Booked by Kwame Alexander
Alexander trades basketball for soccer in this follow-up to his Newbery Medal–winning novel-in-verse, The Crossover. Like that book, this story balances in-the-game action with struggles at home and at school as it follows the ups and downs of a 12-year-old boy named Nick, all captured in Alexander’s vivid, zigzagging rhymes. Available in April.
Pax by Sara Pennypacker
Timely, sensitive, and thought-provoking, this novel from Clementine creator Pennypacker traces 12-year-old Peter’s efforts to reunite with his pet fox, Pax, shifting between the perspectives of boy and animal. Pennypacker’s fans will also want to keep an eye out for her book Waylon! One Awesome Thing, also out this spring and illustrated by her Clementine collaborator, Marla Frazee. Available Now.
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo
DiCamillo, the outgoing National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, has racked up devoted fans (and major awards) for one novel after the next, from Because of Winn-Dixie and The Tale of Despereaux to her more recent Newbery Medal for Flora & Ulysses. In this story, set in 1975 Florida, three girls learn that they can count on each other when the adults in their lives prove less reliable. Available in April.
Summerlost by Ally Condie
Best known for her dystopian Matched trilogy for teens, Condie switches gears (and audiences) with this tender summer story set against the backdrop of a town’s Shakespeare festival, as 12-year-old Cedar, her mother, and her brother regroup after recent deaths in their family. Available in March.
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown
Picture book creator Brown moves into longer-form fiction for the first time with the story of Roz, a robot who washes up on an island and attempts to reach out to the local animals and make it her home. Robots like Roz may not have much in the way of emotions, but readers’ feelings will be put to the test as Roz adopts a baby gosling and contends with forces seeking to retrieve her. Available in April.
Are We There Yet? by Dan Santat
Though Santat’s impressive output means that his name often appears on several books in a given season, this is his first solo project since his Caldecott Medal win for The Adventures of Beekle. Here, he takes a question that has frustrated generations of parents and turns it into a wild time-travel adventure, one that also has something to say about patience and appreciating the present moment. Available in April.
The Dead Bird by Margaret Wise Brown
Less Goodnight Moon than “Goodbye, bird,” this story debuted as a poem in Brown’s 1938 book, The Fish with the Deep Blue Smile, and later reappeared as a 1958 picture book illustrated by Remy Charlip. Robinson’s artwork brings new life to a story of a group of children and their reverent encounter with evidence of life’s ephemerality. Available in March.
Let's Play by Herve Tullet
Tullet is actively engaged in blurring the lines between reading and play, and he has won devoted fans with this book’s predecessors, Press Here and Mix It Up! (It’s almost tempting to think of them as print apps rather than picture books.) This book feels akin to Press Here as readers are invited to trace the path of a yellow dot from page to page, never knowing quite what will happen with each tap, twist, or shake of the book. Available in April.
Ideas Are All Around by Philip C. Stead
Authors are perennially asked where they get their ideas, and Stead puts a solid answer in the title of this book. But that shouldn’t stop readers from diving in to witness the conversations, images, and questions that arise as Stead takes a walk through the neighborhood with his dog—it’s a valuable and enlightening glimpse into the creative process. Available in March.
Thunder Boy Jr. by Sherman Alexie
Alexie has been a much-missed presence in the children’s book world since his last (and first) book for young readers, 2007’s National Book Award–winning The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. He aims younger with this picture book about family and identity in which a boy attempts to find a name that truly suits him, which is vibrantly illustrated by Morales, no stranger to awards herself. Available in May.
The Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard
"Aveyard’s Red Queen series, set in a dystopian world divided by class with supernatural powers thrown into the mix, only continues to grow. As this second novel arrives, Aveyard has already signed up a fourth book in what was originally planned as a trilogy, two novellas have further expanded the series, and a film based on The Red Queen is in development with Universal, with Elizabeth Banks potentially attached to direct." Available February 9th
Half Lost by Sally Green
Green’s gritty trilogy, which began in 2014 with Half Bad, wraps up this spring as the battle between Black and White witches comes to a head in her magic-laden version of England. Readers who have been following protagonist Nathan’s heartbreaking losses and struggles through the previous two books should be relieved and satisfied as the young witch’s journey comes to an end. Available in March.
