The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend wasn’t Dan Santat’s literary debut, but it was the book that made him a kid lit superstar. The New York Times bestselling author and illustrator received the Caldecott medal for Beekle at the 2015 National Book Festival in Washington, D.C. Dedicated to his oldest son, Alek, Santat has described the book as a metaphor for awaiting the birth of his first child. As a matter of fact, Beekle’s name comes from the way Alek would pronounce the word “bicycle” as a toddler.
“… tell a tale that takes up residence in someone’s soul, becomes their blood and self and purpose.” Erin Morgenstern’s 2011 debut received widespread acclaim, winning the Locus Award for Best First Novel and the Alex Award for its appeal to young adults.
Malamander by Thomas Taylor is an atmospheric mystery set in the seaside town of Eerie-on-Sea. This salty tale features a quirky cast of characters who quickly become entangled in the lore of a legendary sea monster and its wish-granting egg. As the resident Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, Herbie Lemon is in charge of reuniting lost items with their owners.
Through a series of elegiac vignettes, David Small offers a haunting account of his formative years into adolescence with Stitches, a graphic memoir. David’s mother is not what one would call emotionally available. She snaps at him if he shows vulnerability and, when he gets sick, she only gripes about the medical bills. In therapy, young David grieves the heart wrenching truth: “Your mother doesn’t love you. I’m sorry, David.” To make matters worse, the boy’s father, an aloof radiologist, has been making his son ill, albeit unwittingly.
T.J. Klune’s 2021 novel The House in the Cerulean Sea is about a middle-aged man who finds belonging where he least expects it. It won the RUSA Reading List award for outstanding fantasy fiction, as well as the Alex Award for its appeal to young adults. The story follows Linus Baker, a scrupulous caseworker for DICOMY, the Department in Charge of Magical Youth. His job is to inspect schools for the magical, ensuring that everything is up-to-code per RULES AND REGULATIONS.