New releases of fantasy and science fiction for teenagers and children

Here are the new releases of science fiction and fantasy for children and teenagers for the middle of March (3/9 to 3/18), taken from Teens Read Too, with blurbs from Amazon/the publishers.

Middle Grade:

AWAKENING ON ORBIS 4: THE SOFTWIRE by PJ Haarsma. "Johnny Turnbull now knows that his sister, Ketheria, is the Scion — a long-awaited being who will bring understanding and healing to the universe. But what about him? As the Scion’s protector and guardian, JT is expected to start training to become a Space Jumper, a mercenary soldier who can jump through time and space. And he’s not happy about it, especially as he promised his girlfriend, Max, he would never take on that dangerous role, which could take him who-knows-how-far away. Can anything — or any one — guide Johnny to his true calling? And as new trouble brews on Orbis, will even Space Jumper skills be enough to help JT protect his sister and his friends?"

BERYL: A PIG'S TALE by Jane Simmons. "When Beryl decides to look for a family that will love her just the way she is, from her pig nose to her curly tail, she bravely sets off on a journey that will ultimately change her life forever. Away from the cruel and ill-tempered pigs on the farm where she grew up, Beryl finds her preconceived notions of wild pigs-- and everything else--put to the test. And with the help of the many unlikely friends she meets, Beryl discovers, at the cost of some heartache, that there just might be a place she could call home after all. If she could only get there . . . "

KNIGHTLEY ACADEMY by Violet Haberdasher. "Henry Grim has never been in trouble for borrowing a sword from the headmaster's private stores. He has never discovered a forbidden room in a foreign castle, or received a death threat over breakfast. All Henry knows is life as an orphaned servant boy at the Midsummer School, bullied by the privileged sons of aristocracy. But all that changes when Henry is the first commoner to pass the entrance exam for the prestigious Knightley Academy, where he will be trained as a modern-day knight alongside the cleverest and bravest fourteen-year-olds in the country. Henry and his roommates, two other students from decidedly un-Knightley backgrounds, are not exactly greeted with open arms by their classmates. In fact, it soon becomes apparent that someone is going to great lengths to sabotage the trioƕs chances at becoming knights. But Henry soon learns that there is more at stake than his future at Knightley, and only he can sound the alarm. Is anyone going to believe a former servant on the brink of expulsion?"

LEGION OF THE DEAD: BARNABY GRIMES by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell. "Barnaby Grimes is a tick-tock lad, delivering messages and running errands all over the city, day and night. Gangland funerals and diving expeditions are hazardous enough, but when the graveyards begin to give up their dead, this tick-tock lad is faced with his deadliest challenge yet. . . .A blood-curdling tale of greed and betrayal. Will Barnaby be defeated by the Legion of the Dead?"

LORD SUNDAY: THE KEYS TO THE KINGDOM by Garth Nix. "Seven days. Seven keys. Seven virtues. Seven sins. In this thrilling conclusion to Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series, Arthur Penhaligon must complete his quest to save the Kingdom he is heir to...and Arthur's world."

PRINCESS FOR HIRE by Lindsey Leavitt. "When an immaculately dressed woman steps out of an iridescent bubble and asks you if you'd like to become a substitute princess, do you
a) run
b) faint
c) say Yes!
For Desi Bascomb, who's been longing for a bit of glamour in her Idaho life, the choice is a definite C--that is, once she can stop pinching herself. As her new agent Meredith explains, Desi has a rare magical ability: when she applies the ancient Egyptian formula "Royal Rouge," she can transform temporarily into the exact lookalike of any princess who needs her subbing services. Dream come true, right? Well, Desi soon discovers that subbing involves a lot more than wearing a tiara and waving at cameras. Like, what do you do when a bullying older sister puts you on a heinous crash diet? Or when the tribal villagers gather to watch you perform a ceremonial dance you don't know? Or when a princess's conflicted sweetheart shows up to break things off--and you know she would want you to change his mind?"

STAR IN THE FOREST by Laura Resau. "Zitlally's family is undocumented, and her father has just been arrested for speeding and deported back to Mexico. As her family waits for him to return—they’ve paid a coyote to guide him back across the border—they receive news that he and the coyote’s other charges have been kidnapped and are being held for ransom. Meanwhile, Zitlally and a new friend find a dog in the forest near their trailer park. They name it Star for the star-shaped patch over its eye. As time goes on, Zitlally starts to realize that Star is her father’s “spirit animal,” and that as long as Star is safe, her father will be also. But what will happen to Zitlally’s dad when Star disappears?"

