Top Fives: Scholastic’s Fall 2018 Mailing

Here are my top fives from their Scholastic’s Fall 2018 middle grade and YA mailing.

Middle Grade

  1. You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P! by Alex Gino: Jilly thought she knew everything but when her sister is born deaf, she realizes that she still has a lot to figure out. Jilly and Derek–a Black Deaf ASL user–bond over fantasy novels and Jilly knows she can ask him for advice. The problem is she doesn’t always know the best way to do that in this story about learning to be an ally, sister, and friend. Publishing in September 2018.
  2. Lucky Luna by Diana Lopez: Every time Luna Ramos gets in trouble she knows that one of her cousins is to blame. Except for when Luna locks her know-it-all cousin Claudia in the bathroom during their cousin’s quinceañera. That’s definitely Luna’s fault. Which means she has no one to blame but herself when she finds out she can’t wear hats for a whole month (a big problem when your hair is so embarrassing because of the white streak Luna has from poliosis). Then things get even worse when Claudia transfers to Luna’s school and ends up in her fifth grade class. Published in August!
  3. The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty: Bronte isn’t as upset as you might thing when her parents are killed by pirates–after all, she barely knew them. More troublesome are the detailed instructions they have left in their will for ten-year-old Bronte to follow lest disaster befall her home. Instead of continuing her quiet and satisfyingly adventure-free life, Bronte now has to set off on not just one but ten adventures as she sets out to deliver strange gifts to each of her ten far flung aunts. Publishing in October 2018.
  4. Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel Jose Older: It’s Daniel Jose Older and an alternate history 1863 with dinosaurs. I don’t think you need to hear anything else. Publishing in September 2018.
  5. City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab: Against, not sure how much you need to know about this one but: Ghost-hunting parents with a TV, one daughter who can actually see ghosts, and a whole lot of problems when the family moves to Edinburgh. Published in August!

Young Adult

  1. Witch Born by Nicholast Bowling: Historical fantasy set in Elizabethan England where a girl sets off on a perilous journey to learn about her past and herself after her mother is hanged for performing witchcraft. Publishing in September 2018.
  2. Anything But Okay by Sarah Darer Littman: Stella’s plans to help her veteran brother re-adjust to life at home goes horribly wrong when he assaults one of her classmates. As the story gains more and more attention it slowly drags Stella, her family, and even Stella’s best friend Farida into its vortex. Publishing in October 2018.
  3. The Agony House by Cherie Priest, illustrated by Tara O’Connor: Denise and her parents move back to New Orleans in the hopes of fixing up an old, rundown house and converting it into a bed and breakfast. Except everything goes wrongand Denise is certain that there has to be something sinister behind it. There might be answers in a comic project left behind by a famous 1950s artist. Publishing in September 2018.
  4. Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene: Her guardians in the Dusklands call it a curse, but Sylvie knows that her ability to create illusions is a gift that can bring her greatness and earn her a place at Coeur d’Or, the palais of the Amber Empress. But nothing in the palace is as it seems and Sylvie will have to navigate a dangerous world of secrets and schemes if she wants to earn her place. Publishing in November 2018.
  5. Impostors by Scott Westerfeld: It’s the start of a new series set in the world of Uglies! What else do you need to know?! Publishing in September 2018.



Top Fives: Simon and Schuster Fall 2018 Preview #sskidspreview

Last week Simon and Schuster hosted their Summer 2018 preview to talk about upcoming titles.

If you want to see all of the tweets from the preview, you can check out of the #sskidspreview tag on twitter. (You can also find all of my tweets from the preview too!)

Here are the top five titles I’m excited about from the preview:

Picture Books

  1. How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin and Her Amazing Squeeze Machine by Amy Gugliemo, illustrated by Giselle Potter: was too engrossed in the pictures to take notes during this presentation! A picture book bio about Temple Grandin’s invention of the squeeze machine as a child. (This book also got Grandin’s blessing!) Publishing August 2018.
  2. Sophie Johnson, Unicorn Expert by Morag Hood, illustrated by Ella Okstad: Sophie Johnson is the world’s foremost authority on unicorns. But even Sophie can’t seem to find the unicorn right under her nose. Or can she? Publishing November 2018.
  3. Stop That Yawn! by Caron Levis, illustrated by Pham Leuyen: Whatever you do, don’t yawn while reading this silly and delightful new picture book. Pham Leuyen’s artwork was inspired by The Night Kitchen. She knew she had to do this project when her young sons cracked up while listening to it!
  4. An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin and Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution by Beth Anderson, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley: Nonfiction picture book about Benjamin Franklin and Noah Webster’s attempt to revolutionize the English alphabet. Publishing September.
  5. Imagine! by Raul Colon: Wordless picture book from Raúl Colón about art, imagination, and a magical museum visit. I think this might be the book I’ve been waiting for from this author/illustrator. Publishing September 2018.

Middle Grade

  1. I’m Ok by Patti Kim: Ok is sure that he’s just one get-rich-quick scheme away from a life of luxury and helping his Korean family make ends meet in this funny and optimistic about a boy who just keeps trying. Publishing October 2018.
  2. Charlie Hernandez and the League of Shadows by Ryan Calejo: The Lightning Thief meets The Story Thieves in this middle grade debut inspired by Hispanic folklore, legends, and myths from the Iberian peninsula and Central and South America. Publishing October 2018.
  3. Fake Blood by Whitney Gardner: This graphic novel middle grade debut is follows a middle schooler who thinks he’s met a Bella only to discover she’s more of a Buffy—complete with the fight to save town! Publishing September 2018.
  4. Dear Sister by Alison McGhee: The story of two siblings. Told entirely in notes written by a boy to his younger sister explaining how annoying she is. Inspired by real letters McGhee found that her son had written to her daughter. Publishing October 2018.
  5. Your Amazing Skin From Outside In by Joanne Settel, illustrated by Bonnie Timmons: A nonfiction book about skin. Written as poems. Illustrated by Bonnie Timmons who used to illustrate for American Girl which yes is why I recognized her work! Publishing September 2018.

Young Adult

  1. Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton: Love, lies, and sacrifices loom large in Gratton’s newest YA fantasy. I had the best time gushing about how excited I am for this book with Tessa’s editor and I just can’t wait to read it. If Tessa Gratton isn’t on your radar yet, I think this is going to be the book that makes her a household name. Publishing September 2018.
  2. People Kill People by Ellen Hopkins: On any given day ninety-six people are killed by guns. Seven of them are children or teens. Violence narrates this story of six teens as they decide whether or not they will pick up a gun and fire. I’ll be honest, Ellen Hopkins isn’t always my bag but I think this verse novel is going to be timely and powerful. Publishing September 2018.
  3. The Geography of Lost Things by Jessica Brody: One girl. One classic car that needs to be sold. One boyfriend who can drive it. One epic road trip about trading up and forgiving. Publishing October 2018.
  4. A Heart in a Body in the World by Deb Caletti: Can a girl outrun her demons? A timely and universal novel about the sense of helplessness in the face of violence and a girl forced into activism. Publishing September 2018.
  5. Annalee in Real Life by Janelle Milanes: A story about the spectacular things that can happen when you go after what you want. Featuring a Cuban American girl into an MMOPRG! Publishing September 2018.
  6. 500 Words or Less by Juleah del Rosario: A verse novel about a girl who tries to save her reputation by writing college essays for her Ivy League obsessed classmates. Comped to Gayle Forman and Sonya Sones. Publishing September 2018.

BookExpo 2018 Recap Day Two: Books, Pics, and Everything I Did

You can also check out my full recap of day one!

Day Two

On day two, Nicole and I thought we could plan to leave later than the day before since were already registered. But then I panicked and we wound up leaving early still which was a good call because it was raining and took a while to get a cab to the Javits Center. Then when we arrived we found our usual coat check was full and had to detour to a different floor to drop off our bags. But of course we still had time to mill around waiting for the show floor to open.

Look at this fun banner that was there for Kevin Henkes upcoming picture book:

Look elephants! banner at BookExpo 2018I also was able to take a start-of-day selfie with a new dress that I’m obsessed with.

(I also posted this selfie to Twitter with the tag which was a little embarrassing later when I was waiting on a line and people saw it as one of the latest tweets in the BookExpo hashtag. Oops!)

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BookExpo 2018 Recap Day One: Books, Pics, and Everything I Did

This year Nicole and I were both approved to attend BookExpo as Press and I have to admit it felt like order was restored. I decided to keep things simple this year and had very few big priorities. With the event being two days (without any added things) it was also lower key that it had been in a while.

Day One

Nicole and I started the day with a very circuitous hunt for registration to pick up our badges (this also included both of us accidentally ending up in the International Franchise Expo registration line but we quickly realized our mistake).

With badges in hand, it was time to do some waiting for the show floor to open.

I started the day with a selfie. As one does.

This was also the debut of my shorter hair cut after a failed attempt to grow it out this winter. I cannot tell you how happy I am to have short hair again!

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Top Fives: Harper Collins Fall 2018 Preview

Last month Harper Collins hosted their Spring 2018 preview to talk about upcoming titles.

