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Marlene Michalek
November 22, 2021

Books for Toddlers, Tweens

and Everyone In Between

By Samantha Owen, Marlene Michalek and the BPL New Books Committee -- Youth and Family Services

BPL librarians recently announced their favorite new children’s books from the latter half of 2021. This year’s selections celebrate body positivity, take readers to fantastical worlds, and highlight important historical people and events. On this list you’ll find The People Remember, written by Ibi Zoboi and illustrated by Loveis Wise, a nonfiction picture book that honors African American history while celebrating Kwanzaa. It is receiving rave reviews like this one from the New York Times. We also chose Ghost Girl, written by BPL’s own Ally Malinenko. Congratulations, Ally! With titles perfect for toddlers, tweens, and everyone in between, here’s a great list to kick off 2022.

 

Picture Books

Book Cover: I is for Immigrants
I is for Immigrants written and illustrated by Selina Alko

What do African dance, samosas, and Japanese gardens have in common? They are all gifts the United States received from immigrants: the vibrant, multifaceted people who share their heritage and traditions to enrich the fabric of our daily lives. From Jewish delis to bagpipes, bodegas and Zen Buddhism, this joyful ABC journey is a celebration of immigrants: our neighbors, our friends.

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Book Cover: Sleepy Stories
Sleepy Stories written by Mario Levrero, illustrated by Diego Bianki, translated from the Spanish by Alicia López

Nicolás asks his very sleepy father to tell story after story and hears of a man who sleeps in his umbrella, another in the sea, and a third in a monkey's cage.

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Book Cover: Never, Not Ever!
Never, Not Ever! written and illustrated by Beatrice Alemagna, translated by Jill Davis

When Pascaline, a little bat, screams "Never, Not Ever" in response to going to school, something extraordinary happens, which changes her mind.

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Book Cover: Bodies are Cool
 
Bodies are Cool written by Tyler Feder

This body positivity picture book for preschoolers is a joyful read-aloud with bright and friendly illustrations to pore over. From the way a body jiggles to the scars a body bears, 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 cheerful illustrations and exuberant refrain, this book will instill body positivity and confidence in the youngest of readers.

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Book Cover: When Langston Dances
When Langston Dances written by Kaija Langley, illustrated by Keith Mallett

A young Black boy dreams of dancing in this exuberant, buoyant picture book celebrating the beauty of dance, and the wonder of Black Boy Joy-perfect for fans of Firebird and Crown ! Langston likes basketball okay, but what he loves is to dance-ever since he saw the Alvin Ailey Dance Company perform. He longs to twirl into a pirouette, whirl into a piqué. He wants to arabesque and attitude, grand battement and grand jeté. When he walks, the whole street is his stage. With his neighborhood cheering him on, with Langston achieve his dream?

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Book Cover: Stroller Coaster
Stroller Coaster written by Matt Ringler, illustrated by Raúl the Third and Elaine Bay

A quick-thinking father thwarts his daughter's impending temper tantrum when he transforms an everyday walk outside into an exciting strollercoaster ride through the neighborhood.

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Book Cover: Someone Builds the Dream
Someone Builds the Dreamwritten by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Loren Long

Buildings, bridges, and books don't exist without the laborers who are often invisible in the final product, as this joyous and profound picture book reveals. All across this great big world, jobs are getting done by many hands in many lands. It takes much more than ONE. Gorgeously written and illustrated, this is an eye-opening exploration of the many types of work that go into building our world-from the making of a bridge to a wind farm, an amusement park, and even the very picture book that you are reading. An architect may dream up the plans for a house, but someone has to actually work the saws and pound the nails. This book is a thank-you to the skilled women and men who work tirelessly to see our dreams brought to life.

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Book Cover: City Baby
City Baby written by Laurie Elmquist, illustrated by Ashley Barron

Bustling streets, lively squares and busy restaurants are baby's playground when they are in the big city. So much to see and do as baby's stroller navigates the crowded avenues or baby takes a break in a quiet park to blow bubbles and chase pigeons. Ashley Barron's paper-collage illustrations are a joy to behold, bringing energy and life to this delightful board book. Rhyming verse from Laurie Elmquist takes the reader on a journey through a festive big city.

