New Release: KITTEN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY - A BRIDGE TOO FUR

In John Patrick Green's Kitten Construction Company: A Bridge Too Fur the feline builders return, this time, with dogs! Construction has never been cuter than in this graphic novel for very young readers!

Marmalade and her crew of construction kittens are in high demand!

Their latest assignment (and biggest job yet) is to build the new Mewburg bridge. But with the bridge comes the one thing that cats hate most of all—water! As the team struggles to face their fears and do their jobs, they are forced to get help from some unlikely allies. . . slobbery, car-chasing DOGS.

Select praise for A BRIDGE TOO FUR:

Kirkus review: "Green's second tale of feline fabricators works just as well as the first... Instructive and fun, this will have fans mewing for more."

Booklist review: "Continuing his playful premise, Green delivers another gentle, hilarious tale rife with the kind of interspecies competition that both cat- and dog-lovers will revel in, though the real winners here are the punsters, who will gorge on a veritable feast of wordplay."

KITTEN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY: A BRIDGE TOO FUR by John Patrick Green (First Second, October 2019)

KITTEN CONSTRUCTION COMPANY: A BRIDGE TOO FUR by John Patrick Green (First Second, October 2019)

New Release: BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER - THE CURSED COVEN

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: THE CURSED COVEN by Casey Nowak (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, September 2019)

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: THE CURSED COVEN by Casey Nowak (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, September 2019)

The second installment in the original and action-packed Buffy the Vampire series that features Buffy Summers as a middle schooler! Told through comics, journal entries, class notes, doodles, text messages, and other in-world artifacts, this series is perfect for fans of Star Wars: Jedi Academy and DC Comics’s Secret Hero Society.

It’s finally summer vacation, but Buffy Summers isn’t getting a break from vampire slaying…or from school. While Cleveland teens are going missing and Serafina is growing closer with her older sister’s witchy coven, Buffy is stuck splitting her time between classes during the day and patrolling for all kinds of demons and dark creatures at night. Buffy feels crushed! Not only is she missing all the summer fun she dreamed of, but her friendships are a hot mess. Little does Buffy know, things are going to get worse. A new, dangerous foe who threatens to ruin her summer and all of Cleveland is on the horizon.

With tempers flaring and the heat rising, Buffy needs to figure out how to balance homework, monsters, witches, and frenemies before it’s too late.

New release: STAGE DREAMS

STAGE DREAMS by Melanie Gillman  (Lerner Graphic Universe, Sept 2019)

STAGE DREAMS by Melanie Gillman
(Lerner Graphic Universe, Sept 2019)

In this rollicking queer western adventure, acclaimed cartoonist Melanie Gillman puts readers in the saddle alongside Flor and Grace, a Latinx outlaw and a trans runaway, as they team up to thwart a Confederate plot in the New Mexico Territory.

When Flor—also known as the notorious Ghost Hawk—robs the stagecoach that Grace has used to escape her Georgia home, the first thing on her mind is ransom. But when the two get to talking about Flor’s plan to crash a Confederate gala and steal some crucial documents, Grace convinces Flor to let her join the heist.

Select praise for STAGE DREAMS:

  • School Library Journal starred review: “This charming and poignant queer romance set against a Civil War–era backdrop will resonate with readers.”

  • Kirkus review: “An engrossing escapade with a heart-stealing queer romance.”

  • Booklist review: “An illuminating western with a refreshingly matter-of-fact queer romance.”

New Release: CURSED

CURSED by Karol Ruth Silverstein (Charlesbridge Teen, June 2019)

CURSED by Karol Ruth Silverstein (Charlesbridge Teen, June 2019)

A debut novel for fans of The Fault in Our Stars that thoughtfully and humorously depicts teen Ricky Bloom’s struggles with a recent chronic illness diagnosis.

As if her parents’ divorce and sister’s departure for college weren’t bad enough, fourteen-year-old Ricky Bloom has just been diagnosed with a life-changing chronic illness. Her days consist of cursing everyone out, skipping school–which has become a nightmare–daydreaming about her crush, Julio, and trying to keep her parents from realizing just how bad things are. But she can’t keep her ruse up forever.

