October 2022 New Releases

As October begins, we are welcoming many new titles from three different imprints—Mascot Books, Mascot Kids, and Subplot Publishing. With a wide variety of books to choose from, it might be time to cozy up and add these books to your autumn “TBR” list. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on our latest releases!

Subplot Publishing

A Knock on the Door is the exciting October release from our newest imprint for contemporary fiction, Subplot Publishing! When the protagonist’s husband dies in a tragic accident, her life is turned upside down. What unfolds is a thrilling investigation that leads to one of the most powerful men in the country. But who will believe her story? And how many more will die before they do? Now, she must decide if she has the courage—and the ability—to finish what she started.

Mascot Books

Our nonfiction Mascot Books titles this month share hard-hitting stories that may change how you think about the world around you. Whether you’re trying to live a more stress-free life, coping with a life-changing discovery, or curious to learn about a slice of American history, this selection may have something for you. 


Meanwhile, the latest Mascot fiction releases take readers around the world for a series of exciting plots that will sweep you off your feet—from a stunning action thriller with impossible stakes, to an emotional and raw story about love in the face of grief, to tales of faith and devotion from the Buddhist tradition. 


Mascot Kids

Our newest children’s books share age-appropriate lessons about facts of life, friendship, and even financial literacy while engaging young readers through memorable stories and colorful characters. 










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September 2022 New Releases

We are proud to announce the newest books from our Mascot and Mascot Kids imprints. Full of helpful advice, thrilling action, and important life lessons, these books are sure to inform and entertain readers of all ages. We look forward to hearing your thoughts on all of our latest releases!

Mascot Books

Our nonfiction Mascot Books titles this month are all prepared to offer you great advice. Whether you need help processing emotions, improving your business acumen, or eating healthier, these books will help you live a happier and more fulfilled life.



Meanwhile, our fiction Mascot Books release this September takes readers on an exciting adventure to fight a powerful evil force. Don’t miss this rousing, action-packed novel! 

Mascot Kids

Our latest children’s books feature characters who are daring, loving, helpful, and confident—each sharing life experiences and lessons with young readers in an age-appropriate and fun way!





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August 2022 New Releases

We are happy to announce the newest titles from our Mascot and Mascot Kids imprints. Full of creativity and ingenuity, these books will tug at your heart strings, inspire your imagination, and renew your self-confidence. We look forward to hearing your opinions on all of the newest releases. 

Mascot Books

Our Mascot Books title this month is one of overcoming obstacles and persistence. Twenty-five years before Jackie Robinson, Spottswood Poles was poised to be “the one” who shattered baseball’s color barrier. But, WWI and racism in America denied him this dream. The new book by local Northern Virginia celebrity Wayde Byard is the story of Poles’s life before the War as a baseball player and after as a mentor, leader, and entrepreneur.

Spottswood Poles 

Mascot Kids

This month’s new releases for children cover topics such as self-confidence, inclusivity, and imagination, in addition to teaching children about life experiences in an age-appropriate way. The stories may vary, but these life lessons aim to help children grow in a positive way.

We Have The Same Heart    Peace by Peace   

Brother and Sister: Summer Adventures    Embrace Your Skin Embrace Yourself   

I Am A Great Work In Progress    Emerald the Green Dolphin   

Kangaroo Sue and Her Baby Roo    Mr. Toad's First Dental Examination     


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August Featured Title: When You Lived in My Belly

Our August featured title is a special children’s book that teaches kids about the pregnancy journey. When You Lived in My Belly by Jodi Meltzer Darter debuted as the number one new bestseller in the Children’s Sexuality category on Amazon. Jodi kindly answered some of our questions about her inspiration and writing process, as well as life as a mom.


A Q&A with Jodi Meltzer Darter

  1. When You Lived in My Belly explains pregnancy to children. Why do you think this is such an important journey for children to know?

I never quite understood the depth of my mother’s love until I had a child of my own. I loved my son beyond compare before I ever laid eyes on him, and that shed light on my mom’s feelings about me during my pregnancy. I finally understood, at age 37, the depth of our innate bond.

There’s an indescribable connection between mother and child that is not always explored or celebrated. I wanted to bring it to the forefront of children’s minds, so they could better comprehend the incomparable journey they went on with their mom, and how those precious foundational months informed their relationship and shaped their lives.

