Cozy Up with 13 New Reads for the Young and Young at Heart

What do dancing duos, a recycling romance, and Mamma Mia! have in common? They’re all featured in this month’s staff picks! We have a wide variety of offerings, so sit back, relax, and liven up the cold and rainy days with these fun, February reads!

Recommended by Rae Ann

If You Miss Me Cover ImageIf You Miss Me

By Jocelyn Li Langrand

Charlie and her grandma love to dance. When they’re apart, they know they dance under the same moon. When life changes, Charlie gets a reminder that the ones we love are always with us.

Recommended by Rae Ann

Dream Street Cover ImageDream Street

By Tricia Elam WalkerEkua Holmes (Illustrator)

This author-illustrator duo are cousins. This book Is a beautiful tribute to the street where they grew up, an uplifting portrait of community and encouragement.

Recommended by Chelsea

I Love You Because I Love You Cover ImageI Love You Because I Love You

By Muon Thi VanJessica Love (Illustrator)

A simple call-and-response text structure highlights beautiful, diverse illustrations of people bonding over simple activities. Each page was a delight to read and explore.

Recommended by Aly

Where Is Bina Bear? Cover ImageWhere Is Bina Bear?

By Mike Curato

Where is Bina Bear hiding at this party? More importantly WHY is Bina Bear hiding at this party? This adorable book is perfect for anyone who wants to learn about how just being there can make you the best friend of all.

Recommended by Chelsea

Milk and Juice: A Recycling Romance Cover ImageMilk and Juice: A Recycling Romance

By Meredith Crandall Brown

Milk and Juice fall in love but are separated when Juice runs out and is recycled. Both never stop searching for each other through their various recycled plastic forms. With a happy ending followed by facts about recycling, this delightful read is the perfect gift for environmentally conscious readers.

Recommended by Ashby

Never After: The Stolen Slippers (The Chronicles of Never After #2) Cover ImageNever After: The Stolen Slippers (The Chronicles of Never After #2)

By Melissa de la Cruz

In Book #2 of the Never After series, De La Cruz turns a fairy tale upside down. The evil stepsisters aren’t evil! Cinderella isn’t a goody two-shoes! Filomena and her friends track down the slippers but she and one of the evil stepsisters are thrown into a dungeon. Find out if there is a “happily ever after” ending. Fun adventures with friends and fairy tales!

Recommended by Rae Ann

Ain't Burned All the Bright Cover ImageAin’t Burned All the Bright

By Jason ReynoldsJason Griffin (Illustrator)

A magnificent combination of words and art.

Recommended by Chelsea

This Woven Kingdom Cover ImageThis Woven Kingdom

By Tahereh Mafi

Mafi has woven a beautiful fantasy novel inspired by an epic Persian poem. Each word seems carefully placed, and the result is moving, rich prose that draws readers in. You’ll be drawn in by the language and you’ll stay for political intrigue, magical elements, and forbidden romance.

Recommended by Chelsea

The Red Palace Cover ImageThe Red Palace

By June Hur

A historical political mystery with just a touch of romance, June Hur’s new novel follows Hyeon, a palace nurse who reluctantly teams up with a police investigator to examine grisly murders at her old nursing school. Full of historical detail and page-turning suspense, this is truly unlike any book I’ve read in the past few years.

Recommended by Aly

Lawless Spaces Cover ImageLawless Spaces

By Corey Ann Haydu

This novel in verse tells the story of Mimi, a teenage girl who desperately wants someone to notice the real her, outside of her perfect internet persona. She finds help navigating what it means to be a young woman from an unlikely source: her family’s archival poetry.

Recommended by Chelsea

When You Get the Chance: A Novel Cover ImageWhen You Get the Chance: A Novel

By Emma Lord

Millie’s summer is turned upside down when she finds her father’s old Livejournal that hints at her absent mother’s identity. Already obsessed with Mamma Mia! and all things Broadway, Millie tracks down three women and wedges herself into their lives. With a great cast of secondary characters and a slow-burn romance, Millie’s journey of self-discovery and growth is a delightful read.

Spark Book Club: February Selection

A Comb of Wishes Cover ImageA Comb of Wishes

By Lisa Stringfellow

The February 2022 Spark Book Club selection is A Comb of Wishes by Lisa Stringfellow.

Kela lives in the Caribbean islands. One day while diving she finds an ancient-looking comb in a coral cave. The treasure is in a protected area, but Kela can’t resist removing the artifact and bringing it home. A mermaid out for revenge exchanges a wish with Kela to get her treasure back in this tale full of folklore and spine-tingling adventure.

Early Sparks for the novel:

“Stringfellow weaves an enchanting tale of loss, longing, and discovery infused with Caribbean folklore. Readers will be captivated by Kela’s story and become invested in her journey as she tries to deal with the grief of losing her mother as well as regret for her past actions.” –Kirkus Reviews

“Imbued with a magic that felt as real as the concrete and beloved world in which it is set, this story moves with a plot that is both surefooted and wild, both inexorable and surprising, both cerebral and emotional. I loved it so much.” -Kelly Barnhill, author of the Newbery-winning novel The Girl Who Drank the Moon

Spark Book Club is the first editions club for middle grade readersEvery month members will receive a first edition middle grade novel — plus a letter written by the author especially for club members. Makes a great gift for the independent reader! Sign ups are available for 3, 6, or 12 months.

ParnassusNext: February Selection

I Must Betray You Cover ImageI Must Betray You

By Ruta Sepetys

The February 2022 ParnassusNext selection is I Must Betray You by master storyteller and Parnassus favorite Ruta Sepetys. This historical thriller takes us to 1989 Romania. Seventeen-year-old aspiring writer, Cristian, is blackmailed into working for the secret police as an informant. Can he keep his family safe by following his assignment and also join the revolution brewing in his country? This page turning novel shines a light on a little-known piece of history and highlights the flame of the human spirit.

Early praise for the novel:

“Sepetys brilliantly blends a staggering amount of research with heart, craft, and insight in a way very few writers can. Compulsively readable and brilliant.” –Kirkus, starred review

Sepetys (The Fountains of Silence) unveils the culture of constant surveillance in communist Romania through an ominously suspenseful historical novel set at the brink of revolution. – Publisher’s Weekly, starred review

ParnassusNext is the book subscription box for YA lovers. Every member of ParnassusNext receives a first edition hardcover of each month’s selected book, signed by the author. There is no membership fee to join — and no line to stand in for the autograph. Not only will you have one of the best YA books of the month when it comes out, you’ll have it straight from the author’s hands, with an original, authentic signature! Set up a subscription for yourself or buy a gift membership for your favorite YA reader for 3, 6, or 12 months.