New Release Round Up: November 2, 2021

It’s Tuesday again, so y’all know what that means: It’s time to talk about new releases again!

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

Aaron Slater, Illustrator by Andrea Beaty, Illustrated by David Roberts

An uplifting story about the power of art, finding your voice, and telling your story even when you’re out of step with your peers from the #1 bestselling creators of Sofia Valdez, Future Prez and Ada Twist, Scientist!

Aaron Slater loves listening to stories and dreams of one day writing them himself. But when it comes to reading, the letters just look like squiggles to him, and it soon becomes clear he struggles more than his peers. When his teacher asks each child in the class to write a story, Aaron can’t get a single word down. He is sure his dream of being a storyteller is out of reach . . . until inspiration strikes, and Aaron finds a way to spin a tale in a way that is uniquely his.

Printed with a dyslexia-friendly font, Aaron Slater, Illustrator tells the empowering story of a boy with dyslexia who discovers that his learning disability may inform who he is, but it does not define who he is, and that there are many ways to be a gifted communicator.

Carla and The Christmas Cornbread by Carla Hall, Illustrated by Cherise Harris

In this heartwarming tale inspired by her childhood, superstar chef and TV host Carla Hall shares the story of young Carla, who eats a sugar cookie meant for Santa on the night before Christmas and tries to make things right.

Christmas is Carla’s favorite holiday of the year. She goes to her grandparents’ house and eats grandma’s special recipe—a perfectly delicious cornbread. She listens to her grandpa Doc’s marvelous stories about traveling the world. And, best of all, she spends lots of time with her family.

But when Carla accidentally takes a bite out of Santa’s sugar cookie, she thinks she’s ruined Christmas. How will Santa know to stop at their house if they don’t leave him a midnight snack? With her grandmother’s help, Carla comes up with a plan, but will it be enough to save Christmas?

Dear Little One by Nina Laden, Illustrated by Melissa castrillon

Celebrate the wonder of the world in this reassuring picture book about the joy, love, and beauty found in each and every day.

From the treasure of flowers to the mystery of insects, this lyrical book encourages children to explore the natural world around them and to be grateful for all that surrounds them. With jewel-like artwork, every page is a treasure for children just born or exploring the world full of possibilities we all share.

Bubbe & Bart’s Matzoh Ball Mayhem by Bonnie Grubman, Illustrated by Deborah Melmon

Getting ready for Shabbat is always a bit zany, but… flying matzoh balls?!?!?! Bubbe and her best buddy, Bart, make the perfect matzoh\-ball\-chasing team in this hilarious Jewish counting book!

Soomi’s Sweater by Susie Oh

Soomi’s new sweater arrives, but it doesn’t quite fit. Mom makes it just right and Soomi can’t wait to show her friends. Soon, Soomi’s brand new sweater isn’t so new anymore. Her friends try to patch it up, but nothing works. Thankfully, Mom knows just what to do. She creates something better than brand new!

The Dancing Trees by Masiana Kelly, Illustrated by Michelle Simpson

Thomas loves to tell stories. Big stories. Stories about how skilled he is on the land. But when one of his friends grows tired of his tall tales, Thomas has to prove how skilled he really is. Taking the challenge to spend a night alone in the forest, Thomas heads into the wilderness. The trees, who have heard his stories, watch him tear off their bark and litter as he goes. And so, while Thomas sleeps, they dance a dance that will leave Thomas with a very different kind of story to tell―if he can find his way home…

Our Table by Peter H. Reynolds

Celebrated, bestselling creator Peter H. Reynolds brings his signature touch of love and kindness to this special, timely picture book, as families now, more than ever, are rediscovering and reevaluating what means the most: time together with one another.

Violet longs for the time when her family was connected: before life, distractions, and technology pulled them all away from each other. They used to gather at the table, with food and love, to make memories, share their lives, and revel in time spent together. But now her family has been drifting apart, and with nobody to gather around it, the table grows smaller and smaller.

Can Violet remind her family of the warmth of time spent together, and gather around the table once more?

A mystical fable that feels at once timeless and utterly of the present moment, Our Table is renowned, bestselling creator Peter H. Reynolds at his best. Exquisite, expressive watercolor tells a tender story, growing from monochrome into luscious, joyful color as Violet’s family is reunited around the beloved table. An ode to traditions that unite families, Our Table brings readers together with a universal message of gratitude.

Parker Shines On by Parker and Jessica Curry, Illustrated by Brittany Jackson

The New York Times bestselling team behind Parker Looks Up returns with an uplifting story about Parker making a new friend and learning about self-expression, opening your heart, and helping others.

Parker Curry loves being a big sister. She gets to play dress-up with her little sister, Ava, and piano with her baby brother, Cash. And Parker loves to dance, twirling and leaping and spinning in joy.

But when a dancer joins her class and needs her help, Parker wonders if she has what it takes to be not only a real dancer, but a real friend.

This inspirational picture book has an afterword by prima ballerina and New York Times bestselling author Misty Copeland.

Middle Grade

The Swag Is in the Socks by Kelly J. Baptist

Xavier Moon is not one to steal the show. He’s perfectly content to play video games and sit at his bedroom window watching the neighborhood talk outside.
 
But for Xavier’s twelfth birthday, he receives a pair of funky socks and a challenge from his great-uncle, Frankie Bell, saying it’s time to swag out and speak up. First on the list: get into the legendary Scepter League. Xavier’s grandfather, great-uncle, and father were all invited to join the elite boys’ after-school club that admits only the most suave and confident young men. Xavier has never had the courage to apply before, but his wild socks are getting him some big attention, so maybe it’s time to come out of the shadows and follow in his family’s footsteps. Or maybe Xavier will march down a new path altogether.

Middle School Mischief (The Magical Reality of Nadia #2) By Bassem Youssef and Catherine R. Daly, Illustrated by Douglas Holgate

Inspired by the author’s real-life experiences, this second hilarious and sweet novel about sixth grade Egyptian immigrant Nadia has her battling school newspaper drama, controversy with the school mascot, and some magical mischief, too.
Nadia loves fun facts. Here are a few about her:

There was a magical―and hilarious―ancient Egyptian teacher named Titi trapped in her hippo amulet until she freed him last fall.
Her school is choosing a new mascot and her idea is totally going to win!
She’s going to kick butt writing for the school newspaper this term…
…Maybe. A couple of weeks in, the newspaper is a big mess. The mascot contest is mayhem, too. (Who knew choosing a costumed character could cause such controversy?!)

Then Nadia and Titi discover that the hippo amulet holds a second secret, one that’s super powerful―and super scary. Too bad they have no idea how to stop it.

But Nadia is on the case! If she can solve the mystery of an ancient amulet, winning the mascot contest and acing her reporter assignments should be easy…right?

From The Daily Show comedian Bassem Youssef and author Catherine R. Daly comes a humorous and heartfelt story about integrity, empathy, power, and friendship.

Includes sections of black-and-white comics as well as black-and-white illustrations throughout, brought to life by Last Kids on Earth illustrator, Douglas Holgate.

Black Ballerinas: My Journey to Our Legacy by Misty Copeland, Illustrated by Selena Barnes

From New York Times bestselling and award-winning author and American Ballet Theatre principal dancer Misty Copeland comes an illustrated nonfiction collection celebrating dancers of color who have influenced her on and off the stage.

As a young girl living in a motel with her mother and her five siblings, Misty Copeland didn’t have a lot of exposure to ballet or prominent dancers. She was sixteen when she saw a black ballerina on a magazine cover for the first time. The experience emboldened Misty and told her that she wasn’t alone—and her dream wasn’t impossible.

In the years since, Misty has only learned more about the trailblazing women who made her own success possible by pushing back against repression and racism with their talent and tenacity. Misty brings these women’s stories to a new generation of readers and gives them the recognition they deserve.

With an introduction from Misty about the legacy these women have had on dance and on her career itself, this book delves into the lives and careers of women of color who fundamentally changed the landscape of American ballet from the early 20th century to today.

When the World Turned Upside Down by K Ibura

What do you do when the world shuts down? A heartwarming story of friendship and overcoming adversity in a time of COVID, When the World Turns Upside Down is about community, giving back, and understanding the world around us through the power of generosity from debut middle grade author K. Ibura.

Nobody expected a tiny little virus to change the whole world in such a big way, especially not Shayla, Liam, Ai, and Ben. But when school closes to keep everyone safe, their lives turn upside down. It is one thing to learn that the outside world isn’t safe, but why does it seem that the virus is causing trouble inside their homes too?

As they each struggle to adjust to life in quarantine, they discover they are not alone: their apartment building is full of people who need their help. Working together, they begin to see that there is power in numbers. When they cooperate, they can ease each other’s challenges and help their neighbors through tough times. It’s a lesson they’ll need when protests explode in the streets. Soon, each friend has to decide what it means to be part of a community―and how much they’re willing to do to make this world safer for everyone.

Set against the onset of COVID, When the World Turned Upside Down navigates issues of race and social justice in a heartwarming story of generosity, friendship, and the power of youth.

Graphic Novels

Manu by Kelly Fernandez

“A funny and heartwarming middle-grade graphic novel adventure about friendship, defying expectations, and finding your place.
Manu and her best friend, Josefina, live at a magical school for girls, and Manu is always getting into trouble. The headmistress believes that Manu has the potential to help people with her magic, but Manu would rather have fun than fall in line. One day, a prank goes seriously wrong, and Josefina gets angry and wishes for Manu’s magic to disappear… and it does. Manu uses a dangerous spell to restore it, but it makes her magic too powerful and nearly impossible to control. Great power comes at a cost, and it may be a price that Manu isn’t able to pay!”

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 – October 12, 2021

It’s Tuesday again, so y’all know what that means: It’s time to talk about new releases again!

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

Leaders: My First Leaders (Little People Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

“Hello little leader! Let’s learn about braveness, and boldness, and kindness. There’s plenty of leaders who were once young like you.”

Including cherished favorites, as well as some new, leaders from the series, introduce your baby to great leaders from history and today. With all-new lyrical text that is fun to read out loud to baby, this inspiring board book includes colorful, captivating illustrations of Rosa Parks, Greta Thunberg, Martin Luther King Jr., Malala Yousafzai, Harriet Tubman, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mahatma Gandhi, and Corazon Aquino.

Leaders is the perfect first empowerment primer for babies and toddlers.”

Artists: My First Artists (Little People Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara

“Hello little artist! Let’s learn about painters, and sculptors, and designers. There’s plenty of great artists who were once young like you.”

In this board book compilation of the most fantastic artists from the series, introduce your baby to Andy Warhol, Vivienne Westwood, Frida Kahlo, Louise Bourgeois, Pablo Picasso, David Bowie, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Colorful, captivating illustrations are paired with age-appropriate text that is fun to read out loud to baby.

Artists is the perfect first art history primer for babies and toddlers.”

Picture Books

You Are Revolutionary by Cindy Wang Brandt, Illustrated by Lynnor Bontigao

“You have what it takes to change the world!

This is the empowering message parenting author and podcaster Cindy Wang Brandt wants every child to hear and embrace. In this inspiring picture book she speaks to every child who sees injustice in the world, revealing that they already have inside themselves everything they need to make big, transformative change in the world–just as they are. Every kid is a revolutionary! You don’t need to wait until you grow up. You don’t even need any special skills. Kids who are loud, kids who are quiet, kids who make art, kids who are good at math, kids with lots of energy, kids who are good listeners–all kids have what it takes to make a difference.

Lynnor Bontigao’s vibrant illustrations feature a diverse group of children taking up a call to action and using their individual gifts to change the world.”

Little Moar and The Moon by Roselynn Akulukjuk, Illustrated by Jazmine Gubbe

“Moar has always loved autumn―playing outside with his friends, feeling the weather get colder―but there is one thing about autumn that really worries Moar. The moon. The days become shorter and the moon, with its creepy face and eerie smile, seems to be looking down on him before he can even get home from school! So, one day, Moar is determined to get home before the moon appears in the sky. But there are so many fun things to do on the way home, he may just run out of time!”

The Story of You by Lisa Ann Scott, Illustrated by Sue Cornelison

“The actions we take and the words we speak play a big part in who we are as a person. This empowering picture book shows children they can be the authors of their own life stories.

No one can tell you who you are—it’s all up to you! You write your story with your actions and words. This dynamic picture book for readers of all ages features lush illustrations that bring universal situations to light, including ways to be brave, bold, and kind, as well as knowing when you’ve made a mistake. A perfect gift for new parents, young graduates, as well as children and adults in any stage of their life, this is a book with a message: You are what you say and do.”

Every Little Kindness by Marta Bartolj

“When one act of kindness sparks another, anything is possible! As a girl searches for her lost dog, a simple act of generosity ripples into a wave of good deeds. In the course of a single day, each considerate action weaves lives together and transforms a neighborhood for the better.

This wordless story, told in beautiful illustrations reminiscent of a graphic novel, demonstrates how every little kindness, shared from person to person, can turn a collection of strangers into a community, and—even though we might not always see it—make the world a more vibrant and compassionate place to be.”

Chapter Books

Brother Be Gone (Jeanie & Genie #5) by Trish Granted, Illustrated by Manuela Lopez

“In the fifth book of the Jeanie & Genie series, Jeanie just wishes her annoying little brother would disappear—but she didn’t mean actually disappear…uh-oh.

Jeanie’s little brother, Jake, is annoying. Well, according to Jeanie he is. And sometimes Jeanie wishes he would just leave her alone! But when you have a best friend who’s a genie, you need to be careful what you wish for. When Willow accidentally grants the wish, Jake really does disappear! Will the girls be able to figure out where Jake has gone—and how to get him back?

