Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island by Steve Westover

Wailing and thrashing for escape, Allie’s dad disappeared, the dirt covering the crown of his head. Ethan and Jordan’s parents followed, gasping for breath before the dirt covered their faces and muffled their screams. Mercifully, they descended faster than Allie’s mom. She had been the appetizer and the other three adults were the main course.

While thirteen-year-old Ethan is visiting his crazy Uncle Bart at Crater Lake National Park, his world collapses when all the adults disappear, including his parents. Now Ethan must rally his new friends and deciper the legends of the lake to find the key to rescuing his parents from their earthen prison before he’s captured too and their imprisonment becomes permanent.

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Title: Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island

Author: Steve Westover

Publisher: Sweetwater (CFI)

Release Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-1599559605

Size: 256 pages, 5.5×8.25, hardover

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy


Beyonders: Seeds of Rebellion by Brandon Mull

After the cliffhanger ending of A World Without Heroes, Jason is back in the world he’s always known—yet for all his efforts to get home, he finds himself itching to return to Lyrian. Jason knows that the shocking truth he learned from Maldor is precious information that all of his friends in Lyrian, including Rachel, need if they have any hope of surviving and defeating the evil emperor.

Meanwhile, Rachel and the others have discovered new enemies—as well as new abilities that could turn the tide of the entire quest. And as soon as Jason succeeds in crossing over to Lyrian, he’s in more danger than ever. Once the group reunites, they strive to convince their most-needed ally to join the war and form a rebellion strong enough to triumph over Maldor. At the center of it all, Jason and Rachel realize what roles they’re meant to play—and the answers are as surprising as they are gripping.

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Title: Beyonders: Seeds of Rebellion (Beyonders #2)

Author: Brandon Mull

Publisher: Aladdin

Release Date: March 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-1416997948

Size: 512 pages, hardcover

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Beyonders Series: A World Without Heroes (bk 1)

Hazzardous Universe 2: The Magicians’s Last Word by Julie Wright

Fourteen-year-old Hap Hazzard is the most wanted teenager in the universe. His life has been pure pandemonium ever since he and his almost-friend Tara were beamed from their boring lives onto a spaceship where they were needed to fulfill an insanely dangerous assignment: recovering nine hidden books-records that would give the Dark Ones power to dominate the universe.

After overcoming a host of nearly impossible intergalactic challenges in the first leg of their journey, Hap and Tara have only two of the missing nine books-and the clock is ticking. Racing their nemesis Don Nova to a rock concert on the Lizard Comet, they meet up with Confucian, an eccentric young earthling who becomes their ally in the urgent search. But things go south quickly, and Hap and Tara and their unconventional crew must venture ever further into space, where dark and dreadful things lurk in the vast shadows.

With the fate of the entire universe at stake, Hap and his friends press on against the odds-fighting their fear as they race toward the unimaginable perils that loom ahead.

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Title: The Magicians’s Last Word (Hazzardous Universe #2)

Author: Julie Wright

Illustrator: Kevin Wasden

Publisher: Covenant Communications

Release Date: March 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1608619672

Size: 257 pages, 6×9, softcover

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Series: Hazzardous Universe (book 1)

Time Gangsters by Berin Stephens

Billy Fairbanks shot up out of bed when he heard the glass window shatter. A man, dressed like a 1920s gangster, landed in his bedroom and looked around.

“Wha—?” Billy started to say.

Bright light from outside illuminated the intruder, who pointed his tommy gun at Billy and whispered, “Is that you, Marlow?”

“Uh…no.” Billy pulled his blanket up higher, even though he knew it wouldn’t protect him from bullets.

When Billy discovers a hidden cache of ancient coins in his bedroom wall, it isn’t long before a ruthless gang of thugs from the 1920s breaks in and swipes them right from under him. Plotting to use the magical properties of the coins to seize control of the past, these power-hungry gangster, led by a ruthless mob boss, will do anything to anyone to reach their goal. Trying to hide the coins simply sparks a magic-powered showdown that lands Billy and his cousin, Danny, in danger of losing much more than ancient gold.

