ABC New Voices Flier Promotes Outstanding Debut Works for Middle Grade and Teen Readers

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Over the past two months, a dedicated committee of 14 children’s booksellers has been reading and discussing more than 100 books written by first-time authors with the goal of choosing 20 outstanding  titles — 10 each in the Middle Grade and Young Adult categories. The result is the 2011 New Voices flier, unveiled this week by the ABC Children’s Group at ABA.

“The great thing about the New Voices project is that indie booksellers came together to do what they do best — find the great hidden gems from new authors,” said ABC New Voices Committee Chair Cathy Berner, of Blue Willow Bookshop in Houston.  “After reviewing more than 100 submissions from a variety of publishers, each member who served on this committee now has an incredible edge going into the holiday selling season.”

The New Voices titles are featured on a two-sided, full-color flier with jacket images that is being shipped to all ABA member stores in the September Red Box mailing.  Each store will receive one pad of 100 fliers, with additional pads available on request. 

The 2011 ABC New Voices titles are also being presented to consumers via The online list includes 10 additional titles —  5 Middle Grade and 5 Young Adult — that do not appear on the printed flier, but which the committee deemed deserving of recognition.

In past years, the ABC New Voices Project has helped to introduce debut authors to young readers, parents, and teachers, with the assurance that the titles have been thoughtfully and thoroughly vetted by independent booksellers. This year’s list continues the tradition.



by Clete Smith
Read it if you like Fantasy/Sci-Fi
“When Scrub learns that his grandmother, who lives in a crazy house in the middle of nowhere, hosts aliens who vacation on Earth, he tries to help keep the secret. The results are hilarious. Perfect for anyone who has tried to fit into a new place.”  —Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
Ages 8 – 12  (978-1423133636)
Hyperion/Disney Publishing Worldwide  $16.99

by Brian Eames
Read it if you like Adventure Fiction/Pirates
“A father tried to protect his boy from the lure of the sea, but after the loss of his family the young hero joins a pirate crew with the hope of both finding a vast treasure and a hidden heirloom dagger and catching the rival pirate gang that has taken his stepmother and brother.  Far more buckling than swash and packed with action, this is a great pirate book.”  —Andrea Vuleta, Mrs. Nelson’s Toy & Book Shop, La Verne, CA
Ages 8 – 12  (978-1442423114)
Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster  $15.99

by Troy Howell
Read it if you like Fantasy/Magic
“Introducing a strong, thoughtful, feisty, flawed — but perfect — heroine to the world.  Kat Graham stumbles upon a treasure — and a dragon — which leads her to explore issues like truth, lies, greed, hope, and faith. A modern tall tale worth more than its weight in gold!” —Summer Laurie, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA
Ages 8 – 12  (978-0810997134)
Amulet/Abrams  $16.95

by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Read it if you like Realistic Fiction
“Sixth grade was supposed to be the best year of Lucy Wu’s life. But between her parents moving her great-aunt into Lucy’s bedroom and insisting on Chinese school over basketball, life has never felt more unfair. Readers will fall in love with Lucy’s hilariously dramatic yet achingly relatable attempts to forge a path that feels truly her own.” —Meghan Dietsche-Goel, BookPeople, Austin, TX
 Ages 8 – 12  (978-0545162159)
Scholastic  $17.99

by Julie Sternberg
Read it if you like Realistic Fiction
“Eight-year-old Eleanor is devastated when her babysitter, Bibi, moves away during the summer before second grade.  In this chapter book, written in verse, Sternberg beautifully captures the overwhelming importance of the small events often overlooked by grown-ups as Eleanor learns about friendship, loss, and love.” —Leslie Reiner, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL
Ages 7 – 10  (978-0810984240)
Amulet/Abrams  $14.95

by Jonathan Auxier
Read it if you like Fantasy/Magic
“This adventurous tale is about a blind orphan who uses his other well-developed senses to become the ‘best thief in the world.’ Peter overcomes each obstacle put in his path with the help of wonderful, funny characters, and it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad. An unforgettable journey with a surprising twist at the end. What a great ride! —Ellen Mager, Booktenders’ Secret Garden, Doylestown, PA
Ages 9 – 12  (978-1419700255)
Amulet/Abrams  $16.95

by Elsbeth Edgar
Read it if you like Historical Fiction/Mystery
“Laura Horton moves into a tumbledown mansion in a new town with her somewhat unconventional parents and tries to fit in with her peers. She befriends Leon, another outsider, and the two try to unravel the mystery of Laura’s home, Visconti House.  This lovely book is contemporary, but it has an old-fashioned sensibility, with believably human characters.” —Trish Brown, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA
Ages 9 – 12  (978-0763650193)
Candlewick  $16.99

