Summer Booknotes 2022

 

 

Handpicked new releases, brought to you by the staff of Elliott Bay.

 

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The Woman in the Library: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781464215872
Availability: Ships in 2-10 Days
Published: Poisoned Pen Press - June 7th, 2022

Four strangers sitting at a table in the Boston Public Library together unite to solve a murder that starts with a woman’s ear-shattering scream. Including a unique spin on a mystery within a story within a book, Gentill spins a creative web of characters and misdirects. Who is Leo?! The way the pandemic is gently woven in was such an interesting take that I haven’t seen before. It was a nod without being overt, part of the story and yet not. This book is a reversed locked room mystery with side stories that will keep you wondering just how it all fits together and who can be trusted. -Stephanie


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The Immortal King Rao: A Novel Cover Image
$27.95
ISBN: 9780393541755
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 3rd, 2022

This book wrecked me in the best way. The Immortal King Rao is beautifully written, intricately plotted, sweeping in scope, and nearly flawless in execution. I read it compulsively right up to the gut-punching end, and then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Vara skillfully weaves together three main plot arcs–the early years of King Rao as a Dalit (untouchable) in rural India, his middle years creating a Seattle-based tech company that eventually runs the world, and the future when the earth has passed its climate tipping point and his daughter, Athena, is on trial for his murder (not a spoiler, I promise).  -Rania


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Fruiting Bodies: Stories Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781324021223
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 7th, 2022

Fruiting Bodies, Kathryn Harlan’s debut collection of short stories, re-illustrate the meaning of “coming of age.” With an entrancing combination of fantasy and reality, these stories pick apart the visceral feelings that come with change both within the body and in life. This collection urges you to heal your relationship with hard-to-feel feelings in order to fully appreciate your present experiences. Lean into the power of these stories and be open to grow and shift with them. -Grace


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Our Wives Under the Sea: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250229892
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Published: Flatiron Books - July 12th, 2022

Julia Armfield’s much-anticipated debut novel queerly carves out its own space somewhere between horror, speculative fiction, and gothic fairy tale. Despite the dramatic subject matter–a deep-sea dive gone terribly awry, a spouse returned unrecognizable, a relationship unraveling–Armfield’s priority is clearly language. Her writing is meant to be savored, not rushed over in service to the plot. Her prose is stylish and edgy, creating an atmosphere that’s dreamlike and melancholic where everything is slightly off-kilter producing an experience for the reader that is deliciously unnerving.  -Rania


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Patricia Wants to Cuddle Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781638930044
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order: Scroll Down to Product Details for Release Date
Published: Zando - June 28th, 2022

If you're looking for snarky summer amusement, look no further. A send-up of the ubiquitous television dating show, Allen puts a deliciously wicked spin on the plot by setting it on a mysterious island in the Pacific Northwest. Otters Island has seen better days, and the few remaining contestants of The Catch and the odious bachelor who check in to the local B&B aren’t really looking for love. What they and the crew find on the island is completely unexpected: an aging female Sasquatch. This novel is campy, bizarre, occasionally gory, highly satirical, and oh-so very fun. -Holly


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Lapvona: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593300268
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - June 21st, 2022

Lapvona is classic Moshfegh! It is a weird, funky, earthy soup of the sacred and the profane, reminiscent of Merce Rodoreda's masterpiece Death in Spring. There is a hand-painted aspect to this inverted morality tale, and a medieval color scheme. Without spoiling its revelations, readers are in for blind obedience, pious servitude, self-flagellation, drought, famine, cannibalism, horse vision, nursing well past adulthood, and soft-soled red leather boots. Suffused by a dreamy atmosphere, it reads more like a cartoon mushroom trip than a journey through the fake grit of realism. I am grateful for its strangeness. -John


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Thrust: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780525534907
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order: Scroll Down to Product Details for Release Date
Published: Riverhead Books - June 28th, 2022

Lidia Yuknavitch keeps raising the stakes, book by book. With this haunting new novel, set in a future that is not as far off as one might wish, Yuknavitch tells the story of those trying to survive engulfing waters and a police state we’ve already seen increased hints of, all made palpable with her characteristic evocative powers. One young woman at the heart of this intense, galvanizing book sets various events in motion; times past, time present, finding her way and helping others, all done with urgency, vision, and breathtaking imagination. -Rick


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Night of the Living Rez Cover Image
$16.95
ISBN: 9781953534187
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Published: Tin House Books - July 5th, 2022

Penobscot writer Morgan Talty’s linked short stories take us deep into the lives of a family and a community living on the Penobscot Reservation in Maine, where the past seeps into the present day, and events set in motion by the unearthing of a cursed object torment the community’s young people. These heartbreaking, intimate, and often humorous stories help us understand that ingenuity (as well as good intentions and redemption) can sometimes lie behind disastrous acts. -Karen


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Elsewhere: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250219633
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Published: Celadon Books - June 28th, 2022

In an isolated mountain village, the townsfolk bear a bizarre affliction; women become mothers, and some inexplicably vanish, leaving families to erase all tangible and emotional memories of them. The arrival of a stranger piques the interest of Vera, a young woman grappling with her fate as wife and mother, but soon threatens the equilibrium of a town that fiercely guards its eerie rituals. This spellbinding, otherworldly gem explores the sacrifices and vagaries of motherhood, creating a rich allegorical tale of the tenuous balance between duty and self, conformity and individualism. -Erica


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Cat Brushing Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780802160027
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Published: Grove Press - August 16th, 2022

This collection of short stories focuses on the unfashionable: older women. The characters' ages range from late 60s to early 90s. In “Le Mot Perdu,” the narrator speaks of going to a memory clinic when she can no longer remember things. The title story, “Cat Brushing,” has the narrator recollecting the sensual pleasures she once enjoyed with her various lovers as she watches the gratification her cat revels in from the application of the brush. Peppered with dark wit along with the wisdom of experience, Campbell’s debut collection is an exploration of aging and ageism. -Holly


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The Daughter of Doctor Moreau Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593355336
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order: Scroll Down to Product Details for Release Date
Published: Del Rey - July 19th, 2022

Another genre-bender from the prodigious talent of Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Much like the hybrids created by Doctor Moreau, this book itself is a fusion of disparate elements. It’s science fiction AND a detailed and accurate historical novel. It’s a retelling of a classic AND a story about the horrors of colonialism and marginalization. It is filled with romance, adventure, science, philosophy, AND loving descriptions of the natural beauty of the Yucatan peninsula, as well as an indictment of those who seek to subjugate its flora, fauna and indigenous people. -Rania


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Ghost Lover: Stories Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982122188
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster - June 14th, 2022

These short stories are classic Taddeo; raw and gritty with flawed female protagonists that explore sexuality, lust, and friendship. They are shown as complicated and realistic women instead of the typical perfect and flat one-dimensional characters of the past. Taddeo can be a polarizing author, but you can’t deny the boldness and depth in her writing and her willingness to write about the uncomfortable. There is nothing that is off the table in this collection. Stories like these are bound to get you out of your comfort zone for a little while if you’re willing to try. -Stephanie


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Reluctant Immortals Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781982172350
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order: Scroll Down to Product Details for Release Date
Published: Gallery / Saga Press - August 23rd, 2022

Lucy Westenra of Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Bertha Rochester of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre are an unlikely pair to find living their unlives in 1967’s Los Angeles, but the Summer of Love makes for an unsettling backdrop to their journey of terror, betrayal, and healing. Bucking the trope of the jaded undead, Kiste reframes these cast-aside characters as survivors of abuse, and tells their tale with a tender pain that makes their strength all the more remarkable. In Reluctant Immortals, Kiste has written not an elegy for the dead and damned, but an anthem for those who refuse to be beaten down. -Chester


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Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow: A novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593321201
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Published: Knopf - July 5th, 2022

Gabrielle Zevin gives us such complicated and raw characters–each goes through so much, but remains  relatable, even at their worst. Sadie and Sam meet as kids in a hospital and bond over video games. After years of growing apart, Sam sees Sadie in a train station and knows it is fate. Together they navigate trauma, loss, and love by making groundbreaking video games, but life continues to throw them curveball after curveball. Whether or not you’re a gamer, I promise that you will laugh and cry and continue rooting for Sadie and Sam despite their flaws and failures. Their friendship reminds us that in the end we are all just looking to love and to be loved. -Kate


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The Empire of Dirt: A Novel Cover Image
By Francesca Manfredi, Ekin Oklap (Translated by)
$16.95
ISBN: 9780393881776
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Published: W. W. Norton & Company - July 12th, 2022

Originally written in Italian, this novel blends complicated family relationships with superstition and an exploration of the insecurities that follow when a young girl starts menstruating. Three generations of women and a possible curse are the focus of this tale that is perfect for fans of myth, witchery, female dynamics, and family secrets. Beautifully written characters are the selling point here, and Valentina’s coming of age is an experience like no other. Bleeding walls, a kitchen suddenly full of flies and a barn full of frogs are just a few of the things that might pique the reader’s interest. Fast-paced and a page-turner, Manfredi’s English debut is not one to be missed. -Stephanie


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Joseph Smith and the Mormons Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781419749650
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order: Scroll Down to Product Details for Release Date
Published: Abrams ComicArts - July 26th, 2022

Author and illustrator Noah Van Sciver, who was raised Mormon, takes a respectful tone while presenting a straight-forward account of the life of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints founder Joseph Smith. Extensively researched and historically accurate, the book examines the critical moments of Smith’s life, including anti-Mormon threats along with his murder by an angry mob. The Ignatz Award winner’s evocative art and special book design combined with his non-judgemental narrative provide readers with a solid introduction to one of history’s most controversial figures.  -Holly


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The High Sierra: A Love Story Cover Image
$40.00
ISBN: 9780316593014
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - May 10th, 2022

Kim Stanley Robinson has spent much of his life visiting the Sierra Nevada Mountains in his home state of California. His new book, High Sierra, discusses topics ranging from geological formation and the history of human inhabitation on the mountains to the particular joys of rambling, scrambling, and route finding while hiking. An appealing aspect of reading High Sierra is that you can enjoy the book from end to end in the manner of a thru-hiker or, if you prefer, you can read it chapter by chapter in the manner of a section hiker. Just like the mountain range, High Sierra offers you multiple routes through the terrain. -Graham


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Tree Thieves: Crime and Survival in North America's Woods Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316497442
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown Spark - June 21st, 2022

This is a tough but important read, especially for those of us who have spent our lives surrounded by the majestic forests of the Pacific Northwest. Tree Thieves outlines the long history of timber poaching, and traces the intricate web of systemic failures that have led to the issue reaching dire proportions. Bourgon has expertly captured the nuances of the subject: the environmental side with scientific research and data, as well as the human side with personal stories both from the people involved in preventing and investigating poaching, and from the poachers themselves. -Keenan


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Gary Snyder: Collected Poems (LOA #357) Cover Image
By Gary Snyder, Anthony Hunt (Editor), Anthony Hunt (Editor)
$45.00
ISBN: 9781598537215
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Library of America - June 21st, 2022

While there is a new book of Gary Snyder’s uncollected poems coming later this summer, this gorgeous volume, compiled by his longtime editor Jack Shoemaker and Anthony Hunt, gathers all of Snyder’s previously published poetry. Elegant as this thousand-page edition is, it’s also compact enough to be carried about. Take it on the trail! Gary Snyder’s work feels like it should be read outside, with much of the elements of the larger world smartly chronicled in his books Turtle Island, Myths & Texts, Mountains and Rivers Without End, and more. Over sixty years’ work gathered,with strong roots in this watery, forested, mountainous part of the world.-Rick


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Uncollected Poems, Drafts, Fragments, and Translations Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9781640095779
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order: Scroll Down to Product Details for Release Date
Published: Counterpoint - August 16th, 2022

Still very much with us as of this writing, 92-year-old poet Gary Snyder has been one of the most formative poetic and artistic influences in this part of the world and beyond. Even with more than thirty books of poetry, prose, and translation published over the past sixty years, there has been excellent work that has eluded publication until now. This lovely edition serves to bring familiar readers up to date, and also introduces new readers to a poet attuned to and instructive about the aesthetics and philosophies of East Asia, the natural world, and our places therein. -Rick


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An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us Cover Image
By Ed Yong
$30.00
ISBN: 9780593133231
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - June 21st, 2022

Yong expands our universe, taking us beyond our limited umwelt (or sensory world) into the diverse umwelten of countless organisms. This book is not only dense with fascinating facts, but calls upon us to engage with creative empathy: imagine having ears on your knees like a grasshopper, navigating an endless ocean by smell like an arctic bird, or tasting with every inch of your skin like a catfish, then try to imagine that you understand even a fraction of the complex intelligences and immense wonders of this existence. My mind got blown so many times it is straight-up wreckage. -Lara

 


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The Metaverse: And How it Will Revolutionize Everything Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781324092032
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order: Scroll Down to Product Details for Release Date
Published: Liveright - July 19th, 2022

In this book, Matthew Ball attempts to explain what the Metaverse is (and consequently isn’t) and how it may impact our lives in the very near future. Distilled to the idea that the Metaverse is somewhat like a parallel plane for human leisure, labor and existence, Ball expands on changes to infrastructure, devices, and hardware that will be necessary, and how users—not platforms— will control the needed underlying systems, data, and even economy. This book covers a fascinating topic that sounds straight out of science fiction, but is very much based in the real world.  -Holly


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Nobody Is Protected: How the Border Patrol Became the Most Dangerous Police Force in the United States Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781640095205
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Published: Counterpoint - July 5th, 2022

If you live within 100 miles of any US border or coastline, you fall under the jurisdiction of an agency with nearly absolute authority: the US Border Patrol. Without getting bogged down in academic jargon, Reece Jones introduces the field of border studies by focusing on three major Supreme Court cases, and how the origins of the US Border Patrol went from a Wild West group of gunslingers to a militarized federal police force. For those with concern for human rights, Nobody is Protected examines the violent and racist face of US immigration enforcement.  -Elijah


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This Is Not a Book About Benedict Cumberbatch: The Joy of Loving Something--Anything--Like Your Life Depends On It Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593421918
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - May 31st, 2022

If you have ever encountered glazed-over eyes when you talk about your Barbies or how Star Trek shaped your life, you have a friend in Tabitha Carvan. As a mother of two small children, Carvan became smitten (to put it mildly) with the actor Benedict Cumberbatch, binging on all his videos, searching for GIFs, tearing photos from magazines, all the while noting that this might not be okay. In the end, after advertising her unabashed crush to anyone and everyone, she learned that it was not only okay, it was great to give herself permission to feel passionately. Laugh-out-loud funny and incredibly life affirming.  -Holly


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Embrace Fearlessly the Burning World: Essays Cover Image
By Barry Lopez, Rebecca Solnit (Introduction by)
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593242827
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - May 31st, 2022

Few writers have had the decades-long bond with Elliott Bay readers as Barry Lopez. From 1981 on through the publication of Horizon in 2019, he visited our store for every one of his books. This new book of essays, published following his death in December 2020 and drawn from the last years of his life, shows what an utterly alive writer and human being he was. Travels in the world, travels back to his roots along Oregon’s McKenzie River and with deep connections to places and people met along the way all make this a profound, searching inquiry into what life, purpose, responsibility, joy, and humility might and can be for any of us. -Rick


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Rolling Homes: Shelter on Wheels (Shelter Library of Building Books) Cover Image
$32.95
ISBN: 9780936070896
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order: Scroll Down to Product Details for Release Date
Published: Shelter Publications - August 23rd, 2022

These are not the sleek RVs of celebrities, but a collection of state-of-the-art nomadic vehicles. Focusing on DIY vehicles, this highly browsable book shows vans, sedans, trucks, buses, and trailers outfitted by their owners for the open road. For anyone wanting to create their own home on wheels the book provides wonderful practical information on kitchen design, battery charging, heaters, alternative energy and other topics. Fully illustrated with the eclectic array of vehicles this is an instructive and attractive book for anyone seeking challenge or change. -Holly


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Diary of a Misfit: A Memoir and a Mystery Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9780525658535
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Published: Knopf - August 23rd, 2022

Casey Parks always knew she was different. From a young age, she had a passion to seek the truth and report the world around her. When her grandmother shared a story from her own childhood about Roy, a “woman who lived as a man,” Casey had to find out more about him and his life in the deep South. During her search for answers, as Casey was coming to terms with her own sexuality and gender expression, she started to feel  a bond with Roy. Diary of a Misfit is an endearing memoir about connection, healing from past traumas, and finding love and community. Casey's story reminded me of my own and I treasured every moment spent with her on her journey. -Maggie


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Crying in the Bathroom: A Memoir Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780593296936
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Published: Viking - July 12th, 2022

What can’t Erika Sánchez do in terms of writing? Her debut YA novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter, was a bestselling National Book Award finalist. Her debut poetry collection, Lessons on Expulsion, was a PEN Open Book Award finalist. Who knows what honors may await this first non-fiction prose book, but pleasures for the reading are a-plenty. In a series of autobiographical essays, Sánchez gets to the heart of present-day adult life with humor, bite, and candor. There is also a serious quest to find the purposeful self at work here. This book instructs and entertains in a single bound, with zest and verve. -Rick


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The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780385546669
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Published: Doubleday - July 12th, 2022

While Ingrid Rojas Contreras’ prize-winning debut novel, Fruit of the Drunken Tree, was a brilliantly imagined work, its roots were not entirely drawn from thin air. In this vividly written memoir, she recounts her accidental loss of memory and subsequent quest to find out what was lost, which includes a deep dive into her family’s Colombian past and present. At the center is her grandfather, a curandero, a healer who uses traditional forms of information and wisdom. Rojas Contreras tells engaging stories of how parts of her family valued and cherished such knowledge, and how others sought to obscure or shun this form of knowing. -Rick


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Library Girl: How Nancy Pearl Became America's Most Celebrated Librarian Cover Image
By Karen Henry Clark, Sheryl Murray (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781632173188
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Published: Little Bigfoot - September 13th, 2022

Nancy Pearl’s infectious love of books and reading are celebrated in this charming book. Teased by her classmates for her love of reading, young Nancy tries to stay invisible and spends her time in the school library. With only her bicycle (named Charger), the bespectacled youngster has the whole world opened to her through the doors of the Francis Parkman Branch Library. Encouraged by the librarian there, Nancy learns to face her fear of being teased and gives her first book talk. The rest, as the saying goes, is history.  -Holly


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The Language of Seabirds Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338753738
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Published: Scholastic Press - July 19th, 2022

Jeremy is headed to the Oregon Coast to spend some quality time with his father after his parents divorce. The trip seems to be destined for failure, prompting Jeremy to wander off putting distance between himself and his dad. That’s how he meets Evan, also almost thirteen, who spends his summers at the beach. He and Jeremy build a friendship that deepens in the short time they have together. Local author Will Taylor handles Jeremy and Evan’s feelings and revelations with all the sensitivity and tenderness first love deserves. -Holly


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Patchwork Cover Image
By Matt de la Peña, Corinna Luyken (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781984813961
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Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - August 30th, 2022

Matt de la Peña and Corinna Luyken combine their immense talents to honor all the possibilities a child holds within. In seeing these possibilities, the book also acknowledges the complexities within a child—a young dancer may grow into a computer coder, a basketball star into a poet, a class clown into a teacher, and a deeply earnest child into an empathetic leader. Rhythmic and radiant, it's a perfect tribute to the fact that no child is only one thing, whether that's their gender, their race, or any other label. -Holly


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What Feelings Do When No One’s Looking Cover Image
By Tina Oziewicz, Aleksandra Zajac (Illustrator), Jennifer Croft (Translated by)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781953861283
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Published: Elsewhere Editions - July 5th, 2022

In today’s world, children are dealing with a lot more than they should, and this book is a great conversation starter for learning to cope with feelings that they might not understand or even be able to verbalize. Sweet, gentle creatures explore a variety of emotions, some good and some bad, with illustrations reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are. This book embodies the notion that everyone feels all the time and that once we acknowledge that, we can use those feelings to better understand ourselves and the world around us. -Stephanie