Mariana Recommends

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Specialty: Young Adult; Sci-Fi; Fantasy

If you're looking for the latest in representative, diverse, and/or queer YA, Mariana's your girl. If you're looking for someone to shpeal about how amazing women SFF authors are, she's also your girl. Mariana is also an awesome barista and the creator of many of our signature drinks.

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Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250170972
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) - March 6th, 2018

I read this novel in one crazy reading aboard a 13 hour flight in November. I meant to sleep, meant to knit, meant to do other things with my time, but I just couldn't. put. it. down. 

A good sign.

Adeyemi has created a world with a rich history and culture, and one that is rife with problems that parallel our own. Prejudice, classism, oppression, cultural erasure, and attempted genocide are all woven into an amazing debut that doesn't pull its punches and won't let you go until you've turned the last page and closed the cover and let out the breath you forgot you were holding.

(and then started to cry because now you have to wait for book two)

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Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316515467
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - March 6th, 2018

What an amazing book. Blake perfectly captures the simple and beautiful confusion of first crushes. Ivy Aberdeen - little sister turned middle sister, artist, and middle-schooler - is struggling with the loss of her home AND her notebook full of drawings of girls holding hands, and Blake treats her confusion and self-discovery with tenderness and care. It's perfect, adorable, and wonderful, and I want everyone to read it. 

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Her Body and Other Parties: Stories Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555977887
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - October 3rd, 2017

Wow. This is one of the best collections I have ever read. Machado writes creepy, sexy, queer, fierce stories impregnated with all the tension, injustices, and revelations that women experience. Read this, then tell your friends.

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The First Rule of Punk Cover Image
ISBN: 9780425290408
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - August 22nd, 2017

Maria Luisa, star of The First Rule of Punk, has the voice I want every little brown girl to find and read. 
Full of zines exploring Malú’s thoughts on how to be punk, mexican history, and her trademark blend of mexi-punk culture, this is a book that should be on every summer reading list.

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Gabi, a Girl in Pieces Cover Image
ISBN: 9781935955955
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Cinco Puntos Press - October 14th, 2014

Holy cow. 

This book was recommended to me by Cinco Puntos, the publishers of Sonia Patel's amazing books, when I met them at a conference, and I am SO GLAD I got to read it. It blew me away.

Gabi's narration is at turns hilarious, matter-of-fact, and heart-rending; it seemed like every time I turned the page, the words struck to the core of my identity as a Mexican-American who loves food, loves words, and loves her crazy and difficult family. This is my new go-to book to hand to any Latinx kid who is trying to find their place in the world. 
Two of my favorite quotes, just a page away from each other:

"People look at Sandra's long brown hair, dark brown eyes, and skin that doesn't need sun, and they think how exotic, how very perfectly Mexican. Not too much to give discomfort - there is no accent, no rough transition from white to brown. A perfect attempt at assimilation, so her brownness can be excused"

"What I need is a nopal on my forehead to let the world know about my roots...It would say, "This light-skinned White-looking young lady is of Mexican decent. Really, she is. Yes, she speaks Spanish. And English too. She is a sight to see, folks, a real marvel."


Need I say more?