  1. The book chronicles your own pregnancy with your son, Alex. When did you know you had to write this book?

I knew I had to write a children’s book after my beloved mom died of ovarian cancer in 2013. It was always her dream to publish a children’s book, though I don’t think she made any real attempt to realize it. I scoured through half-written journals and miscellaneous scraps of paper filled with her perfectly passé cursive handwriting, and I didn’t find any evidence of brainstorming or sketches.

I do vividly remember fleeting late-night conversations when she would discuss her love of children’s books—she was an animated storyteller who delighted in reading to my son—and how much she would want to contribute to the genre. She just didn’t take that first step, so I knew I had to take it for her.

Still, I was trying to wade through the dense fog of crippling grief, which diminished by ability to come up with ideas. I spent countless hours thinking and researching possible children’s book angles, but I was stuck for months.

When my son finally gave me the winning idea by randomly asking, “What was it like when I lived in your belly?”, I devoted every minute of my free time to answering his question.

  1. What was writing the book like? Do you think writing in verse made the process more difficult?

My son was a toddler when I began writing When You Lived in My Belly. At that age, he was positively enamored by books written in verse. When he discovered one, he would run over to me triumphantly, with his arms outstretched, and offer the book as a temporary gift (he’d always want it back). “It rhymes, Mom!” he’d say, with a spotty-toothed grin on his face. He regularly quoted Dr. Seuss rhymes. It was a no-brainer that a book based on his question had to be written in verse.

I broached the idea of writing in verse to some in the industry and they advised me against it at the time. Verse was “out of vogue”, but I went with my gut—and my son’s preference—regardless of popular opinion. I am so glad I did.

Writing in verse was definitely more challenging. I not only had to research and synthesize a lot of information about fetal development and pregnancy, but also make it rhyme in digestible and intriguing couplets for young readers. It took a long time to get it right.

  1. Your illustrator is a longtime friend. Was working on a book together easy or did it present some challenges?

I wrote multiple drafts at various coffee shops, between nursey school drop offs, pick ups, and work projects, before I got the book to a place where I felt others could read it. The first person I called was my best friend since kindergarten, Jody King Camarra. Jody is not only an incredibly talented illustrator, but she is also a mom extraordinaire. I knew she would be a perfect second read, and she would see my vision better than anyone else.

I asked Jody to illustrate the book and she readily agreed. I didn’t have any money to offer her. I didn’t have anyone backing me or believing in me. I had no guarantee the book would ever be published. All I had was my word—a mutual trust earned through more than 40 years of friendship–and that was good enough for her.

We effectively worked together despite multiple obstacles, zero funding, and almost daily tests of patience, perseverance, and emotional fortitude to bring this book to life. There were some differences of opinion and some strain caused by illustration delays but, mostly, there was synergy, shared commitment, and resolve to see it through. I am immensely grateful she lent her talents towards illustrating my book alongside her mom, Caryn King. Both of them knew and adored my mom and they cherish my son, so this truly was a collective labor of love.

  1. You’re a prolific blogger and writer and have quite a following. Do you consider yourself an Influencer? What responsibilities do you feel to your readers?

I have a commitment to myself to be honest, and that effortlessly resonates with my readers. I don’t sugarcoat my life one bit. I have endured multiple heartbreaks, from illness to death to divorce, and I bare the unfiltered ugliness of it all to connect with others who may need to hear my truth.

I can’t adequately express how much it means to me when someone reaches out to tell me a post I wrote gave them hope or made them feel heard. It’s the reason I peel back the protective layers and expose my most vulnerable thoughts through writing. It’s often cathartic for me and healing for them at the same time.

I feel so fortunate that I have bylines on Huffington PostScary MommyThe Stirand The Mighty, and Swaay, among others, because they help expand my reach tremendously and better position me as an influencer.

  1. What is the best part of being a mom?

It’s surreal to me that my son once lived in my belly, that I had anything to do with the little masterpiece of a man he’s becoming. Of course, if I take a look at my belly I am quickly reminded that he did, in fact, take up residence there—I am not one of those celebrity snapback queens, even nine years later!

I have choked back tears during all of his immunizations, agonized over the smallest of decisions, and spent every waking minute trying to achieve the artful balance of keeping him safe while giving him the space to spread his wings. I have laughed and loved harder than I ever imagined, all because I have been blessed as his mom.

My son is genuine, kind, personable, hilarious, and loving despite the occasional attitude or eye-roll. He is my greatest contribution to the world; living proof I am doing something right.

