The Winter 2016–2017 Kids’ Indie Next List Preview

Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version

Here is a preview of the Winter 2016–2017 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 13, 2017. The spring list will focus on titles published between February 1 and April 30, 2017. 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 20162017 Kids’ Indie Next Great Reads

The Top 10

1. The Sun Is Also a Star, by Nicola Yoon
(Delacorte Press, 9780553496680, $18.99)
“Natasha and her family are 12 hours from being deported to Jamaica after living undocumented in New York City for most of her life and she’s desperate to stop the proceedings. Daniel, living in the shadow of his older brother, is about to have the most important interview of his life. Neither Natasha nor Daniel expects to meet someone new on this very important day, and they definitely don’t expect to fall in love. With the story told from alternating perspectives, readers will be hooked from the start, desperate to know what happens to Natasha and Daniel. An extraordinary story of love at a most inconvenient, yet perfect time.” —Amanda Snow, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

2. Heartless, by Marissa Meyer
(Feiwel & Friends, 9781250044655, $19.99)
“Whimsical and wonderful, Heartless captures the unique spirit of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as Meyer crafts an exciting backstory for the infamous Queen of Hearts. Although Catherine dreams of being an ordinary girl and an extraordinary baker, her future seems to lead only to marriage to the King of Hearts. Defying her parents’ expectations, the King’s affections, and the madness of destiny itself, Catherine follows her heart into the arms of a mysterious stranger and finds herself at the forefront of a battle to save her kingdom from destruction. With a romance to make readers swoon and enough adventure to keep them reading long into the night, Heartless is a fantasy not to be missed.” —Nancy Merritt, Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC

3. Short, by Holly Goldberg Sloan
(Dial Books for Young Readers, 9780399186219, $16.99, available January)
“Julia, unusually short for her age, is pressed by her mother to audition for a summer production of The Wizard of Oz, and her heartwarming adventure begins when she is cast as a Munchkin. Theater fans will love the behind-the-curtain look at a stage production: the costumes, the music, and even a bit of backstage drama! Sloan offers wonderfully unique and memorable characters to support Julia throughout rehearsals and the play’s entire run. By saying ‘yes’ to opportunity, this spunky star experiences a magical summer that she — and readers — will never forget. Brimming with wisdom and humor, Short is a joyful and affirming story of self-acceptance.” —Christopher Rose, The Spirit of ’76 Bookstore, Marblehead, MA

4. The Edge of Everything, by Jeff Giles
(Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 9781619637535, $18.99, available January)
The Edge of Everything has everything I look for in a great Young Adult book: a fully presented alternate world that is perfectly meshed with our own, romance, tragedy, and enough humor to keep it all balanced. Zoe’s family has been through a year of tragedy that is only compounded when Zoe and her younger brother are caught in a blizzard and have a run-in with the person who murdered their neighbors. They are saved by a man called X, a bounty hunter from the Lowlands — a form of hell. X and Zoe’s family become irretrievably intertwined, and their adventures offer a fantastic tale that will leave readers hoping this is just the first book in a series.” —Carrie Deming, The Dog Eared Book, Palmyra, NY

5. That’s Me Loving You, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Teagan White (Illus.)
(Random House Books for Young Readers, 9781101932384, $16.99, available late December)
“In a simple poem offering the reassurance of continued love despite distance, Rosenthal gives readers a beautiful gift, and White’s illustrations are wonderfully inclusive. As someone with beloved little family members far away, this book really strikes a chord! I love the portrayal of everyday experiences that can remind us of each other when we’re apart.” —Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle, WA

6. History Is All You Left Me, by Adam Silvera
(Soho Teen, 9781616956929, $18.99, available January)
“When Theo is ripped from Griffin’s life in a freak accident, the emptiness left behind sends Griffin into a downward emotional spiral. Griffin always believed that even though they broke up when Theo left for college, they would someday end up together. How can you exist when your entire world washes away beneath you? Silvera’s book is an unapologetically honest and heart-wrenchingly beautiful story about first love and loss and the cathartic process of diving headfirst into one’s grief to come out a better person on the other side. An absolutely stunning novel.” —Angelo Santini, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI

7. The Ethan I Was Before, by Ali Standish
(HarperCollins, 9780062433381, $16.99, available January)
“When tragedy strikes Ethan’s best friend, Ethan’s family is left trying to help him pick up the pieces. His parents decide that they need to start over and move in with a grandfather that Ethan has never known. Ethan must negotiate a new world, new friendships, and new family members, all while trying to put the past behind him and learning how to forgive not only his family, but also himself. Half To Kill a Mockingbird, half Bridge to Terabithia, and all heart, The Ethan I Was Before will affect readers in a very special and lasting way.” —Katherine Megna-Weber, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA

8. A Greyhound, A Groundhog, by Emily Jenkins, Chris Appelhans (Illus.)
(Schwartz & Wade, 9780553498059, $17.99, available January)
“With a nod to Ruth Krauss’ playful use of language, Jenkins’ text in this delightful whirl of a book rhythmically spins round, tying the reader’s tongue as it bounces along without ever becoming tiresome or repetitive. Appelhans’ spare watercolor illustrations complement the prose perfectly — his greyhound and groundhog are joyously expressive, full of movement and unbound by gravity. As the rhyme becomes more and more frenzied, the illustrations gradually reveal more colors, going from the ‘grey dog’ and ‘brown hog’ to a riot of purples, pinks, yellows, and more. A Greyhound, A Groundhog is a clever exploration of language that encourages play and silliness in its readers. Sure to be a storytime hit!” —Hannah DeCamp, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

9. The Diabolic, by S.J. Kincaid
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781481472678, $17.99)
Interstellar meets The Hunger Games meets The Terminator in The Diabolic, a fast-paced thrill ride of a novel with twists unlike any other. Nemesis is a Diabolic, a humanoid creature engineered to have one purpose in life: to defend Sidonia, the kind-hearted daughter of a powerful but heretical senator. When the power-crazed emperor calls Sidonia to court to punish her father, Nemesis goes in her place and finds herself in the most worrisome of predicaments — not only is her life (and Sidonia’s) in danger, but she is also beginning to exhibit the most terrifying of human conditions — emotions — for which she has never been programmed. An exciting and addictive read!” —Kelly Morton, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

10. Trouble Makes a Comeback, by Stephanie Tromly
(Kathy Dawson Books, 9780525428411, $17.99)
“Digby and Zoe are back and in more trouble than ever in this sequel to Trouble Is a Friend of Mine. Zoe is confused and hurt after not hearing from Digby for months, but she moves on to a new group of friends, a new job, and even a new boyfriend. When Digby comes back to town with a convoluted — and highly dangerous — plan to find his sister, he immediately turns Zoe’s new life upside down. Struggling to balance her new priorities, Zoe has to decide: if the trouble Digby’s return brings is worth it. With high-stakes action and witty dialogue, this book is sure to delight anyone who loved the first book as well as those who are new to Digby and Zoe.” —Sami Thomason, Square Books, Oxford, MS

For Ages 4 – 8

A Celebration of Beatrix Potter: Art and Letters by More Than 30 of Today’s Favorite Children’s Book Illustrators
(Warne, 9780241249437, $25)
“In this gorgeous collection, renowned children’s book illustrators provide their own take on a favorite Beatrix Potter story and share what the character and story mean to them. A stunning 150th birthday celebration of one of the most cherished author/illustrators of children’s literature.” —Hana Boxberger, Village Books, Bellingham, WA

Chicken Story Time, by Sandy Asher, Mark Fearing (Illus.)
(Dial Books for Young Readers, 9780803739444, $17.99)
“Apparently, everyone loves story time — both children and chickens! But what happens when you keep adding more chickens and more children to the festivities? Chaos, and lots of clucking! Will the librarian figure out how to bring calm back to the library? A fun — and noisy — new story time classic!” —Debbie Buck, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA

Fox and the Jumping Contest, by Corey R. Tabor
(Balzer + Bray, 9780062398741, $17.99)
“As soon as a picture book includes depictions of adorable, fuzzy forest animals, I am almost always sold, and this book is no exception! With comically cute and colorful illustrations, this story about forest animals having a jumping competition features a trickster fox that will do anything to win. An energetic debut from Tabor with a witty resolution that kids will love.” —Meg Hughey, Bookbug, Kalamazoo, MI

The Friend Ship, by Kat Yeh, Chuck Groenink (Illus.)
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781484707265, $16.99)
“A lonely hedgehog desires nothing more in the world than to have a friend. When she hears rumors of the Friend Ship, she sets out on a boat to find it. She meets other solitary animals along the way who ask to join her on this most important of journeys, but their search proves fruitless until Hedgehog looks around her full ship and realizes exactly where the Friend Ship is. This simple, beautifully illustrated tale shows that if you open your heart, what you seek might just be right in front of you.” —Melissa Posten, The Novel Neighbor, Webster Groves, MO

I Will Love You Anyway, by Mick Inkpen, Chloë Inkpen (Illus.)
(Aladdin, 9781481470995, $17.99)
“The author of the beloved Kipper series is joined by his illustrator daughter to tell the delightful tale of a pug who just can’t seem to do anything right. Dog is very naughty and won’t stop running away, but when he finds himself lost and alone he learns that there is one person he can always count on. A heartwarming story of family and unconditional love.” —Jennifer Schreiber, Reader’s Guide, Salem, OR

I’ll Wait, Mr. Panda, by Steve Antony
(Scholastic Press, 9781338028362, $16.99)
“The star of Please, Mr. Panda is back with a story that’s even better than the first. In a fun twist on the Little Red Hen story, everyone is curious about what Mr. Panda is making, but animal after animal loses patience until a penguin declares, ‘I’ll wait, Mr. Panda,’ and is rewarded with a delicious treat. Adorable illustrations enhance this tale about the value of patience and the importance of saying ‘thank you.’” —Erin Barker, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

Little Big Girl, by Claire Keane
(Dial Books for Young Readers, 9780803739123, $17.99)
“Former Disney animator Keane has created a touching book about an older sister’s love for her new baby brother. Matisse is a little girl in a big world, but when she meets her baby brother, she realizes that she isn’t little at all — she’s a big sister! This refreshing tale of unconditional sibling love is perfect for growing families to share.” —Sarah Carr, McIntyre’s Fine Books, Pittsboro, NC

Little Penguins, by Cynthia Rylant, Christian Robinson (Illus.)
(Schwartz & Wade, 9780553507706, $17.99)
Little Penguins is the literary equivalent of a cup of steaming hot cocoa and a warm blanket on an early winter evening. Newbery medalist Rylant’s sparse text and Caldecott honor-winning Robinson’s stunning cut paper snowflake illustrations make this simple tale of five little penguins excitedly preparing for an excursion in the deep, chilly snow a perfect bedtime read-aloud!” —Niki Marion, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

NOPE, by Drew Sheneman
(Viking Books for Young Readers, 9781101997314, $17.99, available January)
“The timeless story of overcoming your fears to enrich your life is told with simple charm in this nearly wordless book. Humor punctuates the tale of a nervous little bird who has plenty of reasons not to leave the nest and a mother bird who knows that flight is worth it in the end. A sweet picture book debut by syndicated cartoonist Sheneman.” —Sarah Holt, Left Bank Books, St. Louis, MO

Plant the Tiny Seed, by Christie Matheson
(Greenwillow Books, 9780062393395, $15.99, available January)
“The author of Tap the Magic Tree and Touch the Brightest Star returns with a new interactive page-turner about the wonders of the natural world. Children are invited to wiggle their fingers to water the seeds and clap their hands to make the sun shine and shoo away a hungry snail, and are rewarded with a beautiful zinnia blossoming in a colorful garden. Wonderful!” —Kathleen Carey, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY

Plenty of Love to Go Around, by Emma Chichester Clark
(Nancy Paulsen Books, 9780399546662, $17.99)
“Plum is everyone’s special dog — that is until a new cat moves into the neighborhood. Binky is showered with attention and Plum feels left out and jealous. Binky just wants to be Plum’s friend and follows her everywhere, much to Plum’s dismay, until her family reminds Plum that she has a big heart and there is plenty of love for both of them. Perfect for families with new siblings!” —Woody Chichester, Buffalo Street Books, Ithaca, NY

The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation, by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale, LeUyen Pham (Illus.)
(Candlewick, 9780763665128, $14.99)
“Princess Magnolia is so tired. As she battles the latest monster, the mysterious Goat Avenger appears to help her out. This new hero explains the concept of a vacation to the Princess and offers to protect the goats while she takes a break. What a great idea! Magnolia heads to the beach, but it turns out that there are monsters everywhere. All the charm and humor readers have come to expect from this series is in this latest hilarious outing.” —Margaret Neville, The King’s English Bookshop, Salt Lake City, UT

Pug Man’s 3 Wishes, by Sebastian Meschenmoser
(NorthSouth, 9780735842618, $16.95)
“Grouchy Mr. Pug is having a terrible day, but when he is offered three wishes by an exuberant fairy, what he wishes for will have young readers giggling and older folks nodding in agreement. Meschenmoser, the author/illustrator of Mr. Squirrel and the Moon, again gives us his unique and hilarious take on human nature, and no one will be able to resist his wonderful pencil drawings, which so perfectly convey Pug Man’s grumpiness.” —Mary Alice Garber, Politics & Prose Bookstore and Coffeehouse, Washington, DC

Wolf in the Snow, by Matthew Cordell
(Feiwell & Friends, 9781250076366, $17.99, available January)
“In this beautiful wordless picture book, a child sets out for a walk and discovers a wolf pup separated from its pack. The journey that follows is difficult and shows the power of kindness and bravery. Reminiscent of William Steig’s Brave Irene, Cordell’s book is a perfect choice for the dark days of winter.” —Marika McCoola, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

XO, OX: A Love Story, by Adam Rex, Scott Campbell (Illus.)
(Roaring Brook Press, 9781626722880, $17.99, available January)
“A clumsy, hapless, love-struck ox. A famous, graceful, and fabulously vain gazelle. You wouldn’t think that love letters from one to the other would make for a hilarious and sweet picture book, but they do. Romance will never be the same!” —Melissa Fox, Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, KS

For Ages 9 – 12

Animals by the Numbers: A Book of Infographics, by Steve Jenkins
(HMH Books for Young Readers, 9780544630925, $17.99)
“With bold colors and bright page spreads, Jenkins uses infographics to successfully show the relationships and differences among the world’s animals, humans included. Whether the numbers are animal speeds, biomasses, tongue lengths, migration distances, extinction timelines, or even the decibel level of animal calls, Animals by the Numbers covers it all. By pairing his unique style with symbols and charts, Jenkins succeeds in making numbers and their meanings come to life in a fascinating look at the animal kingdom.” —Jennifer Oleinik, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

The Bone Sparrow, by Zana Fraillon
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781484781517, $16.99)
“Subhi is a refugee born in a camp in Australia. He lives for stories of his dad, who is not with him in the camp, where he has known only fences, mushy meals, guards, and hardship. One day a girl named Jimmie makes an appearance inside the fence. She has lost her mother and wants someone to read her mother’s diary to her. The two form a friendship, with Jimmie bringing food and love to Subhi as he creates a picture of her mother for her. The treatment of the refugees is a big part of this novel — a universal story definitely pertinent to our times.” —Paula Primavera, Covered Treasures Bookstore, Monument, CO

