The Summer ’13 Kids’ Indie Next List Preview

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Here is a preview of the Summer 2013 Kids’ Indie Next List flier, arriving at stores in the upcoming Children’s White Box.

The four-page, full-color flier features the top 10 titles for the spring publishing season and an additional 39 titles for children, organized by age group. All Next List picks are based on nominations from independent booksellers nationwide and include a bookseller quote and full bibliographic information.

The top 10 titles are also featured on downloadable shelf-talkers.

The deadline for nominations for the Fall Kids’ Indie Next List is July 16. As always, nominations may be submitted via e-mail or through the online nomination form.

The Summer ’13 Kids’ Indie Next List

The Top 10

1. The Testing, by Joelle Charbonneau
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 9780547959108, $17.99)
“In post-apocalyptic America, the key to survival is leadership and the training of great leaders takes place at the University. To make it to the University, a select number of students from colonies across the surviving landscape must first make it through The Testing. Charbonneau’s first foray into writing for young adults yields cliffhanger after cliffhanger, making it impossible to find a point for the reader to pause. Every scene, every word becomes important to the end of this story, so pay close attention: You do not want to fail The Testing!” —Nicole Porter, Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA

2. The 5th Wave, by Rick Yancey
(Putnam Juvenile, 9780399162411, $18.99)
“Starting with an adrenaline rush and somehow keeping up a breathless pace, Yancey tells a desperate and stunning story of love and loyalty in the middle of a thriller. The 5th Wave follows four kids in the months following an alien arrival, when the battle for life pushes everyone to their physical and psychological limits. While each character must choose between a violent will to survive and an exhausted surrender, holding onto humanity may be the most heartbreaking challenge of all.” —Mara Lynn Luther, Chapter One Book Store, Hamilton, MT

3. Twerp, by Mark Goldblatt
(Random House Books for Young Readers, 9780375971426, $16.99)
“In 1960s New York, sixth-grader Julian ‘Twerp’ Twerski has just returned to school after a weeklong suspension, when his English teacher offers him a deal. If he writes a journal about the incident that got him suspended, Julian can get out of writing a report on Shakespeare. At the beginning of the book it’s unclear why Julian and his friends were suspended, but more details come to light as the journal entries progress. The book’s greatest strength is that it calls attention to the important issues of friendship, peer pressure, and bullying without preaching or talking down to the reader. Julian is a flawed character, but he’s someone you can’t help but root for.” —Caitlin Ayer, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA

4. The Watermelon Seed, by Greg Pizzoli
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781423171010, $16.99)
“Great for fans of Mo Willems, this funky, funny tale fills you with giggles and leaves you craving watermelon. Pizzoli confronts the rather harrowing childhood worry of what happens when you swallow a watermelon seed.  This crocodile deals with the question in a comical, panicked way. Children will love this story with its simple illustrations and perfect comic ending.” —Hannah Moushabeck, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

5. Far Far Away, by Tom McNeal
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780375849725, $17.99)
“Ever since Jeremy Johnson Johnson admitted that he could hear voices, the townspeople have treated him as an outsider.  Life has been hard, but Jeremy does have a companion — the voice of Jacob Grimm, one half of the Brothers Grimm.  Jacob watches over Jeremy and protects him from the evil in the world. When Ginger Boultinghouse becomes interested in Jeremy, things start to happen that Jacob may or may not be able to stop.  Narrated by Jacob, this book is lovely and thrilling at the same time.” —Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

6. The Rithmatist, by Brandon Sanderson
(Tor Teen, 9780765320322, $17.99)
“Joel desperately wants to be a Rithmatist — part of a select order that can bring chalk drawings to life to battle wild chalkings and keep the human race safe. But since he’s not, Joel spends his time learning everything he can about Rithmatics and befriends an outcast professor and another student, who end up helping him in his own battle. This well-plotted story is perfect for all sorts of readers — the math geek, the fantasy lover, and the sucker for happy endings. I can’t wait for a sequel!” —Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

