Staff Picks: November 2022 (All Ages!)

Adult Books | Teen Books | Kid Books

Find out what Denver Public Library staff are reading this month! All titles are available to check out today.

Adult Books

Check out these Staff Recommendations for adult readers!

America's Test Kitchen

Celebrate the season with this treasure trove of cozy cooking and baking recipes, from soul-warming soups and simple dinners to showstoppers and weekend projects.

Beal, Timothy K.

It's a book about our denial of death as a species (the possibility if not probability of extinction), how religion has fueled that denial, and how religion might also help break through that denial and find hope.

Brook, Meljean

When a dead body is dropped from an airship onto Rhys Trahaearn's doorstep, Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth uncovers the victim's identity--and stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans.

Burton, Tara Isabella

When the shy, sensitive Laura Stearns arrives at St. Dunstan's Academy in Maine, she dreams that life there will echo her favorite novel, All Before Them, the sole surviving piece of writing by Byronic "prep school prophet" (and St. Dunstan's alum) Sebastian Webster, who died at 19, fighting in the Spanish Civil War. She soon finds the intensity she is looking for among the insular, Webster-worshipping members of the school's cultic chapel choir: presided over by the charismatic, neurotic, overachiever Virginia Strauss, who is as fanatical about her newfound Christian faith as she is about the miles she runs every morning before dawn. Virginia inducts the besotted Laura into a world of transcendent music and arcane ritual, illicit cliff-diving and midnight crypt visits: a world that, like Webster's novels, finally seems to Laura to be full of meaning. But when a new, reformist school chaplain challenges Virginia's hold on the "family" she has created, and Virginia's efforts to hold onto her power become increasingly destructive, Laura must decide how far she will let her devotion to Virginia go.

Cartier-Bresson, Henri

Henri Cartier-Bresson, at eighty-six, is the old master of European photography. Paris - the city and its people - has pervaded his work ever since he first exchanged his paintbrushes for a camera, influenced by the Surrealist movement of the late 1920s. A propos de Paris presents the photographer's personal selection of more than 130 of his best photographs of Paris, taken over fifty years. As ever, his vision transforms photojournalism into high art, revealing images of Paris with a rare, dreamlike, almost crystalline clarity. He unfolds before our eyes a kind of intellectual reconstruction of the city, reaching far beyond the cliches of tourism and popular myth. Accompanying texts by Vera Feyder and Andre Pieyre de Mandiargues discuss the history of Cartier-Besson's engagement with the city and its place in his achievement.

Chapman, Clay McLeod

Inspired by a true story, this supernatural thriller for fans of horror and true crime follows a tale as it evolves every twenty years--with terrifying results. Ella Louise has lived in the woods surrounding Pilot's Creek, Virginia, for nearly a decade. Publicly, she and her daughter, Jessica, are shunned by her upper-crust family and the local residents. Privately, desperate characters visit her apothecary for a cure to what ails them--until Ella Louise is blamed for the death of a prominent customer. Accused of witchcraft, Ella Louise and Jessica are burned at the stake in the middle of the night. Ella Louise's burial site is never found, but the little girl has the most famous grave in the South: a steel-reinforced coffin surrounded by a fence of interconnected white crosses. Their story will take the shape of an urban legend as it's told around a campfire by a man forever marked by his childhood encounters with Jessica. Decades later, a boy at that campfire will cast Amber Pendleton as Jessica in a '70s horror movie inspired by the Witch Girl of Pilot's Creek. Amber's experiences on that set and its meta-remake in the '90s will ripple through pop culture, ruining her life and career after she becomes the target of a witch hunt. Amber's best chance to break the cycle of horror comes when a true-crime investigator tracks her down to interview her for his popular podcast. But will this final act of storytelling redeem her--or will it bring the story full circle, ready to be told once again? And again. And again . . .

Copeland, Misty

As the only African American soloist dancing with the prestigious American Ballet Theatre, Misty Copeland has made history. But when she first placed her hands on the barre at an after-school community center, no one expected the undersized, anxious thirteen-year-old to become a ground-breaking ballerina.

