Also published on this date: Wednesday, June 12, 2019: Maximum Shelf: The Great Pretender

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Aladdin Paperbacks: The First Magnificent Summer by R.L. Toalson

Del Rey Books: Thief Liar Lady by D.L. Soria

Chronicle Books: Is It Hot in Here (or Am I Suffering for All Eternity for the Sins I Committed on Earth)? by Zach Zimmerman

First Second: Family Style: Memories of an American from Vietnam by Thien Pham

Harvest Publications: The Dinner Party Project: A No-Stress Guide to Food with Friends by Natasha Feldman

Wednesday Books: Guardians of Dawn: Zhara (Guardians of Dawn #1) by S. Jae-Jones


NYC's Strand Loses Landmark Designation Battle

The building that houses the Strand bookstore at 826 Broadway was designated as a New York City landmark yesterday, "following a contested process and fierce opposition from community members and the bookstore's owner," Curbed NY reported. The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to landmark the Strand's building, as well as six nearby structures.

The decision came after two public hearings and several written submissions to the LPC, as well as a petition filed by those opposing the designation. At yesterday's meeting, LPC chairwoman Sarah Carroll said, "It's a historic institution that reflects the era of book row, the center of bookselling--I'm confident that the commission's review of the masterplan and any future applications will provide [the] flexibility the Strand needs to remain nimble and innovative and to continue its important place in New York City, and adapt to a changing retail climate."

Strand owner Nancy Bass Wyden called the LPC's decision to landmark the building a "bureaucratic straight jacket.... Landmarks has made it clear that they will take over all decision-making for this building. Tonight, I'm going to try to figure out how to keep the Strand."

Alexander Urbelis, the lawyer representing Bass Wyden, said, "What they [the LPC commissioners] fail to acknowledge is that there are real-world costs associated with landmarking: those costs can affect jobs, those costs can affect union jobs, and those costs can affect businesses like the Strand. We need a life raft, we don't need somebody to throw us a lead weight with a landmarking."

The Strand tweeted: "Although this is not the outcome we hoped for, we will continue to serve our customers as we have done robustly for 92 years. Thank you for your support along the way."

Blackstone Publishing: All Is Not Forgiven by Joe Kenda

Under Construction, Three Lives & Company Opens Sidewalk Shop

Three Lives & Company in Greenwich Village in New York City, which has been closed since Memorial Day weekend due to structural work being done on its building, has opened a sidewalk shop on the corner of West 10th St. and Waverly Pl., Vanishing New York reported.

Until the building is reopened, Three Lives & Company will be selling a selection of new releases, store bestsellers and staff favorites at the sidewalk shop from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. every day (noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays). The store is also taking special orders as usual.

According to Vanishing New York, the building work has actually been completed, but Three Lives can't reopen for business until New York City's Department of Buildings gives approval.

A sign on the store's door read, in part: "We are deeply sorry the shop is closed. We understand how frustrating this is to visit Three Lives, whether from down the block or from afar, and find the doors locked, the lights out. And, all the books just out of reach."

KidsBuzz for the Week of 03.27.23

Bodacious Bookstore & Cafe Coming to Pensacola, Fla.

Bodacious Bookstore & Cafe, an independent bookstore with a focus on community events, children's literature and Florida authors, is slated to open in Pensacola, Fla., this August, the Pensacola News Journal reported.

The bookstore, which is part of a local "family" of restaurants and shops all under the name Bodacious, will be managed by Crissy Nettles, who previously managed a bookstore in Monroeville, Ala.

Nettles said that the store will have space for a variety of events, including author readings, book club meetings and even bibliotherapy, which involves using books as a means of treating mental or psychological disorders. And while the store will have a wide-ranging inventory, Nettles will prominently feature a section called "Discover Florida," with books by local authors and about regional interests. The children's section will also be a major focus.

