March 2017 Must-Reads

March 27th, 2017 by

Ack, March ends in just a few days and this book list of new releases is long overdue! Without further ado, check out these March (and a few February) new releases that we’re excited about. Prepare yourself for a MASSIVE book list — my personal top picks are noted with a ❤️… but seriously, everything on this list is bookshelf worthy!

Click on the plus signs next to the book titles to read the full descriptions from the publishers:

Fantastical Reads That’ll Have You Daydreaming

❤️The Bone Snatcher by Charlotte Salter
Sophie Seacove is a storyteller. She tells stories of what the world would be like if madness hadn’t taken over. If her parents hadn’t sold her off as a servant to pay for their stupid vacation. If she wasn’t now trapped in a decaying mansion filled with creepy people and surrounded by ravenous sea monsters.

The mansion has plenty of stories, too: About fantastical machines, and the tragic inventor who created them. About his highly suspicious death. And about the Monster Box, a mysterious object hidden in the house that just might hold the key to escaping this horrible place — and to reuniting Sophie with her family.

But not everyone wants Sophie to have the Monster Box, and as she gets closer to finding it, she finds herself unspooling years-old secrets — and dodging dangerous attacks. Sophie needs to use her brains, her brawn, and her unbreakable nature if she wants to make it off this wretched island…and live to tell this story.

Frogkisser! by Garth Nix
Poor Princess Anya. Forced to live with her evil stepmother’s new husband, her evil stepfather. Plagued with an unfortunate ability to break curses with a magic-assisted kiss. And forced to go on the run when her stepfather decides to make the kingdom entirely his own.

Aided by a loyal talking dog, a boy thief trapped in the body of a newt, and some extraordinarily mischievous wizards, Anya sets off on a Quest that, if she plays it right, will ultimately free her land — and teach her a thing or two about the use of power, the effectiveness of a well-placed pucker, and the finding of friends in places both high and low.

In Darkling Wood by Emma Carroll
When Alice is suddenly bundled off to her estranged grandmother Nell’s house, there’s nothing good about it, except the beautiful Darkling Wood at the end of the garden — but Nell wants to have it cut down. Alice feels at home there, at peace. She even finds a friend, a girl named Flo. But Flo doesn’t go to the local school, and no one in town has heard of her. When Flo shows Alice the surprising secrets of Darkling Wood, Alice starts to wonder: What is real? And can she find out in time to save the wood from destruction?
The Mesmerist by Ronald L. Smith
Thirteen-year-old Jessamine Grace and her mother make a living as sham spiritualists — until they discover that Jess is a mesmerist and that she really can talk to the dead. Soon she is plunged into the dark world of Victorian London’s supernatural underbelly and learns that the city is under attack by ghouls, monsters, and spirit summoners. Can Jess fight these powerful forces? And will the group of strange children with mysterious powers she befriends be able to help? As shy, proper Jess transforms into a brave warrior, she uncovers terrifying truths about the hidden battle between good and evil, about her family, and about herself.
The Metropolitans by Carol Goodman
The day Japan bombs Pearl Harbor, four 13-year-olds converge at the Metropolitan Museum of Art where an eccentric curator is seeking four uncommonly brave souls to track down the hidden pages of the Kelmsbury Manuscript, an ancient book of Arthurian legends that lies scattered within the museum’s collection, and that holds the key to preventing a second attack on American soil.

When Madge, Joe, Kiku, and Walt agree to help, they have no idea that the Kelmsbury is already working its magic on them. But they begin to develop extraordinary powers and experience the feelings of King Arthur, Queen Guinevere, Morgan le Fay, and Lancelot: courage, friendship, love… and betrayal. Are they playing out a legend that’s already been lived, over and over, across the ages? Or can the Metropolitans forge their own story?

❤️Miss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood
Chantel would much rather focus on her magic than on curtsying, which is why she often finds herself in trouble at Miss Ellicott’s School for Magical Maidens. But when Miss Ellicott mysteriously disappears along with all the other sorceresses in the city, Chantel’s behavior becomes the least of her problems.

Without any magic protecting the city, it is up to Chantel and her friends to save the Kingdom. On a dangerous mission, Chantel will discover a crossbow-wielding boy, a dragon, and a new, fiery magic that burns inside her — but can she find the sorceresses and transform Lightning Pass into the city it was meant to be?