The best part is savoring the gift of time to experience his growth, as it is a gift denied to many (including his father). It’s amazing to me that he came out of the womb utterly defenseless and can now stop a hockey puck with force and precision. And I get to witness it all.

 I love watching my bonus children mature, dream, and achieve alongside my son.

  1. Your son loves to ask questions. What are some of your favorites?

“Do you think Dad is hanging out with JFK in Heaven? I hope he tells him he’s one of my favorite presidents.”

“Why is the letter “T” in Home Depot silent? Wouldn’t it just make sense to spell it the right way?”

“What makes a swear word a swear word? And who decided we shouldn’t be able to say swear words?”

“Mom, Do you think Tuukka Rask (Boston Bruins goalie) will give When You Lived in My Belly to his girlfriend? What about [insert celebrity name of the day here]?”



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New Releases for January 2018!

Happy New Year! If one of your resolutions was to read more in 2018, we have lots of great new releases for you to kick off January.


States of the Union by Michaela Papa In nonfiction, poetry, short fiction, artwork, and detailed interviews, States of the Union collects reflections from everyday Americans on the 2016 presidential election. Edited by Michaela Papa, States of the Union captures an honest, nonpartisan snapshot of America in the wake of a historic election. If You Hit Me One More Time by Tonya Cannon Growing up in the south, Tonya had a difficult childhood after a fatal mistake took her parents away. Slowly, she began to heal from the tragic events of her past until a cycle of domestic abuse begins to appear, leading her to make one of the bravest—and hardest—decisions of her life: to escape her abusive marriage once and for all. Join Tonya on a compelling journey of bravery, discovery, and hope as she strives to gain a new outlook on the world through faith and truly begin to heal. Do You Want to Know? Women’s Lives and Relationships from a Hairstylist’s Point of View by Tina Tesfaye The bonds between women are some of the most strong and unique, and nothing shows that more than the voice of a woman herself. Do You Want to Know: Women’s Lives and Relationships from a Hairstylist’s Point of View is a first-person look into the lives of strong, take-charge women who will inspire readers to be equal and confident in all of their relationships.


Definition of a Friend By Elaine Cornell Ida Bergstrom vividly remembers her childhood on her family’s farm in Bräkne-Hoby, Sweden. Her name was Inga Ohlsdotter then, the child of well-off parents who ran their own farm, tutored their daughters in English, and were well respected in the community. When her father develops a gambling problem, Inga and her family struggle to keep their family farm. In the turmoil, Inga begins to have prophetic dreams, a gift, her mother tells her, passed down to her from her Grandmother to guide her in times of trouble. When the farm is finally sold after her father’s death, Inga goes to live with her aunt. It is not long before Inga realizes that she cannot stay in Sweden, and, perhaps, was never meant to. The first book in a three-part series, Sweden’s Child is a vibrant look at Swedish culture, a compelling immigrant’s narrative, and a moving coming of age tale all at once. People of all ages will see themselves in Inga’s challenges and will revel in her strengths and successes. Kooshma: The Origin by Dytania Johnson The folk tale of Kooshma has been passed down in the South for generations. Now Dytania Johnson has put together the chilling tale of his origin. Witness the rage and suffering that leads Kooshma to become a legend in this horrifying tale of revenge.

Chapter Books

Forgotten Lands: Dragon Island by Jennifer Strain
What are the strange trinkets in Grandfather’s attic? Is there any truth to his magical stories?
Join Sadie on a thrilling adventure as she discovers that her grandfather’s treasures are from a once forgotten land. When Sadie and her cousins find a magical map, they are whisked away to a land where royalty is plagued by fire-breathing, book-eating dragons! Can Sadie save the Queen’s most prized possessions?

