Sarah Bihn

To view the full review, please click on the book’s title.

Any Sign of Life

When Paige Miller wakes up, all she knows is that she fell asleep early the night before due to a fever. Except she soon finds that it wasn’t the night before, it was six days ago, and now her house is eerily quiet. Weak from being in a coma and fed by I.V. bags, Paige pulls herself from her room to look for her family, and finds that she is the only one in her house–and her town–still alive.

 

Bedhead Ted

This delightful middle-grade graphic novel twines together mystery with messages about friendship and not basing judgments on first impressions. Sangiacomo perfectly captures the dread some students face as the summer ends and uncertainties can no longer be avoided.

 

The Bookstore Cat

This charming book will delight cat and word lovers as readers follow along to learn all the adjectives that fit the Bookstore Cat. Inspired by a Victorian parlor game, the Minister’s Cat, the Bookstore Cat is many things, and all of them are accompanied by adorable illustrations.

 

Charlie Thorne and the Lost City

Charlie Thorne is one of the smartest people alive–don’t take her word for it? Don’t worry, she’s been tested. Unfortunately, being one of the smartest people alive happens to get her into a lot of trouble. 

 

Dark Was The Night: Blind Willie Johnson’s Journey to the Stars by Gary Golio and E. B. Lewis

Gary Golio and E. B. Lewis bring the story of blues musician Blind Willie Johnson to life with rolling prose and imaginative watercolors. Inspiring while also somber, this book reminds all readers that even in the darkest moments there is still light. This book is also the perfect way to introduce young readers to blues and science, with facts about the Voyager I introducing the story of Blind Willie Johnson. The back matter includes more information about Voyager I and its mission.

 

Good Dog Carl by Alexandra Day

As an adult, the beautiful illustrations and wordless plot of Good Dog Carl can still entertain me. Good Dog, Carl truly inspired my imagination, and I remember falling asleep many times to plotted adventures I would have if only Carl was my dog.

 

The Keeper

When James and his family move from Texas to Oregon, he feels that life as he knew it is over, and that nothing good can come from the change of scenery. If only he knew how right he was. To make matters worse, the move feels even more doomed without the presence of their abuelita, who had passed shortly before, and not even her recorded stories can make it better. While the new house seems cool, and the neighbors perfect, the uncanny feeling James cannot shake soon takes physical form. In the midst of a prank war with his little sister, Ava, James finds a letter on his desk from someone named “The Keeper” warning him about their new neighborhood. At first, James decides that Ava must have written the letter as the next attack in their prank war, but when more letters arrive and accidents start to happen around James, he realizes just how dangerous their new home and neighbors are.

 

The Lost Dreamer

The Lost Dreamer

Rich in worldbuilding and strong female characters, “The Lost Dreamer” introduces readers to a complex fantasy world inspired by ancient Mesoamerica with unforgettable characters, and an intricate plot. The chapters change between perspectives as the two main characters Indir and Saya uncover secrets surrounding themselves, and learn that they both have a fated place in the world that is changing around them.

 

Maizy Chen’s Last Chance

Maizy Chen had only met her grandparents once in person, a brief visit that was over before it truly began. But when Maizy’s grandfather gets sick, she and her mother drive to Last Chance, Minnesota to spend a few days with him. Those few days turn into the entire summer as Maizy and her mother realize just how ill he is.

 

Milk and Juice: A Recycling Romance

When Milk and Juice meet, it is love at first sight, and they spend many happy days in the refrigerator together. However, when Juice is taken away to be recycled, their love faces an obstacle, but will not be destroyed.

 

Original Cat, Copy Cat

When Pineapple’s family gets a new cat, his quiet routine gets ruined, and he quickly grows annoyed when Kiwi copies everything he does. To make matters worse, Kiwi ruins everything that Pineapple likes to do.

 

Prairie Lotus

When Hanna and her widowed father settle in the small town of LaForge in the Dakota Territory, Hanna is both excited and worried. Excited because after three years of traveling, they are finally in a town where they bought a store instead of renting–meaning her father intends to stay for longer than normal–and because she might be able to go to an actual school.

 

Show Me A Sign

Mary’s family had lived on Martha’s Vineyard since the first English settlers arrived on the island, and her great-great-grandfather was the first deaf islander. While being born deaf elsewhere during the 19th century would lead to a life of struggle, on Martha’s Vineyard it is nothing out of the ordinary, and people like Mary and her father are supported and accepted by the community.

 

Tidesong

Reminiscent of Studio Ghibli animations, this graphic novel introduces readers to a young witch named Sophie who travels to train under the guidance of her great aunt and cousin. While her magic is troublesome at times, Sophie is determined to prove to her family that she is powerful enough to be accepted into the Royal Magic Academy. Except instead of learning spells like she thought she would be, Sophie’s auntie Lan has her doing chores all day long and berates her for each little mistake.

 

The Unforgettable Logan Foster

The Unforgettable Logan Foster

After having been returned by six different foster families, Logan Foster does not expect to like–or be liked by–his newest foster family. Yet there is something about Gil and Margie, despite Gil’s horrible puns and Margie’s even worse cooking, that clicks with Logan. Whether it’s because they are secretly superheroes, or because they genuinely seem to care about him, Logan can’t quite decide. Of course, Logan isn’t supposed to know that they are superheroes, but with a brain like his, there is little he can’t figure out. And when explanations about why Gil and Margie are out all hours, never seem to eat, and the pretty intense security around the garage all fall short, Logan begins to wonder.