The Winter 2017–2018 Kids’ Indie Next List Preview

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Here is a preview of the titles on the Winter 2017–2018 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 42 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 top 10 Kids’ Indie Next List titles are also available on downloadable shelf-talkers.

The nomination deadline for the Spring Kids’ Indie Next List is January 11, 2018. The list will focus on titles published between February 1 and April 30, 2018. Nominations may be submitted via e-mail, the online nomination form, or through Edelweiss or NetGalley.

The Winter 2017–2018 Kids’ Indie Next Great Reads

The Top Ten

1. Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
(Dutton Books for Young Readers, 9780525555360, $19.99)
Turtles All the Way Down has all the hallmarks of John Green’s work: an elusive mystery, offbeat but endearing friendships, and a healthy worship of nerd culture (this time Star Wars fan fiction). This long-awaited new novel is an intimate examination of living with mental illness, an issue which with Green shares a personal relationship. Avid fans can expect to laugh, cry, and pass this book on to everyone they know; Green’s words are the kind that are best shared.” —Sami Thomason, Square Books, Oxford, MS

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert (Indies Introduce)
(Flatiron Books, 9781250147905, $16.99, available January)
“Bad luck bites at the heels of Alice and her mother wherever they go. It only manages to get worse once they find out that Alice’s grandmother, an author of dark fairy tales, has died. After her mother is abducted by a character from her grandmother’s fairy tales, Alice has to enlist the help of Ellery Finch, one of her grandmother’s super-fans with his own motives to assist her. Dark, intriguing, and absolutely wonderful, The Hazel Wood is bound to pull in any reader and not let go.” —Jordan April, the river’s end bookstore, Oswego, NY

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316310277, $18.99, available January)
“The intersection of faerie and human worlds has long been one of Black’s favorite places. In The Cruel Prince, Jude and her two sisters came to the High Court after their mother’s brutal murder. Desperate to fit in and truly belong in the beguiling, tempting, dark faerie world, Jude is willing to do almost anything, and her choices put her on a dangerous path. Once again, Holly Black entices and enchants readers.” —Margaret Neville, The King’s English, Salt Lake City, UT

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed (Indies Introduce)
(Soho Teen, 9781616958473, $18.99, available January)
“Sometimes you pick up a book that makes you laugh. Sometimes you pick up a book that makes you cry. Sometimes you pick up a book that makes you love. And sometimes, just sometimes, you are lucky enough to pick up a book that makes you do all three. Love, Hate & Other Filters is that book. It is filled with the power of expectations. Some are expectations Maya sets for herself, some are expectations her parents place upon her, and some are expectations that classmates jump to because of prejudice. Ahmed has written a book that will sucker-punch you with emotions — much like teen life, it is cute one minute and raw the next. It is a masterpiece.” —Rachel Strolle, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL

Just Like Jackie by Lindsey Stoddard (Indies Introduce)
(HarperCollins, 9780062652911, $16.99, available January)
“Robinson loves her grandfather more than anything, even more than her three favorite things: baseball, fixing cars, and making maple syrup. Her grandfather is the only family she has, or so she believes, until a school project makes Robinson rethink what family really means. Robinson is a little girl with a giant spirit and personality who just wants to live up to her namesake, Jackie Robinson. This sweet story is a home run in my eyes.” —Holly Alexander, The Book Stall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka, IL

The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis (Indies Introduce)
(Balzer + Bray, 9780062659002, $17.99, available January)
The Dangerous Art of Blending In is a beautiful, captivating, and heartbreaking story about a teenage boy, Evan, overcoming extensive abuse at the hands of his parents. Evan can’t help but feel like an outsider due to his immigrant status and his sexuality. This book is uplifting and hopeful through to the end, which is astounding given the content. It breaks my heart that this is based on the author’s own childhood, but I am so glad that he has chosen to share his story. It will be a great resource for teens who are struggling with abuse, their own sexuality, or feeling like an outsider.” —Kristen Beverly, Half Price Books, Dallas, TX

