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April 2016


News and reviews from Red Balloon Bookshop! April 2016
Independent Bookstore Day is April 30th!
On Saturday, April 30th, join the Independent Bookstore Day party by visiting Red Balloon for exclusive merchandise, giveaways, & activities!  Help celebrate the vital role indie bookstores have in the community.  Join us! 

Have you followed us on Instagram yet?  Come hang out @redballoonbookshop! View updates on events, new titles, and more in-store fun!

Red Balloon Pop-up Store | April 2016

We're thrilled to bring our store into the community for the following events:

Kerlan Award Ceremony, honoring Betsy and Ted Lewin | Saturday, April 30, 12-2pm | U of M Anderson Library | More info »

 28th Annual Minnesota Book Awards | Saturday, April 16, 7pm | Union Depot, St. Paul | More info »

Upcoming Eventsback to top

4/8 - Jacqueline West, Dreamers Often Lie  This NYT bestselling author of The Books of Elsewhere shares her YA debut!   More »


 4/9 - Mary Casanova and Rick Wroblewski, Wake Up, Island  Celebrate this timeless picture book from two Minnesota favorites.  More »


 4/11 - Girls Read Book Club  A book club for girls in 5th-7th grade and their moms, discussing Isabelle Day Refuses to Die of a Broken Heart by Jane St. Anthony.  More »


 4/11 - Kids Read Book Club  A book club for kids in 3rd-4th grade (or equivalent reading level), discussing Secret Hero Society: Study Hall of Justice by Derek Fridolfs.  More »


 4/15 - James Dashner, The Game of Lives  We were snowed out in November, but now the Game is on! Meet the author of The Maze Runner before it's too late!  More »


4/18 - Teens Read Book Club  Each month, teens select an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) to read and review. Email to join the waiting list.  More »


 4/21 - Guys Read Book Club  Attention, boys in 5th-7th grade! Bring along a male adult to discuss April's selection: The Riverman by Aaron Starmer  More »


 4/23 - Maud Hart Lovelace Awards  Happy Birthday, Maud Hart Lovelace! Join us for the live announcement of the 2015-16 winners!  More »


4/24 - Belinda Jensen, Bel the Weather Girl  KARE 11 meteorologist celebrates her new series! Play wacky weather games and meet Belinda Jensen.  More »


4/26 - Kelsey Sutton, The Lonely Ones  Kelsey Sutton's latest is told in breathless, visual verse, and you don't want to miss it.  More »


4/30 - Independent Bookstore Day!  An all-day party in honor of independent bookstores! There will be books. There will be stories. There will be FUN!  More »


5/1 - Brian Farrey, The Secret of Dreadwillow Carse  Author of the acclaimed The Vengekeep Prophecy brings a new adventure series for middle grade readers!  More »


5/4 - Maggie Stiefvater, The Raven King  One of the most highly anticipated books of 2016, and Maggie Stiefvater is coming to celebrate ! More »


5/7 - Elephant & Piggie Storytime   A special storytime with Gerald & Piggie for the 25th and final installation in Mo Willem's Elephant & Piggie series.  More »


