There are going to be a few changes around here…

After batting burnout for the last few months, I have finally made the difficult decision to dial things back a bit here. As much as I want to shout about ALL the books, I am only one person with a limited amount of time and mental fortitude. It’s time I admit to myself that I can’t actually do it all.

Going forward, this account will be focused on books by, for, and about the queer community. There will be lots of rebranding happening, including a name change, so be on the lookout for new stuff soon!

Thank you all so much for all the support you’ve shown me over the last couple of years. I have loved every minute of Mutually Inclusive and I can’t wait to share Rainbow Reads with you all!


Embracing the Spectrum: Picture Books For Autism Acceptance Month

With Autism Acceptance Month quickly approaching, I can’t think of a better time to share a list of picture books that celebrate and embrace the unique characteristics and strengths of individuals on the autism spectrum. These books offer perspective into the diverse range of traits and behaviors that are often associated with autism, like nonverbal communication and sensory processing differences. By shedding light on these traits and behaviors, these books help to promote understanding and acceptance of autism and encourage readers to celebrate the strengths and abilities of individuals on the spectrum. Whether you are a parent, caregiver, educator, or simply someone looking to learn more about autism, I hope this collection of books will inspire you to embrace and celebrate neurodiversity.

A Day With No Words by Tiffany Hammond, Illustrated by Kate Cosgrove

A must-read that belongs in every home and classroom, A Day With No Words invites readers into the life of an Autism Family who communicates just as the child does, without spoken language.

This colorful and engaging picture book for young readers shares what life can look like for families who use nonverbal communication, utilizing tools to embrace their unique method of “speaking.”

The story highlights the bond between mother and child and follows them on a day where they use a tablet to communicate with others.

Written by an autistic mother of two autistic sons and the creator behind the popular @Fidgets.and.Fries social media platform and illustrated by Kate Cosgrove (IG @k8cosgrove), A Day With No Words successfully normalizes communication methods outside of verbal speech and provides representation of neurodiversity and autism in a way that affirms and celebrates.

Wild For Winnie by Laura Marx Fitzgerald, Illustrated by Jenny Lovlie

New student Winnie has sensory processing challenges, but her wonderful teacher knows just how to make sure she’s a welcome part of the class.

Winnie is the new kid at school, and sometimes she acts kind of wild. Her teacher says to her classmates, “Maybe Winnie feels the world differently than most of us. Why don’t we give her world a try?” So that week, when Winnie can’t stop monkeying around, the class joins her on the jungle gym. And when she’s acting squirrelly, they all go nuts on an obstacle course. When Winnie is being a bit of a bear, the whole class burrows into a cozy den for storytime. Soon, with the guidance of their loving teacher, Winnie’s classmates realize that sometimes we all feel the world differently, and that’s more than okay.

My Brain Is Magic: A Sensory-Seeking Celebration by Prasha Sooful, Illustrated by Geeta Ladi

Is your brain magic? Whether your brain buzzes around the room like a bee or tells you to be loud and roar like a lion, celebrate the many things that it can be!

This sensory-seeking celebration shines a light on neurodiversity and sensory processing in a fun and action-packed way for all children to enjoy.

Bitsy Bat, School Star by Kaz Windness

A little bat struggles to fit in only to learn to celebrate differences in this heartfelt picture book from an autistic perspective about starting school, making friends, and seeing what makes each person special.

Bitsy is a little bat with big star dreams of making friends at her new school. But when she arrives, Bitsy doesn’t feel like she fits in. The other kids sit on their chairs, but sitting upright makes Bitsy dizzy. The other kids paint with their fingers, but Bitsy would rather use her toes. Everyone tells Bitsy she’s doing things wrong-wrong-wrong, so she tries harder…and ends up having a five-star meltdown.

Now Bitsy feels like a very small star and doesn’t want to go back to school. But with help from her family, Bitsy musters her courage, comes up with a new plan, and discovers that being a good friend is just one of the ways she shines bright!

The Little Senses Series by Samantha Cotterill

Being on the spectrum herself, Samantha Cotterill has created a wonderful series that allows children to recognize themselves in a fun, yet therapeutic way. This series is a fantastic choice for neurodivergent children but also provides neurotypical children a glimpse into the experiences of their neurodivergent peers.

This Beach Is Loud!

