Here are the new releases of fantasy and science fiction for children and teenagers, from July 14 to July 21 (although actually none of them look like science fiction...). I pretty much want to read them all. Such a good thing I have unlimited time and money and no other books at home waiting to be read (ha ha).
9-12 year olds:
The Bag of Bones: The Second Tale from the Five Kingdoms by Vivian French. I loved The Robe of Skulls, so I'm very happy to see this! "The Tales from the Five Kingdoms series returns with the story of Trueheart (that is, very good person) Gracie Gillypot, identical twin princes, talking bats, and a slow but brave troll. The witches who tried to wreak havoc in the first tale (The Robe of Skulls, 2008) are back, and readers will also be introduced to a nasty orphanage overseer and a pack of friendly rats. Collins’ spidery black-and-white illustrations amplify characters’ inner traits as well as the tall-tale nature of the story."
The Hotel Under the Sand, by Kage Baker. This sounds very intriguing. "Nine-year-old Emma loses everything she has in a fearsome storm and finds herself alone in the wilderness of the Dunes—an area desolate since the mysterious disappearance of a resort known as the Grand Wenlocke. Finding a friend in Winston, the ghostly bellboy who wanders the Dunes, Emma learns that it has been more than 100 years since the hotel with an unsavory reputation vanished; but, unbeknownst to either of them, the long slumbering resort has just begun to stir. Allying herself with a motley crew of companions—the ghost bellboy, a kindhearted cook, a pirate with a heart of gold, and the imperious young heir to the Wenlocke fortune—Emma soon learns that things are not always as lost as they seem..."
Sea of the Dead, by Julia Durango. "Kehl has always known certain things about the world. First and foremost is the certainty that the Teshic Empire is its center, and that everything -- and everyone -- beyond the empire's borders has been created ultimately to be brought under Teshic dominion. Furthermore, because Kehl is being trained to follow in his father's warrior footsteps, he is all too aware of the expectations placed upon him to never show weakness or fear, to instead show an unwavering loyalty to the Teshic Empire and its often severe beliefs and demands. But when Kehl is abducted by a seafaring band of rebels and taken beyond the borders to the enigmatic Sea of the Dead, a whole new world begins to open up before him. A new world filled with challenging beliefs and dangerous ideas. A world where Kehl's future -- as well as his past -- may be linked to the renegade crew of a ship named Carillon's Revenge and the Fallen King who captains her."
Timescape (book four of the Dreamhouse Kings series) by Robert Liparulo. A mysterious house with time portals, and two boys trying to put a stop to an evil villain.
When You Reach Me, by Rebecca Stead. "Shortly after sixth-grader Miranda and her best friend Sal part ways, for some inexplicable reason her once familiar world turns upside down. Maybe it's because she's caught up in reading A Wrinkle in Time and trying to understand time travel, or perhaps it's because she's been receiving mysterious notes which accurately predict the future."
Coffeehouse Angel by Suzanne Selfors. "When Katrina spots a homeless guy sleeping in the alley behind her grandmother’s coffee shop, she decides to leave him a cup of coffee, a bag of chocolate-covered coffee beans, and some pastries to tide him over. Little does she know that this random act of kindness is about to turn her life upside down. Because this adorable vagrant, Malcolm, is really a guardian angel on a break between missions. And he won’t leave until he can reward Katrina’s selflessness by fulfilling her deepest desire. Now if only she could decide what that might be..."
The Hundred-Towered City, by Garry Kilworth. "When a stranger from the past arrives in the middle of the night with shocking news, Jack, Annie, and Davey are catapulted into the wildest adventure they've ever had. Their parents have been arrested on suspicion of being spies. Not only in a different country but in a different time—Prague, 1903. The children travel back in time and find themselves face to face with danger, mystery, and the magic of a strange place. Where are their parents and who has stolen the key to the time machine? Will our young heroes be in time to save their parents from siniser Karlstein Castle? And even if they do, how will they return to the present day without the key? Alchemists, mythical creatures, and a man with a hook for a hand hold the answers they’re looking for."
Second Skin, by Jessica Wollman. "Appearances can be deceiving. Sam Klein’s found that out firsthand. All she wanted was to be popular. But sometimes what we want is the absolute worst thing for us. Sam discovers that Kylie, It-girl of Woodlawn High, owes her popular status not to her expensive clothes, highlighted hair, and spot on the cheerleading squad but to a magical second skin. Nobody can actually see it—but they can feel it. And if you’re wearing the skin, you feel incredible. Invincible. Popularity is yours. So Sam stole the skin from Kylie. Now she’s the most popular girl at school, while Kylie’s social life takes a serious hit. Sam can barely recognize herself. Her old geek clique is history—but are her new friends really people she can count on? The skin is clinging tighter to her each day . . . can Sam get it off before it’s too late?
Sideshow, edited by Deborah Noyes. Ten stories of oddities and magic--my review.
Three Witches. by Paula Jolin. "Three seemingly ordinary girls, studying together in the same ordinary high school. All have their own reasons to summon Trevor Saunders after his car goes over a cliff. Aliya brings the mystical seances of Syria. Gillian contributes the voodoo arts from her native Trinidad. Miya shares the secret magic of ancient Japan. Will they be able use their powers to bring him back one more time? Should they?"