If You Liked . . . CLASSICS Edition!

In which we continue our If You Liked… series with some modern recommendations for classics lovers!

Hover over the book covers to see the publisher’s descriptions.

If You Liked . . .

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

We Recommend . . .

 
The Rambling by Jimmy Cajoleas   MIDDLE GRADES - Buddy Pennington is headed to river country, hoping his luck might change. He’ll be better off with his daddy, a wandering soul and a local legend for his skills at Parsnit, a mysterious card game of magic, chance, and storytelling. But no sooner are Buddy and his pop reunited than some of Pop’s old enemies arrive to take him away. Boss Authority, the magical crime lord who has held the rivers in his grasp for years, is ready to collect on an old debt Buddy’s father owes.  Now Buddy must set out on a dangerous rescue mission, learning to play Parsnit with the best of them as he goes. Because the stars are aligning for one last epic duel—one that will require a sticky-fingered ally, a lucky twist of fate, and the hand of a lifetime. And in this game, you’re only as strong as the story you tell.

The Rambling by Jimmy Cajoleas

MIDDLE GRADES - Buddy Pennington is headed to river country, hoping his luck might change. He’ll be better off with his daddy, a wandering soul and a local legend for his skills at Parsnit, a mysterious card game of magic, chance, and storytelling. But no sooner are Buddy and his pop reunited than some of Pop’s old enemies arrive to take him away. Boss Authority, the magical crime lord who has held the rivers in his grasp for years, is ready to collect on an old debt Buddy’s father owes.

Now Buddy must set out on a dangerous rescue mission, learning to play Parsnit with the best of them as he goes. Because the stars are aligning for one last epic duel—one that will require a sticky-fingered ally, a lucky twist of fate, and the hand of a lifetime. And in this game, you’re only as strong as the story you tell.

 
 

If You Liked . . .

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

We Recommend . . .

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White   YOUNG ADULT - They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.    Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when the people of Merybourne Manor scrape together the funds to hire a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her sister will soon be avenged.    Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t anticipate is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.    It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.

Heartstone by Elle Katharine White

YOUNG ADULT - They say a Rider in possession of a good blade must be in want of a monster to slay—and Merybourne Manor has plenty of monsters.

Passionate, headstrong Aliza Bentaine knows this all too well; she’s already lost one sister to the invading gryphons. So when the people of Merybourne Manor scrape together the funds to hire a band of Riders to hunt down the horde, Aliza is relieved her sister will soon be avenged.

Her relief is short-lived. With the arrival of the haughty and handsome dragonrider, Alastair Daired, Aliza expects a battle; what she doesn’t anticipate is a romantic clash of wills, pitting words and wit against the pride of an ancient house. Nor does she anticipate the mystery that follows them from Merybourne Manor, its roots running deep as the foundations of the kingdom itself, where something old and dreadful slumbers . . . something far more sinister than gryphons.

It’s a war Aliza is ill-prepared to wage, on a battlefield she’s never known before: one spanning kingdoms, class lines, and the curious nature of her own heart.

 

If You Liked . . .

 
Grimm’s Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm

Grimm’s Fairy Tales by the Brothers Grimm

 

We Recommend . . .

The Boy, the Bird, and the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods   MIDDLE GRADES - Alberto lives alone in the town of Allora, where fish fly out of the sea and the houses shine like jewels. He is a coffin maker and widower, spending his quiet days creating the final resting places of Allora’s people.  Then one afternoon a magical bird flutters into his garden, and Alberto, lonely inside, welcomes it into his home. And when a kindhearted boy named Tito follows the bird into Alberto’s kitchen, a door in the old man’s heart cracks open. Tito is lonely too–but he’s also scared and searching for a place to hide. Fleeing from danger, he just wants to feel safe for once in his life. Can the boy and the old man learn the power of friendship and escape the shadows of their pasts?

The Boy, the Bird, and the Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods

MIDDLE GRADES - Alberto lives alone in the town of Allora, where fish fly out of the sea and the houses shine like jewels. He is a coffin maker and widower, spending his quiet days creating the final resting places of Allora’s people.

