In third-grader Ellray’s mind, problems transform into giants to battle. Ellray Jakes and the Beanstalk (Penguin, $14.99 HB/$5.99 PB) involves much more than Ellray’s interpretation of a fairy tale for school. Small for his age and prone to errors of judgment, he is bewildered and hurt when his close friend starts skateboarding with a longtime archenemy. Ellray is convinced that learning to skateboard will regain his friend’s attention, but the solution is not quite so simple. Sally Warner perfectly portrays the challenges of navigating friendships, home life, and the playground in this early chapter series with playful illustrations by Brian Biggs. Ages 7-10. MAG
EllRay Jakes and the Beanstalk Cover Image
By Sally Warner, Brian Biggs (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780142423592
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Puffin Books - September 12th, 2013

Billy’s stay-at-home dad has declared that this is The Year of Billy Miller (Greenwillow, $16.99), and Billy quite likes the idea.  But he is starting second grade and thus faces new challenges, including a school project and a poetry slam, along with the old ones (namely, his ever-present little sister). Award-winner Kevin Henkes has written and illustrated a funny, human, and realistic take on what it is like to be in elementary school.  Ages 7-10. KLP
The Year of Billy Miller Cover Image
By Kevin Henkes, Kevin Henkes (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062268129
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - September 17th, 2013

Young Precious Ramotswe has a big heart and a special talent for solving the mysteries that occur in her rural home in Botswana. When she makes friends with two new classmates, sister Teb and brother Pontsho, she has a chance to do so once again when their family’s cow disappears. This time, though, Precious may need some help from a furry comrade to solve The Mystery of Meerkat Hill (Anchor, $6.99). Alexander McCall Smith’s second book for young readers about his famous heroine from the adult series The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency is a delight for both fans of and strangers to Precious. His lilting prose combines with Iain McIntosh’s stunning red-and-black illustrations to create a gem of a novel. Ages 7-10. JLM
Mystery of Meerkat Hill (Precious Ramotswe Mysteries for Young Readers #2) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780345804464
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Anchor - October 22nd, 2013