The Winter 2014–2015 Kids’ Indie Next List Preview

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Below is a preview of the Winter 2014–2015 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 children’s titles for the winter publishing season and an additional 35 titles organized by age group. All 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 top 10 titles are also featured on downloadable shelf-talkers.

The nomination deadline for the Spring 2015 Kids’ Indie Next List is January 16, 2015. The spring list will focus on titles published between February 1, 2015 and April 30, 2015. Nominations may be submitted via e-mail, the online nomination form, or through Edelweiss or NetGalley. (On Edelweiss, navigate to the book page of your choice, click “Your Review” and select “Submit to Indie Next.” On NetGalley, click the green “Title Feedback” button for any title in your account.)

The Winter 2014-2015 Kids’ Indie Next Great Reads

The Top Ten

1. All the Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780385755887, $17.99, available January)
“Finch and Violet’s lives intersect by chance when they find themselves on a bell tower, each contemplating jumping. For Finch, planning how he will kill himself is almost a hobby. For Violet, months of silent pain and guilt following her sister’s death have left her hopeless. To the watching crowd below, it is Violet who talks Finch down, but, in truth, it’s the strangely charismatic boy with a macabre preoccupation who saves the day. As the two are placed together for a school assignment, who is saving whom becomes increasingly unclear. Niven chronicles the effects of depression with frank honesty, shedding light on an often misunderstood illness. Keep tissues handy, as this novel is painfully real.” —Sara Grochowski, Brilliant Books, Traverse City, MI

2. The Darkest Part of the Forest, by Holly Black
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316213073, $18, available January)
“An imaginative take on faerie folklore, Black’s latest is additional proof of her authorial superpowers. Hazel and Ben live in Fairfold, a town where humans live knowing that faeries exist in their own back yard — in the forest where a horned boy has rested in a glass casket for as long as anyone can remember. When the casket is broken and the boy is released, Hazel learns something about herself that changes everything and leaves the fate of the town in her hands. With a strong yet relatable heroine and complex supporting characters, this romantic, moss-covered journey into a world of magic and deceit will have readers enthralled from beginning to flawless end.” —Paige Mushaw, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

3. The Bear Ate Your Sandwich, by Julia Sarcone-Roach
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780375858604, $16.99, available January)
“Or did he? To get there, the bear had to find his way from the woods to the city and then to the park. Of course, this adventure made him very hungry and the sandwich just happened to be there for the taking. Readers find out what really happened in the surprise ending to this delectable journey. The detailed illustrations are whimsical, witty, and full of lush colors. What fun!” —Alice Meyer, Beaverdale Books, Des Moines, IA

4. The Terrible Two, by Mac Barnett and Jory John, Kevin Cornell (Illus.)
(Amulet Books, 9781419714917, $13.95, available January)
“Miles was the prank champion of his old school, but when he gets to the Yawnee Valley Science and Letters Academy he discovers that he’s not the champion he thought he was. Outfoxed and outpranked, Miles joins forces with the school goody-two-shoes to create the Terrible Two with hilarious results. To add to the mayhem, scattered throughout the book are clever drawings — and cow facts! — by Kevin Cornell. It’s enough to make even the most reluctant of readers guffaw!” —Melissa Fox, Watermark Books and Café, Wichita, KS

5. Goodnight Already!, by Jory John, Benji Davies (Illus.)
(HarperCollins, 9780062286208, $17.99)
“Poor Bear! He just wants to sleep but Duck, his pesky and persistent neighbor, is wide awake and wants to play. Children and adults will both delight in John’s hysterical picture book that is sure to become a bedtime classic. Davies’ brilliant illustrations add to the hilarity of Goodnight Already!” —Caitlin Luce Baker, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

6. Mortal Heart: His Fair Assassin, Book 3, by Robin LaFever
(HMH Books for Young Readers, 9780547628400, $17.99)
“Big questions of faith, trust, and belonging surface in this story, but there is still plenty of action and political intrigue to bring LaFever’s powerful trilogy to a satisfying conclusion. Each of the three books is told from the perspective of a different character with a different take on their shared background, which keeps the story fresh and interesting.” —Emily Adams, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA

7. A Bed for Bear, by Clive McFarland
(HarperCollins, 9780062237057, $17.99)
“After concluding that his cave is too noisy, too big, and too crowded, Bernard the bear is on a search for the perfect bed. But every bed he encounters is perfect for its own inhabitant and not perfect for a bear. Bernard may find that his perfect bed is a little closer to home. With collages reminiscent of the work of Eric Carle and a lovely storyline, A Bed for Bear is sure to delight.” —Tia Heywood, The Babbling Book, Haines, AK

8. Absolutely Truly: A Pumpkin Falls Mystery, by Heather Vogel Frederick
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781442429727, $16.99)
“Truly Lovejoy must deal with being six feet tall at 12 years old, having a father who is adjusting to civilian life after a military tour and losing an arm, and working with her family to save her grandparents’ bookstore — not to mention also trying to solve a 10-year-old mystery! Truly is an immediately endearing character, and the many moving parts in this story do not disrupt the seamlessness of the writing. Absolutely Truly is the wonderful debut of a new mystery series that will send readers scurrying to their favorite chair after visiting their local bookstore. I can’t wait for Truly’s next mystery!” —Rebecca Waesch, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

9. The War That Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
(Dial Books for Young Readers, 9780803740815, $16.99, available January)
“War usually tears families apart and causes heartache, but for Ada, World War II saved her life. Born with a club foot, Ada suffered abuse and ridicule. When she and her brother were sent to the countryside to wait out the war, Ada had to learn to deal with her new life, including how to receive unconditional love. Ada’s story is a moving and poignant tale of acceptance and how change can be rewarding.” —Kathy Taber, Kids Ink, Indianapolis, IN

10. Mr. Squirrel and the Moon, by Sebastian Meschenmoser
(NorthSouth, 9780735841567, $18.95)
Mr. Squirrel and the Moon is a wonderful, not-to-be-missed book. The interplay between the art and the story is spot-on and full of whimsy. Mr. Squirrel is convinced that the moon has fallen into his tree and others will think that he has stolen it. What comes next is a hilarious attempt to get the moon back in the sky before anyone notices. This delightful tale must be read and shared with a reading companion. Do not keep this book to yourself!” —Liesl Freudenstein, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, CO

For Ages 4 – 8

Albie’s First Word: A Tale Inspired by Albert Einstein’s Childhood, by Jacqueline Tourville, Wynne Evans (Illus.)
(Schwartz & Wade, 9780307978936, $17.99)
“This is a very sweet pictorial biography chronicling the early years of Albert Einstein’s life before he spoke and what his parents did to encourage him to do so. Well written and beautifully illustrated, Albie’s First Word is a great addition to the genre for younger readers.” —Mark Adam, Mrs. Nelson’s Book Fair Company, Pomona, CA

And Away We Go!, by Migy
(Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, 9780805099010, $17.99)
“Finally, Fox’s balloon has arrived! Now he can fly to the moon! All he needs to do is pick up a few things: friends and snacks and saxophones — for entertainment on the moon — but UH OH! Does this balloon seem heavy to you? I love this colorful story with its catchy refrain: ‘Away we go!’ Whether or not Fox makes it to the moon, he’s sure having a fun adventure!” —Emily Henry, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

Cat & Bunny, by Mary Lundquist
(Balzer + Bray, 9780062287809, $17.99, available January)
“This sweet, soft, and snuggly tale carries a gentle message about kindness with two cozy characters that kids will want to visit again and again. Bunny, Cat, and friends are all illustrated in a charming way in this great bedtime book for ages three and up.” —Jessilyn Norcross, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI

Emmanuel’s Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, by Laurie Ann Thompson
(Schwartz & Wade, 9780449817445, $17.99, available January)
“Emmanuel is a young boy born in Ghana who overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to prove that disabled does not mean unable. In Ghana, individuals who are differently abled are often seen as useless or cursed, but Emmanuel never let that stand in his way. Despite having only one leg, he attended school, hopping two miles each way, earned money to support his family without having to beg, and bicycled 400 miles in just 10 days in an attempt to change the conversation about disabilities. Emmanuel’s Dream is an inspirational story about a young man who recognized injustice, set out to fix it, and refused to take no for an answer.” —Sara Grochowski, Brilliant Books, Traverse City, MI

