In my suitcase: ALA edition

I’m not going to talk about the things I’ve already talked about. Instead, I’m going to talk about the books I picked up at ALA Midwinter. Organized by publisher and publication date, along with links to GoodReads and any other relevant information. If you’ve read any of these, I’d love your thoughts on where I should start.

Bloomsbury Walker

Shooting Stars by Allison Rushby (February 28, 2012): This book looks like it’ll fit perfectly into a book list on photography.  
The Mapmaker and the Ghost by Sarvenaz Tash (April 24, 2012): Sarvenaz has stopped by STACKED before to talk about this middle grade novel, so I was really excited I could pick it up.
Small Medium at Large by Joanne Levy (July 3, 2012): Another debut middle grade. 
Ruby Redfort: Look into My Eyes by Lauren Child (March 2012): This one’s by the author of Charlie and Lola (the books which inspired the tv series). 
Froi of the Exiles by Melina Marchetta (March 2012): Marchetta and I have an interesting relationship. One that can get a little violent maybe. But I liked Finnikin of the Rock enough I am eager to dive into the second installment of the series. I’m not a big fantasy reader, but Finnikin worked for me, and I’m eager to see what Froi does.
Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough (July 2012): The publicist sold me on this one with the words “Do not read this at night.” It’s a horror novel and looks completely up my alley.

Disney Hyperion

From What I Remember . . . by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas (May 2012):  If I’m remembering right, this one was kind of compared to The Hangover but for teens. Which doesn’t mean much to me, since I wasn’t a huge fan of that movie.

Sway by Amber McRee Turner (May 2012): Another middle grade debut. I saw this one buzzed by a number of teachers I respect.

Rebel McKenzie by Candice Ransom (June 2012)

Lucky Fools by Coert Voorhees (July 2012): This one’s by the same author as The Brothers Torres, for those of you who know that one!


In Too Deep by Amanda Grace (available now)

Mercy Lily by Lisa Albert (available now): I’ve been curious about this one for a while not just topically, but because Lisa’s a local author to me.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Illuminate by Aimee Agresti (March 2012): This one’s a debut and the start of a series.

Radiate by Marley Gibson (April 2012): I don’t know why I pick up cancer books, knowing how much I don’t care for them. But this one sounds like it offers a bit more than the cancer plot. This is the author of the Ghost Huntress series, for those familiar with that one!

The Springsweet by Saundra Mitchell (April 2012): I really liked the first book in this series, The Vespertine. It’s historical and magical with great writing.

First Comes Love by Katie Kacvinsky (May 2012): I feel like there’s a post coming soon about 2012 covers featuring the almost-kiss.

Invincible Microbe by Jim Murphy (July 2012): So where I can’t handle cancer stories, apparently I’m a fan of tuberculosis stories. This non-fiction work looks like a winner.

Harper Collins

Kiss Crush Collide by Christina Meredith (available now): This one’s gotten comparisons to Simone Elkeles, who writes the kind of romantic tension I really like. Not to mention those books are impossible to keep on the shelf. This is a debut novel.

Black Boy, White School by Brian F. Walker (available now): Another debut novel. I talked about this one over at The Hub last month, and I was excited to see it at ALA.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth (February 7, 2012): This is another debut, and I just finished reading it this morning. It’s a story of grief and sexual awakening. Longer review to come. This is a tome at nearly 500 pages.

Cruising Attitude by Heather Poole (March 6, 2012): This is an adult non-fiction about life as an airline attendant. I love these kinds of books, and as someone who prides myself on being an easy airline passenger, I’ve got a perverted curiosity about those who just aren’t.

Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli (May 5, 2012): It’s Jerry Spinelli, middle grade staple.

Never Fall Down by Patricia McCormick (May 8, 2012)

Macmillan (imprints)

The Hunt by Andrew Fukuda (May 2012): This one was sold to me at the book battle between Sterling and St. Martin’s Press. Looks like an adventure. 

The Year of the Beasts by Cecil Castellucci and Nate Powell (May 2012): I think this book is near the top of my most-excited-about pile. It’s part prose and part graphic novel.


The Catastrophic History of You & Me by Jess Rothenberg (available now): Another debut author!

There is No Dog by Meg Rosoff (available now): The publicist at Penguin, who was so eager to talk books with me, said this was one of her favorites of the season. And it looks totally up my alley.

Beneath a Meth Moon by Jacqueline Woodson (February 2012): I heard Woodston read a bit from this at Anderson’s in September, and I’m eager to have a copy of it now.

The Disenchantments by Nina LaCour (February 2012): I’ve read this one already, and it’s an interesting story told from a male point of view. It reminded me a little of Gayle Forman’s Where She Went.

Amelia Anne is Dead and Gone by Kat Rosenfield (July 2012): Of all the books I’ve picked up, I think this is the one I’m most looking forward to. It’s a contemporary mystery/thriller of sorts. This is Rosenfield’s debut novel.

Random House

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis (available now)

Sisters of Glass by Stephanie Hemphill (March 27, 2012): This one’s by the author of Your Own, Sylvia, and it’s a novel in verse.

Happy Families by Tanita Davis (May 8, 2012): Siblings are THE trend this year, if you read through the descriptions of the books I’ve linked to. But this one looks at coming to terms with a family member’s life choices and how they impact you as a teen.


Curveball: The Year I Lost My Grip by Jordan Sonnenblick (March 2012): I really like Sonnenblick’s writing, and after hearing him perform this one at the Scholastic preview, I’m even more excited for it.

Take a Bow by Elizabeth Eulberg (April 2012): Eulberg’s third novel will be the third novel by her I read. It’s also one about the performing arts.

Simon and Schuster

The Pregnancy Project by Gaby Rodriguez: This one’s out already and it was the story which inspired the Lifetime film.

Waiting by Carol Lynch Williams (May 2012): Williams’s Glimpse was her first novel in verse, and I really loved how her writing worked with the format. I’m looking forward to seeing her do this again.

When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle (May 2012): This was a direct sell from the publicist. It’s a twist on Romeo and Juliet.

A Certain October by Angela Johnson (August 2012): This looks heartbreaking and I trust Johnson will do it very well.

A non-related update I thought I’d throw out just because. Kim, Jen, and I have been working really hard on a feature that we’ll begin posting once a week starting in April. Part of me wants to keep it very quiet and let it be a surprise, but I can’t. 
Over the last few months (years, really, but months in particular), I’ve been asked repeatedly by people where to begin when it comes to reading YA fiction. I have my go-to lists, but it’s a question that can be interpreted a million different ways, and so I thought I’d reach out to a variety of folks in the ya world to weigh in on. We’ve got not only our posts, but we’re collecting posts from other bloggers, librarians, teachers, authors, and editors in the field, in hopes of offering a really diverse and interesting look at the question of where to begin reading YA fiction. The response has been overwhelming, and the posts we’ve already seen have been outstanding. Keep your eyes peeled.
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  1. says

    I think you should read Froi, because if nothing else, I need to talk about it with someone. I read it in December and am still conflicted on it.

    Ruby Redfort fits in with Child's Clarice Bean series. (I highly recommend– it's a few picture books and 3 MG novels). In the Clarice Bean world, Ruby Redfort is a series of books, TV shows, and other merchandise that Clarice is obsessed with.

    • says

      I'm holding off a bit on Froi because fantasy is something I have to be in the mood for…and I'm not quite there yet!

      Good to know about the Ruby Redfort series!

  2. Anonymous says

    Kiss Crush Collide by Christina Meredith was disappointing compared to Simone Elkeles's novels. I couldn't sympathize with the protagonist because she complains constantly about about her rich, privileged background. I understand that she feels stifled by her environment but her entitlement is still grating. Beyond the forbidden romance, she doesn't face any significant challenges. Romance is the primary plotline and it's poorly developed because the reader learns very little about the love interest. The romance is entirely lust rather than more-than-lust.

    There is No Dog was my first Meg Rosoff book and I was impressed enough that I'll finally pick up How I Live Now. Since it sounds like you already want to read There is No Dog, I'll simply say that I love Eck! Eck is my favorite character. I want an Eck.

    I wasn't interested in reading The Disenchantments, but your comparison to Where She Went has put it on my wishlist.

    Although I generally stay away from Romeo & Juliet retellings, I'll read When You Were Mine because Rebecca Serle is (best) friends and writing partners with Leila Sales and I thoroughly enjoyed Past Perfect. (I always read the acknowledgments and they sometimes count more for me in picking books than cover blurbs. For example, Stephanie Perkins and Laini Taylor are critique partners and they both write awesome books.) Besides, Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay was surprisingly compelling, so maybe I should stop hatin' on the R&J retellings.

    • says

      Good to know about the Meredith title, though I don't always shy away from stories that are simply lust over more-than-lust. But the entitlement bit might get me!

      And you've totally sold me on the Rosoff book. I know she's got mega cred from many readers I respect, so I'm looking forward to this one.

      I wouldn't say The Disenchantments is exactly like Where She Went, but it's reminiscent. It wasn't my FAVORITE read but it was worthwhile. If for no other reason than Colby is a cool guy character (maybe not entirely realistic or believable but, still likable!).

      And HA! I am the same way about acknowledgments. I do like Sales's writing, so I have to say, knowing her connection to Serle gives even more promise. I'm generally not a Romeo and Juliet fan (I prefer my Shakespeare more alone King Lear or Twelfth Night lines). BUT I'm being open minded here 😉

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