What books are you and your kids looking forward to reading in the year ahead?
Most of the books listed here are recommended either for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and early elementary readers since my children fall within those groups and so do the little readers in my core target audience. However, I’ve also included a few middle grade and young adult books for slightly older readers to enjoy as well. The best part is most of these books are avamailable for pre-order now so you can get a head start on your shopping.
Rest assured, I’ve selected what I think will be the “best of the best” in terms of diverse books. I know other amazing books will be released throughout the year, but these are the ones that were on my radar right now. As other books are released, I will come back and make changes to this post throughout the year so be sure to check it periodically or bookmark it to read later.
I’m definitely looking forward to sharing most (if not all) of these books with my little readers. I tried to target books that will likely have: stunning illustrations, read aloud appeal, a kid-friendly theme – or all three! Enjoy!
Note: ** Since other countries have different release dates, some of these books may be released earlier or later internationally than the months I have listed. **
Champion: The Story of Muhammad Ali by Jim Haskins
Muhammad Ali faced the obstacles in his life the way he faced his opponents in the ring, brashly and with all the force at his command. In his private life, he was also deeply spiritual, committed to standing up against social injustice, and steadfast in his beliefs. Featuring stunning illustrations and covering his entire life from childhood through his professional career to his end of life battle with Parkinson’s Syndrome, this is a moving tribute to the legacy of this impressive figure.
Black Girl Magic: A Poem by Mahogany L. Brown
Much of what twenty-first century culture tells black girls is not pretty: Don’t wear this; don’t smile at that. Don’t have an opinion; don’t dream big. And most of all, don’t love yourself. In response to such destructive ideas, internationally recognized poet Mahogany Browne challenges the conditioning of society by crafting an anthem of strength and magic undeniable in its bloom for all beautiful Black girls.
A Sky Full of Stars by Linda Williams Jackson
After the murder of Emmett Till, thirteen-year-old Rose is struggling with her decision to stay in Mississippi. Torn between the opinions of Shorty, a boy who wants to meet violence with violence, and Hallelujah, her best friend who believes in the power of peaceful protests, Rose is scared of the mounting racial tension and is starting to lose hope. But when Rose helps Aunt Ruthie start her own business, she begins to see how she can make a difference in her community. Life might be easier in the North, but Mississippi is home and that’s worth fighting for. Mid-Century Mississippi comes alive in this sequel to Midnight Without a Moon.
Yes I Can: A Story of Grit by Mari Schuh
Jada’s working on her science project. She’s finding out whether plants grow best in water, milk, juice, or soda. There’s just one problem she keeps getting interrupted! From her cousin texting and her friends stopping by to her little brother playing with the plants, Jada runs into one obstacle after another. Find out how Jada relies on grit to keep on going.
A Girl Named Rosa: The True Story of Rosa Parks (American Girl: A Girl Named) by Denise Lewis Patrick
The A Girl Named series tells the stories of how ordinary American girls grew up to be extraordinary American women. Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger in 1955, but how did she come to be so brave? A Girl Named Rosa describes the defining moments that made up her childhood and adolescence with full-color illustrations throughout. In addition to stories and facts about Rosa’s upbringing and accomplishments, the book includes a timeline and a glossary, plus a profile of a noteworthy and contemporary American girl following in Rosa’s monumental footsteps to stand up for equal rights, even in the face of adversity.
Little Sid: The Tiny Prince Who Became Buddha by Ian Lendler and Xanthe Bouma
With Lendler’s delightful prose and Bouma’s lyrical artwork, Little Sid weaves traditional Buddhist fables into a classic new tale of mindfulness, the meaning of life, and an awakening that is as profound today as it was 2,500 years ago.
Stella Diaz Has Something to Say by Angela Dominguez
In her first middle-grade novel, award-winning picture book author and illustrator Angela Dominguez tells a heartwarming story based on her own experiences growing up Mexican-American.
Stella Diaz loves marine animals, especially her betta fish, Pancho. But Stella Diaz is not a betta fish. Betta fish like to be alone, while Stella loves spending time with her mom and brother and her best friend Jenny. Trouble is, Jenny is in another class this year, and Stella feels very lonely.
Charlie Takes His Shot: How Charlie Sifford Broke the Color Barrier in Golf by Nancy Churnin
Charlie Sifford loved golf, but in the 1930’s only white people were allowed to play in the Professional Golf Association. Sifford had won plenty of black tournaments, but he was determined to break the color barrier in the PGA. In 1960 he did, only to face discrimination from hotels that wouldn’t rent him rooms and clubs that wouldn’t let him use the same locker as the white players. But Sifford kept playing, becoming the first black golfer to win a PGA tournament and eventually ranking among the greats in golf.
Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson illustrated by Frank Morrison
In 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, thousands of African American children volunteered to march for their civil rights after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. They protested the laws that kept black people separate from white people. Facing fear, hate, and danger, these children used their voices to change the world. Frank Morrison’s emotive oil-on-canvas paintings bring this historical event to life, while Monica Clark-Robinson’s moving and poetic words document this remarkable time.
Harriet Tubman: Conductor on the Underground Railroad was praised by the New Yorker as “an evocative portrait,” and by the Chicago Tribune as “superb.” It is a gripping and accessible portrait of the heroic woman who guided more than 300 slaves to freedom and who is expected to be the face of the new $20 bill.
This award-winning introduction to the late abolitionist, which was named an ALA Notable Book and a New York Times Outstanding Book, also includes an index, a timeline, and other educational back matter.
Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Renée Watson
In Detroit, 1945, eleven-year-old Betty’s house doesn’t quite feel like home. She believes her mother loves her, but she can’t shake the feeling that her mother doesn’t want her. Church helps those worries fade, if only for a little while. The singing, the preaching, the speeches from guest activists like Paul Robeson and Thurgood Marshall stir African Americans in her community to stand up for their rights. Betty quickly finds confidence and purpose in volunteering for the Housewives League, an organization that supports black-owned businesses. Soon, the American civil rights icon we now know as Dr. Betty Shabazz is born.
Inspired by Betty’s real life–but expanded upon and fictionalized through collaboration with novelist Renée Watson–Ilyasah Shabazz illuminates four poignant years in her mother’s childhood with this book, painting an inspiring portrait of a girl overcoming the challenges of self-acceptance and belonging that will resonate with young readers today.
Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You by Carole Boston Weatherford
Featuring a dual narrative of the key moments of Dr. King’s life alongside a modern class as the students learn about him, Carole Weatherford’s poetic text encapsulates the moments that readers today can reenact in their own lives. See a class of young students as they begin a school project inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and learn to follow his example, as he dealt with adversity and never lost hope that a future of equality and justice would soon be a reality. As times change, Dr. King’s example remains, encouraging a new generation of children to take charge and change the world . . . to be a King.
Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson by Leda Schubert (Read by review here)
Abuela’s Special Letters (Sofia Martinez) by Jacqueline Jules and Kim Smith
Sofia is on a mission to make a family time capsule. The whole family contributes pictures and special items. Abuela even writes a letter to each of her grandchildren to be opened in fifteen years. Can Sofia really wait fifteen years to find out what that letter says? Adorable art, a table of contents, writing prompts, discussion questions, and an English/Spanish glossary are all included in this early chapter book.
Write to Me: Letters from Japanese American Children to the Librarian They Left Behind by Cynthia Grady
A touching story about Japanese American children who corresponded with their beloved librarian while they were imprisoned in World War II internment camps.
Battle of the Bands (The Major Eights) by Melody Reed and Pépin, Émilie
Jasmine, Maggie, Becca, and Scarlet love jamming together in Jasmine’s basement. Maggie bangs on the drums, Becca strums her guitar, Jasmine plunks the keys of her keyboard, and Scarlet wails into her hairbrush mic. Even though they may not have the best equipment, or an audience, they have fun making music to their own beat. But when Jasmine’s brother tells her about an upcoming Battle of the Bands competition, Jasmine thinks this could be their chance to prove they’re a real band. Now she just has to convince the other girls.
