Best of
Realistic-Fiction

2013

The Invisible Boy


Trudy Ludwig - 2013
    Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party... until, that is, a new kid comes to class.When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when Brian and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.From esteemed author and speaker Trudy Ludwig and acclaimed illustrator Patrice Barton, this gentle story shows how small acts of kindness can help children feel included and allow them to flourish. Any parent, teacher, or counselor looking for material that sensitively addresses the needs of quieter children will find The Invisible Boy a valuable and important resource. Includes backmatter with discussion questions and resources for further reading.

Game On!


Lincoln Peirce - 2013
    So when he suits up for any sport, he does it with an unmistakable swagger. From fine-tuning his trash-talking skills on the basketball court to his cocky ’tude in the soccer goal, Nate can be a bigger challenge to his teammates than their opponents. Enjoy Nate and his friends’ mostly hapless sports encounters through not-always-highlight-reel moments in the all-color Big Nate: Game On.  Includes poster.

Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me


Daniel Beaty - 2013
    Every morning, I play a game with my father.He goes knock knock on my door and I pretend to be asleep till he gets right next to the bed.And my papa, he tells me, "I love you."But what happens when, one day, that "knock knock" doesn't come? This powerful and inspiring book shows the love that an absent parent can leave behind, and the strength that children find in themselves as they grow up and follow their dreams.

Double Dork Diaries 2


Rachel Renée Russell - 2013
    Through sketches, doodles and diary entries Nikki spills the beans on everything from first crushes to BFF dramas, mean girls to bratty little sisters and, of course, all the mega-cringe moments that make her a dork-extraordinaire! In Pop Star Nikki's school is holding a talent competition and she can't wait to enter with her BFFs Chloe and Zoey, to have some fun and hopefully impress her super-crush Brandon too. But then Nikki finds out tht her arch-nemesis MacKenzie is entering the contest...Can a dork take on the most popular girl in school and win?In Skating Sensation Nikki tries to help her local animal shelter by raising money at an ice-skating fundraiser, the only problem? Nikki can't skate! Will she be able to transform from dork-on-ice to an ice-princess in time to save the shelter from closing for good?

Big Hair, Don't Care


Crystal Swain-Bates - 2013
    Designed to boost self-esteem and build confidence in kids of all races, this beautifully illustrated picture book is aimed at boys and girls who may need a reminder that it's ok to be different.

QB 1


Mike Lupica - 2013
    He is also the brother of Wyatt Cullen, who quarterbacked his team to the Texas State Championship last season--not to mention the son of former NFL quarterback and local legend, Troy Cullen. To be a Cullen in Texas is to be royalty . . . and a quarterback. All of which leaves 14-year-old Jake in a Texas-sized shadow, a tall order for any boy, especially one who's merely a freshman.While his teammates assume the starting job will be handed to Jake on a silver platter, the truth is that he has to fight for every snap and every ounce of respect. Jake may be a Cullen and he may play quarterback, but he is not his brother or his father. Being a good teammate comes naturally to Jake; being a winner and a celebrity does not. He's just like every other boy--awkward around a pretty girl, in awe of his famous family, and desperate to simultaneously blend in and cast his own shadow.Inspired by the real-life Manning family of quarterbacks (father Archie, Super Bowl-winning sons Peyton and Eli) and set amid the football-crazy culture of Texas immortalized in Friday Night Lights, QB 1 is a coming-of-age story perfect for the fan of MILLION-DOLLAR THROW, HEAT, and of course FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS."This is a wonderful book by a great writer.  All football fathers and sons will enjoy it."--Archie Manning

Middle School Millionaires


Roderick J. Robison - 2013
    But when the other schools and town facil-ities ask for recycling barrels too, their businesstakes off. They earn much more than pocket change.And the funny thing is, nobody but the janitors knowthe recycling barrels are owned by the two young en-trepreneurs. The money rolls in…but trouble follows.The principal suspects they’re up to something. Theeighth grade bully tries to capitalize on their new-found wealth. And the competition, the town’s largestrecycling contractor—tries to put them out of business.Their real trouble begins though, when the principal,superintendent of schools, and mayor learn the recyclingbarrels are owned by two middle school students. Theythink they’ve been misled; a suspension hearing ensues.Everything Kirk and Tommy have worked so hard for isin jeopardy. They’re on the brink of loosing it all—but ifthey can survive the ordeal, they just might become…Middle School Millionaires.

Cake Pop Crush


Suzanne Nelson - 2013
    They have to find ways to bring in new customers, especial after Perk Up, a big chain coffee and pastry shop, opens across the street. To make a bad matter worse, Dane, the cute new boy at school is the son of Perk Up’s CEO. She should hate him...but he’s really sort of sweet. How’s a girl supposed to deal? Ali begins to create incredible cake pops using her deceased mom’s cookbook.

Letting Ana Go


Anonymous - 2013
    But below the surface, she felt like she could never be good enough. Like she could never live up to the expectations that surrounded her. Like she couldn’t do anything to make a change.But there was one thing she could control completely: how much she ate. The less she ate, the better—stronger—she felt.But it’s a dangerous game, and there is such a thing as going too far…Her innermost thoughts and feelings are chronicled in the diary she left behind.

Golden Boy


Tara Sullivan - 2013
    Not the good brown skin his family has and not the white skin of tourists. Habo is strange and alone. His father, unable to accept Habo, abandons the family; his mother can scarcely look at him. His brothers are cruel and the other children never invite him to play. Only his sister Asu loves him well. But even Asu can’t take the sting away when the family is forced from their small Tanzanian village, and Habo knows he is to blame.Seeking refuge in Mwanza, Habo and his family journey across the Serengeti. His aunt is glad to open her home until she sees Habo for the first time, and then she is only afraid. Suddenly, Habo has a new word for himself: Albino. But they hunt Albinos in Mwanza because Albino body parts are thought to bring good luck. And soon Habo is being hunted by a fearsome man with a machete. To survive, Habo must not only run but find a way to love and accept himself.

Foul Trouble


John Feinstein - 2013
      Terrell Jamerson is the #1 high school basketball player in the country. His team is poised to win State, top colleges are lining up to give him scholarships, and everyone says he could play in the NBA tomorrow. But it only takes one false step to lose everything.   Danny Wilcox is Terrell’s best friend and teammate, and a top prospect himself, but these days it seems like everyone wants to get close to Terrell: the sneaker guys, the money managers, the college boosters. They show up offering fast cars, hot girls, and cold, hard cash. They say they just want to help, but their kind of help could get Terrell disqualified.   Danny and Terrell better keep their eyes on the ball if they hope to last the season.   John Feinstein has been praised as “the best writer of sports books in America today” (The Boston Globe), and he proves it again in this fast-paced novel.   “Thorough and suspenseful; a must-read for those interested in basketball and the dealings surrounding the sport.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred

OMG! All About Me Diary!


Rachel Renée Russell - 2013
    Narrate your very own Dork Diary with this write-in journal, filled with questions for every day and complete with art and quotes from Nikki Maxwell herself! As Nikki Maxwell knows, keeping a journal is a great way to get to know the most important person in your life: YOU! This special Dork Diaries guided journal features questions for every day of the year.If you could swap places with anyone for a day, who would it be and why? What song could you listen to 100 times? What TV show are you totally obsessed with right now and why? What’s the fiercest outfit in your closet? Put your personal spin on these questions and many more—and since this is an authentic Dork Diary, Nikki chimes in with her answers and artwork as well!

Fourteen Sundays


Bianca Salindong - 2013
    And no amount of wishes will ever bring her back. Just when they thought she left too soon without saying goodbye, James found out in her diary that she has been preparing for her death all along. This is a story about moving on, living through, and letting go. For in a world of broken promises and unanswered prayers, there will always be that tinge of hope that will make them believe in life again.

The Princess and the Foal


Stacy Gregg - 2013
    So when tragedy strikes at its heart, she is devastated.The Princess becomes ever more withdrawn until, on her birthday, the King gives her a life-changing present. An incredible new friendship grows and the heartbroken princess begins to dream of an extraordinary future.Inspired by the real-life story of Olympic equestrienne Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein and set against the exotic backdrop of Arabia, this novel is destined to become a modern classic.

