Staff Picks by Jessica

Jessica Staff Picks

Jessica is a huge fan of fantasy and science-fiction for readers of all ages especially when paired with characters who are people of color. Any adult books she reads tend to be non-fiction or historical fiction. Make sure to check out her audiobook recomendations here!

Newest reviews are at the bottom. 

Staff Pick Logo
Strange the Dreamer Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316341684
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 28th, 2017

Get ready to be swept up in this hauntingly beautiful story of an orphan boy who dreams of places no on remembers and a powerful girl fighting to do what is right. Laini Taylor creates a fantasy world that is sure to stay in your dreams. Great for readers who enjoyed Six of Crows, An Ember in the Ashes, or Taylor's other books. - Jessica


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Daughter of the Pirate King Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250095961
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Feiwel & Friends - February 28th, 2017

Jack Sparrow move over, there is a new captain at sea! With wit, daring, strength, and a few tricks up her sleeve, Alosa is everything a pirate should be and more. Her confidence is amazing and is sure to win over fans of Sarah J. Maas and Laini Taylor. - Jessica


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Karma Khullar's Mustache Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781481477703
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - August 15th, 2017

Karma knows that middle school is a big deal, that's why she knows she MUST get the hair that has mysteriously appeared on her upper lip off. A highly relatable look at the trials and tribulations of middle school friends, family, and the dreaded p-word, puberty. Full of spot on humor and a strong look at what is important as we grow older. - Jessica


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Words in Deep Blue Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781101937648
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - June 6th, 2017

Put simply, this is a love story to words; words said and unsaid, written and lost, found and loved. Told from two perspectives with a scattering of letters thrown in between, the story follows Rachel and Henry as they learn to grieve, to let go, and to find themselves. Anyone who has ever loved a book can understand the catalyst that simple words can have on these characters. - Jessica


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A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars Cover Image
By Seth Fishman, Isabel Greenberg (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062455789
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - October 3rd, 2017

A beautifully illustrated non-fiction book that is perfect for those kids who always ask "why?". A perfect book for teachers but also sweet enough to read every night as a bedtime story. The more often you read it, the better you will be at reading large numbers! Has a wonderfully accessible back matter page. - Jessica


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Dragons and Marshmallows Cover Image
By Asia Citro, Marion Lindsay (Illustrator)
$5.99
ISBN: 9781943147090
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Innovation Press - March 14th, 2017

The scientific process for kids with magical animals! The cover alone is all your young reader needs to see with this adorable new early chapter book series. Zoey with the help of her cat Sassafras and her handy Thinking Goggles uses deduction and the scientific process to find the best way to help the magical creatures that come to their door in need of care and love. Cute black and white illustrations with a helpful glossary in the back for those carefully introduced scientific words like hypothesis. My new go to recomendation! - Jessica


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Amina's Voice Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781481492065
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for You - March 14th, 2017

A perfect book for young girls that are starting middle school. Amina is trying to figure out who she is and what she stands for as she learns about friends, bullying, and what it truly means to stand up for what you believe in. Lovely coming of age story. It also has such a stunning cover. - Jessica


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Beasts Made of Night Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780448493909
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Razorbill - October 31st, 2017

Every sin is marked on your skin, but that doesn't mean that it is yours. Taj is an aki, a Sin-Eater, and covered in marks large and small in a world where those without sin-marks rule and those who are marked are dispensable. When Taj eats the sin of a royal and learns the origin of the sin, he is set on an adventure filled with magic, secrets, and betrayal. A fast-paced and engaging fantasy with a highly-original world. - Jessica


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Zero Repeat Forever Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481481847
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - August 29th, 2017

Get ready for the end of the world. The Nahx have invaded the earth. Their mission: Dart the humans, leave them where they fall. Told from the perspectives of Raven, a human, and Eighth, a Nahx, as their worlds fall apart and then crash together. A fast-paced and well-written teen adventure featuring a mixed-race character. - Jessica


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Defy the Stars Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316394031
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 4th, 2017

A fast-paced adventure that is perfect for the sci-fi fan. This story makes you think hard about what it means to be human, and what our responsibilities are to the world we live on and those we interact with. - Jessica


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Roar Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780765386311
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Teen - June 13th, 2017

Roar is electric! Carmack is able to build a world that exemplifies the power of natural disasters in a wonderful and terrifying way.  All the while, weaving in a story of magic, love, and independence. Could not put this book down! - Jessica


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The Hate U Give Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062498533
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen - February 28th, 2017

Clear your schedule because this is one book that you need to finish in one day. Starr has a strong voice that pulls you in to really experience her life, loss, love, family, and friendship. A powerfuly written story that is both a meaningful and timely read. - Jessica


Staff Pick Logo
The Last Gargoyle Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781524700201
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - January 9th, 2018

Fans of Percy Jackson will devour this hilarious adventure story of a brave gargoyle named Penhallow (Don't call him Goyle!) and his human friend Viola. Penhallow takes the protection of his Wards, the people living in the home he lives on, seriously and when a mysterious Boneless King starts releasing all the scary creatures that go bump in the night, it is his job to get to the bottom of the problem before it is too late. - Jessica


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Dread Nation Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062570604
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen - April 3rd, 2018

Petticoats, secret nighttime meetings, prep schools, and zombies! Set against the backdrop of Civil War-era US, Jane McKeene is a quick-witted, fast-talking, zombie fighter who must not only fight the dead but the racism and sexism found during that time. An amazing reimagining of history that digs deep into racial tensions, gender roles, and so much more with humor, adventure, and honest zombie apocalypse fighting skills. - Jessica


Staff Pick Logo
Rosemarked Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781484788554
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Disney-Hyperion - November 7th, 2017

Zivah is a healer forced to use her knowledge to hurt others and Dineas is a fighter who must now make friends with the enemy. Together, the two teens suffering at the hands of an empire are forced to set aside their differences in order to fight the enemy that surrounds them. A deep look at the ways war changes both individuals and culture. Livia is able to show a fantasy world that is sure to capture teen readers who are willing to engage in tough questions. These characters are rich with detail and complexity that will draw in fans of An Ember in the Ashes- Jessica


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Girls Made of Snow and Glass Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250077738
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Flatiron Books - September 5th, 2017

A dark fantasy retelling of Snow White with a strong feminist message and a clear look at two powerful women at odds with one another yet bound by the ties of family and loyalty. Strong, chilling, and oh so powerful. An amazing read perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Anna-Marie McLemore. - Jessica


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Caraval Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250095251
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - January 31st, 2017

Stephanie Garber is a new writing star! Filled with vivid imagery and a manipulative plot that takes you on an unbelievable journey. A great new read for the older teenage fantasy reader, ages 15 and up. - Jessica


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Speak of Me as I Am Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780399546761
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Philomel Books - April 4th, 2017

Fans of John Green will fall in love with Melanie and Damon as they struggle to live their lives after heart-breaking losses. A moving romance twisted with grief for teens who like emotional reads. - Jessica


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I Believe in a Thing Called Love Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780374304041
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr) - May 30th, 2017

Flirting failures are all Desi has ever known. But a rulebook based on the tried and true methods of Korean dramas is sure to help her catch the perfect boyfriend. A wonderful romance with a fun and relatable heroine. - Jessica


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When Dimple Met Rishi Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481478687
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse - May 30th, 2017

A hilarious romance told from two perspectives. One a girl who is determined to show her worth and smarts. The other a boy who believes in true love and meeting that perfect someone. What happens when the two meet? Well, coffee in the face and so much more. Great teen romance. - Jessica


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Let's Talk about Love Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250136121
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Swoon Reads - January 23rd, 2018

A fantastic book featuring a black, female, and queer main character! This story takes you to the heart of romance as Alice explores relationships and the different ways she expresses her love of others and how those around her express their love for her. Perfect teen romance. - Jessica


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A Quiet Kind of Thunder Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534402416
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon Pulse - January 9th, 2018

Love is a language that needs no translation, or is it? Steffi is known as the mute girl at her school and her anxiety prevents her from communicating with others. So how is she to express her feelings for the new deaf boy at her school? A hopeful love story focused on how love blossoms in different ways. - Jessica


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For Every One Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781481486248
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Atheneum Books - April 10th, 2018

Honest, down to earth, and powerful in its simplicity. This stunning letter/poem/note to self is something everyone needs to read. Easy to pick up, quick to finish, and sure to make an impression. I read it and immediately wished I had 50 copies so I could hand it out to everyone I know, plus keep one for myself. - Jessica


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The Reader Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780147518057
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Speak - September 5th, 2017

Reading is magic. Not just in some metaphorical sense, but in the true sense that you will experience a new and stunning world in this highly original fantasy. An amazing book that will capture any bookworm. Reminiscent of Cornelia Funke's Inkheart. - Jessica


Staff Pick Logo
Homegoing Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781101971062
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - May 2nd, 2017

Generation after generation, both hope and sorrow hit the two families in this story hard. Gyasi uses the episodic nature to her advantage, in a way that inspires a fevered anticipation similar to the tv show Roots. A moving work that would be a great choice for book clubs and writing classes. - Jessica


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