New Release Round Up: May 24, 2022

It’s Tuesday again! 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.

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission from purchases made, with no additional cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you.

Board Books

Bye Bye, Binary by Eric Geron, Illustrated by Charlene Chua

Fans of Feminist Baby by Loryn Brantz will love this board book about gender expression and being true to oneself.

“Is it a boy? Or a girl?” 

“WHAT’S IT TO YA?!”

Our little bundle of joy has arrived—to dismantle gender norms!

A joyful baby refuses to conform to the gender binary and instead chooses toys, colors, and clothes that make them happy. This tongue-in-cheek board book is a perfect tool to encourage children to love what they love and is also a great baby shower gift for all soon-to-be-parents. “

Picture Books

Sarah Rising by Ty Chapman, Illustrated by DeAnn Wiley

“Sarah starts her day like any other day: she eats her toast and feeds her bugs. But today isn’t a day like any other day. Today, her dad brings her to a protest to speak out against police violence against Black people. The protesters are loud, and Sarah gets scared. When Sarah spots a beautiful monarch butterfly and follows it through the crowd, she finds herself inside the no-man’s land between the line of police and protesters. In the moments that follow, Sarah is confronted with the cruelty of those who are supposed to protect her and learns what it feels like to protect and be protected.

Inspired by the protests that happened during the Minneapolis Uprising after the police killing of George Floyd, Sarah Rising provides a child’s-eye view of a protest and offers an opportunity for children to talk about why people take to the streets to protest racial injustice. Readers will gain a new appreciation for how important it is to be part of a community of people who protect each other.

Backmatter includes a note from the author about his experience growing up as a Black boy in the Twin Cities, information about the Minneapolis Uprising, and practical ways kids can get involved in activism.”

Free at Last: A Juneteenth Poem by Sojourner Kincaid Rolle, Illustrated by Alex Bostic

“This lyrical celebration of Juneteenth, deeply rooted in Black American history, spans centuries and reverberates loudly and proudly today.

After 300 years of forced bondage;
hands bound, descendants of Africa
picked up their souls—all that they owned—
leaving shackles where they fell on the ground,
headed for the nearest resting place to be found.


Deeply emotional, evocative free verse by poet and activist Sojourner Kincaid Rolle traces the solemnity and celebration of Juneteenth from its 1865 origins in Galveston, Texas to contemporary observances all over the United States. This is an ode to the strength of Black Americans and a call to remember and honor a holiday whose importance reverberates far beyond the borders of Texas.”

The Queen of Kindergarten by Derrick Barnes, Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton

A confident little Black girl has a fantastic first day of school in this companion to the New York Times bestseller The King of Kindergarten.

MJ is more than ready for her first day of kindergarten! With her hair freshly braided and her mom’s special tiara on her head, she knows she’s going to rock kindergarten. But the tiara isn’t just for show—it also reminds her of all the good things she brings to the classroom, stuff like her kindness, friendliness, and impressive soccer skills, too! Like The King of Kindergarten, this is the perfect book to reinforce back-to-school excitement and build confidence in the newest students.”

Everywhere with You by Carlie Sorosiak, Illustrated by Devon Holzwarth

The heartwarming friendship between a girl and the dog next door tenderly evokes the power of stories to bring—and keep—us together.

Two houses stand side by side: one is home to a dog, the other to a young girl. Though a fence divides them, girl and dog build a sweet and sturdy friendship rooted in make-believe . . . and are lonely no more. Paired with moving illustrations and based on a true story, this endearing tale from the author of I, Cosmo testifies to the transformative power of creativity and inter-species friendship.”

Luli and the Language of Tea by Andrea Wang, Illustrated by Hyewon Yum

“When five-year-old Luli joins her new English as a Second Language class, the playroom is quiet. Luli can’t speak English, neither can anyone else. That’s when she has a brilliant idea to host a tea party and bring them all together.
 
Luli removes her teapot, thermos, and teacups from her bag and calls out “Chá!” in her native Chinese. One by one, her classmates pipe up in recognition: in Russian, Hindi, Turkish, Persian, Arabic, and Spanish, Portuguese, and Swahili. Tea is a tasty language they all know well, and it gives them a chance to share and enjoy each other’s company. When all the tea is gone and it’s time for dessert, Luli gets to use her favorite English word, cookie! After that, the playroom isn’t so quiet.
 
Informed by her own experience as the child of Chinese immigrant parents, Andrea Wang makes the point that when you’re looking to communicate with people, you look for a common bond. The word for “tea” is similar in many languages, and tea becomes the unifying metaphor that brings a diverse group of children together. Additional material at the back of the book explores the rich and ancient history of tea drinking across cultures all around the world and contains maps, statistics, and fascinating details that will delight young readers.”

Mae Makes a Way: The True Story of Mae Reeves, Hat & History Maker by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, Illustrated by Andrea Pippins

“Mae had a dream to make one-of-a-kind hats. But the path for a Black female designer was unclear, so Mae made a way, leaving her home in the segregated South to study at the Chicago School of Millinery.
 
Mae had the skills, but craved the independence to create her own styles. So Mae found a way. In Philadelphia, she became the first Black woman to own a business on South Street. Whether you were Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Marian Anderson or a lady from the neighborhood, Mae wanted you to look good and feel special in one of her original hats. 
 
A mother, a successful entrepreneur, and a community advocate, Mae led the way.
 
Published in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, acclaimed author Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich (Two Naomis) and award-winning illustrator Andrea Pippins (I Love My Hair) bring the life of fashion entrepreneur and civic organizer Mae Reeves to the page. And when you are done reading, explore Mae’s store and styles in person at her permanent exhibit at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.”

Middle Grade

Cookies and Milk by Shawn Amos

It’s a summer of family, friendship, and fun fiascos in this semi-autobiographical novel that’s as irresistible as a fresh-baked cookie.

Eleven-year-old Ellis Johnson has the summertime blues. He dreamed of spending the summer of 1976 hanging out with friends, listening to music, and playing his harmonica. Instead, he’ll be sleeping on a lumpy pullout in Dad’s sad little post-divorce bungalow and helping bring Dad’s latest far-fetched, sure-to-fail idea to life: opening the world’s first chocolate chip cookie store. They have six weeks to perfect their recipe, get a ramshackle A-frame on Hollywood’s Sunset Boulevard into tip-top shape, and bring in customers.

But of course, nothing is as easy as Dad makes it sound, even with Grandma along for the ride. Like she says, they have to GIT—get it together—and make things work. Along the way, Ellis discovers a family mystery he is determined to solve, the power of community, and new faith in himself.

Partially based on Shawn Amos’s own experiences growing up the son of Wally “Famous” Amos in a mostly white area, and packed with humor, heart, and fun illustrations, this debut novel sings with the joy of self-discovery, unconditional love, and belonging.”

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!

You Might Also Like:

New Release Round Up: May 17, 2022

It’s Tuesday again, and I’ve got you covered on 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.

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission from purchases made, with no additional cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you.

Picture Books

Some Daddies by Carol Gordon Ekster, Illustrated by Javiera Maclean Alvarez

Every daddy is different–and that makes them even more special!

“Some daddies teach you about the world. Others attend tea parties. Some help turn blankets into forts. Others hold you steady while you pedal.”

This rollicking showcase of daddies celebrates the incredible diversity of modern fathers. The inclusive cast of characters–including a two-dad family, a single dad, and a stay-at-home dad–highlights the bond between daddy and child as they play, learn, comfort, and laugh their way through everyday life. This open-hearted ode to fatherhood will give readers new appreciation for how their own fathers and father-figures shine in their own unique ways.

Some Daddies is the perfect gift for a new dad, Father’s Day, or any occasion for parents and educators to read with their kids. Carol Gordon Ekster’s playful text is illustrated with the quirky, colorful artwork of Javiera Maclean Alvarez, making this picture book a wonderful read-aloud.”

Tisha and the Blossoms by Wendy Meddour, Illustrated by Daniel Egnéus

Tisha and Mommy are always having to hurry up. What would happen if they slowed down? A gentle, gorgeously illustrated story of mindfulness—and sharing the small moments.

Tisha was catching a blossom in her backyard.
“Hurry up,” cried Mommy. “You’ll be late for school.”

Tisha has spent the entire day rushing. She has to hustle for the bus in the morning, though she wants to stop and listen to the sounds around her. She has to quickly put her crayons away at school, though she’s not finished with her drawing. She even has to speed through recess so she doesn’t miss lunch. So when Mommy picks her up, Tisha asks if they can please “have a little slowdown.” What if they walked instead of taking the bus? What if they counted cars and seagulls, umbrellas and hats? What if they simply sat on a bench in the sunshine and gave names to the pigeons in the park? From the creators of Grandpa’s Top Threes comes a beautifully illustrated, tenderly told story about taking the time to experience the world around us, listen to one another, and enjoy the little things in life.”

A Rose Named Peace: How Francis Meilland Created a Flower of Hope for a World at War by Barbara Carroll Roberts, Illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline

Beautifully illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, an inspirational biography of the Peace rose and its creator digs deep into world history, botany, and the rewards of perseverance.

From a young man’s experiments in cross-pollination to the rose that became an international symbol of hope, this gentle picture book biography, beautifully illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, is a quiet epic of war and peace. Francis Meilland was passionate about roses. He loved their rich perfume, their buds unfurling in the summer sun, and their petals, soft as lambs’ ears. Like his father and grandfather before him, Francis cultivated flowers on the family farm in France. In his teens, he set about grafting and experimenting, determined to create a rose no one had seen before, and as the world braced for World War II, he rushed cuttings to rose-growing friends around the globe. Six patient years later, word reached him: his rose had not only flourished; people were calling it the Peace Rose. An ideal gift for science and history buffs and for gardeners of all ages, this life story of a special flower is also a love song to living a dream from beginning to end, through sun and through storm.”

Ali and the Sea Stars by Ali Stroker, Illustrated by Gillian Reid

Tony Award-winning actress Ali Stroker captures the magic and community of theater in her debut picture book, about a spirited girl in a wheelchair who stages a show for her hometown. Based on the pivotal summer Ali performed in her first musical by the Jersey Shore!

Ali loves to dance, sing, and act. But she had never thought of putting on her own show until her neighbor asks, “Why wait?” Immediately energized, Ali gets to work.

There’s so much to do before showtime—choosing the right musical, auditions, rehearsal, costume and set design—but Ali can do anything with her family and friends. When a storm threatens to undo all their hard work, Ali must use her imagination and adapt so the show can go on!

Includes an inspiring letter from Ali to readers on how she developed confidence while on-stage and how theater encourages teamwork and creativity.”

Lettuce Get in Trouble (Sara Little Trouble Maker) by Linda Kuo, Cynthia Benjamin, and Paula Rees, Illustrated by Mariana Rio

Sara Little Turnbull was a designer, an observer, a mentor, and not afraid to cause a little trouble while making the world a better place. As a global traveler, she made connections between people and found wonder in the everyday objects they hold dear.

As a very petite female designer in the world of large men, Sara used her unique perspective and curiosity to design a wide range of revolutionary products–from facemasks to cookware to astronaut suits–and to encourage others to see the world through new eyes. Sara was a mentor to designers of all ages and in Lettuce Get in Trouble, she helps children understand the basics of design: observing the world around them, asking questions, and trying out new things. One day, the Ministry of Food asks Sara Little to convince the children to eat more vegetables. Instead of offering a stern lecture, however, Sara Little brings her young friends to her Little Lab in New York City to explore the colors and shapes of food and why we eat anything at all. Together they design a grand event, inviting children to gather, play, and design tasty new creations.”

