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Brandi's Picks

Brandi, when not escaping the pesky paparazzi, enjoys reading and buying books for the Children's and Young Adult sections. When she's not reading picture books and middle grade or YA fantasy, she likes humorous fiction and the occasional memoir. She is an advocate for cats and giraffes, enjoys swing dancing and anything that lets her hone her inner child.  She especially loves matching young readers with books they will love.

There Will Be Lies (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781619634404
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 1/2015
Shelby lives a sheltered life of home school, the golf range and the library. Her mother wants to keep her safe, warning her about boys and walking on the safe side of the street. So when a random truck veers off the road and hits her, not only is her leg shattered, but so is life as she knows it. Nick Lake has written a twisting plot that will leave you emotionally stunned and surprised at every chapter. If I had to compare this novel to anything, think Dead to You by Lisa McMann meets Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King.

Afterworlds (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781481422345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse, 9/2014
Prepare yourself to be taken on two journeys. First, you will be captured by the edge-of-your-seat opening chapter in Afterworlds--about a girl who can navigate the thin line between reality and the afterworld. In the alternating chapters, you are taken behind the words and into the mind of the “author”. I've always thought it would be cool to jump into a novel and meet the characters, but I never thought how cool it would be to jump into the mind of an author while she is writing her first, soon to be published, novel! While this is an amazing book to read just for the sake of reading, it's especially fun for readers who want to become authors themselves.Afterworlds is the tangible answer to "What advice would you give to a new author?"

ISBN-13: 9781442446892
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2/2013
Brilliant! Tim Federle is a genius of wit and Nate is an adorable, clever young man bravely following his passion. I loved revisiting New York City through the innocent eyes of a 13 year-old dreamer. A perfect story for anyone  especially kids who have shining dreams of their own.

ISBN-13: 9780062104892
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: HarperCollins Publishers, 5/2013
After this stunning cover grabs you, prepare yourself for an epic adventure! Soman Chainani thrills us with his new take on a fractured fairy tale. Taking the core of both sides — good and evil — and whipping them into a story you will not put down. Best friends Sophie and Agatha think they know which side they belong to in the fairy tale world. When the school master comes for them and places them in opposite schools, they must face their true selves and they find a way to survive their own stories. Great for readers who like a throwback to fairy tales (which I do!).

Ball (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780547759364
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 4/2013
I love how this book challenges the reader to go beyond the words of a story (or, in this case, word) and interpret what the author-illustrator is presenting. For me, this is a story of a dog who loves the little girl who plays with him. When she is gone he tries to find various ways to play "Ball". But nothing is quite the same until she returns home again. It's amazing how this one word can, with pictures to guide you, come to have several different meanings.

Chu's Day (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780062017819
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins, 1/2013
You can't get much cuter than a sneezing baby panda. Chu is a little panda with a big problem. He can't sneeze — but oh, when he does, you will need to hold onto something stronger than a tissue! In addition to the cute story, the rich illustrations go beyond the words to show you Chu's world and how his sneeze really does affect everyone around him.

Pulse (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780062085764
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Katherine Tegen Books, 2/2013
Pulse is a thought provoking, chilling look at what our future could become in the aftermath of a global warming catastrophe -- a cross between Cameron Stracher's Water Wars and Marvel's X-Men. With a thrilling plot, fast paced action and strong characters, readers will have a hard time putting this down.  —Brandi

Lovabye Dragon (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780763654085
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Candlewick, 9/2012
"Once there was a girl, an all-alone girl, who didn't have a dragon for a friend. " Such a sweet, sweet tale of friendship. Have you ever wished for a specific friend so hard and one day your wish came true? That's the friend you should give this book to.

This Is Not My Hat (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780763655990
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick, 10/2012
From the award winning author of I Want My Hat Back comes another cautionary tale about taking what is not yours. Some books are clearly made just for kids, while others appeal to a wider audience. While this book is marketed to children, it's one of the handful of great artistic picture books that appeal to adults and children alike. Kids will enjoy the funny tale of a tiny fish who steals a small hat from a giant fish while adults will amuse themselves with the unwritten repercussions of this unfortunate decision.

