Best Books of June -- Young Adults!

Lauren's picks for the best Young Adult books coming out in June --
Ten Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061701245
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Teen - June 7th, 2011

A fun, frothy teen read - take this one to the beach!

Spoiled Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316098250
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Poppy Books - June 1st, 2011

The evil geniuses behind the hilarious website Go Fug Yourself have written a novel! And it's just as clever and snarky and gossipy as the blog - a treat to read!

Vicious Little Darlings Cover Image
ISBN: 9781599906287
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books - June 21st, 2011

Remember that time in college when your roommate turned out to be an obsessive psycho? No? Well maybe this thriller will refresh your memory - enjoy.

My Life Undecided Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374399054
Availability: Special Order
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - June 7th, 2011

Brooklyn Pierce has a tough time when it comes to decisions, specifically: not making terrible ones. After her latest poor choice lands her in hot water with the authorities, she decides she can't be trusted and takes it out of her hands completely by starting a blog where her readers vote on every situation that comes her way. Brooklyn has creative problem solving skills in spades, now will she ever learn to make the right choice for herself? Teens and adults will enjoy finding out!

Blood Red Road Cover Image
ISBN: 9781442429987
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - June 7th, 2011

Violence, heart-pounding action, and a tough heroine at the center of it all - this new series has it all! And I, for one, cannot wait for the next installment.

Mission (Un)Popular Cover Image
ISBN: 9781423123019
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Disney Press - June 14th, 2011

Middle school is an unpleasant experience for most people, and bullies are just an unfortunate fact of life. But when two girls decide to beat the most popular girl in school at her own game, the normal order of thing is reversed. Bullies deserve whatever they get, right? This novel is more than just a fun read (although it is that!), it also stresses the importance of compassion and understanding.

Imaginary Girls Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525423386
Availability: Special Order
Published: Dutton Juvenile - June 14th, 2011

Beautifully creepy, this is the story of a girl whose charismatic older sister would do anything for her, even strike a deal with the dead... Don't miss this spooky novel, but don't read it at night either!

Best Books of June -- Graphic Novels!

For the first time, we're Lauren picks the best Graphic Novels out this month. Check them out!
Level Up Cover Image
By Gene Luen Yang, Thien Pham (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781596432352
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: First Second - June 7th, 2011

This unique graphic novel should catch the eye of video game aficionados - the cover looks like a retro Nintendo Gameboy. The artwork inside has an almost pixilated feel, like an "old school" game. It's the story of Dennis, whose Chinese parents came to America to build better lives for themselves. They have equally high expectations for their son, who feels like he can't measure up. His passion and talent lie with video games, but his (now late) father always dreamed of medical school for him. Dennis is burnt out and it's showing until help comes in the form of four deceptively adorable angels. They intervene on his behalf, cook and clean for him, and keep him on track to his "destiny". But is his destiny medical school? "Level Up" is sweet and funny and wistful and will appeal to anyone who's ever had expectations they can't live up to. Even those who aren't normally fans of comics will love this one!

Anya's Ghost Cover Image
By Vera Brosgol, Vera Brosgol (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781596435520
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: First Second - June 7th, 2011

Anya doesn't feel like she fits in anywhere - at home, her mom's always nagging her and at school, she gets teased for being different. She doesn't get good grades and she pines for a guy who doesn't even know she's alive. But all that changes one day when she falls into a hole in the park and comes out with a ghost. With Emily around, things start looking up: Emily gives her test answers and coaches Anya on how to get her crush to notice her. Because Emily just has Anya's best interests at heart...doesn't she? If the creepy story about an obsessive ghost doesn't draw you in, the detailed artwork will. Vera Brosgol has crafted what the great Neil Gaiman calls "a masterpiece" - and I agree!

Best Books of June -- Middle Grade!

Here are Lauren's picks for the best middle grade books being released in June!
All the Things You Are Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416997177
Availability: Special Order
Published: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing - June 14th, 2011

Carly Wheeler has it all: lots of friends, all the right clothes, and an "in" at the hottest soap opera since her mom just so happens to be the wardrobe designer. But all that changes the day her mom is arrested for embezzlement. Carly doesn't know what to do, her so-called friends avoid her, her stepdad is always angry, and her mom is breaking down. She feels like she has no one to turn to and has to grow up fast. An absorbing read that demonstrates both the pain of a disappointing parent and the power of forgiveness - great for middle-schoolers!

