Book Bites: Kate, Kwame, Kadir, Kip, and More!

Kate DiCamillo! Kwame Alexander! Kadir Nelson! Our shelves have been hit by a winning influx of Ks over the last few weeks, and we couldn’t be more excited. From the legendary Kate DiCamillo, we have a wonderful new picture book that serves as a prequel to the early-reader Mercy Watson series. Elsewhere in picture books, Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson have teamed up for a stunningly beautiful US history lesson for any young reader. Plus, there’s an incredible debut YA novel by Kip Wilson to check out (from Kwame’s Versify imprint, no less). Believe by Robert Sabuda doesn’t have a single K to its name… but it will knock you over with its innovation and beauty. (We tried.)

Moving over to the adult side of the store, we have two novels and a book of essays you’ll want to add to your list. Up first, The Book of Dreams marks the return of Little Paris Bookshop author Nina George. Stay Up With Hugo Best is a timely, witty debut full of sharp social commentary. And Helen Ellis’ hilarious Southern Lady Code is a rowdy romp through life and womanhood below the Mason-Dixon.

Ages 3-7

A Piglet Named Mercy by Kate DiCamillo; illustrated by Chris Van Dusen

Kate DiCamillo and Chris Van Dusen combine their considerable talents to deliver a prequel picture book to the Mercy Watson early reader series. Mr. and Mrs. Watson lived on Deckawoo Drive and wondered if they were the tiniest bit predictable until one day a pig bounced off the pig transport truck and landed in their yard. A charming, lovely picture book that introduces the joy of Mercy Watson to a new generation of readers and their families.

READ because this is a perfect origin story for one of our all-time favorite kids’ book characters.
PASS if you’re a giant grump.
Order your copy on our website. 
Meet the author at Wilchester Elementary on April 18!

Ages 5-8

Believe by Robert Sabuda

Best-selling pop-up book creator Robert Sabuda has created a stunning new book celebrating dreams and hard work. Each spread is a celebration of accomplishment, culminating in a perfect gift book for graduation this spring!

READ because this is an elegant, beautiful, empowering pop-up book by a master of the form.
PASS it along to a grad—this one’s a keeper. (<--Another K!)
Order your copy on our website. 

Ages 6-9

The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander; illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Alexander's spoken word poem, accompanied by Nelson's artwork, highlights moments in black American history. You will need to take your time to absorb the stunning and breathtaking words and art. Read it—this is a fine example of what can be created when two masters of their craft collaborate. Best for grades 2 and up.

READ because this is a beautiful, necessary ode to black life in the United States.
PASS if this book’s dream team author-illustrator duo, five starred reviews, and important history lessons… wait, pass? Nah, don't do that.
Order your copy on our website. 

Ages 12 & Up

White Rose by Kip Wilson

Told completely in verse, this gorgeous novel tells the story of the White Rose, the resistance group in World War II Germany led by young people predominantly in their late teens and twenties. Faced with the rise of Nazi atrocities, they would not stay silent and were punished for their bravery. Compelling voices make this story one to read for pleasure and to use in classrooms across the country. For grades 8 and up. 

READ if you haven’t read many novels in verse and would like to add a great one to your list.
PASS if you haven’t read many novels in verse and would like to stall your personal growth.
Order your copy on our website. 

Adult Fiction

The Book of Dreams by Nina George

Henri has been invited to Father and Sons Day by his long-lost son Samuel. He is on his way there when he has a terrible accident and ends up hospitalized in a coma. Samuel lives with his mother, stepfather, and half-brother but has wanted to meet his biological father since learning that he existed. Sam starts skipping school daily to be at Henri's side and encounters Edwina "Eddie", who was pushed away by Henri when things started getting too serious. Meanwhile, Sam meets Maddie in the ward, a beautiful girl who is traumatized by the loss of her entire family in a car accident.

Told in flashbacks and dreams, the novel gives the backstory of Henri and Eddie, Henri and Sam's mother, and Henri's devastation and guilt over the death of his father. This guilt, whether justified or not, has hampered his adult commitments and has led to a life as a wandering war correspondent.

Nina George, author of the popular The Little Paris Bookshop, provides a wistful novel of what could have been and what still may be.

READ if you’re a fan of Isabel Allende, Alice Hoffman… or Nina George.
PASS on this for now if you’re looking for something a little more peppy (see below).
Order your copy on our website. 

Stay Up With Hugo Best by Erin Somers

The long running late night show “Stay Up With Hugo Best” has come to an end. After an awkward wrap party, Hugo invites a young writer from the show to his country home in Connecticut for the long holiday weekend. June Bloom is twenty nine, a wannabe comedian and a wry observer of human nature. Her ruminations over the next few days bring to life some astute social commentary.

READ this breezy, buzzy debut if you’re a fan of Gary Shteyngart, Maria Semple, or anyone with a sharp wit.
PASS if you prefer dimwitted books.
Order your copy on our website. 

Adult Nonfiction

Southern Lady Code by Helen Ellis

What fun for ladies who were raised by the Southern Code! Helen Michelle (as her mother always called her) has written a veritable treasure trove of essays that extol the virtues of Southern civility. From writing thank you notes to listening to dinner party stories retold, you will laugh and pause to remember why you were raised this way.

READ because you’ll howl with laughter. If you don’t believe us, Ann Patchett says so, too. 
PASS if you don’t want to end up spitting iced tea from your nose. (Or if you’re a bit lukewarm on “raucous.”)
Order your copy on our website.