Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Stars So Far, 2012

Elizabeth Bluemle - June 28, 2012

All right, Readers, we listened! Here once more is The Stars So Far, a project gathering all the year’s starred reviews for children’s and YA books from Booklist, The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, the Horn Book, Kirkus, Publishers Weekly, and School Library Journal (and VOYA — Voice of Youth Advocates — whose starred titles will be added in the next update).
Starred reviews are excellent guideposts, but they don’t tell the whole story, of course. There are amazing books out there that never receive a starred review but are popular and/or critical favorites nonetheless.
So far, I’ve logged 719 starred reviews, representing several hundred titles. This is a detail-laden process, and as careful as I try to be, there will be bobbles here and there. For instance, I try to cull all reviews of 2012 books from 2011 and 2012 review sources, but there were some technical difficulties accessing some data from Kirkus’s 2011 fall indexes; those are being corrected in the upcoming week.
Publishers, please alert me to any oversights at ebluemle AT, including the review sources and dates for the starred reviews. Thanks! Please do NOT send VOYA stars. As I mentioned above, the VOYA stars will be included in the next update. (Please also do not alert me of missing price and/or ISBN info from a correct title entry. This will be completed shortly.) Please note: starred reviews are counted only when they have been officially published by the review magazines, so if your book has an upcoming star, never fear; it will be included in a future update.
If you want the cleanest, most consistently formatted version of this list, check back here several days after the original post, when I’ll have been able to make any fixes.
Receiving a starred review is a rare and wonderful honor for a book and its creators, so we hope this list will be a handy resource for buyers of all stripes. The list was compiled from all the review sources by one little indie bookseller, not by Amazon or B&N, so if you are using this as a purchasing tool, please consider ordering from any of your favorite independents instead of a chain or online megastore. If you don’t have an indie near you, you can find independent bookstores that sell online at
Happy reading!
Code Name Verity. Elizabeth Wein. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99. 978-1-4231-5219-4
Fault in Our Stars, The. John Green. Dutton, $17.99. 978-0-525-47881-2
Z Is for Moose. Kelly Bingham, illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky. Greenwillow, $16.99. 978-0-06-079984-7
Green. Laura Vaccaro Seeger. Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99. 978-1-59643-397-7
Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: The Story Behind an American Friendship. Russell Freedman. Clarion, $18.99. 978-0-547-38562-4
and then it’s spring. Julie Fogliano, illus. by Erin E. Stead. Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99. 978-1-59643-624-4
Beetle Book, The. Steve Jenkins. Houghton Mifflin, $16.99. 978-0-547-68084-2
Bitterblue. Kristin Cashore. Dial, $19.99. 978-0-8037-3473-9
Black Hole Is NOT a Hole, A. Carolyn Cinami DeCristofano, illus. by Michael Carroll. Charlesbridge, $18.95. 9781570917837
Boy on Cinnamon Street, The. Phoebe Stone. Scholastic/Levine, $16.99. 978-0-545-21512-1
Brothers at Bat: The True Story of an Amazing All-Brother Baseball Team. Audrey Vernick, illus. by Steven Salerno. Clarion, $16.99. 978-0-547-38557-0
Chloe. Peter McCarty. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $16.99. 978-0-06-114291-8
Disenchantments, The. Nina LaCour. Dutton, $16.99. 978-0-525-42219-8
Drowned Cities, The. Paolo Bacigalupi. Little, Brown, $17.99. 978-0-316-05624-3
Dying to Know You. Aidan Chambers. Abrams/Amulet, $16.95. 978-1-4197-0165-8
Extra Yarn. Mac Barnett, illus. by Jon Klassen. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $16.99. 978-0-06-195338-5
Grave Mercy. Robin LaFevers. Houghton Mifflin, $16.99.  978-0-547-62834-9
Jimmy the Greatest! Jairo Buitrago, trans. from the Spanish by Elisa Amado, illus. by Rafael Yockteng. Groundwood, $18.95. 978-1-55498-178-6
Life in the Ocean: The Story of Oceanographer Sylvia Earle. Claire A. Nivola. FSG/Foster, $17.99. 978-0-374-38068-7
Miles to Go for Freedom: Segregation and Civil Rights in the Jim Crow Years. Linda Barrett Osborne. Abrams, $24.95. 978-1-4197-0020-0
Moonbird: A Year on the Wind with the Great Survivor B95. Phillip Hoose. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $21.99. 978-0-374-30468-3
No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller. Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Carolrhoda Lab, $17.95. 978-0-7613-6169-5
Seraphina. Rachel Hartman. Random, $17.99.  978-0-375-86656-2
Titanic: Voices from the Disaster. Deborah Hopkinson. Scholastic Press, $17.99. 978-0-545-11674-9
Traction Man and the Beach Odyssey. Mini Grey. Knopf, $16.99. 978-0-375-86952-5
Water Sings Blue: Ocean Poems. Kate Coombs, illus. by Meilo So. Chronicle, $16.99. 978-0-8118-7284-3
We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March. Cynthia Y. Levinson. Peachtree, $19.95. 978-1-56145-627-7
After the Snow. S.D. Crockett. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99. 978-0-312-64169-6
Auntie Yang’s Great Soybean Picnic. Ginnie Lo, illus. by Beth Lo. Lee & Low, $18.95. 9781600604423
Barnum’s Bones: How Barnum Brown Discovered the Most Famous Dinosaur in the World. Tracey Fern, illus. by Boris Kulikov. FSG/Ferguson, $17.99 (9780374305161
Beneath a Meth Moon. Jacqueline Woodson. Penguin/Paulsen, $16.99. 978-0-399-25250-1
Boy + Bot. Ame Dyckman, illus. by Dan Yaccarino. Knopf, $16.99. 978-0-375-86756-9
Caddy’s World. Hilary McKay. S&S/McElderry, $16.99. 978-1-4424-4105-7
Chaos, The. Nalo Hopkinson. S&S/McElderry, $16.99. 978-1-4169-5488-0
Chuck Close Face Book. Chuck Close. Abrams, $18.95. 978-1-4197-0163-4
Confusion of Princes, A. Garth Nix. HarperCollins, $17.99. 9780060096946
Crow. Barbara Wright. Random, $16.99. 978-0-375-86928-0
Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip. Jordan Sonnenblick. Scholastic Press, $17.99. 978-0-545-32069-6
Difference Between You and Me, The. Madeleine George. Viking, $16.99. 978-0-670-01128-5
Duckling Gets a Cookie, The!? Mo Willems. Hyperion, $15.99. 978-1-4231-5128-9
Fairy Ring, The: Or, Elsie and Frances Fool the World. Mary Losure. Candlewick, $16.99. 9780763656706
Final Four, The. Paul Volponi. Viking, $16.99. 9780670012640
Forget-Me-Nots: Poems to Learn by Heart. Selected by Mary Ann Hoberman, illus. by Michael Emberley. Little, Brown/Tingley, $19.99. 978-0-316-12947-3
Froi of the Exiles. Melina Marchetta. Candlewick, $18.99. 978-0-7636-4759-9
Greyhound of a Girl, A. Roddy Doyle. Abrams/Amulet, $16.95. 978-1-4197-0168-9
Hero of Little Street, The. Gregory Rogers. Porter/Roaring Brook.
Hide & Seek. Il Sung Na. Knopf, $15.99. 978-0-375-87078-1
Home for Bird, A. Philip C. Stead. Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99. 978-1-59643-711-1
Homer. Elisha Cooper. Greenwillow, $16.99. 978-0-06-201248-7
It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw. Don Tate, illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Lee & Low, $17.95. 9781600602603
Just Behave, Pablo Picasso! Jonah Winter, illus. by Kevin Hawkes. Scholastic/Levine, $18.99. 978-0-545-13291-6
Just Ducks! Nicola Davies, illus. by Salvatore Rubbino. Candlewick, $15.99. 978-0-7636-5936-3
Keeping the Castle. Patrice Kindl. Viking, $16.99. 978-0-670-01438-5
Kindred Souls. Patricia MacLachlan. HarperCollins/Tegen, $15.99. 978-0-06-052297-1
Lions of Little Rock, The. Kristin Levine. Putnam, $16.99. 978-0-399-25644-8
Master of Deceit: J. Edgar Hoover and America in the Age of Lies. Marc Aronson. Candlewick, $25.99. 978-0-7636-5025-4
Minette’s Feast: The Delicious Story of Julia Child and Her Cat. Susanna Reich, illus. by Amy Bates. Abrams, $16.95. 9781419701771
Miseducation of Cameron Post, The. Emily M. Danforth. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99. 978-0-06-202056-7
Mom, It’s My First Day of Kindergarten! Hyewon Yum. FSG/Foster, $16.99. 978-0-374-35004-8
Mr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire! Polly Horvath, illus. by Sophie Blackall. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $16.99. 978-0-375-86755-2
Never Fall Down. Patricia McCormick. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99. 978-0-06-173093-1
Obsidian Blade, The. Pete Hautman. Candlewick, $16.99. 978-0-7636-5403-0
Ocean Sunlight: How Tiny Plants Feed the Seas. Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm. Scholastic/Blue Sky, $18.99. 978-0-545-27322-0
Penny and Her Song. Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow, $12.99. 978-0-06-208195-7
Sadie and Ratz. Sonya Hartnett, illus. by Ann James. Candlewick, $14.99. 978-0-7636-5315-6
Second Life of Abigail Walker, The. Frances O’Roark Dowell. S&S/Atheneum, $16.99. 978-1-442-40593-6
Step Gently Out. Helen Frost, photos. by Rick Lieder. Candlewick, $15.99. 978-0-7636-5601-0
Summer of the Gypsy Moths. Sara Pennypacker. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $15.99.  978-0-06-196420-6
There Is No Dog. Meg Rosoff. Putnam, $17.99. 978-0-399-25764-3
Three Times Lucky. Sheila Turnage. Dial. $16.99 978080376702
To the Mountaintop: My Journey Through the Civil Rights Movement. Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Roaring Brook/Flash Point, $22.99. 978-1-59643-605-3
Waiting. Carol Lynch Williams. S&S/Wiseman, $16.99. 978-1-4424-4353-2
Wicked and the Just, The. Jillian Coats Anderson. Harcourt, $16.99. 9780547688374
Wonder. R.J. Palacio. Knopf, $15.99. 978-0-375-86902-0
1-2-3 Peas. Keith Baker. S&S/Beach Lane, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-4551-2
Amazing Adventures of John Smith, Jr. aka Houdini, The. Peter Johnson. Harper, $15.99. 9780061988905
Amazing Harry Kellar, The: Great American Magician. Gail G. Jarrow. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek, $17.95. 9781590788653
Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone. Kat Rosenfield. Dutton, $17.99. 978-0-525-42389-8
Animal Masquerade. Marianne Dubuc, trans. from the French by Yvette Ghione. Kids Can, $16.95. 978-1-55453-782-2
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Simon & Schuster, $16.99. 978-1-4424-0892-0
Ballerina Swan. Allegra Kent, illus. by Emily Arnold McCully. Holiday House, $16.95. 9780823423736
Beach Feet. Kiyomi Konagaya, trans. from the Japanese by Yuki Kaneko, illus. by Masamitsu Saito. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $14.95. 978-1-59270-121-6
Best Shot in the West: The Adventures of Nat Love. Patricia C. McKissack & Frederick L. McKissack, illus. by Randy DuBurke. Chronicle, $19.99. 9780811857499
Bon Appétit!: The Delicious Life of Julia Child. Jessie Hartland. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99. 978-0-375-86944-0
Brixen Witch, The. Stacy DeKeyser, illus. by John Nickle. S&S/McElderry, $15.99. 9781442433281
Bus Called Heaven, A. Bob Graham. Candlewick, $16.99. 9780763658939
Butterfly Clues, The. Kate Ellison. Egmont USA, $17.99. 9781606842638
Case of the Deadly Desperados, The. Caroline Lawrence. Putnam, $16.99. 9780399256332
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again. Frank Cottrell Boyce, illus. by Joe Berger. Candlewick, $15.99. 978-0-7636-5957-8
Chomp. Carl Hiaasen. Knopf, $16.99. 9780375868429
Chopsticks. Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral. Penguin/Razorbill, $19.99. 9781595144355
Demolition. Sally Sutton, illus. by Brian Lovelock. Candlewick, $15.99. 9780763658304
Dog in Charge. K.L. Going, illus. by Dan Santat. Dial, $16.99. 978-0-8037-3479-1
Double. Jenny Valentine. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99. 978-1-4231-4714-5
Dragonswood. Janet Lee Carey. Dial, $17.99. 9780803735040
Dunderheads Behind Bars, The. Paul Fleischman, illus. by David Roberts. Candlewick, $16.99. 978-0-7636-4543-4
Enchanted. Alethea Kontis. Harcourt, $16.99. 9780547645704
Explorer: The Mystery Boxes. ed. Kazu Kibuishi. Abrams/Amulet, $10.95. 9781419700095
Fantastic Jungles of Henri Rousseau, The. Michelle Markel, illus. by Amanda Hall. Eerdmans, $17. 978-0-8028-5364-6
Forgive Me, I Meant to Do It: False Apology Poems. Gail Carson Levine, illus. by Matthew Cordell. Harper, $15.99. 978-0-06-178725-6
Freedom Song: The Story of Henry “Box” Brown. Sally M. Walker, illus. by Sean Qualls. HarperCollins, $17.99. 9780060583101
Freedom’s a-Callin Me. Ntozake Shange, illus. by Rod Brown. Collins/Amistad, $16.99. 978-0-06-133741-3
Friends with Boys. Erin Faith Hicks. First Second, $15.99. 9781596435568
Gem. Holly Hobbie. Little, Brown, $16.99. 978-0-316-20334-0
Giants Beware. Rafael Rosado and Jorge Aguirre. Roaring Brook/First Second, $14.99. 978-1-59643-582-7
Girl with Borrowed Wings, The. Rinsai Rossetti. Dial, $16.99. 978-0-8037-3566-8
Girls of No Return. Erin Saldin. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine, $17.99. 9780545310260
Great Cake Mystery, The: Precious Ramotswe’s Very First Case. Alexander McCall Smith, illus. by Iain McIntosh. Random/Anchor, $12.99. 978-0-307-74389-3
Hades: Lord of the Dead, Book 4. (Olympians Series). George O’Connor. First Second/Porter, $16.99 9781596437616. pb. $9.99, 9781596434349
Hans My Hedgehog: A Tale from the Brothers Grimm. Kate Coombs, illus. by John Nickle. S&S/Atheneum, $16.99. 978-1-4169-1533-1
Hero’s Guide to Saving Your Kingdom, The. Christopher Healy, illus. by Todd Harris. HarperCollins/Walden Pond, $16.99. 978-0-06-211743-4
Heroes of the Surf. Elisa Carbone, illus. by Nancy Carpenter. Viking. $16.99. 9780670063123
Humming Room, The. Ellen Potter. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-312-64438-3
I Know a Wee Piggy. Kimberly Norman, illus. by Henry Cole. Dial, $16.99. 978-0-8037-3735-8
I Lay My Stitches Down: Poems of American Slavery. Cynthia Grady, illus. by Michele Wood. Eerdmans, $17. 9780802853868
I’ll Save You Bobo! Eileen Rosenthal, illus. by Marc Rosenthal. S&S/Atheneum, $14.99. 978-1-4424-0378-9
I’ve Lost My Hippopotamus. Jack Prelutsky, illus. by Jackie Urbanovic. Greenwillow, $18.99.  978-0-06-201457-3
Impossible Rescue, The: The True Story of an Amazing Arctic Adventure. Martin W. Sandler. Candlewick, $17.99. 97807636508
Jack and the Baked Beanstalk. Colin Stimpson. Candlewick/Templar, $15.99. 978-0-7636-5563-1
Jazz Age Josephine. Jonah Winter, illus. by Marjorie Priceman. S&S/Atheneum, $16.99. 978-1-4169-6123-9
Kali’s Song. Jeanette Winter. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99. 978-0-375-87022-4
Kepler’s Dream. Juliet Bell. Putnam, $16.99. 9780399256455
Laundry Day. Maurie J. Manning. Clarion, $16.99. 978-0-547-24196-8
Liar & Spy. Rebecca Stead. Random/Lamb, $15.99. 978-0-385-73743-2
Lies, Knives, and Girls in Red Dresses. Ron Koertge, illus. by Andrea Dezsö. Candlewick, $17.99. 978-0-7636-4406-2
List, The. Siobhan Vivian. Scholastic/Push, $17.99. 978-0-545-16917-2
Listen to My Trumpet! Mo Willems. (An Elephant & Piggie Book). Hyperion, $8.99. 9781423154044
Little Bird. Germano Zullo, illus. by Albertine. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $16.95. 978-1-59270-118-6
Little Dog Lost: The True Story of a Brave Dog Named Baltic. Mônica Carnesi. Penguin/Paulsen, $15.99. 9780399256660
Little Dog, Lost. Marion Dane Bauer. S&S/Atheneum, $14.99. 9781442434233
Looking at Lincoln. Maira Kalman. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99. 978-0-399-24039-3
Magritte’s Marvelous Hat. D.B. Johnson. Houghton Mifflin, $16.99. 978-0-547-55864-6
Marathon. Boaz Yakin, illus. by Joe Infurnari. First Second, $16.99. 9781596436800
Marching to the Mountaintop: How Poverty, Labor Fights, and Civil Rights Set the Stage for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Final Hours. Ann Bausum. National Geographic, $19.95. 9781426309397
May B. Caroline Starr Rose. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $15.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-58246-393-3
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. Jesse Andrews. Abrams/Amulet, $16.95. 9781419701764
Me and Momma and Big John. Mara Rockliff, illus. by William Low. Candlewick, $16.99. 978-0-7636-4359-1
Meet Me at the Moon. Gianna Marino. Viking, $16.99. 978-0-670-01313-5
Mighty Mars Rovers, The: The Incredible Adventures of Spirit and Opportunity. Elizabeth Rusch. Houghton, $18.99. 9780547478814
Mighty Miss Malone, The. Christopher Paul Curtis. Random/Lamb, $15.99. 978-0-385-73491-2
Mister Death’s Blue-Eyed Girls. Mary Downing Hahn. Clarion, $16.99. 978-0-547-76062-9
Mooshka: A Quilt Story. Julie Paschkis. Peachtree, $16.95. 9781561456208
Mrs. Harkness and the Panda. Alicia Potter, illus. by Melissa Sweet. Knopf, $16.99. 9780375844485
My Family for the War. Anne C. Voorhoeve, trans. from German by Tammi Reichel. Dial, $17.99. 9780803733602
No Go Sleep! Kate Feiffer, illus. by Jules Feiffer. S&S/Wiseman, $16.99. 978-1-4424-1683-3
Now. Morris Gleitzman. Holt, $16.99. 978-0-8050-9378-0
Oh No! Not Again! (Or How I Built a Time Machine to Save History) (Or At Least My History Grade). Mac Barnett, illus. by Dan Santat. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99. 978-1-4231-4912-5
On the Day I Died: Stories from the Grave. Candace Fleming. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $16.99. 978-0-375-86781-1
One and Only Ivan. Katherine Applegate, illus. by Patricia Castelao. HarperCollins, $16.99. 9780061992254
One Cool Friend. Toni Buzzeo, illus. by David Small. Dial, $16.99. 978-0-8037-3413-5
Question Boy Meets Little Miss Know-It-All. Peter Catalanotto. S&S/Atheneum/Jackson, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-0670-4
Radiant Days. Elizabeth Hand. Viking, $17.99. 978-0-670-01135-3
Railsea. China Miéville. Del Rey, $18. 978-0-345-52452-2
Remarkable. Lizzie K. Foley. Dial, $16.99. 9780803737068
Rocket Writes a Story. Tad Hills. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99. 978-0-375-87086-6
Same Sun Here. Silas House and Neela Vaswani. Candlewick, $15.99. 978-0-7636-5684-3
