Kids Article

Why I Write Books for Kids by J.A. White

Short Answer (Take your pick—all are true.): A) I’m a teacher. B) I’m a dad. C) I love kids. D) I love books for kids.

Long Answer (Equally true, but harder to explain.):

While I don’t necessarily miss being a child, I miss being a child reader. I still treasure books, of course, but my enjoyment of them is somewhat hampered by an understanding of their origins, the knowledge that books are written by talented men and women who love to tell stories but also need to earn a living. This inevitable realization—that the once mysterious workings of the world are composed of mere practicalities—is one of the true curses of adulthood. As a child, the thought that an author was paid for his or her work never occurred to me; books were simply truths that fell from the sky, as mysterious as ancient doors leading to far-off kingdoms. I remember being 8 or 9, crouched low by the fiction section of my school’s library (a long row of tightly packed volumes running beneath a giant window that overlooked the playground), sliding out volume after volume just to crinkle the corners of the books’ jacket covers because they were that magnificent. There are benefits to being an adult reader—the learned awareness of an artist’s craft, for example—but I’m not sure the scholarly appreciation of a great work of literature can ever compare with swallowing The Tombs of Atuan in one sitting, with loving a story utterly and completely and feeling not the slightest pressure to justify why. I regard all children with a certain amount of envy for this ability, and that is why it saddens me whenever I meet a child who doesn’t like to read. They don’t know what they’re missing, and the clock is ticking.

The reason I write for children, then, has more to do with them than me. I’m not sure it’s fair to say that children are more appreciative readers than adults, but I feel like they enjoy a purer appreciation. I remember the undiluted love I had for books as a child, and it gives me the greatest pleasure—as both an author and a person—to think that some boy or girl might while away a rainy afternoon with one of mine. Stories, after all, are the greatest gifts we can bestow, and children their worthiest recipients.

A brief interview between Mary-Catherine and J.A. White, in which she tries her best to not beg for information on the upcoming books in the series.

MC: You mentioned THE TOMBS OF ATUAN in your piece--which other books, from your childhood or current day, would recommend for young Brazos Bookstore readers?
JAW: Wow—where to start? My favorite fantasy series growing up was THE CHRONICLES OF PRYDAIN by Lloyd Alexander. I also loved A WRINKLE IN TIME by Madeleine L’Engle, the Earthsea books by Ursula LeGuin, and anything by John Bellairs, particularly THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS. Some of my current favorites include THE BOOK OF LOST THINGS by John Connolly (as well as his Samuel Johnson books), the Bartimaeus series by Jonathan Stroud, and the short story collection M IS FOR MAGIC by Neil Gaiman (which contains “October in the Chair,” one of my favorite short stories). A few other recent titles I really enjoyed were THE LUCK UGLIES by Paul Durham, THE RIVERMAN by Aaron Starmer, and THE CAVENDISH HOME FOR BOYS AND GIRLS by Claire Legrand.

MC: In light of the different ways kids and adults read, what do you think about the current trend of adults reading children's lit and YA?
JAW: I love the fact that so many adults are enjoying children’s lit and YA! Why not? The true measure of a book’s success is whether or not it can be enjoyed by a reader of any age; a good story is a good story, period. (For example, UMBRELLA by Taro Yashima is, for my money, one of the most perfectly realized narratives ever written—and it’s a picture book.) Also, when adults read the same books as the children in their lives it provides such a golden opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations about literature. It’s a win-win for everyone!

MC: Has writing for children helped you recapture that purity of a child's book appreciation? Has it changed how you relate to books?
JAW: In terms of my own reading, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to recapture the purity of appreciation that I had as a child. Don’t get me wrong—I still get giddy whenever any of my favorite authors release a book (that means you, Gillian Flynn—hurry up). But although reading gives me great pleasure, the writer side of me is always considering the author’s technique and why he/she wrote things a particular way. I wish I could turn that analytical part of my brain off and just enjoy the story, but I can’t. On the other hand, writing THE THICKETY has allowed me to meet young people who have that wide-eyed appreciation for something I wrote, which is an utter honor and the best feeling in the world. So I guess reading will never be the same as when I was a kid, but writing has never been better!

