Top Fives: Penguin Young Readers Summer 2020 Preview #pyrpreview

Here are my top fives from Penguin’s Summer 2020 preview for librarians and educators.

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

First things first: major shoutout to author Simran Jeet Singh who opened the preview  talking about his forthcoming picture book Fauja Singh Keeps Going–beautifully illustrated by Baljinder Kaur. This book shares the story of Fauja Singh who ran his first marathon at the age of 100 (he’s 108 now!). When the author met Singh he described the runner by saying, “Sometimes you meet people and they’re everything you’d dreamed they would be.” When asked about his biggest regret in life, Singh said that he wished he had done more to inspire children–which planted the seed for Simran Jeet Singh to write this book. Fauja Singh Keeps Going will publish in August 2020.

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

Picture Books

  1. Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi, illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky: An essential board book to help grownups engage in conversations with our youngest readers about the state of our world and how to improve it. Publishing June 2020.
  2. Runaway Signs by Joan Holub, illustrated by Alison Farrell: This book about street signs run amuck is narrated by Caution. I’m all about it. Publishing June 2020.
  3. The Stray by Molly Ruttan: It’s all fun and games taking home a stray until he ends up being a sad alien trying to get home. I’ve been obsessed with It’s Only Stanley by Jon Agee for years and I think this one is its spiritual successor. Publishing May 2020.
  4. First Day Critter Jitters by Jory John, illustrated by Liz Climo: This new back-to-school book is structure like a documentary and it sounds absolutely delightful. I can’t wait to check out a copy. Publishing July 2020.
  5. Shirley Chisolm is a Verb by Veronica Chambers, illustrated by Rachelle Baker: This new Shirley Chisholm biography is equal parts tribute and call to action. Publishing July 2020.

Middle Grade

  1. What Lane? by Torrey Maldonado: Maldonado’s followup to his debut novel Tight is a fast-paced story about a biracial boy trying to figure out where he fits. Publishing April 2020.
  2. The Ship We Built by Lexie Bean: This epistolary MG novel explores how Rowan finds a place for himself as a transboy in Michigan in the late 1990s while surviving abuse and searches for someone to understand. Described by the author as a gift to their ten year old self. Publishing May 2020.
  3. Shirley and Jamila Save Their Summer by Gillian Goerz: Kid detectives. Unlikely friends. I’m ready! Publishing July 2020.
  4. Dress Coded by Carrie Firestone: This novel explores the ways girls’ bodies are policed when a girl starts a podcast to protest her school’s unfair dress code. Publishing July 2020.
  5. City of Secrets by Victoria Ying: I am so hype for this steampunk graphic novel from Victoria Ying who I first discovered through her Victoria Schwab fanart on Twitter. Publishing July 2020.

Young Adult

  1. Forged in Fire and Stars by Andrea Robertson: New book Andrea Cremer who is back and better than ever in this series starter written under a new name. Game of Thrones meets An Ember in the Ashes with a swoon-worthy trickster thief and a slow burn romance. Publishing May 2020.
  2. We Are Not From Here by Jenny Torres Sanchez: A striking portrait of current events. Sanchez spent five years writing this novel born of empathy, humanity, and anger about children who deserve to be seen. This one is so important. Preorder your copies now. Publishing May 2020.
  3. Harrow Lake by Kat Ellis: I am so excited for this creepy thriller about the daughter of a horror film director returning to the site of her father’s infamous film. Publishing August 2020.
  4. Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson: Andra wakes up 1,000 years too late at the start of this sci-fi adventure where technology is seen as magic. I. Cannot. Wait. Publishing June 2020.
  5. They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman: Gossip. Girl. Meets. One. Of. Us. Is. Lying. Basically everything I never knew I always wanted. Publishing August 2020.

Let me know if any of these were already on your radar or if this post helped you find some new titles for your to read list!

Top Fives: Simon and Schuster Fall 2019 Preview #sskidspreview

Here are my top fives from Simon and Schuster’s Fall 2019 preview for librarians and educators.

