Spring is Sprouting: 13 New Reads for the Young and Young at Heart (Plus a Special Announcement!)

Can you feel it? Spring is finally in the air! Pretty soon the trees will be covered in green leaves, the flowers will be blooming, and (surprise!) the literary garden of Parnassus will be growing a brand-new subscription box! Sprout Book Club is a monthly picture book subscription box curated by our expert children’s booksellers. Each month you will receive a first edition hardcover picture book! Our first selection, I’d Like to Be the Window for a Wise Old Dog by Philip C. Stead, won’t go out to our members until April, but you can sign up for an ongoing monthly membership or a 3-, 6-, or 12-month subscription now! We know, it’s going to be hard to wait for a whole month, so we have some great new staff picks for you in the meantime. Without further ado…

Recommended by Rae Ann

Me and Ms. Too Cover ImageMe and Ms. Too

By Laura RubyDung Ho (Illustrator)

Molly loved her favorite librarian, Ms. Too, until their relationship changed. A lovely and entertaining book about blended families.

Recommended by Chelsea

Out of a Jar Cover ImageOut of a Jar

By Deborah MarceroDeborah Marcero (Illustrator)

Llewellyn doesn’t like to feel his feelings, so he puts them in jars until he realizes he doesn’t feel anything at all. The illustrations are captivating and perfectly accompany Llewellyn’s journey. This is a good reminder for us all that feelings can be overwhelming but that’s okay.

Recommended by Rae Ann

Somewhere in the Bayou Cover ImageSomewhere in the Bayou

By Jerome PumphreyJarrett Pumphrey

Four animals attempting to cross a stream are surprised when their log has a tail. Their journey is met with various results in this beautifully illustrated picture book by the Pumphrey brothers.

Recommended by Rae Ann

TThe Aquanaut: A Graphic Novel Cover Imagehe Aquanaut: A Graphic Novel

By Dan Santat

When an aquanaut breaks into the marine research center where Sofia’s uncle works, she’s shocked to find the suit is manned by goofy sea creatures. They may have a plan to save the park’s sea creatures in this delightful graphic novel.

Recommended by Ashby

Dear Student Cover ImageDear Student

By Elly Swartz

Middle school. When your BFF moves and your dad leaves for the Peace Corps and YOU have social anxiety, it can be really hard. Autumn navigates the challenges and takes on the role of advice columnist. It’s an awful lot to manage but an awful lot you can relate to whether you are headed to middle school or already there!

Recommended by Jennifer

All My Rage: A Novel Cover ImageAll My Rage: A Novel

By Sabaa Tahir

Author of the the popular fantasy series An Ember in Ashes, Tahir takes a different approach to storytelling by examining our world. Following the lives of Pakistani immigrants in America, we see pain and suffering but also abundant strength, hope, and love. This book is an immediate all-time favorite; I will definitely be introducing this one to my students!

Recommended by Chelsea

The Rumor Game Cover ImageThe Rumor Game

By Dhonielle ClaytonSona Charaipotra

Set at an elite prep school outside Washington DC, The Rumor Game chronicles the consequences of rumors, social media, and revenge. Each chapter had me rooting for a different character, and the twists were unexpected and delicious. A must read for fans of Pretty Little Liars and Riverdale.

Recommended by Hannah

Loveless Cover ImageLoveless

By Alice Oseman

Georgia feels left out: she’s never had a crush, been in love, or been kissed when everyone else around her has. She’s never felt drawn to romantic relationships like her peers – so what does that mean? This is a beautiful story of a girl navigating her asexuality, and it’s a great reminder that platonic love/friendships can easily be just as (if not more!) magical as romantic love.

Recommended by Jennifer

Gallant Cover ImageGallant

By V. E. Schwab

Famous for her Darker Shade of Magic series and The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Schwab strikes again with this unforgettable ghost story. Olivia is an orphan with a haunted past that reaches out to her from beyond the grave. This eerie tale is one of reconciliation, resilience, and, most of all, finding family and belonging in surprising places.

Gallant is our March ParnassusNext pick! Scroll down to read more about it.

Recommended by Ashby

Girl on Fire Cover ImageGirl on Fire

By Alicia KeysBrittney Williams (Illustrator), Andrew Weiner

Alicia Keys graphic! Tell me more… A compelling character, Lolo Wright, faced with challenges and decisions but given special powers. Makes for intensity and drama. And it is Alicia Keys who is inspiring with both her music and actions.

Recommended by Sarah

Ophelia After All Cover ImageOphelia After All

By Racquel Marie

I absolutely loved the representation in all its forms in this book. The cast of characters is so loveable, and Ophelia’s experience of discovering her sexuality is written in a completely authentic, heartfelt way. Fans of Kacen Callender will love it!

Recommended Aly

Float Cover ImageFloat

By Kate Marchant

Waverly is used to inhospitable environments: Alaska, her ultra-competitive school, at home or work with her brainy parents. A summer in Florida with her eccentric aunt should be no different, right? If only the house was less cozy, the kids less inviting, and the boy next door less insanely cute. This summer, anything could happen, so prepare to ride the waves.

Spark Book Club: March Selection

Falling Short Cover ImageFalling Short

By Ernesto Cisneros

The March 2022 Spark Book Club selection is Falling Short by Ernesto Cisneros.

Isaac and Marco are next-door neighbors and best friends. From their first day of sixth grade, Marco dreams of making the basketball team and Isaac wants to improve his grades. They use their unique skills to keep each other from falling short in this funny story about sports and life.

Early Sparks for the novel:

“Cisneros’ touching sophomore novel is an ideal pick for sports fans and will reel in reluctant readers.” –Kirkus, starred review

“Told through animated alternating first-person chapters, Cisneros’s story not only captures the anxiety—and at times, humor—of trying to measure up to expectations, it also tackles delicate subject matter, such as parental absence and alcohol reliance, with profound sensitivity and nuance. A narrative slam dunk for fans of Donna Barba Higuera and Meg Medina.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review

Spark Book Club is the first editions club for middle grade readersEvery month members will receive a first edition middle grade novel — plus a letter written by the author especially for club members. Makes a great gift for the independent reader! Sign ups are available for 3, 6, or 12 months.

ParnassusNext: March Selection

Gallant Cover ImageGallant

By V. E. Schwab

The March 2022 ParnassusNext selection is Gallant by V. E. Schwab. Olivia Prior has always lived at the Merilance School for Girls. It’s filled with ghouls only she can see. Her mother’s journal has one ominous instruction: stay away from the family estate, Gallant. When an invitation arrives from an uncle she’s never met, Olivia rejects her mother’s directive and sets out to find a new life. The family estate is not what she expected, and the ghouls have not been left behind. V. E. Schwab spins a horror-infused tale of secrets in this standalone YA novel.

Early praise for the novel:

“Will hook readers with its gripping worldbuilding, well-rounded characters, and fantastic horror.” – Kirkus, starred review

“Evocative prose, eerie b&w artwork by Šumberac, and superbly rendered characters (most of whom cue as white) elevate this affective, bone-chilling standalone from Schwab (the City of Ghosts series), which fuses Shirley Jackson’s gothic horror sensibilities with the warmth and dark whimsy of Neil Gaiman.” – Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

ParnassusNext is the book subscription box for YA lovers. Every member of ParnassusNext receives a first edition hardcover of each month’s selected book, signed by the author. There is no membership fee to join — and no line to stand in for the autograph. Not only will you have one of the best YA books of the month when it comes out, you’ll have it straight from the author’s hands, with an original, authentic signature! Set up a subscription for yourself or buy a gift membership for your favorite YA reader for 3, 6, or 12 months.