By the catalog: Candlewick Press, Fall-Winter 2014 and Spring-Summer 2015.
Every time I go through another catalog, I want to take a few weeks off, hide at home, and read and read and read.
Into the Grey, by Celine Kiernan:
Identical twin brothers move to a new town, one of them promptly gets possessed by the ghost of ANOTHER twin who’s searching for his OWN brother. Historical fiction, lots of family drama, it sounds meaty and original and just GOOD.
Wild Things: Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature, by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson, and Peter D. Sieruta: HOW HAVE I NOT READ THIS? I think I'm even quoted in it, for Pete's sake.
The Glass Mountain: Tales from Poland, by David Walser and Jan Pieńkowski: Polish fairy tales? Jan Pieńkowski illustrations? YES, PLEASE.
Egg & Spoon, by Gregory Maguire: BABA YAGAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Evil Librarian, by Michelle Knudsen:
How’s that for an irresistible title? Witty wallflower takes on a hottie soul-sucking demon librarian who wants to make her best friend his child-bride. The description alone has me Happy Dancing around the room.
Monstrous Affections, edited by Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant: They edit it, I read it.
Vango, by Timothée de Fombelle: Translated from French! Historical fiction set in 1934 Europe! A young man about to become a priest suddenly finds himself on the run! Mystery! Secrets! A zeppelin!
Animalium, by Jenny Broom and Katie Scott: THIS BOOK LOOKS GORGEOUS. THAT IS ALL.
Mesmerized: How Ben Franklin Solved a Mystery that Baffled All of France, by Mara Rockliff and illustrated by Iacopo Bruno: BEN FRANKLIN VS. DR. MESMERRRRRRRRRR!
The Agency: Rivals in the City, by Y. S. Lee: I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH I CAN'T EVEN. Historical mysteries about a spy agency that takes advantage of systemic sexism—after all, no one expects WOMEN spies in Victorian England. Bonus points for romance and secrets and an ongoing thread about the heroine—whose father was a Chinese sailor—passing as white while considering the pros and cons of revealing her ethnicity versus hiding it forever. SO GOOD.
Read Between the Lines, by Jo Knowles: Another author on the She Writes It, I Read It list. I love her.
The Tightrope Walkers, by David Almond: Coming of age in northern England, about a boy being pulled in two very different directions by two very different peers. Almond's accessibility varies from book to book, but I always really love his writing, so.
The Maine Coon’s Haiku and Other Poems for Cat Lovers, by Michael J. Rosen, illustrated by Lee White: I WILL READ IT ALOUD TO LEMON. (And then she will probably chew on it, but better it than me.)
Emu, by Claire Saxby, illustrated by Graham Byrne: THE COVER, IT KILLS ME.
Eden West, by Pete Hautman:
...Hautman because he switches things up so often that I never know what to expect. The Kirkus review of Eden West is lackluster, but it’s received strong praise elsewhere—I’m going to pick it up and decide for myself.
Spots in a Box, written and illustrated by Helen Ward: A guinea fowl isn't happy with his spots, so he sends away for new ones in the mail. COULD IT BE THE ANTI-RAINBOW FISH? Wow, I hope so.
Ship of Dolls, by Shirley Parenteau: I admit it, it's all about the cover art. And the fact that the heroine's mother is a singer in a San Francisco speakeasy.
The Brilliant World of Tom Gates and Tom Gates: Excellent Excuses (and Other Good Stuff), written and illustrated by L. Pichon: I've seen this one referred to as the British Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Obviously I must investigate!
Has Anyone Seen Jessica Jenkins?, by Liz Kessler: I love, love, love the idea of "slightly superheroes".
Seen and Not Heard, written and illustrated by Katie May Green: A picture book about paintings of dead children... who come alive. I MUST SEE IT.
Flora and Ulysses, by Kate DiCamillo: No, I still haven't read it. Yes, I'm aware that that makes me a kidlit failure. (Is it going to make me cry? I keep putting it off because I'm Worried About Crying.)
The Princess in Black, by Shannon Hale: I keep trying to borrow the library copy, BUT IT'S ALWAYS OUT.
The Golden Day, by Ursula Dubosarsky: It sounds totally Picnic at Hanging Rock-y, and I OWN IT AND I CAN'T FIND IT. IT IS DRIVING ME UP THE WALL, MAYBE I SHOULD JUST BUY ANOTHER COPY.
Fallout, by Todd Strasser: Only one family in the neighborhood builds a fallout shelter, and when push comes to shove—literally—a whole bunch of the other neighbors force their way in before the owners can shut the door. Suddenly, the carefully rationed air and water and food isn't nearly enough, and tensions are getting higher... AUUUUGH WHY IS THIS NOT IN MY HANDS?
William & the Missing Masterpiece, written and illustrated by Helen Hancocks: I ADORED Penguin in Peril, so I'm VERY MUCH looking forward to this one. The illustration of William—WHO IS A CAT DETECTIVE, I KID YOU NOT—on the Vespa is just... I might keel over from the awesome.
The New Small Person, written and illustrated by Lauren Child: A picture book about a new child in the family... and the protagonist's name is ELMORE. I want it.
Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes, by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Emily Sutton: IT'S A PICTURE BOOK ABOUT MICROBES, WHAT MORE COULD I WANT OUT OF LIFE?
Books I've written about and/or read:
I'm My Own Dog, by David Ezra Stein: THIS BOOK. I can't even flip through it without cracking up. I've read it, like, eight times since we got it in at the library. NOT EVEN FOR STORYTIME, JUST BECAUSE IT MAKES ME LAUGH.
X: A Novel, by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon: A chronicle of Malcolm X's pre-Malcolm X days. I loved this one. I loved the period detail, I loved reading about Malcolm Little, the person, rather than about Malcolm X, the icon and activist—for me, sometimes the story of someone's journey towards Something Big is more fascinating than the story about the Something Big.
Stories like this—fictionalized biographies and biopics—can be super dicey, because so much is left to the discretion and interpretation of the author(s), but this one had tons of back matter, as well as a note explaining that they'd drawn heavily from his journals and letters and so on. So, so good—I wouldn't shut up about it for days after finishing it.
Theseus and the Minotaur, by Yvan Pommaux:
Patron: <semi-patronizingly> But if it's for kids, they have to leave out all of the good stuff, like the Minotaur's origin story.
Me: *shrieks* WRONG! VOILA! *flips pages madly* ANNNNNNND BOOM!:
Jumping Off Swings and Living with Jackie Chan, by Jo Knowles: I read both of these back-to-back recently, and GOOD LORD that made me want to get her entire backlist and read everything all over again. She's so fantastically excellent. So rich, so layered, so beautifully written, and—especially in the case of Living with Jackie Chan—so, so empathetic, given that she was working with a character who so could easily have been demonized. OUTSTANDING. OUTSTANDINGGGGGGGG.