Staff Picks by Maureen

Maureen, owner of Once Upon A Time pictured with daughters Amelia and Jessica

Maureen (shown here with her two daughters, Amelia, and store manager, Jessica) is the proud owner of Once Upon A Time and is always trying to find the time to read more books after working 7 days a week at America's Oldest Children's Bookstore. She loves mysteries (she started the Adult Mystery Book Club), action-packed adventures, and the perfect picture books for story time. 

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In Every Life: (Caldecott Honor) By Marla Frazee, Marla Frazee (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Marla Frazee, Marla Frazee (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781665912488
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Beach Lane Books - February 7th, 2023

Sometimes it takes an upside down world to see clearly what is most important – to all of us. Frazee’s sublime genius is her ability to parse this tone poem to its core with her signature warmth of spirit, line and shading and most importantly, the warmth of love. Such an exquisite gift for all!

(Picture book, ages 4+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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All the Sinners Bleed: A Novel By S. A. Cosby Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250831927
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Flatiron Books - July 9th, 2024

Be ready to stay up late for Cosby’s well-plotted mystery with finely etched characters and still-brooding Southerners holding openly racist views. Coming to the rescue to hunt for the serial killer is Black former-FBI, now sheriff Titus Crown, who must maneuver through backroads, bible-thumping verses and the town’s under confidence but whose moral compass is fueled by loved ones – both alive and dead. This outing surely invites a well-deserved series. An incredible read!

(Adult Mystery) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Women: A Novel By Kristin Hannah Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781250178633
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: St. Martin's Press - February 6th, 2024

Kristin Hannah’s superb historical novel highlights the extraordinary and unheralded contributions made by women during the Vietnam war. As relevant today as it was 50 years ago, Hannah’s terrifyingly real tale of the price of war and the devastating lingering effects of trauma should make policyholders rethink hitting the red button of military aggression. A stunning achievement!

(Adult historical fiction) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Last Dragon on Mars (The Dragonships Series #1) By Scott Reintgen Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781665946513
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Aladdin - October 1st, 2024

This is a dragon lovers dream! Like Nyxia before it, Reintgen hits it out of the park (Mars!) and keeps the action going throughout this mythology-bending world of planetary dragons. I honestly couldn’t put the book down, it was so compellingly written with strong characters, unique situations and again, DRAGONS galore. What more could you want?... A sequel!

(Fantasy, ages 9+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Sherlock Society By James Ponti Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781665932530
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Aladdin - September 3rd, 2024

Get ready for laugh out loud dialogue, action sequences that jump off the page and a mystery that brings together inter generational characters with such verve and aplomb, they almost seem like your new best friends (including Grandpa) this Miami-based mystery shows Ponti at the top of his game that will have sleuth-loving middle schoolers clamoring for more.

(Mystery, ages 8+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Under the Surface By Diana Urban Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780593625088
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - August 13th, 2024

Hold on to your seats -- this dark thriller has it all -- fast-pace, adventure in the tunnels under Paris filled with long-dead bodies, broken friendships, ghoulish-like hunters and enough action to keep you flipping the pages. I loved this as an older YA and adult crossover. Keep the lights on when reading this one!

(YA Mystery, ages 14+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Alebrijes: Cuentista By Donna Barba Higuera Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781646142637
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Levine Querido - October 3rd, 2023

Alebrijes is an amazingly inventive dystopian adventure brimming with characters you’ll be rooting for along with the hiss-filled villains that populate this tale. Spanish is used judiciously as the protagonist hails from the Cascabales, descendants of farm workers in Central California. There’s an amazing “break” in the narrative that will have you searching for a foothold, but keep on this unknown path and you’ll be rewarded with an awe-inspiring tale about 13-year old Mighty Leandro. I loved this book!

(Sci-fi dystopian, ages 10+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Lion Women of Tehran By Marjan Kamali Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781668036587
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Gallery Books - July 2nd, 2024

What an emotional read - from the very beginning. Pulls you right along -- from one age to the next and one country to the next. Highly recommended!

(Adult Historical Fiction) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Collaborators By Michael Idov Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781668055571
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Scribner - November 19th, 2024

This is a dynamite spy thriller full of chase scenes, pulsating suspense, dead bodies and vivid characters. Why did the billionaire's daughter and rogue CIA spook team up to comb the world to find answers so dangerous, they may be the next to see their last day? Page-turning into the night, you'll want to keep reading this one. Highly recommended.

