New Release Round Up: January 4, 2022

It’s the first Tuesday of 2022, 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.

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission from purchases made, with no additional cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you.

Board Books

She Persisted in Sports: American Olympians Who Changed the Game by Chelsea Clinton, Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger

“Throughout history, women have been told that they couldn’t achieve their dreams, no matter how hard they tried. Woman athletes have faced their own unique set of challenges, across countless sports and levels of play. In this third She Persisted book, Chelsea Clinton introduces readers to women who have excelled in their sports because of their persistence.

Now abridged as a board book for the earliest of readers, She Persisted in Sports is a book for everyone who has ever aimed for a goal and been told it wasn’t theirs to hit, for everyone who has ever raced for a finish line that seemed all too far away, and for everyone who has ever felt small or unimportant while out on the field.”

Picture Books

Nelson Mandela by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Illustrated by Alison Hawkins



In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy bestselling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the incredible life of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first Black president and his fight for equality.

Little Nelson’s given name was Rolihlahla, which means ‘troublemaker’ in Xhosa, his native language. But his rebellious nature would lead him to become one of the world’s most inspirational civil right’s leaders and anti-apartheid revolutionaries. Despite the many years of imprisonment and adversity he faced, Nelson remained victorious and was voted to become South Africa’s first Black president. This inspiring 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 activist turned president’s life.”

Love Grows Everywhere by Barry Timms, Illustrated by Tisha Lee

With lushly colored illustrations that tug at your heart, this lyrical picture book connects the love that nurtures plants with the love that nurtures our relationships.

Love grows everywhere…
From country farm to city square
From desert village, hot and dry,
to mountain home where eagles fly.

In Love Grows Everywhere, through gentle, rhyming text and vibrant illustrations, feel the love in a close-knit family who grows plants and sells them in their local market, and discover the types of love that exist in the many homes of their diverse community.”

Daddy Speaks Love by Leah Henderson, Illustrated by E.B. Lewis

A moving tribute to the joy and grounding that fathers bring to their children’s lives.

What does a daddy do? From day one, this daddy speaks love to his little one. And along with that love, his words and actions speak many other things, too: like truth, joy, comfort, and pride. Like many dads, he answers a million questions and tries to make sure that days are full of fun adventures, giggles, and hugs. Dads are good at scaring away imaginary monsters, and honest about how to confront the real ones too. They set an example for the future, speaking out for equality and justice, while sharing lessons from the past. But most of all, daddies encourage their young ones to fight for a better world, with the comfort of knowing their dads are right beside them. Daddy Speaks Love speaks to that everlasting bond between children and their fathers and is a perfect gift for special occasions including Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, birthdays, baby showers, and more!”

All Star: How Larry Doby Smashed the Color Barrier in Baseball by Audrey Vernick, Illustrated by Cannaday Chapman

The remarkable story of Larry Doby, the first Black baseball player in the American League. 

In 1947, Larry Doby signed with the Cleveland Indians, becoming the first Black player in the American leagues. He endured terrible racism, both from fans and his fellow teammates. Despite this, he became a unifying force on and off the field, and went on to become a seven-time All Star. Illustrated with Cannaday Chapman’s bold, stylized illustrations, this exceptional biography tells the story of an unsung hero who not only opened doors for those behind him, but set amazing records during his Hall of Fame career. More significantly, it examines the long fight to overcome racism in sports and our culture at large, a fight that is far from over. “

The Year We Learned to Fly by Jacqueline Woodson, Illustrated by Rafael López

Jacqueline Woodson and Rafael López’s highly anticipated companion to their #1 New York Times bestseller The Day You Begin illuminates the power in each of us to face challenges with confidence.

On a dreary, stuck-inside kind of day, a brother and sister heed their grandmother’s advice: “Use those beautiful and brilliant minds of yours. Lift your arms, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and believe in a thing. Somebody somewhere at some point was just as bored you are now.” And before they know it, their imaginations lift them up and out of their boredom. Then, on a day full of quarrels, it’s time for a trip outside their minds again, and they are able to leave their anger behind. This precious skill, their grandmother tells them, harkens back to the days long before they were born, when their ancestors showed the world the strength and resilience of their beautiful and brilliant minds. Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael Lopez’s dazzling art celebrate the extraordinary ability to lift ourselves up and imagine a better world.”

A is for Oboe: The Orchestra’s Alphabet by Lera Auerbach, Illustrated by Marilyn Nelson

“This deeply imaginative and entertaining poetry collection details the pleasures of the orchestra, from strong-willed A to satisfied Z.

Two widely acclaimed poets–one a composer and classical pianist as well–have come together to create this extraordinary portrait of the orchestra in all of its richness and fascination, using the structure of the alphabet in a way that’s entirely new and delightful. A is for the first note you hear as you take your seat in the concert hall, played by the headstrong oboe. B is for the bassoon, “the orchestra’s jester, complaining impatiently through his nose.” And C is for the conductor, “like the captain on the bridge of a great ship, navigating the composer’s musical charts.””

Snow Angel, Sand Angel by Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky

A celebration of home, family, and finding beauty in your heritage, beautifully illustrated by the artist behind Anti-Racist Baby.

Claire has been surrounded by the deep blue waves of Hapuna Beach and the magnificent mountains of Hawai’i all her life, but has never, ever seen snow. When her father drives her and her family to the top of the Mauna Kea, she can’t help but to be disappointed…it’s not the winter wonderland she’s always dreamed of. And that’s what she wants, more than anything.

But as Claire edges ever closer to the new year, she wonders if maybe– just maybe–she can delight in the special joys of winter in her own way–right there, on her Big Island of Hawaii.”

