New Release Round Up: May 10, 2022

It’s Tuesday again, and you know what that means…NEW BOOKS! Let’s dive into this week’s new 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.

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Board Books

ABC for Me: ABC The World & Me by Christiane Engel

With ABC The World & Me, take a journey to 26 amazing places all over the globe—from A to Z!

There are so many wondrous places to see and wonderful people to meet. From the long, winding Amazon River, to a bustling city like Baku, to the ancient pyramids of Chichen Itza, to thousands of other locations, people can live in and visit the most amazing places, from A to Z! 

ABC The World & Me presents a whole alphabet of places! This book shows that there are so many things to appreciate about our world, including natural wonders like the Grand Canyon and Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River, as well as human-constructed marvels like the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal.”

Picture Books

You Are Here by Zach Manbeck

In the tradition of The Wonderful Things You Will Be and I Wish You More, this debut book reminds us that “all who wander are not lost.”

You are here, and from here there are so many places you can go. But how will you know how to get there? In this warm and wise debut, Zach Manbeck gives readers a poetic roadmap to help us find our way in the world, while also reminding us all that right now, we are here—exactly where we are meant to be.

Both sweet and uplifting, this is a perfect book for a new baby, a new graduate, or anyone who could use a reminder that “all who wander are not lost.””

Smile Out Loud: 25 Happy Poems by Joseph Coelho, Illustrated by Daniel Gray-Barnett

From the fantastic duo behind Poems Aloud comes another compendium of poetry to read out loud and make you smile!

Twenty five original poems from award winning poet Joseph Coelho designed to be read aloud to project confidence, conjure happiness, make you laugh or cheer others up. Some are odes, some can be said as personal mantras or just poems full of words that you can’t help but smile when you hear them.

This is a book for any child who wants to build confidence reading aloud, or wants a way to channel their speech and drama confidence. It is a book to foster a love of words and the power that comes with the spoken word. It will show children how speaking a poem aloud has a certain magic, almost like reading a spell.
 
Poems can be read aloud to an audience, muttered quietly to oneself or whispered in the ear of someone who needs to hear some cheerful words. “

Daddies and Daughters Stick Together by Aissatou Balde and Diariatou Sow, Illustrated by Nandi Fernandez

Diari doesn’t mind when Mommy goes into the city for work, because she and her little sister, Fatima, get to spend the whole day with Daddy

From when the moon trades places with the sun until the sun trades places with the moon, daddies and daughters do everything together. A day with Daddy means cooking, learning, dancing, and playing. After all, Daddy knows that with a little imagination, a sense of fun, and a lot of love, every part of a normal day can feel special!”

The World Belonged to Us by Jacqueline Woodson, Illustrated by Leo Espinosa

Two children’s book superstars—#1 New York Times bestseller Jacqueline Woodson, the author of The Day You Begin, and Leo Espinosa, the illustrator of Islandborn­—join forces to celebrate the joy and freedom of summer in the city, which is gloriously captured in their rhythmic text and lively art.

It’s getting hot outside, hot enough to turn on the hydrants and run through the water–and that means it’s finally summer in the city! Released from school and reveling in their freedom, the kids on one Brooklyn block take advantage of everything summertime has to offer. Freedom from morning till night to go out to meet their friends and make the streets their playground–jumping double Dutch, playing tag and hide-and-seek, building forts, chasing ice cream trucks, and best of all, believing anything is possible. That is, till their moms call them home for dinner. But not to worry–they know there is always tomorrow to do it all over again–because the block belongs to them and they rule their world.”

The Youngest Sister by Suniyay Moreno, Illustrated by Mariana Chiesa, Translated by Elisa Amado

In the Andean foothills, a five-year-old Quechua girl is entrusted with a big job: to collect a marrow bone from the neighbor for the family soup. A stunning debut from Indigenous author Suniyay Moreno.

Picu’s family is very poor. In the dry Andean foothills, her mother must feed fourteen people—her kids, her relatives’ kids, and the hired hand’s kids—every day. One morning, Picu, the youngest sister, is sent to get a marrow bone from a neighbor. The bone will add flavor and nutrition to the lunchtime soup. Her mother warns her not to dawdle on the two-hour walk, each way, through the wild landscape.

But Picu can’t help it! She marvels at the butterflies, samples the cactus fruit, and daydreams about using the marrow bone as a football. Will the neighbor let her family keep the bone after the soup is made? Will her mother let her play with it? And will she be punished for being so late?

Picu is a child of joie de vivre and resourcefulness. This story, like Picu herself, is tough, hard, and honest. And moving. And fun.”

One Turtle’s Last Straw: The Real-Life Rescue That Sparked a Sea Change by Elisa Boxer, Illustrated by Marta Álvarez Miguéns

The inspiring true story of how one small turtle and kids all over the country sparked an environmental movement. Based on the viral video that created awareness of the harm caused by plastic straws, this heart-wrenching story is a perfect tool for teaching children about sustainability.

Slurp! A boy finishes his drink and tosses it in the trash, straw and all. He moves on without another thought….
 
In the waters off of Costa Rica, scientists spot an endangered sea turtle and pull him aboard to study him. But he has something stuck in his nose. A barnacle? A stick? No…it’s a plastic straw!
 
This heroic story of one turtle’s rescue reminds us that even the smallest straw can hurt our ocean life–and that the smallest demand for change can grow into something big!”

Strong by Eric Rosswood and Rob Kearney, Illustrated by Nidhi Chanani

A fresh, charming picture book that shows there are lots of ways to be STRONG.

