On May 19 Simon and Schuster hosted their Fall 2017 Librarian and Educator preview to present upcoming titles from their imprints. You can find my Top Fives below and check out #SSKidsPreview and @SSEdLib on Twitter for even more.
- The Antlered Ship by Dashka Slater, illustrated by Terry Fan and Eric Fan: An adventurous fox embarks on a seafaring adventure in this beautifully illustrated tale. Coming September 12, 2017.
- Bamboo for You, Bamboo for Me by Fran Manushkin, illustrated by Purification Hernandez: Twin. Pandas. Rhyming. Text. Coming November 7, 2017
- Night Out with Mama by Quvenzhane Wallis, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton: The Academy Award nominated actress turns her hand to picture books in this story about a little girl preparing for a night out with her mother. October 3, 2017.
- Pocket Full of Colors by Jacqueline Tourville and Amy Guglielmo, illustrated by Brigette Barrage: This picture book biography tells the story of Mary Blair during her time at Disney. Blair’s career from her work on animated films including Alice in Wonderland and Cinderella to her work designing Disney’s It’s a Small World ride is framed in terms of colors throughout the story. Coming August 29, 2017.
- How the Cookie Crumbled by Gilbert Ford: This non-fiction picture book features three versions of the invention of the chocolate chip cookie. You’ll have to read the entire book to decide which is true. Recipe included. October 24, 2017.
- The Peculiar Incident on Shady Street by Lindsay Currie: In this mystery a girl has to piece together a centuries-old mystery when her family moves into a haunted house and her little brother’s doll begins crying actual tears. Coming October 10, 2017.
- Forest World by Margarita Engle: In her first contemporary verse novel Engle follows a Cuban-American boy during his first visit to his family’s village in Cuba where he meets a sister he never knew about and takes on poachers in the nearby forest. Coming August 29, 2017.
- The Player King by Avi: Truth is stranger than fiction in this rags to riches and back to rags story of the boy who was pulled from obscurity to dethrone the King of England. Coming October 29, 2017.
- Super Max and the Mystery of Thornwood’s Revenge by Susan Vaught: Twelve-year-old Max will need more than her knack for electronics and her super-charged wheelchair to solve the mystery surrounding a haunted mansion. Coming August 29, 2017.
- Littler Women by Laura Schaefer: A modern retelling of Little Women that is meant to be timeless. This book focuses on the first half of Alcott’s original story. Coming September 5, 2017.
- Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds: This book takes place over the course of sixty seconds as a boy rides in the elevator preparing to kill the gang member who shot his brother. Coming October 17, 2017.
- Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman: This debut strikes a balance between literary and commercial as Kiko struggles to figure what happens when she’s rejected from her dream art school. Coming September 26, 2017.
- The Victoria in my Head by Janelle Milanes: Victoria Cruz is a rule following scholarship student at her fancy Manhattan prep school. Then she joins a rock band. Coming September 19, 2017.
- Bad Girls with Perfect Faces by Lynn Weingarten: Sasha’s life gets out of hand when she tries to catfish her best friend’s horrible new girlfriend. Coming October 31, 2017.
- The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed: This powerful novel takes apart the virgin/whore dichotomy at the core of rape culture in this story when three outsiders band together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate. Coming October 10, 2017.
On May 12 HarperCollins hosted their Fally 2017 Librarian and Educator Preview to highlight upcoming titles from all of their imprints. Below you can find my Top Fives from the event. You can also check out #harperpreview and @harperstacks on Twitter for even more.
- A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars by Seth Fishman, illustrated by Isabel Greenberg: This non-fiction picture book quantifies the world starting with the universe (and those stars) before narrowing in on the Earth, the house, and the reader. Includes helpful pronunciations for those large numbers and beautiful artwork. Coming in September.
- On a Magical Do-Nothing Day by Beatrice Alemagna: What happens when a boy drops his electronic game in a puddle and ventures outside? Turns out, a lot in this vibrantly illustrated picture book. Coming September 2017.
