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Ivy's Reviews

Ivy grew up very close to Santa Cruz and is a UC Santa Cruz graduate. She is the head of the Hardback section, History, and helps with Sci-Fi/Fantasy. Her voracious reading appetite can include anything from history, fiction, graphic novels, and anything in between.

 

 

Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson

ZJ’s dad is famous, like football-star famous, but he’s suffering from headaches and doctors don’t know what’s wrong. Told in Woodson’s iconic beautiful poetry, we get a firsthand account of a loving father-son relationship growing as it faces adversity. Woodson’s way with words takes my breath away every time, and this book is a stark reminder that kids see more than we think. Perfect for sports fans, of course, but also anyone looking for stories about strong family bonds. —Ivy

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Before the Ever After Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780399545436
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Nancy Paulsen Books - September 1st, 2020

Lightfall: The Girl & the Galdurian by Tim Probert

Bea, a young girl who has intense anxiety, and a Galdurian, a species assumed extinct, team up to find Bea’s missing and increasingly infirm grandfather. Traveling through Irpa (their world), they discover beautiful wonders and creeping dangers. A wildly inventive start of what is sure to be an exciting graphic novel series, I couldn’t put it down for anything. I can’t wait for the next installment! Fans of Amulet and Mighty Jack take notice, this one's for you. —Ivy

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Lightfall: The Girl & the Galdurian Cover Image
By Tim Probert, Tim Probert (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780062990464
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperAlley - September 1st, 2020

Your Place in the Universe by Jason Chin

It’s easy to feel small in this wide and ever expanding universe, especially when you’re not yet very tall. This book gives readers a great sense of scale and upholds our place in the universe. Chin has a knack for taking large and complex concepts and making them accessible to everyone. The art is so detailed it’s easy to feel like the illustrations are real. This is a great book for science-minded kids, but everyone could benefit from the greater understanding it provides. —Ivy

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Your Place in the Universe Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780823446230
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Neal Porter Books - September 1st, 2020

Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari’s back! After conquering the diving board, Jabari focuses on flight next. The art is fun and expressive as it chronicles each attempt through which he learns something new and builds on his knowledge. My favorite part, however, is Jabari’s supportive family as he struggles: a great reminder that success comes with mishaps and the loving belief of those around us. This is the perfect book for fans of Rosie Revere and anyone looking for a little inspiration. —Ivy

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Jabari Tries Cover Image
By Gaia Cornwall, Gaia Cornwall (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781536207163
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - September 8th, 2020

The Bone Shard Daughter by Andrea Stewart

Revenge, intrigue, and unexpected magic live at the heart of this stunning debut. In an Asian-inspired fantasy world, rebellion foments against the mysterious and harsh Emperor who demands a literal part of every citizen to keep them safe from a nebulous threat. One young woman must seek out the secrets to her father’s magic, but the answers are much darker than she can imagine. Rich and truly surprising, this book stayed with me long after I put it down. —Ivy

This book is part of our Fall Reading Challenge. Read more here.

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The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire #1) Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316541428
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - September 8th, 2020

Daddy: Stories by Emma Cline

Emma Cline has proven to be a master storyteller. I don’t know of any other writer that could string connections between such disparate stories of things like a holiday dinner, a scandalous nanny, and illicit underwear sales. Yet each story feels familiar and new at the same time. Some are uncomfortable, some are funny, but all are excellent. Cline is truly at the start of an impressive and promising career and I can’t wait to see what comes next. —Ivy

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Daddy: Stories Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780812998641
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - September 1st, 2020

Felix Ever After by Kacen Callendar

Felix attends a very prestigious art school and is struggling with his identity when he gets targeted by an anonymous transphobic bully and everyone becomes suspect. I really appreciated Felix’s candor as he works through the various threads of his life. Being a teenager is hard and Felix doesn’t always get it right. This is a great read for all teens, especially for those trying to find their place in the world.

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Felix Ever After Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780062820259
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 5th, 2020

An Embarrassment of Witches by Sophie Goldstein & Jenn Jordan

Life is hard enough after college, and living in a world filled with magic doesn’t make anything easier. In this very relatable graphic novel, Rory, after a rough breakup and a cancelled trip to save endangered dragons, has no idea what she wants out of life. Even her best friend, her new magic-studying housemate, and her familiar can’t save Rory from her own destructive behavior. The color palette is deceptively simple and lovely. I found myself pulled into the witchy drama despite myself. 

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An Embarrassment of Witches Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781603094627
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Top Shelf Productions - March 3rd, 2020

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo

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The Empress of Salt and Fortune (The Singing Hills Cycle #1) Cover Image
By Nghi Vo
$12.99
ISBN: 9781250750303
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - March 24th, 2020

Nghi Vo is an impressive storyteller and is about to take the fantasy world by storm. Her short stories have delighted for years and I cannot wait for everyone to read her new novella. This promising debut author delivers lush settings, intriguing magic, and political intrigue. When an Empress dies, a young monk travels to record her straightforward history, but they find a complex legacy instead. Every twist and turn surprised me. This is an author to watch. —Ivy


The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz by Erik Larson

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz Cover Image
$32.00
ISBN: 9780385348713
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Crown - February 25th, 2020

Larson is a master at taking history and bringing it to life. Many people know about the London Blitz, but through the use of diaries, letters, and official documents, a lost and very human narrative begins to emerge. Clerks and secretaries helped form history as much as the giants we all know. I found myself leaning into the story, worried about what would happen next, even though I knew the outcome. Brilliant and engaging, this isn’t one to miss.  —Ivy


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