Kids’ Next List: Autumn 2012

Every season IndieBound puts out “Kids’ Next” a newsletter featuring recommendations from Indie booksellers around the country. We’re invited to write reviews throughout the year for books that we get a chance to read in advance (a perk of being a bookseller) and occasionally, reviews from our staff are featured!

In the Autumn 2012 edition of Kids’ Next, three reviews from Hooray for Books! staff made it in. Check out our recommendations:

In the section for ages 4-8, Amanda said this about Bear Has a Story to Tell:

“The Caldecott-winning team who created A Sick Day for Amos McGee is back with another utterly charming story. The quiet-yet-strong demeanor of a bear wanting to tell his friends a story is subtly sweet, and the selfless acts of help he gives those friends in their preparation for winter instead of telling them his story is lesson for all of us. The soft and detailed illustrations give soul to the animals. Just lovely!”

Bear Has a Story to Tell by Philip C. Stead and illustrator Erin E. Stead; $16.99; Roaring Brook Press; Ages 4+

In the section for kids ages 9-12, Ellen talked about the latest Adam Gidwitz book, In A Glass Grimmly:

“This is a bloody marvelous, wonderfully horrible companion to Gidwitz’s award-winning debut, A Tale Dark & Grimm. In this Mother Goose-meets-the-Brothers Grimm version of ‘Jack and Jill,’ the two children will meet a talking frog – he’s a good guy – and lots of murderous giants, twisted mermaids, gruesome goblins, and other scary bad guys. But that’s okay, because what’s the point of going on a life-or-death quest if it’s easy-peasy?? A must-read for middle-graders!”

In a Glass Grimmly by Adam Gidwitz; $16.99; Dutton Juvenile; Ages 9+

Finally, in the section for teen readers, Megan raves about Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick:

“Bick’s follow-up to Ashes is another heart-pounding, frantic, action-packed adventure for those who can’t get enough of the zombie-apocolypse. As protagonist Alex fights to survive in a world gone seriously haywire, she begins to piece together just how dangerous her situation is. These are not the walking dead we know from television and film; they are cognizant beings, fueled as much by shrewd instinct as by animalistic blood lust. Bick keeps her complicated plot moving with plenty of twists and turns, creating a cringe-inducing, fascinating, and utterly entertaining read.”

Shadows: The Ashes Trilogy by Ilsa J. Bick; $17.99; Egmont USA; Ages 14+

We love IndieBound and can’t wait to see what makes it into the future issues of IndieNext and Kids’ Next. We have plenty of copies of this season’s newsletter, as well as back issues, at the store for your taking!

Amanda loves Peaches!

Amanda loves peaches. Peaches to eat, peaches to read about. Summer is the perfect time to do both! Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson is an excellent middle-of-summer book to read in-between summer reading selections for school.

The story of three girls placed at a failing peach orchard in Georgia to work for the summer just screams hot, humid weather and juicy peach deliciousness. Birdie is the slightly overweight daughter of the orchard owner, very insecure and very lonely in her Georgia peach world. Since her mother ran off, a lot of the orchard responsibility has been placed on Birdie and she takes her job very seriously.

Leeda is Birdie’s rich and spoiled cousin and she opts to spend the summer at the orchard instead of planning her sister’s wedding. Leeda is incredibly jealous of her sister and wants nothing to do with making plans and knows she isn’t exactly wanted around the peach house either.

Murphy is the resident bad girl. She is sentenced by the town judge to work at the orchard as community service for petty crimes she continuously commits. She has great attitude and adds some excellent dramatic flair to the story.

Though putting distance between themselves at first, the girls grow closer as the summer moves on and find they actually have quite a bit in common. They work together through boyfriend problems, family dramas, and the doubt that the peach orchard will survive. This was a lovely and refreshing book, with believable friendships. I wanted to be friends with these girls!

This is the first in a series, so if you love it, follow it up with The Secrets of Peaches and Love and Peaches. Make sure you have a bowl of fresh PEACHES to eat while you read. Yum!

Great for fans of The Sisterhood of Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares or those that love books by Sarah Dessen.

Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson; $8.99; HarperTeen; Ages 14+

Awesome Teen Author Panel!

We’ve been so lucky to have a steady stream of YA Authors dropping by the store to share their books with all of you and next week we have 4 more! Come join us at 3:30 on June 30th and welcome Elizabeth Scott, Alethea Kontis, Diana Peterfreund, and Brigid Kemmerer to Hooray for Books!

Elizabeth Scott introduces her latest book, Miracle, the story of a young girl who is the only survivor of a plane crash. Megan is a miracle. At least, that’s what everyone says. Having survived a crash that killed everyone else on board, Megan knows she should be grateful just to be alive. But the truth is, she doesn’t feel like a miracle. In fact, she doesn’t feel anything at all. Then memories from the crash start coming back.  Miracle, Simon Pulse, $16.99

Diana Peterfreund’s book, For Darkness Shows the Stars, features 18-year-old Elliot North, a girl who chose family over love four years ago, refusing to run away from the caste system she grew up in, as the servant, Kai, wanted her to. Inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion, For Darkness Shows the Stars is a breathtaking romance about opening your mind to the future and your heart to the one person you know can break it.  For Darkness Shows the Stars, Balzer & Bray/Harperteen, $16.99

Alethea Kontis’ foray into the young adult world is Enchanted. It isn’t easy beign the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true. When Sunday meets an enchanted frog, the two become friends and the friendship deepens into something magical. Sunday’s love transforms the frog into a prince!

A lovely retelling of “The Frog Prince.”  Enchanted, Harcourt Children’s Books, $16.99

Brigid Kemmerer has written Storm, a fast-paced story with lots of thrills and will definitely have you turning the pages faster and faster!

Ever since her ex-boyfriend spread those lies about her, Becca Chandler is suddenly getting all the guys — the ones she doesn’t want. Then she saves Chris from a beating in the school parking lot. Chris is different. Way different: he can control water– just like his brothers can control fire, wind, and earth. They’re powerful. Dangerous. Marked for death. Storm, Kensington Publishing, $9.95

Come join us as the authors talk about their latest books, answer questions, and sign your copies.

Another Teen Author Panel!

This coming Saturday, 5/12, we’ll be having 3 awesome teen authors at the store to talk about their books, do a signing, and answer any of your awesome questions.

Jay Baker is the brainchild of debut author Jay Clark.  In The Edumacation of Jay Baker, this high school freshman’s parents are separated because his mom had an affair, he’s in love with his cheerleader best friend, and his football playing nemesis calls him “Gay Baker.”  But Jay can give as good as he gets in the insult department, which makes for some funny and tense moments along the way. A funny and fast-paced coming-of-age story for ages 14 and up.

 In Magic Under Stone, Jaclyn Dolamore  continues the story of Nimira and Erris, started in Magic Under Glass. For these star-crossed lovers, there can be no happily ever after until Erris is freed from the clockwork form in which his soul is trapped. The two lovers go in search of the sorcerer Ordorio Valdana, hoping he will know how to grant Erris real life again. When they learn that Valdana has mysteriously vanished, Nimira decides to take matters into her own hands, and begins to secretly study the sorcerer’s spell books. Yet even as she begins to understand the power and limitations of sorcery, it becomes clear that freeing Erris will bring danger-if not out-and-out war-as factions within the faerie world are prepared to stop at nothing to prevent him from regaining the throne. Ages 12 and up.

Jon Skovron is the author of Misfit and Struts and Frets. In Misfit, we meet Jael Thompson, who has never really fit in. She’s changed schools too many times to count. The only family she’s ever known is her father, a bitter ex-priest who never lets her date and insists she attend the strictest Catholic school in Seattle. And her mother–well, she was a five thousand year old demon. That doesn’t exactly help. On her sixteenth birthday, her father gives her a present that brings about some unexpected changes. Some of the changes, like strange and wonderful powers and the cute skater boy with a knack for science, are awesome. But others, like the homicidal demon seeking revenge on her family? Not so much.  Steeped in mythology, this is an epic tale of a heroine who balances old world with new, science with magic, and the terrifying depths of the underworld with the ordinary halls of high school. Ages 14 and up.

Call us to reserve your books or to let us know you’re coming! 703-548-4092.

Amanda’s Favorites of 2011

Amanda has been on maternity leave for awhile, but that doesn’t mean she’s stopped reading! Her favorites, like her reading tastes, span a variety of genres:

Blackout by John Rocco, $16.99; Hyperion Books for Children; ages 3+

The Trouble With Chickens: A J.J. Tully Story; $14.99; HarperCollins, ages 7+

Swirl by Swirl: Spirals in Nature by Joyce Sidman; $16.99; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; ages 5+

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen; $19.99; Penguin Group; ages 14+

Miss Megan’s Favorites of 2011

Each of us here at Hooray for Books has our favorites that we’ve fallen in love with throughout the year. Today, Miss Megan shares the books that became her favorites over the past 12 months.

A Monster Calls, by Patrick Ness; Candlewick Press, $16.99, ages 12+

Okay for Now, by Gary Schmidt; Clarion Books, $16.99, ages 10+

Chime, by Frannie Billingsley; Dial Books, $17.99, ages 14+

I Want My Hat Back, by Jon Klassen; Chronicle Books, $15.99, ages 3+

Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu; Walden Pond Press, $16.99, ages 10+

Everybody Sees the Ants, by A.S. King; Little Brown Books for Young Readers, $17.99, ages 14+

If you would like us to reserve  a copy of any of these titles, call us at 703-548-4092 or come on in! We would love to show you more of our favorite books!

