Indies Introduce Summer/Fall 2020

The American Booksellers Association has announced the Independent Booksellers’ Debut Picks of the Season, also called Indies Introduce. These picks cover both summer and fall for this year and are selected as the best of the season. The lists include adult fiction and nonfiction, middle grade and young adult. Below are the middle grade and young adult picks:

MIDDLE GRADE

Cattywampus by Ash Van Otterloo

Dan Unmasked by Chris Negron

The Places We Sleep by Caroline Brooks DuBois

Witches of Brooklyn by Sophie Escabasse

A Wolf for a Spell by Karah Sutton

YOUNG ADULT

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

The Truth Project by Dante Medema

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Black Lives Matter Books for Kids and Teens

Here are some great books that speak to the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement, the righteous anger we are seeing on the streets, America’s long history of racism, and voices that have always been worth investing in and listening to:

PICTURE BOOKS

Big Papa and the Time Machine by Daniel Bernstrom

Big Papa and the Time Machine by Daniel Bernstrom, illustrated by Shane W. Evans

Black Is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy

Black Is a Rainbow Color by Angela Joy, illustrated by Ekua Holmes

Box Henry Brown Makes Himself to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford

Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Michele Wood

Exquisite The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks by Suzanne Slade

Exquisite: The Poetry and Life of Gwendolyn Brooks by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Cozbi A. Cabrera

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, illustrated by Vashti Harrison

I Remember Poems and Pictures of Heritage compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins

I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage compiled by Lee Bennett Hopkins

i too am america

I, Too, Am America by Langston Hughes, illustrated by Bryan Collier

Lillians Right to Vote by Jonah Winter

Lillian’s Right to Vote by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Shane W. Evans

seeds of freedom

Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama by Hester Bass, illustrated by E. B. Lewis

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o, illustrated by Vashti Harrison

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

we march

We March by Shane W. Evans

MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS

brown girl dreaming

brown girl dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

Clean Getaway by Nic Stone

For Black Girls Like Me by Mariama J. Lockington

For Black Girls Like Me by Mariama J. Lockington

From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks

From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks

lions of little rock

The Lions of Little Rock by Kristin Levine

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds

Some Places More Than Others by Renee Watson

Some Places More Than Others by Renee Watson

this promise of change by jo ann allen boyce and debbie levy

This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality by Jo Ann Allen Boyce and Debbie Levy

When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders

When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders by J. Patrick Lewis, illustrated by Jim Burke, R. Gregory Christie, Tonya Engel, John Parra, and Meilo So

TEEN BOOKS

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists by Mikki Kendall and A. D’Amico 

Amazons, Abolitionists, and Activists: A Graphic HIstory of Women’s Fight for Their Rights by Mikki Kendall and A. D’Amico

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

march

March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell (and the entire trilogy)

Slay by Brittney Morris

Slay by Brittney Morris

x

X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon

16 New June Teen Books to Wake Your Brain Cells

Here are 16 of the new books for teens that are being released in June and are getting lots of buzz:

Agnes at the End of the World by Kelly McWilliams

All the Things We Never Knew by Liara Tamani

Burn by Patrick Ness

The Circus Rose by Betsy Cornwell

Girl, Unframed by Deb Caletti

Hood by Jenny Elder Moke

I’ll Be the One by Lyla Lee

The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae

My Eyes Are Up Here by Laura Zimmermann

Sarah Bernhardt: The Divine and Dazzling Life of the World’s First Superstar by Catherine Reef

Sisters of Sword and Song by Rebecca Ross

Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

The State of Us by Shaun David Hutchinson

You Say It First by Katie Cotugno

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

 

 

Parachutes by Kelly Yang

Parachutes by Kelly Yang

Parachutes by Kelly Yang (9780062941084)

Claire and Dani could not be more different from one another. Claire comes from Chinese wealth in Shanghai. When her father decides that she should go to school in the United States, she is quickly moved to California and into Dani’s house. Dani lives there with just her mother. She attends the same school as Claire, but as a scholarship student. Dani loves to debate and enjoys the attention her debate coach shows her. As the two girls navigate high school in parallel but separate social spheres, they both encounter sexual harassment and assault. Both of them shut down, lose sight of themselves, and tell almost no one what has happened. But as they get angry and refuse to be silenced, the two discover that they may just be the person the other one has needed to be their champion.

Yang tells the story of Chinese parachute students who come to the United States for high school. Their experience is fascinating and unique. Sent to a foreign country alone as a teenager, often from very wealthy families, these teens must learn in a new language and figure out a different society. There is so much to envy here, from the clothing to the handbags to the cars. The expectations for someone like Claire are huge, the pressure form her family immense, and the situations very adult.

