Past Indies Introduce Titles

Winter/Spring 2024


  • Out of the Sierra, Victoria Blanco
    Coffee House Press, 9781566896535, June 11, 2024 (Non-Fiction)

    “Blanco writes an unparalleled work of narrative nonfiction that intricately captures a chronicle of everyday resistance in this story of the Rarámuri people, as social and environmental factors force them away from their communal society in the Sierra Madre mountains and into a different life in Chihuahua City.”

    -—Stephanie Skees, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, MO

  • Cactus Country, Zoë Bossiere
    Abrams Press, 9781419773181, May 14, 2024 (Non-Fiction)

    Cactus Country is all about landscape: of Arizona and the hot desert, of childhood and its constant developments, of gender and its fluidity. Zoë Bossiere is sharing a much-needed story of a childhood outside of the gender binary in a world built to misunderstand. Bossiere astutely and tenderly dives into hard to talk about topics — masculinity, assault, mental health, poverty, transphobia, and so much more. You'll fall so easily into Bossiere’s writing and you won't turn away when things get hard — Zoë is there to gently guide you through the path forward.”

    -—Frances Metzger, Country Bookshelf, Bozeman, MT


  • Ocean's Godori, Elaine U. Cho
    Hillman Grad Books, 9781638930594, April 23, 2024 (Fiction)

    “Taking everything you love about the genre and crafting it into her own wholly original story, Cho has burst onto the sci-fi scene with this story of a Korean space pilot navigating murder, love, and tech politics. As you’re immersed into a journey that explores the themes of colonialism, familial duty and racial identity; you will find yourself endlessly rooting for these characters.”

    -—Stephanie Skees, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, MO

  • A Letter to the Luminous Deep, Sylvie Cathrall
    Orbit, 9780316565530, April 23, 2024 (Fiction)

    “If I had to sum up this book in one word, it would be ‘delightful.’ An oceanic universe is the setting for this fantasy with a heart. Sophy and Vyerin examine correspondence between their mutual siblings, E. and Henerey, to solve the mystery of their sudden disappearance. A Letter to the Luminous Deep explores how the power of connection can help us face the knowns and unknowns of life. I’m anxiously awaiting the next book in the series!”

    -—Kathy Baum, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

  • Women! In! Peril!, Jessie Ren Marshall
    Bloomsbury, 9781639732272, April 2, 2024 (Fiction)

    “As the title would suggest, Women! In! Peril! Is a fun and funny take on feminist and societal situations and issues. With distinct wit and charm, Jessie Ren Marshall’s impressive debut will have you laughing out loud, re-reading passages and shaking your head with disbelief. (Yes, she went there!) This distinctive collection is a literary experience not to be missed.”

    -—Paula Farmer, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

  • The Emperor and the Endless Palace, Justinian Huang
    Mira, 9780778305231, March 26, 2024 (Fiction)

    “An intricately woven tale of star-crossed lovers, The Emperor and the Endless Palace is a masterful combination of Chinese folklore, queer history, and romance. From an ancient Chinese dynasty to the gay party scene of LA, Justinian Huang transports us through three different eras of Chinese culture.”

    -—Devon Overley, Loganberry Books, Shaker Heights, OH

  • Nearly All the Men in Lagos are Mad, Damilare Kuku
    HarperVia, 9780063316362, March 19, 2024 (Fiction)

    “An anthem for strong-willed women of the 21st century, these stories will burrow under your skin and light your blood on fire. The women of Lagos have been put down by men for too long, and they’re reclaiming their power in force. Sharp-witted and fierce, Damilare Kuku speaks directly to the heart and compels you to unveil your inner bad*ss.”

    -—Melissa Sagendorph, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA

  • The Other Valley, Scott Alexander Howard
    Atria Books, 9781668015476, February 27, 2024 (Fiction)

    “Scott Alexander Howard presents us with a heartbreaking commentary on predetermination and how one person can alter the course of history to create an entirely new present. Filled with raw emotion and expert prose, The Other Valley leaves a lasting impression on how precarious our futures can be.”

    -—Devon Overley, Loganberry Books, Shaker Heights, OH

  • The Storm We Made, Vanessa Chan
    Marysue Rucci Books, 9781668015148, January 2, 2024 (Fiction)

    “A unique and wholly engaging perspective on a little-known aspect of World War II. Through a few key characters that make up an unforgettable Malayan family, The Storm We Made shines a light on the brutality of war, the pain of occupation and the resilience of survivors. Chan delivers a fresh and necessary voice on the literary landscape.”

    -—Paula Farmer, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA


  • The Blue Mimes, Sara Daniele Rivera
    Graywolf, 9781644452790, April 2, 2024 (Poetry)

    “A bilingual and elegiac collection that explores transnational sorrow with an openness to delving into the gulfs loss creates, rather than succumbing to them. Memories of family and political histories intertwine with cultural unrest and the sensorially intimate to form poems with a sketchy quality — much like the drawings in the book — with deep feeling and sense of possibility. Disarmingly beautiful.”

    -—Luis Correa, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

Middle Grade

  • The Wishkeeper's Apprentice, Rachel Chivers Khoo
    Candlewick Press, 9781536231205, April 2, 2024 (Middle Grade)

    “All Felix wants is for his older sister to like him again, but when he makes a wish in the town fountain, he gets much more than he bargained for. One wish opens up a world that Felix never knew was all around him, and he becomes the apprentice of the local Wishkeeper. Together they join the fight against the Wishsnatchers to save the joy of their little town. This is an adorable story of the magic of wishes and family that will delight young readers.”

    -—Andi Richardson, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

  • Continental Drifter, Kathy MacLeod
    First Second, 9781250813749, April 2, 2024 (Middle Grade)

    “I love this book with my whole heart. Kathy’s memoir is tender and touching, filled with the hopes and disappointments of looking for a place to belong. There is so much heart in these pages! A true gem of a book.”

    -—Ann Branson, Beach Books, Seaside, OR

  • Olivetti, Allie Millington
    Feiwel & Friends, 9781250326935, March 26, 2024 (Middle Grade)

    Olivetti is my favorite new middle grade novel in years. A lovable introvert, a typewriter with a lot to say, and an irresistible mystery come together to create a one of a kind reading experience. This book weaves together themes of mental health, family, and magic in ways that are deeply thoughtful and unique. I cannot wait to get this book into the hands of every 10-year-old I know.”

    -—Molly Olivo, Child’s Play, Washington, D.C.

  • City Girls, Loretta Lopez
    Triangle Square, 9781644213421, March 12, 2024 (Middle Grade)

    “This is a rare story where three young girls all battle through their own heartbreaking problems, and their parents’ & caregivers’ (immigration, divorce, cancer) and are still able to find joy in each other’s friendship. There is more than meets the eye with each of them, and the three stories come together tenderly and beautifully.”

    -—Paul Swydan, The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton, MA

  • Daughters of the Lamp, Nedda Lewers
    G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, 9780593619308, February 20, 2024 (Middle Grade)

    “Lewers’ debut is a magical tale of what happens when a logical science-minded kid encounters things she can’t explain. Mysterious glowing jewelry, a questionable bride, and a magical chamber of hidden treasure will open her mind to things she never thought possible. This was an adorable book full of family love and Arabian traditions!”

    -—Andi Richardson, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

  • Alterations, Ray Xu
    Union Square Kids, 9781454945840 / 9781454945857, January 30, 2024 (Middle Grade)

    "This is at once a tenderly portrayed immigrant story, as well as a hilarious kid’s graphic novel about the kid who keeps winding up in the wrong place at the wrong time, right up until that reverses in the most glorious way. I loved every page.”

    -—Paul Swydan, The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton, MA

Young Adult

  • Snowglobe, Soyoung Park, Joungmin Lee Comfort (transl.)
    Delacorte Press, 9780593484975, February 27, 2024 (Young Adult)

    “Are you a lover of upsetting dystopian thrillers? Are you looking for dark and wild adventures with cinematic twists? Snowglobe has intriguing climate themes and inequity combined with riveting action and characters. Reserve a whole night to read this one cover to cover in one sitting — you will need it!”

    -—Molly Olivo, Child’s Play, Washington, D.C.

  • Shut Up, This Is Serious, Carolina Ixta
    Quill Tree Books, 9780063287860, January 9, 2024 (Young Adult)

    "A stunning debut novel that explores family (both biological and chosen), racism and the idea of what a young girl presents to the world as opposed to what she offers the world. Carolina Ixta has written a book that I wish I could have read when I was 18 years old. This book shook me to the core."

    -—Teresa Steele, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

  • That's Not My Name, Megan Lally
    Sourcebooks Fire, 9781728270111, January 2, 2024 (Young Adult)

    “I love it when a good thriller drops me into characters’ lives with a story already in progress. And waking up on the side of a desolate road late at night not knowing your identity or how you got there is the perfect way to do that. An exciting and nerve-racking tale of figuring out who you are and who you can trust.”

    -—Erin Rivera, The Frugal Frigate, Redlands, CA

Young Adult Non-Fiction

  • How the Boogeyman Became a Poet, Tony Keith, Jr.
    Katherine Tegen Books, 9780063296008, February 6, 2024 (Young Adult Non-Fiction)

    How the Boogeyman Became a Poet, in my opinion, is required reading. I could spend days analyzing Tony’s writing style and choice of words. This affirming memoir, written in verse, walks the reader through the beautiful journey of being honest with yourself and fostering community. This book is for anyone trying to put the puzzle pieces of their life together, but feel like they are missing just one piece.”

    -—Maryan Liban, Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers, Columbus, OH

Summer/Fall 2023

Middle Grade

  • Tagging Freedom, Rhonda Roumani
    Union Square Kids, 9781454950714 / 9781454950721, November 7, 2023 (Middle Grade)

    “A great introduction into social activism and using your voice in a positive way. You’ll cheer on and develop serious empathy for Samira and Kareem as they navigate dual cultures, cluelessly offensive classmates, and bullies.”

    -—Susan Reckers, Rakestraw Books, Danville, CA

  • Jawbreaker, Christina Wyman
    Farrar, Straus and Giroux BYR, 9780374389697/9781250331021, October 24, 2023 (Middle Grade)

    “Layered with preteen angst, family dynamics, the power of friendships and allies, consequences, and self-confidence, this book was instantly relatable and down to earth. Jawbreaker gives an honest, raw look at everyday issues in an occasionally humorous way, but also candidly exposes a covert form of bullying and being ‘othered.’”

    -—Zsamé Morgan, Babycake’s Book Stack, St. Paul, MN

  • I Am Kavi, Thushanthi Ponweera
    Holiday House, 9780823453658, September 19, 2023 (Middle Grade)

    “Sometimes our dreams come true in unexpected ways. Kavi wants to make a better life for herself and her mother, and to leave her stepfather behind. When her mother sends her to this ‘better life’ on her own, Kavi decides to reinvent herself with drastic consequences.”

    -—Kathy Burnette, Brain Lair Books, South Bend, IN

  • The Kingdom Over the Sea, Zohra Nabi
    Margaret K. McElderry Books, 9781665931083, June 6, 2023 (Middle Grade)

    “An homage to 1001 Arabian Nights, Yara seeks answers concerning her late mother which leads her to the fictional nation of Zehaira and a magical quest for the truth. A fantastical story steeped in cultural folklore and myth.”

    -—Gerard Villegas, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

Young Adult

  • All the Fighting Parts, Hannah V. Sawyerr
    Amulet Books, 9781419762611, September 19, 2023 (Young Adult)

    “This novel in verse sucks you in with the fast flow and strong voice, a bull horn for those who have experienced SA and who cannot fight for themselves.”

    -—Liz Decker, Caprichos Books, Ocean Pines, MD

  • The Borrow a Boyfriend Club, Page Powars
    Delacorte Press, 9780593568583, September 12, 2023 (Young Adult)

    The Borrow a Boyfriend Club is an enemy-to-lovers rom-com at its finest. Filled with plenty of humorous and laugh-out loud antics, this book is sure to sweep you off your feet. The characters are authentic and complex as they all try to fit into high school as well as figuring out who they are.”

    -—Jody Hardy, Mostly Books, Tucson, AZ

  • Their Vicious Games, Joelle Wellington
    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781665922425, July 25, 2023 (Young Adult)

    “After Adina slips and risks her Ivy League chances by getting into a fight, she’s tapped to join the mysterious Finish to compete against other girls for a shot at the patronage of the Remingtons. Gripping from the first page to the last, Their Vicious Games is an absolutely thrilling read about female friendship, privilege, and just what we’re willing to do to get ahead.”

    -—Abby Rice, Title IX: A Bookstore, Mystic, CT

  • Give Me a Sign, Anna Sortino
    G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, 9780593533796, July 11, 2023 (Young Adult)

    "Sortino seamlessly blends spoken & signed dialogue, highlights a myriad of systemic issues the Deaf community faces, and showcases community thriving around disability differences. A sweet, summery coming-of-age story (with a hint of romance) that’s equal parts fun and important!”

    -—Talia Smart, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

  • Sing Me to Sleep, Gabi Burton
    Bloomsbury, 9781547610372, June 27, 2023 (Young Adult)

    Sing Me to Sleep is a fantasy novel you can sink into and finish in a day. The will-they-won’t-they banter and chemistry between Saoirse and the Prince will give you goosebumps. Not to mention the non-stop fight to overthrow a corrupt kingdom is sure to have you frantically turning the pages and gasping at the twists and turns along the way.”

    -—Jody Hardy, Mostly Books, Tucson, AZ

  • An Echo in the City, K.X Song
    Little Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316396820, June 20, 2023 (Young Adult)

    An Echo in the City is a brilliant, moving, coming-of-age story about two teens on the opposite sides of the 2019 Hong Kong protests, trying to figure out their place in the bigger picture. A must read for young activists and fans of Like a Love Story.

    -—Abby Rice, Title IX: A Bookstore, Mystic, CT


  • Every Drop is a Man's Nightmare, Megan Kamalei Kakimoto
    Bloomsbury, 9781639731169, August 29, 2023 (Fiction)

    “Overflowing with female sexuality and Hawaiian mythology, Every Drop is a Man’s Nightmare punches out one fearless story after the next. Kakimoto gives us a raw, intense Hawai'i, one that exists far from the touristy, colonized romanticism often promoted.”

    -—Beth Shapiro, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, MO

  • Shark Heart, Emily Habeck
    Marysue Rucci Books, 9781668006498, August 8, 2023 (Fiction)

    “A heart-wrenching look at loss and love, motherhood and growth. Featuring gorgeous prose and an intriguing magical realism approach, this novel was captivating and moving.”

    -—Mallory Melton, BookPeople, Austin, TX

  • The Militia House, John Milas
    Henry Holt and Co., 9781250857064, July 11, 2023 (Fiction)

    “A thrilling debut horror story and a commentary on the lasting impact of war on soldiers. Upon first glance, the story centers on a seemingly routine deployment for an American unit in Afghanistan, but everything changes the minute the soldiers step inside the militia house, an abandoned Soviet-era barracks.”

    -—Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

  • Banyan Moon, Thao Thai
    Mariner Books, 9780063267107, June 27, 2023 (Fiction)

    “Delicately expressed from the lenses of Minh, Huong, and Ann, three generations of fierce and enigmatic Vietnamese American women, Banyan Moon is a rich and sweeping narrative that shows us the complexities of family, the tenderness that humans owe to one another, and our determination to break toxic cycles.”

    -—Thu Doan, East Bay Booksellers, Oakland, CA

  • I Will Greet the Sun Again, Khashayar J. Khabushani
    Hogarth, 9780593243305, August 1, 2023 (Fiction)

    “I am absolutely awestruck by this debut. A tale of sexual and cultural awakening that unfolds in slow time, with a beauty and easy lilt that instill a sense of great peace. Khabushani paints a compassionate portrait of youth with an immediacy and generosity that make this book universal.”

    -—Wesley Minter, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

  • Lucky Red, Claudia Cravens
    The Dial Press, 9780593498248, June 20, 2023 (Fiction)

    “Set in the heart of the American West, Claudia Cravens’ debut novel, Lucky Red, is best described as True Grit by way of Sarah Waters. It’s a delightfully queer and sexy subversion of the western genre that puts a charismatic and hard-hearted harlot front and center.”

    -—Rachael Conrad, PRINT: A Bookstore, Portland, ME

  • At the Edge of the Woods, Kathryn Bromwich
    Two Dollar Radio, 9781953387318, June 6, 2023 (Fiction)

    “Earthy, sensuous, and feminist. Through extraordinary nature writing, Bromwich addresses fertility, culture, class, illness, and community. Tense and witchy, this is a story of one woman who lives on her own terms. Glorious.”

    -—Beth Shapiro, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, MO

  • And Then He Sang a Lullaby, Ani Kayode
    Roxane Gay Books, 9780802160751, June 6, 2023 (Fiction)

    “Heartbreaking yet hopeful, And Then He Sang a Lullaby is an incredibly powerful debut for fans of The Death of Vivek Oji. August and Segun are two young college students in Nigeria seeking intimacy and connection while fighting against internal and societal shame and homophobia.”

    -—Christine Bollow, Loyalty Bookstores, Washington, DC

  • Deep as the Sky, Red as the Sea, Rita Chang-Eppig
    Bloomsbury, 9781639730377, May 30, 2023 (Fiction)

    “A historical epic adventure featuring a fierce, ruthless Pirate Queen, interspersed with rich Chinese folklore? Yes please! Based on a real life person, this tale told in beautiful prose is the story of one woman’s path to survive against all odds.”

    -—Alana Haley, Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, MI


  • Rivermouth: A Chronicle of Language, Faith, and Migration, Alejandra Oliva
    Astra House, 9781662601699, June 20, 2023 (Non-Fiction)

    “Rivermouth examines the immigrant journey from beginning to end. It is a personal, human centric account of our system, how broken it is, and how it fails us all. The author, herself Mexican-American, bi-lingual, with a foot planted in two worlds, is ideally suited to frame the discussion.”

    -—Alana Haley, Schuler’s Books, Grand Rapids, MI

Winter/Spring 2023

Young Adult

  • Where You See Yourself, Claire Forrest
    Scholastic Press, 9781338813838, April 18, 2023 (Young Adult)

    “Utterly engrossing through and through. A fun senior year novel told through the eyes of a spunky teenager fighting for disability rights. I was rooting for Effie to find her voice, to get the guy, and to go for the future that would make her happy.”

    -- Earl Dizon, Green Bean Books, Portland, OR

  • I Kick and I Fly, Ruchira Gupta
    Scholastic Press, 9781338825091, April 18, 2023 (Young Adult)

    “An incredibly immersive, honest, yet YA-appropriate novel based on the real experiences of trafficked young women and those who work to free them. This incredible book manages to offer an uplifting and hopeful story without downplaying the incredibly harsh realities its characters, and the people who inspired them, face. A must-read.”

    -- Emily Autenrieth, A Seat at the Table Books, Elk Grove, CA

  • Bianca Torre is Afraid of Everything, Justine Pucella Winans
    Clarion Books, 9780358721642, April 11, 2023 (Young Adult)

    “This book is the weird and wonderful queer-teen-investigates-money-laundering-bird-cult murder mystery I didn’t realize I was waiting for. Simultaneously hilarious and terrifying, sweet and wry."

    -- Rebekah Shoaf, Boogie Down Books, Bronx, NY

  • There Goes the Neighborhood, Jade Adia
    Disney-Hyperion, 9781368084321, March 7, 2023 (Young Adult)

    “Fun yet insightful, like if Scooby Doo and the gang had to solve a mystery in a neighborhood dealing with gentrification. I loved the initiative shown by the characters to do everything in their power to stay together.”

    -- Earl Dizon, Green Bean Books, Portland, OR

  • The Davenports, Krystal Marquis
    Dial Books, 9780593463338, January 31, 2023 (Young Adult)

    “In the fleeting moment of American history following Reconstruction, formerly enslaved people sought the ‘American Dream.’ This YA historical romance (with definite crossover appeal!) follows the wealthy Davenport family in 1910 Chicago Black high society. Varied perspectives across class lines flesh out their world fully. Believable, engaging, realistic — I haven't been able to stop talking about The Davenports!”

    -- Tory Hall, Chapters Books & Gifts, Seward, NE

Middle Grade

  • Jude Saves the World, Ronnie Riley
    Scholastic Press, 9781338855876, April 18, 2023 (Middle Grade)

    “Filled with courage and positivity, Jude is middle grade’s next Pride icon. I will be thinking about this story for years to come. Young readers and adults alike will find this book to be a fantastic resource in understanding queer and gender identities!”

    -- Kaliisha Cole, Whitelam Books, Reading, MA

  • Turtles of the Midnight Moon, María José Fitzgerald
    Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780593488706, March 14, 2023 (Middle Grade)

    Turtles of the Midnight Moon is magical in more ways than one, but the glimpse it offers into life in Honduras and the challenges environmentalists face there is all too real. Barana and Abby are a dedicated and inspiring team. A wonderful story about friendship, courage, and conservation.”

    -- Gabriella Crivilare, Prairie Fox Books, Ottawa, IL

  • The Swifts, Beth Lincoln
    Dutton Books for Young Readers, 9780593533239, February 7, 2023 (Middle Grade)

    “A rambunctious and often hilarious mystery with a classic feel thanks to the rundown family house and quirky cast of characters. With a penchant for wordplay, treasure hunting, and odd traditions like comically accurate names, The Swifts are one family with a reunion you’ll never forget.”

    -- Gabriella Crivilare, Prairie Fox Books, Ottawa, IL

  • The Pearl Hunter, Miya T. Beck
    Balzer + Bray, 9780063238190, February 7, 2023 (Middle Grade)

    “A stunning novel, inside and out. Kai and Kishi are twin pearl divers who do everything together, until the day Kishi is swallowed by a ghost whale. Kai is willing to risk everything to bring her twin back home. Kai is complex, imperfect, fierce, and loyal. The Pearl Hunter will capture your heart and leave you thinking.”

    -- Brandi Stewart, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

Young Adult Non-Fiction

  • Hidden Systems, Dan Nott
    Random House Graphic, 9781984896049, March 14, 2023 (Young Adult Non-Fiction)

    “Dan Nott takes one of the most innocuous and seemingly boring subjects — infrastructure — and demonstrates just how fascinating and vital it can be. Subtleties, entrenched inequalities, dis-functions, and outmoded processes are laid bare in a way that is awesome and interesting to read!”

    -- Justin Colussy-Estes, Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, GA


  • To Shape a Dragon's Breath, Moniquill Blackgoose
    Del Rey, 9780593498286, May 9, 2023 (Fiction)

    “Not only is it extremely rare to find such a unique tale of dragons and their human companions (set at a magic school, no less), but this phenomenal series opener gives us an alternative history of American colonization from an Indigenous perspective. Anequs is my new favorite hero!”

    -- Alyssa Raymond, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, MA

  • Saltwater Demands a Psalm: Poems, Kweku Abimbola
    Graywolf Press, 9781644452271, April 4, 2023 (Fiction)

    "Combining Ghanaian pictographs with the grave result of being Black in America, Abimbola honors the victims of police violence. Each person is renamed and reimagined, allowing them to be rebirthed. Abimbola incorporates both Black and African themes into an enchanting collection that is as sacred as a bowl of jollof rice. Saltwater Demands a Psalm is a call that you want to respond to with as much joy as reverence.”

    -- Nikita Imafidon, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, KS

  • Carmen and Grace, Melissa Coss Aquino
    William Morrow, 9780063159068, April 4, 2023 (Fiction)

    “I entered a whole new world I didn’t even know existed when I read this book — the world of women in an underground drug empire, mostly Latina, and all so much smarter and smoother than their male counterparts. Through sharp street dialogue and well-defined characters, I found myself wanting to root for their success; given their dangerous enterprise, I really wanted to see either main character escape unscathed. A terrific, fresh read that’s hard to put down.”

    -- Tanya Mills, The Book Bungalow, St. George, UT

  • Wandering Souls, Cecile Pin
    Henry Holt and Co., 9781250863461, March 21, 2023 (Fiction)

    “A compact and powerful novel about a family torn apart by immigration. Set in the 1970s, three siblings leave Vietnam with the dream of living in the United States. It’s a story of survival, family, ghosts, and love.”

    -- Sara Rishforth, Roundabout Books, Bend, OR

  • The Applicant, Nazlı Koca
    Grove Press, 9780802160546, February 14, 2023 (Fiction)

    “Koca’s The Applicant hits like the first drag of an unfiltered cigarette: brash, bright, unapologetic and genuinely invigorating. Her narrator’s clear-eyed, deadpan assessment of living as a Turkish woman in present-day Berlin — its parties, its haphazardness, its bureaucratic impenetrability — is a welcome, necessary addition to the scene."

    -- Camden Avery, The Booksmith, San Francisco, CA

  • Endpapers, Jennifer Savran Kelly
    Algonquin Books, 9781643751849, February 7, 2023 (Fiction)

    “Melding a post-9/11 genderqueer artist’s coming-of-age story with a historical mystery of forbidden romance, Endpapers is an intimate, raw, and profoundly messy quest for authenticity, belonging, and empowerment.”

    -- Alyssa Raymond, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, MA

  • Brutes, Dizz Tate
    Catapult, 9781646221677, February 7, 2023 (Fiction)

    Brutes is not a run-of-the-mill coming of age story. Tate explores a young teen friend group in Florida in the aftermath of the disappearance of a local popular girl. The girls obsess over each detail of the search, following moms, peers, and a strange boy unafraid of swimming in the lake. Brutes feels like a story told in whispers between classes, capturing your attention all the way until the end."

    -- Nikita Imafidon, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, KS

  • The Survivalists, Kashana Cauley
    Soft Skull, 9781593767273, January 10, 2023 (Fiction)

    “As I read The Survivalists, I felt like I was transported from a grounded reality into a world bordering on the absurd. On the surface, it’s a story about folks prepping for a doomsday and a skeptic who attempts to understand them; on a deeper level, it asks how well we really know ourselves."

    -- Laura Kendall, Second Flight Books, Lafayette, IN

  • The New Life, Tom Crewe
    Scribner, 9781668000830, January 3, 2023 (Fiction)

    “Erotic, philosophical, inspiring. Tom Crewe brings 19th-century England to vibrant life. His creations — John, Henry, Edith, and their associates — are captivated by radical ideas about love, desire, art, and partnership. I savor historical fiction that celebrates the endurance of queer kinship and asserts our presence in a wider history. The New Life is a profound addition to that canon.”

    -- Emerson Perper, Curious Iguana, Frederick, MD


  • Under the Henfluence, Tove Danovich
    Agate Surrey, 9781572843219, March 28, 2023 (Non-Fiction)

    “This book will make you look at chickens like you look at your beloved dogs and cats. Under the Henfluence is an important and compulsively readable book about the history of our partnership with chickens, and the cost that we pay — both personally speaking and environmentally speaking — when we forget to look after their welfare."

    -- Jason Jefferies, Explore Booksellers, Aspen, CO

Summer/Fall 2022


  • Leech, Hiron Ennes
    Tordotcom, 9781250811189, September 27, 2022 (Fiction)

    “I adored this. Leech is atmospheric and rife with troubled, sharply-realized characters. In particular, the narrator is one of the most fascinating voices I’ve ever come across. As deeply compelling as discomfiting — this debut is a must-read.”

    -- Ellen McLaren, Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, WA

  • A Map for the Missing, Belinda Huijuan Tang
    Penguin Press, 9780593300664, August 9, 2022 (Fiction)

    “In Belinda Huijuan Tang’s novel A Map for the Missing, an urgent overseas phone call alerts university professor Tang Yitian that his estranged father is missing, forcing Yitian to return to his family’s rural village in China and confront the past he’s worked so hard to leave behind. A gripping debut from an author to watch!”

    -- Jhoanna Belfer, Bel Canto Books, Long Beach, CA

  • Calling for a Blanket Dance, Oscar Hokeah
    Algonquin Books, 9781643751474, July 26, 2022 (Fiction)

    “Far more than merely the story of family, this amazing novel uses words to evoke the power of being part of Tribe and the ‘medicine’ it can create. Hokeah writes from the depths of his peoples' history with a clear voice, imagining characters so beautifully formed that you may forget the book is fiction.”

    -- Calvin Crosby, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, UT

  • Night of the Living Rez, Morgan Talty
    Tin House, 9781953534187, July 5, 2022 (Fiction)

    “SIn a collection of connected stories, we follow the experiences of a young man of the Penobscot nation. Talty’s writing about reservation life has a way of making experiences feel both universally human and also uniquely Native American. At times hilarious, and at other times heartrending, this book will immerse you in the way the best literature does.”

    -- Destinee Hodge, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

  • Grown Ups, Marie Aubert, Rosie Hedger (Transl.)
    Pushkin Press, 9781782277088, June 21, 2022 (Fiction)

    “I didn’t expect to like this book, and then I read it all in one sitting. What a deliciously catty pearl of a read. The storyline is succinct and polished. You probably won’t like any of the characters, but that’s what makes following the interpersonal dumpster fire so much fun.”

    -- Stacey Morin-Wilson, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

  • The Final Strife, Saara El-Arifi
    Del Rey, 9780593356944, June 21, 2022 (Fiction)

    “Inspired by African folklore and Arabic mythology, magic and power are intertwined in a world of blood rituals, caste systems, revolution, and giant lizards. A promising kick-off to this epic fantasy trilogy. This should please fans of S.A. Chakraborty’s Daevabad Trilogy, P. Djèlí Clark’s Master of Djinn, or Sue Lynn Tan’s Daughter of the Moon Goddess.”

    -- Jonathan Hawpe, Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY

  • Last Summer on State Street, Toya Wolfe
    William Morrow, 9780063209749, June 14, 2022 (Fiction)

    Last Summer on State Street will knock your socks off. A coming-of-age story in which the setting is as much of a character as Fe Fe, our twelve year old protagonist. The reader will be with Fe Fe the summer of 1999 as she tries to manage life in building 4950 of Chicago’s Robert Taylor Homes. This debut novel will stay with you long after you finish the last page. Well done, Toya Wolfe. Bravo.”

    -- Anne Frey, Watermark Books & Cafe, Wichita, KS

  • Nuclear Family, Joseph Han
    Counterpoint Press, 9781640094864, June 7, 2022 (Fiction)

    “Joseph Han crashes onto the literary scene with this wildly original magical realist/political satire/family comedy that piles together a stoner gal in Hawaiʻi, her straight-arrow brother, cranky deli-owner parents, and the spirit of their dead Korean grandfather on an afterlife mission of cultural healing. Smart, funny, sad, bawdy, sweet and sour; if this book were pizza it would be a hot, delicious ham and pineapple.”

    -- Jonathan Hawpe, Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY

  • Greenland, David Santos Donaldson
    Amistad, 9780063159556, June 7, 2022 (Fiction)

    “If you’ve ever been saved by a story or nudged back to life by a narrative, this book is for you! Beautifully written and discerningly plotted. Lovers of Baldwin (and everyone else, honestly) won’t be able to put it down.”

    -- Max Ruthless, Foggy Pine Books, Boone, NC


  • Voice of the Fish: A Lyric Essay, Lars Horn
    Graywolf Press, 9781644450895, June 7, 2022 (Non-Fiction)

    “An innovative blend of memoir, essay, and experimental prose. Interludes about fish and time and art interweave seamlessly with reflections on identity and personal histories. This book is brilliant. Horn is a force to be reckoned with.”

    -- Ellen McLaren, Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, WA

Young Adult

  • We Deserve Monuments, Jas Hammonds
    Roaring Brook Press, 9781250816559, November 29, 2022 (Young Adult)

    "We Deserve Monuments is a phenomenal and emotionally captivating debut that weaves together small-town secrecy, intersectional identity, and America’s violent history into one stunning, poignant, and sure to be influential novel."

    -- Andrew King, Secret Garden Bookshop, Seattle, WA

  • Henry Hamlet's Heart, Rhiannon Wilde
    Charlesbridge Teen, 9781623543693, October 18, 2022 (Young Adult)

    “This is the friends-to-lovers romance that my cold, cynical heart really needed. Henry and his first love feelings are a cuteness overload. Full of humor, sincerity, and excellent musical references, this is one of my new favorite coming-of-age stories.”

    -- Melissa Taylor, E. Shaver, Bookseller, Savannah, GA

  • Boys I Know, Anna Gracia
    Peachtree Teen, 9781682633717, July 5, 2022 (Young Adult)

    “There are many paths in life to take, whether it’s the boys you date or the college you choose — and everyone seems to have an opinion on what’s best for June Chu, but she has yet to decide what she thinks is best for herself. Boys I Know is Judy Blume’s Forever for the modern age."

    -- Andrew King, Secret Garden Bookshop, Seattle, WA

  • This Place Is Still Beautiful, XiXi Tian
    Balzer + Bray, 9780063086029, June 7, 2022 (Young Adult)

    "After a hate crime is committed in their home, two very different Chinese-American sisters have to navigate how to deal with this incident without tearing their family apart. There is so much packed in this novel and I am in awe of its beauty."

    -- Joseline Diaz, Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park, CA

  • TJ Powar Has Something to Prove, Jesmeen Kaur Deo
    Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780593403396, June 7, 2022 (Young Adult)

    “There was not a single page of TJ Powar Has Something to Prove that I didn’t love. This book is a deeply feminist deconstruction of beauty standards AND a swoon-worthy academic rivals-to-lovers romance. Who could ask for more?"

    -- Kassie King, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, MO

Middle Grade

  • Hazel Hill is Gonna Win This One, Maggie Horne
    Clarion, 9780358664703, October 18, 2022 (Middle Grade)

    “When quiet, snarky, academic Hazel is told all the secrets of the school’s golden boy, she figures out that he’s been harassing some of the girls at school — and she can’t let that stand. This middle grade novel about friendship, revenge, and standing up for the right thing is both funny and empowering. Great for fans of Kate Messner!”

    -- Nicole Brinkley, Oblong Books, Rhinebeck, NY

  • The Search for Sasquatch (A Wild Thing Book), Laura Krantz
    Abrams Books for Young Readers, 9781419758188, October 11, 2022 (Middle Grade)

    "Presented with great illustrations, digestible science-based breakdowns, and — of course — spooky stories, this page-turner is bound to be a hit with any young nature lover, science fan, and adventurous reader you know. One small book for Bigfoot, one giant plea for being kind — to all of nature and its wonders.”

    -- Ernio Hernandez, River Bend Bookshop, Glastonbury, CT

  • Children of Stardust, Edudzi Adodo
    Norton Young Readers, 9781324030775, October 4, 2022 (Middle Grade)

    “A middle grade ZOOM of space adventure, with a funny Guardians of the Galaxy vibe. Zero’s action- packed quest to join the legendary Saba guild kept me reading at warp speed, and the unpredictable twists and turns of the story rocket the reader to the final chapter. Utterly original and fun!”

    -- Cynthia Compton, 4 Kids Books & Toys, Zionsville, IN

  • Wildoak, C.C. Harrington
    Scholastic Press, 9781338803860, September 20, 2022 (Middle Grade)

    “Such a wonderful book of animals and the magic of nature. I was brought to tears too many times, remembering what it was like to struggle in a world that couldn’t listen. I loved this book and can’t wait for another generation of readers to fall in love with reading because of this magical story.”

    -- Revati Kilaparti, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

  • Star Knights, Kay Davault
    Random House Graphic, 9780593303658 / 9780593303641, July 5, 2022 (Middle Grade)

    “When Tad the frog finds a falling star, he wishes to become a Star Knight and help protect the other animals from the evil witch – but the stories he's been told his whole life may not be right. An absolutely charming woodland fantasy that will appeal to fans of Garlic & the VampireAster & the Accidental Magic, and the much beloved Steven Universe.”

    -- Nicole Brinkley, Oblong Books, Rhinebeck, NY

Winter/Spring 2022


  • The Immortal King Rao, Vauhini Vara
    Norton, 9780393541755, May 3, 2022 (Fiction)

    “Mind-blowing, epic, and full of love, this speculative and historical fiction novel (what a combination!) is for fans of Battlestar Galactica and The MaddAddam Trilogy. The world Vara has built here unfolds slowly but coalesces in a complete and believable alternative reality where technology and capitalism stand in for humanity and democracy. I love the background of King Rao and his family coconut farm in India, and how the history of his ancestors blends with the dystopian science fiction of his, and his family’s, future. This is a phenomenal debut that will pull you in and make you think. I loved it!”

    -—Samantha Kolber, Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, VT

  • The Sign for Home, Blair Fell
    Atria/Emily Bestler Books, 9781982175955, April 5, 2022 (Fiction)

    “Fresh, funny, and big-hearted, The Sign for Home is a sparkling debut guaranteed to keep you turning pages as you follow Arlo Dilly (a DeafBlind Jehovah’s Witness) and his ragtag band of misfit friends on their quest to find the love of Arlo’s life. It is a coming-of-age story like no other, full of humor, drama, and all of the highs and lows of a young man whose world is just beginning to expand.”

    -—Rebecca Speas, One More Page Books, Arlington, VA

  • Reptile Memoirs, Silje Ulstein, Alison McCullough (Transl.)
    Grove Press, 9780802158864, March 15, 2022 (Fiction)

    “Literary mystery with a fresh twist — one of the characters is a huge Python whose P.O.V. is devoid of all emotion, ‘cause, hey — it's a snake. This dark tale of deceit, betrayal, and mayhem is from start to finish a can’t-put-down-read. Complex characters and fantastic plot make for a creepy yet oh-so-satisfying read set in Norway.”

    -—BJ Hegedus, Postalworks Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA

  • Peach Blossom Spring, Melissa Fu
    Little, Brown and Company, 9780316286732, March 15, 2022 (Fiction)

    “An epic novel that spans decades and continents, starting in China in 1938 and going through  modern-day U.S. We follow Meilin and Renshu as they flee China, seeking refuge and trying to survive. Decades later, Renshu’s daughter, Lily, wants to know her family history — to know who she is by finding out where she comes from. A beautifully written, arching story that wraps you up and whisks you away.”

    -—Katrina Bright-Yerges, Books & Company, Ocomonowoc, WI

  • Olga Dies Dreaming, Xochitl Gonzalez
    Flatiron Books, 9781250786173, January 11, 2022 (Fiction)

    “Get ready to root for Olga! I absolutely loved this book. It beautifully captures the Puerto Rican experience with humor and bravery. It felt like home and when a book feels like home, I can't help but invite everyone over.”

    -—Rosa Hernandez, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

  • Brown Girls, Daphne Palasi Andreades
    Random House, 9780593243428, January 4, 2022 (Fiction)

    Brown Girls is a lyrical novel written with as much force as your typical epic novel. It’s a beautiful love letter to friendship, Queens (NYC), and what it means to navigate this world as a brown girl. It will make you think of your childhood friends, and after reading you’ll find yourself wanting to reach out to those friends you miss so much.”

    -—Rosa Hernandez, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA


  • Thin Places, Kerri ní Dochartaigh
    Milkweed Editions, 9781571311955, April 12, 2022 (Non-Fiction)

    “An absolute gem of a book. Part biography and part natural history, it’s wonderfully told, giving one a palpable sense of place as well as the history of Ireland through a prism of the natural world. Fans of Robert Macfarlane and Aimee Nezhukumatathil will be right at home.”

    -—Cody Morrison, Square Books, Oxford, MS

  • Red Paint: The Ancestral Autobiography of a Coast Salish Punk, Sasha taqʷšəblu LaPointe
    Counterpoint Press, 9781640094147, March 8, 2022 (Non-Fiction)

    Red Paint is an ode to Indigenous legacy; to the punk-rock scene; to the self; to the legacy of trauma and the power of rebuilding; to the ancestral wisdom of those who have lived before; and to the strength inherent in us. Told through poetic prose, LaPointe guides readers through an exploration of her ancestral roots and present struggles of self, all while relaying the historical echos of colonialism and genocide in the present for Indigenous communities. Haunting and powerful, LaPointe’s intersectional memoir tells of lineage, healing, and hope.”

    -—Clancey D’Isa, Seminary Co-op Bookstores, Chicago, IL

  • In the Shadow of the Mountain: A Memoir of Courage, Silvia Vasquez-Lavado
    Henry Holt and Co., 9781250776747, February 1, 2022 (Non-Fiction)

    “This story moved me to tears in every chapter. It is heart-wrenching and well-written, sad and dark and also light and beautiful, and full of shadows the author is courageous enough not only to walk through, but to become. Silvia does not conquer her fears, or conquer Everest; she ascends and becomes at peace in these shadows, in these narrow paths, in the pain of climbing and the pain of living. I loved the feminine point of view of climbing Everest. The way she gives homage to prayers and the power of women. It's just an all-around fantastic memoir.”

    -—Samantha Kolber, Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, VT

  • High-Risk Homosexual: A Memoir, Edgar Gomez
    Soft Skull, 9781593767051, January 11, 2022 (Non-Fiction)

    High-Risk Homosexual by Edgar Gomez has my heart! This memoir is hilarious! But it is also a poignant and searing examination of machismo culture in the Latinx community. Gomez dissects the gender dynamics within Latinx families, speaks with honesty and vulnerability about queerness, and what it means to flip those power structures that seem difficult to break. Yet he also writes about the joy at the intersections and ultimately this memoir is a celebration of what it means to be gay and Latinx. If you love Samantha Irby, then High-Risk Homosexual is your next read! It’s thoughtful while still making you LOL.”

    -—Michelle Malonzo, Changing Hands, Tempe, AZ

Young Adult

  • Hell Followed With Us, Andrew Joseph White
    Peachtree Teen, 9781682633243, June 7, 2022 (Young Adult)

    Hell Followed With Us is a utopian model for queer community masquerading as a dystopian YA novel. Andrew Joseph White has dared to create a story where queer kids of all stripes love, fight alongside, and care for each other despite their personal differences, the hellish world outside, and the myriad of things looking to kill them. It is as beautiful as it is hard to read. This is what horror can and should be.”

    -—Cliff Helm, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO

  • Love Radio, Ebony LaDelle
    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781665908153, May 31, 2022 (Young Adult)

    “OMG! I instantly fell in love with this book from the first page. I love Prince, and the influence he has on his friend group. We need more Princes in the world. Honestly I could say so much more about it, but do yourself a favor and just read it. I literally hugged this book when I finished it. So, so good!”

    -—Melanie Knight, Books Inc., Berkeley, CA

  • A Magic Steeped in Poison, Judy I. Lin
    Feiwel & Friends, 9781250767080, March 22, 2022 (Young Adult)

    “Imperial intrigue, a royal contest, secrets, and death weave together to flavor a heady brew to be savored. The secret art of the shénnóng-shi wafts through this beautiful tale of Ning as she works to free her father and save her sister from a sinister poison plot. It’s a story of grief, hope, love, and finding your own magic.”

    -—Susan Williams, M. Judson Booksellers, Greenville, SC

  • What We Harvest, Ann Fraistat
    Delacorte Press, 9780593382165, March 22, 2022 (Young Adult)

    Wilder Girls’ successor is finally here — and it’s eerier and more atmospheric than any reader could hope for! Filled with iridescent wheat, bioluminescent melons, and a mercury-esque blight, Hollow’s End is the perfect setting for impending doom. Fraistat’s debut highlights both the comforts and horrors of small towns, old families, and the secrets they bury.”

    -—Laura Graveline, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

Middle Grade

  • Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms, Jamar J. Perry
    Bloomsbury Children's Books, 9781547606948, February 1, 2022 (Middle Grade)

    Cameron Battle and the Hidden Kingdoms is a truly special book. I can’t wait for young readers to explore Chidani and discover just how magical and extraordinary they are!”

    -—Isabella Ogbolumani, Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca, NY

  • A Comb of Wishes, Lisa Stringfellow
    Quill Tree Books, 9780063043435, February 8, 2022 (Middle Grade)

    “A wonderfully told tale of family, friendship, grief, and longing. A Comb of Wishes explores what happens when legend and real life meet. When a powerful mermaid is determined to reclaim what is rightfully hers, Kela begins her journey to discover what really happens when you get the one thing you most want in the world.”

    -—Susan Williams, M. Judson Booksellers, Greenville, SC

  • The Way I Say It, Nancy Tandon
    Charlesbridge, 9781623541330, January 18, 2022 (Middle Grade)

    “Rory’s inability to pronounce the letter R leads to being a target for bullies. A clever speech therapist introduces Rory to Muhammad Ali and the fighter’s chants give him courage and help him improve his speech a little at a time. Sensitive, engaging, realistic story with characters that ring true to life as a sixth grader.”

    -—Shirley Mullin, Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore, Indianapolis, IN

  • Hide and Geek, T. P. Jagger
    Random House Books for Young Readers, 9780593377932, January 4, 2022 (Middle Grade)

    “I loved this book! With treasure, puzzles, and the cutest (and most awesome) friend group I’ve seen in a loooong time this book is an absolute winner. GEEKs rule!”

    -—Cliff Helm, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO

Young Adult Non-Fiction

  • Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese-American, Laura Gao
    Balzer + Bray, 9780063067769 / 9780063067776, February 15, 2022 (Young Adult Non-Fiction)

    “Laura Gao spent her early childhood in Wuhan, China, and then immigrates to Texas where everything feels foreign and different. Their story is a coming of age story about finding their true selves while balancing two identities. This graphic memoir is beautifully illustrated, funny, and insightful.”

    -—Shoshonna Roberts, Maggie Mae’s Kids Bookshop, Gresham, OR

  • And We Rise, Erica Martin
    Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780593352526, February 1, 2022 (Young Adult Non-Fiction)

    “This is a beautiful history of the Civil Rights Movement for young adult readers where the art and form of the printed work tells as much about the movement as the poetry. A stunning read for all ages!”

    -—Casey Gerken, Innisfree Bookshop, Meredith, NH

Summer/Fall 2020

Young Adult

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

Middle Grade

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)


  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)


  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

Winter/Spring 2020

Young Adult

  • Private Lessons, Cynthia Salaysay
    Candlewick Press, 9781536209600, May 12, 2020 (Young Adult)

    “Beautifully written, musical, and lyrical, Private Lessons is a coming-of-age novel that pulled at my heartstrings. Claire's relationship with her mother and father had me weeping early on in the book, and I admired and understood her drive to escape her suburban life. Her Filipino heritage is a part of the story, but doesn't define her, and the microaggressions that she faces is depicted in the way it would be in real life––cutting but ultimately unnoticed by anyone but the target. The lens of Claire's journey is beautiful and brilliant and I enjoyed reading about her growing up.”

    -Jackie Jou, Mysterious Galaxy Books (San Diego, CA)

  • Stay Gold, Tobly McSmith
    HarperTeen, 9780062943170, May 26, 2020 (Young Adult)

    "Funny and enjoyable. Stay Gold is the classic boy-meets-girl romantic comedy with characters that break the traditional tropes of a rom-com. When Pony transfers schools to get a fresh start with his gender identity he falls for Georgia. Trans characters are treated with respect and given full personality beyond ‘being trans’ which was refreshing for me as a non-binary reader. Gold star for Stay Gold."

    -Riley Davis, Next Chapter Booksellers (St. Paul, MN)

  • The Silence of Bones, June Hur
    Feiwel & Friends, 9781250229557, April 21, 2020 (Young Adult)

    The Silence of Bones is a murder mystery that takes place in medieval Korea––a setting popular in Korean dramas but we don't see in YA. Seol has a strong internal monologue, and is gritty and steely in the face of derision and condescension from men in her world. She takes it upon herself to clear the name of her mentor and solve the murder herself, risking her own life in the process. A well-written depiction of a part of history that we rarely see, led by a smart heroine who defies everyone's expectations of her.”

    -Jackie Jou, Mysterious Galaxy Books (San Diego, CA)

  • Raybearer, Jordan Ifueko
    Amulet Books, 9781419739828, April 14, 2020 (Young Adult)

    “If you’re looking for engrossing, high-stakes fantasy, you need this emotionally rich, gorgeously written novel. It’s about about power that winds up being about love, sacrifice, honor, and family— that we choose and are given. Raybearer is absolutely brilliant, gripping, and one-of-a-kind. I can’t wait to read more from this author.”

    -Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company (Seattle, WA)

  • Layoverland, Gabby Noone
    Razorbill, 9781984836120, January 21, 2020 (Young Adult)

    “After Beatrice Fox suffers the indignity of dying while ‘Hey, Soul Sister’ is playing on the radio, she’s not sure how her afterlife could be worse. That’s until she wakes up in an airport—an airport that is Mediocre with a capital ‘M.’ The weather is constantly 53 and drizzly, the shower sprays lukewarm water, and the clothes are all orange. To move on herself, Beatrice must help others reckon with their pasts. No problem—until she meets a frustratingly cute boy who died on the same exact day she did. With a quip a minute, Beatrice is excellent eternal company, and the heady issues tackled here—morality, forgiveness—are deftly layered in. Beatrice may be stuck in purgatory, but Layoverland is a reader’s paradise.”

    -Bethany Strout, Tattered Cover Bookstore (Denver, CO)

Middle Grade

  • The Unadoptables, Hana Tooke
    Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780593116937, June 2, 2020 (Middle Grade)

    “Offbeat orphans! Sinister villains! Sort of creepy life-sized puppets! In her debut middle-grade book, Hana Tooke has crafted a terrific, atmospheric story wherein five ‘unadoptable’ orphans, each of whom showed up in the orphanage in very unusual ways and have unique not-quite-powers, are about to be taken in by the callous Rotman for nefarious purposes and must go on the run. The Unadoptables will make you wish your own parents had loved you enough to leave you at a Dutch orphanage in the 19th century to join in their adventures. Great for readers of A Series of Unfortunate Events and the Serafina series.”

    -Nathan Halter, Lahaska Bookshop (Doylestown, PA)

  • Into the Tall, Tall Grass, Loriel Ryon
    Margaret K. McElderry Books, 9781534449671, April 7, 2020 (Middle Grade)

    “This is a rare coming-of-age, magical realism, coming-out, scientific quest, sister-struggle, animal-loving, letting-go, best-friend tension-filled, epic family drama that is perfect for tweens. It hits all the right notes in a story that is hard to put down and even harder to forget. Open yourself up to its magic.”

    -Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company (Seattle, WA)

  • Efrén Divided, Ernesto Cisneros
    HarperCollins, 9780062881687, March 31, 2020 (Middle Grade)

    Efrén Divided is such an important middle grade book needed in this climate in which families are being separated. This debut made me feel a range of emotions from anger and sadness to love and hope.”

    -Robyn Broderick, The Reading Bug (San Carlos, CA)

  • Stand Up, Yumi Chung!, Jessica Kim
    Kokila, 9780525554974, March 17, 2020 (Middle Grade)

    “Yumi Chung has a dream of being a standup comedian, but her parents aren't on board. Suddenly, Yumi finds herself in a situation to attend a summer camp with her all- time favorite comedian, except everyone thinks Yumi is someone else. This book is hilarious, heartbreaking, and heartwarming all at once. And in the end, you absolutely will be standing up and cheering for Yumi Chung!"

    -Sarah True, Joseph-Beth Booksellers (Cincinnati, OH)

  • From the Desk of Zoe Washington, Janae Marks
    Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062875853, January 14, 2020 (Middle Grade)

    “Zoe Washington looooves baking. Raspberry crumb bars, S’more brownies — she does it all. She thinks her biggest worry this summer will be whether or not she can fold pastry boxes quickly enough at her bakery internship, but then she receives a letter from her father. Her father is in prison, and Zoe hasn’t heard from him in twelve years. Unable to deny her curiosity, she writes back, and as they learn more about each other, she is shocked to learn that, as an African-American man, her dad may have been wrongly convicted. As Zoe races to invent the most super special cupcake flavor ever to impress her bakery boss, she becomes equally swept up in researching her dad’s case. It takes a special skill to combine the sugar sweet world of baking with the stark reality of racial inequalities in our criminal justice system, and debut author Janae Marks serves readers a perfectly balanced story with wide appeal.”

    -Bethany Strout, Tattered Cover Bookstore (Denver, CO)


  • The Falling Woman, Richard Farrell
    Algonquin Books, 9781616208578, May 19, 2020 (Fiction)

    “Imagine finding out that you have terminal cancer and are faced with the decision of whether or not to seek treatment. The next thing you know you are the only survivor of a plane crash and no one knows who you are or how you survived. The Falling Woman is an unbelievable story about a woman who decides to take control of the rest of her life for the benefit of herself and her family in an unconventional way.  Well written and plausible even though falling out of a plane without injuries seems impossible.”

    -Lauren Zimmerman, The Writer’s Block Bookstore (Winter Park, FL)

  • Braised Pork, An Yu
    Grove Press, 9780802148711, April 14, 2020 (Fiction)

    “An astonishing look at a new widow's attempt to make sense of her husband's death and her newfound independence, through which she rediscovers her love of painting, forms new and profound bonds, rekindles previously dormant familial relationships, and ultimately finds peace in uncertainty. Set in Beijing and Tibet, Braised Pork is a poetic reflection on life and all of its meandering, unpredictable messiness.”

    -Jake Cumsky-Whitlock, Solid State Books (Washington, DC)

  • How Much of These Hills is Gold, C Pam Zhang
    Riverhead Books, 9780525537205, April 7, 2020 (Fiction)

    “A visceral, remarkable western, told from the point of view of a newly orphaned Chinese-American girl and her sister as they struggle through a harsh and unfamiliar landscape of mountains and men, prospectors and gamblers. Their fates forever intertwined, the siblings nonetheless make their way alone, striking opposites despite their shared past - one which, try as they might, they cannot outrun. With gorgeous prose, C Pam Zhang has crafted an unflinching portrait of burgeoning adulthood, solitude, and the search for home.”

    -Jake Cumsky-Whitlock, Solid State Books (Washington, DC)

  • The Animals at Lockwood Manor, Jane Healey
    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780358106401, March 10, 2020 (Fiction)

    “A lonely young woman is assigned to be the director of the mammal collection of London’s Natural History Museum upon its evacuation to a sprawling country estate at the onset of World War II. Dark forces are afoot as she navigates her relationships with the domineering widower and his mentally fragile daughter who reside with their servants at Lockwood Manor. Why are taxidermized animals from the collection disappearing? What were the circumstances surrounding the death of the lady of the house? Gothic and mysterious with a hint of Upstairs, Downstairs, The Animals at Lockwood Manor will keep you turning the pages until the dramatic ending when all is revealed.”

    -Mimi Hannan, La Playa Books (San Diego, CA)

  • The Wanting Life, Mark Rader
    Unnamed Press, 9781944700997, February 25, 2020 (Fiction)

    “Father Paul has been a good pastor for 30-plus years and as we meet him in the opening pages, is facing his eminent death. The unfurling of his life's secrets, disappointments and loyalties, shows us through the lens of love, family and faith, the choices and promises made and kept. A pleasure to read from beginning to end, the exploration of Father Paul's life will resonate with readers long after the last page has been turned.”

    -Pat Rutledge, A Book for All Seasons (Leavenworth, WA)

  • Saint X, Alexis Schaitkin
    Celadon Books, 9781250219596, February 18, 2020 (Fiction)

    “On a winter break vacation with her family, Alison, an 18-year-old college freshman, goes missing – only to turn up dead several days later. The mystery is never solved, and the family attempts to go on with their lives. Years later, Claire, Alison’s younger sister, is living in New York City when a chance encounter draws her back into that fatal vacation. Desperate to find the truth, Claire obsessively stalks a man once connected with her sister’s death. A combination murder mystery/coming of age story, Saint X is filled with twists, turns, and foreshadowing.”

    -Cary Shapiro, Plot Twist Bookstore (Ankeny, IA)

  • Real Life, Adeline Dieudonné, Roland Glasser (transl.)
    World Editions (distributed by Consortium), 9781642860474, February 4, 2020 (Fiction)

    Real Life is a raw, dark, and profoundly powerful coming of age tale. Adeline Dieudonné brings to life a heroine for the modern world. And, after you read the first sentence, you won’t be able to leave the girl’s side, not until it ends, all of it.”

    -Susan Schlesinger, Books on the Square (Providence, RI)

  • The Vanished Birds, Simon Jimenez
    Del Rey, 9780593128985, January 14, 2020 (Fiction)

    The Vanished Birds by Simon Jimenez is set over the course of millenia - a snapshot of humanity on the brink of Earth’s climate meltdown and that same humanity flung far into the future and across star systems. This is at once a space opera and meditation on mourning. It is a queer coming of age story and an exploration of the nature of trauma. It shows the courage of loving another blindly, and the desperate pain of that love. This is science fiction at its best - a sideways glance at the realities of the world we live in, refracting the nuance and complications of life through its lens. The Vanished Birds speaks to where we are now by showing us where we can go - and asking us how much will really change when we arrive.”

    -Barak Lake, Pegasus Books (Berkeley, CA)

  • Such A Fun Age, Kiley Reid
    G.P. Putnam's Sons, 9780525541905, December 31, 2019 (Fiction)

    “Fantastically written contemporary novel that explores sticky issues of our current moment.  Never have I read dialogue from a three-year-old that resonates as so authentic.  I also loved the protagonist who may be young and floundering in her career and relationships, but could not be more grounded in the knowledge of who she is. Plus, the big climactic scene at the end was hilarious and incredibly satisfying.  A must read!”

    -Mimi Hannan, La Playa Books (San Diego, CA)


  • My Autobiography of Carson McCullers, Jenn Shapland
    Tin House Books, 9781947793286, February 4, 2020 (Non-Fiction)

    “An internship assignment that becomes an obsession leads to self-discovery. Sometimes it is in trying to understand others that we find ourselves, our path, our affirmation. This interweaving of stories and lives is intimately captured in Shapland’s writing style.”

    -Nadine Melahn, CoffeeTree Books (Morehead, KY)

Summer/Fall 2019


  • On Swift Horses, Shannon Pufahl
    Riverhead Books, 9780525538110, November 5, 2019 (Fiction)


    “It’s hard to overstate the beauty and lyricism of Shannon Pufahl’s writing in this strange, lovely tale of two people adrift in the American West. Muriel is a young newlywed who follows her husband to San Diego after the Korean War, and Julius is her brother-in-law, a thief who drops in and out of her life. Both are seeking love and good fortune, but neither is sure what that means, or where to find it. This is a haunting portrait of confusion and yearning, and an amazingly evocative picture of a time and place unlike any other.”

    -Erika VanDam, RoscoeBooks, Chicago, IL

  • Bloomland, John Englehardt
    Dzanc Books, 9781945814938, September 10, 2019 (Fiction)


    “This book, the story of gun violence on a university campus and its aftermath as told from the perspective of a student, the shooter, and a teacher, is truly remarkable. I could not put this book down. With some of the most breathtaking passages about love and loss that I have ever read, I will be thinking of Bloomland for a very long time.”

    -Hillary Smith, Copperfield’s Books, Calistoga, CA

  • Knitting the Fog, Claudia D. Hernández
    The Feminist Press at CUNY, 9781936932542, July 9, 2019 (Fiction)


    Knitting the Fog is one of those remarkable books that entirely transports you to another time and place, and lets you see the world through someone else’s perspective. Hernández’s writing is unique and exquisite, weaving narrative and poetry into a beautiful and timely story of family, growing up, and leaving everything you know for a chance at a better life.”

    -Hillary Smith, Copperfield’s Books, Calistoga, CA

  • Let's Hope for the Best, Carolina Setterwall
    Little, Brown and Company, 9780316489621, July 9, 2019 (Fiction)


    “An absorbing narrative that alternates between the delights of falling in love and the excruciating grief of suddenly losing a spouse. Told in Carolina’s voice, the story tenderly and unsparingly conveys not only the intricate aspects of her romance with Aksel but also the many levels of mourning that came with finding herself widowed young and with a child and wondering if she might have contributed to her husband’s untimely passing. By shifting back and forth in time, the book gradually converges on a tragedy that’s already known, then extends toward an uncertain future filled with new love but also fresh questions.”

    -Bradley Graham, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

  • The Lightest Object in the Universe, Kimi Eisele
    Algonquin Books, 9781616207939, July 9, 2019 (Fiction)


    “What a pleasure to read a hopeful post-apocalyptic novel that demonstrates that love still matters and that new communities can form by taking the best of the knowledge that we have collected and putting it together to start to rebuild society in a thoughtful way. With both head and heart, The Lightest Object in the Universe, is a story that will stick with you.”

    -Jessica Osborne, E. Shaver, Bookseller, Savannah, GA

  • The Travelers, Regina Porter
    Hogarth, 9780525576198, June 18, 2019 (Fiction)


    “I'm blown away by the fact that this stunning work is a debut effort. It's a sweeping history of our country and the traumas we have yet to fully heal from, spanning the American South in the 50s through the early of Obama's presidency. It's told through a series of narratives that connect unexpectedly and beautifully, exploring the many nuanced layers of the human condition with each emotional character arc. The writing is both powerful and restrained, one of sparse but evocative details that quietly crack your heart wide open when you least expect it. I've been thinking about this one for weeks now and suspect I will be for many more to come.”

    -Vanessa Diaz, The Book Catapult, San Diego, CA

  • In West Mills, De'Shawn Charles Winslow
    Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781635573404, June 4, 2019 (Fiction)


    “From the first pages of In West Mills, which begins in 1941 and spans more than six decades, I knew that the main character, Knot, would be someone I’d follow to the ends of the earth. Stubborn, brilliant, dysfunctional, and reckless, she barrels and crashes through her life, often with a jar of moonshine in her hands."

    -Elissa Sweet, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT


  • Ordinary Girls, Jaquira Díaz
    Algonquin Books, 9781616209131, October 29, 2019 (Non-Fiction)


    Ordinary Girls crackles with life! Díaz’s memoir vividly portrays life growing up in Puerto Rico and Miami, poverty, drug abuse, mental illness, ‘ordinary girls,’ suicide, and being gay in a culture that doesn’t accept homosexuality. The language has a lively rhythm reflective of the staccato quality of Díaz’s early years. The is the gritty story of a survivor who fought to be seen as who she is.”

    -Sally Wizik Wills, Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery, Park Rapids, MN

  • Threads of Life, Clare Hunter
    Abrams Press, 9781419739538, October 1, 2019 (Non-Fiction)


    “Far more than an entertaining survey of needlework, this debut work from Clare Hunter weaves the history of the human race through its stitches. From the author’s early descriptions of the Bayeux tapestry to Mary, Queen of Scots to British soldiers and prisoners of war, it’s a story told in panels both large and small, but all utterly captivating. Do not miss this one.”

    -Anne Holman, The King’s English, Salt Lake City, UT

  • Late Migrations: A Natural History of Love and Loss, Margaret Renkl
    Milkweed Editions, 9781571313782, July 9, 2019 (Non-Fiction)


    “Margaret Renkl feels the lives and struggles of each creature that enters her yard as keenly as she feels the paths followed by her mother, grandmother, her people. Learning to accept the sometimes harsh, always lush natural world may crack open a window to acceptance of our own losses. In Late Migrations, we welcome new life, mourn its passing, and honor it along the way.”

    -Kat Baird, The Book Bin, Corvallis, OR

Middle Grade

  • Emmy in the Key of Code, Aimee Lucido
    Versify, 9780358040828, September 24, 2019 (Middle Grade)

    “Resonant verse melds together the world of music and the world of code — two worlds that Emmy is unsure can coexist as she navigates through the ups and downs of starting a new school, finding her passions, and making true friends. This book brought me right back to the emotions of my middle-school years and I’m sure that in the right hands, it will mean the world to someone.”

    -Casey Leidig, Green Apple Books on the Park, San Francisco, CA

  • All the Impossible Things, Lindsay Lackey
    Roaring Brook Press, 9781250202864, September 3, 2019 (Middle Grade)

    All the Impossible Things touched my heart in the way that only truly fantastic middle-grade lit can. The struggles of a mother’s addiction and a daughter’s loyalty are tempered with love, friendship, and one cool tortoise. This is the perfect book.”

    -Liz Rice, The Book Cellar, Chicago, IL

  • Midsummer's Mayhem, Rajani LaRocca
    Yellow Jacket, an imprint of Bonnier Publishing USA, 9781499808889, June 11, 2019 (Middle Grade)

    “What a fun, delicious read! Mimi bakes scrumptious goodies to express her heart, but is she good enough to win the While Away baking prize and an opportunity to work with her favorite chef? And can she figure out why her family is acting so strangely?”

    -Joan Trygg, Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, MN

Young Adult

  • Slay, Brittney Morris
    Simon Pulse, 9781534445420, September 24, 2019 (Young Adult)

    Slay is an amazing look at how the creation of an online world can impact the real world. Kiera defines herself differently in her two worlds: in one, she’s the perfect minority student at her private school, while in the other, she has secretly created an online role-playing world for hundreds of thousands of black players — SLAY. The dual meaning of slay — to kill or to greatly impress or amuse — hints at the tough line Kiera walks every day. When a murder occurs, Kiera questions everything about her identity and motivations. Unlikely alliances, failed friendships, and uniquely fought struggles for power fuel this page-turner.”

    -Jen Kraar, City of Asylum Bookstore, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Frankly in Love, David Yoon
    G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 9781984812209, September 10, 2019 (Young Adult)

    “A fun, realistic pair of love stories that accurately address the challenges of meeting your parents’ expectations while going after what your heart wants. Twists, turns, and humor bring light to nuanced prejudices. A frank, funny read.”

    -Jen Kraar, City of Asylum Bookstore, Pittsburgh, PA

  • Dear Haiti, Love Alaine, Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite
    Inkyard Press, 9781335777096, September 3, 2019 (Young Adult)

    “In Dear Haiti, Love Alaine, this debut author duo has created an effervescent heroine who uses her burgeoning investigative skills to uncover a dark family history. Along the way, she has to navigate the often-snarky world of social media, the crushing poverty in Haiti, and the sad realization that her nuclear family is changing rapidly, no matter the drastic steps she takes.”

    -Pam Moser, Pacific Island Books, Thornton, CO

  • Shatter the Sky, Rebecca Kim Wells
    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781534437906, July 30, 2019 (Young Adult)

    “Every so often, a book comes along that hits all of your favorite things and knocks it out of the park. For me, Shatter the Sky is that book. Dragons? It’s got ’em. Queer person-of-color protagonist? Check. A world reminiscent of Avatar: The Last Airbender? You got it! Wells delivers sharp, nuanced political commentary and a fast-paced plot full of intrigue and deception that will delight fantasy fans everywhere.”

    -Sami Thomason, Square Books, Oxford, MS

  • The Merciful Crow, Margaret Owen
    Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers, 9781250191922, July 30, 2019 (Young Adult)

    “The world-building begins on page one of this excellent fantasy, which is full of action, adventure, and magic. Though set in a fanciful medieval world, the questions it poses are timeless: Who is important, who does society value, and how do we live up to our potential? The Crows are fighting for survival and the stakes couldn’t be higher.”

    -Raissa Larson, King’s Books, Tacoma, WA

  • Wilder Girls, Rory Power
    Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 9780525645580, July 9, 2019 (Young Adult)

    “How do love, family, friendship, and hope survive when life and nature are twisted beyond recognition, as bodies, trust, and bonds are repeatedly tested and torn? This story of girls locked in an ever-changing, ever-escalating battle to uncover the truth and survive the unimaginable thrums with power, fury, and an achingly beautiful tenderness. An absolute stunner.”

    -Jill Sweeney-Bosa, Water Street Bookstore, Exeter, NH

  • The Grief Keeper, Alexandra Villasante
    G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, 9780525514022, June 11, 2019 (Young Adult)

    “This is exactly the kind of young adult novel I want to see in the world right now. Marisol’s journey as an LGBTQ asylum seeker in the U.S. brings light to the physical and emotional burdens we place upon migrants, while centering on sisterhood, love, and deep inner strength. This book is topical, thought-provoking, beautifully written, and absolutely essential reading.”

    -Casey Leidig, Green Apple Books on the Park, San Francisco, CA

Winter/Spring 2019

Young Adult

  • Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens, Tanya Boteju
    Simon Pulse, 9781534430655, May 7, 2019 (Young Adult)


    “Nima is madly in love with her straight girlfriend, but when those feelings aren’t reciprocated, Nima’s feet lead her into the world of macho drag kings and diva queens, where she learns love, acceptance, and identity. Hysterical, heartfelt, and wholly relatable to the LGBT community, this book will be a standout debut in a sub-genre of novels gasping for a champion."

    -Nichole Cousins, White Birch Books (North Conway, NH)

  • Nocturna, Maya Motayne
    Balzer + Bray, 9780062842732, May 7, 2019 (Young Adult)


    “Maya Motayne’s Nocturna is the fantasy that you’ve been waiting for. With the sneaky cleverness of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and the moral grayness of Marissa Meyer’s Renegades, this Latin-inspired tale provides just the right amount of magic (both legal and illegal) and adventure, as heir-to-the-throne Alfie and shape-shifter Finn race to stop the terrible darkness they’ve released.”

    -Jen Pino, Vroman’s Bookstore (Pasadena, CA)

  • White Rose, Kip Wilson
    Versify, 9781328594433, April 2, 2019 (Young Adult)


    “With spare but powerful verse, Kip Wilson brings us the haunting story of the young resistance group that risked everything to speak out against the Nazi regime. Basing her novel on a true story, Wilson conveys the hearts and minds of the characters beautifully.”

    -Alicia Michielli, Talking Leaves...Books (Buffalo, NY)

  • The Devouring Gray, Christine Lynn Herman
    Disney-Hyperion, 9781368024969, April 2, 2019 (Young Adult)


    “Herman’s novel is part horror, part fantasy, and one great read. After experiencing a family tragedy, Violet Saunders and her mother move back to Four Paths, her mother’s hometown. Violet soon learns that there is a beast hiding beneath the surface of the town. Especially recommended for fans of Stranger Things.”

    -Katherine Warde, Micawber’s Books (St. Paul, MN)

  • XL, Scott Brown
    Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9781524766245, March 26, 2019 (Young Adult)


    “I’m giving extra-large love to XL. As Will’s height grows, so does his understanding of who he wants to be and who he wants to be with; starting at 4'11" and reaching 7' is a LOT of growing. A great love story, a GREAT bromance, and some really wonderful characters. I cannot recommend this book enough.”

    -Nichole Cousins, White Birch Books (North Conway, NH)

  • Opposite of Always, Justin A. Reynolds
    Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062748379, March 12, 2019 (Young Adult)


    “After Jack and Kate’s meet-cute at a college party, where they immediately hit it off, Kate quickly becomes a major part of Jack’s life. But then Kate dies. Jack begins to time travel in order to prevent her death and is transported back to the beginning of their relationship. Funny and suspenseful, this is a great story and a great new voice!”

    -Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop (Houston, TX)

  • Izzy + Tristan, Shannon Dunlap
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316415385, March 12, 2019 (Young Adult)


    “Putting her own spin on the age-old story of star-crossed love, Shannon Dunlap’s incredible first novel is a solid reminder as to why I continue to read and sell books on a daily basis. I challenge anyone out there to read the prologue of Izzy + Tristan and not fall head-over-heels for this lovely debut.”

    -Javier Ramirez, The Book Table (Oak Park, IL)

Middle Grade

  • Caterpillar Summer, Gillian McDunn
    Bloomsbury Children's Books, 9781681197432, April 2, 2019 (Middle Grade)


    “You’ll root for Cat with all your heart as she navigates a summer with grandparents she’s only just met and a special-needs brother to protect and care for. Tears and cheers for a lovely story with a young heroine learning what she needs.”

    -Alicia Michielli, Talking Leaves...Books (Buffalo, NY)

  • Mostly the Honest Truth, Jody J. Little
    HarperCollins, 9780062852496, March 12, 2019 (Middle Grade)


    “Jane Girl and her Pop are mostly always just enough for each other, except when Pop slides into sadness and drinking and has to go into rehab and get fixed up. An honest and accessible novel about alcoholism for the older elementary reader, told richly and compellingly.”

    -Christy McDanold, Secret Garden Bookshop (Seattle, WA)

  • Nikki on the Line, Barbara Roberts
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316521901, March 5, 2019 (Middle Grade)


    “With a relatable, driven protagonist, Roberts deftly weaves a story of realistic struggles through themes of genetic gifts and curses—and their complicated relationship with who we choose to be. Fun and perfectly balanced, Nikki on the Line is impossible to put down, even for readers who know nothing about basketball.”

    -Heather Smith, Linden Tree Children’s Books (Los Altos, CA)


  • Once More We Saw Stars, Jayson Greene
    Knopf, 9781524733537, May 14, 2019 (Non-Fiction)


    “I don’t suppose any of us need to be reminded that the world can be brutally unfair. Nevertheless, Jayson Greene’s exquisitely moving memoir of his two-year-old daughter’s death brings us freshly face-to-face with unimaginable loss and grief. This is an emotionally raw work that finds its way through grief to remake something like a life worth living again.”

    -Brian Lampkin, Scuppernong Books (Greensboro, NC)

  • Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide, Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark
    Forge Books, 9781250178954, May 28, 2019 (Non-Fiction)


    “You don’t have to be a fan of Karen and Georgia’s much-loved podcast, My Favorite Murder, to appreciate Stay Sexy & Don’t Get Murdered—this how-to guide is for absolutely everyone. Grab a copy for every young woman you know who’s graduating, every co-worker who needs a pick-me-up, and every friend who needs some good advice.”

    -Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop (Washington, DC)

  • Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls, T Kira Madden
    Bloomsbury, 9781635571851, March 5, 2019 (Non-Fiction)


    “T Kira Madden shatters her life story and glues it back together with phenomenal results. Her memoir circles back and skips forward, illustrating her complicated relationship with her parents, with her friends, and with herself. There are heroes and villains in this life and they’re often the person we love. Madden has found a way to express that truth in a surprising and effective way.”

    -Myles Mickle, Village Square Booksellers (Bellows Falls, VT)


  • Cape May, Chip Cheek
    Celadon Books, 9781250297150, April 30, 2019 (Fiction)


    “Cape May is a place (and state of mind) where the awakening of a young newlywed couple on their honeymoon transforms and shapes the rest of their lives. Chip Cheek has created luscious, realistic relationships and an excellent sense of place, and the pace and language are spot on. This is a timeless read that captures the time period perfectly, with characters you won’t soon forget.”

    -Julie Slavinsky, Warwick’s (La Jolla, CA)

  • Lights All Night Long, Lydia Fitzpatrick
    Penguin Press, 9780525558736, April 2, 2019 (Fiction)


    “Fifteen-year-old Ilya is torn between two worlds: the deep South where he lives with his fundamentalist student exchange hosts and the drug-infested underworld of his native Russia. A tautly strung story that is part murder mystery, part love story, but wholly memorable, with well-drawn characters.”

    -Grace Harper, Mac’s Backs (Cleveland, OH)

  • Brute: Poems, Emily Skaja
    Graywolf Press, 9781555978358, April 2, 2019 (Fiction)


    “How can the end of a relationship feel like anything but a gaping wound? Brute will show you how. Visceral, angry, and honest, Brute is a journey to the heart of loss and back out stronger and fiercer. Skaja’s poems will slice you open to your very soul and then stitch you back together, and you will thank her for it.”

    -Erin Ball, Third Place Books (Lake Forest Park, WA)

  • Queenie, Candice Carty-Williams
    Gallery/Scout Press, 9781501196010, March 19, 2019 (Fiction)


    “A fresh, staccato-paced novel about a young Jamaican-British woman in London dealing with the tribulations of family, romance, and a career. Carty-Williams paints the city and her characters masterfully with writing that is honest and real. The novel confronts the stereotypes of race head-on with originality and clarity. She is an author to watch.”

    -Lori Feathers, Interabang Books (Dallas, TX)

  • Lot: Stories, Bryan Washington
    Riverhead Books, 9780525533672, March 19, 2019 (Fiction)


    “A brilliant, powerful portrait of a Houston rarely—if ever—seen but aching to be painted. With a command that jumps off the page, Bryan Washington has masterfully filled that void. His characters will grab you by the throat and heart, make you laugh, and make you cry as they navigate the vagaries of living life, loving, and feeling the heartbeat of ‘home.’”

    -Pam Stirling, East Bay Booksellers (Oakland, CA)

  • The Falconer, Dana Czapnik
    Atria Books, 9781501193224, January 29, 2019 (Fiction)


    “Dana Czapnik’s debut is a wise and beguiling novel about coming of age in the 1990s. Each page holds insight into what it feels like to be a young woman in her final year of high school, struggling to navigate her future world. This heroine will not be forgotten! I can’t wait to read what Czapnik writes next.”

    -Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books & Cafe (Wichita, KS)

  • The Far Field, Madhuri Vijay
    Grove Press, 9780802128409, January 15, 2019 (Fiction)


    “Rarely does a book of this size and breadth capture a reader in the first few pages, but Madhuri Vijay’s masterful storytelling sweeps you up and never lets you go. The Far Field is everything you want in an epic: love, loss, and relationships that transcend even the most horrific circumstances.”


    -Julie Slavinsky, Warwick’s (La Jolla, CA)

Summer/Fall 2018


  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

Middle Grade

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

Young Adult

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)

  • 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)


  • 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)

  • 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)

Winter/Spring 2018

Middle Grade

  • The Boy, the Bird, & the Coffin Maker, Matilda Woods
    Philomel Books, 9780525515210, May 15, 2018 (Middle Grade)

    “A gentle tale—with a healthy dose of magic—about friendship, hope, and looking to the future. It reads like a newly discovered folktale that, once found, becomes essential. Sure to delight questing readers of all ages.”

    -Sam Miller, Carmichael’s Bookstore (Louisville, KY)

  • The Mortification of Fovea Munson, Mary Winn Heider
    Disney-Hyperion, 9781484780541, June 5, 2018 (Middle Grade)

    “Quirky is an understatement for this rollicking ride of a story! Cadavers, talking heads, barbershop quartets, and one plucky eighth-grader by the name of Fovea Munson make this fun from start to finish!”

    -Kathleen Carey, Little Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza (Albany, NY)

  • Hurricane Child, Kheryn Callender
    Scholastic Press, 9781338129304, March 27, 2018 (Middle Grade)

    “Being a hurricane child myself, I instantly connected with Caroline and her bad luck. Caroline is used to being the outsider who can see ghosts, but she can’t accept that her mom left her one day and never came back. When a new, charismatic girl who may see ghosts, too, starts at her school, Caroline desperately wants to befriend her. Soon the two are inseparable, and together they search for Caroline’s mother. This wonderful, mystical tale takes the reader on a journey filled with grief and loss but also love, friendship, and hope.”

    -Holly Alexander, The Book Stall (Winnetka, IL)

  • Like Vanessa, Tami Charles
    Charlesbridge, 9781580897778, March 13, 2018 (Middle Grade)

    “All I can say is thank goodness the ’80s are back in fashion, because this gem of a book is best read sitting in front of a TV tray in a recliner. Inspired by Vanessa Williams’ 1983 Miss America win, a headstrong and pushy teacher, and a supportive and scheming grandfather, Vanessa Martin braves the small-town pageant circuit, the potential disappointment of her father, and the challenge of being dark skinned. Vanessa touches the dreamer spirit in all of us, and I cheered her on right through to the end.”

    -Kim Bissell, Broadway Books (Portland, OR)

  • Just Like Jackie, Lindsey Stoddard
    HarperCollins, 9780062652911, January 2, 2018 (Middle Grade)

    “Robbie’s spirit grows fierce as she confronts grown-up problems too large for a young kid in braids and a baseball cap. She fights to protect her family and honor, but realizes she must stop battling those who have her best interest at heart. Learning to trust others is sometimes the hardest lesson of all. Robbie is brave beyond her years and has become my hero!”

    -Stacey Haerr, Warwick’s (La Jolla, CA)

Young Adult

  • The Astonishing Color of After, Emily X.R. Pan
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316463997, March 20, 2018 (Young Adult)

    “‘Astonishing’ is the perfect description for this book, which follows Leigh from America to Taiwan, where she meets her grandparents for the first time after her mother’s death. I was stunned by the beautiful and engaging writing in this book; the story consumed me from start to finish. It’s hard to believe that this is Emily X.R. Pan’s debut novel, especially with the perfectly executed deep and complex themes. It will definitely be a favorite among both adults and teen readers!

    -Kristen Beverly, Half Price Books (Dallas, TX)

  • The Dangerous Art of Blending In, Angelo Surmelis
    Balzer + Bray, 9780062659002, January 30, 2018 (Young Adult)

    “This book is not an easy read. The Dangerous Art of Blending In is brutally painful, both in its depictions of Evan Panos’ family and his awkward, lonely life at school. But read it anyway! Because Evan is a kid worth rooting for as he decides in his senior year to take risks and stand out. His realistic struggle to move beyond pain and open up to friends, love and his future, is an honest, heart-wrenching testament to human resilience.”

    -Katie McGinley, Wild Rumpus (Minneapolis, MN)

  • The Hazel Wood, Melissa Albert
    Flatiron Books, 9781250147905, January 30, 2018 (Young Adult)

    The Hazel Wood is flawless, fully realized, and gorgeously written. It has brilliant plot twists, a sweet story of love and friendship, and complex family drama. It seems to have sprung fully formed from the pen of an author at the top of her game, not a debut novelist. This is the book everyone’s going to be reading."

    -Christie Olson Day, Gallery Bookshop and Bookwinkle’s Children’s Books (Mendocino, CA)

  • Love, Hate & Other Filters, Samira Ahmed
    Soho TEEN, 9781616958473, January 16, 2018 (Young Adult)

    “This compelling contemporary read features an unapologetic Indian-American heroine trying to navigate crushes, dreams for her future, and the expectations of her family in a world where her culture is routinely misunderstood. A timely read that deftly tempers difficult topics with levity and a wonderful narrative voice!”

    -Rebecca Wells, Porter Square Books (Cambridge, MA)

  • You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, Rachel Lynn Solomon
    Simon Pulse, 9781481497732, January 2, 2018 (Young Adult)

    “This story unfolds as twin sisters search for common ground while navigating the complexities of life, love, and the devastating realization that their fates are already sealed. I cried knowing that each twin would suffer immeasurable loss, yet only one would succumb.”

    -Stacey Haerr, Warwick’s (La Jolla, CA)


  • MEM: A Novel, Bethany C. Morrow
    Unnamed Press, 9781944700553, May 22, 2018 (Fiction)

    Staged in an alternate possibility of the last century, MEM is the story of what could happen if we found a way to remove our bad memories and store them in a surrogate. Of course, these surrogates would be kept in a vault and only brought out for special occasions, maybe to impress your friends at a cocktail party. But what if one of them—let’s call her Dolores Extract #1—did not conform to the rules of the process. What if instead of only having one memory to live out over and over and over again like a bad dream she discovered how to make her own new memories? What then? Well, she might be removed from the vault and allowed to live a life of sorts, under the watchful eye of the program’s staff. This is a searing tale of consequences, of unexpected results to a science some might think has gone off the rails. But it’s also an insightful look into what makes us who we are and what happens when we can dispose of parts of ourselves we no longer want around to haunt us. This is a book that will dig its way into your own memories and keep you up at night with thoughts you just can’t turn off. What a page-turner!”

    -Linda Bond, Auntie’s Bookstore (Spokane, WA)

  • A Lucky Man: Stories, Jamel Brinkley
    Graywolf Press, 9781555978051, May 1, 2018 (Fiction)

    A Lucky Man is a short story collection I plan to recommend to everyone I know. Rarely do collections capture as many different voices as this one does, and each story is powerful on its own and as part of the whole. Jamel Brinkley has brought us characters from all walks of life who are recognizable in their struggles and their humanity. These people could be anyone you see on the street, yet Brinkley uses them to show us profound truths about ourselves and those around us.”

    -Abby Fennewald, BookPeople (Austin, TX)

  • Tangerine, Christine Mangan
    Ecco, 9780062686664, March 20, 2018 (Fiction)

    “I couldn’t put Tangerine down! It gives you a dark, sometimes sinister vibe that’s hard to shake—a far cry from other tales of close friendship between women who were college roommates. By leaving you in suspense until the very end over exactly what happened between them, Christine Mangan creates tension as the secrets between the women come to light. I wanted to dive inside the world of this book, even as the characters fought to escape it.”

    -Abby Fennewald, BookPeople (Austin, TX)

  • Freshwater, Akwaeke Emezi
    Grove Press, 9780802127358, February 13, 2018 (Fiction)

    “An arresting, fiery book that’s ambitious in its aims, an inherently metaphysical novel that illustrates a singular worldview with confidence and verve. And it’s all done with a focused, original voice."

    -Justin Souther, Malaprop’s Bookstore/Café (Asheville, NC)

  • In Every Moment We Are Still Alive, Tom Malmquist
    Melville House, 9781612197111, January 30, 2018 (Fiction)

    "Malmquist’s writing style is unlike any I’ve recently experienced. He captures the ordinariness of daily life and of systems—medical, government—and the mundane choices we must make as citizens of these worlds. His ear for dialogue, be it in sterile hospital quarters or with family and friends, makes you feel present and privileged to be part of the conversation.

    -Janine De Boisblanc, Orinda Books (Orinda, CA)

  • Only Killers and Thieves, Paul Howarth
    HarperCollins, 9780062690968, February 6, 2018 (Fiction)

    “A heart-wrenching story of a child forced to lose his innocence. Set in the Australian outback in the years of settlement, Only Killers and Thieves is a brutal filleting of frontier life, race relations, and the ambition of men. The characters are unforgettable, and the writing is effortless yet juicy. Such a great read.”

    -Chris Morrow, Northshire Bookstore (Manchester Center, VT)

  • Everything Here is Beautiful, Mira T. Lee
    Pamela Dorman Books, 9780735221963, January 16, 2018 (Fiction)

    Told from alternating points of view, this novel is about the relationship between sisters Miranda and Lucia and the impact of mental illness upon their personal bond. Lucia is an artistic free spirit and has lived independently, in large part, because her sister, Miranda, has always been her caretaker. When Lucia’s lucidity begins to shift, Miranda’s responsibility to her sister does as well. Everything Here Is Beautiful explores the boundaries of our responsibilities to those we love, and how we might go about honoring someone’s self-determination when that person may not be stable enough to be up to the task. At what point does taking care of someone else cease to serve anyone involved, and how do you know when you’re there? Mira T. Lee’s debut work is necessary — a generous, beautiful, and frank examination of a very difficult subject.”

    -Sarah Bumstead, Vroman’s Bookstore (Pasadena, CA)


  • Educated: A Memoir, Tara Westover
    Random House, 9780399590504, February 20, 2018 (Non-Fiction)

    “This memoir does what the best memoirs do: It takes us inside a world we have never been, shows us around, and gives us a sense of what it’s really like to live in a place that has heretofore felt so foreign and remote. Westover’s authorial voice is compelling and engaging, and she provides powerful proof that education changes lives.”

    -Lynn Rosen, Open Book Bookstore (Elkins Park, PA)

  • Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir in Pieces, Dawn Davies
    Flatiron Books, 9781250133700, January 30, 2018 (Non-Fiction)

    “In her debut memoir, Mothers of Sparta: A Memoir in Pieces, Dawn Davies’ voice is so unique and strong, I felt like I was in the company of a straight-shooting best friend—one who tells it like it is, never withholding the often messy, terrifying experiences women and mothers must face. Davies takes on all subjects—spirituality, desire and dreams, divorce, children in peril—and she invites you into her private meditation on life and her search for answers to the experiences she has endured. Often gritty and raw, Davies’ essays have the feisty gravitas of works by Roxane Gay. For readers faced with keeping up appearances and hiding the complexity and difficulties in their lives, Mothers of Sparta is liberating and will help many feel less alone. You can’t help but have tremendous compassion for Davies as she processes her past, present, and future. Davies inspires the reader to set aside pretense in order to save one’s spirit. Mothers of Sparta stays with you for weeks, months, and likely years because of Davies’ ability to dig and deliver. I will be passionately promoting this spectacular debut. It is the most powerful memoir I have read in years.”

    -Janine De Boisblanc, Orinda Books (Orinda, CA)

  • Escape Artist: A Memoir of A Visionary Artist on Death Row, William A. Noguera
    Seven Stories Press, 9781609807979, January 9, 2018 (Non-Fiction)

    “Escape Artist is a gripping, sad, inspirational, and amazing story of being on death row in America’s worst prison and, more interestingly, the emotional journey that got Mr. Noguera into prison and how he evolved into a world-class artist and rehabilitated human being.”

    -Chris Morrow, Northshire Bookstore (Manchester Center, VT)

Summer/Fall 2017


  • The End We Start From, Megan Hunter
    Atlantic Monthly Press, 9780802126894, November 7, 2017 (Fiction)

    “I loved this slim, beautiful book. Megan Hunter’s sparse prose makes it one of the most affecting and poetic novels about the end of the world and beyond. Despite being a dystopian novel, it is hopeful. Perhaps the end is not the end.”

    -Anton Bogomazov, Politics & Prose (Washington, DC)

  • Girl in Snow, Danya Kukafka
    Simon & Schuster, 9781501144370, August 1, 2017 (Fiction)

    “I loved the slow-burn mystery quality of this book. It reminded me of Everything I Never Told You in its focus on character instead of plot. It’s a whodunit with the bonus of rich, wonderful characters and good writing.”

    -Courtney Flynn, Trident Booksellers & Cafe (Boston, MA)

  • A Kind of Freedom, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton
    Counterpoint, 9781619029224, August 15, 2017 (Fiction)

    “I loved the different generations in A Kind of Freedom, beginning with the parents of Evelyn and Ruby, who seem so proper and clean, to present-generation TC, a very likable, hopeful character, but one whose circumstances involve him in drugs and prison. I found the evolution of the family to present day sad but fascinating, and I couldn’t help but root for every single character. In the end, you still feel hopeful despite it all.”

    -Margot Farris, pages: a bookstore (Manhattan Beach, CA)

  • The Readymade Thief, Augustus Rose
    Viking, 9780735221833, August 1, 2017 (Fiction)

    “Lee is a 17-year-old girl who has gotten into a bit of trouble. Not that she is innocent, or completely guilty either. She runs with the wrong crowd, steals something that is not hers, and now she is on the run with nobody to turn to. Rose takes readers into the underbelly of Philadelphia, the sections that people have abandoned, to solve the mystery Lee has fallen into, which has to do with the famous artist Duchamp. Rose melds together information and story methods with amazing skill, drawing on secret societies, hacking, art theft, conspiracies, drugs, and so much more. This plot moves; it does not slow down until it reaches the conclusion, which will have you gasping for breath. Such a brilliant journey.”

    -Jason Kennedy, Boswell Book Company (Milwaukee, WI)

  • See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt
    Atlantic Monthly Press, 9780802126597, August 1, 2017 (Fiction)

    “Sarah Schmidt’s See What I Have Done takes all the major players in the Fall River murders (including Lizzie Borden) and brings their inner thoughts to life. In this thriller of a debut, each character has alternating chapters and a distinct voice, illustrating the class divisions, tensions, and possible motivations for the famous murders of 1892. I couldn’t put it down!”

    -Carolyn Hutton, Mrs. Dalloways Literary & Garden Arts (Berkeley, CA)

  • Hum If You Don't Know the Words, Bianca Marais
    G.P. Putnam's Sons, 9780399575068, April 27, 2017 (Fiction)

    “Against the backdrop South Africa in the 1970s, Hum If You Don’t Know the Words follows Robin, a young white girl whose parents were killed, and Beauty, a black woman who searches for her activist daughter in the aftermath of the Soweto uprising. Bianca Marais has written a crisp, clear-eyed story that doesn’t shy away from the racism and devastation of her home country’s apartheid history, while also showing that family and love can come in many forms.”

    -Jamie Thomas, Women & Children First (Chicago, IL)

  • We Shall Not All Sleep, Estep Nagy
    Bloomsbury, 9781632868411, July 4, 2017 (Fiction)

    “I was completely immersed in this perfectly constructed novel of two families vacationing on an island in Maine during the Cold War summer of 1964. Nagy contrasts the warm, idyllic, beautifully rendered setting with the chill of manipulations and deceptions both personal and political. The family dynamics could best be summed up by the father, who explains to his young son how important it is to ‘learn when to lie, to whom, and to do it well.’”

    -Sarah Goddin, Quail Ridge Books (Raleigh, NC)

  • The Graybar Hotel, Curtis Dawkins
    Scribner, 9781501162299, July 4, 2017 (Fiction)

    “Curtis Dawkins is a flat-out great writer who is also incarcerated for life in a Michigan prison for a drug-related homicide. The stories he tells in The Graybar Hotel are small masterpieces of the daily drama of prison life, reminiscent of John Cheever or Raymond Carver. In deceptively simple sentences, Dawkins pries into the inmates’ complex relationships with each other, their coping mechanisms, and their lives on the outside that brought them to where they have ended up. A transformative reading experience.”

    -Sarah Goddin, Quail Ridge Books (Raleigh, NC)


  • The Glass Eye: A Memoir, Jeannie Vanasco
    Tin House, 97819410407750, October 3, 2017 (Non-Fiction)

    “An absolutely beautiful exploration of family, grief, memory, and madness, The Glass Eye is outstanding. Jeannie Vanasco promised her father before his death that she would write a book for him, never knowing the psychological and mental toll the process would ultimately take on her. Vanasco explores her family’s history: the entirely separate family her father had before she was born, the late-in-life marriage that led to Jeannie’s birth, and her own destructive behavior as she falls in and out of a mental illness, which informs the truly fascinating structure of the book. The layers found in this memoir are as plentiful as the layers found in the human eye; ultimately, it is as deeply layered as the human experience itself.”

    -Jamie Thomas, Women & Children First (Chicago, IL)

  • The Long Haul, Finn Murphy
    W.W. Norton, 9780393608717, June 6, 2017 (Non-Fiction)

    “Finn Murphy’s memoir of working as a long-distance mover is a delight. These are stories of people and their stuff, the nuts and bolts of moving and hauling, all with a healthy dose of astute sociological commentary. Murphy has a true gift for storytelling, making this one of the year’s sharpest, most compelling memoirs.”

    -Anton Bogomazov, Politics & Prose (Washington, DC)

Middle Grade

  • The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, Karina Glaser
    HMH Books for Young Readers, 9780544876392, October 3, 2017 (Middle Grade)

    “If Wes Anderson wrote The Penderwicks, it might look like The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street. From the moment you step into the brownstone on 141st Street, the five Vanderbeeker children and their eccentric collection of family and friends will charm and delight you. Their attempts to keep their Scrooge-like landlord from evicting them from their beloved home are both hilarious and heartwarming, and this modern-day classic in the making will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.”

    -Melissa Posten, The Novel Neighbor (St. Louis, MO)

  • Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, Jessica Townsend
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316508889, October 31, 2017 (Middle Grade)

    “Morrigan is cursed. Not cursed with warts or short height, but well and truly cursed. Every bad thing that happens to people around her must be a result of her curse. It is a lonely existence. In a world of giant talking cats and umbrella transport, this novel wraps the reader in the joy of wonderful world-building and classic middle-grade fantasy. After turning the last page, readers will be hungry for the sequel.”

    -Karin Schott, Devaney Doak & Garrett Booksellers (Farmington, ME)

  • Greetings from Witness Protection!, Jake Burt
    Feiwel & Friends, 9781250107114, October 3, 2017 (Middle Grade)

    “What happens when you take a feisty, pick-pocketing teen out of foster care, give her a whole new identity, a Taser, and a new family to protect from mobsters? Greetings From Witness Protection! is a funny, entertaining, and unique story about family, friendship, identity, and starting over.”

    -Lauren Savage, The Reading Bug (San Carlos, CA)

  • The First Rule of Punk, Celia C. Pérez
    Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780425290408, August 29, 2017 (Middle Grade)

    “Twelve-year-old María Luisa (aka Malú) has moved from Florida to Chicago with her mom. For Malú, ‘fitting in’ doesn’t fit on her list, as the first rule of punk is ‘be yourself.’ Celia C. Pérez takes the ‘new kid’ story and infuses it with freshness and terrific energy.”

    -Dave Shallenberger, Little Shop of Stories (Decatur, GA)

  • Sidetracked, Diana Harmon Asher
    Amulet Books, 9781419726019, August 22, 2017 (Middle Grade)

    “Joseph Friedman is a middle-school student for whom nothing goes well. He’s scrawny, he’s bullied, he has no real friends, and he has ADD. On the other hand, Joseph is very self-aware and has one teacher who pushes him to do better. Mrs. T is also his new cross-country coach. Joseph’s journey through woods and up hills slowly transforms his relationships and his confidence. Asher gives us a narrator to root for with a unique voice and a strong supporting cast.”

    -Dave Shallenberger, Little Shop of Stories (Decatur, GA)

Young Adult

  • Dear Martin, Nic Stone
    Crown Books for Young Readers, 9781101939499, October 17, 2017 (Young Adult)

    “I picked up Dear Martin and could not put it down. A gripping, real story that is both eye-opening and heartbreaking. This should be required reading for everyone.”

    -Kate Schlademan, The Learned Owl (Hudson, OH)

  • An Enchantment of Ravens, Margaret Rogerson
    Margaret K. McElderry Books, 9781481497589, September 26, 2017 (Young Adult)

    An Enchantment of Ravens is one of the most original and beautifully written fairy stories I have read in years. Rogerson’s depth of knowledge about mythology and fairy lore shines through the crafting of this story. Isobel, the gifted human artist, and Rook, the fairy prince, pursue a quest to save themselves from the harsh traditions of the fairy court.”

    -Laura Delaney, Rediscovered Books (Boise, ID)

  • All Rights Reserved, Gregory Scott Katsoulis
    Harlequin TEEN, 9780373212446, August 29, 2017 (Young Adult)

    “In a dystopian future in which almost all words and gestures have been copyrighted and citizens are charged for even the most basic forms of communication, the ultimate act of resistance may be to choose silence. In this richly imagined novel, Katsoulis explores ideas of free speech and the consequences of intellectual property law through characters that are sympathetic, tough, and thoroughly believable. All Rights Reserved is an excellent sci-fi thriller (with some of the best world-building I’ve seen in ages) with a great sense of humor and a political conscience. For anyone who feels the need for a little bit of revolution in their fiction, this book is just the thing.”

    -Annie Farrell, Labyrinth Books (Princeton, NJ)

  • The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, F.C. Yee
    Amulet Books, 9781419725487, August 8, 2017 (Young Adult)

    The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is here to fill that Buffy- or Sailor Moon-shaped hole in your life. Warm, action-packed, and absolutely the most fun you’ll have reading a book this summer. Give Genie Lo a CW series!”

    -Allison Senecal, Old Firehouse Books (Fort Collins, CO)

  • Saints and Misfits, S.K. Ali
    Salaam Reads, 9781481499248, June 13, 2017 (Young Adult)

    “In an ideal world, Saints and Misfits wouldn’t need to be an important tent-pole book of Muslim representation; it would be one of many books about Muslim teens doing all sorts of things. And then we could just talk about how it’s a funny, sharp, feminist book that tackles real issues with grace. It’s just really good. Read it, for that reason and more.”

    -Anna Kaufman, DIESEL: A Bookstore (Santa Monica, CA)

Winter/Spring 2017

Middle Grade

  • Prisoner of Ice and Snow, Ruth Lauren
    Bloomsbury Children's, 9781681191317, April 4, 2017 (Middle Grade)

    Valor has a plan.  She will almost shoot the prince, get herself sent to prison, find her sister, and break her out. What could go wrong? The first part of her plan goes perfectly, but Valor soon realizes that there is more to this prison, and to her sister’s imprisonment, than meets the eye. Full of satisfying twists and turns, not to mention a unique matriarchal society, Valor’s tale will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

    -Molly Olivo, Barstons Child’s Play (Washington, DC)

  • The Star Thief, Lindsey Becker
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316348560, April 11, 2017 (Middle Grade)

    Sky pirates! I repeat: sky pirates! When young protagonist Honorine finds herself swept away on an adventure to the literal stars, she shows us a fantastical world where magic and science swirl together in a bubbly concoction of steampunk goodness. From a fleet of mechanical flying pirate ships to a collection of constellations come to life, this debut has all the ingredients for the beginning of a wonder-filled adventure series. 

    -Bill Grace, Buttonwood Books & Toys (Cohasset, MA)

  • Lemons, Melissa Savage
    Crown Books for Young Readers, 9781524700126, May 2, 2017 (Middle Grade)

    When Lemonade Liberty Witt is forced to move from San Francisco to Willow Creek, California, she is not sure how to handle all of the Bigfoot excitement, small town weirdness, and meeting her grandfather for the first time. In the spirit of making lemonade, Lem takes a job assisting the inquisitive and friendly Tobin, a local Bigfoot investigator, on his search to catch Bigfoot on film. Through her investigations of the town and Bigfoot, Lem might just find the answer to some very big questions, as well as the location of the nearest Bigfoot. Melissa Savage has managed to distill all of the grief of a major loss, the joy of discovery, and the fear of rebuilding into one magnificent middle-grade novel. Lemons is not to be missed. 

    -Molly Olivo, Barstons Child’s Play (Washington, DC)

  • The Ethan I Was Before, Ali Standish
    HarperCollins Children's Books, 9780062433381, January 24, 2017 (Middle Grade)

    The Ethan I Was Before is quietly engaging, heartfelt, and authentic. Sometimes the most meaningful books are not the ones that hit you over the head with issues and drama, but the ones that slowly unfold to tell you a personal story. Standish does just that, through a unique setting and well-drawn cast of supporting characters.

    -Johanna Albrecht, Flyleaf Books (Chapel Hill, NC)

  • How to Stage a Catastrophe, Rebecca Donnelly
    Capstone Young Readers, 9781623708078, April 1, 2017 (Middle Grade)

    Hey kids, Let's put on a show! Calling all former theatre nerds, entrepreneurs, and kids with moxie! We all want to be a part of this gang of friends who unite to save the Juicebox Theater, solve a mystery, and probably achieve world domination. The fast, funny, conversational script style of this middle grade novel draws in young readers and adults alike. It's a perfect "giggle aloud" read for a classroom or backstage with a flashlight.

    -Cynthia Compton, 4 Kids Books (Zionsville, IN)

Young Adult

  • You're Welcome, Universe, Whitney Gardner
    Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780399551413, March 7, 2017 (Young Adult)

    Julia might be Deaf, but that hasn’t held her back in her graffiti art, or in life, until she gets turned in for vandalizing her school to save her best friend from humiliation. She gets kicked out and finds herself the only Deaf kid in a hearing school and without a best friend. In the midst of all this chaos, she uses her graffiti skills to claim her place in her new environment. When she is thrust into a graffiti war, she must decide how far she is willing to take things. Julia is not always likable, but you will spend the book rooting for her anyway. Gardner has managed to make a very specific and angst-filled story universally appealing and lovable. She gets bonus points for her well-researched depiction of Deaf culture. 

    -Molly Olivo, Barstons Child’s Play (Washington, DC)

  • City of Saints and Thieves, Natalie Anderson
    G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers, 9780399547584, January 10, 2017 (Young Adult)

    Tina does not exist. This is her express wish, as thieves who are seen are caught and Tina cannot afford to be so careless. She has a killer to catch. Thus we are introduced to the protagonist of Anderson’s thrilling City of Saints and Thieves, a novel set in the teeming and cacophonous Sangui City, Kenya. We discover that Tina’s mother was murdered and the culprit is Tina’s next target. But knowing who killed her mother does not prepare Tina for why, a revelation that will shape the rest of her life. Anderson’s ensemble of characters is dazzling in its scope and depth, a skill that is only exceeded by her crafting of Tina. Resourceful and loyal, Tina is a young woman burdened by the mantle of adulthood too soon who does whatever she must to outsmart her enemies, avenge her mother, and protect herself. This is a powerful narrative that explores human resilience and loyalty in the face of unspeakable oppression.

    -Romy Griepp, Once Upon a Time (Montrose CA)

  • The Beast Is an Animal, Peternelle van Arsdale
    Margaret K. McElderry Books, 9781481488419, March 7, 2017 (Young Adult)

    Using simple but evocative language, van Arsdale weaves a dark fairy tale featuring a heroine and a beast who are neither as simply good or as simply evil as such characters in these stories often are. There’s a love story (but not with the beast — this is not a Beauty and the Beast retelling), but it doesn’t really enter the narrative until close to the end and never devolves into some lurid love triangle or angsty drama. One of the things I enjoyed most about this was the way even the soul-eaters were given backstory and made sympathetic. They weren’t evil to start with, but were made that way by the assumptions of those around them and the stories that were told about them. This is, ultimately, a story about stories and how the tales we tell about ourselves and others shape who we and they become.

    -Billie Bloebaum, Third Street Books (McMinnville, OR)

  • Grendel's Guide to Love and War, A.E. Kaplan
    Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780399555541, April 18, 2017 (Young Adult)

    Tom Grendel cannot catch a break. His long-time crush, Willow, has moved into the house next door, Willow's brother (a bro if ever there was one) has started throwing wild parties every night, and Tom's dad, an Iraq war veteran, is suffering from PTSD triggered by the noise from the parties. What's an introverted young lawn-mower to do? Retaliate, of course, with the help of his best friend, college-age sister, and an artisinal pig farm...This couldn't possibly end badly...With shades of John Green and Jesse Andrews (without the rip-your-heart-out tragedy), this novel will delight new and old fans of contemporary YA alike.

    -Emily Hall, Main Street Books (St. Charles, MO)

  • Daughter of the Pirate King, Tricia Levenseller
    Feiwel & Friends, 9781250095961, February 21, 2017 (Young Adult)

    There is well-written pirate adventure, fantasy fiction, and young adult romance, and then there is this gem that manages to do all three at once. In Daughter of the Pirate King, Levenseller introduces readers to the dangerously cunning Alosa through a fight scene in the first chapter. Within five pages, we are given the thrilling start to an exemplary narrative that ends with an unbelievable twist. Alosa is incredibly portrayed as both a kickass heroine and a maturing young woman, a dual characterization that is admirable and believable. She is thrust into a maritime feud between her father, lord apparent over the pirate world, and two orphaned brothers attempting to make their own mark. In between sword fights and swooning, Levenseller gives us insight into Alosa’s bravery in not just navigating perilous waters but understanding her own power. This is an exemplary reminder of how fantasy can relate to our own lives, especially to those who struggle for self-expression.

    -Romy Griepp, Once Upon a Time (Montrose, CA)


  • The Leavers, Lisa Ko
    Algonquin, 9781616206888, May 2, 2017 (Fiction)

    Deming Guo is a  12-year-old, Chinese-American Bronx naitve. When his mother abandons him without warning, he thinks he will be able to make a life with his mother's friend and her son.  But when that friend gives him up to foster care and he is shipped off to live with white university professors in upstate New York, his life is turned on end once again.  This is a beautifully-written, searing exploration of identity and dislocation.  It is a profoundly American story  and a compulsively fascinating read. I loved it!

    -Kris Kleindienst, Left Bank Books (St. Louis, MO)

  • Temporary People, Deepak Unnikrishnan
    Restless Books, 9781632061423, March 14, 2017 (Fiction)

    In this debut, author Unnikrishnan shares stories of laborers brought to the United Arab Emirates to do menial and everyday jobs. These people have no rights and no fallback if they have problems or health issues in that land. The laborers in Temporary People are sewn back together when they fall, are abandoned in the desert if they become inconvenient, and are even grown from seeds. As a collection of short stories, this is fantastical, imaginative, funny, and, even more so, scary, powerful, and ferocious.

    -Becky Milner, Vintage Books (Vancouver WA)

  • Double Dutch, Laura Trunkey
    Astoria/ House of Anansi Press, 9781770898776, March 14, 2017 (Fiction)

    A young refugee boy who may or may not be the lead in the Second Coming but who is definitely the answer to one failing church’s prayers; an otherwise unremarkable man who is conscripted to be Ronald Reagan’s double and takes his job a little too seriously; six sisters, not all of whom are among the living, who turn their family homestead into a highly irregular hospice and become romantically entangled with their patients, both living and newly dead —Trunkey’s remarkable debut collection of stories, Double Dutch, circles life’s mysteries from unexpected vantage points in these plausibly fantastic stories. I can’t wait to see what she does next. If you enjoy Flannery O’Connor, Jennifer Egan (A Visit From the Goon Squad), Karen Russell (Swamplandia), or simply great writing that surprises and entertains, you will find something to love in these stories by a gifted young writer.

    -Kris Kleindienst, Left Bank Books (St. Louis, MO)

  • Walking to Listen: 4,000 Miles Across America, One Story at a Time, Andrew Forsthoefel
    Bloomsbury, 9781632867001, April 4, 2017 (Fiction)

    This book could not be coming at a better time. Amidst a calamitous political landscape, Americans today seem wary of their fellow citizens and suspicious of one another’s beliefs, religion, and ethnicity. Forsthoefel does an amazingly wonderful job showing us that our fellow citizens are not to be feared, but instead are to be celebrated for their humanity and their heart. Setting off to walk across the country after graduating college, Forsthoefel aims to get to know the people in the world by taking the time to listen to as many people who cross his path. And the stories he brings us of the individuals he meets along the way, in addition to his own personal journey, are insightful and ultimately uplifting. A thoughtful and inspiring portrait of America today. 

    -Hilary Gustafson, Literati Bookstore (Ann Arbor, MI)

  • Rabbit Cake, Annie Hartnett
    Tin House, 9781941040560, March 7, 2017 (Fiction)

    Rabbit Cake details the grief observed, explained, suffered, and experienced by a 12-year-old girl from a memorably zany family. Elvis Babbitt is a precocious child who copes with her sleepwalking mother until her death. Afterwards, Elvis finds solace in her dog, Boomer, her dad’s parrot, and her crazy sister. But she struggles to explain her mother’s death (‘I didn’t believe Mom could be gone completely when there was so much of her left everywhere…’) and finally visits her school psychologist, who helps her chart out her 18 months of grief — an achievable goal for a young woman with a scientific bent. What an unusual collection of characters in this very touching coming-of-age story.

    -Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common (Ridgefield, CT)

  • History of Wolves, Emily Fridlund
    Atlantic Monthly Press, 9780802125873, January 3, 2017 (Fiction)

    From the very second I began reading Fridlund’s debut novel, History of Wolves, I was captivated and excited. You just know when you have something truly special in your hands. The voice of 14-year-old protagonist Linda reaches out and grabs you by the throat. This is a debut author immensely talented and fully in command of her craft.

    -Susan Hans O’Connor, Penguin Bookshop (Sewickley, PA)

  • The Futures, Anna Pitoniak
    Lee Boudreaux Books, 9780316354172, January 17, 2017 (Fiction)

    “Julie and Evan, a young couple just out of college, move to New York looking for success and for a place to establish themselves. Their relationship is rocked in the crucible of the big city in a time of financial crisis. I guess one can call it a coming-of-age novel for uncertain times, but it’s one that feels honest and even cathartic because it doesn’t flinch at the complicated and messy ways we relate to each other, especially to those we love. Pitoniak is an astute, unflinching, and sensitive observer of both the tender and terrible dynamics of young love, and she has given us a novel about coming of age in New York and in the 21st century that manages to feel both intimate and familiar. The Futures is a terrific debut from a talented author!” 

    -Dale Zapata, The Last Bookstore (Los Angeles, CA)


  • The Best We Could Do, Thi Bui
    ABRAMS ComicArts, 9781419718779, March 7, 2017 (Non-Fiction)

    Bui’s graphic memoir is outstanding. As the story of Bui’s life unfolds, from the birth of her child to the dark days of her own childhood in war-torn Vietnam, the reader is drawn in more and more by the poetry of the words as well as the gorgeous black-and-white drawings. The Best We Could Do, a story about the power of family and place and home, is poignant and heart-wrenching, timely, and ultimately uplifting. What an exciting new talent we have in store!

    -Susan Hans O’Connor, Penguin Bookshop (Sewickley, PA)

  • The Outrun, Amy Liptrot
    WW Norton, 9780393608960, April 25, 2017 (Non-Fiction)

    Escaping to London from her isolated Orkney Island home, Liptrot self-medicates through her 20s until she has lost her lover and most of her friends and belongings. She questions her sanity. From reflecting on her upbringing by a bipolar father and a very religious mother to the bitter and occasionally hazy kaleidoscope of events in London and the eventual need to search for healing, The Outrun is Liptrot’s health and spiritual journey. Liptrot’s voice is so strong and so true, it is impossible not to care about her. Stumbling to understand her alcoholic choices and looking for change, she returns to the isles. In The Outrun, which is part personal revelations, part Orcadian history, and part nature observations, Liptrot chooses a mostly solitary life, using technology to stay in touch and to explore the isles. The minute-by-minute struggle to stay sober counterbalances the ebb and flow of the ocean and winds and the passing seasons. This debut is striking and compelling. I was enthralled by Liptrot’s descriptions of the islands, their history, geology, and living beings. I rooted for her recovery and personal discoveries.

    -Becky Milner, Vintage Books (Vancouver, WA)

  • The Death and Life of the Great Lakes, Dan Egan
    WW Norton, 9780393246438, March 7, 2017 (Non-Fiction)

    The Death and Life of the Great Lakes is the most evenhanded piece of ecological writing I’ve come across in a long time. It is an excellent account of the effects humankind has upon nature, in this case the Great Lakes, and of nature’s own resiliency. 

    -Pete Mock, McIntyre's Books (Pittsboro, NV)

Summer/Fall 2016

Young Adult

  • How to Hang a Witch, Adriana Mather
    Knopf (BYR)/Random House Children's Books, 9780553539479, July 26, 2016 (Young Adult)

    “When Samantha Mather, descended from a villain of the Salem witch trials, is forced to move to Salem, her presence sets off a chain of events that could destroy the town. I thoroughly enjoyed this modern-day take on the trials and loved the directions in which Adriana Mather took the story, as well as the historical details she used to frame it. I definitely recommend this.”

