September/October 2022 Kids’ Indie Next List Preview

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

The tri-fold, four-color flier features the top 10 children’s titles for September/October 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 November/December 2022 Kids’ Indie Next List is September 7.

Find more information about nominating titles here.

Here are the titles appearing on the September/October 2022 Kids’ Indie Next List:

#1 Pick
The Door of No Return
By Kwame Alexander
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316441865, $17.99, Sept. 27, Ages: 10-19)
“The early part of this book could serve as the story of Kofi, an 11 year old boy in Upper Kwanta. When the story becomes one of enslavement, it’s felt viscerally. Kwame Alexander will break your heart in half the words other authors might need.”
—Gwen Papp, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

Picture Books

Beatrice Likes the Dark
By April Genevieve Tucholke, Khoa Le
(Algonquin Young Readers, 9781643751573, $18.95, Sept. 13, Ages: 4-8)
“One of my favorite picture books of the year! Beatrice Likes the Dark is a beautifully illustrated, sweet story of sisterhood. Each page is full of heart and whimsy. Your inner baby goth or any year-round halloween lovers will need this one!”
—Cristina Russell, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

Creepy Crayon! (Creepy Tales!)
By Aaron Reynolds, Peter Brown (Illus.)
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781534465886, $18.99, Aug. 23, Ages: 4-8)
“Jasper Rabbit’s not doing well at school. One day, he finds a purple, pointy crayon. Suddenly, all his schoolwork is perfect! Which is increasingly creepy. Jasper’s more than freaked out. He really needs to get rid of the crayon — but how?”
—Ellen Klein, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

By Sophie Blackall
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316528948, $18.99, Sept. 13, Ages: 4-8)
“In this beautiful and heartwarming story, Blackall imagines the life of a family living in a 19th century farmhouse. The gently rhyming prose and nostalgia-laden illustrations make for a delightful read for old and young readers alike.”
—Jen Minor, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

The Flamingo: A Graphic Novel Chapter Book
By Guojing
(Random House Studio, 9780593127315, $18.99, Sept. 27, Ages: 5-8)
“This lovely story of family and imagination is great for a wide range of reading levels; some dialogue frames the story, but even pre-readers can enjoy flipping through the pages and telling themselves the story.”
—Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, WA

Good Night, Little Bookstore
By Amy Cherrix, E. B. Goodale (Illus.)
(Candlewick, 9781536212518, $17.99, Sept. 13, Ages: 2-5)
“An ode to neighborhood bookstores: their charm, their cats, their familiar and faraway faces, and the dreams born from their stacks.”
—Melissa LaSalle, Old Town Books, Alexandria, VA

Hey, Bruce!: An Interactive Book
Mother Bruce Series
By Ryan T. Higgins
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781368084116, $17.99, Sept. 20, Ages: 3-5)
“Our beloved bear returns with those three pesky mice breaking the fourth wall and asking the reader to move Bruce around the book. Readers of all ages will laugh out loud as Bruce is subjected to some hilarious hijinks!”
—Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

Loud Mouse
By Idina Menzel, Cara Mentzel, Jaclyn Sinquett (Illus.)
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781368078061, $17.99, Sept. 27, Ages: 3-5)
“Who better than Wicked’s Idina Menzel to encourage budding young performers: Be big! Be brave! Be yourself. This sweet story is perfect for back-to-school, first recitals, or any time someone needs a reminder of how awesome they are.”
—Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

My Pet Feet
By Josh Funk, Billy Yong (Illus.)
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781534486003, $18.99, Aug. 23, Ages: 4-8)
My Pet Feet is funny and exciting to read! The wordplay creates many entertaining scenarios and will have kids searching the illustrations for additional cases of the ‘missing R.’ Families, teachers, and KIDS will love this!”
—Joanna Robertson, The Treehouse Reading and Arts Center, New York Mills, NY

By Matt de la Peña, Corinna Luyken (Illus.)
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 9781984813961, $18.99, Aug. 30, Ages: 4-8)
“The artwork in this book is bright, colorful, and evokes joy. A beautifully written reminder that we can be many things. We are more ‘than a single note...we are a symphony.’ This book is great for first time parents or a teacher’s library.”
—Keeshia Jacklitch, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC

When You Take a Step
By Bethanie Deeney Murguia
(Beach Lane Books, 9781534473676, $18.99, Sept. 27, Ages: 0-8)
“Sometimes it’s difficult, but we all learn from each of our steps; even if we fall, and often, these steps change our whole world! Lovely!”
—Dea Lavoie, Second Star to the Right Children’s Books, Denver, CO

Middle Grade

Agent Most Wanted: The Never-Before-Told Story of the Most Dangerous Spy of World War II
By Sonia Purnell
(Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780593350546, $18.99, Aug. 9, Ages: 10+)
“Moxie. That’s what Virginia Hall was made of. I am thankful to Sonia Purnell for this story as I love reading about incredibly brave women and their contributions to our world. In this case, she helped save it from the tyranny of Nazi Germany.”
—Debbie White, The Well-Read Moose, Coeur d’Alene, ID

Amari and the Great Game (Supernatural Investigations #2)
By B. B. Alston
(Balzer + Bray, 9780062975195, $18.99, Aug. 30, Ages: 8-12)
“Amari returns with higher stakes and even more magic. Reeling from the events of the first book, Amari has more questions than answers and a new mystery to solve before everyone goes to war. Alston continues the adventure with mastery.”
—Becca Ellsworth, Rediscovered Books, Boise, ID

Attack of the Black Rectangles
By A. S. King
(Scholastic Press, 9781338680522, $18.99, Sept. 6, Ages: 9-12)
“Timely and necessary. Faced with a censored assigned classroom read, Mac and his friends challenge the system. Attack of the Black Rectangles celebrates all that kids are capable of — and that often they are wiser beyond their young years.”
—Diane Capriola, Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, GA

Eden’s Everdark
By Karen Strong
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781665904476, $17.99, Sept. 6, Ages: 8-12)
Eden’s Everdark is a Southern Gothic whose rich history, imaginative adventure, creepy imagery, and big heart will appeal to a variety of readers. It’s a dark and haunting adventure story infused with a light and hope that shines bright.”
—Julia Caudle, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA

Invisible: A Graphic Novel
By Christina Diaz Gonzalez, Gabriela Epstein
(Graphix, 9781338194555, $24.99, hardcover; 9781338194548, $12.99, paperback, Aug. 2, Ages: 8-12)
“This middle grade Breakfast Club remake drives home the idea that things aren’t always what they seem, and how assumptions can cause harm. Invisible’s main characters relatably take us through this twisty, compelling bilingual story.”
—Grace Hagen, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, MO

The Stars Did Wander Darkling
By Colin Meloy
(Balzer + Bray, 9780063015517, $17.99, Sept. 13, Ages: 8-12)
“Very creepy and fun. I will recommend this to middle schoolers who come to the store swearing they LOVE scary stuff. Any book with heroes wielding Cimmerian broadswords has my approval (if you know what those are, you should read this too).”
—Kristine Jelstrom-Hamill, Buttonwood Books and Toys, Cohasset, MA

A Taste of Magic
By J. Elle
(Bloomsbury Children's Books, 9781547606719, $16.99, Aug. 30, Ages: 8-11)
“J. Elle has created the magic school we've all been waiting for — it is funny and sweet and absolutely charming, and middle grade readers will be going wild for this gem of a novel that is literal Black Girl Magic.”
—Isabella Ogbolumani, Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca, NY

The Tryout: A Graphic Novel
By Christina Soontornvat, Joanna Cacao
(Graphix, 9781338741261, paperback, $12.99, Sept. 6, Ages: 8-12)
“An utterly captivating graphic memoir about middle school, competition, friendships, and growing up Asian American in a mostly white community. This is a book every middle grade reader (and many adults) will want to read over and over.”
—Chris Abouzeid, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA

The Vanquishers
By Kalynn Bayron
(Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 9781547609772, $16.99, Sept. 20, Ages: 8-11)
“When the new kid goes missing, Boog and her crew realize that vampires may not be a relic of the past. An adventure story that’s just eerie enough, exploring friendship, family, and the cost of protecting those we love. A spooky, sweet read.”
—Chelsea Stringfield, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN

Wildoak (Indies Introduce)
By C. C. Harrington
(Scholastic Press, 9781338803860, $18.99, Sept. 20, Ages: 8-12)
“Such a wonderful book on the magic of nature. I was brought to tears remembering what it was like to struggle in a world that couldn’t listen. I can’t wait for another generation of readers to fall in love with reading because of this story.”
—Revati Kilaparti, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