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Book Cover: Comparratives
Comparratives written by Janik Coat

A super-funny parrot teaches young readers about comparative adjectives as it searches for a friend, in an oversized board book that features touch-and-feel novelty elements throughout.

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Book Cover: Glow
Glow written by Ruth Forman, illustrated by Geneva Bowers

This board book delivers an ode to the beautiful light of African American boys.

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Book Cover: Smile, Baby!
Smile, Baby! written by Nicola Slater

Aided by mirrors and colorful illustrations of animals, invites the reader to find different parts of baby's face.

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Early Readers

Book Cover: Friends Do Not Eat Friends
Friends Do Not Eat Friends written by Jill Esbaum, illustrated by Miles Thompson

Big, scary, and hungry Thunder the dinosaur wants to chase and chomp Cluck, a small but brave dinosaur, but Cluck has decided that they will be friends.

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Book Cover: See the Dog: Three Stories About a Cat
See the Dog: Three Stories About a Cat written by David LaRochelle, illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka

Max the dog is sick today, but have no fear - Baby Cakes the cat is happy to take his place! But when the book tells her to dig a hole, fetch a stick, and guard the sheep, the cat responds in very un-doglike ways.

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Book Cover: Pickle Party!
Pickle Party! written by Frank Berrios, illustrated by Sara Rebar

Waffles and Mochi's friend Kennedy loves all kinds of pickled food. But when they try to get pickles for her birthday party, Waffles and Mochi learn that pickles aren't made quickly.

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Book Cover: Big Shark, Little Shark, and the Spooky Caved
Big Shark, Little Shark, and the Spooky Caved written by Anne Membrino, illustrated by tim Budgen

Just in time for Halloween comes a spooky, funny early reader starring Big Shark and Little Shark! Big Shark is scared! The cave looks far too dark and spooky to swim into. But Little Shark isn't scared in the least! Can he coax Big Shark to explore? Some exciting surprises are waiting deep in the spooky cave!

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Book Cover: Geraldine Pu and Her Lunchbox, Too!
Geraldine Pu and Her Lunchbox, Too! written by Maggie P. Chang

With encouragement from her supportive lunchbox, a young girl ignores a classmate's teasing and heartily enjoys bao buns, stinky tofu, and other tasty lunches prepared by her Taiwanese grandmother.

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Book Cover: Goat Wants to Eat
Goat Wants to Eat written by Laura Gehl, illustrated by Fred Blunt

Cat wants to nap, and Goat wants to eat. The problem is, every time Cat finds a cozy bed for napping, Goat eats it! When Goat feels sick from overeating and wants to take a nap himself, will Cat get revenge?

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Book Cover: Aven Green, Sleuthing Machine
Aven Green, Sleuthing Machine written by Dusti Bowling, illustrated by Gina Perry

Third-grader Aven Green has been solving mysteries for a whole month, cracking such cases as The Mystery of the Cranky Mom. But can this perceptive detective solve two cases at the same time? First her teacher's lunch bag disappears. Then Aven's great-grandma's dog goes missing. Fortunately, since Aven was born without arms, all the "arm" cells went to her super-powered brain instead. (That's her theory.)

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Book Cover: Word Travelers and the Taj Mahal Mystery
Word Travelers and the Taj Mahal Mystery written by Raj Haldar, illustrated by Nena Rawat

Eddie and Molly-Jean are next door neighbors and best friends. One Saturday, Eddie's mom sends him up to the attic to get his great-grandpa's most prized possession (a book, of course). Eddie and Molly-Jean are suddenly transported to India where they must use their word knowledge to solve a mystery and help a new friend save his school.