7. Oliver and His Alligator, by Paul Schmid
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781423174370, $15.99, available June)
“Oliver is a little insecure about his first day of school, so he brings an alligator for reinforcement. While the alligator takes care of one scary thing after another, Oliver starts to realize school might not be so bad — but he has to decide quickly before everything is devoured!  Readers will identify with Oliver’s fears and eat up Schmid’s adorable pastel illustrations.” —Erin Barker, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

8. Wild Awake, by Hilary T. Smith
(Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062184689, $17.99)
“Smith’s debut novel introduces readers to one of the most memorable characters in young adult literature since Holden Caulfield — 17-year-old Kiri Byrd. With her parents away for the summer, Kiri looks forward to time alone with hours to practice her piano, win the Battle of the Bands, and convince Lukas that they should be together forever. However, a phone call from a mysterious stranger changes everything. Heart-wrenching, powerful, and much more than a coming-of-age story, Wild Awake perfectly portrays a forced maturity, one in which a strong human spirit refuses to be undone, whatever the cost. Highly recommended!” —Sue Campbell, Book Passage, Core Madera, CA

9. Maya Was Grumpy, by Courtney Pippin-Mathur
(Flashlight Press, 9781936261130, $16.95)
“Maya was in a crispy, cranky, grumpy, grouchy mood and did not want to do anything until her Gramma started to mention all the crazy, fun little things that she could not do if she were grumpy. As the story continues, Maya gradually comes out of her crispy, cranky, grumpy, grouchy mood and can’t help but giggle at Gramma’s ideas. This story is hysterical in so many ways. I can’t wait to share this book with our customers!” —Kayleigh Bass, Cornerstone Cottage Kids, Hampton, IA

10. The School for Good and Evil, by Soman Chainani, Iacopo Bruno (Illus.)
(HarperCollins, 9780062104892, $16.99)
“Agatha and Sophie are as different as two friends can be.  Beautiful and talented, Sophie has spent her whole life preparing to be chosen by the mysterious School Master to attend the School for Good.  Plain, grumpy, and witchy Agatha, on the other hand, just hopes to avoid being chosen for the School for Evil.  When Sophie ends up in the School for Evil and Agatha in the School for Good, everything that they know about themselves and each other will be called into question.  This exciting and thought-provoking fantasy is the first in a planned trilogy and I can’t wait for the next installment!” —Emily Ring, Inklings Bookshop, Yakima, WA

For Ages 4 to 8

123 Versus ABC, by Mike Boldt
(HarperCollins, 9780062102997, $17.99, available June)
“It’s an alphabet book! No, it’s a book about numbers! So goes the battle between numbers and letters as an increasingly ridiculous host of animals enter the book. By the time 13 monkeys wearing 14 neckties and juggling 15 oranges appear, the numbers and letters have decided to collaborate. Show-stopping illustrations make this book a delight, even for proficient counters and readers!” —Erin Barker, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

Brush of the Gods, by Lenore Look, Meilo So (Illus.)
(Schwartz & Wade, 9780375870019, $17.99, available June)
“This incredible book tells an imagined story of the life of Wu Daozi, China’s greatest painter, who lived during the height of classical Chinese civilization’s T’ang Dynasty. The author’s notes state that Wu Daozi almost single-handedly changed the way people viewed painting, and in this gorgeous biography So’s watercolor, ink, gouache, and colored pencil illustrations bring the story to life.” —Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

Bully, by Laura Vaccaro Seeger
(Roaring Brook Press, 9781596436305, $16.99, available July)
“This is the tale of a bull who got out on the wrong side of the bed and is being mean and grumpy to everyone around him. As a read-aloud to youngsters, it will provide a great lead into a discussion about bullying and should elicit plenty of examples from the audience. The language is terrific and the illustrations are minimal and spot on!” —Biddy Kehoe, Hockessin Book Shelf, Hockessin, DE

