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The Kids Are All Right

25 Children’s Books To Look Forward To In 2018

Hi Kid Lit friends!

For the last kid’s lit newsletter of 2017, I thought I’d shout out some of the titles I’m super excited about for 2018.


We’re giving away a stack of our 20 favorite books of the year. Click here to enter, or just click the image below.


Picture Books

They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 3/13/18)

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. This book is full of vibrant colors and energy. “My favorite line: Black is the color of my hair. My mother parts it every morning, like opening a window.”

Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten by Laura Veirs, illustrated by Tatyana Fazlalizadeh (Chronicle, 1/16/18)

I am a sucker for picture book biographies, and this one about Elizabeth Cotten is beautiful. Libba was a young girl when she picked up a guitar for the first time, but since she was left-handed she played it upside down and backwards. By age eleven, she had written Freight Train, a song now known all around the world.

Sometimes You Fly by Katharine Applegate, illustrated by Jennifer Black (HMH Books for Young Readers, 4/3/18)

My favorite part of this book is the author’s biography, where she writes, “Before Sometimes You Fly became the book you are holding in your hands, it was rewritten hundreds of times.” A beautiful book sure to become a favorite for those who love Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss.

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me by Maya Angelou, illustrated by Jean-Michel Basquiat (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 5/8/18)

A perfect pairing between Maya Angelou’s gorgeous poem and Jean-Michel’s Basquiat’s haunting street art.

“Shadows on the wall
Noises down the hall
Life doesn’t frighten me at all”

Love by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Loren Long (G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers, 1/9/18)

“In the beginning there is light
and two wide-eyed figures standing
near the foot of your bed,
and the sound of their voices is love.”

I cry every time I read this book. Listen to the author and illustrator discuss the book and their collaboration here.

Be A King by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by James E. Ransome (Bloomsbury, 1/2/18)

I read this book out loud to my kids, and they were really touched by the illustrations and the tangible ways they can emulate the example of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. A lovely book not just about the iconic civil rights figure, but about the roles we all play in creating a world of justice and peace.

Free As A Bird: The Story of Malala by Lisna Maslo (HarperCollins, 1/23/18)

There are many biographies of Malala Yousafzai, but I especially love this one. The illustrations are lovely. There is a spread in here with Malala lying down with red flowers around her, with the words, “Carry on with your dreams.” Simply stunning.

Grandma Gatewood Hikes The Appalachian Trail by Jennifer Thermes (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 5/8/18)

I am fascinated by people who hike the Appalachian Trail, and this story of Emma “Grandma” Gatewood is so inspiring. At age sixty-seven, she became the first woman to hike the 2,160-mile Appalachian Trail alone. Gorgeous maps fill this lovely and informative picture book.

Ordinary, Extraordinary Jane Austen by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Qin Leng (Balzer + Bray, 1/23/18)

Oh, this book is wonderful! I’m excited for young readers to be introduced to amazing Jane Austen through this picture book. The illustrations are captivating with much to explore, and the words make me want to reread all of Jane’s books again.

 

Chapter Books

Jasmine Toguchi: Drummer Girl by Debbi Michiko Florence, illustrated by Elizabet Vukotic (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, 4/3/18)

If you’ve read this newsletter in the past, you know that I LOVE Jasmine Toguchi! In this latest installment, Jasmine takes up the taiko drums for the local talent show. Can she make the taiko as cool as the other talents her friends (and enemies) have?

Bat and the Waiting Game by Elana K. Arnold, illustrated by Charles Santosa (HarperCollins, 3/27/18)

If you haven’t read A Boy Called Bat yet, stop everything and go get that one and read it first! Bat and the Waiting Game is the sequel, and it is just as charming and sweet as the first book.

 

The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters: The Uncanny Express by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Jen Hill (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 1/9/18)

Another sequel here, and again, go read the first one (The Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters: The Jolly Regina). I love author Kara LaReau’s humor and her unlikely “bland” heroines who always seem to make every experience new, amusing, and inviting.

The Heat is On (The Next Best Junior Chef) (2/3/18) & The Winner Is… (The Next Best Junior Chef) (7/24/18) by Charise Mericle Harper, illustrated by Aurélie Blard-Quintard (HMH Books for Young Readers)

The first book in this series, Lights, Camera, Action! came out this year, and readers will be excited to see that the next two books will be released in 2018. Based on hit TV series like Top Chef, this series tracks four kids as they go through a competition with one contestant being eliminated with each book. Who will last until the end?

Road Trip with Max and His Mom by Linda Urban, illustrated by Katie Kath (HMH Books for Young Readers, 4/17/18)

The follow-up to Weekends with Max and His Dad, this new book continues with Max and his mom planning a road trip. I loved this book and am crossing my fingers for more in this series.

 

Middle Grade Books

A Sky Full of Stars by Linda Williams Jackson (HMH Books for Young Readers, 1/2/18)

This is the sequel to Midnight Without a Moon, Linda Williams Jackson’s debut novel. Set in Mississippi in the 1950’s, Rose Lee Carter lives with her sharecropper grandparents. In the first book she grapples with the murder of Emmett Till, a young man who is convicted and then killed for whistling at a white woman. In the sequel, Rose continues to struggle with staying in the south when opportunities arise for her to go north, while also feeling caught between the mounting racial tension and differing ways her friends want to address the injustice. This book is gorgeously written and the author is a much needed voice in children’s literature.

Hope in the Holler by Lisa Lewis Tyre (Penguin Random House, 1/9/18)

I was immediately drawn in by the cover on this one. Right before Wavie’s mom dies, she gives Wavie a list of instructions: Be brave, Wavie B! You got as much right to a good life as anybody, so find it! But little did Wavie’s mom know that events would conspire to bring Wavie back to Conley Hollow, the Appalachian hometown her mother tried to leave behind.

Takedown by Laura Shovan (Wendy Lamb Books, 6/19/18)

I am so looking forward to this book coming out! It is about two wrestlers, Mikayla and Lev, who are paired to train together in their wrestling team. While Mikayla struggles with being the only girl on the team, Lev struggles with doubt and anxiety as the championships get closer.

The Girl Who Drew Butterflies by Joyce Sidman (HMH Books for Young Readers, 2/20/18)

I first read this book a few months ago and promptly shared my love for it with my local librarian, who used to work inatthe New York Botanical Garden library and who loves Maria Merian. This biography is stunning; I learned so much about this pioneer, one of the first naturalists to study live insects and document the metamorphosis of the butterfly.

Stanley Will Probably Be Fine by Sally J. Pla (HarperCollins, 2/6/18)

We need more characters like Stanley Fortinbras in children’s literature! Stanley struggles with anxiety, which prevents him from making friends, trying new things, and participating in a much anticipated comics trivia scavenger hunt. I loved this book and have already recommended it to many kids who struggle with anxiety.

The Unicorn Quest by Kamilla Benko (Bloomsbury, 2/6/18)

This is a story about two sisters who find the magical land of Arden through a ladder in a fireplace, but they arrive to discover Arden in turmoil. A fun, fast-paced fantasy story with wraiths, magical guilds, and unicorns.

 

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani (Dial Books for Young Readers, 3/6/18)

An epistolary novel about a girl growing up in 1947 after India’s separation into two countries: India and Pakistan. Half-Muslim, half-Hindu, Nisha doesn’t know where she belongs, and when her family leaves to seek safely Nisha goes on a journey of self-discovery.

Facing Frederick: The Life of Frederick Douglass by Tonya Bolden (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 1/9/18)

A terrific biography of Frederick Douglass, focusing on his roles as a statesman, suffragist, writer, and newspaperman. So far this book has garnered three starred reviews, and it does not surprise me at all. I loved reading this wonderfully written, compelling book.

March Forward, Girl by Melba Pattillo Beals (HMH Books for Young Readers, 1/2/18)

This is a powerful memoir about Beals’ early journey to champion for equal rights. Along the way, she became an acclaimed journalist, a best-selling author, and the recipient of this country’s highest recognition, the Congressional Gold Medal.

Class Action by Steven B. Frank (HMH Books for Young Readers, 4/3/18)

I loved Steven’s debut middle grade book, Armstrong and Charlie, and his sophomore book is just as hilarious, important, and touching as his first. I recommend this for fans of Gary Schmidt, Gordon Korman, Richard Peck, and Andrew Clements.

 

Did you know that Book Riot is giving away a stack of our 20 favorite books of the year? Click here to enter.

That’s it for me this week! Do you get some extra reading time during the holidays? I’d love to find out what books are on your list! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at karina@bookriot.com. The Book Riot Kids newsletter is taking next week off, but we’ll be back on January 7th (my birthday!).

See you next week!
Karina

Izzy was very helpful as I compiled this list of 2018 books!

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

 

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The Kids Are All Right

A Round-Up of Children’s Books Best Of Lists

Hi Kid Lit friends,

One of my favorite parts of December are all the different Best Of lists, and of course my favorites are the children’s book lists. If you didn’t catch the many, many lists out there, I rounded some up for you.


We’re giving away a stack of our 20 favorite books of the year. Click here to enter, or just click the image below.


New York Times Notable Children’s Books of 2017

The Best Illustrated Children’s Books 2017, New York Public Library and The New York Times

Best Books 2017 from Publisher’s Weekly

Horn Book Fanfare 2017

School Library Journal Best Children’s Books of 2017

Best Books for Kids 2017, The New York Public Library

The Best of the Best Children’s Books of 2017, Chicago Public Library

The Best Children’s Books of 2017, The Boston Globe

Nominations for CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Medals 2018

The Best Children’s Books of 2017, Southern Living

The Best Children’s Books of 2017, The Guardian

Evanston Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids List (2017)

Goodreads Choice Awards 2017, Middle Grade

Goodreads Choice Awards 2017, Picture Books

Best Picture Books of 2017, Huffington Post

The Best Audiobooks of 2017 for Children and Families, Brightly

 

And just because it’s fun, here are some beautiful children’s books to admire. Let us gaze upon the Folio Society‘s gorgeous collection of illustrated classic children’s books.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Princess Bride by William Goldman

Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne

And what about this gorgeous collection of Puffin + Pantone books? (And photobomb by Izzy.)

The Secret Garden (Puffin + Pantone) by Frances Hodgson Burnett (pink)
Treasure Island (Puffin + Pantone) by Robert Louis Stevenson (orange)
The Wizard of Oz (Puffin + Pantone) by L. Frank Baum
Anne of Green Gables (Puffin + Pantone) by L.M. Montgomery (green)
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (Puffin + Pantone) by Mark Twain (blue)
Heidi (Puffin + Pantone) by by Johanna Spyri (purple)
A Christmas Carol & Other Stories (Puffin + Pantone) by Charles Dickens (gold)
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (Puffin + Pantone) by Lewis Carroll (silver)

December New Releases

December is pretty light with the new releases, but here are some you should definitely keep an eye out for this month:

The New Kid by Karen English

This sweet chapter book is about a stolen bicycle, misunderstandings, being new in school, and a visit from a unpopular great-aunt. Gavin is a third grader who doesn’t quite know what to think of Khufu, the new kid in school. When he suspects that Khufu stole his bike, Gavin learns that first impressions are not always correct, and that friendship can come from unlikely places.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

This book is a wonderful collection of forty mini biographies of often overlooked leaders in women’s history, including Sojourner Truth, Bessie Coleman, Shirley Chisholm, Maya Angelou, and many more. I loved the illustrations and have already recommended this book to many of my friends.

Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba by Margarita Engle

This book-in-verse tells the story of Daniel, a boy who escaped Nazi Germany and is hoping to be reunited with his parents once again. When the boat is refused in New York, he finds himself headed to Cuba where he befriends a local girl. Written in the beautiful way that only Margarita Engle can, this book is an informative and enlightening story for readers wanting to learn more about refugees and World War II.

This Is Not A Valentine by Carter Higgins, illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins (Chronicle, 12/26/17)

I adored this picture book! This is a sweet story about all different types of love; love that come in the form of lucky rocks and cinnamon buns and waiting in line.The illustrations are absolutely adorable, the words are perfect, and it’s a book you’ll want to read over and over again.

Around the Web…

Fifteen Picture Books About Community, Respect, and Love (via Hachette Book Group)

100 Must Read Children’s Books Set in NYC (via Book Riot)

Beautiful Books To Introduce Poetry to Kids (via Book Riot)

12 Picture Books to Explore Faith and Spirituality with Kids (via Brightly)

Also, big news! Book Riot is giving away a stack of our 20 favorite books of the year! Click here to enter.

I’m having a lovely week of reading. Silent Days, Silent Dreams is a stunning new picture book by master illustrator Allen Say. His new book is about James Castle, an artist who is deaf, mute, autistic, and most likely dyslexic. Mr. Castle created incredible art featured in major museums around the world, often made with the most basic art materials. In this picture book biography, Allen Say recounts Mr. Castle’s life in words and illustrations, using similar materials to the original artwork. The Westing Game is a middle grade book that has been recommended to me many times, and when I mentioned on Instagram that I was going to start it I got a flurry of excited messages! And my last read is a new nonfiction book to be published next year. Back from the Brink (4/24/18, HMH Books for Young Readers) by Nancy F. Castaldo is about America’s response to the rising numbers of animals at risk for extinction and America’s response. Unfortunately, I am afraid that new federal policies might imperil America’s conservation efforts. Time to donate to The Nature Conservancy and other conservation groups.

I’d love to know what you are reading this week! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at karina@bookriot.com.

See you next week!
Karina

I kept telling Izzy about how much I liked Jillian Tamaki’s new book, They Say Blue (Abrams Books for Young Readers, 3/13/18), and Izzy was very interested!

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

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The Kids Are All Right

Holiday Gift Giving Guide #2: Picture Book Recommendations

Dear Kid Lit fans,

Welcome to the final installment of the Children’s Book Holiday Gift Giving Guide! Three weeks ago I made of list of my favorite chapter books of 2017, and last week I recommended sixty-five middle grade books published in 2017, great for readers ages seven to twelve (and beyond!). This week I have a whole lot of picture book recommendations, all released this year. Like last week, I am grouping them based on classic books. (All descriptions from Goodreads.)


