May/June 2024 Kids’ Indie Next List Preview

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Here is a preview of the titles on the May/June 2024 Kids’ Indie Next List flier, arriving at stores in the upcoming Kids’ Box mailing. The May/June title list is also viewable as a collection in Edelweiss.

The tri-fold, four-color flier features the top 10 children’s titles for May/June 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 July/August 2024 Kids’ Indie Next List is May 6.

Find more information about nominating titles here.

Here are the titles appearing on the May/June 2024 Kids’ Indie Next List:

#1 Pick: The Mystery of Locked Rooms
By Lindsay Currie
(Sourcebooks Young Readers, 9781728259536, $16.99, Apr. 2, Ages: 8-12)

“Full of clever puzzles, exciting rooms and adventures, and (of course) a little bit spooky. I love a good ‘kids solve it themselves’ story, and this one had the perfect character trio front and center. This book made me want to be a kid again.”
—Jordan Felkey, Three Avenues Bookshop, Chicago, IL

Picture Books

By Sophie Blackall
(Anne Schwartz Books, 9780593429396, $19.99, Apr. 2, Ages: 4-8)

“Hoist the main sail and let your imagination fly! Sophie Blackall’s latest has a parent and child letting loose on the high seas — AKA, the living room rug. Exuberant and inspiring, Ahoy! made me want to say ‘Anchors aweigh!’ to my own humdrum day.”
—Amy Lane, Bards Alley, Vienna, VA

Being Home
By Traci Sorell, Michaela Goade (Illus.)
(Kokila, 9781984816030, $18.99, May 7, Ages: 4-8)

“Traci Sorell’s musical words paired with Michaela Goade’s incredible illustrations are magic. I especially love how the illustrations are partly from the young girl in the story’s imagination. Beautiful, lyrical, breathtaking.”
—Madison Duckworth, Saltwater Bookshop, Kingston, WA

Built to Last
By Minh Lê, Dan Santat (Illus.)
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780593569177, $18.99, Apr. 30, Ages: 3-7)

“One of my favorite picture books of the year, by one of my all-time-favorite, built-to-last creative duos! Built to Last is a story of resilient friendships, creative problem solving, and the things that make a partnership stand the test of time.”
—Lorie Barber, Anderson’s Bookshops, Naperville, IL

Dalmartian: A Mars Rover’s Story
By Lucy Ruth Cummins
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 9781665911955, $18.99, May 7, Ages: 4-8)

“Picture books about space or dogs are pretty much instant winners, and this has BOTH! Ultra-clever with some fun twists to discover, along with the heart of the depth of a person-pet relationship.”
—Carrie Koepke, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, MO

Gaga Mistake Day
By Emma Straub, Susan Straub, Jessica Love (Illus.)
(Rocky Pond Books, 9780593529461, $18.99, Apr. 9, Ages: 4-8)

“Possibly one of the very best grandma books out there. Gaga and her granddaughter are both characters you want to be friends with as they get up to shenanigans while Mom and Dad are out, and the illustrations make them jump off the page.”
—Jess Iverson, Booked, Evanston, IL

Penelope’s Balloons
By Brooke Bourgeois
(Union Square Kids, 9781454951827, $18.99, Apr. 16, Ages: 4-8)

“This is a sweet story about holding on tight to our comfort objects as we learn to make friends and explore the world beyond our immediate circle. A great read aloud for the animal loving littles in your life.”
—Megan Strang, Sidetrack Bookshop, Royal Oak, MI

Roy Is Not a Dog
By Esmé Shapiro, Daniel Newell Kaufman
(Tundra Books, 9780735265967, $18.99, Apr. 23, Ages: 3-7)

“This quirky children’s book is totally charming — and the answer to ‘is Roy a dog?’ made me laugh out loud! Weasel strongly suspects that the mysterious person who lives at the end of the lane is a dog and puts his best detective skills to the test.”
—Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

Two Together
By Brendan Wenzel
(Chronicle Books, 9781797202778, $18.99, Apr. 23, Ages: 3-7)

“Two friends, Cat and Dog, share everything the day brings as they venture home together, yet see it all in their own unique way. The brilliant artwork shows us how they see the world differently until they are home at last asleep by the fire.”
—Lisa Plummer, Interabang Books, Dallas, TX

Up High
By Matt Hunt
(Nosy Crow, 9798887771090, $18.99, May 7, Ages: 2-5)

