Select Category:

> Top Ten

> Ages 4 t0 8

> Ages 9 to 12

> Teen Readers

The Indie Next List (formerly Book Sense Picks) for children is a seasonal selection of eclectic new books chosen by independent booksellers.

Winter 2013

Fall 2012

Summer 2012

Spring 2012

Spring 2011

Winter 2011

Fall 2010

Summer 2010

Spring 2010

Winter 2009

Fall 2009

Summer 2009

Spring 2009

Winter 2008/2009

— Fall 2008

— Spring 2008

Fall 2007

— Summer 2007

Favorites of 2007











Top Ten

1. Same Sun Here by Silas House & Neela Vaswan
“In this stunning epistolary novel, Meena, an Indian immigrant living in New York City’s Chinatown, and River, a boy growing up in rural Kentucky, first become pen pals and then best friends. Through warm, rich imagery Vaswani and House create a story of unlikely resonant rhymes in human lives across seemingly divergent circumstances. The authors integrate the complex political issues of immigration and mountaintop removal, which Meena and River face, with so much dexterity and heart that the reader will feel called to activism. I fell completely in love with these voices and know that they’ll stay with me for a while to come.” — Hannah Manshel, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL

2. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
“Aria was born into a world of Dwellers and leads a life that is comfortable and free of fear. Perry lives in a wasteland called the Death Shop and needs to constantly fight for survival. When they first meet, they instantly hate each other, but as they travel together they realize how each of their lives depends on the strengths of the other. Their journey will determine the fate of both worlds. A stunning debut novel for teens of both genders who love adventure, action, romance, and unforgettable characters. Highly recommended!” — Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

3. Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book I by Robin LaFevers
“In the name of St. Mortain, the god of Death, killing a man is justified. Each with their own special ability, girls from around the land are called upon to train to be assassins in his name. Ismae has her own power, one very useful for killing men who have sinned, especially those who have wronged women. Full of intrigue, romance, and blood-racing action, Ismae’s journey is one to remember. The next book in this series cannot come fast enough!” — Hallie Wilkins, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL


4. Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit by
Chris Van Dusen

“Van Dusen’s latest is children’s book perfection, blending baseball with robots to tell the story of a science whiz who desperately wants to excel at baseball and ends up saving the day in a truly unique fashion. Van Dusen combines his distinctive rhyming verse with wonderfully brilliant illustrations for a humorous, touching, cheer-worthy read. Absolutely irresistible!” — Katherine Osborne, Kennebooks, Kennebunk, ME

5. The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen
“Led by the intimidating but brilliant Connor, four orphans are forced to compete for the essential role in a treasonous plot — that of impersonating the long-disappeared Prince Jaron of Carthya. Set in the Middle Ages, this tale invites readers to follow 15-year-old Sage, a defiant and witty orphan, through a twisted, dangerous, and all-consuming journey that, if unsuccessful, will result in his death. Full of suspense and dark humor, The False Prince is a compelling read. I look forward to Book Two.” — Stephenie McCollum, Copperfield’s Books, Santa Rosa, CA



6. Partials by Dan Wells
“Kira barely remembers the world before the RM virus decimated the human race. It is getting harder to see a better future, or any future at all, because the virus continues to kill all newborn infants. Kira’s friend is pregnant and Kira is desperate to find a cure. She talks a couple of her friends into trying something drastic to find a cure, but instead they find so much more. This is a fast-paced novel with a big surprise, and readers will be clamoring for the sequel.” — Margaret Brennan Neville, The King’s English, Salt Lake City, UT


7. Chomp by Carl Hiaasen
“Working on a TV show called Expedition Survival! is no picnic for Wahoo and his dad, a professional animal wrangler. Set in Florida, this spoof of ‘reality’ TV shows is both hilarious and suspenseful. Dealing with the self-centered star, Derek Badger, anything can and does happen. Joining the mayhem is Tuna, a girl trying to get away from her abusive father. The blend of animals, great characters, and action make this a
unique page-turner.” — Barbara Katz, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI


8. Fever (The Chemical Garden Trilogy) by Lauren DeStefano
“Picking up where Book I, Wither, left off, Fever is a non-stop thrill ride. Rhine, devastated by the life she has been forced into, makes a life-altering decision affecting not just her, but her sister wives and Gabriel as well. Rhine’s journey to freedom and her struggle with who ultimately decides one’s fate makes readers question their own mortality. DeStefano has written one of the strongest female characters in young
adult fiction today.” — Alexis Duell, Market Block Books, Troy, NY


9. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga
 “Growing up the son of one of the country’s most notorious serial killers, 17-year-old Jasper ‘Jazz’ Dent has an intimate understanding of how killers think, and sometimes it scares him just how much he knows. Determined to use his knowledge for good, Jazz tries — uninvited — to help the local police solve a murder. When the bodies start to pile up, and it becomes clear that the town has another serial killer on its hands, Jazz realizes he has put himself and his friends in harm’s way. Fast-paced, funny, and utterly original, I Hunt Killers marks the start of an electric new teen series.” — David Mallmann, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI

10. The Catastrophic History of You And Me by Jess Rothenberg
“Brie dies of a broken heart — literally. Her heart spontaneously severs in half when her boyfriend tells her he doesn’t love her. What follows is both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Heaven turns out to be a pizza parlor filled with others who lost their lives too soon, where Brie finds a guide who just might be able to sew the pieces of her heart back together.” — Maggie Carr, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Ages 4 to 8

The Boy Who Cried Alien by Marilyn Singer, Brian Briggs (Illus.)
“This creative and funny take off of The Boy Who Cried Wolf has wonderful comic book-style illustrations and a humorous rhyming text. A perfect Poetry Month selection for boys, and a great read-aloud!” — Elizabeth Anker, Alamosa Books, Albuquerque, NM

Chloe and the Lion by Mac Barnett, Adam Rex (Illus.)
Despite the title, this book is not about Chloe and the lion so much as it is about the author Barnett and illustrator Rex, who have problems agreeing on certain aspects of the book and have to work out their disagreements before the book can go on. In the style of Lane Smith and Jon Scieszka, Chloe and the Lion is a perfect read-aloud, guaranteed to solicit laughter from both children and adults!” — Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

The Cloud Spinner by Michael Catchpool, Alison Jay (Illus.)
There once was a boy who could make amazing things by spinning the clouds into fabric richer than the finest silks. He only used a few of the clouds for himself, but when the king sees what the boy can do, he demands that all of his family’s clothing be made from clouds. As the king’s demands increase, the boy uses more and more clouds, there is less and less rain, and the world becomes drier and hotter. Seeing the greed of her father and the need of the people, the king’s daughter steals all of the cloud clothing and returns it to the boy who sends the clouds back to the sky. With Alison Jay’s timeless illustrations, this book is certain to become a classic.” — Emily Grossenbacher, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, MS

The Duckling Gets a Cookie!? by Mo Willems
”Everyone’s favorite pigeon is back! In this latest escapade, the pigeon meets a duckling who simply asked for a cookie and actually got one! The poor pigeon is used to asking for things like hot dogs, puppies, and a later bedtime without ever being given anything. He decides that ducklings get everything and it is just not fair! Super silly, as one would expect from a Willems book, this new adventure will have pigeon followers and new
fans alike laughing out loud. Giggles guaranteed!” — Amanda Snow, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

How to Babysit a Grandpa by Jean Reagan, Lee Wildish
“What do you enjoy doing with your grandpa? Reagan asked this question to many kids and adults, and the result of her research is this delightful new picture book filled with many helpful hints. Are you wondering what games to play with your grandpa? Build a pirate cave! Need a good snack? Cookies topped with ice cream, and anything dipped in ketchup, of course! Wildish’s exuberant illustrations are the perfect complement to Reagan’s playful prose. Charming!” — Megan Kennedy, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

Hug Time by Patrick McDonnell
“When you open this book with the cut-out heart, you’ll fall in love. Jules the kitten loves the whole world and sets out to hug everyone in it — such a big project for such a little kitten! Hugging his best friends goodbye and armed with his long, long list — he hugs all the birds in the park, a giant blue whale, a brand new frog, hippos, wombats, and more —
Jules is busy until he arrives at the empty North Pole with no one to hug. But wait! Here comes a happy polar bear who hugs Jules! This is a perfect gift to share with all you love!” — Marilyn Smith, Kepler’s Books & Magazine, Menlo Park, CA

I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus by Jack Prelutsky, Jackie Urbanovic
“More than 100 poems grace the pages of Prelutsky’s newest gem. It’s part Dr. Seuss, part Doug Florian, and part Shel Silverstein, but all Jack Prelutsky. You’ll be laughing, grossed out, charmed, and groaning at all of the silliness, puns, and unique stories presented in each poem. Children of all ages will read this collection over and over again. Urbanovic’s illustrations are the perfect addition to this must-have volume.” — Jeanette Sessions, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