Make your feed all the more bookish by following Book Riot on Instagram. Check us out here, or just click the image below:


If you liked Grimm’s Fairy Tales, try…

After the Fall by Dan Santat

Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after? Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most. Will he summon the courage to face his fear?

Princess Cora and the Crocodile by Laura Amy Schlitz, illustrated by Brian Floca

Princess Cora is sick of boring lessons. She’s sick of running in circles around the dungeon gym. She’s sick, sick, sick of taking three baths a day. And her parents won’t let her have a dog. But when she writes to her fairy godmother for help, she doesn’t expect that help to come in the form of a crocodile who does not behave properly. With perfectly paced dry comedy, children’s book luminaries Laura Amy Schlitz and Brian Floca send Princess Cora on a delightful outdoor adventure while her alter ego wreaks utter havoc inside the castle, obliging one pair of royal helicopter parents to reconsider their ways.

Brave Red, Smart Frog: A New Book of Old Tales by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Rohan Daniel Eason

There once was a frozen forest so cold, you could feel it through the soles of your boots. It was a strange place where some kisses broke enchantments and others began them. Many said witches lived there — some with cold hearts, others with hot ovens and ugly appetites — and also dwarves in tiny houses made of stones. In this icy wood, a stepmother might eat a girl’s heart to restore her own beauty, while a woodcutter might become stupid with grief at the death of his donkey. Here a princess with too many dresses grows spiteful out of loneliness, while a mistreated girl who is kind to a crone finds pearls dropping from her mouth whenever she speaks.

The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain and Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead

Plucked from the Mark Twain archive at the University of California at Berkeley, Twain’s notes now form the foundation of a fairy tale picked up over a century later. With only Twain’s fragmentary script and a story that stops partway as his guide, author Philip Stead has written a tale that imagines what might have been if Twain had fully realized this work.

La Princesa and the Pea by Susan Middleton Elya, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Elya

El príncipe knows this girl is the one for him, but, as usual, his mother doesn’t agree.

The queen has a secret test in mind to see if this girl is really a princesa.

But the prince might just have a sneaky plan, too . . .

Hortense and the Shadow by Natalia O’Hara, illustrated by Lauren O’Hara

Hortense is a kind and brave girl, but she is sad–even angry–that her shadow follows her everywhere she goes. She hates her shadow, and thinks her shadow must hate her too. But one cold, dark night, when bandits surprise her in the woods, Hortense discovers that her shadow is the very thing she needs most.

Accident! by Andrea Tsurumi

When a clumsy armadillo named Lola knocks over a glass pitcher, she sets off a silly chain of events, encountering chaos wherever she goes. But accidents happen—just ask the stoat snarled in spaghetti, the airborne sheep, and the bull who has broken a whole shop’s worth of china.

 

If you liked Corduroy by Don Freeman, try…

Alfie by Thyra Heder

Nia loves Alfie, her pet turtle. But he’s not very soft, he doesn’t do tricks, and he’s pretty quiet. Sometimes she forgets he’s even there! That is until the night before Nia’s seventh birthday, when nAlfie disappears! Then, in an innovative switch in point of view, we hear Alfie’s side of the story. He didn’t leave Nia—he’s actually searching for the perfect birthday present for his dear friend. Can he find a gift and make it back in time for the big birthday party?

Sergeant Reckless: The True Story of the Little Horse Who Became a Hero by Patricia McCormick, illustrated by Iacopo Bruno

When a group of US Marines fighting in the Korean War found a bedraggled mare, they wondered if she could be trained to as a packhorse. They had no idea that the skinny, underfed horse had one of the biggest and bravest hearts they’d ever known. And one of the biggest appetites! Soon Reckless showed herself more than willing to carry ammunition too heavy for the soldiers to haul. As cannons thundered and shells flew through the air, she marched into battle—again and again—becoming the only animal ever to officially hold military rank—becoming Sgt. Reckless—and receive two Purple Hearts.

Philomena’s New Glasses by Brenna Maloney

Philomena needs new glasses. Her sister Audrey wants them, too. And if Philomena and Audrey have them, shouldn’t their sister Nora Jane also have them? In this utterly amusing tale of sisterhood, glasses, purses, and dresses, these girls soon make an important discovery. Not everyone needs the same things!

Red and Lulu by Matt Tavares

Red and Lulu make their nest in a particularly beautiful evergreen tree. It shades them in the hot months and keeps them cozy in the cold months, and once a year the people who live nearby string lights on their tree and sing a special song: O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree. But one day, something unthinkable happens, and Red and Lulu are separated. It will take a miracle for them to find each other again. Luckily, it’s just the season for miracles. . .

Inky’s Great Escape by Casey Lyall, illustrated by Sebastia Serra

In April 2016, The New York Times published an article about an octopus named Inky who escaped from the National Aquarium of New Zealand through a drainpipe and into the sea. In this charming fictionalized account, Inky, worn out from his exciting life in the ocean, has retired to the aquarium. There he quietly plays cards, makes faces at the visitors, and regales his tankmate Blotchy with tales of his past adventures. Then Blotchy dares Inky to make one more great escape: out of their tank. Will Inky succeed?

 

If you liked The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, try…

Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board.

Town Is By The Sea by Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Sydney Smith

A young boy wakes up to the sound of the sea, visits his grandfather’s grave after lunch and comes home to a simple family dinner, but all the while his mind strays to his father digging for coal deep down under the sea.

A Different Pond by Bao Phi, illustrated by Thi Bui

A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event?a long-ago fishing trip. As a young boy, Bao Phi awoke early, hours before his father’s long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao’s father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam.

All the Way to Havana by Margarita Engle, illustrated by Mike Curato

Together, a boy and his parents drive to the city of Havana, Cuba, in their old family car. Along the way, they experience the sights and sounds of the streets―neighbors talking, musicians performing, and beautiful, colorful cars putt-putting and bumpety-bumping along. In the end, though, it’s their old car, Cara Cara, that the boy loves best. A joyful celebration of the Cuban people and their resourceful innovation.

Me and You and the Red Canoe by Jean E. Pendziwol, illustrated by Phil

In the stillness of a summer dawn, two siblings leave their campsite with fishing rods, tackle and bait, and push a red canoe into the lake. A perfect morning on the water unfolds, with thrilling glimpses of wildlife along the way. Trailing a lure through the blue-green depths, the siblings paddle around a point, spotting a moose in the shallows, a beaver swimming towards its home and an eagle returning to its nest. Suddenly there is a sharp tug and the rod bends to meet the water. A few heart-stopping moments later, the pair pull a silvery trout from the water, then paddle back to the campsite to fry up a delicious breakfast.

Grand Canyon by Jason Chin

Rivers wind through earth, cutting down and eroding the soil for millions of years, creating a cavity in the ground 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and more than a mile deep known as the Grand Canyon. Home to an astonishing variety of plants and animals that have lived and evolved within its walls for millennia, the Grand Canyon is much more than just a hole in the ground. Follow a father and daughter as they make their way through the cavernous wonder, discovering life both present and past.

 

If you liked Lyle, Lyle Crocodile by Bernard Waber, try…

Professional Crocodile by Giovanna Zoboli and Mariachiara Di Giorgio

Mr. Crocodile loves his job. Every morning he gets up with an alarm. He brushes his teeth. He chooses the right tie to match his outfit, eats a quick slice of toast, and heads off to work on a crowded train. But what exactly is his job? The answer may surprise you! Readers will want to pore over this witty, wordless book again and again, finding new details and fresh stories with every reading.

A Boy, A Mouse, and a Spider by Barbara Herkert and Lauren Castillo

When young Elwyn White lay in bed as a sickly child, a bold house mouse befriended him. When the time came for kindergarten, an anxious Elwyn longed for the farm, where animal friends awaited him at the end of each day. Propelled by his fascination with the outside world, he began to jot down his reflections in a journal. Writing filled him with joy, and words became his world.

 

If you liked I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, try…

Still Stuck by Shinsuke Yoshitake

Getting dressed and undressed can be difficult, especially for little ones. While getting ready for a bath one evening, a little boy gets stuck in his clothes. He panics and starts to fear what life would be like if he never got unstuck. How will he play outside? How will he stop the cat from tickling his tummy? It’s good thing that Mom is around to help. But when it’s time to put on his pajamas, the boy finds himself with a whole new problem . . .

Snappsy and His Best Friend Forever (Probably) by Julie Falatko, illustrated by Tim Miller

Snappsy the alligator wants nothing more than a quiet evening to himself, but a pesky chicken who insists he’s Snappsy’s best friend won’t leave him alone. Friendship bracelets? Matching shirts? The sleepover of the century? Snappsy did not ask for any of the activities the chicken—his best friend forever?—is planning.

Read the Book, Lemmings by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Zachariah OHora

Aboard the S.S. Cliff, First Mate Foxy reads an interesting fact: “Lemmings don’t jump off cliffs.” But Foxy can’t get the lemmings on the Cliff to read his book, too. They’re too busy jumping off. After a chilly third rescue, exasperated Foxy and grumbly polar bear Captain PB realize their naughty nautical crew isn’t being stubborn: The lemmings (Jumper, Me Too, and Ditto) can’t read. And until Foxy patiently teaches his lemmings to read the book, he can’t return to reading it, either!

It’s Not Jack and the Beanstalk by Josh Funk, illustrated by Edwardian Taylor

Jack is not fond of the bossy narrator of his fairy tale! When Jack is told to trade his beloved cow Bessie for some magic beans, throw the beans out the window, climb the ENORMOUS beanstalk that sprouts overnight, and steal from a GIANT, he decides this fairy tale is getting out of control. In fact, he doesn’t want to follow the story line at all. Who says Jack needs to enter a life of daring, thievery, and giant trickery? He takes his story into his own hands—and you’ll never guess what happens next!

 

If you liked Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated Bryan Collier, try…

Ruth Bader Ginsberg: The Case of R.B.G. vs. Inequality by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Stacy Innerst

To become the first female Jewish Supreme Court Justice, the unsinkable Ruth Bader Ginsburg had to overcome countless injustices. Growing up in Brooklyn in the 1930s and ’40s, Ginsburg was discouraged from working by her father, who thought a woman’s place was in the home. Regardless, she went to Cornell University, where men outnumbered women four to one. There, she met her husband, Martin Ginsburg, and found her calling as a lawyer. Despite discrimination against Jews, females, and working mothers, Ginsburg went on to become Columbia Law School’s first tenured female professor, a judge for the US Court of Appeals, and finally, a Supreme Court Justice.

Hey Black Child by Useni Eugene Perkins, illustrated by Bryan Collier

Hey black child,
Do you know who you are?
Who really are?

Do you know you can be
What you want to be
If you try to be
What you can be?

This lyrical, empowering poem celebrates black children and seeks to inspire all young people to dream big and achieve their goals.

Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters by Michael Mahin, illustrated by Evan Turk

Muddy Waters was never good at doing what he was told. When Grandma Della said the blues wouldn’t put food on the table, Muddy didn’t listen. And when record producers told him no one wanted to listen to a country boy playing country blues, Muddy ignored them as well. This tenacious streak carried Muddy from the hardscrabble fields of Mississippi to the smoky juke joints of Chicago and finally to a recording studio where a landmark record was made.

Schomburg: The Man Who Built a Library by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Eric Velasquez

Amid the scholars, poets, authors, and artists of the Harlem Renaissance stood an Afro–Puerto Rican named Arturo Schomburg. This law clerk’s life’s passion was to collect books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora and bring to light the achievements of people of African descent through the ages. When Schomburg’s collection became so big it began to overflow his house (and his wife threatened to mutiny), he turned to the New York Public Library, where he created and curated a collection that was the cornerstone of a new Negro Division. A century later, his groundbreaking collection, known as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has become a beacon to scholars all over the world.

Malala’s Magic Pencil by Malala Yousafzai, illustrated by Kerascoët

As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true.

 

If you liked The Story of Ruby Bridges, try…

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers, illustrated by Shawn Harris

In this fascinating and fun take on nonfiction, Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris investigate a seemingly small trait of America’s most emblematic statue. What they find is about more than history, more than art. What they find in the Statue of Liberty’s right foot is the powerful message of acceptance that is essential of an entire country’s creation.

Blue Sky, White Stars by Sarvinder Naberhaus, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Wonderfully spare, deceptively simple verses pair with richly evocative paintings to celebrate the iconic imagery of our nation, beginning with the American flag. Each spread, sumptuously illustrated by award-winning artist Kadir Nelson, depicts a stirring tableau, from the view of the Statue of Library at Ellis Island to civil rights marchers shoulder to shoulder, to a spacecraft at Cape Canaveral blasting off.  This book is an ode to America then and now, from sea to shining sea.

That Is My Dream! by Langston Hughes, illustrated by Daniel Miyares

To fling my arms wide
In some place of the sun,
To whirl and to dance
Till the white day is done….

Langston Hughes’s inspiring and timeless message of pride, joy, and the dream of a better life is brilliantly and beautifully interpreted in Daniel Miyares’s gorgeous artwork.

This Is How We Do It: One Day in the Lives of Seven Kids Around the World by Matt Lamothe

Follow the real lives of seven kids from Italy, Japan, Iran, India, Peru, Uganda, and Russia for a single day! In Japan Kei plays Freeze Tag, while in Uganda Daphine likes to jump rope. But while the way they play may differ, the shared rhythm of their days—and this one world we all share—unites them. This genuine exchange provides a window into traditions that may be different from our own as well as a mirror reflecting our common experiences.

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harris

Featuring forty trailblazing black women in American history, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of breaking boundaries and achieving beyond expectations. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash.

 

If you liked All The World by Liz Garton Scalon, illustrated by Marla Frazee, try…

Life by Cynthia Rylant, illustrated by Brendan Wenzel

There are so many wonderful things about life, both in good times and in times of struggle. Through the eyes of the world’s animals—including elephants, monkeys, whales, and more—Cynthia Rylant offers a moving meditation on finding beauty around us every day and finding strength in adversity. Brendan Wenzel’s stunning landscapes and engaging creatures make this an inspiring and intriguing gift for readers of all ages.

