New releases of middle grade fantasy and science fiction--the beginning of September, 2011

I've decided to make a change to my new release posts. In the interest of saving myself a considerable chunk of time, I've decided to confine these posts to the middle-grade sci fi/fantasy titles (at least for the moment. Maybe someday Blogger will be more cooperative, and it will all be easier, and I'll reconsider...). A number of other bloggers highlight the new releases of YA books, and so that part of my list seems a bit redundant, and all the YA books made for rather huge and monstrous lists to read, anyway.

As is the case for all my new release posts, I take my information from Teens Read Too, and the blurbs are lifted straight from Amazon/Goodreads. Since I haven't read all these, I can't guarantee they are all sci fi/fantasy, nor can I guarantee that this is all new releases there are!

I rather like the sound of The Dead Kid Detective Agency, myself--anyone read it yet?

13 GIFTS by Wendy Mass "When Tara, a self-proclaimed shrinking violet, steals the school mascot, a goat, in order to make some friends with the popular crowd and gets caught, she gets herself in a heap of trouble. In addition, her parents decide that instead of taking her on their summer trip to Madagascar to study the courtship rituals of the Bamboo Lemur, she must go stay with her aunt, uncle, and bratty cousin Emily St. Claire in Willow Falls. Tara thinks it's a good time to start over; she'll be turning 13 after all, so she might as well make the best of it and perhaps even attempt to break out of her shell (in a non-criminal manner). What Tara doesn't know is that this charmed town has something big in store for her on her 13th birthday. It's not a typical birthday. But then again, nothing is Willow Falls is exactly typical!"

BATTLE OF THE ZOMBIES: AN AWFULLY BEASTLY BUSINESS by The Beastly Boys "In the RSPCB's most dangerous mission to date, Ulf the werewolf visits a haunted castle to investigate some very spooky goings-on. But little does he know that he's heading into a trap: the evil Baron Marackai is lying in wait with a beastly plan - and this time he's got help from the dead! Can Ulf unravel the ghostly mystery, or will he end up as zombie food? The future of the RSPCB depends on him..."

BENJAMIN FRANKLINSTEIN MEETS THE FRIGHT BROTHERS by Matthew McElligott & Larry Tuxbury "Last month, Benjamin Franklin came back from the dead and moved into Victor Godwin's downstairs apartment. Since then, life has gotten even weirder. Vampires are stalking Philadelphia, a strange pair of bike shop owners are after Ben, and a shadowy figure known only as the Emperor may be plotting it all.

Together, Ben, Victor and Scott face some baffling questions. Why was Ben really awakened? Who is the Emperor? And are vampires really stalking downtown Philadelphia? The fate of the city - and perhaps the word - hangs in the balance!"

THE CHEERLEADERS OF DOOM: N.E.R.D.S. by Michael Buckley "Matilda “Wheezer” Choi, the asthmatic who can fly and kick butt courtesy of her nanobyte-enhanced inhalers, loves pro wrestling and hates anything “girlie.” Maybe that’s because she grew up with six brothers—or maybe it’s because her home life has become a battle zone in the conflict between her parents. Unfortunately for Wheezer, when a former member of NERDS turned villain gets extensive plastic surgery in order to become a cheerleader, Matilda must swallow her pride to successfully infiltrate the squad.

The newest supervillain, Gerdie Baker, assisted by the criminal mastermind Simon, has created a device that opens portals to other worlds, which she and the other cheerleaders have been pillaging. But the alternate realities are starting to get awfully close together, so it’s up to Wheezer and the NERDS to stop the cheerleaders before the worlds collide."

CREEPED OUT: MONSTRUM HOUSE by Z. Fraillon "Jasper and his friends are about to take on their biggest challenge. They have to find a monster that has been set loose somewhere in the Monstrum House school grounds ...before it finds them. If they fail, they'll have their creepy teacher Stenka to answer to. Or perhaps they'll be eaten by the monster. It's hard to know which is worse. And you thought your school was bad."

THE DEAD KID DETECTIVE AGENCY by Evan Munday "Thirteen-year-old October Schwartz is new in town; short on friends and the child of a clinically depressed science teacher, she spends her free time in the Sticksville Cemetery and it isn’t long before she befriends the ghosts of five dead teenagers, each from a different era of the past. Using October’s smarts and the ghosts’ abilities to walk through walls and roam around undetected, they form the Dead Kid Detective Agency, a group committed to solving Sticksville’s most mysterious mysteries. So when the high school’s beloved French teacher dies in a suspicious car accident, it provides the agency with its first bona fide case, putting them in the midst of a murder plot thick with car chases, cafeteria fights, and sociopathic math teachers, and sending them on an adventure that might just uncover the truth about a bomb that exploded 40 years ago."

DESTINY THE ROCK STAR FAIRY: RAINBOW MAGIC by Daisy Meadows "Destiny the Rock Star Fairy has a very important job. She helps rock stars everywhere shine! But when her magic is stolen, everything starts to go wrong. Even Rachel and Kirsty's favorite music group, The Angels, is in trouble! Everything at their special holiday concert is all mixed up.

Can the girls team up with Destiny to find her magic in time? Or will The Angels' holiday concert be a merry mess?

Find the magic items in all three stories inside this Rainbow Magic Special Edition and help save the holiday concert!"

FLOORS by Patrick Carman "Charlie had his chocolate factory. Stanley Yelnats had his holes. Leo has the wacky, amazing Whippet Hotel.

The Whippet Hotel is a strange place full of strange and mysterious people. Each floor has its own quirks and secrets. Leo should know most of them - he is the maintenance man's son, after all. But a whole lot more mystery gets thrown his way when a series of cryptic boxes are left for him . . . boxes that lead him to hidden floors, strange puzzles, and unexpected alliances. Leo had better be quick on his feet, because the fate of the building he loves is at stake . . . and so is Leo's own future!

Ghost Hunt 2 by Jason Hawes & Grant Wilson "Ghost Hunt 2 has more ghosts, more cases, and more chills!

Is Alcatraz prison really haunted by ghostly inmates--or is something in the air causing hallucinations? Can the ocean be haunted? Are glowing red eyes in the woods just an animal--or something more sinister? Unlock these mysteries and many more in this chilling collection of terrifying tales based on real cases from The Atlantic Paranormal Society.

Find more details and tips on ghost hunting than ever before!"

HAYWIRED by Alex Keller "In this steampunk fairy tale set in an alternate world, things are not always what they seem. Ludwig is a lonely boy who is shocked to discover that his father, Mandrake, whom he trusts with all his heart, has been deceiving him for years. Far from being the good-hearted scientist Ludwig admires, Mandrake instead has been busy creating an army of HELOTs, sinister machines that duplicate themselves and do the bidding of their master in order to wage a brutal war. First Ludwig takes refuge with a traveling circus; then he sails with adventurers and pirates and entertains foreign royalty. Ultimately his quest leads to a rebellion against his father, the deranged Mandrake, and the evil HELOTs so that peace may be brought to his country."

THE LAST COUNCIL: AMULET by Kazu Kibuishi "Emily and her friends think they'll find the help they need in Cielis, but something isn't right. Streets that were once busy are deserted, and the townspeople who are left live in crippling fear. Emily is escorted to the Academy where she's expected to compete for a spot on the Guardian Council, the most powerful Stonekeepers. But as the number of competitors gets smaller and smaller, a terrible secret is slowly uncovered--a secret that, if left buried, means certain destruction of everything Emily fights for."

LOCKED IN: MONSTRUM HOUSE, by Z. Fraillon "From the creators of Zac Power, Monstrum House combines a remote boarding school, quirky kids and monsters that go bump in the night! Jasper McPhee is always getting into trouble. That's why he's been sent to the Monstrum House School for Troubled Children. But there's something very strange about Monstrum House. For a start, the students have to stand barefoot in the snow every day. There's also the creepy feeling that the teachers can read your thoughts. Oh, and the fact that the school is crawling with monsters."

THE NEXT ADVENTURE: PILOT & HUXLEY by Dan McGuiness "Pilot & Huxley are back in another zany adventure!

Pilot and Huxley just want to get home, but an unexpected glitch hurtles them into the holiday lands instead. Now they're stuck in a bizarre world where ghouls and zombies in Halloween Land are friendly, and Santa and his elves in Christmas Land are evil. Will the boys make it out alive? Can they find a way back to Earth? Is a bowl of noodles a deadly weapon? Find out inside!"

NOTES FROM A TOTALLY LAME VAMPIRE by Tim Collins With his newfound vampire powers and his girlfriend Chloe, Nigel Mullet is finally happy and popular as the school year begins. But then a new guy, Jason, appears at school. All the girls think he’s better looking than Nigel. He’s definitely stronger and faster than Nigel. And he’s just stolen Nigel’s girlfriend. What’s a totally lame vampire to do? Write bad poetry, get regularly beaten up by his little sister now that he's too weak to retaliate, and spy on his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend. . . . Eventually Nigel follows Jason and his family to the park in the middle of the night and is stunned to see them all transform into werewolves.

Will the truth win Chloe back? Or will Nigel be left howling at the moon in frustration?

THE PRINCESS CURSE by Merrie Haskell Twelve princesses suffer from a puzzling (if silly) curse, and anyone who ends it will win a reward. Reveka, a sharp-witted and irreverent apprentice herbalist, wants that reward. But her investigations lead to deeper mysteries and a daunting choice—will she break the curse at the peril of her own soul?

RETURN TO EXILE, by E. J. Patten Eleven years ago, a shattered band of ancient hunters captured an unimaginable evil and Phineas T. Pimiscule rescued his nephew, Sky, from the wreckage of that great battle. For eleven years, Sky Weathers has studied traps, puzzles, science, and the secret lore of the Hunters of Legend, believing it all a game. For eleven years, Sky and his family have hidden from dark enemies while, unbeknownst to Sky, his uncle Phineas sacrificed everything to protect them. For eleven years, Sky Weathers has known nothing of that day. But on the eve of Sky’s twelfth birthday and his family’s long-awaited return to Exile, everything changes. Phineas has disappeared, and Sky finds himself forced to confront the mysterious secrets he’s denied for so long: why did his family leave Exile on that day so long ago? What, exactly, has Phineas been preparing him for? And, the biggest mystery of all, who is Sky really and why does everyone want to kill him?!

SALLY'S BONES by MacKenzie Cadenhead 2 Months, 28 Days, 9 Hours, and 12 minutes earlier...Sally Simplesmith's life changed forever. She came face-to-face with death - a delightful, dearly departed little dog she lovingly calls Bones. But when the cadaverous canine is accused of a crime he didn't commit, Sally decides to solve the case herself! Does Sally have what it takes to fetch a thief?

Sally's Bones is the impossibly possible tale of a girl, a crime, and a lovably lifeless, decidedly dead dog.

SECRETS OF THE CROWN: THE FAMILIARS by Adam Jay Epstein & Andrew Jacobson. "When human magic disappears suddenly from Vastia, it falls on the familiars, Aldwyn the telekinetic cat, Skylar the know-it-all blue, jay, and Gilbert the gullible tree frog--to find the Crown of the Snow Leopard, an ancient relic that can reverse the curse. They learn that the only way to do this is by following in the purple paw prints of Aldwyn's father, who'd gone missing while searching for the Crown years earlier. This magical spirit trail extends into the Beyond, where our heroes encounter new enemies and danger, while Aldwyn learns about his mysterious past.

THE SIGN OF THE BLACK ROCK: THREE THIEVES by Scott Chantler. "Young readers (and adults, too) will feel transported by the clever, intricate plotline and superb, sweeping illustrations of this second title in the Three Thieves series. The action resumes as our three goodhearted fugitives stop at a roadside inn during a ferocious thunderstorm. Narrow escapes ensue as Grig, the scheming and selfish innkeeper, endeavors to capture the trio and secure a reward from the Queen. Tensions mount further as the Queen's Dragons arrive at the tavern, hot on the trail of the fugitives and immediately suspicious of the smarmy Grig. Will Grig get his due? Will the fugitives escape? And why hasn't Grig's gentle wife spoken a word in ten years? You can bet she's got a secret."

