Books

Caraval

When I got the notification saying that Caraval was in at the library after being on hold for weeks, I was quite excited. I'd heard great things about Stephanie Garber's book, especially from fans of The Night Circus who had said that it had a similar feeling to it, and I couldn't wait to dive in.

Akata Warrior

If you haven't started the Akata Witch series yet, I cannot implore you to read it enough! It's an incredibly imaginative world filled with magic, wonder and danger. Nnedi Okorafor can tell a story, and I love how she doesn't mince words when it comes to just how perilous it is to be a leopard person in the books.

Booksgiving

Experts are saying that many people experience winter doldrums once the magic of Christmas has faded away, and they suggest scheduling other fun events and holidays to keep those feelings alive. We're really just a society starved for connection and we desperately need those close interactions with family and friends. One cool idea is to have an annual Booksgiving.

Akata Witch

Fantasy lovers, if you haven't yet read Akata Witch, put down whatever book you're reading right now and get to it. It is a gorgeously original and magical book that will steal your breath away. Full of adventure, peril, juju and just a hint of romance, it's by Nnedi Okorafor, the same brilliant author who wrote the Binti series that I'm also enjoying right now. (Go read Binti, too.

Book Vending Machines

Some schools are installing vending machines that dispense free books to kids who read as rewards, but why stop there? So many schools depend on sponsors and sell their products in their vending machines for money; as a kid I remember even getting product placement on my book covers, and there were always sodas for sale at lunch. It's quite unhealthy, and despite all of the work that the Obamas did to improve the problem, there's more we can do.

Startling Harry Potter Revelations

Harry Potter fans are well aware that Harry Potter Book Night is fast approaching on February 4, and many youth groups and schools have fun plans to celebrate the day, from games and activities to simply re-reading the wonderful series. Since the series ended, author J. K. Rowling has revealed many secrets about the world of Hogwarts, some on the website Pottermore and some on social media, others in her fabulous interviews.

2019 Reading Challenges

Yes, there's the annual Goodreads Challenge, which is simple enough: you simply choose a number of books you hope to read in the New Year and attempt to meet that goal before the clock strikes midnight on December 31, 2019. For some, that's enough, and those of us who do a Goodreads Challenge often increase our quota each year as a personal challenge.

If You Come Softly

Earlier this month, I wrote about John Green and Rosianna Halse Roja's new book club, Life's Library, that my sister bought me a membership to for my birthday in November. I just finished reading the first selection, Jacqueline Woodson's If You Come Softly, and I'm not disappointed. It's a simple yet moving story about first love, tragedy, prejudice, violence against young Black men and much more.

Life's Library

Life's Library isn't a book club for John Green fans who are expecting to read his works. Instead, it's a collection of books selected by Green and Rosianna Halse Rojas that's curated around a community of readers who get to discuss the books online together. Every six weeks, the club discusses a new book in a Discord community. The books aren't chosen around a theme, just books that the curators really enjoyed and want to share with the community.

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