In Our Autographed Bookcase

If you’ve missed out on one of our (very fun!) author events, don’t despair. Chances are we’ve still got copies of their books in our autographed bookcase.

(The bookcase itself isn’t autographed, FYI. It’s the books inside. You get it.)

Here’s a sampling of what’s there right now!

I Know a Wee Piggy by Kim Norman, illus. by Henry Cole; Dial Books; 16.99; Ages 3-6

This hilarious retelling of “I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” is a fast-paced, rip-roaring adventure! A rambunctious piglet gets loose at the county fair, and a wild chase ensues! Perfect for storytime with energetic wee ones.

Russell the Sheep by Rob Scotton; HarperCollins; 17.99; Ages 3-6

Russell is, as indicated by the title, a sheep. And yet, in a cruel twist of irony, he is having trouble falling asleep. He tries everything! He counts everything! Until, in a flash of brilliance, he realizes he’s forgotten the most important thing of all.

Survivors #1: The Empty City by Erin Hunter; HarperCollins; 7.99; Ages 8-10

Fans of the Warriors series, rejoice! Your favorite authors (Erin Hunter is a pseudonym shared by five women) are back, this time with a series about dogs and their fight for survival.

The Genius Files #3: You Only Die Twice by Dan Gutman; HarperCollins; 16.99; Ages 10-12

James Bond meets middle grade adventure in this third installment of Gutman’s hilarious and action-packed series! Twins Coke and Pepsi (yes, you read that right) are on the wildest road trip of their lives—and it’s about to get wilder!

Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks by Lauren Myracle; Penguin; 8.99; Ages 12 and up

The summer Carly’s little sister, Anna, turns pretty, everything changes. Carly’s ready to stop playing the part she’s expected to take on in her comfortable Southern lifestyle. It’s time to be real! But now that Anna’s suddenly beautiful and popular, Carly is thrown for a loop. A delightful, funny summer read for fans of Sarah Dessen and Jenny Han.

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund; HarperCollins; 17.99; Ages 12 and up

This futuristic/dystopian retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion is a thoroughly engaging, imaginative, arresting romance that teens and adults will be unable to put down. Peterfreund’s a local author, so keep an eye out for events for her upcoming Across a Star-Swept Sea, a re-imagining of The Scarlet Pimpernel.

Got questions about autographed books or upcoming author events? Give us a call or drop us a line! (703) 548-4092 or We’re always available on Twitter, too—follow us at @HFBooks!

This Book Makes Me Happy :)

Are you looking for the perfect summer book? A light romance that is fast-paced AND well-written? This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith is the perfect escape. Fans of Sarah Dessen’s books, or Jenny Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty will fall hard for this romance.

When teen celebrity Graham Larkin accidentally emails Ellie O’Neill about his pet pig, the two of them start a chain of emails and eventually become friends. Graham falls for Ellie so he manages to renegotiate the location of his newest film to Ellie’s hometown: a small resort town on the Maine Coast

Discovering her online crush is a movie star is actually quite complicated. Can they manage to avoid the paparazzi, keep Ellie’s family secret out of the news, and just get over the awkwardness of teenage dating?

Despite its over-the-top premise, the emotions and relationships are realistic, including complicated, but supportive, relationships with parents and friends. Younger readers, and even adults, will enjoy this clean read. The characters are witty, the romance is satisfying, and the setting is gorgeous. This is What Happy Looks Like is my favorite YA romance this year.


This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith; Hachette; $17.99

Miss Megan’s Favorite Summer Reads

There are some books that are just better during the summer. They’re good all the time really, but they’re all the more memorable if you’re reading them on the beach with an ice cold lemonade in your hand.

These are my favorite books for summer, as synonymous with the season as the smell of sunblock or the taste of watermelon. (Yum!)

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall; Yearling Books (Random House); 6.99; Ages 8-12

Four sisters spend the summer on a grand estate and have all sorts of adventures! There’s plenty to discover and plenty of mischief to get into, especially when there’s a boy next door who’s ready to play and a rambunctious dog frolicking about. I like to compare this delightful read to a modernized version of Little Women with younger characters. It’s got that kind of winning, classic feel that’s impossible to resist! And, with four sisters, there’s sure to be a heroine for every reader to identify with. Indiebound says: “Deliciously nostalgic and quaintly witty, this is a story as breezy and carefree as a summer day.”

Summer of the Gypsy Moths by Sara Pennypacker; Balzer & Bray/Harperteen (HarperCollins); 15.99; Ages 9-12

When unexpected events leave Stella and Angel alone for the summer in a house on Cape Cod, the girls must work together to stay afloat. As the summer progresses, they make surprising discoveries about themselves and each other. At the end of the day, this is a novel about family, the family we are born into and the family we choose. I love Gary Schmidt’s (Okay for Nowdescription: “Beneath the comedy and the suspense and the horror and the wit of this remarkable read lies the deepest secret of all: that we can learn to love each other.” Read my full review here.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han; Simon & Schuster; 9.99; Ages 12+

You’ve gotta love a heroine with a quirky nickname. Our central character in this charming novel is Isabel, but she’s known as Belly. See? You want to read it already, don’t you? Every summer is the same for Belly, spending the season with her family and best-friends-who-are-boys in their beach house. But this year is different. This year, Belly isn’t a little girl anymore. This summer, as the title hints, Belly has turned pretty. You may think you know what happens next, but you’d be surprised by the poignant twists Han gives this coming of age novel. And, lucky for you, there are two more books in the series: It’s Not Summer Without You and We’ll Always Have SummerThis is a great adult/teen crossover book for the beach this year!

