Cover Reveal: Friends Like These

Tundra is excited to be publishing Friends Like These on May 30, 2023! Acclaimed author Meg Rosoff delivers a gritty novel about a summer of firsts: independence, lies, love, and the loss of innocence.

Cover Design: Kate Sinclair

Friends Like These
By Meg Rosoff
208 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9781774881101 | Tundra Book Group
Release Date: May 30, 2023
New York City. Summer 1983. A summer internship in New York was meant to be everything Beth wanted. But from the moment she arrives in the city she feels wrong: wrong hair, terrible clothes, defective smile, too obviously a virgin. Sharing a hot, cockroach-filled apartment with a couple falling out of love completes the dream picture. Then she meets her fellow interns: ambitious out-of-towner Dan, preppy rich boy Oliver, and Edie – a beautiful, brittle, magnetic, instant best friend. Irresistible people are like gravity. You can’t help being pulled towards them – can you?

Also by Meg Rosoff:

The Great Godden
By Meg Rosoff
256 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780735268319 | Penguin Teen Canada
This is the story of one family, one dreamy summer. . . . In a holiday house by the sea, our watchful narrator sees everything, including many things they shouldn’t, as their brother and sisters, parents, and older cousins fill hot days with wine and games and planning a wedding. Enter two brothers: irresistible, charming, languidly sexy Kit and surly, silent Hugo. Suddenly there’s a serpent in this paradise – and the consequences will be devastating.

Tundra Telegram: Books That Are Hot Tropics

Hello, and thanks for joining us at Tundra Telegram, the column where we dip into the subjects on readers’ minds, and recommend some lush literature for young readers to dive into.

This coming weekend, it’s time for Hollywood rom-com fans to rejoice. That’s because two of the titans of the genre, Julia Roberts and George Clooney, are returning for the major motion picture Ticket to Paradise, directed by the man who brought us Pierce Brosnan dancing in the Greek islands in Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again. The actors star as a divorced couple who decide to team up to sabotage the impending wedding of their daughter in Bali (so sweet!). Will they fall back in love?!

In anticipation of what we hope will be a return to form, we’re recommending some books that bring the characters to a tropical paradise for their adventures. It seemed like a pleasant thing to do, with many cities in North America having already experienced their first snowfalls. Bon voyage!

PICTURE BOOKS

A summer in Japan may not technically qualify as “tropical,” but there are plenty of hot sandy beaches and summer festivals featured in Natsumi’s Song of Summer by Robert Paul Weston and Misa Saburi. Two young cousins who are separated by language, continent, and culture – Jill and Natsumi – meet for the first time when Jill’s family travels from America to Japan to stay with Natsumi’s family during the summer holidays. Is it a ticket to paradise? Only if your idea of paradise includes reunions with faraway family and friends . . . and cicadas!

Most people consider Hapuna Beach in Hawaii a paradise on earth, but for Claire, the protagonist of Snow Angel, Sand Angel by Lois-Ann Yamanaka and Ashley Lukashevsky, it’s a little lacking because she has never seen snow! So, her father drives her and her family to the top of Mauna Kea to see snow in person, but it’s not the holiday wintertime she’s seen in books and movies. Claire decides to celebrate winter on the Big Island the tropical way in this book that celebrates the environment and culture of Hawaii.

Islandborn by Junot Diaz and Leo Espinosa is all about a tropical island that young Lola can’t remember, even though she was born on it. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories – some joyous and fantastical, some heartbreaking and frightening – Lola’s imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island, and she learns that just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.

On This Airplane by Lourdes Heuer and Sara Palacios takes place entirely in an airport and airplane – not most people’s idea of paradise. But it’s clear all the passengers are headed somewhere special, and there are few faster ways to get to your ideal vacation spot than by air travel (despite the carbon footprint). And this book reveals a temporary community inside the cabin with passengers who are filled with optimism and bonhomie. If you ever find yourself on a similar flight, you’d have to admit it’s the closest thing to heaven on earth.