Ginger


Kate Klimo - 2013
    Abruptly separated from her mother, littermates, and the wire cage that was her whole world, Ginger is shuttled from one harrowing situation to another until she finally escapes, living as an outlaw with a pack of wild dogs. But freedom doesn't feel so good once she becomes hungry and cold and sick. Will Ginger ever find a furever family to call her own? With realistic black-and-white illustrations by renowned illustrator Tim Jessel, and an appendix featuring information about puppy mills, breed rescue groups, animal shelters, choosing a pet, and the history of golden retrievers, dog-crazy early middle-grade readers will beg for more!

The Flavia de Luce Series 4-Book Bundle: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag, A Red Herring Without Mustard, I Am Half-Sick of Shadows


Alan Bradley - 2013
    Then, hours later, Flavia finds a man lying in the cucumber patch and watches him as he takes his dying breath. For Flavia, who is both appalled and delighted, life begins in earnest when murder comes to Buckshaw.  THE WEED THAT STRINGS THE HANGMAN’S BAG Flavia de Luce, a genius at investigating murders, thinks that her days of crime-solving in the bucolic English hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey are over—until puppeteer Rupert Porson has his own strings sizzled in an unfortunate rendezvous with electricity. But who’d do such a thing, and why? All clues point toward a suspicious death years earlier and a case the local constables can’t solve—without Flavia’s help. But in getting so close to who’s pulling the strings of this dance of death, has Flavia gotten in way over her head?  A RED HERRING WITHOUT MUSTARD In the hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey, the unflappable Flavia de Luce had asked a Gypsy woman to tell her fortune—never expecting to later stumble across the poor soul, bludgeoned almost to death in her own caravan. Was this an act of retribution by those convinced that the soothsayer abducted a local child years ago? As the red herrings pile up, Flavia must sort through clues fishy and foul to untangle dark deeds and dangerous secrets.  I AM HALF-SICK OF SHADOWS It’s Christmastime when a film crew arrives at Buckshaw, Flavia de Luce’s beloved home, to shoot a movie starring the famed Phyllis Wyvern. Amid a raging blizzard, the entire village of Bishop’s Lacey gathers to watch Wyvern perform, yet nobody is prepared for the evening’s shocking conclusion: a body found strangled to death with a length of film. Who among the assembled guests would stage such a chilling scene? As the storm worsens, Flavia must ferret out a killer hidden in plain sight.

If You Find Me


Emily Murdoch - 2013
    The trees keep guard over her threadbare existence, with the one bright spot being Carey’s younger sister, Jenessa, who depends on Carey for her very survival. All they have is each other, as their mentally ill mother comes and goes with greater frequency. Until that one fateful day their mother disappears for good, and two strangers arrive. Suddenly, the girls are taken from the woods and thrust into a bright and perplexing new world of high school, clothes and boys.Now, Carey must face the truth of why her mother abducted her ten years ago, while haunted by a past that won’t let her go… a dark past that hides many a secret, including the reason Jenessa hasn’t spoken a word in over a year. Carey knows she must keep her sister close, and her secrets even closer, or risk watching her new life come crashing down.

Shattered Hearts Series: Omnibus Edition


Cassia Leo - 2013
    She was saved once by her first love, and rock star, Chris Knight. But when she encouraged Chris to leave town to pursue his dreams, both Claire and Chris didn't realize it would be the biggest mistake of their lives.After a devastating year apart and thousands of miles of distance between them, Claire met sexy surfer Adam Parker. With his awful jokes and profound patience, he helped Claire pick up the shattered pieces of her broken heart for the second time.Claire finds herself torn between the new, passionate love she shares with Adam and the familiar love and family she shares with Chris.

True Story


Ni-Ni Simone - 2013
    Her freshman year at Stiles University turned out to be a tug of war for her heart and her sophomore year promised more of the same. Just when she'd sworn off her ex-boyfriend, Josiah Whitaker, and thought she'd never love him again, he boldly stepped back into her life, with no regard that she'd moved on with Zaire St. James, her new boyfriend.Caught off guard and thrust into a whirlwind of emotion, Seven no longer knows if she should stay or go. . . All she knows is that old feelings won't die, her new love is being ruined by lies, and the fairy tale she once dreamed of may never become her true story.Praise for Ni-Ni Simone"Smart and cutting, full of clever comebacks." --Kirkus on No Boyz Allowed"This is creative, innovative, and important storytelling for today's urban teen readership." --Library Journal on Teenage Love Affair

Saving the Team


Alex Morgan - 2013
    If she hadn’t just left Connecticut to move across the country, she would have been named seventh-grade captain on her school soccer team. But now that Devin is starting seventh grade in Kentville, California, all bets are off. After all, some of the best players on the US national team come from California. She’s sure to have stiff competition. Or so she thinks. When Devin shows up for tryouts, she discovers that the Kentville Kangaroos—otherwise known as the Kicks—are an absolute mess. Their coach couldn’t care less whether the girls win or lose. And Devin is easily one of the most talented players. The good news is, Devin quickly makes friends with funny, outgoing Jessi; shy but sweet Zoe; and klutzy Emma. Can Devin and her newfound friends pull together and save the team from itself?

And the Mountains Echoed Free Preview


Khaled Hosseini - 2013
     An unforgettable novel about finding a lost piece of yourself in someone else. Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.

Serendipity and Me


Judith L. Roth - 2013
    She surrounds herself with pictures of cats, stuffed cats, even cat-headed slippers. But she’s never been allowed to have a real cat of her own. Her father has always told her no, for reasons he won’t explain. So when a fluffy snowball of a kitten darts through their front door and into her life, Sara believes her dream might finally come true. But convincing her father to break his strict No Cats policy seems impossible. She has less than a week to persuade him that this kitten is exactly what their lonely, broken family of two needs to heal. Told in lyrical, spare verse, Serendipity & Me is a sparkling novel that elegantly handles the topic of loss for a middle grade audience.

The Fog Within


Nick Shamhart - 2013
    She calls it the fog because it is an intangible force that intrudes and affects every moment of her day, from childhood on through adulthood. “The Fog Within” is the story of Megan’s life. It is the story of autism as seen through her eyes – seen through a fog.

Winger


Andrew Smith - 2013
    He’s living in Opportunity Hall, the dorm for troublemakers, and rooming with the biggest bully on the rugby team. And he’s madly in love with his best friend Annie, who thinks of him as a little boy.With the help of his sense of humor, rugby buddies, and his penchant for doodling comics, Ryan Dean manages to survive life’s complications and even find some happiness along the way. But when the unthinkable happens, he has to figure out how to hold on to what’s important, even when it feels like everything has fallen apart.Filled with hand-drawn info-graphics and illustrations and told in a pitch-perfect voice, this realistic depiction of a teen’s experience strikes an exceptional balance of hilarious and heartbreaking.

Swagger


Carl Deuker - 2013
    It was the best thing about him, and it was the worst, too. When high school senior Jonas moves to Seattle, he is glad to meet Levi, a nice, soft-spoken guy and fellow basketball player. Suspense builds like a slow drumbeat as readers start to smell a rat in Ryan Hartwell, a charismatic basketball coach and sexual predator. When Levi reluctantly tells Jonas that Hartwell abused him, Jonas has to decide whether he should risk his future career to report the coach. Pitch-perfect basketball plays, well-developed characters, and fine storytelling make this psychological sports novel a slam dunk.

Perfectly Flawed


Nessa Morgan - 2013
    I had friends that loved me, an aunt who adored me, and everything was just okay.But what I thought was okay and fine, all of that changed.The nightmares, well, they started again, throwing me into a pit I couldn't climb out of, the people at school were spreading and starting rumors faster than I could hear them myself, and I was remembering...I was remembering everything.Well, almost everything. Some things wouldn't come to mind, like why he did it. Why my father killed them, why he tried to kill me? It's not there. Nowhere near my memory.But I'm determined to find out.My name is Joey and this is my story.Joey Archembault is the typical sixteen-year old Junior. She's an overachiever by nature, in her school orchestra, and spends most of her time either doing homework or hanging with the boy next door.Well, typical wouldn't be the word most would use with her. Freak, psycho, that's more what's heard around the school. She can't help it - it's not her fault her father killed her mother, brother, and sister nine years ago. Oh, and he tried to kill her as well, she has the scars to prove it. Joey tries to move on as best she can. It's easy when she can't remember anything about that night or her life before.One day, the self-proclaimed heartthrob asks her out. She knows she should tell him no, but when that doesn't work, and he tricks her into a date by serenading her - twice - things go south, she calls her best friend Zephyr to pick her up, and she once again tries to move on. But it triggers something inside her. It unlocks a vault she never knew existed within her and she can't stop the memories or the feelings, nor can she even begin to decipher what happened to her years ago. Soon, the puzzle begins to piece together and she begins to understand what really happened that night and why she's alone. Couple that with a blooming relationship with the boy next door and it's all a recipe for destruction.

