Holiday House Showcase: October and November Releases
October 28, 2022
I always write posts far in advance (Type A personality plus a super fun anxiety disorder that DEMANDS working ahead to be prepared for any possible disaster that could strike and interrupt my life), so I’m writing this a few weeks before it will post. It’s my first sick day of the school year—masks will protect me from others’ germs, but can’t protect me from the yucky stuff my own body can cook up! Outside of sleeping with my little chiweenie nurses curled up with me, I’ve been making my way through my accumulated book mail. I have books on shelves here, books on carts, books in my closet, books on my end table… and I think I need to somehow find more space for books. Because they just keep coming! Before long, it will be that time of the year in Minnesota that I assume our UPS driver hates me because he daily has to trudge up our steep driveway in the cold/snow/ice.
Pull out your TBR lists or get ready to add to the orders for books that stock your library or classroom shelves. Today I’m sharing with you new and forthcoming titles from Holiday House and Pixel+Ink. All annotations are from the publisher.
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The Infamous Frankie Lorde 3: No Admissions by Brittany Geragotelis (ISBN-13: 9781645951230 Publisher: Pixel+Ink Publication date: 10/18/2022 Series: The Infamous Frankie Lorde #3, Ages 10+)
A group of parents looking to buy their less-deserving children into elite schools is about to learn a thing or two from a criminal mastermind in the third book in the Infamous Frankie Lorde series, perfect for fans of Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls and Heist Society.
When Frankie discovers that a classmate’s invention has been stolen the day before a school-wide competition, the once-renowned international thief figures she might as well flex her skills to steal it back. But just when Frankie’s about to call her mission a success, she learns there’s more to the story than she’d originally thought.
A group of wealthy Greenwich parents are using their influence — and wallets — to guarantee that their kids get into the most exclusive institutions on the East coast, no matter how undeserving their kids are, or how far they have to go to ensure success.
Easy peasy for Frankie to crack. Until she gets to know these classmates of hers…and their parents…and everyone’s real motivations and issues. Frankie sets the bar higher, to take the scam down from the top. The guy who’s been hired to get the kids into their desired schools: “Mr. Admissions.”
Middle School Bites: Night of the Vam-Wolf-Zom by Steven Banks, Mark Fearing (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9780823452170 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 10/25/2022 Series: Middle School Bites, Ages 8-12)
Tom the Vam-Wolf-Zom is back—and so is the zombie that bit him—in this monstrously funny series about a boy who’s dying to fit in.
Eleven-year-old Tom was bit by a vampire, a werewolf, and a zombie right before the first day of middle school. It was a weird and crazy day. And he didn’t even get excused from sixth grade!
Now Tom is stuck navigating normal middle-school conundrums as the world’s only Vam-Wolf-Zom. And ever since he accidentally caused some drama between the vampire and the werewolf who bit him, he’s got to avoid trouble with them, too. Luckily the zombie who bit him turns out to be a super nice guy. (Go figure!)
Even the nicest monster can’t help when it comes to figuring out the rules for sixth grade, though. Looks like Tom is on his own as he deals with band arguments, a suddenly-friendly-but-formerly-mean bully, and even a first kiss.
Created by an Emmy-nominated writer for SpongeBob, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, and CatDog, this hilarious series is illustrated with clever, cartoon-style art on every spread. Perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Last Kids on Earth.
Looking for True by Tricia Springstubb (ISBN-13: 9780823450992 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 11/01/2022, Ages 8-12)
When two unlikely friends bond over shared compassion for a bereft but lovable dog, they learn what it truly means to find a sense of belonging and identity.
11-year-olds Gladys and Jude live in the same small, rust belt town, and go to the same school, but they are definitely not friends. Gladys is a tiny, eccentric, walking dictionary who doesn’t hesitate to express herself, while Jude likes to keep his thoughts and feelings to himself. But they both agree that a new dog in the neighborhood is being mistreated by its owner.
Gladys would like to do something to help while Jude is more resigned to the situation until the dog (who Gladys has named True Blue) disappears. They hatch a plan to find her and once they do, realize they have a problem: Gladys’s father is allergic and Jude’s mother hates dogs. There is no way they can bring her home. They hide True Blue in an abandoned house on the edge of town, but as their ties to the dog—and to one another—deepen, so does the impossibility of keeping such a big secret. Yet giving True up will break all three of their hearts.
Told in alternating voices set in a small, rust-belt town, True Blue is a story about family, identity, and finding friends in unexpected places.
The Bear House: Scales and Stardust by Meaghan McIsaac (ISBN-13: 9780823446612 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 11/01/2022, Ages 10-14)
Return to the gritty medieval world of the Bear Highen in this thrilling high fantasy follow-up to The Bear House.
The war in the Bear Highen is over. Aster, at thirteen, has defeated her uncle and become the High Queen. Peace is good, but things are still difficult: political challenges confront her, personal challenges stymie her, and the massive Hemoth Bear, symbol of the House of the Bear, is beginning to resist her control.
When, during a royal hunt, Aster stumbles on a young girl living in a nest of wyverns, matters become even more complex. Because this girl is not a girl at all. She is a living star, come down from her constellation, on a mission both terrible and glorious. And there is no shortage of those who want to use her cosmic powers for their own ends—rival kings, rival friends, and even three deadly sisters from the plane of demons, one of whom has an offer for Aster she may find it difficult to refuse….
Plotting the Stars 1: Moongarden by Michelle Barry (ISBN-13: 9781645951261 Publisher: Piexl+Ink Publication date: 11/01/2022, Ages 10-12)
“Moongarden blooms with heart and adventure. A stellar update of The Secret Garden, woven with a little science fiction, a lot of magic, a vibrant heroine, and a plucky robot sidekick to rival R2-D2.” —Victoria Aveyard, New York Times bestselling author of Red Queen
The Secret Garden meets The City of Ember as an unlikely heroine confronts loneliness and crippling parental expectations, finding her seed of courage to weed out an intergalactic government conspiracy tied to failed climate change policy in this STEM-inspired series starter.
Centuries ago, Earth’s plants turned toxic, rendering life on the planet impossible, and humanity took to space to cultivate new homes. Myra Hodger is in her first year at an elite school on the Moon to train and develop her Creer in math as a Number Whisper—like her famous Number Whisperer parents. But she’s crumbling under the pressure, she doesn’t fit in, and worst of all, the tattoos that signal her Creer growing aren’t developing. In her heart, she knows she doesn’t have a Creer, and soon, everyone else will, too.
Wandering the school while cutting class one day, she discovers a secret lab hidden behind one of the unused classrooms, and beyond that, a secret garden overflowing with plants. Dangerous toxic plants.
But as Myra learns the garden isn’t a threat, she begins to wonder if she does have a Creer—one that died out when the Earth did. If she wants to learn the truth about the garden and herself, she’ll have to hurry. There are those who’ll do anything to take these secrets to the grave.
Re-envisioning The Secret Garden for a new generation, Moongarden introduces a dynamic heroine who just might grow a revolution.
Ode to a Nobody by Caroline Brooks DuBois (ISBN-13: 9780823451562 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 11/15/2022, Ages 8-12)
A devastating tornado tears apart more than just houses in this striking novel in verse about a girl rebuilding herself.
Before the storm, thirteen-year-old Quinn was happy flying under the radar. She was average. Unremarkable. Always looking for an escape from her house, where her bickering parents fawned over her genius big brother.
Inside our broken home / we didn’t know how broken / the world outside was.
But after the storm, Quinn can’t seem to go back to average. Her friends weren’t affected by the tornado in the same way. To them, the storm left behind a playground of abandoned houses and distracted adults. As Quinn struggles to find stability in the tornado’s aftermath, she must choose: between homes, friendships, and versions of herself.
Nothing that was mine / yesterday is mine today.
Told in rich, spectacular verse, Caroline Brooks DuBois crafts a powerful story of redemption as Quinn makes her way from Before to After. There’s nothing average about the world Quinn wakes up to after the storm; maybe there’s nothing average about her, either. This emotional coming-of-age journey for middle grade readers proves that it’s never too late to be the person you want to be.
Touch and Go by Mary Amato (ISBN-13: 9780823449125 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 11/15/2022 Series: Star Striker, Ages 8-12)
Albert and the Zeenods are back in this second book in the thrilling Star Striker series about unlikely friendships and interstellar soccer.
Albert and his Zeenod teammates might not be the best soccer players in the universe but there’s nothing Albert would rather do—and no one he’d rather play with. Plus at least they made it to the second round of the big interplanetary tournament.
When their coach is wrongly arrested by an intergalatic police force, Albert and the Zeenods must work to clear their coach’s name and stay in the tournament. But Albert can’t keep his head in the game, putting the whole team’s win in jeopardy. Can Albert come through for his friends and find justice for their coach?
Action-packed, yet filled with humor and heart, Star Striker is the second book in a series that combines a sports friendship story with an exploration of social justice and the importance of compassion for others.
Santiago!: Santiago Ramón y Cajal!Artist, Scientist, Troublemaker by Jay Hosler (ISBN-13: 9780823450367 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 11/22/2022, Ages 8-12)
A graphic novel retelling of the inspiring true story of polymath Santiago Ramón y Cajal, visionary pioneer of modern neuroscience, and his early dreams of becoming an artist.
Based on a true story, Santiago Ramón y Cajal is every child who has struggled to navigate the expectations of adults.
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As a young boy, all Santiago wanted to do was be an artist. But his father wanted him to become a doctor, insisting that pursuing art was not a true profession. Although Santiago was forbidden by his parents to make art, Santiago secretly kept at it—making homemade paints and brushes and honing his craftsmanship. He also loved figuring out how things worked and made slingshots for his friends and even a fully functioning (and very dangerous) cannon. Sadly, the one thing he couldn’t figure out was his father.
After years of locking horns, Santiago’s father seemed to win, and Santiago was sent to medical school. As a medical student he discovered the wonders of how animal bodies work, and his studies eventually led him to the microscopic mysteries of the brain. Using the artistic skills he honed as a child, Santiago painted brain cells to unlock their secrets. His pursuit of art had trained him to be observant, persistent, resourceful, and creative in his research. In 1906, he won the Nobel Prize for medicine and is considered the father of modern neuroscience—proving anything is possible, even for a mischief maker.
Welcome to Feral by Mark Fearing (ISBN-13: 9780823454907 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 11/22/2022 Series: Frights from Feral #1, Ages 8-12)
How many kids will go missing before this town admits it’s haunted? Find out in this freakily fun new graphic novel series!
Feral has everything a small town should have: Main Street, City Hall, a population just over sixteen thousand . . .
But Feral also has secrets. Mysteries. Unexplained disappearances.
In five spooky stories, an intrepid young resident invites readers to look a little closer at this scenic rural town. Are you game to investigate what’s going on in Feral? If you pay attention, you might notice something where it shouldn’t be.
Be careful, though. Whatever you do, do not go into the Messner Mansion. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
With vibrant art, clever humor, and heaps of unsolved mysteries, animator Mark Fearing conjures a fearsome saga out of small-town terrors. The first entry in this inventive new series is sure to scare young readers silly.