Author Archive

Kids New Title Radar; Week of Oct. 6

Friday, October 4th, 2013

9780316207652  1423146727  9780316401227-1

Several big kahunas arrive next week. James Patterson’s Confessions: The Private School Murders (Hachette/LBYR; Hachette Audio; Hachette Large Print), Rick Riordan’s 4th title in his Heroes of Olympus series,  The House of Hades (Hachette/Disney-Hyperion; Hachette Audio; Thorndike Large Print) and the highly anticipated, aggressively promoted, novel by Newbery Honor winner Shannon Hale, Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends, 9780545603683-2(Hachette/LBYR) which ties in to Mattel’s doll franchise, with videos, apps and games, following Mattel’s previous Monster High (with tie-in titles by Lisi Harrison).

To top it all off, the tie-in to Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Scholastic) also arrives. But don’t let all these  big names obscure some other books worthy of attention.

All the titles mentioned here are listed, with alternate formats, on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of Oct. 6

Picture Books

Captain Cat   9781616202460

Captain Cat, Inga Moore, (Candlewick)

Moore, who has created lush editions of the classics Wind in the Willows and The Secret Garden, charms with this tale of an island overun with rats and ship filled with cats.

Anton and Cecil: Cats at Sea, Lisa Martin, Valerie Martin, (Algonquin YR)

For those looking for more cats at sea tales, this animal adventure story will remind readers of Avi’s Poppy.

Facts For Younger Kids

978-1-4263-1014-0 978-1-4263-1368-4

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space, Catherine D. Hughes, David A. Aguilar, (National Geographic Children’s Books)

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of the Ocean , Catherine D. Hughes, (National Geographic Children’s Books)

I love this First Big Books series. Stunning pictures (click through to the book on space to see some of the spreads) and fact-filled fun.


Maps, Daniel Mizielinski, (Canglewick/Big Picture Press)

A stunning publishing debut for a new publishing house, which introduces itself  this way, “Big Picture Press is a new list of highly illustrated books launching September 2013, publishing as an imprint of … Candlewick Press (US and Canada). We believe that books should be visually intelligent, surprising, and accessible to readers of all ages, abilities, and nationalities.”

Middle Grade

9780375868955  9780525426158

Will in Scarlet, Matthew Cody, (RH/Knopf BYR; Listening Library)

An old fashioned fast-paced historical adventure from the point of view of the youngest member of the Robin Hood’s band of merry men.

The Grimm Conclusion, Adam Gidwitz, Hugh D’Andrade, (Penguin/Dutton Juvenile)

Adam Gidwitz has taken apart, mashed-up, spun around Grimm’s fairytales in this series that has a Princess Bride narrative tone. Don’t miss number three. All are superb read alouds.

Young Adult

9780385741392 978-0-375-85645-7 9780525425922

The Eye of Minds, James Dashner, (RH/Delacorte Press; Listening Library)

A cyber reality page-turning adventure from the the author of the New York Times bestselling Maze Runner series as well as the books in the 13th Reality series and The Infinity Ring.

The Midnight Dress, Karen Foxlee, (RH/Knopf; Listening Library)

Kirkus calls this mystery, “smart, intricate storytelling loaded with genuinely teen concerns. Atmospheric, lyric and unexpected.”

Just One Year, Gayle Forman, (Penguin/Dutton Juvenile; Dreamscape Audio)

Published in January, Just One Day told the story of a pair of teenagers spending a day (and night) in Paris, from the point of view of Allyson. Just One Year picks ups where the first book left off, but from the boy’s point of view. Must have for the 9780805092677romance fans.

Emerald Green, Kerstin Gier, Anthea Bell, (Macmillan/Holt; Macmillan Young Listeners)

I’ve been waiting for this — the final book in the Ruby Red Trilogy , a this time traveling romance series with a hint of humor.

Kids New Title Radar, Week of 9/30

Friday, September 27th, 2013

New books from award winners are big next week, from Caldecott medalists Jerry Pinkney and David Wiesner to the longlisted National Book Awards title from Meg Rosoff … Your next favorite read aloud, Snatchabook, focuses on the love of reading … In tie-ins, releases of Ender’s Game and Frozen signal two big fall movies arriving in November.

