Gemma is a desert kid that collects umbrellas and loves outerwear, but dislikes cold weather. This makes no sense, not even to her, but that's okay. Other things that make Gemma's heart happy are children's books (particularly picture books and middle grade), swing dancing, live music, creating artwork, dogs, the ocean, learning new things, and a good cup of tea. She loves watching kids fall in love with books, just as she did from an early age. Fun fact, she memorized a cassette recording of Audrey Penn's Sassafras at age 2 and astounded grown-ups with her "reading"!
This is the story of an unlikely friendship between a possum and an armadillo. Both have physical reactions when they become anxious that make it difficult to form friendships with other animals, but they show one another such kindness and patience that, in time, previously nerve-wracking situations become more manageable. A light-hearted but meaningful story that is excellent for encouraging friendship and empathy.
Danbi is starting school in America after moving from Korea with her family. She is nervous, but learns to overcome the culture shock and language barriers, even sharing parts of her own culture with her new classmates! I love the messages of inclusivity and kindness spread throughout this lovely book, as well as the peek into Korean foods and culture!
As someone whose name was frequently mispronounced during roll call in school, this book touched my heart. From Sagnika, to Jalonte, to Xiomara, to Ju-long, to Bob--everyone's name has a song, and all of them are magnificent! What does your name's song sound like? Sing it loud and proud!
A lovely story with sweet illustrations about learning to appreciate your ancestors and heritage. Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela is embarrassed about her long name until her father explains who and where each part of her name came from. Suddenly, Alma's name is a source of identity that fills her with pride, allowing her to feel a stronger connection to her family, past and present.
Sometimes it's wildly refreshing to read such a realistic, imperfect love story. No, there isn't any gorgeous, undead vampire watching their beloved sleep. No, there aren't any maidens in high towers, dreamy proposals, or drowning princes rescued by mermaids. There are, however, two struggling creatives in New York who meet by chance while running a ticket booth. One is blunt and loud; one is quiet and reserved. I love how clear each of their personalities are as they take turns, year by year, telling the story of their relationship. Together, they experience their first kiss, the death of a father, a breakup, deep self-doubt, unexpected international success, and ultimately, they learn that “home” can be a person.
Shirley Jackson has a remarkably chilling way of writing a story in which all of the characters seem light and unconcerned for a majority of the book, and yet, you as a reader can't shake a feeling of uneasiness. Your skin crawls with discomfort at the house, the people, and the subtle changes taking place within both. A small, supernatural novel like no other, The Haunting of Hill House will stay with you, long after you've read the unnerving last page.
This incredible novelization of Harley Quinn's origin story stays true to the original material while (refreshingly) mixing in some of modern Harley's strengths. *Does happy fangirl dance* This book is a must-have for fans who prefer a novel format over comics, as well as die-hard fans who love anything and everything Harley. I couldn't get enough of this!
Such a remarkable piece of heroic fantasy! Patrick Rothfuss has a way with words that draws you into the world of Kvothe, our protagonist. I don't often venture into the adult fantasy genre, but after hearing glowing reviews about this series, I'm so glad I gave it a chance! Music, adventure, danger, magic, romance--this has it all, and so much more. The world-building in this book is incredible. I was completely transported, and now I, along with so many others, wait (im)patiently for the third and final book of the trilogy.
Don't let the campy title fool you--this is a horror novel through and through, and a smart one at that! Great for fans of Jordan Peele's film, Get Out, this is packed with cinematic horror to make your skin crawl, social commentary, and even humor! I finished this book at 3:00AM, bleary-eyed and totally wide awake. Plan to sleep with your nightlight on!
A masterpiece by my all-time favorite author. A young German girl steals a book from a Nazi book burning, attracting the attention of our narrator, Death, who is fascinated by humans' capacity for great love as well as great destruction. When the girl's family hides a Jewish man in their basement, love must overcome all. Wholly original in its perspective, this novel is a modern classic. Fun fact: The Book Thief ranked #14 on the 100 Most-Loved Books List on PBS's The Great American Read! It also has one of the most memorable last lines of all time--but no peeking!
Charming, offbeat, and heartfelt. This wry yet tender diary kept by Hendrik Groen, member of the Old-But-Not-Dead Club, is a treasure to read. Every person he describes leaps off the page in remarkable detail--Evert, the crass but endearing troublemaker; Eefje, the sassy, intelligent widow next door who captures Hendrik's heart--just to name a couple. There are so many more, and they will stay with you long after you read the last page. I laughed, I cried, and I would gladly do it all again.
"Just move a part, then move another. Let it get weird. See where it goes!" This book is a treat just to look at. Heder's marvelous watercolor illustrations make you want to get up and dance, no music required (though it is encouraged)! Perfect for kids of all ages (yes, even the kids at heart) that--happy, or mad, or sad--just need to groove.
"I am good to the core, like the center of a cinnamon roll. Yeah, that good." This picture book is a heartfelt ode to the good and the worth in every child. Much like their previous book together, Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut, Derrick Barnes's words and Gordon C. James's illustrations are a match made in heaven, vibrant and full of sincerity.
This collection of essays, letters, and musings is a loving ode to the art of reading. As I read this, I felt like Lewis was a close friend and kindred spirit. I especially love the chapter, “Why Children’s Stories Are Not Just for Children,” as well as his genuine excitement about his dear friend J.R.R. Tolkein’s remarkable talent.
This is an excellent book for fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. An eccentric board game maker builds a puzzle-filled library, and 12 clever kids must play their way out to win. Learn about libraries and famous books as you puzzle your way through Lemoncello’s library alongside Kyle and his friends. Plus, solve the bonus puzzle at the end of the book, and email author Chris Grabenstein--he’ll write you back!
This. Book. THIS BOOK! So beautiful. So charming. Absolutely ageless. Reading this modern classic feels like a warm hug. Treat yourself to an afternoon curled up with this story, and then read it again. I know you’ll want to.
Move over, Land of Stories--this series is one of my all-time favorites! Michael Buckley takes the classic Grimm Brothers fairy tales and flips them in the best way. Snow White teaches kindergarten and karate, Prince Charming is Mayor Charming, and nobody is what they seem. A whopping nine incredible books filled with mystery, fantasy, adventure, and laughs, this series is a must-read!
I have not been *this* excited reading a middle-grade fantasy adventure book since Percy Jackson and The Sisters Grimm (two of my all-time favorites)! The bar is high, and B.B. Alston exceeded my expectations with a novel that has no shortage of fantasy, but also tackles discrimination in both our world and the supernatural world. Amari is an incredible character, full of sincerity, magic, and heart. You won’t want to put this book down; I certainly couldn’t!