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Life in the Ocean by Claire A. Nivola

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

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

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

Kids Classic I Forgot to Read: The Book of Three

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

Finally!

People are always asking us what book we are reading for Not Your Mother's Book Club, which is a TOTALLY REASONABLE question, considering we're called Not Your Mother's Book CLUB. But the truth of the matter is, for the last 5 years, this has been an author salon, only. NOT SO ANYMORE! Thanks to Anna, the newest member of our Books Inc. Palo Alto team, we are now launching Not Your Mother's ACTUAL Book Club, a book club that reads books! HIGH FIVES ALL AROUND! So join us for our first meeting, no reading required. Yet. :)

Coming Soon, The Whole Stupid Way We Are by N. Griffin

I loved every agonizing heartbreaking moment of this book!  Set in a small town in Maine best friends Dinah & Skint couldn't be more different, they both want to help and make things better for those around them but while Skint rages against the injustices of the world Dinah's main concern is trying to get Skint to wear a winter coat.  Their friendship also dances
around an elephant in the room, Skint's father is homebound with dementia a topic Skint has made clear is not to be broached.  But his family may be in desperate need of help and by the time Dinah opens her eyes and sees it things will never be the same for them.
--Reviewed by Shannon, Senior Children's Buyer

Ask the Passengers by A.S. King

This novel snuck under the wire to get into my top three young adult novels for 2012. I read it in one breathless night, and the next morning, when I saw an airplane flying overhead, I burst into tears. Which, I admit, probably seems like a crazy response, and fairly so. But like all the best, most special books, Ask The Passengers doesn't just satisfy the mind while it's being read-- it also colors life long after it has been put down, making otherwise banal things, like the sight of airplanes overhead, illuminated.
King uses complicated ideas, recurring imagery and deceptively simple language to craft a story of incredible honesty and pathos. Those who were unlucky to be around me in the days after I read it were subjected to my many gushings-and even with the amount of hyperbolic gushery I put forth in those days, I'm not sure I did this novel justice. Gorgeous. Wise. Vibrant. For those who love any of the following authors: David Levithan, Nina LaCour, Sarah Dessen or John Green should certainly take a look.
I cannot wait to pick up more of A. S. King's work. Because if it's even a FRACTION as good... I may have a new favorite author. For ages 15+ --Reviewed by Maggie, Books Inc. Children's Department Director

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