The Boswellians' Top 5

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Each year, every bookseller who works at Boswell compiles a list of their top 5 books of the year. These are not easy choices. Some of us spend days, weeks, and even in some cases months agonizing over our choices, rating and ranking every book we've read. And we read a lot! But somehow each of us manages to decide - often with no small amout of cajoling from our buyer Jason - and choose the 5 books that we think are the best of the year. And so, here is the complete list of our absolute favorite books of 2020.

 

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The Knockout Queen: A novel By Rufi Thorpe Cover Image
$26.95
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ISBN: 9780525656784
Published: Knopf - April 28th, 2020

Top 5: Chris & Ogi


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The Vanishing Half: A GMA Book Club Pick (A Novel) By Brit Bennett Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525536291
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Riverhead Books - June 2nd, 2020

Top 5: Kira & Rachel


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Oona Out of Order: A Novel By Margarita Montimore Cover Image
$26.99
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ISBN: 9781250236609
Published: Flatiron Books - February 25th, 2020

Top 5: Jenny & Kay


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Hench: A Novel By Natalie Zina Walschots Cover Image
$27.99
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ISBN: 9780062978578
Published: William Morrow - September 22nd, 2020

Top 5: Jen & Margaret


Luster: A Novel By Raven Leilani Cover Image
$26.00
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ISBN: 9780374194321
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - August 4th, 2020

Top 5: Madi & Parker


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Broken People By Sam Lansky Cover Image
$27.99
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ISBN: 9781335013934
Published: Hanover Square Press - June 9th, 2020

Top 5: Chris


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Cool for America: Stories By Andrew Martin Cover Image
$27.00
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ISBN: 9780374108168
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - July 7th, 2020

Top 5: Chris


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Homeland Elegies: A Novel By Ayad Akhtar Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780316496421
Availability: Special Order - There is a small chance we can get this title
Published: Little, Brown and Company - September 15th, 2020

Top 5: Chris


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Nothing Is Wrong and Here Is Why: Essays By Alexandra Petri Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9781324006459
Availability: Special Order - There is a small chance we can get this title
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - June 2nd, 2020

Top 5: Chris


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The King at the Edge of the World: A Novel By Arthur Phillips Cover Image
$27.00
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ISBN: 9780812995480
Published: Random House - February 11th, 2020

Top 5: Conrad


Tyll: A Novel By Daniel Kehlmann, Ross Benjamin (Translated by) Cover Image
By Daniel Kehlmann, Ross Benjamin (Translated by)
$26.95
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ISBN: 9781524747466
Published: Pantheon - February 11th, 2020

Top 5: Conrad


Utopia Avenue: A Novel By David Mitchell Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780812997439
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Random House - July 14th, 2020

Top 5: Conrad


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We're Not Here to Entertain: Punk Rock, Ronald Reagan, and the Real Culture War of 1980s America By Kevin Mattson Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9780190908232
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Oxford University Press, USA - August 6th, 2020

Top 5: Conard


The Year 1000: When Explorers Connected the World—and Globalization Began By Valerie Hansen Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781501194108
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Scribner - April 14th, 2020

Top 5: Conrad


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The Color of Air: A Novel By Gail Tsukiyama Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062976192
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: HarperVia - July 7th, 2020

Top 5: Jane


A Long Petal of the Sea: A Novel By Isabel Allende, Nick Caistor (Translated by), Amanda Hopkinson (Translated by) Cover Image
By Isabel Allende, Nick Caistor (Translated by), Amanda Hopkinson (Translated by)
$28.00
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ISBN: 9781984820150
Published: Ballantine Books - January 21st, 2020

Top 5: Jane


The Lost and Found Bookshop: A Novel By Susan Wiggs Cover Image
$27.99
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ISBN: 9780062914095
Published: William Morrow - July 7th, 2020

Top 5: Jane


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The Second Home: A Novel By Christina Clancy Cover Image
$26.99
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ISBN: 9781250239341
Published: St. Martin's Press - June 2nd, 2020

Top 5: Jane


The Writer's Library: The Authors You Love on the Books That Changed Their Lives By Nancy Pearl, Jeff Schwager Cover Image
$27.99
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ISBN: 9780062968500
Published: HarperOne - September 8th, 2020

Top 5: Jane


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Before the Coffee Gets Cold By Toshikazu Kawaguchi Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781335430991
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hanover Square Press - November 17th, 2020

Top 5: Jason


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The Only Good Indians By Stephen Graham Jones Cover Image
$26.99
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ISBN: 9781982136451
Published: S&S/Saga Press - July 14th, 2020

Top 5: Jason


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The Relentless Moon: A Lady Astronaut Novel By Mary Robinette Kowal Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250236968
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Tor Books - July 14th, 2020