WeirDo


Anh Do - 2013
    With an unforgettable name, a crazy family, and some seriously weird habits, fitting in won't be easy . . . but it will be funny!

Moon Bear


Gill Lewis - 2013
    He hates seeing the cruel way the bears are treated, but speaking up will mean losing his job. And if he can't send money home, how will his family survive?

This Journal Belongs to Ratchet


Nancy J. Cavanaugh - 2013
    Ratchet tells her story through the assignments in her homeschool journal.If only getting a new life were as easy as getting a new notebook.But it's not.It's the first day of school for all the kids in the neighborhood. But not for me. I'm homeschooled. That means nothing new. No new book bag, no new clothes, and no friends – old or new. The best I've got is this notebook. I'm supposed to use it for my writing assignments, but my dad never checks. Here's what I'm really going to use it for:Ratchet's Top Secret PlanProject Goal: turn my old, recycled, freakish, friendless, motherless life into something shiny and new.This year, I'm going make something change.

Her


Felicia Johnson - 2013
    Kristen loves her family. She works hard academically, and tries to please her mother. She takes on the additional responsibility of caring for her twin siblings, Nick and Alison. She idealizes her best friend, Lexus, who not only seems to lead the perfect life, but also catches the attention of John, the boy Kristen secretly loves. However, as is the case with many teenagers, Kristen feels frustrated, isolated, and confused.In other ways, Kristen is not like other kids her age. She knows something is wrong with her. Kristen feels like an utter failure. She is unable to please her abrasive mother, and scared to confront Jack, her abusive stepfather. She is also unable to protect Nick from Jack, making her fell all the more helpless. Adding to her problems, she knows she will never be as beautiful as her best friend Lexus. Kristen finds solace in self-injury, and the company of Mr. Sharp, her imaginary friend who encourages her feelings of self-loathing.After a failed suicide attempt, Kristen is placed in the Bent Creek mental hospital, where she is diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. While in the hospital, she meets a group of peers suffering with their own mental illnesses, and a compassionate staff of doctors and counselors. From there, Kristen begins her journey to survival. She discovers the circumstances that brought her to this breaking point, struggles to understand her mental illness, and fights to be a survivor against her own worst enemy: her self-blame.Kristen’s tale of endurance illustrates the complex illness of Borderline Personality Disorder. Readers – including those suffering from BPD and their friends and family – can glean insight into the illness from Kristen’s humanity. Her story is an example of how, if we try to push the past away, we are either doomed to repeat it or let it haunt us to our graves.

The Girl from Felony Bay


J.E. Thompson - 2013
    He’s in a coma after his accident a year back, wherein he was framed for a terrible crime he didn’t commit. And their home, Reward Plantation, an idyllic spot on the eastern coast of South Carolina, had to be sold to pay off his debt to society. Abbey is stuck living with her uncle Charlie, who, even in the few hours a day when he’s sober, ain’t exactly your ideal parental role model.But it turns out the new family that moved into Abbey’s old house has a daughter named Bee. And she’s just as curious about all the No Trespassing signs and holes being dug out by Felony Bay, in the corner of what used to be Abbey’s home. It appears someone’s been poking around a mystery that dates all the way back to the Civil War—and it just might be the same someone who framed Abbey’s dad.Fresh, funny, and heartwarming, Girl from Felony Bay is the perfect book for fans of Rebecca Stead’s Liar & Spy and Sheila Turnage’s Three Times Lucky.

Just a Little Series: Part Two


Tracie Puckett - 2013
    And Luke wasn’t going to hurt me again. Period. Gone are the days of simple crushes and subtle stares. Life has given Julie an even bigger problem: she’s stuck in a romantic-rut with absolutely zero certainties. She’s fallen in love with a man she can barely communicate with, she’s praying for another to make his triumphant return home to Oakland, and no one quite understands the true extent of her heartache. But when a prison break puts a dangerous convict on the loose, Julie is faced with making some of the biggest decisions of her life once and for all—love life included, and the aftermath of her decisions threaten to haunt her for a lifetime. With Charlie, Matt, Bruno, Derek, and Luke at her side, she seems to have no shortage of men to help save her from her fears and insecurities. But only one man steps up to the challenge, and he’s the only one who has what it takes to carry her through the darkest days of her life.

Invisible Girl


Kate Maryon - 2013
    She wasn’t invisible back then…For fans of Cathy Cassidy and Jacqueline Wilson, a stunning new novel from the author of SHINE, GLITTER, SEA OF STARS and A MILLION ANGELS.“What’s strange is that the day it actually happened, everything seemed so normal.”Caught between arguing parents and moving house, twelve-year-old Gabriella somehow slips through the cracks. Now she’s more alone than ever before. The city streets are no place for young girls but they’re all she’s got.Unless she can find her brother Beckett.Unless she can find her home.

Lost in London


Cindy Callaghan - 2013
    So when she gets the chance to take part in a London exchange program, she's thrilled to ditch her small town in Delaware and see the world across the pond.Unfortunately, Jordan's host sister in London, Caroline, isn't exactly enthusiastic about entertaining an American girl. Despite the chilly welcome, Jordan finds herself loving the city and Caroline's group of friends, who are much nicer than Caroline herself.And then a major misstep leaves Jordan and Caroline trapped together overnight—inside Daphne's, the world's largest department store. Given they have complete access to all the fancy shoes, designer dresses, and coolest makeup around, there are worse places to be stuck. But when the girls' fun has not-so-fun consequences, Jordan's wish for excitement abroad turns into a lot more than she ever bargained for...

The Boy and the Airplane


Mark Pett - 2013
    When a little boy’s prized toy airplane lands on a rooftop, he makes several rescue attempts before devising an unexpected solution.

My Friend Suhana


Shaila M. Abdullah - 2013
    The girl finds that through her art, she can reach her special friend Suhana. "My Friend Suhana is a delightful read for a children's book. Very well illustrated with respect, friendship, and advocacy all in mind at the same time." --Dawn Cruzan, President, Camp Craig Allen for all abilities "This is the story of a seven-year-old's first attempt at unconditional love. Tough but tender, inspirational yet utterly real, this is a small gem of a tale. Highly recommended for anyone in the position of mentoring a beloved child through the hard places of life." --Paula Huston, author of "A Season of Mystery" and "A Land Without Sin" "My Friend Suhana is a charming and perceptive book that will draw its readers into empathy while allowing them to enjoy this heartwarming story of two uncommon friends." --Chitra Divakaruni, author of "Grandma and the Great Gourd" Learn more at www.MyFriendSuhana.com From the Growing With Love Series at www.LHPress.com

Nickel Bay Nick


Dean Pitchford - 2013
    Schmidt, this heartfelt coming-of-age story will make you believe in the power of second chances. Eleven-year-old Sam Brattle is already having the worst Christmas ever – his dad’s bakery is going bankrupt and his mom is spending the holidays with her new family. To make things worse, Nickel Bay Nick, the anonymous Good Samaritan who leaves hundred-dollar bills around Nickel Bay at Christmastime, is a no-show, so this year the rest of the town is as miserable as Sam. When he stumbles upon the secret identity of this mysterious do-gooder, Sam is stunned to learn that he might now be his town’s only hope. But before he can rescue Nickel Bay, Sam has to learn the skills of a spy and unravel some even darker secrets that will change his life forever.

Force Out


Tim Green - 2013
    They're also two of the best baseball players in their league, and shoo-ins for the all-star team at the end of the season. Their dream is to play together on the Center State select team, and they will do anything to help each other get there.So when Zach is forced to go on an extra-credit field trip that would make him miss the championship game and his chances to move on, Joey comes up with a risky plan to bail him out. Everything should be fine—as long as no one finds out what they did.Then the unthinkable happens: The boys learn there's only one open spot on the select team. Suddenly Joey and Zach go from being best friends to biggest rivals, and Joey has to decide his next move. He can play the biggest game of his life, or he can use their secret to force Zach out. How far should Joey go to win?In this tense, action-packed story that takes an increasingly common dilemma in competitive sports to new heights, former NFL defensive end Tim Green perfectly captures the kids who will push themselves to the limit to compete—even if it means putting everything on the line.

