MY BOOK OF THE YEAR! Reading this book is like feeding delicious candy to your reader spirit. Vivid, decadent, and powerful writing brings to life both the charming and devious characters living in a once lovely town. The story is great for readers young and old and makes for a very delightful book to read together. Kelly Barnhill’s newest book continues her tradition of sending messages about belonging, acts of kindness, and neighborliness. Great for fans of her first book, “The Girl Who Drank the Moon,” and other titles such as “The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making” (Fantasy and rich writing style), and even “Good Omens” (The characters fates have been sealed, but how they will get there is unknown).
A delightful biography covering ten pivotol moments in Emily Dickinson’s life. If you’re not a big biography reader, but have always been intrigued by the mysterious life of one of America’s great poets, this is a perfect book for you! This is written by a professor at Holyoke, Dickinson’s alma mater, who teaches an Emily Dickinson class in the Dickinson Homestead. In other words, she's an expert. The biography is told narratively, and breaks down these big moments in Dickinson’s life into perfect puzzle pieces to help us understand her and her poetry a touch more.
When Maizy discovers a box of first edition Nancy Drew books mysterious left at her door she begins her journey of learning about the famous Nancy Drew, evolving her relationship with her closest friend, and re-connecting her grandmother with a long lost best friend. A great book mystery book with a touch of history, perfect for young feminists!
Well folks, she’s done it again; Sabaa Tahir made me cry. She made me cry because she writes characters and stories so true to life it’s impossible to leave the world of her book an unchanged person. This is a teen story, but also a mother’s story, which really makes me even more emotional and in love with Sabaa as an author. “All My Rage” is about anger and suffering, but at its core it’s about hope, perseverance, and about the mistakes and sacrifices—insignificant and tremendous— we make for those we love most.
If you loved We Were Liars, you’re going to love the prequel! This books gives insight into the root of the three sisters past, and shows readers the terrible roots of their family drama. For a book set on a private island during a gorgeous New England summer, this book is not a relaxing beach read. E. Lockhart has both a poetic and blunt style of writing that can hide plot developments in plain sight. This book is one you pick up and finish in one sitting, and I loved every excruciating tense second of it!
This is a super fun read-aloud story! It features a lot of different animals and creatures with a great rhyme. Plus, the illustrations are so lively and full of little details to enjoy. I loved this jovial story about a welcoming mouse making sure all of his friends were invited to a rainy day hang in his cave.
Louisville-born author Kelly Leigh Miller has put out another fantastic picture book! Stella is a loveable young girl who is enamored with space exploration and bored with regular and pretty dirty Earth. So, she packs her things and moves into a rocket ship to see the other planets! Stella shows readers the unique and incredible aspects of each planet in our solar system, but upon returning to Earth she realizes how unique and interesting this planet can be. She even resolves to clean up and protect this one planet we call home!
Kitties on Dinosaurs is perfect for every kid! It’s a tricky task climbing a giant dino without getting eaten, but the kittens are smart and persistent. This goofy story feature two of the best picture book themes (dinosaurs and kittens), also concludes with the dinosaurs and kittens cuddling and becoming BFFs.
Punky is so sweet! I'm in love with these bright illustrations, and Punky's bold personality. She is a shy girl, and finds making friends difficult. But when duty calls (getting butter for Grandma’s famous Banana Bread) she ventures out on her own. With the assistance of her Grandma’s Brave Glasses she meets several new people, and shares her Aloha (“Be Helpful. Be Giving. Be Brave.”) helping them as she goes, and eventually decides she is brave enough on her own that she no longer needs the Brave Glasses. This adorable book is perfect for the shy kiddos, going to school, or just for an enjoyable read!
This book is so hilarious, made me feel like a child again. Captain Grislygrin is so scary if he looked in a mirror, he would scare HIMSELF. So, his crew begins a process of swapping out his peg leg for hilarious objects such as a rubber duck! Finally, they put a pencil on his leg so he can draw and tell his harrowing tales. The story is silly and has a great ending, but the illustrators are truly the icing on the cake.
First off, the colors in this book are some of my very favorites! They illustrations are truly glorious. So not only was I drawn in visually, the content was also phenomenal. This story is all about having a bad day full of rotten moods that leave you feeling gross and worried that you may have ruined something. However, tomorrow is a brand-new day and no matter what, you are always, always loved by your family. Beautiful from start to finish, this book will leave you and your little reader feeling warm and fuzzy.
What didn’t I love about this novel? It has a rich mythology, exquisite world building, and a countdown to the end of the world. Thiede skillfully places us in the middle of Alessa’s high-stakes hero’s journey from the very first page holding reader’s hearts and attention in a death grip that remains even after the book is done.
