Candice Conner Reviews The Hunting Moon

Candice Conner checking in with a review of The Hunting Moon by Susan Dennard, which released on Nov 07.

The Hunting Moon CoverWith the way that The Luminaries ended, I couldn’t wait to get my nightmarish claws on The Hunting Moon. It picks up soon after the first one jarringly ends and doesn’t let you go until you are reeling from all the layers of secrets from Winnie, the Whisperer, the werewolf, to the witches. I adore a creepy mysterious forest and was so ready to be back in Hemlock Falls’ woods with the spirits from the mist, Winnie, & Jay. The scene with the will o’ wisps (cover art) was one of my favorite parts.

About The Hunting Moon

Location: Teens / Fantasy

Release Date: November 07, 2023

Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Contemporary

The highly anticipated sequel to The Luminaries by New York Times bestselling author Susan Dennard.

Winnie Wednesday has gotten everything she thought she wanted. She passed the deadly hunter trials, her family has been welcomed back into the Lumina

Author Bio:

Susan Dennard is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the Witchlands series (now in development for TV from the Jim Henson Company), the Something Strange and Deadly series, as well as various short stories and other tales across

Interested in buying a copy? Visit our website and choose whether to have it ready for pickup, shipped, or delivered!

Candice Conner Reviews The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels

Candice Conner checking in with a review of The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels by Beth Lincoln, which released on Feb 07.

My review in one word:
Extremely impressive; inspiring great admiration, apprehension, or fear

This book had me at the Author Note. Combine etymology, a twisty whodunnit with secret passages, attempted murder, a very large Family with a fascinating dictionary fixation, a very gothicy House, an absolutely delightful main character and you have the Swifts. It’s Lemony Snicket meets the Addams Family, crossbows and house fires in all!

Location: Kids: Middle Grade / Mysteries & Suspense

About The Swifts: A Dictionary of Scoundrels

Instant New York Times Bestseller!

“Knives Out feel by way of Lemony Snicket…This archly told, never muddled debut whodunit reveals a roster of distinct characters, a labyrinthine setting and plot, and a mystery that is as clever as its heroine.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The suspenseful denouement is positively writhing with twists.” —Booklist, starred review

On the day they are born, every Swift child is brought before the sacred Family Dictionary. They are given a name, and a definition. A definition it is assumed they will grow up to match.
Meet Shenanigan Swift: Little sister. Risk-taker. Mischief-maker.

Shenanigan is getting ready for the big Swift Family Reunion and plotting her next great scheme: hunting for Grand-Uncle Vile’s long-lost treasure. She’s excited to finally meet her arriving relatives—until one of them gives Arch-Aunt Schadenfreude a deadly shove down the stairs.

So what if everyone thinks she’ll never be more than a troublemaker, just because of her name? Shenanigan knows she can become whatever she wants, even a detective. And she’s determined to follow the twisty clues and catch the killer.

Deliciously suspenseful and delightfully clever, The Swifts is a remarkable debut that is both brilliantly contemporary and instantly classic. A celebration of words and individuality, it’s packed with games, wordplay, and lots and lots of mischief as Shenanigan sets out to save her family and define herself in a world where definitions are so important.

Author Bio:

Beth Lincoln was raised in a former Victorian railway station in the North of England. Her childhood fears included porcelain dolls, the Durham panther, and wardrobes that looked at her funny. She grew neither tall nor wise, and never learned to play an instrument—but she did write stories, a bad habit that has persisted to this day. When she isn’t writing, Beth is woodcarving, or making a mess of her flat, or talking the nearest ear off about unexplained occurrences. Her favorite things include ghosts, crisps, and weird old words like bumbershoot and zounderkite.

The Swifts is Beth’s debut novel. It grew out of her love of etymology, the gleeful gothic, and classic murder mysteries. She lives in Newcastle upon Tyne with her partner and hopefully, by the time you are reading this, a dog.

Interested in buying a copy? Visit our website and choose whether to have it ready for pickup, shipped, or delivered!

Candice Reviews Stalking Shadows by Cyla Panin

Candice reporting in with a review of Stalking Shadows by Cyla Panin which released on Tuesday!

Cover of Stalking ShadowsThe premise. Those first lines. WOW. I am such a big fan of books with a strong sister bond and this story goes further and into the realm of who really is the monster as the sisters protect each other at all costs. At one point, Marie does something unforgivable but the plot is so twisty-turny that I could not put this book down. I absolutely adored the gothic, atmospheric setting of both the manor and the woods. And I REALLY hope Amulet decides on a companion novel because I have SO MANY QUESTIONS about Aurélie. I was not ready for the book to end.

Interested in a copy? You can order it on our website to ship, deliver (local only) or pick up in store

Candice Reviews Witch Please by Ann Aguirre

Candice reporting in with a review of Witch Please by Ann Aguirre which released on 2021-09-07

Cover of Witch PleaseSuper inclusive witchy rom-com with cinnamon roll guy. I stayed up ’til almost 2 in the morning to finish this. There was no way I could go to bed without knowing how everything turned out. Love the relationships between Danica and her coven (except for the grandmother, but that’s to be expected due to her heavy-handedness and classist beliefs) and Titus and his siblings. Even Hazel and her cat were endearing side characters. The tension was great. LOTS of inclusion–I think this is the first book I’ve ever read that features a bi male character. I did have to extend my disbelief, and not think too hard on the ramifications of a morally-gray area concerning Titus’ curse, at the very end. I also thought it was interesting how Danica’s witchiness was juxtaposed with “mundane new age hippiness” as there’s definitely a line drawn between who/what she is and humans.

Interested in a copy? You can order it on our website to ship, deliver (local only) or pick up in store

Candice Reviews Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain

Candice reporting in with a review of Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain which released on 2021-09-07

Cover of Dark and Shallow LiesSo much to love about this YA paranormal thriller! Grey is like Bea Pearl’s older, edgier cousin from Louisiana. Where Bea Pearl has a Southern gothic, almost magical realism– (can we please come up with a term that we’re not stealing from our Latinx authors? Maybe magical existentism? Everyday magicism?) Bea Pearl has magical existentism vibes compared to DaSL’s paranormal, with a town full of psychics, (maybe a rougarou) and not your everyday ones that you see all the time. There are some really unique ones like Case’s ability to be in two places at once. I do kinda wish we had more time with the Summer Children but I understand that’s not specifically what this story is about. (a prequel maybe? Please??) There are SOOO many plot twists. As soon as you think you have something figured out, the plot lurches like Willie Nelson with a nutria and you are left reeling with the new information–this book is unputdownable. Thank you to Razorbill for the advance copy. All opinions are my own.

Interested in a copy? You can order it on our website to ship, deliver (local only) or pick up in store

Dyslexic Characters in Children’s Literature

October is Dyslexic Awareness Month and we can’t think of a better way to raise awareness than to spotlight six of our favorite children’s books that feature dyslexic characters.

Three million people in the United States are diagnosed with dyslexia each year. One in five children have this neurological condition that creates difficulty in reading, memorizing, and interpreting words, letters, symbols, and their subsequent sounds. It does not affect general intelligence, and dyslexic readers often think more creatively and have stronger critical thinking skills.

It’s not a disease so there is no cure. Early diagnosis is key so that learning is approached from different angles. Understanding the restrictions avoids frustration and brain-fatigue, and finding ways to work around them using multisensory structured learning incorporates touch, movement, sight, and hearing.

Seeing characters in books work around their dyslexia shows young readers that they’re intelligent, that their efforts matter, and that needing more time to process is okay. This can open doors of self-worth—and book covers—that might be previously closed.

Chapter Book (Ages 7-10)

Niagara Falls, Or Does It? Hank Zipzer #1 by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver

Inspired by the true life experiences of Henry Winkler, whose undiagnosed dyslexia made him a classic childhood underachiever, the Hank Zipzer series is about the high-spirited and funny adventures of a boy with learning differences.

It’s science project time in Ms. Adolf’s class. This is good news and bad news for Hank-he loves science, but he hates the report part. So Hank turns to TV to take his mind off things. But when the program directory scrolls by too quickly for Hank to know what’s on, he decides to take apart the cable box to try to slow down the crawl. Great! Now Hank has found the perfect science project! But what he wasn’t counting on was his sister’s pet iguana laying eighteen eggs in the disassembled cable box. How is Hank going to get out of this one?

