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The Indie Next List (formerly Book Sense Picks) for children is a seasonal selection of eclectic new books chosen by independent booksellers.

Winter 2013

Fall 2012

Summer 2012

Spring 2012

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Winter 2011

Fall 2010

Summer 2010

Spring 2010

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Fall 2009

Summer 2009

Spring 2009

Winter 2008/2009

— Fall 2008

— Spring 2008

Fall 2007

— Summer 2007

Favorites of 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten

1.Revolution
by Jennifer Donnelly (Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
“Andi Alpers is a girl lost in a dark labyrinth of depression since the tragic death of her younger brother. A visit to Paris with her estranged father leads Andi to the discovery of a long-lost Revolutionary-era journal and an obsession with the author's quest to save the life of a young prince. The mix of historical and modern drama creates a gripping tale of two girls, centuries apart, searching for redemption.”
—Sandy Scott, The Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, VT


2. Snook Alone
Marilyn Nelson, Timothy Basil Ering (Illus.) (Candlewick)
“Snook Alone is the tale of a beloved rat terrier, the companion of a gentle monk who has been asked to catalog the plant and animal species of their small part of the Indian ocean. When the two are separated by ferocious weather, Snook must wait out the storm alone. The warmth of affection, the beauty of the Indian Ocean, the wonder of exploration, the tension of waiting -- all are captured superbly in this marvel of a picture book.”
—Kenny Brechner, Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers, Inc., Farmington, ME

3. Nightshade
Andrea Cremer (Philomel)
“Just when you thought you had enough of werewolves, along comes Nightshade, which turns the genre on its head. High school cliques take on a new meaning with wolves and their packs. This story is full of twists, suspense, and betrayal. You will be caught between two boys: one human, and one werewolf. The ending will shock you and leave you begging for more!”
—Hallie Wilkins, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL

 

4. Zora and Me
Victoria Bond, T.R. Simon (Candlewick)
“Because I live in Florida and this novel features a young Zora Neale Hurston, I was intrigued, but this book's charm extends far beyond race and state lines. On one hand it is a great little adventure story, complete with real gators and ghostly soul-stealing Gator Men. But spooky tales pale beside the ugly truths of bigotry and injustice in turn-of-the-century small-town Florida, and murder finds its way to their all-black Eden of Eatonville. Like the best of children's literature, the lessons of community, love, and pride are found in these pages, wrapped in a riveting story children will remember.”
—Leslie Reiner, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

5. Linger
Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic Press)
“This second book in The Wolves of Mercy Falls series is no less magical than the first, Shiver. Sam is trying to adjust to being a full-time human and the leader of the pack of winter wolves as an early spring thaw occurs. Some of the new members are having problems, and Grace seems to be suffering from the same sort of illness. The sense of a 'ticking clock' is prevalent in this book, and the cliffhanger ending will have readers baying at the moon, waiting for the next installment!”
—Jackie Blem, Tattered Cover Bookstore, Denver, CO

6. On the Blue Comet
Rosemary Wells, Bagram Ibatoulline (Illus.) (Candlewick)
“Bring back the trains! Eleven-year-old Oscar falls into an old Lionel electric train set and finds himself actually aboard the Blue Comet train on his way to Chicago! Transferring there to the Golden State Limited, he is on his way to California to find his father, who has gone there to find work. With both humor and suspense, Wells has crafted a fast-paced tale of courage during a time when dreams were about the only things most people owned. A heck of a ride!”
—Sue Carita, The Toadstool Bookshop, Milford, NH

7. Extraordinary
Nancy Werlin (Dial)
“What on the surface is a highly enjoyable story of suspense involving a covert mission of faery siblings and the mysterious debt that must be paid by a human teen, becomes a subtle yet vital examination of dating violence and esteem issues in adolescent girls. This should be on high school reading lists everywhere. Extraordinary, indeed!”
—Beth Simpson, Cornerstone Books, Salem, MA

8. Children Make Terrible Pets
Peter Brown (Little, Brown Young Readers)
“Lucy the bear is so excited when she finds a little boy in the woods! She immediately scoops him up, carries him home, and pleads with her mother to be allowed to keep him. But Mama Bear is not so sure about this arrangement -- everyone knows that children make terrible pets! Against her better judgment, Lucy's mother allows the little critter to stay. Squeaker seems to be the perfect pet, until one day he disappears! Lucy frantically searches high and low until she discovers a house not entirely unlike her own, where Squeaker has a family and -- gasp! -- a pet of his very own.”
—Megan Graves, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

