Category Archives: Event Recaps

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.

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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.

 

Top Fives: Simon and Schuster Summer 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. Ocean Meets Sky by Terry and Eric Fan: Honestly all I needed to hear about this one is that it’s coming from the Fan Brothers. Comparisons to Wiesner and Van Allsburg are just an added bonus. May 2018.
  2. Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies by Christian Trimmer, illustrated by Jessia Sima: I love Sima’s illustrations and I am here for any and all Snow White retellings–especially one with ponies. August 2018.
  3. The Doll Hospital by Kallie George, illustrated by Sara Gillingham: As someone whose Molly doll headed to the doll hospital when I was a kid I’m excited for this behind-the-scenes look at Dr. Pegs’ doll hospital in this picture book with a retro feel. June 2018.
  4. Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illustrated by James Ransome: This nonfiction picture book relates the story of Venus and Serena Williams from when they were children to champions. July 2018.
  5. It’s Your First Day of School, Busy Bus! by Jody Jenson Shaffer, illustrated by Claire Messer: This is a great season for back to school books. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for all the new ones. July 2018.

Board Books:

Usually I don’t pop out board books in these top five posts but Little Simon has some great ones coming that I had to point out!

  1. Here, George by Sandra Boynton, illustrated by George Booth: This board book is delightful. George is a dog who loves his family, food, and sitting. He’s also wild about dancing. But only you (the reader) knows that). May 2018.
  2. Wee Beasties: Roary the Lion Roars Too Loud by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Alex Griffiths: This is the first in a board book series teaching etiquette and manners to the littlest readers. May 2018.
  3. Celebrate the World: Dia de los Muertos by Hannah Eliot, illustrated by Jorge Gutierrez: This series featuring holidays around the world is always a winner. This latest one will be illustrated by Gutierrez (who was behind the film The Book of Life). July 2018.

Middle Grade

  1. Sprindrift and Orchid by Emma Trevayne: Crenshaw meets Circus Mirandus in this new middle grade fantasy. May 2018.
  2. Thunder Girls: Freya and the Magic Jewel by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams: Everybody freak out! The dynamic duo behind the Goddess Girls series is starting a new series with figures from Norse mythology. May 2018.
  3. The Memory of Forgotten Things by Kat Zhang: Zhang makes her middle grade debut with this story about a girl hopes a silver eclipse can open a portal to bring her to a world where her mother is still alive. May 2018.
  4. The Boy, The Boat, and The Beast by Samantha M. Clark: The Graveyard Book meets Hatchet in this eerie debut where a boy is stranded on a mysterious beach. June 2018.
  5. Sprinkle Sundays by Coco Simon: Sprinkle Sundays, a new series from the author of the Cupcake Diaries books, follows tween best friends in an ice cream shop. May 2018.

Young Adult

  1. Tradition by Brendan Kiely: Kiely was the guest author for this preview and he talked about how he wants to write books with listening hearts and he hopes that this book can add to the conversation to help young men learn to be good feminists. May 2018.
  2. Save the Date by Morgan Matson: What happens when you plan the perfect wedding and it all starts to go wrong? June 2018.
  3. From Twinkle With Love by Sandhya Menon: Aspiring filmmaker Twinkle shares her story in letters written to her favorite directors. I’m so excited for this one! May 2018.
  4. Letting Go of Gravity by Meg Leder: Parker tries to figure out how to cope with anxiety and be honest with herself while making a new relationship with her twin brother now that he is in remission. July 2018.
  5. Four-Letter Word by Christa Desir: Eight friends. One game. A dozen regrets. May 2018.

