This first one comes out in September. It's called "Nevers" by Sara Cassidy. It's set in a town called Nevers in the Burgundy Region of France. Odette and her mother, Anneline, arrive there by cheese cart. They are poor and looking for a place to land. Anneline has been unlucky in love - she's very beautiful and falls in love easily but all of her husbands have died and mostly they've been her fault. Odette is a resourceful and practical girl who figures out how to get food and shelter. Through a series of sometimes hilarious events, they solve a mystery (which I don't want to tell you about because it's so much fun figuring it out!). There are some interesting historical pieces that lend a little weight to this very fun story as well as some beautiful figurative and philosophical language. I thought this one was great. It would be good for upper elementary, middle school, and possibly high school.
The second one is called "The Dark Lord Clementine" by Sarah Jean Horowitz. It's about Clementine, who's 12 and she is the heir of the Dark Lord of Morcerous. This fairly unusual-most of the Dark Lords have been men, but since Clementine is the only heir, it's definitely going to be her. So Clementine has been trying to learn as much about magic as she can. She loves the library in the castle and uses it often. However, things have been slipping lately-the enchanted scarecrows that do most of the farm work have stopped working and her dad seems to be whittling away. The whittling is coming from the Whittle Witch and he doesn't really seem to have a plan to stop it. Clementine, trying to keep things together, ends up with a huntress, a band of boys from the village who want to be knights, a talking sheep, and a magical book called the Grimoire that was turned into a chicken so it lays eggs that are spells when it thinks Clementine needs them. This is a funny and adventurous book with lots of heart. I really liked this one a lot. It would be good for upper elementary and middle school. It comes out in October.