Against that wealth and shimmer, Dani’s story is set. She is Filipino, she and her mother work as cleaners in the large homes. She goes to school with wealthy kids, but is known as a scholarship student. She is bright and ferocious, defending her friends along the way. Yet when her teacher sexually harasses her, Dani loses her voice and must regain her passion and anger to find a way forward.

The pairing of these two different girls is phenomenal, their journeys linked but separate in many ways. Powerful, wrenching and insistent, this novel is a rallying cry. Appropriate for ages 14-18.

Reviewed from e-galley provided by Katherine Tegen Books.

10 New June Middle Grade Books to Wake Your Brain Cells

Here are 10 of the buzziest books coming out in June. Note: a bunch of books that had been slated to be released in June have been moved back to fall or 2021.

Asha and the Spirit Bird by Jasbinder Bilan

Beyond Me by Annie Donwerth-Chikamatsu

Braver: A Wombat’s Tale by Suzanne Selfors and Walker Ranson

Catalyst by Sarah Beth Durst

Con Quest! by Sam Maggs

Curse of the Night Witch by Alex Aster

Otto Tattercoat and the Forest of Lost Things by Matilda Woods

Raising Lumie by Joan Bauer

Sara and the Search for Normal by Wesley King

The Way to Rio Luna by Zoraida Cordova

 

 

Oil by Jonah Winter

Oil by Jonah Winter

Oil by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Jeanette Winter (9781534430778)

This nonfiction picture book offer a devastating look at the oil spill caused by the Exxon Valdez. The book begins with the Trans-Alaska Pipeway that carries oil to the ocean. It’s surrounded by wilderness and the animals who live there. The oil is then transferred to ships, and one of the those ships had an accident in the clear water when it ran aground on a reef. From there, the oil spreads, turning the water and waves black, covering the rocks on the shore. Hurting the wildlife who call the place home. People try to help, but even thirty years later so many things are different, changes caused by the destruction of an ecosystem and environment.

The Winter mother-son duo have crafted yet another compelling picture book about a complex nonfiction topic. Jonah’s text uses powerful repeating choruses of “oil” that is almost like a drum beat of emphasis. He uses other techniques of repetition and design that speed or slow the reading of the text very effectively. The book is a mixture of tragedy and a call to action.

Jeanette’s illustrations are in her signature simple style. They work particularly well here to emphasize the impact of the oil spill, steadily covering the pages with seeping blackness. Some pages are left without words, just allowing the reader to soak in the horror of what is happening.

Powerful and tragic, this picture book is an important addition for libraries. Appropriate for ages 5-8.

Reviewed from copy provided by Beach Lane Books.

2020 Locus Awards Finalists

The finalists for the 2020 Locus Awards have been announced. The awards are given for the best science fiction and fantasy of the year in a wide variety of categories that include books, magazines, artists, editors and publishers. They have one category specifically for the best YA novel. Here are the finalists in that category:

Angel Mage by Garth Nix

The Book of Dust: The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

Catfishing on CatNet by Naomi Kritzer

Destroy All Monsters by Sam J. Miller

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Shadow Captain by Alastair Reynolds

War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

The Wicked King by Holly Black

2020 Lambda Literary Award Winners

Vanity Fair has the news of the winners of the 2020 Lambda Literary Awards. The awards are given in a wide variety of categories, one of which is specifically for children’s and YA books. You can see all of the finalists in my previous post about the award. Here are the winners in the youth category:

CHILDREN’S MIDDLE GRADE WINNER

Hazel’s Theory of Evolution by Lisa Jenn Bigelow

YOUNG ADULT WINNER

The Grief Keeper by Alexandra Villasante

13 New June Picture Books to Wake Your Brain Cells

Here are 13 picture books coming out in June that are getting lots of positive buzz:

Dusk Explorers by Lindsay Leslie, illustrated by Ellen Rooney

From Ed’s to Ned’s by Gideon Sterer, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins

The Hidden Rainbow by Christie Matheson

Joy by Yasmeen Ismail, illustrated by Jenni Desmond

Little Bear’s Treasures by Stella Dreis

Love by Sophia by Jim Averbeck, illustrated by Yasmeen Ismail

Ocean Speaks: How Marie Tharp Revealed the Ocean’s Biggest Secret by Jess Keating, illustrated by Katie Hickey

Our Favorite Day of the Year by A. E. Ali, illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell

Rescuing Mrs. Birdley by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Emma Reynolds

Sloth Went by Adam Lehrhaupt, illustrated by Benson Shum

Tad by Benji Davies

The Word for Friend by Aidan Cassie

When Emily Was Small by Lauren Soloy