Finding Spring, by Carin Berger
(Greenwillow Books, 9780062250193, $17.99, available January)
“Beautiful collage illustrations help tell the story of one little bear’s exuberant search for spring — even though he should be hibernating. All ages can relate to the theme of looking for something that you’ve never actually seen before — something that you can’t find by traveling across a distance. Or can you? A sweet ending helps readers celebrate the changing of the seasons.” —Leslie Hawkins, Spellbound Children’s Bookshop, Asheville, NC

George in the Dark, by Madeline Valentine
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780449813348, $16.99)
“This book is perfect to share with little ones who are afraid of the dark. It is the story of George, who is very brave during the day, with examples that include eating worms and standing up against bullies. Nighttime, however, is a different story. How will George conquer his fear of the dark? Read to find out!” —Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

Harlem Renaissance Party, by Faith Ringgold
(Amistad, 9780060579111, $17.99, available January)
“In this beautiful tribute to the African-American people who stepped up and out to show their exceptional talents, Ringgold explains what the Harlem Renaissance was, who was involved, and the place it has in history. Lonnie and his Uncle Bates travel back through history so Lonnie can learn firsthand about his cultural heritage.” —Kathy Taber, Kids Ink, Indianapolis, IN

Herman’s Letter, by Tom Percival
(Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 9781619634237, $17.99)
“Herman and Henry are best friends, until Herman moves away. Their letters become increasingly unbelievable as they try to outdo each other and hide their loneliness. That is, until Herman finds a bold solution. This fun and quirky picture book addresses the topics of friendship, jealousy, and moving, but most of all it is an entertaining story. Lift-the-flaps, humor, and a twist ending make this a fantastic read.” —Erin Barker, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

Jim’s Lion, by Russell Hoban, Alexis Deacon (Illus.)
(Candlewick, 9780763665173, $15.99)
“In this classic Hoban tale reimagined in graphic-novel format by Deacon, Jim is in the hospital waiting for an operation. To help with his fear, a nurse tells him to find his good place and meet his ‘finder’ there, the one who will help him find his way back from the operation. Jim’s dream sequences are beautifully illustrated, taking the reader to places in Jim’s journey where words cannot go. An emotional journey for readers facing trials beyond their years.” —Marika McCoola, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, NY

Last Stop on Market Street, by Matt de la Peña, Christian Robinson (Illus.)
(Putnam Juvenile, 9780399257742, $16.99, available January)
“Every Sunday after church CJ and his grandmother, Nana, take the bus to the last stop on Market Street. This Sunday, however, it’s raining and CJ asks Nana why they don’t have a car, why some places are dirtier than others, and why a blind man can’t see. His Nana responds by helping CJ see that there is beauty and kindness all around him and ‘to feel the magic of the music.’ A heartwarming picture book about a boy and his grandmother who shows him how to see the true beauty of the world.” —Jennifer Steele, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Maple & Willow Together, by Lori Nichols
(Nancy Paulsen Books, 9780399162831, $16.99)
“After falling in love with little Maple, readers have the pleasure of meeting her baby sister, Willow, and seeing them grow up together and act just like real sisters — lots of imagination, little disagreements, a few arguments, and then a whole lot of making up. This story had me smiling and holding both of my own little girls close as we read it over and over. Absolutely precious.” —Beth Page, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie, by Chris Van Allsburg
(HMH Books for Young Readers, 9780547315829, $18)
“What would it be like to frolic outside in nature? Sweetie Pie, a hamster, can only wonder. He lives a closed-in, solitary life in a pet shop and knows too well the downright horror of domestic life. Van Allsburg lends readers another life lesson with subtle, almost-real color and form in his new picture book, The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie.” —Jill Moore, Square Books, Oxford, MS

The Mouse Mansion, by Karina Schaapman
(Dial Books for Young Readers, 9780803740495, $18.99)
“This book is amazing and absolutely enchanting! I spent so much time poring over the pages, marveling at the tiniest details in the miniatures shown in each spread. This simply lovely and completely unique collection of short stories is sure to be enjoyed by everyone who opens it up!” —Kaley Degoursey, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT

Outside, by Deirdre Gill
(HMH Books for Young Readers, 9780547910659, $16.99)
“Gill perfectly captures the cold, magical joy of playing outside after a snowfall. She tells of a young boy with nothing to do who wanders outside and creates a world of fun in the snow. Gill covers it all, from making snow angels to the swell of pride after finishing a snow castle and the thrill of a snowball fight. With stunning illustrations that chronicle the changes in the light as the day turns to night, this book will ring true for anyone who has played in the snow.” —Hannah Moushabeck, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

For Ages 9 – 12

Fish in a Tree, by Linda Mullaly Hunt
(Nancy Paulsen Books, 9780399162596, $16.99, available January)
“Ally is dyslexic and has trouble reading, but with Mr. Daniel’s help she learns that she has nothing to be ashamed about. This book is a respectful treatment of alternative learning styles and a terrific look at the potential of outstanding teachers.” —Anita Charles, BYU Bookstore, Provo, UT

Gracefully Grayson, by Ami Polonsky
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781423185277, $16.99)
“This is the story of a brave child who goes through a transformational journey of self-discovery with the help of theatre and some caring people. Sixth-grader Grayson who lost his parents at a young age and now lives with his aunt and uncle has never felt like he belonged anywhere. When a new girl joins his class, Grayson thinks he’s finally found a friend. He decides to try out for the upcoming play, The Myth of Persephone. But when Grayson decides at the last minute to audition for the role of Persephone, he is unprepared for what lies ahead, both at home and at school. This courageous book is Wonder for the LGBT community.” —Amber Midgett, Main Point Books, Bryn Mawr, PA

Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood From America’s Presidents, by David Stabler
(Quirk Books, 9781594747311, $13.95)
“Everyone knows that presidents were kids once, but what kinds of kids were they? They must have been something special or they wouldn’t have become president, right? Well it turns out that they were just ordinary kids like everyone else. Twenty captivating true stories packed with cool facts make up this funny laugh-out-loud collection.” —Janice Hunsche, Kaleidosaurus Books, Metamora, IN

Legacy of the Claw: Animas: Book One, by C.R. Grey
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781423180388, $16.99)
“In this first book of a new series, 12-year-old Bailey Walker is afraid he’ll become the fourth person in Aldermere’s history to die of the raving madness associated with an ‘absence.’ Populated by people who have special bonds with ‘kin’ animals, Aldermere is slipping into the hands of the Dominae, a political party whose members seek to use their bonding power to control all animals, and — eventually — people. Bailey wants desperately to fit in at his new school, but it’s tough to be the only person on campus without a kinship. How far will the Dominae go in demonstrating their beliefs, and how can Bailey possibly fight back without kin to help him? Legacy of the Claw is the beginning of a grand adventure!” —Melissa Morrow, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Masterminds, by Gordon Korman
(Balzer + Bray, 9780062299963, $16.99, available January)
“Korman’s latest is thilling! Only 30 kids live in the idyllic town of Serenity. It is a perfect place where people are happy and kind, there is no crime, and everyone has what they need. But all is not as it seems. Evil lies beneath the perfection. Told through the alternating voices of five of Serenity’s kids, this surprising tale unfolds with relentless suspense, and readers are as shocked as the narrators when the truth about Serenity becomes clear. I could not stop reading!” —Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA

The Book of Storms, by Ruth Hatfield
(Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, 9780805099980, $16.99, available January)
“Danny wakes up after a storm to find his parents gone. An old tree was hit by lightning during the night and it is there Danny finds the taro that grants the power to speak with nature, both animals and plants. Danny must find his parents, but he has no idea of the powers of darkness and death that are set against him. With the help of a cat, Danny seeks the Book of Storms in a thrilling, fast-paced read, perfect for fans of Percy Jackson!” —Leah Moore, Northshire Bookstore, Saratoga Springs, NY

The Honest Truth, by Dan Gemeinhart**
(Scholastic Press, 9780545665735, $16.99, available January)
The Honest Truth is one of the most inspirational and heartbreaking books I’ve read in a long time. I could compare it to the work of John Green or a number of other popular titles, but it’s really unlike anything I’ve ever read. Mark and his dog set out to climb Mt. Rainier, even if it’s the last thing they ever do. Along the way, Mark meets people who both help him and hurt him, showing him the good and the bad in the world, but ultimately changing his perspective on death. Honest, beautiful, and real, this is a book everyone should read.” —Anna Billings, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA
** See the ABA Book Buyers Handbook for a special offer on this title, available from September 1, 2014, to January 27, 2015.

