Also published on this date: Wednesday, June 3 Dedicated Issue: Levine Querido

Shelf Awareness for Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Chronicle Books: Stella & Marigold by Annie Barrows, Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Poisoned Pen Press: The Boyfriend by Frieda McFadden

St. Martin's Press: Disney High: The Untold Story of the Rise and Fall of Disney Channel's Tween Empire

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Graphix: 39 Clues: One False Note (39 Clues Graphic Novel #2) by Gordon Korman, Illustrated by Hannah Templer

Quotation of the Day

'Let Me Just Give You Guys a Little Perspective'

"Let me just give you guys a little perspective of what it has been like being a black business owner in Martinsville. I've been open going on 4 years in September, it was not until maybe a month or two ago that I felt comfortable enough to put 'black owned' in any of my bios or on my website out of fear that I would run off potential white customers. I also would heavily consider how my white customers would feel about me often posting black authors on my social media pages.

"How insane is it that a black woman who owns a business feared simply stating that her business was black owned? Better yet, it's ridiculous that I held on to this fear that some people may see me as too 'pro Black' which in their minds makes me 'anti-White' (false narrative). Anywho, this is just one small example of what it's like being a minority in the world. And this is very minuscule in comparison to the fear we live in when it comes to our lives.

"Being pro-Black doesn't make us anti-White. Saying Black Lives Matter does not mean we are saying All Lives do not Matter. It is a product of our visceral fear that makes us feel like we in fact do not matter at all. That's it and that's all."

--DeShanta Hairston, owner of Books & Crannies, Martinsville, Va., in a Facebook post yesterday

Peachtree: The Littlest Yak: Home Is Where the Herd Is by Lu Fraser, Illustrated by Kate Hindley


New S&S Program to Help Indies

Simon & Schuster is launching a program with new promotional terms that aims to "provide flexibility and incentives for independent bookseller reopenings around the country as states and localities loosen restrictions on gatherings and commerce."

The program includes dating on open invoices (customers should contact their CFS credit representative to discuss options); extra discount and dating for a reopening order between now and the end of August; and enhanced terms for orders during the Fall bookselling season. Booksellers should contact their sales representatives for more information.

S&S senior v-p of sales Gary Urda said, "The independent bookseller community, so vital and important to both our industry and our culture, has been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus crisis. Over the last few months as the crisis deepened we have worked closely with our independent bookstore accounts and the ABA to find ways to help them make it through, and we are pleased to offer this plan that facilitates recovery from the loss of business and working with them to regain their footing, while also anticipating their needs heading into the critical Fall bookselling season. The independents have always been great partners and we will continue to be looking for ways to weather this storm and build our future together."

The Bookloft Reopens in New Location

The Bookloft in Great Barrington, Mass., has reopened for curbside pickup after moving to a new location last month. Store owner Pam Pescosolido, who purchased the store in 2016 from co-founders Eric and Ev Wilska, has had the move planned since last summer

She reported that the new space is about the same square footage as the old, but because the configuration is so different it feels much bigger. The only section that has lost square footage in the move is the children's section, Pescosolido added, "but everything fits!" She said she's excited about all of it, and regrets that no one but staff can come in and see it yet.

The move happened on schedule on April 20, but the pandemic and the state's stay-at-home order slowed construction "way down." A few interior details are still being finished up, and the landscaping and external painting should be done by the end of next week. Ultimately, because the store couldn't even do curbside pickup until last week, it was only about a week or so behind.

All of Pescosolido's staff members are back at work except one, who chose to remain on unemployment. Pescosolido was able to end her booksellers' furloughs after getting a PPP loan, and she said she's happy she doesn't have to hire and train new people.

Based on their responses to her Facebook post announcing the reopening, her customers seem very excited, and several people have already placed orders for pick-up. Because of the pandemic, Pescosolido won't be able to host the grand opening that she'd imagined, which she said feels like a bit of an anticlimax, but at the same time it'll be helpful to be able to acclimate to the new space slowly and figure things out gradually.

Indies Reopening Update: Real Live Customers Inside!

As states continue to issue updated Covid-19 guidelines regarding the operation of retail businesses, more independent booksellers are reopening to varying degrees and with safety in mind. Here's a sampling:

Union Ave Books, Knoxville, Tenn.: "Our first browsing customer purchase complete! Excited to be (sort-of) open. We are booked up through this week but Appts are available starting June 8th. Book now!"

The Book Nook, Saranac Lake, N.Y.: "After 60 days of our doors being closed, we can finally welcome people into the Nook! Thank you for your support these last couple of months! We are grateful to each and everyone!"

Whistlestop Bookshop, Carlisle, Pa.: "On the 60th business day of the Pennsylvania Pandemic Closedown, Whistlestop unlocked its doors. Business was good. All but one customer were quickly in, quickly out, purpose-driven to pick up specific items.... UPS driver said he missed having us unlock and bow in respect as he delivered."

Boulder Book Store, Boulder, Colo.: "Today starting at noon, our doors will be OPEN to customers! We've spent a long time trying to figure out how to safely open our doors for browsing, and with that in mind we have a few rules in place for coming to the store.... So if you feel safe and healthy and want to come visit us in person, we'd love to see you!"

The Yankee Bookshop, Woodstock, Vt.: "It's our first day welcoming you back into the bookstore! By appointment only today & tomorrow, open browsing begins on Friday. We still have appointments left for today--give us a call if you'd like to schedule a time to come in."

The Bluestocking Bookshop, Holland, Mich.: "We're open! Okay, so it's by appointment only, but we're so excited to see people in store with us again! Head over to the website and book your shopping appointment with your household or #socialdistance quaranteam! Masks are required while in store and we're constantly checking in new inventory! We have sanitizing procedures to help keep our community safe and our #quarantine cart set up to ensure you can browse our shelves to your heart's content!"

Valley Bookstore, Jackson, Wyo.: "We are OPEN!... Please wear a face mask to protect our staff, customers and community. We will provide hand sanitizer, socially distanced shopping and contact-free checkout.... Thank you for your continued support of our locally owned independent bookstore!"

Mitzi's Books, Rapid City, S.D.: "We're back! Starting Monday, June 1, we are resuming our normal operating hours. We couldn't have made it through these past couple of months without you. From the online orders, phone orders, and in-person shopping when we reopened, we have been overwhelmed by your support. Thank you for being there for us!"

Canada Seeks Postponement as Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honor

Canada is slated to be the guest of honor country for this year's Frankfurt Book Fair, but a representative from the Department of Canadian Heritage said that, ideally, the program will be postponed to 2021, Quill & Quire reported.

Last week, Frankfurter Buchmesse director Juergen Boos said the fair would be held October 14-18 as "a special edition," combining on-site programming with a greatly expanded digital side, and that organizers were "in discussion" with the DCH about creating an approach "adapted to the current situation."

A DCH representative told Q&Q that while Canada supports the decision to change the 2020 Book Fair and remains committed to supporting it in this endeavor, it would prefer a "postponement scenario," which would allow Canada to be "well-positioned to showcase its literary creations, make them better known to Germans and other readers, and promote the sale and translation of Canadian books in German and international markets. Along with the Frankfurter Buchmesse, Canada is currently in talks with the next three guest of honor countries--Spain, Slovenia, and Italy--to discuss their interest in a possible postponement. Canada appreciates their openness in this regard."

Asked if Canada would look toward a virtual program if an in-person one isn't possible due to circumstances like health concerns and travel restrictions, the spokesperson said that "our presence at the 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair would be notably focused on participating in virtual activities to promote the sales of Canadian translated works in the German market."

