Staff Picks - Cressida


Cressida /KRESS*eh*də/ noun


1 : A children's book buyer, with a degree in library science, who embraces all components of working with books and information. Of or relating to bookstores, libraries, and schools/colleges; domestic, international.


2 : A naturally fast reader willing to read anything but drawn most to travel & adventure memoirs, children's classics and too-close-for-comfort dystopian tales.


3 : A Trojan woman in medieval romances who first returns the love of Troilus but later forsakes him for Diomedes.


4 : A Toyota automobile model.


Mars One Cover Image
ISBN: 9781481461610
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - April 4th, 2017

Sixteen year old Tristan has known he was moving to Mars since he was ten. He and his family will be on Mars One, the first voyage of mankind to another planet. Tristan's even a trained engineer and is partly, mostly, excited to be part of history-in-the-making. But that's not making leaving his girlfriend, his love, behind on Earth any easier -- because Mars is, without a doubt, a one way trip. --Cressida

The Hate U Give Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062498533
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen - February 28th, 2017

The Hate U Give is a phenomenal, powerful, of-the-times book that should be given to any news-aware teen (and adult). Our high-school protagonist, Starr, is out with a childhood friend when he's shot and killed by the police. Starr and her friend are black; the cop is white. Angie Thomas brings depth and complexity to her debut -- "important" and "must read" do not do this book justice.

Grandfather's Journey Cover Image
ISBN: 9780544050501
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harcourt Brace and Company - November 5th, 2013

Caldecott winner Grandfather’s Journey shares the true story of Say’s grandfather emigrating to the United States from Japan at the turn of century. Despite loving his adopted land, his grandfather decides to return to his homeland to raise a family. Years later he misses his second home. War breaks out, however, and he is never able to revisit America. --Cressida

Oskar and the Eight Blessings Cover Image
ISBN: 9781596439498
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Roaring Brook Press - September 8th, 2015

A young refugee arrives in New York City with only a photography and an address for an aunt. It is both the seventh day of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve. Oskar makes his way across New York, guided by his father’s words, “Oskar, even in bad times, people can be good. You have to look for the blessings." --Cressida

Scandinavian Baking: Sweet and Savory Cakes and Bakes, for Bright Days and Cozy Nights Cover Image
By Trine Hahnemann, Columbus Leth (Photographer)
ISBN: 9781849496650
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quadrille Publishing - October 6th, 2015

Hahnemann's cookbooks are always a feast for the eye and the mouth, and her baked recipes are no different. The Scandinavian in me is jumping in joy at the many authentic (yet utterly un-intimidating) dishes to try this Holiday season. --Cressida

California Dreams: The Art of Stanley Mouse Cover Image
ISBN: 9781593765460
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Soft Skull Press - June 2nd, 2015

Stanley Mouse is best known for the eye-popping designs he made during the hey-day of San Francisco's counterculture renaissance. Here is a comprehensive collection of works by one of the originators of psychedelic poster art, as well as a never-before-seen foray into fine art. --Cressida

The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062243416
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anthony Bourdain/Ecco - November 10th, 2015

The Mission Chinese Food Cookbook is as much a story of the restaurant as a collection of notable cuisine. General Chinese food enthusiasts as well as crazed fans of the restaurant are sure to enjoy Bowien and Ying’s work. --Cressida

Daughters of the Samurai: A Journey from East to West and Back Cover Image
ISBN: 9780393352788
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - May 17th, 2016

In 1871, five young girls were sent by the Japanese government to San Francisco. Their mission: learn Western ways and return to help nurture a new Japan. A biography that captures strong culture clashes, pioneering women, and memorable history-in-the-making. --Cressida

The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606 Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416541653
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 18th, 2016

James Shapiro is a great Shakespearean historian, as well as a master storyteller. The Year of Lear describes how the turbulent events of 1606 shaped the three great tragedies Shakespeare wrote that year – “King Lear," "Macbeth," and "Antony and Cleopatra." --Cressida

Smokejumper: A Memoir by One of America's Most Select Airborne Firefighters Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062319630
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow & Company - July 5th, 2016

