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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

Spring 2011

Winter 2011

Fall 2010

Summer 2010

Spring 2010

Winter 2009

Fall 2009

Summer 2009

Spring 2009

Winter 2008/2009

— Fall 2008

— Spring 2008

Fall 2007

— Summer 2007

Favorites of 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten

1. Bitterblue, by Kristin Cashore
(Dial Books for Young Readers, $19.99, 9780803734739)
“Cashore’s third book is full of intrigue, conspiracies, and secrets. Queen Bitterblue’s rule is shadowed by her father’s legacy of pain, fear, and torture. Believing that the only way to restore her kingdom is to face the past, Bitterblue delves into forgotten histories, stories, and altered memories in her search for answers. Deliciously thrilling and full of twists and turns — plus a little romance, of course!” — Marika McCoola, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA


2. Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman

(Random House BFYR, $17.99, 9780375866562)
“Here is a new and original voice that will set the Dragon genre on its ear! Seraphina has an incredible musical talent, one that she must not flaunt in case she draws attention to herself. For Seraphina is no ordinary girl; she is a half-dragon living in a human world that despises all dragons. In this lush world full of secrets and intriguing characters, readers will completely lose themselves. An exciting book!” — Meaghan Beasley, Island Bookstore, Duck, NC

 

3. Three Times Lucky, by Sheila Turnage
(Dial, $16.99, 9780803736702)
“With its small-town setting, quirky characters, and mystery-laden, fast-paced plot, Three Times Lucky is a wonderful novel for middle readers. That’s to say nothing of 11-year-old Moses LoBeau, who is, for my money, the most winning heroine of any book — children’s or adult — that I’ve read in years. Turnage deserves all the praise she’s sure to get for this book, and then some. Simply a great read!” — David Mallmann, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI


4. A Greyhound of a Girl, by Roddy Doyle

(Amulet, $16.95, 9781419701689)
“One day as 12-year-old Mary walks home from school, she meets a mysterious woman who seems to appear out of nowhere. The woman looks young, but seems old, and her name is Tansey, which, as it happens, is the name of Mary’s long-dead great-grandmother. Tansey says she has a message for Mary’s granny. And so, impossibly, four generations of women embark on a midnight road trip to revisit the farm that made them who they are. Doyle’s delightful story is charming, witty, and poignant, a surprisingly fresh generational tale that mothers and daughters will want to share!” — Megan Graves, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

5. Dragons Love Tacos, by Adam RubinDaniel Salmieri (Illus.)
(Dial, $16.99, 9780803736801)
“Dragons are great! And they love parties — all kinds of parties! And tacos — all kinds of tacos! What could be better, what could be more fun than a taco party for dragons?! Just be careful not to use spicy toppings or the results could be a bit hotter than you wanted. This red-hot little gem will have you planning a party and craving tacos in no time. Just don’t forget to invite the dragons!” — Kris Vreeland, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

6. Insignia, by S. J. Kincaid
(Katherine Tegen Books, $17.99, 9780062092991)
“At 14, Tom Raines is recruited by the Pentagon to train to fight in World War III, a war that is being fought in space by ships controlled by teenagers. While training, Tom learns that the line between enemy and friend is often blurred. With exhilarating battles, some great pranks, and a group of teenagers who are trying to survive military high school, Insignia will keep you riveted from the first page.” — Rebecca Olson, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

 

7. Bink and Gollie, Two for One, by Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee,
Tony Fucile (Illus.)

(Candlewick, $15.99, 9780763633615)
“If you are not already a fan of the early reader Bink & Gollie, this sequel is sure to win you over. The result of a collaboration between familiar award-winning authors, this is a book of unforgettable characters. Two girls, best friends and an unlikely pair of complete opposites in size and temperament, work as a team to navigate the thrills and wonders of the state fair that is visiting town.” — Barbara Siepker, The Cottage Book Shop, Glen Arbor, MI

8. Insurgent, by Veronica Roth
(Katherine Tegen, $17.99, 9780062024046)
“Picking up where Divergent ended, this sequel gives readers a more detailed glimpse into the other factions, as Tris and Four seek refuge. Still in shock from killing her own friend and losing her parents, Tris begins to doubt herself, especially after someone close to her turns out to be a traitor. As war becomes inevitable, Tris has to decide whether or not to embrace her Divergence. The breakneck excitement, action, and romance, along with a shocking ending, will have you talking about this book for months!” — Joanne R. Fritz, Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, PA

