All's Well is a bizarre trip with an erratic narrator and I loved every bit of it. Miranda Fitch is in pain. A pain that has affected every aspect of her life, including her job as a theatre professor and director. One night following rehearsal, she meets three suspicious men in a seedy bar and things begin to take an otherworldly turn. There's a lot to unpack about being a woman in pain that weaves in Shakespearean elements. Awad's writing is dark, unique, and brilliant. It's like a dream, or was it a nightmare?
I am a huge fan of Jon Klassen, and he has done it again with The Rock from the Sky! He is able to hit that sweet spot of making both children and parents giggle at his sometimes cranky, sometimes oblivious, but always charming characters. The Rock from the Sky gives us these familiar characters with a little bit more story than we're used to from Klassen. It has the same deadpan humor, simple illustrations, and an ending we never saw coming.
This beautiful novel exploring the past and present of a Colombian family that is seperated by deportation is timely and impactful. The Andean myths sprinkled throughout are significant to the narrative and really make the book special. Engel's writing is magnificent. She says so much in few words.
The main character in this graphic novel for ages 8-12, Maggie, is struggling with some changes in her life. She loves animals and thinks that a new puppy for her birthday is the answer to all her problems. When Maggie discovers she is highly allergic to animal dander she is crushed, will she be able to find the perfect pet?
This book was incredibly heartwarming and informative. As a mother to a child with allergies, I appreciate the way allergies were presented and explained. Maggie's reactions and treatment were presented with care through the dialogue and the illustrations. I highly recommend this book for children with allergies or who want to learn more about allergies. I deeply appreciate this representation for the allergic community.
David Arnold's haunting postapocalyptic novel takes place after a deadly Fly Flu has wreaked havoc on the world. The story follows a few survivors as they navigate the woods of New England to new desinations, avoiding swarms of infected flies and other violent people along the way. The writing is exceptional and the characters are complex and fully rounded. The Electric Kingdom presents many profound questions about humanity and touches your heart. As soon as I finished reading it, I flipped back to the first page.
The Beast and the Bethany is a very clever book about a vain man, a greedy beast, and an extremely disagreeable little girl. The story is equally as hilarious as it is dark. I loved every minute of it. It is getting lots of buzz as a children’s version of The Picture of Dorian Gray and drawing comparisons to Lemony Snicket and Roald Dahl. I felt like it was a middle grade version of Little Shop of Horrors and I wasn’t surprised to find out that the author has a theatrical background. The illustrations were a treat, and there are many important lessons to be learned from this story. This is the first in a series that I can’t wait to continue!
This is a story about idiots (according to the author’s own words) that will restore some of your faith in humanity. Yes, these are fictional characters, but they moved me so deeply that they reminded me of myself and people from my own life. I am in complete awe of Backman’s writing. Most of the time I was either laughing, gasping, crying, or rolling my eyes along with the characters. The transitions between hilarious and tender moments happened so seamlessly that they blew my mind. I think one of the biggest takeaways from this novel is that none of us adults really know what we’re doing, but we should keep on doing the best that we can.
This inspiring and affirming picture book written and illustrated by Christian Robinson is delightful. The simple, bright, and inclusive illustrations are accompanied with the valuable message that no matter what - you matter. I think that this would be an excellent gift for any child age 2-6 that they would cherish for a very long time.
I have become a fan of historical fiction fantasy mostly due to the writing of Alix E. Harrow. In her latest work, The Once and Future Witches, the reader is introduced to the three Eastwood sisters during the suffragette movement. The sisters become involved with the suffragists but also delve into the will, the words, and the ways of witchcraft. I appreciated reading about the sisters' sibling dynamic and their emotional journey to repair their relationships with one another. The spells that mark the beginning of each new chapter were a treat. Fans of Erin Morgernstern and Gregory Maguire will enjoy this “witchy as hell” tale.
A funny and fascinating graphic novel for children ages 6-10. Arlo, a crow, has crowned himself the king of the birds. Over the course of the story, Arlo shares crow facts with his new friend Pips to prove that he is one special bird. Fans of Narwhal and Jelly are going to love this book!
A cast of characters including a pipe-smoking female detective, a seven-foot tall maid with a lovely baritone, a dead boxer with living tattoos, a young girl and her one-eyed doll, plus more await you in this Gothic mystery novel by Jess Kidd. Set in Victorian London, Bridie Devine has been tasked with finding a kidnapped young girl who may have supernatural abilities. The tale is told by a gifted storyteller who expertly combines hilarious, heartbreaking, and horrific moments. I didn’t want it to end.
Cozy up with the first book in this new early chapter series by Caldecott Honor winner Lauren Castillo. Recommended for ages 5-9, this sweet book is about making new friends and being a good friend. It is a peaceful story accompanied by lovely illustrations that will make it an instant bedtime favorite.
I'm a big Liz Climo and Jory John fan and this picture book did not disappoint! It is hilarious, adorable, and helpful. I highly recommend it for children feeling a little anxious or nervous about a new beginning.
In a departure from her bestselling historical fiction, the author writes a story about a contemporary neighborhood in North Carolina. This book is a perfect book club selection because there is plenty to discuss about class, race, love, and more. The story of two completely different families who become neighbors poses many questions. What makes a neighborhood “good?” What does it mean to be a good neighbor? And above all, what does it mean to be a good person? A Good Neighborhood will stay with you long after you read the final page.
In this YA dystopian thriller, sixteen year old girls are banished to the wilderness for a year to release their “magic” and return purified and prepared for marriage. Tierney James realizes that her greatest threat may not be the elements or poachers of the wilderness; it may very well be the other girls. This fierce page-turner is a timely examination of women’s relationships with one another and survival in a fragmented society.
The Ten Thousand Doors of January took me on an adventure through generations, continents, and worlds. It is a beautiful mix of genres but ultimately a coming-of-age story about exploration, change, family, and true love. I was lost in January's world and fascinated by the book-within-a-book that had a completely different tone. If you need a magical escape, this is the book for you!
This true crime story about the fall of Silicon Valley startup, Theranos, and its CEO and founder, Elizabeth Holmes, is expertly researched and told. The details are so insane, I couldn't put it down. I'm fascinated by this story and the fact that Holmes was so magnetic she could sell a technology that never worked. Bill Gates also recommends this book!
"Skulls are safe and snug, like a car seat for your brain." I can't wait to share this book with my four year old. The information told in the main text focuses on the science of the skull in a fun and lighthearted way. It's a positive look at a very important part of our bodies. Scott Campbell's watercolor illustrations are lovely. Not your typical picture book, but it's so fun!
In a small college town in California, a contagious illness quickly spreads among the residents. The infected cannot be roused from slumber and are displaying heightened levels of brain activity. It is clear they are dreaming, but of what? This is a thought-provoking novel written in clear and elegant prose. The book flows like a dream.
This is a companion book to the #1 NYT bestseller Dear Girl,. It is an inspirational picture book for boys ages 4-8. The lessons and advice are accompanied with stunning illustrations and it is the perfect book for caretakers to read with their own dear boy!
The exceptional imagery used in this novel sets it apart from other historical fiction placed in Word War II. I felt as if I arrived at the marsh alongside the young orphan Virginia and felt the decay of the home in her later years. The events that haunt the elder Virginia are revealed in an unforgettable way.