You know its fall when the air takes on a crisp edge, marching bands fill the night air, and librarians begin to wiggle in anticipation of fall book releases. Forget summer blockbuster movies! I mean, they’re okay, but they’re no book.
My assignment was to pick a couple of books that are highly anticipated releases. This is like picking a favorite child, because there are so many! You guys! REALLY! Poring over the lists, my excitement compounded exponentially. Without further ado, here are books I’m squealing with excitement over, and cannot wait to check them out from my library!
For the Picture Book Crowd
Pete the Cat and his Magic Sunglasses by Kimberly & James James Dean
Pete fans will enjoy another installment in these books ensconced in the spirit of groovy fun and positive messages. Children will explore their feelings with Pete, discovering that there is a good mood to be found underneath the most powerful of grumps. Pete’s awesome day just happens to get some help through his magic sunglasses. The release date is October 1, 2013.
Sometimes I Forget You’re a Robot by Sam Brown
Have you seen the comics on explodingdog.com? I’ll wait while you go check it out. Isn’t it awesome!? Basically, you can send in titles and Sam illustrates them. It’s a popular crowd-sourced page, and it’s pretty cool. Illustration-style, he reminds me a bit of Oliver Jeffers (another favorite of mine!) with his child-friendly, simple drawings. In this book, a stick-figure boy wishes on a star for a robot. When one ACTUALLY appears, he is disappointed to learn that his new friend cannot do all of the fun things he’s envisioned. However, friendship is more than superhero powers, and a bond is forged nonetheless. A sweet story with a good message. This one lands on October 17th.
For Elementary & Lower Middle School
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman
Full disclosure: I am one of those Nail Gaiman fangirls. If you haven’t read him (or dreamily listened to him read an audiobook) I highly encourage it. He’s a wonderful storyteller and a charming man and a Newbery medalist, too! This book landed on September 17th and is aimed at children grades 3-7 (ages 8 and up). It’s over one hundred pages long and chock-full of wonderment. Space aliens, time space continuum, decorative plates and breakfast cereal factor prominently, and that’s just the beginning! As Mr. Gaiman promises, it is “the most exciting book with milk in it since Tolstoy’s epic novel, ‘War & Milk’!”
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck by Jeff Kinney
At this point, you simply say “Wimpy Kid” and the kids perk up and listen. From a public librarian standpoint, we couldn’t keep the books on the shelf, and this is one of the few titles I can say that kids would dig through the shelving cart to locate. Kids ages 8 and up will enjoy the newest addition to the Wimpy collection. Greg Heffley has never been the luckiest guy, and now things are particularly bad. Rowley has ditched him, and finding new friends, especially in the wilds of middle school, is proving to be tougher than Greg bargained for. Will his luck ever change? From the creator of the “cheese touch” and inspiration for countless doodle pages left in books, Jeff Kinney is sure to amuse adults and kids alike with his newest book, available on November 5th.
Spirit Animals by Brandon Mull
This is a tough category to pick just 1 or two titles, because there are so many great titles coming out! This one is exciting if your child has devoured the Fablehaven series and The Candy Shop War. This is a brand-new, multiplatform experience: part book, part role-playing game. Kids in grades 3-7 can find their “spirit animal” and join an online adventure as they read along with the books. The book was released on September 10th.
For Upper Middle Grades
The House of Hades (Heroes of Olympus, Book 4) by Rick Riordan
From the kid who carried a tattered paperback of Edith Hamilton’s Mythology in her backpack, I can tell you that if Rick Riordan was writing these books back in the day, I would have been first in line to get them autographed! He’s at it again, hopefully relieving loyal readers from the last cliffhanger ending. Will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape the Underworld? Will they ever make a movie from this series that isn’t awful? If you’ve only seen the films, PLEASE just read the books. You won’t be sorry. This book comes out TODAY!
I LOVE this series! It’s so witty and engrossing and rife with tongue in cheek humor. If you enjoyed Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events or The Mysterious Benedict Society (by the talented Trenton Lee Stewart), then Maryrose Wood is a name you should know. For real. Trust me, I’m a Librarian. Long story short: Penelope Lumley (or Lumawoo, as you will come to know her) is a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females who has been hired as governess to three very unusual children. Unusual how? They’ve been raised by wolves, and are quite adept at chasing, drooling and howling. Adventures are aplenty, as is a mystery to the origins of the children. Now, Penelope must show the value of her education to save her alma mater. Can the Incorrigibles come through and save the day? We’ll find out on December 17th! Or will we?
