Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Can’t Wait Wednesday: More May 2020 Book Releases

Can’t Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings. I get to spotlight a few upcoming book releases that sound interesting to me. Here are the books that were supposed to come out in the next few weeks, but due to Coronavirus, some of the release dates were moved up or back.

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May 2020 Book Releases

Pew by Catherine Lacey

Adult Literary Fiction
May 12, 2020
July 21, 2020

In a small unnamed town in the American South, a church congregation arrives to a service and finds a figure asleep on a pew. The person is genderless, racially ambiguous, and refuses to speak. One family takes the strange visitor in and nicknames them Pew.

As the town spends the week preparing for a mysterious Forgiveness Festival, Pew is shuttled from one household to the next. The earnest and seemingly well-meaning townspeople see conflicting identities in Pew, and many confess their fears and secrets to them in one-sided conversations. Pew listens and observes while experiencing brief flashes of past lives or clues about their origins. As days pass, the void around Pew's presence begins to unnerve the community, whose generosity erodes into menace and suspicion. Yet by the time Pew's story reaches a shattering and unsettling climax at the Forgiveness Festival, the secret of their true nature—as a devil or an angel or something else entirely—is dwarfed by even larger truths.

What interests me? A strange visitor and a mysterious festival? YES! I want to know who (or what) Pew is and why they’re in the American South. I want to know about the festival. This book has the potential to be all kinds of bizarre and beautiful. Goodreads describes it as “a foreboding, provocative, and amorphous fable about the world today: its contradictions, its flimsy morality, and the limits of judging others based on their appearance.

Shiner by Amy Jo Burns

Adult Literary Fiction
May 12, 2020
May 5, 2020

An hour from the closest West Virginia mining town, fifteen-year-old Wren Bird lives in a cloistered mountain cabin with her parents. They have no car, no mailbox, and no visitors—except for her mother's lifelong best friend. Every Sunday, Wren's father delivers winding sermons in an abandoned gas station, where he takes up serpents and praises the Lord for his blighted white eye, proof of his divinity and key to the hold he has over the community, over Wren and her mother.

But over the course of one summer, a miracle performed by Wren's father quickly turns to tragedy. As the order of her world begins to shatter, Wren must uncover the truth of her father's mysterious legend and her mother's harrowing history and complex bond with her best friend. And with that newfound knowledge, Wren can imagine a different future for herself than she has been told to expect.

What interests me? Odd people in a remote location. I love books about complicated families, and this one sounds very complicated.

In Search Of Safety: Voices of Refugees by Susan Kuklin

Adult Nonfiction
May 12. 2020
March 27, 2020

An Iraqi woman who survived capture by ISIS. A Sudanese teen growing up in civil war and famine. An Afghan interpreter for the U.S. Army living under threat of a fatwa. They are among the five refugees who share their stories in award-winning author and photographer Susan Kuklin's latest masterfully crafted narrative. The five, originally from Afghanistan, Myanmar, South Sudan, Iraq, and Burundi, give gripping first-person testimonies about what it is like to flee war, face violent threats, grow up in a refugee camp, be sold into slavery, and resettle in America.

What interests me? I want to learn more about the world’s refugee crisis. The author is an award-winning photojournalist, so I’m hoping she will do an excellent job of capturing the stories of the five refugees she interviewed.

The Truth According To Blue by Eve Yohalem

Middlegrade Contemporary
May 12, 2020

Thirteen-year-old Blue Broen is on the hunt for a legendary ship of gold, lost centuries ago when her ancestors sailed to New York. Blue knows her overprotective parents won't approve of her mission to find their family's long-lost fortune, so she keeps it a secret from everyone except her constant companion, Otis, an 80-pound diabetic alert dog. But it's hard to keep things quiet with rival treasure hunters on the loose, and with Blue's reputation as the local poster child for a type 1 diabetes fundraiser.

Blue's quest gets even harder when she's forced to befriend Jules, the brainy but bratty daughter of a vacationing movie star who arrives on the scene and won't leave Blue alone. While Blue initially resents getting stuck with this spoiled seventh grade stranger, Jules soon proves Blue's not the only one who knows about secrets—and adventure.

Will Blue unravel a three hundred year-old family mystery, learn to stand up for herself, and find the missing treasure? Or is she destined to be nothing more than "diabetes girl" forever?

What interests me? The cover. It’s cute and energetic. The book is about a girl who’s trying to break away from the label that her community has put on her. Also, there’s a long-lost fortune that needs to be found! This is the type of book I would have been drawn to as a preteen. I loved stories about regular kids going on non-magical adventures.

Are you looking forward to any May book releases?


  1. The cover for BLUE is wonderful, and I love when characters try to shed their labels. It's good to see stories with kids with chronic illnesses too, where they want to be seen as more than that.

  2. Oooh! I'm really interested in the refugees book! Great picks!

    Here’s my WoW!

    Ronyell @ Rabbit Ears Book Blog

  3. I hope you get your hands on these books. I feel like the refugee story would be a very interesting and eye-opening read.

  4. Pew sounds fascinating. I already have so many questions.

  5. So I absolutely need to read Shiner, especially since I live in WV. However, the whole serpent handler thing terrifies me.

  6. They are all new to me. Thanks for sharing them.

    My CWW

  7. Shiner and Pew both sound really good, I would definitely try them! Thanks for sharing:-)

  8. In Search of Safety sounds like a powerful read. I know I should definitely learn more about the refugee crisis and world affairs in general. I guess picking up nonfiction books would be a great way to do that. I might have to make it a goal to read more nonfiction just to become more aware.

    Hope you enjoy all the books you're waiting for! Thanks for visiting Shell's Stories!

  9. The Truth According to Blue is so cute! Middle grade book covers continue to hit it out of the park.

  10. I haven't really looked at coming releases. I went on a 'buy all the books' spree through March and April and I've just got myself under control!

  11. I haven't heard of any of these, but I hope you enjoy them all! Middle grade books always have the most amazing covers!

  12. I have heard good things about Pew and have to admit I'm curious. It's such an interesting premise. Shiner does sound good--I like stories about complicated families. I hope you enjoy whichever of these you read, AJ--all of them if you get to them all! Have a great week.

  13. Thanks for sharing what sounds like another fantastic MG read. I'm always on the lookout for titles I think will appeal to my child and The Truth According to Blue sounds great.

  14. These are all new to me! The cover of The Truth According to Blue does make me want to pick up that book and Pew sounds incredibly interesting.

  15. Oh The Truth According to Blue sounds lovely, and I love that cover so much! :)
    Thank you for sharing this list! :)