The Boy in the Woods


Katherine A. Ganzel - 2013
    Ripping away everything she’s ever known, he takes her far from her home in the big city to live on the rural family estate. With a spoiled and stuck up older cousin the only other young person in the home, Jess struggles to adjust to her new life of loneliness and quiet isolation. While exploring the woods surrounding her home one day, she stumbles upon a mysterious boy. Desperate for a friend, she's instantly drawn to him, but he's deeply distrustful and wants nothing to do with her. Sneaking away to see him, she works hard to break through his walls and slowly gains his trust. As time passes, their bond grows from forbidden friendship into something more, but the threat they'll be caught looms closer. How far will Jess have to go to protect the boy she's fallen in love with? Or will her uncle find out about them before she can escape his control? The Boy in the Woods is a mysterious and poignant coming of age novel set in the late 1950’s, with the same classic feel as A Little Princess and The Secret Garden. As one of the top ten most read historical fiction stories on the popular reading website Wattpad.com, it’s already loved by tens of thousands of readers. This compelling story is twice the length of the average young adult novel, and is appropriate for ages 14 to adult.

The Missing Collection: Found; Sent; Sabotaged; Torn; Caught


Margaret Peterson Haddix - 2013
    But when sinister messages start to suggest an unimaginable secret in his past, Jonah and his sister, Katherine, are swept up in an adventure greater than time itself. Because Jonah isn’t just any kid—he’s one of the famous missing children from history. And if he and his friends can’t fix the past, then the future—and the present—are in grave danger…Ideal for newcomers to the series and loyal fans alike, this collection of the first five books in The Missing series includes Found, Sent, Sabotaged, Torn, and Caught.

Gaby, Lost and Found


Angela Cervantes - 2013
    Having the newest cell phone or fancy clothes isn't important, but I'd like to have a cat that I can talk to when I'm home alone." Gaby Ramirez Howard loves volunteering at the local animal shelter. She plays with the kittens, helps to obedience train the dogs, and writes adoption advertisements so that the strays who live there can find their forever homes: places where they'll be loved and cared for, no matter what. Gaby has been feeling like a bit of a stray herself, lately. Her mother has recently been deported to Honduras and Gaby is stuck living with her inattentive dad. She's confident that her mom will come home soon so that they can adopt Gaby's favorite shelter cat together. When the cat's original owners turn up at the shelter, however, Gaby worries that her plans for the perfect family are about to fall apart.

Ask My Mood Ring How I Feel


Diana López - 2013
    She's happy when she hangs out with her best friends, the Robins. She's jealous that her genius little sister skipped two grades. And she's passionate about the crushes on her Boyfriend Wish list. And when Erica's mom is diagnosed with breast cancer, she feels worried and doesn't know what she can do to help.When her family visits a cuarto de milagros, a miracle room in a famous church, Erica decides to make a promesa to God in exchange for her mom's health. As her mom gets sicker, Erica quickly learns that juggling family, friends, school, and fulfilling a promesa is stressful, but with a little bit of hope and a lot of love, she just might be able to figure it out.Confetti Girl author Diana Lopez returns with this sweet, funny, and utterly honest story about being a girl in a world full of good (and bad) surprises.

Serafina's Promise


Ann E. Burg - 2013
    She wants to go to schooland become a doctorwith her best friend, Julie Marie.But in their rural villageoutside Port-au-Prince, Haiti,many obstaclesstand in Serafina’s way--little money,never-ending chores,and Manman’s worries.More powerful eventhan all of theseare the heavy rainsand the shaking earththat test Serafina’s resolvein ways she never dreamed.At once heartbreaking and hopeful,this exquisitely crafted storywill leave a lasting impressionon your heart.

What I Don't Know Might Hurt Me


Jim Benton - 2013
    Great.And, of course, it couldn't be something interesting like nail polish or why maybe there should be a special class in nail polish and how to get it out of your beagle's ear. (Mom, if you're reading this, I'm not admitting anything. Somebody else could have painted a heart in his ear.)Angeline just had to be aware of one of those THINGS THAT ADULTS LIKE.

Jumped In


Patrick Flores-Scott - 2013
    Don't ever look the teacher in the eye. Develop your blank stare. Since his mom left, he has become an expert in the art of slacking, especially since no one at his new school gets his intense passion for the music of the Pacific Northwest—Nirvana, Hole, Sleater-Kinney. Then his English teacher begins a slam poetry unit and Sam gets paired up with the daunting, scarred, clearly-a-gang-member Luis, who happens to sit next to him in every one of his classes. Slacking is no longer an option—Luis will destroy him. Told in Sam's raw voice and interspersed with vivid poems, Jumped In by Patrick Flores-Scott is a stunning debut novel about differences, friendship, loss, and the power of words.

Out of Nowhere


Maria Padian - 2013
    But life in his idyllic small Maine town quickly gets turned upside down after the events of 9/11. Enniston has become a “secondary migration” location for Somali refugees, who are seeking a better life after their country was destroyed by war—they can no longer go home. Tom hasn’t thought much about his Somali classmates until four of them join the soccer team, including Saeed. He comes out of nowhere on the field to make impossible shots, and suddenly the team is winning, dominating even; but when Saeed’s eligibility is questioned and Tom screws up in a big way, he’s left to grapple with a culture he doesn’t understand and take responsibility for his actions. Saeed and his family came out of nowhere and vanish just as quickly. And Tom may find himself going nowhere, too, if he doesn’t start trying to get somewhere.

The Grover Beach Companion Books


Piper Shelly - 2013
    And tonight she's going to be there.Liza Matthews anticipates the return of her best friend and only love since kindergarten from soccer camp. But when Tony finally shows up, his mind is more focused on another girl. And worse, she's a soccer player. Fighting for the attention Liza craves, she's just a hairbreadth away from making a very stupid decision. But when extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, she's prepared to play ball to get her man.The tryouts are hell, the first match ends bloody, and the morning after the selection party, she wakes up in the worst place possible—in the arms of the school's infamous playboy. Ryan Hunter.He's the captain of the soccer team, and he met his match.Ryan Hunter kissed more girls than he cares to remember. But the only one he ever wanted is in love with his best friend. Watching Liza Matthews’ obsession with Tony Mitchell is a torture Ryan conceals from everyone. Until after a five-week soccer camp, where Tony gets involved with someone else, things suddenly take a different turn. Ryan knows if he doesn’t make a move now and grab his chance, he might never get another. Asked by Tony to distract Liza, Ryan is only too happy. He subtly seduces her first into his soccer team and later on to his party. He does all in his power to make her see that he’s not just an insufferable playboy but a guy who really cares about her. Some one-on-one soccer training, a passionate kiss—things seem to be going the way he wants. Except Ryan didn’t reckon on his best friend showing up at the worst possible moment and destroying everything…Get one story told from both sides in two different books. All combined in this lovely special edition.

Gone Fishing: A Novel in Verse


Tamera Will Wissinger - 2013
    Sibling rivalry, the bond between father and son, the excitement – and difficulty -- of fishing all add up to a day of adventure any child would want to experience. Matthew Cordell illuminates this novel-in-verse throughout with his energetic black-and-white line drawings. While each poem can be read and enjoyed on its own, the poems work together to create a story arc with conflict, crisis, resolution and character growth. The back matter of this book equips the reader with a Poet's Tackle Box of tools and definitions for understanding the various poetic forms the author uses in this story.

Words with Wings


Nikki Grimes - 2013
    However, what began as an escape from her parents’ arguments has now taken over her life. But with the help of a new teacher, Gabby the dreamer might just become Gabby the writer, and words that carried her away might allow her to soar. Written in vivid, accessible poems, this remarkable verse novel is a celebration of imagination, of friendship, of one girl’s indomitable spirit, and of a teacher’s ability to reach out and change a life.Nikki Grimes has been awarded a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award. Words with Wings has been named a 2014 ALSC Notable Children's Book in the middle readers category.

