New Voices highlights books by first-time authors for both kids ages 8-12 and teens. The books are chosen by a committee of independent children's booksellers from around the country. These 10 titles came from more than 70 submissions from a wide range of publishers.
Summer Picks for Ages 8 - 12
|Elvis and the Underdogs
by Jenny Lee (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 9780062235541, Ages 8-12)
"Benji has problems. He's been in and out of hospitals his entire life, his mom is the definition of overprotective, he has no friends, and he's the favorite target of the school bully. To make matters worse, after a fainting episode at school, he has to get a therapy dog. Enter Parker Elvis Pembroke IV, a 200 lb. Newfoundland who can sense seizures and protect Benji from injury—and, oh yeah, he can talk, too!"
by Vince Vawter (Delacorte/Random House, 9780385742443, Ages 8-12)
"It's the summer of 1959 in Memphis. Our 11-year-old narrator doesn't say much due to a debilitating stutter; however, what he lacks in speech he makes up for in observation. . .particularly observation of the adults around him! This book is both a quiet mystery and a coming of age novel that will have you hooked from the first line."
|Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin
by Liesl Shurtliff (Alfred A. Knopf /Random House, 9780307977939, Ages 8-12)
"Rump sets out to find his family and uncover the true meaning behind his name in this touching and imaginative adventure. This enchanting story will encourage you to see beyond the original Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale and delve into an even more magical realm—complete with pixies, trolls, and magic spinning wheels!"
|The Key & the Flame
by Clare M. Caterer (Margaret K. McElderry /Simon & Schuster , 9781442457416, Ages 8-12)
"Holly is certain that her life in Kansas could not possibly be any more boring. Her family's move to England—she hopes—will provide some much-needed excitement. When she receives an iron key from her new home's caretaker, she can't possibly imagine the adventure to come. The key gives her passage to a magic-filled world of the past. Can Holly find the courage to save her brother and neighbor from the rulers of this dangerous land?"
—Christopher Rose, Andover Books, Andover, MA
by Adina Gewirtz (Candlewick Press, 9780763660413, Ages 8-12)
"11-year-old Annie and her younger brother Rew live deep in the Zebra Forest with their grandmother and spend their days sharing books and imagining stories about the parents they've never known. When a stranger appears, suddenly everything Annie and Rew know about their world is upended, and their lives will be forever changed. This quiet, dark, and mysterious read is perfect for older chapter book readers."
Summer Picks for Teens
by Aaron Hartzler (Balzer+Bray/Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316094658, Teen)
"Aaron Hartzler was raised to believe in a fundamental religion, but as he grew up he longed to explore the broader world and make his own decisions about his place in it. What could be wrong with secular music, movies, and even falling in love with whomever he chose? This memoir is filled with pain, but more importantly with love and hope."
by David Iserson (Razorbill/Penguin Young Readers, 9781595143709, Teen)
"Astrid Krieger is my new hero. She's got gumption to spare and is well-versed in the Art of War. She's cross and she's witty and she's absolutely FURIOUS that her parents are sending her to public school, which, as everybody knows, smells of urine. She doesn't need to fit in, but she does need to make friends—Sun Tzu never prepared her for this! You will love this smart, quirky comedy!"
by Tara Sullivan (G. P. Putnam's Sons/Penguin Young Readers, 9780399161124, Teen)
"Driven from the Tanzanian village where Habo's white skin and yellow hair were considered "bad luck," his family flees to Mwanza. When they reach Mwanza they learn that an African albino is, ironically, considered good luck...but only because his dead body parts are worth a fortune. Now Habo must keep running or die."
|The Madman's Daughter
by Megan Shepherd (Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins, 9780062128027, Teen)
"16-year-old Juliet's life was upended by scandalous rumors of her father's gruesome and illegal experiments, and she's been relegated to a solitary life of drudgery. But when she catches wind that her father may in fact be alive and continuing his work on a remote island, she seizes the opportunity to find out for herself if her father is a genius or a madman. This is a thrilling page-turner—full of romance, horror, and adventure!"
|The Tragedy Paper
by Elizabeth Laban (Alfred A. Knopf/Random House, 9780375870408, Teen)
"As he begins his senior year at the prestigious Irving School, the last thing 17-year-old albino Tim wants is to do is stand out more than he already does. In fact, Tim's greatest desire is to get through his senior year unnoticed, but he finds himself reluctantly thrown before the public eye. This mesmerizing tale of forbidden love, the power of privilege, and the price of popularity will make you ponder the lengths some people go to keep their secrets!"