Correia, Larry and Kacey Ezell (editors)

"Knights had no meaning in this game. It wasn't a game for knights." - Raymond Chandler. In a world of criminals, thugs, con artists, cheats, and swindlers, there must be a man to stand against the powers of darkness and corruption. A man not afraid to walk the mean streets-whether they be those of 1930s Los Angeles, an ancient fantasy realm, or some far-flung planet of a future star empire. He is a man who knows that a "good man" is not always a "nice guy." But when the chips are down, he understands that a hero does the right thing, even if it means losing everything. He's a hard man, sure. But an honorable one. He's a truth-seeker, a score-evener. He is Sam Spade. He is Philip Marlowe. He is Rick Deckard. He is Harry Dresden. He is all these men and more. Now, join Larry Correia and Kacey Ezell as they present all-new stories of fantasy and science fiction with a hardboiled detective bent by today's top authors. Grab the bottle of Scotch from your bottom desk drawer. Light a cigarette. Tilt your fedora back on your head. But don't forget to watch your back. This is No Game for Knights. Stories by: Laurell K. Hamilton, Larry Correia, Christopher Ruocchio, Michael Haspil, D.J. Butler, Kacey Ezell, Griffin Barber, Robert Buettner, Sharon Shinn, Craig Martelle, Chris Kennedy, S.A. Bailey, G. Scott Huggins, Nicole Givens Kurtz, and Rob Howell.

Friedman, Danielle

A captivating blend of reportage and personal narrative that explores the untold history of women's exercise culture--from jogging and Jazzercise to Jane Fonda--and how women have parlayed physical strength into other forms of power.

Goldberg, Natalie

Presents advice on how to write creatively, discussing the importance of discipline and offering a series of writing exercises.

Guillory, Jasmine

Vivian Forest has been out of the country a grand total of one time, so when she gets the chance to tag along on her daughter Maddie's work trip to England to style a royal family member, she can't refuse. She's excited to spend the holidays taking in the magnificent British sights, but what she doesn't expect is to become instantly attracted to a certain Private Secretary and his charming accent and unyielding formality. Malcolm Hudson has been the Queen's Private Secretary for years and has never given a personal, private tour...until now. He is intrigued by Vivian the moment he meets her and finds himself making excuses just to spend time with her. When flirtatious banter turns into a kiss under the mistletoe, things snowball into a full-on fling. Despite a ticking timer on their holiday romance, they are completely fine with ending their short, steamy fling come New Year's Day...or are they?

Halliday, Thomas

Mining the most recent paleontological advances, a paleobiologist recreates sixteen extinct worlds, rendered with a novelist's eye for detail and drama, showing up close the intricate relationships of these ancient worlds.

Haynes, Natalie

A retelling of the Trojan War from the perspectives of its women follows the stories of a vigil-keeping Penelope, an Amazon princess rival of Achilles, and three goddesses whose feud sparks a tragic conflict.

Hitchcock, Shannon

This lyrical picture book biography of songwriter and activist Jean Ritchie traces the singer's life from the Cumberland Mountains of Kentucky to New York City and beyond, as her protest songs inspired a nation.

Howey, Hugh

The old world is buried. A new one has been forged atop the shifting dunes, a land of howling wind and infernal sand. In this barren home, siblings Conner, Rob, Palmer and Violet daily carve out a future. They live in the shadow of their father and oldest sister, Vic, two of the greatest sand divers ever to comb the desert's depths. But these branches of their family tree are long gone, disappeared into the wastes beyond, leaving the younger siblings scratching in the dust, hopeful for a better life. On the other side of No Man's Land, Anya was born beside the abundant mines knowing her prospects would be to marry, have a family, and work in ore, in service to the Empire of the East. But when an atomic bomb delivered by a stranger destroys most of her town, murdering all her friends and community, she follows her father to a strange land of dunes to bring vengeance to their enemies.

Jayatissa, Amanda

From the author of My Sweet Girl comes a dangerously addictive new thriller about a lavish Sri Lankan wedding celebration that no one will ever forget. When Amaya is invited to Kaavi's over-the-top wedding in Sri Lanka, Amaya is surprised and a little hurt to hear from her former best friend after so many years of radio silence. But when Amaya learns that the groom is her very own ex-boyfriend, she is consumed by a single thought: She must stop the wedding from happening, no matter the cost. But Amaya might not be the only one with a plan to keep the bride from getting her happily ever after. When Kaavi goes missing and is presumed dead, the evidence points towards Amaya. Caught between excessive Sri Lankan wedding celebrations, old wounds, and dark secrets, will Amaya be able to prove she's being framed for a murder she's almost positive she didn't commit?

Jenkins, Beverly

When the Declaration of Independence is stolen by a former Confederate official, fearless grifter Raven Moreaux, forced by the government to get it back, finds both her life and heart on the line when she falls for her partner who is posing as her husband.

Jones, Stephen Graham

Peter Straub's Ghost Story meets Liane Moriarty's Big Little Lies in this American Indian horror story of revenge on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Four American Indian men from the Blackfeet Nation, who were childhood friends, find themselves in a desperate struggle for their lives, against an entity that wants to exact revenge upon them for what they did during an elk hunt ten years earlier by killing them, their families, and friends.

