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Be First Book Club

Be First is a teen book club with a twist. Sign up at the Kids Service Desk to receive an Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) of the selected title and read a book before it's even published. These books are pre-publication copies of books that are normally only available to industry insiders. On book club date, make sure you come back to the store to discuss what you've read with our other fantastic group members.

This book club is intended for teens ages 13 and up. If you're interested in joining the next session, please phone us at (204) 475-0492 to have your name added to the calling list.

Next Winnipeg Session:

On April 13 at 7:00 PM, we'll be discussing Bang by Barry Lyga.
There will be a $5.00 registration fee. Copies limited. 

Bang by Barry Lyga (Session on April 13, 2017)
Cover image for BangSebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one--not even Sebastian himself--can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father's gun. Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend--Aneesa--to distract him from his darkest thoughts. But even this relationship cannot blunt the pain of his past. Because Sebastian knows exactly how to rectify his childhood crime and sanctify his past. It took a gun to get him into this. Now he needs a gun to get out. 

Below is a listing of our most recent Be First books our teens have reviewed and their reactions to them.
Click here to see our full list of previously reviewed books. These are now available at a McNally's near you!

If you're interested in reviewing more soon-to-be-released books, check out our Two Thumbs Up Review Program.

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves (Discussed March 16, 2017)
Cover image for Blood Rose RebellionAnna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s native Hungary. In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, not the society she’s known all her life, and not her lack of magic. As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romani, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

"A wonderful tie-in of magic and Hungarian history. Beautiful world-building. Strong lack of puns." -Ola

"Luminate your way to the truth in this misshapen society of a misshapen girl." -Emma

"Interesting world and plot. Main character, not so much." -Maddy

"The author keeps you in the circle of the story.' -Shaylyn

"Not too shabby. A lot of interesting aspects, but it didn't blow my mind or anything. I will read the next book to see where it goes." -Chloé

"An interesting retelling with many love interests and monsters." -Lauren

"Anna may have been dull, but the setting was enticing." -Sabrina

"While the character development leaves something to be desired, Blood Rose Rebellion is set in an unconventional time and location. The journey of the main character from Victorian England to the Austro-Hungarian Empire was interesting. I was not a fan of the bland main character, but the author somewhat makes up for it with a richly depicted, lush world and fascinating political structures. Think Marxism with magic, told through the eyes of a very boring lady and you've got it." -Emily

Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham (Discussed February 16, 2017)
Cover image for Dreamland BurningWhen seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family's property, she has no idea that investigating the brutal century-old murder will lead to a summer of painful discoveries about the past... and the present.
Nearly one hundred years earlier, a misguided violent encounter propels seventeen-year-old Will Tillman into a racial firestorm. In a country rife with violence against blacks and a hometown segregated by Jim Crow, Will must make hard choices on a painful journey towards self discovery and face his inner demons in order to do what's right the night Tulsa burns. 

"An awesome commentary on historical and present day racial bias', with a mystery to boot." -Katie

"You have a voice, use it." -Alexandra

"This novel will help you realize that our reality may not be the 'Dreamland' you think it is." -Lauren

"A very well-written books which shows the parallels of institutionalized racism form the 1920s to current time." -Shaylyn

"A great book to learn about lesser known historical event that more people should know about." -Callie

"A mystery set through time that will keep you guessing." -Emma

"An amazing read comparing racism from 100 years ago to today." -Maddy

"A unique murder mystery that also brings forth the truth of the past and present when it comes to the history of the United States." -Stephanie

"The duel POV guides the story along to show the cruel reality of today." -Sabrina

"This books is well-structured and well-written, and maybe most importantly, relevant, especially in lieu of America's political climate and the effect it's had on the rest of the world." -Chloé

"A fascinating novel that links the past to the future. Dreamland Burning centres on the racism of the past and connects it with modern events in Southern USA. Latham not only offers an exciting story with interesting themes, but also teaches valuable lessons about racism and prejudice in a unique and effective way." -Emilly