Blogs

Tweens Read Author Rex Ogle on Middle School, Comics, and FREE LUNCH

One more week until Tweens Read 2019! Our annual festival for middle grade readers is coming to Pasadena Memorial High School next Saturday, October 19, and we couldn't be more excited. Twenty-three terrific authors will be in attendance, including folks like Jason Reynolds, Julie Murphy, and Lincoln Peirce. It's one of our favorite days of the year, and we strongly encourage you to join us. Not only will you get to meet some of your favorite authors... but you'll discover a few new favorites, too. Like Rex Ogle! His debut middle-grade book, Free Lunch, is a candid and moving memoir about growing up in poverty. It's raw and honest, but also manages to be sweet and hopeful. In short, it's a wonderful book—a window, a mirror, and an all-around empathy machine.

Don't miss your chance to hang out with Rex and the rest of the Tweens Read authors next weekend. (Seriously, don't miss your chance: Rex used to write and edit comic books, is from Texas, and has a fantastic dog. He's a cool guy.) Fill out your Tweens Read registration, then hurry back and check out our exclusive Q&A with the author.

Book Bites: Big Wonderful Books

We’ve got a full slate of author visits, the Astros are marching through the playoffs, and we keep hearing promises that cooler weather is ahead. It’s officially the middle of October. And you know what that means—it’s reading season. This week, we’re featuring eight wonderful titles spanning every age group and a variety of genres. Even better? Four of the authors highlighted below are visiting Houston in the coming weeks. You’d best get reading! 

Tweens Read Author Kwame Mbalia on Myth, Grief, and TRISTAN STRONG

October is here, friends, and that means it's officially Tweens Read season at the shop. We've been busy prepping for the October 19th event, where you can meet all sorts of your favorite authors, like Jason Reynolds, Jon Sciezska, and Julie Murphy. It's also a great place to discover new favorites. One of the authors we're most excited to introduce you to is Kwame Mbalia, debut author of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky. Friends, this is a great book. It's got humor, adventure, and heart, bound together with a dose of African mythology. If you don't believe us, just ask Rick Riordan—he's publishing the book through his new imprint, Rick Riordan Presents. So you know it's going to be a fun, sometimes-scary adventure you won't be able to put down.

Tristan Strong comes out on October 15th... why don't you celebrate by joining us at the Tweens Read festival and meeting the author just a few days later? You'll be able to ask questions, get your book signed, and maybe even convince Kwame to share a detail or two about the forthcoming sequel. In the meantime, check out our exclusive Q&A with the author.

Book Bites: Names of Acclaim

Ever since the start of fall publishing season a few weeks ago, there’s been a non-stop wave of great new books hitting our shelves. Last time we did this, we recommended new titles by big-name literary titans like Jacqueline Woodson, Eoin Colfer, and Attica Locke. And now? Now we have even more books by big names to share with you. From Blue Willow Hero Bob Shea all the way to the inimitable Ta-Nehisi Coates, this batch of bestsellers, breakouts, and bigwigs is guaranteed to please. The only question is: Which will you read first?

Tweens Read Author Rajani LaRocca on MIDSUMMER'S MAYHEM and What's Next

If you know us well, you know that we have some particular favorite things: Baked goods. Shakespeare. And books, obviously. Kids' books bear mentioning, in particular—we've devoted half our store to children's titles, and host three festivals for young readers each year. Imagine our delight, then, when we first caught wind of Rajani Larocca's debut middle grade novel, Midsummer's Mayhem. It's a kids' book that combines elements of Shakespeare with competitive baking, and it's as funny, sweet, and imaginative as anything you've read lately. You needn't just take our word for it—since it debuted earlier this year, it's picked up accolades along the way... a starred review here, a Kids' Indie Next List selection there, and glowing blurbs from some of your very favorite authors.

We're so excited that Rajani will be joining us on October 19 as part of our annual Tweens Read festival for middle grade readers. You'll have a chance to meet her in person and get your book signed then. But October still feels like it's a long ways off. So for now, we've got the next best thing—an exclusive Q&A with the author. Read on!

Book Bites: Title Wave

Fresh books here, get your frrrrresh books! Fall publishing season is in full swing, friends, and the new releases are coming in fast and thick. We’ve been on a nonstop reading binge at the shop just to keep up with it all. And while we trust that you’ve already come in for your copy of The Testaments, there are plenty of other titles deserving of your attention. New Eoin Colfer, Jacqueline Woodson, and Attica Locke? Yeah, you’ve got another trip to the bookstore in your future. Below we highlight eight of our favorites—from a sweet, welcoming picture book all the way up to historical fiction and a book by a mortician. What’s catching your eye? 

Jennifer Mathieu on Bad Girls, the MOXIE Movie, and THE LIARS OF MARIPOSA ISLAND

The Liars of Mariposa Island Jennifer MathieuAre you excited about the new book from Jennifer Mathieu? Of course you are! Let's review the facts: Jennifer Mathieu is a Houston treasure; her last book, Moxie, probably blew your mind two years ago; and, oh yeah, now it's being turned into a Netflix movie... directed by Amy Poehler! Her new novel, The Liars of Mariposa Island, is a powerful, emotional tale—told in three distinct voices—that layers important themes like family, identity, love, and trauma. It's a gripping story, masterfully told, and we can't wait to put it in your hands when it comes out on September 17th.

Pre-order your copy of Liars from us, and email your proof of purchase to liarsofmariposa@gmail.com—you'll get a signed, personalized first edition of the book, plus a bookmark, a postcard, some stickers, and more from Jennifer herself. And don't forget to attend the book's launch party, right here in the bookshop on Saturday, September 21. In the meantime, check out our exclusive Q&A with the author.

Jon Scieszka and Steven Weinberg on Art, Science, and ASTRONUTS

If you've known us for a while, you probably know that we can't get enough of Jon Scieszka. From The Stinky Cheese Man to the Time Warp Trio to Frank Einstein and beyond, each and every one of his books have made us cackle with laughter and love our jobs. It's no wonder, then, that we're beyond excited for his new series with illustrator Steven Weinberg, AstroNuts. Book one is full of signature Scieszka humor and absorbing illustrations, and it brings science—including climate change—to life in an accessible, entertaining way. It's going to be a hit, friends.

To make things even more exciting, we've partnered with the book's publisher, Chronicle Books, to offer an exclusive perk—pre-order your copy of AstroNuts Mission One: The Plant Planet on our website before the book is released on September 10, and we'll send you a first edition signed by both Jon and Steven. And don't miss Jon and Steven at this year's Tweens Read festival on October 19! Until then, check out our Q&A with the creators.

Book Bites: Fall Publishing Season!

Fall publishing season is here, y’all! It’s one of our very favorite times—even if it means that we stayed late last Saturday night unpacking box upon box of new releases. All the publishers are pushing out their biggest, best books of the year—and they’re sending all sorts of exciting authors on tour. Check out the list below for some fantastic all-ages recommendations, then mosey on over to our events calendar and make plans to come see us sometime soon. No offense to late December, but it’s the most wonderful time of the year for a reader—here’s to picturebooks, page-turners, and everything in between!

Book Bites: Three Fresh Favorites, Four You May Have Missed

Gather around, friends! It’s time for us to gush about books again. Seriously, y’all—books are the greatest, and this week we have one of our classic something-for-everyone lists for you to check out. Read on to meet three fresh favorites… and four fantastic titles you may have overlooked earlier this year. We’ve got everything from middle grade novels to a cookbook included within. So, to borrow a phrase… dig in!

Pages