How to Be an Elephant by Katherine Roy

An infant elephant has precious little time to learn the incredible array of skills that are necessary to keep up, from projecting her voice across a 10-octave range to using the 100,000 muscles in her trunk to stay hydrated. But this giant-to-be has the perfect classroom–a family herd made up of her mother, sisters, cousins, and aunts. With their help and protection, she’ll learn how to survive, how to thrive, and how to be an elephant.

Round by Joyce Sidman, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

If you look closely, you will find that the world is bursting, swelling, budding, and ripening with round things awaiting discovery—like eggs about to hatch, sunflowers stretching toward the sun, or planets slowly spinning together for billions of years.

The Boy and the Whale by Mordicai Gerstein

A boy and his father discover a whale tangled in their only fishing net. Is the whale dead? While the man worries about losing their net, the boy worries about the whale. He remembers the fear he felt when, caught in a net himself in childhood, he almost drowned before being rescued by his father. When the whale blinks an enormous eye, the boy knows that he has to try to save the creature, no matter how dangerous doing so may be.

 

If you liked Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein, try…

I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris, illustrated by Lane Smith

Harris’s hilarious debut molds wit and wordplay, nonsense and oxymoron, and visual and verbal sleight-of-hand in masterful ways that make you look at the world in a whole new wonderfully upside-down way. Adding to the fun: Lane Smith has spectacularly illustrated this extraordinary collection with nearly one hundred pieces of appropriately absurd art. It’s a mischievous match made in heaven!

 

If you liked Harold and the Purple Crayon, try…

Lines by Suzy Lee

It starts with a line. Whether made by the tip of a pencil

or the blade of a skate, the magic starts there.

 

 

How It Feels to be a Boat by James Kwan

Sometimes being a boat is full of adventures and it’s nothing but smooth sailing on the high seas, but sometimes arguing passengers can take you off course. When you run aground, will their teamwork give you the strength to make it through? Offbeat and imaginative, James Kwan gives us a glimpse of what it’s like to not only be a boat, but what it is to be human in both gentle and rough waters.

When’s My Birthday by Julie Fogliano, illustrated by Christian Robinson

when’s my birthday?
where’s my birthday?
how many days until my birthday?

i’d like a pony for my birthday
and a necklace for my birthday.
i’d like a chicken for my birthday.
i’d like a ball to bounce and bounce.

Red Again by Barbara Lehman

When a young boy discovers an abandoned book on the side of the road, it opens a window to another world just as real as his own. But what happens when the two worlds collide? This imaginative companion to the Caldecott Honor–winning The Red Book works in a continuous loop, showing us that stories never really end.

 

If you liked Where’s Waldo, try…

The Lost Picnic by b.b. cronin

Follow a grandfather and his grandchildren as they head out for a day in the country not noticing items are gradually disappearing from their basket.

 

 

Look! What Do You See? by Xu Bing, illustrated by Becca Stadtlander

Twelve traditional American songs, such as “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” and “Yankee Doodle,” as well as five classic songs from Chinese culture, are written here in artist Xu Bing’s unique “square word calligraphy,” which uses one-block words made of English letters. From a distance, these pieces are beautiful but unintelligible art. Up close, they are a mystery just waiting to be solved—like the fine art version of “Magic Eye.”

Who Am I? An Animal Guessing Game by Robin Page and Steve Jenkins

Who Am I? gives reader clues so they can guess which animal will be revealed in a beautiful, full-spread illustration when they turn the page. Playful nouns, adjectives, and verbs describe the characteristics and movements of each animal. Minimal yet descriptive text encourages visual literacy and positions this title as a wonderful learning to read book. Extra facts are included at the back of the book.

***

Whew! So many great children’s books were published in 2017, and I hope you found some new ones to gift to your favorite kids this season.

I’d love to know what you are giving as gifts this holiday season! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at karina@bookriot.com.

See you next week!
Karina

Nala is like my own personal library lion!

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

 

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The Kids Are All Right

Holiday Gift Giving Guide #1: Middle Grade Book Recommendations

Hi Kid Lit friends!

It’s holiday season, which means I am making a list of all the books I need to buy for the kids in my life. There have been so many great books out in 2017, so I thought I’d do a recommendation list of this year’s books, grouped based on themes from classic children’s books. (All book descriptions from Goodreads.)


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If you liked A Wrinkle in Time, try…

The Dam Keeper by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
Life in Sunrise Valley is tranquil, but beyond its borders lies certain death. A dangerous black fog looms outside the village, but its inhabitants are kept safe by an ingenious machine known as the dam. Pig’s father built the dam and taught him how to maintain it. And then this brilliant inventor did the unthinkable: he walked into the fog and was never seen again.

Zinnia and the Bees by Danielle Davis
A colony of honeybees mistakes seventh-grader Zinnia’s hair for a hive ― and that’s the least of her problems. While Zinnia’s classmates are celebrating the last day of seventh grade, she’s in the vice principal’s office, serving detention. Her offense? Harmlessly yarn-bombing a statue of the school mascot. When Zinnia rushes home to commiserate with her older brother and best friend, Adam, she’s devastated to discover that he’s gone ― with no explanation. Zinnia’s day surely can’t get any worse . . . until a colony of honeybees inhabits her hive-like hair!

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
In one day, four lives weave together in unexpected ways. Virgil Salinas is shy and kindhearted and feels out of place in his crazy-about-sports family. Valencia Somerset, who is deaf, is smart, brave, and secretly lonely, and she loves everything about nature. Kaori Tanaka is a self-proclaimed psychic, whose little sister, Gen, is always following her around. And Chet Bullens wishes the weird kids would just stop being so different so he can concentrate on basketball. They aren’t friends, at least not until Chet pulls a prank that traps Virgil and his pet guinea pig at the bottom of a well. This disaster leads Kaori, Gen, and Valencia on an epic quest to find missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery, and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, a bully is put in his place, and friendship blooms.

The Glass Town Game by Cartherynne M. Valente
Inside a small Yorkshire parsonage, Charlotte, Branwell, Emily, and Anne Brontë have invented a game called Glass Town, where their toy soldiers fight Napoleon and no one dies. This make-believe land helps the four escape from a harsh reality: Charlotte and Emily are being sent away to a dangerous boarding school, a school they might not return from. But on this Beastliest Day, the day Anne and Branwell walk their sisters to the train station, something incredible happens: the train whisks them all away to a real Glass Town, and the children trade the moors for a wonderland all their own.

 

If you liked Number the Stars by Lois Lowry, try…

Refugee by Alan Gratz
Josef is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world . . . Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety in America . . . Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe . . . All three kids go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge.

Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar
In 1942, when Mahatma Gandhi asks Indians to give one family member to the freedom movement, ten-year-old Anjali is devastated to think of her father risking his life for the freedom struggle. But it turns out he isn’t the one joining. Anjali’s mother is. And with this change comes many more adjustments designed to improve their country and use “ahimsa”–non-violent resistance–to stand up to the British government. When Anjali’s mother is jailed, Anjali must step out of her comfort zone to take over her mother’s work, ensuring that her little part of the independence movement is completed.

Wishtree by Katharine Applegate
Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wishtree”―people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood.
You might say Red has seen it all.
Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red’s experience as a wishtree is more important than ever.

One Shadow on the Wall by Leah Henderson
Eleven-year-old Mor was used to hearing his father’s voice, even if no one else could since his father’s death. It was comforting. It was also a reminder that Mor had made a promise to his father before he passed: keep your sisters safe. Keep the family together. But almost as soon as they are orphaned, that promise seems impossible to keep. With an aunt from the big city ready to separate him and his sisters as soon as she arrives, and a gang of boys from a nearby village wanting everything he has—including his spirit—Mor is tested in ways he never imagined.

Midnight Without a Moon by Linda Williams Jackson
It’s Mississippi in the summer of 1955, and Rose Lee Carter can’t wait to move north. For now, she’s living with her sharecropper grandparents on a white man’s cotton plantation. Then, one town over, an African American boy, Emmett Till, is killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. When Till’s murderers are unjustly acquitted, Rose realizes that the South needs a change and that she should be part of the movement. Linda Jackson’s moving debut seamlessly blends a fictional portrait of an African American family and factual events from a famous trial that provoked change in race relations in the United States.

 

If you liked Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, try…

Lily’s Mountain by Hannah Moderow
Lily refuses to believe what everyone else accepts to be true: that her father has died while climbing Denali, the highest mountain in North America. Lily has grown up hiking in the Alaskan wilderness with her dad. He’s an expert climber. There’s no way he would let something like this happen. So instead of grieving, Lily decides to rescue him. Her plan takes her to Denali and on a journey that tests her physically and emotionally.

Falcon Wild by Terry Lynn Johnson
Thirteen-year-old Karma is desperate to become a certified falconer. At her dad’s bird education center, she helps give demonstrations to guests and can fly the birds. But when her favorite rescued falcon, Stark, hurts Karma, her parents insist that they return the bird to its previous owner–in Canada. On the way to bring Stark back, a car accident in the middle of nowhere leaves Karma’s dad trapped, and it’s up to Karma to find a way to rescue him and her younger brother.

Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder
On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts. And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them—and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.

 

If you liked Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume, try…

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Perez
There are no shortcuts to surviving your first day at a new school—you can’t fix it with duct tape like you would your Chuck Taylors. On Day One, twelve-year-old Malú (María Luisa, if you want to annoy her) inadvertently upsets Posada Middle School’s queen bee, violates the school’s dress code with her punk rock look, and disappoints her college-professor mom in the process. Her dad, who now lives a thousand miles away, says things will get better as long as she remembers the first rule of punk: be yourself.

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani
Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri’s mom avoids these questions―the topic of India is permanently closed. For Pri, her mother’s homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background?

It All Comes Down to This by Karen English
It’s 1965, Los Angeles. All twelve-year-old Sophie wants to do is write her book, star in the community play, and hang out with her friend Jennifer. But she’s the new black kid in a nearly all-white neighborhood; her beloved sister, Lily, is going away to college soon; and her parents’ marriage is rocky. There’s also her family’s new, disapproving housekeeper to deal with. When riots erupt in nearby Watts and a friend is unfairly arrested, Sophie learns that life—and her own place in it—is even more complicated than she’d once thought.

Karma Khullar’s Mustache by Kristi Wientge
Karma Khullar is about to start middle school, and she is super nervous. Not just because it seems like her best friend has found a newer, blonder best friend. Or the fact that her home life is shaken up by the death of her dadima. Or even that her dad is the new stay-at-home parent, leading her mother to spend most of her time at work. But because she’s realized that she has seventeen hairs that have formed a mustache on her upper lip.

Real Friends by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham
Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen’s #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others. Now every day is like a roller coaster for Shannon. Will she and Adrienne stay friends? Can she stand up for herself? And is she in The Group―or out?

All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she’s eager to begin her own training as a squire. First, though, she’ll need to prove her bravery. Luckily Impy has just the quest in mind—she’ll go to public school after a life of being homeschooled! But it’s not easy to act like a noble knight-in-training in middle school. Impy falls in with a group of girls who seem really nice (until they don’t) and starts to be embarrassed of her thrift shop apparel, her family’s unusual lifestyle, and their small, messy apartment. Impy has always thought of herself as a heroic knight, but when she does something really mean in order to fit in, she begins to wonder whether she might be more of a dragon after all.

Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan
Amina has never been comfortable in the spotlight. She is happy just hanging out with her best friend, Soojin. Except now that she’s in middle school everything feels different. Soojin is suddenly hanging out with Emily, one of the “cool” girls in the class, and even talking about changing her name to something more “American.” Does Amina need to start changing too? Or hiding who she is to fit in? While Amina grapples with these questions, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized.

Well, That Was Awkward by Rachel Vail
Gracie has never felt like this before.  One day, she suddenly can’t breathe, can’t walk, can’t anything—and the reason is standing right there in front of her, all tall and weirdly good-looking: A.J. But it turns out A.J. likes not Gracie but Gracie’s beautiful best friend, Sienna. Obviously Gracie is happy for Sienna. Super happy! She helps Sienna compose the best texts, responding to A.J.’s surprisingly funny and appealing texts, just as if she were Sienna. Because Gracie is fine. Always! She’s had lots of practice being the sidekick, second-best. It’s all good. Well, almost all. She’s trying.

Braced by Alyson Gerber
Rachel Brooks is excited for the new school year. She’s finally earned a place as a forward on her soccer team. Her best friends make everything fun. And she really likes Tate, and she’s pretty sure he likes her back. After one last appointment with her scoliosis doctor, this will be her best year yet. Then the doctor delivers some terrible news: The sideways curve in Rachel’s spine has gotten worse, and she needs to wear a back brace twenty-three hours a day. The brace wraps her in hard plastic from shoulder blades to hips. It changes how her clothes fit, how she kicks a ball, and how everyone sees her–even her friends and Tate. But as Rachel confronts all the challenges the brace presents, the biggest change of all may lie in how she sees herself.

 

If you liked The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt, try…

Patina by Jason Reynolds
Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.

The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora by Pablo Cartaya
For Arturo, summertime in Miami means playing basketball until dark, sipping mango smoothies, and keeping cool under banyan trees. And maybe a few shifts as junior lunchtime dishwasher at Abuela’s restaurant. Maybe. But this summer also includes Carmen, a poetry enthusiast who moves into Arturo’s apartment complex and turns his stomach into a deep fryer. He almost doesn’t notice the smarmy land developer who rolls into town and threatens to change it. Arturo refuses to let his family and community go down without a fight, and as he schemes with Carmen, Arturo discovers the power of poetry and protest through untold family stories and the work of José Martí.

The Stars Beneath our Feet by David Barclay Moore
It’s Christmas Eve in Harlem, but twelve-year-old Lolly Rachpaul and his mom aren’t celebrating. They’re still reeling from his older brother’s death in a gang-related shooting just a few months earlier. Then Lolly’s mother’s girlfriend brings him a gift that will change everything: two enormous bags filled with Legos. Lolly’s always loved Legos, and he prides himself on following the kit instructions exactly. Now, faced with a pile of building blocks and no instructions, Lolly must find his own way forward.

Sidetracked by Diana Harmon Asher
If middle school were a race, Joseph Friedman wouldn’t even be in last place—he’d be on the sidelines. With an overactive mind and phobias of everything from hard-boiled eggs to gargoyles, he struggles to understand his classes, let alone his fellow classmates. So he spends most of his time avoiding school bully Charlie Kastner and hiding out in the Resource Room, a safe place for misfit kids like him. But then, on the first day of seventh grade, two important things happen. First, his Resource Room teacher encourages (i.e., practically forces) him to join the school track team, and second, he meets Heather, a crazy-fast runner who isn’t going to be pushed around by Charlie Kastner or anybody else.

See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng
11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover—from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.

Armstrong and Charlie by Steven B. Frank
Charlie isn’t looking forward to sixth grade. If he starts sixth grade, chances are he’ll finish it. And when he does, he’ll grow older than the brother he recently lost. Armstrong isn’t looking forward to sixth grade, either. When his parents sign him up for Opportunity Busing to a white school in the Hollywood Hills, all he wants to know is “What time in the morning will my alarm clock have the opportunity to ring?”  When these two land at the same desk, it’s the Rules Boy next to the Rebel, a boy who lost a brother elbow-to-elbow with a boy who longs for one.

The Perfect Score by Rob Buyea
Under pressure to be the top gymnast her mother expects her to be, RANDI starts to wonder what her destiny truly holds. Football-crazy GAVIN has always struggled with reading and feels as dumb as his high school–dropout father. TREVOR acts tough and mean, but as much as he hates school, he hates being home even more. SCOTT’s got a big brain and an even bigger heart, especially when it comes to his grandfather, but his good intentions always backfire in spectacular ways. NATALIE, know-it-all and aspiring lawyer, loves to follow the rules—only this year, she’s about to break them all. The whole school is in a frenzy with test time approaching—kids, teachers, the administration. Everyone is anxious. When one of the kids has a big idea for acing the tests, they’re all in. But things get ugly before they get better, and in the end, the real meaning of the perfect score surprises them all.

 

If you liked Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, try…

Matylda, Bright and Tender by Holly M. McGhee
Sussy and Guy are best friends, fourth-graders who share their silliest thoughts and deepest hopes. One afternoon, the two of them decide they must have something of their very own to love. After a trip to the pet store, they bring home a spotted lizard, the one with the ancient face and starfish toes, and they name her Matylda (with a y so it’s all her own). With Guy leading the way, they feed her and give her an origin story fit for a warrior lizard. A few weeks later, on a simple bike ride, there is a terrible accident. As hard as it is, Sussy is sure she can hold on to Guy if she can find a way to love Matylda enough.

My Brigadista Year by Katherine Paterson
When thirteen-year-old Lora tells her parents that she wants to join Premier Castro’s army of young literacy teachers, her mother screeches to high heaven, and her father roars like a lion. Nora has barely been outside of Havana — why would she throw away her life in a remote shack with no electricity, sleeping on a hammock in somebody’s kitchen? But Nora is stubborn: didn’t her parents teach her to share what she has with someone in need? Surprisingly, Nora’s abuela takes her side, even as she makes Nora promise to come home if things get too hard. But how will Nora know for sure when that time has come?

The Ethan I Was Before by Ali Standish
Ethan had been many things. He was always ready for adventure and always willing to accept a dare, especially from his best friend, Kacey. But that was before. Before the accident that took Kacey from him. Before his family moved from Boston to the small town of Palm Knot, Georgia. Palm Knot may be tiny, but it’s the home of possibility and second chances. It’s also home to Coralee, a girl with a big personality and even bigger stories. Coralee may be just the friend Ethan needs, except Ethan isn’t the only one with secrets. Coralee’s are catching up with her, and what she’s hiding might be putting both their lives at risk.

The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla
Charlie’s perfectly ordinary life has been unraveling ever since his war journalist father was injured in Afghanistan. When his father heads from California to Virginia for medical treatment, Charlie reluctantly travels cross-country with his boy-crazy sister, unruly brothers, and a mysterious new family friend. He decides that if he can spot all the birds that he and his father were hoping to see someday along the way, then everything might just turn out okay.

Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry
Astronomy-loving Calliope June has Tourette syndrome, so she sometimes makes faces or noises that she doesn’t mean to make. When she and her mother move yet again, she tries to hide her TS. But it isn’t long before the kids at her new school realize she’s different. Only Calliope’s neighbor, who is also the popular student body president, sees her as she truly is–an interesting person and a good friend. But is he brave enough to take their friendship public?

Forever, Or a Long Long Time by Caela Carter
Flora and her brother, Julian, don’t believe they were born. They’ve lived in so many foster homes, they can’t remember where they came from. And even now that they’ve been adopted, Flora still struggles to believe in forever. So along with their new mother, Flora and Julian begin a journey to go back and discover their past—for only then can they really begin to build their future.

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift in a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar. Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn’t until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon, an unstoppable chain of events is triggered, leading Crow down a path of discovery and danger.

 

If you liked The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, try…

Podkin One-Ear by Kieran Larson
In a classic fantasy world of anthropomorphic rabbits, three young siblings are on the run from the villainous Gorm tribe who have killed and enslaved their clan. Podkin, once destined to be clan leader, has always been spoiled, but now he must act bravely as he, his older sister, and baby brother flee for their lives. Facing pursuit and treachery, the three collect allies in their search for refuge, until at last they are ready to fight back against the Gorm and attempt to rid the land of an evil scourge.

Prisoner of Ice and Snow by Ruth Lauren
When thirteen-year-old Valor is sent to jail, she couldn’t be happier. Demidova’s prison for criminal children is exactly where she wants to be. Valor’s twin sister, Sasha, is serving a life sentence for stealing from the royal family, and Valor is going to help her escape . . . from the inside. Never mind that no one has escaped the prison in centuries. If Valor’s plan is to succeed, she’ll need to make some unlikely allies. And if the plan fails, she and Sasha could end up with fates worse than prison.

Ghosts of Greenglass House by Kate Milford
Welcome back to the irresistible world of Greenglass House where thirteen-year-old Milo is, once again, spending the winter holidays stuck in a house full of strange guests who are not what they seem. There are fresh clues to uncover as friends old and new join in his search for a mysterious map and a famous smuggler’s lost haul. This exciting sequel to a beloved book that was praised in a starred review as “an enchanting, empowering read” is sure to thrill both fans and newcomers.

The Dragon With a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis
Aventurine is a brave young dragon ready to explore the world outside of her family’s mountain cave . . . if only they’d let her leave it. Her family thinks she’s too young to fly on her own, but she’s determined to prove them wrong by capturing the most dangerous prey of all: a human. But when that human tricks her into drinking enchanted hot chocolate, she’s transformed into a puny human without any sharp teeth, fire breath, or claws. Still, she’s the fiercest creature in these mountains–and now she’s found her true passion: chocolate. All she has to do is get to the human city to find herself an apprenticeship (whatever that is) in a chocolate house (which sounds delicious), and she’ll be conquering new territory in no time . . . won’t she?

 

If you liked Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar, try…

Beatrice Zinker, Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes
Hanging from trees by her knees, doing handstands . . . for Beatrice Zinker, upside down works every time. She was definitely upside down when she and her best friend, Lenny, agreed to wear matching ninja suits on the first day of third grade. But when Beatrice shows up at school dressed in black, Lenny arrives with a cool new outfit and a cool new friend. Even worse, she seems to have forgotten all about the top-secret operation they planned! Can Beatrice use her topsy-turvy way of thinking to save the mission, mend their friendship, and flip things sunny-side up?

EngiNerds by Jarrett Lerner
They may be brainiacs, but they’re just like everyone else: they fight with one another, watch too much TV, eat Chinese food, and hate walking their dogs. Well, maybe not just like everyone because Ken’s best friend Dan has been building robots. He then secretly sent one to each of the EngiNerds, never letting them know he’s the mastermind.

The Adventurer’s Guide to Dragons (And Why They Keep Biting Me) by Wade Albert White
Anne, Penelope, and Hiro are nominated for Best Illegal Quest That Nearly Destroyed the Entire World at the annual Quest Academy Awards, but they barely get to enjoy it before a strange boy tricks Anne into activating a new quest. Her charge: kill the dragon queen. The problem is, Anne doesn’t want to kill any dragons. But the mysterious boy does, even if it means igniting a devastating war between people and dragons. The only chance Anne and the others have to stop it is to get to the queen first. Along the way, they’ll have to navigate ancient mines, avoid erupting volcanoes, outsmart robots, and survive the dragon trials. And, of course, get a passing grade on their quest.

How to Stage a Catastrophe by Rebecca Donnelly
ACT 1: The Juicebox Theatre is about ready for the recycling bin. ACT 2: Sidney and Folly consider a crime. [You have to read it to see if we commit a crime – that’s called suspense.] ACT 3: Sidney and Folly save the Juicebox Children’s Theatre! [It’s not giving anything away to tell you that. We just don’t want you to worry.] Sidney Camazzola plans to be the director of the Juicebox Theater when he grows up. But the theater is in danger of closing, and he and his friends know they need a plan to save it – and fast. Hilarious and heartwarming, the mission to save a failing community theater unites a riotous cast of characters in this offbeat middle-grade novel.

Lights, Camera, Cook by Charise Mericle Harper, illustrated by Aurélie Blard-Quintard
It’s “lights, camera, cook!” for four tween contestants—energetic Tate, charming Rae, worldly Caroline, and hyper-competitive Oliver—who are all about to enter a televised cooking competition. What will the kids cook up? How will they all get along on- and off-camera? Which junior chef will have the grit—and maybe the grits—to make it through each challenge? And which junior chef will have to hang their apron up for good?

 

If you liked Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, try…

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

Nightfall: Keeper of the Lost Cities (sixth book in a series) by Shannon Messenger
Sophie Foster is struggling. Grieving. Scrambling. But she knows one thing: she will not be defeated. The Neverseen have had their victories—but the battle is far from over. It’s time to change tactics. Make sacrifices. Reexamine everything. Maybe even time for Sophie to trust her enemies. All paths lead to Nightfall—an ominous door to an even more ominous place—and Sophie and her friends strike a dangerous bargain to get there. But nothing can prepare them for what they discover. The problems they’re facing stretch deep into their history. And with time running out, and mistakes catching up with them, Sophie and her allies must join forces in ways they never have before.

 

If you liked Charlotte’s Web, try…

The Unlikely Story of a Pig in the City by Jodi Kendall
Josie Shilling’s family is too big, their cramped city house is too small, and she feels like no one’s ever on her side. Then, on Thanksgiving Day, her older brother, Tom, brings home a pink, squirmy bundle wrapped in an old football jersey—a piglet he rescued from a nearby farm. Her name is Hamlet. The minute Josie holds Hamlet, she feels an instant connection. But there’s no room for Hamlet in the crowded Shilling household. And whoever heard of keeping a pig in the city? So it’s up to Josie to find her a forever home.

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises—some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter. But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.

Saving Marty by Paul Griffin
Eleven-year-old Lorenzo Ventura knows heroes are rare—like his father, who died in the war, or his friend Paloma Lee, who fearlessly pursues her dream of being a famous musician. Renzo would never describe himself as a hero, but his chance comes when he adopts Marty, a runt piglet. Marty is extraordinary—he thinks he’s a dog and acts like one too—and his bond with Renzo is truly one of a kind. At first, the family farm seems like the perfect home for Marty, but as he approaches 350 pounds, it becomes harder for Renzo to convince his mom that a giant pig makes a good pet.

Almost Paradise by Corabel Shofner
Twelve-year-old Ruby Clyde Henderson’s life changes the day her mother’s boyfriend holds up a convenience store, and her mother is wrongly jailed for assisting with the crime. Ruby and her pet pig, Bunny, find their way to her estranged Aunt Eleanor’s home. Aunt Eleanor is an ornery nun who lives in the midst of a peach orchard on Paradise Ranch. With a little patience, she and Ruby begin to get along, but Eleanor has secrets of her own―secrets that might mean more hard times for Ruby.

Wish by Barbara O’Connor
Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is, until she meets Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all.

 

If you liked All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor, try…

The Family Fletcher Takes Rock Island by Dana Alison Levy
The Fletchers are back on Rock Island, home of all their best summer memories. But from the first day they arrive, it’s clear that this year, things have changed. FIRST, a giant fence is blocking their beloved lighthouse. SECOND, they have new neighbors. THIRD, who the heck is the weird artist guy who’s never actually painting? And FOURTH, there’s now an ice cream truck! Can the island stay the same even with these crazy transformations?

The Lotterys Plus One by Emma Donaghue, illustrated by Caroline Hadilaksono
Sumac Lottery is nine years old and the self-proclaimed “good girl” of her (VERY) large, (EXTREMELY) unruly family. And what a family the Lotterys are: four parents, children both adopted and biological, and a menagerie of pets, all living and learning together in a sprawling house called Camelottery. Then one day, the news breaks that one of their grandfathers is suffering from dementia and will be coming to live with them. And not just any grandfather; the long dormant “Grumps,” who fell out with his son so long ago that he hasn’t been part of any of their lives.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser (Disclaimer: I wrote this one!)
The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It’s practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.

 

If you liked From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg, try…

Greetings from Witness Protection by Jake Burt
The marshals are looking for the perfect girl to join a mother, father, and son on the run from the nation’s most notorious criminals. After all, the bad guys are searching for a family with one kid, not two, and adding a streetwise girl who knows a little something about hiding things may be just what the marshals need. Nicki swears she can keep the Trevor family safe, but to do so she’ll have to dodge hitmen, cyberbullies, and the specter of standardized testing, all while maintaining her marshal-mandated B-minus average. As she barely balances the responsibilities of her new identity, Nicki learns that the biggest threats to her family’s security might not lurk on the road from New York to North Carolina, but rather in her own past.