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 Share With People by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Molly Idle: Lisa Wheeler and Molly Idle are back with a companion to People Don’t Bite People. Another delightful rhyming book—this time all about sharing. Publishing in September.
  2. Dancing Hands by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Rafael Lopez: The team behind Drum Dream Girl is back with this picture book about piano prodigy Teresa Carreño and the moment when she played for Abraham Lincoln. Publishing in August.
  3. Spencer’s New Pet by Jessie Sima: I didn’t think I could love Jessie Sima

    more. Then I read this picture book about Spencer and his new pet. An almost wordless picture book in the style of classic silent films. Publishing in August.
  4. Infinite Hope by Ashley Bryan: In this picture book memoir Bryan shares his experiences serving in WWII in the segregated army. This book shines a light on the shameful treatment of black soldiers during this time. Includes sketches Bryan sent home to his parents during his time overseas and bright spots that kept him going. Publishing in October.
  5. Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao by Kat Zhang, illustrated by Charlene Chua: Can Amy Wu rise to the occasion and make the perfect bao? Publishing in October.

Middle Grade

  1. Roll With It by Jamie Sumner: Ellie’s carefully ordered world is thrown into chaos when she and her mom move to take care of her ailing grandfather. Can she find her place, pursue her celebrity chef aspirations, and find people ready to see Ellie for herself and not just her wheelchair? Publishing in October.
  2. The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner: Oh hey it’s my favorite graphic novel of the year. You need this story about witches, family, and love. Publishing in September.
  3. The Green Children of Woolpit by J. Anderson Coats: New historical fantasy inspired by the story of the Green Children. Deliciously creepy and perfect for fans of The Doll Bones or Coraline. Publishing in September.
  4. The Class by Frances O’Roark: Twenty kids. Twenty points of view. One sixth grade class dealing with a new girl who might be a spy, classroom theft, a classmate who shouldn’t be a classmate at all, and all of those awkward moments where it feels like everything is changing. Publishing in October.
  5. Oh, Rats! by Tor Seidler: What happens when the most sought after squirrel in New Jersey is kidnapped by a hawk and unceremoniously dropped in New York City? Publishing in August.

Young Adult

  1. Winterwood by Shea Earnshaw: I was all set to write down a pithy pitch for this one, but then I started hearing the comps and lost all my chill. Practical Magic meets The Sixth Sense?! Comps to Caraval and The Hazel Wood?! I’m ordering this one now. Publishing in November.
  2. Our Wayward Fate by Gloria Chao: Swoony romance, juicy family drama, and a story about communication breakdowns within a family. I don’t know about you but I can’t wait to check out Chao’s sophomore novel. Publishing in October.
  3. Slay by Brittney Morris: I’m not even going to try to paraphrase this pitch: Ready Player One meets The Hate U Give with a teen game developer defending her Black Panther-inspired game and the safe community it offers Black gamers. Publishing in September.
  4. The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett: Historical fantasy where one girl has to race to hunt down Vlad the Impaler’s cursed ring to save her father. Publishing in September.
  5. Songs From the Deep by Kelly Powell: YA debut set on an island where sirens live under the sea and a killer lurks in this combo fantasy and murder mystery. Publishing in November.

Let me know if any of these were already on your radar or if this post helped you find some new titles for your to read list!

Top Fives: Tor Fall 2019/Winter 2020 Preview

Here are my top fives from Tom Doherty Associates (AKA all of the Tor imprints) Fall 2019/Winter 2020 preview for librarians and educators.

Young Adult

  1. The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis: This book is Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale. Also the sci-fi, heist-filled, western of your dreams. Publishing in October.
  2. Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir: Lesbian necromancers in space. Publishing in September.
  3. Sisters of Shadow and Light by Sara B. Larson: Two sisters, one enchanted castle, and a day where everything changes in this story of sisterly love and magic. Publishing in November.
  4. A Thousand Fires by Shannon Price: Ten years. Three gangs. One epic quest in this novel being pitched as The Outsiders meets The Illiad. Publishing in November.
  5. Echoes Between Us by Katie McGarry: You may already know McGarry for her teen romances. This is a new genre for her with a story of a girl who has everything to lose and a boy ready to do whatever it takes to save her. Publishing in January.

