New Releases of Fantasy and Science Fiction for Kids and Teenagers, the beginning of Sept. 2010 edition

It's quite a nice little assortment, this edition of new releases. My pick would be The Crowfield Curse from the middle grade titles, and Firelight from the YA....

ALIEN CONTACT: ALIEN AGENT by Pamela F. Service. Most humans know that scientists are combing outer space for evidence of intelligent life in the universe. And most aliens know that the Galactic Union has been diligently jamming those efforts until Earth is ready to join. A small group of aliens has other ideas, though. They plan on sending humans fake messages as part of a plan for world domination. Only one "human" can stop them Zack Gaither, Alien Agent. Zack will have to use all he's learned in his previous adventures to save Earth from the Gnairt. Fortunately, he's got some help this time. And she's kinda cute...

BENJAMIN FRANKLINSTEIN LIVES by Matthew McElligott. Victor Godwin's orderly life is upended when he discovers that Benjamin Franklin never actually died-he was put into suspended animation and hidden away for more than 200 years in Victor's basement! After an accident reawakens Ben, Victor must not only help him adjust to the modern world but also help him overcome a slight flaw: when Ben runs low on energy, he turns into a rampaging monster desperately hungry for electricity! All this while trying to take first place in the school science fair. With one of history's preeminent scientists helping out, what could go wrong?

THE CLOUD SEARCHERS: AMULET by Kazu Kibuishi. In the third installment of the thrilling Amulet series, Emily, Navin, and their crew of resistance fighters charter an airship and set off in search of Cielis, a mythical city believed to be located on an island high above the clouds. The mysterious Leon Redbeard is their guide, and there's a surprising new addition to the crew: the Elf King's son, Trellis. But is he ally or enemy? And will Emily ever be able to trust the voice of the Amulet?

THE CROWFIELD CURSE by Pat Walsh. It's 1347 and fifteen-year-old Will, an orphan boy, lives at Crowfield Abbey. Sent into the forest to gather wood, he rescues instead, a creature from a trap - a hob, who shares with Will a terrible secret. Somewhere in the forest behind the abbey where he lives, is a grave. And buried deep in the snow is an angel. But how can an angel die? What has it to do with the monks of the Abbey? When two hooded strangers arrive at Crowfield asking questions about the angel's grave. Will is drawn into a world of dangerous Old Magic. "The Crowfield Feather" was short-listed for the "Times" Chidren's Fiction Competition in 2008. This is a stunning debut novel and the first of a two part series.

THE DEAD BOYS by Royce Buckingham. In the desert town of Richland, Washington, there stands a giant sycamore tree. Horribly mutated by nuclear waste, it feeds on the life energy of boys that it snags with its living roots. And when Teddy Matthews moves to town, the tree trains its sights on its next victim.

From the start, Teddy knows something is very wrong with Richland. Every kid he meets disappears before his eyes. A trip to the cemetery confirms that these boys are actually dead and trying to lure him to the tree. But that knowledge is no help when Teddy is swept into the tree’s world, a dark version of Richland from which there is no escape . . .

THE FAMILIARS by Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson. After three young wizard apprentices are kidnapped by the evil queen of a distant land, it is up to their familiars, their magical animal companions -- a street smart alley cat, a precocious blue jay, and a bumbling tree frog -- to save them.

THE GHOST OF CRUTCHFIELD HALL by Mary Downing Hahn. When twelve-year-old Florence boards the crowded horse-drawn coach in London, she looks forward to a new life with her great uncle and aunt at Crutchfield Hall, an old manor house in the English countryside. Anything will be better, she thinks, than the grim London orphanage where she has lived since her parents' death.

But Florence doesn't expect the ghost of her cousin Sophia, who haunts the cavernous rooms and dimly lit hallways of Crutchfield and concocts a plan to use Florence to help her achieve her murderous goals. Will Florence be able to convince the others in the household of the imminent danger and stop Sophia before it's too late?