THE THICKETY is on our shelves now!  

The Thickety: A Path Begins Cover Image
By J. A. White, Andrea Offermann (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062257246
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - May 6th, 2014

Real Kids Review Books!

We trust our experts because they're YOU! Readers for our brand new ARC Review Program are reading and reviewing the best new picture books, chapter books and young adult novels. 



Poop Fountain!: The Qwikpick Papers Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419704253
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - May 20th, 2014

This book is about three kids who go to see a fountain of (ahem) poop. The kids' names are Lyle, Marilla, and Dave. I think the fact that it's a true story is special. I think that people should read it because it's about a poor boy and his friends doing something amazing. Plus, it has the word poop a lot. I liked this book and I think you will too. 

--Daniel M., 8 

Torn Away Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316245531
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 6th, 2014

TORN AWAY is about Jersey, a sixteen year old girl that thinks she knows all about tornados. When her town is destroyed by one, jersey loses everything-her mom, her sister, and her home. She is first sent to live with her biological father and then her grandparents. Jersey must learn how to cope with the grief and live her life again. I loved this book partly because I was always worried about what was going to happen next. I could not put TORN AWAY down.

-- Caroline B., 13


The Glass Sentence (The Mapmakers Trilogy #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780670785025
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - June 12th, 2014

THE GLASS SENTENCE is a great book. It takes place almost 100 years after the Great Disruption, which threw all the countries and continents into different time periods, from the far future to prehistoric times. The book is about a girl named Sophia. Her Uncle Shadrack is a very famous mapmaker and explorer. When Shadrack gets kidnapped, he leavesher a message in her notebook that says “Find Veressa.” Sophia and her new friend, Theo, leave for the Baldlands to try to find Veressa. I loved this book and would definitely highly recommend it. It is very original, which I really liked. The author created memory maps that allow people to view other people’s memories by touching the maps and created new ways of telling time (from a 20 hour New Occident clock to a 9 hour Baldlands clock). THE GLASS SENTENCE is an amazing book, and anyone who loves adventure books should definitely read this book!

-- Emily B., 11


Help! We Need a Title! Cover Image
By Herve Tullet, Herve Tullet (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763670214
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick - May 13th, 2014

This review isn’t finished...haha just kidding! This supposedly unfinished book is about a cast of hospitable characters trying to find a story for their book. The inspiring, creative story seems to look at an unfinished page not as a failure, but as an opportunity. The sketch-like and moldable quality of the art lends to new surprises and discovery on every page! In this book, it’s not the destination that’s great, but the journey. This is a must-read because it teaches you that things don’t have to be finished to be great!

-- Anjelika, 16, Teen Intern


Infinite Sky Cover Image
ISBN: 9781481406581
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - May 20th, 2014

INFINITE SKY is about a girl named Iris. Her mom left two months before the book starts. Gypsies, also called Travelers, move on to her family’s land at the start of the book. Iris sneaks out to see the Gypsy boy who is her age, but her father hates the Gypsies so she gets in trouble. Then someone she likes kills one of her relatives (I don’t want to spoil the story by giving away more), and she has to figure out where her loyalties lie. I thought this book was amazing. It was never boring. Even though the story was sad at times, it was happy at the end, and Iris learns to accept that life isn’t always fair. This was a book that I could barely put it down once I started reading it.

-- Emily B., 11

Henny Cover Image
ISBN: 9781442484368
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books - January 7th, 2014

HENNY is about a chicken with arms who has some trouble fitting in at the farm. This book illustrates what it’s like to be different in a profound, yet relatable way. The simplicity of the illustrations give it a happy, yet delicate feel. It’s easy to relate to Henny when her emotions are written not only on her, but in her surrounding. It’s a memorable book and teaches an important lesson-being different can be good!

-- Anjelika, 16, Teen Intern

Comics Squad: Recess! Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385370035
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - July 8th, 2014

I liked this book because it is funny and I like funny books. I also liked this book because it is full of comics and I like books with comics. And it is different from other books I've read. 