❤️Saturdays at Sea (Castle Glower #5) by Jessica Day George
After constructing a grand ship built from parts of the Castle, Celie, Lilah and Rolf are ready to set sail! But on its maiden voyage, the Ship steers them far off course into uncharted waters. Celie and her sister, Lilah, hope that the Ship is heading to the ancient island where unicorns once roamed, but as the journey grows longer and supplies run low, they could be in trouble. Can Celie and her family trust the Ship just as they’ve always trusted the Castle?

Note from Nancy: Check out my recent post about the new cover art for this series!

Tricked (Fairy Tale Reform School Series #3) by Jen Calonita
Things are changing at Fairy Tale Reform School.

At least, that’s what Gilly’s heard through the Enchantasia rumor mill. Word is, notorious trickster Rumpelstiltskin has taken over management from Headmistress Flora, and he’s locked down the school tighter than the Pied Piper’s pants. Not that this news concerns Gilly. She’s been released from FTRS and is now suffering through attending Jack of All Trades School, where she gets to learn about different kinds of shoe leather and ways to measure feet. Truly riveting stuff.

But when Gilly’s little sister Anna gets whisked off to FTRS thanks to her troublemaking new friends, Hansel and Gretel, Gilly knows she’s got to get Anna out of there. There’s only one thing to do; make some serious trouble and get thrown back into FTRS.

It’s time to out-trick a trickster.

New Series We’re Excited About

Dragonwatch: A Fablehaven Adventure (Dragonwatch Series #1) by Brandon Mull
In the hidden dragon sanctuary of Wyrmroost, Celebrant the Just, King of the Dragons, plots his revenge. He has long seen the sanctuaries as prisons, and he wants nothing more than to overthrow his captors and return the world to the Age of Dragons, when he and his kind ruled and reigned without borders. The time has come to break free and reclaim his power.

No one person is capable of stopping Celebrant and his dragon horde. It will take the ancient order of Dragonwatch to gather again if there is any chance of saving the world from destruction. In ancient times, Dragonwatch was a group of wizards, enchantresses, dragon slayers, and others who originally confined the majority of dragons into sanctuaries. But nearly all of the original Dragonwatch members are gone, and so the wizard Agad reaches out to Grandpa Sorenson for help.

As Kendra and Seth confront this new danger, they must draw upon all their skills, talents, and knowledge as only they have the ability to function together as a powerful dragon tamer. Together they must battle against forces with superior supernatural powers and breathtaking magical abilities.

How will the epic dragon showdown end? Will dragons overthrow humans and change the world as we know it?

Dragon Captives (The Unwanteds Quests #1) by Lisa McMann
Identical twins Fifer and Thisbe Stowe have amazing yet uncontrollable magical abilities. They’re naturally more gifted than even their brother, Alex, the head mage of Artimé, could hope to be. But when they accidentally use their magic in the jungle of Artimé to strike down a beloved creature, Alex is furious and threatens to lock them away until they can learn to control their power.

The threat is soon forgotten, though, when Hux, the ice blue dragon, comes to Artimé bearing the horrible news that his siblings have been enslaved by the notoriously evil Revinir, ruler of the dragon land.

Seeking a chance to right their wrong and escape their brother’s wrath, Thisbe, Fifer, and their friend Seth sneak away to rescue the dragons from grave peril. Will their untrained abilities be enough to save the dragons — and themselves — when they come face-to-face with the Revinir?

❤️Last Day on Mars (Chronicle of the Dark Star #1) by Kevin Emerson
It is Earth year 2213 — but, of course, there is no Earth anymore. Not since it was burned to a cinder by the sun, which has mysteriously begun the process of going supernova. The human race has fled to Mars, but this was only a temporary solution while we prepare for a second trip: a 150-year journey to a distant star, our best guess at where we might find a new home.

Liam Saunders-Chang is one of the last humans left on Mars. The son of two scientists who have been racing against time to create technology vital to humanity’s survival, Liam, along with his friend Phoebe, will be on the very last starliner to depart before Mars, like Earth before it, is destroyed.

Or so he thinks. Because before this day is over, Liam and Phoebe will make a series of profound discoveries about the nature of time and space, and find out that the human race is just one of many in our universe locked in a desperate struggle for survival.

