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January 2016


News and reviews from Red Balloon Bookshop! January 2016
Happy New Year from Red Balloon!
We start 2016 filled with gratitude. Thanks to you, Red Balloon had a very festive and successful holiday season. We enjoyed seeing many of our regular customers, meeting new customers, and of course, helping all of you find the right gifts!
Our Be An Angel book drive was also a big success because of your generosity. Together, we collected over 600 books for St. Paul Public School’s Project REACH! We are deeply grateful to all of our customers who help us help our community.
All of us at Red Balloon look forward to sharing many more great books and experiences with you in 2016!
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Join us for a new year of reading  and fun--for all ages!  More »
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A perfect companion to hot cocoa and a good book, our great selection of unique games and winsome journals will keep your winter merry and bright.
Come on in to see our favorites!
Upcoming Eventsback to top

1/4 - The (Not-So) Young Adult Book Club  Adult readers: embrace your love of YA and join us! Jan's book: More Than This by Patrick Ness  More »


1/9 - Megan Maynor, Ella and Penguin Stick Together  Stories, star stickers, and fun for all ages in celebration of this debut picture book! More »


1/11 - Kids Read Book Club  A book club for kids in 3rd-4th grade (or equivalent reading level). Jan's selection: Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman.  More »


 1/11 - Girls Read Book Club  A book club for girls in 5th-7th grade and their moms! Jan's book selection is Between Shades of Grey by Ruta SepetysMore »


 1/13 - Alexandra Bracken (Passenger) & Susan Dennard (Truthwitch)  Two rockstar YA authors; one epic event!   More »


 1/16 - Cheryl Blackford, Lizzie and the Lost Baby  Local author of Hungry Coyote celebrates her first novel for middle graders.   More »


 1/14 - J.J. Austrian, Worm Loves Worm  You are cordially invited to the wedding of Worm and Worm! Join the author and celebrate this new book!  More »


1/18 - Teens Read Book Club   Each month, teens select an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) to read and review. Email to join the waiting list.   More »


 1/21 - Guys Read Book Club   Attention, boys in 5th-7th grade! Bring along a male adult to discuss The Port Chicago 50 by Steve Sheinkin.  More »


1/23 - Saturday Spanish Storytime   Join us for a special Saturday storytime...en Español! Brought to you by Language Sprout Learning Centers  More »


1/27 - Ally Carter, See How They Run  Ambassadors, conspirators, double agents, your attention please! The bestselling author of Gallagher Girls is visiting Red Balloon!  More »


1/30 - Michael Hall, Frankencrayon  Michael Hall and the crayons in Red: A Crayon's Story are ready to tell the thrilling story of Frankencrayon!   More »