The Vow


Jessica Martinez - 2013
    How can a guy and a girl really be best friends?Then the summer before senior year, Mo’s father loses his job, and by extension his work visa. Instantly, life for Annie and Mo crumbles. Although Mo has lived in America for most of his life, he’ll be forced to move to Jordan. The prospect of leaving his home is devastating, and returning to a world where he no longer belongs terrifies him.Desperate to save him, Annie proposes they tell a colossal lie—that they are in love. Mo agrees because marrying Annie is the only way he can stay. Annie just wants to keep her best friend, but what happens when it becomes a choice between saving Mo and her own chance at real love?

Takedown


Allison van Diepen - 2013
    Two years later, Darren’s finally out of juvie—and determined to get even.Working as an informant for the police, Darren infiltrates Diamond Tony’s operation. But falling for sweet, innocent Jessica was not part of that plan. She’s a distraction—and a liability. She’s also everything Darren dreamed about while he was locked up, and with her, he has the promise of a fresh start.When a deadly turf war breaks out between Diamond Tony and the Bloods, Darren gets caught in the crossfire. The cops think he’s playing both sides, and any mistake could be his last. Darren has to stay on his game if he’s going to protect Jessica—and if he’s going to stay alive.

You and Me and the Space In Between


Phyllis Reynolds Naylor - 2013
    Big parties (senior prom!). Big heartache (Patrick is in college—halfway across the country!). Alice needs to step up in a big way—to weather unexpected storms of all sorts. This compilation of three Alice titles includes Alice in Charge, Incredibly Alice, and Alice on Board.

Haggard Hawk


Douglas Watkinson - 2013
    Hawk is a witty and volcanic English ex-copper with four grown up children scattered across the world. He was ‘required to retire’, as the British so delicately put it. In truth he was sacked. And just as he’s about to go mad with boredom one of his neighbours does him the courtesy of being murdered. The local police warn Hawk against interfering in their inquiry, but he can’t help himself and pretty soon he’s back where he belongs – catching a killer.

Little League: Play Ball!


Matt Christopher - 2013
    Now, their team is on the verge of winning the greatest championship of all: the Little League Baseball World Series. To reach the title match, however, they must first beat their number one rivals from Southern California. Little do they know that the game will prove to be just the first challenge they'll face on their road to the championships.

Mountain Dog


Margarita Engle - 2013
    It is a daunting move—Tony's new world bears no semblance to his previous one. But slowly, against a remote and remarkable backdrop, the scars from Tony's troubled past begin to heal.With his Tió and a search-and-rescue dog named Gabe by his side, he learns how to track wild animals, is welcomed to the Cowboy Church, and makes new friends at the Mountain School. Most importantly though, it is through Gabe that Tony discovers unconditional love for the first time, in Mountain Dog by Margarita Engle. A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2013

Paperboy


Vince Vawter - 2013
    He can barely say a word without stuttering, not even his own name. So when he takes over his best friend's paper route for the month of July, he knows he'll be forced to communicate with the different customers, including a housewife who drinks too much and a retired merchant marine who seems to know just about everything. The paper route poses challenges, but it's a run-in with the neighborhood junkman, a bully and thief, that stirs up real trouble--and puts the boy's life, as well as that of his family's devoted housekeeper, in danger.

The Year of Luminous Love


Lurlene McDaniel - 2013
    When she meets a handsome cowboy, she welcomes the diversion and finds herself believing in love at first sight. but their second meeting leaves her questioning her true feelings about everything.Arie has battled health issues since her childhood, and now she is determined to regain her physical and mental strength. Working with a new horse seems like the perfect solution, but when she confides her deepest secret to a handsome and kindhearted horse trainer—a secret she hasn't revealed to her family or even her two best friends—there are surprising results.Eden's boyfriend, Tony, is older and has money; he's also jealous and controlling. But she'd much rather stay with him than at home with her unreliable mother. Of course, he can't fill the role her best girlfriends do, and that makes him resentful. As Tony grows more demanding, Eden becomes scared. She must break free from this toxic relationship.When Ciana finds a new direction for her life—one she'd never dreamed possible—she is able to offer Arie and Eden reprieve from their difficult situations. Together, the three embark on the experience of a lifetime.

The Singing River (Legend #1)


R.K. Ryals - 2013
    Ryals In Mississippi, there's a legend about a Singing River, a tragic love story that ended with an entire Indian tribe singing a death chant as they marched stoically into the Pascagoula River to die ... At eighteen, Haven Ambrose isn't just a high school graduate. In her head, she's an aspiring writer, a traveler, a chef, a slayer of injustice, an astronomer, an archaeologist, and the love child of a famous, rich musician. But reality is harsher. Reality is overdue bills, a crumbling trailer, an absent father, an old addiction, and a hot, crushing summer that may end in disappointment. For twenty year-old River Brayden, life seems good, but appearances can be deceiving. The oldest son of a wealthy family, he has finished his first year at Harvard to return home for the summer only to discover his younger brother headed down an unforgiving road. They will be drawn together by a song. For during the late summer, they say the Pascagoula death chant can still be heard near the Singing River. Its call is haunting, its chant a testament of love and sacrifice. It calls to some ... beckoning.

What Goes Around: Cracked Up to Be / Some Girls Are


Courtney Summers - 2013
    In Cracked Up To Be, Perfect Parker Fadley isn’t so perfect anymore. She’s quit the cheerleading squad, she’s dumped her perfect boyfriend, and she’s failing school. Her parents are on a constant suicide watch and her counselors think she’s playing games…but what they don’t know, the real reason for this whole mess, is that a horrible thing has happened and it just might be her fault. In Some Girls Are, climbing to the top of the social ladder is hard--falling from it is even harder. Regina Afton used to be a member of the Fearsome Fivesome. And just like the other members of this all girl clique, she was both feared and revered by the students of Hallowell High... that is until vicious rumors about her and her best friend's boyfriend start going around.

The Milk of Birds


Sylvia Whitman - 2013
    Nawra cannot read or write, but when a nonprofit organization called Save the Girls pairs her with an American donor, Nawra dictates her thank-you letters. Putting her experiences into words begins to free her from her devastating past—and to brighten the path to her future.K. C. is an American teenager from Richmond, Virginia, who hates reading and writing—or anything that smacks of school. But as Nawra pours grief and joy into her letters, she inspires K. C. to see beyond her own struggles. And as K. C. opens her heart in her responses to Nawra, she becomes both a dedicated friend and a passionate activist for Darfur.In this poetic tale of unlikely sisterhood, debut author Sylvia Whitman captures the friendship between two girls who teach each other compassion and share a remarkable bond that bridges two continents.

Because of You


Sam Mariano - 2013
    Add to that a never-present father with more affection for his beer bottle than his daughter, and a too-hot-for-his-own-good surviving son of the victim of said “accident,” and you have a problem—or at least, Nicole Harmon certainly does.When the surviving son, Derek Noble, sees an unsavory opportunity for revenge in the form of a heated one-night-stand, he decides to take it. It is intended to be an unkind but relatively uneventful interlude, but turns into the catalyst that unknowingly casts Derek and Nikki into the shadow of their parents’ sordid past.What begins as a hateful game of revenge soon evolves into something they never expected and a love neither of them ever wanted. With the fragments of Derek and Nikki’s parents and their own tumultuous past hanging over their heads, the second generation of star-crossed lovers begin a love story all of their own.This edition has a different ending--there is no longer an epilogue.Recommended 18+ for some sexual content and mature situations

Paparazzi Princesses


Bria Williams - 2013
    Fame and red carpet events. Front row concert tickets and expensive parties. That’s the good stuff… but being the daughter of a music mogul or a famous rapper isn’t easy. Welcome to the world of the Paparazzi Princesses.Step inside the lives of Kayla Jones and Promise Walker. As the daughters of two legends of rap music, trips, cash, designer labels and famous friends are just business as usual for Kayla and Promise. But so are the high expectations of super-successful parents, the drama of having two-faced friends, the not-always welcome glare of constant media attention and the hurt of nasty gossip. Add to that the ugly reality that some people would do anything to take their parents down—and Kayla and Promise face a daily struggle to figure out who to trust when every one of them is blinded by their dad’s power. To make matters worse, sometimes, they’re not even sure of each other!

The Fifty-First State


Lisa Borders - 2013
    As they learn their family's history, Josh and Hallie will invite disaster into their lives, and will learn, together, to navigate its currents, keeping further losses at bay.Lisa Borders is the author of Cloud Cuckoo Land, winner of the Fred Bonnie Award for Best First Novel and fiction honors in the Massachusetts Book Awards.

