Great Speculative Easy/Fiction Titles for April 2018

Check out these exciting easy and fiction titles published in April. You’ll find magic, talking animals, dystopian societies, science fiction, and fantasy. Happy reading!

ELEMENTARY PICTURE BOOKS

          

Albert’s Tree by Jenni Desmond. 9780763696887. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Albert the bear’s favorite tree is crying, so he elicits help from his other animal friends to cheer the tree up. When nothing works, Albert gives the tree a big hug, and he hears a voice saying the tree is afraid of the big hairy monster, but Albert doesn’t know who the tree is talking about.

But the Bear Came Back by Tammi Sauer (ill. by Dan Taylor). 9781454920984. 2018. Gr K-2.
When a bear knocks at the door, a little boy tells him that he can’t come in—bears don’t belong in houses! But the bear keeps coming back, and the little boy keeps telling him the same thing. But one day the bear doesn’t come back, and the little boy realizes that he misses his new friend.

Dr. Coo and the Pigeon Protest by Sarah Hampson (ill. by Kass Reich). 9781771383615. 2018. Gr PK-2.
In ancient days, pigeons were viewed as signs of peace, wisdom, love, and even beauty. Dr. Archibald Coo knows this, but he also knows that these days, humans shoo pigeons away—and Dr. Coo and his pals are fed up. It is time for pigeons to protest and restore the peace between pigeons and humans.

Dude! by Aaron Reynolds (ill. by Dan Santat). 9781626726031. 2018. Gr PK-2.
A shark wants to be friends with a platypus and a beaver–and through using only the word “dude,” they all come to an understanding.

The Fish and the Cat by Marianne Dubuc. 9781616895051. 2018. Gr 1-4.
In this wordless picture book, a hungry cat pursues a fish from its fishbowl, around the neighborhood, and even among the stars and moon.

Friends Stick Together by Hannah E. Harrison. 9780399186653. 2108. Gr K-2.
Rupert the quiet rhino and Levi the loud tickbird could not be more opposite, but when they get stuck together a whole lot of fun surprises happen, and, in the end they may even become friends.

          

Frog and Beaver by Simon James. 9780763698195. 2018. Gr PK-2.
When Beaver builds the biggest and best dam ever seen, he doesn’t realize how it will affect the homes of his neighbors.

The Great Chicken Escape by Nikki McClure. 9781944903220. 2018. Gr PK-3.
Four chickens escape an Alaskan monastery and enjoy a day in the forest.

If I Didn’t Have You by Alan Katz (ill. by Chris Robertson). 9781416978794. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Both a father and his son tell each other all the wonderful and outlandish things they could have—such as a new sports car or candy with every meal—if they didn’t have the other.

If Wendell Had a Walrus by Lori Mortensen (ill. by Matt Phelan). 9781627796026. 2018. Gr PK-2.
A boy named Wendell has plenty of ideas for adventure if he gets his dream pet.

If You Had a Jetpack by Lisl H. Detlefsen (ill. by Linzie Hunter). 9780399553295. 2018. Gr PK-2.
There are plenty of things you can do with a jetpack, from bringing it to Show and Tell to flying to the space station to see what needs fixing. What would you do if you had a jetpack?

          

A Lion Is a Lion by Polly Dunbar. 9780763697310. 2018. Gr PK-1.
A stylish lion comes to visit, invites himself in, and sits down to lunch. But when his presence begins to seem threatening, Aunt Sue and the two children must learn the importance and power of saying no.

Marcy and the Riddle of the Sphinx by Joe Todd Stanton. 9781911171195. 2018. Gr 1-3.
Marcy’s father journeys to Egypt to find a magical book, which leads him to the Sphinx where he becomes trapped. Marcy must summon all her courage to rescue him, as she encounters several Egyptian gods.

Misunderstood Shark by Ame Dyckman (ill. by Scott Magoon). 9781338112474. 2018. Gr PK-1.
When a shark visits the filming of an underwater TV show, the rest of the underwater creatures are afraid that he is going to eat them. But they misunderstand; he’s really a nice guy who’s just trying to help—or is he?

Moon by Alison Oliver. 9781328781604. 2018. Gr K-2.
A young child named Moon feels overwhelmed with her busy life and wonders what it would be like to feel free. One day, she meets a wolf who takes her deep into the forest to meet the pack and they teach her to embrace her wild side.

Wallpaper by Thao Lam. 9781771472838. 2018. Gr PK-2.
A shy, young, brown-skinned girl moves into a new house, but is afraid to play with the neighborhood children. When she starts picking at the wallpaper in her room, she discovers an entryway to an imaginary world, where she learns to be brave and talk to the other children.

The Weaver by Qian Shi. 9781541514546. 2018. Gr K-2.
A spider is proud of all the things he has collected in his web, until a storm washes it all away.

