Books for Independent Readers

Children’s World

KidsReadingUABIndestructible Books and board books for your youngest book lovers, books for reading aloud to children, books for beginning readers and beyond — there’s something for every young reader at Union Ave Books!

We have a special section for older children and young adult readers that includes both popular series and timeless classics as well as graphic books


KidStuffUABWe also have a great selection of gifts for children of all ages, including games, puzzles, stuffed animals, art supplies for young artists, and magnetic story sets. We wrap gifts, too!


Fall and Winter Favorites

Top Picks


Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow
Jessica Townsend
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers; $17.99 (hardcover)

Morrigan Crow is cursed. Born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks — and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.

But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.

Perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series and Neil Gaiman, this fast-paced plot and imaginative world has a fresh new take on magic that will appeal to a new generation of readers.

All’s Faire in Middle School
Victoria Jamieson
Dial Books; $12.99 (paperback)

Eleven-year-old Imogene (Impy) has grown up with two parents working at the Renaissance Faire, and she’s eager to begin her own training as a squire. First, though, she’ll need to prove her bravery.

Impy has just the quest in mind — she’ll go to public school after a life of being homeschooled. But it’s not easy to act like a noble knight-in-training in middle school. She falls in with a group of girls who seem really nice (until they don’t) and starts to be embarrassed of her thrift shop apparel, her family’s unusual lifestyle, and their small, messy apartment. Impy has always thought of herself as a heroic knight, but when she does something really mean in order to fit in, she begins to wonder whether she might be more of a dragon after all.

Max and Bird
Ed Vere
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky; $17.99 (hardcover)

When Max meets Bird, Max thinks he’d like to be friends with Bird. He would also like to chase Bird and maybe eat him as a tasty snack. But that’s not what friendship is all about … is it?

With the same lovable character and bright, graphic illustrations as Max the Brave, Max and Bird is sure to delight young readers and adults alike.

Katherine Applegate
Felwel and Friends; $16.99 (hardcover)

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wishtree” — people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood.

You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red’s experience as a wishtree is more important than ever.


For Ages 4–8


After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again)
Dan Santat
Roaring Brook Press; $17.99 (hardcover)

Everyone knows that when Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall. But what happened after?

Caldecott Medalist Dan Santat’s poignant tale follows Humpty Dumpty, an avid bird watcher whose favorite place to be is high up on the city wall — that is, until after his famous fall. Now terrified of heights, Humpty can longer do many of the things he loves most.

Will he summon the courage to face his fear?

Fort-Building Time
Megan Wagner Lloyd, Abigail Halpin (Illus.)
Chronicle Books; $19.99 (hardcover)

Winter, spring, summer, fall. Each season brings new materials to make the perfect fort. From leaves to snow, from mud to sand, there is a different fort throughout the year. As a group of friends explore and build through the seasons, they find that every fort they make is a perfect fort.

Megan Wagner Lloyd and Abigail Halpin have portrayed a classic childhood endeavor that is perfect all year long.

On a Magical Do-Nothing Day
Beatrice Alemagna
HarperCollins; $17.99 (hardcover)

All I want to do on a rainy day like today is play my game. My mom says it’s a waste of time, but without my game, nothing is fun. On the other hand, maybe I’m wrong about that ….

Sarabella’s Thinking Cap
Judy Schachner
Dial Books; $17.99 (hardcover)

Sarabella is always thinking — conjuring, daydreaming, and creating new worlds from her imagination. There is so much going on in her head that it can barely be contained. But there are times when daydreaming is decidedly not a good thing — like when you’re supposed to be doing multiplication tables. Luckily, Sarabella has an understanding teacher, and with his encouragement, she comes up with her own idea to show everyone who she is.

For Ages 9–12


The War I Finally Won
Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Dial Books; $16.99 (hardcover)

Ada is a fighter for the ages. Her triumphant World War II journey continues in this sequel to the Newbery Honor-winning The War that Saved My Life.

When Ada’s clubfoot is surgically fixed at last, she knows for certain that she’s not what her mother said she was — damaged, deranged, crippled mentally as well as physically. She’s not a daughter anymore, either. Who is she now?

World War II rages on, and Ada and her brother, Jamie, move with their guardian, Susan, into a cottage with the iron-faced Lady Thorton and her daughter, Maggie. Life in the crowded home is tense. Then Ruth moves in. Ruth, a Jewish girl, from Germany. A German? Could Ruth be a spy?

As the fallout from war intensifies, calamity creeps closer, and life during wartime grows even more complicated. Who will Ada decide to be? How can she keep fighting? And who will she struggle to save?

The Explorer
Katherine Rundell
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers; $16.99 (hardcover)

The Explorer tells the story of a group of kids who must survive in the Amazon after their plane crashes. Fred, Con, Lila, and Max are on their way back to England from Manaus when the plane they’re on crashes and the pilot dies upon landing. For days they survive alone, until Fred finds a map that leads them to a ruined city, and to a secret.

Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic
Armand Baltazar
Katherine Tegen Books; $19.99 (hardcover)

You’ve never seen Earth like this before: continents reshaped, oceans re-formed, cities rebuilt, and mountains sculpted anew. Dinosaurs roam the plains alongside herds of buffalo, and giant robots navigate the same waters as steam-powered ships.

This is the world Diego Ribera was born into. The past, present, and future coexisting together. In New Chicago, Diego’s middle school hallways buzz with kids from all eras of history and from cultures all over the world. The pieces do not always fit together neatly, but this is the world he loves.

There are those, however, who do not share his affection. On his thirteenth birthday, Diego learns of a special gift he has within, a secret that is part of something much bigger — something he cannot understand. When his father, New Chicago’s top engineer, is taken by the Aeternum, Diego must rescue him and prevent this evil group from disrupting the fragile peace humanity has forged.

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street
Karina Yan Glaser
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Young Readers; $16.99 (hardcover)

The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It’s practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have 11 days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.

Reminiscent of the Penderwicks series, The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street is about the connections we make and the unexpected turns life can take.

For Teens


All Rights Reserved
Gregory Scott Katsoulis
Harlequin Teen; $18.99 (hardcover)

Speth Jime is anxious to deliver her Last Day speech and celebrate her transition into adulthood. The moment she turns 15, Speth must pay for every word she speaks (“Sorry” is a flat $10 and a legal admission of guilt), for every nod ($0.99/second), for every scream ($0.99/second) ,and even every gesture of affection. She’s been raised to know the consequences of falling into debt, and can’t begin to imagine the pain of having her eyes shocked for speaking words that she’s unable to afford.

When Speth’s friend Beecher commits suicide rather than work off his family’s crippling debt, she can’t express her shock and dismay without breaking her Last Day contract and sending her family into Collection. Backed into a corner, Speth finds a loophole: rather than read her speech — rather than say anything at all — she closes her mouth and vows never to speak again. Speth’s unexpected defiance of tradition sparks a media frenzy, inspiring others to follow in her footsteps, and threatens to destroy her, her family and the entire city around them.

Long Way Down
Jason Reynolds
Atheneum Books; $17.99 (hardcover)

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what 15-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge.

Will gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. But at each stop of the elevator, someone connected to his brother gets on to give him a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END … if WILL gets off that elevator.

Jennifer Mathieu
Roaring Brook Press; $17.99 (hardcover)

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with an administration at her high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

All the Crooked Saints
Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic Press; $19.99 (hardcover)

Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado, is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars.

At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

They are all looking for a miracle. But the miracles of Bicho Raro are never quite what you expect.

Our book descriptions are excerpted from INDIEBOUND.ORG or from the publisher’s website.







Union Ave Books

Union Ave Books
The Daylight Building
517 Union Ave, Knoxville, TN 37902
(865) 951-2180 | mail [at]

Website by Nathanna