33 Minutes

by Todd Hasak-Lowy                                www.toddhasaklowy.com

Sam Lewis is going to get his butt kicked in exactly thirty-three minutes. He knows this because yesterday his former best friend Morgan Sturtz told him, to his face and with three witnesses nearby, "I am totally going to kick your butt tomorrow at recess."  All that's standing between Sam and this unfortunate butt-kicking is the last few minutes of social studies and his lunch period. But how did Sam and Morgan end up here? How did this happen just a few months after TAMADE (The Absolutely Most Amazing Day Ever), when they became the greatest "Alien Wars" video game team in the history of great "Alien Wars" teams? And once the clock ticks down, will Morgan actually act on his threat?  Told with equal parts laugh-out-loud humor and achingly real emotional truth, "33 Minutes" shows how even the best of friendships can change forever.

The Art of Secrets
by James Klise                                                www.jamesklise.com

When Saba Khan's apartment burns in a mysterious fire, possibly a hate crime, her Chicago high school rallies around her. Her family moves rent-free into a luxury apartment, Saba's Facebook page explodes, and she starts (secretly) dating a popular boy.  Then a quirky piece of art donated to a school fund-raising effort for the Khans is revealed to be an unknown work by a famous artist, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and Saba's life turns upside down again.  Should Saba's family have all that money?  Or should it go to the students who found the art?  Or to the school?  And just what caused that fire?  Greed, jealousy, and suspicion create an increasingly tangled web as students and teachers alike debate who should get the money and begin to point fingers and make accusations.  The true story of the fire that sets events in motion and what happens afterward gradually comes together in an innovative narrative made up of journal entries, interviews, articles, letters, text messages, and other documents.

The Family Romanov:  Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia

by Candace Fleming                                         www.candacefleming.com

Here is the tumultuous, heartrending, true story of the Romanovs—at once an intimate portrait of Russia's last royal family and a gripping account of its undoing.  Using captivating photos and compelling first person accounts, award-winning author Candace Fleming (Amelia Lost; The Lincolns) deftly maneuvers between the imperial family’s extravagant lives and the plight of Russia's poor masses, making this an utterly mesmerizing read as well as a perfect resource for meeting Common Core standards.  "For readers who regard history as dull, Fleming’s extraordinary book is proof positive that, on the contrary, it is endlessly fascinating, absorbing as any novel, and the stuff of an altogether memorable reading experience."

Inhuman
by Kat Falls                                            katfalls.com

Step into the Feral Zone, where the stakes are high, the romance is steamy, and the dangers are unlike anything you've ever seen. . . .   Lane McEvoy gets the shock of her life when she learns that someone she loves has crossed into the Feral Zone, the forbidden wilderness east of the Mississippi River.  Few have dared set foot in the Zone since the devastating biological disaster that killed millions and left the survivors . . . changed.  But now Lane has little choice.  She travels east, completely unprepared for what she finds in the ruins of civilization . . . and afraid to learn whether her humanity will prove her greatest strength or a fatal weakness.  In this bold and utterly original trilogy, acclaimed author Kat Falls brings you to the very edge of civilization and dares you to jump.

The Mark of the Dragonfly

by Jaleigh Johnson                                            jaleighjohnson.com

For fans of Frozen, The City of Ember, and The School of Good and Evil, The Mark of the Dragonfly is a fast-paced adventure story about a mysterious girl and a fearless boy, set in a magical world that is both exciting and dangerous.  Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields.  The girl doesn't remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she's from the Dragonfly Territories and that she's protected by the king.  Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home.  The one sure way to the Territories is the 401, a great old beauty of a train.  But a ticket costs more coin than Piper could make in a year.  And stowing away is a difficult prospect--everyone knows that getting past the peculiar green-eyed boy who stands guard is nearly impossible.  Life for Piper just turned dangerous.  A little bit magical.  And very exciting, if she can manage to survive the journey.

The Ugly One
by Leanne Statland Ellis                                  leannestatlandellis.com

Twelve-year-old Micay walks around her fifteenth-century Incan village shielding the scarred side of her face that inspired the cruel name Millay, or Ugly One.  She escapes to her huaca rock, avoiding the villagers who shun her. Her world shifts dramatically when a stranger gives her a sorry-looking baby macaw.  The bird becomes her dear companion on a journey that ultimately leads her to a new role as shaman in Machu Picchu’s Sacred Sun City.  Told in an engaging storyteller’s voice, this is a stirring tale of a girl who finds her own strength.