Out of the Wild Night

by Blue Balliett                www.blueballiettbooks.com

Ghosts are alive on the island of Nantucket. You can hear them in the wind and in the creaks of the old homes. They want to be remembered. And, even more, they want to protect what was once theirs. The ghosts have chosen a few local kids to save the island against the adults who would do it harm. But the kids can't be sure how the ghosts are going to act. Things tend to disappear when ghosts are around. People tend to get trapped - especially if they're up to no good. Only the kids can make things right . . . if the ghosts will let them. Out of the Wild Night is master storyteller Blue Balliett at her spooky best, a spellbinding tale about the haunted residents of a very special place.

The Unsinkable Walker Bean and the Knights of the Waxing Moon
by Aaron Renier                   aaronrenier.com

At first glance, this graphic novel looks like a mishmash of time-honored seafaring fantasy-adventure tropes: ancient curses with vague hints of Atlantis and a lost treasure; pirates more loveable than rascally pitted against greedy starched-shirt colonial naval types; and of course the outwardly meek but plucky-under-fire boy hero. But while Renier certainly hits all of those notes, he isn’t content to simply let the story coast once under way"which takes only a panel or two to get cracking. Instead, he keeps throwing newer and neater elements into the fray.

The First Rule of Punk

by Celia C. Pérez             celiacperez.com

The First Rule of Punk is a wry and heartfelt exploration of friendship, finding your place, and learning to rock out like no one’s watching. There are no shortcuts to surviving your first day at a new school—you can’t fix it with duct tape like you would your Chuck Taylors. On Day One, twelve-year-old Malú (María Luisa, if you want to annoy her) inadvertently upsets Posada Middle School’s queen bee, violates the school’s dress code with her punk rock look, and disappoints her college-professor mom in the process. Her dad, who now lives a thousand miles away, says things will get better as long as she remembers the first rule of punk: be yourself.

Speechless

by Adam P. Schmitt                    www.adamschmittwrites.com

As if being stuffed into last year’s dress pants at his cousin’s wake weren’t uncomfortable enough, thirteen-year-old Jimmy has just learned from his mother that he has to say a few words at the funeral the next day. Why him? What could he possibly say about his cousin, who ruined everything they did? He can’t recall one birthday party, family gathering, or school event with Patrick that didn’t result in injury or destruction. As Jimmy attempts to navigate the odd social norms of the wake, he draws on humor, heartfelt concern, and a good deal of angst while racking his brain and his memory for a decent and meaningful memory to share. But it’s not until faced with a microphone that the realization finally hits him: it’s not the words that are spoken that matter the most, but those that are truly heard.

Drum Roll, Please

by Lisa Jenn Bigelow               lisajennbigelow.com

Find the confidence to rock out to your own beat. Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It’s the only time she doesn’t feel like a mouse. Now, she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods. But this summer brings big changes for Melly: her parents split up, her best friend ditches her, and Melly finds herself falling for a girl at camp named Adeline. To top it off, Melly’s not sure she has what it takes to be a real rock ‘n’ roll drummer. Will she be able to make music from all the noise in her heart?



It’s Not Me, It’s You

by Stephanie Kate Strohm                  www.stephaniekatestrohm.com

Did you hear...? NATALIE WAGNER, random freshman: Avery Dennis--the Avery Dennis--got dumped right before prom. COCO KIM, best friend: Avery has never been dumped! Well, okay, except for this one time.BIZZY STANHOPE, officially the worst: The head of the prom committee doesn't have a date to the prom. It is beyond pathetic.JAMES "HUTCH" HUTCHERSON, lab partner: Did Avery really swear off dating until she discovers why her relationships never work out? I'll believe that when I see it.ROBBY MONROE, ex-boyfriend: Did you get interviewed by Avery Dennis for her project? TRIPP GOMEX-PARKER, ex-boyfriend: Avery Dennis is straight-up interviewing everyone. AVERY DENNIS: recently dumped/topic of much gossip: Okay. Everyone is talking about it, so let's talk about it.