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Jeanie & Genie chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.”

Middle Grade

Welcome Back, Maple Mehta-Cohen by Kate McGovern

“Maple is in fifth grade—again. Now everyone will find out she struggles with reading—or will they? An engaging read for anyone who has ever felt different.

Maple Mehta-Cohen has been keeping a secret: she can’t read all that well. She has an impressive vocabulary and loves dictating stories into her recorder—especially the adventures of a daring sleuth who’s half Indian and half Jewish like Maple herself—but words on the page just don’t seem to make sense to her. Despite all Maple’s clever tricks to hide her troubles with reading, her teacher is on to her, and now Maple has to repeat fifth grade. Maple is devastated—what will her friends think? Will they forget about her? She uses her storytelling skills to convince her classmates that she’s staying back as a special teacher’s assistant (because of budget cuts, you know). But as Maple navigates the loss of old friendships, the possibility of new ones, and facing her reading challenges head-on, her deception becomes harder to keep up. Can Maple begin to recognize her own strengths, and to love herself—and her brain—just the way she is? Readers who have faced their own trials with school and friendships will enjoy this heartwarming story and its bright, creative heroine.”

Mighty Inside by Sundee T. Frazier

“Melvin Robinson wants a strong, smooth, He-Man voice that lets him say what he wants, when he wants—especially to his crush Millie Takazawa, and Gary Ratliff, who constantly puts him down. But the thought of starting high school is only making his stutter worse.

And Melvin’s growing awareness that racism is everywhere—not just in the South where a boy his age has been brutally killed by two white men, but also in his own hometown of Spokane—is making him realize that he can’t mutely stand by.

His new friend Lenny, a fast-talking, sax-playing Jewish boy, who lives above the town’s infamous (and segregated) Harlem Club, encourages Melvin to take some risks—to invite Millie to Homecoming and even audition for a local TV variety show. When they play music together, Melvin almost feels like he’s talking, no words required. But there are times when one needs to speak up.

When his moment comes, can Melvin be as mighty on the outside as he actually is on the inside?”

Polo Cowboy by G. Neri, Illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson

“How does a Black kid from North Philly wind up playing polo? The much-anticipated sequel to Ghetto Cowboy, now a major motion picture starring Idris Elba and Stranger Things’s Caleb McLaughlin.

When Cole moves in with his dad, Harp, he thinks life will be sweet—just him and his horse, Boo, hanging out with Philadelphia’s urban cowboys. But when Harp says he has to get a job, Cole winds up as a stable hand for the polo team at George Washington Military Academy, where the players are rich, white, and stuck-up—all except Ruthie, the team’s first and only girl, who’s determined to show the others she can beat them at their own game. As Cole and Ruthie become friends—and maybe more—he starts imagining his future, maybe even at the academy. But between long workdays, arrogant polo players, and a cousin trying to pull Cole into his dangerous business, that future seems remote. Will Cole find the courage to stand and be seen in a world determined to keep him out? With striking illustrations by Jesse Joshua Watson, celebrated author G. Neri’s novel weaves themes of tenacity and community into a rousing sports story inspired by Philadelphia’s real-life urban cowboys and polo players.”

The Last Cuentistsa by Donna Barba Higuera

“There lived a girl named Petra Peña, who wanted nothing more than to be a storyteller, like her abuelita.

But Petra’s world is ending. Earth has been destroyed by a comet, and only a few hundred scientists and their children – among them Petra and her family – have been chosen to journey to a new planet. They are the ones who must carry on the human race.

Hundreds of years later, Petra wakes to this new planet – and the discovery that she is the only person who remembers Earth. A sinister Collective has taken over the ship during its journey, bent on erasing the sins of humanity’s past. They have systematically purged the memories of all aboard – or purged them altogether.

Petra alone now carries the stories of our past, and with them, any hope for our future. Can she make them live again?”

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!

Did I miss any releases you’re excited for? Be sure to share in the comments below!

You Might Also Like:

New Release Round Up – October 5, 2021

I know it’s been a while, but we are back with all the best 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

Together by Mona Damluji, Illustrated by Innosanto Nagara

In Together, social justice kids book pioneer Innosanto Nagara teams up with poet and activist Mona Damluji for a stunningly tender and pitch-perfect visual feast that juxtaposes individual action with the power of people acting together. Each of the ten free-verse couplets in the poem is spread across four pages of imagery, to make a unique and different kind of board book for young kids to discover with their families.

The first illustrated book in which Nagara applies his extraordinary visual imagination to words not his own, Together is simplicity itself–a poem about the transformational change that happens when people stop acting alone and start doing things together. Together is Nagara’s third board book, following the immensely popular social justice board books A is for Activist and Counting on Community.

Picture Books

Skywatcher by Jamie Hogan

Tamen longs to see the stars, but none are visible in the light-polluted sky above the fire escape of his urban apartment building. Even in the neighborhood park, the stars are hidden by city lights.

This is a story about love and sacrifice: Tamen’s mom, a nightshift nurse, finds a way to take him camping. For one magical night on the shore of a wilderness pond, the Milky Way in all its glory belongs to them. color throughout

The Missing Trick by Robin Jacobs, Illustrated by Aimee Wright

Meet Louis… Every little thing he does is MAGIC!

Louis is a young street magician. He is setting up for his show but he can’t find his rabbit anywhere. He looks inside his hat but finds only a bouquet of flowers, which is caught by a passing woman as he throws it away in disgust. He looks under his cups, spilling out dozens of balls, which are pounced upon by a group of kids. An endless string of scarves comes out of his sleeve and is wrapped around the neck of a posh lady…. With each trick, his audience grows, and unbeknownst to Louis, his show is unfolding brilliantly… But WHERE could that pesky rabbit be hiding???

Finally, Louis looks in his bag…. climbs in it…. and disappears. Now the rabbit AND Louis are missing! The audience hold their breaths until, POOF! Louis appears on the table in a puff of smoke. They erupt in a roar of applause. Louis, bemused, notices them for the first time. He takes off his cap to take a bow. The rabbit is sitting on his head.

This is funny but also empowering story about a child, unaware of his own talents, who creates a diverse community around him, delighting in his show.

Chapter Books

Audrey L and Audrey W (Best Friends-ish: Book 1) by Carter Higgins, Illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann

Over the course of a week in school, this bighearted, true-to-life chapter book will resonate with any young reader who’s ever felt overlooked, second-best, or defined according to someone else. The first in a series, Best Friends-Ish provides a fresh take on the joys and traumas of elementary school drama.

More than anything, second-grader Audrey wants to be the best at something. It always feels like she’s not-quite-enough—not smart enough, not fast enough, not funny enough.

When her beloved Miss Fincastle announces that a new girl, another AUDREY, is joining the class, Audrey suddenly becomes Audrey L., which makes her feel worse than ever.

But is the new Audrey all bad? Might the two Audreys have more in common than just their name? And if the girls become friends, how will Audrey ever figure out how to be her best self—if she can’t even be the best Audrey?

She Persisted: Margaret Chase Smith by Ruby Shamir, Illustrated by Gillian Flint

In this chapter book biography by award-winning author Ruby Shamir, readers learn about the amazing life of Margaret Chase Smith–and how she persisted

Margaret Chase Smith liked to help people, and she knew she could do that as a member of Congress. She became the first woman to serve in both the House and the Senate, where she supported the space program and more opportunities for women. Her hard work and success helped pave the way for generations of women after her to run for office!

Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton and a list of ways that readers can follow in Margaret Chase Smith’s footsteps and make a difference!

Middle Grade

Tristan Strong Keeps Punching (Tristan Strong Book 3) by Kwame Mbalia

After reuniting with Ayanna, who is now in his world, Tristan travels up the Mississippi in pursuit of his archenemy, King Cotton. Along the way they encounter new haints who are dead set on preventing their progress north to Tristan’s hometown of Chicago. It’s going to take many Alkean friends, including the gods themselves, the black flames of the afokena gloves, and all of Tristan’s inner strength to deliver justice once and for all.

Shocking twists, glorious triumphs, and a cast of unforgettable characters make this series conclusion as satisfying as it is entertaining.

Playing the Cards You’re Dealt by Varian Johnson

Ten-year-old Anthony Joplin has made it to double digits! Which means he’s finally old enough to play in the spades tournament every Joplin Man before him seems to have won. So while Ant’s friends are stressing about fifth grade homework and girls, Ant only has one thing on his mind: how he’ll measure up to his father’s expectations at the card table.

Then Ant’s best friend gets grounded, and he’s forced to find another spades partner. And Shirley, the new girl in his class, isn’t exactly who he has in mind. She talks a whole lot of trash — way more than his old partner. Plus, he’s not sure that his father wants him playing with a girl. But she’s smart and tough and pretty, and knows every card trick in the book. So Ant decides to join forces with Shirley — and keep his plans a secret.

Only it turns out secrets are another Joplin Man tradition. And his father is hiding one so big it may tear their family apart…

Burying the Moon by Andrée Poulin, Illustrated by Sonali Zohra

A beautifully illustrated novel in verse about a young Indian girl who tackles the taboos around sanitation in her village. 

In Latika’s village in rural India, there are no toilets. No toilets mean that the women have to wait until night to do their business in a field. There are scorpions and snakes in the field, and germs that make people sick. For the girls in the village, no toilets mean leaving school when they reach puberty.

No one in the village wants to talk about this shameful problem. But Latika has had enough. When a government representative visits their village, she sees her chance to make one of her dreams come true: the construction of public toilets, which would be safer for everybody in her village. 

Burying the Moon shines a light on how a lack of access to sanitation facilities affects girls and women in many parts of the world. 

Susie B. Won’t Back Down by Margaret Finnegan

Susie B. has a lot to say. Like how it’s not fair that she has to be called Susie B. instead of plain Susie. Or about how polar bears are endangered. Or how the Usual Geniuses are always getting picked for cool stuff over the kids like her with butterflies in their brain. And it’s because Susie B. has a lot to say about these very important things that she’s running for student council president!

If she’s president, she can advocate for the underdogs just like her hero and fellow Susie B., Susan B. Anthony. (And, okay, maybe the chance to give big speeches to the whole school with a microphone is another perk.) But when the most usual of Usual Geniuses also enters the student council race, Susie realizes this may be a harder won fight than she thought. Even worse, Susie discovers that Susan B. Anthony wasn’t as great as history makes it seem, and she did some pretty terrible things to try to help her own cause. Soon, Susie has her own tough decisions to make. But one thing is for sure—no matter what, Susie B. won’t back down.

Stealing Home by J. Torres, Illustrated by David Namisato

Sandy Saito is a happy boy who reads comic books and is obsessed with baseball — especially the Asahi team, the pride of his Japanese Canadian community. But when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, his life, like that of every other North American of Japanese descent, changes forever. His family is forced to move to a remote internment camp, and his father must spend months away from them. Sandy, his mother and his brother cope as best they can with the difficulties at the camp. Over time, Sandy comes to realize that life is a lot like baseball. It’s about dealing with whatever is thrown at you, however you can. And it’s about finding your way home. In this emotionally gripping graphic novel, J. Torres has artfully woven a fictional story into a historically accurate, thoroughly researched account of the events surrounding the internment of Japanese Canadians during World War II. Using the approachable graphic novel format, the story of this grave chapter in North American history is gently told with sensitivity and insight, and the theme of baseball runs through the story as a message of hope and renewal. The time and place are evocatively rendered in David Namisato’s detailed sepia-toned art. Along with its links to social studies and history lessons, this book offers a perfect lead-in to discussions about differences, inclusion and empathy, and about why this history is relevant today. The book includes extended background information in an afterword by Susan Aihoshi and resources for learning more.

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!

Did I miss any releases you’re excited for? Be sure to share in the comments below!

You Might Also Like:

New Release Round Up – August 31, 2021

Happy Tuesday, everyone! I can’t wait to share the new releases I am most looking forward to this week with you all, so let’s dive right in!

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

You Are Home by Mackenzie Porter, Illustrated by Xin Li

“This lovely board book reassures young ones that wherever they go, they carry the love of a parent. So no matter where they roam, they’ll always be home.

So if you ride to the corner, to the mountains, the sea,
there’s not a place in this world that I won’t be.
Wherever you travel and wherever you roam,
just know, my sweet child, you will always be home.

Home begins as a parent’s arms, and as the child in this story grows up, home then has grass, and sky, and a street that doesn’t end. The parent in this story reassures their child that they can keep going, they can find new homes, because wherever they go, they’ll carry the parent’s love. After all, home is where the heart is.”

Courage Is… by Jason and True Kander, Illustrated by Alyssa Gonzalez

“Jason Kander knows what courage is. With help from his son, True, he introduces the concept to future leaders in this powerful board book.

A military veteran, voting rights activist, and rising democratic star, Kander elegantly illustrates everyday courage in a way that will resonate with the preschool set. It is not, he explains, about not feeling fear. Courage is about being scared—and doing the scary things anyway. Whether it’s going to the dentist, trying a strange new food, asking for help, or going to sleep all by yourself, this book addresses the many surprising ways that little ones can develop courage and character.”

Picture Books

Tomatoes For Neela by Padma Lakshmi, Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal

“Neela loves cooking with her amma and writing down the recipes in her notebook. It makes her feel closer to her paati who lives far away in India. On Saturdays, Neela and Amma go to the green market and today they are buying tomatoes to make Paati’s famous sauce. But first, Neela needs to learn about all the different kinds of tomatoes they can pick from. And as Neela and Amma cook together, they find a way for Paati to share in both the love and the flavors of the day.

