Penguin Young Readers 2017 Book Buzz

At the ALA Midwinter conference I sat through many publisher presentations showing off some of their current and upcoming titles. Penguin is first because they fed us lunch. I’m not the President and the Emoluments Clause doesn’t apply to me. It was yummy.

This is not a complete list. Just some of the ones that caught my eye or are otherwise seem worthy of the buzz.

Picture Books

Penguin has a delightful Ordinary People Change the World series. I admit I thought they looked a little twee when I first saw them but heard from someone who’s opinion I respect that their kid was devouring them up so I got a few to try in the library. Yup, very much enjoyed, so will be getting more soon. These are for the K-2 crowd and they have a new one on Jim Henson.

Tired of reading Scaredy Squirrel when it comes to trying something new? NOPE! by David Sheneman looks gorgeous and hilarious. It’s about a mother bird trying to get her little one out of the nest.

Life on Mars by Jon Agee looks fun, as his stuff usually does. Kid goes to Mars to prove there IS life there with unexpected and hilarious results.

The Chupacabra Ate the Candelabra. C’mon! Do I even have to tell you more? Ok, goats with a candelabra (it’s fine, keep going) go looking for the feared Chupacabra with hilarious results.

Charlotte and the Rock looks fun. Girl wants a pet, parents get her a pet rock. Can it love her back? Maybe…especially if not is all as it seems…

Dad and the Dinosaur by Gennifer Choldenko (Al Capone Does My Shirts) and illustrated by the super amazing Dan Santat. Already has a starred review and looks like a beautiful book on facing your fears.

Chapter Books

See You in the Cosmos is one you will be definitely hearing about. Already has starred reviews and sounds great. Being compared to Wonder and Walk Two Moons for it’s grace and emotional journey. A boy who idolizes Cal Sagan (okay, I’m hooked already!) travels around and records what life on Earth is life with the intention of launching his iPod into space the way Carl Sagan’s golden record was launched on the Voyager probe. Along with other things, he discovers some secrets and learns about his family.

Well, That Was Awkward is not something that remotely interests me, but my daughter might like it as well as many fifth graders and middle school students. It’s that whole girl with a crush on a boy who has a crush on her best friend thing, but apparently it’s really well done and getting starred reviews because of it’s wonderful characters and dialog.

Young Adult

I don’t buy YA for elementary school but I like to keep up with what’s out there for my soon to be in high school daughter (AAAAAHHHHHH!) and just because. Three titles they have coming out that look great are City of Saints and Thieves by Natalie Anderson, We Are Okay by Nina LeCour and Alex & Eliza: A Love Story (for those jillions of young Hamilton fans).

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