Categories
The Kids Are All Right

Kidlit Deals for August 25, 2021

Hey kidlit pals! I hope your pencils are sharpened and you’ve got plenty of hand sanitizer on hand, no matter what your school year looks like! I’ve got a pile of great new book deals that will hopefully take the sting out of having to return to school! As always, grab them before they expire!

cover of From the Desk of Zoe Washington

Have you heard the news? From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks is in development at Disney…and it’s just $2!

Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan is a great school-set novel for just $2!

Lety Out Loud by Angela Cervantes is a great novel for any animal-loving kid, and it’s $5.

Looking for a new lovable character that’s a cross between Pippi Longstocking and Anne of Green Gables? Look no further than Astrid the Unstoppable by Maria Parr for $1!

The Storm Keeper’s Island by Catherine Doyle is a great series-starter for just under $5!

Love historical fiction? Penny From Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm is one of my faves, and it’s just $5.

The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson is a must-read middle grade family mystery for just $2. Plus, grab Johnson’s The Great Greene Heist for $3!

The False Prince by Jennifer Nielsen is a great series starter for just $2!

Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park, a great historical MG novel, is still on sale for $3!


Happy reading!
Tirzah

Categories
Today In Books

Romance Novel Sales Are Booming: Today in Books

Officials Tear Out Yearbook Pages, Prompt Censorship Claims

School officials at an Arkansas high school have seized and torn out pages in the school’s 2020-2021 yearbook, citing “community backlash” as the reason for removing spreads that reference George Floyd’s murder, COVID-19, and the U.S. Capitol riot. The school’s journalism and English teacher resigned in protest, and the SPLC requested documentation of the so-called “community backlash,” which the school could not provide.

Jill Murphy, Children’s Author And Illustrator, Dies Aged 72

Jill Murphy, the author and illustrator best known for her book series which launched with The Worst Witch and her picture book Peace at Last, has passed away at age 72. During her long career, she published over 30 books and won numerous awards.

The Romance Novel Sales Boom Continues

While book sales have fluctuated since the onset of COVID-19, one constant appears to be the increase in romance book sales. There are many reasons for this, but most notably is that romance novels provide great escape and stress relief, and the genre has been finding new readership in the last year. From March 2020-March 2021, romance novels sold approximately 47 million copies in all formats, and increase of 24%.

Categories
Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that I think you absolutely must read. The books will vary across genre and age category to include new releases, backlist titles, and classics. If you’re ready to explode your TBR, buckle up!

This week’s pick is a great YA/adult crossover thriller that I really loved, and read in probably two sittings! Content warning for discussion of assault, violence, and child abuse.

cover of The Girls I've Been

The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe

Nora is the daughter of a con woman, and she’s been living a lie her entire life. The latest lie is that she lives with her big sister in a small town, and that nothing about her is unusual in any way. The truth? Nora isn’t her real name, her mom is in prison, and Nora put her there. She’s mostly happy, until the day that she and her new girlfriend Iris and ex-boyfriend Wes have to go to the bank together to deposit money from a fundraiser. What should just be an awkward ten minutes turns into a nightmare when the bank is held up by two gunmen, and Nora, Iris, and Wes are all taken hostage. Nora has a sense that this whole thing could go very, very wrong, so she pulls upon all of the tricks she learned in a lifetime of subterfuge in order to get out alive with the two people she cares about, but doing so also means directly confronting a traumatic past.

I love books that (mostly) take place over the course of a single day or event, because I think it really heightens tension and it takes a talented writer to pull it off. Sharpe does this brilliantly here, alternating between present action scenes and flashbacks from all the different girls that Nora has had to become over the years to survive. This demonstrates her struggles with being genuine, and her inability to know who she even is after all of the identities she’s impersonated. I loved that Sharpe really explores what it is to have morals and be ethical when you’ve lived a life of deception, and Sharpe illuminates how Nora makes sense of her experiences and decides what she’s going to stand up for. This rich emotional landscape is contrasted against a really thrilling plot of Nora outwitting the bank robbers at every turn, balancing her many secrets, and also maintaining her platonic and romantic relationships—which force her to be brutally honest in a way she’s always avoided before. It’s a story that requires a deft hand in its telling and lots of balancing between the emotional moments and high-powered action, but Sharpe absolutely nails it!

