PW’s Best Summer Books 2013

Publisher Weekly has released their list of the best books coming this summer.  Here are their top picks for Children’s books:


If You Want to See a Whale Odd Duck Yes, Let's

If You Want to See a Whale by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Erin Stead

Odd Duck by Cecil Castelucci

Yes, Let’s by Galen Goodwin Longstreth and Maris Wicks



The 5th Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1) Gorgeous The Lucy Variations

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Gorgeous by Paul Rudnick

The Lucy Variations by Sara Zarr

The Moon and More P.S. Be Eleven 

The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

P.S. Be Eleven by Rita Williams-Garcia

Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked This Is What Happy Looks Like

Platypus Police Squad: The Frog Who Croaked by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Review: Peanut by Ayun Halliday


Peanut by Ayun Halliday and Paul Hoppe

When Sadie heads to a new school once again, she comes up with a grand plan.  She orders a medical bracelet online and pretends to have a severe peanut allergy.  Using this strategy, she does make some friends, including finding a boyfriend.  However, the fake peanut allergy continues to be a problem, especially if she slips up and just eats a chip cooked in peanut oil.  As it becomes more and more a focus of her life, she thinks about telling the truth to her friends.  But it’s too late to come clean, because they would hate her for lying to them.  This graphic novel steadily counts down to the disaster that readers will know is coming, creating tension laced with humor.

Halliday has created a character that we can all relate to.  Sadie lies to make friends, her strange solution to being the new girl actually works.  Sadie is insecure and as she grows in self-esteem the trap she finds herself in starts to tighten.  She is a wonderful imperfect character, scolding her new boyfriend, lying to her mother, and of course lying to everyone at school.  But through it all, she is likeable and universal.

Hoppe’s illustrations are done in black and white lines with Sadie’s sweater being a pop of red against the more subtle coloring.  His drawings are fresh feeling and dynamic, often going for the laugh especially when the drama gets thick. 

Perfect for those teens who enjoy Raina Telgemeier’s books, this graphic novel is filled with humor and tension.  Appropriate for ages 12-15.

Reviewed from copy received from Schwartz & Wade.

E. L. Konigsburg Dies

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler The View from Saturday Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth

E.L. Konigsburg, the author of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, died on Friday at the age of 83.  Konigsburg is one of only five authors to have won the Newbery Medal twice, once for From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler and once for The View from Saturday

Additionally, she received a Newbery Honor for Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley and Me, Elizabeth, in the same year she won her first Newbery Medal.  That made her the only person to have received a Newbery Medal and Honor in the same year.  She also holds the record for the longest span between two Newbery Awards with her first medal in 1968 and her second in 1997, 29 years later.