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

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Favorites of 2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top Ten

1.We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart (Delacorte Press)
“This is the book everyone is going to be talking about this year. Cadence Sinclair -- yes, of those Sinclairs -- spends her summers with her family on their private island off of Martha's Vineyard where the houses have names and appearances must be maintained. What has changed this summer? And why won't anyone tell Cadence what happened two years ago? This book is best experienced with little prior knowledge of the plot, but you can expect beautiful language, twists aplenty, and a sophisticated mastery of style. On top of all that, it's a page-turner in the truest sense. Teens and adults alike will adore We Were Liars.”
—Mary-Catherine Breed, Brazos Bookstore, Houston, TX

 

2.  Say What You Will
Cammie McGovern (HarperTeen)
“Amy can only speak with the aid of a voice box and she can't walk more than a few steps without assistance. Matthew has his own obsessive worries. When Matthew starts helping Amy, a relationship begins to take shape. But can their friendship weather all that their lives have in store? Wonder meets Eleanor and Park in this authentic romance with beautifully crafted characters.”
—Marika McCoola, Northshire Bookstore Saratoga, Saratoga Springs, NY

3. The Thickety: A Path Begins
J.A. White (Katherine Tegen Books)
“A dark, forbidden forest, a powerful book, and an ancient deeply rooted fear of witchcraft set the stage for White's incredible debut. Shunned by fellow villagers because of her mother's witchcraft conviction, Kara and her family struggle in every way imaginable. One day, Kara enters Sordyr's Realm, the Thickety, from which no one has ever emerged unchanged. There she discovers a powerful book that she believes belonged to her mother and that holds incredible and dangerous powers. What follows is an amazing start to a great new series that will leave you thirsting for more!”
—Bess Bleyaert, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI

4. Conversion
Katherine Howe (Putnam Juvenile)
“When a mysterious illness begins to afflict senior Colleen Rutherford's classmates at the academically competitive St. Joan's Academy in Danvers, Massachusetts, panicked parents and hungry media swarm, armed with questions, accusations, and wild theories. Refusing to let an unknown illness jeopardize her college prospects, Colleen takes on an extra credit assignment comparing The Crucible to the real Salem witch trials. As tensions rise, she begins to notice the undeniable similarities between the witch trials and the paranoid panic that's taken over Danvers. In her first book for young adults, Howe deftly parallels the infamous Salem witch trials and the overwhelming societal pressures on modern teens.”
—Sara Grochowski, Blue Phoenix Books, Alpena, MI

5.  I Am Otter
Sam Garton (Balzer + Bray)
“Otter found himself on Otter Keeper's doorstep one day and, luckily for him, Teddy had also just arrived. Otter, Teddy, and Otter Keeper become best friends and have lots of fun together, especially on weekends. Unfortunately, Mondays arrive and Otter Keeper has to leave for work, so Otter and Teddy decide to begin their own -- a toast restaurant from their very own kitchen. What could go wrong? Everything! A funny and warm tale with an important message about friendship. I can't wait for more Otter adventures!”
—Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

6.  Three Bears in a Boat
David Soman (Dial)
“Soman has created a masterpiece! Three siblings are doing something they shouldn't and end up breaking their mother's favorite blue seashell. Rather than face her wrath - because she is a bear, after all! - they go in search of a replacement. They travel all over and meet many odd characters, but they don't find what they seek until they're looking in the right place. Art and text are perfectly balanced and full of nuances that, taken together, make a simple tale something wonderful. Three Bears in a Boat will become a classic!”
—Elizabeth Anker, Alamosa Books, Albuquerque, NM

7.  The Glass Sentence (The Mapmakers Trilogy)
S. E. Grove (Viking Juvenile)
“Suppose that the dimension of time took on the physical form of natural disaster, and that the different eras of Earth's history, some preceding what we call the present and some beyond it, suddenly all surfaced within fault lines that cause the whole world to be fractured into different ages. Writers who had never been born in what has become 10th century Europe are still alive in 19th century Boston, for example, and map making, marvelous and multi-dimensional, has become the transcendent science in a world of danger, intrigue, politics, and discovery. This tightly woven, highly imaginative and compelling world offers deep satisfaction for readers of all ages.”
—Kenny Brechner, Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers, Inc., Farmington, ME

