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Fall preview 2014: non-fiction and international titles for young people

In the June issue, Q&Q looks ahead at fall’s most anticipated titles for young readers.


A1AujGDMD8L._AA1500_From David J. Smith, the author who brought us the classic If the World Were a Village, comes If: A Mind-Bending New Way of Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers (Kids Can, $19.95 cl., Aug.). Illustrated by Montreal artist Steve Adams, the book takes complex concepts and explains them in terms kids will understand. • In Why We Live Where We Live (Owlkids, $17.95 cl., Sept.), author and journalist Kira Vermond explores the historic and scientific reasons behind the evolution of human habitation, with help from Julie McLaughlin’s illustrations. • Second Story Press is set to release the sophomore title in its collaboration with Plan Canada. Because I Am a Girl ($17.95 pa., Oct.), by Plan Canada president Rosemary McCarney and former elementary school teacher Jen Albaugh, uses stories of real girls around the world to relate a message of empowerment. • Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices (Annick, $19.95 cl.) is a collection of writings by authors and artists including, Joseph Boyden and Bunky Echo-Hawk, about growing up indigenous. The book, edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale, arrives in September. • Mature teen readers can look forward to Becoming Fierce: Teen Stories IRL (Fierce Ink Press, $16.99 pa., Sept.). Edited by Allister Thompson, the anthology features new and established authors’ remembrances of their teenhoods – from the heartbreaking to the humorous to the harrowing.

81h1ICmd6lL._AA1500_Hugh Brewster has a proven track record of crafting entertaining history for young readers. His latest, From Vimy to Victory: Canada’s Fight to the Finish in World War I (Scholastic Canada, $19.99 cl., Sept.) will undoubtedly follow this pattern. • Nova Scotia author Christine Welldon presents Life Lines: The Story of Lanier Phillips (Breakwater Books, $16.95 pa., Sept.), which recounts the tale of a young black man who was rescued from a sinking warship off the coast of Newfoundland in 1942. • In Birchtown and the Black Loyalists (Nimbus, $15.95 pa., Oct.), author Wanda Taylor presents middle-grade readers with the history of African slaves turned American soldiers who struggled to establish settlements in Nova Scotia.

Veterinarian Sue Carstairs gives children a behind-the-scenes look at her work at the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre in Saving Turtles: A Kid’s Guide to Helping Endangered Creatures (Firefly Books, $19.95 cl., $9.95 pa., Aug.). • Also from Firefly, Chris Earley has a pair of titles that are sure to draw kids in with their stunning photography as much as their subject matter. Weird Frogs ($19.95 cl., $9.95 pa.) and Weird Birds ($19.95 cl., $9.95 pa.) both land in September. • Kari-Lynn Winters taps into children’s love of all things gross with Bite into Blood­suckers (F&W, $19.95 cl., Oct.). The book, with illustrations by writer and vlogger Ishta Mercurio, looks at animals that vant to suck your blood (or at least each others’). • Much more appetizing is Paul Yee’s Chinese Fairy Tale Feasts (Tradewind, $24.95 cl., Oct.). Combining recipes and traditional Chinese stories, the book features illustrations by Vancouver artist Shaoli Wang.


September will see the publication of Gus & Me: The Story of My Granddad and My First Guitar (Little, Brown/Hachette, $20 cl.), an 51QurjJNDxL._SL500_autobiographical picture book by Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards, illustrated by his daughter Theodora Dupree Richards. • Florida-based author Molly Idle follows last year’s Caldecott Honor book Flora and the Flamingo with Flora and the Penguin (Chronicle Books/Raincoast, $19.99 cl., Sept.), another wordless picture book that relies on stunning visuals to impart the story. • Édouard Manceau’s Hatch, Little Egg ($16.95 cl.) is a satirical nod to celebrity culture that will appeal to all ages. Appearing in September, the book is translated by Owlkids editorial director Karen Li.

Beloved British author-illustrator Mick Inkpen will add another title to his popular series with Kipper’s Little Friends (Hodder/Hachette, $16.99 cl., Nov.) • Early readers who love the antics of Ivy & Bean or Junie B. Jones have a zany new 91DRYzifODL._AA1500_character to fall for. Abby Hanlon’s Dory Fantasmagory (Dial/Penguin, $16 cl.) and her wild imagination arrive in October. • Actor Jason Segel (who co-wrote the screenplay for 2011’s The Muppets) teams up with co-author Kirsten Miller for Nightmares! (Delacorte/Random House, $19.99 cl., Sept.). The first book in a new trilogy features spot illustrations by Karl Kwasny. • A new book from Guardians of Childhood series author William Joyce is always a cause for celebration. Get the ticker-tape ready for the October publication of A Bean, a Stalk, and a Boy Named Jack (Atheneum/S&S, $21.99 cl.). • In The Misadventures of Sweetie Pie (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Thomas Allen, $24.99 cl., Nov.), Jumanji author Chris Van Allsburg gives readers a hamster’s-eye-view of the world.

Graphic novelist Raina Telgemeier follows up her autobiographical New York Times bestseller Smile with Sisters (Graphix/­Scholastic, $26.99 cl., Sept.), in which Raina and Amara must learn to put aside their sibling rivalry. • The late Finnish author Tove Jansson’s beloved hippopotamus-­like creatures head out for some fun and a bit of family drama of their own in Moomin on the Riviera ($9.95 pa., Oct.), a reworked original from Montreal’s Drawn & Quarterly.

Q&Q’s kids’ preview covers books published between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2014All information (titles, prices, publication dates, etc.) was supplied by publishers and may have been tentative at Q&Q’s press time