Middle Grade (Ages 8-12)

Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

The author of the beloved One for the Murphys gives readers an emotionally-charged, uplifting novel that will speak to anyone who’s ever thought there was something wrong with them because they didn’t fit in.

“Everybody is smart in different ways. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its life believing it is stupid.”

Ally has been smart enough to fool a lot of smart people. Every time she lands in a new school, she is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. She is afraid to ask for help; after all, how can you cure unintelligence? However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns not to be so hard on herself and that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of. As her confidence grows, Ally feels free to be herself and the world starts opening up with possibilities. She discovers that there’s a lot more to her—and to everyone—than a label, and that great minds don’t always think alike.

This story has all the heart-squishes in it. Yes, I cried.

The Lightning Thief Percy Jackson & the Olympians series by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school . . . again. And that’s the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

Taking what the character considers his weakness and making it his strength? Absolutely brilliant. In my opinion, that’s what makes this series about a dyslexic demigod resonate with so many readers.

Two-Minute Drill by Mike Lupica

Chris Conlan is the coolest kid in sixth grade–the golden-armed quarterback of the football team and the boy all the others look up to. Scott Parry is the new kid, the boy with the huge brain, but with feet that trip over themselves. These two boys may seem like an odd couple, but each has a secret that draws them together, and proves that the will to succeed is even more important than raw talent.

Double Dutch by Sharon Draper

Delia loves Double Dutch. And she’s good at it. Really good. So good that her team has a chance to win the World Double Dutch Championships this year — Delia is sure of it. What she is less sure of is her chance of passing the school’s state exam, because Delia has been using her success at Double Dutch to mask a secret that could jeopardize her place on the team, and also her future.
Delia’s not the only one with a secret. Her potential boyfriend, Randy, has one too — his dad has been missing for weeks, and Randy hasn’t told anyone for fear he’ll be put in a foster home. But he is running out of money and getting scared.

The one thing that isn’t a secret is that their classmates, the Tolliver twins, are out to cause trouble. With their skull caps, angry demeanors, and hints of violence emanating from even the way they stalk down the school halls, they seem to enjoy intimidating the other kids. But will they cross the line from intimidation to violence?

With consummate skill and an uncanny ability to capture how real kids think, act, and feel, Tears of a Tiger author Sharon M. Draper weaves these three stories tighter and tighter, creating a novel that tingles with suspense and emotion.

YA (Ages 13 +)

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist.

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . .

A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

What are some of your favorite books that feature dyslexic characters?

Want to get your hands on some of these amazing books that show reading is accessible to all? Stop in during our open hours (terms and conditions apply). We’re still doing curbside pick-up, appointments, and shipping as well.

Happy reading!

Shark Week Books Worth Sinking Your Teeth Into

It’s that time of year… too hot to be outside unless you’re in the water, so you stay in the A/C and marathon shark shows instead.

Began in 1988, Shark Week was originally devoted to conservation efforts and correcting misconceptions about sharks. In the 1990s, Discovery Channel got involved, sending its very best in videographers, photographers, and documentarians with top technology, capturing videos of sharks in their natural habitat to educate the public on one of the most misunderstood, and fascinating, creatures on Earth. Whose existence, in part, determines ours. At the top of the food chain, sharks keep our planet’s most important ecosystem healthy.

In celebration of Shark Week, we’ve made a list of some of our favorite fiction and nonfiction shark books for all ages.

Picture Books (Ages 4 and up)

Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist At 9 years old, Eugenie Clark developed an unexpected passion for sharks after a visit to the Battery Park Aquarium in New York City. At the time, sharks were seen as mindless killing machines, but Eugenie knew better and set out to prove it. Despite many obstacles in her path, Eugenie was able to study the creatures she loved so much. From her many discoveries to the shark-related myths she dispelled, Eugenie’s wide scientific contributions led to the well-earned nickname ‘Shark Lady’, as she become a fixture in the world of ocean conservation and shark research.

Dude! An ingenious picture book that tells a complex and hilarious story using only one word: dude, from the author of Caldecott honor book Creepy Carrots! Aaron Reynolds, and author/illustrator of Caldecott Medal book The Adventures of Beekle, Dan Santat. Dude! You have to read this book. It’s totally about this platypus and this beaver who are friends. They want to go surfing but dude, there’s this shark who wants to be friends with them, too. But don’t worry. This shark approaches and you’ll never guess what happens.

