Monday, January 26, 2015

Not So Much A Bookselling Woe

Really, Pip Barlett's Guide to Magical Creatures is a bad example to use because they immediately put that one aside for me but I'm just so excited about it.

Saturday, January 24, 2015


Heads up, Booksmithies! Kidsmith has recently acquired a Twitter. Follow us @kidsmithbooks for:

  • Book recs
  • Upcoming kids' events
  • New releases
  • Tooooootally conversing with famous authorrrrrrsssss
  • Thrilling photos of all four of us crammed in a glass coffin with Holly Black to celebrate her new book and general greatness
  • MORE
 What are we featuring today? Our weekend reads, tomorrow's BEAR STORYTIME (10:30AM!), and our Blind Date with a Book display, bringing you our very favorite mystery reads.

TWEET WITH US! It will be so rad.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Alex Is Reading...USED BOOKS!

It's easy to forget, looking at all the shiny new wonders we have upstairs in Kidsmith, that there's more than one place to shop for kids' books at the Booksmith. Head down the stairs at the front of the store, hang a right at the bottom, and you'll find our recently expanded and entirely awesome used kids' books section. A couple weeks ago I picked up a copy of Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen, a delicious Newbery-winning novel about fresh air, maple syrup, and coming alive in the country from 1957. Now, you can't have that, because I am keeping it forever, but there are lots of treasures in the Used Book Cellar. Here are a few.

(Subtitle: Get Them While You Can)

The Amelia Series by Marissa Moss -- Before Wimpy Kid and Dork Diaries, there was Amelia--half doodles, half writing, Amelia's diaries are colorful, fun to read, and star a girl you will want to get to know.

Runaways vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Adrian Alphona -- Surprise! Your parents are super villains. This series got me into American superhero comics. All the characters are perfect and the art inside is great.

The Good Neighbors by Holly Black and Ted Naifeh -- Holly Black's scary fairies in comic book form, with art by Courtney Crumrin author and artist Ted Naifeh.
Going Bovine by Libba Bray -- Apathetic teenage boy gets the human version of mad cow disease. Now he's on the roadtrip of his life (literally) with a pal from the ward and a lawn gnome that doubles as the god Baldur. This book is amazing. You will WEEP.
Skellig by David Almond -- Two kids find an angel in the garage. It is not a cute angel. It is a weird angel. This is a weird book. The otherworldly feeling you get from Skellig will stick with you for years.
Crown Duel by Sherwood Smith -- Combines Crown Duel and Court Duel. This princess may come from a poor kingdom, but it's her kingdom, and she'll do anything to protect it. Battle, magic, romance, and intrigue abound.
The Eagle of the Ninth by Rosemary Sutcliff -- This novel is based on the true (?) story of a Roman legion in ancient Britain that simply disappeared. Rosemary Sutcliff is a sumptuous writer.
American Tall Tales by Mary Pope Osborne and Michael McCurdy -- The author of the Magic Tree House series takes on Americana in this beautifully illustrated and highly entertaining collection of traditional stories.
Fade by Robert Cormier -- Sometimes when people say "YA has gotten really dark!" it means they haven't read Robert Cormier. His books are almost all classics, gritty, grim and sometimes disturbing, but they'll always stay with you. Fade is about a boy with the power to turn invisible--and he's about the last person you WANT to turn invisible.
Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde -- Virtual Reality is awesome...unless you get stuck in the game and your only way out is to beat it. Vande Velde writes fun, fluffy fantasy that hits the spot like candy hits a sweet tooth.

And don't forget....sometimes we have more books in a series downstairs in the UBC that we do upstairs! See here: A LOT OF BOXCAR CHILDREN. You can also find plenty of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Popularity Papers, and more. Whatever you're looking for, there's always some surprise treat to be found.

Happy reading, and happy treasure hunting!

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Common Mistake?

I know they mean

Christian Grey

but all I can think of is


LIKE DUH KEEP MR. GRAY, definitely picking Darcy over a killer alien??

No contest??