Top 5: Jason


Staff Pick Badge
Tender Is the Flesh By Agustina Bazterrica, Sarah Moses (Translated by) Cover Image
By Agustina Bazterrica, Sarah Moses (Translated by)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781982150921
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scribner - August 4th, 2020

Top 5: Jason


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We Keep the Dead Close: A Murder at Harvard and a Half Century of Silence By Becky Cooper Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9781538746837
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
(This book cannot be returned.)
Published: Grand Central Publishing - November 10th, 2020

Top 5: Jason


Afterlife By Julia Alvarez Cover Image
$25.95
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ISBN: 9781643750255
Published: Algonquin Books - April 7th, 2020

Top 5: Jen


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Mexican Gothic By Silvia Moreno-Garcia Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780525620785
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Del Rey - June 30th, 2020

Top 5: Jen


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The Eighth Detective: A Novel By Alex Pavesi Cover Image
$26.99
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ISBN: 9781250755933
Published: Henry Holt and Co. - August 4th, 2020

Top 5: Jen


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The House in the Cerulean Sea (Cerulean Chronicles #1) By TJ Klune Cover Image
$29.99
ISBN: 9781250217288
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Tor Books - March 17th, 2020

Top 5: Jen


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Legendborn (The Legendborn Cycle #1) By Tracy Deonn Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534441606
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - September 15th, 2020

Top 5: Jenny


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Today Tonight Tomorrow By Rachel Lynn Solomon Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781534440241
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - July 28th, 2020

Top 5: Jenny


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The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue By V. E. Schwab Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780765387561
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Tor Books - October 6th, 2020

Top 5: Jenny


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A Deadly Education: A Novel (The Scholomance #1) By Naomi Novik Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593128480
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Del Rey - September 29th, 2020

Top 5: Jenny


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Florida Man: A Novel By Tom Cooper Cover Image
$28.00
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ISBN: 9780593133316
Published: Random House - July 28th, 2020

Top 5: Kay


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Highfire: A Novel By Eoin Colfer Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062938558
Availability: Special Order - There is a small chance we can get this title
Published: Harper Perennial - January 28th, 2020

Top 5: Kay


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Leave the World Behind: A Read with Jenna Pick By Rumaan Alam Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062667632
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Ecco - October 6th, 2020

Top 5: Kay


Staff Pick Badge
The Reign of Wolf 21: The Saga of Yellowstone's Legendary Druid Pack By Rick McIntyre, Marc Bekoff (Foreword by) Cover Image
By Rick McIntyre, Marc Bekoff (Foreword by)
$26.95
ISBN: 9781771645249
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Greystone Books - September 29th, 2020

Top 5: Kay


Staff Pick Badge
Anxious People: A Novel By Fredrik Backman Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9781501160837
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Atria Books - September 8th, 2020

Top 5: Kira


Good Morning, Destroyer of Men's Souls: A Memoir of Women, Addiction, and Love By Nina Renata Aron Cover Image
$27.00
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ISBN: 9780525576679
Published: Crown - April 21st, 2020

Top 5: Kira


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Pizza Girl: A Novel By Jean Kyoung Frazier Cover Image
$24.95
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ISBN: 9780385545723
Published: Doubleday - June 9th, 2020

Top 5: Kira


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The Last Book On The Left: Stories of Murder and Mayhem from History's Most Notorious Serial Killers By Ben Kissel, Marcus Parks, Henry Zebrowski Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781328566317
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dey Street Books - April 7th, 2020

Top 5: Madi


Staff Pick Badge
Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides, and the Untold Story of America's Most Dangerous Amusement Park By Andy Mulvihill, Jake Rossen Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143134510
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Books - June 30th, 2020

Top 5: Madi


Just Us: An American Conversation By Claudia Rankine Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781644450215
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Graywolf Press - September 8th, 2020

Top 5: Madi


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Save Yourself By Cameron Esposito Cover Image
$27.00
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ISBN: 9781455591435
Published: Grand Central Publishing - March 24th, 2020

Top 5: Madi


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Such a Fun Age: Reese's Book Club (A Novel) By Kiley Reid Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525541905
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - December 31st, 2019

Top 5: Margaret


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We Ride Upon Sticks: A Novel By Quan Barry Cover Image
$26.95
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ISBN: 9781524748098
Published: Pantheon - March 3rd, 2020

Top 5: Margaret


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The Lost Book of Adana Moreau By Michael Zapata Cover Image
$26.99
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ISBN: 9781335010124
Published: Hanover Square Press - February 4th, 2020

Top 5: Margaret


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He Must Like You By Danielle Younge-Ullman Cover Image
$18.99
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ISBN: 9781984835710
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - July 14th, 2020

Top 5: Margaret


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Axiom's End: A Novel (Noumena #1) By Lindsay Ellis Cover Image
$27.99
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ISBN: 9781250256737
Published: St. Martin's Press - July 21st, 2020