Titles mentioned here, and more arriving next week, are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kid’s New Title Radar; Week of Sept. 30.

Picture Books

Tortoise and the Hare  2390915e2a6bfd2f41d837592fd66bb7

The Tortoise & the Hare, Jerry Pinkney, (Hachette/LBYR)

Caldecott-winning artist Pinkney, (The Lion And The Mouse) retells Aesop’s fable, set in the American Southwest. The illustrations are rich in detail, accurately displaying the flora and fauna of the region’s landscape. These animals are more anthropomorphic than his previous retelling, with the turtle sporting a train engineer’s cap (perhaps a nod to John Henry) and the rabbit in a checkered vest. Another winner.


Snatchabook, Thomas Docherty, Helen Docherty, (Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky)

Looking for a new read aloud picture book so delightful that it sings? Look no further, it’s here.

Click on the title link to see some of the charming interior spreads.


9780618756612Mr. Wuffles!, David Wiesner, (HMH/Clarion Books)

The world has gone cat crazy, from French video star, Henri, Le Chat Noir, who paces to an interior monologue of ennui, to  Grumpy Cat, who has his own bestselling book from Chronicle (and the longest lines at Book Expo).

Now there is Mr. Wuffles! Inventive, surprising, with sly humor and visual jokes, three-time Caldecott-winner David Weisner gives new life to the alien invasion trope.

Young Adult

Picture Me Gone

Picture Me Gone, Meg Rosoff, (Penguin/Putnam)

Longlisted for the National Book Awards, this is a story that sneaks up on you. Written from the point of view of a very smart, very aware (think Sherlock Holmes) twelve-year-old, it is about a girl accompanying her father on a trip to the United States to search for his missing best friend.

Movie Tie-ins

Ender's Game Tie-in

Ender’s Game (Movie Tie-In), Orson Scott Card, (Macmillan/Tor Teen; also in trade pbk)

Whatever you think of Orson Scott Card’s politics or point of view, when Enders Game was published in 1985, it brought a new vision to speculative fiction with its intergalactic power plays and the fate of the human race resting on the gaming skills of children. The book has reappeared on best seller lists as attention is gearing up for the movie, which open Nov. 1, starring Harrison Ford as Col. Hyrum Graff and Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggin.

New TV spot below:

Frozen Tie-ins

Frozen Jr. Novelization Disney’s big animated feature for the winter, opening Nov. 27, is appropriately titled Frozen, which is oosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen,

In addition to the novelization (pictured), several tie-ins are being published.

See our downloadable spreadsheet, Kid’s New Title Radar; Week of Sept. 30, for the full list.

Kids New Title Radar; Week of Sept. 23

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Two titles on just-announced longlist for the National Book Awards for Young People’s Literature arrive tomorrow; The Real Boy, by Anne Ursu (Walden Pond Press) and Kate DiCamillo’s Flora and Ulysses (Candlewick). On our Watch List is the next title in one of my favorite new middle grade series and a title that’s been buzzed on YA GalleyChat. With all the ads out there for Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2, we probably don’t need to remind you that it opens this weekend. For those who want to read ahead, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 3 : Planet of the Pies came out last month.

See our downloadable spreadsheet with the movie tie-ins, the titles highlighted here, and many more  coming this week, Kids New Title Radar — Wk. of Sept 23.

Flora and UlyssesFlora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, Kate DiCamillo, illus. by K.G. Campbell, (Candlewick)

It’s no surprise that the latest by award winning author Kate DiCamillo is a delight to hold. Those who read it digitally will miss the beautiful bookmaking, the heft, the delicious paper stock and the shiny embossed red detail that dances across the cover, even landing on the tiny letters on the comic that Flora is hugging. DiCamillo and her partners-in-crime the creative team at Candlewick, fearlessly experiment with a hybrid graphic format telling the quiet, funny and sometimes sad tale of self-proclaimed cynic Flora and her superhero squirrel companion Ulysses.

The review in the New York Times Book Review  is particularly insightful. Christine Scheper, Children’s Materials Specialist, Queens Library, NYC gives the ultimate librarian recommendation “As a children’s librarian I am always thinking ‘who is this book for?’ I would give this book to everyone! It’s hysterically funny.”

