Blogs

 

Long story short – there’s never been an English translation from Greek of Nikos Kazantzakis' Zorba. The earlier edition was translated from a French translation of the Greek. Got that? To honor Simon & Schuster bringing Zorba to the English page with all the idiosyncrasies intended by Kazantzakis, we in turn bring you the Hot Zorba, perfect for cold December nights.

Hot Zorba:

.5 oz dark rum
.5 oz ouzo
.5 oz lemon juice .5 oz
honey 3 - 5 oz tea
Mix all ingredients - except tea - in a warm mug. Top off with tea.
Garnish with cinnamon stick and lemon peel.

 

The Prey by Tom Isbell
Publication date: January 20th, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Page count: 416 pages

The Maze Runner meets The Hunger Games in this heart-pounding trilogy. Orphaned teens, soon to be hunted for sport, must flee their resettlement camps in their fight for survival and a better life. For in the Republic of the True America, it's always hunting season. Riveting action, intense romance, and gripping emotion make this fast-paced adventure a standout debut.

After a radiation blast burned most of the Earth to a crisp, the new government established settlement camps for the survivors. At one such camp, the sixteen-year-old "LTs" are eager to graduate as part of the Rite. Until they learn the dark truth: "LTs" doesn't stand for lieutenant but for Less Thans, feared by society and raised to be hunted for sport. They escape and join forces with the Sisters, twin girls who've suffered their own haunting fate. Together they seek the fabled New Territory, with sadistic hunters hot on their trail. Secrets are revealed, allegiances are made, and lives are at stake. As unlikely Book and fearless Hope lead their quest for freedom, these teens must find the best in themselves to fight the worst in their enemies.

Why we can't wait: I've been looking forward to a new, awesome, dystopian trilogy and I think this will be it. The Prey sounds like weird, YA take on that short story, The Most Dangerous Game which has always been one of my favorites. Hunting kids for sport?! Yeah, I'm in!
Anna from Books Inc. Palo Alto

Wings of Fire, by Tui Sutherland

In book one, we meet the five "Dragons of Destiny" who have been hidden from power-hungry dragon queens so they may one day fulfill the prophecy and bring peace to the dragon kingdoms. But like all coming-of-age stories, these five young dragons tire of their cramped quarters and attempt to set off into the great big world. Unfortunately, their escape does not go as planned -- they are captured by one of the reigning dragon queens. The dragonets have to call on all their skills and cunning to escape her clutches and continue on their journey. The great thing about this series is that the dragon voices sound like kids -- no complicated language, and the world Sutherland builds seems to just instantly exist. Highly recommended for kids 9+!   Reviewed by Amy from Chestnut

The Storm Whale by Benji Davies

This is the story of Noi, the lonely son of a fisherman who finds a little whale washed ashore after a storm. Of course Noi takes him home, puts him in his bathtub, and shares with the little whale all about his life on the seashore. Noi's father eventually helps him reunite the whale with his family, which in turn brings Noi and his father closer together. The illustrations are so charming with details that add to its sweetness. Make sure to look out for all six cats!

Reviewed by Samantha at Laurel Village

Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky
Publication Date: November 4th, 2014
Publisher: Disney Press
Page Count: 243 pages

"What if who you are on the outside doesn't match who you are on the inside? "
Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: "he" is a girl on the inside, stuck in the wrong gender's body. The weight of this secret is crushing, but sharing it would mean facing ridicule, scorn, rejection, or worse. Despite the risks, Grayson's true self itches to break free. Will new strength from an unexpected friendship and a caring teacher's wisdom be enough to help Grayson step into the spotlight she was born to inhabit?
Debut author Ami Polonsky's moving, beautifully-written novel about identity, self-esteem, and friendship shines with the strength of a young person's spirit and the enduring power of acceptance.

What we think: I am love, love, LOVING this book. Grayson is the kind of character you just want to be friends with. She's kind-hearted, but slightly damaged and her secret is killing her. I also love that this is a novel about a transgender middle school kid rather than a teen. This whole thing is fabulous. Just read it.
Anna from Books Inc. Palo Alto

 

The Walled City by Ryan Graudin
Publication Date: November 4th, 2014
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Action/Adventure

"730. That's how many days I've been trapped.""18. That's how many days I have left to find a way out."
DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible....
JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister....
MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She's about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window.....
In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out.

Jin, Dai, and Mei Lee are three teenagers trapped in Hak Nam, a walled slum of greasy brothels, desperate poverty, feral gangs, and the bloodthirsty Brotherhood governing all. Mei Lee is a prostitute desperate to escape. Jin is a street urchin looking for a sister sold into slavery. Dai is a disgraced son left in the city to reclaim his own honor, with a set number of days before the doors to the outside world are shut forever. Walled City has a cool film-noir in Shanghai feel, and I personally appreciated having three well-rounded, diverse protagonists. Perfect for fans of action, adventure, and characters with fresh and engaging story-lines.
Marie from Books Inc. Chestnut St.

Celebrate your right to fREADom!

Defend free speech & collect some amazing custom works of art! Beginning December 1st the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression will be holding its annual Auction of Children’s Book Art with proceeds supporting the Kids’ Right to Read Project.

The week-long eBay auction will include work by Eric Carle, Rosemary Wells, Jon J Muth, Laura Vaccaro Seeger and Steve Light.

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