Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse.
By Chris Riddell. Illus. by the
Oct. 2016. 224p. IPG/Pan Macmillan, $14.99
(9780230759800). Gr. 3–6.
Britain’s children’s laureate offers up another
clever series bursting with charm and intrigue,
as well as a number of playful jabs at gothic
literature, in this Costa Book Award–winning
title. Skull-embossed endpapers usher readers
into Ghastly-Gorm Hall, where Ada Goth can
generally be found exploring in loud, clumpy
boots, as her father, Lord Goth, insists that chil-
dren should be heard and not seen. Late one
night, she is awoken by the wistful sighs of Ish-
Grandpa has a stroke. As Grandpa recovers,
Keet also rediscovers her voice and starts writ-
ing and sharing her stories again. The poems
effectively convey conflicting emotions, and
the different styles (haiku, concrete, blues,
etc.) express moods and nuances without
being distracting. (A glossary defines poetic
forms and identifies examples from the book.)
This is a wonderful addition to the novel-in-
verse canon, whether enjoyed individually,
shared as a read-aloud, or used as a class text.
Cloud and Wallfish.
By Anne Nesbet.
Oct. 2016. 400p. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763688035).
Life just got really weird for fifth-grader
Noah Keller. In fact, he just got a brand new
life—including a new home (East Berlin),
name (Jonah Brown), and age ( 10)—and
he’s not happy about any of it, though a
severe stutter makes it difficult for him to
express his dismay. His parents lay all this
on him after school one day while driving
straight for the airport. In 1989, few people
are allowed extended visits to East Germany,
but Mrs. Keller’s research into speech pathology has granted them a six-month stay.
A long list of rules accompanies this bewildering trip, including “don’t draw attention
to yourself” and not to forget that “they will
always be listening.” Nesbet gives readers a
glimpse into life behind the Iron Curtain,
but her intriguing premise soon languishes
from the frequent intrusion of “Secret Files,”
which feel like mini history lessons. Noah’s
friendship with his neighbor Claudia is genuinely touching, and some truly tense scenes
unfold as secrets are revealed and readers witness events leading to the fall of the Berlin
Wall. —Julia Smith
By Eoin Colfer.
Oct. 2016. 288p. Disney/Marvel, $16.99
(9781484741603). Gr. 4–7.
As a teenager, Tony Stark watched as his father turned his own peaceful invention into
a weapon, forever changing the direction of
Tony’s life. Now, as Iron Man, he embarks on
an adventure in Ireland, where he attempts to
interrupt an attack on an ecology conference.
Along the way, Tony’s A.I. assistant transforms into a real-life girl, Saiorse Tory, who
complicates things with her own mission to
rescue her sister from a Cape Verdi orphanage. The plot thickens as the man Saiorse
hires to help her turns out to be the villain
Mandarin, Iron Man’s target. Both Mandarin
and Stark utilize futuristic, fantastic weapons
as they fight—one for evil, one for justice.
The battles are descriptive, and suspense rises
as readers wonder if Iron Man can succeed.
Without his suit, does Tony have the energy
to throw one more punch? Colfer, author of
the popular Artemis Fowl series, has created a
high-octane Iron Man adventure sure to be a
hit with superhero fanatics. —J. B. Petty
THREE KIDS. ONE TEACHER.
A DAY THEY’LL NEVER FORGET.
“Kids won’t just love this book. They need it.”
New York Times bestselling author of the School for Good and Evil series
“Each page crackles as we embark on the greatest adventure of all.”
—Gary D. Schmidt,
Newbery Honor winner and author of Okay for Now
www.harpercollinschildrens.com • www.walden.com/books
Tr 978-0-06-233817-4 • $16.99
H “A smart,
H “Sad and satisfying
in just the right
—Kirkus Reviews (starred)
H “An emotionally
—Publishers Weekly (starred)
“A story of that one
teacher we all have
who we’ll never forget,
told with laugh-out-
loud humor and oh,
so much heart.”
New York Times bestselling
author of Ungifted
mael, a ghost mouse, who asks Ada to help rid
the house of its deadly mousetraps. Concerned
are fairly common at the
Hall—Ada slips out of bed,
and as the two wander the
mansion’s corridors, a mystery begins to take shape.
Riddell stocks his narrative with storytelling’s best
bits—an old house full of
surprises, secret gardens, mythical creatures,
mystery, absurdity, suspense, unexpected
friendships—and readers can’t help but be delighted. Wonderful ink-pen illustrations adorn