After her dad’s untimely death, Molly Williams seeks a way to avoid pity and still preserve memories of her father. While sorting through the baseball gloves that she and her dad used, Molly is inspired to try out for the baseball team since her dad had taught her how to throw the perfect knuckleball. As the only girl to try out, Molly tenaciously weathers the challenges in The Girl Who Threw Butterflies (Knopf, $15.99). Author Mick Cochrane provides just the right mix of details about the game of baseball, humorous touches, and memorable characters in this story of loss and survival. Ages 11-13.
Set in a futuristic, post-Apocalyptic society founded on the principles of Plato’s Republic, Genesis, by Bernard Beckett (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt $20) is a novel of ideas and an intense page-turner. Anaximander faces the challenge of her life as she presses for admission into the Academy. The questions she must answer, however, pale in comparison to those the reader must face: Should a founding ideology – even one that has kept society safe for generations – be retained at the expense of humanity? What does it mean to be human? The reader is compelled to answer these and other fundamental questions until the very last sentence. Ages 15 up.
Although a son of one of the Twelve Houses of the Valley, Halli is short, ugly and unlikely to be one of the Heroes Of The Valley (Hyperion, $17.99), by Jonathan Stroud. Longing for adventure, the restless Halli angers one too many lords, and is forced to embark upon a quest that he both fears and desires. As he learns to distinguish between truth and legend, and as he constantly revises his definition of “heroism ,” the very nature of his quest changes. Halli discovers that not all the legends of heroes are true, and that while a sword can make a legend, it is the heart that makes a hero. Ages 10-14.