Shark King, The. R. Kikuo Johnson. Candlewick/Toon, $12.95. 9781935179160
Small Damages. Beth Kephart. Philomel, $17.99. 978-0-399-25748-3
Splendors and Glooms. Laura Amy Schlitz. Candlewick, $17.99. 9780763653804
Surfer Chick. Kristy Dempsey, illus. by Henry Cole. Abrams, $16.95. 9781419701887
Team Human. Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan. HarperTeen, $17.99. 978-0-0620-8964-9
Those Rebels, John & Tom. Barbara Kerley, illus. by Edwin Fotheringham. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-545-22268-6
Throne of Glass. Sarah J. Maas. Bloomsbury, $17.99. 978-1-59990-695-9
Tiger Lily. Jodi Lynn Anderson. HarperTeen, $17.99. 978-0-06-200325-6
Tracing Stars. Erin E. Moulton. Philomel, $16.99. 9780399256967
Try Not to Breathe. Jennifer R. Hubbard. Viking, $16.99. 978-0-670-01390-6
Two Crafty Criminals! And How They Were Captured by the Daring Detectives of the New Cut Gang. Philip Pullman, illus. by Martin Brown. Knopf, $16.99. 9780375870293
Under the Never Sky. Veronica Rossi. HarperCollins, $17.95. 9780062072030
Virginia Wolf. Kyo Maclear, illus. by Isabelle Arsenault. Kids Can Press, $16.95. 9781554536498
We March. Shane W. Evans. Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99. 9781596435391
Words Set Me Free: The Story of Young Frederick Douglass. Lesa Cline Ransome, illus. by James E. Ransome. S&S/Wiseman, $16.99. 978-1-4169-5903-8
Year of the Beasts, The. Cecil Castellucci, illus. by Nate Powell. Roaring Brook. $16.99. 9781596436862
Above. Leah Bobet. Scholastic/Levine, $17.99. 978-0-545-29670-0
Adventures of Beanboy, The. Lisa Harkrader. Houghton, $9.99. 9780547550787
Adventures of Sir Balin the Ill-Fated. Gerald Morris, illus. by Aaron Renier. Houghton, $14.99. 9780547680859
All by Myself! Geraldine Collet, illus. by Coralie Saudo. Owlkids, $15.95. 9781926973128
All for Me and None for All. Helen Lester, illus. by Lynn Munsinger. Houghton. $16.99. 9780547688343
All the Right Stuff. Walter Dean Myers. HarperCollins/Amistad, $17.99. 978-0-06-196087-1
All These Lives. Sarah Wylie. FSG/Ferguson, $17.99. 978-0-374-30208-5
Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller. Joseph Lambert, illus. by Joseph Lambert. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99. 9781423113362
Another Brother. Matthew Cordell. Feiwel & Friends, $16.99. 9780312643249
Apple. Nikki McClure. Abrams Appleseed, $12.95. 978-1-4197-0378-2
Arlo Needs Glasses. Barney Saltzberg. Workman, $15.95. 978-0-7611-6879-9
Arthur’s Dream Boat. Polly Dunbar. Candlewick, $15.99. 9780763658670
Aung San Suu Kyi (Champion of Freedom). Sherry O’Keefe, illus. by Morgan Reynolds. Morgan Reynolds, $24.99.  9781599353135
B Is for Brooklyn. Selina Alko. Holt/Ottaviano, $16.99. 978-0-8050-9213-4
Baby Bear Sees Blue. Ashley Wolff. S&S/Beach Lane, $16.99. 978-1-4424-1306-1
Baby’s in Black: Astrid Kirchherr, Stuart Sutcliffe, and the Beatles. Arne Bellstorf; trans. from the German by Michael Waaler. First Second/Roaring Brook, $24.99. 9781596437715
Backseat A-B-See. Maria van Lieshout. Chronicle, $14.99. 9781452106649
Ballywhinney Girl. Eve Bunting, illus. by Emily Arnold McCully. Clarion, $16.99. 978-0-547-55843-1
Bea at Ballet. Rachel Isadora. Paulsen/Penguin, $12.99. 9780399254093
Betty Bunny Wants Everything. Michael B. Kaplan, illus. by Stéphane Jorisch. Dial, $16.99. 978-0-8037-3408-1
Big Adventure of the Smalls, The. Helen Stephens. S&S/Aladdin, $15.99. 978-1-4424-5058-5
Birthday Suit. Olive Senior, illus. by Eugenie Fernandes. Annick Press, $19.95. 9781554513697 pb. $8.95, 9781554513680
Black Boy White School. Brian F. Walker. HarperTeen, $17.99. 9780061914836
Black Heart (Curse Workers 03). Holly Black. S&S/McElderry, $17.99. 9781442403468
Blue Sky. Audrey Wood. Scholastic/Blue Sky, $16.99. 9780545316101
Book of Blood and Shadow, The. Robin Wasserman. Knopf, $17.99. 978-0-375-86876-4
Boy and a Bear in a Boat, A. Dave Shelton. Random/Fickling, $16.99. 9780385752480
Boy Called Dickens, A. Deborah Hopkinson, illus. by John Hendrix. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99. 9780375867323
Boy21. Matthew Quick. Little, Brown, $17.99. 9780316127974
Bridget and Bo Build a Blog. Amanda St. John, illus. by Katie McDee. Norwood, library edition, $25.27. 9781599535074
Bronte Sisters, The: The Brief Lives of Charlotte, Emily, and Anne. Catherine Reef. Clarion, $18.99. 9780547579665
Burn Mark. Laura Powell. Bloomsbury USA, $17.99. 9781599908434
BZRK. Michael Grant. Egmont, $17.99. 9781606843123
Camping Trip That Changed America, The. Barb Rosenstock, illus. by Mordicai Gerstein. Dial, $16.99. 9780803737105
Captain Awesome to the Rescue. Stan Kirby, llus. by George O’Connor. S&S/Little Simon, $14.99. 9781442440906. pb $4.99 9781442435612
Castle of Shadows. Ellen Renner, illus. by Wilson Swain. Houghton, $15.99. 9780547744469
Catch & Release. Blythe Woolston. Carolrhoda, $17.95. 9780761377559
Cecil the Pet Glacier. Matthea Harvey, illus. by Giselle Potter. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99. 978-0-375-86773-6
Cheesie Mack Is Cool in a Duel. Steve Cotler, illus. by Adam McCauley. Random House, $15.99. 9780375864384
Children and the Wolves, The. Adam Rapp. Candlewick, $16.99. 9780763653378
Chloe and the Lion. Mac Barnett, illus. by Adam Rex. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99. 9781423113348
Cinder. Marissa Meyer. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99. 978-0-312-64189-4
Cloud Spinner, The. Michael Catchpool, illus. by Alison Jay. Knopf, $16.99. 9780375870118
Code of Silence: Living a Lie Comes with a Price. Tim Shoemaker. Zonderkidz. $14.99 9780310726531
Cold Cereal. Adam Rex. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray, $16.99. 9780062060020
Crater. Helium-3, Bk. 1. Homer Hickam. Thomas Nelson, $14.99. 9781595546647
Creep and Flutter: The Secret World of Insects and Spiders. Jim Arnosky. Sterling, $14.95. 978-1-4027-7766-0
Crogan’s Loyalty. Chris Schweizer. Oni. $14.99 9781934964408
Daredevil, v.1. Mark Waid, illus. by Paolo Rivera. Marvel, $19.99. 9780785152378
Dark Eyes. William Harlan Richter. Penguin/Razorbill, $17.99. 9781595144577
Day by Day. Susan Gal. Knopf, $16.99. 9780375869594
Devine Intervention. Martha Brockenbrough. Scholastic/Levine, $17.99. 9780545382137
Diamond in the Desert, A. Kathryn Fitzmaurice. Viking, $16.99. 9780670012923
Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Michael J. Martin. Morgan Reynolds, library edition, $28.95 (9781599351698).
Dinosaur Thunder. Marion Dane Bauer, illus. by Margaret Chodos-Irvine. Scholastic Press, $16.99. 978-0-590-45296-0
Dog Loves Drawing. Louise Yates. Knopf, $16.99. 9780375870675
Don’t Squish the Sasquatch! Kent Redecker, illus. by Bob Staake. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99. 9781423152323
Don’t Copy Me! Jonathan Allen. Boxer Bks., dist. by Sterling, $16.95. 9781907967207
Dragonborn. Toby Forward. Bloomsbury, $16.99. 978-1-59990-724-6
Dragons Love Tacos. Adam Rubin, illus. by Daniel Salmieri. Dial, $16.99. 978-0-8037-3680-1
Drama. Raina Telgemeier with colors by Gurihiru. Scholastic Graphix, $10.99. 978-0-545-32699-5
Earwig and the Witch. Diana Wynne Jones, illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky. Greenwillow, $15.99. 978-0-06-207511-6
Edgar Allan Poe’s Pie: Math Puzzlers in Classic Poems. J. Patrick Lewis, illus. by Michael Slack. Harcourt, $16.99. 978-0-547-51338-6
Eep! Joke van Leeuwen. Translated by Bill Nagelkerke. Gecko, $7.95. 9781877579073
Embrace. Jessica Shirvington. Sourcebooks, $9.99. 9781402271250
Emperor of Time. Gregory King, illus. by Holly Wood. Weston & Wright, $21.95. 9780965693226
Erebos. Ursula Poznanski, trans. from the German by Judith Pattinson. Annick (Firefly, dist.), $29.95. 978-1-55451-373-4
Everything You Need to Survive the Apocalypse. Lucas Klauss. S&S/Simon Pulse, $16.99. 9781442423886
Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict, The. Trenton Lee Stewart, illus. by Diana Sudyka. Little, Brown/Tingley, $17.99. 780316176194
Failstate. John W. Otte. Marcher Lord (, $15.99. 978-1-935929-48-2
Falcon. Tim Jessell. Random, $17.99. 978-0-375-86866-5
Fall from Grace. Charles Benoit. HarperTeen, $17.99. 978-0-06-194707-0
False Prince, The. Jennifer A. Nielsen. Scholastic Press, $16.99. 978-0-545-28413-4
Fish Had a Wish. Michael Garland. Holiday House, $14.95. 9780823423941
Five Funny Bunnies: Three Bouncing Tales. Jean Van Leeuwen, illus. by Anne Wilsdorf. Marshall Cavendish, $17.99. 9780761461142
Five Lives of Our Cat Zook. Joanne Rocklin. Abrams/Amulet. $16.96. 9780823424009
Flying the Dragon. Natalie Dias Lorenzi, illus. by Kelly Murphy. Charlesbridge, $16.95. 9781580894340
For Darkness Shows the Stars. Diana Peterfreund. HarperCollins/Balzer & Bray, $17.99. 9780062006141
Fox Tails: Four Fables from Aesop. Amy Lowry, illus. by Amy Lowry. Holiday. $16.95 9780823424009
Fracture. Megan Miranda. Walker, $17.99. 978-0-8027-2309-3
Freaky Fast Frankie Joe. Lutricia Clifton. Holiday House, $16.95. 9780823423675
Frogs!: Strange and Wonderful. Laurence Pringle, illus. by Meryl Henderson. Boyds Mills, $16.95. 9781590783719
Further Tale of Peter Rabbit, The. Emma Thompson, illus. by Eleanor Taylor. Penguin/Warne, $20. 978-0-7232-6910-6
George Bellows: Painter with a Punch! Robert Burleigh. Abrams, $18.95. 978-1-4197-0166-5
Georgia in Hawaii: When Georgia O’Keeffe Painted What She Pleased. Amy Novesky, illus. by Yuyi Morales. Harcourt, $16.99. 978-0-15-205420-5
Giant and How He Humbugged America, The. Jim Murphy. Scholastic. $19.99 9780439691840
Gideon. Olivier Dunrea. Houghton, $9.99. 9780618436613
Girl in the Park, The. Mariah Fredericks. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $16.99. 978-0-375-86843-6
Go Out and Play! Kaboom! illus. by Julianna Rose. Candlewick, $11.99. 9780763655303
Goblin Secrets. William Alexander. S&S/McElderry, $16.99. 9781442427266
Golden Ass of Lucius Apuleius, The. adapted by M.D. Usher, illus. by T. Motley. Godine, $17.95. 9781567924183
Golden Prince, The. Arthur Felix, illus. by Jenny Capon. Inside Pocket Publishing, $7.99. 9780956712233
Goldilocks and Just One Bear. Leigh Hodgkinson. Candlewick/Nosy Crow, $15.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7636-6172-4
Grave Robber’s Apprentice, The. Allan Stratton. Harper, $16.99. 9780061976087
Great Unexpected, The. Sharon Creech. HarperCollins, $16.99. 9780061892325
Hamsters Holding Hands. Kass Reich. Orca, $9.95. 978-1-4598-0123-3
Happy Like Soccer. Maribeth Boelts, illus. by Lauren Castillo. Candlewick, $15.99. 978-0-7636-4616-5
Happy Little Yellow Box, The: A Pop-up Book of Opposites. David A. Carter. S&S/Little Simon, $12.99. 978-1-4169-4096-8
Happy. Mies van Hout. Lemniscaat USA, $17.95. 978-1-9359-5414-9
Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills. Renee Watson, illus. by Christian Robinson. Random, $17.99 9780375869730
Here Come the Girl Scouts! The Amazing All-True Story of Juliette Daisy Gordon Low and Her Great Adventure. Shana Corey, illus. by Hadley Hooper. Scholastic, $17.99. 9780545342780
Hilda and the Midnight Giant. Luke Pearson. Nobrow (Consortium, dist.), $24. 978-1-907704-25-3
Hippopposites. Janik Coat. Abrams Appleseed, $14.95. 978-1-4197-0151-1
His Name Was Raoul Wallenberg. Louise Borden. Houghton, $18.99. 9780618507559
Hope and Tears: Ellis Island Voices. Gwenyth Swain. Boyds Mills/Calkins Creek, $17.95. 978-1-59078-765-6
Horse and the Plains Indians, The: A Powerful Partnership. Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, photos by William Muñoz. Clarion, $17.99. 9780547125510
Horse Camp. Nicole Helget and Nate LeBoutillier. Egmont, $15.99. 9781606843512
Horten’s Miraculous Mechanisms: Magic, Mystery, & a Very Strange Adventure. Lissa Evans. Sterling, $14.95. 9781402798061
House Held Up by Trees. Ted Kooser, illus. by Jon Klassen. Candlewick, $16.99. 9780763651077
How Many Jelly Beans? A Giant Book of Giant Numbers!Andrea Menotti, illus. by Yancey Labat. Chronicle, $18.99. 978-1-4521-0206-1
Hueys in the New Sweater, The. Oliver Jeffers. Penguin/Philomel, $10.99. 9780399257674
Human Body Factory: The Nuts and Bolts of Your Insides. Dan Green, illus. by Edmond Davis. Kingfisher, $16.99. 978-0-7534-6808-1
I Am Thomas. Libby Gleeson, illus. by Armin Greder. IPG/Allen & Unwin.
I Don’t Believe It, Archie! Andrew Norriss, illus. by Hannah Shaw. Random/Fickling, $12.99 (9780385752503)
I Have the Right to Be a Child. Alain Serres, trans. by Helen Mixter, illus. by Aurelia Fronty. Groundwood, $18.95. 9781554981496
I Hunt Killers. Barry Lyga. Little, Brown, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-316-12584-0
I Like Old Clothes. Mary Ann Hoberman, illus. by Patrice Barton. Knopf.
I Saw a Peacock with a Fiery Tail. Ramsingh Urveti. Tara Books, $17.50. 9789380340142
I, Galileo. Bonnie Christensen. Knopf, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-375-86753-8
I, Too, Am America. Langston Hughes, illus. by Bryan Collier. Simon & Schuster, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-2008-3
If All the Animals Came Inside. Eric Pinder, illus. by Marc Brown. Little, Brown.
Illuminate: A Gilded Wings Novel, Book One. Aimee Agresti. Harcourt, $17.99. 9780547626147
Immortal Rules, The. Julie Kagawa. Harlequin Teen, $18.99 (496p) ISBN 978-0-3732-1051-0
In Darkness. Nick Lake. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-59990-743-7
In the Sea. David Elliott, illus. by Holly Meade. Candlewick, $16.99 (9780763644987).
Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, Book III: The Unseen Guest. Maryrose Wood. HarperCollins/Balzer and Bray, $15.99  9780061791185
Invincible Microbe: Tuberculosis and the Never-Ending Search for a Cure. Jim Murphy and Alison Blank. Clarion, $18.99. 9780618535743
Irises. Francisco X. Stork. Scholastic/Levine, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-545-15135-1
Island of Thieves. Josh Lacey. Houghton. $15.99 9780547763279
It’s Raining, It’s Pouring (with CD). Christine Davenier. Performed by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Imagine/Peter Yarrow, $17.95. 9781936140770
Jake and Lily. Jerry Spinelli. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $15.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-028135-9
Jean Laffite: The Pirate Who Saved America. Susan Goldman Rubin, illus. by Jeff Himmelman. Abrams, $18.95 (48p) ISBN 978-0-8109-9733-2
Jersey Angel. Beth Ann Bauman. Random/Lamb, $15.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-385-74020-3
Justin Case: Shells, Smells, and the Horrible Flip-Flops of Doom. Rachel Vail, illus. by Matthew Cordell. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99. 9781250000811
Kaleidoscope. Salina Yoon. Little, Brown, $12.99 (18p) ISBN 978-0-316-18641-4
Kids of Kabul. Deborah Ellis. Groundwood.
Kill Switch. Chris Lynch. Simon & Schuster. $16.99 (9781416927020
King Arthur’s Very Great Grandson. Kenneth Kraegel. Candlewick, $15.99 ISBN 978-0-7636-5311-8
Kite Day. Will Hillenbrand. Holiday House.
Larf. Ashley Spires. Kids Can, $16.95 9781554537013
Laugh with the Moon. Shana Burg. Delacorte.
Leo Geo. Jon Chad. Roaring Brook.
Leopard Boy, The. Julia Johnson, illus. by Marisa Lewis. Frances Lincoln, $8.99. 9781847802132
Letter Q: Queer Writers’ Notes to Their Younger Selves. Sarah Moon. Scholastic/Levine. $17.99 (9780545399326).
Letters to Leo. Amy Hest, illus. by Julia Denos. Candlewick.
Lia’s Guide to Winning the Lottery. Keren David. Frances Lincoln, $16.99. 9781847803313
Little Rock Girl 1957 (Captured History series). Shelley Tougas. Compass Point.
Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the World. Jacqueline K. Ogburn, illus. by Chris Raschka. Houghton, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-547-42862-8
Long Lankin. Lindsey Barraclough. Candlewick, $16.99. 9780763658083
Love & Leftovers. Sarah Tregay. HarperCollins/Tegen.
Machines Go to Work in the City. William Low. Holt.
Madhattan Mystery. John J. Bonk. Walker. $16.99 (9780802723499
Mario Makes a Move. Jill McElmurry. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-375-86854-2
Martin de Porres: The Rose in the Desert. Gary D. Schmidt, illus. by David Diaz. Clarion. $16.99 9780547612188
Martin on the Moon. Martine Audet, illus. by Luc Melanson. Owlkids, $15.95. 9781926973166
Marty McGuire Digs Worms! Kate Messner, illus. by Brian Floca. Scholastic, $17.99. 9780545142458 pb $5.99 9780545142472
Maudie and Bear. Jan Ormerod, illus. by Ferya Blackwood. Putnam. $16.99 (9780399257094).
Million Suns, A: An Across the Universe Novel. Beth Revis. Razorbill, $17.99. 9781595143983
Money in Sports. Nick Hunter. Heinemann. hardcover, $34 (9781432959777); Raintree, paperback, $9 (9781432959821).
Monkey Colors. Darrin Lunde, illus. by Patricia J. Wynne. Charlesbridge, $15.95 9781570917417. pb. $6.95 9781570917424
Monster Returns, The. Peter McCarty. Holt, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9030-7
Monument 14. Emmy Laybourne. Feiwel and Friends, $16.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-312-56903-7
Moon Pie. Simon Mason. Random/Fickling.
Moonlight. Helen V. Griffith, illus. by Laura Dronzek. Greenwillow.
More. I.C. Springman, illus. by Brian Lies. Houghton.
Mrs. Noodlekugel. Daniel Pinkwater, illus. by Adam Stower. Candlewick, $14.99 (80p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5053-7
My Dad Is Big and Strong, BUT…: A Bedtime Story. Coralie Saudo, trans. from the French by Claudia Bedrick, illus. by Kris DiGiacomo. Enchanted Lion (Consortium, dist.), $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59270-122-3
My Life Next Door. Huntley Fitzpatrick. Dial, $16.99 ISBN 978-0-8037-3699-3
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece. Annabel Pitcher. Little, Brown, $17.99. 9780316176903
My Snake Blake. Randy Siegel, illus. by Serge Bloch. Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99. 9781596435841
Nanny Piggins and the Wicked Plan. R.A. Spratt, illus. by Dan Santat. Little, Brown, $16.99. 9780316199230
National Parks: A Kid’s Guide to America’s Parks, Monuments, and Landmarks. Erin McHugh, illus. by Neal Aspinall et al. Black Dog and Leventhal, $19.95 (128p) ISBN 978-1-57912-884-5
New Year’s Reunion, A. Yu Li-Qiong, illus. by Zhu Cheng-Liang. Candlewick.
