Also published on this date: Monday, June 29, 2020: YA Maximum Shelf: We Are Not Free

Also published on this date: Monday, June 29 Dedicated Issue: Shelf Awareness's 15th Anniversary

Shelf Awareness for Monday, June 29, 2020

Storey Publishing: The Universe in Verse: 15 Portals to Wonder Through Science & Poetry by Maria Popova

Tommy Nelson: You'll Always Have a Friend: What to Do When the Lonelies Come by Emily Ley, Illustrated by Romina Galotta

Jimmy Patterson: Amir and the Jinn Princess by M T Khan

Peachtree Publishers: Erno Rubik and His Magic Cube by Kerry Aradhya, Illustrated by Kara Kramer

Beacon Press: Kindred by Octavia Butler

Inkshares: Mr. and Mrs. American Pie by Juliet McDaniel

Tundra Books: On a Mushroom Day by Chris Baker, Illustrated by Alexandria Finkeldey

Blue Box Press: A Soul of Ash and Blood: A Blood and Ash Novel by Jennifer L Armentrout


New Orleans' Tubby & Coo's Moving to New Location

Tubby & Coo's current location.

Tubby & Coo's, New Orleans, La., is moving to a new location in Mid-City, about five minutes from its current location, the store announced yesterday.

Among the many advantages of the new space, which is in a historic building, are that it's all one floor and includes a ramp, making it much more accessible. And there's a parking lot.

With the move, Tubby and Coo's, founded in 2014, will upgrade bookshelves and décor "to go for a more modern look and feel (but of course, still as warm and welcome as we've always been)," owner Candice Huber wrote.

And inventory will be adjusted "to give you, our wonderful customers, more of what you know and love us for: science fiction, fantasy, graphic novels, children's books, young adult, queer books, and feminist, antiracist, queer, activist, and pop culture nonfiction."

For now, the store is packing up and relocating but still taking orders for porch pick-up and shipping. Local delivery has been suspended until the move is completed. Books can also be purchased on the store's Bookshop affiliate site. Direct orders will "take us a little longer than usual."

The store is closed for in-person browsing until the new space opens and "we feel safe to let people in with the Covid situation," Huber wrote. "We're very much looking forward to throwing a party to let all our customers see the new space!"

Weldon Owen: The Gay Icon's Guide to Life by Michael Joosten, Illustrated by Peter Emerich

The Phoenix Bookstore in Laredo, Tex., Closing

The Phoenix Bookstore, which opened last December in downtown Laredo, Tex., will be closing soon. In a Facebook post announcing their decision, owners Margarita Govea and Jose Cantu wrote: "As much as we love our historical venue and downtown Laredo it is no longer financially feasible for us to continue operating out of it. We will remain open for the time being as we place our building up for lease and find new tenants. It has been our pleasure to welcome you into our beautiful historical home and to offer you book recommendations."

While the bookstore's "primary function was serving books to the community, it was also a functioning cafe and a hub for musical performances, open mic poetry, art classes and more," the Laredo Morning Times reported. "With restrictions in place to limit social gatherings, as well as having to close to foot traffic during stay-at-home orders enacted in Laredo and throughout the state, the bookstore seems to be another casualty of the Covid pandemic."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

ALA's All-Day Book Awards Celebration

Yesterday, the American Library Association ended the first virtual ALA Annual (held from June 24-26) with what executive director Tracie Hall called the "first ever ALA book awards celebration." In a video posted to the ALA YouTube channel, Hall went on to say that "over the next 11 hours, various divisions of ALA will highlight winning authors, illustrators and media producers who won awards." The chat box to the right of the screen allowed viewers to interact with each other and respond to the speeches in real time.

Coretta Scott King Awards
The celebration kicked off at 10 a.m. Eastern with speeches by the Coretta Scott King Award winners and honorees. Before every ceremony, a message appeared on screen: "Please note that many of today's videos were recorded prior to the killing of George Floyd. ALA stands with those who condemn violence, racism and bigotry towards Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Black Lives Matter."

CSK Illustrator winner Kadir Nelson with his Caldecott Medal (see below).

Kadir Nelson, though, the CSK Illustrator Award winner for The Undefeated (written by Kwame Alexander; Versify/HMH), spoke to current events. "As we consider the present moment, I feel more than ever that no time is better suited for using our creativity to make something beautiful and share it with the world." He continued, "As far back as we can remember, great artists and authors have inspired us to take an honest look at ourselves and... have encouraged empathy, understanding and hope for the path forward. When I consider their contributions... I am inspired to continue... creating works of art." Nelson finished, "We as a people have faced the unspeakable, survived the unmentionable and triumphed over the unfathomable. As a global community, as a country, as a people, we must remember where we've come from and be grateful for all those who faced down adversity and lifted us up so that we may see the light of tomorrow."

Kyle Lukoff
(photo: Charles Ludeke)

Children's and Young Adult Literature Stonewall Book Award winner Kyle Lukoff continued Nelson's theme in his speech for When Aidan Became a Brother, illustrated by Kaylani Juanita (Lee & Low). After the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in 2016, Lukoff said, he remembers thinking, "the enormity of queer loss required a constant output of queer joy, queer love, queer lives if we ever were going to tip the balance in our favor." He went on to say that, while the current moment is a brutal one, "The world has fallen apart many times before and gotten put back together in many ways. In fact, the world was always falling apart and always being put back together.... We can decide what comes next."

A.S. King
(Krista Schumow Photography)

Printz Awards
During the Youth Adult Library Services Association's Michael L. Printz ceremony, A.S. King, now the second woman to win both a Printz Honor and Printz Award, spoke with passionate honesty. Her Printz Award-winning book, Dig (Dutton), is a depiction of how the privilege and unconscious bias of one generation affect the lives of the next. "To some of you listening, this might sound downright political or provocative. And that's because the victors set it up that way," King said. "Of course, we know the white supremacy of America is a machine. It will continue to run the way it's always run because it serves... white people. The very people who invented it. And when we look now, outraged, at our country's divisive f*ckery... we need to remember it was us who started it. By buying humans and killing humans." White people, she said, must deal with and take responsibility for their own discomfort, pain, frustration: "You didn't make the white supremacy we live in. You are only its willing caretaker. You may resign at any time. In order to grow you must face uncomfortable things.... You must, in short, feel bad. Feeling bad leads to great things. Feeling bad leads to atonement and apology. Feeling bad leads to truth."

Caldecott honorees (clockwise) Rudy Gutierrez, LeUyen Pham, Caldecott chair Julie Roach and Daniel Minter

The final video of the day was the 2020 Newbery-Caldecott-Legacy banquet, a dinner event traditionally held on the last night of ALA. The chair of the Caldecott committee, Julie Roach, toasted and had a brief conversation with the Caldecott honorees, Rudy Gutierrez (Double Bass Blues, written by Andrea J. Loney; Knopf), LeUyen Pham (Bear Came Along, written by Richard T. Morris; Little, Brown) and Daniel Minter (Going Down Home with Daddy, written by Kelly Starling Lyons; Peachtree), before Kadir Nelson, the medalist winner, gave his speech. After Nelson's second speech of the day, Krishna Grady, chair of the John Newbery Committee, raised a toast to and spoke with the Newbery honorees, Alicia D. Williams (Genesis Begins Again, Caitlin Dlouhy/Atheneum), Jasmine Warga (Other Words for Home, Balzer + Bray), Christian McKay Heidicker (Scary Stories for Young Foxes, Holt) and Kwame Alexander (The Undefeated, illus. by Kadir Nelson; Versify/HMH), as well as Newbery Medal winner Jerry Craft (New Kid, Quill Tree/Harper).

Jerry Craft
(photo: Hollis King)

Craft's Newbery speech followed a similar path to his CSK Author Award speech earlier in the day, discussing how he was not a reader as a child, how he hadn't seen himself in books, and how it wasn't until he was an adult that he began reading as a form of entertainment. "I was never exposed to mirrors in literature," Craft said, "Only runaway slaves, tormented kids of the civil rights era and victims of gang violence or police brutality.... I felt like the mirrors were often broken to the point that they became dangerous shards of glass that sliced into the comfort and naivety of my childhood." He wanted to create books for children, he said, that would allow them to have experiences he never had. "With New Kid, I wrote the book that I wish I had as a kid. I wrote the book that I wish I could have fond memories of today.... I wrote the book I wish I had been able to give to my sons and watch them carry around proudly."

Kevin Henkes, the winner of the Children's Literature Legacy Award, which honors an author or illustrator whose books have made a significant and lasting contribution to children's literature, was the final speaker of the day. Before his speech, which eloquently spoke to his lifelong love of books, these words appeared on the screen: "I wrote the speech you're about to hear in January. I amended it in April to acknowledge the global pandemic. And now, in June, I am adding the following statement: I hope that the worldwide recognition of systemic racism brings about long-needed change. I hope justice is served."

Readers can find all of the speeches on ALA's YouTube channel and read more on social media through #TheBookAwardCelebration. --Siân Gaetano, children's and YA editor

Harpervia: Only Big Bumbum Matters Tomorrow by Damilare Kuku

BISG Annual Meeting Going Virtual

The Book Industry Study Group's annual meeting, postponed from April 24 to September 11, will now not take place in person and instead consist of a series of online conversations between late July and September. The online panels, presentations, and talks will consist of:

Building a Smarter Supply Chain (July 28)
Change Management in the Age of Covid-19 (August 4)
Lessons Drawn from Publishing Entrepreneurs (August 6)
Real-Time Reporting and Bigger Data (August 11)
Sustainable Publishing: Where We Need to Go (August 18)
BISG Industry Awards Celebration (September 11)
Keynote Conversation with James Daunt, CEO of Barnes & Noble and managing director of Waterstones (September 11)

Chair of the BISG board of directors Andrew Savikas commented: "As the leading trade association for the book publishing industry in the United States, BISG is uniquely equipped to bring together stakeholders and rise to the major challenges we face as an industry. Even though we won't be gathering in person, this revised program offers vital opportunities for the kind of collaboration BISG is known for, so we can work together to come through all of this as a stronger industry and community."

BISG executive director Brian O'Leary added, "We're committed to leading and sustaining a dialogue about building a smarter supply chain, but we don't feel we can host an in-person meeting in 2020 in a manner that protects the safety of those attending. The repositioned meeting provides a broad audience with access and insight at a time when conversations about workflow, metadata, and the supply chain have grown in importance."

For additional details, speaker information, and registration links can be found here.

Kent Watson on Leaving PubWest, Next Steps

PubWest has issued a statement from Kent Watson, who stepped down as executive director of the association on June 12:

Kent Watson

"My last 13 years as the executive director of PubWest have been the most rewarding of my career. PubWest allowed me the opportunity to utilize my background in bookselling, purchasing, distribution, and warehousing of many genres--including academic, trade, and textbooks--to help the membership and the industry.

"My success with PubWest would have never been accomplished without the assistance of so many publishing professionals. Each year as I started to plan the annual conference, the Book Design Awards, roundtables, webinars, and more, I relied on thousands of people to offer their time and professional knowledge to enhance PubWest's programs to benefit the membership. I thank all of you for the work you did and your assistance to me on behalf of the association.

"As PubWest moves forward through new leadership, I see great things ahead and know that my accomplishments will not only be added to, but enriched.

"As for me, I am working on beginning a new chapter, and it will include work that I see as helping the entire industry. I hope to make an announcement soon, but for now if you want to contact me, please use LinkedIn."

Binc Awards Seven Higher Education Scholarships

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) has awarded $26,000 in seven scholarships as part of its 2020 Higher Education Scholarship Program. The scholarships include six $3,500 scholarships that went to dependents of booksellers, and one $5,000 Karl Pohrt Memorial Scholarship granted to a current independent bookstore employee who has overcome learning adversity or is a non-traditional student.

The winners are Niamh Doherty, Henry Fleischmann, Kimberly Huebner, Rebecca Keith, Anna Leedy, Samantha Melton and Reed Spurling. They attend colleges and universities in New York, Michigan, Tennessee, Massachusetts and Arizona and are studying a range of subjects, including music, nursing, aerospace engineering, creative writing and mathematics. For more information about the winners, click here.

The Binc Higher Education scholarships can be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies and room and board. Since 2001, Binc has supported the educational goals of more than 700 booksellers and their families, granting more than $2 million in awards.

The winners were selected from 42 applicants by Scholarship America (Scholarship Management Services), a third‐party academic selection organization. Criteria include financial need, prior academic achievement and leadership capabilities (including participation in school and community activities), as well as work experience, a statement of career and educational goals and objectives, and unusual personal or family circumstances.

Binc executive director Pam French commented: "For almost 20 years, Binc has helped ease the cost of a college education for booksellers' families. Reading about the scholarship winners and their educational goals and extracurricular activities is always inspiring--especially this year. A big congratulations to all of the students!"

Obituary Note: Robert D. Richardson

Robert D. Richardson, whose work as the biographer of Henry Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and William James was acclaimed as "a virtual intellectual genealogy of American liberalism and, indeed, of American intellectual life in general," died on June 16, the New York Times reported. He was 86. Richardson devoted 10 years to researching and writing each of his three biographies, "devouring everything his subjects wrote as well as books they had read."

Henry David Thoreau: A Life of the Mind (1986) prompted a fan letter from award-winning author Annie Dillard, and they "ended up marrying in 1988, Ms. Dillard later recalled, after 'two lunches and three handshakes,' " the Times wrote.

His second major work, Emerson: The Mind on Fire, (1995) won the Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians and was a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award. William James: In the Maelstrom of American Modernism (2006) won the Bancroft Prize for American history, with the jury hailing it as an "intellectual genealogy of American liberalism."

In a piece for the New York Review of Books in 2009, Irish novelist John Banville observed that together the three biographies "form one of the great achievements in contemporary American literary studies.... Aside from his learning, which is prodigious, Richardson writes a wonderfully fluent, agile prose; he has a poet's sense of nuance and a novelist's grasp of dramatic rhythm; he also displays a positive genius for apt quotation, the result of a total immersion in the work of his three very dissimilar yet subtly complementary thinkers."

In a recent tribute to Richardson, Washington Post columnist David Von Drehle wrote: "My wish for every young person is that they might find a mentor and role model as suited to their own gifts and shortcomings as Bob was to mine. As a scholar, he was diligent, humble, meticulous and insatiably curious. As a writer, he was charming, lucid and deeply respectful of his readers' time. No writing is good that fails to hold someone's interest, he taught."

Noting that Richardson knew well that "first you catch the reader," Dillard told the Boston Globe: "Bob had the brilliant idea of writing in short takes, very, very short chapters, so that the reader got a sense of accomplishment--he could read five of them at a time or 10 of them or 15 at a stretch.... Everybody liked him. He had a wonderful face and enormous patience. He was a lovely man."


Video: Mitchell Kaplan on CNBC

Mitchell Kaplan, owner of Books & Books, with stores in South Florida and the Cayman Islands, was interviewed on CNBC TV's The Path Forward series about "what he's doing to keep his business alive during the novel coronavirus pandemic."

Absolutely 'Metal' Bicycle Book Deliveries in Edinburgh's Old Town

Posted on Facebook by Scottish bookseller Armchair Books, Edinburgh: "Absolutely nothing--but NOTHING--is more metal than doing bicycle deliveries down Edinburgh's Old Town closes. Will you find the right door? Will you be eaten by a mighty dragon? Will you find the right door but then have to earn the begrudging respect of the guard dragon through the cunning use of gladiatorial poetry recitation? The answers are: eventually, maybe, and BYO sonnets.

"Amazon and Waterstones couldn't do this for you, pals. They wouldn't even know where to start. Spontaneous dragon poetry slams? That's all Armchair Books, my dudes. Happy #indiebookshopweek! Books straight to your face, by bicycle (or by post, if you have the nerve to live more than 2 miles from our shop)."

Media and Movies

Media Heat: Dr. Jill Biden on GMA,Today, the View

Today Show: Megha Majumdar, author of A Burning: A Novel (Knopf, $25.95, 9780525658696).

Good Morning America: Dr. Jill Biden, author of Joey: The Story of Joe Biden (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman, $19.99, 9781534480537). She will also appear on the Today Show and the View.

Movies: The Emigrants

Norwegian filmmaker Erik Poppe has set the cast for his upcoming film adaptation of Vilhelm Moberg's classic Swedish novel The Emigrants, which hopes to begin shooting in Sweden in September, Deadline reported. The cast includes Lisa Carlehed (Until We Fall), Gustaf Skarsgård (438 Days, Vikings), Sofia Helin (The Bridge) and Liv Ullmann, who starred in the 1971 adaptation of the novel with Max Von Sydow.

"To take on the almost mythical role of Kristina feels incredible," said Carlehed. "Gustaf and I have had great chemistry during rehearsals, where I have been able to discover the complexities of the character, and I hope to depict a side of Kristina that hasn't been seen on screen before. I have also always wanted to play the leading role in a Swedish epic drama of this magnitude, so I am very much looking forward to working with SF Studios to portray the love and the courage that characterizes the emigrants' journey from Sweden to America."

Skarsgård added: "To work on such a classic tale as The Emigrants and a character like Karl-Oskar is a dream come true. I was immediately drawn to the powerful and strong relationship between Karl-Oskar and Kristina. Their love, courage and desire to survive at all costs are universal themes which shine a light on humanity as a whole. It is a story about love for your family, love for your country, love for what we call home and I can't wait to get started on the project."

Books & Authors

Awards: Indie Book Winners

In conjunction with Independent Bookshop Week in the U.K. and Ireland, winners were announced last Friday for the 2020 Indie Book Awards, chosen by a judging panel of independent booksellers, authors and industry influencers to "celebrate the best books in paperback to read this summer." The winning titles were:

Fiction: Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
Nonfiction: Mudlarking by Lara Maiklem
Children's Fiction: The Girl Who Speaks Bear by Sophie Anderson
Picture Book: Don't Worry, Little Crab by Chris Haughton

Matt Taylor of Chepstow Books & Gifts, chair of judges for the adult categories, said: "We were delighted to select Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo as winner of the Fiction category. We felt it was such an engaging, vibrant, funny and important book it should win every prize going, be thrust into the hands of browsers in bookshops and be read by everyone. The panel found Mudlarking by Lara Maiklem fascinating and felt we were down in the mud with her at 5am going through broken pieces of pottery looking for that one hidden gem. It is a brilliant mix of social history and archaeology written in a highly engaging voice."

Vanessa Lewis of the Book Nook in Hove, chair of judges for the children's categories, said: "Don't Worry, Little Crab was deemed the perfect picture book with its vibrant color palette and heart-warming message about being brave and trying something new. Chris Haughton's unique style and delightful illustrative details makes this book a pleasure to read aloud. Sophie Anderson's magical interweaving of narrative and traditional stories makes for an exhilarating tale. As Yanka sets out to discover more about her past and befriends the animals of the snow forest she learns to accept who she is. This is a beautifully crafted story and the perfect antidote to these uncertain times."

SIBA's Summer Okra Picks

The Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Summer Okra Picks, which are either set in the South and/or written by an author in the South, are the new titles SIBA booksellers are most excited to handsell this season. This summer's Okra titles are:

Blacktop Wasteland by S.A. Cosby (Flatiron Books)
After Squidnight by Jonathan E. Fenske, illustrated by Jonathan Fenske (Penguin Workshop)
Deal with the Devil by Kit Rocha (Tor Books)
Memorial Drive by Natasha Trethewey (Ecco)
Guillotine by Eduardo C. Corral (Graywolf Press)
The Lazy Genius Way by Kendra Adachi, foreword by Emily P. Freeman (WaterBrook)
Loathe at First Sight by Suzanne Park (Avon)
When These Mountains Burn by David Joy (Putnam)
RESPECT: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Frank Morrison (Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James (Nancy Paulsen Books)
The Deepest South of All by Richard Grant (S&S)
Pea, Bee, & Jay #1: Stuck Together, written and illustrated by Brian "Smitty" Smith (HarperAlley)
The Big Door Prize by M.O. Walsh (Putnam)

Book Review

Review: The Kids Are Gonna Ask

The Kids Are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony (Park Row, $17.99 paperback, 416p., 9780778308744, July 28, 2020)

In The Kids Are Gonna Ask, the funny, fast-paced, multi-format second novel from Gretchen Anthony (Evergreen Tidings from the Baumgartners), a well-intentioned quest to uncover a family secret upends the lives of two Midwestern teens and their grandmother when their story goes viral. 

When Bess McClair came home pregnant after a ski trip her senior year of college and decided to become a single mother, her mother, Maggie, welcomed the distraction from her grief over the recent death of her husband. She didn't pressure Bess to identify the father of the babies, fraternal twins Savannah and Thomas. Thirteen years later, Bess died in a freak accident, leaving Maggie and the kids no way to find the "biodad."

Now 17, the McClair twins run an amateur podcast notable for spawning the Internet phenomenon Zombie Baby. Studio owner Sam Tamblin listens to the breakout episode, in which Thomas mentions wishing he could meet his father, and offers to produce a podcast about the twins' search for him. Maggie, who still has imagined conversations with Bess and believes that "sometimes, fate works on people like a warm morning breeze," hesitantly gives her blessing. When paternity privacy activists get wind of the fledgling show, the twins become the center of a media circus railing against them as dupes of an "angry feminist" agenda and questioning their right to conduct a public search. While the initial backlash rattles the McClairs and leads them to question Sam's ethics, they're even less prepared for what happens when their prodigal father contacts Thomas.

Using third-person narrative, podcast and voicemail transcripts, e-mails, text message conversations and more, Anthony constructs a portrait of the difficult and delicate process of adolescence, when the search for one's identity becomes entangled with peer relationships and ambitions for the future. Thomas and Savannah may pass the wunderkind test, but at heart they're both children looking for answers about their parents, and Anthony keeps their vulnerability front and center.

The narrative also deconstructs the dual hurricanes of rage and support that seem to instantly whip up around anyone lucky or unlucky enough to become the focal point of popular attention, even a pair of unassuming teenagers and their devoted grandmother. However, the McClairs also strike back at the heart of the firestorm in clever, hilarious ways. Smart yet surprisingly sweet, this meditation on family and media is as captivating as a favorite podcast. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: Teenaged twin siblings broadcast their search for their unknown father in a podcast that invites national attention and criticism in this multi-format novel.

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