Staff Picks by Maureen

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

Maureen 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. 

Staff Pick Logo
Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic Cover Image
By Armand Baltazar, Armand Baltazar (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062402363
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - October 10th, 2017

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. -- Highly recommended by Maureen 


Staff Pick Logo
Snow & Rose Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780553538182
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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


Staff Pick Logo
Ryan Quinn and the Rebel's Escape Cover Image
By Ron McGee, Chris Samnee (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062421647
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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


Staff Pick Logo
The Wolf Wilder Cover Image
$8.99
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


Staff Pick Logo
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


The First Rule of Punk Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780425290408
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - August 22nd, 2017

Staff Pick Logo
The Giant Jumperee Cover Image
By Julia Donaldson, Helen Oxenbury (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780735227972
Availability: Not in Stock - 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


Staff Pick Logo
Mars One Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481461610
Availability: Not in Stock - 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


Staff Pick Logo
Old MacDonald Had a Farm Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338112436
Availability: On Our Shelves 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


Staff Pick Logo
Wild Bird Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781101940440
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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


Staff Pick Logo
The Force: A Novel Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062664419
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow - 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


Staff Pick Logo
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


Staff Pick Logo
Lola Dutch Cover Image
By Kenneth Wright, Sarah Jane Wright (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781681195513
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury USA - 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


Staff Pick Logo
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


Staff Pick Logo
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


Staff Pick Logo
Hello Hello Cover Image
By Brendan Wenzel (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781452150147
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - March 6th, 2018

Wenzel's charming, signature animals delight the eye. This is what a concept book is meant to be -- simple, fun and brilliantly executed, this is the new "Best Toddler Book EVER"! - Maureen


Staff Pick Logo
Ryan Quinn and the Lion's Claw Cover Image
By Ron McGee, Chris Samnee (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062421692
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - October 24th, 2017

The fantastic follow up to McGee’s first Ryan Quinn adventure for middle grade readers will keep your adrenaline high, your heart thumping with suspense as the pages fly by. Ryan is once again teemed with his funny sidekick, Danny, a kid computer genius “aka” hacker, as well as numerous others. Ryan’s last adventures didn’t really include his parents, who are members of a secret Emergency Relocation Committee, who help at-risk people get out of their countries to safety. This time, Danny and Ryan are in a fictional African country trying to help old ERC friends and their parents are in the middle of the action with them. Reading the 1st adventure is not necessary in this high octane thriller for action-adventure fans. Perfect book for Rick Riordon, James Patterson or Stuart Gibbs fans. - Maureen


Staff Pick Logo
The Woman in the Water: A Prequel to the Charles Lenox Series (Charles Lenox Mysteries #11) Cover Image
$25.99
ISBN: 9781250139467
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - February 20th, 2018

Finch's creation story of legendary gentleman detective Charles Lenox is the perfect book for Agatha Christie, Donna Leon and Louise Penny fans as the atmosphere is thick as clotted cream and with indelible characters that will become more comfortable as comfy slippers! Standout sequel to be read either before or after Finch's other Lennox books. Not to be mistaken for a cozy, but still one to enjoy with a good Earl Grey and scones. - Maureen


Staff Pick Logo
Sky in the Deep Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250168450
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Wednesday Books - April 24th, 2018

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. - Maureen


Staff Pick Logo
Orphan Monster Spy Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780451478733
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - March 20th, 2018

Chilling, propulsive narrative and unforgettable characters bring this wholly original take on Nazi-obsessed Germany into light as our former gymnast - turned "actress" Jewish Sarah plays strong, Aryan Ursula to rave reviews. She infiltrates a German school for party loyalist's children, where cruelty, cunning and spycraft are employed by everyone - good & evil. Relentlessly paced, this high-octane thriller will keep the pages turning and you thinking long after the book is over. Superb debut by newcomer Matt Killeen. - Maureen


Staff Pick Logo
The End of the World Running Club Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9781492656029
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Landmark - September 5th, 2017

This slow burning suspenseful novel will keep you up at night. Right from the start, an asteroid hits Scotland and all heck breaks loose! Families torn apart, way of life non-existent and trying to survive when the odds are stacked against you. Your heart will be beating frantically in this suspenseful thriller. Not to be missed. - Maureen


