Butler Bookshelf


A trio of newly released titles awaits us – particularly Nadine Jolie Courtney’s novel All-American Muslim Girl.

Charlie Hernández & the Castle of Bones
Written by Ryan Calejo
Published by Aladdin
Available today!

Pluto Gets the Call
Written by Adam Rex and illustrated by Laurie Keller
Published by Beach Lane Books
Available today!

All-American Muslim Girl
Written by Nadine Jolie Courtney
Published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux for Young Readers
Available today!


It’s NaNoWriMo–Are you in?

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). What began as a challenge for a small group of writers has grown into a non-profit organization supporting the challenge in which “hundreds of thousands of people around the world begin to write, determined to end the month with 50,000 words of a brand new novel.” And while I’m not sure about what comes out of the process (hopefully many more months of revisions), I love the idea of a community of support.

But what really gets my attention is their Young Writers Program, created specifically for the under 18 crowd and the educators cheering them on.

Not interested in a structured challenge, but still want to encourage the budding authors in your world? 2019 has provided a slew of books on authors and their craft for every age group.

Before They Were Authors cover imageBefore They Were Authors: Famous Writers as Kids
Elizabeth Haidle
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019
Ages 8-12

This collection of ten mini-biographies features authors from Maya Angelou to Gene Luen Yang. Each chapter explores the life events, struggles, and inspirations of a popular figure in children’s literature. A striking array of experiences to show aspiring writers that the path to success is not usually a smooth one, in fact, there’s not just one path at all.

digging up dangerThe Story Pirates Present: Digging Up Danger
Jacqueline West and illustrated by Hatem Aly
Based on the story idea of Phoebe Wolinetz
Random House, 2019
Ages 8-12

What do you get when you cross a ghost-hunting-thirteen-year-old, bent on figuring out what’s haunting the plant shop where she’s spending the summer, with a step-by-step guide to creating your own mystery novel? A Story Pirates adventure, of course. Story Pirates is a multi-media company/creativity lab (radio, podcast, live show, book series) focused on bringing kid’s story ideas to life.

dear allyDear Ally, How Do You Write a Book?
Ally Carter
Scholastic Press, 2019
Ages 12 and up

An in-depth Q&A, full of practical advice, for anyone even thinking about writing a book. With contributions from some of the biggest names in YA lit, Carter and friends cover everything from finding (and keeping) inspiration, planning and research, battling writer’s block, to getting published. A great, desk-top, “phone a friend” reference.


Looking for some backlist inspiration? Check out any one of these titles for the youngest through young adult authors.

Author: A True Story by Helen Lester (HMH, 2002) Ages 4-7

The Word Collector by Peter H Reynolds (Scholastic, 2018) Ages 4-8

My Weird Writing Tips by Dan Gutman (HarperCollins 2013) Ages 8-12

Spilling Ink: A Young Writers Handbook by Ellen Potter and Anne Mazer, illustrated by Matt Phelan (Macmillan, 2010) Ages 9-14

How to Write Fiction (And Think About It) by Robert Graham (Macmillan, 2007) Ages 15 and up–academic

Butler Bookshelf

It may be Halloween week, but there are no tricks on our shelves–only treats! Each of these books is out today. We’re looking forward to Eva Chen’s latest Juno Valentine picture book!

Girls Like Us
Written by Randi Pink
Published by Feiwel and Friends
Available today!

Beyond the Black Door
Written by A.M. Strickland
Published by Imprint
Available today!

Open Borders: The Science and Ethics of Immigration
Written by Bryan Caplan and illustrated by Zach Weinersmith
Published by First Second
Available today!

Juno Valentine and the Fantastic Fashion Adventure
Written by Eva Chen and illustrated by Derek Deseierto
Published by Feiwel and Friends
Available today!

Red Rover: Curiosity on Mars
Written by Richard Ho and illustrated by Katherine Roy
Published by Roaring Brook
Available today!

Fear Of The Unknown: A Review of How We Became Wicked

How We Became Wicked
By Alexander Yates
July 23rd, 2019
Grades 8 and above

Several decades have passed since the outbreak of a virus know as “wicked” which has devastated the world, leaving few survivors. Contracted from mosquito like bugs known as “singers”, the “wicked” turns people into homicidal maniacs. The town of Goldsport has built a glass dome around their community to prevent singers from entering and spreading the “wicked”. Astrid, the only person in the town who is immune to the singers, is desperate to leave Goldsport and go to Puffin Island where a mysterious lighthouse shines. Yet, every time she brings up the lighthouse or the island, the people in her town dismiss her, clearly trying to hide something. Meanwhile, on Puffin Island, Natalie and her family struggle to survive with their dwindling resources and constant vigilance of her “wicked” grandfather. When her mother gives birth, Natalie must go to the mainland by herself to try to get her sister “vexed” a type of immunization that would make her newborn sister immune to the “singers”. While on the mainland she meets other people for the first time in her life, people who seem a little too fascinated by her purple glowing “vexed” eyes. Told through intersecting adventures, both girls eventually learn that ordinary people can be just as wicked as the “wicked”; they can even be worse.
Yates creates a world that is constantly teetering on the brink of collapse, where the slightest push could destroy everything. This book grapples with questions of morality, asking who gets to decide who survives? Is survival worth letting others die? A gripping book from front to cover, this book is perfect for the spooky season.

Butler Bookshelf

We’re so excited about this week’s batch of new books, including Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story. A fry bread recipe comes at the end of this warm picture book–as well as an author’s note that provides history to this lyrical work.

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story
Written by Kevin Noble Maillard and illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
Published by Roaring Brook Press
Available now

Our Wayward Fate
Written by Gloria Chao
Published by Simon Pulse
Available now

Light It Up
Written by Kekla Magoon
Published by Henry Holt
Available now

From A Small Seed – The Story of Eliza Hamilton
Written by Camille Andros and illustrated by Tessa Blackham
Published by Holt Books for Young Readers
Available now

Infinite Hope: A Black Artist’s Journey from World War II to Peace
Written and illustrated by Ashley Bryan
Published by Atheneum
Available now

#ILAAC19 — Will we see you there?

Visit us in the ILA Exhibits— you’ll find DU in the exhibit hall at booth 415. Stop by to chat about what’s going on with Dominican, SOIS programs, and the Butler Center.


Meet up at the Dominican iSchool Alumni Reception. Before you head home for the day or out to the Pub Stroll, join fellow Dominican grads and prospective Dominican grads for a chat, a snack, and some networking. You’ll find us on Wednesday, October 23, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m. in the Pebble Beach Room at the Tinley Park Convention Center.


Why not both?

Hope to see you there!

Jen Clemons
Curator, Butler Children’s Literature Center