New releases of fantasy and science fiction for children and teenagers--the middle of April, 2010 edition

Here are the new releases of middle grade and YA of fantasy and sci fi from the middle of April, taken from the Teens Read Too list, with blurbs from Amazon and Booklist. My to-be-read list has just grown...would that my book buying budged and free time would grow as well.

Middle Grade:

13 TREASURES by Michelle Harrison. "No one else can see the evil fairies that rouse Tanya from her sleep, torturing her at the slightest mention of their existence, but they are as real to the 13-year-old as anything she's ever known. She cannot rid herself of them, nor can she ignore them. But it is her insistence on responding to them that has her banished to her grandmother's secluded countryside manor. There is much to explore and even more to fear in the woods surrounding the estate. But, the forest isn't the only source of dark secrets, and Tanya soon finds herself entangled in a mystery that could trap her in the fairy realm forever."

THE BIRTHDAY BALL by Lois Lowry. "Princess Patricia Priscilla is bored with her royal life and the excitement surrounding her sixteenth birthday ball. Doomed to endure courtship by three grotesquely unappealing noblemen, she escapes her fate--for a week. Disguised as a peasant, she attends the village school as the smart new girl, "Pat," and attracts friends and the attention of the handsome schoolmaster. Disgusting suitors, lovable peasants, and the clueless king and queen collide at the ball, where Princess Patricia Priscilla calls the shots. What began as a cure for boredom becomes a chance for Princess Patricia Priscilla to break the rules and marry the man she loves."

THE BOY WHO CLIMBED INTO THE MOON by David Almond. “Urban daily life meets magical realism in this quirky tale of a boy overcoming shyness. Young Paul “simply didn’t like school, and school didn’t seem to like him.” Perhaps this is because of his unusual ideas. For example: Is the moon really a hole cut into the sky? A morning spent wandering his high-rise leads to meeting Molly, a wacky artist who drags him and his parents to see her brother, a recluse whose war experiences led him to hatch the same theory. If only there was a way to reach the moon to find out! Though rarely laugh-out-loud funny, Almond employs all manners of amusements (a flying dog, an obsessive elevator inspector, the truth behind the moon) while never losing sight of some refreshing realities: Paul’s parents are a real presence, and the city feels appropriately dense. Almond even pulls off one unforgettable, cinematic scene involving the high-rise denizens reaching from their windows to help lift a ladder to the building’s roof.” From Booklist.

THE CELESTIAL GLOBE: THE KRONOS CHRONICLES by Marie Rutkoski. "When Prince Rodolfo's monsters attack her, Petra Kronos is spirited away to London. As she struggles to escape, Neel and Tomik sail the high seas, in search of her. Though separated by many miles, the three friends draw closer together in this sequel to The Cabinet of Wonders, called “astonishingly accomplished” by Publishers Weekly. Readers will not be disappointed in this adventure-filled novel that includes man-made monsters, the unraveling of a murder mystery, and the hunt for the Celestial Globe, which the prince of Bohemia will do anything to own."

FLESH OF THE ZOMBIE: SCREAM STREET by Tommy Donbavand. "Deadstock, the world’s greatest zombie rock festival, is coming to Scream Street! Too bad Sir Otto Sneer is not in the mood for dancing—and when he banishes the concert’s headliners, the fleshmetal band Brain Drain, to the evil Underlands, he causes a riot. Now if Luke and his pals want to restore peace to the neighborhood (and find the fourth relic they seek), they have no choice but to follow the band . . . into the darkest depths of the earth."

FOILED by Jane Yolen. "Aliera may have listened too well to her fencing coach’s advice: “You must always protect your heart.” Besting competitors twice her age in tournaments, and keeping to a strict routine of fencing practice, homework, and role-playing games, Aliera is a loner and likes it that way—until she becomes lab partners with the cutest boy in school. She initially resists his charms but is won over when he asks for a date. Turns out her new ruby-handled foil is the key to his interest in her, and to the yet-unseen magical dimension she must keep in balance. Yolen’s first foray into the graphic format is a success precisely because she incorporates the best weapon in her arsenal—fantasy. In Aliera she has created a strong, conflicted, and relatable girl hero who wields her wariness for protection. Cavallaro’s artwork suits Aliera’s monochrome existence, but bursts to life when she finally sees (in color!) the faerie beasties cheering her on. The explanation and source of Aliera’s status as a protector of worlds will have to wait for further volumes to be revealed." (from Booklist)

OUT OF THE WOODS by Lyn Gardner. "The fun fair is in town! With its clouds of pink candy floss and whirling big wheel, what child could resist such temptation? Little do the Eden sisters know that they are being lured into a wicked witch’s lair. . . . Belladonna wants Aurora’s heart and Storm’s all-powerful musical pipe, and she will stop at nothing to get them. Driven by vanity and greed, she makes a truly formidable adversary. After escaping from a deadly game of hide-and-seek in the enchanted fair, our three heroines flee through the woods, with several ravenous wolves and a sweet-toothed lion hot on their heels. Now they face their biggest challenge yet: a treacherous journey into the Underworld. For only when the pipe has been safely returned to the land of the dead will the Eden sisters truly be out of the woods..."

THE OWL KEEPER by Christine Brodien-Jones. "Maxwell Unger has always loved the night. He used to do brave things like go tramping through the forest with his gran after dark. He loved the stories she told him about the world before the Destruction—about nature, and books, and the silver owls. His favorite story, though, was about the Owl Keeper. According to Max’s gran, in times of darkness the Owl Keeper would appear to unite owls and sages against the powers of the dark. Gran is gone now, and so are her stories of how the world used to be. Max is no longer brave. The forest is dangerous, the books Gran had saved have been destroyed, and the silver owls are extinct. At least that’s what the High Echelon says. But Max knows better. Maxwell Unger has a secret. And when a mysterious girl comes to town, he might just have to start being brave again. The time of the Owl Keeper, Gran would say, is coming soon."

PRIME BABY by Gene Luen Yang. "Eight-year-old Thaddeus Fong is insanely jealous of his baby sister and exploits his intelligence as a weapon against his social insecurities. Politics ranging from those of the family to those of state are explored and sent up as Yang unfolds a rich and spirited story that lays bare psychological and social truths, a parable in which ever-forgiving space aliens play a major role in advancing not just the plot but also character development. Using the flat, cartoony style of his award-winning American Born Chinese (2006), Yang pulls us in from the first page and packs in several surprises as well as clever asides within its 56, multi-paneled, single-strip pages, allowing plenty of white space to force readers to note the finest details of the action in counterpoint to Thaddeus’ attempts to interpret every interaction as a personal slight. The color palette employed is soft, subtly contradicting Thaddeus’ emphatic evil-versus-good outlook with its relative gentleness. Sf readers who value humor and humanity (not just slam-bang action), Christians, newcomers to graphic novels, and fans of Yang’s simultaneously childlike and sophisticated ability to create and maintain tension should all be satisfied by his new book." (Booklist)

THE SONG OF THE WHALES by Uri Orlev. "In this spare, swift novel, readers are introduced to a young boy named Michael right before his family moves to Israel. There, he is called Mikha’el, and he creates a tight bond with his grandfather, Raphael, an antiques dealer who knows all about the soul of things. One night, Mikha’el falls asleep next to Grandpa and is astonished to join in on his dream. Soon, the boy spends every night on fantastical journeys with the old man, sometimes having exhilarating adventures, sometimes setting out to sweeten or repair the dreams of others that have faded or become poisonous: When Grandpa was done with each dream, Mikha’el loved to handle it and smell it before returning it to its owner. As his health fails, Raphael bestows his gift upon the boy, so that he may become a dream master in his own right. Washed with a wonderful sense of magical realism and potent lyricism, the narrative is also instilled with delicate family dynamics, many of which Mikha’el is able to recognize, while others hover just outside of his full comprehension."