SUPER CHICKEN NUGGET BOY AND THE MASSIVE MEATLOAF MAN MANHUNT by Josh Lewis. First the Furious Fry, then an angry army of eggplants, then a planet of pizzas in need--it seems that no villian is too tough, nor job too big for the best of the breaded: Super Chicken Nugget Boy. But what happens when the biggest, smelliest most horrifying thing ever to haunt the woods emerges to face our hero? It's the Nugget's most fearsome adversary yet. Bigger than sasqatch. Smellier than the abominable snowman. It's Massive Meatloaf Man! Will the Nugget and his faithful sidekick Arnie survive? Or will they become the stuff of campfire legend?

THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE NIGHT 3:15 SEASON 1, by Patrick Carman Read, watch, and listen to each chilling story in 15 minutes or less!

3:15 means several things. It's a time when things go bump in the night. A place where spooky stories find a home. A feeling . . . that chill running down your spine.

It means 10 terrifying tales that you'll experience in 3 parts: A frightful audio introduction. Several spooky pages of text. And a creepy video conclusion you can watch online. All in 15 minutes or less.

Step into the world of 3:15 and you'll meet Cody Miller, whose greed leads to a grave mistake; Emma Franklin, who learns that not all childhood fears are foolish; Dylan Smith, who should know better than to show off his snowboarding skills on a haunted mountain; and more.

Don't get too attached to any of them.

Features "Night on the Dredge," a new story set in the world of Skeleton Creek!

"Esmelia Sniff and her much more talented apprentice Sam are back in the second volume of the much-praised Witches at War! series. Armed with the Black Wand of Ohh Please Don't Turn Me Into Aaaargggh...Ribbett, evil Diabolica Nightshade is creating an army of witches to take over the world. It's up to Esmelia and her apprentice Sam to stop her, but the only thing that can stand against the Black Wand is...another wand of equal power. Can Sam and Esmelia put their differences aside for long enough to uncover the ancient spell to create such a wand? What will Sam discover about her past? And will Esmelia ever take off that false beard?"

THE WICKEDEST WITCH: WITCHES AT WAR! by Martin Howard The first book in a major new fiction series for children aged 8-12 * An hilariously funny and entertaining story of the world of witches * Brilliantly illustrated by Colin Stimpson The headline in The Cackler is grim. Old Biddy Vicious, the Most Superior High and Wicked Witch and owner of the Black Wand of Ohh Please Don't Turn Me Into Aaaaarghhh...Ribbett is dead. But witches like their news on the dark side and there is great anticipation in the witching world. After all, there will need to be a new leader and a diabolical competition to find out who is to become the new Most Superior High and Wicked Witch. Esmeila Sniff fancies her chances, after all she is exceedingly wicked and has warts in all of the right places. As she and her surprisingly cheerful apprentice, Sam, set off to find three other witches to nominate her for the job, the meanest and the baddest witches in the world are hatching their own devious plan to become The Wickedest Witch...

WITH THE ENEMY: TOMORROW GIRLS by Eva Gray In a terrifying new world, four girls must depend on each other if they want to survive.

Evelyn has always suspected that things are more sinister and more complicated than they seem. Now that Maddie has been kidnapped, Rosie, Louisa, and the boys are paying more attention to Evelyn's theories. As the group makes their way toward war-torn Chicago, they're under constant threat of capture. Danger and dark surprises lurk around every twist of the road.

Evelyn knows they need a solid plot to find Maddie. But what the group comes up with may be their riskiest plan yet: infiltrating the Alliance itself. Even Evelyn has her doubts. Can they save Maddie before it's too late?


  1. Several of these are going straight on my TBR list! Can't wait to read the Dead Kid Detective Agency; what a great title! Also 13 Gifts--I always enjoy a book by Wendy Mass.

  2. Princess's Curse = 12 dancing princesses with a girl instead of a guy to end the curse? YES PLEASE!

  3. Thank you so much for compiling these lists. As an MG sci-fi writer, they are invaluable!

  4. 13 Gifts is out? *happy dance* *puts on hold at library* (Thanks for the heads up!)

  5. Vampires, aliens, and mutants...oh my!

    I recently discovered a middle grade book in the classic fantasy trope of anthropomorphic animals. It's titled "The Woods of Wocomico." The story is fascinating in that the setting transforms from your common everyday woods into a fantastical community of anthropomorphic animals. Check it out at the link below:



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