Nature is an Artist by Jennifer Lavallee, Illustrated by Natalia Colombo

For kids who love to draw and create, this captivating picture book fosters an appreciation for nature and features craft ideas to inspire young artists.

Kids will be inspired to create: 

  • Fingerprint bumblebees
  • Sculptures made of sand
  • Rainbow colored jars
  • And more! 

Nature is an Artist explores different art forms that kids can find in the natural world. In the book, a group of children follow Nature—the most inspiring of teachers—as they discover the world’s greatest art show hidden in plain sight. As they witness beautiful landscapes, stunning vistas, and unusual creatures, each child is inspired to recreate their own fine work of art. 

With charming, rhythmic text from Jennifer Lavalee and vivid, eye-catching illustrations from Natalia Colombo, Nature is an Artist celebrates nature’s beauty and variety, and instills kids with:

  • The confidence to see themselves as artists! 
  • Respect and appreciation for nature. After reading, kids will appreciate the art in their own outdoor surroundings.”

Middle Grade

Pauli Murray: Shouting for the Rights of All People by Deborah Nelson Linck, Illustrated by Angela Corbin

The first introductory and illustrated biography of the civil rights icon.

The untold story of Pauli Murray, activist, lawyer, poet, and Episcopal priest, who broke records and barriers throughout her life. Friend to Eleanor Roosevelt, colleague to Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and student of Thurgood Marshall, Pauli Murray’s life was nevertheless not always an easy one. Her commitment to fighting for the rights of women and all places her firmly in history. A celebration of her life and its significance, including the role of gender identity in her own journey. Deborah Nelson Linck’s book introduces Murray to children ages 6 to 12.”

Kiki Kallira Conquers a Curse by Sangu Mandanna

This thrilling sequel to Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom reimagines classic mythology for today’s readers who love action and adventure! Perfect for fans of Aru Shah and The Serpent’s Secret.
 
With just a flick of her pencil, Kiki can bring her drawings of Indian legends to life…but when a mysterious curse threatens her newly created kingdom and friends, how can she use her powers to save them?

Fresh from the exciting discovery that the beautiful kingdom and band of rebel kids she drew in her sketchbook exists in another world, Kiki Kallira has an unexpected visitor. One of those rebel kids has come into the real world to ask for her help—the river Kaveri that is Mysore’s only source of water has suddenly vanished! With no water to drink or grow food, Kiki’s kingdom is doomed. 

Kiki returns to Mysore and quickly learns that drawing a new river doesn’t work. In her search for answers, she stumbles upon the origin of the Kaveri: it’s actually a princess from long ago who was transformed into water by a terrible curse! It’s up to Kiki and her friends to restore the river without sacrificing the princess again—easier said than done! And with her mounting anxiety, enemies seeking to stop her, and a city growing weaker by the minute, Kiki’s confidence falters. Will she be able to unravel the curse and save her kingdom before it’s too late?”

Twelfth by Janet Key

Better Nate Than Ever meets The Parker Inheritance in this heartwarming mystery about finding your people and accepting others as they are.

Twelve-year-old Maren is sure theater camp isn’t for her. Theater camp is for loud, confident, artsy people: people like her older sister, Hadley—the last person Maren wants to think about—and her cinema-obsessed, nonbinary bunkmate, Theo. But when a prank goes wrong, Maren gets drawn into the hunt for a diamond ring that, legend has it, is linked to the camp’s namesake, Charlotte “Charlie” Goodman, a promising director in Blacklist Era Hollywood.

When Maren connects the clues to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, she and her new friends are off searching through lighting booths, orchestra pits and costume storages, discovering the trail and dodging camp counselors. But they’re not the only ones searching for the ring, and with the growing threat of camp closing forever, they’re almost out of time.”

Caprice by Coe Booth

From the groundbreaking author of Tyrell, an astonishing middle-grade novel about a girl overcoming the secrets and abuse of her past.

This should be an exciting time for Caprice. She has been offered a place at the school of her dreams, where she’s just had a fantastic summer. But this great opportunity coincides with a lot of internal doubt and the disturbing news that her long-estranged grandmother has fallen ill and may be near death. As Caprice tries to figure out her future, she is pulled back toward her past, and the abuse she endured from her uncle when she was little — an abuse she’s never told anyone about.

With extreme sensitivity and honesty for middle-grade readers, Coe Booth has written a painful but ultimately healing novel about finding support from your parents and friends, articulating your truth, and choosing your own path.”

Join the Club, Maggie Diaz by Nina Moreno, Illustrated by Courtney Lovett

This humorous and heartfelt middle-grade debut by Nina Moreno with illustrations by Courtney Lovett is perfect for fans of Celia C. Pérez and Terri Libenson, and any reader still deciding what their passion in life is.

“MAYBE I’M GOOD AT SOMETHING I DON’T EVEN KNOW ABOUT YET.”

Everyone in Maggie Diaz’s life seems to be finding their true passion. The one thing that defines them as a person. Her best friends Zoey and Julian are too busy to hang out after school thanks to band and comics club. Mom is finishing her last semester in college. And Maggie’s perfect older sister Caro is perfectly-perfect at sports and tutoring.

So Maggie cooks up a plan to join every club she can! But trying to fit in with type-A future leaders, gardening whizzes, and the fearless kids in woodshop is intimidating, exhausting, and seriously confusing. And juggling homework, friends, and all of her after-school activities is way harder than it looks.

Seventh grade is all about figuring out who you are — good thing Maggie Diaz has the perfect plan!”

Graphic Novels

Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas

“A splashy, contemporary middle grade graphic novel from bestselling comics creator Johnnie Christmas!

Bree can’t wait for her first day at her new middle school, Enith Brigitha, home to the Mighty Manatees—until she’s stuck with the only elective that fits her schedule, the dreaded Swim 101. The thought of swimming makes Bree more than a little queasy, yet she’s forced to dive headfirst into one of her greatest fears. Lucky for her, Etta, an elderly occupant of her apartment building and former swim team captain, is willing to help.

With Etta’s training and a lot of hard work, Bree suddenly finds her swim-crazed community counting on her to turn the school’s failing team around. But that’s easier said than done, especially when their rival, the prestigious Holyoke Prep, has everything they need to leave the Mighty Manatees in their wake.

Can Bree defy the odds and guide her team to a state championship, or have the Manatees swum their last lap—for good?”

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!

You Might Also Like:

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.

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission from purchases made, with no additional cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you.

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!

You Might Also Like:

New Release Round Up: May 3, 2022

It’s Tuesday, so that means we are looking at the new releases this week. We have a TON to look at so I will get right to it!

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.

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission from purchases made, with no additional cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you.

Board Books

My Forest Is Green by Darren Lebeuf, Illustrated by Ashley Barron

“With art supplies in tow, a young boy explores the urban forest near his home, then interprets what he sees with his art. The boy is a keen observer who uses poetic, rhythmic language to describe the diversity he finds through all four seasons. His forest is both “fluffy” and “prickly,” “dense” and “sparse,” “crispy” and “soft.” It’s also “scattered and soggy, and spotted and foggy.” His forest is made up of many colors — but he decides that “mostly it’s green.” Each aspect of the forest inspires the boy to create a different kind of art: charcoal rubbing, rock art, photography, sponge painting, snow sculpture, cut-paper collage. To this artist, there’s always something new to discover, and to capture!

In this delightful picture book, Darren Lebeuf, an award-winning photographer, encourages small children to look closer at and appreciate the nature that surrounds them. And by providing such a broad range of ideas for artistic expression, it’s sure to awaken the nature artist in every child. Bright, deeply textured illustrations by Ashley Barron bring the forest and the boy’s artworks to vivid life. This story provides an excellent depiction of nature-based education in an outdoor classroom. The specificity of the concrete and abstract adjectives used in the text works as a perfect complement to primary science lessons on investigating, comparing and identifying the physical characteristics of plants and animals. This book also makes for an enjoyable, lyrical read-aloud.”

Picture Books

The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States  by Alliah H. Agostini, Illustrated by Sawyer Cloud

With colorful illustrations and a timeline, this introductory history of Juneteenth for kids details the evolution of the holiday commemorating the date the enslaved people of Texas first learned of their freedom​.

On June 19, 1865—more than two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation—the enslaved people of Texas first learned of their freedom. That day became a day of remembrance and celebration that changed and grew from year to year.

Learn about the events that led to emancipation and why it took so long for the enslaved people in Texas to hear the news. The first Juneteenth began as “Jubilee Day,” where families celebrated and learned of their new rights as citizens. As Black Texans moved to other parts of the country, they brought their traditions along with them, and Juneteenth continued to grow and develop.

Today, Juneteenth’s powerful spirit has endured through the centuries to become an official holiday in the United States in 2021The Juneteenth Story provides an accessible introduction for kids to learn about this important American holiday.”

Uncle John’s City Garden by Bernette Ford, Illustrated by Frank Morrison

How does this city garden grow? With help from L’il Sissy and her siblings–and love, love, love! A celebration of nature, family, and food.

Visiting the city  from her home in the suburbs, an African American girl sees how a few packets of seeds, some helping hands, and hard work transform an empty lot in a housing project into a magical place where vegetables grow and family gathers. It’s the magic of nature in the heart of the city!

Bernette Ford’s autobiographical story is a loving glimpse at a girl, her siblings, and her uncle, and  their shared passion for farming. L’l Sissy’s fascination with measurement, comparison, and estimation introduces children to STEM concepts. And the progress of Uncle John’s garden introduces readers to the life cycle of plants.

Frank Morrison, winner of multiple Coretta Scott King awards and an NAACP Image Award, depicts dramatic cityscapes as well as the luscious colors and textures of Nature.”

Yes We Will: Asian Americans Who Shaped This Country by Kelly Yang, Illustrated by Nabi H. Ali, Fahmida Azim, Marcos Chin, Sally Deng, Shereya Gupta, Julia Kuo, Julie Kwon, Nhung Le, Kitkat Pecson, Dow Phumiruk, Sujean Rim, Dan Santat, Yuko Shimizu, Yuewei She, and Yao Xiao

From #1 NYT bestselling author Kelly Yang comes a gorgeously illustrated picture book about Asian American changemakers doing everything they dreamed of and inspiring all of us to reach for new heights!

From creating beautiful music like Yo-Yo Ma to flying to outer space like Franklin Chang-Díaz; from standing up to injustice like Fred Korematsu to becoming the first Asian American, Black and female vice president of the United States like Kamala Harris, this book illuminates the power of Asian Americans all over the country, in all sorts of fields.
 
Each spread is illustrated by a different renowned Asian American or Asian artist. Alongside the poetic main text, Yes We Will includes one-line biographies of the person or historical moment featured on the page, with extended biographies at the end. Readers of different ages and needs can use the book in different ways, from classroom discussions to bedtime readalouds and more.
 
Yes We Will answers the question, can we accomplish whatever we dream? With love, courage, determination, and lots of imagination, we can—and we will!”

Juna and Appa by Jane Park, Illustrated by Felicia Hoshino

“From the creators of the award-winning picture book Juna’s Jar, comes a new magical tale where Juna embarks on a journey to help her biggest hero–her Appa!

Juna enjoys helping her father in their dry-cleaning shop on Saturdays. It’s their special time together.

One day Juna sees a customer yelling at Appa about a lost jacket. Juna has never seen her father look so worried and becomes determined to help. She sets off on a magical journey in search of the jacket, and along the way meets remarkable animals that show her the different ways that fathers care for their young.

Juna and Appa is a tender ode to fathers and to the many families working behind shop counters.”

Angry Me by Sandra V. Feder, Illustrated by Rahele Jomepour Bell

“A young child tells us what makes her angry and how she tries to let the anger come and go. An artful starting point for conversations about strong feelings.

“I get angry,” says a little girl, looking fiercely in the mirror. Sometimes she gets angry when someone is mean and tries to take her toy away, when it feels unfair that there’s not enough time to go swimming, when she’s tired and just wants to go home, or when the kids at school leave her out, hurting her feelings.

When she’s angry, she tries to remember to use her words — even though that doesn’t always work. Sometimes she can’t find the right words, or the words don’t come out the way she intends. But sometimes words do help, and when her anger melts away a new feeling can blossom.

Sandra Feder’s cleverly constructed text presents different situations in which a child might feel angry, creating a nuanced look at anger and its many underlying emotions. Rahele Jomepour Bell’s illustrations show a loveable, angry little girl, brimming with personality, who learns how to express herself as she moves through her feelings.”

City Streets Are For People by Andrea Curtis, Illustrated by Emma Fitzgerald

Congested city streets are noisy and thick with cars and trucks, while pedestrians and cyclists are squeezed to the dangerous edges—but does it have to be this way? 

Imagine a city where we aren’t stuck in cars, where clean air makes it easier to breathe, and where transit is easy to access—and on time. Imagine a city where streets are for people! 

This fun, accessible and ultimately hopeful book explores sustainable transportation around the globe, including electric vehicles, public transit, bicycles, walking and more. It invites us to conjure up a city of the future, where these modes are all used together to create a place that is sustainable, healthy, accessible and safe. 

Includes a list of ideas for children to promote green transportation in their communities, along with a glossary and sources for further reading. 

The ThinkCities series is inspired by the urgency for new approaches to city life as a result of climate change, population growth and increased density. It highlights the challenges and risks cities face, but also offers hope for building resilience, sustainability and quality of life as young people advocate for themselves and their communities.”

The Astronomer Who Questioned Everything by Laura Alary, Illustrated by Ellen Rooney

“Perfect for fans of STEM, this inspiring picture book biography tells the extraordinary story of pioneering astronomer Maria Mitchell. Maria longed to travel beyond her small island of Nantucket. But she wasn’t sure how. Her father taught her to look to the stars for guidance. If you knew how to read them, he said, the stars could tell you where you were, and where you needed to go. They spent hours scanning the night sky together through a telescope on the roof. Maria learned how to use astronomers’ tools to measure and track time by the stars. But what could she do with her skills? Then, one day, she heard that a prize was being offered to the first person to find a new comet. Could this be the opportunity she was waiting for?

This absorbing picture book biography by Laura Alary tells the fascinating, though not well-known, story of a remarkable nineteenth-century woman scientist and women’s rights advocate. After winning that prize for discovering a comet, Maria Mitchell would go on to become the first professional female astronomer in the United States, first female member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and one of the first female college professors. Beautifully illustrated with lovely textured artwork by Ellen Rooney, this is a well-told story with a teachable STEM component, supporting both science and social studies curriculums, that supports a growth mindset. It’s also a wonderful guide sure to inspire readers to find their own way in the world. It includes backmatter that further describes Maria’s impressive life and achievements.”

Up and Adam by Debbie Zapata Illustrated by Yong Ling Kang

A winning, uplifting story about a boy with Down syndrome who helps his neighbors in the aftermath of a storm in a way only he can.

It’s the morning after the big storm. Adam and his dog, Up, are finishing breakfast when Adam sees the mayor on TV asking everyone to pitch in with the cleanup. She says, “Now, it’s time to get to work. Up and at ’em!” When Adam hears the mayor tell him and Up to get to work, he’s on it! “We can help!” he says. All day, the pair do what they can — clearing the sidewalk, fixing a birdhouse, passing out cookies. But it turns out, Adam’s most important contribution to his community is one he doesn’t even think about — his smile. Because when anyone sees Adam smile, they smile, too. And as Adam says, “A pair of smiles can make a difference.”

Debbie Zapata’s sweet story scores on two fronts: it features an endearing and authentic representation of a child with Down syndrome, focused on his abilities, not disabilities, and it offers an inspiring model of how everyone can make a difference in their community. Adam’s Down syndrome is not referenced in the story but is addressed in an author’s note, which also includes information about Down syndrome, and resources. Adam’s open-hearted and infectious smile lights the pages as he lifts spirits all over town in Yong Ling Kang’s illustrations, which thoughtfully feature details in Adam’s clothing and belongings that are sensitive to his needs. The book is full of positive examples of community, contributing and inclusion, and beautifully captures the character education themes of kindness, teamwork, initiative and citizenship.”

Francis Discovers Possible by Ashlee Latimer, Illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani

This lyrical picture book from Tony award–winning producer Ashlee Latimer models joyful self-acceptance


Francis loves learning new words. At school, when her class is reviewing words that begin with the letter “F,” someone sneers “Fat, like Francis.” Francis always thought “fat” was a warm word—like snuggling with Mama or belly rubs for her puppy. But now “fat” feels cold, and Francis feels very small.

After school, Baba takes Francis to the park. She chooses the bench instead of the swing set, and gets very quiet. But when Baba uses the word “possible,” Francis wants to know what it means. They explore the park together, discovering what’s “possible” around them. Is it like airplanes, hovering in the sky? Or does it look like planting and how some things take a long time to grow?

“Possible” makes Francis feel warm and big—like “fat,” before someone else made her feel small. This ode to self-acceptance will model for child readers what “possible” might mean in their own lives.”

Twas the Night Before Pride by Joanna McClintick, Illustrated by Juana Medina

A glittering celebration of queer families puts Pride gently in perspective—honoring those in the LGBTQ+ community who fought against injustice and inequality.

Pride’s . . . a day that means “Together, we are strong!”

This joyful picture-book homage to a day of community and inclusion—and to the joys of anticipation—is also a comprehensive history. With bright, buoyant illustrations and lyrical, age-appropriate rhyme modeled on “’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” it tackles difficult content such as the Stonewall Riots and the AIDS marches. On the night before Pride, families everywhere are preparing to partake. As one family packs snacks and makes signs, an older sibling shares the importance of the march with the newest member of the family. Reflecting on the day, the siblings agree that the best thing about Pride is getting to be yourself. Debut author Joanna McClintick and Pura Belpré Award–winning author-illustrator Juana Medina create a new classic that pays homage to the beauty of families of all compositions—and of all-inclusive love.”

Not So Small by Pat Zietlow Miller, Illustrated by Paola Escobar

All Are Welcome meets Sometimes People March in this uplifting picture book with an empowering message: No matter your size, you can do big things.

This joyful book celebrates the many ways people can join together to become something bigger—an unstoppable force. Each and every one of us can use our voices to make a difference!

The lyrical text by New York Times bestselling author Pat Zietlow Miller is brought to life with vibrant illustrations by Paola Escobar. This stirring book will inspire readers of all ages.

A small voice can travel for miles.

Showing kindness.

Hope.

And love.

Amy Wu and the Warm Welcome by Kat Zhang, Illustrated by Charlene Chua

Amy Wu does her best to make her new classmate feel welcome in this warmhearted and playfully illustrated follow-up picture book to Amy Wu and the Perfect Bao and Amy Wu and the Patchwork Dragon.

Amy’s class has a new student from China! Amy tries hard to make Lin feel included, but she can’t draw him out of his shell. Then she sees Lin chattering happily in Chinese with his family. The gears in her head start to turn, and a plan blossoms. Step one: invite Lin to her dumpling party…

​With a little help from her grandma and a shiny new banner, can Amy give Lin the warmest welcome?”

Sato the Rabbit, A Sea of Tea (Sato the Rabbit #3) by Yuki Ainoya, Translated by Michael Blaskowsky

The winsome Sato continues his magical adventures, traversing snowy landscapes and crossing a sea made of tea. Yet, no matter where he ventures, his participation in the natural world, and the magic that he finds within the ordinary, infuse each new day with possibility.

In this third installment of the whimsical series originally published in Japan, the titular Sato continues his adventures, exploring both expansive landscapes—snowy fields, forests, oceans made of tea—and tiny microcosms of worlds, found in unlikely places—like within a freshly-baked pie! In Sato’s reality, which is in many ways similar to our own, seemingly commonplace occurrences are portals to new and fantastical experiences, and every object possesses an intrinsic magic and aliveness.  Like all of the installments in the trilogy, this collection of vignettes reminds us to to look closely at what is small and often overlooked, and to open ourselves to wonder.”

The Global Ocean by Rochelle Strauss, Illustrated by Natasha Donovan

The global ocean is in trouble. This beautiful and important book explores the issues — and what we can do to help.

Though we think of Earth’s five oceans as separate and distinct, they are actually a linked system of circulating water that is one single ocean — the global ocean. This comprehensive and accessible overview explores the global ocean’s enormous influence on the planet, as well as humans’ often-detrimental influence on the ocean. But it also highlights some of the many ways people are working to restore and heal the global ocean — from everyday actions to large institutional projects — making the message of urgency as hopeful as it is accurate. Filled with fascinating information, stunning visuals and plenty of calls to action, readers will be inspired to discover what they can do to help heal Earth’s most important feature and, ultimately, our planet.”

Another Squiggly Story by Andrew Larsen, Illustrated by Mike Lowery

In the inspirational sequel to Andrew Larsen’s A Squiggly Story, a boy meets a blank page in this fun exploration of the writing process, celebrating self-expression, self-discovery and letting your imagination roam. The young boy listens as Mr. Lopez tells his class about next week’s assignment: write a story about yourself. “You can write about ANYTHING,” he says, “as long as you write about YOU.” Marcus is going to write about his hat collection. Alia is going to write about the vampires she talks about all the time. But all the boy can come up with is a title: “The Story of Me by Me.” He can’t figure out what it should be about. His sister suggests starting with lists — Things I Like, Things I Know. Only, the things all seem disconnected. Is there some way to connect them, and make them into a story?

The kindergartener who learned to use squiggles to write a story in award-winning Andrew Larsen’s A Squiggly Story is now in second grade and learning to write an autobiography. Told in the same authentic child’s voice, this playful book encourages readers to just start, even if they don’t know how their story will go. It offers an accessible early language arts lesson on the writing process, exploring important basics (brainstorming, first draft, revising) and key terms (autobiography, editing, title, cover). Mike Lowery’s bold illustrations incorporate story panels and dialogue bubbles, keeping the energy high and giving a fresh and modern feel to the pages. A strong tie-in with early literacy curricula, this book also works well for supplementary or at-home learning. It’s a perfect choice to inspire the storyteller in every child!

Our Green City by Tanya Lloyd Kyi, Illustrated by Colleen Larmour

A charming, child-friendly tour around an ideal sustainable city — with a uniquely positive environmental message from award-winning author Tanya Lloyd Kyi.

