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April 03, 2017

A Letter from Beth Ain, author of Izzy Kline Has Butterflies!

April 03, 2017

New Young Adult Novels!

It’s that time of year! Spring is almost here, and we’re all looking for books we can sink our teeth into over the break or just to keep us company during the final cold days. Spring has sprung us some great new young adult reads!

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner
Ages 14 & Up

Carver Briggs never thought a simple text would cause a fatal crash, killing his three best friends, Mars, Eli, and Blake. But now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and even worse, a powerful judge is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a goodbye day with her to share their memories and say a proper farewell. Soon the other families are asking for their own goodbye day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses? Or will these goodbye days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown, or—even worse—prison?

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves
Ages 12 & Up

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong, but her fate takes another course when she inadvertently breaks her sister’s debutante spells. Anna is exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary. Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems—not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome gypsy Gábor, not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion sweeps across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. The Binding that holds all magic in place has long made magic available only to those at the highest levels of society, but Anna’s power to break spells might be able to break the Binding, making magic available to all—maybe even to her. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and gypsies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

Bad Blood by Demitria Lunetta
Ages 14 & Up

A teenage girl is haunted by dreams and compelled to self-harm until she discovers a family secret and a past full of magic that could both save her and put her in mortal danger in this dark, suspenseful novel that’s perfect for fans of Katie Alender, Mindy McGinnis, and Natasha Preston.

All sixteen-year-old Heather MacNair wants is to feel normal, to shed the intense paranoia she’s worn all year like a scratchy sweater. After her compulsion to self-harm came uncomfortably to light, Heather was kept under her doctor’s watchful eye. Her family thinks she’s better—and there’s nothing she wants more than for that to be true. She still can’t believe she’s allowed to spend her summer vacation as she always does, at her aunt’s home in Scotland, where she has lots of happy memories. Far away from all her problems save one: carving the Celtic knot that haunts her dreams into her skin. Good friends and boys with Scottish accents can cure almost anything . . . except her nightmares. Heather can’t stop dreaming about two sisters from centuries ago, twins Prudence and Primrose, who seem to be tied somehow to Heather’s own life. They’re a murky memory that lurks underneath the surface, ripping apart her summer. The twins might hold the key to putting her soul at rest . . . or they could slice her future deeper than any knife ever could.

You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner
Ages 12 & Up

When your favorite after-school activity is tagging walls with graffiti, friends are a liability. Julia learns this the hard way when she covers up a slur about her best friend with a beautiful (albeit illegal) mural sprayed right across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf. Her best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a mainstream school in the suburbs, where, as the only deaf student, she’s treated like a sideshow freak. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could get her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. A tag on a sign, a piece on an overpass. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone has been adding to her tags, making them better, showing off. She expected her art might get painted over by cops, but she never imagined getting involved in a graffiti war.

Now Julia must go toe to toe with her rival . . . or face losing the only piece of her identity that still makes sense. Told with wit and grit by debut author Whitney Gardner, who also provides gorgeous interior illustrations of Julia’s graffiti tags, You’re Welcome, Universe introduces audiences to a one-of-a-kind protagonist who is unabashedly herself no matter what life throws in her way.

Grendel’s Guide to Love and War by A. E. Kaplan
Ages 12 & Up

Tom Grendel lives a quiet life—writing in his notebooks, mowing lawns for his elderly neighbors, and pining for Willow, a girl next door who rejects the manic pixie dream girl label. But when Willow’s brother Rex (the bro-iest bro ever to don a jockstrap) starts throwing wild parties, the idyllic senior citizens community where they live is transformed into a war zone. Tom is rightfully pissed—his dad is an Iraq vet, and the noise from the parties triggers his PTSD—so he comes up with a plan to end the parties for good. But it’s not that simple.

One retaliation leads to another, and things quickly escalate out of control, driving Tom and Willow apart even as the parties continue unabated. Add to that an angsty existential crisis born of selectively reading his sister’s Philosophy 101 coursework, a botched break-in to an artisanal pig farm, and ten years of unresolved baggage stemming from his mother’s death . . . and the question isn’t so much whether Tom Grendel will win the day and get the girl, but whether he’ll survive intact.

The Football Girl by Thatcher Heldring
Ages 12 & Up

Tessa and Caleb have always been close, but it was on the field where their friendship sparked into something more. Summertime flag football holds every bright memory for these two, but like many events tinged by summer’s glow, their pending school year and the social implications that come with it carry them into a situation they never saw coming. Football is said to be a boys sport, and before Tessa, not a single girl had tried to play. Until now. Tessa is on a mission. She loves football, and she’s good at it. Why can’t she try out?

When Tessa’s mission turns into something else and Caleb starts to withdraw from both her and his friends, the two of them must decide what really matters: the love of those around them or the love of the game.

