Last Minute Summer Reads - Kid's Edition

I know that end of summer is looming and it is nearly time for school to start.  But it is not too late for a new kid's read!  As we perused our bookshelves, we found a few that really stood out to us that we want to share with you.  Read on, my friends!

Lockwood & Co: The Screaming Staircase by Jonathan Stroud

Dive into the first book of this frightfully fun series and join the ghost-hunting gang as they defend our world from the most fearsome phantoms!

A sinister Problem has occurred in London: all nature of ghosts, haunts, spirits, and specters are appearing throughout the city, and they aren't exactly friendly. Only young people have the psychic abilities required to see-and eradicate-these supernatural foes. Many different Psychic Detection Agencies have cropped up to handle the dangerous work, and they are in fierce competition for business.

In The Screaming Staircase, the plucky and talented Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood, the charismatic leader of Lockwood & Co, a small agency that runs independent of any adult supervision. After an assignment leads to both a grisly discovery and a disastrous end, Lucy, Anthony, and their sarcastic colleague, George, are forced to take part in the perilous investigation of Combe Carey Hall, one of the most haunted houses in England. Will Lockwood & Co. survive the Hall's legendary Screaming Staircase and Red Room to see another day?

The Wretched Waterpark by Kiersten White

Meet the Sinister-Winterbottoms: brave Theo, her timid twin, Alexander, and their older sister, Wil. They're stuck for the summer with their Aunt Saffronia, who doesn't know how often children need to eat and can't use a smartphone, and whose feet never quite seem to touch the floor when she glides--er--walks.When Aunt Saffronia suggests a week pass to the Fathoms of Fun Waterpark, they hastily agree.

But the park is even stranger than Aunt Saffronia. The waterslides look like gray gargoyle tongues. The employees wear creepy black dresses and deliver ominous messages. An impossible figure is at the top of the slide tower, people are disappearing, and suspicious goo is seeping into the wave pool. Something mysterious is happening at Fathoms of Fun, and it's up to the twins to get to the bottom of it. The mystery, that is. NOT the wave pool. Definitely NOT the wave pool. But are Theo and Alexander out of their depth?

Alone by Megan E. Freeman

Perfect for fans of Hatchet and the I Survived series, this harrowing middle grade debut novel-in-verse from a Pushcart Prize-nominated poet tells the story of a young girl who wakes up one day to find herself utterly alone in her small Colorado town.

When twelve-year-old Maddie hatches a scheme for a secret sleepover with her two best friends, she ends up waking up to a nightmare. She's alone--left behind in a town that has been mysteriously evacuated and abandoned. With no one to rely on, no power, and no working phone lines or internet access, Maddie slowly learns to survive on her own. Her only companions are a Rottweiler named George and all the books she can read. After a rough start, Maddie learns to trust her own ingenuity and invents clever ways to survive in a place that has been deserted and forgotten. As months pass, she escapes natural disasters, looters, and wild animals. But Maddie's most formidable enemy is the crushing loneliness she faces every day. Can Maddie's stubborn will to survive carry her through the most frightening experience of her life?

Ark by Elisabeth Sharp McKetta

Arden thinks the world has ended when her parents decide to trade their large house (where she has her own purple bedroom with a window seat!) for a small backyard guesthouse, built like a wooden boat. The worst part: it's not big enough for their dog to come along. Things get even worse when her best friend moves away and a pandemic shuts school, leaving Arden's family quarantined in very little space. Arden just wishes life would go back to normal. As neighbors leave town, shut themselves away, and get sick, their pets are left behind, and Arden becomes the safe-keeper of all the abandoned animals. When the pandemic touches home, Arden must use all her creativity and courage to help those she loves--family, friends, and dogs! 

Ark was inspired by author Elisabeth Sharp McKetta's experience of living in a 275-square-foot tiny house with her husband and two children during the COVID-19 pandemic. Like Arden, Elisabeth's family learned to live large in a small space.

Mexikid by Pedro Martín

An unforgettable graphic memoir about a Mexican-American boy's family and their adventure-filled road trip to bring their abuelito back from Mexico to live with them that National Book Award Finalist Victoria Jamieson calls "one of those books that kids will pass to their friends as soon as they have finished it."

