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Stephanie's Reviews

The Scapegracers, Vol. 1 by Hannah Abigail Clarke

Do you like magic? Do you like witches? If you answered yes, this book is for you! Sideways Pike is, well, sideways—at least if you’re judging based on her basic high school peers. She’s used to being an awkward loner, so she’s surprised when a party prank leads to her finding her people in coven-form, with queen bees Jing, Daisy, and Yates. Magical mystery abounds, and so does danger, in this visceral, engrossing, and queer spellbinding debut.
— Stephanie

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ISBN: 9781645660002
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Erewhon - September 15th, 2020

Class Act by Jerry Craft

Newbery medalist Jerry Craft does it again. This companion to New Kid focuses on Jordan as well his friend Drew who, unlike light-skinned Jordan, faces othering based in colorism. How Craft takes serious subject matter and makes it hilarious remains a mystery to me, but I was literally laughing out loud while reading, just like I did with New Kid. A great choice for fans of the first installment, school stories, socially conscious books, and those who—like me—love to laugh! — Stephanie

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By Jerry Craft, Jerry Craft (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062885500
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quill Tree Books - October 6th, 2020

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen

This book is a gift. In it, Nguyen offers readers a beautiful tale of immigration and coming out that weaves Vietnamese fairy tales into something magical and deeply moving. The art is nothing short of gorgeous. Being the daughter of immigrants myself, Tiến’s struggle to connect with his refugee parents resonated deeply with me, but this is a story that anyone can sink into and appreciate. I can’t wait to read what Nguyen does next. — Stephanie

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ISBN: 9781984851598
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Graphic - October 13th, 2020

Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron

Maya doesn’t know what to think when time stops and all the colors drain from the world. Surprise! All the stories about Orishas that her dad has told her are true (and her dad himself is more than he seems). When her dad literally disappears, it’s up to Maya and her friends to save the day. This is a winner for any fantasy fan (like me!) who likes magic rooted in our world: buckle up for a wild ride full of #BlackGirlMagic! — Stephanie

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ISBN: 9781328635181
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - September 22nd, 2020

Crossings Written by Katy S. Duffield Illustrated by Mike Orodán

This one’s for all the animal lovers! Engineers worldwide have created ways to help animals cross to safety in places where human construction infringes on animal habitats. Overpasses, underpasses, rope bridges, tunnels, and more all help animals migrate safely across human structures. Orodán’s art captures the dignity and the adorableness of the animals as well as details of the crossings. I loved traveling the globe and learning about the interesting animals and structures in this fascinating and informative book. — Stephanie

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Crossings: Extraordinary Structures for Extraordinary Animals Cover Image
By Katy S. Duffield, Mike Orodán (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781534465794
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Beach Lane Books - October 13th, 2020

Starcrossed by Julia Denos

This book utterly charmed me! Denos’s story and art are nothing short of magical. I loved Eridani and Acamar’s long-distance, interstellar friendship, as well as their sheer delight when they swap places (if you’re a dog lover like me, look for star-boy Acamar hugging Eridani’s dog—I WEEP). The ethereal, whimsical art makes this story magic in book form. Perfect for any reader with stars in their eyes and a longing for adventure in their heart (and don’t miss the author’s note!)! — Stephanie

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ISBN: 9780358153955
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - October 27th, 2020

Evelyn del Rey Is Moving Away By Meg Medina

Newbery medalist Meg Medina hits it out of the park in her third picture book offering. This heartfelt story of the depth of childhood friendship warmed my heart. Sánchez’s art is a perfect pairing for Medina’s words, allowing readers into Daniela and Evelyn’s world, highlighting the pairs’ spunk and imagination, and making the heart of their bond apparent. An ode to friendship, this wonderful book is perfect for readers of all ages! —Stephanie

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By Meg Medina, Sonia Sanchez (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781536207040
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - September 8th, 2020

Sometimes People March By Tessa Allen

“Sometimes ants march./Sometimes bands march./ Sometimes people march.” These opening lines lead readers into an understanding of why people march. The fine line ink and watercolor illustrations are lovely and key, providing examples of protests as disparate (and similar!) as suffragettes, water protectors, racial justice and LGBTQ advocates, and more. I loved the diversity of the reasons people resist, the ways they resist, and among the people themselves. A timely introduction to the importance of protest (with useful backmatter to boot!). —Stephanie

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By Tessa Allen, Tessa Allen (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062991188
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - September 1st, 2020

Down Under the Pier Written by Nell Cross Beckerman Illustrated by Rachell Sumpter

Such a beautiful book! I felt the delight of the children exploring the enchanted watery world below the pier. Both the pastel color palette and the perfectly used gold accent highlight the magic of the sea and the natural world. Perfect for Santa Cruzans and sea lovers (like me).

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By Nell Beckerman (Text by), Rachell Sumpter (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781944903862
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Harry N. Abrams - April 7th, 2020

Lift Written by Minh Lê Illustrated by Dan Santat

Poor harangued older sister Iris always finds joy in pushing elevator buttons, until one dark day when her role as elevator-button enthusiast is usurped by her toddler sibling. When the word “BETRAYAL” appears above Iris’s head in the illustration, I laughed out loud. And that wasn’t the last time I did so as I read this hilarious, fantastical story that highlights both the creativity of the illustrator/author team and the love/frustration of the sibling bond. A great choice for creative-minded readers who enjoy a good laugh.

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Lift Cover Image
By Minh Lê, Dan Santat (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781368036924
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 5th, 2020


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