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Brandi's Picks (page 1)

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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.
ISBN: 9781771471022
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Owlkids - March 17th, 2015

Anyone who loves Press Here will enjoy this book too. It's absolutely brilliant. I like that it encourages the kids to really look at the world around them. I used LOOK! around my apartment with my cats and was amazed at how the book applied in every situation. Kids will have fun using this book around the house, outside, and even on road trips!

By Bethany Barton, Bethany Barton (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780670016938
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - July 7th, 2015

I think this book was written for me. I am pretty sure I have a mild to not so mild case of undiagnosed arachnophobia. I can't even look at a photo of a spider without cringing. But I safely read this entire book and can now say I actually like a spider book - book being the keyword here. This may not have cured my spider fears, but it certainly has given me some facts to appreciate about spiders. It's funny and informative and not at all scary. Finally, a book that will appeal to everyone, no matter their phobia level

ISBN: 9780553496963
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - April 14th, 2015

Imagine a world where you knew the exact date you would die. This is the reality in which 17 year old Denton finds himself. He doesn't know the time of his death, he just knows that he will not live to see 18. With death looming, Denton decides he can’t waste any more of his life by just being “normal”. Instead, he’s going to change the world with the time he has left and ends up learning that science can sometimes make mistakes too. What that means for Denton will change his world in a way he never expected. Speaking of the unexpected, this novel made me laugh more times than I can count. In this refreshing novel, Lance Rubin shows that it’s okay to also see humor in the things we fear.

ISBN: 9781481418775
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - March 24th, 2015

By the time your senior year rolls around, you are expected to make some pretty big decisions. Will you go to college? What do you want to do with the rest of your life? But that's not the only thing these four seniors have to put the pressure on. Now they have to contend with an asteroid, heading toward Earth. There is a 66% chance it will hit the Earth and obliterate any hope of a future, for anyone. Of course, there is a small chance it wont. Faced with this uncertainty, four seniors from different social backgrounds must decide who they want to be today, rather than tomorrow. However, amid this looming catastrophic event, there is hope. The hope of humanity; the hope of being true to yourself. From beginning to end I was captured by this amazing debut. Tommy Wallach's words are poetry in prose form. We All Looked Up left me feeling light, optimistic and thoughtful.

ISBN: 9780385391535
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - May 12th, 2015

After years of discarding female babies in favor of boys, men now out populate women 5 to 1. Thus making women the more valuable gender, choosing husbands who will be the most likely to carry on the female gene through a series of tests. Told in alternating voices, Sudasa, in verse, and Kiran, in prose, are forced to participate in these tests, not knowing they have the same agenda. To defy the system and leave this backward society behind. Rife with many great discussion points, 5 to 1 is perfect for book clubs. Of course, you don't have to be in a book club to enjoy this beautiful debut.

ISBN: 9781452113869
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - April 14th, 2015

Every year on her birthday Lottie receives a letter granting her birthday wish from a magic apple tree in her front yard. So, when her best friend's illness takes a turn for the worse, Lottie asks for one thing, a cure to save his life. Instead of a letter though, Lottie receives two sprites who take her through the apple tree to their world. There she must weigh the importance of her friend's life against the lives of an entire world of sprites. A fun debut perfect for fans of The Chronicles of Narnia.

By Marcykate Connolly, Skottie Young (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062272713
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - February 10th, 2015

With a nod to classic fairy tales, Monstrous is a fascinating debut about a young chimera girl. Kym was created with the sole purpose of rescuing girls from an evil wizard who wishes to kill them to cope with the loss of his own daughter. Although Kym is loyal to her father's noble mission, she becomes distracted by a boy called Ren; who seems familiar, though she's sure she's never met him before. Soon her hodgepodge brain begins remembering things that threaten to destroy everything she believes. 

ISBN: 9781619634404
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books - January 6th, 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.

ISBN: 9781481422345
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse - September 23rd, 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: 9781442446915
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - January 21st, 2014

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.

By Soman Chainani, Iacopo Bruno (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062104908
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - April 15th, 2014

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!).

ISBN: 9780547759364
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Harcourt Brace and Company - April 2nd, 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.

By Neil Gaiman, Adam Rex (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062347466
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperFestival - June 24th, 2014

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.

ISBN: 9780062085771
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - January 28th, 2014

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

By Barbara Joosse, Randy Cecil (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763654085
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - September 11th, 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.

By Jon Klassen, J. Klassen, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763655990
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - October 9th, 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.

ISBN: 9781619631212
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books - September 3rd, 2013

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.

By Kate Bernheimer, Chris Sheban (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780375862267
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Schwartz & Wade Books - April 24th, 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.

ISBN: 9780544104839
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harcourt Brace and Company - October 8th, 2013

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. 

ISBN: 9780811879545
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - March 30th, 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!

ISBN: 9781595145161
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Razorbill - October 16th, 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

ISBN: 9780805092936
Availability: Special Order - Subject to Availability
Published: Henry Holt & Company - November 8th, 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

ISBN: 9780142420935
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Firebird - March 29th, 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

ISBN: 9780142419779
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Speak - September 20th, 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: 9780679783473
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade - September 20th, 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

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