Indies Introduce Summer / Fall 2020

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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 2020 debuts. Publishers offer special terms on these books just for participating indie booksellers.

For stores that have taken part in past Indies Introduce promotions, there’s no need to sign up to take advantage of publishers’ offers; stores that are
new to the program must complete the form below by June 15, 2020, in order to participate.

By signing up, booksellers agree to:

  • Promote at least 8 of 20 titles (adult and kids combined).
  • Order at least 3 copies of hardcover adult and kids’ titles or 5 copies of paperback titles (display allowance titles may have different order requirements).
  • Build a dedicated display with each book to be displayed for no less than two weeks.
  • Promote the debut titles through social media, staff picks, author videos and the like.

 

Marketing Assets:

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

Fiction

  • A Burning, Megha Majumdar
    Knopf, 9780525658696, June 2, 2020 (Fiction)

    “Jivan is a Bangladeshi slum-dwelling Muslim girl striving toward a better life. Overcome by emotion when a terrorist attack leaves death behind at the train station, she posts a comment that will have tragic repercussions. PT Sir is a teacher who seizes the opportunity for future benefit by hitching himself to a politically connected right wing group and doing their bidding. Lovely, a hijra, is denied one future so she grasps another. Each will have a role in determining Jivan’s fate. Lovely is a great character, granting the story moments of humor and sparkle as darker themes of corruption, repression, and justice are explored.”

    – Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music (Sunriver, OR)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • The Second Home, Christina Clancy
    St. Martin's Press, 9781250239341, June 2, 2020 (Fiction)

    “Christina Clancy delivers a delightful escape to a beloved family home in Cape Cod. One fateful summer, everything goes awry, causing the family to fracture. Yet family love prevails, although not in expected ways. Clancy’s debut novel engages every emotion as this family struggles with secrets and misunderstandings. A fantastic summer getaway.”

    – Kappy Kling, HearthFire Books & Treats (Evergreen, CO)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • This Little Family, Inés Bayard, (translated by Adriana Hunter)
    Other Press, 9781892746870, June 16, 2020 (Fiction)

    “In this startling debut novel, Marie’s respectable world is totally upended when she is raped by her boss. As she struggles with guilt, anxiety, and despair, she turns inward, starting a disturbing breakdown that is difficult to observe yet hard to look away from.”

    – Maxwell Gregory, Lake Forest Book Store (Lake Forest, IL)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Nine Shiny Objects, Brian Castleberry
    Custom House, 9780062984395, June 30, 2020 (Fiction)

    Nine Shiny Objects is a big novel with big ideas and a large cast of misfits. It feels particularly prescient during America’s current obsession with both the grifter and the cult narrative. It’s fun and also makes you think — totally worth the ride.”

    – Quentin Greif, Little City Books (Hoboken, NJ)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Fresh Water for Flowers, Valérie Perrin (translated by Hildegarde Serle)
    Europa Editions, 9781609455958, July 7, 2020 (Fiction)

    “This story is simply beautiful. Fresh, fun, and so unique. As a cemetery caretaker, Violette both cherishes and honors loved ones while addressing the realities of day-to-day life caring for the dead, herself, and everyone around her.”

    – Kappy Kling, HearthFire Books (Evergreen, CO)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Crooked Hallelujah, Kelli Jo Ford
    Grove Press, 9780802149121, July 14, 2020 (Fiction)

    “Following three generations of women bound up in patterns of intermittent poverty, religious fervor, violence, and the fierce but fraught bond between mothers and daughters, this powerful and heartfelt novel swept me off my feet. "

    – Mary Williams, Skylight Books (Los Angeles, CA)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Dear Child, Romy Hausmann
    Flatiron, 9781250768537, October 6, 2020 (Fiction)

    “In this spine-tingling thriller, a woman found after a hit and run is thought to be ‘Lena,’ who has been missing for 14 years. As Lena’s father and the police attempt to piece the puzzle together, things don’t seem to fit into place. Hausmann keeps you in suspense until the end of this fast-paced page-turner.”

    – Maxwell Gregory, Lake Forest Book Store (Lake Forest, IL)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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Non-Fiction

  • The Sirens of Mars, Sarah Stewart Johnson
    Crown, 9781101904817, July 7, 2020 (Non-Fiction)

    Sirens of Mars is a deeply personal memoir about the search for signs of life on Mars. Despite the attention to scientific detail, this is an easily readable book. Johnson ultimately shows us how the story of Mars is also a story about Earth. A must-read for anyone with an interest in the red planet, and anyone who is keen to hear more voices from women in science.”

    – Lindsey Bartlett, formerly of Ellen Plumb’s City Bookstore (Emporia, KS)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • The Beauty in Breaking, Michele Harper
    Riverhead Books, 9780525537380, July 7, 2020 (Non-Fiction)

    “This memoir is a fascinating examination of a life dedicated to helping others, and an illuminating, up-close view of what happens in emergency rooms. And the author’s perspective as one of few female African American ER doctors is a valuable contribution to our understanding of the profession.”

    – Mary Williams, Skylight Books (Los Angeles, CA)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Dancing With the Octopus, Debora Harding
    Bloomsbury, 9781635576122, September 22, 2020 (Non-Fiction)

    Dancing With the Octopus is the most honest memoir I have ever read. Harding leaves nothing on the table. Told in crystal-clear prose that is reminiscent of Maggie Nelson and Marry Karr, this book is set to become a classic of its genre.”