In this green city, neighbors take care of all living things: people, plants and animals, too! Many people choose a bicycle, scooter or their own two feet to get where they need to go. A family collects the rain to water their garden, while solar panels capture the energy from the sun; pipes gather heat from underground, and a windmill turns to power the community. Residents keep hens and hives in their yards, and care for flower beds that feed bees, birds and butterflies. Here, people all work together to make the city green. Can we do the same where we live?

Tanya Lloyd Kyi and Colleen Larmour have conjured a delightfully utopian sustainable community of the future, and they invite readers on an interactive journey to explore it. Unlike many children’s books about the environment, this is a hopeful and uplifting book that encourages children to imagine what’s possible, with neighbors from diverse backgrounds coming together to care for their surroundings and one another. Green technology and concepts are presented in an accessible way, covering topics from transportation to classrooms to food. Each spread includes a question that asks readers to search for something small in the illustration, and the abundant details in the rich and colorful art make the pages perfect for poring over. Backmatter shares environmentally friendly suggestions to try at home. Strong curriculum links to social studies and to physical, environmental and life sciences.”

Again, Essie? by Jenny Lacika, Illustrated by Teresa Martinez

Celebrate diversity, math, and the power of storytelling!

Rafael wants to protect his toys from his little sister, Essie. Gathering materials from around the house, he builds a wall tall enough and wide enough to keep her out. But will it be strong enough? And what does Essie really want? A playful exploration of physical space and geometry, featuring Chicanx (Mexican American) characters and a glossary of Spanish words.

Storytelling Math celebrates children using math in their daily adventures as they play, build, and discover the world around them. Joyful stories and hands-on activities make it easy for kids and their grown-ups to explore everyday math together. Developed in collaboration with math experts at STEM education nonprofit TERC, under a grant from the Heising-Simons Foundation.”

Chapter Books

She Persisted: Patsy Mink by Tae Keller, Illustrated by Gillian Flint

“When Patsy Mink won her seat the House of Representatives as a Democrat from Hawaii, she became the first woman of color and the first Asian American woman elected to Congress. A co-author of the Title XI amendment of the Higher Education Act, she was a champion of rights for women, children, immigrants, and minorities throughout her twenty-four years in Congress. She helped paved the way for many other women to succeed.

In this chapter book biography by bestselling and Newbery award-winning author Tae Keller, readers learn about the amazing life of Patsy Mink–and how she persisted.

Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Patsy Mink’s footsteps and make a difference!

And don’t miss out on the rest of the books in the She Persisted series, featuring so many more women who persisted, including Sonia Sotomayor, Margaret Chase Smith, and more!”

Alina in a Pinch by Shenaaz Nanji

“Moving to a new city means Alina has to make new friends, and nothing is worse than lunch at a new school. When her grandmother visits, Alina is inspired to help her cook the delicious Afro-Indian meals she’s always loved, but a cruel note from a mysterious lunchtime bully leaves a bitter taste that even Nani’s excellent cooking can’t erase.

With an audition for Junior Chef fast approaching and Nani’s wise lessons helping her, can Alina embrace her heritage and convince her classmates that being different is a good thing?”

Middle Grade

The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton, Illustrated by Khadijah Khayib

“Eleven-year-old Ella Durand is the first Conjuror to attend the Arcanum Training Institute, a magic school in the clouds where Marvellers from around the world practice their cultural arts, like brewing Indian spice elixirs and bartering with pesky Irish pixies.

Despite her excitement, Ella discovers that being the first isn’t easy―some Marvellers mistrust her magic, which they deem “bad and unnatural.” But eventually, she finds friends in elixirs teacher, Masterji Thakur, and fellow misfits Brigit, a girl who hates magic, and Jason, a boy with a fondness for magical creatures.

When a dangerous criminal known as the Ace of Anarchy escapes prison, supposedly with a Conjuror’s aid, tensions grow in the Marvellian world and Ella becomes the target of suspicion. Worse, Masterji Thakur mysteriously disappears while away on a research trip. With the help of her friends and her own growing powers, Ella must find a way to clear her family’s name and track down her mentor before it’s too late.”

Shine On, Luz Véliz!  by Rebecca Balcarcel

“Have you ever been the best at something . . . only to lose it all?

Luz Véliz is a soccer star-or rather, she was a soccer star. With her serious knee injury, it’s unlikely she’ll be back on the field anytime soon. But without soccer, who is she? Even her dad treats her differently now—like he doesn’t know her or, worse, like he doesn’t even like her. When Luz discovers she has a knack for coding, it feels like a lifeline to a better self. If she can just ace the May Showcase, she’ll not only skip a level in her coding courses and impress Ms. Freeman and intriguing, brilliant Trevor—she’ll have her parents cheering her on from the sidelines, just the way she likes it.

But something—someone—is about to enter the Vélizes’ life. And when Solana arrives, nothing will be the same, ever again.

Unforgettable characters, family drama, and dauntless determination illuminate Luz’s journey as she summons her inner strength and learns to accept others and embrace the enduring connection of family. Through it all, Luz’s light is a constant—a guide for others, a path forward through the dark, and an ineffable celebration of her own eternal self.”

Graphic Novels

Miss Quinces: A Graphic Novel by Kat Fajardo

“Rising star Kat Fajardo’s debut middle-grade graphic novel about a girl who would rather do anything other than celebrate her quinceañera! A funny and heartfelt coming-of-age story about navigating the expectations of family and cultural tradition.

Sue just wants to spend the summer reading and making comics at sleepaway camp with her friends, but instead she gets stuck going to Honduras to visit relatives with her parents and two sisters. They live way out in the country, which means no texting, no cable, and no Internet! The trip takes a turn for the worse when Sue’s mother announces that they’ll be having a surprise quinceañera for Sue, which is the last thing she wants. She can’t imagine wearing a big, floofy, colorful dress! What is Sue going to do? And how will she survive all this “quality” time with her rambunctious family?

Miss Quinces/Srta. Quinces is the first graphic novel published by Scholastic/Graphix to be simultaneously released in English and Spanish editions!”

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!

You Might Also Like:

New Release Round Up: April 26, 2022

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

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission from purchases made, with no additional cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you.

Board Books

Bloom by Ruth Forman, Illustrated by Talia Skyles

From the author of Curls and Glow comes a joyfully poetic board book that delivers an ode to African American girls as naturally beautiful in our human garden.

those girls bloom
these do too

we bloom like flowers
how about you?

Introduce young readers to the idea of self-love in a simple, playful rhythm with this luminous story where each little girl is as unique and beautiful as a blossoming flower.”

Picture Books

Together We Ride by Valerie Bolling, Illustrated by Kaylani Juanita

Hair Love meets bike rides in this loving portrait of a father-daughter relationship.

Learning to ride is no easy feat! But with a little courage, a guiding hand from her dad, and an enthusiastic bark from her pup, one brave girl quickly learns the freedom that comes from an afternoon spent outside on a bike.

Experience the fear, the anticipation, and the delight of achieving the ultimate milestone in this energetic, warm story that celebrates the precious bond between parent and child.”

Bailey and Blanket by Emily House

A heartwarming read-aloud about the special relationship between a child and their best friend in all the world… a soft, cozy blanket.

Everywhere Bailey goes, Blanket goes too. They love to adventure together. Until an uninvited guest joins the family picnic, and… disaster strikes.

What will life be like without Blanket? Determined to keep the duo on their path of adventure, Dad crafts a plan.

Lilting, lyrical text and comically detailed illustrations tell an uplifting tale about resilience, ingenuity and love.

Blue Dot Kids Press books are printed with vegetable inks on responsibly-sourced paper certified by the Forest Stewardship Council™. From the sale of every book, we donate to environmental causes through our membership with 1% for the Planet. Through our annual Earth Day Initiative with our partner One Tree Planted, readers have the opportunity to plant trees—over 1,000 trees planted to date!”

Joy Ride by Sherri Duskey Rinker, Illustrated by Ana Ramírez González

“Needing something to fill up her summer days, Joy seeks out her granddad, who also likes to tinker, for something to do. Together they find the perfect project: sprucing up an old bike for Joy. From hardware stores to garage sales, the two find everything they need to transform this bike, little by little, into something that’s truly one of a kind. Ornamented with sparkles, a basket, and a brand-new bell, the bike is finally ready for Joy to ride it all over the neighborhood, filling the air with her own kind of music that exudes JOY.

But when a few kids take notice of Joy’s bike, and not in a good way, Joy makes an impulsive decision that ruins the dazzling bike she and Granddad worked so hard on. Joy realizes quickly, however, that trying to fit in can be boring, and it doesn’t make her feel JOY. Just maybe, with a heartfelt apology and Granddad’s help, she can get back on track to being true to herself. This touching story, told by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Ana Ramírez González, addresses the moments of uncertainty when trying to fit in with the crowd, and exclaims the joyful exuberance of self-expression.”

The Boy with Flowers in His Hair by Jarvis

Jarvis offers a moving tale of friendship, kindness, and acceptance, softly touching on the subjects of illness or hardship in a way that young children can understand.

Everyone likes David, the boy with flowers in his hair. He’s sweet and gentle, just like his colorful petals. David and his best friend have a great time together, finding the good puddles, making up songs, and running away from the bees. But one day David comes to school wearing a hat, and he is quiet. When he takes off the hat, his bright petals flutter down like butterflies. Now, where his flowers were looks twiggy and prickly, causing the other children to stay away. But David’s best friend has an idea—a way to help David get his color back, wielding paintbrushes and plenty of love. Sensitively told and simply illustrated, Jarvis’s story invites even the youngest children to talk about difficult subjects in an age-appropriate way—and feel inspired to support others when they face trying times.”

Book of Questions by Pablo Neruda, Illustrated by Paloma Valdivia, Translated by Sara Lissa Paulson

“This bilingual Spanish-English edition is the first illustrated selection of questions, 70 in all, from Pablo Neruda’s original poem (320 questions) The Book of Questions

Holding the wonder and mystery of childhood and the experience and knowing that come with growing up, these questions are by turns lyrical, strange, surreal, spiritual, historical and political. They foreground the natural world, and their curiosity transcends all logic; and because they are paradoxes and riddles that embrace the limits of our ability to know, they engage with human freedom in the deepest way, removing the burden and constraint that somehow, we are meant to have answers to every question. 

Gorgeously, cosmically illustrated by Paloma Valdivia, here Neruda’s questions, already visual in themselves, gain a double visuality that makes them even more palpable and resonant. So clearly rooted in Chilean landscapes as they are, the questions are revealed as a communion with nature and its mysteries.”

Middle Grade

The Code Breaker — Young Readers’ Edition: Jennifer Doudna and the Race to Understand Our Genetic Code by Walter Isaacson and Sarah Durand

“When Jennifer Doudna was a sixth grader in Hilo, Hawaii, she came home from school one afternoon and found a book on her bed. It was The Double Helix, James Watson’s account of how he and Francis Crick had discovered the structure of DNA, the spiral-staircase molecule that carries the genetic instruction code for all forms of life.

This book guided Jennifer Doudna to focus her studies not on DNA, but on what seemed to take a backseat in biochemistry: figuring out the structure of RNA, a closely related molecule that enables the genetic instructions coded in DNA to express themselves. Doudna became an expert in determining the shapes and structures of these RNA molecules—an expertise that led her to develop a revolutionary new technique that could edit human genes.

Today gene-editing technologies such as CRISPR are already being used to eliminate simple genetic defects that cause disorders such as Tay-Sachs and sickle cell anemia. For now, however, Jennifer and her team are being deployed against our most immediate threat—the coronavirus—and you have just been given a front row seat to that war.”

Zia Erases the World by Bree Barton

“Zia remembers the exact night the Shadoom arrived. One moment she was laughing with her best friends, and the next a dark room of shadows had crept into her chest. Zia has always loved words, but she can’t find a real one for the fear growing inside her. How can you defeat something if you don’t know its name?
 
After Zia’s mom announces that her grouchy Greek yiayia is moving into their tiny apartment, the Shadoom seems here to stay. Until Zia discovers an old family heirloom: the C. Scuro Dictionary, 13th Edition.
 
This is no ordinary dictionary. Hidden within its magical pages is a mysterious blue eraser shaped like an evil eye. When Zia starts to erase words that remind her of the Shadoom, they disappear one by one from the world around her. She finally has the confidence to befriend Alice, the new girl in sixth grade, and to perform at the Story Jamboree. But things quickly dissolve into chaos, as the words she erases turn out to be more vital than Zia knew.
 
In this raw, funny, and at times heartbreaking middle grade debut, Bree Barton reveals how—with the right kind of help—our darkest moments can nudge us toward the light. “

In the Key of Us by Mariama J. Lockington

From the author of the critically acclaimed novel For Black Girls Like Me, Mariama J. Lockington, comes a coming-of-age story surrounding the losses that threaten to break us and the friendships that make us whole again.

Thirteen-year-old Andi feels stranded after the loss of her mother, the artist who swept color onto Andi’s blank canvas. When she is accepted to a music camp, Andi finds herself struggling to play her trumpet like she used to before her whole world changed. Meanwhile, Zora, a returning camper, is exhausted trying to please her parents, who are determined to make her a flute prodigy, even though she secretly has a dancer’s heart.

At Harmony Music Camp, Zora and Andi are the only two Black girls in a sea of mostly white faces. In kayaks and creaky cabins, the two begin to connect, unraveling their loss, insecurities, and hopes for the future. And as they struggle to figure out who they really are, they may just come to realize who they really need: each other.

In the Key of Us is a lyrical ode to music camp, the rush of first love, and the power of one life-changing summer.”

Kiara Fights Back (The Spyglass Sisterhood #3) by Marilyn Kaye

A secret bully and a chance to bring him to justice. Can Kiara and the Spyglass Sisterhood deliver?

Kiara, traditionally a loner, doesn’t hesitate to say exactly what’s on her mind. But she’s found good friends among the Spyglass Sisterhood members who appreciate her keen observations and incredible smarts.

When a fellow classmate starts to get bullied online, Kiara is determined not only to find the perpetrator(s), but also to bring them to justice. To do that, she’ll need help from her friends and from the Sisterhood’s magical spyglass to gather evidence and put the pieces together.

The best-selling author behind the Gifted series and the Replica books, Marilyn Kaye delivers a story filled with light magic and heart in this third book in the Spyglass Sisterhood series. Centered on four best friends–Ellie, Kiara, Rachel, and Alyssa–and a magic spyglass that reveals people’s feelings, the Spyglass Sisterhood series mixes classic friendship themes with fresh conversations on community and responsibility. Each girl takes a turn at the spyglass, confronting fears and sticking up for her peers.”

Graphic Novels

Thunderous by M. L. Smoker and Natalie Peeterse, Illustrated by Dale Ray Deforest

“If Aiyana hears one more traditional Lakota story, she’ll scream! More interested in her social media presence than her Native American heritage, Aiyana is shocked when she suddenly finds herself in a magical world-with no cell coverage!

Pursued by the trickster Raven, Aiyana struggles to get back home, but is helped by friends and allies she meets along the way. Her dangerous journey through the Spirit World tests her fortitude and challenges her to embrace her Lakota heritage. But will it be enough to defeat the cruel and powerful Raven?”

Sci-Fu Vol. 2: It Takes 2 by Yehudi Mercado

The highly anticipated sequel to SCI-FU is jam-packed with all kinds of hip-hop, sci-fi, and kung-fu goodness!

Wax, aspiring DJ and sci-fu master-in-training, made it back safely from the alien robot planet of Discopia, where he defeated the Five Deadly Dangers and became the rightful king of Discopia. He doesn’t want the crown, though. He just wants things to go back to normal. Wax and his crew thought the robot trouble was behind them, but strange creatures have been showing up in Brooklyn, and Wax is determined to take care of them once and for all. Little does he know, there’s a new villain in Discopia, and she’ll do anything to take the crown from Wax. Wax starts to worry he doesn’t have what it takes to protect his family, friends, and all of Brooklyn from the new threats. Wax will need to kick his hip-hop and sci-fu training into high gear—and learn to rely on his family and friends for help—if he’s going to have a shot at saving his neighborhood.

From legendary cartoonist Yehudi Mercado comes the much-anticipated followup to his hit Sci-Fu: Kick it Off. With a second volume jam-packed with all kinds of hip-hop, sci-fi, and kung-fu goodness, Sci-Fu: It Takes 2 spins the perfect track of friends working together to protect their home.”

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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New Release Round Up: April 19, 2022

It’s Tuesday again, and we’ve got new releases in every category this week, so I will get right into it.

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.

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission from purchases made, with no additional cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you.

Board Books

Who Was Bruce Lee?: A Who Was? Board Book by Lisbeth Kaiser, Illustrated by Stanley Chow

The #1 New York Times Bestselling Who Was? series expands into the board book space, bringing age-appropriate biographies of influential figures to readers ages 2-4.

The chronology and themes of Bruce Lee’s meaningful life are presented in a masterfully succinct text, with just a few sentences per page. The fresh, stylized illustrations are sure to captivate young readers and adults alike. With a read-aloud biographical summary in the back, this age-appropriate introduction honors and shares the life and legacy of one of the most influential martial artists of our time.”

Picture Books

Tofu Takes Time by Helen H. Wu, Illustrated by Julie Jarema

Homemade tofu is good, and good things take time.

CLICK CLACK WHIRRRR . . . Lin and her grandma, NaiNai, are making tofu from scratch! When NaiNai goes through each step, from blending soybeans with water to molding curd into shape, Lin gradually becomes impatient. But she soon discovers that making tofu not only takes time, but also takes the whole universe! It takes the seed from soil and sunshine, the cloth from thread and fiber, weight and space, books of words and pictures. And most of all, it takes spending lovely time with her beloved grandmother.

In this charming tale by Helen H. Wu,, readers will marvel at how patience brings a whole universe together in a simple dish made by a modern Chinese American family. Perfect for fans of Fry Bread, Drawn Together and Thank You, Omu.

I Like This, You like That by Linda Ashman, Illustrated by Eve Coy

From acclaimed author Linda Ashman and illustrator Eve Coy comes this joyful picture book about making new friends and finding common ground

We’re opposites! / You’re right—we are.
Like big and small. / Like near and far.
But even when we disagree / I like you, and you like me.

 
A rhyming friendship story told in two voices, this picture book follows two children as they try to discover what they have in common, from favorite toys to shaggy dogs to pizza toppings. With its gentle message and dynamic illustrations, this sweet story is sure to resonate with young readers.”

The Meaning of Pride by Rosiee Thor, Illustrated by Sam Kirk

A vibrant ode to the culture and achievements of the LGBTQ+ community, The Meaning of Pride, written by Rosiee Thor and illustrated by Sam Kirkcelebrates the beauty, significance, and many dimensions of the concept of Pride as celebrated by millions of people around the world!

Every year in June, we celebrate Pride! But what does Pride mean? And how do you celebrate it?

This inspiring celebration of the LGBTQ+ community throughout history and today shows young readers that there are many ways to show your pride and make a difference.

Whether you want to be an activist or an athlete, a poet or a politician, a designer or a drag queen, you can show your pride just by being you!”

Patience, Patches! by Christy Mihaly, Illustrated by Sheryl Murray

A sweet-new sibling story, perfect for gifting to expecting parents, big siblings to-be, and dog-loving families everywhere

Patches the puppy is very good at waiting–or at least that’s what he thinks. But his patience is put to the test when his two moms arrive home with an unexpected bundle. Is it a new toy? No! It’s a new baby. Suddenly,  everything Patches wants to do takes a little bit longer. But patience, it turns out, is a lesson worth learning.”

Chapter Books

Zara’s Rules for Record-Breaking Fun by Hena Kahn, Illustrated by Wastana Haikal

“Meet Zara Saleem, the queen of the neighborhood.

Zara’s in charge of it all: she organizes the games, picks the teams, and makes sure everyone has a good time…and they always do.

When a new family moves in across the street, suddenly Zara’​s reign is threatened by Naomi, who has big ideas of her own about how the neighborhood kids can have fun. To get everyone to notice her again, Zara decides she’s going to break a Guinness World Record—if her little brother Zayd doesn’t mess things up.

But when she finds herself increasingly alone in her record-breaking quest, Zara starts to wonder if sharing the crown and making a new friend might end up being the best rule of all.”

Middle Grade

Be the Change: Rob Greenfield’s Call to Kids―Making a Difference in a Messed-Up World by Rob Greenfield and Antonia Banyard

For young readers ages 8 to 12, an inspiring, lively guide to sustainable living from YouTube star and zero-waste activist Rob Greenfield. 

Features kid-friendly information on the highly popular movement towards zero-waste living, as well as information on the climate crisis and solutions.

Rob Greenfield loves this planet, and he’s willing to go to extremes to show kids how our way of life is causing it harm. He’s walked around New York City dressed in his own garbage, cycled across the U.S. on a bamboo bike (three times), and survived one year on food he foraged or grew himself. For Rob, it’s all worth it: he brings attention to important topics like food and water waste; our dependency on fossil fuels; our piles of stuff (and the energy required to produce it); and our disconnection from community and the wider world.

In this uplifting book, Rob uses his own experiences—backed by solid information and a ton of great ideas—to show kids that no one is too young to make a difference, and no action is too small to make a start.

Rob will donate 100 percent of his proceeds from this book directly to environmental nonprofits.

Pride: An Inspirational History of the LGBTQ+ Movement by Stella Caldwell

Take pride in who you are! This inspiring history of the LGBTQ+ community enlightens young readers on the true timeline of LGBTQ+ history around the world, the lives of important figures like Harvey Milk, and iconic events like Stonewall.

The LGBTQ+ community is so much more than rainbow flags and the month of June. In this beautifully designed dynamic book, young readers will learn about groundbreaking events, including historic pushes for equality and the legalization of same-sex marriages across the world. They will dive into the phenomenal history of queer icons from ancient times to the present and read about Harvey Milk, Marsha P. Johnson, Audre Lorde, and more.
 
Including several personal current essays from inspiring young, LGBTQ+ people, this book encourages readers to take pride in their identity and the identities of those around them. Don’t just learn about LGBTQ+ history – take pride in it!

The lively four-color interior, including photographs and bold illustrations, enhances the text and makes this a beautiful and dynamic addition to any collection.”

The Second Chance of Benjamin Waterfalls by James Bird

A middle-grade novel by James Bird about a boy sent to his Ojibwe family to straighten out his life.

