My fourth novel, The Winter of the Robots, comes out in one week. I thought I would warm up to release day by talking about some other October books I am excited about by various friends and colleagues. Several come out the same day! Obviously you should buy The Winter of the Robots FIRST, but if you have money left over your local independent bookstore and my writer/artist pals will appreciate it if you grabbed these too.
Man Made Boy, Jon Skovron
I’ve known Jon virtually since 2009, when our first books came out. I was excited to read this one because I like 19th century literature and I knew Jon was really well read and would do this book justice. But it’s way more than a Shelley pastiche — there are allusions to practically every prototype supernatural classic and a healthy dose of Greek mythology. Is there a word like “pantheon” referring to monsters instead of gods? That’s the world Skovron is building. It’s also a real YA book. What adolescent boy doesn’t feel like a hulking monstrosity made up of spare parts, with visible scars coursing all over his face and body?
Turn Left at the Cow, Lisa Bullard
Lisa Bullard told me about this book about four years ago at a Children’s Literature Network event. She’s written over thirty picture books but this is her first middle grade novel. It promises to celebrate life in Minnesota in fun and mysterious ways.
Africa is my Home, Monica Edinger
Practically the same story here — I met Ms. Edinger at NCTE in 2010. Mamba Point had just come out, and she had lived in Sierra Leone, which shares a border with Liberia. She told me she was writing a book about it.
Moo, by David LaRochelle and Mike Wohnoutka
David LaRochelle is one of the nicest (and tallest) picture book writers you will ever meet. Since reading his books to Byron I have come to appreciate his mastery of the picture book format — particularly the concept of the “page turn” is epitomized in books like The End and It’s a Tiger. Mike Wohnoutka did the art for several gorgeous books in our library, like Can’t Sleep Without Sheep and Just Like Papa.
Dogs of War, by Sheila Keenan and Nathan Fox
Sheila Keenan was editor for the Topps books. She’s since become a full-time writer, and this is her latest — a graphic story about military dogs.
Will in Scarlet, Will Cody
I only know Matthew Cody via Twitter, but I’ve always loved Robin Hood stories, and it’s hard not to see books that come from the same imprint on the same day as littermates.