Staff Picks by Tag

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Ours: A Novel By Phillip B. Williams Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593654828
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Viking - February 20th, 2024

A fable about the cost of freedom told through decades of history of a fictional town called Ours.   

A big, messy, alternative black history full of magical realism and folk mythology. If you like a huge cast of characters and don't mind taking a few side roads, you may find you love this as much as me!


Review by Trevor

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Her Radiant Curse By Elizabeth Lim Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593300992
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - August 29th, 2023

At its heart, this is a book about the bond of sisterhood, how deeply we can love, and how far we will go to protect those we cherish. 

Channi and Vanna are sisters, and the only ones in their family who love each other unconditionally. Vanna was born with a great light and beauty, whereas Channi was offered as a sacrifice by their own father, and escaped but wears the monstrous visage of a snake. When Vanna is to be auctioned off by their parents to be married to the highest bidder, Channi is the only one who can compete and save her sister from the cruelty of both their parents and Vanna's suitors. 

Imagine if Elsa and Anna from Frozen were thrown into the world of Beauty and the Beast, with a dash of the trials from the Hunger Games. I am obsessed with this book and highly recommend everyone read it.

Review by Alex

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Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars #1) By Elizabeth Lim Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593703595
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ember - April 4th, 2023

In a land where the only path for a girl is to marry well, Maia dreams of becoming a great tailor like her father. She fights for her chance when she takes her father's place when he is called to the summer palace to compete for the Imperial Tailor position. Part Mulan, part Project runway, will Maia win, keep her identity secret, and attain her dream?

Review by Alex

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This Thing Between Us: A Novel By Gus Moreno Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374539238
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: MCD x FSG Originals - October 12th, 2021

A man dealing with the sudden death of his wife then has to deal with the evil that follows him even when he tries running away. A little omniscient technology horror, a little haunted house horror, a little Mexican folklore horror. And Moreno's writing, Moreno's writing, Moreno's writing. Intimately written in the second person POV as if we were Thiago's wife. Funny, poetic, sharp and round. (Also a good soft eerie horror for the newbies.)

Review by Emily

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Six Crimson Cranes By Elizabeth Lim Cover Image
ISBN: 9780593300947
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Ember - July 26th, 2022

East-Asian folklore meets the Grimms' "The Six Swans" in this gorgeous reimagining set in the world of Spin the Dawn.

Exiled and enchanted for magic she can't help but possess, Princess Shiori must find a way to save her brothers and her kingdom - all with the help of a shapeshifting dragon and the boy she was once supposed to marry.

Vivid and rich, Lim expertly weaves together familiar tales and folklore in such new and exciting ways, allowing for mystery and discovery in the stories we thought we knew so well.

Review by Sarah B.

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Folklorn By Angela Mi Young Hur Cover Image
ISBN: 9781645660422
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Erewhon Books - May 10th, 2022

A Korean-American physicist goes as far as a research facility in Antarctica to escape the reach of her family and the mental illness that has been passed down through the generations. But when a literal ghost of her past appears in the snow, its beckoning from beyond pushes her to return home to a catatonic mother who left behind scribblings and carvings of their inherited folklore. Is it the ramblings of a troubled woman, or the secret revelations of a lost sister left behind in Korea?

Review by Sarah C.

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Woven in Moonlight By Isabel Ibañez Cover Image
ISBN: 9781645672050
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Page Street YA - December 8th, 2020

This is one of the best YA fantasy novels I ever read! It's got political intrigue, magic, romance and Bolivian folklore which makes this novel stand out from others. Fast paced and gorgeously written. Look out for the sequel too!!

Review by Rosa

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The Daughters of Ys By M. T. Anderson, Jo Rioux (Illustrator) Cover Image
By M. T. Anderson, Jo Rioux (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781626728783
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: First Second - August 11th, 2020

I once heard a tall tale about M. T. Anderson that I like to repeat. While he was writing Feed, his futuristic Young Adult novel in which the English language has evolved to the point of near unrecognizability, he read nothing but teen magazines. While writing the Octavian Nothing duology, set just before and during the Revolutionary war, he consumed no media that was created after 1800. If these incredible stories are true, I wonder how he conjured this incredibly deftly written graphic novel. Did he enslave a sea serpent? Fall in love with one of the Fae? Or did he just find a fairy tale that hit a vein of deep humanity, because Anderson tapped in on this one. 

Review by Kitri

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The Ten Thousand Doors of January By Alix E. Harrow Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316421973
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Redhook - May 12th, 2020

Delightful! If you need a STARLESS SEA read-alike, you'll find this historical novel as bookish and magical but more approachable.

Intimate narrative and a story within a story device work together elegantly to unfurl the tale of January Scaller and her missing father, their wealthy benefactor, and a mysterious door in Mississippi that opens into another world. TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY has all the elements of a precocious, coming of age story within a low fantasy world. There's adventure, secret societies with nefarious plans, a big best friend pooch called Bad, and places drawn from the wildest reaches of imagination.