The Treasure Map of Way Down Deep by Ruth White
When Ruby Jolene Hurley sees the shadow of her dead pet goat Jethro dancing on his grave, that's the first hint that something strange is going on in Way Down Deep. Then, on Halloween night, Miss Arbutus senses an evil wind blowing into town, and bad things start to happen. The coal mine shuts down, one hundred men lose their jobs, and all of Way Down feels the pinch. Ruby thinks the answer to their problems is the treasure that Archibald Ward, the town's founder, supposedly buried more than two hundred years ago. Most people say the treasure is just a myth, but Ruby is determined to prove the naysayers wrong and save the day.
Maybe a Fox by Kathi Appelt; Alison McGhee
Sylvie and Jules, Jules and Sylvie. Better than just sisters, better than best friends, they’d be identical twins if only they’d been born in the same year. And if only Sylvie wasn’t such a fast—faster than fast—runner. But Sylvie is too fast, and when she runs to the river they’re not supposed to go anywhere near to throw a wish rock just before the school bus comes on a snowy morning, she runs so fast that no one sees what happens…and no one ever sees her again. Jules is devastated, but she refuses to believe what all the others believe, that—like their mother—her sister is gone forever.
At the very same time, in the shadow world, a shadow fox is born—half of the spirit world, half of the animal world. She too is fast—faster than fast—and she senses danger. She’s too young to know exactly what she senses, but she knows something is very wrong. And when Jules believes one last wish rock for Sylvie needs to be thrown into the river, the human and shadow worlds collide.
Writing in alternate voices—one Jules’s, the other the fox’s—Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee tell the searingly beautiful tale of one small family’s moment of heartbreak, a moment that unfolds into one that is epic, mythic, shimmering, and most of all, hopeful.
Donny's Inferno by P.W. Catanese
Twelve-year-old Donny Taylor was rescued from certain death in a burning building. His savior, a mysterious girl named Angela Obscura, seems to be able to walk right out of the flames. Although she appears to be a teenager, Angela is actually a millenniums-old dignitary from the underworld who needs the help of a mortal. And she’s chosen Donny.
Hades, a bizarre, cavernous world that was once filled with pitchforks, fiery pits, and dismemberments, has recently become a kinder, gentler place where people can contemplate their transgressions rather than face eternal punishment. Now known as Sulfur, the underworld went through a period of reformation punctuated by a violent revolution that left the vicious Old Guard defeated and imprisoned.
But it soon becomes apparent that the Old Guard is plotting a comeback. If they succeed, they will reignite the long-extinguished Pits of Fire with a billion souls inside. And reformers like Angela and Donny will face Annihilation: the utter destruction of the consciousness and the soul, a nothingness more final than death itself.
With everything on the line and billions of souls to protect, Donny—a mortal and outsider—becomes the key to the underworld’s salvation and the only one who can save Sulfur.
Sara Lost and Found by Virginia Castleman
Sisters Anna and Sara must rely on each other for strength as they face being separated by the foster care system in this heartwrenching tale of sisterhood, family, and survival.Withering-by-Sea by Judith Rossell
Sara and Anna Olsen face an uncertain world. Their mother left home and may—or may not—be coming back. Their father is a drummer in a band and comes home long after the girls go to sleep—if he comes home at all. Too often, ten-year-old Sara and twelve-year-old Anna are left to fend for themselves. Then one night, three loud knocks at the door change everything: their father is in jail and social services has come to take the girls away. Rather than risk being split up, Sara and Anna decide their only option is to run away.
But the girls don’t get very far, and when the authorities catch up with them, Sara and Anna are forced back into the foster care system. Along the way, the girls encounter good people who want to help them but they also meet people who have no patience for mistakes or accidents. As Anna begins to act out or withdraw completely, Sara knows that it’s up to her to take care of her older sister. But what if she can’t anymore? What if she finds a forever home that may not include Anna? Will Sara keep the promise she made to her mother to stay with her sister or will she find the courage to do what’s best for herself?
Inspired by true events, this heartrending and hopeful novel of survival, friendship, and sisterhood, tells the tale of two sisters who must find the strength to face anything that life may throw their way.
