The Cover Wars

Every year they gather, while the girls shoot their arrows and the boys hunt them out. The air is riddled with spiteful shadows – the wounds and fears and furies of a village year.

On a remote and unforgiving island lies a village unlike any other: Neverness. A girl is snatched by a water bull and dragged to its lair, a babe is born with a wing for an arm and children ask their fortunes of an oracle ox. While the villagers live out their own tales, enchantment always lurks, blighting and blessing in equal measure.

Folk is a dark and sinuous debut circling the lives of one generation. In this world far from our time and place, the stories of the islanders interweave and overlap, their own folklore twisting fates and changing lives.

A captivating, magical and haunting debut novel of breathtaking imagination, from the winner of the 2014 Costa Short Story Award.

Jane: WOAH. Now this is a cover. I can’t quite decide if it’s a good cover or a terrible cover, but it’s definitely eye-catching, I have to give it that! It sounds….imaginative? And fantastical? Funnily enough, there doesn’t seem to be any mention of birds in the back copy, or a flock of any kind, I’d be curious to see where the title comes from.

Originally performed at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and later as a tribute to Walter Dean Myers, this stirring and inspirational poem is New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds’s rallying cry to the dreamers of the world.

For Every One is just that: for every one. For every one person. For every one dream. But especially for every one kid. The kids who dream of being better than they are. Kids who dream of doing more than they almost dare to dream. Kids who are like Jason Reynolds, a self-professed dreamer. Jason does not claim to know how to make dreams come true; he has, in fact, been fighting on the front line of his own battle to make his own dreams a reality. He expected to make it when he was sixteen. Then eighteen. Then twenty-five. Now, some of those expectations have been realized. But others, the most important ones, lay ahead, and a lot of them involve kids, how to inspire them. All the kids who are scared to dream, or don’t know how to dream, or don’t dare to dream because they’ve NEVER seen a dream come true. Jason wants kids to know that dreams take time. They involve countless struggles. But no matter how many times a dreamer gets beat down, the drive and the passion and the hope never fully extinguish—because just having the dream is the start you need, or you won’t get anywhere anyway, and that is when you have to take a leap of faith.

A pitch perfect graduation, baby, or love my kid gift.

Jane: I’m not crying, you’re crying. Oh boy, does this sound like a tear-jerker, and a must-have for any library collection, especially a school library. Wow. I’m really curious about the format of this, and really, really want a copy.

“Even in paradise revolutions can be inconvenient things.

A week ago, Desma Johnson had only two things on her mind. In exactly eight days, she would be sixteen years old. And, to top it off, she was in line for a top scholarship, bringing her one step closer to her dreams. Life was perfect and nothing would get in the way of her birthday plans. But its 1959 and the secret Progressive League has just announced a boycott of all cinemas in Bermuda in order to end racial segregation.

As anxieties around the boycott build, Desma becomes increasingly aware of the racial tensions casting a dire shadow over the island. Neighbours she once thought were friendly and supportive begin to show another side. So, Desma must learn that change is never easy, and even when others expect small things from black girls, she has the right to dream big.

In this startling debut, Florenz Webbe Maxwell takes a little known fact about Caribbean history and weaves an engaging tale that speaks eloquently to the contemporary experience. Girlcott takes you beyond the image of Bermuda as a piece of paradise and charts a narrative of resistance, hope and the importance of fighting for change.

Girlcott won a Burt Award for Caribbean Literature (2016) prize.”

Jane: I must confess, my knowledge of the Caribbean, including its history, is sadly lacking, considering how close this region is to Canada. In fact, I’ve visited the Caribbean (though not Bermuda), but I learned little of its history beyond the “piece of paradise” image that travel companies are very keen on promoting. How fantastic that titles like this are becoming available here! I love this cover – it’s so striking, though I was a bit surprised to see that it had a historical setting, as the cover feels quite contemporary. It could have been nice to see Desma on the cover, but I do think the cover is pretty eye-catching, with its bold colours.

The exquisite and thought-provoking new book from the multi award-winning, internationally best-selling picture book creator of Lost and Found, Oliver Jeffers.

Well, hello.
And welcome to this Planet.
We call it Earth.

