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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

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Spring 2010

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Spring 2009

Winter 2008/2009

— Fall 2008

— Spring 2008

Fall 2007

— Summer 2007

Favorites of 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten

1. The Diviners, by Libba Bray
(Little, Brown Young Readers, $19.99, 9780316126113, available September)
“If you want to be immersed in the sights and sounds of the 1920s, this is the book for you! Evie O’Neill is a true flapper, too wild for her staid hometown of Zenith, Ohio. When she is banished to stay with her Uncle Will in Manhattan, she looks forward to her exciting new life — until it turns out to include dead bodies, mysterious intruders, and a supernatural evil that only Evie has the power to sense. Creepy and fun, The Diviners is frantic and full of slang, a love letter to the Roaring 20s. So much fun!” —Susan Taylor, Market Block Books, Troy, NY

2. This Is Not My Hat, by Jon Klassen
(Candlewick, $15.99, 9780763655990, available October)
“Like Marilynne Robinson’s Home was to Gilead, this is the other side of a beloved story — but with a lot more giggles. Klassen’s deadpan fishies reimagine the plot of I Want My Hat Back from the perspective of the hat stealer, and the results are just as suspenseful, adorable, and laugh-inducing for kids and adults alike. Though parents will have to get creative once again to explain the darkly hilarious ending to little ones, this is a book that everyone is going to want to read over and over again!” —Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY

3. The Last Dragonslayer, by Jasper Fforde
(Harcourt Children’s Books, $16.99, 9780547738475, available October)
“As acting head of Kazam, an employment agency for magicians, orphan Jennifer Strange’s life is already full of magical mayhem. When a prophecy proclaiming the death of the last dragon pops up, Jennifer may get a little more destiny than she bargained for. A chuckle-worthy page-turner for readers of all ages, Fforde’s first young adult offering succeeds brilliantly with brains, heart, and a little bit of magic!” —Jennifer Gough, Ebenezer Books, Johnson, VT

4. Every Day, by David Levithan
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 9780307931887)
“Caught in the inexplicable fate of awakening each day in a different person’s body, ‘A’ has accepted his destiny. He is able to access the details of the life of the inhabited individual and can lead his or her life, but ‘A’ has never wished to return to any of them. This changes when he meets Rhiannon. Suddenly, there is a reason to question and alter his circumstances. With this intriguing premise, Levithan explores what it means to be human, and where compassion and understanding are rooted. Captivating and romantic.” —Mary Alice Garber, Politics & Prose Books and Coffee Shop, Washington, DC

5. Liar & Spy, by Rebecca Stead
(Wendy Lamb Books, $15.99, 9780385737432)
“This fantastic successor to Stead’s Newbery Medal-winning When You Reach Meis a subtle mystery with a quirky and vulnerable protagonist and loving but fallible adults. Stead is a master of weaving big thematic questions with ingenious everyday details. She tells this story about lies, games, rules, and friendship through facts about maps of the tongue, seasonal candy, and invented spelling. I absolutely adore this book!” —Hannah Manshel, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL

 

6. The Peculiar, by Stefan Bachmann
(Greenwillow, $16.99, 9780062195180, available September)
“Mr. Jelliby, a member of Parliament, was too nice a young man to make a good politician. One day, he overheard the powerful Mr. Lickerish order the death of the tenth changeling — a ‘peculiar,’ so named because they have the blood of both men and faery. Mr. Lickerish is planning to open a door to the faery world that would destroy London, and only Mr. Jelliby and Bartholomew, a changeling himself, can hope to stop him. Bachman has succeeded in creating a murder mystery, a faery fantasy, and an action adventure that middle-graders and older readers will devour.” —Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

7. Too Tall Houses, by Gianna Marino
(Viking Juvenile, $16.99, 9780670013142, available September)
“This is a beautifully illustrated, whimsically told tale that will resonate with children of all ages. Through the friendly banter of a clever rabbit and an ambitious owl, Marino skillfully depicts the downside of focusing on ‘ME’ and the benefits that come with focusing on ‘WE.’ While children will laugh out loud, parents can use this warm, light-hearted story to help diffuse the tug-of-war among siblings!” —Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL

8. The Raven Boys, by Maggie Stiefvater
(Scholastic Press, $18.99, 9780545424929, available September)
“Blue has grown up in a house full of women psychics who have foretold certain death for her first love. She unwillingly becomes friends with a gaggle of boys, the Raven Boys, from the very expensive private school in town. They’re on the search for a mythical king who is said to grant a wish to whoever finds him. Will Blue’s ability to intensify the magic around them help on their quest or put them in danger? The Raven Boys will pull you into their thrilling journey.” —Hannah Johnson-Breimeier, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI

9. What Came From the Stars, by Gary D. Schmidt
(Clarion Books, $16.99, 9780547612133)
“This is a gorgeous fantasy unlike anything Schmidt has ever written. With exquisite pacing and deft plotting, he tells two parallel stories: one about a faraway Middle Earth-like world in trouble, and the other about Tommy Pepper, a sixth-grader in Plymouth, Massachusetts, grieving the recent loss of his mother. When a beautiful object that represents the heart of that faraway world hurtles through space and lands in Tommy’s lunchbox, everything begins to change. This book will astonish you!” —Joanne R. Fritz, Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, PA

10. This Moose Belongs to Me, by Oliver Jeffers
(Philomel, $16.99, 9780399161032, available October) “Wilfred owned a moose. Or, at least, he THOUGHT he owned a moose. This strong-willed moose, however, has other ideas. Told with Jeffers’ signature sense of humor, but illustrated in a newer, more lush style, this tale of not-quite pets is sure to delight all readers.” —Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA

 

 

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Ages 4 to 8

Bear Has a Story to Tell, by Philip C. SteadErin E. Stead (Illus.)
(Roaring Brook Press, $16.99, 9781596437456)
“The Caldecott-winning team who created A Sick Day for Amos McGee is back with another utterly charming story. The quiet-yet-strong demeanor of a bear wanting to tell his friends a story is subtly sweet, and the selfless acts of help he gives those friends in their preparation for winter instead of telling them his story is lesson for all of us. The soft and detailed illustrations give soul to the animals. Just lovely!” —Amanda Snow, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

Cecil the Pet Glacier, by Matthea Harvey, Giselle Potter (Illus.)
(Schwartz & Wade, $17.99, 9780375867736)
“Ruby Small and her three identical dolls, each named Jennifer, feel uneasy with life in a home where dad sculpts topiaries and mom designs tiaras for the family business, Sprigs & Sparkles. A misunderstanding leads to a family vacation in Norway. When an adoring, newly calved glacier insists on following them home, Ruby learns that being different isn’t really a bad thing, especially when someone loves you very, very much.” —Stacie M. Williams, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Creepy Carrots!, by Aaron Reynolds, Peter Brown (Illus.)
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 9781442402973)
“Be scared — be VERY scared — of this funny, inventive tale of one carrot-lovin’ rabbit who started having carrots follow his every move. Who knew that some crisp, crunchy orange vegetable could be so sinister? The twist at the end is satisfyingly good. Carrot cake anyone?” —Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

Flight of the Last Dragon, by Robert Burleigh, Mary GrandPre (Illus.)
(Philomel, $16.99, 9780399252006, available October)
“This book flies! With rhyming text and art that almost moves on the page, you feel the joy of flight as a dragon who is the last of his kind soars over the city under the cover of darkness. The story begs to be read again and again, because maybe, just maybe, that flash across the night sky is more than just a falling rock.” —Elizabeth Anker, Alamosa Books, Albuquerque, NM

Goldilocks and Just One Bear, by Leigh Hodgkinson
(Candlewick, $15.99, 9780763661724)
Goldilocks and Just One Bear is a perfectly modernized version of the classic tale. Little Bear is all grown up and one day finds himself in the Big City. A clever twist at the end that kids won’t see coming makes this a delightful read.” —Jane Knight, Bear Pond Books of Montpelier, Montpelier, VT