Bestselling author and host of Bravo’s Top Chef and Hulu’s Taste the Nation Padma Lakshmi takes young readers on an intergenerational journey full of delicious flavors and fun food facts that celebrates a family’s treasured recipes. And Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator Juana Martinez-Neal brings this circle of women to life with vivid detail and warmth. Tomatoes for Neela lovingly affirms how we can connect to other cultures, as well as to our own, through food.”

My Little Golden Book About Kamala Harris by Rajani LaRocca, Illustrated by Ashley Evans

Help your little one dream big with a Little Golden Book biography all about the first female Vice President Kamala Harris! The perfect introduction to nonfiction for preschoolers!

This Little Golden Book about Kamala Harris–the first woman, first African American woman, and first Indian American woman to be elected Vice President of the United States–is an inspiring read-aloud for young girls and boys.

Read all the Little Golden Book biographies: My Little Golden Book About Kamala Harris, My Little Golden Book About Frida Kahlo, My Little Golden Book About Ruth Bader Ginsburg, My Little Golden Book About Betty White, My Little Golden Book About Jackie Robinson, My Little Golden Book About Martin Luther King Jr., My Little Golden Book About George Washington, My Little Golden Book About Abraham Lincoln, My Little Golden Book About Balto, and My Little Golden Book About Johnny Appleseed.”

Goodnight Ganesha by Nadia Salomon, Illustrated by Poonam Mistry

“A gorgeously illustrated goodnight story that celebrates the nighttime rituals of two young children visiting their grandparents in India.

As nighttime falls over the city, two children visiting their grandparents in India find there’s so much fun to be had! Whether it’s listening to epic stories or observing rituals in the puja room, there are many moments that make this time together special.

In this beautiful, rhyming ode to bedtime, the only thing more universal than getting ready for bed and saying goodnight is the love between children and their grandparents.”

Three Lines in a Circle by Michael G. Long, Illustrated by Carlos Vélez

“One line straight down. One line to the right. One line to the left, then a circle. That was all–just three lines in a circle.

This bold picture book tells the story of the peace symbol–designed in 1958 by a London activist protesting nuclear weapons–and how it inspired people all over the world. Depicting the symbol’s travels from peace marches and liberation movements to the end of apartheid and the fall of the Berlin Wall, Three Lines in a Circle offers a message of inspiration to today’s children and adults who are working to create social change. An author’s note provides historical background and a time line of late twentieth-century peace movements.”

Middle Grade

Dovey Undaunted by Tonya Bolden

“Dovey Johnson Roundtree was most famous for her successful defense of an indigent Black man accused of the murder of Mary Pinchot Meyer, a prominent white Washington, DC, socialite, in 1965. Despite her triumph in this high-profile case, Roundtree continued to represent the poor and the underserved. She was the first lawyer to bring a bus desegregation case before the Interstate Commerce Commission, clinching the ruling that enabled Robert F. Kennedy to enforce bus integration. She was also among the first Black women to enter the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps, and was one of the first ordained female ministers in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.Tracing Roundtree’s life from her childhood in Jim Crow North Carolina through her adulthood, Tonya Bolden illuminates a little-known figure in American history who believed the law should serve the people, and places her firmly in the context of twentieth-century civil rights and African American culture.”

The Flyers by Beth Turley

“With the arrival of a glossy, cream-colored envelope in the mail, Elena Martinez’s dreams come true: she’s been chosen for the Spread Your Wings Magazine’s Young Flyers program—a week-long summer internship where she’ll get to learn the ins and outs of working for the most popular teen magazine. She heads to New York City, anxious to get away from her best friend, Summer, who is suddenly spending so much time with another girl from school and being so secretive about it.

Once there Elena meets her fellow Young Flyers: Harlow, who can get to the bottom of any story, Whitney, who has spot-on fashion sense, and Cailin, a social media star with thousands of followers and an eye for photography.

As the four new friends explore the city that never sleeps, each girl brings a piece of home, and a few secrets, with them and learns that no one’s life is as glossy as it may appear. But with courage, teamwork, and lots of passion, there’s no stopping a Flyer.”

Fast Pitch by Nic Stone

“Shenice Lockwood, captain of the Fulton Firebirds, is hyper-focused when she steps up to the plate. Nothing can stop her from leading her team to the U12 fast-pitch softball regional championship. But life has thrown some curveballs her way.

Strike one: As the sole team of all-brown faces, Shenice and the Firebirds have to work twice as hard to prove that Black girls belong at bat.

Strike two: Shenice’s focus gets shaken when her great-uncle Jack reveals that a career-ending—and family-name-ruining—crime may have been a setup.

Strike three: Broken focus means mistakes on the field. And Shenice’s teammates are beginning to wonder if she’s captain-qualified.

It’s up to Shenice to discover the truth about her family’s past—and fast—before secrets take the Firebirds out of the game forever.”

We Are Family by Lebron James and Andrea Williams

“Jayden Carr has been training all summer to be ready for Hoop Group—the free afterschool basketball program where his hero, NBA superstar Kendrick King, got his start. But when his beloved coach tells him there’s not going to be a Hoop Group this year, Jayden is heartbroken.

And he’s not the only one. Coach Beck’s daughter, Tamika, was planning to be the first girl ever to start for the squad. Chris King, Kendrick’s only nephew, spent the summer bragging that his uncle was coming home just to watch him play. For Anthony Pierson, Hoop Group was supposed to be his way out of trouble. And for Dexter Donyel, all 4’6” of him, Hoop Group was his chance to finally be part of a team, instead of just watching from the stands.

For each kid, Hoop Group was more than just a chance to ball; it was an escape, a dream, a family. Now their prospects seem all but impossible—but then the world hasn’t met Jayden, Tamika, Chris, Anthony, and Dex before. Determined to have their shot, the five new friends scrap, hustle, fight, and play hard to save their season to prove that sometimes a chance is all it takes.”

Stolen Science by Ella Schwartz, Illustrated by Gaby D’Alessandro

“A fresh approach to a timely topic, Stolen Science is a fascinating compendium of stories of uncredited scientists and inventors throughout the ages.

Over the centuries, women, people from underrepresented communities, and immigrants overcame prejudices and social obstacles to make remarkable discoveries in science–but they weren’t the ones to receive credit in history books. People with more power, money, and prestige were remembered as the inventor of the telephone, the scientists who decoded the structure of DNA, and the doctor who discovered the cause of yellow fever. This book aims to set the record straight and celebrate the nearly forgotten inventors and scientists who shaped our world today.”

Graphic Novels

Friends Forever by Shannon Hale, Illustrated by LeUyen Pham

“Shannon is in eighth grade, and life is more complicated than ever. Everything keeps changing, her classmates are starting to date each other (but nobody wants to date her!), and no matter how hard she tries, Shannon can never seem to just be happy.

As she works through her insecurities and undiagnosed depression, she worries about disappointing all the people who care about her. Is something wrong with her? Can she be the person everyone expects her to be? And who does she actually want to be?

With their signature humor, warmth, and insight, Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham have crafted another incredible love letter to their younger selves and to readers everywhere, a reminder to us all that we are enough.”

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!

Did I miss any releases you’re excited for? Be sure to share in the comments below!

You Might Also Like:

New Release Round Up – August 17, 2021

It’s Tuesday again, so y’all know what that means: It’s time to talk about new releases again!

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

Being You: A First Conversation About Gender by Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli, Illustrated by Anne/Andy Passchier

“Developed by experts in the fields of early childhood and activism against injustice, this topic-driven board book offers clear, concrete language and beautiful imagery that young children can grasp and adults can leverage for further discussion.

While young children are avid observers and questioners of their world, adults often shut down or postpone conversations on complicated topics because it’s hard to know where to begin. Research shows that talking about issues like race and gender from the age of two not only helps children understand what they see, but also increases self-awareness, self-esteem, and allows them to recognize and confront things that are unfair, like discrimination and prejudice.

This second book in the series begins the conversation on gender, with a supportive approach that considers both the child and the adult. Stunning art accompanies the simple and interactive text, and the backmatter offers additional resources and ideas for extending this discussion.”

Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes

“Now in board book, the bold, bright colors of India leap off the page in this fresh and funny picture book retelling of how Ganesha came to write the epic poem of Hindu literature, the Mahabharata.

“Ganesha is just like any other kid, except he has the head of an elephant and rides around on a magical mouse. And he loves sweets, especially the traditional dessert laddoo. But when Ganesha insists on biting into a super jumbo jawbreaker laddoo, his tusk breaks off! Ganesha is terribly upset, but with the help of the wise poet Vyasa, he learns that what seems broken can actually be quite useful after all. With vibrant, graphic illustrations, expressive characters, and off-beat humor, this is a wonderfully inventive twist on a classic tale.”

You can also read my full review of Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth for more detail.

Picture Books

Child of the Flower-Song People: Luz Jiménez, Daughter of the Nahua by Gloria Amescua, Illustrated by Duncan Tonatiuh

“As a young Nahua girl in Mexico during the early 1900s, Luz learned how to grind corn in a metate, to twist yarn with her toes, and to weave on a loom. By the fire at night, she listened to stories of her community’s joys, suffering, and survival, and wove them into her heart.

But when the Mexican Revolution came to her village, Luz and her family were forced to flee and start a new life. In Mexico City, Luz became a model for painters, sculptors, and photographers such as Diego Rivera, Jean Charlot, and Tina Modotti. These artists were interested in showing the true face of Mexico and not a European version. Through her work, Luz found a way to preserve her people’s culture by sharing her native language, stories, and traditions. Soon, scholars came to learn from her.

This moving, beautifully illustrated biography tells the remarkable story of how model and teacher Luz Jiménez became “the soul of Mexico”—a living link between the indigenous Nahua and the rest of the world. Through her deep pride in her roots and her unshakeable spirit, the world came to recognize the beauty and strength of her people.”

Pigskins to Paintbrushes: The Story of Football-Playing Artist Ernie Barnes by Don Tate

“From acclaimed author and illustrator Don Tate, the rousing story of Ernie Barnes, an African American pro football player and fine artist
He realized how football and art were one and the same. Both required rhythm. Both required technique. Passing, pulling, breaking down the field—that was an art.

Young Ernie Barnes wasn’t like other boys his age. Bullied for being shy, overweight, and uninterested in sports like boys were “supposed” to be, he instead took refuge in his sketchbook, in vibrant colors, bold brushstrokes, and flowing lines. But growing up in a poor, Black neighborhood during the 1930s, opportunities to learn about art were rare, and art museums were off-limits because of segregation laws. Discouraged and tired of being teased, Ernie joined the school football team. Although reluctant at first, he would soon become a star.”

Frankie Gets a Doggie by Amy Huntington

“There’s love for everyone in this sweet, rhyming story about a toddler and father who share an outing to the animal shelter, where they find a dog that’s the perfect addition to their family!

Frankie and Dad are going on an adventure! They head to the local animal shelter where they meet all kinds of dogs, until they find just the right one. But how will Kitty react to their new pet? Here is a charming, accessible story about adopting a pet and giving it a loving home that’s perfect for dog- and animal-lovers, and an ideal gift for any family considering pet ownership.”

When We Fly by Jess McGeachin

“A beautiful father-daughter story celebrating love, loss, and healing, and one bird’s broken wing that may prove impossible to fix.

Lucy has always been good at fixing things–the wonky mailbox, broken watches, even Dad’s old binoculars. And Lucy is happy to help her dad; they share a special bond. It’s just the two of them, after all. So when Lucy finds a tiny bird with a broken wing, she’s sure she can fix him too–but not everything that’s broken can be fixed.

A tender and loving story about loss, healing, and the special connection between fathers and daughters.”

Chapter Books

Aven Green Baking Machine by Dusti Bowling, Illustrated by Gina Perry

“Now that third-grader Aven Green has retired from sleuthing, it’s time to conquer a whole new world: baking!
Aven knows she’s an expert baker of cakes and cookies since she’s been baking with her mom for a really long time. Plus no one bakes quite like she does. She cracks eggs with her feet and measures sugar and flour with her feet (plus measuring cups), since she was born without arms. And now Aven has her eye on the prize: a beautiful blue ribbon for baking at the county fair. So she teams up with her friends Kayla, Emily, and Sujata. But it turns out they all have very different tastes and a lot of opinions about baking. Talk about a recipe for disaster!”

Middle Grade

Playing A Dangerous Game by Patrick Ochieng

This whip-smart coming-of-age novel sees a group of boys embark on a madcap, high-stakes adventure of survival and friendship.

Lumush and his three friends live with their families in Railway Estate, spending their free time in the countryside or in the yards behind the estate, playing a game of chance called pata potea next to the wreck of an old car. When the boys’ attention begins to wander farther, they discover a deserted house believed to be haunted. As they explore the house, they learn that it’s not ghosts they have to fear but the malevolent Mwachuma. By day he works in his junkyard, but by night he and his accomplices steal coffee from the railway yard and smuggle it into the “ghost house.” As the young boys are drawn into this criminal underworld, they face a mounting danger that threatens both themselves and their families.

With rich storytelling and gripping adventure, Playing a Dangerous Game is a brilliant debut set in 1970s Kenya from a talented new voice in children’s fiction.”

The Many Meanings of Meilan by Andrea Wang

“Meilan Hua’s world is made up of a few key ingredients: her family’s beloved matriarch, Nai Nai; the bakery her parents, aunts, and uncles own and run in Boston’s Chinatown; and her favorite Chinese fairy tales.

