Also published on this date: Thursday, October 12, 2023: Maximum Shelf: A Short Walk Through a Wide World

Shelf Awareness for Thursday, October 12, 2023


Chronicle Books: Stella & Marigold by Annie Barrows, Illustrated by Sophie Blackall

Poisoned Pen Press: The Boyfriend by Frieda McFadden

St. Martin's Press: Disney High: The Untold Story of the Rise and Fall of Disney Channel's Tween Empire

Running Press Adult: Scam Goddess: Lessons from a Life of Cons, Grifts, and Schemes by Laci Mosley

Graphix: 39 Clues: One False Note (39 Clues Graphic Novel #2) by Gordon Korman, Illustrated by Hannah Templer

News

Middleburg Books Opens in Middleburg, Va.

Middleburg Books hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony recently to celebrate the opening of the new bookstore, located at 17 South Madison Street in Middleburg, Va.

Owners Mary Beth Morell and Christina Duffy, who met as school librarians, have been working on a concept for the shop for nearly a year. They wanted to create a warm and inviting place designed for all, driven by the belief that books can change the world.

"I moved to Middleburg earlier this spring and absolutely fell in love with the beauty, charm and friendliness of this town," said Morell. "But I did not want to live in a place without a bookstore. The warm welcome we have received has surpassed my wildest dreams."

Middleburg Books, which features a curated selection of the latest fiction, nonfiction, and children's books, emphasizes a cozy, nostalgic feel in the historic town. Morell and Duffy's early concepts came to life in what they describe as "this timeless jewel-box of literature complete with a Secret Garden-themed bathroom."

The owners are joined by store manager Miriam Meeks, who has previous experience at E. Shaver, Bookseller, Savannah, Ga., and Lemuria Books, Jackson, Miss. Middleburg Books is planning a range of programs, including book subscriptions for children and adults, annual memberships, and special events like book clubs, author visits, story times, and literary retreats. 

"Reading should be accessible to everyone and that is what we intend on providing at Middleburg Books," Morell and Duffy noted. "We want to be a place where people feel welcome and inspired." 


Peachtree: The Littlest Yak: Home Is Where the Herd Is by Lu Fraser, Illustrated by Kate Hindley


Root & Press Café and Books in Worcester, Mass., on the Move

Root & Press, a café  and bookshop near Tatnuck Square in Worcester, Mass., will be closing its current location and moving to 156 Shrewsbury St. soon after the new year, the Worcester Business Journal reported. Owners Richard Collins and Nicole Cote opened the shop on Chandler St. in 2019. The larger space will allow the shop to expand its retail options as well as seating capacity.

"We're going to miss the neighborhood," said Collins in a recent license commission meeting where the move was approved. "We looked all over to find a spot in that neighborhood, but nothing seemed to work out."

In a newsletter sent to customers, Collins and Cote said they had bittersweet feelings about moving away from their regulars on the West Side, the Telegram & Gazette reported. 

"We will never forget the support that kept us afloat through our opening, nor will we forget the acts of generosity as we navigated through Covid," the owners said. "After opening, we quickly realized that the space we had committed to was not sufficient for the long-term establishment of our store. The kitchen is so tight! And there are not enough tables! And people can't browse while others wait for food!"

The new space will be three times larger for Root & Press, and they wrote that they plan to use it to offer more books, more seating and a more relaxed browsing experience, adding: "When we had our first child, someone much smarter than me told me that the days would be long, but the years would be short. I think it is an apt saying for anything you dedicate a lot of your time and energy toward, and we hope to look back some day at our time on Shrewsbury Street with the same sort of amazement as we will look back at our first home."


Colo.'s Ouray Bookshop to Close Unless New Owner Found

Ouray Bookshop, located in the Beaumont Hotel in Ouray, Colo., will close at the end of the year unless a buyer can be found. In a message on the bookstore's website, owners Amy and Brian Exstrum explained that the new owners of the hotel are not extending their long-term lease past the first of the year. "They have said that we can go month-to-month, but we absolutely cannot function properly with that kind of lease. At this point, we have no place to move that would accommodate our needs."

The Exstrums had put the bookshop up for sale earlier this year with plans to retire, but the deal fell through when the lease situation developed. "That said, if a new prospective buyer would come forward and (hopefully) have a space in which to move, we would love to talk to them," they noted on the website, adding: "This shop has been a labor of love and we have built it to be a wonderful cornerstone business in Ouray." 