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon (Indies Introduce)
(Simon Pulse, 9781481497732, $17.99, available January)
“Twins Tovah and Adina are completely different in almost every way. Their one commonality? The genes they share with their dying mother. Each twin has a 50/50 chance that their bright future may be cut short with the same genetic disorder, and, now 18, they can finally find out their fate. After the genetic test results are in, they have to reexamine what it means to live and to be ready to die. This is an honest and heartwarming story about luck, love, and trusting your fate.” —Kim Bissell, Broadway Books, Portland, OR

My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson
(Candlewick Press, 9780763695088, $15.99)
“In the vein of I Am Malala and The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind comes this fascinating novel featuring a young Cuban girl, a Brigadista, sharing her love of books and reading in Fidel Castro’s Cuba. This beautiful, powerful, and surprising book gives insight into a Cuba most Americans have never seen and into the life of a young girl willing to risk everything she has to share her love of the written word with others.” —Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC

The Very Very Very Long Dog by Julia Patton
(Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 9781492654452, $17.99)
“Bartelby doesn’t know that his bottom is causing mischief and mayhem throughout the city when he is taken on his daily walk. He is, after all, a very, very, very long dog and just can’t tell where his bottom is! But Bartelby has the best kind of friends — they love him just the way he is and are there to help! Readers will love their solution to Bartelby’s bottom problem. Author and illustrator Julia Patton’s The Very Very Very Long Dog is sure to delight all young readers with its heartwarming story of friendship and unique illustrations. This is an adorable story about an adorable dog and his wonderful friends.” —Emily Clare, Purple Tree Books, Cheboygan, MI

Love by Matt de la Peña, Loren Long (Illus.)
(G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 9781524740917, $17.99, available January)
“Love is all around us, and it shines brightly through Matt de la Peña’s gorgeous words and Loren Long’s beautiful, inclusive illustrations. This book is a great way to teach little ones about love and would make a perfect gift for loved ones of any age. This is a book to treasure.” —Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

For Ages 4 to 8

Bear and Wolf by Daniel Salmieri
(Enchanted Lion Books, 9781592702381, $18.95, available February)
Bear and Wolf is a quiet, meditative walk through a snowy forest with two friends who have in common a love of cold and silence. Salmieri’s expressive illustrations lend an air of mystery and warmth to this spellbinding wintry stroll.” —Hannah DeCamp, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

The Digger and the Flower by Joseph Kuefler
(Balzer + Bray, 9780062424334, $17.99, available January)
“This is a lovely story about gentleness and caring. I love that it combines construction equipment —often seen as very physical and clamorous — with tenderness and emotion. Digger’s sweetness and dedication to beauty and nurturing will inspire!” —Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, WA

Edie Is Ever So Helpful by Sophy Henn
(Philomel Books, 9780399548062, $16.99, available January)
“I always enjoy Sophy Henn’s sweet characters and bright use of color. Like many kiddos, Edie is a little bit over the top sometimes. Kids and parents will recognize themselves in Edie Is Ever So Helpful and be delighted by the story!” —Johanna Albrecht, Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC

Elephant & Piggie Like Reading! It’s Shoe Time! by Bryan Collier, Mo Willems
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781484726471, $9.99)
“Another rambunctious addition to the Elephant & Piggie universe featuring great puns worthy of the new series. I especially liked seeing a protagonist of color!” —Summer Laurie, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA

Elmore by Holly Hobbie
(Random House Books for Young Readers, 9781524718633, $17.99, available January)
“Elmore is a porcupine covered with prickly quills that make it a little difficult for him to make friends. Though he enjoys solitude, he longs for some company. While talking with his uncle about the issue, he has a brilliant idea: to make quill pens for all of his forest peers! The critters love their new pens and write him wonderful notes. Elmore understands that the forest critters are only afraid of the quills because they are new and unfamiliar. His lovely idea introduces his quills to his potential friends in a positive light. Bonus: Hundred Acre Wood-reminiscent illustrations that will make you warm inside.” —Bianca Walters, The Book Table, Oak Park, IL