Butter (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781599907802
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Bloomsbury USA Childrens, 9/2012
Butter is an intense look at one teen's struggle with food and depression. J.P. (aka “Butter”) has an over-eating disorder and is dangerously obese. Tired of being the "fat kid" at school, he decides to end it all by binge eating to death on New Year's Eve, an act which will stream live on his website, When Butter's morbid website sweeps him into the "cool" crowd, he must decide if popularity is worth dying for. It takes courage to write a true to life story, unveiling a world we may not want to acknowledge. I think many teens will connect with Butter's quest for acceptance.


PLEASE NOTE: Lange will be appearing at Changing Hands on Saturday, September 22nd! Check back for more details!

The Lonely Book (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780375862267
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Schwartz & Wade, 2/2012
This is a beautiful story of a lost book and the child who eventually gives its life purpose once again. Soft illustrations capture the bitter-sweet mood of this tale. The Lonely Book is a great book for anyone who loves books. Give it as a gift to your favorite teacher, librarian or bookseller.

Wonder Show (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780547599809
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, 3/2012
Have you ever wanted to run away to the circus? How about the carnival? That's just where Portia Remini finds herself when she escapes from Mister and McGreavey's Home for Wayward Girls. She's a "normal" among a menagerie of human oddities, looking for a new life and the father that left her behind. A beautifully crafted tale of loss, hope, curiosity, and a little murder mystery mixed in for good measure.  The Wonder Show is a book to get lost in. 

Press Here (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780811879545
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books, 3/2011
This is a fantastic book for toddlers! Youngsters are asked to interact with the book by simply "pressing here" on the yellow dot. When they do the next page will show them how the dot has changed! It's exciting and a great way to engage them in a reading activity. In this case the book is the toy!

The Future of Us (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781595145161
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Razorbill, 10/2012
The Future of Us took me to the "past of me" -  back to high school and my introduction into the World Wide Web when I was 18. The Future of Us is set in 1996, when 17 year old Emma launches AOL for the first time. Only instead of "You've Got Mail" she is asked to login to a blue and white screen with a foriegn word attached, "Facebook". Suddenly she sees herself in her early 30's, living a life she isn't sure she wants. What would you do, when suddenly faced with the possiblity of changing your future?  Would you do it? Remember to think about the ripple effect your actions of today have over the years to come. It's not as easy as it sounds. —Brandi

Unison Spark (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780805092936
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR), 11/2011
The future of the social network is out of control. Imagine living in a time where Facebook and Myspace have evolved to a super social network, where you can mentally link into and live your own carefree life. Personally, I see the world coming to this point. Society won’t even realize their being manipulated until it’s too late. Andy’s hit a subject of a possible future. Great for older fans of PJ Haarsma’s The Softwire series and fans of MT Anderson’s Feed. —Brandi

Eona (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780142420935
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Firebird, 4/2012
Eon, now Eona (the first female Dragoneye in 500 years), must face her true self and what it takes to recover from the devasting loss of ten of the twelve dragoneye lords in Eona. After two years of waiting, I was not disappointed with the conclusion to Eon, one of the best dragon stories I've ever read. Filled with heart-racing drama and romance, action-packed fight scenes, surprising plot twists and beautiful settings, the story of Eona and her Mirror Dragon ends as it should, satisfyingly.  —Brandi

Matched (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780142419779
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Speak, 9/2011
When the Society has everything is planned out, even who you will marry and when you die, you should never have to worry about anything right? Cassia fully trusts the Society to make the right choices for her. That is, until the day she finds herself with two “ideal matches”—the day of her Matching Ceremony. I found myself wondering what would I do in a situation where suddenly I had to make a decision for the first time in my entire life. Who can you talk to when everything you do and say is monitored? And the bigger question: how could this happen when the Society never allows mistakes? —BRANDI

ISBN-13: 9780679783473
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 10/2011
If you read Haroun and the Sea of Stories, you'll understand why I love this semi-sequel! We return to the Khalifa family and embark on a new journey with Haroun's little brother Luka. Their legendary storytelling father, Rashid falls suddenly and inexplicably into a sleep so deep that nothing and no one can rouse him. To save him from slipping away entirely, Luka must embark on a journey through the world of magic. Rushdie continues to weave wit and humor into another magical children's book for adults. —Brandi

ISBN-13: 9781416983118
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 4/2012
Inspiring wonder with an imaginative new trilogy, Caldecott Honor winner Tony DiTerlizzi creates a unique and timeless story. Forced to flee her underground sanctuary, twelve-year old Eva Nine, with the help of her Multi Utility Task Help Robot (a.k.a. MUTHR), sets out on a quest to find others of her kind. By holding up special illustrations to a computer’s webcam, readers can explore an interactive map through WondLa-Vision (a.k.a. augmented reality). Watch the story come alive! - Brandi

