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Stephanie's Reviews

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

This beautifully-written debut is set in turn-of-the-20th-century New York City and seamlessly weaves fantastical elements into the historical setting resulting in a magical story that somehow still feels realistic. Recommended for fans of good writing, The Shadow of the Wind and Spinning Silver. - Stephanie

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The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062110848
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial - December 31st, 2013

Where Are You From? written by Yamile Saied Méndez illus. by Jaime Kim

I must admit I cried (in a coffee shop) when I reached the spread about the protagonist coming from her abuelo’s heart and the hearts of their ancestors. As an Afro-Latinx person, I especially appreciated Méndez acknowledging the African ancestry many Latinx people share. I wish I’d had this lyrical, beautiful, and moving book as a child. - Stephanie

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Where Are You From? Cover Image
By Yamile Saied Méndez, Jaime Kim (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062839930
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - June 4th, 2019

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Alexander and Nelson have created a perfect book that invites readers to truly feel. Every word is necessary, every illustration is just what it needs to be (even when it’s nothing at all). It’s a testament to the black experience in the United States that comes together in a central message: Black. Lives. Matter. Beautiful, heartrending, hopeful, true, and easily the best book of the year. - Stephanie

Here’s what other Bookshop staff* are saying about The Undefeated: “Pure poetry… Impactful and beautiful… Finally… Goosebumps… Astonishing… Required reading… Heartbreaking and heartwarming… Awesome… Stunning… Heart in your throat… Moving and gut- punching… Soul lifting.”

*And Casey says: “A new classic. Undeniably powerful. Black Lives Matter in poetry.”

 

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The Undefeated Cover Image
By Kwame Alexander, Kadir Nelson (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781328780966
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Versify - April 2nd, 2019

A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée

Ramée’s debut novel explores the awkwardness of middle school, the changing dynamics with friends, and getting “woke.” I found fallible and funny (with her “allergy” to trouble) Shayla utterly relatable as she navigates her feelings about an incident of race-based police violence and struggles to decide whether breaking the rules is sometimes the right choice. Books that examine race often fall short, painting with broad strokes, but this book avoids that misstep—it’s right on target, addressing essential nuances with courage and honesty. - Stephanie

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A Good Kind of Trouble Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062836687
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - March 12th, 2019

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

I loved and learned from this book. This is a story about the struggles that come with living in a country in turmoil and existing as a religious minority. It’s also a coming-of-age tale about endearing, relatable Jude, who is learning who she is and how to allow herself to be seen in a new place, making this a book that can serve as both a window and a mirror for everyone. - Stephanie

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Other Words for Home Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062747808
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Published: Balzer + Bray - May 28th, 2019

Furyborn (The Empirium Trilogy #1) by Claire Legrand

A pair of headstrong, impulsive protagonists; high-stakes intrigues; ancient prophecies; mysterious supernatural villains; steamy romance…this one’s for fans of the gritty, high fantasy style of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo. The 500-ish pages flew by for me, I was so caught up in the interesting characters, intriguing plot, and fascinating world building. The sequel, Kingsbane, is out May 21st, 2019! - Stephanie

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Furyborn (Empirium Trilogy #1) Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781492678779
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sourcebooks Fire - April 2nd, 2019

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

This is one of my favorite books of the year. Reminiscent of modern classics by Diana Wynne Jones, Robin McKinley, Patricia C. Wrede, and Garth Nix, it defies age designations. Elisabeth is an entirely lovable protagonist whose fondness for books, willingness to reexamine her biases, and penchant for getting into scrapes both warmed my heart and made me laugh. I also fell in love with wry sorcerer Nathaniel and his dry wit. Though the stakes were high and danger abounded, I was in stitches for much of the book; chances are you will be too. - Stephanie

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$17.99
ISBN: 9781481497619
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Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - June 4th, 2019

This Time Will Be Different by Misa Sugiura

Historic injustices are often treated as lacking any contemporary impact, but this book disabuses anyone suffering under that delusion. In modern-day Silicon Valley, the internment of their Japanese-American ancestors affects protagonist CJ Katsumaya and her family, though they (believably) don’t see eye to eye about it. This historical interconnectedness coupled with CJ’s evolution from an apathetic antihero (wave goodbye to the “model minority” myth) into a woke person of action, makes this book a compelling and thought-provoking read. - Stephanie

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This Time Will Be Different Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062473448
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Published: HarperTeen - June 4th, 2019

Because written by Mo Willems illustrated by Amber Ren

This book is an ode to the power of music and a meditation on the many hands needed to cultivate the garden of inspiration—and the power of inspiration once it takes root and blooms. Ren’s art is full of beautiful detail, all kinds of diversity, and refreshingly steering clear of gender stereotypes. This lovely and inspiring story will appeal to music and non-music fans alike. - Stephanie

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By Mo Willems, Amber Ren (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781368019019
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hyperion Books for Children - March 5th, 2019

Olympians: Hephaistos: God of Fire by George O'Connor

I’ve been reading the Olympians series since its inception nearly a decade ago and continue to love it! If you’re a fan (or know a fan) of Rick Riordan’s books, graphic novels, and/or Greek mythology, this series—each focusing on a god living on Mount Olympus—is for you (them). This latest installment about gifted metalsmith Hephaistos is a reflection on learning to see your own worth, even when those around you don’t. - Stephanie

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Olympians: Hephaistos: God of Fire Cover Image
$10.99
ISBN: 9781626725287
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - January 29th, 2019

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