Holiday Picks 2016: Chapter Books & YA

Signed copies available where noted; please indicate in the Order Comments field at checkout if you would like a signed copy. Ages listed are publishers suggestions only. Click here to return to the main Holiday 2016 page.


The Land of Stories: A Treasury of Classic Fairy Tales Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316355919
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - October 18th, 2016

Chris Colfer’s retelling of these classic stories stays true to their originals, so some storylines may not be suitable for very young children. The book itself is modeled after the Bailey twins' own book of stories, given to them by their father, and frequently referenced throughout the Land of Stories series. You do not need to have read the series to appreciate this treasury, but there is an added element of fun to the classic tales when you have. The illustrations are bright, fun and engaging, it is a beautifully designed addition to series.

(Erica S.)

The Story of Captain Nemo (Save the Story) Cover Image
By Dave Eggers, Fabin Negrin (Illustrator), Jules Verne (Created by)
ISBN: 9781782690184
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pushkin Children's Books - September 6th, 2016

It's apt that the editors of Save the Story series, a set of chapter books whose mission is to retell forgotten "adult" stories for children, ended up with an adventure book full of wonder and discovery for their first installment. Brought to you by National Book Award finalist Dave Eggers, The Story of Captain Nemo is a reboot of Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. Narrated by the spunky nephew of Professor Pierre Arronax and interspersed with lush illustrations, this fresh retelling is one that kids won't be able to ignore.

(Grace E.)

Weather, Weather Cover Image
ISBN: 9781633450141
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Museum of Modern Art - December 13th, 2016

Acclaimed painter Maira Kalman's new collaboration with Daniel Handler (Lemony Snicket) is part painting, part story, part photograph, and part—weather! With the help of photographs from the Museum of Modern Art's archive, Weather, Weather explores physical environments found all over the world and how the elements bring them to life. A beautiful gift, and a book that will never get old, no matter your age.

(Stormy B.)

The Bad Kid Cover Image
ISBN: 9781481435819
Availability: Available at our distributor; usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 6th, 2016

Claudeline Feng LeBernardin has always been proud of her family, from her mixed-race heritage to her illustrious grandfather. The trouble is that her clueless father is ruining the family business she treasures – which happens to be organized crime. Set against the multifaceted backdrop of present-day Sunset Park, Claude's story is a sharp, funny mystery with emotional depth (Lariviere is a trained social worker as well as an author). For any kid who's ever been called bad, or wished that they were.

(Hannah S.)

Under Water, Under Earth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780763689223
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Big Picture Press - October 11th, 2016

The creators of Maps are back with another joyful information overload, this time setting their sights on what lies beneath. Under Water, Under Earth plunges through caves and tunnels or waves and trenches, depending on how one flips the book. Some favorite pages: underwater chimneys, anglerfish, deep dwellers, burrowing animals, edible roots, and sinkholes. There are so many subterranean systems at work, everyone's sure to get hooked on something, and once you're down there you might not want to resurface.

(Julian E.)

Hilda and the Stone Forest: Book 5 (Hildafolk) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781909263741
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nobrow Press - October 4th, 2016

If you haven’t met Hilda, you should know she’s the most intrepid character in kids’ comics right now. Precocious and a little sneaky, she's usually off on her own and never without her sketchbook. Pearson’s Norse-inspired fantasy world teems with invisible elves, wood sprites, and floating woffs; Stone Forest, the fifth book in the series, sends Hilda on her most perilous adventure yet and brings together some of the coolest creatures & characters from earlier stories. This is my go-to series, especially for boys who say they won’t read anything with a female main character.

(Julian E.)

Snow White: A Graphic Novel Cover Image
By Matt Phelan, Matt Phelan (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763672331
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - September 13th, 2016

Graphic novelist Matt Phelan fuses fairy tale and history in his brilliant adaption of Snow White, in which we are transported to Depression-era Manhattan, where the lights are dark and the line between good and evil is clear as crystal. Beautifully rendered in pencil, ink, and watercolor, the still images seem to move on and across the pages. Readers of all ages will be enchanted with Phelan’s cinematic take on this classic story.

(Melissa H.)

The Evil Wizard Smallbone Cover Image
ISBN: 9780763688059
Availability: Available at our distributor; usually ships in 1-5 days
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - September 13th, 2016

Honestly, Delia Sherman had me at "magical bookstore", but it just gets better from there. Set in the picture-perfect Maine town of Smallbone and centered around the Evil Wizard Bookshop, this is a story packed with spells, duels, transformations, ancient rivalries and mad escape plans. But it's also about learning who you really are, and learning not to hate that person; and then learning not to hate the other difficult people in your life, while still fighting like an animal against the forces that truly threaten you and your loved ones. This is an immensely satisfying story for young and pre-adults, balancing the vital rituals of community life with the wild risks of becoming an individual.

(Jessica B.)

Catlantis Cover Image
By Anna Starobinets, Jane Bugaeva (Translator), Andrzej Klimowski (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781681370002
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: New York Review of Books - September 13th, 2016

Baguette the cat likes to look out the window and philosophize, but then he falls in love with an alley cat, Purriana. Purriana only agrees to marry Baguette if he becomes a hero. His mission: to go back in time to Catlantis, his ancestor’s fallen kingdom, and retrieve a magic flower which gives cats nine lives. The book to give kids with a penchant for fantasy and/or cats! Trippy black and white illustrations accompany the story. A great read aloud for ages 5-8 as well.

(Grace E.)

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