10 to Note: Summer Preview 2011
With all the summer catalogs properly pored over, now is the time for the quarterly season preview I call 10 to Note.
The following is a highly subjective list of books set to arrive in June, July, and August that are intriguing to my eyes and ears.
Missing on Superstition Mountain by Elise Broach; illustrated by Antonio Javier Caparo
Jun. 21, 2011 | Henry Holt | Grades 3-5
Elise Broach has written something quite different than her E.B. White Read Aloud Award winner, Masterpiece. An adventure about a family with three boys who think they may have moved next door to a Bermuda Triangle on land. Bonus points (at least in the eyes of readers who like spooky) for the kids’ discovery of human skulls. This is the first in a planned trilogy, and has already received Publishers Weekly props.
The Detention Club by David Yoo
Jun. 21, 2011 | Balzer + Bray | Grades 5-8
David Yoo has been praised for his ability to take the school story genre and make it fresh. Hereâ€™s hoping thatâ€™s the case with this story of using detention to build popularity.
The One and Only Stuey Lewis by Jane Schoenberg; illustrated by Cambria Evans
Jul. 5, 2011 | Farrar, Straus & Giroux | Grades 1-3
Iâ€™m a sucker for books where each chapter can stand alone as a short story, yet are tied together with a common thread. This technique isnâ€™t very common in early chapter books, however, so Iâ€™m interested in this collection of humorous linked stories about a boyâ€™s second grade experiences. Also, the title has me wanting to rock out to The Power of Love, which is always a good thing.
The Absolute Value of Mike by Katheryn Erskine
Jun. 6, 2011 | Philomel | Grades 5-8
Maybe you’ve heard of Erskine’s last book? A little number called Mockingbird that split audiences into love it or hate it camps and snagged the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature? She’s back with a new novel featuring a protagonist who moves to rural Pennsylvania to find it isn’t what he expected. Early signs point to “Read This”.
America is Under Attack by Don Brown
Aug. 16, 2011 | Flash Point | Grades 1-4
As we approach the 10 year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, there are a number of 9/11-related nonfiction titles on shelves. But if youâ€™ve read any of the books in the excellent Actual Times series, you know that this will likely be one to add. Brown covers historical events in simple and straightforward terms that work for this audience.
Trapped by Marc Aronson
Aug. 30, 2011 | Atheneum | Grades 5 and Up
How’s that for quick turnaround? Not even one year removed from the mine collapse that resulted in the miraculous rescue of a group of 33 Chilean miners and Marc Aronson, author of some of the best nonfiction today, investigates the event. I’m expecting solid, and revealing, results.
Grandpa Green by Lane Smith
Aug. 30, 2011 | Roaring Brook | Grades K-2
How do you follow up one of the most unexpectedly controversial (and, by the way, hugely successful) picture books of 2010? Lane Smith grabs the heartstrings and gives them a tug with this tale of making a connection across generations. The artwork looks to be stunning (click the cover image above to get a better look).
Substitute Creacher by Chris Gall
Jul. 20, 2011 | Little, Brown | Grades K-2
Is it just me, or does it feel like it’s only a matter of time before Chris Gall gets Caldecott love? With Dear Fish, There’s Nothing to Do on Mars, and Dinotrux, the author/illustrator has crafted some of the most beautiful picture books of the last decade. All signs point to his latest being of the same high caliber.
Spin by Ido Vaginsky
Aug. 9, 2011 | Price Stern Sloan | Grades K-2
This may be an early contender for most entertaining book of the year. Think Ann Jonasâ€™s Round Trip (where the illustrations can be viewed right side up or upside down, each taking on a different meaning), except in full color and with tabs and wheels that allow kids to manipulate the images themselves. Hereâ€™s an example:
Kids will have some fun with this one.
Bake Sale by Sara Varon
Aug. 30, 2011 | First Second | Grades 2-5
The insanely creative author/illustrator/graphic novelist who brought Robot Dreams (one of the first books I reviewed on this blog) into the world is back with an offbeat graphic novel about a cupcake that sells cupcakes. Perfect timing too, with cupcake shops exploding these days (note to cupcake shop owners: we could use one in my town).
Look for Fall Preview 2011 coming in August.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.
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