The Beaumont Hotel sold for $6.3 million in July to new owners Eliot and Tara Vancil. "We have no plans for this space being anything other than a bookstore at this time," Eliot Vancil told the Ouray County Plaindealer, which noted that Amy Exstrum "said the only plans she's aware of for the space are ones she overheard when she was working in the shop on September 5, before opening for the day. Vancil and another man entered the breezeway above the shop, in between the patio and the hotel. They stood above the glass doors to the shop and she heard them discuss shrinking the size of the bookshop, pushing it forward into half the space, putting in chairs and tables and couches and serving coffee."

"They've never spoken to us about this," she added. "There was never a discussion about working something out or whether we could function in a smaller space. They just said we're not extending your long-term lease."


NEIBA: Cracking the Code on Merchandising and Store Flow

Casey Gerken (l.) and Melissa Lavendier

Casey Gerken of Innisfree Bookshop (Meredith and Laconia, N.H.) and Melissa Lavendier of An Unlikely Story in Plainville, Mass., remained unfazed when their panel on merchandising and store flow unexpectedly dropped from four booksellers to two. Gerken told the audience that the panelists had previously decided upon three main things to consider when thinking about merchandising:

  1. What is the store's philosophy?
  2. What kind of space is available in the store to display that philosophy?
  3. What exactly is being purchased for the space? (And an addendum: Are you making use of cross-merchandising with sidelines?)

Lavendier (who started bookselling with "Borders before Borders was even Borders") said that she wasn't at An Unlikely Story "when it first opened, and the vision and philosophy has not only progressed and changed, but changes often." Ultimately, the store is a gathering place, and the staff works to enrich the lives of those in their community. "Your intention for your store may not be what your customers' intention for your store is," she said, which may lead bookstores in directions for which they weren't entirely prepared. For example, Lavendier "buys a lot more popular fiction because that's what [their] community is looking for."

When it comes to store flow, book displays, and the physical space to display the philosophy, Lavendier repeated a simple question: What story are we telling? "Look at the endcap," she said. "Is that story clear?" She and Gerken told the audience to consider what sidelines can be placed with books to create an enticing package and to find places in their store where customers can "discover" books or sidelines. "We all know there are places in our store where you put a thing and it goes there to die a slow death," Gerken said. Booksellers should rearrange and reorganize, see how they can make "the space come alive."

Other suggestions included moving displays (Lavendier: "Is staff picks always in the same place? Put it somewhere else. To you, it's brand new; to the customer it's the same display that's been there for x number of months"), putting everything by the cashwrap on wheels, putting anchors in the back of the store, getting kids to write their own recs in their own handwriting, and never overestimating the need for comfortable seating. (Both booksellers got rid of a lot of seating during the pandemic and never brought it back, preferring the usable merchandising space to the big comfy chairs.)

Booksellers in the audience also shared tips. Connie Brooks at Battenkill Books, Cambridge, N.Y., suggested a number of things: display book club books; put everything on wheels; make customers travel around the store a bit to find you; make displays funny (she creates a "holy shit these books are expensive" display every holiday season); put googly eyes on every cover with a person on it. Other suggestions from the group included alternatives to alphabetical shelving--shelve history chronologically, put memoir and biography together by subject, rainbow the romance section--and the recommendation that booksellers poach ideas from other industries and follow social media accounts that focus on displays. --Siân Gaetano, editor, children's and YA, Shelf Awareness


Obituary Note: Echo Brown

Echo Brown, "a late blooming storyteller who mined her life to create a one-woman show about Black female identity and two autobiographical young adult novels in which she used magical realism to help convey her reality," died September 16, the New York Times reported. She was 39. Brown grew up in poverty in Cleveland and graduated from Dartmouth College. She had no professional stage experience when her autobiographical, serio-comic show, Black Virgins Are Not for Hipsters, made its debut in 2015. 

"It's very revealing, and I felt very vulnerable doing it," she told the Oakland Tribune in 2015. "It's as if you get onstage and share your deepest, darkest secrets. Putting my sexuality out there in front of people can make me feel very exposed."