9. Touch Blue
Cynthia Lord (Scholastic Press)
“When foster children are sought by families living on a small island off the coast of Maine in an attempt to increase enrollment enough to save their tiny school, 11-year old Tess can't wait to have a big brother from the mainland. However, Aaron, a young musician, is less than happy to become an island-dweller far from all that he knows. Both have much to learn about change, strength and finding true happiness within themselves.”
—Jeanne Snyder, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

10.Fat Vampire: A Never Coming of Age Story
Adam Rex (Balzer + Bray)
“What if you were 15, chubby, and unpopular when you were accidentally turned into a vampire? Suddenly immortality doesn't sound so hot. How do you get a girl to let you drink her blood? How do you live with the humiliation of drinking from very unsexy farm animals? Do you let the vampire take over? Is that giving up, or just another part of growing up? With numerous mentions that speak to our inner nerds -- ComicCon, all kinds of superheroes, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, not to mention 'The Google' as a disease -- Fat is fantastic!”
—Katherine Fergason, Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, MA

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Ages 4 to 8

Snook Alone
by Marilyn Nelson, Timothy Basil Ering (Illus.) (Candlewick)
“Snook Alone is the tale of a beloved rat terrier, the companion of a gentle monk who has been asked to catalog the plant and animal species of their small part of the Indian Ocean. When the two are separated by ferocious weather, Snook must wait out the storm alone. The warmth of affection, the beauty of the Indian Ocean, the wonder of exploration, the tension of waiting -- all are captured superbly in this marvel of a picture book”
—Kenny Brechner, Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers, Inc., Farmington, ME

Bats at the Ballgame
Brian Lies (Houghton Mifflin)
“Someone heard my chants of 'MORE BATS! MORE BATS!' Lies brings back his nocturnal charmers, this time for a rollicking trip to a baseball game. Grab a mothdog and some Cricket Jack and settle in for a wonderful time.”
—Melissa Posten, Pudd'nhead Books, Webster Groves, MO

A Bedtime for Bear
Bonny Becker, Kady MacDonald Denton (Illus) (Candlewick)
“Like Frog and Toad before them, this seemingly mis-matched duo of curmudgeonly Bear and winsome Mouse make for a charming pair of fast friends. Once again, Bear receives a somewhat unwelcome visitor when Mouse arrives unexpectedly for a sleepover, interrupting Bear's evening routine. However, an understanding friend turns out to be just what Bear needs to get a good night's sleep. Denton's expressive watercolors and Becker's pitch-perfect, funny story work together perfectly to make this another great read aloud, in this follow-up picture book to their E.B.White Read Aloud Award-winning A Visitor for Bear.”
—Lauren Mayer, University Book Store, Seattle, WA

Bink and Gollie
Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee (Candlewick Press)
“Any new book by Kate DiCamillo or Alison McGhee is cause for celebration---but when they write a book together it kicks the party up a notch! Bink and Gollie are the best of friends even though they are polar opposites when it comes to height, taste in socks and the meaning of compromise. This book for emerging readers is rife with memorable language ('I long for speed'; 'use your gray matter'; 'the finger has spoken') which you may find creeping into your own vocabulary. Most of all, it's a bonanza of friendship and imagination!”
—Collette Morgan, Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, MN

Brontorina
James Howe, Randy Cecil (Illus.) (Candlewick)
“What happens when a very large, ballet loving, dinosaur wants to come to dance class? Well, in this touching book about acceptance, the dinosaur gets to dance, eventually. Brontorina, who even sounds like a dancer”
—Josie Leavitt, Flying Pig Children's Books, Charlotte, VT

The Carnival of the Animals (Book and CD)
Jack Prelutsky, Mary GrandPre (Illus.) (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
“The Carnival of the Animals is a beautiful book of poetry by Jack Prelutsky. Mary GrandPre's whimsical and vibrant illustrations are perfect visuals for Prelutsky onomatopoeic poetry. Prelutsky's inspiration for this timeless book was the music of Camille Saint-Saens' The Carnival of the Animals. As an added bonus, a CD of the music and Prelutsky reading his own verses is included in the book. All in all a great collection of new poetry in a beautiful book that comes alive before your very eyes.”
—Emily Grossenbacher, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, MS

Even Monsters Need Haircuts
Matthew McElligott (Walker Books for Young Readers)
“This is a fabulous book that has one of some of my favorite themes in picture books- the nighttime adventures that silly, sleeping grown-ups never know about.The clever hero not only braves the dark, but he puts his father's barber shop to good use in the off- hours by giving haircuts to the neighborhood monsters. The illustrations are wonderful, and honor Sendak's little boy adventures in the Night Kitchen and Where the Wild Things are. Lots of laughs for everyone in this winner.”
—Leslie Reiner, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

Everything but the Horse
Holly Hobbie (Little, Brown Young Readers)
“When Holly's family move from their suburban neighborhood to a farm on Middlebury Road, the young girl isn't so sure she'll ever get used to her new home. But gradually, as she gets to know the farm animals, she begins to feel comfortable. Holly's favorite pastime, though, is watching the horses. She spends hours daydreaming about getting a pony of her very own. But Holly's family isn't so sure--they say a horse is too dangerous, too expensive, and too much trouble. But on her birthday, Holly discovers a special surprise waiting for her in the barn--a surprise that just might be better than what she could have dreamed up on her own! Holly Hobbie's lovely recollection of her own childhood is a gentle, beautiful tale that is sure to resonant with young horse lovers! With soft watercolor illustrations and Hobbie's characteristically wonderful storytelling, this is a fantastic story to share with the whole family!”
—Megan Graves, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

How Rocket Learned to Read
Tad Hills (Schwartz & Wade)
“I am desperately in love with Rocket, a sweet little doggy who did not know how wonderful reading could be until a very patient yellow bird teaches him. As it turns out, reading and spelling are not a distraction from play, but a joy to be experienced every day and in every aspect of life. This is a perfect book for those who love to read, for those who might not yet know how much they love to read, and for the patient teachers who are willing to show it to them.”
—Katherine Fergason, Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Vineyard Haven, MA

In the Wild
David Elliott, Holly Meade (Illus.) (Candlewick)
“Reading In the Wild, children will learn so much about wild animals across the globe. The possibilities are endless on every page, and there is a well-balanced mix of serious and humorous poems to be read aloud again and again. Holly Meade's woodcut and watercolor illustrations are gorgeous.”
—Emily McLean, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

Interrupting Chicken
David Ezra Stein (Candlewick)
“Little Red Chicken simply can't restrain herself when, in the bedtime stories that Papa reads to her, the characters are about to do something she knows they shouldn't do. So she interrupts, and Papa can't ever finish a story, and Little Red Chicken still isn't asleep. It's enough to wear a papa out, so Little Red Chicken offers to read him a story instead. David Ezra Stein's art is electric and energetic, and the story has just the right amount of silliness for kids and parents alike.”
—Ellen Richmond, Children's Book Cellar, Waterville, ME

Knuffle Bunny Free: An Unexpected Diversion
Mo Willems (Balzer + Bray)
“Trixie has once again misplaced her Knuffle Bunny. But can Knuffle Bunny really last forever? The relationship between a child and that one very loved stuffed animal is more than precious. It is essential! Knuffle Bunny is Trixie's best friend. They do everything together. When and how you outgrow your plush childhood best friend is not an easy issue to grasp for children or adults, but Willems gives a great answer to this quandry. This is, no doubt, the best picture boo Mo Willems has ever produced!”
—Emily McLean, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

The Last Train
Gordon M. Titcomb, Wendell Minor (Illus.) (Roaring Brook Press)
“You can almost hear the train's whistle from these expressive, beautifully rendered paintings by Wendell Minor that capture the magnificence of that dying steel behemoth -- the steam train. Gordon Titcomb's song is a sad refrain for the life that was centered around those engines. Rail enthusiasts -- and others -- will rejoice in this evocative pairing.”
—Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

Lulu and the Brontosaurus
Judith Viorst, Lane Smith (Illus.) (Atheneum)
“Spoiled Lulu demands a brontosaurus for her birthday, and when her parents say no, Lulu tromps off to find one herself. The scary woods provide some animal encounters that Lulu easily deals with; she is the scary one, after all. Finally Lulu finds Mr. B, a brontosaurus who completely agrees that having a pet would be a wonderful thing. What happens next will surprise young readers and please their parents. Lane Smith's illustrations add a fine comedic touch.”
—Margaret Brennan Neville, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT

Mr. Elephanter
Lark Pien (Candlewick)
“I found Mr. Elephanter a delight, and full of surprises. From the get-go the reader sees elephants portrayed as tiny characters, much like preschoolers. And their caretaker? He is a capable, kind old man. So many children say goodbye to their parents every morning and are cared for by a variety of people. This book has appeal.”
—Valerie Lewis, Hicklebee's, San Jose, CA

There's Going to Be a Baby
John Burningham, Helen Oxenbury (Illus.) (Candlewick)
“This warm and wise depiction of a young boy waiting for the arrival of a new baby is pitch-perfect. As the months pass, he's curious, anxious, resentful, but above all reassured by his patient, loving mother. The marvelous wordless double-page spreads showing the antics of his imagined sibling contrast vividly with the calm chronicling of mother and son going about their daily business as the seasons change and the birth of the baby draws near. Utterly captivating!”
—Terri Schmitz, The Children's Book Shop, Brookline, MA

Zero
Kathryn Otoshi (KO Kids Books)
“Zero is universally appealing, perfect for teachers, parents, grandparents, and, of course, kids! It's the sweet story of the number Zero who feels empty inside. She looks at all the other numbers and wishes she could be like them. But then, with the help of number Seven, she realizes she's not empty, she's open! She has value and is perfect just the way she is. Punctuating the story are Otoshi's gorgeous illustrations.”
—Lauren Peugh, Mrs. Nelson's Toy & Book Shop, La Verne, CA

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Ages 9 to 12

Zora and Me
by Victoria Bond, T.R. Simon (Candlewick)
“Because I live in Florida and this novel features a young Zora Neale Hurston, I was intrigued, but this book's charm extends far beyond race and state lines. On one hand it is a great little adventure story, complete with real gators and ghostly soul-stealing Gator Men. But spooky tales pale beside the ugly truths of bigotry and injustice in turn-of-the-century small-town Florida, and murder finds its way to their all-black Eden of Eatonville. Like the best of children's literature, the lessons of community, love, and pride are found in these pages, wrapped in a riveting story children will remember.”
—Leslie Reiner, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

Because of Mr. Terupt
Rob Buyea (Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
“Sometimes we don't realize what have until it's gone. While the kids in Mr. Terupt's class think he's a good teacher, they have no idea the influence he's had on them until he's gone from their classroom. Now they must do all they can to get him back, but they may be too late. Rob Buyea has created a stunning and moving debut novel.”
—David Richardson, The Blue Marble, Fort Thomas, KY

The Danger Box
Blue Balliett (Scholastic Press)
“If you open the Danger Box you won't be able to put it down! Balliett's combination of mystery and science is a middle-grade treat and her compassionate characters help us understand different perspectives. This book is sure to delight fans new and old. Perfect for family reading or curious young readers in search of a smart adventure story.”
—Angela K Sherrill, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL

Dragonbreath: Curse of the Were-wiener
Ursula Vernon (Dial)
“Another great installment in this quirky, fun series. When Wendell is bitten by his hotdog, Danny knows that trouble is brewing. Turns out, the batch of hot dogs has turned, and if they don't stop the alphawurst, Wendell will soon become a minion! This is a quest for Dragonbreath--that is if he can figure out how to breath fire!”
—Emily Grossenbacher, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, MS

The Familiars
Adam Jay Epstein, Andrew Jacobson (HarperCollins)
“Aldwyn the clever alley cat, Skylar, the skeptical blue jay, and Gilbert, the insecure tree frog are drawn together when they must save their Loyals from a corrupt Queen. In this spellbinding romp each proves their worth and finds their own magic. Perhaps the Familiars are destined to lead? In their debut novel Adam and Andrew have touches of the animal quest of Incredible Journey combined with the magic of Harry Potter and the animal charm of Charlotte's Web. This reader will be waiting impatiently for the rest of the promised trilogy.-- Shirley Mullin, Kids Ink, Children's Bookstore, Indianapolis, IN”
—Shirley Mullin, Kids Ink, Indianapolis, IN

Forge
Laurie Halse Anderson (Atheneum)
“Shortly after Isabel robs and leaves him, an angry and impulsive Curzon re-enters the army and is stationed at Valley Forge to wait out the winter. Through a traumatic series of events Curzon and Isabel are reunited; he's secretly happy, she's not-so-secretly bitter. As they battle the winter and their feelings toward each other they realize they still have a common goal, freedom. Yet another wonderful work of historical fiction, we know why you're a National Book Award Finalist Laurie!”
—Sarah Hill, The River's End Bookstore, Oswego, NY

The Grimm Legacy
Polly Shulman (Putnam Juvenile)
“Elzabeth's new after-school job at a lending library of artifacts turns magical when she's introduced to the ground floor, and the Grimm Collection. Among the shoes of the Twelve Dancing Princesses and the Mirror of Snow White's evil Step-Mother, Elizabeth finds herself caught up in a mystery that could turn dangerous.”
—Meaghan Beasley, Island Bookstore, Kitty Hawk, NC

The Invisible Order, Book One: Rise of the Darklings
Paul Crilling (Egmont Books)
“Emily, a twelve year old girl living in Victorian London, has been taking care of her younger brother William since their parents disappeared. One day, she encounters a battle between fey creatures called piskies, and is plunged into a world of danger and adventure where nothing is as it seems. After William is kidnapped, Emily enlists the help of her friend Jack and embarks on the adventure of a lifetime. This exciting story of myth and betrayal will have you wanting more!”
—Marisa Jue, A Whale of a Tale, Irvine, CA

Late for School
Steve Martin, C.F. Payne (Grand Central Publishing)
“This kid woke up late, and now it's time for a mad dash to make it to school in the nick of time! He sprints out the front door, leaps over the fence, bounces off the neighbor's diving board, and grabs hold of a kite that is conveniently floating by! He's so focused on getting to class on time, he doesn't even notice the silence that greets him as he flies through the front door of school. Suddenly, our hero realizes--it's Saturday! From comedy legend Steve Martin comes a rollicking romp that will delight young readers. The lyrical rhyme of Martin's story is matched beautifully by C.F. Payne's energetic, movement-inspired illustrations. Kids will love this hilarious tale--and the original song included on CD!”
—Megan Graves, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

Misty Gordon and the Mystery of the Ghost Pirates
Kim Kennedy (Amulet)
“Pirates, Halloween, ghosts - just the makings for an action-packed book! Given unique powers by a pair of rare glasses, Misty Gordon uncovers a centuries-old mystery about the founding of her small New England town. Misty is a plucky hero, but can she defeat the ghosts of fearsome pirates who seek their lost treasure? Filled with suspense, this not-too-scary adventure is hard to put down.”
—Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA

Moon Over Manifest
Clare Vanderpool (Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
“Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool features a plucky heroine, Abeline Tucker, who feels abandoned when her father puts her on a train bound for Manifest, Kansas in the care of an old family friend--now the town bootlegger and minister--so he can work on the rails for one summer. On a journey of self discovery, she wants to know the secrets held by a small box of items that have been mysteriously left for her. As she unravels the clues, she also discovers many things about her father's relationships to the colorful town and characters of Manifest. Vanderpool's many red herrings lure the reader upstream as she cleverly sets up a surprising con--just like the cunning characters in her book do to each other. Moving back and forth between 1918 and 1936, Vanderpool weaves a strong and vibrant narrative, connecting the past and present through her delightful characters who speak loudly and uniquely. A celebration of heritage, story, and the communities that bind together to form one big family, Moon over Manifest is a terrific debut by a writer to watch.”
—Sarah Bagby, Watermark Books, Wichita, KS

Museum of Thieves
Lian Tanner (Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
“How wonderful to discover that the kind of book I loved when I was younger -- full of adventures, derring-do, doubts and misgivings, unexpected friends, and most importantly huge, surprising but believable imaginary worlds -- is still alive and well, and fresh as ever in the hands of the wonderful Lian Tanner. I picked up MUSEUM OF THIEVES intending just to inform myself about this buzzed-about new title, and ended up devouring it in the course of a long Sunday afternoon -- its world and its characters were completely absorbing and I couldn't stop talking about it afterward. Big themes of freedom and safety, rebellion vs. obedience, and the sometimes paradoxical nature of good are all there, as relevant to adults as they are to adolescents chafing for independence. The story's daring but fallible heroine and her enemies and friends are drawn with sure strokes and plenty of depth. And the Museum itself, bigger on the inside than on the outside, is an unforgettable place that I can't wait to return to in the sequels. Bravo!”
—Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY

Reckless
Cornelia Funke (Little, Brown Young Readers)
“Corneila Funke's writing never ceases to cast a spell on me, and her newest novel, RECKLESS, serves up a sumptuous fantasy world beyond a magical mirror. Older brother Jacob must save his younger brother Will from a curse that's turning Will to stone, but what kind of bargain must Jacob strike to save Will? Brilliant twists, dark forests, high stakes and a desperate quest await readers of RECKLESS (and this bookseller is crossing fingers for a sequel very soon).”
—Sarah Todd, Children's Book World, Haverford, PA

The Search for WondLa
Tony DiTerlizzi (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
“Twelve year old Eva Nine has been living underground in her fully automated home with her robot 'Muthr' for her entire life. She's never been outside but has been learning survival skills in the holo-chamber and dreaming of being on the surface and meeting other humans. Due to a monstrous bounty hunter's unexpected visit, she's out on her own much sooner than she had thought--and it's not the world she's been expecting. There are a lot of fantasy books out there, so many of them that most of the time as you read along, you might occasionally think, 'Oh, isn't that interesting.' But every once in awhile there is that one special book that make you think, 'What?!? How?!? WOAH!' For me, The Search For WondLa is a 'WOAH!' book.”
—Victoria VanZile, Wild Rumpus, Minneapolis, MN

Scumble
Ingrid Law (Dial)
“Hopefully Ingrid Law will not learn how to scumble since she really has a great savvy in writing these books. 9 years after Mibs got her savvy her cousin Ledger has just gotten his. He is a walking and talking implosive device who is taken out to his uncle's ranch in Sundance Wyo. to learn how to deal with his ability to destroy anything. Meeting up with Sarah Jane, reporter and the banker's daughter challenges Ledger who must hide his and his family's secrets. What a rollicking tale of mayhem and fun. A tale everyone should read not just 8-12 year olds as the writer reminds us that there are many families around with special savvy abilities. Many may even shop at your store.”
—Candace Moreno, San Marino Toy & Book Shoppe, San Marino, CA

Storyteller
Patricia Reilly Giff (Wendy Lamb Books)
“Weaving present and past, Giff connects one girl's life to her distance relative's Revolutionary War story. Elizabeth starts this exploration when she is sent to stay with her spinster aunt and she discovers an old drawing that looks just like her. Elizabeth has to learn more than just her genealogy to make it through this difficult stretch, but love works in many ways. Giff brings the past to life, making it as real as the present.”
—Margaret Brennan Neville, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT

What Happened on Fox Street
Tricia Springstubb (Balzer + Bray)
“To Mo Wren Fox Street is more than just where she lives; it's the place she loves more than anything. A place of unique people, memories of her mom, happy summers,everything; until that unforgettable summer where a fox, some letters and some mysteries come to light. Home takes on new meaning in this sweet, moving and tender story.”
—Becky Anderson, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL

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Teen Readers

Nightshade
by Andrea Cremer (Philomel)
“Just when you thought you had enough of werewolves, along comes Nightshade, which turns the genre on its head. High school cliques take on a new meaning with wolves and their packs. This story is full of twists, suspense, and betrayal. You will be caught between two boys: one human, and one werewolf. The ending will shock you and leave you begging for more!”
—Hallie Wilkins, Anderson's Bookshop, Naperville, IL

Accomplice
Eireann Corrigan (Scholastic Press)
“Two teen girls inact a phony plan of abduction and rescue to set themselves apart fro nationwide student applicants and guarantee their place in an elite college. The tension and suspense quickly build as their scheme begins to unravel. Eireann Corrigan has written an original story that had me wishing for at least another 100 pages.”
—Linda Goodman, Nicola's Books, Ann Arbor, MI

