Lil' B.I.T. Picks 2016

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LIL' BIT
Our Lil' B.I.T. (Before It's Trendy) Program is Changing Hands's legion of tween reviewers, casting judgment on books before they're released. Reviewers aged 8-12 get access to advance reading copies of middle-grade releases, and in return write brief recommendations for the books they love. Their recommendations are showcased in the children's sections, on event displays, and here on our website. Interested in becoming a part of this elite crew? Click here for more info.
The Stolen Chapters (Story Thieves #2) By James Riley, Chris Eliopoulos (Illustrator) Cover Image
By James Riley, Chris Eliopoulos (Illustrator)
$8.99
ISBN: 9781481409230
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Aladdin - December 13th, 2016

This book is a good mystery filled with excitement and I was curious about what would happen next. Of all of the characters, I identified with Owen’s fictional self the most, because he wants to be the hero and the star of the show. It kept me wondering as I flipped through the pages until the end. I was pretty positive I had the suspect figured out and then the author threw another curve ball. -Natalie, 9


The Skeleton Tree By Iain Lawrence Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780440421672
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Yearling - December 6th, 2016

I like this book because it shows what it would be like to live in the wilderness in Alaska with no way to contact anyone. Living out in the wilderness involves teamwork and determination and the characters in this book really show how strong you need to be mentally and physically to do that. During the book Frank and Chris grew stronger and helped each other. The best books make you feel like you are right next to the characters and this book definitely did that for me. The author described the scenery in such a way that I felt like I was there, witnessing the story with my own eyes. -Natalie, 10


Shadows of Sherwood (A Robyn Hoodlum Adventure) By Kekla Magoon Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781681190235
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Bloomsbury USA Childrens - October 18th, 2016

For Robyn, being safe is a thing of the past. Feeling adventurous, she sneaks out her bedroom window one night only to come back and find her parents missing and her house ransacked. Determined to be brave, Robyn follows the subtle clues that her parents leave behind and discovers herself in the middle of a revolt that should have happened long ago. This fast-paced adventure will make you hold your breath until all the answers are revealed. Robyn is torn between the decision of helping her friends, or following her parents. She takes huge risks that could either lead to disaster or save lives, all the while trying to follow her heart and do what’s right. -Olivia, 12


A Sliver of Stardust By Marissa Burt Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780062291561
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: HarperCollins - October 18th, 2016

A world full of magic and a life filled with stardust has been right under Wren’s nose. She has magical powers humans can only dream of and few people posses. When she is suddenly sprung into this unique, thrilling world, Wren learns more about the power she wields. But something strange is happening and Wren’s reoccurring nightmares are no coincidence. Can Wren save her new home or will she watch it get destroyed? The author, Marissa Burt, has magical powers of her own. The power she has with words is mind-blowing, and her incredible plot will make your heart beat wildly. -Aubrey, 11


Big Game (FunJungle) By Stuart Gibbs Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781481423342
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - October 11th, 2016

BIG GAME is not your average middle-school mystery. Teddy Fitzroy lives at FunJungle, the world’s largest zoo, and has uncovered several mysteries including the murder of the zoo’s mascot hippo, and the kidnapping of their beloved koala. When Rhonda Rhino is targeted, Teddy finds himself caught in the middle of yet another case to be cracked. Will he be able to save FunJungle from catastrophe or will the culprits escape? Readers can join in the action and play detective along with the characters. Stuart Gibbs’ jaw-dropping, heart-pounding novel is not to be missed. -Aubrey, 13


Rebel Genius (Rebel Geniuses #1) By Michael Dante DiMartino Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781626723368
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Roaring Brook Press - October 4th, 2016

REBEL GENIUS is a fast-paced, thrilling adventure that intertwines creativity with action, and a crazy, fun plot that races along at breakneck speed with so many twists and turns that you’ll never expect the exciting ending. A more traditional style of Renaissance magic is mixed with art and geometry to make it even more interesting, along with a character that is easy to empathize with. Follow Giacomo’s adventures in Zizzola, a fantastical world of gifted artists, virtuosos gone evil, and magical bird-like creatures called geniuses. DiMartino’s new novel can be enjoyed by almost anyone, especially fans of magic and adventure. -Marissa, 12


The Guardian Herd: Landfall By Jennifer Lynn Alvarez Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062286130
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - September 20th, 2016

Jennifer Lynn Alvarez uses beauteous wording in her third novel of the GUARDIAN HERD series. It has an empathetic protagonist named Star, facing some of those everyday struggles that we all know, and even some bigger ones, along with painstakingly detailed descriptions of horses and pegasi. There’s also some great world building and well-crafted designs of the fantastical pegasus world of Anok. So wonderfully imagined, built, developed and designed, in fact, that you find yourself wishing to be there! I recommend this book to animal lovers that want a little action, for fans of the Warriors series, or those who enjoyed Guardians of Ga’hoole. -Marissa, 11