by Gill Lewis
Read it if you like Realistic Fiction/Animals
“This heartwarming, lovely, and suspenseful story begins in Scotland on the farm of Callum McGregor where his neighbor, Iona, discovers an osprey nest. The protection of the nest and the eventual long migration of the female is the foundation of a tale that spans continents and cultures, and brings communities together.” —Carol Stoltz, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
Ages 8 – 12  (978-1442414457)
Atheneum/Simon & Schuster  $15.99

by Tess Hilmo
Read it if you like Mystery/Family Stories
“Hilmo’s strong voice and memorable characters make this novel one to read.  You won’t forget Olivene Love or her father, the Reverend Everlasting Love, but more importantly, you won’t forget what they stand for — family — even in the face of danger.” —Dave Richardson, The Blue Marble, Fort Thomas, KY
 Ages 9 – 12  (978-0374384654)
Margaret Ferguson Books / Farrar Straus Giroux   $16.99

by Shawn Thomas Odyssey
Read it if you like Mystery/Fantasy/Magic
“Though she is a rare Natural Wizard, Oona dreams of becoming a detective, not the Wizard Apprentice, as she prefers facts to the instability of spells and wands.  When her uncle, the Wizard of Dark Street, is murdered, Oona faces the hardest challenge imaginable. Wonderfully crafted mystery, magic and mayhem ensue.”   —Kris Vreeland, Vroman’s, Pasadena, CA
Ages 9 – 12  (978-1606841433)
Egmont USA   $16.99

Middle Grade Extended List (online only)

by Chris Rylander
Read it if you like Realistic Fiction/Mystery
Diary of a Wimpy Kid meets The Sopranos in this laugh-a-minute mystery.  This is an offer no middle grader can refuse!
Ages 9 – 12  (978-0061994968)
Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins   $15.99

by Nathan Bransford
Read it if you like Sci-Fi Action/Adventure
Jacob Wonderbar is used to detentions, but when a spaceship crashes near his house he learns that space travel is all fun and games until someone breaks the universe.
Ages 8 – 12  (978-0803735378)
Dial/Penguin Young Readers Group   $15.99

by M.P.  Kozlowsky
Read it if you like Fantasy/Horror
On a cold and rainy night, Juniper follows her famous film star parents as they sneak out of the house. They enter the woods, where Juniper discovers an underworld filled with contradictions.
Ages 8 – 12  (978-0061998690)
Walden Pond Press/HarperCollins   $15.99

by Colin Meloy
Read it if you like Fantasy/Adventure
 The first book in an epic fantasy series full of magic, wonder, and danger—nothing less than an American Narnia—about an impassable wilderness the locals call Wildwood.
Ages 8 – 12  (978-0062024688)
Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins   $17.99

by Trent Reedy
Read it if you like Realistic Fiction/Foreign Countries
Inspired by a girl whom the author met in Afghanistan, this is a portrait of life in a country Americans hear about yet rarely see from inside and a story of choices, changes, chances, and discoveries.
Ages 10 – 14  (978-0545261258)
Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic   $16.99


by MK Reed, Jonathan Hill (illus.)
Read it if you like Graphic Fiction
“This is the smart and timely tale of two young geeks and their efforts to prevent the banning of their favorite fantasy series from the local library. Their trials showcase the familiar and very real passion we all hold for certain books. This graphic novel may be slim, but its message is powerful.”  —Lauren O’Niell, The Booksmith, San Francisco, CA
Ages 13+  (978-1596436015)
First Second   $14.99

by Mike Mullin
Read it if you like Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
“When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts and spreads ash for hundreds of miles around, Alex must journey from his home in Iowa to find his family in Illinois. The rules of civilization vanish, and Alex can only trust himself on his harrowing journey.  At its heart, Ashfall is a coming-of-age tale — albeit one that will haunt you and make you want to enroll in a survivalist class immediately.” —Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
Ages 14+  (978-1933718552)
Tanglewood (dist. PGW)   $16.95

by Jennifer Castle
Read it if you like Family Drama
“After her parents and younger brother are killed in an accident, Laurel has to figure out how to grieve while continuing with her own life. Castle’s writing is fluid and believable, and she handles complex emotions with style and grace.  This is a strong, realistic teen girl book, with just enough crush-worthy romance to make you not want it to end.”  —Hannah Manshel, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL
Ages 13+  (978-0061985799)
HarperTeen   $17.99

by Ruta Sepetys
Read it if you like Historical Fiction
“In 1941, the Soviets have invaded Lithuania, and Lina is a 15-year-old war criminal. The secret police force her and her family to march to Siberia, stopping only to work under brutal and freezing conditions. Sepetys has created a community of very real, very human characters who find ways through art, music, and tradition to commemorate all they have lost.”  —Judy Bulow, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO
Ages 13+  (978-0399254123)
Philomel /Penguin Young Readers Group $17.99