With their futures at stake, Billy and Danny must race through time to steal back the coins—before history is changed forever!

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Title: Time Gangsters

Author: Berin Stephens

Publisher: Sweetwater/Cedar Fort

Release Date: February 14, 2012

ISBN: 978-1599559667

Size: 296 pages, 5.5×8, paperback

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Ambush by Obert Skye

Things are strange in the town of Kingsplot. The usually sleepy town is experiencing things it just can’t explain. Plants are vandalizing the museum, buildings are being torn apart at night, and the minds of residents are growing foggy and confused.

In the Pillage manor above the town, Beck s life is unraveling as well. The girl he cares for has had enough, his father is in the hospital, and the madness that has poisoned Beck’s ancestors is beginning to infect his own thoughts.

There’s also the matter of the manor. Behind its walls and floors are more surprises, including an elevator that’s been walled up for years.

Furthermore, in order to save his father, Beck must plant the final dragon stone, which brings to life much more than he expected. Not just one dragon appears, but three—the king and two wicked guardians.

Beck’s new desire to pillage is in stark contrast to the rightful task he knows he must perform—a task that will put an end to the dragons once and for all. Of course, even the best-laid plans can fall apart beneath the surprise of an ambush.

This final book in the Pillagy series takes Beck, Kate, and Wyatt through their most dangerous adventure ever.

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Title: Ambush

Author: Obert Skye

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Release Date: January 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-1609088910

Size: 320 pages, 5×7, hardback

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

The Pillagy: Pillage (#1), Choke (#2)

Albrek’s Tomb by M.L. Forman

Two thousand years ago, the dwarf Albrek went looking for new mines in the land of Thraxon in the hopes of becoming rich. No one knows if he ever succeeded, though, as all trace of Albrek and his followers simply vanished from history. Now, however, the dwarves must find the magical talisman that Albrek carried with him before their mines run dry, which would threaten the livelihood of the entire dwarf realm. And so the newly named wizard Alexander Taylor joins a familiar company of adventurers on a quest to discover what happened to Albrek, find his mythical tomb, and locate the lost talisman.

Discovering Albrek’s fate, however, may be the least of the adventurers’ problems when they cross paths with an ancient, wandering paladin who has a taste for confrontation and a paranoid belief that some great evil is working in all of the known lands. Alex and his friends must travel through the shadow of an empty oracle’s tower, where a whispered legend is about to come true, and strike out for the distant parts of Thraxon that are only spoken of in old tales and half-forgotten myths. Join Alex and his brave companions on an adventure that will test their courage beyond their limits.

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Title: Albrek’s Tomb (Adventurer’s Wanted, Book 3)

Author: M.L. Forman

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Release Date: January 24, 2012

ISBN: 978-609088927

Size: 448 pages, 6×8, hardcover

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Series: Slathbog’s Gold (bk 1), The Horn of Moran (bk 2)

Black Magic Academy by Emily Martha Sorensen

Mildred doesn’t like black magic.  But her mother was once valedictorian of Black Magic Academy, so her aunts insist she needs to follow in her footsteps and become one too.

Mildred doesn’t want to be part of the popular crowd.  Nor does she care about her “death-enemy.”  And she certainly has no interest in murderous spells.  But if the teachers catch on that she’s actually a good witch . . . well, they don’t react well to that kind of ignominy.

What’s the only good witch in a school of wicked witches to do?

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Title: Black Magic Academy

Author: Emily Martha Sorensen

Publisher: CreateSpace

Release Date: January 13, 2012

ISBN: 978-1468081497

Size: 150 pages, 5.5×8.5, softcover

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

In the Twilight by Fiauna Lund

What if your entire town had a secret and it was your job to keep that secret safe?