Ricky’s afraid, angry, alone, and one suspension away from repeating ninth grade when she realizes: she can’t be held back. She’ll do whatever it takes to move forward–even if it means changing the person she’s become. Lured out of her funk by a quirky classmate, Oliver, who’s been there too, Ricky’s porcupine exterior begins to shed some spines. Maybe asking for help isn’t the worst thing in the world. Maybe accepting circumstances doesn’t mean giving up.

Select praise for CURSED:

  • Booklist review: "A blistering coming-of-age tale that will propel readers into Ricky’s corner."

  • Kirkus review: “Ricky’s sharp, flowing, uninhibited voice makes this a page-turner… Protagonists with chronic nonmalignant pain and illness are far too rare.”

  • Publishers Weekly review: "Silverstein, who was diagnosed with arthritis as a teen, excels at evoking the physical and emotional pain Ricky endures without having Ricky’s condition define her. She emerges as a likable, relatable heroine whose wit and sense of hope will prove inspiring."

  • School Library Journal review: "Readers will enjoy this contemporary coming-of-age story featuring a resilient protagonist and charming plot."

New Release: THIS WAS OUR PACT

THIS WAS OUR PACT by Ryan Andrews (First Second, June 2019)

THIS WAS OUR PACT by Ryan Andrews (First Second, June 2019)

It's the night of the annual Autumn Equinox Festival, when the town gathers to float paper lanterns down the river.

Legend has it that after drifting out of sight, they'll soar off to the Milky Way and turn into brilliant stars, but could that actually be true? This year, Ben and his classmates are determined to find out where those lanterns really go, and to ensure success in their mission, they've made a pact with two simple rules: No one turns for home. No one looks back.

The plan is to follow the river on their bikes for as long as it takes to learn the truth, but it isn't long before the pact is broken by all except for Ben and (much to Ben's disappointment) Nathaniel, the one kid who just doesn't seem to fit in.

Together, Nathaniel and Ben will travel farther than anyone has ever gone, down a winding road full of magic, wonder, and unexpected friendship*.

*And a talking bear.

Select praise for THIS WAS OUR PACT:

  • Booklist starred review: "Richly imagined and complexly emotional... [This was Our Pact] may owe some of its eerie melancholy and occasionally menacing absurdity to the likes of Lewis Carroll and Shaun Tan, but its message is distinctly its own: what you imagine to be the end of the journey may be satisfying, but the adventure actually goes on as long as you keep riding down the road."

  • Kirkus starred review: "Marvelously melancholic, earnest... Brilliantly enchanting."

  • New York Times review: "An original and much-needed view of the complex world of middle-school friendships."

  • Publishers Weekly starred review: "Andrews crafts a phantasmagoria of events that recall animation from Studio Ghibli and Cartoon Saloon...picaresque episodes and a dreamlike resolution conjure a giddy sensation, like staying up all night. "

  • School Library Journal starred review: "For readers who want an escapist fantasy with a light touch. Hand this title to fans of whimsical or unpredictable adventures such as Neil Gaiman’s Fortunately, the Milk or Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time."

New Release: RIVERBOUND

RIVERBOUND by Melinda Beatty (Putnam Children’s, June 2019)

RIVERBOUND by Melinda Beatty (Putnam Children’s, June 2019)

Only Fallow can see lies - a cunning so powerful that the King insists on keeping her in the palace, tasked with helping him flush out traitors.

When the King’s counselor, Lamia, tells Only of her plan to oust the King and put his daughter on the throne, Only is eager to help. Though Only’s cunning would be useful to any ruler, the Princess had promised to send Only home when she becomes Queen. But Only soon learns the truth is a complicated matter - especially when the fate of a country hangs in the balance. Now wound tight in a twisted plot, Only must set the record straight to stop the destruction of everything - and everyone - she holds dear.

The stunning finale of Melinda Beatty’s middle-grade duet is just as rich, imaginative, and full of adventure as the first installment.

Select praise for RIVERBOUND:

  • Kirkus review: “A cozy yet surprisingly thought-provoking magical ordeal.”

