July/August 2024 Kids’ Indie Next List Preview

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Here is a preview of the titles on the July/August 2024 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 2024 Kids’ Indie Next List is July 10.

Find more information about nominating titles here.

Here are the titles appearing on the July/August 2024 Kids’ Indie Next List:

#1 Pick: The Yellow Bus
By Loren Long
(Roaring Brook Press, 9781250903136, $19.99, June 25, Ages: 3-6)

“A yellow bus drives children to school each day and finds joy in her purpose. Then, she transports senior citizens from one place to another, finding joy there, too. Loren Long’s picture book is full of detail and wonder that will enthrall readers of all ages.”
—Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

Picture Books

The First Week of School
By Drew Beckmeyer
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 9781665940429, $18.99, June 25, Ages: 4-8)

“Beckmeyer exquisitely balances The First Week of School’s simultaneous narratives, making a reading experience rich in humor, character engagement, and surprises. This story cannot be praised too highly or visited too often.”
—Kenny Brechner, Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers, Farmington, ME

Home in a Lunchbox
By Cherry Mo
(Penguin Workshop, 9780593661345, $18.99, June 11, Ages: 4-8)

“This story is brimming with rich and warm illustrations that invite you to discover the unifying power of food: how the simple act of sharing a meal with others can create and invoke belonging and community.”
—Courtney Roach, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, MO

Into the Goblin Market
By Vikki VanSickle, Jensine Eckwall (Illus.)
(Tundra Books, 9780735268562, $18.99, July 30, Ages: 4-8)

“This is a deliciously spooky story inspired by Christina Rossetti’s poem, ‘The Goblin Market’, and classic fairy tales. It is perfectly matched with black and red block print-type illustrations. This will be a delight to read with children!”
—Vicky Titcomb, Titcomb’s Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA

Itty Bitty Betty Blob
By Constance Lombardo, Micah Player (Illus.)
(Hippo Park, 9781662640148, $18.99, June 4, Ages: 4-8)

“Betty is the sweetest blob around! This is a lovely story about being yourself no matter what and finding your people on your journey. A special story that will resonate for both young and old audiences!”
—Isabella Barbuto, Books Are Magic, Brooklyn, NY

Little Shrew
By Akiko Miyakoshi
(Kids Can Press, 9781525313035, $19.99, June 4, Ages: 5-8)

“Meet your new favorite character in children’s literature! Little Shrew is an adorable story about the daily life and routines of Little Shrew. Each page is a delight!”
—Jessica Nock, Main Street Books, Davidson, NC

Millie Fleur’s Poison Garden
By Christy Mandin
(Cartwheel Books, 9781339023274, $18.99, July 2, Ages: 4-8)

“A delightful picture book for fans of Wednesday Addams! I love that the story of Millie’s garden of poisonous plants is based on a real-life garden in Alnwick, Northumberland. The imaginative names for the poisonous plants are a ton of fun!”
—Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

By Beth Ferry, Claire Keane (Illus.)
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781665921732, $18.99, July 16, Ages: 4-8)

“A tender story of being different and finding your perfect genus in a sea of dissimilar species. Makes me want a purple thumb — or maybe I already have one!”
—Stephanie Staton, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, KY

The Quacken
By Justin Colón, Pablo Pino (Illus.)
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781665922487, $18.99, July 16, Ages: 4-8)

“Take your kiddos camping, and pack this book for a dramatic flashlight read. What goofy outdoor absurd hilarity! (And seriously, don't feed the ducks.)”
—Carrie Koepke, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, MO

Ruby’s Tools for Making Friends
By Apryl Stott
(Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 9781665921640, $18.99, June 4, Ages: 4-8)

“What might seem like ordinary construction tools are Ruby’s tools for keeping calm and seeing things in new ways. Much like projects, friendships can take time to build! A sweet and gentle story accompanied by adorable illustrations.”
—Andrew King, Secret Garden Bookshop, Seattle, WA

What Love Looks Like
By Laura Obuobi, Anna Cunha (Illus.)
(HarperCollins, 9780063222434, $19.99, June 18, Ages: 4-8)

“Just gorgeous. And magical. I love the journey that she goes on with her father. There is a little nod to Where the Wild Things Are — a safer, gentler version, but filled with imagination no less.”
—Jessica Devin, Brewster Book Store, Brewster, MA