Going to the beach is exciting. But it can also be busy. And loud. Sand can feel hot or itchy or sticky…and it gets everywhere! In This Beach Is Loud!, a sensitive boy gets overwhelmed by all the sights, sounds, and sensations at the beach. Luckily, this kiddo’s dad has a trick up his sleeve to help his son face these unexpected obstacles.

Combining accessible storytelling and playful design, This Beach Is Loud! gently offers practical advice for coping with new experiences to children on the autism spectrum and/or with sensory sensitivities.

Nope. Never. Not For Me!

Children are often picky eaters, but for kids on the autism spectrum or with sensory issues, trying new foods can be especially challenging. In Nope! Never! Not for Me! a young child refuses to try a bite of broccoli–that is, until her mom guides her through a careful exploration of the new food. First she looks, then she sniffs, then touches, and finally takes one tiny bite. What do you know? Broccoli isn’t so overwhelming after all!

With simple, reassuring text and bold illustrations in a limited palette, Nope! Never! Not For Me! espouses a patient approach to picky eating and empowers kids to explore new experiences without stress or pressure.

Can I Play Too?

Two boys’ fun train-track-building project takes a turn when one of the boys obliviously insists on only doing things his way. Their disagreement spells disaster for the train and the friendship, until a kind teacher steps in and explains how to tell when a friend is feeling happy, frustrated, or angry. . . and how to ask for a do-over.

Compromising and paying attention to how other people are feeling can be hard for any kid, but especially for kids on the autism spectrum. Samatha Cotterill’s third book in the Little Senses series provides gentle guidance along with adorable illustrations to help every kid navigate the twists and turns of friendship and working together.

It Was Supposed to Be Sunny

Laila feels like her sparkly sunshine birthday celebration is on the brink of ruin when it starts to storm. Then, just as she starts feeling okay with moving her party indoors, an accident with her cake makes her want to call the whole thing off. But with the help of her mom and a little alone time with her service dog, she knows she can handle this.

Changes in routine can be hard for any kid, but especially for kids on the autism spectrum. Samantha Cotterill’s fourth book in the Little Senses series provides gentle guidance along with adorable illustrations to help every kid navigate schedule changes and overwhelming social situations.

Stop and Smell The Cookies by Gibson Frazier, Illustrated by Micah Player

A picture book about a rambunctious boy who learns to manage his big feelings.

Sometimes Dash gets so excited that his chest feels warm and fuzzy, his toes dance, and his fingertips tickle the air. When that starts, he can’t seem to control what he does next, and often, trouble follows.
Luckily, with a little help, Dash finds a way to slow himself down when big feelings threaten to take over.
This joyous book introduces a clever technique to engage the imagination and relax the mind, perfect for those who are impulsive like Dash, those who hold in their feelings, and everyone in between.

I am Temple Grandin (Ordinary People Change the World) by Brad Meltzer, Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos

“I hope this book inspires you to overcome challenges and make a positive difference in the world,” —Prominent autistic American scientist and animal behaviorist Temple Grandin, 30th hero in this New York Times bestselling picture book biography series for ages 5 to 9.

This book spotlights female scientist Temple Grandin, whose experience being on the autism spectrum has informed her advocacy and her work as an animal behaviorist. Temple Grandin’s pride in being different and how it shaped her world is celebrated in this biography. 

This friendly, fun biography series inspired the PBS Kids TV show Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum. One great role model at a time, these books encourage kids to dream big.

To learn more about the autism experience and Autism Acceptance Month please visit the Autism Society at

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Ramen and Individuality: A Review of Ramen For Everyone by Pat Tanumihardj and Shiho Pate

For young foodies and aspiring chefs, Ramen for Everyone by Pat Tanumihardja is a delightful picture book that tells the story of a young boy named Hiro who dreams of making the perfect bowl of ramen like his dad. With vibrant illustrations by Shiho Pate and a heartwarming message about creativity and individuality, this book is sure to be a hit with kids and parents alike.

Title: Ramen For Everyone
Author: Pat Tanumihardj
Illustrator: Shiho Pate
Publisher: Atheneum Books For Young Readers
Published: March 14, 2023
Format: Picture Book

Hiro’s dad makes the best ramen every Sunday with nori seaweed, nitamago egg, and chashu pork that melts in your mouth. Hiro is determined to make his own ramen, but when he tries, everything goes wrong. The seaweed crumbles, the eggs slip, and the pork falls apart. Hiro gets discouraged and thinks he’ll never be a real ramen chef.

