New Release Round-Up: August 30, 2022

It’s time for another New Release Round-Up!

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

Ours by Ruth Forman, Illustrated by Talia Skyles

From the bestselling author of Curls, Glow, and Bloom comes a board book that joyfully celebrates skin tone self-love with a mirror for little ones.

I love mine (mine)
she loves hers (hers)
he loves his (his)
I love theirs

Show young readers how to see themselves and others with confidence and love with this beautiful rhyming board book toddlers and parents alike will love.”

Picture Books

Stacey Abrams and the Fight to Vote by Traci N. Todd, Illustrated by Laura Freeman

Stacey Abrams, politician and Nobel peace prize nominee, is brought to life in this poetic picture book biography that follows Abrams’s fight for voters’ rights. Narrated by Sojourner Truth, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Septima Clark, and Fannie Lou Hamer, this powerful story tells how Abrams’s work was inspired by those luminaries before her.

“Sometimes she would light the way. Sometimes her way would be lit by others…”

Stacey Abrams was always destined for big things, because she always imagined more. Now she protects the least powerful, works toward making voting fair and easy, and demands better for Georgia and every other state in this nation. Stacey Abrams’s determination, perseverance, and courage will inspire younger generations to make meaningful change in the world.”

Rosalind Looked Closer: An Unsung Hero of Molecular Science by Lisa Gerin, Illustrated by Chiara Fedele

The story of a persistent woman whose research in molecular biology changed the world.

As a Jewish girl in England, Rosalind Franklin grew up against the backdrop of World War II. Fascinated with the natural world, as well as the invisible world that she could only see through her microscope, Rosalind developed a passion for science during a time when few women were recognized for their contributions to the field.

Despite her father’s discouragement, Rosalind studied chemistry at Cambridge University and went on to study the molecular structure of carbons and DNA molecules. As a scientist, she learned a new technique called X-ray diffraction to take photos of molecular structures. With this technique she captured an image of DNA that was unlike any other image that had been seen before. She saw an image of a helix made up of repeating strands of DNA. It was mesmerizing. This was what the DNA double helix looked like up-close–one of the most important findings of the 20th century.”

Set Sail for Pancakes! by Tim Kleyn

Hungry for adventure . . . and breakfast? Set sail with a grandpa and his intrepid granddaughter as they look far and wide for the perfect pancake ingredients!
 

Margot and her grandpa have tummies grumbly for pancakes. Only there’s a problem . . . there’s no flour, milk, or eggs! But Grandpa has the perfect solution; they’ll get on his boat the Beluga Blue and go to Chicken Island, Cow Island, and Flour Mill Island to get the ingredients. Set sail for pancakes!”

Patchwork by Matt de la Peña, Illustrated by Corinna Luyken

“From a Newbery Medal-winning author and a New York Times bestselling illustrator comes a deeply moving ode to the complexity and uniqueness of every child.

In profound, uplifting verse and sumptuous artwork, beloved creators Matt de la Peña and Corinna Luyken explore the endless possibilities each child contains: A young dancer may grow into a computer coder; a basketball player might become a poet; a class clown may one day serve as an inspiring teacher; and today’s quiet empath might be tomorrow’s great leader. Here’s a profound and uplifting new classic with an empowering message for readers of all ages: Your story is still being written.”

Lunch from Home by Joshua David Stein, Illustrated by Jing Li

What happens when a child’s favorite packed lunch is met with disparaging comments at the school lunch table?

In a classroom of sandwiches, four students stand out with their homemade, culturally-specific lunches. But before they can dig in and enjoy their favorite foods, their lunches are spoiled by scrunched noses and disgusted reactions from their sandwich-eating classmates.

Follow each of the four students as they learn to cope with their first “lunch box moments” in this picture book that encourages empathy and inspires all readers to stand up for their food! Inspired by the “lunch box moments” of four acclaimed chefs, Ray Garcia, Preeti Mistry, Mina Park, and Niki Russ Federman, this heartwarming story reminds us all that one’s food is a reflection of self and an authentic celebration of culture.”

Holding On by Sophia N. Lee, Illustrated by Isabel Roxas

A young girl in the Philippines uses music to connect with her grandmother as her memory fades in this warm and moving picture book perfect for fans of Pixar’s Coco.

There is always singing in Lola’s house. Sammy Davis Jr. in the morning, Dean Martin in the afternoon, and all throughout the evening, old Tagalog love songs from Nora Aunor, Basil Valdez, and more. Lola always says: “If you want to hold on, you gotta sing your songs.”

Her granddaughter tucks these sounds and Lola’s wisdom deep within her heart. And when Lola starts slipping into silence and stillness, she helps Lola hold on, piece by piece, with the joy and music that Lola taught her.”

Boobies by Nancy Vo

A cheeky celebration of boobies!

“You have just opened a book about boobies.” Meet the Blue-footed Booby, who does not have any boobies at all, since only mammals have boobies. We learn that mammals have boobies to feed babies ― even though milk can also come from plants. And did you know that boobies, or breasts, vary from person to person, that boobies change over time, and that different animals have different numbers of boobies? Witty and wide-ranging, this eye-opening picture book goes on to explore connections between boobies and mountains, boobies and ancient art and, of course, boobies and you!

Nancy Vo’s latest creation is fresh and funny, while serving up just the right amount of fact. Punchy prose is complemented by striking stencil art in a retro palette, making this the perfect gift for curious young children, older children getting to know their bodies, and anyone ready to boldly celebrate boobies!”