(Adult Mystery) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Sing It Like Celia By Mónica Mancillas Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780593659304
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Penguin Workshop - April 2nd, 2024

This debut middle grade story by Mancillas sparkles with 12-year old Salva Sanchez’ realistic feelings of abandonment, anxiety and “new kid”ness as her mom has abruptly left her and she lives at a campground with her divorced dad. Full of musical references and actual band practice dynamics, Sing it Like Celia will grab your heart and cha-cha- cha into your soul. Outstanding!

(Juvenile realistic fiction, ages 9+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Better the Blood: A Hana Westerman Thriller By Michael Bennett Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802162656
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Grove Press - January 9th, 2024

Richly textured contemporary crime novel set in Auckland, New Zealand, with pivots back to a major 19th century historical injustice of a Maori chief, this cinematic story introduces a feisty, intuitive female Maori detective, Hana Westerman, as she tracks down a terrifying serial killer intent on righting the historical injustice. Who is evil and why is one of the major themes in this first-rate debut from Bennett. Not to be missed!

(Adult Mystery) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Square of Sevens: A Novel By Laura Shepherd-Robinson Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781668031124
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Atria Books - September 5th, 2023

Epic storytelling, impressive cast of characters and historical fiction all rolled into a page-turning door-stopper of a tale, that doesn't tie up until the very last page. Be ready for long nights burning the candle with this impressive mystery!

(Adult Mystery) — Reviewed by Maureen


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The Rhythm of Time By Questlove, S. A. Cosby Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593354063
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - April 18th, 2023

Whew...non-stop action in this propulsive time-travel adventure filled with fun musical references, expanding vortexes, snappy dialogue and great characters in Rahim & Kasia. Bring on the next one!

(Juvenile Science Fiction, ages 10+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Beyond That, the Sea: A Novel By Laura Spence-Ash Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781250854377
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Celadon Books - March 21st, 2023

Such a beautifully written love story for the ages -- heartfelt, sorrowful, but rendered with such graceful prose. Very highly recommended for those wanting a different take on WWII. Exquisite!

(Adult Fiction) - Reviewed by Maureen


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A Book, Too, Can Be a Star: The Story of Madeleine L'Engle and the Making of A Wrinkle in Time By Charlotte Jones Voiklis, Jennifer Adams, Adelina Lirius (Illustrator) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780374388485
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) - October 4th, 2022

How do you get your creative juices flowing? In this lovingly told, gorgeously illustrated picture book biography of beloved author Madeleine L’Engle, inspiration like singing stars in the night sky, will crawl inside your heart begging readers to ask big questions and always look for answers. Stunning!

(Picture Book Biography, ages 5+) - Reviewed by Maureen


The Kingdom Over the Sea By Zohra Nabi Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781665931090
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - April 16th, 2024

What could be better than a magical quest, spells, djinns, evil alchemists and flying carpets? Brave Yara risks everything, rising to the challenge her Mama told her she'd do. Breathtaking debut!

(Fantasy, ages 8+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Kingdoms of Savannah: A Novel By George Dawes Green Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781250888792
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Celadon Books - October 17th, 2023

I savored this mystery like a fine glass of wine and didn't want to leave Morgana's dysfunctional family and amateur sleuths. The cast of characters were richly and fully drawn, Savannah's dark side unfolded for readers and no one was immune to both the beauty and corruption of this legendary city. Absolutely first rate!

(Adult Mystery) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Wolf Trap: A Thriller (Brian Rhome #1) By Connor Sullivan Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781668054420
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Atria/Emily Bestler Books - August 27th, 2024

Wow! This absolutely riveting, un-put-downable spy thriller will have your heart in your throat pounding away in anticipation of a positive resolution of multiple-strands of treasonous, US war-making on a grand scale with ex-CIA spy Brian Rhome working his considerable assets to resolve. Bring on more please of Mr. Rhome!

(Adult Mystery) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Four Letter Word By Gretchen McNeil Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781368097437
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Disney Hyperion - March 5th, 2024

Thrills abound with this high concept of charming foreign exchange student as possible serial killer up in the cold, fog-drenched far northern California Pacific coast. McNeil's strength is her fantastic character development and realistic dialogue in this creepy suspense adventure. Not to be missed -- Ciao!

