Congratulations to our member with a book releasing today! Click on the cover below for more information:
Whether you’re a teacher looking for curriculum connections or a book club organizer looking for a new selection with ready-made discussion questions, we have the resources for you! The links below provide direct, free (!!!) access to educator’s guides and discussion questions for a variety of middle grade and young adult titles, all published in 2016.
Beware what lurks beneath your bed. . . . It could lead to a monstrous adventure.
Thirteen-year-old Lissa Black is anything but happy when her parents force her to move from New York City, the perfect home for an aspiring writer/director/actress, to Freeburg, Pennsylvania, nowhere capital of the world. There’s not much for Lissa to do there, except play Monsterville, a Candyland-esque quest to survive, which Lissa’s little sister, Haylie, has becomed obsessed with, and hang out with her new neighbor, Adam, who is intent to prove to her that Freeburg is a great place to live.
But even Lissa can’t call her new home totally boring when a trek into the woods lands her face-to-face with a sea monster looking for brains to eat and then a Sasquatch that moos! With Adam’s help, she discovers a monster secret . . . or maybe just a monster: a poor little goblin they name Blue, who’s fled the world Down Below, desperate to decide on his scary form.
And what do you do with a creature that can be literally anything? You make monster movies, of course! Lissa is convinced that Blue will be the secret to her big break. But when Haylie goes missing on Halloween, Lissa, Adam, and Blue must ventrure Down Below to stage a rescue—and face the real Monsterville, which is anything but a game. Monsterville is a fusion of The Boxtrolls, Jumanji, and Candyland, weaving together friendship family, and monsters into a funny fantasy-horror brimming with heart from a great new middle grade voice.
Seventeen-year-old, Eric, is a kick-butt squire to the most revered knight in Fallhollow. Well he would be if Sir Trogsdill allowed him to do anything even remotely awesome. Determined to prove his worth, Eric sets out to find the mythical paladin summoned to protect the realm from the evil lurking nearby.
Sixteen-year-old, David, spends his days collecting school honors, winning archery tournaments, and trying not to fall in love with his scrappy best friend, Charlotte.
Right when things start to get interesting, he is whisked away to the magical realm of Fallhollow where everyone thinks he’s some sort of paladin destined to fulfill a two-hundred-year-old prophecy. He’s supposed to help kill a dragon with some sort of magic key. The same key that happens to adorn the neck of an annoying squire who’s too wrapped up in proving himself to be much help to anyone.
With egos as big as the dragon they need to destroy, Eric and David must get over themselves, or watch everything they know and love, burn.
Bristal, a sixteen-year-old kitchen maid, lands in a fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she has elicromancer magic in her blood. Elicromancers are an ancient breed of immortal people, but only two remain in Nissera after a bloody civil war. Bristal joins the ranks of Brack and Tamarice without knowing that one of them has a dark secret . . . Tamarice is plotting a quest to overthrow the realm’s nobility and take charge herself. Together, Bristal and Brack must guard the three kingdoms of Nissera against Tamarice’s black elicromancy. There are cursed princesses to protect, royal alliances to forge and fierce monsters to battle—all with the hope of preserving peace.
Building on homages to Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Jane Austen’s Emma and the Chinese legend of Hua Mulan, Hannah West makes a spectacular and wholly original debut.
Set in a world where fantasy meets science fiction, a subversive narrator lurks behind every page, and intrepid heroine Anne must triumph over time, destiny, and heretofore unknown levels of bureaucracy to uncover the truth of her quest.
Marisa Reichardt’s Underwater has sold to Nuevo Extremo in Argentina for World Spanish rights and to Penerbit Haru for Indonesian rights.
