Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

William “Scoob” Lamar has been suspended from school and his dad, who’s always hard on him is not pleased.  Scoob thinks this suspension is going be a huge drag until his G-ma pulls up one day in an RV and says they’re going on a road trip.  Scoob loves hi G-ma, so he doesn’t think twice about ditching his dad and his suspension to go on an adventure with her.  Little does Scoob know what a life altering adventure he’s in for.  Using his grandpa’s old Green Book and G-ma’s old maps, they start on a journey that Scoob’s G-ma and G-pop never got to finish.  Along the way Scoob learns things about his G-pop, who died in prison and G-ma that he never knew.  But as the first few days roll past G-ma starts acting stranger and stranger.  He catches her changing their license plates, she won’t answer his dad’s calls and she keeps calling Scoob by his grandpa’s name.  Scoob loves his grandma, but he’s not sure he wants to see this road trip through as G-ma’s behavior grows more and more erratic each day.

The Okay Witch

The Okay Witch is a page-turner of a graphic novel about an unlikely witch just discovering the truth about her new powers and her family’s centuries-old history as outcasts in a small Massachusetts town. 13-year-old Moth is a relatable heroine with quirks, insecurities, and a wicked sense of humor. The crisp vibrant illustrations perfectly capture Moth’s larger-than-life emotions and the kinetics of her journey. From the bright colors of Moth’s cozy home, to the drab earth tones of 1600’s New England, to the cool pastels of ethereal Hecate (the mystical realm of witches), the changing color pallets beautifully express changes in mood and energy from scene to scene and across various settings.

I especially love how the panels are composed to convey spot-on comedic timing in some scenes, and a hushed sense of wonder in other scenes. Despite all the supernatural content, this story portrays some very realistic mother-daughter relationship challenges. Anyone who has ever felt dismissed, underestimated, or disallowed from seeking adventure will surely find a friend in Moth.

A Blade So Black

A thrilling adventure into a re-imagined Wonderland.  Shortly after her dad passed, Alice was pulled into a whole new world where dark creatures called Nightmares (from Wonderland) can creep into our world and wreak havoc.  Now she’s a dreamwalker, a skilled warrior, trained to defeat the Nightmares before they ever cross to our world.  Alice struggles balancing her new role with the rest of her life. She still has classes, friends and her mom to keep in the balance.  As Alice is completing her dreamwalker training she’s unexpectedly pulled into the middle of a terrible and dangerous scheme that might just destroy both of her worlds.

All’s Faire in Middle School

Going to middle school is a time of transition for many kids.  For Imogene it’s going to be a huge change. She’s going from being homeschooled to attending a public middle school.  She doesn’t know anyone. On top of that she’s not sure how the other students will treat her if they know her family works a the local renaissance fair half the year. All’s Faire in Middle School details Imogene’s transition, which starts off smooth, but hits some really rough spots as Imogene attempts to fit in.  This graphic novel is a great school, friendship and family story.

Agony House by Cherie Priest

Denise and her parents have returned to their home town in Louisiana after being relocated to the Houston area after hurricane Katrina.   Her parents decided it would be a great idea to purchase an old house and fix it up to be a bed and breakfast.  The house is known as the Argonne House, but the second Denise steps inside she knows that Agony House is a much better name.  The house just feels off. There are odd smells, strange noises and foot prints that appear on the dirty floors out of nowhere.   Denise starts to dig into the past surrounding her new pad and is freaked to find out that someone may have been murdered there! Things get even more bizarre when Denise and her new neighbor discover an unfinished comic in the attic and the creepy events in the comic start to connect with crazy occurrences in the house. Agony House is half novel and half graphic novel.  It’s a ghoulishly good read.


Thea, a Hevetz intern, and a small crew are hurtling through space responding to a distress call.  After two months of space travel and they land at a research site, they thought was long abandoned until now.  Once they arrive, the crew isn’t sure what they’ve stumbled upon, with blood smears and the dead bodies of the research crew around each corner.  Now the small team, with no easy way back to safety, realizes they’ve uncovered a terrible a deadly secret they must escape before it devours them too.

Vango: Between Sky and Earth by Timothee de Fombelle

Murder, forbidden islands, Zeppelins, Vango, is nonstop thrill ride. Set in pre-World War II Europe, we first meet Vango as he is about to become priest. But, the outdoor ceremony is interrupted as the police storm in looking to arrest Vango for murder. Before the police can grab him Vango is on the run, or more like on the climb. He scales the cathedral and then makes his way to safety. Soon, we find that Vango is on the run not just from the police, but from other agents as well. As a small child, Vango and his nanny washed up on the shore of a small Italian island. The nanny and Vango have no memory of their past or where they came from. All Vango knows is that he’s always felt followed, paranoid and now all his fears are coming true. As Vango is escaping, you read about a Zeppelin flying overhead, a girl wiping a tear from her eye the crowd as she spies a mysterious man she’s seen before. All of these pieces come together in this tale which, jumps between characters, time and locations to make a brilliant story full of twists, turns and mysteries.

Slider by Pete Hautman

David loves all things eating.  He loves eating anything and everything, in fact he even times himself when scarfing down pizza to see how he matches up to other competitive eaters.  David’s ability to shove insane amount of food in stomach comes in handy when, he accidentally bids $2000 instead on $20 on a famous competitive eater’s half eaten hotdog on  Now David has to come up with a plan to get $2000 before his mom realizes the charge is on the card.  Turns out the local pizza chain is hosting their first ever competitive eating contest at the end of the summer and the prize is $5,000. David gets his besties to sponsor his entry and his summer adventure to win begins.

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F. C. Lee

Super powers, hilarity, demon spawn and Chinese mythology make  The Epic Crush of Genie Lo an awesome book.  Genie is busting her butt trying to get into a great college and get out of the community she lives in outside of San Francisco.  Everything is going to plan until Quentin shows up and strange things start to happen, like demons arriving and the possibility of the whole city being destroyed.

Here’s the abridged version; turns out Quentin is actually the Monkey King and Genie is the Monkey King’s former all powerful weapon, the Ruyi Jingu Bang, reincarnated as a human.  Of course this takes Genie some time to wrap her head around.  Turns out being the Ruyi Jingu Bang also means she has awesome super powers. Since the Ruyi Jingu Bang, is incredibly powerful everyone is after Genie because they want to harness her power.  Genie has no interest in belonging to someone else.  Genie and Quentin begin to train together, because of those aforementioned demons.  There are over 100 demons that have escaped from hell and Genie and Quentin need to take them all down to save the day. Note – that is not a simple task.  While all that is going on Genie is still trying to manage her day to day life including applying for colleges, friendships, crushes and her divorced parents.  She has her hands full to say the least.

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline

Frenchie is on the run.  Frenchie is one of the few Indigenous people of North America left and he is being hunted.   Civilization has been devastated by war, climate change and disease.   All but the Indigenous people have lost their ability to dream and because of that people have been slowly losing their minds.  People are desperate to find a cure and have turned to rounding up Indigenous people; testing them, torturing them and collecting their marrow in hope of a cure.   Frenchie and his small crew are heading north hoping to escape the recruiters, but with desperate people at every turn death is always lurking around the corner.

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