July/August 2022 Kids’ Indie Next List Preview

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

The tri-fold, four-color flier features the top 10 children’s titles for July/August 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 September/October 2022 Kids' Indie Next List is July 13. Find more information about nominating titles here.

Here are the titles appearing on the July/August 2022 Kids' Indie Next List:

Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert#1 Pick: Our Crooked Hearts: A Novel
By Melissa Albert
(Flatiron Books, 9781250826367, $18.99, June 28, Ages: 14-18)

“In a tale of magic and betrayal reminiscent of The Craft, Melissa Albert masters blending magic and reality yet again. Two storylines — past and present — converge into one when a mother’s past mistakes come back to hunt her daughter.”
—Megan Irland, The River’s End Bookstore, Oswego, NY

Picture Books
Berry Song
By Michaela Goade
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316494175, $18.99, July 19, Ages: 4-8)

“Lyrical language and luminous illustrations present the respect and beauty for their world as shared between a child and grandparent. A handsome, must-read book!”
—Maria Salvadore, Politics and Prose Bookstore, Washington, DC

Chickadee: Criminal Mastermind
By Monica Silvie, Elina Ellis (Illus.)
(Kids Can Press, 9781525303388, $18.99, June 7, Ages: 4-7)

“Bird lovers, you need this picture book! I adored the chickadee narrating this story, and could imagine my own backyard chickadees as masterminds who steal my blueberries! This picture book offers plenty of fun for readers of all ages.”
—Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

Don’t Worry, Murray
By David Ezra Stein
(Balzer + Bray, 9780062845245, $17.99, June 7, Ages: 4-8)

“Murray worries about thunderstorms, meeting larger dogs, fireworks, and going to bed at night — but each experience makes Murray just a little braver. This story is thoughtful, tender, and quite amusing. A terrific story for any age!”
—Joanne Doggart, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA

I Am a Baby
By Bob Shea
(Candlewick, 9781536218329, $17.99, June 14, Ages: 2-5)

“This is the ultimate gift for new parents — if they can stay awake long enough to read it. Hilarious and oh so true, the mid-century modern vibe is colorful and cool. I adore this book!”
—Nancy Baenen, Arcadia Books, Spring Green, WI

If You Find a Leaf
By Aimée Sicuro
(Random House Studio, 9780593306598, $17.99, July 12, Ages: 4-8)

“I adore this picture book that captures the possibilities of a child’s imagination. The potential for a leaf as a play thing is an all-day affair in this book. I can’t wait to read it to children and see what other possibilities they see!”
—Jen Wills Geraedts, Beagle and Wolf Books & Bindery, Park Rapids, MN

By Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu, Dean Hamer, Joe Wilson, Daniel Sousa (Illus.)
(Kokila, 9780593530061, $17.99, June 7, Ages: 4-8)

“This extraordinary book recounts the arrival of four healers to Waikiki centuries ago and the stone monuments that represent them. Colonization attempted to bury the stones, but now readers all over the world can learn of their power and origins.”
—Andrew King, Secret Garden Bookshop, Seattle, WA

The Pet Potato
By Josh Lacey, Momoko Abe (Illus.)
(Roaring Brook Press, 9781250834157, $18.99, June 21, Ages: 3-6)

“Utterly charming and hilarious! When Albert gets a potato for a pet, he’s less than thrilled. He learns to get creative and discovers a most unlikely companionship. With droll humor and perfect illustrations, this is a read aloud winner!”
—Kathleen Carey, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

A Spoonful of Frogs
By Casey Lyall, Vera Brosgol (Illus.)
(Greenwillow Books, 9780062890290, $17.99, July 19, Ages: 4-8)

“Grab your witch’s hat and your cauldron for a hilarious new picture book sure to make you giggle with impish delight. Frogs not included!”
—Jessica Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

Two Dogs
By Ian Falconer
(Michael Di Capua Books, 9780062954473, $18.99, June 28, Ages: 4-8)

“Dachshund brothers Perry (the worrier) and Augie (the rowdy one) are home alone during the day and get into plenty of mischief. A welcome return to picture books from Ian Falconer, author and illustrator of our beloved Olivia.”
—Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

What Feelings Do When No One's Looking
By Tina Oziewicz, Aleksandra Zając (Illus.), Jennifer Croft (Transl.)
(Elsewhere Editions, 9781953861283, $18.95, July 5, Ages: 3-7)