❤️Olga and the Smelly Thing from Nowhere (Olga Series #1) by Elise Gravel
When Olga crosses paths with a weird creature and becomes the first kid to discover the species olgamus ridiculus, she is ecstatic! What does an olgamus eat? How does it poop? Why does its burp sound like the word rubber? With her trusty observation notebook and the help of a librarian, a shopkeeper, and some friends, Olga sets out to do science — learning the facts about her smelly, almost-furry pal and searching for him when he goes missing. The scientific method is the best way to discover anything!

Contemporary Reads

Baseball Genius by Tim Green and Derek Jeter
Jalen DeLuca loves baseball. Unfortunately, his dad can’t afford to keep him on the travel team. His dad runs a diner and makes enough to cover the bills, but there isn’t enough to cover any extras. So Jalen decides to take matters into his own hands and he sneaks into the home of the New York Yankee’s star second baseman, James Yager, and steals a couple of balls from his personal batting cage. He knows that if he can sell them, he’ll be able to keep himself on the team.

But like the best-laid plans — or in this case the worst! — Jalen’s scheme goes wrong when Yager catches him. But Jalen has a secret: his baseball genius. He can analyze and predict almost exactly what a pitcher is going to do with his next pitch. He can’t quite explain how he knows, he just knows. And after proving to Yager that he really can do this, using a televised game and predicting pitch after pitch with perfect accuracy, the two agree to a deal. Jalen will help Yager out of his batting slump and Yager won’t press charges.

However, when he begins to suspect that the team’s general manager has his own agenda, Jalen’s going to need his friends and his unusual baseball talent to save not only Yager’s career but his own good name.

Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes by Mary E. Lambert
Annabelle Balog’s life is a mess. Literally. Her mother refuses to throw anything away. Life gets even more complicated when Grandma Nora decides to clean house against the wishes of Annabelle’s mother. Now Annabelle, who can usually be found trying to sneak her mother’s collections to the nearest dumpster, must decide if some things are worth saving.
❤️Forever, or a Long, Long Time by Caela Carter
Flora and her brother, Julian, don’t believe they were born. They’ve lived in so many foster homes, they can’t remember where they came from. And even now that they’ve been adopted, Flora still struggles to believe in forever. So along with their new mother, Flora and Julian begin a journey to go back and discover their past — for only then can they really begin to build their future.
Grandpa’s Great Escape by David Walliams
Grandpa is Jack’s favorite person in the world. It doesn’t matter that he wears his slippers to the supermarket, serves Spam a la Custard for dinner, and often doesn’t remember Jack’s name. But then Grandpa starts to believe he’s back in World War II, when he was a Spitfire fighter pilot, and he’s sent to live in an old folk’s home run by the sinister Matron Swine. Now it’s up to Jack to help Grandpa plot a daring escape!
❤️The Goat by Anne Fleming
When Kid accompanies her parents to New York City for a six-month stint of dog-sitting and home-schooling, she sees what looks like a tiny white cloud on top of their apartment building. Rumor says there’s a goat living on the roof, but how can that be?
A Rambler Steals Home by Carter Higgins
Eleven-year-old Derby Christmas Clark is a rambler of the road. She travels year-round in an RV with her father and younger brother, selling Christmas trees during the cold months and burgers and fries during baseball season. Derby always did prefer grease splatters to hauling trees, so she’s excited that summer will take her back to small town Ridge Creek, the Rockskippers, her best friend, and her surrogate mom, June. But this summer, a tragedy has changed Ridge Creek — and as Derby tries to help those she loves, long-held secrets are revealed.
See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng
Eleven-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan — named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on Earth, his Earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover — from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.
❤️Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail
Gracie has never felt like this before. One day, she suddenly can’t breathe, can’t walk, can’t anything — and the reason is standing right there in front of her, all tall and weirdly good-looking: A.J.

But it turns out A.J. likes not Gracie but Gracie’s beautiful best friend, Sienna. Obviously, Gracie is happy for Sienna. Super happy! She helps Sienna compose the best texts, responding to A.J.’s surprisingly funny and appealing texts, just as if she were Sienna. Because Gracie is fine. Always! She’s had lots of practice being the sidekick, second-best.

It’s all good. Well, almost all. She’s trying.