CHAPTER BOOKS & MIDDLE GRADE

The “paradise” featured in Turtle in Paradise: The Graphic Novel by Jennifer L. Holm and Savanna Ganucheau happens to be Key West, circa 1935. Turtle is a tough eleven-year-old who is sent to live with relatives in The Sunshine State when her mom gets a housekeeping job that doesn’t allow for children. In the humid Florida environment, surrounded by rambunctious boy cousins, Turtle finds her world opening up in ways she couldn’t expect.

The paradise of a California beach is where Kaia and her family live in Any Day with You by Mae Respicio – all the more idyllic because it’s near the center of the filmmaking industry she longs to be a part of. Kaia and her friends spend a summer working on a short movie inspired by Filipino folktales, and conscript her beloved Tatang (great-grandfather) in the process, as he told her those tales. But there’s trouble in paradise: Tatang wants to return to his homeland in his own personal paradise: The Philippines.

Inspired by the author’s childhood, Kereen Getten’s When Life Gives You Mangos is a celebration of island life, set in a small village on a Jamaican island. Some people think of it as an exotic paradise, but Jamaica isn’t exotic to Clara. The only thing strange and different for Clara is that something happened to her memory that made her forget everything that happened last summer after a hurricane hit. This is paradise with a shocking twist ending!

The Fitzgerald-Trouts by Esta Spalding and illustrated by Sydney Smith and Lee Gatlin (depending on the book) is a book series about a band of four loosely related children living together on a lush tropical island. They take care of themselves. They sleep in their car, bathe in the ocean, eat fish they catch and fruit they pick, and can drive (that very same car) anywhere they need to go. It might sound like paradise to any kid, but real contentment would come if they found a permanent home.

When is a paradise not a paradise? When you’re in Bermuda, but can’t enjoy the weather and foliage because you’re being chased by Nazi agents. That’s the situation George finds himself in Camp X: Trouble in Paradise the tropical installment of history-based spy series by Eric Walters. George and his entire family are now working for Little Bill and his team of spies on the island, but brothers George and Jack aren’t on vacation: they continue their secret missions, foiling Nazi conspiracies that would put the lives of thousands of people in jeopardy.

YOUNG ADULT

The setting is just a typical summer camp in Kasie West’s Sunkissed, but it is in California, so that’s warm enough for us. This is a swoony romance title set at a family resort. That resort quickly becomes paradise when Avery – having a rough few months and dreading summer with her family – meets the mysterious, charming resort staff member Brooks.

Maybe the English seaside is far from tropical, but the hazy, dreamy summer during which The Great Godden by Meg Rosoff takes place could certainly be considered a wonderland – and a steamy one at that. A family on holiday is visited by the mysterious Godden brothers from Los Angeles, and many romantic entanglements follow in this coming-of-age tale about serpents released into paradise.

Jesse Q. Sutanto’s Well, That Was Unexpected is the most relevant title on this list as it partially takes place in Bali, the location of Ticket to Paradise. And, like the movie, it’s a comedic rom-com featuring George Clooney (!). Sharlot Citra, is whisked away from her native LA to her mother’s country, Indonesia, after a scandalous embarrassment. In Indonesia, she finds herself roped into dating George Clooney . . . Tanuwijaya, that is, the wealthy son of a celebrity-obsessed father, who is obviously a fan of the silver fox.

Happy reading, friends!

Our Stars of 2021

At Tundra Book Group (Tundra Books, Puffin Canada, and Penguin Teen Canada), we think all our books are brilliant, and it’s nice when others think so too! Congratulations to our authors and illustrators; these are our starred books of 2021!

FIVE STARS:

Instructions for Dancing
By Nicola Yoon
384 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735271234 | Penguin Teen Canada
“An endearing, affecting exploration of the journey of love. Everything Yoon touches turns to gold and this cinematic supernatural romance will be no exception.” – Starred Review, Booklist
“A remarkable, irresistible love story that will linger long after readers turn the final page.” – Starred Review, Kirkus
“Yoon delivers a story of love’s unpredictability and the importance of perspective that unfolds with ease and heart.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
“A sweet, genuine love story sure to pull on the heartstrings.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal
“Yoon delivers this captivating story of first love with beautiful prose, clever dialogue that swings between laugh-out-loud funny and wildly insightful, clear respect for the complexity and nuance of her teen characters’ perspectives and emotions – and just enough magic to make it all truly unforgettable.” – Starred Review, BookPage