Fourteen-year-old Avril Holly lives in a world full of secrets: not only is she half faery, sprouting wings at twilight, but suddenly she also has the ability to read minds. When she is attacked while walking home alone in her otherwise peaceful community, she learns that she must use her mind-reading powers to protect her people from the curious and sometimes dangerous human beings around them.

When she discovers that Vestyn, her best friend’s suddenly crush-worthy brother, helped save her from the attacker, what started out as childhood friendship takes on new depth, growing into a budding romance. Though she worries their telepathic connection will ruin their blossoming relationship, Avril must learn to work with Vestyn to keep their community safe and their faery heritage a secret.

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Title: In the Twilight (The Sprightling Diaries, Book 1)

Author: Fiauna Lund

Publisher: Shady Hill Press

Release Date: January 1, 2012

ISBN: 978-1890718770

Size: 196 pages, 6×9, softcover

Genre: Middle Grade/YA Fantasy

The Serpent in the Glass by D.M. Andrews

On his eleventh birthday Thomas Farrell is informed that the deceased father he never knew has provided for his education at Darkledun Manor, a school for gifted children. Thomas, however, feels he’s just an ordinary boy, but Darkledun Manor proves to be anything but an ordinary school…

In this work of children’s fiction the reader is transported into a world of myth as the young protagonist, Thomas Farrell, seeks to understand who his mysterious father was, and why he left him a strange glass orb containing a serpent. As the story progresses, Thomas and his friends become increasing caught up in a world they never knew existed – a world beyond the standing stones.

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Title: The Serpent in the Glass

Author: D.M. Andrews

Publisher: Self

Release Date: January 5, 2012

ISBN: 978-1-4710-4266-9

Size: 232 pages, 6×9, softcover

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Two Souls Are Better Than One by Karen E. Hoover

Title: Two Souls Are Better Than One (The Misadventurs of a Teenage Wizard, book 1)

Author: Karen E. Hoover

Publisher: Tin Bird

Release Date: December 4, 2011

ISBN: 978-1466486874

Size: 276 pages, 6×9, paperback

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Barely thirteen, Jeremy James Johansen has had more than his share of trouble. His father disappeared without a trace and the police believe he murdered his lab assistant, though his son knows it isn’t true. His dad can’t even handle a knife, let alone a bow and arrow.

A year later Jeremy stumbles across a portal to another world and gets pulled through—but not as himself. Somehow he swaps bodies with the man on the other side before the portal disappears.

Captured by a dragon and a man in black who insists on calling him father, he tries to escape, only to plummet to his death. He awakens in his own bed, believing it was all a bad dream. The problem is there are holes in his memory he can’t fill.

In time, he discovers that the portal holds the answers not only to his forgotten memories, but most importantly, points him down the path to finding his father.

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Texting Through Time by Christy Monson

Title: Texting Through Time: A Trek with Brigham Young

Author: Christy Monson

Publisher: Bonneville (CFI)

Release Date: November 8, 2011

ISBN: 978-1599559162

Size: 128 pages, 5.5×8.5, paperback

Genre: Middle Grade Speculative/Historical

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When 12-year-old Micah borrows his father’s experimental time-travel phone, his hopes for seeing the future are dashed as he and his sister, Alicia, end up trapped in the past at Brigham Young s boyhood home. This book is a fun way for kids and adults to dive into Church history and learn that no matter what time period you are in, God is still aware of you.

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Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

Title: Tuesdays at the Castle

Author: Jessica Day George

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Release Date: October 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-1599906447

Size: 240 pages, hardcover

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Tuesdays at Castle Glower are Princess Celie’s favorite days. That’s because on Tuesdays the castle adds a new room, a turret, or sometimes even an entire wing. No one ever knows what the castle will do next, and no one-other than Celie, that is-takes the time to map out the new additions. But when King and Queen Glower are ambushed and their fate is unknown, it’s up to Celie, with her secret knowledge of the castle’s never-ending twists and turns, to protect their home and save their kingdom.

