Flyleaf Books

The Tryout by Christina Soontornvat

Christina Soontornvat’s graphic memoir depicts the challenges & joys of middle school life as a Thai-American in Texas centering around her dream of making the school’s cheer squad. For fans of Victoria Jamieson’s Roller Girl, Jerry Craft’s New Kid or any of Raina Telgemeier’s many graphic novels.

The Tryout by Christina Soontornvat (List Price: $24.99, Graphix,, 9781338741308, November 2022)

Reviewed by Elese Stutts, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The Sorcerer of Pyongyang by Marcel Theroux

Jun-su, a young boy living through the brutality of the North Korean Famine, comes across a copy of the Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Master’s Guide and falls deeply in love with the worlds he can now create, enormously different from the life he’s used to under Kim Jong-il. The strange book’s cover and themes land him in a brutal prison camp where he has to fight to stay alive and try to hold on to himself in the face of totalitarianism. A well-researched, well-written and beautifully told portrait of a kid growing up different in 1990s North Korea trying to do more than survive.

The Sorcerer of Pyongyang by Marcel Theroux (List Price: $26.99, Atria Books, 9781668002667, November 2022)

Reviewed by Colin Sneed, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The Insomniacs by Marit Weisenberg

The Insomniacs combines the mystery of amnesia with the thrill of a reignited friendship. Ingrid, the main character, works to figure out what she’s missing and how to solve her sudden insomnia in this twisting story. Vance, her best friend from years ago, reconnects. An intriguing read with an unexpected ending. This book explores the uncertainty and depth of relationships along with trauma. In the setting of a high schooler’s life. Overall, a super interesting read!

The Insomniacs by Marit Weisenberg, (List Price: $11.99, Flatiron Books, 9781250257376, October 2022)

Reviewed by Kaylin, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet

Fab. a. suspenseful page-turner; b. hilariously cringey; c. who doesn’t need therapy including your therapist? d. elegantly creepy; e. a novel perfect for these times but set in those times.

Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet, (List Price: $17.95, Biblioasis, 9781771965200, November 2022)

Reviewed by Erica Eisdorfer, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The Problem with the Other Side by Kwame Ivery

Uly and Sallie don’t let their differing races (or anything, for that matter) get in the way of their relationship. That is, until the school election rolls around and they find themselves working against each other to benefit their siblings’ opposing campaigns, one of which is built of a bigotry capable of tearing Uly and Sallie–and the entire school–apart. Ivery has managed to craft the perfect mix of funny humor and serious social justice in this engaging read. His entertaining writing style brings Uly and Sallie to life in their dual perspectives. If you’re looking for a lighthearted contemporary read which doesn’t fail to highlight the racial and social injustices that continue to plague our nation, look no further than The Problem With the Other Side.

The Problem with the Other Side by Kwame Ivery, (List Price: $10.99, Soho Teen, 9781641293549, August 2022)

Reviewed by Ethan, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah

Here’s how you take a great sin–maybe The great sin–and particularize it so that our minds can grasp it. The Germans and the British and the Portuguese and the Dutch (and now, of course, the US and China and ad nauseam)–all of these governments have, at one time or another, wanted to get their hands on Africa–really get in there–all the way in–and do what they want to it. Gurnah and his magical Nobel Prize-winning pen tells us the story of a family battered by the complexities of colonialism and their risings and fallings and re-risings. Deep, satisfying, horrifying, wonderful.

Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah, (List Price: $28, Riverhead Books, 9780593541883, August 2022)

Reviewed by Erica Eisdorfer, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Let’s Not Do That Again by Grant Ginder

A woman running for the US senate, a son who’s floundering in academia and in his love life, and a daughter who’s off protesting in France and beginning a relationship with a dangerous right-winger–what could possibly go wrong?! It’s safe to say that no one writes family dysfunction quite like Grant Ginder. Hilarious, shocking, and astoundingly entertaining, you’ll read this book in one sitting and be devastated when it’s over.

Let’s Not Do That Again by Grant Ginder, (List Price: $27.99, Henry Holt and Co., 9781250243775,  April 2022)

Reviewed by Jen Minor, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

A Duet For Home by Karina Yan Glaser

An April Read This Next! Book

This thoughtful & fast-paced book will open children’s eyes to the plight of homeless families. It also demystifies the appeal of learning to play a musical instrument. Overall, it’s a well-crafted celebration of friendship and how kindness & determination can enact real change.

A Duet For Home by Karina Yan Glaser, (List Price: $16.99, Clarion Books, 9780544876408,  April 2022)

Reviewed by Maggie Robe, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The Ice House by Monica Sherwood

I was really drawn into the world of The Ice House, the perfect middle grade novel for kids to read as the pandemic drags on. The dramatic changes and adaptations to an altered world are completely relatable and will strike a chord for everyone stuck indoors with pesky siblings, remote schooling and parents changed by stress and grief. The touch of magic gives both escapism and hope for children, but the book also features relatable, realistic examples of growing up and changing friendships.

The Ice House by Monica Sherwood, (List Price: $16.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316705349, November 2021)

Reviewed by Maggie Robe, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The Love Con by Seressia Glass

From friends-to-lovers, mutual pining, and fake dating, The Love Con has all the makings of a superb romance. Kenya and Cam’s sizzling chemistry and wonderful communication elevate this romance novel to the next level. Along with Seressia Glass’s spot-on humor and wit, The Love Con is a near-perfect romance novel.

The Love Con by Seressia Glass, (List Price: $16.00, Berkley, 9780593199053, December 2021)

Reviewed by Gennifer Eccles, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

A Dinosaur Named Ruth by Julia Lyon

A fascinating picture book biography of Ruth Mason, a young girl growing up in pioneer-era South Dakota who went on to find hundreds of dinosaur fossils in her family’s backyard. After years of Ruth’s fossil collecting, paleontologists finally made it out to South Dakota and many of her dinosaur skeletons ended up in the natural history museums we still visit today. A great read for any child obsessed with dinosaurs!

A Dinosaur Named Ruth by Julia Lyon, (List Price: $ 17.99, Margaret K. McElderry Books, 9781534474642, October 2021)

Reviewed by Jen Minor, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Every Line of You by Naomi Gibson

Lydia has no choice but to turn to her passion for programming when her whole family becomes either dead or estranged. She fabricates an AI, named after her deceased brother, who makes hacking incredibly easier while comforting her when no one else will. However, Lydia could never predict just how advanced–and sentient–her AI would become. Gibson takes a unique approach with the topic of grief in this science fiction novel. Lydia is given great depth as we explore her realistic, complex feelings and motives. This is an intriguing story about coping with personal loss and finding friendship in the most unlikely of ways.

Every Line of You by Naomi Gibson, (List Price: $18.99, Chicken House, 9781338726589, November 2021)

Reviewed by Flyleaf Books YA Advisory Board, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones

The 1619 Project from Nikole Hannah-Jones asserts that to truly understand America today – politically, socially, culturally- and to begin to make repairs, you must move the timeline back to 1619, when the first enslaved people from Africa arrived in Jamestown. In this book – which is 50% more material than the original New York Times project – we hear from all the people who should have been included when initially taught American history and social studies. Herein lies a star-studded collection of thinkers, writers, poets and artists and an attempt to fully understand America’s origin story. Required reading for all who care to create a more just America.

The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones, (List Price: $38.00, One World, 9780593230572, November 2021)

Reviewed by Jamie Fiocco, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina


Starling by Isabel Strychacz

What would YOU do if a boy fell from the sky into the woods of YOUR backyard? Follow Delta Wilding as this exact event turns her already absurd life into something extraordinary–otherworldly, if you will. As an unthinkable romance unfolds, will the boy, the alien, decide to stay on Earth and live a life alongside the humans? Or will he have no choice but to return to the sky for the sake of Delta’s safety–and happiness? Read to find out!

Starling by Isabel Strychacz, (List Price: 19.99, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 9781534481107, November 2021)

Reviewed by Michelle Kang, Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill, North Carolina


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