Easy Readers (Ages 4-8)

Fly Guy Presents: Sharks Fly Guy is buzzzzing on over to the nonfiction genre! Award-winning author/illustrator Tedd Arnold brings nonfiction to life with the help of his very popular main character, Fly Guy. This engaging nonfiction reader combines the kid-friendly humor of Fly Guy with the high-interest topic of sharks! Fly Guy and Buzz introduce young readers to sharks with straightforward fun facts, humorous asides, and full-bleed photographs throughout.

Middle Grade (Ages 8-12)

I Survived the Shark Attacks of 1916 Based on true events! It’s the summer of 1916 and the Jersey shore is being terrorized by a Great White shark.  Ten year-old Chet Roscow is captivated by the local news: a Great White shark has been attacking and killing people up and down the Atlantic Coast, not far from Chet’s hometown of Springfield, New Jersey. Then one day, swimming with his friends, Chet sees something in the water. . . Also in a graphic novel.

Go! Field Guide: Sharks Get to know one of the coolest creatures in the ocean, up close and personal. Dive into the weird and fascinating world of sharks with this guide to these fearsome and misunderstood animals. Packaged with lifelike model shark teeth, Go! Field Guide: Sharks features detailed photos and awesome facts for every reader.


Jaws The classic suspense novel of shark versus man, which was made into the blockbuster Steven Spielberg movie. The Jaws phenomenon changed popular culture and continues to inspire a growing interest in sharks and the oceans today.

When Peter Benchley wrote Jaws in the early 1970s, he meticulously researched all available data about shark behavior. Over the ensuing decades, Benchley was actively engaged with scientists and filmmakers on expeditions around the world as they expanded their knowledge of sharks. Also during this time, there was an unprecedented upswing in the number of sharks killed to make shark-fin soup, and Benchley worked with governments and nonprofits to sound the alarm for shark conservation. He encouraged each new generation of Jaws fans to enjoy his riveting tale and to channel their excitement into support and protection of these magnificent, prehistoric apex predators.

This edition of Jaws contains bonus content from Peter Benchley’s archives, including the original typed title page, a brainstorming list of possible titles, a letter from Benchley to producer David Brown with honest feedback on the movie adaptation, and excerpts from Benchley’s book Shark Trouble highlighting his firsthand account of writing Jaws, selling it to Universal Studios, and working with Steven Spielberg.

We also have used shark books, so be sure to either book your appointment, or stop in during our open hours (terms and conditions apply). We’re still doing curbside pick-up and shipping as well.

Happy Shark Week and happy reading!

Candice Reviews: The Baby-Sitters Club, Part 3

We continue with Part 3 of my review of Netflix’s take on the iconic series from our childhood, The Baby-Sitters Club. Check out Part 1 and Part 2 if you missed them.

Episode 7, Boy-Crazy Stacey (Book #8, 1987): This episode stays pretty close to the book. Stacey and Mary Anne accompany the Pike family on a Spring Break beach vacation where Stacey falls for a much older lifeguard. She has to figure out how to heal her broken heart which she does when one of the Pike children admits he has a crush on her and she sees the situation from a different perspective. The main difference between book and show is when one of Mary Anne’s new friends, a local who helps her when Stacey all but abandons her and their eight charges, helps her understand what Stacey is going through as he tells her about a boy he was crushing on. It’s a great way to incorporate queer inclusion and representation without affecting the book series’ story line.

Episode 8, Kristy’s Big Day (Book #6, 1987): In the book, Kristy’s big dilemma is balancing her duties as both bridesmaid to her mom and super-rich Watson’s wedding and babysitting duties. The show takes the feminist threads presented in the first episode and lays them out as Kristy comes to terms with her fiercely independent mom and the “tiara-wearing princess” she becomes as she prepares for her wedding. Watson buys Kristy’s oldest brother a luxury SUV but the straw that breaks the camel’s back is when he buys an $800 designer dress for Kristy. Her mom tells her “I didn’t raise you to be someone who doesn’t check price tags.” It’s a moment full of tension that is resolved when Kristy and her mom realize how important they are to each other, and that a person can be a feminist and a princess. The two don’t have to be exclusive. As I mentioned earlier, Kristy comes into womanhood and as her friends are there for her, Claudia says “no period shaming here.” It’s a great scene for tween girls.