The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Mr. Quisling is definitely up to something mysterious, and Emily and James are on high alert. First, there’s the coded note he drops at a book event. Then, they uncover a trail of encrypted messages in Mark Twain-penned books hidden through Book Scavenger. What’s most suspicious is that each hidden book triggers an arson fire. As the sleuthing friends dig deeper, they discover Mr. Quisling has been hunting a legendary historical puzzle: the Unbreakable Code. This new mystery is irresistible, but Emily and James can’t ignore the signs that Mr. Quisling might be the arsonist.

Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls by Beth McMullen
After a botched escape plan from her boarding school, Abigail is stunned to discover the school is actually a cover for an elite spy ring called The Center, along with being training grounds for future spies. Even more shocking? Abigail’s mother is a top agent for The Center and she has gone MIA, with valuable information that many people would like to have—at any cost. Along with a former nemesis and charming boy from her grade, Abigail goes through a crash course in Spy Training 101, often with hilarious—and sometimes painful—results. But Abigail realizes she might be a better spy-in-training than she thought—and the answers to her mother’s whereabouts are a lot closer than she thinks…

Shadow of a Pug (Howard Wallace, P.I., Book 2) by Casey Lyall
Middle-school detectives Howard Wallace and Ivy Mason are itching for a juicy case. But when their friend and cohort Marvin hires them to prove his nephew— über-bully Carl Dean—didn’t pugnap the school mascot, they’re less than thrilled. To succeed, not only must Howard and Ivy play nice with Carl, they’ll have to dodge a scrappy, snoopy reporter and come face-to-face with Howard’s worst enemy, his ex-best friend Miles Fletcher. Can Howard deal with all these complications and still be there for Ivy when her life is turned upside down? Or will he once again find himself a friendless P.I.?

The Van Gogh Deception by Deron Hicks
Dan Brown meets Jason Bourne in this riveting middle-grade mystery thriller. When a young boy is discovered in Washington DC’s National Gallery without any recollection of who he is, so begins a high-stakes race to unravel the greatest mystery of all: his identity. As the stakes continue to rise, the boy must piece together the disjointed clues of his origins while using his limited knowledge to stop one of the greatest art frauds ever attempted. Digitally interactive, this breathtaking museum mystery offers QR codes woven throughout the book that bring renowned paintings to readers’ fingertips.

 

If you liked The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, try…

Momotaro Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters by Margaret Dilloway
Xander Miyamoto would rather do almost anything than listen to his sixth grade teacher, Mr. Stedman, drone on about weather disasters happening around the globe. When spring break begins at last, Xander plans to spend it playing computer games with his best friend, Peyton. Xander’s father briefly distracts him with a comic book about some samurai warrior that pops out of a peach pit. Little does either boy know that the comic is a warning. They are about to be thrust into the biggest adventure of their lives-a journey wilder than any Xander has ever imagined, full of weird monsters even worse than Lovey. Maybe Xander should have listened to Mr. Stedman about the weather after all. . . .

The Changelings by Christina Soontornvat
All Izzy wants is for something interesting to happen in her sleepy little town. But her wish becomes all too real when a mysterious song floats through the woods and lures her little sister Hen into the forest…where she vanishes. A frantic search leads to a strange hole in the ground that Izzy enters. But on the other side, she discovers that the hole was not a hole, this place is not Earth, and Hen is not lost. She’s been stolen away to the land of Faerie, and it’s up to Izzy to bring her home.

The Rise of the Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
Corinne LaMer defeated the wicked jumbie Severine months ago, but things haven’t exactly gone back to normal in her Caribbean island home. Everyone knows Corinne is half-jumbie, and many of her neighbors treat her with mistrust. When local children begin to go missing, snatched from the beach and vanishing into wells, suspicious eyes turn to Corinne.

The Star Thief by Lindsay Becker
Honorine’s life as a maid at the Vidalia mansion is rather dull, dusting treasures from faraway places and daydreaming in front of maps of the world. But everything changes when she catches two brutish sailors ransacking Lord Vidalia’s study, and then follows a mysterious girl with wings out into the night…. Suddenly, Honorine is whisked into the middle of a battle between the crew of a spectacular steamship and a band of mythical constellations. The stars in the sky have come to life to defend themselves against those who want to harness their powers.

The Wonderling by Mira Bartok
Welcome to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer. Part animal and part human, the groundlings toil in classroom and factory, forbidden to enjoy anything regular children have, most particularly singing and music. For the Wonderling, an innocent-hearted, one-eared, fox-like eleven-year-old with only a number rather than a proper name — a 13 etched on a medallion around his neck — it is the only home he has ever known. But unexpected courage leads him to acquire the loyalty of a young bird groundling named Trinket, who gives the Home’s loneliest inhabitant two incredible gifts: a real name — Arthur, like the good king in the old stories — and a best friend.

Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi
Laylee can barely remember the happier times before her beloved mother died. Before her father, driven by grief, lost his wits (and his way) and she was left as the sole remaining mordeshoor in the village of Whichwood, destined to spend her days scrubbing the skins and souls of the dead in preparation for the afterlife. It’s become easy to forget and easier still to ignore not only her ever-increasing loneliness, but the way her overworked hands are stiffening and turning silver, just like her hair. But soon, a pair of familiar strangers appear, and Laylee’s world is turned upside down as she rediscovers color, magic, and the healing power of friendship.

***

That’s it for me this week! I hope you found some awesome book choices for your gift giving this holiday season. Next week I’ll do 2017 picture book recommendations, but for now I’ve got to get back to reading!

I’d love to know what you are reading this week! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at karina@bookriot.com.

See you next week!
Karina

Izzy can’t wait until next week’s newsletter with picture book recommendations!

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Gorgeous Folio Society Edition of The Little Prince

Dear Kid Lit friends,

I grew up loving The Little Prince. I first read the story in high school, and I brought my dog-eared paperback copy with me to college and beyond. So I was thrilled when my editor asked me if I wanted to interview Stacy Schiff, the author of Saint-Exupery: A Biography and the author of the introduction of the new Folio edition of The Little Prince, for the newsletter.

First, can we admire the gorgeous Folio edition?

The Folio Society two-volume edition includes a slipcase and a commentary volume by Christine Nelson with Saint-Exupery’s original sketches and drafts of the story.


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I had a wonderful time asking Stacy Schiff some of my burning questions.

  1. You are the author Saint-Exupery: A Biography, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. What led you to explore his life, and what was the most surprising thing you learned about him?

Having reread his earlier works, I was struck by how little I knew about Saint-Exupery.  As it turns out, the life consists of equal parts improbability and incongruity, which means there are plenty of surprises. I suppose the greatest was how little time Saint-Exupery — pioneering aviator, and author of various classics of flight — actually spent in the air.  He flew the mails for fewer than six years.  He was regularly earthbound; the life is sorely deficient in the qualities that make the literature soar.  Also, he was a hit-or miss-pilot.  Well, not exactly hit-or-miss.  As one colleague put it, “When the flight is normal, Saint-Exupery is dangerous.  Given complications, he’s brilliant.”

  1. Do you remember the first time you read The Little Prince? What drew you to the story?

My mother was a French professor; I don’t remember a time when The Little Prince was not in my life.  I do know that the book was lost on me as a child.  I also remember stumbling later on its extraordinary dedication, a short story in itself.  And I most vividly recall my first encounter with the manuscript pages reproduced in this edition, their cigarette burns and coffee stains intact.  In a passage he later deleted from the book, Saint-Exupery wrote:  “I’ve never told the grown-ups that I’m not from their world.  I’ve hidden the fact that I’ve always been five or six years old at heart.”  Anyone who knew him would have snorted at that.

  1. Tell us a little bit about the process of writing the introduction to the (gorgeous!) Folio Society edition.

It IS stunning, isn’t it?

I spent the early l990s with Saint-Exupery’s friends, girlfriends, editors, colleagues, squadron mates, and family, often to the exclusion of all else.  I knew then that he wrote singularly entrancing letters.  I failed to grasp, I think, that there might actually not be a more charming biographical subject.  It was heavenly to return to him, to his excesses (“If a little bit of tea is good, then a lot of tea is better”) and his eloquence, the courage and the innocence, the practical fumbling and the starry-eyed romanticism.  There was a reason why no one who met him ever forgot him.  In other words, it was the happiest of reunions, at least on my part.

  1. Why do you think The Little Prince has endured and touched so many generations of people?

That’s a question I can’t properly answer. There’s a purity to the book, Saint-Exupery having distilled in it decades of defeats.  And there’s a universality to the slyness, to the condemnation — by an innocent — of the benighted, bean-counting adult world.  Who hasn’t wished he could change planets?  Who hasn’t railed against logic, quarreled with an irrational loved one, subscribed to the moral superiority of childhood?  Across cultures, across decades, it remains lonely among men.

  1. If you could ask Antoine Saint-Exupéry one question, what would it be?

At the time of his death, The Little Prince had sold poorly.  Reviewers were perplexed:  They expected something else from the virile author of Flight to Arras.  Was The Little Prince a children’s book for adults, or an adult book for children?  It would not be published in France until after the war.  Saint-Exupery’s previous books earned prizes and climbed bestseller lists.  So the question would be:  How did he feel about The Little Prince proving the title by which we remember him?  There’s some irony in the little fable having eclipsed the rest of the oeuvre.

*

Many thanks to Stacy Schiff and The Folio Society for taking the time to speak with me!

For those of you looking for a stunning gift for the holidays, you can find this special Folio Society edition of The Little Prince exclusively on the publisher’s website. (I have put it on my own wish list – I hope my husband reads this!) There are other wonderful books there, including a gorgeous copy of The 101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith, Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, and Grimm’s Fairy Tales by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. A complete list of their children’s collection can be found here. Please note that if you’re looking to order this for the holidays, the deadline to order for standard delivery is midnight EST December 8, and midnight EST on December 14 for express delivery.

 

It might be the holidays, but boxes of 2018 releases keep coming to my apartment. Woohoo! I just started Knock Out by K.A. Holt (Chronicle, 3/6/18), a companion novel to House Arrest. I’m halfway through Facing Frederick: The Life of Frederick Douglass by Tonya Bolden (Abrams, 1/13/18), and I’m really enjoying learning more about this American icon. I just received Jillian Tamaki’s new book, They Say Blue (Abrams, 3/13/18), which I’m very excited about.

As you gear up for holiday shopping, keep an eye out because my December newsletters will be packed with book recommendations for every age!

I’d love to know what you are reading this week! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at karina@bookriot.com.

See you next Sunday,
Karina

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s always nice to have a reading companion.

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Favorite Chapter Books of 2017

Hi Kid Lit friends,

I have a real love for chapter books. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, these are the transition books for when children begin to read more independently and develop the reading skills to read more complex and longer books (generally geared for kids ages five to nine). As their name implies, chapter books are broken into chapters. Compared to conventional middle grade books, the words in chapter books are generally printed larger and with more space in between the lines. Chapter books also contain illustrations. These are bridge books before kids move on to reading middle grade books.


SUPERFAIL by Max Brunner, illustrated by Dustin Mackay

Laser vision isn’t so hot when you’re cross-eyed. Just ask Marshall Preston, a twelve-year-old with superhuman abilities that are restricted by some very human setbacks. While other kids are recruited to superhero teams, Marshall’s stuck with a team of young Defectives: super speedy but can’t turn corners, radioactive Hulk allergies, and supersonic flight hindered by motion sickness. They aren’t exactly superhero material, but when Marshall uncovers a plot to destroy one of the greatest superhero teams of all time, he and his less-than-super friends set out to prove that just because you’re defective doesn’t mean you can’t save the day.


I adore chapter books because I see kids get so excited about reading more independently. There are so many new, wonderful chapter books out this year, so I thought I would gather up my favorites. (All descriptions from the publishers.)

Jasmine Toguchi: Mochi Queen by Debbi Michiko Florence, illustrated by Elizabet Vukovic
Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is a flamingo fan, tree climber, and top-notch mess-maker! She’s also tired of her big sister, Sophie, always getting to do things first. For once, Jasmine wishes SHE could do something before Sophiesomething special, something different. The New Year approaches, and as the Toguchi family gathers in Los Angeles to celebrate, Jasmine is jealous that her sister gets to help roll mochi balls by hand with the women. Her mom says that Jasmine is still too young to join in, so she hatches a plan to help the men pound the mochi rice instead. Surely her sister has never done THAT before. But pounding mochi is traditionally reserved for boys. And the mochi hammer is heavier than it looks. Can Jasmine build her case and her mochi-making muscles in time for New Year’s Day?
More books in the series:
Jasmine Toguchi, Super Sleuth
Jasmine Toguchi, Drummer Girl (April 3, 2018, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Jasmine Toguchi, Flamingo Keeper (July 3, 2018, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

The Infamous Ratsos by Kara LaReau, illustrated by Matt Myers
Louie and Ralphie Ratso’s dad, Big Lou, always says that there are two kinds of people: those who are tough and those who are soft. Louie and Ralphie are tough, tough, tough, just like Big Lou, and they’re going to prove it. But every time they try to show just how tough they are, the Ratso brothers end up accidentally doing good deeds instead. What’ll Big Lou do when he finds out they’ve been acting like softies all over the Big City? Perfect for emerging and reluctant readers, this clever and surprisingly warmhearted chapter book shows that being tough all the time can be really tough.
More books in the series:
The Infamous Ratsos Are Not Afraid

Lola Levine Meets Jelly and Bean by Monica Brown, illustrated by Angela Dominguez
The Levines are finally getting a pet–a furry one that is. They are excited about adopting a kitty they name Jelly, but they don’t get very far in the process when Ben starts sneezing. Oh no, he’s allergic! Lola is devastated and sets out to find Jelly a good home. Luckily, Lola is rewarded with a very happy (and still furry) ending!
More books in the series:
Lola Levine is Not Mean!
Lola Levine, Drama Queen
Lola Levine and the Ballet Scheme
Lola Levine and the Vacation Dream
Lola Levine and the Halloween Scream

Jada Jones: Rock Star by Kelly Starling Lyons
When Jada Jones’s best friend moves away, school feels like the last place she wants to be. She’d much rather wander outside looking for cool rocks to add to her collection, since finding rocks is much easier than finding friends. So when Jada’s teacher announces a class project on rocks and minerals, Jada finally feels like she’s in her element. The only problem: one of her teammates doesn’t seem to like any of Jada’s ideas. She doesn’t seem to like Jada all that much, either. Can Jada figure out a way to make a winning science project and a new friend?
Other books in the series:
Jada Jones: Class Act

The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Spirit Week Showdown by Crystal Allen, illustrated by Eda Kaban
Nine-year-old cowgirl Mya Tibbs is boot-scootin’ excited for the best week of the whole school year—SPIRIT WEEK! She and her megapopular best friend Naomi Jackson even made a pinky promise to be Spirit Week partners so they can win the big prize: special VIP tickets to the Fall Festival. But when the partner-picking goes horribly wrong, Mya gets paired with Mean Connie Tate—the biggest bully in school. And she can’t get out of it. Good gravy!

Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire by Susan Tan, illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
Priscilla “Cilla” Lee-Jenkins is on a tight deadline. Her baby sister is about to be born, and Cilla needs to become a bestselling author before her family forgets all about her. So she writes about what she knows best―herself! Stories from her bestselling memoir, Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire,include:
– How she dealt with being bald until she was five
– How she overcame her struggles with reading
– How family traditions with her Grandma and Grandpa Jenkins and her Chinese grandparents, Nai Nai and Ye Ye, are so different
Other books in the series:
Cilla Lee-Jenkins: This Book is a Classic! (March 27, 2018, Roaring Brook Press)

Who Gives a Hoot? Calupurnia Tate, Girl Vet by Jacqueline Kelly
Out in their boat exploring the San Marcos River, Callie and Granddaddy see all kinds of nature―fish, mockingbirds, ammonites, and more. But when Callie spots an owl in the water, she knows it’s in trouble. With quick thinking and quick action, she and Granddaddy bring the bird aboard―but will they be able to save its life?
More books in the series:
Skunked! Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet
Counting Sheep: Calupurnia Tate, Girl Vet
A Prickly Problem: Calpurnia Tate, Girl Vet (April 10, 2018, Henry Holt and Co.)

Cody and the Rules of Life by Tricia Springstubb, illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
In Cody’s life, many things are hard to predict. Like why her older brother, Wyatt, is obsessed with his new bicycle called the Cobra, or why her best friend Pearl suddenly wants to trade favorite toys. Pearl says she will trust Cody with Arctic Fox because Cody is a trusty person. But Cody doesn’t want to give up her beloved Gremlin, and she regrets it as soon as she hands him over. When the Cobra goes missing, Cody has to decide for herself who is trusty and who is not. If only she had Gremlin to talk to! Surely Pearl wouldn’t mind if she secretly traded back . . . it’s not stealing if it belonged to you in the first place, right?
Other books in the series:
Cody and the Fountain of Happiness
Cody and the Mysteries of the Universe

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises—some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter. But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.
Other book in the series:
Bat and the Waiting Game (March 27, 2018, Walden Pond Press)

Dory Fantasmagory: Dory Dory Black Sheep by Abby Hanlon
Ever since Dory met Rosabelle, a real true friend whose imagination and high spirits match her own, school has been pretty good. But now the class is learning to read, and it’s proving to be a challenge for Dory. While Rosabelle can read chapter books in her head, Dory is stuck with baby books about a happy little farm. Dory wishes for a potion to turn her into a reader but things don’t go as planned. Suddenly, a naughty little girl who looks an awful lot like Dory’s imaginary nemesis, Mrs. Gobble Gracker, shows up. And a black sheep leaves the pages of the farm book to follow Dory to school. It really needs her help–this seems like a job for a superhero! And it would help if she knew how to read.
Other books in the series:
Dory Fantasmagory
Dory Fantasmagory: The Real True Friend
Dory Fantasmagory: Head in the Clouds

Freddie Ramos Rules New York by Jacqueline Jules
Freddie and his mom are visiting Uncle Jorge in New York City! Just before they leave, Mr. Vaslov gives Freddie a new pair of zapatos to replace the ones that were getting too small. But Freddie worries if his new zapatos will work as well as his old ones. Will Freddie be able to save the day when Uncle Jorge misplaces an engagement ring in the middle of a New York City traffic jam?

 

New Releases! These all come out this Tuesday!

The Boy and the Whale by Mordicai Gerstein
A boy and his father discover a whale tangled in their only fishing net. Is the whale dead? While the man worries about losing their net, the boy worries about the whale. He remembers the fear he felt when, caught in a net himself in childhood, he almost drowned before being rescued by his father. When the whale blinks an enormous eye, the boy knows that he has to try to save the creature, no matter how dangerous doing so may be.

Dream Big Dreams by Pete Souza
Pete Souza served as Chief Official White House Photographer for President Obama’s full two terms. He was with the President during more crucial moments than anyone else – and he photographed them all, capturing scenes both classified and candid. Throughout his historic presidency, Obama engaged with young people as often as he could, encouraging them to be their best and do their best and to always “dream big dreams.” In this timeless and timbnely keepsake volume that features over seventy-five full-color photographs, Souza shows the qualities of President Obama that make him both a great leader and an extraordinary man. With behind-the-scenes anecdotes of some iconic photos alongside photos with his family, colleagues, and other world leaders, Souza tells the story of a president who made history and still made time to engage with even the youngest citizens of the country he served.

Brotherband: the Caldera by John Flanagan
In Hallasholm, Stig is contesting the annual Maktig competition to decide Skandia’s greatest warrior. But a late-night knock on the door brings someone Stig never expected to see again, along with a request the Herons are hard-pressed to refuse: a rescue mission of epic proportions. Across the ocean, the southern city-state of Byzantos is plagued by a crew of pirates who’ve kidnapped the son of Empress Justina. Slipping out of Hallasholm under the cover of darkness, the brotherband sets sail to recover the boy from his kidnappers, heading south to the island of Santorillos where a near-impenetrable fortress stands atop a cliff, surrounded by a lagoon—a caldera—formed by the crater of a volcano.

 

So many awesome books are showing up at my doorstep! I’m very excited for Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 12/5/17) to come out in a couple of weeks. The debut title in Rick Riordan’s new imprint with Disney is Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi (Rick Riordan Presents, 3/27/18). I can already tell readers are going to love this Hindu-inspired fantasy story. And finally, Still Stuck by Shinsuke Yoshitake is a sweet and funny kid who gets stuck in his shirt. We’ve all been there!

Did you see the winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature? The one middle grade book finalist, Clayton Byrd Goes Underground by Rita Williams-Garcia, didn’t win, but the Young Adult book (written for teenagers and older) Far From the Tree by Robin Benway did.

Have you entered to win the $500 independent bookstore gift certificate giveaway yet? Enter to win using this link (contest open until November 26th)!

That is it for me this week! I’d love to know what you are reading this week! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at karina@bookriot.com.

Until next week,
Karina

Izzy wishes you a lovely week of reading!

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

 

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Children’s Books About Mental Health

Hi Kid Lit friends,

A follower of this newsletter recently asked me for some recommendations about children’s books with mental health themes. There are many excellent ones out there, so I thought I’d make it the theme of this newsletter.


Sponsored by The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

In the 2017 Newbery Medal–winning novel, a girl raised by a witch, a swamp monster, and a Perfectly Tiny Dragon must unlock the dangerous magic buried deep inside her in order to save her life, her family, and even the community that once left her to die. The New York Times Book Review called The Girl Who Drank the Moon “Impossible to put down . . . As exciting and layered as classics like Peter Pan or The Wizard of Oz.” 


Picture Books

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat
Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after? Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall―that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most. Will he summon the courage to face his fear?
(Tip: Be sure to listen to Dan on PW KidsCast.)

Be a Friend by Salina Yoon
Dennis is an ordinary boy who expresses himself in extraordinary ways. Some children do show-and-tell. Dennis mimes his. Some children climb trees. Dennis is happy to BE a tree . . . But being a mime can be lonely. It isn’t until Dennis meets a girl named Joy that he discovers the power of friendship–and how special he truly is!

The Red Tree by Shaun Tan
A story about the power of hope, renewal and inspiration. A little girl awakens feeling there is nothing to look forward to and walks through her day oblivious to the small glimmer of hope that was always with her until the tree shows her. School Library Journal says, “An astonishing fable in picture-book format. A girl moving through landscapes of hopelessness and isolation encounters an image of hope on the book’s final page. Through the weight of her sorrow, readers conclude, on both intellectual and emotional levels, that living in despair is waiting for hope.”

Michael Rosen’s Sad Book by Michael Rosen, illustrated by Quentin Blake
Sad things happen to everyone, and sometimes people feel sad for no reason at all. What makes Michael Rosen sad is thinking about his son, Eddie, who died suddenly at the age of eighteen. In this book the author writes about his sadness, how it affects him, and some of the things he does to cope with it–like telling himself that everyone has sad stuff (not just him) and trying every day to do something he can be proud of. Expressively illustrated by the extraordinary Quentin Blake, this is a very personal story that speaks to everyone, from children to parents to grandparents, teachers to grief counselors.

Grumpy Pants by Claire Messer
Have you ever had a grumpy day and not known why? Penguin is having a grumpy day like that. No matter what he does, he just can’t shake it! Sometimes the only thing left to do is wash the grumpy day away and start over. The simple text and lively illustrations are the perfect cure for even the grumpiest of days.

The Princess and the Fog by Lloyd Jones
The Princess and the Fog is picture book to help sufferers of depression aged 5-7 cope with their difficult feelings. It uses vibrant illustrations, a sense of humour and metaphor to create a relatable, enjoyable story that describes the symptoms of childhood depression while also providing hope that things can get better with a little help and support. The story is also a great starting point for explaining depression to all children, especially those who may have a parent or close family member with depression.

Everyone by Christopher Silas Neal
Christopher Silas Neal invites young readers to explore how we feel what we feel, and how everyone else feels it, too. From the animals in the woods to the neighbors in their homes nearby, everyone has feelings and shares them in this whimsical story. Vivid, childlike art in a limited palette conveys a full spectrum of emotion. Young children easily frustrated by a popped balloon or overjoyed by a sky full of stars will relish this simple exploration of empathy.

Middle Grade Books

Night Shift by Debi Gliori
Through stunning black and white illustration and deceptively simple text, author and illustrator Debi Gliori provides a fascinating and absorbing portrait of depression and hope in Night Shift, a moving picture book about a young girl haunted by dragons. The young girl battles the dragons using ‘night skills’: skills that give her both the ability to survive inside her own darkness and the knowledge that nothing—not even long, dark nights filled with monsters—will last forever.

Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz
To twelve-year-old Molly Nathans, perfect is:
―The number four
―The tip of a newly sharpened No. 2 pencil
―A crisp white pad of paper
―Her neatly aligned glass animal figurines
What’s not perfect is Molly’s mother leaving the family to take a faraway job with the promise to return in one year. Molly knows that promises are sometimes broken, so she hatches a plan to bring her mother home: Win the Lakeville Middle School Poetry Slam Contest. But as time passes, writing and reciting slam poetry become harder. Actually, everything becomes harder as new habits appear, and counting, cleaning, and organizing are not enough to keep Molly’s world from spinning out of control. In this fresh-voiced debut novel, one girl learns there is no such thing as perfect.

Kat Greene Comes Clean by Melissa Roske
Kat Greene lives in New York City and attends fifth grade in the very progressive Village Humanity School. At the moment she has three major problems—dealing with her boy-crazy best friend, partnering with the overzealous Sam in the class production of Harriet the Spy, and coping with her mother’s preoccupation with cleanliness, a symptom of her worsening obsessive-compulsive disorder. With nowhere to turn, Kat reaches out to the free-spirited psychologist, Olympia, at her new-age private school in New York’s Greenwich Village. Olympia encourages Kat to be honest. Eventually, Kat realizes that sometimes asking for help is the best way to clean up life’s messes.

Stanley Will Probably Be Fine by Sally J. Pla (HarperCollins, February 6, 2018)
Nobody knows comics trivia like Stanley knows comics trivia. It’s what he takes comfort in when the world around him gets to be too much. And after he faints during a safety assembly, Stanley takes his love of comics up a level by inventing his own imaginary superhero, named John Lockdown, to help him through. Help is what he needs, because Stanley’s entered Trivia Quest—a giant comics-trivia treasure hunt—to prove he can tackle his worries, score VIP passes to Comic Fest, and win back his ex-best friend. Partnered with his fearless new neighbor Liberty, Stanley faces his most epic, overwhelming, challenging day ever. What would John Lockdown do? Stanley’s about to find out.

 

Okay, onto new releases!

Picture Books New Releases

Amy the Panda is Writing the Best Story in the World by Colleen AF Venable, illustrated by Ruth Chan (HarperCollins)

Playdates Rule! by Rob McClurken (Bloomsbury)

Lola’s Rules for Friendship by Jenna McCarthy, illustrated by Sara Palacios (HarperCollins)

Who Am I? by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page (HMH Books for Young Readers)

Middle Grade New Releases

Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi (Dutton Children’s Books)

Whistling in the Dark by Shirley Hughes (Candlewick)

Lily’s Mountain by Hannah Moderow (HMH Books for Young Readers)

Monster Nanny by Tuutikki Tolonen (HMH Books for Young Readers)

Goldeline by Jimmy Cajoleas (HarperCollins)

Peppermint Cocoa Crushes by Laney Nielson (Sky Pony Press)

Nonfiction New Releases

Life on Surtsey: Iceland’s Upstart Island by Loree Griffin Burns (HMH Books for Young Readers)

Impact! Asteroids and the Science of Saving the World by Elizabeth Rusch, photos by Karin Anderson (HMH Books for Young Readers)

I’ve been a very happy reader this week! Windows by Julia Denos, illustrated by E.B. Goodale is an amazing new picture book that I’ve been reading to my kids. Every page begs to be examined and loved. Khizr Khan’s new middle grade book, This is Our Constitution, was inspired by his personal experiences living in both Pakistan and the United States and introduces young readers to the history and contents of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson and illustrated by Frank Morrison (HMH Books for Young Readers, 1/2/18) is a visually stunning book about the thousands of African American kids who played a vital role in the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

 

Around the web…

How Amanda Gorman Became the Nation’s First Youth Poet Laureate, via the New York Times

Writing About Addiction for Kids by Kate Messner, via School Library Journal

Have you entered to win the $500 independent bookstore gift certificate giveaway yet? Enter to win using this link (contest open until November 26th)!

