Sarah's Reading List

Staff Pick Logo
A Child of Books Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780763690779
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - September 6th, 2016

This stunning collaboration integrates Oliver Jeffers's quiet introspection with Sam Winston's intricate word art to create a love letter to the art of story. This is truly a picture book for all ages, sure to bring a smile to even the most serious reader's face, as long as they can still admit that stories have the power to transport. -Sarah's Holiday Staff Pick, 2016


Staff Pick Logo
The Happiest Book Ever Cover Image
By Bob Shea, Bob Shea (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781484730454
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - October 11th, 2016

This book is pure unbridled fun. In fact, I hear it just might be the happiest book ever. Just ask the dancing cake and candy parade. A great read-aloud with a crowd or just one, kids and adults alike are sure to get the giggles.-Sarah's October Staff Pick, 2016


Staff Pick Logo
Gunpowder Girls: The True Stories of Three Civil War Tragedies Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780966925876
Availability: Special Order
Published: Quindaro Press - October 11th, 2016

History is full of untold stories, threatening to be lost forever. Fortunately for us, Tanya Anderson has uncovered the stories of the women and girls who made up some of the largest civilian casualties of the Civil War, due to disastrous accidents during their employment at military arsenals. Anderson not only tracks down the causes and effects of these tragedies, but does her best to illuminate the lives of those most impacted. Told clearly and engagingly, this book is sure to hook young history fans...and maybe create some new ones. -Sarah's October Staff Pick, 2016


A stunning debut, We Eat Our Own will grab hold of you from the first page and refuse to let go. The story of a harrowing film shoot in the isolated depths of the Amazon rainforest during which even those who think they have total control learn that there is no such thing, this blend of mystery, horror, and literary fiction manages to feel both epic and claustrophobic, making for a uniquely atmospheric read. Pick it up at your own risk; you may not be able to easily put it back down. -Sarah's September Staff Pick, 2016


Staff Pick Logo
The Water Princess Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780399172588
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - September 13th, 2016

The power team of Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds have channeled their distinctly beautiful style to depicting an African village, their long journey to water, and one powerful girl. The gorgeous landscapes and lush colors belie the hardship at the center of this true story: The extreme lengths people often have to go to just to get drinking water. This is an excellent way to introduce a tough subject to a young audience in an empathetic way. -Sarah's September Staff Pick, 2016


Staff Pick Logo
Lift Your Light a Little Higher: The Story of Stephen Bishop: Slave-Explorer Cover Image
By Heather Henson, Bryan Collier (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481420952
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books - September 6th, 2016

A beautiful chronicle of an almost-forgotten chapter in history teaches us not only of Stephen Bishop, a slave who served as a guide to Mammoth Cave, but of the importance of looking beyond written history to see the untold stories. -Sarah's September Staff Pick, 2016


Staff Pick Logo
First Light, First Life: A Worldwide Creation Story Cover Image
By Paul Fleischman, Julie Paschkis (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781627791014
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt & Company - September 20th, 2016

Such a simple concept: Combine a number of creation stories from around the world. But the execution is riveting. On an academic level, it is fascinating to compare and contrast myths from disparate areas, but on an emotional level, it provides common ground to bring together all of humanity for the reader. The illustrations are gorgeous and call directly to each culture depicted, making it clear and easy to track each mythos. -Sarah's September Staff Pick, 2016


Staff Pick Logo
Leave Me Alone! Cover Image
By Vera Brosgol, Vera Brosgol (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781626724419
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press - September 13th, 2016

All she wants to do is make her sweaters in peace, but is there anywhere in this world peaceful enough? Just when you think you know where this little old lady is headed, she'll take you off in another direction. This book is perfect for read-alouds, knitting circles, and those who think every child should know what a samovar is. -Sarah's September Staff Pick, 2016


Staff Pick Logo
The Cookie Fiasco Cover Image
By Mo Willems, Dan Santat, Mo Willems (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781484726365
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion - September 20th, 2016

