Beatrice Zinker Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes
Beatrice does her best thinking upside down.
Hanging from trees by her knees, doing handstands . . . for Beatrice Zinker, upside down works every time. She was definitely upside down when she and her best friend, Lenny, agreed to wear matching ninja suits on the first day of third grade. But when Beatrice shows up at school dressed in black, Lenny arrives with a cool new outfit and a cool new friend. Even worse, she seems to have forgotten all about the top-secret operation they planned!
Can Beatrice use her topsy-turvy way of thinking to save the mission, mend their friendship, and flip things sunny-side up?
The Dollmaker of Krakow by R.M. Romero
In the land of dolls, there is magic.
In the land of humans, there is war.
Everywhere there is pain.
But together there is hope.
Karolina is a living doll whose king and queen have been overthrown. But when a strange wind spirits her away from the Land of the Dolls, she finds herself in Krakow, Poland, in the company of the Dollmaker, a man with an unusual power and a marked past.
The Dollmaker has learned to keep to himself, but Karolina's courageous and compassionate manner lead him to smile and to even befriend a violin-playing father and his daughter--that is, once the Dollmaker gets over the shock of realizing a doll is speaking to him.
But their newfound happiness is dashed when Nazi soldiers descend upon Poland. Karolina and the Dollmaker quickly realize that their Jewish friends are in grave danger, and they are determined to help save them, no matter what the risks.
Gertie Milk & the Keeper of Lost Things by Simon Van Booy
Gertie Milk is about a girl who discovers she is the next Keeper of Lost Things and, with the help of a time machine disguised as a vintage sports car, races through time from a 1920s flapper party to a hidden mountain village in 770 B.C. China to return lost objects to famous historical figures.
The Night Garden by Polly Horvath
It is World War II, and Franny and her parents, Sina and Old Tom, enjoy a quiet life on a farm on Vancouver Island. Franny writes, Sina sculpts, and Old Tom tends to their many gardens--including the ancient, mysterious night garden. Their peaceful life is interrupted when their neighbor, Crying Alice, begs Sina to watch her children while she goes to visit her husband at the military base because she suspects he's up to no good. Soon after the children move in, letters arrive from their father that suggest he's about to do something to change their lives; and appearances from a stubborn young cook, UFOs, hermits, and ghosts only make life stranger. Can the forbidden night garden that supposedly grants everyone one wish help them all out of trouble? And if so, at what cost?
Marabel and the Book of Fate by Tracy Barrett
In Magikos, life is dictated by the Book of Fate, which predicts everything. Well, everything important, at least, like the birth of a royal Chosen One who will save the land. And, sure enough, Prince Marco is born on the appointed hour...and is soon followed by a twin sister, who did not merit a mention in the Book of Fate. Now thirteen, Prince Marco is hailed as the land's salvation, while it's clear to all that Princess Marabel is nobody special. If she tried to perform any great feats of bravery, she would most likely fall flat on her face. She won't be beloved by the people, travelling musicians won't regale crowds with the Ballad of Marabel the Great, and she certainly won't be able to unite a fractured kingdom.
But when Marco is kidnapped by an evil queen, Marabel is the first to run to the rescue. Outside of the castle walls for the first time, accompanied only by her best friend and one very smug unicorn, Marabel must forge her own path on a daring mission that sees the crew of rescuers facing off against fairies, trolls, giants, and even a dragon. Marabel will have to find a way to surmount all the obstacles in her path and defy the Book of Fate, or risk losing her brother--and her kingdom--forever.
Monster, Human, Other by Laurel Gale
For readers of Neil Gaiman's Coraline and Jonathan Auxier's The Night Gardener comes a perfectly peculiar tale that shows the scariest monsters are often the ones we create for ourselves.
Isaac Read doesn't feel like a monster. He's just like every other kid on his block--as long as he tapes down his tail, that is!
Wren wishes her adopted family would stop teasing her about her lousy sense of smell and poor sense of direction. It's not her fault she doesn't have their sensitive snouts and keen eyesight.
The overcrowded voracans hate getting walked all over--literally. They live underground.
Broken promises and new alliances spell trouble for Wren and Isaac as the voracans try to claw their way to the top--and bring some unlikely suspects with them!
Penelope March is Melting by Jeffrey Michael Ruby
This is the story of a twelve-year-old girl who lives in a miraculous town on an iceberg.
The iceberg is melting.
And she's the only one who can stop it.
The town of Glacier Cove sits on top of an iceberg. Nothing bad ever happens there. Until now. And it's up to Penelope March to stop it.
Mmm-hmm, that Penelope--the bookworm who lives in the ramshackle house with her brother, Miles. The girl with the mom who--poof!--disappeared. The one everyone ignores . . . except strange Coral Wanamaker, a tiny thing with raven-black hair and a black coat.
When Penelope meets someone who seems to know secrets not only about Glacier Cove but about Penelope herself, she and Miles are pulled into an ancient mystery. Together, they'll face the coldest, cruelest enemy ever known. Looks like the girl who only reads about adventures is going to start living one.
Monsterland by James Crowley
In a middle grade adventure full of humor, heart and cinematic storytelling, a boy takes off on a once-in-a-lifetime journey through a mysterious land, with the help of some monster friends
It’s Halloween, and everyone in Charlie’s small town is excited for this year’s festivities. Charlie’s grandfather, Old Joe, is famous for his holiday haunts, and his pumpkin patch is the center of the town’s zealous celebrations. But for Charlie, Halloween’s just one more reminder that his cousin Billy isn’t around anymore. Charlie plans to keep to himself this year, hanging out in the haunted barn with his trusty dog Ringo.
