From the creators of the award-winning Three-Ring Rascals and 43 Old Cemetery Road series! Is the town of Appleton ripe for scandal? Appleton Elementary School has a new librarian named Rita B. Danjerous, but Principal Noah Memree barely remembers hiring her. Student Reid Durr is staying up late reading a book from Ms. Danjerous’s controversial “green dot” collection. Meanwhile, the new school board president mandates a student dress code that includes clothes only available at her shop. Appleton’s fifth-grade sleuths are following the money, embracing the punny, and determined to the get to the core of their town’s juiciest scandal.
Welcome to Check Your Shelf! This is your guide to help librarians like you up your game when it comes to doing your job (& rocking it).
I feel like I’ve aged 30 years in the last week. While we were frantically trying to extend due dates and get our library ready for public closure this week, our system decided to change everyone’s due dates to November 25, 1962 instead. *headdesk*
Collection Development Corner
- This COVID-19 impact list is updated with relevant cancellations, policy changes, closings, etc. in the publishing industry.
- Bookstores and children’s authors respond to the coronavirus impact.
- Everywhere Book Fest is an all-virtual kidlit conference to stand in for all of the in-person events being cancelled. Learn more here.
- Book Riot has created a story steam with COVID-19 updates from the bookish world
- These powerful women are changing the literary landscape.
New & Upcoming Titles
- Tiffany D. Jackson has a couple of horror novels coming out, and I. CAN’T. WAIT.
- Viet Thanh Nguyen announced a sequel to The Sympathizer.
- Nisi Shawl will be editing the Library of America edition of Octavia Butler’s work, which will come out in 2021.
- Lady Gaga has a book coming out called Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community.
- Michael Schur (creator of The Good Place) is publishing a book in 2021 called How to Be Good: A Definitive Answer for Exactly What to Do, In Every Possible Situation. Chidi would appreciate this, I think.
- Bustle picks the best books of 2020 so far.
- Best historical crime of 2020 so far.
- March picks from Barnes & Noble, O: Oprah Magazine, and Salon.
- 5 books you may have missed in February.
What Your Patrons Are Hearing About
- My Dark Vanessa – Kate Elizabeth Russell (Entertainment Weekly, The Guardian, New York Times, NPR, Salon, Washington Post)
- The Glass Hotel – Emily St. John Mandel (The Atlantic, O: Oprah Magazine, Vulture)
- The Mirror and the Light – Hilary Mantel (O: Oprah Magazine, USA Today, Washington Post)
- We Ride Upon Sticks – Quan Barry (New York Times, NPR)
- A Good Neighborhood – Therese Anne Fowler (New York Times, Washington Post)
- Deacon King Kong – James McBride (NPR, Washington Post)
- Recollections of My Nonexistence – Rebecca Solnit (New York Times, NPR)
- The comfort of pandemic fiction.
- The claustrophobic menace of boarding school fiction.
- The appeal of the seaside mystery.
- In a noisy world, books about silence are booming.
On the Riot
- Upcoming nonfiction written by women.
- 2020’s must-read crime thrillers.
- 5 YA books about elections hitting the shelves in 2020.
- Why we need more college YA.
- (CW: suicide, self harm) A look at writing suicide and self-harm in fiction. This is a good article to help us be more aware of reader triggers and difficult content.
- Title trend: The *Occupation’s* Daughter.
- Bookish ways to keep busy during a quarantine. (Normally this would go in a Friday newsletter, but I think we might need this info sooner rather than later.)
All Things Comics
- Mariko Tamaki is taking over the Wonder Woman comic this summer.
- Graphic novels to help teens learn about racism, climate change, and social justice.
On the Riot
- Graphic novels to read if you like Yangsze Choo’s The Ghost Bride.
- 10 children’s books by comic creators.
- Why it matters that Asian representation is growing in audiobooks.
- 5 audiobooks featuring multiple cast members.
On the Riot
- 5 #ownvoices audiobooks about women with chronic illnesses or disabilities.
- 5 great audiobooks narrated by Saskia Maarleveld.
Book Lists, Book Lists, Book Lists
- Baby books to introduce your kids to strong female role models.
- 16 YA books to speak to your introverted soul.
- We’ve got a host of outbreak and pandemic reading lists from Bustle, Electric Lit, Entertainment Weekly, New York Times, and Vulture.
- And after all that, here are 10 of the best books to calm anxiety.
- 5 queer SFF series from the last decade that can’t be missed.
- 5 SFF books written by Afro-Caribbean authors.
- 5 SFF books set in contemporary African locales.
- 8 contemporary novels by Japanese women writers.
- 8 books that celebrate complicated women.
- 44 books to read over spring break if your travel plans are cancelled.
- 9 books about the history of women’s protests.
- 26 books for true Disney fans.
- 9 books with unreliable narrators.
On the Riot
- 20 must-read children’s books about immigration.
- Science & nature books for your STEM-loving littles.
- 20 must-read YA fantasy standalone novels.
- 6 fresh fairy tales in YA novels.
- 40 of the best queer books.
- Books about female spies.
- 7 prolific female authors with more than 10 books.
- 5 alien romance novels.
Level Up (Library Reads)
Do you take part in LibraryReads, the monthly list of best books selected by librarians only? We’ve made it easy for you to find eligible diverse titles to nominate. Kelly Jensen created a database of upcoming diverse books that anyone can edit, and Nora Rawlins of Early Word is doing the same, as well as including information about series, vendors, and publisher buzz.
I have no idea what’s going to happen between now and Friday, so just stay calm, wash your hands, and don’t hoard the toilet paper.
Katie McLain Horner, @kt_librarylady on Twitter.