Redeemed (The Missing #8) By Margaret Peterson Haddix Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781442497580
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 13th, 2016

This thrilling conclusion to The Missing series leaves you quickly flipping pages and biting your nails as you attempt to figure out the whys and hows of time travel. After all three possible dimensions have been blended, Jordan, Jonah, and Katherine must stop time itself from being ruined and save their family. As they race against unknown enemies and gain help in unexpected places, anything they do can change the past, present, and future -- for better or for worse. An interesting take on the abilities and devices of time travel, I found the scientific language foreign, yet simplified enough to understand the basics. Even in such a radical setting, the struggles and decisions that the main characters faced felt relatable. Everything came together to produce a fast-paced read and intricately laid out plot to make the last installment of the series thought provoking and thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end. -Haley, 17


Lucy & Andy Neanderthal (Lucy and Andy Neanderthal #1) By Jeffrey Brown, Jeffrey Brown (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jeffrey Brown, Jeffrey Brown (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780385388351
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - August 30th, 2016

Lucy and Andy are two young children in the Stone Age who learn how to make stone tools, hunt, and occasionally break the rules. Even cooler, it is so funny and you even learn some facts about ancient humans! This is a comic book about two Neanderthals who learn to live in a cave with their family and another Neanderthal. I thought this story was completely hilarious and cute! I recommend it to everyone. This is for sure the coolest comic book I have read. -Sydney, 12


The Doublecross: (And Other Skills I Learned as a Superspy) By Jackson Pearce Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781619639393
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Bloomsbury USA Childrens - June 14th, 2016

Hale isn't exactly what you would picture a twelve-year-old spy to be. He’s slow, an outcast, and out of shape. But when his parents get marked “In the Weeds” -- to be eliminated on sight -- he has to risk his life to do all he can to save his parents and reveal the true identity of the SRS spy organization. THE DOUBLECROSS is a fast-paced book that gives you the steps on how to be a successful spy kid in a tough situation. The wide range of personalities, from peppy to mysterious to fearless, offers excitement for all ages. If you like adventure and action novels with a splash of humor, this is a book for you. -Olivia, 12


The Inside Job: (And Other Skills I Learned as a Superspy) By Jackson Pearce Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781619634206
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Bloomsbury USA Childrens - July 12th, 2016

THE INSIDE JOB has so much action and unexpected twists that you want to turn the pages faster and stay up ‘til midnight to finish it. Agent Hale and the League are back in action, plotting to retaliate against the evils of the SRS. My favorite character is Hale’s fellow spy and friend, Ben, who literally uses his name in all of his inventions so that no one can copy his work, like the BENdy Straw and JellyBENs. THE INSIDE JOB is a must-read for elementary and middle school students looking to escape the uneventful routines of school and homework and jump into a world of espionage, adventure, and unfailing humor. -Olivia, 13


All the Answers By Kate Messner Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781681190204
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Bloomsbury USA Childrens - April 19th, 2016

Twelve-year-old Ava Anderson mysteriously finds a pencil that answers any question she writes down. And, as you can imagine, she uses it to find out everything from test answers to when the super cute boots she wants will go on sale. But when Ava receives an unexpected answer, she isn't so sure that using the pencil in the first place was a good idea. Kate Messner weaves sorrow, thrill and surprise into the already amazing plot of ALL THE ANSWERS. I loved how the story jumps from one tricky situation to the next. After reading this book, I was left with one question: when will there be a sequel? -Olivia, 11


A Bandit's Tale: The Muddled Misadventures of a Pickpocket By Deborah Hopkinson Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780385754996
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - April 5th, 2016

It is 1887, and life has been brutal to Rocco Zacarro. He is taken from his family and hometown in Italy to work in America under a merciless padrone. On the unfamiliar bustling streets of New York City, Rocco is forced to earn a dollar a day – or face the consequences. How far will Rocco go to change his life for the better? I got attached to the characters instantly, racing past the pages in order to find out how their story ends. A BANDIT'S TALE is easily my new favorite historical fiction novel. Hopkinson’s refreshing original style is like nothing you’ve seen before. -Aubrey, 13


Jinx's Fire By Sage Blackwood Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062129970
Availability: Backordered
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - March 22nd, 2016

Not only does the apprentice wizard, Jinx, have to survive in the Urwald, but he is destined to unite it. With attackers on all sides and an evil wizard set on destroying him, Jinx is forced to embark on a fatal mission to save the Urwald and himself. One of my favorite things about JINX'S FIRE is how all the characters, young or old, evil or good, have an adventurous and daring spirit about them. The last book in the Jinx trilogy, JINX'S FIRE had an excellent and satisfying ending that exceeded my expectations. -Aubrey, 12


