Staff Picks by Maureen

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Some Kind of Courage Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780545665827
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - December 27th, 2016

Following 12-year old recently orphaned Joseph on his quest to get his only family back -his beloved horse Sarah- author Gemeinhart brings together race relations in the late 1800's, western lore and a clear-eyed pragmatism that, coupled with his signature action/adventure plot twists and a kindheartedness thread permeating the story, this wonderful, evocative and first rate middle grade title builds on his exceptional debut (The Honest Truth). This is an author that has clearly established himself as a must read for warm hearted, realistic adventures. - Maureen


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A Narrow Bridge Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781938849824
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Prospect Park Books - February 14th, 2017

Debut novelist J.J. Gesher tells an intimate, grief-filled story about Jacob Fischer - a sometimes wayward, sometimes obedient Brooklyn Orthodox Jew who breaks down after a devastating loss. Slowly rebuilding and rediscovering himself in a small-town Alabama town, Jacob has support from a cast of well-drawn characters - who also have their own demons to deal with. I loved learning more about the Orthodox Jew and the rich history of its sometimes stifling traditions, butting heads with modern sensibilities and realities. This highly readable title, right down to the very last sentence, is a natural pick for book clubs. A strong debut from the writing pair of J.J. Gesher. - Maureen


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Ryan Quinn and the Rebel's Escape Cover Image
By Ron McGee, Chris Samnee (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062421647
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - October 25th, 2016

Wow - what a page turner! 8th grader Ryan Quinn has no idea his parents are part of a super secret "Underground Railroad"-type organization that operates in many of the world's most dangerous places. And now he must try to save both of them, with the help of some of his school friends. I loved the way debut author McGee gets inside the head of his protaganist, as well as his technogeek friend Danny. These characters ring true, the action is non-stop and fans of adventure, spy thrillers and plain fun will be eagerly awaiting the next installment. - Maureen


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The Wolf Wilder Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781481419437
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 6th, 2016

Readers will enjoy terrific descriptions, action-packed adventure and a superb sense of the brutality, harshness but beauty of the wintery existence that surrounds these characters. It's no wonder dogs are descended from misunderstood wolves, as the bravery and ultimate loyalty of these canines can not be refuted. As with Rooftoppers, Rundell lets readers truly inhabit her world and are fully invested in this satisfying tale. Highly reommended! - Maureen


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One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree Cover Image
By Daniel Bernstrom, Brendan Wenzel (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062354853
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - May 3rd, 2016

This lilting, fun picture book exploding with energetic drawings is a riff on folk tales of old. Author Daniel Bernstrom's debut, with shades of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, is perfectly suited to Brendan Wenzel's colorful, animated illustrations. Storytime readers will find much to do in this imaginative eucalyptus, eucalyptus tree. - Maureen


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Snow & Rose Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780553538182
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - October 10th, 2017

A beautiful retelling of the legend of Snow and Rose, this gentle fairy tales brims with all the requisite traditions: dwarfs, missing person, enchanted forest and strange creatures. As in her highly imaginative picture books, first time middle grade novelist Emily Winfield Martin paints the sisters, Snow and Rose, as not exact opposites, but more like complimentary gears, who thrive on different aspects of the same thing. Recommended as a read-aloud, this beautifully illustrated tale will delight the young and young-at-heart! - Maureen


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The Giant Jumperee Cover Image
By Julia Donaldson, Helen Oxenbury (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780735227972
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - April 18th, 2017

My, oh my what a pairing we get! Two children's lit creators at the top of their game deftly weave an instant storytime classic filled with rhyme, repetition and downright glorious animals. After a cascade of animals ponder the meaning of the Giant Jumperee, it turns out Mama knows best and delights all story inhabitants -- as well as the reader. What a treat! - Maureen


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Mars One Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481461610
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - April 4th, 2017