Maudie and Bear by Jan Ormerod, Freya Blackwood
“The award-winning Ormerod offers five precious stories starring this unlikely duo, charmingly illustrated by Blackwood. Incredibly patient Bear is the hero and the loving foil for the endlessly demanding Maudie. Together they make a perfect pair, mirroring the relationship between parent and child. Adorable!” — Jeanne Snyder, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

Penny and Her Song by Kevin Henkes
“Young Penny has a song of her own and wants to sing it for all to hear, but the babies are sleeping. What is she to do? Why sing, of course! One is nice, two is nice, Three is even better. Four is nice, five is nice, Six in rain is wetter. Yet another reason to love Henkes!” — Lorna Ruby, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

Robot Zombie Frankenstein! by Annette Simon
“It doesn’t get much better than robots trying to outdo each other! Two robots are just two robots, but what if one is a robot zombie — or a robot zombie Frankenstein — or perhaps a robot zombie Frankenstein pirate! You get the picture. The illustrations are brightly colored geometric shapes that invite young readers to use their imaginations. If you need a message, there’s the pie. Isn’t it better for two competing robots to share a cherry pie? Kids and adults alike will be happy to dive in!” — Rona Brinlee, The Book Mark, Atlantic Beach, FL

Track that Scat! by Lisa Morlock, Carrie Anne Bradshaw (Illus.)
”Join Finn and her hound Skeeter on a nature walk to look for woodland creatures. As Morlock explains, if you see animal tracks, something is sure to follow: scat! Finn’s adventures are supplemented on each page by a description of each animal’s tracks, and gorgeous illustrations and a few well-placed puns add to the fun. Morlock takes the mystery out of poop, but leaves the giggles!” — Alice Meyer, Beaverdale Books, Des Moines, IA

Z Is for Moose by Kelly Bingham, Paul O. Zelinsky
“A hilarious alphabet story unlike any other! Poor Moose just wants to be a part of the alphabet, but when he pops up as the letter D, Zebra has to put Moose back in his proper place in line. When Moose gets to the letter M only to find a mouse in his place, he’s heartbroken! A wacky story turns into a sweet tale of friendship and makes a great read-aloud for storytime or for anyone just looking to belong!” — Amanda Snow, Hooray
for Books!, Alexandria, VA

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Ages 9 to 12

The Case of the Deadly Desperados: Western Mysteries, Book One
by Caroline Lawrence

“P.K. Pinkerton is on the run from murdering thieves who want his deed to a silver mine. Scrambling through disguises, taverns, and dark alleys in a Wild West town, Pinky’s biggest disadvantage is not being able to distinguish people’s emotions, which makes it very hard to know who is lying and cheating and who, if anyone, is telling the truth. This is high-speed fun, with a sympathetic hero.” — Ellen Davis, Dragonwings Bookstore, Waupaca, WI

Cold Cereal by Adam Rex
“There’s a little bit of magic in every box,’ claims the Goodco Cereal Company, and it is not exaggerating. Goodco has been holding the Fay (folks from the faerie world) prisoner and stealing their magic to put into cereal in order to make kids smarter and better looking. It will take Scottish Play Doe, aka Scott; Erno and Emily, genius brother and sister; their eight-foot-tall housekeeper, Biggs; and the escaped faerie folk, Mick, a leprechaun in a red tracksuit, and Harvey, a talking rabbit-man in tweed pants, to uncover Goodco’s sinister plans and begin the journey to save the world from the evil cereal company. Delicious!” — Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

A Diamond in the Desert by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
“Life in the Japanese internment camp at Gila River wasn’t exactly easy or comfortable, but his love of baseball allows 12-year-old Tetsu to forget, however briefly, how much he misses his home, his dog, and his father. Fitzmaurice weaves a great story told from Tetsu’s point of viewand with all of the attention span of a young boy — some topics continue for pages, while other observations are brief and to the point. Based on interviews and true events, this story is a good introduction to the topic of Japanese internment during WWII, and demonstrates that baseball is truly an American pastime.” — Rachel Dunham, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

