One season. 10 books.
This was difficult.
After scouring the children’s lit landscape, what follows are the 10 titles set to release in December, January, and February that most caught my eye as a K-6 school librarian. It’s a subjective list, to be sure, and not a collection of surefire winners – just some promising prospects. Here we go…
Middle Grade Fiction
No Passengers Beyond This Point by Gennifer Choldenko
Feb. 8, 2011 | Dial
The Newbery-honor winning author ofÂ Al Capone Does My Shirts offers up a departure that I’m looking forward to. A fantasy about three siblings and their journey to Colorado to visit their uncle. Good author, interesting premise – consider my curiosity piqued.
What’s Bugging Bailey Blecker? by Gail Donovan
Feb. 17, 2011 | Dutton
Do we share a similar sense of humor? Let’s find out. I think this story about a 5th grader growing out her hair to donate while dealing with a classroom outbreak of head lice sounds like a comedy gem in the making. What do you think? From the author of In Memory of Gorfman T. Frog.
Bone: Quest For The Spark #1 by Tom Sniegoski, illustrated by Jeff Smith
Feb. 1, 2011 | Scholastic Graphix
I feel a civic duty to alert you to the fact that the Bone universe is about to expand in a new way. This first book in the Quest for the Spark trilogy should calm the legions of Bone fanatics for the time being (or at least until book #2 comes out).
Nonfiction Picture Books
Tillie the Terrible Swede:Â How One Woman, a Sewing Needle, and a Bicycle Changed History by Sue Stauffacher, illustrated by Sarah McMenemy
Jan. 25, 2011 | Random House
While biographies of well known historical figures are eye-catching, it is often the lesser-known stories that have the biggest impact. The author behind the wonderfully odd Doughnuthead takes on pioneering female cyclist Tillie Anderson. I’m looking forward to the results.
A Nation’s Hope: the Story of Boxing Legend Joe Louis by Matt de la PeÃ±a, illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Jan. 20, 2011 | Dial
Speaking of well-known figures, Joe Louis is one of America’s most famous boxers. Last I checked, however, there wasn’t a solid Louis bio for younger readers. With Kadir Nelson handing illustration duties, this one might fit the bill.
Where’s Walrus? by Stephen Savage
Feb. 1, 2011 | Scholastic Press
A wordless story about a zookeeper’s attempts to capture an escaped walrus, illustrated with about as much charm as you can fit between two covers.
Except If by Jim Averbeck
Jan. 25, 2011 | Atheneum
First came the egg, then the chicken. Except if that egg becomes a dinosaur. Jim Averbeck (In a Blue Room) brings us a story full of possibilities.
Look! A Book! by Bob Staake
Feb. 1, 2011 | Little, Brown
Seek-and-find books get plenty of check-outs, but not much credit. Bob Staake might change some minds with his entry into this category. Pure fun in book form.
Cat Secrets by Jef Czekaj
Jan. 4, 2011 | Balzer + Bray
Playing with string, chasing tails – Cat Secrets is going to spill the beans on unexplained feline behavior. Based on the book trailer, this one is gonna bring the laughs.
Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke
Feb. 1, 2011 | First Second
Aliens, ancient prophecies, doomsday cults – need I say more? I’ll be checking for this story of an unlikely intergalactic hero.
That does it. Which books are you looking forward to in the next three months?
10 to Note will be a quarterly feature. Look for Spring Preview 2011 coming in February.
(Top Image: ‘619 – Blizzard – Seamless Texture’ http://www.flickr.com/photos/60057912@N00/4426535173)