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Jenna joins us as our new Albus Dumbledore who will do for us what Hogwarts' principal did for Harry Potter and his pals. She comes to our rock from Florida, of all places, which at least has giant mouse ears, princesses’ castles and a magical park that opens its doors to muggles and turns them into wizards. Even though she's developing a Wizarding World museum at home, she actually reads adult books. And in 2020, she plans on voting for the presidential candidate who both gets the majority of the votes and actually becomes the President.
This is a scary good story that teaches young readers about having compassion and facing our fears. It helps us realize that what we fear is never actually what it seems, and that we should always look at things from another angle. While the book may seem a bit long, and may require a greater attention span to reach the end, the adorable illustrations provide plenty of eye popping surprises for kids to explore and admire on every page. The characters show an abundance of diversity, both monster and human alike. A bonafide hit for ages 3 and up.
This YA novel is a winner that easily lives up to, and occasionally surpasses, its predecessor, The Hate U Give. Set some time after the events in that book, within the same community, it tells the story of Bri, a high school student who wants to allow her words and her musical talent to take her and her family places. Of course, there are many real-world struggles along the way, as Bri's community is still reeling from the recent police violence, protests and riots. Bri struggles to balance her talent and financial success with justice for her community. Thomas's talent with verse is immense, and I only wish we could one day have an album of all the songs featured in these pages. Ages 14-17
What a wonderful Middle Reader story about a clever deaf girl and the lonely whale she desperately wants to tell, "You are not alone." Iris's "voice" is realistic and endearing, and her long-distance journey to reach the whale provides many opportunities for growth. Sure, parts of the story require suspension of disbelief, but ultimately this is a tale that successfully emphasizes the need to be heard -- and understood -- by others. Ages 8-12.
Take a trip back to the fall of 2001, and view the aftermath of 9/11 from the eyes of a Muslim teen. The story that A Very Large Expanse of Sea depicts is important and real and emotional. Woven among the typical teenage experiences of the main character are the hardships faced by all Muslim people immediately after the twin towers fell - hardships that are still experienced to this day. Those experiences need to be read and felt by everyone who still cannot see beyond the hijab or the stereotypes.
This series starter is a mix of The Sixth Sense meets Ghostbusters, where near death experiences give one the ability to see - and hunt - ghosts. City of Ghosts is an original ghost story for young fans of horror. More plot heavy than it is character driven, and only slightly scary. This quick read is an ideal first ghost story for the 8-12 age bracket.
This was recommended to me by Alison, our Children's Buyer, and boy, am I glad she told me to read it. This perfectly illustrated, character-driven picture book puts the reader in the mind of a young girl who instantly judges one of her classmates. Through her, we see how a child who is not innately empathetic to others learns empathy. We learn not to judge by appearances and to gain an understanding about the hardships that our peers may face. It is a beautiful, thought provoking read that gave me chills by the end. Highly recommended!
Joe Biden and Barack Obama super sleuthing crime mysteries - what more could you want? Hope Never Dies is a perfectly nostalgic read to help get you through the current political woes. Sure, it has its eye-rolling oddball moments, but it is brilliant, from the concept to the execution. The book is pure Obama-Biden bromantic fun! I also appreciate how respectful the author is with regard to some of the most hard-hitting topics in Biden's personal life, as well as when it refers to the current state of the nation. For a satirical novel, the author really takes great care where it matters most. I'd read more like this. Absolutely.
This story turns on its head everything you think you know about what it means to be a hero - forcing us to think about the "man behind the mask" in more realistic, more humanizing, ways than ever before. Between the lines, Vicious asks: is it the good deed that makes a man a hero, or is it the motives behind the good deed (the morals and the mindset of the man committing the supposed "act of heroism") that makes him a man to be admired, a man apart from the rest of society? Not even the creative minds of Stan Lee or Christopher Nolan have touched upon these questions of a hero's "humanity" as vividly or as successfully as Victoria does with Vicious.
A perfectly wonderful and beautifully drawn story, ideal for starting conversations with young people about gender fluidity, taking chances and accepting yourself. The characters are all admirable and, though the story is simple, they will surely resonate with readers of all ages. Superb! ~ Jenna
If you've read The Hate You Give (or even if you haven't) and you're looking for the next big book to push your comfort zones, look no further. Dear Martin is a thoroughly engaging read for ALL PEOPLE who want a more contemporary understanding of the matters of race in the United States. Expand your horizons. Lessons from this book will stick with you for years to come. ~ Jenna
So good. So, so, so, so, so, so good. I am so glad I read this book. I want all the fat bottomed people to read this...Or the people with big, crooked teeth, funny feet or any other "imperfections" (all of which I possess above). Or even if you have no obvious imperfections, but think you do... Read it!
This is undoubtedly the most unusual book I have read in at least a decade (or more). The story does for bees and religion, class and "group think" what Animal Farm did for barnyard animals and government. The Bees has transformed this reader. I have a deeper curiosity and respect for an animal that I once looked at with nothing more than revulsion and fear. I'm not saying I'll be going out and making friends with my neighborhood bees anytime soon, but at least now I can understand their position. ~ Jenna