Bonus: This book is in development to become a Netflix movie starring Millie Bobbie Brown, so definitely pick it up before it hits the streaming service!


Happy reading!
Tirzah

Find me on Book Riot, the Insiders Read Harder podcast, All the Books, and Twitter. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, click here to subscribe.

Categories
The Kids Are All Right

Kidlit Deals for August 18, 2021

Hey there, kidlit pals! It’s time for another round of great book deals! I have a nice bunch of picture books this round, plus some nonfiction and fiction for older readers! As always, grab these book deals before they expire!

Agnes’s Place by Marit Larsen and Jenny Løvlie is a lovely book about home, for just $5.

Alexander the Great by Demi is a beautiful picture book bio for $4.

For another great picture book bio, pick up Our Lady of Guadalupe by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand and Tonya Engel for $4.

The Boy Who Became Buffalo Bill: Growing Up Billy Cody in Bleeding Kansas by Andrea Warren is also $4!

Looking for a cozy caper? A Dog-Friendly Town by Jospehine Cameron can be yours for $3.

cover image of All Together Now

All Together Now by Hope Larson is the second book in the Eagle Rock graphic novel series, and it’s $3!

My Family Divided: One Girl’s Journey of Home, Loss, and Hope is the young reader’s version of the memoir In This Country We Love by Diane Guerro, and it’s $3.

Spark and the League of Ursus by Robert Repino is a fun series starter for $2!

Juniper Kai: Super Spy by Laura Gehl and Alexandria Neonakis  is about a kid who is destined to become a spy! It’s just $1.

Looking for something spooky? The Slither Sisters, which is the second book in the Lovecraft Middle School series, is on sale for $1, as are the sequels!

Happy reading!
Tirzah

Categories
Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that I think you absolutely must read. The books will vary across genre and age category to include new releases, backlist titles, and classics. If you’re ready to explode your TBR, buckle up!

This week’s pick is technically a YA book, but one that I think a lot of adults will dig because it’s got a twisty plot, fascinating history, and a great heroine who is motivated to figure out what tore her family apart! Content warning: Discussion of human trafficking, violence towards women, poisoning.

cover image of The Forest of Stolen Girls

The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur

When Hwani and her sister Maewol were children, they went missing in the forest only to be found hours later yards away from a grisly murder scene. Hwani remembers nothing of that day, and shortly after her family was torn apart. But years later their father, Detective Min, hears that thirteen other girls have gone missing in that same forest and decides to investigate…only to vanish without a trace himself. Hwani decides that if anyone is going to figure out the forest’s secrets and discover where her father went, she must face the past…and her estranged sister, Maewol.

This novel is set in the early 15th century, on Jeju Island, and it provides a fascinating history of the island and the politics of the time, alongside a riveting family story. The tension between the sisters provides plenty of drama, as Maewol hasn’t forgiven Hwani for leaving, and Hwani has her own conflicted feelings about their shared dark history and separation. As much as Hwani wants to solve the disappearance of her father and unravel the island’s secrets, she must come to terms with the fact that she needs her sister, and that in order for them to solve the (many!) mysteries of the island, they need to work together. This adds some challenges to Hwani’s mission, and the plot is a tightly wound mystery that will keep you turning the pages.

I also really enjoyed the complex community that Hur depicts, and how even though Hwani spent her childhood there, she comes to it as an outsider, searching for clues. Maewol stayed behind and has expert insight, but in many ways she’s too close to the community to see the full picture. The greater politics of the region also play a close role in the mystery, even if it isn’t obvious the girls at the very beginning. The climactic scene had me literally holding my breath—it was that tense! If you love historical fiction, want something that gives you a glimpse into a non-European region, and provides an excellent mystery, June Hur really delivers!

Bonus: I also loved Hur’s first book, another historical mystery called The Silence of Bones!


Happy reading!
Tirzah

Find me on Book Riot, the Insiders Read Harder podcast, All the Books, and Twitter. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, click here to subscribe.

Categories
The Kids Are All Right

Kidlit Deals for August 11, 2021

Hey kidlit pals! Are you ready for another round of great book deals? I’ve got series starters, fantastic biographies, and even a graphic novel and some classics you’ll want to snatch up! As always, grab these deals quickly because they never last long!