  • School Library Journal review: “Day-to-day details are fully imagined, and the young characters feel authentic as children thrust into an unexpected adventure. This is a story about othering; the mistreated Ordish people, of whom Lark is a member, are instantly recognizable due to their physical characteristics. Throughout the text, Only insists that Lark be seen and treated as a person. It is notable that a story in which children are mistreated, taken from their families, and considered a means to an end is written in a way that is appropriate for middle grade readers.”

New Release: HOUSE OF THE BLACK SPOT

The Double+ gang discover that sometimes greed can extend beyond the grave, as they are thrust into a battle between revolting real estate developers and their ghoulish goon bent on destroying the idyllic Gear Town with ghastly gentrification and the most frightful sight of all… condos!

Select praise for HOUSE OF THE BLACK SPOT:

  • The Comics Journal review: “Sears’ strength is absolutely as a visual storyteller, but there’s enough happening in his engaging characters, involving storylines, and light-fingered explorations of contemporary issues that [his] books are always something to look forward to, and the latest, House of the Black Spot, is a perfect example.”

  • “Imagine Indiana Jones as told by Hayao Miyazaki.”
    - Zainab Akhtar, The Guardian

  • “Sears creates comics that are easy for kids to enjoy with their crisp cartooning, bright colors, and clever sense of humor, but he also includes rich thematic content that makes his books a more substantial read for adults.”
    - Oliver Sava, The A.V. Club

HOUSE OF THE BLACK SPOT by Ben Sears (Koyama Press, May 2019)

HOUSE OF THE BLACK SPOT by Ben Sears (Koyama Press, May 2019)

New Release: SINCERELY, HARRIET

Harriet Flores struggles with boredom and an unrequited crush while learning to manage her chronic illness through a long, hot, 1990s summer in Chicago. She uses her imagination to cope, which sometimes gets her into trouble, as she makes up fantastical fibs and wonders if there are ghosts upstairs. One neighbor, Pearl, encourages Harriet to read and write, leading Harriet to have a breakthrough and discover the power of storytelling.

Select praise for SINCERELY, HARRIET:

  • Booklist review: “Middle-grade readers will relate to Harriet’s anxiety about fitting in and making friends, while also exploring subjects like ableism and intersectionality, which Searle depicts with grace and empathy.”

  • Kirkus starred review: "The pacing is masterful as the truth behind Harry’s many fears is slowly and poignantly revealed, maintaining the tension and mystery of each story thread until the tapestry is complete. Searle tackles Harry’s anxiety about her illness as well as common adolescent concerns about friendships, school, and family with an honesty and tenderness that will resonate with readers... Heartfelt and heartwarming."

  • Publishers Weekly review: "Comics creator Searle slowly unspools the story of a middle schooler living with multiple sclerosis... In jewel-toned art, Searle successfully creates a claustrophobic, lonesome ambience."

  • School Library Journal review: "The wide-eyed, expressive characters and reassuring art are well suited to this introspective narrative."

SINCERELY, HARRIET by Sarah Searle (Lerner Graphic Universe, May 2019)

SINCERELY, HARRIET by Sarah Searle (Lerner Graphic Universe, May 2019)

New Release: WHEN I ARRIVED AT THE CASTLE

WHEN I ARRIVED AT THE CASTLE by Emily Carroll (Koyama Press, April 2019)

WHEN I ARRIVED AT THE CASTLE by Emily Carroll (Koyama Press, April 2019)

Emily Carroll has fashioned a rich gothic horror charged with eroticism that doesn’t just make your skin crawl, it crawls into it.

Like many before her that have never come back, she’s made it to the Countess’ castle determined to snuff out the horror, but she could never be prepared for what hides within its turrets… or what unfurls under its fluttering flags.

Select praise for WHEN I ARRIVED AT THE CASTLE:

  • Paste Magazine review: “Her full-bleed pages and limited palette, her incongruous close-ups, her weird shading and her unexpected teeth all surgically peel back your skin.”

  • Publishers Weekly review: “Carroll’s fans will best appreciate this slim poetic work, as it delivers on her standards, and envelops the reader in a world that’s tense, haunting, and genuinely scary.”

  • Women Write About Comics review: “When I Arrived at the Castle feels like slipping into a rich velvet robe only to find that its red color is from centuries of bloodstains.”

