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Staff Recommendation

Everything Sad Is Untrue is the story of a middle school boy named Khosrou, who everyone calls Daniel, telling stories to his middle school classroom. They’re loosely interwoven, and rambling, and no one believes that they’re true but they are his stories; stories about him and his family, about his mother and about his ancestors. Daniel plays the part of a modern Scheherazade, weaving stories to save himself from the cruelty of his classmates.

It has been a long time since I read a Young Adult novel, largely because of my own presumptions about the genre, but Daniel Nayeri proves in this book that the label “Young Adult” doesn’t indicate anything about the quality or depth of a novel. This was by far one of the greatest novels I have ever read, and has quickly entered the rotation books I will reread throughout my life.

Nayeri has a way of making this rambling web of stories flow effortlessly without having to be seamless. The stories told are beautiful, often heartbreaking, and sometimes hilarious. But most importantly Everything Sad is Untrue manages to tell a story that feels universally true while celebrating the author’s history, culture, and voice.


Staff Recommendation

Consumed by his work, the main character in this story has lost sight of important things. Things that should be more important than work but for him are not. Things like connection, compassion, and kindness. Until suddenly his life is at its end and he realizes that the time he spent living was simply time spent working and turning away from others. But now he can’t go back and make a change knowing what he knows. Or can he?

This book serves as a reminder that without connection and compassion to others, life can be just a shell. This book hit me right in the heart and brought tears to my eyes for many reasons — the sadness and grief in knowing that it can be so easy to lose your way and turn your back to the things that make life worth living; the recognition that we have so many chances to turn it all around if that does in fact happen; and the joy in knowing that connection to another human being can be one of the most powerful things in the world.

“Everyone loses their way at some point, and it’s not just because of their mistakes or the decisions they make. It’s because they’re horribly, wonderfully human. And the one thing I’ve learned about being human is that we can’t do this alone. When we’re lost, we need help to try to find our way again.”  —T.J. Klune, “Under The Whispering Door”

If you’ve read and loved “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig, I think there’s a good chance you would also really enjoy “Under The Whispering Door”. Once you read it (or maybe even before you do) you should also check out T.J. Klune’s “The House in the Cerulean Sea” which is equally as great!