Jen's Staff Recommendations

Welcome to Jen's recommendations! Check out what Jen has been reading below.

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Every Time I Go on Vacation, Someone Dies: A Novel (The Vacation Mysteries #1) By Catherine Mack Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781250325853
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Minotaur Books - April 30th, 2024

This was such a fun mystery! An Italian setting, a cast of characters each with a motive and a secret, and so much talk of spritzes and food that will leave you wanting to book your own Italian getaway. I loved how our main character, Eleanor, broke the fourth wall to readers and even gave insight into the publishing world. A delightful summer read for sure!

 


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Tryouts: (A Graphic Novel) (The Brinkley Yearbooks #2) By Sarah Sax Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9780593306918
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - May 7th, 2024

Al lives and breathes baseball. Baseball is everything to her, and when Al makes the all-boy team, the pressure is on. Not only is the team hoping to win the championship for the tenth straight year, but they have a new coach, and last year's star players have all graduated. When the local news runs a story on Al and not the team, morale starts to dip, and games are lost. Al has what it takes to be the best and just wants to play the game for as long as she's allowed. Tryouts is a funny middle grade graphic novel about learning what it means to be part of team and staying true to yourself.


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The Night Librarian By Christopher Lincoln Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9780593617663
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Dial Books - July 30th, 2024

Twins Page and Turner decide to bring in their dad’s prized edition of Dracula for appraisal at the New York Public Library, but they wind up losing it and discovering a whole other side to books. Characters are jumping out of their stories and wreaking havoc in the library. It’s up to the night librarian to wrangle these magical mishaps, but there’s a staffing shortage so the twins step up to volunteer duty to help her out. Along the way, they meet many heroes and villains from some of their favorite books. The Night Librarian is a fantastic graphic novel mystery about the power of books in our lives and finding your voice.


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Fowl Play By Kristin O'Donnell Tubb Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780063274037
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - July 30th, 2024

Fowl Play is a charming, heartfelt, and funny middle grade mystery. Chloe's larger than life uncle and best friend Will has died suddenly. Now Chloe's family must attend the reading of Will's last will and testament. Chloe expects the reading to be just like you see in the movies; what she doesn't expect is to inherit Uncle Will's African Grey Parrot named Charlie. Grieving the loss of her uncle and trying to make sense of it all, Charlie starts saying words like murder! And cyanide! So, Chloe decides to investigate and find the truth about Uncle Will’s death. With the help of her brother, grandma, and Uncle Frank, they will get to the bottom of what really happened to Will. I adored this book about family and grief and seizing the day!


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Children of Anguish and Anarchy (Legacy of Orisha #3) By Tomi Adeyemi Cover Image
$24.99
ISBN: 9781250171016
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - June 25th, 2024

Zelie is up against a terrifying villain, a king obsessed with becoming a god. And he needs Zelie’s power to become one. With her brother and friends, along with new allies, can she defeat the king and save their homeland? Heart-pounding action, awesome world building, and emotional throughout, Adeyemi's finale in the Legend of Orisha trilogy was well worth the wait!


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Louder Than Hunger By John Schu Cover Image
$15.19
ISBN: 9781536229097
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Candlewick - March 19th, 2024

Louder Than Hunger is a middle grade novel told in verse and based on the author's experience with anorexia. I read this in one sitting - it was intense and emotional and hard to put down! Heartbreaking and hopeful, I'm thankful to John Schu for writing such an important novel that is sure to spark conversations and shed light on a topic many young people struggle with. 


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Emergency Quarters By Carlos Matias, Gracey Zhang (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Carlos Matias, Gracey Zhang (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780063271456
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Katherine Tegen Books - May 28th, 2024

Emergency Quarters is about a time in Matias's childhood when his mother would give him a quarter to use for emergency pay phone calls. I loved the nostalgic feel of this book, and Zhang's striking illustrations give it a feel of a classic, yet it will still resonate with young readers today. This may even be a picture book kids should gift to their parents; either way it makes for a great story time.


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The Spaceman By Randy Cecil, Randy Cecil (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Randy Cecil, Randy Cecil (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781536226164
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Candlewick - May 7th, 2024

The Spaceman is a sweet and whimsical picture book about a spaceman arriving to a new planet and seeing the beauty in the ordinary. I really enjoyed the musings of the tiny spaceman, and I hope you do too!


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Dalmartian: A Mars Rover's Story By Lucy Ruth Cummins, Lucy Ruth Cummins (Illustrator) Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781665911955
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - May 7th, 2024

An adorable and fun read aloud picture book about a boy and his dog… from outer space!


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Cascade Failure: A Novel (Ambit's Run #1) By L. M. Sagas Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781250871251
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Tor Books - March 19th, 2024

Cascade Failure is a wild space adventure full of action, humor and lovable characters. If you miss Firefly, then this is the book for you!


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The Bicycle: How an Act of Kindness Changed a Young Refugee's Life By Patricia McCormick, Yas Imamura (Illustrator), Mevan Babakar Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780063056992
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 7th, 2024

The Bicycle is based on the true story of a young girl and her family fleeing their country and finding a new and safe home. With each new move, the girl feels smaller and smaller and grows shy and hesitant in her new surroundings. It takes one small act of kindness from a neighbor to change everything for her. A heartwarming picture book and a lovely reminder that it is not hard to be kind to others.