Author Alice Walker wrote on her blog in 2016: "What I can say is that not since early Whoopi Goldberg and early and late Anna Deavere Smith have I been so moved by a performer's narrative."

When Black Virgins was mentioned in a profile of Brown in the Dartmouth Alumni Magazine in 2017, Jessica Anderson, an editor at Christy Ottaviano Books, an imprint of Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, contacted Brown.

"I reached out blindly to see if she would turn her attention to writing for a young adult audience," Anderson said. "She wasn't familiar with young adult or children's literature. I sent her some books, and she had an immediate sense of what her storytelling should be." 

The result was the novel Black Girl Unlimited (2020), a novel told through the lens of her young self as a wizard who deals with a fire in her family's cramped apartment, her first kiss, her brother's incarceration, sexual assault, and her mother's overdose.

Brown's second book, The Chosen One: A First-Generation Ivy League Odyssey (2022), was "a coming-of-age story that uses supernatural elements like twisting portals on walls to depict her disorienting and stressful experiences at Dartmouth as a Black woman on a predominantly white campus," the Times wrote. 

Brown moved to Oakland in 2011 and was hired as a program manager at Challenge Day, a group that holds workshops at schools aimed at building bonds among teenagers. Her job included telling students about her life, which helped her find her voice.

"I found that I could drop people into emotion and pull them out with humor," she said in the Dartmouth magazine article. "That's where I learned I was a good storyteller and wondered, 'Where can I go to tell more stories?' "

She began taking classes in solo performing with David Ford at the Marsh Theater in San Francisco. "It was clear that she was someone who was ready for this, and she had a very easy time getting the words off the pages as a performer," he said. "There was something miraculous about her."

Brown's latest project was a collaboration with the actor, producer, and director Tyler Perry on a novel, A Jazzman's Blues, based on a 2022 Netflix film Perry directed from a script he wrote in 1995. It is scheduled to be published early next year.


G.L.O.W. - Galley Love of the Week
Be the first to have an advance copy!
Seriously HAPPY:
10 life-changing philosophy lessons from Stoicism to Zen to supercharge your mindset
by Ben Aldridge
illus. by Michelle Brackenborough
GLOW: Holler: Seriously HAPPY: 10 Life-Changing Philosophy Lessons from Stoicism to Zen to Supercharge Your Mindset by Ben Aldridge

Mental health matters are unpacked through philosophy and quirky challenges in Ben Aldridge's uplifting first YA title, Seriously HAPPY, which mixes personal stories and synopses of teachings from OG philosophers. Alongside Aristotle and Socrates, Aldridge includes insights from lesser-known great minds like Bao Gu, a female Chinese Taoist physician, and Nigerian philosopher Orunmila, to show readers how to be confident, decisive, and resilient. Aldridge personally "employed Stoicism and other philosophies as key strategies in overcoming severe and debilitating anxiety and panic attacks as a young man," says Holler publisher Debbie Foy, adding that Aldridge's conversational tone makes the subject matter accessible and inviting to a young adult audience. "He is clear that everyone deserves happiness in their lives but what constitutes 'happiness' is different for all of us." --Rachel Werner

(Holler, $12.99 Hardcover, ages 12-up, 9780711297807, 
September 3, 2024)

CLICK TO ENTER


#ShelfGLOW
Shelf vetted, publisher supported

Notes

Image of the Day: Ross Gay at Third Place Books

Ross Gay visited Seattle's Third Place Books, where he read passages from The Book of (More) Delights (Algonquin). Three hundred readers attended on a rainy Tuesday evening.


Reading Group Choices' Most Popular September Books

The two most popular books in September at Reading Group Choices were Fair Rosaline by Natasha Solomons (Sourcebooks Landmark) and The Heart of It All by Christian Kiefer (Melville House).


Personnel Changes at Gallery Books; Atria

At Gallery Books:

Mackenzie Hickey has been promoted to marketing director.

Lauren Carr has been promoted to senior publicity manager.

Sydney Morris has been promoted to publicity manager.

Julia McGarry is being promoted to associate publicist.

Cassidy Sattler has been promoted to associate publicist.

---

At Atria:

Karlyn Hixson has been promoted to senior director of marketing.

Morgan (Hoit) Pager has been promoted to director of marketing and social media.

Maudee Genao has been promoted to marketing manager.  

Jolena Podolsky has been promoted to marketing & social media coordinator.