Jason A. Ramons’s memoir shines a light onto a rare profession growing increasingly important: airborne firefighters, who parachute into burning areas too remote to otherwise reach. He shares the history of smokejumping, the pioneers who began the program in 1939, and the trials he underwent to join these memorable few. A compelling, timely read. --Cressida

Tangled Vines: Greed, Murder, Obsession, and an Arsonist in the Vineyards of California Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250113894
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Griffin - October 18th, 2016

I once cried when a bottle of wine broke on the floor. 4.5 million bottles of Californian wine worth more than $250 million, maliciously destroyed by a con man and thief, will make you weep but also makes a thrilling true-life tale. Elegant, rich and smooth, with a full-bodied finish. --Cressida

Book Scavenger Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250079800
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Square Fish - April 12th, 2016

Emily's family is on a quest to live in all 50 states but twelve-year-old Emily wants to settle down. Now they live in San Francisco, home to Emily's hero, Garrison Griswold, creator of Book Scavenger -- a game where books are hidden all over the country and are revealed through puzzles. When Emily and her neighbor James come across a book behind a trash bin full of odd clues....well, they just have to start playing, don't they? --Cressida

An Ember in the Ashes Cover Image
ISBN: 9781595148049
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Razorbill - February 9th, 2016

BEST young adult book of 2015. --Cressida

Goodbye Stranger Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307980861
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Yearling Books - May 2nd, 2017

Rare is the book emotionally complex and intelligent enough for teens yet appropriate for upper elementary. Goodbye Stranger is that mythical unicorn. The intertwining stories of three young teenagers navigating the confusing time of adolescence made my heart overflow. Consider Stead this generation's Judy Blume. --Cressida

Circus Mirandus Cover Image
ISBN: 9780147515544
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Puffin Books - August 16th, 2016

Micah’s grandpa has always told him wonderful stories about Circus Mirandus, a magical circus he visited when he was a boy. But Grandpa Ephraim is dying and the circus’s greatest magician owes Grandpa Ephraim a miracle, setting Micah on a journey to find the mysterious circus. A story both classic and novel. --Cressida

Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385529990
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Spiegel & Grau - October 27th, 2015

Roller Girl Cover Image
ISBN: 9780803740167
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - March 10th, 2015

For the young reader who has finished Raina's "Sisters" and Bell's "El Deafo", Roller Girl offers another fantastic middle-school tale of finding acceptance, in graphic novel form. --Cressida

Boy, Snow, Bird Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594633409
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - March 3rd, 2015

A textured take on the Snow White tale using race (that descriptor flattens Oyeyemi's story.) However, don't read the back of the book - damn back cover spoils a wonderful plot surprise, in my mind. Suitable also for YA crossover. - Cressida

Through the Woods Cover Image
By Emily Carroll, Emily Carroll (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781442465961
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Margaret K. McElderry Books - July 15th, 2014

Eerily good and hauntingly illustrated, these five graphic stories will be sure to give you (delicious) shivers any time of year. - Cressida

Bird Box Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062259660
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco Press - February 10th, 2015

Something is driving people to insanity. Perfectly normal individuals catch a glimpse of -- something -- and suddenly kill themselves. No one knows what exactly they need to avoid seeing. So slowly the entire world lowers their eyes, withdraws, secludes themselves. The history of the phenomenon is shared by Melanie, a young woman who realizes the need to find others despite the ever-present threat. - Cressida

A debut work worthy of Stephen King, Hitchcock, and anyone else who puts you on the edge of your seat. Eerie and mysterious, you will read the entire book in one tense sitting. 

Kindred Cover Image
ISBN: 9780807083697
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Beacon Press - February 1st, 2004

A great scifi tale for those who don't normally read scifi.

How would a modern black woman survive in the age of American slavery? 12-years-a-slave meets time travel.

