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Teen Advisory Board Member Tiffany Reviews Stepsister
by Jennifer Donnelly
“Isabelle should be blissfully happy – she’s about to win the handsome prince. Except Isabelle isn’t the beautiful girl who lost the glass slipper and captured the prince’s heart. She’s the ugly stepsister who’s cut off her toes to fit into Cinderella’s shoe ... which is now filling with blood.
When the prince discovers Isabelle’s deception, she is turned away in shame. It’s no more than she deserves: she is a plain girl in a world that values beauty; a feisty girl in a world that wants her to be pliant.
Isabelle has tried to fit in. To live up to her mother’s expectations. To be like her stepsister. To be sweet. To be pretty. One by one, she has cut away pieces of herself in order to survive a world that doesn’t appreciate a girl like her. And that has made her mean, jealous, and hollow.
Until she gets a chance to alter her destiny and prove what ugly stepsisters have always known: it takes more than heartache to break a girl.”
In her unapologetically feminist novel, Donnelly confronts demand for females to be beautiful, the way society belittles those who are “ugly,” the history of how women weren’t allowed to get an education, the concept of pitting girls against each other, the power of courage and bravery, and the right to make our own destiny rather than relying on fate or chance. The representation of these principles is skillfully done, provoking empowering thought and leaving an impact on the reader.
Isabelle is both a complex character and a powerful female lead who may not be perfect and sweet, but is defiant and heroic in her own way. Not only is she a character readers can look up to, but one who has struggles and insecurities many can find relatable. Isabelle isn’t the only complex character either-nearly everyone in Stepsister is comprised of a multitude of layers-both beautiful and ugly ones-beneath who they appear to be upon first impression.
If you like dark, twisted retellings or just an empowering read, pick up Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly.
Stepsister is available in stores now!
Giggle your way to sweet and silly dreams! A simple goodnight routine turns marvelously madcap in this cleverly rhymed picture book. Instead of settling down to sleep, Dad bakes bread, Mom fixes the roof, and Grandma plays cards with a ghost. And between the dog, the cat, Sister, and Brother, there's at least three different wars being waged! A modern classic perfect for read-aloud fun and bedtime alike.
- A wildly fun read-aloud book for families
- A laugh-out-loud book perfect for any child who struggles with getting ready for bed
- Written by the lead singer of the Decemberists, the silly and clever rhymes make Everyone's Awake fun for both parent and child.
Fans of Goodnight Already and Dinosaur vs Bedtime will find Everyone's Awake to be a perfect path to a good night's sleep.
By Margaret Rogerson
Authors: Renée Ahdieh, Ameriie, Soman Chainani, Susan Dennard, Sarah Enni, Marissa Meyer, Cindy Pon, Victoria Schwab, Samantha Shannon, Adam Silvera, Andrew Smith, April Genevieve Tucholke, and Nicola Yoon
BookTubers: Benjamin Alderson (Benjaminoftomes), Sasha Alsberg (abookutopia), Whitney Atkinson (WhittyNovels), Tina Burke (ChristinaReadsYA blog and TheLushables), Catriona Feeney (LittleBookOwl), Jesse George (JessetheReader), Zoë Herdt (readbyzoe), Samantha Lane (Thoughts on Tomes), Sophia Lee (thebookbasement), Raeleen Lemay (padfootandprongs07), Regan Perusse (PeruseProject), Christine Riccio (polandbananasBOOKS), and Steph Sinclair & Kat Kennedy (Cuddlebuggery blog and channel)
“In this unique YA anthology, thirteen acclaimed, bestselling authors team up with thirteen influential BookTubers to reimagine fairy tales from the oft-misunderstood villains' points of view.
These fractured, unconventional spins on classics like "Medusa," Sherlock Holmes, and "Jack and the Beanstalk" provide a behind-the-curtain look at villains' acts of vengeance, defiance, and rage--and the pain, heartbreak, and sorrow that spurned them on. No fairy tale will ever seem quite the same again!”