My absolute favorite scene in this episode is when Morbidda Destiny, aka Dawn’s eccentric Aunt Esme and the spooky next door neighbor of the Watsons, is the officiant for the wedding. Flower girl (and morbidly curious) Karen screams her head off and in response, Aunt Esme makes the coolest speech ever. “This little girl thinks I’m a witch. So, in front of this room full of witnesses, I’d like to say that she’s right. I am a spiritual practitioner. Now, historically the term ‘witch’ has been used to describe people, primarily women, who refuse to conform to society’s expectations of who they should be… When children tell you something, believe them.” I was snapping in solidarity right along with her.

Episodes 9 & 10, Baby-Sitters’ Summer Vacation (Super Special #2, 1989): This book is a Super Special which means it’s longer and has all the girl’s point-of-views as they write in a diary while Stacey is away in New York.

The show changes the name from Camp Mohawk to Camp Moosehead in respect to Native Americans and is all about revolution. First off, the girls of BSC are split up into different cabins, shattering their idea of a summer of togetherness. Kristy is frustrated by the camp owner, Meany, thwarting her plans to wrest control from the counselors who aren’t doing their jobs and connecting with the kids. Mary Anne meets a girl from New York (this ties back into book/episode 3, The Truth About Stacey) who likes Broadway shows as much as she does and they put together a play, Paris Magic, about a girl who time travels to the French Revolution.

In art class, Dawn and Claudia overhear the art director tell a child who doesn’t have commissary money to purchase overpriced shirts for tie-dying that she can’t participate. This bothers Claudia who says “art should be free and available to everyone” and Dawn who sees it as creating haves and have-nots. So they stage a lie-in when Claudia is remanded to her cabin for holding unsanctioned free wildlife art classes. Things escalate to an activity strike which messes up Mary Anne’s play (which is already cursed according to Karen). Striking campers make a picket line and the noise disrupts Mary Anne’s opening. She rushes outside to confront Dawn who says something like “You’ll change the world your way. I’ll change the world my way. And we’ll be best friends.” And that y’all, is why the BSC rocks. Mary Anne has a pause where she makes the connection of her play being about a revolution, but an actual revolution taking place outside the theatre door—such a powerful moment.

The last episode brings in Junior BSC members Mallory Pike and Jessi Ramsey earlier than the books but it makes me so hopeful for a next season. I’m crossing my fingers to see one of my favorites–book #47 Mallory on Strike when she wants to win The Young Authors Day Award. I can dream. Or just reread my copy.

While there’s no confirmation on Season 2, the showrunners have hinted about it on social media. So if you want to get a heads up on what could possibly be next season, I fully recommend dusting off your Scholastic Fair copies boxed up in your attic or checking out the forthcoming new recovers and graphic novels out now to share with a whole new generation of tweens.

Now, for the big question…how do you think Netflix treated the BSC member YOU relate to the most?

The original Ann M. Martin books are busy getting all new covers but the Haunted Book Shop has the new graphic novels and used copies, both of The Baby-Sitters Club and Karen’s chapter book series, Baby-Sitters Little Sister.

To keep everyone safe, we’re open by appointment (you can book your time slot here), as well as curbside pickup and shipping options. We also just announced new hours! Check out the terms and conditions. We also use if we don’t have the book you need in stock.

Happy reading!

Candice Reviews: Ghost Wood Song

Ghost Wood Song (ages 13 and up) Sawkill Girls meets Beautiful Creatures in this lush and eerie debut, where the boundary between reality and nightmares is as thin as the veil between the living and the dead.

If I could have a fiddle made of Daddy’s bones, I’d play it. I’d learn all the secrets he kept.

Shady Grove inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle, but she also knows the fiddle’s tunes bring nothing but trouble and darkness. When her brother is accused of murder, though, she can’t let the dead keep their secrets. In order to clear his name, she’s going to have to make those ghosts sing.

Family secrets, past heartache, a gorgeously resonant LGBT love triangle, and long-buried memories make this young adult debut more than just a ghost story—it’s haunting and hopeful and proves the importance of human connection and support in facing everything that haunts us in the dark.