THE WAY OF THE SWORD: YOUNG SAMURAI by Chris Bradford. "After a vicious ninja attack left him orphaned and stranded in Japan, Jack Fletcher managed to complete his first year of samurai school. Still, his troubles are far from over. The prejudice of his Japanese classmates has gained him dangerous enemies within his school, and Dragon Eye – the ninja who killed his father – is still after him. Jack’s only hope of defeating them lies in surviving the Circle of Three: an ancient ritual that tests a samurai’s courage, skill, and spirit to the limit. For most, gaining entry into the Circle means honor and glory, but for Jack it’s a matter of life or death. The winner will be trained in the Two Heavens—the formidable sword technique of the great samurai, Masamoto. Learning this secret is the only hope Jack has of protecting his father’s rutter -- the invaluable navigation guide of the world’s uncharted oceans -- from Dragon Eye."

Young Adult: (sorry I ran out of time and don't have cover pictures for all of them....I blame Daylight Savings)

THE BODY FINDER by Kimberly Derting. "Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her "power" to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes the dead leave behind in the world . . . and the imprints that attach to their killers. Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he's claimed haunt her daily, Violet realizes she might be the only person who can stop him. Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay's intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she's falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer . . . and becoming his prey herself."

THE DEAD-TOSSED WAVES: THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan. "Gabry lives a quiet life. As safe a life as is possible in a town trapped between a forest and the ocean, in a world teeming with the dead, who constantly hunger for those still living. She’s content on her side of the Barrier, happy to let her friends dream of the Dark City up the coast while she watches from the top of her lighthouse. But there are threats the Barrier cannot hold back. Threats like the secrets Gabry’s mother thought she left behind when she escaped from the Sisterhood and the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Like the cult of religious zealots who worship the dead. Like the stranger from the forest who seems to know Gabry. And suddenly, everything is changing. One reckless moment, and half of Gabry’s generation is dead, the other half imprisoned. Now Gabry only knows one thing: she must face the forest of her mother’s past in order to save herself and the one she loves."

FANG: A MAXIMUM RIDE NOVEL by James Patterson. "Being a kid with wings--constantly on the run--has never been easy, and Max and her flock are getting tenser than ever. First, on a trip to Africa, they meet a mysterious billionaire whose intense scrutiny of the flock makes her fear the worst. Then, a cryptic message from a young girl arrives, warning them "The sky will fall." And as if an impending apocalypse weren't bad enough, canny birdkid Angel makes a dire prophecy about Max's soul mate: Fang will be the first to die. Max's desperate desire to protect Fang brings the two closer than ever. But can the team weather the storm, or will the turmoil rip them apart for the last time?"

FLIRTING WITH DISASTER by Rhonda Stapleton. "Felicity is a total romantic. That's why she follows her heart—not the rules—in her job as a cupid. But when Felicity turns her matchmaking magic on her best friend, Andy, it's Andy who breaks their golden rule: friends always come first. Andy is so wrapped up in her new guy that she's ditching everyone else. How can Felicity stop her BFF from letting a BF come between them? Meanwhile, Felicity decides to get over her crush on Derek by setting him up with someone else—but in her impulsive haste, she accidentally matches him with the whole school, and now everyone is in love with him. The entire student body is headed toward heartbreak, just weeks before prom. Does Felicity have what it takes to make everyone's heart happy? including her own?"

HOURGLASS: EVERNIGHT by Claudia Gray. "Bianca will risk everything to be with Lucas. After escaping from Evernight Academy, the vampire boarding school where they met, Bianca and Lucas take refuge with Black Cross, a fanatical group of vampire hunters. Bianca must hide her supernatural heritage or risk certain death at their hands. But when Black Cross captures her friend—the vampire Balthazar—hiding is no longer an option. Soon, Bianca and Lucas are on the run again, pursued not only by Black Cross, but by the powerful leaders of Evernight. Yet no matter how far they travel, Bianca can't escape her destiny. Bianca has always believed their love could survive anything . . . but can it survive what's to come?"

NIGHTFALL: THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, THE RETURN by L. J. Smith. "Elena Gilbert's love, the vampire Stefan Salvatore, has been captured and imprisoned by demonic spirits who are wreaking havoc in Fell's Church. While her friends Bonnie and Meredith explore the evil that has taken over their town, Elena goes in search of Stefan. In order to find him, she entrusts her life to Stefan's brother, Damon Salvatore, the handsome but deadly vampire who wants Elena, body and soul. Along with her childhood friend Matt, they set out for the slums of the Dark Dimension, where Stefan is being held captive. It is rumored to be a world where vampires and demons roam free, but humans must live enslaved to their supernatural masters. . . .Elena will stop at nothing to free Stefan. Yet with each passing day the tension between Elena and Damon grows, and she is faced with a terrible decision: Which brother does she really want? Back in Fell's Church, Bonnie and Meredith have made some dire discoveries. They hastily try to follow Elena and warn her—only to be caught up in Elena's most dangerous adventure yet."