 

Top Fives: Harper Collins Spring 2018 Preview #harperpreview

Last month Harper Collins hosted their Spring 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 #HarperPreview 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. I Am Enough by Grace Byers, illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo: Grace Byers (of Empire fame) makes her picture book debut in this ode to self-confidence. While the text of the picture book is a little message-y, it’s a great message kids can always afford to hear more. Bobo’s illustrations are beautiful and fantastically inclusive. Publishing March 2018.
  2. Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Qin Leng: I got an early galley of this one at the preview and I am obsessed. A charming story that offers a glimpse of the circumstances that led to Jane Austen becoming the author so many of us know and love. Leng’s illustrations are gorgeous too. Backmatter includes a timeline of Austen’s life and a cheat sheet with famous lines and short plot summaries for all of her novels. Publishing January 18.
  3. Right Now by Jessica Olien: A picture book about being in the moment that both  acknowledges and honors kids’ feelings. Even the not so happy ones. Coming April 2018.
  4. Bloom: A Story of Elsa Schiaparelli by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Julie Denos: This story about influential fashion designer Schiaparelli is told in first person and accompanied with Denos’ lovely artwork. Coming February 2018.
  5. Just Being Jackie by Margaret Cardillo, illustrated by Julia Denos: The duo behind Just Being Audrey is back with this biography of one of the country’s most influential first ladies. I got a galley of this one at the preview and it’s even better than I expected. Publishing May 2018.

Middle Grade

  1. Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech: Sorry, I can’t actually tell you anything about this one. BUT new Sharon Creech seems like enough! Publishing September 2018.
  2. TBH #1: TBH, This is SO Awkward by Lisa Greenwald: What happens when a text goes to the wrong person? Find out in this consumable book written in texts. It might just be the format but I got a lot of TTYL vibes from this one. Hits shelves January 2018.
  3. You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly: Online friends get each other through the ups and downs of middle school through their online scrabble games. Publishing April 2018.
  4. The Frame-Up by Wendy McLeod Macnight: An artsy middle grade mystery caper where paintings come to life. Publishing June 2018.
  5. Midnight in the Piazza by Tiffany Parks: A Dan Brown style mystery set in Italy with artsy clues and all. But for the middle grade set. Publishing March 2018.

Young Adult

  1. Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston: Anastasia meets Firefly! My jaw literally dropped at the preview as they were pitching this title. Out February 2018.
  2. All of This is True by Lygia Day Penaflor: The editor pitched this book as The Bling Ring meets Atonement which is almost too strange to parse but I’m into it. Publishing May 2018.
  3. Hooper by Geoff Herbach: Sports, first love, immigrant experience. Coming February 2018.
  4. Devils Unto Dust by Emma Berquist: True Grit meets 28 Days Later in post-Civil War Texas. Publishing April 2018.
  5. Everless by Sara Holland: Red Queen meets Downton Abbey in this story set in a fantasy world a lot like that Justin Timberlake movie In Time where time is currency and the poor never have enough. Coming January 2018.

 

Top Fives: Simon and Schuster Spring 2018 Preview #sskidspreview

Last month Simon and Schuster hosted their Spring 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. People Don’t Bite People by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Molly Idle: This might by the number one picture book from the entire preview. There aren’t enough books for kids about model behavior (no biting, no hitting) and this one looks like a big winner. Publishing April 2018.
  2. Teddy’s Favorite Toy by Christian Trimmer, illustrated by Madeline Valentine: I can count on one hand the number of picture books that show boys playing with dolls (and in that even fewer where it’s not a Big Thing). Add this book to the list! When Teddy’s favorite doll is accidentally thrown away it’s up to Mama to rescue it in this delightful read-a-like to Knuffle Bunny. Publishing February 2018.
  3. Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima: I have been lucky enough to read a few of the upcoming S&S arcs and this one is hands down my favorite. Harriet has a costume for everything but when she wears a penguin costume to go with her dads to get supplies for a party she gets carried away by a group of actual penguins. Oops. Watch for this one in March 2018.
  4. Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, illustrated by Ebony Glenn: I am so excited for this delightful picture book from Salaam Reads. This is a classic dress up story but about a little girl playing with her mother’s khimar (also known as a hijab head scarf). I haven’t seen this book yet but it looks so cute and centers the African Muslim experience. Coming in April 2018!
  5. I Am Loved by Nikki Giovanni, illustrated by Ashley Bryan: New poems and gorgeous illustrations all meant to remind children that they are loved. Publishing January 2018.

