The November/December Kids' Indie Next List Preview

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

The tri-fold, four-color flier features the top 10 children’s titles for November/December 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 January/February 2021 Kids' Indie Next List is November 8. Find more information about nominating titles here.

#1 Pick - Vespertine
By Margaret Rogerson
(Margaret K. McElderry Books, 9781534477117, $18.99, Oct. 5, Ages: 14+)

“Rogerson proves she is a master of fantasy with Vespertine, a dark, richly wrought tale about trust, betrayal, and truth set in a world where the dead do not stay dead. Vespertine is my latest obsession.”
—Chelsea Stringfield, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

Picture Books
Amos McGee Misses the Bus
By Philip C. Stead, Erin E. Stead (Illus.)
(Roaring Brook Press, 9781250213228, $18.99, Nov. 2, Ages: 2–6)

“Amos McGee and his crew of delightful animal friends are proof that humor and levity can exist in a completely sincere and heartfelt story. With a surprise ending and Philip and Erin Stead’s signature style, this is another modern classic from the dynamic duo!”
—Molly Olivo, Barstons Child’s Play, Washington, DC

Bathe the Cat
By Alice B. McGinty, David Roberts (Illus.)
(Chronicle Books, 9781452142708, $17.99, Nov. 2, Ages: 3–5)

“I love it! Fun rhymes, great illustrations, awesome dads, and much silliness. What more could you ask for?”
—Lillian Welch, Island Books, Mercer Island, WA

Dog’s First Baby: A Board Book
By Natalie Nelson
(Quirk Books, 9781683692799, $9.99, Oct. 5, Ages: 2–5)

“What a perfect board book for any dog owner who’s expecting! Natalie Nelson perfectly captures the curiosity and bond that a dog develops with their new human friend. This would make a sweet shower gift for anyone who claims they have a furry baby.”
—Stephany Pachowka, Hockessin Book Shelf, Hockessin, DE

Everybody in the Red Brick Building
By Anne Wynter, Oge Mora (Illus.)
(Balzer + Bray, 9780062865762, $17.99, Oct. 19, Ages: 4–8)

“An enchanting debut by author Anne Wynter with vivid illustrations by the incomparable Oge Mora, Everybody in the Red Brick Building is fabulous! A joy to read for the whole family.”
—Kathy Neff, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Gladys the Magic Chicken
By Adam Rubin, Adam Rex (Illus.)
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 9780593325605, $18.99, Oct. 26, Ages: 3–7)

“A perfect combination of silly and profound. Is Gladys magic, or do the humans who believe in her make their own magic? Follow Gladys’s roundabout journey through a slightly less than historical version of ancient times and no matter what your age, you will believe, or just have a good time.”
—Anmiryam Budner, Main Point Books, Wayne, PA

A Hundred Thousand Welcomes
By Mary Lee Donovan, Lian Cho (Illus.)
(Greenwillow Books, 9780062877727, $18.99, Oct. 12, Ages: 4–8)

A Hundred Thousand Welcomes is a beautiful look at how we welcome others into our lives and celebrate other people. The illustrations are brilliant, adding another layer to all the possibilities for conversations with children as you read this book.”
—Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

Our Table
By Peter H. Reynolds
(Orchard Books, 9781338572322, $17.99, Nov. 2, Ages: 4–8)

Our Table is a beautiful story about the importance of gathering together. This newest Peter H. Reynolds book is one you’ll want to add to your collection.”
—Kristin Saner, Fables Books, Goshen, IN

Read Island: The Picture Book
By Nicole Magistro, Alice Feagan (Illus.)
(Read Island, LLC, 9781736523308, $18.99, Oct. 5, Ages 4–8)

“A perfect read-aloud picture book that will delight all booklovers and create a generation of new ones! An instant classic that reminds us all that ‘From out to in, from here to there, books can take you anywhere.’”
—Wendy Hudson, Nantucket Bookworks, Nantucket, MA

Room for Everyone
By Naaz Khan, Mercè López (Illus.)
(Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 9781534431393, $17.99, Oct. 26, Ages: 4–8)

“Truly stunning illustrations are on display as a crowded dala dala makes its way to the Zanzibar shore. Is there room for more? Yes!”
—Elese Stutts, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

Sweater Weather
By Matt Phelan
(Greenwillow Books, 9780062934147, $17.99, Oct. 19, Ages: 4–8)

“Anyone who has raised or worked with kids knows how difficult it can be to get them dressed, and Phelan shares that with humor as a bear parent attempts to get several cubs into sweaters to enjoy a nice fall day.”
—Andrew King, Secret Garden Bookshop, Seattle, WA

Middle Grade
African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History
By Tracey Baptiste, Hillary D. Wilson (Illus.)
(Algonquin Young Readers, 9781616209001, $19.95, Oct. 19, Ages: 8–12)

“Tracey Baptiste offers a fascinating look at influential Africans throughout history, shining a much-needed light on the impact that the people of Africa have had not only on their own history, but on that of the world.”
—Samantha Coons, Cupboard Maker Books, Enola, PA

Barakah Beats (Indies Introduce)
By Maleeha Siddiqui
(Scholastic Press, 9781338702064, $17.99, Oct. 19, Ages: 8–12)

“Such a pleasure to read! Barakah Beats is an enlightening look at middle school, with all its angst and energy, through the eyes of a devout Muslim girl. It shows that though we might have differences, we have so much in common, too.”
—Vicky Titcomb, Titcomb’s Bookshop, East Sandwich, MA

Cold-Blooded Myrtle
By Elizabeth C. Bunce
(Algonquin Young Readers, 9781616209209, $17.95, Oct. 5, Ages: 10+)

“With an intelligent, witty main character, Bunce brings fun and light to the mystery genre for middle schoolers! I absolutely love Myrtle! Her passion, drive, and courage are aspirational; her humor and knowledge make me want to go on more adventures with her!”
—Alysha Welliver, Best of Books, Edmond, OK

Fifty-Four Things Wrong with Gwendolyn Rogers
By Caela Carter
(Quill Tree Books, 9780062996633, $16.99, Oct. 19, Ages: 8–12)

“A charming story. It’s heart wrenching to think of all the neurodiverse kiddos without a mom like Gwendolyn’s. Diverse characters, big topics, but funny and heartfelt along the way.”
—Christina Batten, Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, MI

Frankie & Bug
By Gayle Forman
(Aladdin, 9781534482531, $17.99, Oct. 12, Ages: 8–12)

“I loved this middle grade book by Gayle Forman. Bug loves summer and spending time with her brother, but when summer comes, it’s not what she was expecting. Realistic characters that are so relatable and fun to read about!”
—Sherry Fritzsche, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

Manu: A Graphic Novel (Indies Introduce)
By Kelly Fernández
(Graphix, 9781338264197, $24.99, hardcover; 9781338264180, $12.99, paperback, Nov. 2, Ages: 8–12)

“Manu is a very different kind of kid at her all-girls magic school. Her talents are unpredictable, and she’s quick to anger. As she starts to discover why, readers will relate to the many emotions and frustrations of growing up and feeling like you don’t fit in. I loved Manu!”
—Suzanna Hermans, Oblong Books & Music, Millerton, NY

Neverforgotten (Indies Introduce)
By Alejandra Algorta, Iván Rickenmann (Illus.), Aida Salazar (Transl.)
(Levine Querido, 9781646140947, $17.99, Oct. 26, Ages: 8–12)

Neverforgotten is gorgeous. It is as simple as that — gorgeous. It’s a story that absorbs the reader, that through words and drawings carries us to Bogotá, while at the same time brings us to our own thoughts and memories of moments when our lives shifted.”
—Connie Griffin, Bookworks, Albuquerque, NM

Playing the Cards You’re Dealt
By Varian Johnson
(Scholastic Press, 9781338348538, $16.99, Oct. 5, Ages: 8–12)

“Definitely lives up to The Parker Inheritance. Nicely rounded characters facing believable issues in a supportive, but not always perfect, community setting. This fills a good need — early middle grade books with smart boys learning how to be great men.”
—Rosie Lee-Parks, Readers’ Books, Sonoma, CA

The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy
By Anne Ursu
(Walden Pond Press, 9780062275127, $17.99, Oct. 12, Ages: 8–12)

“A magical story about twisted truths, power, and sisterhood as the girls of Dragomir Academy question what they’ve been taught to believe about themselves, and ultimately find power in discovering hidden histories and support in each other.”
—Eija Sumner, BookPeople of Moscow, Moscow, ID

By Wendy Xu
(Quill Tree Books,
9780062955807, $21.99, hardcover; 9780062955791, $12.99, paperback, Nov. 16, Ages: 4–8)
“I hope this is the beginning of a series, because between the incredibly imaginative artwork, the beautiful story-scape, and the beautifully resonant messages on anxiety, friendship, family, and communication, I am hooked! Wendy Xu has created a complete masterpiece and I want more!”
—Amy Van Keuren, Charter Books, Newport, RI