Holly Rice-Baturin has been promoted to senior publicist.

Camila Araujo has been promoted to associate publicist.

Debbie Norflus has been promoted to associate publicist.

Sierra Swanson has been promoted to associate publicist.


Media and Movies

Media Heat: Martin Baron on Fresh Air

Today:
Fresh Air: Martin Baron, author of Collision of Power: Trump, Bezos and the Washington Post (Flatiron, $34.99, 9781250844200).

Tomorrow:
Good Morning America: Hosanna Wong, author of You Are More Than You've Been Told: Unlock a Fresh Way to Live Through the Rhythms of Jesus (Thomas Nelson, $19.99, 9780785243502).

Tamron Hall: Cedric the Entertainer, author of Flipping Boxcars: A Novel (Amistad, $30, 9780063258990).


This Weekend on Book TV: The Printers Row Lit Fest

Book TV airs on C-Span 2 this weekend from 8 a.m. Saturday to 8 a.m. Monday and focuses on political and historical books as well as the book industry. The following are highlights for this coming weekend. For more information, go to Book TV's website.

Sunday, October 15
8 a.m. Cassidy Hutchinson, author of Enough (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781668028285). (Re-airs Sunday at 8 p.m.)

9 a.m. Mona Gable, author of Searching for Savanna: The Murder of One Native American Woman and the Violence Against the Many (Atria, $28.99, 9781982153687). (Re-airs Sunday at 9 p.m.)

10 a.m. Cameron McWhirter and Zusha Elinson, authors of American Gun: The True Story of the AR-15 (‎Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $32, 9780374103859). (Re-airs Sunday at 10 p.m.)

2:15 to 6 p.m. Coverage of the 2023 Printers Row Lit Fest in Chicago, Ill. Highlights include:

  • 2:15 p.m. Melanie Newport, author of This Is My Jail: Local Politics and the Rise of Mass Incarceration (University of Pennsylvania Press, $39.95, 9781512823493).
  • 2:54 p.m. Lance Williams, author of King David and Boss Daley: The Black Disciples, Mayor Daley, and Chicago on the Edge (Prometheus, $27.95, 9781633887862).
  • 3:33 p.m. Sara Petersen, author of Momfluenced: Inside the Maddening, Picture-Perfect World of Mommy Influencer Culture (‎Beacon Press, $28.99, 9780807006634).
  • 4:11 p.m. Maureen Ryan, author of Burn It Down: Power, Complicity, and a Call for Change in Hollywood (Mariner, $32.50, 9780063269279).
  • 4:57 p.m. Rachel Shteir, author of Betty Friedan: Magnificent Disrupter (Yale University Press, $27, 9780300220025).


Books & Authors

Awards: Kirkus; Goddard Riverside Winners

The three winners of the 2023 Kirkus Prize were announced last night. Each winner receives $50,000.

Fiction: The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride (Riverhead). The citation reads, "Focusing on the Chicken Hill neighborhood of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, where, in the 1930s, the town's Black and Jewish families lived side by side, James McBride has created a vibrant fictional world as only this master storyteller can. The characters' interlocking lives make for tense, absorbing drama as well as warm, humane comedy. This is a novel about small-town American life that is clear-eyed about prejudice yet full of hope for the power of community."

Nonfiction: Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation on Race and the Meanings and Myths of 'Latino' by Héctor Tobar (MCD/Farrar, Straus & Giroux). The citation reads, "This vital work of autobiography and cultural commentary--which also serves as a potent manifesto--is an essential book by a veteran journalist and author at the height of his powers. Tobar goes beyond reductive newspaper headlines and inflammatory political discourse to portray the complexities and contradictions of Latinx experience in the U.S. Featuring eye-opening interviews with people from across the country, this elegantly written, refreshingly forthright book brings into sharp focus a massive yet marginalized community."

Young Readers' Literature: America Redux: Visual Stories from Our Dynamic History by Ariel Aberg-Riger (Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins). The citation reads, "This rousing work of young adult nonfiction demonstrates that history, far from being dusty and irrelevant, is a subject that teens will eagerly engage with--if we give them what they deserve: provocative, courageous, and inclusive books that respect their passion and intellect. Balancing vibrant collage art with captivating text, Aberg-Riger inspires readers to think critically and ask probing questions. At a time when books that challenge whitewashed history are coming under fire from censors, this is a vitally important work that dares to tell the truth."