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World by Susan Hood
In this book, you will find Mary Anning, who was just thirteen when she unearthed a prehistoric fossil. You’ll meet Ruby Bridges, the brave six-year-old who helped end segregation in the South. And Maya Lin, who at twenty-one won a competition to create a war memorial, and then had to appear before Congress to defend her right to create. With artwork by notable artists including Selina Alko, Sophie Blackall, Lisa Brown, Hadley Hooper, Emily Winfield Martin, Oge Mora, Julie Morstad, Sara Palacios, LeUyen Pham, Erin Robinson, Isabel Roxas, Shadra Strickland, and Melissa Sweet.
Simone Manuel: Swimming Star (Women Sports Stars) by Heather E. Schwartz
Simone Manuel is one of the country’s best female athletes. Learn about her childhood, the challenges she has overcome, and this swimmer’s greatest accomplishments. Get the inside scoop on gold-medal-winning Olympic appearance.
Banana for Two by Ellen Mayer illustrated by Ying-Hwa Hu
Mama, her toddler, and two stuffed bunnies turn an outing to the grocery store into a fun opportunity to talk, laugh, and learn a little math along the way. Baby is excited to choose one box of favorite cereal, hold two containers of yogurt, and find one banana. As they fill their cart with items in quantities of one and two, Mama lets her baby hold each item while connecting the familiar idea of known body parts such as one hand and two feet to concepts of one and two. In this engaging, concrete way, toddlers begin understanding simple math principles. In the checkout lane, Baby giggles as one bunny goes for a ride. Back home Mama prepares a snack. How will she share one banana between the two of them? As she cuts the banana in half, her child proudly points out and recognizes the two pieces of their snack, showing an understanding of the notion of two.
Scarlet’s Big Break (The Major Eights) by Melody Reed and Pépin, Émilie
After their Battle of the Bands competition, the girls are famous! Everyone knows who they are now–even strangers recognize them! But the attention starts to go to Scarlet’s head, and she decides to sign up for the school’s talent show as a solo artist. But what about the Major Eights? Should she really leave the band and her friends behind?
A Season of Flowers by Michael Garland
Snowdrops and crocuses yield to tulips and hyacinths, then dogwood blossoms, iris, lupine, daisies, morning glories, daylilies, geraniums, peonies, sunflowers, roses, and chrysanthemums as spring passes to summer, then autumn. At last the garden slumbers into winter under a blanket of snow, preparing next year’s procession of blooms. Like actors crossing a stage, flowers narrate the passing seasons in the first person, each one briefly proclaiming its unique and vital role in the natural world. Backmatter descriptions complete this child’s introduction to a garden year, in which the passage of time is vividly realized.
All about Madam C. J. Walker (All About…People) by A’Lelia Bundles
Madam C. J. Walker was beloved within her community for her philanthropy and expanding the local black YMCA, but she couldn’t have done that if she weren’t the first female self-made millionaire and one of the most successful African American business owners ever.
Born Sarah Breedlove, she was the first person born free in her family. She married Charles Joseph Walker and became known as Madam C. J. Walker, the name she would later use on her haircare products.
Love by Matt de la Peña
In this heartfelt celebration of love, Newbery Medal-winning author Matt de la Peña and bestselling illustrator Loren Long depict the many ways we experience this universal bond, which carries us from the day we are born throughout the years of our childhood and beyond. With a lyrical text that’s soothing and inspiring, this tender tale is a needed comfort and a new classic that will resonate with readers of every age.
The United States v. Jackie Robinson by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen
A moving and inspiring nonfiction picture book about Jackie Robinson’s court martial trial—an important lesser-known moment in his lifetime of fighting prejudice with strength and grace.
Grandma’s Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
When Grandma Mimi comes to visit, she always brings warm hugs, sweet treats…and her purse. You never know what she’ll have in there–fancy jewelry, tokens from around the world, or something special just for her granddaughter. It might look like a normal bag from the outside, but Mimi and her granddaughter know that it’s pure magic!
Free as a Bird: The Story of Malala by Lina Maslo
Free as a Bird is the inspiring true story of a fearless girl and the father who taught her to soar.
When Malala Yousafzai was born, people shook their heads because girls were considered bad luck. But her father looked into her eyes and knew she could do anything. In Pakistan, people said girls should not be educated. But Malala and her father were not afraid. She secretly went to school and spoke up for education in her country.
And even though an enemy tried to silence her powerful voice, she would not keep quiet. Malala traveled around the world to speak to girls and boys, to teachers, reporters, presidents, and queens—to anyone who would listen—and advocated for the right to education and equality of opportunity for every person. She would shout so that those without a voice could be heard. So everyone could be as free as a bird.
Yo Yo Ma (Great Asian-Americans) by Stephanie Cham
How did Yo-Yo Ma become a world-renowned cellist? Readers will learn all about this musician and the significant events in his life in this low-leveled biography.
Can I Touch Your Hair?: Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship by Irene Latham and Charles Waters
How can Irene and Charles work together on their fifth grade poetry project? They don’t know each other . . . and they’re not sure they want to.
Irene Latham, who is white, and Charles Waters, who is black, use this fictional setup to delve into different experiences of race in a relatable way, exploring such topics as hair, hobbies, and family dinners.
A Child’s Introduction to African American History: The Experiences, People, and Events That Shaped Our Country by Jabari Asim and Lynn Gaines
Filled with beautiful illustrations that bring these figures and events to life, plus a removable historical timeline, A Child’s Introduction to African American History is a fascinating and comprehensive guide to this often overlooked yet immensely important part of American history.
Martin Rising: Requiem For a King by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney
In a rich embroidery of visions, musical cadence, and deep emotion, Andrea and Brian Pinkney convey the final months of Martin Luther King’s life — and of his assassination — through metaphor, spirituality, and multilayers of meaning.
Andrea’s stunning poetic requiem, illustrated with Brian’s lyrical and colorful artwork, brings a fresh perspective to Martin Luther King, the Gandhi-like, peace-loving activist whose dream of equality — and whose courage to make it happen — changed the course of American history. And even in his death, he continues to transform and inspire all of us who share his dream.
Shopping Trip Trouble (Sofia Martinez) by Jacqueline Jules and Kim Smith
It’s time to go school shopping, and Sofia is extra excited about her new supplies. But that excitement turns to panic when her cousin Manuel goes missing. With Sofia’s entire family on the case, Manuel won’t be missing for long. This early chapter book includes writing prompts, discussion questions, an English/Spanish glossary, and a table of contents.
Princess Truly in My Magical, Sparkling Curls by Kelly Greenawalt and Amariah Rauscher
Princess Truly is back! In the second Princess Truly adventure, Truly’s magical, sparkling curls have the power to transport her to exciting new places like the Egyptian pyramids, the Jurassic period, and even into outer space. With curiosity, bravery, and her signature smarts, Princess Truly once again proves that she can do anything she sets her mind to and reminds girls everywhere to reach for the stars, believe in themselves, and dream big!
Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed
Little Mae’s curiosity, intelligence, and determination, matched with her parents’ encouraging words, paved the way for her incredible success at NASA as the first African American woman to travel in space.
This book will inspire other young girls to reach for the stars, to aspire for the impossible, and to persist with childlike imagination.
I Got This: To Gold and Beyond by Laurie Hernandez
Gold medal-winning Olympic gymnast and Dancing with the Stars champion Laurie Hernandez shares her story in her own words in this debut book for fans of all ages—with never-before-seen photos!
At sixteen years old, Laurie Hernandez has already made many of her dreams come true—and yet it’s only the beginning for this highly accomplished athlete. A Latina Jersey girl, Laurie saw her life take a dramatic turn last summer when she was chosen to be a part of the 2016 US Olympic gymnastics team. Poignant and funny, Laurie’s story is about growing up with the dream of becoming an Olympian and what it took to win gold. She talks about her loving family, her rigorous training, her intense sacrifices, and her amazing triumphs.
