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The Powell's Playlist | August 8, 2014

Peter Mendelsund: IMG The Powell's Playlist: Water Music by Peter Mendelsund



We "see" when we read, and we "see" when we listen. There are many ways in which music can create the cross-sensory experience of this seeing...... Continue »
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Original Essays | August 18, 2014

Ian Leslie: IMG Empathic Curiosity



Today, we wonder anxiously if digital media is changing our brains. But if there's any time in history when our mental operations changed... Continue »
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Kids Q & A

 
Peter Brown
In The Curious Garden, Peter Brown presents an enchanting tale with environmental themes and breathtaking illustrations that become more vibrant as the garden blooms. Red-headed Liam can also be spotted on every page, adding a seek-and-find element to this picture book.
 
Carrie Ryan
In Carrie Ryan's debut novel The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Mary lives in a small village governed by the religious Sisterhood and bordered with a fence to keep out the Unconsecrated — a horde of the undead. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future — between the one she loves and the one who loves her.
 
Cynthia Rylant and Nikki McClure
All in a Day is a lovely book that illuminates all the possibilities a day offers, and also delivers a gentle message of good stewardship of our planet. Newbery Medal winner Cynthia Rylant's poetic text, alongside Nikki McClure's stunning, meticulously crafted cut-paper art, makes this picture book not only timeless but appealing to readers of all ages. Publishers Weekly promises readers will "enjoy Rylant's rhythms and the tenderness of McClure's images."
 
Alison Goodman
Eon has been studying the ancient art of Dragon Magic for four years, hoping he'll be able to apprentice to one of the 12 energy dragons of good fortune. But he also has a dark secret: "he" is actually Eona, a 16-year-old girl who has been living a dangerous lie for the chance to become a Dragoneye, the human link to an energy dragon's power. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn is the first installment of a "mesmerizing" (Booklist) new fantasy series. "Enthralled readers will be hard-pressed to wait for the story's second half," cheers Publishers Weekly (starred review).
 
Yeardley Smith
You may not know her name, but Yeardley Smith's voice would be instantly recognizable as Lisa from the long-running hit TV series The Simpsons. Now Smith has written her first novel for young adults. I, Lorelei is a poignant and hilarious story of an 11-year-old girl who begins a journal after her favorite cat dies, so he can follow her rise from sixth grade to fame and fortune.
 
Deborah Hopkinson
Just in time for the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's birth comes Abe Lincoln Crosses a Creek, Deborah Hopkinson's ingenious picture book of historical fiction about our 16th president of the United States. "[J]ust how do you handle a legend?" asks the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. "Deborah Hopkinson has found a way, and it's a winner."
 
Lisa Schroeder
When Alice and her new stepmother, Victoria, get caught in the middle of a major snowstorm during a "family" road trip, Alice must learn to let go of some ghosts she'd thought long buried, as she stares death in the face — with three other lives on the line. In Far from You, Lisa Schroeder, author of I Heart You, You Haunt Me, delivers an emotionally charged tale of family, loss, and love poignantly told through verse.
 
Carl Hiaasen
Bestselling author Carl Hiaasen's latest book for younger readers, Scat, features two kids investigating the disappearance of a teacher, which is somehow tied to an endangered Florida panther and an unscrupulous oil company. In this Kids' Q&A, Hiaasen shares his favorite holiday (or lack thereof), why younger readers are so much more rewarding to write for, and more!
 
 
Joseph Delaney
After a victory of sorts over the Fiend and the water witch Greenteeth, Tom, Alice, and the Spook celebrate. However, the dark is still rising, and in Wrath of the Bloodeye, the Fiend reveals shocking secrets with the potential to derail Tom's apprenticeship.
 
Mark Reibstein
Written in lyrical, spare text and haiku, and accompanied by breathtaking collage art by Caldecott Medalist Ed Young, Mark Reibstein's Wabi Sabi follows a little cat in Japan as she searches for the meaning of her name — but finds much more. In this Kids' Q&A, Reibstein talks about his strangest job, his literary pilgrimage to Japan, and more!
 
Kimberly Pauley
In Sucks to Be Me, Mina Hamilton's vampire parents are pushing her to decide whether to become a vampire herself. How's a girl supposed to find the perfect prom date and pass third-year French when her mom and dad are breathing down her neck — literally? In this Kids' Q&A, debut author Kimberly Pauley tells us how her cats try to stop her from writing, why she's considered the queen of hobbies, and more!
 
Laurel Snyder
After the king insists that Wynston devote his time to ruby-shining and princess-finding, his best friend Lucy sets off for the Scratchy Mountains to solve the mystery of her missing mother. When Wynston finds out, he goes after Lucy in Laurel Snyder's debut novel, Up and Down the Scratchy Mountains. In this Kids' Q&A, Snyder shares her plan to adopt all the stray cats and dogs in Baltimore, explains how an MFA in poetry turned into writing for kids, and more!
 
Judy Sierra and Marc Brown
The award-winning collaborators of the #1 New York Times picture book bestseller Wild about Books are back with Born to Read, a new story that promotes books and reading. In this Kids' Q&A, author Judy Sierra and illustrator Marc Brown share what they wanted to be when they grew up (find out how close they got!), why they make books for children, and more!
 
Sam Enthoven
Sam Enthoven is a kids' book writer. Why? "Younger readers haven't forgotten how to have fun," he says, and more importantly, they casually accept vomiting bats in the books he writes, unlike some of the adults he knows (yeah, jeez). Read up on Enthoven's newest book, the King Kong monster epic Tim, Defender of the Earth! and a whole bunch of other topics in this entertaining Q&A.
 
Rob Scotton
From the bestselling author of Russell the Sheep comes a brand-new, lovable character, Splat the Cat. It's Splat's first day of school and he's worried: what if he doesn't make any new friends? In this Kids' Q&A, Rob Scotton shares his favorite art teacher, his most memorable moment with a bedraggled reader, and more!
 