"I just think that when you're a kid, there are so few places that are just for you, and that's why I think our children's section is so important to me," Nettles told PNJ. "That you walk in and there's this whole space that is just for you to discover something. And I just think that books are such a great window to the world."

The cafe, meanwhile, will serve Bodacious coffee, along with wine and beer. Light food options will include locally sourced pastries and baked goods. Nettles added that she's toying with idea of incorporating food and drink with book events, such as creating a wine label readers book club.

The store will be open seven days per week and located in the Southtowne Apartment Complex in downtown Pensacola.


Redbery Books Expands in Cable, Wis.

Redbery Books, a 14-year-old independent bookstore in Cable, Wis., has reopened after an expansion that added about 500 square feet to the store's space.

Redbery celebrated the reopening with an appearance by Charlotte Sullivan Wild, author of The Amazing Idea of You, illustrated by Mary Lundquist. Wild is a former bookseller at The Twig Book Shop in San Antonio, Tex.

Owner Maureen Palmer, who purchased the bookstore from the original owners, Bev and Bill Bauer, in 2015, explained that since 2008, Redbery Books has resided in an 800-square-foot space in the front of the Cable's Ideal Market building. Now, following the expansion, Redbery Books spans the entire front half of the building.

"Our customers are absolutely thrilled with the expansion," said Palmer, reporting that many shoppers have told her that the space "flows so much better" and "feels so much more welcoming." She added: "It's been a complete delight to see the looks on their faces when they walk in."

Palmer's store carries new books for children, teens and adults, and she said she tries to stock a "little bit of everything." In addition to books, Redbery Books sells a variety of sidelines and gift items, including greeting cards, puzzles and toys, as well as coffee. Palmer also shares the Ideal Market building with a popular stone-oven pizzeria, which is owned by a couple who also own the building.

"It's a terrific combination of businesses, and the front door takes customers through the bookstore," Palmer said.

Redbery celebrated the reopening with an appearance by Charlotte Sullivan Wild, author of The Amazing Idea of You, illustrated by Mary Lundquist. Wild is a former bookseller at The Twig Book Shop in San Antonio, Tex.

Obituary Note: Murray Polner

Murray Polner, "an unswerving voice for pacifism and civil liberties and the founder and only editor of Present Tense magazine, a progressive counterpoint to Commentary that began in a period of one-upmanship among Jewish intellectuals," died May 30, the New York Times reported. He was 91.

A member of the Naval Reserve and an Army veteran who served in Japan during the Korean War, Polner evolved into a pacifist who opposed the draft and expressed empathy for the former soldiers he interviewed for his book No Victory Parades: The Return of the Vietnam Veteran (1971).

His other books include When Can I Come Home? (1972), Rabbi: The American Experience, (1977), Disarmed and Dangerous: The Radical Lives and Times of Daniel and Philip Berrigan (1997, with Jim O'Grady) and Branch Rickey: A Biography (1982).


Image of the Day: Charlie Hustle Busy in Doylestown

photo: Krisy Elisii

Doylestown Bookshop in Doylestown, Pa., hosted baseball legend Pete Rose last week. The store reported that it had hundreds of preorders for Rose's new book, Play Hungry (Penguin Press), and sold 600 copies during the event. Fans lined up around the block.

S&S to Distribute Mrs Wordsmith

Effective September 1, Simon & Schuster will handle sales and distribution to the U.S. and Canada for Mrs Wordsmith.

Founded in 2016, Mrs Wordsmith, London, England, is a children's publisher that, it says, is "bringing Hollywood-quality animation, state-of-the-art game design, data-driven curation, and research-backed pedagogy to awaken the adventurous word learner inside every child. Their words help foster modern values and prepare kids to flourish in the world today--socially, emotionally, and academically to prepare children for STEM and creative industries."

Personnel Changes at Abrams; Little, Brown; Algonquin

At Abrams:

Steve Tager has been named to the newly created position of senior v-p, strategic development and business analytics. He was formerly senior v-p, chief marketing officer.