Our world can be a bewildering place, especially if you’ve only just got here. Your head will be filled with questions, so let’s explore what makes our planet and how we live on it.

From land and sky, to people and time, these notes can be your guide and start you on your journey. And you’ll figure lots of things out for yourself. Just remember to leave notes for everyone else…

Some things about our planet are pretty complicated, but things can be simple, too: you’ve just got to be kind.

Here We Are is the utterly heartfelt new book from Oliver Jeffers. We’re glad you found it.

Jane: I’ve already had a chance to read this one, and it is pretty darn charming, with Jeffers’ trademark quirkiness. It’s sweet without being syrupy, which I appreciate in a genre that’s prone to tooth-aching sweetness.

“Fifteen-year-old Muzna Saleem, who dreams of being a writer, struggles with controlling parents who only care about her studying to be a doctor. Forced to move to a new school in South London after her best friend is shamed in a scandal, Muzna realizes that the bullies will follow her wherever she goes. But deciding to stand and face them instead of fighting her instinct to disappear is harder than it looks when there’s prejudice everywhere you turn. Until the gorgeous and confident Arif shows an interest in her, encouraging Muzna to explore her freedom.

But Arif is hiding his own secrets and, along with his brother Jameel, he begins to influence Muzna with their extreme view of the world. As her new freedom starts to disappear, Muzna is forced to question everything around her and make a terrible choice – keep quiet and betray herself, or speak out and betray her heart?

A stunning new YA voice which questions how far you’ll go to protect what you believe in.”

Jane: Anyone who tells young people that high school is the best time of their life should be hung by their own petards. High school can suck, and for some young people, it can be just about unbearable. Muzna’s story sounds all too believable – caught between wanting to make her family proud and chasing her own dreams, between love and responsibility, between her own desires and what she knows (or hopes) to be right. I love this cover because of Muzna’s strong, determined, take-no-prisoners expression. And that title! Yes! For too long young women have been raised to be quiet, demure, “ladylike” – all just to make them easier to bully or control. But young women are changing those expectations, challenging those roles, and it is so, so exciting to witness.

Before:

When Bridget imagined her life at sixteen, it didn’t look like this. She didn’t think that her boyfriend would dump her for another girl. And she certainly didn’t think that she would be pregnant. With just a few months until she gives birth, Bridget must envision an entirely new future—one for her baby. But as she sifts through the many paths and the many people who want to parent her child, she can’t help but feel that there is no right decision.

After:

Ivy doesn’t know much about her birth mother. She knows that she is now the same age Bridget was when she placed Ivy for adoption. She knows that Bridget was the one who named her. And she knows that fifteen years ago Bridget disappeared from Ivy’s and her adoptive moms’ lives. Ivy wants to discover more about herself, but as she goes to find Bridget, she can’t help but feel that the risks might far outweigh the benefits of knowing where she comes from and why her birth mother chose to walk away.

Jane: What a beautiful, wistful cover. And I just realized that the island is actually a woman’s face. Clever. This sounds quite moving.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Hardcover, 249 pages Published June 1st 2017 by Bloomsbury Circus Source: Raincoast Books Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race is an unflinching look at race politics everywhere but localized, especially, in England where the author is from. Here’s the official synopsis: In 2014, award-winning journalist Reni Eddo-Lodge wrote about her frustration with the […]

The Phantom Unicorn (City Kids #4) by Zetta Elliott, Charity Russell (Illustrator)

The Phantom Unicorn (City Kids #4) by Zetta Elliott, Charity Russell (Illustrator)

Paperback, 112 pages Published November 4th 2017 by Rosetta Press Source: Author It’s lonely being the new kid on the block, especially when your family is “unique.” Q has left California behind to start a new life in New York City with his two moms and baby sister. He can’t wait for his dad to come […]

Review: Sleep Tight, Farm – A Farm Prepares for Winter

Review: Sleep Tight, Farm – A Farm Prepares for Winter

Sleep Tight Farm Hardcover, 36 pages August 2, 2016 : Chronicle Books Source: Library A captivating exploration of how a family gets a farm ready for the snow of winter, Sleep Tight Farm lyrically connects each growing season to the preparations at the very end of the farm year. This beautiful and informative book paints a fascinating […]