The books Southern indie booksellers are recommending to readers everywhere!

Children

A Pinch of Love by Barry Timms

A Pinch of Love is an adorable picture book about spreading love and overcoming hard times through baking. With diverse characters, an emphasis on community, and a colorful quirky art style that is incredibly appealing, this tender book will be perfect to share with little loved ones with a love of baking (or baked goods)!

A Pinch of Love by Barry Timms (List Price: $18.99, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 9780711280199, December 2022)

Reviewed by Julia Lewis, Fountain Bookstore in Richmond, Virginia

Hooky Volume 2 by Míriam Bonastre Tur

Love love love this series! I still can’t wait to own all the volumes for my collection. Volume two expands the world even further and keeps up with its solid character development in such an engaging way!

Hooky Volume 2 by Míriam Bonastre Tur (List Price: $14.99, Clarion Books, 9780358693093, September 2022)

Reviewed by Lana Repic, E. Shaver bookseller in Savannah, Georgia

Ice! Poems About Polar Life by Douglas Florian

Brrrrfect poetry for the winter months. The poems contained in Ice! will warm the hearts of young readers with funny frozen antics of penguins, caribou, narwhals and more cold climate critters.

Ice! Poems About Polar Life by Douglas Florian (List Price: $8.99, Holiday House, 9780823452439, December 2022)

Reviewed by Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

The Tryout by Christina Soontornvat

Christina Soontornvat’s graphic memoir depicts the challenges & joys of middle school life as a Thai-American in Texas centering around her dream of making the school’s cheer squad. For fans of Victoria Jamieson’s Roller Girl, Jerry Craft’s New Kid or any of Raina Telgemeier’s many graphic novels.

The Tryout by Christina Soontornvat (List Price: $24.99, Graphix,, 9781338741308, November 2022)

Reviewed by Elese Stutts, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Garvey in the Dark by Nikki Grimes

A sad and touching story in verse set during the first half of 2020. This book is both painful and necessary, I can’t stop thinking about what the kids have lived through and knowing they need books exactly like this to help them process. Thank you Ms. Grimes.

Garvey in the Dark by Nikki Grimes (List Price: $17.99, Wordsong, 9781635925265, October 2022)

Reviewed by Rayna Nielsen, Blue Cypress Books in New Orleans, Louisiana

Enola Holmes: The Graphic Novels by Serena Blasco

Enola Holmes is BACK! The high-spirited independent sister of the World Famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, is back for more adventure and mystery. Enola Holmes has been able to avoid her brothers Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes so far. At the same time she has solved mysteries, and saved lives. Now she is back for more adventures! Can she continue to evade her brothers, or will she finally have to turn to them for help? Where is her mother? Can she actually be found and reunited with her daughter, or has she truly abandoned her family? The beautiful artwork will draw you in, and the storyline will keep you reading. As with all Enola Holmes stories, at the end of each story are fascinating historical notes, such as the language of fans, cyphers, or how to create invisible ink. The Enola Holmes graphic novels are a perfect read for your younger mystery lovers or your young readers who love graphic novels.

Enola Holmes: The Graphic Novels by Serena Blasco (List Price: $14.99, Andrews McMeel Publishing, 9781524871352, November 2022)

Reviewed by Gretchen Shuler, Fiction Addiction in Greenville, South Carolina

The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Mac Barnett

A modern-day retelling of one of my favorite books as a kid. They don’t change the story, which I liked, they just add some modern takes. So much fun and beautiful. You will want this in your collection!

The Three Billy Goats Gruff by Mac Barnett (List Price: $18.99, Orchard Books, 9781338673845, November 2022)

Reviewed by Suzanne Lucey, Page 158 Books in Wake Forest, North Carolina

Terry’s Crew by Terry Crews, Cory Thomas (illus.)

Terry’s crew at his new school may not look like the typical friend group, but together, they can do any thing they set their minds to! With themes of respect, hard work, school success and commitment to family and friends, this graphic novel from superstar Terry Crews is sure to be a hit.

Terry’s Crew by Terry Crews, Cory Thomas (illus.) (List Price: $12.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316499989, November 2022)

Reviewed by Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

The Talk by Alicia D. Williams

Charming black kids growing up together, neighborhood friends through the years. But as they grow and age from chubby-cheeked helpers and adventurers into young men and women, still respectful and helpful, just looking more adult, the parents and grandparents sit them down for "the talk". That not everyone will see their fun-loving enthusiasm, or a hoodie or earphones as childhood innocence by default. Briana Mukodiri Uchendu’s pastels show such expressiveness, from hugs of closeness, to silly play and gap-toothed smiles of children, to heartbreaking empathy. Now I know black families and brown families have to know about the talk, but this is a great conversation starter for people who may not need to have the talk to know that not everyone is so fortunate, and maybe that window will help them be better allies.

The Talk by Alicia D. Williams, (List Price: $18.99, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 9781534495296, October 2022)

Reviewed by Lisa Yee Swope, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Freestyle: A Graphic Novel by Gale Galligan

Gale Galligan is THE BEST! I have been so excited to see her first post-BSC graphic novel and Freestyle surpasses all expectations. It’s quirky, inclusive, inspiring, and so very real. And what a concept! Competitive B-boying yo-yo-ing was fun and interesting to read about and I love the way that Galligan captured motion in her art. This will likely be my favorite kids book of the year!

Freestyle: A Graphic Novel by Gale Galligan, (List Price: $12.99, Graphix, 9781338045802, October 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Spirit Week by Ira Marcks

A charmingly illustrated and just-spooky-enough graphic novel, Spirit Week is sure to delight readers looking for an inventive mystery to unravel. A clever homage to the works of Stephen King and The Shining, Marck’s middle grade graphic novel follows a group of intrepid kids as they attempt to uncover the secrets of The Underlook Hotel and its reclusive author Jack Axworth. A whole lot of fun!

Spirit Week by Ira Marcks, (List Price: $12.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316278065, October 2022)

Reviewed by Caleb Masters, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Wolf Suit by Sid Sharp

The Wolf Suit is an absolutely charming picture book about anxiety through the eyes of a sheep in wolf’s clothing.

The Wolf Suit by Sid Sharp, (List Price: $19.99, Annick Press, 9781773217208, October 2022)

Reviewed by Michelle Cavalier, Cavalier House Books in Denham Springs, Louisiana

Brown Is Beautiful by Supriya Kelkar

I love the beauty of Brown is Beautiful. A young Indian American girl walks through nature with her grandparents, celebrating all the beauty of things that are brown – leaves and bears and canyons. The book transitions to houses and families and babies, all brown and beautiful. This is a story of joy and celebration!

Brown Is Beautiful by Supriya Kelkar, (List Price: $18.99, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 9780374389529, October 2022)

Reviewed by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Counting in Dog Years and Other Sassy Math Poems by Betsy Franco

Multiplying mice, sugary shapes, and family fractions star in this charming collection that practically shouts : Math is FUN!

Counting in Dog Years and Other Sassy Math Poems by Betsy Franco, (List Price: $18.99, Candlewick, 9781536201161, October 2022)

Reviewed by Angie Tally, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, North Carolina

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