So, this is volume 1 because there so many books that I couldn’t manage to write the whole post at once. Stayed tuned for my second installment sometime between now and September 18th. Happy ALL THE BOOKS Month!
What the Hell Did I Just Read
by David Wong
Dave, John and Amy recount what seems like a fairly straightforward tale of a shape-shifting creature from another dimension that is stealing children and brainwashing their parents, but it eventually becomes clear that someone is lying, and that someone is the narrators.
The novel you’re reading is a cover-up, and the “true” story reveals itself in the cracks of their hilariously convoluted, and sometimes contradictory, narrative.
This sounds like it would be the kind of ridiculous that Meddling Kids was and I’m here for it.
by Courtney Summers
Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.
But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.
When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.
I’ve been really bad about staying ahead of the game so far this year, but I do have a copy of this that I need to read at some point.
People Kill People
by Ellen Hopkins
People kill people. Guns just make it easier.
A gun is sold in the classifieds after killing a spouse, bought by a teenager for needed protection. But which was it? Each has the incentive to pick up a gun, to fire it. Was it Rand or Cami, married teenagers with a young son? Was it Silas or Ashlyn, members of a white supremacist youth organization? Daniel, who fears retaliation because of his race, who possessively clings to Grace, the love of his life? Or Noelle, who lost everything after a devastating accident, and has sunk quietly into depression?
One tense week brings all six people into close contact in a town wrought with political and personal tensions. Someone will fire. And someone will die. But who?
I mean, I’m definitely interested in an Ellen Hopkins novel on the shooting crisis in America.
When Elephants Fly
by Nancy Richardson Fischer
There are some battles worth fighting even if it means losing yourself.
T. Lily Decker is a high school senior with a twelve-year plan: avoid stress, drugs, alcohol and boyfriends, and take regular psych quizzes administered by her best friend, Sawyer, to make sure she’s not developing schizophrenia.Genetics are not on Lily’s side.
When she was seven, her mother, who had paranoid schizophrenia, tried to kill her. And a secret has revealed that Lily’s odds are even worse than she thought. Still, there’s a chance to avoid triggering the mental health condition, if Lily can live a careful life from ages eighteen to thirty, when schizophrenia most commonly manifests.
But when a newspaper internship results in Lily witnessing a mother elephant try to kill her three-week-old calf, Swifty, Lily can’t abandon the story or the calf. With Swifty in danger of dying from grief, Lily must choose whether to risk everything, including her sanity and a first love, on a desperate road trip to save the calf’s life, perhaps finding her own version of freedom along the way.
This sounds super interesting and I’m not sure that there have been many books out there on schizophrenia.
Ignite the Stars
by Maura Milan
Everyone in the universe knows his name. Everyone in the universe fears him. But no one realizes that notorious outlaw Ia Cocha is a seventeen-year-old girl.
A criminal mastermind and unrivaled pilot, Ia has spent her life terrorizing the Olympus Commonwealth, the imperialist nation that destroyed her home. When the Commonwealth captures her and her true identity is exposed, they see Ia’s age and talent as an opportunity: by forcing her to serve them, they will prove that no one is beyond their control.
Soon, Ia is trapped at the Commonwealth’s military academy, desperately plotting her escape. But new acquaintances—including Brinn, a seemingly average student with a closely-held secret, and their charming Flight Master, Knives—cause Ia to question her own alliances. Can she find a way to escape the Commonwealth’s clutches before these bonds deepen?
I have GOT to read this. I’ve had a DRC for ages and sci-fi with main characters of color are so rare.
by Tobias Anthony
A look into the weird and wonderful world of music’s most devoted superfans.
Musicians and bands have been adored since the first notes were recorded, but it was Beatlemania in the ’60s that heralded the birth of the Super Fan—a breed of music obsessive that literally worshipped their idols.
Super Fans looks at the crazed followers and fan groups that surround the old-school as well as modern music scene in a witty, fun and tongue-in-cheek way. From Beyoncé’s Beyhive, the Britney Army, Gaga’s Little Monsters, Nicki Minaj’s Barbz to Justin Beiber’s Beliebers—author Tobias Anthony goes deep into these fan groups to see how they tick.
I just think this sounds really cool. I couldn’t find it on Goodreads though and I don’t have time to put it on there myself because there are SO MANY BOOKS this month.
What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of original art and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice to young activists.
Featuring poems, letters, personal essays, art, and other works from such industry leaders as Jacqueline Woodson (Brown Girl Dreaming), Jason Reynolds (All American Boys), Kwame Alexander (The Crossover), Andrea Pippins (I Love My Hair), Sharon Draper (Out of My Mind), Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer), Ellen Oh (cofounder of We Need Diverse Books), and artists Ekua Holmes, Rafael Lopez, James Ransome, Javaka Steptoe, and more, this anthology empowers the nation’s youth to listen, learn, and build a better tomorrow.