Then one afternoon a magical bird flutters into his garden, and Alberto, lonely inside, welcomes it into his home. And when a kindhearted boy named Tito follows the bird into Alberto’s kitchen, a door in the old man’s heart cracks open. Tito is lonely too–but he’s also scared and searching for a place to hide. Fleeing from danger, he just wants to feel safe for once in his life. Can the boy and the old man learn the power of friendship and escape the shadows of their pasts?

 

If You Liked . . .

The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Giver by Lois Lowry

We Recommend . . .

The Splintered Light by Ginger Johnson   MIDDLE GRADES - Ever since his brother Luc's disappearance and his father's tragic death, Ishmael has lived a monotonous existence helping his mother on their meager farm where everything is colorless. Until one morning a ray of light fragments Ishmael's gray world into something extraordinary: a spectrum of color he never knew existed. Emboldened, Ishmael sets out to find answers hoping his long lost brother might hold the key.  He finds Luc in the Hall of Hue, one of the seven creative workshops at The Commons, the seat of all new creation. Luc is completing the final days of his training as a Color Keeper, adding the finishing touches of color to a brand new world designed and built by a team of young artisans. Although his heart calls him to a future as a Color Keeper, Ishmael feels too guilty to leave the duties of his old life behind. But when a catastrophe destroys nearly all of the color and light at the Hall of Hue, Ishmael and Luc are suddenly at severe odds. Torn between his family and his destiny, Ishmael must learn when to let go of the past, when to trust the path ahead, and when to believe in himself.

The Splintered Light by Ginger Johnson

MIDDLE GRADES - Ever since his brother Luc's disappearance and his father's tragic death, Ishmael has lived a monotonous existence helping his mother on their meager farm where everything is colorless. Until one morning a ray of light fragments Ishmael's gray world into something extraordinary: a spectrum of color he never knew existed. Emboldened, Ishmael sets out to find answers hoping his long lost brother might hold the key.

He finds Luc in the Hall of Hue, one of the seven creative workshops at The Commons, the seat of all new creation. Luc is completing the final days of his training as a Color Keeper, adding the finishing touches of color to a brand new world designed and built by a team of young artisans. Although his heart calls him to a future as a Color Keeper, Ishmael feels too guilty to leave the duties of his old life behind. But when a catastrophe destroys nearly all of the color and light at the Hall of Hue, Ishmael and Luc are suddenly at severe odds. Torn between his family and his destiny, Ishmael must learn when to let go of the past, when to trust the path ahead, and when to believe in himself.

 

If You Liked . . .

The Odyssey by Homer

The Odyssey by Homer

We Recommend . . .

The  Rick Riordan Presents  series  MIDDLE GRADES - Here is Riordan’s summary:  Rick Riordan Presents is one small branch of the Disney-Hyperion Publishing family. We aim to publish about four books a year. All these will be books that my editor Stephanie Lurie and I feel will appeal to kids who like my books. In other words, they will probably be some type of middle grade adventure, with lots of humor and action, and probably draw on myth or folklore in some way.  Our goal is to publish great middle grade authors from underrepresented cultures and backgrounds, to let them tell their own stories inspired by the mythology and folklore of their own heritage. Over the years, I’ve gotten many questions from my fans about whether I might write about various world mythologies, but in most cases I knew I wasn’t the best person to write those books. Much better, I thought, to use my experience and my platform at Disney to put the spotlight on other great writers who are actually  from  those cultures and know the mythologies* better than I do. Let them tell their own stories, and I would do whatever I could to help those books find a wide audience!

The Rick Riordan Presents series

MIDDLE GRADES - Here is Riordan’s summary:

Rick Riordan Presents is one small branch of the Disney-Hyperion Publishing family. We aim to publish about four books a year. All these will be books that my editor Stephanie Lurie and I feel will appeal to kids who like my books. In other words, they will probably be some type of middle grade adventure, with lots of humor and action, and probably draw on myth or folklore in some way.

Our goal is to publish great middle grade authors from underrepresented cultures and backgrounds, to let them tell their own stories inspired by the mythology and folklore of their own heritage. Over the years, I’ve gotten many questions from my fans about whether I might write about various world mythologies, but in most cases I knew I wasn’t the best person to write those books. Much better, I thought, to use my experience and my platform at Disney to put the spotlight on other great writers who are actually from those cultures and know the mythologies* better than I do. Let them tell their own stories, and I would do whatever I could to help those books find a wide audience!

