New Books

NECK & NECK By Elise Parsley

A giraffe's self esteem is tested during a confrontation between unlikely look-alikes!

Everybody loves Leopold the giraffe.  He inspires awe and wonder.  His adoring fans gaze and cheer.  Best of all, they feed him lots of deeeeelicious snacks!  But, one day, a shiny, bobble-headed new rival comes in and ruins everything . . .  a giraffe-shaped balloon! Just how far will Leopold go to prove that he's the hero of the zoo?


In a world built for Perfect Pets, Barnabus is a Failed Project, half mouse, half elephant, kept out of sight until his dreams of freedom lead him and his misfit friends on a perilous adventure.  A stunning picture book from international bestsellers The Fan Brothers, joined by their brother Devin Fan.

Deep underground beneath Perfect Pets, where children can buy genetically engineered "perfect" creatures, there is a secret lab.  Barnabus and his friends live in this lab, but none of them is perfect.  They are all Failed Projects.  Barnabus has never been outside his tiny bell jar, yet he dreams of one day seeing the world above ground that his pal Pip the cockroach has told him about: a world with hills and trees, and buildings that reach all the way to the sky, lit with their own stars.  But Barnabus may have to reach the outside world sooner than he thought, because the Green Rubber Suits are about to recycle all Failed Projects . . .  and Barnabus doesn't want to be made into a fluffier pet with bigger eyes.  He just wants to be himself.  So he decides it's time for he and the others to escape.  With his trunk and a lot of cooperation and courage, Barnabus sets out to find freedom -- and a place where he and his friends can finally be accepted for who they are.

This suspenseful, poignant and magical story about following your dreams and finding where you truly belong will draw readers into a surreal, lushly detailed world in which perfection really means being true to yourself and your friends.

You may also wish to hear the Authors read this book aloud by clicking on the link

TIGHT by Torrey Maldonado

TIGHT: Lately Bryan's been feeling it in all kinds of ways.  He knows what's tight for him in a good way-reading comics, drawing superheroes, and hanging out with no drama.  But drama's hard to escape where he's from, and that gets him wound up tight.

And now Bryan's new friend Mike is challenging him to have fun in ways that are crazy risky.  At first, it's a rush following Mike, hopping turnstiles, subway surfing, and getting into all kinds of trouble.  But Bryan never feels right acting wrong.  So which way will he go when he understands that drama is so not his style?  Fortunately his favorite comic heroes shed light on his dilemma, reminding him that he has power- the power to choose his friends and to stand up for what he believes is right . . .

Torrey Maldonado delivers a fast-paced, insightful, dynamic story.  Readers will connect with Bryan's journey as he navigates a tough world with heartfelt desire for a different life.


HONEYBEE Busy Life of Apis Mellifera by Candace Fleming

A tiny honeybee emerges through the wax cap of her cell.  Driven to protect and take care of her hive, she cleans the nursery and feeds the larvae and the queen.  But is she strong enough to fly?  Not yet!

Apis builds wax comb to store honey, and transfers pollen from other bees into the storage.  She defends the hive from invaders. And finally, she begins her new life as an adventurer. 


Sage kicks off the first book in her "Enchanter's Child" duology with a prologue that describes how the King's Enchanter gave up his baby daughter to an unknown woman in order to save her.  Ten years later in the city of Luma, Alex knows nothing of her true parents; only the drudgery of household chores while her stepmother and foster sisters boss her around.  She does have two comforts-her younger brother Louie and her hexagonal cards that can foretell the future.  But Luna has banned magic and when one sister betrays her to the Sentinels, Alex and Louie must flee.  They escape to a forest  but are pursued by deadly Twighlight Hauntings including river snakes,  stinging butterflies, a giant Hawke, and the suffocating Gray Walker.  Meanwhile, the ex-Enchanter Hagos Ravenstar forms an alliance with the Hawke's former Flyer, Danny.  They start searching  for the magical items needed to destroy the Hauntings; the same quest Alex also undertakes.  Sage has built a fully realized world populated by intriguing characters and terrifying monsters.  She skillfully builds tension using plot twists that include friendship and betrayal, good intentions and misunderstandings, fearsome attacks and daring escapes.

*Grade 4-7

VERDICT: Fans of fantasy and adventure will snap this up and eagerly await the sequel.

THE SEA IN WINTER by Christine Day

Maisie Cannon is having a hard time.  Its been months since her knee injury, and her recovery process has been painfully slow.  As a serious ballet student, Maisie is eager to rebuild her strength and get back to the dance studio.  She knows all her ballerina friends are auditioning for prestigious summer dance programs, while she remains sentenced to physical therapy.

But the injury isn't her only problem.  Maisie has been irritable toward her loved ones lately and can't always  explain why.  And as Maisie and her family set out  on a midwinter road trip, her secrets and anxieties and dark moods start to hurt her as much as the aches and pains in her knee. 

Age 8-12