The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder; Razorbill (Penguin); 17.99; Ages 14+

This book is seriously good. Seriously well written, seriously hilarious, seriously awesome. I laughed out loud more times than I could count. And, yes, the main protagonist has cancer. Don’t run away! Debut novelist Wendy Wunder has created a wondrously creative, hilarious, and ultimately satisfying read that will keep you glued to the very last page. Heartfelt without being sappy, sarcastic without being rude, Wunder’s characters are brimming with energy and warmth. This is most emphatically not a book about cancer–instead, it’s a book about family, first love, baby flamingoes, Polynesian dancers, and the small miracles of everyday life. I loved every moment. Read it read it read it!

BONUS PICK FOR GROWNUPS: Pure by Julianna Baggott; Grand Central Publishing (Hachette); 25.99; Ages 14+

I’m sort of cheating with this one. It doesn’t take place during the summer. At least, Julianna Baggott never indicates that. But it’s made of pure awesome. And isn’t that what you want to read in your hours and hours of summer leisure time? I know I do. Give me fantastic dystopian world building (check), non-stop action (check), multiple perspectives to keep me interested (check), and some shocking twists and turns (check, check). And while you’re at it, make sure this dystopian world is super creepy and weird and unsettling. In a good way. I dare you to put this book down without finishing it. Give yourself some uninterrupted time, because you’ll want to tear from cover to cover in one sitting!

Come by the store anytime and ask our other booksellers for their favorite picks for summer. If there’s anything we love doing, it’s matching people up with the perfect book!

If you like Jenny Han, you’ll love Morgan Matson!

We get a lot of customers in the store looking for read alikes. The “I’ve read this book, what should I read next” kind of thing. That’s probably my favorite question from those of you that walk in our doors, because it’s like solving a mystery.

I know we have a lot of fans of Jenny Han’s “Summer” series, myself included, and as I was reading Morgan Matson’s fantastic new book, Second Chance Summer, I couldn’t stop comparing them…in a good way! They’re both perfect get-ready-for-summer reads, with an excellent balance of relationships, family, and emotional impact, as well as the required cute boys and beach time.

Each and every character in Second Chance Summer has a place and you’ll end up caring about all of them.  You’ll sympathize with Taylor as she works through some serious friendship hurtles after returning to her lake house after 5 years of being away and you’ll laugh as her serious brother Warren attempts to wrangle himself a date with the girl from the pet store. You’ll cry as Taylor’s father battles a tragic illness and you’ll cheer when she and Henry finally start to talk to each other again. A rollercoaster of emotions in the best sort of way.

So much is going on in this book, but Matson, like Han, has managed to play out a realistic teen’s life on the pages. It’s like real life: bad things happen, but life also goes on. Funny moments get taken out with tears and vice versa. I loved Second Chance Summer and I think all of those fans of Jenny Han’s books (and Sarah Dessen and Jessi Kirby) will love it too.

Be sure to check out Morgan Matson’s previous book, Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour, which is also one of my favorite get-ready-for-summer books. Can you say road trip?!

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson; $16.99; Simon & Schuster; Ages 14+

Maryam’s Pick of the Day — Shug

shugShug by Jenny Han (ages 10 and up)

This story is about Annemarie, or Shug, as she is known by her family. She’s twelve and it seems nothing goes right in her life, not since she realized that she loves her best friend Mark who likes her older sister Celia. Shug is the only girl who still wears a one-piece swim suit, the only girl without a boyfriend, and the only person her English teacher, Ms. Gillybush, hates. Middle school was supposed to be a great new time in life, especially with her friend Elaine, but now it seems even Elaine is making different friends from Annemarie. Not to mention Jack, a boy who just gets on Annemarie’s nerves and vice versa. How on Earth is she going to make it through middle school now? This book is a good summer read for a middle-schooler worried about how middle school will end up so they know that it won’t end up so bad.

Shug by Jenny Han; paperback; $5.99; Simon & Schuster

Best wishes and Happy Reading,


Megan’s Book of the Day 5/15/09

The Summer I Turned Pretty, by Jenny Han, Ages 12 and up

34022267Isabel–known to her family and friends as “Belly”–has spent every summer she can remember at a beach house with her family’s closest friends. She has spent each of those summers being the tag-along little sister to her brother and his friends, Conrad and Jeremiah. But Belly is determined that this summer will be different. She has watched her friends grow from boys to young men, and now it’s her turn–she’s finally come into her own, finally turned pretty. Suddenly the boys are looking at her differently, treating her differently. She realizes that long-hidden feelings may now have a chance to rise to the surface. But what Belly doesn’t expect is how those feelings affect her and those around her.

Told through a mixture of Belly’s present narrative and past memories, Jenny Han’s new novel is a perfect summer read. Han’s story is witty, poignant, and entertaining, and her heroine is entirely endearing. Readers will be drawn in by Belly’s truthful description of the most important summer of her life. Grab a towel and suntan lotion and prepare to dive into the first good beach read of the season!

And don’t miss your chance to meet author Jenny Han at Hooray for Books! on Sunday, June 14, at 2 pm!

The Summer I Turned Pretty, by Jenny Han, pub. May 2009, Simon and Schuster

Happy Summer!

–Miss Megan