As always, happy reading!

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Staff Picks: Lana and Andie

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to the wide world of children’s literature, we’ve got your back! Reading staff picks is a great way to find a variety of books curated by devoted bookworms. This week, celebration facilitator Lana and bookseller Andie share some of their favorites!

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Lana's Favorites

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Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World

I absolutely LOVE this book! The illustrations are adorable, and it is a great read about so many impactful, strong, and brilliant women throughout history. From scientists and inventors to artists and writers, there are so many incredible women featured in this book. If you are looking for an inspirational read for the little dreamer in your life, this one is perfect!

 
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Turning Pages

This kid-friendly autobiography by Sonia Sotomayor is one of my all-time favorite children’s books. Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina U.S. Supreme Court Justice, tells her life story, and the courage, perseverance, and tenacity it took for her to achieve her success. It is also a great introduction for little readers to learn about the Supreme Court and what the Justices do.


 
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Andie's favorites

Fly by Night

Inspired by 18th-century England, Fly by Night is a thought-provoking and courageous fantasy-mystery. You’ll fall in love with protagonist Mosca and her (homicidal) pet goose Saracen as they discover conspiracies, colorful characters, secret schools, and floating coffeehouses. Soon, Mosca becomes a very important agent in the town of Mandelion’s impending revolution.

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May Bird Book 1: The Ever After

This has been one of my favorite books for over a decade. I just love the world Anderson has created, and the characters are lovable and so unique. 10-year old May discovers a portal to the world of the dead in her small West Virginia town, and when she falls through, she finds herself (along with her hairless cat, Somber Kitty) entangled in a struggle so much bigger than she herself has ever been.

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Harbor Me

Jacqueline Woodson has written what is sure to become an American classic. 6 kids from a variety of backgrounds record their unsupervised conversations with each other about their lives and their thoughts, big and small. The strongest thing about this book is Woodson’s decision to let the kids lead it - through their words, we get crucial insights about life in present-day America.

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If You Liked: Lola Dutch

If you loved Lola Dutch and are looking for your next read, look no further! If you’re unique, imaginative, and a little bit much, you’ll love these books. (Hover over the pictures for descriptions!)

If You Liked

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Try These Titles:

Princesses Wear Pants  follows the unflappable Princess Penelope Pineapple, who knows how to get the job done while staying true to herself. Princess Penelope lives in a beautiful palace with a closet full of beautiful dresses. But being a princess is much, much more than beauty. In fact, every morning Princess Penelope runs right past her frilly dresses to choose from her beloved collection of pants!  What she wears each day depends on which job she has to do. Will she command the royal air force sporting her sequined flight suit? Will she find her zen in her yoga pants and favorite tee? Or, will she work in the kingdom’s vegetable garden with pocketed overalls for all of her tools?  Unfortunately for Princess Penelope, not everyone in the Pineapple Kingdom thinks pants are always appropriate princess attire. When the grand Lady Busyboots demands that Princess Penelope must wear a gown to the annual Pineapple Ball, the young royal finds a clever way to express herself. Penelope’s courage (and style choices) result in her saving the day!

Princesses Wear Pants follows the unflappable Princess Penelope Pineapple, who knows how to get the job done while staying true to herself. Princess Penelope lives in a beautiful palace with a closet full of beautiful dresses. But being a princess is much, much more than beauty. In fact, every morning Princess Penelope runs right past her frilly dresses to choose from her beloved collection of pants!

What she wears each day depends on which job she has to do. Will she command the royal air force sporting her sequined flight suit? Will she find her zen in her yoga pants and favorite tee? Or, will she work in the kingdom’s vegetable garden with pocketed overalls for all of her tools?

Unfortunately for Princess Penelope, not everyone in the Pineapple Kingdom thinks pants are always appropriate princess attire. When the grand Lady Busyboots demands that Princess Penelope must wear a gown to the annual Pineapple Ball, the young royal finds a clever way to express herself. Penelope’s courage (and style choices) result in her saving the day!

