Varsha Bajaj on Writing a Mystery, Water Inequity, and THIRST

Our dear friend (and neighbor to some of our staffers!) Varsha Bajaj returns this month with a brand new middle grade novel, Thirst. Friends, the book is incredible. It's a poignant, page-turning mystery that addresses the class divide and access to resources head-on, and its Mumbai setting provides an incredible window into life on the other side of the world. The book is also full of jumping-off points for important discussions, and has already been named a Global Read Aloud selection for 2022. We can't wait for you to read it.

We are honored and excited to welcome Varsha to the shop for an in-person event celebrating the book's release on July 16. If you pre-order the book through us before then, you can get a signed, personalized copy — and we'll make a donation to Water.org. (If you're an educator, the deal is even sweeter — you can upload your proof of purchase and receive a free educator's kit for the classroom, courtesy of the book's publisher.) In the meantime, check out our Q&A with Varsha below!

Book Bites: Dog Days

Is it too early to call these blazing afternoons the "dog days" of summer? The stars may say no, but we're going to go ahead and do it anyway. Fortunately, we know the very best way to beat the heat: Stay inside with a great new book, like one of the recent releases we're featuring below. Only one is actually about a dog. But there's another one about bones, which we think should count for something. And all of them are perfect summer reads. Enjoy!