Here at Penguin Random House Canada, we’re lucky to work with so many different publisher lists. This holiday season, we’ll be highlighting each one with a dedicated post to help you find the perfect gift (or your next read). Today’s post is all about Random House Children’s Books.
15 Secrets to Survival By Natalie D. Richards 384 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593644126 | Delacorte Press When classmates Baxter, Abigail, Turner and Emerson break a school rule, they’re forced to travel to the middle of nowhere for an extra credit project. They think things can’t get much worse. After all, how will learning to survive in the wilderness help them stay out of trouble in school? What starts off as a weekend of team building takes a scary turn when their instructor goes missing and they are given nothing but pages of a survival guide to complete a series of challenges. They soon learn the woods around them have unexpected surprises. Will they discover a way to work together to find their teacher and overcome the dangers of winter in the mountains?
Eight Dates and Nights By Betsy Aldredge 384 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780593710333 | Underlined Two teens with two very different ideas of how to spend Hanukkah learn to work together to save the last Jewish remnant in small town Texas in this cozy holiday romance! New Yorker Hannah Levin is allergic to exactly two things, horses and tinsel. Unfortunately, she’s surrounded by both when she’s snowed in at her grandmother’s home in a small Texas town. Super lonely, missing latkes and reliable Wi-Fi, Hannah wanders into an old deli where she meets the only other Jewish teen around, Noah, who happens to be equal parts adorable and full of annoying, over the top festival of lights spirit that he’s determined to share with Hannah one itchy Hanukkah sweater at a time. As the days pass – and a spectacularly memorable kiss following Noah’s made up game of truth or dare dreidel takes place – Hannah begins to wonder if maybe there’s more to Hanukkah than she thought . . .
Her Radiant Curse By Elizabeth Lim 432 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover ISBN 9780593300992 | Knopf BFYR One sister must fall for the other to rise. Channi was not born a monster. But when her own father offers her in sacrifice to the Demon Witch, she is forever changed. Cursed with a serpent’s face, Channi is the exact opposite of her beautiful sister, Vanna – the only person in the village who looks at Channi and doesn’t see a monster. The only person she loves and trusts. Now at seventeen, Vanna is to be married off in a vulgar contest that will enrich the coffers of the village leaders. Only Channi, who’s had to rely on her strength and cunning all these years, can defend her sister against the cruelest of the suitors. But in doing so, she becomes the target of his wrath – launching a grisly battle royale, a quest over land and sea, a romance between sworn enemies, and a choice that will strain Channi’s heart to its breaking point. Weaving together elements of The Selection and Ember in the Ashes with classic tales like Beauty and the Beast, Helen of Troy, and Asian folklore, Elizabeth Lim is at the absolute top of her game in this thrilling yet heart-wrenching fantasy that explores the dark side of beauty and the deepest bonds of sisterhood.
Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Lost Christmas! By Alastair Heim Illustrated by Aristides Ruiz 40 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593563168 | Random House BFYR The Grinch had been patiently waiting all year, To celebrate Christmas and bring the Whos cheer, And to show every Who he was DIFFERENT now. “I’ve changed!” thought the Grinch, “And I’ll prove it! But HOW?” A year has passed since the Grinch stole Christmas from Who-ville. Now eager to prove to the Whos that his heart has grown to LOVE the holiday, the Grinch devises a plan to win Who-ville’s Christmas Crown by making the largest, most spectacular Christmas tree the Whos have ever seen! But when things don’t go as planned, the Grinch’s heart turns ice cold, and he threatens to leave Who-ville for good . . . until one small, special Who reminds him that Christmas is NOT about winning. Grow your heart three sizes MORE with this sequel to the timeless picture book How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Featuring a foil-enhanced jacket and full-color illustrations rendered in the iconic style of the original, this new story makes a splendid gift and a must-have addition to the libraries of Grinch fans of all ages!
It’s Not Easy Being Santa Claus By Marilyn Sadler Illustrated by Stephanie Laberis 32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593702871 | Random House BFYR Santa is feeling grumpy! He has too many letters to read. His reindeer are quarreling. Someone’s taken his slippers. And Mrs. Claus wants him to eat more vegetables. When Santa decides to try something new (working in a department store, bakery, toy store, and delivering mail), he discovers that nothing is as rewarding as just being himself. Featuring a comical cast of animal characters – plus a small mouse with BIG attitude for readers to find hidden on every page – this hardcover picture book about self-acceptance and overcoming obstacles makes a great holiday gift for kids 3-7!
