Under the Stars, National Geographic Partners, 2018
Cruz Coronado has made it! He’s about to leave Hawaii to go to the Explorer’s Academy in Washington, D.C. It’s been his dream to attend the academy all his life–his mother was a graduate, after all. But even before Cruz leaves Hawaii, it’s clear that someone is trying to make sure he doesn’t go.
The academy is everything Cruz dreamed of–amazing technology, including a simulator where the recruits practice missions, clever friends from all over the world, and his aunt, the closest thing Cruz has had to a mother since his own mother died when he was five. But someone’s still trying to knock Cruz out of the academy. Will Cruz and his new friends be able to stop them before it’s too late?
The Nebula Secret is a great start to a new seven book series and a new fiction venture for National Geographic Kids. (The second book is due out in spring 2019.) The story is fast-paced and engaging. The characters are appealing but not without flaws. It’s got all the elements needed in a series kids will want to follow. They’ll also love the end notes that feature real science and real scientists doing cutting-edge work today. This series is a must for your middle grade list!
I received a copy of The Nebula Secret from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This middle grade novel from Adaptive Studios just arrived at my house a few days ago, so I haven’t had time to read and review it yet. However, I love stories about horse racing, and a female jockey is a definite plus! I’m really looking forward to curling up and digging in soon.
Here’s the publisher’s description:
“Shadow of a Doubt is a heartfelt book about family, friendship, taking risks and believing in those we love. Shadow and Fyfe are sure to win the hearts of anyone lucky enough to join in their inspirational story. “
Delacourt Press/ Random House 2017
One Monday afternoon, five kids walk into detention in Mr. Avery’s science room. They’re not friends; they’re not even the usual suspects. Branwyn is the brainy, uber involved mathlete who has never had detention before. Cooper’s headed for baseball fame, if his father has anything to say about it. Addy’s the gorgeous girlfriend of the quarterback and hangs with the popular crowd. Nate’s the school’s dealer and all around bad boy. Simon’s the inventor of the gossip app that’s plaguing the school.
Every one of them got bagged for carrying a cell phone into science class, and every one of them swears that they’ve never seen that phone before. But before long, they’ve got a lot more to worry about than some illegal cell phones because before long one of them is dead and the rest? They are at the top of the list of suspects for the murder of their classmate Simon.
McManus has written an engaging Agatha Christie style mystery. Set in a modern high school, four appealing characters battle the expectations of their families, the cut throat social pressures of their peers, and the unpredictability of a murder investigation. Their most hidden secrets come out, making them pariahs among their peers and causing discord with their families. Against the advice of their lawyers, the remaining four tentatively build a friendship and work their way through the tangle of events that led to Simon’s being wheeled out on a stretcher and never coming back.
This mystery was a great read! Not only was it filled with the angst and social pressures of senior year of high school, but the story beautifully reflected the tightrope of senior year. Pressure comes from everywhere: parents, teachers, friends, college choices. When you add being investigated as a murder suspect? It’s a wonder they don’t all blow to pieces. Instead, in the most satisfying way each character seems to embrace the pressure, and rather than allowing it to blast them to pieces, each character instead grows stronger and begins to mold themselves into the adult they will soon be.
I was lucky enough to win an ARC of One of Us Is Lying on Twitter. I was drawn into the story from word one and read it in one weekend. It comes out May 30th. I will definitely look for more books from Karen McManus in the future.
It’s Wednesday again! Here are the books I added to my Want to Read List last week.
Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard
I’m always looking for books with transgender characters. I can’t remember where I saw this first, but I’ve included a link to the Goodreads page.
Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
We went to see the movie based upon this book this weekend and loved it, but movies sometimes have to make concessions to the facts in order to make the story work in a short, on screen format. Now I want to read the book and see how they match up!
Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Thrice Read’s account of the Susan Dennard signing was enough to get me interested in this witchy series.
This Nerdy Book Club post featured Marie Marquardt, the author of two books that feature the experience of undocumented and asylum-seeking immigrants in the United States: Dream Things True and The Radius of Us
Bonus: Here’s a great post full of LGBT book suggestions.