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MJ's Reviews

The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story By Tina Cho

The line work! The colors! While the drawings in this story would be enough, we are also gifted an inspiring story of a young girl facing her fears. She begins learning from her grandmother, a haenyeo, which translates from Korean to English as “sea women”: a tradition of iron-willed women who deep-sea dive for a living in the Jeju province in Korea. This book is perfect for sea lovers or anyone looking for courage in their own lives. —MJ

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The Ocean Calls: A Haenyeo Mermaid Story Cover Image
By Tina Cho, Jess X. Snow (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781984814869
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Kokila - August 4th, 2020

A Terrible Thing to Waste: Environmental Racism and Its Assault on the American Mind by Harriet A. Washington

Washington does a deep dive into not only the physical effects of environmental racism, but the mental ones. Contaminants such as lead can have detrimental effects on brain development. This book is at once a look into the horror of our treatment of people of color in this country as well as a hopeful look into just how easy it can be to change. —MJ

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ISBN: 9780316509442
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Spark - August 4th, 2020

Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones

This book is everything early Stephen King was trying to be. What happens when you spend all summer bonding with a mannequin, only to leave him to gather dust for years in the garage? A group of seniors from a small town are about to find out. Horror fans, get ready for this twisty psychological tale. And be careful what you bring back from a creek...It can follow you in ways you'd never expect.  —MJ

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ISBN: 9781250752079
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - September 1st, 2020

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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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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By Rosanne Parry, Mónica Armiño (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062895936
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
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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ISBN: 9780306845260
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - June 9th, 2020

Docile by K.M. Szpara

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ISBN: 9781250216151
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tordotcom - 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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ISBN: 9781368024662
Availability: Not On Our Shelves, But Available from Warehouse - Usually Delivers in 3-14 Days
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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ISBN: 9781454935704
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sterling Children's Books - January 7th, 2020


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