What books are you and your kids looking forward to reading in 2019? We’re back with another epic list of diverse reads to share with you. Ready?
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 available 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. As always, 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 as publication dates do sometimes change. **
We Are Cousins / Somos Primos by Diane Gonzales Bertrand, illustrated by Christina Rodriguez (Ages 4-8)
Cousins are friends and rivals. Cousins are funny and frustrating. But the most important thing is that cousins are family. We are Cousins / Somos primos celebrates the joy of this special family bond.
The children explain that they are cousins because their mothers are sisters, and from the moment they get together, the fun begins. They march in a make-believe parade, gobble up a pizza, and share a cozy story on Abuelo’s lap. But they also blame each other if something goes wrong, don’t want to share their toys, and wiggle against each other to nab a spot on Abuela’s lap.
Flower Girl Katie Woo by Fran Manushkin, illustrated by Tammie Lyon (Ages 5 – 7)
When Katie’s Aunt Patty asks her to be the flower girl at her wedding, Katie is thrilled! But then she starts thinking about all the things that could go wrong. It’s up to JoJo and Katie’s other friends to get Katie feeling ready for the big day. A special craft project, along with a glossary and reader response questions, round out this Katie Woo story.
A Black Woman Did That by Malaika Adero (Ages 8-12)
A Black Woman Did That! is a celebration of strong, resilient, innovative, and inspiring women of color. With a vibrant mixture of photography, illustration, biography, and storytelling, author Malaika Adero will spotlight well-known historical figures and women who are pushing boundaries today—including Ida B. Wells, Madam CJ Walker, Shirley Chisholm, Serena Williams, Mae Jamison, Stacey Abrams, Jesmyn Ward, Ava DuVernay, and Amy Sherald.
Superheroes Are Everywhere by Kamala Harris, illustrated by Mechal Renee Roe (Ages 3-7)
Before Kamala Harris became a district attorney and a United States senator, she was a little girl who loved superheroes. And when she looked around, she was amazed to find them everywhere! In her family, among her friends, even down the street–there were superheroes wherever she looked. And those superheroes showed her that all you need to do to be a superhero is to be the best that you can be.
The Duchess and the Guy: A Rescue-to-Royalty Puppy Story by Nancy Furstinger (Ages 4-7)
A heartwarming tale about a beagle and the Duchess who adopted him, this picture book is inspired by the true story of Meghan Markle and her rescue dog, Guy. When he was a pup, Guy was just like any dog in the shelter; he liked to bark and follow his nose, and dreamed of a forever home above all things. But when Guy met Meghan, he had no idea he was about to star in his own Cinderella story. Guy can now be spotted escorting Queen Elizabeth and frolicking in Buckingham Palace.
Dark Sky Rising: Reconstruction and the Dawn of Jim Crow by Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Ages 9-12)
This is a story about America during and after Reconstruction, one of history’s most pivotal and misunderstood chapters. In a stirring account of emancipation, the struggle for citizenship and national reunion, and the advent of racial segregation, the renowned Harvard scholar delivers a book that is illuminating and timely.
Yasmin the Teacher by Saadia Faruqi (Ages 5-8)
Ms. Alex gets called away―and puts Yasmin in charge! Being teacher will be a snap! But when things go wrong, Yasmin must think fast to get the class back on track before Ms. Alex gets back.
Shai & Emmie Star To the Rescue! by
The Unsung Hero of Birdsong, USA by Brenda Woods
On Gabriel’s twelfth birthday, he gets a new bike–and is so excited that he accidentally rides it right into the path of a car. Fortunately, a Black man named Meriwether pushes him out of the way just in time, and fixes his damaged bike. As a thank you, Gabriel gets him a job at his dad’s auto shop. Gabriel’s dad hires him with some hesitation, however, anticipating trouble with the other mechanic, who makes no secret of his racist opinions.
Grandpa Stops a War by Susan Robeson, illustrated by Rob Brown
Based on the true story of Paul Robeson’s visit to the front lines of the Spanish Civil War, comes this recollection of his bravery and activism by his granddaughter, Susan Robeson, with her debut book.
The Journey of York: The Unsung Hero of the Lewis and Clark Expedition by Hasan Davis
Thomas Jefferson’s Corps of Discovery included Captains Lewis and Clark and a crew of 28 men to chart a route from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean. All the crew but one volunteered for the mission. York, the enslaved man taken on the journey, did not choose to go. Slaves did not have choices. York’s contributions to the expedition, however, were invaluable. The captains came to rely on York’s judgement, determination, and peacemaking role with the American Indian nations they encountered. But as York’s independence and status rose on the journey, the question remained what status he would carry once the expedition was over. This is his story.
Good Night, Taj Mahal by Nitya Mohan Khemka
This delightful and educational board book tours little explorers around the magical city of Agra. Children will discover all of their favorite landmarks and attractions, including Taj Mahal, Mehtab Bagh Gardens, Agra Fort, Jama Masjid, Kinari bazaar, Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daulah, Rambagh Gardens, Sadar Bazaar, Sikandra, Fatehpur Sikri and more.
Mangoes, Mischief, and Tales of Friendship: Stories from India by Chitra Soundar
Being a wise and just ruler is no easy task. That’s what Prince Veera discovers when he and his best friend, Suku, are given the opportunity to preside over the court of his father, King Bheema. Some of the subjects’ complaints are easily addressed, but others are much more challenging. How should they handle the case of the greedy merchant who wishes to charge people for enjoying the smells of his sweets?
A Tear in the Ocean by H.M. Bouwman
Putnam, the future king of Raftworld, wants more than anything to prove himself. When the water in the Second World starts to become salty and his father won’t do anything about it, Putnam sees his chance. He steals a boat and sneaks off toward the source of the salty water. He doesn’t know he has a stowaway onboard, an island girl named Artie.
Peasprout Chen: Battle of Champions by Henry Lien
Now in her Second Year at Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword, Peasprout Chen strives to reclaim her place as a champion of wu liu, the sport of martial arts figure skating. But, with the new year comes new competition, and Peasprout’s dreams are thwarted by an impressive transfer student.
Never Caught, the Story of Ona Judge: George and Martha Washington’s Courageous Slave Who Dared to Run Away by Erica Armstrong Dunbar
Born into a life of slavery, Ona Judge eventually grew up to be George and Martha Washington’s “favored” dower slave. When she was told that she was going to be given as a wedding gift to Martha Washington’s granddaughter, Ona made the bold and brave decision to flee to the north, where she would be a fugitive.
Breathe With Me: Using Breath to Feel Strong, Calm and Happy by Miriam Gates
When you’re mad or worried or can’t wake up in the morning, what can you do? Use the amazing superpower that you already have—breathing.
I Look Up To… Malala Yousafzai by Anna Membrino
It’s never too early to introduce your child to the people you admire–such as Malala Yousafzai, the activist for girls’ education and Nobel Peace Prize winner! This board book distills Malala’s excellent qualities into an eminently sharable read-aloud text with graphic, eye-catching illustrations.
Each spread highlights an important trait, and is enhanced by a quote from Malala herself. Kids will grow up hearing the words of this inspiring woman and will learn what YOU value in a person!
I Look Up to…Serena Williams by Anna Membrino
It’s never too early to introduce your child to the people you admire! This board book distills tennis superstar Serena Williams’s excellent qualities into an eminently sharable read-aloud text with graphic, eye-catching illustrations.
Each spread highlights an important trait, and is enhanced by a quote from Serena herself. Kids will grow up hearing the words of this powerful, determined woman and will learn what YOU value in a person!
E is for Easter by Greg Paprocki
In the latest alphabet primer from artist Greg Paprocki, Easter and the rites of spring are celebrated with Paprocki’s wonderful colorful and vintage-looking illustrations. Your toddlers can enjoy illustrations of such things as the Easter Bunny, baskets overflowing with candy, children decorating Easter eggs, an Easter egg hunt, and beautiful springtime flowers.
Have I Ever Told You? by Shani King
This book holds the message of dignity that every child on this earth deserves and needs to hear. You are loved. You matter. You make me laugh. Have I ever told you that?
Dear Black Boy by Martellus Bennett
Dear Black Boy is a letter of encouragement to all the brown-skinned boys around the world who feel like sports are all they have. It is a reminder that they are more than athletes, more than a jersey number, more than a great crossover or a forty-time, that the biggest game that they’ll ever play is the game of life, and there are people rooting for them off of the courts and fields, not as athletes, but as future leaders of the world.
Marley Dias (Influential People) by Jenny Benjamin
As a sixth-grader, Marley Dias started a campaign to help make sure girls of all races have access to books that feature main characters who look like them. She also went on to write a book of her own. Learn more about how she is making a difference for other young girls!
Community Soup by Alma Fullerton (in paperback format)
In a garden outside a Kenyan schoolhouse, teachers and students are gathering their vegetables for soup. But all Kioni brought today were her troublesome goats. How can they contribute?
Meet Miss Fancy by Irene Latham, illustrated by John Holyfield
Frank has always been obsessed with elephants. He loves their hosepipe trunks, tree stump feet, and swish-swish tails. So when Miss Fancy, the elephant, retires from the circus and moves two blocks from his house to Avondale Park, he’s over the moon! Frank really wants to pet her. But Avondale Park is just for white people, so Frank is not allowed to see Miss Fancy. Frank is heartbroken but he doesn’t give up: instead he makes a plan!
What Is Given From the Heart by Patricia C. McKissack
During the Depression, three young sisters get one baby doll for Christmas and must find a way to share.
Dress Like a Girl by Patricia Toht
Uplifting and resonant, and with a variety of interests ranging from sports to science to politics, this book is sure to inspire any young girl, instilling the idea that the best way to dress like a girl is the way that makes you feel most like YOU!
Out of this World: The Surreal Art of Leonora Carrington by Michelle Markel
Out of This World is the fascinating and stunningly illustrated story of Leonora Carrington, a girl who made art out of her imagination and created some of the most enigmatic and startling works of the last eighty years.
All About Mohandas Gandhi by Todd Outcalt
Mohandas Gandhi was the youngest of four sons in a merchant family. Growing up, he craved knowledge and devoted himself to his studies. Upon graduating high school, he decided to go to London to become a lawyer. This profession took him all the way to South Africa, where he tested his theory of non-cooperation and civil resistance to get rights for the Indians there. Upon returning to India, he used the same practices to protest for independence from British rule. Over the course of his seventy-eight year life, he helped win rights and independence for himself, his people, and his nation. He is globally recognized as a hero and a symbol of peace.
Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America by Ibi Zoboi & others
Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, and featuring some of the most acclaimed bestselling Black authors writing for teens today—Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and Black in America.
China: A History by Cheryl Bardoe
Discover the history of one of the world’s most influential civilizations. Based on the Cyrus Tang Hall of China exhibit at The Field Museum, China: A History traces the 7,000-year story of this diverse land. Full-color maps, photos, and illustrations of the people, landscape, artifacts, and rare objects bring the history of this nation to life! Young readers learn about prehistoric China, follow the reign of emperors and dynasties, and come to understand how China became the world power that it is today. The book also explores the role of children and women in everyday life as well as how religion, politics, and economics shaped the deep traditions and dynamic changes of modern China.
Isabella: Artist Extraordinaire by Jennifer Fosberry
When Isabella has a day off from school, her mother suggests doing something special. Instead, Isabella walks her parents through all of the exciting things they could do as she imagines herself in famous paintings ranging from Van Gogh’s The Starry Night to Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans. Through her musings, Isabella creates a wondrous museum of her own making, showing how home can be the most special place of all!
All About Barack Obama by Paul Freiberger & Michael Swaine
Barack Obama was the 44th president of the United States, and the first African American to serve. He served two terms from 2009 to 2017, when he was replaced by President Donald Trump. Before the presidency, Obama served as an Illinois Senator and a US Senator.
Born in Honolulu, Hawaii, Barack Obama had to overcome the difficulty of having multiracial parents at a time when that was frowned upon. Through his childhood and teenage years, he struggled with issues of identity. Things began to make sense when he graduated from Columbia University and began working in Chicago communities. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he became a civil rights attorney and professor. He ran for president in 2008 and won, staying in office until 2017.
Jada Jones: Sleepover Scientist by Kelly Starling Lyons
Jada is hosting her first sleepover, and she has lots of cool scientific activities planned: kitchen chemistry, creating invisible ink, and even making slime! But when her friends get tired of the lessons and just want to hang out, can Jada figure out the formula for fun and save the sleepover?
Genesis Begins Again by Alicia Williams
This deeply sensitive and powerful debut novel tells the story of a thirteen-year-old who is filled with self-loathing and must overcome internalized racism and a verbally abusive family to finally learn to love herself.
What Momma Left Me by Renee Watson
Serenity is good at keeping secrets, and she’s got a whole lifetime’s worth of them. Her mother is dead, her father is gone, and starting life over at her grandparents’ house is strange. Luckily, certain things seem to hold promise: a new friend who makes her feel connected, and a boy who makes her feel seen. But when her brother starts making poor choices, her friend is keeping her own dangerous secret, and her grandparents put all of their trust in a faith that Serenity isn’t sure she understands, it is the power of love that will repair her heart and keep her sure of just who she is.
This Promise of Change: One Girl’s Story in the Fight for School Equality by Jo Ann Allen Boyce
In 1956, one year before federal troops escorted the Little Rock 9 into Central High School, fourteen year old Jo Ann Allen was one of twelve African-American students who broke the color barrier and integrated Clinton High School in Tennessee. At first things went smoothly for the Clinton 12, but then outside agitators interfered, pitting the townspeople against one another. Uneasiness turned into anger, and even the Clinton Twelve themselves wondered if the easier thing to do would be to go back to their old school. Jo Ann—clear-eyed, practical, tolerant, and popular among both black and white students—found herself called on as the spokesperson of the group. But what about just being a regular teen?
Brave Ballerina: The Story of Janet Collins by Michelle Meadows, illustrated by Ebony Glenn
Janet Collins wanted to be a ballerina in the 1930s and 40s, a time when racial segregation was widespread in the United States. Janet pursued dance with a passion, despite being rejected from discriminatory dance schools. When she was accepted into the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo as a teenager on the condition that she paint her skin white for performances, Janet refused. She continued to go after her dreams, never compromising her values along the way. From her early childhood lessons to the height of her success as the first African American prima ballerina in the Metropolitan Opera, this is the story of a remarkable pioneer.
Inventing Victoria by Tonya Bolden
As a young black woman in 1880s Savannah, Essie’s dreams are very much at odds with her reality. Ashamed of her beginnings, but unwilling to accept the path currently available to her, Essie is trapped between the life she has and the life she wants.
Until she meets a lady named Dorcas Vashon, the richest and most cultured black woman she’s ever encountered. When Dorcas makes Essie an offer she can’t refuse, she becomes Victoria. Transformed by a fine wardrobe, a classic education, and the rules of etiquette, Victoria is soon welcomed in the upper echelons of black society in Washington, D. C. But when the life she desires is finally within her grasp, Victoria must decide how much of herself she is truly willing to surrender.
Honeysmoke: A Story of Finding Your Color by Monique Fields, illustrated by Yesenia Moises
Monique Fields is an award-winning journalist. Her essays about race and identity have appeared on air, in print, and online, including NPR’s All Things Considered, Ebony magazine, and TheRoot.com. She is the founder and editor of Honeysmoke.com, a site for parents raising multiracial children.
The Piñata That the Farm Maiden Hung by Samantha R. Vamos
A young girl sets out on errands for the day, and while she’s gone, the farm maiden prepares a piñata from scratch with help from a boy, horse, goose, cat, sheep, and farmer. After they all fall asleep in the afternoon sun, they must scramble to finish preparations in time–just as the girl arrives back to her surprise party. Key English words change to Spanish as the cumulative verse builds to the celebratory ending. With the familiarity of “The House That Jack Built,” the tale cleverly incorporates Spanish words, adding a new one in place of the English word from the previous page. Back matter includes a glossary, definitions, and directions for making a piñata at home.
Follow Me Down to Nicodemus Town: Based on the History of the African American Pioneer Settlement by A. LaFaye
When Dede sees a notice offering land to black people in Kansas, her family decides to give up their life of sharecropping to become homesteading pioneers in the Midwest. Inspired by the true story of Nicodemus, Kansas, a town founded in the late 1870s by Exodusters—former slaves leaving the Jim Crow South in search of a new beginning—this fictional story follows Dede and her parents as they set out to stake and secure a claim, finally allowing them to have a home to call their own.
A little-known but fascinating and larger-than-life character, Mary Fields is one of the unsung, trailblazing African American women who helped settle the American West. A former slave, Fields became the first African American woman stagecoach driver in 1895, when, in her 60s, she beat out all the cowboys applying for the job by being the fastest to hitch a team of six horses. She won the dangerous and challenging job, and for many years traveled the badlands with her pet eagle, protecting the mail from outlaws and wild animals, never losing a single horse or package. Fields helped pave the way for other women and people of color to become stagecoach drivers and postal workers.
Hands Up! by Breanna J. McDaniel
A young black girl lifts her baby hands up to greet the sun, reaches her hands up for a book on a high shelf, and raises her hands up in praise at a church service. She stretches her hands up high like a plane’s wings and whizzes down a hill so fast on her bike with her hands way up. As she grows, she lives through everyday moments of joy, love, and sadness. And when she gets a little older, she joins together with her family and her community in a protest march, where they lift their hands up together in resistance and strength.
A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks by Alice Faye Duncan
With a voice both wise and witty, Gwendolyn Brooks crafted poems that captured the urban Black experience and the role of women in society. She grew up on the South Side of Chicago, reading and writing constantly from a young age, her talent lovingly nurtured by her parents. Brooks ultimately published 20 books of poetry, two autobiographies, and one novel.
The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan
Seventeen-year-old Rukhsana Ali tries her hardest to live up to her conservative Muslim parents’ expectations, but lately she’s finding that impossible to do. She rolls her eyes when they blatantly favor her brother and saves her crop tops and makeup for parties her parents don’t know about. Luckily, only a few more months stand between her carefully monitored life in Seattle and her new life at Caltech. But when her parents catch her kissing her girlfriend Ariana, all of Rukhsana’s plans fall apart.
Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
Min feels hemmed in by the household rules and resents the endless chores, the cousins who crowd her, and the aunties who judge her. She would like nothing more than to escape Jinju, her neglected, dust-ridden, and impoverished planet. She’s counting the days until she can follow her older brother, Jun, into the Space Forces and see more of the Thousand Worlds.
Planting Trees: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré by Anika Aldamuy Denise
Follow la vida y legado of Pura Belpré, the first Puerto Rican librarian in New York City.
When she came to America in 1921, Pura carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular stories into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and cuentistas continue to share her stories and celebrate Pura’s legacy.
The Bell Rang by James Ransome
Every single morning, the overseer of the plantation rings the bell. Daddy gathers wood. Mama cooks. Ben and the other slaves go out to work. Each day is the same. Full of grueling work and sweltering heat. Every day, except one, when the bell rings and Ben is nowhere to be found. Because Ben ran. Yet, despite their fear and sadness, his family remains hopeful that maybe, just maybe, he made it North. That he is free.
The Roots of Rap: 16 Bars on the 4 Pillars of Hip-Hop by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Frank Morrison
The roots of rap and the history of hip-hop have origins that precede DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash. Kids will learn about how it evolved from folktales, spirituals, and poetry, to the showmanship of James Brown, to the culture of graffiti art and break dancing that formed around the art form and gave birth to the musical artists we know today.
Under by Hijab by Hena Khan
Grandma wears it clasped under her chin. Aunty pins hers up with a beautiful brooch. Jenna puts it under a sun hat when she hikes. Zara styles hers to match her outfit. As a young girl observes six very different women in her life who each wear the hijab in a unique way, she also dreams of the rich possibilities of her own future, and how she will express her own personality through her hijab.
Marianthe’s Story: Painted Words and Spoken Memories by Aliki (paperback version)
Based on Aliki’s own experience as a Greek schoolgirl in Philadelphia, this is an essential, timely, and relevant American immigration story. With appealing, accessible art and a universal message, Marianthe’s Story is sure to resonate with children and educators alike.
Sela Blue and the Missing Key by Alisia Dale
Enchanting and surprising, this book takes readers on a fun quest through the musical village of Chateuguay. When Sela Blue and her sisters, Susie and Sophie, can’t find the key to their charming house on Wagner Street they set off in search of the missing key. With happy-go-lucky Nanny K leading the charge, things become catastrophic.
Spin by Lamar Giles
When rising star Paris Secord (aka DJ ParSec) is found dead on her turntables, it sends the local music scene reeling. No one is feeling that grief more than her shunned pre-fame best friend, Kya, and ParSec’s chief groupie, Fuse — two sworn enemies who happened to be the ones who discovered her body.
A Grain of Rice by Nhung N. Tran-Davies
Thirteen-year-old Yen and her family have survived a war, famine and persecution. When a powerful flood ruins their village in rural Vietnam, matters only get worse. With the help of neighbors and family, they decide to take the ultimate risk on a chance for a better life.
When I Fly With Papa by Claudia May, illustrated by Jena Holliday
This three-movement poem invites readers ages three and up to journey with the Papa of their imagination. It can be read in one sitting or spread out over numerous days. A movement or verse can guide a moment of storytelling and reflection. Readers can even skip a day or more and return to a poem for a fresh experience with Papa as God.
When I Pray for You by Matthew Paul Turner, illustrated by Kimberly Barnes
Something about seeing a beloved child come into the world, grow, and experience the wonder and pain of life drives adults to pray for the kids they love. Even people with no religious affiliation will pray for the well-being of a child. When I Pray for You celebrates the dreams, hopes, and longings we pray over our children, and shares with the little ones how much care, concern, and love a parent, family member, or friend feels for them.
Black Music Greats by Olivier Cachin, illustrated by Jérôme Masi (Ages 7-10)
Each book in the 40 Inspiring Icons series introduces readers to a fascinating non-fiction subject through its 40 most famous people or groups. In this book, 40 of the most inspirational movers, shakers, and innovators in black music history are waiting to be heard. Find out about each artist’s most iconic shows, genre defining techniques, friends, rivals, and nicknames. Each artist profile is complete with 5 must-listen-to tracks: perfect for the budding audiophile.
Feminism Is… by DK, foreward by Roxane Gay (Ages 12 and up)
What is feminism? Combining insightful text with graphic illustrations, this engaging book introduces young adult readers to a subject that should matter to everyone. Feminism Is… tackles the most intriguing and relevant topics, such as intersectionality, the right to an equal education, and the gender pay gap. Find out what equality for women really means, get a short history of feminism, and take a look at the issues that affect women at work, in the home, and around sex and identity. Meet, too, some great women, such as Gloria Steinem, Frida Kahlo, and Malala Yousafzai, “rebel girls” who refused to accept the status quo of their day and blazed a trail for others to follow.
Look Up with Me: Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Life Among the Stars by Jennifer Berne, illustrated by Lorraine Nam
With an introduction from Neil DeGrasse Tyson about the importance of kid-like curiosity, this lyrical picture book biography on the beloved astrophysicist and host of Cosmos is the perfect gift for young astronomers and fans of all ages.
Girl Activist by Louisa Kamps
Rebel girls, young activists, and other trailblazing tweens and teens will be inspired by the stories of 40 women who have changed the world for the better. Mini-biographies of unstoppable women activists—from Malala Yousafzai to Susan B. Anthony, Emma Gonzalez to Gloria Steinem, Wangari Maathai to Dolores Huerta—offer windows into what it takes to stand up for a cause, rally others together, and even ignite a movement.
Who Is Michael Jordan? by Kirsten Anderson
Meet the man who changed the game forever. Michael Jordan has always been competitive–even as a young boy, he fought for attention. His need to be the best made him a star player on his college basketball team and helped him become an NBA legend, both for his skills and his endorsements.
Just Read! by Lori Degman
Learning to read is a big accomplishment, and this exuberant picture book celebrates reading in its many forms. In lively rhyme, it follows a diverse group of word-loving children who grab the opportunity to read wherever and whenever they can. They read while waiting and while sliding or swinging; they read music and in Braille and the signs on the road. And, sometimes, they even read together, in a special fort they’ve built. The colorful, fanciful art and rollicking text will get every child more excited about reading!
Some Days by Karen Kaufman Orloff
Come along and follow a year in the life of a young boy and girl as they discover their many different and ever-changing emotions, including joy, fear, anger, jealousy, excitement, pride, disappointment, loneliness, and contentment. As children read about “angels in the snow days” as well as “need my mommy now days,” they’ll begin to understand how to cope with both positive and negative feelings.
Biddy Mason Speaks Up by Arisa White
Bridget “Biddy” Mason, an African American philanthropist, healer, and midwife who was born into slavery. When Biddy arrived in California, where slavery was technically illegal, she was kept captive by her owners and forced to work without pay. But when Biddy learned that she was going to be taken to a slave state, she launched a plan to win her freedom.
Maria the Matador by Anne Lambelet
She’ll do anything to get her hands on more of them, even enter a bullfight. To win, she must outsmart the other matadors who don’t think she’s big enough, fast enough, or strong enough. With determination and creativity, spunky Maria will dance her way to victory―and into readers’ hearts.
A Friend for Henry by Jenn Bailey
In Classroom Six, second left down the hall, Henry has been on the lookout for a friend. A friend who shares. A friend who listens. Maybe even a friend who likes things to stay the same and all in order, as Henry does. But on a day full of too close and too loud, when nothing seems to go right, will Henry ever find a friend—or will a friend find him? With insight and warmth, this heartfelt story from the perspective of a boy on the autism spectrum celebrates the everyday magic of friendship.
New Kid by Jerry Craft
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.
Ann Fights for Freedom: An Underground Railroad Survival Story by Nikki Shannon Smith
Twelve-year-old Ann understands there is only one thing to be grateful for as a slave: having her family together. But when the master falls into debt, he plans to sell both Ann and her younger brother to two different owners. Ann is convinced her family must run away on the Underground Railroad. Will Ann’s family survive the dangerous trip to their freedom in the North ? This Girls Survive story is supported by a glossary, discussion questions, and nonfiction material on the Underground Railroad, making it a valuable resource for young readers.
The Moon Within by Aida Salazar
Celi Rivera’s life swirls with questions. About her changing body. Her first attraction to a boy. And her best friend’s exploration of what it means to be genderfluid. But most of all, her mother’s insistence she have a moon ceremony when her first period arrives. It’s an ancestral Mexica ritual that Mima and her community have reclaimed, but Celi promises she will NOT be participating. Can she find the power within herself to take a stand for who she wants to be?
Fast Enough: Bessie Stringfield’s First Ride by Joel Christian Gill
Fast Enough combines an imagined story of Bessie Stringfield as a young girl with historical facts about Bessie as an adult. Bessie Stringfield went on to become the first African-American woman to travel solo across the United States on a motorcycle. Not only was she fast, but she was a true adventurer, daring to ride to places unsafe for African Americans in the 1930s and ’40s.
Muhammad Ali (Little People, Big Dreams) by Isabel Sanchez Vegara
When he was little, Muhammad Ali had his bicycle stolen. He wanted to fight the thief, but a policeman told him him to learn how to box first. After training hard in the gym, Muhammad developed a strong jab and an even stronger work ethic. His smart thinking and talking earned him the greatest title in boxing: Heavyweight Champion of the World. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of “The Greatest’s” life.
Right This Very Minute: A table-to-farm book about food and farming by Lisl H Detlefsen
What’s that you say? You’re hungry? Right this very minute? Then you need a farmer. You have the stories of so many right here on your table! Award winners Lisl H. Detlefsen and Renee Kurilla’s delicious celebration of food and farming is sure to inspire readers of all ages to learn more about where their food comes from – right this very minute!
Soaring Earth by Margarita Engle
Margarita Engle’s childhood straddled two worlds: the lush, welcoming island of Cuba and the lonely, dream-soaked reality of Los Angeles. But the revolution has transformed Cuba into a mystery of impossibility, no longer reachable in real life. Margarita longs to travel the world, yet before she can become independent, she’ll have to start high school.
Carter Reads the Newspaper by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Don Tate
Carter G. Woodson was born to two formerly enslaved people ten years after the end of the Civil War. Though his father could not read, he believed in being an informed citizen. So Carter read the newspaper to him every day.
Let ‘er Buck!: George Fletcher, the People’s Champion by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
In 1911, three men were in the final round of the famed Pendleton Round-Up. One was white, one was Indian, and one was black. When the judges declared the white man the winner, the audience was outraged. They named black cowboy George Fletcher the “people’s champion” and took up a collection, ultimately giving Fletcher far more than the value of the prize that went to the official winner.
A is for Awesome: 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World by Eva Chen, illustrated by Derek Desierto
Why stick with plain old A, B, Cwhen you can have Amelia (Earhart), Malala, Tina (Turner), Ruth (Bader Ginsburg), all the way to eXtraordinary You―and the Zillion of adventures you will go on?
Instagram superstar Eva Chen, author of Juno Valentine and the Magical Shoes, is back with an alphabet board book depicting feminist icons in A Is for Awesome: 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World, featuring spirited illustrations by Derek Desierto.
Remarkably You by Pat Zietlow Miller
Heartfelt and timeless, Remarkably You is an inspirational manifesto about all of the things—little or small, loud or quiet—that make us who we are.
On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least get some streams on her mixtape. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill. But when her mom unexpectedly loses her job, food banks and shut-off notices become as much a part of her life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.
I Am Farmer: Growing an Environmental Movement in Cameroon by Baptiste & Miranda Paul, illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon
When Tantoh Nforba was a child, his fellow students mocked him for his interest in gardening. Today he’s an environmental hero, bringing clean water and bountiful gardens to the central African nation of Cameroon.
Sisters: Venus & Serena Williams by Jeanette Winter
Before they were famous tennis stars, Venus and Serena Williams were sisters with big dreams growing up in Compton, California. In the early mornings, they head to the tennis courts, clean up debris, and practice. They compete in their first tournament and they both win. From there, the girls’ trophy collection grows and grows. Despite adversity and health challenges, the sisters become two of the greatest tennis players of all time. This inspiring story of sisterhood, hard work, and determination is perfect for budding athletes or any young reader with a big dream.
Say Something by Peter H. Reynolds
In this empowering new picture book, beloved author Peter H. Reynolds explores the many ways that a single voice can make a difference. Each of us, each and every day, have the chance to say something: with our actions, our words, and our voices. Perfect for kid activists everywhere, this timely story reminds readers of the undeniable importance and power of their voice. There are so many ways to tell the world who you are…what you are thinking…and what you believe. And how you’ll make it better. The time is now: SAY SOMETHING!
My Mommy Medicine by Edwidge Danticat
When a child wakes up feeling sick, she is treated to a good dose of Mommy Medicine. Her remedy includes a yummy cup of hot chocolate; a cozy, bubble-filled bath time; and unlimited snuggles and cuddles. Mommy Medicine can heal all woes and make any day the BEST day!
Gittel’s Journey by by Lesléa Newman
Gittel and her mother were supposed to immigrate to America together, but when her mother is stopped by the health inspector, Gittel must make the journey alone. Her mother writes her cousin’s address in New York on a piece of paper. However, when Gittel arrives at Ellis Island, she discovers the ink has run and the address is illegible! How will she find her family?
The Cat Who Lived with Anne Frank by David Lee Miller
Told from the perspective of the cat who actually lived with Anne Frank in the famous Amsterdam annex, this poignant book paints a picture of a young girl who wistfully dreams of a better life for herself and her friends, tentatively wonders what mark she might leave on the world, and, above all, adamantly believes in the goodness of people.
Lety Out Loud by Angela Cervantes
Lety Munoz sometimes has trouble speaking her mind. Her first language is Spanish and she likes to take her time putting her words together. Lety loves volunteering at the Furry Friends Animal Shelter because the dogs and cats there don’t care if she can’t find the right word. When the shelter needs a volunteer to write animal profiles, Lety jumps at the chance. But grumpy classmate Hunter also wants to write profiles– so now they have to work as a team.
Wilma’s Way Home: The Life of Wilma Mankiller by Doreen Rappaport
As a child in Oklahoma, Wilma Mankiller experienced the Cherokee practice of Gadugi, helping each other, even when times were hard for everyone. But in 1956, the federal government uprooted her family and moved them to California, wrenching them from their home, friends, and traditions. Separated from her community and everything she knew, Wilma felt utterly lost until she found refuge in the Indian Center in San Francisco. There, she worked to build and develop the local Native community and championed Native political activists. This book will inspire future leaders to persevere in empathy and thoughtful problem-solving, reaching beyond themselves to help those around them.
Watch Us Rise by Renee Watson
Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends on a mission–they’re sick of the way women are treated even at their progressive NYC high school, so they decide to start a Women’s Rights Club. They post their work online–poems, essays, videos of Chelsea performing her poetry, and Jasmine’s response to the racial microaggressions she experiences–and soon they go viral. But with such positive support, the club is also targeted by trolls. When things escalate in real life, the principal shuts the club down. Not willing to be silenced, Jasmine and Chelsea will risk everything for their voices–and those of other young women–to be heard.
The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman
Life is harsh in Chennai’s teeming streets, so when runaway sisters Viji and Rukku arrive, their prospects look grim. Very quickly, eleven-year-old Viji discovers how vulnerable they are in this uncaring, dangerous world. Fortunately, the girls find shelter–and friendship–on an abandoned bridge. With two homeless boys, Muthi and Arul, the group forms a family of sorts. And while making a living scavenging the city’s trash heaps is the pits, the kids find plenty to laugh about and take pride in too.
Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World by Alice B. McGinty
From Australia to India to the USA, come travel around the world at dawn. Children everywhere are waking up to breakfast. In Japan, students eat soured soybeans called natto. In Brazil, even kids drink coffee–with lots of milk! With rhythm and rhymes and bold, graphic art, Pancakes to Parathas invites young readers to explore the world through the most important meal of the day.
Oprah Winfrey: Run the Show Like CEO by Caroline Moss
Discover how Oprah became a billionaire CEO and media mogul in this true story of her life. Then, learn 10 key lessons from her work you can apply to your own life. Featuring inspiring quotes and mantras, this is a book for all kids wanting to forge their own career path.
Around the Passover Table by Tracy Newman, illustrated by Adriana Santos (Ages 3-5)
The candles are lit, the seder plate filled, and the matzo stacked high. Join in to read, sing, eat, and observe the holiday. The many steps of a Passover seder are portrayed in this rhyming story.
Frida Kahlo by Jane Kent, illustrated by Isabel Munoz
Mexican artist Frida Kahlo created vibrantly hued paintings . . . and led an equally colorful life. Known for her self-portraits, she became a feminist icon whose work now sells for millions of dollars. This lively biography looks at Frida’s childhood—including her bout with polio—as well as her devotion to Mexican culture and political causes; the bus accident that left her in chronic pain but also sparked her career; and her marriage to Diego Rivera.
Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour, illustrated by Daniel Egnéus
In an unforgettable story that subtly addresses the refugee crisis, a young girl must decide if friendship means giving up the one item that gives her comfort during a time of utter uncertainty. Lubna’s best friend is a pebble. Pebble always listens to her stories. Pebble always smiles when she feels scared. But when a lost little boy arrives in the World of Tents, Lubna realizes that he needs Pebble even more than she does. Ages 4-8.
The Yellow Suitcase by Meera Sriram
In The Yellow Suitcase by Meera Sriram, Asha travels with her parents from America to India to mourn her grandmother’s passing. Asha’s grief and anger are compounded by the empty yellow suitcase usually reserved for gifts to and from Grandma, but when she discovers a gift left behind just for her, Asha realizes that the memory of her grandmother will live on inside her, no matter where she lives. Ages 6-10.
Limelight by Solli Raphael
From thirteen-year-old award-winning slam poet Solli Raphael comes Limelight, an extraodinary book that showcases that age is no barrier to creating poetry that inspires social change and positive action. Limelight is a unique collection of slam poetry paired with inspirational writing techniques. With over 30 original poems in different forms, Raphael’s work tackles current social concerns for his generation, such as sustainability and social equality, all while amplifying his uplifting message of hope. Solli’s book also contains 5 chapters on how to write and read poetry, how to manage stage fright and writer’s block, and encouraging tips on how we can all make tomorrow better than today.
Sam Wu Is Not Afraid of Sharks by Katie Tsang
On a class trip to the aquarium, certified ghost hunter Sam Wu encounters something even scarier than ghosts: Crazy Charlie, a giant shark, who TOTALLY tries to eat him. Sam has no intentions of taking any more chances with these people-eating creatures. But then his classmates Regina and Ralph announce they’re having a birthday bash . . . on the BEACH! Can Sam overcome his terror of becoming shark bait? Ages 7-12
A Green Place to Be: The Creation of Central Park by Ashley Benham Yazdani
In 1858, New York City was growing so fast that new roads and tall buildings threatened to swallow up the remaining open space. The people needed a green place to be — a park with ponds to row on and paths for wandering through trees and over bridges. When a citywide contest solicited plans for creating a park out of barren swampland, Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted put their heads together to create the winning design, and the hard work of making their plans a reality began.
Love You Head to Toe by Ashley Barron
Pairing creative rhyming similes with cut-paper collage art, Love You Head to Toe is an adorable book that compares newborn babies to baby animals on every page. Bright, playful illustrations show a different baby and a different species of animal, both engaged in similar behavior: babies stretch their limbs like sea stars, splash in the water like ducklings, toddle around like bear cubs, and fill their chubby cheeks like chipmunks.
Asian Children’s Favorite Stories: Folktales from China, Japan, Korea, India, the Philippines and other Asian Lands by David Conger
For thousands of years, children all over the world have listened to popular folktales. Each country has its own set of fascinating stories, and learning those from another part of the world is both entertaining and educational. Asian Children’s Favorite Stories presents 7 Asian folktales from different countries—China, Japan, Korea, India, the Philippines, Thailand, and Indonesia.
My Grandma and Me by Mina Javaherbin
While Mina is growing up in Iran, the centre of her world is her grandmother. Whether visiting friends next door, going to the mosque for midnight prayers during Ramadan, or taking an imaginary trip around the planets, Mina and her grandma are never far apart… At once deeply personal and utterly universal, this story is a love letter of the rarest sort: the kind that shares a bit of its warmth with every reader.
Japanese and English Nursery Rhymes: Carp Streamers, Falling Rain and Other Favorite Songs and Rhymes by Danielle Wright
This delightful collection of beloved Japanese nursery rhymes, Japanese and English Nursery Rhymes is the perfect introduction to Japanese language and culture for young readers ages 4 to 8.
Internment by Samira Ahmed
Set in a horrifying near-future United States, seventeen-year-old Layla Amin and her parents are forced into an internment camp for Muslim American citizens. With the help of newly made friends also trapped within the internment camp, her boyfriend on the outside, and an unexpected alliance, Layla begins a journey to fight for freedom, leading a revolution against the internment camp’s Director and his guards. Heart-racing and emotional, Internment challenges readers to fight complicit silence that exists in our society today.
She Spoke by Kathy MacMillian
When the world tells you to stay quiet, do you listen, or do you speak up? In She Spoke: 14 Women Who Raised Their Voices and Changed the World, with the touch of a button readers can hear Maya Angelou, Mary McLeod Bethune, Shirley Chisholm, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Tammy Duckworth, Leymah Gbowee, Jane Goodall, Temple Grandin, Suzan Shown Harjo, Dolores Huerta, Joanne Liu, Abby Wambach, and Malala Yousafzai.
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree by Jamie L.B. Deenihan
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” In this imaginative take on that popular saying, a child is surprised (and disappointed) to receive a lemon tree from Grandma for her birthday. After all, she DID ask for a new gadget! But when she follows the narrator’s careful—and funny—instructions, she discovers that the tree might be exactly what she wanted after all. This clever story, complete with a recipe for lemonade, celebrates the pleasures of patience, hard work, nature, community . . . and putting down the electronic devices just for a while.
One Is a Piñata: A Book of Numbers by Roseanne Thong
One is a rainbow. One is a cake. One is a piñata that’s ready to break! In this lively picture book, a companion to the Pura Belpré–honored Green Is a Chile Pepper, children discover a fiesta of numbers in the world around them, all the way from one to ten: Two are maracas and cold ice creams, six are salsas and flavored aguas. Many of the featured objects are Latino in origin, and all are universal in appeal.
When I Found Grandma by Saumiya Balasubramaniam
Maya and Grandma try to compromise, and on a special trip to the island Grandma even wears an “all-American” baseball cap. But when Maya rushes off to find the carousel, she loses sight of her mother, father and grandmother. She is alone in a sea of people … until she spots something bobbing above the crowd, and right away she knows how to find her way.
B is for Baby by Atinuke
One morning after breakfast, Baby’s big brother is getting ready to take the basket of bananas all the way to Baba’s bungalow in the next village. He’ll have to go along the bumpy road, past the baobab trees, birds, and butterflies, and all the way over the bridge. But what he doesn’t realize is that his very cute, very curious baby sibling has stowed away on his bicycle. Little ones learning about language will love sounding out the words in this playful, vibrantly illustrated story set in West Africa.
Bea’s Bees by Katherine Pryor
Beatrix discovers a wild bumblebee nest on her way home from school and finds herself drawn to their busy world. When her bees mysteriously disappear, Bea hatches a plan to bring them back. Can Bea inspire her school and community to save the bees? Bees provide us with valuable resources, and some types of bees are in danger of disappearing forever. But ordinary people (and kids!) can help save them. Filled with fascinating facts about bumblebees and ideas to help preserve their environment, BEA’S BEES encourages kids to help protect bees and other pollinators.
Step Into Your Power: 21 lessons on how to live your best life by Jamia Wilson
Listen up little sister! Now is the time to learn how to harness your power and use it. You’ve heard about heroes and read about the greats, but how do you actually get there yourself? This book will show you how to make your big dreams a big reality.
What Do You Celebrate? Holidays and Festivals Around the World by Whitney Stewart
Across the globe, every country has its special holidays. From Brazilian carnival and Chinese New Year to France’s Bastille Day and our very own Fourth of July, What Do You Celebrate?presents 14 special occasions where people dance, dress up, eat yummy foods, and enjoy other fun traditions that have been passed down from generation to generation. Kids can travel the globe and learn about Fastelavn, Purim, the Cherry Blossom Festival, Holi, Eid al-Fitr, Halloween, Day of the Dead, Guy Fawkes Day, the German Lantern Festival, and more. Each spread showcases a different holiday, offering background and cultural context, vocabulary words, photographs, and instructions for festive projects.
Be a Maker by Katey Howes
How many things can you make in a day? A tower, a friend, a change? Rhyme, repetition, and a few seemingly straightforward questions engage young readers in a discussion about the many things we makeand the ways we can make a difference in the world. This simple, layered story celebrates creativity through beautiful rhyming verse and vibrant illustrations with a timely message.
Maria Montessori (Little People, Big Dreams) by Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Maria grew up in Italy at a time when girls didn’t receive an equal education to boys. But Maria’s mother was supportive of her dreams, and Maria went on to study medicine. She later became an early childhood expert—founding schools with her revolutionary educational theories and changing the lives of many children.
Cilla Lee-Jenkins: The Epic Story by Susan Tan
Cilla Lee-Jenkins returns to pursue her dreams of becoming a successful author while dealing with her Chinese-American family in Cilla Lee-Jenkins: The Epic Story by writer Susan Tan and illustrator Dana Wulfekotte.
Lumber Jills: The Unsung Heroines of World War II by Alexandra Davis
In World War II, Great Britain needed lumber to make planes, ships, and even newspapers—but there weren’t enough men to cut down the trees. Enter the fearless Lumber Jills! These young women may not have had much woodcutting experience, but they each had two hands willing to work and one stout heart, and they came together to do their part. Discover this lyrical story of home front heroism and female friendship.
Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orisha) by Tomi Adeyemi
Cover to Be Revealed
After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too.
Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath.
Sarai and the Around the World Fair by Sarai Gonzalez and Monica Brown
When Sarai outgrows her bike, she worries she’ll never get to travel anywhere. But, when Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary hosts their first Around the World Fair, Sarai learns that with a little imagination, you can go anywhere you want!
Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds
When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack.
Corduroy’s Garden by Alison Inches
When Lisa plants some beans in her garden, she puts Corduroy in charge of watching over them. But Corduroy falls asleep, and a puppy digs up the seeds.
Corduroy’s Hike by Alison Inches
When Lisa goes on a hiking trip, Corduroy sneaks into her backpack. Lisa is surprised to find him there, but she thinks he’ll be safe as long as he stays tucked inside. Corduroy just has to take a peek outside, and when he does, he falls out! Will Lisa find him again?
Ruby, Head High: Ruby Bridge’s First Day of School by Irene Cohen-Janca
Inspired by an iconic Norman Rockwell painting and translated from an original French text, this is a story about the day a little girl held her head high and changed the world.
A Computer Called Katherine: How Katherine Johnson Helped Put America on the Moon by Suzanne Slade, illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison
Katherine knew it was wrong that African Americans didn’t have the same rights as others–as wrong as 5+5=12. She knew it was wrong that people thought women could only be teachers or nurses–as wrong as 10-5=3. And she proved everyone wrong by zooming ahead of her classmates, starting college at fifteen, and eventually joining NASA, where her calculations helped pioneer America’s first manned flight into space, its first manned orbit of Earth, and the world’s first trip to the moon!
My Two Dads and Me by Michael Joosten
Families with same-sex parents are celebrated in this board book that follows busy dads and their kids throughout their day–eating breakfast, getting dressed, heading out to the park, and settling back in at night with a bubble bath and a good-night lullaby. LGBTQ+ parents and their friends and families will welcome this diverse and cheerful book that reflects their own lives and family makeup.
My Two Moms and Me by Michael Joosten
Families with same-sex parents are celebrated in this board book that follows busy moms and their kids throughout their day–eating breakfast, going on a playdate, heading to the pool for a swim, and settling back in at night with a bedtime story and a good-night lullaby. LGBTQ+ parents and their friends and families will welcome this diverse and cheerful book that reflects their own lives and family makeup.
A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramée
Twelve-year-old Shayla is allergic to trouble. All she wants to do is to follow the rules. (Oh, and she’d also like to make it through seventh grade with her best friendships intact, learn to run track, and have a cute boy see past her giant forehead.)
But in junior high, it’s like all the rules have changed. Now she’s suddenly questioning who her best friends are and some people at school are saying she’s not black enough. Wait, what?
Magic Ramen: The Story of Momofuku Ando by Andrea Wang, illustrated by Kana Urbanowicz
Inspiration struck when Momofuku Ando spotted the long lines for a simple bowl of ramen following World War II. Magic Ramen tells the true story behind the creation of one of the world’s most popular foods.
Every day, Momofuku Ando would retire to his lab-a little shed in his backyard. For years, he’d dreamed about making a new kind of ramen noodle soup that was quick, convenient, and tasty for hungry people he’d seen in line for a bowl on the black market following World War II. Peace follows from a full stomach, he believed.
Gloria Takes a Stand: How Gloria Steinem Listened, Wrote, and Changed the World by Jessica M. Rinker, illustrated by Daria Peoples-Riley
As a young girl, Gloria Steinem thought for herself and spoke her mind. She read many books by her favorite authors and imagined herself as the heroine of the story. Gloria wished. She read. And imagined. But Gloria grew up during a time when women were not encouraged, or even allowed, to do a lot of the things men could do: go to college, get a job, open a bank account, and more.
Here and There by Tamara Ellis Smith
A young boy, Ivan, experiences the early stages of his parents’ separation and finds hope in the beauty and music of nature. This tale of personal growth will provide a much-needed mirror for children in times of change — and an important reminder for all that there’s beauty everywhere you look.
Going Down Home With Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Daniel Minter (Ages 4-8)
Down home is Granny’s house. Down home is where Lil’ Alan and his parents and sister will join great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Down home is where Lil’ Alan will hear stories of the ancestors and visit the land that has meant so much to all of them. And down home is where all of the children will find their special way to pay tribute to family history. All the kids have to decide on what tribute to share, but what will Lil’ Alan do?
A New Home by Tania de Regil
As a girl in Mexico City and a boy in New York City ponder moving to each other’s locale, it becomes clear that the two cities — and the two children — are more alike than they might think.
Moving to a new city can be exciting. But what if your new home isn’t anything like your old home? Will you make friends? What will you eat? Where will you play? In a cleverly combined voice — accompanied by wonderfully detailed illustrations depicting parallel urban scenes — a young boy conveys his fears about moving from New York City to Mexico City while, at the same time, a young girl expresses trepidation about leaving Mexico City to move to New York City. Tania de Regil offers a heartwarming story that reminds us that home may be found wherever life leads. Fascinating details about each city are featured at the end.
Be Brave, Be Brave, Be Brave by F. Anthony Falcon
A man of Native American descent contemplates what lessons he will pass on to his newborn son in this heartfelt, expansive exploration of fatherhood, identity, and legacy. Through a list of precepts, each ending with “be brave”, the book tells the tale of little Lakota’s perilous arrival into the world, of Falcon’s struggle to reconnect with a heritage that was lost to him, and a father’s attempt to describe what it means to be a Native American man in America today.
How Do You Say Good Night? by Cindy Jin
Snuggle up and learn how to say “good night” in ten different languages with this heartwarming bedtime board book! Ages 2-4.
Ojiichan’s Gift by Chieri Uegaki, illustrated by Genevieve Simms
When Mayumi was born, her grandfather created a garden for her. It was unlike any other garden she knew. It had no flowers or vegetables. Instead, Ojiichan made it out of stones: ?big ones, little ones and ones in-between.? Every summer, Mayumi visits her grandfather in Japan, and they tend the garden together. Raking the gravel is her favorite part. Afterward, the two of them sit on a bench and enjoy the results of their efforts in happy silence. But then one summer, everything changes. Ojiichan has grown too old to care for his home and the garden. He has to move. Will Mayumi find a way to keep the memory of the garden alive for both of them?
The Night Before Kindergarten Graduation by Natasha Wing
Get ready for a major milestone: kindergarten graduation! Of course, there’s a lot of preparation the night before as kids prepare for the momentous occasion. This is a great school-year follow-up to The Night Before Kindergarten!
SprawlBall: A Visual Tour of the New Era of the NBA by Kirk Goldsberry
From the leading expert in the exploding field of basketball analytics, a stunning infographic decoding of the modern NBA: who shoots where, and how. Ages 16 and up.
Manuelito by Elisa Amado
Thirteen-year-old Manuelito is a gentle boy who lives with his family in a tiny village in the Guatemalan countryside. But life is far from idyllic: PACs―armed civil patrol―are a constant presence in the streets, and terrifying memories of the country’s war linger in the villagers’ collective conscience. Things deteriorate further when government-backed drug gangs arrive and take control of the village. Fearing their son will be forced to join a gang, Manuelito’s parents make the desperate decision to send him to live with his aunt in America.
Boy oh Boy: From boys to men, be inspired by 30 coming-of-age stories of sportsmen, artists, politicians, educators and scientists by Cliff Leek
Meet 30 positive male role models from throughout history. From people of peace, like Gandhi, to dancers like Carlos Acosta, musicians like Prince, poets like Kit Yan, and teachers like Jaime Escalante – all are talented and diverse. These men have fought conventional stereotypes to prove that modern day masculinity can be cool – and defined freely. Role models hand-picked to inspire a modern generation of boys.
The Gift of Ramadan by Rabiah York Lumbard, illustrated by Laura K. Horton
Sophia wants to fast for Ramadan this year. She tries to keep busy throughout the day so she won’t think about food. But when the smell of cookies is too much, she breaks her fast early. How can she be part of the festivities now?
Luca’s Bridge/El Puente de Luca by Mariana Llanos, illustrated by Anna Lopez Real
The bilingual picture book Luca’s Bridge / El puente de Luca, by Mariana Llanos with illustrations by Anna López Real, tells the emotional story of a boy coming to terms with his family’s deportation from the United States to Mexico. A powerful meditation on home and identity at a time when our country sorely needs it.
Ada Twist and the Perilous Pants: The Questioneers Book #2 by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
Ada Twist is full of questions. A scientist to her very core, Ada asks why again and again. One question always leads to another until she’s off on a journey of discovery! When Rosie Revere’s Uncle Ned gets a little carried away wearing his famous helium pants, it’s up to Ada and friends to chase him down. As Uncle Ned floats farther and farther away, Ada starts asking lots of questions: How high can a balloon float? Is it possible for Uncle Ned to float into outer space? And what’s the best plan for getting him down?
Maisie’s Scrapbook by Samuel Narh
Maisie’s mama wears linen and plays the viola. Maisie’s dada wears Kente cloth and plays the marimba. They come from different places, but they hug her in the same way. And most of all, they love her just the same. A joyful celebration of a mixed-race family and the love that binds us all together.
Yay! You’re Gay! Now What? by Riyadh Khalaf
In this personal, heartfelt go-to guide for young queer guys, YouTuber and presenter Riyadh Khalaf shares frank advice about everything from coming out to relationships, as well as interviews with inspirational queer role models, and encouragement for times when you’re feeling low. There’s a support section for family and friends written by Riyadh’s parents and LOADS of hilarious, embarrassing, inspiring and moving stories from gay boys around the world.
Home is a Window by Stephanie Ledyard, illustrated by Chris Sasaki
Follow a family as they move out of their beloved, familiar house and learn that they can bring everything they love about their old home to the new one, because they still have each other.
Birth of the Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound by Kathleen Cornell Berman, illustrated by Keith Henry Brown
As a young musician, Miles Davis heard music everywhere. This biography explores the childhood and early career of a jazz legend as he finds his voice and shapes a new musical sound. Follow his progression from East St. Louis to rural Arkansas, from Julliard and NYC jazz clubs to the prestigious Newport Jazz Festival. Rhythmic free verse imbues his story with musicality and gets readers in the groove. Music teachers and jazz fans will appreciate the beats and details throughout, and Miles’ drive to constantly listen, learn, and create will inspire kids to develop their own voice.
Planet Fashion: 100 Years of Fashion History by Natasha Slee
Your journey begins over one hundred years ago, twirling around the ballroom in gowns and tailcoats. Travel on to dress up in Oriental silks to see a performance of the Ballet Russes, shimmy down in the flapper fashion of the Harlem Renaissance, fling your feather boa as you schmooze with movies stars on the Hollywood red carpet and glue your hair into spikes as a London punk in this celebration of fashion and culture.
What Does It Mean to Be American? by Rana DiOrio, illustrated by Nina Mata
This book reminds us “Being American means…having the right to become your best self and the obligation to help others to do so too.”
Una Huna, What Is This? by Susan Aglukark
Ukpik loves living in her camp in the North with her family. When a captain from the south arrives to trade with Ukpik’s father, Ukpik is excited to learn how to use the forks, knives, and spoons he brings with him.
Mango Moon by Diane de Anda
When a father is taken away from his family and facing deportation, his children are left to grieve and wonder about what comes next. Maricela, Manuel, and their mother face the many challenges of having their lives completely changed by the absence of their father and husband. Their day-to-day norm now includes moving to a new house, missed soccer games and birthday parties, and emptiness. Though Mango Moon shows what life is like from a child’s perspective when a parent is deported, Maricela learns that her love for her father continues on even though he’s no longer part of her daily life.
The Undefeated by Kwame Alexander
Originally performed for ESPN’s The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes.
Hair, It’s a Family Affair by Mylo Freeman
A celebration of natural hair, through the vibrant and varied hairstyles found in a single family. With Mylo Freeman’s trademark colourful illustrations, this delightful book will show young black children the joys that can be found through their natural hair.
The Last Day of Summer by Lamar Giles
Otto and Sheed are the local sleuths in their zany Virginia town, masters of unraveling mischief using their unmatched powers of deduction. And as the summer winds down and the first day of school looms, the boys are craving just a little bit more time for fun, even as they bicker over what kind of fun they want to have. That is, until a mysterious man appears with a camera that literally freezes time. Now, with the help of some very strange people and even stranger creatures, Otto and Sheed will have to put aside their differences to save their town—and each other—before time stops for good.
I Used to Be Famous by Becky Cattie, illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff
Kiely’s been famous her entire life, but when a baby sister appears on the scene, she feels like a has-been. Now Kiely has to figure out how to gain back the attention of her adoring fans (her family), even if it means sharing the spotlight.
Playdate by Maryann Macdonald
A picture book with minimal text and maximum impact, as portrayed through both the well-chosen words and the fun-filled, evocative illustrations.
Nine Months Before a Baby is Born by Miranda Paul, illustrated by Jason Chin
A soon-to-be big sister and her parents prepare for the arrival of a new baby in the family. Alternating panels depict what the family is experiencing in tandem with how the baby is growing, spanning everything from receiving the news about the new baby to the excitement of its arrival.
¡Vamos! Let’s Go to the Market by Raúl the Third III
Bilingual in a new way, this paper over board book teaches readers simple words in Spanish as they experience the bustling life of a border town. Follow Little Lobo and his dog Bernabe as they deliver supplies to a variety of vendors, selling everything from sweets to sombreros, portraits to piñatas, carved masks to comic books!
Grandma’s Purse by Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Board Book Edition)
The littlest fashionistas will love this adorable purse-shaped board book that’s as fun to carry as it is to read!
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!
Dazzling Travis: A Story About Being Confident by Hannah Carmona Dias
Travis sets no limits to what he enjoys doing. Shopping and football, ballet and dress-up make Travis a one of a kind boy! But when some of the kids on the playground begin to pick on him, Travis truly dazzles. This empowering story encourages both boys and girls to challenge the social norm, revealing their true selves.
Babymoon by Hayley Barrett, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
Inside the cozy house, a baby has arrived! The world is eager to meet the newcomer, but there will be time enough for that later. Right now, the family is on its babymoon: cocooning, connecting, learning, and muddling through each new concern. While the term “babymoon” is often used to refer to a parents’ getaway before the birth of a child, it was originally coined by midwives to describe days like these: at home with a newborn, with the world held at bay and the wonder of a new family constellation unfolding.
A Is For All the Things You Are: A Joyful ABC Book by Anna Forgerson, illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo
A Is for All the Things You Are: A Joyful ABC Book is an alphabet board book developed by the National Museum of African American History and Culture that celebrates what makes us unique as individuals and connects us as humans. This lively and colorful book introduces young readers, from infants to age seven, to twenty-six key traits they can explore and cultivate as they grow. Each letter offers a description of the trait, a question inviting the reader to examine how he or she experiences it in daily life, and lively illustrations. The book supports understanding and development of each child’s healthy racial identity, the joy of human diversity and inclusion, a sense of justice, and children’s capacity to act for their own and others’ fair treatment.
Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution by Rob Sanders
A powerful and timeless true story that will allow young readers to discover the rich and dynamic history of the Stonewall Inn and its role in the gay civil rights movement–a movement that continues to this very day. In the early-morning hours of June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn was raided by police in New York City. Though the inn had been raided before, that night would be different. It would be the night when empowered members of the LGBTQ+ community–in and around the Stonewall Inn–began to protest and demand their equal rights as citizens of the United States.
The Little Red Stroller by Joshua Furst
One handy little stroller is passed from family to family in this uplifting picture book celebration of community, diversity, and sharing
When Luna is born, her mommy gives her a little red stroller. It accompanies her and her mommy through all the activities of their day, until she outgrows the stroller and is able to pass it down to a toddler in her neighborhood who now needs it. And so the stroller lives on, getting passed from one child to the next, highlighting for preschool readers the diversity of families: some kids with two mommies, some with two daddies, some with just one parent, and all from different cultures and ethnicities. This simple, cheerful book is a lovely portrait of the variety and universality of family.
Yoga for Littles by Lana Katsaros
Yoga for Littles brings yoga, meditation, and movement into the home for children and families in a fun and playful way. Each card is designed to be engaging and just challenging enough to create a healthy daily habit of mindfulness and calm. Not only do the cards teach yoga poses, they also develop discipline, focus, balance, and wellness for both parents and their littles.
Another by Christian Robinson
What if you…encountered another perspective? Discovered another world Met another you? What might you do?
How Do You Say Good Night? by Cindy Jin
From Mexico, Vietnam, Kenya, and beyond, this charming board book teaches little ones how to say “good night” in ten different languages: Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, French, Italian, Portuguese, Swahili, Arabic, Vietnamese, German, and Korean!
Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn
Since her father’s death, Cat has taken care of her brother, Chicken, for their hardworking mother but while spending time with grandparents they never knew, Cat has the chance to be a child again.
Rhymes with Claire by Chad J. Thompson
Otto, the rhyming parrot, is causing a little bit of trouble for Doug’s friend Claire. Claire brings Otto to school and the little feathered fellow, who rhymed Doug’s name with everything from mug to pug to bug, uses Claire’s moniker as a jumping off point. All starts off innocently enough: fair and share, but then takes a decidedly more dangerous turn from bear to flare! How can one little parrot cause so much trouble?
Jada Sly, Artist & Spy by Sherri Winston
Ten-year-old Jada Sly is an artist and a spy-in-training. When she isn’t studying the art from her idols like Jackie Ormes, the first-known African American cartoonist, she’s chronicling her spy training and other observations in her art journal. Back home in New York City, after living in France for five years, Jada is ready to embark on her first and greatest spy adventure yet. She plans to scour New York City in search of her missing mother, even though everyone thinks her mom died in a plane crash. Except Jada, who is certain her mom was a spy too.
Groundbreaking Guys: 40 Men Who Became Great By Doing Good by Stephanie True Peters, illustrated by Shamel Washington
Our history books are full of great men, from inventors to explorers to presidents. But these great men were not always good men. It’s time for our role models to change. This book pays tribute to Mr. Rogers, Barack Obama, Hayao Miyazaki, and more: men whose masculinity is grounded in compassion and care.
It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity by Theresa Thorn (Author), illustrated by Noah Grigni
Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between. This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. With child-friendly language and vibrant art, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.
A Place to Belong by Cynthia Kadohata
World War II is finally over and twelve-year-old Hanako and her family are at last freed from the Japanese-American internment camp where they were forced to spend the last four years. Though they had nothing to do with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, or the war at all, they’d still been forced to live behind a barbed wire fence like prisoners, simply because they were Japanese.
Rainbow: A First Book of Pride by Michael Genhart, PhD
A primer for young readers and a great gift for pride events and throughout the year, beautiful colors all together make a rainbow in Rainbow: A First Book of Pride. This is a sweet ode to rainbow families, and an affirming display of a parent’s love for their child and a child’s love for their parents. With bright colors and joyful families, this book celebrates LGBTQ+ pride and reveals the colorful meaning behind each rainbow stripe.
Daniel’s Good Day by Micha Archer
The people in Daniel’s neighborhood always say, “Have a good day!” But what exactly is a good day? Daniel is determined to find out, and as he strolls through his neighborhood, he finds a wonderful world full of answers as varied as his neighbors.
I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn
Kimi Nakamura loves a good fashion statement. She’s obsessed with transforming everyday ephemera into Kimi Originals: bold outfits that make her and her friends feel brave, fabulous, and like the Ultimate versions of themselves. But her mother sees this as a distraction from working on her portfolio paintings for the prestigious fine art academy where she’s been accepted for college. So when a surprise letter comes in the mail from Kimi’s estranged grandparents, inviting her to Kyoto for spring break, she seizes the opportunity to get away from the disaster of her life.
We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders by Harry Belafonte
Sixteen award-winning children’s book artists illustrate the civil rights quotations that inspire them in this stirring and beautiful book. Featuring an introduction by Harry Belafonte, words from Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. among others, this inspirational collection sets a powerful example for generations of young leaders to come.
Serena: The Little Sister by Karlin Gray
Serena Williams is one of the biggest names in sports, but she grew up the littlest of five girls in her family. While sharing a room and playing tennis with her older sisters, Serena had to figure out how to be her own person―on and off the court. This empowering biography showcases the rise of the youngest Williams sister and how her family played a part in her path to becoming the strong woman and star athlete she is today.
Queer Heroes by Arabelle Sicardi
This beautiful, bold book celebrates the achievements of LGBT people through history and from around the world. It features dynamic full-color portraits of a diverse selection of 52 inspirational role models accompanied by short biographies that focus on their incredible successes, from Freddie Mercury’s contribution to music to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, this extraordinary book will show children that anything is possible.
Girls with Guts!: The Road to Breaking Barriers and Bashing Records by Debbie Gonzales
A celebration of the strength, endurance, and athleticism of women and girls throughout the ages, Girls With Guts! keeps score with examples of women athletes from the late 1800s up through the 1970s, sharing how women refused to take no for an answer, and how finally, they pushed for a law to protect their right to play, compete, and be athletes.
Camp Tiger by Susan Choi
Every year, a boy and his family go camping at Mountain Pond. Usually, they see things like an eagle fishing for his dinner, a salamander with red spots on its back, and chipmunks that come to steal food while the family sits by the campfire. But this year is different. This year, the boy is going into first grade, and his mother is encouraging him to do things on his own, just like his older brother. And the most different thing of all . . . this year, a tiger comes to the woods.
Let’s Make Yoga Magic by Heather Leah
Make yoga magic with the most beautiful and interactive kids yoga book out there! Pull the levers, turn the wheels, and watch as 13 adorable children come to life to act out 13 yoga poses and create other yoga magic. Kids will delight in seeing the sun rise over the mountain pose, boats float beneath the bridge pose, and branches magnificently blossom when a child makes the tree pose. A perfect tool for instructing and inspiring little yogis of all ages.
Gandhi by Isabel Sanchez Vegara
As a young teenager in India, Gandhi led a rebellious life and went against his parents’ values. But as a young man, he started to form beliefs of his own that harked back to the Hindu principles of his childhood. Gandhi began to dream of unity for all peoples and religions. Inspired by this idea, he led peaceful protests to free India from British rule and unite the country—ending violence and unfair treatment. His bravery and free-thinking made him one of the most iconic people of peace in the world, known as ‘Mahatma’ meaning ‘great soul’.
The Usual Suspects by Maurice Broaddus
The Usual Suspects, pitched as Encyclopedia Brown meets The Wire, follows Thelonius, king of the pranksters at his middle school, who must solve the mystery of who brought a gun to campus before he and his friends are expelled at the end of the week.
Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry
Cover to be Revealed
Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When mommy does Zuri’s hair, she feels like a superhero. But when mommy is away, it’s up to daddy to step in! And even though daddy has a lot to learn, he LOVES his Zuri. And he’ll do anything to make her–and her hair–happy.
Polly Diamond and the Super Stunning Spectacular School Fair by Alice Kuipers
Polly and her magic book, Spell, have all kinds of adventures together because whatever Polly writes in Spell comes true! But when Polly and Spell join forces to make the school fair super spectacular, they quickly discover that what you write and what you mean are not always the same.
Titan and the Wild Boars: The True Cave Rescue of the Thai Soccer Team by Susan Hood & Patthana Sornhiran
Cover to Be Revealed
Follow the remarkable true story of eleven-year-old Titan, his teammates, and their soccer coach who went exploring the Tham Luang Caves in Chiang Rai, Thailand, only to become trapped inside by monsoon rains. This nonfiction picture book describes the world-wide teamwork that led to the boys’ daring rescue.
Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
A contemporary middle-grade novel that follows Jude, a 12-year-old Syrian girl who is forced to move to a suburban American town to live with her uncle and his family, where she experiences the joys and struggles of a new life.
Before They Were Authors: Famous Writers as Kids by Elizabeth Haidle
What makes a writer? What inspires them? Where do their stories come from? Striking illustrations and a popular graphic novel format bring to life this anthology of literary legends and their childhoods. Featuring beloved authors such as Maya Angelou, C.S. Lewis, Gene Luen Yang and J.K. Rowling, these stories capture the childhood triumphs, failures, and inspirations that predated their careers.
How to Read a Book by Kwame Alexander
FIRST, FIND A TREE – A BLACK TUPELO OR DAWN REDWOOD WILL DO – AND PLANT YOURSELF.
With these words, an adventure begins—an adventure into the world of reading. Kwame Alexander’s evocative poetry and Melissa Sweet’s lush artwork come together to take you on a sensory journey between the pages of a book.
Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson
Brooklyn, 1998. Biggie Smalls was right: Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are cool letting their best friend Steph’s music lie forgotten under his bed after he’s murdered—not when his rhymes could turn any Bed Stuy corner into a party.
Just Like a Mama by Alice Faye Duncan
Carol Olivia Clementine lives with Mama Rose. Mama Rose is tender and sweet—everything a child could wish for in a parent. But she is also as stern and demanding as any good parent should be. In the midst of their happy home, Carol Olivia Clementine misses her mother and father. While she longs to be with them, she also learns to embrace the love that is present. Mama Rose becomes her “home.” And Carol Olivia Clementine concludes that she loves Mama Rose “just like a mama.”
Sweet Dreams, Sarah: From Slavery to Inventor by Vivian Kirkfield
Sarah E.Goode was one of the first African-American women to get a U.S. patent. Working in her husband’s furniture store, she recognized a need for a multi-use bed and through hard work, ingenuity, and determination, invented her unique cupboard bed. She built more than a piece of furniture. She built a life far away from slavery, a life where her sweet dreams could come true.
Sonny’s Bridge: Jazz Legend Sonny Rollins Finds His Groove by Barry Wittenstein, illustrated by Keith Mallett
Rollins is one of the most prolific sax players in the history of jazz, but, in 1959, at the height of his career, he vanished from the jazz scene. His return to music was an interesting journey–with a long detour on the Williamsburg Bridge. Too loud to practice in his apartment, Rollins played on the New York City landmark for two years among the cacophony of traffic and the stares of bystanders, leading to the release of his album, The Bridge.
My Papi Has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero
When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she’s always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her. But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there.
Grandpa Cacao: A Tale of Chocolate, from Farm to Family by Elizabeth Zunon
As a little girl and her father bake her birthday cake together, Daddy tells the story of her Grandpa Cacao, a farmer from the Ivory Coast in West Africa. In a land where elephants roam and the air is hot and damp, Grandpa Cacao worked in his village to harvest cacao, the most important ingredient in chocolate.
I Remember: Poems and Pictures of Heritage by Lee Bennett Hopkins
Cover to be Revealed
From the joyous to the poignant, poems by award-winning, diverse poets are paired with images by celebrated illustrators from similar backgrounds to pay homage to what is both unique and universal about growing up in the United States.
Back to School: A Global Journey by Maya Ajmera and John D. Ivanko (Ages 4-8)
BACK TO SCHOOL invites young minds to sit in the front row and share the exciting experience of learning with kids just like themselves all over the world. Whether they take a school bus, a boat, or a rickshaw to get there, kids around the globe are going to school and growing smarter and more curious every day.
Soccerverse: Poems About Soccer by Elizabeth Steinglass, illustrated by Edson Ike
The perfect gift for young soccer fans, this picture book features twenty-two imaginative poems that capture all aspects of the world’s most popular sport.
From the coach who inspires players to fly like the wind, to the shin guard that begs to be donned, to soccer dreams that fill the night, Soccerverse celebrates soccer. Featuring a diverse cast of girls and boys, the poems in this collection cover winning, losing, teamwork, friendships, skills, good sportsmanship, and, most of all, love for the game. Ages 6-9
Beyoncé: Shine Your Light by Sarah Warren
Beyoncé is bold, talented, confident, and an inspiring voice and power to millions of people all around the world. This captivating picture book biography celebrates the icon’s rise from a shy little girl to a world-famous superstar. Discover the story of Beyoncé as she finds her voice, through trials and triumphs, and understand that you, too, can shine your light like Beyoncé.
Hector: A Boy, A Protest, and the Photograph that Changed Apartheid by Adrienne Wright
On June 16, 1976, Hector Pieterson, an ordinary boy, lost his life after getting caught up in what was supposed to be a peaceful protest. Black South African students were marching against a new law requiring that they be taught half of their subjects in Afrikaans, the language of the White government. The story’s events unfold from the perspectives of Hector, his sister, and the photographer who captured their photo in the chaos. This book can serve as a pertinent tool for adults discussing global history and race relations with children.
Wilma Rudolph by Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Wilma was born into a family with 22 brothers and sisters, in the segregated South. She contracted polio in her early years and her doctors said she would never walk again. But Wilma persisted with treatment, and she recovered her strength by the age of 12.
Puppy Truck by Brian Pinkney
Carter wants a puppy, but he gets a truck instead. So he pets it, puts a leash around it, and takes it to the park. But the truck won’t sit still! What will Carter do with his rascally Puppy Truck?
Lola Goes to School by Anna McQuinn, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
Lola and her family prepare for the first day of school the night before, then get up early, take pictures, and head to class. Lola puts her things in her cubby, chooses her activities, reads, plays, and has a snack. Before she knows it, it’s time to sing the good-bye song and rush into Mommy’s arms for a warm reunion. A comforting, cheerful read that demystifies the school day for preschoolers and kindergarteners.
Leila in Saffron by Rukhsanna Guidroz
When Leila looks in the mirror, she doesn’t know if she likes what she sees. But when her grandmother tells her the saffron beads on her scarf suit her, she feels a tiny bit better. So, Leila spends the rest of their family dinner night on the lookout for other parts of her she does like.
Jada Jones: Dancing Queen by Kelly Starling Lyons
The Story of Trailblazing Actor Ira Aldridge by Glenda Armand
Cover to Be Revealed
Ira Aldridge dreamed of being on stage, performing the great works of William Shakespeare. He spent every chance he got at the local theaters, memorizing each actor’s lines for all of the great plays. Ira knew he could be a famous performer if given the chance. But in the early 1800s, only white actors were allowed to perform Shakespeare. African American actors had to play in musicals at the all-black theater in New York City.Despite the discouragement of his teacher and father, Ira determinedly pursued his dream and set off for England, the land of Shakespeare.
My Rainy Day Rocket Ship by Markette Sheppard
There are only so many puddles a child can jump in on a rainy day. A stormy afternoon and an order from Mom to stay inside are no match for this little dreamer, who uses everyday household items—a rocking chair, a cardboard box, an old dishrag, and his super-duper imagination—to whip up an indoor space adventure he won’t soon forget. A spectacular launch into outer space ultimately lands him on a new planet called X-Y-Z, also known as B-E-D, in a faraway galaxy known as the Land of ZZZZZZs.
When a girl is asked where she’s from—where she’s really from—none of her answers seems to be the right one. Unsure about how to reply, she turns to her loving abuelo for help. He doesn’t give her the response she expects. She gets an even better one.
Hannah Sparkles: Hooray for the First Day of School by Robin Mellom, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Enthusiastic Hannah Sparkles is overjoyed to start first grade, and learns along the way that sometimes being a good listener is the best way to be a good friend.
Martin Luther King, Jr.: A Graphic History of America’s Great Civil Rights Leader by Rachel Ruiz
See how Martin’s early experiences and beliefs shaped him into the leader of the Civil Rights movement and a martyr in the fight for equal rights in this graphic novel. Help older children learn about some of the most exciting men and women who have ever lived and present it in a way that they’ll actually enjoy!
The King of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Starting kindergarten is a big milestone–and the hero of this story is ready to make his mark! He’s dressed himself, eaten a pile of pancakes, and can’t wait to be part of a whole new kingdom of kids. The day will be jam-packed, but he’s up to the challenge, taking new experiences in stride with his infectious enthusiasm! And afterward, he can’t wait to tell his proud parents all about his achievements–and then wake up to start another day.
Not Quite Snow White by Ashley Franklin, illustrated by Ebony Glenn
A story about a bubbly, talented, and eager African-American girl who wants to be Snow White in her school play.
The Night Is Yours by Abdul-Razak Zachariah, illustrated by Keturah A. Bobo
This lyrical text, narrated to a young girl named Amani by her father, follows her as she plays an evening game of hide-and-seek with friends at her apartment complex. The moon’s glow helps Amani find the last hidden child, and seems almost like a partner to her in her game, as well as a spotlight pointing out her beauty and strength. This is a gorgeous bedtime read-aloud about joy and family love and community, and most of all about feeling great in your own skin.
I Got Next by Daria Peoples-Riley
A young basketball player receives inspiration from a surprising place and joins the competition ready to try his best.
Sweet Dreams: Bedtime Visualizations for Kids by Mariam Gates
Travel deep into the rain forest, dive down for an underwater adventure, or rocket to the moon! Each visualization uses mind and body relaxation techniques, taking your child on a fun and engaging invitation to dreamland. As you move through the imagery, breathing techniques, and simple motions, your child will quiet her mind, relax, and let go of the day’s worries. Part “choose your own adventure” and part calming ritual, these gorgeously illustrated guided journeys teach children to self-soothe and prepare for a good night’s rest.
For Black Girls Like Me by Mariama J. Lockington
Makeda June Kirkland is eleven-years-old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda’s family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena― the only other adopted black girl she knows― for a new life. In New Mexico, everything is different. At home, Makeda’s sister is too cool to hang out with her anymore and at school, she can’t seem to find one real friend.
Clever Little Witch by Muon Thi Van
Little Linh is the cleverest little witch on Mãi Mãi island. She has everything she could need: a trusty broomstick, a powerful spell book, and a magical pet mouse. She also has a new brother named Baby Phu, and she does not like him one bit. He crashes her broomstick, eats pages out of her spell book, and keeps her up all night. Little Linh tried giving Baby Phu away, but nobody will take him, not even the Orphanage for Lost and Magical Creatures.
Bruce Lee by Isabel Sanchez Vegara
Born in San Francisco but raised in Hong Kong, Bruce Lee was a child actor who appeared in many films. As a teenager he took up martial arts and never looked back. He went on to star in smash blockbuster hits, featuring his skill as a martial artist, and he even wrote film scripts himself. Bruce came to create his own style of martial arts called Jeet Kune Do, which also embodied his thoughtful philosophies for life.
Heroism Begins with Her: Inspiring Stories of Bold, Brave, and Gutsy Women in the U.S. Military by Winifred Conkling
Inspiring Stories of Bold, Brave, and Gutsy Women in the U.S. Military
It’s Good to Have a Grandma by Maryann Macdonald, illustrated by Priscilla Burris (Ages 3-5)
Children and grandmothers love playing together, eating together—just being together. Every time is a special time, for both. This book captures the special moments without sentimentality, but with warmth and love.
It’s Good to Have a Grandpa by Maryann Macdonald, illustrated by Priscilla Burris (Ages 3-5)
Children and grandfathers love playing together, eating together—just being together. Every time is a special time, for both. This book captures the special moments without sentimentality, but with warmth and love.
Hooray for Women by Marcia Williams
They’re activists and explorers, scientists and writers and more. And they’re all women: Cleopatra, Boudicca, Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I, Mary Wollstonecraft, Jane Austen, Florence Nightingale, Marie Curie, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Frida Kahlo, Anne Frank, Wangari Maathai, Mae C. Jemison, Cathy Freeman, and Malala Yousafzai, to name just a few.
The Buddy Bench by Patty Brozo
Having seen what being left out is like, children become agents of change, convincing their teacher to let them build a buddy bench.
Dough Boys by Paula Chase
Synopsis to be determined.
Sweet Dreams, Zaza by Mylo Freeman
Zaza is almost ready to go to sleep . . .But first, she wishes all of her animal friends good night. A perfect story to read at bedtime, or anytime!
Portrait of an Artist: Frida Kahlo by Sandra Dieckmann
Biography of Frida Kahlo: Synopsis to be determined.
Ona Judge Outwits the Washingtons by Gwendolyn Hooks
Soon after American colonists had won independence from Great Britain, Ona Judge was fighting for her own freedom from one of America’s most famous founding fathers, George Washington. George and Martha Washington valued Ona as one of their most skilled and trustworthy slaves, but she would risk everything to achieve complete freedom.
Did you enjoy this list? Feel free to subscribe to my mailing list if you’re not already. Let’s stay in touch!
Your turn: What books from this list are you most looking forward to? What books should I add to the list? Feel free to share in the comments.