Maya Makes a Mess, by Rutu Modan
(Toon, $12.95, 9781935179177)
“Modan brings her Eisner Award-winning talents to emerging readers in this graphic novel. Maya’s parents don’t like her messy table manners, so what will the queen think? Well, it turns out that the queen is willing to offer allowances for a guest and declares the evening one of messy manners. The result is ridiculous and hysterical, perfect for messy eaters and those who are forbidden to have their own fun at the table.” —Marika McCoola, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Oh, No!, by Candace Fleming, Eric Rohmann (Illus.)
(Schwartz & Wade, $17.99, 9780375842719)
“The cover of this book alone is worth the price. Rohmann’s stunning wood-block style prints are a perfect complement to this great read-aloud tale. Rhythmic prose tells of the chain of events as one by one the animals fall into a jungle pit with the lurking threat of tigers nearby. Children will love the humor and tension and the repeated chorus of ‘Oh, No!’ as the story comes to a fitting end.” —Leslie Reiner, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

Otter and Odder: A Love Story, by James Howe, Chris Raschka (Illus.)
(Candlewick, $14, 9780763641740, available October)
“Otter is looking for food and finds love. They just happen to be the same thing — a fish named Myrtle. The other animals will not tolerate this odd behavior, and Myrtle cannot love an otter who eats her friends and family. With the help of a wise Beaver, will Otter live ‘happily ever after’ with his fish? Or is his tale destined to end ‘And so their love could never be?’ Raschka’s abstract crayon and watercolor illustrations exude playfulness, their colors highlighting the emotions of James Howe’s wonderful text.” —Marika McCoola, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Penguin and Pinecone, by Salina Yoon
(Walker Books for Young Readers, $12.99, 9780802728432, available October)
“Friends come in all shapes, sizes, and species in this charming tale of an unlikely, but close-knit friendship between a happy penguin and a pinecone. Will it all unravel when Penguin realizes that Pinecone can’t survive in a land made of ice? This sweet read-aloud with enormously appealing illustrations shows how friends of the heart are never far apart. If you love them, set them ‘tree!’” —Julie Shimada, Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO

Penny and Her Doll, by Kevin Henkes
(Greenwillow Books, $12.99, 9780062081995)
“While Penny is in the garden smelling flowers, the mailman delivers a new doll from Gram. What should Penny name her? She tries names that she knows and names based on what she is wearing, but nothing seems right. Perhaps the answer is right under her nose!” —Lisa Fabiano, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse, by Helen Ward
(Templar Publishing, $16.99, 9780763660987)
“A classic fable from Aesop is retold and illustrated in sumptuous watercolors. Depression-era New York City is bustling and loud and frightening for a timid country cousin. The country is, of course, too tame for a mouse used to the hubbub of the city. Fortunately, each has the perfect place to live.” —Ellen Richmond, Children’s Book Cellar, Waterville, ME

Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty?: And Other Notorious Nursery Tale Mysteries, by David Levinthal and John Nickle
(Schwartz & Wade, $17.99,  9780375841958)
Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty? is by far one of the most irreverently quirky children’s books since Bruce Hale’s Chet Gecko came on the scene. In this case, Officer Binky is on the case, and you’ll want to follow all the clues to solve every one of these intriguing nursery tale mysteries.” —Judith Lafitte, Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA

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Ages 9 to 12

Cardboard, by Doug Tennapel
(Graphix, $12.99, paper, 9780545418737)
“Cam’s unemployed father gives him a cardboard box for his birthday. It’s certain to be the worst birthday ever, until the man they make from the cardboard comes to life. It turns out that this is no ordinary cardboard and what was the lamest present ever becomes something desired by the rich bully, Marcus. Marcus has a twisted imagination and his creations develop frightening minds of their own, minds that desire the destruction of anything of human flesh. Cardboard explores a father-son relationship, one that grows stronger over the course of the book. Tennapel’s fans will enjoy this fast-paced graphic novel.” —Marika McCoola, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, by Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan (Illus.)
(Feiwel & Friends, $16.99, 9780312649623, available October)
“Valente makes magic again with the sequel to The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland. After waiting anxiously for a year and keeping her first trip to Fairyland a secret, September literally tumbles back into the fantasy land for another adventure. It seems the trouble in Fairyland might be of September’s own making. She gave up her own shadow in the first book, and now all the shadows and magic in Fairyland are disappearing and September must travel to the underworld to confront the Hollow Queen and restore the magic to her beloved secret world. Such a fun series!” —Whitney Spotts, Schuler Books & Music, Lansing, MI