(YA thriller, ages 14+) — Reviewed by Maureen


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Small Things Like These By Claire Keegan Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780802158741
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Grove Press - November 30th, 2021

Keegan's short novel uses every word concisely and with surprisingly emotional connection we see Bill Furlong, a successful businessman, whose inner moral voice and familial responsibilities start his awakening to ugly truths in this Irish tale of conscience. A gem!

(Adult Fiction) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Winter Work: A novel By Dan Fesperman Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780593466957
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Vintage - December 12th, 2023

An intriguing time in history, right after the Berlin wall fell, where spies are literally & figuratively left out in the cold. Wow....this kept me up at night, turning those pages lickety split. Who knew you'd be cheering for an ex-Stasi spy?

(Adult Mystery) - Reviewed by Maureen


Murder Book By Thomas Perry Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781613165089
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Mysterious Press - January 16th, 2024

One of the perks of being a bookseller is that we receive Advanced Readers' Copies of books months before publication date.  I have LOVED Thomas Perry's Old Man mystery for quite awhile and now that the book has been made into a dynamite series starring Jeff Bridges, Perry's books are hot commodities.  So, I was delighted to read an early copy of The Murder Book, and can tell you it is the most "observed" book I've every read.  Detail after detail Perry describes his protaganist, former cop-turned PI Harry Duncan's thought process in trying to track down a nascent crime syndicate in the Midwest.   I felt like a piece of lint stuck in Duncan's clothes as he analyzes, adjusts plans, prepares and executes so many intricate crime solving techniques, it was mind-blowing!  Perry is a master storyteller who keeps the tension high, the characters believable and the action non-stop. 

(Adult Mystery) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Midnight Children By Dan Gemeinhart Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781250196729
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - August 30th, 2022

Adventure, mystery and just the right amount of creepiness imbues this unforgettable tale of 12-year old loner, Ravani, who happens to see out his bedroom window seven children arriving at the derelict house next door being dropped off and left at midnight. Who could they be and where are the adults? Mysteries aplenty are prevalent in Ravani's town called Slaughterville and wouldn't it be great if he could have a friend to share the discoveries. This is Gemeinhart's best and not to be missed!

(Juvenile Fictions, age 9+) - Reviewed by Maureen 


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The Last Mapmaker By Christina Soontornvat Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781536230178
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Candlewick - November 14th, 2023

Action and adventure on the high seas, with a spunky, scrappy almost thirteen year old Sai, who with her wits, sheer determination and uncanny ability to draw what’s in front of her, just might become a valued mapmaker for Mangkon . But at what cost? Unputdownable and heart racing to the very end.

(Fantasy, ages 10+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Gold! By David Shannon, David Shannon (Illustrator) Cover Image
By David Shannon, David Shannon (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593352274
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - September 6th, 2022

Fittingly over the top with gold-digging glee, this Midas retelling uses every one of Shannon’s magnificent gifts of style, zest and bling to wondrous heights. Sure, we spot the prepubescence of a particular politico, but readers will be pouring over the comic details in the larger-than-life paintings and be rewarded with an ending that satisfies.

(Picture Book, ages 3+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Getaway By Lamar Giles Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781338752014
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Scholastic Press - September 20th, 2022

Gripping, pulse inducing in-the-near-future dystopian America, Giles has constructed the Funnest Place on Earth with different & terrifying meanings to classes of people providing comfort, service and trust “The Karloff Country” way. Teen characters ring true in their awkwardness, anxiety and camaraderie in a place that chillingly goes horrifically evil. Not to be missed for horror fans.

(Young Adult, ages 14+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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A Thousand Steps By T. Jefferson Parker Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250890214
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Forge Books - February 14th, 2023

In this assured and surprising coming of age novel by mystery writer T. Jefferson Parker, 16-year old Matt navigates the counter culture of the tie-dyed ’60s in Laguna California with its hippie buses, psychedelic drug scene and groovy love-ins while hunting desperately for his teenaged sister, whom he is sure has been kidnapped. So strongly is the time period written, you can practically smell the marijuana wafting around the beach scene as the songs of Dylan get blasted on the radio. A superb novel about the time, place and folks of the late 60s. Far out!

