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Staff Pick List

Alicia

I'm Alicia and I do the shipping out of your awesome purchases! I always have a book in hand ready to read wherever I am and tend to read a variety of subjects, trying most anything at least once. I tend to gravitate toward sci-fi, urban fantasy, a dash of cozy series (has to have cats and books), and a variety of manga and graphic novels for my fiction reading. Non-fiction, I focus on reproductive justice, LGBT issues and history, 20th century American History, interior design, architectural studies, organizing and cleaning, and humor.

 

Jarek

What do you think your job is at Left Bank Books? staff handyman and bookkeeper at your service

If you had a Super Power, what would it be? Invisibility (But I think I already have that superpower)

What's your sign?  

What sound do you love? Wind through pine needles

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Rabbit Cake Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781941040560
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tin House Books - March 7th, 2017

18 months in a 12-year old girl named Elvis' life after her mother drowns while sleepwalking. Her father copes by wearing his wife's clothes and lipstick, her sister's sleepwalking escalates. The title comes from a tradition of rabbit shaped cakes her mother baked for special occasions. Funny. Gut punch. Tender. 


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Loner: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501107900
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 1st, 2017

I like to think about whether a book is good or bad based on judging if the writing did what the writer wanted it to do (not just "did I like the story"). If Teddy Wayne wanted to completely creep me out we have a winner. This one's unsettling. It's told from the point of view of David, an incoming freshman at Harvard. It's told in second person - that second person being the young woman on whom he has become fixated. I wanted to stop midway through but soldiered on until the end. I need a shower now.


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The Girls: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780812988024
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks - May 9th, 2017

On the surface, this is a novelization of the Manson murders, which is why I hesitated before reading it. I have enough murder and suffering in my Facebook feed. I don't need to be entertained by it. But this isn't really about that. It's really a story of a 14 year old girl lost in a disintegrating family and stormy adolescence who finds a connection with an older woman (and by older I mean, like 20) who is part of a free thinking, drug fueled group of young women led by a severely f'ed up male leader. Parts of this - the obligatory sex, the desperation for intimacy, the anger and shame- were so familiar to me as a teenager I was left wondering if I would have made some of the same decisions as the narrator. That's what works about this book (and any good book) - unfamiliar struggles of a character are drawn so that they are universal struggles recognizable to nearly every reader - in this case, every reader who grew up female. Excellent storytelling.-Jay's September Staff Pick, 2016


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The Whale: A Love Story: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780399562334
Availability: Special Order
Published: Viking - June 14th, 2016

The Whale by Mark Beauregard is a novel based on the love between Herman Melville and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Kris put it in my hands and I made my way through it - a tale of frustrated love and a feverish, soul torturing inspiration in the form of a marrow deep bond between two men that inspired a masterpiece. It was a fitting parallel reading for a week where the indefinable and unanswerable question of our human souls was writ large in media in every moment in the form of circular repeating death scenes. Melville's and Hawthorne's souls were on trial at an equally feverish pitch, but the sexual tension, humor and human pace cut the old testament brimstone. In the end this story, as our story is now, is a love story where human beings love, resent and inspire each other into salvation and damnation equally. -Jay's September Staff Pick, 2016


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Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl: A Memoir Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780399184765
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - October 25th, 2016

Whether your point of reference for Carry Brownstein is her role opposite Fred Armisen (Portlandia) or her Riot Grrrl roots (Sleater –Kinney) you’ll love this memoir that gives us something celebrity memoirs usually don’t offer – a truly intelligent and fierce look into what makes a young girl looking for an identity grow through a childhood fraught with turmoil to become a formidable feminist badass. -Jay's Holiday Staff Pick, 2015


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A Little Life Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780804172707
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - January 26th, 2016

Jay's October Staff Pick, 2015


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Forgiveness 4 You: A Novel Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781468310238
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Harry N. Abrams - March 17th, 2015

Gabriel is an ex-priest haunted by a past that is (to him) unforgivable.  While rebuilding his life working his quiet job at a bookstore he meets an advertising executive who finds his uncanny ability to comfort the guilty and absolve sins marketable.  Soon begins a global campaign targeted at guilty souls without faith who wish to confess and be forgiven – and Gabriel is at the center of the forgiveness revolution.  This book is a satirical contemplation of the American need to both embrace and reject faith. -Jay's May Staff Pick, 2015


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How to Build a Girl: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062335982
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - June 30th, 2015

This is my official book recommendation for pretty much everyone except those who don't like strong female leads, excruciatingly funny coming of age stories or sharp British wit from a working class/poor girl who reinvents and sort of collages herself into a brutal rock critic at age17 circa 1990. Fast read, spot on riot grrl feminism. -Jay's pick


The Girl on the Train: A Novel Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780735219755
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - April 4th, 2017

Rachel is a raging alcoholic.  She also narrates this Hitchcockian thriller.  Be ready for blank spaces in time, horrible decisions, questionable motives and behavior surrounding the murder of a woman whose life Rachel watches from seat on a commuter train.  Rachel soon becomes entangled in the investigation and finds herself at the center of the danger.  This is a fast, furious and fun read.  Don’t expect to put it down before bedtime. -Jay's April Staff Pick, 2015


Amber

I am the Marketing & Publicity Manager here at Left Bank. Coming from the nonprofit and racial justice world, I read a ton of nonfiction about race--justice, intergroup relations, implicit bias, race and social issues, etc. In nonfiction, I also get interested in women's issues and religion/theology.

Danielle

Very fond of trying to read twenty-five books at a time. Will read anything, but especially fantasy and/or sci-fi. Recently obsessed with foul-mouthed graphic novels. Check out Danielle's anti-racist reading list here.

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In the Dream House: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781644450031
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - November 5th, 2019

With devastating ability, Carmen Maria Machado dips in and out of her past to relate the terrors and trials of an abusive lover, interspersing often-painful vignettes with expert excavations of the "battered lesbian" from social & literary traditions that have generally disregarded queer intra-personal violence.


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88 Names: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062854674
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper - March 17th, 2020

If you were excited by the idea of "Ready Player One," but found the 80s nostalgia a bit cloying, Matt Ruff's latest novel will hit that exact spot. John Chu is an online "sherpa" guiding his latest gaming client, a reclusive high-roller, through the VR world of hit online role-playing games. He soon begins to suspect that he's at the center of a global web of intrigue that may or may not involve a certain North Korean dictator dipping a toe into population mind control. Fortunately he's got a spy boss for a mom, a brilliant and vengeful ex, and the eternal disapproval of his sherpa team, so that should keep his head above water...right?


