitty Daneshvari
A hilarious and action-packed sequel to The League of Unexceptional Children!
Jonathan Murray: Twelve years old. Wears khaki pants to tell the world he plans on driving the speed limit when he grows up. Saved the world once; it was probably a fluke.
Shelley Brown: Twelve years old. Narrates her imaginary exploits as if she is the subject of a documentary film. Saved the world once; it was probably a fluke.
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom has called upon Jonathan and Shelley to catch a criminal who has stolen a virus that makes people less smart. When the stakes are this high, can the kids be the utterly average spies the world needs them to be and save the day? Embrace your unexceptional side in this hysterically funny sequel!
Finding Wonders by Jeannine Atkins
A novel in verse about three girls in three different time periods who grew up to become groundbreaking scientists.
Maria Merian was sure that caterpillars were not wicked things born from mud, as most people of her time believed. Through careful observation she discovered the truth about metamorphosis and documented her findings in gorgeous paintings of the life cycles of insects.
More than a century later, Mary Anning helped her father collect stone sea creatures from the cliffs in southwest England. To him they were merely a source of income, but to Mary they held a stronger fascination. Intrepid and patient, she eventually discovered fossils that would change people’s vision of the past.
Across the ocean, Maria Mitchell helped her mapmaker father in the whaling village of Nantucket. At night they explored the starry sky through his telescope. Maria longed to discover a new comet—and after years of studying the night sky, she finally did.
Scar Island by Dan Gemeinhart
Jonathan Grisby is the newest arrival at the Slabhenge Reformatory School for Troubled Boys--an ancient, crumbling fortress of gray stone rising up from the ocean. It is dark, damp, and dismal. And it is just the place Jonathan figures he deserves.
Because Jonathan has done something terrible. And he's willing to accept whatever punishment he has coming.
Just as he's getting used to his new situation, however, a freak accident leaves the troubled boys of Slabhenge without any adult supervision. Suddenly the kids are free, with an entire island to themselves. But freedom brings unexpected danger. And if Jonathan can't come to terms with the sins of his past and lead his new friends to safety... then every boy on the island is doomed.
Dan Gemeinhart's most gripping novel yet, this is a tale of misfits and outcasts at odds and in peril, and a redemption story that shines a light on dark truths to reveal that the strongest prisons of all are the ones we build for ourselves.
Siren Sisters by Dana Langer
A soon-to-be siren finds herself responsible for the lives of her sisters—and the fisherman they curse—in this haunting debut novel.
*Now that I know the truth, I sometimes picture my sisters in headlights, the way they would have looked on that cold February night, armed with shovels and pickaxes, and digging in the graveyard.*
Lolly Salt has three beautiful sisters. When they’re not in school or running their small town’s diner, they’re secretly luring ships to their doom from the cliffs of Starbridge Cove, Maine. With alluring voices that twelve-year-old Lolly has yet to grow into (not that she wants to anyway) the Salt sisters do the work mandated by the Sea Witch, a glamorously frightening figure determined to keep the girls under her control. With their mother dead after a terrible car crash, and their father drowning in his grief, the sisters carry on with their lives and duties…until a local sea captain gets suspicious about the shipwrecks.
On the day before her birthday, Lolly watches in helpless horror as her sisters are lured themselves by curse-reversing fishermen—and suddenly it’s up to her and her best friend Jason to rescue the sirens of Starbridge Cove.
Simon Thorn and the Viper's Pit by Aimee Carter
Simon Thorn Book 2
Tito the Bonecrusher by Melissa Thomson
In her first standalone middle-grade novel, the beloved author of the Keena Ford chapter book series delivers a funny yet timely and moving story about family and immigration.
Oliver "Spaghetti-O" Rodriguez's dad is about to be deported to Mexico, and Oliver believes the only way to save him is with the help of his favorite lucha-libre wrestler turned action star, Tito the Bonecrusher. Together with his best friend Brianna (a.k.a. "Brain"), and their new ally Paul "Popcorn" Robards, Oliver devises a madcap plan to spring his dad from a Florida detention center. Heartwarming and hilarious, this book looks at what it takes to be a hero...and what happens when you realize that saving the day might not always be possible.
Archie Greene and the Alchemists' Curse by D.D. Everest
In Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret, Archie became one of the Flame Keepers, a secret group devoted to finding and preserving magical books that are literally portals into other places and times.
In the action-packed sequel, the Golden Circle—a symbol that hasn’t been seen in three hundred years—appears on Archie’s palm. It's the mark of the Alchemists’ Club, a group of young magicians from centuries past who experimented with magic...until the spells got out of control, the results turned disastrous, and the club disbanded.
Now Archie and a few other apprentices, including his cousins Thistle and Bramble, have been marked with this powerful symbol and appear to be chosen to reestablish the club. They don’t know who chose them. They don’t know why. And they don’t know what perils they are about to face because the Golden Circle has returned.
Mark of the Plague by Kevin Sands
Christopher Rowe is back and there are more puzzles, riddles, and secrets to uncover in this follow-up to the Indie Next pick The Blackthorn Key, which was called a “spectacular debut” by Kirkus Reviews in a starred review.
The Black Death has come to London, spreading disease and fear through town. A mysterious prophet predicts the city’s ultimate doom—until an unknown apothecary arrives with a cure that actually works. Christopher’s Blackthorn shop is chosen to prepare the remedy. But when an assassin threatens the apothecary’s life, Christopher and his faithful friend Tom are back to hunting down the truth, risking their lives to untangle the heart of a dark conspiracy.
And as the sickness strikes close to home, the stakes are higher than ever before…
Impyrium by Henry H. Neff
1242. On a dark night, travelers from across France cross paths at an inn and begin to tell stories of three children: William, an oblate on a mission from his monastery; Jacob, a Jewish boy who has fled his burning village; and Jeanne, a peasant girl who hides her prophetic visions. They are accompanied by Jeanne's loyal greyhound, Gwenforte . . . recently brought back from the dead.
As the narrator collects their tales, the story of these three unlikely allies begins to come together.
Their adventures take them on a chase through France to escape prejudice and persecution and save precious and holy texts from being burned. They’re taken captive by knights, sit alongside a king, and save the land from a farting dragon. And as their quest drives them forward to a final showdown at Mont Saint-Michel, all will come to question if these children can perform the miracles of saints.
Beloved bestselling author Adam Gidwitz makes his long awaited return with his first new world since his hilarious and critically acclaimed Grimm series. Featuring manuscript illuminations throughout by illustrator Hatem Aly and filled with Adam’s trademark style and humor, The Inquisitor's Tale is bold storytelling that’s richly researched and adventure-packed.
Making Mistakes on Purpose by Elise Primavera
Perfect for a new generation of Mary Poppins fans, this second book in the series again features an eccentric headmistress and the endearing students who soak up her every silly lesson.
Great Rapscott School for Girls of Busy Parents is not your typical boarding school. Students arrive in boxes, birthday cake is served for breakfast, and two multitalented corgis assist the wonderfully peculiar headmistress. Having learned to Find Their Way during the summer term, Ms. Rapscott’s pupils must now make it to The Top. But the semester is not off to an auspicious start. First, one of the girls is shipped straight to The Top (without having to start at The Bottom.) Then, the headmaster of the Mount Everbest Academy for Boys of Busy Parents becomes Very Busy himself and starts misplacing students left and right! Luckily, Ms. Rapscott knows that Making Mistakes on Purpose is the secret to Going Far in Life.
Complete with charming black and white illustrations, this sequel to Ms. Rapscott’s Girls is full of warmhearted lessons, spirited adventure, and good cheer.
Into the Lion's Den by Linda Fairstein
Someone has stolen a page from a rare book in the New York Public Library. At least, that’s what Devlin’s friend Liza thinks she’s seen, but she can’t be sure. Any other kid might not see a crime here, but Devlin Quick is courageous and confident, and she knows she has to bring this man to justice—even if it means breathlessly racing around the city to collect evidence. But who is this thief? And what could the page—an old map—possibly lead to? With her wits, persistence, and the help of New York City’s finest (and, okay, a little bit of help from her police commissioner mother, too), Dev and her friends piece the clues together to uncover a mystery that’s bigger than anyone expected—and more fun, too.
With all of the heart-pounding excitement that made her internationally bestselling Alexandra Cooper series a hit, Linda Fairstein paves the way for another unstoppable heroine . . . even if she is only twelve.
Return to the Secret Garden by Holly Webb
Return to the magic of Burnett's classic tale with a brand-new character as she discovers a very secret garden.
It's 1939, and the occupants of the Craven Home for Orphaned Children have been evacuated to Misselthwaite Hall, a fancy manor in the English countryside, to escape the Blitz. Emmie would hardly call the orphanage "home," but her heart breaks knowing that leaving Craven means leaving her beloved cat, Lucy. Away from everything she's ever known and trapped in imposing Misselthwaite, Emmie finds herself more miserable than ever.
But soon she starts discovering the secrets of the house-a boy who cries in the night, a diary written by a girl named Mary, and a garden. A very secret garden…
Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur
Sofarende is at war. For twelve-year-old Mathilde, it means food shortages, feuding neighbors, and bombings. Even so, as long as she and her best friend, Megs, are together, they'll be all right.
But the army is recruiting children, and paying families well for their service. If Megs takes the test, Mathilde knows she will pass. Megs hopes the army is the way to save her family. Mathilde fears it might separate them forever.
A reimagining of war, where even kindness can be a weapon, and children have the power to see what adults cannot.
In an intricately plotted novel full of espionage and intrigue, friendship and family, Anne Nesbet cracks history wide open and gets right to the heart of what it feels like to be an outsider in a world that’s impossible to understand.
The Bronze Key by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
Magic can save you.
Magic can kill you.
Students at the Magisterium are supposed to be safe. Under the watchful eyes of the mages, they are taught to use magic to bring order to a chaotic world.
But now the chaos is fighting back. Call, Tamara, and Aaron should be worrying about things like pop quizzes and magic contests. Instead, after the shocking death of one of their classmates, they must track down a sinister killer… and risk their own lives in the process.
As Call, Tamara, and Aaron discover, magic can only be as good as the person who wields it. In evil hands, it has the capacity to do immeasurable harm, unless it is stopped in time.
In this striking third book of Magisterium, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare present us with a school where anything, good or evil, can happen, and the only way to unlock the truth is to risk everything to find it.
Do you have a favorite recent new cover? Or a favorite from this list? Let me know in the comments!