Blogs

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
Just in time for baseball season! This adorable book follows a young boy and his love for baseball. Both of his grandfathers - one from America and the other from Japan - love the sport, which means this lucky kid gets to watch baseball games on two opposite shores. The languages and mascots might be different, but it doesn't change the love of the game. With bright, fun illustrations that are still highly informative (and are great for finding the similarities and minor differences in both countries), this is a definite home run. Perfect for young baseball fans and for pops and grandpas who aren't sure what book to read to their kids and grandkids. For ages 2-6. --reviewed by Robbin of Compass Books in SFO

Pages