MS. SPELL by Ethan Long
by Ethan Long, illustrated by Ethan Long
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Readers may be on the fence as to whether or not to wish for a teacher like Ms. Spell, but regardless, this may boost t-h-e-i-r spelling grades. (Picture book. 7-10) "
Step aside Ms. Frizzle. The pink-haired Ms. Spell has spelling to teach, and unlike her science-teaching peer, her lessons aren't particularly calm or disaster-free. Read full book review >
THE DAWN OF PLANET EARTH by Matthew Rake
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Chewy fare for fans of polysyllabic monikers but not a top-shelf prospect in the struggle to survive. (Nonfiction. 7-9)"
A chatty lungfish leads a quick tour of life's evolution, from Earth's formation to the appearance of early mammals in the Triassic Period. Read full book review >

I (DON'T) LIKE SNAKES by Nicola Davies
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"The protagonist isn't the only one who will find snakes spellbinding by the end. (author's note, bibliography, index) (Informational picture book. 4-9)"
A girl's family shows her oodles of cool details about snakes. Read full book review >
WHEN DAD SHOWED ME THE UNIVERSE by Ulf Stark
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Gentle humor pervades this father-son tale in the nicest way. (Picture book. 4-9)"
A small boy and his father take an evening walk in this Swedish import first published in 1998 but only now translated and published in the United States. Read full book review >
THE MYSTERY OF LIFE by Jan Paul Schutten
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"A glib and occasionally spotty picture but eminently readable and generally on target. (end references, index) (Nonfiction. 11-13)"
A lighthearted view of the universe's progress, from the Big Bang to the evolution of bacteria, bonobos—and "Joe Schmo from Buffalo." Read full book review >

TERRIFYING TALES by Jon Scieszka
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Scieszka's mission to provide quality books for boys succeeds again, though, of course, girls will be just as horrified as the boys. (Anthology. 9-12)"
The sixth volume in the Guys Read "Library of Great Reading" offers 10 stories to freak you out, "so scary you'd pee in your pants." Read full book review >
A CURIOUS TALE OF THE IN-BETWEEN by Lauren DeStefano
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Love, loss, and hope are at the heart of this exciting read. (author's note) (Mystery/fantasy. 9-12)"
Eleven-year-old Pram, bookish and imaginative, befriends ghosts (most importantly Felix, her protective best friend) and also a living boy at school, Clarence, who "sought out the shadows the way that she did," and together they embark on what turns out to be a perilous quest. Read full book review >
SPY-IN-TRAINING by Jonathan Bernstein
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"An action-packed series opener with plenty of room for improvement. (Adventure. 9-12)"
Accustomed to being ignored, a middle child finds herself in the center of an espionage operation. Read full book review >
THE VANISHING ISLAND by Barry Wolverton
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Fast-paced and entertaining, this fine trilogy opener will keep both fantasy and historical-fiction buffs turning the pages. (maps)­ (Historical fantasy. 9-14)"
In the first book of Wolverton's fantasy trilogy, the hero embarks on a gripping high-seas adventure packed with action, magic, and folklore spanning East and West. Read full book review >
DEAD AIR by Michelle Schusterman
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"A promising series opener for fans of the paranormal. (Suspense. 10-13)"
Thirteen-year-old Kat doesn't believe in ghosts, but she might change her mind as she accompanies her dad while he films a TV show on the paranormal. Read full book review >
PROJECT ALPHA by D.J. MacHale
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"This book may teach readers to distrust the government, but the real fear is that they'll put the novel down halfway through out of boredom. (Science fiction. 8-12)"
This series opener has the potential to turn its young readers positively cynical. Read full book review >
CATCH THE ZOLT by Phillip Gwynne
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Readers won over by Dom will hope the next installment brings some clarity to the over-the-top plot. (Adventure. 10-14)"
Imported from Australia, this volume kicks off a series chronicling how one young man deals with a highly unusual family legacy that goes back generations. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >