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      Gloom Town

      by Ronald L. Smith

      Apr 2020

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      When twelve-year-old Rory applies for a job at a spooky old mansion in his gloomy seaside town, he finds the owner, Lord Foxglove, odd and unpleasant. But he and his mom need the money, so he takes the job anyway. Rory soon finds out that his new boss is not just strange, he’s not even human—and he’s trying to steal the townspeople’s shadows. Together, Rory and his friend Isabella set out to uncover exactly what Foxglove and his otherworldly accomplices are planning and devise a strategy to defeat them. But can two kids defeat a group of ancient evil beings who are determined to take over the world?

      Race to the Sun

      by Rebecca Roanhorse

      Mar 2020

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      Lately, seventh grader Nizhoni Begay has been able to detect monsters, like that man in the fancy suit who was in the bleachers at her basketball game. Turns out he's Mr. Charles, her dad's new boss at the oil and gas company, and he's alarmingly interested in Nizhoni and her brother, Mac, their Navajo heritage, and the legend of the Hero Twins. Nizhoni knows he's a threat, but her father won't believe her.

      When Dad disappears the next day, leaving behind a message that says "Run!", the siblings and Nizhoni's best friend, Davery, are thrust into a rescue mission that can only be accomplished with the help of Diné Holy People, all disguised as quirky characters. Their aid will come at a price: the kids must pass a series of trials in which it seems like nature itself is out to kill them. If Nizhoni, Mac, and Davery can reach the House of the Sun, they will be outfitted with what they need to defeat the ancient monsters Mr. Charles has unleashed. But it will take more than weapons for Nizhoni to become the hero she was destined to be…

      Glossary of Navajo terms. Author’s note.

      Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky

      by Kwame Mbalia

      Feb 2020

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      Seventh grader Tristan Strong feels anything but strong ever since he failed to save his best friend when they were in a bus accident together. All he has left of Eddie is the journal his friend wrote stories in. Tristan is dreading the month he's going to spend on his grandparents' farm in Alabama, where he's being sent to heal from the tragedy. But on his first night there, a sticky creature shows up in his bedroom and steals Eddie's notebook. Tristan chases after it—is that a doll—and a tug-of-war ensues between them underneath a Bottle Tree.

      In a last attempt to wrestle the journal out of the creature's hands, Tristan punches the tree, accidentally ripping open a chasm into the MidPass, a volatile place with a burning sea, haunted bone ships, and iron monsters that are hunting the inhabitants of this world. Tristan finds himself in the middle of a battle that has left black American folk heroes John Henry and Brer Rabbit exhausted. In order to get back home, Tristan and these new allies will need to entice the god Anansi, the Weaver, to come out of hiding and seal the hole in the sky. But bartering with the trickster Anansi always comes at a price. Can Tristan save this world before he loses more of the things he loves?

      Lintang and the Pirate Queen

      by Tamara Moss

      Jan 2020

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      Lintang is an island girl who longs for daring and danger. When she meets the feared pirate, Captain Shafira, and her all-female crew, Lintang is determined to join them. Secrets within secrets, life-or-death battles with spectacular monsters, and hair’s breadth escapes keep readers turning the pages of a story populated by women of color who are fighters, adventurers, and leaders.

      Ember and the Ice Dragons

      by Heather Fawcett

      Dec 2019

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      Ember St. George is a dragon. At least, she was, before her adoptive father—a powerful but accident-prone Magician—turned her into a human girl to save her life. Unfortunately, Ember’s growing tendency to burst into flames at certain temperatures—not to mention her invisible wings—is making it too dangerous for her to stay in London. The solution: ship Ember off to her aunt’s research station in frigid Antarctica.

      Though eccentric Aunt Myra takes getting used to, Ember quickly feels at home in a land of ice storms, mischievous penguins, and twenty-four-hour nights. She even finds herself making friends—with a girl genius called Nisha and a mysterious orphan named Moss. Then she discovers that Antarctica is home to the Winterglass Hunt, a yearly tradition in which rare ice dragons are hunted for their jeweled scales. Furious, Ember decides to join the hunt to sabotage it from the inside. But being an undercover dragon isn’t easy—especially among dragon hunters. Can a twelve-year-old fire dragon survive the many dangers that come her way in the Antarctic wilderness and protect the ice dragons from extinction?

      “A Note on the World.”

      Frostfire

      by Jamie Smith

      Nov 2019

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      On Choosing Day, children of Adranna who reach the age of fourteen are finally eligible to undergo the tests to determine if they are worthy of bonding a Frostsliver. Only one in a hundred are destined to succeed. If chosen, they will have to climb to the top of the glacier and cut a piece off for themselves, so that they may be granted the powers they've always dreamed of.