Do you see some of those awesome author names? Here for it.
Call Them By Their True Names
by Rebecca Solnit
Rebecca Solnit is the author of more than twenty books including the international bestseller Men Explain Things to Me. Called “the voice of the resistance” by the New York Times, she has emerged as an essential guide to our times, through incisive commentary on feminism, violence, ecology, hope, and everything in between.
In this powerful and wide-ranging collection of essays, Solnit turns her attention to the war at home. This is a war, she says, “with so many casualties that we should call it by its true name, this war with so many dead by police, by violent ex-husbands and partners and lovers, by people pursuing power and profit at the point of a gun or just shooting first and figuring out who they hit later.” To get to the root of these American crises, she contends that “to acknowledge this state of war is to admit the need for peace,” countering the despair of our age with a dose of solidarity, creativity, and hope.
I absolutely loved Men Explain Things to Me so I’m seriously here for another book by Rebecca Solnit.
A powerful collection of essays from actors, activists, athletes, politicians, musicians, writers, and teens, including Senator Amy Klobuchar, actress Alia Shawkat, actor Maulik Pancholy, poet Azure Antoinette, teen activist Gavin Grimm, and many, many more, each writing about a time in their youth when they were held back because of their race, gender, or sexual identity–but persisted.
“Aren’t you a terrorist?” “There are no roles for people who look like you.” “That’s a sin.” “No girls allowed.” They’ve heard it all. Actress Alia Shawkat reflects on all the parts she was told she was too “ethnic” to play. Former NFL player Wade Davis recalls his bullying of gay classmates in an attempt to hide his own sexuality. Teen Gavin Grimm shares the story that led to the infamous “bathroom bill,” and how he’s fighting it. Holocaust survivor Fanny Starr tells of her harrowing time in Auschwitz, where she watched her family disappear, one by one.
What made them rise up through the hate? What made them overcome the obstacles of their childhood to achieve extraordinary success? How did they break out of society’s limited view of who they are and find their way to the beautiful and hard-won lives they live today? With a foreword by Minnesota senator and up-and-coming Democratic party leader Amy Klobuchar, these essays share deeply personal stories of resilience, faith, love, and, yes, persistence.
by Whitney Gardner
It’s the beginning of the new school year and AJ feels like everyone is changing but him. He hasn’t grown or had any exciting summer adventures like his best friends have. He even has the same crush he’s harbored for years. So AJ decides to take matters into his own hands. But how could a girl like Nia Winters ever like plain vanilla AJ when she only has eyes for vampires?
When AJ and Nia are paired up for a group project on Transylvania, it may be AJ’s chance to win over Nia’s affection by dressing up like the vamp of her dreams. And soon enough he’s got more of Nia’s attention than he bargained for when he learns she’s a slayer.
Now AJ has to worry about self-preservation while also trying to save everyone he cares about from a real-life threat lurking in the shadows of Spoons Middle School.
Um, this sounds amazing and I must read it.
Check Out the Library Weenies
by David Lubar
Master of the macabre David Lubar is back with Check Out the Library Weenies, his ninth collection of Weenies Stories. Here are thirty more scary stories for the middle grade audience–perfect for both avid and reluctant young readers who like a few chills and a lot of laughs.
Don’t be a weenie. Read these stories. If you dare!
I picked this book because it has the word Library in the title.
by Susan Verde & John Parra
One creative boy.
One bare, abandoned wall.
One BIG idea.
There is a wall in Ángel’s neighborhood. Around it, the community bustles with life: music, dancing, laughing. Not the wall. It is bleak. One boy decides to change that. But he can’t do it alone.
Told in elegant verse by Susan Verde and vibrantly illustrated by John Parra, this inspiring picture book celebrates the power of art to tell a story and bring a community together.
This sounds really cute!
I Got the Christmas Spirit
by Connie Schofield-Morrison & Frank Morrison
In the same feel-good style of I Got the Rhythm, this exuberant picture book explores the joys of the holiday season, once again illustrated by award-winning artist Frank Morrison.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and a mother and daughter are enjoying the sights and sounds of the holiday season. The little girl hears sleigh bells ringing and carolers singing. She smells chestnuts roasting–CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRUNCH!–and sees the flashing lights of the department store windows–BLING! BLING! BLING! She spreads the spirit of giving wherever she goes. And when she reaches Santa, she tells him her Christmas wish–for peace and love everywhere, all the days of the year.
It seems a little early for a Christmas book, but this sounds so cute!
by Torrey Maldonado
Tight: Lately, Bryan’s been feeling it in all kinds of ways . . .
Bryan knows what’s tight for him–reading comics, drawing superheroes, and hanging out with no drama. But drama is every day where he’s from, and that gets him tight, wound up.