That is it for me this week! I’d love to know what you are reading this week! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at karina@bookriot.com.

Until next week,
Karina


Izzy’s book pick of the week: Inky’s Great Escape by Casey Lyall, illustrated by Sebastiá Serra.

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

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Middle Grade Steampunk Books, New Releases, and More!

Hi Kid Lit friends,

I first became acquainted with the term “steampunk” a few years ago. According to Wikipedia, “Steampunk is a subgenre of science fiction or science fantasy that incorporates technology and aesthetic designs inspired by 19th-century industrial steam-powered machinery.”

After I became familiar with what the term actually meant, I started seeing it everywhere in children’s literature. Here are some great new middle grade steampunk adventures.


Sponsored by Penguin

Life after the zombie apocalypse is pretty good for 13-year-old Jack Sullivan: he lives in a mind-clobberingly cool tree fort with his best friends, speeds through town playing Real-Life Mario Kart, has a crew of monster buddies, battles zombies on the regular, and generally treats life like it’s a videogame!

One problem: it’s hard convincing his friends that everything is great when they’re being hunted by a monstrous Nightmare King and an ancient evil who won’t rest until Earth has been devoured. Crud!


Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eager
When her parents, the great marine scientists Dr. and Dr. Quail, are killed in a tragic accident, eleven-year-old Fidelia Quail is racked by grief — and guilt. But Fidelia is forced out of her mourning when she’s kidnapped by Merrick the Monstrous, a pirate whose list of treasons stretches longer than a ribbon eel. Her task? Use her marine know-how to retrieve his treasure, lost on the ocean floor. But as Fidelia and the pirates close in on the prize, with the navy hot on their heels, she realizes that Merrick doesn’t expect to live long enough to enjoy his loot. Could something other than black-hearted greed be driving him?

Ghosts of Greenglass House (sequel to Greenglass House) by Kate Milford
Welcome back to the irresistible world of Greenglass House where thirteen-year-old Milo is, once again, spending the winter holidays stuck in a house full of strange guests who are not what they seem. There are fresh clues to uncover as friends old and new join in his search for a mysterious map and a famous smuggler’s lost haul.

The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby
It was 1798 when the Morningstarr twins arrived in New York with a vision for a magnificent city: towering skyscrapers, dazzling machines, and winding train lines, all running on technology no one had ever seen before. Fifty-seven years later, the enigmatic architects disappeared, leaving behind for the people of New York the Old York Cipher—a puzzle laid into the shining city they constructed, at the end of which was promised a treasure beyond all imagining. By the present day, however, the puzzle has never been solved, and the greatest mystery of the modern world is little more than a tourist attraction.

The Wonderling by Mira Bartók
Welcome to the Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures, an institution run by evil Miss Carbunkle, a cunning villainess who believes her terrified young charges exist only to serve and suffer. For the Wonderling, an innocent-hearted, one-eared, fox-like eleven-year-old with only a number rather than a proper name — a 13 etched on a medallion around his neck — it is the only home he has ever known. Richly imagined, with shimmering language, steampunk motifs, and gripping, magical plot twists, this high adventure fantasy is the debut novel of award-winning memoirist Mira Bartók.

Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic by Armand Baltazar
You’ve never seen Earth like this before: continents reshaped, oceans re-formed, cities rebuilt, and mountains sculpted anew. Dinosaurs roam the plains alongside herds of buffalo, and giant robots navigate the same waters as steam-powered ships. This is the world Diego Ribera was born into. The past, present, and future coexisting together. In New Chicago, Diego’s middle school hallways buzz with kids from all eras of history and from cultures all over the world. The pieces do not always fit together neatly, but this is the world he loves.

Woundabout by Lev Rosen, illustrated by Ellis Rosen
In the wake of tragedy, siblings Connor and Cordelia and their pet capybara are sent to the precariously perched town of Woundabout to live with their eccentric aunt. Woundabout is a place where the mayor has declared that routine rules above all, and no one is allowed to as questions–because they should already know the answers. But Connor and Cordelia can’t help their curiosity when they discover a mysterious crank that fits into certain parts of the town, and by winding the crank, places are transformed into something beautiful.

 

Picture Book New Releases (All releasing 11/7!)

Inky’s Great Escape by Casey Lyall, illustrations by Sebastià Serra (Sterling Books)

Red Again by Barbara Lehman (HMH Books for Young Readers)

Hortense and the Shadow by Natalia O’Hara and Lauren O’Hara (Little, Brown)

Look! What Do You See? by Xu Bing, illustrated by Becca Stadtlander (Penguin Random House)

Betty’s Burgled Bakery by Travis Nichols (Chronicle)

Read the Book, Lemmings! by Ame Dyckman, illustrated by Zachariah O’Hora (Little, Brown)

 

Middle Grade New Releases! (All releasing 11/7!)

Victoria: Portrait of a Queen by Catherine Reef (HMH Books for Young Readers)

The Kindness Club: Designed by Lucy by Courtney Sheinmel (Bloomsbury)

The Devlin Quick Mysteries: Digging for Trouble by Linda Fairstein (Penguin Random House)

Cici’s Journal: The Adventures of a Writer-in-Training by Joris Chamblain, illustrations by Aurelie Neyret (First Second)

The Doldrums and the Helmsley Curse by Nicholas Gannon (HarperCollins)

The Lost Frost Girl by Amy Wilson (HarperCollins)

Daniel Coldstar: The Relic War by Stel Pavlou (HarperCollins)

 

Around the web…

Beverly Cleary Titles Go Retro, via Publisher’s Weekly

Best Children’s Books Quotes, via Book Riot

20 Excellent Audiobooks for Preschoolers, via Book Riot

The Ultimate Guidebooks for the Minecraft Super Fan, via Brightly

 

Ebook Deals!

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes, $1.99

Little Blue Truck’s Christmas by Alice Schertle, illustrated by Jill McElmurry, $2.99

 

I’ve been reading some great books lately! My favorite picture book of the week is This is How We Do It by Matt Lamothe. I picked up a great middle grade graphic novel, Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani. And finally, at the suggestion of Book Riot’s own YA mastermind Kelly Jensen and children and teen book buyer at the New York Public Library Christopher Lassen, I started the YA nonfiction book Vincent and Theo by Deborah Heiligman (it’s amazing!).

Don’t forget about Book Riot’s huge bookstore giveaway – $500 to the bookstore of your choice! Enter here.

That is it for me this week! I’d love to know what you are reading this week! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at karina@bookriot.com.

Until next time,
Karina


Why yes, I did give out books instead of candy to trick-or-treaters.

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

 

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Children’s Books with Water Themes, Exciting New Releases, and More!

Hi Kid Lit friends,

I’ve been thinking about water lately. What happens when there is too much or too little of it, weather patterns, what is happening to our oceans, and who has access to clean drinking water and who doesn’t. There are lots of books with water themes or settings in children’s literature, so if you’re thinking about water too, take a look.


Sponsored by CALEB AND KIT by Beth Vrabel, Running Press Kids

A powerfully moving story about a magical friendship, coping with disability, and the pains of growing up and growing apart. Twelve-year-old Caleb has cystic fibrosis, and while he tries not to let his disorder define him, it can be hard with an overprotective mom and a perfect big brother. Caleb meets Kit–a vibrant, independent girl–and his world changes instantly. Her magic is contagious, making Caleb question the rules and order in his life. But being Kit’s friend means embracing deception and danger, and soon Caleb must decide if their friendship is really what’s best for him–or her.


Picture Books

Float by Daniel Miyares
A little boy takes a boat made of newspaper out for a rainy-day adventure. The boy and his boat dance in the downpour and play in the puddles, but when the boy sends his boat floating down a gutter stream, it quickly gets away from him.

Water is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Jason Chin
Drip. Sip. Pour me a cup. Water is water unless…it heats up.
Whirl. Swirl. Watch it curl by. Steam is steam unless…it cools high.
This spare, poetic picture book follows a group of kids as they move through all the different phases of the water cycle.

Out of the Woods by Rebecca Bond
Antonio Willie Giroux lived in a hotel his mother ran on the edge of a lake. He loved to explore the woods and look for animals, but they always remained hidden away. One hot, dry summer, when Antonio was almost five, disaster struck: a fire rushed through the forest. Everyone ran to the lake-the only safe place in town-and stood knee-deep in water as they watched the fire. Then, slowly, animals emerged from their forest home and joined the people in the water. Miraculously, the hotel did not burn down, and the animals rebuilt their homes in the forest-but Antonio never forgot the time when he watched the distance between people and animals disappear.

In A Village by the Sea by Muon Van, illustrated by April Chu
Written in a spare, lyrical style using fresh, evocative imagery, In a Village by the Sea tells the story of longing for the comforts of home. A perfect book for teaching about diverse cultures and lifestyles through rich pictures and words, moving from the wide world to the snugness of home and back out again.

Town Is By the Sea by Joanne Schwartz, illustrated by Sydney Smith
A young boy wakes up to the sound of the sea, visits his grandfather’s grave after lunch and comes home to a simple family dinner, but all the while his mind strays to his father digging for coal deep down under the sea. Stunning illustrations by Sydney Smith, the award-winning illustrator of Sidewalk Flowers, show the striking contrast between a sparkling seaside day and the darkness underground where the miners dig.

Fallingwater: The Building of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Masterpiece by Marc Harshman and Anna Egan Smucker, art by LeUyen Pham
In Bear Run, Pennsylvania, a home unlike any other perches atop a waterfall. The water’s tune plays differently in each of its sunlight-dappled rooms; the structure itself blends effortlessly into the rock and forest behind it. This is Fallingwater, a masterpiece equally informed by meticulous research and unbounded imagination, designed by the lauded American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Pattan’s Pumpkin: An Indian Flood Story by Chitra Soundar, illustrated Frane Lessac
When Pattan finds a yellow-flower vine wilting in his valley, he replants and cares for it, watching as a pumpkin appears and grows taller than the goats, taller than the elephants, as tall as the very mountains. When a terrible storm rages across the valley, Pattan wonders if perhaps his pumpkin can save the seeds and grains and saplings, the goats and birds and bison, and protect them all as the storm clouds burst and the waters rise. Frané Lessac’s brilliantly hued artwork is a feast for the eyes, while Chitra Soundar’s thoughtful retelling is a fascinating example of the kinds of stories told the world over — and the differences that make each version unique.

Me and You and the Red Canoe by Jean E. Pendziwol and Phil
In the stillness of a summer dawn, two siblings leave their campsite with fishing rods, tackle and bait, and push a red canoe into the lake. A perfect morning on the water unfolds, with thrilling glimpses of wildlife along the way.

Jabari’s Jump by Gaia Cornwall
Jabari is definitely ready to jump off the diving board. He’s finished his swimming lessons and passed his swim test, and he’s a great jumper, so he’s not scared at all. “Looks easy,” says Jabari, watching the other kids take their turns. But when his dad squeezes his hand, Jabari squeezes back. He needs to figure out what kind of special jump to do anyway, and he should probably do some stretches before climbing up onto the diving board.

Let’s Investigate with Nate, The Water Cycle by Nate Ball, illustrated by Wes Hargis
Ever wonder where water comes from and where it goes? Or why sometimes it rains and sometimes it snows? Then join Nate Ball and his crack team of curious scientists as they shrink down smaller than a raindrop to see firsthand what the water cycle is all about.

 

Graphic Novels

Coral Reefs: Cities of the Ocean by Maris Wicks
In Coral Reefs, we learn all about sea animals! This absorbing look at ocean science covers the biology of coral reefs as well as their ecological importance. Nonfiction comics genius Maris Wicks brings to bear her signature combination of hardcore cuteness and in-depth science.

 

The Dam Keeper by Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi
Life in Sunrise Valley is tranquil, but beyond its borders lies certain death. A dangerous black fog looms outside the village, but its inhabitants are kept safe by an ingenious machine known as the dam. Pig’s father built the dam and taught him how to maintain it. And then this brilliant inventor did the unthinkable: he walked into the fog and was never seen again. Now Pig is the dam keeper. But a new threat is on the horizon―a tidal wave of black fog is descending on Sunrise Valley.

 

Middle Grade

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the “lost boys” of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk
Twelve-year-old Crow has lived her entire life on a tiny, isolated piece of the starkly beautiful Elizabeth Islands in Massachusetts. Abandoned and set adrift in a small boat when she was just hours old, Crow’s only companions are Osh, the man who rescued and raised her, and Miss Maggie, their fierce and affectionate neighbor across the sandbar. Crow has always been curious about the world around her, but it isn’t until the night a mysterious fire appears across the water that the unspoken question of her own history forms in her heart. Soon, an unstoppable chain of events is triggered, leading Crow down a path of discovery and danger.

Race to the Bottom of the Sea by Lindsay Eager
When her parents, the great marine scientists Dr. and Dr. Quail, are killed in a tragic accident, eleven-year-old Fidelia Quail is racked by grief — and guilt. It was a submarine of Fidelia’s invention that her parents were in when they died, and it was she who pressed them to stay out longer when the raging Undertow was looming. But Fidelia is forced out of her mourning when she’s kidnapped by Merrick the Monstrous, a pirate whose list of treasons stretches longer than a ribbon eel. Her task? Use her marine know-how to retrieve his treasure, lost on the ocean floor.