Melanie Chang has been promoted to senior v-p, marketing and publicity. She was formerly v-p, children's marketing and publicity.


At Little, Brown Books for Young Readers:

Marisa Russell is joining the publicity department as executive director, effective June 24. She was most recently publicity director at Penguin Young Readers and earlier worked at HarperCollins Children's Books.

Siena Koncsol has been promoted to associate director, publicity.


Kristen Bianco has been promoted to associate publicist from publicity assistant for Algonquin Books and Algonquin Young Readers. She joined Algonquin as an intern in February 2017 and became a full-time publicity assistant in June 2017.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Charles Fishman on Fresh Air

Fresh Air: Charles Fishman, author of One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon (Simon & Schuster, $29.99, 9781501106293).

Wendy Williams repeat: Karamo Brown, author of Karamo: My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, and Hope (Gallery, $27, 9781982111977).

TV: Little Fires Everywhere

"It's been a little over a year since Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington announced they were bringing Celeste Ng's bestselling novel Little Fires Everywhere to the screen and now we have our first look at their upcoming Hulu series," the Hollywood Reporter wrote. Joining Witherspoon and Washington in the cast are Joshua Jackson, Jade Pettyjohn, Jordan Elsass, Gavin Lewis and Megan Stott.

The book was a Witherspoon book club pick in 2107, "and the actress quickly scooped up the rights for adaptation through her production company, Hello Sunshine," THR reported. The show will be produced in conjunction with ABC Signature Studios and Kerry Washington's Simpson Street. Liz Tigelaar (Life Unexpected, Bates Motel) is the writer and showrunner on Little Fires Everywhere, with Ng on board as a producer.

Books & Authors

Australians Among Queen's Birthday Honors Recipients

Several Australian authors and industry figures were recognized in this year's Queen's Birthday Honors list, which were announced recently, Books+Publishing reported. They include:

Authors Di Morrissey (AM for "significant service to literature as a novelist, and to conservation and the environment"); Sophie Cunningham (AM for "significant service to literature as an author, editor and role model"); Charlotte Wood (AM for "significant service to literature"); Anna Fienberg (AM for "significant service to literature as an author"); and Jane Caro (AM for "significant service to the broadcast media as a journalist, social commentator and author").

Other honorees were journalist, businessperson and ABC chair Ita Buttrose (AC for "eminent service to the community through leadership in the media, the arts, and the health sector, and as a role model"); translator and academic Ian Hugh Johnston (AO for "distinguished service to classical literature through the translation and interpretation of ancient Greek and Chinese texts"); Rosemary Ross Johnston (AM for "significant service to higher education, and to children's literature"); and Katharine England (OAM for "service to literature").

Awards: Crystal Kites; Stephen Leacock Humor Winner

The Society of Children's Book Writers & Illustrators announced winners of the 2019 Crystal Kite Awards, which are peer-selected and voted on by SCBWI members from local regions. The prize recognizes excellence in the field of children's literature in 15 U.S. and international regions. This year's Crystal Kite regional division winners are:

Atlantic: Hawk Rising by Maria Gianferrari, illustrated by Brian Floca
Australia/N.Z.: At the End of Holyrood Lane by Dimity Powell, illustrated by Nicky Johnston
California/Hawaii: She Made a Monster: How Mary Shelley Created Frankenstein by Lynn Fulton
Canada: The Outlaw by Nancy Vo
Internationals (Other): The Night Lion by Sanne Dufft
Mid-South: A Hippy-Hoppy Toad by Peggy Archer
Middle East/India/Asia: The Clever Tailor by Srividhya Venkat; and All Eyes on Alexandra by Anna Levine
Midwest: The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
New England: The Rough Patch by Brian Lies
New York: Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott by Dee Romito, illustrated by Laura Freeman
Southeast: Evangeline of the Bayou by Jan Eldredge
Southwest: The 11:11 Wish by Kim Tomsic
Texas/Oklahoma: The Boy, the Boat, and the Beast by Samantha Clark
U.K./Ireland: Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen
Western: Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse by Corinna Luyken


Cathal Kelly won the C$15,000 (about US$11,285) Stephen Leacock Medal for Humor, which honors "the best Canadian book of literary humor published in the previous year," for Boy Wonders. The other finalists, who each received C$3,000 (about US$2,257), were Ali Bryan for The Figgs and Mark Critch for Son of a Critch.

"I honestly thought I had no chance, because I didn't think I was good enough," Kelly said. "I just think it's madness. I'm not sure how this happened, but it's lovely.... The best part about his experience has been meeting Ali and Mark."

Reading with... Christina June

photo: Hannah Bjorndal

Christina June writes young adult contemporary fiction when she's not writing college recommendation letters for her day job as a school counselor. She loves the little moments in life that help someone discover who they're meant to become--whether it's her students or her characters. June lives near Washington, D.C., with her husband and daughter. She is the author of It Started with Goodbye, Everywhere You Want to Be and the recently released No Place Like Here (Blink/HarperCollins).

On your nightstand now:

These days, my nightstand exists mostly on my e-reader. I've got some critique-partner books to work through, but when I'm done, I'll be diving into The Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton, Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren and The Truth About Leaving by Natalie Blitt.

Favorite book when you were a child:

I was obsessed with Ramona Quimby, as well as the Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins series. In middle school, I leaned toward the supernatural--I was forever checking out ghost stories, books on the occult, how-to fortune-telling guides--which led me to Christopher Pike and V.C. Andrews. I was even in online fan clubs for those authors in the early days of the Internet. But if I had to choose one? It would be Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. It was the first book where I really felt seen.

Your top five authors:

Queen Judy Blume, obviously. I love Stephanie Perkins and I also love that my books get comped with hers. Alison Weir writes the best Tudor-flavored books, both fiction and nonfiction. I also adore both Walt Whitman and Pablo Neruda--their words have had a big impact on mine.

Book you've faked reading:

Sorry, Mrs. Hailey, but I did not finish Herman Melville's Moby Dick in 11th grade. First of all, that book was a brick--I resented just carrying it around. Second, I could not sift through all the minutiae about whaling to find the actual plot. We read a lot of really great books that year, most of which I did finish and enjoy, but that was, unfortunately, not one of them.

Book you're an evangelist for:

Does a series count? I've been incredibly impressed with Alyssa Cole's Reluctant Royals novels and novellas. Alyssa has created such intelligent heroines who follow their passions, surround themselves with supportive friends and pursue romantic relationships with partners who are great fits. I went through Alyssa's signing line last summer at the RWA national convention and she was incredibly gracious and lovely, and seemingly not put off at all by my gushing.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I would've bought them anyway because the books are brilliant, but I am just in love with the covers of You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone and Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Solomon.

Book you hid from your parents:

I distinctly remember being on vacation with my parents, circa seventh grade, and reading Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews for the first time. I had the old cover with the little window that showed the kids in the attic, which was very creepy, but thankfully gave zero indication of it being anything more than just a horror novel. I kept the pages close to my face and in a V-shape, so no one could peek over my shoulder and see what I was reading!

Book that changed your life:

Maybe it's a cliché, but The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins was transformative for me. I was super pregnant in the summer of 2010 and we were at a Fourth of July party where someone's teen daughter was reading it. I'd heard of it but didn't know the premise, so I asked and immediately went out and bought it the next day. I read the sequels while home on maternity leave, willing my daughter to sleep longer so I could keep turning the pages. I love how, even amid the highest of high stakes, Katniss is still a teen trying to figure out her place in her world. That was my gateway to modern young adult literature.