Sarah Prineas
In a city that runs on a dwindling supply of magic, a young boy is drawn into a life of wizardry and adventure. Sarah Prineas's debut, The Magic Thief, is an "uncommonly engaging" (Kirkus) YA fantasy novel. In this Kids' Q&A, Prineas reveals her favorite childhood books, why she writes for kids, and more!
 
Gareth Hinds
Moody and mesmerizing, Gareth Hinds's graphic novel adaptation of The Merchant of Venice, one of Shakespeare's more controversial plays, boasts a chic modern cast, high drama, and all the dark, familiar beauty of Venice. In this Kids Q&A, Hinds tells us about his favorite teacher, why it's always a good idea to date a bookseller, and more!
 
Robin Benway
Robin Benway is a huge rock 'n' roll fan. Some of her favorite artists include The Cure, Joni Mitchell, and The Beatles, but we have a hunch she could go on and on. A while ago Robin heard a song on the radio that bitterly trashed the artist's ex-girlfriend, and she thought about what that girl must feel like. Robin's music-infused first novel, Audrey, Wait! was written with that girl in mind. Find out why she thinks Weetzie Bat is real, why Billy Corgan cracks her up, and much more about what makes this rock 'n' roll fan tick in her exclusive Q&A.
 
Melissa Sweet
It's obvious in her newest book, Tupelo Rides the Rails, that Melissa Sweet is a dog-lover. Which is more than fine with us, as some of us on the team have a thing for those four-legged creatures, too! Her distinctively detailed pastel watercolor illustrations always turn our heads, no matter what the project is. Find out how many dogs she would have, if her family would let her, in this exclusive Q&A.
 
Sara Pennypacker
Not since Ramona Quimby or Judy Moody have we seen a character with this much pitch-perfect exuberance and well-intentioned troublemaking! Clementine quickly joined the ranks of our favorite books to read aloud, whether to groups of third graders or to a blank wall. Yes, it's that good, and that funny, and that heartfelt. Peruse Sara Pennypacker's Q&A to discover how this distractible whirlwind of a character was born.
 
James A. Owen
In The Search for the Red Dragon, James A. Owen's follow-up to Here, There Be Dragons, John, Jack, and Charles are brought together again after the children of the Archipelago vanish, and the legendary Dragonships, which can cross between the known worlds and the lands in the "Imaginarium Geographica," have also gone missing. In this Q&A, Owen describes his favorite comic strip, which fictional character he'd like to have as a friend, and more!
 
J. M. Steele
There have been a few books and movies that have turned the quest for popularity on its ear; remember Mean Girls? The Market takes that thread and adds a twist: the girls at Millbank High are rated like stocks, and the boys "trade" them on the Millbank Social Stock Market, or MSSM. Kate learns of her "junk bond" status and is determined to raise her ranking. She ends up gaining something she never imagined — newfound self respect. Read this Q&A with J. M. Steele, find out why it's so important to craft strong female characters.
 
Emily Gravett
A little girl and her toy monkey love imitating different animals, everything from jumping like kangaroos to waddling like penguins! Open Monkey and Me and play along with them. In this Q&A, author Emily Gravett explains why she wants to be a dog, how satisfying a push mower can be, and more!
 
Liz Gallagher
In The Opposite of Invisible, a bright debut novel set against the lively backdrop of Seattle, best friends Alice and Jewel must learn the difference between love and a crush, and what it means to be yourself when you're not sure who that is yet. In this Q&A, author Liz Gallagher discusses her secret craving for Cocoa Puffs, why she set the novel during Halloween, and more!
 
Lesley M. M. Blume
"Ghostly, evocative, and unusual" is how author Lesley M. M. Blume describes her latest YA novel, Tennyson, a ghost story set during the Depression. In this Kids Q&A, Blume describes her love for E. B. White and Maurice Sendak, explains why she writes for children, and more!
 
Antoinette Portis
Cool, creative, charming; all these describe Antoinette Portis's new book, Not a Stick. Evoking the sense of play and imagination of Harold and the Purple Crayon, this winning sequel to Not a Box won't spend much time on your child's bookshelf, as you will be reading it over and over. Read Antoinette's Q&A to discover the perils of Cap'n Crunch cereal, how she came to love a rat, and more!
 
Erik P. Kraft
Miracle Wimp is sure to keep you in stitches. Filled with humorous details and sardonic wit, Erik Kraft deftly portrays high school through the eyes of a wise-cracking misfit. Read our Q&A with Erik P. Kraft and learn why pea plus nose equals ambulance, what a Snortsnoot is, and more!
 
Andrea Beaty
Iggy Peck, Architect, has one passion: building. His parents are proud of his fabulous creations, though they're sometimes surprised by his materials — who could forget the tower he built of dirty diapers? In Andrea Beaty's first Q&A for Powells.com, she shares why "sporks" are inferior, why her earthworms met an untimely end, and more!
 
Alan Gratz
Something is rotten in Denmark, Tennessee, and it is not just the polluted Copenhagen River. In Something Rotten: A Horatio Wilkes Mystery, Alan Gratz adds a hardboiled detective's edge to his retelling of Shakespeare's Hamlet. In this exclusive Q&A, Gratz tells a favorite family story, why he gave up his aspiration to be a train engineer, and more!
 
Adam Rex
A child, a visit to the zoo, animals — sounds like good, simple all-American fun. But there's something different about this zoo. These animals want things. Unusual things. What will they do with them? Find out in Pssst!, the new picture book by Adam Rex. In this Q&A, Adam shares his dream of living on a horse farm, his favorite Simpsons episode, and more!
 
Randall de Seve and Loren Long
In Toy Boat, written by Randall de Seve, a toy boat becomes separated from the boy he loves. Artist Loren Long creates a beautiful world with acrylic illustrations of the boat and wonderfully portrays this allegory of a child's search for independence. In this Q&A, Randall and Loren share their favorite family stories, talk about their beloved pets, and more!
 
Jerry Spinelli
Picking up a year after Stargirl ends, the much-anticipated sequel Love, Stargirl is "the world's longest letter," in diary form, in which Stargirl reflects on time, life, Leo, and — of course — love. In this exclusive Q&A, author Jerry Spinelli explains why he'd like to be friends with Sherlock Holmes, suggests a writer you should read (to whom he just happens to be married), and more!
 