    – Quentin Greif, Little City Books (Hoboken, NJ)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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Middle Grade

  • Dan Unmasked, Chris Negron
    HarperCollins, 9780062943057, July 28, 2020 (Middle Grade)

    “Dan is a middle school boy, a baseball captain, a super comic book creator, and the best friend of fellow baseball star and comic fanatic Nate. When Nate gets lost in a coma, what some call a mysterious Nexus, Dan and his daring crew try to find their own way to rescue him. This stellar, heartwarming, reassuring, layered, childhood-affirming, and brave story will awaken even the most reluctant hero in all readers.”

    – Drew Durham, Books Inc. Palo Alto (Palo Alto, CA)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Cattywampus, Ash Van Otterloo
    Scholastic Press, 9781338561593, August 4, 2020 (Middle Grade)

    Cattywampus has everything: friendship, enemies, a very charming raccoon, magic, ancient family feuds, and zombies. Set in Appalachia, this is the story of Delpha and Katybird, two girls coming of age in very different situations. Funny, smart, and inclusive, the only way to describe this book is as a good ole’ southern yarn!”

    – Chelsea Bauer, Union Avenue Books (Knoxville, TN)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • The Places We Sleep, Caroline Brooks DuBois
    Holiday House, 9780823444212, August 25, 2020 (Middle Grade)

    “A lovely book in verse that juxtaposes an important event in a girl’s life and an important event in the United States: September 11, 2001. Abbey’s family has just moved again and her body is changing, her mom is worried, and her dad might be headed for active duty, but Abbey has her new friend Camille and is gaining independence. I fell into this story and did not resurface until I was done. Brilliant.”

    – Rebecca Crosswhite, Rediscovered Books (Boise, ID)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Witches of Brooklyn, Sophie Escabasse
    Random House Graphic, 9780593119273, September 1, 2020 (Middle Grade)

    “I can only hope that all young, emerging witches get aunties as great as Effie’s. Having to move to a new home is hard, but learning that you are a witch is even harder. This is a magical tale about learning what makes you special, what makes others special, and what makes a family. The Witches of Brooklyn is a sweet, honest, and joyful read.”

    – Rebecca Crosswhite, Rediscovered Books (Boise, ID)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • A Wolf for a Spell, Karah Sutton
    Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780593121658, September 22, 2020 (Middle Grade)

    Wolf for a Spell is a beautiful fairytale of a novel. Baba Yaga is on a mission to save her forest and enlists the help of a wolf named Zima and a rebellious orphan named Nadya. As in any story involving Baba Yaga, there are tricks and magic around every corner. The writing is lush and the plot kept me on the edge of my seat. This is a truly exceptional middle grade novel. I would recommend it to anyone and everyone!”

    – Chelsea Bauer, Union Avenue Books (Knoxville, TN)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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Young Adult

  • You Should See Me in a Crown, Leah Johnson
    Scholastic Press, 9781338503265, June 2, 2020 (Young Adult)

    “Liz Lighty is convinced that she’s inherently wrong for the title of prom queen. She’s always felt too poor, too black, too queer to really shine in her prom-obsessed town. But when make-or-break college financing falls through, Liz has no choice: She must run for prom queen and nab the sizeable scholarship that comes with the crown. I loved every second of this book…Liz Lighty for prom queen!”

    – Emily Hall Schroen, Main Street Books (St. Charles, MO)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Goddess in the Machine, Lora Beth Johnson
    Razorbill, 9781984835925, June 30, 2020 (Young Adult)

    “Wow! Lora Beth Johnson takes the literal ‘deus ex machina’ and turns it on its freaking head. Several times! Andra wakes up from cryo-sleep 1000 years too late to help her family, but just in time to help Zhade the exiled. He wants to grab ‘Goddess 3’ and return home the hero. But Andra isn't here to live up to someone else's expectations. And she is not the Goddess you were looking for.”

    – Kathy Burnette, The Brain Lair (South Bend, IN)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Cemetery Boys, Aiden Thomas
    Swoon Reads, 9781250250469, September 1, 2020 (Young Adult)

    Cemetery Boys is a ghost story, a mystery, and a swoon-worthy romance all at once, and I have fallen in love with it! The representation of transness feels genuine and respectful, and the portrayal of Latinx culture was beautifully done.”

    – Mariana Calderon, Second Star to the Right Children’s Books (Denver, CO)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Legendborn, Tracy Deonn
    Simon Pulse, 9781534441606, September 15, 2020 (Young Adult)

    “When black high schooler Bree Matthews has the chance to escape her family grief by applying to an early college program at a local university, she jumps at the chance. After being attacked by a shadow beast, Bree learns of a secret society of predominantly white men called Legendborn, who must battle and vanquish the evil that enters our world. With wit, charm, and determination, Bree is a force to be reckoned with and a heroine to root for.”

    – Lauren Nopenz Fairley, Curious Iguana (Frederick, MD)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • The Truth Project, Dante Medema
    HarperTeen, 9780062954404, October 13, 2020 (Young Adult)

    “When budding poet Cordelia decides to focus her senior project on her family’s genealogy, she submits a DNA analysis only to discover the horrifying truth that the man who she always believed to be her father is not really her biological father. Beautifully written in verse form, poignant, and affecting, The Truth Project is something truly special that will grab hold of your heart and not let go.”

    – Lauren Nopenz Fairley, Curious Iguana (Frederick, MD)
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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