Rummanah Aasi
  After working with students for quite some time I have realized that they are hesitant to go anywhere near historical fiction. They assume that once they hear it is about history they equate the book to their boring history textbooks. I'm always on the look out for historical fiction that don't really read as one. In other words where there is other things happening in the book in which I can entice my reluctant readers with so that the historical aspects don't really stick out and just become part of the story. The Tales from Alcatraz series is a perfect example where there is enough coming of age story, intrigue, and humor to keep the reader's attention.

Description: It's 1935. Moose Flanagan lives on Alcatraz with his family, the other families of the guards, and a few hundred no-name hit men, con men, mad dog murderers and a handful of bank robbers too. And one of those cons has just done him a big favor.
  You see, Moose has never met Al Capone, but a few weeks ago Moose wrote a letter to him asking him to use his influence to get his sister, Natalie, into a school she desperately needs in San Francisco. After Natalie got accepted, a note appeared in Moose?s freshly laundered shirt that said: Done.
  As this book begins, Moose discovers a new note. This one says: Your turn. Is it really from Capone? What does it mean? Moose can't risk anything that might get his dad fired. But how can he ignore Al Capone?

Review: Al Capone Shines My Shoes is a great sequel to the Newbery Honor-winning Al Capone Does My Shirts and could be read as a standalone. I think in order to become a bit more comfortable with the setting and the book's subplots you may want to read the first book. 
  In the first book Moose's autistic sister, Natalie, is attending a special school in San Franciscodue to strings presumably pulled by Al Capone, the notorious mobster. Moose assumed he was off the hook until he receives a note through the prison laundry, stating, "Your turn." In addition to the fear that he now owes a con and struggling with his conscious, he also needs to focus on negotiating the constantly shifting friendships, crushes, and grudges among his friends at school and on Alcatraz, where he lives. 
  The historical details of daily life on Alcatraz in 1935 which is also expanded upon in the author's note at the end of the book really brings the book to life. The children living in Alcatraz maintain a titillated fascination with the convicts, most especially with the notorious Al Capone. I had no idea that the well-behaved convicts who, because of the difficult economic times, are allowed to do manual labor for the island's civilians. 
  The pace and plot for the book never got boring as we try to figure out if Moose's predicament in assisting Al Capone is legitimate or not. His personal mystery leads to other questions and mysteries among the convicts, and it's up to the children (especially Natalie) to foil a dangerous escape plan.    Moose is a very likable character. He cares deeply for his sister and protects her from the other bullies who don't seem to understand her autism. I also liked how Natalie was important to the plot and not just there for the sake of being there. 

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for strong Grade 4 readers and up.

If you like this book try: Al Capone Does My Homework (Tales from Alcatraz #3)
Rummanah Aasi
 Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch was a debut novel of 2014 that I really wanted to read last year. With comparisons to my favorite YA fantasy novel, Graceling by Kristin Cashore, I was very eager to read Raasch's debut. While Snow Like Ashes is not quite like Cashore's novel, it is a satisfying read for readers who enjoy fantasy with a touch of romance.

Description: Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.
  Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.
   So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

Review: Snow Like Ashes is an enjoyable fantasy with the right balance of action, intrigue, and romance. Raasch has created an interesting fantasy world. In Primoria, the world our heroine Meira inhabits, there are eight kingdoms: four Seasons, in a perpetual state of the season they're named for, and four Rhythms that cycle through all four. Meira is one of the remaining eight free Winterians, a kingdom who was enslaved and ravaged by King Angra of Spring sixteen years ago in order to slay the Winterian Queen and to destroy its Royal Conduit (a locket used by a female ruler to magically aid her country).
  Meira is a scrappy, likable female character with a good head on her shoulders. She hates that she can't be taken seriously or given important tasks just because she is female. Refreshingly she is not focused on her own comforts and problems, but longs to take an active role in helping to free the people of her kingdom. In order to show her fellow Winterians that she is indeed useful she goes on a dangerous mission and reclaims half the of the coveted locket. Meira is captured but thanks to her quick thinking and her military training, she escapes. Born an orphan Meira always longed for affection whether its familial in which she seeks from her stoic leader Sir or romantically with Mather, heir to the Winterian throne and best friend, though she constantly reminds herself that their relationship can not be because of their social ranks. I didn't really feel any romantic connection between Mather and Meira and often thought it was one sided. I also wished that Mather's character was a bit more fleshed out too.
 Meira's doesn't get the celebration she thought she would she would receive from retrieving the half locket and instead Spring scouts follow her to camp and the refugees must flee to the Rhythm of Cordell, where court intrigue ensue and Meira meets the instantly likable Prince Theron. While it is clear that with two love interests there would be a love triangle, however, I think Prince Theron is the most logical choice. 
  The running theme throughout Snow Like Ashes is what does it take to become a leader? There are many important decisions that the rulers of Primoria need to make. Meira's role is constantly shifting, especially as the story unfolds, the history of the provinces is revealed, magic explained, and all is not as it seems. I'm looking forward to finding out what happens next.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some strong violence. Recommended for Grade 7 and up.

If you like this book try: Shadow and Bone series by Leigh Bardugo
Rummanah Aasi
 I really liked Brian K. Vaughan's space opera graphic novel, Saga, but haven't been able to get the second volume of that series. Since I liked his writing and the illustrations of Saga, I thought I would check out his earlier series called Y The Last Man. 

Description: When a plague of unknown origin instantly kills every mammal with a Y chromosome, unemployed and unmotivated slacker Yorick Brown suddenly discovers that he is the only male left in a world inhabited solely by women. Accompanied by his mischievous monkey and the mysterious Agent 355, Yorick embarks on a transcontinental journey to find his girlfriend and discover why he is the last man on Earth. But with a gang of feminist extremists and the leader of the Israel Defense Forces hunting him, Yorick's future, as well as that of the human race, may be short-lived.

Review: Y: The Last Man: Unmanned is a dystopian graphic novel that has a really intriguing premise. A plague of unknown origin has spread and killed every mammal with a Y chromosome with the exception of one young man named Yorick and his male monkey pet. We don't find out the explanations for the plague or why Yorick and his monkey were saved, which is actually a good thing because there are several possibilities. 
  This graphic novel and I'm guessing the remainder of this series takes a satirical viewpoint of gender issues and the continual fight between progressive science versus the natural order of things. There is also a lot of humor and not so subtle social criticisms/satire as women commemorate the dead man at The Washington Monument (take a moment and think about it). We also have what society would dub as the crazy feminists who take on the role of the ancient Amazons and tear off one breast and take to believing Mother Earth meant to eradicate the males. Politicians are not left unscathed as Republican wives of dead senators show up with guns, arguing they should have a voice in the new government.
 Our main protagonist Yorrick is a likable slacker who is sometimes clueless. He is more concerned about reaching his girlfriend who he wants to marry and his sister. We are meant to believe that the survival of humanity rests in his head and let me tell you, it doesn't look good. 

  With its humorous dialogue, great illustrations, fun characters and a fast-paced story, I'm willing to take the journey with Yorrick to find out the answers to my questions.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: This graphic novel contains strong bloody violence, nudity, and language. Recommended for mature teens and adults only.

If you like this book try: Y: The Last Man: Cycles (Vol 2) by Brian K. Vaughan
Rummanah Aasi
 Navigating Early is one of those special middle grade reads that can be appreciated by young readers and adults for its complex narrative and excellent character development. After reading this book I was not surprised by how many starred review and accolades it has received. I thoroughly enjoyed it and it landed on my Top 14 reads from last year.

Description: When Jack Baker's father sends him from his home in Kansas to attend a boys' boarding school in Maine, Jack doesn't know what to expect. Certainly not Early Auden, the strangest of boys. Early keeps to himself, reads the number pi as a story, and refuses to accept truths others take for granted. Jack, feeling lonely and out of place, connects with Early, and the two become friends.
   During a break from school, the boys set out for the Appalachian Trail on a quest for a great black bear. As Jack and Early travel deeper into the mountains, they meet peculiar and dangerous characters, and they make some shocking discoveries. But their adventure is only just beginning. Will Jack's and Early's friendship last the journey? Can the boys make it home alive?

Review: Navigating Early is a story about memories, personal journeys, interconnectedness, and the power of stories. On its surface, it is a tale of two outcast boys from a boarding school developing a friendship and overcoming loss; however, if you dig deeper you will realize that the book in fact is composed of three stories that beautifully weave together by the last page.
  Jack enters boarding school in Maine after his mother's death at the end of World War II. He mourns and feels guilty for not taking care of his mother. He also resents his Navy father who appears to him like a stranger and in Jack's eyes kicked Jack out of the only home that he has known. Jack quickly befriends Early Auden, a savant whose extraordinary facility with numbers allows him to "read" a story about "Pi" from the infinite series of digits that follow 3.14. It takes some time for Jack to accept Early as he is, but there is a powerful scene that shows how Jack and Early's solidified their friendship. Jack accompanies Early in one of the school crew team's rowing boats on what Jack believes is his friend's fruitless quest to find a great bear allegedly roaming the wilderness--and Early's brother, a legendary figure reportedly killed in battle. While on their journey, Early tells an evolving saga of Pi  and the boys encounter memorable individuals and adventures that uncannily parallel those in the Pi's stories.
 To be honest, I was not very interested in Navigating Early at first. I wasn't sure where the story was going when it started to include pirates and Pi's crazy adventures, but once I figured out the allegorical connection to Pi's story with that of Jack and Early's everything clicked for me. Jack and Early may appear to be very different from one another because of their abilities, but they are very much alike. Both are trying to accept the loss of their loved ones and are trying in their own ways to understand their realities. Jack prefers to internalize and analyze his thoughts. His voice does seem a lot older than a thirteen year old. Similarly, Early makes sense of his situation by creating a story using what he knows best: numbers.
 Vanderpool ties all these details along with Jack's growing maturity and self-awareness together masterfully and poignantly, though humor and excitement leaven the weighty issues the author and Jack frequently pose. Some of Pi's adventures require a bit of suspended disbelief and there are some coincidences that may seem a bit too convenient in the story. Despite these minor flaws, Vanderpool has created a stunning novel with a very eloquent and moving ending. Navigating Early requires patience, thought, and concentration but it is well worth the effort. 

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for strong Grade 5 readers and up.

If you like this book try: Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool, Counting by 7s by Holly Goldberg Sloan
Rummanah Aasi
 These Broken Stars was one of my favorite books from last year. I was really looking forward to reading the next book in the series. While being different from the first book, the sequel does not disappoint. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book.

Description: Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.
  Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.
  Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. His sister died in the original uprising against the powerful corporate conglomerate that rules Avon with an iron fist. These corporations make their fortune by terraforming uninhabitable planets across the universe and recruiting colonists to make the planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.
  Desperate for any advantage against the military occupying his home, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape base together, caught between two sides in a senseless war.

Review: This Shattered World is the second book in the Starbound trilogy, however, it can be read even if you haven't read the first book in the series. This book focus on new characters and a new world. Unlike the space-opera romance in the first book, This Shattered World as the title implies is much darker, gritter, where the mystery takes center stage with hints of romance.
 Captain Jubilee Chase is the longest serving soldier on the partially terraformed planet of Avon, the only person who has proved immune to "The Fury," the mindless rage that strikes off-worlders who come to serve on Avon. Flynn Cormac is a member of the native Fianna rebels, who hopes that by kidnapping Chase, he can discover more about a mysterious facility hidden in the swamp to the east of the military's main outpost.
 Jubilee and Flynn are opposites of the war and see each other as the enemy, however, neither of them wants the shaky ceasefire between their sides to be over. At first Jubilee and Flynn can only see and focus on their differences, but as the two characters spend more time throughout the story they come to understand that they share many similarities particularly their tragic losses of their loved ones. As the characters spend more time with one another they develop a mutual respect that grows to something more-even as their alliance comes to be seen as a betrayal by both sides. They both uncover mysterious and conspiracies that have been plaguing Avon and quite possibly other planets in their galaxy. It was nice seeing Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux, the main leads in the first book make appearances and have a real purpose besides fanfare, tying the many unexplained events in this title to those in the first volume of the "Starbound" trilogy.
  There is plenty of action in This Shattered World and the mysteries that Jubilee and Flynn uncovered kept me turning the pages. I did, however, find the romance and the chemistry between these two characters are a bit underdeveloped and lacking. I find it a bit hard to believe that can find romance especially when their world is quite literally falling apart. Nonetheless This Shattered World is a very strong second book that can be enjoyed by young and adult readers. I look forward to seeing how every thing gets resolved in the next book of this series.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong war violence but most of it takes place off the page. There are some disturbing images and minor language. Recommended for strong Grade 7 readers and up.

If you like this book try: Across the Universe series by Beth Revis, Sky Chaser series by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Rummanah Aasi

Description: While picking up milk for his children's cereal, a father is abducted by aliens and finds himself on a wild adventure through time and space.