New stops have been added to the Behind the Pages Book Tour featuring Ava Jae (BEYOND THE RED), Janet Sumner Johnson (THE LAST GREAT ADVENTURE OF THE PB&J SOCIETY), Kathy MacMillan (SWORD AND VERSE), and Laura Shovan (THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY)! The authors will all be presenting at the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators MD/DE/WV Regional Conference on March 19 and 20 and making appearances at schools, libraries, and bookstores in Maryland and Virginia
MARCH AUTHORS GETTING GOODREADS READER LOVE
Three Sweet Sixteen debuts were chosen Goodreads readers as March’s YA BEST BOOKS OF THE MONTH:
REBEL OF THE SANDS by Alwyn Hamilton
THE WAY I USED TO BE by Amber Smith
THE GIRL WHO FELL by Shannon M. Parker
Congrats, Ladies!! Were so happy to see all the love from early readers!
Here’s our handy printable release calendar to help you keep track of all the sweet March debuts coming at you soon!
Thanks to our printable calendar team: Sarah Alexander, Jenn Nguyen, Dee Romito, Shari Schwarz, Kathy MacMillan, Randi Pink and Ava Jae!
Amber Smith grew up in Buffalo, NY and now lives in Charlotte, NC with her two dogs. After graduating from art school with a BFA in Painting, she earned her MA in Art History. When she’s not writing, she is working as a curator and art consultant. She has also written on the topics of art history and modern and contemporary art.
Amber’s debut, THE WAY I USED TO BE (Simon & Schuster/Margaret K. McElderry Books, Spring 2016), is a Young Adult contemporary novel. Eden was always good at being good. Band geek. Book nerd. Starting high school didn’t change that. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s whole world capsizes. She knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened. But she can’t. So she buries it instead. And she buries the way she used to be.
- Favorite book growing up: A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle.
- Childhood aspiration: A writer…or a veterinarian.
- Favorite time of day/place to write: Either very early in the morning or very late at night.
- Favorite things to do (other than reading): Making art, drinking coffee, having long conversations with friends, and spending lots of time with her amazing dogs.
- Book currently reading/most recently read: ABOUT GRACE by Anthony Doerr
- Surprising personal fact: She has named every car she’s ever owned after great women writers and artists she admires. “Syliva” was an ’87 Dodge, “Virginia” was a ’96 Ford, “Frida” was an ’02 Daewoo, and “Emily” is her current car, a 2010 Toyota.
- Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: It is an incredible thing to finally be able to share something that had existed for so long only in her own private world—She has to pinch herself everyday just to make sure she’s not dreaming!
Where to find her:
2016 covers reveals are as plentiful as flowers this season. Check out this garden of lovely!
Laurie Elizabeth Flynn debuted her celebrated cover for FIRSTS with help from YA Highway on June 16th.
Seventeen-year-old Mercedes Ayres has an open-door policy when it comes to her bedroom, but only if the guy fulfills a specific criteria: he has to be a virgin. Mercedes lets the boys get their awkward, fumbling first times over with, and all she asks in return is that they give their girlfriends the perfect first time- the kind Mercedes never had herself.
Keeping what goes on in her bedroom a secret has been easy- so far. Her absentee mother isn’t home nearly enough to know about Mercedes’ extracurricular activities, and her uber-religious best friend, Angela, won’t even say the word “sex” until she gets married. But Mercedes doesn’t bank on Angela’s boyfriend finding out about her services and wanting a turn- or on Zach, who likes her for who she is instead of what she can do in bed.
When Mercedes’ perfect system falls apart, she has to find a way to salvage her reputation and figure out where her heart really belongs in the process. Funny, smart, and true-to-life, FIRSTS is a one-of-a-kind young adult novel about growing up.
Amber Smith’s beautifully explosive cover for THE WAY I USED TO BE was debuted on SimonTeen’s Tumblr on June 17th.
In the tradition of SPEAK, this extraordinary debut novel shares the unforgettable story of a young woman as she struggles to find strength in the aftermath of an assault.
Eden was always good at being good. Starting high school didn’t change who she was. But the night her brother’s best friend rapes her, Eden’s world capsizes.
What was once simple, is now complex. What Eden once loved–who she once loved–she now hates. What she thought she knew to be true, is now lies. Nothing makes sense anymore, and she knows she’s supposed to tell someone what happened but she can’t. So she buries it instead. Ah she buries the way she used to be.