8. Chengdu Could Not, Would Not, Fall Asleep
Barney Saltzberg (Disney-Hyperion)
“Chengdu has a problem. It's night time and he can't sleep. He tries everything he can to fall asleep, but nothing works. This is a wonderful interactive book featuring pandas! The pages are fun as they fold this way and that. I love the big eyes that are open in the bamboo forest while everyone else sleeps. Chengdu's solution is a wonderful surprise.”
—Janice Hunsche, Kaleidosaurus Books, Fishers, IN

9. The Night Gardener
Jonathan Auxier (Amulet Books)
“This is a family read-together book that will keep everyone up at night -- in a good way. Molly and Kip, brother and sister, are each making their way in the world without their parents, but they have many good intentions to protect each other and find a place where they belong. The night gardener haunts them by night, and by day they learn about the evil that can grasp those who fall prey to greed. Magical and unforgettable, this is storytelling at its best!”
—Arna Lewis, Buttonwood Books & Toys, Cohasset, MA

10. The Truth About Alice
Jen Mathieu (Roaring Brook Press)
“Free-spirited, bold, and beautiful, Alice has always been the object of boys' lust and other girls' jealousy and admiration at her small-town high school. After a party, rumors about Alice start to spread: she's a slut, she had sex with two boys in one night, and she was responsible for the death of one of them. Told from multiple perspectives, The Truth About Alice details what it means to be bullied and what it takes to stand against it. At times harshly funny, at times heart-wrenching, this is ultimately a hopeful story.”
—Emily Ring, Inklings Bookshop, Yakima, WA

 

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Ages 4 to 8

Big Bad Bubble
Adam Rubin, Daniel Salmieri (Illus.) (Clarion Books)
“Only in the delicious anarchy of an Adam Rubin picture book would a big, horned-and-clawed monster named Wumpus be frightened to tears by a soap bubble! The silliness that ensues does contain a lesson about assessing the unreasonableness of certain fears, but, really, it's all about the monsters and the bubbles!”
—Heather Elia, Colgate Bookstore, Hamilton, NY

Books Always Everywhere
Jane Blatt (Random House Books for Young Readers)
“Books Always Everywhere is an adorable read-aloud that celebrates books! In every size and shape, from funny to scary, used as a seat, or used as a hat, books are for everyone and for any time. Great for book lovers young and old!”
—Sara Grochowski, Blue Phoenix Books, Alpena, MI

Deer Dancer
Mary Lyn Ray, Lauren Stringer (Illus.) (Beach Lane Books)
“A young girl meets a deer as she dances in a meadow near the woods. They begin to dance together, each one responding to the movements of the other. Light and movement flit across each of Stringer's illustrations, capturing the motion of the trees, the deer, and the girl. This is a celebration of movement in nature and the astonishing connections of dance. Brava!”
—Marika McCoola, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

Froodle
Antoinette Portis (Roaring Brook Press)
“You can't blame the little brown bird for wanting to spread his vocal wings beyond the usual warble and tweet. But 'oobly snoobly'? 'Froodle spoodle'? Seriously?! While most of the birds flock together, the crow does not approve of such cacophony. Nonsensical chirping and cheerful pictures combine for a wonderful read-aloud, laugh-out-loud book. Kids will have a grand time coming up with their own birdcalls!”
—Julie Shimada, Maria's Bookshop, Durango, CO

I Got the Rhythm
Connie Schofield-Morrison (Bloomsbury USA Childrens Books)
“Nothing captures joyous noise like this new picture book about a little girl in the park with her mom. Every one of her senses speaks to the rhythm that she hears from the neighborhood drummers and a nearby boom box. Her infectious happiness leads to a diverse group of neighborhood kids, and even adults, breaking out in dance. This is a great book for read-aloud, both because of its songlike cadence, and because kids can chime along with the young heroine as she blinks, sniffs, claps, and shakes to the music. Oh, and the illustrations are just as happy!”
—Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI

It's an Orange Aardvark!
Michael Hall (Greenwillow Books)
“Snazzy and cute-as-a-bug carpenter ants steal the show in this latest book from Hall. Following the trend to be a bit subversive, this cumulative tale will delight both young and old. The die-cut peep holes and splendid use of background colors with splashes of the colors of the rainbow make this an irresistible read!”
—Mary Alice Garber, Politics & Prose Books and Coffee Shop, Washington, DC

Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse
Torben Kuhlmann (North South)
“If there's any justice, Lindbergh will garner awards and the brilliant mouse will be crowned a most ingenious, brave, and endearing character. Kuhlmann's beautiful watercolor illustrations possess an enticing, three-dimensional depth that draws the reader into the story, heightens the suspense, and establishes a powerful sense of place and time. The book's coda, 'A Short History of Aviation' provides a wonderful timeline about early aviators and historical context for the journey of the heroic mouse. Absolutely extraordinary!”
—Yvonne Brooks, McNally Jackson Books, New York, NY

