Blogs

Whales are tricky beasts. To see them, you must not be too distracted by roses, or pelicans, or the oceanwaves breaking along the shore.  If you are patient and wait long enough, you might just spot one! This is a lovely book with plenty to look at and dream about, courtesy of Erin Stead's signature pencil/woodblock style. --reviewed by Elizabeth of Books Inc. in the Marina

This charming little picture book was enjoyable to read.  In a simple, poetic style, Julie Fogliano offers instruction on what to pay attention to, and what not to pay attention to, if you want to catch a glimpse of a whale.  The illustrations by Erin Stead capture the essence of this simple story beautifully. --reviewed by Amy of Books Inc. in Burlingame

 

This very cute debut novel had me actually laughing out loud. Nate is a 12 year old from a small town in Pennsylvania, and has huge dreams of being on Broadway. When he hears about an open casting call for a musical in New York City, he realizes that this is his big break; he devises a plan to take the bus into the city, ace the audition, and make it home before his parents even realize he’s gone. What could go wrong?

As you might expect, things don’t go as smoothly as Nate hoped. But with the help of a long lost relative in the area, Nate gets to experience some of what New York City has to offer for people who are little different. Even though he doesn’t fit in in his normal life in Pennsylvania, Nate goes home knowing that there definitely places in the world for people like him. This book is funny yet heartfelt, and Nate is the kind of character you really want to root for. Ages 9+

--Reviewed by Caitlin, our intrepid book fair buyer and general pal

I love this picture book! When the pirates (all sea creatures) show up in Cheyenne (to bury booty, of course) inhabited by ranch animal cowboys, they quickly realize that neither speak the others' language. Things really heat up until the world's only pirate cowboy shows up and helps them get past their differences. A great read aloud!

 

 --Reviewed by Katie of Books Inc. Palo Alto

This book had me curious when it swept the ALA awards with 3 wins and this book definitely deserves all of them and more. Aristotle (or Ari) and Dante don't obviously have much in common except their Mexican heritage, but somehow manage to become good friends. Ari is an angry teen coping with the ghost of his older brother and his father's time in the Vietnam War while Dante is openly expressive and has an easy family relationship. That friendship is cemented when Ari saves Dante from a hit and run getting
injured in the process. When a friend risks his or her life to save yours, how does that friendship change? And when Dante comes out as gay, how does that affect the friendship?  Saenz writes a lovely exploration of friendship and love - love of one's self, love between a parent and child and love between friends. His prose is lyrical and portrays a depth of emotion that transcends the page. This easily is one of my favorite reads of this year and it's not even halfway to the end of the year yet!

If you like A.S. King's Ask the Passengers, I would definitely recommend you give this a try!

- Reviewed by Connie of Books Inc. Opera Plaza

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