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

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

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


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The Kingdoms of Savannah: A Novel By George Dawes Green Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250767448
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Celadon Books - July 19th, 2022

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

(Adult Mystery) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Small Things Like These By Claire Keegan Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780802158741
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Grove Press - November 30th, 2021

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

(Adult Fiction) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Murder Book: A Novel By Thomas Perry Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9781613163832
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Mysterious Press - January 17th, 2023

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

(Adult Mystery) - Reviewed by Maureen


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

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

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


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Talk Santa to Me By Linda Urban Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781534478848
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - September 27th, 2022

Hold on to your eggnog for the funniest, zaniest and “rom-com”ingly sweet tale of teen Francie, whose family owns/runs/lives in Hollydale Holiday Shop. Just reading the hysterical holiday outfit reviews that poor Francie has to endure and write about are enough to bring tears to your eyes with laughter. Urban hits the holiday hijinks to a Tee!

(Young Adult Romance, ages 13+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Last Mapmaker By Christina Soontornvat Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781536204957
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Candlewick - April 12th, 2022

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

(Fantasy, ages 10+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Extra Ezra Makes an Extra-Special Friend By Kara LaReau, Vincent X. Kirsch (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Kara LaReau, Vincent X. Kirsch (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062965653
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: HarperCollins - March 22nd, 2022

What a terrific picture book to share to show friendship, empathy and how some people need and want their own "space".  Exuberant Ezra is drawn with pure delight by one of my most favorite creatives, Vincent X. Kirsch, and he injects this story with his trademark whimsy, dazzling colors and warmth of spirit.  First rate!

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


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

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

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


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Fire on Headless Mountain By Iain Lawrence Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780823446544
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Margaret Ferguson Books - August 23rd, 2022

Terrific, page-turner for adventurous readers who aren't sure if Sasquatch is real, and who want a contemporary family drama about 3 sibling campers on a quest in the unforgiving mountain & forest landscape when disaster strikes. Seriously addictive!

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


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Dinner on Domingos By Alexandra Katona, Claudia Navarro (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Alexandra Katona, Claudia Navarro (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781646862931
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Barefoot Books - November 16th, 2021

Joyful celebration on each Sunday (Domingo) as the family gets together for dinner at Abuelita's house and young Alexandra bravely tries to speak Spanish. This is such a wonderful book to share!

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


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The Getaway By Lamar Giles Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781338752014
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Scholastic Press - September 20th, 2022

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

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


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The Great Zapfino By Mac Barnett, Marla Frazee (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Mac Barnett, Marla Frazee (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534411548
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Beach Lane Books - April 5th, 2022

Behold! A pure delight for the eyes!. The dream team of Mac Barnett & Marla Frazee executes a perfect landing in a book about trying, running away, reinvention and facing fears. A design delight that can be handed to the youngest reader for their utter enjoyment. ZZZZZZZZZZgreatest.

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


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A Thousand Steps By T. Jefferson Parker Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250793539
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Forge Books - January 11th, 2022

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

(Adult Mystery) - Reviewed by Maureen


OMG - this is a fantastic book that will make you hum along with all the musical legends depicted here in stunning photos shot by pioneering music photographer Sherry Rayn Barnett.  In my younger years, I was a paid musician with dreams of becoming the next Carole King and/or Linda Ronstadt.  Sherry's photos of these women, along with Carly Simon, Nina Simone, Bonnie Raitt and so so many others bring alive the music scene of both NYC and LA during 1969 - 1989.  A who's who of early images of greatness -- mostly at live concerts -- of Janice Joplan, Prince, and Ronstadt (to name a few).  I LOVE this book and it would make a terrific gift to someone who enjoyed the music, who wanted to be a famous rock'n'roll star, or anyone interested in early pop / folk/country music history, especially women artists.  Sherry's pictures capture the essence of many of these artists.  We have signed copies, while supplies last.

(Photography book) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh By Helen Rutter Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338652260
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Scholastic Inc. - August 3rd, 2021

Helen Rutter’s sparkling debut – The Boy Who Made Everyone Laugh – is a heartwarming and yes, laugh out loud contemporary middle grade about 6th grader Billy Plimpton who dreams of being a comedian. He has a few roadblocks in his way – mainly his stutter and inability to get past his own anxieties. Working through these blockades with him, he has a great support group – his lunchtime friend Skyla, Mr. Osho his homeroom teacher and musical mentor, his grandmother Granny Bread, among others. However, his relationship with friends and a bully named Blackmore give this resilient, and ultimately self-aware young man the courage to be himself. Readers will be rooting for Billy through the last page of this uplifting tale. Terrific!

(Contemporary Novel, ages 9+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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

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

(Early Reader) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Free Lunch By Rex Ogle Cover Image
$9.95
ISBN: 9781324016946
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Norton Young Readers - August 17th, 2021

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

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


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

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

(Fantasy, ages 8+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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

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

(Early Reader) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch By Julie Abe Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780316493895
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - July 6th, 2021

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

(Fantasy, ages 8+) - Reviewied by Maureen


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Raybearer By Jordan Ifueko Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781419739835
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Amulet Paperbacks - August 3rd, 2021

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

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


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When Stars Are Scattered By Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed, Victoria Jamieson (Illustrator), Iman Geddy (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed, Victoria Jamieson (Illustrator), Iman Geddy (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780525553908
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Dial Books - April 14th, 2020

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

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


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

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

(Fantasy, ages 9+) - Reviewed by Maureen 


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Snow & Rose By Emily Winfield Martin Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780553538212
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Yearling - October 1st, 2019

A beautiful retelling of the legend of Snow and Rose, this gentle fairy tales brims with all the requisite traditions: dwarfs, missing person, enchanted forest and strange creatures. As in her highly imaginative picture books, first time middle grade novelist Emily Winfield Martin paints the sisters, Snow and Rose, as not exact opposites, but more like complimentary gears, who thrive on different aspects of the same thing. Recommended as a read-aloud, this beautifully illustrated tale will delight the young and young-at-heart! 

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


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The Wolf Wilder By Katherine Rundell Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781481419437
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - September 6th, 2016

Readers will enjoy terrific descriptions, action-packed adventure and a superb sense of the brutality, harshness but beauty of the wintery existence that surrounds these characters. It's no wonder dogs are descended from misunderstood wolves, as the bravery and ultimate loyalty of these canines can not be refuted. As with Rooftoppers, Rundell lets readers truly inhabit her world and are fully invested in this satisfying tale. Highly reommended!

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


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Some Kind of Courage By Dan Gemeinhart Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780545665827
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Scholastic Press - December 27th, 2016

Following 12-year old recently orphaned Joseph on his quest to get his only family back -his beloved horse Sarah- author Gemeinhart brings together race relations in the late 1800's, western lore and a clear-eyed pragmatism that, coupled with his signature action/adventure plot twists and a kindheartedness thread permeating the story, this wonderful, evocative and first rate middle grade title builds on his exceptional debut (The Honest Truth). This is an author that has clearly established himself as a must read for warm hearted, realistic adventures.

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


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Sky in the Deep (Sky and Sea #1) By Adrienne Young Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781250168467
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Wednesday Books - April 2nd, 2019

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

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


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Saving Winslow By Sharon Creech Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780062570710
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: HarperCollins - September 3rd, 2019

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

(Fiction, ages 7+) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Ocean Meets Sky By Terry Fan, Eric Fan, Terry Fan (Illustrator), Eric Fan (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Terry Fan, Eric Fan, Terry Fan (Illustrator), Eric Fan (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481470377
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
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!

(Picture Book) - Reviewied by Maureen


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

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

(Picture Book) - Reviewed by Maureen


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How Quickly She Disappears By Raymond Fleischmann Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781984805188
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Berkley - December 1st, 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.

(Adult Mystery) - Reviewed by Maureen


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There's a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor By Wade Bradford, Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Wade Bradford, Kevin Hawkes (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780763686659
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Candlewick - October 2nd, 2018

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

(Picture Book) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Whiskey When We're Dry: A Novel By John Larison Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780735220454
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Penguin Books - July 2nd, 2019

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

(Adult Western) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Barely Missing Everything By Matt Mendez Cover Image
$11.99
NOT AVAILABLE
ISBN: 9781534404465
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - March 3rd, 2020

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

(Adult Fiction) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Great Passion By James Runcie Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781635570670
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - March 15th, 2022

Runcie’s encyclopedic knowledge of Leipzig’s rich musical history as it relates to virtuoso composer J.S. Bach, his family and most importantly, his students is a love letter to musicians everywhere. This historical fiction scaffolds onto real people and events, and trumpets why Bach’s genius still resonates 300 years later. Bravo!

(Adult Fiction) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Beasts of Prey By Ayana Gray Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780593405703
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - June 28th, 2022

Heart-pounding fantasy thriller filled with deadly monsters & flora primarily taken from Pan-African lore, this is THE debut book for the fall and ushers in Ayana Gray as a new YA talent .

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


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Falling: A Novel By T. J. Newman Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781982177898
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - May 17th, 2022

Clear your calendar for a relentless, propulsive locked-door thriller that gives the true "behind the curtain" duties & bravery of in-flight airline crew. Astonishing debut!

(Adult Thriller) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Not a Unicorn By Dana Middleton Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781797203058
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Chronicle Books - September 21st, 2021

Imagine your middle school life with a real horn – like a unicorn – growing on your head, and then wish for popularity too! Middleton’s humor, realism and situations all ring true in this heartfelt, novel of finding one’s authentic self. No glitter required!

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


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Damascus Station: A Novel By David McCloskey Cover Image
$17.95
ISBN: 9781324036135
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - October 25th, 2022

Tradecraft secrets combine with strong characters to give this first-rate spy thriller cred and scary realism. On par with Le Carre. Absolutely top notch.

(Adult Thriller) - Reviewed by Maureen


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I Must Betray You By Ruta Sepetys Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781984836038
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Philomel Books - February 1st, 2022

Sepetys' handle on the hidden history of the youth uprising in communist Romania is masterful and without peer. Get ready to have your breath taken away with this thriller!

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


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

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

(Picture Book) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Tofu Takes Time By Helen H. Wu, Julie Jarema (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Helen H. Wu, Julie Jarema (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781506480350
Availability: Available to Order from Our Warehouse
Published: Beaming Books - April 19th, 2022

Delightfully & deliciously told tale about tofu, patience and the warmth of family relations. I'm hungry for tofu! 

(Picture Book) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Daughters of a Dead Empire By Carolyn Tara O’Neil Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250755537
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Roaring Brook Press - February 22nd, 2022

A stunning debut from O'Neil, this revisionist telling of the Russian legend of Anastasia rings true even with today's current events. Pulsing with energy, this Anna seems at first ill prepared for life's hardships but stumbling upon peasant Zhenya, the two form a fragile bond that deepens as violence and bloodshed encircle them. Readers will be salivating for O'Neil's next effort! Highly recommended.

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


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Mirror Girls By Kelly McWilliams Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780759553873
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - February 8th, 2022

Williams' page-turning historical fiction with a dollop of magic set mainly in circa- 1953 Georgia  will give you a true view of life from both a (passing) white & black perspective, as the story is about twins separated at birth. One can easily feel the horror of Jim Crow south  and the shameful racial injustices blacks endured. Both twin characters are equally well developed and your heart will long for redemption.

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


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The Lost: A Mace Reid K-9 Mystery By Jeffrey B. Burton Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250808622
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Minotaur Books - June 28th, 2022

Mystery icky deaths cadaver dogs = one heck of a page turner! More please of Mace Reid and his uber-competent K-9 companions.

(Adult Mystery) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Snow By John Banville Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781335629036
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Hanover Square Press - September 14th, 2021

This atmospheric literary mystery is another gem from Banville and will remind many of Agatha Christie's best work. Readers will be clamoring for more from Dublin's Det. Inspector Strafford, (with an "R").

(Adult Mystery) - Reviewed by Maureen


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The Call of the Wrens By Jenni L. Walsh Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781400233885
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Harper Muse - November 15th, 2022

Crackerjack female motorcycle dispatch riders - of both WWI and WWII - figure prominently in this well developed historical novel of love's lost, choices taken and lives entwined by fate. Little known corp of female British WREN volunteers are at the heart of this well told tale.

(Adult Historical Fiction) - Reviewed by Maureen


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Better the Blood By Michael Bennett Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802160607
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - January 10th, 2023

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

(Adult Mystery) - Reviewed by Maureen


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In Every Life By Marla Frazee, Marla Frazee (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Marla Frazee, Marla Frazee (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781665912488
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Beach Lane Books - February 7th, 2023

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

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


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Attack of the Black Rectangles By A. S. King Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338680522
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Scholastic Press - September 6th, 2022

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

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


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Lark Ascending By Silas House Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781643751597
Availability: Recently On Our Shelves
Published: Algonquin Books - September 27th, 2022

I loved this book with its not-so-distant future as the backdrop of a thoroughly compelling world that Lark, miraculously, survives. Help comes from man's best friend and unlikely allies in this can't-put-down novel I didn't want to end. A real triumph of writing with glorious descriptions of the natural world.

(Adult Fiction) - Reviewed by Maureen