AAP Children’s Tri-State Book Buzz 2015: Event Recap Part 3

Last week I got to attend the American Association of Publisher’s Tri-State Book Buzz event. Book Buzz is an all-day event (at Random House HQ this year) where various publishers give brief presentations highlighting the new titles they will have in the upcoming publishing season (Spring 2016 in this case).

This is my attempt at a recap although there was SO much going on that I’m sure I’ll miss some good stuff. If you want to see what other people had to say about it on social media, you can check out the hashtag #BookBuzz2015 which attendees used to highlight the children’s/YA day (which I attended) as well as the adult one.




  • Arctic White by Danna Smith, illustrated by Lee White (January 2016) is about a girl and her grandfather going to see the Northern Lights and it looks absolutely charming.
  • When Green Becomes Tomatoes: Poems for Every Season by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Julie Morstad is a beautiful looking collection of seasonal poems.
  • Philip C. Stead returns with a new solo picture book called Ideas Are All Around (March 2016) with a combination of photos and illustrations that follows an author around his neighborhood as he looks for inspiration.
  • Where’s the Party? by Ruth Chan (April 2016) is picture book about a cat who loves to party. But where is the party?
  • Terror at Battle Creek by Watt Key (January 2016) is a middle grade novel that follows kids left behind in the chaos of evacuation during a category three hurricane.
  • Faith Erin Hicks has a new middle grad trilogy starting with The Nameless City (April 2016). The Nameless City is constantly being invaded and renamed but the residents know that no name will hold for long.
  • Underwater (January 2016) is Marie Reichardt’s YA debut that takes place in the aftermath of a tragic high school shooting as the main character grapples with survivor’s guilt and a father with PTSD.
  • Flawed by Cecelia Ahern (April 2016) is a YA debut being touted as Divergent meets The Scarlet Letter.


  • A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius by Stacey Matson (November 2015) is the start of a middle grade series about a boy coming to grips with the death of his mother. The ephemera format also promises that the book will appeal to reluctant readers.
  • The Night Parade by Kathryn Tanquary (January 2016) is being touted as Spirited Away meets A Christmas Carol. The story features a Japanese heroine, 3 nights, 3 guides and 3 chances to break the curse!
  • Just Like Me by Nancy J. Cavanaugh (April 2016) is a diverse story about a girl with two adopted Chinese sisters. It also has summer camp and shenanigans!
  • Until We Meet Again by Renee Collins (November 2015) is being called a time slip mystery with a dual POV. Color me excited.
  • The Greatest Zombie Movie Ever by Jeff Strand (March 2016) is filled with dark humor. The publicist presenting this title said it was like The Hangover but in high school and with a zombie movie. Despite the comparison the book is also a clean read.
  • Cori McCarthy’s latest You Were Here (March 2016) is an “emotionally cathartic page-turner.” The novel includes multiple POVs that follow traditional prose format, graphic novel format from character who is a selective mute and one told in art poetry.
  • Don’t Get Caught by Kurt Dinan (April 2016) is a debut about a prank club and characters seeking payback Ocean’s 11 style. Sure to have high reluctant reader appeal.
  • My Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul (April 2016) is another debut receiving comparisons to The Spectacular Now and Freaks & Geeks. It’s a friend story with promposal fail.

Chronicle Books:

  • Molly Idle returns with Flora and the Peacocks (May 2016) about the challenges of a three person friendship.
  • President Squid by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Sara Varon (March 2016) follows the exploits a squid who knows all of the ins and outs of becoming president. Ties, for instance, are VERY presidential!
  • Gena/Finn by Kat Helgeson and Hannah Moskowitz (April 2016) is a story about fan fiction, online friends and slash fic! All in an epistolary format!
  • Beth Kephart’s latest This is the Story of You (April 2016) is a mystery set in a town ravaged by a superstorm.