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This Is How You Lose the Time War Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781534430990
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - March 17th, 2020

In a war where interwoven strands of time encompass the battlefield, opposing agents of destruction reach out for connection and find something more resonant than either could have ever expected. This book took me on an epistolic journey between antagonists and conspirators, and touched me in more ways than one.


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Something to Talk About Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593102527
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - May 26th, 2020

This was an adorable and modern take on the workplace romance -- is best enjoyed with a glass of wine! The idea of charming assistant Emma and strong, driven (but lonely) Jo makes sense from the opening chapters. You'll find yourself rooting for these two to overcome the pressures of Hollywood sexism, invasions of privacy, family drama, and their own egos!


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Circe Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316556323
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Back Bay Books - April 14th, 2020

I've never given a book the highest rating possible with so little reservation. This is an unabashed delight, and was *incredibly* hard to put down! Come for the petty soap-opera squabbles between greater and lesser divinities and the complicated heroes and the oddly sympathetic monsters and the vapid nymphs and the heart-warmth that comes from watching someone down-trodden as they locate their strengths. Stay for porcine transfigurations and the tremendous godly sh*t-talking.


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Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb Trilogy #2) Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250313225
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - August 4th, 2020

Harrow the Ninth is an exceptional second entry in Tasmyn Muir's Locked Tomb trilogy, which has quickly become a cherished (science fiction? fantasy? both??) series. The necromantic magic in this world is really given more room flex its muscles as an integral part of the story. Muir's particular gifts with language and her deft humor remain on full display. For all of the questions answered and curiosities resolved, I'm left desperate to know where we are headed next in this journey!


Meghara

I'm a bookseller and a sidelines buyer. I real all kinds of things, but I gravitate toward sci-fi, victorian novels, and essay collections.   

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Bibliostyle: How We Live at Home with Books Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780525575443
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter - October 22nd, 2019

If you (or someone you love) has amassed more books than seems reasonable, you may want to take a moment and flip through Nina Freudenberger's beautiful new coffee table book. In a series of short essays and beautiful photographs, she explores the different ways people collect, organize, and live among their books. Perfect for the bibliophile in your life.


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Tuesday Mooney Talks to Ghosts Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780358023937
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - October 8th, 2019

Tuesday Mooney does not like social occasions; she prefers reruns of the X-Files to the company of other people. But when Boston's most eccentric billionaire dies leaving a literary treasure hunt through the city, she's drawn out of her shell and into an adventure that will require her sharpest wits and quickest thinking. If you have a book lover or a fan of puzzles on your list, Tuesday Mooney offers a satisfying combination of humor, adventure, and substance. 


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Binti: The Complete Trilogy Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780756415181
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: DAW - February 5th, 2019

Though each of the novellas in this trilogy were released over the past four years, the complete collection was released in one volume earlier this year. It follows the title character as she runs away from her tribe to attend a prestigious university off planet. As soon as she boards her ship, however, she learns that warring species and aliens with vendettas make for a dangerous journey. It's a thrilling, socially conscious, and thought-provoking trilogy. Bonus: Check out her YA novels Akata Witch and Akata Warrior; they're both wonderful and immersive.


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My Dark Vanessa: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062941503
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow - March 10th, 2020

15-year-old Vanessa’s affair with her English teacher is an all-consuming obsession that continues to haunt her into adulthood. This book lets us peer into the mind of a survivor of sexual assault and understand the complexities and far-reaching consequences of this kind of abuse. Beautifully written, heartbreaking, and completely gripping.


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Binti Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780765385253
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor.com - September 22nd, 2015

I picked this up on a whim and was instantly hooked. Binti runs away in the middle of the night to hitch a ride on a spaceship to attend a prestigious intergalactic university. When her ship is hijacked by an enemy species called the Meduse, she must call on the culture she left behind to help her survive.


Amanda

I am the store's general manager and I love to read mystery/thrillers, true crime, memoirs, as well as feminist and social justice non-fiction books. I usually always have at least three books going at any given time -- one on my nightstand, an audiobook, and a library book. I definitely tend to pick up titles that strike my current mood. I'm also the proud mom of three cats, Mr. Oscar Wilde, Fitzgerald, and Maya. I love chai tea lattes and listening to live music. My fiance and I love to travel; one of my goals when traveling is to visit at least one library or bookstore in the town we're visiting. I prefer mountains over the beach. 

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His & Hers: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250266071
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - July 28th, 2020

I loved Alice Feeney's first book, "Sometimes I Lie" so I had very high expectations going into this one. I must say she exceeded my expectations tenfold! Feeney is the master of psychological thrillers and writing unreliable narrators. I have never been fooled by one quite like this. This book sucks you in and will keep you guessing until literally the very last page. I stayed up until 2AM (which is very rare for me) reading because I HAD to know how it all ended. If you've never read one of Alice Feeney's books, you are in for a real treat! 


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Red, White & Royal Blue: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250316776
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - May 14th, 2019

Red, White, & Royal Blue is a true gem of a book; such a delight to read. It has been a while since I was so utterly taken with a contemporary love story. McQuiston's writing is funny, powerful, and she does a great job of having a diverse group of characters, including people of color, LGBTQ characters, and lots of strong women. This book is such a breath of fresh air and a getaway from the real world's toxic political climate. I can't recommend this book enough. 


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Home Before Dark: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781524745172
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton - June 30th, 2020

Riley Sager has done it again! I've read all of his books and this is my favorite so far. If you like books within books, you are in luck! Maggie Holt has been haunted by her father's bestseller ghost story all of her life. She has no memory of living in Baneberry Hall as a little girl, but after her father passes away she inherits the property. There are lots of little details that keep the story building as it all comes together with a big twist at the end. I love Sager's writing style and his knack for steadily building suspense. His books always keep me furiously turning the pages! 


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Craigslist Confessional: A Collection of Secrets from Anonymous Strangers Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982114961
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery Books - July 7th, 2020

If you are a fan of Cheryl Strayed's "Tiny Beautiful Things" or PostSecret, then you will love this collection.  Helena De Bala has the idea to post an ad on Craigslist promising to listen, anonymously and for free, to whatever the speaker feels they can't tell anyone else. The result is this book of 40 people's confessions, ranging in topics from drug abuse, depression, and various kinds of trauma. Craigslist Confessional challenges us to explore the depth of our empathy and reminds us that we never know what someone around us could be going through, so always be kind.