Max Einstein Book One cover

Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein (the author behind Escape from Mr. Limoncello’s Library!) is just $2!

This is a beautiful omnibus edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, illustrated by MinaLima for $2.

Speaking of classics…here is a fun graphic novel fairy tale retelling! Mighty Jack by Ben Hatke is $3.

Dog Days by Karen English is the first in a series, for just $2.

House Arrest and Knockout by K.A. Holt are on sale for $1 and $2 respectively–that’s a steal for this series!

It’s a Prince Thing by Philippa Gregory is the second in a middle grade series, but it’s only $1.

Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull and Yuyi Morales is a beautiful picture book bio for $3.

For another nonfiction picture book, A Wreath for Emmett Till by Marilyn Nelson and illustrated by Philippe Lardy is an essential book that’s $2.

cover of Dissenter on the Bench

Isabel Feeney, Star Reporter is on the case in this middle grade mystery set in the 1920’s, by Beth Fantaskey. Grab it for $2!

Dissenter on the Bench: Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Life and Work by Victoria Ortiz is a great middle grade biography of the Notorious RBG! It can be yours for $3!

Happy reading!
Tirzah

Categories
Today In Books

Sneak a Peek at Emily Henry’s Next Book: Today in Books

TikTok Users Launch Virtual BookTalk Conference

TikTok users launched the inaugural BookTalk conference this weekend, a virtual event that shines a spotlight on marginalized authors of young adult literature and their books. The event includes panels and author events, and it’s not too late to check it out, all for free!

Romance Writers Of America Was Doing Better With Race — Until A Recent Award Choice

After the reckoning that the Romance Writers of America faced last year regarding race, the organization reorganized and re-named their highest literary honor the Vivian, named after RWA founder Vivian L. Stephens, a Black woman who founded multiple romance lines in the 70’s and 80’s. But this year, the Vivian in “Romance with Religious or Spiritual Elements” went to a book that glorified genocide. The award was eventually rescinded after a huge outcry, but it’s left many thinking that RWA hasn’t changed all that much.

First Look: Emily Henry’s Next Novel Goes Meta — Really Meta

For all you Emily Henry fans out there, get ready for a new romance dropping next May! The author of Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation has returned to her literary roots with another bookish duo for her next book, Book Lovers. It follows a literary agent who needs a break, and heads to a small town for a vacation, only to be followed by an editor. EW has first look at the cover, and an excerpt!

Categories
Read This Book

Read This Book…

Welcome to Read This Book, a newsletter where I recommend one book that I think you absolutely must read. The books will vary across genre and age category to include new releases, backlist titles, and classics. If you’re ready to explode your TBR, buckle up!

This week’s pick is a super fun book that I just happened to pick up on a whim on a trip to Barnes & Noble (bookstores reopening has been glorious for my TBR, devastating for my wallet!) and I loved it a lot! It’s got a lot of those buzzy tropes that people love, but also queer! In space! And it’s a funny book about some heavy stuff, which I always appreciate.

Content warning: Domestic abuse and physical abuse, mostly in the back story but some (not graphic) depicted on the page. Also, there is some psychological torture.

Winter's Orbit cover

Winter’s Orbit by Everina Maxwell

Prince Kiem is the most disappointing of the emperor’s grandchildren, so when he finds himself summoned to her presence, he’s not quite sure why he’s in trouble. Turns out, he’s not…but there is something the emperor wants, or rather, demands: for Kiem to marry Count Jainan, the representative of his tiny planet to the Galactic Empire. Kiem knows a publicity stunt when he sees one, but there’s no way wiggling out of it, so he goes along with the ploy. But it turns out that Count Jainan is quiet, withdrawn, and grieving the death of his first husband…whom he is suspected of murdering in an “accident.” As the political intrigue heightens, Kiem and Jainan must figure out a way to work together and solve a few mysteries in order to save the empire.

This book ticks a lot of my boxes: Space opera, queer couple, banter, marriage of convenience, murder mystery, political intrigue, and (I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say!) romance! One thing I really loved about this book is that queer characters are the norm and aren’t persecuted in any way, and gender expression is very intentional—i.e. people don’t just assume gender based on biology, it is an intentional expression that varies across cultures, and even still can be confusing and nonbinary. I love books that reimagine cool ways of personal expression that are open, accepting, and nuanced.