My Pet Book
Bob Staake (Random House Books for Young Readers)
“Told in clever rhyme, Staake's story of a boy who discovers the ultimate perfect pet - a book! - is a joy to read aloud. I predict young readers will be inspired to drag around books via leashes after reading this brightly illustrated picture book.”
—Rachel Watkins, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

My Teacher is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.)
Peter Brown (Little, Brown Young Readers)
“How amazing to discover that teachers exist outside the school walls. Maybe they even like some of the same stuff you do! One day in the park, Bobby discovers that his monstrous teacher might actually be human, maybe even kind of nice. Brown gives us another funny and surprising picture book to discover and share.”
—Ellen Lamb, The Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, NH

Ninja Red Riding Hood
Corey Rosen Schwartz, Dan Santat (Illus.) (Putnam Juvenile)
“Another ninja-licious picture book from Schwartz! Red Riding Hood bests the Big Bad Wolf in an (almost) evenly matched contest. The wolf is distracted by the appearance of Gran on her way home from tai chi, and Red wins the match, extracting a promise from the wolf to give up red meat. A clever, funny, rhyming tale, wonderfully illustrated by Santat.”
—Trish Brown, One More Page, Arlington, VA

The Pilot and the Little Prince: The Life of Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Peter Sis (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
“The life and loves of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, author of the beloved classic The Little Prince, are presented through the incredible grace and artistry of an amazing modern creator himself, Peter Sis. This gorgeous picture book biography that focuses heavily on Saint Exupery's passion for flight is now an essential companion to any new (or past) reading of The Little Prince.”
—Joanna Parzakonis, Bookbug, Kalamazoo, MI

Planet Kindergarten
Sue Ganz-Schmitt, Shane Prigmore (Illus.) (Chronicle Books)
“Who knew what aliens abound in that planetary world of -- Kindergarten? Having new experiences and making new friends will reassure all those making the transition to real school. Both kids and parents will delight in the cheerful exuberance of Prigmore's style and its sly wink to The Jetsons! Blast off to the land of Kindergarten -- a great and cool place to go!”
—Maureen Palacios, Once Upon a Time, Montrose, CA

Rules of Summer
Shaun Tan (Arthur A. Levine Books)
“Shaun Tan is one of my favorite artists, and this new book is dazzling. Just as I spent hours as a kid poring over each page of Chris Van Allsburg's The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, so will readers of Rules of Summer. Each page tells a mysterious tale that the reader can interpret in many ways. I love this book!”
—Suzanna Hermans, Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck, NY

This Is a Moose
Richard T. Morris, Tom Lichtenheld (Illus.) (Little, Brown Young Readers)
“This hilarious tale of a director trying to make a movie about a moose will crack readers up. Not only does this moose not fit the mold, but he also really wants to be an astronaut and he's helped by a group of wacky big-dreaming friends and family, much to the cranky director's dismay. Adults and kids alike will love this fun tale about following your dreams.”
—Summer Moser, Summer's Stories, Kendallville, IN

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Ages 9 to 12

Another Day as Emily
Eileen Spinelli, Joanne Lew-Vriethoff (Illus.) (Knopf Books for Young Readers)
“Summer should be filled with baseball, library visits, and friends for 11-year-old Suzy. Everything seems to change when her little brother becomes a local hero for dialing 911. Suddenly he is the center of attention and Suzy decides to retreat from the world like her hero, Emily Dickinson. It takes a little time, a few good friends, and Suzy's spirit to set things right. This sweet, funny tale, told in verse, helps readers remember that everyone can be the hero of their own story.”
—Julie Wilson, The Bookworm, Omaha, NE

The Castle Behind Thorns
Merrie Haskell (Katherine Tegen Books)
“The castle has always been there, but it is hidden behind a hedge of impenetrable raspberry thorns. No one can even get close because the thorns destroy everything within reach, so you can imagine Sand's amazement when he wakes up inside it. Everything has been destroyed, but Sand is nothing if not resourceful and he slowly starts mending what he can in the broken castle. He finds the body of Perrotte on the floor of the crypt, and carefully puts her back in her tomb. Perrotte suddenly comes back to life and together they work to repair the castle and figure a way out of it. The story is cloaked in fantasy and magic that add to its appeal, but the lessons it teaches about relationships, forgiveness, and sometimes just doing what needs to be done are universal.”
—Janice Hunsche, Kaleidosaurus Books, Fishers, IN