Count the Monkeys, by Mac Barnett, Kevin Cornell (Illus.)
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781423160656, $16.99, available June)
“The invisible narrator invites us to count the monkeys in this book, but, for some reason, the monkeys have trouble appearing.  At first, a king cobra scares all the monkeys away and then mongooses chase off the cobra.  The story continues with hilarious situations on each page, and the narrator encourages the reader to do some sort of activity, such as ‘Close your eyes so the wolves don’t see you,’ when the page is turned.  This is a great story for both the home and the classroom, and Cornell’s illustrations enhance the entertainment.” —Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

The Day the Crayons Quit, by Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers (Illus.)
(Philomel, 9780399255373, $17.99, available June)
“This is one of cleverest, funniest picture books I have ever read. It will motivate readers to treat their Crayola boxes with a little more care and to show compassion and understanding to the hardworking, surprisingly opinionated waxy stubs that allow anyone to be an artist, or at least a doodler. Daywalt has finally given crayons a voice, and they have a great deal to say! In addition, they have Jeffers to illustrate their daily trials and manifold sufferings, which he does brilliantly. So, readers, stop tearing the paper casing off your crayons.  Read this book if you need a reason why, and bask in the happy, energetic glow of The Day the Crayons Quit.” —Rebecca Waesch, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

If You Want to See a Whale, by Julie Fogliano, Erin Stead (Illus.)
(Roaring Brook Press, 9781596437319, $16.99)
“The delightful duo behind And Then It’s Spring has done it again! For a little one, waiting can be interminable, but with Fogliano’s imagination and Stead’s charming illustrations, waiting for a whale has never been so exhilarating. This gorgeously simple book is a gentle reminder of the beauty to be found in patient and astute observation.” —Erin Barker, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

If You Were a Panda Bear, by Florence Minor, Wendell Minor (Illus.)
(Katherine Tegen Books, 9780061950902, $17.99, available June)
“Panda bears, polar bears, and grizzly bears are all bears, but what makes them different?  These bears and others are captured doing what they love best.  Beautiful poems, gorgeous illustrations, and one surprise bear will make you smile!  All ages will enjoy and learn from the Bear Fun Facts at the end.  Once again this dynamic couple has produced a gem!” —Joanne Doggart, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA

Odd Duck, by Cecil Castellucci, Sara Varon (Illus.)
(First Second, 9781596435575, $15.99)
“This is one of those rare books that hits all the right notes.  It will entertain kids and earn much sympathy from adults. The art and the writing complement each other perfectly, much like Chad and Theodora’s unexpected friendship. You never can predict who will ‘get’ you. Odd Duck is one of my favorite books of the year.” —Emily Pullen, WORD, Brooklyn, NY

The Story of Fish and Snail, by Deborah Freedman
(Viking Juvenile, 9780670784899, $16.99)
“The characters in this adorable story know that they’re in a book and set out to explore other stories in other books. Fish spends his days roaming other stories, while Snail prefers to stick to the story he knows by heart. Fish wants Snail to come see a great new story he found, but Snail is scared! Will he be able to step out of his story and experience something new? What a great read!” —Madison Butler, Liberty Bay Books, Poulsbo, WA

Super Hair-o and the Barber of Doom, by John Rocco
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781423121893, $16.99)
“Cute and funny, this is the tale of a group of four boys who believe they are super heroes whose powers come from their hair.  Then they are forced to get haircuts. Down in the dumps, they mope around their playground headquarters trying to find a way to get their powers back. A little girl overhears their problem and puts her doll in danger on the monkey bars to give the boys the jumpstart they need to be heroes again.” —Kelly Bolduc, Hockessin Bookshelf, Hockessin, DE

The Three Little Pigs and the Somewhat Bad Wolf, by Mark Teague
(Orchard Books, 9780439915014, $16.99)
“Teague brings a new and fresh, yet traditional slant to the story of the ‘Three Little Pigs.’ The details of what the little pigs are like are delightful and Teague, as always, brings his animals to life. Readers will identify many of the characters as people in their own lives, and Teague’s inclusion of the reasons for the wolf’s behavior is just right.” —Vicki Erwin, Main Street Books, St. Charles, MO

