See You in the Cosmos
By Jack Cheng. $16.99. Gr. 4–8.
The premise of this debut novel—dispatches to aliens modeled on Carl Sagan’s Golden Record launched into the cosmos on the Voyager spacecraft—gives way to a funny, sad, profound, and wholly original story about a brilliant but naïve Filipino-American boy; his dog, Carl Sagan; his newfound “family”; and a journey that takes us to the stars.
By Erin Entrada Kelly. $16.99. Gr. 4–8.
“Weaving legend with reality, this poignant tale of adolescent misfits conveys how it feels to be apart, and to come together. Through fate, family, friendship, and love, there is light at the end of the tunnel for our tenderhearted heroes, yet not for a bully. Because in reality, as in this story, most people evolve but some never do.” —Stacey Fisher, former media specialist, Holland, MI
Matylda, Bright and Tender
By Holly M. McGhee. $16.99. Gr. 4–7.
An unimaginable tragedy fuels this girl-and-gecko love story as Sussy copes without her best friend, Guy of the Big Bold Heart. The sympathetic cast includes her worried parents, a surprisingly wise teenage clerk, and, above all, Matylda, with her “starfish toes.”
Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel
By Kimberly Willis Holt. $16.99. Gr. 4–8.
A motley crew, including her taciturn grandfather, is there to greet Stevie at the rundown Texas motel she calls home in the wake of her parents’ deaths. Everyone seems to have secrets, slowly revealed, and as Stevie struggles to create a home, she blooms, as do those around her.
The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora
By Pablo Cartaya. $16.99. Gr. 4–8.
Everything comes back to family in this bright and funny story infused with the patois of Cuban Miami. Good triumphs over evil as a villain is defeated, young love wins out, and family, in all its forms, is affirmed. Spoiler alert: Arturo turns out not to be such an “epic fail” after all.
Beyond the Bright Sea
By Lauren Wolk. $16.99. Gr. 4–8.
In this hauntingly beautiful sea song of a historical novel, the setting, a fistful of tiny islands off the coast of 1920s Massachusetts, is as much a character as young outcast Crow and the idiosyncratic people who take her in. As Crow searches for clues to her origins, this soulful book turns into a riveting adventure.
The End of the Wild
By Nicole Helget. $16.99. Gr. 4–8.
“Fern is dealing with grief over her mother’s death, a struggling family under threat from poverty, and friend drama at school. When a fracking company threatens the forest she relies on for food and sanctuary, she has to fight to protect the things she most cares about. Moving and ultimately uplifting.” —Dan Gemeinhart, author and former teacher-librarian
By Gaia Cornwall. $15.99. Gr. K–2.
Jabari has many excuses for not being ready to go off the high dive. But with his dad’s gentle encouragement, along with a few perfectly illustrated stretches and deep breaths for courage, he makes the plunge. City-in-the-summer joy comes gloriously to life here.