The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!


The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu

This is a really quick but rich read with several unique voices narrating the story of Alice Franklin, a teenage girl in a small Texas town who may or may not have slept with two different guys at a party one night. Whether or not it’s true, the rumor propels the story into several directions, including a fatal car accident, a vandalized bathroom stall, and an unlikely friendship. Each character has a distinct voice, and they somehow transcend the high school stereotypes that they’re all so desperate to conform to. The Truth About Alice is a thoughtful look at the delicate balance of high school hierarchy and how a few words uttered by the right person can change–and potentially ruin–someone else’s life.

The Truth About Alice by Jennifer Mathieu, (List Price: $16.99, Roaring Brook Press, 9781596439092, June, 2014)

Reviewed by Lelia Nebecker, One More Page Books in Arlington, Virginia

Dust by Dusti Bowling

This middle grade novel follows the life of Avalyn, an asthmatic girl who loves to spell words, read X-men comics, and spend time with friends. The bane of her existence is a group of bullies, known to her and her two friends, Nan and Dillon, as the Meanie Butt Band. Bryden, Valerie, Emma, and Carlos love to make fun of her and her friends, call them cruel names, and just be plain evil to her and the rest of the school. One regular day, a dust storm rolls in from the middle of nowhere, bringing with it a quiet boy named Adam, who may just turn out to be even bigger and scarier than he seems. The theme(s) of this book: friendship, self-acceptance, and helping people in need.

Dust by Dusti Bowling, (List Price: 16.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316414234, August 2023)

Reviewed by Eliza Fitzgerald, Main Street Books in Davidson, North Carolina

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