Elephant and Piggie might be done with their series, but that doesn't mean they can't still introduce you to some awesome books! Cookies bring out passionate emotions in Dan Santat's colorful story that will teach you fractions the sneaky way. -Sarah's September Staff Pick, 2016


Staff Pick Logo
How This Book Was Made Cover Image
By Mac Barnett, Adam Rex (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781423152200
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - September 6th, 2016

A highly realistic and scholarly account of book writing and production. Did you know they all involve arm wrestling a tiger? -Sarah's September Staff Pick, 2016


Staff Pick Logo
A Hungry Lion, or a Dwindling Assortment of Animals Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781481448895
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - March 15th, 2016

If you're not hooked by the title, then I don't know what to do with you. Cummins's solo picture book debut is wildly creative and includes more than one unexpected twist. Kids will have fun with the roller coaster of a plot and adults will appreciate the dark sense of humor. -Sarah's April Staff Pick, 2016


Staff Pick Logo
Anna and the Swallow Man Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780553513349
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - January 26th, 2016

This unique narrative reduces the epic scope of World War II down to its impact on a just a few people, most especially a girl coming of age in the middle of the invasion of Poland.  Seven-year-old Anna lives a rich life with her father in Krakow, until the day he is disappeared along with many other members of the intellectual elite.  This is the day Anna meets the Swallow Man, a mysterious figure who takes her under his wing.  Together they travel the countryside, avoiding soldiers and cities as Anna learns the ways of the road and the world.  While there are a few heart-pounding scenes, this story is mainly a character study that will leave you with plenty to ponder when Anna and the Swallow Man reach their final destination. -Sarah's March Staff Pick, 2016


Staff Pick Logo
I Crawl Through It Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780316334099
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - September 22nd, 2015

A master of hard-to-sell plots, A.S. King has outdone herself. The main characters include a girl who visits the sites of school shootings on family vacations, a boy who is building a sometimes-invisible helicopter, a reimagined Pinocchio whose hair grows when she lies, and a girl who made the conscious decision to swallow herself and exists as a walking digestive tract. They inhabit a world of bomb threats, standardized tests, and benevolent neighborhood flashers as they attempt to heal and connect. It couldn't be weirder or more human. -Sarah's February Staff Pick, 2016


Staff Pick Logo
Illuminae Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780553499117
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - October 20th, 2015

In the year 2575, a home has been made on the distant world of Kerenza, all revolving around an illegal mining colony.  When a rival company finds out and decides not to report the infraction, but to wipe out the population and take it over themselves, it sparks an interstellar chase between a fleet of survivors and the attackers' last remaining battleship.  Throw in a damaged computer AI and an untested biological weapon, and you have all the makings of a supremely satisfying action-adventure.  Presented as a dossier on the incident including memos, communiques, and data core read-outs, Illuminae is the reading equivalent of a summer blockbuster.  Of course, the movie is already in development, so get in on the ground floor while you still have a chance! -Sarah's January Staff Pick, 2015


Staff Pick Logo
Cookie Love: More Than 60 Recipes and Techniques for Turning the Ordinary Into the Extraordinary Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781607746812
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ten Speed Press - April 7th, 2015

Stop anyone in the store and ask them what they think of the cookies in this book.  I've been cooking through them and foisting the results on my coworkers for a few months, so they've all experienced how awesome they are.  Every recipe is extremely well-balanced, but there are enough unique flavor combinations to keep you from getting bored.  If you start at the beginning, things gradually ramp up in difficulty, so don't be afraid if you're a beginner.  Read the introduction and the appendices to go in depth on techniques, ingredients, and materials, or just dive right in to the baking.  Some of the ingredients might not be at your typical grocery store, but going a little out of your way to find exactly what you need is always worth it.  Add this book to your cookbook collection.  Your coworkers will thank you. -Sarah's Holiday Staff Pick, 2015


Staff Pick Logo
Counting Lions: Portraits from the Wild Cover Image
By Katie Cotton, Stephen Walton (Illustrator)
$22.00
ISBN: 9780763682071
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - October 13th, 2015

Just look at it.  It's gorgeous.