 

ELEMENTARY CHAPTER BOOKS

          

Big Foot and Little Foot (Book 1) by Ellen Potter. 9781419728594. 2018. Gr 2-4.
When a young Sasquatch who wishes for adventure and a young boy who yearns to find a Sasquatch meet, they become unlikely friends in this first of a series.

The Boy Who Went Magic by A.P. Winter. 9781338217148. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Mages and magic were outlawed centuries ago, and life has been dull ever since. When Bert, a young orphan, is caught up in magical events, he is rescued by the adventurous Finch, who has metal legs. Together they search for the lost land of Ferenor, chased by an evil prince who needs magic to put him in power.

Following Baxter by Barbara Kerley. 9780062499783. 2018. Gr 4-6.
When Professor Reese moves in next door, eleven-year-old Jordie enjoys helping her new neighbor take care of her dog and assisting in her laboratory. But she is not sure what to do when the professor goes missing.

A Friendly Town That’s Almost Always by the Ocean (Secrets of Topsea, Book 1) by Kir Fox & M. Shelley Coats. 9781368000055. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Topsea is a very strange place, thinks new kid Davy. His mom says they’ll get used to it, but Davy isn’t so sure. After all, his school locker is at the bottom of the swimming pool! Kirkus calls this book “a deft mix of chills and chuckles.”

How to Sell Your Family to the Aliens by Paul Noth. 9781681196572. 2018. Gr 3-5.
Happy’s dad is a great inventor, but his inventions are sometimes pretty weird. Which is why ten-year-old Hap needs to shave three times a day. All of the money from these inventions is controlled by his grandmother, who lives in a huge mansion while the rest of the family has to live in two basement rooms. When Hap sees a chance to sell Grandma to aliens, he takes it—but accidentally sells his entire family! Now he needs to figure out how to get them back.

Into the Nightfell Wood by Kristin Bailey. 9780062398604. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Fosterlings Wynn and Elric are adapting to their magical new life in the Between, but they have begun to chafe under the Fairy Queen’s strict rules. The Queen’s protectiveness is caused by grief over the loss of her own child kidnapped long ago, which has been weakening her powers, and the shield of protection collapses, Grendel’s forces from Nightfell Wood gather at the gate, and when Wynn is coerced into the Wood by one of Grendel’s creatures, and Elric must go after her.

  

The Lifters by Dave Eggers. 9781524764166. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Gran (short for Gran) is the new kid in school in Carousel, where he feels out of place and ignored. When he follows classmate Catalina through the woods and sees her magically open a door into a hillside, he knows something weird is going on. The town is sinking, one house at a time, and Catalina belongs to a group of kids called the Lifters are the only hope of preventing disaster. And Gran wants to join them.

The Stone Girl’s Story by Sarah Beth Durst. 9781328729453. 2018. Gr 3-6.
Mayka is part of a race of creatures made of living stone, brought to life by a stonemason who carved stories into their body. But the markings are eroding, so Mayka goes in search of the mason again, uncovering a plot that will endanger all stone creatures.

 

MIDDLE SCHOOL FICTION

       

Blue Window by Adina Rishe Gewirtz. 9780763660369. 2018. Gr 6-9.
Just as an ancient prophecy had foretold, five siblings have mysteriously appeared in a violent country. Susan, Max, Nell, Kate, and Jean want to go home, but first they have to use their strange new powers to battle forces that intend to separate them. (The children take turns telling the story.)

Peasprout Chen : Future Legend of Skate and Sword by Henry Lien. 9781250165695. 2018. Gr 6-8.
Peasprout Chen and her brother Cricket are sent to the Pearl Famous Academy to learn the art of wu liu, which combines figure skating with martial arts. To prove themselves, they are forced to confront a number of challenges, including sabotage from rival students and diplomatic tensions. Peasprout tries to protect her brother but her hardest challenge may be overcoming her own arrogance.

Thisby Thestoop and the Black Mountain by Zac Gorman. 9780062495679. 2018. Gr 4-7.
When the prince and princess of Nth descend to the Black Mountain Dungeon for a royal inspection, the beautiful princess becomes lost alone in the maze of tunnels. It is up to Thisby, the Dungeon’s gamekeeper to find and save the princess from the monsters who like to eat princesses—and to prevent a war.

The White Hare by Michael Fishwick. 9781786690517. 2018. Gr 7-10.
After his mother’s death, Robbie copes with his grief by setting fires. When his father moves them to a new village for a fresh start, Robbie begins spending time with a local girl named Mags. She tells him the legend of the white hare that is said to be a jilted woman returning to bring death to her former lover.  When Robbie sees the white hare, he begins asking dangerous questions about Mags and her deceased friend.

 

HIGH SCHOOL FICTION

          

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian. 9781524767068. 2018. Gr 8-12.
When Theodosia was six, her mother the Fire Queen was killed and her throne stolen. Since then, she has been called the Ash Princess, a shameful title, is a captive in the castle. She does what she needs to do in order to survive. But after ten years, she’s had enough.

Beyond a Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake. 9780062666260. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Ciara’s country of Mide has been raided by the Northmen her entire life, and only her power of mind control keeps her people safe. Leif is a Northman leader of a raid on Mide’s coast when Ciara takes him prisoner. He tells her that there is a greater danger to both of their lands—giant jotnar who want to conquer the world—and the two become partners in the fight against this new enemy. This fantasy blends Celtic and Norse mythologies.

Devils Unto Dust by Emma Berquist. 9780062642783. 2018. Gr 9-12.
In 1877, a sickness has taken over West Texas, turning the populace into infected cannibals called shakes. Inside Glory compound, “Willie” takes care of her siblings as the shakes roam outside. One day, two men arrive and claim that Willie’s father stole money from them and ran away, and they give Willie an ultimatum to find him and retrieve the money. She hires two shake hunters to accompany her, facing impossible odds as they journey across the desert.

The Diminished by Kaitlyn Sage Patterson. 9781335016416. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Bo, a rare singleborn, is born into a royal line and destined to rule. But he is reluctant. Vi, meanwhile, is a diminished, the sibling of a twin who dies, and who should have died herself as a result. Raised in a religious orphanage, Vi longs for a way out and for freedom. But then, as they near their sixteenth birthdays, a long-held secret brings Bo and Vi together with the fate of the empire at stake.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland. 9780062570604. 2018. Gr 9-12.
When the dead begin to walk again, America’s future changes in an instant. Jane is being trained as an Attendant, a woman who protects the well-to-do from zombies, but that is not the future that Jane wants for herself. Soon she finds herself in the middle of a dangerous conspiracy fighting for her life against some dangerous enemies.

Flight (Call of the Rift, Book 1) by Jae Waller. 9781770413542. 2018. Gr 10-12.
Kateiko, a shape-shifting member of the Rin tribe, can hear voices of the dead. Deeply unsatisfied with the antiquated ways of her tribe, she leaves her home to find a new tribe. Along the way she is seriously wounded in a battle and is taken in by Tieman, an ex-warrior looking for peace. But when the wind spirit Suriel threatens the Rin and all the other tribes of the confederacy, Kateiko and Tieman must decide to fight or stay hidden.

          

Isle of Blood and Stone by Makiia Lucier. 9780544968578. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Eighteen years earlier, two princes and the royal mapmaker disappeared on the same day. Now, two maps are found, each containing the same mysterious riddle which seems to refer to the princes. Elias, the mapmaker’s son, sets out to discover what became of the missing royals, with the help of the king (the youngest brother of the princes) and the king’s cousin.

Munmun by Jesse Andrews. 9781419728716. 2018. Gr 9-12.
In an alternate reality where every person’s physical size is relative to their wealth, Warner and his sister Prayer are poverty-stricken, and about the size of rats. The only way to survive in that dangerous world where billionaires are as tall as skyscrapers and which doesn’t have services small enough for them, is to get taller, but the world seems built against them.

Rewind by Carolyn O’Doherty. 9781629798141. 2018. Gr 8-12.
Spinners are beings that can freeze and rewind time; they are used by the government to help solve crimes. Taken from their parents as babies, they usually do not live past twenty. When Alex, a 16-year-old Spinner, begins to get sick, she is given a chance to try an experimental medicine to slow the sickness. The side effects of the drug help Alex unlock more skills, and she discovers dark secrets about the spinner program.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. 9781250168450. 2018. Gr 9-12.
For centuries, the Riki and Asaka clans have battled over a perceived feud between their respective gods. Eelyn hopes to avenge the death of Iri, her brother, but as she is attacked by a Riki warrior, Iri steps in to save her. Not only is he alive, but he has joined the enemy. Eelyn lets herself be taken prisoner to discover why Iri abandoned them—and learns that the two clans have no reason to battle, and are, perhaps, more alike than she’d ever thought. And when the Riki are attacked by a vicious clan thought to be long extinct, she becomes desperate to reach her family.

Verdigris Deep by Frances Hardinge. 9781419728785. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Old copper coins often look bluish-green, from the verdigris rust on them. When Ryan and his friends steal some coins from the bottom of a well, weird things start happening. A witch living in the well demands that the young thieves serve her.

Your Robot Dog Will Die by Arin Greenwood. 9781616958398. 2018. Gr 8-12.
Real dogs are almost extinct, and the last ones live and are studied on Dog Island. Mechanical Tail, a company that makes replacement robot dogs, is also located on the island. A genetic experiment on dogs had erased their ability to wag their tails, and they had been almost wiped out. Nano lives on the island; each year she receives a new robot dog model to test (and grow close to), only to have it taken away after a year. Now she’s determined to keep a puppy she’s found—a puppy that can wag its tail.

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