Check out some exciting easy and fiction titles that have come out in February.
ELEMENTARY PICTURE BOOKS
Bob and Joss Get Lost! by Peter McCleery (ill. by Vin Vogel). 9780062415318. 2017. Gr K-2.
High-strung Bob and laid-back Joss get shipwrecked on a seemingly deserted island. Joss soon realizes that they are actually back where they came from, but Bob has no clue—and their exchanges make this a great read-aloud.
Bob, Not Bob! : To Be Read As Though You Have the Worst Cold Ever by Audrey Vernick (ill. by Liz Garton Scanlon). 9781484723029. 2017. Gr PK-1.
When Little Louie gets a cold, he tries to call for his mom, but his dog Bob always comes running instead. This is a hilarious read-aloud.
Count Your Chickens by Jo Ellen Bogart (ill. by Lori Joy Smith). 9781770497924. 2017. Gr PK-1.
Young readers who enjoy seek-and-find stories will enjoy this counting book about a family of chickens attending the county fair.
Everywhere, Wonder by Matthew Swanson (ill. by Robbi Behr). 9781250087959. 2017. Gr PK-1.
A young child invites the reader to explore the world with him and to pay attention to the little things around them.
Life on Mars by Jon Agee. 9780399538520. 2017. Gr PK-3.
A young boy arrives on Mars with a gift box of chocolate cupcakes as a gift for the life he just knows he will find there. After wandering the Red Planet’s desolate surface, he decides there is not, in fact, life on Mars. He never notices that he has been followed by a curious creature, who wants to know what is inside the gift box.
Mighty, Mighty Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker (ill. by Tom Lichtenheld). 9781452152165. 2017. Gr PK-1.
The five construction machines from Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site are back, using their unique skills to erect a new building.
A Perfect Day by Lane Smith. 9781626725362. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Cat, Dog, Chickadee, and Squirrel are enjoying a perfect day in Bert’s backyard until Bear shows up and ruins everything. But Bear doesn’t see it that way—what the others feel is ruined, Bear feels is just right.
Sam Sorts by Marthe Jocelyn. 9781101918050. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Sam needs to clean up the mess in his room, so he begins to sort his toys and other possessions. But he encounters a problem when he finds that some objects belong in more than one category. How will he ever get things organizes? A great addition for math class.
This House, Once by Deborah Freedman. 9781481442848. 2017. Gr K-2.
What was a house before it was a house? Recognizing the materials that used to build a house (“This door was once a colossal oak tree…”) might make readers curious about where their own houses came from and wonder what other things might be created from natural elements such as wood, stone, mud, rocks, and sand.
Tony by Ed Galing (ill. by Erin E. Stead). 9781626723085. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Every day during the author’s childhood, at three in the morning, he would get up and wait to see Tony, the beautiful white horse who would come along with Tom to deliver milk and eggs at that time. This is Ed Galing’s ode to a childhood joy.
We Love You, Rosie! by Cynthia Rylant (ill. by Linda Davick). 9781442465114. 2017. Gr PK-2.
Two young siblings learn opposites with the help of their dog. Is Rosie being good…or bad? Is she in or out of her doghouse? Easy text combined with visual cues will help beginning readers handle this one on their own.
When the Rain Comes by Alma Fullerton (ill. by Kim La Fave). 9781772780123. 2017. Gr K-3.
When a rainstorm floods the road, a young Sri Lankan girl and her oxcart are separated from the adults. Overcoming her own fear, the girl calms her ox as they wait for the road to clear. Readers will learn about finding their courage as well as details of another child’s culture.
You Can Read by Helaine Becker (ill. by Mark Hoffmann). 9781459813243. 2017. Gr K-2.
Where can you read? Beginning with ordinary places such as the classroom or library, this book takes the reader on adventures to all sorts of locations. This book would make a great read-aloud and could lead to a discussion about other unexpected reading places.
ELEMENTARY CHAPTER BOOKS
The Alarming Career of Sir Richard Blackstone by Lisa Doan. 9781510711228. 2017. Gr 3-6.