And now Bryan’s friend Mike pressures him with ideas of fun that are crazy risky. At first, it’s a rush following Mike, hopping turnstiles, subway surfing, and getting into all kinds of trouble. But Bryan never really feels right acting so wrong, and drama really isn’t him. So which way will he go, especially when his dad tells him it’s better to be hard and feared than liked?
But if there’s one thing Bryan’s gotten from his comic heroes, it’s that he has power–to stand up for what he feels . . .
Torrey Maldonado delivers a fast-paced, insightful, dynamic story capturing urban community life. Readers will connect with Bryan’s journey as he navigates a tough world with a heartfelt desire for a different life.
I love this cover and it sounds like a good book.
A Fall for Friendship
by Megan Atwood & Natalie Andrewson
Olive, Peter, Sarah, and Lizzie are getting ready for Halloween. This year, they’re planning a zombie hayride and a haunted barn party.
As they set up, Lizzie’s older sister, Gloria tells them that a ghost haunts the very barn they’re decorating. According to Gloria, the ghost is angry and desperate for revenge. Lizzie, Sarah, and Peter are fascinated, but Olive doesn’t believe any of it. Not even when strange, ghostly things keep happening all around them.
Olive sets out to prove that ghosts don’t exist and that Gloria and her friends are behind it all. But the more Olive investigates, the scarier things become. Could Gloria be telling the truth? Is the orchard really haunted?
I’ve never read any of the other Orchard books, but this sounds pretty adorable.
A Sparkle of White Fire
by Sangu Mandanna
In a universe of capricious gods, dark moons, and kingdoms built on the backs of spaceships, a cursed queen sends her infant daughter away, a jealous uncle steals the throne of Kali from his nephew, and an exiled prince vows to take his crown back.
Raised alone and far away from her home on Kali, Esmae longs to return to her family. When the King of Wychstar offers to gift the unbeatable, sentient warship Titania to a warrior that can win his competition, she sees her way home: she’ll enter the competition, reveal her true identity to the world, and help her famous brother win back the crown of Kali.
It’s a great plan. Until it falls apart.
Inspired by the Mahabharata and other ancient Indian stories, A Spark of White Fire is a lush, sweeping space opera about family, curses, and the endless battle between jealousy and love.
Sci-fi inspired by Indian folklore? Sign me up!
The Echo Room
by Parker Peevyhouse
Rett wakes on the floor of a cold, dark room. He doesn’t know how he got there, only that he’s locked in. He’s not alone—a girl named Bryn is trapped in the room with him. When she finds a mysterious bloodstain and decides she doesn’t trust Rett, he tries to escape on his own—
Rett wakes on the floor of the same cold, dark room. He doesn’t trust Bryn, but he’ll have to work with her if he ever hopes to escape. They try to break out of the room—
Rett and Bryn hide in a cold, dark room. Safe from what’s outside.
But they’re not alone.
It looks like the growing trend right now is mystery and thriller in YA. I’m here for it since my students love it.
Attack of the 50 Foot Wallflower
by Christian McKay Heidicker
Phoebe Lane is a lightning rod for monsters.
She and her mom are forced to flee flesh-eating plants, radioactive ants, and blobs from outer space. They survive thanks to Phoebe’s dad—an invisible titan, whose giant eyes warn them where the next monster attack will take place.
All Phoebe wants is to stop running from motel to motel and start living a monster-free life in New York or Paris. But when her mom mysteriously vanishes, Phoebe is left to fend for herself in small-town Pennybrooke.
That’s when Phoebe starts to transform…
Christian McKay Heidicker, author of Cure for the Common Universe, returns with a book unlike any other, challenging perceived notions of beauty, identity, and what it means to be a monster.
So… this sounds awesome.
Summer Bird Blue
by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn’t have the answers to everything. What to eat, where to go, whom to love. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of—she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.
Then Lea dies in a car accident, and her mother sends her away to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Now thousands of miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life. With the help of the “boys next door”—a teenage surfer named Kai, who smiles too much and doesn’t take anything seriously, and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago—Rumi attempts to find her way back to her music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish.
I don’t remember what caught my eye about this one, but it sounds pretty good!
Escape Journey v. 1
by Tanaka Ogeretsu
Naoto and Taichi’s turbulent high school love crashed and burned, but a reunion in college puts love back in the air.
Naoto and Taichi’s first try at love during their high school days crashed and burned. Years later the two unexpectedly reunite on their first day of college. Tumultuous love often burns hot, and the glowing embers of their previous relationship reignite into a second try at love.
