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The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones
By Will Mabbitt Illustrated by Ross Collins
Viking, June 2015, $16.99
Ages 6-12 (though older readers will love humor)
Genre: Fiction, Pirate Humor (excellent for boy and girl reluctant readers, fast-read, humorous illustrations)

Every Last Word

By Tamara Ireland Stone
Hyperion (June 16, 2015) $17.99

​Age: 12-18

​Genre: 


Samantha’s kept her Purely-Obsessional OCD secret hidden from her popular friends. But Sam’s thoughts consume her, causing severe anxiety attacks she can’t turn off. After a new girl named Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, Sam feels more normal then ever. But Sam keeps Caroline a secret along with her weekly shrink appointments, until the unforeseeable ending. This book is one you’ll remember.

The Time Garden

Written and illustrated by Daria Song
Watson-Guptil (September 1, 2015) $15.99

​Age: 10+

​Genre: Art, Coloring


Creative artists will adore this gorgeous story and coloring book combo (created in intricate pen and ink), beginning with a German Black Forest Cuckoo Clock that strikes magic at midnight.

Earth and Space
By Nirmala Nataraj, Photographs by NASA
Chronicle Books (November 2015) $40.00
Genre: Adult Interest, Nonfiction

I had included this book in my June/July 2015 Girls’ Life reviews, but it was eliminated because the original cover looked “too young,” so kudos to the updated, final cover!


The overall premise was hilarious in itself, when Mabel Jones commits “The Deed,” as in picking her nose and eating it! Utterly unladylike behavior, which is why the vicious Captain Split and his crew are shocked to discover their latest “recruit” is actually a girl! Once they realize it, they force Mabel Jones to walk off the plank of The Feroshus Maggot, where Mabel nonchalantly informs them they have a spelling error on their pirate ship. Once they realize she can read, Mabel is swiftly the best buddy of the wicked wolf pirate with a peg-leg formed from a human femur, since she can read his treasure maps and help with his ploy to be crowned the pirate king of London. Mabel agrees to help so she can quickly get back to her home in time to feed Hamish, her pet slug hidden under her bed, because it’s unlikely her parents received her message in a bottle. However, her new favored status with Captain Split has made for Mabel a deadly enemy—Omynus Hush, the Silent Loris—Captain Split’s original right-hand man. Even worse, she accidently cuts off Omynus’s hand with her rusty cutlass. An absolute must-read for, truthfully, all ages—it’s that funny, with a sweet spot of 6-11. 

Will Mabbit writes in cafes, on trains, on the toilet, and sometimes in his head when his laptop runs out of power. He lives with his family in the south of England. The Unlikely Adventures of Mabel Jones is his first book. 


The Glass Sentence

By S.E. Grove
Penguin Group (June 16, 2015) $8.99
Ages: 9-12
Genre: Fantasy


 In 1891, in a world transformed by 1799’s Great Disruption—when all of the continents were flung into different time periods—thirteen-year-old Sophia Tims and her friend Theo go in search of Sophia’s uncle, Shadrack Elli, Boston’s foremost cartologer, who has been kidnapped.

Not After Everything
By Michelle Levy
Dial (June 2015) $17.99
Ages: 12+
Genre: Contemporary Realistic Fiction, first love, broken families, social pressures, football scholarships, suicide, abuse


“Gritty and raw… isn’t for the faint of heart, but creates a stunning, emotionally resonant novel about not letting your past define your future.” —Kirkus, starred review

National Geographic Kids Guide to Photography

By Nancy Honovich and Annie Griffiths
National Geographic (August 4, 2015) $14.99

​Age: 8-12


Everyone will be itching to try the ideas in this info-packed book. Expert tips and tricks will enlighten even the savviest selfie snapper. Plus you can share your photos online within the MyShot community.

