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? 

Ages 4-8

The Proudest Blue by Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali; illustrated by Hatem Aly

This fall, Faizah's sister, sixth-grader Asiya, wears a hijab to school for the first time. This beautifully illustrated book relates the story from Faizah's perspective as she observes the beauty and strength Asiya portrays, even in the face of unkindness. A picture book for all ages.

READ because all are welcome here.
PASS if you’re looking for something a little older. Might we suggest Count Me In or wishtree?
Order your copy on our website.

Ages 8-12

The Dog Who Lost His Bark by Eoin Colfer; illustrated by P. J. Lynch

Patrick has wanted a dog forever, and this summer, when his father is traveling, he finally gets one from the shelter. Oz’s dog life has been full of bad people, so when he meets Patrick, he’s not sure that he will be safe. Patrick teaches Oz to bark and Oz teaches Patrick unconditional love. It’s a lovely story of a boy and his dog that is perfect for reading aloud at home or in a classroom or for independent readers grades 3 and up. 

READ because even though this is quite a departure for Mr. Colfer, it is absolutely wonderful.
PASS if you only read Colfer for the elves and pixies and LEPrecon. (Fowl Twins incoming November 5th!) (But really, don’t pass.)
Order your copy on our website.

Free Lunch by Rex Ogle

Rex Ogle can't wait to begin sixth grade, but when he asks his mother for lunch money before the first day of school, he learns that she has signed him up for the school’s free meal program. This experience begins Rex’s efforts to navigate middle school while being poor and hungry. This middle grade memoir, which takes place in Texas, tackles incredibly tough subjects, including poverty, hunger, and domestic violence. The voice is spot on and is what carries the reader from page to page. Rex provides moments of humor, hope and love, leavening his story and turning it into a page turner. It is truly a must read.

READ because this is a sensitive, moving middle grade memoir that will stay with you for a long time.
PASS if you want to read a book you’ll forget about instantly.
Order your copy on our website.
Meet the author at the Tweens Read festival on October 19th! 

Ages 14 & Up

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Frank Li is just a high school guy trying to finally get a girlfriend. Problem is, his strict Korean-American parents have a small-minded view on who Frank will end up with. This hilarious, cringe-worthy, relatable and diverse high school tale is the perfect school year read. Highly recommended. 

READ because this is a funny, sweet love story that everyone’s going to be talking about.
PASS if you don’t mind missing out.
Order your copy on our website.

Adult Fiction

The Secrets We Kept by Lara Prescott

What happened to those code girls after the war? In this richly imagined novel, they became secretaries and typists for the men who were involved in the cold war. In this case, they are the Greek chorus to the political intrigue surrounding Boris Pasternak's subversive novel Doctor Zhivago. As different characters narrate, we are drawn into the lives of all the players: Pasternak and his lover, the Italian publisher, the women who were recruited to pass along highly sensitive papers. Historical fiction fans will love this one.

READ if you loved Code Girls or (obviously) Doctor Zhivago.
PASS if Doctor Strange is more your speed.
Order your copy on our website.

Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson

In a few carefully chosen words, Woodson's latest novel for adults demonstrates her proven ability to touch deep at the heart of both the struggles and successes that mark contemporary American—particularly African-American—families. She does it sparely, with a minimum of fanfare and a maximum of compassion. This story is about three generations of a family in Brooklyn, told in several voices as family members look back from the moment that 16-year old Melody celebrates at her coming of age party. Her mother, grandmother, father and grandfather reflect on the events, accidental and otherwise, that have shaped their lives. Recommended. 

READ because anything by Jacqueline Woodson is a must-read.
PASS if you’re more in the Harbor Me audience—you can come back to this one in high school.
Order your copy on our website.

Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke

The next chapter in Locke’s Highway 59 saga brings us up to date with Texas Ranger Darren Mathews’ career, personal life, and a new small town Texas mystery to solve. Darren is torn between a wife that wants the big city life of Houston with town homes and modern lifestyle and the country life in the East Texas hills and fresh air that he longs for. He frequently goes out to help his difficult mother in small town Camilla but is reminded that she has a secret that could crush everything he has worked for both personally and professionally. Back in Houston, his boss assigns him to securing information that will help bring down the Aryan Brotherhood organization that is strong and growing in East Texas. To do that, Darren must go to the Caddo Lake area to help find a missing boy, a son of the leader of the Aryan brothers. Lush with East Texas lore from that earliest of days of Native Americans, riverboats, and land ownership by ex-slaves, it is a gripping tale in a countryside full of prejudices, hate and heartlessness ending with love and honor in unlikely places. Loved the book. Love Attica!

READ if you loved Bluebird, Bluebird even half as much as we did.
PASS if you only loved Bluebird, Bluebird a tenth as much as we did.
Order your copy on our website.

Adult Nonfiction

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? by Caitlin Doughty

In her third book, mortician Caitlin Doughty answers 35 questions about death, dying, and decomposition, all posed by young readers. (The runner-up title was Grandma’s Viking Funeral.) As befits a book inspired by kids’ questions, Doughty writes in a very casual, accessible style, blending science, cultural criticism, and humor to break the taboo around her subject matter. As you read, you’ll probably start to wonder why you didn’t already know the answers to a few of these questions. Which is kind of Doughty’s point all along. A fun, informative book to read alone, or with an inquisitive middle-schooler—recommended.

READ because death is incontrovertible. So shouldn’t we at least be able to talk about it?
PASS at your own peril… We posted this review on Friday the 13th, so if you don’t read this book, you’re technically jinxed. 
Order your copy on our website.