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Good Talk: A Memoir in Conversations Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780399589065
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: One World - March 24th, 2020

This is Mira Jacob's story of growing up as a person of color in the United States, with a special focus on raising her young son in a post 9/11 New York City. Her son has a lot of questions about race and her best attempts to answer them honestly are poignant. By turns hilarious and heart-rending, it plunges fearlessly into the murky gray areas of race and family, of struggling to find common ground, of trying to talk to our children and help them make sense of it all. It's exactly the book America needs at this moment.


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Stray: A Memoir Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781101875964
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - May 19th, 2020

This memoir is Stephanie Danler’s account of her past, living through parental failures, addressing issues of mental health, substance abuse, and trauma, which I found truly heartbreaking and immersive. I loved her brutal honesty, which evoked thought provoking questions within myself throughout the book. Danler viscerally strips herself bare for the reader, but then at the end something incredible happens: She doesn't tie everything up in a bow, but still ends up leaving the reader with so much hope.


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Oona Out of Order: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250236609
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - February 25th, 2020

Wow what a book! The perfect blend of angst, romance, and pop-culture. This is a poignant, moving, tremendously thought-provoking book that is so beautifully written. I love books about time travel, especially those which deal with the emotional aspects rather than the scientific. There were so many wondrous moments to be found here. I didn't want it to end.


Hank

Hank is the adorable son of Jim, our receiving manager. His picks are typically about trains, things that make noise, dogs, and social justice.

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Trains Go Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780811879422
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - January 25th, 2012

Choo Choo!!!


Gaston (Gaston and Friends) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781442451025
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - June 3rd, 2014

Gaston is a little different from the rest of his family, and when he meets a burly brood of bulldogs everyone realizes that there may have been a mix-up when he was just a pup, but they soon learn that just because something might look right, doesn't mean that it feels right.


I Will Not Eat You Cover Image
By Adam Lehrhaupt, Scott Magoon (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481429337
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books - September 6th, 2016

Theodore just wants some peace and quiet and shows a lot of patience (even though he's always grumpy about it) to the creatures that disturb him in his cave, but one noisy boy pushes the limits of Theodore's patience a little too far.


Dragons Love Tacos Cover Image
By Adam Rubin, Daniel Salmieri (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780803736801
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - June 14th, 2012

"Hey kid, did you know that dragons love tacosTo be fair, who doesn't love tacos? This book is perfectly goofy and is just as fun for parents to read as it is for kids to have it read to them.


Star Wars: The Last Jedi Chewie and the Porgs Cover Image
By Kevin Shinick, Fiona Hsieh (Illustrator)
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781484780763
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Disney Lucasfilm Press - December 15th, 2017

Poor Chewie just wants something to eat (fun fact: Wookies are ALWAYS hungry) while Rey is off looking for Luke Skywalker, but can't find any food, and can't go anywhere without being followed by the Porgs that inhabit the island. What's a hungry Wookie to do?!


The Bad Seed Cover Image
By Jory John, Pete Oswald (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062467768
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - August 29th, 2017

This sunflower seed does all kinds of bad and inconsiderate things; He tells long jokes with no punch lines, talks during movies,and lies about pointless stuff. Everywhere he goes, other seeds say "There goes a bad seed!", but how did he get to be so bad? Was he just a bad seed from the beginning, or did something happen to make him go bad? Is he always going to be a baaaaad seed?


Phoebe

Phoebe's picks by genre: YA Fiction, Sci-Fi, Graphic Novels   Phoebe's Favorite 5 Reads in 2018

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Witchlight Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780593119990
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Graphic - April 14th, 2020

I love the artwork in Witchlight. It's a fantastically creatively built world. I was so invested in the bond forming between Sanja and Lelek. It's a book full of heart.


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Snapdragon Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781250171115
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - February 4th, 2020

A wonderful read that's a combination of mystical and personal. The story had me audibly laughing and cheering, it is beautifully done.


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The Deep & Dark Blue Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780316486019
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - January 7th, 2020

A wonderful story dabbling in, sword, sorcery, and self-discovery. The fast paced plot of avenging family is well timed and punctuated with a beautifully handled transgender narrative that had me getting teary and feeling deeply for Hawke and especially Grayce. Great art and great characters!


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Love by Sophia (The Sophia Books) Cover Image
By Jim Averbeck, Yasmeen Ismail (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481477901
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - June 16th, 2020

A fantastic book about finding creative perspective and lobbying for your artwork! Heartwarming, insightful, and surprisingly informative! I loved it.


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The Derby Daredevils: Kenzie Kickstarts a Team: (The Derby Daredevils Book #1) Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781419740794
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - March 24th, 2020

This book wrestles with teamwork, friendship, and identity so lovingly. The characters are fiercely their own, and the story focus of roller derby makes for such a fun and absorbing read! LGBTQIA identities are handled incredibly well and casually in it, and never makes them feel like an othering situation.


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The Midwinter Witch Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781338540550
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - November 5th, 2019

This entire series is amazing. Each book wrestles with a different aspect of identity, and the Midwinter Witch does not disappoint. Perfect artwork to match well defined characters, and a story that doesn't shy away from handling hard topics like chosen family, and being a possibility model for others. Once again Molly Knox Ostertag has created a magnificent piece of art!


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Roller Girl Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780803740167
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - March 10th, 2015

When you start roller derby it quickly becomes clear that it's either not for you, or you're going to become obsessed and pursue any media about it relentlessly. Roller Girl did not disappoint. It's a heart warming coming-of-age read, and also an important lesson about dreams and expectations that I was personally grateful for at the beginning of my derby career. It's so heartfelt that I found myself tearing up at scenes, laughing at others, and feeling like I had grown by the end of it.


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Saga: Compendium One Cover Image
$59.99
ISBN: 9781534313460
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Image Comics - August 27th, 2019

SAGA is an amazing space-opera-fairy-tale-family-epic that had me hooked right from the beginning. Fiona Staples artwork is not only stellar but perfectly matches the emotion and character of the series. As usual Brian K Vaughan has created fully realized characters that are incredibly defined and full of individuality. I'm not sure if there's an element to this series that I did not enjoy. It's simultaneously full of wonder and heart, but does not shy away from heavy or painful topics. It's just beautiful.


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Stage Dreams Cover Image
By Melanie Gillman, Melanie Gillman (Illustrator)
$10.99
ISBN: 9781541572843
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graphic Universe (Tm) - September 3rd, 2019

I was so excited for this book the second someone handed my an ARC and told me that it was a queer western heist graphic novel. Stage Dreams does not disappoint, while being fast paced the characters are fleshed out, the story is clear and paced well, and the art hit some notes of transgender representation that I don't think I've ever seen before. It is a fun and exciting read that discusses queer identities without sacrificing plotting or losing any individual characterization.


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Nevada Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9780983242239
Availability: Special Order
Published: Topside Press - March 7th, 2013

Nevada is a book I deeply identify. The inner monologue of Maria Griffiths is so eerily close to my own at times that I have to wonder how Imogen Binnie knows me so well. It's a darkly funny tale that is not afraid to spend 60 pages wrestling with a character's inner turmoil, only to call itslef out on the absurdness of it all in the next chapter. I've never felt so seen and so lovingly attacked at the same time.


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Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9780735218826
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 5th, 2019

You would think it would be impossible to write a book that was such a thorough combination of humor, gender/queer theory, heartbreak, warmth, personal experience, information, and sass. To that Jacob Tobia says, "Hold my drink," rolls up their velour sleeves, and gives us this amazing book. They clearly have so much to say and so much energy, but Sissy doesn't feel rushed and is completely absorbing.


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Queer Sex: A Trans and Non-Binary Guide to Intimacy, Pleasure and Relationships Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781785924064
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Jessica Kingsley Publishers - April 19th, 2018

As a series of interviews between queer folx outside of the cisgender binary, this book opens up a world of conversation on a topic that I think is simultaneously difficult and necessary to approach. It quietly inspires you to set aside your shame and approach your experiences with honesty and compassion.


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The Hidden Witch Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781338253757
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - October 30th, 2018

A wonderful cast of characters, another great story about identity, and fantastic writing make The Hidden Witch an amazing addition to the Witch Boy series. The handling of emotions, friendship, and family form such a beautifully touching tale.


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Jack (Not Jackie) Cover Image
By Erica Silverman, Holly Hatam (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781499807318
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: little bee books - October 9th, 2018

Jack not Jackie is a really sweet story about acceptance and identity. Told from the perspective of an older sister learning to accept their brother's gender identity, it really captures the love of being in a supportive family.


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The Prince and the Dressmaker Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781626723634
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: First Second - February 13th, 2018

The Prince and The Dressmaker is a wonderful book that intertwines themes of coming of age, identity, and fashion in such a heartwarming way. The artwork is a wonderful fit to the story and really captures the emotions of the characters. 


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Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) Cover Image
$34.00
ISBN: 9780316440868
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orbit - November 7th, 2017

This book reads like an action mob movie with a flair of magically super powered brawls. It's fast paced, but also well fleshed out. The culture of the Green Bones has a wonderful depth that includes everything from the necessity of these ruling gang families to all the flaws of their pride.  It's a well thought out, well written, and fantastically delivered read.


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The Power Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316547611
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown and Company - October 10th, 2017

This is one of those amazing books where it hits you so hard and makes your blood pump so fast that you need to take a break to breathe through and process what you just read. Naomi Alderman writes in such a way that you can feel the impact of this power in every ounce of the book. The Power is incredibly well thought out and well written.


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Star Wars Lost Stars Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781368013789
Availability: Special Order
Published: Disney Lucasfilm Press - August 1st, 2017

Claudia Gray managed to accurately capture the feel of the Star Wars Universe while simultaneously exploring a new perspective that focuses less on heroes, and more on the people that are actually wrapped up in the mess of this intergalactic war. This was the Star Wars book I didn't know I needed. It has sent me down both a spiral of consuming Star Wars novels, and made me a strong fan of Claudia Gray.


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The Witch Boy Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781338089516
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graphix - October 31st, 2017

 I find all of Molly's work fun and engaging. Witch Boy is no different. It's a wonderful graphic novel that takes a fun story and uses that as a vessel to introduce discussion on gender issues and the damages of forcing social norms. Meant for younger readers, but I think would be fun for anyone.


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Defy the Stars Cover Image
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ISBN: 9780316394031
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 4th, 2017

By all accounts this should have been a pretty standard YA novel. Instead it took the tropes and turned them over to discuss things like what defines person-hood, what makes a person good or bad, and how do we stand up for the things we want to fight for. I'm not sure when it happened, but I was pulled in and could not put it down until I was done.


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Super Late Bloomer: My Early Days in Transition Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781449489625
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing - May 1st, 2018

Julia Kaye put the words to the confusing mess of thoughts I have had for a lifetime. I knew from that point this book was going to hit me on a deeply emotional level. Kaye uses her words and highly expressive illustrations to perfectly capture emotions that I've struggled with (and that I thought I was alone in experiencing). In the hour it took me to get through this book I was tearing up, laughing, smiling, sighing, and everything in between. Thank you Julia Kaye, if nothing else you have positively impacted my life by telling your story.


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The Stars Are Legion Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781481447935
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - February 7th, 2017

Kameron Hurley creates worlds like no other author. Between the disturbingly one of a kind world building, the wonderfully flawed characters, and the enthralling unreliability of the narrator this book fully absorbed me.


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The Poet X Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062662804
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Quill Tree Books - March 6th, 2018

Poet X is a wonderful coming of age novel completely written in verse. It's beautifully written and navigates a wide variety of social roles and expectations. I think it can be summed up in the two lines: And I think about all the things we could be if we were never told our bodies were not built for them.

 


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Body Music Cover Image
By Julie Maroh, David Homel (Translator)
$26.95
ISBN: 9781551526928
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arsenal Pulp Press - November 14th, 2017

What an absolutely amazing collection of stories about all aspects of love and so many forms of love. The artwork fits perfectly with the theme and it explores so many aspects of relationships in a beautiful way.

 


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For Every One Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781481486248
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - April 10th, 2018

This has got to be one of the most appropriately named books out there. Jason Reynolds has managed to approach all of our insecurities in a way that inspires one to overcome their obstacles. It's beautifully unifying, incredibly heartfelt, and I feel fuller having read it.


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A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781620104996
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Limerence Press - June 12th, 2018

Books like this are so important. It simultaneously analyzes the damaging qualities of our gendered language, why pronouns matter, how to support non-binary folx in everyday language, and how to stand up as an ally for your genderqueer pals. It's informative and filled with character. They recommend in the beginning of this book reading it then throwing it at people to inform them. I fully support this.


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Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250170972
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - March 6th, 2018

By the end of the first chapter of Children of Blood and Bone I was completely invested in the story. The world is fleshed out wonderfully and the characters are fully realized in a way that makes them easy to connect to and understand. It's a book that will consume you and pull you along for the magnificent ride

 


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The Princess and the Pit Stop Cover Image
By Tom Angleberger, Dan Santat (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781419728488
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - July 10th, 2018

Listen, this book is awesome. The artwork is action packed. It's simply really fun to read. At 30 years old is it too late to say, "when I grow up I want to be her." I think it's important for media to de-gender things as boy interests or girl interests, and this does a great job of just that. Girls like race cars too.


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I'm Afraid of Men Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780735235939
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Canada - August 28th, 2018

This, to me, is one of those important books that talks to everyone. Everyone should listen. As enlightening as it is emboldening it makes me want to tear down the walls of our gender essentialism and misogyny. I’ve never read a book that so clearly illustrates that moment when a person approaches you on the street and you’re not sure if the violence that’s about to happen is because you’re a woman or because you are trans. Read this.


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How to be a T. Rex Cover Image
By Ryan North, Mike Lowery (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780399186240
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - August 21st, 2018

The first step to being a T-Rex is to be awesome. The other first step to being a T-Rex (too cool for second steps) is to read this book because it will make you even more awesome. You'll laugh, you'll roar, and you'll make your brother jealous with your radical claws.

 


Jim

Resident graphic novel expert

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Apollo Cover Image
By Matt Fitch, Chris Baker, Mike Collins (Illustrator)
$24.99
ISBN: 9781910593509
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: SelfMadeHero - July 24th, 2018

Wonderful re-telling and conceptualization of the moon landing as part history, part cultural myth and legend.


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God Save Texas: A Journey into the Soul of the Lone Star State Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9780525435907
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - March 5th, 2019

Ah, my original home state! Texas is a place that invokes in many people's minds a kind of mythology, lore, and cultural sensibility that's as outsized as the state itself. God Save Texas is a look at the people, regions, and cultures of Texas that illustrate a place that's not as monolithic as we think, and how the idea of Texas is as much a truthful exaggeration as it is a microcosm of the rest of the country.


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Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781610394574
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: PublicAffairs - August 26th, 2014

From the genesis of SWAT teams, through the "war on drugs", and "tough on crime" stances of elected officials that created the warrior-cop mentality that has underscored abuses of authority, and civilian shooting deaths by police, particularly in communities of color, Rise Of The Warrior Cop is an absolutely essential read that traces how we arrived to the current disturbing trend of militarized police forces that often more resemble an occupying armed force than protectors of the public across the country.


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Lost St. Louis Riverfront 1930 - 1943 Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780980200287
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Louis Mercantile Library at the Universit - April 1st, 2019

St. Louis has a rich architectural legacy that unfortunately has a tendency to get cannibalized. This book is a remarkable time capsule of the city's riverfront before construction of the Gateway Arch forever altered it.


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The Twilight Man: Rod Serling and the Birth of Television Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9781643375717
Availability: Special Order
Published: Life Drawn - October 8th, 2019

Part biography, part history of television as a medium, the story of Rod Serling and his drive to tell a story in the emerging medium prove just as intriguing and surprising as an episode of the Twilight Zone.


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Am I Overthinking This?: Over-answering life's questions in 101 charts (Humor Books, Self Help Books, Books About Adulthood) Cover Image
$14.95
ISBN: 9781452175867
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - August 13th, 2019

A book with a title that spoke to me and then humorously illustrates just how funny having this kind of thought process is.


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The Man They Wanted Me to Be: Toxic Masculinity and a Crisis of Our Own Making Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781640091818
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Counterpoint LLC - May 7th, 2019

A poignant memoir that illustrates and analyzes the damaging effects of our mass culture's expectations of masculinity.


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How to Hide an Empire: A History of the Greater United States Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780374172145
Availability: Backordered
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - February 19th, 2019

I'm a fan of history books that can dispense with the comforting myths of American history, and How To Hide An Empire manages to do just that with a balance of quirky, and sobering number of lesser known chapters of our history that uncover the United States' soft imperialism that persists to this day.


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Audience of One: Donald Trump, Television, and the Fracturing of America Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781631494420
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Liveright - September 10th, 2019

Deftly weaves post-WWII media studies, history, and biography to produce a sobering analysis of how a person, who is just as much a character as he is a real human being, ascended to the highest office in the land, and how the conditions of our evolving media environment, and that shape our minds enabled it.


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Nothing Is True and Everything Is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781610396004
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: PublicAffairs - November 10th, 2015

A fascinating look at modern Russia focusing on the use of popular television programming to advance the political and social agenda of the state by the Russian president, and the network of Oligarchs whose influence shape the culture and economy. The author draws on his own experience working in Russian television, interviews with a former gangster turned Oligarch/action movie producer, a fashion model/aspiring trophy wife, and a fabricated "opposition party" that is used to provide the veneer of fair elections, but in reality serves to reinforce the image of stability and power of the ruling party. The book illustrates a nation where post-Soviet new-money elites revel in gilded opulence, while everyone else is afforded cold, often brutal institutional nihilism. 


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The No Meat Athlete Cookbook: Whole Food, Plant-Based Recipes to Fuel Your Workouts—and the Rest of Your Life Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781615192663
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: The Experiment - May 16th, 2017

Although this cookbook satisfies my particular niche dietary needs and is very helpful for my athletic aspirations, I think most people will find that you don't have to be athletically inclined, or even strictly vegetarian to benefit from the recipes in No Meat Athlete. The recipes are largely uncomplicated, and designed to help simplify meal planning with a focus on fresh ingredients, meatless protein alternatives, and a wide range of flavor profiles that make for filling, healthy, and flavorful eating.


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X-Men: Grand Design Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781302904890
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Marvel - April 3rd, 2018

Sworn to protect a world that fears and hates them.” The X-Men have long been a stand out of the super-hero genre with mutants as something of a metaphor for the struggles of socially marginalized communities, but at its heart, the X-Men universe is sci-fi soap opera with complicated continuity, a large cast of misfit characters, retcons, and multiple alternate timelines that converge on each other which make for a world that can be intimidating to jump into for new readers but is a large part of the appeal for fans of the franchise such as myself. Ed Piskor’s Grand Design looks to streamline that unwieldy continuity, and make accessible almost 60 years of serialized stories into a concise narrative without shying away from the campiness of the era that spawned the original stories, and the anachronistic nature of Marvel continuity illustrated in his unique, funky, retro Silver Age style.


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Playing with Fire: The 1968 Election and the Transformation of American Politics Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780399563164
Availability: Backordered
Published: Penguin Books - November 6th, 2018

1968 was a consequential year in American history to say the least, and the presidential election of that year can be considered something of a flashpoint in modern American politics where party platforms and affiliations were cemented for the next several decades. Playing With Fire is written in such a compelling manner that despite the fact that the events of the book are documented history, you actually find yourself considering "what happens next?" as the story unfolds.

 


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An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States (REVISIONING HISTORY #3) Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780807057834
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Beacon Press - August 11th, 2015

Unflinching in it's honesty, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz has written one of the most essential chronicles of American history. An Indigenous Peoples' History Of The United States dispenses with the convenient and comforting mythologies of our national origins to pierce to the heart of the matter; the United States was formed through the plunder, slaughter, and displacement of the indigenous nations of the continent by Anglo-European imperial colonialism, and that bloody, shameful legacy is woven into the very fabric of America's national identity.

 


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Is This Guy For Real?: The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781626723160
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: First Second - February 6th, 2018

How did an oddball stand-up comedian and television actor become a reviled pro wrestling heel? For Andy Kaufman, his own... quirky form of character-driven performance art and life-long fascination with professional wresting were destined to converge. 

 


Sarah

I'm the store's Children's and Teen Specialist.  I mostly read anything in those sections (especially YA and picture books), plus plays, graphic novels, nonfiction about social justice issues, and weird avant-garde adult literary fiction that gets remaindered as soon as I recommend it.

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Can't Take That Away Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781547605309
Availability: Not Yet Published
Published: Bloomsbury YA - March 9th, 2021

Carey Parker has a lot going on. After coming out as genderqueer at junior prom, their senior year is shaping up to be one of trying to fly beneath the radar and maybe rebuild strained relationships. But singing is where Carey's passion lies, and after finding the confidence to audition for the school musical, they are cast as the female lead and thrust into the spotlight in more ways than one (and not always how they want). This is a book about a group of students standing up against queerphobia in their community, yes, but at its heart, this is a book about how coming out is not the end of your journey, but the beginning of the next step. For Carey, the external challenges are matched by internal struggles with self-acceptance and value. The most profound experience of Can't Take That Away is watching them realize that who you are comes from within, but it materializes in the world through your actions, and all it takes is deciding in order to make those actions fierce and uncompromising. A tribute to community activism, to found family, and most of all to continuing to find yourself after the world has already told you what you are, Can't Take That Away is an important book not just for teens exploring gender identity, but for everyone looking for their own way to shine.


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Accidental Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781547603589
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury YA - July 7th, 2020

In a world where the news cycle removes incidents of gun violence from our view within days, it's refreshing to see a story focused on someone who doesn't get to forget: One of the toddlers behind an accidental shooting who, as a teenager, has to come to terms with the guilt, anger, fear and sadness resulting from her mother's death. Johanna had always been told her mother died in a car accident, so she is starting from square one in confronting her trauma. No punches are pulled here as PTSD effects manifest over time and every seeming solution falls short of her hopes. As hard as this is to witness, all is not bleak. Ultimately, Accidental is a testament to the healing power of community, love and forgiveness. An honest, wrenching and important read.


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Havenfall Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781547603794
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury YA - March 3rd, 2020

For fans of The Light Between Worlds and Seanan McGuire's Wayward Children series, Havenfall looks at what it's like not to be a traveler between worlds, but to be responsible for all those who are. Centering on the keeper of an inn that offers a neutral ground to denizens of other universes, you'll find a story filled with political intrigue, family secrets, steamy romance, heart-wrenching betrayal and more than a little magic. A satisfying story in its own right, Havenfall will leave readers aching for more of Byrn, Fiordenkill, Solaria, and that mystical world in-between.


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The Other, Better Me Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062835659
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - October 1st, 2019

Lola has a devoted mother, wonderful friends, neighbors who watch over her like family, and a big question mark where her dad should be. A journey of self-discovery with more than a couple unexpected turns, Lola grows and changes right in front of the reader, but remains a delightful companion throughout. Without getting preachy, this lovely book serves as a reminder of how to treat other people and what's really important


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Some Places More Than Others Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781681191089
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - September 3rd, 2019

On her first trip to her father's birthplace in Harlem, Amara knows she's going to find out more about her extended family, but she doesn't expect to learn secrets about her father's past, or to gain a sense of connection to the many African Americans who paved the way for her life in Oregon. Quietly powerful, this story of personal discovery is sure to inspire many trips to family photo albums and a lot of great memories.


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Dear Haiti, Love Alaine Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781335777096
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Inkyard Press - September 3rd, 2019

Alaine would be worth spending time with no matter what, but the fact that she's navigating her first trip to her familial homeland, a possible expulsion, a non-profit start-up internship, a scandalized mother, a cute boy AND an ancient family curse gives her a lot of material to work with. The very real problems of Haiti balance out her breezy quips to present a nuanced outsider(ish) perspective on the island nation that leaves lots of room for more exploration (and maybe a follow-up on Alaine's college years?).


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Thirteen Doorways, Wolves Behind Them All Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062317643
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - October 1st, 2019

It's hard to believe the book gets better than the title, but it does. This WWII-era tale travels all over Chicago, dropping in on the stories of Great Migration factories and women war workers, while focusing its energies on a Catholic orphanage through the narration of an unmoored spirit searching for her own story. Every sentence is delicious, and they gradually accumulate to paint the picture of a class of people hungry for the sort of success America promises without often delivering and the plight of being a girl in a world that tells you all the meaningful sacrifices are made by boys.


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Coo Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062955975
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - March 3rd, 2020

Coo is an utter charmer that will really resonate with anyone who has tried to juggle belonging to two conflicting communities. While she was raised by pigeons and speaks their language, Coo is human, and the human world is scary, especially when it becomes a direct threat to her flock. You will root so hard for Coo and her found family of all species (and probably not look at pigeons the same way again).


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Dominicana: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250205933
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - September 3rd, 2019

This intimate look at a fifteen-year-old Dominican girl caught up in her family's pursuit of the American dream in the mid-1960s manages to both evoke the period and feel extremely timely, given current events. An examination of what it is to be undocumented in America thanks to no particular fault of your own, it's thrilling to see Ana slowly develop an understanding of her situation and the empowerment to make the best of it, not only for the husband and family she's been taught to support, but for herself.


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The Woods Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781499809572
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Yellow Jacket - September 17th, 2019

With The Woods, Toalson has created a unique and haunting fantasy world, made all the more poignant by its roots in a deep sense of loss. A story of family found and rediscovered, this will tick many of the traditional middle grade boxes (the notes of The Secret Garden echoing throughout aren't the only homage) while still feeling fresh and resonant.


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Extraordinary Birds Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781547601004
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - April 30th, 2019

December is used to moving in and out of foster homes and schools, with almost no constants in her life. It's a good thing she knows that she's really a bird, awaiting transformation, so those human connections wouldn't serve her well anyway. But when she starts to find herself liking her new foster mother and making a friend, what will become of all her plans for flight? Just like the birds she loves, December is slightly otherworldly and mysterious, but also like them, getting to know her is worth it to uncover the delicate and poetic beauty beneath her surface. Extraordinary Birds covers topics that could easily veer into heavy-handed moralizing, but instead Stark-McGinnis has given us simple stories of complex people and allowed the reader to make connections and come to conclusions on their own. A quiet but powerful debut from an author to watch.


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Gravity's Pull: Book 2 (Life on Earth) Cover Image
By Marinaomi, Marinaomi (Illustrator)
$11.99
ISBN: 9781541545267
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graphic Universe (Tm) - March 5th, 2019

Immediately after I finished Losing the Girl, the first book of the Life on Earth trilogy, I deemed the follow-up to be one of my most anticipated sequels in a long time. It does not disappoint. Missing prodigy Claudia Jones may be back, but she's brought with her more questions than answers and a seemingly magnetic pull on some of the players. The rest are still coping with the fallout from their actions in the first book and circumstances beyond their control. There's still definitely something strange looming in the background, confirmed beyond a doubt when Claudia's perspective is added to the mix. There's nothing else quite like this series out there, and I can't wait to see where it goes from here.


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Cicada Cover Image
By Shaun Tan, Shaun Tan (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781338298390
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - January 29th, 2019

Shaun Tan continues to one-up himself with every book. In Cicada, he uses barely 150 words (27 of which are "tok") and his trademark gorgeous illustrations to paint a vivid and painful portrait of the toll xenophobia takes on someone just trying their best to make it in a strange and unfriendly world. But be sure to read to the end, as things may not be what they seem.


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Ronan Boyle and the Bridge of Riddles (Ronan Boyle #1) Cover Image
By Thomas Lennon, John Hendrix (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781419734915
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - March 5th, 2019

Middle grade readers aren't likely to recognize Thomas Lennon from his role on Reno 911! or as a prolific screenwriter, but soon they'll be telling the adults in their lives all about this hilarious new writer they've discovered. Lennon draws on his Irish ancestry to introduce us to the Garda, a law enforcement agency tasked with keeping leprechauns and other magical creatures in line, and its newest recruit, fifteen-year-old Ronan Boyle. Ronan's learning curve is steep as he is continually thrust into situations with new and dangerous creatures with little to no training or warning, but his droll narrative voice keeps things darkly amusing rather than just dark. The perfect blend of fantasy, adventure, humor and just a little bit of horror makes this a perfect middle grade read, and John Hendrix's vividly detailed illustrations complete the package in bringing Ronan's world(s) to life. Readers will be kept on their toes through the twists and turns of a story with a legitimately shocking ending and will be left champing at the bit for a sequel that I certainly hope is already on its way.


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Wild and Crooked Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781547600021
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury YA - June 4th, 2019

Leah Thomas is a master at identifying characters on the edge of society--the kind of people who only get noticed for what people think makes them odd or undesirable and then just as quickly ignored--and making them not only come to gloriously vivid three dimensional life, but making them your favorite people in the world. She has done it again with Wild and Crooked, illuminating not only the two characters at the center of the second generation of a small town murder case--the daughter of the murderer and the son of his victim--but also the other teenagers and adults who make their lives either painful or worthwhile or sometimes both. While Wild and Crooked ticks all sorts of boxes for diversity (Gus has cerebral palsy, several characters reside on the LGBTQIA spectrum), these inclusions never feel forced...just inclusive. Continuing her exploration of the ways people connect to create family out of both blood relations and friends, readers will leave Samsboro, Kentucky, feeling a part of it and wanting to meet all the rest of Thomas's creations.


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People Kill People Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781481442930
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - September 4th, 2018

Those who are familiar with Ellen Hopkins's earlier books will find it no surprise that she grapples with some tough issues here. But the gun violence made clear from the title is just one of many. She also delves into racism, classism, abusive relationships, teen parenthood, debilitating injury, fat-shaming, activism, immigration, homelessness, mental illness, and more. You might think this would lead to a scattered and unfocused narrative, but it instead serves as a striking illustration of the intersectionality of issues facing so many teens--and others--today. The powerful use of second-person narration to, as she puts it, put you in the skin of her characters forces you to relate in some way to even the least-forgivable of them, eliminating any ability to dismiss these societal ills as something that only happens to other people.


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The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781512439762
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Carolrhoda Lab (R) - February 1st, 2018

While it may take a few chapters to acclimate to the unique voice of the diarist of The Disturbed Girl's Dictionary, Macy Cashmere, once you're accustomed to her rhythms and expressions, you'll find it hard to get her out of your head. While plenty happens in this book, it's the characters that are the real highlight. Macy gives you increasingly nuanced insight into people who could all too easily descend into caricatures, including not only her friends and teachers, her parents and brother, but also neighborhood prostitutes and CPS workers. As you may have guessed, this is not always a happy book. Macy's world is one of extreme poverty and neglect that more privileged readers may have to remind themselves isn't a fantasy for far too many. But what she loves, she loves fiercely, and even through her filter of anger and pain, the reasons she keeps fighting shine through.