The Grimm Conclusion by Adam Gidwitz
“Once upon a time, fairy tales were grim.”
If you haven’t read this amazing trilogy, drop everything and do it NOW. These are so original, so creative, that I am sure they will be classics. They definitely stand up to re-reading, and I can’t say that about too many books. As the title implies, this is the conclusion and is one book I cannot WAIT to get my hands on to read! I haven’t had the luck to score an advance reader, but here’s what the publisher published as promotion: Cinderella’s stepsisters got their eyes pecked out by birds. Rumpelstiltskin ripped himself in half.
And in a tale called “The Mouse, the Bird, and the Sausage,” a mouse, a bird, and a sausage all talk to each other. Yes, the sausage talks. (Okay, I guess that one’s not that grim…) And this one will hit the shelves TODAY.
“Those are the real fairy tales.
But they have nothing on the story I’m about to tell.
This is the darkest fairy tale of all. Also, it is the weirdest. And the bloodiest.
It is the grimmest tale I have ever heard.
And I am sharing it with you.
Two children venture through forests, flee kingdoms, face ogres and demons and monsters, and, ultimately, find their way home. Oh yes, and they may die. Just once or twice.
That’s right. Fairy tales.Are. Awesome.”
Will in Scarlet by Matthew Cody
This historical fiction title caught my eye while browsing, and I am going to gamble on this one. It’s an origin story of Robin Hood and the Merry Men but a different take on the icon. Robin Hood isn’t the immediate hero of this story, nor is he even likeable at first. We meet Will Shackley first, who is the son of a lord returning from the Holy Land with Richard I in 1192. Things go terribly wrong for him, and he eventually seeks refuge in Sherwood Forest. It’s a tale of revenge and redemption, friendship and folly. As the cover promises, it’s the tale of the boy behind the Robin Hood legend, and it’s one that sounds really interesting. It’s received advance praise and acclaim, so I’ll add it to my list to watch upon its release in October 8th.
Allegiant by Veronica Roth
“What if your whole world was a lie?” For fans of the Divergent trilogy, the conclusion could not get here quick enough. As it is, we’ll have to wait until October 22nd to finally find out the fates of Tris Prior, Caleb, Marcus, Tobias and the others. If you haven’t read the first two novels, Divergent and Insurgent, there’s still time! Set in dystopian Chicago, Divergent introduced the reader to the five factions in society, each dedicated to a specific virtue: Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). Sounds great, right? Read on. Sixteen year olds must choose their faction that they will belong to for the rest of their lives. Our heroine, Tris, learns that all choices have consequences and there are no easy answers in war. In such a world love and loyalty carry a heavy price.
Monsters by Ilsa Bick
In her gripping and gory Ashes trilogy, Bick blends survivalism with the horrors of a society collapsed and cannibalistic “Changed” roaming the land. I found Ashes by chance, and loved it. It has genuine squeamish factors for horror fans, but is not a traditional zombie story in the least. In the conclusion, we’ll find out the fate of our intrepid heroes: Alex, Tom and Ellie as well as Chris and other survivors of the EMP blast that changed everything, but some questions still linger. Bick plays coy on whether she’ll revisit the world, and I think fans will want more, as fans do. What I truly like about her style is that she is so in tune with her craft and really gets into the heads of her characters. It’s no wonder: she’s a child psychiatrist. She’s great at cliffhanger chapter endings and bouncing back and forth between multiple characters and plotlines. This book really amps up the blood and gore, too so don’t eat and read if that’s an issue. Just sayin’. I’m hoping for a film adaptation of this trilogy in all honesty, so read and jump on the bandwagon with me!
Mandy Pinyan has been a passionate book lover from an early age, where being busted for bringing Stephen King to school (a book, not the guy) led to much reading by flashlight. She turned out okay. She is the Youth Services Coordinator and Manager of Outreach Services at the Huntsville Madison County Public Library Extension and Outreach Department, where she can be seen driving a Rainbow Van or a Bookmobile in between gigs. Mom to a tween, Adelyn and wife to a ruggedly handsome outdoorsman with an obsession with planting bamboo, Mandy finds enjoyment in painting, gardening and geeking out over various pop culture. A small menagerie of pets - dachshunds Matt Damon and Angel, kitty BB and Boston-Chihuahua-chupacabra mix Bailey just make the chaos complete.