Staff Picks – February 2024

Staff Picks – February 2024

Read below to find our staff picks for February 2024 and learn more about these must-reads!

Feb 2024 Staff Picks

by Allie Millington
On Sale March 26th
Ages 8-12

AQ Staff picks

“I absolutely adored OlivettiThis unique debut middle grade novel is told from the alternating perspectives of an introverted seventh grader named Ernest, and his family’s witty typewriter with a lot to say, Olivetti. When Ernest’s mother, Beatrice, mysteriously disappears, Olivetti believes he can help find her. Olivetti has spent years serving as the primary observer and memory-keeper for the Brindle family—especially for Beatrice, who was his most frequent visitor. In order to help find Beatrice, Olivetti breaks the only rule of the “typewriterly code” and types back to Ernest, divulging Beatrice’s memories stored inside him. This bold act sets this unlikely duo on a journey all across San Francisco to find Beatrice, and also forces Ernest to face what he and his family have been running from—The Everything That Happened. 

Olivetti thoughtfully discusses the different ways that people cope during hard times, and it showcases the power of memories, the beauty in helping others find their voice, and the importance of reaching out during times of hardship rather than bottling it all up inside. While the story tackles these difficult themes, Olivetti’s clever quips will keep readers smiling throughout the story. Infused with heart, hope, and quotable wisdom, Olivetti is a special book that will be treasured on library shelves and in classrooms.Alexandra Quill, Senior Marketing Manager

Mavis the Bravest
By Lu Fraser; illustrated by Sarah Warburton
On Sale April 16th
Ages 4-8

EV Staff pick

Mavis the Bravest is such a cute picture book. I love a tale about farm hijinx. Movies like Chicken Run or Chicken Little are animated favorites of mine so this gorgeously illustrated chicken who can’t stop knitting stole my heart. The illustrator, Sarah Warburton, really depicts the fear Mavis experiences out in the world through her wide-eyed expressions, and the blues and teals of the nighttime setting make this the perfect bedtime story. Mavis is a loveable homebody who enjoys the quiet and safety of her favorite hobby–knitting. But when her friend is in danger, Mavis must choose to be brave. Lu Fraser’s in-verse writing takes the readers on an adventurous ride, where Mavis discovers that even a timid bird like herself can have the courage to be brave.”
Elysse Villalobos, Associate Marketing Manager

Onyx & Beyond
By Amber McBride
On Sale October 1st
Ages 8-12

MVA staff pick

Few authors can do more with fewer words than Amber McBride. Amber’s second middle grade novel (this time in verse) is another stunner, and it opens following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr, an event that rocks Onyx’s family. We follow Onyx as he struggles to feel safe in a world that most definitely is not safe for him and as he moves mountains trying to take care of his mother with early on-set dementia who he is terrified will forget him, all against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. I was so moved by Onyx’s journey and cannot wait for readers to meet him this Fall.”
Mary Van Akin, Director of School & Library Marketing

GT Staff pick

By Joy Keller; illustrated by Ashley Belote
On Sale Now
Ages 4-7

Valenslime is such an adorable picture book! While Victoria Franken was making Valentine’s Day cards for her friends she realized that while she has many friends Goop, her slime friend she brought to life, only had her as a friend. Victoria then comes up with the idea to make Goop a new friend, but when Victoria gets bored waiting for lightning to strike twice, things get a bit out of control. Valenslime is a perfect book for Valentine’s Day read-a-loud with two fun activities to make slime at the end of the book!” – Grace Tyler, Marketing Assistant