FOUR STARS:

In the Wild Light
By Jeff Zentner
384 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263055 | Penguin Teen Canada
“A brilliant treasure of a book that holds up a mirror to the best parts of our humanity.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“Evocative and moving, highlighting Zentner’s impressive skill with both poetry and prose.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
“A wise, gorgeous exploration of loss and survival that will make readers cry…Lyrical and heartbreaking.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal
“Heartfelt and deeply moving . . . a book that readers will unhesitatingly take to their hearts.” – Starred Review, Booklist

THREE STARS:

Little Witch Hazel
By Phoebe Wahl
96 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264892 | Tundra Books
“The writing is lush and lyrical, and the textured, earth-toned illustrations expertly capture Hazel’s world, both cozy and gloriously wild . . . More Mosswood, please.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“A thread of loving and nurturing emerges through this treasury of quiet adventures . . . and readers will find satisfaction in seeing the way [Little Witch Hazel’s] sturdy care succors her community and results in gentle reciprocation.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
“The quiet but insistent rejection of conventional norms is both cheer worthy and effortlessly integrated, and the result is a story that can sit happily next to any classic fairy story as well as contemporary picture books directly addressing physical differences.” – Starred Review, Booklist

On the Trapline
By David A. Robertson
Illustrated by Julie Flett
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266681  | Tundra Books
“An outstanding contribution to the literature about family, intergenerational friendship, remembrance, community, Indigenous experience, and more.” – Starred Review, The Horn Book
“Robertson’s text is as spare as Flett’s artwork, leaving plenty of space for readers to feel the emotions evoked by both.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“A deeply affecting journey of memory and history.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

Time Is a Flower
By Julie Morstad
56 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267541 | Tundra Books
“Thoughtful metaphors and diverse characters take viewers through the manifold dimensions of time. . . . This exuberant vehicle will expand the thinking of those just beginning to comprehend clocks and calendars.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“A conceptual meditation, winsome and enigmatic.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
“A fascinating way to think about the passage of time.” – Starred Review, Booklist

TWO STARS:

Bear Wants to Sing
By Cary Fagan
Illustrated by Dena Seiferling
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735268036 | Tundra Books
“Sparkling whimsy . . . a delicate story full of humor and friendship.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“This tender tale of creativity, manners, and nurturing friendship by the creators of King Mouse has all the makings of a contemporary classic.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

Blankie
By Ben Clanton
22 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Board Book
ISBN 9780735266780 | Tundra Books
“A delightful celebration of friendship and fancy.” –  Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“From Clanton’s early graphic novel series, hilarious best-friend duo Narwhal and Jelly happily talk about their favorite things and dart about in their simple, signature colors across the pages.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal

Both Sides Now
By Peyton Thomas
300 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735269750 | Penguin Teen Canada
“Emotionally charged and politically relevant, this is a must-read.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“Thomas’ debut is achingly vulnerable . . . There’s no debate: Both Sides Now is a compelling, heartfelt must-read.” – Starred Review, Booklist

Ten Little Dumplings
By Larissa Fan
Illustrated by Cindy Wume
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266193 | Tundra Books
“Stepping out of the shadows: a gentle, persuasive #ownvoices take on a hitherto-untold perspective.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“A sincere and beautiful story for all ages, and one that can gently introduce a serious discussion topic of rank and gender for older readers.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal

The Great Godden
By Meg Rosoff
256 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780735268319 | Penguin Teen Canada
“One wants to read the book several times to tease out how Rosoff achieves her effects. The effort is a joy, just like this unforgettable novel, the first of a planned, summer-themed trio.” – Starred Review, Booklist
“There’s enough tension here that readers may hope for a ramp-up into full thriller, but the story moves toward a different kind of satisfying conclusion, with victory lying in an unpredictable tennis match and the ability to preserve the possibilities of future summers.” – Starred Review, Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

