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MJ's Reviews

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

Eighteen-year-old Daunis was meant for great things; unfortunately, an injury and a family tragedy have required her to stay in her small hometown. With a white mother and an Ojibwe father, she feels a constant sense of both belonging and distance in her community. Integrating Ojibwemowin with English, this crime thriller is lyrical and suspenseful. It’s one of the most important books I’ve read this year. —MJ

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ISBN: 9781250766564
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - March 16th, 2021

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Tracy Deonn has presented us with a fresh fantasy, the first in a new series. In these pages, readers find a classic story with a modern setting and a vibrant magic system. It’s young adult fiction that will catch the interest of adult readers as well. Nuanced characters take my favorite (but often played out) Arthurian mythology and twist it up into something new, filled with action and, as the publisher says, Southern Black girl magic!
— MJ

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ISBN: 9781534441606
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - September 15th, 2020

Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour

An atmospheric, isolated farm? The promise of ghosts? Nina LaCour is known for her ability to portray the inner emotions of characters in a relatable fashion, and this book is no different. Her writing often feels like a more ethereal, modern Sarah Dessen, and teenagers hungry for drama and intrigue will find a home in LaCour’s creation. — MJ

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ISBN: 9780593108970
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - September 15th, 2020

When Life Gives You Mangos by Kereen Getten

After her island is hit by a hurricane, Clara loses her memory. She’s teased about it and hates how it sets her apart from the other children. But this summer, Clara is determined to make the best of her time. There’s a sense of mystery in this book, and I couldn’t put it down. The descriptions of Clara’s island are lush and delicious. I also found it very easy to invest in the characters. Great for precocious middle graders. — MJ

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ISBN: 9780593173978
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Books for Young Readers - October 20th, 2020

When They Call You a Terrorist (Young Adult Edition) Written by Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele Adapted by Benee Knauer

A first-person perspective from one of the founders of the Black Lives Matter movement, this young readers edition is paramount for every child and teen in your life. We are in the midst of a time that will be in future generations’ history books and this memoir will help contemporary children and teens be cognizant of what is going on around them. It provides answers to questions adults may not have the language to address, helping spread understanding and empathy. — MJ

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When They Call You a Terrorist (Young Adult Edition): A Story of Black Lives Matter and the Power to Change the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250194985
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Wednesday Books - September 29th, 2020

Our Little Kitchen by Jillian Tamaki

This picture book, loosely based on Jillian Tamaki’s experience working in a community kitchen in Brooklyn, does not disappoint. It's a magnificent snapshot of a diverse cast coming together one night a week to cook and share a meal. Tamaki uses every inch of the paper and meshes her signature style with charming, rhyming prose. In a world of rough individualism, this is the perfect addition to any child’s library to promote an invaluable sense of community. — MJ

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ISBN: 9781419746550
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams Books for Young Readers - September 22nd, 2020

The Last Marshmallow by Grace Lin

This cozy counting book by the great Caldecott medalist Grace Lin takes an organic approach to counting by drawing on the example of drinking hot cocoa and marshmallows with a friend. In using everyday objects to introduce mathematical concepts, Lin also gives a great lesson on sharing. It’s a perfect winter read in a new board book series by Lin on math. I just adore it! — MJ

The Last Marshmallow (Storytelling Math) Cover Image
By Grace Lin, Grace Lin (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781623541262
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Charlesbridge - October 13th, 2020

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

An atmospheric, dark fantasy surrounding new and ancient religions and the intersection of science and faith, told from multiple perspectives. A haunting and at times violent exploration of trust, love, and authority. Fans of Rebecca Roanhorse, rejoice with me! One of my favorite books, period. — MJ

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ISBN: 9781534437678
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - October 13th, 2020

The Forests of California & The California Field Atlas: Deluxe Edition by Obi Kaufmann

Rejoice, fans of Obi Kaufmann! We are getting two new publications from this talented naturalist: a deluxe edition of The California Field Atlas (larger hardcover format) and a new book focusing specifically on the powerful forests of California. With Kaufmann’s signature watercolor illustrations, The Forests of California explores the massive biodiversity found in the hundreds of tree species in our magnificent state. It is a gorgeous must-have for the nature lover in your life. — MJ

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ISBN: 9781597144797
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Heyday Books - September 8th, 2020

Tales from the Ant World by Edward O. Wilson

If you have a relationship with ants (be it positive or war-based), you should read this new book by noted biologist and naturalist Edward O. Wilson. It is an accessible exploration of the world of these six-legged powerhouses. At worst, you’ll have a lot of cool facts to impress your friends with. Or you just might come out with a newfound appreciation of the wonderful world of Formicidae! — MJ

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ISBN: 9781631495564
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Liveright - August 25th, 2020


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