On the run from his cruel parents who plan to sell him as a chimney sweep, Henry is hired by Sir Richard Blackstone, a scientist who was knighted after he accidentally invented the paper clip—and most of his other experiments end up with unfortunate consequences. Henry, an intuitive boy, finds solutions for Sir Blackstone’s problems and even solves his own mystery.
Boy X by Dan Smith. 9781338065640. 2017. Gr 4-6.
After his father’s funeral, Ash wakes up on a remote island at some sort of clinic. He meets Isabel, whose father works at the facility. When they find Ash’s mother and Isabel’s father, they realize something is terribly wrong at the center. Their parents have been infected with a deadly virus, and Ash and Isabel have only 24 hours to find a cure.
Calico Girl by Jerdine Nolen. 9781481459815. 2017. Gr 4-6.
In 1861, the state of Virginia secedes from the Union, but a Union outpost at Fort Monroe offers refuge to escaping slaves. Callie follows her family there, starts studying with Mrs. Mary Peake, a teacher at the fort, and learns that she can have a say over her future, a freedom she has never known.
The Castle in the Mist by Amy Ephron. 9780399546983. 2017. Gr 3-6.
When Tess and her brother are sent to live with her aunt, she finds herself feeling bored and lonely. That is, until she finds a brass key that unlocks a gateway into a magical garden where wishes come true and dreams come alive. But something frightening lurks, and her only clue as to what that might be is a warning from the strange boy within the garden—”Beware the hawthorn trees.”
Family Game Night and Other Catastrophes by Mary E. Lambert. 9780545931984. 2017. Gr 4-7.
Annabelle tries to hide that her mother is a hoarder. But when a pile of newspapers falls on her younger sister, causing a horrific fight between her parents, Annabelle decides it’s time to make a change—and she might need help to do it.
Mae and June and the Wonder Wheel by Charise Mericle Harper. 9780544630635. 2017. Gr 2-4.
When June and her dog Sammy receive a Wonder Wheel from Grandma Penny, it sends June on a mission to find a new best friend, who could be June’s new neighbor, Mae.
The Many Reflections of Miss Jane Deming by J. Anderson Coats. 9781481464963. 2017. Gr 3-6.
After her father was killed in the Civil War, Jane has lived with her stepfamily. Her stepmother has to work in a factory, so Jane has to quit school to take care of her younger brother. The family decides to make their way to the Washington Territory, but will things be any better there?
One Amazing Elephant by Linda Oatman High. 9780062455833. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Lily is scared of Queenie Grace, the circus elephant her beloved Grandpa Bill trains. When Grandpa Bill dies, Lily goes to Florida for the funeral, where she and Queenie Grace bond while mourning the loss of someone they both loved. Then Queenie Grace faces a new kind of danger, and Lily is the only one who can help.
Otherwise Known As Possum by Maria D. Laso. 9780545927956. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Possum does not like change, After she lost her mama, her daddy decided she had to go to a real school where she’ll have to wear shoes and they’ll try to erase all the good things mama taught her at home. If she proves that she knows everything she has to, maybe daddy will let her stay home. But school is much harder than Possum thought!
The Unbeatable Squirrel : Squirrel Meets World by Shannon Hale & Dean Hale. 9781484781548. 2017. Gr 4-6.
Doreen, a.k.a. Squirrel Girl, is feeling lonely at her new school, until she uses her powers to stop a group of troublemakers.
MIDDLE SCHOOL FICTION
Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up by Jessica Brody. 9780399555107. 2017. Gr 6-9.
Addie Bell was certain that life would be so much better if only she were older. But on her twelfth birthday, her wish to be older came true, and now she’s sixteen. Many things about being sixteen are as cool, but some very important things are not—including her friendship with Grace. Now all Addie wants to do is go back in time to enjoy the years she skipped.
Bone Jack by Sara Crowe. 9780399176517. 2017. Gr 4-8.
After his father returns from war with psychological scars, Ash decides to train for his town’s annual Stag Chase, a race rooted in ancient lore. If he can win, Ash thinks he can make his father proud and return life to normal, but when out for a run in the mountains, Ash meets the terrifying Bone Jack—a being that guards the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead—and everything changes.
Dragon Captives (Unwanteds Quests, Book 1) by Lisa McMann. 9781481456814. 2017. Gr 5-8.
Twins Fifer and Thisbe have not quite mastered their magical powers yet. When they accidentally strike down a beloved creature with their wild magic, the head mage (who is also their brother Alex) is furious. But before they can be properly punished, the ice-blue dragon arrives with the horrible news that his siblings have been captured by the evil ruler of the dragon land. Determined to right their wrong, the twins set out to rescue the dragons.
Frogkisser! by Garth Nix. 9781338052084. 2017. Gr 6-9.
Princess Anya has the magical ability to break curses with a kiss. When she finds out that her evil step-stepfather has plans to make the kingdom all his own. Anya is forced onto a quest—with a talking dog, a boy thief in the body of a newt, and a few mischievous wizards—to free her land and, perhaps, learn a thing or two about power, kisses, and how to find friends.
The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson. 9781338053920. 2017. Gr 4-7.
Matthew’s OCD keeps him confined to his bedroom and the office across the hall. He spends much of his time watching the neighbors on his cul-de-sac, writing down what he sees. When 15-month-old Teddy goes missing, Matthew realizes he might have some information. In league with a classmate, he becomes an unwilling detective in this exciting mystery.
Last Day on Mars (Chronicle of the Dark Star, Book 1) by Kevin Emerson. 9780062306715. 2017. Gr 5-8.
By the year 2213, Earth has been destroyed by the sun. On Mars, the last humans scramble to prepare for a 150-year journey to the nearest star with possibly habitable planets—because Mars, too, is doomed. Before Liam and Phoebe board the last starliner, they make a series of discoveries about the nature of time and space itself that points to a more sinister cause for the sun’s accelerated demise.
Making Bombs for Hitler by Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch. 9780545931915. 2017. Gr 5-8.
After Lida’s father is shot by the Soviets and her mother is killed by the Nazis for harboring Jews, the Ukrainian girl is herded into a cattle car crammed with other children. Barely surviving the long train ride to Germany, Lida ends up in a munitions factory making bombs that will be used against the Allies. She hopes to sabotage the weapons, but if her treachery is discovered, the Nazis will surely kill her!
See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng. 9780399186370. 2017. Gr 5-7.
Alex records his thoughts into his iPod in the hopes that one day aliens will listen to it and have a true perspective of what life on Earth was really like. He sets off alone with his dog to travel from Colorado to New Mexico where he plans to send it into space at the Southwest High-Altitude Rocket Festival. The people he encounters along the way help him learn more about himself and life than he ever imagined.
Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail. 9780670013081. 2017. Gr 6-8.
Gracie has a huge crush on handsome popular AJ. The only problem is, AJ likes her best friend, Sienna. Quickly overcomes the jealousy she feels, Gracie helps Sienna craft responses to AJ’s surprisingly funny text messages. Unbeknownst to the girls, there’s a good reason the messages seem out of character for AJ—his buddy Emmett is writing them on his behalf.
HIGH SCHOOL FICTION
American Street by Ibi Zoboi. 9780062473042. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Fabiola and her mother are headed for American Street and Joy Road, finally leaving Haiti for the good life in the U.S. However, her mother is detained by immigration officials, and now Fabiola must navigate life in loud, gritty, new, and surprising America by herself. When she has to make an impossible choice, she might end up paying a heavy price to achieve the American dream.
At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson. 9781481449663. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Ozzie is trying to deal with several problems, including the fact that the universe seems to be shrinking. And even more disturbing is that his best friend Tommy has disappeared, and no one in town seems to remember him. Ozzie doesn’t know how to cope without Tommy until his new physics partner mentions his name. Is Tommy still out there somewhere?
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller. 9781250095961. 2017. Gr 8-12.