Benjamin Waterfalls comes from a broken home, and the quickest fix he’s found for his life is to fill that emptiness with stuff he steals and then sells. But he’s been caught one too many times, and when he appears before a tough judge, his mother proposes sending him to “boot camp” at the Ojibwe reservation where they used to live.

Soon he is on his way to Grand Portage, Minnesota, to live with his father – the man Benny hasn’t seen in years. Not only is “boot camp” not what he expects, but his rehabilitation seems to be in the hands of the tribal leader’s daughter, who wears a mask. Why? Finding the answer to this and so many other questions prove tougher than any military-style boot camp. Will answers be enough for Benny to turn his life around and embrace his second chance?”

Graphic Novels

Shuri and T’Challa: Into the Heartlands (An Original Black Panther Graphic Novel) by Roseanne A. Brown, Illustrated by Dika Araújo, Natacha Bustos, and Claudia Aguirre

Shuri and T’Challa set out to remove a curse from Wakanda in this action-packed, totally original graphic novel!

Twelve-year-old Shuri is a lot of things. Scientist. Princess. All around cooler person than her pain-in-the-butt big brother, T’Challa. Shuri knows she could do so much more to help Wakanda, but everyone is obsessed with the prince because he’s the next Black Panther. That is, until Soul Washing Day, one of the most important rituals of Wakandan society.

When an argument between T’Challa and Shuri leads to one of Shuri’s inventions accidentally destroying the sacred ceremony site, chaos reigns instead of prosperity. Suddenly the people of Wakanda, including her mother the queen, are becoming sick! Could this be a curse from the ancestors? Desperate to save her mother, Shuri dives into research and finds an answer hidden deep in an ancient children’s myth. It may be nothing more than a fantasy, but with the sickness spreading each day, the young princess must trust her instincts and travel deep into the mysterious Heartlands to save her family and her kingdom.

Joining Shuri on her journey is none other than a meddling T’Challa. If Shuri and T’Challa can set aside their jealousy and resentment of each other long enough to survive this journey, they might just discover that they are far more powerful together than they could ever be apart. But if they can’t face their fears in the Heartlands and lift the so-called curse, it may not be just the end for their family, but the end of Wakanda as they know it. No pressure, right?”

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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Review: Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle

I am thrilled to be sharing another one of my Most Anticipated Picture Books of 2022 with you all again today! Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle by Nina LaCour and Kaylani Juanita is a beautiful picture book filled to the brim with love, and it has exceeded all of my expectations.

Title: Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle
Author: Nina LaCour
Illustrator: Kaylani Juanita
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Published: March 29, 2022
Format: Picture Book

Following a young girl who misses her Mommy while she is away for a week-long business trip, Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle is a great choice for any little ones who are missing someone they love. Though our young narrator loves her Mama, her week just doesn’t feel the same without Mommy around. She talks to Mommy on the phone, but it just isn’t the same. Shortly before Mommy comes back, she hatches a plan with Mama to surprise Mommy when she arrives.

My absolute favorite part of Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle is that it has such a realistic example of the way we process our emotions. When Mommy comes back home, our young narrator doesn’t immediately forget about the tough week she had, but instead works through the feelings she had and comes to terms with them.

The illustrations by Kaylani Juanita are wonderful, as always. As far as I’m concerned, Kaylani Juanita is the Queen of Character Design. There is so much care and attention put into every detail of each character, as well as their surroundings. I think my favorite detail is all the houseplants in the family’s home. I even spotted a string of pearls!

Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle officially releases next week (March 29, 2022) but I would highly recommend preordering it today! Preorders are available wherever books are sold, including Bookshop and Amazon. (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 Candlewick Press for providing me with a review copy of Mama and Mommy and Me in the Middle. I am so happy to be able to share it with everyone today!

About The Author:

Nina LaCour is the award-winning author of several books for young adults, including We Are Okay, which won the Michael L. Printz Award, and Hold Still, which was a William C. Morris Debut Award finalist and won the Northern California Book Award. Nina LaCour lives in California with her wife and daughter.

About The Illustrator:

Kaylani Juanita is the illustrator of several books for children, including the Stonewall Book Award winner When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff. She is also the illustrator of Magnificent Homespun Brown by Samara Cole Doyon, A House for Every Bird by Megan Maynor, and The Little Things: A Story About Acts of Kindness by Christian Trimmer. Kaylani Juanita lives in California.

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New Release Round Up: March 1, 2022

It’s Tuesday again, so we are talking about 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.

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission from purchases made, with no additional cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you.

Board Books

Mommy’s Love by Anastasia Galkina, Illustrated by Ekaterina Ladatko

“This tender poem reinforces the message that no matter a child’s strengths or weaknesses, whether they succeed or fail, Mommy’s love never falters. With adorable art showcasing a variety of family scenarios that will be familiar to any parent, Mommy Loves You makes it clear that a mother’s love is unconditional.”

Picture Books

Pool Party by Amy Duchêne and Elisa Parhad, Illustrated by Anne Bentley

A splashy story celebrating a fun-filled day at a public pool

 

Splash, dash! It’s time for a pool bash! Grab your swimsuits, inner tubes, noodles, and floats, and jump, belly flop, or dive into this wet and wild ode to swimming pool fun.”

I Love You All The Time by Deborah Farmer Kris, Illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin

Reassure children that they are loved and loveable no matter the ups and downs of the day with words of affirmation for kids.

I Love You All the Time speaks to the power of caregivers’ steady love to help children develop confidence, resilience, and emotional agility with words of affirmation for kids.

Parents and teachers want strategies for helping preschoolers manage their emotions. But to effectively teach emotional self-regulation strategies, children first need to know they are safe and loved—all the time. Even when they lose their temper, even when they stay up too late, or lose their shoes, or yell at their friend. The steady love of a caregiver can help children thrive, even when life is challenging.”

A Park Connects Us by Sarah Nelson, Illustrated by Ellen Rooney

An ode to urban parks and the many ways they connect us to community and nature

This picture book excursion through a city park invites readers to discover how shared green spaces bring us together. Lyrical, upbeat text illuminates the abundant gifts the park offers. Vibrant mixed-media illustrations show a diverse group of visitors as they explore this communal space. Children frolic; couples wander; flowers bloom and birds zoom; friends and families picnic and play ball or simply sink their toes peacefully into the present moment. Meanwhile, rolling hills and green trees enfold visitors in nature’s beauty. Encouraged by the sense of unity the park creates, the visitors come together for a joyful dance party and a march for peace and equality. Spread by spread, we see how urban parks are for everyone—whoever we are.”

Biking With Grandma: A “Wish You Were Here” Adventure by Chris Santella, Illustrated by Vivienne To

Sam and their intrepid grandma bike around the world together in this sweet intergenerational adventure!

Grandma Rose’s job is having amazing adventures around the globe and writing about them. Her next trip is extra-special—because this time, Sam is tagging along! Together Sam and Grandma Rose will bike and explore national parks, villages, and sprawling cities, from bear sightings in Alberta to sloths in Costa Rica, and from gelato in Italy to bánh mi in Vietnam.

Writing home in postcards, Sam details tidbits about each location’s language, culture, and natural beauty. Sam soon finds out that Grandma is full of surprises—she’s up for any challenge, and wow, can she shred down those trails. Pedaling side-by-side, Grandma Rose will teach Sam to be brave and embrace new experiences both on a bike and in life. Whether trekking up majestic mountains or simply gazing up at the night sky, Sam discovers that the journey is not about the places you go—it’s the moments you share, big and small. “

Middle Grade

A Song Called Home by Sara Zarr

From award-winning author Sara Zarr comes a story of the small moments that show us who we are, and how family is not just something you’re part of, but something you make.

Lou and her family don’t have much, but for Lou it’s enough. Mom. Her sister, Casey. Their apartment in the city. Her best friend, Beth. It would be better if Dad could stop drinking and be there for her and Casey, and if they didn’t have to worry about money all the time. But Lou doesn’t need better—she only needs enough.

What’s enough for Lou, however, is not enough for Mom. Steve, Mom’s boyfriend, isn’t a bad guy, he’s just…not what Lou is used to. And now, he and Mom are getting married, and that means moving. Packing up life as they’ve known it and storing it in Steve’s garage. Lou will be separated from everything in her small but predictable life, farther from Dad than ever.

Their last night in the city, Lou receives a mysterious birthday gift: A guitar, left for her by their front door. There’s nothing saying who left it, but it must be from Dad. And as she leaves the only place she’s ever known, she starts to believe that if she can learn how to play it, maybe she can bring a piece of him, and of her old life, home.”

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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New Release Round Up: March 8, 2022

Another Tuesday means another New Release Round Up! I can’t wait to share all the wonderful titles hitting the shelves this week, so let’s dive right in.

As always, these titles will have inclusive characters and themes (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.

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission from purchases made, with no additional cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you.

Picture Books

Can Sophie Change the World? by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace, Illustrated by Aura Lewis


“It’s Grandpop’s birthday, and all he wants is one little thing: for Sophie to change the world.

He wants Sophie to do a mitzvah—something kind for others. But what exactly does that mean?

As Sophie shares, teaches, helps her friends, takes care of birds, and picks up litter, she wonders which of these acts, if any, might change the world. By performing this sequence of poignant mitzvahs with an open heart, unending empathy, and a big imagination, Sophie’s about to discover that what sounds like an impossible task just might be the best way to live life.

In this exploration of an essential part of Jewish traditional teaching, Sophie’s efforts to grant Grandpop’s wish show that the smallest acts of kindness are what truly change the world.”


With Lots of Love by Jenny Torres Sanchez, Illustrated by André Ceolin

A beautiful, lyrical story about a girl who moves from her home in Central America to the United States, and everything she leaves behind and longs for—especially her Abuela—as she makes a new life.

Rocio has grown up in Central America, but now she and her family are moving to the United States. Rocio does her best to adjust to a new way of living, but there are many things she misses from her old life—Abuela’s cooking, Abuela’s pinata creations, Abuela’s warm hugs, and of course, Abuela herself most of all. But Abuela finds a way to send Rocio something special just in time for her birthday—a gift wrapped with lots of love—and that fills Rocio to the brim.”

Feasts and Festivals Around the World: From Lunar New Year to Christmas by Alice B. McGinty, Illustrated by Tomoko Suzuki

Explore the celebrations and feasts of twelve countries and cultures from around the world!

From South Korea to Nigeria to the USA, come celebrate festivals throughout the year! People around the world are celebrating. In Australia, it’s Christmas in summer with barbecues on the beach. In Thailand, they’re celebrating Songkran, the famous Buddhist water festival. Rhyming text and graphic illustrations pair perfectly and invite young readers to explore the world through mesmerizing festivals.

A stunning companion to Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World!

Fever: How Tu Youyou Adapted Traditional Chinese Medicine to Find a Cure for Malaria (Moments in Science) by Darcy Pattison, Illustrated by Peter Willis

“People were dying! Malaria is a deadly mosquito-borne disease that causes fevers, chills and often death. In 1969, the People’s Republic of China created a task force to find a cure.

Working in the 1970s, Chinese scientist Tu Youyou reviewed the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) scrolls for ideas on where to start her research. She found 640 traditional treatments, and methodically started extracting compounds and testing them against malaria. Would any of them work?

Courage, resilience, and perseverance–follow the struggles of Nobel Prize scientist Tu Youyou as she works to find a cure to malaria.”

Breaking Through the Clouds: The Sometimes Turbulent Life of Meteorologist Joanne Simpson by Sandra Nickel, Illustrated by Helena Perez Garcia

An inspiring picture book about the meteorologist whose discoveries helped us understand how weather works

When Joanne Simpson (1923-2010) was a girl, she sailed her boat beneath the puffy white clouds of Cape Cod. As a pilot, she flew her plane so high, its wings almost touched them. And when World War II began and Joanne moved to the University of Chicago, a professor asked her to teach Air Force officers about those very clouds and the weather-changing winds.
As soon as the war ended, Joanne decided to seriously study the clouds she had grown to love so much. Her professors laughed. They told her to go home. They told her she was no longer needed. They told her, “No woman ever got a doctorate in meteorology. And no woman ever will.”

But Joanne was stubborn. She sold her boat. She flew her last flight. She saved her money so that she could study clouds. She worked so hard and discovered so much that—despite what the professors said—she received a doctorate in meteorology. She was the first woman in the world to do so.

Breaking Through the Clouds tells the story of a trailblazing scientist whose discoveries about clouds and how they work changed everything we know about weather today.”

Forest Fighter: The Story of Chico Mendes by Anita Ganeri, Illustrated by Margaux Carpentier

“Chico Mendes lived in the depths of the Amazon rainforest where trees grew tall and strong and wildlife roamed freely. From the age of 8, Chico worked with his father collecting sap from trees that could be sold to make rubber. Rubber tappers were very poor and the rainforest was increasingly being destroyed by burning and logging, threatening their livelihoods. Chico knew he had to take a stand. He became a spokesperson for the community, fighting hard to preserve the Amazon rainforest, and speaking up for the rights of other rubber tappers. He won several international awards for his campaigns, but the loggers still wouldn’t stop. At the age of 44, Chico was murdered by one of the loggers.

Grippingly written by award-winning author, Anita Ganeri, and vibrantly illustrated by Margaux Carpentier, Forest Fighter tells the inspiring story of Chico Mendes, who was not afraid to speak up for others and worked tirelessly to protect the rainforest. It depicts the incredible wildlife and peoples who co-exist there and shows why it is so important that all rainforests are protected.”

Our World Is a Family: Our Community Can Change the World by Miry Whitehill and Jennifer Jackson, Illustrated by Nomar Perez

Learn how to welcome new neighbors into your community, particularly when they might be far from home, in this uplifting and diverse picture book that champions human connection and inclusivity. After all, the world is everyone’s home and we’re one big family!

When we see someone new in our neighborhood, how can we help them feel safe and loved and important?

How can we tell them, you’re not alone?

There are so many ways!

Our World is a Family is a picture book exploring the complicated topic of human migration in a gentle, loving, and affirming way. It lightly touches on the reason people might leave their homes, like climate change or lack of safety, and inspires children to welcome their new neighbors into their communities with love.”

Carrimebac, The Town That Walked by David Barclay Moore, Illustrated by John Holyfield

“In a boldly transportive original tale, David Barclay Moore infuses history with wry folk wisdom, metaphorical power, and a splash of magic. The Civil War may be over, but times are not substantially improved for the freed Black citizens of Walkerton, Georgia, who are shunned by the white folks of the surrounding towns. One day, though, ol’ Rootilla Redgums and her grandson, Julius Jefferson, arrive. Rootilla teaches the citizens of Walkerton how to make all sorts of beautiful things, and the white people can’t get enough. But some aren’t so happy. When a hooded mob threatens to burn down the town, Julius and Rootilla must work wonders to protect Walkerton and its people—even if it means moving heaven and earth itself. With exquisite cinematic illustrations by John Holyfield and a generous trim size, this portrait of Black endurance draws on the rhythms and traditions of African American storytelling to open a powerful window into the past.”

Behold Our Magical Garden: Poems Fresh from a School Garden by Allan Wolf, Illustrated by Daniel Duncan

“There’s a lot more to gardens than meets the eye! In this collection of buoyant poems filled with fun facts, young nature enthusiasts and budding gardeners are called on to help solve a mystery by the compost bin, join a Wild West–style standoff between some good bugs and a few bad ones, interview the sun to find out what happens when it drinks a glass of water, and learn the fancy names of plants to spice up dinner conversation. They’ll be spurred to grab their own gardening tools, drop in some seeds, encounter a few insects, gather fresh vegetables, and find a whole lot of magic. Allan Wolf’s playful poems and Daniel Duncan’s whimsically detailed, welcoming illustrations combine in a charming celebration of the many wonders and lessons to be learned from a school garden. For further inspiration, engaging notes on the poems and an author’s note on jotting down observations can be found in the back matter.”

Climb On! by Baptiste Paul, Illustrated by Jacqueline Alcántara

“When a young child reminds her dad about the hike they planned, her father is hesitant —To the tippy top? It’s a great day to watch futbol (soccer). But as the two climb on, her enthusiasm is contagious. Filled with setbacks, surprises, and stunning views, this warm and humorous story highlights in vivid colors the bonding power of a shared experience. A list of creatures at the end prompts a second look for keen-eyed readers to make discoveries of their own.

Baptiste Paul and Jacqueline Alcántara (co-creators of The Field) have teamed up again! Baptiste’s humorous and tender text, with a sprinkling of Creole words straight from the Pitons, and Jacqueline Alcántara’s vibrant and evocative illustrations capture the wonder and emotions experienced on the trail and the special relationship between a parent and a child. “

Chapter Books

Catalina Incognito by Jennifer Torres, Illustrated by Gladys Jose

One Day at a Time meets Mindy Kim in this first book in a charming new chapter book series about Catalina Castaneda, a Mexican American girl with a magical sewing kit!

Catalina Castaneda is not persnickety, even though that’s what her parents and sister, Coco, like to think. Catalina just likes things the way she likes them—perfect.

That’s why it’s very hard to hide her disappointment when her glamorous Tía Abuela, a famous telenovela actress, gives her an old sewing kit for her eighth birthday. However, Catalina soon discovers the sewing kit isn’t as boring as she thinks—it’s magic, turning ordinary clothing into magical disguises.

When Tía Abuela’s most famous costume has rhinestones stolen from it where it’s being displayed at the local library, Catalina gets to work on creating the perfect disfraz (disguise) to track down the thief. But, as Tía Abuela warned her, the magic is only as strong as her stiches, and Catalina doesn’t always have the patience for practice…”

Middle Grade

Turn The Tide by Elaine Dimopoulos

“Mimi has a plan for her seventh grade year: play piano in the Young Artists competition at Carnegie Hall with her best friend, Lee; enjoy a good old Massachusetts snow day or two; and work in her community garden plot with her dad. But all that changes when her family’s Greek restaurant falls on hard times.

The Laskarises’ relocation to Wilford Island, Florida, is a big key change for Mimi. Where does she fit in in this shell-covered paradise without Lee? Mimi is taken by the beauty of the island and alarmed by the plastic pollution she sees on the beaches.

Then her science teacher, Ms. Miller, shows her class a TED Talk by Melati and Isabel Wijsen. At ages twelve and ten, they lobbied to ban single-use plastic bags on their home island of Bali—and won. Their story strikes a chord for Mimi. She’s twelve.

Could a kid like her make such a big change in a place that she’s not yet sure feels like home? Can she manage to keep up with piano, her schoolwork, and activism? And does confident and flawless Carmen Alvarez-Hill really want to help her with the movement?”

The Best Liars In Riverview by Lin Thompson

“Aubrey and Joel are like two tomato vines that grew along the same crooked fence—weird, yet the same kind of weird. But lately, even their shared weirdness seems weird. Then Joel disappears. Vanishes. Poof. The whole town is looking for him, and Aubrey was the last person to see Joel. Aubrey can’t say much, but since lies of omission are still lies, here’s what they know for sure:
For the last two weeks of the school year, when sixth grade became too much, Aubrey and Joel have been building a raft in the woods.
The raft was supposed to be just another part of their running away game.
The raft is gone now, too.
Aubrey doesn’t know where Joel is, but they might know how to find him. As Aubrey, their friend Mari, and sister Teagan search along the river, Aubrey has to fess up to who they really are, all the things they never said, and the word that bully Rudy Thomas used that set all this into motion.”

Graphic Novels

PAWS: Gabby Gets It Together by Nathan Fairbairn, Illustrated by Michele Assarasakorn

“Meet best friends Gabby Jordan, Priya Gupta, and Mindy Kim. They’re different in just about every way—personalities, hobbies, family, and more—but they have a few important things in common: they’re all in the same class, they absolutely love animals, and for reasons that are as varied as the trio themselves none of them can actually have any pets.

Unable to resist the adorable temptation any longer, the girls decide to come up with a way to finally get their hands on some furry friends. And, as luck would have it, it seems like their neighborhood is in need of some afterschool dog-walkers. So, just like that, PAWS is born!

But it turns out that running a business is harder than it looks, especially with three co-owners who are such different people. The girls soon argue about everything, from how to prioritize their commitments to the best way to keep their doggy clients happy. And when their fighting ultimately leads to a doggo crisis, will it tear their business and friendship apart or will they be able to get it together to save the day?”

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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New Release Round Up: March 1, 2022

It’s Tuesday again, and March always means LOTS of new releases so I will get straight to it 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.

Please Note: This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links allow me to receive a small commission from purchases made, with no additional cost to you. This commission is used to maintain this site and continue bringing content to you.

Board Books

Grandma and Me by Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrated by Ashleigh Corrin

A celebration of family love from award-winning children’s author Carole Boston Weatherford, this beautiful rhyming board book is filled with all the sweet reasons why Grandma’s love is so special!

With simple rhyming text, a young child reflects on the many reasons they love their Grandma. From the games they play together to the way she understands her grandchild, this sweet story show us all just how much our grandmas love us! This is adorable board book is the perfect way for children to feel the love and security grandmas give and to celebrate the diverse ways that love is shown and celebrated!”

Cat’s First Baby by Natalie Nelson

“Cat is curious. There’s a new addition to the family, but who exactly is this small being? This new arrival doesn’t meow like a cat, or smell like a cat, or even have a tail like a cat. As Cat investigates, he might just come to appreciate this loud, silly family member. After all, they both enjoy a good catnap.  
 
In Cat’s First Baby, the feline companion to Dog’s First Baby, Natalie Nelson captures the wonder and humor of a new family member through a cat’s eyes. Sure to delight kids and cat parents alike, this board book promises to be a repeat read-aloud.”

How To Dress A Dinosaur by Robin Currie, Illustrated by Alycia Pace

“Every parent knows the struggle of getting a child dressed and out the door. But with a cast of hilariously coiffed dinosaurs to teach toddlers how to stomp their feet into pant legs and reach their claws into shirts, getting dressed becomes a game. With this playful companion to How to Potty Train a Dinosaur, your little dino lover will beg to join in the fun and get dressed like a dinosaur!”

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors (A Muslim Book Of Concepts) by Hena Khan, Illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini

Now in board book, this picture book magnificently captures the colors of Islam and will inspire curiosity and conversations about world religions and cultures.