What Does Little Crocodile Say?
By Eva Montanari
40 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735268135 | Tundra Books
“This endearing take on a common preschool scenario will make an appealing read-aloud at home or school.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews
“Montanari’s economic, softly textured pencil crayon drawings and intimate, inventive vignette framings provide plenty to linger over, and deliver the gentle persuasion that reluctant, or sensorially sensitive, preschoolers need.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

ONE STAR:

Anonymouse
By Vikki VanSickle
Illustrated by Anna Pirolli
40  Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263949 | Tundra Books
“Slyly subversive, Anonymouse offers a shrewd commentary on the challenges and hazards facing nature in the city.” – Starred Review, Quill & Quire

Bubbles
By Ben Clanton
22 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Board Book
ISBN 9780735266766 | Tundra Books
“From Clanton’s early graphic novel series, hilarious best-friend duo Narwhal and Jelly happily talk about their favorite things and dart about in their simple, signature colors across the pages.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal

Butterflies Are Pretty . . . Gross!
By Rosemary Mosco
Illustrated by Jacob Souva
36 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265929 | Tundra Books
“A proboscis-in-cheek introduction to butterflies that will appeal to reluctant readers and bug enthusiasts alike.” –  Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

Children of the Fox: Thieves of Shadow #1
By Kevin Sands
416 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735270411 | Puffin Canada
“The protagonists’ natural chemistry as they learn to collaborate and trust one another helps to ground the epic story, especially once it leans more heavily into fantasy elements, while Callan’s narrative voice adds just the right amount of self-aware humor.” – Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

Etty Darwin and the Four Pebble Problem
By Lauren Soloy
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266087 | Tundra Books
“An excellent introduction to the natural sciences, Darwin, fairies, and inquiry, sure to inspire and fascinate young readers and listeners.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

I Do Not Like Yolanda
By Zoey Abbott
44  Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266513 | Tundra Books
“[F]ull of little wonders that hold the reader’s attention from page to page.A book that will inspire readers to find their own pen pals, a good book, and a new friend.” – Starred Review, School Library Journal

Out Into the Big Wide Lake
By Paul Harbridge
Illustrated by Josée Bisaillon
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265592 | Tundra Books
“A heartening Canadian picture book with an emotionally resonant ending.” –  Starred Review, Booklist

Peter Lee’s Notes From the Field
By Angela Ahn
Illustrated by Julie Kwon
312 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735268241 | Tundra Books
“[A] winsome . . . and fetching middle-grade novel. Peter Lee’s Notes from the Field is a winner.” – Starred Review, Shelf Awareness

Super Detectives: Simon and Chester #1
By Cale Atkinson
64 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267428 | Tundra Books
“This story is a winner for new readers and aspiring gumshoes alike. Readers will look forward to seeing more of this entertaining detective duo in the future. It’s no mystery – all clues point to fun!” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

The Great Bear: The Misewa Saga #2
By David A. Robertson
288 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266131 | Puffin Canada
“Robertson’s nods at the complexity of time-travel plots serve as wry metafictive commentary and also tie into his consideration of profound existential questions.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

The Secret Fawn
By Kallie George
Illustrated by Elly MacKay
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265165 | Tundra Books
“Sweet and pretty for bedtime or naptime – and validating to little ones all the time.” – Starred Review, Kirkus Reviews

Tiny Reindeer
By Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735271180 | Tundra Books
“Tiny Reindeer is a wonderful addition to the Christmas picture book canon that reminds us of the special gifts we all have to offer, no matter how tiny we might be.” – Starred Review, BookPage

Walking in Two Worlds
By Wab Kinew
296 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735269002 | Penguin Teen Canada
“Kinew’s first novel for teens stands out in the field of speculative fiction with its respectful, celebratory, and nuanced exploration of cultures and communities all too often at risk of erasure (particularly Indigenous communities).” – Starred Review, Booklist

Best Books for Cooks

Today is National Cooking Day! We here at Tundra Book Group + Friends love books about food – here are some of our fave options for budding foodies (and readers!)!