Obstinate Pen, The. Frank W. Dormer. Holt.
Oliver. Judith Rossell. HarperCollins, $16.99. 9780062022103
Olivia and the Fairy Princesses. Ian Falconer. S&S/Atheneum, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4424-5027-1
Olivia Bean, Trivia Queen. Donna Gephardt. Delacorte, $16.99. 9780385740524
One for the Murphys. Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Putnam/Paulsen, $16.99. 9780399256158
One Special Day. Lola M. Schaefer, illus. by Jessica Meserve. Disney-Hyperion.
One Two That’s My Shoe! Alison Murray. Disney-Hyperion.
Otto the Book Bear. Katie Cleminson. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99. 9781423145622
Out of the Way! Out of the Way! Uma Krishnaswami. Groundwood, $17.95. 9781554981304
Out on the Prairie. Donna M. Bateman, illus. by Susan Swan. Charlesbridge, $15.95. 9781580893770 pb. $7.95 9781580893787
Outside Your Window: A First Book of Nature. Nicola Davies, illus. by Mark Hearld. Candlewick, $19.99 (108p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5549-5
Paiute Princess: The Story of Sarah Winnemucca. Deborah Kogan Ray. FSG/Foster, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-374-39897-2
Pandemonium. Lauren Oliver. HarperCollins, $17.99. 9780061978067
Pandemonium. Chris Wooding, illus. by Cassandra Diaz. Scholastic/Graphix, $22.99. 9780545252218. pb $12.99. 9780439877596
Passion for Victory, A: The Story of the Olympics in Ancient and Early Modern Times. Benson Bobrick. Knopf. $19.99 ISBN 9780375868696
Peculiars, The. Maureen Doyle McQuerry. Abrams/Amulet, $16.95 ISBN 9781419701788
Perfect Escape. Jennifer Brown. Little, Brown, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-316-18557-8
Pete’s Robot (iPad app). Heartdrive Media.
Pig Pig Meets the Lion. David McPhail. Charlesbridge, $15.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-58089-358-9
Piggy Bunny. Rachel Vail, illus. by Jeremy Tankard. Feiwel and Friends, $14.99. ISBN 978-0-312-64988-3
Pink Smog: Becoming Weetzie Bat. Francesca Lia Block. HarperTeen, $17.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-06-156598-4
Pip’s Trip. Janet Morgan Stoeke. Dial.
Pirate Cinema. Cory Doctorow. Tor, $19.99 9780765329080
Poem Runs: Baseball Poems and Paintings. Douglas Florian. Harcourt, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-547-68838-1
President’s Stuck in the Bathtub, The: Poems About the Presidents. Susan Katz, illus. by Robert Neubecker. Clarion.
Prince Albert and the Doomsday Device. Clive London. Zova, $14.99. 9780615510569
Promise the Night. Michaela Maccoll. Chronicle.
Quarantine: The Loners. Lex Thomas. Egmont. $17.99 (9781606843291
Rachel’s Secret. Shelly Sanders. Second Story. $12.95. (9781926920375)
Raja: Story of a Racehorse. Anne Hambleton. Old Bow Publishing, $12.95. 9780615540290
Rebel McKenzie. Candice Ransom. Disney-Hyperion. $16.99. 9781423145394
Red Knit Cap Girl. Naoko Stoop. Little, Brown, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-12946-6
Red, White and Boom! Lee Wardlaw, illus. by Huy Voun Lee. Holt.
Revenge of the Dinotrux. Chris Gall. Little, Brown, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-316-13288-6
Rock God. Barnabas Miller. Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky.
Ruby Redfort: Look into My Eyes. Lauren Child. Candlewick, $16.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5120-6
Scarlet. A.C. Gaughen. Walker. $17.99 (9780802723468)
Secret Letters. Leah Scheier. Disney-Hyperion.
Secret of the Manhattan Project, The. Doreen Gonzales. Enslow, library edition, $31.93 (9780766039544)
Secret Tree, The. Natalie Standiford. Scholastic Press, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-545-33479-2
Secrets of the Garden. Kathleen Weidner Zoehfeld, illus. by Priscilla Lamont. Knopf.
See You at Harry’s. Jo Knowles. Candlewick, $16.99. 9780763654078
Shadow and Bone. Leigh Bardugo. Holt.
Ship of Souls. Zetta Elliott. AmazonEncore, paperback, $9.95 9781612182681.
Silence of Our Friends, The. Mark Long and Jim Demonakos; illus. by Nate Powell. First Second/Roaring Brook, $16.99.  ISBN 978-1-59643-618-3
Sisters of Glass. Stephanie Hemphill. Knopf. $16.99 (9780375861093
Slide. Jill Hathaway. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-207790-5
Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am. Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis. Simon & Schuster, $15.99. 9781416938958
Son. Lois Lowry. Houghton, $17.99 9780547887203
Soonchild. Russell Hoban, illus. by Alexis Deacon. Candlewick, $15.99 (144p) ISBN 978-0-7636-5920-2
Sophie’s Fish. A.E. Cannon, illus. by Lee White. Viking, $15.99. 9780670012916
Squid and Octopus: Friends for Always. Tao Nyeu. Dial. $16.99. 9780803735651
Steve Jobs: The Man Who Thought Different. Karen Blumenthal. Feiwel and Friends, hardcover, $16.99 (9781250015570); Feiwel and Friends, paperback, $8.99 (9781250014450). Grades 7-10
Story of Things, The: From the Stone Age to the Modern Age in 10 Pop-Up Spreads. Neal Layton, paper engineering by Corina Fletcher. Hodder (IPG/Trafalgar Sq., dist.), $19.99 (22p) ISBN 978-0-340-94532-2
Story of Us, The. Deb Caletti. S&S/Simon Pulse, $16.99 9781442423466
Storyteller, The. Michaelis, Antonia (author), trans. by Miriam Debbage. Abrams/Amulet, $18.95 (9781419700477).
Stronger: A Super Human Crash (Super Human #03). Michael Carroll. Philomel, $16.99. 9780399257612
Such Wicked Intent: The Apprenticeship of Victor Frankenstein, Book Two. Kenneth Oppel. Simon & Schuster, $16.99. 9781442403185
Summer of the Wolves. Polly Carlson-Voiles. Houghton, $15.99. 9780547745916
Summer on the Moon. Adrian Fogelin. Peachtree, $15.95 (9781561456260
Superman Versus the Ku Klux Klan. Rick Bowers. National Geographic.
Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World. Sy Montgomery. Houghton.
That’s Not a Daffodil! Elizabeth Honey. Allen & Unwin, dist. by IPG.
This Is Not a Test. Courtney Summers. St. Martin’s Griffin, $9.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-312-65674-4
Time Snatchers. Richard Ungar. Putnam, $16.99 (9780399254857
Timeless Thomas: How Thomas Edison Changed Our Lives. Gene Barretta. Holt, $16.99. 9780805091083
Tina’s Mouth: An Existential Comic Diary. Kashyap, Keshni (author). Illustrated by Mari Araki. Houghton, $18.95 (9780618945191).
Traveling Restaurant, The: Jasper’s Voyage in Three Parts. Barbara Else. Gecko Press, $17.95. 9781877579035
Treason. Berlie Doherty. Andersen, dist. by IPG.
Tua and the Elephant. R.P. Harris, illus. by Taeeun Yoo. Chronicle, $16.99. 9780811877817
Two for One (Bink and Gollie Series). Kate DiCamillo and Alison McGhee, illus. by Tony Fucile. Candlewick.
Two Little Monkeys. Mem Fox, illus. by Jill Barton. S&S/Beach Lane, $16.99. 9781416986874
Unbearable Book Club for Unsinkable Girls, The. Julie Schumacher. Delacorte, $16.99. 9780385737739
Under the Baobab Tree. Julie Stiegemeyer, illus. by E.B. Lewis. Zonderkidz, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-310-72561-9
Unfortunate Son, The. Constance Leeds. Viking, $16.99. 9780670013982
Up Above and Down Below. Paloma Valdivia, trans. from the Spanish by Susan Ouriou. Owlkids (PGW, dist.), $16.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-926973-39-5
Vampirina Ballerina. Anne Marie Pace, illus. by LeUyen Pham. Disney-Hyperion, $14.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4231-5753-3
Various Positions. Martha Schabas. FSG/Foster, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-374-38086-1
Walking on Earth and Touching the Sky: Poetry and Prose By Lakota Youth at Red Cloud Indian School. Timothy P. McLaughlin, illus. by S.D. Nelson. Abrams, $19.95 (9781419701795
What Little Boys Are Made of. Robert Neubecker. HarperTeen/Balzer & Bray, $14.99. 9780062023551
What to Do if an Elephant Stands on Your Foot. Michelle Robinson, illus. by Peter H. Reynolds. Dial, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8037-3398-5
When Dinos Dawned, Mammals Got Munched, and Pterosaurs Took Flight: A Cartoon Prehistory of Life in the Triassic. Hannah Bonner. National Geographic, $17.95. ISBN 9781426308628
When the Sea Is Rising Red. Cat Hellison. Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $16.99 ISBN 978-0-374-36475-5
Whole Story of Half a Girl, The. Veera Hiranandani. Delacorte, $16.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-385-74128-6
Wild About You! Judy Sierra, illus. by Marc Brown. Knopf, $17.99 ISBN 978-0-307-93178-8
Wild Book, The. Margarita Engle. Harcourt, $16.99. 9780547581316
Will Puberty Last My Whole Life? Julie Metzger and Robert Lehman. Sasquatch Books.
World Away, A. Nancy Grossman. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99. 9781423151531
You’re Getting a Baby Sister! Sheila Sweeny Higginson, illus. by Sam Williams. S&S/Little Simon, $7.99 ISBN 978-1-4424-2050-2
Zeke Bartholomew. Jason Pinter. Sourcebooks/Jabberwocky.
Zelda the Varigoose. Sebastian Loth. North-South, $15.95. 978-0-7358-4076-8
Zoe Letting Go. Nora Price. Penguin/Razorbill, $17.99. 9781595144669
Zoo Girl. Rebecca Elliott. Lion Children’s Books, $14.99. 9780745963235

He Spent All His Money!

Josie Leavitt - June 26, 2012

Our summer season is in full swing here. I know this because yesterday pretty much all we did was sell books to campers or for campers. It seems the first week of sleepaway camp is now so kids are stocking up. For every kid at sleepaway camp, there are kids who have arrived in town for their family’s summer vacation.
Every summer I wait patiently for my seasonal customers to stop by. These are the folks I only see during the summer when they come to the lake. Often these are families I’ve known for the entire time we’ve been open. Yesterday, one of my favorite families from Cape Town popped by. Jack and Alice are now 12 and 16. We’ve known them since Alice was three when she asked in her clear, pipping British-accented voice, “Would you happen to have a loo?” I have loved them ever since.
Jack is an angelic looking young man with curly hair and lovely smile. He put a massive stack of books, mostly hardcover, on the counter. His mom suggested that he get paperbacks. He said that these were all the new books in their series. Mom then said she wasn’t going to pay for all of those. Jack just smiled at her and said he had money. It turns out he had $75. He spent $73 and was thrilled.
His mom said, “But Jack, that’s all your money.” And he smiled impishly and said, “It’s all I want to spend my money on.” I loved the look that accompanied that sentence. It was if he was saying nothing else mattered but the books. I gave him a tote bag that he wore around his head while his family shopped. I love kids who buy books and see the value in it.
He’s a fast reader and I suspect he’ll be out there mowing someone’s lawn to get more book money before he heads home to Cape Town.

Summer Fun Books

Josie Leavitt - June 25, 2012

Every season finds me reading books set in the current season. For instance, in the winter I always read books about being snow-bound or iced in. In summertime, I seek about books set during the summer. There are a myriad of books set in the summer and here are a few of my favorites.
One of my favorites is Will Hobbs’s two-book series, Downriver and River Thunder, about kids who basically hijack their guided river raft and decide it would be a good idea to navigate the Colorado River by themselves. This book has it all. It’s exciting, scary and very well written; it’s a great book to recommend to early teens and older. It appeals equally to boys and girls. But best of all, I can sit on my deck reading this and feel like I’m going down the Colorado.
Another quintessential book about the summer and water is Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons series. These books are the epitome of summer fun. There are no TVs, no smart phones, etc. and the kids have a grand adventure being outside and using their imaginations. We had a young customer who was so captivated by these books that at 10 he built a sailboat.
Anne Lindbergh’s The Worry Week is my absolute favorite summer book to recommend to the middle grade set. This slender book is just lovely and fun. Thinking it’ll be fun to live in the house alone, three sisters who live on an island with their parents pretend to get off the ferry in the mainland when their parents must attend a funeral. They arrive back at the beach house to discover that the kindly neighbor has removed all the food so that the mice can’t get to it. So now, the girls must figure out how to eat and survive in the relative comfort of their own house. A task that gets harder with each passing day. This book just works. The relationships with the sisters is spot on as the oldest one is really only interested in boys and the 11-year-old is left holding down the fort and working hard not to scare the youngest sister.
For the young adult reader I just love Jenny Han’s series that begins with The Summer I Turned Pretty. Belly has always spent the summer with Conrad and Jeremiah’s family, but this summer is different. Sexual tension has cropped up for the first time among the lifelong friends and Belly must navigate her feelings for the young men. There is a point in every girl’s adolescence when she realizes she has power over boys because she’s become a young woman. This book deftly deals with that, and the beautiful writing help make this book a great summer read. Now that there are three books in the series, a reader could spend all summer with Belly and see which of the brothers she finally chooses.
What are some of your favorite summer books?