Review: A little boy and his little sister awake one morning with milk for their cereal. Their mother is away on business and their father is buried, reading in the paper while the childrens' sit impatiently and hungry for breakfast. The siblings concoct a plan to persuade their father to drop his paper and go get milk by telling him his tea isn't as good without milk. The father reluctantly makes a trip to the story, but takes a very long time from coming back to the story with their coveted milk. When he does finally arrive back home, he has a story to tell, a story involving aliens; pirates; ponies; wumpires (not the handsome, sparkly ones but the brooding kind); and a stegosaurus professor who pilots a Floaty-Ball-Person-Carrier (which looks suspiciously like a hot-air balloon). Fortunately, the Milk reminds me a lot of Douglas Adams' bizarre plots and humor. There is a lot of things that young readers will enjoy: time travel, treachery, and tongue in cheek humor and narrative twists as the father goes to great lengths at rescuing his bottle of milk at every turn. The illustrations by Young fills the pages with sketchy, highly stylized and exaggerated images, stretched and pointy, bringing the crazed creatures father meets on his perilous journey to life. Many kids just like siblings in the book will scratch their head and wonder if they believe the father's wild stories at all. I think this would make a great read aloud.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 3 and up.

If you like this book try: Sideway Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar, Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
Rummanah Aasi
Princess of Thorns is a loose fairy tale retelling, weaving elements of the various famous tales such as "Sleeping Beauty", "Rapunzel", and "Swan Lake" while creating a unique and compelling story of its own merit. Readers expecting a faithful retelling of any of the above fairy tales will be disappointed with picking up this book. Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for an advanced copy of this book.

Description: Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago. Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

Review:  Jay has created an interesting fantasy kingdom that is home to humans, fairies, ogres, and witches; however, I wished the world building was a bit stronger so we could see how the kingdom works on a grand scale. The story of Princess of Thorns is engaging and unfolds incrementally creating suspense and romantic tension throughout the book. Briar-born siblings Aurora and Jor have been in hiding for 10 years, ever since their mother, Sleeping Beauty, sacrificed herself in order to protect her children from the Ogre Queen. Now Jor has been kidnapped, and the fairy-blessed Aurora must save him before his blood is spilled and the prophecy of living darkness comes true.
  I liked the main characters of Princess Thorns. Aurora is a very likable female heroine. She is tough and strong when it is required of her, but also has vulnerabilities that draws us closer to her. Her loyalty and determination to save her brother is admirable though at times a bit unrealistic such as solely fetching an army to fight the Ogre Queen. She is reluctant to trust anyone unless there is some bargin in which she can gain from, which is exactly how she meets Prince Niklaas.
  Disguised as a boy and calls herself Ror, she teams up with the repulsive Niklaas, when he promises to help her find an army in exchange for an introduction to "his sister," Ror agrees. Like Aurora, Prince Niklaas is also a complex character. He reminded me a lot of Flynn Rider from the movie Tangled. Under his handsome and overly confident bravado, he too is trying to escape from his own destiny of turning into a swan by his eighteenth birthday unless he finds and marries a princess. You get to see and fall for the real Niklaas as you get to know him better through his journey with Aurora.
 Aurora and Niklaas had great romantic tension. They definitely had a hate-love relationship as their preconceived notions about one another stood in their way. As their journey occurs over the span of several days, their relationship grows believably as we see them transition between friends and something more. When the truth is revealed to both characters about each other, it was refreshing to see that it took time as they sought trust and forgiveness for one another as well as repair their strained relationship. 
  While there were some interesting twists to the story, I felt the ending was a bit too rushed. The promised epic battle scene lacked oomph and was resolved too quickly. Though the book could stand on its own and it does not have a cliffhanger, I do hope that Jay returns to this world as I was left with some questions. 
Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language, some crude humor, and a violent suicide that takes place off the page. Recommended for strong Grade 8 readers and up.

If you like this book try: Beauty by Robin McKinley, Book of Thousand Days by Shannon Hale, Bound by Donna Jo Napoli, Impossible by Nancy Werlin
Rummanah Aasi
  I seem to be in a Sherlock Holmes kick. I read a slew of books in the same vein as Sherlock Holmes in hopes that it will help pass the time until the new season of Sherlock returns to TV. Some of the reads were entertaining while others were a complete miss.

Description:  It is the dawn of World War I, and Sherlock Holmes has been dead for 20 years. Holmes'' enemy - Professor James Moriarty - is a lost man. MI5 blackmails Moriarty into finding Holmes'' long-lost brother, Mycroft, but what at first appears to be a routine case leads to a web of intrigue that involves a psychic box and its creator, a woman from Moriarty''s past, and a new villain that threatens to be greater than Moriarty ever was!

Review: Moriarty has always been a fascinating character. He has been commonly called Sherlock Holmes' arch-nemesis. Yet, any Sherlock Holmes reader would know, we know very little of him besides the mentions here or there since he barely appears in the stories. To find a graphic novel that attempts to shed some light on this mysterious character piqued my curiosity and I thought I would give it a try. 
  Daniel Corey has created a Moriarty that is tangible and easy to understand, but he is far different from his original description created by Doyle. Instead of being an older scholarly gentlemen, he is much younger and comes across as a secret spy. He is not as formidable as I hoped him to be and nor is he smarter than Holmes. While the changes to Moriarty character is jarring, it does make sense since this book has a lot of action.
  The plot of the graphic novel was a bit hard to follow at times. From what I can gather the story takes place in an alternative universe where Sherlock Holmes was the one who went over the falls at Reichenbach, and Professor Moriarty who survives, albeit in a much diminished form. His criminal network is all but lost and he is reduced to being “a sort of investigator for the criminal element”, when he is called upon to find the missing Mycroft Holmes and at last finds the first real challenge he's had since 'The Final Problem'. There were many new characters that were in the graphic novel that I was unfamiliar with and could have used a better introduction. In addition to having problems with the plot of the graphic novel, I also was not a fan of the artwork. The color black and dark red was used heavily and made the panels hard to read. 
  Overall Moriarty has a great premise and concept, but the execution of the story and drawings leave you with wanting more. I don't plan on continuing this series.

Rating: 2 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong violence, some language, and some nudity. Recommended for mature teen readers and up.

