Welcome to Nefaria, where nearly every day the kingdom faces another evil scheme. Most are harmless, though, so the citizens of Nefaria simply learn to live with the latest hijinks and go on with their lives. This includes Bobert Bougainvillea, who is much more concerned with the fact that he seems to be invisible. From the teachers in his school to his classmates, almost no one notices Bobert, no matter how visible he tries to be. Then everything changes when Bobert follows his classmates to a cursed gumball machine. Before he knows it, Bobert is sucked into one of Nefaria’s most villainous evil schemes, a plot that has been a long time in the making—too long, in the evil wizard Matt’s opinion. And retreating into invisibility this time won’t do, not when Bobert is the only one with the drive, knowledge, and—if his newfound courage doesn’t fail him—bravery to foil Matt’s plan.
It Found Us
by Lindsay Currie
Twelve-year-old Hazel Woods has always had an unusual knack for sleuthing. Some may call it snooping, but all she really wants is to solve mysteries around town. So, when she not-so-accidentally overhears her brother Den planning to sneak into the cemetery at night for an epic game of hide-and-seek, she decides to secretly tag along. This seems like the perfect opportunity to investigate the claims that the cemetery is haunted. But the moment the game ends, Hazel realizes something is very, very wrong. From her hiding spot in the bushes, she overhears that her brother's best friend, Everett, is missing. Everyone else was found by the seeker but there's no sign of Everett anywhere. It's as if he just . . . vanished. Hazel and Den are determined to find Everett before it's too late. But as they begin to unravel the terrifying clues that started appearing since that night in the graveyard–eerie whispers that sound like someone counting, the intermittent smell of smoke, and the cold, lost presence that follows them everywhere, she's not sure what they are dealing with. But Everett needs more than search parties and scent-tracking dogs to find him, especially if his disappearance is tied to the history of the cemetery, and the lost, century-old spirits that might still be trapped there . . .
Restoring Prairie, Woods, and Pond: How a Small Trail Can Make a Big Difference
by Laurie Lawlor
A small town with few resources comes together to restore nature and create a valuable resource for the entire community in this inspiring middle grade nonfiction book. Restoring Prairie, Woods, and Pond is about activism at the community level—and tells how a small village transformed a city-owned dumping ground into a nature trail with three distinct ecosystems that runs from an elementary school to a public library and community center. Filled with beautiful photos the book will explain how this trail became a valuable outdoor classroom during COVID, a STEM teaching center, a respite for people young and old, and a place for community engagement. Books for a Better Earth are designed to inspire children to become active, knowledgeable participants in caring for the planet they live on.
Lo & Behold
by Wendy Mass and illustrated by Gabi Mendez
Can a virtual reality headset help change the way twelve-year-old Addie looks at things? When you’re named after a 250-year-old tortoise, you grow up believing life is full of possibilities and wonder. But ever since Addie’s family got turned upside down, those things have been harder for her to see. The last thing Addie wants to do is make a new friend, but when her dad’s summer job takes them across the country, she meets Mateo and finds herself caught up in an exciting project. With the help of a virtual reality headset, she’s suddenly scaling castle walls, dodging angry kittens, and seeing the world in whole new ways. Plus, she has an idea that could be bigger than anything she’s imagined before, but can she right some wrongs first . . . or is it too late?
World Made of Glass
by Ami Polonsky
A girl channels her grief and pain into love and activism in this heartbreaking, heart-mending novel of family, friendship, and community. Iris tries to act normal at school, going through the motions and joking around with her friends. But nothing is normal, and sometimes it feels like she’ll never laugh again. How can she, when her dad is dying of a virus that’s off-limits to talk about? When she knows that soon all she’ll have left of her kind, loving dad are memories, photos, and a binder full of the poems they used to exchange? In a sea of rage and grief, Iris resolves to speak out against the rampant fear, misinformation, and prejudice surrounding AIDS—and find the pieces of Dad that she never knew before. Along the way, Iris might just find new sides to herself.
The Lost Ryū
by Emi Watanabe Cohen
Kohei Fujiwara has never seen a big ryū in real life. Those dragons all disappeared from Japan after World War II, and twenty years later, they've become the stuff of legend. Their smaller cousins, who can fit in your palm, are all that remain. And Kohei loves his ryū, Yuharu, but... Kohei has a memory of the big ryū. He knows that's impossible, but still, it's there, in his mind. In it, he can see his grandpa – Ojiisan – gazing up at the big ryū with what looks to Kohei like total and absolute wonder. When Kohei was little, he dreamed he'd go on a grand quest to bring the big ryū back, to get Ojiisan to smile again. But now, Ojiisan is really, really sick. And Kohei is running out of time. Kohei needs to find the big ryū now, before it's too late. With the help of Isolde, his new half-Jewish, half-Japanese neighbor; and Isolde's Yiddish-speaking dragon, Cheshire; he thinks he can do it. Maybe. He doesn't have a choice. In The Lost Ryū, debut author Emi Watanabe Cohen gives us a story of multigenerational pain, magic, and the lengths we'll go to protect the people we love.