 
When Princess Penelope Pineapple receives an SOS from Princess Sabrina Strawberry, Princess Penny learns that the Strawberry Kingdom’s bees have disappeared. Without bees, how will they enjoy their most precious fruit?  Penny knows the power of teamwork, so she calls a meeting of the Fruit Nations! And princesses from around the land—from Princess Beatrice Blueberry to Princess Kira Kiwi—answer the call to help a friend in need. With a little creative thinking and a whole lot of girl power, the princesses work together for  bee -utiful results.  TODAY ’s beloved coanchor Savannah Guthrie and educator Allison Oppenheim have crafted another irresistible tale that celebrates how nothing is sweeter than friendship.

When Princess Penelope Pineapple receives an SOS from Princess Sabrina Strawberry, Princess Penny learns that the Strawberry Kingdom’s bees have disappeared. Without bees, how will they enjoy their most precious fruit?

Penny knows the power of teamwork, so she calls a meeting of the Fruit Nations! And princesses from around the land—from Princess Beatrice Blueberry to Princess Kira Kiwi—answer the call to help a friend in need. With a little creative thinking and a whole lot of girl power, the princesses work together for bee-utiful results. TODAY’s beloved coanchor Savannah Guthrie and educator Allison Oppenheim have crafted another irresistible tale that celebrates how nothing is sweeter than friendship.

 
Meet Nancy, who believes that more is ALWAYS better when it comes to being fancy. From the top of her tiara down to her sparkly studded shoes, Nancy is determined to teach her family a thing or two about being fancy and using fancy words.  How Nancy transforms her parents and little sister for one enchanted evening makes for a story that is funny and warm—with or without the frills.

Meet Nancy, who believes that more is ALWAYS better when it comes to being fancy. From the top of her tiara down to her sparkly studded shoes, Nancy is determined to teach her family a thing or two about being fancy and using fancy words.

How Nancy transforms her parents and little sister for one enchanted evening makes for a story that is funny and warm—with or without the frills.

 
Following the death of her mother, Coco spent her early life in an orphanage, where she was taught how to use a needle and thread. From there, she became a cabaret singer, seamstress, hat maker, and, eventually, the world's most famous fashion designer. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the designer's life.  Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games   that   explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

Following the death of her mother, Coco spent her early life in an orphanage, where she was taught how to use a needle and thread. From there, she became a cabaret singer, seamstress, hat maker, and, eventually, the world's most famous fashion designer. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the designer's life.

Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

 
When Lucy spots a string, she can't help but give it a yank, and before she knows it, she meets Hank! But this bear isn't quite sure what to make of Lucy, especially because the string is attached to his pants, and they're unraveling fast!   Now Lucy must dream up the perfect solution to Hank's missing pants, and hopefully win this dubious bear's heart along the way.

When Lucy spots a string, she can't help but give it a yank, and before she knows it, she meets Hank! But this bear isn't quite sure what to make of Lucy, especially because the string is attached to his pants, and they're unraveling fast!

Now Lucy must dream up the perfect solution to Hank's missing pants, and hopefully win this dubious bear's heart along the way.

 
When Natsumi's family practices for their town's Japanese arts festival, Natsumi tries everything. But her stirring is way too vigorous for the tea ceremony, her dancing is just too imaginative, and flower arranging doesn't go any better. Can she find just the right way to put her exuberance to good use?  This heartwarming tale about being true to yourself is perfect for readers who march to their own beat.

When Natsumi's family practices for their town's Japanese arts festival, Natsumi tries everything. But her stirring is way too vigorous for the tea ceremony, her dancing is just too imaginative, and flower arranging doesn't go any better. Can she find just the right way to put her exuberance to good use?

This heartwarming tale about being true to yourself is perfect for readers who march to their own beat.

 

As always, happy reading!

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Staff Picks: Olivia and Rachel

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to the wide world of children’s literature, we’ve got your back! Reading staff picks is a great way to find a variety of books curated by devoted bookworms. This week, assistant bookseller Olivia and celebration facilitator Rachel share some of their favorites!