Chapter Books

She Persisted: Coretta Scott King by Kelly Starling Lyons, Illustrated by Gillian Flint

“In this chapter book biography by award-winning author Kelly Starling Lyons, readers learn about the amazing life of Coretta Scott King–and how she persisted.

Coretta Scott King is known for being the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but she was a civil rights activist and leader in her own right! She was a singer and an author too, and her work made a difference for Black Americans and for all women for decades to come.

Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Coretta Scott King’s footsteps and make a difference!”

Middle Grade

Pizza My Heart by Rhiannon Richardson

“A slice-of-life rom-com about pizza and first crushes that readers will gobble up!
Maya Reynolds has practically grown up in her family’s Brooklyn pizza shop, Soul Slice, and is a true city girl. When her family moves to a small town in Pennsylvania to open another pizza place, everything changes.

Being the new girl is hard enough. At Soul Slice 2.0, Maya is assigned delivery duty. And her first delivery is a disaster. Can you make a worse impression than tripping… and falling face-first into a rude boy’s pizza order?

When that same rude — and, okay, cute — boy shows up at her school, Maya’s convinced nothing can go right. But she may be in for some surprises. Could good friends, secret crushes, and creative pizza toppings turn Maya’s new home into her own slice of heaven?”

Operation Sisterhood by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

“Fans of the Netflix reboot of The Babysitters Club will delight as four new sisters band together in the heart of New York City. Discover this jubilant novel about the difficulties of change, the loyalty of sisters, and the love of family from a prolific award-winning author.

Bo and her mom always had their own rhythm. But ever since they moved to Harlem, Bo’s world has fallen out of sync. She and Mum are now living with Mum’s boyfriend Bill, his daughter Sunday, the twins, Lili and Lee, the twins’ parents…along with a dog, two cats, a bearded dragon, a turtle, and chickens. All in one brownstone! With so many people squished together, Bo isn’t so sure there is room for her.

Set against the bursting energy of a New York City summer, award-winning author Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich delivers a joyful novel about a new family that hits all the right notes!”

The Great Shine-a-Thon Showcase: Karma’s World #1 by Halcyon Person, Illustrated by Yesenia Moises

“This brand-new chapter book series follows aspiring rapper and hip-hop artist Karma from the Netflix animated series Karma’s World!

Meet Karma Grant! Karma and her friends are totally stoked for the MC Grillz concert in their neighborhood, Hansberry Heights! But when the famous rapper’s bus breaks down and the show is canceled, it’s up to Karma to make the best of some bad luck. Will Karma be able to put on her own concert, the Shine-a-Thon, with her friends or will the pressure prove to be way too much? Filled with heart, humor and Karma’s own rhymes, this original chapter book is sure to delight any fans of the show!”

Tiger Honor by Yoon Ha Lee

“Sebin, a young tiger spirit from the Juhwang Clan, wants nothing more than to join the Thousand World Space Forces and, like their Uncle Hwan, captain a battle cruiser someday. But when Sebin’s acceptance letter finally arrives, it’s accompanied by the shocking news that Hwan has been declared a traitor. Apparently the captain abandoned his duty to steal a magical artifact, the Dragon Pearl, and his whereabouts are still unknown. Sebin hopes to help clear their hero’s name and restore honor to the clan.

Nothing goes according to plan, however. As soon as Sebin arrives for orientation, they are met by a special investigator named Yi and Yi’s assistant, a girl named Min. Yi informs Sebin that they must immediately report to the ship Haetae and await further instructions. Sebin finds this highly unusual, but soon all protocol is forgotten when there’s an explosion on the ship, the crew is knocked out, and the communication system goes down. It’s up to Sebin, three other cadets, and Yi and Min to determine who is sabotaging the battle cruiser. When Sebin is suddenly accused of collaborating with the enemy, the cadet realizes that Min is the most dangerous foe of all…”

Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round: My Story of the Making of Martin Luther King Day by Kathlyn J. Kirkwood, Illustrated by Steffi Walthall

“This brilliant memoir-in-verse tells the moving story of how a nation learned to celebrate a hero. Through years of protests and petition, Kathlyn’s story highlights the foot soldiers who fought to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday.

Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ’Round is a deeply moving middle grade memoir about what it means to be an everyday activist and foot solider for racial justice, as Kathlyn recounts how, drawn to activism from childhood, she went from attending protests as a teenager to fighting for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday to become a national holiday as an adult. A blueprint for kids starting down their own paths to civic awareness, it shows life beyond protests and details the sustained time, passion, and energy it takes to turn an idea into a law.

Deftly weaving together monumental historical events with a heartfelt coming-of-age story and in-depth information on law making, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ’Round is the perfect engaging example of how history can help inform the present.”

Signs of Survival: A Memoir of the Holocaust by Renee Hartman and Joshua M. Greene

“Meet Renee and Herta, two sisters who faced the unimaginable — together. This is their true story.

As Jews living in 1940s Czechoslovakia, Renee, Herta, and their parents were in immediate danger when the Holocaust came to their door. As the only hearing person in her family, Renee had to alert her parents and sister whenever the sound of Nazi boots approached their home so they could hide.

But soon their parents were tragically taken away, and the two sisters went on the run, desperate to find a safe place to hide. Eventually they, too, would be captured and taken to the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. Communicating in sign language and relying on each other for strength in the midst of illness, death, and starvation, Renee and Herta would have to fight to survive the darkest of times.

This gripping memoir, told in a vivid “oral history” format, is a testament to the power of sisterhood and love, and now more than ever a reminder of how important it is to honor the past, and keep telling our own stories.”

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!

Which titles have you been looking forward to the most? Be sure to share in the comments below!

You Might Also Like:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s