Anderson, M.T. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation, Volume 1: The Pox Party. Candlewick, 2006. $17.99. (ISBN-10, 0-7636-2402-0; ISBN-13, 9780763624016). He was raised as an experiment and considered a piece of property. Now that revolution has come to America, will Octavian find freedom?
Gratz, Alan. Samurai Shortstop. Penguin Group USA/Dial, 2006. $17.99. (ISBN-10, 0-8037-3075-6; ISBN-13, 9780803730755). In 1890 Tokyo, 16-year-old Toyo uses traditional bushido training to improve his baseball game and comes to understand the place of Samurai values in Japanese culture.
Hartnett, Sonya. Surrender. Candlewick, 2006. $16.99. (ISBN-10, 0-7636-2768-2; ISBN-13, 9780763627683). As 20-year-old Gabriel lies dying, he remembers his miserable childhood and the influence of his mysterious companion, Finnigan.
McCormick, Patricia. Sold. Hyperion, 2006. $16.99. (ISBN-10, 0-7868-5171-6; ISBN-13, 9780786851713). In this startling, frank novel in free verse, a 13-year-old Nepalese girl is sold into prostitution by her stepfather after a monsoon leaves her family destitute.
Sayres, Meghan Nuttall. Anahita’s Woven Riddle. Abrams/Amulet, 2006. $16.95. (ISBN-10, 0-8109-5481-8; ISBN-13, 9780810954816). In early twentieth century Iran, a headstrong girl convinces her father that she will marry the suitor who can guess the riddle woven into her wedding carpet.
Smelcer, John. The Trap. Henry Holt, 2006. $15.95. (ISBN-10, 0-8050-7939-4; ISBN-13, 9780805079395). In the Alaskan wilderness, Grandfather Albert attempts to escape one of his own steel-jawed traps; back in their village, Johnny worries about his grandfather's safety while pondering his own future.
Turner, Megan Whalen. The King of Attolia. HarperCollins/Greenwillow, 2006. $16.99. (ISBN-10, 0-06-083577-X; ISBN-13, 9780060835774). Eugenides must convince his new queen, his court, and his subjects of his ability to rule, despite his disreputable past as a liar and a thief.
Werlin, Nancy. The Rules of Survival. Penguin Group USA/Dial, 2006. $16.99. (ISBN-10, 0-8037-3001-2; ISBN-13, 9780803730014). When Matthew and his younger sisters witness a man confronting an abusive parent, they think they may have found a hero who will save them from their vicious mother.
Yang, Gene Luen and Pien, Lark. American Born Chinese. 2006. illus. Roaring Brook/First Second, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 1-59643-152-0; ISBN-13, 9780596431522). Combining three different stories, one drawn from Chinese mythology, this graphic novel explores racism and self-hatred as a young boy struggles to come to terms with his heritage.
Zusak, Markus. The Book Thief. 2006. illus. Random House/Alfred A. Knopf, $16.95. (ISBN-10, 0-375-83100-2; ISBN-13, 9780375831003). Death colors (and narrates) Liesel Meminger's attempt to survive Hitler in a small German town. Orphaned and devastated, Liesel finds salvation through stolen books.