The Greatest Star on Earth (Three-Ring Rascals)
Kate Klise, M. Sarah Klise (Illus.) (Algonquin Young Readers)
“The friends from Sir Sidney's Circus -- The Best Circus in the World -- are back for another adventure. Everyone except Sir Sidney is excited about a contest that will name one performer as the Greatest Star on Earth! Before long, Sir Sidney is not feeling well. A case of worrywarts means a week off --doctor's orders. But who will run the circus? And what about the contest? The perfect blend of gentle drama and humor and plenty of appealing art make The Greatest Star on Earth another winner in a terrific series!”
—Chris Rose, The Spirit Of '76 Bookstore, Marblehead, MA

I Kill the Mockingbird
Paul Acampora (Roaring Brook Press)
“Acampora writes a witty, heartfelt, and relatable story about three teenage bibliophiles who take it upon themselves to make the rest of their friends fall in love with Atticus, Boo, and Scout the way so many readers have. Incoming high school freshmen Lucy, Elena, and Michael decide that the best way to get their friends excited about To Kill a Mockingbird is to make it seem there is a master plot to make all copies of the book disappear! With charming main characters, endearing subplots, and witty storytelling, this book truly is a must-read for adults and young readers alike!”
—Erin Figel, pages: a bookstore, Manhattan Beach, CA

The Meaning of Maggie
Megan Jean Sovern (Chronicle Books)
“The best books are the ones that somehow get readers thinking and turning the page, page after page after page until it's well past midnight. Sovern's new book for middle grade readers is one of those books. I saw so much of myself in 11-year-old Maggie, and I was taken back instantly to that tricky middle school stage, when everything is possible yet also so very hard. Add to the story Maggie's dad's struggle with multiple sclerosis, and this becomes the must-read book of the summer!”
—Annie Jones, The Bookshelf, Thomasville, GA

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher
Dana Alison Levy (Delacorte Books for Young Readers)
“This is a laugh-out-loud story of a patchwork family that balances zany antics with heartfelt moments. Levy shares the story of two dads with four adopted sons, ages 12, 10, and 6. These boys are well-rounded; they like sports, reading, science, singing, adventures, and musical theatre. Like most parents, the dads oscillate between exasperation and unconditional love for their kids. Peppered with life lessons about learning to admit you were wrong, trying something new, and standing up for your family, this book will make you feel like you are inside a group hug.”
—Sara Hines, Eight Cousins, Falmouth, MA

The Qwikpick Papers: Poop Fountain
Tom Angleberger (Amulet Books)
“This is the most refreshing, fun middle grade book I've read in ages! Move over Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Angleberger's new series, The Qwikpick Papers, is coming through! This fantastic story is the first of a series that takes place before iPads and computers and involves three kids living normal lives, two of them in a trailer park in a rundown town. Not a story of huge adventure or thrilling mystery, it involves three friends making memories that will last a lifetime; those memories just happen to involve a very stinky, very gross poop fountain! Angleberger has written a gem!”
—Summer Moser, Summer's Stories, Kendallville, IN

The Return of Zita the Spacegirl
Ben Hatke (First Second)
“The final volume in the Zita the Spacegirl trilogy is here! Unfortunately, Zita is trapped on a prison planet with no hope of escape, forced to work while the prison warden plots to take over Earth. Luckily, Zita still has friends, but will they reach her in time? A fantastic conclusion to a stellar series. I can't wait to see what Hatke does next!”
—Marika McCoola, Northshire Bookstore Saratoga, Saratoga Springs, NY

Saving Lucas Biggs
Marisa de los Santos, David Teague (HarperCollins)
“H.G. Wells did not know the first thing about time travel according to Aunt Bridey, who understands time inside out. However, she refuses to help Margaret time-travel in order to stop the events that have led to Margaret's father being sentenced to death. Even her father, after being found guilty of arson and murder, has made Margaret swear to repeat the words handed down from previous generations: 'There is one Now: the spot where I stand, And one way the road goes: onward, onward.' Husband-and-wife team Teague and de los Santos offer a heart-warming, action-filled novel with a moral message about today's hydrofracking and yesterday's corrupt mining practices. History can repeat itself unless we dare to listen and learn from it.”
—Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