Grandma’s Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9781524714314, $17.99, available January)
“Grandma Mimi is coming for a visit and the little girl narrator can’t wait to go through her purse. Bright, fun illustrations bring all of grandma’s treasures to life and the dialogue between grandmother and grandchild shows us the kinds of things the two enjoy together. This would make a fantastic addition to any story time, especially if you add a real purse and props.” —Angela Whited, Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, MN

Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers
(Philomel Books, 9780399167898, $19.99)
“I am so excited to start hand-selling this amazing, outstanding, scientifically gorgeous book to our customers! It’s a work of art and will be immensely useful for parents, grandparents, teachers, and especially our small customers. Magnificent!” —Karen Bakshoian, Letterpress Books, Portland, ME

How to Find an Elephant by Kate Banks, Boris Kulikov (Illus.)
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers, 9780374335083, $16.99)
“In How to Find an Elephant, Mr. Kulikov’s illustrations cleverly hide the elephant our hero is searching for, and the colors are sweet and fine. But Ms. Banks’ words, including instructions on how best to find an elephant, lead a young reader through the jungle with a rocking beat. Don’t forget the crickets, which will sing you to sleep!” —Rene Kirkpatrick, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

Lola Dutch by Kenneth Wright, Sarah Jane Wright (Illus.)
(Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books, 9781681195513, $17.99, available January)
“I love that this book supports creativity and hands-on experience, and also learning — diving head-first into anything you’re interested in! What a wonderful message for young learners. And the best part: the jacket flap unfolds to be a dollhouse. They really pulled out all the stops with this book. It’s a classic in the making!” —Alison Nolen, Linden Tree Children’s Books, Los Altos, CA

Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen: The Story of Six Novels, Three Notebooks, a Writing Box, and One Clever Girl by Deborah Hopkinson, Qin Leng (Illus.)
(Balzer + Bray, 9780062373304, $17.99, available January)
“This whimsically illustrated wonder is the perfect introduction to Jane Austen, as it focuses on her intelligence, her family, and her love of storytelling. Fans will love introducing their little ones to the great authoress.” —Sami Thomason, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Penguins Don’t Wear Sweaters! by Marikka Tamura, Daniel Rieley (Illus.)
(Nancy Paulsen Books, 9781101996966, $16.99, available January)
“This is the perfect book for the children of environmentally aware parents! I was expecting a silly story, but this book is so much more. It is a true story about how people around the world knitted sweaters for penguins after an oil spill. The author also makes a point to mention that even though it was a great movement to gain awareness of oil spills and the havoc they cause, the sweaters were not the best way to help these penguins. The simple, repetitive text mixed with the fun, graphic illustrations and the overall message of environmental awareness makes this a great read for young children.” —Emma McAndrew, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

The Pink Hat by Andrew Joyner
(Schwartz & Wade, 9781524772260, $17.99)
“For your woke little girl, here is the story of a woolly pink hat that makes several stops on its way from the knitting basket to a place in a march for women’s rights. It’s a cozy, joyful journey, exuberant every step of the way.” —Susan Kunhardt, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA

Stella Díaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez
(Roaring Brook Press, 9781626728585, $16.99, available January)
“Stella is an endearing protagonist, with all the shyness, dreams, and fascinations of childhood. While especially relevant for readers from dual-language families and schools, everyone will root for Stella as she tries to make friends, ignore the haters, and create the best animal project ever. Crossing my fingers that this becomes a series!” —Cecilia Cackley, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

This Is Not a Valentine by Carter Higgins, Lucy Ruth Cummins (Illus.)
(Chronicle Books, 9781452153742, $14.99)
This Is Not a Valentine is a love letter to what’s really important: friends. A child gives a friend small gifts of appreciation, but NOT valentines (that would be gross). This sweet, funny book is perfect for elementary classrooms. The loose illustrations are gestural and accessible and perfectly capture the awkward charm of the characters.” —Marika McCoola, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