Children’s Books

Glory Days Press Sports Biographies: David Ortiz by Andrea Alexander Glory Days Press Sports Biographies: David Ortiz from Glory Days Press is a biographical children’s book about one of the best hitters in Major League Baseball history. Designed to help kids fall in love with books, young readers can advance their vocabulary while learning everything there is to know about David Ortiz’s life. What’s College About Anyway? by Betty Thomas Patterson Have you ever dreamed of college? Today, Miss Sims is talking with her class about college and answering all of their questions. What can you study at college? Will you meet new people? Are there other things to do beside study? What’s college about anyway? Fit Mom by Candace Quinn Join us in experiencing the transformation of a mother through her daughter’s eyes in this fun and imaginative take on the wacky world of parenting. Based on a true story, Fit Mom is a great read that introduces healthy habits for young readers and promotes healthy living for all ages.
by Joan Kaufman Reis has waited years to lead his family on their migration, and the time has finally arrived! There’s just one problem—he doesn’t know which way to go. What good is a goose who doesn’t know how to fly south? Will he head in the right direction, or will he always be Wrong Way Reis?
Hey Tuskegee! by Robert E. Constant Join Robbie and Saniyah on a trip to their parents’ alma mater for homecoming! Relive the magic of possibility and the immersive pageantry of school spirit as the siblings celebrate the accomplishments of iconic African-American alumni and historical figures who helped make Tuskegee University the incredible institution it is today. Written equally with nostalgic sentiment and educational insight, Hey Tuskegee!inspires past, present,and future students to be the best they can be. Don’t miss out on this instant classic! Nestor’s Adventures: From Garbage to Garden by Kathy Hopper and Shawn Bruckman Explore the world of composting with Nestor the earthworm. Learn how bacteria, fungi, and other composting friends turn a pile of organic waste into healthy compost! Follow along with Nestor in this richly illustrated tale and learn how your waste goes from garbage to garden.
The Big Bad Whaaaat???? by Eileen R. Malora
When a retired police dog named Jax witnesses a little girl wander into the woods alone,his world is turned upside-down in this charming twist on a classic story. Vividly illustrated and unexpectedly original, The Big Bad WHAAAAT???? demonstrates that even the best intentions can become the misadventure of a lifetime. After all, there are two sides to every story.
A portion of all proceeds is donated to support the life-saving efforts of Hi-Tor animal shelter. Saddle Sisters: The Trail Ride by Liz Macchio Riding should be fun! But when both the horses and their riders don’t get along, what will happen? Jessica and Rebecca are sisters, but Jessica thinks Rebecca asks too many questions, and they don’t get along. Snickers and Daisy are schooling horses, but Snickers thinks Daisy also asks too many questions, and they don’t get along either! Can the sisters and their horses figure out how to help each other and have fun? The Learning Buddies: Roman Learns How to Make Friends by Patricia Loge Roman the Lion is starting his first day of school, and he’s nervous to make friends. Follow along with Roman as he learn the social skills he needs to interact with others and have a good time! This fun yet educational book is the first of an eight-book series teaching children how to navigate the skills they need to navigate their lives.

