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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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Fall 2010

Summer 2010

Spring 2010

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Summer 2009

Spring 2009

Winter 2008/2009

— Fall 2008

— Spring 2008

Fall 2007

— Summer 2007

Favorites of 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten

1. Between Shades of Gray
Ruta Sepetys, Philomel
“The full extent of Stalin’s genocide will never truly be known, but it certainly had no boundaries. Ruta Sepetys stunningly portrays the devastation of Lithuania through the eyes of 15-year-old Lina and the story of her family’s deportation to Siberia. The camp scenes not only accurately display the horror of the Great Terror but also show the courage and resilience of those who survived this colossal crime. Consider this the young adult version of Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich.” —Bill Cusumano, Nicola’s Books, Ann Arbor, MI

2. Delirium
Lauren Oliver, HarperCollins
“Not just another dystopian novel, Delirium presents a world where love is looked at as a disease and citizens are subjected to a procedure to relieve them of its burden at age 18. But if you can’t live with love, is it really worth living without it? This is a very touching and thought-provoking novel.” —Vicki Erwin, Main Street Books, St. Charles, MO

 

 

3. The Trouble With Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery
Doreen Cronin, Kevin Cornell, Balzer + Bray
“When retired search-and-rescue dog J.J. Tully agrees to help a chicken find her missing chicks, he gets himself into a peck of trouble! Doreen Cronin’s hilarious story, paired with Kevin Cornell’s laugh-inducing illustrations, results in one of the funniest books ever! This clever mystery is filled with lots of ‘eggstra’ surprises and will make one terrific read-aloud for families and classrooms.” —Joyce Tiber, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI

 

4. You’re Finally Here!
Melanie Watt, Disney-Hyperion
“Who knew a rabbit with expressive eyebrows, huge eyes, and a small but mighty mouth could carry off a story as the solo character? Melanie Watt, author and illustrator of the Scaredy Squirrel series, accomplishes just that in this simple but noisy dialogue between rabbit and reader. Make room for this rabbit next to a certain well-known pigeon!” —Beverly Bauer,
Redbery Books, Cable, WI

5. Exposed
Kimberly Marcus, Random House Books for Young Readers
“This poignant free-verse novel, told from the point of view of teenage photographer Liz, is powerful stuff. Marcus deftly uses clear language to create a story of tangled emotions. The concepts of friendship, family, justice, and trust are all called into question when Liz’s best friend, Kate, suddenly starts acting distant. This shocking, well-crafted book shakes up perceptions, explores creativity, and invites the reader to think about shades of gray. Teen book clubs, here’s your next pick!” —Tegan Tigani, Queen Anne Books, Seattle, WA


6. Okay for Now, by Gary D. Schmidt (Clarion)

“Following The Wednesday Wars, Doug Swieteck and his family move to ‘stupid’ Marysville in upstate New York. Completely awed by his hero, Yankee baseball player Joe Pepitone, and trying valiantly to be nothing like his abusive, often drunken father, Doug has more than his share of obstacles. It’s 1968: Doug’s brother is in Vietnam, the Apollo 11 moonwalk is nearing, and Doug is hiding two big secrets. Phenomenal characters and impossible odds make this tale of an amazing young man funny, tender, and inspiring.” —Jane Morck, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, WA


7. No Passengers Beyond This Point, by Gennifer Choldenko (Dial)

“Choldenko’s imagination flies high with this wacky and wonderful novel that pays homage to The Wizard of Oz. After losing their home, Finn and his sisters, India and Mouse, are sent by their mother to stay with Uncle Red in Colorado, but their plane lands in an altogether different world. The siblings are greeted like movie stars and each is given their own house. Is it too good to be true? Even if you think you can guess what’s going on here, the ending will still astonish you!” —Joanne R. Fritz, Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, PA

8. Ribbit Rabbit, by Candace Ryan, Mike Lowery (Illus.) (Walker)
“Ryan’s clever Ribbit Rabbit is sure to entertain, delight, and amuse readers of all ages! Frog and Bunny are best friends who do everything together. Whether drawing pictures, swimming, or fighting monsters, the two are inseparable. Of course, Frog and Bunny can’t always see eye to eye, but the two are too close to let little things come between them. With clever puns and fabulous action verbs, Ryan crafts a masterpiece, and Lowery’s illustrations are winningly simplistic and amusing.” —Rebecca Moore, Hooray For Books!, Alexandria, VA

9. Where She Went, by Gayle Forman (Dutton)
“In this sequel to the brilliant but devastating If I Stay, Forman explores tragedy’s capacity to destroy relationships. Despite Adam and Mia’s rising fame as a rock star and a cellist, respectively, both of them are still reeling three years later from the aftereffects of the metaphysical link they shared during Mia’s coma. Ultimately, this sequel is a thoughtful narrative on identity and self-preservation in the face of catastrophic events.” —Emily Crowe, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

 

10. All the Water in the World, by George Ella Lyon, Katherine Tillotson (Illus.) (Athenium)
“Weaving facts about water and the need for water conservation into a lively and inspiring poem, George Ella Lyon contrasts the abundance of water in some places with the complete lack and need of it in others throughout the world. With Katherine Tillotson’s stunning art work, this book becomes a must-read for everyone!” —David Richardson, The Blue Marble, Fort Thomas, KY

 

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Ages 4 to 8

Chicken, Chicken, Duck!
Nadia Krilanovich (Tricycle)
“Chicken, Chicken, Duck! is such a fun way for new readers to learn their animals! Big, bright, and bold pictures are accompanied by large, simple text, making this a great book for younger children to explore the sounds of a sheep, a goat, a llama, a horse, a pig, and many more animals. Be on
the lookout for the duck, whose ‘quack’ comes at various unexpected moments throughout the tale!” —Rebecca Moore, Hooray For Books!, Alexandria, VA

Clink
Kelly DePucchio, Matthew Myers (Illus.) (Balzer and Bray) “Poor Clink is an old robot who just can’t compete with all the other new-fangled, fancy robots in the shop. But one day a little boy finds a special beauty in Clink and takes him home. A very sweet story complemented by wonderful illustrations!” —Meaghan Beasley, Island Bookstore, Corolla, NC

Cloudette
Tom Lichtenheld (Henry Holt)
“This is a funny and inspirational tale about a little cloud looking to make a big difference. Lichtenheld’s humor is as enjoyable as ever, and his illustrations never disappoint. It will surely be a storytime hit!” —Angela K. Sherrill, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL

Fortune Cookies
Albert Bitterman, Chris Raschka (Illus.) (Beach Lane)
“You literally get to pull the fortune out of seven different cookies as you work your way through this delightful pop-up book. The art seems simple at first, but the effect that art and words have together is anything but simple as the poetic language and poignant story unfolds. ‘On Monday my fortune said: Money is like the wind. And guess what? I found a dollar under my pillow! So I bought a kite.’ Wonderful!” —Leon Archibald, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

His Shoes Were Far Too Tight: Poems by Edward Lear
Daniel Pinkwater (Ed.), Calef Brown (Illus.) (Chronicle) “The wild and exuberant nonsense of Mr. Lear is brought to vibrant life by the madcap master of children’s book illustration, Calef Brown. Topping off the fun is a biography of Lear and an introduction by fellow nonsense-artist, the ‘runcible’ Daniel Pinkwater.” —Jennifer Laughran, Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck, NY

Little White Rabbit
Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow)
“A little white rabbit hops through the woods and fields and wonders about all the things he sees. When he scurries through the grass, he wonders what it would be like to be green. As he lopes past fir trees, he wonders what it would be like to be tall. When he gazes up at graceful butterflies, he wonders what it would be like to soar in the breeze. But when he returns home to his mama, he doesn’t have to wonder what it’s like to be loved!” —Megan Graves, Hooray For Books!, Alexandria, VA

Ponyella
Laura Numeroff and Nate Evans, Lyn Munsinger (Illus.) (Disney-Hyperion) “This is an adorable retelling of Cinderella with a lovely white pony in the title role. When Ponyella’s farm is sold to new owners, two mean ponies arrive on the farm and make life miserable for Ponyella. But when Princess Penelope arrives in town, Ponyella gets the chance to escape her sad life. If only Ponyella can win the Tippington 25th Annual Grand Royal Pony Championship, she will belong to the princess and have a chance at ‘happily ever after.’ With lovely illustrations, this is sure to be a favorite!” —Summer Anderson, Hooray For Books!, Alexandria, VA

Say Hello to Zorro!
Carter Goodrich (Simon & Schuster)
“Mister Bud leads the good dog’s life. He has his own things and his own schedule, but one day a little pug named Zorro shows up. The two are grumpy until they realize that they share the same favorite things. Goodrich’s illustrations capture the exuberance of the characters. The expressions of the dogs are hysterical, and children will delight in their battles and companionship, and will see a similarity to the relationships they have with their own siblings.” —Marika McCoola, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

The Secret Box
Barbara Lehman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
“Here’s another book full of whimsy and wonder from Caldecott-honoree Lehman. In this wordless tale, a hidden candy box of ‘treasures’ passes the decades undetected until found by three boys, who decide to follow the map hidden inside, with magical results. A great treat for kids of all ages, who will delight in using their own words to tell the story to go along with the illustrations.” —Kelley Drahushuk, The Spotty Dog Books & Ale, Hudson, NY

Strange Creatures: The Story of Walter Rothschild and His Museum
Lita Judge (Disney-Hyperion)
“Walter Rothschild, a shy boy who barely spoke, was the son of one of the richest bankers of the mid-19th century. But Walter didn’t need words to study the animals he loved in the garden of his parent’s large estate. If it crawled, slithered, or flew, Walter was observing it. As an adult, he
founded a museum and left a legacy devoted to a wide diversity of species. Magnificent!” —Beverly Bauer, Redbery Books, Cable, WI

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Ages 9 to 12

A Dog’s Way Home
Bobbie Pyron (Katherine Tegen)
“The meaning of heart and home take on new depth in this emotional and dramatic story that will resonate with all animal lovers! More than an Incredible Journey, this tale takes readers into the mind of a dog learning to survive through hundreds of miles of wilderness in order to come home to the girl he loves. Lassie, Old Yeller, Lad, Sounder, Shiloh, and other dogs of literature lore and fame: Please welcome Tam!” —Becky Anderson, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL

Dragonbreath: Lair of the Bat Monster
Ursula Vernon (Dial)
“Animal Planet meets Bunnicula in this fourth installment in the Dragonbreath series. While deep in the Mexican jungle, Danny Dragonbreath is grabbed by a bat monster that is as big as a house. Will his nerdy, timid best friend, Wendell, be brave enough to save Danny before he’s permanently adopted as a bat monster baby?” —Ellen Klein, Hooray For Books!, Alexandria, VA

Fantasy Baseball
Alan Gratz (Dial)
“The title says it all. Gratz takes his readers on a rip-roaring, nail-biting, winner-take-all ride through baseball games filled with classic characters from favorite children’s books. This one will make you recall all of those books you loved as a kid.” —David Richardson, The Blue Marble, Fort Thomas, KY

The Fourth Stall
Chris Rylander (Walden)
“Fans of The Godfather will delight in the clever story of Mac, the middle-school ‘fixer,’ and his posse of ‘business associates,’ who meet each day in the east wing boys’ bathroom to solve their classmates’ problems. Solve for a fee, of course, or a favor to be requested at a later date. All is well in Mac’s world until Fred enters the fourth stall from the window—Mac’s office—asking for protection from the infamous Staples. Can Mac solve his biggest problem yet keep his lucrative business and his friendships intact? This is a book ‘that you can not refuse!’” —Lori-Jo Scott, Island Bookstore, Kitty Hawk, NC

The Genius Files: Mission Unstoppable
Dan Gutman (HarperCollins) “Prolific and popular author Gutman begins a new series filled with funny and crazy characters and an outlandish plot. Twelve-year-old twins Coke and Pepsi McDonald discover a secret government plot to use YAGs, or ‘Young American Geniuses’ to help solve the nation’s problems – and they’re both on the list!” —Michele Bellah, Copperfield’s
Books, Sebastopol, CA

Kat, Incorrigible
Stephanie Burgis (Atheneum)
“Kat, Incorrigible is what you might get if you set the popular television series Bewitched in 19th-century England and added a dash of Jane Austen. There’s also a bit of a twist on the Cinderella theme. Not at all what you’d expect, and a delightful start to a new series!” —Judith Lafitte, Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA

Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie
Julie Sternberg, Matthew Coedell (Illus.)(Amulet)
“This little gem hits all the right notes on the subject of change in the life of a child. Eleanor’s voice is true to life, without any of the sarcasm we hear so often. If only we all had such understanding people in our lives! The illustrations by Matthew Coedell add the perfect touch.” —Candice Foster, Bayou Book Company, Niceville, FL

The Luck of the Buttons
Anne Ylvisaker (Candlewick)
“Tugs Esther Button wants to find luck, but it seems hopeless given her family history. Other than making pie, they don’t seem to be good at anything. But Tugs is a keen observer, and she has the knack for making friends in her small town. She uses her prize Brownie camera and sharp eye to observe a mysterious stranger whose smooth tongue seems to have everyone fooled. Tugs doesn’t let anything stop her once she sets her mind to solving this dilemma. Maybe she can make some luck for herself and her friends!” —Julie Wilson, The Bookworm, Omaha, NE

The Midnight Tunnel: A Suzanna Snow Mystery
Angie Frazier (Scholastic Press)
“Zanna wishes she were a detective like her Uncle Bruce, and her Rules for the Real Detective are certain to help her when a mystery unfolds at her family’s seaside hotel in Loch Harbor, New Brunswick. When a little girl goes missing, the twists and turns in this tale will keep you guessing. Zanna is a delight, and readers will be anxious for more of her adventures.” —Amy Hussin, Dragonwings Bookstore, Waupaca, WI

Second Fiddle
Rosanne Parry (Random House)
“With the fall of the Berlin Wall, U.S. military families are being relocated, and a trip to Paris for a musical competition will be the last chance for Jody and her two best friends to be together. Their final fling abruptly changes focus when they find a battered Russian soldier under a Berlin bridge. Hoping to do the right thing and save him, they hatch a plan, and the adventure begins. Beautifully written, this is historical fiction you won’t be able to put down.” —Jeanne Snyder, Books & Books,
Coral Gables, FL

The Unicorn’s Tale: Nathaniel Fludd: Beastologist,
Book 4 R.L. LaFevers, Kelly Murphy
(Illus.)(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) “What could possibly bother a unicorn? What could make her so angry that she would nip the hindquarters of her caretaker? Aunt Phil and Nathaniel must travel to France to find out what ails the beast. Meanwhile, Cousin Obediah is still lurking around insinuating that he has information about Nathaniel’s missing parents. Nathaniel is torn between his duty as a Beastologist and his desire to find his parents. Another great entry in this engaging series!” —Sara Glassman, Little Professor Book Center,
Homewood, AL

Zita the Spacegirl
Ben Hatke
(First Second)
“Make way for a green-caped heroine who is out of this world! When Zita’s friend Joseph is transported to a faraway planet in peril, Zita must not only get the two of them home safely, but also try to stop the planet’s impending destruction. Quite a job for our young spacegirl! Luckily, a cast of supporting characters helps her get most of that accomplished!” —Angela K. Sherrill, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL

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Teen Readers

The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group
Catherine Jinks (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) “Toby thought waking up in a dingo pen with amnesia was weird, but that’s not the half of it. Who are all these odd people trying to convince him he’s a werewolf? Catherine Jinks turns fantasy on its ear again, and her new book does for werewolves what her last book, The Reformed Vampire Support Group, did for vampires. Favorite vampires from the earlier book make a return here, and humor and thrills abound.” —Rosemary Pugliese, Quail Ridge Books & Music, Raleigh, NC

Angelfire
Courtney Allison Moulton (Katherine Tegen)
“At last, a young adult novel about a sword-wielding, butt-kicking 17-year-old girl who has been destined to fight the forces of evil. By her side is Will, her guardian angel protector. But Ellie is definitely not that contemporary teen of other novels who constantly needs rescuing by her immortal boyfriend. Blistering action, mystery, romance, and terror will captivate readers from the first page to the last and leave them breathlessly waiting for book two of this exciting trilogy!” —Becky Anderson, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL

Close to Famous
Joan Bauer (Viking Juvenile)
“Joan Bauer once again brings us a strong young female character. Foster McFee must learn to deal with life—from her mother’s abusive boyfriend, to her inability to read, to figuring out just how to survive. What Foster does know is how to make cupcakes. Somehow, with much laughter and tears and inspiration from watching a TV cooking show, baking helps Foster to make friends, dream, and begin to do a lot more than simply survive. She learns to make the best cupcakes —and the best life—out of the craziest ingredients!” —Joanne Bibeau, Storybook Cove, Hanover, MA

Crescendo
Becca Fitzpatrick (Simon & Schuster)
“At the end of Hush, Hush, Nora escaped death at the hands of Chauncey, a Nephilim, and Patch had been made Nora’s guardian angel. However, rules forbid angels from having any kind of romantic relationship with humans, and unless he wants to be sent to hell for good, Patch must end everything with Nora. Nora understands, but when she starts getting anonymous tips about her dad’s killer, all the clues seem to point to Patch. Crescendo is a sequel that doesn’t disappoint, and readers will be eager for the next book in this series.” —Emily Grossenbacher, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, MS

Death Cloud: Sherlock Holmes—The Legend Begins
Andrew Lane (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) “Sherlock Holmes is 14 years old and expecting his father to pick him up from school to go home for summer break. Instead, his brother Mycroft shows up, not to take him home, but rather to take him to stay with an aunt and uncle he has never met. Disappointment turns to adventure, danger, and intrigue. This is a wonderful introduction to a beloved character. We’ll all be looking for more of this series!” —Christine Crawford, Epilog Books, Quincy, CA

Drought
Pam Bachorz (Egmont Books)
“Ruby wants nothing more than to escape the Congregation, a community in which she is enslaved by Darwin West and his evil Overseers. Unfortunately, if Ruby leaves, the entire population will perish, as they need her blood to make the Water ‘special.’ When Ruby meets Ford, her desire to leave the Congregation grows even stronger and the decision to stay or go becomes almost unbearable. She must decide if her freedom is worth destroying the only place she’s ever called home. A thrilling dystopian novel that teens won’t be able to put down!” —Amanda Snow, Hooray For Books!, Alexandria, VA

Eona
Alison Goodman (Viking Juvenile)
“When you’ve been anticipating a book as much as I have this one, there’s a good chance that you will be disappointed. Happily, Goodman’s sequel to the stellar Eon definitely does not disappoint! Facing the ultimate battle for control of the land she calls home, Eona finds herself waging an internal battle every bit as devastating as the war threatening to break out across the kingdom. Goodman’s characters and her world-building talents are exceptionally strong, and I was very sorry to see this saga end.” —Billie Bloebaum, Powell’s Books at PDX, Portland, OR

Gemini Bites
Patrick Ryan (Scholastic Press)
“Kyle, a confident, gay teen with a large, supportive family, competes with his fraternal twin, Judy, for grades, for friends, and even for dates. Their rivalry escalates when a compelling, mysterious student comes to stay with their family for a month. Ryan deftly uses humor to deal with tough issues.” —Amy Hussin, Dragonwings Bookstore, Waupaca, WI

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book II—The Hidden Gallery
Maryrose Wood, Jon Klassen (Illus.) (Balzer + Bray)
“Penelope Lumley and her trio of incorrigible wards, Alexander, Beowulf, and Cassiopeia, find themselves in London, where adventure abounds. Luckily, this spunky governess is armed with an endless string of useful sayings from her days in the orphanage, and she also knows where to find the best biscuits. This mystery will keep you guessing and smiling as everyone explores the city and looks for more clues to the children’s most unusual beginnings.” —Julie Wilson, The Bookworm, Omaha, NE

The Iron Thorn
Caitlin Kittredge (Delacorte)
“The Iron Thorn is a fitting homage to H.P. Lovecraft for teen readers. The chilling suspense builds as Aoife tries to discover a cure for her family’s curse—madness that strikes on their 16th birthday. Aiofe’s quest leads her from the relative safety of the city to the home of her father where everything she knows to be true is disproved. The fate of her family and the world is in Aoife’s hands. I can’t wait for the next book to see how all the plot twists are resolved!” —Cinda Meister, Booksmart, Morgan Hill, CA

Kick
Walter Dean Myers and Ross Workman (HarperTeen)
“An award-winning author joins with a high school teen to create a story about a 13-year-old who gets into trouble and may be charged with multiple crimes. Kevin Johnson, son of a deceased police officer, can’t or won’t explain what happened the day he was arrested. In jail, besides being worried about his mother and grandmother, he fears that he will not be able to play in the State Cup soccer tournament. The two authors—one who knows how to relate the tension of the soccer field and the other who knows how to accurately translate the tension in the life of teens—have delivered an inspirational and real-life novel that will draw teens, especially boys, into reading.” —Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books & Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

The Piper’s Son
Melina Marchetta (Candlewick)
“Melina Marchetta’s novels are not easy to read. They are just like life—filled with hard work, complicated, and completely worth the ride. Her characters are people you know, people you love, and people who drive you crazy. The Piper’s Son continues the story of friendship and family loyalty that began in Saving Francesca with an equally intense amount of love and compassion shown for all of the characters’ weaknesses.” —Jane Knight, Bear Pond Books of Montpelier, Montpelier, VT

The Pirate Captain’s Daughter
Eve Bunting (Sleeping Bear Press)
“At age 15, Catherine joins her father aboard his pirate ship disguised as ‘Charlie.’ She has dreamed that life as a pirate would be exciting and romantic, but instead finds that it is a life of weevils in her food, a filthy crew for company, a brutal code, and the constant danger that she might be discovered. This is a truly swashbuckling tale!” —Shirley Mullin, Kids Ink Children’s Bookstore, Indianapolis, IN

Selling Hope
Kristin O’Donnell Tubb (Feiwel & Friends)
“Thirteen-year-old Hope McDaniels lives and works with a vaudeville troupe that crisscrosses America—and she hates it. She wants to return to Chicago, the town that she and her father left in 1905, when her mother died. To get off the circuit, Hope needs to earn some money fast. Inspired by the imminent visitation of Halley’s Comet, Hope begins to sell her very own ‘anti-comet pills’ with a bit of help from a young man named Buster Keaton. As the comet approaches, Hope begins to question what she really wants, and where her own place is in the universe. This is a coming-of-age story rich with quirky details and lively characters. Just like a vaudeville act, it is half comedy, half drama, and all entertainment.” —Jocelyn Koehler, Boswell Book Co., Milwaukee, WI

Small as an Elephant
Jennifer Richard Jacobson (Candlewick)
“Over Labor Day weekend, 11-year-old Jack’s mom takes him camping in Maine. When he wakes up that first morning and finds her gone along with the car and all their food, he knows he’ll have to find his own way home. Jack’s mother has always been unpredictable, but if she’s ‘spinning’ she won’t be making good decisions, and if he turns himself in, Social Services will probably make him live with his grandma. This is a great read about a young boy’s determination to see things through to the end, and his realization that, although he was abandoned, he was never really alone.” —Jamie Schildknecht, The Rediscovered Bookshop, Boise, ID

Strings Attached
Judy Blundell (Scholastic Press)
“Teen runaway Kit has a job as a chorus girl at a nightclub, but not much else. She is approached by her ex-boyfriend’s father, who may or may not have Mafia ties, and he asks her to do him a little favor. In exchange, he’ll set her up in an apartment and get her a better job. No strings attached ... right? This stylish and chilling story, which has everything going for it will keep teen readers hooked.” —Jennifer Laughran, Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck, NY

Trapped
Michael Northrop (Scholastic Press)
“Seven high school students get trapped in their school during a blizzard. The storm turns into a once-in-a-lifetime nor’easter and the supposed overnight stay turns into days, as the snow piles up higher and higher. The interaction and ingenuity of the students as their problems increase will keep you intrigued. Highly recommend for readers of all ages!” —Barbara Rodean, A Likely Story, Sykesville, MD

Wither: The Chemical Garden Trilogy
Lauren DeStefano (Simon & Schuster)
“This dark, dystopian fantasy is the stunning beginning to what promises to be an exciting trilogy. In a world where women die at age 20 and men at age 25, 16-year-old Rhine is among thousands of girls who are kidnapped and sold to wealthy young husbands. Rhine finds herself one of three mistresses on a huge, decadent estate, but her only wish is to escape back to the poverty in which she lived with her twin brother. I’m already pumped for the next book!” —Daryl Ellerbe, Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn, NY