Through With the Zoo by Jacob Grant
(Feiwel & Friends, 9781250108142, $16.99)
“Oh, the joy when you find a book that tells your story! Goat just needs some space, but he lives in a petting zoo. He finally makes his escape and finds that special place all to himself, but what he discovers is that what he really needs is balance. With delightful illustrations that add just the right amount of humor to the story, this could be my favorite book of the season!” —Joan Trygg, The Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, MN

For Ages 9 to 12

The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse by Nicholas Gannon
(Greenwillow Books, 9780062320971, $17.99)
“Archer’s friendship with Oliver and Adelaide is brilliant and remains true throughout the craziest adventures. In this Doldrums series story, Archer’s grandparents are back and under intense scrutiny from the Society. They are accused of lies and insanity, and Archer is determined to prove them innocent. Together, the three friends break through figurative and literal closed doors to reveal the truth. I definitely did not want to leave the world of the Doldrums.” —Sarah Hopkins, The Bookworm of Edwards, Edwards, CO

Escape From Aleppo by N.H. Senzai
(Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books, 9781481472173, $16.99, available January)
Escape From Aleppo is an exceptional and heart-wrenching story with beautiful prose, vivid imagery, and one incredibly resilient young girl. Although the book doesn’t shy away from Nadia’s post-traumatic stress and the hardships she encounters, Senzai manages to balance this with Nadia’s belief in stories, the goodness of others, and the positive power of religion, keeping the story realistic but not too heavy for middle-grade readers.” —Sami Thomason, Square Books, Oxford, MS

The Girl Who Saved Christmas by Matt Haig, Chris Mould (Illus.)
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9781524700447, $16.99)
“I adored A Boy Called Christmas when I read it last year, and I was so excited to see Matt Haig continuing in that same vein. The Girl Who Saved Christmas is definitely the book to give to children who love Christmas or to instill the love of Christmas into a new generation! The story, a delight to read, is fast-paced and fun, just as the last one was, with the right mix of emotional scenes, action, and comedy. And, of course, the illustrations by Chris Mould make it even better! Mould has a very Burton-esque way of illustrating that adds another layer to what you are seeing. I highly recommend this to people looking for gifts for the upcoming Christmas season.” —Will Bason, BookPeople, Austin, TX

Hamster Princess: Whiskerella by Ursula Vernon
(Dial Books, 9780399186554, $12.99, available January)
“Harriet is back again with another whisker-twister! Harriet’s castle is hosting a costume ball for the bat ambassador (much to Harriet’s chagrin) when a stunning hamster named Ella makes an appearance. Who is this mystery rodent? She hasn’t been sent an invitation... Adorable illustrations, witty dialogue, and enchanting antics ensue once again with our favorite beady-eyed heroine!” —Andrew King, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

Hope in the Holler by Lisa Lewis Tyre
(Nancy Paulsen Books, 9780399546310, $16.99, available January)
“A big-hearted, warm, inspiring story about the importance of believing in yourself and the people around you — and having the confidence to fight for your best life. Both funny and genuine, it’s a little bit of a mystery, a lot of well-developed social commentary on life in impoverished rural Appalachia, and an emotional, enjoyable read.” —Aja Martin, Indigo Bridge Books, Lincoln, NE

The Last Gargoyle by Paul Durham
(Crown Books for Young Readers, 9781524700201, $16.99, available January)
“Fans of Percy Jackson will devour this hilarious adventure story of a brave gargoyle named Penhallow (don’t call him Goyle!) and his human friend Viola. Penhallow takes seriously the protection of his Wards, the people living in the home he lives on, and when a mysterious Boneless King starts releasing all the scary creatures that go bump in the night, it is his job to get to the bottom of the problem before it is too late.” —Jessica Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

