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Books for older readers

May 9, 2016
Amy Phelps , MOV Parent

By Amy Phelps

Get some novels for the middle-grade to young adult readers in your life!

First is a young adult novel that adds a touch of sci-fi in "The Outliers" by New York Times bestselling author Kimberly McCreight (HarperCollins, $18.99.) Since Wylie's mother died, her stress has gotten a lot worse. Her relationship with her best friend is beyond strained. So it's a surprise when Cassie's mother shows up at her house looking for her. And then Cassie's boyfriend, Jasper, shows up, saying Cassie asked for Wylie's help. She's hiding from someone. But who? How is Wylie involved? And what does it have to do with her parents? With plenty of intrigue and suspense, this is an edge-of-your-seat kind of story for the teen set.

A coming of age story is told in "Swing Sideways" by Nanci Turner Steveson (HarperCollins, $16.99, ages 8 to 12.) Annie has had a troubled year in school and her mother's hovering is getting worse. The summer is supposed to be a summer of freedom, away from the city. She meets California, a girl visiting her grandfather's farm, and immediately the two have a mission - to try to find the ponies California's mom used to ride and try to fix the rift between her mother and grandfather. But as the summer continues on, a secret is growing that will change Annie's life forever. A story in the tradition of "My Girl" and "Bridge to Terabithia" this will bring plenty of tears in a tale of friendship and loss.

A story of friendships and change is told in "This is All Your Fault, Cassie Parker" by Terra Elan McVoy (Katherine Tegen Books, $16.99, ages 8 to 12.) Fiona and Cassie were seemingly best friends for life. Cassie was there for Fiona when her parents were getting divorced. They know everything about each other. And they may have differences, but they are always friends. Until the day that Fiona's diary is stolen at school and read out loud by the popular kids. Everyone, even Cassie, heard Fiona's deepest darkest secrets and even worse, Cassie doesn't try to stop it despite being there. Now Cassie is suddenly ignoring Fiona and everything has changed. Has their friendship ended forever? Anyone whose known of the ups and downs of girl friendships will relate to this book and the characters inside. It may even cause a few tears.

A girl who thought she was a spy uses her super sleuthing skills in "Bridget Wilder: Spy to the Rescue"?by Jonathan Bernstein (Katherine Tegen Books, $16.99, ages 8 to 12.) Bridge is still dealing with the fact that the top-secret agency she was recruited from was fake. She's back in middle school and dealing with boys, popular kids and the usual ins and outs. And her super-spy father, Carter Strike, is still out there kicking butts. But when Bridget is accused of stealing cheer secrets, she is sure someone is trying to frame her. And when her father goes missing, she knows she must solve both mysteries or she could be in super danger! For those that enjoy a super cool heroine who's ready to dive into the action, this is one for you!

A funny comic book adventure about an alien boy and his human friends is told in "Hilo: Saving The Whole Wide World by Judd Winick (Random House, $13.99, ages 8 to 12.) Hilo is trying to settle into the normal human world of bowling, jokes and not blowing things up, with the help of his friends DJ and Gina. But then strange portals begin opening up all over and town, and things start coming through them. There's hippos, mutant chickens, warrior cats and all sorts of craziness. But they are no match for Hilo - or are they? With the help of his friends, he is ready to save the day! For those that enjoy superhero stories is a funny tale of an alien boy and his wacky misadventures.

A magical story about the power of sisters and wishes is told in New York Times bestselling author Lauren Myracle's "Wishing Day" (Katherine Tegen Books, $16.99, ages 8 to 12.) On the third night of the third month after her 13th birthday, every girl in Willow Hill can make three wishes - the first an impossible wish, the second a wish that she can make come true herself and the third, the deepest wish of her secret heart. And now it is Natasha's turn. And though she doesn't believe in magic, she makes her wishes - that her Mother was still alive, that she could be kissed, and that she could be someone's favorite. But there is always a price with wishes, and sometimes what you wish for isn't what you really want. What will Natasha learn from her wishes? And what will she learn about her family? There is plenty of magical twists in this book of maturity and family.

Dinosaurs and sci-fi dystopian are mixed together in "Edge of Extinction: The Ark Plan" by Laura Martin (HarperCollins, $16.99, ages 8 to 12.) Sky Mundy lives in a world where dinosaurs were cloned 150 years ago...and things went really wrong. Now the humans live underground and dinosaurs rule the above ground. 5 years ago, Sky's father disappeared, and she just received a note from him that she can help save humanity by going above ground. With the help of her friend, Shawn, can she save her father, and just maybe, the world? And what is really awaiting them outside? This is a fun action-adventure story with a "Jurassic World" kind of twist that a lot of kids will enjoy.



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