---

Winners have been announced for the 2023 Goddard Riverside social justice book prizes:

Food for Hope: How John van Hengel Invented Food Banks for the Hungry by Jeff Gottesfeld (Creston Books) has won the Goddard Riverside CBC Youth Book Prize for Social Justice. Goddard Riverside said, "Food for Hope tells the riches-to-rags story of John van Hengel, who launched the nation's first food bank after an impoverished young mom showed him how much perfectly good food she could salvage from grocery store dumpsters."

Excluded: How Snob Zoning, NIMBYism, and Class Bias Build the Walls We Don't See by Richard D. Kahlenberg (PublicAffairs) has won the Goddard Riverside Stephan Russo Book Prize for Social Justice. "Excluded rose to the top because of the universal nature of the zoning issue and how it influences poverty in New York City and elsewhere," the Russo prize judges wrote. "While some might find zoning and its impact a dry issue, Kahlenberg does a great (and thorough) analysis of making clear why it is a topic that no one can ignore, as it goes to the very heart of whether equity can exist in any kind of community--be it urban, suburban or rural."


Attainment: New Titles Out Next Week

Selected new titles appearing next Tuesday, October 17:

The Exchange: After The Firm by John Grisham (Doubleday, $29.95, 9780385548953) takes place 15 years after the events of The Firm.

Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones by Dolly Parton (Ten Speed Press, $50, 9781984862129) contains 450 photos from the singer-songwriter's costume archive.

Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin): A Memoir by Sly Stone with Ben Greenman (AUWA, $30, 9780374606978) features a foreword by Questlove.

Prequel: An American Fight Against Fascism by Rachel Maddow (Crown, $32, 9780593444511) explores a plot to ally the United States with Nazi Germany prior to World War II.

Milk Street Simple by Christopher Kimball (Voracious, $35, 9780316538558) contains 200 recipes.

The Unmaking of June Farrow: A Novel by Adrienne Young (Delacorte, $28, 9780593598672) is a magical realism coming-of-age story set in a small North Carolina town.

Call Me Hunter: A Novel by Jim Shockey (Atria/Emily Bestler, $27.99, 9781668010358) is a thriller about a secret society of art thieves.

Defiance by C.J. Cherryh and Jane S. Fancher (DAW, $28, 9780756415907) is book 22 in the Foreigner science-fiction series.

The House of Doors by Tan Twan Eng (Bloomsbury, $28.99, 9781639731930) is literary fiction longlisted for the Booker Prize.

Thin Air by Kellie M. Parker (Razorbill, $19.99, 9780593526002) is a locked-door thriller featuring 12 teens competing for a massive cash prize.

The Case of the Strange Splash (Detective Duck #1) by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, illus. by Dan Santat (Amulet Books, $14.99, 9781419755132), is the first in a new early chapter book series.

Paperbacks:
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2023 by R.F. Kuang and John Joseph Adams (Mariner, $18.99, 9780063315747).

The Best American Essays 2023 by Vivian Gornick and Robert Atwan (Mariner, $18.99, 9780063288843)

Two Twisted Crowns:The Shepherd King Book 2 by Rachel Gillig (Orbit, $18.99, 9780316312714).

Words of a Goat Princess by Jessie Reyez (Andrews McMeel, $16.99, 9781524890292).

10 Things That Never Happened by Alexis Hall (Sourcebooks Casablanca, $16.99, 9781728245102).


IndieBound: Other Indie Favorites

From last week's Indie bestseller lists, available at IndieBound.org, here are the recommended titles, which are also Indie Next Great Reads:

Hardcover
Chenneville: A Novel of Murder, Loss, and Vengeance by Paulette Jiles (Morrow, $30, 9780063252684) "Paulette Jiles has done it again. John Chenneville's travails through the post-Civil War U.S. are written in a way that is thoughtful, profound, and fluid like poetry. Even if you're not familiar with Jiles, once you read it, you'll want more." --Vicki Honeyman, Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Landscapes: A Novel by Christine Lai (Two Dollar Radio, $26, 9781953387387). "A celebration of co-creation at its best. Christine Lai chronicles the days of the end in a subdued manner. She makes sure we know that we all have something at stake in the climate crisis, and we can continue to reach towards each other in the end." --Tay Jones, White Whale Bookstore, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Paperback
Godkiller: A Novel by Hannah Kaner (Harper Voyager, $18.99, 9780063348271). "In a world scarred by warring gods and brutal battles, a godkiller sets off on a quest with an unlikely crew. This is immersive, diverse, and full of rage against the world and those who ruined it. This book doesn't relent--I want more!" --Anna Rose Carleton, The Well-Read Moose, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

