GREAT READS HANDPICKED BY GREAT SOUTHERN BOOKSELLERS...

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  • All the Greys on Greene Street by Laura Tucker

    All the Greys on Greene Street by Laura TuckerWhile Ollie sticks to graphite grey in her drawings, Tucker's debut vibrates with vivid color in its strong sense of place and well-sketched characters. It has that timeless quintessence that evokes such classic New York City adventures as Harriet the Spy and The Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler, and it is sure to delight fans of Rebecca Stead and Laura Marx.

    All the Greys on Greene Street by Laura Tucker ($17.99*, Viking Books for Young Readers), recommended by Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.

  • Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

    Other Words for Home by Jasmine WargaThe middle-grade fiction genre is really taking off! I picked up this book to give to a friend and ended up devouring it in a few hours, so now I'm even more excited to give it to her. The poetic structure was brilliant and moving; I think this is a great introduction for kids to poetry and narrative poetry in particular. The story itself was beautiful and heartbreaking all at once, and I will admit I cried quite a few times! Getting to know Jude was such an honor and a pleasure, and Warga did a beautiful job of making her come to life.

    In our current political atmosphere, and in the wake of the terror attack on the New Zealand mosques, this story is even more important than ever. I hope it will encourage kids to learn more about their Middle Eastern and Muslim brothers and sisters, and that they will begin to foster an awareness of the world outside America. It certainly had that effect on me. I don't give tens freely, but this touching story deserves every point!

    Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga ($16.99*, Balzer + Bray), recommended by Story on the Square, McDonough, GA.

  • Camp Tiger by Susan Choi, John Rocco (Illustrator)

    Camp Tiger by Susan Choi, John Rocco (Illustrator)In his last week before starting first grade, a boy and his family set out for a week long camping trip. As they begin to unpack and set up camp, a tiger steps into the clearing. Thin but beautiful, the tiger asks the boy if there is possibly a tent for him. Through the week, the boy and the tiger hike to new places, paddle the lake, fish and watch the stars. They do things neither would risk on their own. And when the week is over, the two must go their own way, both better for their time together.

    Camp Tiger by Susan Choi, John Rocco (Illustrator) ($17.99*, G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers), recommended by The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • Spy School British Invasion

    Spy School British InvasionStuart Gibbs's books fly off our shelves constantly. After kids, teachers, and librarians recommended him, I finally picked up Spy School and promptly fell in love. That's why I am so excited for this seventh installment in the series. This is James Bond for middle grade readers, with constant action and humor. They are so fun to read I am not sure kids realize they are also learning about dealing with bullies, standing up for yourself, the importance of friendship, and all the things a non-spy middle schooler learns. This is a perfect start to summer reading.

    Spy School British Invasion ($17.99*, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

  • Extraordinary Birds by Sandy Stark-McGinnis

    Extraordinary Birds by Sandy Stark-McGinnisAn extraordinary debut novel full of heart and hope. December’s love of birds and search for her real home will stick with readers long after finish the book. Stark-McGinnis paints a beautiful tale of identity and healing, reminding us that the family we’re born into isn’t necessarily the one you need, and that to find yourself sometimes means finding the people who make you feel like you’re finally home.

    Extraordinary Birds by Sandy Stark-McGinnis ($16.99*, Bloomsbury Children's Books), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

  • The Line Tender by Kate Allen

    The Line Tender by Kate AllenWell, this was a completely captivating, emotional roller coaster that left this reader with a greater appreciation of sharks by the end. The Line Tender is a coming-of-age, middle grade novel set on the coast of Massachusetts during the 1990's.

    Twelve year-old Lucy has always depended on her best friend, Fred, for emotional support and understanding since the death of her marine biologist mom five years ago. However, their feelings are beginning to shift a bit. They both have insatiable curiosity and are working on a local field guide for an extra credit project when a dead, but massive white shark is brought to shore by a local fisherman. This sets the course for an unexpected chain of events that will rock their small community.

    This tale is haunting and unforgettable. I loved the pencil sketches throughout.

    The Line Tender by Kate Allen ($17.99*, Dutton Books for Young Readers), recommended by The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn

    Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunnCaterpillar Summer is a heartwarming novel about a brother, Chicken, who has special needs and a sister, Cat, who tries too hard to protect him. Cat's and Chicken's mom works long hours since their dad died. Although Cat is just in fifth grade, she tries to fill in as a part-time mom for Chicken. An unexpected visit with their grandparents, whom they have never met, teaches Cat a lot about being a kid and reveals a lot about her mom that she never knew before. A wonderful debut novel!

    Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn ($16.99*, Bloomsbury Childen's Books), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

     A Spring 2019 Okra Pick

  • Bark in the Park!: Poems for Dog Lovers by Avery Corman, Hyewon Yum (Illustrator)

    Bark in the Park!: Poems for Dog Lovers by Avery Corman, Hyewon Yum (Illustrator)Dog lovers young and old will devour these fun canine inspired poets. Super cute illustrations of pups and owners will inspire giggles and young readers will surely ask to hear the rhyming poems again and again. Perfect for any dog lover!

    Bark in the Park!: Poems for Dog Lovers by Avery Corman, Hyewon Yum (Illustrator) ($17.99*, Orchard Books), recommended by The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Brenda Woods

    The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Brenda WoodsSuch a beautiful book. War heroes, life in the summer-time South, family, and friendship. So well-written and highly recommend to all.

    The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Brenda Woods ($16.99*, Nancy Paulsen Books), recommended by The Story Shop, Monroe, GA.

  • Snakes on a Train by Kathryn Dennis

    Snakes on a Train by Kathryn DennisHow do snakes travel long distances? By train of course! Up and down hills, through dark tunnels and all the way home, the snakes ride the trains. This absolutely adorable rhyming story will have young readers assssssking to read it again and again.

    Snakes on a Train by Kathryn Dennis ($17.99*, Feiwel & Friends), recommended by The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer

    Love Makes a Family by Sophie BeerLove this book and all the ways it celebrates love! Showing children all the different ways that families show love--and all the different kinds of families there are--with such a fun, vibrant illustrations makes this really special!

    Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer ($11.99*, Dial Books), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

  • Love, Z by Jessie Sima

    Love, Z by Jessie SimaThis book is so adorable and sweet! It will make adults and kids laugh and get teary-eyed: the perfect picture-book combo. 

    Love, Z by Jessie Sima ($17.99*, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers), recommended by Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.

  • I'll Love You Till the Cows Come Home by Kathryn Cristaldi, Kristyna Litten (Illustrator)

    I'll Love You Till the Cows Come Home by Kathryn Cristaldi, Kristyna Litten (Illustrator)Oh my goodness, this is the sweetest thing I have read in quite a while. It just makes me want to gather my three-year-old to sit in my lap and read, "I will love you til the cows come home, from a trip to mars through skies unknown, in a rocket ship made of glass and stone... I will love you til the cows come home."

    I'll Love You Till the Cows Come Home by Kathryn Cristaldi, Kristyna Litten (Illustrator) ($17.99*, HarperCollins), recommended by The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • Grenade by Alan Gratz

    Grenade by Alan GratzThe harsh reality of war is presented here with an abundance of raw details. Told in contrasting view points this book opens up the horrors of both sides of a war and the real casualties witnessed on the front. Ray left home against his father's wishes to join in the fight. He was sent to fight the Japanese army. He was told how horrible the opposition was and needed not only to survive but protect his fellow Marines.

    Hideki is Ray's enemy living with his family on Okinawa. He is thrown into the fray after being taken out of school. Americans are his enemy and he must protect his family and country from these evil people. When Ray's and Hideki's worlds collide, their lives change forever.

    Fans of Alan Gratz will be gratzified to know his next book is historical fiction at its finest.

    Grenade by Alan Gratz ($17.99*, Scholastic Press), recommended by Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, Wake Forest.

  • Lorraine by Ketch Secor, Higgins Bond (Illustrator)

    Lorraine by Ketch Secor, Higgins Bond (Illustrator)This lyrical tale written by Ketch Secor along with the photo-realistic illustrations of Higgins Bond not only entertains young readers, but also encourages them to find their inner strength.

    When a mischievous crow hides all the shiny things in her life (including her pennywhistle), Lorraine is forced to find her inner voice and create music to chase her worries away.

    Higgins Bond's illustrations are the perfect accompaniment for the lyrical tale that is sure to become a favored family read aloud.

    Lorraine by Ketch Secor, Higgins Bond (Illustrator) ($17.99*, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky), recommended by The Reading Rock, Dickson, TN.

     A Fall 2018 Okra Pick

  • Hansel & Gretel by Bethan Woollvin

    Hansel & Gretel by Bethan WoollvinLooove this book! After a week like this one, Hansel & Gretel is the cathartic retelling of a classic fairytale I needed. Stylistically rendered in a limited palette, this picture book explores crossed boundaries and women's anger. Illustrator Bethan Woollvin, doesn't tell the story of a bad witch, but a caring and generous witch. A witch whose actions are made understandable by the history of unappreciated labor and abuse left out of other recountings. Reading this book I couldn't help but think that Bethan has slyly done a service to the next generation of Hansels, Gretels, and witches.

    Hansel & Gretel by Bethan Woollvin ($16.95*, Peachtree Publishers), recommended by Firestorm Books & Coffee, Asheville, NC.

  • Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamillo

    Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamilloThink of Raymie Nightingale and remember the charming ranchero and partner in baton twirling, Louisiana Elefante. Here she is telling the story of her and her grandmother's wild ride from Florida to Georgia as Granny says, to confront the curse. What she ends up confronting is a car out of gas, a granny in need of dental surgery, and hard-hearted Bernice of the Good Night, Sleep Tight motel. In a welcome reprieve from the uncertainty of her plight, Louisiana gives us all we need to know about her new friend Burke Ellis when she observes, "He was the kind of person who, if you asked him for one of something, gave you two instead." A sad story, Louisiana warns us, but she is resourceful and is, in the end, forgiving in a world where she is lucky enough to meet Burke Allen and his loving family and know the rancheros are a state line away.

    Louisiana's Way Home by Kate DiCamillo ($16.99*, Candlewick), recommended by Square Books, Oxford, MS.

     A Fall 2018 Okra Pick

  • The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson, Eugene Yelchin, Eugene Yelchin (Illustrator)

    The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson, Eugene Yelchin, Eugene Yelchin (Illustrator)The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge is a most fantastical Elf and Goblin tale. Both historians in their own right, but the Elf is sent unknowingly to spy on and destroy the Goblin Ruler while the Goblin acts as the host. And neither is aware of what is about to happen. M.T Anderson has done it again!!

    The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson, Eugene Yelchin, Eugene Yelchin (Illustrator) ($24.99*, Candlewick), recommended by Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA.

  • Winnie's Great War by Lindsay Mattick, Josh Greenhut, Sophie Blackall (Illustrator)

    Winnie's Great War by Lindsay Mattick, Josh Greenhut, Sophie Blackall (Illustrator)There was a real "Winnie" and a war and a soldier named Harry Colebourn. There was a zoo--the London zoo--where Winnie met Christopher Robin Milne, the boy who was the real Christopher Robin. Last but not least, there was A. A. Milne who observed and recorded the playful relationship his son had with a very tame and affectionate bear and who continues to challenge us to believe in sweetness and light in a world of loss and sorrow. This is an exciting combination of fact and fiction for older readers. 

    Winnie's Great War by Lindsay Mattick, Josh Greenhut, Sophie Blackall (Illustrator) ($16.99*, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), recommended by Square Books, Oxford, MS.

  • In the Land of Happy Tears: Yiddish Tales for Modern Times by David Stronberg (ed.)

    In the Land of Happy Tears: Yiddish Tales for Modern Times by David Stronberg (ed.)I love fables and folk tales and was excited to read this collection. Not knowing much about Yiddish folklore, I found this interesting. The stories are told in a way that adults and young readers will enjoy and I think makes the case that folk tales are still an important part of storytelling.

    In the Land of Happy Tears: Yiddish Tales for Modern Times by David Stronberg (ed.) ($17.99*, Delacorte Books for Young Readers), recommended by Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC.

  • The Law of Finders Keepers by Sheila Turnage

    The Law of Finders Keepers by Sheila TurnageThe wait is over. Grab this fourth and final book in the Three Times Lucky group (series?) and put it in the hands of every young reader. Desperado Detectives Mo, Dale and Harm race a scheming out-of-towner to locate Blackbeard's buried treasure, but for Mo the real find may be clues to her Upstream Mother. In this novel that celebrates friends, family and home, it is the lovable characters who will live in our hearts for a long time. True treasure.

    The Law of Finders Keepers by Sheila Turnage ($16.99*, Kathy Dawson Books), recommended by Quail Ridge Books , Raleigh, NC.

     A Summer 2018 Okra Pick

  • A Long Line of Cakes by Deborah Wiles

    A Long Line of Cakes by Deborah WilesCake by name and cake by vocation, the Cake family roll into Halleluia, Mississippi, to open a bakery. Dad Leo Meyer Lemon Cake comes from a long line of traveling merchants bringing baked goods like sweet religion to towns across the country, and he feels led to set up shop in the quirky town populated with beloved and familiar residents from other Halleluia-set novels like Ruby Lavender and House Jackson and the mysterious now-departed Mr. Norwood Boyd. Six cake-named children, their industrious father, and mother Arlouin Hummingbird Spice Cake find a town to serve and friends enough to make them plant their floury hands and want to stay forever.

    Role models for readers, Emma Alabama Lane Cake and Ben Lord Baltimore Cake, tell us that we all need a community to serve and nourish and, in turn, to receive nourishment, however imperfect--like coming home.

