November 16, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Catch up with Lunch Lady, Babymouse, and Big Nate | Fiction Series Update

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Elementary & Middle School

ANDERSON , M. T. He Laughed with His Other Mouth. illus. by Kurt Cyrus. 304p. (A Pals in Peril Tale: Bk. 6). S. & S./Beach Lane. Aug. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442451100. LC 2013034710.

Gr 4-7– Boy Technonaut Jasper Dash enlists the help of his friends to find his missing father in this science fiction adventure chock-full of aliens, spaceships, friendship, and plenty of death rays. Cyrus’s illustrations add to this romp’s rollicking humor.

ANGLEBERGER , Tom. Poop Fountain. 144p. (The Qwikpick Papers). Abrams/Amulet. 2014. Tr $12.95. ISBN 9781419704253. LC 2013045212.

Gr 4-6– Originally published as The Quickpick Adventure Society by Sam Riddleburger (Dial, 2007), this updated version expands upon the scrapbook feel, with pages designed to look like snapshot photos have been taped in, paperclipped looseleaf papers added, and graphic novel–style panels inserted. The outing to the Amazing Poop Fountain at the Crickenburg Wastewater Treatment Plant has never looked so appealing. Laugh-out-loud hijinks tailormade for reluctant readers. A hilarious and well-designed update.

BACH , Shelby. Of Sorcery and Snow. 336p. (The Ever Afters: Bk. 3). S. & S. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781442497849; ebk. $10.99. ISBN 9781442497863. LC 2013029637.

Gr 4-6– Rory Landon has been impatiently waiting for her very own fairy tale at Ever After School. Now, she finds herself chasing after the Pied Piper in order to rescue her kidnapped friends. Fans of the first two installments will be eager to catch up with Rory.

COLFER , Eoin. The Hangman’s Revolution. 384p. (W.A.R.P.: Bk. 2). Disney-Hyperion. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781423161639; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781423187967. LC 2014001938.

Gr 7 Up– Seventeen-year-old FBI agent Chevie Savano returns from Victorian London to find even more trouble in the present day, forcing her right back into the past to battle another villain. SLJ said of the first book, “[it] is darker, bloodier, and much more serious in tone than the author’s popular ‘Artemis Fowl’ series (Hyperion). It may not be for the faint of heart, but the intricate plot, strong writing, and intrepid characters who must survive by their wits will make it hard to put down.”

DITERLIZZI , Tony. The Battle for Wondla. illus. by Tony Diterlizzi. 496p. (The Search for Wondla: Bk. 3). S. & S. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781416983149. LC 2013035219.

Gr 4-7– The epic trilogy comes to a satisfying end in this last installment. Readers will be thrilled to step back into DiTerlizzi’s well-realized and intricately detailed world as Eva Nine and her friends try to save their planet.

EDDLEMAN , Peggy. The Forbidden Flats. 272p. (Sky Jumpers: Bk. 2). Random. Sept. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780307981318; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780307981325; ebk. ISBN 9780307981332. LC 2013035051.

Gr 5-7– The town of White Rock has always lived in fear of the deadly gas known as “Bomb’s Breath,” but now it’s up to Hope to find the one thing that may stop the danger for good. SLJ said of the first book, “[readers] not ready for the violence of ‘The Hunger Games’ will enjoy the book’s adrenaline-rushed daredevil adventures.”

EDGE , Christopher. Shadows of the Silver Screen. Bk. 2. ISBN 9780807573198.

—–. Twelve Minutes to Midnight. Bk. 1. ISBN 9780807581339. LC 2013029481.

ea. vol.: 256p. (The Penelope Tredwell Mysteries). ebook available. Albert Whitman. 2014. Tr $16.99.

Gr 4-7– In Twelve Minutes to Midnight, readers meet Penelope Tredwell, the 13-year-old newspaper heiress and ghostwriter who pens tales of horror and mystery as Montgomery Flinch. She must keep her true identity secret, going so far as to hire an actor to play Montgomery at public appearances. In Shadows of the Silver Screen, a filmmaker wants to transform Penelope’s stories into a motion picture. The protagonist soon finds that her terrifying tales are bleeding into reality. An atmospheric and spine-tingling series for middle graders who love old-fashioned mysteries.

FRIEDMAN , Laurie. Truth and Kisses. 168p. (The Mostly Miserable Life of April Sinclair: Bk. 3). Darby Creek. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781467709279. LC 2013045913.

