Join the Conversation

Join the Conversation

Sign up today to hear about books and authors from an independent bookstore near you.

ABC Fall New Voices Picks

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 12 titles came from more than 90 submissions from a wide range of publishers.

Fall Picks for Ages 8 - 12

Summer and Bird
by Katherine Catmull (Dutton/Penguin, 9780525953463)

"Lyric in its language and layered in its complexity, this is a book like no other. Catmull combines the language and landscape of fairytales with the lore and biology of birds to give us a novel that is as much about the complexities of family relationships as it is about quests, magic, growing up, and the worlds that exist just beyond our own."
--Robert McDonald, The Book Stall at Chestnut Court, Winnetka, IL

One for the Murphys
by Lynda Mullaly Hunt (Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin, 9780399256158)

"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 even without a perfect fairy-tale ending. You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll read it again."
--Becky Quiroga Curtis, Books & Books, Coral Gables, FL

The Peculiar
by Stefan Bachmann (Greenwillow Books/HarperCollins, 9780062195180)

"I was completely blown away by how wonderful this book is! England has been draped in a faerie steampunk costume, Peculiars (half-faerie, half-human) are being kidnapped, and the stage is set for the humans and the Fae to go to war again. A bit Bartemaeus, a bit Dickens, and all fantastic!"
--Liesl Freudenstein, Boulder Bookstore, Boulder, CO

Privateer's Apprentice
by Susan Verrico (Peachtree Publishers, 9781561456338)

"Jameson's quiet life abruptly ends after his parents' tragic deaths. A series of misfortunes cause him to be abducted and carried off in a privateer's ship captained by the infamous Attack Jack. Life quickly becomes more dangerous and more eventful than Jameson ever could have imagined. Action and risky ventures pack every page of this fast read."
--Ellen Davis, Dragonwings Bookstore, Waupaca, WI

A Smidgen of Sky
by Dianna Dorisi Winget (Harcourt Children's Books, 9780547807980)

"The spunky ten-year-old Piper Lee DeLuna does not like it one bit—not her mama remarrying, not her new stepdad, and definitely not her future stepsister. Her foolproof plan to get the wedding canceled is perfect. But when Piper Lee realizes that wishes aren't always the same as wants, can she save her new family before it's too late?"
--Emily Grossenbacher, Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS

Joshua Dread
by Lee Bacon (Delacorte/Random House, 9780385741859)

"Joshua Dread is having a rough year in middle school. Bullies pick on him, he's causing pencils to explode, and he's leaving burning handprints in his wake. To top it off? He is the son of supervillians, 'The Dread Duo,' who are trying to destroy the world. A breezy, fun read for all."
--Cathy Berner, Blue Willow Bookshop, Houston, TX

Fall Picks for Teens

by Rachel Hartman (Random House, 9780375866562, 12+)

"Imagine you are different. . .an abomination in the eyes of others. Imagine too you have a gift - people weep to hear you sing. Imagine there are dragons, cold and terrifying. Imagine an uneasy truce. Would you expose your deepest secret for the greater good? Seraphina is a debut as dazzling as dragon scales. I loved it."
--Antonia Squire, Kepler's, Menlo Park, CA

Lovely, Dark and Deep
by Amy McNamara (S&S Books for Young Readers, 9781442434356, 12+)

"In poetic prose that's truly lovely, dark, and deep, this haunting and emotionally-layered novel draws readers into the frozen vortex of one girl's grief, guilt, and isolation as all her thoughts of the future crumble under the fear of facing the pain of her past."
--Meghan Dietsche Goel, BookPeople Bookstore, Austin, TX

Emily's Dress and Other Missing Things
by Kathryn Burak (Roaring Brook Press/Macmillan, 9781596437364, 13+)

"Claire has lost both her mother and her best friend and turns to the poetry of Emily Dickinson to try to find some understanding and solace. This story - strong, lyrical, and mysterious - is an excellent tale of a young woman finding her way when it seems that everything has disappeared."
--Sarah Hutton, Village Books, Bellingham, WA

by Erin Jade Lange (Bloomsbury, 9781599907802, 14+)

"A gripping debut about J.P. (aka "Butter") who, tired of being the fat kid at school, decides to binge-eat himself to death live on his website,, on New Year's Eve. When Butter is suddenly swept into the 'cool' crowd, he must decide if popularity is worth dying for."
--Brandi Stewart, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

Immortal Lycanthropes
by Hal Johnson (Clarion Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 9780547751962, 12+)

"Myron Horowitz can't fit in due to his physical disfigurement and soon discovers that he is an immortal lycanthrope - a 'were-mammal' that can transform from human to animal. What's more, he's not alone in his abilities. Myron embarks on a quest for salvation, which leads him across the globe on an epic journey to discover his true self and fight for his life."
--Kyle Warren, The Doylestown Bookshop, Doylestown, PA

False Memory
by Dan Krokos (Disney Publishing Worldwide, 9781423149767, 12+)

"In this action-packed, inventive thriller, Miranda discovers she is one of a group of genetically modified teens with incredible powers. As she starts to recover her erased memory, dark details are revealed, and things may not be what they seem."
--Suzanna Hermans, Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck, NY