After Nai Nai passes, the family has a falling-out that sends Meilan, her parents, and her grieving grandfather on the road in search of a new home. They take a winding path across the country before landing in Redbud, Ohio. Everything in Redbud is the opposite of Chinatown, and Meilan’s not quite sure who she is–being renamed at school only makes it worse. She decides she is many Meilans, each inspired by a different Chinese character with the same pronunciation as her name. Sometimes she is Mist, cooling and invisible; other times, she’s Basket, carrying her parents’ hopes and dreams and her guilt of not living up to them; and occasionally she is bright Blue, the way she feels around her new friend Logan. Meilan keeps her facets separate until an injustice at school shows her the power of bringing her many selves together.

The Many Meanings of Meilan, written in stunning prose by Andrea Wang, is an exploration of all the things it’s possible to grieve, the injustices large and small that make us rage, and the peace that’s unlocked when we learn to find home within ourselves.”

Threads of Peace: How Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Changed the World by Uma Krishnaswami

“A lawyer and activist, tiny of stature with giant ideas, in British-ruled India at the beginning of the 20th century.

A minister from Georgia with a thunderous voice and hopes for peace at the height of the civil rights movement in America.

Born more than a half-century apart, with seemingly little in common except one shared wish, both would go on to be icons of peaceful resistance and human decency. Both preached love for all human beings, regardless of race or religion. Both believed that freedom and justice were won by not one, but many. Both met their ends in the most unpeaceful of ways—assassination.

But what led them down the path of peace? How did their experiences parallel…and diverge? Threads of Peace keenly examines and celebrates these extraordinary activists’ lives, the threads that connect them, and the threads of peace they laid throughout the world, for us to pick up, and weave together.”

Graphic Novels

Lola’s Super Club #2: My Substitute Teacher is a Witch by Christine Beigel, Illustrated by Pierre Fouillett

“Join Lola and her quirky and hilarious super club of crocodiles, sharks, dinosaurs (in undies), skeletons, and her cat Hot Dog, for a death-defying adventure to… her elementary school. When Lola’s teacher is out sick due to a “small accident,” a miserable substitute takes over her history class. Weird things start happening like resident Friendly Falls middle-aged villain, Max Imum, joining the class and calling the sub “Mommy,” students disappearing, and the class adding real monsters to the curriculum. Today’s lesson is simple… survive until the bell.”

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!

Did I miss any releases you’re excited for? Be sure to share in the comments below!

You Might Also Like:

New Release Round Up – July 13, 2021

Happy Tuesday, everybody! It feels like it’s been about a year since the last round up, but I’ve got a great list for you 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

Nerdy Babies: Dinosaurs by Emmy Kastner

Nerdy Babies is a series that will ignite curiosity in even the youngest readers and encourage them to ask questions and explore the world around them.

In Nerdy Babies: Dinosaurs, follow our intrepid babies into the Mesozoic Era. Experience the different shapes, sizes, and colors of the reptiles that roamed the Earth before us. Plus, learn about how dinosaurs evolved over millions of years until becoming extinct in this simple text written in question-and-answer format.

With bright artwork by Emmy Kastner, Nerdy Babies is a series that the very littlest nerds will want to return to again and again.

Stay curious. There’s more to learn about everything!”

Nerdy Babies: Transportation by Emma Kastner

“In Nerdy Babies: Transportation, follow our intrepid babies when they’re on the go. Experience skating on rollerblades, flying on air balloons, exploring underwater in a submarine, and riding cross-country on a car. Plus, learn about how different air, land, and sea travel can be in this simple text written in question-and-answer format.

With bright artwork by Emmy Kastner, Nerdy Babies is a series that the very littlest nerds will want to return to again and again.

Stay curious. There’s more to learn about everything!”

Up, Up, Up, Down! by Kimberly Gee

This action-packed toddler’s day with Dad is full of opposites–and now in board!

From his first demand to be picked up and then immediately put down, opposites pop up all day long for this energetic boy. Breakfast is no, no, no, yes! At the sandbox, it’s make, make, make, break! And jumping into the pool goes from can’t, can’t, can’t, to can!

Kimberly Gee’s expressive illustrations emphasize the loving connection between a boy and his father in this clever concept book about everyday highs and lows is now in sturdy board, ready to become a staple in toddlers’ hands and bookshelves’.”

Picture Books

El Cucuy is Scared, Too! by Donna Barba Higuera, Illustrated by Julian Perdomo

A boy and his monster confront their mutual fears in this unlikely friendship story that’s rooted in Mexican folklore

Ramón is a little boy who can’t sleep. He is nervous for his first day at a new school.
And El Cucuy is the monster who lives in Ramón’s cactus pot. He can’t sleep, either.
It turns out that El Cucuy is scared, too!
This gentle, perceptive story explores the worries that can accompany moving to a new place and beginning a new journey—and reveals how comfort, bravery, and strength can be found through even the most unexpected of friendships.”

Be sure to check out our full review here!

Listen by Gabi Snyder, Illustrated by Stephanie Graegin

In the tradition of Tomie dePaola’s Quiet and Scott Magoon’s Breathe comes this lyrical, meditative picture book about listening and mindfulness.

BEEP!
WOOF!
VROOM!

Isn’t the world a noisy place?
But what if you
stop, close your eyes,
and LISTEN?

Can you hear each sound?
Can you listen past the noise
and hear the quiet, too?

Beautifully illustrated and poignant, this lovely picture book follows a girl through her school day as she listens to sounds across the city: caws of crows, shouts across the playground, and finally, the quiet beating of her heart and whispered goodnights.”

What Do You Know? by Aracelis Girmay and Ariana Fields

“What Do You Know? is an introspective, poetic picture book about the acts of questioning and listening. Asked by Love itself, the questions wonder aloud, seeking the knowing of an array of very different, yet interconnected, entities and beings. Instead of pointing and naming, here the asker seeks to know the world by listening to it. Tell me, land, farmer, well, rock, fruit bat, courage––what do you know? Across these pages, children will wonder at what we can learn, when we open ourselves up to listening to the world.”

Bella’s Recipe for Success by Ana Siqueira, Illustrated by Geraldine Rodríguez

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Bella wants to find out what she’s good at. But she quits everything she (barely) tries because she’s a disaster at it. Her somersaults are like clumsy jirafas rolling downhill, her piano playing like elephant feet. When she decides to learn how to bake with her wise old abuela, her first attempt at dulce de leche frosting looks like scaly cocodrilo skin. She must learn it’s okay to try again or she won’t be good at anything. Peppered with Spanish vocabulary and set in an intergenerational Latinx home, Bella’s Recipe for Success will show all kids the value of practicing to learn a new skill, and that it’s okay to make mistakes along the way.”

Don’t forget to check out the full review here!

Frankenslime by Joy Keller, Illustrated by Ashley Belote

A young slime scientist is surprised when her latest creation comes to life in Frankenslime, a funny and clever picture book twist on Frankenstein.

Victoria Franken is a slime scientist.

Her experiments lead to amazing slimes. Until, one dark and stormy night, her latest experiment goes awry and her newest creation COMES TO LIFE!

Joy Keller’s clever text and Ashley Belote’s humor-filled art combine to create a fun picture book twist on horror movies like Frankenstein and The Blob, that also explores the scientific method and the importance of recording observations and results. The author has also included a couple of Victoria’s best slime recipes, although you’ll notice the secret formula that brought her slime to life is missing.”

Let’s Go For a Walk by Ranger Hamza, Illustrated by Kate Kronreif

Walking in the country, by the sea, or in the town, so many wonderful things to see if you stop and look around! Go on your very own walk guided by Ranger Hamza with this book that can be used again and again.

Take this book with you on any walk, wherever you live, with suggestions from Ranger Hamza for things to look out for. Can you see a red thing? A tall thing? Can you find something smooth, and something rough? What can you smell, and what can you hear? As well as things to spot on the walk, each spread contains fascinating Hamza facts

  • Turn every walk, long or short, into an interactive, playful, learning adventure.
  • Can be used on any kind of walk, in any location, and any duration, over and over again.
  • Will help young hikers look at the world around them in a new way.
  • Can also be read at home, with readers spotting the details in the beautiful illustrations.

Perfect for families looking to make their regular outings more fun, whether in the city or the country: Let’s Go For a Walk!

My Voice Is a Trumpet by Jimmie Allen, Illustrated by Cathy Ann Johnson

From rising country star Jimmie Allen comes a lyrical celebration of the many types of voices that can effect change.

From voices tall as a tree, to voices small as a bee, all it takes is confidence and a belief in the goodness of others to change the world. Coming at a time when issues of social justice are at the forefront of our society, this is the perfect book to teach children that they’re not too young to express what they believe in and that all voices are valuable.”

Middle Grade

Maya and the Robot by Eve L. Ewing, Illustrated by Christine Almeda

From award-winning author Eve L. Ewing comes an illustrated middle grade novel about a forgotten homemade robot who comes to life just when aspiring fifth-grade scientist Maya needs a friend — and a science fair project.

Maya’s nervous about fifth grade. She tries to keep calm by reminding herself she knows what to expect. But then she learns that this year won’t be anything like the last. For the first time since kindergarten, her best friends Jada and MJ are placed in a different class without her, and introverted Maya has trouble making new friends.

She tries to put on a brave face since they are in fifth grade now, but Maya is nervous! Just when too much seems to be changing, she finds a robot named Ralph in the back of Mr. Mac’s convenience store closet. Once she uses her science skills to get him up and running, a whole new world of connection opens up as Ralph becomes a member of her family and Maya begins to step into her power. In this touching novel, Eve L. Ewing melds together a story about community, adapting to change, and the magic of ingenuity that reminds young readers that they can always turn to their own curiosity when feeling lost.”

Ten Thousand Tries by Amy Makechnie

A middle school soccer whiz’s determination to keep things from changing is tested when his father’s ALS symptoms worsen in this touching story about growing up and facing loss, perfect for fans of Shouting at the Rain.

Twelve-year-old Golden Maroni is determined to channel his hero, soccer superstar Lionel Messi, and become captain of his soccer team and master of his eighth grade universe…especially since his home universe is spiraling out of orbit. Off the field, Golden’s dad, once a pro soccer player himself, is now battling ALS, a disease that attacks his muscles, leaving him less and less physically able to control his body every day. And while Mom says there’s no cure, Golden is convinced that his dad can beat this, just like any opponent, they just have to try.

Golden knows that if you want to perfect a skill you have to put ten thousand tries in, so he’s convinced if he can put that much effort in, on and off the field, he can stop everything from changing. But when his dad continues to decline and his constant pushing starts to alienate his friends and team, Golden is forced to confront the idea that being master of your universe might not mean being in control of everything. What if it means letting go of the things you can’t control so you can do the most good for the things you can?”

Margie Kelly Breaks the Dress Code by Bridget Farr

A timely and thought-provoking novel about one girl’s fight against gender inequality at her middle school and the lessons about her own privilege she learns along the way.

Margie Kelly’s perfect skirt was dress coded on her very first day of middle school. Upset and embarrassed, Margie spends the whole day wearing oversized gym shorts. So much for starting sixth grade with confidence!

But when Margie realizes that the dress code is only applied to the female students and not the boys, Margie gets mad. Really mad.

The dress code is keeping girls stuck in detention all day and away from learning. The boys act like they own the school. And the teachers turn a blind eye to the hypocrisies taking place in the halls, classrooms, and clubs. Something has to change! And Margie knows just how to do it. She’ll plan a school-wide protest with her best friend, Daniela, and fellow classmates Jamiya and Gloria.

But as Margie moves forward with her plans, she comes to realize some hard truths about herself. Will Margie recognize her own privilege and make meaningful change for all students?”

Graphic Novels

ParaNorthern: And the Chaos Bunny A-hop-calypse by Stephanie Cooke, Illustrated by Mari Costa

A witch named Abby and her three friends—a wolf-girl, a ghost, and a pumpkinhead—band together to try and save their supernatural town from an invasion of rabid (but adorable!) chaos bunnies in this enchanting middle-grade graphic novel for fans of Making Friends, The Okay Witch, and Lumberjanes.

It’s fall break in the supernatural town of North Haven, and young witch Abby’s plans include pitching in at her mom’s magical coffee shop, practicing her potion making, and playing board games with her best friends—a pumpkinhead, a wolf-girl, and a ghost. But when Abby finds her younger sister being picked on by some speed demons, she lets out a burst of magic so strong, it opens a portal to a realm of chaos bunnies. And while these bunnies may look cute, they’re about to bring the a-hop-ocalypse  (and get Abby in a cauldronful of trouble) unless she figures out a way to reverse the powerful magic she unwittingly released. What’s a witch to do?

In this deliciously humorous, cozy, and bewitching graphic novel, sometimes the most of powerful magic comes from our connections to family and friends (but kicking bunny butt is great, too).”

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 – June 22, 2021

It’s Tuesday, so we all know what that means. Time to talk about new releases again!

I’m so excited to share the new releases I am most looking forward to this week with you all. 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

I Like To Share by Stephen Krensky, Illustrated by Sara Gillingham (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Celebrate the joys of learning to share in this exuberant board book from the Empowerment series!

I kept snacks to myself.
Now I give some away.
Once I hogged the whole swing.
Now I let others play.

With relevant and charming specifics, Stephen Krensky and Sara Gillingham address the joy we feel from giving back.

The Empowerment series addresses the small victories of growing up and starting to embrace the world on your own terms with encouraging text and retro-fresh illustrations. Celebrate the milestones of toddlerhood with the whole series.”