    -Flannery Fitch, Bookshop Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)

  • The Weight of Zero, Karen Fortunati
    Delacorte Press/ Random House Children's Books, 9781101938898, October 11, 2016 (Young Adult)

    “After Catherine is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, she doesn’t believe that she’ll survive. She knows that, while right now she’s ok, soul-crushing depression, which she calls Zero, is coming for her. So she decides that she won’t let it get her — she’ll end things before it hits. But she has a few things to do first. Catherine’s bucket list becomes an unlikely source for change as she begins to find hope where she never expected it. This book absolutely floored me. It tore me apart and rebuilt me, in the best possible way. It is by far the best depiction of depression that I’ve read in a very long time. I spent the last half of the book in grateful tears, filled with a deep recognition that gave me hope for life and love for Catherine. I cannot express enough what this book meant to me. Read it. It’ll change you.”

    -Flannery Fitch, Bookshop Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)

  • Our Chemical Hearts, Krystal Sutherland
    G.P. Putnam's Sons (BYR)/Penguin, 9780399546563, October 4, 2016 (Young Adult)

    "This is not the story of a simple, easy love. It is messy, it hurts, and the past seems to keep interfering. Henry and Grace are two complicated, multilayered teens. Will it work? Is it worth it? Do they really love each other or are they both really just in need of a good friend?

    -Clarissa Murphy, Brookline Booksmith (Brookline, MA)

  • The Killer in Me, Margot Harrison
    Disney-Hyperion/Disney Publishing Worldwide, 9781484727997, July 12, 2016 (Young Adult)

    “Nina cannot sleep at night, because every time she closes her eyes she sees inside the mind of a killer. As Nina tries to stop the murders from happening she makes a shocking discovery.This book is a fantastic read. I was hooked from the first page and could not stop reading until I was done. Don’t miss this one!”

    -Lisa Nehs, Books & Company (Oconomowoc, WI)

  • It Looks Like This, Rafi Mittlefehldt
    Candlewick, 9780763687199, September 6, 2016 (Young Adult)

    “This is a story of growing up gay in a small town. Mike is a kid who never fits in. He doesn’t like sports very much, instead enjoying art and French much better. He is targeted and bullied at school. It Looks Like This is a moving, thought-provoking story of acceptance and self-love that is perfect for everyone of middle-school age and above.”

    -Diane Howell Robinson, Eagle Eye Book Shop (Decatur, GA)

  • Learning to Swear in America, Katie Kennedy
    Bloomsbury USA Children's Books/Bloomsbury, 9781619639096, July 5, 2016 (Young Adult)

    Learning to Swear in America is a tale of firsts. This will be the first time in the U.S. for Yuri, his first time making friends, his first time kissing a girl, his first time swearing in English, and, oh, his first time saving the entire planet from destruction.Through Yuri’s perfectly written voice, Kennedy tells the story of a fledgling teen finally getting the chance to be a kid.”

    -Janelle Smith, Auntie’s Bookstore (Spokane, WA)

Middle Grade

  • Gertie's Leap to Greatness, Kate Beasley
    Farrar, Straus and Grioux (BYR)/Macmillan, 9780374302610, October 4, 2016 (Middle Grade)

    “Gertie is on a mission — to be the greatest fifth-grader ever! But things never quite to work out like she plans. You will love Gertie’s spunk and moxie as much as I did and will cheer her on as she stumbles, falls, and leaps to greatness.”

    -Lisa Nehs, Books & Company (Oconomowoc, WI)

  • This is Not a Werewolf Story, Sandra Evans
    Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, 9781481444804, July 26, 2016 (Middle Grade)

    "Raul is a loner — the only child not picked up on the weekend. Or is he? The language leaps from the page with imagery as we delve into his magical weekends, which teem with animal references, Native American themes, and serious childhood problems. There is something in this for everyone.”

    -Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop (Houston, TX)

  • The Adventurer's Guide to Successful Escapes, Wade Albert White
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers/Hachette, 9780316305280, September 13, 2016 (Middle Grade)

    “Anne has been an orphan living a depressing life at the St. Lupin’s Institute for Perpetually Wicked and Hideously Unattractive Children for almost 13 years. Middle-school readers, many of whom have read Harry Potter, will like the adventures and fast-paced action that takes place in this story.”

    -Kathy Taber, Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore (Indianapolis, IN)

Young Adult Non-Fiction

  • Every Falling Star, Sungju Lee (and Susan McClelland)
    Amulet Books/Abrams, 9781419721328, September 13, 2016 (Young Adult Non-Fiction)

    “This superb biography is a devastating account of survival amidst the dark and famine-stricken towns and cities along the Chinese–North Korean border. I found it to be an illuminating glimpse into this closed-off country — so much so that I have read it cover to cover twice. I believe that this book will have great staying power in the future.”

    -Biddy Kehoe, Hockessin’s Bookshelf (Hockessin, DE)


  • The Party Wall, Catherine Leroux
    Biblioasis, 9781771960762, July 12, 2016 (Fiction)

    “Intricate and multi-layered, The Party Wall reflects how interconnected the world can be. I don’t have the words to do this book justice. Just read it — the ending will deliver; I promise.”

    -Valerie Welbourn, Novels & Novelties Bookstore (Hendersonville, NC)

  • The Clay Girl, Heather Tucker
    ECW, 9781770413030, October 11, 2016 (Fiction)

    "This novel is full of those take-away-your-breath lines, the ones you want to write down and keep in your pocket for when you need them. Ari joins the ranks of heroines like Lyra Belacqua or Liesel Meminger, girls who take the worst society has to offer and turn it into strength and kindness.”

    -Linda Sherman-Nurick, Cellar Door Bookstore (Riverside, CA)

  • The Monster's Daughter, Michelle Pretorius
    Melville House, 9781612195384, July 19, 2016 (Fiction)

    “Can science fiction, historical fiction, and a serial murder mystery peacefully coexist in the same novel? In The Monster’s Daughter, the answer is an emphatic yes. Clearly drawn characters converge to resolve a decades-old mystery and move to a tense and satisfying conclusion.”

    -Joe Strebel, Anderson’s Bookshop (Naperville, IL)

  • Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi
    Knopf/Random House, 9781101947135, June 7, 2016 (Fiction)

    "Homegoing spans 300 years, beginning in Ghana and ending in America. The story is beautifully rendered, with characters whose sufferings and triumphs you share. You are given insight into the history of the slave trade and generations later, we see the impact on the lives of individual characters. It's a stunning debut! Not to be missed!”

    -Sarajane Giddings, Blue Door Books (Cedarhurst, NY)

  • Half Wild, Robin MacArthur
    Ecco/HarperCollins, 9780062444394, August 2, 2016 (Fiction)

    "While the inhabitants of these interconnected stories all live in a tight-knit community in rural Vermont, Half Wild is anything but provincial. True, these characters belong to the place they come from, but, first and foremost, they belong to each other.”

    -Sam Kaas, Village Books (Bellingham, WA)

  • The Comet Seekers, Helen Sedgwick
    Harper/HarperCollins, 9780062448767, October 11, 2016 (Fiction)

    “This moving novel establishes its unique tone and lyrical beauty from the opening sentence and sustains that level through a multi-generational story of the tension of loyalty to family and home against the lure and opportunities of the outside world."

    -Joe Strebel, Anderson’s Bookshop (Naperville, IL)

  • Children of the New World, Alexander Weinstein
    Picador/Macmillan, 9781250098993, September 13, 2016 (Fiction)

    “These realistic scenarios, set in a not-too-distant future, made me really think about all the technology I’ve come to depend on in my everyday life. You’ll want your book club to read it, plus your significant other and your neighbor. You’ll want to share this excellent book so you can keep thinking about it and talk about it, too.”

    -Sue Roegge, Chapter2Books (Hudson, WI)

  • A Whole Life, Robert Seethaler
    Farrar, Straus and Grioux/Macmillan, 9780374289867, September 13, 2016 (Fiction)

    A Whole Life is an elegant, compact, and atmospheric tale of a life in the Alps, of time passing, of changing times, of loss and love and war. The writing is precise and the mood intense. It is the perfect book for a quiet, rainy day with a cup of tea.”

    -Pete Mulvihill, Green Apple Books (San Francisco, CA)

  • A Meal in Winter: A Novel of World War II, Hubert Mingarelli
    The New Press, 9781620971734, July 5, 2016 (Fiction)

    “Beginning with two German soldiers leaving their Einsatzgruppe to avoid one more day of killing Jews, this simple morality tale will bewitch you with its absolutely perfect pacing.”

    -Ingrid Goatson, Boulder Book Store (Boulder, CO)


  • The Drone Eats with Me: A Gaza Diary, Atef Abu Saif
    Beacon, 9780807049105, July 5, 2016 (Non-Fiction)

    "Atef Abu Saif’s journal of the incessant bombing of the Gaza Strip during the summer of 2014 presents a voice we usually do not hear. Saif gives names and faces to the anonymous people presented in the daily news. His personal account, presented clearly and passionately, is testimony that must be heard."

    -Mary Fran Buckley, Eight Cousins (Falmouth, MA)

Winter/Spring 2016


  • Hide, Matthew Griffin
    Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781632863386, February 16, 2016 (Fiction)

    In a struggling small town in North Carolina lives the long-married couple Frank and Wendell.These are not characters we usually see in fiction – poor, rural, gay, and old – but Griffin draws them honestly, and we come to care deeply for them. 

    - Michael Barnard, Rakestraw Books, (Danville, CA)

  • Tuesday Nights in 1980, Molly Prentiss
    Simon & Schuster/Scout Press, 9781501121043, April 5, 2016 (Fiction)

    Tuesday Nights in 1980 exudes an alchemical talent. Only magic can explain Molly Prentiss’ pitch-perfect evocation of the excitement, energy, and squalor that were palpable in NYC’s art world at the dawn of a new decade.

    -Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, (Bryn Mawr, PA)

  • The Mirror Thief, Martin Seay
    Melville House, 9781612195148, May 10, 2016 (Fiction)

    Martin Seay proves he is a talent to watch with this smart, ambitious debut novel that ranges from Vegas to Venice, and spans several time periods in between. The Mirror Thief is a winding tale with complicated characters and plenty of action.

    -Rebekah Hendrian, Book Nook & Java Shop, (Montague, MI)

  • Born on a Tuesday, Elnathan John
    Grove Atlantic/Black Cat, 9780802124821, May 3, 2016 (Fiction)

    Born on a Tuesday is a compelling debut novel set during the time of a Nigerian politcal uprising that is at once frightening and horrific, yet authentic and compassionate. Masterful.

    -Jenny Lyons, The Vermont Book Shop, (Middlebury, VT)

  • Relief Map, Rosalie Knecht
    Tin House Books, 9781941040225, March 27, 2016 (Fiction)

    In her beautifully written, fresh debut novel, Rosalie Knecht puts us in the middle of summer in a small rust-belt town in Pennsylvania. Lulling prose, vivid characters, and a sense of placemake this a rich and memorable read from an exciting new talent.

    - Linda McLoughlin Figel, pages: a bookstore, (Manhattan Beach, CA)

  • We've Already Gone This Far, Patrick Dacey
    Henry Holt, 9781627794657, February 16, 2016 (Fiction)

    Dacey’s perfectly crafted short stories of a blue-collar Massachusetts town and its unforgettable characters are told with dignity and heart. They reflect the hope and determination of people who still have further to go. This is the debut of a naturally gifted storyteller.

    -Mary Wolf, Collected Works Bookstore & Coffeehouse (Santa Fe, NM)

  • Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, Sunil Yapa
    Hachette/Lee Boudreaux Books, 9780316386531, January 12, 2016 (Fiction)

    Sunil Yapa immerses the reader in an explosive view of the 1999 Seattle WTO protests. By challenging assumptions and creating empathy for his characters in this gripping novel, he shows the convergence of a vast range of perspectives within a few city blocks.

    -Emily Adams, Third Place Books. (Lake Forest, WA)

  • Only Love Can Break Your Heart, Ed Tarkington
    Algonquin Books, 9781616203825, January 5, 2016 (Fiction)

    Infused with the haunting melancholy of a Southern Gothic novel, Only Love Can Break Your Heart is a suspenseful tale of heartbreak, betrayal, and timeless love. This is, without a doubt, my favorite debut novel this spring!

    -Shirley Wells, Watermark Books & Café, (Wichita, KS)

  • Spill Simmer Falter Wither, Sara Baume
    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780544716193, March 8, 2016 (Fiction)

    Poetic, precise, and playful, this novel takes readers through a year of the narrator's life with a rescue dog. Though it seems to rehash the oft-told tale of two lonely creatures finding solace in companionship, it is altogether wilder, utterly unsentimental, and profoundly moving. 

    -Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, (Bryn Mawr, PA)

Young Adult

  • The Square Root of Summer, Harriet Reuter Hapgood
    Macmillan Children's/Roaring Brook Press, 9781626723733, May 3, 2016 (Young Adult)

    Gottie, a 17-year-old physics prodigy, has had a double dose of heartbreak. Since then, she’s immersed herself in a world of equations and theories. Harriet Reuter Hapgood addresses grief and the complexity of emotions that come with it in a way that rings true and does not romanticize loss.

    -Drew Sieplinga, Wild Rumpus Books, (Minneapolis, MN)

  • End of FUN, Sean McGinty
    Disney Hyperion, 9781484722114, April 5, 2016 (Young Adult)

    Put M.T. Anderson, Cory Doctorow, Andrew Smith, and Hunter S. Thompson in a blender and you will get Sean McGinty’s brilliantly funny debut. It is a coming-of-age novel like no other. McGinty has expertly crafted what is sure to become a cult classic for the tech generation.

    -Caitlin Baker, University Book Store, (Seattle, WA)

  • The Serpent King, Jeff Zentner
    Crown Books for Young Readers, 9780553524024, March 8, 2016 (Young Adult)

    The Serpent King and its characters lurked in my head for weeks after reading this debut novel. Dill, Travis, and Lydia’s story, bumpy and sometimes tragic as it is, is a real story of friendship and heart.

    -Shoshana Smith, The Reading Bug, (San Carlos, CA)

  • Kill the Boy Band, Goldy Moldavsky
    Scholastic Press, 9780545867474, February 23, 2016 (Young Adult)

    The world of fandom is a fascinating and terrifying place. Watching someone wake up fromliving that dream (or nightmare) is told here with an obvious love for the drama and flair of a 1980s cult film. I loved this book, and cannot wait for more from Moldavsky.

    -Kari Meutsch, Phoenix Books, (Essex, VT)

  • The Smell of Other People's Houses, Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock
    Wendy Lamb Books, 9780553497786, February 23, 2016 (Young Adult)

    Set in the decade after Alaska achieved statehood, this novel follows four teenagers as they fight for the life they really want. The Smell of Other People’s Houses is a thoughtful, realistic novel about community, both the one you are born into, and the one you can create.

    -Erin Barker, Hooray for Books!, (Alexandria, VA)

  • The Girl from Everywhere, Heidi Heilig
    HarperCollins/Greenwillow Books, 9780062380753, February 16, 2016 (Young Adult)

    The Girl from Everywhere has everything—mystery and adventure, complicated people and relationships, romance and intrigue, and that extra something special necessary for a really good read.

    -Danielle Borsch, Vroman’s Bookstore, (Pasadena, CA)

  • Anna and the Swallow Man, Gavriel Savit
    Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780553513349, January 26, 2016 (Young Adult)

    Orphaned and alone at the start of WWII, Anna is taken in by the mysterious Swallow Man. Like the Swallow Man, author Savit recognizes the power of language — that words can envelop a reader in an experience that manages to leave you enchanted and brokenhearted.

    -Sara Grochowski, Brilliant Books, (Traverse City, MI)

  • Underwater, Marisa Reichardt
    Macmillan Children's/Farrar, Straus & Giroux (BYR), 9780374368869, January 12, 2016 (Young Adult)

    This book, called Underwater, has actual resuscitative powers.

    -Will Walton, Avid Bookshop, (Athens, GA)

Middle Grade

  • Hour of the Bees, Lindsay Eagar
    Candlewick Press, 9780763679224, March 8, 2016 (Middle Grade)

    This debut is so innovative, it’s almost audacious. As you read the final sequence in Hour ofthe Bees, you will be asking yourself, “Oh my gosh, am I really reading this? Am I really,really reading this?” And the thing is, YES, YOU REALLY ARE!

    -Will Walton, Avid Bookshop, (Athens, GA)

  • Beetle Boy, M.G. Leonard
    Scholastic/Chicken House, 9780545853460, February 23, 2016 (Middle Grade)

    Wickedly comedic buffoons, genetically modified villains, industrious insects, and a scrappy protagonist fighting for his father’s life keep this old-fashioned-feeling story fresh and contemporary.Readers will find themselves cheering for Beetle Boy and his amazing beetles.

    -Erin Barker, Hooray for Books! (Alexandria, VA)


  • Soul Serenade: Rhythm, Blues & Coming of Age Through Vinyl, Rashod Ollison
    Beacon Press, 9780807057520, January 26, 2016 (Non-Fiction)

    Soul Serenade is a heartbreaking, gratifying memoir of family chaos, a personal identity crisis, and civil rights buoyed by memories of great music and artists. This is an important book for people to read.

    -Jamie Fiocco, Flyleaf Books, (Chapel Hill, NC)

Winter/Spring 2014

Young Adult

  • Salvage, Alexandra Duncan
    Greenwillow Books, 9780062220141, April 1, 2014 (Young Adult)

    This epic sci-fi coming-of-age story follows its heroine from an interstellar merchant ship to the streets of a near-future Mumbai. Through heartbreaking losses and unimagined achievements, helped by a beautiful cast of supporting characters, Ava bucks the traditions of her family and culture and becomes a young woman who stands on her own.

    -Emily Ring, Inklings Bookshop, Yakima, WA

  • Half Bad, Sally Green
    Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780670016785, March 4, 2014 (Young Adult)

    Nathan’s mother was a white witch.  His father is the most evil black witch that ever lived. His schoolmates avoid him. His sister hates him. The Council of White Witches in Scotland, England, and Wales want to monitor his every move. And even though his Gran and his younger siblings love him, Nathan knows he doesn’t belong. Not really. Not anywhere. If he’s a white witch like his mother, can he be accepted?  If he’s a black witch like his father, will the Council destroy him? If Nathan can’t control what he will become, can he at least survive to find out who he is?  Half Bad is a gripping allegory of racism, love, and destiny.

    -Kris Vreeland, Once Upon a Time Bookstore, Pasadena, CA

  • Far From You, Tess Sharpe
    Disney-Hyperion, 9781423184621, April 8, 2014 (Young Adult)

    Part murder mystery, part forbidden romance, this lovely novel is both chilling and poignant. I adored the heroine, Sophie, for her strength and perseverance in the face of grief, betrayal, and the painful accusations leveled at her after her best friend’s death. The nail-bitingly tense action kept me up reading until late in the night, and the thrilling conclusion didn’t disappoint.