Lily’s Mountain by Hannah Moderow
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers, 9780544978003, $16.99)
“When her dad doesn’t come home from climbing Denali, 12-year-old Lily hopes to find him by retracing his route. Lily’s sister reluctantly accompanies her, but even she doesn’t believe their dad is still alive. But their plans quickly go awry as they encounter treacherous rivers and dangerous wildlife. Set in the Alaskan wilderness, this novel is part adventure and part coming-of-age. Beautifully written with a stunning setting and complex, relatable characters, Lily’s Mountain is a middle-grade adventure novel with a lot of heart.” —Erin Barker, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

Love Sugar Magic: A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano, Mirelle Ortega (Illus.)
(Walden Pond Press, 9780062498465, $16.99, available January)
“Move over, wizards! It’s time to give some brujas the spotlight. This classic tale of a left-out youngest sister getting into trouble stars Leonora, who discovers that the success of her family’s bakery is due to the magic her female relatives put into the dough. Leo is sure that she has magic, too, and despite warnings from her older sisters, she is determined to create a spell to help her best friend. Where magic is concerned, there’s always the possibility for things to go wrong...but there’s also friends and family to help put the pieces back together. Seamlessly incorporating Spanish words and Mexican-American culture, this new series is sure to be a hit with fantasy fans.” —Cecilia Cackley, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris, Lissy Marlin (Illus.)
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316391825, $16.99)
“A fun and fantastical debut sure to please fans of A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Land of Stories. Ever since Charlie’s parents disappeared when he was just a few years old, he’s been moving from place to place, becoming more proficient with magical illusions and trying to stay on his con artist uncle’s good side. When his uncle’s crooked ways finally become too much for Charlie to put up with, he strikes out on his own and meets a special group of kids, all with magical talents of their own. As Charlie grows closer to the group, he realizes he might just be discovering the kind of magic that’s eluded him for so long — love and belonging.” —Miranda McGowan, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA

The Player King by Avi
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 9781481437684, $16.99)
“In this fictionalized account of British history, a young orphan working as a scullion in a pub is taken in by a mysterious friar. After he is taught the manners and skills necessary to act the part of a prince, he challenges the King of England to the throne. Avi’s colorful vocabulary and descriptions of medieval England and Ireland combine with an intriguing plot to paint a vivid picture of 15th-century life.” —Liza Bernard, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT

Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connolly
(Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 9781492649953, $16.99, available January)
“Emmeline has a special magic skill that allows her to control the shadows that surround her, and she loves weaving shadows to play tricks on the mansion’s servants and visitors. However, Emmeline’s shadow magic causes so much trouble that even her own parents fear her. Thrilled to hear that a noble family may hold the key to a cure, Emmeline’s parents welcome them to visit and take her away — but Emmeline and her shadows have other plans. A mysterious and thrilling adventure that will pull you in and keep you reading!” —Shannon Alden, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

The Truth as Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor
(Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062491435, $16.99, available January)
“Mason Buttle is my new superhero. With one friend dead and another missing, poor Mason is the number-one suspect. Fighting against his learning disabilities, Mason finds a way to tell his story and help solve the crime. Themes of perseverance, true friendship, and self-worth are layered throughout this captivating story. I cannot recommend this book highly enough and hope it gets all the recognition it deserves!” —Nichole Cousins, White Birch Books, North Conway, NH

Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi
(Dutton Books for Young Readers, 9781101994795, $17.99)
“I adored this touching, magic-filled Persian fantasy. At times dark and disturbing, it retains the sense of whimsy and tenderness that I found so charming in Furthermore. In her job as a mordeshoor, Laylee is responsible for preparing the dead to cross over into the afterlife, a burden bigger than anyone her age should bear alone. She is a lonely but caring girl and in desperate need of some help and friendship when two strange visitors arrive in Whichwood, changing her life more than she could have imagined.” —Kelly O’Sullivan, R.J. Julia Booksellers, Madison, CT