For Ages 0 to 8
I Am Stuck by Julia Mills (Clarion, $19.99, 9780358695332). "There are a lot of ways to feel stuck, but having a friend to keep you company while you get unstuck can make all the difference. I love that this story takes us on a journey of companionship and the joys it can provide to help us get unstuck." --Stephanie Staton, CoffeeTree Books, Morehead, Ky.

For Ages 10+
Enlighten Me: A Graphic Novel by Minh Lê, illus. by Chan Chau (Little, Brown Ink, $24.99, 9780759555471). "Using video games to explain meditation is a brilliant way to engage young readers. The text's humor blends beautifully with the art to make a complex topic relatable. Recommended for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Christina Soontornvat." --Julie Schultz, This House of Books, Billings, Mont.

For Teen Readers
Thieves' Gambit by Kayvion Lewis (Nancy Paulsen, $19.99, 9780593625361). "When Ross Quest tries to break away from her legendary family of thieves, she's led to the Thieves' Gambit, an international heist competition including her arch-nemesis and a charmer who may single-handedly bring back button-down vests." --Chris Schmidt, Main Street Books, St. Charles, Mo.

[Many thanks to IndieBound and the ABA!]


Book Review

Review: The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley

The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley by Sean Lusk (Union Square & Co., $17.99 paperback, 368p., 9781454950431, December 5, 2023)

Sean Lusk's debut novel, The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley, is a strange, spellbinding, imaginative work of magical realism set in 1700s London and Constantinople, exploring Pinocchio-esque questions about what is real, and the many forms of love. It contains no shortage of tragedy, but always retains a charming sense of wonder.

In London in 1754, Abel Cloudesley anxiously paces outside the birthing chamber where his beloved wife, Alice, labors. Zachary Cloudesley's life begins with his mother's death; Abel will be a loving father, but at first the experience is clouded by grief.

Abel is a clockmaker, but clocks are only the beginning of his artistry: he creates clockwork creatures, automatons that move and communicate like the real-life animals and humans they mimic. In Abel's workshop, Zachary suffers a life-changing injury, resulting in the treasured son being sent away to be raised in the safety of his eccentric great-aunt Frances's home in the country. Zachary's no-nonsense nurse, Mrs. Morley, and the staunchly feminist Frances round out an unusual family for a very unusual boy. Zachary is a genius, precocious in everything, a great reader and nature lover. He also knows things--the past, the future--that he should not be able to know. When Abel is sent away to distant Constantinople on an odd and dangerous mission, seven-year-old Zachary says, "You should not go, Papa. You know that, don't you?" Abel knows, but sail he does.

Years later, a teenaged Zachary will set out to rescue his father--believed to be long dead--from imprisonment in the Ottoman court. Zachary is still a deeply intelligent young man, but his studies have been conducted from the English countryside, and these travels will be eye-opening. Readers will delight in following the devoted son as he learns about a broader world, encounters romance, and seeks family. Through these pages are woven the clockwork wonders that have gotten Abel into this mess, and may yet get him out.

The Second Sight of Zachary Cloudesley is enchanting. Abel and Zachary are sensitive, compelling characters; Mrs. Morley and Aunt Franny are stalwart and impressive female heroes in two very different styles; Mrs. Morley's daughter (raised alongside Zachary nearly as a sister) offers her own development and young romance; and Abel's gifted employee Tom, an indispensable friend to the family, is not quite what he appears.

Lusk's engrossing novel wraps a coming-of-age narrative in a historical setting, with lovable characters and dreamlike twists. Don't miss Lusk's memorable, sweet, original debut. --Julia Kastner, librarian and blogger at pagesofjulia

Shelf Talker: An exceptional boy in a loving, if odd, family, surrounded by automatons, must adventure into historical Constantinople to save his father in this debut novel of love and whimsy.


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