The Bad Guys by Aaron BlabeyFiction. A shady-looking character beckons from the first page of The Bad Guys: it's Mr. Wolf, and he's here to tell you that everything you've heard about him being a big, bad monster is a LIE. Along with his reluctant pals Mr. Shark, Mr. Snake, and Mr. Piranha, Mr. Wolf is founding a Good Guys Club to do heroic deeds. Many of the other animals, however, are too scared to appreciate their help, and Mr. Snake's attempts to eat Mr. Piranha aren't exactly good for morale… Part graphic novel, part early chapter book, this series opener is bursting with wit, energy, and laugh-yourself-silly slapstick.
Flying Lessons & Other Stories by Ellen Oh, editorShort Stories. They began as a hashtag, and now We Need Diverse Books is real-life organization dedicated to helping you find books about all kinds of characters, written by all kinds of authors. In Flying Lessons, some of those authors -- including award-winners like Kwame Alexander, Grace Lin, Jacqueline Woodson, and Matt de la Peña -- share slice-of-life stories about fitting in and being left out. Star Wars, Secret Santas, wheelchair basketball, first crushes, family drama, and lots of other attention-grabbing subjects will keep you eagerly reading all the way through this honest, inclusive book.
A Poem for Peter: The story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illustrated by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson Verse Biography. The name Ezra Jack Keats might not sound familiar to you, but you may recognize his most famous book, The Snowy Day, from having it read to you when you were little. In this biography, you get a behind-the-scenes peek at how that book was made, and how Ezra -- a Jewish American artist who served in World War Two -- became one of the first picture book creators to feature a black child as his main character. Told through playful, page-turning poetry and eye-catching collage art (similar to Ezra's own), A Poem for Peter is the perfect pick for fans of Melissa Sweet's Some Writer! and other bookish biographies.
The Sweetest Sound by Sherri WinstonFiction. Ten-year-old Cadence hates her birthday. Instead of a celebration, it's a bitter reminder of the day her mom walked out on Cadence and her family to follow her dreams of singing stardom. Cadence share her mother's talent, a fact she's kept hidden through years of extreme shyness. This year, however, she's determined to share her musical gift with her church…or at least that was the plan, before a leaked secret recording changed things. With her cozy hometown, uncertain friendships, and complicated family, Cadence is a down-to-earth character you'll want to root for even as she struggles to find her voice.
If You Like: A Series of Unfortunate Events
Horten's Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery, and a Very Strange Adventure by Lissa EvansMystery. If you like Blue Balliet's Chasing Vermeer series or Trenton Lee Stewart's Mysterious Benedict Society books, you won't want to miss the brain-teasing puzzles in Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms. After moving with his boring parents to a boring town, Stuart Horten discovers a decidedly not-boring series of clues and riddles leading to the hidden workshop where his great-uncle Tony, a magician and inventor, built his fantastical machines. Packed with eccentric characters and close shaves, this smart, funny, fast-paced scavenger hunt is followed by a sequel, Horten's Incredible Illusions.
The Doldrums by Nicholas GannonAdventure. Ever since his grandparents disappeared while exploring Antarctica, 11-year-old Archer's life has been dull. Because his overprotective mother hardly lets him out of the house, Archer lives mainly in his imagination. That changes, however, after he meets Oliver, the nervous boy next door, and Adélaïde, a bold girl with a wooden leg. Together, the friends carefully plan an adventure of their own: to find Archer's grandparents. Fans of Roald Dahl or Lemony Snicket will appreciate the absurd tone, as well as the full-color illustrations, in this "amusing, heartwarming, and zany" tale (Kirkus Reviews).
The Grimm Conclusion by Adam GidwitzFantasy. Readers who were captivated by the fierce and bloodthirsty fairy tales in A Tale Dark and Grimm and In a Glass Grimmly will be pleased by this "equally gory and awesomely dark" (School Library Journal) final volume in the trilogy. This time, the focus is on twins Jorinda and Joringel as they battle for survival in a series of gruesome (and sometimes familiar) folk stories…until they find a surprising way to tell their own stories. Clever, imaginative, and laced with dire warnings from the author, The Grimm Conclusion brings a powerful series to an unexpected yet satisfying close.
The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood; illustrated by Jon KlassenFiction. Fifteen-year-old Penelope Lumley has a whopper of a first job: she's been hired to be the governess for three orphaned siblings who were, evidently, raised by wolves. Penelope isn't sure she can civilize the children in time for Lady Constance's holiday ball, but that may not turn out to be her biggest concern...for mysteries abound at Ashton Place, from the real origin of the Incorrigible children to the reason why Old Timothy the coachman is always lurking around to whether there is someone living behind the staircase wall. Readers who enjoy humor, drama, and deep, dark secrets will love this 1st book of The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series and be eager for more.
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