Top 5: Ogi


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A Burning: A novel By Megha Majumdar Cover Image
$25.95
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ISBN: 9780525658696
Published: Knopf - June 2nd, 2020

Top 5: Ogi


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Devolution: A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre By Max Brooks Cover Image
$28.00
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ISBN: 9781984826787
Published: Del Rey - June 16th, 2020

Top 5: Ogi


Staff Pick Badge
The Shadows: A Novel By Alex North Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250318039
Availability: Special Order - There is a small chance we can get this title
Published: Celadon Books - July 7th, 2020

Top 5: Ogi


Bonds of Brass: Book One of The Bloodright Trilogy By Emily Skrutskie Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593128916
Availability: Backordered
Published: Del Rey - January 12th, 2021

Top 5: Parker


Staff Pick Badge
The Montague Twins: The Witch's Hand: (A Graphic Novel) By Nathan Page, Drew Shannon (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Nathan Page, Drew Shannon (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525646778
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - July 14th, 2020

Top 5: Parker


Plain Bad Heroines: A Novel By Emily M. Danforth, Sara Lautman (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Emily M. Danforth, Sara Lautman (Illustrator)
$27.99
ISBN: 9780062942852
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: William Morrow - October 20th, 2020

Top 5: Parker


Staff Pick Badge
Tweet Cute: A Novel By Emma Lord Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781250237323
Availability: Special Order - There is a small chance we can get this title
Published: Wednesday Books - January 21st, 2020

Top 5: Parker


Staff Pick Badge
Omni Vol. 1: The Doctor Is In By Devin Grayson, Alitha E. Martinez (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Devin Grayson, Alitha E. Martinez (Illustrator)
Email or call for price
ISBN: 9781643376196
Availability: Out of Print
Published: H1 - September 1st, 2020

Top 5: Rachel


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Dress Coded By Carrie Firestone Cover Image
$17.99
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ISBN: 9781984816436
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - July 7th, 2020

Top 5: Rachel


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Providence By Max Barry Cover Image
$27.00
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ISBN: 9780593085172
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - March 31st, 2020

Top 5: Rachel


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Shorefall: A Novel (The Founders Trilogy #2) By Robert Jackson Bennett Cover Image
$28.00
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ISBN: 9781524760380
Published: Del Rey - April 21st, 2020

Top 5: Rachel


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Prairie Lotus By Linda Sue Park Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781328781505
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Clarion Books - March 3rd, 2020

Top 5: Tim


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Dear Justyce By Nic Stone Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781984829665
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Crown Books for Young Readers - September 29th, 2020

Top 5: Tim


Staff Pick Badge
Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America By Candacy Taylor Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781419738173
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams Press - January 7th, 2020

Top 5: Tim


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Crooked Hallelujah By Kelli Jo Ford Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780802149121
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Grove Press - July 14th, 2020

Top 5: Tim


Staff Pick Badge
Naturalist: A Graphic Adaptation By Edward O. Wilson, Jim Ottaviani, C.M. Butzer (Illustrator) Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781610919586
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Island Press - November 10th, 2020

Top 5: Tim


Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day By Jay Shetty Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9781982134488
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 8th, 2020

Top 5: Rose


Untamed By Glennon Doyle Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781984801258
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: The Dial Press - March 10th, 2020

Top 5: Rose


The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami By Radhanath Swami Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781601090560
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Mandala Publishing - January 19th, 2010

Top 5: Rose


Growing Old: Notes on Aging with Something like Grace By Elizabeth Marshall Thomas Cover Image
$25.99
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ISBN: 9780062956439
Published: HarperOne - April 28th, 2020

Top 5: Rose


Blossoms and Bones: Drawing a Life Back Together By Kim Krans Cover Image
$28.99
ISBN: 9780062986382
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: HarperOne - March 3rd, 2020

Top 5: Rose


Agent Lion By Jacky Davis, David Soman (Illustrator), David Soman Cover Image
By Jacky Davis, David Soman (Illustrator), David Soman
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062869173
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: HarperCollins - February 4th, 2020

Top 5: Barb


Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera By Candace Fleming, Eric Rohmann (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Candace Fleming, Eric Rohmann (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780823442850
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Neal Porter Books - February 4th, 2020

Top 5: Barb


Our Friend Hedgehog: The Story of Us By Lauren Castillo Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781524766719
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - May 5th, 2020

Top 5: Barb


Black Brother, Black Brother By Jewell Parker Rhodes Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316493802
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 3rd, 2020

Top 5: Barb


On the Horizon By Lois Lowry, Kenard Pak (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Lois Lowry, Kenard Pak (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9780358129400
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Clarion Books - April 7th, 2020

Top 5: Barb