Survivor Diaries Overboard by Terry Lynn Johnson
Eleven-year-old Travis and his family are on a whale watch off the coast of Washington when disaster strikes. The boat capsizes, throwing everyone into the ice-cold chaotic waves. Separated from their families and struggling to stay afloat, Travis and twelve-year-old Marina must use all of their grit and knowledge to survive.

Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder
On the island, everything is perfect. The sun rises in a sky filled with dancing shapes; the wind, water, and trees shelter and protect those who live there; when the nine children go to sleep in their cabins, it is with full stomachs and joy in their hearts. And only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them—and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.

Rise of the Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste
Corinne LaMer defeated the wicked jumbie Severine months ago, but things haven’t exactly gone back to normal in her Caribbean island home. Everyone knows Corinne is half-jumbie, and many of her neighbors treat her with mistrust. When local children begin to go missing, snatched from the beach and vanishing into wells, suspicious eyes turn to Corinne.

Ice Whale by Jean Craighead George
In 1848 in Barrow, Alaska, a young Eskimo boy witnesses a rare sight—the birth of a bowhead, or ice whale, that he calls Siku. But when he unwittingly guides Yankee whalers to a pod of bowhead whales, all the whales are killed. For this act, the boy receives a curse of banishment. Through the generations, this curse is handed down. Siku, the ice whale, returns year after year, in reality and dreams, to haunt each descendant. The curse is finally broken when a daughter recognizes and saves the whale, and he in turn saves her. Told in alternating voices, both human and whale, Jean Craighead George’s last novel is an ambitious and touching take on the interconnectedness of humans, animals, and the earth they depend on.

 

New Releases! (All coming out on 10/31!)

My Little Book of Big Freedoms: The Human Rights Act in Pictures by Chris Riddell (picture book)
We all want a good life, to have fun, to be safe, happy, and fulfilled. For this to happen, we need to look after each other and stand up for the basic human rights that we often take for granted. This picture book features 16 different freedoms, each accompanied by beautiful illustrations. It shows why our human rights are so important–they help to keep us safe. Every day.

Princess Hair by Sharee Miller (picture book)
Princesses with curls wear pearls.
Princesses with head wraps take long naps.
And princesses with teeny-weeny Afros wear teeny-weeny bows.
Celebrate different hair shapes, textures, and styles in this self-affirming picture book! From dreadlocks to blowouts to braids, Princess Hair shines a spotlight on the beauty and diversity of black hair, showing young readers that every kind of hair is princess hair.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend (middle grade)
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks–and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

The Fourth Ruby by James R. Hannibal (middle grade)
It’s been a year since Jack Buckles discovered the Keep beneath Baker Street, an underground tower no Section Thirteen was ever supposed to see; a year since his dad fell into a coma. Nothing has been the same since. Jack’s tracker abilities are on the fritz, Gwen’s not speaking to him and, what’s worse, there’s a pounding voice in his head calling for “the flame.”

The Secrets of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange (middle grade)
1919. Mama is ill. Father has taken a job abroad. Nanny Jane is too busy to pay any attention to Henrietta and the things she sees — or thinks she sees — in the shadows of their new home, Hope House. All alone, with only stories for company, Henry discovers that Hope House is full of strange secrets: a forgotten attic, ghostly figures, mysterious firelight that flickers in the trees beyond the garden. One night she ventures into the darkness of Nightingale Wood. What she finds there will change her whole world…

Dogs: From Predators to Protectors by Andy Hirsch (graphic novel)
How well do you know our favorite furry companion? Did they really descend from wolves? What’s the difference between a Chihuahua and a Saint Bernard? And just how smart are they? Join one friendly mutt on a journey to discover the secret origin of dogs, how genetics and evolution shape species, and where in the world his favorite ball bounced off to.

 

Around the web…

17 Wonderful Wordless Picture Books Everyone Can Love, via Book Riot

What to Read With Your Kids (And Teens) When the World is Terrible, via Book Riot

9 Spooktacularly Good Halloween Audiobooks for Families, via Brightly

 

Ebook Deals!

Ivy and Bean Bundle Set (Books 4-6) by Annie Barrows, illustrated by Sophie Blackall, $2.99

Warriors: A Vision of Shadows #1: The Apprentice’s Quest by Erin Hunter, $1.99

Princess Academy: Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale, $1.99

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George, $1.99

This week I’m reading Snow and Rose by Emily Winfield Martin, The Best We Could Do (an illustrated memoir for adults by illustrator Thi Bui), and Read the Book, Lemmings! by Ame Dyckman and illustrated by Zachariah OHora.

Don’t forget about Book Riot’s huge bookstore giveaway – $500 to the bookstore of your choice! Enter here.

That is it for me this week! I’d love to know what you are reading this week! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at karina@bookriot.com.

Until next time,
Karina

Nala and Izzy, the guardians of my TBR piles!

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

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The Kids Are All Right

Children’s Books About Cuba, Huge Bookstore Gift Card Giveaway, and More!

Hey Kid Lit friends,

Cuba is a country that I am just starting to learn more about, and I’m so glad to have children’s books to help me in my understanding.

Margarita Engle is probably the most well known Cuban-American children’s book writer. Her newest picture book is All the Way to Havana, gorgeously illustrated by Mike Curato. This story follows a young boy and his family as they pile into their car to celebrate the birth of a new baby across the island. Because U.S. – Cuban relations have been strained since 1959 and Fidel Castro had placed a ban on foreign vehicle imports, Cuba is filled with classic cars from the 1950s that are kept running by a hodgepodge of improvised, handmade parts. As you travel through this book, you glimpse this part of Cuba’s history in an unforgettable way.


Sponsored by The Little Red Wolf, written and illustrated by Amélie Fléchais.

Once upon a time, in the middle of a mysterious forest stood a strange tree house, the home of a little wolf known to all as Little Red Wolf …

Lose yourself in in the dark forests of Amélie Fléchais’ spectacular artwork. A young wolf, on a journey to bring his grandmother a rabbit, is charmed by the nice little girl who offers to help him…but nice is not the same as good.

A new face to this haunting fairy tale – for children and adults alike.

IN STORES NOW!


I have been really excited about the amazing Katherine Paterson’s new book, called My Brigadista Year (Candlewick, 10/24/17). A fictional story based on the real events of Fidel Castro’s literacy campaign, thirteen-year-old Nora joins Castro’s army of literacy teachers who go out to the countryside to teach fellow Cubans how to read and write. A story written in the beautiful way that only Katharine Paterson can achieve, I also learned a lot about Cuba’s history and got a taste of what life must have been like in 1960s Cuba.

Two other middle grade novels with Cuban settings were released this year. Lucky Broken Girl by Ruth Behar is based on the author’s own experiences growing up in New York City in the 1960s after moving from Cuba. Ruthie is just starting to adjust to life in the new neighborhood when a car accident puts her in a body cast and confined to her bedroom. A beautiful story about family, cultural differences, and the role of art to heal lonely hearts.

Refugee by Alan Gratz follows the lives of three refugee families, one of them being Josef, a German Jew fleeing Hitler’s in the 1930s. Josef and his family aboard the St. Louis, en route to Cuba. Another storyline follows Isabel, a girl who boards a raft for America with her family to escape Castro’s Cuba in 1994. A heartbreaking book filled with meticulous historical detail, and a great book to introduce to kids who see the news and wonder what life for refugees is really like.

Last, another book by Margarita Engle and illustrated by Sean Qualls called The Poet Slave of Cuba: A Biography of Juan Francisco Marzano. Born into the household of a wealthy slave owner in Cuba in 1797, Juan Francisco Manzano spent his early years by the side of a woman who made him call her Mama, even though he had a mama of his own. Denied an education, young Juan still showed an exceptional talent for poetry. His verses reflect the beauty of his world, but they also expose its hideous cruelty.

 

Onto new releases! These all come out this Tuesday, October 24th!

A Boy, a Mouse, and a Spider: The Story of E.B. White by Barbara Herbert, illustrated by Lauren Castillo (Roaring Brook Press)
When young Elwyn White lay in bed as a sickly child, a bold house mouse befriended him. When the time came for kindergarten, an anxious Elwyn longed for the farm, where animal friends awaited him at the end of each day. Propelled by his fascination with the outside world, he began to jot down his reflections in a journal. Writing filled him with joy, and words became his world. A lovely picture book with enchanting illustrations.

Winter Dance by Marion Dane Bauer, illustrated by Richard Jones (HMH Books for Young Readers)
Snow is coming, and it’s time to get ready! The squirrel gathers nuts, the geese soar south, and the snowshoe hare puts on its new white coat. But what should the fox do? Each animal advises the fox that its own plan is best, but the fox thinks otherwise—yet it’s not until he meets a golden-eyed friend that he finds the perfect way to celebrate the snowfall. A perfect picture book for the changing seasons.

Fox and the Bike Ride by Corey R. Tabor (HarperCollins)
It’s the day of the animals’ annual bike ride, and Fox is not excited. Every year it’s the same old, same old. Fox wants adventure. He wants action-adventure. He wants dangeraction-adventure! (And snacks too, of course.) So he secretly schemes to make this the most unforgettable trip ever—and his friends are coming along, whether they want to or not!

The Nutcracker Mice by Kristin Kladstrup and Brett Helquist (Candlewick)
A sweet middle grade book about the world’s tiniest ballet fans living in Saint Petersburg’s famed Mariinsky Theater: the Mariinsky mice, including Esmeralda, a rising dancer in the Russian Mouse Ballet Company. Despite being unable to control her tail, Esmeralda has just been assigned the lead role of Clara in a ballet debuting at Christmas: The Nutcracker. But when she learns that the new ballet features mice as villains, her excitement turns to horror: the mice of Saint Petersburg will never come to see such a production. Meanwhile, nine-year-old Irina is convinced that the mice she’s seen in the Mariinsky — the mice her father, the custodian, is supposed to exterminate — are not only fans of the ballet, but dancers themselves.

Reign of Outlaws by Kekla Magoon (Bloomsbury) (P.S. The first book in the series, Shadows of Sherwood, is an ebook deal – see below!)
When twelve-year-old Robyn Loxley set out to save her parents, she never could’ve predicted that she would become Robyn Hoodlum, leader of the rebellion against the harsh government led by Ignomus Crown. But Robyn’s attempt to free her parents has failed, and on top of that, her friends have been captured. And now Crown has given her 72 hours to turn herself in–or else. Now Robyn must decide between sacrificing herself, saving her parents and friends, or advancing the rebellion. With the stakes higher than ever, will Robyn be able to succeed?

The Elephant Whisperer (Young Reader’s Adaptation): My Life With the Herd in the African Wild by Lawrence Anthony (HarperCollins)
When Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a rogue herd of elephants in his reserve in South Africa, it was the last chance for these elephants. If Anthony didn’t take them, they would be shot. But he had no experience with elephants at all. What was he to do? Take them on, of course! What follows is an exciting and heartwarming series of adventures, in which Anthony learns about elephants and becomes part of their family. Full of both triumph and tragedy, this fascinating account of living with the majestic elephant is unforgettable.

The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid by Colin Meloy, illustrations by Carson Ellis (HarperCollins)
It is an ordinary Tuesday morning in April when bored, lonely Charlie Fisher witnesses something incredible. Right before his eyes, in a busy square in Marseille, a group of pickpockets pulls off an amazing robbery. As the young bandits appear to melt into the crowd, Charlie realizes with a start that he himself was one of their marks. Yet Charlie is less alarmed than intrigued. This is the most thrilling thing that’s happened to him since he came to France with his father, an American diplomat. So instead of reporting the thieves, Charlie defends one of their cannons, Amir, to the police, under one condition: he teach Charlie the tricks of the trade.

Ryan Quinn and the Lion’s Claw by Ron McGee
Ryan Quinn has never been a normal kid, and after everything that happened in Andakar, he’s about as far away from normal as could be. His parents want him to forget all about his death-defying escape, his role in the Emergency Rescue Committee, and the fact that they’ve been keeping secrets from him his whole life. But forgetting just isn’t an option for Ryan—not when there’s a traitor in the ERC who’s looking to ruin Ryan’s parents and expose the whole organization. (HarperCollins)

Ebook Deals

Shadows of Sherwood by Kekla Magoon, $1.99

I Wish You More by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illustrated by Tom Lichenheld, $1.99

Ember Falls by S. D. Smith and Zach Franzen, $1.60

Wildwood by Colin Meloy, illustrations by Carson Ellis, $1.99

This has been a fun week of reading for me. All three of these books are hilarious with lovable characters. I adored Sidetracked by Diana Harmon Asher, a book about seventh grade Joseph Friedman who, at the encouragement of his Resource Room teacher, joins the track team. (Spoiler alert: he’s not a natural runner.) In Greetings from Witness Protection by Jake Burt, Nicki Demere gets plucked from foster care to help keep a family safe in witness protection. And if you’ve been following these newsletters, you know that I LOVE Debbi Michiko Florence’s chapter book series. The third in the series, Jasmine Toguchi: Drummer Girl will be released on April 3, 2018.

Want more book recommendations? Check these links out:

The Best Children’s and YA Books of October 2017, by the Brightly editors

Best Books of October, chosen by Amazon’s editors
Ages 3-6
Ages 6-8 (Beginning and Early Readers)
Ages 9-12 (Grades 4-6)

9 Books Recommended by Tweens, for Tweens, via Book Riot

8 Halloween Picture Books for You and Your Little Goblin, via Book Riot

Great Books About Amazing Girls, via Book Riot

15 Beautiful Books That Introduce Mexican Culture and History to Kids, via Brightly

And hey, did you know that Book Riot is giving away a $500 gift certificate to the bookstore of your choice? Enter to win using this link (contest open until November 26th)!

One more thing: the New York Public Library is automatically resetting all kids’ and teens’ book fines to zero! High school students ages 18 and up can have their fines cleared in person through November 2, 2017. Find out more here.

That is it for me this week! I’d love to know what you are reading this week! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at karina@bookriot.com.

Until next week,
Karina


Don’t interrupt Izzy – she’s reading!

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*