- Cressida 

We Took to the Woods Cover Image
By Louise Rich Dickinson, Robert Kimber (Introduction by), Alice Arlen (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9780892727360
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Down East Books - April 19th, 2007

After Thoreau but before modern 'returning' to the land" memoirs, there was Louise Rich Dickinson. First published in 1942, it is amusing to read about how even then people wondered how someone could stand living in the backwoods of Maine. LRD, an an absolute hoot, answers such questions with a delightful mix of amusing stories, witticisms, and no-nonsense "Well, why not?" Readers of "Ominvore's Dilema", "Farm City" and "The Dirty Life" should add this classic to their back-to-earth collection. - Cressida

Tisha: The Story of a Young Teacher in the Alaska Wilderness Cover Image
ISBN: 9780553265965
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bantam - July 1st, 1984

As told to Robert Specht, this is the true story of 19-year old Anne Hobbs, who journeyed to Alaska in the 1920s to teach but encountered trouble due to her kindness to the Natives. Tisha ("teacher", as pronounced by a pupil) has it all - gripping Wild Alaska adventures, a poignant outlook on natives' rights, even a stirring love story. -Cressida

If You Lived Here, I'd Know Your Name: News from Small-Town Alaska Cover Image
ISBN: 9781565125247
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Algonquin Books - June 1st, 2006

Everything is more extreme when you live in a remote Alaskan town. The weather is colder, people's eccentricities are exaggerated, and death always seems nearby. Heather Lende, local Haines resident and obituary writer, has an absolute gift for eulogy and so paints a colorful portrait of life in an Alaskan small town. A must read for anyone interested in the 49th state. -Cressida

We Were Liars Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385741262
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - May 13th, 2014

Possibly the YA book of the summer. A staff favorite all around. - Cressida

Panic Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062014566
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - March 10th, 2015

What do you do when over 40% of your town is unemployed, your boyfriend cheats on you, and you have no money? Panic.


Panic is the name of the game. Everyone in high school pays $1 a day. Only seniors can play. The last one standing wins the pot. A pot of $50,000+. But Panic is dangerous. People get injured. Paralyzed. Killed. But what else can you do when you already have barely enough to survive? - Cressida

Talking Hands: What Sign Language Reveals about the Mind Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743247139
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 5th, 2008

Did you know that American Sign Language is more akin to French SL than British SL? Or that Martha's Vineyard was home to one of the earliest deaf communities? Fox interweaves the evolution and history of sign language with a modern researcher's attempt to record a remote Israeli village's distinctive SL "dialect". As much for novices/laymen to SL & deaf culture as for those interested in linguistics and anthropology.

The Story of Buildings: From the Pyramids to the Sydney Opera House and Beyond Cover Image
By Patrick Dillon, Stephen Biesty (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763669904
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick Press (MA) - March 11th, 2014

The book to buy young readers interested in architecture. - Cressida


My Pet Book Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385373128
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - July 8th, 2014

This One Summer Cover Image
By Jillian Tamaki (Illustrator), Mariko Tamaki
ISBN: 9781596437746
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: First Second - May 6th, 2014

El Deafo Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419712173
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Amulet Books - September 2nd, 2014

Tough Guys Have Feelings Too Cover Image
ISBN: 9781909263666
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Nobrow Press - November 3rd, 2015

Ninjas are neat, cowboys are cool, and superheroes are super. What’s common to all of them? They have feelings! This picture book presents a colorful way to teach children that having feelings and expressing them does not mean that you are not super, neat, and/or cool.

How Many Days to America?: A Thanksgiving Story Cover Image
By Eve Bunting, Beth Peck (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780395547779
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Clarion Books - October 1st, 1990

After the police come, a Caribbean family flee by boat, seeking refuge in America. As the family suffer dangers throughout their perilous journey, our unnamed child narrator keeps asking, “How many days to America?” A Thanksgiving tale of modern pilgrims that can be read any time of year. --Cressida

The Arrival Cover Image
ISBN: 9780439895293
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - October 1st, 2007

An immigrant leaves his family behind to travel to a new world. Upon arrival, he has to navigate an unfamiliar city and a new way of life without understanding the language. Strange foods, bizarre creatures, and grandiose cityscapes add to the “otherness” of this fantasy. The complexity of figuring out this wordless graphic novel lends itself to teenage readers and older. --Cressida