This month, middle grade and YA novel sequels include space travel, monsters and mythical beasts, romance, magic, and more.

Arlo Finch in the Lake of the Moon

by John August (Roaring Brook, Feb. 5, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-62672-816-5)

August, a screenwriter, returns with the second book in his Arlo Finch middle grade series. Protagonists Arlo, Indra, and Wu return to Camp Redfeather, where, along with the more typical summer camp activities, they learn about ancient magical arts—and embark on solving a mystery that leads back to Arlo’s own family lineage. 

The Clockwork Dragon

by James R. Hannibal (Simon & Schuster, Feb. 5, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-4814-6715-5)

The third and last of the Section 13 series returns to the streets of London, where protagonists Jack and Gwen embark on a journey to the Austrian Alps and to China, in a quest to stop villainous Ignatius Gall from destroying the Ministry of Trackers. Hannibal delivers a breakneck conclusion for fans of the series.  

Lady Smoke

by Laura Sebastian (Delacorte, Feb. 5, $18.99, ISBN 978-1-5247-6710-5)

In the sequel to Ash Princess, Sebastian’s resourceful heroine, Theodosia, has taken back her royal title, put down her crown of ashes, and now sets out to form an army to free her people from the Kaiser’s rule.

Gobi’s Gambit

Eliot Schrefer, illus. by Emilia Dziubak (HarperCollins/Tegen, Feb. 5, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-06-249111-4)

Schrefer continues his Lost Rainforest series with the story of Gogi, a shadowwalker monkey learning to use his fire powers. Gogi teams with a tree frog, bat, and panther—each harnessing a special power—to stop the Ant Queen and protect the rainforest.

The Last Life of Prince Alastor

by Alexandra Bracken (Disney-Hyperion, Feb. 5, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-4847-7818-0)

In The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding, the titular protagonist became the host to a 4,000-year-old demon set on destroying Prosper’s family. In the sequel, Alastor has agreed to guide Prosper to the demon realm to rescue his sister, but this service comes with a price: in the afterlife, he must pledge his everlasting servitude.


by Tamara Ireland Stone (Disney-Hyperion, Feb. 5, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-4847-8696-3)

Stone's second story in the coding-themed Click'd series catches up with Allie Navarro, who sets out to create a new, money-making app designed for users to buy, sell, and trade items. Stone offers another tech-focused middle grade story that integrates real coding know-how.


by Susan Dennard (Tor Teen, Feb. 12, $18.99, ISBN 978-0-7653-7932-0)

The fourth book in Dennard’s Witchlands series focuses on the story of returning character Bloodwitch Aeduan. The series is set in a world in which individuals are born with a “witchery,” or a set of magical attributes. The Jim Henson Company recently optioned Dennard’s series for television.

The Shores Beyond Time

by Kevin Emerson (HarperCollins/Walden Pond, Feb. 12, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-06-230677-7)

The third title in Emerson’s Chronicle of the Dark Star sci-fi series picks up in a post-Earth future in the year 2256. Characters Liam and Phoebe are afloat aboard an abandoned ship, while Mina Saunders-Chang is stranded in the Centauri system.

Spy Toys: Out of Control

by Mark Powers, illus. by Tim Wesson (Bloomsbury, Feb. 12, $13.99, ISBN 978-1-68119-960-3)

The Spy Toys—Arabella, a “Loadasmiles Sunshine” doll, Flax, a police robot rabbit, and Dan, a “Smugaliffic Cuddlestar” bear—are on a new case. Someone has stolen the secret code that controls all of the “Snaztacular Ultrafun” toys, and the toys are now going rogue. Powers has a winning cast of appealingly flawed toy characters, illustrated with Wesson’s droll artwork.

Honor Bound

Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre (HarperCollins/Tegen, Feb. 19, $17.99, ISBN 978-0-06-257102-1)

In their second installment in the Honors series, protagonist Zara Cole and copilot Beatriz are fleeing war and predatory creatures aboard their ship, Nadim. Aguirre and Caine deliver an epic intergalactic adventure with tough heroines at the helm.

Revenge of the Enginerds

by Jarrett Lerner (Aladdin, Feb. 19, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-4814-6874-9)

The Enginerds return in the second book of Lerner’s humorous middle grade series. The crew is after an escaped rogue robot that may be responsible for a series of odd incidents. Lerner introduces a new female character, Mikaela Harrington, who is new in town, obsessed with aliens, and wants to join the Enginerds.

Secret in the Stone

by Kamilla Benko (Bloomsbury, Feb. 19, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-68119-247-5)

In the first book of the Unicorn Quest series, sisters Sophie and Claire discovered the land of Arden, which they reached by climbing their great-aunt’s chimney. Now, having learned that they carry magic in their blood—and can awaken unicorns—the two travel to a school in the mountains, where Claire will train to harness her powers.

The Deceiver's Heart

by Jennifer A. Nielsen (Scholastic Press, Feb. 26, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-338-04543-7)

In the second book of the Traitor’s Game series, Kestra Dallisor has possession of the Olden Blade and attempts to defeat Lord Endrick, but is instead struck down, her memory erased. Love interest Simon helps her to recover her full sense of self, as the two face murderous adversaries and confront burgeoning war across the fantasy realm of Antora.

Game of Stars

by Sayantani Dasgupta (Scholastic Press, Feb. 26, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-338-18573-7)

In the first book of the Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond series, The Serpent’s Secret, 12-year-old Kiranmala learned that she isn’t just a New Jersey kid; she’s a demon slayer princess from another dimension. After being visited by the Demon Queen, Kiranmala returns to the Kingdom Beyond, where she battles a bevy of Bengali folkloric figures, including her Serpent King father.

Lion Down

by Stuart Gibbs (Simon & Schuster, Feb. 26, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-5344-2473-9)

In the fifth title in Gibbs’s animal-themed FunJungle series, a mountain lion has been spotted in the vicinity of the FunJungle Wild Animal Park. When the lion is accused of killing a radio host’s famous dog, Teddy and his girlfriend, Summer, set out to prove the lion’s innocence.