New releases of fantasy and science fiction for kids and teens--the second half of December, 2011 edition

The poor new releases of middle grade and YA sci fi/fantasy from the second half of December slipped my mind until now... but since nothing was published from the 15th to the 20th (why? what did the publishers have against that week?) it makes slightly less difference than it might have done.... It's a pretty sparse list too. But January 1 has enough books to (almost) warrant a post of its own. My information comes as always from Teens Read Too, with blurbs from Amazon/the publishers.

(by way of explanation: I only find the mg blurbs; lots of blogs seem to cover the YA, and it just takes too much time to do both)

The Middle Grade Books:

ALIENS V. MAD SCIENTISTS UNDER THE OCEAN: MEGA MASH-UP by Nikalas Catlow & Tim Wesson "These books take great subjects for boys and combine them into short, bonkers, and funny stories that are incredibly easy to read. The illustrations are bold and crazy, and there's plenty of space left on each page -- together with suggestions for how to fill it -- so kids can add their own drawings. The books read as hilarious, zippy stories that look a lot like novels but are terrific doodle books as well.

The earth is in peril! Aliens are trying to stop it from spinning so that everyone will fall off and they can take over. Mwa-ha-ha-ha! But fear not! The Mad Scientists are building a genius underwater machine to save the day. If only the Aliens would stop zapping them with their Frazzelizers. . . . "

PIECE OF MIND: EMILY THE STRANGE by Jessica Gruner & Rob Reger "Emily’s Strange To-Do List: 1. Lose (and regain) mind 2. Reprogram golem 3. Locate secret book vault 4. Commune with Dead Dark Aunts 5. Rescue Cousin Jake 6. Redecorate souvenir kiosk 7. Thwart Thought Thief 8. Endure hero worship 9. Grant ancestral enemy’s deepest wish 10. Save cat-napped kitty 11. Summon black rock 12. Defeat Shady Uncles 13. Guard family legacy & claim inheritance!"

ROBOTS V. GORILLAS IN THE DESERT: MEGA MASH-UP by Nikalas Catlow & Tim Wesson "Deep in the desert, Gorillas trade oil for bananas grown by hi-tech Robots. But then they have a big falling-out and decide to have a race to settle their differences. Which side will get slimed by the garlic burp-breath sand slugs? Which will fall for the banana sundae mirages? And when will they realize that the race has no finish line?"

ROMANS V. DINOSAURS ON MARS: MEGA MASH-UP by Nikalas Catlow & Tim Wesson "The Romans and Dinosaurs live together in a huge glass dome called Romasauria. They race their rocket chariots and feast on moon-cow and chips until life on Mars is threatened by a giant asteroid spotted by Augustus Astronomus through his giant telescope. Will a wooden catapult and some Dinosaur poop save the day? The Romans and the Dinosaurs are going to have to work together or it's KAPOW for life on Mars."

SUMI'S BOOK: THE FAIRY GODMOTHER ACADEMY by Jan Bozarth "Sumi Hara loves fashion. She always looks beautiful, and always wears the perfect outfit. When she arrives in Aventurine, Sumi is thrilled to learn that she's a shape-shifter.

Unfortunately, she's not very good at shape-shifting yet, so she's given a guide named Kano—who's distractingly gorgeous in his human form. But right away they get off on the wrong foot; Sumi can't understand why this boy doesn't seem to like her. When they find out that an evil fairy queen holds the final mirror shard needed to complete their mission, Sumi will have to discover what true beauty and perfection are, or she could lose Kano and her chance to become a fairy godmother."

THERE'S SOMETHING OUT THERE: YOU'RE INVITED TO A CREEPOVER by P.J. Night "Jenna Walker has always been fascinated by the legend of the Marked Monster, the scarred half-bird, half-beast creature that is said to roam the forests around her hometown. Is the Marked Monster real or is it just the stuff of myth? Jenna decides to find out once and for all with a campout at her house where she and her friends can search for the legendary beast. But as Jenna starts to learn more about the Marked Monster, she realizes that this legend might be more than just myth, and more sinister than she ever could have imagined. Will Jenna meet the Marked Monster face to face and will she be marked for life?"

THE US CAPITOL COMMOTION: FLAT STANLEY'S WORLDWIDE ADVENTURES by Jeff Brown "Stanley’s been chosen to receive a medal of honor in the nation’s capital! But once in Washington, DC, Stanley gets swept away by a crowd and separated from his family. Now he’s on the run in a city filled with monuments—and with shadowy figures on his trail. What’s a flat boy to do now?"

A VALENTINE'S SURPRISE: CANDY FAIRIES by Helen Perelman "Raina wants to make a very special birthday treat for Berry. She's even asked Lyra, the unicorn who looks after the Fruit Chew Meadow, to grow a special flower for the surprise. But when Raina and Dash go to visit Lyra, they are in for a sour shock! All the flowers in the meadow arewilting and Lyra's sick! Her horn is dull and she can't stand up. Something--or someone--is hurting the gentle unicorn and the meadow, but who? And what about Berry's birthday?

All the Candy Fairies will have to work together if they are to solve this mystery, cure the meadow and Lyra, and make sure that Berry has the sweetest birthday ever!"

ZOMBIE TAG by Hannah Moskowitz "Wil is desperate for his older brother to come back from the dead. But the thing about zombies is . . they don’t exactly make the best siblings.
Thirteen-year-old Wil Lowenstein copes with his brother’s death by focusing on Zombie Tag, a mafia/capture the flag hybrid game where he and his friends fight off brain-eating zombies with their mothers’ spatulas. What Wil doesn’t tell anybody is that if he could bring his dead brother back as a zombie, he would in a heartbeat. But when Wil finds a way to summon all the dead within five miles, he’s surprised to discover that his back-from-the-dead brother is emotionless and distant."

The YA Books:

FLYAWAY by Helen Landalf
LEGACY by Molly Cochran

STILL WATERS by Emma Carlson Berne
TORN by Cat Clarke
VAMPIRE ACADEMY: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE by Michelle Rowen & Richelle Mead
EVERY OTHER DAY by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

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