COLUMN: Samantha’s March Book-it List


Art by: Lily Cohen ('20)

Samantha Roehl shares her favorite books for the month.

March is a month of in-betweens. Half winter and half spring, it is the perfect time for strange magic and mysteries and classic coming-of-age.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stievater

Blue Sargent, the only non-psychic in her family, meets the ghost of a soon-to-die boy in a graveyard and is suddenly and unavoidably swept into a journey to find a long-dead Welsh king.

The Raven Boys, lovely and creepy in equal measures, is the first book in a contemporary fantasy quartet full of psychics and gothic southern towns and sleeping kings and private school boys.

Sadie by Courtney Summers

When Sadie’s little sister, Mattie, turns up dead, Sadie goes on the hunt to find her killer. At the same time, a podcast called “The Girls” tries to retrace Sadie’s steps.

An imaginative and thrilling take on the true crime obsession that has swept the nation, Sadie tells the story of the girls left behind. And the ones who will do anything for answers.

The Queens of Animation by Nathalia Holt

If you go back and watch the classic Disney movies, pay close attention to the credits. For decades, only a handful of artists working on Disney movies would get credited, with women almost always left out. But women were far more important to Disney history than one might expect.

The Queens of Animation tells the stories of the unsung women of Disney Animation while also providing a crash course on Disney and film history. It’s a definite must for any Disney fan!

Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore

Dark and Deepest Red is written in dual-narratives. Half of the book takes place during the dancing sickness of 1518, an actual historical occurrence where people danced themselves to death in the streets. The other half takes place in a contemporary small town, completely ordinary except for the week of magic that takes place every year.

I really enjoyed that two of the POV characters are Romani, both for how stunningly it impacted the story and because it is unfortunately rare for either historical fiction or fantasy to include Romani characters. The imagery, the plot, the characters — it all adds up to a breathtaking and highly impactful novel.

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Charlie, an openly gay student at a British all-boys school, meets Nick, a rugby player, and they become unlikely friends. A short read, but a good one, this is the first graphic novel I have ever read. The illustrations are charming and the writing is believable. I do not often love YA contemporary, especially when it is romance, but I really enjoyed Heartstopper.

Interestingly, Heartstopper is a bind-up of the first two chapters of Alice Oseman’s ongoing webcomic. (This means that the entire comic thus far, including what comprises Volume One, is all online!)