Blogs

In Marian Palaia’s debut, The Given World, we glimpse a somber but beautiful roadmap through one woman’s heartbreak.  After Riley’s brother goes MIA in Vietnam, she tries to numb herself with sex, drugs and drinking.
 
I can’t use mescaline (one of Riley’s drugs of choice) because the authorities frown on it, so I used mescal instead – that and a little black vodka to mimic the night sky, some mint-infused simple syrup to smooth any rough edges, and a cocktail onion in place of the moon.
 

Riley’s Moon
2 oz. Blavod Black Vodka
1 oz. Mescal
.25 oz. Mint-infused Simple Syrup
Cocktail onion for garnish

Stir all with ice.  
Strain into chilled glass.  
Garnish with the moon.

Mustache Baby Meets His Match by Bridget Heos, illustrated by Joy Ang
Publication Date: March 3rd, 2015
Publisher: Clarion Books
Genre: Picture Book - Humor
Ages: 4-8

When Baby Javier comes for a playdate, Baby Billy, a.k.a. Mustache Baby, feels the need to show him a thing or two, seeing how Javier's new to town--and also sports an impressive beard. What ensues is a hilarious test of wills and facial hair, as each baby sets out to prove his manliness. It seems Mustache Baby may have truly met his match . . . but one-upmanship isn't the point of a playdate, is it?

Mustache Baby was a huge hit with all Books Inc. staffers and this adorable sequel is no different! Baby Billy meets his match when Javier (who's given a brief intro in Mustache Baby) shows up! Billy wants Javier to be his sidekick, but it seems like Javier bests Billy in every activity! From wrestling, to painting, to running for president, Javier does it better! And that really chaps Billy's hide! Watch Mustache Baby and Beard Baby face off in this hilarious sequel, you won't be disappointed!
Reviewed by Anna, Not Your Mother's Book Club Coordinator

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
Publication Date: March 24th, 2015
Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
Genre: Mystery, paranormal

Ori’s dead because of what happened out behind the theater, in the tunnel made out of trees.
She’s dead because she got sent to that place upstate, locked up with those monsters.
And she got sent there because of me.

The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices—one still living and one long dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old dancer days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of a girls’ juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying these two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries.

We hear Amber’s story and Violet’s, and through them Orianna’s, first from one angle, then from another, until gradually we begin to get the whole picture—which is not necessarily the one that either Amber or Violet wants us to see.

Nova Ren Suma tells a supernatural tale of guilt and innocence, and what happens when one is mistaken for the other.

This gorgeous and suspenseful novel weaves together the lives of three very different girls; Amber is a prisoner at a juvenile detention center, locked away for her involvement in her step-father’s murder; Violet is an accomplished ballerina bound for Julliard. The girl who ties them together is Ori: Violet’s one time best friend, who is convicted of murdering two rival dancers. Told in alternating first-person voices, this evocative story has so many facets; it is part magical realism, part ghost story, part suspenseful thriller, and entirely unforgettable. Despite that this is a compelling story with amazingly developed characters, the prose is what really shines. The mood that Suma evokes through her artful language is so haunting and uneasy that it will stay with you long after you finish reading.
Reviewed by Caitlin, Books Inc. School Planning

A captivating novel about mental illness that lingers long beyond the last page, Challenger Deep is a heartfelt tour de force by New York Times bestselling author Neal Shusterman.

Caden Bosch is on a ship that's headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench.Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behavior.Caden Bosch is designated the ship's artist in residence to document the journey with images.Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head.Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny.Caden Bosch is torn.

Challenger Deep is a deeply powerful and personal novel from one of today's most admired writers for teens. Laurie Halse Anderson, award-winning author of Speak, calls Challenger Deep "a brilliant journey across the dark sea of the mind; frightening, sensitive, and powerful. Simply extraordinary.
Available April 21st


 

Maria Dahvana Headley's soaring YA debut is a fiercely intelligent, multilayered fantasy where Neil Gaiman's Stardust meets John Green's The Fault in Our Stars in a story about a girl caught between two worlds . . . two races . . . and two destinies.

 

Aza Ray Boyle is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak--to live. So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.

Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who's always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world--and found, by another. Magonia.

Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power--but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza's hands lies fate of the whole of humanity--including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?
Available April 28th


 

 

Fans of John Green and Matthew Quick: Get ready to die laughing.
"Denton Little's Deathdate" takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that's in just two days--the day of his senior prom.
Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle--as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend's hostile sister. (Though he's not totally sure--see, first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is "this" what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton's long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters. . . . Suddenly Denton's life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.
Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager's life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.
Available April 28th

 


 

 

Everybody is talking about Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
"A remarkable gift of a novel."--Andrew Smith, author of Grasshopper Jungle"I am so in love with this book."--Nina LaCour, author of Hold Still"Feels timelessly, effortlessly now."--Tim Federle, author of Better Nate Than Ever"The best kind of love story."--Alex Sanchez, Lambda Award-winning author of Rainbow Boys and Boyfriends with Girlfriends

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he's pushed out--without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he's never met.

Incredibly funny and poignant, this twenty-first-century coming-of-age, coming out story--wrapped in a geek romance--is a knockout of a debut novel by Becky Albertalli.
Available April 7th


 

"New York Times" bestselling author Rachel Hawkins is sassier than ever in this page-turning follow up to Rebel Belle, "perfect for fans of Buffy and Veronica Mars.
Life is "almost" back to normal for Harper Price. The Ephors have been silent after their deadly attack at Cotillion months ago, and best friend Bee has returned after a mysterious disappearance. Now Harper can return her focus to the important things in life: school, canoodling with David, her nemesis-turned-ward-slash-boyfie, and even competing in the Miss Pine Grove pageant.
Unfortunately, supernatural chores are never done. The Ephors have decided they'd rather train David than kill him. The catch: Harper has to come along for the ride, but she can't stay David's Paladin unless she undergoes an an ancient trial that will either kill her . . . or make her more powerful than ever.
Available April 7th

 

 


 

"Sparks fly...This first novel will please fans of Cassandra Clare and "Game of Thrones" watchers with its remarkable world building; richly developed characters... and] a breathtaking climax that...cannot come soon enough ""--"Booklist" starred review
For readers of Cassandra Clare's "City of Bones" and Leigh Bardugo's "Shadow and Bone," "The Girl at Midnight" is the story of a modern girl caught in an ancient war.
Beneath the streets of New York City live the Avicen, an ancient race of people with feathers for hair and magic running through their veins. Age-old enchantments keep them hidden from humans. All but one. Echo is a runaway pickpocket who survives by selling stolen treasures on the black market, and the Avicen are the only family she's ever known.
Echo is clever and daring, and at times she can be brash, but above all else she's fiercely loyal. So when a centuries-old war crests on the borders of her home, she decides it's time to act.
Legend has it that there is a way to end the conflict once and for all: find the Firebird, a mythical entity believed to possess power the likes of which the world has never seen. It will be no easy task, though if life as a thief has taught Echo anything, it's how to hunt down what she wants . . . and how to take it.
But some jobs aren't as straightforward as they seem. And this one might just set the world on fire.
Available April 28th


 

 

"I WILL TELL YOU THE SAME THING I TELL EVERY SLAVE.
THE RESISTANCE HAS TRIED TO PENETRATE THIS SCHOOL COUNTLESS TIMES. I HAVE DISCOVERED IT EVERY TIME.
IF YOU ARE WORKING WITH THE RESISTANCE, IF YOU CONTACT THEM, IF YOU THINK OF CONTACTING THEM, I WILL KNOW
AND I WILL DESTROY YOU."
Laia is a slave.
Elias is a soldier.
Neither is free.
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire's impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They've seen what happens to those who do.
But when Laia's brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire's greatest military academy.
There, Laia meets Elias, the school's finest soldier--and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he's being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined--and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
Available April 28th


 

Billy Zeets has a story to tell. About being a vandal and petty thief. About missing boys and an elusive killer.
    And about what happens if a boy who breaks all the rules is the only person who can piece together the truth.
    A gripping tale of redemption, Henry Turner’s powerful debut novel comes vividly to life through the unique voice of Billy Zeets, a hero as unlikely as he is unforgettable..
Available April 7th

 





Not since THE BOOK THIEF has the character of Death played such an original and affecting part in a book for young people.
Flora and Henry were born a few blocks from each other, innocent of the forces that might keep a white boy and an African American girl apart; years later they meet again and their mutual love of music sparks an even more powerful connection. But what Flora and Henry don't know is that they are pawns in a game played by the eternal adversaries Love and Death, here brilliantly reimagined as two extremely sympathetic and fascinating characters. Can their hearts and their wills overcome not only their earthly circumstances, but forces that have battled throughout history? In the rainy Seattle of the 1920's, romance blooms among the jazz clubs, the mansions of the wealthy, and the shanty towns of the poor. But what is more powerful: love? Or death?
Available April 28th

 

 



A remarkable and utterly inventive novel bursting with intrigue and romance, from Sharon Cameron, acclaimed author of THE DARK UNWINDING, which USA TODAY called "spellbindingly imaginative."
Centuries after a shifting of the Earth's poles, the Sunken City that was once Paris is in the grips of a revolution. All who oppose the new regime are put to the blade, except for those who disappear from their prison cells, a red-tipped rook feather left in their place. Is the mysterious Red Rook a savior of the innocent or a criminal?
Meanwhile, across the sea in the Commonwealth, Sophia Bellamy's arranged marriage to the wealthy Rene Hasard is the last chance to save her family from ruin. But when the search for the Red Rook comes straight to her doorstep, Sophia discovers that her fiance is not all he seems. Which is only fair, because neither is she.
As the Red Rook grows bolder and the stakes grow higher, Sophia and Rene find themselves locked in a tantalizing game of cat and mouse.
Daring intrigue, delicious romance, and spine-tingling suspense fill the pages of this extraordinary tale from award-winning author Sharon Cameron.
Available April 28th

 

When Stick rescues Stone from a prickly situation with a Pinecone, the pair becomes fast friends. But when Stick gets stuck, can Stone return the favor?
Author Beth Ferry makes a memorable debut with a warm, rhyming text that includes a subtle anti-bullying message even the youngest reader will understand. New York Times bestselling illustrator Tom Lichtenheld imbues Stick and Stone with energy, emotion, and personality to spare.
In this funny story about kindness and friendship, Stick and Stone join George and Martha, Frog and Toad, and Elephant and Piggie, as some of the best friend duos in children's literature. (Ages 4-8)
Available April 7th

 

 

 

From bestselling authors Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce comes an exciting new series full of magical creatures, whimsical adventures, and quirky illustrations. Here's a list of things Pip Bartlett can talk to:
Unicorns
Miniature Silky Griffins
Bitterflunks
Basically, all magical creatures
Here's a list of things she can't talk to (at least, not very well):
Parents
Teachers
Basically, all people
Because of a Unicorn Incident at her school (it was an accident ), Pip is spending the summer with her Aunt Emma at the Cloverton Clinic for Magical Creatures. At first, it's all fun, games, and chatting with Hobgrackles, but when Fuzzles appear and start bursting into flame at the worst possible places, Pip and her new friend Tomas must take action. Because if the mystery of the Fuzzles isn't solved soon, both magical and unmagical creatures are going to be in a lot of trouble. (Ages 8-11)
Available April 28th
 

A sinister threat. A city in danger. A boy with the power to command the crows. Ferals is the first book in a dark, action-packed trilogy that's part The Graveyard Book, part Batman, and all high-octane adventure.

Blackstone was once a thriving metropolis. But that was before the Dark Summer--a wave of violence and crime that swept through the city eight years ago, orchestrated by the fearsome Spinning Man. Now the Spinning Man is on the move again, and a boy named Caw is about to be caught in his web.

Caw has never questioned his ability to communicate with crows. But as the threat of a new Dark Summer looms, Caw discovers the underground world of Blackstone's ferals--those with the power to speak to and control animals. Caw is one of them. And to save his city, he must quickly master abilities he never knew he had...and prepare to defeat a darkness he never could have imagined. (Ages 8-12)
Available April 28th


 

Meet Rappy the Raptor, a velociraptor who speaks in rhymes all of the time, whether it's morning or noon, October or June. Now, how did it happen that he started rappin'? Well, here's Rappy's story in all its glory

New York Times bestselling author Dan Gutman and New York Times bestselling artist Tim Bowers team up for a funny, warm story that is sure to have readers snapping their fingers and tapping their toes Parents and kids alike will love bopping along as Rappy learns to embrace his unusual way of speaking in this upbeat picture book with a dino-size beat. (Ages 4-8)
Available April 28th

 

 

 

Discover a new middle grade series full of madcap adventure, mythological creatures, humor, and heart. The world's unlikeliest hero is also its only hope in this spirited tween fantasy debut, perfect for fans of How to Train Your Dragon and The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom.

For generations, Finn's family has protected Darkmouth from the fierce magical creatures known as Legends. Now the Legends are plotting a major attack, and it's Finn's turn to defend his hometown. So it's too bad he's the worst Legend Hunter in history. (Ages 8-12)
Available April 21st

 


 

In the peaceful realm of Tequende, all second-born children at the age of fifteen must journey to the Alcazar to fulfill the mandate of the Oath of Guilds. There they train to earn a place among the queen's legendary Second Guard, or work as indentured servants.
Talimendra has always wanted to join the Guard, but there are dark rumors in the queendom that she may not be ready for. Rumors that whisper of greed, traitors, and war.
There is very little time and too many unanswered questions, but one thing is for certain: if there is a traitor among the Second Guard, then everyone-including the queen-is in grave danger. (Ages 10-13)
Available April 14th

 

 

 

When a skunk first appears in the tuxedoed man's doorway, it's a strange but possibly harmless occurrence. But then the man finds the skunk following him, and the unlikely pair embark on an increasingly frantic chase through the city, from the streets to the opera house to the fairground. What does the skunk want? It's not clear--but soon the man has bought a new house in a new neighborhood to escape the little creature's attention, only to find himself missing something. . .

This slyly hilarious tale brings together picture book talents Mac Barnett and Patrick McDonnell for the first time. (Ages 4-7)
Available April 14th

 


 

From the creator of Dragonbreath comes a tale of witches, minions, and one fantastic castle, just right for fans of Roald Dahl and Tom Angleberger.
When Molly shows up on Castle Hangnail's doorstep to fill the vacancy for a wicked witch, the castle's minions are understandably dubious. After all, she is twelve years old, barely five feet tall, and quite polite. (The minions are used to tall, demanding evil sorceresses with razor-sharp cheekbones.) But the castle desperately needs a master or else the Board of Magic will decommission it, leaving all the minions without the home they love. So when Molly assures them she is quite wicked indeed (So wicked REALLY wicked ) and begins completing the tasks required by the Board of Magic for approval, everyone feels hopeful. Unfortunately, it turns out that Molly has quite a few secrets, including the biggest one of all: that she isn't who she says she is.
This quirky, richly illustrated novel is filled with humor, magic, and an unforgettable all-star cast of castle characters. (Ages 8-12)
Available April 21st

 



The Newbery Honor author of Ella Enchanted, Gail Carson Levine, weaves a thrilling tale of mystery in this companion to A Tale of Two Castles.

Elodie, the dragon detective Meenore, and the kindly ogre Count Jonty Um are all on their way to Elodie's home island of Lahnt. Elodie has barely set foot on land before she learns that the Replica, a statue that keeps her island's deadly volcano from erupting, has been stolen If the Replica isn't found in three days, a mountain will be destroyed. And when Elodie ends up alone with a cast of characters each of whom may be guilty, she has to use her wits to try to unravel a tangled web of lies.

New York Times bestselling author Gail Carson Levine has written an imaginative, fast-paced mystery that will be enjoyed by fans of A Tale of Two Castles as well as those meeting Elodie, Meenore, and Count Jonty Um for the first time. (Ages 8-12)
Available April 21st
 


Stuart Gibbs is the author of "Belly Up", Poached", "Spy School", "Spy Camp", Evil Spy School", and Space Case." He has also written the screenplays for movies like See Spot Run "and Repli-Kate", worked on a whole bunch of animated films, developed TV shows for Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, ABC, and Fox, and researched capybaras (the world's largest rodents.). He lives with his wife and children in Los Angeles. (Ages8-12)
Available April 21st

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
Expected Publication Date: May 5th, 2015
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 432 pages

Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and--lately--concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?
Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.
The uber-popular Sarah Dessen explores her signature themes of family, self-discovery, and change in her twelfth novel, sure to delight her legions of fans.

Why we can't wait: Um, new Sarah Dessen please and thank you.

 

Denton Little's Deathdate by Lance Rubin
Expected Publication Date: April 14th, 2015
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 352 pages

Fans of John Green and Matthew Quick: Get ready to die laughing.
"Denton Little's Deathdate" takes place in a world exactly like our own except that everyone knows the day on which they will die. For Denton, that's in just two days--the day of his senior prom.
Despite his early deathdate, Denton has always wanted to live a normal life, but his final days are filled with dramatic firsts. First hangover. First sex. First love triangle--as the first sex seems to have happened not with his adoring girlfriend, but with his best friend's hostile sister. (Though he's not totally sure--see, first hangover.) His anxiety builds when he discovers a strange purple rash making its way up his body. Is "this" what will kill him? And then a strange man shows up at his funeral, claiming to have known Denton's long-deceased mother, and warning him to beware of suspicious government characters. . . . Suddenly Denton's life is filled with mysterious questions and precious little time to find the answers.
Debut author Lance Rubin takes us on a fast, furious, and outrageously funny ride through the last hours of a teenager's life as he searches for love, meaning, answers, and (just maybe) a way to live on.

Why we can't wait: Get ready to die laughing?! SOLD! Also, I'll read anything with a hearse on the cover!

Picture Books (Ages 2-6)


Middle Grade (Ages 8-12)

Yayyyyyy Nova Ren Suma's THE WALLS AROUND US comes out today and it is AMAZING!
READ IT EVERYONE!


   


 

 

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