This week I realized that although I don’t go to preview events for Scholastic, I can definitely still do a recap of books I receive in their seasonal mailings of middle grade and YA arcs. Here are my top fives from their Summer 2018 box.
- Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Justina Chen: I love Justina Chen. She’s one of the first YA authors I ever met and her books still hold a special place in my heart. This one could technically by YA but I think it also counts as upper middle grade. Violia Li is determined to lead a normal life, even as her extreme case of photosensitivity promises to make that difficult. With a swoony boy that the blurb describes as a Thor look-a-like it’s safe to say that this will be a great read-a-like for fans of Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon.
- From Me to You by K. A. Holt: In a departure from her verse novels, Holt tackles grief and moving on in this story where Amelia decides to try to complete her older sister Clara’s middle school bucket list as a way to move on now that Clara has died. Publishing in May.
- Strays Like Us by Cecilia Galante: Surly foster child trying to stay detached until she can go home. A motley band of misfit friends. A rescue dog. All the makings of a poignant middle grade. Publishing in June.
- Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School by Julie Falatko and Colin Jack: Waldo and Sassy decide that they have to save their boy Stewart from the horrible nightmare of school. All they have to do is disguise themselves as a human with a handy trench coat and tag along. The rest should be simple, right? This is a series starter and it sounds like a riot. Publishing in May.
- Confusion is Nothing New by Paul Acampora: Ellie uses 80s music, Cyndi Lauper, and perseverance to navigate the confusion world of modern girlhood–especially for a girl like her being raised by her single father. Publishing in May.
- Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth: I pushed really hard to get Gansworth’s earlier novel If I Ever Get Out of Here on this year’s summer reading list (it made it, yay). I’m excited to see what Gansworth does with a contemporary setting in this story about teens becoming unlikely friends as they try to make their mark (on and off the reservation). Publishing May 2018.
- I Felt a Funeral in My Brain by Will Walton: My friend Estelle adored Walton’s debut Anything Could Happen and the author has been on my radar since. This book is a little bit about poetry and a lot about grieving. I’m assuming some Emily Dickinson connection from the title and I am here for it. Publishing May 2018.
- Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West: Obviously I had to put a new Kasie West on here. I absolutely loved her last book Lucky in Love (I pushed that book so hard I felt like it was my job) and I am very excited to see what she does in this story about a girl who reluctantly winds up dispensing advice via podcast. Publishing May 2018.
- The Fandom by Anna Day: This one actually sounds bananas and I’m still not totally clear on the plot. The story starts with a girl at Comic-Con with her friends who are cosplaying. Only to then be catapulted into the story. Where the main character dies? I don’t know. This one is getting a big marketing push and I think it’s probably going to be big. Publishing in April.
- Storm-Wake by Lucy Christopher: YA fantasy, Tempest retelling. Need I say more? Publishing in July.