New Release Round-Up: January 17, 2022

Happy Tuesday, y’all! We are talking new releases again today!

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

This Little Engineer: A Think-and-Do Primer by Joan Holub, Illustrated by Daniel Roode

Meet the engineers who are building our future in innovative and surprising ways in this STEM-based board book in the bestselling This Little series!

This Little Engineer, A Think and Do Primer. Now even the youngest readers can learn all about the amazing, inspiring work engineers do every day! Highlighting ten memorable people who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this discovery primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations. Latina astronaut Ellen Ochoa, Indian American nanotechnologist Sangeeta Bhatia, Chinese American artificial intelligence engineer Fei-Fei Li, Apple whiz Steve Wozniak, electricity genius Nikola Tesla, Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel tower and Statue of Liberty skeleton fame, and more!

They, He, She: Words for You and Me – Gender Inclusive Pronoun Board Book for Babies and Toddlers by Mudpuppy, Illustrated by Andy Passchier

Introduce the youngest readers to inclusive pronouns with this beautifully illustrated board book from Mudpuppy. They, He, She: Words for You and Me Board Book includes easy to read text and bright and colorful artwork to provide children with a fun and exciting way to learn a wide range of pronouns. Includes a mirror on the final page! 

Picture Books

Milloo’s Mind: The Story of Maryam Faruqi, Trailblazer for Women’s Education by Reem Faruqi, Illustrated by Hoda Hadadi

Maryam was a trailblazer for women’s education and the author is her granddaughter, creating a personal, inspiring tale. Perfect for fans of Malala’s Magic Pencil and She Persisted!

Milloo lives in a time when school is considered unnecessary for girls. But to Milloo, education is essential.

When Milloo reads, her thoughts dance. Milloo courageously dreams of becoming a teacher, but in fifth grade her parents tell her she has had enough school. Milloo is heartbroken but finds a way to achieve her educational goals, graduating high school and college with honors. When she’s married, Milloo’s husband tells her to stay home, but she does not let that stop her.

She decides to open a school in her house and later opens more schools around Karachi, Pakistan, fulfilling her dreams.

Ice Cream Man: How Augustus Jackson Made a Sweet Treat Better by Glenda Armand and Kim Freeman, Illustrated by Keith Mallett

Discover the inspiring story of Augustus Jackson, an African American entrepreneur who is known as “the father of ice cream,” in this beautifully illustrated picture-book biography.

Augustus Jackson was born in 1808 in Philadelphia. While most African Americans were enslaved at that time, in Pennsylvania, slavery was against the law. But while Augustus and his family were free, they were poor, and they depended on their garden and their chickens for food. Augustus enjoyed helping his mom prepare meals for their family. He dreamed of becoming a professional cook, and when his mom suggested he may be able to make meals for the president one day, Augustus didn’t waste any time in making that dream a reality. In 1820, when he was only twelve years old, he set off for Washington, DC. He applied to work in the White House, where the head cook offered him a job as a kitchen helper. After five years of working hard, Augustus, or Gus, was promoted to cook. He went on to serve presidents James Monroe, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Jackson.

You Come from Greatness: A Celebration of Black History: A Picture Book by Sara Chinakwe, Illustrated by Ken Daley

Starting with his birth, the boy’s father lays out the history of his son’s ancestry: from the love and warmth of a big family, to the change makers and status shakers, the inventors and engineers, the astronomers, philosophers, and storytellers, the leaders and the doctors. The father details the legacy and impact of Black ancestors whose determination, strength, dedication, creativity, and leadership contributed to making the world better.

Throughout the story, the boy discovers the rich heritage of those that have gone before him and learns how he embodies that same greatness. He, too, has the power to change the world by embracing exactly who God made him to be.

To Boldly Go: How Nichelle Nichols and Star Trek Helped Advance Civil Rights by Angela Dalton, Illustrated by Lauren Semmer

Perfect for fans of Hidden Figures and Mae Among the StarsTo Boldly Go tells the true story of Nichelle Nichols and how she used her platform on Star Trek to inspire and recruit a new generation of diverse astronauts and many others in the space and STEM fields.

As Lieutenant Uhura on the iconic prime-time television show Star Trek, Nichelle Nichols played the first Black female astronaut anyone had ever seen on screen. A smart, strong, independent Black woman aboard the starship Enterprise was revolutionary in the 1960s when only white men had traveled to outer space in real life and most Black characters on TV were servants.

Nichelle not only inspired a generation to pursue their dreams, but also opened the door for the real-life pioneering astronaut Sally Ride, Dr. Mae Jemison, and more.

Abuela’s Super Capa by Ana Siqueira, Illustrated by Elisa Chavarri

A heartwarming bilingual picture book about a young boy who learns to accept that Abuela needs to retire her super capa. 

Saturdays are superhero days. Equipped with their milkshakes and capas, Luis and his abuela can turn anything into an adventure.

But when Abuela gets sick, Luis has to learn a new way to be a hero. With some help from his sister, Luis learns that change isn’t all that bad and there are many new adventures to have, even if they look a little different.

Perfect for families experiencing sickness and loss, this engaging multigenerational story will help young children find the language to express their feelings and adjust to change. 

My Red, White, and Blue by Alana Tyson, Illustrated by London Ladd

What does the American flag mean to you?

For some, it’s a vision of hope and opportunity. For others, it represents pain and loss. And for many, it’s more complicated than that—a symbol of a nation where the basic ideas of freedom and equality are still up for debate.

From slavery and segregation through Rosa Parks and Barack Obama, the history of Black people in America is a mixture of pride and pain. And while the flag might mean different things to different people, with some choosing to kneel and others to salute, ultimately, it is up to each of us to decide: the American flag is ours to see and relate to as we choose. 

Middle Grade

The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine by Katherine Marsh

Thirteen-year-old Matthew is miserable. His journalist dad is stuck overseas indefinitely, and his mom has moved in his one-hundred-year-old great-grandmother to ride out the pandemic, adding to his stress and isolation.

But when Matthew finds a tattered black-and-white photo in his great-grandmother’s belongings, he discovers a clue to a hidden chapter of her past, one that will lead to a life-shattering family secret. Set in alternating timelines that connect the present-day to the 1930s and the US to the USSR, Katherine Marsh’s latest novel sheds fresh light on the Holodomor – the horrific famine that killed millions of Ukrainians, and which the Soviet government covered up for decades.

Cookie Monsters by Erika J. Kendrick

A fun, fast-paced novel about friendship, family, fighting for what’s right, and standing out from the crowd while standing up for yourself. 

Twelve-year-old Brooklyn Ace is ready to take the Valentine World Scouts by storm and build her own cookie empire. She nearly won the top cookie selling spot last year and is determined to make her mom—who recently passed away—proud by coming in first this time around. With her fabulous best friends by her side, Brooklyn knows she’ll become Santa Monica’s District Cookie Queen. The crown is practically in the bag. 

Then Piper Parker arrives. 

The Boy Who Followed His Father into Auschwitz: A True Story Retold for Young Readers by Jeremy Dronfield

Fritz Kleinmann was fourteen when the Nazis took over Vienna. Kurt, his little brother, was eight. Under Hitler’s brutal regime, their Austrian-Jewish family of six was cruelly torn apart.

Taken to Buchenwald concentration camp, Fritz and his Papa, Gustav, underwent hard labor and starvation. Meanwhile, Kurt made the difficult voyage, all alone, to America, to escape the war.

When Papa was ordered to the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp, Fritz—desperate not to lose his beloved father—insisted he must go too. Together, they endured countless atrocities to survive.

Figure It Out, Henri Weldon by Tanita S. Davis

Seventh grader Henrietta Weldon gets to switch schools—finally! She’ll be “mainstreaming” into public school, leaving her special education school behind. She can’t wait for her new schedule, new friends, and new classes.

Henri’s dyscalculia, a learning disability that makes math challenging to process and understand, is what she expects to give her problems. What she doesn’t expect is a family feud with her sister over her new friends, joining the girls’ soccer team, and discovering poetry. Henri’s tutor and new friend, Vinnie, reminds her to take it slow. One problem at a time.

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

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