The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares
Ages 12 & Up

Love, sadness, and years of good and bad decisions collide over the course of one bittersweet summer in a dysfunctional, privileged family filled with secrets in this beautifully written novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Ann Brashares.

Teenagers Ray and Sasha have grown up sharing a bedroom in their summer house on a pond in Wainscott, yet they’ve never met. Over the course of one summer filled with misunderstandings and new insights, each of them, along with their shared half-siblings—Emma, Quinn, and Mattie—must learn to accept the hand they’ve been dealt, culminating in a devastating tragedy that will either break or heal their family forever.


April 03, 2017

April Teach-Alike: Stephanie Graegin’s Little Fox in the Forest with Jane Yolen and John Schoenherr’s Owl Moon

Purpose: Classic literary authors (Shakespeare, Miller, Hurston, Morrison, Faulkner, Austen, Hemingway, Wright, and Brontë, just to name a few) are studied in classrooms every day across the country. Their texts have been used for years, and for good reason: the writing is exemplary, the characters are universal yet complex, and the themes touch on all aspects of humanity. We know, however, that in addition to these canonical texts, there are many contemporary books that address some of the same themes and conflicts and are written for younger audiences. We believe these text pairings—whether for small reading groups in the classroom or as independent reading—will enhance the reader’s experience by drawing parallels with the themes and archetypes of the classics.

To help spread the word about these text pairings, we have created a Teach-Alike blog that will be posted on our website every other month. If you have any creative suggestions, requests for specific texts, or reviews of the pairs read together, we would love to hear from you! You can email us at slmarket@penguinrandomhouse.com. Enjoy, and keep reading!

Jane Yolen and John Schoenherr’s award-winning Owl Moon, published in 1987, is a beautifully quiet story about a little girl and her father exploring the woods one winter night, looking for owls. In this highly visual picture book, the readers experience the snowy, gentle night with the two characters, whispering “whoo-whoo-whoo” along with the father as he calls out for the owls, and understanding that “when you go owling you don’t need words or warm or anything but hope.”

Little Fox in the Forest (Schwartz & Wade) is a wonderful contemporary picture book to read along with Owl Moon. Completely wordless, it masterfully tells the story of two young children who follow a fox into the woods, only to discover an enchanting village. Like Owl Moon, this magical adventure promotes discussion for readers of all levels—from pre-readers to independent readers—as they are invited to create and articulate their own story, using the vivid art and characters as constants, and adding unique details and language. Graegin’s charming illustrations are irresistible, and readers will want to pore over the pages of this delightful story again and again.

Classroom Lesson: Read Owl Moon and Little Fox in the Forest to your students, and have them discuss the images and characters. Then split the students into small groups and instruct them to create their own storyline. (If your students are able to write, have them write down their ideas.) Share the stories to facilitate discussion about storytelling, structure, and dialogue.

Praise for Little Fox in the Forest

★ “Young children will pore over this wordless picture book again and again, finding something new to enjoy each time.” —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

★ “A charming, fantastical twist on the backyard adventure.” —Booklist, Starred Review

★ “This is a story not just to read but to inhabit.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

★ “[V]iewers can pick up skills in decoding visual narrative while also getting a chance to breathlessly root around in some serious cuteness.” —The Bulletin, Starred Review

April 03, 2017

New Middle-Grade and YA Paperbacks!

Just like us, these hot titles are shedding their jackets for spring. Pick up new paperbacks, and get reading! There is something for everyone.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
Discussion Guide

“[A] fresh, moving debut,” praises Entertainment Weekly in its A– review of this innovative, heartfelt novel. If you love Eleanor and Park, Hazel and Augustus, and Mia and Adam, you’ll love the story of Maddy, a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly, the boy who moves in next door and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken. Unfolding via vignettes, diary entries, illustrations, and more, this paperback edition features a Q&A with Nicola Yoon, an author playlist, a not-to-be-missed deleted scene, a new illustration, and an excerpt of Nicola’s new novel, The Sun Is Also a Star.



Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar

Fifth grader Tamaya Dhilwaddi and seventh grader Marshall Walsh have been walking to and from Woodridge Academy together since elementary school. But their routine is disrupted when bully Chad Hilligas challenges Marshall to a fight. To avoid the conflict, Marshall takes a shortcut home through the off-limits woods. Tamaya, unaware of the reason for the detour, reluctantly follows. They soon get lost. And then they find trouble. Bigger trouble than anyone could ever have imagined. In the days and weeks that follow, the authorities and the US Senate become involved, and what they uncover might affect the future of the world.



The Incident on the Bridge by Laura McNeal

The police refer to it as an incident on the bridge. When it comes to jumpers, it’s better to be discreet.

So when Thisbe Locke is last seen standing on the edge of the Coronado Bridge, from the looks of it, there’s only one thing to call it. But her sister, Ted, is not convinced. Despite the witnesses and the police reports and the divers and the fact that she was heartbroken about the way things ended with Clay and how she humiliated herself at that party, Thisbe isn’t the type of person to end up just an incident.

While everyone in town mourns the loss (some more than others), Ted and Fen, the new kid in town, set out to put the pieces together and find her sister. But if Thisbe didn’t jump, what happened on the bridge?

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

In this captivating and lavishly illustrated young adult edition of her award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller, Laura Hillenbrand tells the story of a former Olympian’s courage, cunning, and fortitude following his plane crash in enemy territory. This adaptation of Unbroken introduces a new generation to one of history’s most thrilling survival epics.




Red by Liesl Shurtliff

Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She’s not afraid of anything . . . except magic.

But when Red’s granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her, and fearless Red is forced to confront her one weakness. With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance called Goldie, Red goes on a quest to cure Granny. Her journey takes her through dwarves’ caverns to a haunted well and a beast’s castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman—two mortal enemies who seek the girls’ help to defeat each other. And one of them just might have the magical solution Red is looking for. . . . Liesl Shurtliff spins a spellbinding tale, shining the spotlight on one of the most beloved characters from her award-winning debut, Rump.


Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the worst thing she’d ever been through. That was before her planet was invaded. Now, with enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra are forced to fight their way onto one of the evacuating craft, while an enemy warship is in hot pursuit.

But the warship could be the least of their problems. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results. The fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their biggest threat, and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady plunges into a web of data hacking to get to the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: Ezra.

Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics by Chris Grabenstein

Welcome, boys and girls, and readers of all ages, to the Library Olympics! Kyle and his teammates are back because the world-famous game maker, Luigi Lemoncello, is at it again! This time Mr. Lemoncello has invited teams from all across America to compete in the first-ever Library Olympics. Will it be fun? Like the commercials say . . . HELLO? It’s a Lemoncello! Of course it will be fun! But something suspicious is going on . . . books are missing from Mr. Lemoncello’s library. In between figuring out mind-boggling challenges, the kids will have to band together to get to the bottom of this mystery. Now it’s not just a game—can Mr. Lemoncello find the real defenders of books and champions of libraries? Packed with puzzles, clues, and thrilling surprises, this is a deliciously fun, action-packed sequel to the New York Times bestselling Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. Let the games begin! BONUS: Look for brand-new extras in the paperback!


April 03, 2017

It’s Time for the Texas Library Association Conference in San Antonio!

TLA 2017 • San Antonio, TX • April 19–22

Stop by the Random House Children’s Books Booth, #2507, to meet authors and illustrators, pick up promotional materials and advance reader’s copies of this year’s most exciting titles, and meet our staff!

Advance Reader’s Copies to Get Excited About!


Look for this coupon in your School Library Journal Aisle-by-Aisle Guide, and bring it to our booth to receive your ARC!

Random House Children’s Books Invites You to Meet Our Authors at TLA!

Your favorite authors will be signing in the Author Area.


Jennifer Niven

Signing: 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Aisle 6

Jennifer will also be at the Young Adult Round Table discussing Learning to Let Go: Working Through Grief in YA Literature on Wednesday, April 19, at 2:45 p.m.

Christian Robinson

Signing: 2:00–3:00 p.m., Aisle 3

Don’t miss Christian at the Ultimate Children’s Picture Book Illustrators Sketch-Off on Thursday, April 20, at 4:15 p.m.

Kiersten White

Signing: 3:00–4:00 p.m., Aisle 4

You can also catch Kiersten’s YART panel, Stories That Make You Say Hmm?: Alternative Historical Fiction in YA, on Thursday, April 20, at 1:45 p.m.


Chris Barton
Signing: 9:00–10:00 a.m., Aisle 5

Susin Nieslen

Signing: 10:00–11:00 a.m., Aisle 3

Don’t miss Susin on the Lone Star Reading List Author Panel on Friday, April 21, at 8:30 a.m.

Jeff Zentner

Signing: 10:00–11:00 a.m., Aisle 4

You can also see Jeff on the TAYSHAS Reading List Author Panel on Saturday, April 22, at 9:15 a.m.

Kara Thomas

Signing: 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Aisle 4

Don’t miss Kara on the YART panel Chilling Tales to Keep You Up at Night: YA Horror and Dark Fantasy on Thursday, April 20, at 3:00 p.m.

Nicola Yoon

Signing: 11:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m., Aisle 3

Nicola will also be on the TAYSHAS Reading List Author Panel on Saturday, April 22, at 9:15 a.m.

Monica Brown

Signing: 12:00–1:00 p.m., Aisle 9

D. J. MacHale

Signing: 1:00–2:00 p.m., Aisle 6

Don’t miss D.J. on the Middle Grade Greats Panel on Friday, April 21, at 11:00 a.m.

Andrew Clements

Signing: 2:00–3:00 p.m., Aisle 6

Don’t miss Andrew on the Middle Grade Greats Panel on Friday, April 21, at 11:00 a.m.