Macfarlane, Robert

Since its publication in 2017, The Lost Words has enchanted readers with its poetry and illustrations of the natural world. Now, The Lost Spells, a book kindred in spirit and tone, continues to re-wild the lives of children and adults. The Lost Spells evokes the wonder of everyday nature, conjuring up red foxes, birch trees, jackdaws, and more in poems and illustrations that flow between the pages and into readers' minds. Robert Macfarlane's spell-poems and Jackie Morris's watercolour illustrations are musical and magical: these are summoning spells, words of recollection, charms of protection. To read The Lost Spells is to see anew the natural world within our grasp and to be reminded of what happens when we allow it to slip away.

MacLean, Sarah

New York Times best-selling author Sarah MacLean follows her highly acclaimed Bombshell with Heartbreaker, featuring a fierce, fearless heroine on a mission to steal a duke's secrets...and his heart. A Princess of Thieves. Raised among London's most notorious criminals, a twist of fate landed Adelaide Frampton in the bright ballrooms of Mayfair, where she masquerades as a quiet wallflower--so plain and unassuming that no one realizes she's the Matchbreaker...using her superior skills as a thief to help brides avoid the altar. A King of Reputation. Henry, Duke of Clayborn, has spent a lifetime living in perfection. He has no time for the salacious gossip that arises every time the Matchbreaker ends another groom. His own reputation is impeccable--and the last thing he needs is a frustrating, fascinating woman discovering the truth of his past, or the secrets he holds close. A Royal Match. When the two find themselves on a breakneck journey across Britain to stop a wedding, it's impossible for Clayborn to resist this woman who both frustrates and fascinates him. But late-night carriage rides make for delicious danger...and soon Adelaide is uncovering Clayborn's truths, throwing his well-laid plans into chaos...and threatening to steal his heavily guarded heart.

Malamud, Randy

Virginia Woolf's novel famously begins - 'Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.' Of course she would: why would anyone surrender the best part of the day to someone else? Flowers grace our lives at moments of celebration and despair. 'We eat, drink, sing, dance, and flirt with them', writes Kakuzo Okakura. Flowers brighten our homes, our parties, and our rituals with incomparable notes of natural beauty, but the 'nature' in these displays is tamed and conscribed. This book analyzes the transplanted nature of cut flowers - of our relationship with them and the careful curation of their very existence. It is a picaresque, unpredictable ramble through the world of flowers, encompassing paintings, murals, fashion, and public art, glass flowers, pressed flowers, flowery church hats, weaponized flowers, deconstructed flowers, flower power. . . and much more.

Mason, Meg

Pushing away her devoted husband, a once-successful writer moves back into her bohemian childhood home, where she struggles to come to terms with the mental illness that has overshadowed her life.

Nayler, Ray

Following a mysterious murder on an island off the coast of Vietnam, a research team convenes to study an octopus community that seems to be developing its own language and culture. Humans, AIs, and animals are swept up in the machinations of governments and corporations in this near-future thriller about the nature of intelligence.

Otsuka, Julie

A novel portraying a group of dedicated recreational swimmers and what happens when a crack appears at the bottom of their community pool.

Parks, Casey

When Casey Parks came out as a lesbian in college back in 2002, she assumed her life in the rural South was over. Her mother shunned her, and her pastor asked God to kill her. But then Parks' grandmother, a stern conservative who grew up picking cotton, shared a story about her childhood friend, Roy Hudgins, a musician who was allegedly kidnapped as a baby and was 'a woman who lived as a man.' 'Find out what happened to Roy,' Casey's grandma implored. Part memoir, part investigative reporting, Diary of a Misfit is the story of Parks' life-changing journey to unravel the mysteries of Roy's life, all the while confronting ghosts of her own.

Penn, Kal

Kal Penn's unlikely career arc has taken him from nerdy American kid from an immigrant family in the New York suburb of Montclair, New Jersey, to world-famous actor, to White House staffer under President Obama, and back to actor again. Now, in You Can't Be Serious, he reflects on the most ridiculous, offensive, and rewarding moments that have stood out during his journey. With intelligence, humor, and charm on every page, Penn explores what it means to be the embodiment of the American Dream, as the child of immigrant parents who came to this country with very little, and who never expected to see their son get his big break by sliding off an oiled-up naked woman in a raunchy Ryan Reynolds movie. He also pulls back the curtain on racism in Hollywood and the constant reminders that he would never fit in. And of course, he reveals how, after twenty-five years fighting for success in Hollywood, he made the terrifying but rewarding decision to walk away from it all for a career in politics. Above all, You Can't Be Serious shows that everyone can have more than one life story. Penn bravely demonstrates by example that no matter who you are and where you come from, you have many more choices than those presented to you. It's a story about struggle, triumph, and learning how to keep your head up. And okay, yes, it's also about whether Kal really smoked weed in the White House with the former First Lady-because let's be honest, that's what you really want to know.