‘Tis the Season for Giving!

Here at the store, we have a yearly tradition that we LOVE to talk about!  Hooray for the Holidays is a program we’ve put together where you, our fabulous customers, can come in and shop for books for a child that would otherwise not be receiving books this holiday season.

We have a range of ages in need of books,  both boys and girls, and you simply choose a child and shop away! It’s a fantastic and fun way to help the community, while supporting an independent business at the same time. We also give a discount on books purchased for the program,  leaving your wallet happy too!

Bring your children and get them involved in helping a less-fortunate child enjoy the gift of a great book! If you need help choosing, one of our employees would be thrilled to help, or choose YOUR favorite book that you would love a child to own. It’s a lot of fun and an amazing way to give this holiday season.

Got questions about the program? Give us a call at the store at 703-548-4092 or email us at and we’ll be happy to fill you in on the details.

What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen

 Mclean is completely and utterly lost in terms of knowing who she is and what she wants out of her life. Each time she moves to a new town with her restaurant-flipper dad, she reinvents herself and changes her name. She’s been the quiet one, the overachiever, the popular girl, etc., always trying to escape her real life that includes a mom that had an affair, an eventual divorce between her parents, and a dad who can’t even watch their favorite team play basketball anymore…something they’ve always bonded over.

This latest move begins the same as all the others: new restaurant, new house, new name, but Mclean can’t quite figure out who she wants to be in this town. She actually begins making real friends, including Dave, a guy who makes her think about herself in a way she’s never quite managed before. As time passes, Mclean starts to be herself, forgive some people, and discover a lot about her family she never thought she could deal with.
Sarah Dessen is the queen of realistic, contemporary fiction for teens. Her characters are well-written and come across as honest and believable. If you’re looking for a great read to start off your summer, think about picking up What Happened to Goodbye or any others by Sarah Dessen.
What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen, $19.99, Viking Press, 9780670012947, Young Adult

Great new teen reads!

We have some an excellent YA section at Hooray for Books! and are always looking to share our favorites with you. These are a few of Amanda’s newest favorites!

Split by Swati Avasthi; Knopf; 2010; 16.99

After running away from his abusive father, 16-year-old Jace shows up on the doorstep of his brother, Christian, determined that between the two of them, they can convince their mother to run away as well. An amazing relationship begins to form between the brothers, as each of them learns to live with the consequences of running away and the process of how to live life “after.”

Great for both boys and girls. Recommended for ages 14+

Wither by Lauren DeStefano; Simon & Schuster; 2011; $17.99

The latest in dystopian fiction, this one is bound to have you turning pages late into the night!

16-year-old Rhine is kidnapped and forced into a polygamous marriage  along with two other young girls.  Though she forms a strong bond with her two sister wives and her husband is actually quite kind, Rhine’s sole thoughts are focused on escaping and finding her twin brother.

Though the topics are grim, the writing is beautiful and the characters well-developed.  A very promising start to a new trilogy!

Recommended for ages 14+

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins; Hyperion; 2010; $8.99 

New in paperback, Hex Hall is hilarious, suspenseful, and has a strong girl character. Taking place at a boarding school for witches, werewolves, fairies, and any other magical being, our main character Sophie quickly discovers she’s not very good at using her powers. She makes a few enemies, some great friends, and (of course) finds a cute boy to crush on!

A good, clean read with fun, magical elements. The sequel, Demonglass, just arrived in hardcover. We have that one too!

Ages 12+

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen

Imagine that running is your life. You live to run at track meets and excel at it. And then running is taken away and you aren’t quite sure who you are anymore. This is exactly what happens to 16-year-old Jessica after a tragic accident results in the amputation of one of her legs.

Though she’s told over and over again about the great technology of prosthetics, Jessica isn’t at all comforted knowing she’ll be able to walk again, when all she really wants to do is be able to run. Depressed and hurting, as she works to get used to her new prosthesis, she feels incredibly vulnerable and weak. She doesn’t know who she is anymore, but it’s certainly not the strong, fun girl she was before the accident.

As we read of Jessica’s journey, we go up and down the emotional rollercoaster with her, from sadness and mourning, to hope and determination. Van Draanen does an excellent job channeling how a person in this situation might react and feel, pouring the emotions out onto the page and allowing her reader to truly experience them as they’re happening.  The manner in which she works through her mental and physical challenges is realistic and inspiring.

Recommended for fans of realistic and contemporary fiction, sports fans, or those that just enjoy a great, inspirational story!


The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, $16.99, Ages 12 and up