Staff Picks by Tag

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Slingshot: A Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250253002
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Wednesday Books - April 27th, 2021

Irreverent and rip-off-the-bandaid honest, this book is the coming-of-age story of the moment. It's uncomfortable, messy and everything a book about two teenagers falling in love for the first time should be. And it's all that while being a beautifully singular reminder of how letting people into your life can heal you, break you, but also reveal you. This book made me frustrated, swoony, nostalgic, reflective—I'll have Gracie Welles in my head for a lifetime.


Review by Claire

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Clap When You Land Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062882769
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Quill Tree Books - May 5th, 2020

Camino lives in the Dominican Republic with dreams of going to med school in the States. She misses her father, who works hard in NYC and only visits during summer break. 
 
In New York, Yahaira struggles after finding out something about her father. They used to bond over her chess prowess, but now she can barely look at him.
 
Everything changes one day in June, when a plane headed to the DR from NYC crashes into the Atlantic, and both girls are forced to reckon with family secrets that will bind them together forever.
 
Acavedo has created a wonderful story written in verse. The chapters flow effortlessly from one girl's perspective to the other, drawing the reader into their distinct worlds and circumstances as they navigate the waters of grief and shock, and what it means to be family.


Review by Maggie

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The Girl Who Stole an Elephant Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781682632857
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Peachtree Publishing Company - March 1st, 2021

This story has all the makings of a classic folktale: fierce friendships, non-stop action, and short, cliff-hanger chapters to keep you right on the edge of your seat!  Chaya is a thief with a heart for justice and she's on the run from the king. She's not only trying to avoid capture, but to survive the unknown jungle alongside her two unlikely companions. It's a story that feels timeless and fresh all at once. And whether it's your next read or your next read-aloud, lower elementary readers are in for a treat!


Review by Claire

We Are the Wildcats Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781534439917
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - April 13th, 2021

Control. College. Coach.

Three words define playing for the Wildcats, West Essex high school's celebrated varsity field hockey team. Over the next 48 hours, this group of newly-minted varsity girls will learn the limits of their friendship, perseverance, and dedication to a game that appears simply competitive. 

The story seems pretty at first: a group of girls bonding as a varsity squad the night before their first scrimmage. Yet, like all that's compelling in life, the truth reveals itself when you look close and dig deep. We are the Wildcats is a tightly wound narrative that ratchets higher and higher until the inevitable break.

 


Review by Danielle

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Woven in Moonlight Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781624148019
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Page Street Kids - January 7th, 2020

This is one of the best YA fantasy novels I ever read! It's got political intrigue, magic, romance and Bolivian folklore which makes this novel stand out from others. Fast paced and gorgeously written. Look out for the sequel too!!


Review by Rosa

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Sanctuary Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781984815712
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - September 1st, 2020

A dystopian YA novel that tackles immigration and what it means to seek refuge in a country that does not want you. Very original storytelling that left my heart racing till the very end. 


Review by Rosa

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Dig Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781101994931
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - June 30th, 2020

It's not easy to do surrealism in YA, but A.S. King excels in this space. Her free floating narratives feel natural and true, despite their changing relationships to reality. Each of the five stories told in The Dig are odd, interesting, and often magical in their own right, and they slowly come together to create a fascinating full picture in a reveal that genuinely surprised me. I should also note that the book is not only magical. The characters in this book are young adults dealing with fully adult, real problems: racism, chronic illness, and family estrangement, among others. King's treatment of these topics is deft, and the five characters parse systemic issues with impressive complexity.


Review by Alyson

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The Brave Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250247759
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Feiwel & Friends - June 30th, 2020

After moving to Minnesota to live with his biological mother, Collin's life completely changes. He is neurodiverse, counting each letter of every word spoken to him before compulsively repeating the total back to the speaker. Because of this, he’s had a hard time making friends. But this move not only brings his mother into his life, for the first time, it also brings a friend his age. With the life lessons, magical realism, and unbreakable, once-in-a-lifetime friendships reminiscent of Bridge to Terabithia, The Brave beats out a classic tale with a new heart. One of the most gently transformative and beautiful stories I’ve come across in years.


Review by Claire

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We Were Liars Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780385741279
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ember - May 29th, 2018

Two words to describe my reaction to this amazing book: mind. blown.


Review by Maggie

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Darius the Great Is Not Okay Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780525552970
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Penguin Books - August 20th, 2019

A beautifully written story about family, friendship, Iran, tea, and depression. I cannot recommend it highly enough.


Review by Maggie