Middle Grade

Bodega Cats: Picture Purrfect
By Hilda Eunice Burgos, Siara Faison (Illus.)
(Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 9781250903747, $16.99, July 23, Ages: 7-10)

Bodega Cats is a heartwarming story about friendship and family, with the unique perspective of a first-generation child who doesn’t want to disappoint his parents and a cat who finds a new home. The illustrations match the feel of the story so well.”
—Shari Brown, Jay’s House Bookshop & Bakery, Coral Springs, FL

Breaking into Sunlight (Indies Introduce)
By John Cochran
(Algonquin Young Readers, 9781523527298, $17.99, June 18, Ages: 10-13)

“This moving story of a family dealing with the complexities of addiction is told with incredible sensitivity, compassion, and hope. These wonderful young characters will stay with you long after the last page is turned.”
—Holly Weinkauf, Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, MN

Camp Prodigy
By Caroline Palmer
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 9781665930383, $22.99, Hardcover; 9781665930376, $12.99, Paperback, June 11, Ages: 8-12)

“VIOLISTS FOR THE WIN! Camp Prodigy is a wonderfully vibrant and emotive graphic novel that celebrates music and the kids that play it! All about the pressure that we put ourselves under to be the best, making friends, accepting support, and navigating the gender binary.”
—Kimi Loughlin, The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton, MA

Farrah Noorzad and the Ring of Fate
By Deeba Zargarpur
(Labyrinth Road, 9780593564417, $17.99, July 2, Ages: 8-12)

Farrah Noorzad and the Ring of Fate takes Arab mythology to a whole new level: Jinn moms, jinn dads, jinn cities, jinn schools, and a whole mess of problems between jinns and the human world that Farrah has to fix if she ever wants to see her father again.”
—Chris Abouzeid, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA

Jupiter Nettle and the Seven Schools of Magic
By Sangu Mandanna, Pablo Ballesteros (Illus.)
(Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780593464472, $22.99, Hardcover; 9780593464496, $12.99, Paperback, June 11, Ages: 8-12)

“This graphic novel is true winner from Mandanna, a must-read for those who love cozy fantasy, great characters, and/or for kids who are having a tough time adjusting to a new school or environment. I can’t wait for Jupiter and her story to release to the masses!”
—Hannah Kerbs, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

The New Girl: A Graphic Novel
By Cassandra Calin
(Graphix, 9781338762457, $12.99, June 4, Ages: 8-12)

“Without sugar coating the middle school experience or wallowing in the despair of puberty, Lia Iordiche is a character to root for. Calin’s artwork is sweet, and her dialog technique beautifully illustrates how isolating it can be for students learning a new language.”
—Mara Luther, Chapter One Book Store, Hamilton, MT

The Night Librarian
By Christopher Lincoln
(Dial Books, 9780593617663, $13.99, July 30, Ages: 8-12)

“What a fun ride! I loved the adventure of characters coming to life from books! And so many wonderful allusions to classic novels. The underlying message of the importance of family and spending time together was also perfect.”
—Sierra Hollabaugh, The Bookery Cincy, Cincinnati, OH

The Spindle of Fate (Indies Introduce)
By Aimee Lim
(Feiwel & Friends, 9781250886194, $17.99, June 4, Ages: 8-12)

“I loved this charming middle grade inspired by Chinese mythology, exploring themes of grief, growing up, and family. Full of action-packed sequences and quiet, emotional moments alike, this book was a wonderful read.”
—Donna Liu, Kepler's Books, Menlo Park, CA

The Tenth Mistake of Hank Hooperman
By Gennifer Choldenko
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9781524718923, $17.99, June 11, Ages: 10+)

“Hank and his little sister Boo must fend for themselves when their mom doesn’t come home. The circumstances are so painful but the characters are so endearing and vulnerable, the writing so clear and believable. Another winner from Choldenko.”
—Robin Stern, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA

They Call Me No Sam!
By Drew Daywalt, Mike Lowery (Illus.)
(Clarion Books, 9780358612902, $15.99, June 4, Ages: 8-12)

“This middle grade debut from Drew Daywalt will captivate and delight readers. Sam is an adorable pug who takes protecting his new family very seriously. Ultimately, Sam’s heart leads him in the right direction in this laugh out loud tale from a dog’s eye view.”
—Monie Henderson, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Young Adult