The Last Mapmaker is one of those fantastic books that perfectly mixes escapism and realism into one story. Sai was given a drop of luck mixed with her own determination and now she has landed herself an assistant position on an expedition to map the unknown world in the name of the Queen. Along the way her story addresses social status and limitations, as well as the harm in colonization and imperialism from cultural to environmental destruction. Soontornvat’s world building was flawless, her characters dynamic and intriguing, and her call for world peace inspiring.
Over the last two years I’ve really gotten into romance books, but my favorites by far are the ones that defy stereotypes of the genre. Such as “The Love Hypothesis” which is about a woman in STEM who is a ray of sunshine, that falls in love with a man who supports and encourages her without trying to fix her whole entire life. GUYS! It is so good. The first chapter grabbed me and it held on even after I finished the book. I could go on and on about how adorable, steamy, and thoughtful “The Love Hypothesis” is, but I’ll let you read and see for yourself.
Looking for a great romance novel about a spunky neuroscientist who falls in love with a man she thought hated her with a deep, deep passion? Look no further! I adore Ali Hazelwood, her books empower women as much as they are delightful escapist fiction.Pre-order today so you don't miss out on Hazelwood's newest book!
As someone who was a very quiet child and is now an introverted adult this book really spoke to me. Emile walks readers through what life is like for a quiet kid. Being quiet means he has a vivid imagination, but it doesn't mean he is inattentive in class or friendless. Tiny Paige felt seen on every page of this book, and I'm excited to share it with other quiet kids!
With the movie coming out in February 2022 you’ve got to read “The Sky is Everywhere.” This poetic book explores the pain felt after the sudden loss of a loved one, as well as the mistakes and messes that can be made when experiencing such grief. Jandy Nelson pours so much love into her books that you’ll remember the stories and messages for years.
A gorgeous, gorgeous garden-themed picture book to encourage the little one in your life. Not only is this an uplifting book to read to a growing child, but it’s a gentle reminder to grown-ups that every day your beloved child is changing and blossoming into an incredible person. Mechal Renee Roe’s empowering words and colorful inspiration will keep both grown up and child enamored with this book.
My favorite picture book of the year!
Hugo is just a delight! He is an adorable French pigeon that watches over the park and all of its visitors—from Monsieur Petit to Conquine. This is a story of community, acts of kindness, and lifelong friendships. Plus, I love his little "Spring is Coming" dance he does to make a shy friend smile.
I love this peaceful and pleasant follow-up to “A Sick Day for Amos McGee.” This heartfelt story is built on the married author-illustrator duo’s imagination of what a perfect world would be: Full of gentle kindness, dear friendship, and playful days. I cannot say enough good things about Amos McGee!
I knew this book would be good when I heard praise for it twice during a book conference, and when I saw it on the finalist list for the National Book Award. Then I read it and fully understood why people are so in love and passionate about "Me (Moth)". This book is beautiful, emotional, and shook me all the way to my core. This haunting novel in verse is a great gift for teens and adults alike.
The hype around this book is insane, and well earned! This is a debut YA novel from Ayana Gray, and I’ve got to say she has really nailed it! Her writing style is so vivid and beautiful, and the way she brings mythology and adventure together creates a stunning story. This is only the first book in this new trilogy, and it is going to be a good one I can tell. A great gift for fans of An Ember in the Ashes, Kingdom of the Wicked, and Iron Widow.
Did I have an impromptu poetry read aloud after receiving this book in our shipment? Yes. It was delightful and I wish you could've been there. However, you can buy this book and have poetry read aloud sessions in your home or classroom! This book is one poem per day, and it’s full of all kinds of poetry (long, short, old, new, rhyming, not rhyming, etc.) This is an excellent gift book to add to a child’s library, keep in a classroom, or at a grandparent’s house.
I wish this was the book we read in my fairytales class in college! Harrow does a perfect job of bringing a tale as old as time to life, adding lots of adventure, and social/moral contemplations for her characters. An EXCELLENT read for folklore/classic fairytales, or someone just looking for a good escapism read.
I love a sweet cat book, and that is exactly what “Negative Cat” is. It’s a story of a boy who takes on all the responsibilities of taking care of a cat, but the cat, Max, is just kind of negative (aka a regular, unaffectionate cat). When others give up on Max, the boy continues to be patient and loving, and eventually the cat comes out of his negative shell when read to. It’s a great book about caring, patience, and never giving up on those hard to love.
When a book has a title this good, you know it’s going to be a great read! Set in a magical bookshop during the tail end of WWII, this is a heroic story of a young girl determined to save the people she loves. This is not only a great gift for young reader, but it is also an excellent book to read with your favorite bookworm.
Y'all, I love Naomi Novik. This book is what I like to call the "goth version of Harry Potter." Novik's writing is vivid and enthralling, the main character is powerful (but in a fantastically dark way), and the entire book kept me on my toes. Lucky for me and you, if you read this book and can't wait to see what happens next book #2 was just published!
