Staff Picks for Children and Teens

March 2019

The Lying Woods

Owen Foster has never wanted for anything. Then his mother shows up at his elite New Orleans boarding school cradling a bombshell: his privileged life has been funded by stolen money. After using the family business, the single largest employer in his small Louisiana town, to embezzle millions and drain the employees' retirement accounts, Owen's father vanished without a trace, leaving Owen and his mother to deal with the fallout.


Owen returns to Lake Cane to finish his senior year, where people he hardly remembers despise him for his father's crimes. It's bad enough dealing with muttered insults and glares, but when Owen and his mother receive increasingly frightening threats from someone out for revenge, he knows he must get to the bottom of what really happened at Louisiana Frac...and the cryptic note his father sent him at his boarding school days before disappearing.


Owen's only refuge is the sprawling, isolated pecan orchard he works at after school, owned by a man named Gus who has his own secrets--and in some ways seems to know Owen better than he knows himself. As Owen uncovers a terrible injustice that looms over the same Preacher Woods he's claimed as his own, he must face a shocking truth about his past--and write a better future.

The Poet X

National Book Award and Golden Kite Honor Award Winner!


Fans of Jacqueline Woodson, Meg Medina, and Jason Reynolds will fall hard for this astonishing New York Times-bestselling novel-in-verse by an award-winning slam poet, about an Afro-Latina heroine who tells her story with blazing words and powerful truth.


Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking.

But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.


With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems.


Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.

Peter, le chat debout

Un matin, Phil trouve une boîte sur le pas de sa porte. Intrigué, il s’empresse de l’ouvrir. Aussitôt, le chat noir et blanc qui est à l’intérieur se dresse sur ses pattes arrière. Phil est étonné, mais ce chat debout lui réserve bien d’autres surprises. À la fois maladroit et rempli de prouesses, Peter saura faire rire et charmer les gens qui, d’ordinaire, ne supportent pas les chats !

A Couch for Llama

When a family finds a surprising new home for an old couch, a llama becomes the happiest creature of all.

The Lago family really loves their couch. It’s perfect for reading, snuggling, playing, and jumping. But all good things must come to an end, and, one day, the family realizes the time has come to replace it. As they drive home with their brand-new bright-red couch, though, it gets knocked off the top of their car into a field . . . where a llama tries to make sense of this new thing. At first confused—It doesn’t talk! It doesn’t taste good! It doesn’t budge!—the llama soon realizes how comfy the couch is and settles right in. Can the family get its furniture back—and keep llama happy, too? Leah Gilbert has written and illustrated a warm picture book that touches both the heart and the funny bone.

The Book in the Book in the Book

In this unique novelty book, join a young boy named Thomas on his adventure in a book . . . inside a book . . . inside a book

Having wandered off from his vacationing family, Thomas is a little bit lost and looking for something interesting-- which he finds, in the form of an abandoned book on the beach. As Thomas opens up the little book, so does the reader!

Within the little book, the story repeats-- until Thomas, this time walking through quiet, snowy woods, finds another smaller book, with an even stranger adventure within it.

Wandering again through the third book, Thomas finally hears familiar voices and ends up reuinted with his family. But what adventures lay ahead . . . ?

Cleverly constructed with two actual, smaller books within the book, this imaginative adventure is illustrated in bold, graphic style. A perfect gift for young, curious readers!