March Forward, Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock by Melba Pattillo Beals (Author), illustrated by Frank Morrison
Long before she was one of the Little Rock Nine, Melba Pattillo Beals was a warrior. Frustrated by the laws that kept African-Americans separate but very much unequal to whites, she had questions. Why couldn’t she drink from a “whites only” fountain? Why couldn’t she feel safe beyond home—or even within the walls of church? Adults all told her: Hold your tongue. Be patient. Know your place. But Beals had the heart of a fighter—and the knowledge that her true place was a free one.
The Magnificent Mya Tibbs: The Wall of Fame Game by Crystal Allen
Nine-year-old Mya Tibbs is in a triple heap of trouble. As the Tibbs household prepares for the new baby, Mya is extra excited to spend time with her mom watching their favorite Annie Oakley marathon before her new sister arrives. Until she’s cornered into a bet with her number-one enemy, Naomi Jackson, that she can beat her in the famous fourth-grade Wall of Fame Game—which means Mya is stuck studying every night instead of hanging out with Mom. As if that wasn’t enough, Mya just entered Bluebonnet’s annual chili cook-off, even though she doesn’t know how to cook! Holy moly!
Shai & Emmie Star in Dancy Pants! (A Shai & Emmie Story) by Quvenzhané Wallis and Sharee Miller
Shai Williams—third-grader and superstar in the making—loves to act, sing, and dance. So when her teacher, Ms. Englert, signs their class up for a major dance competition, Shai’s fancy moves are put to the test. Paired up with her best friend Emmie and classmate Rio, Shai plans to settle her competition jitters by just having fun. That is until her rival, Gabby Supreme, challenges her to a bet: whoever loses the dance competition has to bring the winner one cupcake every day for a month.
Planet Middle School by Nikki Grimes
For twelve years, Joylin Johnson’s life has been just fine. A game of basketball with the boys-especially her friend Jake-was all it took to put a smile on her face. Baggy jeans, T-shirt, and hair in a ponytail were easy choices. Then, everything suddenly seemed to change all at once. Her best girl friend is now flirting with her best guy friend. Her clothes seem all wrong. Jake is acting weird, and basketball isn’t the same. And worst of all, there is this guy, Santiago, who appears from . . . where? What lengths will Joy go to–and who will she become–to attract his attention?
In short poems that perfectly capture the crazy feelings of adolescence and first crushes, award-winning author Nikki Grimes has crafted a delightful, often hilarious, hearttugging story.
Libba: The Magnificent Musical Life of Elizabeth Cotten by Laura Veirs and Tatyana Fazlalizadeh
Elizabeth Cotten was only a little girl when she picked up a guitar for the first time. It wasn’t hers (it was her big brother’s), and it wasn’t strung right for her (she was left-handed). But she flipped that guitar upside down and backwards and taught herself how to play it anyway. By age eleven, she’d written “Freight Train,” one of the most famous folk songs of the twentieth century. And by the end of her life, people everywhere—from the sunny beaches of California to the rolling hills of England—knew her music. Read my book review here!
The New LiBEARian by Alison Donald and Alex Willmore
It’s storytime at the library but Miss Merryweather, the librarian, is missing! Dee and her friends go in search of her but instead finds a rather hairy, new liBEARian!
One hundred years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Elizabeth Jennings’s refusal to leave a segregated streetcar in the Five Points neighborhood of Manhattan set into motion a major court case in New York City.
On her way to church one day in July 1854, Elizabeth Jennings was refused a seat on a streetcar. When she took her seat anyway, she was bodily removed by the conductor and a nearby police officer and returned home bruised and injured. With the support of her family, the African American abolitionist community of New York, and Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Jennings took her case to court.
Born to Swing: Lil Hardin Armstrong’s Life in Jazz by Mara Rockliff
Ever since she was a young girl, Lil Hardin played music with a beat. She jammed at home, at church, and even at her first job in a music store. At a time when women’s only place in jazz was at the microphone, Lil earned a spot playing piano in Chicago’s hottest band. She went on to achieve fame as a bandleader and composer, and “swung” with many of the greatest early jazz musicians, including her husband, Louis Armstrong.
Marley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You! by Marley Dias
In this accessible guide with an introduction by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Ava DuVernay, Marley Dias explores activism, social justice, volunteerism, equity and inclusion, and using social media for good. Drawing from her experience, Marley shows kids how they can galvanize their strengths to make positive changes in their communities, while getting support from parents, teachers, and friends to turn dreams into reality. Focusing on the importance of literacy and diversity, Marley offers suggestions on book selection, and delivers hands-on strategies for becoming a lifelong reader.
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
They participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America’s first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world.
In this beautifully illustrated picture book edition, we explore the story of four female African American mathematicians at NASA, known as “colored computers,” and how they overcame gender and racial barriers to succeed in a highly challenging STEM-based career.
Blacksmith’s Song by Elizabeth Van Steenwyk
The son of an enslaved blacksmith learns that his father is using the rhythm of his hammering to communicate with travelers on the Underground Railroad.
When Pa falls ill, it is up to him to help others along the journey and also lead his family’s escape. Pa works hard as a blacksmith. But he’s got another important job to do as well: using his anvil to pound out the traveling rhythm–a message to travelers on the Underground Railroad. His son wants to help, but Pa keeps putting him off. Then one day, Pa falls ill and the boy has to take over.
The Word Collector by Peter H. Reynolds
Some people collect stamps. Some people collect coins. Some people collect art. And Jerome? Jerome collected words . . .
In this extraordinary new tale from Peter H. Reynolds, Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him — short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower.
I Am Loved by Nikki Giovanni and Ashley Bryan
There is nothing more important to a child than to feel loved, and this gorgeous gathering of poems written by Nikki Giovanni celebrates exactly that. Hand-selected by Newberry honoree Ashley Bryan, he has, with his masterful flourish of color, shape, and movement, added a visual layering that drums the most important message of all to young, old, parent, child, grandparent, and friend alike: You are loved. You are loved. You are loved. As a bonus, one page is mirrored, so children reading the book can see exactly who is loved—themselves!
Festival of Colors by Surishtha Sehgal and Kabir Sehgal
Spring is here, and it’s almost time for Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors. Siblings Mintoo and Chintoo are busy gathering flowers to make into colorful powders to toss during the festival. And when at last the big day comes, they gather with their friends, family, and neighbors for a vibrant celebration of fresh starts, friendship, forgiveness, and, of course, fun!
A Lady Has the Floor: Belva Lockwood Speaks Out for Women’s Rights by Kate Hannigan
Activist Belva Lockwood never stopped asking herself the question Are women not worth the same as men? She had big dreams and didn’t let anyone stand in her way–not her father, her law school, or even the U.S. Supreme Court. She fought for equality for women in the classroom, in the courtroom, and in politics. In her quest for fairness and parity, Lockwood ran for President of the United States, becoming the first woman on the ballot.
Pass the Ball, Mo! (Mo Jackson) by David A. Adler
Mo’s latest obsession is basketball. He’s determined to learn how to pass, but as the shortest member of the team, he can’t seem to launch the ball high enough. Can Mo learn to pass in time to help his team win the big game? This Level 2 reader about a little African-American boy with a big passion for sports is a funny, motivational companion to the winner of the 2016 Theodor Seuss Geisel Award.
Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery by Sandra Neil Wallace illustrated by Bryan Collier
Discover the true story of NFL star Ernie Barnes—a boy who followed his dreams and became one of the most influential artists of his generation—with this beautifully illustrated nonfiction picture book.
When Ernie Barnes was growing up in North Carolina in the 1950s, he loved to draw. Even when he played as a boy with his friends he drew with a stick in the mud. And he never left home without a sketchbook. He would draw the junk man, families walking home from church, or the old man on the sofa. He drew what he saw.
Playing Atari with Saddam Hussein by Jennifer Roy
At the start of 1991, eleven-year-old Ali Fadhil was consumed by his love for soccer, video games, and American television shows. Then, on January 17, Iraq’s dictator Saddam Hussein went to war with thirty-four nations lead by the United States.
