Books

Secret of the Shadow Beasts

from Dial Young Readers, Penguin Random House

For fans of Dragon Pearl and the Lockwood & Co. series comes a swift-moving contemporary fantasy about a young girl tasked with destroying deadly shadow creatures.

In Brannland, terrifying beasts called Umbrae roam freely once the sun sets, so venomous that a single bite will kill a full-grown adult—and lately, with each day that passes, their population seems to double. The only people who can destroy them are immune children like Nora, who are recruited at the age of seven to leave their families behind and begin training at a retrofitted castle called Noye’s Hill. But despite her immunity, Nora’s father refused to let her go. Now, years after his death by Umbra attack, Nora is twelve, and sees her mother almost killed by the monsters too. That’s when Nora decides it’s time for her to join the battle. Once she arrives at Noye’s Hill, though, she and her new friends are left with more questions than answers: Where are the Umbrae coming from? Could the government be covering up the true reason their population has whirled out of control? And was Nora’s father, the peaceful, big-hearted man who refused to let Nora fight, in on the treacherous secret?

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The Hunt for the Mad Wolf’s Daughter

from Kathy Dawson Books, Penguin Random House

The companion to a New York Times Editors’ Choice and Kids’ Indie Next List Pick—a heart-pounding adventure starring a strong heroine who is battling the challenges of being a legend—perfect for reading aloud with the whole family.

Brave warrior, bloodthirsty villain, vicious lass, wolf’s head—Drest can see herself in most of the names she’ s been called, except the last. Wolf’s head. It’s a sentence of death-without-trial that’s been decreed by the ruler of Faintree Castle: the traitor Sir Oswyn. And one of his knights is determined to earn the sentence’s rich reward.

 “Magras deftly balances introspection and action as Drest proves herself willing to risk everything—and the result will leave readers cheering. . . . A standout among quest tales for middle graders.” —Kirkus Reviews (Full Review)

“Magras maintains the breathtaking pace of the previous book . . . In addition to all the action, the book is laced with humor while maintaining an undercurrent of thoughtfulness. No sophomore slump here: the book is every bit as good as its predecessor.” —Booklist

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The Mad Wolf’s Daughter

from Kathy Dawson Books, Penguin Random House

***A New York Times Editors’ Choice***

A Scottish medieval adventure about the youngest in a war-band who must free her family from a castle prison after knights attack her home–with all the excitement of Ranger’s Apprentice and perfect for fans of heroines like Alanna from The Song of the Lioness series.

One dark night, Drest’s sheltered life on a remote Scottish headland is shattered when invading knights capture her family, but leave Drest behind. Her father, the Mad Wolf of the North, and her beloved brothers are a fearsome war-band, but now Drest is the only one who can save them. So she starts off on a wild rescue attempt, taking a wounded invader along as a hostage.

From The New York Times: “Drest is a ferocious heroine…it’s clear we’re in the hands of a master storyteller….The Mad Wolf’s Daughter feels like an instant classic.”

From Publishers Weekly (starred review): “Empathetic, bold, and entirely herself at a time when women were dismissed as weak, Drest shines in this fast-paced adventure.”

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