Like a Charm By Elle McNicoll 320 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593649138 | Random House BFYR After the death of her grandfather, neurodivergent tween Ramya uncovers a world of mystery and magic – and she’s the only one who can see it! From the award-winning author of A Kind of Spark.“Ramya, you have something this city needs. And it’s something that’s going to change everything.” Ramya Knox always knew she was different. Her dyspraxia makes her clumsy and prone to attracting the disapproval of her teachers. Ramya didn’t know she can see magic! But when a dog statue comes to life, Ramya follows the pup and discovers a world she thought existed only in fairy tales. Trolls, witches, kelpies, vampires, and more lurk in the shadows of Edinburgh, hiding from the most dangerous creature of all: sirens. These beautiful monsters use their persuasive voice to convince those around them to do their bidding – for better or worse. As the sirens rise in power, it’s up to Ramya to save the day – or the Hidden and mortal worlds might both be at risk.
Project F By Jeanne DuPrau 224 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593643808 | Random House BFYR WELCOME TO THE FUTURE. There are no cars, planes, television, or smart phones. Climate change wreaked havoc on Earth hundreds of years ago, and now people live a simpler life. Then thirteen-year-old Keith uncovers a secret. It’s a mysterious mission known only as Project F. It’s advanced, it’s scientific, and it’s going to change the world. It’s exactly the kind of adventure Keith has always longed to be a part of. And what is adventure without a little danger, right? But how much danger is Keith willing to risk? For himself? For his family? For his community? For the entire world . . . ? Jeanne DuPrau’s The City of Ember was an instant hit when it arrived on bookshelves. It has become a modern classic beloved by readers selling hundreds of thousands of copies a year! In her latest novel, she explores timely questions about the Earth and our use of its resources. A bold novel, Project F asks how much you are willing to risk to save the future.
Sinner’s Isle By Angela Montoya 384 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover ISBN 9780593643334 | Joy Revolution Rosalinda is trapped on Sinner’s Isle, an island filled with young women like her – Majestics, beautiful witches loathed by society for their dangerous magic yet revered by powerful men who want to use them. For years, she has been kept under the watchful, calculating eye of Doña Lucia. Now eighteen, Rosa will be the prized commodity at this year’s Offering, a fiesta for the wealthy to engage in drink, damsels, and debauchery. That is why she must flee – before someone forces the vicious phantoms within her to destroy everything she touches. Handsome, swashbuckling Mariano has long sailed the high seas as the Prince of Pirates. Then the king’s fleet attacks his father’s infamous ship, leaving him marooned on Sinner’s Isle with only an enchanted chain meant to lead him to his heart’s desire. Instead, he falls into the hands of a brazen (although) bewitching headache – Rosa.
The Revenge Game By Jordyn Taylor 320 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover ISBN 9780593563649 | Delacorte Press Alyson is a romantic, and sometimes it gets her into trouble. Like last summer, she thought her co-worker was into her, when in reality he found her flirting pathetic. Then she meets Brenton Riggs Jr., and right away she knows that their connection isn’t just in her head. When he swoops in to save her one night from a less than savory party encounter, she falls head-over-heels. Finally, someone Alyson likes who likes her back! But when she finds out about the King’s Cup – a competition the guys at their boarding school started to see who has the most sexual prowess – she’s put on edge. Does Brenton really want to be with her, or is he just trying to win? Then Alyson and the other girls at the school start a competition of their own: The Queen’s Cup. It’s all about reclaiming their power. But as the competition heats up, Alyson’s relationship begins to fall apart – and it isn’t long before the cracks in her perfect love story start to show through.
Wonderful Seasons By Emily Winfield Martin 26 Pages | Ages 0 – 3 | Board Book ISBN 9780593376355 | Random House BFYR Celebrate the seasons with this original board book by Emily Winfield Martin – perfect for baby showers and fans of the New York Times Bestseller, The Wonderful Things You Will Be! From Springtime fun to cozy Winter, this book captures the adorableness of a diverse cast of babies in the beauty of all four seaons. With simple text and irresistable art, this lighthearted book will bring a smile to parents and the youngest readers alike.
On 7/7/2023, megastar singer-songwriter Taylor Swift released the latest of her re-recorded albums (in reaction to a dispute with her former record label over the ownership of the original album masters), Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). The album features re-recorded versions of 16 songs from the original, as well as six previously unreleased songs “from the vault.” Speak Now, Swift’s third studio album, originally released in 2010, was something of a concept album about heartbreak and features singles like “Back to December” and “Mean.” The vault-freed songs like “When Emma Falls in Love” and “Electric Touch” already have fans singing their praises and scouring their lyrics for clues to their real-life referents, and some songs – notably “Better than Revenge” have been partially rewritten to reflect the singer’s changed perspective. We’ve listened to the full tracklist many, many times and have come up with recommendations from our children’s and YA titles for each song. In some cases, the connection may be a similar plot or theme. In others, a single lyric or idea may have led to the suggestion. Either way, we know you’ll enjoy reading these books, so don’t wait! (We’ll meet you when you’re out of the church at the back door.)
Mine (Taylor’s Version)
Mine for Keeps By Jean Little 232 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback ISBN 9781774882948 | Puffin Canada Away at school, Sally Copeland has always dreamed of going home, but now that she’s there, she feels frightened and unsure of herself. Will her brother and sister accept her? Will she be able to do things for herself? And what will it be like to go to a regular school and be the only one with cerebral palsy?
Sparks Fly (Taylor’s Version)
The Pink Umbrella By Amélie Callot Illustrated by Geneviève Godbout 80 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover ISBN 9781101919231 | Tundra Books When it’s bright outside, Adele is the heart of her community, greeting everyone who comes into her café with arms wide open. But when it rains, she can’t help but stay at home inside, under the covers. Because Adele takes such good care of her friends and customers, one of them decides to take care of her too, and piece by piece leaves her little gifts that help her find the joy in a gray, rainy day. Along with cute-as-a-button illustrations, The Pink Umbrella celebrates thoughtful acts of friendship.
Back to December (Taylor’s Version)
So, This Is Christmas By Tracy Andreen 368 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback ISBN 9780593353134 | Viking BFYR When Finley Brown returned to her hometown of Christmas, Oklahoma, from boarding school, she expected to find it just as she left it. Christmas hasn’t changed much in her sixteen years. But instead she returns to find that her best friend is dating her ex-boyfriend, her parents have separated, and her archnemesis got a job working at her grandmother’s inn. And she certainly didn’t expect to find the boy she may or may not have tricked into believing that Christmas was an idyllic holiday paradise on her grandmother’s doorstep. It’s up to Finley to make sure he gets the Christmas he was promised. This is Finley’s Christmas. It’s about home and family and friends and finding her place, and along the way she also finds the best Christmas present of all: love.
Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)
A Garden in My Hands By Meera Sriram Illustrated by Sandhya Prabhat 40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593427101 | Knopf BFYR The sweet smell of henna, and stories we carry, fill us with pride of a faraway home. There’s a wedding tomorrow! And one little girl sits patiently while her mother tenderly applies intricate, delicate henna designs on her hands. As she does, she shares family stories–about weddings, monsoons, and ancestors long gone. The little girl must be careful to protect her hands as the henna dries–one smudge could ruin a story! After a whole night of anticipation, when the flakes are washed away, what will they reveal? Lyrical text pairs with vibrant illustrations for this poignant picture book that blooms with heart, connects us to our roots, and sweetly reminds us of the the garden of love we curate with those closest to us.
Dear John (Taylor’s Version)
Year On Fire By Julie Buxbaum 336 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback ISBN 9781984893697 | Ember It was a year on fire. They fell in love. Someone was bound to get burned. The Spark: Just days before the start of junior year, a spontaneous kiss and then a lie shakes the very foundation of the friendship between best friends Immie and Paige. Immie’s twin brother, Arch, knows something, only he’s not saying it. Some loyalties run too deep to be broken by accidental betrayal. The Fuel: Enter Rohan, new to Wood Valley High by way of London, who walks into school on the first day completely overwhelmed by his sudden move halfway around the world. When Paige calls dibs on him—he’s too cute to ignore—Immie is in no position to argue, certainly not after taking the fall for the disloyal kiss. Too bad for Immie that Ro feels like the best kind of familiar. The Kindling: Former lab partners Arch and Jackson, Paige’s ex-boyfriend, have never considered themselves more than friends. But sometimes feelings can grow like flames fanned by the wind. The Flames: When the girls’ bathroom at Wood Valley is set ablaze, no one doubts it’s arson. But in this bastion of privilege, who’d be angry enough to want to burn down the school? Answer: pretty much everyone.
Mean (Taylor’s Version)
I Walk with Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness By Kerascoët 40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover ISBN 9781524769550 | Schwartz & Wade Inspired by real events, I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help. By choosing only pictures to tell their story, the creators underscore the idea that someone can be an ally without having to say a word. With themes of acceptance, kindness, and strength in numbers, this timeless and profound feel-good story will resonate with readers young and old.
The Story of Us (Taylor’s Version)
Threads That Bind By Kika Hatzopoulou 352 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback ISBN 9780593528716 | Razorbill Descendants of the Fates are always born in threes: one to weave, one to draw, and one to cut the threads that connect people to the things they love and to life itself. The Ora sisters are no exception. Io, the youngest, uses her Fate-born abilities as a private investigator in the half-sunken city of Alante. But her latest job leads her to a horrific discovery: somebody is abducting women, maiming their life-threads, and setting the resulting wraiths loose in the city to kill. To find the culprit, she must work alongside Edei Rhuna, the right hand of the infamous Mob Queen—and the boy with whom she shares a rare fate-thread linking them as soul mates before they’ve even met. The investigation turns personal when Io’s estranged oldest sister shows up on the arm of her best suspect. Amid unveiled secrets from her past and her growing feelings for Edei, Io must follow clues through the city’s darkest corners and unearth a conspiracy that involves some of the city’s most powerful players before destruction comes to her own doorstep.
Never Grow Up (Taylor’s Version)
The Wonderful Things You Will Be By Emily Winfield Martin 36 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9780375973277 | Random House BFYR From brave and bold to creative and clever, Emily Winfield Martin’s rhythmic rhyme expresses all the loving things that parents think of when they look at their children. With beautiful, and sometimes humorous, illustrations, and a clever gate-fold with kids in costumes, this is a book grown-ups will love reading over and over to kids-both young and old. The Wonderful Things You Will Be has a loving and truthful message that will endure for lifetimes and makes a great gift for any occasion, but a special stand-out for baby showers, birthdays, Easter, and graduation.
Enchanted (Taylor’s Version)
The Hidden World of Gnomes By Lauren Soloy 96 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9780735271043 | Tundra Books This book is an introduction to the hidden folk called gnomes, who live in a happy place they call The Pocket. Where is The Pocket, you ask? Well, it’s all around you, all the time. Gnomes are curious little creatures, and they’re very shy. But after reading this book, you will learn to spot the telltale signs that gnomes are around . . . and maybe even meet one! Lauren Soloy has been studying gnomes her whole life, and she has created this book to share her knowledge with you. For example, what jobs do gnomes do? Babysitting robin’s eggs, squirrel-tail fluffing, storytelling. Where do they live? In gardens, forests and any place with plants, birds and bugs. What are their names? Hotchi-Mossy, Able Potter, Cob Tiggy and Puckle Swift, to name a few. With charming details and surprising facts, this celebration of all things gnome will enchant readers of all ages.
Better Than Revenge (Taylor’s Version)
Our Playground Rules! By Kallie George Illustrated by Jay Fleck 32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593378748 | Rodale Kids This young picture book plays with the double meaning of “rules” to explore how following a few simple rules of kindness can make playtime more fun for everyone! Featuring simple text and engaging illustrations that embrace the varying needs and capabilities of the adorable cast of animal characters, Our Playground Rules! is the perfect tool to help small children feel seen and better empathize with others.
Innocent (Taylor’s Version)
Skyward By Brandon Sanderson 544 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780399555800 | Ember Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with her father’s–a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa’s chances of attending flight school at slim to none. No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.
Haunted (Taylor’s Version)
Funeral Songs for Dying Girls By Cherie Dimaline 280 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover ISBN 9780735265639 | Tundra Books Winifred has lived in the apartment above the cemetery office with her father, who works in the crematorium all her life, close to her mother’s grave. With her sixteenth birthday only days away, Winifred has settled into a lazy summer schedule, lugging her obese Chihuahua around the grounds in a squeaky red wagon to visit the neglected gravesides and nursing a serious crush on her best friend, Jack. Her habit of wandering the graveyard at all hours has started a rumor that Winterson Cemetery might be haunted. It’s welcome news since the crematorium is on the verge of closure and her father’s job being outsourced. Now that the ghost tours have started, Winifred just might be able to save her father’s job and the only home she’s ever known, not to mention being able to stay close to where her mother is buried. All she has to do is get help from her con-artist cousin to keep up the rouse and somehow manage to stop her father from believing his wife has returned from the grave. But when Phil, an actual ghost of a teen girl who lived and died in the ravine next to the cemetery, starts showing up, Winifred begins to question everything she believes about life, love and death. Especially love.
Last Kiss (Taylor’s Version)
Always Isn’t Forever By J. C. Cervantes 384 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover ISBN 9780593404485 | Razorbill Best friends and soul mates since they were kids, Hart Augusto and Ruby Armenta were poised to take on senior year together when Hart tragically drowns in a boating accident. Absolutely shattered, Ruby struggles to move on from the person she knows was her forever love. Hart can’t let go of Ruby either…. Due to some divine intervention, he’s offered a second chance. Only it won’t be as simple as bringing him back to life – instead, Hart’s soul is transferred to the body of local bad boy. When Hart returns to town as Jameson, he realizes that winning Ruby back will be more challenging than he’d imagined. For one, he’s forbidden from telling Ruby the truth. And with each day he spends as Jameson, memories of his life as Hart begin to fade away. Though Ruby still mourns Hart, she can’t deny that something is drawing her to Jameson. As much as she doesn’t understand the sudden pull, it can’t be ignored. And why does he remind her so much of Hart? Desperate to see if the connection she feels is real, Ruby begins to open her heart to Jameson – but will their love be enough to bridge the distance between them?
Long Live (Taylor’s Version)
Take Back the Block By Chrystal D. Giles 240 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593175170 | Random House BFYR Wes Henderson has the best style in sixth grade. That – and hanging out with his crew (his best friends since little-kid days) and playing video games – is what he wants to be thinking about at the start of the school year, not the protests his parents are always dragging him to. But when a real estate developer makes an offer to buy Kensington Oaks, the neighborhood Wes has lived his whole life, everything changes. The grownups are supposed to have all the answers, but all they’re doing is arguing. Even Wes’s best friends are fighting. And some of them may be moving. Wes isn’t about to give up the only home he’s ever known. Wes has always been good at puzzles, and he knows there has to be a missing piece that will solve this puzzle and save the Oaks. But can he find it . . . before it’s too late? Exploring community, gentrification, justice, and friendship, Take Back the Block introduces an irresistible 6th grader and asks what it means to belong – to a place and a movement – and to fight for what you believe in.
Ours (Taylor’s Version)
The Davenports By Krystal Marquis 384 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover ISBN 9780593463338 | Dial Books The Davenports are one of the few Black families of immense wealth and status in a changing United States, their fortune made through the entrepreneurship of William Davenport, a formerly enslaved man who founded the Davenport Carriage Company years ago. Now it’s 1910, and the Davenports live surrounded by servants, crystal chandeliers, and endless parties, finding their way and finding love – even where they’re not supposed to. There is Olivia, the beautiful elder Davenport daughter, ready to do her duty by getting married . . . until she meets the charismatic civil rights leader Washington DeWight and sparks fly. The younger daughter, Helen, is more interested in fixing cars than falling in love – unless it’s with her sister’s suitor. Amy-Rose, the childhood friend turned maid to the Davenport sisters, dreams of opening her own business – and marrying the one man she could never be with, Olivia and Helen’s brother, John. But Olivia’s best friend, Ruby, also has her sights set on John Davenport, though she can’t seem to keep his interest . . . until family pressure has her scheming to win his heart, just as someone else wins hers.
