Bookmarks

Cinderella–with Dogs! by Linda Bailey

Everything is better with dogs, and the tale of Cinderella is no exception. Not only does Cinderella get a fairy dogmother instead of a fairy godmother, but she also gets some nice updates to her story, including a chance to suggest she gets to know the prince first instead of marrying him right away. I loved all the dogs in this book, but there are plenty of cute cats to see on each page, too!

Cinderella–with Dogs! by Linda Bailey, (List Price: $18.99, Nancy Paulsen Books, 9781984813824, February 2023)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Out of Character by Jenna Miller

What a delightful YA debut! Out of Character is pitched as Julie Murphy meets Ashley Poston — a high bar to meet, but this book reaches and even surpasses that bar! I adored Cass Williams, who is nerdy, fat, and queer, and completely comfortable with all but the first point. Her parents are getting divorced, she has her first girlfriend, and she’s not doing well in school, but her online role-playing community is what keeps her going — except no one in her real life knows about her online friends. I loved seeing Cass’s two lives come together and watching her grow. I can’t wait to see what Jenna Miller writes next!

Out of Character by Jenna Miller, (List Price: $17.99, Quill Tree Books, 9780063243323, February 2023)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Very Good Hats by Emma Straub

My mom always wears a hat, and has passed that love on to me. Where Very Good Hats goes farther is the creativity of children to make other things hats for objects of the right scale (they missed Bugles for the fingertips, though, sticking to acorn caps). My favorite image by illustrator Bianca Gomez is the accidental soup hat — make sure your hat is empty before you put it on!

Very Good Hats by Emma Straub, (List Price: $18.99, Rocky Pond Books, 9780593529430, January 2023)

Reviewed by Lisa Yee Swope, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

I Saw Death Coming by Kidada E. Williams

In school, we learned that the period of Reconstruction was a failure. In her book, Williams provides the reasons for that failure. With brutal personal testimonies from the Klan hearings of the 1870s and interviews documented by the Works Progress Administration, Williams illustrates the terror of nighttime raids and the trauma that resulted. Following the experiences of several Black families across the South, Williams reveals the extent of the injustices they endured, being robbed of land, family members, livelihoods, community, and their mental and physical health. Williams’ first-person accounts of Post-Civil War America provide a necessary component of our nation’s history, a history every citizen should know.

I Saw Death Coming by Kidada E. Williams, (List Price: 30, Bloomsbury Publishing, 9781635576634, January 2023)

Reviewed by Lera Shawver, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Weightless by Evette Dionne

Thank you, Evette Dionne, for being honest, funny, and straight-up real about what it’s like to be not ‘thin’ in today’s world! From doctor visits to being obsessed with reality TV about weight loss, I felt relief knowing I wasn’t alone. Her memoir takes you through her journey with agoraphobia, motherhood, online dating, and living her life to her fullest after being diagnosed with heart failure in her late twenties. I can’t wait for more people to read it!

Weightless by Evette Dionne(List Price: $26.99, Ecco, 9780063076365, December 2022)

Reviewed by Juliana Reyes, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

How We Say I Love You by Nicole Chen

How We Say I Love You reminds readers there are many ways to show love in your family. The story follows an Asian American girl through a day with her family, who show their love through actions like packing a homemade lunch or doing their best at school. This book is a beautiful way to talk about love and families with even the youngest of readers.

How We Say I Love You by Nicole Chen (List Price: $18.99, Knopf Books for Young Readers, 9780593428399, December 2022)

Reviewed by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds

Poignant, moving, and utterly captivating from the first page to the last, We Deserve Monuments is in a league of its own. Both a riveting exploration of the South’s intrinsic and rampant racism and a love story that revels in the beauty of queer Black girls, Jas Hammonds’ debut should be required reading. A beautifully rendered love story both to the family we’re born into and the family we choose, I know I will be neither the first nor the last to say that this book, and all those who see themselves reflected in its pages, deserves monuments.

