Holiday Gift Guide Staff Picks: Renee and Revati!

Hello readers!

We hope you’re not getting tired of these Holiday Gift Guide posts! And we hope they’re helping you narrow down the books you’re most looking forward to having waiting for you in your stocking! Though it might be better to put some of these under the tree…the stockings might come crashing down under the weight of all these fantastic books!


Renee’s Picks:

Mac Undercover, by Mac Barnett
Middle grade adventure fiction, perfect for: kids ages 9-99 who love a good spy story, fans of middle grade series like Spy School, Wimpy Kid, and Big Nate, readers who love being taken on a globe-trotting adventure

James Bond meets Diary of a Wimpy Kid with this groundbreaking fully-illustrated chapter book series Mac B., Kid Spy. The precious Crown Jewels have been stolen, and there’s only one person who can help the Queen of England: her newest secret agent, Mac B. Mac travels around the globe in search of the stolen treasure…but will he find it in time? From secret identities to Karate hijinks, this fast-paced, witty and historically inspired chapter book will keep readers guessing until the very last page.

Atlas Obscura Explorer’s Guide for the World’s Most Adventurous Kid, by Dylan Thuras and Rosemary Mosco
Kids Non-fiction/explorer’s guide, perfect for: explorers and travelers of all ages, parents who want to teach their kids geography, anyone looking to learn a little bit more about this cool planet we live on

For curious kids, this is the chance to embark on the journey of a lifetime—and see how faraway countries have more in common than you might expect! Hopscotch from country to country in a chain of connecting attractions: Explore Mexico’s glittering cave of crystals, then visit the world’s largest cave in Vietnam. Peer over a 355-foot waterfall in Zambia, then learn how Antarctica’s Blood Falls got their mysterious color. Or see mysterious mummies in Japan and France, then majestic ice caves in both Argentina and Austria. As you climb mountains, zip-line over forests, and dive into oceans, this book is your passport to a world of hidden wonders, illuminated by gorgeous art.

Rock-and-Roll Woman, by Meredith Ochs
Music, perfect for: lovers of music–particularly rock, pop culture lovers of ladies through the decades, anyone who wants to know more about their favorite musicians

Award-winning radio personality Meredith Ochs takes an insightful look at 50 rock icons who indelibly shook up the music scene, whether solo or in a band. Profiling women from the 1950s to today, and from multiple genres, Ochs tells the dramatic stories behind their journeys to success, their music, and their enduring impact. More than 100 photographs make this a rich volume, and the idols include Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Grace Slick, Janis Joplin, Stevie Nicks, Heart, Chrissie Hynde, Patti Smith, Joan Jett and the Runaways, the Go-Go’s, Karen O, Sleater-Kinney, Grace Potter, and more.

Renee’s Wild Card Picks: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, by Hank Green and The Shades of Magic Trilogy Boxset, by V.E. Schwab


Revati’s Picks:

Heirs of the Founders, by H.W. Brands
History, biography, perfect for: readers of history–particularly American, fans of Hamilton and its depictions of political rivalries, anyone who should know more about where our country has come from

In the early 1800s, three young men strode onto the national stage, elected to Congress at a moment when the Founding Fathers were beginning to retire to their farms. Daniel Webster of Massachusetts, Henry Clay of Kentucky, South Carolina’s John Calhoun: together these heirs of Washington, Jefferson and Adams took the country to war, battled one another for the presidency and set themselves the task of finishing the work the Founders had left undone. Their rise was marked by dramatic duels, fierce debates, scandal and political betrayal. Thrillingly and authoritatively, H. W. Brands narrates an epic American rivalry and the little-known drama of the dangerous early years of our democracy.

Writers: Their Lives and Works, by DK
Reference, literary, prefect for: lovers of literature of all kinds, readers who want to know more about their favorite authors, English majors

Introduced with a stunning portrait of each featured novelist, playwright, or poet, biographical entries trace the friendships, loves, and rivalries that inspired each individual and influenced their work, revealing insights into the larger-than-life characters, plots, and evocative settings that they created. Each entry explains how the person’s writing developed during their lifetime, and sets it in context, conveying a powerful sense of the place and the period of history in which they lived. Lavishly illustrated with photographs and paintings of writers’ homes, studies, and personal artifacts–along with pages from original manuscripts, first editions, and their correspondence–this book introduces the key ideas, themes, and literary techniques of each writer, revealing the imaginations and personalities behind some of the world’s greatest novels, short stories, poems, and plays.

Pearl, by Molly Idle
Picture book, perfect for: kids who are just starting to read on their own but still love being read out loud to, lovers of mermaids and the sea, anyone who loves a beautifully illustrated and written book

Sometimes the tiniest light can shine the brightest! Like the other mermaids of the deep, Pearl longs to care for the endless beaches, coral reefs, and towering kelp forests of her vast ocean world. So when her mother asks her to tend to a mere grain of sand, Pearl is heartbroken. It takes all her patience and determination to discover how even the littlest mermaid can transform the world. Caldecott Honor-winning author and artist Molly Idle has masterfully crafted a modern classic in this mesmerizing tale about the immense power of small actions.

Revati’s Wild Card Picks: Shade, by Pete Souza and We Don’t Eat Our Classmates, by Ryan T. Higgins


You can find all the Wild Card picks over on the Friday What We’re Reading posts–if you don’t see them yet, don’t worry; there will be several more Wild Card Picks posts going up in the next few weeks! So keep an eye out for them!

Small Business Saturday is on November 24th this year! We’ve got a whole bevy of book-related fun–all holiday cards and 2019 wall calendars will be 10% off; all scarves, tote bags, and t-shirts will be 15% off, and if you spend $50 or more, you’ll get to pick out one free book from our stash of ARCs! We hope to see you there!

You can buy any of the Holiday Gift Guide picks by clicking on the titles above! You can find the whole catalog online, here (the “Categories” button at the top of the page toggles between the kids/teen and adult lists!). And remember–all books in the catalog will be 15% off (one per visit) throughout the holiday season!

Happy reading!

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