Maureen Johnson Launches a Mystery Series | YA Audiobooks Publishing in January

Albert, Melissa. The Hazel Wood. Macmillan Audio. ISBN 9781427293534. Read by Rebecca Soler.
Gr 7 Up–Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away—by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began—and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Bennett, M.A. S.T.A.G.S. Listening Library. ISBN 9780525589877. Reader TBA.
Gr 9 Up–Greer MacDonald is one of the token scholarship students at the prestigious St. Aidan the Great School, which students refer to as STAGS. The grandeur of the boarding school and the prestige of the students’ bloodlines seem surreal to Greer, who went to the comparatively ordinary Bewley Park Comprehensive School until this summer. At Bewley, she fit in just fine. At STAGS, she feels like an outsider. When she receives an invitation from the Medievals, the most exclusive circle of students at STAGS, to a weekend retreat of “huntin’ shootin’ fishin'” at the private estate of the parents of Henry de Warlencourt, leader of the Medievals and the most gorgeous guy she’s ever seen, she accepts. But the weekend’s activities are nothing like she expects, and she must deal with secrets long held by others. It will take courage Greer is not certain she possesses to uncover the startling truth.

Black, Holly. The Cruel Prince. Hachette Audio. ISBN 9781549140075. Read by Caitlin Kelly.
Gr 7 Up–Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans, especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King. To win a place at the Court, she must defy him—and face the consequences. In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters—and Faerie itself.

Blogier, Alexandra. The Last Girl on Earth. Listening Library. ISBN 9780525530473. Read by Kim Mai Guest.
Gr 9 Up–Li has a father and a sister who love her. A best friend, Mirabae, to share things with. She goes to school and hangs out at the beach and carefully follows the rules. She has to. Everyone she knows—her family, her teachers, her friends—is an alien. And she is the only human left on Earth. The Abdoloreans hijacked the planet 16 years ago, destroying all human life. Li’s human-sympathizer father took her in as a baby and has trained her to pass as one of them. The Abdoloreans appear human. But they don’t think with human minds or feel with human hearts. And they have special abilities no human could ever have. When Li meets Ryn, she’s swept up in a relationship that could have disastrous consequences. How far will Li go to stay alive? Will she save herself—and in turn, the human race—or will she be the final witness to humanity’s destruction?

Castle, Jennifer. Together at Midnight. HarperAudio. ISBN 9781538501160. Reader TBA.
Gr 7 Up–High school senior Kendall, who just returned from a life-changing semester in Europe, and Max, who is drifting his way through a gap year before college, witness a tragic accident in New York City during the holiday season. Wracked with guilt, the two accept a dare to perform random acts of kindness to strangers. The challenge pulls these two teens, who have a history together from back home, closer and closer as they explore a vibrant city filled with other people’s stories and secrets. Kendall and Max can’t deny their growing bond, even though they both have other romantic entanglements and uncertain futures. As the clock counts down on New Year’s Eve, will they find themselves together at midnight?

Dennard, Susan. Sightwitch. Listening Library. ISBN 9780525633389. Reader TBA.
Gr 9 Up–Sightwitch follows Ryber Fortiza, the last Sightwitch Sister, as she treks deep underground to rescue her missing best friend. While there, she encounters a young Nubrevnan named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he wound up inside the mountain. As the two journey in search of answers, and as they brave one close call after another, a tentative friendship forms between them—one that might one day grow into something more.

Golden, Christopher & Rainbow Rowell. Runaways. Listening Library. ISBN 9780525634461. Read by Virginia Gardner.
Gr 9 Up–Turns out murderous supervillains don’t make for good parents. The Runaways had no choice. They had to kill them. Well, more or less. Now Nico, Karolina, Gert, Chase, and Molly are on the run again, hiding out and trying to regain a sense of normalcy. But kids with superpowers don’t get to be normal. The city is overrun with criminals, each faction bent on murdering them for one reason or another. It’s only when the Runaways uncover the truth behind their parents’ past that they realize the evil isn’t just in L.A.

Johnson, Maureen. Truly Devious. Blackstone. ISBN 9781538501252. Reader TBA.
Gr 7 Up–Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early 20th-century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history. True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy.

