• Heidi Carter

I love children's books. I love reading them and I love looking at the illustrations. It's a beautiful marriage of the written word and art. As a matter-of-fact, many children's book illustrators are some of my favorite fine artists, too! This week, I thought it would be fun to chose 5 children's books for Fab Fiction Friday. Here's this week's picks:

HOW TO BE A PIRATE by Isaac Fitzgerald and illustrated by Brigette Barrager

Cece dreams of being a pirate, but when the neighborhood boys tell her she can't, she doesn't know where to begin. She turns to her Grandpa who uses his tattoos to show her all of the traits she would need to have to be a pirate. Together their journey helps build Cece's confidence and along the way, she discovers that she has all sorts of wonderful qualities - especially the ones she needs to be a pirate. This vibrantly illustrated children's book is fun to read with your special kiddo and is a fantastic reminder to children to recognize all the wonderful traits that they have. Grandpas are pretty awesome, too!



by Tonya Shevenell and illustrated by Laura Winslow

This book is a celebration of Maine and all of its animals — just in time for Maine's bicentennial year. Dirigo the chickadee asks his animal friends to join him for his birthday, but he needs their help in deciding on what to wish for. This beautiful book explores all of Maine's counties, the animals, geography and magic of Maine. Bogan Books has signed copies, too!

Available in store only.


written and illustrated by Norman Bridwell

Who doesn't love Clifford the Big Red Dog? Clifford joins Emily Elizabeth on her first day of kindergarten. She has so many first day jitters, but with Clifford by her side, she discovers how fun school can be! This is a perfect pick for all of the little ones starting out on a new school year adventure!



written and illustrated by Ryan T. Higgins

Penelope is everybody's favorite little dinosaur and she's back! This time Penelope wants to join the school talent show where she can show her friends that she loves being a rock star. Children will cheer for Penelope as she overcomes her nerves and joins up with her friends. Ryan Higgins' illustrations are energetic and expressive. Kids will enjoy how funny his storytelling is and you are sure to find this as one of your family's favorite reads. Limited supply of signed copies available at the bookshop.



written and illustrated by Matt Meyers

We always love our time at the beach - even during a pandemic! Matt Meyers' beautifully illustrated Hum and Swish brings the ocean to your home where you can watch Jaime as she builds something on the beach. As people walk by and ask her what she's making, they don't seem to understand that she's just enjoying what she is doing, but she really doesn't know where it is going yet. Finally, a new friend comes by who shares Jaime's love of creating without direction. This is a wonderful quiet time book to settle in and cozy up.


  • Heidi Carter


In stock in store and online

This is the kind of romcom I love. A little exotic, but not Hangover in Bangkok exotic (parlez vous français?); some meat in the plot (see what I did there?); and a warm belly full of flutters. 💕

So here's the story line - Chelsea Martin has become a work-a-holic - burying the loss of her mother in the very work she does for the American Cancer Coalition. After her father announces that he is remarrying, Chelsea needs to finally admit to herself that her life stopped seven years ago after her mother passed away. So, she's off! Off to find Colin in Ireland, Jean Claude in France, and Marcellino in Italy. She hopes that one of these three men who stole her heart away years ago will do so again.

And of course, there's a twist, but you'll have to discover that one out for yourself. Fast easy read - perfect after a hard week of work.

SEX AND VANITY by Kevin Kwan

In stock in store and online

Remember Crazy Rich Asians? Ya? Well, this isn't that story, but Kevin Kwan did write this one, too. 😁

The very first morning Lucie sets eyes on George Zao, she can't stand him. As a matter-of-fact, she hates everything about him - especially when he kissed her in the dark Roman ruins. Of course they were caught by her snobby cousin who mockingly accused Lucie of being attracted to him because he is Chinese - just like her mom. Lucie has always sublimated the Asian side of herself in favor of the white side, and she adamantly denies having feeling for George. Fast forward a few years, and Lucie sees George while weekending with her fiancé. Suddenly old feelings surface and Lucie finds herself in a web of deceit.

This is a modern love story entwined with a Kardashian lifestyle. Great for a weekend at the beach or under the covers in a rainstorm.

WHAT YOU WISH FOR by Katherine Center

In stock in store and onlin

One of our best selling titles that came through the booskhop last year was Things You Save in a Fire. Katherine Center is now back with her new release, What You Wish For - just in time for the new school year.

Samantha Casey loves her new job as the school librarian. The kids and her school family give her a joy for living that was missing in her life. Little did she anticipate that the new school principal is Duncan Carpenter who lives by rules and regulations. Sam knows that he wasn't always that way because she knew him before. Before - when she loved him and he didn't see her. As much as it irritates her to have him there, she also realizes that he might be the best thing for the school. But the harder Duncan tries to be someone he's not in his efforts to save the school, he begins to destroy it. As chaos brews around them, Sam and Duncan need to be honest with themselves and each other.

LUSTER by Raven Leilani

In stock in store and online

YOUNG ADULT PICK #12 NYT Best Seller List

This is the type of read that snags you the moment you read the first line. It has depth. It also has sex. A great combo for a great read.

Spoiler alert: Life is messy, and so is Luster - but in a good way. It's vulnerable and honest. But enough of my thoughts. Here's the scoop:

Edie is stumbling her way through her twentiessharing a subpar apartment in Bushwick, clocking in and

out of her admin job, making a series of inappropriate sexual choices. She is also haltingly, fitfully giving heat and air to the art that simmers inside her. And then she meets Eric, a digital archivist with a family in New Jersey, including an autopsist wife who has agreed to an open marriagewithrules.

As if navigating the constantly shifting landscapes of contemporary sexual manners and racial politics weren’t hard enough, Edie finds herself unemployed and invited into Eric’s home—though not by Eric. She becomes a hesitant ally to his wife and a de facto role model to his adopted daughter. Edie may be the only Black woman young Akila knows.

Irresistibly unruly and strikingly beautiful, razor-sharp and slyly comic, sexually charged and utterly absorbing, Raven Leilani’sLusteris a portrait of a young woman trying to make sense of her life—her hunger, her anger—in a tumultuous era. It is also a haunting, aching description of how hard it is to believe in your own talent, and the unexpected influences that bring us into ourselves along the way.

NO OFFENSE by Meg Cabot

In stock in store and online

Clever, hilarious, and fun, No Offense will tug at readers’ heartstrings and make them fall in love with Little Bridge Island and its unique characters.

A broken engagement only gaveMolly Montgomery additional incentive to follow her dream job from the Colorado Rockies to the Florida Keys. Now, as Little Bridge Island Public Library's head of children's services, Molly hopes the messiest thing in her life will be her sticky-note covered desk. But fate--in the form of a newborn left in the restroom--has other ideas. So does the sheriff who comes to investigate the "abandonment".

John would be pretty irritated if one of his deputies had a desk as disorderly as Molly’s. Good thing she doesn’t work for him, considering how attracted he is to her. Molly’s lilting librarian voice makes even the saltiest remarks go down sweeter, which is bad as long as she’s a witness but might be good once the case is solved—provided he hasn’t gotten on her last nerve by then. Recently divorced, John has been having trouble adjusting to single life as well as single parenthood. But something in Molly’s beautiful smile gives John hope that his old life on Little Bridge might suddenly hold new promise—if only they can get over their differences. 

  • Heidi Carter

Each Friday, we will be on Facebook Live (follow us on Facebook for times) to give you a brief overview of some of the fabulous titles in our collection.

THIS WEEK'S THEME: Young Adult Selections You Don’t Want To Miss. Click the books to go to our Bookshop affiliate site.


By Sarah Maas

When magic has gone from the world, and a vicious king rules from his throne of glass, an assassin comes to the castle. She does not come to kill, but to win her freedom. If she can defeat twenty-three killers, thieves, and warriors in a competition to find the greatest assassin in the land, she will become the king's champion and be released from prison.

The Crown Prince will provoke her. The Captain of the Guard will protect her. And a princess from a foreign land will become the one thing she never thought she'd have again: a friend. But something evil dwells in the castle--and it's there to kill. When her competitors start dying, horribly, one by one, Celaena's fight for freedom becomes a fight for survival, and a desperate quest to root out the source of the evil before it destroys her world.

You will love Sarah Mass. At age 16, she published an early draft of Queen of Glass on an online writers forum and soon had tens of thousands of page views and comments. More than a year before its debut, the novel had tremendous success. She is now a New York Times Best Selling author. From daredevil assassin challenges to courtly romance, this engrossing page turner will keep your attention so steadfast that your Mac and cheese might just boil over.


by Suzanne Collins

This is one of the biggest releases of 2020. Hunger Games fans will be thrilled to finally understand the twisted darkness of Coriolanus Snow.

The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor a winning tribute.

The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined — every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.


by Angie Thomas

A Bogan Books Inclusion Pick

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil's name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr. But what Starr does--or does not--say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.


by Abdi Nor Iftin

A Bogan Books Inclusion Pick

Abdi Nor Iftin, first fell in love with America from his homeland of Somalia. His family stemmed from generations of peaceful nomadic herdsmen and women. A difficult drought year pushed his parents to take up residence in a city - away from the life they always knew. After some initial struggles, the family found acceptance and a good life after Abdi’s dad because a rising basketball star for their country. But little did they know that this peace was to be short lived.

As militias surfaced, a war-torn Somalia created a fight for survival for all who lived there. Through these challenges, Abdi, as a child, learned English by listening to American pop and watching action films starring Arnold Schwarzenegger which helped to distract him from the sobering reality of his world. When U.S. marines landed in Mogadishu to take on the warlords, Abdi cheered the arrival of these Americans, who seemed as heroic as those of the movies.

Now a proud resident of Maine, on the path to citizenship, Abdi Nor Iftin's dramatic, deeply stirring memoir is truly a story for our time: a vivid reminder of why America still beckons to those looking to make a better life.


by Kelly Yang

A Bogan Books Inclusion Pick

They're called parachutes: teenagers dropped off to live in private homes and study in the United States while their wealthy parents remain in Asia. Claire Wang never thought she'd be one of them, until her parents pluck her from her privileged life in Shanghai and enroll her at a high school in California.

