July 2016 Reading List

July 17th, 2016 by

July-2016-Reading-ListIt’s hot. Really hot. So hot that I’m not sure which will melt from the heat first: my laptop or my fingers. I’m talking about actual, physical heat, but July is also full of metaphorically HOT new book releases! (See what I did there?)

Whether you’ve taken sanctuary inside a cool, air-conditioned room or are braving the heat and reading outside (hopefully under the shade of a tree), check out these new books hitting shelves, your hands, and your (unmelting) eyeballs this July!

Click on the book titles to see the full descriptions from the publishers:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Rehearsal ScriptThe Hottest Book of the Year

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts I and II by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, John Tiffany

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts I & II (Special Rehearsal Edition): The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

 

Note from Nancy: The official eighth book in what is arguably the best kids’ book series ever! Okay, this book is technically a rehearsal script for the stage play that’s running in England, but it’s still the official eighth story in the life Harry Potter. We can’t wait!

 

Exciting Sequels We Couldn’t (But Had To) Wait For

 

An Author’s Odyssey (The Land of Stories Series #5) by Chris Colfer

An Author's Odyssey (The Land of Stories Series #5) An Author's Odyssey (B&N Exclusive Edition) (The Land of Stories Series #5) by Chris ColferAn Author’s Odyssey (The Land of Stories Series #5) by Chris Colfer

The fifth book in Chris Colfer’s #1 New York Times bestselling series The Land of Stories!

In the highly anticipated continuation of the Land of Stories series, Conner learns that the only place to fight the Masked Man’s literary army is inside his own short stories!

When the twins and their friends enter worlds crafted from Conner’s imagination, finding allies no one else could have ever dreamed of, the race begins to put an end to the Masked Man’s reign of terror. Can the twins finally restore peace in the fairy tale world?

Serafina and the Twisted Staff (Serafina Series #2) by Robert Beatty

Serafina and the Twisted Staff (Serafina Series #2) by Robert BeattySerafina and the Twisted Staff (Serafina Series #2) by Robert Beatty

Serafina’s defeat of the Man in the Black Cloak has brought her out of the shadows and into the daylight realm of her home, Biltmore Estate. Every night she visits her mother in the forest, eager to learn the ways of the catamount. But Serafina finds herself caught between her two worlds: she’s too wild for Biltmore’s beautifully dressed ladies and formal customs, and too human to fully join her kin.

Late one night, Serafina encounters a strange and terrifying figure in the forest, and is attacked by the vicious wolfhounds that seem to be under his control. Even worse, she’s convinced that the stranger was not alone, that he has sent his accomplice into Biltmore in disguise.

Someone is wreaking havoc at the estate. A mysterious series of attacks test Serafina’s role as Biltmore’s protector, culminating in a tragedy that tears Serafina’s best friend and only ally, Braeden Vanderbilt, from her side. Heartbroken, she flees.

Deep in the forest, Serafina comes face-to-face with the evil infecting Biltmore — and discovers its reach is far greater than she’d ever imagined. All the humans and creatures of the Blue Ridge Mountains are in terrible danger. For Serafina to defeat this new evil before it engulfs her beloved home, she must search deep inside herself and embrace the destiny that has always awaited her.

A New Class (Star Wars: Jedi Academy #4) by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

A New Class (Star Wars- Jedi Academy #4) by Jarrett J. KrosoczkaA New Class (Star Wars: Jedi Academy #4) by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Victor Starspeeder is psyched to be starting school at the Jedi Academy. His sister, Christina does not share an enthusiasm for Victor’s newfound educational path. She’s horrified that her annoying baby brother will be there to cramp her style.

While Victor means well, his excess energy leads him to spend a lot of time in detention with the little, green sage, Yoda. Yoda wants to channel Victor’s talents, so he makes the young Padawan join the drama club. Victor is not pleased. “Learn to control your anger, you must! Successfully manage their emotions, a good Jedi can. Box step and jazz hands … hee hee … young Padawan will!”

Victor will have to make new friends, get on his sister’s good side, learn to use the force, and hope the year’s drama club performance (“Wookie Side Story”? “Annie Get Your Lightsaber”?) goes off without a hitch!

Stars So Sweet: An All Four Stars Book by Tara Dairman

Stars So Sweet- An All Four Stars Book by Tara DairmanStars So Sweet: An All Four Stars Book by Tara Dairman

As the summer winds down and Gladys Gatsby prepares to start middle school, she is nervous about juggling schoolwork and looming deadlines from her secret job as the New York Standard’s youngest restaurant critic. When her editor pushes for a face-to-face meeting to discuss more opportunities with the paper, Gladys knows she must finally come clean to her parents. But her perfectly planned reveal is put on hold when her parents arrive home with a surprise: her Aunt Lydia, one of the only adults who knows her secret, fresh off the plane from Paris. Gladys and Aunt Lydia try one last ruse to fool her editor at the Standard, but even with her aunt’s help, Gladys just can’t manage the drama of middle school and a secret life. It’s time for Gladys to be true to herself and honest with her friends and family, regardless of what those around her think.

The School for Good and Evil: The Ever Never Handbook by Soman Chainani & Michael Blank

The School for Good and Evil- The Ever Never Handbook by Soman ChainaniThe School for Good and Evil: The Ever Never Handbook by Soman Chainani & Michael Blank

Wish you could go to the School for Good and Evil? Now you can! Join the ranks of heroes and villains who have walked these hallowed halls and mastered what it takes to be placed in their own fairy tales with The Ever Never Handbook.

Soman Chainani’s New York Times bestselling series (The School for Good and Evil, A World Without Princes, and The Last Ever After) comes to life in this handbook full of everything students need to learn in order to survive their own fairy tale — from dress codes and school rules to alumni portraits, kingdom maps, and much, much more.

Every year, students flock to the School for Good and Evil, ready to prepare for life in a fairy tale. The highest-ranked students become the heroes and villains of the fairy tales, while the lowest end up enchanted animals or plants (if they’re lucky, that is).

This handbook is a personal guide to help students to the top of their class — from surviving Uglification, to picking your own sidekick or henchman, to earning a part in the yearly school musical, and so much more. And of course, it’s in glorious full color and duotone because in the School for Good and Evil, very little is black-and-white.

Note from Nancy: This is technically not a sequel, but we’re glad to revisit the School for Good and Evil!

Brand New Must-Read Books

 

The Thing About Leftovers by C.C. Payne

The Thing About Leftovers by C.C. PayneThe Thing About Leftovers by C.C. Payne

Fizzy is a good Southern girl who just wants to be perfect. And win the Southern Living cook-off. The being perfect part is hard though, since her parents divorced and everything in her life has changed. Wary of her too-perfect stepmom and her mom’s neat-freak, dismissive boyfriend, she’s often angry or upset and feels like a guest in both homes. She tells herself to face facts: She’s a “leftover” kid from a marriage that her parents want to forget. But she has to keep all of that to herself, because a good Southern girl never yells, or throws fits, or says anything that might hurt other people’s feelings — instead she throws her shoulders back, says yes ma’am, and tries to do better. So Fizzy tries her best, but it’s hard to stay quiet when her family keeps getting more complicated. Fortunately, the Southern Living cook-off gives her a welcome distraction, as do her new friends Miyoko and Zach, who have parent issues of their own.

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Towers Falling by Jewell Parker RhodesTowers Falling by Jewell Parker Rhodes

When her 5th-grade teacher hints that a series of lessons about home and community will culminate with one big answer about two tall towers once visible outside their classroom window, Deja can’t help but feel confused. She sets off on a journey of discovery, with new friends Ben and Sabeen by her side. But just as she gets closer to answering big questions about who she is, what America means, and how communities can grow (and heal), she uncovers new questions, too. Like, why does Pop get so angry when she brings up anything about the towers?

VIP: Battle of the Bands by Jen Calonita

VIP- Battle of the Bands by Jen CalonitaVIP: Battle of the Bands by Jen Calonita

Mackenzie “Mac” Lowell is living a dream come true on tour with her favorite boy band. Spending time on the road with Perfect Storm hasn’t been what Mac expected, though — it’s even BETTER!

But with screaming fans and big-time recording sessions come haters and copycats, like Thunder and Lightning, a new band on the label whose first single sounds suspiciously like the song Perfect Storm’s guitarist wrote for Mac. As the two bands set out on a joint summer tour, more and more of Perfect Storm’s secrets are leaked to the public.

Where’s the one place all these lyrics and secrets are supposedly being kept safe? In Mac’s journal, of course! Can Mac — and her comic-book alter ego, Mac Attack — stop the leaks and nab the culprit?

With black-and-white illustrations and action-packed Mac Attack comics throughout, Jen Calonita’s VIP series is more exciting than a backstage pass!

Click Here to Start by Denis Markell

Click Here to Start by Denis MarkellClick Here to Start by Denis Markell

What if playing video games was prepping you to solve an incredible real-world puzzle and locate a priceless treasure?

Twelve-year-old Ted Gerson has spent most of his summer playing video games. So when his great-uncle dies and bequeaths him the all so-called treasure in his overstuffed junk shop of an apartment, Ted explores it like it’s another level to beat. And to his shock, he finds that eccentric Great-Uncle Ted actually has set the place up like a real-life escape-the-room game!

Using his specially honed skills, Ted sets off to win the greatest game he’s ever played, with help from his friends Caleb and Isabel. Together they discover that Uncle Ted’s “treasure” might be exactly that — real gold and jewels found by a Japanese American unit that served in World War II. With each puzzle Ted and his friends solve, they get closer to unraveling the mystery — but someone dangerous is hot on their heels, and he’s not about to let them get away with the fortune.

The Ministry of S.U.I.T.s by Paul Gamble

The Ministry of SUITs by Paul GambleThe Ministry of S.U.I.T.s by Paul Gamble

Memo: For Ministry of Strange, Unusual, and Impossible Things Operatives Only

A series of strange incidents have been reported in Belfast:

* Oddball kids are going missing
* There are several unconfirmed signs of pirates.
* A wild bear known to be a very sore loser at musical statues has escaped from the museum and is on the rampage.

Fortunately, our newest recruits, Jack Pearse, a curious boy skilled at logical thinking and seeing what’s actually there, and Trudy Emerson, the most dangerous girl in his school, are on the case. As per Ministry policy, they are currently being trained in the use of The Speed (patent pending) and will have full access to Ministry supplies (assuming they manage to navigate the paperwork without going insane), so we are confident that they will succeed in their mission to discover and foil this villainous plot.

Please provide all assistance possible, as a) they don’t know who they are actually up against, b) the world is much stranger than they realized, and c) they are only 12 and have to be in bed by 10 p.m.

P.S. – Could all Ministry operatives who have borrowed dinosaurs in the past two weeks please return them? We’re running low on inventory.

 
Are there any books on this list that look interesting to you? Will you be beating down your local bookstore’s doors on July 31st, 12 AM to get your copy of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child? Or are you planning a nice, quiet night in reading Stars So Sweet? Let us know by leaving a comment below!

— Nancy

icon_nancyNancy is too hot to think of something amusing to say here. She is now on a quest for some ice cream.

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