But this book works on so many levels other than simple aesthetics.  It's a counting book, and who doesn't love a counting book that stretches beyond "one apple, two oranges"?  It's a science book, teaching about the lives and behaviors of these lovely creatures.  It's a book about environmentalism and responsibility, as every one of the animals in it is endangered by human activity.

But you'll probably keep coming back to the intricately detailed pencil drawings, rendered on a truly impressive scale.  And that's okay.  They're an excellent way to highlight the reasons to love and appreciate these animals and the need to preserve them for future generations. -Sarah's November Staff Pick, 2015


Staff Pick Logo
Bone Gap Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062317605
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen - March 3rd, 2015

Not everyone likes the terrifying and gory scares that surround us this time of year.  Some prefer their horror on the creepy and slightly surreal side.  Bone Gap is for you.  The beautiful drifter Roza has settled in Bone Gap with brothers Finn and Sean, until one day she is taken by a strange man with Finn the only witness.  Finn doesn't understand why his description of the abduction isn't enough to make anyone believe him.  Roza can't figure out how to escape her new strange prison, or how it can change entirely overnight.  This is magical realism with a dash of psychological terror, mixed with small town drama, all wrapped up a gorgeous literary package.  If you liked last year's The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender, make this your next read. -Sarah's Halloween Staff Pick, 2015


Staff Pick Logo
One-Hour Cheese: Ricotta, Mozzarella, Chevre, Paneer--Even Burrata. Fresh and Simple Cheeses You Can Make in an Hour or Less! Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9780761177487
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Workman Publishing - May 6th, 2014

Oh my gosh, I'm making cheese, and you can too!  Right now you're thinking "no I can't" and starting to put this book down.  Stop it!  You totally can.  And when you do, you will run around showing everyone who will listen that you took milk and vinegar and made actual curds.  And they taste great!  The recipes are graded by difficulty, so you can work your way up the ranks, and every single step is illustrated with a helpful photograph.  Start today!  An hour later, you'll be thanking me.  And eating cheese. -Sarah's September Staff Pick, 2015


Staff Pick Logo
In a Dark, Dark Wood Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501112317
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery/Scout Press - August 4th, 2015

Did you like Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train?  You'll like this better.  Why?  Take the twisty, turniness of those plots, then add an evocative setting that takes on a life of its own and distinctive characters you actually care about.  As an additional bonus, you'll get at least a few genuine chills down your back.  Just a warning: Don't start reading if you have anywhere to be.  The primary side effect of In a Dark, Dark Wood is an inability to leave your seat until you know what happened. -Sarah's August Staff Pick, 2015


Staff Pick Logo
Ballet Cat the Totally Secret Secret Cover Image
By Bob Shea, Bob Shea (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9781484713785
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - May 5th, 2015

Bob Shea has long been a Left Bank favorite in the picture book realm, and now he's expanded into early readers with a brand new character:  Ballet Cat.  As you might imagine, she loves ballet, but in this first installment, she runs into a slight problem when it turns out not everyone shares her passion.  Don't let her tutu fool you:  This book isn't just for the pink princess crowd.  Everyone who has a Ballet Cat in their lives will recognize this story, and Shea's fantastic sense of humor and ability to let a few lines communicate his characters' emotions spot-on will entertain almost anyone. -Sarah's June Staff Pick, 2015

 


Staff Pick Logo
Because You'll Never Meet Me Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781619635906
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books - June 2nd, 2015

I know a book is special when instead of putting it down after finishing it, I hug it.  I hugged Because You'll Never Meet Me for a very long time.  This story of two pen pals whose unconventional medical challenges put them in a unique position to understand each other but also leave them unable to occupy the same room made me laugh out loud and cry real tears, sometimes in the space of a single page.  Ollie and Moritz are delightfully well-rendered characters, each with a distinct and powerful voice.  Their story kept catching me by surprise, whether by coming at the issue from a slightly different angle than expected or spinning the narrative on a dime, but it never veered off-course, keeping the boys' emotional journey at its heartfelt and authentic center.  This is a debut author to watch out for and a book I'll be recommending for a long time to come. -Sarah's June Staff Pick, 2015