Yes! We Are Latinos: Poems and Prose About the Latino Experience


Alma Flor Ada - 2013
    Felipe lives in Chicago and is Panamanian, Venezuelan, and black. Michiko lives in Los Angeles and is Peruvian and Japanese. Each of them is also Latino.Thirteen young Latinos and Latinas living in America are introduced in this book celebrating the rich diversity of the Latino and Latina experience in the United States. Free-verse fictional narratives from the perspective of each youth provide specific stories and circumstances for the reader to better understand the Latino people’s quest for identity. Each profile is followed by nonfiction prose that further clarifies the character’s background and history, touching upon important events in the history of the Latino American people, such as the Spanish Civil War, immigration to the US, and the internment of Latinos with Japanese ancestry during World War II.Alma Flor Ada and F. Isabel Campoy’s informational yet heartwarming text provides a resource for young Latino readers to see themselves, while also encouraging non-Latino children to understand the breadth and depth of the contributions made by Latinos in the US. Caldecott Medalist David Diaz’s hand-cut illustrations are bold and striking, perfectly complementing the vibrant stories in the book.YES! WE ARE LATINOS stands alone in its presentation of the broad spectrum of Latino culture and will appeal to readers of fiction and nonfiction.

Razia's Ray of Hope: One Girl's Dream of an Education


Elizabeth Suneby - 2013
    When a new girls' school opens in the village, a determined Razia must convince her father and oldest brother that educating her would be best for her, their family and their community. Razia's Ray of Hope is the latest inspiring story from the?CitizenKid collection. It is based on the true stories of the?students of the Zabuli Education Center for Girls just outside?of Kabul, founded by a generous and resourceful woman named?Razia Jan, a CNN hero, who also appears in the story.

The Saturday Boy


David Fleming - 2013
    For the wolfman it's a silver bullet. For Superman it's kryptonite. For me it was a letter. With one letter, my dad was sent back to Afghanistan to fly Apache helicopters for the U.S. army. Now all I have are his letters. Ninety-one of them to be exact. I keep them in his old plastic lunchbox—the one with the cool black car on it that says Knight Rider underneath. Apart from my comic books, Dad's letters are the only things I read more than once. I know which ones to read when I'm down and need a pick-me-up. I know which ones will make me feel like I can conquer the world. I also know exactly where to go when I forget Mom's birthday. No matter what, each letter always says exactly what I need to hear. But what I want to hear the most is that my dad is coming home.

A Christmas to Remember


Katie Flynn - 2013
    Albert chases the boys away, and though Tess does not realise it, this incident changes her life.Tess lives with her grandmother, Edie, in a small flat on Heyworth Street in Norwich.She has recently returned from Bell Farm, where she was evacuated during the war, and is being bullied by her schoolmates, but when the handsome Snowy White comes to her rescue she thinks her troubles are over, and returns for a working holiday to Bell Farm and her old friend Jonty.This leaves Edie to her own devices, however, and Tess is jealous of the friendship which blossoms between her grandmother and the tobacconist.Yet though Tess resents Albert, it is to him she turns when things start to go wrong…

Binny for Short


Hilary McKay - 2013
    But after her father’s sudden death, money is tight, and Aunty Violet decides to give Max away—he is just too big for their cramped new life. Binny knows she can’t get her dad back, but she never stops missing Max, or trying to find him. Then, when she’s eleven, everything changes again.Aunty Violet has died, and left Binny and her family an old house in a seaside town. Binny is faced with a new crush, a new frenemy, and…a ghost? It seems Aunty Violet may not have completely departed. It’s odd being haunted by her aunt, but there is also the warmth of a busy and loving mother, a musical older sister, and a hilarious little brother, who is busy with his experiments. And his wetsuit. And his chickens.

Love Among Pigeons


Abria Mattina - 2013
    Holidays are always a trial for the family that lost their daughter and sister, but Frank is hopeful that this Thanksgiving will be the exception. He has some happy news to share. If only he wasn't so reluctant to talk about it.

Catch Rider


Jennifer H. Lyne - 2013
    Working with her Uncle Wayne since childhood, she’s learned to evaluate horses, break and train them, care for them . . . and ride like a professional. Amid turmoil at home, she dreams of becoming a catch rider—a show rider who can ride anything with hooves. In this salty, suspenseful teen novel, an unexpected opportunity to ride a top-notch horse in an equitation show takes the small-town girl all the way to Madison Square Garden.

The Goldfinch: by Donna Tartt -- Review


Expert Book Reviews - 2013
    Dark themes prevail throughout the novel as protagonist Theo Decker copes with the violent and untimely death of his mother. As a 13-year-old boy, Theo’s grasp of reality is limited, and the tragic event forces despair and self-defeating behavior. With sophisticated themes like death, abuse and sex, this book is better suited for a mature audience. If you are looking for an intellectually stimulating novel that keeps you guessing, then The Goldfinch may be just what you need. See how Donna Tartt’s novel scores with expert ratings and quotes from popular publications. The Goldfinch is an exemplary book filled with vivid imagery and superb character development. Each cast member in the play of Theo’s life has a mixture of positive traits and flaws that make up a believable character. A comparison of the good and bad aspects of the book help you determine the book’s value. Compare this book to Greek tragedies to see how death portrays a universal theme that has great impacts on any protagonist. This comprehensive review of The Goldfinch gives you the big picture of what to expect from your reading.

Every One of Me


Jessica Wilde - 2013
    She left behind her friends and family hoping they would be better off without her in the way. Now, after being diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (Multiple personality disorder) and determined to set her life straight, she is going back. She doesn't expect her best friend growing up, and the only man she has ever loved, to be waiting for her.Charlie Mackenzie never knew the real reasons why Tessa left, but because of the promises he swore to keep, he feels responsible. He has spent the last 5 years fighting underground MMA, staying distracted, and trying not to chase after her and drag her back to him. Now that she is finally back, he won't allow her to push him away without knowing how he has felt about her all along. The only problem? He's not just dealing with Tessa anymore. Tessa won't let herself be a burden to anyone and being with Charlie will only complicate his life, and hers, but she can't seem to shake him, and Benny, her friend from 'The Facility', isn't helping matters. Learning to live with not only the people around her, but the people in her head, isn't as simple as she thought it would be and Charlie is forcing her to abandon all of the control she thought she had.The two of them must decide if their love is worth fighting for and Tess has to learn to just let go, because Charlie won't let her go. He won't let any one of her go.

Genie Wishes


Elisabeth Dahl - 2013
    When the school year begins, she’s elected class blogger, and it’s her job to record her class’s “wishes, hopes, and dreams.” But Genie has never been the center of attention, and she struggles to find her voice. What should she write about? Her best friend, Sarah, who’s spending more and more time with the boy-crazy new girl? What about the bras, deodorants, shaved legs, and makeup that seem to be all anyone can think about? Then there’s her widower father’s new adventures in dating, and her older brother’s surly new attitude...As Genie writes the blog entries, she starts to figure out the types of things she wants to express, and her own wishes, hopes, and dreams become clearer with every day.The book trailer: www.youtube.com/watch?v=etqOnGzE39YAn interview with Elisabeth: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u0Emx...

Much Ado About Nothing: A Film By Joss Whedon


Joss Whedon - 2013
    This official book features an Introduction by Joss, his full screenplay, and a gallery of photos from the set. Also included is an extended interview with the director, discussing his approach to the play, and the production of the film, shot in just 12 days at Whedon's own house.

All That Glitters


Jill Santopolo - 2013
    That’s when the sisters have a brilliant idea: Why don’t they open up a mini nail salon just for kids within Mom’s store? Their plan needs a bit of polish, but all signs point to success…

Kiki: My Stylish Life


Kyla May - 2013
    With easy-to-read text, high-interest content, fast-paced plots, and illustrations on every page, these books will boost reading confidence and stamina. Branches books help readers grow!Kiki, Coco, and Lulu are the BEST of friends. They even have their very own club! But Mika, the new girl, is shaking things up on Lotus Lane. This first book is written as Kiki's diary--with illustrations and doodles throughout. Kiki LOVES creating cool outfits, hanging out with friends, and collecting fun facts like these:Fact: I am a member of the Lotus Lane Girls Club. Fact: I will one day be a VERY famous fashion designer. Fact: My new neighbor Mika is trouble--triple trouble!Fact: Even chickens must look their best. Read Kiki's diary to find out all about life on Lotus Lane!

Small Circles


Megan Duke - 2013
    Starting in their sophomore year at a boarding school and continuing through their freshman years at different universities, the friends face the same trials most teenagers face today, as well as a few other things. This inspiring story touches base with the struggles of defining oneself in spite of homosexuality, drug addiction, suicide, and heartbreak. Most of all it sends one message: it’s okay to be happy.

Three Rules


Marie Drake - 2013
    2.) The scariest things imaginable are not those that can kill you, but those you can live through. And probably the most prominent: 3.) The most horrible possibility is not what could happen to you, but what you could become – I became a killer.” ~Hope Wellman Brief Description:Hope Wellman has a childhood full of horrific memories, a bone chilling recurring nightmare, and a persistent paranoid sense of being followed that she would rather keep repressed. Is evil reaching from beyond the grave to capture the tattered remnants of her soul once and for all, is it only a machination of her disturbed mind, or is there something happening more sinister than even she can imagine? Attending the funeral of her abuser is the first step in putting her life back together as she is about to turn twenty-one. She struggles with the fact she never told anyone what happened to her, and that the grave they are mourning over is empty. She'd find it a lot easier to move on and believe in the future if he were in the box, ready to be covered with dirt. She fears the last thread of her sanity has snapped when she sees Lucas everywhere she turns, and can't escape a recurring nightmare. Is her tormentor alive, or is she imagining it? Is her dream triggered by past fears or is it a prediction of the future?From the Author: I am a survivor of abuse. It changed me. I closed myself off. It changed the way I saw myself. It changed the way I thought others saw me. It changed my outlook on the whole world. It changed the way I let people treat me, and had a snowball effect on my life. I married an abusive man. I divorced an abusive man. I finally broke the cycle. Most of all, I wanted to express how important it is to encourage the discussion of abuse. In my book, as in my life, silence is the enemy. Three Rules was written as fiction in order to make it an enjoyable read, but, much of the thought processes, feelings and reactions are real. However, there are no gory detailed scenes. It was written with sincere respect and sensitivity for the reader while trying to convey the honest and realistic feelings of an abuse survivor. ~ Marie

Eye Spy


Tahir Shah - 2013
    Amadeus Kaine is fêted by royalty, dictators, Hollywood, and the international jetset. An epicurean of sophistication and dark obsessions, he’s devoted his life to locating the perfect food.While treating one of Central Asia’s most depraved despots, Kaine is given a little pie to eat – a delicacy reserved for guests of the president. It’s the most delicious thing that’s ever passed the surgeon’s lips, and one that has seemingly miraculous effects. All of a sudden, Kaine finds that his bald patch is growing over with thick black hair, and that his body is healing itself from the inside out. But, best of all, he realizes that his mental faculties are stimulated in ways he never believed possible. He can write books in a few hours, learn languages in a matter of days, and effortlessly solve problems from world hunger to global warming.The drawback is that the dictator’s little pies are prepared with human eyes, taken from convicts working in the opal mines. Horrified that he’s unwittingly become a cannibal, Amadeus Kaine can’t think of anything but getting his hands on some more of the illicit specialty.Obsessed in particular by green eyes, he begins hunting for victims to satisfy his wayward craving. While perfecting his method, he learns to appreciate the subtleties in taste. As he does so, a terrible affliction strikes – Occulosis.An eye disease that has jumped the species gap from industrialized poultry farming, the virus rips through society, robbing the masses of their sight. The only man who can save the world is the inimitable Dr. Kaine, who is himself on the run.One of the strangest tales of obsession, mania and intrigue ever told, EYE SPY will quite literally change the way you see the world.

Spooky House


Sally Rippin - 2013
    They are sure it's haunted. So scary! But if anyone can handle ghosts, it's Billie B Brown!

Freakboy


Kristin Elizabeth Clark - 2013
    He’s a star wrestler, a video game aficionado, and a loving boyfriend to his seemingly perfect match, Vanessa. But on the inside, Brendan struggles to understand why his body feels so wrong—why he sometimes fantasizes having long hair, soft skin, and gentle curves. Is there even a name for guys like him? Guys who sometimes want to be girls? Or is Brendan just a freak?In Freakboy's razor-sharp verse, Kristin Clark folds three narratives into one powerful story: Brendan trying to understand his sexual identity, Vanessa fighting to keep her and Brendan’s relationship alive, and Angel struggling to confront her demons.

Project Fat Suit


not_present - 2013
    At school, she's a morbidly obese, stupid, nerdy, bitchy, slutty, and a teacher's pet. But at home she's the scrawny vegetarian pushover. What would possess someone to wear a fat suit every day? And what happens when someone finds out?

The Girl of His Dreams


Amir Abrams - 2013
    And never, ever, catch feelings.That's the motto 17-year-old heartthrob Antonio Lopez lives by. Since his mother walked out, Antonio's father has taught him everything he needs to know about women: they can't be trusted, and a real man has more than one. So once Antonio gets what he wants from a girl, he moves on. But McPherson High's hot new beauty is turning out to be Antonio's first real challenge.Miesha Wilson has a motto of her own: The thrill of the chase is not getting caught. Game knows game, and Miesha is so not interested. She's dumped her share of playboys and she's determined to stay clear of the likes of Antonio Lopez--until his crazy jealous ex aggravates her. But when she decides to play some games of her own, Miesha and Antonio find themselves wondering if love is real after all. . .."Hot and poppin' with drama and life lessons. The world of teen lit has never seen anything like this before!" --Ni-Ni Simone, author of No Boyz Allowed, on Crazy Love

Zeke Meeks Vs the Big Blah-Rific Birthday


D.L. Green - 2013
    After all, even he would rather go to their over-the-top parties than his simple celebration. But Zeke and his classmates are in for a surprise. Bigger doesn't always mean better.

If I Ever Get Out of Here


Eric Gansworth - 2013
    What he's not used to is white people being nice to him -- people like George Haddonfield, whose family recently moved to town with the Air Force. As the boys connect through their mutual passion for music, especially the Beatles, Lewis has to lie more and more to hide the reality of his family's poverty from George. He also has to deal with the vicious Evan Reininger, who makes Lewis the special target of his wrath. But when everyone else is on Evan's side, how can he be defeated? And if George finds out the truth about Lewis's home -- will he still be his friend?Acclaimed adult author Eric Gansworth makes his YA debut with this wry and powerful novel about friendship, memory, and the joy of rock 'n' roll.

Blucy: The Blue Cat


Julia Dweck - 2013
    Once in a blue moon, a special pet comes along.When Mandy adopts the best cat at the shelter, she doesn't realize it has a big secret and an even bigger personality.

Jessica Darling's It List: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Popularity, Prettiness & Perfection


Megan McCafferty - 2013
    My best friend had turned pretty.2. She didn't know it yet.3. It wouldn't be long before she did.4. That knowledge would change everything between us.5. And there wasn't a thing I could do about it.It's the first day of seventh grade. Is Jessica Darling doomed for dorkdom?New York Times bestselling author Megan McCafferty's hilarious series opener will have you laughing, cringing, and cheering for Jessica Darling as she learns that being herself beats being popular, pretty & perfect any day.

Every Day After


Laura Golden - 2013
    Lizzie's praying he'll return to Bittersweet, Alabama, for her birthday. It won't feel special without him, what with Lizzie's Mama being so sad she won't even talk and the bank nipping at their heels for a mortgage payment.Daddy expected her to be the best at any cost. But Lizzie claims "that cost me my top grades and my best friend. It's dumped 'em both square into Erin's hands. She's gone batty if she thinks she's gonna get me carted off to the orphanage."While Lizzie waits, she gets comfort writing in her journal. As time passes, she can only picture her daddy's face by opening her locket. If others can get by, why did her daddy leave? If he doesn't return, how can she overcome the same obstacles that drove him away?

Fort Starlight


Claudia Zuluaga - 2013
    Ida clings to her dream of returning to New York while weathering storms both meteorological and emotional, and comes to understand that nobody's luck—even hers—is all bad.Claudia Zuluaga's fiction has appeared in Narrative Magazine, Lost Magazine, JMWW, Linnaean Street, and the Best of the Web series. Zuluaga is a lecturer in the English department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY) in New York City.

Drama Geek


S.M. Dritschilo - 2013
    Katie O'Connell does--a Wish List actually. Because she longs to be someone new, the kind of girl you take notice of and remember. Someone who isn't just a part of the background. Unfortunately, Katie has no idea how to make that happen, but her outspoken best friend does: a Junior Year Wish List of goals, starting with earning a role in the senior play, and bookish Katie reluctantly agrees. Now she has barely ten months to meet all five goals that will transform her from a bookworm to a butterfly. Wish List in hand, Katie draws her motley crew of dramatic friends closer for support to launch her Junior Year with a fresh (somewhat anxious) attitude. Until the boy who was her first childhood friend, the boy who disappeared right before her tenth birthday, shows up on the first day of school pulling her quiet life into an emotional tailspin. His reappearance will start Katie's junior year with more questions than answers. Why did he leave? Where has he been all this time? Can friendships last after a seven-year break? Is achieving her Wish List possible now? Most importantly, will he be the one to make Wish Number Five a reality?Author's NoteFeminism is about equality and the freedom of choice. The choice to: wear makeup or not, to wear loose fitting clothes or tight fitting clothes or not give a damn about my clothes at all, to like boys or girls or both or neither. It’s about women having choices based on equality of the sexes. There’s no wrong way or right way to be a woman. Just like men, women can care about their appearance or not care, women can be thin or curvy, short or tall, women can be smart or ignorant, women have the freedom to be whatever type of human they want to be at every stage of their life.High school is the next step in a teenager’s life that allows them the time to explore those choices in greater detail just like college, or trade school, or their first paying job, or their fifth, or their 20th will. High school students are dealing with real life adult issues but with little autonomy—stress of home life, relationships, figuring out who we are, what we want to do, who we want to be, how we’ll change, how we deal with change, our sexual identity. High school is all about self-discovery, and, unfortunately, having to do it all weighed down by society’s pre-conceived notions and subjective judgments about our choices and the tiny cramped boxes they think we belong in.If you think it will make you happy, try being a drama geek, try being a cheerleader, student government, a mathlete, an athlete, a bookworm, a scientist, a journalist, a singer, a dancer, an artist, or an observer of life. Dress up, dress down, dress comfy…just be safe and be happy.Please, please, please don’t let anyone tell you who or what you should be, or how you should act, but also please listen to advice from others that's given respectfully with the hope that your path will be a little less bumpy than theirs was. Be and do what makes you happy, dip your toes into the waters of our beautiful diverse world, or cannonball in and explore every nook and cranny you want to until you find the perfect fit, and don’t be afraid if you outgrow what fits and want to try something new. That’s the beauty of life, we don’t have to be stagnant. We have the freedom to change.Katie wanted to explore and try something new, be someone different for a while to see how it fit, but she never lost her true self, she was-and always will be-a book-loving artist devoted to her family and friends.

Better Nate Than Ever


Tim Federle - 2013
    His whole life, he’s wanted to star in a Broadway show. (Heck, he'd settle for *seeing* a Broadway show.) But how is Nate supposed to make his dreams come true when he’s stuck in Jankburg, Pennsylvania, where no one (except his best pal Libby) appreciates a good show tune? With Libby’s help, Nate plans a daring overnight escape to New York. There's an open casting call for E.T.: The Musical, and Nate knows this could be the difference between small-town blues and big-time stardom.

Seeds of Hate


Melissa Perea - 2013
    They said we would make forever friends.They said we would have the time of our lives.They lied.

I'm Virtually Yours


Jennifer Bohnet - 2013
    Need a virtual PA? Then Polly Jones is your girl!Polly Jones is taken aback when a new client asks her to investigate the Robertson family business in Devon, after all, a ‘virtual assistant’ doesn’t usually leave their home office! But she needs the work – and less proximity to an endless supply of tea and biscuits can only be a good thing right? So she sets off, with energetic puppy Rosie close by her side.Polly’s new job isn’t quite in her comfort zone… Arriving in the small fishing village where everyone knows everyone’s business, any upsides (all those yummy scones and clotted cream) of course have their downside - she’s completely forgotten to pack her sea legs, and the temptingly handsome Will Robertson is making her job difficult at every turn.It’s so much easier to keep things strictly professional in the virtual world – but with no e-mail to hide behind Polly must admit that Will’s smile is incredibly, deliciously distracting…

Imperfect Spiral


Debbie Levy - 2013
    Immediately Danielle is caught up in the machinery of tragedy: police investigations, neighborhood squabbling, and, when the driver of the car that struck Humphrey turns out to be an undocumented alien, outsiders use the accident to further a politically charged immigration debate. Wanting only to mourn Humphrey, the sweet kid she had a surprisingly strong friendship with, Danielle tries to avoid the world around her. Through a new relationship with Justin, a boy she meets at the park, she begins to work through her grief, but as details of the accident emerge, much is not as it seems. It's time for Danielle to face reality, but when the truth brings so much pain, can she find a way to do right by Humphrey's memory and forgive herself for his death?“. . . a heartfelt drama that touches on the themes of friendship, love, fear, and death. . . . Readers will find a relevant and inspiring story. . . .” —ALAN (Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of the NCTE) Picks“Levy’s unflinching look at pain is masterful. The narrative fluidly moves from lighter moments with Humphrey to the darkness of grief, avoiding false sentimentality.” —Kirkus Reviews“The discussion of. . . real issues is deftly woven into the story, never overshadowing the protagonist’s journey toward healing. . . . This book is sure to be a hit among teens seeking a substantive drama.”–School Library Journal“. . . a story of love and loss deepened by the protagonist’s inspiring development from someone afraid of conflict into someone who can stand up for what she believes is right.” –The Horn Book

Elvis and the Underdogs


Jenny Lee - 2013
    Born premature, Benji is sickly, accident prone, and at the hospital so often he even has his own punch card. That is, until the day Benji wakes up from a particularly bad spell. Concerned for Benji's health, the doctor offers him two options: wear the world's ugliest padded helmet or get a therapy dog. Benji chooses the dog, of course.But when a massive crate arrives at Benji's house, out walks a two-hundred-pound Newfoundland. And that isn't even the strangest thing about the dog. He announces that his name is Parker Elvis Pembroke IV. That's right, this dog can talk! And boy, is he bossy.Having a bossy dog can come in handy, though. Elvis brings out the dog lover in the most surprising people and shows Benji that making new friends may not be as scary as he once thought.

Skating Showdown (Jake Maddox Girl Sports Stories)


Jake Maddox - 2013
    But when she sees another skater practicing, Grace realizes she'll have some difficult competition. She psyches herself out so much that she starts messing up the moves she already knows. Can Grace remember why she loved skating before the skating showdown?

Sure Signs of Crazy


Karen Harrington - 2013
    While most of her friends obsess over Harry Potter, she spends her time writing letters to Atticus Finch. She collects trouble words in her diary. Her best friend is a plant. And she's never known her mother, who left when Sarah was two. Since then, Sarah and her dad have moved from one small Texas town to another, and not one has felt like home. Everything changes when Sarah launches an investigation into her family's Big Secret. She makes unexpected new friends and has her first real crush, and instead of a "typical boring Sarah Nelson summer," this one might just turn out to be extraordinary.

A Horse for Angel


Sarah Lean - 2013
    When Nell is sent to stay with distant family, she packs a suitcase full of secrets. A chance encounter with a wild horse draws Nell to Angel - a mysterious, troubled girl who is hiding secrets of her own. Both girls must learn to trust each other, if they are to save a hundred horses . . . A HORSE FOR ANGEL is a story about finding something special in the most unlikely place.

Starring Jules: As Herself


Beth Ain - 2013
    I am a scrambled-eggs-and-chocolate-milk type person.2. I have an audition for a TV commercial (which would be great if I were a tall-icy-drink type person.)3. I am in between best friends right now.4. I am worried that the audition will be a disaster. (See #1 and #3!)Jules doesn't want to ruin THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME, and she's willing to turn to anyone for help--even her know-it-all ex-best friend! If only that lovely new girl in class would turn out to be the new best friend of her dreams, maybe, just maybe, Jules will be ready for her close-up....

The Missing Collection: Found; Sent; Sabotaged; Torn; Caught; Sought


Margaret Peterson Haddix - 2013