9. See You at Harry’s, by Jo Knowles
(Candlewick, $16.99, 9780763654078)
“Knowles plunks the reader down amidst a set of warm, loveable, flawed characters who have to deal with the unimaginable. As a middle child, Fern feels adrift while her busy family tumbles in different directions. When tragedy strikes, through Fern’s eyes we experience the unraveling that can happen to any loving family confronted with a huge loss. Knowles takes the reader’s hand and deftly winds through the maze of grief and shows how navigating with our hearts will always lead us back home.” — Jane Knight, Bear Pond Books of Montpelier, Montpelier, VT

10. Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always, by Tao Nyeu
(Dial, $16.99, 9780803735651)
“Tao Nyeu can work miracles with a simple color palette, spare lines, and gentle, lovely text. Squid and Octopus are true friends. They disagree but don’t argue. They pick each other up when down. And they are charmingly oblivious to their eccentric tastes in socks, gloves, or whatever. Another work of genius from Nyeu!” — Elizabeth Anker, Alamosa Books, Albuquerque, NM

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Ages 4 to 8

Boy and Bot, by Ame Dyckman, Dan Yaccarino (Illus.)
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 9780375867569)
“This is a great picture book to show that we’re all different and have different needs and ways of living, even while we are very much alike! This story of an adorable duo will win the hearts of readers of all ages and is wonderfully illustrated by Dan Yaccarino.” — Elizabeth Anker, Alamosa Books, Albuquerque, NM

Chloe, by Peter McCarty
(Balzer + Bray, $16.99, 9780061142918)
“When a new TV threatens ‘family fun time,’ Chloe uses a little imagination, some bubble wrap, and an empty box to turn things around. Amazing illustrations bring this charming story to life!” — Lisa Fabiano, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

Hippopposites, by Janik Coat
(Harry N. Abrams, $14.95, 9781419701511)
“There are so many concept board books that it’s easy to get tired of seeing the same thing over and over again. But Janik Coat brings life, innovation, and laughs to Hippopposites. While the book starts with a basic small/large spread, it quickly moves to more interesting comparisons, including full/empty in which a layer of cardboard has been physically removed from the book so that children can feel the depression. A fresh design filled with twists on classic concept books!” — Marika McCoola, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Laundry Day, by Maurie J. Manning
(Clarion, $16.99, 9780547241968)
“When a little shoe-shine boy finds a red scarf, he tries to return it to its owner, by climbing higher and higher up the fire escape of an apartment building in his search. On his way, he meets immigrants from all over the world and receives a friendly ‘hello’ from each. Manning’s use of graphic novel panels perfectly captures the movement of her busy story, while dynamic angles allow readers to take in every aspect of the city. A wonderful exploration of diversity and a celebration of a neighborhood.” — Marika McCoola, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Mommy, Daddy, I Had a Bad Dream! by Martha Heineman Pieper, Jo Gershman (Illus.)
(Smart Love Press, LLC, $18.99, 9780983866404)
“This delightfully illustrated book is a wonderful aid for children who are frightened by nightmares. Joey, a young kangaroo, wakes and runs to his parents’ bed to tell them of his bad dream. Each time he does so, his parents reassure him and walk him through a logical process that focuses on remembering what he may have done or experienced earlier that could have caused the bad dream. This process gives a child much more control over his life.” — Bob Spear, The Book Barn, Leavenworth, KS

Moo Hoo, by Candace Ryan, Mike Lowery
(Walker Books for Young Readers, $12.99, 9780802723369)
“In this hip companion to Ryan’s funny Ribbit Rabbit, new friends Cow and Owl learn about acceptance and sharing. Engaging illustrations by Lowery add just the right amount of silliness. Ryan’s ‘less is more’ text fits the toddler set to a ‘T’ and will have parents proclaiming this as a storytime marvel.” — Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

My No No No Day, by Rebecca Patterson
(Viking, $16.99, 9780670014057)
“Have you ever had a day when your cookie broke, somebody else got to be the princess, the peas were too hot, and your bath was too cold? And then your favorite book made everything alright? Then you, along with preschoolers and mothers everywhere, are going to love Bella!” — Jeanne Snyder, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

The Obstinate Pen, by Frank W. Dormer
(Henry Holt Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 9780805092950)

“‘This is what Uncle Flood wants to write with his new pen:
The following story is all true.
But the pen does not write that sentence. Instead it writes:
You have a big nose!
Who knows what to do with a pen that has a will of its own?

