booksinckids's blog

The Apothecary is Meloy's first novel for young readers, and she tells The riveting tale of Janie, a Cold War American girl whose parents are suspected of Communist sympathies. They move to London to avoid the McCarthy trials, where Janie is almost immediately embroiled in a race against time and the forces of world destruction to aid a courageous apothecary and his quick-witted son against nuclear holocaust. This novel is original, fast paced, and perfect for fans of The Golden Compass. --Reviewed by Megan of Books Inc. Market Street

Since Jacques Cousteau no one person has contributed more to ocean exploration than Sylvia Earle. This book tells the true-life story of "Her Deepness" and follows her from her early childhood interest of monitering wildlife to her pioneering work with deep sea expeditions and live-in laboratories. This book is for the seasoned picture book reader, with lots of text and great illustrations as well as a very informative author's note at the end. Also a great book to keep in mind for March to feature for woman's history month! Great for fans of Manfish by Jennifer Berns and Coral Reefs and The Island by Jason Chin. --Reviewed by Caitlin of Books Inc. Laurel Village

The extraordinary Glower Castle is alive with magic. It is a castle that constantly changes itself, moving rooms around and creating new ones along the way. Above all, it is a castle with a fierce loyalty to the royal Glower family, particularly young Celie, who understands the castle better than anyone. The family lives in the castle happily until the King and Queen leave one day and are ambushed. Local and foreign royal councilors all presume them dead. But Celie and her siblings know better. With the castle's help, they must figure out what the royal councils are up to, what happened to their parents, and how to protect themselves.

This is a well-written and charming story. Though we only ever see the inside of the castle, we never get bored, as the action starts right away and never really stops. The best part of this novel is easily the castle, which strongly resembles Hogwart's Room of Requirement and Howl's Moving Castle. However, with a simple plot and cartoonish villains (who plot to kill, but can be somehow defeated by a 11 year old girl stomping on their toe) make this more of a read for a strong 8 year old to 9 year old. Overall, it is done very well and is perfect for budding fantasy readers. -- Reviewed by Kelly of Books Inc. Laurel Village

This series somehow fell off the radar, no one seems to know it. Filled with powerful magic, quests and mystery, The Book of Three introduces us Taran, an orphan being raised by an old soldier and an ancient sorcerer. Taran dreams of glory on the battlefield but slowly learns just what that means. Steeped in Welsh mythology, this first installment will draw in anyone, boy or girl, who will just open it up. Written by Lloyd Alexander, for ages 8-12.

--reviewed by Elizabeth of Books Inc. Alameda

Shannon is our Senior Children's Buyer. Not only does she have the fabulous taste that makes Books Inc. Kids what it is today, but she's also a mommy of two! For 2013 we will be featuring her faves. Enjoy!

 


 

As Santa prepares for his big night, readers are treated to a lovely, quiet story full of magic and wonder. Gloriously illustrated by Jon Muth (Zen Shorts, City Dog, Country Frog) this is the perfect book to read to little ones as Christmas approaches. What I love about this story is not just the sense of anticipation that permeates every page, or even Santa's mustache, which is rendered charmingly by Muth; it's the idea that Santa is just a normal guy, thoughtfully doing his job. And that one night a year, that totally normal guy does something very special. The focus is not on the presents, but rather on the preparation necessary to make so many people so very happy. Sure to be a future Christmas classic, be sure not to miss The Christmas Magic this year.

--Reviewed by Maggie, Books Inc. Children's Department Director

I know this seems like a pretty obvious pick, but it's been a long time since I've actually picked up this book re-read it. It is still just as great as you remember and my 4 year old nephew just can't get enough of it! Out of all the Christmas stories out there I really like this one because in the end even though the Grinch stole everything the Whos were still happy. No Santa or presents needed, just family and friends!
 
--Reviewed by Melanie, Books Inc. Berkeley

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