JULY 28, 2014

Book News by Trent Shaw

Welcome to the newest edition of Kids Only. With summer vacation winding down (already?!?), here are some titles that would work great for your back-to-school displays.

Don’t miss Peter Brown’s newest book, My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.) (9780316070294, Little, Brown, $18.00, HC), about an ornery student and his [...]

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Beginning Readers

Oliver and the Seawigs

Philip Reeve and Sarah McIntyre
(Random House, $12.99, HC, 9780385387880)

Carnegie Medal winner Philip Reeve (the Mortal Engines series) is out with Oliver and the Seawigs, the first in a new series aimed at younger readers. When Oliver’s explorer parents go missing, he sets sail on a rescue mission with some new, unexpected friends: a grumpy albatross, a nearsighted mermaid, and even a living island! But the high seas are even more exciting, unusual, and full of mischief than Oliver could have imagined. Can he and his crew spar with sarcastic seaweed, outrun an army of sea monkeys, win a fabulous maritime fashion contest, and defeat a wicked sea captain in time to save Mom and Dad? A lively step up from early chapter books, this seafaring romp is packed with hilarious art, lovable misfits, meddlesome monkeys, and tons of kid appeal. This is the first in a planned four-book series, each following different characters in the same world. Look for the second book to release next spring. FICTION/Humorous Stories/Action & Adventure/Fantasy & Magic

Graphic Novels & Manga

Through the Woods

Emily Carroll
(Margaret K. McElderry Books, $14.99, TP, 9781442465961)

Be sure to take a look at Through the Woods, award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll’s debut anthology of five hauntingly beautiful graphic stories. These are fairy tales gone seriously wrong, where you can travel to “Our Neighbor’s House” — though coming back might be a problem. Or find yourself a young bride in a house that holds a terrible secret in “A Lady’s Hands Are Cold.” You might try to figure out what is haunting “My Friend Janna,” or discover that your brother’s fiancee may not be what she seems in “The Nesting Place.” And of course you must revisit the horror of “His Face All Red,” the breakout webcomic hit that has been gorgeously translated to the printed page. These have a great, spooky quality to them and Carroll's art and page layout perfectly match her stories. FICTION/Comics & Graphic Novels-General/Horror & Ghost Stories/Fairy Tales & Folklore Rated T YOUNG ADULT

Also New in Graphic Novels & Manga:

Middle Readers

Absolutely Almost

Lisa Graff
(Philomel Books, $16.99, HC, 9780399164057)

Lisa Graff follows the critically acclaimed, National Book Award longlisted A Tangle of Knots with Absolutely Almost, a beautiful novel about hidden talents and self-acceptance. Albie has never been the smartest kid in his class. He has never been the tallest. Or the best at gym. Or the greatest artist. Or the most musical. In fact, Albie has a long list of the things he's not very good at. But then Albie gets a new babysitter, Calista, who helps him figure out all of the things he is good at and how he can take pride in himself. A perfect companion to A Tangle of Knots, this novel explores a similar theme in a realistic contemporary world where kids will easily be able to relate their own struggles to Albie's. Reviews have been strong, so keep your eye on this one. FICTION/Social Issues-Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance/Social Issues-Friendship

Also New in Middle Readers:

Picture Books

My Pet Book

Bob Staake
(Random House, $17.99, HC, 9780385373128)

In My Pet Book, award-winning author-illustrator Bob Staake has created a rollicking picture book about a boy and his most unusual pet. Most pets are cats and dogs, but what happens when a boy wants a different kind of pet, one that doesn’t meow or bark? Bob Staake’s exuberant tale of a little boy and the pet of his dreams will appeal to anyone whose best friends are . . . books! Books make the perfect pets, the boy decides, and chooses a bright red one. When it goes missing, a lively adventure is in store for readers who love a happy ending. Soon kids everywhere will wish for a pet book of their very own. FICTION/Books & Libraries/Animals-Pets/Stories in Verse

Also New in Picture Books:

Pre School

I Spy With My Little Eye

Edward Gibbs
(Templar Books, $7.99, Board Book, 9780763671631)

I Spy With My Little Eye, the first in Edward Gibbs's ongoing series, is now available as a board book. Children learn colors, animals, and animal names in a unique way with this interactive book which offers a few simple hints as to what animal awaits on the next page, along with a clever, die-cut spy hole that allows the reader a peek at the animal before turning the page to reveal the entire illustration. Kids encounter a blue whale, yellow lion, green frog, and so forth, as they make their way through seven different colored animals. With its die-cut peek-a-boo holes on every spread, this actually works even better as a board book. Hopefully the other titles in the series will follow. NONFICTION/Animals-General/Concepts-Colors/Activity Books.

Also New in Pre School:

Young Adult

The Glass Sentence

S.E. Grove
(Viking, $17.99, HC, 9780670785025)

We've been seeing solid sales for S.E. Grove's debut, The Glass Sentence, the first book in her Mapmakers trilogy. Boston, 1891. 13-year-old Sophia Tims lives with her uncle, cartologist Shadrack Elli, in a world torn to pieces by the Great Disruption of 1799 — when all of the continents were mysteriously thrown into different time periods, from the prehistoric era to the fortieth century. Sophia's parents are explorers and she has not seen them in eight years, when they went on a last-minute trip and never returned. When Shadrack is kidnapped from their home, Sophia sets out — along with her new friend, Theo, a refugee from the West— in order to find him. Their journey takes them across the country, over the sea, and through remarkable cities. Along with a group of law-abiding pirates, and a wayward botanist and his daughter, they search for Sophia’s uncle, and run for their lives. What they learn — about mapmaking, the changes taking place in the world, and the legends of the land — transforms Sophia forever. FICTION/Fantasy & Magic/Action & Adventure/Historical-United States-19th Century

Also New in Young Adult: