New releases of science fiction and fantasy for kids and teens--the end of September, 2011 edition

Here are the new releases of fantasy and science fiction for kids and teens, from the last third of September, 2011! It is a bumper crop, with tons of books I want to read. However, the first one I am going to actually go out and buy is Squish: Brave New Pond, unselfishly (as is my wont) putting my eight year old's reading pleasure ahead of my own!

I always get a bit nervous on behalf of new releases this time of year. Nominations for the Cybils open one week from today, and any book published by October 15 is eligible! One of these books could go on to be a winner--if it gets read and nominated....And in fact one main reason why I started this whole new release business in the first place was to offer an easy way for folks to go back through the year, to remind themselves of books they loved, and nominate them (see note on unselfishness above).

As always, my information comes from Teens Read Too, and the blurbs come from Amazon.


BIGGER THAN A BREAD BOX by Laurel Snyder "A magical breadbox that delivers whatever you wish for—as long as it fits inside? It's too good to be true! Twelve-year-old Rebecca is struggling with her parents' separation, as well as a sudden move to her Gran's house in another state. For a while, the magic bread box, discovered in the attic, makes life away from home a little easier. Then suddenly it starts to make things much, much more difficult, and Rebecca is forced to decide not just where, but who she really wants to be. Laurel Snyder's most thought-provoking book yet."


"A stunning modern-day fairy tale from acclaimed author Anne Ursu.

Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. But that was before he stopped talking to her and disappeared into a forest with a mysterious woman made of ice. Now it's up to Hazel to go in after him. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," Breadcrumbs is a story of the struggle to hold on, and the things we leave behind."

CITY OF LIES: THE KEEPERS by Lian Tanner "Goldie Roth is a trained thief and a skilled liar. Along with her friend Toadspit, she's supposed to be one of the Keepers of the mysterious Museum of Dunt. But although she desperately wants to be a Keeper, she will not leave her sick parents to do so.

But when Toadspit's sister Bonnie is stolen, he and Goldie are forced to follow the child-stealers to the neighboring city of Spoke. Along the way, Toadspit too is captured, and Goldie is caught up in the Festival of Lies, where every word she says means something else and no one can be trusted. There, Goldie discovers some dangerous secrets—secrets that the child-stealers will kill to protect. She will need all her skills as a thief and a liar if she is to survive and save her friends."

CITY OF WIND: CENTURY by P.D. Baccalario "In the third installment of the Century Quartet, Italian author P. D. Baccalario continues the mystery that will take four cities and four extraordinary kids to solve.

When new information turns up about the Star of Stone, the object they found in New York, Mistral, Elettra, Harvey, and Sheng meet again in Paris. Harvey brings the stone to show to his dad's archaeologist friend. And it turns out that the friend knows much more about the kids' quest than they could have imagined. She gives them a clock that once belonged to NapolĂ©on, and she tells them that if they can figure out how it works, it will lead them to another object of power. The clock sends the kids all over Paris, through old churches and forgotten museum exhibits, in search of an artifact linked to the Egyptian goddess Isis. But a woman with a penchant for venomous snakes and carnivorous plants—and her vast network of spies—is watching their every move. . . ."

THE CREATURE FROM MY CLOSET: WONKENSTEIN by Obert Skye "Twelve-year-old underachiever Rob has better things to do than read. His parents give him lots of books but most of them just end up in the messy pile of junk he keeps locked in his closet that once doubled as a makeshift science laboratory. One day, Rob hears weird sounds coming from behind his closet door and discovers a funny little creature that seems to be a cross between two characters from books he’s tried to ignore. He names him Wonkenstein.

Keeping track of “Wonk” is hard work. But with help from friends and a little off-the-wall magic, Rob and Wonkenstein’s crazy adventures set the stage for great laughs . . . and Rob might even read some good books along the way."

THE DEATH OF YORIK MORTWELL by Stephen Messer "Inspired by the artwork of Edward Gorey, Windblowne author Stephen Messer delivers a mock-Gothic tale about poor Yorick (alas!), son of the Gamekeeper at venerable Ravenby Manor, who meets an untimely demise—in chapter one! Worry not, dear reader, for Yorick returns in ghostly form, intent on revenge. In the course of his hauntings, however, ghostly Yorick discovers that all manner of otherworldy creatures inhabit the manor grounds, and that he has a part to play in saving not only his still-living orphan sister but also the manor and everyone in it.

For every young reader who enjoyed the dour dalliance of A Series of Unfortunate Events, here is Stephen Messer's playful homage to the poor orphans of Charles Dickens, the bleak poetry of Edgar Allen Poe, and the exaggerated characters of Roald Dahl."

THE FINGERTIPS OF DUNCAN DORFMAN by Meg Wolitzer "At first glance, Duncan Dorfman, April Blunt, and Nate Saviano don't seem to have much in common. Duncan is trying to look after his single mom and adjust to life in a new town while managing his newfound Scrabble superpower - he can feel words and pictures beneath his fingers and tell what they are without looking. April is pining for a mystery boy she met years ago and striving to be seen as more than a nerd in her family of jocks. And homeschooled Nate is struggling to meet his father's high expectations for success.

When these three unique kids are brought together at the national Youth Scrabble Tournament, each with a very different drive to win, their paths cross and stories intertwine . . . and the journey is made extraordinary with a perfect touch of magic. Readers will fly through the pages, anxious to discover who will take home the grand prize, but there's much more at stake than winning and losing."

THE FIRE KING: THE INVISIBLE ORDER by Paul Crilley "With humans threatened by otherworldly creatures, orphans Emily and William Snow, and their friends—the pickpocket Spring-Heeled Jack and the wisecracking Corrigan—find themselves two hundred years in the past, trapped in the London of 1666. Desperately in need of help, they go in search of Sir Christopher Wren, who was head of the Invisible Order, an organization dedicated to fighting this threat. But Wren’s never even heard of the Order and has no interest in their story.

Stranded, the four cannot agree on their next step. But they’ll have to decide quickly, because their enemies are on the move and the Fire King is ready to attack and burn London to the ground.

Set against the Great Fire of London, The Invisible Order, Book Two: The Fire King picks up right where Rise of the Darklings left off, weaving adventure, history, and legend into a thrilling, heart-stopping story. "

THE FLINT HEART by Katherine & John Paterson "An ambitious Stone Age man demands a talisman that will harden his heart, allowing him to take control of his tribe. Against his better judgment, the tribe’s magic man creates the Flint Heart, but the cruelty of it causes the destruction of the tribe. Thousands of years later, the talisman reemerges to corrupt a kindly farmer, an innocent fairy creature, and a familial badger. Can Charles and his sister Unity, who have consulted with fairies such as the mysterious Zagabog, wisest creature in the universe, find a way to rescue humans, fairies, and animals alike from the dark influence of the Flint Heart? This humorous, hearty, utterly delightful fairy tale is the sort for an entire family to savor together or an adventurous youngster to devour. "

GOLIATH: LEVIATHAN by Scott Westerfeld "Alek and Deryn are on the last leg of their round-the-world quest to end World War I, reclaim Alek’s throne as prince of Austria, and finally fall in love. The first two objectives are complicated by the fact that their ship, the Leviathan, continues to detour farther away from the heart of the war (and crown). And the love thing would be a lot easier if Alek knew Deryn was a girl. (She has to pose as a boy in order to serve in the British Air Service.) And if they weren’t technically enemies.

The tension thickens as the Leviathan steams toward New York City with a homicidal lunatic on board: secrets suddenly unravel, characters reappear, and nothing is at it seems in this thunderous conclusion to Scott Westerfeld’s brilliant trilogy."

THE LAST MUSKETEER by Stuart Gibbs "Greg Rich has just been catapulted back through time. One moment, his parents were selling their family heirlooms to Michel Dinicouer, a mysterious and suspicious curator at the Louvre in Paris -- and the next thing Greg knows, he's in France in 1615. His parents have come along, too, only they've been captured by the King's Guard and thrown into La Mort, the world's most dangerous prison. Now, Greg has to rescue them... but how?
By uniting the Three Musketeers. Greg soon discovers that the three great warriors from Alexander Dumas's classic novel actually exist -- only they're teenagers as well and haven't met yet. Even stranger, Greg might just turn out to be the fourth Musketeer, D'Artagnan. Together, the Musketeers need to pull off an impossible, death-defying rescue -- and unravel the devious plot of Dinicouer as well."

LIGHTS ON THE NILE by Donna Jo Napoli "Kepi is a young girl in ancient Egypt, content to stay home with her family, helping her father, who was wounded in the construction of a pyramid for the cruel pharaoh Khufu. But that was before she and her pet baboon, Babu, were kidnapped and held captive on a boat bound for the capital city, Ineb Hedj. And when Kepi and Babu are separated, she knows she has only one choice: to make her way to the capital on her own, rescue Babu, and find a way to appeal to the pharaoh. Khufu is rich and powerful, but Kepi has her own powers, deep inside her—ones she herself doesn’t even know about yet.

Donna Jo Napoli, acclaimed author of Zel and Beast, revisits the fabled origin of fairies in this strikingly orig-inal and affecting novel of friendship."