As a special gift from the publisher and School Library Journal, you are invited to join a Livestream Event featuring Kate DiCamillo and Jon Scieszka live from Bank Street College of Education on Monday October 21st. Set up an assembly so all of your students, parents, and teachers can share the belly laughs with these two hilarious authors. It’s the school visit to end all school visits!

Watch List

Good night, zombie

Good Night, Zombie, James Preller, illus. by Iacopo Bruno, (S&S/Feiwell & Friends, simultaneous paper and hardcover)

AsI said about the earlier titles in this series, I am thrilled with these early chapter books that are just scary enough for newly fluent third graders. Lots of dark scratchboard illustrations, and a flip animation spider that crawls down the margin, adds visual interest. Happily, at least three more titles are planned in the series.

9780385743563-1Steelheart, Brandon Sanderson, (Delacorte Press; Brilliance Audio)

As proclaimed on the cover, Sanderson is a NYT best selling author, but for adult titles (he completed Robert Jordan’s fantasy series The Wheel of Time). He has also published a series of YA novels (beginning with the marvelously-titled Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians) and the standalone YA/middle grade novel, The Rithmatist, which came out in May. This beginning of a new series is called by SLJ a “fun, fast-paced, futuristic science-fiction superhero story.” Librarians on YA GalleyChat report that kids are eagerly awaiting this one.

Kids New Title Radar, Week of August 5

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

Of the titles releasing next week (downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of Aug. 5), below are a few that should be particular hits with kids.

NG Kids Ultimate Weird But True 2 NG Kids Ultimate Weird But True 2: 1,000 Wild & Wacky Facts & Photos! (National Geographic)

This is the second in a high-interest reading series that appeals to kids who can read, but choose not to. Each page is a glossy color photo with fun facts. The first one flew off the shelves and this one will too.

Robots, Robots Everywhere!

Robots, Robots Everywhere!  Sue Fliess, illus. by Bob Staake (RH/Little Golden Books)

Short rhyming text perfectly supported by Staake’s primary colored graphic images demonstrate why “Golden Books” is a go-to brand for preschool story time.

The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett: An Origami Yoda Book, Tom Angleberger, (Abrams/Amulet)

The first title in this series, The Strange Case Of Origami Yoda was a best seller and for good reason. It was a terrific school story, told from different points of view, formatted in the style of Wimpy Kid. We all know series that peter out after the 2nd or 3rd book. Angleberger demonstrates in this 4th book that he has hit the mark in portraying contemporary middle school life.

Llama Llama and the Bully Goat

Llama Llama And The Bully Goat, Anna Dewney, (Penguin/Viking)

Llama Llama Red Pajama continues to be be one of my favorite read alouds for the pre-school set. Anna Dewney continues the series that and helps children manage “big feelings.” In previous books we learned that sharing is hard and it’s okay to get angry. Now she tackles teasing with just the right light touch.

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales Donner Dinner Party, Nathan Hale, (Abrams/Amulet)

Thanks to one of my trusted sources, Susan Faust, school librarian and children’s book reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle, for recommending this one. She says,

“Heading up to Tahoe on Interstate 80? A tidy graphic novel recounts the mess at the summit in the winter of 1846-47. Quick summary: Things go from bad to worse for a wagon train headed from Illinois to California, and there is nothing left to eat but each other. The narrator is Revolutionary War hero Nathan Hale, who foresees another gruesome chapter in American history right before the British hang him in 1776. (With the same name as the real-life author, he ties together the Hazardous Tales series.) Although it’s based on somber truths, irreverence rules with Mad Magazine edge and snarky asides. Still, the main themes are intact: arduous journey, bad choices, hubris, hunger, cold and an infamous end.”

Kids New Title Radar, Week of 7/22

Friday, July 19th, 2013

How time flies. Next week brings the fiftieth in the now classic series, Magic Tree House #50: Hurry Up, Houdini! (Random House BYR). Also cause for celebration is another new title in a series, My Weird School Special: It’s Halloween, I’m Turning Green! (HarperCollins), the perfect early chapter books for newly fluent readers.

Below are some other titles to on our radar for next week. All the titles highlighted here, plus many more, are on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of 7/22.