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Two Together (Brendan Wenzel) By Brendan Wenzel Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781797202778
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Chronicle Books - April 23rd, 2024

I loved this friendship tale! Wenzel illustrates the very distinct perspectives of Cat and Dog as they adventure home together.


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The Squish By Breanna Carzoo, Breanna Carzoo (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Breanna Carzoo, Breanna Carzoo (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780063334939
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: HarperCollins - May 21st, 2024

The Squish is a witty and charming picture book about a sandcastle who keeps getting squished over and over until it learns to dust itself off and try again. Carzoo's illustrations are simply delightful in this picture book about resiliency and helping others.


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The First State of Being By Erin Entrada Kelly Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780063337312
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greenwillow Books - March 5th, 2024

I don't read many time travel books, so I'm not sure on all the rules of time travel, but I loved the way Kelly wove time travel and historical fiction together. It's late summer in 1999, and everyone has Y2K on the brain. Michael Rosario is worried about how he and his mom will survive it - will there be enough food? When a time traveler from 200 years into the future arrives, Michael learns to enjoy the small moments and maybe even try to make new friends. Kelly's latest middle grade novel is a fantastic voyage to the past and the future!


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Ursula Upside Down By Corey R. Tabor, Corey R. Tabor (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Corey R. Tabor, Corey R. Tabor (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780063275560
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 14th, 2024

Corey Tabor's picture books are so delightful and his latest, Ursula Upside Down, does not disappoint! It's a wonderful picture book about being yourself and how we all see the world differently, told by Ursula, the most adorable upside-down catfish you'll meet.


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The Ship in the Window By Travis Jonker, Matthew Cordell (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Travis Jonker, Matthew Cordell (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593350577
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - August 20th, 2024

The Ship in the Window is about a small mouse with big dreams. Travis Jonker delivers a charming picture book with Cordell's timeless illustrations. 


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The Boy and the Elephant By Freya Blackwood Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780593707661
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Random House Studio - August 27th, 2024

The Boy and the Elephant is a touching wordless picture book about a boy saving his friend, the tree next door, before it's cut down. Imaginative and wonderful, this would make for an engaging story time with your child.


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Oh, Are You Awake? By Bob Shea, Jarvis (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Bob Shea, Jarvis (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781536226584
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - April 2nd, 2024

Oh, Are You Awake? is a silly-laugh-out-loud bedtime story. Penguin is tired and wants to sleep, but Lion is not ready to go to sleep. Lion wants a story, and Penguin wants to dream their dreams! A relatable picture books for parents and siblings.


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The Dictionary Story By Oliver Jeffers, Sam Winston, Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator), Sam Winston (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Oliver Jeffers, Sam Winston, Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator), Sam Winston (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781536235500
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Candlewick - August 6th, 2024

The dictionary wants to tell a story just like the other books, but things don't go quite as planned, and chaos starts to ensue. Will dictionary be able to tell a story? Read and find out! Hilarious and delightful, The Dictionary Story is a new favorite of mine and soon to be yours! Don't forget to pay extra attention to the dictionary definitions as you read along.


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The Yellow Bus By Loren Long, Loren Long (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Loren Long, Loren Long (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250903136
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Roaring Brook Press - June 25th, 2024

The Yellow Bus is a heartfelt picture book about, you guessed it, a yellow bus! I've never felt such emotion for a vehicle the way I do for this forgotten yellow bus. Loren Long delivers an absolutely heartwarming picture book with stunning artwork. At the back of the book, he explains how he got the idea for this book as well as how he created the artwork. A real treat!


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Ferris By Kate DiCamillo Cover Image
$15.19
ISBN: 9781536231052
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Candlewick - March 5th, 2024

Ferris Wilkey’s summer is shaping up to be a busy one. Her grandmother says there’s a ghost visiting her, her sister Pinky plans on being a supervillain, and her uncle Ted is staying in the basement and trying to paint the history of the world. Funny and heartwarming, these characters jumped off the page for me and captured my heart. Another charming middle grade novel from Kate DiCamillo.  


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Vampires of El Norte By Isabel Cañas Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780593436721
Availability: Not in stock at Boswell. Available to order.
Published: Berkley - August 15th, 2023

I loved this book! Isabel Cañas writes with such historical detail that it feels like you are right there with Nena and Néstor. Set in 1840s Mexico, Vampires of El Norte is powerful historical fiction with a supernatural twist! It’s a world of vaqueros and vampires, hacendados and healers, war and lost love. Put this novel at the top of your summer reading list. 


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The Eyes and the Impossible: (Newbery Medal Winner) Deluxe Wood-Bound Edition By Dave Eggers, Shawn Harris (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Dave Eggers, Shawn Harris (Illustrator)
$22.40
ISBN: 9781952119453
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: McSweeney's - May 9th, 2023

Dave Eggers’s latest middle grade novel is so pure and wonderful! Johannes is a free dog living in a park on an island. He’s the eyes for the bison who rule and keep the park in harmony. Strange things are happening in the park and Johannes has a big idea. A touching and thought-provoking novel with an irresistible character. The Eyes and the Impossible is truly a delight, I loved seeing the world through Johannes’ eyes.