On October 24 I was at The Manhattan Club for this year’s A. B. C. Preview. The preview showcases upcoming children’s and YA titles from Algonquin (and their imprint Workman), Bloomsbury , and Chronicle Books. Here are some of the titles I was most excited about.
- Stand Up and Sing!: Pete Seeger, Folk Music, and the Path to Justice by Susanna Reich, illustrated by Adam Gustavson: This picture book biography chronicles Pete Seeger’s life through the lens of his commitment to justice and equality. One fun fact from the book? Seeger learned We Shall Overcome from Dr. Martin Luther King! Out March 21, 2017.
- This is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids from Around the World by Matt Lamothe: Lamothe’s picture book follows seven children from Japan, Uganda, Russia, Iran, Peru, Italy, and India. The book uses multiple panels on each page to show the seven children going about their days from when they wake up, what they wear to school, and more. Watch for this one May 2, 2017.
- Pete With No Pants by Rowboat Watkins: Pete is big, grey, and he doesn’t wear pants. So he must be a boulder right? Except the boulders don’t respond to his knock knock jokes. Neither do the squirrels or any of the other big, grey, pantsless things Pete finds. Except for his mom, of course. (Spoiler from the cover: Pete is an elephant.) May 2, 2017
- I Wrote You a Note by Lizi Boyd: A child writes a note and sends it to a friend. Along the way the note is used by various animals as a nest and a other things. Some even try to read it. Reads with a repeated refrain along the lines of “I wrote you a note, did you get it yet?” Out June 6, 2017.
- Mine! by Jeff Mack: Mack is back with a picture book that says a lot . . . with only one word. Two mice start a bitter battle over a rock. But what happens when that rock is actually a turtle? Releasing May 9, 2017.
- Carmer and Grit: The Wingsnatchers by Sarah Jean Horwitz: Reluctant magician Carmer would much rather spend his time building new inventions. When Grit a one-winged fairy princess comes to Carmer for help, they strike a bargain. Carmer will help her investigate a series of fairy disappearances and Grit will add some extra magic to Carmer’s illusions. Coming April 25, 2017.
- The Unexpected Life of Oliver Cromwell Pitts by Avi: Described as The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, this latest novel from Avi follows Oliver after his parents disappear and he steals money from a shipwreck to try and follow them to London. Will he make it before the authorities catch him? Find out on May 16, 2017.
- Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren: Prison Break meets Frozen. When Valor gets arrested and sent to prison, she couldn’t be happier. Valor is convince that she can break her sister Sasha out of Demidova’s prison for criminal children. But she has to do it from the inside. Watch for this page-turner April 4, 2017.
- Spy on History: Mary Bowser and the Civil War Spy Ring: Mary Bowser was one of the most successful spies in American history. Bowser was a freed slave who worked as a maid in Jefferson Davis’ house during the Civil War. Mary used her photographic memory to learn enemy plans which she then encrypted to pass on to her allies. This book offers a fast-paced biography of Bowser along with myriad clues to help readers solve the puzzle of where Mary hid her diary. Coming January 10, 2017.
- One Last Word: Wisdom from the Harlem Renaissance by Nikki Grimes: Grimes showcases poems and poets from the Harlem Renaissance in this collection. Each poem is paired with a new poem she has written using the “Golden Shovel” technique. (Grimes highlights a line from each existing poem. The words in that line then become the final words for each line of Grimes’ new poem.) This collection also includes illustrations from numerous artists including Cozbi Cabrera, R. Gregory Christie, Pat Cummings, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Ebony Glenn, Nikki Grimes, E. B. Lewis, Frank Morrison, Christopher Myers, Brian Pinkney, Sean Qualls, James Ransome, Javaka Steptoe, Shadra Strickland, and Elizabeth Zunon. Back matter includes a forward, author’s note, poet biographies, and an index. Add this one to your reading list now. Out January 30, 2017.
- Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy: When he isn’t busy being a famous actor, Andrew McCarthy is also a writer. In his YA debut Lucy’s world is shaken when she discovers that she has an eight-year-old half-brother whom her father has kept secret for years. Lucy’s search for answers will force her to reassess the relationships in her life and lead her to her estranged grandfather. Publishing March 28, 2017.
- Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer: Juliet deals with her mother’s death by writing her mother letters and leaving them at her grave. Declan finds the letters during his community service cleaning the cemetery. And he writes back. Out April 7, 2017.
- Crossing Ebenezer Creek by Tonya Bolden: Mariah and Zeke are newly-freed slaves when they join Sherman’s march through Georgia. Mariah hopes that this freedom will be a new start despite the continued hardships. When she meets Caleb, a free black man, the two even begin planning for a future together. But with the march continuing and bringing Mariah, Zeke, and Caleb closer to the dangerous waters of Ebenezer Creek, it seems like Mariah’s hopes are more fragile than ever. Coming May 30, 2017.
- Piper Perish by Kayla Cagan: Piper and her best friend Kit live in Texas and dream of moving to New York City for art school. But with desperate need for financial aid and no guarantee both Kit and Piper will get in, Piper’s long dreamed-for future remains uncertain. Watch for this one on March 7, 2017.
- Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson: Jade thinks she has to get out of her neighborhood to get ahead. Her mother tells Jade to take every opportunity–including a scholarship to a mostly-white school. When Jade is invited to a mentorship program for “at risk” girls she soon realizes the program is really for black girls from “bad” neighborhoods. And even though Jade’s mentor is a black woman, it doesn’t mean she knows anything about Jade and her life. Turns out there are some things Jade can show these women about the real world and making a real difference. Publishing February 14, 2017.