From the Publisher: " Born into a famous family of exceptionally talented people, fifteen-year-old Claire Walker has deliberately chosen to live an average life. But everything changes the night of the Spring Fling, when her parents decide it's high time she transferred to Cambial Academy--the prestigious boarding school that her great-grandfather founded for students with supernatural abilities. Despite her attempts to blend in, Claire stands out at Cambial simply because she is normal. But unbeknownst to her new friends, she has a powerful gift she considers too lame to admit. Suddenly, the most talented students in school--the Exceptinals--begin to disappear. In an attempt to find out what happened to them, Claire comes across a prophecy foretelling a mysterious girl who will use her ability to save Cambial students from a dire fate. Could she be that girl? Claire decides there is only one way to find out: she must embrace her ability once and for all. "
Why this didn't work for me: I liked the writing, and the story was engaging, but it's too paranormal/YA for what I need right now.
From the Publisher: "Enter a wonderful world filled with real magic, mystery, and danger. As if being small and having S. Hortenas his name isn't bad enough, now 10-year-old Stuart is forced to move far away from all his friends.But on his very first day in his new home, Stuart's swept up in an extraordinary adventure: the quest to find his great-uncle Tony--a famous magician who literally disappeared off the face of the earth--and Tony's marvelous, long-lost workshop. Along the way, Stuart reluctantly accepts help from the annoying triplets next door... and encounters trouble from another magician who's also desperate to get hold of Tony's treasures."
Why this didn't work for me: A bit too young, and a bit too British. Might be good for fans of Lemony Snicket. Also very oddly reminiscent of The Shrinking of Treehorn in the illustrations.
Foley, Lizzie K. Remarkable.
From the Publisher:" In the mountain town of Remarkable, everyone is extraordinarily talented, extraordinarily gifted, or just plain extraordinary. Everyone, that is, except Jane Doe, the most average ten-year-old who ever lived. But everything changes when the mischievous, downright criminal Grimlet twins enroll in Jane's school and a strange pirate captain appears in town. Thus begins a series of adventures that put some of Remarkable's most infamous inhabitants and their long-held secrets in danger. It's up to Jane, in her own modest style, to come to the rescue and prove that she is capable of some rather exceptional things. "
Why it didn't work for me: Set off my quirky/precious meter. Love the cover, though. Again, this would please the Snicket crowd.
Hathaway, Jill. Slide.
From the Publisher: : "Vee Bell, able to slide into other people's minds, sees someone standing over the body of her sister's best friend, Sophie, holding a bloody knife but she is afraid that anyone she tells will think her crazy and so she must find a way to identify the killer herself, before he or she strikes again."
Why it didn't work for me: Too YA. I was intrigued until the younger sister and friend run off with a bottle of rum in search of diet coke. I would buy this for a high school collection, though.
And yes, I am hording ARCs so that I have books to give to students who have no other way of getting books when the library closes down for the summer. Because we are ending earlier this year, all books are due on May 11! This usually means that there's about a week when students need to read but can't have a library book. Trust me, I am already panicking about this and mustering resources, but since there are about 1,500 books checked out at any given moment, it really does take two full weeks to get everything back in.