If you like this book try: Moriarty: The Lazarus Tree by Daniel Corey, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore
Rummanah Aasi

Description: One snowy December morning in an old European city, an American man leaves his shabby hotel to meet a local woman who has agreed to help him search for an apartment to rent. The Apartment follows the couple across a blurry, illogical, and frozen city into a past the man is hoping to forget, and leaves them at the doorstep of an uncertain future—their cityscape punctuated by the man’s lingering memories of time spent in Iraq and the life he abandoned in the United States. Contained within the details of this day is a complex meditation on America’s relationship with the rest of the world, an unflinching glimpse at the permanence of guilt and despair, and an exploration into our desire to cure violence with violence.

Review: The Apartment is not recommended for readers who are plot driven, but rather for those who enjoy the stream of consciousness narrative. The plot of this book is very simple. A Navy veteran in his early 40s who has made big money working as a military contractor in Iraq explores an unnamed European city with a possibly romantic interest in a local woman, Saskia. The events in the book take place over the course of one day spent searching for an apartment with the anonymous, military worker who looks back on his role in the American military. The narrator is interesting especially in his cowardice and hypocrisy. Much of the book is exploring how the idea of American power is seen in the global context and how it is actually played in the real world. Transporting an American outside of America is good device of doing so, but I kind of wished the author took this idea a step further and placed his character beyond the Euro-centric country. Nonetheless The Apartment is very well written but be warned there isn't much happening within the pages and the pacing is quite slow despite its short pages.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language and mature themes. Recommended for adults only.

If you like this book try: The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien, Redeployment by Philip Kay
Rummanah Aasi
 I haven't posted any picture book reviews quite sometime and I missed doing them. Today I have reviews of award honoree picture books, Journey by Aaron Becker and Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote by

Description: A lonely girl draws a magic door on her bedroom wall and through it escapes into a world where wonder, adventure, and danger abound. Red marker in hand, she creates a boat, a balloon, and a flying carpet that carry her on a spectacular journey toward an uncertain destiny. When she is captured by a sinister emperor, only an act of tremendous courage and kindness can set her free. Can it also lead her home and to her heart's desire?

Review: I was really surprised that Aaron Becker's gorgeous wordless picture book didn't win the Caldecott last year. Journey is another example of how easily we get distracted by all the digital tools that grab our attention and how we lose sight of our own precious imagination. Ignored by her digitally distracted family, a nameless girl escapes into a a new lush, colorful world by drawing a red door on her bedroom wall and steps through. Through wordless pages we see the girl's world become richer and complex as she draws lush green forests that twinkles with lanterns and strung lights; a dizzying castle towers with its gates, turrets and halls linked by complicated waterways; even a hovering aircraft with propellers and wheels which holds an imprisoned, metaphorical purple-plumed bird.
 I absolutely loved how amid all of these intricate and detailed drawings, the girl appears markedly ordinary with her simple pageboy haircut, minimal facial features and simple clothes which suggests that she could be anyone and the reader could easily picture themselves in her own shoes and go on her journey as if it was their own. Becker does a great job in contrasting the girl's reality with putty-colored grays and flat, boxy city shapes. Since the book is wordless, the white pages highlight action and bring up so many contextual questions with no clear answers and generates our own imagination to come up with with the possible solutions just like this girl did to escape her loneliness. Journey is a must read picture book that will be enjoyed by readers of all ages and can be easily read multiple of times without getting bored.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grade 1 and up.

If you like this book try: Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, The Red Book by Barbara Lehman

Description: When Papa Rabbit does not return home as expected from many seasons of working in the great carrot and lettuce fields of El Norte, his son Pancho sets out on a dangerous trek to find him, guided by a coyote. Includes author's note.

Review: With debates and conversations on the topic of immigration being prevalent in our news today, there are not many books written on this topic for younger readers. Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote, an award honoree for the Pura Belpre award, attempts to break down the complexities surrounding immigration in a fable-like picture book for children and succeeds.
Pancho Rabbit has the feel of a classic fable or fairy tale that uses an animal cast to demonstrate the often perilous journeys of migrant Mexicans who seek work in the U.S. in order to support their families. In our story, Papa Rabbit is expected to return home from working in "El Norte," and his family prepares a celebratory fiesta, but he fails to arrive. When his son Pancho goes in search of his father, he meets an unreliable coyote who agrees to guide him north but at a cost.
 I really like how the illustrations in this book which draw inspiration from ancient Mexican art, but also incorporates modern items such as denim jeans and a backpack in photographic textures which emphasize the connection between the past and the present. Since the topic of immigrations is quite complex and may be over the heads of many young readers, there is an extensive author's note which can help guide adults to talk about the subject with younger readers. The story is realistic and shows that there are no easy solutions. Though this book could be read by first or second grade students, I think it is best to use this book with kids who are older and more familiar with the topic of immigration.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grade 2 and up.

If you like this book try: The Quiet Place by Sarah Stewart

Description: Once upon a time, American children couldn't borrow library books. Reading wasn't all that important for children, many thought. Luckily Miss Anne Carroll Moore thought otherwise! This is the true story of how Miss Moore created the first children's room at the New York Public Library, a bright, warm room filled with artwork, window seats, and most important of all, borrowing privileges to the world's best children's books in many different languages.

Review: As a librarian myself, I could not help but thoroughly enjoy Miss Moore Thought Otherwise. Pinborough introduces young readers to Anne Carroll Moore, the strong-willed woman whose vision of library services for children shaped the standards and practices of the libraries everywhere. Moore grew up reading and hearing stories in an era when children were not welcomed by public libraries in fears that the would be too loud or not be responsible with books. She later became a librarian who worked tirelessly to bring warmth and welcome to the library in order to ensure that all children felt welcome to the library and were able to check out books.  Atwell’s cozy, folk-art-style paintings brim with period details and depict a multicultural clientele, however, they can be a bit boring. I'm really not sure if this book would be popular amongst younger readers or picked up by them independently, however it will be enjoyed by adults and those who are library lovers themselves. This would be a great readaloud during National Library Week.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Grade 2 and up.

If you like this book try: The Librarian of Basra by Jeanette Winter, Biblioburro by Jeanette Winter
Rummanah Aasi
 Reggie and Me is more than a story about a girl who was raped. It is first and foremost a survivor story, of a girl rising above her emotional obstacles. Dani's resilience is inspiring and admirable. 

Description: Reggie and Me is the first book in the Dani Moore Trilogy. Dani's story is told through her diary in the wake of her rape and subsequent court case. Having moved with her mum, Dani starts year eleven at a new school, facing various challenges that bring a renewed energy to face whatever is thrown at her and carry on regardless. She realises that ‘normality’ is something that she can define herself, with the help of her dog Reggie and the people around her. 

Review: Reggie and Me offers a different kind of story in regards to the topic of sexual abuse. The focus is not on the fact that Dani was raped, but rather how Dani deals with the aftermath. I really liked how Yates treats a tricky and sensitive topic such as sexual abuse with warmth, honesty and compassion and woven into a compelling story about a girl overcoming some pretty horrendous challenges. When I think of Dani Moore long after I closed the book, the first term came to mind was not 'victim' a label which she refuses to standby, but rather a survivor who is trying to rebuild her life and figure out how to be normal again. 
  Dani's story is told in first person in a diary format. This format allows us to get a first hand look at Dani and her emotions. I would have liked to actually see what Dani goes through rather than her recounting all which happened in the story in each entry, which can be a bit tedious. One of the biggest strength of the book is that Yates doesn't make Dani's recovery unbelievable in which she succeeds and has a perfect day every day. Dani has really bad days from trying to overcome bullying from some of her female friends and when her self confidence takes a hit, which happens to all of us. Another very strong aspect of the book is displaying the relationship and parallels between Dani and her rescued dog Reggie. 
  Though Reggie and Me deals with a tough issue, it is ultimately uplifting and is helpful without ever being preachy and heavy handed. It shows us that we have a long way to go from erasing 'victims' from our vocabulary and replacing it with 'survivors'. 
Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There are some derogatory slurs in the book. Recommended for Grades 8 and up.

If you like this book try: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen, Story of a Girl by Sara Zarr
Rummanah Aasi
Note:  Unfortunately, I am without internet access this week so some of my posting may be sporadic. 

I wanted to share with you today a guest post from Marie Yates, the author of Reggie and Me, a book about a young adult trying to overcome her label of 'victim' after being sexually abused. If this guest post interests you, please check back tomorrow for my review of Reggie and Me.

Choose your definition by Marie Yates

 Working with young, and not-so-young, people who have experienced the worst that life has to throw at them continues to take me on a fascinating journey. Learning from people who have quite literally turned their lives around is a privilege and has led me to question why some people choose to forge ahead while others do not.

 I use the word ‘choose’ carefully and with trepidation as I am forever being told that ‘it’s not that simple’. What if it is that simple? What if we make it that simple?

 I began this journey with Dani, the main character in Reggie & Me, as a way of encouraging young people to choose their own path in life. The core message is that each and every one of us has the power to define ourselves. We do not have to accept labels or carry the actions of other people with us.

 Life involves a steady stream of influences and more often than not, we choose the influences that resonate with us. Whether that involves the music we listen to, the food we eat or the clothes we wear; we choose what ‘fits’. The influences then extend to positive and negative experiences. We all have both of these on a daily basis, depending on what we choose to focus on. Sometimes, unthinkable things happen. Dani shows us that we still have the choice about how we define ourselves.

 Dani chooses to concentrate on making sure she succeeds at school and in her newfound love of sport so that she has choices about her future. This is no mean feat as her final year at secondary school is challenging to say the least. Unfortunately, she faces the same challenges as an increasing number of young people. That is why this story matters.

 There are two ways in which I hope that this story will resonate with readers. Firstly, if the reader is experiencing their own challenges, whether they mirror Dani’s or not, there are strategies they can learn in order to thrive in the face of adversity. Secondly, for readers who are supporting someone through a challenging time, there are tips about the significance of the messages that they are giving.
For readers in the midst of their own challenges, there is a message of hope. The story is told through Dani’s diary as she navigates her way through starting a new school in year eleven. Her rollercoaster year mirrors the experiences of many young people who find themselves being isolated, bullied and with a desperate search for meaning in the midst of chaos. The story begins as Dani has seen her rapist jailed; moving away is supposed to be a new and exciting start for her and her Mum. Life doesn’t always work out the way we had planned though, does it?

  It takes every ounce of strength that Dani has to keep going and to make the best of her new situation. It is not easy to take these steps every day; I don’t know anyone who would say that it is easy. I do know that it takes just as much effort to remain in a dark place. Anyone who is reading the book already has a 100 per cent success rate of getting through each day. Dani not only shows them that they can take the necessary steps to make each day better; she shows them how.
For readers who are supporting someone through a challenging time, the story acts as guidance about ways to approach positively supporting that person and planting seeds that will help them to move forward. One of the reasons that I began exploring a story of this nature was because I wanted to positively tackle one of my biggest annoyances in life. ‘Your life is over’, ‘you have a lifelong journey of recovery’, ‘my life is ruined’… these are common messages that survivors are faced with or that they find themselves saying. Life is not over; it does not have to be a lifelong journey of recovery and it is not ruined. Life still has the potential to be as incredible as the person wants it to be. These messages need to be challenged. On any given day, there is always something to be thankful for. That is a starting point. For Dani, she had support and she found solace in her dog, Reggie. As she took more control over her life, she found other ways to make sure that she made the most of every day and created her own opportunities.

 That’s not to say that there aren’t bad days; of course there are. Who doesn’t have bad days? Dani shares how she copes on these days and how she then restarts with the things that she knows help her to feel better. That is essentially the secret to success. It’s about facing the setbacks, no matter how large or how small, finding a way through them and refocusing.
Dani’s story offers hope. She works hard to ensure that the choices she makes lead her down a positive path and she is a role model to other young people who are facing their own challenges in life. After all, we’re all surviving something.

Marie Yates is an author and coach who works with survivors of rape and sexual abuse. She also imparts her positive, inspiring survivor's message with genuine warmth and passion to a variety of audiences. She lives in Birmingham, UK. You can find her online at:

Reggie and Me is the first book in the Dani Moore Trilogy. Dani's story is told through her diary in the wake of her rape and subsequent court case. Having moved with her mum, Dani starts year eleven at a new school, facing various challenges that bring a renewed energy to face whatever is thrown at her and carry on regardless. She realises that ‘normality’ is something that she can define herself, with the help of her dog Reggie and the people around her. Reggie and Me is more than a story of survival, as the reader is taken on an inspiring journey of personal development, interweaved with tools that girls and young women can use to create the positive future they deserve.

Reggie & Me is published by Lodestone Books October 31st 2014.  ISBN: 978-1-78279-723-4 (Paperback) £6.99 $11.95, EISBN: 978-1-78279-722-7 (eBook) £3.99 $6.99.
Rummanah Aasi
Dive Into Diversity Reading Challenge

   I completely support the movement of having more diverse books written and published, which is why I'm thrilled to participate in the Dive Into Diversity Reading Challenge in 2015. Many thanks to the hosts Reading Wishes and Rather Be Reading blogs for hosting this challenge. 

The challenge: We want to keep this stress-free and fun, so all we challenge you to do is read and review diverse books in 2015. However many is up to you. But remember: the more you read, review, discuss, the better!

Books that count:
As for what counts as diverse, we like this definition taken from the We Need Diverse Books tumblr: "We recognize all diverse experiences, including (but not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities."

How do I sign up?

First off, thanks for joining! To sign-up and show your participation:
- Write a post for your blog. In this post, link back to this sign-up post, include the button or banner and some of the books you look forward to reading for the challenge. If you don't have a blog, no worries! You can sign up with Youtube, Goodreads, Twitter and so on. Just remember you'll need a place to post reviews (Goodreads, Amazon, ect).
- Add your sign-up post in the linky below. This is a must to be eligible for any giveaways held throughout the year. 
- If you want to show your participation, feel free to grab the button to display on your blog. (optional)

I've signed up. Now what?
1. Come January, start reading diverse books!
2. Once you've written your diverse book review, add it to the monthly linky, which will post in the first week of every month.
3. Don't forget to use #DiveDiversity to chat, share book recs, let others know what you're currently reading and more.
4. Have fun!

Important challenge details:- Dive into Diversity runs from January 1st, 2015 to 31st of December 2015.
- You can sign-up anytime throughout the year.
- Any book format is allowed - hardback, paperback, ebook, etc.

For this challenge, my goal is to read 50 books.

Books Read for the Dive into Diversity Challenge

  1. Al Capone Shines My Shoes by Gennifer Choldenko
  2. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
  3. The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
  4. To All The Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han
  5. Alex As Well by Alyssa Brugman
  6. Crossover by Kwame Alexander
  7. Gabi, a Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero
  8. I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios
  9. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
  10. 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger
  11. Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Lantham
  12. The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
  13. You, Me, and Him by Kris Dinnison
  14.  Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunnane
  15. Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jennifer Bryant
  16. Boy21 by Matthew Quick
  17. Reawakened by Colleen Houck
  18. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
  19. Rivals in the City by Y.S. Lee
  20. Young Elites by Marie Lu
  21. Princeless Vol. 1 by Jeremy Whitley
  22. Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson
  23. A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman
  24. Gotham Academy Vol. 1 by Brendan Fletcher
  25. Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
  26. The Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco
  27. Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
  28. Kingdom of Strangers by Zoe Ferraris
  29. Oleander Girl by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni 
  30. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  31. George by Aex Gino 
  32. Ms. Marvel Vol. 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson
  33. Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa
  34. Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
  35. Confessions by Kanae Minato
  36. Princeless Vol 2 by Jeremy Whitley
  37. Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
  38. Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare
  39. Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan
  40. The Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa
  41. This Boy is Gay by James Dawson
  42. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson
  43. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
  44. Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertelli
  45. A Dance Like Starlight by Kristy Dempsey
  46. Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson
  47. Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
  48. Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
  49. Marisol MacDonald and the Clash Bash by Monica Brown
  50. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
  51. Scar Boys by Len Vhlaos
  52. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely
  53. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan

Rummanah Aasi
Nonfiction Reading Challenge hosted at The Introverted Reader
Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography

  I am trying to diversify my reads and would like to increase how many nonfiction books that I read in a year. Thanks to The Introverted Reader, I can challenge myself to read more nonfiction books.

The Challenge:  Read any non-fiction book(s), adult or young adult.That's it. You can choose anything. Memoirs? Yes. History? Yes. Travel? Yes. You get the idea? Absolutely anything that is classified as non-fiction counts for this challenge. 

I always like levels in my challenges, so here are mine:

Dilettante--Read 1-5 non-fiction books

Explorer--Read 6-10 

Seeker--Read 11-15

Master--Read 16-20

This challenge will last from January 1 to December 31, 2015. You can sign up anytime throughout the year. 

I am not limiting the challenge to bloggers. You can also link to a review you wrote on another site, such as GoodReads or LibraryThing.

Crossovers with other challenges are acceptable, and feel free to read your books in any format you like.

My goal for this challenge is to read 10 nonfiction books.

Books Read for the Nonfiction Challenge
italics = Reviewed

  1. The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
  2. The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore
  3. Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson
  4. Tomboy by Liz Prince
  5. Lincoln Grave Robbers by Steve Sheiken
  6. A Splash of Red: The Art and Life of Horace Pippin by Jennifer Bryant
  7. Hoop Genius by John Coy
  8. A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabnowitz
  9. Positive by Paige Rawl
  10. This Book is Gay by James Dawson
  11. Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse by Piu Marie Eatwell
Rummanah Aasi

While I didn't reach my goal of 250 books in 2014, I did make it up to 80% which isn't too bad. I'm going to shoot for 250 books again this year. Let's hope I can finish this goal for this year! Many thanks to this year's host, Gina @ Book Dragon's Lair, for hosting this challenge.

  1. Read, read, read!
  2. There are several levels to choose from
    Level 1: 100 minimum
    Level 2: 150 at least
    Level 3: 200 or more
  3. You may move up a level but not down
  4. You don't need a blog to participate. As long as wherever you link to is public so we can check out your books read.
  5. Reviews are not necessary (but there will be a post so you can link up) but a list of books read is. 
  6. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.
  7. Books allowed: Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Manga, Graphic Novels, Library books, Novellas, Young Reader, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts. 
  8. Individual short stories in a collection or individual books in the Bible do not count
  9. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.
  10. Challenge begins January 1st, 2015 thru December 31, 2015. Books started before the 1st do not count. You can join at anytime.
  11. Please sign up with a direct link so the rest of us can find your list of books read.
Books Read in 2015
italics = Reviewed

  1. Young Miss Holmes: Casebook 1-2 by Kaoru Shintani *Review coming soon
  2. Al Capone Shines My Shoes (Tales from Alcatraz #2) by Gennifer Choldenko (Childrens)
  3. Blood of My Blood by Barry Lyga (Jasper Dent #3) (YA)
  4. Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng (Adult)
  5. This Shattered World by Megan Spooner and Amie Kaufmann (Starbound #2) (YA)
  6. The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore (Adult)
  7. The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz (Adult)
  8. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke (YA)
  9. Dawn of Arcana Vol 9 by Rei Toma (Manga)
  10. Dawn of Arcana Vol 10 by Rei Toma (Manga)
  11. Dawn of Arcana Vol 11 by Rei Toma (Manga)
  12. Dawn of Arcana Vol 12 by Rei Toma (Manga)
  13. Dawn of Arcana Vol 13 by Rei Toma (Manga)
  14. Emerald Green by Kerstin Gier (Red Ruby #3) (YA)
  15. Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid (YA)
  16. The Archive by Victoria Schwab (YA)
  17. Escaping Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein (Childrens)
  18. The Accidental Highwayman by Ben Tripp (YA)
  19. Fruits Basket Vol 1 by Natsuki Takaya (Manga)
  20. Fruits Basket Vol 2 by Natsuki Takaya (Manga)
  21. Fruits Basket Vol 3 by Natsuki Takaya (Manga)
  22. Alex as Well by Alyssa Brugman (YA)
  23. The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore (Adult)
  24. To All The Boys I Loved Before by Jenny Han (To All the Boys I Loved Before #1) (YA)
  25. The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (Adult)
  26. Fruits Basket Vol 4 by Natsuki Takaya (Manga)
  27. Fruits Basket Vol 5 by Natsuki Takaya (Manga)
  28. Fruits Basket Vol 6 by Natsuki Takaya (Manga)
  29. Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs (Alpha and Omega #4) (Adult)
  30. Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson (Childrens)
  31. Crossover by Kwame Alexander (Childrens)
  32. Ashes by Ilsa Bick (Ashes #1) (YA)
  33. 100 Year Old Secret by Tracy Barrett (Sherlock Files #1) (Childrens)
  34. Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero (YA)
  35. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Adult)
  36. The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare *Review coming soon
  37. Fairest by Marissa Meyer (Lunar Chronicles #3.5) (YA)
  38. I'll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios (YA)
  39. Rivals in the City (Agency #4) by Y.S. Lee (YA)
  40. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (reread for Book Club)
  41. Then and Always by Dani Atkins (Adult) 
  42. Shadow Scale by Rachel Hartman (Seraphina #2) (YA)
  43. All Fall Down by Ally Carter (Embassy Row #1) (YA)
  44. The Secrets We Keep by Trisha Leaver (YA)
  45. Masterpiece by Elise Broach (Childrens)
  46. I'll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson (YA)
  47. Rump: The True Story of Rumplestiltskin by Liesl Shurtliff (Childrens)
  48. Dream a Little Dream by Kierstin Gier (Silver Trilogy) (YA)
  49. Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Sempre (Adult)
  50. Lady Thief by A.G. Gaughen (Scarlet #2) (YA)
  51. Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder (YA)
  52. Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder (YA)
  53. Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder (YA)
  54. Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage (Childrens)
  55. Summer Knight (Dresden Files #4) by Jim Butcher (Adult)
  56. Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder *Study #4) (Adult)
  57. Tomboy by Liz Prince (Graphic Novel)
  58. 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger (YA)
  59. Eighth Grave After Dark by Darynda Jones (Charley Davidson #8) (Adult)
  60. Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen (Scarlet #3) (YA)
  61. Little Dog, Lost by Marion Dane Bauer (Childrens)
  62. School for Unusual Girls by Kathleen Baldwin (Stranje House #1) (YA)
  63. Saga Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughn (Graphic Novel)
  64. The Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (Court of Thorns and Roses #1) (YA)
  65. Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham (YA)
  66. The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey (YA)
  67. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (YA)
  68. The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez *Review coming soon
  69. The Curious World of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly (Childrens)
  70. Lincoln Grave Robbers by Steve Sheiken (Childrens)
  71. You, Me, and Him by Kris Dinnison (YA)
  72. Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen *Review coming soon
  73. The Adventures of the South Pole Pig by Chris Kurtz (Childrens)
  74. At Water's Edge by Sara Gruen (Adult)
  75. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (YA)
  76. Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead (Childrens)
  77. Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (YA)
  78. Fever by Megan Abbott (Adult)
  79. Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan (Adult)
  80. Chasing Secrets by Gennifer Choldenko (Childrens)
  81. I am the Traitor by Allan Zaldoff (Boy Nobody/Unknown Assassin #3) (YA)
  82. Hidden by Helen Frost *Review coming soon
  83. Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Romeo and Juliet by Ian Lender (Graphic Novel)
  84. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr *Review coming soon
  85. Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson (Graphic Novel)
  86. Deep in the Sahara by Kelly Cunnane (Childrens)
  87. The 13 Story Treehouse by Andy Griffiths (Childrens)
  88. Jesse's Girl by Miranda Kenneally (YA)
  89. Emmy and Oliver by Robin Benway (YA)
  90. Girl Who Heard Colors by Marie Harris (Childrens)
  91. A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin by Jennifer Bryant (Childrens)
  92. Hoop Genius by John Coy *Review coming soon
  93. Boy21 by Matthew Quick *Review coming soon
  94. Free Agent by J.C. Nelson (Grimm Agency #1) *Review coming soon
  95. Reawakened by Colleen Houck (Reawakened #1) (YA)
  96. Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black *Review coming soon
  97. Bear Alert by David Biedrzycki (Childrens)
  98. We Build a House by Jonathan Bean *Review coming soon
  99. Prudence by Gail Carriger (Custard Protocol #1) *Review coming soon
  100. Olympians: Hera by George O'Connor (Graphic Novel)
  101. A Boy and a Jaguar by Alan Rabinowitz (Childrens)
  102. Lumberjanes Vol 1 by Noelle Stevenson (Graphic Novel)
  103. El Perro Con Sombrero by Derek Taylor Kent (Childrens)
  104. No Future for You by Brian K. Vaughan (Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 8, Vol. 2) (Graphic Novel)
  105. Dorko the Magnificent by Andrea Beatty *Review coming soon
  106. Princeless Vol. 1 by Jeremy Whitley (Graphic Novel)
  107. Saga Vol 3 by Brian K. Vaughan (Graphic Novel)
  108. Another Day by David Levithan (YA)
  109. The Young Elites by Marie Lu  (Young Elites #1) (YA)
  110. If It Rains Pancakes: Haikus and Lantern Poems by Brian P. Clearly (Childrens)
  111. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel *Review coming soon
  112. The Little Bookshop in Paris by Nina George (Adult)
  113. Positive by Paige Rawl (YA)
  114. Courage and Defiance by Deborah Hopkinson (Childrens)
  115. El Deafo by Cece Bell (Graphic Novel)
  116. Junction of Sunshine and Lucky by Holly Schindler *Review coming soon
  117. Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle by Christopher Healy (Saving Your Kingdom #2) *Review coming soon
  118. This One Summer by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki (Graphic Novel)
  119. A Time to Dance by Padma Venkatraman *Review coming soon
  120. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson (Reckoners #1) (YA)
  121. Olympians: Hades by George O'Connor (Graphic Novel)
  122. Stratford Zoo Midnight Revue Presents Macbeth by Ian Lender (Graphic Novel)
  123. Gotham Academy Vol. 1 by Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher (Graphic Novel)
  124. See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles *Review coming soon
  125. Kingdom of Strangers by Zoe Ferraris *Review coming soon
  126. Oleander Girl by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni *Review coming soon
  127. Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate (Childrens)
  128. Girl from the Well by Rin Chupeco (Girl from the Well #1) (YA)
  129. The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick (YA)
  130. Wolves at the Gate by Drew Goddard (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Season 8, Vol. 3) (Graphic Novel)
  131. Slasher Girls and Monster Boys edited by April Genevieve Tulchoke *Review coming soon
  132. Olympians: Poseidon by George O'Connor (Graphic Novel)
  133. George by Alex Gino (Childrens)
  134. The Uninvited by Cat Winters (Adult)
  135. Ms. Marvel Vol 2: Generation Why by G. Willow Wilson (Graphic Novel)
  136. Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee *Review coming soon
  137. The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle (YA)
  138. The Girl in the Spider's Web by David Lagercrantz *Review coming soon
  139. Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan *Review coming soon
  140. Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews (Kate Daniels #8) *Review coming soon
  141. Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa *Review coming soon
  142. This Book is Gay by James Dawson *Review coming soon
  143. Firewalker by Josephine Angelini (Worldwalker #2) *Review coming soon
  144. Age of Bronze: Betrayal Part 2 *Review coming soon
  145. Upside Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins *Review coming soon
  146. Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon (YA)
  147. Dead Duke, His Secret Wife, and the Missing Corpse by Piu Marie Eatwell (Adult)
  148. Dumplin' by Julie Murphy *Review coming soon
  149. Confessions by Kanae Minato (Adult)
  150. Olympians: Ares by George O'Connor (Graphic Novel)
  151. Princeless Vol 2: Get Over Yourself by Jeremy Whitley *Review coming soon
  152. The Nest by Kenneth Oppel *Review coming soon
  153. Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds *Review coming soon
  154. Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin by Duncan Tonatiuh *Review coming soon
  155. The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw by Christopher Healy (Saving Your Kingdom #3) *Review coming soon
  156. Wait by Antoinette Portis (Childrens)
  157. Storybook of Love (Fables #3) by Bill Willingham *Review coming soon
  158. Helen's Big World by Doreen Rappaport *Review coming soon
  159. The Princess and the Pig by Jonathan Emmett (Childrens)
  160. Olympians: Aphrodite by George O'Connor (Graphic Novel)
  161. Zombie Loan Vol 13 by PeachPit (Manga)
  162. Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline *Review coming soon
  163. Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinness *Review coming soon
  164. Doldrums by Nicolas Gannon *Review coming soon
  165. We Build Up by Christy Hale *Review coming soon
  166. Simon vs. the Homo Sapien Agenda by Becky Albertalli (YA)
  167. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson (Graphic Novel)
  168. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson *Review coming soon
  169. The Interrupted Tale by Maryrose Wood (Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place #4) *Review coming soon
  170. Saga Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughan *Review coming soon
  171. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell *Review coming soon
  172. The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher (YA)
  173. Fruits Basket Vol 7 by Natsuki Takaya (Manga)
  174. Fruits Basket Vol 8 by Natsuki Takaya (Manga)
  175. The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands (Childrens)
  176. These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly (YA)
  177. Marisol MacDonald and the Clash Bash by Monica Brown *Review coming soon
  178. Sidekicks by Dan Santat *Review coming soon
  179. The Watermelon Seed by Greg Pizzoli *Review coming soon
  180. Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty *Review coming soon
  181. Night Animals by Gianna Marino *Review coming soon
  182. Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson *Review coming soon
  183. The Dark by Lemony Snicket *Review coming soon
  184. After You by Jojo Moyes (Adult)
  185. Feathers: Not Just for Flying by Melissa Stewart *Review coming soon
  186. Scraps by Lois Ehlert *Review coming soon
  187. Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson *Review coming soon
  188. This is a Moose by Richard T. Morris *Review coming soon
  189. A Dance Like Starlight: One Ballerina's Dream by Kristy Dempsey *Review coming soon
  190. Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner *Review coming soon
  191. Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson *Review coming soon
  192. Alex the Parrot by Stephanie Spinner *Review coming soon
  193. Brave Girl by Michelle Markell *Review coming soon
  194. What James Said by Liz Rosenberg *Review coming soon
  195. Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman *Review coming soon
  196. Scar Boys by Len Vlahos *Review coming soon
  197. Olympians: Apollo by George O'Connor (Graphic Novel)
  198. Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena *Review coming soon
  199. Mr. Wuffles by David Wiesner *Review coming soon
  200. If I Built a House by Chris Van Dusen *Review coming soon
  201. Home by Carson Ellis *Review coming soon
  202. Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson *Review coming soon
  203. Frog and Fly: Six Slurpy Stories by Jeff Mack *Review coming soon
  204. Prudence wants a Pet by Cathleen Daly *Review coming soon
  205. Look Out, Jeremy Bean! by Alice Schertle *Review coming soon
  206. Jimmy the Joey by Deborah Lee Rose and Susan Kelly *Review coming soon
  207. A Little Book of Sloth by Lucy Cooke *Review coming soon
  208. Fruits Basket Vol 9 by Natsuki Takaya (Manga)
  209. Fruits Basket Vol 10 by Natsuki Takaya (Manga)
  210. Saga Vol 5 by Brian K. Vaughan *Review coming soon
  211. March of the Wooden Soldiers (Fables #4) by Bill Willingham*Review coming soon
  212. Mean of Seasons (Fables #5) by Bill Willingham *Review coming soon
  213. Punky Brewster by Joelle Sellner *Review coming soon
  214. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: Sword of Summer (Magnus Chase #1) by Rick Riordan (Childrens)
  215. All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely *Review coming soon
  216. All We Have is Now by Lisa Schroeder *Review coming soon
  217. The Rose Society by Marie Lu (Young Elites #2) (YA)
  218. Magic Stars by Ilona Andrews *Review coming soon
  219. Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Ferdle *Review coming soon
  220. Love in the Time of Global Warming by Francesca L. Block *Review coming soon
  221. Jackaby by William Ritter (Jackaby #1) *Review coming soon

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