Indies Introduce Summer / Fall 2021

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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 2021 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 (viewable to logged in member booksellers only) by June 15, 2021 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).
  • 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

  • Catch the Rabbit, Lana Bastašić
    Restless Books, 9781632062895, June 1, 2021 (Fiction)

    “A compelling story about a complex female friendship. Two estranged friends go on a Thelma and Louise-style road trip across Bosnia in search of one friend's brother (presumed dead from the Bosnian War). For readers of Ferrante's Neapolitan Quartet and any who has had intense childhood friendships.”

    – Audrey Huang, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Rainbow Milk, Paul Mendez
    Doubleday, 9780385547062, June 8, 2021 (Fiction)

    “Judge this book by the cover. Sensual, exposed, and unapologetic. Mendez pours more soul into his characters than words can handle and lets them leak through your fingers. You will want to mop them up and bring them solace.”

    – Carrie Koepke, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, MO
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • The Wolf and the Woodsman, Ava Reid
    Harper Voyager, 9780062973122, June 8, 2021 (Fiction)

    “I was deeply impressed with this fantasy novel and its connections with Hungarian and Jewish mythology and folklore. This book is dark, magical, and haunting as the characters face villians that are both fantastical and human. I could not put this down, and raced to the ending to learn what would happen next!”

    – Olivia Edmunds-Diez, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, CO
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Afterparties, Anthony Veasna So
    Ecco, 9780063049901, August 3, 2021 (Fiction)

    “BELIEVE THE HYPE. In fact, call Afterparties the Goodbye, Columbus of Californian Cambodian-American life. So’s book is a glittering example of what the best story collections do —welcome you fully into a world and render it with diamond-cut detail and deep-well empathy.”

    – Chris Lee, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Mrs. March, Virginia Feito
    Liveright, 9781631498619, August 10, 2021 (Fiction)

    “Mrs. March is one of the most indelible characters I've met in a long time, and what a ride she takes us on: This vivid and assured novel about the wife of a famous writer as she tries to uncover his secrets fully envelops one in its world. Don't even think about putting it down before the end!

    – Ariana Paliobagis, Country Bookshelf, Bozeman, MT
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • My Monticello, Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
    Henry Holt and Co., 9781250807151, October 5, 2021 (Fiction)

    “A collection of stories that explore place, belonging, inheritance, and hope in ways that make it impossible not to find yourself amongst these pages. Despite the brevity of each story and the title novella, I still felt full from the astonishing prose and the lingering presence of each character's voice.”

    – Deidre Dumpson, WORD Bookstore, Jersey City, NJ
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Cairo Circles, Doma Mahmoud
    Unnamed Press, 9781951213367, October 12, 2021 (Fiction)

    “Sheero, a lapsed Muslim in NYC, is living a hedonistic life when everything changes. He's taken in for questioning because his estranged cousin committed a terrorist act in the city. From there, the story spirals out in circles as Sheero, his friends and family, and all their lives intersect. I gobbled this up in two sittings.”

    – Audrey Huang, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Love in the Big City, Sang Young Park, Anton Hur (transl.)
    Grove Press, 9780802158789, November 9, 2021 (Fiction)

    “A bold debut bringing refreshing honesty and candor to a young queer life in Seoul. This novel fills your head and makes you listen, reminds you to feel, and encourages you to look beyond the noise.”

    – Carrie Koepke, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, MO
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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Non-Fiction

  • House of Sticks, Ly Tran
    Scribner, 9781501118814, June 1, 2021 (Non-Fiction)

    “This remarkable memoir documents Ly's journey from a young Vietnamese immigrant to a university graduate. Ly does not shy away from the rougher details of her childhood and the cultural clash she and her family experienced while trying to acclimate to America. This is a story of the American Dream, and the remarkable resilience it takes to achieve it.”

    – Olivia Edmunds-Diez, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, CO
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Fox & I: An Uncommon Friendship, Catherine Raven
    Spiegel & Grau, 9781954118003, July 6, 2021 (Non-Fiction)

    “How does one observe without objectifying? Systematize without soullessness? Empathize without sentimentality? Raven's elegantly self-deprecating struggle to synthesize the logical and the ludicrous is a gift to anyone who ever balked at assigning meaning to earth's sublimity.”

