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      Cloud Hopper

      by Beth Kephart

      Jan 2021

      PG Middle Plus

      Set among old planes and majestic hot air balloons of a run-down municipal airport, Cloud Hopper is a poignant, high-flying adventure by National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart about a group of teenage friends who’ll do whatever they can to help a stranger who falls into their lives, even if they are still learning how to help themselves.

      When a girl in a homemade hot air balloon falls out of the sky in rural Gilbertine, there are questions: Who is this girl, where exactly did she come from, why won’t she talk, and what has she risked to live in a country that does not seem to want her?

      And what can Sophie, Wyatt, and K—three misfit best friends with complex and harrowing stories of their own—do to help the girl who can’t trust those who want to help her? What should they do? As seen through the eyes of 14-year-old Sophie, who lives with her terminally ill grandmother, Cloud Hopper by National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart is a poignant, high-flying adventure set among the old planes, Vietnam vets, and majestic hot air balloons of a run-down municipal airport. It’s about the rules we’ll break and the dangers we’ll face to do the most-right thing we can imagine, even when we’re feeling long past brave.

      Cemetery Boys

      by Aiden Thomas

      Jan 2021

      Mature Young Adults Plus

      Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can't get rid of him.

      When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free.

      However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school's resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He's determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.

      The Invisible Boy

      by Alyssa Hollingsworth

      Jan 2021

      Mystery Middle Plus

      If no one sees him, does he exist? This superhero-inspired adventure story explores friendship and what it means to be truly brave.

      Nadia looks for adventure in the pages of her Superman comic books, until a mysterious boy saves her dog from drowning during a storm and then disappears. Now she finds herself in the role of Lois Lane, hunting down the scoop of the Invisible Boy. Suddenly she’s in a real-life adventure that’s far more dangerous than anything in her comic books.

      The Invisible Boy is a mystery and an adventure story, as well as a story about child labor trafficking. Like Katherine Applegate, author of Crenshaw and Wishtree, Alyssa Hollingsworth takes a difficult subject matter and makes it accessible for middle-grade readers.

      The Explorer's Code

      by Allison K. Hymas

      Dec 2020

      Mystery/Adventure Elementary Plus

      Three kids have everything they need to solve the mystery of Idlewood Manor—but they must work together before someone else beats them to it.

      Idlewood Manor has been uninhabited for decades, until now…

      Math whiz Charlie won admission in a puzzle contest—and he’s intrigued by the strange numbers he finds on Idlewood’s walls. His restless sister Anna had to be dragged to the house—but then she discovers its hidden floor. Emily’s parents brought her to the mansion on a secret mission—and she’s determined to prove herself to them.

      All three kids soon unlock clues to Idlewood’s mysterious past and the famous female explorer who’s connected to it—and the secret treasure she left behind. But the adults around them are also hunting for the treasure. Charlie, Anna, and Emily will have to overcome their differences and work as a team to solve Idlewood’s puzzles before it's too late.

      Eleanor, Alice, and the Roosevelt Ghosts

      by Dianne K. Salerni

      Dec 2020

      Mystery Middle Plus

      It’s 1898 in New York City and ghosts exist among humans.

      When an unusual spirit takes up residence at the Roosevelt house, thirteen-year-old Eleanor and fourteen-year-old Alice are suspicious. The cousins don’t get along, but they know something is not right. This ghost is more than a pesky nuisance. The authorities claim he’s safe to be around, even as his mischievous behavior grows stranger and more menacing. It’s almost like he wants to scare the Roosevelts out of their home - and no one seems to care!

      Meanwhile, Eleanor and Alice discover a dangerous ghost in the house where Alice was born and her mother died. Is someone else haunting the family?

      Introverted Eleanor and unruly Alice develop an unlikely friendship as they explore the family’s dark, complicated history. It’s up to them to destroy both ghosts and come to terms with their family’s losses.

      Told from alternating perspectives, thrills and chills abound in Dianne K. Salerni’s imaginative novel about a legendary family and the ghosts that haunt their secrets.

      Nobody Knows But You

      by Anica Mrose Rissi

      Dec 2020

      Mystery High Plus

      Maybe a killer only looks like a killer in the moment just before, during, or after. Maybe a liar, a good one, never shows it.

      Kayla is still holding on to Lainie’s secrets. After all, Lainie is Kayla’s best friend. And despite Lainie’s painful obsession with her on-again, off-again boyfriend, and the ways he has tried to come between them, friends don’t spill each other’s secrets. They don’t betray each other’s trust.

      The murder at the end of the summer doesn’t change all that.

      Besides—Kayla knows that the truth is not the whole story.