Let’s Say Hello by Giselle Ang, Illustrated by Erica Sirotich (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Teach babies to greet others in twelve different languages with this adorable multilingual board book!

Get ready, everyone! LET’S SAY…HELLO.

A perfect companion to Disney’s “It’s a Small World” and Shirley Ng-Benitez’s How Do You Say series, Let’s Say board books teach tiny tots warm and friendly words/phrases in several languages. Each book features:

twelve diverse languages: American Sign Language, Arabic, French, German, Haitian Creole, Hausa, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish
vibrant and colorful illustrations
easy-to-read pronunciations/demonstrations
kid-friendly illustrations of everyday babies from around the world
An ideal baby shower or first-day-of-school gift!”

ABC for Me: ABC Let’s Celebrate You & Me by Sugar Snap Studio (Bookshop | Amazon)

“ABC Let’s Celebrate You & Me presents 26 things—from A to Z—that make us special and that are worth celebrating!

From our bodies and our emotions to our interests and hobbies, there is so much to celebrate about ourselves! We all have different talents, ideas, and things to say, but we are more similar than we are different. ABC Let’s Celebrate You & Me presents a whole alphabet full of positive attributes kids can celebrate, including their bodies, skin, eyes, and hair, on the outside, as well as inner qualities, such as their interests, kindness, and personalities.

ABC Let’s Celebrate You & Me features colorful illustrations, as well as thoughtful text that gets kids thinking about who they are and how all people are unique, special, and worthy of love and happiness. Each letter of the alphabet is paired with either a physical or character attribute, and each page promotes self-love and kindness to others. This book shows that when we work together and respect each other, we can do great things!”

Picture Books

Making A Baby by Rachel Greener, Illustrated by Clare Owen (Bookshop | Amazon)

“This inclusive guide to how every family begins is an honest, cheerful tool for conversations between parents and their young ones.

To make a baby you need one egg, one sperm, and one womb. But every family starts in its own special way. This book answers the “Where did I come from?” question no matter who the reader is and how their life began. From all different kinds of conception through pregnancy to the birth itself, this candid and cozy guide is just right for the first conversations that parents will have with their children about how babies are made.”

Thank You, Dr. Salk!: The Scientist Who Beat Polio and Healed the World by Dean Robbins, Illustrated by Mike Dutton (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Dr. Jonas Salk finds the cure for polio in this inspiring, educational, and timely nonfiction picture book.

Jonas Salk wasn’t seen as a brave hero―not at first. As a child he was quiet and unassuming, but Jonas dreamed of tikkun olam, the Jewish phrase for “healing the world.” He saw the polio virus strike his city, and he knew that with determination and hard work, he could be the one to stop its spread. So he grew up to study medicine, ultimately creating the polio vaccine that saved untold numbers of lives―and healed the world!

With Dean Robbins’s inspiring text and Mike Dutton’s dynamic illustrations, Thank You, Dr. Salk! is a true and timely story of trials, triumph, and what it takes to achieve your dreams. An author’s note provides additional insight into Dr. Salk’s life and influences, and the history of vaccines.”

How To Wear A Sari by Darshana Khiani, Illustrated by Joanne Lew-Vriethoff (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Sparkling with voice and charm, this picture book about a fashionable kid out to prove she’s not as small as everyone thinks is perfect for kids eager to grow up, and for those who love to play dress-up.

Being a little kid isn’t always fun and games. Sometimes, it’s downright annoying.

When a little girl tires of being treated like she’s TOO little, she sets out to prove to her family that she can do ANYTHING she puts her mind to . . .

. . . including putting on a colorful, twinkly, silky sari. Sure, they’re long and unwieldy—but that only means her family will be even more impressed when she puts it on all by herself.

Naturally, there are some hiccups along the way, but she discovers that she’s not the only one in her family who has set out with something to prove, with hilariously chaotic results. That’s what photo albums are for!”

Indelible Ann: The Larger-Than-Life Story of Governor Ann Richards by Meghan P. Browne, Illustrated by Carlynn Whitt (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A folksy, larger-than-life picture book biography about Ann Richards, the late governor of Texas who has inspired countless women in politics today.

Dorothy Ann Willis hailed from a small Texas town, but early on she found her voice and the guts to use it.

During her childhood in San Diego and her high school years back in Texas (when she dropped the “Dorothy”), Ann discovered a spark and passion for civic duty. It led her all the way to Washington, DC, where she, along with other girls from around the country, learned about the business of politics. Fast forward to Ann taking on the political boys’ club: she became county commissioner, then state treasurer, and finally governor of Texas. In this stunning picture book biography, full of vim, vigor, and folksy charm, two Texan creators take us through the life of the legendary “big mouth, big hair” governor of Texas, a woman who was inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt, and in turn became an inspiration to Hillary Clinton and countless others.”

It’s Raining Tacos! by Parry Gripp, Illustrated by Peter Emmerich (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Wildly fun and full of laugh-out-loud antics, this interactive sing-along is a zany romp sure to capture fans of Giraffes Can’t Dance and Dragons Love Tacos. Shell we dance?

Taco-bout irresistible! Jam out to the catchy, toe-tapping tune “Raining Tacos” from YouTube sensation Parry Gripp, featuring everyone’s favorite treat!

This spec-taco-ular, goofy song, with new, never-before-sung lyrics, is perfect for sharing, so grab a few friends—young or old—and get ready to crunch your way to a good time!

It’s raining tacos, from out of the sky.

Tacos, no need to ask why.

Just open your mouth and close your eyes.

It’s raining tacos!”

Darcy’s First Sleepover by Julie Fortenberry (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A gently reassuring picture book about the milestone of a first sleepover, for fans of The Invisible String by Patrice Karst and Wemberly Worries by Kevin Henkes.

Every night at home, Darcy brushes her teeth with strawberry toothpaste; she snuggles in bed with Little Cat; and she falls asleep to the sound of her dad washing the dishes. But tonight, Darcy is having her very first sleepover! Even though it’s at her cousin Kayla’s house, it still feels a little daunting. Kayla has peppermint toothpaste, a baby bear named Charlotte, and howling winds outside her window. Darcy misses her dad and her own cozy bedroom. Should she ask her aunt to take her home?

This rewarding tale celebrates the excitement of new experiences and the power of quiet growth. Backmatter also included shedding light on steps parents can take when helping kids prepare for their first sleepover!”

All We Need by Kathy Wolff, Illustrated by Margaux Meganck (Bookshop | Amazon)

“For fans of All the World and Love, a poetic story that celebrates the littlest things we all need to be happy — and the beauty of sharing with others when we have more to give.

Each bustling day in our busy world, we can take a moment to appreciate the little things. From the simplest essentials like air and water to the wonderful warmth of family, friends, and neighbors, there is so much in life to be thankful for.

Kathy Wolff’s melodic verse and Margaux Meganck’s lush and cozy city scenes follow three families through moments of daily discovery and joy, culminating in a celebration of community and giving.

When we have all we need, plus a little to spare, the only need left . . . is to share.”

Middle Grade

Ahmed Aziz’s Epic Year by Nina Hamza (Bookshop | Amazon)

“This hilarious and poignant tween debut about dealing with bullies, making friends, and the power of good books is a great next read for fans of Merci Suárez Changes Gears and John David Anderson.

Ahmed Aziz is having an epic year—epically bad.

After his dad gets sick, the family moves from Hawaii to Minnesota for his dad’s treatment. Even though his dad grew up there, Ahmed can’t imagine a worse place to live. He’s one of the only brown kids in his school. And as a proud slacker, Ahmed doesn’t want to deal with expectations from his new teachers.

Ahmed surprises himself by actually reading the assigned books for his English class: Holes, Bridge to Terabithia, and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Shockingly, he doesn’t hate them. Ahmed also starts learning about his uncle, who died before Ahmed was born. Getting bits and pieces of his family’s history might be the one upside of the move, as his dad’s health hangs in the balance and the school bully refuses to leave him alone. Will Ahmed ever warm to Minnesota?”

She Shoots, She Scores!: A Celebration of Women’s Soccer by Catriona Clarke, Illustrated by Sarah Long (Bookshop | Amazon)

“With a foreword by England captain Steph Houghton, She Shoots, She Scores! tells the incredible story of the BEST sport in the world, women’s soccer―from the men who tried to ban it to the superstars of today’s game, including Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe. Read on to find out about . . .

– The girl who had to play soccer in secret but grew up to become a goal-scoring legend
– The 13-year-old who shot to international fame but didn’t get a mention in the school assembly
– The greatest women’s soccer player ever, who scored in FIVE World Cups

Written by acclaimed YA novelist Catriona Clarke, the book is packed with facts and stats about the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the Olympics, plus pocket profiles of the world’s top players―from Marta to Wendie Renard―and record-breaking teams, including the U.S. Women’s National Team and Olympique Lyonnais. What’s more, discover the key skills you’ll need to become a great goalkeeper, a tough-tackling defender, or the world’s next superstar striker!”

Graphic Novels

Jukebox by Nidhi Chanani (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Grab some coins for the jukebox, and get ready for a colorful, time-traveling, musical tale about family and courage.
A mysterious jukebox, old vinyl records, and cryptic notes on music history, are Shaheen’s only clues to her father’s abrupt disappearance. She looks to her cousin, Tannaz, who seems just as perplexed, before they both turn to the jukebox which starts…glowing?

Suddenly, the girls are pulled from their era and transported to another time! Keyed to the music on the record, the jukebox sends them through decade after decade of music history, from political marches, to landmark concerts. But can they find Shaheen’s dad before the music stops? This time-bending magical mystery tour invites readers to take the ride of their lives for a coming-of-age adventure.”

Athena by Imogen and Isabel Greenberg (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A spunky, feminist take on the myth of Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, war, and courage

From the moment she sprung from Zeus’s head, Athena was extraordinary. Even though some doubted her as a young goddess, Athena never backed down from a fight. Poseidon wants to be the patron god of a nearby city? Well, so does Athena! And she’s going to outwit him and found Athens. Perseus doesn’t know how to defeat Medusa? No problem! Athena can give him the knowledge (and shield) he needs to take off her head. Odysseus is lost at sea, seemingly doomed? Not anymore! Athena can get him home. Follow the goddess of wisdom through her adventures with gods and mortals, discover the perils of crossing her, and see how she eventually learned to better understand and aid the human race.”

Chunky by Yehudi Mercado (Bookshop | Amazon)

“In this full-color middle grade graphic memoir for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Jerry Craft, Yehudi Mercado draws inspiration from his childhood struggle with his weight while finding friendship with his imaginary mascot, Chunky, as he navigates growing up in a working class Mexican-Jewish family.

Hudi needs to lose weight, according to his doctors. Concerned about the serious medical issue Hudi had when he was younger, his parents push him to try out for sports. Hudi would rather do anything else, but then he meets Chunky, his imaginary friend and mascot. Together, they decide to give baseball a shot.

As the only Mexican and Jewish kid in his neighborhood, Hudi has found the cheerleader he never had. Baseball doesn’t go well (unless getting hit by the ball counts), but the two friends have a great time drawing and making jokes. While Hudi’s parents keep trying to find the right sport for Hudi, Chunky encourages him to pursue his true love—comedy.

But when Hudi’s dad loses his job, it gets harder for Hudi to chart his own course, even with Chunky’s guidance. Can Chunky help Hudi stay true to himself or will this friendship strike out?”

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!

Did I miss any releases you’re excited for? Be sure to share in the comments below!

You Might Also Like:

New Release Round Up – June 8, 2021

I can’t believe it’s already Tuesday again. This week flew by, but I am so excited to share this week’s new releases with you all.

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

Unbound: The Life and Art of Judith Scott by Joyce Scott, Brie Spangler, and Melissa Sweet (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A moving and powerful introduction to the life and art of renowned artist, Judith Scott, as told by her twin sister, Joyce Scott and illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist, Melissa Sweet.

Judith Scott was born with Down syndrome. She was deaf, and never learned to speak. She was also a talented artist. Judith was institutionalized until her sister Joyce reunited with her and enrolled her in an art class. Judith went on to become an artist of renown with her work displayed in museums and galleries around the world.

Poignantly told by Joyce Scott in collaboration with Brie Spangler and Melissa Sweet and beautifully illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist, Melissa Sweet, Unbound is inspiring and warm, showing us that we can soar beyond our perceived limitations and accomplish something extraordinary.”

Areli Is A Dreamer by Areli Morales, Illustrated by Luisa Uribe (Bookshop | Amazon)

“When Areli was just a baby, her mama and papa moved from Mexico to New York with her brother, Alex, to make a better life for the family–and when she was in kindergarten, they sent for her, too.

Everything in New York was different. Gone were the Saturdays at Abuela’s house, filled with cousins and sunshine. Instead, things were busy and fast and noisy. Areli’s limited English came out wrong, and schoolmates accused her of being illegal. But with time, America became her home. And she saw it as a land of opportunity, where millions of immigrants who came before her paved their own paths. She knew she would, too.

This is a moving story–one that resonates with millions of immigrants who make up the fabric of our country–about one girl living in two worlds, a girl whose DACA application was eventually approved and who is now living her American dream.

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an immigration policy that has provided relief to thousands of undocumented children, referred to as “Dreamers,” who came to the United States as children and call this country home.”