Young Adult

All of Our Demise (All of Us Villains #2)
By Amanda Foody, Christine Lynn Herman
(Tor Teen, 9781250789341, $18.99, Aug. 30, Ages: 13-18)
“...Wow. That’s all that I could muster when I finished this book. A true page-turner full of the biggest amount of twists and knives-to-your-gut I’ve ever read. It’s dark and twisted and gripping, and completely flabergasting.”
—Valeria Salas Ibarra, Front Street Books, Alpine, TX

The Ballad of Never After (Once Upon a Broken Heart #2)
By Stephanie Garber
(Flatiron Books, 9781250268426, $19.99, Sept. 13, Ages: 13-18)
The Ballad of Never After is the perfect sequel. For anyone obsessed with Jacks, this book delivers on your desires for more! Enough twists and turns to keep your head spinning while your heart swoons over and over again. Highly recommend!”
—Rhianna Helton, Books of Wonder, New York, NY

By Adalyn Grace
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316158237, $18.99, Aug. 30, Ages: 14-19)
“Let me introduce you to your newest obsession: a girl who can’t die teams up with Death to solve a murder mystery. I loved everything — the romance, the dash of fantasy, and the twisting turns as dark and mysterious as the halls of Thorn Grove.”
—Bridey Morris, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT

The Drowned Woods
By Emily Lloyd-Jones
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780759556317, $18.99, Aug. 16, Ages: 14-19)
“A lush and haunting heist novel inspired by Welsh folklore. Emily’s beautiful prose draws you in from the first page. If you like atmospheric fantasy, high stakes adventure, and a touch of romantic tension, you will love The Drowned Woods.”
—Gabrielle Belisle, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA

Foul Lady Fortune
By Chloe Gong
(Margaret K. McElderry Books, 9781665905589, $21.99, Sept. 27, Ages: 14-19)
“After reading These Violent Delights, I constantly checked for new writing from Chloe Gong. Foul Lady Fortune did not disappoint, with a new cast of characters (and some familiar faces) to fall in love with, and an entirely new political landscape to immerse in.”
—Ellie Ray, Content Bookstore, Northfield, MN

I’m the Girl
By Courtney Summers
(Wednesday Books, 9781250808363, $18.99, Sept. 13, Ages: 13-18)
“Courtney Summers’ sharp-edged protagonist makes every ‘mistake’ young women are taught to avoid, and in a revolutionary move, the narrative refuses to blame her for it. I’m the Girl is not just a powerful feminist thriller, it is a call to action.”
—Kay Frost, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

Over My Dead Body
By Sweeney Boo
(HarperAlley, 9780063056312, $24.99, hardcover; 9780063056305, $17.99, paperback, Aug. 30, Ages: 14+)
“In this bewitching graphic novel, it’s up to Abigail to uncover what lurks in the woods before it’s too late. Over My Dead Body combines gorgeous art with a compelling storyline full of magic and mystery. You’ll be turning the pages all night!”
—Emma Butler, The Briar Patch, Bangor, ME

The Sunbearer Trials (The Sunbearer Duology #1)
By Aiden Thomas
(Feiwel & Friends, 9781250822130, $18.99, Sept. 6, Ages: 13-18)
“Another amazing novel by Aiden Thomas, The Sunbearer Trials is an absolute whirlwind of a book with an amazingly crafted world, fantastic representation, and an enthralling story! If you liked Cemetery Boys, then you’ll love this series!”
—Marya Johnston, Out West Books, Grand Junction, CO

The Weight of Blood
By Tiffany D. Jackson
(Katherine Tegen Books, 9780063029149, $18.99, Sept. 6, Ages: 14+)
“With Carrie as a jumping off point, this is no pale imitation. The original comes through in the misery of being a high school outcast, the immediate horror of abuse, and the insidious horror of institutionalized racism. One heck of a good read.”
—Kristin Richland, Phoenix Books Essex, Essex Junction, VT

Wild is the Witch
By Rachel Griffin
(Sourcebooks Fire, 9781728229454, $18.99, Aug. 2, Ages: 14-18)
“I love this second novel by Rachel Griffin. An emotional story about guilt, regret, and vulnerability with incredible storytelling and rich descriptions! Love the magic and the animals and the cozy feeling — like walking out in the woods.”
—Jaya Anderson, Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, MN