    A Long Line of Cakes by Deborah Wiles ($17.99*, Scholastic Press), recommended by Square Books, Oxford, MS.

  • Just Breathe by Mallika Chopra, Brenna Vaughan

    Just Breathe by Mallika Chopra, Brenna VaughanSimple, accessable and fun, Just Breathe is certain to become THE mindfulness and meditation go-to book for children, young adults and even adults interested in dipping their toe into the mindfulness lifestyle.  

    Just Breathe by Mallika Chopra, Brenna Vaughan (12.99*, Running Press Kids), recommended by The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome

    Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-RansomeHistorical fiction at its finest. Langston longs for his beloved mother and his home in Alabama. But his mother has passed away and his father has moved him to Chicago. Langston struggles both being the new boy in class and with his father who is suffering silently. His discovery of the local library and the books of poetry by a man who shares his name opens a world of discovery that forges new friendships, reveals secrets, and helps his family heal.  

    Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome ($16.99*, Holiday House), recommended by McIntyre's Fine Books, Pittsboro, NC.

  • The Dollar Kids by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, Ryan Andrews (Illustrator)

    The Dollar Kids by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, Ryan Andrews (Illustrator)Young cartoon artist Lowen Grover 's best friend, Abe, was killed in a shooting. Lowen carries the grief and the burden of guilt that he was responsible for Abe being in the wrong place. His family stumbles upon an opportunity to buy a rundown house in a dying mill town for exactly one dollar. This is a chance to leave sadness behind and start over. The dollar house project involves bringing in select, diverse families to revitalize the town. Unfortunately, all the citizens aren't on board and the house is proving to be one challenge after another.

    The Dollar Kids is also brilliantly interspersed with some of Lowen's cartoons depicting his take on Abe's death as he tackles his grief. Jacobson provides an examination of poverty, pride of place, resolve and determination, while being a sympathetic and engrossing read.

    The Dollar Kids by Jennifer Richard Jacobson, Ryan Andrews (Illustrator) ($17.99*, Candlewick Press), recommended by The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • The Mortification of Fovea Munson by Mary Winn Heider, Chi Birmingham

    The Mortification of Fovea Munson by Mary Winn Heider, Chi BirminghamThink Mel Brooks's Young Frankenstein and you'll be in good company with The Mortification of Fovea Munson. From the first sentence to the last, you'll laugh out loud. How Fovea and her friend, Howe, manage a recording session for three disembodied heads will keep you in stitches and wanting more!

    The Mortification of Fovea Munson by Mary Winn Heider, Chi Birmingham ($16.99*, Disney-Hyperion), recommended by Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA.

  • Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe by Jo Hackl

    Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe by Jo HacklThis is a thoughtful, charming middle grade story, full of smarts. The way our heroine Cricket finds both wonder and sympathy for the flawed adults around her is heartwarming.

    Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe by Jo Hackl ($16.99*, Random House Books for Young Readers), recommended by M Judson, Booksellers and Storytellers, Greenville, SC.

     A Summer 2018 Okra Pick

  • Star Wars: Are You Scared, Darth Vader? by Adam Rex

    Star Wars Are You Scared, Darth Vader? by Adam RexDarth Vader isn't scared of anything. Not werewolves or vampires or ghosts or witches. Absolutely nothing scares him. But what about when everyone leaves...even the reader? This hilarious book will leave you in stitches as you read about just how Darth Vader feels about so-called scary monsters. It's an especially great pick for grownup Star Wars fans to share with the children in their lives.

    Star Wars: Are You Scared, Darth Vader? by Adam Rex ($17.99*, Disney Lucasfilm Press), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

  • Game Changers by Lesa Cline-Ransome, James Ransome

    Game Changers by Lesa Cline-Ransome, James RansomeThe Williams sisters get their due in this spot-on biography by the husband and wife author/illustrator team. Venus and Serena’s power, grace and competitive spirit come shining through in the words, and the vibrant illustrations—check out the two-page spread of the Williams family cleaning the tennis courts as the sun rises with the pinks and oranges simply popping off the page!—are the perfect accompaniment to this story of two of the most dominant athletes of our time. 

    Game Changers by Lesa Cline-Ransome, James Ransome ($17.99*, Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books), recommended by Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair by Amy Makechnie

    The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair by Amy Makechnie You never know what’s going to come out of Guinevere St. Clair’s mouth, and you never know what’s going to happen when she’s around. This book is both rough and beautiful, hilarious and tragic in the most wonderful of ways. I will be thinking about this story for some time to come.

    The Unforgettable Guinevere St. Clair by Amy Makechnie ($17.99*, Atheneum Books for Young Readers), recommended by The Story Shop, Monroe, GA.

  • The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell

    The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad SellA great middle-grade graphic novel about friendship, family, and imagination, perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier. My 8-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son fight over who gets to read this book every day.

    The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell ($20.99*, Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

  • The Boy, the Bird, and the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods

    The Boy, the Bird, and the Coffin Maker by Matilda WoodsThis book is delightful and will easily win readers over. If the story doesn't pull you in (which would be difficult), then the artwork will! It's a perfect match between storyteller and artist, full of whimsy, quirkiness, and heart.

    The Boy, the Bird, and the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods (9780525515210*, Philomel Books), recommended by The Story Shop, Monroe, GA.

  • Square by Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)

    Square by Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)OMG! Can this pair get any cuter?!  When Square is put to the test of creating a circle, not only is he not able to do it, but without realizing it, he actually creates a reflection pool.  Circle's reaction will surprise and delight everyone who reads this wonderful story.

    Square by Mac Barnett, Jon Klassen (Illustrator) ($15.99*, Candlewick Press), recommended by Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA.

  • Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

    Be Prepared by Vera BrosgolSweet, nerdy, bitingly funny, and brimming with heart! I repeatedly saw my own young self and experiences in this well crafted memoir, and it reminded me to be kinder in my recollections--to myself and everyone else struggling through young adulthood.

    Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol ($12.99*, First Second), recommended by Malaprop's Bookstore Cafe, Asheville, NC.

  • Rusty The Squeaky Robot by Neill Clark

    Rusty The Squeaky Robot by Neill ClarkRusty is a squeaky robot who does not like his squeakiness. He begins a quest to find other robots on Planet Robotone that might be able to remedy his squeaks. Along the way, he finds four robots that make different sounds. Rusty and his new friends combine all their special sounds to create one jamming tune. Together, Rusty's new friends show him that being different is what makes him special.

    Rusty The Squeaky Robot by Neill Clark ($17.95*, Words & Pictures), recommended by Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA.

  • Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel

    Hello Hello by Brendan WenzelThis little gem of a picture book is as beautiful as it is multifaceted--it shines as a fun read aloud for toddlers and as a jumping-off point for older kids to research animals and conservation (the back matter is not to be missed!). Wenzel expertly imbues each animal with its own personality, and the page turns are perfectly paced and delightfully interwoven. Hello Hello is a must-have for any animal lover's shelf!