Hunters of Chaos By Crystal Velasquez Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781481424530
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Aladdin - February 16th, 2016

When Ana Cetzal receives a letter informing her that she has been accepted into a fancy boarding school in New Mexico, she’s both excited and nervous. She will have to leave her Ohio home, but being in a new state is the least of her concerns. From the time she arrives, strange things start happening and girls at the school are blaming her. When Ana discovers that she and three other girls can turn into wild cats, things start getting crazy. I loved this book because it is both exciting and mysterious and full of Mayan mythology! -Katie, 11


Thursdays with the Crown (Tuesdays at the Castle #3) By Jessica Day George Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781619637962
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Bloomsbury USA Childrens - February 9th, 2016

There’s only one way for Princess Celie and her four companions to get home. When Castle Glower transports five royal friends to a strange land, they discover the only way to go home is the way they came. The determined kids go on a quest in search of a missing piece of the castle that will help bring them home. They stumble across wild griffins, meet evil wizards and unlock ancient secrets about Castle Glower’s past. From beginning to end this book is intriguing. Each character’s personality is unique and you can totally relate to them. Read THURSDAYS WITH THE CROWN and watch as the details come together in one exciting, dramatic ending! -Aubrey, 11


Masterminds By Gordon Korman Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062299994
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 2nd, 2016

Serenity, New Mexico is the perfect place to live. Everyone knows each other and families live their lives in comfort. However, when a boy named Randy leaves Serenity unexpectedly, he leaves his friends a mysterious note saying they are in danger. His curious friends uncover clues about their secretive city. They work together to escape the Purples who lurk behind every corner. They may even realize the real masterminds are in their own backyard. I loved this novel because all of the clues made it very suspenseful and it leaves you wondering what happens to these friends. Gordon Korman is truly a mastermind and you won’t want to put this book down. --Stormy, 13


The Left Behinds: Abe Lincoln and the Selfie that Saved the Union By David Potter Cover Image
$16.99
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780385390606
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - January 12th, 2016

Mel is a pretty average kid. He is twelve-and-three-quarters, attends Fredericksville School, and has two parents with full time jobs that are always so busy that he rarely sees them. So yes, you could say that Mel is normal, if you ignore one fact: he has an app on his iPhone called iTime. All Mel has to do is tap the screen once and BAM! Mel and his friends are instantly transported to 1863. I loved how Mel seems to run into constant problems and yet always comes up with a clever solution. This is a perfect book for middle-schoolers looking for an exciting read with a touch of modern humor. -Olivia, 12


Foxheart By Claire Legrand, Jaime Zollars (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Claire Legrand, Jaime Zollars (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062427731
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Greenwillow Books - October 4th, 2016

FOXHEART is a book that you won’t be able to put down. It is an exciting novel with plenty of both fantasy and action. In a world full of witches and magic, the characters travel through time on their journey through the Star Lands. The story is mostly suspenseful, but the author weaves in humor and peril, as well as moments of sadness. In a book of friendship and betrayal, the characters encounter monsters and other magical creatures. Overall, this is a great book that will keep the reader interested page after page. -Julissa, 12


The Treasure of Barracuda By Llanos Campos, Julia Sarda (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Llanos Campos, Julia Sarda (Illustrator)
$15.95
ISBN: 9781939775146
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Little Pickle Press - October 18th, 2016

I was instantaneously pulled into the story of THE TREASURE OF BARRACUDA as if I were one of the characters! Sparks, the main character, tells this story about his pirate life. l liked when Barracuda’s band of pirates, including Sparks, were in search of Phineas Crane’s treasure, they were in for a great surprise! One of the things that struck me was the lesson the book taught: treasure isn’t always riches. I’m glad that I picked this book, because the story was so interesting and filled with mysteries (I love mystery books)! The illustrations of this book were extraordinary too! -Kambria, 8


Nothing but Trouble By Jacqueline Davies Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062369888
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - November 1st, 2016

NOTHING BUT TROUBLE was a wonderful read. A remarkably entertaining novel set in the fictional small town of Odawahaka, it is the embodiment of old childhood memories: a hilarious, upbeat ride filled to the brim with crazy antics. It focuses on Maggie, who’s forever looking for a way to spruce things up in her otherwise dull town, and Lena, the witty new girl at school, as they make their way through life’s adventures. -Danielle, 12


The Bone Sparrow By Zana Fraillon Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781484781517
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - November 1st, 2016

THE BONE SPARROW is told in the voice of ten-year-old refugee Subhi, and follows his life in an Australian permanent detention center. There, he meets and befriends Jimmie, a scruffy girl who carries a notebook written by her late mother. Fraillon offers a captivating story, one that not only disarms readers with its absorbing plot and kind protagonist, but also shows deep understanding on refugees’ situations. -Danielle, 12