Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the backissue database. PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital edition via our app or online. For more information on PW's new integrated subscription plan, click here. If you are currently a PW subscriber, click "Login" for full access to the site (if you have not done so already, you will need to set up your account for the new system by going here), or click the "Subscribe" button to become a PW subscriber. Email service@publishersweekly.com with questions.

Login or Subscribe
In Real Life

Cory Doctorow, illus. by Jen Wang. First Second, $17.99 trade paper (192p) ISBN 978-1-59643-658-9

In a heartfelt and of-the-moment story, Doctorow draws on his technology acumen and activism to portray the intricacies of 21st-century global citizenry, while also touching on what it means to be a gamer (particularly a female one). After joining the massively multiplayer online game Coarsegold, Arizona high schooler Anda meets Raymond, a boy from China who works as a “gold farmer,” collecting in-game resources to be sold for real-world cash (a concept Doctorow explored in-depth in 2010’s For the Win). Initially, Anda is led to believe that Raymond and his ilk are corrupting the game, but after she discovers their tenuous economic circumstances and poor living conditions, she begins urging Raymond to demand better treatment. It’s a noble cause, but it comes with potential consequences for both Raymond and Anda. Characters come to life through Wang’s (Koko Be Good) fluid forms and emotive faces, and her adroit shift in colors as the story moves between the physical and gaming worlds is subtle and effective. Ages 12–up. Author’s agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary Agency. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/22/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Hansel and Gretel

Neil Gaiman, illus. by Lorenzo Mattotti. Candlewick/Toon Graphics, $16.95 (56p) ISBN 978-1-9351-7962-7

Master storyteller Gaiman (The Graveyard Book) plumbs the dark depths of Hansel and Gretel, imagining the pair’s mother scheming to abandon them (“Two dead are better than four dead,” she tells their father. “That is mathematics, and it is logic”) and reveling in the witch’s cruelty. “Today, when the oven is hot enough, we will roast your brother,” she announces to Gretel. “But do not be sad. I will give you his bones to chew, little one.” Italian illustrator Mattotti contributes elegant b&w ink spreads that alternate with spreads of text. His artistry flows from the movement of his brush and the play of light and shadow. The witch’s house, tiled with baroque decorations and topped with a graceful tower, is unexpectedly beautiful; light pours through the barley sugar windows. The absence of color is a foil for Gaiman’s panoply of words: “gloves and hats of travelers, and coins of cold and of silver, a string of pearls, chains of gold and chains of silver.” Gaiman makes the story’s horrors feel very real and very human, and Mattotti’s artwork is genuinely chilling. Ages 7–10. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/22/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Sublime

Christina Lauren. Simon & Schuster, $17.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-4814-1368-8

Lucy can’t sleep, eat, or leave the grounds of Saint Osanna’s, a prep school set alongside a haunted lake and forest. She’s a Walker—the local term for ghosts—who has appeared on the school’s grounds 10 years after her murder. Lucy doesn’t know why she has reappeared, but she quickly senses that it has to do with Colin, a daredevil student who lost both parents when his mother drove the family off a bridge. Lucy and Colin have a special connection, and as they fall for each other, he learns that if he brings himself to the edge of death, they can be together for real. Lauren (a pseudonym for Christina Hobbes and Lauren Billings, coauthors of the Wild Seasons series for adults) tell Colin and Lucy’s story through their alternating points of view, but while glimpses into Lucy’s murder give the narrative a spark early on, there is little in the way of mystery, with only the romantic thread (and its inherent danger) pulling readers forward. Ages 14–up. Agent: Holly Root, Waxman Leavell Literary Agency. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/22/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
How It Went Down

Kekla Magoon. Holt, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-8050-9869-3

Structured similarly to Avi’s Nothing But the Truth, this provocative novel set in a neighborhood ruled by gangs offers multiple, contradictory perspectives on the shooting of an African-American youth. No one disputes that 16-year-old Tariq Johnson was shot on the street by Jack Franklin, a white gang member, but the motives of both killer and victim remain fuzzy, as do the circumstances surrounding the shooting. The nationally renowned Reverend Alabaster Sloan claims that racial bias was involved and criticizes the police for releasing Jack. Locals have differing opinions, which spur more questions. Was the killing a matter of self-defense? Did Tariq have a weapon? Was he a gang member? Even eyewitnesses disagree on many points. Expressing the thoughts of Tariq’s family, neighbors, friends, and enemies, Magoon (37 Things I Love [In No Particular Order]) creates a montage of impressions for readers to digest before drawing conclusions about the tragedy. Through this resonant chorus of voices, Magoon masterfully captures the cycle of urban violence and the raw emotions of the young people who can’t escape its impact. Ages 14–up. Agent: Michelle Humphrey, Martha Kaplan Agency. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/22/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Loop

Karen Akins. St. Martin’s Griffin, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-250-03098-6

Debut author Akins introduces the intricate world of Shifters—people born with the ability to travel through time—who are then trained (and monitored closely) by the government. Bree Bennis, a Shifter in training from the 23rd century, has traveled back two centuries to retrieve an item she left behind on a previous trip when the unthinkable happens. She somehow brings someone from the 21st century back to the future—a teenager named Finn, who insists that he has been ordered to protect her and now won’t leave her side. What follows is a complicated story that will test readers’ notions of time and how it might be manipulated. Bree’s and Finn’s relationship is enjoyably tense yet playful, their undeniable attraction to each other bridging the centuries they each call home. Akins opts for a light, humorous take on the time-travel novel (“blark” is mishap-prone Bree’s expletive of choice), but readers will still need to pay close attention, since the explanations about the mechanics of time travel can be tricky to follow. Ages 13–up. Agent: Victoria Marini, Gelfman Schneider. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/22/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Exquisite Captive

Heather Demetrios. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-231856-5

As the last of the Ghan Aisouri, a race of jinni infused with the powers of the four elements, 18-year-old Nalia is a formidable warrior in her homeland of Arjinna. Transported to Earth and sold into slavery to an immortal half-breed master, Nalia faces an interminable future away from her beloved younger brother, Bashil, until a revolutionary named Raif offers to free her in exchange for a ring that will grant him power over their entire race. Nalia is emotionally complex and sharply drawn, trying to atone for her bloody past while she battles Stockholm syndrome with regard to her lecherous master, Malek; endures discrimination and distrust from her star-crossed lover, who hails from a lower caste; and tries to untangle the mystery of jinni trafficking and an evil force devouring young jinni women on Earth. Blending ancient myth and glittering modernity, it’s an intricate and smartly written story from Demetrios (Something Real), and the open ending paves the way for the next book in the Dark Caravan Cycle. Ages 13–up. Agent: Brenda Bowen, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/22/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Get Happy

Mary Amato. Egmont USA, $16.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-60684-522-6

Amato (Guitar Notes) delves into contemporary issues—living with a single parent, searching for an unknown father, finding unexpected romance—in this music-based novel set in the Chicago suburbs. Opening on songwriter/musician Minerva Watson’s 16th birthday, when she is disappointed by not receiving the ukulele she has been openly craving, Amato’s story suffers from a lack of both tension and forward momentum. Even the plot device of Minerva and two male friends winning jobs to perform as Disney-like characters at birthday parties doesn’t go anywhere. Minerva’s loving (though clueless and conflicted) mother is well drawn, but the boys—and Minerva’s relationships with them—are too good to be true. Coworker Cassie (“A tall, gorgeous girl, a cross between a young Halle Berry and Rihanna, but totally natural”) is free of defects, and a revelation about her identity feels gratuitous. Amato’s choice to have Minerva learn about her past via overheard arguments is also a lost opportunity for dramatic confrontation. An unexpected climax leads to a realistic, if not entirely satisfying, finish. Back material includes songs with lyrics and chords. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/22/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Floating Boy and the Girl Who Couldn’t Fly

P.T. Jones. ChiZine/ChiTeen (Diamond, dist.), $12.99 trade paper (250p) ISBN 978-1-77148-173-1

Writing as P.T. Jones, authors Stephen Graham Jones (Flushboy) and Paul Tremblay (Swallowing a Donkey’s Eye) deliver an unusual tale that straddles the border between magic realism and weird science. Fourteen-year-old Mary’s quiet life is disrupted one summer day when a strange teenage boy invades a family birthday party before climbing a tree and simply floating off into the sky. Soon, floating becomes contagious: children and teenagers are suddenly able to fly, while adults come down with an odd variant of the flu. All Mary wants to do is cure her three-year-old brother and return things to normal, but as she spends time with the mysterious Floating Boy, they develop an unexpected relationship. Mary and her friends must face the scientist responsible for the floating epidemic, even as the army closes in to restore order. While the premise is intriguing and the execution solid, pacing lags somewhat, and the mad science angle doesn’t gel especially well with the dreamlike quality of the writing and the sheer weirdness of flying children. Nevertheless, this is an entertaining, thoughtful piece. Ages 12–up. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/22/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
Heap House

Edward Carey. Overlook, $16.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4683-0953-9

Set in 1875, Carey’s delightful variation on Mervyn Peake’s classic Gormenghast books features young Clod Iremonger, sickly scion of an eccentric family that has grown rich off of the trash heaps of London. Heap House itself is a mad conglomeration of building fragments attached willy-nilly to the original mansion located amid dangerous, ever-shifting Heaps. All Iremongers possess birth objects, such as a sink plug or a mustache cup, which they must never lose on pain of death or transformation; Clod is considered odd even by his relatives because he can hear each birth object speak its name. When orphan Lucy Pennant comes to Heap House as a servant, things become even stranger for Clod and his fellow Iremongers. Birth objects and other bits of the house grow restless, moving about on their own, and Clod finds himself falling in love. Full of strange magic, sly humor, and odd, melancholy characters, this trilogy opener, peppered with portraits illustrated by Carey in a style reminiscent of Peake’s own, should appeal to ambitious readers seeking richly imagined and more-than-a-little-sinister fantasy. Ages 10–up. Agent: Isobel Dixon, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/22/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Doll People Set Sail

Ann M. Martin and Laura Godwin, illus. by Brett Helquist. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-4231-3683-5

This much-awaited fourth installment of the Doll People series (which sees Helquist stepping in for Brian Selznick) has the antique Doll family and the contemporary Funcrafts on a nautical adventure after the box they’ve been packed in is mistakenly sent to a charity in England. If being separated from their owners, Kate and Nora Palmer, isn’t enough of a disaster, Nanny Doll, Dad Funcraft, and his son, Bailey, fall from a hole in the carton and disappear aboard the cargo ship. Luckily, heroines Annabelle Doll and Tiffany Funcraft are experienced at finding missing persons and quickly form a rescue party, with help from fellow passenger dolls. Once again, the shared values of Doll Power, friendship, and familial love bridge the differences between the plastic, modern Funcrafts and the fragile, ancient Dolls. In this episode, however, Tiffany Funcraft is less daring than usual, while Annabelle plays the role of risk taker, using courage and quick thinking to save the day. A rousing adventure that treats fans to thrilling action (on a miniature scale) and personable new dolls to discover. Art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)

Reviewed on 08/22/2014 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.