“Why do I read? Books only bring me pain.” Those are the exact words I said aloud after literally screaming on and off through the last fifty pages of this book. It was a fantastic time! The main characters are clever and powerful, the world building beautiful and intricate, and of course the plot absolutely thrilling. If you haven’t, please read “A Deadly Education” and “The Last Graduate” so we can impatiently wait for the third book in the Scholomance Series together!
I read this book because so many cool kids have bought it and I wanted to know what was up. This is a geat book for any 10-12 year old who loves Neil Gaiman, old Westerns, and other magical adventures. I would describe it as fairly "gritty," but is fine for any kid who can handle the Harry Potter books and is fine with a few minor medical procedures being describes. It's an exciting story of a strong girl fighting tooth and nail to do what's right!
A great adventure book for young readers! Nathan’s expectations for an “uneventful” summer at his grandmother’s are shattered when he begins to meet and interact with Navajo Holy Beings, including a sick Water Monster. Weaving real world issues with native mythology this book is not only exciting for readers, but also shares messages about bravery and service to others.
A stunning read for middle grade children who are interested in history, social justice, and finding your voice. Hiranandani’s writing style immerses the reader into Ariel’s story, and introduces young readers to life in 1967 when Loving vs Virginia passed, Martin Luther King Jr. was still fighting for justice, advancements in how we understand learning disabilities, and life as a Jewish family after World War II. A great fiction book to teach children about the 60s, finding self-confidence, and how accepting change can be a long, tumultuous journey that is completely worth the rewards.
One of my favorite picture books to come out this summer! Dot may be short, but she is NOT little, so don't you call her "little girl." (Coincidentally, this is one of my personal pet peeves, too.)She's smart, spunky, and unafraid to stand up for what is right. Great for small, but mighty children who aren't afraid to speak up for themselves and their friends.
AH! This beloved webcomic is going to be printed into an actual book! A unique and beautiful telling of the Persephone and Hades mythology. This book is full of glamour, romance, drama, humor, friendship, and more! Great for fans of beautiful art, mythological romance, and powerful women. This story does include content about sexual assault, toxic relationships, and PTSD, but the author handles these topics incredibly well and respectfully. It really is fantastic all around.
PS - The hardcover is being released at the same time as the paperback, if you prefer a hardcover :)
A book with writing as beautiful as the cover! I loved getting lost in January's story and following her on adventures through the Doors. If you've been searching for a book comparable to "The Night Circus" this is the book, trust me. Magical realism, vivid descriptions, and a sweet love story. I'm already excited to re-read and enjoy the book all over again.
As a I millennialI thought cookbooks were obsolete, until I found Cookie and Kate's "Love Real Food." Now I use this book at least once a week (the pages have the food stains to prove it), and when I serve her food to guests they rave about the meal. Cookie and Kate is an excellent vegetarian cooking blog, and her cookbook features all-new recipes that are honestly some of her best. Trust me, her recipes are not only vegetarian/vegan friendly, but they're REALLY, REALLY flavorful, filling, and fairly healthy. Friends, her salad game alone is UNMATCHED.
BONUS: Cookie is a dog!! Her owner Kathryne does the cooking, but Cookie is always there to cheer her on and taste test when necessary. Seriously, Cookie is so cute and I love seeing pictures of her in the book and on the blog.
If you enjoy laughing outloud so often and uncontrollably that people ask you to read in a different room, this is the book for you! Allie Brosh has been making people laugh for years on her blog (Hyperbole and a Half), and now with her two books. These hilarious tales are well-written and perfectly matched with poorly drawn illustrations to really send readers into hysteric laughter. While her stories are goofy, they can also be honest and serious about hard topics when necessary. Love, love, love Brosh, even if she disappeared for 7 years and surprised us with this newest book.
If Leslie Jordan's Instagram makes you smile, and helped you get through the scary time of the pandemic/quarantine, then you should buy his book! His stories are just as hilarious in print as they are on Instagram, and for me it was the best item I could buy to commemorate those quarantine days after getting my vaccine.
This book is thrilling, informative, and inspiring in all the best ways. This is an incredible (true) story about a woman, Virgina Hall, who bravely joined the Special Operatives Executive early in the war. She worked in occupied France as a spy for majority of the war, and was possibly the most competent and skilled spy during WWII. Most of the other operatives, including her superiors, doubted her, but Sonia Purnell has revealed how smart, resourcful, and tough Hall was in her service to the Allies. Truly, this woman was unstoppable and deserves more recognition.
I have loved this book since I was in pre-school. I fooled everyone by telling them I could "read" this book, when really I'd just memorized it. This is a great book for bedtime because it keeps a steady and sing-songy rhythme. I will recommend this book for all of time, it is so good!
BOOK ONE IN THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING SERIES