January/February 2024 Kids’ Indie Next List Preview

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Here is a preview of the titles on the January/February 2024 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 2024 Kids’ Indie Next List is January 8.

Find more information about nominating titles here.

Here are the titles appearing on the January/February 2024 Kids’ Indie Next List:

#1 Pick: A Fragile Enchantment
By Allison Saft
(Wednesday Books, 9781250892836, $20, Jan. 2, Ages: 13-18)

“A tender, romantic tale about living up to your family’s legacy and the crossroads of what’s expected of you and what your heart desires. Saft’s prose is utterly enchanting; you can’t help but melt into her luscious world. You will swoon!”
—Joseline Diaz, Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park, CA

Picture Books

Angela’s Glacier
By Jordan Scott, Diana Sudyka (Illus.)
(Neal Porter Books, 9780823450824, $18.99, Jan. 2, Ages: 4-8)
Angela’s Glacier is a heartwarming reminder of why we need to live in sync with nature, not just near it. Beautifully illustrated and sweetly told.”
—Bex Frankeberger, Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, NY

Buffalo Fluffalo
By Bess Kalb, Erin Kraan (Illus.)

(Random House Studio, 9780593564530, $18.99, Jan. 2, Ages: 4-8)
“I would use this in my pre-k class because (1) rhymes are silly and fun, (2) the art is fluffin’ cute, (3) it’s a conversation starter about being tough vs. being vulnerable, and (4) It’s all about friendship, love and acceptance.”
—Sam Roman, BookPeople, Austin, TX

Hippos Remain Calm
By Sandra Boynton
(Boynton Bookworks, 9781665938532, $18.99, Dec. 12, 2023, Ages: 0+)

“We can always use more Sandra Boynton and more of her Hippos, especially reading their Hippoetry! A great read-aloud with multiple tangents and distractions — and of course, music.”
—Carrie Koepke, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, MO

I Am Money
By Julia Cook, Garrett Gunderson, Josh Cleland (Illus.)
(Sourcebooks Explore, 9781728271262. $14.99, Jan. 2, Ages: 4-8)

“Wow! I don’t think I’ve ever read a book on money for kids that states that money won’t make you happier and that credit cards can be deceptive. A good look at what money is and can do, and what the different forms of money do and how they work.”
—René Kirkpatrick, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

The Last Stand
By Antwan Eady, Jerome Pumphrey (Illus.), Jarrett Pumphrey (Illus.)
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780593480571, $18.99, Jan. 30, Ages: 3-7)

“This spoke to my heart. Farming is not an easy living, but it’s a noble one — one that builds community and a sense of place. Government policies don’t favor small farms, especially farms owned by people of color. It’s up to us to advocate for change.”
—Alana Haley, Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, MI

Like So
By Ruth Forman, Raissa Figueroa (Illus.)
(Little Simon, 9781665917544, $18.99, Jan. 2, Ages: 1-4)

“This warm picture book shows love through the days shared by a little girl and her grandmother. The simple kisses, kitchen hugs, skies filled with butterflies, moonlit waves, and constellations all reflect the joy of family and nature.”
—Tim McCarthy, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Love Is My Favorite Color
By Nina Laden, Melissa Castrillon (Illus.)
(Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 9781665913096, $18.99, Jan. 2, Ages: 4-8)

“What a lovely little celebration of a book! The words are sweet and warm, but the best part is the illustration. The stunning palette and fluid motion makes every spread a feast for the eyes! A good gift for new babies, a life event, or a well wish.”
—Claire Margetts, Weller Book Works, Salt Lake City, UT

Pepper and Me
By Beatrice Alemagna
(Hippo Park, 9781662640506, $18.99, Jan. 16, Ages: 4-8)

“Having experience with skinned knees, (even as an adult), this sweet story surprised, delighted, and resonated with me. The illustrations are precious and the wit and humor are executed perfectly. Hoping this one rises to the top!”
—Stacey Haerr, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA

The Princess and the (Greedy) Pea
By Leigh Hodgkinson
(Candlewick, 9781536231328, $17.99, Dec. 5, 2023, Ages: 3-7)

“What do you do when your child has outgrown The Very Hungry Caterpillar? You give them The Princess and the (Greedy) Pea. The repetition, solid rhythm, and word play make this a fun read!”
—Lea Bickerton, The Tiny Bookstore, Pittsburgh, PA

The Three Little Tardigrades
By Sandra Fay
(Godwin Books, 9781250776099, $18.99, Jan. 9, Ages: 4-8)

