What’s New in Middle-Grade Books, February 2019
Unteachables by Gordon Korman
One-Third Nerd by Gennifer Choldenko, illustrated by Eglantine Ceulemans
The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Brenda Woods
Mr. Meriwether Hunter pushes Gabriel out of the path of an oncoming car. That begins a relationship between a young white boy and a black WWI vet. Gabriel’s eyes become slowly opened to the discrimination that his new friend and his family face — including why he doesn’t talk about being a soldier. It’s a realistic, historical narrative that introduces kids to the south’s prejudices as well as the treatment of soldiers after WWII.
Cogheart by Peter Bunzl
The Griffins of Castle Cary by Heather Shumaker
Revenge of Magic by James Riley
When a monster from the depths of the earth attacks the Lincoln Memorial and takes Fort’s father, his life is changed. Little does Fort know that he’s about to be introduced to a secret magical training school where only kids can read the newly discovered but ancient magical spell books. Apparently, it’s magic they hope will stop any further attacks on humans. Fort is thrust into a high-stakes situation with more questions than answers. His curiosity and determination lead him to discover two former, powerful students who know how the Old Ones were involved in the first attack. And how the Old Ones are trying to return to Earth to rule the humans. It’s a wild ride of action and fantasy plotting written by the author of The Story Thieves. You won’t be able to put down.
Hunt for Mad Wolf’s Daughter by Diane Magras (pub 3/5/19)
Metl: The ANGEL Weapon by Scott Wilson
Caden’s lived at the orphanage since he was a baby, unlike all the other orphans whose parents were jailed for illegally using Iltech, anything metallic, mechanical, or electric. When a robotic spider with a message from his dad tells Caden he’s going to destroy the world unless Caden reaches his father, he also learns that he has robotic tech inside his human body. Caden and fellow orphan, Annika, barely escape from the Holy Police only to run into a former member of the Twelve Apostles. She helps them escape then leads them into a secret underground world where she betrays them. The friends are captured and have no idea who they can trust. And Caden is increasingly worried that he should be destroyed or his technology will actually destroy the world. It’s action-packed, interesting, and exciting. I don’t know what to make of the author’s use of symbolism specific to the Christian faith. I hope it’s just borrowing ideas not mocking.