Beat the Band
Don Calame (Candlewick)
“Get ready for riffs on hot girls, health class, and social hell! The outrageously funny boys from Swim the Fly return to rock their sophomore year. In this hilarious sequel to Swim the Fly,told from Coop’s point of.,view, it’s the beginning of the school year, and the tenth-grade health class must work in pairs on semester-long projects. Matt and Sean get partnered up (the jerks), but Coop is matched with the infamous “Hot Dog” Helen for a presentation on safe sex. Everybody’s laughing, except for Coop, who’s convinced that the only way to escape this social death sentence is to win “The Battle of the Bands” with their group, Arnold Murphy’s Bologna Dare. There’s just one problem: none of the guys actually plays an instrument. Will Coop regain his “cool” before it’s too late? Or will the forced one-on-one time with Helen teach him a lesson about social status he never saw coming? With ribald humor and a few sweet notes, screenwriter-turned-novelist Don Calame once again hits all the right chords. ”
—44

Dangerous Neighbors
Beth Kephart (Egmont Books)
“Kephart turns her attention to historical fiction in her latest novel for teens. Katherine is reeling from the death of her twin sister. Wracked by feelings of guilt and betrayal, Katherine is trying to end her life. The tension between past and future is what really makes this novel shine. Readers will find themselves immersed in the 1800s, captivated by Kephart's writing, and rooting for Katherine the whole way.”
—Mandy King, The Boulder Book Store, Boulder, CO

The Eternal Ones
Kirsten Miller (Razorbill)
“Growing up in a small town in Tennessee, Haven Moore has been labeled a wierdo, a demon child. That's because Haven has always had visions of a past life as a girl named Constance in love with a boy named Ethan. When she sees a picture of Iain Morrow on the news, she has another vision and realizes that Iain may be Ethan. She heads to New York to discover the truth and finds herself in the middle of a mystery that may end in her death. This thriller, full of intriguing characters and a compelling mystery, was nearly impossible to put down!”
—Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

Half Brother
Kenneth Oppel (Scholastic)
“I really want this story to be true. Ben Tomlin's dad has brought home a baby chimp for their family to raise as part of his psychology research. Oppel doesn't give you every moment, but it feels like you have lived them all. Watching Ben move from boy to young man as he struggles with Zan's fate after the funding is pulled from his dad's experiment, is so powerful. Just read it, it's worth your time.”
—Laura DeLaney, The Rediscovered Bookshop, Boise, ID

Halo
Alexandra Adornetto (Feiwel & Friends)
“Seventeen year old Adornetto's American debut is simply wonderful. She has created an entrancing story in which three angels come to Earth to help spread goodwill in any way they can. When Bethany, the youngest of the three, falls for Xavier, a human boy, all hell breaks loose--literally. The story of Beth and Xavier's fight to stay together against all odds is incredibly well written and intensely romantic, which makes Halo a must read regardless of faith or age.”
—Nikole Bonacorsi, The River's End Bookstore, Oswego, NY

Heart of a Samurai
Margi Preus (Amulet)
“Stranded by a storm on a deserted island, Manjiro and his companions are barely alive when they are rescued by a passing American whale ship. That is just the beginning! Manjiro's adventure takes him around the world - and it is all true! Preus's image-filled writing offers a perfect telling of this incredible, historical tale. What a great book!”
—Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA

I Am Number Four
Pittacus Lore (HarperCollins)
“John Smith arrives in Paradise Ohio and hopes that this will finally be the place where he settle down and be a normal teenager. This isn't so easy considering he's an alien developing supernatural powers on the run from the Mogadorians who have destroyed his home planet and are hunting him down along with the eight other surviving Loriens. A novel that hits the ground running and doesn't let up until the very end, this first book in the Lorien Legacies will cause readers to stop and think: do they really live among us?”
—Grace Firari, The Velveteen Rabbit Bookshop, Fort Atkinson, WI

Monsters of Men (Chaos Walking: Book Three)
Patrick Ness (Candlewick)
“True to the style of its predecessors, MONSTERS OF MEN is a roller coaster ride of a novel that will keep readers guessing until its final pages. Patrick Ness seamlessly blends the brutal action of his dystopian world with the more tender plights of his characters, and produces a work that will not only keep eyes glued to its pages, but that makes a resounding point about the oppressive nature of humanity, the fragility of relationships, and the impact a few strong voices can have on a world. I absolutely loved it.”
—Julia Ouimet, Merritt Books, Millbrook, NY