Recommended Readsback to top
Love is My Favorite Thing Love is My Favorite Thing by Emma Chichester Clark
Published: Penguin, Nov 2015; Recommended Age: 3-7
Plum is a dog who LOVES her family. And she LOVES love. Unfortunately, she doesn't always behave herself. But, in the end, it doesn't matter, because her family LOVES Plum. Emma Chichester Clark is one of my favorite picture book authors and illustrators. Her whimsical illustrations of dogs are just perfect. She knows dogs well. And, considering that Plum is her own dog, she LOVES dogs, as do I. Other books of hers are Plumdog, Piper, and Melrose & Croc, among others. If you love animals, especially dogs, you will LOVE Plum. -- Julie (RBB Staff)
Louis I, King of the Sheep Louis I, King of the Sheep by Olivier Tallec
Published: Enchanted Lion Books, Sep 2015; Recommended Age: 4-8
Louis I finds a crown and realizes that he needs to be king. And the other sheep go along with it. Like sheep do. This is fantastically funny. The illustrations and the sparse language make this a wonderful book to read aloud. And, of course, it ends wonderfully. Great for kids from 4-8, and their grownups. -- Julie (RBB Staff)
The Only Child The Only Child by Guojing
Published: Schwartz & Wade, Dec 2015; Recommended Age: 6+
Bored and lonely, the little girl leaves home, looking for her grandmother. A gentle stag rescues her in the forest, leads her out of peril, introduces her to friends, and eventually brings her back to family and home. Wordless, The Only Child is well-worth long attention and careful perusal as the soft, monochrome pencil drawings lead you through a child’s longing, delight, and love. -- Joan (RBB Staff)
Fortune Falls Fortune Falls by Jenny Goebel
Published: Scholastic, Jan 2016; Recommended Age: 9-12
What if superstitions were true? What if when you stepped on a crack, you really could break your mother’s back? Or if four leaf clovers really could bring you good luck? Superstitions are reality for 11 year old Sadie and everyone else who lives in Fortune Falls. And like everyone else in town, when Sadie turns 12, she will take a test to determine if she is lucky or unlucky. They “luckies” enjoy happy carefree lives. The “unluckies” are sent away so that they will not pose danger to anyone else. So far, Sadie shows all the signs of being an “unlucky.” Motivated by her desire to stay with those she loves and confident that being smart, kind and courageous is far more important than being lucky, Sadie attempts to challenge fate and change her luck. You will definitely be rooting for Sadie in this delightful story of family and friendship. -- Holly (RBB Staff)
Fuzzy Mud Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar
Published: Delacorte, Aug 2015; Recommended Age: 10+
If you’re looking for an engaging fast-paced tale of suspense, read Fuzzy Mud by Louis Sachar, the award-winning author of Holes. To avoid the threat of his school’s bully, twelve-year-old Marshall convinces his friend Tamaya that they should take a shortcut home from school. Eventually, lost in the woods, they come across suspicious, fuzzy-looking mud, which begins the outbreak of a highly contagious disease. In addition to the thrilling story, readers will love the interspersed Senate hearings as well as the petri-dish chapter headings that show the disease as it multiplies. A perfect book for adventure-seeking, science-loving kids! -- Amy (RBB Staff)
Truthwitch Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
Published: Tor Books, Jan 2016; Recommended Age: 13+
In the Witchlands, some are born with a "witchery" that allows them to perform certain kinds of magic. Safiya fon Hasstrel is a Truthwitch and holds the incredibly rare power to tell truth from lie. Many would kill to have a Truthwitch, and Safiya and her best friend Iseult must travel far and fight many to keep their freedom and their lives. I loved Truthwitch. It is a beautiful fantasy novel about friendship and magic and finding yourself when all you’ve done all your life is stay hidden. This book is not be missed! -- Tamara (Teens Read Book Club)
Passenger Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
Published: Disney-Hyperion, Jan 2016; Recommended Age: 14+
All Etta Spencer has ever wanted is to succeed in her professional violin debut. But when she wakes up on a ship, centuries in the past with no knowledge of her arrival, her entire view of reality is changed. As she spans countries and centuries, aided only by the sailor, Nicholas Carter, and with the mysterious Ironwood family on her trail, Etta must decide who she is, and whom she will trust. Passenger is a captivating tale of history and adventure that is perfect for any fan of fantasy and romance. Alexandra Bracken's enthralling writing dazzles and delights, and her characters and interpretations of history are intelligent and intriguing. Passenger is book that appeals to both the mind and the heart. -- Amanda (Teens Read Book Club)
This Is Where It Ends This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
Published: Sourcebooks Fire, Jan 2016; Recommended Age: 14+
In This Is Where It Ends, the high school of Opportunity, Alabama goes through 54 minutes of terror. The students and staff get locked in the auditorium after sitting through their principal's speech, welcoming the students to a new semester. That's when someone starts shooting. This Is Where It Ends was an amazing book. I loved trying to figure out the backstory: why the shooting was happening, how the characters were connected, and why the person decided to target this school. -- Payton (Teens Read Book Club)
Thicker Than Water Thicker Than Water by Kelly Fiore
Published: Harper Teen, Jan 2016; Recommended Age: 14+
Thicker than Water is not the type of book I usually read, but I was pleasantly surprised. This book dealt with hard topics, such as drug abuse, but the author portrayed the main character’s thoughts and frustrations really well. The high-strung emotions and actions were painted brilliantly throughout the entire book, and the author was able to make the audience relate to things that could be completely foreign to them. The whole story was engaging and captivating! -- Sami (Teens Read Book Club)
The Swans of Fifth Avenue The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin
Published: Delacorte, Jan 2016; Recommended Age: Adult
This is a sad story about love and betrayal and the age-old maxim that a person can't find fulfillment through looks or money or power. It's a true story about author Truman Capote and his "swans" --the beautiful, wealthy Manhattan socialites he befriended and then betrayed, especially Babe Paley. An interesting study of what it means to truly love, and conversely, what it means to be unable to love fully. Readers who remember the time period, especially the 60s and 70s, will be intrigued. -- Susan (RBB Staff)
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