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Ellen

Ellen's Profile Image

Bookfairs Manager

I love variety and do not like being bored. Kids & YA make up most of my reading diet, but I will foray into adult for a change of pace. Fiction, nonfiction, it doesn't matter. Looking for books that entertain, challenge, inform, or preferably, all of the above.

  • General Fiction
  • Children's Fiction
  • Young Adult
  • Staff Pick Badge
    Louisiana's Way Home Cover Image
    $16.99
    ISBN: 9780763694630
    Availability: Out of Stock; Usually Arrives in 5-7 Days
    Published: Candlewick - October 2nd, 2018

    This book was so good I don't know what I can possibly say about it that would do it justice. I am unable to form complete thoughts so here are some incomplete thoughts instead: -marvelous -completely encapsulated me while reading -emotional wallop I knew was coming but I was caught completely unprepared for the intensity and suddenness of it -uncomfortable in an oh-my-gosh-someone-help/hug-her way at certain points -I can hear Kate reading this aloud in my head -so few words but just the right ones -absolutely beautiful writing -Hope. Love. Healing.


  • Staff Pick Badge
    Some Writer!: The Story of E. B. White Cover Image
    $18.99
    ISBN: 9780544319592
    Availability: Out of Stock; Usually Arrives in 5-7 Days
    Published: HMH Books for Young Readers - October 4th, 2016

    “In almost everyone’s life there is one event that changes the whole course of his existence.”—E.B. White In Some Writer!, author Melissa Sweet pinpoints these life-changing events in E. B. White’s life. She starts where all good stories start, at the beginning with his childhood. Along the way, the seeds are sown for his writing, including Stuart Little and Charlottes’s Web. Like Charlotte, Sweet weaves threads from White’s personal life with his published works, adding illustration and photographs to form a complete web. The chapters that focus on his most well-known works are fascinating and full of details about his writing process and how each book came into being. Sweet’s writing is her own, but is in the witty, smart, and simply elegant style White’s writing is known for. A terrific book.


  • Trouble Makes a Comeback Cover Image
    $10.99
    ISBN: 9780147515445
    Availability: Backordered. Place an order and we will let you know when to expect your book.
    Published: Speak - September 5th, 2017

    I find these Digby & Zoe books to be completely entertaining.


  • Staff Pick Badge
    A Deadly Education: A Novel (The Scholomance #1) Cover Image
    $28.00
    ISBN: 9780593128480
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Del Rey - September 29th, 2020

    If my husband wasn’t dead asleep next to me, I would have totally let out a gasp-squeal-yelp as I finished this book that I have stayed up devouring for two nights in a row. An absolutely delicious book. More review to come.


  • Staff Pick Badge
    Skunk and Badger (Skunk and Badger 1) Cover Image
    By Amy Timberlake, Jon Klassen (Illustrator)
    $18.95
    ISBN: 9781643750057
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Algonquin Young Readers - September 15th, 2020

    This is a lovely, quirky story excellent for read-togethers or bedtime storytime. Frog & Toad. George & Martha, and many other odd-couple pairings in kid lit can welcome Skunk & Badger to the party. Badger is quite resistant to allow Skunk into his quiet, set-in-his-ways world. And I get that. I am definitely more of a Badger than a Skunk. I like quiet. I like doing my own thing. I like company on occasion. I do not like potatoes left in the corner of the kitchen for days, or a flock of chickens overtaking my living room. Not to say I don't really like Skunk, because I do. With his slightly chaotic and enthusiastic nature, not to mention yummy breakfast-making skills, he is just what Badger needs to shake things up a little. Skunk also teaches Badger one of the great truths of our world: "I cook. You clean. It is a Law of Nature." Looking forward to seeing the illustrations in the finished book! Adorbs.


  • Staff Pick Badge
    With the Fire on High Cover Image
    $17.99
    ISBN: 9780062662835
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Quill Tree Books - May 7th, 2019

    Listened to the audio version via Libro.fm. Like POET X, this is read by the author. She's a very good reader and infuses so much emotion with her voice and tone, that it makes it a completely different experience than reading the print edition. Lush, delicious, and complex, just like Emoni's food.


  • Frankly in Love Cover Image
    $18.99
    ISBN: 9781984812209
    Availability: Out of Stock; Usually Arrives in 5-7 Days
    Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - September 10th, 2019

    I was expecting a fluffy, angsty teen novel. What I got was deeper than that. Frank Li is the main character. He's dealing with some pretty typical high school stuff - senior year, applying to college, stressing the SATs, having fun with friends, pining after a girl, etc. But beyond that, Frank is also contending with his cultural identity - is he Korean, American, or something else? Tied into that, Frank recognizes that his Korean parents are racist. This is complicated for Frank. He loves them because they are his parents, but he is ashamed that they are the way they are. This goes way beyond the trope of embarrassing parents. The book left me with plenty to think about. Have I ever done some of the things the white characters do? How would I react to my parents, friends, if I was in Frank's shoes? Do I agree with everything Frank thinks or evaluates? The book rings true, and deeply personal. A fantastic emotional, funny, and smart read sure to spur discussion and thought.