A Crack in the Sea, by H.M. Bouwman
(Putnam Books for Young Readers, 9780399545191, $16.99, available January)
“From the beginning, it is easy to become attached to brother and sister Pip and Kinchen, but A Crack in the Sea presents three stories with three sets of siblings who collide in this adventure in the Second World. Kidnappings, pirates, helpful sea monsters, and more than a little magic are all part of this tale, where each pair experiences the special portal between worlds — a crack in the sea.” —Molly Olivo, Barstons Child’s Play, Washington, DC

Flying Lessons & Other Stories, by Ellen Oh (Ed.)
(Crown Books for Young Readers, 9781101934593, $16.99, available January)
“This anthology, in partnership with We Need Diverse Books, features the work of favorite authors, including Kwame Alexander, Jacqueline Woodson, Matt de la Peña, Grace Lin, Walter Dean Myers, and others, all celebrating both the uniqueness and the universality in all of us. The common theme throughout these stories is that success can be achieved and hardship can be overcome. An important collection for all middle grade readers!” —Abby Fennelly, Buttonwood Books & Toys, Cohasset, MA

If the Magic Fits, by Susan Maupin Schmid
(Random House Books for Young Readers, 9780553533668, $16.99)
“Darling Dimple, an 11-year-old orphan, works in the castle as an Under-Scrubber, scrubbing pots and pans by lantern light in the sub-basement, daydreaming and spinning adventure stories to Gillian, the Under-Dryer, and trying to stay in the good graces of the Head Scrubber, called the Supreme Scrubstress behind her back. Little does Darling know that the castle she calls home is enchanted, built by dragons, and that she is about to have the most remarkable adventure courtesy of a closet full of magical dresses. This first volume in a new series will speak to every girl’s fairy tale dreams!” —Rebecca Mattis, Phoenix Books, Essex, VT

Journey’s End, by Rachel Hawkins
(Putnam Books for Young Readers, 9780399169601, $16.99)
“Southerner and amateur ghost hunter Nolie Stanhope isn’t thrilled to be spending her summer vacation with her father in the Scottish village Journey’s End. This changes when she becomes friends with Bel McKissick and discovers a mysterious fog bank called the Boundary. When Albert Etheridge, who disappeared in 1914, reappears in the fog with no memory of how he got there and other people start disappearing, it’s up to Nolie and Bel to save the village. Journey’s End is a fun, fast-paced story of mystery, history, and friendship.” —Sami Thomason, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Molly & Pim and the Millions of Stars, by Martine Murray
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780399550409, $16.99, available January)
“When one of her mother’s potions goes wrong, Molly must puzzle out a remedy. Her mom is trapped as a tree and the only person Molly trusts to help her is a mysterious boy named Pim. Molly must embrace all the parts of her life that make her different, all the parts she carefully tries to hide from everyone. I just love the heart of this whimsical, magical adventure: the idea that that which makes you different also makes you special.” —Clarissa Murphy, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

NewsPrints, by Ru Xu
(Graphix, 9780545803120, trade paper, $12.99, available January)
“When newsboy Blue — who is really a girl — stumbles into an apprenticeship with a zany inventor and meets a boy named Crow, she doesn’t expect to be dragged into a conspiracy involving her newspaper, her country’s military, and dangerous weaponry. But Blue doesn’t mind adventure and she’s ready to protect her new friend at any cost. Ru Xu’s inventive steampunk world is the perfect backdrop for a story about choosing: choosing identity, choosing friends, and choosing to fight and protect your choices. Heartfelt and beautifully illustrated.” —Nicole Brinkley, Oblong Books & Music, Millerton, NY