“Tardigrades: who knew they were so adventurous and amazing? Not me! Now I do. Holy smokes was this book hilarious, cute, and very educational. An excellent read-aloud, a prime classroom study, or a fun treat to keep at the grandparents’.”
—Katie Pionk, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI

Middle Grade

Alterations (Indies Introduce)
By Ray Xu
(Union Square Kids, 9781454945840, $24.99, Hardcover; 9781454945857, $14.99, Paperback; Jan. 30, Ages: 8-12)

Alterations beautifully tells the story of a young boy who just wants to stand out. It effortlessly captures the nuances of being a child of immigrants and wanting to form your own identity. This book felt like a warm, validating hug.”
—Maryan Liban, Cover to Cover Books for Young Readers, Columbus, OH

Courtesy of Cupid
By Nashae Jones
(Aladdin, 9781665939881, $17.99, Jan. 2, Ages: 10+)

“So, EJ is Cupid’s daughter. Yes, the Cupid, and she’s inherited his powers. Will she use that power only for good, even against her nemesis Trevor? This sweet middle grade romcom is great for readers who are not quite ready for YA books.”
—Paul Swydan, The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton, MA

The Doomsday Archives: The Wandering Hour
By Zack Loran Clark, Nick Eliopulos
(Zando Young Readers, 9781638930303, $17.99, Jan. 30, Ages: 8-12)

“A fast-paced romp that’s tense when appropriate, with a sprinkle of poetic reflections between spooks. What happens when you’re called to adventure, but you don’t want to? What if being a little weird is the best way to save the world?”
—Ivy Stevens, Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca, NY

K Is in Trouble
By Gary Clement
(Little, Brown Ink, 9780316468527, $24.99, Hardcover; 9780316468602, $13.99, Paperback, Jan. 16, Ages: 7-12)

“Young K is polite, kind, and quiet, yet he finds himself in trouble no matter what he does — or doesn’t — do. The stories in this delightful graphic novel will resonate with young readers, and with readers who were kids themselves in years past.”
—Susan Posch, The Book Shoppe, Boone, IA

The Misfits #1: A Royal Conundrum
By Lisa Yee, Dan Santat (Illus.)
(Random House Books for Young Readers, 9781984830296, $14.99, Jan. 2, Ages: 8-12)

“Olive’s parents enroll her in ‘Reforming Arts School’ — a place that was once a castle, then a prison, and now a boarding school. There, Olive finds her place with a group of misfits trying to stop the Bling King’s heist. A fun mystery adventure.”
—Aerie Brown, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

Not Quite a Ghost
By Anne Ursu
(Walden Pond Press, 9780062275158, $19.99, Jan. 16, Ages: 8-12)

“As Violet falls ill with symptoms no one can diagnose, she notices a shadowy figure darting behind the flowers of the old wallpaper in her room. A spooky ghost story, exploration of chronic illness, and an empowering middle grade novel.”
— Ellie Ray, Content Bookstore, Northfield, MN

The Selkie’s Daughter
By Linda Crotta Brennan
(Holiday House, 9780823454396, $17.99, Jan. 2, Ages: 8-12)

“Brigit’s mother is a selkie, born in the sea, and she is half-selkie with webbing between her fingers, which she must hide. Brigit learns hard truths about being a part of two very different worlds. A wonderful novel about fighting for who you are.”
—Kalli King, Rediscovered Books, Boise, ID

Shark Teeth
By Sherri Winston
(Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 9781547608508, $17.99, Jan. 16, Ages: 9-11)

“Kira tries her best to be the adult to her younger siblings while dealing with debilitating panic attacks. You’ll root for her all the way and cheer when she accepts help and puts herself first. An excellent middle grade look at some tough stuff.”
—Kathleen Carey, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

Tasty: A History of Yummy Experiments
By Victoria Grace Elliott
(Random House Graphic, 9780593425312, $13.99, Paperback, Dec. 5, 2023, Ages: 8-12)

Tasty is a sweet, fun way to get kids interested in learning history! There are so many things to learn in this book; even I learned new stuff as an adult. The art style is perfect, and the humor and storyline will keep kids hooked!”
—Olivia Hoover, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

Who Will Make the Snow?
By Taras Prokhasko, Marjana Prokhasko (Illus.), Boris Dralyuk (Transl.), Jennifer Croft (Transl.)
(Elsewhere Editions, 9781953861740, $22, Dec. 12, 2023, Ages: 7-11)

