New release for February include debut authors Heidi Heilig and co-authors Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas. What?! I missed a book? List it in the comments!
Firelight (Amulet #7) by Kazu Kibuishi; Scholastic
Emily, Trellis, and Vigo visit Algos Island, where they can access and enter lost memories. They’re hoping to uncover the events of Trellis’s mysterious childhood — knowledge they can use against the Elf King. What they discover is a dark secret that changes everything. Meanwhile, the Voice of Emily’s Amulet is getting stronger, and threatens to overtake her completely. (ages 8-12)
Little White Lies by Brianna Baker and F. Bowman Hastie III; Soho
Seventeen-year-old honors student Coretta White’s Tumblr, Little White Lies—her witty thoughts on pretty much . . . everything—has gone viral. She’s got hundreds of thousands of followers; she’s even been offered a TV deal. But Coretta has a secret. She hasn’t been writing all her own posts. Stressed from the demands of the sudden attention, she hired an expert ghostwriter, forty-one-year-old Karl Ristoff, to keep the Tumblr going. Now consumed with guilt, she confesses. Almost instantly, she suffers a public humiliation. The TV deal disappears. Her boyfriend breaks up with her. Then Karl is thrust into the limelight, only to suffer a dramatic fall himself. Together, they vow to find out who is responsible for ruining both of their lives, and why. But in order to exact justice and a wicked revenge, they must first come clean with each other. (12 and up)
Peas and Carrots by Tanita S. Davis; Knopf Books for Young Readers. ages 12 and up
Dess knows that nothing good lasts. Disappointment is never far away, and that’s a truth that Dess has learned to live with. Dess’s mother’s most recent arrest is just the latest in a long line of disappointments, but this one lands her with her baby brother’s foster family. Dess doesn’t exactly fit in with the Carters. They’re so happy, so comfortable, so normal, and Hope, their teenage daughter, is so hopelessly naïve. Dess and Hope couldn’t be more unlike each other, but Austin loves them both like sisters. Over time their differences, insurmountable at first, fall away to reveal two girls who want the same thing: to belong.
Dorothy Must Die Stories Volume 2: Heart of Tin, The Straw King, Ruler of Beasts by Danielle Paige; HarperCollins. ages 12 and up.
Follow Dorothy’s iconic companions from the beloved classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as each of their gifts becomes key to the downfall of Oz. After Dorothy Gale wished her way home and long before Amy Gumm found herself in Oz, Dorothy’s friends left the Road of Yellow Brick to go their separate ways. But in a place like Oz, where magic and temptation lurk, the gifts from the Wizard begin to take on a life of their own. The Tin Woodman becomes twisted with longing. The Scarecrow develops a taste for plotting. And doubt consumes the Cowardly Lion. Kiss the land where troubles melt like lemon drops good-bye. Here there’s danger around every corner, and magical shoes won’t be able to save you.
Same but Different: Life on the Teen Autism Express by Holly Robison Peete; Scholastic. ages 12-17
Being a teen is hard enough. But when you have autism–or when your brother or sister is struggling with the condition–life can be challenging. It’s one thing when you’re a kid in grade school, and a play date goes south due to autism in a family. Or when you’re a little kid, and a vacation or holiday turns less-than-happy because of an autistic family member. But being a teen with autism can get pretty hairy–especially when you’re up against dating, parties, sports, body changes, school, and other kids who just don’t “get” you. In this powerful book, teenagers Ryan Elizabeth Peete and her twin brother, Rodney, who has autism, share their experiences of what it means to be a teen living with autism. Same But Different explores the funny, painful, and unexpected aspects of teen autism, while daring to address issues nobody talks about.Same But Different underscores tolerance, love, and the understanding that everybody’s unique drumbeat is worth dancing to.
Dove Exiled by Karen Bao. Penguin. Ages 12 and up
Hiding in plain sight with her friend Wes’s family on the drowned planet Earth, Phaet discovers the rugged beauty of the world her ancestors once called home. All her life, she’s been taught to fear the “Earthbound,” and their generosity and kindness surprise and touch Phaet. But when the Lunar Bases attack Wes’s isolated village, Phaet’s past catches up with her, and she’s forced to choose: stay on Earth and fight beside the boy she’s falling for, or stow away on a Moon-bound ship so she can save her brother and sister from the government that killed their mother.
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig. Greenwillow. ages 12 and up
Heidi Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City, to nineteenth-century Hawaii, to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end. The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, blends fantasy, history, and a modern sensibility. Its witty, fast-paced dialogue, breathless adventure, multicultural cast, and enchanting romance will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.
Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time. But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.
These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas. Swoon Reads. ages 12 and up
In 1882 England when her beloved sister Rose vanishes, Evelyn, bored with society and its expectations, embarks on a search for Rose, encountering the reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock, who is also looking for Rose and claiming that both sisters have special healing powers.
This Kid Can Fly: It’s about Ability (NOT Disability) by Aaron Philip and Tonya Bolden. Balzer and Bray. ages 8-12
“At once beautiful and heartbreaking, Aaron Philip found a way to make me laugh even as I choked up, found a way to bring on my empathy without ever allowing me to feel sorry for him. An eye-opening debut.” —Jacqueline Woodson, National Book Award winner and Newbery Honor author of Brown Girl Dreaming In this heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting memoir, Aaron Philip, a fourteen-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, shows how he isn’t defined so much by his disability as he is by his abilities.
Written with award-winning author Tonya Bolden, This Kid Can Fly chronicles Aaron’s extraordinary journey from happy baby in Antigua to confident teen artist in New York City. His honest, often funny stories of triumph—despite physical difficulties, poverty, and other challenges—are as inspiring as they are eye-opening. Includes photos and original illustrations from Aaron’s personal collection.