100 Scope Notes
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10 to Note: Winter Preview 2018

Winter Preview

After scouring publisher catalogs while hopped up on LaCroix and trail mix, I am here with ten books coming in December, January, and February that I am looking forward to.

To which I am looking forward?

That to forward am I looking?

Whatever grammar rules I am flaunting, don’t let that distract from the books.

Forward which to looking am I.

Picture Books

Bear & Wolf

Bear and Wolf by Daniel Salmieri

January 23 | Enchanted Lion | Grades K-2

Show me an admired illustrator’s first authorial effort and I’m interested. I feel like I owe Daniel Salmieri and Adam Rubin lunch for making me look good in story time with books like Dragons Love Tacos and Robo-sauce. Now Salmieri offers up his first author/illustrator book, about an unlikely friendship between two feared woodland animals.

Chapter Books


Stella Diaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez

January 16 | Roaring Brook Press (Macmillan) | Grades 1-3

Angela Dominguez has been making wonderful picture books for a few years now, but this is her first foray into longer fiction. It’s a story about a Mexican-American girl who overcomes her shyness to befriend the new kid in class.

Worm School

Worm School

They Didn’t Teach THIS in Worm School! by Simone Lia

February 13 | Candlewick Press | Grades 2-4

There’ve been a lot of unlikely pairs in children’s literature, but a friendship between a worm and a bird is about as unlikely as they come. And yet that is what we have in this book, about a worm that talks his way out of being eaten and ends up on a crazy advenure with a bird. Bonus points for some good-looking illustrations.

Pug Pals

Pug Pals 1

Two’s a Crowd (Pug Pals #1) by Flora Ahn

January 30 | Scholastic | Grades 2-4

Of this, I am certain: The world is ready for an illustrated chapter book about feuding pug siblings.

Middle Grade

Little Charlie

The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis

January 30 | Scholastic Press | Grades 4-7

What does C.P.C. do at a Newbery-caliber level? Historical fiction. And early signs for this book, about a sharecropper’s son on the run (including a Publishers Weekly starred review) indicate this could be some fine historical fiction.

All Three

All Three Stooges by Erica S. Perl

January 9 | Knopf (Random House) | Grades 5 and Up

This story about a pair of comedy junkie kids gets complicated when a parent dies and puts their friendship in peril. I’m trusting Perl to bring it on home with sensitivity and humor.

Desmond Cole

Desmond Cole 1

The Haunted House Next Door (Desmond Cole, Ghost Patrol #1) by Andres Miedoso, illustrated by Victor Rivas

December 12, 2017 | Little Simon (Simon & Shuster) | Grades 1-3

Andres is a fraidy-cat, so how did he end up being best friends with Desmond, who runs his own ghost patrol? This first book in a new slightly spooky series lays the groundwork. As a librarian who gets a lot of requests for scary books, this one has my attention.

Graphic Novel


Clem 1

Clem Hetherington and the Ironwood Race (Clem Hetherington #1) by Jen Breach, illustrated by Douglas Holgate

February 27 | Graphix (Scholastic) | Grades 3-7

Clem wants to be an archaeologist, and gets her chance by entering a no holds barred race to win stolen artifacts. This book might just answer the question, “What if Indiana Jones was a girl, and into car racing?”



Abraham Lincoln, Pro Wrestler by Steve Sheinkin, illustrated by Neil Swaab

January 9 | Roaring Brook Press | Grades 3-5

The world could use a fired-up Honest Abe right now, don’t you think? Steve Sheinkin (of Sibert Medal and Walking and Talking fame) is trying something new here: mixing fiction, humor, and history. The series is called Time Twisters and it’s a combination I think lots of young readers will be up for.


A Seed is the Start by Melissa Stewart

February 13 | National Geographic Books | Grades 1-4

Try to tell me you didn’t come home from school at some point with a cup full of dirt or a wet paper towel in a ziplock with a seed. It’s a childhood staple. As someone who’s spent much of my adult life fruitlessly coaxing seeds to grow (why don’t they cooperate? Why?) I could use this book about seeds. Oh, and I bet kids and classroom teachers teaching the topic will be into it too.

That’s a wrap. Look for the 10 to Note Spring Preview in February.

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. Judy Weymouth says:

    Thanks for sharing these upcoming new books. I’m especially looking forward to The Journey of Little Charlie.