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Shannon Loves...

Shannon is our Senior Children's Buyer. Not only does she have the fabulous taste that makes Books Inc. Kids what it is today, but she's also a mommy of two! For 2013 we will be featuring her faves. Enjoy!

 


 

Unspoken by Sarah Rees Brennan

In the small English village, Sorry-in-the-Vale, Kami Glass has dreams of becoming an intrepid reporter. When the aristocratic Lynburn family return to their mansion on the hill and strange events begin to occur, Kami is on the job investigating. Complicating things are the two beautiful Lynburn cousins, golden Ash and brooding Jared, who both show an interest in Kami. Also, one of them sound suspiciously like Kami's "imaginary" friend - a friend that she's been talking to in her head since she was a child. I completely devoured this book. Brennan has crafted a delightful story with laugh out loud dialogue and endearing characters. I can't wait until book 2, especially with the way the story ended.

-- Reviewed by Connie, Books Inc. Opera Plaza

The Christmas Magic by Lauren Thompson

As Santa prepares for his big night, readers are treated to a lovely, quiet story full of magic and wonder. Gloriously illustrated by Jon Muth (Zen Shorts, City Dog, Country Frog) this is the perfect book to read to little ones as Christmas approaches. What I love about this story is not just the sense of anticipation that permeates every page, or even Santa's mustache, which is rendered charmingly by Muth; it's the idea that Santa is just a normal guy, thoughtfully doing his job. And that one night a year, that totally normal guy does something very special. The focus is not on the presents, but rather on the preparation necessary to make so many people so very happy. Sure to be a future Christmas classic, be sure not to miss The Christmas Magic this year.

--Reviewed by Maggie, Books Inc. Children's Department Director

How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Doctor Seuss

I know this seems like a pretty obvious pick, but it's been a long time since I've actually picked up this book re-read it. It is still just as great as you remember and my 4 year old nephew just can't get enough of it! Out of all the Christmas stories out there I really like this one because in the end even though the Grinch stole everything the Whos were still happy. No Santa or presents needed, just family and friends!
 
--Reviewed by Melanie, Books Inc. Berkeley

If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen

 How did Van Dusen know what my dream house looks like? Oh yeah, it's because he's awesome! I felt this story was even more fun than "If I built a car" though both carry a fun rhythm that is perfect for reading aloud! The kids at my storytime really got into this book. You could just see the little wheels turning in their heads imagining this great manor. A racetrack room?! Are you kidding me?! Yes Please! 

Reviewed by Courtney, Books Inc. Burlingame

A Double Feature!

 The High-Skies Adventures of Blue Jay the Pirate by Scott Nash

Talking birds with hats! Air pirates! Sword fights! This very handsome hardcover edition with engaging ink and watercolor illustrations by the author will make a fine gift for a backyard naturalist who loves stories of swashbuckling derring-do. Comparable to Brian Jacques' Redwall series with language accessible for a 9 year old, the coming-of-age/ bird-out-of-the-nest aspects of the story will appeal to older kids and the whole family will enjoy the high adventure. There is a clever balance between imaginative, unique world-building and accurate ornithological details. As a lifelong scholar of fantasy literature and an avid birdwatcher, this book seemed especially written for me, but I hope other readers will share my appreciation of this cunning blend of Roger Tory Petersen and Robert Louis Stevenson. (Ages 8-11)

 

 

 When Charlie McButton Lost Power by Suzanne Collins

Yes, that Collins, of Hunger Games and Gregor fame; turns out she can turn out a pretty good rhyme too. The story has a bunch of important lessons, but it doesn't get preachy or saccharine sweet and we appreciate family fun time that has nothing to do with screens or gadgets. When Charlie's house loses power he loses control and lands in time out, but our hero makes some discoveries about himself and annoying his baby sister so everyone lives happily ever after. (Ages 3+)

Reviews by Chris, Compass Books SFO 

Pirate Cinema by Cory Doctorow

I met this amazing man just a couple of months back, and I was just elated. Doctorow's new techno-geek novel is set in London, where Trent McCauley has just gotten in trouble with the Man. His crime? Downloading films illegally in order to make his own films by splicing scenes from different movies together. Trent's world, set slightly farther in the future, is a world where we may be living, and everything requires the Internet in order to live. With the Internet shut down, his father can no longer work, his mother can't receive her benefits, and his sister will have a tough time passing high school. Guilty and beyond upset, he runs away and meets his destiny in the form of a dapper gentlemanly beggar named Jem. Time passes and Trent learns the ways of living off the street with Jem and the Jammie Dodgers. Eventually, with this ragtag group of homeless folk, Trent realizes the only way to get his life back is to make the government give it back -- for good. Recommended for the clever people who like figuring out backdoors for computer programs and the like. Recommended for ages 13+

Reviewed by Robbin, Compass Books SFO

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