Blogs


Pure brilliance. Meet Maggie at the THIS IS TEEN event June 13th at our Opera Plaza store! And please, bring your puppets.
There is a serious glut of dystopian young adult novels in the market right now, and just about all of them claim to appeal to fans of The Hunger Games. And honestly, most of them don't. Of course it makes sense as marketers to align new titles with the most successful YA of the last few years, whether or not the new book is actually similar in appeal. But now, we finally have a worthy heir to Collins' blockbuster: Divergence, by debut author Veronica Roth.
 
The world of Divergence is fully imagined from page one, and like The Hunger Games, takes place in a post-apocalyptic American landscape. Society in this future is highly stratified into five factions. Each faction is defined by a value that they believe counteracts the cause for the historical catastrophe that created their ravaged landscape. The Amity faction, who blamed aggression, value peace and live their lives accordingly, as farmers and caretakers. The Candor faction, who blamed duplicity, value honesty, even in its bluntest forms. The Abnegation, who blamed selfishness, value selflessness, and as such live ascetically and also command the government. The Dauntless, who blamed cowardice, value bravery and are the soldiers and police of this new world. And lastly, the Erudite, who blamed ignorace, value intellect. However, there is strife between the factions, primarily between the Erudite and the Abnegation; at the onset of the story, the Erudite have been releasing "antagonistic reports" about the Abnegation faction. Our protagonist, Beatrice, is of the Abnegation faction, but when it comes time for her to choose her own path, she finds herself among the Dauntless. What ensues is a fabulously propulsive ride into the dangerous world of the Dauntless.
 
Their lives are violent, harshly competitive and unforgiving; though they are not fighting for food as in The Hunger Games, they are fighting for survival; those who do not pass the tests of the initiatives are banished to be factionless, who live on the outskirts of society, scrounging and barely surviving. What is so awesome about Divergence (and so reminiscent of The Hunger Games, in a not at all derivative way) is that Roth's writing style is clean, clear and simple. She lets the world and the story speak for itself, with few flourishes, which was one of the aspects that made The Hunger Games such an easy sell-- very adept and very reluctant readers alike could be carried away by the narrative. The stakes of this story are high, and implications of this first installment's arc will leave you clamoring for the sequel. A likable point of view character and her realistic relationships give the world a realistic emotional core. Oh, and violence and sexual tension never hurts either.
Colleen has fourteen (FOURTEEN!) years of experience as a children's bookseller. Colleen also started the awesome tween book club, Book Busters, which meets the second Tuesday of every month. She is an avid Brandon Mull fan, as she clearly illustrates in her video, and can help you find the best that the fantasy genre has to offer. Totally top secret tip that is not at all diluted by being on the internet: if you want to ingratiate yourself to Colleen, tell her she's like Meg Ryan from You've Got Mail. America Online chatting may be a thing of yesterday, but expertise is for life. Colleen is on maternity leave from Books Inc.
They're fabulous. They're local. They're talented. And they're ALL mamas. Come on out to Oh My Gosh, Stories! Saturday, May 7th at 11am to meet three Rock Star Mamas at this very special storytime! Hosted by Books Inc. Chestnut Street.
Each Books Inc. store has their own kids' lit specialist. But Berkeley has a Kid's Lit WIZARD. After graduating from UC Davis with a degree in English, Andy figured that the only way to move on would be to attend a gradschool of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Being that those are hard to come by, Andy did at least five Google searches to find the right school for him. And since Hogwarts was all booked up, Andy settled on a nice parochial wizard's academy in upstate California, where he studied children's literature alchemy, wizardry and ninja-ry. That's right. Ninja-ry. Now he uses his finely honed skills at our Berkeley location, where he is also the story teller for their Teatime for Tots storytime, every Thursday at 4pm.
 

Illyanna (Anna for short) is the kids' expert at Books Inc. Chestnut Street. Anna's a recent graduate from Grinell College, a long time ballerina and was raised by anteaters in darkest Peru. Or somewhere in the midwest. The details get fuzzy. She will also answer to Princess Buttercup, and yes that reference comes from a book not just from the movie, it was an awesome book before it was an awesome movie, and no, I don't think this is getting off topic at all. When Anna grows up, she aspires to be a children's librarian. Or an anteater.

Read more reviews of awesome kids books by Anna

We're super happy to have Summer on our team-- Summer is a freelance children's book editor who spent a decade at Tricycle Press and Chronicle Books. She also runs the children and teen programming for LitQuake, San Francisco's favorite annual literary festival and is the Secretary for the Northern California Children's Bookseller Association. You can get Summer's expert help at Books Inc. Laurel Village.



Read more reviews by Summer
 On Sunday, April 17th, Books Inc. Burlingame hosted the first ever Shoe-La-La shoe fashion show with illustrator LeUyen Pham! Tots were invited to decorate their shoes and walk the pink carpet in honor of the new book, Shoe-La-La. Adorable! If you somehow missed this fantastic event, don't worry-- you can still meet LeUyen at Books Inc. Chestnut Street on May 7th, along with Lisa Brown and Alexandra Boiger for the 3 Rockstar Mamas in honor of Mama's Day event!

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