“I’d like to settle down in Beech Forest, read the news in The Daily Mole, and visit friends at The Under-the-Oak Cafe. Taras’ story has a classic feel with contemporary generosity, lifted by a superb translation and textured illustrations.”
—Timothy Otte, Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, MN

Young Adult

The Atlas of Us
By Kristin Dwyer
(HarperTeen, 9780063088580, $19.99, Jan. 9, Ages: 14+)

“I loved every page of Kristin Dwyer’s new book. Her sharp wit bled onto the page through her characters’ dialogue and her ability to explore guilt, grief, and anger in such a tangible way was perfection. Bravo.”
—Jamie Clark, The Briar Patch, Bangor, ME

The Invocations
By Krystal Sutherland
(Nancy Paulsen Books, 9780593532263, $20.99, Jan. 30, Ages: 12+)

“Dark, brutal, and vengeful, The Invocations brings witchcraft and sisterhood to the forefront. Blending macabre magic with a sinister mystery, Sutherland’s intoxicating novel is perfect for fans of The Diviners and Our Crooked Hearts.”
—Matilda McNeely, Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, GA

Lunar New Year Love Story
By Gene Luen Yang, LeUyen Pham (Illus.)
(First Second, 9781626728103, $25.99, Hardcover; 9781250908261, $17.99, Paperback, Jan. 9, Ages: 14-18)

Lunar New Year Love Story is a beautiful, heart wrenching yet heartwarming story of first loves and family trauma. It’s about the fear and joy, the risk and rewards of love, family, and friendship.”
—Kristin Saner, Fables Books, Goshen, IN

Most Ardently: A Pride & Prejudice Remix
By Gabe Cole Novoa
(Feiwel & Friends, 9781250869807, $19.99, Jan. 16, Ages: 13-18)

“Fleshing out the familial and platonic love found in the original novel, Most Ardently is an ode to historical LGBTQ+ people and a hopeful queer future, providing a thoughtful exploration of solidarity and the rebellion of authenticity.”
—Grace Enright, The Bookstore of Glen Ellyn, Glen Ellyn, IL

Out of Our League: 16 Stories of Girls in Sports
By Dahlia Adler (Ed.), Jennifer Iacopelli (Ed.)
(Feiwel & Friends, 9781250810717, $20.99, Jan. 23, Ages: 14-18)

“This book is a knockout. All of the stories have so much heart and beauty. The representation across these pages proves there are strong girls of every race, culture, ability, and background who will fight for greatness in sports and in life.”
—Sam Butler, Bright Side Bookshop, Flagstaff, AZ

By Annie Cardi
(Union Square & Co., 9781454951308, $18.99, Jan. 30, Ages: 14-18)

“In this YA retelling of The Scarlet Letter, Tess must find the strength to break the cycle of abuse in her church after her abortion. Told in a way that doesn’t vilify faith, but shows how it can fall short, and allows Tess to find her voice again.”
—Shannon Rogers, Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC

Shut Up, This Is Serious (Indies Introduce)
By Carolina Ixta
(Quill Tree Books, 9780063287860, $19.99, Jan. 9, Ages: 14+)

“I loved this thoughtful and impactful coming-of-age story! The book is anchored by Belén and Leti’s friendship, and the girls face problems with family, school, and growing up. A powerful debut!”
—Ann Branson, Beach Books, Seaside, OR

Sky’s End
By Marc J. Gregson
(Peachtree Teen, 9781682635766, $18.99, Jan. 2, Ages: 14+)

“This powerful YA dystopian debut is unique and original. In this morally-ambivalent morass, Conrad must balance his brutal survival instincts with his braver, kinder spirit if he is to survive the deadly Selection and become a leader worth following.”
—Jordan Zwick, The Book Seller, Grass Valley, CA

So Let Them Burn
By Kamilah Cole
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316534635, $19.99, Jan. 16, Ages: 12+)

“Cole’s tale of two sisters navigating the aftermath of a successful colonial revolution is packed with magic, romance, and world-changing politics. The protagonists are beautifully drawn young women in a deep tale of sisterhood and ethics.”
—Gretchen Treu, A Room Of One's Own Bookstore, Madison, WI

That’s Not My Name (Indies Introduce)
By Megan Lally
(Sourcebooks Fire, 9781728270111, $11.99, Paperback, Dec. 26, 2023, Ages: 14-18)

That's Not My Name is binge-worthy. 50 pages in, I knew I wouldn’t be sleeping until I figured out who Mary Boone is! Incredible characters, intriguing twists, and bombshell revelations…you are not prepared for this — that’s what makes it so great.”
—Molly Olivo, Child's Play, Washington, DC