Rookie Yearbook Three

Editied by Tavi Gevinson
Razorbill (October 21, 2015) $29.95
Ages: 14+ mature readers
Genre: YA nonfiction


Seventeen-year-old, fashion-model-turned-publishing-mogul, Tavi Gavinson sent her staffers out with the idea of LONGING when it was time to come up with this third installment of some of the best of RookieMag.com. Founder and editor-in-chief of the online magazine, this savvy, young entrepreneur took her vision and shared it with young women to help make the best of beauty, pain, and awkwardness and turned it into a unique vision and different way of looking at some of the trials of adolescence and beyond.  Simply said, this fantastic collection of images and stories stirs memories and emotions, and exceeds the original goal of presenting “longing” in as many ways as possible, like “Longing for the past: missing something you never had, missing a glorified idea of something, missing ignorance, missing simplicity. The paradox of getting what you longed for, that nothing can ever be truly what you wanted.” With contributions from inspirational women, including Elle and Dakota Fanning, Shailene Woodley, and multi-Grammy-winning teen breakout artist, Lorde, with photos and interviews with celebrities and teen girls about their experiences growing up. 


101 Things Every Girl Should Know  and  The Best Hair Book Ever
By Faithgirlz and Girls’ Life
Zonderkidz ( 2015) $14.99


Expert advice on stuff big and small and gorgeous hair how-to’s, in the latest Girls’ Life series. Offering all you would expect from Girls’ Life!

When this book arrived, my 11-year-old and I were opening our mail. Both of us were immediately interested—though the cover was originally completely different. (Check out more on this on my Writers page.) We started reading it together out loud that night—which was great because she’s at that age where our reading-aloud-before-bed sessions have turned into reading-alone time. We were both cracking up! After reading way past the allotted time, we made a deal that neither of us could read this book without the other—and we were both arguing over this! It was great fun.

Notables

 
The Worst Class Trip Ever

Written by Dave Barry, Illustrated by John Cannell
Disney $13.99
Ages: 8-14
Genre: School Fiction


When the eighth-grade civics class of Miami’s Culver Middle School goes on a trip to Washington D.C., Wyatt Palmer finds himself in deep trouble before the plane even lands because his best friend, Matt, has decided that the men sitting behind them are terrorists and it is up to the boys to stop them. This one had me cracking up from the first page!

 

The Steal Like an Artist Journal:

A Notebook for Creative Cleptomaniacs
By Austin Kleon
Workman Publishing (October 6, 2015) $12.95
Genre: Adult Interest, Humor, Journaling, Nonfiction, Arts & Photography, Creativity


We Will Be Crashing Shortly

By Hollis Gillespie
Merit Press (June 15, 2015) $17.99
Ages: 14+
Genre: Girls & Women, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure


A trilling sequel to the hit novel Unaccompanied Minor, where April Mae Manning is back in trouble, but this time she’s running out of chances.

A Kid’s Guide to Keeping Chickens
By Melissa Caughey
Storey Publishing (2015) $16.95
Age: 8-12
Genre: MG Nonfiction, Chickens, Pets,
Healthy Living

Non-Fiction

 

Circus Mirandus

By Casey Beasley
June 2 2015
Penguin Random House (June 2 2015) $17.99
Ages 9-12
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure, Circus Magic


​"This gripping fantasy tale will have readers hooked from the opening scene to the breathtaking—and unexpected—conclusion." —School Library Journal, starred review 

I am Princess X

By Cherie Priest
Arthur Levine (Scholastic) (May 26, 2015) $18.99

​Age: 12+

​Genre: Teens, Literature & Fiction, Social & Family Issues, Friendship, Mystery

When they were kids, May and Libby made up Princess X, a blue-haired, sword-wielding warrior in red high-tops, and her many adventures. But their stories ended when Libby died in an accident. Years later, May sees a Princess X sticker and realizes Libby has been alive, in danger, and leaving clues that only May can decipher. Comic-style graphics throughout lead May on a super-suspenseful, twisted mystery to save her friend.