It’s Naoto’s first day of college, and the last person he expected to see was his high school ex Taichi, who he’d dumped after a huge argument. Even though years have passed, Naoto finds he’s still steamed over some of the harsh words that were exchanged, but he also recognizes how much Taichi has matured since then and can’t help getting pulled back in. Will the discovery of his friend’s crush on Taichi fray the fragile threads of this mending relationship?
New Sublime comic! I’m obviously going to check it out.
Tomo-chan is a Girl! v. 1
by Fumita Yanagida
Tomo and Jun have been best buds since they were little kids, but now that they’re in high school, Tomo wants to be more than friends…too bad Jun just sees her as ‘one of the guys.’ Tomo may be a tomboy, but she’s determined to prove to Jun that she’s a woman, too!
This sounds like it could be cute.
Perdy v. 1
Perdy loves two things, SEX and ROBBING BANKS–no particular order. After spending 15 years in YUMA prison, Perdy wastes no time in get’n back to doing BOTH. A lot has changed since Perdy’s been away, especially her looks, but that’s not gonna stop her from piecing together the biggest score of GOLD this side of the border. And if anyone gets in her way, they’ll be pushing up Petunias.
I grabbed a copy of this from ALA and got it signed but I haven’t read it yet.
Four stories of love and lust from comics’ coolest artists and writer ALEX DE CAMPI! First, a demon prowls the 1978 New York disco scene in Old Flames, drawn by KATIE SKELLY. Then, a curvy photographer’s assistant falls in love with someone way out of her league in Twinkle & The Star, with ALEJANDRA GUTIÉRREZ. A spacefleet captain captures a most infuriating pirate in Invincible Heart, with CARLA SPEED MCNEIL. And a princess runs away with a dragon in Treasured, with TRUNGLES.
Plus steamy prose romance stories from awesome folks like Magen Cubed and Vita Ayala, and more comics shorts about love from Meredith McClaren, Sarah Horrocks, Margaret Trauth and Sarah Winifred Searle.
Collects Twisted Romance #1-4.
This sounds awesome and I want it in my life.
Slam! The Next Jam
by Pamela Ribon, Marina Julia, & Veronica Fish
In the fast-paced, hard-hitting, super cheeky, all-female world of banked track roller derby, two young women will need to balance the pull of budding relationships and family obligations with the demands and excitement of roller derby.
After breaking one of the biggest rules in derby (not to mention an actual collarbone) Knockout and Can-Can are back on the track! But they have a lot of rehab to do, both on their battered bodies and their reputations in the league…will their friendship survive the dreaded derby drama?
I haven’t read the last one of these, but I need to now that the second one is coming out.
Odds & Ends
by Amy Ignatow
The ragtag Odds crew’s useless gifts have gotten out of control. Farshad’s thumbs are so strong that just trying to send a text will break his phone, and Cookie can now send mental directions instead of just listening in on them with her telepathy. To make matters worse, a bunch of their less-than-gifted classmates have become town celebrities thanks to their suspiciously good exam results. But Jay and Nick realize that all these whiz kids have parents who work for Auxano, so they race off to find out what’s really going on. Fans won’t want to miss the conclusion to the adventures of this motley group of heroes and their patchwork powers!
I haven’t read any of this but it sounds pretty good.
Merci Suarez Changes Gears
by Meg Medina
Merci Suarez knew that sixth grade would be different, but she had no idea just how different. For starters, Merci has never been like the other kids at her private school in Florida, because she and her older brother, Roli, are scholarship students. They don’t have a big house or a fancy boat, and they have to do extra community service to make up for their free tuition. So when bossy Edna Santos sets her sights on the new boy who happens to be Merci’s school-assigned Sunshine Buddy, Merci becomes the target of Edna’s jealousy. Things aren’t going well at home, either: Merci’s grandfather and most trusted ally, Lolo, has been acting strangely lately — forgetting important things, falling from his bike, and getting angry over nothing. No one in her family will tell Merci what’s going on, so she’s left to her own worries, while also feeling all on her own at school. In a coming-of-age tale full of humor and wisdom, award-winning author Meg Medina gets to the heart of the confusion and constant change that defines middle school — and the steadfast connection that defines family.
Love Meg Medina!
The New Small Person
by Lauren Child
Lauren Child tells the familiar tale of a less-than-welcome sibling with subtlety, insight, affection, and humor.
Elmore Green starts life as an only child, as many children do. He has a room to himself, where he can line up his precious things and nobody will move them one inch. But one day everything changes. When the new small person comes along, it seems that everybody might like it a bit morethan they like Elmore Green. And when the small person knocks over Elmore’s things and even licks his jelly-bean collection, Elmore’s parents say that he can’t be angry because the small person is only small. Elmore wants the small person to go back to wherever it came from. Then, one night, everything changes. . . . In her signature visual style, Lauren Child gets to the heart of a child’s evolving emotions about becoming a big brother or sister.
This looks adorable!