newcomer Leno conveys the everyday
struggles of living with depression,
“wondering how just living and breathing and showering and brushing our
teeth and combing our hair could be this
fucking hard?” Molly’s relationships
with other characters stand out in their
complexity; remembering Lyle, she
“watch[es] as we progress backward
from best friends who sort of hate each
other to best friends who love each other
to best friends who are unsure of how
close they are.” The twist the novel
builds toward introduces a fierce new
presence and ensures a quietly tragic road
to the hopeful ending. Ages 13–up.
Agent: Wendy Schmalz, Wendy Schmalz
★ The Kiss of Deception
Mary E. Pearson. Holt, $17.99 (496p) ISBN
Lia is a young princess doomed to an
arranged marriage with an unknown
prince in another kingdom, their union
an instrument of a needed alliance. On
the day of her wedding, Lia flees with a
until they reach a
where Lia as-
sumes a life as a
barmaid at a local
inn, reveling in
young men, Rafe
and Kaden, arrive at the inn, Lia is taken
with both, and they with her; readers, un-
like Lia, know that one is an assassin sent
to kill her, the other, the prince she jilted.
Pearson (the Jenna Fox Chronicles) is off
to an extraordinary start with her fantasy
series, the Remnant Chronicles, creating
an alluring world and romance that’s ideal
for fans of Kristin Cashore and Megan
Whalen Turner. Peppered with excerpts
from sacred texts and traditional songs,
the novel has a formidable heroine at its
core, who is as quick with a knife as she is
to laugh or cry. Pearson maintains the
mystery of Rafe and Kaden’s identities,
pulling readers through this masterfully
crafted story. Ages 14–up. (July)
Through to You
Lauren Barnholdt. Simon Pulse, $17.99
(288p) ISBN 978-1-4424-3463-9
Former baseball star Penn Mattingly
can have any girl he wants at school,
while Harper Fairbanks is a nice, smart
girl who always does the right thing—
like staying away from boys like Penn.
On a whim, Penn tosses Harper a flirty
note, and suddenly the two are involved
in a romance. Penn intrigues Harper, but
she’s skeptical about his interest in her
and nervous about what might happen
between them. Penn tries not to fall for
Harper (he has problems at home with
his father and is mourning a lost future
in baseball after an injury), but each
time he pushes her away, he finds himself begging her to forgive him. Writing in alternating points of view, Barnholdt (Sometimes It Happens) sets up romantic situations—batting lessons,
evening picnics, carnivals—that are the
stuff of high school dreams. Despite the
characters’ reluctance to fall for the
other, Penn turns out to be a guy to root
for, while Harper remains kind, confident, and intelligent. A sweet, straightforward romance with the expected
bumps along the way. Ages 14–up.
Agent: Alyssa Eisner Henkin, Trident
Media Group. (July)
★ I Can Do It Myself
Valorie Fisher. Random/Schwartz & Wade,
$17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-449-81593-9
In a natural follow-on from Everything
I Need to Know Before I’m Five, Fisher
champions preschool self-actualization
in this upbeat how-to, illustrated with
close-up photographs of children and
tiny plastic toys. Along the pages’ vertical edges, statements like “I know my
left” and “I know my right” refer to
larger-than-life photos of a child’s left
and right hands and feet. A spread titled
“I hold my pencil” demonstrates left-handed and right-handed techniques.
(An all-inclusive spirit is implicit in the
activities and the various skin tones of
the children and dolls.) To illustrate the
heading “I brush my teeth,” she pictures inch-tall dolls maneuvering an ac-tual-size toothbrush around a stylized set
★ Big Bug Henry Cole. S&S/Little Simon, Apr.
If Rudyard Kipling, illus. by Giovanni Manna.
Creative Editions, Apr.
Ferry Tail Katharine Kenah, illus. by Nicole
Wong. Sleeping Bear, Apr.
Lately Lily: The Adventures of a Travelling
Girl Micah Player. Chronicle, Apr.
I Love You Too Ziggy Marley, illus. by Ag
Jatkowska. Akashic, Apr.
★ The Pigeon Needs a Bath! Mo Willems.
The Chicken Squad: The First Misadventure
Doreen Cronin, illus. by Kevin Cornell. S&S/
Fluff Dragon Platte F. Clark. S&S/Aladdin, Apr.
Lost Children of the Far Islands Emily Raabe.
★ Ice Whale Jean Craighead George, illus. by
John Hendrix. Dial, Apr.
Eddie Red Undercover: Mystery of Museum
Mile Marcia Wells, illus. by Marcos Calo.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Apr.
Also Known as Elvis James Howe. S&S/
Caged Warrior Alan Lawrence Sitomer.
The Last Best Kiss Claire LaZebnik.
Harper Teen, Apr.
Sea of Shadows Kelley Armstrong. Harper, Apr.
Talker 25 Joshua McCune. Greenwillow, Apr.
Gaijin: American Prisoner of War
Matt Faulkner. Disney-Hyperion, Apr.
of dentist-office-demonstration teeth. For
“I make lemonade,” a tall doll saws a
lemon in half and a much smaller doll
sweeps up grains of spilled sugar.
Throughout, Fisher favors eye-popping
colors and buoyant patterns, and she
also combines photos and diagrams:
crawling plastic bugs and multidirectional arrows help readers trace letters
and numbers. From dressing oneself to
mastering colors, patterns, and even
making the bed, Fisher’s encouraging
book balances the known and the new.
Ages 3–7. (July) ■