Book Bites: Perfectly Perfect Picks

Friends, it’s time to clear some space on your bookshelves. This week, we’ve got a Book Bites classic on our hands—seven great new titles, covering all ages, each one of them beloved by at least one (and usually more!) members of our staff. In the mood for a pitch-perfect picture book? We can show you two. Catch a case of middle grade mania? The wonderful Sara Pennypacker has written just the book for you. Do you stan YA? We’ve got a fabulous Houston-set YA love story that Cathy has been excited about for ten months. And if none of that suits your mood, how about a trio of new novels that mark that start of breezy spring reading season? Whatever you choose, you won’t be disappointed. Read on!


Ages 3-5

Straw by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrated by Scott Magoon

First there was Spoon, then there was Chopsticks, and now there's Straw. Straw prides himself on finishing everything quickly—before everyone else. But when brain freeze slows him down, a fellow straw teaches him the joy of taking it slowly.
—Cathy

READ because this funny book is all about enjoying little moments, and the Rosenthal-Magoon punniness is just as good as ever.
PASS if you haven’t read Spoon or Chopsticks yet. Where have you been?!?
Order your copy on our website.

Ages 4-8

The Perfectly Perfect Wish by Lisa Mantchev; illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle

What a lovely book to share with a child about the meaning of empathy and the joy of giving. When a young girl finds a mysterious object while waiting for the school bus, she realizes that it is a wish. But she only gets one! What will she wish for? She spends the day trying to figure out what she might want. At the end of the day, after witnessing other people's wishes and needs, she decides to ask one special wish. We loved Mantchev’s Strictly No Elephants, but we think this one is even better! This is to be shared with all.
—Valerie

READ because this sweet little book carries a deep message.
PASS if you’ve always thought that sharing is for chumps.
Order your copy on our website.

Ages 8-12

Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker

After his grandmother has a fall breaking both hips and his parents must work double shifts to save for a house, eleven-year-old Ware finds himself forced to attend day camp at the local rec center. But when he learns that the neighboring church has been demolished, he discovers treasures and a girl named Reece creating a garden among the ruins. This is a pitch-perfect novel exploring what it means to be lost, to be found, to make things whole. For grades 4 and up.
—Cathy

READ because, hello, Sara Pennypacker! (If you don’t know who she is, just trust us.)
PASS if you have no heart.
Order your copy on our website.

Ages 13 & Up

The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

Cal is a social media teen journalist with over half a million followers and a summer internship at Buzzfeed until his father comes home and announces that he's been selected as the newest astronaut on NASA's mission to Mars and the family is moving from Brooklyn to Houston. The hype surrounding today's astronauts resembles that of the 1960s, only this time it's reality programming with 24/7 coverage everywhere. When Cal meets Leon, the son of another astronaut, there's an instant attraction. And when Cal discovers some secrets about the upcoming mission, he has to get to the truth without hurting his family or his new relationship. A charming YA love story set in Houston for grades 9 and up.
—Cathy

READ if you’re into Becky Albertalli, Adam Silvera, books with lots of starred reviews, or really just books in general.
PASS, you must not. Yoda told us to tell you. 
Order your copy on our website.
Meet the author at Teen Book Con on April 4!

Adult Fiction

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

A green composition book left behind in Monica's cafe starts its journey around the world, changing the lives of all the people who pick it up, read it, and then write their own stories in it. Julian, the lonely,elderly artist, Monica, the cafe owner who would love to be a mother, and a cast of many populate this heartwarming tale of making a family out of strangers. As the characters start to interact, you will cheer them on through their journeys. 
—Valerie

READ because this heart-warming story is the perfect tonic for your ever-more-digital age.
PASS if you're just doing it for the 'gram.
Order your copy on our website.

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

Years after Mia was jilted at the altar, she has a chance to land a position as the in-house wedding planner at an upscale hotel in Washington D.C. The catch? She has to prepare her application in conjunction with a marketing specialist, who happens to be Max, the brother of her intended groom. It's a classic enemies-to-lovers story, executed perfectly. An utter delight!
—Cathy

READ because this soapy-sexy-smart book is rave-reviewed and laugh-out-loud funny.
PASS if you’re in denial about your love of rom-coms. (Two types of people in this world…)
Order your copy on our website.

Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West

Welcome to the privileged bubble of Liston Heights High. When a devoted teacher comes under pressure for her progressive curriculum and a helicopter mom goes viral on social media, two women at odds find themselves in similar predicaments, having to battle back from certain social ruin. Liston Heights High is full of micromanaging parents, overworked teachers, and kids caught in the middle. After the school play is cast and a beloved teacher is accused of an anti-American agenda in her classroom, what ensues is a story of how entitlement and competition can go too far and what happens when that bubble finally bursts.
—Lesley

READ if you loved Where’d You Go, Bernadette, Big Little Lies, or The Gifted School.
PASS if you want to hurt Lesley’s feelings. (Monster.)
Order your copy on our website.
Meet the author when she visits the shop on February 20!