This is a very funny story with delightful illustrations about a pen that has its own ideas about what it should write. A wonderful read-aloud!” — Leon Archibald, Bank Square Books, Mystic, CT

Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, by Eric Litwin, James Dean (Illus.)
(HarperCollins, $16.99, 9780062110589)
“With a song that is readymade for toddler storytime, Pete loses his buttons one by one. But does he cry? Goodness, no. Another wonderful picture book by Eric Litwin with humorous illustrations that James Dean is known for.” — Valerie Koehler, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

Rocket Writes a Story, by Tad Hills
(Schwartz & Wade, $, )
“Tad Hills has written the perfect sequel to the wonderful How Rocket Learned to Read. Rocket loves books and words and now he wants to write a story of his own. As he searches for inspiration, Rocket realizes that it’s right in the world around him.” — Beth Puffer, Bank Street Bookstore, New York, NY

Silly Doggy! by Adam Stower
(Orchard Books, $16.99, 9780545373234)
“Lily has always wanted a dog. She wakes up one morning and finds a big furry brown ‘doggy’ outside her bedroom window. He isn’t like other dogs, he doesn’t do tricks well, and he likes to eat weird things, including balls. Lily’s mother tells her that she needs to put up a poster because he probably belongs to somebody. And he does — the zoo! Adorable!” — Debbie Buck, Vintage Books, Vancouver, WA

Zorro Gets an Outfit, by Carter Goodrich
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $15.99, 9781442435353)
“Zorro, the irrepressible pug, is back in Goodrich’s follow-up to Say Hello to Zorro. In this story, the antics of Zorro and friend Mister Bud could almost be told wordlessly, as the delightfully expressive scenes relay how disgruntled Zorro is about wearing a superhero outfit and cape to the dog park. Only when he meets up with another suitably dressed canine does Zorro start feeling happy. Goodrich tells this friendship tale simply and with wry humor. A splendid sequel!” — Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

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Ages 9 to 12

Alien on a Rampage, by Clete Barrett Smith
(Hyperion Books for Children, $16.99, 9781423134480)
“David returns for a second summer at his grandmother’s Intergalactic Bed & Breakfast, a vacation spot for aliens. With his friend Amy running all the B&B’s activities and his grandma busy trying out recipes for the town’s upcoming baking contest, David is feeling like the odd man out. Things are even worse after they refuse to believe his warning that the new handyman, an alien named Scratchull, is planning to destroy planet Earth. With only a doglike purple creature named Snarffle at his side will David be able to set things straight before the end of world?” — Ellen Klein, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

A Boy and A Bear in a Boat, by Dave Shelton
(David Fickling Books, $16.99, 9780385752480)
“With a bear confidently at the oars of his dinghy, a boy sets off on what he supposes will be a short ride. But as days pass at sea with no land in sight, the boy begins to wonder if they could be . . . lost! With adventures on the horizon, this boy and bear will have to keep their wits about them and learn to work together. This is a story that simply brims with warmth and hilarity in a perfect combination, as are this boy and bear!” — Joyce Tiber, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI

Deadweather and Sunrise: The Chronicles of Egg, Book 1, by Geoff Rodkey
(Putnam Juvenile, $16.99, 9780399257858)
“When his emotionally distant father, bratty sister, and bullying brother are swept away in a hot air balloon accident, Egg — real name Egbert — is barely able to register the loss. The father of the girl he’s falling for is trying to kill him, there may be magical treasure buried on his family’s land, and he keeps getting captured by pirates! This first book in a new series is filled with humor, adventure, and more bloodthirsty pirates than you can shake a peg leg at!” — Jamie Schildknecht, The Rediscovered Bookshop, Boise, ID

Fake Mustache: Or, How Jodie O’Rodeo and Her Wonder Horse (and Some Nerdy Kid) Saved the U.S. Presidential Election From a Mad Genius Criminal Mastermind, by Tom Angleberger
(Amulet Books, $13.95, 9781419701948)
“Can a seventh grader buy a fake mustache made of real human hair and end up being president of the United States? Yes, if his name is Casper Bengue and he lives in Hairsprinkle. But first Casper needs help from his best friend, Lenny Flem Jr., who, in turn, needs help from the teenage cowgirl queen, Jodie O’Rodeo and her wonder horse, Soymilk, who are the real heroes of this story. Once again Angleberger has created a hilarious, imaginative, gooey novel for middle graders loaded with fun!” — Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

Flying the Dragon, by Natalie Dias Lorenzi
(Charlesbridge, $16.95, 9781580894340)
“Skye is a soccer-loving American girl, whose relatives are moving to the U.S. for her grandfather’s cancer treatments. In order to help the grandfather whom she has never met, she will have to take a Japanese-language course on Saturdays, and that means losing her place on the all-star soccer team. Skye’s cousin, Hiroshi, has to leave his home in Japan, move to America, and take English lessons. As the cousins struggle with change, their language barrier, and a rivalry for their grandfather’s affection, training for rokkaku — competitive kite fighting — brings them together and helps them find the strength and courage to overcome the obstacles they both face.” — Amy Hussin, Dragonwings Bookstore, Waupaca, WI

Ghost Knight, by Cornelia Funke
(Little, Brown Young Readers, $16.99, 9780316056144)
“Jon Whitcroft feels abandoned. After being sent to boarding school in Salisbury, Jon thinks that the only things he will have to worry about are fitting in and homesickness. Yet shortly after arriving, he discovers an ancient family curse and four vengeful spirits set on sending him to meet his ancestors. Only with the help of his friend Ella and a noble ghost named William Longspee will Jon be able to survive. Filled with murder, betrayal, lies, loyalty, and, of course, true friendship, this book will satisfy the noble knight in all of us.” — Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

Giants Beware! by Rafael Rosado, Jorge Aguirre
(First Second, $14.99, 9781596435827)
“Claudette wants to be a giant slayer just like her father, but why should she wait until she grows up? The villagers tell stories of a terrible giant who loves nothing more than baby feet. If Claudette can just open her father’s secret chest, she’ll have everything she needs to defeat a giant. Once she secures the aid of her brother, an aspiring pastry chef, and her best friend, who wants nothing more than to be a princess, Claudette sets out to slay the giant. With a spunky, pint-sized heroine and a surprising ending, Giants Beware! is certain to be a hit!” — Marika McCoola, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

The Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, by Christopher Healy, Tod Harris
(Walden Pond Press, $16.99, 9780062117434)
“Ever hear of Gustav and Frederic? How about Duncan and Liam? Well, then, how about Prince Charming? These four Princes Charming — unknown by name, but brought together because each has always played second fiddle to their princesses in favorite fairy tales — are eager to prove to their kingdoms that they deserve to be the heroes of their own story. The only problem? They are all — with the possible exception of Liam — woefully incompetent in the hero department. Mix that in with an evil witch, some trolls, and an annoyingly heroic Cinderella and you’ve got a hilarious adventure story boys and girls will love!” — Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

Iva Honeysuckle Discovers the World, by Candice Ransom, Heather Ross
(Hyperion Books for Children, $14.99, 9781423131731)
“Eight-year-old Iva is certain that she’s destined for greatness and poised to make her first big discovery. But there are bumps in the road — especially her bossy double-first-cousin, Heaven. All Iva wants in the world is to find her great-great-grandfather’s buried treasure and a friend who understands. After many misadventures, Iva despairs of finding either, but it turns out that friendship, like buried treasure, can turn up in the most unexpected places. I loved this charming little book, sprinkled with Southern flair and a quirky cast of small-town characters. Recommended for fans of Clementine and Ivy and Bean.” — Megan Kennedy, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

Jake and Lily, by Jerry Spinelli
(Balzer + Bray, $15.99, 9780060281359)
“This lovely story about the special bond between twins is unlike anything Jerry Spinelli has ever written. The twins tell their story in alternating chapters. Jake and Lily have always known each other’s thoughts. Even stranger, they both sleepwalk to the train station every year on their birthday. But now that they’re 11, things seem to be changing. Jake starts hanging out with a neighborhood gang, leaving Lily behind. Will Jake’s new friends get him into trouble? Will Lily find a friend of her own? And more importantly, does growing up mean growing apart? A bright and breezy story full of Spinelli’s trademark humor, with an ending that is absolutely perfect.” — Joanne R. Fritz, Chester County Book & Music Company, West Chester, PA