 
Richelle Mead
St. Vladimir's Academy isnt just any boarding school — its a hidden place where vampires are educated in the ways of magic and half-human teens train to protect them. Vampire Academy is the story of how Rose, a half-vampire girl who's training to be a bodyguard, and her best friend Lissa, a full-blooded vampire, become enmeshed in forbidden romance, the Academy's ruthless social scene, and unspeakable nighttime rituals. In this Q&A, author Richelle Mead recommends a book about a detective who sees ghosts, shares her favorite holiday (can you tell what it is?), and more!
 
Leslie McGuirk
In Tucker's Spooky Halloween, a determined terrier named Tucker rolls out a very creative costume in a funny story young children will surely appreciate. In this Q&A, author Leslie McGuirk introduces us to Moomintrolls, reminisces about Quisp cereal and more!
 
Daniel Kirk
Daniel Kirk has illustrated a number of popular books for children, among them Chugga-Chugga Choo-Choo. In Library Mouse, Sam the mouse lives in a library and loves to make up and write his own stories. When he leaves his stories in different parts of the library, humans find the stories and want to know who the writer is. In this Kids' Q&A, Daniel Kirk shares his inspiration for Library Mouse, discusses his love for Frog and Toad, and more!
 
Ellen Hopkins
Based on true events, Ellen Hopkins's Glass — the sequel to Crank — continues the story of Kristina and her descent back to hell. Told in verse, the book presents a harrowing and disturbing look at addiction and the damage that it inflicts. In this Q&A, Hopkins reveals why she writes for young adults, shares an interesting experience with a reader, and more!
 
Thomas E. Sniegoski
Billy Hooten: Owlboy is the story of Billy Hooten, a weird kid who's also Owlboy, a quick-thinking, goggle-and-feather-wearing superhero who protects the bizarre and monstrous citizens of Monstros City, a city that exists under Billy's hometown. In this Kids' Q&A, author Thomas E. Sniegoski praises the writing teacher who "cracked the whip," talks about how the epic storylines he acted out with action figures inspired him to become a writer, and more!
 
Dan Gutman
In Dan Gutman's The Homework Machine, four kids share a secret — a machine that does their homework for them! Everything is great for a while, but soon the machine becomes more powerful than they ever imagined, and even its inventor is powerless to stop it. In this Kids' Q&A, Gutman shares his favorite family story, explains why he writes for kids, and more!
 
Julia Golding
In the tradition of Eragon, A Wrinkle in Time, and The Golden Compass, the first book in the Companions Quartet is a boldly original adventure that will ignite the imaginations and emotions of fantasy readers everywhere. In this Q&A, Secret of the Sirens author Julia Golding explains why she wants to live in The Lord of the Rings, describes her most eccentric teacher, and more!
 
Jennifer and Matthew Holm
In Camp Babymouse, the latest volume of the popular series, Babymouse is looking forward to two weeks of fun and fresh air... as long as she doesn't get lost! In this exclusive Q&A, brother-and-sister team Jennifer Holm and Matthew Holm share their favorite family story, which fictional character they'd like to be, and more!
 
Jeff Kinney
In Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Greg Heffley is thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary. In this exclusive Q&A, author Jeff Kinney describes his most memorable teacher, explains why he'd like to live in Jurassic Park, and more!
 
Aidan Potts
From fossils to fur, skeletons to skin color, Uneversaurus offers a colorful investigation into what we know and what we can only guess, and encourages readers to make some guesses of their own. In this exclusive Q&A, Professor Aidan Potts shares his favorite family story, which fictional character he'd like to be, and more!
 
Rosemary Clement-Moore
Rosemary Clement-Moore's debut novel, Prom Dates from Hell, stars Maggie Quinn, girl reporter, who always suspected that prom is the work of the devil — but it looks like her attendance will be mandatory if she wants to save her town from soul-crushing demons...and the cheerleading squad. In this Q&A, Clement-Moore discusses which story she'd choose to live in, reveals her favorite teacher, and more.
 
Ellen Klages
Ellen Klages produced a winner with her very first published novel: The Green Glass Sea garnered the 2006 Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction, and we heartily applaud the acknowledgement of this very fine book. It takes place at Los Alamos during the race to create the atomic bomb. This riveting backdrop is juxtaposed with the ordinary escapades of two very different eleven-year-old girls whose parents are scientists helping to create the bomb.
 
Emily Arnold McCully
Emily Arnold McCully has written and illustrated numerous books throughout the years, including some of the liveliest and most beautiful books for children about women in history. Marvelous Mattie (about inventor Margaret E. Knight), The Ballot Box Battle (about Elizabeth Cady Stanton), and Beautiful Warrior (about two famed kung-fu masters) are now joined by her latest, The Escape of Oney Judge, the story of a young house slave of Martha Washington.
 
Dugald Steer
You say you loved Dragonology and The Dragonology Handbook? You wish you could meet Dr. Drake and learn dragonology directly from him, and maybe while you're at it have an adventure like helping Dr. Drake foil an evil dragonologist? Well, wouldn't we all! Daniel and Beatrice Cook get to do just that. Live vicariously through them as they attempt to save the Dragon's Eye jewel in the first of the Dragonology Chronicles: The Dragon's Eye. Learn about the mastermind behind Dr. Drake in our Q&A with Dugald Steer.
 
David Wiesner
David Wiesner seems to be a bottomless well of fantastic imagination, and we are so lucky for it. From his rollicking postmodern take on The Three Little Pigs to the flying frogs of Tuesday, Wiesner always captivates us. His two Caldecott medals attest to his artistry. Most of his books are wordless, rendering them wonderfully suitable to verbal embellishment by a child or adult. His latest, Flotsam, is sure to be a favorite with anyone who enjoyed Zoom and Re-Zoom by Istvan Banyai.
 
