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Summer 2014 Indie Next Preview List - Top Ten

Indie booksellers came together to recommend the best books for the summer! This is their Top Ten list, and includes books for kids AND teens --- make sure to add some to your TBR (to-be-read) list this June, July and August!

I Am Otter by Sam Garton

"Hi! I am Otter, and this is a book about me and my best friends, Otter Keeper and Teddy. And it's about the fun and messy (and little bit scary) adventure we had one day when Otter Keeper was at work. I hope you like the story! (And if you don't, it's probably Teddy's fault.)"

The Thickety: A Path Begins by J. A. White

When Kara Westfall was six years old, her mother was convicted of the worst of all crimes: witchcraft.  Years later, Kara and her little brother Taff are still shunned by the people of their village, who believe that nothing is more evil than magic…except, perhaps, the mysterious forest that covers nearly the entire island.  It has many names, this place.  Sometimes it is called the Dark Wood, or Sordyr’s Realm. But mostly it’s called the Thickety. The villagers live in fear of the Thickety and the terrible creatures that live there.  But when an unusual bird lures Kara into the forbidden forest, she discovers a strange book with unspeakable powers.  A book that might have belonged to her mother. And that is just the beginning of the story.

Chengdu Could Not, Would Not Fall Asleep by Barney Saltzberg

High in his tree a young panda named Chengdu lies awake, even though everyone around him is quietly sleeping. He tosses and he turns. He scrunches and he squirms, until he finally finds the perfect spot.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

A beautiful and distinguished family. A private island. A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy. A group of four friends --- the Liars --- whose friendship turns destructive. A revolution. An accident. A secret. Lies upon lies. True love. The truth. Read it. And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman

Three bear siblings break their mother’s favorite blue seashell, and rather than tell her, they decide to set out in their sailboat to find her a new one. On their quest they encounter salty sailors, strange new islands, huge whales, and vast seas but no blue seashells. When a treacherous storm suddenly blows in, the three bears find themselves tossed about in their little boat, far from Mama. What will become of their search, and what will it take to bring them safely home?

The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier

This much-anticipated follow-up to Jonathan Auxier’s exceptional debut, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes, is a Victorian ghost story with shades of Washington Irving and Henry James. More than just a spooky tale, it’s also a moral fable about human greed and the power of storytelling.
The Night Gardener follows two abandoned Irish siblings who travel to work as servants at a creepy, crumbling English manor house. But the house and its family are not quite what they seem. Soon the children are confronted by a mysterious spectre and an ancient curse that threatens their very lives. With Auxier’s exquisite command of language, The Night Gardener is a mesmerizing read and a classic in the making.

Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern

Born with cerebral palsy, Amy can't walk without a walker, talk without a voice box, or even fully control her facial expressions. Plagued by obsessive-compulsive disorder, Matthew is consumed with repeated thoughts, neurotic rituals and crippling fear. Both in desperate need of someone to help them reach out to the world, Amy and Matthew are more alike than either ever realized. As they begin to spend time with each other, what started as a blossoming friendship eventually grows into something neither expected.

The Truth About Alice by Jen Mathieu

Rumor has it Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the "slut stall" in the girls' bathroom: "Alice had sex in exchange for math test answers" and "Alice got an abortion last semester." After Brandon dies, the rumors start to spiral out of control. In this remarkable debut novel, four Healy High students tell all they "know" about Alice--and in doing so reveal their own secrets and motivations, painting a raw look at the realities of teen life.

The Glass Sentence (The Mapmakers Trilogy) by S. E. Grove

Boston, 1891. Sophia Tims comes from a family of explorers and cartologers who, for generations, have been traveling and mapping the New World—a world changed by the Great Disruption of 1799, when all the continents were flung into different time periods.  Eight years ago, her parents left her with her uncle Shadrack, the foremost cartologer in Boston, and went on an urgent mission. They never returned. Life with her brilliant, absent-minded, adored uncle has taught Sophia to take care of herself.

Conversion by Katherine Howe

It’s senior year at St. Joan’s Academy, and school is a pressure cooker. College applications, the battle for valedictorian, deciphering boys’ texts: Through it all, Colleen Rowley and her friends are expected to keep it together. Until they can’t.

More books like the ones on this list »