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Both an exciting tale of intrigue and adventure and a character-driven coming of age story, Icefall is the gripping newest novel from Matthew Kirby.  Solveig is the disregarded daughter of a Nordic king.  When war threatens their nation, she is sent far away up a fjord along with her brother and sister and some of her father’s berserker warriors.  As winter descends and the ice locks them in, it becomes clear that there is a traitor in their midst and Solveig must figure out who she can trust before it’s too late.  Solvieg’s struggle with betrayal and fear ends up leading her to a discovery of her own self-worth.  Layered in the icy atmosphere of winter and with an unforgettable heroine, this book was one of my favorites.

For ages  9-14

Reviewed by Anna from Books Inc. Chestnut Street

ALSO Congratulations to ANNA! (But sad for us.) She will be leaving us soon to go to Library School! Here's to you, Anna, the best future librarian in the country!

 
It was said it couldn't be done. But here it is! Join us for the INAUGURAL Books Inc. Market Street Storytime for tots, featuring author RUTH KAISER and her book, The Smiley Book of Colors. 

I'm not usually into graphic novels, but as soon as I saw Claudette with her cunning smirk on the cover I knew I had to read it. Claudette isn't afraid of anything especially not giants! She sets off to slay a giant with her little brother Gaston (who's not so brave) and her best friend Marie (an aspiring princess). These three go on quite the adventure and find out some things about themselves along the way, and also find out a surprising fact about the giant they're after! Definitely a fun read. (Ages 8+)

--Reviewed by Melanie from Books Inc. Berkeley

 You can also check out ANOTHER rapturous review of this fabulous new graphic novel from Steven in Palo Alto here!

 
Thanks to author TODD PARR for doing this amazing, adorable and FLATTERING drawing for us here at Books Inc.! We high fives ourselves for hours. 
"Being the simple Five that she is, America doesn’t want anything to do with gowns, jewelry and fame. She’s content with being a Five, singing and playing music to help her family. She’s even more happy to stay with Aspen, her first love and boyfriend, despite the fact that he is a Six and their relationship is completely forbidden and frowned upon. However, with her mother’s insistence and at Aspen’s request, America goes ahead and signs up for the Selection. America’s so sure that she won’t be picked, but she is completely surprised when her name is called as one of the Selected. Although America dreads the whole thing, she wants to continue for her family. The money she gets for being a Selected is something her family needs at the moment. More so, America is certain she won’t be staying long. But she never learns and soon enough, America starts to see that Prince Maxon is not who she thought he was and the more she spends time with him, the more she learns that this lifestyle is something she could easily fall into and be a part of.


I absolutely became smitten and adored The Selection the moment I finished the first chapter. The whole idea of The Selection had me so intrigued. I loved what Kiera Cass created within the book. The way she tied in old ways with new and modern ones was simply marveling. There was the royal family, the other people in numbered caste system and rebels attacking the palace that made this book really enjoyable.

As a main character, America Singer really stood out for me. Before the being Selected, I already saw the strength in America and her overall rebellion and knack for not following the rules. She thinks for herself and she’s stubborn as hell and has a temper to match. She’s really talented, being able to speak in three different languages and the fact that she can sing and play various instruments really made me love her more. After being Selected, I was amazed at how America stayed true to herself. Even with the beautiful clothes and excellent food, she doesn’t change who she is inside. America even tries to befriend the other girls despite being each other’s competition, she takes some of their mean comments in stride. It’s not hard to like the other characters in the book, especially Maxon. At first, I saw him only the way America did: handsome, yet stiff and formal. As she got to know him, I did too. He may be a prince, but he’s just a normal person. Deep down, I could see that he had his own doubts about being the future king. He has fears, hopes, dreams and things he’s afraid he’ll never have no matter how much he desires them. The relationship that America had with Maxon was unusual, but so nice. I liked how they slowly became friends and then little by little they started to like each other more than that  America and Maxon just fit so well together. Their relationship is easy, satisfying and never forced. They learn to trust each other allowing America to open up to Maxon, telling him about the world outside the palace and in turn, Maxon tells her about his duties, hardships being prince and his thoughts on the state of the country. I also liked Aspen. He was charming, a romantic and passionate person. He was also admirable and selfless, but his pride got the best of him. He’s only apparent in the beginning of book and again in the end and I think his absence ultimately hurt him in my eyes and heart. Other memorable characters was America’s cute little sister, America’s maids: Anne, Lucy and Mary, but also a few of the other Selected such as Marlee and Kriss were a few of my favorites.

The Selection was downright amazing and brilliantly written. It’s no wonder I completely immersed myself within this book, flipping through each page without hesitancy. I really wanted to live in this world and experience what America went through. I didn’t expect to love The Selection as much as I did and I’m more than happy to have read such a lovely book. It was everything I hoped it would be and then some. There is no denying that I’ll be looking forward to more of America and her journey as a Selected in the next book to come."

 

--Jessirae of Words, Pages and Books blog

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