January/February 2022 Kids' Indie Next List Preview

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Here is a preview of the titles on the January/February 2022 Kids’ Indie Next List flier, arriving at stores in the upcoming Kids’ Box mailing. The January/February title list is also viewable as a collection in Edelweiss.

The tri-fold, four-color flier features the top 10 children’s titles for January/February and additional titles organized by age group. All Indie Next List picks are based on recommendations from booksellers at independent bookstores across the country and include a bookseller quote and full bibliographic information. 

The deadline for nominating titles for the March/April 2022 Kids' Indie Next List is January 10. Find more information about nominating titles here.

#1 Pick: Ain’t Burned All the Bright
By Jason Reynolds, Jason Griffin (Illus.)
(Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 9781534439467, $19.99, Jan. 11, Ages: 12+)

“If there’s ever been a person to write about our times — Black Lives Matter, conflict, COVID — it’s Jason Reynolds. Three illustrated poems get to the heart of the matter, make the reader face the truth, and are full of pain and hope.”
—Melissa Fox, Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, KS

Picture Books
Anzu the Great Kaiju
By Benson Shum
(Roaring Brook Press, 9781250776129, $18.99, Jan. 11, Ages: 4–8)

“Just the sweetest, cutest book! A little kaiju without the destructive talents of his parents and grandparents. His talents are to make things grow, and he comes to realize he and those around him are happiest when he is just himself.”
—Lauren Nopenz Fairley, Curious Iguana, Frederick, MD

Eyes that Speak to the Stars
By Joanna Ho, Dung Ho (Illus.)
(HarperCollins, 9780063057753, $18.99, Jan. 25, Ages: 4–8)

“Great follow-up to Eyes That Kiss in the Corners, focusing on a young boy’s realization that through his eyes, he is connected to his ancestors, his family, and his own power. The illustrations are vibrant and beautiful.”
—Lorie Barber, Anderson’s Bookshops, Naperville, IL

Fall Down Seven Times, Stand Up Eight: Patsy Takemoto Mink and the Fight for Title IX
By Jen Bryant, Toshiki Nakamura (Illus.)
(Quill Tree Books, 9780062957221, $17.99, Jan. 25, Ages: 4–8)

“Wow! What a tremendous telling of a critical American story. Patsy Takemoto Mink’s story resonates on such a deep and interconnected level. Told through beautiful prose and illustrations, this is an essential read.”
—Lauren Kean, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

Friends Are Friends, Forever
By Dane Liu, Lynn Scurfield (Illus.)
(Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 9781250778185, $18.99, Jan. 4, Ages: 4–8)

“Although the story features Lunar New Year celebrations, this book will be one to enjoy year-round, with a sweet story of friendship and the value of shared experiences.”
—Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, WA

I Love You Because I Love You
By Muợn Thị Văn, Jessica Love (Illus.)
(Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062894595, $17.99, Jan. 4, Ages: 4–8)

“This sweet story will make a great baby gift, graduation gift, or everyday read. Perspective from both sides of loving pairs invite children in to the story, different from many books of this type that focus on parent to child love alone.”
—Hannah Amrollahi, The Bookworm of Omaha, Omaha, NE

Milk and Juice: A Recycling Romance
By Meredith Crandall Brown
(HarperCollins, 9780063021853, $18.99, Dec. 14, Ages: 4–8)

“An adorable and funny tale of two plastic containers and their love connection through the process of recycling. Kids and adults will enjoy this very engaging story with a hint of education on the side.”
—Judith Lafitte, Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA

Stacey’s Extraordinary Words  
By Stacey Abrams, Kitt Thomas (Illus.)
(Balzer + Bray, 9780063209473, $19.99, Dec. 28, Ages 4-8)

"Stacey Abrams shares her lifelong love of words, perfectly capturing the excitement — and fear — that come with spelling bee competition, and teaches young readers that winning isn't the most important thing."
—Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

Tía Fortuna’s New Home: A Jewish Cuban Journey
By Ruth Behar, Devon Holzwarth (Illus.)
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780593172414, $17.99, Jan. 25, Ages: 4–8)

“Having helped move my grandparents into an apartment and going through family mementoes, this one hit very close to home! This book is the perfect guide to help children see that new spaces and experiences are not something to be feared.”
—Cecilia Cackley, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

By Nilah Magruder
(Versify, 9780358172383, $17.99, Jan. 25, Ages: 4–7)