Here are the top five titles I’m excited about from the preview:

Picture Books

  1. A Parade of Elephants by Kevin Henkes: Part concept book, part adorable story, this picture book follows a group of elephants through their day. September 2018.
  2. Mapping Sam by Joyce Hesselberth: Every night sam leaves her house and explores the neighborhood. This picture book follows this restless cat as she explores and sees the world through different types of maps. October 2018.
  3. Lovely Beasts by Kate Gardner, illustrated by Heidi Smith: If you like Actual Size or Hello Hello you are going to adore Lovely Beasts. This looks great. September 2018.
  4. The Diamond and the Boy by Hannah Holt, illustrated by Jay Fleck: Contrasts natural diamond creation with the story of Tracy Hall’s early life before creating the first diamond drilling machine. Written by Hall’s granddaughter! October 2018.
  5. How Do I Love Thee? by Jennifer Adams, illustrated by Silas Neal: You’re going to need this picture book inspired by Barrett Browning’s Sonnet 43 for your shelves. A tender intro to classic literature and an ode to friendship and familial love. December 2018.

Middle Grade

  1. The Collectors by Jacqueline West: When Van sees a girl and a squirrel jump into a fountain he’s drawn into a world where wishes need to be collected and kept safe. October 2018.
  2. Estanged by Ethan M. Aldridge: Two changelings (one human and one not) have to work together to save both their worlds in this graphic novel debut. August 2018.
  3. Henry and Eva and the Castle on the Cliff by Andrea Portes: The Graveyard Book meets The Goonies. November 2018.
  4. A Perilous Journey of Danger and Mayhem: A Dastardly Plot by Christopher Healy: Alternate history 19th Century New York City where real life inventors like Nikola Tesla are heroes and part of an elite male only guild which a young girl and a Chinese immigrant boy are desperate to join. September 2018.
  5. Resist: 35 Profiles of Ordinary People Who Rose Up Against Tyranny and Injustice by Veronica Chambers, illustrated by Paul Ryding: A middle grade nonfiction book about historical figures who resisted throughout history including Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other figures who may not be as well known. This is the first MG I’ve seen in this vein and I’m excited for it. September 2018.

Young Adult:

  1. The Resolutions by Mia Garcia: In this contemporary YA four Latinx best friends are each facing a crossroads during their junior year. They decide to assign each other New Year Resolutions to help each other through. November 2018.
  2. The Light Between the World by Laura E. Weymouth: What happens to the kids who live through a portal fantasy when they get home? If you need more things like Wayward Children or The Magicians in your life then add this YA to your to read list now. October 2018.
  3. Pride by Ibi Zoboi: Updated Jane Austen retelling with two black teens tackling elements of gentrification (and love) in Bushwick. So excited! September 2018.
  4. Damsel by Elana K. Arnold: A YA fantasy fairy tale and an in house favorite. A tense and dark examination of female oppression and patriarchal culture. October 2018.
  5. Scream All Night by Derek Milman: This black comedy debut starts with a live burial and gets funnier and more absurd from there. July 2018.

Now that you’ve seen my Top Fives from this preview, let me know which ones you’re adding to your own to read list in the comments.

Top Fives: Macmillan Fall 2018 #MacKidsPreview

Macmillan hosted their Fall 2017 Librarian and Educator Preview on May 2. Below you can find my Top Fives from the preview. You can also check the #mackidspreview hashtag on Twitter and see my tweets from the preview for even more titles.

Picture Books

  1. So Tall Within: Sojourner Truth’s Long Walk Toward Freedom by Gary D. Schmidt and Daniel Minter: Picture book biography about Sojourner Truth with Schmidt’s poetic, lyrical text and stunning illustrations from Minter working in a new fine arts style. I got to read an early galley of this one and it’s absolutely gorgeous. September 2018.
  2. Carlos Santana: Sound of the Heart, Voice of the World by Gary Golio and Rudy Gutierrez: I think this is going to be a very smoooooooooooth picture book biography! I’m not even sorry for the pun because the illustrator also designed the album artwork for Shaman. So. September 2018.
  3. Lucy Fell Down the Mountain by Kevin Cornell: Lucy’s day starts with a fall down a mountain and gets worse from there in this cumulative tale that might be a good company for Judith Viorst’s Alexander and Brosgol’s Leave Me Alone. October 2018.
  4. King Alice by Matthew Cornell: What do you do on a snow day? If you’re Alice you recruit your dad to write a book detailing the exploits of King Alice and her knight princesses. September 2018.
  5. The Case of the Missing Chalk Drawings by Richard Byrne: Bright graphic art dominates this kid friendly mystery with a procedural vibe. Perfect for fans of The Day the Crayons Quit. November 2018.

