Welcome to Jen's recommendations! Check out what Jen has been reading below.
Danger is around every corner, but so is wonder and hope; follow the journey of Louise and Merwin, two young sycamore seeds looking for a safe place to plant their roots. Big Tree is a stunning novel showing you the magnificent beauty of the natural world. Brian Selznick has delivered another masterpiece!
It's official, I will drop whatever I'm reading to read a new book by TJ Klune. In the Lives of Puppets is the book that you should stop everything and read right away. Victor Lawson, a real boy raised by his android father Gio, lives in a forest far from civilization with a lovable vacuum cleaner named Rambo and Nurse Ratched, a robot built both to heal and drill (if you misbehave). When Victor finds a discarded android, it will change his life in unimaginable ways. Poignant, thought provoking, funny, and sure to make your heart skip a beat in this twist on The Adventures of Pinocchio.
The Apology is a remarkable story and Jeonga Cha is an unforgettable character! The youngest of 4, 105-year-old Jeonga Cha receives a letter from a relative in Ohio which sets off a series of unexpected events and revelations. Most notably, 10 days after receiving the letter, Jeonga will die. Having to solve family problems in the afterlife just got a lot more complicated. Jimin Han delivers a thoughtful and emotional novel - I enjoyed every chapter.
Jon Klassen’s The Skull has a sinister feel in the best possible way! Inspired by a Tyrolean folktale, Klassen tells the tale of a runaway girl who happens to meet a talking skull in an abandoned castle in the woods. With Klassen’s signature illustrations and mischievous storytelling, The Skull is sure to be a favorite to read on a gloomy night by the fire.
A family saga set in Hilo, Hawai’i, Hula follows the women of the legendary Naupaka family. Narrated by a chorus, Hakes delivers a nuanced novel about family, home, and healing. A dynamic read!
A Day of Fallen Night is a glorious return to the breathtaking world we were first introduced to in The Priory of the Orange Tree, taking place over 500 years prior. This epic is rich in mythology with magnificent dragons and brave women sacrificing it all to save the world. Samantha Shannon delivers another exquisite fantasy novel you won't be able to put down!
Shakti is an enchanting middle grade graphic novel about a young Indian American girl, Shakti, who discovers her new school has been put under a spell by the mean girls or HEK as they are known. Shakti must learn her family’s ancestral magic to defeat HEK. One small problem - Shakti has a strong connection to Kali and releasing Kali could have dire consequences. SJ Sindu delivers a charming graphic novel about being true to yourself and taking care of your loved ones. Add to your reading list this summer!
The Enchanted Life of Valentina Mejia is a delightful novel with Colombian folklore and magic. Valentina and her brother Julian race against time and mythological creatures to save their father after an earthquake has separated them. The siblings find themselves in a magical portal deep inside the Andes; with the help from a friendly witch, Valentina and Julian journey to the Queen who has the only way out.
Violeta Rubio is spending her summer in Puerto Rico to help her abuelita get her restaurant cleaned up after Hurricane Maria. There is much work to be done, and Violeta is eager to help, but when the grown-ups won’t let her, she spends much of her time on her own. Until she meets two new friends and learns that a ferocious monster is roaming the area. What would you do if you didn’t believe in monsters and came across a chupacabra? What if that chupacabra was sweet and cuddly like a puppy? Violeta must figure out how to save Chupie and show everyone that not all creatures are monstrous. This heartfelt graphic novel is a worthy read.
The Last Tale of the Flower Bride is a lush fairytale draped with gothic undertones. Curl up in front of the fire and lose yourself in Chokshi's elegant prose about a bridegroom and his wife's secrets.
A remarkable friendship tale set during the height of the pandemic. Clay misses his friends and school and is frustrated with having to stay home all day with his two sisters. Fortunately, Clay's family live by the woods and Clay can explore the mysteries that the woods have to offer. One day, Clay finds a dog in the woods, and she is no ordinary dog, she’s an elf hound! Soon, Clay’s boring days are filled with wonder and magic. MT Anderson delivers a heartfelt and fast paced adventure novel with fantastic illustrations by Junyi Wu.
The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi: A new fantasy series set a thousand years before The City of Brass (Hardcover)
Get ready for a most wonderous adventure on the Indian Ocean with the best Pirate Queen of the 12th century! Our heroine, the infamous Amina Al-Sirafi has been forced out of retirement to save the daughter of a fallen crew member. Will Amina Al-Sirafi be able to convince her former crew to board for one more adventure? Filled with magic and adventure, myth and humor, I loved every moment of this book!
The Duck Never Blinks is a playful and interactive picture book that will have young readers laughing out loud. Can you get the duck to blink? Read and find out!
We Are Going to Be Pals is a delightful novel about friendship between a talkative egret and a silent rhinoceros. Teague’s bright and fun illustrations bring to life a day between the seemingly unlikely duo. A clever read that’s sure to be a hit!
Jesse Q Sutanto’s latest novel is a charming mystery with an unforgettable amateur sleuth, Vera Wong. I enjoyed every moment and found myself rooting for Vera at every turn. Make your favorite cup of tea and settle in for a delightful read!
A young girl has lost her invisible dinosaur, how will she ever find him? Follow along in this simply adorable picture book to see if the friends will be reunited.
One of my favorite picture books this summer! The Red Jacket is an engaging picture book about Bob, a lonely seagull who is given a red jacket. Bob's new red jacket instills a confidence in him that helps him speak up and make friends. A wonderful story that deserves a spot on your bookshelf!
Lawrence & Sophia is a tender picture book about overcoming your fears and the power of friendship. A beautiful and touching picture book by Doreen Cronin and wonderfully illustrated by Brian Cronin. A must read!
Neesha Hudson's latest picture book makes for a great family story time. It's a delightful picture book with a witty message about jealousy, told through dog gardeners. I was absolutely charmed by this one!
Being a little sister is tough, especially when you feel your big brother gets his way all the time. McGhee’s Dear Brother is a tender and funny epistolary middle grade novel told from the little sister’s point of view. Fast paced with great illustrations!