Gr 5-8– Life is still topsy-turvy for the boisterous April Sinclair as she deals with old flames, new friendships, and a hot, secret crush. A solid series for tweens who want to read YA romance books but perhaps aren’t mature enough just yet.

HALE , Bruce. Thicker Than Water. illus. by Brandon Dorman. 320p. (School for S.P.I.E.S.). Disney-Hyperion. 2014. Tr $15.99. ISBN 9781423168515.

Gr 4-7— In this follow-up to Playing with Fire (Disney-Hyperion, 2013), Max Segredo and his crew at the Merry Sunshine Orphanage (aka the School for S.P.I.E.S.) are battling against the evil LOTUS operation, which is trying to shut them down. When the S.P.I.E.S. are hired by a mysterious billionaire to steal a mind-control device, it may be their only hope of saving the school.

JENNINGS , Patrick. Guinea Dog 3. 176p. (Guinea Dog: Bk. 3). Egmont USA. Aug. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781606845547.

Gr 2-4— Rufus and his friends are on summer vacation when they meet Pedro, a boy afraid of swimming, whose new pet guinea pig (surprise, surprise) acts a bit odd—just like an otter, in fact. Another cute and laugh-out-loud entry in the series.

MALONE , Marianne. The Secret of the Key. illus. by Greg Call. 256p. (Sixty-Eight Rooms: Bk. 4). Random. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780307977212; lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780307977229; ebk. ISBN 9780307977236. LC 2013028270.

Gr 3-6– In this conclusion to the series, Ruthie and Jack discover that objects from the Art Institute’s Thorne Rooms are appearing out of place and time. Readers will enjoy the ride as the pair journeys to 1930s New York City, turn-of-the-century China, and 17th-century England.

MARTIN , Ann M. Best Kept Secret. 224p. (Family Tree: Bk. 3). Scholastic. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545359443. LC 2013032027.

Gr 4-7– In this third installment of the series which follows four generations of women in the same family, readers get to know Francie, a girl growing up in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Francie struggles with dyslexia and has difficulty in school. The slim volume follows her, chapter by chapter, as she overcomes her learning disability and graduates from college. A secondary purchase where circulation of the previous two titles is strong.

MELLOM , Robin. The Classroom: Trick Out My School! illus. by Stephen Gilpin. 288p. (The Classroom: Bk. 3). Disney-Hyperion. 2014. Tr $12.99. ISBN 9781423150657; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9781423190448. LC 2013029133.

Gr 4-6– In the third book, seventh grader Trevor Jones and his friends are the subjects of a documentary film. The entire crew has come to Westside Middle School to record the school’s upcoming “tricked out” makeover. With short chapters interspersed with illustrations, interview transcripts, and notebook entries, this series should attract reluctant or struggling readers. Though the characters are seventh graders, the text and design are more solidly in middle-grade territory.

MESSNER , Kate. Manhunt. 304p. (Silver Jaguar Society). Scholastic. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545419772; ebk. $16.99. ISBN 9780545633970. LC 2013030242.

Gr 4-7– In this third entry in the series, the junior members of the Silver Jaguar Society, Anna, Jose, and Henry, travel to Paris to investigate the wherabouts of several famous paintings—most notably The Mona Lisa—that have been stolen. With well-paced chapters and almost nonstop action interspersed with the flavor of Paris streets and the Louvre, readers will enjoy this latest art heist mystery.

PRELLER , James. Nightmareland. illus. by Iacopo Bruno. 112p. (Scary Tales). Feiwel & Friends. 2014. Tr $5.99. ISBN 9781250018939.

Gr 3-6– The latest spine tingler in Preller’s spooky chapter book series is sure to inspire a few chills. In this tale, a boy receives a new video game called Nightmareland. It warns users to “Enter at Your Own Risk,” a challenge that Aaron likes. He soons finds himself entangled in a world that seems like so much more than a mere game. Some genuinely creepy moments make this ideal for readers who can’t get enough “Goosebumps” and Alvin Schwarz tales.

STOHL , Margaret. Idols. 432p. (Icons: Bk. 2). Little, Brown. 2014. Tr $19. ISBN 9780316205177.

Gr 8 Up– Dol and the Icon Children escape to Southeast Asia in search of another child who might share their superhuman qualities. Readers who haven’t read the first book, Icons (2013), will be best served by starting at the beginning. Fans of the series will rush through this fast-paced sci-fi adventure and breathlessly await the third installment.