PROBLEMS IN PLYMOUTH: THE IMAGINATION STATION by Marianne Hering & Marshal Younger "The Imagination Station Adventures continue! Patrick and Beth’s next adventure leads them to Plymouth Plantation in 1621. There they meet William Bradford, Miles Standish, and Chief Massasoit, who are trying to establish peace between the Pilgrims and the Indians. Things are anything but peaceful, however, when a musket is stolen and the Pilgrims conclude the Indians are planning war. Only Patrick and Beth know who the real thief is—the traitor Hugh—and it’s up to the cousins to find him and stop him from causing trouble. When the cousins hear a gunshot during the first Thanksgiving feast, their worst fears are realized. They rush to the Mayflower and try to set right history, even as Hugh desperately tries to change it. "

RIDDLES AND DANGER: THE SECRET ZOO by Bryan Chick "Noah, Megan, Richie, and Ella are the Action Scouts; friends whose tree house overlooks the Clarksville City Zoo. When they discover a magical world hidden within the zoo, they are swept away on an adventure in which penguins can fly, a mysterious figure lurks in the shadows, and the scouts are enlisted to help Mr. Darby, who is in charge of the Secret Zoo.

But will the scouts be able to fight against the dangerous sasquatches who have escaped the zoo and threaten their town? There’s only one way to find out if the four friends training as Crossers can help save the Secret Zoo."

RISE OF THE WOLF: WEREWORLD by Curtis Jobling "A swashbuckling new series for Ranger's Apprentice fans!

Imagine a world ruled by Werelords - men and women who can shift at will into bears, lions, and serpents. When Drew suddenly discovers he's not only a werewolf but the long-lost heir to the murdered Wolf King's throne, he must use his wits and newfound powers to survive in a land suddenly full of enemies. Drew's the only one who can unite the kingdom in a massive uprising against its tyrant ruler, Leopold the Lion. But the king is hot on Drew's tail and won't rest until he's got the rebel Wolf's head."

ROGUE: H.I.V.E. by Mark Walden The leaders of the world’s villainous forces are being picked off one by one in a series of mysterious attacks, and when Dr. Nero finds out it is Otto who’s behind them, he has no choice but to issue a “capture or kill” order. Raven and Wing are desperate to save their friend and soon find themselves in a danger-filled race against time to track Otto down before other assassins get to him. Their pursuit takes them to a secret facility hidden deep within the Amazon rain forest, where they face a deadly mysterious operative.

Meanwhile, back at the Higher Institute of Villainous Education, the school’s own automated defense systems turn against the pupils and staff of H.I.V.E.—and there is no one there to stop them…"

SITA'S RAMAYANA by Samhita Arni "The Ramayana is an epic poem by the Hindu sage Valmiki, written in ancient Sanskrit sometime after 300 BC. It is an allegorical story that contains important Hindu teachings, and it has had great influence on Indian life and culture over the centuries. Children are often encouraged to emulate the virtues of the two main characters — Rama and Sita. The Ramayana is frequently performed as theater or dance, and two Indian festivals — Dussehra and Divali — celebrate events in the story.

This version of The Ramayana is told from the perspective of Sita, the queen. After she, her husband Rama and his brother are exiled from their kingdom, Sita is captured by the proud and arrogant king Ravana and imprisoned in a garden across the ocean. Ravana never stops trying to convince Sita to be his wife, but she steadfastly refuses his advances. Eventually Rama comes to her rescue with the help of the monkey Hanuman and his army. But Rama feels he can’t trust Sita again. He forces Sita to undergo an ordeal by fire to prove herself to be true and pure. She is shocked and in grief and anger does so. She emerges unscathed and they return home to their kingdom as king and queen. However, suspicion haunts their relationship, and Sita once more finds herself in the forest, but this time she is pregnant. She has twins and continues to live in the forest with them.

The story is exciting and dramatic, with many turns of plot. Magic animals, snakes, divine gods, demons, sorcerers and a vast cast of characters all play a part in the fierce battles fought to win Sita back. And in the process the story explores ideas of right vs. wrong, compassion, loyalty, trust, honor and the terrible price of war."

SPHDZ BOOK #3 by Jon Scieszka "There may be close to 3.14 million SPHDZ, but there is still a lot to be done. Michael K., Venus, TJ, and the SPHDZ are working hard to keep kids signing up to be Spaceheadz. But Agent Umber of the AAA (Anti Alien Agency) is relentless, and the unseen leader of Spaceheadz is not who anyone expected! The third book in the out-of-this-world series is full of twists and turns—and a bigger mystery is about to be revealed!

Michael K. and the gang only have 100 SPHDZ left to sign up. But something is about to go horribly wrong that will change EVERYTHING forever.

What if the 3.14 million and one brainwaves aren’t for saving the world at all? What if Agent Umber finally catches up with the SPHDZ? What if the AAA Chief has a new plan? What if Fluffy can speak...baby? New twists and new turns await readers. And Michael K. might not know whom he can trust anymore!"

