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Youth Yak

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Where Are You Going, Baby Lincoln?

Kate DiCamillo

Baby Lincoln’s older sister Eugenia is bossy. Very bossy. One day, Baby has had enough, and decides to go on a “necessary journey,” although she’s not sure where that is. Baby gets on a train and meets a number of people that impact her in various ways, all of which are good. She even reclaims her given name, Lucille! In the end, Eugenia comes to meet her at the train station and Lucille finds out that she was missed after all. I loved the way Lucille stands up for herself and in the end does what she wants and not what Eugenia tells her. This is one of the books in the “Tales from Deckawoo Drive” series.



Jen Jen



We Are Okay
Nina LaCour

Cascade and I both recommended this book in hardcover, and we’re excited that it’s now available in paperback. When she leaves her life behind to go to college in New York, Marin has to face the truth about the tragedy that happened in the final weeks of summer when her friend Mabel came to visit. The book is a Printz award winner.




In the Quiet Noisy Woods
Michael J. Rosen, illustrated by Annie Won

I found this charming book to be just what I needed during our seemingly-never-ending cold winter days. It’s a glimpse of……..SPRING! Two wolf cubs explore the woods which are filled with all kinds of sounds provided by nature – squirrels, birds, the stream, and so on. I was cheered by the green trees, the grass, the sunshine, and baby animals. Spring will come again. Until then, I’ll keep revisiting this book.


book cover

    Did you know Chris Monroe of Monkey with a Toolbelt fame was recently in the bookstore? In addition to the Monkey books, we’ve also got Bug on a Bike, which is a fun trip by a bug on a bike who inadvertently started a sort of impromptu parade of others who follow along – including an “athletic pickle” (really!) This is another great book to remind us that spring is coming! In addition to writing her own books, Chris Monroe illustrates books for other authors, including the Science of Disgusting Habits series, which tackles all kinds of disgusting (interesting!) things like burps and farts and nose picking. We didn’t think to ask Chris if she gets paid extra for illustrating gross things – we’ll have to ask her next time she’s here!




The Hate U Give

Angie Thomas

Starr Carter moves between two worlds. She lives with her family in the poverty area of Garden Heights. But she and her brothers attend school at Williamson in a prosperous white neighborhood. Life suddenly turns upside down when Starr is riding with Kahil in his car. A white patrolman stops them and misunderstands Kahil’s moves. Shots ring out and Kahil is dead. Growing up in the 50's in rual Iowa, I don't remember even seeing a black person, let alone talking to one. Reading this book was a good experience for me as we get inside Starr's life and learn what life is like in Black America. Don't be turned off by the profanity as it is part of the story. This is the author's first novel. I'm looking forward to another.

book coverNote: Angie Thomas’ second book, On the Come Up, was published in February. We’ll review it in a future newsletter.






A Heart in a Body in the World
Deb Caletti

 I’m going to call it early and say that this YA novel will very likely be in my top 5 favorite books read in 2019. It tells the story of Annabelle, a teen who decides on a whim to run from Seattle to Washington, DC. She has no prior training, other than a couple years of cross country. Her mother protests vehemently, but Annabelle is able to continue through the support of her grandfather, brother, and friends. As the miles pass, Annabelle’s story unfolds and her repressed trauma is revealed. Almost all of this story takes place while Annabelle is running or through flashbacks, but the author keeps the pace steady and the story fresh and engaging.


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