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Glamourist Histories Series 

The book I am suggesting that everyone should read is actually a series. I love this series because of more than just the content of a single book—I think this series is an interesting genre: fantasy regency romance. I know, I know, when you first read that you cringe because it sounds like it might be awful, but Mary Robinette Kowal does an amazing job of making magic a natural part of this world and era by integrating historical events into the plots of her books. This magic is a natural part of society, one of the arts perfected by accomplished young ladies. Beyond the magic, the romance and adventure in this series alone are highly recommended. Although the writing and pacing of the stories isn't perfect, I would suggest reading past the first book because the characters grow on you and the stories turn towards revolution, heist, and love. 


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Heroes of the Night Sky by Tom Kindley

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Wild pastel colors, gentle halftones, and expanding pages come together to make Greek myths even more dazzling in Tom Kindley's Heroes of the Night Sky.


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Pleasant Surprises

It’s a well-known fact that I read a lot of books— somewhere around 400 or so a year. I read everything from picture books to nonfiction books written for adults. The bulk of my reading, however, is children’s and young adult literature, which is logical since my job as a librarian and the subjects I teach at university require me to keep up in that field. Despite the professional obligation to read these wonderful books, I announce with great passion that I love children’s and young adult books! I never feel like I’m reading down or finding something of lesser quality. I am constantly surprised by the scope of books for children and young adults that tell wonderfully engaging stories and stretch my imagination. So let me share with you some of my most recent surprises!   

Since I read so much, it’s pretty rare for authors to totally snow me under as far as plot goes. So, I was totally surprised when I encountered this unexpected twist. The way the author connected characters and plots astounded me. 

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The Traitor’s Circle #1: The Traitor's Kiss

By Erin Beaty
Imprint, 2017.

Fantasy has always been my favorite genre, but at times it can get a little repetitive and stale. I’m always happy to find fantasies that, while sticking to the traditional story line, take on a depth that is engaging and powerful. Here’s one that hit that out of the park!

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Tower of Winds #1: Isle of Blood and Stone

By Makiia Lucier
HMH Books for Young Readers, 2018.

Diverse books extend my experience and are great to use with children to help them see others who may not be just like them. I’m always pleased to find books that express cultural experiences with joy. Recently, it was a welcome surprise to find this lovely book with amazing collage illustrations that is a great look into our global world.

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Up!: How Families Around the World Carry Their Little Ones

By Susan Hughes
Illustrated by Ashley Barron
Owlkids Books, 2017

One thing that I love is great wordplay in books for young children. This picture book uses only one word, but combining the use of font and illustrations, it’s wonderful to see the kinds of emotions and depth you can get with just one word!

Dude!

By Aaron Reynolds
Illustrated by Dan Santat
Roaring Book Press, 2018.

And lastly, let me share with you one book that surprised me by helping me learn lots of new information. I always love a great nonfiction book, but this book packs each page with interesting information and, on top of that, presents it in an amazing, visually-appealing way!

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Grand Canyon

By Jason Chin
Roaring Brook Press, 2017.

So I suggest heading on over to your local public library and wandering the stacks of books until you and your children find that next great surprise for yourselves.