Kepler’s Dream, by Juliet Bell
(Putnam Juvenile, $16.99, 9780399256455)
“Here’s a book that manages to deal with some of the weighty issues that can threaten modern childhood — divorce and a parent’s serious illness — while still acknowledging that life, in all of its whacky glory, does go on. Kids still love Fruit Loops, they still tell little white lies, they worry about bad haircuts, and they can’t resist solving a mystery when one drops in their laps. Delightful, authentic characters make this a fine summer book for middle readers.” — Susan Scott, The Secret Garden, Seattle, WA

The Second Spy (The Books of Elsewhere Volume 3), by Jacqueline West
(Dial, $16.99, 9780803736894)
“The Books of Elsewhere series continues to delight. In her third outing, Olive faces dread on two fronts: Annabelle McMartin continues to haunt her, and she’s starting middle school. When she and her allies begin keeping secrets from one another, it makes it hard to know whom to trust. Olive may have painted herself into a corner in more than one way in this latest art-infused thriller.” — Rosemary Pugliese, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

The Secret Tree, by Natalie Standiford
(Scholastic Press, $16.99, 9780545334792)
“Minty Mortimer loves being a kid. She loves roller derby, hanging out, and annoying her older sister, Thea. Minty’s best friend, Paz, is ready to embrace middle school and a new grown-up image. She wants to impress the cool seventh graders, and she is becoming cruel to Minty. The Secret Tree tells the story of Minty’s last summer as a little kid and Paz’s first summer as a big kid. Unfortunately for their friendship, it’s the same summer. Every fifth grader needs to read this book. So much heartbreak could be avoided if kids could only see the secrets in their friends’ hearts.” — Elizabeth Anker, Alamosa Books, Albuquerque, NM

Summer at Forsaken Lake, by Michael D. Beil, Maggie Kneen
(Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.99, 9780375867422)
“Spending the summer away from the city and friends was not what Nicholas had in mind. He and his twin sisters are in for a lot of surprises in their dad’s small, lakeside hometown. With a room in a tower, a girl named Charlie who can pitch a mean curve ball, a sailboat named Goblin, it is a place full of surprises and adventure. When Nick finds an old movie called The Seaweed Strangler and a love letter to his father, he has to figure out how all the pieces fit together.” — Margaret Brennan Neville, The King’s English, Salt Lake City, UT

The Unfortunate Son, by Constance Leeds
(Viking Juvenile, $16.99, 9780670013982)
“In southern France in 1486, Luc, the second son of the Count de Muguet is born and rejected by his father and cast out of the castle because he is born without an external ear. Luc is hidden at a farm and is never told of his lineage. He is not deaf, but is sharp in hearing as well as in vision and blessed with a strong work ethic and warmth for others. Luc is taken in by a fisherman and his sister, who also house a girl of the same age. Luc takes to his newfound family, and he and the girl become attracted to each other. Then Luc is taken prisoner by a slaver and sold to a wealthy Arab merchant who becomes his teacher and mentor, forcing Luc to accept that becoming literate and using his gifts to care for others is worth more than freedom.” — Jack Blanchard, Fairy Godmother, Washington, DC

The Year of the Book, by Andrea Cheng, Abigail Halpin
(Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, $15.99, 9780547684635)
“While Anna is struggling with friends at school, she turns to books to find the company of her favorite characters. Real life situations, however, actually begin to show her the joys of real friends. This is a heartwarming story about true friendship and also about being true to yourself.” — Lisa Fabiano, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA.