Among the major U.S. publishers, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster have said recently that they aren't attending the Frankfurt Book Fair this year. And even some major German publishers, including Holtzbrinck, Verlagsgruppe Random House and Bastei Lübbe, apparently don't plan to take stands.

Denver's BookBar Expands Business Model

BookBar, Denver, Colo., is undergoing several changes. "We're not only expanding some of our current offerings, like our BookGive partnership, bar and event programming, but also adding an indie press and writer-in-residence program," said owner Nicole Sullivan, who founded the business in 2013. "Some of these changes were already in the works, though were accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic. All of these changes are exactly the direction in which I've been wanting to take BookBar."

BookBar will be integrating with its nonprofit association, BookGive, in order to more seamlessly give back to the community. Effective June 1, 10% of all book sales will be donated to BookGive​. The same date marks the launch of the BookBar Valuable Indie Patrons (VIP) membership program. An annual membership fee of $50 will be a tax-deductible donation to BookGive and include member perks such as VIP-only shopping hours, 100 bonus loyalty points, exclusive events, discounts and merchandise.

BookBar is also rolling out a program offering two different platforms to serve the needs of independently published authors, and will release several books per year under its new BookBar imprint, focusing on "literary, under-served voices, whose stories reflect the shared experience of our community." The initiative will be led by BookBar's new publishing director, Heather Garbo.

BookBed, the apartment above BookBar that has served as lodging for visiting authors and an Airbnb for guests for more than four years, will no longer be listed on Airbnb for a short-term rental and is becoming a Writers-in-Residence program. BookBar staff will work with local partners to develop a program that encompasses both BookGive and the publishing program.

In other changes, Catherine Olah, BookBar's longtime bar manager, is leaving to pursue her dream of opening a own bar in South Fork, Colo. Jessica Caouette will be stepping into the bar manager role on June 1.

Sullivan said she does not anticipate many changes to the bookstore or book inventory, other than a necessary reduction in inventory and mandated reduction in seating, which will eventually be mitigated by the long-planned events space. She hopes to break ground on the project this summer. Noting the uncertain future of public health, Sullivan envisions more reliance on technology and online shopping, with the store interior dedicated to more face-out titles and locally sourced gifts.


Image of the Day: 'Incredibly Important Sidewalk Messages'

"Young activists left incredibly important sidewalk messages for us to see," Oblong Books & Music, Rhinebeck and Millerton, N.Y., noted in sharing photos of chalk art outside Oblong. "We want to encourage our community: look, don't look away. We are heartbroken for the Black and Indigenous families, and families of color, who have lost their beloved children, sisters, brothers, mothers, and fathers to the prevalent racism and police brutality that continues to plague our country. Rest in Power, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade and the Countless Others. To our fellow allies: every one of us needs to actively work to end racism; it is not enough to be 'not racist,' we must be Antiracist...."

#Kidlit Rally for Black Lives

How do we talk to our children about what happened and what's going on in our streets?

On Thursday, June 4, beginning at 7 p.m. ET on Facebook @TheBrownBookshelf, authors Kwame Alexander, Jacqueline Woodson and Jason Reynolds will lead a #Kidlit Rally for Black Lives.

More than 25 children's book authors, artists and publishers will join them. "The rally is a way for families, educators, librarians, and members of the children's book community to come together in support of Black lives, speak to children about this moment, answer their questions, and offer ideas about steps we can all take going forward," said Alexander, Woodson and Reynolds in a statement. Alexander explained, "We show our children that they have a voice and that it matters, by using ours. This is not a time for silence. Our words have never mattered more." Added Woodson, "The young people--as always--want answers and clarity. As writers of literature FOR and about young people, we've always spoken a language they understand." Host Kelly Starling Lyons said, "We're all hurting and want to do something. This a great way to show kids and families that we're here for them."

Jigsaw Puzzle Towers: Schuler Books

Schuler Books, Grand Rapids, Mich., shared a photo of its temporary jigsaw puzzle towers to note: "PUZZLE UPDATE! Now that we're open for shopping by appointment, we are discontinuing our online puzzle and game sales. That said, we have lots of puzzle and games! As evidenced by our mighty puzzle towers. We are so looking forward to seeing you make your choice in store. However, we are continuing curbside pick-up and ship to home should you prefer. Just give us a call to help you make your selection."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Wes Moore on Fresh Air

Good Morning America: Emily Pilloton, author of Girls Garage: How to Use Any Tool, Tackle Any Project, and Build the World You Want to See (Chronicle Books, $29.99, 9781452166278).

Fresh Air: Wes Moore, author of Five Days: The Fiery Reckoning of an American City (One World, $28, 9780525512363).

ILP Acquires 12 Literary Estates

International Literary Properties has acquired 12 literary estates from the U.K.'s Peters, Fraser + Dunlop. Deadline reported that in the eight-figure deal, ILP picked up the rights formerly held by the agency for the estates of Georges Simenon, Eric Ambler, Margery Allingham, Edmund Crispin, Dennis Wheatley, Robert Bolt, Richard Hull, George Bellairs, Nicolas Freeling, John Creasey, Michael Innes and Evelyn Waugh.

Launched last November, ILP "was set up to acquire the rights in literary estates from those who have inherited them, or from living authors, and will work to exploit those rights through all media platforms including TV, film and theater," Deadline wrote.

"The acquisition of Peters, Fraser + Dunlop's interests in these estates is a very important step for us in building the business," said CEO Hilary Strong, chair in the U.K. "This major acquisition plays to the team's experience and strengths and I am truly excited by the opportunity to nurture these twelve wonderful estates and to find new and exciting ways of telling the great stories that lie within them."

Group CEO Scott Hoffman added: "When we launched ILP, it was our vision to build a portfolio of some of the world's most important and iconic literary works with an eye toward preserving their creators' legacies and ensuring they would bring enjoyment to readers for decades to come. This acquisition is a major step toward that goal."

Books & Authors

Awards: Desmond Elliott Shortlist; IndieReader Discovery Winners

A shortlist has been announced for the £10,000 (about $12,47) Desmond Elliott Prize, which honors a debut novel written in English and published in the U.K. The winner will be revealed July 2.

National Centre of Writing, which administers the prize, said the books " 'grapple with questions of identity and belonging as their young protagonists navigate the maze of modern-day life' and explore issues such as class difference, faith versus secular life, and the creation of new forms of family," the Bookseller noted. This year's Desmond Elliott shortlisted titles are:

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré
The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney by Okechukwu Nzelu
That Reminds Me by Derek Owusu


The winners of the 2020 IndieReader Discovery Awards, sponsored by IndieReader, have been announced. Winners in more than 50 categories can be seen here. The winners of the fiction and nonfiction categories are:

First place: Hidden Gems: Quest for the Great Diamond by H.K. Boughazian
Second place: Street of Storytellers by Doug Wilhelm
Third place: Nondisclosure by Geoffrey M. Cooper

First place: Remembering Shanghai by Isabel Sun Chao and Claire Chao
Second place: Daisy Has Autism by Aaron J. Wright
Third place: The EQ Intervention by Adam L. Saenz

Reading with... Genevieve Hudson

Thomas Teal

Originally from Alabama, Genevieve Hudson earned an MFA from Portland State University and has received Fulbright, MacDowell and Vermont Studio Center fellowships. Hudson is the author of Pretend We Live Here: Stories and lives in Portland, Ore. Boys of Alabama (Liveright, May 19, 2020) is their first novel.

On your nightstand now:

Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin, because who doesn't like a good scare right before sleep. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller has been recommended to me by many. I just started it and am already absorbed. Also, on my nightstand is Pleasure Activism by adrienne maree brown, Godshot by Chelsea Bieker, Black Light by Kimberly King Parsons and Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden.  

Favorite book when you were a child:

I loved fantasy books when I was young, especially the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander and A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle. When I was a bit older, coming-of-age stories were my favorite things to read. Especially The Outsiders (and everything else) by S.E. Hinton; A Separate Peace by John Knowles; and The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

Your top five authors:

It's hard to list only five, because I have been shaped and influenced by the writing of so many. But the ones that come to mind first are: James Baldwin, Anne Carson, Dorothy Allison, Leni Zumas and Maggie Nelson.

Book you've faked reading:

I never finished Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

Book you're an evangelist for:

I tell everyone to read Autobiography of Red by Anne Carson.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I love the cover of No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July. I'm a sucker for minimalism. But I would read anything Miranda July writes.

Book you hid from your parents:

I read Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks when I was in middle school. It was dark and druggy, and my instincts told me I should read it in secret.

Book that changed your life:

Bluets by Maggie Nelson, for the way its language entered me.

Favorite line from a book:

Toni Morrison from Song of Solomon: "If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it."

Five books you'll never part with:

Reborn: Journals and Notebooks by Susan Sontag
A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham
Syllabus by Lynda Barry
Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin
Modern Tarot by Michelle Tea

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

A Year Without a Name by Cyrus Grace Dunham and On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong. Also, given these times, I'd like to reread The Plague by Camus.

Book Review

Children's Review: Rise of Zombert

Rise of Zombert by Kara LaReau, illus. by Ryan Andrews (Candlewick, $15.99 hardcover, 144p., ages 8-12, 9781536201062, July 14, 2020)

The Zombert Chronicles, a planned middle-grade mystery series from Kara LaReau (The Infamous Ratsos and the Unintentional Adventures of the Bland Sisters series) and illustrator/cartoonist Ryan Andrews (Mightier than the Sword), kicks off with a daring escape, evil villains and... a zombie cat? Mystery, adventure and humor abound in Rise of Zombert.

Bert is not much more than skin and bones when fourth-grade pals Mellie and Danny discover him in a recycling bin outside the YummCo Foods factory. He is undoubtedly the ugliest cat Mellie has ever seen, "missing a lot of the fur on his stomach and legs, and the fur that remained was matted and dull. He had some dried blood on what was left of his ear, probably from a recent catfight. And he smelled almost as bad as the dumpster." Despite his appearance, Mellie is certain he needs her, so she takes him home, gives him a bath and spends all the money she's saved for a microscope on fancy cat food instead. But Bert isn't interested in food from the pet store. It's Bert's propensity for beheading his prey--and eating their brains while leaving the bodies behind--that prompts horror buff Danny to wonder if Bert is actually a zombie cat.

LaReau's quickly moving story is told from alternating points of view, with Mellie's voice in a dominant role. Happily, LaReau also includes Bert's wonderfully wild perspective: "The girl had buried the frog he'd left her without even tasting it! What a waste. He tried not to feel too offended." And there are even a few chapters from the vantage point of two YummCo Foods employees, which work to heighten the mystery as they give the audience just enough information to spark curiosity and suspicion.

Accompanying the fast-paced plot are Andrews's black-and-white illustrations. Sometimes spot art, sometimes full-page spreads, the illustrations contribute to the book's spooky tone, showing all the hair-raising details sure to entice middle-grade readers: Bert's feeble condition, the shady employees from YummCo, even a dramatic bicycle escape. The harmonious blend of illustrations and text are perfect for readers transitioning to chapter books; it may also appeal to young fans of graphic novels.

Mystery fans, animal lovers and most anyone who's ever felt they didn't fit in will enjoy the exploits of Mellie, Danny and Bert in this captivating caper. LaReau sets the stage for the series with an impressive opening book, giving readers much to anticipate in where she'll take her delightful trio next. --Jen Forbus, freelancer

Shelf Talker: Two fourth-graders rescue a bedraggled feline they find in a recycling bin--and may have let a zombie cat into their lives.

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