New Release: THISBY THESTOOP AND THE WRETCHED SCRATTLE

Thisby Thestoop, gamekeeper and unlikely hero, would do anything to save her home - even enter the Wretched Scrattle, a death-defying race through the Black Mountain.

In the wake of their harrowing victory against the forces of the Darkwell, Thisby Thestoop, gamekeeper and sometime friend for all creatures gruesome, grotesque, and uncommon, has found herself in the usual position of running the Black Mountain dungeon. Under her watch, the resident monsters, from the hordes of merpeople to drooling trolls, are all well-fed, content, and far from the reach of other kingdoms - or so Thisby thinks.

With unrest growing between the Kingdom of Nth and Umberfall, rumors of a conspiracy have caught the ears of the king. And control of the dungeon has been wrenched from the hands of those who have cared for it best.

Wasting no time in ruining all of Thisby’s hard work, the royally appointed overseer throws the dungeon into chaos - the fire bats are out of their cave, the trolls are wide awake, and, most telling of all, the dire rats are acting strange. What’s worse is that every day more and more monsters - everything from tiny imps, to banshees, to a full-grown wyvern - are turning up dead and Thisby can’t discern any pattern to the fatal attacks. But there may be a way to put things back like they were - the Wretched Scrattle.

Beginning in the very deepest tunnels of the dungeon, the Wretched Scrattle’s tournament victor will claim the ultimate prize of becoming the new Master of the Black Mountain. No one knows the dungeons quite like Thisby, and if she wins she’ll have it back to running like dünkeldwarven automata—that is, if she can make it out alive.

Don’t miss the second installment in this rollicking fantasy-adventure series by Zac Gorman, contributor to the hilarious Rick and Morty comic series, with illustrations from award-winning artist Sam Bosma.

THISBY THESTOOP AND THE WRETCHED SCRATTLE by Zac Gorman, with art by Sam Bosma (Harper Children’s, April 2019)

THISBY THESTOOP AND THE WRETCHED SCRATTLE by Zac Gorman, with art by Sam Bosma (Harper Children’s, April 2019)

New Release: THE BREAKAWAYS

THE BREAKAWAYS by Cathy G. Johnson, colors by Kevin Czap (First Second, March 2019)

THE BREAKAWAYS by Cathy G. Johnson, colors by Kevin Czap (First Second, March 2019)

Quiet, sensitive Faith starts middle school already worrying about how she will fit in. To her surprise, Amanda, a popular eighth grader, convinces her to join the school soccer team, the Bloodhounds. Having never played soccer in her life, Faith ends up on the C team, a ragtag group that’s way better at drama than at teamwork. Although they are awful at soccer, Faith and her teammates soon form a bond both on and off the soccer field that challenges their notions of loyalty, identity, friendship, and unity.

The Breakaways from Cathy G. Johnson is a raw and beautifully honest graphic novel that looks into the lives of a diverse and defiantly independent group of kids learning to make room for themselves in the world.

Select praise for THE BREAKAWAYS:

  • Booklist review: “Kids after empowering, character-driven stories about realistic friendships will fall in love.”

  • Kirkus review: "Groundbreaking—and as complicated as middle school."

  • Publishers Weekly review: "Johnson’s graphic novel will resonate with readers who are figuring out who they are and where they belong."

  • School Library Journal review: “A down-to-earth friendship story for readers of Svetlana Chmakova's Awkward, Jennifer L. Holm's Sunny Side Up, and Raina Telgemeier's Drama.”

New Release: GIRL TOWN

GIRL TOWN by Carolyn Nowak (Top Shelf / IDW, November 2018)

GIRL TOWN by Carolyn Nowak (Top Shelf / IDW, November 2018)

Ignatz Award-winning cartoonist Carolyn Nowak (Lumberjanes) finds powerful truths in fantasy worlds. Her solo debut collection celebrates the ascent of a rising star in comics.

Diana got hurt -- a lot -- and she's decided to deal with this fact by purchasing a life-sized robot boyfriend. Mary and La-La host a podcast about a movie no one's ever seen. Kelly has dragged her friend Beth out of her comfort zone -- and into a day at the fantasy market that neither of them will forget.