Dreamsleeves by Coleen Murtagh Paratore
“Aislinn has a lot of responsibility including taking care of her younger siblings instead of enjoying the summer before eighth grade and spending time with friends. She also has a dad whose drinking problem is getting worse. The best thing about Aislinn, though, is that she knows how to dream and she knows what she wants. She decides to put her dreams on her sleeve for all to see and for all to help her achieve. A touching story full of inspiration and hope.” — Lisa Fabiano, Wellesley Books, Wellesley, MA

Explorer: The Mystery Boxes by Kazu Kibuishi
“Explorer features a compilation of seven stories in graphic form, each by a different author/illustrator, yet each featuring a mysterious — and often magical — box that serves to tie the stories together. From Johane Matte and Saymone Phanekham’s box in an alien universe-building warehouse to Dave Roman and Raina Telemeier’s magical box found in the back of an ordinary closet, Explorer holds something for readers of every genre. This is both a gorgeous compilation for the graphic novel enthusiast and a fabulous introduction for the comics novice.” — Marika McCoola, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, MA

Eye of the Storm by Kate Messner
“Messner has done it again! This book grabs you from the very first page with complex and relatable characters in a thrilling adventure. Jaden’s story takes place in the future, when the world is being devastated by frequent monstrous storms. Her father has dedicated his life to the research of storm dissipation, and Jaden is excited to join his summer camp program and finally spend some time with him. But when Jaden and her friends discover the truth behind her father’s research, Jaden must find the courage to save her family and friends. This is a heart-stopping tale that stayed with me long after I finished reading.” — Cherise Bailey, The Bookstore Plus, Lake Placid, NY

The Legend of Diamond Lil: A J.J. Tully Mystery
by Doreen Cronin, Kevin Cornell

“Sometimes you have to get your nose out of the ground to find what you are looking for,’ proclaims J.J., a search-and-rescue dog whose duty is to protect a mother hen and her chicks from the possum that keeps coming back to the chicken coop. J.J.’s job is not a glamorous one, until he meets Diamond Lil, a shiny new dog who has taken up residence next door. But is Lil the compassionate dog she appears to be? If so, why does she only appear at night or under the house during the day? Another winning entry in this terrific read-aloud series.” — Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

May B. by Caroline Rose
“This historical novel, told in verse, brings to life the rigors faced by homesteaders on the Kansas prairie in the late 1870s. May Betts unexpectedly finds herself stranded, alone, in a sod house some distance from her family. As winter approaches, she must find food and fuel to stay alive and figure out how to get home before the cruel weather or roving wolves are the death of her. A strong, new heroine for readers to love.” — Ellen Klein, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

One Dog and His Boy by Eva Ibbotson
“This is a book about a dog who wants a boy, and a boy who wants a dog — but it is also more. It is about a boy named Hal and a girl named Pippa who take a risk to free five special dogs imprisoned in a pet-rental agency. It is about misguided parents who find out what is important for them and their son. It is ultimately about dogs and people finding their rightful places in the world. Eva Ibbotson, in this, her last book, provides inspirational and masterful writing as she once again finds her way into readers’ hearts.” — Barbara Katz, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI

Remarkable by Elizabeth Foley
“In the town of Remarkable, everyone is just that — remarkably remarkable. Everyone, that is, except Jane Doe, possibly the most ordinary girl the town has ever seen. But when strange things begin happening in Remarkable — A band of pirates! Criminal twins turning an entire school blue! The mysterious appearance of Remarkable’s resident lake monster! — Jane may just be the girl to set things right. Foley’s debut novel proves the idea that a person doesn’t need to be extraordinary in order to do great things.” — Megan Graves, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

Ruby Redfort Look Into My Eyes by Lauren Child
“Thirteen-year-old Ruby has her own sense of style, loves watching TV detective shows, and just happens to be an expert puzzle solver and code breaker. So far, she has filled 622 yellow notebooks with her keen observations. As the town of Twinford awaits the arrival of a gold bullion shipment and the treasured Jade Buddha of Khotan, Ruby’s house is mysteriously emptied of its contents and her housekeeper disappears. A series of cryptic clues soon leads Ruby to a top-secret assignment in this brilliant mystery filled with loads of humor and suspense.” — Joyce Tiber, Next Chapter Bookshop, Mequon, WI

Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker
“One summer Stella goes to live with her great-aunt Louise on Cape Cod. Angel, a foster child, has joined them in the sprawling old house that has four charming cottages nearby. Stella and Angel are like oil and water: Stella craves routine and neatness, while frosty Angel is anything but angelic. An unimaginable tragedy unites the girls, and the little cottages and their inhabitants challenge and comfort Stella and Angel as
they work hard to keep their secret. This suspenseful and touching book shows the importance of really taking the time to know another person.” —
Joanne Doggart, Where the Sidewalk Ends, Chatham, MA

