Monday, August 7, 2017

Junior Advisory Board Recommends...

This week, we'll be sharing recommendations from our book clubs. Our middle grade book club, the Junior Advisory Board, has 14 members from ages 9-13 that meet once a month to discuss and write reviews for their favorite books that we post in the store. Here are some of our their recommendations!

Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds-ROSS
Struggling to find a pattern in his everyday life and having a hard time keeping his powers under wraps, Miles Morales is getting into trouble at school, and a teacher who sends his spider-sense into a frenzy definitely isn’t helping. Find out what happens in this amazing book. Ages 13-17.

Bubbles by Abby Cooper-PAYTON
Sophie’s life changes after her mom loses her job. Then, Sophie gets assigned a project to do adventurous things. When she starts to see bubbles above people’s heads, she thinks she is going crazy. Will Sophie be able to cope with the thoughts?

The World’s Greatest Detective by Caroline Carlson-GATES
Toby is a regular boy living with his uncle on Detective's Row. Ok, maybe he isn't regular. But that is beside the point. The World's Greatest Detective, Hugh Abernathy decides to hold a contest for detectives to see who can solve mystery at Coleford Manor. Toby decides to enter. It happens that a junior sleuth and young girl lives there. Her name is Ivy. They become friends and partners and try to crack the case. What happens at the Manor? Will Toby and Ivy solve the case? Find out in The World's Greatest Detective.  

Lemons by Melissa Savage-RACHEL
This was the most amazing book! The main character’s name was Lemonade and her mom died of cancer...but because of that, she got put in her grandpa’s care in a strange place called Willow Creek. There is a weird kid named Tobin and he teaches Lemonade about Bigfoot and how Willow Creek is connected to him. But while they are searching for Bigfoot, they find something smaller but better…

The Great Treehouse War by Lisa Graff-VISHNU
This book was amazing! I give it 5/5 stars.  It has a great theme: friends should stick together no matter what, and always be there behind each other’s backs.  It’s about 10 kids who protest about equal rights. They stay in a treehouse to demand what they want. In all, I definitely recommend this book to people of all ages.

Dragon’s Green by Scarlett Thomas-VICTORIA
This is a PRODIGIOUS book! First of all, I fell in love with names of the main characters. My favorite is Euphemia Sixten Bookend Truelove. Effie (Euphemia) has so stay with her grandfather. He believes in magic but rebuffs her pleas to teach her magic. All of his very valuable books except one are taken and Effie has to get the books back and save the world maybe?

Friday, July 28, 2017

Beat the Back-to-School Blues!

Can you believe that school starts in one week? We've rounded up some of our favorite books about school for each age group to fight those first day jitters.

Kindergarten-2nd grade

"Twas the night before kindergarten,
and as they prepared,
kids were excited,
and a little bit scared."

 There's no need for fear-you too can rock your school shoes! Pete the Cat's adventures in school are for everyone.

Come with Mr. Fish as he learns that school isn't scary-it's a great place to learn.

Little ones can follow these devious dinos as they make a ruckus at school.

3rd grade-8th grade

Even Bad Kitties have to learn sometime...this early chapter book is great for reluctant readers.

Need inspiration? Based on the true story of four inner city kids and their quest to build the world's largest tetrahedron.

 Book club member Rachel has already read this 5 times! A graphic novel about navigating friendships in school. 

Kids worried about starting middle school will find comfort and humor in FRAZZLED.

High School

 FRESHMEN YEAR: Avert disaster with this diary that navigates the highs & lows of family, friendship, school, and love.

SOPHOMORE YEAR: Charlotte Holmes meets Jamie Watson at boarding school. Chaos ensues and mysteries are solved.

JUNIOR YEAR: Tom Grendel wages war against the annoying bro next store but falls for his sister instead. 

SENIOR YEAR: Precocious Flannery skips school to chase a mystery involving a wayward teacher and Wuthering Heights.

Good luck everyone! It's gonna be a great year.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Most Anticipated Fall Reads 2017

It's crazy hot outside, but we're already thinking about fall.  Here's a selection of our most anticipated books for this fall--and we're getting signed copies!

Jan Brett's latest is a creative take on "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" with her typically gorgeous illustrations.

Skippyjon Jones author Judy Schachner has the perfect back to school book.

