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.

Join three time California Young Readers medal-nominee, and 2012 Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Golden Kite Award-winner Tim Myers for a special holiday storytime in celebration of his latest picture book, The Christmas Stick. A delightful exploration of the power of imagination, the pleasure of doing, and the heart-soothing joy of giving, Tim's latest is the perfect treat for the season!


Event date: 
Friday, December 5, 2014 - 4:00pm
Event address: 
Books Inc.
74 Town & Country Village
Palo Alto, CA

Once Upon an Alphabet, By Oliver Jeffers

A new Oliver Jeffers book, should Be on the shelves now! You will want to C it. Definitely. He has a story about Every letter of the alphabet For you to enjoy. Expressive, clever, Gorgeous, and Hilarious Illustrations fill every page with color, laughter, and smiles in typical Jeffers style. You can’t miss it, the cover is a lovely neon orange. Read it, oKay? You will Love it.

-Chantal Boucher, Books Inc. Mountain View

Join local author David Griswold for a special Saturday Storytime in celebration of his first children's book, Mother, What is the Moon? Accompanied by beautiful illustrations, this picture book is a poetic bedtime story that follows a mother and son on their journey to understand why the moon changes in the sky.

Event date: 
Saturday, December 6, 2014 - 2:00pm
Event address: 
Books Inc.
74 Town & Country Village
Palo Alto, CA