Alice Fleck’s Recipes for Disaster
By Rachelle Delaney
256 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735269279 | Puffin Canada
Alice Fleck’s father is a culinary historian, and for as long as she can remember, she’s been helping him recreate meals from the past – a hobby she prefers to keep secret from kids her age. But when her father’s new girlfriend enters them into a cooking competition at a Victorian festival, Alice finds herself and her hobby thrust into the spotlight. And that’s just the first of many surprises awaiting her. On arriving at the festival, Alice learns that she and her father are actually contestants on Culinary Combat, a new reality TV show hosted by Tom Truffleman, the most famous and fierce judge on TV! And to make matters worse, she begins to suspect that someone is at work behind the scenes, sabotaging the competition. It’s up to Alice, with the help of a few new friends, to find the saboteur before the entire competition is ruined, all the while tackling some of the hardest cooking challenges of her life . . . for the whole world to see.

Every Cake Has a Story
By Christina Tosi
Illustrated by Emily Balsley
32 Pages | Ages 3-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593110683 | Dial Books
Everything in Samesville is exactly the same, from the people and their clothes to the houses and their doors. So one night before going to bed, Sammi tucks a recipe card under her pillow and wishes that things were not the same. And when she wakes up, that white, black, gray sameness is gone, replaced with things that are bolder and brighter and wilder than ever before! With her newly colorful world and a new recipe book, she gathers her friends and makes the most magical cake, beautiful and different – just like Sammi and her friends. Things will never be the same again.

Frankie’s Favorite Food
By Kelsey Garrity-Riley
36 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735264311 | Tundra Books
Frankie has a problem: he has too many favorite foods. He can’t bring himself to choose just one to be for the school play, so on the day of the performance, he’s still without a costume. His teacher comes up with a delicious idea: what if Frankie becomes the Costume Manager? That way, he can parlay his love of all things culinary into the whole production. From adding some last-minute garnishes to helping the rice and beans into their costumes, Frankie shines backstage until he has a brilliant idea and decides to make his debut on the menu as something that combines his love for all his favorite foods . . . In this funny and scrumptiously adorable story, readers will delight in the variety of foods represented and the clever performances full of silly word play and sweet camaraderie. In Kelsey Garrity-Riley’s author-illustrator debut, she shows the joy of food and revels in celebrating the way food can bring people together and inspire creativity.

Interrupting Chicken: Cookies for Breakfast
By David Ezra Stein
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536207781 | Candlewick
It’s bright and early on a Saturday morning, and the little red chicken wants cookies for breakfast. What better way to persuade Papa than by jarring him awake and gleefully interjecting cookies – and herself! – into every nursery rhyme they read together? Though the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe heartily endorses the little red chicken’s plan, Papa has his own idea for a sweet breakfast for his determined daughter. Featuring the same riotous charm and bright, bold art as Interrupting Chicken and Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise, David Ezra Stein’s third installment will have any fan with a sweet tooth and a love of meta rhyme clamoring to find out: will the early bird get the cookie?

It Happened on Sweet StreetIt Happened on Sweet Street
By Caroline Adderson
Illustrated by Stéphane Jorisch
44 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101918852 | Tundra Books
Cakes, cookies or pie? A rivalry among local bakers is the basis for this deliciously sweet, off-the-wall picture book. Monsieur Oliphant’s cake shop, the only bakery game in town, has long had customers lining up outside its door for Oliphant’s delicious jelly rolls and marvelous wedding cakes . . . until the day cookie concocter Mademoiselle Fée takes over the old shoemaker’s shop. And it isn’t long before the divine piemaker Madame Clotilde soon moves into the old bric-a-brac shop. Three different bakers all trying to outclass one another means their little cul-de-sac is packed with customers every day and night, so, one morning, when everyone is bumpling and jostling each other with their cakes, cookies and pies, a food disaster – a massacre of cream, a devastation of crumbs – is inevitable! Only one little girl has the drive (or appetite?) to find a solution, but can it last? This madcap tale of frenzied cooks and zany eats (and one very lucky town) will delight readers with a sweet tooth of any age!

Julia, Child
By Kyo Maclear
Illustrated by Julie Morstad
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Paperback
ISBN 9780735264014 | Tundra Books
Julia and Simca are two young friends who agree that you can never use too much butter – and that it is best to be a child forever. Sharing a love of cooking and having no wish to turn into big, busy people who worry too much and dawdle too little, they decide to create a feast for growing and staying young. A playful, scrumptious celebration of the joy of eating, the importance of never completely growing up and mastering the art of having a good time, Julia, Child is a fictional tale loosely inspired by the life and spirit of the very real Julia Child – a story that should be taken with a grain of salt and a generous pat of butter.

Kate the Chemist: The Awesome Book of Edible Experiments for Kids
By Dr. Kate Biberdorf
112 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593116197 | Philomel Books
Did you know that all cooking is really chemistry? And that chocolate chip cookies will look – and taste – completely different if you swap out baking powder for baking soda? Or swap out brown sugar for white sugar? In this cookbook packed with 25 edible science experiment recipes kids can do in their own kitchen, chemistry professor and science entertainer Kate the Chemist introduces young scientists to the fascinating world of STEM – and cooking! Each recipe includes step-by-step instructions, an ingredients list, full-color photographs, a messiness factor rating, and a note from Kate explaining the science behind each delicious treat.

Let’s Taco Bout How Great You Are
By Bob Holt
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593182017 | Doubleday BFYR
Advice, pep-talks, smiles, and silly puns aplenty are DISHED out (see what I did there?) in this bright, festive gift book that celebrates the reader on every page. Perfect for graduation, birthdays, or any big milestones in a kid’s life, here is a picture book that tells your young superstar that you are hap-PEA to know them and they can’t be BEET. So LETTUCE all yell, “Yay, you!”

Lunch Lady #1: Lunch Lady and the Cyborg Substitute
By Jarrett J. Krosoczka
96 Pages | Ages 7-10 | Paperback
ISBN 9780375846830 | Knopf BFYR
Serving justice . . . and lunch! Hector, Terrence, and Dee have always wondered about their school lunch lady. What does she do when she isn’t dishing out the daily special? Where does she live? Does she have a lot of cats at home? Little do they know, Lunch Lady doesn’t just serve sloppy joes – she serves justice! Whatever danger lies ahead, it’s no match for LUNCH LADY!

McTavish Takes the Cake
By Meg Rosoff
Illustrated by Grace Easton
96 Pages | Ages 7-10 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536213751 | Candlewick
Pa Peachey has gotten it in his head that he is going to be the baker in the family, and the Peacheys and their dog, McTavish, are more than a little surprised. Stunned, in fact. Ever since Ma Peachey declared herself free of the cooking responsibilities, Betty, Ava, and Ollie have taken turns making inventive and delicious meals. But Pa thinks he can do better, even though his cakes are as flat as manhole covers and his cookies turn to charcoal. When the town announces a baking competition with a big prize, Pa is convinced he will enter an absolute masterpiece. Now the Peacheys have to decide: should they be honest with Pa and tell him his confections are contemptible, or should they support his high-flying dreams? Or could McTavish have a last-minute option at the ready?

Monster Food
By Daisy Hirst
18 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Board Book
ISBN 9781536217742 | Candlewick
What do little monsters like to eat? Daisy Hirst infuses a bright, funny board book with her offbeat charm. Some monsters eat peaches. Some monsters eat pears. And then there are monsters who eat only chairs. Some monsters like noodles and some prefer stew, but there’s always that one you’ll see eating a shoe, or . . . a rake? Picky little eaters, adventurous eaters, and born jokesters alike will see themselves in this comedy of cuisine, perfectly suited for the youngest (and hungriest) of listeners.

Phoebe Dupree is Coming to Tea!
By Linda Ashman
Illustrated by Alea Marley
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536204834 | Candlewick
To Abby, her friend Phoebe can do no wrong. Phoebe is speedy. Phoebe is smart. She’s equally brilliant at science and art. So when the budding hostess invites Phoebe over for a tea party, everything from the sugary treats on the menu to Abby’s dog, Louie, must be, well . . . perfect. But when life – and possibly Louie – send a clear message to let loose, the girls indulge in a perfectly imperfect playdate. Linda Ashman’s vivacious rhyme and Alea Marley’s inviting illustrations serve up a classic tale of enduring friendship at a tea party that will leave readers wanting to pull up a chair.