3. Showing the joys of female friendship and perseverance, OUTRUN THE MOON proves the power of We the Female.
By Stacey Lee
“San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. Clare’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. Clare’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes.
On April 18, a historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying Mercy’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Though fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the army to bring help—she still has the “bossy” cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenage girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city?”
4. Action-packed and exciting, there is Never a Dulles Moment in SIX OF CROWS.
By Leigh Bardugo
“Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .
A convict with a thirst for revenge
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager
A runaway with a privileged past
A spy known as the Wraith
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes
Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.”
5. Standing up for her rights, Layla from INTERMENT promotes Freedom of Peach.
By Samira Ahmed
“Rebellions are built on hope.
Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens.
With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp's Director and his guards.
Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.”
6. Shh...It’s Top Secret, because we are the WICKED SAINTS
By Emily A. Duncan
An instant New York Times bestseller!
A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.
A prince in danger must decide who to trust.
A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.
Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.
In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.
7. Hesina from DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE is more than just a princess: She’s Madam President
By Joan He
Tyrants cut out hearts. Rulers sacrifice their own. Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death... because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago. Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high? In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.
8. Having a bad summer? (Like Lou from HOT DOG GIRL) Then please, Stay Off the Lawn
By Jennifer Dugan
Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:
* She's landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog.
* Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou's never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.
* Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who's always been up for anything, suddenly isn't when it comes to Lou's quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou's scheme to get close to Nick.
* And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland--ever--unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.
Jennifer Dugan's sparkling debut coming-of-age queer romance stars a princess, a pirate, a hot dog, and a carousel operator who find love--and themselves--in unexpected people and unforgettable places.
9. Pale to the Chief, because we’re DEALING IN DREAMS
By Lilliam Rivera
At night, Las Mal Criadas own these streets.Nalah leads the fiercest all-girl crew in Mega City. That roles brings with it violent throw downs and access to the hottest boydega clubs, but the sixteen-year-old grows weary of the life. Her dream is to get off the streets and make a home in the exclusive Mega Towers, in which only a chosen few get to live. To make it to the Mega towers, Nalah must prove her loyalty to the city's benevolent founder and cross the border in a search for a mysterious gang the Ashé Ryders. Led by a reluctant guide, Nalah battles other crews and her own doubts, but the closer she gets to her goal, the more she loses sight of everything—and everyone— she cares about.
Nalah must do the unspeakable to get what she wants—a place to call home. But is a home just where you live? Or who you choose to protect?
10. Listen to Bri from ON THE COME UP: She’s the Squeaker Of The House
By Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.
On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.
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The Marvel Avenger known as Black Widow is ready to strike in her first Little Golden Book!
Meet Marvel's super-spy hero Black Widow, the Avenger who never backs down even when faced with the baddest of the bad guys. Boys and girls ages 2 to 5 will love this action-packed Little Golden Book as they learn about the Black Widow--from all her amazing skills to her faithful friends and fiercest foes.
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A great NEW book to add to your collection!
This princess can't resist the lure of adventure, but her parents aren't quite on board in this fantastical graphic novel
2.Mercy from OUTRUN THE MOON is Taurus!
By Stacey Lee
4.Esther from A SELF-DEFINITIVE LIST OF WORST NIGHTMARES is Cancer!
By Krystal Sutherland
6. Princess Anthia from THE STORM CROW is a Virgo!
By: Kalyn Josephson
By Evgenia, Alannah, Tiffany, & Ava
The best of both worlds: literature and art. (O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo.) Here are six YA books that remind us of our favorite art pieces!
BONUS: A piece of modern art, titled “Famoose” and brought to you by Amanda, awaits at the end of the list.
