New Release Round Up – October 12, 2021

It’s Tuesday again, so y’all know what that means: It’s time to talk about new releases again!

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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Board Books

Leaders: My First Leaders (Little People Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

“Hello little leader! Let’s learn about braveness, and boldness, and kindness. There’s plenty of leaders who were once young like you.”

Including cherished favorites, as well as some new, leaders from the series, introduce your baby to great leaders from history and today. With all-new lyrical text that is fun to read out loud to baby, this inspiring board book includes colorful, captivating illustrations of Rosa Parks, Greta Thunberg, Martin Luther King Jr., Malala Yousafzai, Harriet Tubman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mahatma Gandhi, and Corazon Aquino.

Leaders is the perfect first empowerment primer for babies and toddlers.”

Artists: My First Artists (Little People Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

“Hello little artist! Let’s learn about painters, and sculptors, and designers. There’s plenty of great artists who were once young like you.”

In this board book compilation of the most fantastic artists from the series, introduce your baby to Andy Warhol, Vivienne Westwood, Frida Kahlo, Louise Bourgeois, Pablo Picasso, David Bowie, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Colorful, captivating illustrations are paired with age-appropriate text that is fun to read out loud to baby.

Artists is the perfect first art history primer for babies and toddlers.”

Picture Books

You Are Revolutionary by Cindy Wang Brandt, Illustrated by Lynnor Bontigao

“You have what it takes to change the world!

This is the empowering message parenting author and podcaster Cindy Wang Brandt wants every child to hear and embrace. In this inspiring picture book she speaks to every child who sees injustice in the world, revealing that they already have inside themselves everything they need to make big, transformative change in the world–just as they are. Every kid is a revolutionary! You don’t need to wait until you grow up. You don’t even need any special skills. Kids who are loud, kids who are quiet, kids who make art, kids who are good at math, kids with lots of energy, kids who are good listeners–all kids have what it takes to make a difference.

Lynnor Bontigao’s vibrant illustrations feature a diverse group of children taking up a call to action and using their individual gifts to change the world.”

Little Moar and The Moon by Roselynn Akulukjuk, Illustrated by Jazmine Gubbe

“Moar has always loved autumn―playing outside with his friends, feeling the weather get colder―but there is one thing about autumn that really worries Moar. The moon. The days become shorter and the moon, with its creepy face and eerie smile, seems to be looking down on him before he can even get home from school! So, one day, Moar is determined to get home before the moon appears in the sky. But there are so many fun things to do on the way home, he may just run out of time!”

The Story of You by Lisa Ann Scott, Illustrated by Sue Cornelison

“The actions we take and the words we speak play a big part in who we are as a person. This empowering picture book shows children they can be the authors of their own life stories.

No one can tell you who you are—it’s all up to you! You write your story with your actions and words. This dynamic picture book for readers of all ages features lush illustrations that bring universal situations to light, including ways to be brave, bold, and kind, as well as knowing when you’ve made a mistake. A perfect gift for new parents, young graduates, as well as children and adults in any stage of their life, this is a book with a message: You are what you say and do.”

Every Little Kindness by Marta Bartolj

“When one act of kindness sparks another, anything is possible! As a girl searches for her lost dog, a simple act of generosity ripples into a wave of good deeds. In the course of a single day, each considerate action weaves lives together and transforms a neighborhood for the better.

This wordless story, told in beautiful illustrations reminiscent of a graphic novel, demonstrates how every little kindness, shared from person to person, can turn a collection of strangers into a community, and—even though we might not always see it—make the world a more vibrant and compassionate place to be.”

Chapter Books

Brother Be Gone (Jeanie & Genie #5) by Trish Granted, Illustrated by Manuela Lopez

“In the fifth book of the Jeanie & Genie series, Jeanie just wishes her annoying little brother would disappear—but she didn’t mean actually disappear…uh-oh.

Jeanie’s little brother, Jake, is annoying. Well, according to Jeanie he is. And sometimes Jeanie wishes he would just leave her alone! But when you have a best friend who’s a genie, you need to be careful what you wish for. When Willow accidentally grants the wish, Jake really does disappear! Will the girls be able to figure out where Jake has gone—and how to get him back?

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Jeanie & Genie chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.”

Middle Grade

Welcome Back, Maple Mehta-Cohen by Kate McGovern

“Maple is in fifth grade—again. Now everyone will find out she struggles with reading—or will they? An engaging read for anyone who has ever felt different.

Maple Mehta-Cohen has been keeping a secret: she can’t read all that well. She has an impressive vocabulary and loves dictating stories into her recorder—especially the adventures of a daring sleuth who’s half Indian and half Jewish like Maple herself—but words on the page just don’t seem to make sense to her. Despite all Maple’s clever tricks to hide her troubles with reading, her teacher is on to her, and now Maple has to repeat fifth grade. Maple is devastated—what will her friends think? Will they forget about her? She uses her storytelling skills to convince her classmates that she’s staying back as a special teacher’s assistant (because of budget cuts, you know). But as Maple navigates the loss of old friendships, the possibility of new ones, and facing her reading challenges head-on, her deception becomes harder to keep up. Can Maple begin to recognize her own strengths, and to love herself—and her brain—just the way she is? Readers who have faced their own trials with school and friendships will enjoy this heartwarming story and its bright, creative heroine.”

Mighty Inside by Sundee T. Frazier

“Melvin Robinson wants a strong, smooth, He-Man voice that lets him say what he wants, when he wants—especially to his crush Millie Takazawa, and Gary Ratliff, who constantly puts him down. But the thought of starting high school is only making his stutter worse.

And Melvin’s growing awareness that racism is everywhere—not just in the South where a boy his age has been brutally killed by two white men, but also in his own hometown of Spokane—is making him realize that he can’t mutely stand by.

His new friend Lenny, a fast-talking, sax-playing Jewish boy, who lives above the town’s infamous (and segregated) Harlem Club, encourages Melvin to take some risks—to invite Millie to Homecoming and even audition for a local TV variety show. When they play music together, Melvin almost feels like he’s talking, no words required. But there are times when one needs to speak up.

When his moment comes, can Melvin be as mighty on the outside as he actually is on the inside?”

Polo Cowboy by G. Neri, Illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson

“How does a Black kid from North Philly wind up playing polo? The much-anticipated sequel to Ghetto Cowboy, now a major motion picture starring Idris Elba and Stranger Things’s Caleb McLaughlin.

When Cole moves in with his dad, Harp, he thinks life will be sweet—just him and his horse, Boo, hanging out with Philadelphia’s urban cowboys. But when Harp says he has to get a job, Cole winds up as a stable hand for the polo team at George Washington Military Academy, where the players are rich, white, and stuck-up—all except Ruthie, the team’s first and only girl, who’s determined to show the others she can beat them at their own game. As Cole and Ruthie become friends—and maybe more—he starts imagining his future, maybe even at the academy. But between long workdays, arrogant polo players, and a cousin trying to pull Cole into his dangerous business, that future seems remote. Will Cole find the courage to stand and be seen in a world determined to keep him out? With striking illustrations by Jesse Joshua Watson, celebrated author G. Neri’s novel weaves themes of tenacity and community into a rousing sports story inspired by Philadelphia’s real-life urban cowboys and polo players.”

The Last Cuentistsa by Donna Barba Higuera

“There lived a girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita.

But Petra’s world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children – among them Petra and her family – have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race.

Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet – and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity’s past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard – or purged them altogether.

Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?”

That’s all I have for today. 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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