“Whether way up high or down below this charming title will be sure to grow your heart three sizes big. Filled with beautiful illustrations, Hunt’s latest picture book is the perfect way to show kids to look at things from a different lens.”
—Jess Fuentes, Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, MN

Ursula Upside Down
By Corey R. Tabor
(Balzer + Bray, 9780063275560, $19.99, May 14, Ages: 4-8)

“Corey Tabor’s picture books are so delightful, and Ursula Upside Down does not disappoint! A wonderful picture book about being yourself and how we all see the world differently, told by Ursula, the most adorable upside-down catfish.”
—Jen Steele, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Middle Grade

Blood City Rollers
By V.P. Anderson, Tatiana Hill (Illus.)
(Labyrinth Road, 9780593485699, $21.99, Hardcover; 9780593485712, $13.99, Paperback, Apr. 9, Ages: 8-12)

“Fast moving, silly, with the right amount of introspection. Mira gets injured and can no longer skate, disrupting her parents’ plans for the Olympics. Luckily, she’s kidnapped by a vampire roller derby team who is in desperate need of a ‘mandatory human’.”
—Jamie Kovacs, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

Continental Drifter (Indies Introduce)
By Kathy MacLeod
(First Second, 9781250813749, $14.99, Apr. 2, Ages: 8-12)

“This is a wonderful story about looking inside yourself and trying to put yourself in others’ shoes, even those you think you know the best. And the artwork of blueberry pie, red curry, and more will have your mouth watering!”
—Paul Swydan, The Silver Unicorn Bookstore, Acton, MA

Deep Water
By Jamie Sumner
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 9781665935067, $17.99, Apr. 9, Ages: 10+)

“I dove into this middle grade novel and didn’t come up for air until the end. I love a well written novel-in-verse, and I was right there in the water with Tully, cheering her on and feeling her pain as she tried to process why her mother might have left.”
—Angela Sides, Monkey and Dog Books, Fort Worth, TX

Magnolia Wu Unfolds It All
By Chanel Miller
(Philomel Books, 9780593624524, $17.99, Apr. 23, Ages: 7-11)

“When Magnolia Wu makes a new friend, they set out to spend their summer returning the lost socks they’ve found at her parents’ laundromat. A joyful tale of discovery set in a vibrant NYC neighborhood!”
—Suzanna Hermans, Oblong Books, Millerton, NY

The Night War
By Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
(Dial Books, 9780735228566, $17.99, Apr. 9, Apr. 9-12)

“The story of a Jewish girl living in Pletzl in Paris. A suspenseful adventure that makes one imagine what life must have been like for the Jewish people who lived similar nightmares. We must know these stories in order to keep from making horrendous choices in the future.”
—Alicia Gregov, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, MO

Safiyyah’s War
By Hiba Noor Khan
(Allida, 9780063351868, $19.99, May 7, Ages: 8-12)

“The heavy changes that come when the German Army invades Paris incite Safiyyah’s curiosity. An inspiring story based on the heroic actions of members of the Grand Mosque of Paris. Children of war have their own form of bravery.”
—Kathleen Johnson, Roundabout Books, Bend, OR

The Things We Miss
By Leah Stecher
(Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 9781547613021, $17.99, May 7, Ages: 9-12)

“Remember 7th grade? The body changes, cliques, first fight with your BFF, and P.E. What would you do if all those uncomfortable moments could just be skipped? The Things We Miss is a time travel coming-of-age story that reminds us what it means to be present.”
—Jenny Gilroy, E. Shaver, Bookseller, Savannah, GA

Timid: A Graphic Novel
By Jonathan Todd
(Graphix, 9781338305708, $12.99, Apr. 2, Ages: Ages: 8-12)

“Remember trying to make friends in a new school? Take that and add a huge culture shift from Florida to Massachusetts. Cecil’s internal monologue will feel very familiar to shy kids. I absolutely love how he stands up for his love of making art.”
—Kristin Richland, Phoenix Books, Burlington, VT

Tree. Table. Book.
By Lois Lowry
(Clarion Books, 9780063299504, $18.99, Apr. 23, Ages: 8-12)

“Two best friends are both named Sophie — one is eleven, the other is eighty-eight. Elder Sophie is in the beginning stage of dementia, and younger Sophie is determined to rescue her friend. A touching story that grapples with difficult subjects masterfully.”
—Reilly Hadden, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

The Wishkeeper’s Apprentice (Indies Introduce)
By Rachel Chivers Khoo, Rachel Sanson (Illus.)
(Candlewick, 9781536231205, $16.99, Apr. 23, Ages: 7-10)