Power, Rory

Twins imbued with incredible magic and near-immortality will do anything to keep their family safe-even if it tears the siblings apart-in the first book of a mythic epic fantasy from the New York Times bestselling author of Wilder Girls. Rhea and her twin brother, Lexos, have spent an eternity helping their father rule their small, unstable country, using their control over the seasons, tides, and stars to keep the people in line. For a hundred years, they've been each other's only ally, defending each other and their younger siblings against their father's increasingly unpredictable anger. Now, with an independence movement gaining ground and their father's rule weakening, the twins must take matters into their own hands to keep their family-and their entire world-from crashing down around them. But other nations are jockeying for power, ready to cross and double cross, and if Rhea and Lexos aren't careful, they'll end up facing each other across the battlefield.

Pratt, Victoria

Failed, biased, hostile: these are the words many use to describe the condition of the U.S. court system today. In The Power of Dignity, acclaimed criminal justice reformer Victoria Pratt offers a path forward to restoring public trust in the courts: procedural justice, the simple idea that people will obey the law if they are treated with dignity, respect, and fairness by the justice system. Growing up as the daughter of an African-American sanitation worker and a Dominican beauty salon owner, Victoria Pratt learned one simple lesson at a young age: treat everyone with respect, no matter what they look like or where they come from. Carrying that with her as she became the Chief Judge of the Newark Municipal Court, she found that showing respect not only changed lives, it transformed the way justice was done in her community. Drawing on years of experience, Pratt breaks down how her reforms can be implemented to build trust in the rule of law. Too often, people seemed to be imprisoned for being Black, brown, poor, or mentally ill-when she knew, none of these things were crimes. Through her stories, research, and insights, she reveals how leaders can better address each defendant's potential, approach them as a whole person, connect them with community resources, and restore them back into society. She explains the reasoning behind strategies she's pioneered, such as assigning essays to defendants, offering alternatives to jailtime, and connecting people with the support they need to stay out of the court system for good. And we can all learn from her lessons in empathy and compassion to shift toward a more humane form of community leadership. With a foreword from Senator Cory Booker, The Power of Dignity will shake readers to their core, and then compel them to reshape our neighborhoods and our nation into a truly just society. When judges treat offenders with respect and decency, they respond in turn. When we allow everyone a second chance to contribute to our communities, they become stronger. That's the power of dignity.

Rivera Garza, Cristina

El 16 de julio de 1990, Liliana Rivera Garza, mi hermana, fue víctima de un feminicidio. Era una muchacha de 20 años, estudiante de arquitectura. Tenía años tratando de terminar su relación con un novio de la preparatoria que insistía en no dejarla ir. Unas cuantas semanas antes de la tragedia, Liliana por fin tomó una decisión definitiva: en lo más profundo del invierno había descubierto que en ella, como bien lo había dicho Albert Camus, había un invencible verano. Lo dejaría atrás. Empezaría una nueva vida. Haría una maestría y después un doctorado; viajaría a Londres. La decisión de él fue que ella no tendría una vida sin él. Hace apenas un año decidí abrir las cajas donde depositamos las pertenencias de mi hermana. Su voz atravesó el tiempo y, como la de tantas mujeres desaparecidas y ultrajadas en México, demandó justicia. El invencible verano de Liliana es una excavación en la vida de una mujer brillante y audaz que careció, como nosotros mismos, como todos los demás, del lenguaje necesario para identificar, denunciar y luchar contra la violencia sexista y el terrorismo de pareja que caracteriza a tantas relaciones patriarcales. Este libro es para celebrar su paso por la tierra y para decirle que, claro que sí, lo vamos a tirar. Al patriarcado lo vamos a tirar.

Roach, Mary

"What happens when we die? Does the light just go out and that's that—the million-year nap? Or will some part of my personality, my me-ness persist? What will that feel like? What will I do all day? Is there a place to plug in my lap-top?" In an attempt to find out, Mary Roach brings her tireless curiosity to bear on an array of contemporary and historical soul-searchers: scientists, schemers, engineers, mediums, all trying to prove (or disprove) that life goes on after we die.

Rousselle, Stefania

From award-winning journalist and filmmaker Stefania Rousselle, a stunning collection of photographs and essays that seek to understand the universality of love Journalist and filmmaker Stefania Rousselle found herself overwhelmed and dejected with the horrors of modern news after years spent covering terrorist attacks, human trafficking, and the rise of extremism. To renew her faith in humanity, she took off on a solo road trip across France, determined to see if love still exists. Traveling from village to village, farming towns to industrial cities, heart to heart, Rousselle sought out ordinary women and men, all to ask them one question, What is love? Collecting more than 80 personal testimonies, each one moving and beautiful in its own way, alongside over 100 intimate photographs, Rousselle reveals the many facets of love, and discovers that love can still be found even in the darkest of places. From a baker in Normandy to a shepherd in the Pyrenees, from an undertaker in Nouvelle-Aquitaine to a mail woman in the Alps, Amour is a visual testament to love in all its many forms.