--Joshua B., 7 

Uncaged (The Singular Menace, 1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385753067
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - July 8th, 2014

This book is about a radical animal rights group that is hunted by a company that experiments on animals. It explores all aspects of California, which I thought was cool. People should read it because it's packed with action and I couldn't put it down.

--Nicholas E., 12 

Nuts to You Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060092757
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - August 26th, 2014

This book is about a squirrel (Jed) who gets snatched by a hawk and then his friends set out on a treacherous journey to save him. My favorite part was the squirrels’ game at the end. I also enjoyed the squirrels’ interpretation of human language. If you’re looking for a book you can’t put down, choose NUTS TO YOU.

-- Katie R., 9

Kate the Great, Except When She's Not Cover Image
By Suzy Becker, Suzy Becker (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780385387422
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - August 5th, 2014

KATE THE GREAT is about a girl named Kate who has to survive Robin (her older sister), her frenemy Nora, and Mrs. Petty, the art teacher. She is going into fifth grade, which is her last year of elementary school. Kate really likes to doodle, and her drawings throughout the book are very entertaining. She makes jokes and doodles from her day that I felt really added to the telling of the story. The book was very funny and well-written. Kate is close to my age, and I could relate to her in various parts of the book. I highly recommend it!

-- Emily B., 11

The Fire Wish Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385369763
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - July 22nd, 2014

This book is about two girls who trade places. An ordinary girl captures a jinni and wishes that they could trade places. She ends up living in the jinni’s world, while the jinni must live in the human world. Through the course of the book, each girl learns that they like their own lives better, so they each try to get their old lives back. This book is told from first person point of view with the characters alternating back and forth. I would like to say this book is better suited for girls because almost all the characters in the book are girls.

-- Price P., 11

The Misadventures of the Family Fletcher Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385376525
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers - July 22nd, 2014

THE MISADVENTURES OF THE FAMILY FLETCHER is about two dads and their four adopted boys. I really enjoyed this book, because each boy was from a different culture and religion. As a result, they celebrated all different kinds of holidays which I loved hearing about. The oldest boy was Christian, the next oldest boy was African-American and celebrated Kwanzaa, the second youngest was Jewish, and the youngest was Hindu. I liked that they all were nice to each other and had a great time together. I especially liked the youngest boy, Frog. He was very funny and cute. This book reminded me of the PENDERWICKS series. THE MISADVENTURES OF THE FAMILY FLETCHER showed what family was all about.

-- Caroline B., 13

Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor (Frank Einstein series #1): Book One Cover Image
By Jon Scieszka, Brian Biggs (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781419712180
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - August 19th, 2014

Frank Einstein is a very bright kid scientist who visits his grandfather, Albert Einstein, while his parents are on vacation. Klink and Klank are two self-assembled artificial-intelligence entities (more simply robots). Frank, Klink and Klank work together to make an Antimatter Motor bike to enter into a science fair. I really liked this book because it was funny and entertaining, and it was neat to see how smart Frank was. I was really interested to see if they would win the science fair or not. The robots had funny personalities and helped Frank a lot with the Antimatter Motor bike. I am really glad it is a series and cannot wait for the next one to come out!

-- John B., 8

The Swap Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062311696
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - August 26th, 2014

THE SWAP is about a girl named Ellie and a boy named Jack who switch bodies. Jack (in Ellie’s body) has to get used to going to sleepover birthday parties, soccer, and everything else Ellie usually does. Meanwhile Ellie (in Jack’s body) has to get used to Jack’s three older brothers, his rigorous hockey training, and other boyish things. Seeing how Ellie and Jack reacted to having to live as the opposite gender was very entertaining. I would definitely recommend this book to kids ages 10 to 14. I really liked this book and think it would appeal to boys and girls alike since the main characters are a boy and a girl. THE SWAP was very original and very well-written.