“Is She in a Coma, or Is She Dead?”

Elizabeth Bluemle - June 22, 2012

If you’ve ever worked in a bookstore — or, for that matter, shopped in one — you’ll know that booksellers do a fair amount of detective work. Every day, we track down books people have heard about on the radio or from friends, cobble together titles from fragments of customer memory, and plumb our own reading experiences to make matches with the keywords our patrons conjure.
The title someone is certain is Jesus’ Feet turns out to be Bruce Feller’s Walking the Bible.
The “book about dogs who can hear people’s thoughts” is slightly inaccurate, but gives us more than enough to lead immediately to Patrick Ness’s The Knife of Never Letting Go.
The Bill Bryson book about space that a customer read about in the Wall Street Journal  is actually Mary Roach’s Packing for Mars, which the customer in fact heard about on NPR.
“Not The Magicians, but that other book that came out around the same time that was also really really good” happens to be Justin Cronin’s The Passage.
I’m not exactly sure how we nail some of these, but those lightning bolt “Eureka!” moments happen all the time. Doing this for almost 16 years has given us a pretty strong foothold in what’s published out there, but we’re also convinced that sometimes titles just pop into the atmosphere like helpful ectoplasm, waiting to be plucked from the air. (Heck, it’s an old building; there are probably ghosts.)
Even fairly straightforward detective work brings outsized joy to a searching reader. Yesterday, Flying Pig staffer Kelly was helping a young teen in the YA section. Josie was in the office, and overheard this snippet of their conversation:
Kelly: “Can you tell me about the book you’re looking for?”
Girl: “It’s this book, and I think she’s dead in it, but she’s not sure….”
Josie, popping out from the back room: “Oh! Oh! Is she in a coma, or is she dead?”
Girl: “I’m not sure. My friend read it. I think she’s dead….”
Josie: “Is she trying to decide whether or not to die or stay alive?”
Girl: “Oh, yeah, maybe!”
Josie whips If I Stay by Gayle Forman off the shelf. “Is this it?”
Girl: (eyes alight) “YES!”
It’s delightful to make people happy with these (what seem to be) small miracles of identification, and I think it reinforces the benefits and serendipity of coming into a bookstore staffed by human beings. Until online stores add a super-sleuth algorithm to their search engines, we bricks-and-mortar types can add “Book Detective” to the long list of quirky hats we get to wear every day.
Readers, if you have any funny, improbable, or miraculous book identification anecdotes, please feel free to share!

Working Together to Find Waldo

Josie Leavitt - June 21, 2012

Starting July 1, children will be looking for Waldo, the ubiquitous Candlewick Press character, all over 250 towns and villages. The beauty of this month-long hunt is about the community-building this will provide to the participating stores.
This idea began last year when Carol Chittenden, owner of Eight Cousins in Falmouth, Mass., designed a town-wide hunt for Waldo at local businesses. Her trial run was such a hit that Candlewick has designed its own contest for broader use. There are 250 stores participating and it promises to be a month of great fun. But what I love most about it is the chance to work with other retailers in my town to make this a great event.
Small-town retailers seem to really grasp the importance of working together. In my town we like to say, “Keep ’em in town.” We need to give customers reasons why they can spend the whole day in the village and not want for anything. It is incumbent upon us to support each other. There is no better antidote to a big box store than a well-run independent store or restaurant. People seem to be seeking the personal shopping experience more and more. Candlewick understands this, and that makes this event really exciting.
Candlewick is asking stores to work with 19 other businesses on this Find Waldo Local campaign. I love this sort of event. It drives business to all the participants and that’s a great collaboration. Kids and families who might not go to other stores, or in the case of tourists, not know about them, will venture in to look for the small Waldos hidden within the store. Once Waldo is found kids will be given a I Found Waldo At card and then be entered in a drawing. There’s a grand prize drawing at the end of July with a ton of fun Waldo things and some of our partner stores are contributing small prizes, thereby extending their participation. The stores I’ve approached about this are very excited about the campaign.
I know I can be challenged when it comes to event planning, but Candlewick has made this so easy. There’s a dedicated website, a ton of promotional things that stores can copy and distribute (co-op covers the cost of copying), an amazingly detailed timeline, and even window display suggestions. If that weren’t enough, there’s even a press release template that we can use. This is what I call a publisher really working with indies to make a great event.
Admittedly, I’m a tiny bit behind (when will that ever not be the case?), but I feel ready for the fun to begin.

21st Century Bookselling

Josie Leavitt - June 20, 2012

It’s not often that I wax rhapsodic about a device, but I have to say the new credit card reader for smart phones has me over the moon. But first, some history about offsite book sales.
In the old days selling books offsite involved hand-writing receipts, doing math and adding tax (which can be a challenge for me as I’m dyslexic) and then ringing up the credit cards with one of the old-fashioned knuckle scrapers, as some call them. You’d position the paper just so and slide the top very fast over the imprinter. Invariably, not all the numbers would be readable, so you’d have to guess, and that’s never a good with banks. A phone number was essential to get as sometimes the cards were declined, but you didn’t ever know that until you went back to the store and manually entered all the sales and waited for confirmations from the credit card company. This system was expensive, as keyed in credit card numbers cost the store more to process. And if a card is declined and you don’t have a phone number, there’s precious little to be done.
Enter phase two of the offsite system: the laptop that allows a store to process sales in the computer without ever writing a sales receipt. But the credit card processing was only marginally better. We’d bring our store credit card machine and either hope for a phone line (we do not have an internet-based system yet) or swipe the cards and then run the whole batch when we got back to work. The problem with this is we’d never know if someone’s card had been declined until well after the event, and phone numbers can be easily forgotten to obtain at a busy event. It hasn’t happened often, but it’s so galling to get stuck with a declined card because of inefficient technology.
Well, along came the card reader and my life has changed. This seemingly simple device allow credit cards to be read from a smart phone. The device’s biggest drawback is its tiny size. I fear I’ll lose mine every time I use it. But the convenience of being able to swipe a credit card and have it fairly instantaneously processed is astounding. We used this little device the other night at an offsite book party for Alison Bechdel. People were thrilled when they were asked to  sign the phone with the tip of their finger, and it caused unaccounted delight in our Vermont customers. One person said, “I feel like I’m in New York City.” People were talking about it all night. I thought it was hilarious. The ability to email or text the receipt saves a ton of paper and more often than not, folks didn’t want them.
By Monday all the money had been deposited in my bank account with the very reasonable fee taken out. The part of this that made me happiest was I haven’t lost the reader. Yet.

Sunday at the Bookstore

Josie Leavitt - June 18, 2012

Yesterday was a lovely day at the bookstore. School was over for everyone, so the kids were in great moods and the parents hadn’t started looking bedraggled yet. I had two lovely exchanges that just made me laugh.
The first was a grandmother and granddaughter shopping together. They were having a sparkling day. Each had something sparkly on: the little girl had the brightest, shiniest shoes that would have made even Dorothy envious; the grandma had a twinkling scarf. The grandma asked if I had Pippi Longstocking, which of course we did. Then she wanted to know if I had the book “about everyone having a rock.” She looked at me, expecting a blank stare. Instead, I leapt up and got the Byrd Baylor book, Everyone Needs a Rock, and handed it to her. She actually wiggled her feet in joy.
I went back to the counter and she shouted out, “You wouldn’t happen to have two of them, would you?” As a matter of fact I did. I rang her up and she was so happy with us for having all of her books she actually gave me a hug. My grandmas are long gone, so the hug was especially lovely. She was still marveling at us having the books as she left the store.
My next fun interaction was with a seven-year-old girl who had been told by her mom that it was finally time to spend some of her Christmas money from two years ago. The girl, Annabelle, apparently has difficulty making decisions and her mom had tired of indulging her. So, they came here. I could see the little one was struggling. Every time it looked she had made a decision, she would round a corner and get utterly distracted by other things, mostly non-book things. Annabelle was told to spend time in the middle grade section.
I sense that maybe I could help this poor child, because I was just like her as a kid. I hated spending my holiday money because I feared I was buying the wrong things. Annabelle kept saying, “But maybe there’s a better one!” whenever she had a book in hands. I saw that she had picked two very lovely books. One was a hard cover, Star in the Forest, and the other a paperback of Ivy and Bean. She had well over $30 to spend, but there was no rush, her mom just wanted her to buy something. So, we talked about the books and what she liked about them. She liked them both “the same.”
Now it was time for our magic Flying Pig decision-making tool that Elizabeth started. I took both books behind my back, mixed them up and had her pick one. Then I asked her how she felt about the choice, and she said she was disappointed. I told her that’s how you know you need to buy the other one. She was placated, but still stressed. She did really like the other book, too.
Ah, special order shelf to the rescue. I told her we could hold the book for her until she was ready to decide about it. I labeled the book and put it on the hold shelf after I rung them up. Three minutes later, Annabelle came skipping over to me to check that I had the book on the shelf. I took it out with a flourish and said, “Don’t you trust me?” And she fired back, in a way only a child can, “No!” I asked why and she said, “Because you’re a grown-up.” Ouch.
But I laughed and now we’ll see how long it takes her to come back to claim the book.

Sales Rep to the Rescue

Josie Leavitt - June 15, 2012

All of us booksellers rely on our sales reps for far more than helping us with frontlist orders. They often lobby for us with the publicity department about why a certain author should come to our store; they can help get our credit limit raised and make sure our event books aren’t being held up; they are invaluable to me and my store would not run as well without them.
Nicole Davies is my Penguin rep for kids’ books. I see her three times a year and I’ve enjoyed getting to know her over the years. I like that she comes to every morning meeting with still wet hair, like me. She knows her books and she really helped us make our 15th anniversary celebration more fun. But, this week, she went above and beyond and saved our bacon with a customer.
Last week, while Elizabeth and I were toiling away at Book Expo, a customer called the store on Monday and asked if we had Re-Zoom, by Istvan Banyai. Our staffer found the book and the customer, a teacher, explained that she was going to come in right away to pick it up and that she was using it as a very important team building exercise for the following Tuesday. The book was put on the back counter for her. Books that folks say they’re going to pick up immediately don’t often make it to the special order shelf, they just wait in the back to get picked up. Thursday rolled around and the book was still on the counter when another customer saw the book and wanted to buy it.
The book was sold. I should say, we hadn’t sold that particular book in six months, so it was strange to have so much interest in one week. Then, on Friday, the teacher, Beth, came in to pick up the book. Except it wasn’t there. Because we’d sold it out from under her. And she needed it by Monday. Frantic calls were made to every bookstore in our region. No one had the book. We even reached out, via the listserv, to every children’s bookstore in New England and nothing. Elizabeth suggested I call Nicole on the off chance she had the book at home.
So, last Friday at 5, too late for the post office or Fed Ex pick-up, I called Nicole and asked about the book. She said she thought she had the book and was going to call me back. I waited patiently, and not five minutes later, she called back that she had the book. I asked if she wouldn’t mind overnighting it to us for a Monday morning delivery. This meant she had to go to the post office on her time off, but she cheerfully said she’d be happy to do it. Really? I was thrilled.
We called the customer, who at this point was none too happy with us, and told her what was going on. I’ll believe it when I see it, was pretty much what she said. Everything was riding on this little paperback arriving in time. First thing Monday morning a slender mailer arrived at our door containing one paperback of Re-Zoom. All was not lost. We learned a valuable lesson: put all requested books on the special order shelf, away from other customers’ eyes (nothing gets folks more interested in a book than finding out that someone else wants it), and don’t ever sell a book that’s been promised to someone else, even if they’re days late picking it up. Nicole saved us from losing a customer for good and also made our mistake a teachable moment with a really happy ending.
We will be sending Nicole a replacement copy of the book as well as some Vermont goodies as a way of saying thanks for saving our bacon. It’s reps like her that continue to make us look good, even when we’ve made a mistake, who help make this business a little more bearable and fun. Here’s hoping we won’t ever again need her to raid her personal library on our behalf!

BEA Coda: Some Delights

Elizabeth Bluemle - June 14, 2012

Coming home from BookExpo always means a deep plunge back into the bookstore and a rush of catching up with the many little fires that tend to flare in our absence, those few things that our extremely capable staff aren’t in charge of and couldn’t sweep off the decks if they wanted to, which they do, because they are fabulous. What this means for ShelfTalker is that I always have piles of notes and photos and great intentions for blog posts about the marvelous events, education, parties, and new books we encounter at the trade show — but then the urgent overtakes the important and BEA fades before I get to fully bask in its delights.
Before that happens, I’d love to share an entertainment highlight, a smart publisher giveaway, a few photos, and some other best-of moments from the show.

Libba's accompanist. Amazing player. We were sitting behind Libba, so we don't have a pic to share of her singing. Drat!

Best entertainment: In addition to the Children’s Breakfast, which Josie blogged about here, I’d have to say one of the all-time great moments of this year’s show was listening to Libba Bray belt out torch songs from the 1920’s at a party (held at a backroom speakeasy) to celebrate her enticing fall release, The Diviners. Backed by a professional accompanist — the man has clearly done this for a few successful decades — she wowed the room. That girl can SING, and if I were Little, Brown, I’d seriously consider putting up some mp3s or 4s of that performance. Can’t wait to read the ARC, too.
Best view: Penguin threw a fantastic party at the top of the Standard Hotel near the Highline in the meatpacking district of New York, and in addition to the stellar list of authors in whose honor the cocktails-and-divine-snacks bash was thrown, attendees were treated to a magnificent view of the city on all sides.

Just one of the many incredible views from the top of The Standard.

Vertigo-inducer. My feet and Josie's on a glass walkway outside - top floor of The Standard.

Best swag: As some of you know, I am swag-impaired, which I blogged about a while back here. However, I can swing some swag if invited to a party where they just hand it to you so you can’t miss it — and that’s exactly what happened at a Macmillan lunch, where, after a delicious meal and interesting conversation with guest authors and tablemates, the publisher handed out one of the smartest promotional gift items we’ve ever seen: a sleek boxed ballpoint pen whose upper cap hides a 4G USB stick — cleverly preloaded with Macmillan’s tasty fall catalog, a folder of cover art and sample spreads, and a Macmillan publicity directory with publicists’ names, titles, and contact info. There are still plenty of gigs left on the drive for your own use, too. Great gift – fun, useful, lasting. Thanks, Macmillan!

One of 19 authors and illustrators, Curtis Joblin turned Bob the Builder into a werewolf in one amusing sketch.

Best Date: Speed Dating with Children’s Authors. If you haven’t been to one of these events, it is wild and well worth attending. This year, nineteen authors made the rounds of tables filled with booksellers; they each had just three minutes to wow us with a book “pitch” about their upcoming fall releases. It’s got to be exhausting for them, doing that nineteen times, but they were energetic and interesting from first to last. In an upcoming blog post, I’ll share all 19 authors and tidbits about their books with you. I love this event and was so delighted when it was introduced at BEA a few years ago.

Shannon Hale and 'Palace of Stone.'

Best Relaxing Author Chat: Tea with Children’s Authors. This is the antidote to the whirlwind of Speed Dating. While that one gets you revved up in the morning, the Tea allows booksellers an hour with just one author per table. I was at a table with the lovely, effervescent Shannon Hale, who spoke about her upcoming Princess Academy sequel, Palace of Stone. Conversation at the table ranged far and wide, from a discussion of ethics in the novel (favorite line from Shannon: “Yeah, that’s how to get the kids to read this book; tell them it’s all about ethics!”) to censorship to jacket design to Colin Firth. Oh, and there were baby pictures. (Shannon’s family is absurdly photogenic.) The opportunity to talk with an author at length about her newest work is a treat to be treasured, and booksellers at every other table with other authors felt the exact same way.

Paul O. Zelinsky in bookish garb.

Close-up of 'Z Is for Moose' shirt.

Best Shirt: Paul O. Zelinsky has an excellent tradition: each time a new book comes out, he makes some piece of clothing to wear incorporating the art from that book. For Swamp Angel, he actually carved a bowtie from wood (!). For his newest, Z Is for Moose by Kelly Bingham, Paul turned several drawings into textile art printed on fabric. Paul was dandied up here for the ABC BEA Children’s Book Art Auction, which featured more than 100 pieces of artwork from the finest illustrators in the field. The auction raises funds “for ABFFE and its defense of the free speech rights of young readers.” Haven’t yet heard how much was raised, but it’s a worthy cause and always one of BEA’s highlights for anyone in the children’s book field.
Fellow BEA attendees, what were some of YOUR favorite delights? Feel free to add links to blog posts and pix in your comments.

End of Year Rush

Josie Leavitt - June 12, 2012

It’s that time of year again: the end of the school year. I’m still baffled why this is such a crazy busy time for folks. I never had the sense of craziness when my school years ended. We just calmly packed our cubbies and went home to do nothing for the rest of the summer. I mentioned this to several customers and they just laughed at me, all saying, “You were a kid!” I don’t have kids, so I guess it’s a little naive of me to think there should be no stress about shifting the kids from school to summer.
Here in Vermont, and perhaps elsewhere, the last three days of school bring a flurry of activity to the bookstore. People are waiting for us to open in the morning and racing in at closing for those last-minute teacher gifts. I suspect we are not alone in the sheer of volume of gift cards sold in June. We even have our signboard facing the schools and it says “Teachers love books (and gift cards).”
I love that we are also suggesting actually picking out a book for a teacher. There is something lovely about a student sharing his or her favorite book with a beloved teacher. We have one family to whom the teacher books are so important, they order them in March, just to make sure they’ll be here in time. That kind of thoughtfulness is touching and speaks to the quality of teachers these kids have that they care so much. Gift cards are also good gifts, although I do worry sometimes that they won’t get redeemed, and the family will have wasted money on them. But from a cash flow perspective, I’ll happily take the $3000 bump in gift cards from the last week.
Some kids have summer camps starting right away, so they come in to stock up on books to tide them over the slow camp days. One boy was picking out books on Sunday with an eye towards trade-ability; he was trying to figure out which books would be more valuable at camp. I just loved that approach and knew that this kid was going to be the camp wheeler-dealer. I suspect he’ll be the kid who always has Pop Tarts in his trunk.
So, here’s hoping everyone gets a chance to relax, buy books and just read.