Twenty-Six Pirates: An Alphabet Book, by Dave Horowitz
(Nancy Paulsen Books, 9780399257773, $16.99, available June)
“In this fun and fearsome trip through the alphabet, Horowitz’s cut-paper art takes young readers through the antics of 26 pirates. Whether it’s Arty who is first to the party, Juan who wants his mom, or Ulysses swimming with the fishies, children can’t help but love learning the alphabet with this swashbuckling cast of characters.” —Meaghan Beasley, Island Bookstore, Kitty Hawk, NC

Unicorn Thinks He’s Pretty Great, by Bob Shea
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781423159520, $15.99)
“Goat was once the cool critter in town, but he finds himself playing second fiddle after the arrival of Unicorn, a magical fellow who can fly, dance well, and make it rain cupcakes.  While at first jealous of Unicorn, Goat is able to become friends with him after Unicorn points out some of the special things that Goat can do that he can’t. Filled with adorable illustrations and lovable sass, this is a great story of how everyone can get along in spite of their differences.” —Halley Pucker, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

For Ages 9 to 12

The Adventures of Arnie the Donut: Bowling Alley Bandit, by Laurie Keller
(A Christy Ottaviano Book, 9780805090765, $13.99)
“Whether or not you remember Arnie from his picture book origins, you will adore him as Mr. Bing’s ‘doughnut dog.’  Reluctant and avid readers alike will gobble up Keller’s kid-friendly format, sprinkled liberally with jokes, happy silliness, and goofy illustrations, plus bowling trivia and a mystery as well.  This first in a new series is a delight sure to leave chapter book fans hungry for more.” —Jeanne Snyder, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

After Iris, by Natasha Farrant
(Dial Books for Young Readers, 9780803739826, $16.99, available July)
“Blue Gadsby is never without her video camera, and her chaotic family gives her endless material to document. There’s her dramatic older sister; her younger siblings and their pet rats; her eccentric au pair, Zoran; and the fleeting images of her parents, who work away from home for weeks at a time. Superimposed on these reels of film is the void of Iris, Blue’s twin sister who died three years before. Told from Blue’s witty and heartfelt perspective, After Iris is a sweet and often funny story of one family that finds strength and love in the aftermath of a terrible loss.” —Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

The Apprentices, by Maile Meloy, Ian Schoenherr (Illus.)
(Putnam Juvenile, 9780399162459, $16.99)
“Move over Professor Snape, there’s a new apothecary in town! Meloy once again dazzles readers in the second book in the series, which picks up two years after Janie Scott and Benjamin Burrows saved the world from a nuclear attack. Now there’s a new evil on the loose, and Janie, Benjamin, and their motley crew are tasked with saving the world as they desperately race to find each other across the globe while unraveling the mystery of who is behind these new attacks. Meloy seamlessly blends science, magic, and adventure in a wild ride that will leave you breathless.” —Bess Bleyaert, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI

An Army of Frogs: A Kulipari Novel, by Trevor Pryce, Sanford Greene (Illus.)
(Amulet Books, 9781419701726, $15.95)
“In this action-packed animal fantasy, an evil spider queen joins forces with the duplicitous leader of an army of scorpions to pierce the veil protecting the Amphibilands from the outside world. Darel, a young frog who dreams of being a great warrior, and his best friend, Gee, who has no such aspirations, discover the planned invasion. Before the frogs can sound the alert, Gee is captured by scorpion scouts. Should Darel try to save his friend or run for reinforcements?” —Ellen Klein, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