(Adult Mystery) - Reviewed by Maureen 


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Twig and Turtle 1: Big Move to a Tiny House By Jennifer Richard Jacobson Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9781645950226
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Pixel+Ink - October 20th, 2020

Great new chapter book series about sisters and their family downsizing to live more simply in a tiny house. What about their Great Dane pet, who must now live with their Grandma? And how does having only 5 toys impact them -- which ones to choose and which ones to give away? A terrific book about what's important in life.

(Early Reader) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Free Lunch By Rex Ogle Cover Image
$9.95
ISBN: 9781324016946
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Norton Young Readers - August 17th, 2021

Stunning, heartbreakingly real and at once a strong, unflinching story of poverty and socioeconomic inequities that haunt us in our imperfect country. Violence against children, homelessness and food insecurity will weigh on your heart as Rex tells his story. His story is more powerful because he is not alone, as this is an all-too-common theme in some households. A truly superb memoir and one that will never be forgotten.

(Non-fiction, ages 10+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Barren Grounds: The Misewa Saga, Book One By David A. Robertson Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780735266124
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Tundra Books - August 31st, 2021

This fantastic series opener about Indigenous foster kids set in Canada - - will creep into your soul, thump thump thump, like a beating drum or eagle wings taking flight or your pounding heartbeat – in this Narnia-inspired fantasy. 13 year old Morgan has seen it all as she has bounced around after a succession of failed foster homes since very early childhood. She reluctantly has agreed to her foster parents to help watch 12-year old new foster child – Eli – as he navigates middle school, where she comes to discover his amazing drawing talent. As kids tend to do when bored, they enter the attic at home that has an unexplained painted-over doorway, and whoosh…….in comes the cold, frost and snow from beyond. Joseph’s drawing of a winter forest has come alive including talking and walking squirrels, fishers and bears, among other animal elders.

(Fantasy, ages 8+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Great Bunk Bed Battle: An Acorn Book (Fox Tails #1) By Tina Kügler, Tina Kügler (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Tina Kügler, Tina Kügler (Illustrator)
$4.99
ISBN: 9781338561678
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Scholastic Inc. - September 1st, 2020

Sharing a bunk bed, kit fox siblings, Fritz and Franny, think their side of the bunk is best and squabble about who is right in this delightfully fun romp of a series by talented author/illustrator Tina Kügler. Young readers will chuckle, chortle and see themselves in the imaginative antics of Fritz and Franny, with a continuing cameo by expressive Fred the dog.

(Early Reader) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch By Julie Abe Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780316493895
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - July 6th, 2021

This utterly charming debut by Julie Abe will win the hearts of young readers and parents alike with its tale of a semi-magical witch sent on a quest to earn her Novice Witch rank. With a “wink” to angel Clarence of It’s A Wonderful Life, who was sent to earth to get his wings, Abe’s young Eva Evergreen has her mission “to always do good”, for her adopted village of Auteri and to guard and protect the village from the all-dreaded Culling. With only a minimal amount of magic in her arsenal, she uses her strong mechanical and repair abilities to make up for what she lacks in powerful magic. Eva calls on her new found friends of Auteri in this race-to-the-finish adventure that has more story left to tell. This will be one terrific real aloud as well as an accessible tale to delight newly independent readers. Julie Abe is an author to watch!

(Fantasy, ages 8+) - Reviewied by Maureen


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Raybearer By Jordan Ifueko Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781419739835
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Harry N. Abrams - August 3rd, 2021

Raybearer -- the strongest fantasy book AND debut of the fall season -- is the book that Leigh Bardugo and Tomi Adeyemi fans have been waiting for.  Adventure, fantasy, magic, love and loyalty are at the heart of Tarasai’s unthinkable quest in this Nigerian-inspired tale. Epic and cinematic, this is world-building par excellence. Jordan Ifueko has herself a series opener that will knock off your socks and steal your heart. Thrilling!

(YA Fantasy, ages 12+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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When Stars Are Scattered By Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed, Victoria Jamieson (Illustrator), Iman Geddy (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed, Victoria Jamieson (Illustrator), Iman Geddy (Illustrator)
$13.99
ISBN: 9780525553908
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Dial Books - April 14th, 2020

This heartfelt, authentically moving memoir of Somali refugees will grab your heart and not let go! Readers will be on the journey with Omar and his brother through hardship, heartbreak, multiple setbacks, but ultimately triumphing in their quest for a permanent home. This graphic novel packs an emotional wallop so be ready to take these boys into your heart!

