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Isle of Night by Veronica Wolff

I had the great pleasure of meeting Veronica Wolff at one of many N.Y.M.B.C fantastic Author events, and I gotta say this woman is pretty darn spectacular. I had not read her young adult series before I met her, but after meeting her I bought the first two books and pre-ordered the third. I was awed and amazed by how much I loved the story! I finished the first two books in 3 days, and was aching for the third! These books are not only fast paced, but something is always happening! I was never bored at any moment, and I loved loved loved the main character, Annelise! She is a snarky and sarcastic girl with a potty mouth and tends to, on more than one occasion, put her foot in her mouth. She isn't played off as this average girl, in fact she is a genius. Finding herself boarding a plane and being taken to a mysterious island with an even more mysterious hunk of a Scottish guy. She soon finds out she will be attending a school where not only vampires are the headmasters but she is training to be a deadly assassin. All the girls at this school are competing against eachother to the death to climb up the ladder of becoming an honorable Watcher. But all she wants to do is to get out of this dark and dreary rock, and in order to do so, she must become a watcher so that she may escape. Easier said than done, this series is brilliant! Not at all your typical vampire novel, these books have something for everyone! They not only had me laughing out loud multiple times, but they had me hanging onto every word on every page! The cliffhangers are killer, literally, so make sure to have the next available book in the series next to you! Bravo Veronica Wolff! Bravo! For Ages 14+

Reviewed by Courtney from Books Inc. Burlingame

Love That Dog & Hate That Cat by Sharon Creech

Think you hate reading? Don’t get poetry? Don’t think you’re a good writer? Well, take a glance inside the first few pages of Love That Dog, my friend.

Seriously, these books are so good. Even if you hate reading, even if you think the little tiny books are beyond your reading level, even if you’re a grown up. Everyone will relate to something in these stories. They have a journal-like, poetic quality, with touching insights into the mind and thought process of a blossoming (at times hesitant) young writer, reader and observer. Hate That Cat, puts a very cool spin on the way we see, hear and read the world, and silently explains why we’ll always need poetry.

BONUS FEATURE: There are many well-loved poems included in each story, (check them out in the back of each book) giving you a chance to learn them for the first time, or again with new eyes.

Reviewed by Chantal from Books Inc. Mountain View

Kel Gilligan's Daredevil Stunt Show by Michael Buckley (Ilus Dan Santat)

This thrilling new picture book is not only gut-bustingly hilarious, but could be used as a tool for kids to not be afraid of things such as potty-training or the dark. This book not only had the kids intrigued, but the parent's laughing! This story makes a fantastic read-aloud! Getting dramatic while reading this book aloud is what makes it a new favorite storytime read of mine!
 
-Reviewed by Courtney from Books Inc. Burlingame.
 
You can catch Courtney's storytime EVERY SUNDAY at 11am!

Kids Classic I Forgot to Read: Mary Poppins!

Here at Books Inc. on Chestnut, the proper, prim, unexplaining, and unexplainable nanny, Mary Poppins is back on the scene. Mary Poppins is one tough old bird, and those raised on Julie Andrews’ “spoonful of sugar” portrayal in the movie will find the original book more like a brisk swig of vinegar.  P.L Traver’s book is one to read aloud and it stands the test of listeners of many minds. Everybody believes in Mary Poppins - Michael and Jane Banks, the twin babies, and the Starling, Mr. and Mrs. Banks, Bert the Matchman who is also a pavement artist, and even the jolly uncle who sits on air! Fantastic without whimsy or sweetness, and human without dwelling on the obvious, I predict that long after some are forgotten, Mary Poppins will go on marching triumphantly--umbrella, carpet bag and white gloves in hand.  No parent or child should miss his share of the fun, the beauty and magic it holds.
 
--Reviewed by Sophie, Books Inc. Chestnut Street

The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen

The kingdom has lost its royal family and in order to prevent civil war a nobleman has taken up the task to train four young orphans to become the kingdom's "long lost prince". But there can only be one winner to claim the throne and the boys' endurance, strength, and wits are tested. The novel centers on Sage, a highly sarcastic, intelligent, and talented young boy. A lot of action and deception (even from Sage's first person narrative) will keep children 10 + reading and guessing.

This is a well-written story and its plot moves smoothly. It is the first in a series, and apart from the medieval setting, there are no magical or fantasy elements. I could however, see the sequels dealing with more of these things.

-Kelly, Books Inc. Laurel Village

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