This month, middle grade and YA novel sequels include historical and fantastical adventure stories, space operas, unusual pets, and fairy tales with a twist.
The Inventors and the Lost Island
In the follow-up to The Inventors at No. 8!, bad luck has turned to unexpected fortune for George, the third Lord of Devonshire. But a new next-door neighbor with nefarious intentions leads George to be framed for poisoning a king and, joined by his friend Ava, he escapes on a whale submersible.
Defy the Fates
In the conclusion to Gray’s romantic sci-fi epic Defy the Stars, Abel saves the life of Noemi Vidal, in the process transforming her into a being that is part mech and part human.
Hello There, I’m Coming Home!
In the final book of the Hello There trilogy, protagonist Madison McGee uses her magical TV to visit an otherworldly realm, and also attempts to solve a mystery that hits close to home.
Mega Bat and Fancy Cat
In book two of the illustrated Megabat series, Daniel receives a cat named Priscilla for Christmas. Daniel is over the moon, but the story’s unusual animal hero, Megabat, is concerned that Priscilla will replace him as Daniel’s favorite pet.
The Princess and the Fangirl
Poston returns to the universe introduced in Geekerella, with a modern staging of “The Princess and the Pauper” fairy tale. Heroine Imogen Lovelace finds herself trading places with actor Jessica Stone, who plays Imogen’s favorite character in the franchise Starfield.
Thisby Thestoop and the Wretched Scrattle
In Gorman’s second book in his Thisby Thestoop middle grade series, Thisby is again overseeing the dungeon at Black Mountain, where she tends to an assortment of merpeople, trolls, and a bevy of other monsters. Bosma’s atmospheric b&w art accompanies Gorman’s spooky, humor-filled adventure.
Marvin & James Save the Day and Elaine Helps!
In the fourth illustrated chapter book of the Masterpiece Adventures series, protagonist James is anxious about his father’s upcoming wedding to his friend Christina. James’s best friend, Marvin—a beetle—helps to assuage his fears that life with his dad will change or that he will drop the ring at the ceremony.
A Squirrelly Situation
Kelly’s Newbery Honor book, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate introduced heroine Callie Vee. In the fifth volume in the spin-off series, Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet, Callie’s brother, Travis—who has a tendency to take in stray animals—brings home a wayward squirrel.
All for One
Cruz concludes the Alex & Eliza trilogy based on the famed romance between Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, as popularized by the Hamilton musical. In the final story, Eliza and Alexander take in an orphaned teenager and Eliza attempts to play matchmaker.
An Anatomy of Beasts
In Cole’s sci-fi/fantasy sequel to A Conspiracy of Stars, Octavia finds relative safety in the city of Mbekenkanush, but after conflict erupts between humans and the Faloii, Octavia must work to defend her planet and defeat a villainous leader.
Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants
Beaty introduced characters Rosie Revere, Ada Twist, and Iggy Peck in her picture book series. In the second of The Questioneers chapter book spin-offs, Rosie helps Rosie save her Uncle Ned, whose helium pants have sent him ascending into the clouds. Beaty inserts STEM concepts into a fresh set of outrageous circumstances.
The Age of Exploration: Totally Getting Lost
Slader and Thompson’s fourth title in the Epic Fails nonfiction series focuses on the many explorers who set out to discover the world and got lost along the way. With illustrations and plentiful humor, the authors debunk historical myths.
The Chupacabras of the Rio Grande
For the fourth installment of The Unicorn Rescue Society series, co-creator Gidwitz partners with Bowles (They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid’s Poems) to tell the story of another mythical creature. This time, returning protagonists Elliot and Uchenna journey to the Texas-Mexico border, where they investigate the case of a cow drained of its blood.
The Hamilton-Burr Duel
In their final book, the Flashback Four—a group of four kids recruited to travel back in time and snap photographs—are tasked with documenting the duel between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. Gutman integrates photos and other archival images into his historical adventure.
Chasing Helicity into the Wind
Meteorologist Zee provides a second weather-related middle grade adventure, following Force of Nature. Reeling from the tornado that struck her home in a Michigan town, Helicity Dunlap travels to Texas to stay at her aunt’s bed and breakfast. But a day at sea finds Helicity and her friends in peril.
Aru Shah and the Song of Death
In the kickoff to the Pandava series, Aru Shah and the End of Time, the titular protagonist inadvertently released the Sleeper, an ancient demon, and was tasked with finding the reincarnated Pandava brothers. In Aru Shah’s second adventure, she is falsely accused of stealing the god of love’s bow and arrow. Chokshi again integrates Hindu culture and mythology into a magical middle grade adventure.
Bigger, Badder, Nerdier
Skye’s illustrated Geeked Out series continues with a return to Otto Waddle Junior High School. There, the League of Average Mediocre Entities—members of the AV Club— face a new enemy.
The second book in Walls’s fantasy series, Venators returns to the universe of Eon. Protagonist Rune Jenkins is imprisoned by Zio and her band of goblins; meanwhile, Ryker’s brother is being held captive by the Fae queen.