    Hello Hello by Brendan Wenzel ($17.99*, Chronicle Books), recommended by Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.

  • Unplugged by Steve Antony

    Unplugged by Steve AntonyBlip is a robot who spends her days plugged into her computer. Due to a power outage, she trips over the cord and falls outside. As Blip ventures into the unknown, she discovers a vibrant world of color and friendship has been just outside her door this whole time. Blip may love being plugged into her computer, but she learns that going outside is way more exciting.

    Unplugged by Steve Antony ($16.99*, Scholastic Press), recommended by Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA.

  • The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld

    The Rabbit Listened by Cori DoerrfeldI'm envisioning putting this book on display with a sign saying, "Need a Thinking of You card? Give this book instead..."

    The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld ($17.99*, Delacorte Press), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

  • Girl Running by Annette Bay Pimentel, Micha Archer

    Girl Running by Annette Bay Pimentel, Micha ArcherI learned so much from this beautiful picture book. Bobbi Gibb was the first woman who ran the Boston Marathon--but she had to do it in secret. This story of her life is fascinating and incredibly inspiring, heightened by the gorgeous collage art of Micha Archer. 

    Girl Running by Annette Bay Pimentel, Micha Archer ($17.99*, Nancy Paulsen Books), recommended by McIntyre's Fine Books, Pittsboro, NC.

  • Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans by Russell Ginns, Barbara Fisinger (Illustrator)

    Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans Russell Ginns, Barbara Fisinger (Illustrator)Samantha Spinner feels slightly slighted when from her (now missing) uncle, her sister receives $2,400,000,000; her brother is given the New York Yankees; and all Samantha gets is a ratty, rusty, red umbrella. But when the umbrella is revealed to contain a map with secret passageways throughout the entire world, Samantha feels very, very lucky indeed.

    Clever, smart and sometimes even a bit silly, this fun mystery from game designer Russell Ginns also includes a few extra secrets for the especially inquisitive mind.

    Samantha Spinner and the Super-Secret Plans by Russell Ginns, Barbara Fisinger (Illustrator) ($16.99*, Delacorte Press), recommended by The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • Marabel and the Book of Fate by Tracy Barrett

    Marabel and the Book of Fate by Tracy BarrettMarabel's twin brother, Marco, is the Chosen One, prophesied by the Book of Fate to save the kingdom of Magikos. For Marabel, that means always being in Marco's shadow. But when an evil queen kidnaps Marco on their very important 13th birthday, Marabel knows that she has to rescue her brother if no one else will. With help from her best friend and a talking unicorn, Marabel treks across kingdoms to find her brother, a journey that teaches her about friendship and fate, good and evil, and that sometimes a different perspective can help you save the day. For fans of humorous fairy tale classics like Ella Enchanted, and for anyone who is tired of waiting around for their day in the sun.

    Marabel and the Book of Fate by Tracy Barrett ($16.99*, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), recommended by Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

     

     A Winter 2018 Okra Pick

  • Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! by Marikka Tamura, Daniel Rieley

    Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! by Marikka Tamura, Daniel RieleyAs adorable as it is a poignant signpost for kids and adults that the taking care of the planet and its inhabitants seems sometimes far-fetched and near impossible, but worthwhile because of imagination and effort.

    Penguins Don't Wear Sweaters! by Marikka Tamura, Daniel Rieley ($16.99*, Nancy Paulsen Books), recommended by Square Books, Oxford, MS.

  • Edie Is Ever So Helpful by Sophy Henn

    Edie Is Ever So Helpful by Sophy HennBritish author and illustrator Sophy Henn's charming story of Edie's verve may touch a chord in your household. EDIE is VERY helpful decorating the walls, the dog, and even her sleeping grandpa? Sometimes even Edie knows she needs reining in a bit. This is the perfect book for those "Betty Bunny" and "Fancy Nancy" devotees.

    Edie Is Ever So Helpful by Sophy Henn ($16.99*, Philomel Books), recommended by Square Books, Oxford, MS.

  • Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers

    Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver JeffersThis ADORABLE new picture book is a great gift for any young readers who might enjoy vibrant pictures of the Earth and their surroundings.

    Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers ($19.99, Philomel Books), recommended by Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.

  • The Pink Hat by Andrew Joyner

    The Pink Hat by Andrew JoynerThe story of a hat that is just a hat until it becomes a symbol of unity across the world.

    The Pink Hat by Andrew Joyner ($17.99*, Schwartz & Wade Books), recommended by Octavia Books, New Orleans, LA.

  • The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain and Philip Stead

    The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain and Philip SteadWhy is The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine my favorite fiction book this year? In publishing, it is not too rare for a well-known author’s work to be found and published posthumously. However, in the case of this book, Phil and Erin Stead managed to take sixteen pages of notes from a bedtime story that Mark Twain told his daughters, and turn it into a true literary masterpiece over a century later. Phil holds a conversation with the ghost of Mark Twain (which is hilarious) and Erin’s illustrations are airy and lovely, as always. They truly breathe life into the story. So what’s the right age for this book? I’d say somewhere from 6 to 96. There are a handful of times where I walk out of the store, a book under my arm, and race home to read it. Not only did I do that, but I felt somehow as if I was reading a lost masterpiece of children’s literature. There’s only one time I’ve had that experience, and it was with The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine.

    The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain and Philip Stead ($24.99*, Doubleday Books for Young Readers), recommended by Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS.

  • Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

    Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica TownsendSuch a wonderful book. For a few days after I finished it, I actually missed reading it - where's my daily dose of Morrigan Crow? I hear that the author has a 9 book cycle planned, and my most fervent wish is that by the time it's over, it would be just as famous as Harry potter.

    Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend ($17.99*, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers), recommended by Bookmiser, Roswell, GA.

  • Gertie Milk and the Keeper of Lost Things by Simon Van Booy

    Gertie Milk and the Keeper of Lost Things by Simon Ban VooyStarts off fast and never losses pace! Really funny, action-packed, and educational! Really cool cover-- great representation of the book.

    Gertie Milk and the Keeper of Lost Things by Simon Van Booy ($16.99*, Razorbill), recommended by Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC.

  • Waylon! Even More Awesome by Sara Pennypacker, Marla Frazee

    Waylon! Even More Awesome by Sara Pennypacker, Marla Frazee "I love that it has dogs!," says a Page 158 customer. "A heart-warming dog story that teaches a gentle lesson about friendship and the meaning of cooperation," says Page 158 staff.

    Waylon! Even More Awesome by Sara Pennypacker, Marla Frazee ($15.99*, Disney-Hyperion), recommended by Page 158 Books, Wake Forest, NC.

  • I Am Bat by Morag Hood

    I Am Bat by Morag HoodJust in time for the spookiest season, this book is hilarious, snarky, and very cute! I might be a little biased since I have this tremendous love of bats, but I dare you to read it without cracking up. Seriously, you won't be able to resist. I showed it to my boss at the end of a very difficult day and I watched the weight lift off her shoulders in front of me. You will be a hit at story time. The kids will call for this one again and again (or at least I will!).

    I Am Bat by Morag Hood ($17.99*, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky), recommended by Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA.

  • They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel

    They All Saw a Cat by Brendan WenzelA beautifully illustrated, funny, and imaginative picture book, They All Saw A Cat shares visions of a cat from a diversity of perspectives, each of which sees it slightly differently. This book creates a natural starting point to consider with your child why such a variety of beliefs and opinions exist among people – which makes it a timely book, too.

    They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel ($16.99*, Chronicle Books), recommended by Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.

  • Olivia the Spy by Ian Falconer

    Olivia the Spy by Ian FalconerIan Falconer brings Olivia alive once again in this hilarious new book. Lovers of the classic Olivia books or those who have not even met Olivia yet will thoroughly enjoy Olivia the Spy. Falconer’s comical illustrations are very funny, a combination of drawings, painting and photos that bring even more life to his stories. They are quirky and will brighten anyone’s day. Read more at Lemuria Books blog.

    Olivia the Spy by Ian Falconer ($17.99, Atheneum Books), recommended by Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS.

  • Colette's Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault

    Colette's Lost Pet by Isabelle ArsenaultHas your wishful thinking or powerful imagination ever turned into a not-so-small fib? That's what happens to Colette as she ventures into her new neighborhood to make friends. Luckily almost everyone loves a good story, and this one uses an inventive color style not often seen in picture books.

    Colette's Lost Pet by Isabelle Arsenault ($17.99*, Random House Books for Young Readers), recommended by Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • You May Already Be a Winner by Ann Dee Ellis

    You May Already Be a Winner by Ann Dee EllisOlivia's life is complicated. Her father has left and her mother is struggling to support their family. So Olivia steps up by taking care of herself and little sister Berkley. They rely on their neighbors in Sunny Pines Trailer Park and create their own adventures with Olivia's whimsical imagination, which may or may not get them into trouble sometimes...Ann Dee Ellis hits a perfect tween sweet spot. She so easily places a reader directly into the twelve-year-old brain. All of Olivia's hopes, fears, and silly flights of fancy are perfectly narrated - realistic and completely endearing at the same time.

    You May Already Be a Winner by Ann Dee Ellis ($16.99*, Dial Books), recommended by Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby, Dave Stevenson (Illustrator)

    York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby, Dave Stevenson (Illustrator) Nothing screams summer like an un-put-downable page-turner of a mystery. This new series from Laura Ruby is full of alternative history, ciphers, and friendship.

    York: The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby, Dave Stevenson ($17.99, Walden Pond Press), recommended by Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.

  • The Blue Hour by Isabelle Simler

    The Blue Hour by Isabelle SimlerThis gorgeous ode to twilight will encourage readers to slow down and savor all things vespertine.

    The Blue Hour by Isabelle Simler ($19.00, Eerdmans Books for Young Readers), recommended by Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.

  • John Ronald's Dragons: The Story of J. R. R. Tolkien by Caroline McAlister, Eliza Wheeler (Illustrator)

    John Ronald's Dragons: The Story of J. R. R. Tolkien by Caroline McAlister, Eliza Wheeler (Illustrator)Tolkien loved dragons as a boy, but never found one until he created Smaug. This biography is a perfect introduction to his work. It would be a great family read-aloud, and it includes a bibliography.

    John Ronald's Dragons: The Story of J. R. R. Tolkien by Caroline McAlister, Eliza Wheeler (illustrator)($18.99, Roaring Brook Press), recommended by Jackie, Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.

  • Detective Gordon: The First Case by Ulf Nilsson

    Detective Gordon: The First Case by Ulf Nilsson A team of two opposites (a sleepy, slumpy toad and a quick-witted, high-energy mouse) find common ground in a love of cake and solving mysteries. A Swedish import that is as gentle as it is engrossing. One of my absolute favorite series!

    Detective Gordon: The First Case by Ulf Nilsson ($16.99, Gecko Press), recommended by the Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.

  • The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by Dubose Heyward; Marjorie Flack

    Erica at Lemuria Books encourages readers to redeiscover DuBose Heyward's (author of Porgy, the inspiration of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess) iconic children's book The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes. First published in 1939, and filled with Marjorie Flack's charming illustrations, this Easter classic is worth visiting all year long. "I’ve recently gone back and reread it and I was shocked by its deeper meaning, and how wonderfully it is crafted for both children and parents," writes Erica. Read more on Lemuria's blog.

    The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes by DuBose Heyward and Marjorie Flack ($7.99, Houghton Mifflin), recommended by Erica, Lemuria Books, Jackson, MS.

  • Strong is the New Pretty by Kate T. Parker

    This beautiful book should be in every doctor's office, every waiting room, every home. With brilliant images of girls in their natural habitat, this book celebrates strong girls with great gusto.

    Strong is the New Pretty by Kate T. Parker ($30, Workman Publishing), recommended by Rachel, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.

  • Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey

    From the publisher: Pig is a greedy and selfish pug. He has all the bouncy balls, bones, and chew toys a dog could ever want yet he refuses to share with his poor friend, Trevor. Little does he know, however, that being greedy has its consquences. Join Pig as he learns to share--the hard way! Young readers will love the irresistibly quirky and funny illustrations that are paired with a relatable lesson of learning to share with others.

    Kathryn at The Country Bookshop says, "My favorite storybook right now!"

    Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey ($11.99, Scholastic Press), recommended by Kathryn, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • I Just Want to Say Good Night by Rachel Isadora

    Caldecott Honor-winning author and illustrator Rachel Isadora returns with I Just Want to Say Good Night, a new spin on the classic Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd, set on the African plains.

    I Just Want to Say Good Night follows Lala as she puts off going to bed by saying goodnight to her family's cat, goat, chickens and more one at a time. "Isadora perfectly captures the universal ritual of a child saying goodnight to everything as a way to stall going to bed," said Erin Barker, buyer and manager at Hooray for Books! in Alexandria, Va. "The book is humorous and gentle, and the main character is adorable.”

    I Just Want to Say Good Night by Rachel Isadora ($17.99, Nancy Paulsen Books), recommended by Erin, Hooray for Books, Alexandria VA.

  • When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano

    This poetry collection is just a delight! The poems appear simple upon a first read, but are surprisingly complex. The illustrations are simply gorgeous. The "September 10" page spread is my favorite, though "January 30" is a close second. Covering all four seasons, this makes a lovely gift book for the whole family to snuggle up on the couch and share together. It's another that I want to give to everyone I know.

    When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano ($18.99, Roaring Brook Press), recommended by Amanda, Hooray for Books, Alexandria, VA.

  • School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, Christian Robinson

    This is my favorite picture book of the year. I really love when authors take a well-known theme and put a spin on it! This charming story is a unique take on the back-to-school theme and just made me feel so much joy while I was reading it. A brand-new school building -- aptly named School -- has to adjust to first day jitters of his own, including lots of children who aren't exactly quiet, neat, or tidy. A few of the children don't even like School! As the children slowly get over their first day fears, the school also learns to enjoy the chaos, with a little help from a compassionate custodian. School is a fully drawn character, both silly and sentimental, that you can enjoy all year round. Amazing illustrations by Christian Robinson wrap up this beautiful package. Readers young and old will have fun reading this sweet story.

    School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex, Christian Robinson (illus.) ($17.99, Roaring Brook Press), recommended by Amanda, Hooray for Books, Alexandria, VA.

  • A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle

    My childhood favorite - read uncountable times.  What young girl doesn't identify with Meg?  After several years, L'Engle wrote several sequels, but Time is a standalone gem.

    A Wrinkle in Time ($6.99, Square Fish), recommended by Rosemary at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.

  • Where Do They Go? by Julia Alvarez, Sabra Field

    This is a stunningly beautiful all-ages book about grieving that can accommodate varied belief systems. It ultimately provides the comforting message that we carry the people we love in our heart and that they are always with us in some way. There really aren’t any books that address loss like this one. I find it very comforting.

    Where Do They Go? by Julia Alvarez, Sabra Field (illus) ($16.95. Triangle Square Books for Young Readers), recommended by Kelly at Fountain Bookstore, Richmond, VA.

  • Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex Smith

    Instead of traveling through the woods, this Little Red travels across the African plains to bring her Auntie some medicine. The Very Hungry Lion didn’t know what he was getting in to when he decided to mess with this smart, strong girl!

    Little Red and the Very Hungry Lion by Alex Smith (Scholastic Press, $17.99), recommended by Jackie at Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.

  • Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur

    In the fictional world of Sofarende there is war, and it is getting closer to home for 12-year-old Mathilde and her best friend Meg. Perfect for 4th or 5th graders who are ready for something more advanced but aren’t ready for YA content yet.

    Beautiful Blue World by Suzanne LaFleur (Wendy Lamb Books, $16.99), recommended by Catherine at Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.

  • The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith

    Few of us know what to do when someone has lost a loved one, and when it's a child who has lost a sibling or parent or grandparent, the task is exponentially more difficult. I was searching for a book for a child whose mother had died and discovered the exquisite gem, The Fox and the Star, with arts and crafts style drawings by award-winning illustrator, Coralie Bickford-Smith. It is the story of Fox, who is guided through life by his Star until one day Star disappears. First he hides and grieves, and then he decides to go and find his Star. In the face of grief, we are all haunted stragglers, but this book will bring solace and hope to the child in all of us.

    The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith (Penguin, $20), recommended by Mamie at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.

  • The Crossover by Kwame Alexander

    Part rap style poetry, part love story to a father and to basketball; good young adult fiction about 12-year-old twin boys.

    The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (HMH Books for Young Readers $16.99), reader recommendation by Martha at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.

  • Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson

    We usually think of 'all men are created equal' when considering the start of our country. Ashes, which completes Anderson's Seeds of America trilogy set during the Revolutionary War, reminds us jarringly that this was not the case. Through the trilogy, we experience the hardships, hypocrisies, and always-cherished bonds of friendship from the perspective of Isabel, an escaped slave. Anderson always writes compelling, complicated characters for whom we care deeply. Ashes brings deep satisfaction to the trilogy. Ages 9+.

    Ashes by Laurie Halse Anderson (Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy $16.99), recommended by Rosemary at Quail Ridge Books. Raleigh, NC.

  • Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White by Melissa Sweet

    Adults, don’t let the packaging fool you into thinking this is just a book for kids. This delightful and moving biography of E.B. White is for all ages. If Charlotte’s Web still holds a special place in your heart, this is a must read.

    Some Writer! The Story of E.B. White(HMH Books for Young Readers, $18.99), recommended by Karen at Parnassus Books, Nashville, TN.

  • Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

    When Catrina and her family move to a seaside town in Northern California to accommodate her sister's cystic fibrosis, she is not happy. Bahia de la Luna is cold, foggy, far away from her friends, and, worst of all, reportedly home to a whole lot of ghosts. Cat's sister, Maya, is thrilled by their new town's spooky residents, but Cat wants nothing to do with them until she realizes that she must put aside her fear for both her sister's sake and her own. Graphic novel queen Telgemeier is back, and she has crafted a beautiful, entertaining, and hopeful story about the power of family, friendship, and community -- with an extra dash of ghostly magic for good measure.

    Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier (Graphix, $10.99), recommended by Rebecca at One More Page Books, Arlington, VA.

  • The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd

    One of Shepherd's gifts as a writer is the ability to transport readers to a very specific time and place and immerse them in its physical and social realities. This is done beautifully in The Secret Horses of Briar Hill, set in a children's hospital in rural England during WWII. Whether the winged horses little Emmaline sees in the mirrors at Briar Hill are real or just her imagination, the hope and solace they provide are very real. A moving and magical story not to be missed.

    The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd, (Delacorte Books for Young Readers, $16.99), recommended by Leslie at Spellbound Children’s Bookshop, Asheville, NC.

  • Penguin Problems by Jory John, Lane Smith (Illus.)

    Some problems are serious, some are silly, and some, well, some are just penguin problems. When the water is too salty, when the sea is too dark, when you are a bird that cannot fly, and when everyone you know looks exactly the same, well, those are penguin problems. This fun picture book is sure to make even the grumpiest young reader giggle!

    Penguin Problems by Jory John, Lane Smith (Random House Books for Young Readers, $17.99), recommended by Angie at The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC.

  • Teacup by Rebecca Young, Matt Otley

    Teacup is a lyrical tale of a refugee's journey, evoking the loneliness, anxiety, and sadness of leaving everything you know behind to begin anew. Ottley's textured, breathtaking illustrations are both incredibly realistic and beautifully dreamlike, adding gentleness and whimsy to this subtly told story. Young's minimal text allows the reader's imagination to expand and the drama unfolds at a perfect pace. Teacup is a book to linger over, appreciating the beauty to be found in the persistence and strength it takes to make a new life in an unfamiliar place.

    Teacup by Rebecca Young, Matt Ottley (Dial Books for Young Readers, $17.99), recommended by Helen at the Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA.

  • Lucy by Randy Cecil

    This new book from Cecil has all the charm and energy of an early black-and-white movie. Organized into four acts, the main actors are Lucy, a little street dog; Eleanor, the girl who feeds her scraps each morning; and Eleanor's father, Sam, who must overcome his stage fright to succeed as a juggler on the vaudeville stage. Precise repetition of actions and reactions give the story clear beats, and readers will enjoy finding tiny changes in Cecil's camera-lens illustrations. An excellent choice for fans of dogs, juggling, and dreams coming true.