by Veronica Roth
Read it if you like Dystopian Fantasy
“This is a stunning first novel. I was blown away by Roth’s writing, terrified by her dystopian version of our future, and riveted by the complex twists and turns of the plot. Tris is a character you will root for from page one, and by the time you have breathlessly closed the book on the last chapter, you will be desperate for more of her story.” —Melissa Posten, Pudd’nhead Books, Webster Groves, MO
Ages 14+  (978-0062024022)
Katherine Tegen Books/HarperCollins   $17.99

by Eilis O’Neal
Read it if you like Fantasy/Magic
“After 16 years as Princess of Thorvaldor, Sinda is told that she’s been a decoy to protect the real princess from a horrible curse. She finds herself living as a commoner, but instead of feeling sorry for herself, she decides to figure out the mystery behind her ouster. This is a wonderful story of self-discovery, adventure, mystery, magic, court intrigue, friendship, and a little romance.”   —Trish Brown, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA
Ages 12+  (978-1606840795)
Egmont USA   $16.99

by Joshua Cohen
Read it if you like Realistic Fiction/Sports
“This powerful, moving, and haunting novel exposes the brutality of hazing, steroid use, and the warped mentality of ‘win at all costs.’ Cohen weaves the voice of two athletes – a gymnast and a football player – into a compelling and unforgettable narrative that will leave you shocked, breathless, and exhausted.”
—Dave Richardson, The Blue Marble, Fort Thomas, KY
Ages 14+  (978-0525423065)
Dutton/Penguin Young Readers Group  $17.99

by Jessi Kirby
Read it if you like Family Drama
“Anna has a lot to handle at the end of the summer — a new town, a new school, and new friends.  The fresh start has some distinct ties to the past, however.  She’s living on the beach where her parents fell in love and where her mother died. As Anna learns more about her mother, she begins to heal her unresolved grief.” —Andrea Vuleta, Mrs. Nelson’s Toy & Book Shop, La Verne, CA
Ages 12+  (978-1442416949)
Simon & Schuster  $16.99

by Jenny Hubbard
Read it if you like Realistic Fiction
“Scared into silence after a tragic accident, boarding school student Alex Stromm tries to speak his truth through writing. But what is true? Whose code of honor should he follow? Poetic and literary allusions abound in this story of being caught between the rock of childhood and the hard place of adulthood.”
—Summer Laurie, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA
Ages 14+  (978-0385740555)
Delacorte/Random House  $16.99

by John Corey Whaley
Read it if you like Realistic Fiction
“This novel has an unusually elegant and complex structure, with parallel stories that intertwine at the very end. The themes of disappearance, return, rebirth, and second chances are written cleverly through zombie fantasies, disappearing children, and reappearing woodpeckers.  It is a unique and engaging story about faith and community, told by a delightful narrator.” —Hannah Manshel, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL
Ages 13+  (978-1442413337)
Atheneum/Simon & Schuster  $16.99

Teens Extended List (online only)

BLOOD RED ROAD (Dustlands Trilogy # 1)
by Moira Young
Read it if you like Post-Apocalyptic Fiction/Dystopian Fantasy
Young tells the epic love story of a survivor in a violent dystopian wilderness with a poetically minimal writing style.
Ages 14+  (978-1442429987)
Margaret K. McElderry Books/Simon & Schuster   $17.99

by Kimberly Marcus
Read it if you like Fantasy/Magic
Told in stunning, searingly raw free verse, this gut-wrenching, riveting tale will appeal to fans of Ellen Hopkins, Laurie Halse Anderson, and Virginia Euwer Wolff.
Ages 14+  (978-0375866937)
Random House  $16.99
by Sonia Gensler
Read it if you like Historical Fiction/Paranormal Mystery
 When Willie arrives to teach at the mysterious Cherokee Female Seminary, she knows only one thing: no one can find out who she really is.
Ages 13+  (978-0375867019)
Knopf/Random House  $16.99

by Ty Roth
Read it if you like Realistic Fiction
Until now, high school junior John Keats has only tiptoed near the edges of the vortex that is schoolmate and literary prodigy Gordon Byron. That is, until their mutual friend, Shelly, drowns in a sailing accident.
Ages 14+  (978-0385739580)
Delacorte/Random House  $17.99

by Lena Coakley
Read it if you like Paranormal Fiction
Everything Ryder has (dis)believed about witches, the Baen, magic, and the Witchlands changes when he discovers that the prophecies he’s always scorned are actually all about him.
Ages 12+  (978-1442420045)
Atheneum/Simon & Schuster  $16.99

The 2011 ABC New Voices Committee

Members of the 2011 New Voices Committee, who volunteered their knowledge and experience, to create this year’s list, are: