Loftin, Nikki. The Sinister Sweetness of Splendid Academy. Razorbill. Aug. 2012. p. 304.
Lorelei's life hasn't been so great lately; her mother died a year ago, her father has just gotten remarried to a superficial and deceptive woman, her brother is being mean to her, and her school has burned down. Luckily there's a new school in the area, and the kind principal of Splendid Academy seems like a fairy godmother after all Lorelei has been going through. Lorelei and her friends are completely in love with this new school, with its amazing playground, lax classroom rules, and divine food--breakfast, lunch, snacks galore... But everything might not be as wonderful as it seems. When Lorelei and her new friend Andrew team up to find out the truth about Splendid Academy, they end up having to use their wits and their wiles to overcome the witchy magic that threatens all of the unsuspecting students. This adventure tale has a steady pace and intriguing plot, but it goes deeper than the average fairy tale-esque adventure. The story also explores a child's guilt after a loved one's death, bullying, and obesity in a fashion that does not feel heavy-handed.
Dashner, James. The Infinity Ring: A Mutiny in Time. Scholastic. Aug. 2012. p. 192.
Dak and Sera, two genius pre-teens, live in an alternate present in which a nefarious group called the SQ is in control of everything across the globe. History, Dak's favorite topic, is noticeably different from what readers know; for example, Christopher Columbus was thrown overboard during a mutiny on his momentous voyage, and the mutineers were credited with the discovery of the Americas. It turns out that Dak's parents have been working on a time travel device called an Infinity Ring, and a secret group called the Hystorians have an large interest in the device. Each major break from the historical timeline as readers know it, it seems, has done damage to the fabric of time, resulting in horrible natural disasters as Earth barrels toward destruction. After Dak and Sera find themselves in the secret headquarters of the Hystorians, they learn just how important the Infinity Ring is to righting the wrongs in history--and the fate of the world falls to their hands. This first title in a new, multi-author series has a definite 39 Clues-style look and feel, and the well-plotted adventures of the dynamic leading pair have a captivating amount of humor and intrigue. Sure to be a hit with fans of The 39 Clues series.
Bachmann, Stefan. The Peculiar. Greenwillow Books. Sept. 2012. p. 384.
Avi. Sophia's War: A Tale of the Revolution. Beach Lane Books. Sept. 2012. p. 320.
All four novels were reviewed in their galley formats. The final published books may differ from the review copies.