New Releases for Spring

New Releases for Spring

The clocks have flipped and we are getting closer to the green of spring that will appear in a few weeks. The greenery isn’t the only thing to look forward to this March; I want to share with you a handful of my anticipated reads for 2019. I haven’t read any of these just yet – so I’ll include either quotes from reviews or the book blurb as listed from the publishers.


Dutch Girl: Audrey Hepburn and World War II

by Robert Matzen

Published By GoodKnight Books

April 2019

“Robert Matzen (Mission: Jimmy Stewart) completes his trilogy of books about Hollywood figures during WWII with this exciting volume about Audrey Hepburn’s childhood and adolescence under the Nazi occupation of Holland. At first, Hepburn is largely a supporting player, having been only 11 when the Nazis invaded (she later said, “A child is a child; I just went to school”). Instead, Matzen focuses on Hepburn’s mother (by then divorced from Hepburn’s father), a socialite and longtime Nazi sympathizer, and other family members, including her uncle, who was held by the Nazis and eventually shot in retaliation for Dutch resistance activity. Nevertheless, Matzen shows how war shaped Hepburn’s resilient and fiercely private personality and informed her work as a UNICEF ambassador later in life. And all is not gloom and doom, as he explores Hepburn’s fascination with dance, and her dreams of becoming a ballerina. More dominant, however, is the wartime background. Visceral details—of intense privation (“I went as long as three days without food” Hepburn recalled), constant bombings, and also acts of resistance—evoke the period. Matzen has created a vivid portrait of a civilian population under siege—one of whom just happened to become a Hollywood star.”

Publishers Weekly

“Audrey Hepburn, with her fresh innocence, gamine ways, intense dark eyes, and boyish figure, created magic on the screen. Known as an Academy Award-winning actress and fashion icon, she also made a difference for suffering children as a UNICEF ambassador before her untimely death from abdominal cancer in 1993. What many don’t know, and Robert Matzen’s sensitive and deeply moving book reveals, are Hepburn’s experiences growing up in the Netherlands during the years of Nazi occupation—experiences that formed her character and left her haunted by memories she could not erase… A master storyteller, Matzen has given us a great story—intimate, intense, and unforgettable—that carries us not only into the heart of the battle but into the heart of a great human being.”

Foreword Reviews Magazine March/April 2019 Issue

Dutch Girl is a moving, fascinating, factual account of Audrey’s young life during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. To those who usually gravitate to novels or Audrey’s movies, I say take this non-fiction detour.”

Read Erin Dealey’s review at


Black Leopard, Red Wolf

By Marlon James

Published by Riverhead Books part of Penguin Random House

“Black Leopard, Red Wolf is the kind of novel I never realized I was missing until I read it. A dangerous, hallucinatory, ancient Africa, which becomes a fantasy world as well-realized as anything Tolkien made, with language as powerful as Angela Carter’s. It’s as deep and crafty as Gene Wolfe, bloodier than Robert E. Howard, and all Marlon James. It’s something very new that feels old, in the best way. I cannot wait for the next installment.” 

Neil Gaiman 

Black Leopard, Red Wolf aims to be an event, and to counter the dominant impression of the genre it inhabits. . . . Black Leopard delivers some genre-specific satisfactions: the fight scenes are choreographed with comic-book wit . . . But it deliberately upends others. When I first saw the news that James was writing a fantasy trilogy, I had assumed that, after reaching the pinnacle of critical acclaim, with the Booker, he was pivoting to the land of the straightforward best-seller. . . . Instead, he’d written not just an African fantasy novel but an African fantasy novel that is literary and labyrinthine to an almost combative degree.” 

—The New Yorker


My Sister, the Serial Killer

by Oyinkan Braithwaite

Published by Doubleday

“Braithwaite’s blazing debut is as sharp as a knife…bitingly funny and brilliantly executed, with not a single word out of place.” 

—PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, (starred review)

“It’s Lagos noir—pulpy, peppery and sinister, served up in a comic deadpan…This book is, above all, built to move, to hurtle forward—and it does so, dizzyingly. There’s a seditious pleasure in its momentum. At a time when there are such wholesome and dull claims on fiction—on its duty to ennoble or train us in empathy—there’s a relief in encountering a novel faithful to art’s first imperative: to catch and keep our attention… This scorpion-tailed little thriller leaves a response, and a sting, you will remember.” 



Parkland: Birth of a Movement

By Dave Cullen

Published by Harper

After reading Columbine, I’ll read anything by Dave Cullen. Parkland, focuses not on the tragedy of that February morning, but the call to action and birth of a revolution.

“This book is about the birth of something extraordinary: the birth of a movement, but also the rebirth of hope.”

New York Times Book Review

The author of the groundbreaking Columbine, brings his eloquence, expertise, combination of deep research and concision, and unbiased perspective to yet another mass school shooting, revealing its deepest layers and resonance. . . .
This moving, defining, and important account
of an essential and vital youth movement dedicated to change and saving lives belongs in every public and school library.

— Booklist


Superman: Dawnbreaker

By  Matt de la Peña

Published by Random House Books for Young Readers

This is the 4th installment of the DC Icons series. So after watching Captain Marvel I think I’ll continue on in this series.

Clark Kent has always been faster, stronger–better–than everyone around him. But it’s not like he’s earned his powers . . . yet. Lately it’s difficult to hold back and keep his heroics in the shadows. When Clark follows the sound of a girl crying, he comes across Gloria Alvarez and learns that people are disappearing from the Mexican-American and undocumented worker community in Smallville. Teaming up with his best friend, Lana Lang, Clark discovers that before he can save the world, he must save Smallville.

Penguin Random House

“In his brilliant take on Superman, de la Peña shows us that there’s a chance we’ll all need to step up like Clark Kent—with or without a cape.” 
Jason ReynoldsNew York Times bestselling author of Miles Morales: Spider-Man and Long Way Down

“A wonderful, bold interpretation of a DC icon that aspires to embrace all readers, new and old.”
—Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Matt de la Peña’s Superman is the quintessential American alien. Despite being caught between two worlds, he’s everything we love about the Man of Steel: courageous, compassionate, and full of hope.”
Gene Luen Yang, author of New Super-Man and National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

Comments are closed.