Indies Introduce Kids and Teen Authors

What do indie bookstores do best?  Discover books that need to shine in the spotlight.  I had a great time reading  and discussing debut children's and teen books with booksellers from all around the country.  After many hours of discussion here are the ten books that we decided to feature this fall.

Sidetracked, Diana Harmon Asher
Amulet Books, 9781419726019, August 22, 2017 (Middle Grade)

“Joseph Friedman is a middle-school student for whom nothing goes well. He’s scrawny, he’s bullied, he has no real friends, and he has ADD. On the other hand, Joseph is very self-aware and has one teacher who pushes him to do better. Mrs. T is also his new cross-country coach. Joseph’s journey through woods and up hills slowly transforms his relationships and his confidence. Asher gives us a narrator to root for with a unique voice and a strong supporting cast.”

– Dave Shallenberger, Little Shop of Stories (Decatur, GA)


The First Rule of Punk, Celia C. Pérez
Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780425290408, August 29, 2017 (Middle Grade)

"Malú (short for María Louisa) straddles two worlds, punk music and record stores on her dad’s side, and academic achievement and Mexican culture on her mother’s side. When she lands at Posada Middle School, she finds herself on the outside again and takes on the school’s culture by starting her own punk band. I loved this blend of music, art, and family."

-Laura Delaney, Rediscovered Books (Boise, ID)


Greetings from Witness Protection!, Jake Burt
Feiwel & Friends, 9781250107114, October 3, 2017 (Middle Grade)

“What happens when you take a feisty, pick-pocketing teen out of foster care, give her a whole new identity, a Taser, and a new family to protect from mobsters? Greetings From Witness Protection! is a funny, entertaining, and unique story about family, friendship, identity, and starting over.”

– Lauren Savage, The Reading Bug (San Carlos, CA)


The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street, Karina Glaser
HMH Books for Young Readers, 9780544876392, October 3, 2017 (Middle Grade)

“If Wes Anderson wrote The Penderwicks, it might look like The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street. From the moment you step into the brownstone on 141st Street, the five Vanderbeeker children and their eccentric collection of family and friends will charm and delight you. Their attempts to keep their Scrooge-like landlord from evicting them from their beloved home are both hilarious and heartwarming, and this modern-day classic in the making will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.”

– Melissa Posten, The Novel Neighbor (St. Louis, MO)


Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow, Jessica Townsend
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316508889, October 31, 2017 (Middle Grade)

“Morrigan is cursed. Not cursed with warts or short height, but well and truly cursed. Every bad thing that happens to people around her must be a result of her curse. It is a lonely existence. In a world of giant talking cats and umbrella transport, this novel wraps the reader in the joy of wonderful world-building and classic middle-grade fantasy. After turning the last page, readers will be hungry for the sequel.”

– Karin Schott, Devaney Doak & Garrett Booksellers (Farmington, ME)


Saints and Misfits, S.K. Ali
Salaam Reads, 9781481499248, June 13, 2017 (Young Adult)

“In an ideal world, Saints and Misfits wouldn’t need to be an important tent-pole book of Muslim representation; it would be one of many books about Muslim teens doing all sorts of things. And then we could just talk about how it’s a funny, sharp, feminist book that tackles real issues with grace. It’s just really good. Read it, for that reason and more.”

– Anna Kaufman, DIESEL: A Bookstore (Santa Monica, CA)


The Epic Crush of Genie Lo, F.C. Yee
Amulet Books, 9781419725487, August 8, 2017 (Young Adult)

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo is here to fill that Buffy- or Sailor Moon-shaped hole in your life. Warm, action-packed, and absolutely the most fun you’ll have reading a book this summer. Give Genie Lo a CW series!”

– Allison Senecal, Old Firehouse Books (Fort Collins, CO)


All Rights Reserved, Gregory Scott Katsoulis
Harlequin TEEN, 9780373212446, August 29, 2017 (Young Adult)

“In a dystopian future in which almost all words and gestures have been copyrighted and citizens are charged for even the most basic forms of communication, the ultimate act of resistance may be to choose silence. In this richly imagined novel, Katsoulis explores ideas of free speech and the consequences of intellectual property law through characters that are sympathetic, tough, and thoroughly believable. All Rights Reserved is an excellent sci-fi thriller (with some of the best world-building I’ve seen in ages) with a great sense of humor and a political conscience. For anyone who feels the need for a little bit of revolution in their fiction, this book is just the thing.”

– Annie Farrell, Labyrinth Books (Princeton, NJ)

An Enchantment of Ravens, Margaret Rogerson
Margaret K. McElderry Books, 9781481497589, September 26, 2017 (Young Adult)

An Enchantment of Ravens is one of the most original and beautifully written fairy stories I have read in years. Rogerson’s depth of knowledge about mythology and fairy lore shines through the crafting of this story. Isobel, the gifted human artist, and Rook, the fairy prince, pursue a quest to save themselves from the harsh traditions of the fairy court.”

– Laura Delaney, Rediscovered Books (Boise, ID)

  • Dear Martin, Nic Stone
    Crown Books for Young Readers, 9781101939499, October 17, 2017 (Young Adult)

    “I picked up Dear Martin and could not put it down. A gripping, real story that is both eye-opening and heartbreaking. This should be required reading for everyone.”

    – Kate Schlademan, The Learned Owl (Hudson, OH)