T. A. Barron
The Great Tree of Avalon series has all the hallmarks of classic children's fantasy books: a world in peril, potent evil, and protagonists who must plumb their depths to fight the good fight. A page-turning adventure that draws on ancient folklore, the Great Tree of Avalon books can also be read as a parable for our times, when war and the destruction of the planet are constantly on our minds. In the final installment of the trilogy, Barron offers an inspiring model of courage and hope for the next generation.
 
Kate DiCamillo
In Kate DiCamillo's latest, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, the china bunny Edward must endure the icy depths of the salty ocean, the smelly indignity of a garbage heap, and more maltreatment too beastly to relate here. However, the presentation of the book is anything but ghastly, with a lovely large format and beautiful color illustrations.
 
Matthew Skelton
Matthew Skelton's debut novel, Endymion Spring, is a riveting tale of past and present, books and readers, scholars and collectors. Like Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, Endymion Spring is a mythic story set partially in Oxford. The young hero, Blake, isn't much of a reader until he discovers a mysterious book in the library: where did it come from, and where will it take him? Skelton utilizes his vast knowledge of book history and lore to weave a tale that will captivate readers young and old.
 
Bart King
Oregon teacher and author Bart King has followed up his wildly popular The Big Book of Boy Stuff with its counterpart, The Big Book of Girl Stuff. To do so, he enlisted the help of his five sisters. If you like the color pink, this book is for you.
 
J. M. DeMatteis and Mike Ploog
Both J. M. DeMatteis and Mike Ploog have backgrounds in writing and illustrating comic books; their new middle reader series, Abadazad, began as a comic book, and it shows in their innovative storytelling technique, which combines prose, graphic novel elements, and diary entries. The plot is no less engaging: fantasy and reality collide in this story about fourteen-year-old Kate, who reads novels about a land called Abadazad, only to find herself there and on a quest to find her missing younger brother.
 
Meg Rosoff
After his younger brother's brush with death, fifteen-year-old Justin Case becomes obsessed with his own mortality. Just in Case, the "intriguing, stylized" (Publishers Weekly) new novel from Meg Rosoff, author of How I Live Now, follows Justin as he seeks to reinvent himself and change his own destiny.
 
Michael Buckley
Full of whimsical fairy lore and classic detective work, Michael Buckley's Sisters Grimm series has it all, and the growing number of devoted fans proves it. Here in our Q&A Buckley talks lovingly about his favorite stories, and frankly, we love what he has to say.
 
Jeanne DuPrau
Jeanne DuPrau's City of Ember debuted in 2003, introducing readers to a world very different from our own, and yet eerily similar. The sequel, The People of Sparks, continued the harrowing adventures. Now, in The Prophet of Yonwood, DuPrau takes us back to the beginning, to the story of how Ember came to be. Here in our Q&A, we learn more about her daily life and the books that have inspired her.
 
Rick Riordan
As both a middle school teacher and the author of adult mysteries, Rick Riordan knows how to hook readers of all ages. Now, on the heels of the second installment of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, The Sea of Monsters, Riordan tells us what finally convinced him to write for kids, why cows are so smart, and so much more.
 
Mary Pope Osborne
If there's a subject Mary Pope Osborne doesn't know about, she's probably researching it right now! The author of the Magic Tree House series confesses that her imagination "is closer to a child's imagination than to a grown-up's," which explains how she makes history so thrilling for young readers, and how she came up with the fabulous characters in The Mysteries of Spider Cane. In our Kids' Q&A she reveals more about what fuels her creativity, and describes what's ahead for Jack and Annie of the Magic Tree House.
 
Jonathan Stroud
"Compared to adults," Jonathan Stroud says, "children are unimpressed by reputation, fashion, or pretension." Especially when it comes to the books they read. Of course, Stroud's own reputation as a writer of thrilling tales is spreading farther every day. Here in our Kids' Q&A, the English writer reveals more about his life, his interests, and his thoughts on writing stories for all of us.
 
Meg Cabot
Meg Cabot is peppy and opinionated -- like many of her heroines -- but she's also as amiable as the girl next door. Read our Kids' Q&A with the author of The Princess Diaries to learn why she quotes Lisa Simpson, how she mortified Kevin Bacon's daughter, and much, much more.
 
Robert Sabuda
It happens every time: customers walk by the display of Robert Sabuda's Winter's Tale, casually flip it open to the first page, and their jaws drop. "Wow," they say, over and over again. Wow, indeed. Since the 1990s, Sabuda has been at the center of a children's pop-up revolution. And he even can do a headstand! Read our Q&A with Robert Sabuda and you'll be impressed, too.
 
Louise Marley
Louise Marley has been a professional musician and music teacher for years, so it's no surprise that her novels are similarly musical. In Singer in the Snow, her first for young adults, music literally keeps the people of frosty Nevya alive. Find out what else inspires this multi-talented author in our exclusive Q&A.
 
Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black
Kirkus Reviews praises the Spiderwick Chronicles as "handsomely designed, and extravagantly illustrated...[They] pack quite a punch." In our Kids Q&A, authors Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black recommend other authors, describe their varied pets, and muse about what they wanted to be when they grew up.
 
D. J. MacHale
Rico of Powells.com calls D. J. MacHale's latest book "Absorbing....an excellent fantasy for fans of 'Harry Potter' and Philip Pullman — and will likely ensnare many other young readers, as well." Read our Kids' Q&A with D. J. MacHale to find out about his favorite Simpsons episode, the last good book he read, his most memorable teacher, and more.
 
Patrick Carman
The Land of Elyon trilogy is coming to an end with its final installment, The Tenth City. As with any great fantasy series, the build-up has been enormous, the characters compelling, and the final chapters riveting. For those who aren't acquainted with The Land of Elyon, the adventure is just beginning. But for those who've been along for the journey, get ready for the heart-stopping conclusion. Read our Q&A with Patrick Carman to learn more about the man behind the fabulous series.
 
