Hannah Recommends

Milo Imagines the World
de la Peña, Matt

Staff Pick

The team behind the Newbery Medal winner and Caldecott Honor book Last Stop on Market Street and the award-winning New York Times bestseller Carmela Full of Wishes once again delivers a poignant and timely picture book that's sure to become an instant classic.

Milo is on a long subway ride with his older sister. To pass the time, he studies the faces around him and makes pictures of their lives. There's the whiskered man with the crossword puzzle; Milo imagines him playing solitaire in a cluttered apartment full of pets. There's the wedding-dressed woman with a little dog peeking out of her handbag; Milo imagines her in a grand cathedral ceremony. And then there's the boy in the suit with the bright white sneakers; Milo imagines him arriving home to a castle with a drawbridge and a butler. But when the boy in the suit gets off on the same stop as Milo--walking the same path, going to the exact same place--Milo realizes that you can't really know anyone just by looking at them.

Item No. 9780399549083
$18.99
Blanca & Roja
McLemore, Anna-Marie

Staff Pick

Award-winning author Anna-Marie McLemore retells Swan Lake in this spellbinding YA story of sisters who are each other's best friends--and worst enemies.

The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they're also rivals, Blanca is as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.

But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans' spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them.

Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.

Item No. 9781250211637
$10.99
Dread Nation PB
Ireland, Justina

Staff Pick

New York Times bestseller; 6 starred reviews!

At once provocative, terrifying, and darkly subversive, Dread Nation is Justina Ireland's stunning vision of an America both foreign and familiar--a country on the brink, at the explosive crossroads where race, humanity, and survival meet.

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania--derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever.

In this new America, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead.

But there are also opportunities--and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It's a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society's expectations.

But that's not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston's School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn't pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose.

But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies.

And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

Abundant action, thoughtful worldbuilding, and a brave, smart, and skillfully drawn cast entertain as Ireland illustrates the ignorance and immorality of racial discrimination and examines the relationship between equality and freedom. (Publishers Weekly, An Anti-Racist Children's and YA Reading List)

Item No. 9780062570611
$10.99
Island Book
Dahm, Evan

Staff Pick

Set sail with Island Book, Evan Dahm's epic graphic novel about friendship, teamwork, and the wisdom we gain when we face the unknown with bravery and an open heart.

Sola is cursed. (At least, that's what everyone tells her.) It all started the day the Monster came to the island. While others fled, Sola stood before the creature, alone and unafraid. Since then she's been treated like an outcast.

Shamed and feared for an event she doesn't understand, Sola sets out to sea looking for answers. In uncharted waters far from home, she discovers that her island isn't alone in the endless ocean--and the Monster isn't the only life to be found there.

Item No. 9781626729506
$22.99
Meadow Mug

Staff Pick

This 11 oz. ceramic mug features a wraparound image of a frolicking band of whimsical friends joining hands in the midst of the festive Meadow Dance. Artwork by Astrid Sheckels. Top-rack dishwasher safe and microwavable, too.

Item No. 31286447
$16.95
Mushroom Fan Club
Gravel, Elise

Staff Pick

Appeared on Best of 2018 lists from Quill & Quire and the Globe and Mail!

"Although the fungi are anthropomorphized with cartoon eyes and goofy grins, the research behind the book is real."--The Globe & Mail 100 Best Books of 2018

"Gravel turns adventures in mushroom hunting into scintillating reading material."--Quill & Quire Best Kids' Books of 2018

Elise Gravel is back with a whimsical look at one of her family's most beloved pastimes: mushroom hunting! Combining her love of exploring nature with her talent for anthropomorphizing everything, she takes us on a magical tour of the forest floor and examines a handful of her favorite alien specimens up close. While the beautiful coral mushroom looks like it belongs under the sea, the peculiar Lactarius indigo may be better suited for outer space. From the fun-to-stomp puffballs to the prince of the stinkers--the stinkhorn mushroom--and the musically inclined chanterelles, Gravel shares her knowledge of this fascinating kingdom by bringing each species to life in full felt-tip-marker glory.

