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ALA Best Books for Young Adults
Click to search this book in our catalog Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda
by Becky Albertalli

School Library Journal Gr 8 Up-Simon Speir, high school junior, walks away from his computer at school for just a moment, and that is when his biggest secret is discovered. He has been emailing a boy in his grade anonymously ever since a poetic waxing on his high school's gossip Tumblr caught his eye, and now Martin Addison has taken a screenshot and has a powerful way to blackmail Simon into getting his friend, Abby, to date him. Although it is filled with trendy pop-culture and digital-age references (Tumblr, Justin Beiber, The Bachelor, etc.) that may not stand the test of time, the message will resonate. Rife with realistic, high school relationships and drama, with a laugh or two at every turn, this is a coming-of-age, coming-out, and defying-the-odds story with which many teens will identify. With a very tidy, feel-good ending, the book will appeal to readers who enjoyed Tim Federle's Better Nate Than Ever (2013) and Five, Six, Seve, Nate! (2014, both S. & S.) and will find a familiar, slightly more mature home with Simon.-Brittany Staszak, St. Charles Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Book list *Starred Review* Simon's pretty sure no one will be upset when he comes out as gay. Though he lives in Georgia and kids at his high school can be cruel, his friends and family are all very accepting. But announcing that he likes guys is still a huge transformation. That's why he is so spooked when classmate Martin stumbles on secret, flirty e-mails Simon has been sending to Blue, a mysterious boy at his school, and gently threatens to reveal his secret. As the e-mail correspondence heats up, however, Simon is less concerned with keeping his sexuality a secret than he is with meeting the enchanting Blue. In Simon's affecting and authentic voice, debut author Albertalli supplies an exceptionally nuanced account of his coming-of-age. For Simon, coming out is less about negative repercussions as it is about what such a statement will change. After telling everyone he is gay, will he still be the same Simon? Though Martin's blackmail threats and Simon's dreamy romance with Blue are pivotal, compelling plot points, Albertalli shrewdly gives much more weight to Simon's emotional journey. Though they are certainly tied to his sexual orientation, Simon's worries will resonate with many readers coming to terms with something new about themselves. Albertalli's sensitive, incisive novel expertly gets at the complexity of identity, the difficulty of change, and the importance of growth.--Hunter, Sarah Copyright 2015 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Publishers Weekly After a "goobery nerd" named Martin discovers Georgia teen Simon Spier's secret email relationship with a boy who calls himself "Blue," Martin blackmails Simon into helping him romance Abby, a new girl who has been welcomed into Simon's lunchroom clique. The threat of being outed by Martin forces Simon to come to terms with his sexuality, and his wise insights-Why do only gay people have to come out? Why is that the default?-add heft to a plot that is both hilarious and heartbreaking. Debut novelist Albertalli writes believably in the voice of a confused, openhearted 16-year-old. The large cast of companionable and well-developed characters contains a heroic drama teacher and Simon's embarrassing but well-meaning parents. Page-turning tension comes from the anonymous quality of Simon's emails with Blue, which are interspersed with chapters written in Simon's first-person voice that chronicle Simon's increasing frustration with Blue's reluctance to divulge his identity, as well as the deepening nature of the boys' relationship. Blue may hesitate, but readers will fall madly in love with Simon. Ages 14-up. Agent: Brooks Sherman, Bent Agency. (Apr.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

ALA Notable Books for Children
Click to search this book in our catalog Mommys Khimar.
by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

Kirkus From a debut author-and-illustrator team comes a glimpse into a young American Muslim girl's family and community as she walks around in "Mommy's khimar," or headscarf.The star of this sunny picture book is a young girl who finds joy in wearing her mother's khimar, imagining it transforms her into a queen, a star, a mama bird, a superhero. At the core of the story is the love between the girl and her mother. The family appears to be African-American, with brown skin and textured hair. The girl's braids and twists "form a bumpy crown" under the khimar, which smells of coconut oil and cocoa butter. Adults in her life delight in her appearance in the bright yellow khimar, including her Arabic teacher at the mosque, who calls it a "hijab," and her grandmother, who visits after Sunday service and calls out "Sweet Jesus!" as she scoops her granddaughter into her arms. Her grandmother is, apparently, a Christian, but "We are a family and we love each other just the same." The illustrations feature soft pastel colors with dynamic lines and gently patterned backgrounds that complement the story's joyful tone. The words are often lyrical, and the story artfully includes many cultural details that will delight readers who share the cheerful protagonist's culture and enlighten readers who don't. With a universal message of love and community, this book offers a beautiful representation of a too-often-overlooked cultural group. (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

School Library Journal PreS-K-A young child is enchanted by her mother's many colorful khimars. She uses them to play dress-up, imagining herself as a queen, a mama bird covering her baby brother in his nest, or a superhero in a cape. The girl can inhale her mother's scent and comfort herself even if her mother is not near. She is even allowed to wear one of the khimars to the mosque where she is lovingly admired by a crowd of older women ("'Assalamu alaikum, Little Sis!'"). Her non-Muslim grandmother also makes an appearance and readers are told, "She doesn't go to the mosque like Mommy and Daddy do. We are a family and we love each other just the same." The child-narrator speaks in simple, clear sentences describing a supportive and loving family and community. However, Glenn's soft-colored, flat illustrations miss an opportunity to add visual depth and texture to the book. They serve their purpose, but don't enrich it. VERDICT A sweet addition to picture book collections.-Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Library, NY Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Mommy, an African-American Muslim woman, has a closet full of the beautiful flowing headscarves called khimars (another character refers to them as hijabs later in the story). Her imaginative daughter's favorite khimar is bright yellow, and readers follow along as the young narrator wears it in daylong dress-up play. Enveloped in the scents of coconut oil, cocoa butter, and cinnamon that linger in the khimar, the girl feels protected, loved, and bigger than life. At her mosque, she is welcomed into the world of pious women, as her mother's friends greet her with, "Assalamu alaikum, Little Sis!" The yellow khimar is also emblematic of the unconditional love within the girl's extended family: when her grandmother stops by after church ("She doesn't go to the mosque like Mommy and Daddy do"), she greets the girl with a bright smile and open arms, calling her "Sunshine." Debut author Thompkins-Bigelow's lyrical text and Glenn's lighthearted Disney-style pictures are similarly sunny. Rather than offer an exegesis of the khimar or a plea for acceptance and understanding, they allow their heroine's carefree confidence to speak for itself. Ages 4-8. Illustrator's agency: Bright Group. (Apr.) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Book list In this ebullient picture book, readers come to share in the delight a little girl takes in wearing her mother's khimar another term for hijab. For the girl, her mother's rainbow collection of beautiful khimars is a source of wonder, power, and intimacy, much like any mother's closet of pretty things might be for a young child. Her favorite one is yellow, and she wears it like a superhero wears her cape, imagining herself shining like the sun and shooting through the sky like a star. She recognizes her mother's fragrances coconut oil and cocoa butter which ensure the security of her mother's presence even in her absence. This affirming book will be a welcome mirror for Muslim and interfaith families, and a necessary counter to Islamophobic discourse. The illustrations are as lively and brightly colored as the khimars themselves, and smiling faces of friends and family members echo the warm message of the text.--Chaudhri, Amina Copyright 2018 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright American Library Association. Used with permission.

Horn Book A young girl admires her mother and the bright khimars she uses to cover her head in observance of her Muslim faith. As she plays dress-up with her mother's yellow khimar, cheerful illustrations show the girl's imaginative play ("I am a superhero in a cape") and love for her family. A sweet family story with an affirming depiction of a black Muslim family in a supportive multicultural community. (c) Copyright 2019. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

New York Times Bestsellers
Click to search this book in our catalog Is This Anything?
by Jerry Seinfeld