Adult

  1. The Future of Another Timeline by Annalee Newitz: The story starts in 1992. Then it keeps shifting as Tess and Beth are drawn together when war comes to their timeline. The feminist time travel murder mystery you’ve been waiting for. Publishing in September.
  2. The Nightjar by Deborah Hewitt: One girl is whisked to another London as she chases magical birds who guard human souls. Comped to Caraval and The Hazel Wood. Publishing in September.
  3. Supernova Era by Cixin Liu: The copy from the preview was so good for this one I’m not even going to paraphrase: “In those days, Earth was a planet in space. In those days, Beijing was a city on Earth. On this night, history as known to humanity came to an end.” Publishing in October.
  4. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T. J. Klune: This one is being pitched as 1984 meets Umbrella Academy with a hint of Douglas Adams which, I think, tells you everything you need to know. Publishing in March.
  5. Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey: Look, as a librarian I’m contractually obligated to mention this one since it’s features queer librarians on horseback, ready to revolt and do the right thing. This novella is coming your way next February.

Let me know if any of these were already on your radar or if this post helped you find some new titles for your to read list!

Top Fives: Scholastic’s Fall 2019 Mailing

Here are my top fives from their Scholastic’s Fall 2019 middle grade and YA mailing for librarians and educators.

Middle Grade

  1. The Midwinter Witch by Molly Knox Ostertag: I’ve been following Aster’s story since the beginning when he first started learning magic instead of shape shifting in The Witch Boy. This is the final book in the series and, in my opinion, the strongest with a focus on found family and characters readers first meet in the second book The Hidden Witch.
  2. Fearless Felines: 30 True Tales of Courageous Cats: I make no secret that I am not a cat person but I was intrigued just from this title. I bet you are too.
  3. Everything Awesome About Dinosaurs and Other Prehistoric Beasts! by Mike Lowery: My friend Estelle was Mike’s publicist for some of his first books at Workman and it’s been great to follow his career as an author and illustrator. Also, who doesn’t want to know more about dinosaurs?
  4. Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab: I loved City of Ghosts last year where readers meet Cassidy Blake, her ghosthunter parents, and her ghost best friend Jacob. This second installment finds Cassidy’s summer adventures moving to Paris as her parents start filming the next episode in their new haunted places tv series.
  5. Guts by Raina Telgemeier: If you work in a public library or spend any time with kids and tweens, you may be familiar with Telgemeier’s incredibly successful comics. This latest one is a continuation of her series that starts with Smile and Sisters.

Young Adult

  1. Season of the Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan: One of my favorite things about Sarah Rees Brennan’s twitter feed is her live tweets of shows she is watching. Now, instead of just tweeting about one, Sarah is writing the authorized prequel novel for the Netflix show The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina set the summer before Sabrina turns sixteen and comes into her powers.
  2. Rated by Melissa Grey: I spend way too much time studying analytics for my blog or social media and otherwise considering stats. But what happens when the world runs on a similar rating system? And what happens when that system is shaken to its core? I’m so excited to find out.
  3. Shatter City by Scott Westerfeld: I have a lot of feelings about Westerfeld continuing his Uglies series with this companion series. After the cliffhanger ending of Impostors you can bet I need to read this one to find out what happens next.
  4. Caster by Elsie Chapman: Magic always has a cost but it might be too high a price to pay when Aza begins investigating her sister’s death and enters herself in an illegal casting competition.
  5. Tarnished Are the Stars by Rosiee Thor: Anna is alive thanks to her clockwork heart–an illegal piece of medical technology just like the ones she tries to distribute while disguised as the Technician. Nathaniel is determined to earn his commissioner father’s respect by capturing the Technician. Their game of cat and mouse turns to a reluctant alliance as both realize there are much bigger, and more dangerous forces at play.

Which ones are you adding to your to read list?

Top Fives: Harper Collins Fall 2019 Preview #harperpreview

Today I’m sharing my top five titles from HarperCollins’ Fall 2019 preview for librarians and educators.

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!)

Picture Books

(I’ve been lucky enough to read galleys of these picture books and they are all excellent!)