Told in four parts–freshman, sophomore, junior, and senior year–this provocative debut reveals the deep cuts of trauma. But it also demonstrates one young woman’s strength as she navigates the disappointment and unbearable pains of adolescence, of first love and first heartbreak, of friendship broken and rebuilt, and while learning to embrace a power of survival she never knew she had hidden within her heart.
Heidi Heilig’s gorgeous cover for THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE was revealed on June 19th over at YA Books Central.
Heilig’s debut teen fantasy sweeps from modern-day New York City to nineteenth-century Hawaii to places of myth and legend. Sixteen-year-old Nix has sailed across the globe and through centuries aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. But when he gambles with her very existence, it all may be about to end.
The Girl from Everywhere, the first of two books, will dazzle readers of Sabaa Tahir, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman. Nix’s life began in Honolulu in 1868. Since then she has traveled to mythic Scandinavia, a land from the tales of One Thousand and One Nights, modern-day New York City, and many more places both real and imagined. As long as he has a map, Nix’s father can sail his ship, The Temptation, to any place, any time.
But now he’s uncovered the one map he’s always sought—1868 Honolulu, before Nix’s mother died in childbirth. Nix’s life—her entire existence—is at stake. No one knows what will happen if her father changes the past. It could erase Nix’s future, her dreams, her adventures . . . her connection with the charming Persian thief, Kash, who’s been part of their crew for two years. If Nix helps her father reunite with the love of his life, it will cost her her own.
The wonderfully creeptastic cover for Kali Wallace’s SHALLOW GRAVES was revealed courtesy of Epic Reads on June 22nd.
Breezy remembers leaving the party, the warm, wet grass under her feet, her cheek still stinging from a slap to the face. But when she wakes up, scared and pulling dirt from her mouth, a year has passed and she can’t explain the necklace of bruises around her neck. She also can’t explain the man lying at her grave, dead from her touch. Returning home seems impossible. Her parents and sisters have clearly grieved and struggled to move on, and Breezy can’t begin to answer their inevitable questions. Her heartbeat comes and goes, she doesn’t need to eat or drink, she can see the inky memories of murderers, and she can somehow pull on this dark guilt to kill them.
Haunted by the happy memories from her life and disgusted by the half-dead creature she’s become, Breezy embarks on a reckless quest to find answers and a dangerous healing magic…but the cure is as dark and terrible as the disease. Set in a gorgeous, terrifying world, Shallow Graves is a stunning novel about the heartbreaking trauma of a girl’s life cut short and her struggle to reconcile her humanity with the creature she’s become.
The first thing you’re going to want to know about me is: Am I a boy, or am I a girl?
Riley Cavanaugh is many things: Punk rock. Snarky. Rebellious. And gender fluid. Some days Riley identifies as a boy, and others as a girl. The thing is . . . Riley isn’t exactly out yet. And between starting a new school and having a congressman father running for reelection in uber-conservative Orange County, the pressure—media and otherwise—is building up in Riley’s so-called “normal” life.
On the advice of a therapist, Riley starts an anonymous blog to vent those pent-up feelings and tell the truth of what it’s REALLY like to be a gender-fluid teenager. But just as Riley’s starting to settle in at school—even developing feelings for a mysterious outcast—the blog goes viral, and an unnamed commenter discovers Riley’s real identity, threatening exposure. Riley must make a choice: walk away from what the blog has created—a lifeline, new friends, a cause to believe in—or stand up, come out, and risk everything.
The intense and lovely cover for ASSASSIN’S HEART by Sarah Ahiers was revealed on June 23rd by Epic Reads.
In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family.
Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.
Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay. With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance.
Kathryn Purdie revealed her gorgeous cover for the YA fantasy BURNING GLASS on June 24th over at Epic Reads.
Sonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer. Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.
But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself. As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray. BURNING GLASS is debut author Kathryn Purdie’s stunning tale of dangerous magic, heart-rending romance, and the hard-won courage it takes to let go.
Brittany Cavallaro revealed her beautiful cover for A STUDY IN CHARLOTTE on June 25th on Epic Reads.
The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.
From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.
Kathy MacMillan had her captivating cover reveal for SWORD AND VERSE on June 25th.
