As part of The Colorado Sun’s literature section — SunLit — we’re featuring staff picks from book stores across the state. >> Click here for more SunLit

This week’s bookstore: BookBar, 4280 Tennyson St., Denver | @BookBarDenver on Twitter, Instagram


By Melanie Crowder
Viking Books for Young Readers
$18.99 (hardcover)
June 2022

>> Purchase

From the publisher: Blair Scott is in her second season as a wildland firefighter when the Forest Service puts out a call for an additional class of smokejumpers. She and her best friend Jason both apply, though neither expects to get in since they’re only 19. But it’s been a devastating fire season, and they are both accepted. But going to training camp is only the first step—everyone expects the teenage rookies will wash out in the first week. Blair has always been touchy about people telling her she isn’t good enough, so she begins taking unnecessary risks to prove herself. It doesn’t take long before everything spins out of control, leaving Blair struggling to cope. 

A story of courage, self-knowledge, and ultimate triumph over the elements, “Jumper” is a dramatic wilderness adventure that explores what it takes to survive—in every sense of the word.

From Marilyn Robbins,  children’s program coordinator: One of our local favorite Denver-area authors of both middle grade and young adult books, Melanie Crowder, has just released another brilliant book that easily crosses over into the adult world. Meet 19-year-old Blair Scott, who has just been accepted as a smokejumper. This novel follows Blair and the heart-wrenching decisions she must make as she becomes a hotshot firefighter with the National Forest Service. Could there be a book that is more relevant today?

>> Purchase

Four Treasures of the Sky

By Jenny Tinghui Zhang
Flatiron Books
$27.99 (hardcover)
April 2022

>> Purchase

From the publisher: Daiyu never wanted to be like the tragic heroine for whom she was named, revered for her beauty and cursed with heartbreak. But when she is kidnapped and smuggled across an ocean from China to America, Daiyu must relinquish the home and future she imagined for herself. Over the years that follow, she is forced to keep reinventing herself to survive. At once a literary tour de force and a groundbreaking work of historical fiction, this book announces Jenny Tinghui Zhang as an indelible new voice.

From Bess Maher, event liaison: In this gripping story, Daiyu must escape her kidnappers and make her way across the brutal West to try to find her way home. Despite the horrible circumstances Daiyu faces, she is always the hero of her story. Author Jenny Tinghui Zhang writes honestly, and brutally, about the racism and mob mentality that Chinese immigrants faced in the late 1800s, with echoes of the anti-Chinese words and actions we see today.

>> Purchase

Bullet Train

By Kōtarō Isaka
The Overlook Press
$17 (paperback)
March 2022

>> Purchase

From the publisher: Satoshi — The Prince — looks like an innocent schoolboy but is really a stylish and devious assassin. Risk fuels him, as does a good philosophical debate, such as questioning: Is killing really wrong? Kimura’s young son is in a coma thanks to The Prince, and Kimura has tracked him onto a bullet train heading from Tokyo to Morioka to exact his revenge. But Kimura soon discovers that they are not the only dangerous passengers on board. Who will make it off alive?

From Moira Brownwolfe, backlist bookbuyer:  If you enjoyed the recent summer movie, check out the vastly superior book it was based on. Isaka crafts a tight narrative with memorable characters in this dark comedy that this bookseller read in a day. If you hear anyone say, “Have you seen the new Brad Pitt movie?” you can smile smugly and go, “No, I’ve read the book.”

>> Purchase

Posts by Colorado Sun staff writers and editors. Email: Twitter: @ColoradoSun