Book Bites: Fall Publishing Season!

Fall publishing season is here, y’all! It’s one of our very favorite times—even if it means that we stayed late last Saturday night unpacking box upon box of new releases. All the publishers are pushing out their biggest, best books of the year—and they’re sending all sorts of exciting authors on tour. Check out the list below for some fantastic all-ages recommendations, then mosey on over to our events calendar and make plans to come see us sometime soon. No offense to late December, but it’s the most wonderful time of the year for a reader—here’s to picturebooks, page-turners, and everything in between!


Ages 4-8

Listen by Holly M. McGhee; illustrated by Pascal Lemaître

Listen with your heart in this quiet exhortation to listen to everything around us. The prose is perfect. When we listen to our hearts, we will listen to our stories both light and dark. Only then can we listen to others' stories. It's a powerful lesson for the youngest of listeners.
—Valerie

READ because this is a beautiful, lyrical picture book to share with the family.
PASS if you think listening is overrated.
Order your copy on our website.

Rabbit and the Motorbike by Kate Hoefler; illustrated by Sarah Jacoby

Rabbit lives on a farm that he never leaves, even though there's a road. Dog visits and tells stories of adventures on his motorbike. But Dog is old and sick and can't travel anymore. And one day, Dog is gone. Dog leaves Rabbit his motorbike and Rabbit spends days looking at the bike, trying to summon the courage to ride the bike down the road. One day, he finds that courage, which changes his life. A lovely story about loss and courage, full of illustrative details that make the text sing. For ages 4 and up.
—Cathy

READ because this is a shining and moving example of art enriching the text enriching the art… it’s just perfect.
PASS on reading this aloud right off the bat if you just know it'll end in ugly tears. Practice makes perfect, friends.
Pre-order your copy on our website and we’ll send you an exclusive art print, signed by the author and illustrator! 

Ages 8-12

Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson

As long as she can remember, Amara has always wanted to visit her father's family in Harlem, but her mother has always been opposed to the trip. When her social studies teacher assigns a project requiring research into family history, Amara heads to New York with her father while he travels for business. New York is nothing like Beaverton, Oregon, and Amara finds herself navigating a city as well as a variety of family relationships. This lovely story takes a look at family history, family ties and forgiveness. Best for grades 4 and up.
—Cathy

READ because Renée Watson physically cannot write anything less than a great book.
PASS if you’re looking for something a little more YA. We recommend Juliet Takes a Breath (out September 17), whose main character makes almost the same journey in reverse—from the Bronx (just north of Harlem) to Portland (just east of Beaverton).
Order your copy on our website.

Strange Birds by Celia C. Pérez

During the summer between 5th and 6th grades, four unacquainted diverse girls form a club after a mysterious invitation is delivered. They collectively take up an animal rights cause, which troubles one of the girls who is supposed to be part of the prestigious Floras social club but who is boycotting the Floras based on their use of a hat made out of feathers from birds killed for fashion. The girls become supportive and accepting of their differences as they become acquainted and even take risks, sometimes suffering consequences, as activists. Will their activism change a long held tradition? 
—Kimberly

READ because this is a great, empowering story from the Pura Belpré Honor-winning author of The First Rule of Punk.
PASS if you think activism isn’t for kids. (Greta says hey.)
Order your copy on our website.

AstroNuts Mission One: The Plant Planet by Jon Scieszka; illustrated by Steven Weinberg

Earth narrates the story of four untested animal astronauts searching for another habitable planet that's not too hot and not too cold. In the first book of this series, the AstroNuts visit the Plant Planet, with mixed results. With Scieszka's signature humor and Weinberg's absorbing illustrations, science—including climate change—comes to life in an accessible, entertaining way. This is sure to be a hit!
—Cathy

READ because LIVING LEGEND JON SCIESZKA.
PASS if you’re a stinky cheese man.
Pre-order your copy on our website and we’ll send you a first edition signed by the author and illustrator!
Read a Q&A with them both on our blog.

Ages 14 & Up

Permanent Record by Mary H. K. Choi

Pablo's dropped out of college and works in an upscale health food store in New York City. When pop star Leanna Smart comes into the store in the middle of the night, they hit it off and attempt to start a relationship. This coming-of-age story, set against the backdrop of celebrity, familial expectations and self-expectation, provides a resonant, in-depth look at the lives of older teens. Best for grades 9 and up.
—Cathy

READ because this is a great sophomore effort from a Blue Willow-beloved TeenBookCon alum.
PASS if you can’t stand Rainbow Rowell, Jenny Han, or other good writers.
Order your copy on our website.

Adult Fiction

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore

Vicar's daughter Annabelle has earned a spot as one of the first female students at Oxford. In exchange for her scholarship, she must work with the suffrage movement by recruiting men of influence to support the cause. She encounters the Duke of Montgomery, one of Queen Victoria's chief strategists who has just rebuilt his family's legacy and will not let anything destroy their standing. This of course places them in direct opposition to one another, which is a problem when both of their positions are so entrenched. The first in a series, this charming debut set in Victorian England is a very fun read. I cannot wait to read the next one!
—Cathy

READ because, come on, doesn’t it sound like too much fun?
PASS if you hate love.
Order your copy on our website.

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger

Fans of historical fiction will love this new book by a beloved author. It is 1932 and a band of children have run away from the most awful Lincoln Indian Trading School. Their journey down the Gilead River in Minnesota is full of danger and adventure. Odie is our narrator as we canoe through their trials. It's beautiful and thoughtful. 
—Valerie

READ because this No. 1 Indie Next List pick is an epic, gorgeously-written American odyssey. 
PASS if you prefer ugly, thoughtless books.
Order your copy on our website.