But when Charlie runs into some neighborhood bullies who are after his candy, he heads off into the woods to escape. He quickly gets lost, but spots a kid who he thinks is Billy. As Charlie chases after him deeper and deeper into the woods, he finds himself entering Monsterland—a mysterious place where werewolves live amongst trolls and goblins. Here he meets the Prime Minister, a vampire who tells Charlie he may be able to see his cousin again in this strange new land. Accompanied by a hulking monster chaperone, Charlie’s determined to find out just what happened to his cousin, and sets off to explore the secrets hiding in this uncharted territory.
The Way to Bea by Kat Yeh
With a charming voice, winning characters, and a perfectly-woven plot, Kat Yeh delivers a powerful story of friendship and finding a path towards embracing yourself.
Everything in Bea's world has changed. She's starting seventh grade newly friendless and facing big changes at home, where she is about to go from only child to big sister. Feeling alone and adrift, and like her words don't deserve to be seen, Bea takes solace in writing haiku in invisible ink and hiding them in a secret spot.
But then something incredible happens--someone writes back. And Bea begins to connect with new friends, including a classmate obsessed with a nearby labyrinth and determined to get inside. As she decides where her next path will lead, she just might discover that her words--and herself--have found a new way to belong.
Moon Princess by Barbara Laban
Sienna is unhappy. Her mother has disappeared and she feels alone in Shanghai. Her only friend is Rufus--a sarcastic invisible dog with a VERY clear idea of how things should be done.
When their mean housekeeper starts acting suspiciously, Sienna decides to investigate. She follows a trail of clues that leads her to a new friend, Feng, who also has an invisible animal friend and has lost a family member. Together they embark on a hunt through China that leads them to new friends, even more invisible animals, and a mysterious moonlit temple where Sienna's mother and Feng's brother were last seen.
Are the disappearances linked to a priceless statue of the famous moon princess? And can they discover the dangerous truth?
Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee
A cancer survivor must readjust to “normal” middle school life in this hopeful novel from the author of Star-Crossed and Truth or Dare.
Norah Levy has just completed two years of treatment for leukemia and is ready to go back to the “real world” of middle school. The hospital social worker warns her the transition back may be tricky, but Norah isn’t worried. Compared with battling cancer, how tricky can seventh grade be?
Very. Everyone is either treating Norah like she will break at any second, or acting weird about all the attention she’s getting. Her best friend, Harper, does her best to be there for Norah, but she doesn’t get it, really—and is hanging out with a new group of girls, leaving Norah feeling a little unsteady. Norah’s other good friend, Silas, is avoiding her. What’s that about, anyway?
When Norah is placed with the eighth graders for math and science she meets Griffin, a cute boy who encourages her love of drawing and Greek mythology. And Norah decides not to tell him her secret—that she was “that girl” who had cancer. But when something happens to make secret-keeping impossible, Norah must figure out a way to share her cancer story. But how do you explain something to others that you can’t explain to yourself? And then, once you find the words, how do you move forward with a whole new ‘normal’?
The Quest to the Uncharted Lands by Jaleigh Johnson
From the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller The Mark of the Dragonfly comes another magical and thrilling story that takes readers on an exciting new adventure.
Stella Glass dreams of exploring worlds beyond her home of Solace, but when her famous parents are sent on a historic mission to the Uncharted Lands, it's simply too dangerous for her to join them. By order of the king, she is left behind.
Missing out on the excitement is one thing, but Stella is devastated at the thought of her parents flying into the unknown. So she takes matters into her own hands. Instead of staying with family as planned, she steals away and--right before takeoff--sneaks aboard the airship.
But Stella isn't the only stowaway.
In the cargo bay is a boy who is also desperate to get to the Uncharted Lands. And someone else who's determined to keep the ship from making it there at all. . . .
Once You Know This by Emily Blejwas
A girl wishes for a better life for her, her mom, and her baby brother and musters the courage to make it happen in this moving and emotionally satisfying story for readers of Kate DiCamillo and Lynda Mullaly Hunt.
Eleven-year-old Brittany knows there has to be a better world out there. Lately, though, it sure doesn’t feel like it. She and her best friend, Marisol, stick together at school, but at home Brittany’s granny is sick, her cat is missing, there’s never any money, and there’s her little brother, Tommy, to worry about. Brittany has a hard time picturing her future as anything but a plain white sky. If her life is going to ever change, she needs a plan. And once she starts believing in herself, Brittany realizes that what has always seemed out of reach might be just around the corner.
This debut novel by Emily Blejwas is perfect for readers who love emotionally satisfying books. Thoughtful and understated, it’s the hopeful story of a girl who struggles to make her future bright . . . and the makeshift family that emerges around her.
The Last Panther by Todd Mitchell
For fans of "The One and Only Ivan" and "Hoot, " this is the uplifting story of a girl who discovers a family of panthers that were thought to be extinct, and her journey to save the species.
Eleven-year-old Kiri has a secret: wild things call to her. More than anyone else, she’s always had a special connection to animals.
But when Kiri has an encounter with the last known Florida panther, her life is quickly turned on end.
Caught between her conservationist father, who wants to send the panther to a zoo, and the village poachers, who want to sell it to feed their families, Kiri must embark on a journey that will take her deep into the wilderness.
There has to be some way to save the panther, and for her da and the villagers to understand each other. If Kiri can’t figure out what it is, she’ll lose far more than the panthers she’ll lose the only home she’s ever known, and the only family she has left.
Do you have a favorite recent new cover? Or a favorite from this list? Let me know in the comments!