Great Speculative Easy/Fiction Titles for May 2018

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

ELEMENTARY PICTURE BOOKS

       

Be Our Guest! by Gray Malin. 9781419729300. 2018. Gr PK-3.
Take a vacation at the Parker Hotel, where all the guests are animals!

Crunch, the Shy Dinosaur by Cirocco Dunlap (ill. by Greg Pizzoli). 9780399550560. 2018. Gr PK-1.
Crunch, a sweet dinosaur, hides himself in the bushes. He wants to make some friends, but he is too shy. Maybe he just needs a bit of persuasion from the narrator before he gets up the courage to step out.

The Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson (ill. by Sara Ogilvie). 9781250156761. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Peter’s dog, Nell, has an excellent sense of smell and loves the aroma of books. She goes to school with Peter every Monday and listens to children reading. One morning they arrive and discover that all the books are gone. Will Nell’s nose help her to find the missing books.

The Golden Glow by Benjamin Flouw. 9780735264120. 2018. Gr PK-3.
Fox loves plants. When he reads about a rare plant called the Golden Glow (from the Wellhidden family) that is found only in the mountains, he sets off to search for it.

Great Dog by Davide Cali (ill. by Miguel Tanco). 9781101919170. 2018. Gr PK-2.
After a puppy wonders what he will be when he grows up, he and his father look at some of the Great Dogs from his family. Despite the silliness of this book, all young pups will learn that no matter what they become, they will all be “Great Dogs”!

       

Grumpy Monkey by Suzanne Lang (ill. by Max Lang). 9780553537864. 2018. PK-2.
Jim the chimp doesn’t know why he is all out of sorts. Neither do his friends, especially since it is such a lovely day. They give him ideas that make them happy, but that just makes it worse. What is a grumpy monkey to do?

How to Trick the Tooth Fairy by Erin Danielle Russell (ill. by Jennifer Hansen Rolli). 9781481467322. 2018. Gr K-2.
Kaylee loves to pull pranks on her family and friends. But one night she goes to far and pranks the tooth fairy, who is quite a prankster herself. The chaos that ensues is hilarious.

The Hugely-Wugely Spider by Ethan T. Berlin (ill. by Karl Newsom Edwards). 9780374306168. 2018. Gr PK-2.
We know how those itsy-bitsy spiders loved to climb the waterspout, but they aren’t very kind when a hugely-wugely spider wants to join them. Well, perhaps he is a bit too big, but when they rain comes, he is the one to save the day.

In-Between Things by Priscilla Tey. 9780763689834. 2018. Gr PK-3.
A dog and cat guide readers on an exploration of all things in-between, including sporks, the color green, and the stuff that lies between the floor and the carpet. Kids will enjoy thinking up their own ideas of what’s in-between!

Night Out by Daniel Miyares. 9781524765729. 2018. Gr PK-1.
A lonely young boy at a strict boarding school has an amazing adventure in his dreams. Equipped with his new stories, he finally has the courage to make new friends.

       

Ocean Meets Sky by Terry & Eric Fan. 9781481470377. 2018. Gr K-2.
Young Finn cobbles together a makeshift boat out of wood scraps and falls asleep inside. He begins dreaming of an amazing adventure to a magical place that his now-deceased grandfather spoke of where the “ocean meets the sky.

The Other Ducks by Ellen Yeomans (ill. by Chris Sheban). 9781626725027. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Two ducks, This Duck and That Duck, try to figure out the best way to be ducks without any help. This Duck has better instincts than That Duck, but by the end, they seem to have figured it out.

The Outlaw by Nancy Vo. 9781773060163. 2018. Gr 1-4.
After terrorizing a small town, an outlaw returns to make amends. The townsfolk, however, are not eager to give him a chance, until a young boy them to leave the outlaw alone. “He’s trying!” This is a beautiful book with a lesson for everyone.

Possum and the Summer Storm by Anne Hunter. 9780544898912. 2018. Gr PK-2.
A possum’s home is washed away by a flood caused by a summer storm, and he gets help from his friends in rebuilding a wonderful new home.

Snail Mail by Samantha Berger (ill. by Julia Patton). 9780762462513. 2018. Gr PK-2.
Four different snails help deliver a letter from a girl to a boy she loves. The cross-country trek is dangerous, but the snails enjoy taking the time to slow down and look at their surroundings. The snails teach young readers that while “snail mail” might slow, the reward is often worth the wait.

   

A Stone for Sascha by Aaron Becker. 9780763665968. 2018. Gr 1-3.
A young girl mourns the death of her dog while learning truths about the cycle of life

A Storytelling of Ravens by Kyle Lukoff & Natalie Nelson. 9781554989126. 2018. Gr 1-3.
The creators of this delightful book use collective nouns in sentences that are the basis for a quirky story, such as “The memory of elephants knew the peanut field had to be around here somewhere.” The book will be enjoyed through elementary school and beyond.

Whale in a Fishbowl by Troy Howell & Richard Jones. 9781524715182. 2018. Gr PK-2.
A whale named Wednesday lives in a fishbowl in the city, the only home she’s ever known. When a girl tells her that whales belong in the sea, she wonders about this. One day Wednesday jumps high enough out of her bowl to see the water. Her actions lead her to her rightful home, to freedom, and to others like her.

 

ELEMENTARY CHAPTER BOOKS

             

Bad Mermaids Make Waves (Book 1) by Sibeal Pounder. 9781681197920. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Three young mermaids are spending their summer on land—with legs!—when they get an urgent message to return home. Their queen has been fishnapped and evil mermaids have taken over. Can the girls find their queen and save the day? This is the first in a light fantasy series.

Bob by Wendy Mass & Rebecca Stead. 9781250166623. 2018. Gr 3-6.
Ten-year-old Livy hasn’t visited her grandmother in Australia in five years, and when she returns, she gets the feeling she forgot something from her last visit. She meets a small green creature named Bob, who reminds Livy that she promised to help him get home, and he’s been waiting for her ever since.

The Boy, the Bird, & the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods. 9780525515210. 2018. Gr 3-6.
In the town of Allora, a magical bird brings together Alberto the coffin maker and a runaway boy named Tito. Both have suffered losses and struggle with loneliness and develop an unlikely friendship.

Evangeline of the Bayou by Jan Eldredge. 9780062680341. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Apprentice Evangeline works with her grandmother to hone her monster-hunting skills. While she waits for the arrival of her animal familiar, she tries to prove that she has heart and can be called a true haunt huntress, like her late mother. However, when Evangeline and her grandmother are called to New Orleans to solve an unusual case, she learns a shocking secret that changes everything.

Float by Laura Martin. 9780062803764. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Emerson, a boy with RISK (Reoccurring Incidents of the Strange Kind), will float away unless he wears a weighted vest and shoes. He’s not thrilled to be sent to Camp Outlier, a summer camp for kids like him, but is surprised when he makes friends and has fun. When he finds out that one of the boys in his cabin has a dangerous secret, he is determined to help—and maybe the things that make them weird will be the only way to save him!

Grump : The (Fairly) True Tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves by Liesl Shurtliff. 9781524717018. 2018. Gr 4-6.
As she did for the characters of Rumpelstiltskin, Jack (of beanstalk fame), and Red Riding Hood, Shurtliff retells the story of Grump, a dwarf who becomes entangled in the jealous Queen E.V.I.L.’s intrigues against Snow White.

The Inventors at No. 8 by A.M. Morgen. 9780316471497. 2018. Gr 3-6.
George is the unluckiest boy in London. Not only is he an orphan, but he is about to lose his house unless he sells all he owns. And then his family’s greatest heirloom, a map to a gem that brings victory in battle, is stolen. But a young countess named Ada promises to help him find the map while searching for her own father. They set off, with an orangutan and the son of an infamous pirate as mates on Ada’s homemade flying machine.

           

The Last (Endling, Book 1) by Katherine Applegate. 9780062335524. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Fearing she may be the last of the dairne—a mythical doglike species hunted nearly to extinction—Byx sets out to discover if there still are other dairnes. She meets animal and human allies, and together they become their own pack. Even though they are together for different reasons, they uncover a secret that threatens every creature in the world.

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book (Polly Diamond, Book 1) by Alice Kuipers & Donna Toledano. 9781452152325. 2108. Gr 1-3.
Polly loves writing stories, and one day, a magic book appears that turns her stories into real life. She soon learns the dangers of making wishes when what she writes isn’t the same as what she means.