“Terribly adorable illustrations show all kinds of emotions as they live their lives within us. A great first exploration into the realm of emotions for young people and a great reminder for the older set!”
—Sam Coons, Cupboard Maker Books, Enola, PA

Middle Grade
Cat’s Cradle: The Golden Twine
By Jo Rioux
(First Second, 9781250625359, $21.99, hardcover; 9781250625366, $14.99, paperback, June 21, Ages: 8-12)

“This is a delightful graphic novel. From the gorgeous art to being cute and at turns properly scary, this was a joy to read. I adored the main character — she’s tenacious and quick-witted, despite her age and size. What a great start to a series!”
—Heather Freeman, Page 1 Books, Evanston, IL

The Civil War of Amos Abernathy
By Michael Leali
(HarperCollins, 9780063119864, $16.99, June 7, Ages: 8-12)

“When Amos and his friends discover that stories of BIPOC and queer people just weren’t being told, they set out to change the narrative of their local living history. Amos’ courage will inspire readers like him to be completely themselves.”
—Kelly Barth, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, KS

The Elephant Girl
By James Patterson, Ellen Banda-Aaku, Sophia Krevoy
(Jimmy Patterson, 9780316316927, $16.99, July 25, Ages: 10-14)

“Jama shares her heart with Mbegu, caring for her safety and well-being. She finds solace in her elephant friends when humans let her down, and the relationship that blossoms is one with mutual respect and thoughtfulness at the center.”
—Honor Ford, The Doylestown & Lahaska Bookshops, Doylestown, PA

Grounded for All Eternity
By Darcy Marks
(Aladdin, 9781534483361, $18.99, July 26, Ages: 8-12)

“A rollicking adventure of fallen angel kids experiencing a fall greater torment than the hell they call home — being stuck on earth. Humorous and heartful, with queer representation.”
—S. Kitty Garza, Bards Alley, Vienna, VA

In the Beautiful Country
By Jane Kuo
(Quill Tree Books, 9780063118980, $16.99, June 14, Ages: 8-12)

“Honest and vulnerable, In the Beautiful Country is a unique insight into ‘the immigrant experience.’ This novel-in-verse told by an 11-year-old girl is a lovely, emotional read! I loved the character growth and Kuo’s evocative writing.”
—Hannah Stewart, The Wandering Jellyfish Bookshop, Niwot, CO

The Lost Ryū
By Emi Watanabe Cohen
(Levine Querido, 9781646141326, $17.99, June 7, Ages: 8-12)

The Lost Ryū is a gem of a debut; a lovely tale of family and secrets, trauma and hope. The emotions soar like the dragon flying over his grandfather in Kohei’s treasured memory.”
—Suzi Hough, Hicklebee’s, San Jose, CA

By Mat Heagerty, Sam Owen (Illus.)
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781534482586, $21.99, hardcover; 9781534482579, $12.99, paperback, July 19, Ages: 8-12)

“Oh man this was such a cute graphic novel about a boy torn between two schools — either lumberjack or Vampire — while he doesn’t want to disappoint his parents when his real passion is revealed as a dancer.”
—Stephanie Rivera, Chapter Two…a Bookstore, Lompoc, CA

Onyeka and the Academy of the Sun
By Tọlá Okogwu
(Margaret K. McElderry Books, 9781665912617, $17.99, June 14, Ages: 8-12)

“This is the book I wish I had when I was in grade school — a British Nigerian girl discovers her Afro hair contains psychokinetic powers and travels to a magical school in Nigeria! Could we ask for anything more brilliant? No!”
—Isabella Ogbolumani, Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca, NY

Search for Treasure (The Islanders)
By Mary Alice Monroe, Angela May, Jennifer Bricking (Illus.)
(Aladdin, 9781534427303, $17.99, June 14, Ages: 8-12)

“I’ve been waiting for The Islanders sequel! This is one of my favorite middle grade series. The writing is beautiful and you fall in love with the characters. This is a great series for parents to read with their kids or a fun family book club!”
—Zandria Senft, Bethany Beach Books, Bethany Beach, DE

Star Knights: A Graphic Novel (Indies Introduce)
By Kay Davault
(Random House Graphic, 9780593303658, $20.99, hardcover; 9780593303641, $12.99, paperback, July 5, Ages: 8-12)

