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Sassafras on Sutton Sets February 17 Opening Date

Sassafras on Sutton
Sassafras on Sutton is open while books are going on the shelves.

Sassafras on Sutton, a gift shop, coffee shop, and bookstore, has set February 17 for its official opening in Black Mountain, North Carolina.

Meanwhile, Sassafras on Sutton invited customers who follow the store on Facebook to stop in as staff unpack books and stocks shelves: “The books are here! We will be busy shelving everything today so come by!”

Sassafras on Sutton, owned by children’s book author Susanne Blumer and her husband, Cole, is located in the historic old Brown Livery Stable building. Blumer and her 13-year-old daughter co-author the Piper Periwinkle series (Chickadilly Press).

MahoganyBooks to Host Day of Events for Grand Opening

MahoganyBooks of Washington, D.C., once online only, is celebrating its new space in the Anacostia Arts Center with a grand opening party from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on February 10.

Young adult author Jason Reynolds will be on hand from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. to host a book discussion with teens. A ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1:00 p.m. will include local Washington, D.C., politicians and officials.

At 6:00 p.m., Paul Wharton will sign his recently published lifestyle tome Pulling It All Together: Essential Style Advice on Being Beautiful, Confident & (Most of All) Happy! (Skyhorse Publishing).

Started in 2007 by Derrick and Ramunda Young, MahoganyBooks specializes in African American titles.

Violet Valley Celebrates Grand Opening in Mississippi

Violet Valley Bookstore, a nonprofit feminist bookstore in Water Valley, Mississippi, celebrated its grand opening on February 2.

Violet Valley
Violet Valley had a full house for its grand opening.

Owner Jaime Harker, an English professor at the University of Mississippi, told the student newspaper that the bookstore is a volunteer effort by herself and other community members.

“We are a resource for the entire community, and we hope folks will see the bookstore as a place to discover books, meet friends and support folks in the state who sometimes feel invisible or ostracized,” Harker told the Daily Mississippian.

Violet Valley posted a photo on its Instagram feed that showed a packed house for the grand opening, where fellow University of Mississippi English professor Derrick Harriell read from his new book of poems, Stripper in Wonderland: Poems (LSU Press).

Second Star to the Right Plans Larger Store

Second Star to the Right, a children’s bookstore in Denver, Colorado, is expanding to a new location that’s three times the size of its current space, according to a report on

Owners Marc and Dea Lavoie told that the new store will include 1,500 square feet of event space and 3,000 square feet of retail space.

The move to 1545 S. Broadway puts the bookstore in the same kind of family-oriented neighborhood the store occupies at 4353 Tennyson Street. “While there are a lot of used and antique bookstores on South Broadway, there really seemed to be a need for a children’s-only, new bookstore,” Marc Lavoie told

The couple, who own their current building, bought the new building and plan to renovate it. On Second Star to the Right’s website, there is an announcement that the new location will be open in summer 2018 and feature a larger selection of children’s books, toys, and baby gifts.

Wisconsin Town Seeks Indie Bookstore

The mayor of Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, is seeking an entrepreneur to open a bookstore in its downtown, which is being developed as a theater-arts district.

Mayor Becky Glewen is promising a prime location, resources, and a potential investor.  “A bookstore would be a positive addition to our city and county, acting as a cultural hub and literary anchor for the downtown,” the mayor wrote in a flier with the headline: “This Is Your Opportunity to Open a Bookstore!”

The sales pitch notes that Beaver Dam has about 16,000 residents and is near three major metro areas. The Beaver Dam Area Community Theater, set to be completed at the end of 2018, is a $2.4 million project.

Carrie Obry, executive director of the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, shared details with her membership online, encouraging them to share it in turn, writing: “A vibrant city that values a strong sense of community knows all the positive things an independent bookstore can do for the local area.”

Those interested in learning more can contact Mayor Glewen via e-mail or by calling (920) 887-4600, extension 398.

McIntyre’s Hosts Children’s Book Festival

McIntyre’s Books in Pittsboro, North Carolina, hosted its first annual Whirlikids Book Festival on February 3.

Camille Andros, author of "Charlotte the Scientist Is Squished" (Clarion Books), reads to children at the Whirlikids Book Festival.
Camille Andros, author of "Charlotte the Scientist Is Squished" (Clarion Books), reads to children at the Whirlikids Book Festival.

Authors and illustrators from North Carolina and across the country were on hand for book readings, signings, and crafts.

Featured participants included Alan Gratz, author of Refugee (Scholastic Press); Sarah Mlynowski, author of the Upside-Down Magic and Whatever After series; and Stuart Gibbs, author of Spy School Secret Service (Spy School).

Sarah Carr, McIntyre’s children’s book buyer, speaking with the “Go Ask Mom” editor on to promote the event, said the idea came from an author: “It seems to be a big trend now happening in the children’s bookselling world that publishers just seem to be tending to like to send authors to festivals.”

The event focused on middle grade and picture books for children ages 12 and under. “People love those books at all ages. I’m in my 50s and I can’t get enough picture books. They inspire me every day. It’s just a great opportunity to bring in some really cool authors,” Carr said.

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