Why I liked it: Now living in Nashville, North Florida native Erica Waters has captured the thin, twisted pines and Spanish moss-laden Live oaks perfectly in this story of how families pass down grief and how the objects they leave behind can haunt. This book is as lyrical and haunting as the bluegrass ballads Shady Grove plucks out of her fiddle.

It was un-put-down-able because I couldn’t tell what would happen next. I was like one of the fiddle’s ghosts–I couldn’t not be there. In addition to the beautiful imagery and setting, Shady also gives us a playlist by which to follow her band’s music. As I’m not too familiar with bluegrass, listening to the music and artists on YouTube gave the story a whole new dimension as I read.

It’s my teen Summer Reading Recommendation sure to give you chills to help beat this heat.

We’re offering no-contact curbside pickups, porch drop-offs in select neighborhoods, and we’re open by appointment. Book your time slot here. If we don’t have the book that you’re looking for in stock, use our affiliate link with

Happy summer reading!

Candice Reviews: The Baby-Sitters Club, Part 2

As promised, my review of Netflix’s The Baby-Sitters Club series continues with episodes four through six. If you missed Part 1, you can find it here. Social issues abound as the show takes the beloved plot lines and personalities from the books and deepens them for this new generation of BSC fans.

Episode 4, Mary Anne Saves the Day (Book #4, 1987) I thought this one was the most brilliantly done episode. In the book, timid Mary Anne, constantly reprimanding herself for not being more assertive, saves the day by being brave enough to make a call to 911 when one of her charges runs a dangerously high fever and she can’t get ahold of any adults. The rest of the club is mad at her for not standing up to a client which of course isn’t helpful. But works out well as it forces her to meet Dawn, the new girl from California.

The episode takes this and runs with it. In the show, the child is trans. We see this when Mary Anne opens a closet door to get more tea party dresses and sees only boy clothes. Not only is Mary Anne brave enough to call 911, she also stands up to the doctors who insist on calling the child a he, when the child identifies as a she. It was a tear-up moment for me when our brave Mary Anne chastises the doctors for demeaning and belittling the child by refusing to acknowledge how she identifies. In the end, Claudia explains it as being left-handed and forced to express yourself with your right-hand, which is a definite oversimplification but something my kids could understand and internalize.

Episode 5, Dawn and the Impossible Three (Book #5, 1987) In the book, new girl Dawn has to prove to Kristy that she has what it takes to be in the BSC. So Kristy has her sit the Barrett kids, wild and out-of-control due to their parent’s recent divorce. Which Dawn would call reductive. And she’s right, when Kristy pigeon-holes the mom’s spiral.

Instead of the quintessential California beach-blonde in the books, this Dawn is Latinx, a free-thinking spiritual social activist, level-headed enough to reign in her own recently-divorced mom who brings them back to Stoneybrook where she grew up and oh, dated Mary Anne’s dad in high school. Commence the awkward flirting Gen X’ers will get a kick out of.

Episode 6, Claudia and Mean Janine (Book #7, 1987) Another episode full of moments and feels. The troubles in book/episode 2 between Claudia and her big sister escalate in this one especially when beloved Mimi has a stroke. For the first time in her life, Claudia feels adrift from the grandmother who always understood her. Janine who of course knows everything about strokes is actually helpful when she encourages Claudia to draw something to communicate, since images can be helpful to people with aphasia. Claudia grows frustrated when Mimi can only get out peaches, horses, and Manzanar, then lapses into Japanese which Claudia never learned.

Janine explains that the oldest memories are the easiest for stroke patients to access as the brain heals. She tells her about Mimi being taken from her home by the U.S. government as a child and put into internment camps, Manzanar specifically, during WWII.  It’s a tough bit of history come alive for a twelve year old and Claudia says “I don’t understand how someone could do that to a family” and y’all I was tearing up (and again now as I type this) when Janine quietly responds with “I don’t understand why they still do.” Such a powerful sentence that invites conversations of a complicated, messed up world into an idyllic kid’s series.

The original Ann M. Martin books are busy getting new covers but the Haunted Book Shop has the new graphic novels and used copies, both of The Baby-Sitters Club and Karen’s chapter book series, Baby-Sitters Little Sister.

To keep everyone safe, we’re open by appointment (you can book your time slot here), as well as curbside pickup and shipping options. We also use if we don’t have the book you need in stock.

Happy reading!