New books for kids

Ward off winter boredom with some new books for kids and teens!

A mischevious younger brother shows other kids how to tease their older sister in “How to Drive Your Sister Crazy” by Diane Z. Shore with illustrations by Laura Rankin.

Bradley says it’s a younger sibling’s job to tease the older one and gives tips on how to do it, like by pretending to have lost your pet snake in the bathroom while your sister is in the shower. Or turn the hot water on while she’s still in there. Rearrange things in her room. Answer the phone when she’s expecting a call from her best friend. There’s lots you can do to tease, but you always need to apologize later…if only to keep her off guard. Little brothers who like to tease their siblings will relate to this “I Can Read” story.

“How to Drive Your Sister Crazy” is published by HarperCollins. It is $3.99.

***

New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman tells the story of a little bear with a big sneeze in “Chu’s Day” with illustrations by Adam Rex.

When Chu sneezes bad things happens. His parents are on guard as they go through their day. His mom asks him if he’s going to sneeze when they are in the library that smells like old books. His father asks if he is going to sneeze when they are in a diner with a lot of pepper. But Chu is OK. Then they go to the circus, and no one notices that Chu is trying to tell them something…until its too late! This is a funny book from a creative storyteller for young kids.

“Chu’s Day” is published by HarperCollins. It is $16.99.

***

Bullying is dealt with from a first-person point-of-view in “The Bully Book” by Eric Kahn Cale.

Based on his experiences of bullying in the sixth grade, his character, Eric Haskins, starts sixth grade to find that two of the students and one of his former friends have decided to target him for their bullying. They call him “The Grunt” and get all of their classmates to join in calling him names and no one is stopping them. But Eric hears one of them mention “the book” and begins to wonder – is there a book that teaches bullies how to pick out their victims? He is determined to find the book and find a way out of being “The Grunt.”

This book illustrates the lasting effects of bullying and will give parents and kids a lot to talk about.

“The Bully Book” is published by HarperCollins. It is $16.99.

***

Bestselling author Caroline B. Cooney brings an end to the Janie series started in “The Face on the Milk Carton” with “Janie Face to Face.”

Janie, the girl kidnapped and given to her kidnapper’s parents to raise, has learned to split her time between her birth parents and her “kidnap” parents. But when she found out that her “kidnap” father had been sending money to her kidnapper for years, even after knowing what she had done and never turned her in, see finds her relationship with them strained and begins drifting back to her natural parents. As she goes off to college, she finds solace in being just another face and not the kidnap girl. But when a crime writer seems to want to pick that apart again by sending letters to all of Janie’s family, Janie finds herself meeting high-school boyfriend Reeve again. Will Janie get a fresh start? Will she keep both sets of parents? Or will her life be destroyed again? This is a fitting end to the Janie story and speaks a lot of family, trust and love. It was good to see everything wrapped up justly.

“Janie Face to Face” is published by Delacorte Press. It is $17.99.

***

A girl wanting to stand out in her new school tells a lie and finds herself consumed by it in the graphic novel “Peanut” by Ayun Halliday and Paul Hoppe.

Sadie is moving to a new school, leaving her best friend behind. Sadie wants to start off as a new person, someone cool, someone of mystery, and gets the idea that what will make her stand out to her new classmates is a life-threatening allergy to peanuts. She makes friends and eventually a love connection with a boy named Zoo. And that’s when Sadie realizes that telling the truth may cost her her new relationships. But when events force her hand and Sadie has to come clean, will she just be the weird girl at school who faked an allergy for attention? Or will her Zoo forgive her?

This is a relatable story about a teen wanting people to notice her and befriend her and the lengths she goes. It also speaks on why telling lies never work out.

“Peanut” is published by Schwartz & Wade. It is $15.99.

Contact Amy Phelps at aphelps@newsandsentinel.com