POISONED HONEY by Beatrice Gormley. "This story begins with Mariamne, a vulnerable girl who knows little of the ways of the world. Much as she wants to be in control of her own destiny, she soon learns she has no such power. She must do as her father and brother see fit, and when tragedy strikes, Mari must marry a man she does not love and enter a household where she is not welcome, for the good of her family. But she finds a small way to comfort herself when she meets an Egyptian wisewoman who instructs her in the ways of the occult arts. In the spirit world, Mari finds she has power. Here, she really is in control of her fate. But is she? Or is the magic controlling her? This gripping portrait of one of the most misunderstood and controversial Biblical figures is the story of a young girl’s path through manipulation and possession, madness and healing, to a man who will change the world forever."

POSSESSING JESSIE by Nancy Springer. "Two-time Edgar Award winner Nancy Springer has written a chilling psychological thriller about a teenage girl possessed by her dead brother. Quiet, cautious Jessie had always lived in the shadow of her dynamic younger brother--her mother's clear favorite. His recent death leaves Jessie and her mother numb with grief. That is, until the morning Jessie cuts her hair and dresses in Jason's clothes, swaggering out of the house in an uncanny imitation of her brother. Her mother is visibly cheered, and for once Jessie is the center of attention at school. But each day Jason takes over Jessie more and more. Can she escape his power?"

SHADOW MIRROR by Richie Tankersley Cusick. "Unsettling. There’s no better word to describe Miranda Barnes’s ability to hear the cries of the dead, feel the wind move her hair when they run by, and—dare she look into a mirror—see the reflection of a ghostly woman behind her. There’s only one person to turn to for support: Etienne. As sexy as he is mysterious, Miranda can’t help but be drawn to him. He believes her; he wants to help her. But there’s a secret in Etienne’s past, something Miranda’s on the verge of discovering. As paranormal activity escalates, passion grows, and soon Miranda is caught up in both love . . . and tragedy"

SHADOW SOULS: THE VAMPIRE DIARIES, THE RETURN by L. J. Smith. "To save the two vampire brothers who love her, Elena Gilbert sacrificed her life. Now that a supernatural force has brought Elena back from the dead, all handsome, brooding Stefan wants is to keep her safe. But when he is lured away from Fell's Church, sleek, powerful Damon seizes his chance to win Elena over, unaware of the danger they're both in. A malevolent being has infiltrated the town and is growing stronger. Able to possess Damon at will, the creature is also drawn to Elena and the new power she has acquired. But it's after more than Elena's power: It thirsts for her death."

SPLIT by Stefan Petrucha. "Wade Jackson has always felt split, his love for playing and writing music competing with his ambition to do well in school. But when his mother dies, this need for order competes with his desire to leave it all behind. What follows is a split in his consciousness that takes him to two very different worlds. Told in alternating chapters that together form one cohesive story, Split follows both Wades as they pursue what they think is the correct path. One Wade continues working hard in school, pulling all-nighters to write a computer code he believes will save the world. The other Wade pursues the dream of being a dive-bar singer, pulling all-nighters to party, gamble, and live on the edge. But when these two worlds begin to collide, each Wade will need to find a balance between control and abandon, order and chaos, life missed and life lost, in order to save himself."

STUCK ON EARTH by David Klass. "Ketchvar III’s mission is simple: travel to Planet Earth, inhabit the body of an average teenager, and determine if the human race should be annihilated. And so Ketchvar—who, to human eyes, looks just like a common snail—crawls into the brain of one Tom Filber and attempts to do his analysis. At first glance, Tom appears to be the perfect specimen—fourteen years old, good health, above average intelligence. But it soon becomes apparent that Tom Filber may be a littletoo average—gawky, awkward, and utterly abhorred by his peers. An alien within an alien’s skin, Ketchvar quickly finds himself wrapped up in the daily drama of teenage life—infuriating family members, raging bullies, and undeniably beautiful next-door neighbors. And the more entangled Ketchvar becomes, the harder it is to answer the question he was sent to Earth to resolve: Should the Sandovinians release the Gagnerian Death Ray and erase the human species for good? Or is it possible that Homo sapiens really are worth saving?"

VOICES OF DRAGONS by Carrie Vaughn. "On one side of the border lies the modern world: the internet, homecoming dances, cell phones. On the other side dwell the ancient monsters who spark humanity's deepest fears: dragons. Seventeen-year-old Kay Wyatt knows she's breaking the law by rock climbing near the border, but she'd rather have an adventure than follow the rules. When the dragon Artegal unexpectedly saves her life, the rules are abruptly shattered, and a secret friendship grows between them. But suspicion and terror are the legacy of human and dragon inter­actions, and the fragile truce that has maintained peace between the species is unraveling. As tensions mount and battles begin, Kay and Artegal are caught in the middle. Can their friendship change the course of a war?"

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