“Sometimes animals ask her, ‘Wutaryoo?’ Wutaryoo doesn’t know the answer herself. Determined to find an answer, she sets off on a worldwide adventure. A gorgeously illustrated tale of endurance, discovery, and what it means to belong.”
—Andrew King, Secret Garden Bookshop, Seattle, WA

The Year We Learned to Fly
By Jacqueline Woodson, Rafael López (Illus.)
(Nancy Paulsen Books, 9780399545535, $18.99, Jan. 4, Ages: 5–8)

“What a beautiful picture book! The illustrations are stunning, and the words, as you’d expect from Jacqueline Woodson, are simply marvelous.”
—Christine Bollow, Loyalty Bookstores, Washington, DC

Middle Grade
Hide and Geek (Indies Introduce)
By T.P. Jagger
(Random House Books for Young Readers, 9780593377932, $16.99, Jan. 4, Ages: 8–12)

“The perfect middle grade book for fans of mystery and puzzles. You’ll want to be part of the friend group, The GEEKs, as they go on a treasure hunt to solve the puzzles left by a famous puzzle maker in order to save their town.”
—Shoshonna Roberts, Maggie Mae’s Kids Bookshop, Gresham, OR

Just Roll With It (A Graphic Novel)
By Lee Durfey-Lavoie, Veronica Agarwal (Illus.)
(Random House Graphic, 9781984896995, $12.99, Dec. 14, Ages: 8–12)

“This book is so cute! I know RPGs are really hot right now, but this book uses RPGs to talk about something more. It shows the realities of OCD, and models how parents and friends can properly interact with someone they think is struggling.”
—Kellie Otis, Books of Wonder, New York, NY

Katie the Catsitter Book 2: Best Friends for Never
By Colleen AF Venable, Stephanie Yue (Illus.)
(Random House Books for Young Readers, 9780593375464, $20.99, hardcover; 9781984895660, $12.99, paperback, Feb. 15, Ages: 8–12)

“Katie, the Mousetress, and those 217 crazy cats are back! This time, Katie has to contend with friendship drama while trying to be the best sidekick she can be. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!”
—Brooke Williams, Bookends & Beginnings, Evanston, IL

The Lock-Eater 
By Zack Loran Clark
(Dial Books, 9781984816887, $17.99, Jan. 18, Ages: 10+)

“An orphan who can open any lock at will, is swept away on an adventure that will test her understanding of the political world around her. A great story, filled with unexpected turns, balanced characters, and an undeniable charm.”
—Rosie Lee-Parks, Readers’ Books, Sonoma, CA

Operation Sisterhood
By Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich
(Crown Books for Young Readers, 9780593379899, $16.99, Jan. 4, Ages: 8–12)

“Oh. My. Goodness. My heart just could not take the kindhearted core of this book. It’s fantastic! I’ll be recommending to fans of A Soft Place to Land and The Babysitters Club.”
—Hannah Oxley, Mystery to Me, Madison, WI

Orphans of the Tide
By Struan Murray
(HarperCollins, 9780063043114, $17.99, Dec. 14, Ages: 8–12)

“An exciting, adventurous mystery and a touching story about family, memory, and trust — it will take you on a wild ride through a bustling, strange city full of secrets and danger with an amazing main character you’ll love from the start.”
—Alissa Hugel, Folio Books, San Francisco, CA

Strangeville School Is Totally Normal
By Darcy Miller, Brett Helquist (Illus.)
(Random House Books for Young Readers, 9780593309506, $16.99, Dec. 7, Ages: 8–12)

“I loved this book because it’s so weird. I really got taken along with all the oddity, until I felt like I may have gone through the supply closet and emerged in a parallel universe.”
—Clare Doornbos, Mr. Mopps’ Books and Toys, Berkeley, CA

Tiger Honor (A Thousand Worlds Novel)
By Yoon Ha Lee
(Rick Riordan Presents, 9781368055543, $16.99, Jan. 4, Ages: 8–12)

“A true space opera for the middle grade audience and teeming with folklore, this adventure with twists and turns will keep you on the edge of your seat. With a hero who gives a voice to all the nonbinary kids out there — Sebin is fantastic.”
—Marielle Orff, Towne Book Center & Café, Collegeville, PA

The Way I Say It (Indies Introduce)
By Nancy Tandon
(Charlesbridge, 9781623541330, $16.99, Jan. 18, Ages: 10+)