      When Sabira is chosen, an entire world of possibilities opens up to her. But in order to see it through, she'll have to embark on a dangerous pilgrimage to the top of the glacier. When a huge avalanche traps her on the glacier and destroys the pass, she must face up to the merciless mountain—but there are dark and fiery secrets hiding in its depths…

      Rise of the Dragon Moon

      by Gabrielle K. Byrne

      Oct 2019

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      Cinematic pacing, gorgeous worldbuilding, and lush prose will immerse readers in this coming-of-age adventure in which a fierce girl tackles insurmountable odds with wit, strength, and heart.

      The Queendom of Gall stands alone in a frozen world, paying an annual tithe to the ancient Dragons that offer the land its only heat. When dragons kidnap the Queen, Princess Toli decides to brave the frozen landscape to rescue her mother. But it will be more treacherous than Toli could have imagined—snow leopards are on her trail, and dragons stalk her. For they cannot allow Toli to reach Dragon Mountain, where long held secrets await.

      Toli will need the help of her sister, her best friend, and the unexpected kinship of a baby dragon to save her mother and determine the future of Gall.

      The Bone Garden

      by Heather Kassner

      Oct 2019

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      Irréelle fears she’s not quite real. Only the finest magical thread tethers her to life—and to Miss Vesper. But for all her efforts to please her cruel creator, the thread is unraveling. Irréelle is forgetful as she gathers bone dust. She is slow returning from the dark passages beneath the cemetery. Worst of all, she is unmindful of her crooked bones.

      When Irréelle makes one final, unforgivable mistake, Miss Vesper threatens to imagine her away once and for all. Desperate, Irréelle flees to the underside of the graveyard and embarks on an adventure to unearth the magic that breathes bones to life, even if it means she will return to dust and be no more. With echoes of The Graveyard Book, Heather Kassner crafts a spooky story humming with magic and mystery.

      Black-and-white illustrations.

      The Twelve

      by Cindy Lin

      Sep 2019

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      Usagi can hear a squirrel’s heartbeat from a mile away and soar over treetops in onegiant leap. She was born in the year of the wood rabbit, and it’s given her extraordinary zodiac gifts. But ever since the mysterious, vicious Dragonlord hunted down her parents and all those with zodiac powers, Usagi has been very careful to keep hers—and those of her rambunctious little sister, Uma—a secret.

      But when Uma grows too bold with her powers, she is captured by the Dragonguard. Usagi barely escapes, and does so only with the help of the mysterious Heirs of the Twelve, a mystical group of skilled warriors who once protected the land. As new mysteries unfold, Usagi must decide who she stands with and who she trusts, as she takes on deadly foes on her path to the elusive, dangerous Dragonlord himself.

      Maximillian Fly

      by Angie Sage

      Sep 2019

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      Maximillian Fly wants no trouble. Yet because he stands at six feet two, with beautiful indigo wings, long antennae, and more arms than you or me, many are frightened of him. He is a gentle creature that looks like a giant cockroach. This extraordinary human wants to prove his goodness, so he opens his door to two SilverSeed children in search of a place to hide. Instantly, Maximillian’s quiet, solitary life changes. There are dangerous powers after them and they have eyes everywhere. But in this gray city of Hope trapped under the Orb, is escape even possible?

      The Giant from the Fire Sea

      by John Himmelman

      Aug 2019

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      Jat is a boy who wants more from life than collecting coal from the Fire Sea. Newton is a misfit giant, cast out of his homeland for his love of science and reading. Brought together by chance, the two become the best of friends. But when enemy giants threaten to ruin everything, it's up to Jat and Newton to defend Jat’s village, leading to the journey of a lifetime.

      Order of the Majestic

      by Matt Myklusch

      Jul 2019

      Fantasy/Science Fiction Middle Plus

      Twelve-year-old daydreamer Joey Kopecky’s life has been turned upside down. After acing a series of tests, he’s declared a genius and awarded a full scholarship at a special (year-round!) school. He’s understandably devastated, until he takes one last test, and the room around him disappears, replaced by the interior of an old theater. There, Joey meets the washed-up magician, Redondo the Magnificent, and makes a shocking discovery…magic is real, but sadly, there isn’t much left in the world. It may be too late to save what little remains, but for the first time in his life Joey wants to try—really try—to do something big. Soon he’s swept up into a centuries-old conflict between two rival societies of magicians—the Order of the Majestic, who fights to keep magic alive and free for all, and the dark magicians of the Invisible Hand, who hoard magic for their own evil ends. Will he prove himself worthy, or will the Invisible Hand strike him down? The answer will depend on Joey’s ability to believe, not just in magic, but in himself.
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