Staff Picks by Tag

Staff Pick Badge
Not So Pure and Simple Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062349194
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Quill Tree Books - January 21st, 2020

What The Hate U Give did for opening up a conversation about police brutality and racial profiling, Not So Pure and Simple does for toxic masculinity. Giles is able to paint the normalcy of toxic masculinity in all its minute idiosyncrasies without it feeling like a beat-you-over-the-head-I’m-trying-to-teach-you-something story. It's hilarious, honest, and more necessary than I know how to put into words. If this book is any indication of what 2020 look like, we have every reason to be excited about the future. 


Review by Claire

Staff Pick Badge
Dread Nation Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780062570611
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Balzer + Bray - June 4th, 2019

The alternate-history zombie novel you never thought you'd need; think Buffy the Vampire Slayer meets the Walking Dead set in an America where the Civil War only ended because Confederate and Union soldiers rose from the battlefield. In zombie-hunter protagonist Jane, readers will find a modern hero: scrappy, snarky, clever, motivated, and oh-so skilled with a sickle. You'll want to follow her into battle--and don't worry you will. Dynamic, exhilarating, and inventive!


Review by Niki

Staff Pick Badge
Speak No Evil: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780061284922
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Harper - March 6th, 2018

Niru and Meredith, highschoolers in Washington, D.C., are outstanding students, runners, best friends and more, until Niru faces the facts of being gay. Once his Nigerian parents discover his sexual preferences, Niru is beaten by his father and taken to the parish priest, who recommends a return to Nigeria to be "cured." A powerful, poignant coming of age tale, this story spotlights the joy of carefree youth careening toward tragic destinations!


Review by Jane

Staff Pick Badge
The Poet X Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062662804
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Quill Tree Books - March 6th, 2018

A bright, shining lighthouse of a book. At turns tender and ferocious, this is a book that you hand to those struggling to find and express their voice. Acevedo's debut verse novel powerfully asserts the humming, electric, life-altering potential of poetry and literature. 


Review by Niki

Staff Pick Badge
Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250170972
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - March 6th, 2018

The best fantasy I have read in ages. Achingly masterful and brimming with complexly rendered main and secondary characters, Adeyemi's Orisha world will sweep you up in its embrace with one arm and brandish a knife at you with the other. Paced perfectly at un-put-downable, this is your 2018 must-read.


Review by Niki

Staff Pick Badge
If You Come Softly: Twentieth Anniversary Edition Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525515487
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Nancy Paulsen Books - March 6th, 2018

This is one of my favorite "I-WANT-TO-CRY-FOREVER" books, and has some of the most finely wrought star-crossed lovers in YA. That is still the true today - 20 YEARS after it came out. An instant classic that still feels fresh - and certainly feels timely.


Review by Kitri

Staff Pick Badge
American Street Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062473042
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 1-5 days
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 14th, 2017

Fabiola arrives in Detroit after her mother is detained on entry to the U.S. from Haiti. Fabiola knows that her new home with her aunt and teenage cousins will always feel empty without her mother, so she resolves to do everything in her power to get her mother released - even if that means confronting harsh truths about her Americanized aunt and cousins. Equal parts heart-wrenching and - warming, Zoboi's expertly woven novel will touch readers' souls and embolden their spirits. 


Review by Niki

Staff Pick Badge
Akata Witch Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780142420911
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Speak - July 11th, 2017

Join 12 year old Sunny Nwazue as she uncovers her hidden magical abilities, gets inducted into a secret society where knowledge truly is power, and boldly faces off against all of the dark creatures the spirit world throws at her. Oh, and eats lots of fufu and egusi soup. Honestly, what's a good fantasy series without incredible feasts?


Review by Anje

Staff Pick Badge
The Hate U Give Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062498533
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 28th, 2017

Angie Thomas deserves our endless thanks for this urgently relevant book. She's told a heartbreaking, nuanced story about what happens when a young Black person is killed by the police, and how deep and far the ripple effects spread. When Starr Carter sees her friend Khalil shot, she is forced to choose between staying silent and protecting her family, or speaking up and fighting for Khalil's memory. All of the difficult questions that come up in this book are carefully and thoroughly considered, with incredible love, hope, humor, and courage. If you're feeling understandably discouraged by our current nightmare political reality, pick up this book--however old you are--and let Starr and her family, friends, and community remind you of what we're fighting for, and why.


Review by Christina