The online existence of this preview will be old news to many, but good news to more: Behold the lineup of Scholastic's Spring 2013 books! We recorded it a little bit differently this time, so you get a glimpse inside many of the editors' offices, including mine*, where I talk about the books:
- The Path of Names by Ari Goelman, at 13:46 in middle grade -- The ONLY Jewish summer-camp fantasy you'll ever read or need: Diana Wynne Jones meets Chaim Potok in the Poconos, with a wholly original magic and some of the smartest, most believably snarky 12-year-olds ever to appear in a novel. Out in May.
- Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg, at 8:00 in YA -- This has pretty much everything I'm looking for in a novel these days: An original, provocative premise; wonderful characters; a smart, funny, relateable voice; believable consequences to its action; the courage of its convictions in following through on its ideas and story; and pleasure in reading, provoking thought long after. Also: THIS IS NOT JUST A BOOK FOR GAY PEOPLE. STRAIGHT PEOPLE SHOULD READ IT AND WILL LOVE IT TOO. (I feel the need to make that point.) Out in June.
- The Fire Horse Girl by Kay Honeyman, immediately after it -- This book satisfied every single teen-girl reader part of me: the headstrong heroine, who was sometimes lonely because of her iconoclasm; the fascinating historical background of Angel Island and San Francisco in the age of the tongs; terrific adventures; a romance whose tiny gestures I could reread again and again. In stores now!
* Fun fact: The KID LIT Missouri license plate you can see over my shoulder belonged to my grandfather.