Account Login Canada Toll-Free: 1.800.561.1833 SK Toll-Free: 1.877.506.7456 Contact & Locations

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 May 11 at 7:00 PM, we'll be discussing A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge.
There will be a $5.00 registration fee. This session full.

A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge (Session on May 11)
Cover image for Face Like GlassIn the underground city of Caverna, the world’s most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies and enchantments beyond compare. On the surface, the people of Caverna seem ordinary, except for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned, and only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to express (or fake) joy, despair, or fear—at a steep price. Into this dark and distrustful world comes Neverfell, a girl with no memory of her past and a face so terrifying to those around her that she must wear a mask at all times. Neverfell's expressions are as varied and dynamic as those of the most skilled Facesmiths, except hers are entirely genuine. And that makes her very dangerous indeed.

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.

Bang by Barry Lyga (Discussed 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. 

"Very good, very sad, very intense." -Maddy

"This book brings you on a journey of thought, with the knowledge of impending doom. It wavers your typical joyful resolution, and reminds you that happy endings are not always happily-ever-after." -Kaily

"Bang gives us the perspective of Sebastian Coby, a boy who accidentally killed his sister when he was four. It gives a good outlook on what it could feel like living with such a dark past." -Shaylyn

"A book that touches upon many important topics of today." -Callie

"Bang was a fascinating, intense read that left you wondering about the impact of others and forgiveness." -Lauren

"I found the subject matter of this book really relevant, especially considering how American culture currently feels about guns." -Chloé

"An intense look into the psychology of smalltown USA." -Katie

"Bang is a poetic and fascinating look at the psyche of a young person coping with the effects of shooting his sister. I loved how the author took us through his attempts at being a kid compared to his suicide attempt. It also tackles multiple heavy issues within our society today. I highly recommend!" -Emily

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves (Discussed March 16, 2017)
Cover image for Blood Rose RebellionThough Anna Arden's family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren and 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. There, 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, or embrace her ability and change the 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