Wallaby Walkabout by Kerry Chávez Hoss is invited to accompany a wallaby on his walkabout, a very special tradition of exploring the land, culture, and identity. Wander with them through the Outback as they learn about its history, landmarks, and extraordinary creatures! Oh No! I Gotta Go to the Dentist! by Dianne Peterson Today, Lucy is going to the dentist for the first time and isn’t sure what to expect. But with the help of the Smile Squad–Minnie Mirror, Sammy Sippy, Explorer Eddy, and Pearly Polish–Lucy learns how a visit to the dentist can be fun and magical! The Very Hungry Cave Boy: Our Modern Day Challenge with Kids and Their Brains by Deirdre Pizzoferrato What drives us to make the decisions that we do? We’re constantly exposed to stimulus that drive pleasure, motivation, and, eventually, addiction, but at the center of all the outside in put is one thing: our brains. Unlocking the complex system that is our brain is an important part of raising well-balanced kids who understand how that powerful “machine” influences our day-to-day decisions. In the era of instant gratification, The Very Hungry Cave Boy helps kids understand why they do the things that they do, and how they can use that to be healthier, happier, and smarter.
Noot’s in Charge by Frances Warner Norman doesn’t understand why his big brother, Noot, is always in charge! Will it ever be his turn to be in charge? How can he prove himself to be worthy? Gorgeously illustrated and thoughtfully written, Noot’s in Charge is an instant classic that explores the up’s and down’s of growing up with siblings.
Millie’s Song of Courage by Sharon Hudson Millie loves to sing, but she’s scared of singing in front of people! She doesn’t want anyone to laugh at her, so she only sings when she’s alone. But with her beautiful voice, Millie deserves to sing in front of an audience. Can she find the courage to stand up in front of everyone and prove to herself that she can sing?
Franny the Nanny in Gumdrops for Breakfast by Sarah  King Franny the Nanny seems like a dream come true when she starts giving the kids mountains of sugar and piles and piles of sweets for lunch, breakfast, AND dinner! Who wouldn’t want a nanny who just lets you have sweet treats all the time? But is it possible for kids to tire of sugary snacks? Will they ever eat fruits and veggies again? And what is happening to Franny? Maybe this clever nanny has something else up her sleeve…
The Spring Suitcase Stories by Margaret “Peggy” Rose Dolan
Traveling storyteller Margaret “Peggy” Rose Dolan has collected three more of her spring holiday stories in this wonderful collection: Barney Blarney, Everything is Green Today!Bedelia and the Lightning Brigade, and Mitch the Mushroom as Told By A Big Old Fat Green Frog. Come gather around as she lights a candle and opens her suitcase of stories for you and your family to enjoy.
And be sure to look out for her companion stories, The Fall Suitcase Stories!
A Good Fox by Madelyn and Monica Fox When the fox meets the gingerbread man, her world is turned upside-down. Will they be friends or foes? Will her hungry bear friend be able to help? The beautifully illustrated debut from Madelyn and Monica Fox, A Good Fox, is sure to delight and inspire the best in everyone. The Sewanee Night Before Christmas by Katie Porterfield A Sewanee update to the classic Christmas tale! Instead of red, Santa wears purple, instead of reindeer, there are tigers, and instead of coal, there are perfect little gifts from favorite local shops. Beloved and familiar buildings and traditions abound, bringing warm feelings and making this book a must-own for anyone who loves the magic feeling of the Domain. A Sheep and a Horse by Jennifer Cash
The lost, lonely sheep
Didn’t fit in from the start
Until she meets a kind (but sad) horse,
In this story that will warm your heart!
Anthony Rizzo is a Good Italian Boy by Amanda ReCupido & Matt Lynch
The Chicago Cubs’ Anthony Rizzo loves big dinners with his family when he’s not hitting home runs on the field. Take a look at what defined a baseball legend in the highly-anticipated literary debut from Amanda ReCupido and Matt Lynch. Richly illustrated and full of heart, Anthony Rizzo is a Good Italian Boy is sure to be an instant classic for fans of all ages.
by Lauren Miller
Are you hungry? It’s lunchtime now!
So let’s get ready—don’t worry, we’ll show you how!
by Andra Gillum Riley is one happy dog living a charmed life with her mom and dad. But as her family begins to grow, Riley must learn to adjust to crying babies, touchy toddlers, and a pushy new puppy. Read along to see the doggy drama unfold!
by David Hughes
When Benny is tasked with a daunting homework assignment to tell the class what he wants to do when he grows up, he is thrust into a journey of wonder and self-discovery. Will an enlightening conversation with his grandfather change everything?
In his richly illustrated debut children’s book, Benny Becomes an Architect, David Hughes uses fun facts about Morgan State University to explore the awe-filled opportunities that different careers can offer. Relive all the wonder, excitement, and possibility that a future with Morgan State University can offer today! Faith and Zee: Same, but Different by Kimberly Woock
Faith and Zee are two sisters who may be different in many ways, but they also have many ways in which they’re the same. Come along and see how special kids can help you too see things in different ways!

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Guest Blogger: A Passion For Science Can Start From A Young Age

Science is the foundation of human civilization. It encompasses our intellectual and technological achievements and is the reason for so much progress in the world. I am passionate about science, and naturally, when I became a parent, I wanted to pass on my love and enthusiasm for science to my son. We started talking about rockets and stars, doing chemistry ‘experiments’ in the kitchen, collecting rocks, hunting for bones in our garden, and loads of other science-based activities that my son adored. I also started to create simple rhymes about scientists that my son began happily repeating. I realized that the rhymes could appeal to other children too, and that is the essence of my book, My Scientist Friends.

There are countless videos of 3- and 4-year-olds singing entire Disney songs or national anthems, or reciting rosters of sports teams. Why not celebrating scientists? If the content is engaging and delivered with an easy rhythm, kids will pick it up, enjoy it, and perhaps be hooked. I thought that if science concepts can be made whimsical and engaging, it would be a tool for parents and educators to talk about science with young kids. My Scientist Friends is an attempt to prime young minds to be comfortable with scientific vocabulary and ideas, and to create a foundation for a love of science for a lifetime. With beautiful illustrations that are meant to capture the imagination of young children, the rhymes introduce concepts like entropy, antibiotics, and DNA. If a funny image of an apple falling on Newton’s head can spawn a conversation about gravity, that will be mission accomplished!

Parents, educators, and governments understand that a STEM focus is important for personal and societal growth. With that in mind, there are many toys, programs, and avenues for older kids to learn about science. However, I feel that it is never too early to make kids familiar with science—but it has to be done in a way that appeals to them. We know that the toddler and pre-K age is one of constant learning. Kids absorb everything that they are introduced to, and research shows that habits formed during early childhood are retained throughout life.

