The Trials of Morrigan Crow

By Jessica Townsend. “A cursed child destined to die on her eleventh birthday is rescued and whisked away to a secret realm called Nevermoor and given the chance to compete for a place in a prestigious organization called the Wundrous Society”–

Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker

By Gregory Maguire. Presents an imaginative tale rooted in early nineteenth-century German Romanticism that explores parallels between the origin legend of the famous Nutcracker with the life of Drosselmeier, the toymaker who carves him.

The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage

By Philip Pullman. A highly anticipated latest series set in the parallel world of His Dark Materials begins 10 years before the events of The Golden Compass and centers on the early childhood of Lyra, her daemon Pantalaimon, and the struggle between totalitarians and supporters of free speech.

Her Body and Other Parties: Stories

By Carmen Maria Machado. DEBUT Eight unearthly and imaginative stories comprise this debut story collection. “Especially Heinous” stands out as a peculiar and enchanting retelling of episodes from the TV series Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU). With its malevolent doppelgängers mimicking both lead characters, while a host of girls-with-bells-for-eyes haunt the increasingly unhinged detective Olivia, this novella ensures that its readers will never watch reruns of SVU without drawing upon Machado’s novella as a frame of reference. Collectively, the stories reflect the commonplace reality wherein women’s bodies are not their own. Two pieces in particular make this grim connection. In “The Husband Stitch,” Machado puts her own spin on an urban legend wherein a young wife struggles against her husband’s persistent attempts to remove a green ribbon from her neck. In “Real Women Have Bodies,” women have slowly begun to disappear, seemingly without widespread alarm. VERDICTIncluding stories previously published in such journals as Granta and The New Yorker, this brilliant debut compilation showcases a fresh literary voice. Machado’s originality and emotional acumen make her a match for Karen Russell or Kelly Link. Highly recommended.—Faye Chadwell, Oregon State Univ., Corvallis (sic-fi, fantasy)

The Wonderling

By Mira Bartok. A debut novel by the award-winning author of The Memory Palace follows the experiences of a foxlike foundling with one ear who endures an oppressive life in an orphanage for part-animal humans until an unexpected act of courage leads to a friendship and a quest to discover his destiny.

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding

By Alexandra Bracken. A modern New England boy must rid himself of the ancient demon inhabiting his body and break his family’s curse.

Serafina and the Splintered Heart

By Robert Beatty. When a mysterious threat moves towards Biltmore, bringing with it violent storms and flooding, Serafina must fight to defend all she loves and become everything that she is meant to be.

Orphan Island

By Laurel Snyder. For readers who loved Sara Pennypacker’s Pax and Lois Lowry’s The Giver comes a deep, compelling, heartbreaking, and completely one-of-a-kind novel about nine children who live on a mysterious island.

On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts. And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them–and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.

Today’s Changing is no different. The boat arrives, taking away Jinny’s best friend, Deen, replacing him with a new little girl named Ess, and leaving Jinny as the new Elder. Jinny knows her responsibility now–to teach Ess everything she needs to know about the island, to keep things as they’ve always been. But will she be ready for the inevitable day when the boat will come back–and take her away forever from the only home she’s known?

Happy Dreamer

By Peter H. Reynolds. A “dreamer maximus” describes the many ways one can dream, and the importance of being a happy dreamer.

The Bear and the Nightingale

bear-and-nightengale“In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift – a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay”–

A novel inspired by Russian fairy tales follows the experiences of a wild young girl who taps the mysterious powers of a precious necklace given to her father years earlier to save her village from dark and dangerous forces.