Ninth Ward
Jewell Parker Rhodes (Little Brown)
“Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes is a deceptive book in that it is not actually about Hurricane Katrina. The novel, which is set in New Orleans in the days preceding and through the disaster, is really a remarkably thoughtful and exceptionally written coming of age story centered around a young African-American girl named Laneesha. Rhodes uses the backdrop of the storm, but what she really focuses the readers attention on is strength of character, questions of belonging, ideas of family and, most of all, hope in oneself and others. In the midst of all these things is a special brand of magical realism that incorporates the mystery and spirit of the city of New Orleans. The reader is catapulted into life within the ninth ward and into Laneesha's story so that when the storm hits, we believe in the journey that unfolds for Laneesha and her family. While Hurricane Katrina plays an important role in the book, its effect is limited by the way in which it acts as a catalyst for Laneesha's movement toward adulthood. If you are looking for a novel that lays blame about the devastation of New Orleans' Ninth Ward, this is not it. If you are interested in a novel that captures the essence of New Orleans and its people while simultaneously illustrating how tragedy makes us stronger, Ninth Ward is a must read.”
—Tara Baldridge, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL

Paranormalcy
Kiersten White (HarperTeen)
“For Evie, life is anything but normal. She works for the International Paranormal Containment Agency, has a possessive faerie for an ex, is falling for a shape-shifter, and is the only person in the world who can see through paranormals' glamours. White's debut novel had me mesmerized from the very first page to the last. Warning: This is one of those books that will seduce readers and leave them wanting more!”
—Grace Firari, The Velveteen Rabbit Bookshop, Fort Atkinson, WI

Prisoners in the Palace: A Novel of Intrigue and Romance About How Princess Victoria Became Queen with the Help of a Maid, a Newspaperman, and a Scoundrel
Michaela MacColl (Chronicle Books)
“After her parents are killed in a tragic accident, sixteen-year-old Liza must set aside the life she once new. The young girl's devastation is doubled when she discovers that her parents left behind some sizable debts. Liza finds she must leave her pampered existance behind and find some way of supporting herself. As luck would have it, the sheltered Princess Victoria is seeking a new maid. Once accustomed to being served, Liza is thrust into the position of servant. But as she adjusts to life at Kensington Palace, our heroine discovers that her dual knowledge of the hierarchy above and below stairs may serve to her advantage. Slowly, Liza begins to realize that freedom, friendship, and even love can blossom in the most unexpected of places. Michaela MacColl's debut novel is a delightful taste of Victorian life and the contrasting worlds of the privileged and those who serve them. Fans of Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty and Anna Godbersen's The Luxe will be thrilled by this new historical adventure.”
—Megan Graves, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

The Replacement
Brenna Yovanoff (Razorbill)
“The only thing teenage Mackie knows for sure is that he's not like everyone else. And it's getting worse. He's becoming allergic to so many things he can hardly leave his room. It doesn't even seem human. Perhaps because it isn't, or rather, he isn't. Dropped into a human baby's crib 16 years ago as a 'replacement', the past is catching up to Mackie and he isn't sure whether to run away or confront the evil that has controlled him and his hometown for centuries. Scary fun!”
—Anne Holman, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT

Stolen
Lucy Christopher (The Chicken House)
“When Gemma meets Ty at the airport she senses something familiar about him. He is handsome and charming; she is thrilled by his attention. But after sharing coffee, Gemma starts to feel strange and when she finally wakes up she is a prisoner in a desolate landscape, alone with Ty. His reasons for stealing her are unveiled in this intense and brilliantly written novel for teens. Both hopeful and sinister, Stolen is sure to be remembered by all who read it.”
—Holly Frakes, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

The Things a Brother Knows
Dana Reinhardt (Wendy Lamb Books)
“A story about war but more a story about sibling love. Levi's brother has returned from the Iraq War but has shut himself off from the world. Levi, the younger brother wants things to be the way it was before-but learns that before was just that. A tense, thought-provoking drama about the love of brothers and of the wounds of war not noticably present. Follow Boaz and Levi as they journey by foot from NYC to Washington, D.C.”
—Paula Primavera, Covered Treasures Bookstore, Monument, CO

You
Charles Benoit (HarperTeen)
“Kyle Chase,15-years-old, is about to discover how serious and shocking are the results of the small and large choices we make everyday. Their effect will be devastating to him, his friends, his parents and especially his future. YOU, a powerful novel that begs to be discussed and shared by all ages: readers' groups, youth and adult; high school literature classes; booksellers and their patrons; and most of all, parents and their children. Read it and pass it on.”
—Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI