I always feel somewhat bad for authors whose books come out in December—as I mentioned earlier this month, the excitement of Best Of season tends to drown everything else out—and unless a book is either holiday-themed or on one of those lists, it’s easy for it to get lost in the shuffle. Which is probably exactly why we don’t see nearly as many new books in December as in other months. But! There are still some. Let’s take a look:
Lilli's Quest, by Lila Perl
This is actually an older book, re-released as part of Ig Publishing’s Lizzie Skurnick Books imprint, which offers up a curated collection of classic YA from the 1930s through the 1980s. I have a wicked soft spot for this imprint, partly due to the titles Skurnick chooses, and partly because I love the physical design of the series so, so much.
Lilli’s Quest is a companion novel to Isabel’s War—which is another LSB title, as well as a 2015 Sydney Taylor Honor book—and follows Lilli from the Kindertransport train to rural England, and then eventually to the United States. The Kirkus reviewer wasn’t particularly enamored, but it sounds like a great fit for me: in addition to my affection for the imprint itself, I adore WWII homefront stories.
The Golden Yarn, by Cornelia Funke
This is the third book in a series, and even though Funke is very definitely on my radar, and even though the first two books in the series, Reckless and Fearless, both received stars from Kirkus, somehow this is the first I’ve heard of any of them? Dark fantasy, fairy-tale elements, a magic mirror portal into another realm, I am SO THERE with many, many bells on.
ALSO, it was (at least partially) disagreement over this book that led to Funke’s recent split from her American publisher—she’s now started her own publishing company and will be publishing her books in the States that way going forward—which makes me even MORE interested to read it.
Not If I See You First, by Eric Lindstrom
Parker Grant has created a whole set of rules for the people in her life, and at the top of the list is to never treat her differently because of her blindness, and to never, ever take advantage of it. Now, as she’s beginning junior year, her father dies suddenly, her aunt and cousin move in with her, and the boy who broke her heart back in eighth grade comes back to town…lately, the more she leans on her rules, the more she finds that they don’t always apply to every situation.
Starred review from Kirkus! Design note: if the Braille on the cover art isn’t embossed, I’m going to be very sad.
Instructions for the End of the World, by Jamie Kain
A boy from a commune and a girl who’s living off the grid with her survivalist family…somehow I suspect that they’ll have a lot more in common than outward appearances would suggest. Isolation and fear, determination and responsibility, and yes, first love.
Hawthorn, by Carol Goodman
Another new-to-me series! This one, a historical fantasy set at a girls’ school! In a previous installment, the main character did battle with a villain named Shadow Master Judicus van Drood. Which is so over-the-top, I swoon. So that’s all I really need to know, the whole series is now on my TBR list!
The Trouble with Destiny, by Lauren Morrill
Marching band rom-com? Gimme.
Did I miss anything that you’ve been waiting for?
In addition to running a library in rural Maine, Leila Roy blogs at Bookshelves of Doom, is a contributor at Book Riot, hangs out on Twitter a lot—possibly too much—and watches a shocking amount of television. Her cat is a murderer.