Subscriber-Only Content; You must be a PW subscriber to access the Table-of-Contents Database.

Subscribers can click the "login" button below to access the Table-of-Contents Database. (If you have not done so already, you will need to set up your digital access by going here.)

Or for immediate access you can click the "subscribe" link below.

PW “All Access” site license members have access to PW’s subscriber-only website content. Simply close and relaunch your preferred browser to log-in. To find out more about PW’s site license subscription options please email: pw@pubservice.com.

If you have questions or need assistance setting up your account please email pw@pubservice.com or call 1-800-278-2991 (U.S.) or 1-818-487-2069 (all other countries) , Monday-Friday between 5am and 5pm Pacific time for assistance.

For any other questions about PublshersWeekly.com, email service@publishersweekly.com.

Login or

Kid Amazing vs. the Blob

Josh Schneider. Clarion, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-544-80125-7

When an “extremely annoying howl” wafts through Jimmy’s house, he springs into action: this is a job for his superhero alter ego, Kid Amazing. After taking a secret elevator to his high-tech underground lair—depicted in an elaborate cutaway illustration—and suiting up in his superhero attire, Kid Amazing gets his assignment from the Commissioner (Mom) and tracks the howl (and an accompanying stench) to a high chair containing the Blob (his baby sister). Her calamity is twofold: she has dropped her pacifier (“the howl neutralizer”), a situation that Kid Amazing expertly remedies, and she has a wet diaper, which he sagely leaves for the Commissioner to deal with (“the Blob needs a new stink-containment unit” he informs her). Schneider’s (Everybody Sleeps [But Not Fred]) jaunty illustrations give this sly superhero story an extra goose of irreverence and theatricality. Extra kudos to the author for refraining from a reconciliation between Kid Amazing and his nemesis, although the Commissioner does admonish him to “please stop calling your sister the Blob” in a nice throwaway line. Ages 4–7. Agent: Paul Rodeen, Rodeen Literary Management. (June)

Reviewed on 04/21/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
The Perfect Siesta

Pato Mena, trans. from the Spanish by Kim Griffin. NubeOcho (Consortium, dist.), $15.95 (40p) ISBN 978-84-945415-3-7

Chilean author-illustrator Mena makes his U.S. debut with a playful story about how irresistible a nap can be when the conditions are just right. On a hot jungle day, a breeze drifts over an overheated jaguar. Eager to take a siesta, the jaguar asks a coati to wake him up in 10 minutes, claiming that he has “something really important to do.” (The jaguar’s plans aren’t revealed, but his narrowed yellow eyes suggest that this is an offer that shouldn’t be refused.) The breeze proves equally soporific for the coati, who requests a similar wake-up from a cockatiel, who then passes the buck to a sloth. The sloth’s struggle to stay awake for 10 minutes is the book’s most entertaining sequence (“The sloth was battling sleep more than any other sloth in sloth history”), and her epic, peace-shattering snore wakes everyone up right on time. Mena’s crisp, stylized graphics exaggerate the animals’ actions and reactions for maximum comedic effect—there are lots of heavy-lidded eyes and big yawns. It’s an old-fashioned story at heart, but Mena’s art and a sharp translation leave it feeling fresh and funny. Ages 3–7. (June)

Reviewed on 04/21/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Littles: And How They Grow

Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by AG Ford. Doubleday, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-399-55526-8

In a warmhearted celebration of early childhood, newborns grow into babies, who become toddlers, and—in a final spread—reach school age. Although these multicultural “littles,” as DiPucchio (Everyone Loves Cupcake) calls them, take some hesitant steps here and there, her rhymes never do: they’re unerringly comforting and spot-on in their cadence and meter: “Littles are cuddled and cradled just right./ On bellies, with blankies, in slings snuggly tight.” Stylistically, the book is a major departure from Ford’s work in picture book biographies such as Hello, I’m Johnny Cash and JFK; like the littles themselves, his delicate cartoon vignettes of family life are playful, tender, and frisky: one little devours a birthday cake by the fistful, another sends soap suds flying while splashing in the bath, and a third sprawls out on a patchwork floor, flanked by its two mothers. DiPucchio’s verse and Ford’s charming artwork combine to create what feels like a scrapbook of treasured childhood moments—moments that adult readers know are all too fleeting. Ages 3–7. Agent: Steven Malk, Writers House. (June)

Reviewed on 04/21/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Out!