Walk In Another Kid’s Footsteps

❤️Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises — some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter.

But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.

Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry
Astronomy-loving Calliope June has Tourette syndrome, so she sometimes makes faces or noises that she doesn’t mean to make. When she and her mother move yet again, she tries to hide her TS. But it isn’t long before the kids at her new school realize she’s different. Only Calliope’s neighbor, who is also the popular student body president, sees her as she truly is — an interesting person and a good friend. But is he brave enough to take their friendship public?

As Calliope navigates school, she must also face her mother’s new relationship and the fact that they might be moving — again — just as she starts to make friends and finally accept her differences.

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson
Matthew Corbin suffers from severe obsessive-compulsive disorder. He hasn’t been to school in weeks. His hands are cracked and bleeding from cleaning. He refuses to leave his bedroom. To pass the time, he observes his neighbors from his bedroom window, making mundane notes about their habits as they bustle about the cul-de-sac.

When a toddler staying next door goes missing, it becomes apparent that Matthew was the last person to see him alive. Suddenly, Matthew finds himself at the center of a high-stakes mystery, and every one of his neighbors is a suspect. Matthew is the key to figuring out what happened and potentially saving a child’s life… but is he able to do so if it means exposing his own secrets, and stepping out from the safety of his home?

❤️Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kind-hearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and she loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so that he can concentrate on basketball.

They aren’t friends, at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find the missing Virgil. Sometimes four can do what one cannot. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms.

Love, Ish by Karen Rivers
My name is Mischa “Ish” Love, and I am 12 years old. I know quite a lot about Mars.

Mars is where I belong. Do you know how sometimes you just know a thing? My mom says that falling in love is like that, that the first time she saw Dad, she just knew. That’s how I feel about Mars: I just know.

I’m smart and interesting and focused, and I’m working on getting along better with people. I’ll learn some jokes. A sense of humor is going to be important. It always is. That’s what my dad always says. Maybe jokes will be the things that will help us all to survive. Not just me, because there’s no “me” in “team,” right? This is about all of us. Together.

What makes me a survivor? Mars is going to make me a survivor.

You’ll see.

The Pants Project by Cat Clarke
“My name is Liv (Not Olivia)… I’m not technically a girl.

I’m Transgender. Which is a bit like being a transformer. Only not quite as cool because I probably won’t get to save the world one day.”

Liv knows he was always meant to be a boy, but with his new school’s terrible dress code, he can’t even wear pants. Only skirts.

Operation: Pants Project begins! The only way for Liv to get what he wants is to go after it himself. But to Liv, this isn’t just a mission to change the policy — it’s a mission to change his life. And that’s a pretty big deal.

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
Jade believes she must get out of her neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother says she has to take every opportunity. She has. She accepted a scholarship to a mostly-white private school and even Saturday morning test prep opportunities. But some opportunities feel more demeaning than helpful. Like an invitation to join Women to Women, a mentorship program for “at-risk” girls. Except really, it’s for black girls. From “bad” neighborhoods.

But Jade doesn’t need support. And just because her mentor is black doesn’t mean she understands Jade. And maybe there are some things Jade could show these successful women about the real world and finding ways to make a real difference.

Take Note of These Sequels

The Balance of Power (Zodiac Legacy Series #3) by Stan Lee, Stuart Moore
Steven Lee always thought that having superpowers would make him happy, make life easier, and make everything more fun. He was wrong. Steven, now 16 years old, has spent years living with the power of the Tiger. But now, on the edge of a catastrophe that could destroy not only Steven and his super-powered friends, but every Zodiac in the world, Steven will have to decide just how far he’ll go to protect those closest to him. Stan Lee, Stuart Moore, and Andie Tong bring the earth-shaking conclusion to The Zodiac Legacy!
Cavern of Secrets (Wing & Claw #2) by Linda Sue Park
Raffa Santana has spent all winter hiding in the harsh wilderness of the Sudden Mountains, and now it’s time to return home. Home, where his parents will help him fight back against the vile Chancellor who has captured and altered the wild creatures of the Forest of Wonders. Home, where Raffa’s beloved companion, Echo the bat, will recover from his mysterious sickness.