 
Liz Murphy
Dance is not just an art, it's a whole different language! In Liz Murphy's A Dictionary of Dance, readers will learn about everything that comes together to make a dance, whether it's ballet or the polka. Liz Murphy's dynamic and expressive artwork is sure to inspire readers of all ages to get up and dance! In this Kids' Q&A, Murphy shares her favorite family story, her most memorable teacher, and more.
       Cassandra Clare
In City of Glass, the final installment of Cassandra Clare's New York Times-bestselling Mortal Instruments trilogy, Clary must travel to the ancestral home of the Shadowhunters, to save her mother's life. Never mind that entering the city without permission is against the Law, and breaking the Law could mean death...
 
Daniel Pinkwater
In Daniel Pinkwater's The Yggyssey, a sequel to The Neddiad, the ghosts of Los Angeles are disappearing right and left. Iggy Birnbaum is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, no matter what Neddie Wentworthstein and Seamus Finn say. Hails Publishers Weekly, "[T]his sequel packs wacky characters, absurd plot twists and improbable outcomes — and every page offers goofy, offbeat fun."
 
Susan Patron
In Susan Patron's sequel to her 2007 Newbery Medal-winning The Higher Power of Lucky, life is going on as usual in Hard Pan (pop. 43). Lucky, however, is restless. After meeting a potential new best friend named Paloma, who is visiting her uncle, Lucky is soon scheming to get Paloma back to Hard Pan. "[Patron] skillfully balances sentimentality and humor, allowing her characters to shine once more in their own idiosyncratic ways," cheers Publishers Weekly.
 
 
Michael Ian Black
If the kids you know are anything like the kids we know, the very thought of chicken butts will send them into hysterics. In which case, Chicken Cheeks is a must-have! Actor/comedian Michael Ian Black teams with New York Times-bestselling illustrator Kevin Hawkes for a hilarious homage to animal derrieres.
 
Rosanne Parry
Called an "unassuming, transcendent joy" (Kirkus, starred review) and a "true evocation of modern ranch life...[that is] seldom written about with such grace and authenticity" (Molly Gloss), Rosanne Parry's debut novel looks like a kids'-lit classic in the making. The story of a young boy's struggle to help his grandparents maintain their ranch when his father is shipped off to the Iraq War, Heart of a Shepherd will intrigue young readers and help them engage with a politically difficult time.
 
Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Few YA writers are as close to their readership as Amelia Atwater-Rhodes, who published her first book when she was 13 years old. In her latest, Persistence of Memory, 16-year-old Erin Misrahe just wants to be like everyone else in her new school, but she has a deadly secret — a destructive vampire named Shevaun that exists inside, yet separate from, Erin! "Atwater-Rhodes will not disappoint her many fans with this cleverly crafted story of a collision between the fantasy world and the known world," cheers KLIATT.
 
Susan Orlean
"One of the wittiest new-baby-in-the-family books of recent years" (Publishers Weekly, starred review), bestselling author Susan Orlean's Lazy Little Loafers looks at the very serious problem of baby unemployment, told from the perspective of a disgruntled, put-upon older sister. In this Kids' Q&A, Orlean explains why babies contribute very little to society other than looking cute, how she realized her crazy dream of becoming a writer wasn't so crazy after all, and more!
 
Emily Jenkins
Imagination and empathy help a young girl overcome her fears of some scary people in her neighborhood, in The Little Bit Scary People, the new picture book by the author of the ALA Notable Book Toys Go Out. In this Kids' Q&A, Emily Jenkins discusses which fictional character she'd love to have as a friend, how she turned her cats into stuffed toys and dogs, and more!
 
Laura Godwin and Ann M. Martin
In The Runaway Dolls, the masterfully plotted third book in Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin's Doll People series, best friends Annabelle Doll and Tiffany Funcraft are back. A new doll named Tilly May has arrived in a mysterious package from London, but she looks so familiar. Could she be Annabelle's long-lost baby sister?
 
Holly Hobbie
From beloved artist and storyteller Holly Hobbie comes a new tale about a little girl named Fanny, who desperately wants a Connie, the glamorous doll that all of her friends have. When her mother says no, Fanny soon takes matters into her own hands and makes a doll herself. In this Kids' Q&A, Holly Hobbie shares her favorite pair of shoes, the best TV series of all time, and more!
 
Polly Horvath
With My One Hundred Adventures, Polly Horvath, winner of the National Book Award and a Newbery Honor, has written her richest, most spirited book yet. Jane is 12 years old, and she is ready to move beyond the world of her siblings and single mother and their house by the sea, and step into the "know-not what." In this Kids' Q&A, Horvath shares her favorite breakfast cereal, her most horrifying story about a reader, and more!
 
Stephanie Greene
In The Lucky Ones, the author of Christmas at Stony Creek delivers a haunting coming-of-age novel about two sisters — one age 14, the other age 12 — their privileged family, and the summer their world is shifted forever. In this Kids' Q&A, Stephanie Greene tells us about the gecko that won't die, shares her idea of bliss, and more!
 
Michael Wright
Jake Starts School, Michael Wright's follow-up to Jake Stays Awake, is a laugh-out-loud look at one family's dilemma of dealing with first-school-day separation. In this Kids' Q&A, Wright shares the harrowing story of "The Night of 1,000 Bats," his favorite experience with a reader, and more!
 
Claire Dean
In Girlwood, an extraordinary fantasy debut for young adults, a young girl struggles with her sister's disappearance and flees to nature and the safety and power of a hidden grove she calls Girlwood. In this Kids' Q&A, author Claire Dean shares her childhood dream to fly, why she will never write for adults again, and more!
 
R. L. LaFevers
Set in 1906 London and Cairo, Theodosia and the Serpents of Chaos is a middle-grade mystery that introduces the intrepid new heroine Theodosia Throckmorton — who is thrust into the heart of a mystery when she learns an ancient Egyptian amulet carries a curse that threatens to crumble the British Empire. In this Kids' Q&A, author R. L. LaFevers shares her favorite encounter with a fan, memories of her pet bear cubs, and more!
 
Cathy Vickers
In Cathy's Key, the sequel to Cathy's Book, Cathy Vickers is trying to keep a job, her journal is stolen, the cute boy is not who he seems to be. Even Emma's side project/start-up company is about to get caught up in the mystery surrounding Cathy and her search for the truth about her presumed-dead father. In this most unusual Kids' Q&A, Cathy herself shares her favorite story as a child, why she hopes Cathy's Key will also be your book, and more!
 