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Book Cover: Jojo Makoons: The Used-To-Be Best Friend
Jojo Makoons: The Used-To-Be Best Friend written by Dawn Quigley, illustrated by Tara Audbert

Hello/Boozhoo-meet Jo Jo Makoons! Full of pride, joy, and plenty of humor, this first book in an all-new chapter book series by Dawn Quigley celebrates a spunky young Ojibwe girl who loves who she is. Jo Jo Makoons Azure is a spirited seven-year-old who moves through the world a little differently than anyone else on her Ojibwe reservation. It always seems like her mom, her kokum (grandma), and her teacher have a lot to learn-about how good Jo Jo is at cleaning up, what makes a good rhyme, and what it means to be friendly. Even though Jo Jo loves her #1 best friend Mimi (who is a cat), she's worried that she needs to figure out how to make more friends. Because Fern, her best friend at school, may not want to be friends anymore...

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Book Cover: Harry versus the First 100 Days of School
Harry versus the First 100 Days of School written by Emily Jenkins, illustrated by Pete Oswald

In just one hundred days, Harry will learn how to overcome first-day jitters, what a "family circle" is, why guinea pigs aren't scary after all, what a silent "e" is about, how to count to 100 in tons of different ways, and much more. He'll make great friends, celebrate lots of holidays, and learn how to use his words. In other words, he will become an expert first grader.

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Book Cover: Wednesday Wilson Gets Down to Business
Wednesday Wilson Gets Down to Business written by Bree Galbraith, illustrated by Morgan Goble

There are many things Wednesday Wilson would like you to know about herself. But chief among them is that she is an entrepreneur. Wednesday hasn't actually started any businesses yet, but she's pretty sure today is the day. That's why she's so excited for you to read her book! You'll get to know her before she makes it big! She's also pretty excited for you to get to know all the awesome people in her life: her moms, her little brother Mister (yes: Mister -- it's a long story), and her best friend Charlie. In Wednesday Wilson Gets Down to Business, Wednesday's entrepreneurial plans hit a wrench thanks to a lunchtime Pizza Incident. But necessity is the mother of invention, and the Pizza Incident might be just the catalyst she needs to hatch a Brilliant Plan! A Brilliant Plan that saves the day and makes them all millionaires. Or ... not

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Middle Grade

Book Cover: Josephine Against the Sea
Josephine Against the Sea written by Shakirah Bourne

Eleven-year-old Josephine knows that no one is good enough for her daddy. That's why she makes a habit of scaring his new girlfriends away. She's desperate to make it onto her school's cricket team because she'll get to play her favorite sport AND use the cricket matches to distract Daddy from dating. But when Coach Broomes announces that girls can't try out for the team, the frustrated Josephine cuts into a powerful silk cotton tree and accidentally summons a bigger problem into her life... The next day, Daddy brings home a new catch, a beautiful woman named Mariss. And unlike the other girlfriends, this one doesn't scare easily. Josephine knows there's something fishy about Mariss but she never expected her to be a vengeful sea creature eager to take her place as her father's first love! Can Josephine convince her friends to help her and use her cricket skills to save Daddy from Mariss's clutches before it's too late?

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Book Cover: Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls
Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls written by Kaela Rivera

When a powerful desert spirit kidnaps her sister, Cece Rios must learn forbidden magic to get her back. Living in the remote town of Tierra del Sol is dangerous, especially in the criatura months, when powerful spirits roam the desert and threaten humankind. But Cecelia Rios has always believed there was more to the criaturas, much to her family's disapproval. After all, only brujas-humans who capture and control criaturas-consort with the spirits, and brujeria is a terrible crime. When her older sister, Juana, is kidnapped by El Sombrerón, a powerful dark criatura, Cece is determined to bring Juana back. To get into Devil's Alley, though, she'll have to become a bruja herself-while hiding her quest from her parents, her town, and the other brujas. Thankfully, the legendary criatura Coyote has a soft spot for humans and agrees to help her on her journey. With him at her side, Cece sets out to reunite her family-and maybe even change what it means to be a bruja along the way.