Young kids are by definition scientists. They are curious, ask questions, demand answers that make sense to them and are relentless in the pursuit of their passions. That is exactly the nature of the scientific process—asking questions and not just blindly accepting anything. If we can label the quest to imagine ‘what if’ as what scientists do, then it should give confidence from a very young age to say, “I am a scientist too!”

I hope that My Scientist Friends inspires children to look at scientists as heroes and start a conversation about science at an early age. Scientists like Marie Curie and Galileo are people who changed our lives with skill and dedication, not superpowers. We know the impact that positive role models can have, and this is an opportunity to show kids that scientists save the world every day, wearing a lab coat instead of a cape.

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New Releases for October 2017!

It’s officially fall! Kick off the season by sitting down with a warm latte and a good book. We have great new releases this month, including inspiring memoirs, riveting fiction, and even some Halloween-themed books.


Up All Night: From Hollywood Bombshell to Lingerie Mogul, Life Lessons from an Accidental Feminist by Rhonda Shear

Slip on your satin pajamas, pull back the covers, and slide into bed with everyone’s favorite late-night bedtime buddy, Rhonda Shear! You know her as the smart-sexy hostess of USA: Up All Night, but did you know Rhonda was a New Orleans beauty queen? A candidate for office? A standup comic? An award-winning “bimbopreneur”? A rule-breaking feminist?

She’s been all that and more, and in this funny, naughty, candid book, Rhonda finally shares the unforgettable story of a woman who was always “too something”—too pretty, too funny, too ethnic, too blonde—to achieve anything, but who ended up achieving everything. Packed with vivid characters, hilarious stories, and wisdom for women of all ages, Up All Night proves that when it comes to achieving your dreams, the only voice that matters is your own.

Raising America’s Zoo: How Two Gorillas Helped Transform the National Zoo by Kara Arundel When Arthur “Nick” Arundel returned to Washington, D.C. from a safari in the Belgian Congo with two baby gorillas in tow, he and the animals brought change with them to the National Zoo. The wild apes came to an antiquated zoo, which had wanted to showcase gorillas for decades but knew very little about how to raise them. The journey from Africa to America was just the beginning of the huge changes in store for the gorillas and for the zoo that would evolve from a mere animal park to an internationally respected center focused on conservation of species—a zoo that would become “America’s zoo.” Raising America’s Zoo shares the triumphs and heartbreaks of this first generation of gorillas and the caretakers who worked tirelessly to make the National Zoo home for the apes. Witness Nick Arundel’s story, a tale of a man who at first celebrated the gorillas’ capture, then grew to regret his reputation as a “gorilla hunter” and spent the rest of his days as an animal conservation advocate. Experience the National Zoo’s struggle to preserve the western lowland gorilla, a species that is moving closer to becoming extinct in the wild due to habitat destruction, disease, and poaching. The zoo community’s mission to save the gorillas may be more important now than ever before. Our Last Seder by Arnie “Tokyo” Rosenthal
Tragedies hit us when we least expect them. It’s always someone else experiencing the horrific, the unthinkable. But when Arnie “Tokyo” Rosenthal is faced with disaster, the unthinkable becomes real.
Our Last Seder is the true story of ten-year- old Arnie’s introduction to mortality and the consequences that follow.
Ten Generations of Byrds in America: From Virginia to Alabama and Back by Manuel H. Johnson Jr. In this book, Manuel H. Johnson Jr. traces his direct line of Byrd ancestors from a common grandfather with the Westover Byrds who lived in England. He points out that the first Byrd to occupy Virginia, possibly as early as 1635, was this man’s son and uncle of the original Westover Byrd. In a fascinating account, he follows these Byrd ancestors for ten generations as they first settle in Virginia, then migrate to North Carolina, and finally relocate to Alabama. Along this family journey, Johnson takes us through the Byrds’ survival of Bacon’s Rebellion, battles during the American Revolution, and tragedy during the American Civil War. The author also paints an engrossing picture of Byrd family struggles throughout the reconstruction era in Alabama and then brings us into the 20th century with this extraordinary story. In the final chapter, we are provided a firsthand account of the author’s return to Virginia and the almost eerie reconnection with his Westover Byrd relatives.