Young Adult
All of Us Villains
By Amanda Foody, Christine Lynn Herman
(Tor Teen, 9781250789259, $18.99, Nov. 9, Ages: 13–18)

“If one of the victors of the Hunger Games published a tell-all book, the result would be All of Us Villains! Shocking and enthralling, unique and suspenseful, All of Us Villains is the best kind of wild ride, and I am eagerly anticipating the sequel!”
—Isabella Ogbolumani, Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca, NY

Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World
By Benjamin Alire Sáenz
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781534496194, $19.99, Oct. 12, Ages: 14+)

“The sequel to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe explores the complicated aspects of relationships, cultural and societal expectations, and the machismo of Latinx culture. This book gives a worthy follow-up to the teen couple.”
—Gerard Villegas, Warwick’s, La Jolla, CA

Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
By Brandy Colbert
(Balzer + Bray, 9780063056664, $19.99, Oct. 5, Ages: 14+)

“A captivating book that not only teaches readers about the Tulsa Race Massacre but also looks at the bigger picture of what is the United States. Filled with history centered around different racial communities, the book does justice to those who did not learn certain history lessons in traditional educational institutions.”
—Melissa Silvester, Boogie Down Books, Bronx, NY

The City Beautiful
By Aden Polydoros
(Inkyard Press, 9781335402509, $19.99, Oct. 5, Ages: 13+)

“This story drew me in from line one! Historical fiction with a touch of fantasy and myth; a dark murder mystery combined with a haunting ghost story, with a sizzlingly sweet romance as the cherry on top, The City Beautiful is an unforgettable tale!”
—Marielle Orff, Towne Book Center & Café, Collegeville, PA

The Keeper of Night (Indies Introduce)
By Kylie Lee Baker
(Inkyard Press, 9781335405661, $18.99, October 12, Ages: 13+)

“This 1890s historical fantasy about a half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami soul collector is delightfully fresh, dark, thrilling, and immersive, seamlessly weaving magic, mythology, and adventure with a profound exploration of biracial identity, racism, belonging, resilience, and courage. Sequel now, please!”
—Alyssa Raymond, Copper Dog Books, Beverly, MA

Little Thieves
By Margaret Owen
(Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 9781250191908, $18.99, Oct. 19, Ages: 14–18)

“I truly haven’t loved a book this much in a long time. I already want to jump back in to re-read this sassy, heartfelt, whimsical heist adventure. And it’s a standalone? Just take my heart, Margaret Owen.”
—Claire Phelan, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

Skin of the Sea (Indies Introduce)
By Natasha Bowen
(Random House Books for Young Readers, 9780593120941, $18.99, Nov. 2, Ages: 14+)

Skin of the Sea is an absolute masterpiece. Not only is the mythology intricately displayed, but the story itself has given the representation young Black readers (specifically, young Black women) have been waiting for.”
—Hannah Oxley, Mystery to Me, Madison, WI

By Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Lisa Sterle (Illus.)
(Greenwillow Books, 9780062943156, $21.99, hardcover;
9780062943149, $14.99, paperback, Oct. 5, Ages: 14+)
Squad tackles friendship, toxic masculinity, and growing up, while building a mythology around werewolves that feels new and fresh. The colors pop as the story ebbs and flows, leaving you unable to put it down until you have consumed the whole thing!”
—Abby Bennsky, Old Town Books, Alexandria, VA

Within These Wicked Walls
By Lauren Blackwood
(Wednesday Books, 9781250787101, $18.99, Oct. 19, Ages: 14–18)

“When I heard about this Ethiopian retelling of Jane Eyre, I knew I had to read it, and boy, was I glad I did! Within These Wicked Walls is an enthralling gothic tale full of eccentric and witty characters, horrifying entities, and a tantalizing romance.”
—Kassie Weeks, The Oxford Exchange, Tampa, FL

You’ve Reached Sam
By Dustin Thao
(Wednesday Books, 9781250762030, $18.99, Nov. 9, Ages: 12–18)

You’ve Reached Sam is absolutely poetic, and deals with how one balances ‘duties’ to someone who has passed away and one’s own grief, and how one deals with the grief of having a life path set out that is completely destroyed by a chance act of fate.”
—Brad Krautwurst, Second Star to the Right Children’s Books, Denver, CO