    – Amanda Qassar, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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Middle Grade

  • The Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna, Alda P. Dobbs
    Sourcebooks Young Readers, 9781728234656, September 14, 2021 (Middle Grade)

    “It is 1913. The revolution is burning through Mexico and 12-year-old Petra Luna’s father has been arrested, her mother has died, and her grandmother has decided they need to leave their home for safety in the north. This stunning story of bravery and loss (based on the author’s great-grandmother’s early life) is exciting and inspiring and way too close to what we are seeing today.”

    – René Kirkpatrick, University Book Store, Seattle, WA
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Barakah Beats, Maleeha Siddiqui
    Scholastic Press, 9781338702064, October 19, 2021 (Middle Grade)

    “For the first time, Nimra and her friend Jenna will be going to the same school as Nimra leaves her private Islamic school  and starts seventh grade at a public school. Barakah Beats is an upbeat take on maneuvering through middle school and remaining steady when life gets rocky.”

    – Connie Griffin, Bookworks, Albuquerque, NM
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Manu, Kelly Fernández
    Graphix, 9781338264197 / 9781338264180, October 19, 2021 (Middle Grade)

    “This adorable, vibrant, and fantastical graphic novel perfectly captures the power and magic of friendship. Despite her best intentions, Manu somehow manages to get into trouble a lot. Her magical powers are too much to handle, until one day, they disappear. Their friendship is strong, but are Manu and Josephina powerful enough to make things right?”

    – Cat Chapman, The Oxford Exchange, Tampa, FL
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Neverforgotten, Alejandra Algorta, Aida Salazar (Transl.)
    Levine Querido, 9781646140947, October 26, 2021 (Middle Grade)

    Neverforgotten is about a boy, a bicycle, a city. Movement. Growth. Transformation.  It’s a story that absorbs the reader, that through words and drawings carries us to Bogotá while at the same time brings us to our own thoughts and memories of moments when our lives shifted.”

    – Connie Griffin, Bookworks, Albuquerque, NM
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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Young Adult

  • The Passing Playbook, Isaac Fitzsimons
    Dial Books, 9781984815408, June 1, 2021 (Young Adult)

    “Isaac Fitzsimons has scored a goal for Trans Boy Joy. This teen rom-com set amid high school halls and soccer fields was a delight from start to finish. Explorations of identity, faith, friendship, family, and competition give every character a chance to grow and to shine.”

    – Brein Lopez, Children’s Book World, Los Angeles, CA
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Don’t Hate the Player, Alexis Nedd
    Bloomsbury YA, 9781547605026, June 15, 2021 (Young Adult)

    Don’t Hate the Player follows Emilia, a chronic overachiever who moonlights as a competitive gamer. The romance in this is sweet and realistic and charming, and everything about this incredible debut novel makes me wildly excited for Alexis Nedd's whole career.

    – Abby Rauscher, Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, NY
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Me (Moth), Amber McBride
    Feiwel & Friends, 9781250780362, August 17, 2021 (Young Adult)

    “Incredible. Poetic. Jaw dropping. It's hard to find the words to describe how amazing this book is. Two lost souls finding each other and themselves, paired with a heart-stopping ending you will never see coming. Just read this book.”

    – Kelsy April, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT and Savoy Bookshop & Cafe, Westerly, RI
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • When We Make It, Elisabet Velasquez
    Dial Books, 9780593324486, September 21, 2021 (Young Adult)

    “Told with clarity of voice in poems that stand alone and hold together, Velasquez tells the story of Sarai, a Puerto Rican American eighth grader living in Brooklyn. Sarai is able to see herself, highlight the ways her neighborhood and loved ones save and fail her, and come to her own understanding of what ‘making it’ will mean.”

    – Hannah Amrollahi, Bookworm of Omaha, Omaha, NE
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • The Keeper of Night, Kylie Lee Baker
    Inkyard Press, 9781335405661, October 12, 2021 (Young Adult)

    “What a vivid and chilling story! For the first time in my life, I was thrilled to be creeped out. Kylie Lee Baker has created this world based on Japanese mythology and it is terrifyingly good. Grab a flashlight, a blanket, and dive into this haunting tale.”

    – Kim Brock, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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  • Skin of the Sea, Natasha Bowen
    Random House Books for Young Readers, 9780593120941, November 9, 2021 (Young Adult)

    “Natasha Bowen gives voice to the long established African and Carribean folk legends about merbeings and the goddess Yemoja in her fantastic debut, Skin of the Sea. A riveting folklore-fantasy that is rooted in the historic reality of the Euro-American trade of enslaved Africans.”

    – Brein Lopez, Children’s Book World, Los Angeles, CA
    Additional blurb(s) available here


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