“This incredible debut centers on a character whose speech impediment makes it difficult to pronounce his own name. Drawing on the author’s profession, this moving exploration of what it means to hear your name in the world is a must read!”
—Meghan Hayden, River Bend Bookshop, Glastonbury, CT

When Winter Robeson Came
By Brenda Woods
(Nancy Paulsen Books, 9781524741587, $16.99, Jan. 11, Ages: 10+)

“This novel in verse is set in 1965 as music-loving Eden’s cousin Winter visits Los Angeles, looking for his father just before the Watts riots break out. This sweet story is a gentle and timely reminder of the history of police violence.”
—Mary Wahlmeier, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, KS

Young Adult
Anatomy: A Love Story
By Dana Schwartz
(Wednesday Books, 9781250774156, $18.99, Jan. 18, Ages: 13–18)

“Set in 19th-century Edinburgh, this gothic tale follows Hazel’s quest to become a real physician in a world hellbent on crushing her dreams. Atmospheric, frightening, and heartfelt, it will keep you on the edge of your seat.”
—Katie Fransen, The Novel Neighbor, St. Louis, MO

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves
By Meg Long
(Wednesday Books, 9781250785060, $18.99, Jan. 11, Ages: 12–18)

“Sena is a tough loner on a rough planet. When she crosses the wrong gangster, she’ll live only if she can heal his prize fighter wolf Iska. Hop on for a freezing cold, terrifying ride with a blazingly warm, you-can-breathe-now end.”
—Kay Wosewick, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Here’s to Us
By Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera
(Quill Tree Books, 9780063071636, $19.99, Dec. 28, Ages: 14+)

“A sweet follow-up to What if It’s Us. Ben and Arthur aren’t together, both are dating other guys. So why can’t they quite seem to move on? And will one more summer in NYC be the do-over that they need?”
—Gwen Papp, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

If This Gets Out
By Sophie Gonzales, Cale Dietrich
(Wednesday Books, 9781250805805, $18.99, Dec. 7, Ages: 13–18)

“This absolutely blew me away. For boy band fans, for those who’ve memorized the lyrics to every Camp Rock song, or for anyone who knows how hard, complex, and beautiful it is to come out as queer whether you’re famous or not — this is our book.”
—Miriasha Borsykowsky, Phoenix Books, Burlington, VT

In Every Generation
By Kendare Blake
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781368075022, $18.99, Jan. 4, Ages: 12–18)

“A wonderful book filled with family, mystery, and action. A second generation, set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, it was fun and exciting throughout the whole book. I highly recommend it!”
—Kennedy Noorda, The Book Bungalow, St. George, UT

The Kindred
By Alechia Dow
(Inkyard Press, 9781335418616, $18.99, Jan. 4, Ages: 13+)

The Kindred is utterly unique and so, SO beautifully written. I can’t wait to see what’s next in this intergalactic kingdom!”
—Hannah Oxley, Mystery to Me, Madison, WI

By Jessie Burton, Olivia Lomenech Gill (Illus.)
(Bloomsbury YA, 9781547607594, $19.99, Jan. 11, Ages: 14+)

“A lyrical retelling of Medusa’s story — from a girl unfairly punished by the Gods and Goddesses to a woman who knows her true self. Full of love and longing, hope and betrayal, strength and power, this dazzling book should not be missed!”
—Katrina Bright-Yerges, Books & Company, Oconomowoc, WI

One True Loves
By Elise Bryant
(Balzer + Bray, 9780062982865, $17.99, Jan. 4, Ages: 14+)

“The perfect book to read on vacation, or at home while you dream of vacation. Lenore is honest, relatable, and funny — and that makes her an amazing protagonist. This book is proof that our ‘one true love’ can find us when we least expect it.”
—Martha Laramore-Josey, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

Spin Me Right Round
By David Valdes
(Bloomsbury YA, 9781547607105, $17.99, Jan. 4, Ages: 12+)

“'80s nostalgia, pop culture, and progressive politics make up this time-traveling, funny and witty young adult novel of a queer Latinx teen trying to solve an LGBT mystery while trying to change the world.”
—Gerard Villegas, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA

When You Get the Chance
By Emma Lord
(Wednesday Books, 9781250783349, $18.99, Jan. 4, Ages: 12–18)

“This book was so much fun! I have been humming and singing musicals since I started reading this fun romance à la Mama Mia and Buona Sera. Great romance with lots of great friendships and heart. Loved it!”
—Jenny Cole, Page 2 Books, Burien, WA