But then, his dad gives him some great advice – that everyone’s perfect bowl of ramen is unique. This inspires Hiro to keep trying, and he experiments with different ingredients and techniques until he finally creates a unique bowl of ramen for each of his family members.

What’s great about this book is that it teaches kids about the importance of being creative and celebrating our unique differences. Hiro learns that it’s okay if his ramen doesn’t look or taste exactly like his dad’s, and that’s what makes it special.

The illustrations by Shiho Pate are adorable and full of personality. Kids will love the cute characters and detailed pictures of the ramen ingredients and process. They’ll probably even start craving ramen while they’re reading it!

If so, the back matter has you covered with a detailed recipe and a handy list of kitchen rules. This combination creates is a great opportunity to discuss kitchen safety and invite young ones in the kitchen to explore their creativity.

Ramen for Everyone officially releases next week, but you can preorder your copy wherever books are sold today, including Bookshop and Amazon.

Affiliate Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. However, all opinions and recommendations expressed in this post are our own and are not influenced by any affiliations or compensation received.

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Teaching Kids About Women’s Rights: A Review of ‘I Dare! I Can! I Will!: The Day the Icelandic Women Walked Out and Inspired the World” by Linda Olafsdottir

If you’re looking for a book that will teach kids about the history of women’s rights, look no further than I Dare! I Can! I Will!: The Day the Icelandic Women Walked Out and Inspired the World by Linda Olafsdottir. Following a young girl named Vera and her mother as they leave their home for Women’s Day Off, young readers will learn the history of this celebration through the conversation between mother and daughter.

Title: I Dare! I Can! I Will!: The Day the Icelandic Women Walked Out and Inspired the World
Author/Illustrator: Linda Olafsdottir
Published: March 14, 2023
Published: Cameron Kids
Format: Picture Book

The original Women’s Day Off, or Long Friday, occurred on October 24th, 1975, in Iceland. On that day, women across the country went on strike from their jobs, both paid and unpaid, and refused to do any housework or childcare. Farmworkers, butchers, and fisherwomen, wives, daughters, and children gathered together in the streets of Reykjavik to demand equal rights, equal pay, and an end to discrimination.

I Dare! I Can! I Will! depicts the history of the Icelandic Women’s Strike in a way that is both educational and engaging for children. Written in accessible language for children, it’s an ideal tool for teaching young readers about women’s rights and the ongoing struggle for equality and social justice in many communities today. The timeless message of standing up for what is right is as relevant today as it was in 1975.

The illustrations in I Dare! I Can! I Will! are absolutely wonderful – they really bring the story to life and capture the spirit of the march. And the fact that the book depicts women from different backgrounds and class divisions marching together highlights the power of collective action and the impact that we can make when we all stand together.

I Dare! I Can! I Will! officially releases next week, but you can preorder your copy wherever books are sold today, including Bookshop and Amazon.

Affiliate Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. However, all opinions and recommendations expressed in this post are our own and are not influenced by any affiliations or compensation received.

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Brotherly Mischief and Mayhem: Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey on their Middle Grade Graphic Novel Link + Hud: Heroes By A Hair

I am absolutely thrilled to welcome Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey to the blog to discuss their upcoming middle grade graphic novel Link + Hud: Heroes By A Hair!

Jarrett is an award-winning author-illustrator. He makes books for kids with his brother, Jerome. Their books include It’s a Sign!, Somewhere in the Bayou, The Old Boat, and their author-illustrator debut, The Old Truck, which received seven starred reviews, was named a Best Book of the Year by Publishers Weekly, and received the Ezra Jack Keats New Author Honor.

Jarrett spends his time writing and making stuff in his home near Austin, TX, where he lives with his wife, their two boys, a dog named Whiskey, and another dog named Ford. When he’s not writing or making stuff, you might find him fishing on a river somewhere or tinkering under the hood of his new old F100.

Jerome is a designer, illustrator, and writer, originally from Houston, TX. He studied graphic design at the Art Institute of Austin and has worked as a technical writer, freelance graphic designer, and illustrator.

Since 2016 he has been a graphic designer at The Walt Disney Company where he uses design and illustration to visually tell stories in print, digital, and immersive experiences for Disney global business development. He works primarily from his home office near Clearwater, FL, where he lives with his wife, daughter, and son.

Jerome is a member of the SCBWI and shares a previous author credit with Jarrett for Creepy Things Are Scaring Me (HarperCollins, 2003), which they wrote as teenagers.

