The Autumn ’13 Kids’ Indie Next List Preview

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    Here is a preview of the Autumn 2013 Kids’ Indie Next List flier, arriving at stores in the upcoming Children’s White Box.

    The four-page, full-color flier features the top 10 titles for the fall publishing season and an additional 41 titles for children, organized by age group. All Next List picks are based on nominations from independent booksellers nationwide and include a bookseller quote and full bibliographic information.

    The top 10 titles are also featured on downloadable shelf-talkers.

    The deadline for nominations to the Winter 2013 – 2014 Kids’ Indie Next List is October 11. As always, nominations may be submitted via e-mail or through the online nomination form. A new Edelweiss feature also allows booksellers to send nominations from the book page of their choice by selecting “Your Review” and “Submit to Indie Next List.” Learn more.

    The Autumn ’13 Kids’ Indie Next List

    The Top 10

    1. The Snatchabook, by Helen Docherty, Thomas Docherty (Illus.)
    (Sourcebooks, 9781402290824, $16.99, available October) See special offer.
    “A classic is born! The Snatchabook is an engaging and winsome story celebrating the precious tradition of bedtime stories. ‘In every house, in every bed, a bedtime book was being read,’ when trouble in the form of a tiny creature named Snatchabook swoops into town and begins absconding with everyone’s stories. Eliza, the bunny, sets out to solve the missing story mystery and learns that Snatchabook is sad and lonely because he has no one to read stories to him. A fitting solution: in a town that loves stories, Snatchabook finds himself welcomed into all homes to share in bedtime stories. Highly recommended!” —Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA

     2. Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
    St. Martin’s Griffin, 9781250030955, $18.99)
    “Cath has a huge online following for her fan fiction which is based on the characters from a popular fantasy series, and she prefers that world to her new life as a college freshman, especially since her twin sister, Wren, insisted they live separately. You’ll be cheering for Cath as she faces the perils of roommates, writing workshops, and an inexplicably friendly boy named Levi, while dealing with her brilliant but unstable father and her binge-drinking sister. With a perfect balance between serious issues and light-hearted fun, Fangirl is a thoroughly entertaining read!” —Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

     3. Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, by Kate DiCamillo, K.G. Campbell (Illus.)
    (Candlewick Press, 9780763660406, $17.99)
    “You just can’t go wrong if you throw a squirrel into the picture. But squirrel poetry? Sheer genius! DiCamillo has taken all probable and improbable squirrel-related antics, mixed them with a superhero-obsessed but very lonely child, added generous helpings of wonderfully quirky characters, and the result is a froth of fantastic fun. At the same time, she tells a touching tale of deep yearning for acceptance, to be seen and to be loved. Delightful!” —Elizabeth Anker, Alamosa Books, Albuquerque, NM

     4. Counting By 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan
    (Dial Books for Young Readers, 9780803738553, $16.99)
    “Willow Chance has just been orphaned for the second time. A genius obsessed with growing plants, she finds herself uprooted and without connections — except for a school counselor who is bad at his job, the Vietnamese family that lives in the garage, and the taxi driver who thinks she is his angel. Counting By 7s is both touching and humorous, and you will fall in love with young Willow as she finds connections in the oddest places.” —Kathy Adams, Valley Booksellers, Stillwater, MN

     5. Fortunately, the Milk, by Neil Gaiman, Skottie Young (Illus.)
    (HarperCollins, 9780062224071, $14.99)
    “It starts out as a normal day: Mom is on a business trip; boy wants a bowl of cereal but there is no milk; Dad goes out for milk. But Dad is gone a long time and comes home with a story that will end up being one of your favorites. Dad is taken by aliens, jumps through a door marked ‘Do Not Open for Any Reason,’ falls through the space-time continuum, is found by pirates, and rescued by a stegosaurus — and that’s just the beginning! A tale that begs to be read out loud, with dinosaurs and piranhas, volcano gods and coconuts, wumpires and ponies, this is destined to become a children’s classic!” —Angela Mann, Kepler’s Books & Magazines, Menlo Park, CA

     6. Journey, by Aaron Becker
    (Candlewick Press, 9780763660536, $15.99)
    “A perfect antidote for any ‘too busy’ household, this lovely wordless book depicts a modern family, preoccupied with today’s technology and ignoring their youngest member as she sits alone on her front steps. This intrepid heroine, however, makes her own adventures using a magic red marker to create a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her to strange lands, through danger, and finally to the fulfillment of her greatest wish. Becker’s exquisite illustrations create a graphic reminder of the power of imagination.” —Mary Grey James, Parnasuss Books, Nashville, TN

     7. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, by Holly Black
    (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316213103, $19)
    “Enter Coldtown. Despite its walls that are intended to keep humans out and monsters in, the decadent allure of the Eternal Ball has long allowed the two to mix in a maelstrom of rage, excess, passion, and the quest for fame and fortune. Slowly revealed events from Tana’s past have left her with conflicted emotions about the intermingling of vampires with the rest of the population, but when she awakens from a night of partying to an unprecedented scene of blood and gluttony, she must rescue the other survivors and help them find their way to the heart of Coldtown, where each of their destinies awaits. This is the hottest vampire novel of the year!” —Katie Capaldi, Between the Covers, Harbor Springs, MI

     8. If You Could Be Mine, by Sara Farizan
    (Algonquin Young Readers, 9781616202514, $16.99)
    “This gorgeous debut novel shows readers what life is like for Sahar, a bright, sensitive, teenage girl busy looking after her grieving father while trying to deal with her love for Nasrin, her best friend. Though homosexuality is illegal in Iran, Sahar discovers that sex reassignment is seen as a way to ‘correct’ nature’s mistake. As Nasrin’s arranged marriage approaches, Sahar frantically looks for a way to stop it — even if it means changing her entire identity for love. A fascinating look at what it means to be in love, and to be yourself.” —Mary Cotton, Newtonville Books, Newton Centre, MA

     9. The Beginning of Everything, by Robyn Schneider
    (Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062217134, $17.99)
    “Golden boy Ezra Faukner, former class president and star tennis player, faces a heartbreaking struggle to find himself after an accident sidetracks all his plans for the future. Ezra returns to school for his senior year with a cane and an aversion for the shallowness of the popular group he used to hang out with. He joins a group of interesting misfits, among them an enigmatic new girl, who is hiding secrets of her own. This journey of self-discovery is both funny and poignant, and is sure to appeal to a wide variety of teen readers.” —Pam Stilp, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

     10. The Song of the Quarkbeast: The Chronicles of Kazam, Book 2, by Jasper Fforde
    (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, 9780547738482, $16.99)
    “Jennifer Strange and her motley crew of eccentric and erratic sorcerers may be all that stands between the Ununited Kingdom and the corruption of magic by the forces of King Snodd IV and his greedy cohorts. Despite every foul plot and obstruction the King throws at Jennifer, she will not quit. But will her sheer determination, intelligence, and grit be enough to save the day? Fforde’s sublime wit continues to both amaze and amuse!” —Rachel King, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

    For Ages 4 to 8

    Battle Bunny, by Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett, Matthew Myers (Illus.)
    (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781442446731, $14.99, available October)
    “Individually, Barnett and Scieszka are hilarious. Put them together in Battle Bunny and you get a clever, side-splittingly entertaining picture book that encourages kids to color outside the lines. Teachers and parents can do so much with this amazing story. Is there such a thing as too much fun? Not here!” —Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

    The Blessing Cup, by Patricia Polacco
    (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781442450479, $17.99)
    “If you loved Polacco’s The Keeping Quilt, you’ll feel the same way about this sequel. Repeating the artistic format and tender storytelling of the first book, Polacco shares the history of the quilt’s journey to the United States. Her family struggled mightily against the terrors and prejudices of pre-WWI Russia, but somehow managed to make it to America. The strength of both a family and its story shines in this book. Definitely a classic!” —Margaret Brennan Neville, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, UT

    Bugs in My Hair!, by David Shannon
    (The Blue Sky Press, 9780545143134, $17.99)
    “If anyone can make a case of head lice fun, it’s Shannon. He humorously captures and normalizes the panic, embarrassment, and tedium of this common grade-school affliction. Even the mom’s reactions — first panic, then phantom head-itch, then mountains of laundry — are perfect!” —Susan Kunhardt, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