-- Emily B., 11

Leroy Ninker Saddles Up: Tales from Deckawoo Drive, Volume One Cover Image
By Kate DiCamillo, Chris Van Dusen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763663391
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick - August 26th, 2014

Leroy Ninker works at the movie theater in the concessions area; however, he wants to be a cowboy. He realizes that to be a cowboy, he needs a horse. He gets a horse for free from someone wanting a new home for her horse, and then he loses the poor horse. The rest of the story deals with how he tries to get the horse back. I thought this book was really good and finished it in one sitting, I liked it so much. I also liked reading about all of the MERCY WATSON series characters in this story because it is a spinoff from Mercy Watson. LEROY NINKER SADDLES UP was very funny and entertaining, and I hope there will be more of them.

-- John B., 8

Dive Into Summer Reading!

From beginning readers to high school graduates, we’ve prepared a summer reading list that has something for everyone. Curated from brand-new bestsellers, store favorites newly in paperback, and recommendations from the HAISLN list, these fifty titles will please parents and kids alike.

Middle Grade Reading List    |     Young Adult Reading List 

Download the complete reading list here

Reading Logs and the Summer Reading Challenge
Print off the official Brazos reading log and checklist-version of the summer reading list to help your child track their progress. At the end of the summer, we’ll give away prizes for our most prolific readers, but also celebrate kids at every level of participation. Completed reading logs can be turned in anytime all summer and kids can fill out as many as they want! It is my hope that kids and teens--from reluctant readers to avid bookworms--will find that they can take part and find success as more empowered readers!
** Checklist
** Reading log

ARC Review Program - Ages 8-18
The ARC (Advanced Readers Copy) Review program is designed for readers aged 8-18. This is a free program that allows students to take home advanced copies of books and review them for our store, newsletter, and website! This program is not strictly for summer, but we’re kicking it off along with our other summer initiatives. Fill out the registration form, bring it to the store, and choose an ARC based on the child’s age group. They can write as many reviews as they want and turn them in on the official submission form.
** Registration form
** Submission form

BTAB (Brazos Teen Advisory Board) - Ages 12-18
The Brazos Teen Advisory Board, which will run for the duration of next school year, is a great opportunity for teens age 12-18 to take on a deeper role in the store. We’ll be accepting applications all summer and will make decisions at the end of August. This is a great opportunity for passionate teen readers to learn about bookselling, write features for our website, and volunteer with in-store events.
** BTAB app


Vintage YA Turned Classic

Speaking of things that only get better with age, prolific writer and blogger Lizzie Skurnick has created a new imprint of Ig Publishing for the purpose of repackaging forgotten teen novels from the 1930s-1980s. The explosion of writing for young adults in the last twenty years has created a market and audience for these novels that they didn’t really have when they were originally published. Skurnick’s first selections came out in Fall 2013 and, as of now, we have six of her titles in our YA section. Aside from being great, timeless stories, these books are a fun way for teens to understand a bit of what life was like when Mom and Dad (or even Grandma and Grandpa!) were growing up. Our staff loved reading these selections this winter; we’ve reviewed a few of our favorites below.

Secret Lives Cover Image
ISBN: 9781939601056
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Lizzie Skurnick Books - April 1st, 2014

Addie lives in a big old New Orleans house with her two elderly aunts, “who think more about dying than living.” A lonely orphan, Addie has always been told that her mother drowned in Honduras after a tidal wave crashed into their house. She has a feeling no one is telling her the whole truth, but she can’t remember anything before her life in New Orleans. With the aid of a new friend, Addie sets out to find out what really happened to her mother.


Me and Fat Glenda Cover Image
ISBN: 9781939601032
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Lizzie Skurnick Books - January 28th, 2014

Despite the less-than-politically correct title, ME AND FAT GLENDA is a funny, warm-hearted 70s throwback perfect for dreamy kids who feel like outsiders. Sara has a loving, supportive family, but her parents are also free-spirited hippies who don't do things like other moms and dads. Their unusual, artistic way of life fits in well enough in the college town where Sara was raised, but when they move to a faraway suburb, Sara's family sticks out like a sore thumb. When Sara meets an odd, loudmouthed neighbor girl who everyone calls Fat Glenda, she befriends her despite her bad reputation. After all, they're both outcasts! But can Sara trust her new confidante?


