March 2023 Book Releases

The start of Spring has got me wanting to read books on nature, farm life, and circuses. I found six books I want to read from the March releases. There are two graphic novels, a middle-grade fantasy, a middle-grade book set in France, a Victorian mystery, and a young adult novel set in a circus. Let me know which one catches your eye.

The Moth Keeper by K. O'Neill

(Release Date: March 7, 2023)
Being a Moth Keeper is a huge responsibility and a great honor, but what happens when the new Moth Keeper decides to take a break from the moon and see the sun for the first time? A middle-grade fantasy graphic novel about passion, duty, and found family.

Anya is finally a Moth Keeper, the protector of the lunar moths that allow the Night-Lily flower to bloom once a year. Her village needs the flower to continue thriving and Anya is excited to prove her worth and show her thanks to her friends with her actions, but what happens when being a Moth Keeper isn't exactly what Anya thought it would be?

The nights are cold in the desert and the lunar moths live far from the village. Anya finds herself isolated and lonely. Despite Anya's dedication, she wonders what it would be like to live in the sun. Her thoughts turn into an obsession, and when Anya takes a chance to stay up during the day to feel the sun's warmth, her village and the lunar moths are left to deal with the consequences.
Beautiful art in graphic novels just does something for me. I also love that this book has to do with protecting nature. 

Anya is very isolated so she searches for something she is missing. I'm sure there will be a lot of character growth in her journey that will lead her to a found family.

The Family Fortuna by Lindsay Eagar

(Release Date: March 7, 2023)

Lindsay Eagar’s dazzling YA debut welcomes us backstage at the Family Fortuna circus, where wonders lie in wait to steal your breath away. You won’t believe your eyes!

Beaked. Feathered. Monstrous. Avita was born to be a star. Her tent sells out nightly, and every performance incites bloodcurdling screams. She’s the most lucrative circus act from Texas to Tacoma, the crown jewel of the Family Fortuna, and Avita feeds on the shrieks, the gasps, the fear. But when a handsome young artist arrives to create posters of the performers, she’s appalled by his rendering of Bird Girl. Is that all he sees? A hideous monster—all sharp beak and razor teeth, obsidian eyes and ruffled feathers? Determined to be more, Avita devises a plan to snatch freedom out from under the greased mustache of her charismatic father, the domineering proprietor and ringmaster. But will their fragile circus family survive the showdown she has in mind? By turns delightful and disturbing, bawdy and breathtaking, horrific and heartfelt, this electric and exquisitely crafted story about a family like no other challenges our every notion of what it means to be different—subject to an earful of screams—and to step out of the shadows and shine anyway.
Who doesn't love a circus setting? I've only read two and there is something magical about them. I think it'll be interesting to read the perspective of someone who may or may not have a bird mutation? I'm not sure if it's real or not but it is intriguing. I want her to get her happy ending and be free so I am already rooting for her.

The Guardian Test by Christina Soontornvat

(Release Date: March 7, 2023)

Young Plum is shocked to discover that she’s been accepted to the Guardian Academy on Lotus Island, an elite school where kids learn how to transform into Guardians, magical creatures who are sworn to protect the natural world. The Guardian masters teach Plum and her friends how to communicate with animals and how to use meditation to strengthen their minds and bodies. All the kids also learn to fight, so they can protect the defenseless if needed.

To her dismay, Plum struggles at school. While her classmates begin to transform into amazing creatures, Plum can’t even seem to magic up a single feather! If she can’t embrace her inner animal form soon, she’ll have to leave school ― and lose the first group of real friends she’s ever known.
I get Pokemon vibes from this cover. There is training, magic, and animals. This is the perfect combo for a kid's book. I'm sure I'm going to be recommending this to many young readers and will have a delightful time myself.

(Release Date: March 7, 2023)

Tykotech City is a marvelous and peaceful place, filled with technology beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. But as power cuts begin to plague the residents, and a sinister force infiltrates the city, the lives of the city folk are in terrible danger…​
It falls to Juniper Mae, a tiny, brave inventor, obsessed with the legends of the Guardian Knights, to overcome her fears and save her city. Can she embody the bravery of the Guardian Knights and invent some cool gadgets to save Tykotech City in time?​
The cover got me once again. Instantly I wanted to read it.

The summary reminds me of Star Knights but with a tech/sci-fi infusion. I'm thinking this will be a fun and cute book to read in one sitting. 

(Release Date: March 14, 2023)

Rylan O’Hare has been drifting apart from his best friend, Wilder, for months. Wilder's family became mega-rich when his mom invented an app that reminds people to drink water, and now he barely has time for Rylan. So when Wilder invites Rylan to join him at a summer farming program in France (all expenses paid), Rylan see it as a chance to repair the friendship. Not only that, but he'll get to learn French, milk goats, and eat lots (and lots) of cheese.

But before they take off, Rylan's mom drops a bomb: His dad (whom he hasn't spoken to since he was three) lives in France, too, and he wants to meet.

Between being swarmed by bees, pooped on by pigeons, and sprayed with goat milk, Rylan's great French escape isn't quite what he thought it would be. Even worse, Wilder ditches him for some cool French kids he meets along the way. And Rylan still can't decide whether or not he should actually meet his father.

But somewhere in all the chaos, Rylan begins to find his way, and he realizes that sometimes you have to release old expectations to discover new destinations.
I get so annoyed by books like this because it makes me frustrated that I can't find anything similar in adult fiction. As a player of Harvest Moon my whole life, I love farm settings. 

I think the humor, French setting, and a bit of the serious side with the estranged father will have me loving this book.

(Release Date: March 30, 2023)

Nobody ever goes to Hartwood Hall. Folks say it's cursed...

It's 1852 and Margaret Lennox, a young widow, attempts to escape the shadows of her past by taking a position as governess to an only child, Louis, at an isolated country house in the west of England.

But Margaret soon starts to feel that something isn't quite right. There are strange figures in the dark, tensions between servants, and an abandoned east wing. Even stranger is the local gossip surrounding Mrs. Eversham, Louis's widowed mother, who is deeply distrusted in the village.

Lonely and unsure whom to trust, Margaret finds distraction in a forbidden relationship with the gardener, Paul. But as Margaret's history threatens to catch up with her, it isn't long before she learns the truth behind the secrets of Hartwood Hall.
I follow Katie Lumsden's booktube account Books and Things. She reads lots of classics and books set in Victorian times. I enjoy Victorian settings with a mystery element to them like the book A Curious Beginning. I don't think I've ever read a booktuber's book but I know she's in the publishing business as well as reads what she writes so I have high hopes. 

 What March books are you looking forward to?