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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Timeless: Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic Cover Image
By Armand Baltazar, Armand Baltazar (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780062402370
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
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. -- Highly recommended by Maureen 


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Snow & Rose Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780553538212
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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! - 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
$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


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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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The Woman in the Water: A Prequel to the Charles Lenox Series (Charles Lenox Mysteries #11) Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250139474
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Minotaur Books - January 15th, 2019

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


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Sky in the Deep (Sky and Sea #1) Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781250168467
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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. - Maureen


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Orphan Monster Spy Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780451478757
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - February 19th, 2019

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


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Saving Winslow Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780062570710
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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. - Maureen


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Ocean Meets Sky Cover Image
By Terry Fan, Eric Fan, Terry Fan (Illustrator), Eric Fan (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481470377
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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


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LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike) Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781524713959
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ember - April 30th, 2019

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


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Natsumi! Cover Image
By Susan Lendroth, Priscilla Burris (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780399170904
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
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


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All Are Welcome Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525579649
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: 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. - Maureen


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The Seven Silly Eaters Cover Image
By Mary Ann Hoberman, Marla Frazee (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780152000967
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - February 1st, 1997

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


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There's a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor Cover Image
By Wade Bradford, Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780763686659
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
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! - Maureen


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Whiskey When We're Dry: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780735220454
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
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. - Maureen


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Pay Attention, Carter Jones Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780544790858
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarion Books - February 5th, 2019

With a gentleness of wit, emotion and spot-on humor, Schmidt brings to life 6th grader Carter Jones as he navigates a tough time in his life, with the help of one Mr. Bowles-Fitzpatrick, who drives an eggplant-hued Bentley and gives advice, both needed and not wanted, as the Jones' family new butler. Interspersed with cricket references - "the finest game in the world" - wonderful and enlightened vocabulary fit for a proper gentleman, Schmidt tackles grief and abandonment with his signature insight, lightness and heart. As the butler says to his charges "make good decisions and remember who you are" -- Carter Jones' story will stay with you for a very long time. Highly recommended! - Maureen


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Barely Missing Everything Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534404458
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - March 5th, 2019

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. - Maureen


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The Downstairs Girl Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781524740955
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - August 13th, 2019

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! - Maureen


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Scouts Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316524780
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: jimmy patterson - July 23rd, 2019

This adventure and friendship story will pull you along happily on the journey of Annie and her posse of friends called the Scouts. Are friendships forever or can they be finite, based on outgrowing shared experiences? Debut author carefully navigates this question as 7th grade looms large on the horizon. Before that happens, Annie and her buddies get lost in caves, almost drown, get down and dirty with mounds of mud and worms, and a strange, meteor shower-sprinkling of silver dust leads to a wham-bang climax worthy of the James Patterson name! Hand this to any lover of action/adventure and watch the pages fly by. - Maureen


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Dream Within a Dream Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781534429598
Availability: Not in Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - May 7th, 2019

Just a beautiful, simply worded book about a young girl's summer on Deer Island as she starts to gently mature and have her first crush, including her first kiss. A sweet delight of a story that will surely resonate with tweens. - Maureen


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How Quickly She Disappears Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781984805171
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Berkley - January 14th, 2020

Strong character development with a plot etched in mystery elements, thrillers and family relationships, this one will keep you up at night frantically turning pages. Period details from the 1940's and set in the unforgiving Alaskan wilderness prior to the discovery of oil, this creepy tale is about sisters, family, love and sacrifice and through it all, the harsh realities of nature. Be warned -- you will be "talking" with one of the characters trying to steer her one way. - Maureen


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The Girl the Sea Gave Back: A Novel (Sky and Sea #2) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250168481
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wednesday Books - September 3rd, 2019

Author Adrienne Young has outdone herself with her sophomore book and "companion" to her thrilling Sky In The Deep. Although Tova, our protagonist is not a warrior, she displays remarkable strength and courage when faced with brutalities and violence. She is a Truthtongue, and has arrived-feared, loathed and condemned- as a child at a competing and very inhospitable klan. She uses the harsh realities of nature to her advantage and cast runes that go against the klan that is housing her. War is in the future and she is drawn to a strange young warrior from a competing klan, whom she does not understand. Sparks fly, along with arrows, axes and swords, in this not to be missed tale brimming with Viking-esque lore. - Maureen


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This Tender Land: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781476749297
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - September 3rd, 2019

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. - review by Maureen


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Rough Magic: Riding the World's Loneliest Horse Race Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781948226196
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - May 7th, 2019

In this season of strong, brave women, Maureen's absolute favorite memoir - Rough Magic by Lara Prior-Palmer - is not to be missed. It's about Lara's naiveté in trying to win the grueling, soul-wrenching World's Loneliest Horse Race in Mongolia, with nary a thought of preparation. This is for fans of Cherly Strayand's Wild and MacDonald's H is for Hawk and is writing at it's finest! - Review by Maureen


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Words on Fire Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338275476
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - October 1st, 2019

Nielsen's always first-rate historical fiction, this one about the early 20th century Lithuanian struggle against the Cossack occupation and censorship of Lithuanian culture, traditions and banning of books, hums along at a pace which will endear action/adventure fans into turning pages. Some scary situations -- beatings, villages set on fire and constant surveillance -- make the book a better fit for at least ages 9 and up. - Review by Maureen


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The Loop Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338589306
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Chicken House - April 7th, 2020

What a thrilling rollercoaster of a ride through THE LOOP as teenager Luka Kane waits for his execution! Definitely for those that enjoy high-wire acts, like twisty plots and enjoy turning pages lickety-split this high-octane sci-fi with a taste of dystopian will be enjoyed by Hunger Games fans that need to find their next series. Here it is! - review by Maureen


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We Are Not from Here Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781984812261
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Philomel Books - May 19th, 2020

This tale will grab you, get under your fingernails and not let go so vivid are these 3 friends on a harrowing journey to save themselves. Ripped from the headlines, and extraordinary in its depiction of KIDS running from their country’s violence, depredation and hopelessness, the sometimes unspeakable events are also tempered with the hope and humanity of kind people along the way. Traveling from Honduras to the promised land of the US’s freedom and justice system, your eyes will be opened and your heart will plead for our nation to SEE these children and treat them with compassion. 


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The Last Passenger: A Charles Lenox Mystery (Charles Lenox Mysteries #13) Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250312204
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Minotaur Books - February 18th, 2020

Charles Finch raises the bar on his well loved gentleman Inspector Lenox character in this deeply resonant "prequel" that crosses the pond to the United States before the Civil War. As always, strong writing with characters you've gone to tea with with an added political theatre over slavery in this hard-to-put down mystery.


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Migrations: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250204028
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Flatiron Books - August 25th, 2020

A rich, deeply memorable debut from Aussie Charlotte McConaghy, Migrations tells multiple stories of a young woman, the Arctic Tern species and the slowly changed world without birds, fish and most other animals. Weaving in and out of Franny’s life is her complicated past life, her unorthodox marriage to ornithologist Niall and her constant self-doubt possibly bordering on madness. Set in Ireland, the Arctic and in the grand oceans of the world, the soothing calm, the violent storms and the vastness of the earth’s water ways also act as characters in this unforgettable, lyrical and beautifully crafted story. Be ready to stay with the book’s characters well beyond the final sentence. Stunning!


Love is a new book!

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Love, Z Cover Image
Nobody Hugs a Cactus Cover Image
I Love You, Baby Shark: Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo  Cover Image
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The Prince and the Dressmaker Cover Image
P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #2) Cover Image
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Frankly in Love Cover Image

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