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Fall Sneak Peeks Part 2: Middle Grade and YA

July 2, 2013

Today we bring you Part 2 of our Fall Sneak Peeks, featuring just a few of our favorite Middle Grade and Young Adult books.

The Flying Beaver Brothers: Birds vs. Bunniesby Maxwell Eaton

The Flying Beaver Brothers and the Mud-Slinging Moles by Maxwell Eaton

beaver bros

Hooray for not one, but two new adventures starring our favorite environmental activist beavers! In their first two adventures the brothers, Ace and Bub, uncovered unethical practices of the Fish Stix company, AND foiled a plan by evil penguins to freeze their beloved Beaver Island and turn it into a “polar resort”. After a nap and some pancakes, Ace and Bub are ready for two new adventures! Humor, action and fighting for what’s right, all in a day’s work for our heroes. –Kate

Will in Scarlet byMatthew Cody

Will in Scarlet

The legend of Robin Hood and his Band of Merry Men has been the subject of countless books and films, most focusing on the heroics of Robin himself.  What if there was another hero within the group whose exploits preceded Robin’s and matched the bravest of the brave? What if our hero came from nobility, familiar with the trappings of wealth, but forced to flee into the woods for safety and wind up with a band of outlaws –eventually becoming an outlaw himself? What if our hero’s family were victims of a plot to overthrow the king at the time (King Richard) and kill anyone associated him? What if our hero was a mere 13 years old!? Will Shackley aka Will Scarlet is that hero in this rousing tale of adventure by Matthew Cody, who has kept faithful to the Robin Hood legend while adding an exciting twist to this medieval tale of intrigue and mischief-making with all the bells and whistles of knights in armor, sword fighting and death-defying action. Will’s story, understated in the legend, finally gets its proper due: our hero is feisty, charismatic and like other boys of his age a little too eager to prove his mettle among men much bigger than he and wiser in years. Will’s sidekick named Much (whose true identity is later revealed) becomes his faithful companion and together, along with his bandit gang, seek justice against the king’s foes, including the dreaded Sherriff of Nottingham. I think this is Cody’s best book and most fun read yet with a rich cast of characters and page-turning suspense, with some light-hearted humor mixed in. –Tim

Winter of the Robots by Kurtis Scaletta

Winter of the Robots

Jim wants to choose a new partner for the science fair because his best friend, Oliver, doesnt share the work. His new partner, Rocky, is a shy girl with an interest in animals. She brings him to an otter infested river in a junkyard which turns out to be a place with many secrets. Jim assembles a team of friends who are skilled in robotics to help solve the mystery. An action packed read for the science minded middle reader, especially those who love robots! –Levi & Deanna

Mister Max: The Book of Lost Things by Cynthia Voigt

Mister Max

I loved this quirky middle grade caper that feels old and new at the same time.  Max’s parents go missing but as readers we are trying to discover whether they went of their own accord or have been kidnapped.  Emerson & Lucas listened to our chapter sampler & are dying for more.  It’s next on our list for a family read aloud. –Dandy

Loud Awake and Lost by Adele Griffin

Loud AWake and Lost

I’ve long been a fan of Adele Griffin. Her books are fast-paced thrillers but also beautifully-written and thought-provoking. Her latest doesn’t disappoint. Ember wakes up after surviving a terrible car accident. But she has no recollection of the six weeks that led up to the accident and her friends and family don’t seem to want to talk about it. As she struggles to find her way in her new reality, she starts to uncover secrets about that lost time, causing the lines between past and present, reality and fantasy to blur. This is a riveting look at love, loss and memory, and I couldn’t put it down. –Erin

Premeditated by Josin Mcquein


From the first paragraph of this novel I needed to know “what happened”, and Josin Mcquein told this story in such a perfectly timed way that I didn’t want to put the book down until I knew. Dinah adores her younger cousin Claire, and while Claire is lying unconscious in a hospital Dinah goes undercover at Claire’s high school to try and unravel the mystery about what and who made Claire want to take her own life. Dinah is determined to get revenge, but as her search for information progresses she finds that there may be a lot more than she expected going on. –Kate

Chasing Shadows by Swati Avasthi

Chasing Shadows

I was completely wowed by Chasing Shadows, the story – told in alternating voices – of two girls coping with the aftermath of a tragic drive by shooting.  The author, Swati Avasthi, is an award winning writer and this new book is powerful and gripping, heartbreaking and timely.  Plus, the format is so unique: as one character loses her grip on reality, the novel slips from prose to graphic art.  If you are not a graphic novel reader, don’t be scared – this is totally accessible, compelling and cool!  Touching on themes of friendship and boundaries, violence in society and how people deal with tragedy, this is a very special book for teens and young adults.  I hope you’ll pick up a copy in September at your local bookstore and read it. –Sarah N.

Thanks for joining us today on RAoR, and we hope you’re looking forward to these new books as much as we are!

Please share your thoughts in our comments section.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 2, 2013 5:41 pm

    Ah, I’m practically drooling here, in anticipation. They all sound great. I especially want to read the Adele Griffin book. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever read by her. And Will in Scarlet sounds like a lot of fun.

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