The Last Dragon Charmer 1: Villain Keeper, by Laurie McKay
(HarperCollins, 9780062308436, $16.99, available January)
“What starts as a typical adventure story of a young prince being sent on a quest to slay a dragon with a faithful steed at his side suddenly turns upside down when the prince, his horse, and a young sorceress are plummeted to another realm — contemporary Asheville, North Carolina! This is the fresh and delightful setup for much adventure, humor, and education to come. It turns out that there is some magic — not all of it good — in this new realm of Asheville, and Prince Caden, Brynne, and Sir Horace (the horse) quickly get involved in solving the mystery of a missing local girl even as they try to find a way back to their own realm.” —Leslie Hawkins, Spellbound Children’s Books, Asheville, NC

The Map to Everywhere, by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316240772, $17)
“When Marrill climbs aboard the ship that appears in the middle of a desert parking lot, she’s thinking only of helping her mother, not saving the world. Soon she has sailed far from home and into an unknown world where her only chance at returning home is the magical Map to Everywhere. Marrill, together with a decidedly forgettable master thief named Fin, a curiously tattooed Pirate Stream captain, and a determined wizard, must traverse remarkable and sometimes dangerous lands to locate the map that will save — or possibly destroy — those that seek it. The Map to Everywhere is full of adventure, humor, and heart and readers will quickly fall for tenacious Marrill and the unforgettably forgettable Fin.” —Sara Grochowski, Brilliant Books, Traverse City, MI

For Teens

All Fall Down: An Embassy Row Novel, by Ally Carter
(Scholastic Press, 9780545654746, $17.99, available January)
“Three years ago, Grace saw a man kill her mother. Now that she’s back in the U.S. Embassy in Adria with her grandfather, the Ambassador, she is determined to find the killer and make him pay. But her grandfather insists that her mother died in an accident, so readers are not sure what is true and what Grace has been imagining. Carter once again has created a strong teenage girl who is smart and fearless, but this time she may not be fully in touch with reality. Well-drawn supporting characters and a well-crafted mystery make this a perfect new series for teen readers.” —Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

The Bane Chronicles, by Cassandra Clare
(Margaret K. McElderry Books, 9781442495999, $22.99)
“Magnus Bane is a warlock — an immortal whose life crosses with the short lives of humans, Shadowhunters, Downworlders, and demons. Now, author Clare has joined forces with beloved YA writers Sarah Rees Brennan and Maureen Johnson to share climactic moments in Bane’s centuries-long life. Fans of Clare’s Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series will revel in these biographical vignettes, and newcomers will definitely fall in love with Magnus Bane.” —Tess Williams, Eagle Harbor Book Company, Bainbridge Island, WA

Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen, by Garth Nix
(HarperCollins, 9780061561559, $18.99)
“I was excited and apprehensive of a new Old Kingdom novel — the first three were incredibly important to me as a youngster and I have fond memories of reading them under the covers with a flashlight. Let it be said now — I devoured this book in much the same way! Clariel is a young adult novel with adult complexity, and Nix does a fantastic job of living up to the promises made in the original three novels. Any more and I’d give too much away!” —Demi Marshall, BookPeople, Austin, TX

The Doubt Factory, by Paolo Bacigalupi
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316220750, $18)
The Doubt Factory is a complex, intelligent thriller. With themes involving the pharmaceutical industry, bad science, and the companies that orchestrate cover-ups, this book is intriguing, relevant, and boasts a broad variety of bright, if not totally law abiding, teens. Bacigalupi knows how to present believable characters of both genders, and the variety of racial backgrounds is refreshingly accurate. A great, important read!” —Flannery Fitch, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future, by A.S. King
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316222723, $18)
“Glory O’Brien’s best friend lives on a commune, her dad never leaves the couch, and all she has left of her mom are memories, an interest in photography, and a basement darkroom. High school is coming to an end, but Glory’s future doesn’t look like much — until a spontaneous decision unexpectedly results in Glory gaining the ability to see people’s pasts and futures. King’s fantastic novel slips easily between Glory’s ordinary life and her terrifying visions, which she records, hoping to stop a horrible future that only she can see. Unabashedly feminist and wickedly smart, I can’t recommend this novel highly enough.” —Molly Templeton, WORD, Brooklyn, NY