Rubin, Noah

From the classic joint to The Scorpion, The Braid, The Holy Cross and beyond, HOW WE ROLL brings you the best and most important rolling techniques for your favorite herbal concoction. This book explores the many unique approaches to rolling through clever illustrations and clear instructions, offering something new for every kind of smoker. Featuring insightful interviews with legendary cannabis lovers like Snoop Dogg, Tommy Chong, and Sarah Silverman and pot-loving celebrities like Issa Rae, Lena Waithe, and Ilana Glazer, as well as short anthropological essays exploring various forms of cannabis consumption and their origins, fun lists and quizzes, and more, HOW WE ROLL is the perfect book for any weed connoisseur.

Schnücker, Maggie

Thread your way through 30 nature-themed motifs that will transport you from flowery fields and sun-drenched deserts to mossy forests, glorious gardens and beyond. With clear instructions and comprehensive step-by-step photographs, Botanical Embroidery makes it astonishingly simple to stitch your own fiber art garden. For beginners, a detailed guide to getting started covers all the basics like threading a needle and readying a hoop, while more experienced stitchers will love Maggie's unique style and fresh approach to the craft.

Skeets, Jake

Drunktown, New Mexico, is a place where men “only touch when they fuck in a backseat.” Its landscape is scarred by violence: done to it, done on it, done for it. Under the cover of deepest night, sleeping men are run over by trucks. Navajo bodies are deserted in fields. Resources are extracted. Lines are crossed. Men communicate through beatings, and football, and sex. In this place, “the closest men become is when they are covered in blood / or nothing at all.”

Thorne, Jennifer

Wicker Man meets Final Destination in Jennifer Thorne's atmospheric, unsettling folk horror novel about love, duty, and community. On the idyllic island of Lute, every seventh summer, seven people die. No more, no less. Lute and its inhabitants are blessed, year after year, with good weather, good health, and good fortune. They live a happy, superior life, untouched by the war that rages all around them. So it's only fair that every seven years, on the day of the tithe, the island's gift is honored. Nina Treadway is new to The Day. A Florida girl by birth, she became a Lady through her marriage to Lord Treadway, whose family has long protected the island. Nina's heard about The Day, of course. Heard about the horrific tragedies, the lives lost, but she doesn't believe in it. It's all superstitious nonsense. Stories told to keep newcomers at bay and youngsters in line. Then The Day begins. And it's a day of nightmares, of grief, of reckoning. But it is also a day of community. Of survival and strength. Of love, at its most pure and untamed. When The Day ends, Nina-and Lute-will never be the same.

Wagamese, Richard

Saul Indian Horse is a child when his family retreats into the woods. Among the lakes and the cedars, they attempt to reconnect with half-forgotten traditions and hide from the authorities who have been kidnapping Ojibway youth. But when winter approaches, Saul loses everything: his brother, his parents, his beloved grandmother--and then his home itself. Alone in the world and placed in a horrific boarding school, Saul is surrounded by violence and cruelty. At the urging of a priest, he finds a tentative salvation in hockey. Rising at dawn to practice alone, Saul proves determined and undeniably gifted. His intuition and vision are unmatched. His speed is remarkable. Together they open doors for him: away from the school, into an all-Ojibway amateur circuit, and finally within grasp of a professional career. Yet as Sauls victories mount, so do the indignities and the taunts, the racism and the hatred--the harshness of a world that will never welcome him, tied inexorably to the sport he loves.

Zhang, Yueran

Cheng Gong and Li Jiaqi grew up together in a Chinese provincial capital in the 1980s. Now, many years later, the childhood friends reunite and are determined to follow the tracks of their grandparents' generation to the heart of a mystery. What exactly happened during that rainy night in 1967 in the abandoned water tower?

Teen Books

Check out these Staff Recommendations for teen readers!

Acevedo, Elizabeth

Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers--especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami's determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school's slam poetry club, she doesn't know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can't stop thinking about performing her poems.

Aceves, Aaron H.

Seventeen-year-old Enrique "Quique" Luna decides to get over his crush on Saleem Kanazi before the end of summer by pursuing other romantic prospects, but he ends up discovering heartfelt truths about friendship, family, and himself.

Brophy, Aislinn

Half-Black witch Shay Johnson is cast as the lead in her school musical and must decide between exposing her predatory drama teacher and getting the scholarship she desperately needs.

Browne, Mahogany L.

A teen girl reeling from the scars of a past relationship finds healing and hope in the words of strong Black writers and the new community she builds in Brooklyn, New York.

Cuevas, Mayra

Neither Malena nor Ruby expected to be leaders of their high school's dress code rebellion. Meanwhile, the girls have to face their own insecurities and biases, as well as the ups and downs of their newfound friendship.

Ireland, Justina

It is 1937, and Laura Ann Langston lives in an America divided - between those who work the mystical arts and those who do not. Ever since the Great Rust, a catastrophic event that blighted the arcane force called the Dynamism and threw America into disarray, the country has been rebuilding for a better future. And everyone knows the future is industry and technology - otherwise known as Mechomancy - not the traditional mystical arts. Laura disagrees. A talented young mage from Pennsylvania, Laura hopped a portal to New York City on her seventeenth birthday with hopes of earning her mage's license and becoming something more than a rootworker. But six months later, she's got little to show for it other than an empty pocket and broken dreams. With nowhere else to turn, Laura applies for a job with the Bureau of the Arcane's Conservation Corps, a branch of the US government dedicated to repairing the Dynamism so that Mechomancy can thrive. There she meets the Skylark, a powerful mage with a mysterious past, who reluctantly takes Laura on as an apprentice. As they're sent off on their first mission together into the heart of the country's oldest and most mysterious Blight, they discover the work of mages not encountered since the darkest period in America's past, when Black mages were killed for their power--work that could threaten Laura's and the Skylark's lives, and everything they've worked for.

Ireland, Meredith

Jenny Han meets The Bachelorette in this effervescent romantic comedy about a teen Korean American adoptee who unwittingly finds herself at the center of a competition for her heart, as orchestrated by her overbearing, loving family.

Lo, Malinda

Seventeen-year-olds Kaede and Taisin are called to go on a dangerous and unprecedented journey to Tanlili, the city of the Fairy Queen, in an effort to restore the balance of nature in the human world.

McBride, Amber

Moth has lost her family in an accident. Though she lives with her aunt, she feels alone and uprooted. Until she meets Sani, a boy who is also searching for his roots. If he knows more about where he comes from, maybe he'll be able to understand his ongoing depression. And if Moth can help him feel grounded, then perhaps she too will discover the history she carries in her bones.

McCausland, Henry

Right from the starting block, you'll realize that Eight-Lane Runaways is not like any graphic novel you've read before. As you're thrown into a fantastical world of endless tracks, you meet a team of young people briskly attempting to complete their calling, whether it be finding their lost cats, earning one last self-made merit badge, or flying a kite to the moon. One runner relies on her poncho to give her direction. Another deals with a suddenly missing appendage. There's also algebra dogs, a juice institute, and a helping network that consists of miles of string that proves that no matter how far apart, the friends you can rely on are the ones you met while pacing life's twisty-turny trails. Henry McCausland, a published illustrator in places like The Guardian and The New York Times, brings a flowing page layout that showcases his elaborate landscapes and thrilling kinetic energy, matching them with a laugh-out-loud idiosyncratic sense of humor. Whether you read it as a fever pitch surrealistic Olympic games or a touching tale of working together, Eight-Lane Runaways is sure to be one of the most talked-about debuts of 2020.

Vasquez Gilliland, Raquel

When seventeen-year-old Star Fuentez reaches social media stardom, her polar-opposite twin, Moon, becomes "merch girl" on a tour bus full of beautiful influencers and the grumpy but attractive Santiago Philips.

Kid Books

Check out these Staff Recommendations for kid readers!

Behar, Ruth

Estrella learns about her Cuban and Jewish heritage as she helps her aunt move from her Miami apartment to an assisted living community.

Boersma, Alex

A nonfiction picture book about the life of a bowhead whale.

Bowles, David

Thirteen-year-old Güero stands by and supports his first girlfriend, Joanna, after the sudden deportation of her father.

Bowling, Dusti

While using a public library computer to find help for her mother who is addicted to pain medicine, twelve-year-old Jolene witnesses a friend's livestreamed crash-landing in the Arizona desert and embarks on a journey to rescue her.

Brown-Wood, JaNay

Miguel searches for sunflowers to take to his community garden party in this vibrant, diverse exploration of gardening and healthy eating. From the Where in the Garden? series.

Burgess, Rebecca

Twelve-year-old Mia is just trying to navigate a world that doesn't understand her true autistic self. While she wishes she could stand up to her bullies, she's always been able to express her feelings through singing and songwriting, even more so with her best friend, Charlie, who is nonbinary, putting together the best beats for her. Together, they've taken the internet by storm; little do Mia's classmates know that she's the viral singer Elle-Q! But while the chance to perform live for a local talent show has Charlie excited, Mia isn't so sure. She'll have to decide whether she'll let her worries about what other people think get in the way of not only her friendship with Charlie, but also showing everyone, including the bullies, who she is and what she has to say.

Chan, Ruth

Join our narrator and her dog on their daily walk as they greet the people in their neighborhood--from the mail carrier and bus driver to the sanitation workers and grocery clerks and more. Whether listening, asking, helping, or just saying hello and thank you, it is our patience and kindness that make a neighborhood feel like home. This story gently reminds us to slow down and be grateful for all the people, places, and things around us. Includes an author's note about how Ruth Chan's own Brooklyn community inspired her to create this picture book.

Cisneros, Ernesto

Best friends Isaac and Marco face various challenges in sixth grade, such as Isaac getting better grades, Marco winning a spot on the basketball team, and both seeing their efforts make a change in their respective family lives. They hope their friendship and support for one another will be enough to help them from falling short.

Clayton, Dhonielle

Eleven-year-old Ella Durand is the first Conjuror to attend the Arcanum Training Institute, a magic school in the clouds where Marvellers from around the world practice their cultural arts. Despite her excitement, Ella discovers that being the first isn't easy--some Marvellers mistrust her magic. Eventually, she finds friends in elixirs teacher, Masterji Thakur, and fellow misfits Brigit and Jason. When a dangerous criminal escapes prison, supposedly with a Conjuror's aid, Ella becomes the target of suspicion. Worse, Masterji Thakur mysteriously disappears while away on a research trip. With the help of her friends and her own growing powers, Ella must find a way to clear her family's name and track down her mentor before it's too late.

Fritsch, Kelly

A bold and colorful exploration of all the ways that people navigate through the spaces around them, and a celebration of the relationships we build along the way. We Move Together follows a mixed-ability group of kids as they creatively negotiate everyday barriers, and find joy and connection in disability culture and community. A perfect tool for families, schools, and libraries to facilitate conversations about disability, accessibility, social justice, and community building. Includes a kid-friendly glossary.

Gómez, Sarah Hannah

Twelve-year-old Maribel daydreams at school, but when she defies evacuation orders to return home just as Mount St. Helens erupts in 1980, she must focus in order to survive. Includes historical note, glossary, and discussion questions.

Higuera, Donna Barba

A girl named Petra Pena, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita. But Petra's world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children - among them Petra and her family - have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race. Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet - and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity's past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard - or purged them altogether. Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?

Ip, Rachel

Amelia's granny forgets lots of things. Little things, like where she put her glasses, and big things like people and places. But everything anyone has ever forgotten is stored in The Forgettery, and there Amelia and her granny learn the power of making memories. Filled with warmth and gentle humour, The Forgettery is a beautifully written, sensitive look at dementia and memory loss. Over 850,000 people live with dementia in the UK, which will soar to 2 million by 2051. Globally, around 50 million people live with dementia, with nearly 10 million new cases each year. Opening up discussions surrounding this challenging topic with little ones has never been more important. Without ever explicitly mentioning dementia, The Forgettery can be enjoyed as an adventure story where children explore a fantastical world where memories can be re-discovered and revisited as well as newly made. Rachel Ip's tender words capture the wonderful bond between grandmother and granddaughter, and Laura Hughes conjures up an exciting, wondrous space where our most precious memories are stored, and the challenge of dementia can be gently explored and understood.

Justus, Rob

Being Death is no way to live. Sure, you're all-powerful, but collecting souls involves a ton of paperwork, and it's impossible to have friends when everything you touch instantly dies. Being Sparkles the Last Unicorn isn't as fun as you'd imagine, either. Maybe it seems like the whole world wants to be your bestie, but really people just want you to pose with them for selfies, or use you to help them sell stuff. Everything changes when Death and Sparkles meet and realize they might just be one another's first chance at a real friend. But before they can even enjoy the bromance, the whole world starts freaking out about this unlikely pair. Will fame or BFFdom prevail?

Kim, Jihyun

It's summertime and a boy and his dog are leaving behind their apartment in the busy city. His grandparents' home in the countryside feels like a different world. From the window, the curious boy sees a path leading enticingly into the forest. He can't wait to explore. At each bend in the trail the boy discovers more wonders of the surrounding natural world, from towering trees to a still, silent lake. He can't resist diving down, down into the cool water and greeting the fish below. Then later, when boy and dog have been warmed by the gentle sunshine, they wander back, contentedly, to their family. But before they go to sleep, nature gives them one last dazzling show: they look up, up to a night sky awash with stars. Without a word, The Depth of the Lake and the Height of the Sky tells the heartfelt and uplifting story of a child's independent discovery of the natural world. Kim Jihyun cleverly captures excitement, wonder and joy in intricate illustrations using a deceptively simple color palate. This is a beautiful wordless story about allowing ourselves to be present in the moment and see the world afresh.