Gods and Warriors, by Michelle Paver
(Dial, $16.99, 9780803738775)
“Gods, animals, and humans collide in this rollicking adventure. Set in the Mediterranean during the Bronze Age, this story will treat readers to a tale filled with fascinating historical detail juxtaposed with a breathlessly paced plot. For lovers of Percy Jackson, a new hero has arrived. And he’s wearing a tunic!” —Maggie Tokuda-Hall, Books Inc., San Francisco, CA

The Great Unexpected, by Sharon Creech
(HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780061892325)
“Naomi and Lizzie, two orphaned girls, live in the small, peculiar town of Blackbeard Tree. One day, a boy, Finn, falls from a tree and lands right on top of the girls, starting a chain of fantastical and wondrous events that will change Naomi and Lizzie’s lives forever. Fun, precocious, and with a bit of the mysterious thrown in, The Great Unexpected will delight and surprise.” —Meaghan Beasley, Island Bookstore, Duck, NC

The High Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate, by Scott Nash
(Candlewick, $17.99, 9780763632649, available September)
“Join the crew of the pirate ship, Grosbeak, led by Blue Jay, their captain, as they sail through the sky. In the intricate and fascinating world that Nash has created, the pirates aboard the Grosbeak are all birds! In a story brimming with intrigue, suspense, and the perfect dash of humor, unforgettable characters abound. Hillary, a star-nosed mole; Henry, a brave sparrow; and Teach, the leader of a gang of treacherous crows will all come to play a part in the lives of Blue Jay and his crew. Beautifully detailed illustrations throughout the book make what is already an outstanding story a real treasure.” —Joyce Tiber, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI

Homesick, by Kate Klise
(Feiwel & Friends, $16.99, 9781250008428)
“The clever title of this novel is just the beginning of another great read from Klise. Benny’s mom has left him, his difficult dad, and all the clutter in their house. When a local teacher enters their town in a most charming small town contest, the pressure is on to get the family home cleaned up. With a cast of quirky small-town characters and a natural disaster that no one knew was coming, Klise once again creates a place you would like to visit and characters you would like to meet. There is a lot of great ‘stuff’ in her new novel!” —Margaret Brennan Neville, The King’s English, Salt Lake City, UT

In a Glass Grimmly, by Adam Gidwitz
(Dutton Juvenile, $16.99, 9780525425816, available September)
“This is a bloody marvelous, wonderfully horrible companion to Gidwitz’s award-winning debut, A Tale Dark & Grimm. In this Mother Goose-meets-the-Brothers Grimm version of ‘Jack and Jill,’ the two children will meet a talking frog — he’s a good guy — and lots of murderous giants, twisted mermaids, gruesome goblins, and other scary bad guys. But that’s okay, because what’s the point of going on a life-or-death quest if it’s easy-peasy? A must-read for middle-graders!” —Ellen Klein, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, by Chris Colfer
(Little, Brown Young Readers, $17.99, 9780316201575)
“If you’ve ever wondered what happened after ‘happily ever after,’ this is the book for you. A fun romp through well-known fairy tales, a wonderful adventure with just enough cliff hangers to keep the reader coming back for more, with a few surprises thrown in. A thoroughly enjoyable book!” —Janice Hunsche, Kaleidosaurus Books, Fishers, IN

Prairie Evers, by Ellen Airgood
(Nancy Paulsen Books, $15.99, 9780399256912)
“A coming-of-age story with chickens? Prairie Evers is a girl who prefers chickens over children, dictionaries over computers, and homeschooling over classrooms. Unfortunately, she is outvoted on the last one. How does a homeschooled North Carolina mountain girl fit into an upstate New York fifth grade class? As Prairie would say, it’s not all that easy to bring new chickens into the flock!” —Jeanne Snyder, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

The Spindlers, by Lauren Oliver
(HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780061978081, available October)
“With her second book for middle readers, following Liesl & Po, Oliver has another hit on her hands. When Liza’s brother Patrick has his soul stolen by spider-like spindlers, and her overburdened mother dismisses everything she says as a child’s fantasy, Liza takes it upon herself to travel Below to save Patrick and ends up embarking on a journey of self-discovery that will speak to anyone who’s ever had ‘childish fantasies.’” —Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Splendors and Glooms, by Laura Amy Schlitz
(Candlewick, $17.99, 9780763653804)
“If Dickens had incorporated magic and witchcraft into Oliver Twist, he could hardly have concocted a darker tale of childhood in the 19th century. Like a Dickens tale, Splendors and Glooms is riddled with details that transport the reader into the plot. It’s not a comfortable place to be: hard and dirty and scary and uncertain. But there is also loyalty and innocence and love, proving once again that seemingly frail ideals are stronger than steel and dark curses. Schlitz masterfully serves up a rich history lesson wrapped in an adventure that is impossible to put down until the witch is buried. And even then you feel that the adventure is just starting!” —Elizabeth Anker, Alamosa Books, Albuquerque, NM

Tales From Lovecraft Middle School #1: Professor Gargoyle, by Charles Gilman
(Quirk, $13.99, 9781594745911)
“Even though it’s a brand-new, state-of-the-art facility, Robert Arthur would trade Lovecraft Middle School for his old friends at his old school. That is, until he discovers a furry brown head with black eyes in his backpack — make that two heads that share the same torso, feet, and tail — that purrs like a baby kitten, but is definitely a rat! Why does a state-of-the-art building have rats leaping out of brand-new lockers, students disappearing and reappearing, and a new science teacher who enjoys hamsters for lunch? Spooky illustrations and a unique book cover add to the horror of the strange world of Lovecraft Middle School, and no self-respecting kid would want to miss enrolling in this exciting series.” —Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

The Templeton Twins Have an Idea: Book One, by Ellis Weiner, Jeremy Holmes (Illus.)
(Chronicle, $16.99, 9780811866798)
“Abigail and John Templeton are the 12-year-old fraternal twins, children of an engineer whose fame leads to their eventual kidnapping. Will the children’s use of intellect, invention, and problem solving get them and their ridiculous pooch out of the scary situation? This is a great book for kids who love puzzles and humor, and the twins steal the show with their use of sarcasm and wit.” —Halley Pucker, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

Third Grade Angels, by Jerry Spinelli
(Arthur Levine/Scholastic, $15.99, 9780545387729)
“On George’s first day of third grade, his teacher, Mrs. Simms, challenges each student to act like an angel. Throughout the school year, each student has the opportunity to earn a halo. George puts all of his time and effort into the challenge but questions whether he has to act like an angel all of the time — even when his teacher is not watching. This cute, funny story is another must-read from master storyteller Spinelli.” —Rebecca Olson, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

Toppling, by Sally Murphy, Rhian Nest James (Illus.)
(Candlewick, $15.99, 9780763659219)
“It must be difficult to write an uplifting book in which a young character is seriously ill. Murphy has done just that in her latest book, Toppling, whose title refers to a domino game. This novel-in-verse perfectly captures the curiosity and fears that school-age children experience when they learn that a classmate is sick, and bravery and kindness are even more important parts of the story. Toppling is authentic and courageous, an important and affirming book.” —Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA

The Wednesdays, by Julie Bourbeau, Jason Beene (Illus.)
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 9780375868900)
“If you think Mondays are bad, you should experience a Wednesday in the little town halfway up Mt. Tibadabo. While most of the villagers shutter up their homes and hunker down to avoid the bad luck that always seems present on Wednesdays, 10-year-old Max can’t resist the urge to peek out the window to see what’s happening. Unfortunately, he catches a case of the Wednesdays and has to use all of his cleverness to try to save himself and his family from the danger he has unleashed. A great, fun read!” —Rachel Dunham, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

 

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Teen Readers

Ask the Passengers, by A.S. King
(Little, Brown Young Readers, $17.99, 9780316194686, available October)
“This touching, challenging story about a small-town girl struggling to be honest with herself while she has to keep secrets from everyone around her is as finely wrought as any of King’s previous award-winning novels.” —Todd A. Dickinson, Aaron’s Books, Lititz, PA

Don’t Turn Around, by Michelle Gagnon
(HarperCollins, $17.99, 9780062102904)
“Although they are from two completely different worlds, Noa and Peter have one thing in common: computer hacking. When Peter’s family mansion is broken into and Noa wakes up on a warehouse operating table, this unique skill brings them to one another’s aid. Working together, they slowly begin to unravel the meaning behind the strange events that connect their lives. There is never a dull moment in this great thriller!” —Clare Nelson, The Velveteen Rabbit Bookshop, Fort Atkinson, WI

The Edge of Nowhere, by Elizabeth George
(Viking Juvenile, $18.99, 9780670012961)
“Becca King can hear whispers — snippets of other people’s thoughts that weave into her mind in occasionally dangerous ways. It’s because of this ability that she finds herself stranded on remote Whidbey Island, hiding from her stepfather and involved in a mystery that shakes her new community. George brings her tremendous talents to YA for the first time, and this creepy, romantic mystery has just a hint of the paranormal and a fabulously lush Pacific-Northwest setting. Becca’s story is magically addictive — I can’t wait for the next installment!” —Hannah Manshel, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL

Jepp, Who Defied the Stars, by Katherine Marsh
(Hyperion Books for Children, $16.99, 9781423135005, available October)
“Combine a teenage dwarf, intricate 16th century historical detail that feels almost magical, court intrigue, astrology, and the debate surrounding fate versus free will, and you’ve got a stellar book. The story follows Jepp from his humble boyhood home to a palace where he’s the plaything of royalty, and then to an isolated island dominated by a brilliant and eccentric astronomer. The characters are all vividly drawn, and the wonderful writing pulls you in.” —Deborah Johnson, Barstons Child’s Play, Washington, DC

Katerina’s Wish, by Jeannie Mobley
(Margaret K. McElderry Books, $15.99, 9781442433434)
“Life in a turn-of-the-century Colorado coal town means relentless work and little reward for 13-year-old Katerina and her immigrant family. Reminded of a folktale about a wish-granting fish, Trina casts a few wishes of her own when she sees a carp in a nearby pond. New hair ribbons and a favorite dessert appear, so does she dare wish for the impossible? A farm? A brighter future? Trina discovers that wishes can come true with a little magic and a whole lot of moxie. I’m wishing for a sequel to this absolutely wonderful debut novel!” —Julie Shimada, Maria’s Bookshop, Durango, CO

My Name Is Parvana, by Deborah Ellis
(Groundwood Books, $16.95, 9781554982974, available October)
“Parvana cannot remember a time when she did not believe her life was close to disaster — when living in Kabul trapped indoors by the Taliban, wandering the countryside full of hunger and fear, living in a refugee camp and finally, being arrested as a terrorist after the school she and her mother had bravely built to teach girls had been bombed. This book is a powerful testament to humans who struggle everyday for food, shelter, and peace.” —Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

The Paladin Prophecy: Book 1, by Mark Frost
(Random House Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 9780375870453, available September)
“Frost, co-creator of the cult classic series Twin Peaks, sure knows how to weave a complex flight of imagination. The Paladin Prophecy is chock full of twists, turns, back flips, and somersaults. The story of Will and his band of uncommonly talented friends — and just as frightfully talented enemies — tops the list of books I can’t wait to handsell this fall!” —Ramona Wanlass, Square Books, Oxford, MS

Personal Effects, by E.M. Kokie
(Candlewick, $16.99, 9780763655273)
Personal Effects portrays a teenager dealing with the loss of his brother who was killed in Iraq. Matt and his father are each dealing with the loss in different ways, making it hard for Matt to come to terms with T.J.’s death. Increasingly, Matt becomes obsessed with questions about his brother’s past. In learning more about T.J., Matt grows and matures. This is a powerful book, full of many timely issues.” —Sue Richardson, Maine Coast Book Shop, Inc., Damariscotta, ME

Safekeeping, by Karen Hesse
(Feiwel & Friends, $17.99, 9781250011343)
“This book is not typical dystopian fare. The future is now. Radley, a volunteer at a Haitian orphanage, has rushed home to Vermont after hearing of political turmoil in the U.S. She is shocked by what greets her: restrictions, regulations, curfews, and crowds of armed soldiers patrolling the streets. Readers feel Radley’s growing terror at a homeland that is nearly unrecognizable. The grimness of Radley’s circumstance is countered by depictions of New England’s stunning landscape with 50 photographs by Hesse illustrating the book. Safekeeping tackles timely issues that reflect the divisiveness in American politics. Not to be missed!” —Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA

The Shadow Society, by Marie Rutkoski
(Farrar, Straus and Giroux Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 9780374349059, available October)
“Darcy Jones was abandoned at age five. She remembers nothing of her past, but as she works on a high school art project she begins drawing fantastical versions of Chicago’s skyline that somehow seem familiar. Soon she’s drawn into an alternate universe where humans and her kind — Shades — are at war, and she’s in love with the enemy. I loved this high-octane read and recommend it to fans ofThe Hunger Games and I Am Number Four.” —Jill Hendrix, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Shadows: The Ashes Trilogy, by Ilsa J. Bick
(Egmont USA, $17.99, 9781606841761, available September)
“Bick’s follow-up to Ashes is another heart-pounding, frantic, action-packed adventure for those who can’t get enough of the zombie apocalypse. As protagonist Alex fights to survive in a world gone seriously haywire, she begins to piece together just how dangerous her situation is. These are not the walking dead we know from television and film; they are cognizant beings, fueled as much by shrewd instinct as by animalistic blood lust. Bick keeps her complicated plot moving with plenty of twists and turns, creating a cringe-inducing, fascinating, and utterly entertaining read.” —Megan Graves, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

Son, by Lois Lowry
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, $17.99, 9780547887203, available October)
“So much about the community in The Giver is mysterious to its members. In Son, an aspect that many readers couldn’t help but wonder about — the experience of the Birthmothers — is detailed. A compelling final volume, this new story adds depth and maturity to The Giver quartet.” —Shoshana Flax, Brookline Booksmith, Brookline, MA

Survive, by Alex Morel
(Razorbill, $17.99, 9781595145109)
“Laurie Halse Anderson fans will love this debut about a troubled girl who plans to take her own life on a plane ride, until that choice is taken from her when the plane crashes. Now she’ll do anything to survive, but will she find help in time? A gripping and emotional read!” —Lauren Peugh, Mrs. Nelson’s Toy & Book Shop, La Verne, CA

This Is Not Forgiveness, by Celia Rees
(Bloomsbury USA Children’s Books, $17.99, 9781599907765, available October)
“Caro is gorgeous and mysterious and Jamie is completely smitten with her, but he can’t help questioning her secretive relationship with his older brother, a wounded war veteran recently returned from Afghanistan. Is Caro really a member of a group of political anarchists? Popular young adult author Rees has created a new page-turner!” —Julia Chwatun, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

Through to You, by Emily Hainsworth
(Balzer + Bray, $17.99, 9780062094193, available October)
“This stunning debut is centered on the ‘what if’ thinking everyone has been guilty of at some point in their lives. For Camdem Pike, the list of ‘what ifs’ goes on and on. What if he hadn’t given up on football? What if his parents hadn’t split up? And, most importantly, what if his girlfriend, Viv, who helped him through all of this, hadn’t died? Little does Cam know, the answers to all of those questions are about to be answered. This clever book will make you think and keep you turning pages right up to its shocking conclusion.” —Nikole Bonacorsi, The River’s End Bookstore, Oswego, NY

Unspoken: The Lynburn Legacy, by Sarah Rees Brennan
(Random House Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780375870415)
“In the first of a new trilogy, Brennan introduces Kami and the small English town of Sorry-in-the-Vale. Kami has always been different, largely due to the imaginary friend, Jared, she talks to in her head. When descendants of the town’s founding family, the Lynburns, move back, Kami meets charming, attractive Ash and his more abrasive cousin. Kami, a journalist at heart, begins investigating local animal mutilations and ends up stuck in an elevator with the obnoxious cousin, and that is when she discovers he is Jared, and he is definitely not imaginary! This book focuses on Kami and Jared learning to accept that the other actually exists while investigating who is killing animals and who is now trying to kill Kami. I can’t wait for the sequel!” —Anne Kimbol, Murder By the Book, Houston, TX