Cindy: The controversy surrounding the Sweethearts Conversation Candy Hearts continues. Last year, Spangler couldn’t get them to market after buying bankrupt Necco. This year, they have a limited supply released, but you will probably find many lacking in “conversation.” Maybe next year, eh? Fortunately, there are plenty of children and teen book covers to fill in the blanks. These sweet books will make a nice display for Valentine’s Day and will leave patrons saying, “BE MINE.”
After the Kiss, by Terra Elan McVoy (Simon Pulse, 2010)
Boy Meets Boy, by David Levithan (Knopf, 2003)
Candy Smash, by Jacqueline Davies (HMH, 2013)
Heartbreak Messenger, by Alexander Vance (Feiwel & Friends, 2013)
Love? Maybe, by Heather Hepler (Dial, 2012)
Thwonk, by Joan Bauer, (Speak, 2005)
Cindy and Lynn: If you’re looking for a new haircut style, look no further than these two recent YA novels that feature identical cuts and NO features! 😉 The similarities end there, though, as the stories couldn’t be more different. Death Prefers Blondes (Feiwel, 2019) by Caleb Roehrig is a thriller about a band of drag queen cat burglars. Booklist’s review includes this statement: “Balancing Oceans 11–level heists, corporate espionage, and gender and sexual identity politics isn’t easy, but Roehrig manages it with aplomb, skillfully threading in Hamlet references to boot. Clever, thrilling, and a wildly good time.”
Meanwhile, Scars Like Wings (Delacorte, 2019) by Erin Stewart is a story of resilience in the face of life-changing tragedy after a fire brings loss and scars to a teen girl. School Library Journal’s verdict is: “Ava’s journey toward healing, both physically and mentally, is thought-provoking. Not all scars are evident to the eye, and this narrative will push readers to think deeply about empathy, hope, and resilience in the face of heartbreak.”
We’re ready to take a turn in the stylist’s chair if it involves a chance to read one of these two new teen books.
Cindy: I love buying office supplies and like many of my students and teachers, I enjoy shopping the back-to-school sales. There’s always the feeling of a fresh start and the illusion of being really productive and organized when you have newly sharpened pencils, some fun markers, and empty notebooks ready and waiting. Even in the digital age of Chromebooks and phone apps, there’s something special about school supplies. Perhaps that’s why I was attracted to this new Swoon Reads YA book, Rules We’re Meant to Break (Feiwel/Swoon, 2019) by Natalie Williamson. I haven’t read it yet but the cover art reminded me of an older favorite middle-grade title, The Meaning of Maggie (Chronicle, 2014) by Megan Jean Sovern. We’re a month into our new school year so if your back-to-school supplies are starting to lose their shine, consider one of these novels to slip into your backpack!
Cindy and Lynn: While store flyers have advertised Back to School sales since July 5th, the reality is just setting in here in Michigan. Cindy heads back officially on August 26th. Students are charging their Chromebooks and perhaps still sharpening a few pencils and figuring out what to wear next week on the first day. Some can’t wait, and others are dreading getting up early. Last year, we put together a cover trend of books featuring lockers and suggested putting together a display with directions on how to master that Masterlock. This year, we give you books with classic school desks on them, although in many schools, familiar rows of identical desks with attached chairs are being phased out and replaced by “flexible learning spaces.” For the vintage look, though, line up these titles for a back-to-school display:
The Unteachchables, by Gordan Korman
Wednesday Wars, by Gary Schmidt
Cryer’s Cross, by Lisa McMann
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
What titles did we miss? School us!! Leave us a comment.
Cindy: It’s spring break time in Michigan…that season where bathing suits, sunscreen, and sunglasses are flying out of stores as students and their families prepare to clog the I-75 highway to warmer locations that actually have sunshine. I’ve noticed a trend in cover art featuring sunglass clad faces that are ready to join the sunny vacation fun. Pack one of these to read on the beach…or curl up with it at home if you are having a staycation! I’m sure I’ve missed some. Leave a comment if there are others you’ve written, published, or have in your libraries. This would make a great summer book display with some more titles in the mix!
The Brightsiders by Jen Wilde (Swoon Reads, 2018)
You Don’t Know My Name by Kristen Orlando (Swoon Reads, 2017)
A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena (Farrar, 2018)
Home and Away by Candice Montgomery (Page Stree, 2018)
Unnatural Disasters by Jeff Hirsch (Clarion, 2019)