Below, by Meg McKinlay
(Candlewick, 9780763661267, $15.99)
“Like the reservoir that drowned Cassie’s town on the day she was born, Below gives up its secrets slowly. Everything seems perfectly normal as the town of New Lower Grange prepares for a celebration, but as Cassie and her friend Liam swim and explore the lake where Old Lower Grange once stood, they discover a long-buried mystery below the surface. Spooky and atmospheric, this is a simple, taut mystery that swept me away from page one!” —Caitlin Caulfield, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Chews Your Destiny: A Gum Girl Novel, by Rhode Montijo
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781423157403, $14.99, available July)
“Gabby Gomez loves gum.  She chews it endlessly.  Her mother warns her to stop, but she can’t.  After all, what could possibly happen?  How about turning into gum? Gum Girl, the newest superhero, is born!  This cross between a comic book and a chapter book is a delight. And Gabby saves the day in her own sticky way.” —Janice Hunsche, Kaleidosaurus Books, Fishers, IN

Elvis and the Underdogs, by Jenny Lee, Kelly Light (Illus.)
(Balzer + Bray, 9780062235541, $16.99)
“Benji has spent most of his life in hospitals because he faints.  When the option of a padded helmet makes him a target for bullying, he decides to take a therapy dog instead.  Parker Elvis Pembroke IV, Elvis for short, is a different kind of dog — a 200-pound Newfoundland who talks.  What follows is the wonderful story of a young boy who finds friends and discovers his own ‘pack.’” —Dorothy Pittman, Horton’s Books & Gifts, Carrollton, GA

Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library, by Chris Grabenstein
(Random House Books for Young Readers, 9780375870897, $16.99, available June)
“This book is Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for bibliophiles mixed with The Westing Game. The prolific and well-placed references to the best of children’s literature will bring enjoyment to anyone who likes to read and has read a lot.  A loving ode to children’s literature and a must-read!” —Sara Hines, Eight Cousins, Falmouth, MA

Francis and Eddie: The True Story of America’s Underdogs, by Brad Herzog, Zachary Pullen (Illus.)
(Why Not Books, 9780984991921, $17.95)
“This year is the 100th anniversary of Francis Ouimet’s astonishing win at the 1913 U. S. Open Golf Tournament.  In all those years, the story of this amateur golfer and his 10-year-old caddie has never lost its heartfelt inspiration. This book for kids will be loved by readers of all ages, golfers and non-golfers alike.” —Dana Brigham, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

House of Secrets, by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini, Greg Call (Illus.)
(Balzer + Bray, 9780062253316, $17.99)
“Do you believe in curses? In San Francisco, anybody could get cursed, as Brendan finds out when the stone angel in his family’s newly acquired front yard turns into a bone-white old woman with a bald head, cracked lips, and brown teeth who whispers to him ‘Leave this place.’ Brendan, age 12, and his two sisters, Cordelia, age 15, and Eleanor, age eight, are about to go on an amazing adventure in their mysterious and creepy new house, where they meet a vengeful witch, skeleton pirates, a tenderhearted colossus, and characters from the books they recently read. Sure to be a new hit series.” —Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

The Mouse With the Question Mark Tail, by Richard Peck, Kelly Murphy (Illus.)
(Dial Books for Young Readers, 9780803738386, $16.99, available July)
“‘Nameless is Blameless,’ or so our little mouse is told.  His quest to find out who he is takes him all around Buckingham Palace.  An interview with Queen Victoria the day before her Diamond Jubilee sends him to find the mouse queen and the answers to his questions.  This clever, humorous follow-up to Secrets at Sea from Newbery Medal-winner Peck is destined to become a classic.” —Sue Mason, Waucoma Bookstore, Hood River, OR

Odessa Again, by Dana Reinhardt
(Wendy Lamb Books, 9780385739566, $15.99)
“After her parents’ divorce, nine-year-old Odessa, her younger brother Oliver, and their mom move into a rented house. When Odessa stomps in frustration on her bedroom floor after being sent to her room for pushing Oliver, she suddenly falls through the floorboards and lands 24 hours back in time, allowing her the chance to do over the part of her day that got her into trouble. Can Odessa use this magic to fix her family by getting her parents back together? Readers will discover that life is full of change and that turning back the clock can have unexpected consequences.” —Ellen Klein, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked, by Jarrett J. Krosoczka
(Walden Pond Press, 9780062071644, $12.99)
“A platypus police force, a missing frog professor, a panda business man, and illegal fish all make for one action packed mystery. Rookie Rick Zengo and his veteran partner, Corey O’Malley, must first learn to work together before they can tackle this case. The illustrations throughout add to the imaginative tale.” —Lisa Fabiano, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