Last Midnight by Cassandra Clare
Fans of Clare’s paranormal Mortal Instruments series already have plenty to be excited about this season with the recent TV premiere of Shadowhunters, based on her bestselling novels. But readers who have devoured the previous books set in the world of her Shadowhunter Chronicles may be even more excited for this first book in the Dark Artifices series, about a family of Shadowhunters living in Los Angeles. Available in March.
The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
The series that began in 2012 with The Raven Boys comes to a close this spring, answering questions that have dogged readers over the previous books. Will Gansey finally find the Welsh king Glendower? Will he die if he kisses Blue? Will anyone survive the dark forces gathering around Henrietta, Virginia? Come April, we’ll find out. Available in April.
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
Much as she did in her breakout debut novel, Between Shades of Gray, Sepetys illuminates another tragic chapter of wartime history in her third book for teens. Here, she examines a horrific naval disaster, the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff, from the perspectives of multiple characters, including refugees, soldiers, and a nurse, in 1945 East Prussia. Available Now.
Every month, we ask one of our favorite authors to recommend one of their favorite books!
I recommend reading I am a Bunny by Ole Risom and Richard Scarry with a toddler or preschooler. I love Nicholas the bunny's exploration of the nature around him as it changes through the seasons. The gentle, simple text gives the grownup reader a starting place for talking about each page while the gorgeous illustrations encourage little eyes to linger, notice things, and ask questions. And since it's available as a board book it's fine if the listener chews on it a little bit!
Jorey Hurley is a critically acclaimed author and illustrator based in San Francisco. Her picture books include Nest, a charming depiction of the day in a life of a bird; Fetch, a fun story following a dog as it chases a ball at the beach; and her latest Hop is a joyful look at the life of a rabbit family.
Yann Martel’s splendid The High Mountains of Portugal begins and ends there, so I started with a very Portuguese libation - Madeira. The cocktail’s then packed with flavors like the novel’s 1904 Renault was packed for its journey into the High Mountains - although the drink runs much more smoothly than the car. The garnish is your own wee ladder to help continue your climb in case you run out of gas before the journey ends.
A High Mountainin
2 oz. Rye Whiskey
1 oz. Madeira
1 dash orange bitters
1 dash chocolate bitters
Cinnamon stick and orange twist for garnish
Stir all drink ingredients with ice. Strain into an ice-filled glass. Twist orange peel around cinnamon stick for garnish.
After more than 100 years since her last book was published, a new Beatrix Potter tale has been discovered. The best part, there's a special guest appearnce from an older Peter Rabbit! Kitty-in-Boots was rediscovered by publisher Jo Hanks after she read a refernece to it an old Potter biography. In Beatrix's own words, Kitty-in-Boots is about "a well-behaved prime black Kitty cat, who leads rather a double life".
In the publisher's search of the Victoria and Albert Museum archive, three manuscripts were found, written in shcool notebooks, including a rough color sketch of Kitty-in-Boots, a pencil sketcy of villain Mr. Tod, and a dummy book with some of the manuscript laid out.
(Image from original source: BBC News)
Even more exciting news is that Quentin Blake, who's work you may recognize from Roald Dahl's books, has illustrated the story, set to be published this September.
See the original story and more images over at BBC News!
You may recognize Ruta Sepetys' name, or maybe her first Young Adult book, Between Shades of Gray, which was an international best seller.
Sepetys is known for her beautifully written, heartbreaking, historical fiction. Between Shades of Gray is the story of a young Siberian girl who's family is torn apart by a Soviet invasion. Along with her mother and younger brother, she is sent to a Siberian working camp while her father is sent off to a prison camp.
If you are one of the readers who fell in love with Shades of Gray, you'll be excited to kow that Sepetys' new book, Salt to the Sea will be coming out February 2nd.
Like Shades of Gray, Salt to the Sea tackles yet another tragic, mostly over looked event: the sinking of the "Wilhelm Gustloff" after WWII. If you're anything like me, you'll have to Google "Wilhelm Gustloff". It's one of the "worst maritime disasters in history" yet relatively unknown to most people. But, after reading about the horrible accident, I just want to pick up Salt to the Sea event more!
Here's the description of the book:
"In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia, and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the "Wilhelm Gustloff." Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage, and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety.
Just when it seems freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes. Not country, nor culture, nor status matter as all ten thousand people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival." Told in alternatilng perspectives, this book is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat!
Pick it up in stores next week.