Award-winning team Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen have a hilarious and unexpected tale about one very hungry wolf.

We know everyone is eagerly awaiting the third Magnus Chase adventure by superstar Rick Riordan.

 Get in the Halloween spirit with this spine-tingling tale by Alexandra Bracken; it has plenty of chills and thrills.

An international adventure with child pick-pockets by Colin Meloy of The Decemberists? SIGN US UP.

We can't wait to meet Aza Holmes and we can't wait for John Green's first novel in FOUR YEARS.

Graceling author Kristin Cashore's genre-bending new book is already a teen book club favorite.

Teen slasher fic goes to a new level in this awesomely terrifying book by Stephanie Perkins.

 The start of a new series by DC and an action packed extravaganza by Leigh Bardugo.

Look out for more of our favorite fall books in the next edition of the Dear Reader. 

Thursday, June 1, 2017

City of Saints & Thieves

So surprised more people aren't reading this.

"The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Gone Girl in this enthralling murder mystery set in Kenya. In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn't exist."


Kick off the summer with these great reads.  Contact or for more information.  Be bold.  Be well read.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Forget about Colonel Reb and the "black bears".

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Oxford Conference for the Book Young Authors' Fair

It’s all about the book, the conference.  I know for a fact we take it for granted, the fertile soil of Oxford, the authors, artists and musicians in our midst.  This year the 20th annual Oxford Conference for the Book Young Authors Fair brought authors, Jewell Parker Rhodes and Mary Amato to Oxford and Square Books, Jr.  Every year we select two authors for the Young Authors Fair, and each child in two respective age ranges is given a copy of the author’s book.  By the time the conference rolls around the kids can actually meet the authors, ask questions, give feedback, share the book with others.  The goal of the collaborative groups who fund the OCB Young Authors Fair is to create an opportunity for all kids to have a shared literary experience, one that might last a lifetime.

Jewell Parker Rhodes has been to Oxford before after the release of her novel Ninth Ward. We had to have her back, because we wanted lots of kids to read Ninth Ward, not only because New Orleans is geographically close to us, but because we all experienced Hurricane Katrina in parts.  Most importantly, however, we want readers to connect with Lanesha, resident child of a setting we know exists or used to exist.  We want to celebrate Lanesha’s story and herald the innocence of children despite great loss and suffering. Ninth Ward is not overtly about Hurricane Katrina or death or killer storms. Instead Rhodes has woven beauty and kindness into classic poverty and disenfranchisement.  We are lovingly charged to look, listen and be ready by Lanesha’s grandmother, the object lesson of the storm. 

Mary Amato, author of many titles across a spectrum of ages and subjects, was graciously sent to Oxford by Egmont USA, possibly one of my favorite publishing houses.  Guitar Notes is Mary’s first title with Egmont, but hopefully the first of many.  The success of Guitar Notes will not only be measured by sales, but by the lives the book touches.  It isn’t an easy task to find a novel for the whole of ninth grade, boys and girls.  Square Books, The Center for the Study of Southern Culture, The Lafayette County Literacy Council and the Oxford Junior Auxiliary are some of the collaborators of our Young Author’s Fair book selections.  Without any credit or glory, each year a handful of librarians, parents and teachers read and help us find just the right book for the students.  Amato’s novel was perfect and timely. While not overtly about a girl or about a boy, it is about the interchanges of youth, the crush and the crushed.  Amato’s characters, like the different gauges of stringed instruments, experience “thrum” or an exchanged vibration or energy on the same wavelength or something...  Dig it?  Thrum, in fact, is what the Oxford Conference for the Book is all about.  The kids in Oxford get it, and we are grateful to Mary for writing the book and coming all this way to share it with us.   

And ultimately there is the connection between the authors and each other, between Jewell and Mary, and the readers and the booksellers and the librarians and teachers, and well, it is a domino effect… a shared literary experience in a town that’s just crazy about books and experiences.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Thursday, October 18, 2012


The Obsidian Mirror is a very strange story. It's not for everyone. I did like it, but found it confusing in some parts. It's still a very good read. This book is full of mystery and magic. Time is of the essence, in many ways. (Luke T.)

Fisher, Catherine (Author)
ISBN: 9780803739697
Publisher: Dial Books
US SRP: $ 17.99 US  -  Hardcover
Pub Date: April 23, 2013