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Teen Readers

Baby’s in Black: Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe, and The Beatles in Hamburg, by Arne Bellstorf
(First Second, $24.99, 9781596437715)
“Though this is a graphic novel featuring The Beatles, it is primarily a love story — that of Astrid Kirchherr, a young photographer who discovered The Beatles in a basement club and fell in love with their bass player, Stuart Sutcliffe. Bellstorf captures Astrid’s story and The Beatles’ early difficulties while hinting at the post-Beatles life Stuart might have had. A glimpse at the beginnings of cultural icons and an important period of history, Baby’s in Black is ultimately the bittersweet tale of a real-life romance.” — Marika McCoola, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Dying to Know You, by Aidan Chambers
(Harry N. Abrams, $16.95, 9781419701658)
“Karl, a young man diagnosed with dyslexia, has fallen for Fiorella, a young aspiring writer who insists that if Karl truly loves her, he will write to tell her how he feels. Karl, ashamed of his condition, approaches Fiorella’s favorite author and convinces him to write the letters Fiorella desires. The 75-year-old author attempts to put himself in the shoes of a shy, secretive, 18-year-old — not unlike himself at that age — and writes his first letter to Fiorella. Is the author doing Karl a favor, or is Karl doing the author a favor? Chambers delivers another award-caliber novel full of teenage angst, love, and wisdom about finding your true passion no matter your age.” — Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

The Enchantress, by Michael Scott
(Delacorte Books for Young Readers, $18.99, 9780385735353)
“The sixth and final volume in this fabulous series following the life of the immortal Nicholas Flamel (The AlchemystThe MagicianThe SorceressThe NecromancerThe Warlock) is Scott’s best installment so far! All of the questions and mysteries from the previous books are answered, and the ending will leave you with your mouth hanging open!” — Madison Butler, Liberty Bay Books, Poulsbo, WA

The Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to their Younger Selves, by Sarah Moon (Ed.)
(Arthur A. Levine Books, $17.99, 9780545399326)
“Here are 64 of the most provocative, sad, enlightening, inspiring tales you may ever read. The stories touch upon many social issues that teens are faced with from day to day — peer pressure, bullying, unrequited love, rejection, the stress of college applications and achievement, ambivalent parents, fight-or-flight friends, love, and sex. The authors succeed in pointing out that these are not just queer experiences but, rather, human experiences.” — Krys Tourtois, Schuler Books & Music, Lansing, MI

Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses, by Roon Koertge, Andrea Dezso (Illus.)
(Candlewick, $19.99, 9780763644062)
“These 23 classic fairy tales are retold in a way that at once makes them fresh and contemporary and returns the stories to their original darkness. Dezso’s fantastic illustrations are reminiscent of Kara Walker’s silhouettes, and Koertge flips everything you’ve come to expect from ‘ever after’ — including a Red Riding Hood who wants to be swallowed up and a former Beast who longs for his fangs. A wicked little read, indeed!” — Alise Hamilton, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA

Long Lankin, by Lindsey Barraclough
(Candlewick, $16.99, 9780763658083)
“Long Lankin is a figure of horror from an old English ballad, portrayed in this novel as a bogeyman. True to its roots, the story embodies the sense of an irredeemable evil lurking just below the surface, waiting its time to snatch childhood away. Cora and her younger sister, Mimi, go to visit their Aunt Ida in the countryside, and their arrival awakens in Ida the terror of her own childhood in this retrospectively told story. Long Lankin delivers an atmospheric and engaging rendering of an ancient evil brought to bay.” — Kenny Brechner, Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers, Inc., Farmington, ME

Pushing the Limits, by Katie McGarry
(Harlequin Books, $17.99, 9780373210497)
“I picked up this book and thought, ‘Oh, please save us from another typical high school romance story’ and that is exactly what Katie McGarry has done. Told from the alternating perspectives of Echo — a girl with physical and emotional scars bespeaking a past she cannot remember — and Noah — a self-important fringe-walking bad boy who doesn’t need anyone — this novel is expertly crafted and wholly believable. Sophisticated teens rejoice! Here’s the number-one book on your summer ‘must read’ list!” — Andrea Greenlee, Page One Bookstore, Albuquerque, NM

Shadow and Bone, by Leigh Bardugo
(Henry Holt & Company, $16.99, 9780805094596)
“This debut fantasy riffs on Russian history and folklore. The orphan, Alina, doesn’t know that she controls powers beyond her mapmaker trade and is thrust into royalty and the Darkling’s inner circle, the magical, elite Grishas. With vivid characters, exciting and twisty plots, monsters, romance, and a fully developed otherworld, this is a high fantasy thriller of the first order. I look forward to more from this talented author!” — Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

Shadows on the Moon, by Zoe Marriott
(Candlewick, $17.99, 9780763653446)
“While her mother is away, young Suzume sees her father and beloved cousin murdered. She manages to survive with the help of the household ‘cinderman’ and her own magical abilities. What follows is a tale of a girl finding her strength and courage and building a makeshift family from the strangers who come to her aid. The story may have been inspired by Cinderella, but Suzume has more spirit than the cinder girl ever did and will choose her own destiny, even when what she chooses may not be in her own best interest.” — Billie Bloebaum, Powell’s Books, Inc, Portland, OR

Tiger Lily, by Jodi Lynn Anderson
(HarperTeen, $17.99, 9780062003256)
“As a big fan of the original Peter Pan, I was initially a little wary of Anderson’s retelling, but after only a few sentences I was completely sold! Before Wendy Bird, there was Tiger Lily, a mysterious and wild young woman from one of Neverland’s many tribes. She and the infamous Peter share a love story that is beautiful, tenuous, and doomed from the onset. Anderson brings Neverland back to life in a gritty and very real way, and I loved being immersed in that world.” — Amanda Hurley, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL

Timepiece: An Hourglass Novel, by Myra McEntire
(Egmont USA, $17.99, 9781606841457)
“McEntire has outdone herself with this newest installment in the Hourglass series! This story continues the Hourglass’ search for Landers through the eyes of Kaleb Ballard. But when the ‘powers that be’ issue an ultimatum to find Jack or rewrite time, the Hourglasses realize that there is more going on here that they thought. This novel was a perfect sequel, and I can’t wait to see what will happen next!” — Emily Grossenbacher, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, MS

Tokyo Heist, by Diana Renn
(Viking Juvenile, $17.99, 9780670013326)
“At last! A treat for manga lovers and non-fans alike. The mystery of a missing van Gogh masterpiece takes teenage Violet, a budding manga artist turned sleuth, from Seattle to Tokyo and Kyoto in a race to recover the painting and thwart the Japanese mobsters who claim it.” — Jeanne Snyder, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

Unraveling, by Elizabeth Norris
(Balzer + Bray, $17.99, 9780062103734)
“This debut features Janelle Tenner, a popular 16-year-old, who carries big responsibilities on her young shoulders. With her FBI-agent dad’s grueling work load and her mother’s bipolar disorder, Janelle must care for her younger brother and balance her own rigorous academic schedule and lifeguard job. When she survives a freak accident involving a runaway pickup truck, she knows this is no ordinary miracle. For starters, she’s sure she actually died, that her slacker classmate, Ben Michaels, brought her back to life, and that her dad is desperately racing to solve a case involving a terrorist time-bomb threat, with an impact that could shake up life on the planet itself!” — F. Josephine Arrowood, The Cottage Book Shop, Glen Arbor, MI

Welcome, Caller, This is Chloe, by Shelley Coriell
(Amulet, $16.95, 9781419701917)
“This fun, quirky novel follows well-liked shoe enthusiast and queen of her universe, Chloe Camden. This girl who loves to talk suddenly has to learn to listen and to see that everyone has problems to deal with in their lives and that everyone needs a friend.” — Larissa Genschaw, Children’s Bookshop, Kent, WA

The Wicked and the Just, by J. Anderson Coats
(Harcourt Children’s Books, $16.99, 9780547688374)
“This is one of the best young adult titles I have read in a long, long, time. The setting is clearly evoked, the unlikable narrator gradually becomes sympathetic, and the message of the book is that juxtaposition of masters and servants, haves and have-nots, slaves and free, has happened throughout history and is still happening. The concerns, politics, and emotions of a young woman in 13th century England are not nearly as foreign to our time and world as one might think.” — Robert McDonald, The Book Stall At Chestnut, Winnetka, IL

A World Away, by Nancy Grossman
(Hyperion Books for Children, $16.99, 9781423151531)
“Eliza Miller, a 16-year-old Amish girl, wants to leave her family to experience the forbidden delights of a society and culture she has never known. Finally, her parents agree to allow her to be a nanny in Chicago for the summer during her ‘rumspringa,’ an opportunity to experience modern life before making her decision to be baptized in the Amish community. Teens will be fascinated by Eliza’s first encounters with technology and the lifestyles that they take for granted. They might even learn that technology doesn’t hold all the answers and be inspired to try some old-fashioned pastimes with their friends!” — Susan Taylor, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, NY