Indies Introduce Summer / Fall 2015

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    Middle Grade

    • Book Scavenger, Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
      Henry Holt and Co.(BYR) / Christy Ottaviano Books, 9781627791151, June 2, 2015 (Middle Grade)
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      ESCAPE FROM MR. LEMONCELLO’S LIBRARY meets MR. PENUMBRA’S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE in this quirky, witty, action-packed, mystery adventure. Our protagonist is 12-year-old Emily. She comes across a fantastic, thrilling game made by Garrison Griswold, the Willy Wonka of the publishing industry. But villains attack Griswold and turn childish fun into a game for Emily’s life!

      – Drew Durham, Linden Tree Books (Los Altos, CA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    • Circus Mirandus, Cassie Beasley
      Penguin Young Readers, 9780525428435, June 2, 2015 (Middle Grade)
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      Micah's beloved grandfather is dying. When Grandpa Ephraim tells Micah that the stories about Circus Miranda are real, Micah just knows that he can find a way to help his grandpa. All it will take is a miracle. Micah and Jenny, the new girl, are determined: find the circus, find Lightbender, and save Grandpa. Magic, like hope and dreams, comes in many forms. Micah and his grandpa will get their miracle. A charming, tender, hold-your-breath kind of book.

      – Margaret Brennan Neville, The King's English Bookshop (Salt Lake City, UT)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    • Another Kind of Hurricane, Tamara Ellis Smith
      Random House Children's Books, 9780553511932, July 14, 2015 (Middle Grade)
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      Multiple viewpoints show the literal and metaphorical journey of two 10-year-old boys: Henry from Vermont who loses his best friend in a tragic accident, and Zavion from New Orleans who loses everything in Hurricane Katrina. Readers will love this character-driven story of friendship, healing, and hope. A moving and poetic story with a dash of suspense.

      – Amy Oelkers, Red Balloon Bookshop (St. Paul, MN)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    • The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable FIB, Adam Shaughnessy
      Algonquin Young Readers, 9781616204983, September 8, 2015 (Middle Grade)
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      Adam Shaughnessy has written one of the best first chapters I have ever read! THE ENTIRELY TRUE STORY OF THE UNBELIEVABLE FIB is full of Norse mythology, puzzle-solving, plot twists, and humor. We get some spot on insight into what it feels like to be a kid and lose faith in the idea that grown-ups will always keep you safe. Love. This. Book.

      – Laura Donohoe, Malaprop's Bookstore/Cafe (Asheville, NC)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    • Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco, Judith Robbins Rose
      Candlewick Press, 9780763672355, September 8, 2015 (Middle Grade)
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      What if characters like Junie B. Jones and Ramona Quimby had been Mexican-American girls with concerns about immigration, culture, and language? That’s  the flavor of Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco. When Jacinta is paired with a mentor who is a white, TV news reporter, her eyes are opened to a much bigger world. The narration is charming, Jacinta is funny, and there’s so much depth to this book. The author is able to address issues of race, culture, and wealth in a way that younger readers will understand.

      – Jennifer Wills Geraedts, Beagle Books (Park Rapids, MN)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    • The Doldrums, Nicholas Gannon
      Greenwillow Books, 9780062320940, September 29, 2015 (Middle Grade)
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      Archer finds adventures with his friends, stern teachers, escaped tigers, and lots of espresso in this charming novel, sure to please fans of A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS and author Joan Aiken.

      – Katie Orphan, The Last Bookstore (Los Angeles, CA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    Young Adult

    • Trouble is a Friend of Mine, Stephanie Tromly
      Kathy Dawson, 9780525428404, August 4, 2015 (Young Adult)
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      Like a love child of Veronica Mars and John Hughes, TROUBLE IS A FRIEND OF MINE is a madcap mystery, a fresh coming-of-age and unlikely friendship story in one! After a divorce and ensuing custody battle finds Zoe reluctantly starting her junior year in upstate New York, oddball and outcast Phillip Digby appears on her doorstep and drags Zoe into his search for a missing teenage girl. With fresh, infectious characters and a thrillingly zany plot, this debut is a treat from start to finish!

      – Amy Oelkers, Red Balloon Bookshop (St. Paul, MN)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    • The Accident Season, Moïra Fowley-Doyle
      Kathy Dawson, 9780525429487, August 18, 2015 (Young Adult)
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      Once a year, every year, Cara's relatively normal life gets a little dangerous. Her mother locks away knives, pads sharp corners, and avoids anything potentially dangerous -- but Cara and her family always manage to sustain an unusual number of injuries all the same. Is the accident season real? And why does it happen just to them? Moïra Fowley-Doyle builds an eerie but familiar world, full of the ordinary -- intense crushes, best friends, the best parties, jealousies, dreams, and family ties -- and the not-quite-normal. Dreamy and magical but grounded and dark, Fowley-Doyle's coming-of-age tale is a haunting, sweet, lyrical debut.

      – Molly Templeton, WORD Bookstore (Brooklyn, NY)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    • Everything, Everything, Nicola Yoon
      Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 9780553496642, September 1, 2015 (Young Adult)
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      How far will one go when one unconditionally loves another? How powerful is love - can it actually make you believe something or make you take incredible risks? Madeline, who is allergic to the outside world, is about to find out the answers to these questions when she falls in love for the first time and begins to see beyond the walls of her home. Beautifully told in verse, journal entries, mind-maps, and illustrations. As Madeline uncovers her deepest emotions and the truths she holds about the world, the reader partakes in a love story of unforgettable emotion.