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Super Cowboy Rides by Daris Howard

Title: Super Cowboy Rides

Author: Daris Howard

Publisher: WiDo Publishing

Release Date: October 21, 2011

ISBN: 978-1937178109

Size: 184 pages, 5.5×8.5, paperback

Genre: Children, Middle Grade

Meet six-year-old Tommy Johnson, Super Cowboy and Super Story-teller. In SUPER COWBOY RIDES, Daris Howard captures boyhood in rural America, as seen through the eyes of his precocious, adventurous narrator.

Want to build a box to capture wild cats that roam the farm? How about tips on catching a greased pig at the fair, or teaching a stubborn lamb to avoid being trampled by angry milk cows? From the first paragraph, when Tommy explains why a boy needs a dog for a pet instead of a cat, he wins us over with his down-to-earth and humorous view of the world.

But once Tommy starts school, things get complicated. He cannot learn to read. He gets put in the lowest reading group and told to stay in the back of the classroom coloring. He gets picked on by teachers and mocked by classmates.

And then tragedy strikes, and Tommy has a burden to carry beyond what any first-grader should have to face. In the process of dealing with his grief, Tommy learns the meaning of true friendship.

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The Hidden Kingdom by R.K. Hinrichsen

Title: The Hidden Kingdom

Author: R.K. Hinrichsen

Publisher: RKH Press

Release Date: October 7, 2011

Size: ebook

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

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The dark enemy never rests. But neither do the Heroes of the Highest Order. So when a magical playground whisks Dan and Page into the Hidden Kingdom, a skinny giant quickly registers them for hero training camp. There, they learn they must gain skills and earn powerful treasures by travelling back in time and walking in the footsteps of a real pioneer hero.

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Icefall by Matthew Kirby

Title: Icefall

Author: Matthew Kirby

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: October 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0545274241

Size: 336 pages, 6×8, hardcover

Genre: Middle Grade fantasy

Trapped in a hidden fortress tucked between towering mountains and a frozen sea, Solveig, along with her brother the crown prince, their older sister, and an army of restless warriors, anxiously awaits news of her father’s victory at battle. But as winter stretches on, and the unending ice refuses to break, terrible acts of treachery soon make it clear that a traitor lurks in their midst. A malevolent air begins to seep through the fortress walls, and a smothering claustrophobia slowly turns these prisoners of winter against one another.

Those charged with protecting the king’s children are all suspect, and the siblings must choose their allies wisely. But who can be trusted so far from their father’s watchful eye? Can Solveig and her siblings survive the long winter months and expose the traitor before he succeeds in destroying a kingdom?

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Circle of Secrets by Kimberley Griffiths Little

Title: Circle of Secrets

Author: Kimberley Griffiths Little

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: October 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0545165617

Size: 336 pages, hardcover

Genre: Middle Grade Suspense

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After her mother walked out on Shelby Jayne and her dad, Shelby thought she’d never speak to her mamma again. But with her dad leaving the country for work, it turns out she doesn’t have a choice: Shelby has to move back into her mamma’s house, deep in the heart of the Louisiana bayou.

Her new classmates tease and torment her, so Shelby’s relieved to finally find a friend in Gwen, a mysterious girl who lives alone on the bayou. But Shelby can’t help wondering if Gwen has something to do with the puzzling messages she finds hidden in the blue bottle tree behind her house. The only person who might be able to explain is her mamma — but Shelby’s not ready to ask. Not yet. It may take a brush with something from the beyond to help Shelby see that the power to put her own ghosts to rest is within her reach.

A haunting story of friendship and family and the power of faith, once again set against the lush backdrop of the Louisiana bayou.

