New Release Round Up: February 15, 2022

It’s Tuesday again, so I hope you’re ready for releases!! 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.

Picture Books

Nellie vs. Elizabeth: Two Daredevil Journalists’ Breakneck Race around the World by Kate Hannigan, Illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon

In this real-life adventure, daredevil and groundbreaking journalists Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland race against each other–and the clock–as they circle the globe by ship, train, and foot. Join these two stereotype-shattering reporters as they prove that not only is traveling around the world possible, but that women are just as curious, capable, and courageous as any man.

Nellie Bly was an energetic and eager reporter, but she wasn’t able to think of a good story for her editors. Wishing she was on the other end of the earth, Nellie had an inspiration–she would travel around the world, just like in the fictional adventure book Around the World in Eighty Days. When a fellow journalist, Elizabeth Bisland, heard about Nellie’s plans, she decided to up the stakes–by beating Nellie in her own race! 
 
This exciting American history story about two pioneering women who paved the way for equality will inspire young readers.”

I Am Thinking My Life by Allysun Atwater, Illustrated by Stevie Lewis

Bursting with imagination, this ode to positive thought demonstrates a young girl’s ability to use the power of her mind to transform her world. (Ages 3-7)

I am thinking my life. 
Every day. 
I am creating a universe. 
I am communicating with the world. 
I think stars. I see stars. 
I am stars. 
I think myself smiling. I see myself smiling. 
I am smiling. 
I am sculpting my world. I am clay. I am motion. I am light. 
I am what I think. 

Follow along as a young girl discovers the relationship between her thoughts, actions, and her place in the world. This empowering story is all about dreaming, doing, and becoming, and how the power of positive thinking can transform our lives—and the lives of those around us—forever.”

Go Back To Sleep by Zoë Foster Blake, Illustrated by Mike Jacobsen

From the author of No One Likes a Fart comes a hilarious new picture book that turns the classic bedtime story on its head, asking the question: What happens when it’s the parents who just won’t go to sleep?

Poor Finn is looking forward to drifting off to sleep in his cozy, warm bed, when Mom appears wanting a drink. Finn resettles her and has just fallen asleep, when he’s woken again…this time by Dad, who’s had a bad dream. And so it goes. Just when Finn has one parent back to sleep, the other wakes up! When will these two sleep through the night?

“Go back to sleep!” A phrase said by parents to kids everywhere. But what happens when the roles are reversed? What if the parents need help getting back into bed? With hilarious illustrations by Mike Jacobsen and clever text by Zoë Foster Blake, Back to Sleep is the bedtime story that will have the whole family laughing.”

Beauty Woke by NoNieqa Ramos, Illustrated by Paola Escobar

Beauty Woke is a powerful story of pride and community, told with bold lyricism and the heart of a fairy tale. Readers looking for a next-generation Sleeping Beauty will fall in love with the vivid art and lyrical text. For fans of Woke Baby and Dreamers. 

Beauty is a Puerto Rican girl loved and admired by her family and community. At first, she’s awake to their beauty, and her own—a proud Boricua of Taíno and African descent. But as she grows older, she sees how people who look like her are treated badly, and she forgets what makes her special. So her community bands together to help remind her of her beautiful heritage.”

Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and as Wide as the Sky by Nana Ekua Brew-Hammond, Illustrated by Daniel Minter

“For centuries, blue powders and dyes were some of the most sought-after materials in the world. Ancient Afghan painters ground mass quantities of sapphire rocks to use for their paints, while snails were harvested in Eurasia for the tiny amounts of blue that their bodies would release.

And then there was indigo, which was so valuable that American plantations grew it as a cash crop on the backs of African slaves. It wasn’t until 1905, when Adolf von Baeyer created a chemical blue dye, that blue could be used for anything and everything–most notably that uniform of workers everywhere, blue jeans.

With stunning illustrations by Caldecott Honor Artist Daniel Minter, this vibrant and fascinating picture book follows one color’s journey through time and across the world, as it becomes the blue we know today.”

Eyes That Speak To The Stars by Joanna Ho, Illustrated by Dung Ho

New York Times bestselling team Joanna Ho and Dung Ho present Eyes That Speak to the Stars, companion to the acclaimed Eyes That Kiss in the Corners.

A young Asian boy notices that his eyes look different from his peers’ after seeing his friend’s drawing of them. After talking to his father, the boy realizes that his eyes rise to the skies and speak to the stars, shine like sunlit rays, and glimpse trails of light from those who came before—in fact, his eyes are like his father’s, his agong’s, and his little brother’s, and they are visionary.

Inspired by the men in his family, he recognizes his own power and strength from within. This extraordinary picture book redefines what it means to be truly you.”

Middle Grade

The Founders Unmasked (True History) by Jennifer Sabin

“Introducing a new nonfiction series for the next generation of activists, uncovering the hidden history of The United States through an anti-racist lens.

 The true story of the men—and women—surrounding the founding of America.
 
    In the summer of 1776, when Thomas Jefferson arrived in Philadelphia to sign the Declaration of Independence, declaring that “all men are created equal,” he wasn’t alone. With him was Robert Hemings, just one of the many Black people Jefferson enslaved.
    But who was Robert Hemings?
    Discover his story and the true history of those who really helped build America. Featuring riveting interviews with historians, including Margaret Kimberley, author of Prejudential: Black America and the PresidentsThe Founders Unmasked is a quest for the whole truth: the good and the bad.”

Abby in Between: Ready or Not by Megan E Bryant

From prolific author Megan E. Bryant comes the first book in a young middle-grade series about nine-year-old Abby, a girl trying to grapple with all the chaos that can come from growing up.

For nine-year-old Abby McAdams, everything seems to be changing.

Her cousin and best friend, Zoe, has moved across the country, her mom is going back to work, and Abby is stuck in the only after-school activity still available–running–which she absolutely loathes. Her perspective on the world is changing, too, after an encounter in her community sheds light on the issue of homelessness in her town. On top of everything, sudden changes in Abby’s body mean she has to deal with things like deodorant, bras, and uncomfortable conversations. And without her best friend by her side, she’s not sure she can handle it all.

She’s not a grown-up yet, but she definitely doesn’t feel like a little kid anymore. She’s Abby, in between.”

Solimar: The Sword of the Monarchs by Pam Muñoz Ryan

Middle-grade fans of Pam Muñoz Ryan’s Esperanza Rising, will find a new Mexican heroine to love in Solimar and a fresh, magical story!


On the brink of her Quinceañera, and her official coronation, Solimar visits the oyamel forest to sit among the monarch butterflies. There, the sun pierces through a sword-shaped crevice in a boulder, which shines on her and sends the butterflies humming and swirling around her.


After the magical frenzy, she realizes she’s been given a gift―and a burden: she can predict the near future! She has also become a protector of the young and weak butterflies. This alone would be a huge responsibility, but tragedy strikes when a neighboring king invades while her father and brother and many others are away. The remaining villagers are taken hostage―all except Solimar.


Can this princess-to-be save her family, the kingdom, and the future of the monarch butterflies from a greedy and dangerous king?”

Just Right Jillian by Nicole D. Collier

In this heartfelt middle grade novel from debut author Nicole D. Collier, fifth grader Jillian must learn to speak and break free of her shell to enter her school’s academic competition and keep her promise to her grandmother. 

Fifth grader Jillian will do just about anything to blend in, including staying quiet even when she has the right answer. After she loses a classroom competition because she won’t speak up, she sets her mind on winning her school’s biggest competition. But breaking out of her shell is easier said than done, and Jillian has only a month to keep her promise to her grandmother and prove to herself that she can speak up and show everyone her true self. 

A warm and relatable middle grade debut novel about family, friendship, and finding the confidence to break free from the crowd and be who you truly are. “

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 )

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