Carolyn Nowak's Girl Town collects the Ignatz Award-winning stories "Radishes" and "Diana's Electric Tongue" together with several other tales of young adulthood and the search for connection. Here are her most acclaimed mini-comics and anthology contributions, enhanced with new colors and joined by brand-new work.

Bold, infatuated, wounded, or lost, Nowak's girls shine with life and longing. Their stories -- depicted with remarkable charm and insight -- capture the spirit of our time.

Select praise for GIRL TOWN:

  • Kirkus review: “Nowak creates raw female characters and, by spotlighting them, demands that they be seen.”

  • Publishers Weekly review: "[Nowak's] art is consistently appealing, with relatable funny-faced characters inhabiting imaginatively detailed settings, all drenched in bright broad-paintbox colors... the full collection represents the emergence of a promising new comics talent."

New Release: THE HIDDEN WITCH

Every witch needs a family…

Aster's parents have finally agreed that he can learn witchery with the girls, but he has a lot of catching up to do. So when Grandmother offers her tutoring in exchange for a favor, Aster jumps at the chance, until she asks him to help his great-uncle, Mikasi. Family or no, Aster isn't ready to face the beast who nearly destroyed him and his cousins.

Across town, dark magic has attached itself to Aster's friend Charlie. Witches are taught never to create a "Fetch," a cruel shadow form that does only harm. But the thing following Charlie is a clear sign that someone is breaking the rules.

With the help of his family, Aster does everything he can to protect Charlie. But to discover who's making the Fetch, and to put a stop to it, he'll need darker, more powerful magic, from the most dangerous witch he knows...

Select praise for THE HIDDEN WITCH:

  • Kirkus starred review: "Ostertag’s sophomore effort is every bit as wonderful as its predecessor, with continued strong worldbuilding, lovely large and bright illustrations, and its approachable and diverse cast that runs a true-to-life spectrum encompassing white-, tan-, and dark-skinned characters as well as same-sex relationships... An absolutely bewitching sequel."

  • School Library Journal review: "An exciting continuation of Aster's supernatural journey, whose coming-of-age messages will resonate with middle graders."

THE HIDDEN WITCH by Molly Ostertag (Scholastic, October 2018)

THE HIDDEN WITCH by Molly Ostertag (Scholastic, October 2018)

New Release: CAVEBOY DAVE - NOT SO FABOO

CAVEBOY DAVE: NOT SO FABOO by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Phil McAndrew (Viking Children’s, October 2018)

CAVEBOY DAVE: NOT SO FABOO by Aaron Reynolds, illustrated by Phil McAndrew (Viking Children’s, October 2018)

From New York Times bestselling author Aaron Reynolds comes the latest installment of Caveboy Dave, a middle grade graphic novel series perfect for fans of Captain Underpants.

Twelve-year-old Dave Unga-Bunga is having a great year: he survived his deadly Baby-Go-Boom ceremony, he’s earned the respect of the villagers of Bleccchh, and he just invented ice cream and summer vacation. Before the ice cream melts, Dave and his friends spot a plume of smoke on the horizon (could there be others nearby?) and suddenly Shaman Faboo–the glue that holds the community together–goes missing. With no one to tell them what to do or how to think, the village panics and elects Dave as their new leader. If Dave can’t find Shaman Faboo and bring him back, he’ll be doomed to a life of boredom and something much worse: public service!

Not So Faboo, the second book in the Caveboy Dave series, delivers irresistible characters, big thrills, and even bigger laughs.

Select praise for NOT SO FABOO:

  • Kirkus review: "Such easily accessible themes as the importance of teamwork, dealing with loss, and the power of friendship wind through a tale distinguished by fast pacing and an abundance of knee-slapping middle-grade humor."

New Release: MEAL

MEAL by Blue Delliquanti with Soleil Ho (Iron Circus Comics, October 2018)

MEAL by Blue Delliquanti with Soleil Ho (Iron Circus Comics, October 2018)

"You moved cross-country to work at a bug restaurant. There's no way I'm gonna miss what happens next."

