New Release Round Up – August 10, 2021

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Tuesdays are my favorite because I get to shout about new releases with you all. So let’s get started!

As always, these titles will have inclusive characters (think racial and cultural diversity, LGBTQ+ representation, diverse family structures, disability representation, and more), and fall into a range of genres in both fiction and nonfiction categories.

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Picture Books

The Girl With Big, Big Questions by Brittney Winn Lee, Illustrated by Jacob Souva

“”Why can’t people live on the moon?”

“Can I be president when I grow up?”

“What makes a person good?”

These are just some of the questions that bubble forth from one little girl with twinkling eyes and a curious mind. When the girl finds that her big questions make some people uncomfortable, she stops. But then she learns that her questions can solve problems and that asking questions is how we learn and grow.

Celebrate the spirit of curiosity and the joy of learning with this lively picture book about a persistent girl and her quest for knowledge.

From the author and illustrator of The Boy with Big, Big Feelings.”

Michelle Obama (Little People Big Dreams #62) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Illustrated by Mia Siane

“In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Michelle Obama, the iconic first lady, advocate, lawyer, and author.

Young Michelle grew up on the South Side of Chicago in a close-knit family. She loved school, achieving A’s, and worked hard to blaze trails at the universities of Princeton and Harvard. Then, at the beginning of her legal career, she met Barack Obama. As first lady, she used her platform to advocate for women and girls and continues to inspire many with her powerful voice, and best-selling books. This empowering 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 inspiring woman’s life.

Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.”

Be Strong by Pat Zietlow Miller, Illustrated by Jen Hill

“A picture book about finding strength in unlikely places from the team behind the hugely popular New York Times bestseller Be Kind.

When her gym class must face the school rock-climbing wall, Tanisha is discouraged. Her muscles are weak, and she knows she’ll never reach the top like Cayla.

But maybe strength is about more than just muscles.

With help from her family, Tanisha learns that by showing up, speaking up, and not giving up, she can be strong, too. And that people are the strongest when they work together and trust each other.

Award-winning author Pat Zietlow Miller has reunited with illustrator Jen Hill for Be Strong, another unforgettable story sure to inspire kids and adults alike.”

The First Blade of Sweetgrass by Suzanne Greenlaw and Gabriel Frey, Illustrated by Nancy Baker

“In this Own Voices Native American picture book story, a modern Wabanaki girl is excited to accompany her grandmother for the first time to harvest sweetgrass for basket making.

Musquon must overcome her impatience while learning to distinguish sweetgrass from other salt marsh grasses, but slowly the spirit and peace of her surroundings speak to her, and she gathers sweetgrass as her ancestors have done for centuries, leaving the first blade she sees to grow for future generations. This sweet, authentic story from a Maliseet mother and her Passamaquoddy husband includes backmatter about traditional basket making and a Wabanaki glossary.”

A Smile by Raoul Follereau, Illustrated by Hoda Hadadi

“A smile costs nothing, but it’s worth so much. Did you ever think about the power of a smile? With one short poem, French writer and humanitarian Raoul Follereau spoke to the world about the value of this fundamentally human expression. Since 1920 “A Smile” has been translated into many languages around the world. In this new English translation, framed for a small child’s point of view, the poignant words accompany an intergenerational story in pictures about two children and the many lives affected by their infectious smiles. A dejected street musician, A lonely businessman, an exhausted teacher―all are lifted up by the generosity, compassion, and friendship inspired by a simple smile. Created in paper collage by internationally award-winning illustrator Hoda Hadadi, the illustrations burst with joyful emotions that will infect the hearts of every reader.”

One, Two, Grandma Loves You by Shelly Becker, Illustrated by Dan Yaccarino

“From acclaimed creators Shelly Becker and Dan Yaccarino comes this joyful picture book about a girl and her grandmother as they plan the perfect visit together

One, two, Grandma loves you.
Three, four, visit more.
Five, six, precious pics.
Seven, eight, mark the date.

A young girl and her grandmother count up to their next visit and then do all of their favorite things together in this joyful rhyming picture book.”

Middle Grade

The Other Side Of Luck by Ginger Johnson

“Ever since her mother’s death, Princess Una has suffered through years of loneliness in the royal palace, where girls are treated as an afterthought. She yearns for a different life but is unsure how to make anyone notice her. Then her father announces a special contest: Whoever finds the rare Silva Flower can present it to Una for her twelfth birthday and receive a reward. Frustrated by her father’s grand but empty gesture, Una decides to take her fate into her own hands.

Julien, a young pauper, has tried his whole life to make something of nothing, alongside his hardworking Baba. When Baba is arrested by terrifying debt collectors, Julien’s only hope to save his father is to win the palace contest–to find the elusive Silva Flower. Little does he know that Una has decided to embark on a journey to find the prize, as well. As Una and Julien search for the flower, their destinies intertwine and offer a reward greater than anything either could ever hope for: the feeling of belonging.”

Falling Stars by Shirley Reva Vernick

“Based on Japan’s Project Fu-Go during the last stretch of WWII, Falling Stars uses the alternating perspectives of Nellie and Tamiko to depict the back and forth tragedies of two countries at war. Although worlds apart, both girls understand that in a time of uncertainty and fear, blind hate for the “enemy” leaves a heavier heart and more debris. Falling Stars weaves real history with unforgettable characters who must deal with war and hatred right alongside friendship, first love, and family.”

The Renegade Reporters by Elissa Brent Weissman

“When Ash gets kicked off her school’s news show, she becomes a renegade reporter–and makes a big discovery about technology and her fellow students’ privacy.

Ash and her friends are reporters. They were ready to lead their school news show, The News at Nine, sponsored by Van Ness Media, when an unfortunate incident involving a dancing teacher, an irresponsibly reported story, and a viral video got them kicked off the crew. So Ash, Maya, and Brielle decide to start their own news show, The Underground News. And soon they stumble on a big lead: Van Ness Media, the educational company that provides their school’s software, has been gathering data from all the kids at school. Their drawings, their journals, even their movements are being recorded and cataloged by Van Ness Media. But why? Ash and her friends are determined to learn the truth and report it.”

I hope you all enjoyed reading about these new releases, and hopefully you found one or two to add to your young reader’s shelves!

Did I miss any releases you’re excited for? Be sure to share in the comments below!

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