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Category Archives: Book of the Week

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I love anything published by the New York Review Children’s Collection (here’s looking at you, Jenny Linsky), but this one nearly charmed me right off my stool as I sat in City Lights Books in San Francisco on a recent trip. What better place to be smitten, and what better book to get the job done?  It’s wondrous, hilarious and unapologetically absurd.

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At thirteen, Jimmy was popular, at the top of his class, and the leading scorer on his basketball team. But all that changed when chicken pox forced him to miss the championship game. Things went from bad to worse when he got pneumonia and missed even more school. Before Jimmy knew it, his grades were sinking and nothing seemed to be going right.

How did Jimmy turn things around, get back on top at school, and land a date with the cutest girl in class?

This is the real-life story of how the DUMBEST idea ever became the BEST thing that ever happened to him.

Fans of Smile, Sisters and El Deafo will love this one too.

(Grades 5 and up)


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An inspired and inspiring read about 26 fearless women who have made (or are still making) history as artists, writers, teachers, lawyers, or athletes.  Come for the art, stay for the illumination.


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B.J. Novak has managed to create a riotously funny picture book with NO PICTURES.

Click HERE to watch the author read it to a crowd of delighted children.  Truly hilarious.


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“If you have no intention of loving or being loved, then the whole journey is pointless.”

A stirring, beautifully written story that will swell you heart chapter by chapter.  Part epic adventure, part character study–you will not want to miss the chance to meet Edward.


Screen Shot 2013-04-08 at 11.33.14 AMWe are on a tear reading Dahl’s book.  We adored this one–packed with adventure, silliness and a hero worth rooting for.


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This is a fascinating autobiography by the immensely talented artist, Chuck Close.  It’s loaded with information on his life, work and artistic process.  Close, who is wheelchair-bound since a collapsed spinal artery at the age of 48, paints with a brush strapped to his arm.  He discusses the severe dyslexia and face blindness he’s struggled with since childhood.  Throughout the book, his tone is open, warm and optimistic.

Through a Q & A format, he answers queries from real kids like, “What made you start to draw?” and “Why do you only paint faces?”  An interactive feature of the book cuts Close’s self portraits into three pieces that readers can mix and match–resulting in interesting combinations and an easy way to compare his varied techniques side by side.



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