New Release Round Up: March 8, 2022

Another Tuesday means another New Release Round Up! I can’t wait to share all the wonderful titles hitting the shelves this week, so let’s dive right in.

As always, these titles will have inclusive characters and themes (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

Can Sophie Change the World? by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, Illustrated by Aura Lewis


“It’s Grandpop’s birthday, and all he wants is one little thing: for Sophie to change the world.

He wants Sophie to do a mitzvah—something kind for others. But what exactly does that mean?

As Sophie shares, teaches, helps her friends, takes care of birds, and picks up litter, she wonders which of these acts, if any, might change the world. By performing this sequence of poignant mitzvahs with an open heart, unending empathy, and a big imagination, Sophie’s about to discover that what sounds like an impossible task just might be the best way to live life.

In this exploration of an essential part of Jewish traditional teaching, Sophie’s efforts to grant Grandpop’s wish show that the smallest acts of kindness are what truly change the world.”


With Lots of Love by Jenny Torres Sanchez, Illustrated by André Ceolin

A beautiful, lyrical story about a girl who moves from her home in Central America to the United States, and everything she leaves behind and longs for—especially her Abuela—as she makes a new life.

Rocio has grown up in Central America, but now she and her family are moving to the United States. Rocio does her best to adjust to a new way of living, but there are many things she misses from her old life—Abuela’s cooking, Abuela’s pinata creations, Abuela’s warm hugs, and of course, Abuela herself most of all. But Abuela finds a way to send Rocio something special just in time for her birthday—a gift wrapped with lots of love—and that fills Rocio to the brim.”

Feasts and Festivals Around the World: From Lunar New Year to Christmas by Alice B. McGinty, Illustrated by Tomoko Suzuki

Explore the celebrations and feasts of twelve countries and cultures from around the world!

From South Korea to Nigeria to the USA, come celebrate festivals throughout the year! People around the world are celebrating. In Australia, it’s Christmas in summer with barbecues on the beach. In Thailand, they’re celebrating Songkran, the famous Buddhist water festival. Rhyming text and graphic illustrations pair perfectly and invite young readers to explore the world through mesmerizing festivals.

A stunning companion to Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World!

Fever: How Tu Youyou Adapted Traditional Chinese Medicine to Find a Cure for Malaria (Moments in Science) by Darcy Pattison, Illustrated by Peter Willis

“People were dying! Malaria is a deadly mosquito-borne disease that causes fevers, chills and often death. In 1969, the People’s Republic of China created a task force to find a cure.

Working in the 1970s, Chinese scientist Tu Youyou reviewed the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) scrolls for ideas on where to start her research. She found 640 traditional treatments, and methodically started extracting compounds and testing them against malaria. Would any of them work?

Courage, resilience, and perseverance–follow the struggles of Nobel Prize scientist Tu Youyou as she works to find a cure to malaria.”

Breaking Through the Clouds: The Sometimes Turbulent Life of Meteorologist Joanne Simpson by Sandra Nickel, Illustrated by Helena Perez Garcia

An inspiring picture book about the meteorologist whose discoveries helped us understand how weather works

When Joanne Simpson (1923-2010) was a girl, she sailed her boat beneath the puffy white clouds of Cape Cod. As a pilot, she flew her plane so high, its wings almost touched them. And when World War II began and Joanne moved to the University of Chicago, a professor asked her to teach Air Force officers about those very clouds and the weather-changing winds.
As soon as the war ended, Joanne decided to seriously study the clouds she had grown to love so much. Her professors laughed. They told her to go home. They told her she was no longer needed. They told her, “No woman ever got a doctorate in meteorology. And no woman ever will.”

But Joanne was stubborn. She sold her boat. She flew her last flight. She saved her money so that she could study clouds. She worked so hard and discovered so much that—despite what the professors said—she received a doctorate in meteorology. She was the first woman in the world to do so.

Breaking Through the Clouds tells the story of a trailblazing scientist whose discoveries about clouds and how they work changed everything we know about weather today.”