Sugar, by Jewell Parker Rhodes
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316043052, $16.99)
“Orphaned at 10, Sugar lives on a plantation where only the old and weak are left to work the fields after the young headed north when the slaves were freed. Sugar is often lonely and overworked, but she becomes friends with the owner’s son, despite all opposition. When the plantation owner brings in Chinese laborers, causing resentment among those fearing for their livelihoods, spunky Sugar finds a way to connect and form a new community. A lively and inspiring tale of overcoming the harshest of circumstances.” —Ellen Sandmeyer, Sandmeyer’s Bookstore, Chicago, IL

For Teen Readers

The Circle: The Engelsfors Trilogy, Book I, by Sara B. Elfgren and Mats Strandberg
(Overlook, 9781468306583, $18.99)
“They were chosen for a greater destiny.  Six Swedish high school students who would normally never be friends are compelled to meet under the light of the blood moon.  There, they find themselves a part of a prophecy to fight against a powerful evil and that they each have been chosen for their naturally magical powers. Elfgren and Strandberg weave a thrilling web of ancient magic and teenage issues in this first book of the Engelsfors Trilogy.” —Kim Krajniak, Blue Phoenix Books, Alpena, MI

Gorgeous, by Paul Rudnick
(Scholastic Press, 9780545464260, $18.99)
Gorgeous is the laugh-out-loud, funny story of Becky Randle, a small-town girl swept up in a magical life of fame and glamour. With the help of mysterious advisors and her hilarious and clever friend Rocher, Becky learns about life, her past, and most importantly, what beauty really is.” —Larissa Genschaw, Children’s Bookshop, Kent, WA

Ink: The Paper Gods, Book I, by Amanda Sun
(Harlequin Teen, 9780373210718, paper, $9.99, available June)
Ink is an enchanting, well-written, and deliciously dark story that will pull readers into a beautiful and dangerous world, one they won’t want to leave. Sun has crafted a brilliant and refreshing mythology revolving around ancient Japanese gods and their descendents, in a magical setting. Readers will be swept away by Japan’s beauty and Sun’s artful descriptions.” —D.J. DeSmyter, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI

Invisibility, by Andrea Cremer and David Levithan
(Philomel, 9780399257605, $18.99)
Invisibility is about a teenager who is invisible. As fantastic as this occurrence might be in reality, it is also a universal metaphor for the teen experience: feeling like no one ‘hears’ you or ‘sees’ you, and trying to see yourself and figure out how to present yourself to the world. And then there is the jubilation of meeting someone who finally does see you for who you really are. When Elizabeth meets Stephen, she has no idea that he’s invisible, because she can see him. This amazing story is a poignant reminder that what we see isn’t always seen by others.” —Sara Hines, Eight Cousins, Falmouth, MA

The Lucy Variations, by Sara Zarr
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316205016, $18.00)
“Lucy Beck-Moreau was supposed to be one of the greatest pianists of her generation, but in one swift moment she left it all behind. Now, months later, she’s sure she made the right decision. Almost. When her younger brother begins working with a new teacher, Lucy begins to experience a flood of doubt. Is it possible she has a future in music that isn’t just to please her family?” —Megan Graves, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

The Moon and More, by Sarah Dessen
(Viking Juvenile, 9780670785605, $19.99)
“It’s the summer before Emaline heads off to college and everything’s lined up for it to be great. She has a hot boyfriend and a job in her hometown of Colby, where everyone knows everyone. But it doesn’t take long for everything she counted on to change. Can Emaline keep her cool with her biological father back in the picture, her sudden responsibility for a pair of filmmakers from New York City, and a sister certain to drive her crazy?  This is another must-read from Dessen!” —Hannah Johnson-Breimeier, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

