Here are the new releases of science fiction and fantasy for kids and teens from the middle of May. As ever, the information comes from Teens Read Too, and the blurbs, unless otherwise noted, come from the publishers via Amazon.
THE ADVENTURES OF HOTSY TOTSY by Clive Cussler “Take a look at Casey and Lacey Nicefolk and you'll see two regular, all-American kids. But these brother-and-sister twins have a secret. Hidden in the family barn is the most magical-and coolest-gadget unknown to man: a mystical box that can turn any small object into a life-size replica. When the twins' parents go out of town, the two decide to put the box to use. Taking a model boat, they create a fully functioning powerboat and enter a race up the Sacramento River. But this is no ordinary boat, and this is no ordinary race. What follows is a nautical adventure where being the first to cross the finish line is not the only prize.”
ALISON DARE: THE HEART OF THE MAIDEN and ALISON DARE: LITTLE MISS ADVENTURE by J. Torres. "Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft in fabulous, graphic adventures.Alison Dare is not your typical twelve-year-old. She's the daughter of an archaeologist/adventurer and the masked hero known as the Blue Scarab. To top it off, she's also the niece of an international super-spy; it's no surprise that a craving for danger is in her blood! Unfortunately, her parents have locked her away at the prestigious St. Joan's Academy for Girls, hoping that this would lead to a more "normal" life for their daughter. But despite all the strict rules at the school, Alison and her best pals - Wendy and Dot - somehow manage to find themselves involved in adventures that rival those of Alison's globetrotting, planet-saving relatives. Whether it's magic genies, super-powered bank robbers, or a dastardly baron bent on world domination, Alison Dare delivers the best thrills since Indiana Jones and more action than Lara Croft!"
BLIMPO: THE THIRD CIRCLE OF HECK by Dale E. Basye. “With more clever, dark humor and zany silliness, Dale E. Basye sends Milton and Marlo Fauster back for thirds in another laugh-out-loud installment of the popular series Heck. Welcome to Blimpo, where the, um, plump kids go. After his second escape from Bea "Elsa" Bubb, the Principal of Darkness, Milton Fauster makes his way to Blimpo—the circle of the otherworldly reform school, Heck, where he's sure his friend Virgil is sentenced. What Milton finds in Blimpo horrifies him. The overweight dead kids spend most of their time running on giant human hamster wheels called DREADmills that detect and exploit their deepest fears. The rest they spend eating Hambone Hank's barbecue—mystery meat that is delicious, but suspiciously (to Milton, anyway) haunting. Every classroom has a huge TV screen showing happy thin people who taunt Blimpo residents with a perfection they will never attain. Meanwhile, at her new job in the devil's Infernship program, Milton's sister, Marlo, knows all about trying to achieve perfection. And failing miserably. Can Milton get himself and Virgil out of Blimpo in time to rescue Marlo, too? Or is Fauster the next delicacy on Bea "Elsa" Bubb's menu?”
FALCON QUINN AND THE BLACK MIRROR by Jennifer Finney Boylan. "Thirteen-year-old Falcon Quinn and his neighbors, Max and Megan, board bus number 13 for school on an ordinary day in Cold River, Maine. Only the bus doesn't take its ordinary route, and Falcon and his friends soon find themselves in an extraordinary place—on Shadow Island, at the Academy for Monsters. With a student body stranger than the cast of any monster movie Falcon has ever seen, the academy is home to creatures and oddities of all kinds. In the academy's atmosphere, Falcon's friends begin to unleash and enjoy their monster natures, from flying with Pearl, La Chupakabra, to decaying with the "Zombie Snap." Falcon has always felt different, with his one bright blue eye and one shadow-black eye, but is he really a monster? Will he discover the other thing that makes him different when he finds himself in the Black Mirror? And when he learns that the school's mission is to teach students to hide their aberrant natures, Falcon and his friends need to find a way to fight back for their monster selves."
FIRE IN THE SKY: SEEKERS by Erin Hunter. “The spirits dance like fire in the sky. . . . The three cubs—Kallik, Toklo, and Lusa—along with their shape-shifting companion, Ujurak, stand on the edge of the sea-ice under the blazing Northern Lights. The land has come to an end, but the bears' journey is far from over. Now they must put their trust in Kallik's paws, as she feels the ice pulling her out toward the ocean. Life on the ice is more difficult than the bears imagined. While Kallik struggles to remember her polar bear roots, Toklo bristles in the unfamiliar territory and Lusa gets weaker by the day; black and brown bears don't belong on the ice. Meanwhile, Ujurak learns firsthand what lurks beneath the whorls and bubbles of the ice, and what he discovers will change everything. Just when it seems like they'll never survive in the frozen wilderness, a mystical encounter with a bear spirit assures them that all will be well. But this strange vision leads to even more questions, and ultimately it might tear the bears apart—this time for good—as the next steps of their journey come into focus.
I SO DON'T DO MAKEUP by Barrie Summy. "What's better than a sleepover? A sleepover with makeovers! Sherry and her friends have an awesome time with eye shadow, glitter, and more hair products than a salon. But when the girls wake up the next morning with serious skin issues, Sherry is freaked. Someone must have tampered with her makeup! It turns out that the mall's cosmetics kiosk has had lots of products returned by upset customers. Sherry is determined to get to the bottom of things. After all, she's a bit of a crime-solving celebrity (well, at least in the spirit world). Ghost academies around the world are impressed by Sherry's and her ghost mom's skills. And if anyone can solve a mystery involving mascara, it's Sherry Holmes Baldwin."
IVY'S EVER AFTER by Dawn Lairamore. “Once upon a time in the kingdom of Ardendale there lived a spirited princess named Ivy, who had no interest in being rescued by Prince Charming, and an undersized dragon named Elridge, who was better at solving word puzzles than breathing fire. Sailing into this world on a ship made of whale bones came Romil, a handsome prince with dastardly designs on Princess Ivy and her kingdom. Ivy and Elridge, both disappointments to their families, join forces to try and thwart Romil's evil plot. In the process these traditional enemies become fast freinds, discover hidden strengths, and earn the respect of all who know them. Full of humor and high adventure--and plenty of slightly skewed fairy-tale motifs--this frothy fractured fairy tale is sure to delight young readers.”
KERKA'S BOOK: THE FAIRY GODMOTHER ACADEMY by Jan Bozarth. "In the second title in the Fairy Godmother Academy series, the narrative viewpoint switches to Kerka, the sidekick in Birdie’s Book (2009), who is now on a quest to her sister Biba’s voice, as well as her own destiny. Ever since their mother died, Biba has not talked, and as Kerka, 13, trains to become a fairy godmother, she reenters the dreamland of Aventurine and embarks on a perilous journey in which she confronts her own shortcomings. The blend of magical detail with family drama will hold fantasy fans, even those new to the series." (from Booklist)
KID VS. SQUID by Greg van Eekhout. "Thatcher Hill is bored stiff of his summer job dusting the fake mermaids and shrunken heads at his uncle's seaside Museum of Curiosities. But when a mysterious girl steals an artifact from the museum, Thatcher's summer becomes an adventure that takes him from the top of the ferris wheel to the depths of the sea. Following the thief, he learns that she is a princess of the lost Atlantis. Her people have been cursed by an evil witch to drift at sea all winter and wash up on shore each summer to an even more terrible fate—working the midway games and food stands on the boardwalk. Can Thatcher help save them before he, too, succumbs to the witch's curse?"
LEGENDS: BATTLES AND QUESTS by Anthony Horowitz, "Including King Arthur, The Minotaur, Inca legends and more! There was a time when monsters and dragons roamed the earth and the gods walked among us. A time of blood, swords and furious battles. A time of legends, heroes, darkness and death . . ."
MONSTER SLAYERS by Lukas Ritter. "When vicious, dog-headed gnolls kidnap everyone living in the small village of Hesiod, only Evin and his fighter friend Jorick manage to escape. With help from an ancient guidebook of magical beasts called A Practical Guide to Monsters, the two boys and a new friend--elf wizard Betilivatis--must trek through ancient ruins and face one menacing monster after another in order save their families. But Evin soon realizes that not everything is as it seems. Someone--or something--has taken leadership of the gnolls and has dangerous plans for the kidnapped villagers. Betilivatis often disappears mysteriously and has strange conversations with someone only she can see. And Evin is having unusual dreams of a place he's never been, a place that feels more and more real with each passing day."
PHANTOM OF BLOOD ALLEY: BARNABY GRIMES by Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell. "Barnaby Grimes is a tick-tock lad, high-stacking his way across the rooftops of his city in search of adventure and mystery. In each tale, he encounters a supernatural force and must battle the horrors that await him. In this new adventure, Barnaby finds himself in the fiercely competitive world of early photography, where the rewards are immense but so are the risks. After an experiment goes disastrously wrong, Barnaby is on the trail of a mad chemist with a talent for disappearing into thin air. . . ."
THE RING OF FIVE by Eoin McNamee. "The Ring of Five, set at a school for spies, is full of surprises as well as fascinating questions about loyalty, destiny, and what it means to be a spy. Danny Caulfield doesn't know how he ended up at a mysterious academy called Wilsons. A few of the students are pretty scary. Someone tries to murder him. Even the ravens that haunt the school seem to be against him. Yet he also finds friends: Les, an exceptional thief; Dixie, who has an unsettling talent; and Vandra, a physick with special powers. It turns out that Danny is destined for a terrifying mission. As he embarks on his training, he is shocked and secretly thrilled to discover that he seems to have all the natural gifts of the perfect spy—most importantly, the ability to betray."
SUPER HUMAN by Michael Carroll. "Four thousand years ago the world’s first super human walked the earth. Possessing the strength of one hundred men, skin impervious to attack, and the ability to read minds, this immortal being used his power to conquer and enslave nations. Now plans are in motion that will transport this super human to the present, where he’ll usher in a new age of tyranny unlike anything the world has ever seen. Determined to stand against them, using powers they’ve only just begun to master, is a ragtag group of young heroes. For them this first test may be their greatest . . . and last."
THE WIDE-AWAKE PRINCESS by E. D. Baker. “In this new stand-alone fairy tale, Princess Annie is the younger sister to Gwen, the princess destined to be Sleeping Beauty. When Gwennie pricks her finger and the whole castle falls asleep, only Annie is awake, and only Annie—blessed (or cursed?) with being impervious to magic—can venture out beyond the rose-covered hedge for help. She must find Gwen's true love to kiss her awake. But who is her true love? The irritating Digby? The happy-go-lucky Prince Andreas, who is holding a contest to find his bride? The conniving Clarence, whose sinister motives couldn't possibly spell true love? Joined by one of her father's guards, Liam, who happened to be out of the castle when the sleeping spell struck, Annie travels through a fairy tale land populated with characters both familiar and new as she tries to fix her sister and her family . . . and perhaps even find a true love of her own."
THE FIRE OPAL by Regina McBride. "There was a time when Maeve O'Tullagh led a simple life; a time when she and her mother, Nuala, collected kelp on the foreshore near their cottage in Ard Macha; a time when she played among the Celtic ruins with her older brothers and daydreamed about the legendary Holy Isles, an enchanted land ruled in a past age by a beautiful goddess. But after Maeve's sister, Ishleen, is born, her mother sinks into a deep, impenetrable trance. For years, Maeve tries to help her mother "awaken," and then the unthinkable happens: Ishleen succumbs to the same mysterious ailment as Nuala. Heartbroken to think that her sister and her mother might be lost to her forever, Maeve sets off on an unimaginable quest to a world filled with fantastical creatures, a web of secrets, a handsome, devious villain who will stop at nothing to have her hand in marriage—braving them all to retrieve a powerful glowing stone that will help her recover the souls of her loved ones and bring them home to Ard Macha."
THE GOLDEN SPIRAL: THE HOURGLASS DOOR by Lisa Mangum. “His eyes. His touch. His kiss. Dante was unlike anyone Abby had ever met. Now he s gone, and Abby will do anything to get him back . . . The hourglass door has closed behind Dante, sending him back in time to hunt down Zo, Tony, and V. Abby knows that Dante, as a Master of Time, is the only one who can stop them from destroying time itself. She also knows that he will need her help. But almost immediately, things start to change, and Abby s worst fears are realized when Zo begins targeting her past specifically. As Abby s world fractures around her, she must face a terrible truth: either Dante didn t make it through the door, or he is lost forever. So with Dante s blueprints in hand, she begins construction on a new door, a new time machine that will either save Dante or doom him. With each new change that ripples into her present, Abby s life continues to spiral out of control. Her relationships with Jason, Natalie, and even her family are threatened to the breaking point and beyond. Zo s power is greater than Abby ever imagined, but as she struggles to free Dante, she receives help from an unexpected and unlikely ally. The bank is eroding. The barriers are thinning. And time is running out.”
HELL'S HEROES: THE DEMONATA by Darren Shan. "Beranabus and Dervish are gone. Bec has formed an unholy alliance with Lord Loss. Kernel is blind, held on Earth against his will. Grubbs is mad with grief and spinning out of control. The demons are crossing. The Disciples are falling. The Shadow is waiting. Welcome to the end."
ILLYRIA by Elizabeth Hand. “Madeleine and Rogan are first cousins, best friends, twinned souls, each other’s first love. Even within their large, disorderly family—all descendants of a famous actress—their intensity and passion for theater sets them apart. It makes them a little dangerous. When they are cast in their school’s production of Twelfth Night, they are forced to face their separate talents and futures, and their future together. This masterful short novel, winner of the World Fantasy Award, is magic on paper.”
INK BLOOM: DRAW AND PAINT A FANTASY ADVENTURE by Jim Pavelec & Chris Seaman. “Create an array of fantastic alien creatures, landscapes, ships and background elements while being entertained with the story of a strong female character and learning how illustration and story work hand in hand. Follow Hachi, a 17-year-old girl of Chinese-Japanese descent immediately following World War II, as she discovers herself and her innate powers while traveling to futuristic worlds, encountering new friends and terrible foes that will push her newfound powers to their limits.”
RESTORING HARMONY by Joelle Anthony. "The year is 2041, and sixteen-year-old Molly McClure has lived a relatively quiet life on an isolated farming island in Canada, but when her family fears the worst may have happened to her grandparents in the US, Molly must brave the dangerous, chaotic world left after global economic collapse—one of massive oil shortages, rampant crime, and abandoned cities. Molly is relieved to find her grandparents alive in their Portland suburb, but they’re financially ruined and practically starving. What should’ve been a quick trip turns into a full-fledged rescue mission. And when Molly witnesses something the local crime bosses wishes she hadn’t, Molly’s only way home may be to beat them at their own game. Luckily, there’s a handsome stranger who’s willing to help."
THE RISE OF RENEGADE X by Chelsea M. Campbell. "Sixteen-year-old Damien Locke has a plan: major in messing with people at the local supervillain university and become a professional evil genius, just like his supervillain mom. But when he discovers the shameful secret she's been hiding all these years, that the one-night stand that spawned him was actually with a superhero, everything gets messed up. His father's too moral for his own good, so when he finds out Damien exists, he actually wants him to come live with him and his goody-goody superhero family. Damien gets shipped off to stay with them in their suburban hellhole, and he has only six weeks to prove he's not a hero in any way, or else he's stuck living with them for the rest of his life, or until he turns eighteen, whichever comes first.To get out of this mess, Damien has to survive his dad's "flying lessons" that involve throwing him off the tallest building in the city--despite his nearly debilitating fear of heights--thwarting the eccentric teen scientist who insists she's his sidekick, and keeping his supervillain girlfriend from finding out the truth. But when Damien uncovers a dastardly plot to turn all the superheroes into mindless zombie slaves, a plan hatched by his own mom, he discovers he cares about his new family more than he thought. Now he has to choose: go back to his life of villainy and let his family become zombies, or stand up to his mom and become a real hero."
STILL SUCKS TO BE ME: THE ALL-TRUE CONFESSIONS OF MINA SMITH, TEEN VAMPIRE
by Kimberly Pauley. "With vampire boyfriend George and best friend Serena by her side, Mina thought she had her whole life—or rather afterlife—ahead of her. But then Mina’s parents drop a bomb. They’re moving. To Louisiana. And not somewhere cool like New Orleans, but some teeny, tiny town where cheerleaders and jocks rule the school. Mina has to fake her death, change her name, and leave everything behind, including George and Serena. Not even the Vampire Council’s shape-shifting classes can cheer her up. Then Serena shows up on Mina’s doorstep with some news that sends Mina reeling. Mina may look a lot better with fangs, but her afterlife isn’t any less complicated!"
THE WATER SEEKER by Kimberly Willis Holt. "Amos Kincaid is the son of a dowser – a person gifted in knowing how to “find” water deep in the ground. As a young person, Amos doesn’t reveal his gift to others; he’s not sure he wants the burden. But through his experiences growing up and crossing the Oregon Trail, Amos learns about life’s harsh realities, especially the pain in losing loved ones. As he cares for those around him, Amos comes to accept his dowsing fate. This epic novel is a fascinating period piece about the westward expansion and one man’s destiny as he searches for love and family."
WINTERCRAFT by Jenna Burtenshaw. “Ten years ago Kate Winters’ parents were taken by the High Council’s wardens to help with the country’s war effort. Now the wardens are back...and prisoners, including Kate's uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane – the High Council’s most feared man – recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council’s experiments into the veil, and he’s convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft – a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft.”