We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds, (List Price: $18.99, Roaring Brook Press, 9781250816559, November 2022)

Reviewed by Mary Louise Callaghan, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Talk by Alicia D. Williams

Charming black kids growing up together, neighborhood friends through the years. But as they grow and age from chubby-cheeked helpers and adventurers into young men and women, still respectful and helpful, just looking more adult, the parents and grandparents sit them down for "the talk". That not everyone will see their fun-loving enthusiasm, or a hoodie or earphones as childhood innocence by default. Briana Mukodiri Uchendu’s pastels show such expressiveness, from hugs of closeness, to silly play and gap-toothed smiles of children, to heartbreaking empathy. Now I know black families and brown families have to know about the talk, but this is a great conversation starter for people who may not need to have the talk to know that not everyone is so fortunate, and maybe that window will help them be better allies.

The Talk by Alicia D. Williams, (List Price: $18.99, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 9781534495296, October 2022)

Reviewed by Lisa Yee Swope, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Freestyle: A Graphic Novel by Gale Galligan

Gale Galligan is THE BEST! I have been so excited to see her first post-BSC graphic novel and Freestyle surpasses all expectations. It’s quirky, inclusive, inspiring, and so very real. And what a concept! Competitive B-boying yo-yo-ing was fun and interesting to read about and I love the way that Galligan captured motion in her art. This will likely be my favorite kids book of the year!

Freestyle: A Graphic Novel by Gale Galligan, (List Price: $12.99, Graphix, 9781338045802, October 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Spirit Week by Ira Marcks

A charmingly illustrated and just-spooky-enough graphic novel, Spirit Week is sure to delight readers looking for an inventive mystery to unravel. A clever homage to the works of Stephen King and The Shining, Marck’s middle grade graphic novel follows a group of intrepid kids as they attempt to uncover the secrets of The Underlook Hotel and its reclusive author Jack Axworth. A whole lot of fun!

Spirit Week by Ira Marcks, (List Price: $12.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316278065, October 2022)

Reviewed by Caleb Masters, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Brown Is Beautiful by Supriya Kelkar

I love the beauty of Brown is Beautiful. A young Indian American girl walks through nature with her grandparents, celebrating all the beauty of things that are brown – leaves and bears and canyons. The book transitions to houses and families and babies, all brown and beautiful. This is a story of joy and celebration!

Brown Is Beautiful by Supriya Kelkar, (List Price: $18.99, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 9780374389529, October 2022)

Reviewed by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

If Your Babysitter Is a Bruja by Ana Siqueira

Super cute story that balances English and Spanish! Perfect for Halloween but really you can read this one year-round — witches are cool! And I’m always a fan of any picture book that requires you to rotate the book to see the words.

If Your Babysitter Is a Bruja by Ana Siqueira, (List Price: $18.99, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Reader, 9781534488748, August 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega

I needed this book so bad when I was younger! From middle school to high school, I hated my curly, frizzy, thick hair. I didn’t know what to do with it other than straightening it to make it look ‘pretty’ and I didn’t have anyone in my life with hair like mine, so my hair always felt like a problem. I loved that Marlene wanted to embrace her curly hair and started that journey for herself without permission. She unapologetically wanted to be her self and it completely warmed my heart. Thank you Claribel A. Ortega for this story! I cannot wait for other kids to read this and learn to love their hair!

Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega, (List Price: $12.99, First Second, 9781250259639, October 2022)

Reviewed by Juliana Reyes, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Maybe An Artist, A Graphic Memoir by Liz Montague

This graphic memoir should be put into every middle and high school library in the country! As kids we are often told to do what we love, but there’s so much pressure on kids to succeed before they get a chance to figure out what success may look like for them. In this book Liz Montague documents the stress of trying to become something she wasn’t and how she eventually acknowledged and achieved her dreams of becoming an artist. I loved her illustration style — it is so simple and so effective!

Maybe An Artist, A Graphic Memoir by Liz Montague, (List Price: $17.99, Random House Studio, 9780593307823, October 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Artemis Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer

A September 2022 Read This Next! Title

Trista Mateer punched me directly in the chest with this poetry collection. Carved my heart out and served it back to me with a sprig of parsley on top. Every page of this book is chock full of beautiful, enchanting words that dig in deep and tear up the soil to reveal things you might not have thought about in years. Even if a poem doesn’t directly connect with you, it will in fact, ruin you.

Artemis Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer, (List Price: $16.99, Central Avenuel Publishing, 9781771682725, September 2022)

Reviewed by Caitlyn Vanorder, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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