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We Now Sell Digital Audiobooks!

We've long been a popular stop for all your bookish needs, from activity books for the kids to audiobooks to listen to on your next road trip or cleaning spree. But not everyone wants to use CDs anymore! So if you're looking to download digital audiobooks straight to your devices AND support your local independent bookstore, check out our storefront at LibroFM. We've partnered with this great indie-supporting company to offer our customers thousands of great reads (or should we say, "listens"...) at competitive prices and with the quick convenience that comes with digital shopping. Get started before January 1st, 2017 and get 20% off your first purchase with code BOOKLOFT20. Need some recommendations to get started? Find some of our favorite books to listen to below! Or try a free sample of the excellent book, Boys in the Boat here.

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Summer Reading Challenge Winners

This summer, we challenged kids, ages 17 and under, to read as much as they could! For every five books they read, we gave them a free book! Some took it even a step further and handed in reviews of the books they'd particularly liked. Congratulations are in order for Claire (14), April (9), and Kimberley (10) who are the winners of the review writing contest! We've hand-selected special prizes for each of them and are additionally including their great writing below and placing them by their books in-store. Read their reviews to get some great recommendations or stop by to find even more from kids and booksellers alike.

 

Into the Wild (Warriors #1) by Erin Hunter

Reviewed by Kimberly Silverman, age 10

Adventure fans, cat fans, and anyone who loves to read- this book is calling your name!

Rust, a house cat, has never been satisfied with his easy life. So, when he meets some forest cats and they offer him a chance to join them in Thunderclan, he goes with them.

Life in the wild is never easy, but unfortunately for Rusty, he has walked into especially hard times. Shadowclan is becoming more and more powerful, and Thunderclan needs more warriors. But could the real threat come from inside Thunderclan itself?

I love the Warriors series because of all of the adventure and mystery in it. Also, it tells what cats think of humans and makes you wonder theat stray sitting in the sune is really thinking. Reading Warriors made me more curious about cats, and it made me love reading even more than I already did. I have now read almost all of the Warrior series, and I can't wait to keep reading!

 

The Boys in the Boat By Daniel James Brown

Reviewed by Claire O'Callahan, age 14

Readers will be swept away from  start to finish by the heartwarming story of one shell and the nine boys who gave her life. In the Boys in the Boat, Brownweaves a touching novel of the teamwork and strength of nine working class boys who shocked the world by beating the superior east coast college teams and then going on to challenge Hitler's elite crew in the 1936 Olympics.

Joe Rantz is one of the nine boys competing for a place in the Washington varsity boat. The spot means more to him than just a chance to row against the world for gold in the Olympics. It is a chance to make his father proud, to forget his hardships as he races across the water and to become onw with the other boys.

Most of all Brown gives the readers a taste of winning and losing, triumph and the bond of nine young men who together seem to be capable of anything.

 

The Toothpaste Genie by Frances Duncan

Reviewed by April Sutherland, age 9

I like the Toothepaste Genie because it was so interesting and exciting and because it created such big pictures in my mind even though it didn't have any pictures.

 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

I liked Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix because it was mysterious and exciting and you never knew what was going to happen next.

 

Just One Day by Gayle Forman

Reviewed by Isabella, age 13

Just One Day tells an enchanting story of first love and mystery. Finding and losing each other while on a quest to find themselves, Allysoon and Willem try to figure out who they really are. This story is full of struggles, secrets, friendship, romance, and surprises and it never lacks confusion, excitement or determination. Gayle Forman has written yet another masterpiece. Be ready to turn the page for another surprise! Romance novel lovers, start reading!

 

 

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

Reviewed by Amelia, age 13

The School for Good and Evil is about two friends, Sophie and Agatha. Sophie who loves pink and whose first priority is looking her best, is determined to get into the School for Good. While Agatha, who hides in graveyards and keeps to herslef with her plain black clothes and spells and potions, seems perfect for the School of Evil.

When their destinies follow a different path, they are desperate to change them, but what if they really were put in the right places? What if this tale was not like they dreamed it would be? This story is an exciting adventure woven into a dramatic fairytale,

I really enjoyed reading this book. What I liked aabout this book is that there is a lot of emotion and feeling in it, I would recommend it to grades 5 and up and would rate it 5 out of 5 stars.

 

Get with the Programming

“An understanding of computer science is becoming increasingly essential in today’s world. Our national competitiveness depends upon our ability to educate our children—and that includes our girls—in this critical field.” —Sheryl Sandberg

There's no doubt that computers, and all kinds of technologies, are here to stay—and will continue to evolve rapidly over the coming years. Why not give your kids a leg up and help them learn to communicate with, use, and learn from the technology that surrounds them daily? Learning to program is, in many ways, like learning a new language—a skill proven to help developing minds become more adaptable learners and people! With schools, summer camps, and tutoring services increasingly incorporating programming skills into their lessons, and more and more publishers printing great books to help, there's no reason not to give it a go. Here's a few recommended books to help your kids get started! You can find them all in our activity and workbook section of our children's department.

