March 2018 Date
The Serpent's Secret by Sayantani DasguptaWhat it's about: Kiran's a typical 6th grader -- until her 12th birthday, when her parents disappear and she's attacked by a rakkhosh demon. Soon, Kiran joins two princes (and their flying horses) on a quest to save her parents and discover her true identity as an interdimensional demon slayer.
Who it's for: Inspired by Bengali folktales and filled with action and laugh-out-loud humor, Kiran's adventures are a perfect fit for Rick Riordan fans.
Series alert: 1st in the Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond series.
Strongheart: Wonder Dog of the Silver Screen by Candace Fleming; illustrated by Eric RohmannStarring: Etzel, a German shepherd police dog who's discovered by a movie director and transformed into Strongheart, one of the first animal movie stars in 1920s America.
Why you might like it: Black-and-white artwork will pull you into this touching animal tale that's served with a slice of Hollywood history.
Did you know? Though this book is fiction, Strongheart was real! Don't miss the photos and facts at the end of the book.
The Problim Children by Natalie LloydWhat it's about: All seven of the Problim siblings have a "grace," an unusual ability unique to the day of the week when they were born. Altogether, they're a charmingly odd bunch, and they've just moved into their grandfather's old mansion -- right next door to mean, scheming Desdemona O’pinion.
Series alert: 1st in a new trilogy from the author of A Snicker of Magic, The Problim Children has a similar mix of warmth, whimsy, and low-key fantasy.
The Book of Boy by Catherine Gilbert MurdockWhat it's about: Since life in his medieval French village is grim and lonely for Boy, an orphan with a hump on his back, he signs on as servant to a shady traveler named Secondus, and soon finds himself on a dangerous (and possibly magical) journey to collect seven holy relics.
Read this next: Try Avi's Crispin: The Cross of Lead for another unlikely friendship between misfits, or Adam Gidwitz's The Inquisitor's Tale for another blend of fantasy, faith, and gritty history.
Stanley Will Probably Be Fine by Sally J. PlaWhat it's about: Stanley Fortinbras may be a master of comics trivia, but plenty of other things in his life are hard to handle: his suddenly distant best friend, the sensory processing disorder that makes middle school feel like too much, and his worries about the upcoming Trivia Quest treasure hunt.
Who it's for: comic-book fans (of course), as well as anyone looking for a likable character who's facing his fears and figuring out his friendships.
For fans of A Wrinkle in Time
Last Day on Mars by Kevin EmersonStarring: 13-year-old Martian colonists Liam and Phoebe, who've just missed the last starliner to humanity's new home on Aaru-5. Now, the two friends are in a pulse-pounding race to somehow catch the ship -- and to warn the colony about the sabotage they've discovered before it's too late.
Why fans of A Wrinkle in Time might like it: time travel, outer space, aliens, and kids on a high-stakes mission.
Pi in the Sky by Wendy MassWhat it's about: Joss lives in the Realms -- the headquarters of the universe -- and he's the youngest of the Overlord's sons, which is why he's stuck with a job like delivering pies for the Powers That Be. But after the Powers That Be delete the Earth and swap Joss' best friend with the only remaining Earthling, Joss faces the much more challenging job of rebuilding the entire solar system...from scratch.
Why fans of A Wrinkle in Time might like it: mind-bending science, a vivid space setting, and quirky characters.
Once Was a Time by Leila SalesWhat it's about: In World War II England, while 10-year-old Lottie's father does top-secret research on time travel, Lottie spends most of her time with her best friend Kitty. Then a terrifying incident forces Lottie to leap into 2013 Wisconsin, leaving her alone and stranded, yet determined to find home and Kitty again.
Why fans of A Wrinkle in Time might like it: time travel, a brave heroine, and science fiction paired with heartfelt emotion.
What Came from the Stars by Gary D. SchmidtFeaturing: the Valorim, aliens from a far-off planet that's under attack from the evil Lord Mondus; Tommy Pepper, a bullied sixth-grader mourning his mother's death; and the strange cosmic events which put the fate of the Valorim in Tommy's hands.
Why fans of A Wrinkle in Time might like it: unusual aliens, a family going through a tough time, and a combination of fantasy and science fiction.
When You Reach Me by Rebecca SteadWhat it's about: Not long after her best friend suddenly stops speaking to her, 12-year-old Miranda starts receiving unsettling notes from someone who seems to know her future. Can they possibly be true? And can Miranda figure it out while still helping her mom practice for a big game show appearance?
Why fans of A Wrinkle in Time might like it: memorable friendships, an intriguing plot, and an affectionate shout-out (A Wrinkle in Time is Miranda's favorite book).
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