By Lani Aquino
Helping students uncover their favorite book or a beloved new character can be life changing. These 8 titles may just have the right offering to satiate the voracious reader or ignite a spark for the reluctant one. With these new additions to the literary world, there is something to be found for students across the K-12 band.
A Piglet Named Mercy - Young readers will delight in this clever prequel to the Mercy Watson series. The best-selling team of Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen have created a delightful picture book that details Mercy’s arrival at Deckawoo Drive. This is a perfect way to introduce young readers to a chapter series that they can soon enjoy. It’s also a fun read for older kids that have already been captivated by the longer tales.
Rumple Buttercup: A Story of Bananas, Belonging, and Being Yourself- This inspiriting tale was written and illustrated by Criminal Minds actor Matthew Gray Gubler. Young readers will enjoy meeting Rumple Buttercup with his crooked teeth, misshapen feet, and green skin. This offbeat character offers some great lessons in both individuality and belonging. With his imaginary friend Candy Corn Carl, these two quirky characters let readers see the beauty of embracing the weird.
Warriors: The Broken Code #1: Lost Stars- This is the first installment in Erin Hunter’s latest Warriors: The Broken Code Series. Lost Stars sees all five warrior clans settling into their homes around the lake. When a harsh season falls upon the forest, a darkness spreads and a threatening shadow emerges. A beloved clan leader, the cats’ ancestral connections, and the warrior code itself are all in danger. Hunter’s love of animals coupled with her fascination of the natural world bring another page turner for middle grade fans.
Spy School British Invasion- The latest addition to Stuart Gibbs’ Spy School finds superspy middle schooler Ben Ripley ready to take down SPYDER once and for all. After being stranded in Mexico, Ben and his spy school friends must devise a new plan. Their new mission involves going rogue from the CIA, joining the British MI6, and finally bringing down the evil organization. The challenge won’t be an easy one with double crossers and driving on the left, but it’s the only choice the team has to finally defeat SPYDER.
Wild Rescuers: Escape to the Mesa- YouTube gamer StacyPlays has created a sequel to her Minecraft-inspired adventure novel. Stacy, the protagonist, would do anything to protect the intelligent pack of wolves that raised her. As humans start to infiltrate their forest home, Stacy decides it’s time to move the wolves from the Arctic to the desert. The Mesa holds a whole new set of challenges though, and Stacy finds herself questioning where she truly belongs.
Camp- Kayla Miller brings Olive back to fans in Camp. This emotional and honest novel for middle grade readers shares lessons in embarking on new experiences, stepping out of comfort zones, and blazing new trails. When Olive and Willow head off to camp, they find themselves having quite different experiences. While Olive flourishes in new friendships, Willows struggles in this new environment and latches on to her friend for dear life. Will the stress of navigating the new while being tied to another be too much for their friendship to handle?
Long Way Down- Jason Reynolds captures the roar of gun violence among today’s youth in this short and clipped narrative verse. After the murder of his brother, fifteen-year-old Will faces a huge decision. Does he use the gun tucked into his waistband to seek revenge? The novel takes place over the span of a sixty-second elevator ride. As the elevator stops at each floor, Will is connected to someone else from his brother’s past. This novel is powerful in its brevity and a necessary read.
Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson’s Journal- Jeff Kinney shines a new light on the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series with this installment told from Rowley Jefferson’s perspective. As Greg Heffley’s best friend, Rowley has been there all along, but no one has ever seen the tales told from his point of view. In trying to write his famed friend’s biography, Rowley ends up creating a hilarious mess. This will give series fans a fun glimpse at the Wimpy world through fresh eyes.
Igniting the reading spark is priceless. This month’s new releases run the gamut when it comes to engaging content and reading levels. Stocking the bookshelf with great reads just got a lot easier with What’s New in Children’s Literature?
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