THE TIME PIRATE: A NICK MCIVER TIME ADVENTURE by Ted Bell. "Bell continues the heavily promoted Nick McIver Adventures through Time series with this sequel to Nick of Time (2008), that begins in 1940. As the Channel Islands brace for the coming German invasion, 12-year-old Nick’s sister is kidnapped by a time-traveling pirate, and Nick’s pursuit turns the plot back to colonial America, where the Revolutionary War is brewing. Readers will need to check their plausibility meter from the start of this rip-roaring time-warp tale. An unnecessary prologue, confusing dream scenes, and excessive nautical details may deter some, but the breakneck pacing and wild plot will keep readers hanging on to the end." (Booklist)

THEODOSIA AND THE EYES OF HORUS by R. L. LaFevers. "Being able to detect black magic isn’t all tea and crumpets—and for Theodosia Throckmorton, it can be a decidedly tricky business! When Sticky Will drags Theo to a magic show featuring the Great Awi Bubu, she quickly senses there is more to the magician than he lets on, setting in motion a chain of events she never could have bargained for. Meanwhile, back at the Museum of Legends and Antiquities, Henry is home for the spring holidays and makes an accidental discovery of an artifact that alchemists have been hunting for centuries. Soon, every black-cloaked occultist in London is trying to get their hands on it..."

A WIZARD OF MARS: THE YOUNG WIZARDS by Diane Duane. "In the hotly anticipated ninth installment of the Young Wizards series, Kit and Nita become part of an elite team investigating the mysterious "message in a bottle," which holds the first clues to the secrets of the long-lost inhabitants of Mars. But not even wizardry can help them cope with the strange events that unfold when the "bottle" is uncorked and a life form from another era emerges. Though the Martians seem friendly, they have a plan that could change the shape of more than one world. As the shadow of interplanetary war stretches over both worlds, Kit and Nita must fight to master the strange and ancient synergy binding them to Mars and its last inhabitants. If they don't succeed, the history that left Mars lifeless will repeat itself on Earth."

Young Adult:

ATHENA: GREY-EYED GODDESS by George O'Connor. "Greek Gods as you’ve never seen them before! The strong, larger-than-life heroes of the Olympians can summon lightning, control the sea, turn invisible, or transform themselves into any animal they choose. Superheroes? No! Greek gods. The ancient pantheon comes to explosive life in this new series where myth meets comic books. Epic battles, daring quests, and terrible monsters await readers within the pages of these books. Volume 2, Athena: Grey-Eyed Goddess, is the tale of the goddess of wisdom and war, recounting her many adventures."

THE CLEARING by Heather Davis. "In this bittersweet romance, two teens living decades apart form a bond that will change their lives forever. Amy is drawn to the misty, mysterious clearing behind her Aunt Mae's place because it looks like the perfect place to hide from life. A place to block out the pain of her last relationship, to avoid the kids in her new town, to stop dwelling on what her future holds after high school. Then, she meets a boy lurking in the mist--Henry. Henry is different from any other guy Amy has ever known. And after several meetings in the clearing, she's starting to fall for him. But Amy is stunned when she finds out just how different Henry really is. Because on his side of the clearing, it's still 1944. By some miracle, Henry and his family are stuck in the past, staving off the tragedy that will strike them in the future. Amy's crossing over to Henry's side brings him more happiness than he's ever known--but her presence also threatens to destroy his safe existence."

FINDERS KEEPERS: GIFTED by Marilyn Kaye. "Dead people don't make great companions - something cute, athletic Ken finds out the hard way when, following an accident on the football field, he starts hearing ghostly voices. It's not the kind of gift he would have asked for, but there's nothing he can do about it, until an anonymous note invites him to a seance. Completely convinced by the medium he meets, Ken tries to tell her about his secret. Only his gifted classmates can save him from revealing the truth - and finding himself in terrible danger . . ."

THE KING COMMANDS: TALES OF THE BORDERLANDS by Meg Burden. "The Northlands are in turmoil, divided by those who support King Alaric's decrees welcoming the Southlings and their magic, and those who will stop at nothing to send them back to the Southland where they belong. But the Southland, too, is being torn apart as the Southlings with mental gifts and healing magic are hunted by the mysterious Guardians, captured and never heard from again. As the legendary peace of the Southland crumbles and the throne of the Northlands is challenged, Ellin Fisher, the powerful young Southling who befriended the Northlands royalty, must make a terrible choice. Is it her destiny to fight for equality in the Northlands, or to embrace her calling as a Healer and help other True Southlings escape from the Guardians who killed her family? In the midst of this, while the home she's chosen and the land she left behind both stand poised on the brink of civil war, Ellin must choose where her heart lies, as well. She loves King Alaric, but will Princess Nathalia, another newcomer to the Northlands, stand in the way?"

THE LIGHT: MORPHEUS ROAD by D. J. MacHale. "#1 NYT bestselling author D.J. MacHale's Morpheus Road trilogy brings readers down an ethereal pathway between the worlds of the living and dead."

LIVING HELL by Catherine Jinks. "All is well on the spaceship Plexus. Decades into a journey that has left earth far behind, the couple thousand residents live a life of insulated security. Their social interactions are sensitive and enlightened, their meals prepared instantaneously, and a serene aura of peace makes their slow search for an inhabitable planet a tranquil one. But what’s that up ahead? A radiation field? Soon after the ship passes through, 17-year-old Cheney finds himself in the middle—literally—of a nightmare. (Warning: somewhat of a first-act spoiler ahead.) With shocking rapidity, the ship begins turning into a biologic organism: the walls become muscle, cables become veins, and simple devices like transport vehicles become equivalent to cellular defenders out to devour viruses—and the viruses are the humans. An unbelievably tense first half plateaus after a time, but that hardly diminishes the gooey, sticky, mucus-covered fun. Jinks’ well-thought-out environs and rational characters help ground this otherwise out-of-control interstellar thriller." (Booklist)

RADIANT SHADOWS: WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr. "The fourth in Marr’s Wicked Lovely series focuses loosely on Devlin, the High Queen of Faerie’s advisor-assassin, and Ani, the half-mortal daughter of Gabriel, leader of the Wild Hunt. Characters from other books play roles of varying importance as Devlin and Ani meet, fall in lust/love, and foil another attempt to create unrest in both worlds. This is a convoluted story, and despite frequent interruptions detailing character backstories and the inner workings of Faerie courts, it is utterly dependent on the rest of the series. Though the story ends with balance restored to Faerie, an ominous sense of precariousness leaves room for more."

SEBASTIAN DARKE: PRINCE OF EXPLORERS by Philip Caveney. "Sebastian Darke; his snarky buffalope, Max; and fierce fighter Cornelius are off on another hair-raising quest after being hired by a rich merchant to seek out the legendary lost city of Mendip. Not only must they find it, they must bring back valuable proof of its existence. Sebastian doubts they’ll reach their destination after trudging through miles of jungle filled with warrior beasts and terrifying tribes. But then he meets the beautiful Keera, whose people believe he’s the Chosen One sent to free their tribe from their brutal enemy. Little do they know that Sebastian is definitely not the hero type. He just wants to bring back valuable proof of the lost city. But will the price they must pay outweigh the rewards?"

THIRTEEN DAYS TO MIDNIGHT by Patrick Carman. "You are indestructible. Three whispered words transfer an astonishing power to Jacob Fielding that changes everything. At first, Jacob is hesitant to use the power, unsure of its implications. But there's something addictive about testing the limits of fear. Then Ophelia James, the beautiful and daring new girl in town, suggests that they use the power to do good, to save others. But with every heroic act, the power grows into the specter of a curse. How to decide who lives and who dies? In this nail-biting novel of mystery and dark intrigue, Jacob must walk the razor thin line between right and wrong, good and evil, and life and death. And time is running out. Because the Grim Reaper doesn't disappear. . . . He catches up."


  1. Thanks for posting, it's useful to see a roundup like this!

  2. Thank you for commenting, Katherine! It's nice to be reassured that people are reading these lists!

  3. Oh wow there's a lot coming out! A ton of these I want! I definately want the Patrick Carman one. I just got an ARC of the Nick of Time one - hoping it's a good one. Thanks for putting this list together!

  4. It's been awhile since I read the last Young Wizards book, but for some reason, I thought Duane was done with the series. I wonder if this latest installment helps fix some of the datedness of High Wizardry.

    I often wish I could unzip a pocket of space in which to store my stuff, instead of lugging around a purse that always gets heavy no matter how much I winnow its contents.

  5. Yeah, I want the Patrick Carman one too!

    It's been so long since I read High Wizardry that I do not remember any dated-ness at all...I'm reading this one right now, and it doesn't seem dated to me. But then, I don't own a cell phone...yet.

  6. The King Commands has one of the worst covers I have seen in a while (it's a case of Photoshop gone terribly wrong), but the story is great.

  7. It agree, it is an amusing phrase


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