Over the next forty-three days, Ali and his family survived bombings, food shortages, and constant fear. Ali and his brothers played soccer on the abandoned streets of their Basra neighborhood, wondering when or if their medic father would return from the war front. Cinematic, accessible, and timely, this is the story of one ordinary kid’s view of life during war.
13 Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by Tony Medina
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Black Boy by Tony Medina offers a fresh perspective of young men of color by depicting thirteen views of everyday life: young boys dressed in their Sunday best, running to catch a bus, and growing up to be teachers, and much more.
Ella Sings the Blues by Helen Hancocks
Ella Fitzgerald sang the blues and she sang them good. Ella and her fellas were on the way up! It seemed like nothing could stop her, until the biggest club in town refused to let her play… and all because of her color. But when all hope seemed lost, little did Ella imagine that a Hollywood star would step in to help.
The inspiring, true story of how a remarkable friendship between Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe was born – and how they worked together to overcome prejudice and adversity.
Boonoonoonous Hair by Olive Senior
In this vibrant and exquisitely illustrated picture book, written by Commonwealth Prize-winning Jamaican-Canadian Olive Senior, and with pictures by the acclaimed artist Laura James (the team that created Anna Carries Water), a young girl learns to love her difficult-to-manage, voluminous and boonoonoonous hair.
Bingo Love by Tee Franklin
When Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray met at church bingo in 1963, it was love at first sight. Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid-’60s, Hazel and Mari reunite again at a church bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage.
American Panda by Gloria Chao
An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her germophobia and crush on a Japanese classmate.
The Magic of We by Danielle Anderson-Craig
A children’s book for Valentine’s Day, The Magic of We is not only a book for kids, but also adults, and especially music lovers. It includes unreleased music from Grammy-winning musician Ikey Owens’s solo project, combining the magic of music and words to describe the amazing feeling of finding someone who “fits” you.
The World is Awake: A Celebration of Everyday Blessings by Linsey Davis
The World Is Awake, A celebration of everyday blessings, written by Emmy Award winner and ABC News correspondent Linsey Davis with Joseph Bottum, is a lyrical, rhyming story for young children intended to make them feel safe and joyful, cradled in the hands of God. Paired with bright and engaging illustrations by Lucy Fleming, this book inspires children to be thankful for all of God’s blessings that surround us in our daily lives. From the nature in our own backyard to the animals at the zoo, The World is Awake is a celebration of God’s wonderful world.
What Would She Do?: 25 True Stories of Trailblazing Rebel Women by Kay Woodward
From historic world leaders to brilliant scientists, artists, and modern-day pioneers, What Would She Do? shares twenty-five incredible women’s stories that educate and empower. Learn about the remarkable achievements and attitudes of feminist trailblazers such as Cleopatra, Amelia Earhart, Malala Yousafzai, Michelle Obama, and other brave women who overcame huge obstacles to accomplish great things.
The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates
By the door there is an umbrella. It is big. It is so big that when it starts to rain there is room for everyone underneath. It doesn’t matter if you are tall. Or plaid. Or hairy. It doesn’t matter how many legs you have.
Don’t worry that there won’t be enough room under the umbrella. Because there will always be room.
Princess Cupcake Jones Saddles Up by Ylleya Fields
Princess Cupcake Jones is back with another adorable book in the series!
Black Girls Rock: Owning Our Magic, Rocking Our Truth by Beverly Bond
From the award-winning entrepreneur, culture leader, and creator of the BLACK GIRLS ROCK! movement comes an inspiring and beautifully designed book that pays tribute to the achievements and contributions of black women around the world.
Fueled by the insights of women of diverse backgrounds, including Michelle Obama, Angela Davis, Shonda Rhimes, Misty Copeland Yara Shahidi, and Mary J. Blige, this book is a celebration of black women’s voices and experiences that will become a collector’s items for generations to come.
The Big Bed by Bunmi Laditan
From the creator of the Honest Toddler blog, The Big Bed is a humorous picture book about a girl who doesn’t want to sleep in her little bed, so she presents her dad with his own bed―a camping cot!―in order to move herself into her parents’ big bed in his place. A twist on the classic parental struggle of not letting kids sleep in their bed.
On Our Street: Our First Talk About Poverty (The World Around Us) by Dr. Jillian Roberts and Jaime Casap
A gentle introduction to the issue of poverty, On Our Street explores the realities of people living with inadequate resources. Using age-appropriate language, this book addresses mental illness, homelessness and refugee status as they are connected to this issue. Insightful quotes from individuals and organizations such as UNICEF are included throughout to add further perspective on the issue. An invaluable section on how kids can help empowers readers to take what they have learned and use it to make a difference.
How Mamas Love Their Babies by Juniper Fitzgerald
Illustrating the myriad ways that mothers provide for their children―piloting airplanes, washing floors, or dancing at a strip club―this book is the first to depict a sex-worker parent. It provides an expanded notion of working mothers and challenges the idea that only some jobs result in good parenting. We’re reminded that, while every mama’s work looks different, every mama works to make their baby’s world better.
Young, Gifted and Black: Meet 52 Black Heroes from Past and Present by Jamia Wilson and Andrea Pippins
This book brings together 52 iconic talents from the past and present and celebrates their inspirational achievements. Meet figureheads, leaders and pioneers such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks, as well as cultural trailblazers and sporting heroes, including Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams. Strong, courageous, talented and diverse, these extraordinary men and women’s achievements will inspire a new generation to chase their dream… whatever it may be.
Seeing into Tomorrow: Haiku by Richard Wright by Richard Wright
From walking a dog to watching a sunset to finding a beetle, Richard Wright’s haiku puts everyday moments into focus. Now, more than fifty years after they were written, these poems continue to reflect our everyday experiences. Paired with the photo-collage artwork of Nina Crews, Seeing into Tomorrow celebrates the lives of contemporary African American boys and offers an accessible introduction to one of the most important African American writers of the twentieth century.
Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Granderson and Her Secret School by Janet Halfmann
This historical fiction picture book reveals the unknown story of Lilly Ann Granderson, an African-American teacher who risked her life to teach others during slavery.
Katie Woo, We Love You! by Fran Manushkin
From starting clubs to hosting sleepovers, Katie Woo is one fun friend! Come along on her big adventures and funny mishaps. Whether she’s playing at home or working at school, everything Katie does has us singing, “Katie Woo, we love you!”
Racism and Intolerance (Children In Our World) by Louise Spilsbury
With our 24/7 news cycle and constant access to the latest headlines, the world can be a scary place. Now imagine you’re a child trying to make sense of it all!
That’s where books from the Children in Our World series can help. Each book uses relatable comparisons, carefully researched text, and striking illustrations to help kids understand the many difficulties that children just like them face in the world today. In Racism and Intolerance, children can get answers to questions like: “What does it mean to be a racist or intolerant?” and “How can I help?” Children will begin to understand the way others struggle with these issues and become empowered to make a difference.
This Is It by Daria Peoples-Riley
When a young dancer is nervous about her upcoming auditions, her shadow springs to life and leads her on a joyous exploration of their city. Soon enough, the young girl finds confidence in her skills, her body, and her ability to shine.
With an energetic, rhythmic text that begs to be read aloud and striking, exuberant artwork, This Is It is a love story to originality and the simple joy of movement.
Who Was Booker T. Washington by James Buckley Jr.
African American educator, author, speaker, and advisor to presidents of the United States, Booker Taliaferro Washington was the leading voice of former slaves and their descendants during the late 1800s. As part of the last generation of leaders born into slavery, Booker believed that blacks could better progress in society through education and entrepreneurship, rather than trying to directly challenge the Jim Crow segregation.
Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller and Jen Hill
When Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, her classmate contemplates how to make her feel better and what it means to be kind. From asking the new girl to play to standing up for someone being bullied, this moving and thoughtful story explores what a child can do to be kind, and how each act, big or small, can make a difference―or at least help a friend.