- The Bad Seed by Jory John, illustrated by Pete Oswald: He used to be a good seed. Then he was picked, bagged, and spit out by a giant. The experience left him angry. And bad. Until . . . it doesn’t. A charming picture book about turning things around. Coming August 2017.
- Bloom: A Story of Fashion Designer Elsa Schiaparelli by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Julie Morstad: This house favorite is a colorful and charming picture book biography of the well-known fashion designer. Coming March 2018.
- Love, Triangle by Marcie Colleen, illustrated by Bob Shea: Marcie Colleen is the author of one of my favorite young reader series (Super Happy Party Bears). her picture book debut is inspired by a Cassandra Clare panel on love triangles in YA. It’s a charming story about making a three-person friendship work with introductions to many shape concepts (and puns). Coming October 2017.
- The Crims by Katie Davies: When the world’s most inept crime family is framed for a masterful heist it’s up to Imogen–the one promising criminal of this clan–to clear the family name. December 2017.
- Sisters of Glass by Naomi Cyprus: Powerless Halan is a princess in the Magi Kingdom where magic is everywhere. Halan is a glassblower’s daughter trying to hide her magic in New Hadar where magic is outlawed. When the two girls meet each other through a magical mirror they’ll have to work together to save both of their worlds. November 2017.
- 11 Before 12 by Lisa Greenwald: Two best friends make a list of the 11 things they have to do before turning 12 in this fun read perfect for fans of Lauren Myracle and Wendy Mass. First in a duology. Coming August 2017.
- Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh: A girl has to stop a dark spirit from haunting her brother in this spooky mystery perfect for fans of Doll Bones. First in a duology. Coming July 2017.
- The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid by Colin Meloy, illustrated by Carson Ellis: Marseille, 1961. School of Seven Bells for pickpockets. Coming October 2017.
- Nothing by Annie Barrows: Barrows makes her YA debut with this novel inspired by her now-teen daughters requesting she write a book that reflects the reality of their teenaged lives where nothing ever happens. Or does it? September 2017.
- Far From the Tree by Robin Benway: Three siblings given up for adoption when they were born find each other in this house favorite being compared to the show This is Us. Coming October 2017.
- The Gallery of Unfinished Girls by Lauren Karcz: This debut novel filled with magic realism and art is being pitched as the end result if a book like I’ll Give You the Sun was written by an author like Nova Ren Suma. Coming July 2017.
- Three Sides of a Heart edited by Natalie C. Parker: Parker edits this anthology with cross-genre stories featuring love triangles from a wide range of authors including Garth Nix, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Brandy Colbert, and Julie Murphy among others. Coming December 2017.
- This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes: When Genevieve wakes up from a coma she knows that she and her boyfriend Dallas were in a car accident. She knows that Dallas–a Youtube sensation whose star was on the rise–is dead. But as social media spirals out of control in the aftermath of the accident, Genevieve starts to realize that she still may not know the truth. Coming July 2017.
- The Grave Keepers by Elizabeth Byrne: Athena Windham’s family own a cemetery in upstate New York in this world almost like ours where young people are encouraged to treat their graves as a second home. Athena doesn’t know much outside of her family’s world thanks to her protective parents but now with a ghost haunting the property and a runaway hiding in the cemetery, Athena’s world is about to get a lot bigger. Coming September 2017.
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.
- Nerdy Birdy Tweets by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Matt Davies: “Just because you thought it, doesn’t mean you should tweet it.” It’s never too early for social media literacy. Coming August 1, 2017.
- When’s My Birthday by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Christian Robinson: This rhyming book is a rollicking story about birthdays and fun. Coming September 5, 2017.
- How to Be an Elephant: Growing Up in the African Wild by Katherine Roy: A stunning non-fiction picture book that follows an elephant from in utero and beyond. Coming September 19, 2017.