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Olivia's Favorites

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The Count of Monte Cristo

Revenge is a dish best served cold. The story of Edmond Dantė’s journey of revenge is certainly not one to miss! Love, justice, isolation, mercy, vengeance, forgiveness betrayal and so much more is packed into this classic read. Willingness to forgive, and the true meaning of revenge carry the reader along a roller-coaster of emotions to reach the final thought of: "all human wisdom is contained in these two words, 'Wait and Hope.’”

 
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Ocean Meets Sky

It’s a good day for sailing.

Finn lives by the sea and the sea lives by him. Every time he looks out his window it’s a constant reminder of the stories his grandfather told him about the place where the ocean meets the sky. Where whales and jellyfish soar and birds and castles float. He’ll build his own ship and sail out to find this magical place himself!

 
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Rachel's favorites

Rapunzel by Rachel Isadora

This book is such a great view on a well loved fairytale! The illustrations are beautiful.

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Hidden Figures (the picture book!)

This was such a great read because of the history some of us never learned about. This true story encourages so many young girls (and guys) to literally shoot for the stars! Girl power!

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Beautiful Books for Mom's Fall Shelf

If you stare lovingly at your bookshelves as often as I do, why not make them beautiful? Check out these stunning editions of our favorite classics that look like fall!

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This beautiful copy of The Iliad from Penguin’s Clothbound Classics series captures the fiery intensity of seasonal change. The reds and oranges mimic autumn colors, while capturing the heat of Georgia Octobers.

 

Another from the Penguin Clothbound series (there will be several on here - they’re just so cozy!), this copy of Hound of the Baskervilles makes me feel like I’m wrapped in a sweater drinking hot tea. Plus, mysteries are always a great match for that thrilling and mysterious fall feeling.

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This is the last one, I promise! I love the idea of a deep blue for fall - there is something about the cool, calm thoughtfulness of the season that this edition of Great Expectations (also from the Penguin Clothbound series) captures. Fall is for long conversations, and who better to have a long conversation with than Dickens?

 

I wish I could show every page of this beautiful edition of Song of Myself. Each page is full of stunning illustrations and words that swirl like leaves in the wind.

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If you love the outdoors in autumn, these editions of the Little House on the Prairie series are for you. The covers feature designs etched into the wood of trees regional to predominant settings in each novel.

 

This is another hit from Penguin - this time, the Puffin in Bloom series with Rifle Paper Co. I love this edition because it conveys the hues of fall and all its somber notes without subduing the whimsy and excitement of the season.

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If these books tickle your fall fancy, I have good news!

They’re all waiting for you in our online store. Find it here:

As always, happy reading!

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Staff Picks: Lauren and Andie

If you don’t know where to start when it comes to the wide world of children’s literature, we’ve got your back! Reading staff picks a great way to find a variety of books curated by devoted bookworms. This week, manager Lauren and bookseller Andie share some of their favorites!

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Lauren's Favorites

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Little Leaders: Bold women in black history

I love how this book showcases important people we probably didn't learn about in history class (at least we didn't in mine). And those illustrations! Such a delightful little book. I can't wait for the others in this series to be released (coming in October).

 
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The Serpent's secret

Typical teenager who wants to fit in trope meets snot covered demon. What's a girl to do to get her parent's back from an inter-dimensional prison? Kick some monster butt! 

 
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The jackaby series: the dire king (#4)

This series is fun right from the get-go and ends with one of the best books ever. Seriously, if I could only read one book for the rest of my life it would be The Dire King. It has everything you could ever want in a book. 

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Andie's favorites

Moby-dick: a babylit storybook

Moby-Dick is one of my all-time favorites, and now little ones can embark on the adventure, too! With fun and beautiful illustrations, this book is begging to be taken off the shelf for story time - or to be put back up for display.

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The digger and the flower

This story's tenderness is perfect for a book aimed at boys. It teaches kids to notice beauty and cultivate love, and to let their vulnerabilities show, even if it might feel silly sometimes.

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goldeline

This book has so much of what I love: fierce girls, magic, and a Southern Gothic feel. It's a story about commitment to what is true. (If the word "Hawthornian" doesn't scare you off, it has notes of The Scarlet Letter. If it does scare you, then this is nothing like Hawthorne, and you should definitely read it.)

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