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Bookshop's Favorite Books for Independent Readers

Our favorite books for independent readers are a great way for kids to gain experience while having fun. Don't miss out on the opportunity to help spread the joy of reading to a new generation!

The Real Story By Sergio Ruzzier

In Sergio Ruzzier’s picture book world, the familiar pastel-colored critters are thoughtful, quirky, and hilarious. Here we get not one but several plausible (you be the judge) versions of the age-old question, “What happened to the cookies?” Awash from edge to edge in pen, ink, and watercolors, each page brings us closer to the truth: It’s the story, silly! A reminder to kids of all ages of the importance of storytelling. 

—Michelle

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The Real Story By Sergio Ruzzier Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781419755262
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - October 10th, 2023

The Apartment House on Poppy Hill by Nina LaCour

Nina LaCour’s first venture into early-reader chapter books is filled with her signature lyrical prose, attention to detail, and warm sincerity. Nine-year-old Ella loves her home and cares about all of her neighbors. She greets the new couple who have just moved in downstairs, lends a helping hand whenever she can, and investigates the mysterious elusive residents of the upstairs apartment. A beautiful portrayal of the importance of community, a book that welcomes readers with open arms. 

—Alana

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The Apartment House on Poppy Hill: Book 1 By Nina LaCour, Sònia Albert (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Nina LaCour, Sònia Albert (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781797213736
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - November 7th, 2023

The Puppets of Spelhorst by Kate DiCamillo

What an odd, intriguing tale. A morose sea captain is inspired to purchase a set of puppets after spying one that reminds him of his lost love. This is only the beginning of the puppets’ journey, which includes a ride on a hawk, a child dentist, and a triumphant play. Once again, Kate DiCamillo proves to be a master of the craft, and Julie Morstad’s deceptively simple illustrations bring this series opener to the next level. Truly spectacular.

—Ivy

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The Puppets of Spelhorst (The Norendy Tales) By Kate DiCamillo, Julie Morstad (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Kate DiCamillo, Julie Morstad (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781536216752
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - October 10th, 2023

Catwings Complete Paperback Collection (Books 1–4) by Ursula K. Le Guin

The beloved children’s classic about a family of flying felines returns! The four Catwings books are back in print, with S.D. Schindler’s original charming full-color illustrations and Ursula K. Le Guin’s delightful prose, following the kittywinged siblings across their adventures. Whether about the family escaping the city and settling into the country or getting to know new kitties and visiting their mama, each story is full of unique humor and heart. Sure to thrill readers of any age. 

—Yves

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Catwings By Ursula  K. Le Guin, S.D. Schindler (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Ursula K. Le Guin, S.D. Schindler (Illustrator)
$6.99
ISBN: 9781665936590
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - October 24th, 2023

Ten-Word Tiny Tales To Inspire and Unsettle by Joseph Coelho & 21 artist friends

This collection of super-short stories, ranging from silly to downright chilling, stuck with me long after reading. Each unique snippet is paired with its own beautiful artwork by 1 of 21 different illustrators from all across the world. Every tale was absolutely enthralling and would make a fabulous story by itself, but my favorite part was the writing prompts at the end of the book that encourage kids to expand the snippets and make them their own.

—Mo

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Ten-Word Tiny Tales: To Inspire and Unsettle (Ten Word Tiny Tales) By Joseph Coelho, Various (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Joseph Coelho, Various (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781536231359
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - September 12th, 2023

Looking Up by Stephan Pastis

Saint, named for the football team, not a religious figure, notices for sale signs popping up all around her neighborhood. Everything from the quirky toy store to her favorite eatery is being torn down and replaced. The worst part, however, is the potential loss of Daniel’s house across the street. Stephan Pastis’s newest highly illustrated novel is hilarious and heartfelt. A great read aloud for fans of Mac B., Kid Spy and Dory Fantasmagory

—Ivy

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Looking Up By Stephan Pastis, Stephan Pastis (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Stephan Pastis, Stephan Pastis (Illustrator)
$13.99
ISBN: 9781665929622
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Aladdin - October 10th, 2023

Daddy and the Beanstalk by Andrew Weiner

Estella wants a bedtime story of epic proportions and her dad, Andrew, is happy to oblige. This particular night he makes the story of Jack and the Beanstalk his own, twisting it to hilarious effect as a search for hot dogs. Estella’s enthusiasm, a fox named Wendy, and a lot of tongue-in-cheek humor will draw you back to this graphic novel again and again. For fans of Fitz & Cleo and tall tales. 

—Ivy

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Daddy and the Beanstalk (A Graphic Novel) By Andrew Weiner, Bethany Crandall (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Andrew Weiner, Bethany Crandall (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780316592918
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Ink - November 14th, 2023

Bean the Stretchy Dragon by Ari Stocrate

Bean is a silly little stretchy dragon living his best life. As he explores the forest outside his home, we are introduced to an array of creatures that also inhabit this fascinating world. It wouldn’t be a Bean story without the grumpy Sally, a witch also residing in this land. Ari Stocrate’s Sally and Bean jump from the page to deliver a fun, whimsical adventure for early readers to enjoy!

—Andrea

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Bean The Stretchy Dragon: A Sally & Bean Adventure By Ari Stocrate Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9781524881016
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Andrews McMeel Publishing - September 19th, 2023

Fox Has a Problem by Corey R. Tabor

Fox is such fun! In Corey R. Tabor’s latest Fox adventure for the My First I Can Read! series, our dear friend has a problem—a kite-in-tree problem—that escalates into a bigger problem with each attempted solution. What to do? With sweet and clean illustrations in warm fall colors, simple skill-building text, and plenty of mishap, humor, and heart, Fox Has a Problem is an ideal read-aloud for our emerging book lovers and problem solvers.—Melinda

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Fox Has a Problem (My First I Can Read) By Corey R. Tabor, Corey R. Tabor (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Corey R. Tabor, Corey R. Tabor (Illustrator)
$5.99
ISBN: 9780063277922
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - August 1st, 2023

The Story of Gumluck the Wizard, Book 1 by Adam Rex

Adam Rex brings us a funny and lovely illustrated fantasy chapter book about the adventures of Gumluck, a little, bumbling wizard whose greatest wish is to help everyone. With a fairy-tale setting recognizable at any age, and a skeptical, sarcastic narrator who tells it like it is, you will laugh and learn about truth and lies, trying your best and being yourself, and really believing in someone else.—Jocelyn

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The Story of Gumluck the Wizard: Book One By Adam Rex Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781797213231
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Chronicle Books - August 15th, 2023

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