Staff Pick Logo
806 Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781939100146
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tanglewood - March 13th, 2018

Looking for Dad in all the wrong places, Weil's musical background lends flair and realism to this unique plotline that will pull readers in immediately. Defying odds, the 806 crew find family on this teen road trip full of hijinks, humor and plenty of heart. One wild ride not to be missed! - Maureen


Staff Pick Logo
A Whisper of Horses Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9781250093967
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Feiwel & Friends - July 3rd, 2018

Original with inventive twists in the journey of finding horses! - Maureen


Staff Pick Logo
Saving Winslow Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062570703
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: HarperCollins - September 11th, 2018

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. - Maureen


Staff Pick Logo
Ocean Meets Sky Cover Image
By Terry Fan, Eric Fan, Terry Fan (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481470377
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - May 15th, 2018

In this exquisite picture book, there need be only a few words - boy, boat, journey equals ........magic! In the hands of master storytellers, the brothers Fan have simply created a masterpiece where we will be transported to the mesmerizing magical wonders in this book. A true stunner! - Maureen


Staff Pick Logo
Lifel1k3 (Lifelike) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781524713928
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - May 29th, 2018

This propulsive sci-fi thriller is sure to be loved by Kristoff's Illuminae series fans. This novel is more intimate, though, following Eve, as she soldiers on in the robot gladiator wars by using her uber-skilled mechanical gifts to win. Trying to outrun the evil doers and give her grandpa enough meds to live, this twisty tale will surprise you up through the final page! Do not miss this. - Maureen


Staff Pick Logo
Natsumi! Cover Image
By Susan Lendroth, Priscilla Burris (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780399170904
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - March 13th, 2018

Readers will love meeting Natsumi, the little spirited girl who sometimes is MORE than a bit spirited! This effective marriage of Lendroth's well-plotted story and Illustrator Buriss's brightly designed drawings will surely have readers asking for multiple tellings. A true delight! - Maureen


Staff Pick Logo
All Are Welcome Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525579649
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers - July 10th, 2018

Bright colorful pictures bursting with a diverse and glorious cast of young students, parents, & teachers framed by the repeated uplifting message of "All Are Welcome Here", this should be a mandatory 1st day of school book. - Jessica


Staff Pick Logo
Seven Bad Cats Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781492657101
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky - June 1st, 2018

A delightful numbers book with both "bad" and "good" cats along for the ride. Such subtle, loose drawings capture these mysterious and unpredictable felines beautifully. A gloriously told journey for a young sailor (& reader)! - Maureen


Staff Pick Logo
The Seven Silly Eaters Cover Image
By Mary Ann Hoberman, Marla Frazee (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780152000967
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin - February 1st, 1997

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


Staff Pick Logo
There's a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor Cover Image
By Wade Bradford, Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780763686659
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - 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! - Maureen


Staff Pick Logo
Leave No Trace Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501177361
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Atria Books - September 4th, 2018

Leave No Trace captures, in extreme focus, the brutal cold and harsh winter conditions of the Boundary Wilderness area in Minnesota as psychiatric hospital speech therapist, Maya, works hard to develop her patients. When the hospital assigns her the tough nut to crack Lucas Blackthorne, whom was thought to be missing and presumed dead for 10 years, she is thrust into a role way above her paygrade and experience. The extreme conditions for both staff and patients will be eye opening, and Maya’s previous life unravels in layers as she tries to uncover truths from Lucas. Your body will instinctively curl up for warmth as Mejia deftly and elegantly describes how the wonder, beauty, majesty and cruel nature living in the Boundary Wilderness invades your soul. Highly-propulsive storytelling, with revealing truths parsed out until the very end, this is suspense at new and arresting heights! - Maureen


Our Book Picks for Grads!

Staff Pick Logo
For Every One Cover Image
Sometimes You Fly Cover Image
Miss Maple's Seeds Cover Image
The Wonderful Things You Will Be Cover Image
Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties Cover Image
The Alchemist Cover Image

Harry Potter Audiobooks through Libro.fm