    Lucy by Randy Cecil (Candlewick, $19.99), recommended by Cecilia at Hooray for Books, Arlington, VA.

  • Before Morning by Joyce Sidman and Beth Krommes

    Before Morning by Joyce Sidman and Beth Krommes (HMH Books for Young Readers $17.99). Who hasn’t wished for an overnight snowfall that transforms the next day? A minimal, pitch-perfect text is magnificently illustrated in scratchboard and watercolor. From endpaper to endpaper the entire city and surroundings gradually change shape and color as the snow falls. A little girl and her family revel in the unexpected, but welcome diversion, and there are many charming and amusing details in the art for readers to discover and follow. A quiet, but brilliant gem to share with everyone. Before Morning by Joyce Sidman and Beth Krommes (HMH Books for Young Readers $17.99), recommended by Carol at Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh NC.

  • The Storybook Knight by Helen Docherty, Thomas Docherty

    Fans of The Snatchabook will not be disappointed with this new picture book by the same author and illustrator team. The focus is again on the power of story as Leo, a gentle knight who much prefers reading to swordplay, is sent on a mission to conquer a fearsome dragon. On the way, he encounters other mythical monsters and is able to vanquish every threat by sharing his beloved books. The rhythmic, rhyming text lends itself easily to being shared aloud and the fun illustrations add even more charm to the story.

    The Storybook Knight by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $16.99), recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC.

  • Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley

    Gertie is a fifth-grade force to be reckoned with! Kate Beasley packs so much into this lovely story - there is heart, gravity, and humor all wrapped up with Jillian Tamaki's amazing illustrations. Like Raymie Nightingale or Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, Beasley somehow addresses complicated family issues and real-world problems through the lens of a quirky and authentic child. I loved meeting Gertie and her classmates and I can't wait to put this book into the hands of kids, teachers, and parents. Kate Beasley is sure to have a long and illustrious career ahead of her, starting with this stunning debut novel!

    Gertie's Leap to Greatness by Kate Beasley ($16.99, Farrar, Straus and Giroux), recommended by Johanna at Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill

    If stories are magic, then Kelly Barnhill must be ever so powerful, because this story is the best kind of magic.

    Witches and monsters and dragons, sorrow and hope and love, especially love, all wound together in a fairy tale so perfect I want to read it again and again and again. This is definitely on my list of favorites.

    The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • Women Explorers: Perils, Pistols and Petticoats by Julie Cummins, Cheryl Harness

    This children’s book tells the story of 10 women explorers, all of whom were born in the 1800s.

    The women in this book explored the Artic, the Outback, the wilderness areas of Canada, the US and Mexico, the Amazon jungle, islands in the South Pacific, the desert in the Middle East and led African safaris. These women made important contributions to science, geography and cultural understanding, but history books have hardly mentioned their stories.

    This book is perfect to read to younger elementary studies or for older students to explore on their own.

    Women Explorers by Julie Cummins, illustrated by Cheryl Harness (Puffin Books) Recommended by Christina at Blue Ridge Books Waynesville, NC

  • Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson

    A kids' book that the world needs to read, Ms. Bixby's Last Day is an affirmation of the immeasurable difference that the Good Ones can make in a life.

    Told in alternating chapters by Steve, Brand, and Topher, it is a story about friendship, the power of a teacher, and the challenge of facing grief with strength and hope.

    With touches of humor, each boy reveals elements of himself and Ms. Bixby's imprint, as the trio responds to her illness. A perfect choice for fans of Rob Buyea's Because of Mr. Terupt, this book will spur you to profess and practice the doing of good things and to leave your footprint on the paths of those with whom you are making the journey of life.

    For readers age 11 and up.

    Ms. Bixby's Last Day by John David Anderson (Walden Pond) Recommended by Cindy at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

  • Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky

    A recent U.S. Department of Education survey found that high school girls take the same number of math and science classes as boys and earn slightly higher grades, but only 15 percent of U.S. collegiate women major in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

    Encouraging young women and girls to pursue STEM career tracks has never been more important. Women in Science highlights notable women's contributions to various scientific fields. A fascinating collection full of striking, singular art, the book features 50 profiles and illustrated portraits of women in STEM from the ancient to the modern world, and also contains infographics about interesting and relevant topics such as lab equipment and rates of women currently working in STEM fields.

    Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky (Ten Speed Press) Recommended by Bookstore1Sarasota Sarasota FL

  • The Enchanted Files #1: Cursed by Bruce Coville

    Reprint of the first Enchanted Files!

    Meet ANGUS and ALEX! Angus is a brownie—a MAGICAL creature that secretly loves to do chores for humans. Alex is an ORDINARY kid. Angus has a TEMPER problem. Alex has the world’s MESSIEST room.

    For better or worse (and things are going to get a whole lot worse!), the two are about to be thrown together by a centuries-old curse.

    Can they work together to find a way to break it? Featuring diary entries, newspaper clippings, police transcripts, grumpy cats, annoying older brothers, terrible poetry, daring rescues, ancient magic, the occasional fit of temper, and more, Bruce Coville brings fantasy, adventure, and humor together in this one-of-a-kind tale of family and friendship.

    The Enchanted Files #1: Cursed by Bruce Coville (Yearling Books) Recommended by Bookstore1Sarasota Sarasota FL

  • Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones

    Children and teachers alike will fall in love with spunky Latina heroine Sophie Brown and the super powered chickens she has inherited and must keep safe from both chicken hawks and chicken thieves.

    This exceptional debut is recommended for fans of Roald Dahl and all animal lovers.

    Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones; Katie Kath (Illustrator) (Alfred A. Knopf) Recommended by Jill at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin

    Change has always followed Ben Coffin.

    He was a foster kid for most of his life, until his mom adopted him two years ago. That's the closest thing he's ever had to a family, to permanence. Then he finds a scruffy little dog, Flip, and feels a little bit closer to normalcy. And when he meets the librarian's daughter, Halley, on one of his many trips to the library, he makes a friend for maybe the first time in his life.

    But Ben has to learn that even the good things can't stay around forever...but they're what make life good.

    A truly touching story of family and friendship that just might help you see the magic in your own life.

    When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin (The Dial Press) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm

    Ellie doesn't like how things have changed in her eleven years of life, the most recent change being that her best friend doesn't seem to be her best friend any more. Then her scientist grandfather shows up under very strange circumstances and shows Ellie a glimpse into the world of science -- Salk, Oppenheimer, Galileo, Newton -- and Ellie has to decide what changes she wants to make and which might not be worth the risk.

    A great introduction to science for interested kids, and Ellie will make it even more appealing for girls.

    The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer L. Holm (Dell Yearling) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

    The Second World War is about to begin.

    Hitler is rallying his forces and preparing to conquer the world. Yet, for Ada Smith, a different war is about to begin.