      – Arna Lewis, Buttonwood Books & Toys (Cohasset, MA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    • Fans of the Impossible Life, Kate Scelsa
      Balzer + Bray, 9780062331755, September 8, 2015 (Young Adult)
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      I could not put this book down and absolutely devoured it. I found the characters to be endearingly real and their interactions and heartaches flowed with the expected angst of teenage hormones and uncertainty. This is a real book for real teens and adults, who will find themselves happily lost in this story from first page to last.

      – Jesica Sweedler DeHart, BookPeople of Moscow (Moscow, ID)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    Fiction

    • Death and Mr. Pickwick: A Novel, Stephen Jarvis
      Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9780374139667, June 23, 2015 (Fiction)
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      DEATH AND MR. PICKWICK by Stephen Jarvis is a rollicking great novel, brimming with vivid characters, that takes the position that perhaps Charles Dickens didn't completely create his first, and arguably greatest, novel. I had a very hard time putting this epic aside to go to work! Truly wonderful!

      – Bill Carl, Booksellers on Fountain Square (Cincinnati, OH)

    • The Star Side of Bird Hill, Naomi Jackson
      Penguin Press, 9781594205958, June 30, 2015 (Fiction)
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      In the summer of 1989, sisters Dionne and Phaedra -- 16 and 10, respectively -- are shuttled from their Brooklyn life to their grandmother Hyacinth’s home in Barbados. Reminiscent of Jamaica Kincaid, Jackson’s coming-of-age tale springs from the page with humor, beauty, and heartbreak.

      – Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books (Tampa, FL)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    • Bull Mountain, Brian Panowich
      G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780399173967, July 7, 2015 (Fiction)
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      Moonshine, marijuana, and meth in a multigenerational tale of betrayal, brothers, and bloodshed. BULL MOUNTAIN ain't no Walton's Mountain!

      – Libby Manthey, Riverwalk Books (Chelan, WA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    • Let Me Explain You: A Novel, Annie Liontas
      Scribner, 9781476789088, July 14, 2015 (Fiction)
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      Annie Liontas unveils this family layer by layer, exposing the darkest secrets and the most loving ones as well. We often read to experience and disappear into another world, another life, and this afternoon I was a Greek; a daughter who lost a father; a mother; a sister; a lover of good food; and one who loves to read.

      – Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books (Mystic, CT)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    • The Watchmaker of Filigree Street: A Novel, Natasha Pulley
      Bloomsbury, 9781620408339, July 14, 2015 (Fiction)
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      THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET is a magical work of historical fiction that really did make me lose track of time. This is a really fun read!

      – Kathleen Johnson, Prairie Lights Books (Iowa City, IA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    • Kitchens of the Great Midwest, J. Ryan Stradal
      Viking/Pam Dorman Books, 9780525429142, July 28, 2015 (Fiction)
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      At a time when I feel overwhelmed by our culture of irony and cool cynicism, Stradal’s debut shines like a beacon of warm-hearted hope. A different character and a different dish are featured in each chapter, and we are left with a beautiful image of food, culture, and family. KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST is the book I’ve been looking for.

      – Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books (Tampa, FL)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    • All That Followed, Gabriel Urza
      Henry Holt, 9781627792431, August 4, 2015 (Fiction)
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      Urza's novel unfolds slowly, moving backward, as it reveals its characters' histories and their interconnectedness in the wake of a moment of violence. Even better, it offers a window into contemporary Basque culture, pressed between the Spanish state and an ethnic pride that can be manifested in violence, even when it's what no one wants. Atmospheric and unhurried, this is a small-town story with international resonance.

      – Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, Greenlight Bookstore (Brooklyn, NY)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    • The Girl from the Garden, Parnaz Foroutan
      Ecco, 9780062388384, August 18, 2015 (Fiction)
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      In this delicate, rich story, we are witness to a society little-known and oft-veiled: the home life of Jewish women in the Middle East. The writing is sublime, approaching poetry on many occasions. I very much look forward to introducing readers to this wonderful new author and the world she has revealed.

      – Elayna Trucker, Napa Bookmine (Napa, CA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    • Rules for Werewolves, Kirk Lynn
      Melville House, 9781612194769, October 13, 2015 (Fiction)
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      This novel is funny, dark, weird, and addictive. A unique, engaging way to tell a story and a fresh way of looking at American culture, youth, and class. At turns I was reminded of Christopher Moore and Chuck Palahniuk, but Lynn's voice is all his own.

      – Julie Wernersbach, BookPeople (Austin, TX)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

    • Kid Moses: A Novel, Mark Thornton
      Arcade Publishing, 9781628725711, October 27, 2015 (Fiction)
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      The story of nine-year-old Moses wandering alone in Tanzania feels all at once as modern as today’s news and as classic as episodic adventures told around a fire. Poverty, death, violence…these are always lurking around the corner. All nine-year-olds, whether homeless in Tanzania or living in a two-story house in Seattle, are essentially alone as they grow and experience the world around them. Thornton portrays this struggle superbly in an emotional and rich tale.

      – Steven Salardino, Skylight Books (Los Angeles, CA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here

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