Soho Teen:

  • Barnabas Miller began writing his novel The Girl With the Wrong Name (November 2015) with the question “How would you tell yourself a story that you didn’t know you needed to tell yourself?”
  • I’m From Nowhere by Suzanne Myers (January 2016) is a companion to Stone Cove Island. It’s about a girl sent to boarding school by her single mother who has no clues about who her father is. It’s being pitched as a novel perfect for fans of subculture/chosen family novels like This Song Will Save Your Life.
  • It Wasn’t Always Like This by Joy Preble (May 2016) is Tuck Everlasting meets Veronica Mars and that, frankly, is all I needed to hear.
  • Little White Lies by Brianna Baker and F. Bowman Hastie III (February 2016) is a story of “millennial mayhem and magic” according to Rita Williams-Garcia. It’s also the story of how we construct identities online with alternate formatting besides.

Quirk Books:

  • Warren the 13th by Tania Del Rio, Wilhelm Staehle (November 2015) is a series starter that is ideal for fans of Coraline, Wes Anderson and Edward Gorey.
  • Quirk is also making a illustrated storybook of Home Alone just in time for the 25th anniversary. Watch for that this month!

Sterling Publishing:

  • Cici Reno #MiddleSchoolMatchmaker is Cyrano for the digital age.
  • In Mr. Particular even a complainer can save the day!
  • I Am NOT a Dinosaur is based on the AMNH collections and explains that not every pre-historic creature was a dinosaur.

Perseus Books:

  • Inherit the Stars by Tessa Elwood is being described as Game of Thrones. In space.
  • One of Us by Jeannie Waudby is a military suspense story about a girl who has to figure out who to trust and how to stay alive after being recruited by an insurgent spy organization.

Penguin Young Readers Group:

  • Ruta Septeys returns with a new historical fiction novel. In Salt to the Sea (February 2016) she explores the biggest maritime disaster in history (a German ship that sank during WWII) in this novel told from 4 POVs.
  • Where Futures End  by Parker Peeveyhouse (February 2016) is a debut sci-fi with 5 POVs. It’s being compared to one of my favorite novels of all time, The Ghosts of Heaven by Marcus Sedgwick, which is all I needed to hear.
  • Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (March 2016) is being pitched as Arabian Nights meets Mockingjay. Also: Genies! In the wild west!
  • The Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox (March 2016) asks readers an important question: “Would you rather be trapped in an old Scottish castle with a ghost or a Nazi spy?
  • Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer (February 2016) is a debut picture book where a little boy asks different animals, “what is poetry?” with illustrations reminiscent of Ezra Jack Keats.
  • Marilyn Singer and Josee Masse deliver another reverso poem collaboration in Echo, Echo (February 2016) which looks at and retells Greek myths.
  • Hoot and Peep by Lita Judge (March 2016) is an owl story so of course I’m excited. Hoot is the older brother teaching his wise owl ways to little sister Peep in this bedtime story.
  • Ten Days A Mad Woman by Deborah Noyes (February 2016) is a new biography about Nellie Bly and how awesome she was.

Little, Brown:

  • In Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat (April 2016) time starts to go so slowly that it begins to go backwards on a long roadtrip.
  • Sherman Alexie makes his picture book debut in Thunder Boy Jr. illustrated by Yuyi Morales (May 2016) in which Little Thunder wants a new name and he and his father have to figure out what it should be. I wish I had some artwork to show you all because it looks absolutely stunning.
  • In The Sound of Silence by Katrina Goldsaito, illustrated by Julia Kuo (August 2016) a boy in Tokyo looks for the silence between sounds.
  • Peter Brown makes his middle grade debut in The Wild Robot (April 2016) in which a robot alien has to take care of a baby goose and soon becomes part of the natural world.
  • Matthew Quick has a new YA coming called Every Exquisite Thing (May 2016) where a girl befriends a reclusive author in this celebration of self.
  • Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse (April 2016) was blurbed by Elizabeth Wein. It’s a WWII/Holocaust story that explores the ways in which “we are all heroes and villains at the same time.”
  • Annabel Pitcher is back with Silence is Goldfish (May 2016) in which a girl finds out, through a blog post, that she was conceived via IVF with a sperm donor. Shocked by this news she stops speaking and goes looking for her biological father. I’m not sure if the book is even in print anymore but this one sounds a lot like Donor Boy to me.