On this panel, editors Wesley Adams, Phoebe Yeh, Andrea Davis Pinkney, Maggie Rosenthal, and Reka Simonsen discussed with their authors the six books coming out this Fall that they are most excited about.
These were the books presented:
Chance: Escape From The Holocaust by Uri Shulevitz.
In this picture book memoir, Shulevitz tells the story of his Jewish family who fled the terrors of the Nazis in Warsaw for the Soviet Union, while also exploring his awakening as an artist.
Uri Shulevitz says that the art in this book is different because it was more important to him to convey emotion through his art style, rather than depicting a perfect image from his memory, he calls it “the wisdom of the fingers.” He hopes that, if there is something children will take away from his book, that that is hope. He says “I want them to know that despite everything they can survive. That there is light at the end of the tunnel. That is worth not giving up, not giving in.”
Publication Date: August 25, 2020
Isaiah Dunn Is My Hero by Kelly J. Baptist
This book tells the story of Isaiah, a boy who becomes homeless after some very hard circumstances, but he then finds his late father’s journal, which is filled with stories about the amazing Isaiah Dunn, a superhero who gets his powers from beans and rice. With this and with his abominable spirit he finds the strength necessary to grow up.
For Kelly J. Baptist it was important to write this book because she wanted kids like Isaiah to see themselves represented in the pages. She also notes something about two characters in the novel, she says the while they both fight a lot are both more similar than they realize. She says “I hope that they can see that it is more important and possible to find some common ground instead of going head-to-head.”
Publication Date: August 17, 2020
Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar.
Land of the Cranes, tells the story of Betita who is an immigrant nine-year-old girl who is seeking refuge in Los Angeles from the cartel wars in Mexico. When her father is deported she and her mother are sent to a detention camp, she finds her heart in the poetry she writes to her father and in the community she finds in the camp.
Aida Salazar got the idea for the concept of this very timely book from an Aztec Legend. This is the story of Aztlan—where all the Aztecs came from—which is now the Southwest US, called the land of the cranes. They left this land to establish Tenochtitlan, but it was prophesied that their people would one day return to live among the cranes in their promised land. So Betita believes she is a crane because she is returning to this land. Salazar says “They’re immigrants, but it’s like they’re returning home.”
Publication Date: September 15, 2020
Thirteens Kate Alice Marshall
Thirteens is set in the town of Eden Eld, where every thirteen years, three thirteen-year-olds go missing. Eleanor and her two friends are about to turn thirteen, they know they are in danger, and the only clue they have to be able to solve the mystery and save themselves is a book of fairytales unlike any they’ve read before.
There two things that Kate Alice Marshall hopes readers take away from her book. The first (and heavier) take away is that in her book the older generations are only thinking about themselves, and children are the ones to step up and take charge of their futures, so she hopes they can see that reflected in themselves. She also says “This book is about danger, and excitement, and about friendship, and sometimes about hitting things with sticks,” so she hopes readers can get some excitement from it.
Publication Date: August 18, 2020
Tune It Out by Jamie Sumner
In Tune It Out Jamie Sumner tells the story of Lou, a girl with a sensory processing disorder. When Lou crashes their pickup on a dark and snowy road, child services separate her from her mother. Now she has to start all over again at a fancy private school far away from anything she’s ever known. With the help of her family and a new outgoing friend, she discovers a passion for music, which might save her and her mom.
Musical theater and Jamie Sumner’s past experiences with it were a big inspiration for this book. She expressed how important music is and how there are songs that can change our mood and impact us a lot. Through this book she also tried to convey the importance of children’s decisions and of them being able to own their lives.
Publication Date: September 1, 2020