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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.



Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA by Neil Shubin

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Some Assembly Required: Decoding Four Billion Years of Life, from Ancient Fossils to DNA Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101871331
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon - March 17th, 2020

“Nothing begins where you think it does.” This includes our very existence. Humans didn’t just spring forth fully formed like Athena, but rather through chance and many years of intense evolution. Shubin manages to take the smallest part of us, DNA, and show just why it looms so large in everything we do. My mind was blown more than once and I raced to find the next revelation.  —Ivy

Miriam at the River by Jane Yolen

A young girl sets her baby brother, Moses, in a basket to float down the Nile River to an uncertain future. Not everyone thinks about Miriam and how she felt losing her brother, but this book does. Every page is worthy of a frame—the art is that good, it gave me goosebumps, and the beautiful poetic text brought tears to my eyes. While religious in origin, this story touches on universal fears, hopes, and dreams.

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By Jane Yolen, Khoa Le (Illustrator)
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ISBN: 9781541544000
Availability: Out of Print
Published: Kar-Ben Publishing (R) - February 4th, 2020

Stand Up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim

Yumi yearns (and fears) to be heard for who she is by her parents. She wants to be a standup comedian while her parents want her to pursue academic excellence. After an incidence of mistaken identity, Yumi is secretly following her dream, but it can come crashing down at any moment. I wanted nothing more than for Yumi to find her voice, and her worries became my own. Fans of The First Rule of Punk will love this book!

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Stand Up, Yumi Chung! Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525554974
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Kokila - March 17th, 2020

Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes

After unnecessary escalation by school administration, Donte, who is Black, finds himself in the back of a cop car and suspended from school. His white-passing brother, Trey, doesn’t understand why people treat Donte differently, but both find ways forward from an unlikely place. Complex and raw, this book challenged me in the best way and showed me a new perspective on racial injustice. Perfect for kids not quite ready for The Hate U Give.


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ISBN: 9780316493802
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 3rd, 2020

Friday Night Wrestlefest by J.F. Fox

LET’S. GET. REAAAAADY. FOR. FUN!! In one corner, we have Dangerous Daddoo and in the other, the Tag Team Twins (with special guest Big Bald Baby). Who will come out on top? Can the kids squash the chance of bedtime? With surprising twists and incredibly dynamic art, this is one you don’t want to miss. I had a grin for every page. Perfect for humor fans of all ages.


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By J. F. Fox, Micah Player (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781250212405
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press - February 18th, 2020

All Sytems Red by Martha Wells

In a future where security is run by sophisticated AIs, one robot just wants to be left alone to watch soap operas. Murderbot (a name they gave their self) has to work very hard to keep humans unaware of their own agency to avoid being wiped back to factory settings. Also, someone is trying to kill the people in their charge. I loved this fresh take on the future of AI. - Ivy

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All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765397539
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: - May 2nd, 2017

A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier

Violet is considered a surplus woman, stuck in limbo as a spinster who lost her fiancé in the Great War. In order to find some meaning, she starts a new life in Winchester, living as a single woman. Through a chance encounter, she falls in with a group of broderers, women who embroider kneeling pads for worshippers at Winchester Cathedral, and finds herself joined together with an amazing group of women. This beautiful book resonated with me on a deep level. - Ivy

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A Single Thread: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780525558248
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Viking - September 17th, 2019

Making Comics by Lynda Barry

Do you remember the way you used to draw as a child? Most of us lose that as we grow older. Making Comics is a master class in the comic form. Barry, a powerhouse creator of strange and beautiful comic books, guides us through an intensive process to get the creative juices flowing and remind us of the courage we had as younglings. I was pleasantly surprised at my own daring as I worked my way through the book. - Ivy

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ISBN: 9781770463691
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Drawn and Quarterly - November 5th, 2019

Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha

Where does the cycle of violence begin and how does it end? What is justice and who is justified? There are no easy answers and this book offers none. Set against the backdrop of a fictionalized version of the 1992 Los Angeles riots, two families linked by tragedy struggle with the legacy of death, racism, and a flawed court system. This book is so timely and important. It has wrapped itself around my heart and refuses to let go. - Ivy

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Your House Will Pay: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062868855
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Ecco - October 15th, 2019

Embrace Your Weird by Felicia Day

Felicia Day, geek goddess extraordinaire, is on a mission of creativity, specifically to help each of us unlock our imagination and finally work on that project we’ve been putting off. Personally, I am a professional procrastinator. I tend to think up great, crazy ideas and then do absolutely nothing with them. This book gave me permission and the tools I needed to start making them a reality. Take this book and get to work (but, like, in a fun way). - Ivy

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Embrace Your Weird: Face Your Fears and Unleash Creativity Cover Image
ISBN: 9781982113223
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books - October 1st, 2019


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