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Happy Poetry Month!

It's Poetry Month! Poetry is a beautiful form of creativity and expression. It tells stories in a succinct format that allows for both urgency and pause. In honor of Poetry Month, here's a short list of some of our favorite YA books written in verse. Pick one up, grab a good seat, and settle in for a couple hours. 

 

1. Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo 

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.

With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.

Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

Note: As you can see from the medals on this cover, Poet X is the winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, the Michael L. Printz Award, and the Pura Belpré Award! Even more exciting, you can meet Elizabeth Acevedo at Books Inc. Opera Plaza on May 13th. It is a ticketed event, so purchase your ticket (which includes a copy of her newest novel With the Fire on High) here.

 

2. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds 

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

An ode to Put the Damn Guns Down, this is National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestseller Jason Reynolds’s fiercely stunning novel that takes place in sixty potent seconds—the time it takes a kid to decide whether or not he’s going to murder the guy who killed his brother.

A cannon. A strap.
A piece. A biscuit.
A burner. A heater.
A chopper. A gat.
A hammer
A tool
for RULE

Or, you can call it a gun. That’s what fifteen-year-old Will has shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? Just as Will’s trying to think this through, the door to the next floor opens. A teenage girl gets on, waves away the smoke from Dead Buck’s cigarette. Will doesn’t know her, but she knew him. Knew. When they were eight. And stray bullets had cut through the playground, and Will had tried to cover her, but she was hit anyway, and so what she wants to know, on that fifth floor elevator stop, is, what if Will, Will with the gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, MISSES.

And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

Told in short, fierce staccato narrative verse, Long Way Down is a fast and furious, dazzlingly brilliant look at teenage gun violence, as could only be told by Jason Reynolds.

Note: If you're looking for a book you can't put down until the very end, this is for you. This book will pull you along through heart-pounding verse, one floor at a time. 

 

3. Solo by Kwame Alexander 

Solo by Kwame Alexander

Blade never asked for a life of the rich and famous. In fact, he'd give anything not to be the son of Rutherford Morrison, a washed-up rock star and drug addict with delusions of a comeback. Or to no longer be part of a family known most for lost potential, failure, and tragedy, including the loss of his mother. The one true light is his girlfriend, Chapel, but her parents have forbidden their relationship, assuming Blade will become just like his father.

In reality, the only thing Blade and Rutherford have in common is the music that lives inside them. And songwriting is all Blade has left after Rutherford, while drunk, crashes his high school graduation speech and effectively rips Chapel away forever. But when a long-held family secret comes to light, the music disappears. In its place is a letter, one that could bring Blade the freedom and love he's been searching for, or leave him feeling even more adrift.

Note: Music and poetry aren't too different so Solo weaves them together to bring you a lyrical story that navigates, death, family, and love. 

 

4. White Rose by Kip Wilson 

White Rose by Kip Wilson

A gorgeous and timely novel based on the incredible story of Sophie Scholl, a young German college student who challenged the Nazi regime during World War II as part of The White Rose, a non-violent resistance group.

Disillusioned by the propaganda of Nazi Germany, Sophie Scholl, her brother, and his fellow soldiers formed the White Rose, a group that wrote and distributed anonymous letters criticizing the Nazi regime and calling for action from their fellow German citizens. The following year, Sophie and her brother were arrested for treason and interrogated for information about their collaborators. This debut novel recounts the lives of Sophie and her friends and highlights their brave stand against fascism in Nazi Germany.

Note: This book is perfect for those looking for a different way to learn about history. Its a beatiful, heart-breaking window into a young woman's life and death during one of the world's darkest times.

 

5. Voices: the Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott

Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott

Bestselling author David Elliott explores how Joan of Arc changed the course of history and remains a figure of fascination centuries after her extraordinary life and death. Joan of Arc gets the Hamilton treatment in this evocative novel. 

Told through medieval poetic forms and in the voices of the people and objects in Joan of Arc’s life, (including her family and even the trees, clothes, cows, and candles of her childhood), Voices offers an unforgettable perspective on an extraordinary young woman. Along the way it explores timely issues such as gender, misogyny, and the peril of speaking truth to power. Before Joan of Arc became a saint, she was a girl inspired. It is that girl we come to know in Voices.

Note: Another unique way of looking at a historical figure through her eyes, as well as people, creatures, and objects she comes in contact with. 

New Review! - Sky in the Deep

 

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Teen Advisory Board Member Evgenia Reviews Sky in the Deep

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

 

Eelyn, a young warrior, has been raised to value her clan, the Aska, above all else, but when she sees her dead brother fighting on the other side of a battle she is thrust into unfamiliar territory. Stolen away to live alongside her enemies, the Riki, Eelyn must form alliances and fight to survive the winter. Even further complicating things is Fiske, her brother’s new friend, who she must trust in order to win the coming battle. Eelyn is forced to confront her old beliefs, and to unite with her enemies in order to stop an even greater enemy that threatens both the Riki and the Aska.

 

Sky in the Deep has such originality, thrusting the reader into the brutal lives of viking clans. Adrienne Young  delved deep into a portion of history seldom seen in young adult novels, and created a vivid, harsh backdrop for her story. The characters were compelling, revealing more and more secrets, connections, and traits as the book proceeded. With every page, the characters felt more and more real, as if they were flesh and blood.

 

Eelyn is an interesting protagonist to read about. She is characterized, largely, by her beliefs and values and her status as Aska. As all of those are threatened and challenged, the reader is able to see all of the ways that she develops and changes.

 

Clans, battles, and friendships abound in this interesting viking novel. Young’s writing emphasizes the connections between characters and raises questions about loyalty and family. Sky in the Deep would be perfect for people fascinated with vikings, history, or just those looking for an exciting, unusual read.

 

The Sky in the Deep is available in stores now! 

New Review! - Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

 

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Teen Advisory Board Member Ava Reviews Seafire.

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

Seafire by Natalie C. Parker

 

After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx must captain her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric's armed and armored fleet.

But when Caledonia's best friend and second-in-command barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all . . . or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?

I absolutely adore this badass feminist pirate story! The contrast between Caledonia, the headstrong Captain of the Mors Navis, and Pisces, her compassionate first mate, is the sort of female friendship I absolutely adore. Their solutions to escape are so cleverly planned out by the author, easy to comprehend and a joy to read. Adding to the amazingness of this book, Seafire is abundant with diversity. Not only are many characters described as having various skin tones, one crucial character is deaf and others are involved in LGBTQ+ relationships (as expected in an all-female environment).

If Seafire by Natalie C. Parker is missing from your shelf, then make a note to read it! You will have no regrets.

 

Seafire is available in stores now! 

 

Books Inc.'s Best Selling YA Novels for March 2019

On the Come Up Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062498564
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 5th, 2019

The Hate U Give Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062498533
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Balzer + Bray - February 28th, 2017

Five Feet Apart Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781534437333
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - November 20th, 2018

The Sun Is Also a Star Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9780553496710
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Ember - March 5th, 2019

To All the Boys I've Loved Before Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781534438378
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - July 10th, 2018

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #2) Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781442426740
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - January 31st, 2017

Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780316420235
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Poppy - October 9th, 2018

Esperanza Rising (Scholastic Gold) Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780439120425
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Scholastic Press - May 2002

Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781442472433
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - November 28th, 2017

Dry Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781481481960
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - October 2nd, 2018

Field Notes on Love Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780399559419
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Delacorte Press - March 5th, 2019

We Are Okay Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9780142422939
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Penguin Books - February 26th, 2019

Two Can Keep a Secret Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781524714727
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Delacorte Press - January 8th, 2019

Picture Us In The Light Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781484726020
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Disney-Hyperion - April 10th, 2018

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before #3) Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781481430494
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - April 10th, 2018

I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781524700515
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Ember - March 5th, 2019

It's Not Like It's a Secret Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9780062473424
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: HarperTeen - November 13th, 2018

One of Us Is Lying Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781524714680
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Delacorte Press - May 30th, 2017

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250170972
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - March 6th, 2018

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The Poet X Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062662804
Availability: In Stock Now - Click Title to See Store Inventory. Books must show IN STOCK at your desired location for same day pick-up.
Published: HarperTeen - March 6th, 2018

Elizabeth Acevedo is coming to Books Inc. in Opera Plaza!!!

