ALA Exhibits: Books, Books, Books

Cindy and Lynn: Bookends Blog here, reporting from the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Yeah, we know the exhibit hall included technology and furniture vendors, library suppliers, and a food court, but our favorite aisles are the ones with booth after booth of youth books and our familiar school and library marketing reps. While we tried to follow our own advice about not being greedy in the aisles, we are delighted that these books made it into our suitcase:

 

Dead Voices, by Katherine Arden (Penguin/Putnam, Aug. 2019)

We raved about Small Spaces last year, and it has become a middle school favorite. Its sequel, Dead Voices, was one of the books we most wanted to get and it was the arc that we read on the flight home. If you want middle grade creepy, this is your series. Dead Voices finds Ollie, Coco, and Brian who survived the scarecrows and spooky cornfields of the first book now snowed-in at a haunted ski lodge that did remind us a little of the setting of Stephen King’s The Shining. We gotta believe he would love this book, too.

 

White Bird, by R. J. Palacio (Random, Oct. 2019)

Palacio, the author of the wildly popular Wonder, has written and illustrated her first graphic novel, White Bird. We were so excited to receive a gorgeous color galley and cannot wait to read it! This story is about a young Jewish girl who is hidden from the Nazis in occupied France during WWII.

 

Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers, by Celia C. Perez (Penguin/Kokila, Sep. 2019)

One of our favorites of 2018 was Perez’s debut, The First Rule of Punk (Penguin, 2018). We stood in a very long line to get our hands on her new book and it sounds fabulous. The cover blurb says, “When three very different girls find a mysterious invitation to a lavish mansion, the promise of adventure is too intriguing to pass up.”¬† See, you’d stand in line too!

 

Free Lunch by Rex OgleFree Lunch, by Rex Ogle (Norton, Sept. 2019)

Rex Ogle was looking forward to starting sixth grade. Things are tough at home, though, with his mom and her boyfriend out of work and so she signs Rex up for free lunch. Then Rex discovers he has to announce that fact out loud every day to the lunch lady. Our school district has almost 60% of our students on a free lunch program and we think this is one that is truly important for them and everyone else in the district as well.

 

Out to Get You: 13 Tales of Weirdness and Woe, by Josh Allen (Holiday, Sept. 2019)

A debut author collection, blurbed by Gary Schmidt: Wonderful and weird, compelling and unsettling…These stories are scary because they are so very true.” We’re in!

 

While there was no lack of swag at the booths, our favorite item this year was a button promoting Jessica Pan’s new book, Sorry I’m Late, I Didn’t Want to Come (Andrews McMeel, 2019). We can think of lots of places to sport this…staff meetings, anyone?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

allthe rest of our student population.

ALA Exhibits: The Ones That Got Away

Cindy and Lynn: We picked up many great upcoming youth books at the recent ALA Exhibits and publisher events, but even so, there were a few that got away either because they went fast or won’t have an arc. The early bird gets the worm, and the hot new books. We try not to be greedy as we receive a bounty of books on our doorsteps throughout the year, but here are a few we are still eager to clutch in our hands.

 

All the Days Past, All the Days to Come, by Mildred Taylor (Penguin, Jan. 2020)

The 10th and final book in the wonderful Logan Family Saga that began with Newbery Medal Winner, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. If you haven’t seen the repackaging of this series, with new cover art by Kadir Nelson, check it out.

 

Lifestyles of Gods & Monsters, by Emily Roberson (Farrar, Oct. 2019)

This one sounds like the Minotaur meets Hunger Games! A debut book we really wanted to find!

 

Look Both Ways: A Tale Told in Ten Blocks, by Jason Reynolds (S&S/Atheneum, Oct. 2019)

Reynolds crafts ten tales, one per block, about what happens on the walk home after the dismissal bell rings. We would have been heroes for sure if we’d scored this arc!

 

The Queen of Nothing, by Holly Black (Little, Brown, Nov. 2019)

Book 3 of the Folk of the Air series! Need I say more? We’re grateful that this publishing two months earlier than previously scheduled.

 

The Toll, by Neal Shusterman (S&S, Nov. 2019)

This concluding volume was probably the most begged-for galley from the older focus group and our Best Books Book Club.
(We wanted it too!)

 

Reading Habits: How Many Books Do You Have Going?

Cindy: I have a librarian friend and reviewer who reads ONE book at a time. (I’m looking at you, Reading Rants.) I can’t seem to manage that. I became a librarian, in part, because I couldn’t narrow down a field of study and with librarianship, I could dabble in everything. Perhaps that accounts for why I always have multiple books going at a time. Here are the ones with bookmarks in them currently:

The Raven’s Tale (Amulet, 2019) by Cat Winters

Captured: An American’s Prisoner of War in North Vietnam (Scholastic, Mar. 26, 2019) by Alvin Townley

How Do You Write a Book, Ally? (Scholastic, Mar. 26, 2019) by Ally Carter

Black Enough: Stories of Being Young and Black in America (Harper/Balzer & Bray, 2019) edited by Ibi Zoboi

How To Be a Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2018) by Sy Montgomery

The Prodigy (Macmillan Young Listeners, 2018) by John Feinstein (audio)

There are more adult nonfiction and poetry books that I am sauntering through, but I’m embarrassed enough by this list so I’ll stop. Focus, Cindy. Focus.

Lynn: I’m as bad as Cindy! I usually have multiple books going. I especially like to have a short story collection, essay collection or nonfiction book that I can be working on along with a novel. I love audio books too and I have one audio going in my car and another on my MP3 player that listen to when I’m exercising or doing boring chores. I listen to a lot of youth books on audio but I often use audio to get some adult books into the mix. Here’s what I’m reading now:

Famous in a Small Town (Henry Holt, 2019) by Emma Mills

Ordinary Hazards (Wordsong, October 2019) by Nikki Grimes

Dark Horse (Brilliance Audio, 2015) by Craig Johnson (a Walt Longmire mystery on audio)

Angel Thieves (S&S Audio, 2019) by Kathi Appelt (on audio)

How about you?
What’s on your reading table right now?
Let us know here with a quick comment!