Kathy's Korner New Fiction for Youth

JUNIPER’S CHRISTMAS by Eoin Colfer.  In Juniper Lane's world, everyone knows Santa doesn't do Christmas anymore. Juniper is still eager to celebrate Cedar Park's Santa Vigil in honor of her late father, who never stopped believing in Santa Claus. But then her mother goes missing and the park's bureaucratic director declares the vigil is canceled. Can Juniper save Christmas?  Gr 3-7. 

THE APARTMENT HOUSE ON POPPY HILL by Nina LaCour.  Lighthearted early chapter book about a young girl, the apartment house she lives in and the neighbors she calls family. Pencil illustrations throughout. Gr 1-4. 

DETECTIVE DUCK: THE CASE OF THE STRANGE SPLASH by Henry Winkler & Lin Oliver/Dan Santat. Full color early chapter book for those who find the Mercy Watson series a little tame. Strong, expressive illustrations by award winner Santat. Gr 1-3. 

THE BIG ADVENTURES OF BABYMOUSE by Jennifer & Matthew Holm.  Oversize, full color graphic novel stories about everyone’s favorite high-spirited middle-grade mouse.  Gr 1-4.   

TROUBLE FINDS PLUM by Matt Phelan. Third installment in the gentle series about Plum the peacock, who lives at the zoo. When raccoons invade the Athensville Zoo, it is up to Plum and his friends to save their beloved home. Gr 2-4. 

DEAR ROSIE by Meghan Boehman and Rachael Briner.  Graphic novel with plots similar to The Babysitter’s Club but populated by woodland creatures and a mild mystery element.  Gr 3-5. 

GLOWRUSHES by Roberto Piumini. A tale only 125 pages long, translated from Italian. Long, long ago, a boy lies confined by sickness to his windowless bedchambers. He can never experience the outside world, never breathe fresh air or feel the warmth of the sun on his skin, so his doting father summons a painter to embellish his rooms with beautiful murals.  What grows between them is more than art, it is a story of courage and love.  Good family read aloud.    All ages. 

READY, SET, DOUGH!  by Kelly J. Baptist.  Sixth-grader Zoe sets her sights on winning a laptop by becoming the top cookie-dough seller in her class, but as she becomes more obsessed with winning, she begins to lose sight of what is really important.  Gr 4-6. 

WILDFIRE by Breena Bard.  A rural girl from Oregon who loves nature and animals is devastated when a wildfire destroys their community.  Forced to relocate to Portland, she is just getting acclimated and joins a conservation club when someone she suspects of having started the wildfire shows up.  How will she handle this situation?  Gr 4-6. 

NO SUCH THING AS PERFECT by Misako Rocks.  Middle grade manga about sisters and finding your own special qualities.  Gr 4-7. 

SILVERWING by Kenneth Oppel.  Stunning graphic novel reimagining of the popular story of a bat who loses his way during a mass migration and the dangers he encounters.  Good for fans of Redwall and Warriors. Gr 4+ 

THE ALCHEMYST by Michael Scott.  Another popular series now available as a graphic novel. An exciting contemporary fantasy combining elements of the Harry Potter series and the Percy Jackson stories. 

BALTO AND TOGO by Helen Moss.  Fictionalized version of the true event, the dog sled “Serum Run”, to aid the children of Nome, Alaska in 1924.  Balto’s story has been told in other children’s books; this time we are privy to the dogs’ thoughts.  Gr 5-8. 

THE PLOT TO KILL A QUEEN by Deborah Hopkinson. Engaging historical fiction by noted nonfiction writer Hopkinson set in Shakespearean (almost) London. Emilia wants to write plays and strikes up a friendship with young Will Shakespeare. However, she stumbles on a plot to kill Queen Elizabeth, and is recruited by Sir Francis Walsingham to go to the castle where Mary Queen of Scots is being held and discover who is responsible for the plot. Great way to learn about English literature and history. Gr 4-9. 

THE MAZE CUTTER: THE GODHEAD COMPLEX by James Dashner.  Second in the follow-up series to the Maze Runner, set 73 years after the first series.  Hugely popular with middle and upper grades boys. Gr 5+ and older Maze Runner fans. 

MURTAGH by Christopher Paolini. Another author returns to a hugely popular series with a companion tale set in the world of Eragon, a world where dragons and humans co-exist. Gr 5+ and older fans of Eragon.