Whatcha Reading? January 2022

By: OwlCrate Jr

Photo by Meredith Mara

Welcome to a new year of WHATCHA READING? where the OwlCrate Jr team shares with you some of our favourite reads over the past month. 

If you've read any of these great picks, let us know what you thought, or tell us what you read this month in the comments below!

The Clackity by Lora Senf
Book cover for The Clackity by Lora Senf. Image is mostly in shades of black and grey with pops of orange. A young White girl with red hair pulled back in a bun approaches a darkened house. The house appears to have ghostly arms sprouting from it, reaching upward. The girl is holding an orange key and has sketchy orange wings sprouting from her back.

My middle grade recommendation of the month is not for the faint of heart! The Clackity follows Evie Von Rathe who lives in the seventh-most haunted town in America: Blight Harbour. Evie is used to a lot of weird and creepy things happening around her, but when her aunt (the local paranormal expert) disappears under suspicious circumstances, Evie has to make a deal with The Clackity, a terrifying creature that lives in the shadows of an abandoned abattoir, and enter a realm of monsters and ghouls to bring her aunt home safe.

Warning, this book had me sleeping with the light on! You have until the summer to steel your nerves, it hits bookshelves on June 28, 2022.

— Sally

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The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill
Book cover for The Ogress and the Orphans by Kelly Barnhill. Image shows a young White girl wearing a patchwork quilt, holding her hands outstretched and looking up at the giant female ogress who frames the top left of the image. The ogress has gray-ish skintone, wild brown hair, and is wearing a gray blouse and a blue skirt with a white apron on top. In the background is a roaring fire in a fireplace.

“Pay Attention. Listen. This story is about an ogress. She is not who you think she is. (But really, is anyone)?”

The Ogress and the Orphan will probably become the middle grade book that I recommend the most this year. This is a clever fairytale about what happens when kindness and empathy are replaced with distrust and about what it means to be a good neighbor.

If you loved The Girl Who Drank the Moon, get ready for another absolute delight from Kelly Barnhill.

— Kellie

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Garlic and the Vampire by Bree Paulsen
Book cover for Garlic and the Vampire by Bree Paulson. Image shows an anthropomorphized garlic bulb wearing an orange scarf and a burgundy coat, holding a mallet and a wooden stake. She stands on the path of a dark forest. In the background is a foreboding castle up on a hill.

A sweet, yet hearty story about friendship and vegetables. Garlic is eager to prove her worth to the kindly Witch Agnes and the other vegetable folk, but she feels she can never get it right. Best not to stray too much from what’s expected of her. That’s all well and good until a vampire moves into the creepy, abandoned castle nearby. Garlic is the obvious choice to send to get him on his way. After all, vampires hate garlic, right?

This is one of the coziest, most delicious, most satisfying graphic novels I have ever read. Never have I so quickly been won over by an art style or a main character — who is a literal garlic bulb! Do yourself a favor and have yourself a healthy helping of Garlic and the Vampire.

— Shanleigh

What great books have you read lately? Let us know!

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