Laurain, Antoine

Dining alone in an elegant Parisian brasserie, accountant Daniel Mercier can hardly believe his eyes when President Francois Mitterrand sits down to eat at the table next to him. After the presidential party has gone, Daniel discovers that Mitterrand's black felt hat has been left behind. Daniel decides to keep the hat as a souvenir, and as he leaves the restaurant, he begins to feel somehow different.

Lim, Hope

When a young boy and his mother travel to her childhood home in Korea, the town is not as he imagined until he visits the river where she used to play and sees that the spirit and happiness of those days remain.

Lopez, George

Uprooted from his home in Los Angeles and sent to live with his cantankerous grandparents in New Mexico, twelve-year-old Jorge struggles with loneliness until he meets a new friend who happens to be a chupacabra

Ortega, Claribel A.

Every year, in the magical town of Ravenskill, Witchlings who participate in the Black Moon Ceremony are placed into covens and come into their powers as full-fledged witches. And twelve-year-old Seven Salazar can't wait to be placed in the most powerful coven with her best friend! But on the night of the ceremony, in front of the entire town, Seven isn't placed in one of the five covens. She's a Spare! Spare covens have fewer witches, are less powerful, and are looked down on by everyone. Even worse, when Seven and the other two Spares perform the magic circle to seal their coven and cement themselves as sisters, it doesn't work! They're stuck as Witchlings--and will never be able to perform powerful magic. Seven invokes her only option: the impossible task. The three Spares will be assigned an impossible task: If they work together and succeed at it, their coven will be sealed and they'll gain their full powers. If they fail... Well, the last coven to make the attempt ended up being turned into toads. Forever ...

Oshiro, Mark

After eleven-year-old David Bravo wishes for a do-over of a disastrous day of middle school, he and a shapeshifting spirit guide try to right a wrong in his past.

Otheguy, Emma

Reina Ramos is excited about dressing up as Frida Kahlo for the class wax museum. Frida was a strong person like her mami and abuela-plus Reina has the perfect headband for the costume! But when her best friend Nora picks Frida first, Reina doesn't know what to do. Who will she dress up as now?

Percival, Kari

The beautiful simplicity of a garden is depicted through digital woodcut illustrations and engaging nonfiction text presented as a series of sweet questions and gentle replies. Less of a traditional how-to and more of a how-to-appreciate, this soothingly sparse text paints an inviting and accessible picture of what a garden offers. And with an all-child cast, the absence of an adult presence empowers readers to view the garden and its creatures through their own eyes, driven by curiosity and wonder.

Pérez, Celia C.

Before she decides whether to accept her stepfather's proposal of adoption, twelve-year-old Adela Ramírez reaches out to her estranged biological father--who is in the midst of a career comeback as a luchador--and the eccentric extended family of wrestlers she has never met, bringing Adela closer to understanding the expansive definition of family.

Raúl the Third

In this festive bilingual board book, join Coco Rocho and his friends as they gather all the things they need to throw a grand fiesta!

Reeves, Josette

Packed with stunning photos and beautiful illustrations, this book takes you on a wild tour of the incredibly smart, strange, and surprising ways that animals and plants avoid being eaten by predators.

Roxas, Isabel

When oddballs Agnes, Roberta and Ruby discover a shared passion for synchronized swimming, the trio become Team Pom. But between snack time, their favorite TV show, and raising pigeons, it can be hard to find time to practice. This crew of self-proclaimed weirdos are tired of their loser status in the pool. But on their way to gain the respect and free snacks they deserve, they stumble upon a lonely giant squid.

Salazar, Aida

Eleven-year-old (nearly twelve) Celi Rivera, who is a mix of Black-Puerto Rican-Mexican Indian is uncomfortable about her approaching period, and the changes that are happening to her body; she is horrified that her mother wants to hold a traditional public moon ceremony to celebrate the occasion--until she finds out that her best friend Magda is contemplating an even more profound change of life.

Sayre, April Pulley

Take a sloth's-eye view of the world in this beautiful and informative photographic picture book. Young readers will see where sloths live, what they eat, how they hide from predators, and much more. They'll learn about the creatures that interact with and depend on sloths in the interconnected and fragile tropical forest ecosystem.

Tarnowska, Wafa'

Forced to take shelter when their Syrian city is plagued with bombings, young Nour and her cousin begin to bravely build a secret underground library.

Thompkins-Bigelow, Jamilah

Abdul loves telling stories but thinks his messy handwriting and spelling mistakes will keep him from becoming an author, until Mr. Muhammad visits and encourages him to persist.

Torres, Jennifer

Eight-year-old Catalina Castañeda uses Tía Abuela's sewing kit to turn ordinary clothing into a magical disguise, enabling her to uncover a thief at the local library.

Weatherford, Carole Boston

As a young girl reflects on her family, she notices how she resembles various family members as well as how she is unique.