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Book Cover: The Chance of Fly
The Chance of the Fly written by Ali Stroker and Stacy Davidowitz

Thirteen-year-old Nat Beacon loves a lot of things: her dog Warbucks, her best friend Chloe, and competing on her wheelchair racing team, the Zoomers, to name a few. But there's one thing she's absolutely OBSESSED with: MUSICALS! From Hamilton to Les Mis , there's not a cast album she hasn't memorized and belted along to. She's never actually been in a musical though, or even seen an actor who uses a wheelchair for mobility on stage. Would someone like Nat ever get cast? But when Nat's family moves from California to New Jersey, Nat stumbles upon auditions for a kids' production of Wicked , one of her favorite musicals ever! And she gets into the ensemble! The other cast members are super cool and inclusive (well, most of them)- especially Malik, the male lead and cutest boy Nat's ever seen. But when things go awry a week before opening night, will Nat be able to cast her fears and insecurities aside and "Defy Gravity" in every sense of the song title?

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Book Cover: Paola Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares
Paola Santiago and the Forest of Nightmares written by Tehlor Kay Mejia

Six months after Paola Santiago confronted the legendary La Llorona, life is nothing like she'd expected it to be. She is barely speaking to her best friends, Dante and Emma, and what's worse, her mom has a totally annoying boyfriend. Even with her chupacabra puppy, Bruto, around, Pao can't escape the feeling that she's all alone in the world. Pao has no one to tell that she's having nightmares again, this time set in a terrifying forest. Even more troubling? At their center is her estranged father, an enigma of a man she barely remembers. And when Dante's abuela falls mysteriously ill, it seems that the dad Pao never knew just might be the key to healing the eccentric old woman. Pao's search for her father will send her far from home, where she will encounter new monsters and ghosts, a devastating betrayal, and finally, the forest of her nightmares. Will the truths her father has been hiding save the people Pao loves, or destroy them?

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Book Cover: Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom
Kiki Kallira Breaks a Kingdom written by Sangu Mandanna

Kiki Kallira has always been a worrier. Did she lock the front door? Is there a terrible reason her mom is late? Recently her anxiety has been getting out of control, but one thing that has always soothed her is drawing. Kiki's sketchbook is full of fanciful doodles of the rich Indian myths and legends her mother has told her over the years. One day, her sketchbook's calming effect is broken when her mythological characters begin springing to life right out of its pages. Kiki ends up falling into the mystical world she drew, which includes a lot of wonderful discoveries like the band of rebel kids who protect the kingdom, as well as not-so-great ones like the ancient deity bent on total destruction. As the one responsible for creating the evil god, Kiki must overcome her fear and anxiety to save both worlds-the real and the imagined-from his wrath. But how can a girl armed with only a pencil defeat something so powerful?

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Book Cover: The Halloween Moon
The Halloween Moon written by Joseph Fink

Esther Gold loves Halloween more than anything in the world. So she is determined to go trick-or-treating again this year despite the fact that her parents think she is officially too old... But when the night rolls around, something feels... off. No one is answering their door. The moon is an unnatural shade of orange. Strange children wander the streets, wearing creepy costumes that might not be costumes at all.

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Book Cover: The Magical Imperfect
The Magical Imperfect written by Chris Baron

Etan has stopped speaking since his mother left. His father and grandfather don't know how to help him. His friends have given up on him. When Etan is asked to deliver a grocery order to the outskirts of town, he realizes he's at the home of Malia Agbayani, also known as the creature. Malia stopped going to school when her acute eczema spread to her face, and the bullying became too much. Soon, other kids tease Etan for being friends with the creature. But he believes he might have a cure for Malia's condition, if only he can convince his family and hers to believe it, too. Even if it works, will these two outcasts find where they fit in?

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Book Cover: How to Find What You're Not Looking For
How to Find What You're Not Looking For written by Veera Hiranandani

Ariel Goldberg's life changes when her big sister elopes following the 1967 Loving v. Virginia decision, and she's forced to grapple with both her family's prejudice and the antisemitism she experiences, as she defines her own beliefs. Twelve-year-old Ariel Goldberg's life feels like the moment after the final guest leaves the party. Her family's Jewish bakery shut down because of financial trouble, and her older sister has eloped with a young man from India following the Supreme Court decision that strikes down laws banning interracial marriage. As change becomes Ariel's only constant, she's left to hone something that will be with her always-her own voice.

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Book Cover: Frankie & Bug
Frankie & Bug written by Gayle Forman

It's the summer of 1987, and all ten-year-old Bug wants to do is go to the beach with her older brother and hang out with the locals on the boardwalk. But Danny wants to be with his own friends, and Bug's mom is too busy, so Bug is stuck with their neighbor Philip's nephew, Frankie. Bug's not too excited about hanging out with a kid she's never met, but they soon find some common ground. And as the summer unfolds, they find themselves learning some important lessons about each other, and the world. Like what it means to be your true self and how to be a good ally for others. That family can be the people you're related to, but also the people you choose to have around you. And that even though life isn't always fair, we can all do our part to make it more just.

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Book Cover: The Insiders
The Insiders written by Mark Oshiro

Three kids who don't belong. A room that shouldn't exist. A year that will change everything. San Francisco and Orangevale may be in the same state, but for Héctor Muñoz, they might as well be a million miles apart. Back home, being gay didn't mean feeling different. At Héctor's new school, he couldn't feel more alone. Most days, Héctor just wishes he could disappear. And he does. Right into the janitor's closet. (Yes, he sees the irony.) But one day, when the door closes behind him, Héctor discovers he's stumbled into a room that shouldn't be possible. A room that connects him with two new friends from different corners of the country-and opens the door to a life-changing year full of magic, friendship, and adventure. "Sometimes hilarious, sometimes devastating, but always full of heart, The Insiders carves out a space for us all to be our true selves.

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Book Cover: Ghost Girl
Ghost Girl written by Ally Malinenko

Zee Puckett loves ghost stories. She just never expected to be living one. It all starts with a dark and stormy night. When the skies clear, everything is different. People are missing. There's a creepy new principal who seems to know everyone's darkest dreams. And Zee is seeing frightening things: large, scary dogs that talk and maybe even . . . a ghost. When she tells her classmates, only her best friend Elijah believes her. Worse, mean girl Nellie gives Zee a cruel nickname: Ghost Girl. But whatever the storm washed up isn't going away. Everyone's most selfish wishes start coming true in creepy ways. To fight for what's right, Zee will have to embrace what makes her different and what makes her Ghost Girl. And all three of them-Zee, Elijah, and Nellie-will have to work together if they want to give their ghost story a happy ending.

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Book Cover: Paradise on Fire
Paradise on Fire written by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Addy is haunted by the tragic fire that killed her parents, leaving her to be raised by her grandmother. Now, years later, Addy's grandmother has enrolled her in a summer wilderness program. There, Addy joins five other Black city kids-each with their own troubles-to spend a summer out west. Deep in the forest the kids learn new (and to them) strange skills: camping, hiking, rock climbing, and how to start and safely put out campfires. Most important, they learn to depend upon each other for companionship and survival. But then comes a devastating forest fire... Addy is face-to-face with her destiny and haunting past. Developing her courage and resiliency against the raging fire, it's up to Addy to lead her friends to safety. Not all are saved. But remembering her origins and grandmother's teachings, she's able to use street smarts, wilderness skills, and her spiritual intuition to survive.

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Book Cover: Concealed
Concealed written by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

What if you had no name, no past, and no home? Ivette. Joanna. And now: Katrina Whatever her name is, it won't last long. Katrina doesn't know any of the details about her past, but she does know that she and her parents are part of the Witness Protection Program. Whenever her parents say they have to move on and start over, she takes on a new identity. A new name, a new hair color, a new story. Until their location leaks and her parents disappear. Forced to embark on a dangerous rescue mission, Katrina and her new friend Parker set out to save her parents-and find out the truth about her secret past and the people that want her family dead. But every new discovery reveals that Katrina's entire life has been built around secrets covered up with lies and that her parents were actually the ones keeping the biggest secret of all. Katrina must now decide if learning the whole truth is worth the price of losing everything she has ever believed about herself and her family.