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The Cheshire Cheese Cat by Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright

Title: The Cheshire Cheese Cat: A Dickens of a Tale

Author: Carmen Agra Deedy and Randall Wright

Illustrator: Barry Moser

Publisher: Peachtree Publishers

Release Date: October 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1561455959

Size: 256 pages, hardcover

Genre: Middle Grade (10+)

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Skilley, an alley cat with an embarrassing secret, longs to escape his hard life dodging fishwives brooms and carriage wheels and trade his damp alley for the warmth of the Cheshire Cheese Inn. When he learns that the innkeeper is looking for a new mouser, Skilley comes up with an audacious scheme to install himself in the famous tavern. Once established in the inn, Skilley strikes a bargain with Pip, the intelligent mouse-resident, and his fellow mice. Skilley protects the mice and the mice in turn give to Skilley the delectable Cheshire cheese of the inn. Thus begins a most unlikely alliance and friendship.

The cat and mouse design a plan to restore Maldwyn wounded raven and faithful guard in the service of Queen Victoria to his rightful place in The Tower, but first they must contend with a tyrannical cook, a mouse-despising barmaid, and an evil tomcat named Pinch. Will the famous author suffering from serious writer s block who visits the Cheshire Cheese pub each day be able to help?

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Wonkenstein (Creature from My Closet) by Obert Skye

Title: Wonkenstein (The Creature from My Closet)

Author: Obert Skye

Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Release Date: September 27, 2011

ISBN: 978-0805092684

Size: 240 pages, 5×8, hardcover

Genre: Middle Grade

Twelve-year-old underachiever Rob has better things to do than read. His parents give him lots of books but most of them just end up in the messy pile of junk he keeps locked in his closet that once doubled as a makeshift science laboratory. One day, Rob hears weird sounds coming from behind his closet door and discovers a funny little creature that seems to be a cross between two characters from books he’s tried to ignore. He names him Wonkenstein.

Keeping track of “Wonk” is hard work. But with help from friends and a little off-the-wall magic, Rob and Wonkenstein’s crazy adventures set the stage for great laughs . . . and Rob might even read some good books along the way.

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Rise of the Fallen by Ivory Autumn

Title: Rise of the Fallen (Andrew and the Quest of Orion’s Belt, bk 1)

Author: Ivory Autumn

Publisher: CreateSpace

Release Date: September 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1453749722

Size: 430 pages, 6×9, paperback

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

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To whom it may concern, and you should all be concerned.

I told Ivory not to publish this book. But Ivory never listens to me. For being an elf with such big ears, her hearing is very bad.

So, now here we both are. You wanting to read this VERY DARK tale. And me trying to warn you of the dangers that could happen if you do. You, probably being an ordinary person and all.

No disrespect to ordinary people. I like them…or you. But, generally, ordinary people are toxically attracted to things that are not so healthy for them, like candy, and old broken-down buildings full of nose hair twisters, and throat gobblers—forgetting that they should be very afraid of dark, spooky, creepyish sort of places, until it’s too late. Be WARNED that this book, once cracked opened, will cause the innocent lights in your bedroom to quake and shiver, and perhaps go out, leaving you in the darkness. So keep a flashlight, or a glowing, friendly, non-poisonous mushroom nearby, just in case.

Only brave individuals should, dare, to read this book. As for myself, I’m brave. I’m not afraid of the dark. Except for when it’s dark, of course. Ahem.


Your humble servant,


Twisker of the Dandelion Den

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Return to Exile by E.J. Patten

Title: Return to Exile (The Hunter Chronicles, vol. 1)

Author: E.J. Patten

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

Release Date: September 6, 2011

ISBN: 978-1442420328

Size: 512 pages, hardcover

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Return to Exile website

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Eleven years ago, a shattered band of ancient hunters captured an unimaginable evil and Phineas T. Pimiscule rescued his nephew, Sky, from the wreckage of that great battle. For eleven years, Sky Weathers has studied traps, puzzles, science, and the secret lore of the Hunters of Legend, believing it all a game. For eleven years, Sky and his family have hidden from dark enemies while, unbeknownst to Sky, his uncle Phineas sacrificed everything to protect them. For eleven years, Sky Weathers has known nothing of that day. But on the eve of Sky’s twelfth birthday and his family’s long-awaited return to Exile, everything changes. Phineas has disappeared, and Sky finds himself forced to confront the mysterious secrets he’s denied for so long: why did his family leave Exile on that day so long ago? What, exactly, has Phineas been preparing him for? And, the biggest mystery of all, who is Sky really and why does everyone want to kill him?

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The Golden Cup of Kardak by Annette Lyon

Title: The Golden Cup of Kardak

Author: Annette Lyon


Release Date: August 2011


Size: 55,000 words, approx 191 pages, ebook

Genre: Middle-grade Fantasy

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Ever since their father went to fight in Midian’s War two years earlier, fourteen-year old Torin and twelve-year-old Merinne have been forced to fend for themselves, hoping one day their family will be reunited. But when a short woman with odd clothing finds Torin in the wood and tells him their father is a prisoner scheduled to be executed in fourteen days, his hopes for ever being a family again are dashed.

Then a tiny green dragon shows up at their cottage, wounded and near death but lugging a legendary golden goblet behind him. He brings word of a prophecy that the siblings are to not only rescue their father but save the kingdom.

With the help of Markanus, a wounded solider, they set out on a quest to free their father. In their search for the secret prison, the small group faces near-capture by the ruthless enemy army, a maze of terrifying underground caverns, kidnapping by giant hairy creatures that will kill them to keep the goblet, capture by outlaws, and attacks by snake-tongued flying beasts with razor-sharp talons.

To succeed they must find help to deliver the goblet to their father and somehow muster the courage it will take to stay alive.

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Elliot and the Pixie Plot by Jennifer Nielsen

Title: Elliot and the Pixie Plot (The Underworld Chronicles, book 2)

Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen

Illustrator: Gideon Kendall

Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Release Date: August 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1402240201

Size: 208 pages, 6×7″, hardcover

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Series: Elliott and the Goblin War (bk 1)

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Elliot, King of the Brownies, isn’t usually a stubborn kid, but he didn’t see a lot of room to bargain on the issue of Goblins eating his subjects. Which is how he wound up alone in the Underworld, with no map either home or ahead to Demon Territory. Between trying to steal a hair for the Pixie Princess and a sock for the Fairies from a demon, being King of the Brownies is no easy job!

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Janitors by Tyler Whitesides

Title: Janitors

Author: Tyler Whitesides

Illustrator: Brandon Dorman

Publisher: Shadow Mountain

Release Date: July 20, 2011

ISBN: 978-1609080563

Size: 288 pages, 5.5×8″, hardcover

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Have you ever fallen asleep during math class?

Are you easily distracted while listening to your English teacher?

Do you find yourself completely uninterested in geography?

Well, it may not be your fault. The janitors at Welcher Elementary know a secret, and it’s draining all the smarts out of the kids. Twelve-year-old Spencer Zumbro, with the help of his classmate Daisy Gullible Gates, must fight with and against a secret, janitorial society that wields wizard-like powers. Who can Spencer and Daisy trust and how will they protect their school and possibly the world?

You ll never look at a mop the same way again.

The Trouble with Squids by Julie Gardner Berry

Title: The Trouble with Squids (Splurch Academy for Disruptive Boys, #4)

Author: Julie Gardner Berry

Illustrator: Sally Faye Gardner

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Release Date: July 21, 2011

ISBN: 978-0448453620

Size: 208 pages, 5×7, softcover

Genre: Middle Grade Graphic Novel

Series: The Splurch Academy — The Rat Brain Fiasco (bk1), Curse of the Bizarro Beetle (bk2), The Colossal Fossil Freakout (bk3)

It’s a squid invasion! The boys uncover an old forgotten swimming pool hidden away below the floor of the school’s gymnasium — and below the surface they discover a whole undersea world that might just provide them with a way to finally escape from Splurch Academy. However, they soon realize that the pool is overflowing with evil monstrous squids.