A stalwart orphan sets out on a spine-tingling adventure in this wildly imaginative and darkly funny Victorian middle grade novel.Valkyrie by Kate O'Hearn
High on a cliff above the gloomy Victorian town of Withering-by-Sea stands the Hotel Majestic. Inside the walls of the damp, dull hotel, eleven-year-old orphan Stella Montgomery leads a miserable life with her three dreadful aunts. Stella dreams of adventuring on the Amazon—or anyplace, really, as long as it isn’t this dreary town where nothing ever happens.
Then one night Stella sees something she shouldn’t have. Soon she finds herself on the run from terrifying Professor Stark and his gang of thugs. But how can one young girl outwit an evil magician, much less rescue his poor, mistreated assistant?
With the help of a mysterious maestro, his musical cats, and a lively girl named Gert, Stella Montgomery sets out to do just that.
Valkyrie: Norse Goddess. Reaper of Souls. Defender of the Weak. Not someone you want to mess with…
Freya is dreading her upcoming birthday when she’ll officially have to take up her duties as a Valkyrie. She doesn’t want to follow in the footsteps of the legends before her—legends including her mother and sisters. And she certainly doesn’t want anything to do with humans!
Freya thinks humans are cruel, hate-filled creatures, but as she observes their world, she begins to wonder what it would be like to make friends with the girls or laugh with the boys she sees. And what would it be like to live without the fear that she could cause someone’s death with a single touch?
Then when she’s sent on her first mission, she reaps the soul of a fallen soldier with unfinished business…business that sends her on an epic quest to the mortal world. Will Freya find the true meaning of being a human, or will she finally accept the legend she is destined to become?
The Adventures of Lettie Peppercorn by Sam Gayton
Lettie Peppercorn cannot go outside. Ma told her so right before Ma disappeared forever. So Lettie’s house is on stilts, and she is stuck with only the wind and a pigeon for a friend. Nothing exciting has ever happened to her—until the night a strange merchant appears.
He claims to be an alchemist—the greatest that ever lived—and he is here to sell Lettie his newest invention. It’s an invention that could change Lettie’s life—and the world forever. An invention called “snow.”
But snow is not the only secret he holds. The alchemist knows where Lettie’s Ma is. And Lettie will do anything to get Ma back—even if it means risking her own life.
Join the brilliant and resourceful Lettie Peppercorn as she sails across the world to reunite her family and discover the truth about herself.
The Inn Between by Marina Cohen
The Shining meets "Hotel California" in this supremely creepy middle grade novel about the bizarre things that happen to two girls stranded at a desert inn.
Eleven-year-old Quinn has had some bad experiences lately. She was caught cheating in school, and then one day, her little sister Emma disappeared while walking home from school. She never returned.
When Quinn's best friend Kara has to move away, she goes on one last trip with Kara and her family. They stop over at the first hotel they see, a Victorian inn that instantly gives Quinn the creeps, and she begins to notice strange things happening around them. When Kara's parents and then brother disappear without a trace, the girls are stranded in a hotel full of strange guests, hallways that twist back in on themselves, and a particularly nasty surprise lurking beneath the floorboards. Will the girls be able to solve the mystery of what happened to Kara's family before it's too late?
Behind the Canvas by Alexander Vance
Which new covers are your favorite? Let me know in the comments!
A girl discovers she has the ability to inhabit the world of famous paintings, and tries to help a boy trapped behind the canvas.
There is a world behind the canvas. Past the paint of the canvas is a realm where art lives, breathes, creates, destroys.
Claudia Miravista loves art but only sees what is on the surface, until the Dutch boy Pim appears in her painting. Pim has been trapped in the world behind the canvas for centuries by a power-hungry witch, and now believes that Claudia is his only hope for escape. Fueled by the help of an ancient artist and some microwaveable magic, Claudia enters the wondrous and terrifying world, intent on destroying the witch's most cherished possession and setting Pim free. But in that world nothing is quite as it appears on the surface. Not even friendship.
Which new covers are your favorite? Let me know in the comments!