Inspired by real events, I Walk with Vanessa explores the feelings of helplessness and anger that arise in the wake of seeing a classmate treated badly, and shows how a single act of kindness can lead to an entire community joining in to help. With themes of acceptance, kindness, and strength in numbers, this timeless and profound feel-good story will resonate with readers young and old.
The Magician’s Hat by Malcolm Mitchell
This is not your typical afternoon at the library — a magician invites kids to reach into his hat to pull out whatever they find when they dig down deep. Soon — poof! — each child comes away with something better than they could’ve imagined — a book that helps them become whatever they want to be, and makes their dreams come true through pages and words, and the adventures that follow. But each child can’t help but wonder, What’s really making the magic happen?
When God Made Light by Matthew Paul Turner
From the author and illustrator of the best-selling When God Made You comes a new illuminating message about God’s design affirming young readers.
‘Let there be light!’ that’s what God said. And light began shining and then started to spread.” Wild and creative illustrations from top children’s illustrator David Catrow pair with Matthew Paul Turner’s lyrical verse in this message of a God-made light that cuts through darkness to bring vision and hope to all young readers. This light radiates, chasing away the shadows, providing the wonder and fun of stargazing or firefly chasing. Most important, this light appears in each child–an inner God-given spark that grows and will be used to change the world.
Birdie’s Beauty Parlor by Lee Merrill Byrd
Young Birdie has a theory: if your grandmother looks tired, it’s time for a do-over that the old gal will need to take lying down because it has a lot of moving parts—chinney-chin-chin hair removal, face powder dumps, long stretches of blush, slashes of lipstick and eye shadow. Earrings, scarves, the works! Birdie knows best: she owns that beauty parlor!
What’s On Your Plate?: Exploring the World of Food by Whitney Stewart
It’s a big, tasty world out there—and this book takes kids on a tour through the cuisines of 14 countries, complete with a recipe for each one.
What’s on your plate? Chances are it’s not quite the same as what’s on other children’s plates around the world. Come on a journey to see how people in different countries prepare, eat, and think about their food. Beautiful photographs and illustrations capture the food culture of 14 countries, from Brazil and Spain to Morocco, India, and China. Each spread includes an overview of the country and its native foods, photographs of the various dishes with pronunciations and descriptions, an easy recipe for kids to try, and an illustrated crop map of the country. With so many fun elements to intrigue them, young foodies will be excited to learn about how people eat across the globe!
The Parker Inheritance by Varian Johnson
When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina, she isn’t sure she should read it. It’s addressed to her grandmother, who left the town in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding the letter-writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle.
Lila and the Crow by Gabrielle Grimard
This book originally published in 2016, but now the paperback version is being released!
Lila (assumed to be a little indigenous girl although the book doesn’t state this outright) has just moved to a new town and can’t wait to make friends at school. But on the first day, a boy points at her and shouts: “A crow! A crow! The new girl’s hair is black like a crow!” The others whisper and laugh, and Lila’s heart grows as heavy as a stone. The next day, Lila covers her hair. But this time, the boy points at her dark skin. When she covers her face, he mocks her dark eyes. Now every day at school, Lila hides under her turtleneck, dark glasses, and hat. And every day when she goes home, she sees a crow who seems to want to tell her something. Lila ignores the bird and even throws rocks at it, but it won’t go away. Meanwhile, the great autumn festival is approaching. While the other kids prepare their costumes, Lila is sadder and lonelier than ever. At her lowest point of despair, a magical encounter with the crow opens Lila’s eyes to the beauty of being different, and gives her the courage to proudly embrace her true self.
Not ‘Til Tomorrow, Phoebe by Julie Zwillich
Phoebe’s day is full of tomorrows: Mama says they can make pancakes, her teacher announces musicians will visit the class, and Phoebe will get ice cream after her haircut―but none of it ’til tomorrow. Phoebe feels frustrated and impatient. Why can’t these good things happen right now? Later in the day, Phoebe’s grandmother bakes cookies and shares the secret ingredient to turn today into tomorrow: a good night’s sleep. Phoebe decides she’ll try it out.
Bedtime Ted by Sophy Henn
Ted is a sweet but willful toddler. In Bedtime, Ted! his parent tells him it’s time for bed, but Ted’s not ready yet! First he has to take a bath, have a snack, brush his teeth, and get all the wiggles out.
In this book, each spread has a gatefold with big flaps perfect for little hands. When the gatefold is closed, Ted tells his parent that he can’t go to bed just yet because he has something to do first. When the gatefold opens, readers can see what that something really is.
Zoey and Sassafras: The Pod and the Bog by Asia Citro
In the fifth book, an old friend visits Zoey at the barn with a mysterious glowing. . . seed pod? Zoey, Sassafras, and Pip must work together to discover what this mysterious rare magical plant needs to grow before all the seeds crumble to purple dust!
I Want to Be a Doctor by Laura Driscoll
Doctors help sick and hurt people feel better. When little brother Jack hurts his foot, the family gets to meet all kinds of doctors. With this story blending narrative with nonfiction elements, readers meet the doctors who heal broken bones, help fix teeth, and even work in laboratories!
I Want to Be a Doctor is part of a new I Can Read series that introduces young readers to important community helpers. This Level One I Can Read is perfect for children learning to sound out words and sentences.
ABC Mindful Me: ABCs for a happy, healthy mind & body by Christina Engel
A fun read for the entire family, ABC Mindful Me is not only perfect for teaching toddlers their ABCs, but also for introducing them to key mindfulness tenants which promote physical and mental wellness, proper breathing, compassion, gratitude, and kindness. These key concepts will help to grow young readers’ concentration, listening skills, and ability to manage emotions, stress, and anxiety. Plus, a handy index provides at-a-glance reference for 26 different mindfulness pillars for children to explore.
Lights, Music, Code! (Girls Who Code) by Jo Whittemore
Maya and her friends from coding club have an exciting new project: they’re coding lights and music for the winter dance! But when Maya’s old troublemaking friend Maddie moves to town, Maya starts spending a lot of time with her, and less time with her coding friends. Maddie just gets her in a way that her other friends don’t.
Will Maya get swayed by Maddie’s wayward ways, or will she stay true to her “permanent group” from coding club? And will she come through on her part for the light and music coding project? Maybe coding–like friendship–is about being there for your friends when they need you the most.
She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History by Chelsea Clinton
A companion guide to the #1 New York Times Bestseller She Persisted written by Chelsea Clinton!
Gloria’s Voice: The Story of Gloria Steinem―Feminist, Activist, Leader by Aura Lewis
Using gorgeous watercolor illustrations, this biography of Gloria Steinem introduces young readers to the leader of the women’s liberation movement. Following her from childhood through her political awakening and beyond, Gloria’s Voice explains Steinem’s motivations and beliefs, as well as the obstacles she faced in fighting for women’s rights. Throughout, debut author and artist Aura Lewis highlights Gloria’s message of equality and the importance of believing in oneself. Every young person—but especially girls—will find inspiration in Gloria’s journey and this timely biography.
Ella Fitzgerald (Little People, Big Dreams) by Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Meet Ella Fitzgerald, one of the most influential jazz singers of all time. This mini biography charts Ella’s life, from her early singing days in Harlem, to her success as a jazz legend, with the message: ‘It’s not where you come from, but where you’re going that counts’.
Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring by Angela Cervantes
Paloma Marquez is traveling to Mexico City, birthplace of her deceased father, for the very first time. She’s hoping that spending time in Mexico will help her unlock memories of the too-brief time they spent together.
While in Mexico, Paloma meets Lizzie and Gael, who present her with an irresistible challenge: The siblings want her to help them find a valuable ring that once belonged to beloved Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Finding the ring means a big reward — and the thanks of all Mexico. What better way to honor her father than returning a priceless piece of jewelry that once belonged to his favorite artist!
But the brother and sister have a secret. Do they really want to return the ring, or are they after something else entirely?
King & Kayla and the Case of the Lost Tooth by Dori Hillestad Butler
Kayla lost a tooth―but now it’s missing. Where did it go? King and Kayla must gather the clues to find Kayla’s tooth.
Hurricane Child by Kheryn Callender
Caroline Murphy is a Hurricane Child. Being born during a hurricane is unlucky, and twelve-year-old Caroline has had her share of bad luck lately. She’s hated and bullied by everyone in her small school on St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, a spirit only she can see won’t stop following her, and — worst of all — Caroline’s mother left home one day and never came back.
President of the Whole Sixth Grade: Girl Code by Sherri Winston
When budding middle school journalist Brianna Justice learns that Yavonka Steele, rising star of the nightly news broadcast, is looking to mentor a student as part of a program at her school, she’s thrilled! That is until she’s paired instead with a “boring” reporter from the community news desk.
Like Vanessa by Tami Charles
In this semi-autobiographical debut novel set in 1983, Vanessa Martin’s real-life reality of living with family in public housing in Newark, New Jersey is a far cry from the glamorous Miss America stage. She struggles with an incarcerated mother she barely remembers, a grandfather dealing with addiction and her own battle with self-confidence. But when a new teacher at school coordinates a beauty pageant and convinces Vanessa to enter, Vanessa’s view of her own world begins to change. Vanessa discovers that her own self-worth is more than the scores of her talent performance and her interview answers, and that she doesn’t need a crown to be comfortable in her own skin and see her own true beauty.
Astronaut Annie by Suzanne Slade
Career Day is approaching, and Annie can’t wait to show her family what she’s planning to be when she grows up. But, she must keep it a secret until Friday! So curious family members each ask Annie for a clue. Convinced that she’ll be a news reporter like he once was, Grandpop gives her his old camera and notebook to use for her presentation. Grandma is sure Annie wants to be a champion baker like her, so she offers a mixing bowl and oven mitts to Annie. Hopeful she’ll become the mountain climber he aspired to be, Dad gives Annie an old backpack. Mom presents Annie with a pair of high-top sneakers to pursue Mom’s favorite sport in high school — basketball.
Grateful for each gift, Annie cleverly finds a way to use them all to create her Career Day costume. When the big day arrives, Annie finally reveals her out-of-this-world dream to everyone.
The Life of /La Vida De Selena: A Lil’ Libros Bilingual Biography (English and Spanish Edition) by Patty Rodriguez and Ariana Stein
Selena’s career started at a young age when she became lead singer in her family’s band, Selena Y Los Dinos. She went on to become an award-winning artist with albums like Amor Prohibido and Selena Live, and earned the title “Queen of Tejano Music. Your little one will learn that Selena s favorite food was pizza and that the most important people in the world to her were her familia and fans.
My Hair Is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera
After a day of being taunted by classmates about her unruly hair, Mackenzie can’t take any more. On her way home from school, she seeks the guidance of her wise and comforting neighbor, Miss Tillie. Using the beautiful garden in her backyard as a metaphor, Miss Tillie shows Mackenzie that maintaining healthy hair is not a chore nor is it something to fear. But most importantly, Mackenzie learns that natural black hair is beautiful.
Children of Blood and Bone by by Tomi Adeyemi
Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.
But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.
Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.
The Field by Baptiste Paul
A soccer story—for boy and girls alike—just in time for the World Cup!
“Vini! Come! The field calls!” cries a girl as she and her younger brother rouse their community—family, friends, and the local fruit vendor—for a pickup soccer (futbol) game. Boys and girls, young and old, players and spectators come running—bearing balls, shoes, goals, and a love of the sport.
The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier
Ruby’s mind is always full of ideas. One day, she finds some old boards and decides to build something.
She invites her brothers to help, but they just laugh and tell her she doesn’t know how to build.
I Am Enough by Grace Byers illustrat
ed by Keturah A. Bobo
I Am Enough is the picture book everyone needs
This is a gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another—from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.
This is the perfect gift for mothers and daughters, baby showers, and graduation.
We are all here for a purpose. We are more than enough. We just need to believe it.
Natsumi! by Susan Lendroth
Natsumi is small but full of big exuberance, and puts her girl-power to good use when she discovers a Japanese tradition as energetic as she is.
When Natsumi’s family practices for their town’s Japanese arts festival, Natsumi tries everything. But her stirring is way too vigorous for the tea ceremony, her dancing is just too imaginative, and flower arranging doesn’t go any better. Can she find just the right way to put her exuberance to good use? This heartwarming tale about being true to yourself is perfect for readers who march to their own beat.
I Am Famous by Tara Luebbe
Kiely knows she is famous! The paparazzi (her parents) follow her every move, documenting it all with cameras. It’s exhausting being famous, but someone has to do it! She even gets to perform a big song at her grandfather’s birthday. When she messes it up, she’s worried she’s lost her audience forever, but it turns out that no one is as loyal as her fans who love her.
Islandborn by Junot Díaz and Leo Espinosa (This book will also be released in Spanish on the same day. Here is the link for the Spanish version: Lola: Edición en español de ISLANDBORN (Spanish Edition)
Every kid in Lola’s school was from somewhere else.
Hers was a school of faraway places.
So when Lola’s teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can’t remember The Island—she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories—joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening—Lola’s imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island. As she draws closer to the heart of her family’s story, Lola comes to understand the truth of her abuela’s words: “Just because you don’t remember a place doesn’t mean it’s not in you.”
Kaya’s Heart Song by Diwa Tharan Sanders and Nerina Canzi
Kaya is looking for her heart song – the song that happy hearts sing. Her search takes her on a journey deep into the jungle where a broken down carousel waits for a very special song to make it turn again…A story about mindfulness and listening to your heart.
Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles
The Hate U Give meets All American Boys in this striking and heartbreaking debut novel, commenting on current race relations in America.
Who Is Aretha Franklin? by Nico Medina
There is only one QUEEN OF SOUL! Discover why Aretha Franklin garners so much R-E-S-P-E-C-T.
Aretha Franklin is a musical and cultural icon who created an amazing legacy spanning six decades! Born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1942, Aretha got her start singing in front of her father’s Baptist congregation and found minor success as a gospel singer.
Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets: A Muslim Book of Shapes by Hena Khan
From a crescent moon to a square garden to an octagonal fountain, this breathtaking picture book celebrates the shapes—and traditions—of the Muslim world. Sure to inspire questions and observations about world religions and cultures, Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets is equally at home in a classroom reading circle and on a parent’s lap being read to a child.
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation that’s been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing.
Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process what has happened, on a journey towards recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father’s actions.
It’s talent show time at school, and eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is excited to show her stuff. But as she thinks about her strengths―tree-climbing, mochi making, collage―none of them feel quite right to perform on-stage. Jasmine’s friends already have a talent: Tommy yo-yo’s, Daisy dances, and Linnie plays piano. Plus, Maggie Milsap (aka Miss Perfect) is saying she’ll have the best talent.
Sunny (Track) by Jason Reynolds
Ghost. Patina. Sunny. Lu. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds, with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics. They all have a lot of lose, but they all have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves. Sunny is the main character in this novel, the third of four books in Jason Reynold’s electrifying middle grade series.
Legendary Ladies: 50 Goddesses to Empower and Inspire You by Ann Shen
From the beloved author and artist behind Bad Girls Throughout History comes this lushly illustrated book of goddesses from around the world. Aphrodite, the Greek goddess whose love overcame mortality. Mazu, the Chinese deity who safely guides travelers home. Lakshmi, the Hindu provider of fortune and prosperity. These powerful deities and many more are celebrated in gorgeous artwork and enlightening essays that explore the feminine divine and encourage readers to empower themselves.
Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
A young girl plays dress up with her mother’s headscarves, feeling her mother’s love with every one she tries on. Charming and vibrant illustrations showcase the beauty of the diverse and welcoming community in this portrait of a young Muslim American girl’s life.
W is for Welcome: A Celebration of America’s Diversity by Brad Herzog
Following the alphabet this book uses poetry and expository text to celebrate America’s diverse population and showcase the remarkable achievements and contributions that have come from the many people who have chosen to make our country their home. Topics include well-known landmarks and institutions (the Statue of Liberty and the White House, our national parks system) and famous citizens whose talents helped make the United States a world leader (Albert Einstein and Madeleine Albright). In addition to celebrating America’s history and development, key concepts such as naturalization and steps to citizenship are explained in easy-to-understand terms for the young reader.
Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell.
What If… by Samantha Berger
This girl is determined to express herself! If she can’t draw her dreams, she’ll sculpt or build, carve or collage. If she can’t do that, she’ll turn her world into a canvas. And if everything around her is taken away, she’ll sing, dance, and dream.
Love Double Dutch! by Doreen Spicer-Dannelly
Brooklyn middle-schooler MaKayla can only think about one thing–taking her double Dutch team all the way to the National Jump-off at Madison Square Garden. That is, until her mother breaks the news. Kayla has to spend the summer at her aunt’s house in North Carolina while her parents work out their problems . . . or decide to call it quits.
Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders
The very first picture book about the remarkable and inspiring story of the Gay Pride Flag!
In this deeply moving and empowering true story, young readers will trace the life of the Gay Pride Flag, from its beginnings in 1978 with social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker to its spanning of the globe and its role in today’’s world.
A Church for All by Gayle E. Pitman
This simple, lyrical story celebrates a Sunday morning at an inclusive church that embraces all people regardless of age, class, race, gender identity, and sexual orientation. All are welcome at the church for all!
Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
Life is quiet and ordinary in Amal’s Pakistani village, but she had no complaints, and besides, she’s busy pursuing her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Her dreams are temporarily dashed when–as the eldest daughter–she must stay home from school to take care of her siblings. Amal is upset, but she doesn’t lose hope and finds ways to continue learning. Then the unimaginable happens–after an accidental run-in with the son of her village’s corrupt landlord, Amal must work as his family’s servant to pay off her own family’s debt.
The Length of a String by Elissa Brent Weissman
Imani is adopted, and she’s ready to search for her birth parents. But when she discovers the diary her Jewish great-grandmother wrote chronicling her escape from Holocaust-era Europe, Imani begins to see family in a new way.
Imani knows exactly what she wants as her big bat mitzvah gift: to find her birth parents. She loves her family and her Jewish community in Baltimore, but she has always wondered where she came from, especially since she’s black and almost everyone she knows is white. Then her mom’s grandmother–Imani’s great-grandma Anna–passes away, and Imani discovers an old journal among her books. It’s Anna’s diary from 1941, the year she was twelve and fled Nazi-occupied Luxembourg alone, sent by her parents to seek refuge in Brooklyn, New York. Anna’s diary records her journey to America and her new life with an adoptive family of her own. And as Imani reads the diary, she begins to see her family, and her place in it, in a whole new way.
How I Resist: Activism and Hope for a New Generation by Tim Federle
Now, more than ever, young people are motivated to make a difference in a world they’re bound to inherit. They’re ready to stand up and be heard – but with much to shout about, where they do they begin? What can I do? How can I help?
How I Resist is the response, and a way to start the conversation. To show readers that they are not helpless, and that anyone can be the change. A collection of essays, songs, illustrations, and interviews about activism and hope, How I Resist features an all-star group of contributors, including, Jodi Picoult, Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and more. In How I Resist, readers will find hope and support through voices that are at turns personal, funny, irreverent, and instructive. Not just for a young adult audience, this incredibly impactful collection will appeal to readers of all ages who are feeling adrift and looking for guidance
Baby Loves Gravity by Ruth Spiro
Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book explores the ups and downs of gravity. When baby drops food from a high chair, why does it fall? Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby’s sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two, as well!
How Sweet the Sound: The Story of Amazing Grace by Carole Boston Weatherford illustrated by Frank Morrison
One stormy night at sea, a wayward man named John Newton feared for his life. In his darkest hour he fell to his knees and prayed—and somehow the battered ship survived the storm. Grateful, he changed his ways and became a minister, yet he still owned a slave ship. But in time, empathy touched his heart. A changed man, he used his powerful words to help end slavery in England. Those words became the hymn “Amazing Grace,” a song that has lifted the spirit and given comfort across time and all over the world.
How to Trick the Tooth Fairy by Erin Danielle Russell
Kaylee loves pulling pranks: from dropping water balloons on passers by to even tricking Santa Claus, she’s a prize-winning prankster!
But is she the Princess of Pranks? No! That title is held by none other than the Tooth Fairy. But when Kaylee loses a tooth and the Tooth Fairy goes about her usual tooth-taking business, Kaylee pranks her with a fake frog. As Kaylee and the Tooth Fairy try to out-prank one another, things get way out of hand, until the two finally see eye and eye and decide to share the crown!
Iqbal and His Ingenious Idea: How a Science Project Helps One Family and the Planet by Elizabeth Suneby
It’s monsoon season in Bangladesh, which means Iqbal’s mother must cook the family’s meals indoors, over an open fire. The smoke from the fire makes breathing difficult for his mother and baby sister, and it’s even making them sick. Hearing them coughing at night worries Iqbal. So when he learns that his school’s upcoming science fair has the theme of sustainability, Iqbal comes up with the perfect idea for his entry: he’ll design a stove that doesn’t produce smoke! With help from his teacher, Iqbal learns all about solar energy cooking, which uses heat from the sun to cook — ingenious! Has Iqbal found a way to win first prize in the science fair while providing cleaner air and better health for his family at the same time?
While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself?
Ramadan: The Holy Month of Fasting by Ausma Zehanat Khan
The month of Ramadan offers the opportunity to improve one’s personal and spiritual behavior. By focusing on positive thoughts and actions, Muslims build a closer connection with God and come away from the month feeling spiritually renewed. Ramadan: The Holy Month of Fastingexplores the richness and diversity of the Islamic tradition by focusing on an event of great spiritual significance and beauty in the lives of Muslims. Rich with personal stories and stunning photographs, Ramadan demystifies the traditions and emphasizes the importance of diversity in a world where Islamophobia is on the rise.
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Mia Tang has a lot of secrets.
Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests.
Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they’ve been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed.
Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language?
Power Forward (Zayd Saleem, Chasing the Dream) by Hena Khan
Fourth grader Zayd Saleem has some serious hoop dreams. He’s not just going to be a professional basketball player. He’s going to be a star. A legend. The first Pakistani-American kid to make it to the NBA. He knows this deep in his soul. It’s his destiny. There are only a few small things in his way.
A Lullaby of Summer Things by Natalie Ziarnik
This simple, lyrical picture book is as warm, reassuring, and filled with joy as a vacation at the beach. Readers will join a little girl and her siblings as they wind down from a perfect day–hanging up towels, eating dinner, and getting ready for bed–each activity sparking a memory of their day–playing catch with the dog, chasing waves, and looking at sailboats along the shore.
The 5’OClock Band by Troy Andrews & Bill Taylor
In this companion to the Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award–winning Trombone Shorty, join a scrappy young musician named Shorty on a tour of his beloved New Orleans. After letting his band down by missing rehearsal, Shorty has some serious questions about what it means to be a leader. He hits the streets of New Orleans to find some answers and soak up inspiration. Along the way he’ll meet street musicians, a favorite restaurant owner, and the famous Mardi Gras Indians. Each has some NOLA-bred wisdom to share with Shorty about being an artist, a leader, and a friend.
Baby Loves Coding by Ruth Spiro
Accurate enough to satisfy an expert, yet simple enough for baby, this clever board book showcases the use of logic, sequence, and patterns to solve problems. Can Baby think like a coder to fix her train? Beautiful, visually stimulating illustrations complement age-appropriate language to encourage baby’s sense of wonder. Parents and caregivers may learn a thing or two, as well!
Two Problems for Sophia by Jim Averbeck
Sophia quickly learns her new pet comes with two giraffe-sized problems in this enterprising sequel to One Word from Sophia.
Sophia and Noodle, her One True Desire, are together at last. But Noodle comes with two gigantic problems, and those problems are tearing Sophia’s family apart! Can a little creative experimenting save Noodle? Or will Sophia have to bid him adieu?
Drawn Together by Minh Lê
When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens-with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.
Counting on Katherine―How Katherine Johnson Saved Apollo 13 by Helaine Becker illustrated by Dow Phumiruk
You’ve likely heard of the historic Apollo 13 moon landing. But do you know about the mathematical genius who made sure that Apollo 13 returned safely home?
As a child, Katherine Johnson loved to count. She counted the steps on the road, the number of dishes and spoons she washed in the kitchen sink, everything! Boundless, curious, and excited by calculations, young Katherine longed to know as much as she could about math, about the universe.
Ta-Da! by Kathy Ellen Davis
What makes a good story? One little girl thinks it’s a princess with magical powers that can—ta-da!—overcome any obstacle. Her friend thinks it’s—dun dun duh!—a combination of dragons, pirates, and fire that cause total chaos. But as their stories intertwine, these two young storytellers soon learn that a good story needs both conflict—dun dun duh!—and resolution—ta-da! An irresistible celebration of imaginary play, storytelling, and the joys of collaboration, this gorgeous picture book features two strong voices throughout, making it the perfect read-aloud.
Pink is for Boys by Robb Pearlman and Eda Kaban
Pink is for boys . . . and girls . . . and everyone! This timely and beautiful picture book rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids-and their grown-ups-to express themselves in every color of the rainbow. Featuring a diverse group of relatable characters, Pink Is for Boys invites and encourages girls and boys to enjoy what they love to do, whether it’s racing cars and playing baseball, or loving unicorns and dressing up. Vibrant illustrations help children learn and identify the myriad colors that surround them every day, from the orange of a popsicle, to the green of a grassy field, all the way up to the wonder of a multicolored rainbow.
Someone New by Anne Sibley O’Brien
In this companion story to I’m New Here, three elementary schoolers–who aren’t new–begin to understand and embrace three immigrant students.
Are you new here? Do you know someone new? In I’m New Here and Someone New, young readers explore the immigrant experience through both “windows” and “mirrors.” In I’m New Here, readers meet three recent immigrants trying to adjust to a new country and school. InSomeone New, the same story is told from the perspective of the students who welcome the newcomers. An honest and heartwarming look at diversity, inclusion, and friendship.
Cece Loves Science by Kimberly Derting and Shelli R. Johannes
Find out why Cece loves science in this adorable STEM picture book for kids.
How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk
All summer, Pearl has been trying to build the perfect sandcastle, but out-of-control Frisbees and mischievous puppies keep getting in the way! Pearl and her robot friend Pascal have one last chance, and this time, they’re going to use code to get the job done. Using fundamental computer coding concepts like sequences and loops, Pearl and Pascal are able to break down their sandcastle problem into small, manageable steps. If they can create working code, this could turn out to be the best beach day ever!
Goodbye Brings Hello: A Book of Firsts by Dianne White and Daniel Wiseman
From being pushed on a swing to learning how to pump your legs yourself, from riding a beloved trike to mastering your first bike ride, from leaving the comforts of home behind to venturing forth on that first day of school, milestones are exciting but hard. They mean having to say goodbye to one moment in order to welcome the next. Honest and uplifting, this cheerfully illustrated ode to change gently empowers readers to brave life’s milestones, both large and small.
The House That Lou Built by Mae Respicio
A coming-of-age story that explores culture and family, forgiveness and friendship, and what makes a true home.
Lou Bulosan-Nelson has the ultimate summer DIY project. She’s going to build her own “tiny house,” 100 square feet all her own. She shares a room with her mom in her grandmother’s house, and longs for a place where she can escape her crazy but lovable extended Filipino family. Lou enjoys her woodshop class and creating projects, and she plans to build the house on land she inherited from her dad, who died before she was born. But then she finds out that the land may not be hers for much longer.
A Paintbrush for Paco by Tracey Kyle
Paco loves daydreaming and drawing, but he struggles to concentrate during class. When his profesor takes him to the Art room, Paco is amazed by the colorful paints: pink, rosado; purple, morado; fiery orange, anaranjado; and more! Could art be just what Paco needs?
Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams by Lesa Cline-Ransome illustrated by James E. Ransome
Venus and Serena Williams are two of the greatest tennis players of all time. Some say they’re two of the greatest athletes of all time. Before they were world famous, they were little girls with big dreams.
Six days a week they awoke before the sun came up to practice their serves and returns, to learn to run faster and hit harder. They were unstoppable. At age fourteen, Venus played her first professional match. Three years later, it was Serena’s turn. It wasn’t easy. Some tennis fans cheered for these two fresh faces, while those who were unhappy to see two black girls competing in a nearly all-white sport booed and taunted them. But they didn’t let it stop them.
Sterling Best Dog Ever by Fork Aidan Cassie
Sterling the dog has always wanted a home. But no home has ever wanted him. So when Sterling sees a sign on the side of the Butlery Cutlery Company advertising free “shipping to homes around the world,” he is determined to become the most terrific fork ever! For what home doesn’t need flatware?
Jasmine Toguchi, Flamingo Keeper by Debbi Michiko Florence
Jasmine’s best friend, Linnie, has just gotten a puppy. And now Jasmine wants a pet of her own―a flamingo! So when her grandmother sends Jasmine a daruma doll as a surprise gift, Jasmine colors in one doll eye and wishes for a flamingo to keep.
First Laugh! Welcome Baby by Rose Ann Tahe
In Navajo families, the first person to make a new baby laugh hosts the child’s First Laugh Ceremony. Who will earn the honor in this story?
The First Laugh Ceremony is a celebration held to welcome a new member of the community. As everyone–from Baby’s nima (mom) to nadi (big sister) to cheii (grandfather)–tries to elicit the joyous sound from Baby, readers are introduced to details about Navajo life and the Navajo names for family members. Back matter includes information about other cultural ceremonies that welcome new babies and children, including man yue celebration (China), sanskaras (Hindu) and aquiqa (Muslim).
If Polar Bears Disappeared by Lily Williams
Find out what would happen if polar bears disappeared and became extinct.
Rice from Heaven: The Secret Mission to Feed North Koreans by Tina M. Cho
Rice from Heaven is a true story about compassion and bravery as a young girl and her community in South Korea help deliver rice via balloons to the starving and oppressed people in North Korea.
We Are Grateful Otsaliheliga by Traci Sorell
We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga is nonfiction and showcases how the universal value of gratitude is expressed across the four seasons through a Cherokee lens.
The Girl With a Mind for Math: The Story of Raye Montague by Julia Finley Mosca
After touring a German submarine in the early 1940s, young Raye set her sights on becoming an engineer. Little did she know sexism and racial inequality would challenge that dream every step of the way, even keeping her greatest career accomplishment a secret for decades. Through it all, the gifted mathematician persisted―finally gaining her well-deserved title in history: a pioneer who changed the course of ship design forever.
We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices by Wade Hudson
What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With ninety-six lavishly designed pages of original art and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice to young activists.
Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968 by Alice Faye Duncan
This historical fiction picture book for children ages 9-12 presents the story of nine-year-old Lorraine Jackson, who in 1968 witnessed the Memphis sanitation strike–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final stand for justice before his assassination–when her father, a sanitation worker, participated in the protest.
A Unicorn Named Sparkle’s First Christmas by Amy Young
It’s Sparkle the unicorn’s first Christmas!
Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Peña
When Carmela wakes up on her birthday, her wish has already come true–she’s finally old enough to join her big brother as he does the family errands. Together, they walk through their neighborhood, past the crowded bus stop, the fenced-off repair shop, and the panaderia, until they arrive at the laundromat, where Carmela finds a lone dandelion growing in the pavement. But before she can blow its white fluff away, her brother tells her she has to make a wish. If only she can think of just the right wish to make.
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