    Captain Cat, by Inga Moore
    (Candlewick Press, 9780763661519, $15.99)
    “Moore has created a new classic! This story has everything — a captain, a queen, the high seas, unknown territory, murder, mystery, romance, treasure and CATS! Moore’s trademark illustrations pull you in and make you want to read it again and again.” —Isabel Berg, Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NH

    Crankenstein, by Samantha Berger, Dan Santat (Illus.)
    (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316126564, $16.99)
    “Beware of Crankenstein! You’re sure to find him when it’s raining, or when he runs out of maple syrup, or when he’s told to go to bed. But when he meets another Crankenstein, it’s magic! He’s just a normal kid! Berger’s field study of a grumpy child is giggle-inducing, and Santat’s pictures are perfect. This is an ideal pick for a grumpy (or not!) little one.” —Megan Graves, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

    Dinosaur Kisses, by David Ezra Stein
    (Candlewick Press, 9780763661045, $15.99)
    “Baby Dinosaur Dinah wants to try everything! Stomping, chomping, roaring, even kissing! But who can she kiss? And why isn’t anyone excited about being kissed by a dinosaur? From Caldecott-winner Stein comes a funny story, wonderful for small children learning the art of being gentle.” —Hannah Moushabeck, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

    Dream Animals: A Bedtime Journey, by Emily Winfield Martin
    (Random House Books for Young Readers, 9780449810804, $17.99, available October)
    “Beautiful, lush illustrations and a whimsical narrative make this a joy to read at bedtime. Martin has captured that elusive quality of dreams, somewhere between surrealism and delightful fancy, in a story that allows children to immerse themselves in strange worlds.” —Arsen Kashkashian, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, CO

    Moonday, by Adam Rex
    (Disney/Hyperion, 9781423119203, $16.99)
    “After falling asleep in the car and being carried to her bed, a little girl wakes up to find the moon in her backyard. Everyone must go about their day even though morning never really came and everyone is sleepy and wondering what to do about the moon. The little girl suggests taking the moon for a drive, during which she falls asleep again. Rex takes readers on a wonderful journey that might, or might not be, just a dream.” —Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

    Mr. Tiger Goes Wild, by Peter Brown
    (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316200639, $18)
    “It is such a dreadful bore doing what is expected of one all the livelong day — wearing the right clothes, following the required social mores. One day, when Mr. Tiger has had enough of polite and proper society, he decides to have fun and go wild! Will it be a disaster or an exercise in spontaneity? As one would expect, Brown’s illustrations are fabulous and hilarious!” —Rachel King, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

    Mr. Wuffles!, by David Wiesner
    (Clarion Books, 9780618756612, $17.99, available October)
    “This is a nearly wordless picture book that cat lovers — and Wiesner fans — will adore. Mr. Wuffles thinks he is so clever that when aliens land on Earth, he mistakes their space ship for a cat toy. To rescue and repair their ship, the aliens must conspire with the insects of the house who have had experience outwitting Mr. Wuffles in the past. Hilarious and clever!” —Connie Brook, Battenkill Books, Cambridge, NY

    Read Me a Story, Stella, by Marie-Louise Gay
    (Groundwood Books [dist. PGW], 9781554982165, $16.95)
    “Stella, the sweetest little red-haired girl, again wins over readers’ hearts as she reads books to her little brother. Whether in the backyard, near a pond, or up a tree, Stella has a book nearby. The illustrations show a love for life, and for fun.” —Paula Primavera, Covered Treasures Bookstore, Monument, CO

    Snowflakes Fall, by Patricia MacLachlan, Steven Kellogg (Illus.)
    (Random House Books for Young Readers, 9780385376938, $17.99, available October)
    “Newbery-medalist MacLachlan and award-winning artist Kellogg team up to create this beautiful tribute to the cycle of life. MacLachlan’s simple, elegant writing echoes the beauty and the sorrows that can come upon us, while Kellogg’s expressive illustrations and gentle colors warm our hearts with the promise of hope. A book for all ages, this should be read by everyone!” —Hannah Moushabeck, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