Middle Grade

  1. Craftily Ever After #1: The Unfriendship Bracelet by Martha Maker, illustrated by Xindi Yan: Klutz books. But with a story. This series follows four friends and includes craft project instructions in the back. Book one hits shelves in March 2018.
  2. R Is For Rebel by J. Anderson Coats: Honestly I don’t remember a lot about this because I stopped listening and started internally screaming when I realized 1. that it’s a new J. Anderson Coats and 2. that it’s being marketed as Princess Academy meets Megan Whalen Turner. I mean what?! Take my money now! Releasing February 2018.
  3. Running Through Sprinklers by Michelle Kim: A familiar story from a new perspective in this debut about two friends growing up and growing apart. Think of this as a middle grade version of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (ie a tried and true contemporary with Asian MCs). Hitting shelves April 2018.
  4. The Art of the Swap by Kristine Asselin and Jen Malone: Freaky Friday meets Downton Abbey. I don’t think I need to say anything else. Publishing February 2018.
  5. Fly Girls by P. O’Connell Pearson: This non-fiction book is all about the female pilots of World War II. Publishing in February 2018.

Young Adult

  1. Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi: A novel for fans of Eliza and Her Monsters and Fangirl this story follows a girl who just started college. When she’s the only one around when a fellow freshman she ends up becoming his emergency contact leading to an online/text relationship that starts to blossom. But are either of them ready to take it into real life?
  2. The Place Between Breaths by An Na: I can’t tell you much about this one except that it deals with Schizophrenia. Na is one of the YA authors I read as an actual teen and baby blogger so it’s just very surreal to hear that she has a new title coming out as a librarian. Coming March 2018
  3. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw: This book sounds like all of my favorite things. Salem meets The Haunting. YA Practical Magic and Hocus Pocus. The shiniest cover ever. On shelves in March 2018.
  4. American Panda by Gloria Chao: A Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer has to balance her germophobia with her parents’ dreams that she become a doctor. Then there’s her crush on a Japanese classmate. Coming February 2018.
  5. Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett: This is a love to hate to love story about a girl stranded in the wilderness–with the boy who broke her heart. This sex positive YA contemporary even has maps that the author made of the neighborhood. Publishing April 2018.

 

Top Fives: Sourcebooks Spring 2018 #SBKSPreview

I can’t believe it’s already time to talk about Spring 2018 titles! Earlier this month I got to attend the Sourcebooks Spring 2018 preview for librarians and educators. The preview lets librarians and teachers learn more about upcoming books they may want to make sure to order for their library collections. At the preview we also got to hear Claire Legrand talk about her forthcoming YA Furyborn and Patricia Forde talk about her recent middle grade The List.

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

Sourcebooks is a smaller publisher so instead of a top 5 for each age level, here are the five books I’m most excited about from the preview:

  1. NY is for New York by Paul Thurlby: This alphabet book features page spreads for different NYC landmarks and places–including quite a few on the outer boroughs. Coming your way October 31, 2017.
  2. Women Who Dared: 52 Stories of Fearless Daredevils, Adventurers, and Rebels by Linda Skeers and Livi Gosling: If you liked Rad Women Worldwide or Boss Babes or the like, check out this one. I am not the most passionate non-fiction reader but I’m excited for this collection of short pieces on different women who . . . dared. On sale now!
  3. Shadow Weaver by MarcyKate Connolly: First book in a new dark middle grade fantasy where a girl can control shadows–except, perhaps, for her own. This book was compared to Doll Bones by Holly Black and The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill so watch for it if you like spooky, literary reads. First in a duology. Publishing January 2, 2018.
  4. The Doughnut Fix by Jessie Janowitz: For fans of Okay for Now by Gary D. Schmidt. A story about a boy searching for the perfect doughnut recipe and trying to sell them in his new small town. On shelves April 1, 2018.
  5. Now a Major Motion Picture by Cori McCarthy: If her grandmother’s bestselling books are made into a movie, Iris knows it’s going to ruin her life. The only question is if she’s up to the task of sabotaging the production. Fans of Geekerella by Ashley Poston and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, look out! Publishing April 1, 2018.
  6. Furyborn by Claire Legrand: This is a bonus one because I have been waiting years for a new YA from Claire. She describes this book as the book of her heart and the reason she started writing. If that doesn’t entice you enough: epic fantasy about two queens–one with the power to save the world and one with the power to destroy it. Add this one to your to read list now and watch for its publication May 22, 2018.