- After the Fall (How Humpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat: What happens after all he kings horsemen put Humpty Dumpty together again? This gorgeous picture book is an ode to Santat’s wife who has faced her own struggle with anxiety. October 3, 2017.
- All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Mike Curato: Curato traveled to Cuba and stayed with Engle’s family to illustrate this charming picture book about a family’s road trip to Havana. Coming August 29, 2017.
- Fallingwater by Marc Hashman & Anna Egan Smucker, illustrated by Leuyen Pham: Instead of focusing on architect Frank Lloyd Wright this non-fiction picture book centers the creative process behind the design and construction of his most famous building: Fallingwater. Coming October 17, 2017.
- Thornhill by Pam Smy: Debut middle grade novel in style reminiscent of Hugo Cabret with a combination of illustrations and text. Part mystery, part ghost story about two lonely girls separated in time.Coming August 29, 2017.
- Meet Cindy Sherman by Sandra Jordan and Jan Greenberg: The art history minor in me is freaking out. How cool is this book going to be?! I was so excited I don’t even have more information for you. Coming October 17, 2017.
- Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani: This debut graphic novel is upper middle grade/younger YA that will appeal to fans of American Born Chinese. Coming October 3, 2017.
- We Are Party People by Leslie Margolis: When her boisterous parents go away, it’s up to shy Pixie to take center stage helping with the family’s party business (in, gasp, a mermaid costume). Coming October 3, 2017.
- Moxie by Jennifer Matthieu: Inspired by her mother’s Riot Grrrl past, Viv creates a feminist zine to take on (and maybe even take down) the sexist and misogynist culture at her high school. Coming September 19, 2017.
- Romeo, Juliet and Jim by Larry Schwarz and Iva-Marie Palmer: Love triangle, humor, and fashion intersect in this start to a YA trilogy. Shakespeare meets Gossip Girl. Coming June 6, 2017.
- Berserker by Emmy Laybourne: Norse mythology meets Ye Olde West in this genre-bender where Berserker Hanne and her brothers leave Norway to start a new life on the American frontier. Coming October 10, 2017
- The Midnight Dance by Nikkie Katz: The Red Shoes meets Pinocchio in this dramatic dance-centric story set in Italy. Coming October 17, 2017.
- You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins: Three generations of women from an Indian-American family tell this story of the immigrant experience. Coming September 12, 2017.
On February 17 I attended Simon & Schuster’s Summer 2017 Educator and Librarian Preview. You may have been following the news with the publisher’s recent cancellation of a book by someone who can politely be called a far-right commentator (and who is a racist, homophobic, and misogynist). That’s worth remembering but I have to say I was pleased with how inclusive the list was for this upcoming season for their children’s imprints.
Big (to me) news from the event: Merit Press is now an imprint of Simon & Schuster after their acquisition of Adams Media. I’ve been following Merit titles for a long time and I’m excited to see them attached to one of the big publishers as I think it will lead to some more attention for them.
If you want to see more about the preview you can check out the #sskidspreview tag on Twitter and also look at my tweets from the preview.
- This Beautiful Day by Richard Jackson, illustrated by Suzy Lee: A picture book so pretty it has no by-lines on the front cover (author attribution will be on the back). A thoughtful story about turning a gloomy day into a beautiful one. Coming August 2017
- Little Red Riding Sheep by Linda Ravin Lodding, illustrated by Cate Atkinson: What happens when an author tries to write a version of Little Red Riding Hood with a sheep who is afraid of the woods? Well, the sheep is definitely going to have something to say about it in this picture book that breaks the fourth wall. Perfect for fans of fracture fairy tales like Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs. Coming August 2017
- Rodzilla by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Dan Santat: Rodzilla is a chubby, slimy monster and he is wrecking havoc on town. But, (spoiler!) he is also a toddler taking seven big steps across his playroom. Coming May 2017
- Long May She Wave: The True Story of Caroline Pickersgill and her Star-Spangled Creation by Kristen Fulton, illustrated by Holly Berry: Did you know that the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner” was sewn by a thirteen-year-old girl who was working in the shop her mother owned? Coming May 2017
- Whobert Whover: Owl Detective by Jason Gallagher, illustrated by Jess Pauwels: Picture book about an owl detective asking the tough (and inevitably wrong) questions about the murder of his possum friend. Just take my money. Coming July 2017.