 


Staff Pick Logo
Dead to Me Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781423187127
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - March 3rd, 2015

This book is the rarest of creatures:  A 1940's Hollywood noir murder mystery with a cast of strong women and girls.  This is a world run by money, fame and beauty and sixteen-year-old Alice is thrown into the deep end when her estranged sister Annie is beaten and left for dead.  Her social circle reached from the depths of the seedy underbelly of drugs and sex to the top of the A-list marquee stars, so everyone is a suspect.  McCoy sets a rich atmosphere of danger and deceit and creates a fabulous cast of characters who are truly compelling, even when they aren't sympathetic.  This is an easy hit with mystery readers, but should find a much broader audience, thanks to Alice, Annie and all their friends...and enemies. -Sarah's April Staff Picks, 2015

 


Staff Pick Logo
Tribute Edition: Out from Boneville (Bone #1) Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9780545800709
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graphix - February 24th, 2015

Jeff Smith's saga kept me enthralled between the ages of 12 and 25 (the last volume was released much earlier, but I couldn't quite bring myself to read it for a few years).  The immense growth in the both the storyline and the characters mean that readers can start young and the story will mature along with them, but first-time adult readers won't be disappointed either.  By the end, Bone encompasses multiple life-or-death struggles, nuanced interpersonal and political debates and a detailed historical mythology, all told with a child-like sense of humor and whimsy.  With the bonus materials in this Tribute Edition, published to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Scholastic's Graphix imprint, old fans can recapture the magic of discovering Bone for the first time, while new readers won't be able to resist any longer. -Sarah's March Staff Pick, 2015

 


Staff Pick Logo
The Story of Mankind Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9780871408655
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Liveright Publishing Corporation - December 2014

This book will give you double-dose of history.  First, it's exactly like it says on the cover:  the story of mankind from prehistoric to modern times.  Second, it's the first ever winner of the Newbery Medal.  No dry academic tome, this account, while based in fact, is unabashedly subjective.  Van Loon is sometimes snarky, occasionally biased, and always passionate about his subject matter.  He makes history personal by sucking you into the narrative and never letting you lose track of a moment's context.  While it might not hold up to the rigors of journalistic scrutiny, reading this book kept history in my head more than any textbook I ever got in school while keeping me interested in the story and making me fall in love with the author. -Sarah's January Staff Pick, 2015

 


Staff Pick Logo
The Who, the What, and the When: 65 Artists Illustrate the Secret Sidekicks of History Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781452128276
Availability: Special Order
Published: Chronicle Books - October 14th, 2014

Who won't want this book?  History buffs will love the untold stories behind the famous (and infamous) household names.  Art lovers will enjoy the fact that every page brings a new style and approach to the illustrations.  Dilettantes will like that you can read an entire entry in a few minutes, then wander away.  It's all put together in a beautiful package with enough legitimacy to sit on even the most prestigious shelves and enough quirk to appeal to the less highfalutin'.  All the factors combine to make this a great gift for someone you know inside out or not very well at all.  You can even give it to an entire family, since it's the perfect addition to a coffee table.  Or give it to everyone on your list; the price is right. -Sarah's Holiday Staff Pick, 2015

 


The Art of Lainey Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062238429
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Teen - May 20th, 2014

My Teacher Is a Monster! (No, I Am Not.) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316070294
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - July 1st, 2014

Staff Pick Logo
Naughty Kitty! Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780545576048
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orchard Books - May 27th, 2014

Staff Pick Logo
Vicarious Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780765380944
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Teen - August 16th, 2016

The stakes are high in this twisty, turny psychological thriller that will keep you guessing until the end...and maybe even longer. Winter and Rose are trying to put their past as victims of human sex trafficking behind them while working as recorders for their guardian's virtual reality club. Winter specializes in adventures while Rose's work is less risky and more risque. Everything changes when Rose doesn't come home, but a recording of her murder does. But why is Winter the only one who seems interested in finding out what happened? -Sarah's September Staff Pick, 2016