Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2023) Featured Review of All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir

All My Rage by Sabaa Tahir
Narrated by Deepti Gupta, Kamran R. Khan, Kausar Mohammed
Books on Tape, Listening Library
Publication Date: March 1, 2022
ISBN: 9780593502235

When Misbah passes, she leaves behind her son, Salahudin, who will do anything to keep her legacy, the Clouds’ Rest Inn Motel running. His father is spiraling from grief and alcoholism and his best friend, Noor, is no longer speaking with him since The Fight. Noor is doing all she can to make her way to college, while her uncle does his best to prevent her. In the end, Salahudin makes some decisions that put both his and Noor’s futures on the line. 

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of This Might Get Awkward by Kara McDowell

This Might Get Awkward
by Kara McDowell
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Imprint: Scholastic Press
Release date: March 1, 2022
ISBN: 9781338746235

Gemma Wells’ social anxiety keeps her on the fringes of high school life until her major crush (and high school hot guy) Beau Booker is in a tragic boating accident.  Having grown up on Lake Powell, Gemma immediately springs into action, dragging Beau out of the water and performing the CPR that saves his life–except his injuries have meant that he is in a medically-induced coma.  Beau’s last Instagram post is of him and Gemma, and his claim that she is his girlfriend now provides her with entry into the hospital as family.  Being Beau’s dutiful girlfriend is her dream come true until she meets his older “black sheep” of a brother, Griff.  Now Gemma is caught in a web of lies, but how does she dump the comatose brother for Griff?

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Crumbs by Danie Stirling

Crumbs by Danie Stirling
Etch/Clarion Books
Publication Date: July 19, 2022
ISBN: 9780358467793

Every time Ray enters the magical Marigold’s Bakery she orders a Romance. As a Seer, she’s seeking something with a taste of the unknown. On a day when Romance is sold out, Marigold’s nephew Laurie invites Ray out to hear him play guitar as an alternative unknown experience and their relationship blooms. But Ray is starting an internship and on the verge of becoming part of the Grand Council of Sorcerers, a job that requires leaving all of the rest of her life behind. Will she be forced to choose between her new romance and her dream job, a choice even her Seer’s ability can’t help her make?

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2023) Featured Review of Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions by Navdeep Singh Dhillion

Sunny G’s Series of Rash Decisions by Navdeep Singh Dhillion
Narrated by Shahjehan Khan
Listening Library
Publication Date: February 8, 2022
ISBN: 9780593411315

When Sunny stares into the mirror on his prom night he is unrecognizable to himself; his hair is shortened and gone is his beard and turban. Honestly, not much has been the same since his brother, Goldy’s death from alcohol poisoning, and the only thing left from his brother is a journal that Sunny is determined to fill with rash decisions. When Mindii Vang runs off with the journal, Sunny chases Mindii and adventures the rest of the night including roller skating and open mics.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of And We Rise by Erica Martin

And We Rise
by Erica Martin
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Release date: February 1, 2022
ISBN: 9780593352526

Poignant and educational poems chronicling the Civil Rights Movement and the important people involved. Divided up into different sections each chapter highlights a major timeframe in the history of the movement. From Rosa Parks, to the Supreme Court decision of Brown vs. Board of Education, to Martin Luther King’s march on Washington, these poems give a visual and sensual look at these events. The poems take some creative license in depicting the real life people and their emotions at the time, but the other important facts are accurate.  

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Something is Killing the Children Vol. 4 by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera

Something is Killing the Children, Vol. 4 by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell’Edera
Boom! Studios
Publication Date: January 11, 2022
ISBN: 9781684158041

Finally, the backstory of Erika’s entry into the House of Slaughter! Wondering where and how our fierce fighter was introduced to this world of monsters and chaos we go way back to where it all started. The first monster she saw, what happened that night she was taken by a Slaughter member, and what happened to her parents. However, before she can stake a claim to the black room of the Slaughter home, she needs to pass a test by facing her worst demons, and Erika has more nightmares than the average person.

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2023) Featured Review of Vinyl Moon by Mahogany L. Browne

Vinyl Moon by Mahogany L. Browne
Narrated by Bahni Turpin
Crown Books for Young Readers/ Penguin Random House
Publication Date: January 10, 2022
ISBN: 978-0593506455

When things come to a head in her abusive relationship, Angel is sent across the country to live with her uncle in Brooklyn. She quickly finds a new family in her friends, classmates, and teachers, as well as the books and music that become a soundtrack to her new life.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys

Girl on Fire
by Alicia Keys
Publisher: Harper Collins
Imprint: Harper Alley
Release date: March 1, 2022
ISBN: 9780063029569

Lolo Wright’s life is pretty ordinary.  She may live in the Monroe Housing Projects with her father, brother, and maternal grandmother, but she’s going places.  She’s taking AP courses and doing well in school, and sure, she misses her mother, but she doesn’t lack love.  She’s just keeping her head down until she graduates.  It’s not until she and her brother are accosted by a pair of cops in a case of mistaken identity and her brother is roughed up that she discovers she has an untapped superpower. Faced with temptations to use that power on bullies, she manages to keep it in check until the neighborhood drug dealer wants to use her abilities to protect his drug and “protection” businesses.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2023) Featured Review of Other Boys by Damian Alexander

Other Boys by Damien Alexander
First Second
Publication Date: September 28, 2021
ISBN: 9781250222824

Damien is a gay seventh grader at a new school accustomed to being bullied for not being like “other boys.” His home life is less than ideal, and he has always experienced bullying from family and classmates because of the things he enjoys that are considered “girly,” like dolls. He also prefers the company of girls, which makes other boys target him for bullying even more so. Things only become more confusing for Damian when he begins having crushes on boys, even though they’re almost all mean to him.

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2023) Featured Review of You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao

You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao
Narrated by Soneela Nankani
Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: November 9, 2021
ISBN: 9781250820822

After the death of her boyfriend, Sam, Julie is left reeling. Then she finds a message from Sam in her yearbook and all she wants to do is hear his voice. Out of desperation, she calls his number, hoping to get his voicemail, but…he picks up. Julie doesn’t understand how it works, but all she knows is that she can speak to Sam again in a connection that extends past the realm of the living. As time goes on, Julie finds it more challenging than ever to let go.

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