Teen Librarian Toolbox
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Scholastic Book Fair: April

 It’s April, which means it is time for another edition of our Scholastic Book Fair here at TLT.  Since I have a tween in school, we have been buying a lot of Scholastic books from the book fair.  Here are a look at some new Scholastic titles you may want to look into.   This month we have a lot of fantasy for you with a little action/adventure thrown in.  And a few titles that are taking their cues from big blockbuster movies.  Also, a recurring theme this year seems to be Tweens/Teens with mutant superpowers of some sort.  Definitely seeing a lot of comic book inspiration in titles lately.  That’s not a bad thing.  Drumrolll please . . .

The Runaway King by Jennifer A Nielsen
The Sequel to The False Prince
I have one of my library teens reading this series for you, and he was a fan of The False Prince. A staff member also read it and enjoyed it. I haven’t read this title yet, I just know that the first book if pretty popular at my library.  This is some pure, fun fantasy about Kingdoms that need saving, Princes, and destiny. If you haven’t read book one, start there, it is worth reading. Grades 5 and up

Dragon Run by Patrick Matthews
It has a dragon on the cover.  You had me at dragons.  In this world, the 5 mortals races are said to have been created by dragons, who now rule as evil overlords over the land. On testing day, Al hopes he will find himself in a position of power, instead he is shunned, given the rating of “0”.  What he doesn’t know is that this rating means he is dangerous. Fleeing for his life, it’s one boy against the world – and some terrifying beasts. Tagline: Can a zero become a hero? A fun fantasy adventure; not a lot of new here, but the action is fun and, well – IT HAS DRAGONS. 3 stars. (For more dragon fun, BE SURE to check out The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde) Grades 3-7

Freaks by Kieran Larwood
I love the Tagline: Weirdest. Crime fighters. Ever.
The Freaks are a band of misfits  in a travelling sideshow. Wolf-girl Sheba has a heightened sense of smell, Moon Girl can travel at the speed of light, and Monkey Boy is a superb climber.  By day, they put these talents to use solving those crimes no one pays attention to.  Kids with X-men types powers are really popular right now in MG and Teen lit, I can name about a half a dozen books coming out this year (see the list You Could Have Been an X-Men).  This is a solid and enjoyable entry, and a good reminder to take care of the least of these. 3.5 stars. (More Steampunk!) Grades 5 and up

The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Like all Summer Kings before him, Enki is destined to die.  Unfortunately for June Costa, she is falling deeply in love with him.  Like June, Enki is a fellow artist.  In this futuristic Brazil, the two set out to create art to help start a rebellion against the government’s restrictions on new tech.  Romantic, compelling, and an interesting look at government regulation of technology.  Bonus points for using art as a means to communicate and spark protest. 4 stars. Grades 9 and up

Money Run by Jack Heath
Goodreads Synopsis: Take two child geniuses (thieves in their spare time), one obsessed assassin, and the richest man in the world to create a compelling, completely unpredictable young adult thriller. Fifteen-year-olds Ashley and Benjamin have concocted a daring master plan: to steal billionaire Hammond Buckland’s most precious belonging, hidden in the depths of his conspicuous corporate building. But Hammond Buckland has a most elaborate plan of his own – and none of them have counted on Peachey, the hit man with a determination to finish the job – at any cost!The beginning of a dazzling new series from Jack Heath, author of The Lab and Remote Control.  Very action oriented, Heath doesn’t spend a lot of time developing characters.  I prefer the Heist Society books by Ally Carter (really, everyone should be reading them) because of the character development, but those looking for a book equivalent of the summer blockbuster won’t be disappointed. 3 stars