Picture Books

The Case of the Missing DonutThe Case of the Missing Donut, Alison Mcghee, Isabel Roxas, (Penguin/Dial)

This one leapt instantly to the top of the must-read pile on the basis of Alison McGhee’s name alone. Love her picture books, A Very Brave Witch and Countdown to Kindergarten illustrated by Harry Bliss and her gently lyrical books with Peter Reynolds. We adore her partnership with Kate DiCamillo, in the award winning series, Bink and Golly. Her middle grade Julia Gillian trilogy is an under-the-radar gem.

She has broken out new illustrators like Taeeun Yoo who was perfectly matched in her Only a Witch Can Fly. Now we have this lovely picture book illustrated by Isabel Roxas in her U.S. Debut. McGhee’s dry humor is perfectly matched with these “pictures that tell more than the words.”

Kirkus concurs; “Roxas’ charming illustrations are drawn with graphite and colored digitally in subtle but appealing hues. A hint of sepia echoes the faux homespun language and Western theme. They showcase a clean, friendly small town of leafy streets and small shops, populated with perky cartoon-style characters.”

Planes Fly!Planes Fly!George Ella Lyon, Mick Wiggins, (S&S/Atheneum BYR)

An exuberant celebration of nearly everything about flight, from the plane parts to the thrill of being in the air (of course, there’s nothing about long security lines or lost luggage). The bouncing verse mimics the exhilaration of flying and the retro illustrations do what early travel posters were designed to do; make you want to be a part of the fun (check out the spreads on Edelweiss).

Middle Grade

True Blue ScoutsThe True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp, Kathi Appelt, (S&S/Atheneum BYR)

Kathi Appelt is a singular voice and got raves for The Underneath, but that story of darkness and betrayal cloaked in lyrical language was not my cup of tea. For those, who, like me turned the pages of The Underneath with trepidation, fear not. As librarians often say, every book is not for every child. This one is, as I write in my review  in last Sunday’s NYT BR.

Binny for ShortBinny for Short, Hilary McKay, (S&S/Margaret K. McElderry)

If you haven’t discovered Hilary McKay, her humor, her characters and her ability to express children’s “big feelings” within the context of family life, you are in for a treat. Do not miss Saffy’s Angelthe beginning of the Casson family series. Binny for Short introduces us a strong, sensitive and expressive little girl in the midst of big changes and developing friendships.

BlufftonBluffton: My Summer with Buster Keaton, Matt Phelan, (Candlewick)

Matt Phelan takes us to places that we have never been and may never have experienced except through his exquisite visual storytelling. In this case, it’s a little-known artist’s colony on the shores of Lake Michigan in 1908.


Young Adult

The Counterfeit Family treeThe Counterfeit Family Tree of Vee Crawford-Wong, L. Tam  Holland, (S&S BYR)

Vee Crawford-Wong has been assigned to write his family history. Only as he tells it, in his family “We didn’t like to upset each other. That’s why we couldn’t talk about anything. That’s why I didn’t know anything. That’s why I couldn’t do my homework which is why I was going to flunk history. It was all my parents’ fault.” Debut author Holland has captured the authentic snarky voice of this high-schooler delving into his families secrets.

Kids New Title Radar, Week of July 15

Friday, July 12th, 2013

After the onslaught of new kids titles that arrived at the the beginning of the season, next week is much lighter. In addition to the titles highlighted below, note the three new DK Readers for their high-interest, engaging format especially the LEGO Hero Factory tie-in; a brand that is a sure hit with kids.

All the titles mentioned here and more, are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of July 15.

BullyBully, Laura Vaccaro Seeger, (Macmillan/Roaring Brook)

Caldecott honor winner Seeger (Green) never ceases to enthrall. The bull in this new story IS a bully. Name-calling makes him feel big but there is a twist. This one deserves all three of its starred reviews (PW, Booklist and SLJ).

9780805095197Some Monsters Are Different, David Milgrim, (Macmillan/Holt)

We fell in love with David Milgrim with his outstanding pre-level one Otto and Pip early readers, (beginning with See OttoAtheneum, 2002), Some Monsters displays the same the same delightful quirkiness and humor sure to delight the preschool set.

