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Bookshop Staff's Favorite Kids & YA Books

Give the gift of reading with our delightful collection of kids' books! From board books for babies to chapter books for older kids, Bookshop Santa Cruz's selection has something for every age group! Star your child on a lifelong journey of learning and exploration with our captivating children's books.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows, my beloved. This book blew my mind with how good it is. It combines so many things I love: heists, magic, complex characters, and a ragtag team brought together by a common goal. I was immediately drawn in from the first page and could not put it down. Action-packed, funny, quick-witted, and filled with complicated relationships, readers will be on the edge of their seats throughout the entire duology. 

—Alana

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Six of Crows By Leigh Bardugo Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781250076960
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - February 6th, 2018

Mamo by Sas Milledge

Mamo weaves together magic, nature, grief, romance, adventure, and complex family relationships all in one beautiful story. It follows Orla, a witch who must return home after her grandmother passes, and Jo, who quickly bond with Orla after enlisting her help. This book captures all the magic of a Studio Ghibli film with its own unique style. I immediately fell in love with it! 

—Alana

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Mamo By Sas Milledge Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781684158171
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: BOOM! Box - April 19th, 2022

Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Howl's Moving Castle is a department-wide staff favorite and for very good reason. It's a book you could read again and again and get lost in every time. It's filled with magic, excellent worldbuilding, and twists you won't see coming (even if you've seen the Studio Ghibli adaptation). It's also incredibly funny. Through the book and movie are different from each other, both are unique magical. Sophie and Howl will forever be iconic. 

—Alana

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Howl's Moving Castle (World of Howl #1) By Diana Wynne Jones Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780061478789
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - April 22nd, 2008

The Wolf Suit by Sid Sharp

Bellweather has a problem: he is a sheep in a forest of wolves. Tired of being afraid, he comes up with a solution: THE WOLF SUIT! Beautiful, offbeat illustrations depict the hijinks that inevitably ensue. I was hooked all the way through this delightful graphic novel about conformity, bravery, and strength among friends. — Yves

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The Wolf Suit By Sid Sharp Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781773217208
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Annick Press - October 25th, 2022

Adventuregame Comics: Leviathan by Jason Shiga

Shiga's newest offering to the comics world, a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure-style medieval fantasy graphic novel, allows for hours of absorbing fun as the reader navigates puzzles, mazes, and clever design to defeat the legendary Leviathan. Shiga has created a panacea for all those harried parents of video-game addicted children. This comic plays just like an RPG and is bound to feel as satisfying when completed. — Yves

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Adventuregame Comics: Leviathan (Book 1): An Interactive Graphic Novel By Jason Shiga Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781419757792
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams Fanfare - September 13th, 2022

The Watsons Go To Birmingham 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis

An eternal classic, and a story every child can relate to: the heart, humor, and hijinks of family, bound together by the dangers that threaten all of them. Curtis proves his skill as an author with a quick-moving plot, vibrantly memorable characters, and a remarkable grasp emotion in kidlit —every time I read this one, I both laugh and cry. — Yves

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963: 25th Anniversary Edition By Christopher Paul Curtis Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780593306499
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yearling - November 3rd, 2020

Monstrous Affections ed. by Kelly Link & Gavin J. Grant

This collection of short stories for teens stands out as a diversely-populated world of monster family, monster friends, monster enemies, and, yes some very compelling monster lovers. 15 authors plumb the depths of otherwordly symbolism for real poignancy and emotion, sure to pluck all the varied feelings from your heart. — Yves

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Monstrous Affections: An Anthology of Beastly Tales By Kelly Link (Editor), Gavin J. Grant (Editor) Cover Image
By Kelly Link (Editor), Gavin J. Grant (Editor)
$22.99
This item may be available from the publisher! Give us a call or send us an email to find out.
ISBN: 9780763664732
Published: Candlewick - September 9th, 2014

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

I read this book every summer—I just can't let it go. With a downed sibling, an epistolary romance, and a damaged friendship at its core, Words in Deep Blue remains powerful enough to make me cry every single time, and to bring me out of grief with hope. My perfect, poignant comfort read about a little bookshop by the sea. — Yves

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Words in Deep Blue By Cath Crowley Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781101937679
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ember - May 29th, 2018

Little Brother & Homeland by Cory Doctorow

Written over a dozen years ago yet somehow even more relevant today, Cory Doctorow’s tale of clever teens engaged in a technological rebellion serves as both a wake-up call and a lesson in resistance. If George Orwell’s 1984 is on your mind these days, then jump into the 21st century with this book. Now available bound with the sequel Homeland, first published in 2014. -Michelle

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Little Brother & Homeland By Cory Doctorow Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250774583
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - July 7th, 2020

Amari & the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

The mysterious delivery of a suitcase triggered to open at midnight launches our hero Amari into Junior Agent try-outs at the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, and us readers into an intricate all-new magical system. The racism and classism faced by Amari in middle school have parallels in this fantastical world created by #ownvoices debut author B. B. Alston, but Amari has been training for these challenges her whole life. Quick, read this first book in a new trilogy! A major motion picture is already in the works! -Michelle

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Amari and the Night Brothers (Supernatural Investigations #1) By B. B. Alston Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780062975171
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - January 4th, 2022

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