Candlewick Showcase: March, April and May 2023 Titles
I’m writing this post on day seven of what I’m calling The Coughpocalypse at my school. It’s Influenza A! It’s RSV! It’s Covid! It’s whatever else is floating around in the world. Every day I’m like, just get through the day then you get to go home to book mail and dogs. And wow was today’s book mail great! Look at that haul from just one package!
Pull out your TBR lists or get ready to add to the orders for books that stock your library or classroom shelves. Today I’m sharing with you new and forthcoming titles from Candlewick. All annotations are from the publisher.
The Family Fortuna by Lindsay Eagar (ISBN-13: 9780763692353 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 03/07/2023, Ages 14-17)
Lindsay Eagar’s dazzling YA debut welcomes us backstage at the Family Fortuna circus, where wonders lie in wait to steal your breath away. You won’t believe your eyes!
Beaked. Feathered. Monstrous. Avita was born to be a star. Her tent sells out nightly, and every performance incites bloodcurdling screams. She’s the most lucrative circus act from Texas to Tacoma, the crown jewel of the Family Fortuna, and Avita feeds on the shrieks, the gasps, the fear. But when a handsome young artist arrives to create posters of the performers, she’s appalled by his rendering of Bird Girl. Is that all he sees? A hideous monster—all sharp beak and razor teeth, obsidian eyes and ruffled feathers? Determined to be more, Avita devises a plan to snatch freedom out from under the greased mustache of her charismatic father, the domineering proprietor and ringmaster. But will their fragile circus family survive the showdown she has in mind? By turns delightful and disturbing, bawdy and breathtaking, horrific and heartfelt, this electric and exquisitely crafted story about a family like no other challenges our every notion of what it means to be different—subject to an earful of screams—and to step out of the shadows and shine anyway.
Different for Boys by Patrick Ness, Tea Bendix (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781536228892 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 03/14/2023, Ages 14-17)
Friendship, masculinity, sex—Anthony Stevenson has a lot of questions. Is it different for boys who like boys? A poignant and frank story filled with meta-humor by renowned author Patrick Ness.
Anthony “Ant” Stevenson isn’t sure when he stopped being a virgin. Or even if he has. The rules aren’t always very clear when it comes to boys who like boys. In fact, relationships of all kinds feel complicated, even with Ant’s oldest friends. There’s Charlie, who’s both virulently homophobic and in a secret physical relationship with Ant. Then there’s drama kid Jack, who may be gay and has become the target of Charlie’s rage. And, of course, there’s big, beautiful Freddie, who wants Ant to ditch soccer, Charlie’s sport, and try out for the rugby team instead. Ant’s story of loneliness and intimacy, of unexpected support and heart-ripping betrayal, is told forthrightly with tongue-in-cheek black-bar redactions over the language that teenagers would actually use if, you know, they weren’t in a story. Award-winning author Patrick Ness explores teen sexuality, friendship, and romance with a deft hand in this structurally daring, illustrated short novel.
Share Better and Stress Less: A Guide to Thinking Ecologically about Social Media by Whitney Phillips, Ryan Milner (ISBN-13: 9781536228748 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 03/14/2023, Ages 14-17)
Two media experts offer a witty, warm, and relatable take on how information pollution affects our online networks—and our well-being—and how to maximize a positive impact.
We know that pollution damages our physical environments—but what about the digital landscape? Touching on everything from goat memes gone wrong to conflict in group chats to the sometimes unexpected side effects of online activism, this lively guide to media literacy draws on ecological, social justice, and storytelling frameworks to help readers understand how information pollution spreads and why. It also helps them make sense of the often stressful and strange online world. Featuring a hyperconnected cast of teens and their social-media shenanigans, reader-friendly text tackles the thorny topic of internet ethics while empowering—and inspiring—young readers to weave a safe, secure, and inclusive digital world. Readers are invited to delve further into the subject with the help of comprehensive source notes and a bibliography in the back matter.
Calling the Moon: 16 Period Stories from BIPOC Authors by Aida Salazar (Editor), Yamile Saied Mendez (Editor) (ISBN-13: 9781536216349 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 03/28/2023, Ages 10-13)
An essential, highly relatable collection of short fiction and poems around the topic of menstruation, written exclusively by authors who are Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color
For Angela, it came on the basketball court—while playing on the boys’ team. For Penny, it came on a lakeside field trip, inspiring some cringeworthy moments of humor. And to Layla’s disappointment, it came at the start of her first fasting Ramadan, mandating that she take a “holiday.” Whether their period’s coming spurs silence or celebration, whether they are well prepared for it or totally in the dark, the young people in these sixteen stories find that getting a period brings not only changes to their bodies, but also joy, sorrow, and self-discovery. Featuring BIPOC contributors who are some of today’s most talented authors in middle-grade fiction, Calling the Moon offers coming-of-age stories and poetry as varied as the phases of the moon, from funny to heartbreaking to powerful, all of them reassuring readers that they are not alone in their period journey.
With contributions by:
Hilda Eunice Burgos * Veeda Bybee * Susan Muaddi Darraj * Saadia Faruqi * Nikki Grimes * Leah Henderson * Mason J. * Erin Entrada Kelly * Guadalupe Garcia McCall * Elise McMullen-Ciotti * Yamile Saied Méndez * Emma Otheguy * Aida Salazar * Christina Soontornvat * Padma Venkatraman * Ibi Zoboi
First-Year Orientation by Lauren Gibaldi (Editor), Eric Smith (Editor) (ISBN-13: 9781536224498 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 04/04/2023, Ages 14-17)
Sixteen acclaimed authors—including a National Book Award nominee, a New York Times best-selling novelist, and a beloved actress—join forces for a cross-genre YA anthology of linked short stories about the first days of college.
Jilly cannot believe her parents keep showing up at all of her orientation events. (Except, yes, she can totally believe that.) Isaac wants to be known as someone other than the kid who does magic and has an emotional support bunny. Lilly is stuck working at the college bookstore during orientation (but maybe new friends are closer than they appear). Hira, meanwhile, just wants to retire from ghost hunting once and for all, but a spirit in the library’s romance section has other ideas. For their sophomore effort, the contributing editors behind the critically acclaimed Battle of the Bands admit us to opening day at a fictional college, with a collection that makes an ideal high school graduation gift or “summer-before” read. This colorful array of stories spans genres and moods—from humorous to heartfelt to ghostly—tackling with sensitivity, humor, and warmth what it feels like to take those first shaky steps into adulthood.
With stories by:
Adi Alsaid * Anna Birch * Bryan Bliss * Gloria Chao * Jennifer Chen * Olivia A. Cole * Dana L. Davis * Kristina Forest * Lauren Gibaldi * Kathleen Glasgow * Sam Maggs * Farah Naz Rishi * Lance Rubin * Aminah Mae Safi * Eric Smith * Phil Stamper
Harvest House by Cynthia Leitich Smith (ISBN-13: 9781536218602 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 04/11/2023, Ages 12-17)
NSK Neustadt Laureate and New York Times best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith delivers a thrilling cross-genre follow-up to the acclaimed Hearts Unbroken.
Deftly leading readers to the literary crossroads of contemporary realism and haunting mystery, Cynthia Leitich Smith revisits the world of her American Indian Youth Literature Award winner Hearts Unbroken. Halloween is near, and Hughie Wolfe is volunteering at a new rural attraction: Harvest House. He’s excited to take part in the fun, spooky show—until he learns that an actor playing the vengeful spirit of an “Indian maiden,” a ghost inspired by local legend, will headline. Folklore aside, unusual things have been happening at night at the crossroads near Harvest House. A creepy man is stalking teenage girls and young women, particularly Indigenous women; dogs are fretful and on edge; and wild animals are behaving strangely. While Hughie weighs how and when to speak up about the bigoted legend, he and his friends begin to investigate the crossroads and whether it might be haunted after all. As Moon rises on All Hallow’s Eve, will they be able to protect themselves and their community? Gripping and evocative, Harvest House showcases a versatile storyteller at her spooky, unsettling best.
Work with What You Got: A Memoir by Zion Clark, James S. Hirsch (ISBN-13: 9781536224214 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 04/11/2023, Ages 14-17)
Elite wheelchair racer and wrestler Zion Clark joins with New York Times best-selling author James S. Hirsch for a stunning memoir—recounting childhood adversity, awe-inspiring perseverance, and self-invention.
When a baby named Zion was born in 1997 to an imprisoned, drug-addicted mother, his future seemed bleak. Born without legs due to a rare condition called caudal regression syndrome, Zion was abandoned and shunted to a foster-care system ill-equipped to care for him. In this stirring memoir, readers will follow as he is bounced from home to home, subjected to abuse, neglect, and inconceivable hardship. Somehow, Zion finds supportive angels along the way: his first two foster families, who offer a haven; the wrestling coach who senses his “warrior spirit” and nurtures it; the woman of fierce faith who adopts a seventeen-year-old and cheers his every match. From play-by-play narration of how Zion adapts wrestling moves to defeat able-bodied opponents, wielding phenomenal arm and hand strength, to accounts of his extraordinary work ethic, unflagging optimism, and motivational speaking, this is an inspirational story of courage that will appeal to any athlete who respects determination, any young person facing adversity, and any reader who wants to believe in the human spirit.
Never Trust a Gemini by Freja Nicole Woolf (ISBN-13: 9781536230543 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 05/09/2023, Ages 12-17)
Cat Phillips has her head in the stars, but her romantic fantasies may ruin her shot at real-life love in this sweet and funny lesbian story.
It’s Libra Season, and Cat Phillips is ready to run headfirst into love. The only problem is that her crush is on her best friend, Alison Bridgewater, who is more interested in chatting with boys. Maybe Cat should take this as a sign to get over Alison, even if that means dating the musically challenged Jamie Owusu. After all, a new boyfriend is the best cleanse, at least according to Cat’s friends. Unfortunately, having a boyfriend is a lot harder than Cat expected. And then Morgan Delaney swoops in with her green glasses, enigmatic smile, and talent for teasing Cat in ways that make her feel überlicious. But Morgan is a Gemini, and there’s no way that’s in Cat’s horoscope. Will Cat finally get the girl of her dreams? Or is there a chance there’s more to life than Alison Bridgewater? The stars align for the cast of this energetic romp full of comedic misunderstandings and sparkling language.
Filed under: new books
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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