Gemma's Picks (page 2)

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Gemma GEMMA
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"!
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Amos McGee Misses the Bus By Philip C. Stead, Erin E. Stead (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Philip C. Stead, Erin E. Stead (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250213228
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Roaring Brook Press - November 23rd, 2021

Amos and his animal friends from the zoo are back, and I couldn't be more delighted! This author/illustrator duo are experts at telling a tale of friendship with the perfect blend of humor and charm. If you haven't picked up their first story, A Sick Day for Amos McGee, yet, you simply must treat yourself to that, as well. Happy reading!


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A Tale of Two Brothers By Eveline Hasler, Käthi Bhend  (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Eveline Hasler, Käthi Bhend (Illustrator)
$17.95
ISBN: 9780735844803
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: NorthSouth Books - May 3rd, 2022

Marvelous illustrations paired with a timeless story. Follow two brothers as they make the same journey while their hearts are in very different places. One kind and considerate, one careless and brash. The creatures of the forest will reward them each with what they deserve. I love how the longer you examine each illustration, the more of the creatures reveal themselves.


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I Want My Hat Back (The Hat Trilogy) By Jon Klassen, Jon Klassen (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jon Klassen, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
$8.99
ISBN: 9781536207576
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - March 5th, 2019

I never met a Jon Klassen book I didn't love, and now I WANT MY HAT BACK is made for little hands! This book makes me giggle. It is simplistic yet so funny. An adorable book to enjoy together, or to give as a gift!


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Good Night, Little Bookstore By Amy Cherrix, E. B. Goodale (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Amy Cherrix, E. B. Goodale (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781536212518
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - August 29th, 2022

So darn cute! The illustrations in this book feel nostalgic and softly familiar, perhaps because, if you've ever loved a bookstore, it is your second home. This lovely picture book is like having a little piece of that home to carry with you always and share with loved ones, wherever life takes you.


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The Artist By Alison Binks Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781922610423
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berbay Publishing - October 11th, 2022

The dreamy, serene watercolor scenes in this book take me away from the Arizona desert and transport me to the beach. I adore the dogs, the birds, the organic connection to nature felt by the young artist. This is a lovely addition to anyone's picture book library.


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One Thursday Afternoon By Barbara Dilorenzo Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781947888371
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flyaway Books - September 6th, 2022

It is heartbreaking that we live in a world where there is a need for this book, but with that in mind, it is nonetheless beautifully done. Sensitive and compassionate, this is perfect for any grown-up who is at a loss for what to say to children who are rightfully worried about a school lockdown becoming a scary reality. The illustrations are soft, and the story is realistic yet reassuring.


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Together By Luke Adam Hawker Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780857839442
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Kyle Books - July 27th, 2021

When future generations read about the COVID-19 pandemic, when they want to know what it was like, what we experienced, and what people did...I hope they will read this. Beyond the politics, beyond the ugliness taking sides brought out in people, this book shows what the best of humanity looked like--what it *looks* like. Through breathtaking line art and carefully chosen words, Luke Adam Hawker illustrates our shared fear, shared isolation, lessons learned, life adaptations, shifts in perspective, and kindness. Though we had to do so much alone, our actions spoke to our shared bond with one another. We are, truly, strongest together.


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The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle By Stuart Turton Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781492670124
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - May 7th, 2019

Such a great read! If you're looking for a murder mystery with a twist, this is your book. Stuart Turton takes the classic "whodunnit" trope and flips it on its head. It has all the right ingredients--a murder, a house full of potential suspects, and someone trying to get to the bottom of it. But here's the catch: our sleuth doesn't know his true identity or past, and he relives the same day over and over, in the body of a different house guest each time. Eight guests, eight chances to solve the mystery. I loved this!


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The Night Gardener By Terry Fan, Eric Fan, Terry Fan (Illustrator), Eric Fan (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Terry Fan, Eric Fan, Terry Fan (Illustrator), Eric Fan (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781665904971
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - October 12th, 2021

The Fan Brothers' attention to detail in their illustrations astounds me every time. While the town sleeps, a mystery gardener comes in the night and creates larger-than-life topiary animals, leaving a sense of magic in his wake. One night, a child spots the night gardener in action. What happens next? You'll have to read this charming story to find out!