West of Hell by Whiskey Emerson
In 1874, New York looked like a much different city. It was a hellish, machine-fueled metropolis controlled by violence and corruption. New York City was a place where no life was sacred… a place not fit for the faint of heart.
It is, however, home for Thomas, a seventeen-year-old blacksmith who is grappling with the disappearance of his mother, Mary. His distant guardian is known as the Madame, an intriguing brothel owner who gives Thomas guidance as he navigates the city. While trying to find his mother, Thomas uncovers letters from his long-lost father, Edward, and when the two reunite, Thomas decides to go to England with him in search of a new life.
Back in New York, Madame and her right-hand man Louis find themselves at the mercy of Tammany Hall, an infamous organizaiton run by the most powerful men in the city, including the notorious Richard Croker. When the two discover that Mary’s disappearance was not accident, Madame strikes a deal with Croker, bargaining for both Thomas’s life and her own.
When Thomas returns to New York eight years later, he reunites with old friends and thrives as a partner in Edward’s shipping company. But after his father makes a terrible mistake while investigating Mary’s death, tragedy strikes. Thomas loses what matters most to him and, as a result, gains a thirst for vengeance against Croker and Tammany Hall. And with the help of his Edward’s old Master, Thomas intends to bring hell to anyone who stands in his way.


The Haunted Pumpkin Patch by Lazaro Garcia Little Leanne doesn’t know what’s in store for her yet, but her curiosity leads her on a dark and sinister journey into the hidden world of the Haunted Pumpkin Patch. She meets interesting characters and one true friend, who tries to help her escape from that terrifying place and the clutches of its ruler. Come join Little Leanne on her Halloween adventure and see if she ever gets out of the Haunted Pumpkin Patch! Trick or Treat! The Witch’s New Britches by Tracy Watland
Delores DeBoris McCackler Pout has her witchy eyes on a new pair of underwear this Halloween! Will she be able to get her hands on the last pair, or will another witch be the lucky one? Find out in this Halloween tale from Tracy Watland!

Coffee Table Books

Fences in the Landscape Talk: Are We Listening? Written by Lawrence S. Hamilton, Edited by Linda S. Hamilton, Poetry by Marie Riley This book will change the way you look at the landscape. You will start noticing fences more. And you will wonder about why they are there, who built them, and why. You will notice how they are built and from what materials. In other words, you will pause and listen for the interesting stories fences can tell. You may be quite surprised at what you learn. Larry Hamilton’s charming photographs from around the world highlight both familiar and unfamiliar types of fences. With historic background information and commentary that is sometimes whimsical and sometimes provocative, he invites you to observe and reflect. As you think about the stories embedded in fences, you may see parallels between the physical fences we build and the psychological and cultural barriers we erect between ourselves. Realistically, the effectiveness of both is limited and temporary—because no fences are permanent. With time, all fences do break down. And understanding this may influence the fences you yourself build or do not build in your own life.