    The Tortoise & the Hare, by Jerry Pinkney
    (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316183567, $18)
    “Illustrated in intricate detail by Caldecott-winner Jerry Pinkney, the classic tale The Tortoise & The Hare is a magical combination of ancient and modern, dynamism and thoughtfulness, familiarity and freshness. A wonderful gift book for any season!” —Clare Doornbos, DIESEL, A Bookstore, Oakland, CA

    Warning: Do Not Open This Book, by Adam Lehrhaupt, Matthew Forsythe (Illus.)
    (Paula Wiseman Books, 9781442435827, $16.99)
    “Seriously, don’t even think about reading this book! Turn back while you still can! Mayhem awaits all those who crack open the cover and turn the pages — delicious, hilarious mayhem in the form of mischievous monkeys and killer crocodiles! But if you do choose to read this title, know that you are the only one who can restore order to a world thrown into monkey- and croc-infested chaos. Be prepared!” —Megan Graves, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

    For Ages 9 to 12

    Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea, by Lisa Martin and Valerie Martin, Kelly Murphy (Illus.)
    (Algonquin Young Readers, 9781616202460, $16.95, available October)
    “This is a sweet story of adventure and determination. Cat brothers Anton and Cecil live in a quiet harbor town, where they spend their time watching ships come and go. Fishing boats bring food, but cargo ships and pirate ships need cats to kill the dreaded mice and rats on board. Adventure on the high seas begins when Anton is caught and taken onto a ship and Cecil is determined to find him. Creatures of the sea, land, and sky all help Cecil in his quest to find his brother and bring him back home.” —Ellyn Gaich, BookSmart, Morgan Hill, CA

    Battling Boy, by Paul Pope
    (First Second, 9781596431454, paper, $15.99, available October)
    Battling Boy rocks! Pope has masterfully pulled together elements of comic book superheroes, mythology, and coming-of-age stories to create what will be the favorite book of the year for many. Battling Boy is cast off to another dimension by his father, a powerful warrior who speaks in dramatic soliloquies, to test his mettle in a world besieged by monsters. With an instantly loveable character that approaches danger with unabashedly ignorant enthusiasm, Battling Boy introduces a new superhero that is sure to become a classic!” —Patrick Nelson, Mrs. Nelson’s Toy & Book Shop, La Verne, CA

    Ghost Hawk, by Susan Cooper
    (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 9781442481411, $16.99)
    “Cooper has created two compelling characters in Little Hawk and John Wakely. Her writing is beautiful, and the plot is riveting with unexpected twists. Cooper recreates the past with a historian’s attention to detail, and readers are swept back to 17th century New England and given the chance to inhabit the differing worlds of a young Native American and a younger British colonist. Within the framework of this powerful story, readers can ponder big questions about prejudice and the nature of conflict. This one is special!” —Chris Rose, Andover Bookshop, Andover, MA

    The Lost Boy, by Greg Ruth
    (Graphix, 9780439823326, paper, $12.99)
    The Lost Boy is dark, creepy, magical, and astonishing. The boy in question disappeared into the woods 50 years ago. When Nate and Tabitha listen to his observations, they’re pulled into the dark secrets and ongoing battle of the people of the woods. The illustrations are breathtaking, and the story gave me shivers. Whether you love fantasies or mysteries, you’re certain to get lost in this masterful graphic novel.” —Marika McCoola, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, NY

    The Mysterious Woods of Whistle Root, by Christopher Pennell, Rebecca Bond (Illus.)
    (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, 9780547792637, $16.99)
    “Carly Bean Bitters is an oddity — she can only sleep during the day. Add a village of talking musical rats, a bookish boy named Green, trees with whistling roots, an ancient legacy of magic, a moon child, Granny Pitcher, and a gruesome griddlebeast, and you have one of the most enchanting adventures in recent Middle Grade memory. This charming story featuring whimsical pen-and-ink illustrations is a perfect read-aloud, a heartwarming account of finding friends in the most unlikely places.” —Susan Savory, Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, MA