With the Fire on High at Books Inc. Opera Plaza tour announcement banner

We might be freaking out with all the excitement because the one & only ELIZABETH ACEVEDO will be joining us at Books Inc. Opera Plaza on May 13th in celebration of her stunning new novel, With the Fire on High!

This event is surely going to sell out quickly, so we very highly recommend you purchase your tix as soon as you possibly can. Ticket admits 1 and includes a copy of With the Fire on High. 

 

Read It Before You See It- Movies Inspire a Book Buying Trend

It's not really a new thing that people love (or hate) to see their favorite novels adapted into films. The "digital-age-old" battle of  Movie vs. Book (the book is better) has pushed the sales of many novels up. After all, you can't have an opinion if you haven't seen the movie AND read the book, can you? NOPE. 

So, what are readers excited to be seeing in theatres (or on their tv screen) based on sales in March? Let's take a look:

1. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Angie Thomas' debut novel has spent a consecutive 180 weeks on the New York Times' Bestseller List. Tugging on heart-strings and shining a spot-light on nation-wide turmoil, The Hate U Give has captivated so many people. It was an obvious choice for a film adaptation. That film grossed over $29 million during it's 15 weeks on the big screen. The novel still sits-pretty on many Best Seller lists, including ours. In March it sits as the 2nd best selling novel in YA, just below Thomas' newest novel, On the Come Up

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

2. Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, and Tobias Iaconis

Tapping into the John Green fandom, Five Feet Apart, the story of two teens falling in love despite major illnesses, debuted back in November and already we were expecting a film adaptation. Most likey it's because Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis are screenwriters and sold the story to the book and film industries simultaneously. The movie came out in March and the novel sits pretty at #1 on the New York Times Best Selling List. For Books Inc., it rests snuggly at #3.

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry, and Tobias Iaconis

3. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Nicola Yoon's sophomore novel, The Sun is Also a Star came out back in November 2016 accompanied by a wave of praise. Yes, it is  a #1 New York Times Best Selling novel as well, but it was also named their Notable Children's Book of the Year 2016. And still, we've had to wait nearly THREE YEARS for the film adaption. (To be fair we were given Everything, Everything back in 2017, but we're still counting.) It's not any less timely though, being the story of two teens falling in love in 24 hours while one struggles with societal expecations and the other faces deportation. The movie opens in theatres this May, so if you're not one of the people who helped land it the #4 spot on Books Inc.'s best selling list this March, you better go out and grab your copy quick! 

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

4. To All the Boys I've Loved Before Series by Jenny Han

The beloved story of Lara Jean and her adventures in love has captivated readers since 2014, but it wasn't until 2018 that we got our adaptation from Netflix and it was well worth the wait. Even more exciting is that Netflix announced it will also be giving us the sequel, P.S. I Still Love You. All three novels in the series were Books Inc. best sellers in March: To All the Boys I've Loved rounds out the top 5 while, P.S. I Still Love You follows closely at #6 and Always and Forever Lara Jean hangs in at #15. 

5. Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

This past February, Tor announced the exciting news that Fox 2000 will be adapting Children of Blood and Bone for the big screen. The West-African inspired fantasy sky rocketed in popularity before it even hit shelves, debuting, you guessed it, as a New York Times Best Seller. It currently sits at #8 on their list and #19 on ours. Though we don't have a date for the film, we do have a publication date for the sequel, Children of Virtue and Vengence, December 3, 2019. Preorder your copy now! 

 

The Stranger Things Craze Continues...

... and are we really that upset about it? NO. 

This week, Netflix dropped the trailer for Stranger Things season 3 and the internet LIT UP.

I, for one, CANNOT WAIT! July 4th is TOO FAR AWAY. 

Which is why I'm super stoked that the Random House has a few things to help hold us over.

1. Hawkins Middle School Yearbook/ Hawkins High School Year Book (2 Books in 1!)

Hawkins Middle School Year Book/ Hawkins High School Year Book by Matthew J. Gilbert

For those of you who like to immerse yourself into the world, we've got this vintage '80s yearbook  that's really two books in one. First, visit the middle school in Mike Wheeler's annual, then flip it over and feel the Tiger pride in Nancy Wheeler's high school yearbook. Filled with class pictures, AV Club candids, lists, inscriptions, and secret notes, this is sure to fascinate fans of all ages.

Order now! 

2. How to Survive in a Stranger Things World 

How to Survive in a Stranger Things World by Matthew J. Gilbert

Need a little help navigating the Upside Down parts of the world? If so, this hardcover collection of wisdom and warnings from Netflix's original series Stranger Things can help guide you through school, friendships, and your town's darkest secrets. Featuring full-color images from the series and quotes from Dustin, Steve, Eleven, and the others, it is sure to thrill fans of all ages.

Available Now!

3. Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds

Stranger Things by Suspicious Minds by Gwenda Bond

Looking for something a bit spookier, head over to the Fiction section for this one:  A mysterious lab. A sinister scientist. A secret history. If you think you know the truth behind Eleven’s mother, prepare to have your mind turned Upside Down in this thrilling prequel to the hit show Stranger Things.

Available now! 

4. Stranger Things: Runaway Max

Stranger Things: Runaway Max by Brenna Yavonoff

Reacquaint yourself with the series just before it kicks off on Independence Day with this must-read novel that explores Max's past--the good and the bad--as well as how she came to find her newfound sense of home in Hawkins, Indiana.

Available June 4th! Pre-order now.

Then settle in and BINGE Stranger Thigns Season 3! 

excited finn wolfhard GIF by Stranger Things

New Review! - Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

 

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Teen Advisory Board Member Sophia Reviews

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

In Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell, a young horse who spends his early upbringing sheltered from the hardships and cruelty of life begins to broaden his world to the many injustices prevalent in the Victorian era. As he is traded to numerous owners and exposed to the flaws and faults of man, Black Beauty offers an innocent perspective as to why cruelties exist and how they can be mended. Once the horse known as Black Beauty grows into an older colt, the reader establishes a deeper bond with this seemingly insignificant horse, learning the tribulations that a 19th century horse had to surmount, as well as the many injustices that we too must surmount to create a more just world.  

 

A treasured tale since it debuted in 1877, Black Beauty is a heartfelt, poignant, and widely beloved read that hasn't lost its ability to emphasize injustice even to a more modernized audience. Through the many years that this classic has warmed the hearts of all who have read it, it has only gained more meaning and applicability to our world today. After all, "My doctrine is this, that if we see cruelty or wrong that we have the power to stop, and do nothing, we make ourselves sharers in the guilt." -Black Beauty

 

Black Beauty is available in stores now! 

New Review! - Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton

 

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Teen Advisory Board Member Evgenia Reviews Strange Grace

Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton

Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton

Tessa Gratton’s dark and mysterious novel, Strange Grace, tells the story of a small village that made a deal with a devil long ago. Every seven years, the people sacrifice a young man to the forest and, in return, are protected from harm or disease. When her friend Rhun is at risk of being chosen, Mairwen, the daughter of a witch begins to suspect something not being quite right about the old story and is intent on making sure that no other boy’s lives are taken in vain.


One of the most interesting aspects of the book was the characters and their interactions with each other. They were all wildly different, with curious Mairwen, noble Rhun, and hot-headed Arthur. All of them developed as the story continued, completing the book as different people than those in the beginning. Additionally, the book has a long exposition, but the moment that it reaches the climax, it becomes fast-paced and exciting, leaving the reader guessing about what comes next. Gratton throws in twists and turns before finally reaching an impossible to predict ending.

 

Ideal for fans of horror and fantasy, Strange Grace is a well-written, intriguing journey through the forest, with plenty of plot twists and secrets along the way.

 

Strange Grace is available in stores now!

 

 

Ripped from the Headlines: When Life Meets Fiction, College Edition

Anxiety over college admissions is REAL.

Here are two stories from Random House about teens who took their future into their own hands.

 

We Regret to Inform You by Ariel Kaplan

How far would you go to get into the right college?... Fans of Becky Albertalli will appreciate this sharp-witted, timely novel about an overachiever who stumbles into the middle of a college admissions scandal when she's rejected by every school she applied to.

Available in stores now! 

Immoral Code by Lillian Clark

Immoral Code by Lillian Clark

Ocean's 8 meets The Breakfast Club in this fast-paced, multi-perspective story about five teens determined to hack into one billionaire absentee father's company to steal tuition money.

Available in stores now! 

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