More Great Titles for Spring Break Reading

From one of my favorite Independent Book Stores, Parnassus Books in Nashville, TN  Happy Reading!

Let’s start with picture books:

Buddy and Earl Go Exploring Cover ImageBuddy and Earl Go Exploring

By Maureen Fergus, Carey Sookocheff

Mismatched pals Buddy and Earl go on a nighttime adventure to save a hedgehog in distress (Mom’s hairbrush) and conquer the evil villain of the house (the vacuum cleaner) in this delightful read aloud picture book.

Egg Cover ImageEgg

By Kevin Henkes

This fun book is a great introduction to graphic novels that is just right for a new reader or as a read aloud. There are four eggs, and baby birds hatch from three of them. What is in the fourth? Perfect for the spring season.

If I Had a Little Dream Cover ImageIf I Had a Little Dream

By Nina Laden, Melissa Castrillon (Illustrator)

I can say with confidence that this is going to be one of the most beautiful picture books of the year, and it’s only March. Completely and utterly gorgeous.

Not Quite Narwhal Cover ImageNot Quite Narwhal

By Jessie Sima, Jessie Sima (Illustrator)

Although he was born in the ocean, Kelp doesn’t quite fit in with the other narwhals. One day, a strong current washes him near shore, where he sees something that looks a lot like him. Will Kelp stay with the other land narwhals (aka unicorns), or return to the ocean and his friends the sea unicorns (aka narwhals)? Kelp’s story is charming, sweet, and a little bit magical.

Everywhere, Wonder Cover ImageEverywhere, Wonder

By Matthew Swanson, Robbi Behr (Illustrator)

This is a quiet, lovely book that addresses the reader directly as it encourages them to notice wonders, big and small. “On the near side of the moon, there is a quiet footprint that no rains will ever wash away. In Sheboygan, there is a tractor mechanic named Shirley who has thirty-seven friends.” A necessary book for all times, but perhaps most especially for these times.

This House, Once Cover ImageThis House, Once

By Deborah Freedman, Deborah Freedman (Illustrator)

What makes your house a home? This dreamy picture book takes the question literally and lyrically, exploring the journey the materials of a home travel as they are transformed. Freedman’s poetic language (“This roof was once rock, carved and cleft and shingled to shelter …”) pairs wonderfully with her atmospheric illustrations, and the book itself — the placement of text on each page, the rhythm of the text and the page turns — is just pitch-perfect.

A Glorious Day Cover ImageA Glorious Day

By Amy Schwartz

The perfect book for a long day at home with a toddler. We passed many a staycation at our house reading this one aloud when our kids were little.

Job Wanted Cover ImageJob Wanted

By Teresa Bateman

The President may have promised new jobs, but this book offers a practical manual for how to get one. (This story brought back memories for all of us shop dogs who found our forever homes and jobs with our people at Parnassus).

A Cat Named Swan Cover ImageA Cat Named Swan

By Holly Hobbie

A perfect pet-adoption story from Holly Hobbie, the creator of the bestselling Toot & Puddle series. Especially sweet for all you cat-lovers out there.

Go to Sleep, Monster! Cover ImageGo to Sleep, Monster!

By Kevin Cornell, Kevin Cornell (Illustrator)

Ever wonder what the monster under your bed is afraid of? A charming tale for kids afraid of things that go bump in the night – or just the very curious!

A graphic novel that’s great for early readers:

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (a Narwhal and Jelly Book #1) Cover ImageNarwhal: Unicorn of the Sea (a Narwhal and Jelly Book #1)

By Ben Clanton

The most delightful graphic novel I’ve read in a while, this book chronicles the adventures of an adorably happy Narwhal and his friend Jelly. Read if you like really cute things and waffles.

For older independent readers:

The Inquisitor's Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog Cover ImageThe Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, the Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog (a Newbery Honor Book of 2017)

By Adam Gidwitz, Hatem Aly (Illustrator)

I like how this book is narrated. You get to see what people who lived in Medieval times thought about. It’s an adventure!

The Girl Who Drank the Moon Cover ImageThe Girl Who Drank the Moon (winner of the 2017 Newbery Medal)

By Kelly Barnhill

This fantasy novel is funny, and it’s also astonishing. I can’t tell you too much about the story, or I’d give it away, but it’s not like anything else I have ever read.

Some Kind of Happiness Cover ImageSome Kind of Happiness

By Claire Legrand

Reality and fantasy meet in this lyrical and honest story about Finley’s struggle with anxiety, depression, family secrets, and new friends. This is one of those books that will stick with you and leave you wondering how you lived without being part of Finley’s story.

Young adult fiction:

Caraval Cover ImageCaraval

By Stephanie Garber

What is real and what is imagined? Scarlett’s sister has been kidnapped by the gamemaker of Caraval and she has five days to rescue her. Fans of The Night Circus and anyone who likes a good fantasy story will enjoy disappearing into the pages of this story.

The Lost Girl of Astor Street Cover Image

The Lost Girl of Astor Street

By Stephanie Morrill

In 1920s Chicago, Piper Sail’s best friend disappears during the spring of their final year of high school. Not one to sit around and wait, Piper begins her own investigation. Filled with excitement, suspense, and a bit of a love story, this is perfect to read on a spring break getaway.

Goodbye Days Cover ImageGoodbye Days

By Jeff Zentner

Goodbye Days is YA fiction at its absolute best, perfect for fans of The Serpent King, The Sun Is Also a Star, and Looking for Alaska. Jeff Zentner calls the book his “love letter to Nashville,” and you’ll love all the references to familiar places in the city as Carver grapples with lingering guilt over being the friend who survived a tragic texting-and-driving accident.

The Hate U Give Cover ImageThe Hate U Give

By Angie Thomas

The best books get at your heart and make you take a hard look at yourself and the world around you. This is one of the best books.

Recommended by Grace

You're Welcome, Universe Cover ImageYou’re Welcome, Universe

By Whitney Gardner

Julia leads a life that many of us will never experience, but her voice rings with such truth and artistry that it is easy to step into her shoes if only to gain a little more understanding. The art interwoven into the text makes this novel pop like the graffiti on its cover.

We Are Okay Cover ImageWe Are Okay

By Nina LaCour

Every now and then, a book comes along that just feels… perfect. Perfectly sad. Perfectly beautiful. Perfectly hopeful. For me, that book is We Are Okay. Set against a snowy landscape, this is a story of Marin’s isolation in her grief and the careful, slow, lovely unfurling of her lonely heart.

Iron Cast Cover ImageIron Cast

By Destiny Soria

Historical fantasy fans, this book is for you. Set against the dreamy, alluring backdrop of 1920s Chicago, Iron Cast follows two best friends who are hemopaths, people whose blood enables them to create powerful illusions through art. Ada and Corrinne are everything I love when reading best-friend stories. You will fall in love with these complex and fierce girls, as well as the lush, lyric language found on every page.

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