GHOST DOG SECRETS by Peg Kehret. Each day, Rusty feeds a dog that’s left chained in the frigid weather with no shelter and no food or water. When he realizes that the dog’s been injured, Rusty and his friend Andrew unchain the dog and take it. Are they stealing, or are they rescuing a dog in need?

With the dog living in their secret hideout, the boys face multiple challenges, including a mysterious ghost dog that tries to lead them to a startling secret, Andrew’s snoopy sister, and the escalating threats of the dog’s abusive owner. The fast-paced suspense builds to a surprising conclusion, which will leave young readers cheering for Rusty’s compassion and determination.

by Jason Hawes & Grant Wilson.
An exciting new middle grade collection of spooky paranormal investigations based on REAL ghost hunts from stars of the TV show Ghost Hunters, the number one reality show on cable television!

In a lush, thick volume, Ghost Hunt will feature multiple stories dramatized with cliff hangers and red herrings to heighten suspense and character interaction. Through the investigations, the reader will learn the ins and outs of ghost hunting, how to spot a hoax, and how to face their fear of the paranormal.

The book will also have tips for ghost hunting at the end of the book, including guides to the technical equipment and how to set up your own traps for ghosts. Though presented as fiction, these stories are based on real cases, and the GHOSTS ARE REAL!

HALF UPON A TIME by James Riley. Life’s no fairy tale for Jack. After all, his father's been missing ever since that incident with the beanstalk and the giant, and his grandfather keeps pushing him to get out and find a princess to rescue. Who'd want to rescue a snobby, entitled princess anyway? Especially one that falls out of the sky wearing a shirt that says "Punk Princess," and still denies she's royalty. In fact, May doesn't even believe in magic. Yeah, what's that about? May does need help though--a huntsman is chasing her, her grandmother has been kidnapped, and Jack thinks it’s all because of the Wicked Queen . . . mostly because May’s grandmother might just be the long-lost Snow White.

THE LIMIT by Kristen Landon. An eighth grade girl was taken today . . .

With this first sentence, readers are immediately thrust into a fast-paced thriller that doesn't let up for a moment. In a world not too far removed from our own, kids are being taken away to special workhouses if their families exceed the monthly debt limit imposed by the government. Thirteen-year-old Matt briefly wonders if he might be next, but quickly dismisses the thought. After all, his parents are financially responsible, unlike the parents of those other kids. As long as his parents remain within their limit, the government will be satisfied and leave them alone. But all it takes is one fatal visit to the store to push Matt’s family over their limit—and to change his reality forever.

THE LOST ISLAND: RIPLEY'S BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, and also SHOCK HORROR: RIPLEY'S BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION by Robert Ripley. Join the Ripley's Bureau of Investigation - a group of teen agents with special gifts - as they embark on a series of action-packed adventures, travelling the world in pursuit of extraordinary events and tales. These wonderful new stories are perfect for adventurously minded children between the ages of 7 and 11. In "Shock Horror", reports of mysterious fires, exploding trees and unexplained power cuts in a remote Rocky Mountain town reach the RBI. Is there any truth in the terrifying stories of a strange figure in the forest with sparks flying from his fingertips? Using their own powerful skills, the RBI are tested to their limits on the sizzling adventure.

M IS FOR MAMA'S BOY: N.E.R.D.S. by Michael Buckley. In this second outing for the 5th grade super spies, Duncan Dewey, codename "Gluestick", is the point of view character. This time the group must fight a very unlikely villain - he still lives with his Mum. In other words, it's the NERDS against a nerd.

NO SUCH THING AS DRAGONS by Philip Reeve. A dragon story with a brilliant twist…. Ansel's new master slays dragons for a living. He says he's hunted the monstrous worms all over Christendom and has the scars to prove it. But is Brock just a clever trickster in shining armour? Ansel is sure there are no such things as dragons. So what is the man-eating creature that makes its lair in the crags of Dragon Mountain? Ansel and Brock must climb the ice face to discover the terrifying truth.

PLAIN KATE by Erin Bow. Plain Kate lives in a world of superstitions and curses, where a song can heal a wound and a shadow can work deep magic. As the wood-carver's daughter, Kate held a carving knife before a spoon, and her wooden charms are so fine that some even call her "witch-blade" -- a dangerous nickname in a town where witches are hunted and burned in the square.

For Kate and her village have fallen on hard times. Kate's father has died, leaving her alone in the world. And a mysterious fog now covers the countryside, ruining crops and spreading fear of hunger and sickness. The townspeople are looking for someone to blame, and their eyes have fallen on Kate.

Enter Linay, a stranger with a proposition: In exchange for her shadow, he'll give Kate the means to escape the town that seems set to burn her, and what's more, he'll grant her heart's wish. It's a chance for her to start over, to find a home, a family, a place to belong. But Kate soon realizes that she can't live shadowless forever -- and that Linay's designs are darker than she ever dreamed.

SCARLETT DEDD by Cathy Brett. You're dead Scarlett...Previously a poor taste jibe from school frenemies, now a statement of fact.

Scarlett is absolutely mortified (in more ways than one) to discover that she's accidentally killed herself while trying to get out of a school trip. Even worse, she's taken her entire family with her. Life as a ghost is pretty dull - if only some of her friends were dead too...


BEYOND THE MASK: THE GRASSLAND TRILOGY by David Ward In this dramatic conclusion to the Grasslands Trilogy, Corki, Pippa, and all their friends are reunited for a final fight to determine the future of Grassland. After escaping the mountains of Grassland, where Corki and Pippa and their friends were slaves and soldiers, the fugitives finally found a new life, and are seemingly safe at last.

But as the former slaves explore new lands to the north, they discover that cruelty and injustice are not only found in Grassland, and that the people they visit may need their help. Grassland, too, may need assistance. When an appeal from an old friend reaches Corki and Pippa in their travels, will they have the courage to do what’s right for their old land, despite its cruel history? What will it cost them to change Grassland for the better?

THE COUNSELING: GHOST HUNTRESS by Marley Gibson Kendall has just discovered who Emily really is, lost her boyfriend, and nearly died doing the thing she loves most--ghost hunting. It's time to take a break and try to reconcile all the changes she's going through. So Kendall heads to the Sierra Mountains, where there's a camp especially for young people with gifts such as hers. It's a time for reflection and self-discovery.

But when she gets to California, she once again finds restless spirits--and the boy in her last vision. It may be the end of one chapter of her life and the beginning of a new one.

CRUSADE by Nancy Holder & Debbie Viguie For the past two years, Jenn has lived and trained at Spain’s Sacred Heart Academy Against the Cursed Ones. She is among the few who have pledged to defend humanity or die trying. But the vampires are gaining power, and the battle has only just begun. Forced to return home after death takes a member of her family, Jenn discovers that San Francisco is now a vampire strong-hold. As a lone hunter apart from her team, Jenn is isolated—and at risk. She craves the company of her fighting partner, Antonio: his protection, his reassurance, his touch. But a relationship with Antonio comes with its own dangers, and the more they share of themselves, the more Jenn stands to lose. Then Jenn is betrayed by one who was once bound to protect her, causing her to doubt all she had held as true. To survive, Jenn must find the courage to trust herself—and her heart.

EXTRAORDINARY by Nancy Werlin. Phoebe finds herself drawn to Mallory, the strange and secretive new kid in school, and the two girls become as close as sisters . . . until Mallory's magnetic older brother, Ryland, shows up during their junior year. Ryland has an immediate, exciting hold on Phoebe, but a dangerous hold, for she begins to question her feelings about her best friend and, worse, about herself. Soon she'll discover the shocking truth about Ryland and Mallory: that these two are visitors from the faerie realm who have come to collect on an age-old debt. Generations ago, the faerie queen promised Pheobe's ancestor five extraordinary sons in exchange for the sacrifice of one ordinary female heir. But in hundreds of years there hasn't been a single ordinary girl in the family, and now the faeries are dying. Could Phoebe be the first ordinary one? Could she save the faeries, or is she special enough to save herself

edited by International Thriller Writers Association
Turn the pages if you dare. . . .In this collection of thirteen fabulously chilling storiesÑfrom thirteen true masters of suspense, including five New York Times bestsellers and a number of Edgar Award nominees, all edited by none other than R. L. StineÑnothing is what it seems. From cannibalistic children, to an unwitting date with a vampire, to a crush on a boy who just might be a werewolf, no scary stone is left unturned. A must-have for all fans of the genre!

FIRELIGHT by Sophie Jordan. Marked as special at an early age, Jacinda knows her every move is watched. But she longs for freedom to make her own choices. When she breaks the most sacred tenet among her kind, she nearly pays with her life. Until a beautiful stranger saves her. A stranger who was sent to hunt those like her. For Jacinda is a draki—a descendant of dragons whose greatest defense is her secret ability to shift into human form.

Forced to flee into the mortal world with her family, Jacinda struggles to adapt to her new surroundings. The only bright light is Will. Gorgeous, elusive Will who stirs her inner draki to life. Although she is irresistibly drawn to him, Jacinda knows Will's dark secret: He and his family are hunters. She should avoid him at all costs. But her inner draki is slowly slipping away—if it dies she will be left as a human forever. She'll do anything to prevent that. Even if it means getting closer to her most dangerous enemy.

IMMORTAL BELOVED by Cate Tiernan. Nastasya has spent the last century living as a spoiled, drugged-out party girl. She feels nothing and cares for no one. But when she witnesses her best friend, a Dark Immortal, torture a human, she realizes something's got to change. She seeks refuge at a rehab for wayward immortals, where she meets the gorgeous, undeniably sexy Reyn, who seems inexplicably linked to her past. Nastasya finally begins to deal with life, and even feels safe--until the night she learns that someone wants her dead.

IMMORTAL REMAINS: WEIRDSVILLE by Rook Hastings Four freak accidents. Four mysterious deaths. Four signs of trouble. Welcome back to Weirdsville…

"You see, the girls that died – it wasn't by accident. They were cursed, every one of them. Cursed to meet a horrible death… And I'm going to be next."

Four girls from posh school Riverbank have been killed in seemingly random but freakish ways and it’s not long before Bethan and co. are lured into investigating the grisly case. Is it really just coincidence or is there something more sinister going on?
Meanwhile Hashim’s playing truant, Kelly’s on the warpath and Jay’s trying to avoid someone even more close to home… Himself. Scary, paranormal and supernaturally chilling experiences are everyday in a town like Weirdsville.

LURE by Deborah Kerbel. A Victorian garden, a fishing lure, and a ghost named John .Absolutely nothing is going right for Max Green. His parents have just uprooted their family from Vancouver to the bleak suburbs of Toronto, he has no friends, and everybody at his new high school is ignoring him. To make matters worse, he's in love with an older girl who's completely out of his league.

When Max discovers a local library rumored to be haunted by ghosts, he's immediately drawn to it. With the help of some cryptic messages, he begins to piece together the identity of the teenage ghost and the mysterious chain of events that have connected its spirit to the building for over a century. But just who was John, anyway? Why has he chosen to contact Max? And what does an old fishing lure have to do with solving the mystery?

MONSTER HIGH by Lisi Harrison. From Lisi Harrison, the New York Times bestselling author of The Clique and Alphas, comes a new series with a fresh twist on high school, romance, and the "horrors" of trying to fit in. The monster community has kept a low profile at the local high school, but when two new girls enroll, the town will never be the same. Created just fifteen days ago, Frankie Stein is psyched to trade her father's formaldehyde-smelling basement lab for parties and prom. But with a student body totally freaked out by rumors of monsters stalking the halls, Frankie learns that high school can be rough for a chic freak like her. She thinks she finds a friend in fellow new student Melody Carver-but can a "normie" be trusted with her big secret?

PAST MIDNIGHT by Mara Purnhagen. Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I'm not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV…no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I'm usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven't gone unnoticed. Something happened on my parents' research trip in Charleston—and now I'm being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents' creepy occupation a secret from my friends—and potential boyfriends—is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear. All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive….

REVAMPED by Lucienne Diver. The fanged fabulousity of Vamped, FLUX's fastest-selling new release, is back! Gina's Rules for Surviving Super Spy Club Training: 1. First, the dirt and sweat are just too horrible to contemplate. 2. Unless you enjoy cold showers, be the first one to the bathroom in the morning. 3. Cargo pants make you look hip-py. 4. Making out on missions, unless it's part of your cover, is totally grounds for extra push-ups. 5. When going goth, you've totally got to strike words like totally, awesome, and phat from your vocabulary. 6. Who's actually running the Super Spy Club, you ask? I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you.

VANISHED: WHEN LIGHTNING STRIKES/CODE NAME CASSANDRA by Meg Cabot. Jessica Mastriani has never liked attention. All she wants is to make it to high school graduation like any ordinary girl. But when Jess is struck by lightning, she becomes anything but ordinary: suddenly she has the ability to locate missing children.

Now Jess is getting noticed in all the wrong ways and by all the wrong people. The media is obsessed with her and her story. The FBI is tapping her phone. And what’s going on with sexy senior Rob? Soon Jess learns the hard way that not everyone who is lost wants to be found….

With no one to trust, it's up to Jess to decide what to do with her new power—before it’s decided for her.

Z by Michael Thomas Ford. The First Rule of Torching: Cleanse with fire.

Josh is by far the best zombie Torcher around—at least, he is in his virtual-reality zombie-hunting game. Josh has quickly risen through the player ranks, relying on the skill, cunning, and agility of a real Torcher.

The Second Rule of Torching: Save all humans.

But luckily for Josh, zombies exist only in the virtual world. The real zombie war is now more than fifteen years in the past, and the battle to defeat the deadly epidemic that devastated his family—and millions of others—is the stuff of history lessons.

The Third Rule of Torching: You can't bring them back.

Charlie is the top-ranked player in the game. Since all the players are shrouded in anonymity, Josh never expects Charlie to be a girl—and he never expects the offer she makes him: to join the underground gaming league that takes the virtual-reality game off the screen and into the streets. Josh is thrilled. But the more involved he gets, the more he realizes that not everything is what it seems. Real blood is spilling, members of the team are disappearing, and the zombies in the game are acting strange. And then there's the matter of a mysterious drug called Z. . . .


  1. Alien Contact - Squee! I love this series!

    My library kids have been bugging me all year for the new Amulet. The other librarians keep asking me "why haven't you bought this, all the kids are asking for it" and I keep saying "it's not out yet!"

    In other thoughts...please, please, please no more ya paranormal series! Can't we have some one-offs?

  2. I am very excited about a new Nancy Werlin novel.

    I was eyeing The Crowfield Curse the other day at work

    Sadly, YA paranormal series aren't going anywhere. I would like them more if many weren't so forumla and writing quailty was better.

    But it looks like ghost stories are making a come back and that makes me happy.

  3. I'm looking forward to the new Nancy Werlin too! And the new Amulet...

    I was noticing the ghost stories as well...a lot of them look like good ones. Although I'm not sure I'm the right reader for the ghost dog one, being a cat person, myself.

  4. It's a tough call--Crowfield Curse or Plain Kate? Which to read first??

  5. I'm going with The Familiars for middle grade and Paranormalcy for YA. I just got Paranormalcy and am totally loving it.

  6. Lure is a really unique kind of YA ghost novel-based in a real place, with interesting characters, and a real believable flavour to it.


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