New Voices Now in Paperback
|One for the Murphys
by Lynda Hunt (Puffin/Penguin Young Readers, 9780142426524, Ages 8-12)
"This is a beautiful story about family. It proves that life can still be special, even if it's not what we expect (or deserve) and that a book can still be extraordinary without a perfect fairy-tale ending. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll read it again!"
|The Great Wall of Lucy Wu
by Wendy Wan-Long Shang (Scholastic, 9780545162166, Ages 8-12)
"Sixth grade was supposed to be the best year of Lucy Wu's life. But between her parents moving her great-aunt into Lucy's bedroom and insisting on Chinese school over basketball, life has never felt more unfair. Readers will fall in love with Lucy!"
|The Wizard of Dark Street
by Shawn Thomas Odyssey (EgmontUSA, 9781606843864, Ages 8-12)
"Though she is a rare Natural Wizard, Oona dreams of becoming a detective. She prefers facts to the instability of spells and wands. When her uncle, the Wizard of Dark Street, is murdered, Oona faces the hardest challenge imaginable. Magic and mayhem ensue!"
by Gill Lewis (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, 9781442414464, Ages 8-12)
"This heartwarming and suspenseful story begins in Scotland on the farm of Callum McGregor where his neighbor, Iona, discovers an osprey nest. The protection of the nest and the eventual long migration of the female is the foundation of a tale that spans continents and cultures and brings communities together."
|Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes
by Jonathan Auxier (Amulet Books/Abrams, 9781419704215, Ages 8-12)
"This adventurous tale is about a blind orphan who uses his other well-developed senses to become the best thief in the world! Peter overcomes each obstacle put in his path with the help of some wonderfully funny characters. You'll really enjoy this unforgettable journey with a surprising twist at the end!"
by Marissa Meyer (Square Fish/Macmillan, 9781250007209, Teen)
"In this fantastic, futuristic take on the Cinderella tale, we find Cinder working as a mechanic and trying to hide her cyborg status. The familiar parts are all here: the evil step-mother, the prince, and of course, the ball—but wait! There is also a deadly plague and a mysterious lunar queen. Enjoy this rollicking ride!"
|Hold Me Closer, Necromancer
by Lish McBride (Square Fish/Macmillan, 9780312674373, Teen)
"Imagine that the biggest, baddest necromancer in the area has identified you as his main rival. Well, that's Sam's life right now, and he has only one week to figure out how not to die and save a bunch of other people in the process. You'll laugh; you'll cry. And it will all be over much too soon—good thing there's a sequel!"
|Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
by Jesse Andrews (Amulet Books/Abrams, 9781419705328, Teen)
"Think back to your high school years—remember how much life sucked back then? What? You're in high school NOW? Oh. Um, well, y'know how much life sucks right now? This book will prove you had, er, have it easy. If you've ever felt awkward or laughed at a really inappropriate joke, you will not regret reading this!"
|Shadow and Bone
by Leigh Bardugo (Square Fish/Macmillan, 9781250027436, Teen)
"The once-great nation of Ravka is surrounded by enemies and split in two by the Shadow Fold, a deserted land occupied by flesh-eating monsters. When Alina's military regiment is attacked by these monsters, her best friend is mortally injured. Alina's ability to save him reveals that she has a power that could save the nation!"
|Where Things Come Back
by John Corey Whaley (Atheneum/Simon & Schuster, 9781442413344, Teen)
"This novel has an unusually elegant and complex structure, with parallel stories that intertwine at the very end. The themes of disappearance, return, rebrith, and second chances are written cleverly through zombie fantasies, disappearing children, and reappearing woodpeckers. A unique and engaging story told by a delightful narrator."