New Books

THE SCHOOL FOR WHATNOTS, By Margaret Peterson Haddix

From master of suspense author Margaret Peterson Haddix comes another page-turning stand-alone adventure for fans of Cog and Bad Magic.

No matter what anyone tells you, I'm real.

That's what the note says that Max finds under his keyboard.

He knows that his best friend, Josie, wrote it.  He'd know her handwriting anywhere.  But why she wrote it--and what it means--remains a mystery.

Ever since they met in kindergarten, Max and Josie have been inseparable.  Until the summer after fifth grade, when Josie disappears, leaving only a note, and whispering something about "whatnot rules."

But why would Max ever think that Josie wasn't real? And what are whanots?

As Max sets to uncover what happened to Josie--and what she is or isn't--little does he know that she's fighting to find him again, too.  But there are forces trying to keep Max and Josie from ever seeing each other again.  Because Josie isn't supposed to be real.

This middle grade thriller from Margaret Peterson Haddix delves into the power of privilege, the importance of true friendship, and the question of humanity and identity.  Because when anyone could be a whatnot, what makes a person a real friend--or real at all?

Ages 8-12

Listen to author Margaret Peterson Haddix read a passage from this book:



A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'.  They have big, round eyes and lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother's, her grandmother's, and her little sister's.  They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future.

Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to love and empowerment

Ages 5-9

Listen to the author read this book:

NEVER , NOT EVER By Beatrice Alemagna

A perfect back-to-school book...with a twist! For little kids everywhere who feel anxious leaving home to go back to school.

Never, Not Ever! is the instant classic from Beatrice Alemagna- a laugh-out-loud tribute to little kids everywhere who would prefer not to leave home on the first day of school.

The other animals are marching dutifully to school, but Pascaline could care less. "Never, not ever!" she declares.  She's NOT going.  And nothing-not even her parents pulling her by her feet-will change her mind.

She shrieks so loudly that her parents shrink down to the size of peanuts-becoming just the right size to fit snugly under Pascaline's wing.  Now they can all go to school together!

In Never, Not Ever! award-winning picture book creator Beatrice Alemagna reminds us that small children need their parents to be close by . . . but not too close.

Ages 4-8

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