Arree Chung. Holt, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-62779-553-1

In the spirit of Alexandra Day’s Carl books, Chung (The Fix-It Man) casts a Saint Bernard named Jo Jo as lookout and protector for a toddler who is eager to get out of its crib. Using sequential artwork and no more than a dozen words (“Out!” “Whee!” “Down!”), he shows how the toddler escapes its crib and sets off through the house, with Jo Jo in pursuit. After an alarming sail down the stairs in a laundry basket, the two tear into a layer cake and share a look at the stars, pulling off a grand nighttime adventure. The furtive theme is underscored by panels shadowed in deep blues and framed in black. When the child’s parents discover the demolished cake, they initially blame Jo Jo, but cakey footprints lead them to the right culprit. Chung puts a multiracial family at the center of this suburban adventure, the spare text rewards new readers, and his cartooning makes the characters familiar and approachable. Ages 2–6. Agent: Rubin Pfeffer, Rubin Pfeffer Content. (June)

Reviewed on 04/21/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
This Is Really Happening

Erin Chack. Razorbill, $17.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-448-49358-9

BuzzFeed senior writer Chack debuts with a collection of 11 evocative stories mined from her personal life. In the opening entry, “Girl-Shaped Tornado,” a 19-year-old Chack attempts to tell her friends about her cancer diagnosis, often with awkward results. “Why I Can Never Visit Egypt” ventures into the world of menstrual cups, necessitating a work call-in when removal goes awry. And “Don’t Read the Comments” is all but self-explanatory: “I thought by now, after years of receiving countless emails, Tweets, Facebook messages, Instagram DMs, and—yes—even a text message saying that I am the dumbest, ugliest, most worthless flesh puddle to ever seep onto the Internet, that I’d have grown a thicker skin.” Chack writes with self-awareness and sarcastic wit, tackling emotionally resonant subjects. In “Greener Pastures,” she muses, “People love to couple cancer survivors and bravery, but they get the relationship between them wrong: Cancer doesn’t make you brave; it only helps you to see the depth of the bravery you’ve always had.” This wide-ranging collection should win Chack many fans. Ages 12–up. Agent: Tina Wexler, ICM. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 04/21/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Bull

David Elliott. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (200p) ISBN 978-0-544-61060-6

Using the cadences and unfiltered directness of rap, Elliott (Nobody’s Perfect) tells the Greek myth of the Minotaur in the seven distinct voices of Poseidon, King Minos, Queen Pasiphae, her half-man/half-bull son Asterion, his sister Ariadne, Daedalus, and—in a minor but critical role—Theseus, prince of Athens and, possibly, Poseidon’s son. The story unfolds in interior monologues, each in a different poetic form, which the author deconstructs in one of two closing notes. All are heard by Poseidon, who comments and adds background: “And rather than be called a slut/ She said I was the father of her mutt./ (You humans tend to be less catty/ When an immortal is the daddy).” Everybody knows how this myth ends, yet Asterion’s final words still resonate: “Hell is the freezing/ scorn for who you are/ that transforms a faultless boy/ to Minotaur.” Elliott contemporizes the ancient story of blackmail, betrayal, and revenge with humor, poignancy, and profanity. Hamilton comparisons are unavoidable, yet the personalities and voices Elliott brings to these mythical characters make this powerful and engrossing book a genre of its own. Ages 14–up. Agent: Kelly Sonnack, Andrea Brown Literary. (Mar.)

Reviewed on 04/21/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Given to the Sea

Mindy McGinnis. Putnam, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-54461-3

As the “Given,” Khosa has been bred to dance to her death in the sea, an offering to protect the land of Stille. When an opposing army rises up, prematurely driving Khosa from her home before she has given birth to the next Given, she becomes a captive. Forming an unlikely alliance, Khosa, Prince Vincent, and his adopted siblings try to separate myth from real danger and change Khosa’s fate using historical records. McGinnis (The Female of the Species) creates a lush, oceanic fantasy world, writing Khosa as a smart young woman with far more to offer than just her body. Other characters’ focus on her womb borders on obsession, and the fixation on legend leads to brutal threats of rape in the name of salvation. Superstitions run high, and seers are relied on to guide kings, but the threats of impending invasion and a world being slowly swallowed by the sea are eclipsed by dueling love triangles. The story abruptly shifts course at the end, suggesting that all must make sacrifices for the greater good. Ages 14–up. Agent: Adriann Ranta, Foundry Literary + Media. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 04/21/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Looking for Group

Rory Harrison. HarperTeen, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-245307-5

Dylan was terminally ill with cancer, then miraculously went into remission. During years spent indoors and in hospitals, Dylan’s life largely revolved around playing World of Warcraft, where he met and befriended a gamer named Arden, who was born David but now lives as a girl. Sixteen years old and facing a future he never expected to have, Dylan shows up at Arden’s house unannounced. Arden is happy to see Dylan, who’s gay, and the two embark on a road trip, finding more than a few hurdles while en route to California. Dylan narrates in a clipped, introspective voice as he and Arden swap stories, get their car stolen, and sell Dylan’s leftover cancer drugs in order to keep the road trip going. Debut author Harrison takes on several substantial topics, including the aftermath of disease, prescription pill abuse, gender identity, and sexuality. The characters’ conflicts gracefully counterbalance their growing intimacy as they move toward a destination that is less significant than the journey itself. Ages 13–up. Agent: Jim McCarthy, Dystel, Goderich & Bourret. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 04/21/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Literally

Lucy Keating. HarperTeen, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-238004-3

Á la the film Adaptation, Keating (Dreamology) inserts a fictional version of herself into her entertaining second novel. Seventeen-year-old Annabelle’s life is on track: her family lives comfortably in Venice Beach, and she’s heading to Columbia University. When she learns that her parents are separating and selling their house, her sense of security is disrupted, but this discomfort is nothing compared to what she learns from a visiting author at her school—Lucy Keating. The writer informs Annabelle that she is merely a character in the book she’s working on, and that Annabelle’s life is being shaken up in order for her character to grow. Keating also introduces Will, a boy who is perfect for Annabelle—at least on paper—but Annabelle is increasingly drawn to her brother’s charmingly imperfect friend Elliot. Keating sustains the clever conceit throughout, creating a tug-of-war between Annabelle and her creator that highlights both Annabelle’s frustrations and the author’s insecurities. Avid readers will enjoy the playful suggestion that although characters are inventions of their authors, they also take on lives of their own. An Alloy Entertainment property. Ages 13–up. Agent: Peter Knapp, Park Literary & Media. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 04/21/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
Grendel’s Guide to Love and War

A.E. Kaplan. Knopf, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-55554-1

Debut author Kaplan uses the epic poem “Beowulf” as inspiration for a clever, heartfelt story about teen angst, memory, and family. Seventeen-year-old Tom Grendel’s life in Masonberg, Va., is far from perfect. His mother died from a stroke when he was nine, and his father returned from Iraq with an untreated case of PTSD. When Tom’s elderly neighbors leave their home to their niece and her two children, Rex and Willow, things get really bad. Kaplan draws loose parallels between the poem and Tom’s growing feud with Rex, who throws a series of raging parties. Finding the late-night keggers unbearable, Tom’s father accepts an assignment hundreds of miles away, and Tom—fearing for his father’s sanity—takes action. The subsequent prank war escalates with the arrival of Rex’s older cousin, Wolf. Kaplan successfully reimagines Grendel in a sympathetic and modestly heroic light, as he fights a giant jerk and wins the heart of a girl with help from a loyal best friend and an older sister who takes charge. Ages 12–up. Agent: Hannah Bowman, Liza Dawson Associates. (Apr.)

Reviewed on 04/21/2017 | Details & Permalink

show more
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
X
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

Parts of this site are only available to paying PW subscribers. Subscribers: to set up your digital access click here.

To subscribe, click here.

PW “All Access” site license members have access to PW’s subscriber-only website content. Simply close and relaunch your preferred browser to log-in. To find out more about PW’s site license subscription options please email: pw@pubservice.com.

If you have questions or need assistance setting up your account please email pw@pubservice.com or call 1-800-278-2991 (U.S.) or 1-818-487-2069 (all other countries), Monday-Friday between 5am and 5pm Pacific time for assistance.

Not Registered? Click here.