A dream-come true for space geeks everywhere, what kid doesn't dream of being on the moon or, in this case, Mars? Preparing for this adventure is arduous, time consuming and knowledge-expanding, which author Maberry brings home in fascinating detail and authority. Tristan, whose Mom and Dad are also going with the first 50 humans to colonize Mars, has a longstanding girlfriend in Izzy - who both have to deal with reality TV, the media and constant attention, as this is a one-way trip for Tristan. Intrigue on the ground in the form of violent Neo-Luddites protesters - things go haywire on the voyage. With a fact-moving plot, an interesting subplot of unknown Chinese Martian colonists, the thrill of space is wonderfully conveyed in this fantastic story. Hang on as I hope there are sequels in store! - Maureen


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Old MacDonald Had a Farm Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338112436
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Orchard Books - October 10th, 2017

No childhood is complete without singing Old MacDonald, and given artist Gris Grimly’s own personal connection to the poem, his wild and wooly spin makes perfect sense for a new generation (and son). Hueing to a watercolor palette of oranges & browns and with Grimly’s signature creature concoctions, this inventive take will delight the plethora of storytime folk who will squeal in delight at the surprise ending. E-I-E-I-O indeed-O! - Maureen


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Wild Bird Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781101940440
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - September 5th, 2017

At her parents’ wit’s end, 15 year old Wren is sent away to a last-chance desert survival camp due to her out-of-control weed-smoking, alcoholic bingeing, petty thievery and lying. The camp counselors (“jailers”) use tough love, directness and surprising storytelling-therapy to try to straighten out the wayward teens in the camp. Wren bristles at everyone who tries to help her, and her hard won survival skills – finding water, making fire – coupled with her own breakdown and realization that she was heading down the extreme wrong path is painful with hidden truths. The quest to find oneself in the desert is just the beginning of Wren’s story to find the correct path in life, once home. This book will resonate with both wayward teens, perhaps exploring the darker side of their misdeeds, as well as a teen looking for an adventurous read. - Maureen


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The Force Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062664419
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow & Company - June 20th, 2017

This book is one of the most page-turning, gut wrenching and downright readable books about crime, police and drug dealers I've ever read.  The grit of the book practically leaves sand  in your mouth, as the life of "King of Manhattan North" - dirty cop  Denny Malone - goes from the top of the heap to a crash so low, it's almost beyond Hell.   This is not for the faint-at-heart, nor is it without its redemption, but Winslow's superb pacing, terrific characters and realism struck a chord with this reader.  I loved every minute of this unflinching look at police corruption in this hard-to-put-down book. - Maureen


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Saints and Misfits Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781481499248
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for You - June 13th, 2017

This is a fantastic debut contemporary teen novel that tells the story of a Muslim teen,Janna, and her acceptance of her identity. Told in first person, Janna has some preconceived notions of some of her close friends, and needs to be strong and brave as she fights others preconceived notions of good and bad. Questioning herself, her motives, her strengths and her faith, Janna is a fully formed heroine for our time! Appreciating differences and strength in family is a key theme in this terrific book. I would love to see a continuing of Janna and her family! - Maureen


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Lola Dutch Is a Little Bit Much Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781681195513
Availability: Not Yet Published
Published: Bloomsbury UK - January 30th, 2018

This utterly delightful debut picture book tells the relatable tale of Lola Dutch, who just is TOO MUCH! As in goes overboard with enthusiasm, goes beyond the boundaries of sense, as in borders on catastrophes along with her 4 funny sidekick friends – Pig, Crane, Gator and Bear. The expressive watercolors and delicate pencil art are literally bursting with joy and energy from the page, as is Lola Dutch herself. It is a book you could hand to a grandparent with a knowing, sly smile………”I think you may know someone like this”. Can’t wait for more Lola Dutch adventures from husband and wife team of Kenneth and Sarah Jane Wright. Bonus appeal: Endpapers that turn into play scenes using the included paper doll cutouts of Lola Dutch and Bear! - Maureen


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