Nothing But Trouble, by Jacqueline Davies
(Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062369888, $16.99)
“Maggie’s first day of sixth grade starts with a bang — a literal explosion — and the excitement builds from there as the last class to attend Odawahaka Middle School takes on a prankster, an authoritarian principal, a teacher who doesn’t care, and a giant mouse who is running for class president. In the midst of the chaos, Maggie finds a new friend, learns about honest business practices, and deepens her relationships with her grumpy grandfather and distant mother. She and her new friend also keep their school, the entire town, and readers of this fun book in a constant state of anticipation, wondering what their next prank will be. I look forward to the next book in this clever middle grade series!” —Carla Ketner, Chapters Books & Gifts, Seward, NE

Return to the Secret Garden, by Holly Webb*
(Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, 9781492639091, $16.99) *Special offer available; see Sourcebooks in the ABA Book Buyer’s Handbook for details.
“What a joy to return to the scene of a beloved children’s classic. In the dark days leading up to World War II, the orphans of the Craven Home are evacuated to Misselthwaite Manor. It is there that sad and lonely Emmie Hatton finds some happiness. The kindly gardener and loving owners of the manor offer Emmie refuge for her body and soul. The garden may no longer be secret, but it still possesses magic. Return to the Secret Garden and enjoy the wonder of childhood and the magic of friendship in this sequel that is sure to warm the hearts of young readers everywhere.” —Pamela Klinger-Horn, Excelsior Bay Books, Excelsior, MN

Ryan Quinn and the Rebel’s Escape, by Ron McGee, Chris Samnee (Illus.)
(HarperCollins, 9780062421647, $16.99)
“Eighth-grader Ryan Quinn has no idea that his parents are part of a super secret Underground Railroad-type organization that operates in many of the world’s most dangerous places. Now he must try to save both of them with the help of some of his school friends. I love the way that debut author McGee gets inside the head of his protagonist and that of his techno-geek friend, Danny. These characters ring true, the action is non-stop, and fans of adventure, spy thrillers, and just plain fun storytelling will be eagerly awaiting the next installment.” —Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

Threads, by Ami Polonsky
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781484746905, $16.99)
“Clara and her parents are mired in grief for her older sister, adopted from China, whom they lost to cancer. At the mall one day, Clara aimlessly reaches into a handbag on display only to find a note pleading for help from Yuming, a child imprisoned in a factory in China where the bag was made. Clara knows immediately that she was meant to rescue Yuming and the other children in the factory. The story, told from each child’s perspective, is riveting and deeply moving. What a wonderful opportunity for American readers to get an eye-opening look at the bitter reality for some of the world’s children.” —Banna Rubinow, the river’s end bookstore, Oswego, NY

The Uncommoners #1: The Crooked Sixpence, by Jennifer Bell
(Crown Books for Young Readers, 9780553498431, $16.99, available January)
“Ivy Sparrow, just an ordinary girl living in Bletchy Scrubb with her too-cool-for-everything teenage brother Seb, is flabbergasted when she returns from visiting her grandmother at the hospital to discover that her home has been ransacked and there are odd-looking policemen standing outside wielding ... toilet brushes? A conch shell? And paper clips? The police give chase, and while trying to get away, the siblings find themselves transported — via a suitcase! — to a very strange underground market city, where bells can talk and gloves keep your promises for you. Filled with a twisty plot, well-considered secrets, and an interestingly crafted new world, this is the promising beginning of a new series.” —Alison Nolen, Linden Tree Children’s Books, Altos, CA

The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters: The Jolly Regina, by Kara LaReau, Jen Hill (Illus.)
(Amulet Books, 9781419721366, $14.95, available January)
“Sisters Kale and Jaundice Bland like living their boring life, darning socks and eating the same thing every day. But their lives are turned upside down when they are kidnapped by a band of female pirates. Will the Bland sisters survive their thrilling new life? Well, maybe with the help of their trusty dictionary, selections of which appear at the beginning of each chapter. A laugh-out-loud funny start to a new series!” —Marika McCoola, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA

The Warden’s Daughter, by Jerry Spinelli
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780375831997, $16.99, available January)
“Spinelli has done it again: offering readers another book as powerful as Maniac Magee. After her mother’s untimely death, Cammie O’Reilly is being raised by her father, a prison warden, and a string of female prison trustees. Cammie has quite a free life, and even enjoys when one of the townspeople calls her a curmudgeon. However, in the summer of 1959, when Cammie is on the cusp of becoming a teenager, her best friend begins to mature and Cammie decides that she really needs a mother. Cammie sets out to create one in the trustee Eloda, a wise woman who knows what she needs. Just when readers begin to predict the ending, Spinelli surprises us. All is not what it seems!” —Shirley Mullin, Kids Ink, Indianapolis, IN

For Teens

Allegedly, by Tiffany D. Jackson
(Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062422644, $17.99, available January)
“Nine-year old Mary B. Addison is allegedly guilty of murdering a three-month-old child who was left under her mother’s care. At the age of 16, when Mary is faced with a life-changing event, she feels that she must tell the truth about that terrible night. Desperate to do right for herself, Mary begins to talk about the relationships that hurt her and the reason she didn’t speak up for herself at the time. As secrets are revealed, readers begin to see the real Mary...but who is she? A highly addictive book that held me captive until the very end.” —Teresa Steele, Old Firehouse Books, Fort Collins, CO

Carve the Mark, by Veronica Roth
(Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062348630, $22.99, available January)
“Cyra experiences constant pain and causes pain to everyone she touches, and her brother uses her as a weapon against her will. Akos is the only person capable of interrupting Cyra’s pain, and he is captured by her brother. Cyra and Akos begin their relationship at odds but quickly grow close as they learn more about each other’s culture and set aside their preconceived notions. Carve the Mark is at once suspenseful, deeply layered, and beautifully told. Roth, the author of Divergent, has opened a stunning new series.” —Read Davidson, Harvard Book Store, Cambridge, MA

City of Saints & Thieves, by Natalie C. Anderson
(Putnam Books for Young Readers, 9780399547584, $18.99, available January)
“In Kenya, Tina — or Tiny, as she’s known to her fellow Goondas — is a hardened thief who plans a digital heist to publicly shame and then rob the man she believes killed her mother. Tina’s plan takes an unexpected turn, however, when she’s forced to question whether she actually knows who is responsible for her mother’s murder. As Tina unravels the mysteries surrounding the death, hackers, gangsters, and young love make for a fast-paced thriller.” —Marti Bruce, Bookworks of Whitefish, Whitefish, MT

The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett, by Chelsea Sedoti*
(Sourcebooks Fire, 9781492636083, $17.99, available January) *Special offer available; see Sourcebooks in the ABA Book Buyer’s Handbook for details.
“Hawthorn is an engaging young woman with a vivid imagination, even if she is a bit rude and narcissistic. She is finding her place and trying to answer a lot of life’s tough questions, and her investigation into the puzzling disappearance of Lizzie may hasten that process. With an interesting and diverse supporting cast, this novel is full of topics that are relevant to teens: bullying, self-esteem, family dynamics, and suicide. Highly recommended.” —Emily Galer, Schuler Books & Music, Grand Rapids, MI

Life in a Fishbowl, by Len Vlahos
(Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 9781681190358, $17.99, available January)
“Jared and Deidre have two loving but very different daughters, Jackie and Megan. When Jared, a state congressman, is diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, he is panicked that his family will not be cared for financially, so he decides to auction off his life to the highest bidder. An unscrupulous reality TV producer buys the right to film — and exploit — the family, but Jackie has other plans. This story is raw, unflinching, and beautiful in the midst of heartbreak. Perfect for contemporary teen fiction readers.” —Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

