Connecting Texas books and writers with those who most want to discover them

Find great kids' reads at a bookstore near you!


From read-to-me books to early readers, chapter books to middle readers to young adult, you’ll find these terrific new titles at your neighborhood bookstore or online.





















































sponsored by Blue Wilow Bookshop

About Blue Willow Books: We opened our doors in October 1996 as a neighborhood bookshop with outreach throughout the Houston area. We are located in the West Memorial area on Memorial Drive,  and we welcome you to come browse our shelves for books, games, puzzles, stationery, and more. We sell new books, downloadable audio books and e-books through our website.  We host over 300 events per year (and yes, we are tired!) We are a merry band of booksellers with opinionated advice about almost every category of books. 
Check out Blue Willow Bookshop’s 2018 pick for each age group, below!




Sharon Putegnat; edited by Judy Coyne and illustrated by Don Breeden

Nani’s Wish…A True Pig Tale

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Paperback, 978-1545318300; 40 pages, $9.95

September 19, 2017


Nani’s Wish…A True Pig Tale is a story of a young girl in fifth grade who knew exactly what she wanted for Christmas and made her desires known to those all around her.


She was certain her wish for a Dalmatian puppy would be granted since her family was an animal-loving family and always had multiple pets in and around the house. Surprisingly, what she received (after Christmas), instead, was beyond anything she or her family could have imagined.  Read and enjoy this tale of love, acceptance, hope and faith and lasting relationships.






Ages 2–6 years

Patty York Raymond, illustrated by Nancy Foley Oster

The ABCs to Ranching

Mascot Books (July 4, 2017)

Hardcover, 978-1631776113, 38 pages, $14.95

Age range: 3–6 years; grade level: 1–2


The ABCs to Ranching is a humorous account of a young boy determined to help his father with the chores. “Let’s go!” he yells to his Catahoula Cowdog. With one mishap after another, the mischievous boy develops an appreciation for nature and a strong connection to his father and their heritage- all centered on the alphabet. Sing and dance to the theme song, ‘Take Me to the Ranch’!


Texas Association of Authors 2018 Best Interactive Children’s Picture Book.


Patty York Raymond is a multiple award-winning author who enjoys visiting schools, sharing her stories, and motivating students to read and write.


Books for middle readers


Ages 8–12 years

S. J. Dahlstrom

Black Rock Brothers

The Adventures of Wilder Good, Book 5

Paul Dry Books (August 7, 2018)

Paperback, 978-1589881273, 250 pages, $9.95

Age range 8-12 years; grade level: 3–6



Every boy has it in his soul to make the big trip.

        Alone, into the wild.

        Wilder feels the call after reading about an obsidian deposit on a forgotten bluff in the Spanish Peaks Wilderness. If he can find the glassy, black, volcanic rock, he’ll be able to replace his family’s most cherished heirloom. Wilder wants to prove that he can make the journey alone, but his parents make him bring his best friend Big, and a foster-kid called Corndog. With no adults to turn to, can the three boys face the rigors of the outdoors―and each other?


S. J. Dahlstrom is a writer in West Texas. He has numerous magazine credits for his writing and photography. He has spent his life bouncing around the outdoors from New Mexico and Texas, north to Colorado and Montana and east to Michigan and New York. The Adventures of Wilder Good is his first book series. In his writing he draws on his experiences as a cowboy, husband, father, and boys ranch founder




Ages 8–12 years

Kathie Campbell Greer

Sliding for Home

Paperback, 256 pages, 978-0999181041, $9.99

Yellow City Publishing (March 1, 2018)

Age range 9–12 years; grade level: 4–6


Benjamin “Bird” Dunavin’s world has been turned upside down. His mother has started a new job and moved them to a new house, and he’s going to a new school. The worst thing was having to leave his baseball team.


There’s a tryout for the team at the new school, but his mother doesn’t want him to play. She hates the game and calls it a “killer.” Bird doesn't know why.


In his quest for answers that will keep him playing the game he loves, Bird must contend with a school bully and face a family crisis. Along the way he discovers what home really means.


Kathie Campbell Greer holds a master's degree in counseling from West Texas A&M University. Her career has including managing a Domestic Violence Shelter, writing editorials and columns, marketing, public relations, corporate journalism and a stint as a professional truck driver. She is an award-winning journalist whose work has been featured in Reader's Digest and other publications. Her poetry and photography were showcased in The West Texas Review of the Arts. An enthusiastic athlete, she played for and coached trophy-winning softball teams and was a credentialed umpire. A native Texan, but an avid traveler, Kathie has lived in the Arkansas Ozark Mountains and on California's Monterey Peninsula. Officially retired, she makes her home in Amarillo, Texas where her time is devoted to writing and being the number one fan for her grandsons' baseball and football teams.


Ages 8–12 years and their grownup friends


Grace Egert and DiAnn Mills

The Eye of Lariloth

Breckonwood Chronicles (Book 1)

Paperback, 978-0996300643, 178 pages, $8.99

Publisher: DM Publishing (May 1, 2018)


Twelve-year-old Arroah lives in the remote western province of Breckonwood. Her parents claim others seek to harm her because of the golden sword etched into her left wrist. Why?


Arroah finds answers from a forbidden dragon who challenges her to a dangerous quest and to fulfill her destiny as written in the Ancient Writings of Elysium.



Grace Egert is an elementary school student in Friendswood, Texas. She loves to write short stories for her family and friends. Grace's hobbies are basketball, gymnastics, reading, making videos, and hanging out with her friends. Want to take her out to eat? Her fav food is Chinese, and she loves root beer. Grace is active in her church. She enjoys short-termed mission trips.


Her grandmother, DiAnn Mills, is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne du Maurier, Inspirational Reader's Choice, and Carol Award contests.






Some top kids' book picks from Blue Willow Books

All available for purchase at Blue Willow Bookshop


Ages 4–8


I Walk With Vanessa: A Story about a Simple Act of Kindness

Hardcover, 9781524769550, 40 pages, $17.99

Schwartz & Wade Books

April 24, 2018


In this wordless picture book, Vanessa is a new girl at school who is bullied on her way home. A girl in a yellow dress witnesses the incident and feels sad and powerless. When she wakes up the next morning, she has an idea and heads to Vanessa's house to walk her to school. As the two girls head to school, they are joined by more and more children until the page is filled with a mass of smiling children, save the puzzled bully. A powerful message of kindness, even for the littlest readers.  —Cathy







Ages 8–12 years / grades 3–7

Katherine Applegate

Endling: The Last

Hardcover, 9780062335524, 400 pages, $17.99

HarperCollins, May 1, 2018


As dairnes go, Byx is fairly unremarkable at first blush. But when her pack is hunted down and killed, she grows concerned that she’s the last of her species. So begins her hero’s journey, which is jam-packed with memorable fantasy characters, uneasy alliances and peculiar friendships, and a heaping serving of derring-do. Applegate guides the plot along with deftness and grace. (You’ll soon forget that there was ever a time that you didn’t know what a wobbyk is.) She gives us lush, rich descriptions when they’re called for, and she knows when to step back and let a few well-chosen words speak volumes. Through it all, she delivers a clear call for fairness, compassion, and ecological stewardship. Another winner from the author of The One and Only Ivan and wishtree. Best for grades 3 and up. —Noah





Ages 8–12 / grades 3–7

Jeanne Birdsall

The Penderwicks at Last

Hardcover, 9780385755665, 304 pages, $16.99

Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

Publication Date: May 15th, 2018

Pages: 304


The final book in this delightful series focuses on Lydia, the youngest Penderwick. And we return to Arundel, the setting for the first Penderwick novel. This time, it's because one of the Penderwick daughters is getting married. All the beloved characters return and the story is full of Jeanne Birdsall's signature writing and adventures. It's about growing up, having adventures and enjoying a community who loves you. A perfect conclusion for fans of the series and a lovely introduction for new readers. Best for grades 4 and up. —Cathy








Ages 8–12 years / grades 3–7

Ellen Klages

Out of Left Field

Hardcover, 9780425288597, 320 pages, $16.99

Viking Books for Young Readers

May 1, 2018


K. C. Gordon is the best pitcher in the neighborhood, able to float a wicked knuckleball past all the middle-school Mickey Mantles. She's also a girl—the K in K. C. stands for Katy. That spells trouble for the local Little League chapter, which forbids Katy from ever taking the field. Not one to give up easily, Katy starts a quest to prove the coaches wrong—and discovers a rich and inspiring history of women in baseball along the way.


By setting her story in San Francisco in the late 1950s (just as the Giants were coming to town), Ellen Klages is able to weave in broader themes of racism and sexism, as well as plenty of period history. The setting also serves as a rallying reminder: It’s been 60 years since Katy’s time, and no Major League–affiliated baseball team, from the big leagues down to the lowest rung of the minors, has ever had a woman on their roster. Here’s hoping that more than a few young readers finish this book determined to change that. Best for grades 3 and up. —Noah



Ages 13–up / grades 8 and up

Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

My Plain Jane

Hardcover, 9780062652775, 464 pag$17.99es,


June 26, 2018


Fans of My Lady Jane will rejoice at another addition to this witty, hilarious series. You may know the story of Jane Eyre, but this version includes ghosts, a royal order intent on managing them, and aspiring author Charlotte Bronte herself as a character. A fun, lighthearted parody of a well-known classic. —Madeline











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