Dwan's YA and Kids Picks

Below here's the latest *and* greatest of what Dwan's read and recommends.  This is a work in progress, so please check back!! ^_^

(Currently ordered from youngest reader to teen.)

Through the Wardrobe: How C. S. Lewis Created Narnia Cover Image
By Lina Maslo, Lina Maslo (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062798565
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 19th, 2020

Lovely to look at and a great story.  Compassionately and carefully told, this is a great biography for kids (and adults - I learned new things about Lewis reading this!) and an interesting look at creativity and faith. 

Primer Cover Image
Email or call for price.
ISBN: 9781401296575
Availability: Backordered
Published: DC Comics - June 23rd, 2020

I love this new superhero!  She's creative and smart, and in a lot of ways a totally normal kid.  The story is engaging and fast-paced and thrilling without being too scary.  This would be a fun pick-me-up read, and it could be a really great pick for a reluctant reader.

Superman Smashes the Klan Cover Image
By Gene Luen Yang, Gurihiru (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781779504210
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: DC Comics - May 12th, 2020

Absolutely fantastic.  A great graphic novel revamp of the classic Superman radio show.  This is vintage Superman, before he began to fly!  These are super (haha!) likable characters, and the drawing and storytelling is superb.  The bonus memoir/history section in the vamp is really interesting and informative without being dusty.  This would be a super fun introduction to Superman for a middle grader or older elementary student, but also is a fun treat for adults!

Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425290439
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kokila - September 3rd, 2019

A great summer tale of four girls learning to love and express their creative strengths, and along the way finding lasting friendship with each other.

Layoverland Cover Image
ISBN: 9781984836120
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Razorbill - January 21st, 2020

Just right.  Love and reconciliation told in a funky airport setting.  A good pick if you're wanting a fast, fun read with a good ending!

Out Now: Queer We Go Again! Cover Image
ISBN: 9781335018267
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Inkyard Press - May 26th, 2020

Such an interesting collection of voices - stories and characters of all types.  A good book to dip into if you're wanting a story or two on the beach, or on the train, or just because.  A good pick for teens looking for their own voice - someone like themselves.

How to read more

( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.


And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.


15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.


50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.


Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.


Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.


Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.



Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.


Indie Bestsellers

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Indie Next List

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