TATULLI , Mark. Dsemond Pucket and the Mountain Full of Monsters. Bk. 2. illus. by Mark Tatulli. 240p. AMP! Comics. Aug. 2014. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781449435493.

Gr 3-5– Sixth-grader Desmond Pucket is looking forward to riding the Mountain Full of Monsters roller coaster with his crush Tina Schimsky. However, Mr. Needles is bent on thwarting his plan. And when Desmond discovers that the ride is doomed for destruction at the end of the summer, he vows to find a way to save it in this illustrated chapter book adventure for middle graders.

WEISMAN , Greg. Spirits of Ash and Foam. 368p. (Rain of the Ghosts: Bk. 2). St. Martin’s Griffin. 2014. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9781250029829; ebk. ISBN 9781250029812.

Gr 4-7– Rain Cacique is on the hunt for a second magical talisman that will increase her powers to converse with the dead, while also juggling the pressures of school and normal life. This second book picks up right where the first one left off; readers would be best served by starting from the beginning of the series. Though some questions from the first installment are answered, plotting and pacing suffer a bit in this sequel. Purchase where circulation of the first book is strong.

WEST , Jacqueline. Still Life. illus. by Poly Bernatene. 352p. (The Books of Elsewhere: Bk. 5). Dial. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780803736917. LC 2013041383.

Gr 4-7– In this fifth and final book of the series, Olive discovers something unusual on a trip to an art museum. Her journey leads her to uncover how Elsewhere was created, and along the way, she struggles to know whom to trust. The suspenseful and well-realized world that West has created comes to a satisfying conclusion. Now that the series has ended, libraries may wish to purchase it in its entirety. Hand these books to fans of Lemony Snicket, Pseudonymous Bosch, and Angie Sage.

WHITESIDES , Tyler. Janitors: Strike of the Sweepers. 400p. (Strike of the Sweepers). Shadow Mountain. Sep. 2014. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781609079079.

Gr 4-7– With plenty of action sequences and some slightly gross humor, the secret and magical society of janitors is back in this fourth installment of the series. Spencer, Daisy, and the rebels are chased by the toxic Sweepers and must learn to summon the founding witches. Purchase where the previous books in the series circulate well.

High School

BILLINGSLEY , Reshonda Tate. Truth or Dare. 202p. (Rumor Central). Dafina: Kensington. 2014. Tr $9.95. ISBN 9780758289575.

Gr 9 Up– Teen talk show host Maya Morgan returns in this drama-filled novel about a friend’s disappearance during spring break.

GARCIA , Kami with Margaret Stohl. Dangerous Creatures. 384p. (Beautiful Creatures). Little, Brown. 2014. Tr $19.00. ISBN 9780316370318.

Gr 7 Up– Bad girl (and Siren) Ridley Duchannes finds life in the big city more than she bargained for when mortal boyfriend Link befriends a crowd of Dark Casters.

higson , Charlie. The Fallen. 544p. (The Enemy: Bk. 5). Disney-Hyperion. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781423165668. LC 2013034737.

Gr 9 Up– The Holloway crew of teens has survived the zombie inundation of London and have made it to the Natural History Museum alive, where they hope to find the cure to the zombie affliction that has turned every adult into a flesh-eating enemy.

JOHANSSON , J. R. Paranoia. 36p. (The Night Walkers: Bk. 2). Flux. 2014. Tr $9.99. ISBN 9780738740188.

Gr 8 Up– Night Walker Parker Chipp faces a new threat in the form of Takers, a new breed of Night Walkers like him, with dark intentions.

LEONARD , Niall. Incinerator. 384p. (Crusher: Bk. 2). Delacorte. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780385743631. LC 2013044093.

Gr 9 Up– In this pulsing companion to Leonard’s debut Crusher (Delacorte, 2012), Finn Maguire hopes to start fresh by opening up a boxing gym and putting his parents’ deaths behind him. However, the teen is once again embroiled in the gritty drama of London’s underworld. Readers need not have read the first book in order to jump right in.

NORTH , Phoebe. Starbreak. 432p. (Starglass Sequence: Bk. 2). S. & S. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781442459564. LC 2013011703.

Gr 10 Up– The Asherah, a spaceship that left Earth 500 years ago in search of an alternate planet, has finally landed on Zehava. Seventeen-year-old Terra and her friends must put aside their animosity toward rebel leader Aleksandra Wolff to contend against a new enemy: their dangerous alien hosts. This second book brings the romantic, scifi duology to a satisfying close.