A List of Cages, by Robin Roe
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781484763803, $17.99, available January)
“Adam and Julian were foster brothers, but they haven’t seen each other in years. Adam is a senior just trying to finish high school, while Julian is the quiet freshman who likes to keep his secrets to himself, write stories, and stay out of trouble. Serving as an aide to the school counselor, Adam is reunited with Julian when the counselor asks him to track down the reticent student. When the truth of Julian’s living situation is revealed, both of their lives are put on the line. This raw, heartbreaking story is one that beautifully speaks to the true meaning of friendship, brotherhood, and family.” —Shannon Alden, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, MI

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case, by Patricia Hruby Powell, Shadra Strickland (Illus.)
(Chronicle Books, 9781452125909, $21.99, available January)
“Powell has written an incredibly moving account of the landmark Civil Rights case of Mildred and Richard Loving versus the State of Virginia. All this interracial couple wanted to do was marry, but to do so in the 1950s was illegal not only in Virginia, but also in 19 other states. Powell’s documentary novel, combining primary source material with free verse, adeptly captures the voices and perspectives of all the major players, both inside and outside the courtroom. As a lawyer-turned-bookseller, I am deeply impressed by Powell’s ability to clarify a complex issue while simultaneously telling a richly layered story.” —Ellen Klein, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

My Sister Rosa, by Justine Larbalestier
(Soho Teen, 9781616956745, $18.99)
“Che’s life revolves around the whims of his little sister, Rosa. Even though she seems like a beautiful and charming 10-year-old, Che knows she has a complete disregard for rules, is devoid of empathy, and has no fear of the consequences. She scares Che and he can’t convince his parents to see what he sees in his ‘psychopathic’ sister. When the family’s move to New York City begins to go horribly wrong but also very right for Che, he begins to discover more about his family and himself than he may be prepared to deal with. With a unique cast of characters and carefully plotted writing, My Sister Rosa is a fascinating thriller!” —Jessica Perez, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

Of Fire and Stars, by Audrey Coulthurst, Jordan Saia (Illus.)
(Balzer + Bray, 9780062433251, $17.99)
“This book has it all: political intrigue, mysterious assassinations, characters bursting with personality, and queer teens in love. It is an excellent read with great pacing, fascinating world-building, and social tensions that have nothing to do with queer love and everything to do with secret magical gifts and duty to one’s kingdom over that of one’s heart. Wonderful for readers of Malinda Lo and Kristin Cashore.” —Gretchen Treu, A Room of One’s Own, Madison, WI

Scythe, by Neal Shusterman
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781442472426, $18.99)
“In the future, people no longer age or die. All diseases have been eradicated, people are immortal, and everyone is the age they want to be, but there is a catch. Since no one dies naturally, a society of reapers, called scythes, keeps the population under control. Every year they are given a quota to fill, a certain number of people that they must ‘glean’ in order to keep the world from overflowing. Citra and Rowen are young apprentices who are fighting to be scythes, a position neither of them really wants. In order to win, they must learn all the ways of taking a life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own. This is the first book in a new series from the award-winning Shusterman.” —Kris Stephens, Watermark Books & Café, Wichita, KS

Spindle, by E.K. Johnston
(Disney-Hyperion, 9781484722282, $18.99)
“Generations ago, the Storyteller Queen saved her kingdom by driving the demon out of her husband and into a prison. But the prison is crumbling and the demon is regaining her power. This is a beautiful book about finding home when one’s home is lost, the power of creation, and of love, servitude, and the intersection of the two. A true masterpiece in which real magic is found in simple choices and the bonds you create.” —Rachel Bellavia, Read Between the Lynes, Woodstock, IL

Trish Trash #1: Rollergirl of Mars, by Jessica Abel
(Papercutz, 9781629916149, $14.99)
“This is everything I want in a graphic novel: a protagonist who is not willing to give up on her dreams, in a rollicking adventure in a science fiction world. This first book in a projected trilogy is highly relatable with enough action to keep the reader interested, but not overwhelmed. I can’t wait to read more of Trish’s adventures!” —Clarissa Hadge, Trident Booksellers & Café, Boston, MA