Middle Grade New Releases, April 30, 2019

HAPPY BOOK BIRTHDAY to these middle grade books making their rounds through our reviewers!

Thank you to @kidlitexchange for providing the review copies of these books. All opinions are our own.

img_8034UNICORN AND YETI: SPARKLY NEW FRIENDS – by Heather Ayris Burnell
(April 30th 2019 ~ Scholastic Inc.)

HELLO, CRABBY! – by Jonathan Fenske
(April 30th 2019 ~ Scholastic Inc.)

(April 30th 2019 ~ Scholastic Inc.)

(April 30th 2019 ~ Scholastic Inc.)

Review and Photo by Laura originally on Instagram @trappedlibrarian

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for Acorn Illustrated Early Readers from various authors and illustrators, published by Scholastic (April 2019)

(HOORAY! 2 of these titles are in my #scholasticbookfair !)🦄 🦀 🐉🦔 This new line of books is Scholastic’s follow up to its popular Branches line of early chapter books. Acorn’s early readers are aimed toward a slightly younger audience (they say 4-7). Crabby, Hello Hedgehog, and Unicorn and Yeti series have a graphic novel layout with some simple panels and speech bubbles. The Dragon series is being repurposed from Dav Pilkey’s books about the sensitive blue dragon (a longtime favorite of mine!). 🦄🦀🐉🦔
All of the books are sized well for little hands and have a kid friendly “About the Author” note. A fun “How to Draw” section and “What’s Your Story?” writing prompts make these books good for classroom lessons or home extensions.
🦄🦀🐉🦔 These books will be a fun addition to elementary libraries and classrooms, good for read alouds, and favorites for book fair purchases! 🦄🦀🐉🦔

EXTRAORDINARY BIRDS – by Sandy Stark-McGinnisimg_8035
(April 30th 2019 ~ Bloomsbury)

Photo and Review by Julie @jsmjsm456


What I like about Extraordinary Birds by Sandy Stark-McGinnis is the emphasis placed on eleven-year-old December’s evolution as an abused child in foster care, as opposed to the abuse itself. We never know what really happened to December to land her in the foster care system, but we don’t need to. We instead live through and experience her return to childhood, and it is the process that is so heart wrenching, enlightening, and thought provoking. December has to learn to trust again, and in order to do so, she has to undo the illusion she has created for herself; that is, that the scar on her back is actually wings ready to sprout so she can take flight. Add to that, the preciousness of her new friend, Cheryllynne, the unconditional love of her foster mom, Eleanor, and the heartfelt care of her case worker, Adrian, and you have such an amazing story of love, vulnerability, and unfortunately, reality for too many children. As a former foster parent, this story reminds me of the unspoken pain so many children experience and it rips at your heart. Stark-McGinnis takes a complex subject and concentrates on the healing part of the journey which makes it a compelling read.

img_8036THE LIBRARY OF EVER – by Zeno Alexander
(April 30th 2019 ~ Imprint)     

Photo and Review by Shan @shansalterwrites

This story is a librarian and book lover’s dream! A young girl, Lenora, with aspirations of becoming a librarian, is employed in a magical library. She swears to answer any question, no matter the challenge and so begins a wild adventure involving space and time travel, shrinking and unshrinking, and assisting a variety of library patrons from robots to ants.
Lenora is a well-crafted character full of spirit and warmth. The library patrons are unique, memorable and colorful. The intensity is well paced and the evil ‘Forces of Darkness’, who seek to destroy all libraries and sources of knowledge, are just the right amount of scary.
This page-turning adventure full of facts, twists, and turns is perfect for reader’s eight years and up. Additionally, teachers will love the endless project inspiration stemming from the interesting facts Lenora accumulates during her adventures. This a must read and will certainly be flagged as a kid lit classic in years to come.

THE LOST BOY’S GIFT – by Kimberly Willis Holtc46bc410-17f6-43f8-b50b-96ee709ea3f9
(April 30th 2019 ~ Henry Holt and Co. (BYR))

Photo and Review by Susan @redcanoereader

This sweet story is full of heart, magic, endearing characters and talking animals. It takes place on a storybook street lined with rainbow colored houses full of caring neighbors who notice the world. In one of those houses you’ll find Tilda Butter, who has lived there since her parents dropped her off when she was seven years old and never returned to take her home. Soon after Tilda arrived, Aunt Sippy said something rather remarkable. She told Tilda that everyone has a special gift and it’s up to us to discover it and use it. “For a gift should never be wasted.” Shortly after that conversation, Tilda learned about her special gift. She realized she can talk to animals and bugs, and in fact has delightful conversations every day. 🐌
Now Tilda is getting new neighbors. Daniel and his mother are moving in next door, but Daniel’s dad is not coming with them. He stayed in their old townhome across the county. Daniel is very sad about his dad staying behind and about moving to a new house. He doesn’t share his mother’s feelings, or his neighbors that he is very fortunate to be living on While-a-Way Lane. Reluctantly, he explores the neighborhood and discovers the local pond, lots of animals and lots of trees. He also makes some special friends – the lightning bugs who give him a hug when he needs it the most. And he begins to notice things about his neighbors, the animals and most of all about his mother. Maybe Daniel is learning what it means to live on While-a-Way Lane.
This warm, loving story is one you will remember for a long time. It’s one you will want to read aloud to all ages as you snuggle up together and marvel at the magic you’ll find together on While-a-Way Lane. Teachers, please read it to your class (preschool – grade 3). Librarians, please order it for your elementary library. You’ll be so glad you did!

(April 30th 2019 ~ Graphix)

Photo and Review by Amanda @growingwithmrst

Share Your Smile by @goraina is an amazing addition to anyone who loves Raina Telgemeier as an author!

Readers will love not only reading about where her inspirations came from, but also be able to start sharing their own stories through the wonderful prompts and ideas in this book.

I really enjoyed the different excerpts from her life and the areas where the reader could add in their own pictures and memories. This is a must have to anyone’s Smile collection! ❤️📚

OUR CASTLE BY THE SEA – by Lucy Strange 41719894
(April 30th 2019 ~ Chicken House)

In this haunting and compelling follow-up to the instant classic The Secret of Nightingale Wood. Lucy Strange takes a seafaring myth and grounds it in the stark reality of World War II.
* “A plot summary can only hint at the satisfaction of reading this tightly interwoven story with its haunting setting and memorable characters.” –Booklist (starred review)

Growing up in a lighthouse, 11-year-old Pet’s world has been one of storms, secret tunnels, and stories about sea monsters. But now the country is at war and the clifftops are a terrifying battleground. Pet will need to muster all her bravery to uncover why her family is being torn apart.

This is the story of a girl who is afraid and unnoticed. A girl who freezes with fear at the enemy planes ripping through the skies overheard. A girl who is somehow destined to become part of the strange, ancient legend of the Daughters of Stone.

Watch for a review soon!

img_8038Origin of a Hero (She-Ra Chapter Book #1)  Tracey West akosset/redpoppyreading
(April 30th 2019 ~ Scholastic Inc.)

Review by Emily @redpoppyreading

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power: Origin of a Hero by Tracey West, is the origin story of every 80s girl’s favorite female hero! Adora was found as a baby and raised to be a Horde army leader. She has friends and a promising future fighting for the Hordak, but what she knows is turned upside down when she learns of her destiny to fight with the princesses to keep the Etheria people free. Full of girl-power and friendship, this book will delight old She-Ra fans as well as fans of the new @netflix series. For readers ages 7-10, this first book in the serios will be available for purchase on April 30, 2019. 📚

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