PIKE , Aprilynne. Earthquake. 400p. (Earthbound: Bk. 2). Penguin/Razorbill. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781595146526.

Gr 9 Up– After discovering in Earthbound (Penguin, 2014) that she is a fallen goddess with the power to remake the Earth, Tavia is imprisoned along with eternal lover Logan by a rival faction that is set on destroying humanity with a virus. Mankind’s fate hangs in the balance. A tense read that will leave fans of the series eager for the next book.

WESTON , Paula. Haze. 448p. (The Rephaim: Bk. 2). Tundra. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781770495500; ebk. ISBN 9781770495524.

Gr 9 Up– After meeting Rafa and finding out that she is part of a race of powerful half-angels, Gaby Winters in on a desperate search for her lost brother and the remnants of her forgotten past. This atmospheric and romantic sequel will be embraced by fans of the first book.

Graphic Novels

EATON III , Maxwell. The Flying Beaver Brothers and The Hot-Air Baboons. illus. by Maxwell Eaton III. 96p. (The Flying Beaver Brothers: Bk 5). ebook available. Knopf. Aug. 2014. lib. ed. $12.99. ISBN 9780385754675; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9780385754668. LC 2013028711.

Gr 1-3– Ace and Bub are enjoying their snowy spring break on the slopes when a band of sneaky baboons set up a gigantic hair dryer to melt the snow into water for swimming pools. The brothers don’t trust the baboons’ intentions and investigate to uncover their double dealing plans. Another wacky and charming addition to the series.

HOLM , Jennifer L. with Matthew Holm. Happy Birthday Babymouse. 96p. (Babymouse: Bk. 18). Random. 2014. lib. ed. $12.99. ISBN 9780375970979; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9780307931610; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9780307975447.

Gr 2 Up– Babymouse’s birthday party is going to be fabulous. Except for one problem: everyone already RSVP’d for Felicia’s birthday party, which is happening on the same day. Typical. Will Babymouse’s birthday be a complete mess? Or will she have the best party ever? A must-have for fans of the intrepid mouse.

KIBUISHI , Kazu. Escape from Lucien. 256p. (Amulet: Bk. 6). Graphix. Aug. 2014. pap. $12.99. ISBN 9780545433150; ebk. $12.99. ISBN 9780545678414. LC 2013957419.

Gr 4-6– Navin and his friends travel to Lucien, a mysterious city that has been left in ruins, to find a beacon that will help them conquer the Elf King. But are they walking right into a trap? Emily journeys to the Void with Max, one of the Elf King’s disciples and learns more about her traveling companion. Their adventures place both of them in true danger. This hotly anticipated installment in the “Amulet” series will be devoured by fans.

KROSOCZKA , Jarrett J. Lunch Lady and the Schoolwide Scuffle. 96p. (Lunch Lady: Bk. 10). Random. 2014. pap. $6.99. ISBN 9780385752794; ebk. $6.99. ISBN 9780385752817.

Gr 2-5– The crime-fighting Lunch Lady has been canned by the dastardly new superintendent, and a slew of thugs have united to take over the school in her absence. The Breakfast Bunch, Lunch Lady, and her cohort Betty must team up in this final volume to save Thompson Brook School for good. The only downside to this book is that it’s the last in the series. Fans will eat it up and still be hungry for more from the heroic Lunch Lady and her pals.

PEIRCE , Lincoln. Big Nate: Mr. Popularity. illus. by Lincoln Peirce. 224p. (Big Nate). HarperCollins/Harper. 2014. pap. $9.99. ISBN 9780062087003; ebk. $9.99. ISBN 9780062087010. LC 2013956489.

Gr 3-5– Nate decides to run for class president, hoping to beat out his more popular competition. With Francis’s help, he might just be able to do it. Dealing with School Picture Day, playing on the basketball team, and coping with crushes are just some of the hijinks Nate gets into in this comics collection.

TORRES , J. Bigfoot Boy: The Sound of Thunder. Bk. 3. illus. by Faith Erin Hicks. 100p. Kids Can. Sept. 2014. Tr $17.95. ISBN 9781894786584; pap. $9.95. ISBN 9781894786591.

Gr 3-5— Rufus is on a mission to find the ravens who stole his totem and with it his power to become Bigfoot Boy, but there are other troublemakers lurking in this final series installment.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.