ABC New Voices 2011

About New Voices — These books are chosen by a committee of independent children's booksellers from around the country. These 20 titles came from more than 100 submissions from a wide range of publishers. A printed version is also available.

Novels for Middle Grade

Aliens on Vacation
by Clete Barrett Smith (Hyperion, 9781423133636)
Read it if you like SciFi & Fantasy
When Scrub learns that his grandmother, who lives in a crazy house in the middle of nowhere, hosts aliens who vacation on Earth, he tries to help keep the secret. The results are hilarious. Perfect for anyone who has tried to fit into a new place. — Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
Ages 8-12
Dagger Quick
by Brian Eames (Wiseman, 9781442423114)
Read it if you like Adventure Fiction & Pirates
A father tried to protect his boy from the lure of the sea, but after the loss of his family the young hero joins a pirate crew with the hope of both finding a vast treasure and a hidden heirloom dagger and catching the rival pirate gang that has taken his stepmother and brother. Far more buckling than swash and packed with action, this is a great pirate book. — Andrea Vuleta, Mrs. Nelson's, Claremont, CA
Ages 8-12
The Dragon of Cripple Creek
by Troy Howell (Amulet, 9780810997134)
Read it if you like Fantasy & Magic
Introducing a strong, thoughtful, feisty, flawed --but perfect -- heroine to the world. Kat Graham stumbles upon a treasure -- and a dragon -- which leads her to explore issues like truth, lies, greed, hope, and faith. A modern tall tale worth more than its weight in gold! — Summer Laurie, Books, Inc., San Francisco, CA
Ages 8-12
The Great Wall of Lucy Wu
by Wendy Wan-Long Shang (Scholastic, 9780545162159)
Read it if you like Realistic Fiction Stories about Growing Up
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's hilariously dramatic yet achingly relatable attempts to forge a path that feels truly her own. — Meghan Dietsche-Goel, BookPeople, Austin, TX
Ages 8-12
Like Pickle Juice on a Cookie
by Julie Sternberg, Matthew Cordell (illus.) (Amulet, 9780810984240)
Read it if you like Realistic Fiction Stories about Growing Up
Eight-year-old Eleanor is devastated when her babysitter, Bibi, moves away during the summer before second grade. In this chapter book, written in verse, Sternberg beautifully captures the overwhelming importance of the small events often overlooked by grown-ups as Eleanor learns about friendship, loss, and love. — Leslie Reiner, Inkwood Books, Tampa, FL
Ages 7-10
Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes
by Jonathan Auxier (Amulet, 9781419700255)
Read it if you like Fantasy, Adventure & Magic
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 wonderful, funny characters, and it?s hard to tell the good guys from the bad. An unforgettable journey with a surprising twist at the end. What a great ride! — Ellen Mager, Booktenders Secret Garden, Doylestown, PA
Ages 9-12
The Visconti House
by Elsbeth Edgar (Candlewick, 9780763650193)
Read it if you like Historical Mystery
Laura Horton moves into a tumbledown mansion in a new town with her somewhat unconventional parents and tries to fit in with her peers. She befriends Leon, another outsider, and the two try to unravel the mystery of Laura's home, Visconti House. This lovely book is contemporary, but it has an old-fashioned sensibility, with believably human characters. — Trish Brown, Hooray for Books!, Arlington, VA
Ages 9-12
Wild Wings
by Gill Lewis, Yuta Onoda, (illus.) (Atheneum, 9781442414457)
Read it if you like Realistic Fiction, Animals, Foreign Countries
This heartwarming, lovely, 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. — Carol Stoltz, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA
Ages 8-12
With a Name Like Love
by Tess Hilmo (Margaret Ferguson Books / Farrar Straus Giroux, 9780374384654)
Read it if you like Mystery Fiction & Family Stories
Hilmo?s strong voice and memorable characters make this novel one to read. You won?t forget Olivene Love or her father, the Reverend Everlasting Love, but more importantly, you won?t forget what they stand for -- family -- even in the face of danger. — Dave Richardson, The Blue Marble, Fort Thomas, KY
Ages 9-12
The Wizard of Dark Street
by Shawn Thomas Odyssey (Egmont USA, 9781606841433)
Read it if you like Mystery, Fantasy & Magic
Though she is a rare Natural Wizard, Oona dreams of becoming a detective, not the Wizard Apprentice, as 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. Wonderfully crafted mystery, magic and mayhem ensue. — Kris Vreeland, Vroman's, Pasadena, CA
Ages 9-12


Middle Grade Extended

The Fourth Stall
by Chris Rylander (Walden Pond Press, 9780061994968)

Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow
by Nathan Bransford (Dial, 9780803735378)

Juniper Berry
by M.P. Kozlowsky (Walden Pond Press, 9780061998690)

by Colin Meloy (Balzer + Bray, 9780062024688)

Words in the Dust
by Trent Reedy (Arthur Levine, 9780545261258)



