In early 2020, I began reading books that are on your bookstore shelves this week.
Right now, I’m reading a book that will publish in March 2021. It’s a bit like retail holiday placement only way farther ahead of time. This year is even trickier with publishers releasing books held back in the Spring now with the Fall Releases.
The books that I ultimately choose as our monthly selections all have one thing in common: they are unputdownable. (I think I created a word!)
Of course, I look for diversity, representation, own voices, plot, and authorship. But, many of my favorite books appear with little or no fanfare.
I keep a shortlist of books that I’m reading to review and then reread the entire book before I narrow it down. Luckily, my superpower is fast reading.
For example, I chose TJ Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea for our Young Adult readers. Technically this book is classified as LGBTQ Fantasy and isn’t YA at all. However, after I read it the first time, I would have sworn on a Bibles stack that it was a Middle-Grade book. So, while it tops out at nearly 400 pages, it is a long book for MG readers, and I knew it was such a page-turner that the teens would whip through it in no time.
Little did I know that I have some voracious book gobbling Middle-Grade readers this year, and I could have easily assigned that book for them too. Now I know, and I’ll be adjusting my book selections accordingly.
The Middle Graders got their own mystery novel this month with the first of a new series by Kate Alice Marshall. Thirteens takes place in Eden Eld, Oregon. An average suburb, with a lot of strange happenings and spooky creatures. Several kids read it in one night! I feel you could honestly describe it as Stranger Things mixed with Coraline.
I already have our October books in my hot little hands, and the Middle-Grade books will be autographed by the author!