Yarrow is a young chef determined to make her mark on the cutting edge of cookery with her insect-based creations. Though her enthusiasm is infectious, it rubs some of her fellow cooks the wrong way, especially Chanda Flores, Yarrow's personal hero and executive chef of an exciting new restaurant. Her people have been eating bugs for centuries, and she's deeply suspicious of this newbie's attempt to turn her traditions into the next foodie trend. While Chanda and her scrappy team of talented devotees struggle to open on time, Yarrow must win over Chanda - and Milani, the neighbor she's been crushing on for weeks - or lose this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to achieve her dreams.

Co-written with chef and food writer Soleil Ho (Edible Manhattan, Bitch), Blue Delliquanti's sweet coming-of-age story takes us deep into a world of art, mystery, and memory on the culinary frontier.

Select praise for MEAL:

  • School Library Journal starred review: "The creators infuse the sophisticated narrative with knowledge of restaurant politics, food history, and cultural views about insect-eating around the world. The bright-eyed energy of Delliquanti's clean, solidly inked cartoons engages the senses. Snapshots of chopped vegetables and simmering sauces will remind readers of their own powerful experiences discovering new flavors and foods. The final result is a delicious feast steeped in a rich combination of a diverse cast, queer romance, and culinary delight."

  • Publishers Weekly review: "This fresh and tasty comic provides an enticing introduction to a less-traveled area of cuisine."

New Release: BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER - NEW SCHOOL NIGHTMARE

An exciting and hilarious new middle grade story for anyone who likes (or doesn't like) vampires!

Buffy Summers is just like any other student... except for the part where she's also a secret vampire slayer. In every generation, one girl is granted great strength to stand against the forces of darkness. Of course, power doesn't matter when it comes to eating lunch alone, getting picked on by the popular kids, or having way too much homework.

Luckily, Buffy finds her way with a can-do attitude, a weird Watcher, and new besties, Sarafina and Alvaro - who might just have powers of their own. But will any of it be enough to turn the tide when an army of villainous vampires invade town? Can Buffy save herself, let alone the world?

Like Star Wars: Jedi Academy and DC Comics's Secret Hero Society, this action-packed and fun-filled story is told through comics, journal entries, class notes, doodles, text messages, and other in-world artifacts.

Select praise for NEW SCHOOL NIGHTMARE:

  • Kirkus review: “With a light touch and a fast pace, this mix of fizzy journal entries, playful comics panels, and OMG-laden text messages is sure to please fans of both epistolary novels and vampire fare... This breezy re-envisioning will prime the younger set for the real thing.”

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: NEW SCHOOL NIGHTMARE by Carolyn Nowak (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, September 2018)

BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER: NEW SCHOOL NIGHTMARE by Carolyn Nowak (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, September 2018)

New Release: HEARTSEEKER

HEARTSEEKER by Melinda Beatty (Putnam Children’s, June 2018)

HEARTSEEKER by Melinda Beatty (Putnam Children’s, June 2018)

You’re a Fallow of the Orchard. You’re as tough as a green apple in summer.

Only Fallow was just six harvests old when she realized that not everyone sees lies. For Only, seeing lies is as beautiful as looking through a kaleidoscope, but telling them is as painful as gnawing on cut glass. Only’s family warns her to keep her cunning hidden, but secrets are seldom content to stay secret.

When word of Only’s ability makes its way to the King, she’s plucked from her home at the orchard and brought to the castle at Bellskeep. There she learns that the kingdom is plagued by traitors, and that her task is to help the King distinguish between friend and foe. But being able to see lies doesn’t necessarily mean that others aren’t able to disguise their dishonesty with cunnings of their own.

In the duplicitous, power-hungry court, the truth is Only’s greatest weapon… and her greatest weakness.

Select Praise for HEARTSEEKER:

  • Booklist review: "A smart, captivating fantasy-adventure that will leave readers hungry for more."

  • Kirkus review: “This series opener dances compellingly along the border separating its young, naïve heroine from harsh political realities.”

  • Publishers Weekly review: “Beatty creates a cast of memorable characters and entrancingly vivid settings, immersing readers in a magical realm worth revisiting.”

  • School Library Journal review: “"In this stunning debut novel, Beatty crafts a world rich with its own mythology and filled with strong heroes. This well-developed and original fantasy is a must-have for any middle grade collection."