Titanic: Voices From the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
“Hopkinson’s account of the Titanic tragedy is quite possibly the standard against which all future tellings will be measured. Her authoritative work is both comprehensive and very readable. By focusing on individuals more than sensational events, Hopkinson ensures that readers will never forget the sinking’s human toll. This riveting book, beautifully designed, will appeal to a wide range of readers, including adults. Period photos, a glossary, timeline, biographical sketches, and excerpts of survivors’ letters are included. This is nonfiction at its finest!” — Christopher Rose, Andover Bookstore, Andover, MA

Wonder by R.J. Palacio
“This is one of the most uplifting stories to come along in a while. Fifth-grader Auggie is a normal kid, except that he has been homeschooled till now because of a facial deformity that he has had since birth. This is a story of acceptance — a story about going beyond the surface to get to know someone. Great family and classmate relationships ring true and make this a story that can make you both laugh and cry, and one you will never forget.” — Becky Anderson, Anderson’s Bookshop, Naperville, IL

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Teen Readers

Bloodrose: A Nightshade Novel by Andrea Cremer
“While everything else in Calla’s life has fallen apart, she has always been able to count on her friends, but now the stakes are much higher. Their journey takes them to all ends of the earth in search of the Elemental Cross, a weapon that is the only hope of destroying their enemies. Calla’s survival rests squarely on the shoulders of the two men she cannot choose between, and who continue to fight over her. The final book in Cremer’s epic Nightshade Trilogy will stun readers until the very last syllable.” — Krys Tourtois, Schuler Books & Music, Lansing, MI

The Book of Blood and Shadow by Robin Wasserman
”Nora, a quiet loner who keeps to herself ever since her brother died in a car crash, is working on a project at prep school, translating letters from 16th-century Prague with her best friends. Suddenly it all goes wrong: Chris is dead, Adriane is catatonic, and Max, Nora’s new boyfriend, is apparently the killer. Desperate to save Max and prove his innocence, Nora heads to Prague to discover the truth. A smart, engaging thriller guaranteed to engage readers!” — Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

Born Wicked: The Cahill Witch Chronicles, Book One by Jessica Spotswood
“Born Wicked is set in 1899, in a small New England town called Chatham. There are three sisters in the Cahill family who have been gifted with magical abilities. Since their mother’s death some years ago, Cate has been keeping an eye on the girls, making sure their magic stays a secret, but the Brotherhood, an oppressive religious patriarchy, sees all. This a glorious book, lush, provocative, and Gothic — and the love interest is spectacular.” — Krys Tourtois, Schuler Books & Music, Lansing, MI

Centauriad #1: Daughter of the Centaurs by Kate Kilmo
“Orphaned after harpie-like creatures attack her home, Malora sets out with nothing but her father’s horse, Sky, and the certain knowledge that she is the last human being in the world. She is as tough as the lions she has to fight off to protect her new family, a herd of horses that she adopts. On being captured by centaurs, Malora discovers an alternative to her lonely, desperate life in the wild, and she and her horses go to the centaurs’ city. Written with the rhythm and imagination of a mythological tale, this first volume in a series promises a great deal of adventure yet to come!” — Rebecca Waesch, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, OH

Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick
“This is a funny, heart-breaker of a teen sports book that isn’t about sports and isn’t just for boys. Life is throwing curveballs at Pete. His pitching arm is gone but he won’t admit it to his friends, and his grandpa is acting weird but his mom won’t admit it to him. With the help of the grandfather’s cameras and an almost-girlfriend in a photography class, Sonnenblick charms us into following Pete as he faces his can’t-talk-about fears. Not to be missed!” — Jeanne Snyder, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

Embrace by Jessica Shirvington
“Violet Eden has never had an easy life. Uprooted from her school, she slowly and shyly begins making new friends, including the gorgeous Lincoln. Life is looking up until she discovers that she is part angel and must make the choice to embrace her destiny or forever live in fear, running from those who want her dead. Violet must decide her own destiny and in the process hope to uncover the secrets that seem to be all around her. An exciting read with an original twist on angel mythology” — Emily Grossenbacher, Lemuria Bookstore, Jackson, MS