- Quicksand Pond by Janet Taylor Lisle: It still feels very surreal that I was in the same room as Janet Taylor Lisle. Her new book is about an unlikely friendship that forms between two girls from different backgrounds when they spend their summer days together on a raft. Coming May 2017.
- Pablo and Birdy by Alison McGhee, illustrated by Ana Juan: The story of a boy and his parrot. Pablo wants to know about his past and his biological parents while Birdy wonders why she can’t fly or talk like other parrots. This book is going to have a hint of fantasy and stunning illustrations. Coming August 2017.
- One Shadow on the Wall by Leah Henderson: A timely and heartbreaking middlegrade debut set in Senegal with poetic writing. Comparisons made to Between Shades of Gray. Coming June 2017.
- Three Pennies by Melanie Crowder: In her MG debut Crowder delivers a story about last chances and new opportunities with multiple points of view including an old owl. Coming May 2017.
- Our Story Begins edited by Elissa Brent Weissman: This anthology features a wide range of children’s book authors talking about how they begin writing or illustrating. Each piece is prefaced by a childhood picture of the author and includes a piece of their early work. Includes pieces from Dan Santat, Rita Williams Garcia, Grace Lin, and more! Coming July 2017.
- A Properly Unhaunted Place by William Alexander: What happens when a ghost-hunting librarian moves to a town where there aren’t any ghosts? Her daughter Rosa isn’t sure–especially when it turns out the ghosts aren’t just absent, they’re being kept away by something worse. Coming August 2017.
- Sasquatch, Love, and Other Imaginary Things by Betsy Aldredge and Carrie Dubois Shaw: Samantha, a nice Jewish girl, is dragged onto a Yeti hunt with her parents as part of a reality show. To make matters worse, the whole thing is taking place near an elite boarding school where a Bollywood handsome boy has a front row seat to Samantha’s humiliation. Coming August 2017.
- Shimmer and Burn by Mary Taranta: A fantasy with magic that shines like gold until it is corrupted and begins to burn. Also political machinations. Need it yesterday. Coming August 2017.
- The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell: Gangs of New York. With magic. Do you actually need to know more? Coming July 2017.
- Saints and Misfits by S. K. Ali: This is one of the first YA titles coming from the Salaam Reads imprint. Described as My So-Called Life featuring a Muslim hijabi female lead obsessed with Flannery O’Connor. Compared to Fangirl and I’ll Give You the Sun. Coming June 2017.
- Two Roads From Here by Teddy Steinkeller: A Sliding Doors style story about five teens getting ready to graduate high school and what could happen if they went on the road not taken.Coming June 2017.
Last week Macmillan hosted their Librarian preview for Winter/Spring 2017. The event was at Macmillan headquarters in the Flatiron Building and organized by Macmillan’s School & Library marketing department. The preview covered books from Farrar Straus Giroux, Feiwel & Friends, Swoon Reads, Imprint, Henry Holt, Roaring Brook Press and First Second.
I was on the 14th floor in their room themed after Game On. Which you can see on my Twitter:
(You can also browse the #MacKidsPreview tag and my own tweets to see more thoughts on the preview and what Macmillan has coming up.)
MICRO TREND ALERT: Duologies are still very much a thing. Also seeing lots of exciting non-fiction, more mainstream graphic novels, and thrillers.