The world building is exciting, but of course it’s not all progressive paradise. The empire rules all, and the smaller planets aren’t always happy about this. Political alliances are complicated, and the future of everyone in the empire hangs in the balance. That all provides an interesting backdrop for the story of Kiem and Jainan, two seemingly opposites who are thrown together rather awkwardly at first, but quickly learn that they care for one another. It’s not always clear if they’re just doing their duties, or if there’s something more brewing, which is another great source of tension. Communication is a big barrier for them, but I appreciate that Maxwell always does a great job at showing the legitimate reasons why they struggle to connect at times rather than making it a convenient excuse. Kiem is self-deprecating, personable, funny, and a bit of a goofball. Jainan is focused and intelligent, but reserved and not always very self-confident. Their personalities don’t seem like a perfect match, but when they’re together they just work, and it was a joy to read about them connecting. The romance is a bit of a slow burn, but always an enjoyable one, and their dynamic had me laughing and swooning in equal measure!

The other perk to this book? It’s a standalone novel, so if you have series fatigue this is the perfect book for you! (Although, be warned that it’s so delightful you’ll want more of Kiem and Jainan! Lucky for us, Maxwell is working on another book set in the same universe!)

Happy reading!
Tirzah

Find me on Book Riot, the Insiders Read Harder podcast, All the Books, and Twitter. If someone forwarded this newsletter to you, click here to subscribe.

Categories
The Kids Are All Right

Kidlit Deals for August 4, 2021

Hey, kidlit pals! I hope you’re enjoying your August, and that you’re getting the most out of summer before heading into back-to-school season! If you need some more great books to get you through these final weeks of summer, then don’t miss this selection! As always, remember to grab them before they’re gone since these deals never last!

cover of Holes by Louis Sachar

Holes by Louis Sachar is a modern classic, and it’s just $3 for a limited time!

The Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen is a perfect read for a tween reader, about a young runner who loses her leg in a car accident and must heal and figure out a way forward. It’s just $2.

Gathering Blue, the second book in the Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry, is $3.

The River, the sequel to Gary Paulsen’s The Hatchet, is a steal at $2.

The most recent Printz Award winner, Everything Sad is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri, is $3!

Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park is an incredible historical novel perfect for fans of classics like Little House on the Prairie, and it’s just $3.

The Magic Misfits is the first in a series by Neil Patrick Harris (yes, that Neil Patrick Harris!) and it’s $2.

Not to be confused with Misfits by Jen Calonita, a magical tale that is also on sale for just $1!

cover of Betty Before X

Betty Before X is a fictionalized take on Malcolm X’s wife Betty’s girlhood, co-written by her daughter Ilyasah Shabazz and Renée Watson! Snag it for $3.

How to Write a Story by story master Kate Messner is a great picture book guide, illustrated by Mark Siegel. Grab it for $2!

Happy reading!
Tirzah

Categories
Today In Books

LOVE, VICTOR Renewed for Another Season: Today in Books

‘Love, Victor’ Renewed for Season 3 at Hulu

It’s been just under two months since Love, Victor season 2 released on Hulu, but already the show has been renewed for a third season. It’s an offshoot of the wildly popular film, Love, Simon (adapted from Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda) and stars secondary characters from the movie. The second season has been widely acclaimed, but no details yet about when a third season will drop or how many episodes there will be.

Black-Owned Bookstores In Mississippi: A New Chapter And A Storied Past

Tonisha Kimble has operated an online bookstore for years before taking the leap to opening a brick and mortar location in Gulfport, MS. Her shop, Wonders of the World, stocks books, games, and bookish merchandise, and is a part of a long tradition of Black-owned bookstores in Mississippi.

Hemingway ‘Wannabes’ Celebrate Author With Lookalike Contest

Ernest Hemingway’s reputation as a writer is just one facet of his big personality as a sportsman, adventurer, and drunk. He lived in Key West, FL for many years, and now the area hosts Hemingway Days in July in his honor, which includes many festivities that are topped off with a Hemingway lookalike contest. Many of the participants come looking for camaraderie, new friends, and cats, and not so much to talk about Hemingway’s literature.