The Garfield Show #1: Unfair WeatherThe Garfield Show #1: Unfair Weather, Jim Davis, Cedric Michiels, illus. by Ellipsanime, (Macmillan/Papercutz; also in trade pbk)

That pizza-loving fat cat, Garfield, appears in a new graphic novel fthat will fly off the shelves.  Papercutz, the publisher of the graphic Geronimo Stilton, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew as well as the Garfield & Co. series, scores with this new full-color comic.

Kids New Title Radar, Week of July 9

Monday, July 8th, 2013

Zombelina   The Music of Zombies   Zom-B Angels

As World War Z continues strong at the box office, a zombie apocalypse arrives in kid’s books this week, from Zombelina by Kristyn Crow and Molly Idle, (Macmillan/Walker) about a little green dancer to The Music of Zombies, the fifth in Vivian French’s Tales from the Five Kingdoms series (Candlewick) and Darren Shan’s Zom-B Angels, (Hachette/Little, Brown YR) the fourth in his new YA horror series.

My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish

My particular favorite is My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish, by Mo O’Hara, (S&S/Feiwel & Friends), about a budding evil scientist. I am a sucker for what is now called “guys read ” fare, I’m not the only one.  I just got a note from an 8-year-old that reads, “Thank you for the fart book it was reely (sic) funny.” So is this one. I’m looking forward to My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish: The Sea-Quel arriving in January.

Below are other highlights of the week. All the titles noted here and many more, including movie tie-ins, are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of July 9.

Picture Books

Rocket's Might WordsRocket’s Mighty Words, Tad Hills, (RH/Schwartz & Wade)

English is hard. Really hard. A lot of it doesn’t make sense to the beginning reader. Sight words are often the key to emergent literacy and fluency. We hear these words. We see these words. We hear these words again, repeating the cycle until we know these words. Then only and only then can we read them. Building our inventory of sight words can make or break of the first reading experiences. After following Rocket’s journey to literacy in How Rocket Learned to Read and Rocket Writes a Story, it is lovely to have him as our guide as we learn to own these words. This is as larger size board book that can be used at story time.

What Floats in a Moat?What Floats in a Moat?, Lynne Berry, Matthew Cordell, (S&S Young Readers)

Archie the goat and Skinny the Hen try to find a way to cross a moat through trial and error. The common core educators will fall in love with this simple scientific experiment framed in a picture book format.

Chapter Books

Home Sweet Horror  I Scream, You Scream  Good night, zombie
Home Sweet Horror  and I Scream, You Scream! (Scary Tales Books 1 and 2) by James Preller, (S&S/Feiwell & Friends, simultaneous paper and hardcover)

I am thrilled with this new series of  early chapter books that are just scary enough for newly fluent third graders. Lots of dark scratchboard illustrations, and a flip animation spider that crawls down the margin, adds visual interest. A third title, arriving in October, brings on the zombies (Good Night, Zombie). At least three more titles are planned in the series.

Nikki and DejaNikki and Deja: Substitute Trouble, Karen English, Laura Freeman, (HMH/Clarion)

This is the 6th in a series that is terrific for  librarians looking for great stories that reflect the daily lives of kids. The early chapter book format is one that we can’t get enough of — think Johanna Hurwitz’s  Riverside Kids series (Scholastic), and James Howe’s Pinky & Rex(Scholastic).

Young Adult 

45 Pounds45 Pounds (More or Less), Kelly Barson, (Penguin/Viking)

Jenny Brown of Shelf Awareness called this story of Ann, a teen aged girl trying to lose weight for her aunt’s wedding, a must-read. I think one of my students “borrowed” my galley so I’ll quote from Jenny’s review, “Teens who struggle with their weight will find a funny, smart companion in Barson’s charming heroine, and those who overlook or judge a classmate like Ann may find themselves taking a moment to get to know him or her. All readers will cheer for this winning character.” Kirkus is also on the bandwagon “‘While lessons are offered, they are deliciously coated in readable prose and a compelling plot.’ SLJ chimes in “Telling the story in Ann’s wry, realistic voice, this debut author effectively captures society’s preoccupation with size and the resulting alienation of an overweight teen.”

