Monday, June 10, 2013

BEA 2013 Editor Buzz Books: Get Excited For Fall!

What do pirates, oddballs, record-breakers, scientists, and time gobblers all have in common? The makings of great middle grade stories, of course.

Last weekend at BEA, five editors gushed over the middle grade books chosen by this year's buzz panel. Here's a summary of what they had to say about each book, as well as some photos I snapped during the conference.

1.) A Very Nearly Honorable League Of Pirates #1: Magic Marks The Spot
By: Caroline Carlson
Publisher: HarperCollins
Pub Date: September 2013
Based on the title alone, Toni Markiet knew this story would have a sense of humor. She soon found out it was also sassy and irreverent, right from page 1. Described as a "rollicking pirates yarn that grabs you and doesn't let you go," it follows the adventure of Hillary Westfield, who wants to join a band of pirates rather than go to finishing school. I mean really, can you blame her?

2.) The Fantastic Family Whipple
The Fantastic Family Whipple

By: Matthew Ward
Publisher: Razorbill
Pub Date: August 2013
Gillian Levinson fell hard for this book about a colorful family of record-breakers with a classic message -- that "caring for people is the most special thing of all." Arthur Whipple's twelve siblings have broken 49,521 world records. Only he hasn't broken a single one. Though he is the unlikely hero in a family overachievers, Arthur discovers he might be the only Whipple who can save his family when mysterious catastrophes begin to follow them.

3.) Nick And Tesla's High-Voltage Danger Lab
By: Science Bob Pflugfelder & Steve Hockensmith
Publisher: Quirk Books
Pub Date: November 2013
Jason Rekulak gave a nod to MacGyver ("the best show of all time") when introducing this book, with one caveat -- Nick and Tesla's inventions and contraptions actually work in real life. In this adventure story, Nick and Tesla use real fundamentals of science to get them out of jams (courtesy of co-author Science Bob, who is also an elementary school teacher). "It shows kids how to solve problems," said Rekulak. The book contains instructions on how to construct the contraptions in the story, such as a bottle rocket, using items found around the house.

4.) The Time Fetch
By: Amy Herrick
Publisher: Algonquin
Pub Date: August 2013
The smooth pacing and lyricism of this science fiction adventure made Elise Howard fall "head over heels in love." Set primarily in modern-day Brooklyn's Prospect Park, the story weaves classical mythology with an imaginative glitch in the time/space continuum, leaving eight grader Edward with a tricky problem. Along with two classmates, he needs to stop foragers from gobbling up time before it runs out for everyone.

5.) Counting By 7s
Counting By 7s
By: Holly Goldberg Sloan
Publisher: Dial
Pub Date: August 2013
"It touches you to the core," Lauri Hornik said of this contemporary story filled with deep familial themes. "It makes you love people more than you already do." Willow Chance, an "oddball" twelve-year-old genius who finds comfort in counting by 7s, finds her life thrown into upheaval when both her parents suddenly die. Taken on by a surrogate family, Willow shows readers that "everyone as the potential to be loved."

2013 Editors' Buzz Panel

Authors Carlson, Goldberg Sloan, Ward, Science Bob, & Herrick

Will preview some more middle grade books from BEA later this week. Check out more middle grade recommendations from the Marvelous Middle Grade Monday crew.


  1. How fun to be part of BEA! Can't wait to hear more.

    1. It can be a little overwhelming, but definitely fun!

  2. Thanks for sharing! I definitely want to check out these books in the fall. I appreciate knowing what's coming.

    1. Totally! And just when I think I have a good handle on what's out there, I hear about 75 new books :)

  3. Thanks a bunch for sharing. So many blogs only focus on MG.
    I can't wait for your next post. and please feel free to nudge me when your post goes live. (I really don't want to miss it. lol)


    1. You will be nudged!

  4. These all sound so fantastic, but I'm especially looking forward to Magic Marks the Spot!

  5. Looks like some more winners coming out this fall. Hopefully I will get through lot of my to-read pile this summer!

  6. Thanks so much for this. Really looking forward to your next installment!

  7. Oooooh. I've seen a couple of these and I'm salivating. I'm jones-ing for Time Fetch. Thanks for this list.

  8. @rebecca - let me know if you want to borrow my copy, dear!

    @jennifer - my to be read pile is getting dangerous. must do something about that.

    @deb - getting caught up now - will do one last post!

    @bfav - looks intriguing, right?