Who What Wear Cover Image
By Olivia Bennett, Georgia Rucker (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781402243929
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky - June 1st, 2011

Emma Rose, aka "Allegra Biscotti", is now a full-fledged fashion designer! There's only one problem: she has to keep it a secret from just about everyone, including her bff. When the most popular girl at Emma's school demands an Allegra original, Emma has to scramble to create the perfect dress and keep her true identity a secret. Will she be able to pull it off or has Emma finally bit off more than she can chew? Budding fashionistas will love this fun novel - it's designed to look like a sketch book and is filled with drawings of gorgeous outfits!

Best Books of June -- Picture Books!

Here are Lauren's picks for the best picture books being released in June.
What Is Your Dog Doing? Cover Image
By Marilyn Singer, Kathleen Habbley (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781416979319
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books - June 7th, 2011

Charming illustrations and a sweet, simple story - perfect for bedtime!

Big Brothers Don't Take Naps Cover Image
By Louise Borden, Emma Dodd (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781416955030
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - June 14th, 2011

A heartwearming ode to big brothers - the perfect gift for a newly-minted sibling!

The Hole in the Middle Cover Image
By Paul Budnitz, Aya Kakeda (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781423137610
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Hyperion Books - June 7th, 2011

Wonderfully colorful and detailed illustrations puncuate this sweet story of friendship. Everyone needs a friend, especially when you have a hole in your middle!

Farmyard Beat Cover Image
By Lindsey Craig, Marc Tolon Brown (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780375864551
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - June 14th, 2011

Kids will love Marc Brown's bright pictures, they almost seem to pop right off the page! And the bouncy beat of the story will have kids and adults singing along!

Latest Dear Dumb Diary

Love the Dear Dumb Diary series? Well, check out this super fun book trailer for the series. 

And just out this week is Book 12 in the series, Me! (Just Like You, Only Better). Just in time for great summer reading!



Me! (Just Like You, Only Better) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545116169
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - June 1st, 2011

Best Books of May - Young Adult!

Here are Lauren's picks for the best Young Adult books coming out this month.
Divergent Cover Image
By Veronica Roth, Nicolas Delort (Photographer)
ISBN: 9780062024022
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - May 3rd, 2011

Roth's exciting debut novel - and the start of a promising new series - is a cross between "The Giver" and "Hunger Games". This thrilling adventure is sure to be a hit with teens and adults alike!

Empire State: A Love Story (or Not) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780810997479
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: ABRAMS - May 1st, 2011

This clever story of unrequited love makes a wonderful graphic novel: Shiga's illustrations are by turns hilarious and poignant. Perfect for both the lucky and unlucky in love!

Beauty Queens Cover Image
ISBN: 9780439895972
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - May 24th, 2011

Behold: the best Crossover book of the summer! I know that's a bold claim to make, and it's still early in the season, but Beauty Queens is just that good. Told with Bray's trademark caustic wit, it is the tale of a planeful of beauty queens who get stranded on a desert island. Think "Lost" meets "Miss America". Add a healthy dose of reality tv (in my mind, only large doses of reality tv are healthy!) and a boat of sexy pirates and you've got a hilariously snarky don't-miss read!

Flawless Cover Image
ISBN: 9781599905969
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - May 10th, 2011

A clever retelling of Cyrano de Bergerac, this novel makes the classic come alive - perfect for teens who think nothing good was written before 2005 (and yes, I'm aware of the irony in that statement).

The Magnolia League Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316078498
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Poppy Books - May 3rd, 2011

I have always been fascinated with debutantes: the culture, the traditions. Debs who do more than just dabble in the Dark Arts? Now that's my kind of book! Still reeling from the sudden death of her mother, 16-year-old Alexandria is sent to live with her estranged and very wealthy grandmother. Her grandmother is beautiful and almost freakishly youthful, as are all her friends - almost as though they had made a deal with the Devil... Alex resists her grandmother's and her peers' attempts to get her to debut, but there are higher forces at work. "The Magnolia League" is cynical, creepy fun, and the only good thing about the book ending was finding out there will be more. I can't wait for the rest of this amazing series!

Bitter End Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316086950
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 10th, 2011

Brown's second novel follows in the footsteps of her first ("Hate List") by tackling a difficult topic: domestic abuse. Everyone hears stories of husbands who beat their wives, but what if it's your boyfriend? And what if you love him more than anyone else and can't stop going back? Brown handles this sensitive subject deftly, resulting in a moving novel that creates an impact without ever veering into the schlock-y. An important read!

Best Books of May - Middle Grade!

Lauren chooses the best books coming out in May for Middle grade readers, kids aged 8 to 12.
Vote for Me! Cover Image
ISBN: 9780142415023
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Puffin Books - May 17th, 2011

Lucy B. Parker is back - and she's running for office! Incensed at what she deems "dork discrimination", Lucy overcomes her qualms and runs for class president, intending to stand up for the little guy. Of course, when it comes to Lucy B. nothing ever goes as planned - stick around for the wild, hilarious ride!

Horton Halfpott: Or, the Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; Or, the Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset Cover Image
ISBN: 9780810997158
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: ABRAMS - May 1st, 2011

I'm guessing Tom Angleberger is a big kid at heart because he seems to have particular insight into what middle grade boys will like. His newest novel, which chronicles the "loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's corset" and the chaos that follows is laugh out loud funny and sure to appeal to Wimpy Kid fans!

Tomorrow Girls #1: Behind the Gates Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545317016
Availability: Special Order
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks - May 1st, 2011

A dystopian thriller for the younger set - perfect for the kids who aren't old enough to read the "Hunger Games" trilogy!

Best Books of May - Picture Books!

Here are Lauren's picks for the best books coming out in May -- Picture Book edition:
That's How! Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062019639
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - May 10th, 2011

Niemann's ingenious new book explains how things really work. For instance, did you know that a steamroller is powered by a bird tickling two bears? Me neither! I also learned how trains, planes, and more are operated in this brightly illustrated treat. This is a definite don't-miss!

Rrralph Cover Image
By Lois Ehlert, Lois Ehlert (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781442413054
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Beach Lane Books - May 3rd, 2011

Meet Ralph, the dog who can talk! He can say all sorts of things: his name (rrralph!), where he's at (roof! roof!), and whether he wants to go inside (yep! yep!). Rrralph, with Ehlert's trademark recycled material illustrations, is sure to be a classic!

Purple Little Bird Cover Image
By Greg Foley, Greg Foley (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062008282
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen - May 3rd, 2011

I am a huge Greg Foley fan - his Bear books slay me with their cuteness. His new book, about a little bird who loves all things purple, is so adorable it should be illegal!

Children's Choice Book Awards Announced Last Night


The fourth annual Children's Choice Book Award winners were announced last night at a gala hosted by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Lunch Ladies series, Punk Farm). The event launched
Children's Book Week, which lasts until May 8th.

The winners are:

Author of the Year: Rick Riordan for The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, Book 1)

Illustrator of the Year: David Wiesner for Art & Max

Kindergarten to Second Grade Book of the Year:
Little Pink Pup
by Johanna Kerby

Third Grade to Fourth Grade Book of the Year:
Lunch Lady and the Summer Camp Shakedown by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Fifth Grade to Sixth Grade Book of the Year:
The Red Pyramid (The Kane Chronicles, Book 1)
by Rick Riordan

Teen Choice Book of the Year: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan 

For more information about Children's Book Week, visit their website:

Congratulations to the winners!

Best Books in April - Middle Grade and YA installment

Lauren's picks for the best new books being released in April. This time she chooses books for Middle Grader and teen readers. (Note: some of these books won't be released until the end of the month, but they are all available for pre-order!)
Zitface Cover Image
ISBN: 9780761458302
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Skyscape - April 1st, 2011

As someone who has been called zitface (more than once!), I really enjoyed Emily Howse's debut novel. It's a realistic portrayal of how acne can affect one's self-esteem, even with the most down-to-earth people. A sympathetic read with a happy ending!

The Accidental Genius of Weasel High Cover Image
ISBN: 9781606841495
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Egmont USA - April 26th, 2011

Billed as "a book for the wimpy kid who has grown into a wimpy teen", this book is just that: a fun, journal - style novel for the older wimpy kids!

Summer and the City: A Carrie Diaries Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061728938
Availability: Special Order
Published: Balzer + Bray - April 26th, 2011

I'll confess: I've never been a fan of the show. But Candace Bushnell's fun novels chronicling the adventures of a young Carrie Bradshaw are the perfect beach read for teens and adults!

Viola in the Spotlight Cover Image
ISBN: 9780061451058
Availability: Backordered
Published: Harper Teen - April 1st, 2011

This sequel to Viola in Reel Life is the perfect coming of age story. Girls everywhere can relate to Viola's struggle to decide who she is and balance all the friendships in her life. A fun, sweet read!

Rotters Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385738576
Availability: Backordered
Published: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers - April 5th, 2011

This grisly tale of modern day grave robbers is perfect for teen guys: gory and twisted. I'm not sure what that says about me though, since I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am neither a guy nor a teen :)

Abandon Cover Image
ISBN: 9780545284103
Availability: Backordered
Published: Point - April 26th, 2011

I always expect Meg Cabot's books to be amazing and her newest is no exception! A modern day retelling of Greek myth of Persephone, Abandon is both dark and romantic. If you never read Cabot before, start with this one!


Subscribe to RSS - blogs