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Escargot By Dashka Slater, Sydney Hanson (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Dashka Slater, Sydney Hanson (Illustrator)
$8.99
ISBN: 9780374314286
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - October 19th, 2021

Interactive, cute, and MUST be read in an outrageous French accent! This is such a fun book to read for storytime together. Giggles are sure to ensue, and you'll want to enjoy it again and again.


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Miss Rumphius By Barbara Cooney Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780140505399
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Puffin Books - November 6th, 1985

Looking for a baby shower gift? A graduation book alternative to OH, THE PLACES YOU'LL GO? Just want a beautiful story with gorgeous illustrations in your life? You're covered on all of these with MISS RUMPHIUS. I adore this story. It makes my heart happy every time. I hope it does the same for you.


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It Fell from the Sky By Terry Fan, Eric Fan, Terry Fan (Illustrator), Eric Fan (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Terry Fan, Eric Fan, Terry Fan (Illustrator), Eric Fan (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534457621
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 28th, 2021

"It fell from the sky on a Thursday." When it comes to the Fan Brothers, every page is a masterpiece. Get lost in the meticulous detail of their stunning graphite illustrations, and read about a greedy spider who learns to be generous of spirit. This is a keepsake, for sure.


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Playing Possum By Jennifer Black Reinhardt, Jennifer Black Reinhardt (Illustrator) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781328782700
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Clarion Books - July 7th, 2020

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.


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Danbi Leads the School Parade By Anna Kim, Anna Kim (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Anna Kim, Anna Kim (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780451478894
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - July 7th, 2020

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!


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Your Name Is a Song By Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, Luisa Uribe (Illustrator) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781943147724
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Innovation Press - July 7th, 2020

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!


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Alma and How She Got Her Name By Juana Martinez-Neal, Juana Martinez-Neal (Illustrator) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780763693558
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick - April 10th, 2018

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.


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The First Ten Years: Two Sides of the Same Love Story By Joseph Fink, Meg Bashwiner Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780063027251
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - May 11th, 2021

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.


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The Haunting of Hill House By Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller (Introduction by) Cover Image
By Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller (Introduction by)
$17.00
ISBN: 9780143039983
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics - November 28th, 2006

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.


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DC Comics novels - Harley Quinn: Mad Love By Paul Dini Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781785658150
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Titan Books - September 10th, 2019

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!


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The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle #1) By Patrick Rothfuss Cover Image
$22.00
ISBN: 9780756405892
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: DAW - April 7th, 2009

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.


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The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel By Grady Hendrix Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781683692515
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quirk Books - May 25th, 2021

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!


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The Book Thief By Markus Zusak Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780375842207
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 11th, 2007

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!


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The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen By Hendrik Groen, Hester Velmans (Translated by) Cover Image
By Hendrik Groen, Hester Velmans (Translated by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781455542154
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - April 3rd, 2018

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.


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How Do You Dance? By Thyra Heder Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781419751820
Availability: Backordered
Published: Abrams Appleseed - April 20th, 2021

"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.


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I Am Every Good Thing By Derrick Barnes, Gordon C. James (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Derrick Barnes, Gordon C. James (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780525518778
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Nancy Paulsen Books - September 1st, 2020

"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.


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The Reading Life: The Joy of Seeing New Worlds Through Others' Eyes By C. S. Lewis Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062849977
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperOne - October 15th, 2019

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.


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Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library By Chris Grabenstein Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780375870897
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - June 25th, 2013

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!


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Skunk and Badger (Skunk and Badger 1) By Amy Timberlake, Jon Klassen (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Amy Timberlake, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781643750057
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Young Readers - September 15th, 2020

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.


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The Fairy-Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm #1): 10th Anniversary Edition (Sisters Grimm, The) By Michael Buckley, Peter Ferguson (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Michael Buckley, Peter Ferguson (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781419720055
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amulet Paperbacks - May 2nd, 2017

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!


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Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations #1) By B. B. Alston Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062975164
Availability: Not Available In-Store - Usually Ships from Warehouse in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - January 19th, 2021

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!