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By Emmy Laybourne (MacMillan $17.99)
Malcolm Polstead is the kind of boy who notices everything but is not much noticed himself. And so perhaps it was inevitable that he would become a spy…. Malcolm’s parents run an inn called the Trout, on the banks of the river Thames, and all of Oxford passes through its doors. Malcolm and his daemon, Asta, routinely overhear news and gossip, and the occasional scandal, but during a winter of unceasing rain, Malcolm catches wind of something new: intrigue. He finds a secret message inquiring about a dangerous substance called Dust–and the spy it was intended for finds him. When she asks Malcolm to keep his eyes open, he sees suspicious characters everywhere: the explorer Lord Asriel, clearly on the run; enforcement agents from the Magisterium; a gyptian named Coram with warnings just for Malcolm; and a beautiful woman with an evil monkey for a daemon. All are asking about the same thing: a girl–just a baby–named Lyra. Lyra is the kind of person who draws people in like magnets. And Malcolm will brave any danger, and make shocking sacrifices, to bring her safely through the storm.
Girl in the Blue Coat
By Monica Hesse (Little Brown, $9.99)
In 1943 Nazi-occupied Amsterdam, teenage Hanneke–a ‘finder’ of black market goods–is tasked with finding a Jewish girl a customer had been hiding, who has seemingly vanished into thin air, and is pulled into a web of resistance activities and secrets as she attempts to solve the mystery and save the missing girl.
Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.
Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.
By Patricia Forde (Sourcebooks $16.99)
The city of Ark is the last safe place on Earth. To make sure humans are able to survive, everyone in Ark must speak List, a language of only 500 words. Everyone that is, except Letta. As apprentice to the Wordsmith, Letta can read all the words that have ever existed. Forbidden words like freedom, music, and even pineapple tell her about a world she’s never known. One day her master disappears and the leaders of Ark tell Letta she is the new Wordsmith and must shorten List to fewer and fewer words. Then Letta meets a teenage boy who somehow knows all the words that have been banned. Letta’s faced with a dangerous choice: sit idly by and watch language slowly slip away or follow a stranger on a path to freedom . . . or banishment.
By Marie Lu (Penguin Random House $18.99)
When a game called Warcross takes the world by storm, one girl hacks her way into its dangerous depths in this sci-fi thriller by #1 “New York Times”-bestselling author Lu, who conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.
By Laurel Snyder (Harper Collins $16.99)
On an island where one child is delivered each year while the eldest is taken away, nine children live under the leadership of new elder Jinny, who trains the latest newcomer and wonders what will happen when her own departure occurs.