Suddenly she finds herself living in a stranger's house, with no one to tell her what to do for the first time in her life. She soon embraces her newfound freedom, especially when the hottest and most eligible parachute, Jay, asks her out.

Dani De La Cruz, Claire's new host sister, couldn't be less thrilled that her mom rented out a room to Claire. An academic and debate team star, Dani is determined to earn her way into Yale, even if it means competing with privileged kids who are buying their way to the top. But Dani's game plan veers unexpectedly off course when her debate coach starts working with her privately.

As they steer their own distinct paths, Dani and Claire keep crashing into one another, setting a course that will change their lives forever.


by A.K. Small

Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained since childhood at the Paris Opera Ballet School, where they've forged an inseparable bond through shared stories of family tragedies and a powerful love for dance. When the body of a student is found in the dorms just before the start of their final year, Marine and Kate begin to ask themselves how far they would go for the ultimate prize: to be named the one girl who will join the Opera's prestigious corps de ballet. Would they cheat? Seduce the most talented boy in the school, dubbed the Demigod, hoping his magic will make them shine, too? Would they risk death for it? Neither girl is sure.

Bright Burning Stars is a stunning, propulsive story about girls at their physical and emotional extremes, the gutting power of first love, and what it means to fight for your dreams.


by Andrew David MacDonald

Sometimes life isn't as simple as heroes and villains.

For Zelda, a twenty-one-year-old Viking enthusiast who lives with her older brother, Gert, life is best lived with some basic rules:

1. A smile means "thank you for doing something small that I liked."

2. Fist bumps and dabs = respect.

3. Strange people are not appreciated in her home.

4. Tomatoes must go in the middle of the sandwich and not get the bread wet.

5. Sometimes the most important things don't fit on lists.

But when Zelda finds out that Gert has resorted to some questionable--and dangerous--methods to make enough money to keep them afloat, Zelda decides to launch her own quest. Her mission: to be legendary. It isn't long before Zelda finds herself in a battle that tests the reach of her heroism, her love for her brother, and the depth of her Viking strength.

When We Were Vikings is an uplifting debut about an unlikely heroine whose journey will leave you wanting to embark on a quest of your own, because after all...

We are all legends of our own making.


by Rosalyn Eves

"A magical tale unlike anything you've read before." --Bustle

"[A] richly imagined 19th-century historical fantasy." --EW, A-

The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister's debutante spell--an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic--Anna finds herself exiled to her family's once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she's known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can't seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna's unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romani, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she's always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

This is a fast-paced historical fantasy full of magic, romance, and adventure!


by Jenny Elder Moke

Isabelle of Kirklees has only ever known a quiet life inside the sheltered walls of the convent, where she lives with her mother, Marien. But after she is arrested by royal soldiers for defending innocent villagers, Isabelle becomes the target of the Wolf, King John's ruthless right hand. Desperate to keep her daughter safe, Marien helps Isabelle escape and sends her on a mission to find the one person who can help: Isabelle's father, Robin Hood. As Isabelle races to stay out of the Wolf's clutches and find the father she's never known, she is thrust into a world of thieves and mercenaries, handsome young outlaws, new enemies with old grudges, and a king who wants her entire family dead. As she joins forces with Robin and his Merry Men in a final battle against the Wolf, will Isabelle find the strength to defy the crown and save the lives of everyone she holds dear?

In Hood, author Jenny Elder Moke reimagines the world of Robin Hood in lush, historical detail and imbues her story with more breathless action than has ever come out of Sherwood Forest before. This novel is a must-read for historical-fiction fans, adventure lovers, and reluctant readers alike!


by David Yoon

Two friends. One fake dating scheme. What could possibly go wrong?

Frank Li has two names. There's Frank Li, his American name. Then there's Sung-Min Li, his Korean name. No one uses his Korean name, not even his parents. Frank barely speaks any Korean. He was born and raised in Southern California.

Even so, his parents still expect him to end up with a nice Korean girl--which is a problem, since Frank is finally dating the girl of his dreams: Brit Means. Brit, who is funny and nerdy just like him. Brit, who makes him laugh like no one else. Brit . . . who is white.

As Frank falls in love for the very first time, he's forced to confront the fact that while his parents sacrificed everything to raise him in the land of opportunity, their traditional expectations don't leave a lot of room for him to be a regular American teen. Desperate to be with Brit without his parents finding out, Frank turns to family friend Joy Song, who is in a similar bind. Together, they come up with a plan to help each other and keep their parents off their backs. Frank thinks he's found the solution to all his problems, but when life throws him a curveball, he's left wondering whether he ever really knew anything about love--or himself--at all.

In this moving debut novel--featuring striking blue stained edges and beautiful original endpaper art by the author--David Yoon takes on the question of who am I? with a result that is humorous, heartfelt, and ultimately unforgettable.

Thank you so much for joining me!

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