Kirkus All comedians are slightly amazed when anything works. So writes Seinfeld in this pleasing collection of sketches from across his four-decade career.Known for his wry, observational humor, Seinfeld has largely avoided profanity and dirty jokes and has kept politics out of the equation. Like other schooled jokesters, perhaps most famously Bob Hope, he keeps a huge library of gags stockpiled, ever fearful of that day when the jokes will run out or the emcee will call you back for another set. For the most part, it was the people who killed themselves to keep coming up with great new material who were able to keep rising through the many levels, he recounts of his initiation into the New York stand-up scene. Not all his early material played well. The first piece in this collection, laid out sentence by sentence as if for a teleprompter, is a bit about being left-handed, which comes with negative baggage: Two left feet. / Left-handed compliment. / Bad ideas are always out of left field. / What are we having for dinner? / Leftovers. He gets better, and quickly, as when he muses on the tininess of airplane bathrooms: And a little slot for used razor blades. Who is shaving on the plane? And shaving so much, theyre using up razor blades. Is the Wolfman flying in there? For the most part, the authors style is built on absurdities: Why does water ruin leather? / Arent cows outside a lot of the time? Its also affable, with rare exceptions, as when, taking on a mob boss persona, he threatens a child with breaking the youngsters Play-Doh creations: Nothing wrong with sending your child a little Sicilian message once in a while. One wishes there were more craft notes among the gags, but the ones that are there are both inspiring and gnomic: Stand-up is about a brief, fleeting moment of human connection.Fans of Seinfeld will eat this up, and aspiring comics will want to study how he shapes his seemingly effortless humor. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Publishers Weekly Comedian Seinfeld (Seinlanguage) reflects on the absurdities of life in a laugh-out-loud volume that gathers jokes he’s written over the course of his 45-year career along with reminiscences on the lifestyle and craft of stand-up. “I was able to spend endless amounts of time on some of the silliest ideas you can imagine,” he writes. “And they’re all here.” Highlights include takes on such topics as air travel (“The closest thing we have to royalty in America are the people that ride in those little carts through the airport.”) and growing up (“How many times did your parents have to say to you, ‘Would you get up off the floor?’ Adulthood is the ability to be totally bored and remain standing.”). Throughout the sections of monologue-style jokes, which appear almost like a script on the page in stacked lines, Seinfeld inserts anecdotes from his career, such as remembering venturing to an N.Y.C. comedy club for the first time at age 20 (“every neuron in my little brain just lit up”); working on Seinfeld with producer Larry David and feeling like an “over-drained marathoner”; and doing “nothing” for two years after the series wrapped in 1998, before seeing Chris Rock perform and getting inspired to return to the stage. This sharply observed, life-in-gags treasure trove offers essential reading for comedy fans, from a master of the form. Agent: Christian Carino, Creative Arts Agency. (Oct.)

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Assaying 50 years of making people burst into fits of giggles, Seinfeld's new work is his first book in 25 years (one million-copy first printing).

(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus “All comedians are slightly amazed when anything works.” So writes Seinfeld in this pleasing collection of sketches from across his four-decade career. Known for his wry, observational humor, Seinfeld has largely avoided profanity and dirty jokes and has kept politics out of the equation. Like other schooled jokesters, perhaps most famously Bob Hope, he keeps a huge library of gags stockpiled, ever fearful of that day when the jokes will run out or the emcee will call you back for another set. “For the most part, it was the people who killed themselves to keep coming up with great new material who were able to keep rising through the many levels,” he recounts of his initiation into the New York stand-up scene. Not all his early material played well. The first piece in this collection, laid out sentence by sentence as if for a teleprompter, is a bit about being left-handed, which comes with negative baggage: “Two left feet. / Left-handed compliment. / Bad ideas are always ‘out of left field.’ / What are we having for dinner? / Leftovers.” He gets better, and quickly, as when he muses on the tininess of airplane bathrooms: “And a little slot for used razor blades. Who is shaving on the plane? And shaving so much, they’re using up razor blades. Is the Wolfman flying in there?” For the most part, the author’s style is built on absurdities: “Why does water ruin leather? / Aren’t cows outside a lot of the time?” It’s also affable, with rare exceptions, as when, taking on a mob boss persona, he threatens a child with breaking the youngster’s Play-Doh creations: “Nothing wrong with sending your child a little Sicilian message once in a while.” One wishes there were more craft notes among the gags, but the ones that are there are both inspiring and gnomic: “Stand-up is about a brief, fleeting moment of human connection.” Fans of Seinfeld will eat this up, and aspiring comics will want to study how he shapes his seemingly effortless humor. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Oprah's Book Club
Click to search this book in our catalog One Hundred Years of Solitude
by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Library Journal : Two modern giants (LJ 2/15/70 and LJ 11/1/61, respectively) join Knopf's venerable "Everyman's Library." If you've been searching for quality hardcovers of these two eternally popular titles, look no further.

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