Mini Review: “Boy at the Window” by Lauren Melissa Ellzey

Release Date: February 15, 2022
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Genre: Young Adult


It all began with trying to fly. After jumping off the roof of his house in the middle of the night, Daniel Kim wakes up far from Neverland, his reprieve from the real world. Thrust into a mental health hospital and then into a brand-new high school, he struggles to hold onto reality while haunted by both his very-present past and his never-present parents. But when he joins Cranbrook Preparatory’s cross-country team, he starts to feel like he’s walking on his own two feet once again. He meets Jiwon Yoon–another cross-country runner, who may be the first person to join Daniel in his Neverland daydreams. Or maybe Jiwon is the one who will finally break Daniel free.

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Mini Review: “The Benefits of Eating White Folks” by Leslie T. Grover

Release Date: April 5, 2022
Publisher: Jaded Ibis Press, LLC
Genre: Historical Fiction


The Sickness, a disease with unknown origins, is killing white children in the antebellum South, but Perpetua, a Black enslaved woman, is facing something much more devastating: Her daughter Meenie is missing. What she finds in her search for her child will change her life forever.

By fusing the past and present with the power of prose and poetry, Leslie T. Grover poignantly explores the ripple effect of history and the nature of love and family and the ties that bind.

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Mini Review: “The Haunted Quill” edited by Kate Francia

Release Date: December 1, 2021
Publisher: Megara Publishing Inc.
Genre: Anthologies, Short Stories


A young girl in a mining town hears three knocks at her door on a dark night. Two Viking warriors, haunted by grief, enter a cursed forest of iron trees. A mysterious orphan girl hides in the rafters high above the stage of the Opéra le Peletier. A widowed mother and a ghost fight to save her homestead. 

The Haunted Quill contains eight short stories and original illustrations that explore the strange and uncanny corners of history. Featuring original stories and reprints from new and established writers of speculative fiction, including: Jordan Taylor, Laura Hennessey DeSena, Stephen K Pettersson, Henry Herz, LH Moore, Jane Nightshade, Colleen Ennen, and Caren Gussoff Sumption.

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Review: “Xenocultivars: Stories of Queer Growth” edited by Isabela Oliveira & Jed Sabin

Release Date: March 3, 2022
Publisher: Speculatively Queer LLC
Genre: Anthologies, Short Stories


This collection of speculative short fiction is about all kinds of queer growth, from emerging and developing to flourishing and cultivating. Whether they’re tender sprouts just beginning to discover themselves or deeply-rooted leaders fiercely defending those they love, the people in these stories have this in common: you can’t tell them what to do. They grow as they please.

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Book Bans Affect Everybody — Here’s How You Can Help

I have been a librarian for more than a decade, and a school librarian for nearly half of that. I didn’t get into this field to wage a war against a political system that has declared me the enemy. All I wanted to do was to make fun displays, teach teenagers research skills, and provide them a vast array of books to act as what the inimitable Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop called “windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors.” Yet here we are in the middle of a fight that will have devastating long term effects regardless of who comes out on top.

I’m exhausted, afraid, and frustrated. But mostly I’m angry.

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Mini Review: “Right Where I Left You” by Julian Winters

Release Date: March 15, 2022
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary


School’s out, senior year is over, and Isaac Martin is ready to kick off summer. His last before heading off to college in the fall where he won’t have his best friend, Diego. Where–despite his social anxiety–he’ll be left to make friends on his own. Knowing his time with Diego is limited, Isaac enacts a foolproof plan: snatch up a pair of badges for the epic comic convention, Legends Con, and attend his first ever Teen Pride. Just him and Diego. The way it should be. But when an unexpected run-in with Davi–Isaac’s old crush–distracts him the day tickets go on sale, suddenly he’s two badges short of a perfect summer. Even worse, now he’s left making it up to Diego by hanging with him and his gamer buddies. Decidedly NOT part of the original plan. It’s not all bad, though. Some of Diego’s friends turn out to be pretty cool, and when things with Davi start heating up, Isaac is almost able to forget about his Legends Con blunder. Almost. Because then Diego finds out what really happened that day with Davi, and their friendship lands on thin ice. Isaac assumes he’s upset about missing the convention, but could Diego have other reasons for avoiding Isaac?

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