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MJ's Reviews

Mañanaland by Pam Muñoz Ryan

A beautiful work of magical realism, Mañanaland shows us the courage of immigrants and those who help and support them. Pam Munoz Ryan is always an expert storyteller and this rich novel is one to dig into and discuss. Perfect for a family book club. —Emma

From the genius behind Esperanza Rising and Echo comes the fantastical story of Max, an 11-year-old boy who loves stories. Ever since Max’s mother disappeared when he was a baby, his family has been full of secrets. Then Max makes a discovery that changes his life forever, putting him on a quest for the true story. Great for fantasy readers! —MJ

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Mañanaland Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338157864
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - March 3rd, 2020

A Wolf Called Wander Written by Rosanne Parry Illustrated by Mónica Armiño

Told from the (fictional) perspective of a (real) wolf, this book is perfect for the budding middle grade naturalist. It’s a great look into the behaviors and habits of wolves, how the pack operates, and what a wolf without a pack might do, all in a fascinating, age-appropriate narrative form. Fans of Pax and Endling, and older fans of Wild Robot, will appreciate the environmental message of this touching story.

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A Wolf Called Wander Cover Image
By Rosanne Parry, Mónica Armiño (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062895936
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - May 7th, 2019

The Language of Butterflies by Wendy Williams

Butterflies have entranced humans for hundreds of years. Why did this fascination begin? And what part do butterflies take in our ecosystem? Wendy Williams has carefully crafted a study about the fascinating history of humankind’s relationship with these delightful, colorful insects, as well as into butterflies’ evolution. A perfect addition to any naturalist’s collection and to that of the casual appreciaters of butterflies.

Brother Robert Growing Up with Robert Johnson by Annye C. Anderson

This is the touching, first-hand account of the family life of Delta blues legend Robert Johnson from the perspective of Annye Anderson, his half-sister. Johnson died when she was 12, but with the help of a steel-trap memory and documents, Anderson shows us a side we haven’t much seen of the talented musician. She may not know what he did on the road, but she helps us meet the man he was with the people who mattered the most.

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$28.00
ISBN: 9780306845260
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - June 9th, 2020

Docile by K.M. Szpara

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Docile Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781250216151
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor.com - March 3rd, 2020

Docile is a hard but important critique of capitalism through the lens of an indentured servant and his master. It’s the future, and in order to pay off millions of inherited debt for their future family, people are selling themselves to the rich. To soften the blow of human rights violations, a drug called Dociline has been invented to modify memories and make “dociles” more compliant. Truly artful writing that I couldn’t put down, this sci-fi is sure to make waves. —MJ


Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

Nizhoni Begay can see monsters no one else can see. So when her father’s kidnapped by his new monster boss, it’s up to her—with the help of her brother Mac and best friend Davery—to travel to the land of the Dinétah to save him. This story’s filled with action, humor, and adventure, with a focus on family and respecting the environment. Fans of Percy Jackson are sure to enjoy this newest addition to Rick Riordan Presents based in Navajo belief.

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$16.99
ISBN: 9781368024662
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rick Riordan Presents - January 14th, 2020

Martin McLean, Middle School Queen by Alyssa Zaczek

Mathlete, amateur astronomer, and… drag queen? Martin McLean is a quiet kid dealing with middle school by making the least amount of noise possible; that is, until his Tío Billy introduces him to the world of drag, and he finds a new way to express himself. Lose yourself in this tender story about self-discovery and the power of community. 

 

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Martin McLean, Middle School Queen Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781454935704
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sterling Children's Books - January 7th, 2020

Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice by Mahogany L. Browne with Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood

Woke is a collection of poetry and illustrations that focus on activism and what it means to not only survive but thrive in the current age. This book hopes to inspire a new generation to express their feelings and experiences, and empowers them to draw outside the lines in a creative and powerful way. For the budding poet-activist in your life!

 

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Woke: A Young Poet's Call to Justice Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250311207
Availability: Backordered
Published: Roaring Brook Press - March 10th, 2020

A Story about Afiya by James Berry

At the beginning of every day, Afiya’s dress is white. As she experiences new things, the dress takes on the imagery of her experiences, the fabric making visible all the beauty that can be seen as a child walks through the world. Award-winning writer Berry’s poetic text is brought to life by illustrator Cunha, whose delicate paint strokes create a sense of movement that flows from page to page. A whimsical story for the creative child.

 

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By James Berry, Anna Cunha (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781911373339
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Lantana Publishing - April 7th, 2020

The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

I have been waiting my whole life for a f/f bodice ripper, written by a woman who experiences same-gender attraction. To make it even better, the two main characters are an astronomer and an artist with deep love for plants and natural history! Lady's Guide manages to be fun and evocative; I'd suggest it to romance lovers who are nerds for historical fiction like me. - MJ

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The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics: Feminine Pursuits Cover Image
$6.99
ISBN: 9780062931795
Availability: Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
Published: Avon Impulse - July 23rd, 2019

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