Raisa was only a child when she was kidnapped and enslaved in Qilara. Forced to serve in the palace of the king, she’s endured hunger, abuse, and the harrowing fear of discovery: everyone knows she is Arnath, but not that Raisa is a Learned One, a part of an Arnath group educated in higher order symbols. In Qilara, this language is so fiercely protected that only the King, the Prince, and Tutors are allowed to know it. So when the current Tutor-in-training is executed for sharing the guarded language with slaves, and Raisa is chosen to replace her, Raisa knows that—although she may have a privileged position among slaves—any slip-up could mean death. That would be challenging enough, but training alongside Prince Mati could be her real undoing. And when a romance blossoms between them, she’s suddenly filled with a dangerous hope for something she never before thought possible: more. Then she’s propositioned by the Resistance—an underground army of slaves—to help liberate the Arnath people. Joining the rebellion could mean freeing her people…but she’d also be aiding in the war against her beloved—an honorable man that she knows wants to help the slaves. Working against the one she loves—and a palace full of deadly political renegades—has some heady consequences.
Rebecca Podos revealed her haunting cover for THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES on June 26th with YA Book Central.
All Imogene Scott knows of her mother is the bedtime story her father told her as a child. It’s the story of how her parents met: he, a forensic pathologist, she, a mysterious woman who came to identify a body. A woman who left Imogene and her father when she was a baby, a woman who was always possessed by a powerful loneliness, a woman who many referred to as troubled waters. When Imogene is seventeen, her father, now a famous author of medical mysteries, strikes out in the middle of the night and doesn’t come back.
Neither Imogene’s stepmother nor the police know where he could’ve gone, but Imogene is convinced he’s looking for her mother. She decides to put to use the skills she’s gleaned from a lifetime of her father’s books to track down a woman she’s never known, in order to find him and, perhaps, the answer to the question she’s carried with her for her entire life. Rebecca Podos’ debut is a powerful, affecting story of the pieces of ourselves that remain mysteries even to us – the desperate search through empty spaces for something to hold on to.
Jeff Zentner revealed his amazingcover for THE SERPENT KING on June 30th on Publishing Crawl.
Dill has had to wrestle with vipers his whole life–at home, as the only son of a Pentecostal minister who urges him to handle poisonous rattlesnakes, and at school, as he faces down bullies who target him for his father’s extreme faith and his very pubic fall from grace.
The only antidote to all this venom is his friendship with fellow outcasts Travis and Lydia. But as they are starting their senior year, Dill feels the coils of his future tightening around him. Then end of high school will lead to new beginnings for Lydia, whose edgy fashion blog is her ticket out of their rural Tennessee town. And Travis is happy where his is thanks to his obsession with the epic book series Bloodfall and the fangirl who may be turning his harsh reality into real-life fantasy. But Dill’s only escape is his music and his secret feelings for Lydia–neither of which his is brave enough to share. Graduation feels more like an ending to Dill than a beginning. But even before then, Dill must cope with another ending–one which will rock his life to the core.
Patrick Samphire introduced his fantastic MG adventure cover for THE SECRETS OF THE DRAGON TOMB to the world on July 2nd.
Mars 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.
Ashley Herring Blake held her cover reveal for the very lovely SUFFER LOVE on July 7th with help from Jen over at Pop! Goes the Reader.
Seventeen-year old Hadley St. Clair’s life changed the day she came home to a front door covered in slips of paper, each of them shouting the ugly truth about her father and his year-long affair. Now, Hadley just wants her father to leave her alone. In fact, she wants everyone to stop expecting her to slip back into her old life, where a father is someone she can trust and romance is something that happens to real people, not just to characters in fairy tales. She knows how to handle herself – trust no one and feel nothing. She falls into a steady routine of ignoring her parents and messing around with nameless boys who help her forget.
Then she meets Sam, the new boy with a broken family and a little sister who adores him. Despite her efforts to shut him out, something in Sam feels familiar and even exciting. She might be willing to take a risk for a guy like him. Sam wants Hadley just as much as she wants him, even though he knows he shouldn’t. Because Sam has a secret that could ruin everything; a secret he’s been keeping since the day somebody taped dozens of papers to the St. Clair’s front door.