Age 16
By Rosena Fung
(Annick Press, 9781773218335, $24.99, Hardcover; 9781773218342, $17.99, Paperback, July 2, Ages: 12+)

“This book made me cry several times. Rosena Fung has put together a beautiful and nuanced story about coming of age, accepting yourself, and intergenerational trauma. Absolutely devastating. You have to read this book.”
—Katherine Nazzaro, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

By Samuel Teer, Mar Julia (Illus.)
(Versify, 9780358394747, $18.99, June 11, Ages: 14+)

“This was such a beautiful, bittersweet graphic novel. Samuel Teer and Mar Julia ripped my heart out and put it back together with this story of a daughter not knowing who her family is and spending a summer learning and growing.”
—Sarah Dimaria, Cavalier House Books, Denham Springs, LA

The Deep Dark: A Graphic Novel
By Molly Knox Ostertag
(Graphix, 9781338839999, $16.99, June 4, Ages: 14+)

“Molly Knox Ostertag brings us another incredible graphic novel. 18-year-old Mags shoulders more responsibility than a teen should, both caring for her grandmother and keeping a dire family secret. Nessa shows Mags that responsibilities are easier to bear when you open up to those who love you.”
—Olivia Marchese, Author’s Note, Medina, NY

First Test: A Graphic Novel (Protector of the Small #1)
By Tamora Pierce, Becca Farrow (Illus.)
(Random House Graphic, 9780307931566, $24.99, Hardcover; 9780307931573, $17.99, Paperback, July 2, Ages: 12+)

“Rarely have I seen an existing story adapted into a different form with such love and care. This graphic novel remains quite faithful to Tamora Pierce’s original, adjusted just enough to create a fun read that suits the new format and enhances my enjoyment of the original.”
—Dana Brown, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

The Great Cool Ranch Dorito in the Sky (Indies Introduce)
By Josh Galarza
(Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 9781250907714, $19.99, July 23, Ages: 14-18)

“Brett’s voice — wise-cracking, sensitive, emotionally raw — carries this story with a surprisingly light hand. Every page holds love. Every page is a nudge towards self-acceptance. This hero story absolutely demolished my heart.”
—Emmy Widener, Changing Hands, Tempe, AZ

Looking for Smoke (Indies Introduce)
By K. A. Cobell
(Heartdrum, 9780063318670, $19.99, June 4, Ages: 13+)

“This book is a powerful and thought-provoking story about the importance of community, the search for belonging, and the heart-wrenching realities of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). This book will leave you on the edge of your seat, challenging you to see through the smoke and discover the killer.”
—Kromeklia Bryant, Solid State Books, Washington, DC

Now, Conjurers (Indies Introduce)
By Freddie Kölsch
(Union Square & Co., 9781454951599, $19.99, June 4, Ages: 14-18)

“From start to finish this book grabbed me and pulled me in! The characters were incredibly relatable, beautiful and perfectly flawed in their own ways, and the plot kept me on my toes to the very last pages.”
—Kaitlyn Mahoney, Under the Umbrella Bookstore, Salt Lake City, UT

Six More Months of June (Indies Introduce)
By Daisy Garrison
(Flatiron Books, 9781250348654, $23.99, Hardcover; 9781250348678, $13.99, Paperback, June 11, Ages: 12-18)

“All too soon school will end and Mina and her best friend Caplan will go in different directions. The last weeks are supposed to be magical.  This witty, smart, and heartfelt love story proves that not all love is romantic love. And maybe you can love your best friend.”
—Sally Sue Lavigne, The Storybook Shoppe, Bluffton, SC

The White Guy Dies First: 13 Scary Stories of Fear and Power
By Terry J. Benton-Walker (Ed.)
(Tor Teen, 9781250861269, $20.99, July 16, Ages: 13-18)

“I cannot stop thinking about this horror anthology composed of stories by a brilliantly diverse collective of BIPOC young adult authors. From twists on classic slashers to disturbing tales steeped in mythology, each unique story holds the reader in its thrall. ”
—Elisa Thomas, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA

The Wilderness of Girls
By Madeline Claire Franklin
(Zando Young Readers, 9781638931003, $19.99, June 11, Ages: 14+)

“After finding four wild young women deep in the forest, Rhi begins to confront her own past in a story that masterfully blends reality with questionable fantasy. Confronting societal expectations of girlhood and exploring the meanings of family, this is a challenging and impactful read.”
—Matilda McNeely, Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, GA