    Prisoner 88, by Leah Pileggi
    (Charlesbridge, 9781580895606, $16.95)
    “In her debut novel, Pileggi introduces us to the Wild West of 1885 and the story of 10-year-old Jake, who is thrown into the Idaho Territorial Penitentiary for supposedly shooting a man. Jake is given a job helping to tend hogs, is taught to read, and marvels daily that he has full plates of food. His loyalty to the guards and inmates who befriend him leads to trouble when he thwarts an attempted escape plan. Based on a newspaper account of a boy’s actual incarceration, Prisoner 88 leaves us wanting to know more about Jake and what happens next.” —Shirley Mullin, Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore, Indianapolis, IN

    The Real Boy, by Anne Ursu, Erin McGuire (Illus.)
    (Walden Pond Press, 9780062015075, $16.99)
    “Oscar, a shop boy for a magician, knows his own role precisely but he has a lot to learn about the mysterious, magical world around him. Ursu’s intricate turns of phrase help readers feel what it’s like to not understand the feelings of another. A powerful, empowering story of discovery.” —Shoshana Flax, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

    Rooftoppers, by Katherine Rundell, Terry Fan (Illus.)
    (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781442490581, $16.99)
    “‘You should never ignore a possible.’ That is the great advice to all of us from the quirky duo at the heart of this creative, touching, and, at times, wild romp of a story that celebrates the belief in extraordinary things. Navigating around Paris from the rooftops in the company of homeless children to search for her lost mother, Sophie is a strong, loving, and believable character.” —Liza Bernard, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT

    Three-Ring Rascals, Book I: The Show Must Go On!, by Kate Klise, M. Sarah Klise (Illus.)
    (Algonquin Young Readers, 9781616202446, $15.95)
    “The Klise team has done it again! Their new series pops with every sort of illustration and graphic perfect to engage middle graders, plus a hilarious story. Barnabus Brambles is the greedy bad guy who takes over the circus while kindly old Sir Sidney has a rest. The elephant Elsa, Leo the lion, mouse siblings Bert and Gert, and the famous Flying Banana Brothers are left to pick up the pieces when things fall apart. Fun-packed, silly, and smart, this series is destined to be a huge favorite.” —Jeanne Snyder, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

    The Time Fetch, by Amy Herrick
    (Algonquin Young Readers, 9781616202200, $16.95)
    “I cannot recall the last time a book captivated me so completely. The story is fresh, smart, clever, and, perhaps best of all, genuine and sweet in the best sense of both those words. What a fabulous adventure and a wonderful group of friends, and how refreshing to read about kids embracing each other’s quirks so unconditionally yet totally realistically. Who would have thought that the second law of thermodynamics could be presented in such a fun context! And I’ll never think of entropy in quite the same way again! I found myself drawn in more and more all the way to the pitch perfect conclusion!” —Laura Donohoe, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café, Asheville, NC

    The Twistrose Key, by Tone Almhjell
    (Dial Books for Young Readers, 9780803738959, $16.99, available October)
    “After being sent a mysterious key, Lin unlocks the magical snowy world of Sylver, a land where well-loved pets are delivered after death. The magic of Sylver is entwined with the emotions of all the children in our world and becomes renewed with the first snowfall. Unfortunately, the last Winterfyrst has gone missing and the snow will not fall without his help. Lin is Sylver’s only hope. This book is haunting and beautifully written and harkens back to classics such as The Chronicles of Narnia!” —Morgan Turnage, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

    The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates, Book 1: Magic Marks the Spot, by Caroline Carlson, Dave Phillips (Illus.)
    (HarperCollins, 9780062194343, $16.99)
    “High society girl Hilary Westfield defies her father and runs away from finishing school to become a pirate, despite the fact that The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates refused her application. Meanwhile, villainous thieves are hording the kingdom’s magic, and Hilary finds herself on a quest for buried treasure. I loved this rollicking, high-seas adventure set in a charming world where magic is currency, gargoyles talk, and humor abounds. The tongue-in-cheek wit, lovable characters, and despicable, but not too terrifying villains make this a great read-aloud.” —Erin Barker, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

    Waiting for the Queen: A Novel of Early America, by Joanna Higgins
    (Milkweed Editions, 9781571317001, $16.95)
    “As their families struggle to build a life in the wilds of 18th century Pennsylvania, Eugenie and Hannah forge a friendship that will test loyalties. Can a pampered French aristocrat and an unassuming Shaker girl strike a blow against slavery without losing all they hold dear? This story, richly imagined and well told, is a great read for all who love historical fiction.” —Barb Bassett, The Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, MN