Thank you both for joining me today! Let’s start from the beginning. How did the idea for Link + Hud: Heroes By A Hair come about?

Jarrett: The idea of making a book about two brothers actually came from our editor, Simon Boughton. He just asked if we’d ever considered it. We hadn’t considered it, but after he asked us, we were like, “Duh, we’re brothers. We make books together. Of course we should make a book about brothers together!” We knew the only way we’d want to do it was by pulling heavily from our own childhood for the story.

Title: Link + Hud: Heroes By A Hair
Authors: Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey
Published: March 7, 2023
Publisher: Norton Young Readers
Format: Graphic Novel

Can you tell us a bit about the creative process behind the book, from brainstorming to finalizing the illustrations?

Jarrett: This book represents a lot of firsts for us. We’d never written a novel or a graphic novel before. Never made anything longer than a picture book. Other than specifying a very loose age range, Simon gave us the freedom to make whatever we wanted. So, we started by reading a bunch of other books in the category.

Jerome: After we had a better idea of what was out there, we talked through a lot of questions about what we wanted to make and how we’d make it. Would we each write a brother? Maybe alternate chapters? Would it be straight prose? Graphic novel? Something else? How would we make the art? Printmaking like our picture books or some other way? We ultimately decided Jarrett would write the words and I’d draw the pictures, that we’d do a mix of graphic panels and illustrated prose, and that I’d draw the pictures with line art rather than printmaking due to how much art there would be and to better fit the style and vibe we wanted.

Jarrett: We finished the first three chapters–a graphic novel chapter and two prose chapters–to give ourselves and Simon a better idea of how we thought the book could work. We liked it. Simon liked it. That’s when we knew we had it figured out.

Link + Hud: Heroes By A Hair is based on your childhood together, how much of the story is based on real events? How did your experiences as brothers influence the dynamic between the main characters, Link and Hud?

Jarrett: Yes, parts of it are pulled straight from our childhood. Other parts are heavily inspired. Link and Hud Dupré are us. Along with our other two brothers, we turned the house upside down creating all sorts of other worlds, just like they do. Link and Hud’s parents are our parents, though our dad was a dentist, not a podiatrist. He was just as entrepreneurial as Dr. Dupré, though. The Black hair-care line Dr. Dupré invents called Au Salon is the same Black hair-care line our dad invented. Our dad couldn’t sell it either, so we had boxes of it filling our closets. Our parents brought on an elderly old school, no-nonsense babysitter to watch us after several younger babysitters couldn’t cut it. Her name was Ms. Joyce. Link and Hud call her “Goldtooth.” We never called her that, but she really did have a gold tooth.

Jerome: And we never got Ms. Joyce fired, but we did spend plenty of timeouts in the bathroom. We hated it just as much as Link and Hud do.

Can you talk about the process of transitioning from a picture book like The Old Truck, to now working on a middle grade graphic novel? What are some of the differences or similarities of the creative process for each format?

Jarrett: It was certainly different, but also the same in a lot of ways. There’s more text, more pictures, more story, but we tried to stick to our usual process where it made sense. We had to figure out format and voice and all those sorts of things, but before that, we started out like we always do. With story. Like, big picture, what are we even trying to say? What story are we trying to tell? What are the major beats? How do we hit those beats? How do we tell that story (so it’s not boring!)? Structure and format and all those other things followed, which is very similar to how it goes with our picture books. Like Jerome mentioned, on this book I wrote the words and he drew the pictures, so that’s a difference, but we were both still very involved in deciding how the text and visuals would work together.

Jerome: I agree. The biggest difference was just the scale. And mixing mediums, of course. This was our first time mixing panels and prose.

The format you used is so unique! I love the way you blend prose and graphic novel-style illustrations. How did you come up with the idea to use both prose and graphic novel elements?

Jarrett: We love comics and prose and had decided early on that we wanted to put them together in an interesting way. At one point we considered writing one brother in prose and the other in panels. We almost went that direction until we recognized an important part of the brotherly dynamic we wanted to capture, something that’s true to us as brothers, anyway: shared reality. In the book, we use the graphic novel chapters to show Link and Hud’s imagined world and the prose chapters to show the real world. But these brothers aren’t just playing make believe. They’re interacting with the real world together with a shared view informed by their boundless and active imaginations. The transitions from their view of the world in panels to the real world in prose provided a great way for us to show the consequences of that and made for some of the funniest moments in the book.