  1. The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry, illustrated by Eric and Terry Fan: All of the animals know to avoid the old scarecrow. But when a baby crow lands near scarecrow in a storm, he doesn’t scare the baby bird. Instead he takes care of it. A lushly illustrated, heartwarming story about found family.
  2. Not Quite Snow White by Ashley Franklin, illustrated by Ebony Glenn: Tameika loves to sing and dance. She can’t wait to audition for her school’s new play. When other students start to wonder if Tameika is too tall, too chubby, or too brown to be this princess, she proves them wrong in this dynamo picture book about chasing your dreams.
  3. The Love Letter by Anika Aldamuy Denise, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins: When Hedgehog finds a love letter it makes him feel cheerful. When Bunny finds the same letter she feels helpful. And when the same letter makes its way to squirrel, he feels carefree. When these three friends try to find out who really sent the letter, they learn that a little confusion can lead to a wonderful mix-up.
  4. Mulan: The Legend of the Woman Warrior by Faye-Lynn Wu, illustrated by Joy Ang: A gorgeously illustrated retelling of the classic legend of Mulan–the woman who went to war disguised as a man to protect her loved ones and save China.
  5. A Friend for Bently by Paige Keiser: Bently is lonely as the only pig on the farm. No one else wants to roll in the mud or eat slop with him. And no one will do crossword puzzles. Then Bently hears an oink and when he follows it he finds Daisy, a chick who would much rather be a pig.

Middle Grade

  1. Heroism Begins With Her by Winifred Conkling, illustrated by Julie Kuo: Features profiles of 70 women in different branches of the US military.
  2. Heroes and Hall Passes by Tom O’Donnell: In a mythical realm characters unwind with their favorite role playing game: Homerooms and Hall Passes! When they get transported into their fave game they’ll have to face the biggest challenge yet: middle school.
  3. Ember and Ice Dragons by Heather Fawcett: In an alternate Victorian England a human girl (who was born a dragon!) is swept up in an adventure to save her new home. This is Fawcett’s middle grade debut, you may recognize her name from Even the Darkest Stars.
  4. The Twelve by Cindy Lin: When her sister is captured for her illegal zodiac powers, Usagi must team go with others with zodiac powers to save her.
  5. The Changeling King by Ethan M. Aldridge: This is a sequel so you should read Estranged first, but this follow up story continues the adventure of a human boy and the fae changeling who took his place in the human world.

Young Adult:

  1. I Hope You Get This Message by Farah Naz Rishi: After discovering that Earth is a colony of another planet, three teens have a week to get their affairs in order while the planet decides if it’s time to end the Earth experiment. This sounds a lot like Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente with less singing and more teen angst and I, for one, am here for it.
  2. Our Year in Love and Parties by Karen Hattrup: High concept YA about two characters trying to reconnect and earn their happy ending over one long year. I wish you could have heard the book’s editor, Andrew Eliopulos, talk about this one–I can’t even tell you exactly what it was, but as soon as I heard his presentation I was 100% on board.
  3. Crown of Oblivion by Julie Eshbaugh: The Road meets The Amazing Race in this story where a girl enters a race to win her freedom. The catch? She has to have her memory erased to compete.
  4. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin: Hi. Hello. Historical witch fantasy. Witch and witch hunter forced into marriage. Please take my money. I have been obsessed with this book since the moment I first heard the synopsis. You should be too.
  5. A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth: Weymouth pitched this to her editor saying “It’s like Downton Abbey. But the houses come to life.” And I think that’s really all you need to know.
  6. Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai: I am never going to summarize this as well as Lai did at the preview. Six years ago Hằng lost her younger brother when he was evacuated in the last days of the Việt Nam War. Now, in 1981, after years of planning Hằng is finally in Texas and ready to find Linh. LeeRoy is on his way to becoming a rodeo star when he’s recruited to help Hằng find her brother. It’s an annoying detour, but he’s knows he can’t abandon her. When she realizes Linh doesn’t remember her, Hằng is unmoored and forced to figure out what happens next. Especially when the only person who seems to understand her when she talks is LeeRoy–the gangly would-be cowboy who never stops talking. This book is gorgeous. It’s already my favorite book of the year–and that’s while knowing there’s a new Garth Nix coming out.

Let me know if any of these were already on your radar or if this post helped you find some new titles for your to read list!

Top Fives: Sourcebooks Spring 2019 Preview #sourcebookspreview

Today I’m sharing my Top Five titles to watch for from Sourcebooks’ Spring 2019 preview for librarians and educators. I’m a bit behind on sharing these so many of the titles may already be available at your local library or bookstore.

(I’d also like to share that everyone who attended this preview got their very own unicorn horn and it was glorious.)

