New releases of science fiction and fantasy for children and teenagers--the (somewhat skimpy) first half of Dec. 2010 edition

Here are the new release of sci fi/fantasy for kids and teens from the first half of December; a short list, and a tricky one from my point of view because too many of the last few precious moments of my youth were spent looking for blurbs, and a picture, that I never found. Sigh.

Middle Grade

ALCATRAZ VERSUS THE SHATTERED LENS by Brandon Sanderson "Alcatraz Smedry is on a mission to save the day! In his final adventure in the series by bestselling adult fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson, Alcatraz has a lot to prove and, as always, little time in which to do it!"

ANOTHER WHOLE NOTHER STORY by Dr. Cuthbert Soup. ""The plan was simple. Ethan Cheeseman, along with his three smart, polite, and relatively odor-free children, would travel back in time to end an ancient family curse and save their mother. Now that the LVR (a super-secret time machine) is in working order, it should be easy peasy. Except they didn't account for one basic rule of science: Murphy's Law, where everything that possibly could go wrong, does. So the Cheeseman family finds themselves on another madcap adventure, this time through stormy seas and haunted castles. And though their narrator, Dr. Soup, has a ton of unsolicited advice to offer young readers, he doesn't have much to say to help the Cheesemans. Just this one thing: Good luck!"

ARTEMIS THE BRAVE: GODDESS GIRLS by Jean Holub & Suzanne Williams

THE DOG'S DINNER: GUNK ALIENS by Jonny Moon "What could be worse than fighting snot-stealing aliens? Here's a hint: it lurks in the cafeteria. The gang face their toughest challenge yet, as they go after a terrifying flying alien. In an epic confrontation, Jack's inventing skills will be tested to the limit, one of his new friends will fall, and all of his courage will be needed when he takes on the worst ordeal of all . . . eating a school meal."

REAL MERMAIDS DON'T WEAR TOE RINGS by Helene Boudreau. ""Freak of nature takes on a whole new meaning...If she hadn't been so clueless, she might have seen it coming. But really, who expects to get into a relaxing bathtub after a stressful day of shopping for tankinis and come out with scales and a tail? Most. Embarrassing. Moment. Ever. Jade soon discovers she inherited her mermaid tendencies from her mom. But if Mom was a mermaid, how did she drown? Jade is determined to find out. So how does a plus-size, aqua-phobic mer-girl go about doing that exactly? And how will Jade ever be able to explain her secret to her best friend, Cori, and to her crush, Luke? This summer is about to get a lot more interesting..."

THE RISE AND FALL OF MOUNT MAJESTIC by Jennifer Trafton. "Ten-year-old Persimmony Smudge leads (much to her chagrin) a very dull life on the Island at the Center of Everything . . . until the night she overhears a life-changing secret. It seems that Mount Majestic, the rising and falling mountain in the center of the island, is not a mountain at all--it's the belly of a sleeping giant, moving as the giant breathes. Now Persimmony and her new friend Worvil the Worrier have to convince all the island's other quarreling inhabitants--including the silly Rumblebumps, the impeccably mannered Leafeaters, and the stubborn young king--that a giant is sleeping in their midst, and must not be woken."

THE SEWERS CRISIS: GUNK ALIENS by Jonny Moon. "They don't want our oil. They don't want our water. They don't want our brussels sprouts (actually, neither do we). They just want our snot.
Jack and his friends have only one alien left to capture. The best is always saved for last, though, so none of them should be surprised that this particular alien only loves one thing . . . poo! But once they've made a sickening descent into the sewers, the world should be finally safe. Shouldn't it?"

SHADOW: DRAGON ORB by Mark Robson "Pell and his night dragon Shadow must find the dark orb to help save the Oracle, leader of all dragonkind. But Segun, a power-hungry tyrant, stands in their way. Pell must use his flying skills, bravery, and resourcefulness to the limit, as Segun is determined to get the orb—even if it means killing the opposition."

Young Adult

ENTICE: NEED by Carrie Jones. "Zara and Nick are soul mates, meant to be together forever. But that's not quite how things have worked out. For starters, well, Nick is dead. Supposedly, he's been taken to a mythic place for warriors known as Valhalla, so Zara and her friends might be able to get him back. But it's taking time, and meanwhile a group of evil pixies is devastating Bedford, with more teens going missing every day. An all-out war seems imminent, and the good guys need all the warriors they can find. But how to get to Valhalla? And even if Zara and her friends discover the way, there's that other small problem: Zara's been pixie kissed. When she finds Nick, will he even want to go with her? Especially since she hasn't turned into just any pixie. . . She's Astley's queen."

THE GIFT: WITCH & WIZARD by James Patterson & Ned Rust. "When Whit & Wisty were imprisoned by the wicked forces of the totalitarian regime known as the New Order, they were barely able to escape with their lives. Now part of a hidden community of teens like themselves, Whit and Wisty have established themselves as leaders of the Resistance, willing to sacrifice anything to save kids kidnapped and brutally imprisoned by the New Order.

But the One has other plans in store for them: He needs Wisty, for she is "The One Who Has the Gift." While trying to figure out what that means, Whit and Wisty's suspenseful adventures through Overworld and Shadowland lead to a jaw-dropping climax and conclusion: the highly-anticipated fulfillment of the heart-pounding opening prologue of book one... The Execution of the Allgoods."

LAST SACRIFICE: VAMPIRE ACADEMY by Richelle Mead "The astonishing final novel in Richelle Mead's epic series!

Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice. Now, with Rose on trial for her life and Lissa first in line for the Royal Throne, nothing will ever be the same between them."

THE SWORD OF ARMAGEDDON: THE NEW KID by Temple Mathews. "Things have never been darker for sixteen-year-old Will Hunter. He's lost the girl he loves, been poisoned and abandoned by the new ally he thought he could trust, and has only hours to track down a cure before the toxin coursing through his veins ends his life. He's in no shape to stop the Dark Lord from finding and using the Sword of Armageddon -- but if he can't, he's not the only one who will die.

In the fight against the Dark Lord and his demon minions, the third book in the New Kid series takes Will and friends from a mysterious island in Puget Sound to the top of the Seattle Space Needle, and ends in a battle that proves that, while to err may be demonic, forgiveness is the true path to victory"

THE REVENGE OF LORD ODA: BLOOD NINJA by Nick Lake "The slashing sequel to Blood Ninja!"

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