Exciting 2018 Youth Books: Ready, Set, GO!

Lynn: Forget the Julian, the Mayan, and even the Fiscal calendars. For Cindy and me, the calendar year runs from ALA Midwinter Meetings to Midwinter Meetings. We are just back, loaded with exciting new 2018 books, and ready to read them. It’s going to be a great year for youth books, trust me! Here are just a few from our stack of tantalizing new titles.


The Apocalypse of Elena Mendoza, by Shaun David Hutchinson

The premise of this book sounds totally bizarre and totally irresistible! The 16-year-old product of a virgin birth discovers she has miraculous healing powers, but there is a horrifying price. Is the world coming to an end, and is Elena the only one who can save it? I’m hooked!


Boots on the Ground: America’s War in Vietnam, by Elizabeth Partridge


Friends, I would read anything by Elizabeth Partridge, and this looks stellar! Just saying.


Fatal Throne: The Wives of Henry VIII Tell All, by M.T. Anderson, Candace Fleming, Stephanie Hemphill, Lisa Ann Sandell, Jennifer Donnelly, Linda Sue Park, and Deborah Hopkinson

Seven of my favorite authors re-imagine the lives of Henry VIII and his six wives. I tried desperately to get a galley of this in Denver, but I was too late. I don’t actually have this one yet, but I’m hoping the publisher will take pity on me. Hint hint!


March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine, by Melba Pattillo Beals

Even before she became one of the Little Rock Nine, Beals was a warrior. She tells the story of the years before her courageous efforts at Central High School. This lady is one of my heroines, and I’m so excited to read this story of her formative years.


The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl, by Stacy McAnulty

When 12-year-old Lucy Callahan was struck by lightning, she gained genius-level math skills. After being homeschooled, she is now ready for college, but there’s a snag: Lucy’s grandmother insists that she has to go to middle school first, make one friend, join one activity, and read one book. Can Lucy solve this scary equation?



Cindy: My luggage broke coming home, and I took a direct flight. Hmm. . . galley overload? I wanted a new suitcase anyway. 😉


Becoming Madeleine, by Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Léna Roy

With the upcoming A Wrinkle in Time movie, everything is coming up Madeleine L’Engle, and her books are moving again in my middle schools. I’m eager to read this biography, written by her granddaughters, that incorporates many primary sources, including L’Engle’s journal entries and letters. I didn’t get this at the exhibits, but it is available for purchase now.


The Boggart Fights Back, by Susan Cooper

We had the pleasure of listening to Susan Cooper discuss this latest return to the Boggarts she has missed. This time, the Boggarts help a Scottish family save their loch from “Mr. Trout, a bombastic, bullying American property magnate” who has plans to build an expensive resort on the property near one of Scotland’s oldest castles. Cooper says this book was in the works long before the 2016 U. S. election.


Rebound, by Kwame Alexander

A prequel to Newbery Medal-winner The Crossover, Alexander’s latest novel in verse takes us back to the teen years of the boys’ father, Chuck “Da Man” Bell, as he learns to love basketball and jazz. I just love reading basketball books during March Madness.


Rising Above: Inspiring Women in Sports, by Gregory Zuckerman

Finding solid sports biographies for female athletes is difficult at best. This collection that profiles women who have overcome a variety of obstacles and found great success looks fascinating.


Secret Sisters of the Salty Sea, by Lynne Rae Perkins

A vacation to the ocean in Michigan, in February? YES! Newbery Medalist Perkins is a favorite author, and the beach girl in me is so eager to curl up with this one along with my quilt, hot chocolate, and the snowy view out of my window. I can feel the sunshine warmth already!

About the Author:

Cindy Dobrez and Lynn Rutan are Booklist reviewers and middle-school librarians who have chaired both ALA’s Best Books for Young Adults and the Michael L. Printz Award for YA Literature committees. Follow Bookends on Twitter at @BookendsBlog. You can also find Cindy at @cdobrez and Lynn at @482april.

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