The Rose Legacy by Jessica Day George. 9781599906478. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Young, orphaned Anthea dreams of following in her mother’s footsteps and serving the queen, so she is not thrilled when her uncle wants her to live with him at his farm. Especially since his farm is in the dangerous Exiled Lands outside the Wall.  She is even more horrified to find out that her uncle raises horses, those disease-carrying creatures that were thought to have died out long ago. And then she discovers that she has a gift—and can talk to those horses!

The Spirit of Cattail County by Victoria Piontek. 9781338167054. 2018. Gr 4-6.
In the marshes of Florida, Sparrow is shunned because she has the gift (or curse!) of seeing ghosts. When her mother dies, she hopes to be able to send a message to her ghost. With fellow outcasts and new friends, she searches for a way to contact her mother, but they will need to solve a local mystery first.

The Stolen Summers (Time Tracers, Book 1) by Annabeth Bondor-Stone & Connor White. 9780062671424. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Time thieves have stolen Taj’s entire summer vacation—and he is determined to find them and get it back. And he is not the only one. But if Taj can’t get back his summer, the thieves will steal all the fun on earth!

Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School (Two Dogs in a Trench Coat, Book 1) by Julie Falatko. 9781338189513. 2018. Gr 4-6.
Sassy and Waldo are Stewart’s two dogs. They are good dogs who take their job of protecting Stewart and his family from danger. When Stewart starts coming home from school smelling like anxiety and complaining that school is boring, they are determined to save him—by dressing up in a trench coat and pretending to be the new student at school.

A Whale in Paris by Daniel Presley & Claire Polders. 9781534419155. 2018. Gr 4-6.
During the early years of World War II, a young French girl and her father spend their evenings fishing in the Seine. One night she sees a small lost whale, and she names him Franklin after the U.S. president. Fearful for his safety, she sets out to return him to the ocean (and maybe find his parents) and search for her missing father and aunt.

MIDDLE SCHOOL FICTION

           

Across the Dark Water (Riders of the Realm, Book 1) by Jennifer Lynn Alvarez. 9780062415394. 2018. Gr 5-7.
On winged battle horses, the army of the Sandwen clan has successfully kept the giant hordes at bay. They think they’ve trained all the pegasi in the land to be their warhorses, and are stunned when a wild herd flies over their city. Having journeyed across the ocean to settle in a new land, the new herd finds itself in conflict with the Landwalkers and their warhorses. But when the giants attack, the humans and the pegasi must become allies, or all will fall at the hands of the horde.

The Boy from Tomorrow by Camille DeAngelis. 9781944995614. 2018. Gr 4-7.
In 1915, Josie lives with her sister at 444 Sparrow Street. One hundred years later, Alex lives in the same house. Though living a century apart, the two children connect through a talking-board. When Alex learns the girls are in terrible trouble, he’s determined to help them change their future even though it’s already happened.

The Flourishing of Floralie Laurel by Fiadhnait Moser. 9781499806687. 2018. Gr 5-8.
After Floralie was expelled from her school, her grandmama arrives to take care of her brother. But to save money, Floralie will have to live and go to school in the Adelaide Laurel Orphanage. Hope comes in a hidden box of dried flowers and a letter from her mother, who disappeared mysteriously years earlier. Using the letter and a floriography, a dictionary of flower meanings, Floralie hopes to find not only her mother, but a new life.

The Memory of Forgotten Things by Kat Zhang. 9781481478656. 2018. Gr 5-8.
Sophia keeps secret her favorite memory of her mother and the cake she made for Sophia’s tenth birthday. Because it didn’t happen. Her mother died when Sophia was six. Two of her classmates, DJ and Luke, also struggle with the loss of family members. They become convinced that, during an upcoming solar eclipse, that they will be able to travel to an alternate universe where their loved ones are still alive.

Nayda Skylung and the Cloudship Rescue by Jeff Seymour. 9781524738655. 2018. Gr 6-8.
Captain Nic is the kind guardian of the orphans who live and help aboard the cloudship Orion. Then pirates attack, taking the crew hostage, but fortunately the orphans escape. Nadya and four of her friends are determined to rescue the only family they have. But why did the pirates attack? What did they want? Could it be Nadya herself?