Forest Fighter: The Story of Chico Mendes by Anita Ganeri, Illustrated by Margaux Carpentier

“Chico Mendes lived in the depths of the Amazon rainforest where trees grew tall and strong and wildlife roamed freely. From the age of 8, Chico worked with his father collecting sap from trees that could be sold to make rubber. Rubber tappers were very poor and the rainforest was increasingly being destroyed by burning and logging, threatening their livelihoods. Chico knew he had to take a stand. He became a spokesperson for the community, fighting hard to preserve the Amazon rainforest, and speaking up for the rights of other rubber tappers. He won several international awards for his campaigns, but the loggers still wouldn’t stop. At the age of 44, Chico was murdered by one of the loggers.

Grippingly written by award-winning author, Anita Ganeri, and vibrantly illustrated by Margaux Carpentier, Forest Fighter tells the inspiring story of Chico Mendes, who was not afraid to speak up for others and worked tirelessly to protect the rainforest. It depicts the incredible wildlife and peoples who co-exist there and shows why it is so important that all rainforests are protected.”

Our World Is a Family: Our Community Can Change the World by Miry Whitehill and Jennifer Jackson, Illustrated by Nomar Perez

Learn how to welcome new neighbors into your community, particularly when they might be far from home, in this uplifting and diverse picture book that champions human connection and inclusivity. After all, the world is everyone’s home and we’re one big family!

When we see someone new in our neighborhood, how can we help them feel safe and loved and important?

How can we tell them, you’re not alone?

There are so many ways!

Our World is a Family is a picture book exploring the complicated topic of human migration in a gentle, loving, and affirming way. It lightly touches on the reason people might leave their homes, like climate change or lack of safety, and inspires children to welcome their new neighbors into their communities with love.”

Carrimebac, The Town That Walked by David Barclay Moore, Illustrated by John Holyfield

“In a boldly transportive original tale, David Barclay Moore infuses history with wry folk wisdom, metaphorical power, and a splash of magic. The Civil War may be over, but times are not substantially improved for the freed Black citizens of Walkerton, Georgia, who are shunned by the white folks of the surrounding towns. One day, though, ol’ Rootilla Redgums and her grandson, Julius Jefferson, arrive. Rootilla teaches the citizens of Walkerton how to make all sorts of beautiful things, and the white people can’t get enough. But some aren’t so happy. When a hooded mob threatens to burn down the town, Julius and Rootilla must work wonders to protect Walkerton and its people—even if it means moving heaven and earth itself. With exquisite cinematic illustrations by John Holyfield and a generous trim size, this portrait of Black endurance draws on the rhythms and traditions of African American storytelling to open a powerful window into the past.”

Behold Our Magical Garden: Poems Fresh from a School Garden by Allan Wolf, Illustrated by Daniel Duncan

“There’s a lot more to gardens than meets the eye! In this collection of buoyant poems filled with fun facts, young nature enthusiasts and budding gardeners are called on to help solve a mystery by the compost bin, join a Wild West–style standoff between some good bugs and a few bad ones, interview the sun to find out what happens when it drinks a glass of water, and learn the fancy names of plants to spice up dinner conversation. They’ll be spurred to grab their own gardening tools, drop in some seeds, encounter a few insects, gather fresh vegetables, and find a whole lot of magic. Allan Wolf’s playful poems and Daniel Duncan’s whimsically detailed, welcoming illustrations combine in a charming celebration of the many wonders and lessons to be learned from a school garden. For further inspiration, engaging notes on the poems and an author’s note on jotting down observations can be found in the back matter.”

Climb On! by Baptiste Paul, Illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara

“When a young child reminds her dad about the hike they planned, her father is hesitant —To the tippy top? It’s a great day to watch futbol (soccer). But as the two climb on, her enthusiasm is contagious. Filled with setbacks, surprises, and stunning views, this warm and humorous story highlights in vivid colors the bonding power of a shared experience. A list of creatures at the end prompts a second look for keen-eyed readers to make discoveries of their own.