On Little Wings, by Regina Sirois
(Viking Juvenile, 9780670786060, $17.99)
“When 16-year-old Jennifer, who believes that neither of her parents have siblings, learns that her mother has a sister, she travels from Nebraska to Maine to meet the aunt she never knew she had.  During the visit, Jennifer discovers the reason her mother severed the relationship, falls in love, and finds happiness in a small-town community where everyone has a story of lost love. Quirky characters, sprinklings of exquisite literature, beautiful descriptions of the Maine coastline, and a compelling story of unspeakable heartbreak, unlived dreams, and untold stories will have readers cheering for Jennifer as she explores the landscape of fragile emotions and painful memories.” —Martha Moore, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

Openly Straight, by Bill Konigsberg
(Arthur A. Levine Books, 9780545509893, $17.99)
“When Seamus Rafael Goldberg comes out at his Boulder high school, he does so in a big way. Not only does his mom become president of PFLAG, but Rafe becomes a public speaker for the cause. It turns out that being labeled in such a complete way can be not only disappointing, but also limiting. Rafe transfers to a private school in Massachusetts, effectively re-entering the closet, and finds himself one of the jocks.  Rafe wants to be true to himself, but withheld truths pile up, particularly when he finds himself in a relationship with a fellow soccer player. Openly Straight is a true-to-yourself story with a twist, a contemporary coming-out tale with a universal message.” —Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Proxy, by Alex London
(Philomel, 9780399257766, $17.99)
“Knox was born into one the City’s wealthiest families, which means he has a Proxy — Syd, who bears all of Knox’s punishments whenever he does something wrong, from breaking a vase to crashing a car and killing his passenger. When the two accidentally meet, which never should have happened according to the rules, they realize that they both have reason to defy the system. Their harrowing cross-country trek to reach a secret society of rebels ends with an unexpected climax that is both exhilarating and inspiring.” —Ellen Klein, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

Reboot, by Amy Tintera
(HarperTeen, 9780062217073, $17.99)
“In the Republic of Texas, you are better off as a Reboot, a person who has died and returned to life, than you are as a human. Also, the more time spent dead, the stronger, faster, more powerful, and almost invincible you become, but, in return, you are colder and less emotional than a human. Wren died five years ago at the age of 12 and is one of the top trainers of new Reboots. Callum, a newbie, is practically still human and not regarded as a favorable trainee, but something about his smile tugs at Wren and she chooses him. When Wren is told to eliminate Callum, they go on the run together. Part love story, part thriller, Reboot will grab your attention and have you cheering.” —Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

Star Cursed: The Cahill Witch Chronicles, Book Two, by Jessica Spotswood
(Putnam Juvenile, 9780399257469, $17.99)
“Spotswood created an incredible alternate reality in Born Wicked, and she continues her winning streak here. Now officially a member of the Sisterhood, Cate sees firsthand the increasingly drastic steps the Brotherhood is taking to hunt down witches and tighten their hold on New England. When Cate’s sisters join her, she hopes they can work together, but they have changed in her absence.  Maura is less inclined to follow, and Tess carries a heavy secret. It seems there is no dodging the penalty of the prophecy in which one sister betrays another, and the Sisterhood is getting desperate. Will Cate step up as their leader, or will Maura muscle her aside?” —Rebecca Waesch, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

Transparent, by Natalie Whipple
(HarperTeen, 9780062120168, paper, $9.99)
“In a world where super powers are commonplace, Fiona is the only invisible girl on the planet. Her father, a powerful crime lord in Las Vegas, has used her powers for his own gain her entire life. When Fiona and her mother go into hiding, Fiona gets her first taste of normal life, and realizes she can never go back. This gripping debut, which lends itself well to book clubs, will delight any young adult fan with its charming characters.  Whipple tackles difficult subjects with a superpower twist.” —Debbie Barr, 4 Kids Books, Zionsville, IN