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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Cover Reveal Roundup - Middle Grade (94)

The Care and Feeding of a Pet Black Hole by Michelle Cuevas


A girl's friendship with a lonely black hole leads her to face her own sadness in this original, funny, and touching middle grade novel for fans of Crenshaw and Flora & Ulysses.

When eleven-year-old Stella Rodriguez shows up at NASA to request that her recording be included in Carl Sagan's Golden Record, something unexpected happens: A black hole follows her home, and sets out to live in her house as a pet. The black hole swallows everything he touches, which is challenging to say the least—but also turns out to be a convenient way to get rid of those items that Stella doesn't want around. Soon the ugly sweaters her aunt has made for her all disappear within the black hole, as does the smelly class hamster she's taking care of, and most important, all the reminders of her dead father that are just too painful to have around.

It's not until Stella, her younger brother, Cosmo, the family puppy, and even the bathroom tub all get swallowed up by the black hole that Stella comes to realize she has been letting her own grief consume her. And that's not the only thing she realizes as she attempts to get back home. This is an astonishingly original and funny adventure with a great big heart.

The 12 Dares of Christa by Marissa Burt
A thirteen-year-old girl spends her first holiday away from home completing a scavenger hunt that takes her across Europe in 12 Dares of Christa, the first contemporary novel from Marissa Burt, author of Storybound.

Christa is a holiday junkie. What’s not to love? There’s decorations! Gifts! Caroling with friends! But thanks to her parents’ recent separation, Christa’s favorite time of year is now filled with heartache. And when her mom announces that she’s taking her on a mother-daughter trip to Europe over winter vacation, Christa knows she should be excited. She just can’t imagine spending the yuletide season without her dad.

However, waiting at her hotel in Italy is a special package from her father: the first of twelve dares that take Christa to landmarks in three beautiful countries and introduce her to people who will show her that hope is alive in the strangest of places.

Funny, genuine, and feel-good to the core, The 12 Dares of Christa is one fa-la-la-filled adventure that fans of Wendy Mass and Lisa Greenwald will love.

Just Dance by Patricia MacLachlan
A coming-of-age story about finding your own voice while learning to understand the people you love the most.

Sylvie Bloom wants to find something new and exciting this summer—at least more exciting than the cows, goats, and chickens on her family’s farm that she’s become accustomed to. Luckily, Sylvie’s teacher Mrs. Ludolf has the perfect idea. Sylvie can take over her husband Sheriff Ludolf’s column in the newspaper for the summer, reporting on all the important events that happen in their small Nebraska town. Sylvie is thrilled to have a new challenge, but she’s not sure she’ll actually see anything amazing. At least nothing like the things her mother saw when she traveled the world as a famous opera singer.

Sylvie can’t figure out why her mother would give up singing in front of thousands of people. Have she and her brother Nate been holding her mother back? And when her mother’s old duet partner James Grayson writes that he’s coming to perform nearby, will she be tempted to return to the stage, without them?

Paper Chains by Elaine Vickers
From the author of critically acclaimed Like Magic comes another sweet middle grade story about friendship, family, and discovering where you fit in the world.

Katie and Ana are the kind of friends who share everything with each other. But there are some things you can’t even share with your best friend.

Katie has always known she was adopted, but recently she’s been wondering about her birth parents and her birthplace. She worries that saying this out loud—even to her best friend—could mess up the perfect family she has now.

Ana’s family has been falling apart ever since her dad left, and it’s up to her to hold it together. But Ana fears no matter how hard she tries, her family may never be whole again.

At a time when they need each other the most, the links between the girls are beginning to break. Before they lose each other, they must work through the tangles of secrets to the shining truth underneath: friendship, just like family, is worth fighting for.

The Lost Frost Girl by Amy Wilson
From debut author Amy Wilson comes a story brimming with heart about a normal girl who discovers that she is really Jack Frost’s daughter—with winter powers of her very own. The Lost Frost Girl is an enchanting modern-day fairy tale about family, friendship, and the magic of embracing who you are meant to be.

Owl has the kind of mom who would name her Owl, a dad she’s never met, and a boy who gives her strange looks at school—but Owl has come to accept that this is as normal as her life is going to get.

Until Owl finds out that she is Jack Frost’s daughter. Determined to meet him, Owl delves into Jack’s wonderful world of winter and magic—the kind of place she thought only existed in fairy tales. And as she notices frost patterns appearing on her skin and her tears turning to ice, Owl starts to wonder if being Jack Frost’s daughter means that she has winter powers of her very own.
Ruby & Olivia by Rachel Hawkins

A spooky middle-grade story that's full of fun, friendship, and humor--perfect for fans of Ingrid Law and Lisa Graff.

Ruby is best friends with Emma, but she and Emma's twin sister Olivia are definitely not friends. Unfortunately, Emma will be away for the summer, while Ruby and Olivia are going to be stuck at a community service day camp for troublemakers--together.

To kick off the spirit of service, the campers are outfitted with bright pink polka-dotted t-shirts with smiley faces on the front, then tasked with cataloging the contents of an abandoned mansion. Sorting through objects in an old house sounds boring, and working with each other is that last thing the girls want to do, but the stuff is actually pretty cool. There's everything from mink stoles to golf clubs to stuffed deer heads . . . and . . . wait . . . is that stuffed deer head watching them?

When the taps run freezing cold and doors slam inexplicably, Ruby and Olivia wonder if the other campers are having a bit of fun, or if the abandoned mansion is looking for new residents. To solve the mystery, Ruby and Olivia will have to put their grudges aside and figure out how to be a team with or without Emma.
Super Max and the Mystery of Thornwood's Revenge by Susan Vaught

It’s going to take more than a knack for electronics and a supercharged wheelchair for twelve-year-old Max to investigate a haunted mansion.

