It’s Tuesday again, so we’re talking new release again, but this week we have a giveaway! Be sure to read to the end for details!
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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Lupe Lopez: Rock Star Rules! by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo and Pat Zietlow Miller, Illustrated by Joe Cepeda
“When a sassy drummer starts kindergarten, the rules of school cramp her style. What’s a young rock star to do?
When Lupe Lopez struts through the doors of Hector P. Garcia Elementary in sunglasses with two taped-up Number 2 pencils—drumsticks, of course—poking from her pocket, her confidence is off the charts. All day, Lupe drums on desks, tables, and chairs while Ms. Quintanilla reminds her of school rules. Lupe has her own rules: 1) Don’t listen to anyone. 2) Make lots of noise. ¡Rataplán! 3) Have fans, not friends. But with her new teacher less than starstruck, and fans hard to come by, Lupe wonders if having friends is such a bad idea after all. Can it be that true star power means knowing when to share the spotlight? With its spirited illustrations and a simple text threaded through with Spanish words, this picture book is proof positive that being a strong girl moving to her own beat doesn’t have to mean pushing others away.”
Mi Ciudad Sings by Cynthia Harmony, Illustrated by Teresa Martinez
“Summer is here and Heba is so excited to wear her new, yellow burkini to the community pool for the first time! She can’t wait to look like the other mermaid girls in her family and sparkle like the sun.
But when Heba arrives at the pool and her friends start asking her questions about her new special swimsuit, she feels like she’s standing out too much. Suddenly her burkini seems like a bad idea.
Luckily Mama helps Heba to find strength in the mermaid girls who came before her. Feeling more connected to the women of her family, Heba is ready to show her friends that she can do all the same things that they can do—handstands, summersaults, and dives off the diving board—even while wearing her yellow burkini.”
Over & Over: A Children’s Book to Soothe Children’s Worries by M. H. Clark, Illustrated by Beya Rebai
“Over and Over follows a young girl and her father as they enjoy life’s simple everyday pleasures–from sitting down for breakfast to gazing at the clouds to counting the stars before lying down to sleep. With gentle rhyming storytelling and captivating imagery, each page honors the daily routines that help a child feel safe within the world. This book is a beautiful bedtime read to soothe the anxious feelings of a child and strengthen a family bond.”
The Summer of Diving by Sara Stridsberg, Illustrated by Sara Lindberg, Translated by B.J. Woodstein
“Zoe’s dad isn’t home. She still sees him in photographs, laughing and playing tennis, but for now she can only visit him in a building where everyone looks sad and the walls are an ugly pink color. Some days Zoe’s dad is too sad to see her, but she goes to the hospital anyway. While waiting she meets Sabina who invites her to swim across the world. Zoe’s not sure it’s possible, but Sabina tells her, “A girl can do everything she wants.” Even though Sabina sometimes dives deep into her own thoughts, the two of them swim around the world many times that summer, until eventually Zoe’s dad is ready to come home.”
A Taste of Honey: Kamala Outsmarts the Seven Thieves; A Circle Round Book by Rebecca Sheir, Illustrated by Chaaya Prabhat
“In a village in the countryside lived a woman named Kamala who had the most delicious honey you’ve ever tasted. She collected honey from her hives to sell at the market, but business was slow, and she and her father were struggling to get by. Kamala knew she had to do something, so when she heard that the king’s son was getting married and all the villagers were invited to the party, she got an idea.
When Kamala’s first plan doesn’t exactly work out and seven tricky thieves try to steal from her, she has to rely on her own wits to outsmart them—and discovers a rather sweet reward.
The colorful illustrations of Chaaya Prabhat, who lives in Chennai, India complement Circle Round podcast host Rebecca Sheir’s original adaptation of this traditional Indian folktale. Specially designed to be read aloud and shared, the story is accompanied by questions and prompts for conversation, along with creative storytelling activities.”
The Tale of the Unwelcome Guest: Nasruddin Teaches the Town a Lesson; A Circle Round Book by Rebecca Sheir, Illustrated by Mert Tugen
“The town beside the sea was abuzz with the news. The governor was holding a grand banquet and everyone was invited—everyone! But no one was as excited as Nasruddin.
On the day of the celebration, Nasruddin works hard in his vineyard picking and squishing grapes. He planned to wear his special long red silk coat, but at the end of the day it’s too late for him to go home and change! When he arrives at the banquet in his grape-juice-stained work clothes, he looks different from what the townspeople were expecting. But Nasruddin is a clever fellow—and he figures out a most delicious way to teach the town a lesson about judging people for the way they look.”
The Notebook Keeper: A Story of Kindness from the Border by Stephen Briseño, Illustrated by Magdalena Mora
“Based on true events, this inspiring story follows a mama and her daughter who are denied entry at the U.S. border, and must find the refugee in charge of “the notebook,” an unofficial ledger of those waiting to cross into the U.S.