“With a cute, original concept, Star Knights was a very enjoyable read. The characters had great development as the story progressed, and the art style is beautiful and fits so well. I can’t wait to sell and suggest this graphic novel.”
—Reagan McKeough, Bookie’s Chicago, Chicago, IL

Young Adult
Boys I Know (Indies Introduce)
By Anna Gracia
(Peachtree Teen, 9781682633717, $17.99, July 5, Ages: 14+)

“June’s always felt she wasn’t good enough, and validates her worth via really poor choices in boys. These choices lead to painful realizations about herself and her seemingly perfect sister. You can’t help but root for June to figure it out.”
—Audrey Huang, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA

By Danie Stirling
(Clarion Books, 9780358467793, $24.99, hardcover; 9780358467816, $17.99, paperback, July 19, Ages: 12+)

Crumbs is a delightful graphic novel. I loved the diverse characters and earnest relationships of all kinds. The magical twist was the cherry on top. Great graphics, fast writing, and wonderful characters! I want to be friends with them!”
—Lauren Nopenz Fairley, Curious Iguana, Frederick, MD

Hell Followed with Us (Indies Introduce)
By Andrew Joseph White
(Peachtree Teen, 9781682633243, $18.99, June 7, Ages: 14+)

Hell Followed with Us is a viscerally stunning look at queer youth during an apocalypse. White has a fantastic grasp of how society’s holdovers can remain through disaster, or fall apart. This book will stay in my heart for years to come.”
—Minna Banawan, Park Road Books, Charlotte, NC

Home Field Advantage
By Dahlia Adler
(Wednesday Books, 9781250765840, $19.99, June 7, Ages: 13-18)

Home Field Advantage has a bit of everything for everybody. It deftly navigates the intricacies of coming out, builds up a beautiful and butterfly-worthy romance, and has a thoughtful conversation about how grief is felt in communities.”
—Caitlin Bagdasarian, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

The Silence that Binds Us
By Joanna Ho
(HarperTeen, 9780063059344, $17.99, June 14, Ages: 14+)

“A stunning, nuanced book about grief, family, race, and standing up for what’s right. I love how Ho lets May say the wrong things and make mistakes on her way to understanding antiracist activism. Thoughtful and complex, this is a must-read!”
—Ann Branson, Beach Books, Seaside, OR

By Marika McCoola, Aatmaja Pandya (Illus.)
(Algonquin Young Readers, 9781643752495, $24.95, hardcover; 9781616207892, $17.95, paperback, June 7, Ages: 14-18)

“Teens will connect with this story about a teenage artist’s attempts to navigate her work and friendships after her best friend attempts suicide. Great for a teen book club — there’s much to analyze and discuss in this short graphic novel.”
—Amanda Grell, Pearl’s Books, Fayetteville, AR

This Place is Still Beautiful (Indies Introduce)
By XiXi Tian
(Balzer + Bray, 9780063086029, $18.99, June 7, Ages: 13+)

“This is one of the most phenomenal debuts I’ve ever read. After a hate crime is committed in their home, two very different Chinese American sisters have to deal with this incident without tearing their family apart. I was blown away by this story!”
—Joseline Diaz, Kepler’s Books, Menlo Park, CA

This Vicious Grace
By Emily Thiede
(Wednesday Books, 9781250794055, $18.99, June 28, Ages: 13-18)

“This book is undeniably one we will rave about to our fantasy-loving customers. Thiede has created such a compelling world and characters. The perfect mix of world-building, action, and romance for all ages. A must have for summer reading.”
—Courtney Ulrich Smith, Underbrush Books, Rogers, AR

This Wicked Fate (This Poison Heart)
By Kalynn Bayron
(Bloomsbury YA, 9781547609208, $18.99, June 21, Ages: 13+)

“A most wonderful follow-up to This Poison Heart. Fall in love with Bri and Marie as they adventure to reunite all the pieces of the heart. I love the Greek mythology Bayron plays with. I couldn’t put it down.”
—Kristin Saner, Fables Books, Goshen, IN

TJ Powar Has Something to Prove (Indies Introduce)
By Jesmeen Kaur Deo
(Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780593403396, $17.99, June 7, Ages: 12+)

“When she and her cousin are the subjects of a cruel viral meme, TJ decides to prove that a woman’s body hair (or lack thereof) doesn’t impact her worth. An engrossing, powerful story exploring body positivity, Deo’s debut will stick with you.”
—Matilda McNeely, Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, GA