It’s September! The days are cooling down, kid-readers are back to school, and we’re officially easing into fall. That means a cozy new reading season filled with some wonderful middle grade books, including brand new titles launching this month from yours truly—authors Rebecca Caprara, Saadia Faruqi, Janae Marks, Mae Respicio, and Betsy Uhrig. We’re excited for our newest books to be out in the world connecting with readers… and equally excited to celebrate with a special Twitter Giveaway, where 1 lucky winner will receive each of our new fall books!
To enter, go to any of our handles; RT+ L the original giveaway tweet, and make sure to comment on one thing that you love about fall reading. For an extra entry, tag some reader friends. The deadline to enter this giveaway is September 12—1 randomly drawn U.S. winner will be announced.
In the meantime, we’d love to share more about our books! Here’s a glimpse into our fall releases:
By Saadia Faruqi
Yusuf Azeem has spent all his life in the small town of Frey, Texas—and nearly that long waiting for the chance to participate in the regional robotics competition, which he just knows he can win. Only, this year is going to be more difficult than he thought. Because this year is the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, an anniversary that has everyone in his Muslim community on edge. With “Never Forget” banners everywhere and a hostile group of townspeople protesting the new mosque, Yusuf realizes that the country’s anger from two decades ago hasn’t gone away. Can he hold onto his joy—and his friendships—in the face of heartache and prejudice?
HOW TO WIN A SLIME WAR
By Mae Respicio
Alex Manalo and his dad have just moved back to Sacramento to help out with their extended family’s struggling Filipino market. While Alex likes helping in the store, his true passion is making slime! He comes up with his own recipes and plays with ingredients, colors, and different bumpy or sparkly bits, which make his slime truly special. A new friend encourages Alex to sell his creations at school, which leads to a sell-off battle with a girl who previously had a slime-opoly. Winner gets bragging rights and the right to be the only slime game in town. But Alex’s dad thinks Alex should be focused more on “traditional” boy pastimes and less on slime. As the new soccer coach, Dad gets Alex to join the team. Even though he hates sports, Alex gives in. Alex is battling on multiple fronts–with his new friends at school, and with his dad at home. It will be a sticky race to the finish to see who oozes out on top.
By Janae Marks
Joy Taylor has always believed home is the house she lived in her entire life. But then her dad lost his job, and suddenly, home becomes a tiny apartment with thin walls, shared bedrooms, and a place for tense arguments between Mom and Dad. Hardest of all, Joy doesn’t have her music to escape through anymore. Without enough funds, her dreams of becoming a great pianist—and one day, a film score composer—have been put on hold. A friendly new neighbor her age lets Joy in on the complex’s best-kept secret: the Hideout, a cozy refuge that only the kids know about. And it’s in this little hideaway that Joy starts exchanging secret messages with another kid in the building who also seems to be struggling, until—abruptly, they stop writing back. What if they’re in trouble? Joy is determined to find out who this mystery writer is, fast, but between trying to raise funds for her music lessons, keeping on a brave face for her little sister, and worrying about her parents’ marriage, Joy isn’t sure how to keep her own head above water.
Twelve-year-old Collin has a plan to survive any worst-case scenario. Avalanche? No problem. Riptide? Stay calm. He’s 100% prepared for every disaster…except maybe his home life. Everyone called it a fluke when Collin’s mom died in a car accident. But twelve-year-old Collin wonders what might’ve happened if someone had been better prepared. So now he keeps a worst-case scenario handbook, outlining how to overcome everything from avalanches to riptides to a bad case of halitosis. It’s no wonder his hilarious and loyal best friends, Liam and Georgia, nickname him Worst-Case Collin. But there’s no chapter in Collin’s handbook about how to avoid bullies at school, or how to hide his dad’s troubling hoarding habits from everyone. When everything builds to a breaking point, Collin must figure out his own best-case scenario. Kirkus calls this contemporary middle grade novel-in-verse, “Poignant, timely, and altogether affecting.”
What if you got a glimpse into your future – and didn’t like what you saw? When Jason Sloan and a few other intrepid classmates join a mysterious club at the start of seventh grade, they have no idea that they’re about to get an alarming look five years into their future. Bad hair, inexplicable fashion choices, and depressing social situations are fully on display, forcing Jason and his friends to do whatever it takes to avoid their fates in this “funny and original story about friendship and the future” (Kirkus Reviews).