Favorite line from a book:

This one comes from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman, from the poem "Whoever You Are Holding Me Now in Hand": "I am not what you supposed, but far different."

When I was in high school, I had a copy of this poem taped up on my nightstand so I could see it right before I went to sleep each night. I think this line really speaks to the things about ourselves we keep close and only share with those we trust. 

Five books you'll never part with:

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg--an ode to planning. Claudia Kincaid is a kindred spirit.

Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding--I was a Bridget fan way before the movies and even had a license plate that paid her homage.

Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty--I re-read this one when I want to remind myself how messy high school can be. McCafferty writes some of the most authentic characters in any genre.

Emily of New Moon series by L.M. Montgomery--Emily's a writer and much darker than Anne could ever be. 

Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld--this book is so deliciously snarky, my little sarcastic heart loved it from the first page.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

The Pact was the first book I ever read by Jodi Picoult. I was so blown away at the ending; the last page completely changed the way I saw the rest of the book. I've reread it several times since then and pick up on new hints I didn't notice before, but yeah, that one was really emotionally explosive. Jodi truly is the master of the surprise ending.

Book Review

YA Review: An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Jean Mendoza, Debbie Reese (Beacon Press, $18.95 paperback, 272p., ages 12-up, 9780807049396, July 23, 2019)

Curriculum specialists Debbie Reese and Jean Mendoza have adapted Indigenous human rights activist Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's acclaimed academic text An Indigenous People's History of the United States for young readers. This history of North America's native tribal nations rebuts popular cultural beliefs and offers school-aged children a different perspective on the colonization of what is currently known as the United States.

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People spans centuries of resistance by the more than 500 federally recognized nations in the U.S. Even though the authors cover vast numbers of people and a long period of time, this account of the country's evolution remains gripping, tightly written and packed with facts traditional textbooks and historical accounts neglect to cover.

In place of the standard "hero tales" of explorers, soldiers, politicians and others is a well-researched, frank, often heartbreaking narrative of industrious, developed civilizations decimated by greed and ambition, justified by so-called "divine decree." Dunbar-Ortiz explains that contrary to popular belief, the Native people of the continent lived in communities, built roads, developed systems of government and benefited from complex interrelationships. But, she also says, "from the first moment Europeans stepped onto what came to be known as North America, they left bloody footprints wherever they went seeking land and resources. They found, however, that Indigenous people were not easily scared off or conquered." Dunbar-Ortiz's account illustrates Europeans' attempts at deception, displacement, genocide and other atrocities, as well as the Indigenous people's efforts to withstand them and preserve their ways of life.

In addition to Dunbar-Ortiz's exceptional history, Reese and Mendoza provide innovative opportunities for important reflection on the material. Sidebars encourage readers to analyze the ideas, apply them to their own lives and empathize with the people they are learning about. They open up opportunities for discussion, such as responding to the question "Can you think of a time when you have heard people speak of a group or person in ways that dehumanize them, ways that make them a threatening 'Other'?" There are also clever suggestions for activities that apply the content to young readers' experiences, such as asking them to revise the musical Hamilton to include Indigenous characters. Maps, illustrations and photographs offer more ways to interact with the text, and a list at the conclusion suggests further readings.

While the Indigenous peoples of the North American continent suffered mightily at the hands of Europeans, Dunbar-Ortiz's bold work illustrates that their resilience and determination prevented the interlopers from the ultimate goal of extermination: "It is breathtaking, but no miracle, that they have survived as peoples." Thanks to Dunbar-Ortiz, Mendoza and Reese's work, old and young readers alike now have the benefit of a more complete understanding of part of the dark history of the United States. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

Shelf Talker: Curriculum specialists adapt an Indigenous human rights activist's work to reveal to young readers the history of the United States from the perspective of its original, Indigenous inhabitants.

KidsBuzz: Highwater Press: Heart Berry Bling by Jenny Kay Dupuis, illus. by Eva Campbell
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