The Secret Hum of a Daisy
Tracy Holczer (Putnam Juvenile)
“When 12-year-old Grace's mother dies, she is reunited with her estranged grandmother in a rural town she has never even visited. As if grieving for her mom isn't hard enough, now Grace has to live with a woman who turned her back on Grace's mother years before, at a time she needed her most. It takes a mysterious treasure hunt, a new best friend with a quirky little brother, dozens of origami cranes, and a town welcoming her with open arms for Grace to come to terms with her new family and discover her true home. Poignant, endearing, and fresh, this beautifully told middle grade novel is full of wisdom and heart.”
—Krista Gilliam, Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, GA

Shipwreck Island
S.A. Bodeen (Feiwel & Friends)
“Sarah can't believe that her father has remarried. They were doing just fine and now she has a new step-mom and two new brothers. Taking a family vacation to get acquainted spells disaster for Sarah, but when their ocean sail turns into a shipwreck and they become stranded on an unknown island, Sarah and her new family are forced to band together. Strange sounds and weird creatures? Where exactly are they and how will they survive? This exciting adventure is the perfect summer read!”
—Holly Frakes, Schuler Books & Music, Okemos, MI

Still Life (The Books of Elsewhere)
Jacqueline West (Dial)
“The Books of Elsewhere end as they've developed -- with imagination, a creative heroine, engaging characters, and those wonderful cats! Still Life brings Olive's attempts to help Morton and Horatio's defense of the house to a head. I'm going to miss this world.”
—Rosemary Pugliese, Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC

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Teen Readers

Buzz Kill
Beth Fantaskey (HMH Books for Young Readers)
“Fantaskey really understands the personality of today's teens, and Buzz Kill has a believable heroine in a believable high school. Her references to the Nancy Drew books and their effect on high school amateur detective Millie add another dimension to the mystery. An entertaining read with plenty of twists and turns!”
—Betsy Rider, Otto's A Booklovers Paradise, Williamsport, PA

The Falconer
Elizabeth May (Chronicle Books)
“If Buffy 'The Vampire Slayer' Summers had been born a well-bred 19th century Scottish lady, she might have been Lady Aileana Kameron. Though Lady Aileana fights faeries rather than vampires, both young ladies have much in common: both try to be what society expects of them until fate and circumstances intervene; both attempt a veneer of normality, but rarely succeed; both are attracted to the one person they should never want; both have a loyal group of friends helping in their fight against evil. Whether you're a fan of steampunk, historical romance, or just chicks who kick serious butt, you're bound to find something to love in May's debut novel.”
—Billie Bloebaum, Powell's Books, Inc, Portland, OR

A Girl Called Fearless
Catherine Linka (St. Martins Griffin)
“Linka's excellent debut is set in a near future where an ovarian cancer-causing hormone has been injected into cattle and most women have died. The girls that are left are a highly prized commodity: sheltered, protected, and with ever-diminishing rights. Avie has never known anything different, but she's beginning to chafe against all the rules and regulations. She is running out of options: she can live a life of unhappy luxury, trapped in a gilded cage, or she can risk her life running for the Canadian border with the boy she loves, the one who nicknamed her 'Fearless.' Well-written, fast-paced, and Avie's story left me wanting more!”
—Lauren Peugh, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

Graduation Day (The Testing)
Joelle Charbonneau (HMH Books for Young Readers)
“Charbonneau's trilogy started strong with The Testing and got stronger still in Independent Study. Graduation Day is masterful! I cared so much for these characters, and wanted them to win with their souls unbroken. There will be comparisons to The Hunger Games and Divergent, but Charbonneau's books are more hopeful than either of those two series. And truly, without hope, what is the purpose of a future?”
—Keri Rojas, Cornerstone Cottage Kids, Hampton, IA

Life by Committee
Cory Ann Haydu (Katherine Tegen Books)
“This is an honest, romantic, and comical story about moving on from who you are to find who you could be. Sixteen-year-old Tabitha discovers a website community called Life By Committee -- a place that exists to help you become the best you can be. LBC members post a new secret each week and then are given 24 hours to complete and document a follow-up assignment. Tabitha's first secret: she kissed someone else's boyfriend. Her assignment: do it again. But that's only the beginning! With gorgeous prose and complex characters and driven by secrets, Life by Committee is a book that I couldn't put down!”
—Danielle B. Ellison, One More Page, Arlington, VA

