Two news Ghosts of War books from Scholastic–AWOL in North Africa and Fallen in Fredericksburg–and a new YA novel from Candlewick, Great Falls. Here are the covers and publishers’ blurbs.









One brother home from war. The other desperate to save him. A gripping journey together to the river’s end.

Shane has always worshiped his big brother, Jeremy. But three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan have taken their toll, and the easy-go-lucky brother Shane knew has been replaced by a surly drunk who carries his loaded 9mm with him everywhere and lives in the basement because he can’t face life with his wife and two small children. When Jeremy shows up after Shane’s football game and offers to take him to the family cabin overnight, Shane goes along — both to get away from a humiliation on the field and to keep an eye on Jeremy, who’s AWOL from his job at Quantico and seems to have a shorter fuse than ever. But as the camping trip turns into a days-long canoe trip down the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers, Shane realizes he’s in way over his head — and has no idea how to persuade Jeremy to return home and get the help he needs before it’s too late. In a novel at once gripping and heartbreaking, Steve Watkins offers a stark exploration of the unseen injuries left by war.

And check this out: Early review (Great Falls won’t be out until April 2016) and advance recommendation as Best Boy Book of the Month.


Anderson and his friends Greg and Julie have been doing everything they can to avoid the battered trunk full of old military things in his family’s junk shop basement. Only, staying away seems impossible, and this time Anderson discovers a dusty World War II medic’s bag inside the trunk. But who does it belong to? Because if the friends have learned anything, it’s that they are about to be face-to-face with a ghost.

When an army medic ghost appears, Anderson’s not sure how to help him. Or if he should help him. The ghost claims he was stationed in North Africa during World War II. But as far as Anderson knows, World War II was fought in Europe. So what’s the real story behind this ghost?

Can Anderson, Greg, and Julie solve the mystery, or have they become part of a dangerous haunting?


After three ghosts, it looks like things might be going back to normal for Anderson and his friends Greg and Julie. It’s been a while since any ghosts have shown up, and the most annoying things lately are the loud barking dogs at the Dogs and Suds pet-grooming shop next door to the Kitchen Sink. They’ve been barking nonstop for days, and it’s making band practice impossible. But maybe the dogs know something the friends don’t . . .

Because suddenly a ghost does appear! From what Anderson can tell, it looks like the ghost is a teenage Union soldier from the Civil War, and he looks terrifying. But this ghost is different from the others: He’s demanding to know what happened to his brother, who was also enlisted in the Union army. It’s a mystery that’s over a hundred and fifty years old, and there are very few clues. What will happen to Anderson, Greg, and Julie if they can’t solve this one in time?

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2 Responses to THREE NEW BOOKS in SPRING 2016!

  1. Lee Ann Williams says:

    I am trying to find 10 copies of Ghosts of War: Fallen in Fredericksburg to use with my 5th grade class at Evangel Christian School in Dale City. (I am also a Civil War historian at Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania NMP in the summer). I am having a hard time finding enough of this book for our Civil War history unit. Any suggestions as to where I can buy the book?

    Thank you!

  2. swatkins says:

    Hi Lee Anne. You can try checking with my friend Paul Cymrot at Riverby Books in fredericksburg. Here’s the web address: Appears that Scholastic isn’t doing direct sales of the Ghosts of War books right now (they periodically re-release the series). I have some extra author’s copies lying around here somewhere that I can send you if you can’t find them anywhere else. Thanks for your interest.

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