- Don’t Blink by Tom Booth: This interactive picture book centers around a staring contest between various animals and the reader! (June 2017)
- Go Big of Go Gnome! by Kristen Mayer, illustrated Laura K. Horton: Al the garden gnome can’t grow and compete in the annual gnome beard championship (inspired by a real event). BUT it turns out he’s a great beard stylist! (March 2017)
- Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines by Jeanne Walker Harvey; illustrations by Dow Phumiruk: A picture book biography with lyrical, poetic text about the woman who designed the Vietnam War Memorial among other well-known projects. Illustrations by a new artists who, fun fact, is a full-time pediatrician. (May 2017)
- What’s Your Favorite Color? by Eric Carle and Friends: Artists talking about their favorite colors with accompanying illustrations. Eric Carle has been on a lifelong quest for the perfect yellow–a color that is notoriously difficult for artists to reproduce. Mike Curato likes mint because he loves mint ice cream. If you want to know more, you’ll have to read the book in May 2017.
- John Ronald’s Dragons: The Story of J. R. R. Tolkien by Caroline McAlister, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler: I don’t have much to say about this because the subtitle says it all and I got all Verklempt when I saw the illustrations. You need it. (March 2017)
- Now by Antoinette Portis: This contemplative picture book explores the joys of living in the now. Quote from the book: “This is my favorite now because it’s the one I’m having with you.” (July 2017)
- Game On: Video Game History from Pong and Pac-Man to Mario, Minecraft, and More by Dustin Hansen: A non-fiction book about the history and evolution of video games and their relationship to popular culture. Fast paced, short chapters, filled with illustrations and graphic sidebars. (November 2017)
- Blooming at the Texas Sunrise Motel by Kimberly Willis Holt: A modern day Heidi about a girl who is sent to live with her estranged grandfather after her parents die. (March 2017)
- Bravo! Poems About Amazing Hispanics by Margarita Engle, illustrations by Rafael Lopez: This book includes poems, illustrations, and biographical information about a variety of historical figures including Tito Puente, Pura Belpre, and more. (March 2017)
- Grand Canyon by Jason Chin: Another stunning non-fiction picture book from Chin this time about the Grand Canyon. Includes Chin’s usual photo-realistic illustrations which are even more stunning with a double page spread and die cuts. (February 2017)
- Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte: Cilla is 1/2 white and 1/2 Chinese and completely delightful in this debut series starter where Cilla is writing her memoirs before her new baby sister is born. Grace Lin said meeting Cilla was like meeting a new best friend. Comp to Ramona. (March 2017)
- Real Friends by Shannon Hale, art by LeUyen Pham: Four color illustrations highly this story about making and losing first friends. Gene Yang described it as “so many feels.” (May 2017)
- I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo: This one is a bit of a cheat because I already had it on my radar since the cover reveal (and even featured it on a YALSA list). But still excited! Want to know more? Here’s my annotation from that booklist: Desi Lee is a straight A student who knows CPR, car mechanics, and definitely has her application to Stanford well in hand. Love and flirting, however, remain a painful challenge. When Luca Drakos–probably the hottest guy ever–enters Desi’s life, she decides it’s time to improve her flirting game. And she knows exactly how to do it thanks to the Korean dramas her father loves. (May 2017)
- The Cruelty by Scott Bergstrom: Thriller about a teenage girl searching for her kidnapped father. Compared to the Taken films. First in a duology. (February 2017)
- Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller: Another one I’ve been excited to read for awhile. Fantasy debut! Pirates! (February 2017)
- This one I’m cheating a little. I’ve been following Imprint since Erin Stein first introduced her new imprint at a preview last year. It’s been great watching Imprint grow and they have some awesome titles coming up including:
- Freya by Matthew Laurence a contemporary fantasy about gods and goddesses who live among us. (March 2017)
- The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty pitched as Jane Eyre with an espionage twist. First in a trilogy. (May 2017)
- Eye of the World: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro, and the Invention of Modern Photojournalism by Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos: Aronson and Budhos, husband and wife authors, team up to look at some of the creators of photojournalism (as photographers started looking past slogans for real human connection) in this picture-filled book. (March 2017)
- Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman: This biography about Vincent and Theo Van Gogh, who wrote letters to each other for most of their lives is one of my most anticipated 2017 releases. (April 2017)
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.