Max has always been a whiz with electronics (just take a look at her turbo-charged wheelchair). But when a hacker starts a slanderous Facebook page for her grandpa, Max isn’t sure she has the skills to take him down. The messages grow increasingly sinister, and Max fears that this is more than just a bad joke. Here’s the thing: Max has grown up in the shadow of Thornwood Manor, an abandoned mansion that is rumored to be haunted by its original owner, Hargrove Thornwood. It is said that his ghost may be biding his time until he can exact revenge on the town of Blue Creek. Why? Well, it’s complicated. To call him a jerk would be an understatement. When the hacking escalates, suddenly it looks to Max like this could really be Thornwood’s Revenge. If it is, these messages are just the beginning—and the town could be in danger.

Mr. Gedrick and Me by Patrick Carman

New York Times bestselling author Patrick Carman delivers a modern reimagining of the classic Mary Poppins tale in this story about family, grief, and healing—with a dash of magic!

Stanley Darrow isn’t sure what to expect when the mysterious Mr. Gedrick appears on his doorstep. He is certain, however, that his family could use Mr. Gedrick’s help: Their lives—and their house—have been a mess since Stanley’s dad died.

The strange new nanny quickly helps them transform their cluttered home into a sparkling and spotless version of its former self, but it’s going to take more than a clean house to help the Darrow family learn to live and love again.

Can Mr. Gedrick help Stanley, his brother, Fergus, his sister, Amelia, and his mom find their way back to each other? And what secrets of his own is Mr. Gedrick hiding behind his crooked grin?

Shadow of a Pug (Howard Wallace, P.I. #2) by Casey Lyall

“My partner scanned the message and a slow grin took over her face as she said our four favorite words: We have a case.’”


Middle-school detectives Howard Wallace and Ivy Mason are itching for a juicy case. But when their friend and cohort Marvin hires them to prove his nephew— über-bully Carl Dean—didn’t pugnap the school mascot, they’re less than thrilled. To succeed, not only must Howard and Ivy play nice with Carl, they’ll have to dodge a scrappy, snoopy reporter and come face-to-face with Howard’s worst enemy, his ex-best friend Miles Fletcher. Can Howard deal with all these complications and still be there for Ivy when her life is turned upside down? Or will he once again find himself a friendless P.I.?

Voyage to Avalon (Mice of the Round Table #2) by Julie Leung

A mysterious curse sparks a dangerous quest in book two of the epic middle grade series ALA Booklist called “a charming blend of Arthurian legend and Brian Jacques’s Redwall series.”

Young mouse Calib Christopher has nearly completed his training to become a squire to the Knights of Camelot when news of a deadly plague reaches the castle. Soon all of Camelot is showing signs of the illness, animals and humans alike. Desperate to find a cure, Calib and his friend Cecily set off on a voyage to find the healing land of Avalon. But even as their journey takes them over land and sea, back at home, Calib’s human friend Galahad discovers that the true enemy may have already found a way inside the castle walls.…

Better Off Undead by James Preller

Pitched as The Walking Dead meets The Mysterious Benedict Society. In the “not-too-distant future,” a seventh-grade undead boy has to adjust to middle-school life as a zombie, and with three unlikely friends, he navigates a mystery involving global warming, disappearing bees, and billionaire developers... and more zombies.
The List by Patricia Forde

In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world.

On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and rob Ark’s citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it’s up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.

Love You Like a Sister by Robin Palmer
Four soon-to-be-stepsisters must learn to work together as they try to make their parents’ wedding day a day to remember in this witty M!X novel in the tradition of Bridesmaids.

When Avery was two, her parents divorced, and it’s just been Avery and her mom ever since—the Two Musketeers. Until Avery opens her email—on a non-holiday and not her birthday—and receives a bombshell announcement from her father. Not only is he moving back to the New York area, he is remarrying—and his soon-to-be wife has three daughters. Avery’s future stepsisters. Holy. Moly.

Avery’s father is determined to make them all one happy family, so he and his fiancée ask the girls to be the bridesmaids in the upcoming wedding. And they want the girls to help with the something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue. Meaning that Avery and the girls—who clearly want nothing to do with her—are going to be forced to spend time together.

It’s one (hilarious) disaster after another as Avery tries to help and get to know her future stepsisters—who are all dealing with their own issues with the wedding. From spilling a chocolate-y drink on a very expensive dress when they go dress shopping, to turning her future step-mother’s hair bright blue days before the wedding. Can they all manage to make the wedding a day to remember—or will it be memorable for all the wrong reasons?
Lucy and the Rocket Dog by Will Buckingham

The unforgettable story of the bond between a budding scientist and her beloved dog, perfect for fans of beloved animal stories like Pax and Time Traveling With A Hamster.
Lucy loves space. She loves to gaze up at the stars and bask in space's bigness and its here, there, and everywhereness. She loves it so much that she built a rocket ship in her backyard, hoping that one day she can use it to explore space herself. The ship is just Prototype I, though, so it's not ready to carry anyone into orbit yet. Or so she thinks.

Laika doesn't give much thought to space--she is a dog, after all. The thing that Laika loves the most is Lucy. She loves Lucy so much that, one evening, she wanders into Prototype I looking for her--and is promptly launched into space.

While Laika takes off on an intergalactic adventure, Lucy begins a lifelong scientific quest to bring her dog home. Told from the two friends' alternating perspectives and, in turns, heartbreaking and hilarious, this tale will win over anyone who has ever loved a pet, or who has looked at the stars and wondered just what might be going on in the here, there, and everywhereness.

Do you have a favorite recent new cover? Or a favorite from this list? Let me know in the comments!


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