(Graphic Novel, ages 8+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic By Armand Baltazar, Armand Baltazar (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Armand Baltazar, Armand Baltazar (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780062402370
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - May 28th, 2019

First in a series by renowned animator Armand Baltazar, this 600 page tome is filled with over 150 full color illustrations that lend a deeper meaning to this terrific fast paced action-fantasy time mash-up with dinosaurs, robots, steam engines, pirates, WWII planes and gravity boards all coexisting along with teenager Diego and his 3 friends who fight the villians wanting to undo time. This epic novel for ages 9+ is a worthy heir to the Harry Potter series. I absolutely LOVE this book and am predicting great things for Diego's continuing story.

(Fantasy, ages 9+) - Reviewed by Maureen 


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Snow & Rose By Emily Winfield Martin Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780553538212
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Yearling - October 1st, 2019

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! 

(Fairy Tale, ages 8+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Wolf Wilder By Katherine Rundell Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781481419437
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
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!

(Historical Fiction, ages 9+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Some Kind of Courage By Dan Gemeinhart Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780545665827
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
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.

(Historical Fiction, ages 9+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Sky in the Deep (Sky and Sea #1) By Adrienne Young Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781250168467
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Wednesday Books - April 2nd, 2019

Swashbuckling for a new generation, Eelyn from the Aska clan lives for her fighting season with the dreaded Riki clan. This is a story when raw, physical power and ancient beliefs dictate warriors come from either sex. Family, fighting and feuding are keys to this strong debut Young has crafted of a Viking culture that may need to compromise its deeply held beliefs in order to survive. Harrowing, and bloodthirsty with a high body count, this kickass heroine surely has crossover appeal to fans of Wonder Woman. Could not put this down, your heart will be racing to the end.

(YA Fantasy, ages 12+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Saving Winslow By Sharon Creech Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062570710
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: HarperCollins - September 3rd, 2019

This delightful family read aloud skillfully weaves empathy, compassion and family into a beautifully realized story – universal and timeless – I dare say a new classic, in the mold of Charlotte’s Web (without the talking animals). Ten-year old Louie is trying his best to save a mini-donkey, he named Winston, who was born prematurely and whose mother died giving birth. Louie’s track record is not so good at keeping animals in his care alive, but he has faith in Winslow and gives him everything he has – most especially his love. Louie is sure Winslow will survive, and uses his plight as connection to his older brother Gus’ absence serving in the army. Strong, fully developed characters come to life in Creech’s vividly, and deceptively short novel which will stay with you long after the satisfying last page.

(Fiction, ages 7+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Seven Silly Eaters By Mary Ann Hoberman, Marla Frazee (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Mary Ann Hoberman, Marla Frazee (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780152000967
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Clarion Books - February 1st, 1997

Terrific book for a family to read aloud. This is the Palacios family's most favorite picture book! Silly indeed!

(Picture Book) - Reviewed by Maureen


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There's a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor By Wade Bradford, Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Wade Bradford, Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780763686659
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Candlewick - October 2nd, 2018

Mr. Snore is tired and just wants a comfortable bed at the Sharemore Hotel. Encountering sleeping companions from a mouse, a pig, spiders, giraffes and even burrowing hamsters, poor Mr. Snore finally tries the 13th floor where a twist of gigantic proportions awaits! Hawkes’s playful illustrations match perfectly with the absurdity of Bradford’s delightful romp. Instant storytime classic!

(Picture Book) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Whiskey When We're Dry: A Novel By John Larison Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780735220454
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Penguin Books - July 2nd, 2019

With an unforgettable lead character, an epic story line and Western details that ring true to life it rightfully will take its place next to other classics such as Lonesome Dove and True Grit. A fantastic debut from a gifted author.

(Adult Western) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Barely Missing Everything By Matt Mendez Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781534404465
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - March 3rd, 2020

Raw, gritty and acutely tuned to his community, Matt Mendez' debut blends authenticity with poignancy, heartbreak with heartfelt, this emotionally true contemporary story about 2 El Paso teens and a mom of one of the boys, will keep you riveted and engaged. Comparisons to Jason Reynolds, Matt de la Pena and Angie Thomas are accurate but Mendez is a break out star to be watched. This wallop of a tale should be handed to high school kids en masse.

