Indies Introduce Picks Winter/Spring 2023

This summer, our very own Gabriella participated in the Indies Introduce Kids panel. Put together by the American Booksellers Association, this panel (along with its adult counterpart) consists of booksellers from across the country who read, discuss, and ultimately select a list of ten exceptional debut novels releasing in Winter/Spring 2023.

Find all these amazing books, spanning from Middle Grade contemporary to Young Adult Nonfiction below and see what you need to add to your kid’s (or your own!) to-be-read list. Check back for preorder links closer to the holiday season, and in the meantime, read what the great booksellers of the ABA have to say about each title!


Middle Grade

The Swifts, Beth Lincoln
Dutton Books for Young Readers, 9780593533239, February 7, 2023 (Middle Grade)

“A rambunctious and often hilarious mystery with a classic feel thanks to the rundown family house and quirky cast of characters. With a penchant for wordplay, treasure hunting, and odd traditions like comically accurate names, The Swifts are one family with a reunion you’ll never forget.”

– Gabriella Crivilare, Prairie Fox Books, Ottawa, IL


The Pearl Hunter, Miya T. Beck
Balzer + Bray, 9780063238190, February 7, 2023 (Middle Grade)

“A stunning novel, inside and out. Kai and Kishi are twin pearl divers who do everything together, until the day Kishi is swallowed by a ghost whale. Kai is willing to risk everything to bring her twin back home. Kai is complex, imperfect, fierce, and loyal. The Pearl Hunter will capture your heart and leave you thinking.”

– Brandi Stewart, Changing Hands Bookstore, Tempe, AZ

“A captivating adventure with a beautiful historical and mythical backdrop, The Pearl Hunter is an exciting tale of resourcefulness, inner strength, and the bond between sisters. It’s impossible not to get swept up in Kai’s journey across the empire — from the belly of a ghost whale to a magical fox den — to rescue her sister.”

– Gabriella Crivilare, Prairie Fox Books, Ottawa, IL

Turtles of the Midnight Moon, María José Fitzgerald
Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780593488706, March 14, 2023 (Middle Grade)

Turtles of the Midnight Moon is magical in more ways than one, but the glimpse it offers into life in Honduras and the challenges environmentalists face there is all too real. Barana and Abby are a dedicated and inspiring team. A wonderful story about friendship, courage, and conservation.”

– Gabriella Crivilare, Prairie Fox Books, Ottawa, IL


Jude Saves the World, Ronnie Riley
Scholastic Press, 9781338855876, April 18, 2023 (Middle Grade)

“Filled with courage and positivity, Jude is middle grade’s next Pride icon. I will be thinking about this story for years to come. Young readers and adults alike will find this book to be a fantastic resource in understanding queer and gender identities!”

– Kaliisha Cole, Whitelam Books, Reading, MA

“Despite its difficult moments, Jude Saves the World is pure joy, full of love and support in the face of a parent’s well-intentioned but misguided protection and the ups and downs of friendship. Ronnie Riley navigates Jude’s identity and various levels of being openly out with care and skill, and seeing them step up to create a safe-space club open to the community at large was inspiring and cheer-worthy. Jude is the brave and loyal friend all young queer kids need.”

– Gabriella Crivilare, Prairie Fox Books, Ottawa, IL


Young Adult

The Davenports, Krystal Marquis
Dial Books, 9780593463338, January 31, 2023 (Young Adult)

“In the fleeting moment of American history following Reconstruction, formerly enslaved people sought the ‘American Dream.’ This YA historical romance (with definite crossover appeal!) follows the wealthy Davenport family in 1910 Chicago Black high society. Varied perspectives across class lines flesh out their world fully. Believable, engaging, realistic — I haven’t been able to stop talking about The Davenports!”

– Tory Hall, Chapters Books & Gifts, Seward, NE

The Davenports is an absolute delight and a fantastic addition to any historical YA shelf thanks to its exploration of Black history and success at the turn of the century. I adored watching the four leading ladies learn, grow, and own their mistakes and struggles as they fall in love and seek out their own paths, whether the plans they make are proper or not.”

– Gabriella Crivilare, Prairie Fox Books, Ottawa, IL


There Goes the Neighborhood, Jade Adia
Disney-Hyperion, 9781368084321, March 7, 2023 (Young Adult)

“Fun yet insightful, like if Scooby Doo and the gang had to solve a mystery in a neighborhood dealing with gentrification. I loved the initiative shown by the characters to do everything in their power to stay together.”

– Earl Dizon, Green Bean Books, Portland, OR

“A solid story that takes its central conflict seriously but still has a sense of humor, There Goes the Neighborhood gets creative with solving the problem of gentrification, thanks to Rhea’s genius — and dangerous — plan. It leans more mystery than I expected, with a harrowing and satisfying ending. Rhea is a brilliant mastermind.”

– Gabriella Crivilare, Prairie Fox Books, Ottawa, IL


Bianca Torre is Afraid of Everything, Justine Pucella Winans
Clarion Books, 9780358721642, April 11, 2023 (Young Adult)

“This book is the weird and wonderful queer-teen-investigates-money-laundering-bird-cult murder mystery I didn’t realize I was waiting for. Simultaneously hilarious and terrifying, sweet and wry.”

– Rebekah Shoaf, Boogie Down Books, Bronx, NY


Where You See Yourself, Claire Forrest
Scholastic Press, 9781338813838, April 18, 2023 (Young Adult)

“Utterly engrossing through and through. A fun senior year novel told through the eyes of a spunky teenager fighting for disability rights. I was rooting for Effie to find her voice, to get the guy, and to go for the future that would make her happy.”

– Earl Dizon, Green Bean Books, Portland, OR


I Kick and I Fly, Ruchira Gupta
Scholastic Press, 9781338825091, April 18, 2023 (Young Adult)

“An incredibly immersive, honest, yet YA-appropriate novel based on the real experiences of trafficked young women and those who work to free them. This incredible book manages to offer an uplifting and hopeful story without downplaying the incredibly harsh realities its characters, and the people who inspired them, face. A must-read.”

– Emily Autenrieth, A Seat at the Table Books, Elk Grove, CA


Young Adult Non-Fiction

Hidden Systems, Dan Nott
Random House Graphic, 9781984896049, March 14, 2023 (Young Adult Non-Fiction)

“Dan Nott takes one of the most innocuous and seemingly boring subjects — infrastructure — and demonstrates just how fascinating and vital it can be. Subtleties, entrenched inequalities, dis-functions, and outmoded processes are laid bare in a way that is awesome and interesting to read!”

– Justin Colussy-Estes, Little Shop of Stories, Decatur, GA