    -Emily Ring, Inklings Bookshop, Yakima, WA

Middle Grade

  • Knightly & Son, Rohan Gavin
    Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 9781619631533, March 4, 2014 (Middle Grade)

    Could there be anything more evil than a fatuous self help book? The answer lies in the pages of Knightly & Son, where it shares space with some terrific espionage, puzzle solving, humor and some very entertaining, if belated, father and son bonding. As enjoyable as it is engaging, Knightly & Sons succeeds in its dual plans of unmasking a nefarious conspiracy and captivating middle grade readers.

    -Kenny Brechner, DDG Books, Farmington, ME

  • Steering Toward Normal, Rebecca Petruck
    Harry N. Abrams, 9781419707322, May 13, 2014 (Middle Grade)

    Diggy had one goal for 8th grade: win Grand Champion at the state fair. That is, until Wayne’s dad dumps him on Diggy and Pop’s doorstep: “He says you’re my dad and I have to live here now.” The next year is spent training steers, pranking brothers, teaching and fighting, doubting and trusting, hating and loving. This blue-ribbon writing full of truth, pathos, humor, and 4-H tells a story of fathers, sons, and a brother who discovers himself and a family he never knew he needed.

    -Summer Laurie, Books, Inc., San Francisco, CA

  • Eddie Red Undercover: Mystery on Museum Mile, Marcia Wells
    HMH Books for Young Readers, 9780544238336, April 1, 2014 (Middle Grade)

    Fast paced, funny, and action packed, readers are going to love Eddie Red, Undercover. Eddie has a photographic memory, which the NYPD would desperately like to use to catch crooks. Because Marcia Wells tells the story in flashback, we are ready to learn how the pieces fall into place. Kids will relate to the horrible embarrassment that parents inflict on their children every day. I laughed, and I know readers will as well.

    -Valerie Koehler, Blue WIllow Bookshop, Houston, TX


  • The UnAmericans: Stories, Molly Antopol
    W. W. Norton & Company, 9780393241136, February 3, 2014 (Fiction)

  • Faces in the Crowd, Valeria Luiselli
    Coffee House Press , 9781566893541, May 13, 2014 (Fiction)

  • Point of Direction, Rachel Weaver
    Ig Publishing, 9781935439912, May 13, 2014 (Fiction)

  • Shotgun Lovesongs: A Novel, Nickolas Butler
    Thomas Dunne Books, 9781250039811, March 11, 2014 (Fiction)

  • The Kept: A Novel, James Scott
    Harper, 9780062236739, January 7, 2014 (Fiction)

  • The Wives of Los Alamos: A Novel, TaraShea Nesbit
    Bloomsbury USA, 9781620405031, February 25, 2014 (Fiction)


  • Pigs Can't Swim: A Memoir, Helen Peppe
    Da Capo Press, 9780306822728, February 4, 2014 (Non-Fiction)

    Fresh and frank, Helen Peppe’s memoir, Pigs Can’t Swim, is at once laugh-out-loud funny and tragic. In the hardscrabble environment of rural Maine, Helen grew up as the youngest in a family of nine. Using the delightful but gritty language of a child wise beyond her years, she shares stories of sibling rivalry, parental neglect, and general childhood angst. Book clubs in particular will find much to discuss in these pages. This debut gem showcases the voice of a fresh, talented author. Readers can only hope that Peppe doesn’t wait long before writing her next book. Recommended for all!

    -Nancy Simpson-Brice, Book Vault, Oskaloosa, IA

  • Stringer: A Reporter's Journey in the Congo, Anjan Sundaram
    Doubleday, 9780385537759, January 7, 2014 (Non-Fiction)

    Sundaram's clearly written and concise account of working for the Associated Press in the Congo is an addictive, informative, and fast-paced read. Fans of Katherine Boo's Behind the Beautiful Forevers will find much to like.

    -Michele Filgate, Community Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY

  • Badluck Way: A Year on the Ragged Edge of the West, Bryce Andrews
    Atria Books, 9781476710839, January 7, 2014 (Non-Fiction)

    This short memoir is a fascinating read, covering the subtle evolution of the author as he immerses himself in the rugged life of a Montana ranch hand. Peppered with interesting detail about the daily and sometimes mundane tasks on the ranch, Andrews gives the reader a sense of the work and the mix of isolation and camaraderie that he experienced. It’s not the story of a young man trying to find himself, but that of a young man growing into himself. The real story is in the growing relationship between the author, the work, the land, the weather, the cattle, and the wolves.

    -Kelly Estep, Carmichael’s Bookstore, Louisville, KY

  • If Only You People Could Follow Directions: A Memoir, Jessica Hendry Nelson
    Counterpoint, 9781619022331, December 31, 2013 (Non-Fiction)

    Memory doesn’t move in a straight line. It is chaotic, digressive, and imperfect. While most memoirs force life into the restrictions of straight lines, Nelson embraces the chaos by moving back and forth in time, free associating among memories, and organizing her life into a series of essays. What could be just another memoir of a family disintegrated by substance abuse becomes a vibrant and challenging exploration of abuse, obsession, coping, family, friendship, and self-discovery.

    -Josh Cook, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

Summer/Fall 2013

Young Adult

  • Jumped In, Patrick Flores-Scott
    Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 9780805095142, August 27, 2013 (Young Adult)

  • If You Could Be Mine: A Novel, Sara Farizan
    Algonquin Young Readers, 9781616202514, August 20, 2013 (Young Adult)

  • How to Love, Katie Cotugno
    Balzer + Bray, 9780062216359, October 1, 2013 (Young Adult)

  • Gated, Amy Christine Parker
    Random House Books for Young Readers, 9780449815977, August 6, 2013 (Young Adult)

  • Dancer, Daughter, Traitor, Spy, Elizabeth Kiem
    Soho Teen, 9781616952631, August 13, 2013 (Young Adult)

  • All Our Yesterdays, Cristin Terrill
    Disney-Hyperion, 9781423176374, September 3, 2013 (Young Adult)

  • The Twistrose Key, Tone Almhjell
    Dial Books, 9780803738959, October 22, 2013 (Young Adult)

Middle Grade

  • Sky Jumpers: Book 1, Peggy Eddleman
    Random House Books for Young Readers, 9780307981271, September 24, 2013 (Middle Grade)

  • Rooftoppers, Katherine Rundell
    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781442490581, September 24, 2013 (Middle Grade)

  • Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective: The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit, Octavia Spencer
    Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781442476813, October 15, 2013 (Middle Grade)


  • The Faithful Scribe: A Story of Islam, Pakistan, Family, and War, Shahan Mufti
    Other Press, 9781590515051, September 24, 2013 (Non-Fiction)

  • Knocking On Heaven's Door: The Path to a Better Way of Death, Katy Butler
    Scribner, 9781451641974, September 10, 2013 (Non-Fiction)


  • The Lion Seeker, Kenneth Bonert
    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780547898049, October 15, 2013 (Fiction)

  • The Residue Years, Mitchell S. Jackson
    Bloomsbury USA, 9781620400289, August 20, 2013 (Fiction)

  • The Gravity of Birds: A Novel, Tracy Guzeman
    Simon & Schuster, 9781451689761, August 6, 2013 (Fiction)

  • The Last Animal, Abby Geni
    Counterpoint, 9781619021822, October 15, 2013 (Fiction)

  • Monument Road, Charlie Quimby
    Torrey House Press, 9781937226251, November 12, 2013 (Fiction)

  • The Rosie Project: A Novel, Graeme Simsion
    Simon & Schuster, 9781476729084, October 1, 2013 (Fiction)

  • Burial Rites: A Novel, Hannah Kent
    Little, Brown and Company, 9780316243919, September 10, 2013 (Fiction)

  • The Night Guest: A Novel, Fiona McFarlane
    Faber & Faber, 9780865477735, October 1, 2013 (Fiction)

  • The President's Hat, Antoine Laurain
    Gallic Books Limited, 9781908313478, September 3, 2013 (Fiction)

  • The Cartographer Of No Man's Land, P.S. Duffy
    W. W. Norton, 9780871403766, October 28, 2013 (Fiction)

Winter/Spring 2013

Middle Grade

  • The School for Good and Evil, Soman Chainani
    HarperCollins, 9780062104892, May 14, 2013 (Middle Grade)

  • An Army of Frogs: A Kulipari Novel, Trevor Pryce
    Harry N. Abrams, 9781419701726, May 6, 2015 (Middle Grade)

  • Zebra Forest, Adina Rishe Gewirtz
    Candlewick, 9780763660413, April 9, 2013 (Middle Grade)

Young Adult

  • The Summer Prince, Alaya Dawn Johnson
    Arthur A. Levine Books, 9780545417792, March 1, 2013 (Young Adult)


  • The Blood of Heaven, Kent Wascom
    Grove Press, 9780802121189, May 28, 2013 (Fiction)

  • A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel, Anthony Marra
    Hogarth, 9780770436407, May 7, 2013 (Fiction)

  • We Need New Names: A Novel, NoViolet Bulawayo
    Reagan Arthur Books , 9780316230810, May 21, 2013 (Fiction)

  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel, Helene Wecker
    HarperCollins, 9780062110831, April 23, 2013 (Fiction)

  • Heart of Palm, Laura Lee Smith
    Grove Press , 9780802121028, April 2, 2013 (Fiction)

  • The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards: A Novel, Kristopher Jansma
    Penguin Adult, 9780670026005, March 21, 2013 (Fiction)


  • Shakespeare Saved My Life: Ten Years in Solitary with the Bard, Laura Bates
    Sourcebooks, 9781402273148, April 2, 2013 (Non-Fiction)

Winter/Spring 2015


  • Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter`, Nina MacLaughlin
    W.W. Norton & Company, 9780393239133, March 16, 2015 (Non-Fiction)

    [Nina MacLaughlin’s] vivid descriptions of the different jobs she learned to do, of the satisfaction of making something physical, her one-of-a-kind boss, and the learning curves involved in the experience made this an absolutely fascinating memoir. I loved it.”

    -Carol Schneck Varner, Schuler Books and Music (Okemos, MI)

  • The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan, Rafia Zakaria
    Beacon Press, 9780807003367, February 3, 2015 (Non-Fiction)

    Rafia Zakaria weaves together national history and generations of family history to create the story of women in Pakistan in her compelling debut book, THE UPSTAIRS WIFE.

    -Amanda Bullock, Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (New York, NY)


  • Church of Marvels, Leslie Parry
    Ecco, 9780062367556, May 12, 2015 (Fiction)

    I loved all the details of this trying life in early New York City, the brothels, the opium dens, and just the endless days of trying to survive. Parry is in the same realm as THE NIGHT CIRCUS.

    -Annie Philbrick, Bank Square Books (Mystic, CT)

  • The Travels of Daniel Ascher, Déborah Lévy-Bertherat
    Other Press, 9781590517079, May 26, 2015 (Fiction)

    Helene is in Paris, living in an attic room of her uncle’s home. What Helene discovers in the house and about her family make for a delightful adventure.

    -Barbara Theroux, Fact & Fiction (Missoula, MT)

  • The Valley, John Renehan
    Dutton Adult, 9780525954866, March 10, 2015 (Fiction)

    THE VALLEY is rich with detail, compelling and complex. It is a war novel, but also a mystery and psychological drama. As with the best novels, it will stay with the reader long after the book is closed.

    -Lyn Roberts, Square Books (Oxford, MS)

  • Soil: A Novel, Jamie Kornegay
    Simon & Schuster, 9781476750811, March 10, 2015 (Fiction)

    Independent bookseller Jamie Kornegay has confidently announced himself as a voice to watch. SOIL is a tension machine, tightening the screws on the increasingly paranoid Jay Mize in a way that’s impossible to put down.

    -Josh Christie, Sherman’s Books (Yarmouth, ME)

  • Young Skins, Colin Barrett
    Black Cat, 9780802123329, March 3, 2015 (Fiction)

    These short stories, set in and around the small Irish town of Glanbeigh, County Mayo, are just tiny glimpses, vignettes of the lives of some of the younger class of residents. A blazing, outstanding debut by a very talented young writer who I can’t wait to see more from.

    -Seth Marko, UC San Diego Bookstore (San Diego, CA)

  • Wolf Winter, Cecilia Ekbäck
    Weinstein Books, 9781602862524, January 27, 2015 (Fiction)

    Cecilia Ekbäck’s tale of Swedish Lapland in 1717 gives insight into the land and people of the far north – and is hard to let go.

    -Barbara Theroux, Fact & Fiction (Missoula, MT)

  • Etta and Otto and Russell and James: A Novel, Emma Hooper
    Simon & Schuster, 9781476755670, January 20, 2015 (Fiction)

    Wry and quirky, a little bit magical, and perfectly pitched, ETTA AND OTTO AND RUSSELL AND JAMES is a truly marvelous debut.

    -Cathy Langer, Tattered Cover Book Store (Denver, CO)

  • Black River, S.M. Hulse
    Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780544309876, January 20, 2015 (Fiction)

    S.M. Hulse has written a wonderful novel that weaves together classic Western themes of family, obligation, love, anger, forgiveness, and music.

    -Luisa Smith, Book Passage (Corte Madera, CA)

Young Adult

  • Because You’ll Never Meet Me, Leah Thomas
    Bloomsbury Children’s, 9781619635906, June 2, 2015 (Young Adult)

    Ollie and Moritz are delightfully well-rendered characters, each with a distinct and powerful voice. This is a debut author to watch out for and a book I’ll be recommending for a long time to come.

    -Sarah Holt, Left Bank Books (St. Louis, MO)

  • Conviction, Kelly Loy Gilbert
    Disney-Hyperion, 9781423197386, May 19, 2015 (Young Adult)

    My heart is still bleeding for Braden, days after finishing CONVICTION, which I highly recommend for both adults and teens.

    -Jill Hendrix, Fiction Addiction (Greenville, SC)

  • An Ember in the Ashes, Sabaa Tahir
    Ben Schrank/Razorbill, 9781595148032, April 28, 2015 (Young Adult)

    The world-making here is astounding and will consume your every thought until the very last page. And even then, you won’t want to let go.

    -Sarah Chen, Mysterious Galaxy (Southern California)

  • Denton Little’s Deathdate, Lance Rubin
    Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780553496963, April 14, 2015 (Young Adult)

    Outrageous with a rollicking pace, this debut in which everyone knows the date they die will leave you breathless and charmed.

    -Sarah Chen, Mysterious Galaxy (Southern California)

  • We All Looked Up, Tommy Wallach
    Simon & Schuster BFYR, 9781481418775, March 31, 2015 (Young Adult)

    Wallach’s words are poetry in prose form. WE ALL LOOKED UP left me feeling light, hopeful and contemplative.

    -Brandi Stewart, Changing Hands Bookstore (Tempe, AZ)

  • Mosquitoland, David Arnold
    Ken Wright/Viking Juvenile, 9780451470775, March 3, 2015 (Young Adult)

    I count this book alongside some of the most beautiful things I’ve had the privilege of holding. I feel so, so lucky to have read it.

    -Cristin Stickles, McNally Jackson (New York, NY)

  • Red Queen, Victoria Aveyard
    HarperTeen, 9780062310637, February 10, 2015 (Young Adult)

    In a world where the color of your blood determines your status, rights and quality of life, Silvers rule. In an epic story of rebellion and love, RED QUEEN will have your own blood thumping.

    -Hannah Moushabeck, Odyssey Bookshop (South Hadley, MA)

Middle Grade

  • Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer, Kelly Jones
    Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780385755528, May 12, 2015 (Middle Grade)

    Fantastic! Told in letters, this is sweet and funny, with a touch of magic and tons of chickens! It’s a perfect entertaining-but-meaningful read for the elementary set.

    -Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company (Seattle, WA)

  • Murder is Bad Manners, Robin Stevens
    Simon & Schuster BFYR, 9781481422123, April 21, 2015 (Middle Grade)

    I loved this book for its utterly relatable characters, its enticing narrative voice, and pitch perfect representation of an all-girls school social dynamic.

    -Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Books Inc. (San Francisco, CA)

  • The Honest Truth, Dan Gemeinhart
    Scholastic Press, 9780545665735, January 27, 2015 (Middle Grade)

    I couldn’t put THE HONEST TRUTH down while reading it, and I can’t get it out of my mind now. This is a book about a boy, his dog, and a dream that will stay with you for a long, long time.

    -Tami Furlong, Fundamentals Children’s Books (Delaware, OH)

Summer/Fall 2015


  • Kid Moses: A Novel, Mark Thornton
    Arcade Publishing, 9781628725711, October 27, 2015 (Fiction)

    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)

  • Rules for Werewolves, Kirk Lynn
    Melville House, 9781612194769, October 13, 2015 (Fiction)

    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)

  • The Girl from the Garden, Parnaz Foroutan
    Ecco, 9780062388384, August 18, 2015 (Fiction)

    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)

  • All That Followed, Gabriel Urza
    Henry Holt, 9781627792431, August 4, 2015 (Fiction)

    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)

  • Kitchens of the Great Midwest, J. Ryan Stradal
    Viking/Pam Dorman Books, 9780525429142, July 28, 2015 (Fiction)

    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)

  • The Watchmaker of Filigree Street: A Novel, Natasha Pulley
    Bloomsbury, 9781620408339, July 14, 2015 (Fiction)

    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)

  • Let Me Explain You: A Novel, Annie Liontas
    Scribner, 9781476789088, July 14, 2015 (Fiction)

    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)

  • Bull Mountain, Brian Panowich
    G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 9780399173967, July 7, 2015 (Fiction)

    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)

  • The Star Side of Bird Hill, Naomi Jackson
    Penguin Press, 9781594205958, June 30, 2015 (Fiction)

    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)

  • Death and Mr. Pickwick: A Novel, Stephen Jarvis
    Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9780374139667, June 23, 2015 (Fiction)

    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)

Middle Grade

  • The Doldrums, Nicholas Gannon
    Greenwillow Books, 9780062320940, September 29, 2015 (Middle Grade)

    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)

  • Look Both Ways in the Barrio Blanco, Judith Robbins Rose
    Candlewick Press, 9780763672355, September 8, 2015 (Middle Grade)

    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)

  • The Entirely True Story of the Unbelievable FIB, Adam Shaughnessy
    Algonquin Young Readers, 9781616204983, September 8, 2015 (Middle Grade)

    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)

  • Another Kind of Hurricane, Tamara Ellis Smith
    Random House Children's Books, 9780553511932, July 14, 2015 (Middle Grade)

    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)

  • Circus Mirandus, Cassie Beasley
    Penguin Young Readers, 9780525428435, June 2, 2015 (Middle Grade)

    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)

  • Book Scavenger, Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
    Henry Holt and Co.(BYR) / Christy Ottaviano Books, 9781627791151, June 2, 2015 (Middle Grade)

    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)

Young Adult

  • Fans of the Impossible Life, Kate Scelsa
    Balzer + Bray, 9780062331755, September 8, 2015 (Young Adult)

    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)

  • Everything, Everything, Nicola Yoon
    Delacorte Books for Young Readers, 9780553496642, September 1, 2015 (Young Adult)

    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)

  • The Accident Season, Moïra Fowley-Doyle
    Kathy Dawson, 9780525429487, August 18, 2015 (Young Adult)

    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)

  • Trouble is a Friend of Mine, Stephanie Tromly
    Kathy Dawson, 9780525428404, August 4, 2015 (Young Adult)

    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)

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