      Whispering Pines

      by Heidi Lang

      Nov 2020

      Mystery Middle Plus

      Rae’s father vanished without a trace—and Rae knows what happened to him. But no one believes her when she says that her father didn’t run off, that he was actually taken. Now, a year of therapy later, Rae’s mother decides they need a fresh start, and so they move to a new town in the hope that life can return to normal.

      The problem is, there is nothing normal about the town of Whispering Pines.

      No one knows this better than Caden. He’s lived in Whispering Pines his entire life, and he’s seen more than his fair share of weird—starting with his own family, as the town is the perfect home base for his mother’s ghost hunting business.

      When several kids go missing and then show up like zombies with their eyes removed, many locals brush it off. Just another day in Whispering Pines. But Caden has a dark secret, one that may explain why someone is stealing eyes. And Rae, who knows how it feels to not be believed, may be just the person Caden needs to help him put things right.

      Blacktop Wasteland

      by S. A. Cosby

      Nov 2020

      Adult Crossover Thrillers Plus

      Beauregard “Bug” Montage is a man with many different titles: husband, father, friend, honest car mechanic. But before he gave it up, Bug used to be known from the hills of North Carolina to the beaches of Florida as the best Wheel Man on the East Coast.

      After a series of financial calamities, Bug feels he has no choice but to take one final job as the getaway driver for a daring diamond heist that could solve all his money troubles and allow him to go straight once and for all.

      Meme

      by Aaron Starmer

      Nov 2020

      Mystery High Plus

      Cole Weston—former friend, former boyfriend—has become dangerous and erratic. Something needs to be done. Getting rid of Cole is practically a public service. So high school seniors Holly Morse, Grayson Hobbs, Logan Bailey, and Meeka Miller devise a plan. Kill Cole. Bury him in the woods behind Meeka’s house. Bury him deep, deep in the ground along with four old cell phones, wiped except for their video confession as insurance that no one will ever betray the group. Everything is perfect, until the meme appears. It’s a screenshot from their confession…a confession that’s supposed to be entombed in the cold Vermont dirt with Cole.

      Sherlock Bones and the Natural History Mystery

      by Renee Treml

      Nov 2020

      Graphic Novels Elementary Plus

      Hi there, I'm Sherlock Bones.
      Who is Sherlock Bones, you ask? Well, I don
      t like to brag, but my trusty side-kick Watts says Im the greatest detective in our whole museum.
      Don
      t you, Watts?
      Watts . . . ?


      Sherlock Bones and his sidekick, a stuffed parrot named Watts, live in a natural history museum. So when the precious Royal Blue Diamond goes missing, they are first on the case. What they don’t expect is Grace, a silly, new-to-the-scene raccoon who keeps getting in the way. Even worse, Bones and Watts learn that if the diamond isn’t recovered, the museum could (GASP!) close! Can they find the diamond before they’re forced to find another home?

      The Candy Mafia

      by Lavie Tidhar

      Oct 2020

      Mystery/Adventure Elementary Plus

      In a city where candy is a crime and sugar is scandalous, Nelle Faulker is a 12-year-old private detective looking for her next client.

      When notorious candy gangster Eddie de Menthe asks for her help to find a missing teddy bear, Nelle Faulkner is on the case. But as soon as the teddy turns up, Eddie himself goes missing! As a seemingly innocent investigation unravels into something more sinister, Nelle and her friends quickly find themselves swept up in a shady underworld of sweets smugglers, back alley deals, and storefront firebombs.

      If Nelle has any hope of tracking down her missing client, first she’ll have to unmask the true faces behind the smuggling ring. Can Nelle and her friends find a way to take the cake? Or will they come to a sticky end…?

      The Stitchers: Fright Watch #1

      by Lorien Lawrence

      Oct 2020

      Mystery Middle Plus

      Something strange is happening on Goodie Lane . . .

      Thirteen-year-old Quinn Parker knows that there’s something off about her neighbors. She calls them “the Oldies” because they’ve lived on Goodie Lane for as long as anyone can remember, but they never seem to age. Are they vampires? Or aliens? Or getting secret experimental surgeries? Or is Quinn’s imagination just running wild again?

      If her dad were still around, he’d believe her. When he was alive, they’d come up with all sorts of theories about the Oldies. Now, Quinn’s determined to keep the investigation going with the help of Mike, her neighbor and maybe-crush. They’ll have to search for clues and follow the mystery wherever it leads—even if it’s to the eerie pond at the end of the street that’s said to have its own sinister secrets. But the Oldies are on to them. And the closer Quinn and Mike get to uncovering the answers, the more they realize just how terrifying the truth may be.
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