Baptiste Paul and Jacqueline Alcántara (co-creators of The Field) have teamed up again! Baptiste’s humorous and tender text, with a sprinkling of Creole words straight from the Pitons, and Jacqueline Alcántara’s vibrant and evocative illustrations capture the wonder and emotions experienced on the trail and the special relationship between a parent and a child. “

Chapter Books

Catalina Incognito by Jennifer Torres, Illustrated by Gladys Jose

One Day at a Time meets Mindy Kim in this first book in a charming new chapter book series about Catalina Castaneda, a Mexican American girl with a magical sewing kit!

Catalina Castaneda is not persnickety, even though that’s what her parents and sister, Coco, like to think. Catalina just likes things the way she likes them—perfect.

That’s why it’s very hard to hide her disappointment when her glamorous Tía Abuela, a famous telenovela actress, gives her an old sewing kit for her eighth birthday. However, Catalina soon discovers the sewing kit isn’t as boring as she thinks—it’s magic, turning ordinary clothing into magical disguises.

When Tía Abuela’s most famous costume has rhinestones stolen from it where it’s being displayed at the local library, Catalina gets to work on creating the perfect disfraz (disguise) to track down the thief. But, as Tía Abuela warned her, the magic is only as strong as her stiches, and Catalina doesn’t always have the patience for practice…”

Middle Grade

Turn The Tide by Elaine Dimopoulos

“Mimi has a plan for her seventh grade year: play piano in the Young Artists competition at Carnegie Hall with her best friend, Lee; enjoy a good old Massachusetts snow day or two; and work in her community garden plot with her dad. But all that changes when her family’s Greek restaurant falls on hard times.

The Laskarises’ relocation to Wilford Island, Florida, is a big key change for Mimi. Where does she fit in in this shell-covered paradise without Lee? Mimi is taken by the beauty of the island and alarmed by the plastic pollution she sees on the beaches.

Then her science teacher, Ms. Miller, shows her class a TED Talk by Melati and Isabel Wijsen. At ages twelve and ten, they lobbied to ban single-use plastic bags on their home island of Bali—and won. Their story strikes a chord for Mimi. She’s twelve.

Could a kid like her make such a big change in a place that she’s not yet sure feels like home? Can she manage to keep up with piano, her schoolwork, and activism? And does confident and flawless Carmen Alvarez-Hill really want to help her with the movement?”

The Best Liars In Riverview by Lin Thompson

“Aubrey and Joel are like two tomato vines that grew along the same crooked fence—weird, yet the same kind of weird. But lately, even their shared weirdness seems weird. Then Joel disappears. Vanishes. Poof. The whole town is looking for him, and Aubrey was the last person to see Joel. Aubrey can’t say much, but since lies of omission are still lies, here’s what they know for sure:
For the last two weeks of the school year, when sixth grade became too much, Aubrey and Joel have been building a raft in the woods.
The raft was supposed to be just another part of their running away game.
The raft is gone now, too.
Aubrey doesn’t know where Joel is, but they might know how to find him. As Aubrey, their friend Mari, and sister Teagan search along the river, Aubrey has to fess up to who they really are, all the things they never said, and the word that bully Rudy Thomas used that set all this into motion.”

Graphic Novels

PAWS: Gabby Gets It Together by Nathan Fairbairn, Illustrated by Michele Assarasakorn

“Meet best friends Gabby Jordan, Priya Gupta, and Mindy Kim. They’re different in just about every way—personalities, hobbies, family, and more—but they have a few important things in common: they’re all in the same class, they absolutely love animals, and for reasons that are as varied as the trio themselves none of them can actually have any pets.

Unable to resist the adorable temptation any longer, the girls decide to come up with a way to finally get their hands on some furry friends. And, as luck would have it, it seems like their neighborhood is in need of some afterschool dog-walkers. So, just like that, PAWS is born!

But it turns out that running a business is harder than it looks, especially with three co-owners who are such different people. The girls soon argue about everything, from how to prioritize their commitments to the best way to keep their doggy clients happy. And when their fighting ultimately leads to a doggo crisis, will it tear their business and friendship apart or will they be able to get it together to save the day?”

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!

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