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Code Name Verity

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ISBN: 9781423152880
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 7th, 2013

Two best friends crash-land their jet while on a top-secret mission in Nazi-occupied France: Maddie, the pilot, is presumed dead; Julie, the foul-mouthed wireless operator-turned-spy, is taken prisoner. Their story is told through Julie's 'diary,' a forced confession intended to reveal British war secrets--yet the testimony becomes more of a biography of her best friend than a desperate tell-all leading up to her execution. Intelligent, emotional, and harrowing, this is a story about how love, adrenaline, and fierce loyalty can conquer the most extreme fears while under impossible stress. Unforgettable! ~ Reviewed by Aubrey Restifo

The Anatomy of Type

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The Anatomy of Type: A Graphic Guide to 100 Typefaces Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062203120
Availability: Backordered
Published: Harper Design - November 13th, 2012

As booksellers and book lovers, we all understand how disappointing it is to read a beautiful novel only to be appalled by its packaging. Thankfully, most great books are accompanied by great design: however, this is not always the case. It is easy to imagine the cacophony occasioned by writing your thesis in, say, Comic Sans MS; not all, however, would cringe at a resume written in Palatino Linotype or other deceivingly "formal" or "professional" glyphs. The Anatomy of Type helps the pedestrian design fiend and font-novice alike navigate one hundred of the most well-known typefaces to avoid the aforementioned blunders. From supplying esoteric asides to lexical basics (e.g. the significance of "bracket," "bowl," "aperture," or "x-height"), Coles does a superb job of organizing a lot of data into a comprehensible, attractive package. Anatomy sorts its fonts by classification, giving readers a good feel for specialized terms which might otherwise go misunderstood or ignored: similarly, each nugget of typeface jargon is clearly explained as needed (no footnotes, no appendix.) Although totally cliche, Coles really has created a design reference--a great piece of teaching--that embodies great design. Advertisers, writers, artists, and all who have a penchant for meticulously organized information will love this book. ~ Reviewed by Aubrey Restifo

Life: An Exploded Diagram

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ISBN: 9780763663421
Availability: Hard to Find - May no longer be available
Published: Candlewick - February 26th, 2013

This is as much a story about time as it is about how love, death, and war shape a single family across multiple generations. A simple relationship--a working class boy falls in love with a wealthy, rebellious girl--seems to be only of simple consequence: working class boys, of course, are not supposed to seduce women of "class." Stretched between decades and wars, however, the covert relationship becomes a devastating blow, the ripples of which carry through every fiber of the family's history--shaping the stories of relatives both old and new.

Mal Peet might be one of the best historical fiction authors writing today:
both Tamar and Life: An Exploded Diagram are deeply personal, accessible, and original stories that are destined for no particular "type" of readership. His novels are commentaries on the relationship between action and reaction: they tackle the notion of history, and show us the smallness of time without any grand or abstract gesture. Regardless of whether you're reading out of intellectual curiosity or love for war-torn and class-crossing romance, Life: An Exploded Diagram does not disappoint on any front. ~ Reviewed by Aubrey Restifo

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

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ISBN: 9780142418475
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Speak - April 5th, 2011

Two teens with the same name meet by chance on the streets of Chicago: one is geared up to meet the internet love of his life in person for the first time, the other is embarrassed and killing time while his older friends are at a bar for a show. Despite their differences, they become tied together by that evening--which proves to be a disaster--and their mutual friend ("Tiny") who intends to stage an autobiographical musical at his high school. Worth reading for its epic, euphoria-inducing ending alone, this novel is easily one of the best stories about love written for young adults. ~ Reviewed by Aubrey Restifo

Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy

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Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419703966
Availability: Click Title for IN STOCK Location
Published: Harry N. Abrams - August 1st, 2012

"I regret that I have but one life to give for my country." Written by the author of the same name, this historically accurate graphic novel does an excellent job of describing who Nathan Hale was, why he matters, and what happened in 1775-1776. Funny and memorable--just the way great kid's history should be. Definitely check out the other books in the series: you will want to read more. ~ Reviewed by Aubrey Restifo

REDSHIRTS: Self-Deprecating Science Fiction's Finest Hour

Despite my role as a children's bookseller--and my fondness for all things, for the most part, enjoyed by kids--I do not tend to enjoy funny adult books. My area of "expertise" on the floor is middle reader and young adult literature for a reason--ask for a great title with historical themes, violence, suffering, big philosophical questions, intricate and original plots, or general intensity of emotion and I can get you ten. As a teenager, I made regular evenings out of Schindler's List and The Wind that Shakes the Barley. That's who I was, and who I seem to still be: all about catharsis, not really concerned with the Beach Read.

But this is a post about Redshirts. John Scalzi's novel--now in paperback--is about as far from my typical fare as you can imagine. As a fan of science fiction, novels that fit into the category of "hilarious, endearing sci-fi" usually offend me. Redshirts, however, does nothing but lead you to near-pissing yourself while keening--alone--with laughter. Scalzi keeps sci-fi fans from states of agitation by utilizing humor and knowledge that only sci-fi fans would understand--that only those who buy into space and battleships and bizarre viruses could appreciate. From land worms with spinning mouths of teeth to crazed piston-launching robots to random plummets off the bridge and sentry-like face-eating monkey creatures, Scalzi paralyzes his readers with awe as he systematically murders his extras--in a novel about extras who begin to realize that they are, yes, extras. (READ MORE)

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Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas Cover Image
ISBN: 9780765334794
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tor Books - January 15th, 2013


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