What lengths would you go to in order to attract the attention of your crush? In Jake Gerhardt's debut middle-grade novel, three eighth-grade boys are all crushing on the same girl: Miranda Mullaly. Told in the alternating voices of class clown Sam, studious Duke, athletic Chollie and oblivious Miranda, this comedy of errors is a breezy, fun read.
Gerhardt perfectly captures those awkward middle-school years with lots of humor and plenty of heart. In a Behind the Book essay, he shares his own hilarious story of noticing girls for the first time.
Salina Yoon is the award-winning author of more than 200 books for children, including Penguin and Pinecone and Found. Yoon's latest picture book, Be a Friend, tells the story of Dennis, an ordinary boy who expresses himself in extraordinary ways—he's a mime! But being a mime can be lonely. It isn’t until Dennis meets a girl named Joy that he discovers the power of friendship. Yoon shares a look behind Be a Friend, a simple yet emotional story with a muted palette.
The best-selling husband and wife team of David Soman and Jacky Davis share a peek behind the scenes of the eighth book in their beloved Ladybug Girl series, Ladybug Girl and the Best Ever Playdate.
Sara Nickerson's new middle grade novel is full of summery secrets, but the inspiration behind The Secrets of Blueberries, Brothers, Moose & Me is an open book. Nickerson takes us to the blueberry-picking days of her childhood.
In the summer of 1859, a recently orphaned girl named Nell arrives on the doorstep of Aunt Kitty, whose "pickled onion" face offers her sorrowful niece a less-than-warm welcome. But when Nell discovers her aunt is a detective for Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency, the two end up tracking down thieves and murderers in this fun historical tale. The character of Aunt Kitty is based on real-life Kate Warne, the first female detective in the U.S. Chicago author and former journalist Kate Hannigan shares a bit more behind her new book, The Detective's Assistant.
It would take a whole lotta stamps to send an elephant in the mail, so young Sadie opts for a more personalized touch in Special Delivery, the new picture book romp from Philip C. Stead and Matthew Cordell. Sadie and her pachydermic package try a plane, a train and even an alligator. As stamp collectors will recognize, the cover of Special Delivery is a nod to the famous Inverted Jenny stamp. Even more delightful are the book's end pages, which feature a great big pile of stamps, many of which seem to be inspired by classic children's literature. Cordell and Stead go behind their new book to share a bit more about the stamps in Special Delivery.
Science is far from serious in Frank Einstein and the Antimatter Motor, the first in a new series from Jon Scieszka and Brian Biggs. Take one kid genius, add two hilarious robots and an archnemesis with a doomsday plan, and you've got the perfect blend of imagination and invention. But with so much hilarity and adventure, how do you choose a favorite scene? We put Scieszka and Biggs to the test.
Shirley Parenteau's new book for young readers tells the remarkable story of 11-year-old Lexie Lewis. It's 1926, and her class has been raising money to ship a doll to the children of Japan. Lexie dreams of accompanying the doll to the farewell ceremony in San Francisco. This warm story is based on real events that occurred before World War II. The author shares the astounding and long-forgotten history of the Friendship Dolls program.
Alan Rabinowitz is a champion of wildlife conservation. He is president and CEO of Panthera, a nonprofit wildlife organization devoted to protecting big cats. As he shares in his charming picture book for children, A Boy and a Jaguar, Rabinowitz's passion for defending wildcats comes from the struggle to find his own words as a child.
Firefly July is something quite special. Thirty-six very short poems, selected by poet and anthologist Paul B. Janeczko and illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Melissa Sweet, take us through the four seasons. There's no better way to introduce little ones to the short poems of Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Richard Wright and more.
We asked Janeczko and Sweet about their favorite poems from Firefly July: