Staff Picks

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Bad Best Friend
by Rachel Vail

Vail wrote another great story of a normal kid facing normal problems (no one turns into a werewolf or discovers a portal to another world). Niki is shocked when her best friend dumps her for a more popular crowd. Should she try to win Ava back or find new friends? Plus what’s going on with her little brother and why did he start acting out at school? Read about Niki learning to be a good friend and standing up for herself.

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Ikenga
by Nnedi Okorafor

Nnamdi’s family struggles emotionally and financially after his father was killed in the line of duty. He wants to avenge his father’s death, but is only 12 years old. He comes to possess a magical object that grants him superpowers and, as a result, feels strong enough to pursue his father’s killer. Throughout the journey, Nnamdi gains a new perspective about himself, his family and his community. This is more a story of growing up and understanding the world than a typical superhero one.

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Chapter 2 is Missing!
by Josh Lieb

An inventive picture book that’s missing chapter two. Join the narrator as he searches high and low, interviews suspects, and enlists the help of a detective. Wonderful illustrations to accompany a madcap story about stories.

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The Host

You just saw Parasite, now see Oscar winner Bong Joon-ho’s breakout with Western audiences with this monster movie that upends expectations just as much as Parasite.

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Pilu of the Woods
by Mai K. Nguyen

Willow is having a hard time at home & school and occasionally lets her emotions get the better of her. She hikes in the woods to calm down, meets a lost tree spirit and helps her return home. The journey is spiritual and physical with both girls challenging and supporting each other on her way home.

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Devolution
by Max Brooks

Similar in approach to World War Z, Brooks chronicles a Sasquatch massacre immediately following the eruption of Mt. Rainier. He weaves the story together using excerpts from a journal found after the attack and interviews with zoologists, Forest Service officials & relatives who are still trying to adjust to the existence of those creatures.

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Under The Skin

Scarlett Johansson is a long way from The Avengers in one of the most ominous, hallucinatory sci-fi films ever made. “Visionary” gets thrown around too much but director Jonathan Glazer qualifies.

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Stand Up, Yumi Chung!
by Jessica Kim

Amanda says,

Yumi Chung is leading a double life. After being mistaken for another camper at a comedy camp led by her all-time favorite comedian, Yumi spends her days running from test-prep tutoring class to comedy club all the while keeping the two lives as separate as can be. But as secrets about her perfect older sister emerge and her parents Korean BBQ restaurant starts to struggle, Yumi realizes that revealing the truth about her double life may be the best solution of all.

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Hard Eight

The acclaimed director of There Will Be Blood & Phantom Thread debuted with this Vegas & Reno-set character study of Sydney (Philip Baker Hall), a old school casino dweller who mysteriously takes a lost soul (John C. Reilly) under his wing. With early parts for Gwyneth Paltrow, Samuel L. Jackson & Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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The City We Became
by N. K. Jemisin

The City We Became is fantastic speculative fiction that is believable, immersive and intriguing, like her other books. I rarely guess where she’s headed, immediately wonder what the next book will be like, and enjoy every second of it.

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