Phoebe G. Green #1: Lunch Will Never Be the Same!
By Veera Hiranandani
Illustrated by Christine Almeda
128 Pages | Ages 6-8 | Paperback
ISBN 9780593096895 | Penguin Workshop
Phoebe loves her pet fish, Betty #2 (named after Betty #1, may she rest in peace), making lists, and her best friend Sage. But when Camille, a tall French girl, arrives at school with unusual lunches, Phoebe can’t seem to think about anything else, including her friendship with Sage. Thanks to Camille, Phoebe discovers goat cheese, butter lettuce, and cilantro (although she’s convinced that’s not a real word). She’s determined to get invited to her new friend’s house for dinner to see what other mysterious food Camille eats. But what about Sage? Can Phoebe make a new friend and keep an old one?

There’s a Dodo on the Wedding Cake
By Wade Bradford
Illustrated by Kevin Hawkes
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536208849 | Candlewick
For his return visit to the wacky Sharemore Hotel, Mr. Snore will be playing his violin at a fancy wedding. As he waits for his cue to join the ceremony, he admires the wedding cake . . . and notices that he’s not alone in ogling that tower of frothy perfection. Is that a dodo, eating one of the frosting roses? As more and more creatures enter the scene – including two beavers, a boa constrictor, and a bunch of bats – it’s hard to tell who’s a guest and who’s a pest. But Mr. Snore, rushing the cake trolley from room to room, is going to do his heroic best to save that prize from sure disaster. From author and playwright Wade Bradford and award-winning illustrator Kevin Hawkes comes a madcap encore to There’s a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor, starring the ever-proper Mr. Snore.

Tomatoes for Neela
By Padma Lakshmi
Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593202708 | Viking BFYR
Neela loves cooking with her amma and writing down the recipes in her notebook. It makes her feel closer to her paati who lives far away in India. On Saturdays, Neela and Amma go to the green market and today they are buying tomatoes to make Paati’s famous sauce. But first, Neela needs to learn about all the different kinds of tomatoes they can pick from. And as Neela and Amma cook together, they find a way for Paati to share in both the love and the flavors of the day. Bestselling author and host of Bravo’s Top Chef and Hulu’s Taste the Nation Padma Lakshmi takes young readers on an intergenerational journey full of delicious flavors and fun food facts that celebrates a family’s treasured recipes.

Summer Reading 2021

Summer is here and we’re ready to soak up some sun . . . and books! During our Penguin Teen Social in May, we listed the ten books we’re definitely reading this summer – how many of these are on your TBR?

A Lesson in Vengeance
By Victoria Lee
384 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593305829 | Delacorte Press
Felicity Morrow is back at the Dalloway School to finish her senior year after the tragic death of her girlfriend. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five Dalloway students – girls some say were witches. Felicity was once drawn to the dark legacy of witchcraft. She’s determined to leave that behind her now; but it’s hard when Dalloway’s occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won’t let her forget it. It’s Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can’t shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks Felicity for help researching the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can’t say no. And when history begins to repeat itself, Felicity will have to face the darkness in Dalloway – and in herself.

Aetherbound
By E. K. Johnston
256 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735231856 | Dutton BFYR
Set on a family-run interstellar freighter called the Harland and a mysterious remote space station, E. K. Johnston’s latest is story of survival and self-determination. Pendt Harland’s family sees her as a waste of food on their long-haul space cruiser when her genes reveal an undesirable mutation. But if she plays her cards right she might have a chance to do much more than survive. During a space-station layover, Pendt escapes and forms a lucky bond with the Brannick twins, the teenage heirs of the powerful family that owns the station. Against all odds, the trio hatches a long-shot scheme to take over the station and thwart the destinies they never wished for.