To get there, Raffa must make a treacherous journey across Obsidia. Along the way, he will discover a luminous plant that might be the key to saving the creatures stuck in the Chancellor’s grasp… if only Raffa can unlock the plant’s secrets and deliver the cure to the captive animals.

Jurassic Carp (My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish Series #6) by Mo O’Hara
When Tom and his best friend rescued Frankie the goldfish from his evil-scientist big brother’s toxic gunge their new pet came back as a BIG FAT ZOMBIE GOLDFISH.

Frankie is good at saving the day, but can he become a real knight in shining armor during the medieval day reenactment joust?

Then, can the school survive two BIG FAT ZOMBIE GOLDFISH? Find out when Tom’s evil big brother manages to clone a Jurassic Carp!

The Lost Staff of Wonders (Will Wilder #2) by Raymond Arroyo
Twelve-year-old Will Wilder is back to protect the town of Perilous Falls from another ancient evil — the fearsome demon, Amon.

When the storied Staff of Moses — responsible for summoning the plagues of ancient Egypt — vanishes from the museum in Perilous Falls, Will Wilder is suspect number one. Desperate to prove his innocence and stop the thief from unleashing terrors upon the town of Perilous Falls, Will must use his supernatural gift to locate the beast — but it’s nowhere to be found.

As the river runs with blood, sharp-toothed frogs surround his home, and clouds of swarming gnats choke the streets, Will must rely on his supernatural ability, everything he learned from his training, and help from his friends, siblings, and Great-Aunt Lucille to find the missing staff and unmask the hidden evil before time runs out for all of them.

Middle School: Escape to Australia by James Patterson
Rafe isn’t exactly considered a winner at Hills Village Middle School to say the least, but everything’s about to change: He’s won a school-wide art competition, and the fabulous prize is getting to jet-set off to Australia for a whirlwind adventure! But Rafe soon finds that living in the Land Down Under is harder than he could’ve ever imagined — his host-siblings are anything but welcoming, the burning temperatures are torturous, and poisonous critters are ready to sting or eat him at every step. So with the help of some new misfit friends, Rafe sets out to show everyone what he does best: create utter mayhem!
❤️The Mystery of the Painted Dragon (The Sinclair’s Mysteries #3) by Katherine Woodfine
When a priceless painting is stolen, our dauntless heroines Sophie and Lil find themselves faced with forgery, trickery, and deceit on all sides!

Be amazed as the brave duo pit their wits against this perilous puzzle! Marvel at their cunning plan to unmask the villain and prove themselves detectives to be reckoned with — no matter what dangers lie ahead… It’s their most perilous adventure yet!

Payback (Masterminds Series #3) by Gordon Korman
After a serious betrayal from one of their former friends, the clones of Project Osiris are on the run again. Now separated into pairs, Eli and Tori and Amber and Malik are fighting to survive in the real world.

Amber and Malik track down the one person they think can help them prove the existence of Project Osiris, notorious mob boss Gus Alabaster, also known as Malik’s DNA donor. But as Malik gets pulled into the criminal world — tantalized by hints of a real family — his actions put him and Amber into greater danger.

Eli and Tori get sucked into even bigger conspiracies as they hunt down Project Osiris’ most closely guarded secrets — who does Eli’s DNA come from? With a surprising new ally and another cross-country adventure, the four will have to work together to overcome the worst parts of themselves if they are going to end Project Osiris once and for all.

Tornado Terror (I Survived True Stories #3) by Lauren Tarshis
The Tri-State Tornado of 1925 was the deadliest tornado strike in American history, tearing through three states and killing 700 people. Almost a century later, the Joplin Tornado was a mile-wide monster that nearly destroyed the heart of a vibrant city. The author of the New York Times best-selling I Survived series now brings you the vivid and true stories of two young people who survived these terrifying twisters, along with fascinating facts about tornadoes and profiles of the well-respected scientists and storm chasers who study them.

You did it! You made it to the end of the list! 🎉🎈🎆 There must be at least one (or two, or three, or 20) from this booklist that made it onto your must-read book list — let us know which one in the comments below!

— Nancy

Nancy is honestly a little overwhelmed with how many awesome books there are to read. She recommends all authors treat themselves to a little vacation and hold off publishing anything for a month, please. Thank you.

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One Response

  • Cassie writes:
    June 21st, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Dragon Watch, The Bine Snatcher, The Goat, and many more!

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