Credit: Stock Photo | Pixabay

“On the Come Up,” by Angie Thomas

Racism. Social justice. Poverty. These are some of the themes in this powerful second novel from Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give. Set in the same world as her previous novel (though you won’t know any of these characters), it follows the story of Bri, a teenage aspiring rapper, as she pursues her dream amid troubles at school and home. She’s brave, she’s bold and she believes she can help her family have a better life. This is a book worth reading if not for the important plot lines about racism, social justice and poverty but for the excellent writing. (Young adult)

“Do Fairies Bring the Spring,” and “How Do Fairies Have Fun in the Sun?” board books by Liza Gardner Walsh and illustrated by Hazel Mitchell

I’ve loved this series of fairy-themed seasonal stories since the first was released several years ago. They are whimsical imaginings of what fairies might be doing as spring arrives and summer sets in. Perfect for reading with little ones to stoke their burgeoning imaginations. And the lovely, graceful artwork brings it all to life. (Babies and toddlers)

“Read Harder: A Book Log,” by Piet Aukeman

This feels very meta to include in my favorite books this month, but it is absolutely a new favorite. Book Riot, a website devoted to bookish topics, created this wonderful book log for tracking and logging all the books you read. As someone who reads a lot, I love being able to end my time with a book by recording favorite quotes, scenes and more. It will be a lovely keepsake of my reading adventures this year. (All ages)

— Sarah Walker Caron


Queen City Cinema Club

128B Main St. Bangor

Queen City Cinema Club, which opened in downtown Bangor last summer, is the sort of place that you didn’t know you were missing until you go. Equal parts movie theater, arcade, board game palace and bar, QCCC is the sort of nerdy, funky place that fans of all stripes — and ages — can enjoy. Want to watch a classic movie in one of QCCC’s two intimate, comfortable movie theaters? Pick your flick and get comfortable. Want to battle your friends in Super Smash Brothers on a classic N64 video game console? QCCC has that, plus thousands of other video games, and hundreds of board games to choose from as well. You could even throw a private party to watch the Oscars or a big TV premiere. The fact that there’s delicious craft beer to drink (and non-alcoholic beverages too!) and hot dogs, popcorn, nachos and other tasty junk food to snack on is just a bonus — as are the special events, like themed parties, live music and trivia nights. In short, it’s nerd heaven. I didn’t know that I needed it in my life until it opened, and now I can’t get enough of it.

— Emily Burnham


“The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” on Netflix

If — like me — you grew up watching “Sabrina the Teenage Witch,” a popular TV show that ran from 1996 to 2003, then you may get a kick out of this edgier adaptation. “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” premiered in late October of 2018, just in time for Halloween, and has so far earned great reviews (7.8/10 on IMDb and 81 percent on Rotten Tomatoes). With 11 episodes in the first season, the show is available on Netflix, and the second season is scheduled to air in April.

Both TV series are based on the comic book series “Sabrina the Teenage Witch” published by Archie Comics (1971 to 2009, with over 200 issues in three volumes). While I don’t want to give too much away about this new show, I will say that there’s a darkness to it that isn’t present in the 1990s TV series, including quite a bit of dark humor. And while the new show features many of the same characters as the old — including Sabrina’s two aunts and her boyfriend, Harvey — it also includes some new, charming side characters. This isn’t a family-friendly show. I like to think that’s it’s intended for an adult audience who remembers the old show and would be excited about a sassier and scarier rendition of the tale.

— Aislinn Sarnacki