1. An air of mystery connects MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN and the Mona Lisa
By: Ransom Riggs
Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa is easily one of the most popular and well-known works of Renaissance art, and it’s easy to see why. There’s a certain mysterious allure to its famous subject, in the clever glint of her eye and subtle curve of her smile. This air of mystery is reflected in Jacob Portman’s tale in MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN. Jacob leads a perfectly normal - and dull, even - life, working at a shop in his uncle’s enormous drug store chain and taking care of his increasingly delusional grandfather in whose wonderous stories of the children’s home where he grew up Jacob used to delight. That is, until the day he finds said grandfather dead. Still reeling in shock, Jacob travels with his father to Cairnholm, a small island off of Wales where all of his grandfather’s most fantastical stories were set. At first glance, he finds this island to be little more than perpetual rain and an abnormally large population of sheep. But Cairnholm, as Jacob soon realizes, has secrets of its own to reveal; least of all that his grandfather’s stories were real.
2. Karou from DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE would just love to see this Cafe Terrace at Night
By Laini Taylor
Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
3. ILLUMINAE and Starry Night both have space as their backdrop
By Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded. The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit. But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.
4. Dark and sinister, Katherine and Toby from AN ASSASSIN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND TREASON may meet during The Night Watch.
By Virginia Boecker
“When Lady Katherine's father is killed for being an illegally practicing Catholic, she discovers treason wasn't the only secret he's been hiding: he was also involved in a murder plot against the reigning Queen Elizabeth I. With nothing left to lose, Katherine disguises herself as a boy and travels to London to fulfill her father's mission, and to take it one step further--kill the queen herself.
Katherine's opportunity comes in the form of William Shakespeare's newest play, which is to be performed in front of Her Majesty. But what she doesn't know is that the play is not just a play--it's a plot to root out insurrectionists and destroy the rebellion once and for all.
The mastermind behind this ruse is Toby Ellis, a young spy for the queen with secrets of his own. When Toby and Katherine are cast opposite each other as the play's leads, they find themselves inexplicably drawn to one another. But the closer they grow, the more precarious their positions become. And soon they learn that star-crossed love, mistaken identity, and betrayal are far more dangerous off the stage than on.”
5. As she faces the storm within, Nym from STORM SIREN may make The Great Wave of Kanagawa.
By Mary Weber
In a world at war, a slave girl’s lethal curse could become one kingdom’s weapon of salvation. If the curse—and the girl—can be controlled.
As a slave in the war-weary kingdom of Faelen, seventeen-year-old Nym isn’t merely devoid of rights, her Elemental kind are only born male and always killed at birth — meaning, she shouldn’t even exist.
Standing on the auction block beneath smoke-drenched mountains, Nym faces her fifteenth sell. But when her hood is removed and her storm-summoning killing curse revealed, Nym is snatched up by a court advisor and given a choice: be trained as the weapon Faelen needs to win the war, or be killed.
Choosing the former, Nym is unleashed into a world of politics, bizarre parties, and rumors of an evil more sinister than she’s being prepared to fight . . . not to mention the handsome trainer whose dark secrets lie behind a mysterious ability to calm every lightning strike she summons.
But what if she doesn’t want to be the weapon they’ve all been waiting for?
Set in a beautifully eclectic world of suspicion, super abilities, and monsters, Storm Siren is a story of power. And whoever controls that power will win.
6. From The Birth of Venus arises LOVELY WAR
By Julie Berry
It's 1917, and World War I is at its zenith when Hazel and James first catch sight of each other at a London party. She's a shy and talented pianist; he's a newly minted soldier with dreams of becoming an architect. When they fall in love, it's immediate and deep—and cut short when James is shipped off to the killing fields.
Aubrey Edwards is also headed toward the trenches. A gifted musician who's played Carnegie Hall, he's a member of the 15th New York Infantry, an all-African-American regiment being sent to Europe to help end the Great War. Love is the last thing on his mind. But that's before he meets Colette Fournier, a Belgian chanteuse who's already survived unspeakable tragedy at the hands of the Germans.
Thirty years after these four lovers' fates collide, the Greek goddess Aphrodite tells their stories to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another? But her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music and reveals that War is no match for the power of Love.
Congratulations, reader! Now for the BONUS:
modern art - “Famoose”