2016 Reading Wish List: January & February

February 1st, 2016 by

Now that 2016 is in full swing, we’re ready to tackle some new reading lists! At first, I thought I could compile ALL the exciting new books releasing within the next 365 days. Nuh-uh. Not possible. The list started getting too long and overwhelming. So… here are some exciting books released in January (playing some catch up) and coming out in February:

Click on the title of the book to read the description from the book publisher:

JANUARY

 

Bounders by Monica Tesler

Bounders_Monica-TeslerThirteen years ago, Earth Force — a space-military agency — discovered a connection between brain structure and space travel. Now they’ve brought together the first team of cadets, called Bounders, to be trained as high-level astronauts.

Twelve-year-old Jasper is part of this team being sent out into space. After being bullied back on Earth, Jasper is thrilled to have something new and different to do with other kids who are more like him. While learning all about the new technologies and taking classes in mobility — otherwise known as flying with jetpacks — Jasper befriends the four other students in his pod and finally feels like he has found his place in the world.

But then Jasper and his new friends learn that they haven’t been told everything about Earth Force. They weren’t brought to space for astronaut training, but to learn a new, highly classified brain-sync technology that allows them to manipulate matter and quantum bound, or teleport. And it isn’t long before they find out this new technology was actually stolen from an alien society.

When Jasper and his friends discover the truth about why Earth Force needs them, they are faced with a choice: rebel against the academy that brought them together, or fulfill their duty and protect the planet at all costs.

The Only Girl in School by Natalie Standiford

The Only Girl in School by Natalie Standiford When Claire’s best friend, Bess, moves away, she becomes the only girl left in her entire school. At first, she thinks she’ll be able to deal with this —after all, the girls’ bathroom is now completely hers, so she can turn it into her own private headquarters and draw on the walls. When it comes to soccer games or sailing races, she can face off against any boy.

The problem is that her other best friend, Henry, has begun to ignore her. And Webby, a super-annoying bully, won’t leave her alone. And Yucky Gilbert, the boy who has a crush on her, also won’t leave her alone.

It’s never easy being the only one — and over the course of a wacky school year, Claire is going to have to make it through challenges big and small. The boys may think they rule the school, but when it comes to thinking on your feet, Claire’s got them outnumbered.

The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency by Jordan Stratford

wollstonecraft-detective-agencyJordan Stratford imagines an alternate 1826, where Ada Lovelace (the world’s first computer programmer) and Mary Shelley (author of Frankenstein) meet as girls and form a secret detective agency!
 
Lady Ada Byron, age 11, is a genius. Isolated, awkward and a bit rude — but a genius. Mary Godwin, age 14, is a romantic. Adventurous, astute, and kind, Mary is to become Ada’s first true friend. And together, the girls conspire to form the Wollstonecraft Detective Agency — a secret constabulary for the apprehension of clever criminals. Their first case involves a stolen heirloom, a false confession, and an array of fishy suspects. But it’s no match for the deductive powers and bold hearts of Ada and Mary.

Read Karen’s review of The Wollstonecraft Dectective Agency »

Lizzie and the Lost Baby by Cheryl Blackford

Lizzie and the Lost Baby by Cheryl Blackford“Is it ever right to keep something that doesn’t belong to you?” That’s the question that haunts ten-year-old Lizzie as she adjusts to life as an evacuee in the remote Yorkshire valley of Swainedale.

Cheryl Blackford’s debut novel is set in England during World War II and told from the dual perspectives of Lizzie, a homesick girl evacuated from bomb-blitzed Hull to the remote Yorkshire valley, and Elijah, a local gypsy boy. When Lizzie discovers an abandoned baby, her dangerous friendship with Elijah is put to the test.

Will Lizzie be able to find the baby’s parents? And if she does, can she and Elijah remain friends in a world clouded by prejudice and fear?

Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban

Paper Wishes by Lois SepahbanTen-year-old Manami did not realize how peaceful her family’s life on Bainbridge Island was until the day it all changed. It’s 1942, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Manami and her family are Japanese American, which means that the government says they must leave their home by the sea and join other Japanese Americans at a prison camp in the desert.