Like No Other
Una LaMarche (Razorbill)
“I didn't think it was possible to have a realistic, believable Romeo-and-Juliet relationship in today's society--but LaMarche proved me wrong. She takes us into the minds and hearts of an inner-city youth and a Hasidic Jew who are accidentally thrown together in an elevator in a Brooklyn hospital when a hurricane hits. Both feel an attraction and are willing to risk it all-until their families and reality become an insurmountable obstacle. I loved everything about this smart, funny, and deeply moving novel.”
—beth reynolds, Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT

The One Safe Place
Tania Unsworth (Algonquin Young Readers)
“In a time of catastrophic storms and drought, Devin has been living happily with his grandfather on a still-productive farm. After his grandfather dies, Devin decides that he must journey to the city. He befriends a young urchin, Kit, whose wits and pluck have kept her alive on the streets. When they are whisked off to the Gabriel H. Penn Home for Childhood, they enter an unknown existence of plenty: unlimited toys, delicious food, and no worries. It seems too good to be true. And, of course, it is. Unsworth's story is relentlessly gripping, truly a hero's tale.”
—Chris Rose, The Spirit Of '76 Bookstore, Marblehead, MA

The Shadow Hero
Gene Luen Yang, Sonny Liew (Illus.) (First Second)
“In the 1940s, the first Asian-American superhero appeared: the Green Turtle. Yang revives this hero in an original creation story, complete with gangs and gods. The thrilling story is supplemented by back matter on the original Green Turtle as well as one of his original adventures, making it a superhero comic even suspicious teachers can appreciate!”
—Marika McCoola, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT

She Is Not Invisible
Marcus Sedgwick (Roaring Brook Press)
“Bright, young Laureth Peak, blind since birth, is on a mission to rescue her father. In tow is her six-year-old brother, Benjamin, and Benjamin's stuffed raven, Stan. On a journey that resounds with Dickensian bravado set to warp speed, Laureth is whisked through airports and shady bars, down darkened hotel hallways, and straight into the darkness of her own doubt. Even still, she must manage to salvage faith, both that her father is alive and that she and Benjamin will survive. Sedgwick's electric new novel will not only inspire readers to understand what it means to 'see' but also challenges them to see more closely.”
—Will Walton, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

Since You've Been Gone
Morgan Matson (Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
“Best friends Emily and Sloane are gearing up to have the best summer ever, but out of nowhere Sloane and her family suddenly leave town. All that Sloane has left behind for Emily is a list of activities that will push Emily out of her comfort zone. The only thing keeping Emily from giving up on the list is the notion that when it is completed, Sloane will come back. With budding friendships and unexpected help along the way, Matson's tale will keep you on the edge of your beach chair!”
—Clare Donovan, The River's End Bookstore, Oswego, NY

A Time to Dance
Padma Venkatraman (Nancy Paulsen Books)
“This beautiful book, written in verse, follows the life of a young girl who loves to dance. The struggles caused by her traditional Indian family's disapproval of her passion are compounded when disaster strikes and she loses a leg in a car accident. For anyone looking to be uplifted and inspired, this stunningly lyrical novel comes highly recommended!”
—Danica Ram, Townie Books, Crested Butte, CO

The Vanishing Season
Jodi Lynn Anderson (HarperTeen)
“A move from hectic Chicago to Gill Creek in Door County, Wisconsin, seems idyllic until Maggie reads about a teenage girl found drowned nearby. Three weeks later another girl is found drowned. And then another. And another. Maggie's best friend, Pauline, is shipped to her aunt's home until the killer is caught, and Liam, Pauline's boyfriend, suddenly becomes Maggie's boyfriend. What happens when the killer is caught and Pauline returns home? And who or what is hiding under Maggie's house waiting for another death? This is a haunting mystery about betrayal, redemption, and the power of true friendship.”
—Karen Briggs, Great Northern Books and Hobbies, Oscoda, MI

The Young World
Chris Weitz (Little, Brown Young Readers)
“In this debut from acclaimed film director Weitz, smart, edge-of-your-seat storylines weave action, suspense, rivalries, and the excruciating tensions of attraction, all in a New York City setting that is familiar but full of dangerous unknowns. The Young World is going to be the next dystopian novel for young adults to generate big buzz!”
—Ellen Lamb, The Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, NH

This One Summer
Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki (First Second)
“Jillian and Mariko Tamaki are an incredible team and their talents shine in this new graphic novel. The storyline deals with family dysfunction, pre-adolescent angst, and the shifting nature of friendship with real grace, and the art is subtle and gorgeous. This is a perfect next read for fans of Raina Telgemeier's Smile and Drama, or for any girl on the cusp of teen life.”
—Jenn Northington, WORD, Brooklyn, NY