Staff Picks

Crown

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Grown Cover Image
$14.39
ISBN: 9780062840356
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - September 15th, 2020

When legendary R&B artist Korey Fields spots Enchanted Jones at an audition, her dreams of being a famous singer take flight. Until Enchanted wakes up with blood on her hands and zero memory of the previous night. Who killed Korey Fields? I read this book until three in the morning and could not tear my eyes away. This ripped-from-the-headlines story shook me to my core and was the most heart-wrenching story I've read in a long time. A vital book for the #MeToo era.

April


A Little Devil in America

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A Little Devil in America: Notes in Praise of Black Performance Cover Image
$21.60
ISBN: 9781984801197
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - March 30th, 2021

Another absolutely essential read from Hanif Abdurraqib! Like They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us, this is a keen insight into pop culture that is part history, part memoir, but with a tighter focus, one that celebrates Black performance. As always, Hanif puts on a master class on empathy, something we could all use more of.

Caleb


The Oldest Student

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The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read Cover Image
By Rita Lorraine Hubbard, Oge Mora (Illustrator)
$14.39
ISBN: 9781524768287
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Schwartz & Wade - January 7th, 2020

This beautiful picture book tells the story of Mary Walker, a woman born into slavery who didn’t get the chance to read until she was 116. This book teaches kids about history, while encouraging them to go after their dreams and believe in themselves. Also, Oge Mora’s art is truly amazing (keep an eye on the background signs as you go through the book!)

Katherine


Plunge

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Plunge (Hill House Comics) Cover Image
By Joe Hill, Stuart Immonen (Illustrator)
$24.99
ISBN: 9781779506887
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: DC Comics - November 17th, 2020

This whole line of comics from Joe Hill is perfect for anyone who loves classic horror, and The Plunge is probably my favorite of the batch. Wonderfully illustrated by Stuart Immonen, this one-off graphic novel features all the best parts of Lovecraftian horror, without all the problematic elements!

Caleb


Chaat

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Chaat: Recipes from the Kitchens, Markets, and Railways of India: A Cookbook Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9781984823885
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter - October 6th, 2020

Chaat is one of my favorite foods and the number of combinations in this book is astounding. The pictures are gorgeous! If you're looking for a sweet, salty, tangy, spicy snack that will blow your mind and your tastebuds, buy this book. It's a perfect door into the culinary magic that is Indian food (beyond Chicken Tikka Masala, which was invented by the British...).

Janaea


Wintering

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Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times Cover Image
$24.00
ISBN: 9780593189481
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - November 10th, 2020

Wintering by Katherine May is a thoughtful and introspective book about how to weather the difficult times in your life (like a pandemic...) The important thing to remember is that wintering isn't a seasonal mood, it's a state of being that needs to be recognized and accepted at any time of the year.

Heather


Love is for Losers

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Love Is for Losers Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780374313975
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - February 23rd, 2021

Fifteen year old Phoebe is the most delightful character, but her opinion of love is not great. Is falling in love really like falling in a ditch? So she thinks, “that is” until she meets Emma. Upbeat and lol funny, this is the perfect book for these last weeks of winter.

Robin


Red White and Whole

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Red, White, and Whole Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780063047426
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - February 2nd, 2021

This long awaited novel in verse illustrating the struggles of balancing two cultural identities felt like I was looking into a mirror in which I could see myself, my mother, my grandmother, my aunts, and every Indian woman in my life who had to assimilate into American culture. It is beautifully written and is semi-autobiographical. If you like Rajani's work, check out her other middle grade novels and picture books. She is incredible!

Janaea


She's Strong but She's Tired

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She's Strong, but She's Tired (What She Felt #3) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781524858285
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing - September 22nd, 2020

This collection is full of beautiful words and phrases that I often turn to on days I crave to feel seen. These poems have become such a great tool for me in the dark days of social distancing so I highly recommend this selection if you too are craving the seemingly long lost feeling of human solidarity.

Hannah


Fireheart Tiger

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Fireheart Tiger Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781250793263
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - February 9th, 2021

Princess Thanh has returned home after her time as a royal hostage in Ephteria, but her new role as a diplomat pits her against old foes and one old lover...not to mention the disapproval of her own court. Can she find the strength to free herself and preserve her country? A beautiful, fantastical story of trauma, recovery, and reclaiming oneself set in a breathtakingly immersive world.

Rebecca
 


Two Stories

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Two Stories Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781734976632
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sublunary Editions - January 12th, 2021

Less “stories” and more “linguistic landscapes” or “ambient textualities” or “en-languaged fogs,” Two Stories is one of those books that questions how books and sentences are supposed to work. Lamborghini is an utterly unique, tantalizingly difficult, and occasionally dirty writer. 

Josh


Fat Chance, Charlie Vega

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Fat Chance, Charlie Vega Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780823447176
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Holiday House - February 2nd, 2021

Charlie Vega will absolutely charm you. Her voice is smart, funny, and heartbreakingly honest, and ALL of the relationships in this book--between mothers and daughters, best friends, and, yes, an incredibly sweet love interest--are so well-drawn. I wish high-school-me could have read this book!

Kate


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