Manami is sad to go, but even worse is that they are going to have to give her dog, Yujiin, to a neighbor to take care of. Manami decides to sneak Yujiin under her coat, but she is caught and forced to abandon him. She is devastated but clings to the hope that somehow Yujiin will find his way to the camp and make her family whole again. It isn’t until she finds a way to let go of her guilt that Manami can accept all that has happened to her family.


Secrets of the Dragon Tomb by Patrick Samphire

Secrets of the Dragon Tomb by Patrick SamphireMars in 1816 is a world of high society, deadly danger, and strange clockwork machines.

Twelve-year-old Edward Sullivan wants to become a spy like the ones he reads about in his favorite magazine, Thrilling Martian Tales, but he’s far too busy keeping his eccentric family from disaster. All of that is about to change. In the north, great dragon tombs hide marvels of Ancient Martian technology, and the villainous archaeologist Sir Titus Dane is determined to loot one.

When Sir Titus kidnaps Edward’s parents, Edward, his sisters, and their mysterious cousin set off in pursuit across the Martian wilderness. Together they must battle Sir Titus’s minions, dodge hungry pterodactyls, and escape fearsome Martian hunting machines in order to rescue Edward’s parents and uncover the secrets of the dragon tomb.

FEBRUARY

 

Ravenous by MarcyKate Connolly
Ravenous by MarcyKate ConnollyA witch has come to the city of Bryre. She travels in a hut that has chicken feet, and is ravenous for children. And once she gets what she desires, she never lets it go.

But when the witch captures Hans, Greta’s little brother, Greta refuses to let her have him. The two strike up a bargain. Greta will retrieve something the witch desires in exchange for her brother’s freedom.

To get the prize Greta must travel to Belladoma — a city where she was once held captive — which brings back terrible memories. With the help of a new friend, Dalen, a magical half-boy and half-horse, Greta embarks on the journey and tries to overcome both foes and her own weaknesses.

Fridays with the Wizards by Jessica Day George

Fridays with the Wizards by Jessica Day GeorgeThe newest installment of the Castle Glower series!

Princess Celie and her companions have made it home safely from the Glorious Arkower, and everything is back to normal now that the Eye of the Castle is where it belongs. With more magical griffins to care for, Celie, Lilah, and Rolf have their hands full. But when the dangerous ancient wizard Arkwright escapes the dungeon and goes missing within the Castle, no one can rest until he is found.

Only Celie knows where he is most likely hiding — deep within the secret passageways behind the walls of their beloved Castle. With danger lurking behind every tapestry and under every trap door, Celie must find the wizard and save her family.

Pilfer Academy: A School So Bad It’s Criminal by Lauren Magaziner
Pilfer Academy- A School So Bad It's Criminal by Lauren MagazinerTroublemaking George has never heard of Pilfer Academy, a top-secret school for cultivating young crooks, until he’s kidnapped as its newest student. The teachers are kooky at best, and naughty does not even begin to describe his sneaky, smart, and morally bankrupt new classmates. Between disguise classes, cracking safes, and DIY gadgets, George becomes an expert bandit and finds true friendship with Tabitha, his new partner-in-crime. But everything is ruined when George comes to a shocking realization: He is just too good-hearted to be a thief!

Unfortunately, not thieving is not an option at Pilfer Academy, and “misbehaving” students face Dean Deanbuggle’s favorite punishment — the Whirlyblerg! In order to gain their freedom, George and Tabitha must pull the biggest heist the school has ever seen and reveal their true colors not as thieves, but as kind (and, okay, mischievous) kids.

Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Coe
Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. CoeFenway is an excitable and endlessly energetic Jack Russell terrier. He lives in the city with Food Lady, Fetch Man, and — of course — his beloved short human and best-friend-in-the-world, Hattie.

But when his family moves to the suburbs, Fenway faces a world of changes. He’s pretty pleased with the huge Dog Park behind his new home, but he’s not so happy about the Evil Squirrels that taunt him from the trees, the super-slippery Wicked Floor in the Eating Room, and the changes that have come over Hattie lately. Rather than playing with Fenway, she seems more interested in her new short human friend, Angel, and learning to play baseball. His friends in the Dog Park next door say Hattie is outgrowing him, but that can’t be right. And he’s going to prove it!

The Last Boy at St. Edith's by Lee Gjertsen Malone
The Last Boy at St. Edith's by Lee Gjertsen MaloneSeventh grader Jeremy Miner has a girl problem. Or, more accurately, a girls problem. Four hundred and seventy-five of them. That’s how many girls attend his school, St. Edith’s Academy.

Jeremy is the only boy left after the school’s brief experiment in coeducation. And he needs to get out. His mom won’t let him transfer, so Jeremy takes matters into his own hands: He’s going to get expelled.

Together with his best friend, Claudia, Jeremy unleashes a series of hilarious pranks in hopes that he’ll get kicked out with minimum damage to his permanent record. But when his stunts start to backfire, Jeremy has to decide whom he’s willing to knock down on his way out the door.

The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price by Jennifer Maschari
The Remarkable Journey of Charlie Price by Jennifer MaschariEver since 12-year-old Charlie Price’s mom died, he feels like his world has been split into two parts. Before included stargazing and Mathletes and Saturday scavenger hunts with his family. After means a dad who’s completely checked out, comically bad dinners, and grief group that’s anything but helpful. It seems like losing Mom meant losing everything else he loved, too.

Just when Charlie thinks things can’t get any worse, his sister, Imogen, starts acting erratically — missing school and making up lies about their mother. But everything changes when one day he follows her down a secret passageway in the middle of her bedroom and sees for himself.

Imogen has found a parallel world where Mom is alive!

There’s hot cocoa and Scrabble and scavenger hunts again and everything is perfect . . . at first. But something doesn’t feel right. Whenever Charlie returns to the real world, things are different, and not in a good way. And Imogen wants to spend more and more time on the other side. It’s almost as if she wants to leave the real world for good. If Charlie doesn’t uncover the truth, he could lose himself, the true memory of their mother, and Imogen . . . forever.

Pax by Sara Pennypacker; illustrated by Jon Klassen
Pax Sara PennypackerPax and Peter have been inseparable ever since Peter rescued him as a kit. But one day, the unimaginable happens: Peter’s dad enlists in the military and makes him return the fox to the wild.

At his grandfather’s house, 300 miles away from home, Peter knows he isn’t where he should be — with Pax. He strikes out on his own despite the encroaching war, spurred by love, loyalty, and grief, to be reunited with his fox.

Meanwhile Pax, steadfastly waiting for his boy, embarks on adventures and discoveries of his own. . . .

The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie Lloyd
The Key to Extraordinary by Natalie LloydEveryone in Emma’s family is special. Her ancestors include Revolutionary War spies, brilliant scientists, and famous musicians — every single one of which learned of their extraordinary destiny through a dream.

For Emma, her own dream can’t come soon enough. Right before her mother died, Emma promised that she’d do whatever it took to fulfill her destiny, and she doesn’t want to let her mother down.

But when Emma’s dream finally arrives, it points her toward an impossible task — finding a legendary treasure hidden in her town’s cemetery. If Emma fails, she’ll let down generations of extraordinary ancestors . . . including her own mother. But how can she find something that’s been missing for centuries and might be protected by a mysterious singing ghost?

My personal top picks are Pax by Sara Pennypacker and Fenway and Hattie by Victoria J. Coe because I’ve been in the mood for a good animal story, and The Last Boy at St. Edith’s is next on my list after those two. Private school! Boy vs. Girls! Hijinks! Yaaasssss!

Which books are you most excited about? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

— Nancy

icon_nancyNancy has never had a dog, unless you count fake-in-her-mind-adopting all the fictional dogs she’s read about (Kipluck from The Fourth Grade Wizards, White Fang, Wolf from The Wolfling, and of course, Ribsy).

More about Nancy »

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