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Book Cover: Sylvie
Sylvie written by Sylvie Kantorovitz

In a wise and witty graphic memoir, a young artist finds her path apart from the expectations of those around her. Sylvie lives in a school in France. Her father is the principal, and her home is an apartment at the end of a hallway of classrooms. As a young child, Sylvie and her brother explore this most unusual kingdom, full of small mysteries and quirky surprises. But in middle and high school, life grows more complicated. Sylvie becomes aware of her parents' conflicts, the complexities of shifting friendships, and what it means to be the only Jewish family in town. She also begins to sense that her perceived "success" relies on the pursuit of math and science-even though she loves art. In a funny and perceptive graphic memoir, author-illustrator Sylvie Kantorovitz traces her first steps as an artist and teacher. The text captures her poignant questioning and her blossoming confidence, while the droll illustrations depict her making art as both a means of solace and self-expression.

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Graphics Novels

Book Cover: The Secret Garden on 81st Street
The Secret Garden on 81st St written by Ivy Noelle Weir, illustrated by Amber Padilla

Entitled loner Mary Lennox moves to her uncle's house in New York when her parents pass and makes friends for the first time, who help her restore her uncle's abandoned rooftop garden, teaching her to grieve and grow.

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Book Cover: Borders
Borders written by Thomas King, illustrated by Natasha Donovan

From two celebrated Indigenous creators comes a powerful graphic novel about a family caught between nations. Borders is a masterfully told story of a boy and his mother whose road trip from Alberta to Salt Lake City is thwarted at the border when they identify their citizenship as Blackfoot. Refusing to identify as either American or Canadian first bars their entry into the US, and then their return into Canada. In the limbo between countries, they find power in their connection to their identity and to each other.

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Book Cover: Lilla the Accidental Witch
Lilla the Accidental Witch written by Eleanor Crewes

Magic is tough. Family is tougher. Boys are a complete mystery. Thirteen-year-old Lilla feels she is a bit different. She's quiet and shy and sometimes feels uncomfortable in the company of boys. She'd much rather spend time by herself drawing and daydreaming. This summer, while staying with her aunt in rural Italy, Lilla discovers a book of magic which reveals that she is a witch with special powers, the magic of 'Strega'. But unbeknownst to her, an ancient witch, Stregamama, threatens to ruin more than just her summer. Lilla is soon faced with a choice that could change her life forever.

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Book Cover: Iyanu: Child of Wonder
Iyanu: Child of Wonder written by Roye Okupe, illustrated by Godwin Akpan

A teenage orphan with no recollection of her past, suddenly discovers that she has abilities that rival the ancient deities told in the folklore of her people.

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Book Cover: Garlick & the Vampire
Garlic & the Vampire written by Bree Paulsen

Garlic must believe in herself to confront a bloodthirsty vampire who has moved into a nearby castle, in this humorous and heartwarming story that reminds readers that strangers are not always as scary as they seem.

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Book Cover: A Shot in the Arm!
A Shot in the Arm! written by Don Brown

A Shot in the Arm! is the history of vaccinations and the struggle to protect people from infectious disease. Beginning with smallpox-perhaps humankind's greatest affliction to date-and concluding with an overview of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown traces the evolution of vaccines and examines deadly diseases such as measles, polio, anthrax, rabies, cholera, and influenza. A reminder of progress made so far as well as the millions of lives still to be saved, A Shot in the Arm! is a fascinating deep-dive for readers young and old.

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Book Cover: Kraken Me Up
Kraken Me Up written by Jeffrey Ebbeler

When Izzie brings her pet Kraken to the county fair everyone thinks he is frightening, but he is like Izzie, sweet and shy, and Kraken and Izzie use creativity and humor to win over the crowd.

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Book Cover: Shell Quest
Shell Quest written by Steph Waldo

When a little slug finds new friends in the backyard, she notices they look a lot like her ... except they have shells! Maybe a shell is exactly what she needs to fit in--but finding one is a lot harder than it sounds!

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Nonfiction

Book Cover: Nina: A Story of Nina Simone
Nina: A Story of Nina Simone written by Traci N. Todd, illustrated by Christian Robinson

A biography of Nina Simone, an acclaimed singer whose music gave voice to the struggle for racial equality during the Civil Rights Movement.

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Book Cover: Born on the Water
Born on the Water written by Nikole Hannah-Jones and Renaee Watson, illustrated by Nikkolas Smith

Stymied by her unfinished family tree assignment for school, a young girl seeks Grandma's counsel and learns about her ancestors, the consequences of slavery, and the history of Black resistance in the United States.

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Book Cover: Stitch by Stitch
Stitch by Stitch: The Story of Cleve Jones and the AIDS Memorial Quilt written by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Jamey Christoph

Determined not to let history forget those who died of AIDS, activist Cleve Jones creates a memorial quilt to commemorate the lives of those lost and bring awareness to the disease.

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Book Cover: Picturing a Nation
Picturing a Nation: The Great Depression's Finest Photographers Introduce America to Itself written by Martin W. Sandler

SUMMARY

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Book Cover: How to Apologize
How to Apologize written by David LaRochelle

Wouldn't the world be a better place if everyone knew how to apologize? Luckily, this humorous guidebook is full of practical tips about when, why, and how to say you're sorry. From a porcupine who accidentally popped his friend's balloon to a snail who was running so fast he stepped on a sloth's toes, hilarious examples and sweet illustrations abound.

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Book Cover: Orange is an Apricot, Green is a Tree Frog
Orange is an Apricot, Green is a Tree Frog: Explore the Natural World Through Color written by Pascale Estellon

Orange Is an Apricot, Green Is a Tree Frog inspires young learners' curiosity in nature and language through the simple joy of connecting words and pictures through colors. Pascale Estellon's wonderfully detailed gouache illustrations bring the many shades of red, orange, yellow, blue, green, black, and white to life and serve as a beginner's field guide to new words and new worlds. Children will expand their vocabulary and delight in seeing words they already know while learning the names of new animals, plants, and fruits and vegetables.

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Book Cover: From the Tops of the Trees
From the Tops of the Trees written by Kao Kalia Yang, illustrated by Rachel Wada

Young Kalia has never known life beyond the fences of the Ban Vinai Refugee Camp. The Thai camp holds many thousands of Hmong families who fled in the aftermath of the little-known Secret War in Laos that was waged during America's Vietnam War. For Kalia and her cousins, life isn't always easy, but they still find ways to play, racing with chickens and riding a beloved pet dog.

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Book Cover: Counting Kindness
Counting Kindness: Ten Ways to Welcome Refugee Children written by Hollis Kurman, illustrated by Barroux

A warm and welcoming introduction to immigration, refugees, and inclusivity as children count from one to ten with one boat, two helping hands, and the generosity and kindness of many.

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Book Cover: Sharice's Big Voice
Sharice's Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman written by Sharice Davids with Nancy K. Mays, illustrated by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley

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.

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Book Cover: The People Remember
The People Remember written by Ibi Zoboi, illustrated by Loveis Wise

The People Remember tells the journey of African descendants in America by connecting their history to the seven principles of Kwanzaa. It begins in Africa, where people were taken from their homes and families. They spoke different languages and had different customs. Yet they were bound and chained together and forced onto ships sailing into an unknown future. Ultimately, all these people had to learn one common language and create a culture that combined their memories of home with new traditions that enabled them to thrive in this new land. Find more Kwanzaa books here.

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Tags: Book Talk

Comments / 1 comments

Dear Bklyn Public Library 125th, As a native New Yorker living in Amsterdam, I was especially delighted to see my book 'Counting Kindness: Ten Ways to Welcome Refugee Children' included in your wonderful list of books! Public libraries have a very special place in my heart. I also just wanted to let you know that the book is now also available in a bilingual Spanish-English edition in the U.S. ('A Contar Amabilidad'). We've donated many copies of my book to the refugee communities in the US and abroad. Warm regards to you and your young readers, Hollis Kurman https://holliskurman.com
9 months ago  

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