All Staff Picks

Williwaw
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Two kids, a brother and sister, Ivan and September Crane, live on an island in Alaska with their Dad. When Dad gets a chance to recover their losses by taking a job on a fishing boat, the kids must learn to survive on their own, and get along with the grumpy old neighbor. Then they have to face the storm like the one that killed their mother. This true to life story, is something that is easy to relate to.
Hark!: A Vagrant
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Witty and absolutely hilarious comics about historical figures from a Canadian History major. What better thing to come out of a degree than an award-winning comic?
Hellsing, Vol. 1
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This manga series mixes vampires with World War II, in what (after a few volumes) soon becomes one of the most visceral, intense fantasy-historical-horror mangas you will ever read. Recommend the whole series!
Alabama Moon
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Moon is 10 years old. He has lived, hidden in the forrest with his dad, all of his life. He has never gone to school. He has only seen the store man once a year. . Then his dad dies in an accident and Moon must learn who to trust, how to find his way, and who is telling the truth as he tries to find his way “Out of the woods”. This little scrappy kid is amazing.
Yotsuba&!, Vol. 1
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Yotsuba is a little girl who makes fast friends and goes on all sorts of childlike-wonder-fueled adventures. The sense of whimsy/cuteness in this series is almost overpowering.
Bakuman, Vol. 1
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In this manga series, two middle school kids combine forces to create the most popular manga of all time. Things get unexpectedly interesting as they grow and face the drama and trials that come with entering the world of creating manga. Recommend the whole series!
Moving Mama to Town
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This is an amazing story about a 13 year old boy, Freddy Johnson, who faces incredible odds, death, desertion, backbreaking work, and learns to think ahead. It is told from his perspective, and what he thinks is common and ordinary then, is so incredible that if a 13 year old kid tried it today, it seems farfetched. It would even break the back of a mule.
Temperance
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A surreal story that revolves around lost memories, a cloistered city, and a little wooden doll named “Temperance”, the weirdness of the art and the story is just enough to reel you in to reading all the way to the end.
The False Prince
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When a nobleman of the court discovers that the King and Queen are dead, he hides this fact from the people, and sets out to find a way to rule the kingdom himself. His plan is to find a child who would make a substitute for the prince who was lost at sea several years ago. He plans to train the child to be “Princely” and then present him to the court as the long lost prince, thereby ruling through the child. He gets 5 boys from various orphanages and proceeds with his plan. Things turn deadly and treacherous right from the start. I couldn’t put it down. Hey – Harry Potter was juv fic.
No Place for Magic
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16 year old Emma – princess of her relm and heir to the throne who makes the best magic in her country, falls in love with a prince from another land who’s parents don’t especially appreciate magic at all. There is a little of everything in this wild, magical tale. . . dragons, magic, family dynamics, trickery, weddings, ghosts, trolls, and even kissing. It kept me interested right up to the last page.
Neuromancer
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"The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel." So begins Neuromancer, the genre-defining cyberpunk novel by William Gibson, winner of the "triple crown" of science fiction awards: the Nebula Award, the Philip K. Dick Award, and the Hugo Award. In a dystopian future, former ace hacker Case hustles his way through the Sprawl until he is tapped for the Ultimate Heist.
Spellbound
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This documentary follows eight competitors in the 1999 Scripps National Spelling Bee. You’ll find yourself rooting for each one of these bright, engaging, hard-working kids.
Baseball Pals
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This is a story about Jimmy Todd who is the captain of the baseball team. He’s a good player and can’t seem to figure out how to make everyone happy at the same time on his team. What he learns, and how he solves this dilemma makes for a teeth gnashing read as you see what he doesn’t.
Audubon: Painter of Birds in the Wild Frontier
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The amazing life story of John James Audubon. Well-written and with many fascinating illustrations, this book is a great read for any child.
Les Miserables in Concert
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This wonderful concert version of Les Miserables was filmed to commemorate the award-winning musical’s tenth anniversary. Its stellar cast is comprised of the stars from many of the worldwide productions.
Boston Jane: An Adventure
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An amusing tale of a very prim, properly trained young lady – Miss Jane Peck, to you – who leaves her comfortable home to go west at age 16 to marry the one she has fallen in love with. She meets with a very different lifestyle and discovers that all Indians are not savages. An enjoyable read that rolls your imagination right along with the adventure.
Pluto, Vol. 1
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Few mangas weave such a complex or layered story as Pluto. In the future, a mysterious force is destroying the most powerful androids in the world, and everyone is a suspect... As a mystery and as a science fiction manga, it stands high in both categories. Recommend the whole series!
Theories of Everything
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Oddball offerings from New Yorker staff cartoonist Roz Chast.

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