Pangolina by Jane Goodall, Illustrated by Daishu Ma (Bookshop | Amazon)

“After a blissful babyhood being cared for by her loving mother, Pangolina ventures out alone into the forest to become an independent adult, helped along by wise, older animal companions, including a civet and a bat. But one day cruel hunters trap Pangolina, putting her into a cage along with her friends, and bring them to a market to be sold as wild game. Pangolina is especially vulnerable, since her scales are prized by humans who believe they have curative powers. To the rescue comes a small girl who knows that pangolins are friendly fellow creatures who have feelings too, and who convinces her mother to buy Pangolina and set her free. Jane Goodall’s many followers and all animal-loving children and adult picture book fans will be riveted by this suspenseful and heartwarming fictional story set in China and including an authoritative informational page about pangolins and suggestions for how to help fight animal trafficking.”

Pillow Places by Joseph Kuefler (Bookshop | Amazon)

“An imaginative picture book about the joys of pillows and play—from the acclaimed author-illustrator of The Digger and the Flower and Beyond the Pond.

Pillows are not just for sleeping. They are for dreaming . . . of forts, ships, and alien worlds among the stars.

Pillow Places is a tender exploration of the power of friendship and imagination, especially on those first sleepover nights away from home.

This is a sweet, playful story to read before bed and prior to nights away from home. The journey through fantastical landscapes and make-believe adventures reveals the power of imagination, artfully conveying the importance of friendship and playtime, away from screens.”

Chapter Books

Mindy Kim and The Trip To Korea by Lyla Lee, Illustrated by Dung Ho (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Fresh off the Boat meets Junie B. Jones in the adorable chapter book series following Mindy Kim, a young Asian American girl—in this fifth novel, Mindy goes to South Korea!

Mindy is super excited to go to South Korea to visit her grandparents! She has never taken such a big trip before, and she can’t wait to see her family again. Plus, Dad’s girlfriend, Julie, is also going to meet the family for the first time.

Mindy and Julie decide to make a traditional Korean meal for the family as a thank-you for hosting. But after a few mishaps, Mindy fears they are cooking up a big disaster in the kitchen! Can Mindy and Julie make sure their meal passes the most important taste test of them all?”

McTavish Takes The Cake by Meg Rosoff (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Pa Peachey has gotten it in his head that he is going to be the baker in the family, and the Peacheys and their dog, McTavish, are more than a little surprised. Stunned, in fact. Ever since Ma Peachey declared herself free of the cooking responsibilities, Betty, Ava, and Ollie have taken turns making inventive and delicious meals. But Pa thinks he can do better, even though his cakes are as flat as manhole covers and his cookies turn to charcoal. When the town announces a baking competition with a big prize, Pa is convinced he will enter an absolute masterpiece. Now the Peacheys have to decide: should they be honest with Pa and tell him his confections are contemptible, or should they support his high-flying dreams? Or could McTavish have a last-minute option at the ready?”

Middle Grade

Almost Flying by Jake Maia Arlow (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Would-be amusement park aficionado Dalia only has two items on her summer bucket list: (1) finally ride a roller coaster and (2) figure out how to make a new best friend. But when her dad suddenly announces that he’s engaged, Dalia’s schemes come to a screeching halt. With Dalia’s future stepsister Alexa heading back to college soon, the grown-ups want the girls to spend the last weeks of summer bonding–meaning Alexa has to cancel the amusement park road trip she’s been planning for months. Luckily Dalia comes up with a new plan: If she joins Alexa on her trip and brings Rani, the new girl from her swim team, along maybe she can have the perfect summer after all. But what starts out as a week of funnel cakes and Lazy River rides goes off the rails when Dalia discovers that Alexa’s girlfriend is joining the trip. And keeping Alexa’s secret makes Dalia realize one of her own: She might have more-than-friend feelings for Rani.”

Rez Dogs by Joseph Bruchac (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Malian loves spending time with her grandparents at their home on a Wabanaki reservation. She’s there for a visit when, suddenly, all travel shuts down. There’s a new virus making people sick, and Malian will have to stay with her grandparents for the duration.

Everyone is worried about the pandemic, but Malian knows how to keep her family and community safe: She protects her grandparents, and they protect her. She doesn’t go outside to play with friends, she helps her grandparents use video chat, and she listens to and learns from their stories. And when Malsum, one of the dogs living on the rez, shows up at their door, Malian’s family knows that he’ll protect them too.

Told in verse inspired by oral storytelling, this novel about the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the ways Malian’s community has cared for one another through plagues of the past, and how they keep caring for one another today.”

Both Can Be True by Jules Machias (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Ash is no stranger to feeling like an outcast. For someone who cycles through genders, it’s a daily struggle to feel in control of how people perceive you. Some days Ash is undoubtedly girl, but other times, 100 percent guy. Daniel lacks control too—of his emotions. He’s been told he’s overly sensitive more times than he can count. He can’t help the way he is, and he sure wishes someone would accept him for it.

So when Daniel’s big heart leads him to rescue a dog that’s about to be euthanized, he’s relieved to find Ash willing to help. The two bond over their four-legged secret. When they start catching feelings for each other, however, things go from cute to complicated. Daniel thinks Ash is all girl . . . what happens when he finds out there’s more to Ash’s story?

With so much on the line—truth, identity, acceptance, and the life of an adorable pup named Chewbarka—will Ash and Daniel forever feel at war with themselves because they don’t fit into the world’s binaries? Or will their friendship help them embrace the beauty of living in between?”

Graphic Novels

The Adventures of Team Pom: Squid Happens (Book 1) by Isabel Roxas (Bookshop | Amazon)

“When oddballs Agnes, Roberta and Ruby discover a shared passion for synchronized swimming, the trio become Team Pom. But between snack time, their favorite TV show, and raising pigeons, it can be hard to find time to practice.

This crew of self-proclaimed weirdos are tired of their loser status in the pool. But on their way to gain the respect and free snacks they deserve, they stumble upon a lonely giant squid. Will he be the secret weapon they need for synchronized swimming stardom? Will they be able to outwit the sinister strangers in bowler hats, or will they end up with ink on their faces?

The first in this series and a debut comic book from award-winning Filipino illustrator Isabel Roxas, Squid Happens is a hilarious read that explores friendship, teamwork and what it means to be yourself.”

You can also read my full review of The Adventures of Team Pom: Squid Happens.

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!

Did I miss any releases you’re excited for? Be sure to share in the comments below!

You Might Also Like:

New Release Round Up – June 1, 2021

Happy Tuesday, everybody! It’s new release day again! As always, I rounded up the titles I am most excited about to share with y’all today, and there are a LOT to talk about this week.

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

You Are My Sparkly Mermaid by Joyce Wan (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A magical ode to believing in yourself and shining bright — with a dazzling mermaid twist — from bestselling creator Joyce Wan.
Wild and free in the big blue sea.Day and night, baby shine bright!Get ready to make some waves with this magical mermaid board book, complete with a sparkly glitter cover! Dive under the sea to meet a delightful array of mermaids and other underwater friends, from jellyfish to dolphins, with an encouraging message of love, joy, and confidence along the way. Snuggle up with your own little mermaid and remind them: “Baby, shine bright!”A wondrous celebration of the sparkly magic in every child from today’s preeminent board and picture book creator!”

Soccer Baby by Laura Gehl, Illustrated by Reggie Brown (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Baby goes to her first soccer game in this adorable board book that’s a must-have for soccer fans of all ages!

Baby loves soccer, the black and white ball
The field and the goal posts—she loves it all!

Baby is at her first soccer game! From watching the players run downfield, to cheering for a goal, baby loves it all. So when the game is over and the day is done, baby can’t wait to have more fun—by learning how to play soccer, too!”

Little Archeologist by Smithsonian, Illustrated by Dan Taylor (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Teach your baby all about archaeologists with this new board book published in partnership with Smithsonian.

Fossils. Shovels. Sieves. Brushes. These are all the important tools archaeologists use. In this new board book series published in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institute, young babies and toddlers will learn what an archaeologist does while enjoying playful art by Dan Taylor.”

Picture Books

Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder (Bookshop | Amazon)

This cheerful love-your-body picture book for preschoolers is an exuberant read-aloud with bright and friendly illustrations to pore over.
 
From the acclaimed creator of Dancing at the Pity Party and Roaring Softly, this picture book is a pure celebration of all the different human bodies that exist in the world. Highlighting the various skin tones, body shapes, and hair types is just the beginning in this truly inclusive book. With its joyful illustrations and encouraging refrain, it will instill body acceptance and confidence in the youngest of readers. “My body, your body, every different kind of body! All of them are good bodies! BODIES ARE COOL!””

The Rice in The Pot Goes Round and Round by Wendy Wan-Long Shang, Illustrated by Lorian Tu (Bookshop | Amazon)

Sing along to this delicious twist on “The Wheels on the Bus” and celebrate the food, laughter, and love of a multigenerational family meal!

* “Artfully brings an authentic expression of family love…an utterly charming [twist] to a familiar tune.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

The rice in the pot goes round and round,

Round and round, round and round,

The rice in the pot goes round and round

At the table where my family gathers round…

At the table where this family gathers, they share food, laughter, and, most of all, love. Readers of all ages are sure to delight in this joyful, expressive sing-along, slurping noodles, squishing tofu, and tapping chopsticks as they sing along to this familiar tune.

Rhythmic text from The Great Wall of Lucy Wu author and Asian/Pacific American Library Association Award winner Wendy Wan-Long Shang, and vibrant, playful illustrations from artist Lorian Tu bring this heartwarming, mouth-watering story to life. Informative back matter includes a food glossary and etiquette guidelines that are sure to delight and engage young readers.”

Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress by Alicia D. Williams, Illustrated by April Harrison (Bookshop | Amazon)

Discover the inspiring story of the first black woman elected to Congress and to run for president in this picture book biography from a Newbery Honor-winning author and a Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning illustrator.

Meet Shirley, a little girl who asks way too many questions! After spending her early years on her grandparents’ farm in Barbados, she returns home to Brooklyn and immediately makes herself known. Shirley kicks butt in school; she breaks her mother’s curfew; she plays jazz piano instead of classical. And as a young adult, she fights against the injustice she sees around her, against women and black people. Soon she is running for state assembly…and winning in a landslide. Three years later, she is on the campaign trail again, as the first black woman to run for Congress. Her slogan? “Fighting Shirley Chisholm–Unbought and Unbossed!” Does she win? You bet she does.”

Paletero Man by Lucky Diaz, Illustrated by Micah Player (Bookshop | Amazon)

A vibrant picture book celebrating the strength of community and the tastes of summer from Latin Grammy-winning musician Lucky Diaz and celebrated artist Micah Player.

Ring! Ring! Ring! Can you hear his call? Paletas for one! Paletas for all!

What’s the best way to cool off on a hot summer day? Run quick and find Paletero José!

Follow along with our narrator as he passes through his busy neighborhood in search of the Paletero Man. But when he finally catches up with him, our narrator’s pockets are empty. Oh no! What happened to his dinero? It will take the help of the entire community to get the tasty treat now.

Full of musicality, generosity, kindness, and ice pops, this book is sure to satisfy fans of Thank You, Omu! and Carmela Full of Wishes.

Includes Spanish words and phrases throughout, an author’s note from Lucky Diaz, and a link to a live version of the Lucky Band’s popular song that inspired the book.”

Sharice’s Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman by Sharice Davids and Nancy K. Mays, Illustrated by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley (Bookshop | Amazon)

This picture book autobiography tells the triumphant story of Sharice Davids, one of the first Native American women elected to Congress, and the first LGBTQ congressperson to represent Kansas.

When Sharice Davids was young, she never thought she’d be in Congress. And she never thought she’d be one of the first Native American women in Congress. During her campaign, she heard from a lot of doubters. They said she couldn’t win because of how she looked, who she loved, and where she came from. But here’s the thing: Everyone’s path looks different and everyone’s path has obstacles. And this is the remarkable story of Sharice Davids’ path to Congress.

Beautifully illustrated by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley, an Ojibwe Woodland artist, this powerful autobiographical picture book teaches readers to use their big voice and that everyone deserves to be seen—and heard!

The back matter includes information about the Ho-Chunk written by former Ho-Chunk President Jon Greendeer, an artist note, and an inspiring letter to children from Sharice Davids.”

Dumplings for Lili by Melissa Iwai (Bookshop | Amazon)

A heartfelt picture book celebration of food, community, and family―and little dumpling treasures from around the world.

Lili loves to cook baos, and Nai Nai has taught her all the secrets to making them, from kneading the dough lovingly and firmly to being thankful for the strong and healthy ingredients in the filling. But when Nai Nai realizes that they are out of cabbage (Secret #8: line the basket with cabbage leaves!), she sends Lili up to Babcia’s apartment on the sixth floor to get some. Babcia is happy to share her cabbage, but she needs some potatoes for her pierogi. . . .

What follows is a race up and down the stairs as Lili helps all the grandmothers in her building borrow ingredients for different dumplings: Jamaican beef patties, Italian ravioli, Lebanese fatayer, and more. Energized by Melissa Iwai’s engaging artwork and kinetic storytelling, Dumplings for Lili is a joyful story of sharing food, friendship, and love in all their forms.”

Llama Glamarama by Simon James Green, Illustrated by Garry Parsons (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Meet a dazzlin’ dancin’ llama who learns to march to the beat of his own drum by strutting his stuff with Pride (and a funky feather boa)!Larry the llama loves to move and groove! But will his friends all disapprove?Larry lives a slow and quiet life at the barn with all the other llamas, just the way they like it. But at night when everyone has gone to bed, Larry loves to dress up in bright costumes and DANCE! He has to hide this from the others, for fear that they won’t approve of his raucous ways. One day, he stumbles upon the Llama Glamarama, a carnival full of music, laughter, and yes-dancing!Will this vibrant celebration give Larry the pride he needs to bring his dance back home? A bright and colorful rhyming story with a powerful message about celebrating differences, Llama Glamarama is the perfect Pride picture book for everyone!”

Pheobe Dupree is Coming To Tea by Linda Ashman, Illustrated by Alea Marley (Bookshop | Amazon)

Abby is anxious to host the perfect tea party for a friend she idolizes, but life serves up a sweet taste of the fun to be had when perfection is off the table.

Have you met Phoebe—Miss Phoebe Dupree?
Phoebe’s as perfect as perfect can be.

To Abby, her friend Phoebe can do no wrong. Phoebe is speedy. Phoebe is smart. She’s equally brilliant at science and art. So when the budding hostess invites Phoebe over for a tea party, everything from the sugary treats on the menu to Abby’s dog, Louie, must be, well . . . perfect. But when life—and possibly Louie—send a clear message to let loose, the girls indulge in a perfectly imperfect playdate. Linda Ashman’s vivacious rhyme and Alea Marley’s inviting illustrations serve up a classic tale of enduring friendship at a tea party that will leave readers wanting to pull up a chair.”

My America by Karen Katz (Bookshop | Amazon)

From author and illustrator Karen Katz, My America is a picture book celebration of immigration to the United States told through the experiences of children who have come from around the world.

Children come to live in America from many different countries, and for many different reasons . . .

In this beautiful celebration of immigration, children from around the world tell their stories, sharing their love of where they’re from and where they live now―homes old and new. As they describe the foods they eat, the languages they’ve learned, the sports they play, and more, the differences and similarities that link us all are revealed.”

The Little Blue Bridge by Brenda Maier, illustrated by Sonia Sanchez (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Ruby’s mind is always full of ideas.

One day, she spies some blueberries across the creek and invites her brothers to pick some. Unfortunately, the bridge is blocked by scary Santiago. “I’m the boss, and you can’t cross… unless you give me a snack,” he demands.

One by one, the brothers scamper across, promising Santiago that the next sibling has a better snack. When at last it’s Ruby’s turn, she refuses to be bullied and creates her own way to cross the creek.

This modern spin on a classic tale weaves folklore, feminism, STEM, and a Latinx cast into a delightful read-aloud that celebrates creativity and building bridges of friendship and community.”

The Cot In The Living Room by Hilda Eunice Burgos, Illustrated by Gaby D’Alessandro (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A young Dominican American girl in New York City moves from jealousy to empathy as her parents babysit children whose families work overnight shifts in this honest and warm picture book debut.

Night after night, a young girl watches her mami set up a cot in the living room for guests in their Washington Heights apartment, like Raquel (who’s boring) and Edgardo (who gets crumbs everywhere). She resents that they get the entire living room with a view of the George Washington Bridge, while all she gets is a tiny bedroom with a view of her sister (who snores). Until one night when no one comes, and it’s finally her chance! But as it turns out, sleeping on the cot in the living room isn’t all she thought it would be.

With charming text by Hilda Eunice Burgos and whimsical illustrations by Gaby D’Alessandro, The Cot in the Living Room is a celebration of the ways a Dominican American community takes care of one another while showing young readers that sometimes the best way to be a better neighbor is by imagining how it feels to spend a night sleeping on someone else’s pillow.”

Let’s Go For A Walk with Ranger Hamza, Illustrated by Kate Kronreif (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Walking in the country, by the sea, or in the town, so many wonderful things to see if you stop and look around! Go on your very own walk guided by Ranger Hamza with this book that can be used again and again.

Take this book with you on any walk, wherever you live, with suggestions from Ranger Hamza for things to look out for. Can you see a red thing? A tall thing? Can you find something smooth, and something rough? What can you smell, and what can you hear? As well as things to spot on the walk, each spread contains fascinating Hamza facts.
Turn every walk, long or short, into an interactive, playful, learning adventure.
Can be used on any kind of walk, in any location, and any duration, over and over again.
Will help young hikers look at the world around them in a new way.
Can also be read at home, with readers spotting the details in the beautiful illustrations.
Perfect for families looking to make their regular outings more fun, whether in the city or the country: Let’s Go For a Walk!”

RuPaul (Little People, Big Dreams #61) by Maria Isabel Sanchez Vegara, Illustrated by Wednesday Holmes (Bookshop | Amazon)

“In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of RuPaul, the shape-shifter, performer, supermodel, and host of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Even before little Ru was born, a fortune teller told his mom that he would one day be famous… It was only a matter of time before he figured out how. Playing dress-up was his favorite game, and that’s where he felt most comfortable. Ru went on to study performing arts and then moved to New York to mix things up in a punk band. Later, drag was a way to express himself as an artist. He found success for himself, then wanted to help others find theirs. He inspires us to do what feels right and love ourselves. This witty and wise book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the inspiring performer’s life.”

Chapter Books

She Persisted: Sonia Sotomayor by Meg Medina, Illustrated by Gillian Flint (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Inspired by the #1 New York Times bestseller She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger comes a chapter book series about women who stood up, spoke up and rose up against the odds!

In this chapter book biography by Meg Medina, the award-winning author of Merci Suarez Changes Gears and Mango, Abuela, and Me, readers learn about the amazing life of Sonia Sotomayor–and how she persisted.

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Latina Supreme Court Justice in the history of the United States, but her road there wasn’t easy. She overcame many challenges along the way, including a diagnosis of diabetes at age seven. But she didn’t let that stop her from achieving her dream and inspiring children all over the world to work hard and believe in themselves.”

Magical Rescue Vets: Jade the Gem Dragon by Melody Lockhart, Illustrated by Morgan Huff (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Most people think that dragons and unicorns don’t exist outside of story books – but Kat and Rosie know better! The best friends have been helping out at Calico Comfrey’s Veterinary Surgery ever since they stumbled across its secret door one summer holiday. Join them as they rescue and care for the incredible, enchanted creatures of Starfall Forest. Along the way, they might learn some valuable lessons about bravery, friendship, and loyalty!

When Kat needs something to distract her from her new baby sister, it’s the perfect time to go exploring in the forest. She and Rosie find a baby gem dragon coughing and spluttering in the Crystal Caves. What has made her whole colony so sick, and could it have something to do with the gnomes’ new mining machines? It’s time to start an anti-pollution campaign – with just a little help from Dr. Hart!

The second in the brand-new Magical Rescue Vets series, Jade the Gem Dragon features beautiful illustrations by Morgan Huff and is ideal for readers aged 7+.”

Wednesday Wilson Gets Down to Business by Bree Galbraith, Illustrated by Morgan Goble (Bookshop | Amazon)

“In the first entertaining installment in a new early chapter book series, one unfortunate kale incident isn’t enough to stop the unbeatable Wednesday Wilson from pursuing her entrepreneurial dreams — or is it?The most important thing to know about Wednesday Wilson is that she’s an entrepreneur. She hasn’t started any businesses yet, but she’s pretty sure today is the day. She and her best friend, Charlie (Wednesday’s future Vice President of Operations), with some help from her little brother, Mister, have made a list of potential businesses. But before they get to move forward on one, there’s an unfortunate incident in class with the Emmas (whose last initials happen to spell M.E.A.N.) involving a bearded dragon named Morten and a piece of kale . . . it’s a long story. It figures that Wednesday’s archnemeses would be the ones to mess up her plans! But maybe all is not lost. Maybe this is just the opportunity Wednesday and her friends needed to come up with a brilliant business idea that will save the day and make them millionaires. Or . . . not?With its fresh voice, diverse cast of lovable and relatable characters and delightfully determined heroine, Bree Galbraith’s illustrated early chapter book series hits the spot for beginning readers (and their grown-ups!). Endearing black-and-white drawings by Morgan Goble add nuance and clarity and help guide the story forward for early readers. Definitions of vocabulary words, all related to business, appear as footnotes throughout the text.”

Middle Grade

The Wayside School 4-Book Box Set: Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Wayside School Is Falling Down, Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger, Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom by Louis Sachar (Bookshop | Amazon)

“All four books in the beloved Wayside School series by bestselling and Newbery Medal–winning author Louis Sachar are now available in this collectible set!

This paperback box set features all four books, each with new cover and interior art and full of hilarious stories, zany art, and a quadruple serving of absurdity.

More than fifteen million readers have laughed at the stories of Sideways Stories from Wayside School, Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger, Wayside School Is Falling Down, and the newly released Wayside School Beneath the Cloud of Doom.

So what are you waiting for? Come visit Wayside School!”

Force of Fire by Sayantani DasGupta (Bookshop | Amazon)

“From New York Times bestselling author Sayantani DasGupta comes the story of a demon who must embrace her bad to serve the greater good.
Pinki hails from a long line of rakkhosh resisters, demons who have spent years building interspecies relationships, working together to achieve their goal of overthrowing the snakey oppressors and taking back their rights. But she has more important things to worry about, like maintaining her status as fiercest rakkhosh in her class and looking after her little cousins. There is also the teeny tiny detail of not yet being able to control her fire breathing and accidentally burning up school property.Then Sesha, the charming son of the Serpentine Governor, calls on Pinki for help in defeating the resistance, promising to give her what she most desires in return — the ability to control her fire. First she’ll have to protect the Moon Maiden, pretend to be a human (ick), and survive a family reunion. But it’s all worth it for the control of her powers . . . right?”

Marcus Makes a Movie by Kevin Hart and Geoff Rodkey, Illustrated by David Cooper (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Stand-up comedian and Hollywood box-office hit Kevin Hart keeps the laughs coming in an illustrated middle-grade novel about a boy who has big dreams of making a blockbuster superhero film. Perfect for readers of James Patterson’s Middle School series and Lincoln Peirce’s Big Nate series.

Marcus is NOT happy to be stuck in after-school film class…until he realizes he can turn the story of the cartoon superhero he’s been drawing for years into an actual MOVIE! There’s just one problem: he has no idea what he’s doing. So he’ll need help, from his friends, his teachers, Sierra, the strong-willed classmate with creative dreams of her own, even Tyrell, the local bully who’d be a perfect movie villain if he weren’t too terrifying to talk to.

Making this movie won’t be easy. But as Marcus discovers, nothing great ever is—and if you want your dream to come true, you’ve got to put in the hustle to make it happen.

Comedy superstar Kevin Hart teams up with award-winning author Geoff Rodkey and lauded illustrator David Cooper for a hilarious, illustrated, and inspiring story about bringing your creative goals to life and never giving up, even when nothing’s going your way.”

The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson (Bookshop | Amazon)

Thirty diverse, award-winning authors and illustrators invite you into their homes to witness the conversations they have with their children about race in America today in this powerful call-to-action that invites all families to be anti-racists and advocates for change.

As long as racist ideas persist, families will continue to have the difficult and necessary conversations with their young ones on the subject. In this inspiring collection, literary all-stars such as Renée Watson (Piecing Me Together), Grace Lin (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon), Meg Medina (Merci Suárez Changes Gears), Adam Gidwitz (The Inquisitor’s Tale), and many more engage young people in frank conversations about race, identity, and self-esteem. Featuring text and images filled with love, acceptance, truth, peace, and an assurance that there can be hope for a better tomorrow, The Talk is a stirring anthology and must-have resource published in partnership with Just Us Books, a Black-owned children’s publishing company that’s been in operation for over thirty years. Just Us Books continues its mission grounded in the same belief that helped launch the company: Good books make a difference.
 
So, let’s talk.”

Sisters of The Neversea by Cynthia Leitich Smith (Bookshop | Amazon)

“In this beautifully reimagined story by NSK Neustadt Laureate and New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith (Muscogee Creek), Native American Lily and English Wendy embark on a high-flying journey of magic, adventure, and courage to a fairy-tale island known as Neverland…

Lily and Wendy have been best friends since they became stepsisters. But with their feuding parents planning to spend the summer apart, what will become of their family—and their friendship?

Little do they know that a mysterious boy has been watching them from the oak tree outside their window. A boy who intends to take them away from home for good, to an island of wild animals, Merfolk, Fairies, and kidnapped children, to a sea of merfolk, pirates, and a giant crocodile.

A boy who calls himself Peter Pan.”

Graphic Novels

The Tea Dragon Tapestry (The Tea Dragon Society) by K. O’Neill (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Join Greta and Minette once more for the heartwarming conclusion of the award-winning Tea Dragon series!

Over a year since being entrusted with Ginseng’s care, Greta still can’t chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. As she struggles to create something spectacular enough to impress a master blacksmith in search of an apprentice, she questions the true meaning of crafting, and the true meaning of caring for someone in grief. Meanwhile, Minette receives a surprise package from the monastery where she was once training to be a prophetess. Thrown into confusion about her path in life, the shy and reserved Minette finds that the more she opens her heart to others, the more clearly she can see what was always inside.

Told with the same care and charm as the previous installments of the Tea Dragon series, The Tea Dragon Tapestry welcomes old friends and new into a heartfelt story of purpose, love, and growth.”

Miles Morales: Shock Waves by Justin A. Reynolds, Illustrated by Pablo Leon (Bookshop | Amazon)

“An original middle-grade graphic novel from Graphix starring Brooklyn’s Spider-Man, Miles Morales, by bestselling author Justin A. Reynolds and Eisner nominee Pablo Leon!
Miles Morales is a normal kid who happens to juggle school at Brooklyn Visions Academy while swinging through the streets of Brooklyn as Spider-Man. After a disastrous earthquake strikes his mother’s birthplace of Puerto Rico, Miles springs into action to help set up a fundraiser for the devastated island. But when a new student’s father goes missing, Miles begins to make connections between the disappearance and a giant corporation sponsoring Miles’ fundraiser. Who is behind the disappearance, and how does that relate to Spider-Man?A true middle grade graphic novel starring one of Marvel’s most popular characters, bestselling author Justin A. Reynolds (Opposite of Always) and Eisner award-nominated artist Pablo Leon (Refugees) create a riveting story that will connect with new and well-versed comics readers alike.”

