PW Children's Bookshelf: Breaking children's and YA publishing news, author interviews, bestsellers lists and reviews.
Winter Institute 2020
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SHELFTALKER

Josie Leavitt
Change Is Definitely Good

Taking in the bookstore with the fresh eyes of a former owner.

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Cynthia Compton
It Might Be Getting Busy Soon

Hectic holiday shop afternoons make us wonder when it’s going look as busy to customers as we feel.

more »

Meghan Dietsche Goel
Falling in Love with ‘Birdsong’

A child’s-eye view of a contemplative picture book masterpiece.

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Kenny Brechner
On the Book in 2039

A consideration of Alix Harrow’s op-ed from the future, ‘Books May Be Dead in 2039 but Stories Live On.’

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FEATURED REVIEWS

What Will These Hands Make?
Nikki McClure. Abrams, $19.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-2576-0

This celebration of citizenry and craft is a poignant reminder of the objects and places that makers weave. As a family prepares for a loved one’s birthday party, the titular question becomes a refrain, exemplified by a litany of handmade items that a family encounters nearby and within their neighborhood streets. An elegant reflection on the provenance of everyday items. more

This Book Is Anti-racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work
Tiffany Jewell, illus. by Aurelia Durand. Frances Lincoln Children’s, $14.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-7112-4521-1

Using clear, compelling language, Jewell employs four sections to deftly explain progressive understandings of identity, history, action, and solidarity as tools to encourage antiracist reflection, thought, and action. Thoughtful, energizing calls to action and journal prompts encourage readers to check in with themselves and to “grow from our discomfort.” more

Village of Scoundrels
Margi Preus. Amulet, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0897-8

Preus’s WWII novel, based on historical accounts, takes place in a remote village in southeastern France where Jewish teenagers rescued from concentration camps are hiding in plain sight. Housed, fed, and educated by the residents, the teens become actively engaged in their secret missions to help other Jews escape. This is an inspiring narrative founded on a real-life community and individuals. more

Ink in the Blood (Ink in the Blood #1)
Kim Smejkal. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-328-55705-6

Celia and Anya serve the Profeta religion as inklings, using magic to tattoo the faithful with images purported to offer Divine guidance. Non-believers since their conscription at age six, the 16-year-olds now feel certain the messages they convey come not from the heavens but from Profeta’s mortal bureaucracy, and are meant to subvert free will. First in a planned duology, Smejkal’s exceptional debut champions solidarity and choice while extolling art’s ability to spark revolution. more

December 5, 2019
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Bestsellers
Children's Frontlist Fiction
#1 Wrecking Ball (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #14) by Jeff Kinney. Click here
Picture Books
#1 #1 The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. Click here
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