If readers only take one message away from Link + Hud: Heroes By A Hair, what would you want it to be?

Jarrett: Well, it would have to be the deepest and most serious message, of course: That it’s okay to wear their underwear on their heads if they want. It’s heroic, even. They should just make sure it’s their underwear and not their brother’s!

Jerome: I just want readers to enjoy the book and laugh out loud at all the funny parts.

What can readers expect from future installments in the Link + Hud series?

Jerome: More Link and Hud. More adventures. More brotherly mischief.

Jarrett: We’re working on book 2 now and hope to make many more after that!

You can learn more about the Pumphrey Brothers and their work at their website or on social media. Jarrett is on Instagram @jpumphrey and Twitter @jpumphrey,Jerome is on Instagram @wjpumphrey and Twitter @wjpumphrey, and you can find both brothers on TikTok @pumphreybrothers.

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Once Upon a Book by Grace Lin and Kate Messner: A Tale of Adventure, Imagination, and Gratitude

Once Upon a Book by Grace Lin and Kate Messner is a charming and imaginative story that will transport you to a world of adventure and wonder! This dynamic duo of award-winning picture book authors bring their unique storytelling skills to the table, making this book a truly special and memorable experience.

Authors: Grace Lin and Kate Messner
Illustrator: Grace Lin
Publisher: Little Brown Books For Young Readers
Published: February 7, 2023
Format: Picture Book

Grace’s beautiful illustrations bring the text to life, with a style that will captivate you from the first page. The text reads like a modern folktale, with a lyrical and expressive story about a young girl who embarks on a journey of imagination and discovery, Once Upon a Book celebrates the joy of reading and the power of books. It’s a great pick for teachers, librarians, and booksellers who love books that inspire kids to read.

Representation matters, and Once Upon a Book features an Asian main character in a story that’s not all about their identity, filling a gap in the market for joyful stories starring BIPOC characters. It’s so important to have diverse stories about adventure, joy, and imagination for all kids to see themselves in.

And the reviews speak for themselves! “Once Upon a Book” has received three stars from Kirkus Reviews, Booklist, and The Horn Book. Publishers Weekly even says it offers “a warm, Sendakian view of books’ cinematic and transportive powers”.

With so much to offer, “Once Upon a Book” is a must-read for children and adults alike. You can find it at bookstores everywhere, including Bookshop and Amazon. Get your copy today and start your journey!

Affiliate Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. However, all opinions and recommendations expressed in this post are our own and are not influenced by any affiliations or compensation received.

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Celebrate National Make A Friend Day with This Book Is My Best Friend by Robin Robinson

National Make a Friend Day is all about celebrating the power of friendship and the joy that comes from having someone to share your life with. And what better way to celebrate this special day than by introducing a heartwarming picture book that celebrates the bond between a child and their favorite book? This Book is My Best Friend by Robin Robinson is a book that will touch the hearts of young readers and remind us all of the joy that comes from a special connection with a book.

Author/Illustrator: Robin Robinson
Published: January 31, 2023
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers
Format: Picture Book

The story follows two young readers, Sunny and Aarush, who both share a love for the same book about robots titled Factory Friends. But when they both reach for it at the library, they set off on a charming journey through the stacks as they search for a solution to their problem. Along the way, they discover that sharing is the best part of reading and friendship.

But the book is not just about the joy of reading. It also touches on important themes like anxiety and change throughout the illustrations. As Arush and Sunny share the reasons they love Factory Friends, they each offer a glimpse into their lives. Readers learn about the challenges each child faces, like Sunny’s mother’s hospital stay or Aarush’s new siblings, and see how reading helps them both. This Book is My Best Friend perfectly captures the different ways we connect with books and how readers can rely on them like a friend, especially during times of uncertainty.

Robin Robinson’s illustration skills in This Book is My Best Friend are truly remarkable. Not only does she bring the story to life with her vivid and playful artwork, but she also expertly weaves in storytelling elements through her illustrations. Young readers will be captivated by the bright, rich colors on each page and the charming depictions of the characters, all filled with warmth and affection.

So, on this National Make a Friend Day, why not share the love of reading with a young reader by gifting them a copy of This Book is My Best Friend? You can purchase your copy wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon.

Affiliate Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. However, all opinions and recommendations expressed in this post are our own and are not influenced by any affiliations or compensation received.

