Sponsored by Oni Press.
Conquering a planet is hard…like, really hard. But when Captain Minky has the idea to conquer the planet of all planets–Earth– his crew sets an intergalactic course few aliens have dared to take. When the Devastorm 5 lands in a defunct amusement park called Fun Fun Fun World, it’s met by Javi, Earthling and amusement park enthusiast. But Fun Fun Fun World is hiding major secrets, and soon the hopes of planet conquering and park reopening start to feel as far away as outer space.
Let’s start off this week with news of a fun project. Universal Standard, an inclusive fashion brand, have launched a picture book called What Would Fashion Look Like If It Included All Of Us? It’s fiercely diverse and inclusive, with lovely body-positive artwork (seriously, I almost cried over a few spreads) and an empowering message of inclusion. You can download it here, and 100% of the proceeds go to #SAVEWITHSTORIES. More of this sort of thing please!
Here’s my pick of this week’s new releases.
The Water Bears by Kim Baker
Last year, Newt Gomez survived a bear attack and now he’s found a bear statue that maybe grants wishes. As the wishes come true around him, he becomes increasingly ready to make his own wish – to move to the mainland where his extended family lives, become part of a community where he’s not the only Latinx kid, and to also be free of his bad dreams about the attack. But then, as things so often do, everything changes…
A magical story of recovery and growth in the most unusual of landscapes, this is a coming of age story with a lot of heart.
On These Magic Shores by Yamile Saied Méndez
Minerva Soledad Miranda has responsibilities. She looks after her two sisters while her mom works two jobs – and then, one night, her mom doesn’t come home. It’s up to Minerva to figure out what happened and how to keep her family together and safe. But there’s something magical looking out for them…
Written by an #ownvoices author, this touches on some big issues and does so with a lot of delicacy and magic. Bonus points for that gorgeous cover!
Rick by Alex Gino
Everybody around Rick seems to have figured out who he is, but Rick’s not so sure. But now he’s in middle school and discovering the Rainbow Spectrum club, he might just finally be able to figure himself out and be understood…
A sensitive exploration of how to be yourself in a world that sometimes doesn’t make that easy, and how to deal with unhelpful relationships, Rick is a lovely and important read.
The Pathfinders Society : The Mystery of the Moon Tower by Francesco Sedita and Prescott Seraydarian
I am a sucker for ‘kids who team up to solve a mystery’ stories (blame a lot of Nancy Drew!) and this is amazing. Five kids are thrown together at summer camp, and together they set off to dig into their town’s history – a history that includes a fabled lost treasure…
An adventure packed comic that’s perfect for middle-grade readers, this features code-cracking, mystery-solving and time-travel. What’s not to love?
The Fort by Laura Perdew, illustrated by Adelina Lirius
Two strangers play in the same fort in the woods.. which is either a castle or a ship, depending on who’s in charge! But problems ensue: the prince can’t throw a party when all his invitations turn into treasure maps, and the pirate can’t storm the high seas when her sword turns into a scepter. Can a pirate and a prince learn to share – and what happens when they do?
A celebration of imagination rendered in illustrations that burst with life, this gorgeous picture book sees two adversaries learn the benefits of sharing and teamwork. Two imaginations are a lot more fun than one!
Okay! I’m going to leave it there for now but I’ll be back in seven days with more picks. In the meanwhile you can catch up with me on social media, on my website, or over on the biweekly literary fiction podcast Novel Gazing.
Have a lovely week!