“The hallmark of successful people

is that they are always stretching

themselves to learn new things.”

~ Carol S. Dweckuote

I know nothing about the world of Manga, and we sell loads of them! I asked our resident expert, Sabrina to write our opening this week. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! (All of her recommendations are pictured below.)

Manga is a Japanese comic style that is famously known in the Western world for being read “backwards” or from the back to the front. The satisfaction of understanding the back-to-front reading perspective is worth it. Being able to read manga fluidly is like being a part of a secret club. One of the reasons I read manga is because I appreciate seeing the skill of artists and how they balance the art and story together. The illustrations are another way to enter into the author’s mind and see their perspective. There is no need to speculate. What they look like is right there! Because Manga is very common in Japan there is a bigger variety of genres than in the States. There is a manga for every trope, era, or category you can imagine! Another fantastic thing about manga is how quickly it can be read. A lot more manga can be consumed in a day than a typical graphic novel, so you can read at a higher rate! I am currently tackling One Piece, a manga most known for its many many volumes. While it is not the longest manga out there, 105 volumes are no joke.

Manga is great for everyone. Love to read? Not an avid reader? No time to read? There is an entertaining and not very time consuming manga for you! It doesn’t take much to enjoy, and even if you’ve read “everything,” I’m sure we can find more!

Not sure where to start? Here’s a beginner’s guide:

  • Yona of the Dawn is an amazing romance fantasy. Currently with forty volumes, this fun adventure follows a banished princess and her knight as they discover legendary dragon warriors and fight for their kingdom. 
  • Promised Neverland is a suspenseful story about Emma and her fellow orphans, trying to escape and survive in a world where human children are a delicacy for monsters, looming in the dark. This manga will have you reaching for the next one before you’ve put the previous volume down. Completed with twenty volumes, I could not have asked for a better story about adventure, sacrifice, and humanity.
  • Fruits Basket is a wholesome tale about a girl named Tohru who misfortune favors. Homeless, she ends up living with a cursed family. Thirteen members of the family inherit a zodiac spirit. Discovering that secret, the kind-hearted Tohru sets out to break the curse and free the family that has shown her warmth and care. This twelve-volume completed series will make you feel every emotion, with twists and turns around every corner. Truly a remarkable read.
  • Spy x Family follows a makeshift family, each with their own secrets. The dad, a spy. The mom, an assassin. The daughter, a telepath. All living in a country at war. A fun story highlighting their crazy adventures about finding out just how difficult it is to keep a secret from your family - real or not. This ongoing manga is perfect for everyone! With just ten volumes, it won’t take much time to catch up to this exciting story!
  • Witch Hat Atelier is about more than just a young witch, and is one of our most popular manga series. In a world where magic is believed to be a gift you are born with, not taught, a young girl is targeted as the puppet of an evil clan of witches. Through her, they plan to expose the lies of the world, no matter the damage the truth will cause. Join Coco in trying to decide what is right, what is wrong, and who knows best, all while trying to save her mother from magic’s clutches in this ongoing manga of faith and wonder. 

Staff Reviews This Week From Donna:

Emily Wilde's Map of the Otherlands: Book 2 of the Emily Wilde Series by Heather Fawcett

The second book in the Emily Wilde Series (click here for both) is yet another exciting adventure awaiting you on our shelves. Emily and Bambleby are back at Cambridge when things go horribly wrong. Faeries from other realms show up wreaking havoc on campus, putting students and staff in danger as they try to take out Brambleby. Spoiler alert: our likable faerie is no ordinary fay, but a courtly prince! Now our two favorite characters embark to find Brambleby’s homeland and a professor who went missing years ago, coincidentally while she was on her quest to explore the same faerie realms. A new town, fresh characters, and even more unique information about faeries are brought to light as our explorers go boldly into unknown and dangerous lands.

It was a little creepy to find out that 1- faeries can live in our very midst undetected and they aren’t always benevolent, and 2- changelings can make life a living nightmare. Brownies, however, like our beloved friend Poe who is ALSO in this book, will be your friend and make you bread and biscuits that never grow cold. Time passes differently in the faerie realms, and once you enter, the way home is not always clear. The danger of roaming aimlessly forever is all too real. All of these new revelations make this book an all-the-more-wonderful deep dive into faerie culture. I was captivated by Heather Fawcett’s development of not only the characters I had fallen in love with in the first installment, but also the new ones who join our duo on their quest. As each book passes, you become more and more immersed in the faerie lands. My hope is that in her next book we might just live there on every page!

The Misfits #1: A Royal Conundrum by Lisa Yee, illustrated by Dan Santat

This is a fresh and exciting middle reader mystery that will have you on the edge of your seat! The Misfits are a group of kids who are just that, misfits. They are seemingly invisible to their peers and even their parents, but when they all meet at the RASCH school on Foggy Island, all of that changes. They find each other, camaraderie, AND purpose as they are selected to be an undercover unit of kids who solve crime and protect the public. Learning to be kid spies is not as easy as it seems and comes with many blunders along the way. They finally get their chance to take on a mission together, but insecurities and tech malfunctions add a new level of difficulty they didn’t anticipate. Who is the true villain and who can they trust?

I was swept away by this story and the way that despite being so different, the characters united and became such a strong team. This is a great story to boost morale in students and teaches how each person is unique and has so much to add to a friend group if given the chance. I highly recommend this amazing adventure!

Valentine's Day Ideas!

Click below for a list of new Valentine's Day books or cards while we have them!

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