With breathtaking illustrations and informative text, Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns magnificently captures the world of Islam, celebrating its beauty and traditions for even the youngest readers. From a red prayer rug to a blue hijab, readers will learn about a different color of the Muslim world on each spread with a young Muslim girl and her family as a guide. Sure to inspire questions and observations about world religions and cultures, it is equally at home in a classroom reading circle as it is being read to a child on a parent’s lap.”

Picture Books

See You Soon by Mariame Kaba, Illustrated by Bianca Diaz



“Queenie loves living with Mama and Grandma Louise. Together, they go to the grocery store, eat ice cream, and play games in the park. Mama braids Queenie’s hair and helps her with her homework.

Sometimes, when Mama is sick, she has to go away. One day, Queenie and Grandma ride the bus with Mama to the county jail.

Queenie is worried about what will happen when Mama goes to jail. She’s afraid to ask questions, and overcome with feelings of worry and sadness. Does Mama have a warm bed to sleep in? When will Queenie see her again?

Soon after she and Grandma return home, Queenie opens a letter from Mama, and savors every word. She knows her Mama loves her, and looks forward to their upcoming visit.” 

Miguel’s Community Garden (Where in the Garden? #2) by JaNay Brown-Wood, Illustrated by Samara Hardy

“Miguel is throwing a party at his community garden for all of his friends, and he needs help searching for sunflowers to complete the celebration. What do we know about sunflowers? They’re tall with petals and leaves―and, hold on, is that a sunflower? No, that’s an artichoke. Where, oh, where could those sunflowers be? Can you help Miguel find them in time for his party?

The second title in JaNay Brown-Wood and Samara Hardy’s Where in the Garden? series stars an adorable young Latino exploring his garden while comparing, contrasting, and hunting for sunflowers among a multitude of warm-weather fruits and vegetables like apricots, artichokes, asparagus, mushrooms, spinach, and more.

Toddlers and preschoolers will delight as they discover the wonders of fresh produce, and after Miguel finally finds the patch of tall, yellow blossoms, a festive celebration ensues at the community garden where a diverse group of friends and Miguel’s two fathers feast on all of the fresh fruits and vegetables.”

The Supreme Court and Us by Christy Mihaly, Illustrated by Neely Daggett

Two kids learn about the Supreme Court with the help of key figures from US history.

Ada and Bea are on a tour of Washington, DC, learning all about the US Supreme Court, from its founding in 1789 to today. Along the way, they hear from the Constitution, important justices, and key figures from landmark cases, such as Plessy v. Ferguson and Brown v. Board of Education, gaining an understanding of how the court has shaped our lives.”

The Leaping Laddoo by by Harshita Jerath, Illustrated by Kamala M. Nair

Join a frolicking chase on the bustling streets of contemporary India.

Bhago, Bhago as fast as you can! Follow the leaping laddoo (luh-DOO), an Indian dessert, as it flees from the hands of its maker and eludes children, a tea seller, a groom on an elephant, and more. Can anyone end this crazy chase?

Featuring vibrant illustrations and sprinkled with Hindi words, this fun read-aloud also includes a laddoo recipe.”

She Persisted in Science by Chelsea Clinton, Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger

A STEM-focused addition to the #1 New York Times bestselling She Persisted series!

Throughout history, women have been told that science isn’t for them. They’ve been told that they’re not smart enough, or that their brains just aren’t able to handle it. In this book, Chelsea Clinton introduces readers to women scientists who didn’t listen to those who told them “no” and who used their smarts, their skills and their persistence to discover, invent, create and explain.

She Persisted in Science is for everyone who’s ever had questions about the world around them or the way things work, and who won’t give up until they find their answers.

With engaging artwork by Alexandra Boiger accompanying the inspiring text, this is a book that shows readers that everyone has the potential to make a difference, and that women in science change our world.”

Loujain Dreams of Sunflowers by Uma Mishra-Newbery and Lina AlHathloul, Illustrated by Rebecca Green

“Loujain watches her beloved baba attach his feather wings and fly each morning, but her own dreams of flying face a big obstacle: only boys, not girls, are allowed to fly in her country. Yet despite the taunts of her classmates, she is determined to do it—especially because Loujain loves colors, and only by flying can she see the color-filled field of sunflowers her baba has told her about. Eventually, he agrees to teach her, and Loujain’s impossible dream becomes reality—and soon other girls dare to learn to fly.

Based on the experiences of co-author Lina AlHathloul’s sister, Nobel Peace Prize nominee Loujain AlHathloul, who led the successful campaign to lift Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving, this moving and gorgeously illustrated story reminds us to strive for the changes we want to see—and to never take for granted women’s and girls’ freedoms.”

I Want My Book Back by Viviane Elbee, Illustrated by Nicole Miles

“Daryl loves to play with his favorite library book about dinosaurs. His imagination takes him to prehistoric places, and he pretends to be a triceratopsmicroraptor, and even a T. rex! But Daryl does not want to share his book, so when he has to return it to the library, Daryl goes wild. Using all of his dinosaur skills, Daryl tries his best to get his book back! But when a clever librarian notices Daryl’s passion, she encourages him to share his favorite book and make some new friends along the way. This playful, silly, funny, tale about reading, books, and sharing is sure to be a hit with any child.”

All Moms by Sarah Kate Ellis and Kristen Ellis-Henderson, Illustrated by Max Rambaldi

All Moms is a love letter to mommies. Moms make us laugh. Moms read us stories. Moms snuggle us when we’re sad, and help us grow. Some moms are silly, some are sporty or crafty, but all moms are incredible. Moms can do anything!

Created in partnership with GLAAD, this inclusive picture book features and celebrates all different types of mommies and the amazing things they do.”

One Million Trees: A True Story by Kristen Balouch

The real-life story of a family who planted 1,000,000 trees– yes, it’s true!—to fight deforestation in British Columbia.

When Kristen Balouch was 10 years old, her parents made a surprising announcement: their whole family was going on a trip to plant trees!  Kristen, her sisters, and her mom and dad—and their pet, Wonder Dog!—flew from their California home to a logging site in British Columbia.  There, they joined a crew working to replant the trees that had been cut down.

In One Million Trees, Kristen reflects on the forty days they spent living in a tent, covered in mud and bug bites, working hard every day to plant a new forest.  Young readers will learn a little French, practice some math skills, and learn all about how to plant a tree the right way!

The kid-friendly, engaging text is paired with bold illustrations, full of fun details and bright colors. The story ends with a modern-day look at what Kristen’s family helped accomplish: a stand of huge trees growing on what used to be an empty, muddy patch of bare stumps.”

Sanctuary: Kip Tiernan and Rosie’s Place, the Nation’s First Shelter for Women by Christine McDonnell, Illustrated by Victoria Tentler-Krylov

“When Kip Tiernan was growing up during the Great Depression, she’d help her granny feed the men who came to their door asking for help. As Kip grew older, and as she continued to serve food to hungry people, she noticed something peculiar: huddled at the back of serving lines were women dressed as men. At the time, it was believed that there were no women experiencing homelessness. And yet Kip would see women sleeping on park benches and searching for food in trash cans. Kip decided to open the first shelter for women—a shelter with no questions asked, no required chores, just good meals and warm beds. With persistence, Kip took on the city of Boston in her quest to open Rosie’s Place, our nation’s first shelter for women.

Christine McDonnell, a former educator at Rosie’s Place, and illustrator Victoria Tentler-Krylov bring warmth to Kip Tiernan’s story of humanity and tenacity, showing readers how one person’s dream can make a huge difference, and small acts of kindness can lead to great things.”

One Sun and Countless Stars: A Muslim Book of Numbers (A Muslim Book Of Concepts) by Hena Khan, Illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini

Counting and culture come together in this stunning companion to Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns.

From one sun to countless stars, this gentle introduction to numbers also celebrates the many diverse traditions of the Muslim world, encouraging readers young and old to reflect upon—and count—their many blessings. Like Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns and Crescent Moons and Pointed Minarets, this latest offering in the Concepts of the Muslim World series has stunning illustrations, rhyming read-aloud text, and informative back matter, and it is equally at home in the classroom or being read on a parent’s lap.”

Middle Grade

New From Here by Kelly Yang

“When the coronavirus hits Hong Kong, ten-year-old Knox Wei-Evans’s mom makes the last-minute decision to move him and his siblings back to California, where they think they will be safe. Suddenly, Knox has two days to prepare for an international move—and for leaving his dad, who has to stay for work.

At his new school in California, Knox struggles with being the new kid. His classmates think that because he’s from Asia, he must have brought over the virus. At home, Mom just got fired and is panicking over the loss of health insurance, and Dad doesn’t even know when he’ll see them again, since the flights have been cancelled. And everyone struggles with Knox’s blurting-things-out problem.

As racism skyrockets during COVID-19, Knox tries to stand up to hate, while finding his place in his new country. Can you belong if you’re feared; can you protect if you’re new? And how do you keep a family together when you’re oceans apart? Sometimes when the world is spinning out of control, the best way to get through it is to embrace our own lovable”

Girls Solve Everything: Stories of Women Entrepreneurs Building a Better World by Catherine Thimmesh, Illustrated by Melissa Sweet

“Women all over the globe are asking questions that affect lives and creating businesses that answer them. Like, can we keep premature babies warm when they’re born far from the hospital? Or, can the elderly stay in their homes and eat a balanced diet?  Women are taking on and solving these issues with their ingenuity and business acumen.

How did they get their ideas? Where does the funding for their projects come from? And how have some of these businesses touched YOUR life? Girls Solve Everything answers these questions, inspiring today’s kids to learn from entrepreneurs and take on some of the world’s biggest problems, one solution at a time.”

Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa (Pilar Ramirez Duology #1) by Julian Randall

“Twelve-year-old Pilar Violeta “Purp” Ramirez’s world is changing, and she doesn’t care for it one bit. Her Chicago neighborhood is gentrifying and her chores have doubled since her sister, Lorena, left for college. The only constant is Abuela and Mami’s code of silence around her cousin Natasha―who vanished in the Dominican Republic fifty years ago during the Trujillo dictatorship.

When Pilar hears that Lorena’s professor studies such disappearances, she hops on the next train to dig deeper into her family’s mystery. After snooping around the professor’s empty office, she discovers a folder with her cousin’s name on it . . . and gets sucked into the blank page within.

She lands on Zafa, an island swarming with coconut-shaped demons, butterfly shapeshifters, and a sinister magical prison where her cousin is being held captive. Pilar will have to go toe-to-toe with the fearsome Dominican boogeyman, El Cuco, if she has any hope of freeing Natasha and getting back home.”

Graphic Novels

Wingbearer by Marjorie Liu, Illustrated by Tenny Issakhanian

A young girl must stop a threat to her magical world in this epic graphic novel from New York Times bestselling author Marjorie Liu and remarkable debut illustrator Teny Issakhanian.

Zuli is extraordinary—she just doesn’t realize it yet. Raised by mystical bird spirits in the branches of the Great Tree, she’s never ventured beyond this safe haven. She’s never had to. Until now.

When a sinister force threatens the life-giving magic of the tree, Zuli, along with her guardian owl, Frowly, must get to the root of it. So begins an adventure bigger than anything Zuli could’ve ever imagined—one that will bring her, along with some newfound friends, face-to-face with an ancient dragon, the so-called Witch-Queen, and most surprisingly of all: her true identity.

This captivating middle grade graphic novel, the first of a series, is perfect for fans of the Amulet books and the Wings of Fire series.”

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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