All Our Hidden Gifts
By Caroline O’Donoghue
384 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536213942 | Walker Books US
After Maeve finds a pack of tarot cards while cleaning out a closet during her in-school suspension, she quickly becomes the most sought-after diviner at St. Bernadette’s Catholic school. But when Maeve’s ex–best friend, Lily, draws an unsettling card called The Housekeeper that Maeve has never seen before, the session devolves into a heated argument that ends with Maeve wishing aloud that Lily would disappear. When Lily isn’t at school the next Monday, Maeve learns her ex-friend has vanished without a trace. Shunned by her classmates and struggling to preserve a fledgling romance with Lily’s gender-fluid sibling, Roe, Maeve must dig deep into her connection with the cards to search for clues the police cannot find – even if they lead to the terrifying Housekeeper herself. Set in an Irish town where the church’s tight hold has loosened and new freedoms are trying to take root, this sharply contemporary story is witty, gripping, and tinged with mysticism.

Instructions for Dancing
By Nicola Yoon
384 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735271234 | Penguin Teen Canada
Evie Thomas doesn’t believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began . . . and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually. As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is everything that Evie is not: adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything – including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he’s only just met. Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it’s that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?

Radha & Jai’s Recipe for Romance
By Nisha Sharma
336 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780553523294 | Crown BFYR
Radha is on the verge of becoming one of the greatest kathak dancers in the world . . . until a family betrayal costs her the biggest competition of her life. Now she has left her Chicago home behind to follow her stage mom to New Jersey. At the Princeton Academy of the Arts, Radha is determined to leave performing in her past and reinvent herself from scratch. Jai is captain of the Bollywood Beats dance team, ranked first in his class, and is an overachiever with no college plans. Tight family funds means medical school is a pipe dream, which is why he wants to make the most out of high school. When Radha enters his life, he realizes she’s the exact ingredient he needs for a show-stopping senior year. With careful choreography, both Radha and Jai will need to face their fears (and their families) if they want a taste of a happily ever after.

Rising Like a Storm
By Tanaz Bhathena
432 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267053 | Penguin Teen Canada
With King Lohar dead and a usurper queen in power, Gul and Cavas face a new tyrannical government that is bent on killing them both. Their roles in King Lohar’s death have not gone unnoticed, and the new queen is out for blood. What she doesn’t know is that Gul and Cavas have a connection that runs deeper than romance, and together, they just might have the strength and magic to end her reign for good. Then a grave mistake ends with Cavas being taken prisoner. Gul is left to train an army of warriors alone. With alliances shifting and the thirst for vengeance growing, the fate of Ambar seems ever more uncertain. It will take every ounce of strength, love, and sacrifice for Gul and Cavas to reach their final goal – and build a more just world than they’ve ever known.

Six Crimson Cranes
By Elizabeth Lim
464 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593300916 | Knopf BFYR
Shiori’anma, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted. But it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother. A sorceress in her own right, Raikama banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes. She warns Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die. Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and uncovers a dark conspiracy to seize the throne. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in a paper bird, a mercurial dragon, and the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to forswear – no matter what the cost.

Tell Me When You Feel Something
By Vicki Grant
336 Pages | Ages 14+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735270091 | Penguin Teen Canada
It seemed like a cool part-time program – being a “simulated” patient for med school students to practice on. But now vivacious, charismatic Viv lies in a very real coma. Cellphone footage just leads to more questions. What really happened? Other kids suspect it was not an intentional overdose – but each has a reason why they can’t tell the truth. Through intertwining and conflicting narratives, a twisted story unfolds of trust betrayed as we sift through the seemingly innocent events leading up to the tragic night. Perhaps simulated patients aren’t the only people pretending to be something they’re not. . . . The perfect after-school job turns deadly in this contemporary YA thriller that exposes the dark reality of #MeToo in the world of medicine, for fans of Karen McManus and Holly Jackson.

The Great Godden
By Meg Rosoff
256 Pages | Ages 14+ | Paperback
ISBN 9780735268319 | Penguin Teen Canada
This is the story of one family, one dreamy summer. . . . In a holiday house by the sea, our watchful narrator sees everything, including many things they shouldn’t, as their brother and sisters, parents, and older cousins fill hot days with wine and games and planning a wedding. Enter two brothers: irresistible, charming, languidly sexy Kit and surly, silent Hugo. Suddenly there’s a serpent in this paradise – and the consequences will be devastating.

Tremendous Things
By Susin Nielsen
272 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735271203 | Penguin Teen Canada
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.