Novels for Teen Readers

by MK Reed (First Second, 9781596436015)
Read it if you like Graphic Fiction
This is the smart and timely tale of two young geeks and their efforts to prevent the banning of their favorite fantasy series from the local library. Their trials showcase the familiar and very real passion we all hold for certain books. This graphic novel may be slim, but its message is powerful. — Lauren O'Niell, Booksmith, San Francisco, CA
Ages 13+
by Mike Mullin (Tanglewood, 9781933718552)
Read it if you like Post-Apocalyptic Fiction
When the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts and spreads ash for hundreds of miles around, Alex must journey from his home in Iowa to find his family in Illinois. The rules of civilization vanish, and Alex can only trust himself on his harrowing journey. At its heart, Ashfall is a coming-of-age tale -- albeit one that will haunt you and make you want to enroll in a survivalist class immediately. — Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX
Ages 14+
The Beginning of After
by Jennifer Castle (HarperTeen, 9780061985799)
Read it if you like Family Drama
After her parents and younger brother are killed in an accident, Laurel has to figure out how to grieve while continuing with her own life. Castle's writing is fluid and believable, and she handles complex emotions with style and grace. This is a strong, realistic teen girl book, with just enough crush-worthy romance to make you not want it to end. — Hannah Manshel, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL
Ages 13+
Between Shades of Gray
by Ruta Sepetys (Philomel, 9780399254123)
Read it if you like Historical Fiction
In 1941, the Soviets have invaded Lithuania, and Lina is a 15-year-old war criminal. The secret police force her and her family to march to Siberia, stopping only to work under brutal and freezing conditions. Sepetys has created a community of very real, very human characters who find ways through art, music, and tradition to commemorate all they have lost. — Judy Bulow, Tattered Cover, Denver, CO
Ages 13+
by Veronica Roth (Katherine Tegen Books, 9780062024022)
Read it if you like Dystopian Fantasy
This is a stunning first novel. I was blown away by Roth?s writing, terrified by her dystopian version of our future, and riveted by the complex twists and turns of the plot. Tris is a character you will root for from page one, and by the time you have breathlessly closed the book on the last chapter, you will be desperate for more of her story. — Melissa Posten, Pudd'nHead Books, Webster Groves, MD
Ages 14+
The False Princess
by Eilis O'Neal (Egmont USA, 9781606840795)
Read it if you like Fantasy & Magic
After 16 years as Princess of Thorvaldor, Sinda is told that she's been a decoy to protect the real princess from a horrible curse. She finds herself living as a commoner, but instead of feeling sorry for herself, she decides to figure out the mystery behind her ouster. This is a wonderful story of self-discovery, adventure, mystery, magic, court intrigue, friendship, and a little romance.? --Trish Brown, Hooray for Books! — Trish Brown, Hooray for Books!, Arlington, VA
Ages 12+
by Joshua C. Cohen (Dutton, 9780525423065)
Read it if you like Realistic Fiction & Sports
This powerful, moving, and haunting novel exposes the brutality of hazing, steroid use, and the warped mentality of ?win at all costs.? Cohen weaves the voice of two athletes ? a gymnast and a football player ? into a compelling and unforgettable narrative that will leave you shocked, breathless, and exhausted. — Dave Richardson, The Blue Marble, Fort Thomas, KY
Ages 14+
by Jessi Kirby (Simon & Schuster, 9781442416949)
Read it if you like Family Drama
Anna has a lot to handle at the end of the summer -- a new town, a new school, and new friends. The fresh start has some distinct ties to the past, however. She?s living on the beach where her parents fell in love and where her mother died. As Anna learns more about her mother, she begins to heal her unresolved grief. — Andrea Vuleta, Mrs. Nelson's, Claremont, CA
Ages 12+
Paper Covers Rock
by Jenny Hubbard (Delacorte, 9780385740555)
Read it if you like Realistic Fiction
Scared into silence after a tragic accident, boarding school student Alex Stromm tries to speak his truth through writing. But what is true? Whose code of honor should he follow? Poetic and literary allusions abound in this story of being caught between the rock of childhood and the hard place of adulthood. — Summer Laurie, Books, Inc., San Francisco, CA
Ages 14+
Where Things Come Back
by John Corey Whaley (Atheneum, 9781442413337)
Read it if you like Realistic Fiction
This novel has an unusually elegant and complex structure, with parallel stories that intertwine at the very end. The themes of disappearance, return, rebirth, and second chances are written cleverly through zombie fantasies, disappearing children, and reappearing woodpeckers. It is a unique and engaging story about faith and community, told by a delightful narrator. — Hannah Manshel, 57th Street Books, Chicago, IL
Ages 13+


Teen Readers Extended

Blood Red Road (Dustlands Trilogy #1)
by Moira Young (Margaret K. McElderry Books, 9781442429987)

by Kimberly Marcus (Random House, 9780375866937)

The Revenant
by Sonia Gensler (Knopf, 9780375867019)

So Shelly
by Ty Roth (Delacorte, 9780385739580)

by Lena Coakley (Atheneum, 9781442420045)