On October 14 I was able to attend my first publisher’s preview for HarperCollins. This felt a bit like arriving and it was fascinating to see their new downtown offices. With new titles from Megan Whalen Turner and Gail Carson Levine (not to mention Goldenhand by Garth Nix which came out this season), it felt a bit like my childhood was coming back in full force. Some micro-trends I spotted: duologies and alternating POV.
Here are my Top Fives presented at the preview across all of Harper’s imprints:
- Egg by Kevin Henkes: Described as a graphic novel for preschoolers, this book will be Henkes’ fiftieth. Coming January 2017.
- Good Night! Good Night! by Carin Berger: Berger’s signature collage-style illustrations tell the story of rabbits who don’t want to go to sleep. Watch for it in January 2017.
- I Do Not Like Al’s Hat by Erin McGill: Herb loves everything about being a magician’s rabbit. Except Al’s hat. Which he hates. So Herb quits and answers an ad to become Sophie’s pet rabbit. Out January 2017.
- The Legend of Rock, Paper, Scissors by Drew Daywalt, illustrated by Adam Rex: Rock, Paper, and Scissors travel through the venerable kingdom known as Backyard trying to find worthy opponents. April 2017.
- Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler: Compared to books by Peter Brown and Jon Klassen this is a picture book about learning how to share–and what happens when everyone wants to be king or queen of the playground. Coming April 2017.
- Joplin, Wishing by Diane Stanley: A New York City girl receives a Delft platter and the girl painted on the platter comes to life (kind of like a genie). Adventure! Magic! Heart! Watch for it in June 2017
- Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done: by Andrea Gonzalez and Sophie Hauser: Non-fiction title about girls who code and more.
- York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby: First in an epic series pitched as National Treasure meets The Westing Game. The scale of the cipher and a hunt across the city also brings Ready Player One to mind. May 2017.
- Two Truths and a Lie: It’s Alive by Ammi-Joan Paquette: A collection of non-fiction stories. Full color photos and illustrations. The catch? For every two stories that are true, one is a lie. An answer key in the back gives a rundown of what’s true and what isn’t. Described as National Geographic in book form.
- Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder: Every year a new child is brought to the island and the eldest is taken away in this story about growing up. Compared to Anne Ursu and Kelly Barnhill. May 2017.
- Miss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood: Story about a girl trying to become a sorceress. A diverse cast and dragon magic! March 2017.
- Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer: Sleeping Beauty style story where a girl goes on a quest to rescue her half-sister. Watch for it in April 2017
- Literally by Lucy Keating: A book about a book about falling in love. Anabel is the MC in the new hit YA novel being written by the hot YA author of the moment. She she finds herself falling for an unexpected boy, she goes off script. Stranger Than Fiction meets books by Jenny Han or Stephanie Perkins. Watch for it in April 2017.
- Midnight at the Electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson: Three teen girls in three different eras (Oklahoma 2065, Oklahoma 1934, England 1919) all connected in this novel that is all about connection. Coming April 2017.
- By Your Side by Kasie West: What happens when the Good Girl gets locked in the school library for the long weekend with the Bad Boy? Coming January 2017.
- A Season of Daring Greatly by Ellen Emerson White: YA novel about the first woman drafted to MLB as a pitcher. If it sounds like Pitch, that’s because it’s really similar! “Gets you in the feminist feels.” From the author of the president’s daughter series. Out February 2017.
- American Street by Ibi Zoboi: Zoboi was the keynote speaker for this preview and talked about her inspiration for this novel which follows Fabiola, a teen girl who has emigrated from Haiti only to find her new life in Detroit isn’t everything promised by the American Dream. February 2017.