Kaufman, Amie & Meagan Spooner. Unearthed. Listening Library. ISBN 9780525496885. Read by Steve West & Alex McKenna.
Gr 9 Up–For Jules Addison and his fellow scholars, the discovery of an ancient alien culture offers unprecedented opportunity for study as long as scavengers like Amelia Radcliffe don’t loot everything first. Despite their opposing reasons for smuggling themselves onto the alien planet’s surface, they’re both desperate to uncover the riches hidden in the Undying temples. Beset by rival scavenger gangs, Jules and Mia form a fragile alliance, but both are keeping secrets that make trust nearly impossible. As they race to decode the ancient messages, Jules and Mia must navigate the traps and trials within the Undying temples and stay one step ahead of the scavvers on their heels.

Livingston, Lesley. The Defiant. Listening Library. ISBN 9780525531722. Read by Fiona Hardingham.
Gr 9 Up–They call her “Victrix” now. Victory. But winning the highest honor ever bestowed upon a gladiatrix in Rome has earned Fallon more deadly enemies outside the arena than she ever faced within it. And it is those dearest to Fallon who will pay the price for her success. Now, Fallon and her warrior sisters are thrust into a vicious conflict with a rival gladiator academy, one that will threaten not only Fallon’s heart—and her love for Roman soldier Cai—but the very heart of the Roman Empire.

Lu, Marie. Batman: Nightwalker. Listening Library. ISBN 9780525525578. Read by Will Damron.
Gr 9 Up–Bruce has just turned 18 and as he returns home from his lavish birthday party, he stops a criminal’s getaway—disobeying the police and crashing his car during the chase. He’s sentenced to community service in Gotham City’s Arkham Asylum, the mental hospital for the city’s worst of the worst. In Arkham, Bruce meets a lot of sinister criminals but the most intriguing one is the teen girl his own age. Madeleine has ties to the Nightwalker gang terrorizing Gotham City, and she’ll only speak to Bruce. She’s the mystery he has to unravel, but first Bruce has to figure out if he can trust her. Because the Nightwalkers only target the rich, and Bruce’s name is next on their list.

Marrin, Albert. Very, Very, Very Dreadful: The Influenza Pandemic of 1918. Listening Library. ISBN 9780525526094. Read by Jim Frangione.
Gr 9 Up–In spring of 1918, World War I was underway, and troops at Fort Riley, Kansas, found themselves felled by influenza. By the summer of 1918, the second wave struck as a highly contagious and lethal epidemic and within weeks exploded into a pandemic, an illness that travels rapidly from one continent to another. It would impact the course of the war, and kill many millions more soldiers than warfare. Of all diseases, the 1918 flu was by far the worst that has ever afflicted humankind; not even the Black Death of the Middle Ages comes close in terms of the number of lives it took. No war, no natural disaster, no famine has claimed so many. In the space of 18 months in 1918-1919, about 500 million people—one-third of the global population at the time—came down with influenza. The exact total of lives lost will never be known, but the best estimate is between 50 and 100 million.

Marsh, Sarah Glenn. Reign of the Fallen. Listening Library. ISBN 9780525531692. Read by Alex McKenna.
Gr 9 Up–Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised—the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin. A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead—and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined To Meet. Listening Library. ISBN 9780525529040. Read by various narrators.
Gr 9 Up–Listeners will experience Nina LaCour’s piece about two Bay Area girls meeting via a cranky customer service tweet, Sara Shepard’s tale about a magazine intern and a young rock star, Nicola Yoon’s take on break-ups and make-ups, Katie Cotugno’s story of two teens hiding out from the police at a house party, and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s love story that begins over iced teas at a diner. There’s futuristic flirting from Kass Morgan and Katharine McGee, a transgender heroine from Meredith Russo, a subway missed connection moment from Jocelyn Davies, and a girl determined to get out of her small town from Ibi Zoboi. Jennifer Armentrout writes about finding love from a missing library book, Emery Lord has a tale of two girls stuck in an airport, Dhonielle Clayton takes a speculative approach to predestined love, and Julie Murphy dreams up a twist on reality dating show contestants.

Sedoti, Chelsea. As You Wish. Recorded Books. ISBN 9781501972270. Reader TBA.
Gr 9 Up–In the sandy Mojave Desert, Madison is a small town on the road between nothing and nowhere. But Eldon wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because in Madison, everyone gets one wish—and that wish always comes true. Some people wish for money, some people wish for love, but Eldon has seen how wishes have broken the people around him. And with the lives of his family and friends in chaos, he’s left with more questions than answers. Doubts build, leading Eldon to a more outlandish and scary thought: maybe you can’t wish for happiness—maybe, just maybe, you have to make it for yourself.

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Stephanie Klose About Stephanie Klose

Stephanie Klose (sklose@mediasourceinc.com, @sklose on Twitter) is Media Editor, Library Journal.

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