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!

Did I miss any releases you’re excited for? Be sure to share in the comments below!

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New Release Round Up – May 18, 2021

Happy Tuesday, everybody! Tuesdays are my favorite, because it’s new release day!

I’m so excited to share the new releases I am most looking forward to this week with you all. 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

A is for Astronaut: An Out-of-This-World Alphabet Adventure by Dr. Jennifer Levasseur, Illustrated by Vanessa Port (Bookshop | Amazon)

Blast off into space and learn the ABCs with the Smithsonian!

2021 NAPPA (National Parenting Product Awards) Winner
Inside this board book, little space explorers will learn out-of-this-world words for each letter of the alphabet paired with colorful illustrations on each page. From astronaut to zero gravity, this simple introduction to outer space and the ABCs is sure to delight babies and their parents! Author Jennifer Levasseur serves as the as the responsible curator for the National Air and Space Museum’s astronaut cameras and chronographs, as well as the Space Shuttle and International Space Station programs.”

Pink Is For Boys by Robb Pearlman, Illustrated by Eda Kaban (Bookshop | Amazon)

“An empowering and educational board book that proves colors are for everyone, regardless of gender.

Pink is for boys . . . and girls . . . and everyone! This timely and beautiful board book rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids-and their grown-ups-to express themselves in every color of the rainbow. Featuring a diverse group of relatable characters, Pink Is for Boys invites and encourages children to enjoy what they love to do, whether it’s racing cars and playing baseball, or loving unicorns and dressing up. Vibrant illustrations help children learn and identify the myriad colors that surround them every day, from the orange of a popsicle, to the green of a grassy field, all the way up to the wonder of a multicolored rainbow.

Parents and kids will delight in Robb Pearlman’s sweet, simple script, as well as its powerful message: life is not color-coded.”

Picture Books

When Lola Visits by Michelle Sterling, Illustrated by Aaron Asis (Bookshop | Amazon)

“In an evocative picture book brimming with the scents, tastes, and traditions that define a young girl’s summer with her grandmother, debut author Michelle Sterling and illustrator Aaron Asis come together to celebrate the gentle bonds of familial love that span oceans and generations.

For one young girl, summer is the season of no school, of days spent at the pool, and of picking golden limes off the trees. But summer doesn’t start until her lola—her grandmother from the Philippines—comes for her annual visit.

Summer is special. For her lola fills the house with the aroma of mango jam, funny stories of baking mishaps, and her quiet sweet singing in Tagalog. And in turn, her granddaughter brings Lola to the beach, to view fireworks at the park, and to catch fish at their lake.

When Lola visits, the whole family gathers to cook and eat and share in their happiness of another season spent together. Yet as summer transitions to fall, her lola must return home—but not without a surprise for her granddaughter to preserve their special summer a bit longer.”

And I Paint It by Beth Kephart, Illustrated by Amy June Bates (Bookshop | Amazon)

“A poetic picture-book biography about artist N.C. Wyeth’s daughter, Henriette, a talented painter in her own right

And I think of the girl I am and the girl I’ll be:
A painter, like Pa.
An actress (maybe).
A fairy with wings.
A father and daughter sneak away from their big, busy family to paint in the wild landscape. Together, they paint a lily, bright and white as a star; the green growing into the cap of a strawberry; the blue in the sky running pink. Henriette’s father is N.C. Wyeth, the famous artist, who encourages her to paint what she sees, to awaken into her dreams, and she does, in this poetic picture book inspired by a famous American family of artists.”

Ruby’s Reunion Day Dinner by Angela Dalton, Illustrated by Jestenia Southerland (Bookshop | Amazon)

“This joyful picture book taps into the rich African American tradition of family reunions, with delicious food at the heart of the celebration. Perfect for fans of the Caldecott Honor Book Going Down Home with Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons.

Once a year, each of Ruby’s relatives prepares a special dish to share at their family reunion. Daddy calls it their “signature dish”—and Ruby wants one of her own. She wanders through the bustling kitchen looking for inspiration. As she watches Pop-Pop’s chicken sizzling in the skillet, Uncle G slicing onions, and Auntie Billie cooking corn on the hot grill, she wonders if she’s just too young to have a signature dish. That’s when she finds it— the perfect solution!

Angela Dalton’s warm text is perfectly paired with Jestenia Southerland’s beautiful art in this sweet picture book, filled with the tenderness and warmth of this multigenerational extended family and the food they share.”

All Of Us by Kathryn Erskine, Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger (Bookshop | Amazon)

A beautiful book about community and love by National Book Award winner Kathryn Erskine and #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Alexandra Boiger.

ME can be WE. YOU can come, too. In a lyrical text that travels the globe, National Book Award winner Kathryn Erskine shows young readers how the whole world is a community made up of people who are more similar than we are different. With stunning, cinematic art by Alexandra Boiger, the illustrator of the She Persisted series, this is the perfect read-aloud at bedtime or for story time. Perfect for fans of All Are Welcome and Be Kind.”

The Incredible Ship of Captain Skip by Alicia Acosta, Illustrated by Cecilia Moreno (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Join Skip and her crew on their amazing journey across the sea. As you read the story, you’ll make your own paper ship with easy-to-follow instructions! Through her adventure, Skip’s ship will be damaged. At the same time, you’ll be tearing off pieces of your paper ship discovering a funny surprise in the end… the treasure of Captain Skip!”

Chapter Books

Ballerina Birthday (Ballet Bunnies #3) by Swapna Reddy, Illustrated by Binny Talib (Bookshop | Amazon)

“This new full-color chapter book series features the most darling dancers you will ever meet! For fans of the Magic Bunny, Isadora Moon, and Rainbow Magic series.

It’s Millie’s birthday and the Ballet Bunnies can’t wait to celebrate with her! The teeny dancer bunnies sneak into her bag and steal away to Millie’s house. When it’s time for Millie’s party, the bunnies secretly dash beneath tables and chairs to get a glimpse at all the festivities!

Spin and twirl with more Ballet Bunnies books! Ballet Bunnies #1: The New Class and Ballet Bunnies #2: Let’s Dance!”

Make New Friends, But Keep the Old (Twig and Turtle #4) by Jennifer Richard Jacobson (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Friendship woes and a visit from Grandma push Twig to find her voice in the fourth book in the Twig and Turtle chapter book series, perfect for fans of Ivy and Bean and Judy Moody.

Speaking up can be super hard.

Just when Twig thinks she’s finally found a new best friend, Angela’s former BFF, Effie, comes back to town. And to Twig, Effie is anything but friendly. With Effie hogging the spotlight and Angela’s time, Twig has never felt so alone. And while Twig’s little sister, Turtle, can be a lot of fun to hang out with, she doesn’t replace a best friend.

Then Grandma comes to visit, bringing with too much clutter and too many strong opinions for the tiny house, and it all becomes too much. Will Twig be able to find her voice without hurting anyone’s feelings?

The fourth book in the Twig and Turtle chapter book series, Make New Friends, But Keep the Old weaves themese of friendshipand finding your voice in a sweet package that fans of Ivy and Bean and Judy Moody will find hard to resist.”

Middle Grade

That Thing About Bollywood by Supriya Kelkar (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Bollywood takes over in this contemporary, magical middle grade novel about an Indian American girl whose world turns upside down when she involuntarily starts bursting into glamorous song-and-dance routines during everyday life.

You know how in Bollywood when people are in love, they sing and dance from the mountaintops? Eleven-year-old Sonali wonders if they do the same when they’re breaking up. The truth is, Sonali’s parents don’t get along, and it looks like they might be separating.

Sonali’s little brother, Ronak, is not taking the news well, constantly crying. Sonali would never do that. It’s embarrassing to let out so many feelings, to show the world how not okay you are. But then something strange happens, something magical, maybe. When Sonali gets upset during a field trip, she can’t bury her feelings like usual—instead, she suddenly bursts into a Bollywood song-and-dance routine about why she’s upset!

The next morning, much to her dismay, Sonali’s reality has shifted. Things seem brighter, almost too bright. Her parents have had Bollywood makeovers. Her friends are also breaking out into song and dance. And somehow, everyone is acting as if this is totally normal.

Sonali knows something has gone wrong, and she suspects it has something to do with her own mismanaged emotions. Can she figure it out before it’s too late?”

An Occasionally Happy Family by Cliff Burke (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Gordon Korman meets The Great Outdoors in this funny and moving debut about a boy who goes on a disastrous family vacation (sweltering heat! bear chases!) that ends with a terrible surprise: his dad’s new girlfriend.

There are zero reasons for Theo Ripley to look forward to his family vacation. Not only are he, sister Laura, and nature-obsessed Dad going to Big Bend, the least popular National Park, but once there, the family will be camping. And Theo is an indoor animal. It doesn’t help that this will be the first vacation they’re taking since Mom passed away.

Once there, the family contends with 110 degree days, wild bears, and an annoying amateur ornithologist and his awful teenage vlogger son. Then, Theo’s dad hits him with a whopper of a surprise: the whole trip is just a trick to introduce his secret new girlfriend.

Theo tries to squash down the pain in his chest. But when it becomes clear that this is an auditioning-to-be-his-stepmom girlfriend, Theo must find a way to face his grief and talk to his dad before his family is forever changed.”

Not All Heroes by Josephine Cameron (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Even though her family moved across the country for a “fresh start” after her little brother’s death, eleven-year-old Zinnia Helinski still feels like she’s stuck waiting for her new life to begin. Then she spots her new neighbor, Kris, climbing down the fire escape of their apartment building. He’s wearing a black eye mask! And Spandex leggings. . . . And a blue body suit?

Soon Zinnia finds herself in a secret club for kids who want to be heroes. The Reality Shifters don’t have superpowers, but they do have the power to make positive change in their neighborhoods. And a change is just what Zinnia is looking for!

At first, she feels invincible. Zinnia finally has friends and is on the kind of real-life adventures her little brother, Wally, would have loved. But when her teammates lose sight of their goals, Zinnia must find the balance between bravery and recklessness, and learn to be a hero without her cape.”

It’s Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex, Gender, and Sexual Health by Robie H. Harris, Illustrated Michael Emberley (Bookshop | Amazon)

Fully and fearlessly updated, this vital new edition of the acclaimed book on sex, sexuality, bodies, and puberty deserves a spot in every family’s library.

With more than 1.5 million copies in print, It’s Perfectly Normal has been a trusted resource on sexuality for more than twenty-five years. Rigorously vetted by experts, this is the most ambitiously updated editionyet, featuring to-the-minute information and language accompanied by new and refreshed art.

Updates include:

* A shift to gender-neutral vocabulary throughout

* An expansion on LGBTQIA topics, gender identity, sex, and sexuality—making this a sexual health book for all readers

* Coverage of recent advances in methods of sexual safety and contraception with corresponding illustrations

* A revised section on abortion, including developments in the shifting politics and legislation as well as an accurate, honest overview

* A sensitive and detailed expansion on the topics of sexual abuse, the importance of consent, and destigmatizing HIV/AIDS

* A modern understanding of social media and the internet that tackles rapidly changing technology to highlight its benefits and pitfalls and ways to stay safe online

Inclusive and accessible, this newest edition of It’s Perfectly Normal provides young people with the knowledge and vocabulary they need to understand their bodies, relationships, and identities in order to make responsible decisions and stay healthy.”

Graphic Novels

The Princess Who Saved Herself by Greg Pak, Illustrated by Takeshi Miyazawa (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Welcome to The Princess Who Saved Herself, a children’s book written by comics writer Greg Pak, based on the beloved song by internet superstar musician Jonathan Coulton, and illustrated by artist Takeshi Miyazawa.

The Princess Who Saved Herself reinvents the princess myth for a new generation, telling the story of an awesome kid who lives with her pet snake and plays rock ‘n’ roll all day to the huge annoyance of the classical guitarist witch who lives down the road. Hijinks, conflicts, and a fun reconciliation ensues!

Based on the beloved song by internet superstar musician Jonathan Coulton, the new New York Times best-selling team of writer Greg Pak and artist Takeshi Miyazawa reunite for an unforgettable adventure full of determination, bravery, and compassion for everyone!”

Just Pretend by Tori Sharp (Bookshop | Amazon)

“Fans of Real Friends and Be Prepared will love this energetic, affecting graphic memoir, in which a young girl uses her active imagination to navigate middle school as well as the fallout from her parents’ divorce.

Tori has never lived in just one world.

Since her parents’ divorce, she’s lived in both her mom’s house and her dad’s new apartment. And in both places, no matter how hard she tries, her family still treats her like a little kid. Then there’s school, where friendships old and new are starting to feel more and more out of her hands.

Thankfully, she has books-and writing. And now the stories she makes up in her head just might save her when everything else around her—friendships, school, family—is falling apart.

Author Tori Sharp takes us with her on a journey through the many commonplace but complex issues of fractured families, as well as the beautiful fantasy narrative that helps her cope, gorgeously illustrated and full of magic, fairies, witches and lost and found friendships.”

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!

Did I miss any releases you’re excited for? Be sure to share in the comments below!

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