Kids Article

Food and Family are Universals: Joy Interviews Emily Jenkins, Author of ALL-OF-A-KIND FAMILY HANUKKAH

One of my very favorite series growing up was Sydney Taylor’s ALL OF A KIND FAMILY, about five Jewish sisters growing up at the turn of the 20th century in New York City’s Lower East Side. The stories are delightful-- vivid and funny and warm, with clear Jewish representation and plots that are about everyday life adventures, not issues. I read them over and over. So imagine my excitement when I saw that one of my favorite authors for young people, Emily Jenkins, had been asked to write the  ALL OF A KIND FAMILY HANUKKAH picture book!

All-of-a-Kind Family Hanukkah Cover Image
By Emily Jenkins, Paul O. Zelinsky (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780399554193
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Schwartz & Wade - September 11th, 2018

Intentions, Hot Takes, and Forgiveness: Joy Interviews Leila Sales

I’ve been a huge fan of Leila Sales’ writing since I picked up a copy of THIS SONG WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE, about about a girl DJ, the power of music, relationships, and more. Sales’ voice grabbed me then and hasn’t let me go since. So what a true pleasure to be able to interview her about writing, life, Twitter-dragging, moral grey areas, and her newest and very timely YA IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY about girl who thoughtlessly says something truly awful on line and has to deal with the public and personal fallout. Here’s what Leila had to say:

If You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say: A Novel Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780374380991
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - May 1st, 2018

Joy Interviews Elana K. Arnold, Author of DAMSEL

I recently had the privilege of meeting author Elana K. Arnold at the Austin SCBWI conference. She was giving one of the keynotes and I was presenting a breakout session, and somehow we sat together at dinner. The ensuing conversation over chips and guacamole and margaritas about literature and life and feminism and fairy tales and more was so fascinating that I asked her right then if I could interview her. And then I read DAMSEL. It is a powerful novel, skillfully written and raw in its emotions even as Arnold uses fairy tale narrative structure.

Damsel Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062742322
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - October 2nd, 2018

Dad and Daughter Make A Book: Joy Interviews Caldecott Winner Matthew Cordell

One of the picture books I’ve been eagerly anticipating is finally here: Caldecott’s Medal winner (WOLF IN THE SNOW) Matthew Cordell’s KING ALICE, about a little girl and her family stuck indoors on a snowy day. When Alice’s dad suggests she create her own book to combat snow day boredom, all sorts of imaginative shenanigans ensue!

So imagine my delight when I was able to interview Matthew Cordell about his books, his family, winning the Caldecott and more! Here’s what Matthew had to say:

King Alice Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250047496
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Feiwel & Friends - September 25th, 2018

Joy Interviews Rachel Toalson, Author of THE COLORS OF THE RAIN

It’s my great pleasure today to get to chat with debut author Rachel Toalson, one of our wonderful Texas authors of books for young adults. She’ll be in store on Sunday, 9/23, discussing and signing her novel THE COLORS OF RAIN, which is set here in Houston, in the tumultuous 1970s.

Broadening our Horizons in Kid Lit

One of the things I love best about my colleagues here at Brazos is that every day, we challenge each other to broaden our reading. Whether it’s Sara encouraging us to read Women in Translation or Mark getting excited about Latin American novels in translation or Keaton putting strange and wonderful literary gems in our hands or dozens of other moments, we collectively explore the world through the books we discover--and are able to pass on to our customers.

Dreamers Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780823440559
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Neal Porter Books - September 4th, 2018

We will have this in both English and Spanish. The English version is effortlessly bilingual, and the illustrations are breathtaking. I’ve been a fan of Yuyi Morales since I heard her speak at the national SCBWI conference in LA, and I’ve made it a point to stock her book since I came to Brazos. Her picture book Horrendous Hermanitos, a bilingual wrestling adventure, is a store favorite. Dreamers is inspired by Yuyi’s own immigration story, and obviously it couldn’t be a more timely tale.


A Winter's Promise: Book One of the Mirror Visitor Quartet Cover Image
$19.95
ISBN: 9781609454838
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Europa Editions - September 25th, 2018

We are so thrilled that this YA fantasy gem from a French author is now available in an impeccable translation. A girl named Ophelia who can read the past of objects. Who can travel through mirrors. And who gets promised off in marriage, sent far away to ‘a cold icy ark known as the Pole’ and realizes she is part of a political game that could affect everything she knows and loves. Winter’s Promise is being compared to American YA titles as Margaret Rogers’ An Enchantment of Ravens; Melissa Albert’s The Hazelwood; V.S. Schwab’s Shades of Magic, and our very popular summer reading title, Tomi Adeyemi’s Children of Blood and Bone –– both in its fantasy content as well as the gorgeous scope of the store.


A note from Laura: This is Europa’s first foray into Young Adult novels and I couldn’t be more excited! You may know Europa Editions for their beloved adult titles such as Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan series or Muriel Barbery’s The Elegance of the Hedgehog. A Winter's Promise is the first book in the world-wide best selling Mirror Visitor Quartet. A lush, romantic tale about family, duty, and discovering your independence, this book is going to be a crowd pleaser! 


Scottish Lumberjills, Tablet Candy, Sophomore Novels, and Other Adventures: A Q&A with Author Caroline Leech

It’s always a pleasure when Houston YA author Caroline Leech drops by. She’s amazingly talented. She’s got this delightful Scottish accent. Her Scotland-set historical novels are engaging, fun, romantic and lush with details that make you feel like you’re wandering the Highlands. Also she says things like “Putting tablet in your coffee is like putting gravy on haggis” and who doesn’t adore someone who can come up with a sentence like that?

Kid Lit Represents!

One thing that both Laura and I are always keenly aware of when buying and merchandising for and in the Kids’ Room and YA section is making sure that we represent the diversity of our world as widely as possible. In kidlit we are fond of saying that books should be both mirrors and windows, and we take this idea very seriously here. Of course this philosophy holds true for all books, but we’re particularly focused on it for children’s books.

Waldo is Hiding in Houston Again!

The world-famous Waldo comes to Houston in July and will be hiding out in 22 local businesses all month (starting July 1). Drop into any of the locations to pick up your Find Waldo Passport and get it stamped every time you find him. Once you have collected ten stamps, you can come to Brazos Bookstore and get a “I Found Waldo!” button and $1 off coupon for any of the Where’s Waldo books we have on display.

Joy Interviews Samantha Clark, author of THE BOY, THE BOAT, AND THE BEAST

I have known author Samantha Clark for a number of years now. Our paths cross regularly in a number of ways: We are both members of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (Sam is the Regional Advisor for the Austin chapter); We both attend many of the same writer’s conferences and retreats. I’ve watched with eager anticipation her journey to publication with a fabulous and thrilling middle grade novel called The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast, which debuts at the end of this month.

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