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Jessie: Queen of the Road by Lindsay Ward

Today I’m honored to be participating in the blog tour for Lindsay Ward’s newest title, Jessie: Queen of the Road. Inspired by seven real life female motorcyclist, Jessie tells the story of one spunky motorcycle who takes an adventure and break barriers wherever she goes.

Title: Jessie: Queen of the Road
Author/Illustrator: Lindsay Ward
Published: January 31, 2023
Publisher: Two Lions
Format: Picture Book

This companion to Rosie: Stronger than Steel begins in the early twentieth century, and spans decades, as Jessie tries to enlist during World War I, treks across America, meets other female motorcycles, works as a stunt rider, and even lands a job as a courier during World War II. This historical fiction will give young readers an idea of the obstacles women faced in America throughout history, but is also a delightful story about a lovable, tenacious motorcycle.

The illustrations of American landmarks are wonderfully crafted and create a unique geography curriculum tie-in for classrooms. I especially loved the spread where Jessie gets lost among red rock formations. It took me back to a road trip through the southwest years ago, and reminded me of my nights in Sedona.

The author’s note in the back provides historical reference and further information on the seven women who inspired Jessie’s story, making this a wonderful selection for school libraries.

Jessie: Queen of the Road will be available next week , but you can preorder it today wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. I will also be hosting a giveaway over on Instagram, so be sure to keep an eye out!

(Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Lindsay Ward is the creator of the Dexter T. Rexter series as well as Rosie: Stronger than Steel, Between the Lines, This Book Is Gray, Brobarians, Rosco vs. the Baby, and The Importance of Being 3. Her book Please Bring Balloons was also made into a play. Lindsay lives with her family in Peninsula, Ohio. Learn more about her online at

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Review: Love is Loud: How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movevement

Love is Loud: How Diana Nash led The Civil Right Movement by Sandra Neil Wallace and Bryan Collier is a fantastic resource for anyone looking for inspiring stories for next month’s Black History Month celebrations. Covering the life of Diane Nash, the picture book biography provides young readers with a moving history lesson about an unsung hero of the Civil Rights Movement.

Title: Love is Loud : How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement
Author: Sandra Neil Wallace
Illustrator: Bryan Collier
Publisher : Paula Wiseman/Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers
Published: January 10, 2023
Format: Picture Book

Though she isn’t mentioned as often as the men she worked alongside in history lessons, Diane Nash courageously fought for civil rights. As a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) Diane led nonviolent protests such as sit-ins and Freedom Rides, led voting rights campaigns in Alabama, and shocked the nation when she wrote about going to prison for the freedom of her unborn child.

Written with a unique second person point of view, Love is Loud tells Diane’s story, beginning with her childhood in Chicago, surrounded by the kind of love she would learn to use to fight hatred and injustice. I found the second person point of view and interesting choice, since you don’t see many picture book biographies written this way, but it worked in this case. I also appreciated the way Sandra uses assonance throughout the book, by repeatedly using pairs of rhyming words. This choice made me read it with a very unique rhythm that almost brought to mind spoken word poetry.

The skillfully crafted text pairs wonderfully with Bryan Collier’s distinctive style of illustrations. Combining watercolor with detailed collage, Bryan beautifully captures Diane’s story and her love for humankind.

The extensive backmatter (including an Author’s Note, Illustrator’s Note, Timeline, and other resources) makes Love is Loud a fantastic selection for classrooms or school libraries. There is also a wonderful discussion guide on Sandra Neil Wallace’s website that provides a great curriculum tie in for both Black History Month, and Women’s History month coming up.

Love is Loud is available wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon, so be sure to grab your copy today! (Please note: Some links provided are affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission for recommendations at no cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and to continue bringing content to you. I always appreciate your support!)

Thank you so much to Simon and Schuster Books For Young Readers and BlueSlip Media for providing me with a review copy of Love is Loud. I’m honored to be able to share Diane’s story with everyone today.

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A different sort of post today…

To be honest, I’ve been putting this post off all week. The truth is, as much as I loathe to admit it, it’s time for a hiatus. Between working the day job, writing, reviewing, blogging, and parenting a toddler, I’ve spread myself too thin over the last few weeks. I’m feeling the burnout, and I need to step back and give myself some time and space to rest.

I’m planning on taking the month of November off, but Mutually Inclusive will be back up and running in December to talk about all things year-end and holiday related.