The Governor General Award-winning author Gravel's first book with Drawn & Quarterly, If Found . . . Please Return to Elise Gravel, was a Junior Library Guild selection and an instant hit among librarians, parents, and kids alike. Fostering the same spirit of creativity and curiosity, The Mushroom Fan Club promises to inspire kids to look more closely at the world around them and to seek out all of life's little treasures, stinky or not!

Item No. 9781770463226
$17.95
Rise Up! The Art of Protest
Rippon, Jo

Staff Pick

Celebrate the right to resist!

Human rights belong to every single one of us, but they are often under threat. Developed in collaboration with Amnesty International, Rise Up! encourages young people to engage in peaceful protest and stand up for freedom. Photographs of protest posters celebrate the ongoing fight for gender equality, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, refugee and immigrant rights, peace, and the environment.

Item No. 9781623541507
$18.99
Backstagers Vol. 1
Tynion IV, James

Staff Pick

All the world's a stage . . . but what happens behind the curtain is pure magic--literally!

When Jory transfers to an all-boys private high school, he's taken in by the only ones who don't treat him like a new kid, the lowly stage crew known as the Backstagers. Not only does he gain great, lifetime friends, Jory is also introduced to an entire magical world that lives beyond the curtain. With the unpredictable twists and turns of the underground world, the Backstagers venture into the unknown, determined to put together the best play their high school has ever seen.

James Tynion IV (Detective Comics, The Woods) teams up with artist Rian Sygh (Munchkin, Stolen Forest) for an incredibly earnest story that explores what it means to find a place to fit in when you're kinda an outcast.

Item No. 9781608869930
$14.99
The Dark
Snicket, Lemony

Staff Pick

Laszlo is afraid of the dark.

The dark lives in the same house as Laszlo. Mostly, though, the dark stays in the basement and doesn't come into Lazslo's room. But one night, it does.

This is the story of how Laszlo stops being afraid of the dark.

With emotional insight and poetic economy, two award-winning talents team up to conquer a universal childhood fear.

Item No. 9780316187480
$18.99
The Town of Turtle (Autographed Hardcover)

Staff Pick

Signed by illustrator Catia Chien.

In Turtle's shell there's room for only one. But in Turtle's heart, there is room for everyone! This tale of a lonely turtle who comes out of his shell to find friendship and community celebrates diversity and inclusion. 

When a solitary turtle decides to make some renovations to his shell, he doesn’t have a blueprint, only a dream for a better life. He starts by building a deck—though he figures the deck could use a fireplace. And a fireplace needs wood, so naturally, he plants a garden. But it isn’t really a garden without a pond . . . Soon, Turtle can barely recognize his own shadow.

Finally satisfied with the intricate world upon his back, word begins to spread of the magical “Town of Turtle,” attracting newcomers from far and wide. All are welcome in Turtle’s town, where life is a little less lonely, if only you come out of your shell.

Item No. CHIEN4
$17.99
Way of the Hive
Hosler, Jay

Staff Pick

"A wonderful graphic novel."--Neil Gaiman

Experience the life of a honeybee in this coming-of-age story about a bee named Nyuki, in this full-color graphic novel by Jay Hosler, perfect for curious kids who are fans of the Science Comics series.

Nyuki is a brand-new honeybee--and she has a lot of questions. Like

  • When does a bee go through metamorphosis?
  • Why does a queen bee sometimes leave her hive?
  • And where does all this honey come from, anyway?!
  • But Nyuki's biggest question is, "What is this inner voice I hear, and why does it tell me to go forth to adventure?

    Follow Nyuki on a lifelong journey as she annoys her sisters, avoids predators, and learns to trust her inner voice as she masters the way of the hive.

    And if you still have questions at the end, the back of the book uncovers even more mysteries about the lives of these incredible insects!

    Junior Library Guild Selection

    Item No. 9780063007352
    $12.99