    Ada was born with a clubfoot. She cannot walk, and she is forced to stay in her families one-room apartment at all times. Ada doesn’t know
    what the world looks like outside of her little apartment. Life for Ada seems very bleak, until the mandatory evacuation of all London’s children is announced.

    Suddenly, Ada and her little brother Jamie are sent to the country with thousands of other Londoner children. When they arrive in Kent, Ada expects life to remain as it has always been, but instead Ada will discover a world she never knew existed.

    Ada will discover that she is not as broken as she seems, and with time and a lot of love she might be able to change the way the world sees her. A poignant tale set in war-time England of a little girl’s triumph over her disability and the life that she has always known.

    The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley (Dial Books for Younger Readers) Recommended by Gretchen at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • Ida, Always by Caron Levis, Charlie Santoso

    Gus and Ida are polar bears at the Central Park Zoo, and they are the best of friends, doing everything together. Then one day, Ida gets sick, and Gus has to deal with feelings he's never had before, and he has to do it without his friend.

    My 6-year-old, who does not like to cry, sobbed while reading this book, but she wanted to read it again and again, and event wanted to share it with her class. This book is special. It speaks to people, kids and grown-ups, even if they haven't been through something like Gus has.

    I love that Gus (and Ida) roars his anger at losing his friend, that he doesn't want to do anything without his friend, that it's not just left at "he was sad and cried a lot, but then he felt better."

    There is so much more to grief than tears, and this book has captured that so well. It is a gift.

    Ida, Always by Caron Levis, Charlie Santoso (Atheneum) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • Water Is Water by Miranda Paul

    This nonfiction picture book will make it fun to learn about the water cycle, from water to steam and from clouds to rain and back again.

    Younger kids will like the poetic, rhyming text, and older kids will learn something new with all the water cycle facts.

    And the beautiful illustrations add something even more.

    Water Is Water: A Book About the Water Cycle by Miranda Paul (Roaring Brook Press) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • The Water and the Wild by Katie Elise Ormsbee, K. E. Ormsbee, Elsa Mora

    The Water and The Wild is a debut children's fantasy that feels akin to the British childhood favorites I grew up reading--The Chronicles of Narnia, The Dark Is Rising, and Alice in Wonderland.

    So introduce your child to a modern classic in the making or read it yourself in nostalgic remembrance.

    The Water and the Wild by Katie Elise Ormsbee; K. E. Ormsbee; Elsa Mora (Illustrator) (Chronicle Books) Recommended by Jill at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly; Betsy Peterschmidt

    For all the geeks, outcasts, and kids who walk to the beat of a different drummer, Blackbird Fly holds out a hand of friendship and invites you to join Filippino immigrant Analyn (known as Apple) as she recovers from her best friend's betrayal and subsequent bullying and finds that music can save one's soul, that you don't have to believe others' opinions of you, and that moms can surprise you.

    Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada Kelly; Betsy Peterschmidt (Illustrator)(Greenwillow Books) Recommended by Jill at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood, illus. Meg Hunt

    Interstllar CinderellaFantastical space-age illustrations, inventive rhyming text, and a playful spin on the classic Cinderella story make this fairy tale retelling a worthwhile addition to any bookshelf!  This Cinderella is a whiz at rocket repair and dreams of working on the fastest starships.  The prince notices her not for her appearance, but because of her quick handiwork with a socket wrench.  This would make a great gift for any fairy tale enthusiast or gear-head of any age (or any gender)!

    Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood, illus. Meg Hunt (Chronicle Books). Recommended by Johanna at Flyleaf Books, Chapel Hill, NC.

  • The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-Mi Hwang

    This short book became an instant classic in Korea when published in 2000.

    It's the story of Sprout, a hen who yearns to escape the farmyard and keep one of her eggs to hatch. Once free of her cage, she must negotiate new animals and threats, including the ever-lurking weasel. I was deeply affected by this plaintive and heartbreaking story, but Sprout's tenacity, courage and hope also lifted me up.

    The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly by Sun-Mi Hwang, Nomoco -Illustrator, Chi-Young Kim -Translator  (Penguin Books) Recommended by Kent at Quail Ridge Books Raleigh NC

  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer

    An incredible story of a 14-year-old boy whose African village is devastated by drought.

    Reading in the little village library and scavenging for parts he accomplishes the impossible. I loved this book when it first came out in 2009, and now a young readers edition has just been released in paperback.

    Truly inspirational, the author demonstrates that anything is possible with education and determination.

    The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba, Bryan Mealer, Elizabeth Zunon (Harper Perennial) Recommended by Andy Brennan at Parnassus Books Nashville TN

  • Hedgehugs by Steve Wilson, Lucy Tapper

    Hedgehogs are all the rage in 2016. Even in picture books!

    In this adorable story, hedgehogs Horace and Hattie are BFFs. But they can’t hug because they’re too spiky.

    Will they find a way to overcome their spikiness?

    Hedgehugs by Steve Wilson, Lucy Tapper (Henry Holt & Company) Recommended by Rae Ann Parker at Parnassus Books Nashville TN

  • Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban

    Ten-year-old Manami’s family is forced to relocate to a camp for Japanese Americans during WWII.

    She tries to sneak her dog, Yujin, into the camp, but is caught by the soldiers. Manami doesn’t speak in the prison village. She writes paper wishes that she hopes will sail through the air to her dog.

    This is a beautifully written story about family and survival, perfect for young readers interested in WWII history.

    Paper Wishes by Lois Sepahban (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) Recommended by Rae Ann Parker at Parnassus Books Nashville TN

  • The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill

    Since Ned and his brother fell into the river as children and only Ned survived, the people of his village have been convinced that the wrong boy lived.

    Then bandits show up from the enchanted forest that borders the village, and the Bandit King wants nothing so much as he wants the magic Ned's mother, Sister Witch, has contained and protected for her whole life. When Ned meets Aine, the Bandit King's daughter, the two must learn to trust each other in order to get rid of the magic causing so many problems.

    An extraordinary middle-grade novel about magic and friendship that will enchant readers of all ages. The lyrical storytelling reminds me of Lauren Oliver, with fantasy and adventure that will pull you in and make you stay until you're done. An amazing book.

    The Witch's Boy by Kelly Barnhill (Algonquin) Recommended by Melissa at Fiction Addiction Greenville SC

  • Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales by Virginia Hamilton, Leo Dillon, Diane Dillon

    In the tradition of Hamilton's The People Could Fly and In the Beginning, a dramatic new collection of 25 compelling tales from the female African American storytelling tradition.

    Each story focuses on the role of women--both real and fantastic--and their particular strengths, joys and sorrows. Full-color illustrations.

    Her Stories: African American Folktales, Fairy Tales, and True Tales by Virginia Hamilton, Leo Dillon, Diane Dillon (Blue Sky Press) Recommended by Fiona at Charis Books Decatur GA