Catherine Lo revealed her drama-promising cover for HOW IT ENDS on July 7th over at YA Books Central.
How it begins…
“You’re in my English class, right?” I almost checked behind me to make sure she wasn’t talking to someone else.
How it unravels…
“You can be my best friend without being my only friend.” er words were knives raked along my skin. I could hear the goodbye in every syllable.
How it Ends.
Why should I keep her secrets when she didn’t keep mine? All it would take was one little click and a carefully worded message.
How it Ends is an honest, heart-wrenching tale of a friendship from first meeting to breakup. Told through alternating points of view, it is about two best friends’ tumultuous sophomore year of bullying, boys and backstabbing and what can happen when friends choose assumptions and fear over each other.
Laura Shovan revealed her inspiring MG cover for THE LAST FIFTH GRADE OF EMERSON ELEMENTARY on July 7th over on 100 Scope Notes.
one year of poems,
one school set to close.
Two yellow bulldozers
ready to eat the building
in one greedy gulp.
But look out, bulldozers.
Ms. Hill’s fifth-grade class
has plans for you.
They’re going to speak up
and work together
to save their school.
This engaging novel is a time capsule of one class’s poems during a transformative chhool year. The students grow up and move on in this big-hearted debut about finding your voice and making sure others hear it.
Ami Allen-Vath debuted her promtastic cover for LIARS AND LOSERS LIKE US on YA Books Central on July 8th.
Keep calm and make it to prom night—without a legit panic attack.
For seventeen-year-old Bree Hughes, it’s easier said than done when gossip, grief, and the opportunity to fail at love are practically high-fiving her in the hallways of Belmont High.
When Bree’s crush, Sean Mills, gives her his phone number, she can’t even leave a voicemail without sounding like a freak. Then she’s asked to be on Prom Court because Maisey Morgan, the school outcast nominated as a joke, declined. She apologizes to Maisey, but it’s too late. After years of torment and an ugly secret shared with their class’s cruel Pageant Queen, Maisey commits suicide. Bree is left with a lot of regret…and a revealing letter with a final request.
With Sean by her side, Bree navigates through her guilt, her parents’ divorce, and all the Prom Court drama. But when a cheating-love-triangle secret hits the fan after a night of sex, drinks, and video games, she’s left with new information about Sean and the class Pageant Queen. Bree must now speak up or stay silent. If she lets fear be her guide, she’ll lose her first love, and head to prom to avenge the death of the school outcast—as a party of one.
Sarah Alexander revealed the breathtaking cover for THE ART OF NOT BREATHING on July 7th over on YA Interrobang.
Things I know about that day:
1. Mum was at home making our chocolate birthday cake.
2. Dillon was swimming with the dolphins.
3. Eddie and I were wading close to shore.
4. One minute Eddie was there, and then he was gone.
Elsie Main lost her brother to the ocean when she was 11. Elsie has spent the last five years trying to remember what really happened that day – but when a boy named Tay introduces her to free diving, Elsie realizes that the answers she’s looking for may be at the bottom of the sea.
THE ART OF NOT BREATHING will hit shelves this spring from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. To tide you over, the team at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has given us a snippet from chapter eight to share with you.
When Jocelyn Steely was kidnapped by a North Korean spy agency, she was only a little girl. Young. Scared. Powerless.
Now, ten years later, she’s a ruthless assassin, determined to escape her kidnappers and take down North Korea and their spy agency forever. But when she makes it to US soil, she finds that not everyone believes her story. Will she be able to get the Americans to trust her? Or will the North Koreans discover her deception before she has a chance? In this life-or-death action-packed spy thriller, Meghan Rogers creates a teen girl character whose toughness, intelligence and determination rival Jason Bourne, Sydney Bristow and James Bond. This is the first novel in the Raven Files series.
Amy Allgeyer’s DIG TOO DEEP has a new publication date of April 1st, 2016. In Kentucky coal country, Liberty Briscoe uncovers a deadly truth that some would rather keep buried