Ben Mikaelsen
In Ghost of Spirit Bear, the sequel to his gripping Touching Spirit Bear, Ben Mikaelsen weaves a tale of urban survival where every day is a struggle to stay sane. In this INK Q&A, Mikaelsen tells us about his difficult childhood growing up in Bolivia, what it's like to live with a 700-pound black bear, and more!
 
A. E. Cannon
Star-crossed crushes make for uproarious misunderstandings in The Loser's Guide to Life and Love, A. E. Cannon's contemporary take on Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, complete with lots of teen angst, endearing characters, and modern-day sensibility. In this Q&A, Cannon shares why she'd like to live in Middle Earth, which childhood story she didn't like, and more!
 
Gary D. Schmidt
Gary D. Schmidt's newest book, Trouble, opens with: "Henry Smith's father told him that if you build your house far enough away from Trouble, then Trouble will never find you." Great line! Clever one-liners like this are why Gary is such a brilliant author. Like his previous books, including the 2008 Newbery Honor Book The Wednesday Wars, Trouble takes a universal story about family and hardship and places it in a vivid, well-researched historical setting. Read Gary's Q&A to find out which book's opening line entranced him and why he can't pick a favorite episode of The Simpsons.
 
John Flanagan
The battles and drama are nonstop in The Battle for Skandia, the latest installment of John Flanagan's epic fantasy Ranger's Apprentice. Skandia's borders have been breached, and Araluen is next. If the two kingdoms are to be saved, an unlikely union must be made. In this Q&A, Flanagan shares his literary hero, explains how his most memorable teacher accidentally became a character in his books, and more!
 
Shannon Hale
Goose Girl and Enna Burning, Shannon Hale's first two young adult novels set in the kingdom of Bayern, featured smart heroines, the magic that binds us all, and friendship that endures. Her characters are engagingly real, her stories are breathtakingly suspenseful, and her language is simply gorgeous. Her latest novel, River Secrets, may actually surpass the first two. As empathetic to the human condition as any story you'll find, and so much fun to read.
 
Justine Larbalestier
Author of the Magic or Madness trilogy, Justine Larbalestier is a fantasy writer who has what we'd call a fantasy life; she's married to fellow writer Scott Westerfield! With the last book in her trilogy, Magic's Child, just out in paper, you can now read them straight through without having to wait! Learn more about what inspires this vibrant young author in her exclusive Q&A.
 
Steve Kluger
Steve Kluger's My Most Excellent Year is the story of T.C., who is valiantly attempting to get Alejandra to fall in love with him; Alejandra, who is playing hard to get and is busy trying to sashay out from under the responsibilities of being a diplomat's daughter; and T.C.'s brother Augie, who is gay and in love and everyone knows it but him. In this Q&A, Kluger discusses his 27th anniversary fifth-grade reunion, his desire to be Ethel Merman, and more!
 
Alan Katz
Alan Katz is a self-described "silly dilly man" and his collection of poems, Oops!, certainly proves he is deserving of the title. Illustrated by the legendary Ed Koren, if you are a kid, or you know a kid, or if you ever were a kid, this is a poetry collection to cherish (but wipe your hands first!). Read our Q&A with Katz to learn why he writes for children, why he's a lucky man and more!
 
N. D. Wilson
Written in N. D. Wilson's inimitable style, 100 Cupboards follows Henry and his cousin Henrietta as they discover what's behind their house's hidden cupboard doors. This first in a new fantasy series has them discovering that the cupboards are portals into another world. Read his Q&A and find out why Wilson thinks that Gandalf, of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, would be a handy acquaintance and more!
 
Eoin Colfer
The bestselling creator of the Artemis Fowl series returns with Airman, a new adventure set in the 1890s. Thrown into prison for a murder he didn't commit, Conor Broekhart passes the time scratching designs for a flying machine onto the walls of his cell. After two years, Conor is finally able to build a glider and executes a daring escape to the mainland. In this Kids Q&A, Eoin Colfer shares which fictional character he'd like to hang around with, reveals who gave him his sense of humor, and more!
 
Leslie Helakoski and Lee Harper
Woolbur is not like other sheep. This cute "it's cool to be yourself" story is one of our favorite new picture books of the year. Leslie Helakoski and illustrator Lee Harper recently sat down to answer our kids' Q&A and the result is here for you to enjoy. Find out what an Asclepias Curassavica is, what kind of animals they both love, and more!
 
John van de Ruit
Meet Spud Milton, just beginning his freshman year at boarding school. Armed with only his wit and diary, Spud takes us on a wildly amusing ride through the halls of high school. Spud is the fastest-selling novel by a South African in South African history and in his exclusive Q&A, John van de Ruit shares his obsessions with furry feet, Rapunzel and more!
 
Beverly Donofrio
Mary is advised not to mingle with mice and Mouse is told to stay away from people. But a strange thing happens in Beverly Donofrio's picture book Mary and the Mouse, the Mouse and Mary. When Mary and Mouse have children of their own who do something surprising their parents never did, they actually come nose-to-nose and speak to one another! Read author Beverly Donofrio's exclusive Q&A to learn why princesses love pepperoni pizza!
 
Gennifer Choldenko
From Gennifer Choldenko, the Newbery Honor-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Al Capone Does My Shirts, comes If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period, a fast-paced, provocative, funny book about two kids with an unlikely connection, who discover a secret that shakes them both to the core. In this Q&A, Choldenko shares her funniest fan letter, favorite breakfast, and more!
 
Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt
You'd think being the tooth fairy was as easy as pie, but You Think It's Easy Being the Tooth Fairy? reveals the truth! A self-described action kind of gal with plenty of attitude, Sheri Bell-Rehwoldt exposes the tooth fairy's secrets at last. Read her charming Q&A to learn about why she writes for kids, what EarPlanes are, and more!
 
Laurie Rosenwald
Olives, trees, pickles, peas... What do they have in common? All of them are green! In her debut picture book, And to Name But Just a Few: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, Laurie Rosenwald explores the world of color through humorous poetry and dynamic collages. In this Q&A, Laurie answers all our questions, sharing her favorite family story, why she'd like to be friends with Tintin, and more!
 
Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
In Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List, Naomi is in love with her best friend, Ely, but Ely prefers boys. So they create a "No Kiss List" of people neither of them is allowed to kiss. It works fine — until Bruce enters the picture. In this Q&A, authors Rachel Cohn and David Levithan share their favorite books from childhood and much more!
 
K. L. Going
Mixing spine-tingling chills with a deeply resonating story that beautifully explores grief, healing, and growth, The Garden of Eve is a magical tale tells of a girl grieving her mother, a town with a curse, and a mysterious apple seed given to the girl by someone she's never met. In this Q&A, author K. L. Going shares which story she'd like to live in, how she supports real-life heroes, and more!
 
Markus Zusak
Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking novel The Book Thief is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing, encounters something she cant resist: books. In this Q&A, Zusak explains why he'd like to have Michelangelo for dinner, shares his passion for surfing, and more!
 
Annie Barrows
World record fever grips the second grade, and soon Ivy and Bean are trying to set their own record by becoming the youngest people to have ever discovered a dinosaur. But how hard is it to find one? In Ivy and Bean Break the Fossil Record, Annie Barrows's "dynamic duo is as appealing here as in the first two books" (Booklist). In this Q&A, Barrows shares her favorite family story, penchant for not eating cereal, and more!
 
Jennifer Allison
In Gilda Joyce: The Ghost Sonata, Gilda accompanies her best friend Wendy to an international piano competition in England. There Wendy discovers a ghostly message written in the frost on her window. Gilda realizes her friend's life could be in danger, and she must find the truth behind the untimely death of a previous piano virtuoso. In this Q&A, author Jennifer Allison describes her most memorable teacher, shares why she writes for kids, and more!
 
Laini Taylor
In author Laini Taylor's words, Faeries of Dreamdark: Blackbringer is "a fantasy adventure novel...in which faeries are not dainty little flowery sprites, but warriors." In this Kids' Q&A, Taylor explains her fondness for Philip Pullman and Harry Potter, what she wanted to be when she grew up, and more!
 
Helen Wilbur
From saber-toothed to tabby, cats have had a prominent place in human history, society, and hearts. Now cat lovers of all ages can discover what's lurking behind kitty's twitching tail and bewitching eyes in M is for Meow: A Cat Alphabet. In this exclusive Kids' Q&A, author Helen Wilbur shares her favorite story as a child, tells us about her pets, and more!
 
Catherine Jinks
An engrossing thriller with darkness and humor, freaks and geeks, Evil Genius explores the fine line between good and evil in a strange world where nothing is as it seems. In this ingenious Q&A, author Catherine Jicks reveals her soft spot for Sherlock Holmes, her weakness for falling into a hypnotic state at the sound of pages turning, and more!
 
Janet Lee Carey
In Dragon's Keep, Janet Lee Carey has written a stunning portrayal of the complex relationship between a mother and daughter in a lyrical novel sure to thrill readers who love fantasy — and those who don't. In this Q&A, Carey shares her favorite family story, which story she'd like to live in, and more.
 
Michael Scott
The Alchemyst is the story of two all-American teens, Sophie and Josh, who discover that the bookshop owner Josh works for in San Francisco is in fact, the legendary and immortal alchemist, Nicholas Flamel. In this exclusive Q&A, author Michael Scott shares his favorite childhood story, his love of blueberry ice cream, and more!
 
Erin Hunter
Fans of Erin Hunter's Warriors books will delight in two new debuts! Warriors: Power of Three, Book One: The Sight begins a new spin-off series that follows the next generation of heroic cats, who are destined to bring the Clans to new heights or completely destroy them. Plus, TokyoPop presents the premiere issue of Warriors: The Lost Warrior, a brand-new manga series that will tantalize fans of the Warriors saga and Japanese comic books alike.
 
Deb Caletti
In The Nature of Jade, National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti pens another beautifully rendered coming-of-age story. When 17-year-old Jade DeLuna, who has been diagnosed with panic disorder, becomes involved with single teenage father Sebastian, she feels safe — until she learns his secret. In this Q&A, Caletti discusses her oldest fan, why she became a writer, and more!
 
Cassandra Clare
Exotic and gritty, Cassandra Clare's debut novel, City of Bones, begins a new fantasy series about demons and a secret tribe of warriors called the Shadowhunters. In this Q&A, Clare shares her favorite family story, reveals her idea of bliss, and more!
 
Jenny Offill and Nancy Carpenter
The minute we saw Seventeen Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore, we knew someone had spied on us. How did they know all the mischief that occurred in our household? Imagine Ramona as the star of her own picture book. We don't want to give anyone ideas, but this book is just too much fun to keep to ourselves.
 
Julius Lester
Julius Lester received a Newbery Honor Award in 1969 for his historical compilation To Be a Slave. In 2006, he won the Coretta Scott King Award for Days of Tears, a powerful novel about a family torn apart by slavery. In between, he has written dozens of books for various ages, often focusing on black history and culture, though touching on many other topics, as well. The scope, beauty, and thoughtfulness of Julius Lester's writing cannot be too highly praised, and we are lucky he is still writing. His latest is a young adult novel that reinvents the ancient Roman myth about the god of love: Cupid: A Tale of Love and Desire.
 
Margaret Haddix
Margaret Peterson Haddix writes suspenseful, thought-provoking middle readers and young adult novels, such as the Shadow Children series and Don't You Dare Read This Mrs. Dunphrey. More recently, she has expanded into the younger chapter book realm for seven- to ten-year-olds. Her third such offering, Dexter the Tough, is due out later this month. Never one to shy away from tough social issues, Haddix explores a boy's struggles in dealing with being the new kid in school and having a father with cancer.
 
Blake Nelson
Blake Nelson remembers what it's like to be a teenager. Heartbreaking, wry, and hip, his novels read like real life the way modern kids experience it. His newest, Paranoid Park, takes place here in Portland, Oregon, home of the famous Burnside Skate Park. The young narrator tells the story of skating, friends, girls, and a fatal accident that changes his life. Aside from the fantastically detailed portrayal of Portland, this is a totally literate depiction of young adulthood: with a character named Paul Auster and echoes of Camus's The Stranger, both adults and teens will find something to appreciate. It is also worth a mention that Paranoid Park will soon be a feature-length film directed by another Portland native, Gus Van Sant.
 
Mo Willems
Mo Willems, author of Knuffle Bunny (the tale of a lost stuffed animal and the father who is unable to comprehend the uncanny half-human speech of his child's lament) and Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late, (in which the valiant Pigeon struggles mightily against the grim injustice of going to bed), now vexes us with Edwina the Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct, a terrifying tale of an enormous dinosaur who carries a purse and the dastardly young boy who insists she is extinct.
 
Karen Karbo
After she loses all of her adolescent insecurities in a freak accident, Minerva Clark becomes a fearless girl detective. Funnier than Nancy Drew, quirkier than Harriet the Spy, and humbler than Encyclopedia Brown, Minerva will win every mystery-lovers' heart. Minerva Clark Goes to the Dogs, the second in this addictive mystery series (write faster, Karen Karbo!), finds Minerva in search of a missing diamond.
 
Dale E. Basye
After Milton and Marlo Fauster die in a marshmallow-bear explosion, they are sent straight to Heck, an otherworldly reform school. Milton can understand why his kleptomaniac sister is here, but Milton is — or was — a model citizen. Has a mistake been made? Find out in Dale E. Basye's debut, Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go. And in this Kids' Q&A, you'll find out why Basye wants to befriend Jonathan Livingston Seagull, his favorite Simpsons episode you've never seen, and more!
 
Sid Fleischman
Children today are as fascinated with Houdini as his audiences were when he was alive. Biographies of Houdini litter the shelves of book stores. But now comes Escape!, the biography of all Houdini biographies, by children's author and magician, the venerable Sid Fleischman. As a young man, Fleischman befriended Houdini's widow, and thus he brings a personal touch to the moving and enthralling life of the world's most famous magician. Illustrated with period photographs, the book is as beautiful as it is illuminating.
 
Mini Grey
Mini Grey is a picture book author-illustrator to watch. She wowed us with last year's Traction Man Is Here!, a playful, inventive story which carries us into the mind of a boy as he plays with his action figure. A kitchen sink full of dishes becomes an ocean in which to scuba dive, backyard grass becomes a jungle to crawl through, and the too-cute suit Grandma knit for Traction Man is unraveled into rope to haul the fallen spoons back up the kitchen counter cliff. Grey has followed up this funny and exciting book with The Adventures of the Dish and the Spoon. Her elaboration of the original nursery rhyme will sweep you away with its drama, suspense, wit, and gaiety.
 
Kai Meyer
Kai Meyer is not new to the world of children's books, but his books are new to the United States. Last year the gorgeous, eerie first book of the Dark Reflections series, The Water Mirror, came out to rave reviews, and his latest, Pirate Curse, begins another fantasy series, The Wave Walkers. Here in our exclusive Q&A Meyer talks about his inspiration, his daily occupations, and the ray gun for which he still pines. Adventures ahoy!
 
John Matthews
Like pirates? Well, it doesn't get much better than John Matthews's new jam-packed book, Pirates. From pirate slang to pirate flags to pirate weapons and more, Matthews's book is a must for pirate lovers. In our Q&A, Matthews waxes nostalgic about many of his favorite children's books, why he loves to write for kids, and more
 
Paul B. Janeczko
Paul Janeczko teaches poetry workshops in classrooms across the country, and has edited many poetry anthologies, including A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetry Forms, which any adult -- as well as child -- would enjoy. He also authors smashing poetry. His latest, Wing Nuts: Screwy Haiku, is a collaboration with J. Patrick Lewis.
 
Anne Ursu
Anne Ursu has already written two thoroughly inventive, enchanting novels for adults. We are only too pleased that she is now delving into the mystical, magical world of children's literature with the first of a promised trio of books for middle readers: The Shadow Thieves. In our Kids' Q&A, Ursu asserts that "there are no limits" in children's literature, which has us zipping with zealous anticipation about this new fantasy story.
 
Lane Smith
Perhaps best known for his illustrations in many of Jon Scieszka's books, such as The Math Curse and The Stinky Cheese Man, Smith has also written several books, including The Happy Hocky Family and Glasses (Who Needs 'Em). His latest book mischievously explores our Founding Fathers as children. Read more about this quirky author and illustrator in our Kids' Q&A.
 
Chris Raschka
Chris Raschka didn't think he would grow up to be a creator of children's books, but thank goodness he did! Where would we be without Charlie Parker Played Be Bop? Not to mention his Caldecott Award winners, Yo! Yes? and The Hello, Goodbye Window. An amazing artist, a sparkling wit, and he can knit! Read our Q&A with Raschka; you'll be glad you did.
 
Louis Sachar
Louis Sachar's Holes has become a modern classic (go ahead — try to find a kid who hasn't read it), and now he brings back several of the characters for Small Steps. In this Kids' Q&A, Sachar discusses his favorite story as a child, what he does for relaxation, which story he would live in, and how he finds great books.
 
Elin Kelsey
Scientist and author Elin Kelsey is fascinated with the natural world, and she knows that kids are too. In her new book Strange New Species she introduces us to some of the astonishing creatures scientists have discovered recently. She also invites you -- yes, you! -- to enter the "Name a New Species Contest." Here, in our Kids' Q&A, she tells us a little more about herself, her daily life, and her inspirations.
 
David A. Carter
Robert Sabuda says you should read David Carter, so he must be good! With more than a dozen pop-up books already published, Carter outdoes himself with his latest paper sculptures in One Red Dot, an interactive visual adventure. In our Q&A, learn about his arachnidan officemate, as well as why it's a good thing he's not a rock star.
 
 
 
 
 
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