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    Indies Introduce Summer / Fall 2018

    Independent Booksellers’ Debut Picks of the Season

    Do what indies do best—find and showcase undiscovered authors and compelling books. Two panels of booksellers chose the Indies Introduce titles—10 adult and 10 children’s—as the best of the Summer / Fall 2018 debuts. Publishers offer special terms on these books just for participating indie booksellers.

    " I felt like a pioneer book explorer!  Each day brings another adventure. Just think I may have been part of the discovery of the new J.K. Rowling or Suzanne Collins!"
    Hannah Moushabeck from Odyssey Books, South Hadley, MA

    Promotional terms are visible to logged-in ABA Bookseller Members only.

    Fiction

    • There There, Tommy Orange
      Knopf, 9780525520375, June 5, 2018 (Fiction)

      “Tommy Orange has created one of the most powerful and moving novels in recent memory. Orange elevates what a novel can and would ever hope to be. It is a breathtaking, moving, and thrilling experience. And that’s what it truly is—an experience that you’ll hold onto for the rest of your life.”

      – Rebecca George, Volumes Bookcafé (Chicago, IL)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • Convenience Store Woman, Sayaka Murata, Ginny Tapley Takemori (Trans.)
      Grove Press, 9780802128256, June 12, 2018 (Fiction)

      “How can you not be charmed by the main character of Convenience Store Woman? She knows what she wants out of life, and who is anyone to say she needs anything different? The power of this novel is not in a sweeping landscape or journey, but in its intimacy, humor, and empathy for this very human, knowable woman.”

      – Tyler Goodson, Avid Bookshop (Athens, GA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • The Ruin, Dervla McTiernan
      Penguin Books, 9780143133124, July 3, 2018 (Fiction)

      “This solid debut from Irish author McTiernan provides a compelling story that spans two decades and multiple mysteries and examines the ways that public servants can provide resources for those in need or fail them utterly—or worse. But the core element that wins my praise is McTiernan’s constant reminder that characters’ deaths leave holes in the other characters’ lives—they are not just plot devices to drive a whodunnit, but individuals who are mourned.”

      – Maryelizabeth Yturralde, Mysterious Galaxy (San Diego, CA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • Poso Wells, Gabriela Alemán, Dick Cluster (Trans.)
      City Lights Publishers, 9780872867550, July 15, 2018 (Fiction)

      Poso Wells explores the dichotomy between the new and old worlds of Ecuador through an exciting noir about missing women, corrupt politicians, and a journalist’s attempt to unravel the secrets of the infinitely labyrinthine cityscape of Poso Wells. This is an exciting debut translation of a celebrated Ecuadorian author, and one that should lead to more translations of her work.”

       

      – Ely Watson, A Room of One’s Own Bookstore (Madison, WI)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • I Didn't Talk, Beatriz Bracher, Adam Morris (Trans.)
      New Directions, 9780811227360, July 31, 2018 (Fiction)

      “Above all, I Didn’t Talk is about memory and guilt, and the narrator’s endless struggle against them. Long celebrated in Brazil, Beatriz Bracher’s first work to be translated to English will leave you astonished and just wanting more.”

      – Adlai Yeomans, White Whale Bookstore (Pittsburgh, PA)


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    • The Incendiaries, R.O. Kwon
      Riverhead Books, 9780735213890, July 31, 2018 (Fiction)

      “Kwon’s debut is a deeply uncomfortable experience that opens the reader to discussions of faith, passion, and mystery and how one responds to loss, without providing any tidy answers. Through the lens of Kwon’s characters, readers are reminded that the sometimes-anomalous groups that commit terrible acts justified by their belief in extremist, creed-driven ideologies are still formed of individuals. A stellar reminder that the most effective antagonists are those who believe they are the protagonists of their story.”

       

      – Maryelizabeth Yturralde, Mysterious Galaxy (San Diego, CA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • A Key to Treehouse Living, Elliot Reed
      Tin House Books, 9781947793040, September 11, 2018 (Fiction)

      “I highly recommend Elliot Reed’s outstanding debut novel, A Key to Treehouse Living, and look forward to readers meeting young orphan William Tyce, who through his catalog of alphabetized, offbeat dictionary definitions makes sense of the strange world around him.”

       

      – Caitlin Luce Baker, University Book Store (Seattle, WA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • Samuel Johnson's Eternal Return, Martin Riker
      Coffee House Press, 9781566895286, October 9, 2018 (Fiction)

      “After his violent death, Samuel Johnson inhabits multiple souls as he strives to reunite with his now orphaned young son. Traveling between dark humor, unfathomable tragedy, and tracing the history of television in America, Martin Riker's outstanding debut novel illustrates how the human spirit can persevere.”

      – Caitlin Luce Baker, University Book Store (Seattle, WA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    Non-Fiction

    • Jell-O Girls, Allie Rowbottom
      Little, Brown and Company, 9780316510615, July 24, 2018 (Non-Fiction)

      “In part the history of an iconic dessert food, Jell-O Girls might be expected to be bland, like the official history of America, suburbia, and mid-20th century culture, but it is anything but. This story of a dessert and of a family is dark and deeply personal. Advertising pushed a narrative of domesticity, normalcy, and conformity—but the truth was something completely different.”

       

      – Michael Herrmann, Gibson’s Bookstore (Concord, NH)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir, Nicole Chung
      Catapult, 9781936787975, October 2, 2018 (Non-Fiction)

      All You Can Ever Know is a memoir that reads with such urgency and emotional depth that at times it feels like an overheard confession, one not meant for my ears. But Nicole Chung grabbed me by the hand and made me bear witness alongside her. Her writing is so strong, her voice so sure, even when she’s questioning everything, that I’ll follow her wherever she goes next.”

       

      – Vanessa Martini, City Lights Books (San Francisco, CA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    Middle Grade

    • The Cardboard Kingdom, Chad Sell
      Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9781524719388, June 5, 2018 (Middle Grade)

      The Cardboard Kingdom is a clever and fun celebration of self-expression and imagination. With short, graphic vignettes of the different kids in the neighborhood—and the alter egos they develop through their cardboard costumes and creativity—we get to know a bit about the diverse range of characters in Any Neighborhood, U.S.A."

      – Nicole Yasinsky, Novel. (Memphis, TN)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • Heartseeker, Melinda Beatty
      G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, 9781524740009, June 5, 2018 (Middle Grade)

      “Wonderfully descriptive language in a middle-grade fantasy with whispers of historical fiction. When Only Fallow’s power to see lies means she becomes a tool for the king, she quickly finds herself caught up in a swirl of political intrigue at the royal court. You’ll root for Only as she fights for her family, her friends, and the country she loves.”

      – Buffy Cummins, Second Star to the Right Books (Denver, CO)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • Where the Watermelons Grow, Cindy Baldwin
      HarperCollins, 9780062665867, July 3, 2018 (Middle Grade)

      “The story is beautiful! The writing is beautiful! The characters are beautiful! Della and her community show an empathetic view of mental illness. Readers will understand that mental illness isn’t ‘crazy,’ and sometimes helping someone else heal can mean learning to heal yourself first.”

      – Allison Barton, The Children’s Book Garden (Berlin, MD)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • The House with Chicken Legs, Sophie Anderson
      Scholastic Press, 9781338209969, October 9, 2018 (Middle Grade)

      “Marinka has tired of the nomadic life she lives with her Baba Yaga and their magical house with chicken legs, helping to usher the dead into the afterlife. When Baba disappears, it’s up to Marinka to find her and save the magic of the house. Help comes from unlikely sources, and the new family she builds for herself is a delightful testament to found families and community resilience.”

       

      – Jessica Hahl, The Country Bookshelf (Bozeman, MT)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • Speechless, Adam Schmitt
      Candlewick Press, 9781536200928, November 6, 2018 (Middle Grade)

      “This book surprised me and blew me away. It tackles a difficult subject—death and, specifically, the entire confusing and emotional pageant that is a funeral—with honesty and authentic humor. This book may, at face value, appear to be a topical book for kids experiencing funerals or deaths in the family, but it explores universal emotions and very real family relationships that we can all relate to.”

      – Nicole Yasinsky, Novel. (Memphis, TN)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    Young Adult

    • The Bird and the Blade, Megan Bannen
      Balzer + Bray, 9780062674159, June 5, 2018 (Young Adult)

      “This book of riddles is itself a kind of sublime riddle composed of the ingredients of a true classic tale. There is doomed love, an authentic historical backdrop, fallen kingdoms and thwarted destinies, sacrifices that elevate, and an ending that, by transcending its finality, takes the reader full circle to begin the tale again with fresh eyes. Bannen takes the operatic tradition of Princess Turandot’s slave girl and infuses it with a richness of character and a convincing dramatic immediacy that rewards the reader at every turn. The Mongol Empire has never been so deftly invaded as it is in the pages of The Bird and the Blade.”

       

      – Kenny Brechner, Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers (Farmington, ME)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • Sea Witch, Sarah Henning
      Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062438775, July 31, 2018 (Young Adult)

      “Take everything you think you know about The Little Mermaid and set it aside, because with enchanting prose and wickedly clever twists, Sea Witch blows it all—quite literally—out of the water.”

      – Louise Marshall, Rakestraw Books (Danville, CA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • Darius the Great is Not Okay, Adib Khorram
      Dial Books, 9780525552963, August 28, 2018 (Young Adult)

      Darius, who is from a mixed Persian family, is constantly put out by his father’s scrutiny, even though they both take medication for depression; his sister’s ability (and his inability) to speak Farsi with his mother at home; and the bullying from other kids at school. With help from a new friend named Sohrab, Darius learns that it’s okay to not be okay, and to find the courage to be authentic, whatever that may mean.

      – Destenie Fafard, Cellar Door Books (Riverside, CA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • Rule, Ellen Goodlett
      Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316515283, September 11, 2018 (Young Adult)

      “Three young women, each with her own deadly secret, discover that one of them will ascend to the throne of their dying father. Treachery and black magic intermix with sisterly loyalty and ill-fated romance. Your heart will race as quickly as your fingers turning the pages of this smart and captivating debut novel.”

       

      – Nancy Baenen, Arcadia Books (Spring Green, WI)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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    • The Light Between Worlds, Laura E. Weymouth
      HarperTEEN, 9780062696878, October 23, 2018 (Young Adult)

      “In Weymouth’s story, the Hapwell siblings have returned to a barely post-World War II England from a magical realm called the Woodland. Youngest sibling Evelyn can’t find home in the world to which she was born, while her older sister Philippa dives headfirst into her old life to escape the world she left behind. Told from both sisters’ perspectives, The Light Between Worlds is a lyrical exploration of one’s true place—among the people we love, within ourselves, or in woodland realms beyond our ken—and the lengths we will go to chase it.”

       

      – Destenie Fafard, Celler Door Books (Riverside, CA)
      Additional blurb(s) available here


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