Cats News

Normal: One Kid's Extraordinary Journey (ISBN 9781328631831) shared the true story of Nathaniel Newman in a young reader’s edition. Fans of Wonder will be aware of Treachers Collins syndrome, but this book delves deeper into what a young life filled with multiple surgeries and always looking different is like for both Nathaniel and his mother. With black and white comic illustrations, and an introduction by R.J. Palacio, this story of persistence and courage will inspire young readers. Get the activity kit, perfect for middle grade discussion groups, here.

Cats News

From Annie Barrows, the bestselling author of Ivy + Bean, there’s a fun and exciting new middle grade series featuring Iggy Frangi, a kid who can’t seem to avoid getting into trouble. He’s not really a bad kid most of the time, until he comes up with The Worst Idea of All Time. Get to know Iggy, and find out what this terrible idea is, in The Best of Iggy (ISBN 9781984813305 HRD, 9781544445113 FBD). Don’t miss the animated trailer introducing our new friend!



Ongoing Series Update

Staff Picks


Written by Kate Messner | Bloomsbury Children’s Books | February 4, 2020 | 9781547602810 | Hardcover | $16.99


Thirteen year-old Mia and her family, move from Boston to Vermont the summer after seventh grade, intending to help Mia’s grandmother – an aging and zany cricket farm owner with the care of her business (she’s a scientist who sells the crickets as food for their protein-potency). But someone is making attempts to destroy the farm and the business: unleashing seagulls and other pests on the land, futzing with temperature controls, and much more! Read More.

Jack at Bat

Written by Mac Barnett and Illustrated by Greg Pizzoli | Viking Children’s Books | February 4, 2020 | 9780593113820 | Hardcover | $9.99


Just in time for the start of Spring Training, Jack is at bat! Well, not at first. Jack starts out our story as the Bat Boy for the Lady Town Ladies, but when destiny calls, he steps up to the plate! Follow along in this simple and easy going jaunt around the bases, learn about good sportsmanship, that Rex the Dog might not be the best choice for Left Field, baseball games are so long you can get in a good nap, and that the exciting stuff always happens in the 9th inning. Read More



Meet J. M. M. Nuanez


J. M. M. Nuanez's debut middle grade novel, Birdie and Me (ISBN 9780399186776), publishes on February 18, 2020, and depicts an unlikely family caught in a situation none of them would have chosen, and the beautiful ways in which they finally come to understand one another. The author is a self-described “committed fan of cats,” so of course our trusty mascots ears perked up at that. Read on to learn more about Ms. Nuanez and her new novel.
Read the interview here.

CATS In Your Library

Meet Bobbie Bensur

Meet Bobbie, Children’s and Teen Services Manager for the Eastern Region. Bobbie hails from south Florida originally, and spent time in Boston for college and New York City as a young professional in the children’s publishing industry. She now lives in her favorite place—Maine—with her husband, Michael, and their adorable black cat, Hades Mercedes. Learn all about Bobbie here.



Meet Rita King

Meet Rita King, Children’s and Teen Services Manager for the Western half of the country. She hails from the Detroit metropolitan area, and currently resides in the great state of Michigan. Learn all about Rita here.



Meet Katie LaMantia

Meet Katie LaMantia, Collection Development Librarian in our McHenry, IL office. She is from Schaumburg, IL and was a Teen Advisory Board member turned Teen Librarian there before coming to Baker & Taylor. Learn all about Katie here.



Random House and Baker & Taylor Summer Reading Sweepstakes is here!

Enter to win big prizes, including original artwork and autographed books from Emily Winfield Martin! One grand prize winner, and five runners-up will be chosen. Winners will be announced in the August CATS Meow newsletter. View the full rules here. Contest ends 08/01/2020.


Enter to win a visit from Ruta Sepetys in your library!

Open to adult and teen librarians, the winner will receive a visit and luncheon with New York Times bestselling author and master storyteller Ruta Sepetys in their library/community. Check out the author’s Community Reads video and enter to win here. Winner announced in the May 2020 CATS Meow newsletter, with the visit to take place later in the year. Contest ends 4/15/2020.


Enter to win a Little Blue Truck standee!

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! Bring the Little Blue Truck to your library with this wonderful standee, where kids can pose for a photo in the truck “window” next to Toad. Enter to win hereContest ends 3/15/2020.


New Titles

The Rise and Fall of Charles Lindbergh

Candace Fleming | PRH/Schwartz and Wade | 9780525646549 | Hardcover | $18.99 | 2/11/2020

SIX STARRED REVIEWS! Discover the dark side of Charles Lindbergh—one of America’s most celebrated heroes and complicated men—in this riveting biography from the acclaimed author of The Family Romanov.

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Bedtime for Sweet Creatures

Nikki Grimes | Sourcebooks Jabberwocky | 9781492638322 | Hardcover | $17.99 | 1/14/2020

Coretta Scott King Award winning author Nikki Grimes' latest children’s gem creates an imagination-fueled journey to bedtime and has 3 starred reviews.

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One Mean Ant

Arthur Yorinks | Candlewick Press | 9780763683948 | Hardcover | $16.99 | 2/11/2020

Was there ever an ant as mean as this mean ant? Not likely. An astonishingly disagreeable ant meets his match in this pitch-perfect picture book comedy from Arthur Yorinks and Sergio Ruzzier.

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On Wings of Words

Jennifer Berne | Chronicle Books | 9781452142975 | Hardcover | $18.99 | 2/18/2020

From Jennifer Berne, author of the critically acclaimed ON A BEAM OF LIGHT: A STORY OF ALBERT EINSTEIN, comes a lyrical account of Emily Dickinson: her courage, her faith and her gift to the world.

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Here in the Real World

Sara Pennypacker | Balzer & Bray | 9780062698957 | Hardcover | $17.99 | 2/4/2020

From the author of the highly acclaimed, New York Times bestselling novel Pax comes a gorgeous and moving middle grade novel that is an ode to introverts, dreamers and misfits everywhere.

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Martin McLean, Middle School Queen

Alyssa Zaczek | Sterling | 9781454935704 | Hardcover | $16.95 | 1/7/2020

In this bighearted middle-grade debut, Martin McLean struggles to find his voice and his inner diva as he navigates friendship, family, first crushes and a whole lot of glitter.

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