Middle Grade

  1. Thundercluck by Paul Tillery and Meg Witter: Part Norse mythology, part adventure, 100% all natural chicken. September 2018.
  2. Nowhere Boy by Katherine Marsh: A timely story of two very different boys—one from DC and one from Aleppo—stranded in Brussels at the peak of the refugee crisis in 2015 and the friendship that forms between them. September 2018.
  3. The Train to Impossible Places by P. G. Bell: A sparkling fantasy debut and series starter follows Susie when she sneaks on the impossible (troll operated) postal train and becomes deputy post master.
  4. Snazzy Cat Capers by Deanna Kent and Neil Hooson: The launch of a heist-filled adventure series with Ophelia—a cat burglar who is actually a cat. September 2018.
  5. Wonderland by Barbara O’Connor: Two unlikely friends, one runaway dog. One friendship story perfect for fans of Katherine Applegate and Kate DiCamilo. August 28.

Young Adult

  1. Blanca and Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore: New magical fantasy with elements of Rose Red, Snow White, and Swan Lake. I can’t wait! October 2018.
  2. Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens edited by Marieke Nijkamp: A short story collection that explores intersection diversity (both among the characters an authors) in stories starring disabled teens from both new and established voices including Dhonielle Clayton, Heidi Heilig, Karuna Riazi, among others. September 2018.
  3. Black Wings Beating by Alex London: New YA Fantasy and series starter featuring savage falconry and elements reminiscent of Graceling. October 2018.
  4. Unclaimed Baggage by Jen Doll: What happens to lost luggage? It gets sold in stores like Unclaimed Baggage where three misfit teens seeking work and refuge gravitate for the summer. September 2018.
  5. A Blade So Black by L. L. McKinney: An Alice in Wonderland retelling set in modern Atlanta with Buffy vibes. September 25.
  6. The Boneless Mercies by April Genevieve Tucholke: A dark fantasy retelling of Beowulf. Standalone. October 2018.

Top Fives: Scholastic’s Summer 2018 Mailing

This week I realized that although I don’t go to preview events for Scholastic, I can definitely still do a recap of books I receive in their seasonal mailings of middle grade and YA arcs. Here are my top fives from their Summer 2018 box.

Middle Grade

  1. Lovely, Dark, and Deep by Justina Chen: I love Justina Chen. She’s one of the first YA authors I ever met and her books still hold a special place in my heart. This one could technically by YA but I think it also counts as upper middle grade. Violia Li is determined to lead a normal life, even as her extreme case of photosensitivity promises to make that difficult. With a swoony boy that the blurb describes as a Thor look-a-like it’s safe to say that this will be a great read-a-like for fans of Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon.
  2. From Me to You by K. A. Holt: In a departure from her verse novels, Holt tackles grief and moving on in this story where Amelia decides to try to complete her older sister Clara’s middle school bucket list as a way to move on now that Clara has died. Publishing in May.
  3. Strays Like Us by Cecilia Galante: Surly foster child trying to stay detached until she can go home. A motley band of misfit friends. A rescue dog. All the makings of a poignant middle grade. Publishing in June.
  4. Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School by Julie Falatko and Colin Jack: Waldo and Sassy decide that they have to save their boy Stewart from the horrible nightmare of school. All they have to do is disguise themselves as a human with a handy trench coat and tag along. The rest should be simple, right? This is a series starter and it sounds like a riot. Publishing in May.
  5. Confusion is Nothing New by Paul Acampora: Ellie uses 80s music, Cyndi Lauper, and perseverance to navigate the confusion world of modern girlhood–especially for a girl like her being raised by her single father. Publishing in May.


Young Adult

  1. Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth: I pushed really hard to get Gansworth’s earlier novel If I Ever Get Out of Here on this year’s summer reading list (it made it, yay). I’m excited to see what Gansworth does with a contemporary setting in this story about teens becoming unlikely friends as they try to make their mark (on and off the reservation). Publishing May 2018.
  2. I Felt a Funeral in My Brain by Will Walton: My friend Estelle adored Walton’s debut Anything Could Happen and the author has been on my radar since. This book is a little bit about poetry and a lot about grieving. I’m assuming some Emily Dickinson connection from the title and I am here for it. Publishing May 2018.
  3. Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West: Obviously I had to put a new Kasie West on here. I absolutely loved her last book Lucky in Love (I pushed that book so hard I felt like it was my job) and I am very excited to see what she does in this story about a girl who reluctantly winds up dispensing advice via podcast. Publishing May 2018.
  4. The Fandom by Anna Day: This one actually sounds bananas and I’m still not totally clear on the plot. The story starts with a girl at Comic-Con with her friends who are cosplaying. Only to then be catapulted into the story. Where the main character dies? I don’t know. This one is getting a big marketing push and I think it’s probably going to be big. Publishing in April.
  5. Storm-Wake by Lucy Christopher: YA fantasy, Tempest retelling. Need I say more? Publishing in July.