From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:
Fierce Kingdom: A Novel by Gin Phillips (Viking, $25, 9780735224278). "Joan and her four-year-old son, Lincoln, are just about to conclude a day at the zoo when Joan notices an unnatural stillness and a lack of other people. She hears sounds, loud popping noises, and cannot quite determine what they might be. Then she notices the bodies. How quickly life shifts from a dream to a nightmare. She shushes Lincoln and hurries away, back into the zoo she knows so well, intent on finding a hiding spot until help arrives. This is an absolutely gripping exploration of what it is like to be hunted, to be trapped and awaiting rescue but still able to connect, with cell phone glimpses, to that other life that now seems so tenuous in the midst of real danger." --Deon Stonehouse, Sunriver Books & Music, Sunriver, Ore.
Sons and Soldiers: The Untold Story of the Jews Who Escaped the Nazis and Returned With the U.S. Army to Fight Hitler by Bruce Henderson (Morrow, $28.99, 9780062419095). "Fans of Unbroken and The Boys in the Boat will be thrilled to know that that there is at least one more thrilling tale of World War II heroism able to leave readers nearly breathless. Sons and Soldiers is the remarkable story of German-born Jews who escaped the country during Hitler's rise to power. After training with the U.S. military, these same men returned to their homeland to fight the Nazis. Their knowledge of German culture, geography, and language made them uniquely skilled at gathering enemy intelligence, but also especially vulnerable should they be captured. Bruce Henderson has written a masterpiece, an inspiring and gripping tale of selfless men who risked everything to defeat unspeakable evil." --Christopher Rose, The Spirit of '76 Bookstore, Marblehead, Mass.
Marrow Island: A Novel by Alexis M. Smith (Mariner, $14.99, 9781328710345). "After an earthquake destroyed the oil refinery on Marrow Island and killed her father, Lucie Bowen left. Twenty years later, she returns to the Puget Sound and discovers her friend Kate is now living on this toxic island with members of 'The Colony.' Set in the Pacific Northwest, Marrow Island is a mystery/thriller that encompasses communal living, natural and man-made disasters, and what can happen when we tinker with the ecosystem and try to play a larger role." --Tracy Taylor, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, Wash.
For Ages 4 to 8
7 Ate 9 by Tara Lazar, illustrated by Ross MacDonald (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99, 9781484717790). "In a world populated by letters and numbers, private detective I is approached by a panicked 6, who reports that 7 ate 9 and he fears he will be next! I is determined to get to the bottom of things, questioning other numbers before unearthing the mystery's twist. The number puns are rapid-fire, and there are plenty of visual gags--when 8 learns about 7's alleged crime, she removes her belt to disguise herself as 0. But this book is not just a collection of jokes built around a concept--it has a real story with a solid conclusion. One of the wittiest picture books I've encountered in years and with the multiple levels of humor, 7 Ate 9 is sure to delight adults just as much as the kids they read it to!" --Ann Childs, Odyssey Bookshop, South Hadley, Mass.
For Ages 9 to 12
You May Already Be a Winner by Ann Dee Ellis (Dial, $16.99, 9781101993859). "Who is Olivia? She's a girl who grew up in a trailer park and whose father left for reasons she doesn't really understand. She doesn't go to school, but that's okay, because she can teach herself and her younger sister at home. Meanwhile, she fantasizes about winning the lottery, because that would solve all their problems. I really felt for Olivia and her sister, Berkeley. Olivia's voice contains maturity and frustration; her whimsical daydreams take you off track in the best ways. What a voice, and what a character." --Alison Nolan, Linden Tree Books, Los Altos, Calif.
For Teen Readers
Thick as Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner (Greenwillow, $17.99, 9780062568243). "I love the Queen's Thief books and I am thrilled to go back to that world and explore the politics, intrigue, and stories in this wonderful series. This new book follows a Mede slave as he negotiates the politics of that vast empire as well as the role slaves play in running an empire. There are subtle touches of Rome and Greece, but the world is entirely unique. With Megan Whalen Turner's deft touch for developing her characters and the world in which they move, Thick as Thieves is thrilling as both a political and an adventure novel. Expect to be swept up into the world she has created." --Liesl Freudenstein, The Boulder Book Store, Boulder, Colo.
[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]