Peeves by Mike Van Waes. 9780062653833. 2018. Gr 4-7.
On the edge of an emotional breakdown, Steven “Slim” Pickings finds to his horror that his worries—his Peeves—have come alive, and they have been set loose on his town. To save the day, Slim will have to get over his pet peeves and reign them in by facing his fears.

 

HIGH SCHOOL FICTION

         

The Gone Away Place by Christopher Barzak. 9780399556098. 2018. Gr 9-12.
After a series of tornadoes flattens her small town, killing 150 people, Ellie begins to see the ghosts of those who died. When she discovers that the ghosts are appearing to others as well, she sets out to find a way to help the ghosts rest in peace.

LIFEL1K3 (Book 1) by Jay Kristoff. 9781524713928. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Eve survived the murder of her family only through the cybernetic implants that her grandfather grafted into her. She has been living in uneasy safety with him for two years when she discovers that she has a power over machines that she never suspected. She and her best friend salvage a LIFEL1K3 robot that reboots and comes back to life. Suddenly the three of them—along with her robot Cricket—are on the run from local gangsters and a murderous preacher. Eve slowly remembers more about the day her family was killed and realizes secrets about herself that will change her future. From one of the co-authors of the Illuminae series, this is the first in an exciting series.

The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar. 9781501169038. 2018. Gr 10-Adult.
Two Syrian girls walk similar paths through the challenging landscape of the Middle East. Nour moves from New York to Syria in 2011 just as the civil war breaks out; finding herself a refugee after her house is destroyed, she journeys across the land trying to find safety. Eight hundred years earlier, Rawiya disguises herself as a boy and becomes an apprentice to a mapmaker; in her journeys, she challenges mythical beasts and fights in epic battles.

Mayfly by Jeff Sweat. 9781250139207. 2018. Gr 8-12.
Years after a disease wiped out all adults, groups of children struggle near Los Angeles. Since life expectancy is only 17, young girls must become Mamas as soon as they are able. Now 15, Jemma wants something more than having a child. She and a few friends flee, hoping to find a cure for the Ending, evading dangerous threats from coyotes, cannibals, and zombielike creatures.

Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett. 9780062652669. 2018. Gr 9-12.
After her father tried to assassinate the king of Rime, he was executed—and she is now known as Traitor Kate. No longer part of the nobility, she is a courier through a country prowled by flightless dragons called drakes. Fortunately, she has the magical ability to talk to and influence animals; unfortunately, having this gift is illegal and punishable by death. Coming upon a caravan attacked by drakes, she finds one survivor—the king’s son, who wants her help in battling this threat. However, he is also her first love and the man who sentenced her father.

Out of the Blue by Sophie Cameron. 9781250149916. 2018. Gr 9-12.
Winged Beings start falling from the sky, but none survives the fall to Earth. But one day, 16-year-old Jaya witnesses one of them land, injured but alive. Afraid that her father and the authorities plan to exploit the creature, she decides to nurse it back to health, and in the process, begins to understand what it means to come from another world.

   

The Queen Underneath by Stacey Filak. 9781624145605. 2018. Gr 10-12.
The city of Yigris is divided into Above and Under. Nobles and aristocrats live Above, while thieves, assassins, and other unsavories live Under. When the rulers of both Above and Under are killed on the same night, the shaky truce between the two domains grows even flimsier. The new monarchs—Under Queen Gemma and Above King Tollan—must find a way to work together. And then people begin to fall into a mysterious sleep.

The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik by David Arnold. 9780425288863. 2018. Gr 9-12.
After Noah is hypnotized at a drinking party, he begins to see strange changes in his mother and his friends. He becomes fascinated with the only four things that feel like they haven’t changed. Noah struggles to figure out what has happened to him in what SLJ calls a “weird, compelling teen-angst trip.”

Whisper by Lynette Noni. 9781771389389. 2018. Gr 9-12.
For the last two years, subject Jane Doe has been imprisoned in a secret government facility where she refuses to speak a word. Assigned to her case, kind Landon Ward helps Jane open up about her dark past and the dangerous power she’s hidden for years. She is a Speaker and her voice makes things, good and bad, happen. Soon Jane discovers that there are people who want to use her power for their own purposes, and she is in grave danger.

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