Blogs

Diana graduated from UCLA with a masters in library and information sciences, and now she can help you shop for children's books at Books Inc. in Mountain View! That is, when she's not working at the library, or teaching community college online library research classes, or pouring wine at the Cooper Garron Vineyard. Her favorite food is apple pie and her favorite muppet is Fozzie Bear, and her favorite book store is Books Inc. Obviously.

That's right; Part 8. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 of the short story Nine Lessons from a Wyverary Governesse are strewn about the internet in a literary treasure hunt. Each part is exclusive to those who host it, and the author has made the super cool decision to only post parts of her story on websites for independent bookstores and public libraries! You can read the introduction to this here, and check out your chance to meet the author, Cat Valente at our Mountain View store here!

8. On Science in Fairyland

How do you feel about Science, children?

I hope you are on good terms with it, that you have it over to tea at least every other week. Science is an excellent conversationalist, and much prized in Fairyland. In Pandemonium, the capital of all our merry land, Scientists have a tower all to themselves, called Groangyre. There they can have tea as much as they like while inventing and studying marvelous things like Moving Pictures, Electricks, the Carriageless Horse, Blueology, Lunar Travel, the Hyper Toadstool Transfer Protocol (by which you can leave quite long messages with the mushrooms and they will carry them anywhere you please via underground fungal network), and the Three Q’s: Quiet Physicks, Questing Physicks, Queer Physicks (these being the study of the Unseen and Unheard, the Mechanicks of Narrative and People Who Can’t Leave Well Enough Alone, and Things What Make No Good Sense).

I think you’ll agree all of that sounds quite good. 

The Prioress of Groangyre Tower is Belinda Cabbage, Empress of the White Coats, Quarterback of the Municipal Quantumball Team and Champion Crossword Solver. She causes most of the explosions you’ll see blossoming out of the tower on the hour, nice and regular. I mention her because she has been very occasionally known to take on apprentices. Sometimes these apprentices do very well, like Dr. Erasmus Jane Fallow, one of our premier alchemists. Sometimes they merely break local QB records and in the process cause two bakeries and a letterpress shoppe to vanish, as in the case of the famous and unfortunate Simon Snowpea, who can’t get a loaf of bread to save his life these days.

The line for the apprenticeship forms a charming spring ritual, stretching form Pandemonium all the way to her sister city, Sticks. So if you feel you know your sums and long division, know how to work a lilyscope, and are proof against fire, acid, boiling, and spells of disintegration, I suggest you line up early.

Come celebrate this awesome new book with Susane Colasanti herself at our next event! Information here.

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.

Pages