Superman (Taylor’s Version)
Dads Can Do It All! By Ted Maass Illustrated by Ekaterina Trukhan 20 Pages | Ages 14+ | Board Books ISBN 9780593522998 | Grosset & Dunlap This year, celebrate Dad with this adorable board book young readers can personally inscribe and dedicate to their dad: the superhero! Beautiful illustrations and inspiring, rhyming verses make this the perfect gift for dads and for birthdays year-round. Young ones will love sharing this book with Dad and learning all the exciting things fathers can do—and everything they can do, too!
Electric Touch (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault) [feat. Fall Out Boy]
A Life Electric: The Story of Nikola Tesla By Azadeh Westergaard Illustrated by Júlia Sardà 40 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover ISBN 9780593114605 | Viking BFYR Norn at the stroke of midnight during a lightning storm, Nikola Tesla grew up to become one of the most important electrical inventors in the world. But before working with electricity, he was a child who loved playing with the animals on his family’s farm in Serbia. An inventor since childhood, Tesla’s patents encompassed everything from radar and remote-control technology to wireless communications. But his greatest invention was the AC induction motor, which used alternating currents ( AC) to distribute electricity and which remains the standard for electric distribution today. Tesla’s love of animals also remained constant throughout his life and led to his anointment as the Pigeon Charmer of New York for his devotion to nature’s original wireless messengers. Exploring his groundbreaking inventions against the backdrop of his private life, A Life Electric introduces Nikola Tesla to young readers unlike ever before. Azadeh Westergaard’s lyrical debut brings compassion and humanity to the legacy of the brilliant inventor, while the esteemed illustrator Júlia Sardà deftly brings him to life.
When Emma Falls in Love (Taylor’s Version) (From the Vault)
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children By Ransom Riggs 384 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback ISBN 9781594746031 | Quirk Books A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
I Can See You (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)
Check & Mate By Ali Hazelwood 368 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback ISBN 9780593619919 | G.P. Putnam’s Sons Release Date: November 7, 2023 Mallory Greenleaf is done with chess. Every move counts nowadays; after the sport led to the destruction of her family four years earlier, Mallory’s focus is on her mom, her sisters, and the dead-end job that keeps the lights on. That is, until she begrudgingly agrees to play in one last charity tournament and inadvertently wipes the board with notorious “Kingkiller” Nolan Sawyer: current world champion and reigning Bad Boy of chess. Nolan’s loss to an unknown rook-ie shocks everyone. What’s even more confusing? His desire to cross pawns again. What kind of gambit is Nolan playing? The smart move would be to walk away. Resign. Game over. But Mallory’s victory opens the door to sorely needed cash-prizes and despite everything, she can’t help feeling drawn to the enigmatic strategist…. As she rockets up the ranks, Mallory struggles to keep her family safely separated from the game that wrecked it in the first place. And as her love for the sport she so desperately wanted to hate begins to rekindle, Mallory quickly realizes that the games aren’t only on the board, the spotlight is brighter than she imagined, and the competition can be fierce (-ly attractive. And intelligent…and infuriating…)
Castles Crumbling (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault) [feat. Hayley Williams]
Queen of the Sea By Dylan Meconis 400 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Paperback ISBN 9781536215175 | Walker Books US When her sister seizes the throne, Queen Eleanor of Albion is banished to a tiny island off the coast of her kingdom, where the nuns of the convent spend their days peacefully praying, sewing, and gardening. But the island is also home to Margaret, a mysterious young orphan girl whose life is upturned when the cold, regal stranger arrives. As Margaret grows closer to Eleanor, she grapples with the revelation of the island’s sinister true purpose as well as the truth of her own past. When Eleanor’s life is threatened, Margaret is faced with a perilous choice between helping Eleanor and protecting herself and her Island family. In a graphic novel of fictionalized history, Dylan Meconis paints Margaret’s world in soft greens, grays, and reds, transporting readers to a quiet, windswept island at the heart of a treasonous royal plot.
Foolish One (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)
Tremendous Things By Susin Nielsen 272 Pages | Ages 12+ | Paperback ISBN 9780735271227 | Tundra Books We all have moments that define us. For the comically clueless Wilbur, his moment happened on the first day of middle school, when someone shared his private letter with the entire student body. It revealed some of Wilbur’s innermost embarrassing thoughts that no one else should ever know. Now it’s the start of ninth grade and Wilbur hasn’t been able to escape that major humiliation. His good friend Alex stuck by him, but Alex doesn’t have as much time since he started dating Fabrizio. Luckily, Wil can confide in his best friend: his elderly neighbor Sal. Also, Wil’s in the school band, where he plays the triangle. They’re doing an exchange program with students from Paris, and Wilbur’s billet, Charlie, a tall, chic young woman who plays the ukulele and burps with abandon, captures his heart. Charlie likes him, but only as a friend. So Alex, Fabrizio, and Sal host a Queer Eye-style intervention to get Wil in shape and to build his confidence so he can impress Charlie when their band visits Paris, and just maybe replace humiliation with true romance in the City of Love.
Timeless (Taylor’s Version) (From The Vault)
Midnight Strikes By Zeba Shahnaz 448 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover ISBN 9780593567555 | Delacorte Press Seventeen-year-old Anaïs just wants tonight to end. As an outsider at the kingdom’s glittering anniversary ball, she has no desire to rub shoulders with the nation’s most eligible (and pompous) bachelors—especially not the notoriously roguish Prince Leo. But at the stroke of midnight, an explosion rips through the palace, killing everyone in its path. Including her. The last thing Anaïs sees is fire, smoke, chaos . . . and then she wakes up in her bedroom, hours before the ball. No one else remembers the deadly attack or believes her warnings of disaster. Not even when it happens again. And again. And again. If she’s going to escape this nightmarish time loop, Anaïs must take control of her own fate and stop the attack before it happens. But the court’s gilded surface belies a rotten core, full of restless nobles grabbing at power, discontented commoners itching for revolution, and even royals who secretly dream of taking the throne. It’s up to Anaïs to untangle these knots of deadly deceptions . . . if she can survive past midnight.
Hello, and thanks for joining us at Tundra Telegram, the column where we reflect on the topics that are currently running through our minds, and kindly recommend some books we think might mesmerize you.
After years of false starts and dashed hopes, fans of Neil Gaiman’s beloved and acclaimed The Sandman comic series finally got the chance to see the television adaptation when it premiered on Netflix this past weekend. Starring Tom Sturridge as Dream / Morpheus, Kirby Howell-Baptiste as Death, Gwendoline Christie as Lucifer, and partially adapted by Gaiman himself, the series follows the king of dreams, as he escapes from captivity and attempts to restore order to his realm, called The Dreaming.
Of course, the best thing to do is to check out the collected editions of The Sandman, particularly the first two collections – Preludes and Nocturnes and The Doll’s House – that the series roughly adapts. But if you want more suggestions for books of all ages about sleeping and dream worlds, we’ve got some nighttime reading material for you!
Though the Sandman television series demonstrates there are a few reasons to be afraid of the dark, A Bedtime Yarn by Nicola Winstanley and Olivia Chin-Mueller has an answer to that. Little bear Frankie is given a ball of yarn to hold when he goes to bed, and his mother will hold onto the other end in the next room, working it into a surprise for him. The yarn’s colors affect the dreams he has, and eventually he learns he’s always connected to the people he loves – even while asleep!
Basically the Neil Gaiman of picture books, Nicola Winstanley also penned The Pirate’s Bed, illustrated by Matt James, which gives young readers a view into the world of pirate dreams. That is, it does before the bed (who is wide awake while the pirate on top sleeps) is cast out to sea on his own during a shipwreck. Will a bed without a sleeper find happiness? Or will it feel somehow not whole?
If vivid dreams are what you want, you need Dream Animals by Emily Winfield Martin. Discover what your dream animal might be – a bear who invites you to make baked goods or some tea-partying mermaids? Dreams haven’t seemed this fun since Van Halen recorded 5150.
In the same vein, Sean Taylor and Anuska Allepuz’s The Dream Train features thirty lushly illustrated bedtime poems for and about sleepyheads of all kinds. The Sandman rarely delved into the dreams of ducks or bats like The Dream Train does, but maybe it should have?
If there’s one question the Sandman knows the answer to, it’s What Will You Dream of Tonight?, which is also a picture book by Frances Stickley and Anuska Allepuz (who must love dreams!). A parent wonders what their child will dream of: Deserts? Waterfalls? Dragon-filled caves? This is a creative tale of dreamtime adventures.
Keeping to the comic book roots of The Sandman, check out the Little Golden Book Trouble in the Dream Dimension by Dave Croatto and Shane Clester, featuring rival comic company character Doctor Strange as he protects the dream world from the villain Nightmare, devoted to spooking kids (and adults) as they snooze.
In You Byun’s Dream Friends, a young girl Melody has the most wonderful friend in her dreams, and they do a bunch of fantastical things together. But when Melody wakes up, she’s back in the real world where she has no friends. This all changes when her dream friend inspires her to take some actions to change her friend status in the real world. (But her dream friend also happens to be a massive sort of flying cat, which will be tough for her first real friend to live up to, IMHO.)
Though the series has not yet adapted the Sandman collection Dream Country, readers of the comic know that the issue “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” introduces Morpheus’s collab with William Shakespeare, and became the only comic book in history to win a World Fantasy Award. Accordingly, we recommend the new picture book, William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, adapted by Georghia Ellinas and illustrated by Jane Ray, for the youngest audiences.
And like some sort of Australian Morpheus, the titular character in Robert Ingpen’s The Dream Keeper lives in the realm between being asleep and awake, and uses a number of tricks and traps to ensnare the wild creatures of our dreams before they can escape into reality.
CHAPTER BOOKS & MIDDLE GRADE
Though he doesn’t quite have the powers of Morpheus, the protagonist of Julian, Dream Doctor by Ann Cameron and Ann Strugnell does his best to enter his father’s dreams to get him the perfect birthday gift. Julian wants to get his dad a birthday gift that he’s “always dreamed of.” So he creates a brainwave machine, communicates through the TV antenna’s signals, interrogates his father while asleep, and does whatever he can to secretly learn what his father’s dream is, even if it happens to be a nightmare!
The Dollhouse by Charis Cotter is not only just a space, an apostrophe, and an “s” away from the title of one of the Sandman books adapted for the show, it’s also a spooky, atmospheric story that weaves the dream world with the waking one. Alice’s parents split up and she moves with her mom when she becomes a live-in nurse for an older woman. Alice finds a dollhouse in the attic that’s a replica of the house they live in, and before she knows it, she wakes up to find a girl asleep next to her in her bed – a girl who exactly like one of the dolls from the dollhouse (I may never sleep again!).
The Bookshop of Dust and Dreams by Mindy Thompson mirrors the Sandman books in its belief in the (literal magic) power of art and literature. Poppy’s family owns the magic bookshop Rhyme and Reason, which is situated in WWII New York, but caters to customers from around the world and from the past and future. When her older brother threatens to break the most important rule among magic Booksellers, Poppy is caught in an impossible situation.
And, of course, a perfect companion to the Sandman series is Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller’s Nightmares! trilogy (illustrated by Karl Kwasny), and not just because the books have often been compared to another Gaiman creation, Coraline. Charlie Laird has a major problem: not only does he have trouble sleeping because of terrible nightmare, but his nightmares have started slipping out of his dreams and into the waking world of Cypress Creek. Charlie and his friends – in the original book, as well as The Sleepwalker Tonic and The Lost Lullaby – must face their fears and save their town.
You can’t even start to mention YA about dreams without talking about Cherie Dimaline’s Hunting by Stars. The follow-up to The Marrow Thieves, in which Indigenous people are being hunted across North America and placed residential schools to harvest their bone marrow. The reason: Indigenous people are still able to dream, an ability lost by everyone else, and this dreaming ability is believed to be housed in the marrow (something overlooked in Sandman!). This book follows seventeen-year-old French, who survived the first book, as he heads north with a group of other dreamers who try to build a new community – until the school Recruiters hunt him down.
It’s an older title, but Dream Girl by Lauren Mechling, is all about Claire Voyante, a fifteen-year-old girl whose dream visions become a lot clearer when she’s given a cameo necklace by her grandmother Kiki. What can she do next but solve madcap mysteries with her psychic sleeping powers?
And the techno-futuristic take on Sleeping Beauty,A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan, follows Rosalinda Fitzroy, in a chemically induced slumber in a stasis tube for 62 years until she is kissed awake. But the world Rose wakes to is the aftermath of an apocalyptic era that killed millions in which she’s seen as the long-lost heir to an interplanetary empire (that old story!).