Mirror (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781934734391
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Seven Footer Press, 4/2010
I found this wordless picture book to be stunning and moving, with it's simple, yet graceful illustrations from Suzy Lee. The visual story depicts a young girl exploring dance and friendship with her own reflection. They move from cautious movements to larger, confident leaps and twirls—until the moment they have conflict, and we are reminded that our actions have consequences. —Brandi

Shark vs. Train (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780316007627
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 4/2010
Hilarious! Two unlikely foes compete in a series of ridiculous tests through the imagination of a couple of rambunctious boys as they duel with their toys: a shark and a train. Who will win, shark (grrr) or train (chugga-chugga)? The illustrations are great, with amusing facial expressions to convey fierceness and determination and will have you laughing from start to finish. Whether you are in a classroom or at home, this is sure to be a hit at your next story time! —Brandi

Alice I Have Been (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780385344142
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Bantam, 12/2010
What would it be like to live up to an image of who you used to be? In this enthralling story, based on the life of Alice Liddle (a.k.a Alice in Wonderland), Melanie Benjamin shows us how a classic and the loneliness of one man trapped in his own "Wonderland" affected Alice her whole life. At times funny, then very sad, it was intriguing to learn facts about the real Alice and see the author's interpretation of her relationship with Charles Dodgson. —Brandi

ISBN-13: 9781570615832
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Sasquatch Books, 11/2009
Hallelujah! Finally a cookbook that creates an equal eating nation. Being a vegetarian myself and dating an omnivore, it has been difficult finding meals we can cook together. Sure you can cook two separate meals, but that gets expensive. This cookbook is genius because it allows you to cook the same meal, vegetarian and omnivore at the same time! Step-by-step instructions show how to make harmonious meals for all eating types. —Brandi

ISBN-13: 9780517885499
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Dragonfly Books, 10/2009
From the illustrator of the Harry Potter series, Mary Grandpre, and author Jennifer Armstrong comes a beautiful story on kindness. Chin Yu Min is a selfish woman who looks down on others around her. Then she befriends a kind ginger cat who teaches her the value of friendship. —Brandi

Applesauce Season (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781596432161
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Roaring Brook Press, 8/2009
We may not feel it in the air but apples are ready to eat and be made into yummy treats, like applesauce! In this tale, you’ll learn all about different types of apples and the delicious desserts that can be made with them from a young child who can’t wait for Applesauce Season! As a bonus, there is an old fashioned recipe for applesauce at the end of the book! Kids, parents and grandparents will love sharing this story and creating a tasty snack together. It's a bushel of fun! —Brandi

The Hermit Crab (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781416938927
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 6/2009
Did you like Finding Nemo? Did you love Monsters Inc.? Then you’ll be ecstatic about The Hermit Crab! From the character designer of your favorite Pixar films, comes a story about a shy hermit crab who inadvertently finds himself a reluctant hero when he frees a trapped flounder. —Brandi

Dinotrux (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780316027779
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 6/2009
Dinotrux breaks the mold by bringing together kids' two favorite themes: dinosaurs and trucks! Ever wonder what trucks and cars were really like billions of years ago? They weren’t as nice as they are today. Chris Gall once again amazes with his attention to detail as he guides kids through the evolution of Dinotrux! —Brandi

ISBN-13: 9780312659301
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish, 1/2011
I wish I could be on the Newbery committee because here is another great candidate! Smart, funny and endearing. Along with the cover, debut author Jacqueline Kelly's writing style is classic. She captures the spirit of a spunky, unconventional young girl in 1899 perfectly. How exciting it must have been to be a child exploring nature and being part of the latest inventions that are so common to us today. Kids will marvel at the idea that Coca-Cola didn't always exist! —Brandi

Newes from the Dead (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780312608644
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Square Fish, 7/2010
Based on a true story about a house-maid, Anne Green, who was wrongly tried and hanged for murder in 1650, only to survive and awaken on a dissection table among a group of physicians and medical students. Newes from the Dead is told in two voices: Anne Greene's as she lay trapped within her own body, not knowing if she is alive or dead, and Robert Matthews, a shy medical student attending his first dissection when he notices that Anne's eyes seem to "flutter". Through a pronounced stutter, Robert finds a away to alert the physicians and finally convinces them to wait before they take their first cut. Suddenly Anne finds herself among strangers and a new fear that she may be dragged back to the scaffold. This compelling novel concludes with an excerpt of the original 1651 "Newes from the Dead" article. —Brandi

ISBN-13: 9780545085847
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Scholastic Paperbacks, 5/2011
The bonds of sisterhood run deep in this tale of fate, woven together with history and fiction. Five sisters grow up in a small town of women called Spirit Vale where mediums live and thrive without persecution. Eager to explore the world, the sisters embark on different journeys leading each to a life changing voyage aboard the Titanic. —Brandi

ISBN-13: 9780545046534
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Scholastic Press, 8/2009
Get ready for dessert! This latest creation of gigantic food will delight longtime, and new, fans of the classic, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. Done in the style of her older titles, Judi’s newest book shows kids that arguments are not as important as they seem at the time and that marshmallows are better when shared. It’s sticky-riffic! —Brandi

Eon (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780142417119
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Firebird, 9/2010
Meet Eona, a 16-year-old girl pretending to be 12-year-old Eon. Eon has been training for the last four years of “his” life to become an apprentice to one of the twelve energy dragons of good fortune. Only males are allowed to use Dragon Magic, so Eona must keep up her pretense to save herself and her friends from certain death. That’s not her only problem, she must also find a way to save the Imperial Throne from being overthrown by a power hungry lord. A powerful and exciting story for anyone trying to find the courage to be their true self. —Brandi

The Hunger Games (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780439023528
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press, 7/2010
Get ready for an intense reading experience! Set in a future with unsettling parallels to the present, The Hunger Games delivers equal parts of suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance. Panem is a land of 12 districts ruled by one capital. Each year the capital holds "The Hunger Games," a national event viewed by all. Two children, one boy and one girl ages 12-18, are drawn from a lottery and sent to the capital to participate in the games. They are trapped in a harsh landscape, given weapons, and forced to fight each other to the death. There can only be one winner. Set aside some time for this one because you won't want to put it down! —Brandi

The Toss of a Lemon (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780547247878
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Mariner Books, 9/2009
Spanning the lifetime of one woman, The Toss of a Lemon offers an intimate look into a Brahmin household. This beautiful story brings to life an exotic yet recognizable family in the midst of social and political upheaval. If you love to read about culture and family bonds, this is a must read. —Brandi

A la Carte (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780375843068
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Ember, 6/2011
With buzz about the new movie Julie and Julia, I have cooking on the brain right now. So, I was pleasantly surprised when I decided to read this as a potential teen event book to find that the main character, Lainey, is obsessed with Julia Child (a.k.a. “Saint Julia”). Her dream after high school is to visit Saint Julia’s exhibit at the Smithsonian then go on to become the first African-American host of a vegetarian cooking show! I couldn’t think of a better idea. First she must finish her last year of high school, with its social dramas, and discover what true friendship really means. This is a perfect book for the budding chef, and allows practice with Lainey’s own recipes at the tail end of each chapter. —Brandi

Sweethearts (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780316014564
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 1/2009
Sweethearts is the bittersweet tale of the childhood friendship between Jennifer (a.k.a. Jenna) and Cameron, torn apart by circumstance and reunited 8 years later. Now they must face memories of their past and the different paths their lives have taken. A great book that will leave you thoughtful and satisfied. —Brandi

Flotsam (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780618194575
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarion Books, 9/2006
Take a trip in the sea with this book! Caldecott award-winning author David Weisner (of Tuesday) does it again. This time take a glimpse into the ocean world when a little boy discovers an old fashioned camera washed up on the shore filled with wondrous images. But who has taken the pictures? Find out as you turn the beautiful and brightly illustrated pages. Not only will Flotsam please your eyes, it will stimulate your imagination as you create your own story with this wordless picture book. —Brandi

ISBN-13: 9780140157376
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Books, 11/1991
This is a comical story of a young boy named Haroun who sets out on a quest to save his father, Rashid's reptutation. Rashid is a famous storyteller in a city so sad it has forgotten its name, until the day he loses his gift of gab. Haroun must travel to the Sea of Stories and find a way to renew his father's subscription. Filled with wit and humor, this novel will leaving you feeling blissfully happy at a story well told. -Brandi

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