Grounded For All Eternity and The Afterlife of the Party by Darcy Marks

A group of kids from hell come to Earth on one of the craziest nights of the year—Halloween—in this “entertaining, high-octane” (Kirkus Reviews) middle grade adventure about teamwork, friendship, shattering expectations, and understanding the world (or otherworld) around us and Book #2 has an interdimensional mixer with angels and other beings brings unexpected trouble for Malachi and his friends in this smart and uniquely funny second book about the squad of teens from hell.

 The Cursed Moon by Angela Cervantes - Available for Pre-order

One two, the Caretaker's coming for you. Three-four, you'll breathe no more. Five-six, you'll float like sticks. Seven, eight, you'll meet your fate.

Rafael Fuentes isn't easily scared. He loves writing ghost stories, reading scary books, and entertaining his friends with terrifying tales he creates on the spot. Rafa has come up against enough real-life scary situations that fictional hauntings seem like no big deal. Rafa's incarcerated mom is being released from jail soon, and will be coming to live with him, his sister, and their grandparents. For the first time in a while, Rafa feels a pit of fear growing in his stomach.

To take his mind off his mom's return, Rafa spends an evening crafting the scariest ghost story he's ever told. As an eerie blood moon hangs in the sky, Rafa tells a group of friends about The Caretaker. The Caretaker is an evil ghost who lures unsuspecting kids into the neighborhood pond. . . and they don't ever come out. Rafa is really proud of his latest creation, until strange things start to happen around him. With a sinking feeling, Rafa realizes the Caretaker is real. Rafa has brought the ghost to life--and only he can stop him.

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barbra Higuera

Había una vez . . .

There lived a girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra's world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children - among them Petra and her family - have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race.

Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet - and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity's past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard - or purged them altogether. Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?

Hazel Hill is Gonna Win This One by Maggie Horne

 

Seventh grader Hazel Hill is too busy for friends. No, really. She needs to focus on winning the school-wide speech competition and beating her nemesis, the popular and smart Ella Quinn, after last year's embarrassing hyperbole/hyperbowl mishap that cost her first place.

But when Hazel discovers Ella is being harassed by golden boy Tyler Harris, she has to choose between winning and doing the right thing. No one would believe that a nice boy like Tyler would harass and intimidate a nice girl like Ella, but Hazel knows the truth--and she's determined to prove it, even if it means risking everything. Deeply relatable and surprisingly humorous, Hazel Hill Is Gonna Win This One is a wonderfully empowering story about friendship, finding your voice, and standing up for what you believe in.

The Swifts:  A Dictionary of Scoundrels by Beth Lincoln

On the day they are born, every Swift child is brought before the sacred Family Dictionary. They are given a name, and a definition. A definition it is assumed they will grow up to match.
Meet Shenanigan Swift: Little sister. Risk-taker. Mischief-maker. Shenanigan is getting ready for the big Swift Family Reunion and plotting her next great scheme: hunting for Grand-Uncle Vile's long-lost treasure. She's excited to finally meet her arriving relatives--until one of them gives Arch-Aunt Schadenfreude a deadly shove down the stairs. So what if everyone thinks she'll never be more than a troublemaker, just because of her name?

Shenanigan knows she can become whatever she wants, even a detective. And she's determined to follow the twisty clues and catch the killerDeliciously suspenseful and delightfully clever, The Swifts is a remarkable debut that is both brilliantly contemporary and instantly classic. A celebration of words and individuality, it's packed with games, wordplay, and lots and lots of mischief as Shenanigan sets out to save her family and define herself in a world where definitions are so important.

Deadlands Hunted by Skey Melki-Wegner

Wings of Fire meets Jurassic Park in this action-adventure middle grade debut series by Skye Melki-Wegner about five outcasts--and former enemies--who are the only hope to save their warring kingdoms from impending doom. Battle rages between the dinosaur kingdoms of Cretacea. When the Fallen Star struck, it brought death and despair, ash and toxic rain. But some dinosaurs survived . . . and were changed. Their minds grew alert. They learned to speak. To dream. To wage war.

As the two remaining dinosaur kingdoms fight for territory, Eleri, the disgraced son of a prince, is exiled from his home for saving an enemy soldier. Banished to the merciless Deadlands, a terrifying desert full of tar pits, poisonous gas, and ruthless carnivores, he must join forces with a group of questionable allies--including the enemy soldier he saved--to avoid becoming prey. When Eleri and his fellow exiles discover the horrific truth behind the war, the unlikely heroes must do all they can to save their kingdoms from a lurking predator. . . and a secret plot that might destroy them all.