Kids New Title Radar, Week of July 1

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Midsummer Nights Scream  Tallstar's Revenge

Among the titles that qualify as “blind orders” (those that need no reviews), arriving next week, are  R.L. Stine’s new gruesome stand-alone, A Midsummer Night’s Scream, (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends) with appropriately spooky cover (the plot features teenaged actors in Hollywood and a short guy named Puck), as well as another “standalone” (even though it’s part of a series), Erin Hunter’s Warriors Super Edition: Tallstar’s Revenge, which follow the previous five standalone “super-editions” (see a break down of the various series here).

For those buying movie tie-ins, there are plenty for Disney’s Planes, coming Aug 9.

Below are other highlights of the week; all these titles, and more, are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Titler Radar, Week of July 1

Younger Readers

9780803734555  9780803738386

The Mouse with the Question Mark Tail, Richard Peck, (Penguin/Dial)

Newbery Medalist Richard Peck (for A Year Down Yonder) celebrates an earlier queen’s Diamond Jubilee,  Victoria’s, in his return to the mouse society featured in Secrets at Sea (2011). Says Kirkus, “Peck binds this unlikely romp together with his characteristically witty and precise prose, flavored by an endearing blend of humility and superiority that only a British foundling mouse can muster.”  Booklist adds, “This may be a book about a tiny mouse, but it’ll be big on everyone’s radar.”

What We Found in the SofaWhat We Found in the Sofa and How It Saved the World, Henry Clark. (Hachette/Little Brown YR)

No need for a plot summary for this debut; the title does that. It  got mixed reviews from SLJ and PW for being a little over the top. I thoroughly enjoyed the voice and contemporary style, with big words and snarky humor. Kirkus concurs, saying it’s “refreshingly bonkers. It offers thinking kids humor that is neither afraid of the potty nor confined to it. Most of the characters (and some of the furniture) have their quirks, but there is a realism at the core that readers will respond to.” This one is sure to be a pick of the lists come year end. Here’s hoping there’s a movie in the works.

SYLO, D J MacHale, (Penguin/Razorbill)

The start of a new dystopian trilogy by the author of the Pendragon books, is starred by Kirkus, which says “MacHale knows boy readers and delivers, giving them an action-packed plot with a likable, Everykid protagonist and doling out answers with just the right amount of parsimony to keep the pages turning. This first installment in a proposed trilogy is absolutely un-put-down-able, more exciting than an X-Box and roller coaster combined.”

Sea of Monsters — Movie Tie-in and Graphic Novel

Sea of Monsters Tie-in  1423145291

The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel, Robert Venditti and Rick Riordan, illus by Tamas Gaspar and Attila Futaki, (Disney Book Group), pbk and hdbk.

The Sea of Monsters, Movie Tie-in, Rick Riordan, (Hachette/ Disney-Hyperion)

In addition to the tie-in to the movie opening theaters on Aug. 7, a graphic novel is being released.  As in the previous titlem The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel ,the publisher does a a spectacular job translating the story into  graphic format while losing none of the excitement of the originals and providing high-interest reads to kids daunted by the size of the novels.

New Adult

Because of LowBecause of Low, Abbi Glines, (S&S/Simon Pulse)

The rights to this formerly self-published ebook title were bought by the S&S Pulse imprint which in now releasing it in both hardcover and paperback. This second title in the Sea Breeze series, it actually arrives AFTER the third in the same series, While It Lasts, already spent 4 weeks on the NYT YA best seller list back in May, in its former incarnation as a self-published eBook-only title. The fourth title, Just for Now will be released in late August.

Kids New Title Radar, Week of 6/24

Friday, June 21st, 2013

My New Teacher And Me    9780062198716

As the school year winds to a close, it may seem odd that  several “back to school” titles arrive next week, but come July and August, we’ll be scrambling to find them for all those parents who want to help their kids navigate this important transition. Also coming, a new book that advocates adding math to bedtime routines, James Patterson’s latest in his Middle School series explains How I Survived Bullies, Broccoli, and Snake Hill and a YA title about an African albino boy who suffers far worse, Golden Boy arrives with librarian buzz. For those who buy movie tie-ins, get ready for The Smurfs 2, coming  July 31. Paris will never be the same.

The books highlighted here and many more are listed with ordering information on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids-New-Title-Radar-Week of 6.24

Bedtime Math

Bedtime Math, Laura Overdeck, Jim Paillot, (Macmillan/Feiwel & Friends)

Overbeck and her husband have received media attention including a story on NPR about how they incorporate math into their kids’ bedtime routine. They’ve written about this on their popular blog and the send a “Daily Math Problem” email to subscribers. Here they present both their approach and bedtime story problems to use with “wee ones” up to “big kids” in book form.

Golden BoyGolden Boy, Tara Sullivan, (Penguin/Putnam)

Librarians at BEA said they were riveted by this YA novle. It brings to light the treatment of albinos in Tanzania, where they are often killed for their body parts which are sold to people who believe they are lucky. Kirkus calls it “A riveting fictional snapshot of one Tanzanian boy who makes himself matter.”

Kids New Title Radar, Week of 6/17

Friday, June 14th, 2013

We all love new books, but it’s often even more exciting when favorites come back into print. Arriving next week are several reprints that will make librarians’ hearts race.

Among the new titles, Alex London moves from middle grade into YA with Proxy. In series, Cate Cahill follows up last year’s Born Wicked with another title about the Cahill Witches, in the well-reviewed  Star Cursed while Katherine Longshore releases a companion novel to her book about King Henry the VIII’s court, Gilt, this one focused on Anne Boleyn and called, of course, Tarnish.

Also, get ready to raid the adult collection for Martha Stewart’s Favorite Crafts for Kids.

All titles highlighted here and more are listed on our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of 6.17.13


9781465408969   DK Readers
DK Eyewitness Books and DK Readers series (See downloadable spreadsheet for titles and ordering information)

Time to put in that DK replacement order for those popular titles that have been OSI packing slip after packing slip. They’re back!

A few years ago, I was on the subway and spotted a kid who was completely engrossed in a StarWars early reader. Thinking, “Whoa; I’d better get some of those for my library,”  I suddenly realized that kid was one of my students and that was one of MY library books. I put in an order for six of each title that day. Love ’em, all of ‘em, especially the LEGO books.

Henny Penny   9780547988672

Henny Penny, and Cinderella, both by Paul Galdone
(Folk Tale Classics series, HMH Books)

I am crazy for these classic stories retold and illustrated by Goldone. HMH began updating the entire series in 2011, with colorful covers. These are reprints done right.

Picture Book

Bogart and Vinnie

Bogart and Vinnie: A Completely Made-up Story of True Friendship, Audrey Vernick, Henry Cole, (Macmillan/Walker Childrens)

This fictional interspecies tale will remind librarians of the sweet true story of Owen and Mzee (Scholastic, 2006) as well as the never-ending, very charming stories of dogs who partner with elephants and cats who adopt ducklings. Henry Cole’s droll humor creates a winner (see a spread here).

Middle Grade

Bo at Ballard Creek

Bo at Ballard Creek, Kirkpatrick Hill, LeUyen Pham, (Macmillan/Holt BYR)

Hill, who wrote one of my favorite works of historical fiction, The Year of Miss Agnes, (S&S/McElderry), presents another story set in Alaska, this one about a little girl who is adopted by miners during the 1920’s goldrush.

Young Adult


Proxy, Alex London, (Penguin/Philomel)

Known for his middle-grade Accidental Adventures series, London crosses into YA with this adventure that Publishers Weekly calls “an entertaining throwback to ’70s dystopias like Logan’s Run, offering intriguing moral dilemmas amid breakneck action.” The “proxy” of the title pays the price for the main character’s wrong-doing.

Kids New Title Radar, Week of 6/10

Friday, June 7th, 2013

The second week in the month, the traditional release period for children’s titles, brings a flood of new books to our downloadable spreadsheet, Kids New Title Radar, Week of June 10, including the conclusion to actress Lauren Conrad’s Fame Game series. For those who buy movie tie-ins, we’ve listed the titles that are based on the animated Dreamworks movie, Turbo, about a garden snail and his dreams of becoming the fastest being on earth. It hits theaters on July 17, with a Netflix series following in December.

Last week’s Book Expo had us distracted, so we didn’t post the downloadable Kids New Title Radar, Week of June 3. It happens that two of the week’s most-anticipated books were also big at the show. Sarah Dessen was there, about to begin her book tour for The Moon and More (Viking/Penguin), which has been praised by YA GalleyChatters for showing a new level of maturity, focusing more on character than the author’s earlier, but nonetheless very popular titles.