Rob dreams of becoming a champion strongman. He wants to flip huge tires, lug boulders, and haul trucks — and someday be the strongest man in the world! But he feels like he can’t fit in with his bright leggings, unicorn T-shirts, and rainbow-dyed hair. Will Rob find a way to step into his true self and be a champion?   

With bold illustrations and an engaging, informative text, Strong introduces readers to Rob Kearney and his journey from an athletic kid trying to find his place to the world’s first openly gay professional strongman.”

Chapter Books

Jo Jo Makoons: Fancy Pants by Dawn Quigley, Illustrated by Tara Audibert

Filled with lots of glitter, raised pinkies, and humorous misunderstandings, this second book in the Jo Jo Makoons series—written by Dawn Quigley and illustrated by Tara Audibert—is filled with the joy of a young Ojibwe girl discovering her very own special shine from the inside out.

First grader Jo Jo Makoons knows how to do a lot of things, like how to play jump rope, how to hide her peas in her milk, and how to be helpful in her classroom.

But there’s one thing Jo Jo doesn’t know how to do: be fancy. She has a lot to learn before her Aunt Annie’s wedding!

Favorite purple unicorn notebook in hand, Jo Jo starts exploring her Ojibwe community to find ways to be fancy.”

Middle Grade

Hope Wins: A Collection of Inspiring Stories for Young Readers  by Rose Brock, Tom Angleberger, Sarah Mlynowski, Max Brallier, Julie Buxbaum, Pablo Cartaya, J. C. Cervantes, Rex Ogle, Matt de la Peña, Stuart Gibbs, Adam Gidwitz, R.L. Stine, Veera Hiranandani, Hena Khan, and Gordon Korman

In a collection of personal stories and essays, award-winning and bestselling artists from Matt de la Peña and Veera Hiranandani to Max Brallier and R.L. Stine write about how hope always wins, even in the darkest of times.

Where does hope live?

In your family?

In your community?

In your school?

In your heart?

From a family restaurant to a hot-dog shaped car, from an empty road on a moonlight night to a classroom holiday celebration, this anthology of personal stories from award-winning and bestselling authors, shows that hope can live everywhere, even—or especially—during the darkest of times.

No matter what happens: Hope wins.”

Zachary Ying and the Dragon Emperor by Xiran Jay Zhao

Percy Jackson meets Tristan Strong in this hilarious, action-packed middle grade contemporary fantasy that follows a young boy as he journeys across China to seal the underworld shut and save the mortal realm.

Zachary Ying never had many opportunities to learn about his Chinese heritage. His single mom was busy enough making sure they got by, and his schools never taught anything except Western history and myths. So Zack is woefully unprepared when he discovers he was born to host the spirit of the First Emperor of China for a vital mission: sealing the leaking portal to the Chinese underworld before the upcoming Ghost Month blows it wide open.

The mission takes an immediate wrong turn when the First Emperor botches his attempt to possess Zack’s body and binds to Zack’s AR gaming headset instead, leading to a battle where Zack’s mom’s soul gets taken by demons. Now, with one of history’s most infamous tyrants yapping in his headset, Zack must journey across China to heist magical artifacts and defeat figures from history and myth, all while learning to wield the emperor’s incredible water dragon powers.

And if Zack can’t finish the mission in time, the spirits of the underworld will flood into the mortal realm, and he could lose his mom forever.”

Wildseed Witch by Marti Dumas

A fun middle-grade contemporary fantasy with an all-BIPOC cast, about a social-media-loving tween who gets sent to an ultra-private witch camp

Hasani’s post-seventh-grade summer to-do list is pretty simple: get a bigger following for her makeup YouTube channel and figure out how to get her parents back together. What she does NOT expect is that an emotional outburst will spark a latent magical ability in her. Or that the magic will be strong enough to attract the attention of witches. Or that before she can say #BlackGirlMagic, she’ll be shipped off on a scholarship to a fancy finishing school for talented young ladies.

Les Belles Demoiselles is a literal charm school. Here, generations of young ladies from old-money witch families have learned to harness their magic, and alumnae grow to become some of the most powerful women across industries, including politicians, philanthropists, CEOs, entrepreneurs—and yes, even social media influencers. Needless to say, admission to the school is highly coveted, very exclusive . . . and Hasani sticks out like a weed in a rose bouquet.

While the other girls have always known they were destined to be witches, Hasani is a Wildseed––a stray witch from a family of non-witches, with no background knowledge, no way to control her magic, and a lot to catch up on. “Wildseed” may be an insult that the other girls throw at her, but Wildseeds are more powerful than they know. And Hasani will learn that there are ways to use magic and thrive that can never be taught in a classroom.”

Unfadeable by Maurice Broaddus

Perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Kelly Yang, readers will love this heartfelt and genuine story about building community, finding family, and the power of Black girl magic. 

Bella “Unfadeable” Fades is determined to stay out of trouble. A wiser-than-her-years graffiti artist known for tagging walls and bridges in her Indianapolis neighborhood, the Land, Bella plans to spend her summer break laying low and steering clear of anyone who might tip off to social services that she’s living on her own.

But keeping a low profile is all but impossible when Bella discovers people in high places are trying to defund the Land. She has to find a way to fight back.

Getting involved will mean putting herself out there—making connections with unlikely friends and attracting potential enemies. But if Bella doesn’t put her trust in her neighbors and learn how to bring her community together, her home—and her future—will never be the same.”

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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