A Long Day in November Cover Image
ISBN: 9781939601025
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Lizzie Skurnick Books - December 3rd, 2013

This novella follows Sunny, a young boy growing up in the “black quarter” of a sugar cane plantation, on a single, eventful day in 1940. Told in his distinct voice, the book explores his parents’ fraught relationship, his limited access to education, his family structure, and much more. At turns heartbreaking, funny, and frustrating, teens will be drawn into Sunny's story and immersed in the challenges and realities of his daily life. His childish narrative voice is a fascinating tool that will add vivid layers to this unique reading experience for teens.


Check out the rest of the Lizzie Skurnick books on sale at Brazos:

Debutante Hill Cover Image
ISBN: 9781939601001
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Lizzie Skurnick Books - September 17th, 2013

To All My Fans, with Love, from Sylvie Cover Image
ISBN: 9781939601018
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Lizzie Skurnick Books - October 15th, 2013

Happy Endings Are All Alike Cover Image
ISBN: 9781939601049
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Lizzie Skurnick Books - February 25th, 2014

Brazos Bookstore's Annual Bookmark Contest

We give out a LOT of bookmarks here at Brazos, and we are always looking for new ideas for their design. This spring we’re asking kids to lend their artistic expertise to our second annual Bookmark Contest! Download the official entry form here and return it to the store by Saturday, April 12, 2014. We’ll announce the winners at our summer reading kickoff party on Saturday, May 17th at 2pm!

Click here to download and print the official entry form


Joy Interviews the Magnificent Crystal Allen

I’ve known Houston author Crystal Allen for a while now, and she is not only one of my favorite humans but also incredibly talented, funny, generous, and all-around wonderful. Her books -- award-winning (including the Bluebonnet Award) middle grade and young reader fiction-- are hugely popular and her school visits are a thing of wonder. Ben and I had the good fortune to accompany her on a day of school events recently. Crystal teaches her student audience the basics of telling a story and does so with humor and wit and an infectious enthusiasm.

How Lamar's Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061992735
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - August 14th, 2012

The Laura Line Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062490216
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - June 7th, 2016

The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: Mya in the Middle Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062839398
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - October 16th, 2018

Kids Holiday Catalog: Sweet and Humorous

The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse Cover Image
By Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763677541
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick - October 10th, 2017

When Mac Barnett partners with Jon Klassen, you know the resulting picture book is going to be funny, clever, and fabulous! What happens when I duck and a mouse get swallowed by a wolf? Probably not what you expect! You and the littles will be laughing aloud… and maybe feeling the teensiest bit sympathetic for Mr. Wolf. This one is genius!

Professional Crocodile Cover Image
ISBN: 9781452165066
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - August 1st, 2017

Each morning Mr Crocodile gets ready for work. He picks out his tie, pants, and his shirt but what exactly is his job? Follow Mr Crocodile as he preps for work and heads into work. One of our very favorite picture books of the year.

Baabwaa and Wooliam: A Tale of Literacy, Dental Hygiene, and Friendship Cover Image
By David Elliott, Melissa Sweet (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763660741
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick - September 12th, 2017

A heartwarming picture book about two sheep suspicious of a third, funny-looking sheep that may well be a wolf in sheep's clothing. Hilarious and smart, this story discusses everything from literacy to dental hygiene.

After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) Cover Image
By Dan Santat, Dan Santat (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781626726826
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Roaring Brook Press - October 3rd, 2017

You only THINK you know the story of Humpty Dumpty. Now imagine that he did get patched up after that fall from wall… but not without a pesky fear of heights. Understandable, right? So he sets out to cure that and… well, I won’t give the story away except to say that the ending will leave you both smiling and wonderfully surprised!

The Afterlife of Holly Chase Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062318503
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - October 24th, 2017

Scrooge meets Groundhog Day (or Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall), in this YA reimagining of A Christmas Carol. Bestselling author Cynthia Hand has written a clever novel about life, love and second chances. Five years ago Holly Chase was visited by three ghosts trying to show her how selfish she was. But she didn’t listen. And she died. Now she’s stuck as the Ghost of Christmas Past… but this year’s Scrooge is about to change everything.

Kids Holiday Catalog: Timely and Thought-Provoking

Her Right Foot Cover Image
By Dave Eggers, Shawn Harris (By (artist))
ISBN: 9781452162812
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Chronicle Books - September 19th, 2017

A non-fiction picture by Dave Eggers about the Statue of Liberty? Yes please. Perfect for all ages, Eggers explores the iconic statue, focusing on why she’s depicted mid-stride, moving forward. The ending is guaranteed to bring good tears to your eyes. A wonderful gift for everyone on your list.

Long Way Down Cover Image
ISBN: 9781481438254
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - October 24th, 2017

The prolific Jason Reynolds offers up an unforgettable and intense YA drama--in verse no less! A stark morality tale taking place in 60 seconds, LONG WAY DOWN is also a tremendous psychological thriller and even a ghost story that nevertheless remains firmly rooted in the very real issue of youth violence. A thought-provoking and hip work from the reigning king of young people's literature, give this book to give the mature teen reader on your list this year.

Moxie: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781626726352
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Roaring Brook Press - September 19th, 2017

When Vivian Carter gets fed up with the rampant sexism and misogyny at her small town Texas high school, she fights back by taking a page from her mother’s old Riot Grrrl zine-making days and makes and anonymously distributes a protest zine… and starts a feminist revolution. Already optioned for a film by Amy Poehler, Mathieu’s latest is funny and fiercely girl positive and most of all joyful. A great read for teens and adults, perfect for book clubs and pretty much everyone! Plus Mathieu is a Houston author, journalist, and English teacher at Bellaire High School!

Turtles All the Way Down Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525555360
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - October 10th, 2017

Green’s first novel since THE FAULT IN OUR STARS is a tour de force-- a bit of mystery, a bit of romance, a lot of characteristic witty, philosophical dialogue and a serious look at mental illness as protagonist Aza struggles with spiraling thoughts, friendship, and her own grief at the death of her father, all while falling for a boy who she may not be able to help or love. A solid read for teens and adults, Green’s latest is definitely a crossover YA/Adult title.

The Closest I've Come Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062488534
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperTeen - November 7th, 2017

Marcos Rivas wants to get away from his neighborhood, his uncaring mom and her abusive boyfriend. He wants a life different from the one he has. But being true to yourself isn’t easy, nor is discovering the realities of that world he’s been longing for. A moving and wonderfully debut YA novel, perfect for fans of Walter Dean Meyers.

Kids Holiday Catalog: Who I Am/Who I'll Be

Saving Marty Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399539077
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - September 19th, 2017

Silly, warm-hearted and honest, this story focuses on the friendship between a boy and a pig who thinks it's a dog. This book delves into themes of friendship, love and sacrifice

The War I Finally Won Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525429203
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - October 3rd, 2017

This sequel to the New York Times bestselling/ Newbery Honor winning The War That Saved My Life can also be read as a stand-alone. World War II is intensifying and Ada, now living with her brother Jamie at her guardian Susan’s, continues her struggle with war, family, faith and finding her place in the world. Historical fiction at its best, this is fine middle grade fiction: Adventurous, moving, and beautifully written.

All's Faire in Middle School Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525429999
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - September 5th, 2017

Eleven-year-old Imogene has grown up on the Renaissance Faire circuit with her parents. She’s even getting ready to train as a squire. Instead, the previously home-schooled Impy is about to head to public school, where she finds that traversing middle school life requires way more bravery than any Renn Fest scenario she could imagine. Bittersweet, funny, and authentic, this is a wonderful new graphic novel by the Newbery Honor-winning author of the very popular Roller Girl.

Like Water Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062373373
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - October 17th, 2017

LIKE WATER is a great read from Rebecca Podos, author of THE MYSTERY OF HOLLOW PLACES. It's billed as a "novel of first love," but it's also bigger than that: protagonist Savannah Espinoza must deal with issues around family, identity, and relationships. The characters are memorable and the dialogue is strong, and the story isn't afraid to push toward the vulnerable.

Jane, Unlimited Cover Image
ISBN: 9780803741492
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Kathy Dawson Books - September 19th, 2017

When ordinary Jane’s aunt Magnolia disappears on an expedition in Antarctica, Jane isn’t quite sure what to do. So of course she says yes when a glamorous acquaintance as her to a gala at her family’s mansion, Tu Reviens. So she goes. And suddenly her life takes a crazy twist. 5 choices of how Jane’s story will turn out. Five twists and turns. Five choices. And five different genres of storytelling. JANE UNLIMITED is hitting lots of end of year Best Of lists and for good reason! Great for genre fans and beyond.

A Short History of the Girl Next Door Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524716073
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 26th, 2017

We all have that perfect, motion picture version of our lives that exist only in our own heads and don't always line up with reality. This makes great fodder for Jared Reck's A SHORT HISTORY OF THE GIRL NEXT DOOR: main character Matt Wainwright constantly sabotages himself over his crush and his basketball aspirations. Equal parts hilarity and heartbreak, Reck's debut novel hits all the right notes.

Kids Holiday Catalog: A Little Magic

Harry Potter: A Journey Through a History of Magic Cover Image
ISBN: 9781338267105
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - October 20th, 2017

Based on the British Library collection, this great gift is everything a Harry Potter fan wants to know and more! Explore the Hogwarts curriculum, study previously unseen sketches and manuscript pages and much more. What could be better than a curated collection of Harry Potter lore from the British Library? A fun treasure!

The Book of Dust:  La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust, Volume 1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780375815300
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - October 19th, 2017

Philip Pullman returns to the world of his acclaimed HIS DARK MATERIALS series with a novel full of adventure and intrigue. When Malcolm Polstead intercepts a message meant for another spy, he's pulled into a great conspiracy centered around finding a child named Lyra. The prose is quick and will keep you turning the page, and Pullman's dialogue is just stellar. A great read for lovers of the original series or those just coming to the title.

Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic Cover Image
By Armand Baltazar, Armand Baltazar (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062402363
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - October 10th, 2017

We’re in deep love with this first book of a new middle grade fantasy series-- an epic tale with more than 150 full color illustrations. Imagine that Earth has been re-shaped-- past, present, and future co-existing. It’s not always peaceful, but it works for Diego. But then Diego turns thirteen, learns he has a special, secret gift within, and his engineer father is kidnapped by a group determined to disrupt humanity. Diego’s adventure is just beginning and it’s a grand one! Perfect for fans of both Rick Riordan and Brian Selznick.

How Oscar Indigo Broke the Universe (And Put It Back Together Again) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062377494
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - November 7th, 2017

David Teague offers a story filled wtih baseball, stopping time, philosophers that surf, and an unlikely hero trying to save a universe about to break (and he just so happens to be the one to have broken it in the first place). This is a fun read full of wacky and imaginative details and characters that are easy to cheer for, or against. Still riding high from that Astros World Series win? Keep the baseball trend going with this entertaining read.

Wild Beauty: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250124555
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Feiwel & Friends - October 3rd, 2017

Murder, Magic, and What We Wore Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553535204
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 19th, 2017

A magical Regency-era mystery, this one is perfect for younger YA readers and up. Sixteen-year-old Annis’s father has died. His money is missing. The result? Annis becomes a spy to hunt down his killer. Better yet? She’s got the magical ability to sew garments that disguise the wearer! Will tracking a killer be harder than getting through the London social season? This one is fun and funny, a rollicking read!

All the Crooked Saints Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545930802
Availability: Not On Our Shelves. Usually arrives in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - October 10th, 2017

Meet the Soria family of Bicho Raro, Colorado, who have the ability to perform miracles, passed down for generations. This book is equal parts magic and science, written with strong leanings towards magical realism. Fans of Stiefvator will delight in her lush prose style, and newcomers will be swept up this magical tale of love, forgiveness, and family.