Everneath by Brodi Ashton
“This is Twilight for mythology lovers, with elements of the stories of both Persephone and Orpheus and Eurydice. Seventeen-year-old Nikki Beckett, who’s just returned from a century — equivalent to six months of Earth time — in the underworld of Everneath, finds out she has a mere six more months before being taken back to the underworld — this time for good. A captivating story of love, loss, and immortality.” — Melissa Oates, Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC

The Girls of No Return by Erin Saldin
“Set in the desolate wilderness of rural Idaho, this novel recounts how Lida Wallace is sent to the Alice Marshall School for Girls, where she is expected to ‘find herself’ among 50 cohabitants, all of whom are trying to hide, shed, or forget parts of themselves and their pasts. Reminiscent of the works of Laurie Halse Anderson and Gary Paulson, this is a story of a suffering girl, who, in spite of herself, learns to face tough issues and survive.” — Stephenie McCollum, Copperfield’s Books, Santa Rosa, CA

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
“Araby Worth is not your typical teenage girl: she lives in a world ravaged by the contagion, blames herself for the death of her twin brother, and vows never to experience anything he will not have the chance to experience. Her father is the scientist that saved the city — or, at least those who can afford it — by inventing a mask that filters out the contagion. Araby spends her days trying to find the bliss that comes from being completely numb to reality, until Will and Elliott enter her life. They turn her world upside down and force her to rethink everything she thinks she knows. But who can she really trust?” — Shawn Bridges, Literary Lion, Stephenville, TX

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews
“This novel of unlikely friendship is a wry, self-effacing, sarcastic read that is impossible to put down. When Greg’s (sort of) ex-girlfriend is diagnosed with leukemia, he finds himself prodded into a half-hearted friendship. Enter Earl, Greg’s only other friend, a pseudo-thug with a Napoleon complex who curses like a sailor. Of course, friendship blossoms between all three. It’s the gems of discovery made by each that make this book so memorable, and it doesn’t hurt that it’s told with a hilarious, cinematic tone. This is an honest, smart, belly laugh-inducing, tearjerker of a novel.” — Megan Graves, Hooray for Books!, Alexandria, VA

A Million Suns: An Across the Universe Novel by Beth Revis
“In book two of this trilogy, Phydus, a mind control drug, is removed from the ship’s water supply and everyone on board is now free to think for themselves. Elder is faced with the problem of telling the entire ship, which is already on the brink of revolt, that the engines are no longer operating. Meanwhile, Amy is following clues left by the previous Elder to discover an even bigger secret about the ship. There are many new twists and turns in this second installment, and it proves just as exciting as the first!” — Madison Butler, Liberty Bay Books, Poulsbo, WA

My Family for the War by Anne G. Voorhoere

“Franziska Mangold is on the last kindertransport out of Nazi Germany and escapes to England. Even with a name change, it is hard to be German in England, and she struggles to stay connected to her family and to her identity. This is a great addition to the pantheon of WWII books, an interesting and empathic exploration of what must have been a tremendous struggle for those children who were lucky enough to find their way to freedom.” — Margaret Brennan Neville, The King’s English, Salt Lake City, UT

Quarantine by Lex Thomas
“When a fast-acting, manufactured virus that can be harmlessly carried by teenagers but is deadly to adults invades a high school, the government decides to barricade the students inside and leave them to their fates. Quickly gangs form and violence reigns supreme. However, the kids not in gangs find a leader in one of their own to rise up and challenge the hierarchy. At this high school, survival of the fittest means staying alive to see tomorrow.” — Meaghan Beasley, Island Bookstore, Duck, NC

The Selection by Kiera Cass
”In this dystopian setting that overlays a futuristic society with the things we love about old-fashioned fairy tales, Cass weaves an intriguing story with the perfect balance of real-world problems and romance. America is a young, proud girl with a big heart and a bit of a temper from an impoverished family and social class,. She’s a talented, self-respecting
character who is great fun to follow in this fantastic Bachelor-type setting. I can’t wait for the sequel!” — Larissa Genschaw, Children’s Bookshop, Kent, WA

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
“Fate — or the simple fact that she misses her plane — brings teenage Hadley and Oliver together in JFK Airport and has them seated next to each other for an eight-hour flight to London. In London, they lose track of each other, but fate again intervenes. This feel-good story of love and family left me believing that ‘happily ever after’ might actually be possible. A delightful read!” — Carla Ketner, Chapters Books & Gifts, Seward, NE