How It Went Down, by Kekla Magoon
(Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, 9780805098693, $17.99)
“This is a powerful look at ‘what goes down’ when a 16-year-old black boy in a hoodie is shot by a white man. Was it defense against a gang incident? Was it a man stopping a robbery gone wrong? Was it being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Or was it none of these? Just when you think you have all the pieces in place and the perspective to know what happened, a new piece of information is inserted into the mix by one of the multiple voices used to tell this story, sending you another direction. An impressive and important book, with superb and unique voices throughout and a plot torn from today’s headlines.” —Lisa Christie, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT

In Real Life, by Cory Doctorow and Jen Wang
(First Second, 9781596436589, $17.99)
“In this graphic novel, Anda is a gamer, but in a world dominated by boys she is forced to play using male-gendered avatars. A chance encounter with a Chinese teenager named Raymond who is working as a gold farmer in the game so he can survive in the real world makes Anda realize her ignorance of other players’ lives outside of the game. After she encourages Raymond to strike for health insurance and it costs him his job, Anda tries everything she can to clear his name in both the real and virtual landscape. Insightful writing and striking illustrations make In Real Life a must-read.” —Clarissa Hadge, Trident Booksellers & Café, Boston, MA

Stone Cove Island, by Suzanne Myers
(Soho Teen, 9781616954376, $17.99)
“A catastrophic hurricane devastates Stone Cove Island, located off the coast of New England. As the islanders pull together to rebuild, 17-year-old Eliza discovers a typewritten letter when she volunteers to clean out the island lighthouse. Eliza soon learns her mother’s best friend drowned 25 years ago and was apparently murdered. No one was arrested and the islanders decided to bury the secret. But why? Eliza, with the help of Charlie, a school mate, is determined to solve the murder, but no islander answers her questions. This is a stunning debut mystery that will attract young adult and adult readers alike.” —Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

Talon, by Julie Kagawa
(Harlequin Teen, 9780373211395, $17.99)
Talon revisits the age-old concept of dragons and mankind living together. Ember, a dragon, is chosen to blend into society by ‘shifting’ into human form. When a 16-year-old girl befriends a soldier from Talon’s enemy, St. George, she discovers that the bonds of love are far more powerful than any forces drawing them apart. Told through multiple first-person views, this novel blows The Hunger Games and Divergent out of the water!” —Ayden Bird, Out West Books, Grand Junction, CO

Unbroken: An Olympian’s Journey From Airman to Castaway to Captive — The Young Adult Adaptation, by Laura Hillenbrand
(Delacorte Press, 9780385742511, $19.99)
Unbroken tells the remarkable story of former Olympic runner Louis Zamperini and his experiences during WWII. When the U.S. became involved in the war, Zamperini joined the Army Air Corps. He showed incredible courage, resilience, and determination in order to survive a plane crash and being a castaway in the Pacific Ocean and a prisoner of war in the custody of the Japanese. Zamperini’s story is an emotional roller coaster and impossible to put down.” —Rebecca Olson, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

The Walled City, by Ryan Graudin
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316405058, $18)
“Based on a real place, Graudin’s novel weaves a fast-paced and ruthless world together with hope and the beauty of the human spirit. If readers are expecting just another adventure or thriller, they need to think again; this book deals with a real issue — human trafficking — with skillful writing, strong voices, and well-developed characters. Please read this important book!” —Caitlin Ek, Mrs. Nelson’s Book Fair Company, Pomona, CA

Zodiac, by Romina Russell
(Razorbill, 9781595147400, $17.99)
“Each of the 12 Zodiac constellations is inhabited by people who embody that sign’s characteristics. Divided by their own natures, each house is guided by individuals proficient in reading portents in the stars. Only one girl sees the threat that comes for them all, and only she can foresee that to survive the challenges ahead, all the houses must once again learn to trust one another.” —Valerie Campbell, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC