Kidlit Book Deals for July 15, 2020

Hey kidlit pals! I hope you’re staying cool and hydrated during this toasty July! I’m coming at you with your latest batch of picture book, easy reader, and middle grade book deals! We’ve got a nice mix of graphic novels, fun fiction, picture books, and even a great nonfiction title. Grab your favorite snack and get ready to read!

These deals were active as of the writing of this newsletter. Get them while they’re hot!

For all the Big Nate fans in the house, get Big Nate Lives It Up for just $2!

Looking for a great “tween” book? 11 Before 12 by Lisa Greenwald is only $2, and it’s a series starter.

For the fantasy readers, A Wish in the Dark by Christina Soontornvat is $5!

Jacob Have I Loved by Katherine Patterson is a classic for older kids, and it can be yours for $2.

Get some more nonfiction on your summer reading list with Undefeated: Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team by Steve Sheinkin for $3!

Poppy by the one and only Avi and illustrated by award-winning artist Brian Floca is only $2.

Any graphic novel fans in the house? All Summer Long by Hope Larosn is only $3 (look for the sequel All Together Now out next month), and The Breakaways by Cathy G. Johnson is also only $3.

Niño Wrestles the World by Yuyi Morales is a fun picture book and it’s only $3.

The Last Last Day of Summer by Lamar Giles is a fun adventure story about two kids who discover a way to freeze time, and it’s just $3.

Happy reading, and stay cool!


In the Club 7/15

Welcome to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met, well-read, and well-fed. This week ya girl has education on the brain as our country contemplates the safety of sending students back to school in the middle of a pandemic (so many feelings). Betsy DeVos: may your marinara sauce never cling to your pasta! Fifty points to you if you get that reference.

While none of these books are specifically about schools + pandemics, they are all wonderful examinations of education that I think more people should read.

To the club!!

Nibbles and Sips

We’re sticking to summer vibes again this week, so let’s talk paletas. Paletas are Mexican popsicles, first popularized in Tocumbo, Michoacan in the 1940’s by a family business called La Michoacana. They come in water and milk-based varieties of both traditional fruit flavors (strawberry, coconut, lemon, etc) and less conventional ones like corn, avocado, cheese, and arroz con leche. Side note—I was SO confused when someone offered me a popsicle as a kid and handed me a hunk of blue ice on a stick. I wasn’t used to blue, I was used to fresh strawberry, mango, and rompope (Mexican eggnog)!

It’s hard to pick just one favorite flavor, but one I’ve been craving lately is pepino (cucumber) con chile. They’re easy to make and are such a perfect, cold, refreshing treat in the sweltering summer months. Try them out and let me know what you think!

An Education on Education 

Two of these books are more about educational theory and one is a memoir. There is so, so much to discuss in these books: how the pull-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps mentality ignores systemic inequality, how racism is embedded in our education system, how impactful a role early education (or the lack thereof) plays in molding young minds.

When Grit Isn’t Enough: A High School Principal Examines How Poverty and Inequality Thwart the College-for-All Promise by Linda F. Nathan – Back in 2013, a University of Pennsylvania professor named Angela Duckworth gave a TED Talk about grit as the great predictor of success. I remember having feelings about it even then, mainly the icky feeling that the emphasis on grit, though not entirely flawed by any means, leaves out an essential examination of systemic inequality. This book immediately jumped at me then when it came out in 2017; it investigates five assumptions that inform our ideas about education and how those beliefs mask the systemic inequity that makes the educational playing field far from even.

Educated by Tara Westover – Now, speaking of grit: you gotta give credit where credit is due and Tara Westover is basically grit defined. She was raised in rural Idaho by survivalist and fundamentalist Mormon parents who homeschooled their children and denied the validity of modern medicine. She decided she wanted to go to school and sneakily found a way to get into BYU, meaning she walked into an institution of higher learning for the first time at age 17. Imagine for just a second what that must have been like: getting dirty looks when you ask what the Holocaust is, or having your roommates sit you down to chide you for not washing your hands after you using the bathroom. Tara not only graduated, but went on to earn a PhD from Cambridge. That is all impressive enough on its own, but even more so when you throw in the verbal and physical abuse she endured. This isn’t a read specifically about the education system, but is a fascinating read about education in general and one person’s truly inspiring story.

For White Folks Who Teach In the Hood…and the Rest of Y’all Too by Christopher Emdin – While working as a bookseller, I worked a big educational conference in San Diego where Christopher Emdin was a keynote speaker. When this man walked into the building, I thought Beyoncé had arrived. I watched hundreds of teachers go full fanperson for this guy, and speaking to him for just a few moments as he signed books showed me why. In addition to having a truly effervescent personality, his book is a challenge (and guide) for white teachers to check their privilege, understand and connect with their students, and examine the flaws in a universal approach to education.

Suggestion Section

Our roundup of personalized book club gifts, because we could all use a little gift right now.

Meet the beautiful young ladies of the Reading Riders Book Club in Collin County, Texas. In addition to creating a space to share a love of reading, they’ve also partnered with local nonprofits to collect more than 200 books for children in need. Those faces gave joy today.

Virtual book clubs to join now—reach out, make a bookish connection!

Thanks for hanging with me today! Shoot me an email at with your burning book club questions or find me on Twitter and the gram @buenosdiazsd. Sign up for the Audiobooks newsletter, catch me once a month on the All the Books podcast, and watch me ramble about even more new books every Tuesday on our YouTube channel.

Stay bad & bookish, my friends.

Only Surviving Shakespeare Written Script Now Online: Today In Books

Only Surviving Shakespeare Written Script Now Online

The Booke of Sir Thomas More and his will are possibly the only surviving pieces showing William Shakespeare’s handwriting. The full scanned manuscript of The Booke of Sir Thomas More–“The play itself is the work of several dramatists, and the original text, from sometime between 1590 and 1605, is a patchwork of pages of insertions and six different scribal hands, Shakespeare’s very likely among them.”–has now been uploaded to the British Library for all to see.

Mary Trump Is Free To Promote Her Book

While Simon & Schuster, the publishers of Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man, had been allowed to continue with publishing Mary Trump’s tell-all book about her uncle, Donald Trump, she was under court order prohibiting her from promoting her book in the media. On Monday, Judge Hal Greenwald of the New York State Supreme Court lifted the temporary restraining order and Mary Trump is now free to promote the book.

Strand Book Store Layoffs After Rehires

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Strand Book Store laid off 188 booksellers, all but 18 union members. For their June 22 in-store reopening they rehired 30 union workers, and on July 6th hired 15 more, only to layoff 12 of the new hires on July 7th. Owner Nancy Bass-Wyden says she was too optimistic and in-store buying is non-existent. A statement issued by their union accuses Bass-Wyden of “wanton disregard” and “inferred that the bookstore had overstated the number of employees who remained on payroll in its application to the SBA [Small Business Administration]” which shows they received $1-2 million in government assistance.

Seeking Safe Spaces

As bookstores reopen, owners are prioritizing safety for employees and customers above all else. Find out what’s happening from the sources.

New Releases: The Future of Miami, Video Games, Etc

How’re your reading stats for this year? Normal? Low? Not caring about reading stats anymore because of The Times in Which We Live? (this is very fair) Well! If you’re feeling in a rut, don’t worry, ’cause we’ve got some good new picks this week:

Disposable City: Miami’s Future on the Shores of Climate Catastrophe by Mario Alejandro Ariza. I cannot explain why I’ve felt obsessed with this book, but I have. Maybe it’s the color scheme on the cover?? Ariza writes about how Miami is likely, by century’s end, to be underwater. He shares “not only what climate change looks like on the ground today, but also what Miami will look like 100 years from now, and how that future has been shaped by the city’s racist past and present.”


Little Book of Video Games: 70 Classics That Everyone Should Know and Play by Melissa Brinks. I haven’t played video games on a console since Final Fantasy VII, but that doesn’t mean that OTHERS should not hear of this very cute book. For real though, Brinks talks about the history of video games going back to the 1950s, which is awesome (TELL ME MORE OF PONG) and goes up to the early 2000s. If you like learning about the cultural roots of something and how things you love were influenced, bam. Also, tbh, I want to read this just because I like knowing how Things Affect Other Things.


A History of My Brief Body: Essays by Billy-Ray Belcourt. This book looks potentially stunning. Belcourt, winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize and member of the Driftpile Cree Nation in Alberta, here writes “essays and vignettes on grief, colonial violence, joy, love, and queerness.” It’s being compared to Ocean Vuong and Heart Berries, so if those are your jam, seriously consider picking this up.


Miracle Country: A Memoir by Kendra Atleework. You know how some memoirs are really grounded in places? Ok, so this is one of those. Atleework grew up in California, in the Eastern Sierra Nevada, a parched and somewhat desolate deserty area “forever at the mercy of wildfires, blizzards, and gale-force winds.” Be warned, fair amount about her mother getting sick and then passing away when Atleework is 16. She moves from her home to Los Angeles, Minnesota, and back home again.

Support new books! You can do this by buying them or checking them out from your library. If you don’t have a library card, a lot of libraries are letting you apply for one online now! And then you can use an app like Libby. And remember, if the library doesn’t have a book you want, you can always request that they buy it.

As always, you can find me on social media @itsalicetime and co-hosting the For Real podcast with Kim here at Book Riot. Until next time, enjoy those facts, fellow nerds.

Dysfunctional Family Road Trip Thriller 🚗 🔪

Hi mystery fans! I have an upcoming newbie PI from one of my favorite authors, a no longer newbie PI from a favorite series, and a dysfunctional family that takes readers on a hell of a road trip.

And Now She’s Gone by Rachel Howzell Hall: Here’s a September release I very much enjoyed, and in the meantime if you’ve yet to read Rachel Howzell Hall you should really get on that. She has a great modern Agatha Christie retelling with They All Fall Down (Review) and one of my favorite detective series Land of Shadows (Review).

And Now She’s Gone is especially a must-read for fans of Detective Elouise Norton’s series. But rather than a police procedural we have a newbie PI, Grayson Sykes, who is given her first solo PI case: a doctor who wants proof of his ex-girlfriend being alive and his dog returned. But if Sykes was hoping to get an easy case to help her learn the ropes of the job, she’s seriously out of luck. The doctor seems less concerned for his ex’s wellbeing, there’s accusations of abuse, and every single step Sykes takes into this investigation gets more complicated and feels less real.

Sykes is a bit of a mysterious character, with a difficult past, who unfolds as the case does, creating a mystery where the reader also never feels like they have a solid footing–which I love. She’s trying her best to establish a new life through work and trying to find a found family, even if she keeps people at bay. If you like complicated cases, and characters, this one’s for you! (TW suicide attempt, past suicide, detail/ partner abuse, on page/ addiction/ past cancer death/ stalking/ mentions past rape, no detail/ homophobia scene, slut/ past miscarriage/ mentions case about investigating person’s birth gender)

Once You Go This Far (Roxane Weary #4) by Kristen Lepionka: Weary is my favorite hot mess PI, but honestly she’s not much of a hot mess anymore. Her evolution from the start of the series (grieving her dad, toxic relationship, drinking too much…) to now has been an exercise in how hard it is to change, but how wanting to and taking steps to will certainly work to get you there. She still, however, has not figured out how not to get her current case dropping massive danger at her door–which as a thriller fan I’m grateful for (sorry, Weary!).

This time around a case of a woman who fell while hiking makes her question if she’s being warned off when her hotel room is broken into and someone dies where her PI office is. There’s a cult-y religion, an ex-cop ex-husband, a scared teen in the wind, a grieving exhausted new mom client, a women’s health group, and more questions and mysteries than answers–but Weary doesn’t ever give up! (TW past suicide mention, detail/ past domestic abuse, not graphic)

He Started It by Samantha Downing: The beauty of this book for me was that I had no idea where it was going, or how it was a thriller when I started, which is a thing I love and rarely get to experience. Basically, I got on one ride and found myself on a totally different ride, to my delight. Three Morgan siblings–Beth, Portia, and Eddie–are set to inherit a 3+ million inheritance after their grandfather’s death. Of course there’s a catch!

This dysfunctional family needs to recreate the road trip they took as children with their grandfather. Doesn’t sound so hard. Except: they are all basically estranged–plus, Beth’s husband and Eddie’s wife have tagged along; there is a stipulation in the will that if anyone gets jailed, deviates, or doesn’t complete the original trip they all get zip, nada, nothing; their grandfather is once again on the trip–as ashes they can’t lose; they’re all a-holes. What could go wrong?! Not only are we treated to the current road trip from hell–seriously, they’re all having marital and/or personal problems, are liars, and are filled with secrets, so make popcorn for the family drama–but we also get to learn about the original road trip taken, which holds the key to why they’re currently recreating it… Strap in and enjoy! (TW past partner abuse discussed discussions of molestation, not detailed or graphic)

Browse all the books recommended in Unusual Suspects previous newsletters on this shelf. See 2020 upcoming releases and 2021. An Unusual Suspects Pinterest board. Get Tailored Book Recommendations!

Until next time, keep investigating! In the meantime, come talk books with me on Twitter, Instagram, and Litsy–you can find me under Jamie Canavés.

If a mystery fan forwarded this newsletter to you and you’d like your very own you can sign up here.

YA Book News and New YA Book Releases This Week

Hey YA Readers!

Welcome to your weekly roundup of YA book news and new books. It’s once again a quiet week — thanks, summer — but there are plenty of excellent new books to fill your eyes with!

YA Book News

This Week’s New YA Books

Being Toffee by Sarah Crossan

Bloodwitch by Susan Dennard (paperback, series)

Campfire by Shawn Sarles (paperback)

Death Prefers Blondes by Caleb Roehrig (paperback)

The Do-Over by Jennifer Honeybourn

Ever Cursed by Corey Ann Haydu

The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune (series)

Fell of Dark by Caleb Roehrig

Gimme Everything You Got by Iva-Marie Palmer

He Must Like You by Danielle Younge-Ullman

The Invention of Sophie Carter by Samantha Hastings

Keep My Heart in San Francisco by Amelia Diane Coombs

Mayhem by Estelle Laure

Now and When by Sara Bennett Wealer

The Orphanage of the Gods by Helena Coggan (paperback)

Running by Natalia Sylvester (this book is fantastic!)

See No Color by Shannon Gibney (paperback — another excellent read!)

Unstoppable Wasp by Sam Maggs

Where You End and I Begin by Preston Norton (paperback)


This Week at Book Riot

Thanks for hanging out, and we’ll see you on Monday!

— Kelly Jensen, @heykellyjensen on Instagram and editor of Body Talk(Don’t) Call Me Crazy, and Here We Are.


New Children’s Book Releases for July 14, 2020

Hello readers!

I’ve been attending a virtual conference all this week about children’s literature, and hearing all about picture books from across the world. The big problem with this is that it’s left me with quite the shopping list…I have so many books I need to get my hands on now!

Let me pay that favor forward (sorry!) and tell you about the books you need to get your hands on this week:

Sun and Moon Have a Tea Party by Yumi Heo, illustrated by Naoko Stoop

Sun and Moon are having a tea party and talking about their differences in seeing the world. With the help of the gentle mediator Cloud, Sun and Moon stay up past their bedtime and see a whole new world (and a new fantastic point of view).

A charming lesson about understanding differences of opinion and perspective, the artwork is soft and luscious and the whole thing is perfect for a gentle, thoughtful bedtime read.

Something to Say by Lisa Moore Ramée, illustrated by Bre Indigo

Jenae is very comfortable with being invisible at school. That is, until a new boy named Aubrey shows up – and he seems pretty convinced that they’re going to be friends. When they’re put together for a class debate (one which Aubrey is desperate to win), Jenae has to deal with the fact that she can’t speak in front of an audience – and she might lose her only friend…

Featuring a girl finding her voice, a friendship worth fighting for, and causes worth believing in, this is such a vibrant middle grade novel. There’s a lovely theme of community engagement as well – it’s pretty great.

Leap, Hare, Leap! by Dom Conlon and Anastasia Izlesou

I’m always on the lookout for books that give you something a little different, and this lyrical exploration of a hare and her journey around the world is a beautiful thing. Follow Hare as she leaps from one habitat to another, learning about her fellow animals and the predators that lurk there.

Told in verse that’s full of otherworldly magic alongside some brilliantly rich artwork from Izlesou, this is gorgeous. Read it slowly, richly, and enjoy it.

Mira’s Curly Hair by Maryam al Serkal, illustrated by Rebeca Luciani

(Backlist bump!)

Mira’s not very fond of her curly hair. She wants it to be just like her mom’s – straight and smooth – and tries everything to make that happen. But when they’re caught outside in the rain one day, Mira sees her mom’s hair change…

A riotous celebration of self-acceptance and love, this is everything. I’m a particular fan of the background work here which add some lovely texture and detail to every page. This is a book that’s absolutely full of depth.

The Skylarks’ War by Hilary McKay

(Backlist bump!)

Hilary McKay is a glorious, glorious writer and if you don’t know her work, then The Skylarks’ War is a beautiful introduction. Think classic, sweeping storytelling set before and during World War One, wed with a lovely eye for character, detail and people. Clarry lives for her summers with her brother Peter at the beach. But when the war comes, everything is going to change…

A story of life, love, and the impact of war upon a family, this is brilliant stuff from a born storyteller. You’ll cry (the wartime stuff is a lot to handle but it’s presented with a lot of sensitivity and subtlety), you’ll laugh, and you’ll absolutely adore every inch of it.


Alright, let’s leave it there for this week! I’ll be back in seven days with more picks from the world of children’s literature, but between now and then you can stay in touch with me via social media (I am available to fangirl over Dodie Smith at any point), on my website, or over on the biweekly literary fiction podcast Novel Gazing.

Happy reading!