When she hears that an ancient, hidden map has fallen into the hands of rival pirates, pirate captain Alosa, the daughter of an infamous pirate king, lets herself get captured by her enemies in order to search their ship. Her enemies are no match for her, except maybe for first mate Riden, who may know more than he is letting on. The longer she spends aboard ship, the more danger Alosa and Riden are in.
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham. 9780316384933. 2017. Gr 9-12.
When Rowan discovers a skeleton on her family’s property, she has no idea what investigating the nearly century-old murder will lead to. Nearly a hundred years before, Will faces a racial firestorm after a violent encounter—an encounter that will leave Tulsa burning. Time weaves back and forth as these two wrestle with painful discoveries and inner demons.
The Education of Margot Sanchez by Lilliam Rivera. 9781481472111. 2017. Gr 9-12.
When Margot gets grounded, her parents make her work at the deli in their grocery store. Worried she will lose her carefully cultivated prep school reputation, Margot will do anything to make sure she’s at the school’s biggest beach party.
Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza. 9781101999103. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Rhee is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. Aly is the dashing star of a DroneVision show. When Aly is falsely accused of killing Rhee, they are forced to work together to prove Aly’s innocence and confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. 9780062498533. 2017. Gr 9-12.
As the daughter of a grocer in her gang-controlled neighborhood, Starr should feel right at home. But since she attends a private school miles away, she is also an outsider. After witnessing a cop killing her childhood friend, Starr must try to reconcile the way her neighborhood really is with the way it is depicted and disparaged by society.
The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak. 9781501144417. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Billy, a 1987 teen, dreams of becoming a top video game designer. A failed attempt to swipe a copy of Playboy from a local shop brings Billy face to face with Mary, a girl who can program circles around him. The two pair up, hoping to win a contest, and Billy can’t help but fall in love…but Mary has a secret that could jeopardize everything.
Optimists Die First by Susin Nielsen. 9780553496918. 2017. Gr 9-12.
After the death of her baby sister, Vancouver teen Petula becomes obsessed with safety. After making a scrapbook of accidental deaths, Petula is forced to attend an art therapy class. There she meets Jacob, a talented filmmaker who has a prosthetic hand from a car crash that killed two of his friends. When they collaborate on a video, the two are drawn to each other and their healing finally begins.
Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson. 9781681191058. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Every day, Jade rides a bus out of her poor, black neighborhood and to a private school where she feels out of place. Assigned a mentor as a part of a school program, Jade doesn’t think the adult she’s paired with understands her at all, and learns she has more to teach the other adults than she thought.
Ronit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin. 9780062458544. 2017. Gr 9-12.
This novel-in-verse retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet is set during the modern-day conflict between Israel and Palestine.
The Valiant by Lesley Livingston. 9780448493787. 2017. Gr 9-12.
Fallon, youngest daughter of a Celtic king, is to join her father’s warriors on her seventeenth birthday. The night before, she is kidnapped and sold to an elite female gladiator training school, where she faces vicious rivalries, deadly battles, and her most dangerous threat of all—falling for her sworn enemy, a young Roman soldier. Will she survive the gladiator’s arena and claim her own place in history?
Velocity by Chris Wooding. 9780545944946. 2017. Gr 7-12.
Best friends Cassica and Shiara are a perfect drag-racing team. They plan to compete in the Widowmaker, a deadly, three-day race through a post-apocalyptic landscape. Winning the race is the only way they can escape their miserable town—but most losers die in fiery crashes. Or eaten by cannibals. This high-energy adventure stars two intelligent and inventive protagonists and plenty of fast cars.
The Wish Granter (Ravenspire, Book 1) by C.J. Redwine. 9780062360274. 2017. Gr 9-12.
After their mother is murdered and the royal family dies mysteriously, illegitimate twins Thad and Ari find themselves in charge. Thad is on the throne and Ari must be a proper princess. However, the kingdom is out of control, and suddenly Thad is training Ari to take his place. It turns out a Wish Granter got the throne for Thad—and now he’s back for Thad’s soul in return.