Staff Picks

New Year's Sale 2021


The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland

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The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making Cover Image
By Catherynne M. Valente, Ana Juan (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781250010193
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - May 8th, 2012

I don't ordinarily enjoy YA nor middle grade books, but I LOVED this tumble into the psyche of a precocious 12 year old who dreams of escaping her boring life in Kansas. September forges her own path and makes her own decisions, all the while shaping her own future. For children who like dark adventures, Gaiman, and Dahl. For teens who like to be swept up in a journey alongside a fierce and perserverant heroine. For adults who like YA Fantasy and del Toro’s films, and for those who don't. 


Baba Yaga's Assistant

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Baba Yaga's Assistant Cover Image
By Marika McCoola, Emily Carroll (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781536213102
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - June 2nd, 2020

Child-eating witches, clever girls...and a house on chicken legs! An adventure for graphic-novel loving kids and those who enjoy remixed fairytales and folklore.

[Note: Yes, I wrote this book, but I'm staff picking it as a December birthday present to myself and my grandmother, and in honor of her memory (the book is dedicated to her, and she did get to see it before she died). I was due to be born on my grandmother's birthday and she died the night before mine. She was the daughter of a bookstore owner, and grew up in the shop. Her love of books is one of her greatest gifts to me.]


How We Got to the Moon

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How We Got to the Moon: The People, Technology, and Daring Feats of Science Behind Humanity's Greatest Adventure Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525647416
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - October 6th, 2020

“We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard...” – John F. Kennedy


The Girl Who Speaks Bear

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The Girl Who Speaks Bear Cover Image
ISBN: 9781338580839
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - March 3rd, 2020

I found this to be the book equivalent of being wrapped in a warm blanket. Wintery woods, cozy cottages, warm beverages, loving friends and family. Sprinkled with fairy tales that may be more than they seem. A great, heartwarming adventure featuring a strong, brave girl on a quest to find herself.


Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise

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Cary Grant: A Brilliant Disguise Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501192111
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 20th, 2020

Cary Grant (1904 – 1986) – born Archie Leach in Bristol, England was a charming, talented actor who was the embodiment of a Hollywood MOVIE STAR during the Golden Age. However, he was a complicated man – married five times – insecure - parsimonious. Author Scott Eyman’s new biography gives us the charming, stylish, successful and self-invented Cary Grant, as well as the emotionally complex man filled with self-doubt, despite his iconic status as one of the most beloved stars ever.


World of Wonders

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World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments Cover Image
ISBN: 9781571313652
Availability: On Order at the Wholesaler
Published: Milkweed Editions - September 8th, 2020

I initially picked up this book because of the cover, I admit it.  What I found was not one of those ubiquitous books "about nature". In these 20 essays, the author writes about the more unusual forms flora and fauna all around us from the perspective of herself as a young girl and then as an adult. Each story is a carefully crafted gem in which the personal and the natural history are woven together, to create a loving portrait of her family.  Makes a great gift!!


Cinderella is Dead

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Cinderella Is Dead Cover Image
ISBN: 9781547603879
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury YA - July 7th, 2020

This is the queer feminist fairytale adaption you’ve been craving. It's the story of the world Cinderella left behind and the women fighting the power structures left in place. Like any good fairytale, it's beautiful and horrifying, but it leaves you feeling hopeful.  

Lost Spells

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The Lost Spells Cover Image
By Robert MacFarlane, Jackie Morris (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781487007799
Availability: On Order at the Wholesaler
Published: Anansi International - October 27th, 2020

Phenomenal. I didn't think this pair of creators could outdo their previous book Lost Words, but they have. The illustrations are so beautiful; it feels like you could fall into the scenes. The poetry is fun, and haunting, and lyrical. Definitely the type of poetry that rumbles around in your head, so much so that you'll find yourself thinking of it time and time again. Unlike its predecessor, in a very travel-handy format!


Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise

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Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Promise Library Edition Cover Image
By Gene Luen Yang, Gurihiru (Illustrator), Bryan Koneitzko, Gurihiru (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781616550745
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dark Horse Books - February 19th, 2013

Picking up exactly where the animated series left off, this is a perfect read for everyone who, like myself, spent parts of their pandemic re-visiting the world of The Last Avatar. The art meshes perfectly with the show and the writing nails each character so well you can't help but hear their voices in your head. 



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Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316508896
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 25th, 2018

Morrigan Crow is cursed and cursed children die on their eleventh birthday. But instead, Morrigan is rescued by a fantastical man who whisks her off to a secret city called Nevermoor to begin a new life. This is one of the best middle grade fantasy series to come out in years. It's brilliant, creative, magical, and perfect for the Harry Potter fan in your life. 


At the Lucky Hand

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At the Lucky Hand: Aka the Sixty-Nine Drawers Cover Image
By Goran Petrovic, Peter Agnone (Translator)
ISBN: 9781646050147
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Deep Vellum Publishing - November 10th, 2020

Pushing the idea of a "community of readers" to fantastical and fascinating extremes and bending it around a classic story of separated lovers and hopeless romantics, At the Lucky hand is like Shadow of the Wind told through the lens of playful deconstruction. It is a book lover's book that celebrates what we share in books, while wondering at all the ways we can love through them.


A Certain Hunger

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A Certain Hunger Cover Image
ISBN: 9781951213145
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Unnamed Press - December 8th, 2020

Food critic Dorothy Daniels wants good food and good sex, and she will go to whatever lengths she needs in order to get it. She is, after all, a psychopath. At once a critique of the food industry and a criminal's account, A Certain Hunger is a stunning feminist page-turner. With it's devious protagonist and delectable prose, this novel will devour you.


Becoming A Good Creature

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Becoming a Good Creature Cover Image
By Sy Montgomery, Rebecca Green (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780358252108
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - September 29th, 2020

This beautiful book is perfect for the young one in your life who loves animals! Sy's story is about following your dreams, and being open to learning the life lessons that teachers of all shapes and sizes can offer. Rebecca Green's illustrations are wonderfully rich and full of discovery. A gift for every good creature.


When No One Is Watching

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When No One Is Watching: A Thriller Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062982650
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - September 1st, 2020

Sydney's historically Black Brooklyn neighborhood seems to be changing before her eyes as "For Sale" signs pop up, and her neighbors start moving out without a word. But as Sydney does a deep dive for the history tour of the neighborhood that she's developing, she discovers that not everything is as it seems. This psychological thriller about gentrification is the book you need to be reading right now. It made my skin crawl and left me astounded at Cole's inventiveness and insightfulness. (And in true Alyssa Cole form, there is romance too.) 


Earth Almanac

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Earth Almanac: Nature's Calendar for Year-Round Discovery Cover Image
By Ken Keffer, Jeremy Collins (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781680512823
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Skipstone Press - March 23rd, 2020

I've been reading this day-by-day since it came out in April. Each season, month, and day offers its own small but fascinating insight into the natural world. It's been such a balm to be able to mark 2020 in moments of wonder instead of just dates. Plus, it's full of beautiful illustrations by Jeremy Collins, one of my favorite artists to follow (@jer.collins on instagram!). A great gift for the nature-lover in your life!