  • Ninth House Cover Image
    $27.99
    ISBN: 9781250313072
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Flatiron Books - October 8th, 2019

    I've read all of Bardugo's YA books, and they are some of my favorites because of their strengths: excellent storytelling, engaging and intriguing characters, and spot-on world building. NINTH HOUSE is no exception. NH is grittier than Bardugo's YA books. More like Lev Grossman's THE MAGICIANS and less like Harry Potter. It's gritty, wild, dark magic, not somewhat-controlled, sparkly magic. (Although HP got dark at the end.) There are no instances of magic being used to tidy up the kitchen. In NH, magic is used to enable the powerful & priveleged, weild control over the non-magical. For any teens who come looking for this book, here is what they need to know: it's darker than what they've read by the same author - it's more violent, more real. Scenes of abuse can be a trigger, and this book contains some instances of abuse and violence. They will love the main character - her strength, survival, and scars. They will love the intricate story full of red herrings, twists & turns. They will stay up late reading. A magical whodunnit.


  • Staff Pick Badge
    Lovely War Cover Image
    $18.99
    ISBN: 9780451469939
    Availability: Out of Stock; Usually Arrives in 5-7 Days
    Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - March 5th, 2019

    Love and war. Mortals and gods. Things seemingly at odds. Julie Berry brings them together in this romantic and beautiful story set against the ugliness and horror of World War I. The Greek goddess of love and beauty, Aphrodite herself tells the story of two couples worthy of the gods attention. With her audience of Ares, Hades, Apollo, and Hephaestus, Aphrodite pleads her case for love, and how something as pure as love can exisit and survive a war. The narrative jumps around between the four mortals at the heart of the story. Each with their own history and dream for the future. Friendships made and rendered. Acts of bravery. Healing and forgiveness. Tragedy and triumph. Passion. This story has it all. I have been a fan of Julie Berry for a while. I was completely enchanted by the way she magically wove together the storylines and characters. The tension and emotion was so deft, that I didn't even notice until it hit so hard that I could have been knocked over with a feather's touch. Berry's descriptions transported me through time and place, putting me squarely in the foul trenches or the sparkling cafes of Paris. Fantastic recommendation for readers of The Book Thief, Code Name Verity, and Ruta Sepetys. Good crossover appeal to adults who love historical fiction, too.


  • The Winter of the Witch: A Novel (Winternight Trilogy #3) Cover Image
    $28.00
    ISBN: 9781101885994
    Availability: Not available to order
    Published: Del Rey - January 8th, 2019

    This trilogy is strong. One of the things I think sets this trilogy apart from other fantasy series, is that each book has its own identity. I didn't feel like I was reading the same book three times. The three books definitely go together, but enough changes in the plot, characters, and tone from book to book keep them interesting and distinct. I really like Vasya, the ahead of her time, brave, magical, not-pretty on the outside, heroine. I also really love the time & place of the story - 14th century Russia. The story is rich in Russian legends and folklore, which is both beautiful and terryfing. And the horses. The horses are fabulous (and heartbreaking). Vasya's relationships - family, romantic, political, adversarial - are very complicated and most undergo several shifts and changes over the trilogy. Recommend highly for fans of Laini Taylor, Naomi Novik, Rachel Hartman, and maybe even Game of Thrones.


  • We Ride Upon Sticks: A Novel Cover Image
    $26.95
    ISBN: 9781524748098
    Availability: Not available to order
    Published: Pantheon - March 3rd, 2020

    An unusual blend of 1980’s nostalgia, field hockey, and the Salem witch trials. It sounds weird but it works so well!


  • Staff Pick Badge
    Faith: Taking Flight Cover Image
    $18.99
    ISBN: 9780062899651
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Balzer + Bray - July 7th, 2020

    I liked this! Faith is so lovable, good, and just a little naive to make her endearing. She is the kind of main character you wish you could have as a friend in real life. The book starts off with her being recruited into a secret (of course) superhero program. After the opening scenes, the story jumps to present day. Flashbacks of her time in the training program are interjected, and I liked this. I liked that everything wasn't explained right at the beginning of the story. It was teased out and made for a more interesting story - as the reader I wan't quite sure who to trust (good guy? bad guy?) or what exactly the evil plot was. The explanation of how & why Faith is a superhero is a little sparse, but eh, that's fine. Aside from the superhero part of the story, this is a high school story. Faith has a job, post-high school questions, pop culture fandoms, friend drama, family problems, and crushes. All totally relatable. Faith is also a self-described fat girl and she is very body positive. But being fat, she has never imagined she could be the object of anyone's crush, until she finds herself in a love triangle with a boy and a girl, both of whom Faith crushes back. What's a girl to do? Recommend read for Julie Murphy readers, casual fans of superheroes, Riverdale, Buffy, Sabrina, and the like.


  • Whiskey When We're Dry: A Novel Cover Image
    $17.00
    ISBN: 9780735220454
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Penguin Books - July 2nd, 2019

    I loved this! Such a great main character - flawed, scarred, brave, and compelling . A genre (western!) that I don't really gravitate towards at all, but I heard about this book when the hardcover came out and it stayed with me in the back of my mind as something I'd like to read. Rec for people who like strong women characters, action, journey/quest stories, redemption stories, and who like TRUE GRIT, LONESOME DOVE, and maybe even family dramas and don't mind some violence mixed in. Oh, and the *BEST HORSE* ever is in this book. Yes, you'll cry.


  • The Empire of Gold: A Novel (The Daevabad Trilogy #3) Cover Image
    $28.99
    ISBN: 9780062678164
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Harper Voyager - June 30th, 2020

    I admittedly sort of forgot all the ins-and-outs that took place in the first two books, as well as who everyone was. I did flip to the end of the book to read the cast of characters and glossary first to help refresh my memory! Overall, the three books in this series have been lush, richly imagined, and a expansive, sprawling fantasy world. Much like other well-known fantasy sagas, this is full of political intrigue, power struggles, violence, drama, surprise who's your mom/dad moments, and last by not least, romance. Gods, goddesses, mythological creatures, djinn, ifrit, and humans all collide in a war for a kingdom. Full of magic!


  • Long Way Down Cover Image
    $19.99
    ISBN: 9781481438254
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - October 24th, 2017

    Jason Reynolds, one of my favorite authors these days, pens a novel in verse about gun violence. Determined to follow The Rules and avenge his brother, Will, with his brother's gun tucked into his waistband, takes a 60-second elevator ride that will determine the rest of his life. Confronted by the ghosts of friends & family claimed by bullets, Will grapples with The Rules that perpetuate a never ending cycle of violence. Excellent pacing, voice, and discussion. Love Jason Reynolds.


  • Genuine Fraud Cover Image
    $10.99
    ISBN: 9780385744782
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Ember - May 7th, 2019

    Dang. Could not put this down. Very well-done suspense. Inspired by and draws on other stories of noir, suspense, and the like. Told in reverse which makes it all the more interesting to read.


  • Exit West: A Novel Cover Image
    $17.00
    ISBN: 9780735212206
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Riverhead Books - February 27th, 2018

    I don't read many books for adults but when everyone is talking about a book, I have to read it too. I worked at Harcourt when Reluctant Fundamentalist was published. Hamid's story then was remarkably timely for post-9/11, striking, and thought provoking. EXIT WEST follows the same M.O. and it's also a slight volume physically, but the content is weighty and makes the reader *think.*


  • Spellbook of the Lost and Found Cover Image
    $10.99
    ISBN: 9780147517333
    Availability: Not available to order
    Published: Speak - August 7th, 2018

    Interesting. Magical, creepy, sensual, and haunted. Mature storytelling and content.


  • How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child Cover Image
    $19.99
    ISBN: 9780062470140
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Katherine Tegen Books - May 16th, 2017

    Powerful, moving, terrifying, true. Could not put this down.


  • Staff Pick Badge
    The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog Cover Image
    By Adam Gidwitz, Hatem Aly (Illustrator)
    $17.99
    ISBN: 9780525426165
    Availability: On Our Shelves Now
    Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - September 27th, 2016

    I finished this a couple days ago, but have had to let it percolate in my mind before writing a review. Wow. What a book. I'm not sure where to start with this one. On the surface, one could say that Adam Gidwitz has written a book about three kids - and a dog - with miraculous, saintly, gifts. They get into a scrape of trouble and have to get out of it. And that makes it sound like just about any other middle grade fantasy novel out there. But then Gidwitz does several things that are quite remarkable and set this book apart from everything else. First, he sets the story in 13th century France. Then, he introduces theologies of three major religions - Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Layered on top of that is religious, class, and racial prejudice. (And if all that sounds too serious, don't worry, there is also a farting dragon.) Then there is the actual structure of the story, which is "told" in the style of oral storytelling, much as stories would have been shared in the 13th century. Different people tell different parts of the story, too, so it's not just one voice. A butcher, a nun, a jongleur, a brewster, a troubadour, and others, including, of course, the inquisitor, all lend chapters to the story. These things come together to create a complex & layered, riveting, thought-provoking story. Many of the conflicts and theological questions apply to our world today, and young readers will understand the parallels. Kids will also love the humor, adventure, and friendship between the three heroes and the most holy dog. This would be an excellent book to read aloud and to have further discussion about. I very much appreciated the back matter from the author regarding his research, how much of the story is true (or influenced by original sources), and a list of books for further reading. Looking forward to seeing the finished book which will be fully illuminated.