“One wish opens up a world that Felix never knew was all around him, and he becomes the apprentice of the local Wishkeeper. Together they fight against the Wishsnatchers to save the joy of their little town. An adorable story of magic, wishes, and family.”
—Andi Richardson, Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

Young Adult

The Ballad of Darcy and Russell
By Morgan Matson
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781481499019, $19.99, May 7, Ages: 14-19)

“Morgan Matson is a master of fitting so much story into such a short period of time. I fell in love with Darcy and Russell over the course of their one exciting night. Matson continues to be one of my favorite YA authors.”
—Aedan Richter, Nowhere Bookshop, San Antonio, TX

The Black Girl Survives in This One: Horror Stories
By Desiree S. Evans (Ed.), Saraciea J. Fennell (Ed.)
(Flatiron Books, 9781250871657, $19.99, Apr. 2, Ages: 12-18)

“It made my heart and soul happy to see Black girls survive nightmares and make it to the end. Myself and many Black women survive and thrive in the face of many horrors, every single day. It's time that art reflects reality. This book was magnificent!”
—Kim Brock, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

Blood at the Root
By LaDarrion Williams
(Labyrinth Road, 9780593711927, $20.99, May 7, Ages: 14+)

“This book contains multitudes. It’s deep-rooted magic, centering a Black boy who rescues his foster brother, reconnects with long lost family, and ends up at a magical HBCU. Most importantly, he’s not the sidekick and he doesn’t die.”
—Audrey I-Wei Huang, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA

Every Time You Hear That Song
By Jenna Voris
(Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780593623398, $12.99, Apr. 2, Ages: 12+)

“This book shined in portraying the complicated feelings that a hometown can inspire, especially for young adults trying to find who they want to be. It’s impossible not to relate to Darren as she decides how much of her past she’ll take into her future.”
—Julia Boaman, Bethany Beach Books, Bethany Beach, DE

Not Like Other Girls
By Meredith Adamo
(Bloomsbury YA, 9781547614004, $19.99, Apr. 30, Ages: 14+)

Not Like Other Girls showcases how society often fails and persecutes young girls through a unique lens: that of a missing girl, and a girl who feels like she’s missing parts of herself. A thrilling mystery with fierce heart.”
—Emily Gilbow, House of Books, Kent, CT

The Reappearance of Rachel Price
By Holly Jackson
(Delacorte Press, 9780593374207, $20.99, Apr. 2, Ages: 14+)

“This was a wild ride. If you love true crime, this is the book for you. It starts with Bel doing an interview for a true crime documentary about the disappearance of her mother Rachel Price when she was a child. The mystery just sucks you in.”
—Leslie Sevier, Chapter Two…a Bookstore, Lompoc, CA

The Vanishing Station
By Ana Ellickson
(Amulet Books, 9781419764226, $19.99, Apr. 30, Ages: 12-19)

“Ruby knows that ever since her mother died, her father has changed. As the book opens, Ruby follows her father in an attempt to find out what is really going on, only to discover a magical underworld full of secrets, art and trains. An outstanding debut!”
—Shannon Alden, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

What’s Eating Jackie Oh?
By Patricia Park
(Crown Books for Young Readers, 9780593563410, $19.99, Apr. 30, Ages: 12+)

“Loved this book. Patricia Park brings us a complicated, smart, compelling heroine in Jackie Oh. She manages to merge threads of family strife, race, secrets — and lots of great food — all so smoothly and beautifully done.”
—Kathy Crowley, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA

The Worst Ronin
By Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Faith Schaffer (Illus.)
(HarperAlley, 9780358464938, $18.99, May 21, Ages: 14+)

“Energetic from the start with messy, but lovable, characters. This whole story is full of so much humor, paired with some very tender moments and lots of REVENGE. Couldn’t have asked for a better fast-paced graphic novel.”
—Kaitlyn Mahoney, Under the Umbrella Bookstore, Salt Lake City, UT

Your Blood, My Bones
By Kelly Andrew
(Scholastic Press, 9781338885071, $19.99, Apr. 2, Ages: 13+)

“A spellbinding journey into the depths of loyalty, fate, and the shadows that lurk within us all. Andrew’s tale is as enchanting as it is chilling, and will leave readers eagerly anticipating what shadows may unfold next in Wyatt and Peter’s entangled destiny.”
—Jessie Fischer, The Book Nook, Saranac Lake, NY