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

  1. The Disaster Days by Rebecca Behrens: It’s The Babysitter’s Club meets Hatchet! Enough said. Inspired by the author’s love of historical fiction and disaster stories.
  2. The Star Shepherd by Dan Haring and Marcykate Connolly: A boy and his dog race to save the stars before their light goes out in this fantasy adventure.
  3. You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman: One teen tries to figure out what to do when the promises of happiness and academic success start to pull him in opposite directions.
  4. The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson: And I Darken. Meets. Eragon. Do I need to say more?
  5. Here There Be Monsters by Amelinda Berube: The cover for this one creeps me the hell out but I’m here for any story that is The Blair Witch Project meets Imaginary Girls.
  6. Yale Needs Women: How the First Group of Girls Rewrote the Rules of an Ivy League Giant by Anne Gardiner Perkins: This book is a bit of a bonus as it’s being marketed as adult non-fiction. It’s the product of many years of research and includes fifty oral histories. I’m super excited to read it.

Let me know if any of these were already on your radar or if this post helped you find some new titles for your to read list!

Top Fives: Simon and Schuster Spring 2019 Preview #sskidspreview

Here are my top fives from Simon and Schuster’s Spring 2019 preview for librarians and educators. (This preview happened in February and I’m posting this in July so many of these anticipated titles should already be available at your local library or bookstore!)

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. Duckworth the Difficult Child By Michael Sussman, illustrated by Júlia Sardà: This story is everything my weird picture book loving heart could want. When Duckworth is swallowed whole by a snake he has to get himself out when his parents decide to ignore his difficult behavior.
  2. Seagull and Sea Dragon by Sydni Gregg: Opposites collide in this picture book where opposites aren’t quite as different as Seagull or Sea Dragon might think.
  3. Bilal Cooks Daal by Aisha Saeed, illustrated by Anoosha Syed: Bilal draws neighborhood kids in when his father asks Bilal to help cook his favorite dish—Daal! This looks delightful.
  4. Leila in Saffron by Rukhsanna Guidroz, illustrated by Dinara Mirtalipova: I am always here for new books from Salaam Reads! Leila explores her heritage in this multi sensory story inspired by the author’s own multicultural upbringing.
  5. One Dark Bird by Liz Garton Scanlon, illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon: Counting book about Starlings and their flocking behavior (murmurations). I love Starlings! I don’t even need help from Bird Watcher Twitter to find them.

Middle Grade

  1. A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata: Cynthia Kadohata’s new novel was six years in the making. A piercing story about a Japanese-American family who gives up their American citizenship after WWII to return to Hiroshima—never knowing the devastation they’ll find there after the atomic bomb.
  2. Order of the Majestic by Matt Myklusch: This preview started with a fantastic presentation from the author about talking about this series starter where low-key genius Joey as he discovers magic is real—but only if you believe in it. I am obsessed with the tagline: “The world is running out of magic. It needs a miracle. It got Joey Kopecky.”
  3. Cape by Kate Hannigan: Wonder Woman meets Hidden Figures in this high action story set in WWII America where three girls are transformed into new superheroes. Includes 48 pages of comic book panels too.
  4. The Trouble With Shooting Stars by Meg Cannistra: This story is being called Mary Poppins meets My Big Fat Greek Wedding in a story about healing and family.

Young Adult

  1. Kings, Queens, and In-Betweens by Tanya Boetju: It’s Judy Blume meets RuPaul’s Drag Race in this debut about a queer teen who finds drag culture and the teen she was always meant to be.
  2. Hungry Hearts edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond: Yessssss! Interconnected short story collection all about family, culture, and food. Authors include Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, Ron Chupeco, Rebecca Roanhorse. Ahhhhhh.
  3. The Boy and Girl Who Broke the World by Amy Reed: A. S. King meets Alice Hoffman in this story (blurbed by Nova Ren Suma!) where a friendship might literally be able to change the world. A surreal story with a strong sense of place, and a powerful ode to the importance of hope.
  4. The Best Lies by Sarah Lyu: “Trauma has a gravity of its own.” In this thriller where a toxic friendship turns deadly.
  5. Start Here by Trish Doller: A story about grief, loss, and how the ties that bind can just as easily unravel.
  6. Virtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash: Shenanigans ensue when a girl decides to use a virtual reality dating app to try and get her ex boyfriend back.

Let me know if any of these were already on your radar or if this post helped you find some new titles for your to read list!