SQUISH: BRAVE NEW POND by Jennifer L. & Matthew Holm "He's baa-ack! It's a brand new school year for everyone's favorite AMOEBA! Will Squish finally get to sit with the cool kids at lunch? Will Pod stop the giant asteroid from destroying the world? Will the LEECHES be the end of Super Amoeba? And what makes cafeteria nachos so delicious anyway? Find out the answers to these questions and more in Squish's second electrifying, action-packed adventure—Squish: Brave New Pond."

STARFIELDS by Carolyn Marsden "An ancient calendar comes to an end in 2012— and many predict the world will end with it. Can one Mayan girl make a difference?

Rosalba is a nine-year-old Mayan girl living in rural Mexico. Like her mother and grandmother, she weaves stories of her people onto blouses, ensuring that the age-old traditions continue. But new influences are entering her life. A ladina girl from the city, visiting with her scientist father, passes on the astonishing news that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world in 2012. Rosalba knows nothing about that, but her village is faced with a bulldozer tearing through the forest, dying wildlife, and cornfields in danger. Rosalba’s new friend tells her she must do something to help, but what? As she ponders, she dreams of an ancient Mayan boy, eyes bound in a shamanistic ritual, who hints at a way she can make her voice heard. Interweaving a contemporary story with a mythical dream narrative, Carolyn Marsden spins a gripping tale of friendship, cultural identity, and urgent environmental themes."

THE SUMMER OF PERMANENT WANTS by Jamieson Findlay "Emmeline is an 11-year-old who contends with a special problem: after a long sickness she can no longer speak. Her illness left her unable to give words to her thoughts, and she can only use the occasional snatches of sign language. Closed off from her friends and the world of kids her age, Emmeline is excited to spend a couple of months with her bohemian grandmother and her newest project: starting a floating bookshop that will sail from port to port all summer long. From the books and people they encounter aboard Permanent Wants, Emmeline travels to places, real and imaginary, that astonish and bedazzle her in turns. From the discovery of a map of a now unheard-of land, to a town whose citizens are no longer able to make music, to the revelation of an island filled with serpents and snakes, Emmeline's adventures show her wonders that help her unlock her own self."

YOU HAVE TO STOP THIS by Pseudonymous Bosch "I always feared this day would come. A secret is meant to stay secret, after all. And now we've come to this: the fifth and final (I swear!) book in my saga of secrets.

A class trip to the local natural history museum turns dangerous, or perhaps deadly--and I don't mean in the bored-to-death way--when Cass accidentally breaks a finger off a priceless mummy. Forced to atone for this "crime" of vandalism, Cass and her friends Max-Ernest and Yo-Yoji go to work for the mummy exhibit's curator, only to be blamed when tragedy strikes. To clear their names--and, they hope, to discover the Secret--the trio must travel deep into a land of majestic pyramids, dusty tombs, mysterious hieroglyphs, and the walking dead. Egypt? Or somewhere much stranger . . .

In the midst of it all, the Secret still lurks. You're our there, reading and talking about it, and now my life--and chocolate supply--is in the greatest danger yet. So please, with a cherry on top, I'm begging you: you have to stop this!"


A BEAUTIFUL DARK by Jocelyn Davies
COLD KISS by Amy Garvey
DARK OF THE MOON by Tracy Barrett
ENTHRALLED: PARANORMAL DIVERSIONS by Melissa Marr & Kelley Armstrong
THE FAERIE RING by Kiki Hamilton
IF I DIE: SOUL SCREAMERS by Rachel Vincent
THE JULIET SPELL by Douglas Rees

LOST IN TIME: BLUE BLOODS by Melissa de la Cruz
MISTER CREECHER by Chris Priestley
SACRIFICE: CRAVE by Laura J. Burns & Melinda Metz
SHIFTING by Bethany Wiggins
SLAYERS by C.J. Hill
STEAMPUNK: POE illustrated by Zdenko Basic & Manuel Sumberac
UNFORGETTABLE by Loretta Ellsworth
THE VISION by Jen Nadol
Z: ZOMBIE STORIES by Various Authors


  1. Oh there's so many good ones that I'll be adding to my TBR list that it's torture. Why must we slleep? Thanks for this. I always love it.

    I'm so excited for Kiki's debut. FYI I'm interviewing her and giving away a copy of THE FAERIE RING on Monday.

  2. Truly it is Torture!

    And thank you, Natalie, for taking the time as you so often, so kindly, do, to comment!

  3. It looks like a great lineup for the fall! So excited that someone came out with a ghost character named Yorik. That just screams awesome. Also, I heard the illustrations and border artwork is interesting too.

  4. Interesting list you made here! Thanks for all the information!


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