(YA Fiction, ages 13+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Downstairs Girl By Stacey Lee Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781524740979
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - March 2nd, 2021

Could there be a better young adult historical fiction storyteller than Stacey Lee? The Downstairs Girl rings with honesty about the plight of Jo Kwan, living in Atlanta in 1890 in an abandoned basement below an unsuspecting family that runs one of the town's newspapers. Jo becomes the unseen advice columnist "Dear Miss Sweetie" as she uses her considerable wit to answer letters - all the while working as a maid to a privileged and cruel teen. Romance, racial inequities and family squabbles all result in Lee's outstanding development into a glimpse of Atlanta's storied genteelness. This is a sure winner!

(YA Historical Fiction, ages 12+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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This Tender Land: A Novel By William Kent Krueger Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781476749303
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Atria Books - May 26th, 2020

Once upon a time there was a storyteller, whose stories existed in the land of many lakes – that boundless region called Minnesota, where hardy souls have made their living on the water, fertile land and in cities. This storyteller, William Kent Krueger, weaves his stories with characters so rich, so real and so human, the tale leaps off the page and buries deep into your soul. “This Tender Land” is simply a magnificent example of Krueger’s extraordinary gift as a writer. You will find it hard to put down, or even after finishing, hard to stop thinking of Odie, Albert, Mose and Emmy – your guides down the winding rivers in this book. Truly, a masterpiece.

(Adult Fiction) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Growing an Artist: The Story of a Landscaper and His Son By John Parra, John Parra (Illustrator) Cover Image
By John Parra, John Parra (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781534469273
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books - May 10th, 2022

A beautifully illustrated story of artist John Parra and his inspiration in becoming an artist. Seldom seen in literature, Parra’s tender and heartfelt rendering of his landscape architect father’s work brings simplicity, joy in doing and a passion for plants to a new level. Exquisite!

(Picture Book) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Return to Blood: A Hana Westerman Thriller By Michael Bennett Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802163059
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - May 21st, 2024

Bennett has done it again with another outstanding atmospheric Maori-tinged New Zealand mystery that now-former cop Hana Westerman can't stop herself from getting involved with. Strongly-written characters seem to burst off the page with deep seated emotions that tell part of the mystery as the land and culture also play a part in this second outing of the series. Fans will clamor for more of Ms. Westerman.

(Adult Mystery) — Reviewed by Maureen


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Attack of the Black Rectangles By A. S. King Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338680522
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Scholastic Press - September 6th, 2022

A perfect book now for young readers during our fraught fights for intellectual freedom, King brings 12-year old Mac and his friends fully into the conversation and solution by trusting their intellect and moxie. Just the story -- albeit based on the author's real life issue -- to hand to curious young readers about book censorship. Added bonus -- a fully developed intergenerational subplot. Superb!

(Juvenile Fiction, ages 9+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Rescue By T. Jefferson Parker Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781250793560
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Forge Books - April 25th, 2023

Dog-lovers rejoice! Through this Southern California-based cinematic thriller, T. Jefferson Parker explores the unbreakable bonds between dog and human partners. Throw in the DEA, the Mexican Mafia and one kick-ass journalist who’’ll stop at nothing to keep her stories factual, believable and inspiring. Oh, by the way the dog’s name is Joe.

(Adult Mystery) — Reviewed by Maureen


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Borderless By Jennifer De Leon Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781665904162
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - April 25th, 2023

De Leon’s propulsive, authentic contemporary YA story centers on Maya, a Guatemalan teen whose unique fashion designs just might win her the coveted prize money and a line of her designs in stores. However, her protective mother fears that the escalating gang violence in their colonia (neighborhood) is out of control. With a Romeo & Juliet romance in play, Maya must make some life-or-death decisions that throw the story into a race-to-the end thriller. Absolutely first rate.

(YA Contemporary Fiction, ages 14+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Blackwater Falls: A Thriller (Blackwater Falls Series #1) By Ausma Zehanat Khan Cover Image
$12.00
ISBN: 9781250906410
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Minotaur Books - November 7th, 2023

What a great read! This mystery was filled with great characters, a fully developed plot with subtle red herrings and a story that seemed to be cut from current newspaper headlines. Bring on the next Detective Rahman title quick!

(Adult Mystery) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Throwback By Maurene Goo Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781638930204
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Zando Young Readers - April 11th, 2023

It's a great day when Maurene Goo puts out a book! Get ready to stay up all night. Highly recommended.

(Young Adult Fiction, ages 14+) — Reviewed by Maureen