Before, the sun drenched the yard. Our neighbor’s laughter danced in the streets. Now, the streets are quiet. Papa is gone, and we are no longer safe here. We are leaving, too.
In this moving and stunningly-illustrated picture book, Noemi and Mama flee their home in Mexico, and head for the US border. There, they look for “The Notebook Keeper”– the person in charge of a ledger for those waiting to cross, and they add their names to the book. As the days turn into weeks, and hope dwindles, the little girl looks for kindness around her– and inside herself. One day, when the Notebook Keeper’s own name is called to cross, Noemi and her Mama are chosen–for the generosity in their hearts– to take her place.”
Build It! Jump It!: An Acorn Book (Racing Ace #2) by Larry Dane Brimner, Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita
“Where do you come from? Where does your family come from? For many children, the answers to these questions can transform a conversation into a journey around the globe.
In her first picture book, author Patrice Gopo illuminates how family stories help shape children, help form their identity, and help connect them with the broader world. Her lyrical language, paired with Jenin Mohammed’s richly textured artwork, creates a beautiful, stirring portrait of a child’s deep ties to cultures and communities beyond where she lays her head to sleep.
Ultimately, this story speaks a truth that all children need to hear: The places we come from are part of us, even if we can’t always be near them. All the Places We Call Home is a quiet triumph that encourages an awakening to our own stories and to the stories of those around us.”
Valentina Salazar is Not a Monster Hunter by Zoraida Córdova
“It takes a special person to end up in detention on the last day of school.
It takes a REALLY special person to accidentally burn down the school yard while chasing a fire-breathing chipmunk.
But nothing about Valentina Salazar has ever been “normal.” The Salazars are protectors, tasked with rescuing the magical creatures who sometimes wander into our world, from grumpy unicorns to chupacabras . . . to the occasional fire-breathing chipmunk.
When Val’s father is killed during a rescue mission gone wrong, her mother decides it’s time to retire from their life on the road. She moves the family to a boring little town in upstate New York and enrolls Val and her siblings in real school for the first time.
But Val is a protector at heart and she can’t give up her calling. So when a mythical egg surfaces in a viral video, Val convinces her reluctant siblings to help her find the egg before it hatches and wreaks havoc. But she has some competition: the dreaded monster hunters who’ll stop at nothing to destroy the creature . . . and the Salazar family.”
High Score by Destiny Howell
“My name’s Darius James―but everyone calls me DJ. At my old school, I was the go-to guy for all kinds of tricky problems that needed creative solutions. But at my new school, Ella Fitzgerald Middle, I’m just trying to blend in.
Well, I was, anyway, until my best friend, Conor, got himself transferred to the Fitz too. Now Conor owes 100,000 arcade tickets to the biggest bully around―and he only has two weeks to make it happen. Impossible? Not with my head in the game.”
In The Beautiful Country by Jane Kuo
“For fans of Jasmine Warga and Thanhhà Lại, this is a stunning novel in verse about a young Taiwanese immigrant to America who is confronted by the stark difference between dreams and reality.
Anna can’t wait to move to the beautiful country—the Chinese name for America. Although she’s only ever known life in Taiwan, she can’t help but brag about the move to her family and friends.
But the beautiful country isn’t anything like Anna pictured. Her family can only afford a cramped apartment, she’s bullied at school, and she struggles to understand a new language. On top of that, the restaurant that her parents poured their savings into is barely staying afloat. The version of America that Anna is experiencing is nothing like she imagined. How will she be able to make the beautiful country her home?”
Ghosts of Science Past by Joseph Sieracki and Jesse Lonergan
“A teenager desperate to pass his Biology final is visited in the night, Christmas Carol-style, by the spirits of some of the greatest scientists in history.
Trevor suffers from an ailment common among high schoolers: apathy. He snoozes through science class, distrusts his teachers, and would rather stay up all night playing video games than studying for his upcoming science quiz. With an “F” in Biology looming ominously in Trevor’s near future unless he finds motivation, Trevor’s parents take away his video games for a week in an effort to make him buckle down and study. When he opens up his book, however, an epic adventure begins, and the greatest scientists in history become his guides—literally!”
I’m giving away 1 copy of Lupe Lopez: Rock Star Rules! by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo and Pat Zietlow Miller, Illustrated by Joe Cepeda to one lucky reader today! This giveaway will run until next Tuesday (July 5, 2022) and all you have to do is enter the RaffleCopter giveaway below by sharing your favorite release of 2022. There is also an extra entry for anyone who signs up for email notifications. (US entries only, please.) Good luck to you all! Can’t wait to see who wins!
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