    Will in Scarlet, by Matthew Cody
    (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780375868955, $16.99, available October)
    Will in Scarlett is a delightful new take on the Robin Hood legend that features 13-year-old Will Scarlett, a nobleman’s son, who starts out on a quest to avenge the wrongs done to his family and ends up learning there are things more important than vengeance. This book is a fun page-turner with winning, well-developed characters. It’s a great pick for reluctant readers as well as for any fan of Robin Hood or fairy tales in general.” —Kristen Eaton, Phoenix Books, Essex Junction, VT

    The Year of Billy Miller, by Kevin Henkes
    (Greenwillow Books, 9780062268129, $16.99)
    “After a summer accident, Billy Miller is just not sure he is smart enough for second grade. A little sister prone to tantrums and a new school nemesis make things even worse, but with the gentle guidance of his stay-at-home dad and his new teacher, Billy learns to navigate the more ‘grown up’ world of a second grader. As always, Henkes masterfully captures the kid’s perspective and is a genius at understanding the world of children. This is a great early chapter book for fans of Beverly Cleary and Judy Blume.” —Diane Capriola, Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, GA

    For Teen Readers

    Asylum, by Madeleine Roux
    (HarperCollins, 9780062220967, $17.99)
    “Was Dan crazy, possessed, or the victim of an elaborate set-up? Dan, Abby, and Jordan are gifted high school students attending a summer program at Brookline, a former psychiatric hospital whose most famous inmate was a serial killer nicknamed the Sculptor — who may still be alive! As the three explore the off-limits parts of the dorm, history comes alive and becomes very personal. Keep the lights on as you read this haunting tale of secrets that refuse to stay buried.” —Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

    The Bitter Kingdom, by Rae Carson
    (Greenwillow Books, 9780062026545, $17.99)
    “Elisa has a mission: to rescue the man she loves, who is imprisoned in the heart of her enemy’s homeland. She sets out with her closest companions to recover him, but along the way the group encounters many dangers that threaten to tear them apart. They also acquire a new traveling companion; however, the only thing on Elisa’s mind is: Can she reach him in time? Can she save him before it’s too late? The final book in Carson’s Fire and Thorns trilogy will please long-time fans and create new ones as well.” —Krys Tourtois, Schuler Books & Music, Lansing, MI

    The Burning Sky, by Sherry Thomas
    (Balzer + Bray, 9780062207296, $17.99)
    “With an impressive mix of magic, adventure, joviality, and romance, Thomas throws her characters — and the reader — immediately into danger with the ‘simple’ act of fixing a spell gone wrong. Magic flies loose and fast through the pages as Iolanthe Seabourne and Prince Titus fight both with each other and toward their goal of destroying the Bane, the ruler of Atlantis and despicable villain. In the meantime, there’s cricket to learn, disguises to maintain, and dragons to slay. Full of fairy tales and damsels who are certainly not in distress, this first book in the Elemental Trilogy is chock full of marvelous storytelling and clever twists. As the prologue states — expect magic!” —Annie Carl, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Part, WA

    Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy, by Elizabeth Kiem
    (Soho Teen, 9781616952631, $17.99)
    “This book has something for everyone: 1980s Soviet Union, 1980s Brooklyn, obscure musical references, prima ballerinas, and even a hint of the supernatural. With characters and a plot line as compelling as its title, Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy is not to be missed.” —Becky Quiroga, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

    The Dream Thieves: Book II of The Raven Cycle, by Maggie Stiefvater
    (Scholastic Press, 9780545424943, $18.99)
    “If you thought The Raven Boys was awesome, wait until you read The Dream Thieves! The hunt for the mythic king Glendower continues, but now Blue and her raven boys struggle to deal with the consequences of waking the ley lines around Cabeswater. This sequel is storytelling wrapped in razor-sharp barbed wire as the reader gains access to Ronan’s thoughts. This is Stiefvater at her best!” —Amy Brabenec, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