Whistling in the Dark by Shirley Hughes
(Candlewick Press, 9780763690724, $16.99)
“Shirley Hughes is such a wonderful writer! She has mastered the middle-grade historical fiction genre, and I loved learning that much of Whistling in the Dark was based on her own memories. Anyone with an interest in World War II or good writing will love this!” —Molly Olivo, Barstons Child’s Play, Washington, DC

Winterhouse by Ben Guterson, Chloe Bristol (Illus.)
(Henry Holt and Co. Books for Young Readers, 9781250123886, $16.99, available January)
“Do you like curling up with a cup of cocoa and a puzzle on a snowy day? Winterhouse is for you. Warm and captivating, this story of a brainy orphan and a mysterious hotel is full of delightful word games, a deliciously wintery setting, and appealingly odd characters. A trip to an enchanting hotel full of secrets sends our hero, Elizabeth, on an unexpected journey to find out who she really is. Heartfelt and magical, this is a must-read for fans of Book Scavenger or the Mr. Lemoncello’s Library series. It’s the perfect book to be snowed in with!” —Moira Koskey, Green Bean Books, Portland, OR

For Teens

As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti
(Sourcebooks Fire, 9781492642312, $17.99, available January)
“To outsiders, Madison may look like an ordinary town in the middle of the Mojave Desert, but it’s anything but ordinary, because every Madison-born resident gets to go to the cave and make a wish on their 18th birthday — and that wish will come true. Eldon has seen how those requests for money, beauty, and athletic prowess, among more unique wishes, have rarely brought true happiness. Now he has to decide what to ask for on his own wishing day, knowing that what he wants more than anything — for his sister to recover from the accident that left her dying in a hospital in Las Vegas — is against the rules of wishing. Chelsea Sedoti’s layered story hooks readers from the first page.” —Carla Ketner, Chapters Books & Gifts, Seward, NE

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
(Random House Books for Young Readers, 9780399549786, $18.99, available January)
“Before he was crusading around Gotham as Batman, Bruce Wayne was just a young billionaire who wanted to help keep his city safe from the violence plaguing it. Unable to stay out of any injustices he sees, Bruce ends up doing community service in Arkham Asylum, where he meets a mysterious young prisoner who is part of a murderous group responsible for a crime wave striking the elite of Gotham. With himself a potential next target, Bruce is determined to find and stop the other members of the group still out there. Marie Lu does a great job of portraying a young Bruce Wayne while paying homage to the decades of Batman comic lore. Nightwalker is the start of Bruce becoming the caped vigilante he will be known as someday.” —Miranda McGowan, An Unlikely Story, Plainville, MA

The Chaos of Standing Still by Jessica Brody
(Simon Pulse, 9781481499187, $17.99)
“Set entirely in the Denver International Airport, The Chaos of Standing Still is an intricate, moving, funny, and thought-provoking story of coping with loss and allowing love to bloom. Underneath it all, conspiracy theories abound about the real-life and very weird paintings and sculptures at the airport. Brody is already well-established as a skilled writer of young adult and middle grade books, but this one is a real standout. Great for high school-age teens and many adults.” —Len Vlahos, Tattered Cover Book Store, Denver, CO

Everless by Sara Holland
(HarperTeen, 9780062653659, $17.99, available January)
“Welcome to a world where you can sell your blood and your time, where the rich stay young and the poor die young. Desperate to save her father, Jules returns to the one place where she is most in danger: Everless, home of the Gerlings. Holland has created complex characters and powerful women and done some impressive world-building, and each mystery that unfolds only increases the danger for Jules. As Jules discovers the truth behind the lies on which her past is built, she begins to see the world around her in a new light. A thrilling start to a new series!” —Kate Towery, The Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA

Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely
(Jimmy Patterson, 9780316555104, $17.99, available January)
“Serendipity Jones is the best marksman in her family, only because her mother is dead. While fleeing a forced marriage and an abusive father, she finds herself as the newest act in the Theatre Vespertine in the lawless border town of Cessation. With themes of climate change, dystopias, civil war, and the nature of justice, vengeance, and protection, Gunslinger Girl is a fabulous blend of Western and thriller. Pity has amazing gumption and I love how she questions her own principles as well as those around her — even in the face of destruction. With a glittering supporting cast of mobsters, politicians, and circus performers, Gunslinger Girl truly can’t miss.” —Jessica Hahl, Country Bookshelf, Bozeman, MT

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West
(HarperTeen, 9780062675774, $17.99)
“A fun, cute read about a girl in love with her best friend, but her best friend doesn’t reciprocate the feelings until it is almost too late. An easy read that would be great for a plane ride, the beach, or just to make you smile!” —Teresa Steele, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke
(Clarion Books, 9780544867857, $17.99, available January)
“Jane Sinner is smart, cynical, funny — and adrift. When she realizes that, unlike her devout parents and friends, she has never believed in God, she is thrown into a pit of despair from which she can barely escape. As she navigates her new reality with snarky asides and an imaginary shrink who should have gone into stand-up instead of psychology, she decides to seek redemption by joining a Big Brother-style reality show. A clever commentary on the gods we really worship, and a reminder that faith and love can be found in the oddest places.” —Nancy Banks, City Stacks Books and Coffee, Denver, CO

No Saints in Kansas by Amy Brashear
(Soho Teen, 9781616956837, $18.99)
“In 1959, a family of four was murdered on their rural farm in Holcomb, Kansas, and Truman Capote spent weeks in the town afterward in order to write In Cold Blood. Brashear, who grew up near Holcomb, has imagined another telling of this gruesome murder, one told by Carly, an outsider who recently moved to Holcomb. In 1959, when I was living in a rural area with my farm family, the murder of the Clutters had an enormous impact on our community. For the first time, we locked our doors at night, as did our neighbors. Brashear captures the horror that swept through the Midwest following the murder.” —Shirley Mullin, Kids Ink, Indianapolis, IN

Not Now, Not Ever by Lily Anderson
(Wednesday Books, 9781250142108, $18.99)
“This charming reimagining of The Importance of Being Earnest is the perfect summer camp book. Elliot Gabaroche has deceived her family in order to attend a cutthroat academic camp and have a shot at winning a scholarship to the host college. But just as Oscar Wilde’s characters Algernon and Jack learn that deception creates more problems than solutions, Elliot has to deal with both the joys and the challenges of living as her new alter ego, Ever. A funny, sweet look at family pressures, nerdy kids being nerdy, and teens taking risks to go for a dream.” —Cecilia Cackley, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen
(Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books, 9781681191119, $17.99, available January)
“When the power of love for others transcends hate in such a way that the world is changed, this is a world we crave. Reign the Earth, a story that will captivate all who open its pages, offers it all — none will be disappointed. This book is what fans of Renée Ahdieh and Sabaa Tahir have been waiting for.” —Janelle Smith, Auntie’s Bookstore, Spokane, WA

Renegades by Marissa Meyer
(Feiwel & Friends, 9781250044662, $19.99)
“Prodigies — people born with special powers — have been separated into two groups, villains and Renegades. After being let down by the Renegades as a child, Nova has grown up as a villain. Adrian, on the other hand, is the adopted son of two of the Renegades’ founders, and he believes in heroism wholeheartedly. When Nova becomes a Renegade to spy on their inner workings, she and Adrian end up challenging each other’s long-held beliefs about good and evil. Marissa Meyer writes superhero stories just as well as sci-fi fairy tales. I’m so glad I have the Renegades now that Cinder’s story is over.” —Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Truly Devious: A Mystery by Maureen Johnson
(Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062338051, $17.99, available January)
“Johnson delivers on everything a great YA book needs: a bit of romance, some quirky teen characters at a quirky boarding school, and a delicious murder mystery that leaves the reader guessing at every turn. I couldn’t put it down!” —Melissa Fox, Watermark Books, Wichita, KS