Monday, January 12, 2015

It Should Be Exciting Every Time

I feel like it's been ages! The last week I was supposed to post I was back in Ohio hanging out with my family. When I say "hanging out" I mean it mostly looked like this:

It's nice to be back though.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Alex Is Reading...TOMBOY

I feel like I've gotten really behind on my comics reading lately, but this one has been on my radar for awhile, and I FINALLY sat down with it this week. TOMBOY by Liz Prince is a graphic memoir of Liz's search for gender identity in a culture that frequently subscribes to only two distinct boxes: Girly Girl and Guy Stuff. Funny, lively, and unafraid of being a little bit complicated, Tomboy is a great book for anyone who questions (or wants to question) the rules of gender. We have it shelved in adult Graphica, but it's appropriate for middle school and up.

And, by the way, this is not the only book about gender-nonconformity that we have for young readers. Here are a few others if you're looking for kids' books that put the T in LGBT.


1. I Am Jazz by Jessie Herthel and Jazz Jennings is the picture-book story of one of the most recognized transgender youth in America--Jazz Jennings, whose parents supported her early-childhood transition. This is a good introduction to what it means to be transgender for very young readers. You can find it on our picture book wall and in the kids' Life Experiences section.

2. Gracefully Grayson by Ami Polonsky is a sweet, smart, sensitively written new midgrade novel about a transgender gradeschooler who is just starting to understand her own gender. Supported by school theater and a community of loving teachers and friends, Grayson takes the first brave steps into visible life as the girl she is. This is an AWESOME book.

3. Beautiful Music for Ugly Children by Kirstin Cronin-Mills is a young adult novel about a trans highschooler who (for now) only publicly lives his male identity on the air of his radio show.

4. and 5. Some Assembly Required by Arin Andrews and Rethinking Normal by Katie Rain Hill are memoirs of transition by a young man and woman, respectively. They can both be found in the biography section of our nonfiction wall.

Happy reading!

Monday, December 22, 2014


HELLO, BLOGSMITH READERS. If you're anything like us, then you have been REALLY REALLY BUSY THIS WEEK. So with two more days of Hanukkah and Christmas hurtling towards us, let me make one last-minute holiday kids' gift suggestion. The suggestion is one word. The word is:


An omnibus, for those who do not know, is a single volume containing multiple full books. Often these are very good books (at, might I add, a relatively low price). So here in the days of desperate end-of-the-holidays shopping, let me bring you a few of my favorite omnibuses in the kids' department.


Miss Nelson Collection by Harry Allard, illustrated by James Marshall -- A sweet schoolteacher tricks her bad students into being good through her witchy substitute alter-ego.

Madeline Treasury by Ludwig Bemelmen -- The classic adventures of the little French orphan, complete with appendicitis and Bat Hats. This is a gorgeous hardcover collection.

My Favorite Dr. Seuss Treasury by Dr. Seuss -- A newly published collection of Dr. Seuss classics. Like the Madeline, it's big, pretty, and it will be in the family for decades.


The Frog and Toad Treasury by Arnold Lobel -- The hapless, charming, best-friend adventures of Frog and Toad all in one book. It's a nice edition and it's also twelve dollars. (?!)


My Father's Dragon collection by Ruth Stiles Gannett -- The gentle, imaginative fantasy classics in a very pretty hardcover edition.


The Complete Oz Volume 1 by L. Frank Baum -- The first three books of the Oz series, which are funnier, weirder, and way better than you remember from your childhood. This is the first in a series of paperback collections.

The Wrinkle in Time Trilogy by Madeleine L'Engle -- Imagination-stretching, emotional, wonderful science fiction that you won't ever forget. The paperback collection is pretty and readable (and no one wants to stop after just one book...).


The Dark Is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper -- Mythological villains, everyday heroes, Arthurian legend, dark powers, and the ultimate quest to preserve what's good, all set in a stark, fascinating England that will stick in your mind years after you've read them. This volume is the entire five-book series, which won two Newbery Honors and a Newbery Medal between them. 


Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervin Peake -- If you have any precocious teenage readers of weird stuff on your list this year, try Gormenghast, the peculiar classic about young Titus Groan, a prince protecting his crumbling kingdom from the evil intentions of a power-hungry kitchen boy.

So that's what you can find on our shelves as of this writing. And of course, we the children's booksellers will be here too. Happy shopping, happy holidays, happy reading!