    Jumped In, by Patrick Flores-Scott
    (Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, 9780805095142, $16.99)
    “Reject Sam and tough guy Luis are fellow slackers. They follow all the rules to avoid being noticed, but one day they slip up, and for the first time their English teacher sees them for what they might become. Working together on a slam poetry project for class, Sam and Luis form an unlikely friendship, one that has Sam questioning everything he thought he’d figured out about relationships. A truly touching tale of friendship, family, loss, and poetry that will have readers looking twice at people they have always thought to be different.” —Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

    More Than This, by Patrick Ness
    (Candlewick Press, 9780763662585, $19.99)
    “After Seth kills himself, he’s surprised to wake up in his family’s old house in England. How is this possible? And why is no one else there? And why does he have vivid memories when he dreams? A chilling story of death, life, catastrophe, and connection, More Than This asks questions about what life means and if we can ever have more than what we experience. This book pulled me in and wouldn’t let me go.” —Marika McCoola, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, NY

    Not a Drop to Drink, by Mindy McGinnis
    (Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062198501, $17.99)
    “Lynn and her mother embody the phrase ‘tough as nails.’ They have to be tough, living on their own and protecting their only source of water, a pond, in a future United States, where water scarcity has reshaped society. Lynn can feel the desperation of every passing stranger who risks trespassing on her land, and she fears it. People will try anything to gain an advantage over each other in this world, and Lynn is eventually forced outside the house, beyond the pond, and the very solitude that kept her safe turns dangerous. McGinnis deserves applause for bringing a real world concern to life in this stunning debut novel.” —Rebecca Waesch, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

    Rose Under Fire, by Elizabeth Wein
    (Disney/Hyperion, 9781423183099, $17.99)
    Rose Under Fire is the companion book to Code Name Verity. While ferrying a plane from Paris to England, Rose is forced down and captured by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbruck, a concentration camp notorious for its brutality. While in the camp, she tries to keep herself hopeful by focusing on the other women in the camp, writing and creating poetry about them. Rose Under Fire is brutal and disturbing, but our hero, Rose Justice, will make you want to stand up and be counted when a stand must be made.” —Rene Kirkpatrick, Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, WA

    Somebody Up There Hates You, by Hollis Seamon
    (Algonquin Young Readers, 9781616202606, $16.95)
    “Although the events in this story unfold primarily within the confines of the Hilltop Hospital in Hudson, New York, over the course of just 10 days, the impact on readers will far exceed all limitations of time and space. Seventeen-year-old Richard Casey is dying of cancer. Despite this, Richie relates his final days as though reenacting the details of a brilliantly executed prank to a good friend. Ruthlessly hilarious and honest, Richie is the hero of a novel that does not blanch at the realities of sexuality, grief, love, and death, and how families must cope when all four collide.” —Alison Lowery, Read Between the Lynes, Woodstock, IL

    Steelheart, by Brandon Sanderson
    (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 9780385743563, $18.99)
    “Never before has the post-apocalyptic struggle for human survival been so riveting or uplifting. Sanderson has an unparalleled gift for fantastic world-building and the creation of complex, believable characters. In Newcago, the setting of this novel, the sun never rises and the super-human Steelheart holds the entire city of humans and super-humans hostage. Throughout the post-Calamity world, humans bow to Epics, allowing them to pillage, kill, and destroy at their leisure, until The Reckoners decide to take the power back. Can six humans defeat a hundred invincible villains? Is there any good left in the hearts of super-humans?” —Mel Morrow, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

    Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    (Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780307931900, $16.99)
    “Levithan gives us a main event — two boys attempting to break the Guinness World Record for longest kiss — and surrounds it with the touching, funny, and sometimes heartbreaking stories of a group of contemporary gay teens. Throughout the book, a chorus of gay men who have died of AIDS comment on the action. These men remind us of what it was like during the AIDS crisis and what it can be like for the kids of new generations. David Levithan has created a classic, an absolutely stunning, powerful, and hope-filled novel.” —Ken Favell, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, WI

    SPECIAL OFFER:  The Snatchabook, by Helen Docherty, Thomas Docherty (Illus.) (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, ISBN: 9781402290824, $16.99)  has been chosen as the # 1 title on the Autumn 2013 Kids' Indie Next List.  Accounts may order 3 or more copies at 50%, free freight, with no minimum order required.  Offer valid through Friday, September 13, 2013.

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