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WAMC's Roundtable Book Picks

Our bookbuyer, Mark Ouillette, will be speaking on WAMC's Book Picks segment of Joe Donahue's Roundtable! He'll be chatting about his most anticipated new books this season. We hope you'll tune in on August 16th at 10am but if you miss it, just stop in! We're stocking the books, and, of course, Mark and all the booksellers here are always happy to recommend our favorite books!

For those who missed it on air, you can listen to it here: http://wamc.org/post/book-picks-book-loft

Literacy for Pokemon

What do games and books have in common? They both offer so much for the imagination!

If you're having fun with Pokemon Go these days, stop in and show us a picture of one you catch in our store to get 10% off your purchase! One of our very own booksellers, Catherine, had fun with some of our ethereal visitors lately. Need more Pokemon fun? Check out the graphic novels, and sticker, activity, and fact books located in our children's comics section. 

Frequent Buyer Program

We've often been asked if we've got any kind of membership program, and, up until now, we never have. But we have so many wonderful, loyal customers and we'd like to treat you to something special every once in a while!

So stop, buy, and ask for your member card! We'll punch it every time you buy a full-price book and after purchasing ten, you'll get your eleventh book at 30% off. We'll also soon be featuring exclusive deals in the store just for members. Sign up for our newsletter to stay appraised of all our special deals!

Have any questions or feedback? Just let us know! And in the meantime... let's get reading!

Summer Reading Challenge!

Ah, summer reading, that cool, sweet, happy thing! This summer we're introducing our Summer Reading Challenge for kids ages 17 and under to help them get into the reading mood.

When you buy a children's book this summer, ask us for a Reading Challenge Bookmark where you can record the titles you read over the summer and turn it in between August 15th and September 1st to collect your prize! Books that qualify must be at the individual's appropriate reading level. For those who cannot read read, parents may read to the child, but they must be chapter books, not picture books.

  • Read 5 books and get one free paperback book (we'll choose one for you we think you'll like).
  • Read 10 books and, in addition to your free paperback book, you'll also get another book that hasn't yet been released to the public! These advance copies of books are usually exclusive to industry insiders, but we think a great reader deserves a special treat. Again, we'll choose one we think you might like.
  • Did you like one (or more) of the books you read? Write a review! Turn in the review with your reading challenge bookmark and your phone number, so we can let you know if your review has won a surprise Writer's Award! We'll also post winning reviews in the store and on our site (with your consent).

So what are you waiting for??

Let's dive into some good books this summer!

 

Superheroes, from the Page to the Screen

With Captain America: Civil War in theaters right now, and the whole host of superhero and DC and Marvel universe films that have been dominating the box offices these past few years, we'd thought we'd take a moment to remember where all these heroes got their starts: on the written (and illustrated) page!

On-screen superhero adaptations have been around since their comic book forms became popular, in the 1930s and 40s, starting with Saturday film series for kids. By the 60s, with the gradual decline of the Saturday serials, heroes expanded into new territory, starring in American B movies and even taking on comedic and satirical tones. But our current sci-fi/fantasy themed and action packed heroes' adventures are mostly built on the backs on the explosive popularity of Star Wars in 1978 which spawned dozens of new superhero films in the following decades. Since the resurgence of the comic book in the early 2000s, this boom has only increased, and it certainly can't hurt that our filming technology is so much better now than ever before. Nostalgia also brings us constant remakes and sequels. But this isn't all a one-way road! When new movies are released, new comic books and graphic novels are too, sometimes with the new illustrations taking on the visages of the film's actors. Some movies, TV shows, and even video games will spawn their own books, though they weren't originally adaptations at all.

Where does this all leave us in years to come? Some claim that these glory days of superhero movies will fade and die, much like the old Westerns genre. Others argue that Westerns died out for reasons specific to its cultural portrayals, so as long as the superhero industry keeps their characters and stories evolving with the times, they could stay a powerhouse for a long time-- a goal that can only be helped by continuing to take their cues from the written word!

Whether you're into superheroes or not, we'd definitely recommend a look at our recently expanded Graphic Novel section. With graphic nonfiction, like memoir, biography, and history, funny and smart webcomics turned book collections, subtle and beautiful illustrated novels, and more, there really is something for everyone! First-timers to the genre can look to our favorite Staff Picks for some guidance:

 

It's Raining Poetry!

Of all the "National Something Months", April's Poetry Month seems to be the least advertised. Even the most dedicated of artists and readers may overlook this time of the year. But what better time is there for poetic artistic expression than when the sky opens up, flowers bud and bloom, and nature starts to sing again? And if you're not a die-hard poetry reader already, what better time to dip your toes in something new, discover a fresh perspective, and find a new true love?

If you're not sure how to get started, stop by to check out our Staff Picked poetry books, and for those particularly wary, start with our discounted poetry section! In the mean time, perhaps Grant Snyder's work below may help enlighten both the first-timer and the staunch devotee.

 

 

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