Welcome to The Bookies' Latest Update!
March 2017 Issue 1
Boys Like to Read About Princesses Too!
a recent series of comments
on Twitter, the co-author of the
Princess in Black series
, Shannon Hale, has confronted people who think books with girl protagonists are only for girls. Hale says: "I know younger boys DON'T CARE if the story is about a boy or a girl, only if it's good."
Hale's comments made us stop and think a little about how we sell books to boys. When it comes to younger kids, as Hale points out, the gender of a protagonist is largely irrelevant.
have as many boy fans as girls. And when it comes to the juggernaut of Frozen, a movie phenomenon that had two strong female protagonists, the movie appeals to both boys and girls, and that extends to the Elsa and Anna books and figurines we have sold to both boys and girls.
However, as kids grow older they seem to prefer books that feature a member of their own gender, particularly boys. Or, is it just that those are the books that we, as parents, teachers and booksellers, tend to offer them? Left alone to choose, kids care less than we imagine. One standout author with female protagonists is
. And we sell a ton of her graphic novels to boys who couldn't care less that they are reading about girls. The struggles and themes are universal.
features four sisters as its main characters and boys love the series.
Going further and looking at books for older kids, we can't think of any boy who turned down
The Hunger Games
'because it's about a girl'. At the end of the day, good reading is about great writing, strong plot and captivating characters. And as booksellers and readers, we need to have an open mind about whether those characters are male, female---or somewhere in-between.
Get Hands-on With the Books We Feature in Our Newsletter!
In response to requests from customers, we've set up a new area in the store to display the books featured in our newsletter. We'll change the books whenever we send out a newsletter and, when there's space, we'll also include the books featured in
Look for the sign above the drawers of picture books, or just ask us. If the book you are looking for is not there, please ask us---it may have been sold! But we usually have multiple copies and, of course, we're always happy to order one for you.
Five of The Best For All Ages!
A Piece of the World
Christina Baker Kline
William Morrow & Company, $27.99
An outstanding read by the author of Orphan Train, mixing
fact and fiction to tell the story of Christina, the girl in Wyeth's painting
. I will never view this great painting in the same way. For me, the story is about the desire to be known and to be seen; and the obstacles from inside and out that isolate people. The writing is gorgeous. Surely one of the best novels of 2017.
Lincoln in the Bardo
Random House, $28
A unique and powerful novel by the author of the short story collection,
Tenth of December
. Early in the days of the Civil War, Lincoln's beloved son, Willie, died, plunging Lincoln into the depths of grief. This novel combines fact and fiction and characters real and imagined to tell the story of that grief; told mainly in the voices of the dead as Willie lingers in 'the Bardo'; a realm between life and death.
Viet Thanh Nguyen
Grove Press, $25
A collection of stories by the author of the multiple-award-winning, The Sympathizer. The stories explore questions of immigration, identity, love, and family. A captivating testament to the dreams and hardships of immigration with the same sharp observation and beautiful writing as we saw in The Sympathizer.
The Evening Road
Little Brown, $26
Set in Indiana of 1920, this is the story of two women and a lynching. Most of the story is about Ottie Lee Henshaw and her stifling existence and then Calla Destry, seeking her escape from violence. Another
excellent literary novel from the author of
. Hunt lives in Boulder and is a faculty member at the University of Denver.
The Orphan's Tale
Mira Books, $26
In World War II, Noa lives in disgraced poverty after being forced to give up the baby she had with a Nazi. On impulse, she rescues a Jewish baby from a train and flees. They are taken in by a circus, where, in order to blend in, Noa must learn to take part in the flying trapeze act. She finds rivalry and then friendship with Astrid, another trapeze artist. But is it a real friendship? Who can you trust? A good read.
Balzer + Bray, $17.99
Carve the Mark
A beautifully written book about immigrating to the United States to chase the 'American Dream'. When Fabiola and her mother leave Haiti they think they are going to the good life. But when her mother is detained by US immigration, Fabiola is on her own in the violent streets of Detroit with her loud American cousins and a world she doesn't know at all. Older YA, contains violence.
The Hate U Give
Katherine Tegen Books, $22.99
Balzer + Bray, $17.99
Heart-wrenching YA that confronts police shootings of unarmed black people and institutionalized racism. Starr Carter lives uneasily between two worlds; her impoverished black neighborhood and her swanky prep school. When her childhood best friend, Khalil, is shot by a police officer while unarmed, his death becomes a national headline.
But what really happened? The only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does, or does not, say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
The Ethan I Was Before
When Ethan's best friend Kacey falls from a tree he dared her to climb, his world is upended. Ethan and his family move away to live with his grandfather, who is dealing with his own tragedy. Ethan finds a new friend in Coralee, and she may be the only person who is able to draw him out of his grief. But Coralee is hiding her own secrets that might endanger them both. Excellent story for third grade and up, about friendship and grief, and the power of secrets.
The Wizard's Dog
Eric Kahn Gale
Random House Children's Books, $16.99
A delightful middle grade story about the beginnings of the Arthurian legend, told with humor, and all the good and bad characters a story like this needs. So here is the secret---if it weren't for that Wizard's dog then there would be no Arthurian legend! I can't wait to get this book into the hands of readers.
An Eagle In The Snow
Feiwel and Friends, $16.99
A terrific read for middle graders. Morpurgo again takes a true story
and weaves it into a novel. Two young soldiers, one British, one German, come face-to-face during WWI. The British soldier's actions have consequences that reverberate all the way through WWII.
A cute and witty take on middle school relationships. To help her best friend, Sienna, Gracie writes texts to a cute boy, even though Gracie has a crush on him too. And then there's Emmett, Gracie's best friend for years, who suddenly becomes so awkward...
Holly Goldberg Sloan
Dial Books, $16.99
A heartwarming story from the author of Counting by 7s--based on her own childhood. Julia hates her height, or rather, the lack of it. But when she's cast as a Munchkin in a production of The Wizard of Oz, she learns that her size doesn't have to define her. A lively and fun read.
Roaring Brook Press, $17.99
What do two bored badgers do when they've done everything, including driving their mother around the bend? Laundry, of course. What could possibly go wrong? In this spirited picture book, Tic and Tac, two adorable badgers, get a little carried away while helping their mom.
Beautiful wordless book in which two friends follow a young fox deep into the woods and discover a wondrous and magical world.
by Jessie Sima
Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, $17.99
Kelp is a little different than the other narwhals in his family. In fact, Kelp might not be a narwhal at all. Is it possible he's really a unicorn? And if so, what does that mean? A fun and clever story about what it means to fit in while still being yourself.
Atheneum Books for Young Readers, $17.99
Antoinette the poodle learns to follow her heart and be herself in this charming companion to the beloved
. Antoinette worries because she is not clever, fast and strong like her brothers. So what could be special about her? Then one day her friend Gaston's sister goes missing. Antoinette feels a tug in her heart and a twitch in her nose. Can she find the lost puppy and discover what makes her special along the way?
Tiger Tales, $16.99
Bear wants to go to sleep, but an annoying buzzy bug keeps tickling his nose! Will he ever leave Bear in peace? Bright and engaging illustrations.
A set of books to introduce young kids to this powerful mindset, at school or at home. Click on the image for more information on each book.