Children’s Books

Violet and Beaumont by Abby Rupert Baus What happens when a Shetland pony meets a Monarch butterfly? They become best friends! Get caught up in the beauty of nature with Violet and Beaumont as their unlikely friendship grows. They’ll find out what true friendship means when Beaumont migrates for the winter, and Violet learns that even small ponies can do big things for their friends! So come along with Violet and Beaumont and you’ll be sure to smile as you learn all about their inspiring story. And who knows, maybe if you look around and listen, you’ll find a new friend waiting for you too! The United Forest of Kind by Anne Grall Reichel When Squirrel senses that things have changed in the once kind and gentle forest where she raised her family, she endeavors to get to the root of the problem. Beautifully illustrated and passionately written, The United Forest of Kind reminds us that compassion can be found in even the smallest of actions. Candy Land is in Trouble by Leila O’Brien Candy Land is a wonderful place until an unexpected visitor shows up and turns the world upside down. Can the citizens of Candy Land protect the home they love so dearly? Can Candy Land be saved?
Hanuman Moves a Mountain by Amy Maranville
In this retelling of a well-loved Hindu story,
Hanuman will use all his power to save the life of a friend, and Harini will learn a valuable lesson about loyalty,
devotion, and using your strength for good.
Harini and Padmini Say Namaste by Amy Maranville Join Harini and Padmini for yoga! Miss Janani will teach the class about the ancient spiritual history of yoga, along with some asanas (poses). It’s Padmini’s first yoga class, and she doesn’t know most of the poses, but she cannot wait to learn. Come learn with her! Big Boy Nate Adventures: First Football Roadtrip by Nate Livings and Christopher Roberson Big Boy Nate and his dad are headed out on their first road trip together! They can’t wait for a day filled with fun, football, and family. Come along with Nate on this first of many adventures in the Big Boy Nate Adventures series. Sue’s Sunrise Surprise by Susan Broesche For Sue, a little girl from Texas, a love for her horses comes naturally. So when she sees something mysterious in the pasture, she has to discover what is out there with the animals that she loves so much. What do You Believe, Mama? by Ann Bilodeau A child’s curiosity and honesty of thought are truly a joy to behold! But the traditions of religion can be difficult for children to understand. Parents with a freethought philosophy look for books to help support their views. This is that book—a story with a positive message that encourages children to think for themselves, accentuated by the playful drawings of artist Stanley Burford. Mason the Bull by Crystal Day Bullied his whole life for his white face, Mason starts Valedor Academy determined to become The Valedor. But when things don’t go as planned and he meets Daring Dolly, a traveling and carefree cow, he must decide whether to leave with her or continue following his dream at the Academy. Peg the Pie Lady Comes to Town by Peggy Goodman When Peg’s pie truck rolls into Our Little Town, excitement and good cheer fill the warm spring air. The delicious aroma of freshly baked pies brings everyone together–even grumpy Mr. Johnson! What kind of pie would you order from Peg’s pie truck? ‘Twas the Night Before Bayou Classic: A Tiger’s Tale by Andrea Brew Take a look from the other side of the field in Andrea Brew’s follow-up to her debut children’s book, ‘Twas the Night Before Bayou Classic. On the eve of the legendary game, a family of Grambling State University fans are preparing to cheer on the Tigers when a surprise visitor knocks at their door. Smartly written and beautifully illustrated, ‘Twas the Night Before Bayou Classic: A Tiger’s Tale is a must-read for fans of the Bayou Classic and beyond. What is a Musical Note, Do You Know?
by Mizzi Layne Hello friend! Did you know we can both hear and see musical notes? If we listen to someone sing, we are hearing a lot of notes. If we look in a music book, we are seeing a lot of notes. But music is more than just hearing or seeing notes; In between notes we hear and see silence too! We can see silence with a symbol called a rest. If we form different patterns of sound and silence, notes and rests, We can create all kinds of wonderful music!
Campfire Stu and the Backwoods Jamboree by Mike Struwin Meet Campfire Stu, a creative, adventurous boy who loves music and playing outside. Running away from home to avoid his chores, Stu sets out into the woods to meet new friends and start a band, but his travels are beset by moral dilemmas and challenges that Stu is forced to solve. With vibrant hand-drawn illustrations The Backwoods Jamboree is a must read and a must listen with the accompanying music and audiobook. Come along on a musical walkabout with Campfire Stu and friends. I Wish I Was Big by Kelly Jean Lietaert Have you ever wanted to do something and were told that you couldn’t because you were too small? Lizzie has some big plans, but her mommy inspires her to enjoy her life as it is today. As her eyes open to all of the fun things she can do right now, you will be encouraged too! There’s Something Pokey in my Shoe by Kelly Jean Lietaert Lizzie has a full day of fun planned, but then things start going downhill! Will she be able to remain patient, ask for help, and keep a positive attitude? There’s Something Pokey in My Shoe is a great reminder for all ages that if we remain calm and make the right choices instead of stomping our feet in frustration, there’s nothing we can’t overcome! Suzie Sunshine: The Adventures of a Sweet and Sassy Ladybug by Danelle Matlack
Suzie Sunshine: The Adventures of a Sweet & Sassy Ladybug tells the story of the unlikely friendship between Suzie, a sweet and sassy ladybug who is seeking adventure, and Ella, a friendly young girl from Philadelphia. This story encourages young readers to have confidence and try new things. Suzie demonstrates how unlikely friendships often lead to the best adventures!
A portion of this book’s proceeds will be donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer.

Children’s Board Books

Ben’s New Hat by Paola Curley Encourage the little ones in your life to embrace new experiences with the wide-eyed Ben as he embarks on an exploration of the world with his new cranial band. Written with unfeigned purpose and vividly illustrated, Ben’s New Hat helps children discover that change can be fun!
by Robert Barnhart Lull your children to sleep through the wonders of five fantastic fairies and their tale that practices the important values of love and positivity. Phoebe’s Five Little Fairies is a perfect bedtime read, richly illustrated and accompanied by its soothing lullaby.

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