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Dig Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781101994917
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - March 26th, 2019

I've said this so much, it's becoming a cliche, but A.S. King has outdone herself. In a sprawling narrative from seven different points of view, Dig. explores racism, mental illness, violence, loss, feeling unmoored and unfulfilled, and the ways people and families and societies perpetuate hatred and injustice. But this is A.S. King, so there's also a girl who can phase in and out of existence, a highly-trained flea circus, and a lot of potatoes. Her writing is truly beyond description, but if you haven't taken the plunge yet, you won't find a better opportunity to experience it.


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Animals with Tiny Cat Cover Image
By Viviane Schwarz, Viviane Schwarz (Illustrator)
$7.99
ISBN: 9780763698188
Availability: Special Order
Published: Candlewick - March 13th, 2018

Viviane Schwarz's hugely expressive Tiny Cat is a charmer in this new format. Kids will get a kick out of how the spunky feline transforms into different animals with just a prop or two and everyone will appreciate that this isn't just a concept book, but a laugh-out-loud story arc.


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Mascot Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062835628
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - September 11th, 2018

When we meet Noah, he has all the reasons in the world to be upset. Several months ago, his father died in a car accident, the same accident that left him in a wheelchair. He's lost his position on the Little League team...but not the teasing of the star pitcher. Most of his friends don't know what to say to him. Sometimes his mom doesn't either. But a new kid who doesn't know what he was like before the accident might be just what he needs. So what if he's a little (a lot) weird? Even kids (and adults) who haven't gone through the severe trials Noah has will recognize the type of resentment that sometimes gets directed at the wrong target and appreciate the work Noah does to get through it. Along the way, they'll love getting to know a set of characters that may not always act lovable, but will always be relatable. And they might just find out what it's like living with a seventeen-year-old dachshund and who's inside Fredbird's costume (shh, don't tell!).


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Blood Water Paint Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780735232112
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - March 6th, 2018

Artemisia Gentileschi is a criminally-underappreciated artist and fascinating historical figure. Joy McCullough uses her story--and those of the Biblical women she captured in her paintings--as a jumping-off point to explore the ways society treats women and the ways women chafe at some of those treatments. Barely a line of this beautiful prose went by without me wanting to read it at someone. Best to settle for as many as possible reading the whole book and all the timeless difficult truths within.


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Losing the Girl: Book 1 (Life on Earth #1) Cover Image
By Marinaomi, Marinaomi (Illustrator)
$11.99
ISBN: 9781541510449
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Graphic Universe (Tm) - May 1st, 2018

It's hard to describe exactly what's going on in Losing the Girl. There are some odd things, to be sure: The sudden and complete disappearance of a 14-year-old prodigy, the loss of everyone's cell phone reception. But the suburban teens at the heart of this story barely take note of these events as they deal with their much more traditional interpersonal relationships and difficult decisions. I'm sure the background attractions are building to something spectacular, but for now I'm content to soak in the vivid atmosphere as the characters connect to and detach from one another, adrift in manner akin to MariNaomi's constantly shifting art styles. It's been a long time since I've been this excited for a sequel.


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Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781419731402
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - September 25th, 2018

Nan Sparrow is the sort of heroine the word "plucky" was invented for. From her unconventional life traveling with her beloved Sweep with whom all difficulties turned into treasured memories, she has fallen into indentured servitude as a "climbing boy." Even though she's one of the best around, when she lodged in a chimney during a fire, she's sure she's a goner...until she awakens in the rubble of that chimney with a sentient bit of char rolling at her feet. Thus begins her new life on the lam with Charlie. Anyone who loved the strange but sweet relationship at the center of Anna and the Swallow Man will owe their whole heart to this heartfelt and satisfying story of found family that shows how even devastating loss can be transformed into beautiful remembrance.


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Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters: The Questioneers Book #1 Cover Image
By Andrea Beaty, David Roberts (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781419733604
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - October 2nd, 2018

What more do I need to say than "Rosie Revere has a chapter book"? Anyone who has fallen in love with Rosie and her friends Iggy Peck and Ada Twist (brought together here as The Questioneers) knows that they'll be in for some unconventional problem-solving...and probably learning a thing or two about engineering. In this first installment, Rosie is recruited by her Great-Aunt and her friends, all former WWII riveters, to help an artistic member of their group who can't paint conventionally due to an injury. Through trial and error, Rosie is sure she can find a way to help before the big art contest...or can she?


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Sadie: A Novel Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250105714
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Wednesday Books - September 4th, 2018

I can't get Sadie out of my head. A small Colorado town is rocked by the discovery of thirteen-year-old Mattie's body in a field. No one is ever even named as a suspect, and the crime starts fading away...until Mattie's older sister Sadie does missing. When her car and belongings show up three months later without a trace of girl, a true-crime podcast rolls into town. What follows is a story that alternates between Sadie's experiences during her absence and the podcast's deductions following close on heels. The best of concepts are so simple you can't believe it hasn't been done before, and this addictive back-and-forth on the effects of violent crime and the efficacy of its investigation is sure to breed imitators. Sadie's world is not a happy one, but it will suck you in and make you demand answers. It had me up into the wee hours of the morning and infiltrated my dreams that night. A novel this intense is a rare thing indeed, and you won't want to miss the experience.


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A Very Large Expanse of Sea Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062866561
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - October 16th, 2018

Venturing into realistic fiction for the first time, Tahereh Mafi tells the story of a high school sophomore attempting to navigate a post-9/11 world without sacrificing her Muslim identity...and also reconciling her intense feelings for her all-American-boy lab partner. She does not shy away from discussing the overwhelming amount of hatred and animosity expressed by entirely too many people, but the really difficult passages are wonderfully balanced by heady, swoony depictions of early romance exceeded only by those of Rainbow Rowell. As much adversity as she faces, both from without and within, Shirin is a wonderful person to spend a book with, and readers will find this story of prejudice, love, and breakdancing (yes, breakdancing) taking up residence in their hearts long after they've put the book down.


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Bridge of Clay Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781984830159
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - October 9th, 2018

This is at once a sweeping family epic and an intimate examination of grief, loss, and guilt. It's about brotherhood and immigration and cancer and horse racing and pets and a typewriter and, yes, building a bridge. But at the same time none of that matters as Zusak's writing is so beautiful, his sentences so well-formed, that you would gladly let him tell you just about anything, as long as he just keeps the words coming.

 


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