Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna by Alda P. DobbsIntroducing: brave and resilient Petra, who chooses new paths forward even after tragedy strikes her family during the Mexican Revolution.
About the author: Alda P. Dobbs wrote this book using her own family's stories about their experiences. Don’t miss her notes about these stories and other research at the back of the book.
Pahua and the Soul Stealer by Lori M. LeeWhat it is: a unique blend of fantasy, horror, and Hmong folklore
Featuring: Pahua, an 11-year-old who can see spirits; Zhong, a shaman in training; and Miv, the talking cat spirit always by Pahua’s side.
Reviewers say: “A classic, satisfying adventure tale packed with magical beings” (Kirkus Reviews).
Daughter of the Deep by Rick RiordanAuthor alert: The author of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Trials of Apollo, the Magnus Chase books, and so much more is back—this time with a story outside of the world of mythology.
Featuring: a terrible tragedy, deadly enemies, and a 9th-grader whose weekend trip is only the beginning of her undersea adventure.
Why you might like it: If you’re a fan of twists and turns, heart-pounding action, and a thrilling blend of fantasy and science fiction, this book is for you.
Poison for Breakfast by Lemony SnicketWhat it is: Part philosophical novel, part murder mystery, all classic Snicket.
Want a taste? “This book is about bewilderment, a word which here means not having the faintest idea what is going on at any given time. It is also something of a murder-mystery, in which a dreadful crime is investigated in the hopes of finding out what happened to the poor murdered victim. The person investigating is me. So is the poor murdered victim.”
Charlie Thorne and the Last Equation by Stuart GibbsIntroducing: twelve-year-old super-genius Charlie Thorne, who’s just been recruited (okay, blackmailed) by the CIA to help them beat a terrorist group in the race to find an explosive, long-hidden equation by Albert Einstein.
Read it for: breathless action, fascinating cryptography, and a rebellious heroine who can outwit anyone.
Series alert: This is only the 1st of many adventures for Charlie Thorne.
Swallow's Dance by Wendy OrrThe setting: the Bronze Age, where Leira and her family go on the perilous journey from the Minoan island of Thera to safety in Crete.
What's inside: Though this lyrical, suspenseful book is packed with tragedy and disaster, it’s also a story of a young girl learning about what it means to protect herself and her family.
Read it for: Standard prose and free verse mix to create a strong sense of emotion.
Spy Runner by Eugene YelchinWhat it’s about: It’s 1953 in the U.S., and 12-year-old Jack’s suspicion that his mom’s new tenant might be a Russian spy kicks off an adventure just as dangerous as those of Spy Runner, Jack’s favorite comic book hero.
Why you might like it: Fascinating photos and tons of twists will keep you guessing throughout this historical thriller.
Try this next: Avi’s Catch You Later, Traitor, another suspenseful story set during the height of the anti-Communist “Red Scare.”
Contact your librarian for more great books for ages 10-13!