The first in a new dystopian series, The Testing just arrived and ARC’s for the sequel, Independent Study coming in January (both from HMH) were already being handed out at the show (see previous post).

Go Ask Alice   Letting Ana Go

Also arriving this week is a book that mimicks the form of the still-popular nearly 45 year-old title, Go Ask Alice, a cautionary tale in the form of an anonymous diary. This one about anorexia, Letting Ana Go, (Simon Pulse) and even refers to its predecessor in the cover line (“In the tradion of…”). It cleverly begins as a high school sophomore’s food diary that gradually slides towards obsession. Kirkus calls it “A disturbing tale that feels meant to titillate rather than caution.”

If you weren’t already aware of it, your middle graders have probably let you know that Dork Diaries 6: Tales from a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker, (S&S/Aladdin) was also released this week.


Friday, June 7th, 2013

The Testing   Independent Study

The hottest spring teen dystopian title, one that our YA GalleyChat group has been buzzing about for months, The Testing (HMH) hit shelves on Tuesday, with this terrific tagline, “Its not enough to pass the test, you have to survive it.”

Days before, at Book Expo America, booksellers and librarians not only met the author in the HMH booth, but grabbed copies of the sequel, Independent Study, arriving in January.

UPDATE: Deadline announces that Paramount has bought the film rights

The trailer gives a good sense of the story:

Celebrating Mo Willems

Friday, June 7th, 2013
BEA - Mo Willems

Author Mo Willems signing at BEA, pictured with his editor Tracy Keevan

The longest line for a kids book author signing at BEA (although it did not beat the two-hour wait to gaze upon the latest internet sensation Tartar Sauce, aka Grumpy Cat) was for Mo Willems signing his two spring titles, the 19th Elephant and Piggy book, A Big Guy Took My Ball! (Disney/Hyperion) and  That Is Not a Good Idea!, (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray).

Busload of Pigeon Books

To commemorate the tenth anniversary of Mo Willems’ award-winning Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!, Disney published It’s a Busload of Pigeon Books!, a boxed set of three classic Pigeon titles with a smaller trim size and featuring an original poster illustrated by Willems.

1423144368Also, Don’t Pigeonhole Me!, (Disney Editions), available on June 18, gives adults a rare glimpse at Willems’ early self-published Pigeon illustrations, along with two decades’ worth of cartoons and sketches.

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, MA, will be unveiling their newest exhibition Seriously Silly: A Decade of Art and Whimsy by Mo Willems on Saturday June 22nd.

Kate DiCamillo’s Next

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Flora and UlyssesThe number one hot galley for children’s librarians at BEA was Kate DiCamillo’s Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures, illustrated by K.G. Campbell, coming in September from Candlewick (also, Listening Library).

Betsy Bird, NYPL librarian and author of SLJ’s Fuse 8 blog, had this to say about  it when I ran into her on the show floor,

“Squirrels, to my mind, are the least lauded and most deserving city animal dwellers I know of. Mo Willems may have created the ultimate pigeon and there are few rats to compare with Templeton, but squirrels have few icons and fewer fans. I expect all that to change with the advent of Flora & Ulysses. Pithy and poignant, smart and good, this is a story that will allow you to fall in love with those chattering, perpetually hungry, tree denizens all over again.”

DiCamillo recevied the Kerlan Award at the University of Minnesota on Saturday.

Kevin Henkes, Booklover

Friday, June 7th, 2013
Kevin Henkes Grabs Galley

Kevin Henkes Snags A Galley

Kevin Henkes read aloud during BEA from his new middle grade novel, The Year Of Billy Millerdue out in September (HarperCollins/Greenwillow). Sadly, there were no galleys to be had, but it was fun to see Henkes get excited about a galley that he was dying to read, snagging the last copy at the HMH booth of My Mistake by Daniel Menaker.

What book lover could resist the publisher’s description:

“Daniel Menaker started as a fact checker at The New Yorker in 1969. With luck, hard work, and the support of William Maxwell, he was eventually promoted to editor. Never beloved by William Shawn, he was advised early on to find a position elsewhere; he stayed for another twenty-six years. Now Menaker brings us a new view of life in that wonderfully strange place and beyond, throughout his more than forty years working to celebrate language and good writing.”