Recommended Readsback to top
Have You Seen Elephant? Have You Seen Elephant? by David Barrow
Published: Gecko Press, March 2016; Recommended Age: 3-6
Have you seen Have You Seen Elephant? No? It's a winner. In this simple-but-charming story, a young boy plays hide-and-seek with his friend, Elephant. Little ones will enjoy spotting Elephant (is he under the covers? Behind the tree?) and older children will appreciate the gentle humor. The illustrations alone, so full of vibrant colors and textures, make this one a book worth seeking out. -- Matt (RBB Staff)
The Cow Who Climbed a Tree The Cow Who Climbed a Tree by Gemma Merino
Published: Albert Whitman, March 2016; Recommended Age: 4-6
Tina is not your average cow--she has DREAMS! (And they don't involve lolling about and eating fresh grass.) She strikes out and discovers a whole new world, one that includes trees, friendly dragons, and flight! I love the playful watercolor illustrations, and it was fun to see my favorite character from The Crocodile Who Didn’t Like Water make a cameo appearance. You will fall in love with Tina, and applaud her can-do attitude! -- Barb (RBB Staff)
A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals A Hungry Lion, or A Dwindling Assortment of Animals by Lucy Ruth Cummins
Published: Atheneum, March 2016; Recommended Age: 4-6
This is a great read-aloud, perfect for anyone who enjoyed This is Not My Hat and Warning: Do Not Open This Book! What's in store for the hungry lion and his friends? Talk about a surprise party gone bad! I promise that the ending will make you smile in spite of yourself. Everyone on staff who has read it has LOVED it! -- Barb (RBB Staff)
Ideas Are All Around Ideas Are All Around by Philip C. Stead
Published: Roaring Brook, March 2016; Recommended Age: 5+
Kids often ask where authors get their ideas. Ideas are all around, Stead says, and here he gives us the opportunity to walk through a morning with him, and with his dog, Wednesday. Through his eyes, we begin to see beauty and inspiration as he sees it-- in conversation with a turtle, in the rumble of a train, in an accidental spill of paint. Stead's illustrations are delicate, textured, and energetic, and are accompanied by photos that appear like windows to a world that is full of ideas. -- Joan (RBB Staff)
Weekends With Max and His Dad Weekends With Max and His Dad by Linda Urban, Katie Kath (illus.)
Published: HMH Books for Young Readers, April 2016; Recommended Age: 7-9
Max lives with his dad on the weekends. They're spy guys together, they make music, eat pizza for dinner and pancakes for breakfast (bacon and pineapple, for Max). Threaded through their adventures are Max's (and his dad's) worries about the new shape of their relationship. Always gentle, this wise and funny book makes me look forward to more weekends spent with Max and his dad! -- Joan (RBB Staff)
The Nameless City The Nameless City by Faith Erin Hicks
Published: First Second, April 2016; Recommended Age: 9+
For a comics-lover like me, it's been a long wait for Faith Erin Hicks's original work, The Nameless City. The story takes place in a fictional central Asian city, and showcases incredible visual world-building. Full-color art and tight storytelling throws the reader right into the streets of the city alongside characters Kaidu and Rat. It's been said that chase scenes belong in movies, not comics, but this book begs to differ. Rooftop races are depicted in beautiful flowing panels. But if you need more action than just running, there's martial arts! and secret plots! Fans of Boxers and Saints, Amulet, or Avatar: The Last Airbender should definitely check out The Nameless City! -- Katy (RBB Staff)
Raymie Nightingale Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo (Available April 12th)
Published: Candlewick, 2016; Recommended Age: 10+
10-year-old Raymie has a plan to break up her father’s love affair with a dental hygienist. If she can win the local beauty pageant, her picture will be in the paper and when her dad sees it, he will return home. And to win the beauty pageant, she will need to learn how to twirl a baton. And that is where the story begins--at a baton twirling class with Raymie and two other girls who have their own share of sadness and challenges. These three girls learn to trust and support each other as they try to navigate their less than ideal circumstances. Raymie is told in short simple chapters full of just the right words to tell a story about very complicated lives. Lots of hope, humor, and wisdom in this story. -- Holly (RBB Staff)
The Storyteller The Storyteller by Aaron Starmer
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, March 2016; Recommended Age: 11+
Finally, the conclusion to Aaron Starmer's Riverman trilogy! I forced myself to read slowly because it's easy to gobble these books up. Starmer helps slow you down by compelling you to re-read. The Storyteller is as complex and winding as the previous two installments, each chapter laying down a new thread that changes how you think about the story as a whole. That's what I love about this trilogy: not only is it fantastical and thrilling, but it's a tangled web that you unravel alongside the characters. Having finished The Storyteller, I went right back to the beginning and re-read The Riverman. Now that I know what happens in the end, I noticed all these little clues Starmer dropped in the first book. It's a level of complexity not often seen in a middle grade series. I recommend these to any reader who has an active imagination, a puzzle-loving mind, and isn't afraid of a little darkness. -- Katy (RBB Staff)
A Fierce and Subtle Poison A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry (Available April 12th)
Published: Algonquin, April 2016; Recommended Age: 13+
In the cursed house at the end of Calle Sol, there is a witch, or so the stories go. Green-eyed and grass-haired, she is said to grant wishes, and Lucas Knight has always been fascinated with the legends that surround her. When his girlfriend vanishes, Lucas turns to the mysterious cursed girl, Isabel, for answers, and finds himself caught in a mysterious and enchanting world all her own. A Fierce and Subtle Poison's setting was so detailed and beautiful it was easy to forget that I wasn't actually in Puerto Rico. The lore and subtle superstitions created such a rich and lovely backdrop to a complex, absorbing, and deeply emotional premise. Samantha Mabry has created a truly artful debut, and fans of magical realism, mystery, myth, and romance will fiercely love A Fierce and Subtle Poison. -- Amanda (Teens Read Book Club)
Dreamology Dreamology by Lucy Keating (Available April 12th)
Published: Harper Teen, April 2016; Recommended Age: Adult
Dreamology is about a girl named Alice who dreams about her true love every night. She finds him every night in a new fantastical life, but is most surprised to find him in this real life. One of the most important parts of a book is the main concept, and how it keeps the reader interested. This book had me thinking about the concept of the dream worlds for weeks after I finished reading about them. -- Martha (Teens Read Book Club)
Jane Steele Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye
Published: Penguin, March 2016; Recommended Age: 14+
Jane Steele loves the newly published book, Jane Eyre. The interesting thing is she herself is an orphan, living a similar life. With one big difference. She is a killer. This book, filled with dark humor and much satire, is sure to please the reader who loves Gothic adventure and who also appreciates another view of Jane Eyre. I couldn't put it down. -- Julie (RBB Staff)
Join Join by Steve Toutonghi
Published: Soho, April 2016; Recommended Age: Adult/16+
Join is an immersive experience. Toutonghi’s writing is quiet and dark, propelling you from one page to the next. Terms and concepts woven throughout the book are slowly internalized, until the spires of New Denver feel just as real and normal as the skyscrapers of modern-day Denver. “Joins” are single consciousnesses that exist in multiple bodies; the death of one body does not mean the death of the mind. Chance and Leap, two joins who exist in a world where immortality is the norm, are suddenly faced with death from all sides; they're threatened by a serial killer and facing down a terminal illness. Their only chance of survival lies with a secret society in the uninhabitable heart of North America. Join is a sophisticated piece of dystopian sci-fi that blends technology, environmental catastrophe, and the very human struggle of the individual versus death. -- Katy (RBB Staff)
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