Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Huda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy

Huda F Are You? by Huda Fahmy
Dial Books / Penguin Random House
Publication Date: November 23, 2021
ISBN-13: 9780593324318

Just before Huda starts high school, her family moves to a new town. Although it is exciting to be somewhere with so many other Muslims, she soon realizes that being “The Only Hijabi” is not actually a personality, and she spirals into an identity crisis. On top of it all, the one thing she used to be able to rely on, meeting her parents’ expectations around grades, is moving out of reach due to a teacher who treats the Muslim kids differently and assigns racist essay topics.

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of K-Pop Confidential by Stephan Lee

K-Pop Confidential cover art

K-Pop Confidential by Stephan Lee; narrated by Joy Osmanski

Publisher: Scholastic Audio

Release date: October 6, 2020

ISBN: 9781338673401

Candace Park has been an obedient Korean daughter watching from the sidelines as her brother is allowed to participate in sports and indulge in music while she is expected to go to college and enter a mundane career.  That’s why her decision to audition for a spot in a K-Pop band is not only unexpected, but her subsequent invitation to join an intensive training program to become an idol is downright stunning. Candace convinces her staid parents to allow her to participate, and her mother accompanies her to Seoul where Candace lives in harsh conditions with cutthroat competitors.  

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant

Happily Ever Afters Audiobook by Elise Bryant Cover Art

Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant; Narrated by Jordan Cobb
Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 5, 2021
ISBN: 9780063058132

Tessa Johnson is excited to have been accepted into the creative writing program at a prestigious art school, but nervous at the same time: she’s never shared her writing with anyone but her best friend, Caroline.  When she gets to her first workshop, her words are gone and she’s terrified she’ll never write again and the whole school will find out she’s a fraud.  Caroline is convinced that the only solution is for Tessa to star in her own personal love story and the perfect candidate for her happily-ever-after is the most popular kid in school and her crush, Nico.  Or is he?

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, December 7 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

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A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow; Narrated by Andrea Laing and Jennifer Haralson
Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: June 2, 2020
ISBN: 978-1250755018

Tavia and Effie are best friends living their lives and trying to survive their junior year of high school. Set in a current-day Portland where magic and fantastic creatures are part of the norm, the girls each have secrets that could destroy their families and communities. Effie is running from literal demons in her past, finding solace in her seasonal Renaissance Fair performances as a mermaid. Tavia is hiding her powers as a siren, one of the most feared magical creatures, after a recent siren murder trial becomes national news. When Tavia lets her powers escape during a traffic stop, the girls’ carefully balanced lives begin to tumble. This book is part contemporary fiction, part black fantasy and part social justice. 

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Foodie Companions for With the Fire On High


2019 Printz Winner for The Poet X, Elizabeth Acevedo’s much anticipated sophomore novel With the Fire On High, is a book about embracing your passions, and charting your future. Emoni Santiago, an Afro-Boricua high school senior has had a gift for cooking since she was young. She and her toddler daughter live with her supportive grandmother, but Emoni needs to decide where she wants to go to school and what she wants to do after graduation. When her school offers a new class, “Culinary Arts: Spain Immersion,” Emoni has a chance to immerse herself in cooking in a way that she can start to see what is possible with her gift.

Foodie readers will swoon over Acevedo’s writing on food and cooking, and it will leave them hungering for more.  Here are a few delicious titles about food and cooking to pair With the Fire On High:

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#QP2019 Nominees Round Up, August 21 Edition

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
Macmillan / Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Publication Date: May 8, 2018
ISBN:  9780374304089 

Clara Shin isn’t much for conventional high school, but when her blood-soaked prank at junior prom turns into a school fire, her dad lays down the law and Clara finds herself manning the family food truck with her nemesis. In the heat of running the truck, Clara discovers that Rose–her arch enemy–is actually human, and then she meets Hamlet. The summer at KoBra (her father’s food truck that specializes in amazing Korean/Brazil fusion fare) gives Clara the opportunity to discover herself, her family, and new love.

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Booklist: Romantic Comedies

There is nothing like escaping into a fun-filled romantic comedy, especially when the pressures of real life loom large, and one could use a little levity, love, and fun. Diving into a romantic escapade can be incredibly satisfying, especially if it is one that can provide “all the feels.”

Rom-coms are often predictable in the best sort of way. If the story is true to the genre, you know the most likely ending…the romantic interests will end up together, but it is the journey to that end that brings us in. There are also other key elements that every rom-com has:

  • Two Main Protagonists – one, if not both, is adorkable and charming. They will be easy to root for in love and in life.
  • Side Characters – the tapestry of people that surround our hopeful lovers. They can be supportive, offer comic guffaws, or are the ones helping create obstacles and/or distractions that keep our lovers apart or push hem together.
  • Location – often as much as a character as our side characters. Our lovers are often traipsing over an area creating memories in key spots.
  • The “Meet-Cute” or the person next door – how our characters come into contact with each. The meet-cute will often be awkward or filled with tension where the characters do not like each other at first, or it can be charming. Sometimes, often in YA fiction, our soon-to-be lovers have been friends since childhood, and it is just seeing them each other in a new light.
  • The Challenge – often a false start where there is a misunderstanding, other potential love interest, or obstacle that seems to big to surmount comes into play separating our would be lovers.
  • The Grand Epiphany – what brings them together in the end. One or both will have a revelation that they can not be without the other, and usually a grand gesture will be involved in declaring love.

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