Wilma Mankiller (Little People, BIG DREAMS) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Illustrated by Alexandra Bowman

“Growing up, little Wilma was surrounded by her Cherokee heritage. Her parents taught her to be proud of who she was, and all that had come before her. But when the family moved from Oklahoma’s Rocky Mountains to the city of San Francisco, it was a big change, and Wilma fully realized how unfairly the world treated Native Americans.

As an adult, she became a leader in the fight for Native American rights, and rose to become the first woman ever to be elected as a Chief of a Cherokee Nation. 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 pioneering Native American leader and activist.”

Chapter Books

Spooky Sleuths #1: The Ghost Tree by Natasha Deen, Illustrated by Lissy Marlin

Is it science…or strange and ghostly?

Asim’s new town is freaking him out! There are weird noises at night, eerie lights, and now an evil tree that is growing way faster than it should. he’s sure there’s something supernatural going on.
His friend Rokshar believes that everything can be explained by science. But even she’s worried when the tree takes control of their teacher! It’s starting to look like an evil spirit straight out of Guyanese folklore is to blame. Can Asim and his friends save their teacher–and the town–from the ghost tree?

Find out…if you dare! It’s a new spooky series based on ghost stories from Guyana.”

Spooky Sleuths #2: Beware the Moonlight! by Natasha Deen, Illustrated by Lissy Marlin

Is it science…or strange and ghostly?

There’s something very odd about Mr. Maan, the scientist who is helping teach Asim’s class about the moon. He spends a lot of time staring up at the night sky. Sometimes, he almost seems to glow. Asim is sure Mr. Maan is a supernatural being straight out of Guyanese folklore—and the whole town is in danger!
    His friend Rokshar thinks there’s a scientific explanation for everything Mr. Maan does. But she agrees that he’s up to no good. Can Asim and his friends find a way to stop Mr. Maan’s sinister plans?

Find out…if you dare! It’s a new spooky series based on ghost stories from Guyana.”

Middle Grade

Amari and the Great Game (Supernatural Investigations #2) by B.B. Alston

“After finding her brother and saving the entire supernatural world, Amari Peters is convinced her first full summer as a Junior Agent will be a breeze.

But between the fearsome new Head Minister’s strict anti-magician agenda, fierce Junior Agent rivalries, and her brother Quinton’s curse steadily worsening, Amari’s plate is full. So when the secretive League of Magicians offers her a chance to stand up for magiciankind as its new leader, she declines. She’s got enough to worry about!

But her refusal allows someone else to step forward, a magician with dangerous plans for the League. This challenge sparks the start of the Great Game, a competition to decide who will become the Night Brothers’ successor and determine the future of magiciankind.”

Once I Was You — Adapted for Young Readers: Finding My Voice and Passing the Mic by Maria Hinojosa

“There is no such thing as an illegal human being.”

“Maria ​Hinojosa is an Emmy Award–winning journalist, a bestselling author, and was the first Latina to found a national independent nonprofit newsroom in the United States. But before all that, she was a girl with big hair and even bigger dreams. Born in Mexico and raised in the vibrant neighborhood of Hyde Park, Chicago, Maria was always looking for ways to better understand the world around her—and where she fit into it.

Here, she combines stories from her life, beginning with her family’s harrowing experience of immigration, with truths about the United States’s long and complicated relationship with the people who cross its borders, by choice or by force. Funny, frank, and thought-provoking, Maria’s voice is one you will want to listen to again and again.”

ChupaCarter by George Lopez and Ryan Calejo, Illustrated by Santy Gutierrez

“In this illustrated contemporary fantasy, twelve-year-old Jorge is lonely and resentful after being sent to live with his grandparents. His first day at his new school doesn’t go well after catching the attention of his belligerent principal and the school bullies, so Jorge might be a little desperate for a friend.

But the only kid who shares his interest in junk food and games turns out to be a young chupacabra—a legendary monster whose kind is known for being bloodthirsty livestock killers. The truth is, Carter is anything but savage—he’s kind, a good listener, and has great taste in sneakers. Being friends with a mythical creature should be amazing, but when local cattle turn up dead and his principal suspects the truth, Jorge is torn. Should he trust that his friend is innocent and protect him from exposure, or reveal his dangerous existence and change the world forever?”

A Taste of Magic by J. Elle

“Kyana Turner has just found out the family secret–she’s a witch! This means mandatory lessons every Saturday at Park Row Magick Academy, the magic school hidden in the back of her local beauty shop. Learning spells, discovering charms and potion recipes, and getting a wand made to match her hair’s curl pattern, Kyana feels like she’s a part of something really special. The hardest part will be keeping her magic a secret from non-Magick folks, including her BFF, Nae.

But when the school loses funding, the students must either pay a hefty tuition at the academy across town or have their magic stripped . . . permanently. Determined not to let that happen, Kyana comes up with a plan to win a huge cash prize in a baking competition. After all, she’s learned how to make the best desserts from her memaw. But as Kyana struggles to keep up with magic and regular school, prepare for the competition, and keep her magic secret, she wonders if it’s possible to save her friendships, too. And what will she do when, in the first round of competition, a forbidden dollop of magic whisks into her cupcakes?”

Graphic Novels

Geraldine Pu and Her Lucky Pencil, Too!: Ready-to-Read Graphics Level 3 by Maggie P. Chang

Spunky, funny, and friendly Geraldine Pu writes a story for class in this third book in this Level 3 Ready-to-Read Graphics series!

Geraldine Pu loves to write stories with her lucky pencil, Chienbee. But when Geraldine’s teacher assigns a story for class and says everyone will read theirs out loud, Geraldine is nervous. She decides to write about her grandmother, Amah, who tells her bravery runs in the family. Will Geraldine be brave too, and share her tale? Find out in this book that includes instructions on how to make a scrapbook.”

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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