Save the Dates!


June 28th: The Letter Q at Books Inc. Market Street, featuring authors Malinda Lo, Paige Braddock, Lucy Jane Bledsoe and Michael Nava

July 13th: TAKE THAT NEW YORK! A party in the Bay Area featuring YA authors. Bring your fancy hats.

August 10th: NYMBC+The Roxie = BFFs? Probably. Celebrate the 2yr anniversary of SCOTT PILGRIM at this special, late night screening. Tickets here

August 28th : Cory Jackson's book launch party for IF I LIE. 

Half Magic by Edward Eager

Sometimes the old is the best. First published in 1954, Half Magic is a perfect summertime read for any primary schooler. A magic coin is found and it saves an otherwise boring summer. It will grant a wish, but only halfway. How do you figure out what twice your wish is? Read the book and find out!

Once your done with this one, enjoy the other books by the great Edward Eager.

- reviewed by Elizabeth from Books Inc. Alameda


Pickle-Chiffon Pie by Jolly Roger Bradfield


A rediscovered classic from 60s, Pickle-Chiffon Pie is that rare beast, a completely silly picture book with fantastic illustrations and an important message.  Jolly Roger Bradfield has created his own fairytale world complete with a princess, several princes, a quest, and an enchanted forest. 

When the princess can’t decide which prince to marry, her father sends them on a quest into the enchanted forest to bring back the most wonderful thing they can find.  A fairly standard premise turns wacky with the addition of four-wheeled Dimdoozles, lions juggling root beer cans, sixteen-footed Gazoos, mice painting Picassos, Three-nosed Snozzles, and of course, Pickle-Chiffon pie.  The book, while silly and fun, also shows the importance of, as Bradfield puts it, “kindness and love and consideration for others…truly THE MOST WONDERFUL THING OF ALL.”

Also check out Bradfield's Pickle-Chiffon Pie Olympics!

for ages 4-8

- reviewed by Anna from Books Inc. Chestnut Street

Gallagher Girl series by Ally Carter

While I first read this series a couple years ago, with the recent release of Out of Sight, Out of Time (book 5) I thought I revisited the previous books to reacquaint myself with the series before I tackle the newest book 

Cammie Morgan goes to Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women in Roseville, Virginia where her mom is the headmistress. Sounds like a posh school for spoiled rich heiresses, right?  That’s where you are wrong. Gallagher Academy is a spy school for girls where the teachers teach their students to hack into the CIA and dismantle dirty bombs. While each book has their own plotline, the overarching story for the series deals with the mystery surrounding Cammie’s father disappearance when she was a little girl. 

Rereading the series has been fun and it is still full of sass, fun and kick-ass moments (and I mean that literally). I love the series’ emphasizes on strong female characters and friendships as well as Carter’s wit that keeps me laughing at various intervals. Well-paced and witty, this series reads like a movie. Great for a reluctant reader. Also its squeaky-clean romance makes it a good novel for middle and high schoolers looking for a novel that’s more fun than mushy. 

Book One: I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’ve Have to Kill You
Book Two: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
Book Three: Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover
Book Four: Only the Good Spy Young
Book Five: Out of Sight, Out of Time

- Reviewed by Connie from Books Inc. Opera Plaza

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

I tutor a thirteen year old in creative writing, and given my job and our relationship we obviously talk about books. A lot. And we recommend each other a lot of books. And I have to admit, since she will likely read this review and will call me out if I don’t admit, that she reads far more of the books I recommend to her than I read of what she recommends to me. Which isn’t fair or right, but it’s the occupational hazard of a bookseller that you’re never reading all the books that have been recommended to you by anyone, no matter how much you respect their opinion.

After a solid year of having NOT read a few of the books she’s recommended to me, she said: “Ok, fine,” in a very adult voice. “If you’re only going to read one of the books I recommend to you,” (and here she gave me a look as if to say, ‘I’m letting you off easy, you slacker’) “You HAVE to read the Knife of Never Letting Go.”

I asked her why. “Because it’s IMPORTANT,” she said.

Well. Clearly I had to read it. Immediately.

And she was totally right.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first in the Chaos Walking Trilogy from British author Patrick Ness. It came out several years ago in the US, and I even remember picking it up and thinking, I really ought to read this, and then of course, not doing so. My mistake. Contained in the pages of The Knife of Never Letting Go is a story that is as exciting as it is full of literary wallop. I was constantly awed by Ness’s ability to not only move a story forward, at a desperate, thrilling pace no less, but to simultaneously endow his prose with ruminations befitting a literary (which is to say, reviewed by the NYT), adult novel.

As I read, I marveled in the echoes of authors like Cormac McCarthy or even John Steinbeck in Ness’s thematic content, and relished the emotional acuity of his narrator, Todd. And as I closed in on the end, I thought, here it is, here’s what Young Adult is: it’s coming of age. It’s got content not befitting the under 12 group. It’s upsetting, it’s relatable, it’s life affirming and it’s hopeful.

When I finished, I thought: I need to tell everyone about this book. So I hope you read it. Because that thirteen year old I tutor was right. It is important.

--reviewed by Maggie, Children's Department Director (and NYMBC lady)


Subscribe to RSS - blogs