Milo Imagines
the World
Written by Matt de la Peña
Illustrated by Christian Robinson
G.P. PUTNAM’S SONS BOOKS
ALSO AVAILABLE IN SPANISH
Brilliantly imaginative, Milo reminds us that there is a lot
more to people beyond what we first see. I was a lot like
Milo when I was a kid; I was always doodling in my
precious sketchbooks, and I was also the child of an
incarcerated parent. It means so much to me to see
families like mine represented in childrens literature, and I
wish I had this book when I was a kid.
— Eli
Outside, Inside
by LeUyen Pham
ROARING BROOK PRESS
Caldecott Honoree LeUyen Pham
shows us all the ways people continued
to love, learn, and grow while social
distancing during the pandemic.
Through emotive illustrations and approachable text,
Pham explores both the hope and the hardship of
sheltering in place, and shows the important work done by
essential workers like doctors and grocers. Gentle yet
honest, this is the perfect book for families and classrooms
looking for a story to discuss the pandemic with children
of all ages. — Molly
Zonia’s Rain Forest
by Juana Martinez-Neal
CANDLEWICK PRESS
ALSO AVAILABLE IN SPANISH
The opening line “Zonia lives with
those she loves in the rain forest”
whispers a simple definition of
family and home that permeates this story. During her
morning check-ins with the animals, Zonia discovers a
clearcut patch. Zonia not only springs into action but
implores us all to take responsibility for safeguarding this
precious land. Martinez-Neal’s deeply textured paintings
on banana-bark paper beckon us, and endnotes introduce
us to the Asháninka people, the largest indigenous group
in the Peruvian Amazon. — Michelle
Out of Nowhere
by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros
SIMON & SCHUSTER BOOKS
I raced through this, so anxious to
know the fate of Chris
Naylor-Ballesteros’s beetle narrator
and their red friend—and then had to go back to linger
over the art and moments making up their story. A
deceptively simple book with a huge emotional impact, its
brief pages navigate friendship, courage, change, and the
joy that finds you when you let it. This is one of those
books you will read again and again, and it only gets
better with age. — Jocelyn
PICTURE BOOKS
NEW BOOKS FOR
SPRING
READING
Too Small Tola
Written by Atinuke
Illustrated by Onyinye Iwu
CANDLEWICK PRESS
From Atinuke, who brought us the
delightful world of Anna Hibiscus, comes
a brand-new character to fall in love with:
Too Small Tola, who “lives in a run-down block of
apartments in the megacity of Lagos, in the country of
Nigeria.” This small but mighty child will enchant readers
as they follow her adventures in Nigeria. Too Small Tola is
perfect for early readers who are looking for a sweet and
meaningful book. — Kathy
Doggo and Pupper, Book 1
Written by Katherine Applegate
Illustrated by Charlie Alder
FEIWEL & FRIENDS
Doggos daily routine is set; he never
deviates, and that’s just the way he likes it.
Then his humans get an idea (which is never good). In
comes Pupper, a rambunctious and mischievous puppy, to
break up Doggos expectations. Applegate, who normally
writes for an older crowd, has crafted a brilliant book for
newly independent readers. This is perfect for families
that are beginning to expand—in a furry or human
way—or for anyone who loves dogs! — Ivy
Amari and the Night
Brothers (Supernatural
Investigations, Book 1)
by B.B. Alston
BALZER & BRAY / HARPERTEEN
The mysterious delivery of a suitcase
triggered to open at midnight launches our hero Amari
into Junior Agent try-outs at the Bureau of Supernatural
Affairs, and us readers into an intricate all-new magical
system. The racism and classism faced by Amari in middle
school have parallels in this fantastical world created by
#ownvoices debut author B.B. Alston, but Amari has been
training for these challenges her whole life. Quick, read
this first book in a new trilogy!
— Michelle
EARLY CHAPTER BOOKS
Unspeakable:
The Tulsa Race Massacre
Written by Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
CAROLRHODA BOOKS
This is not an easy subject, but it is
vital. A century ago, something
unspeakable occured. Tulsa was prosperous for its Black
citizens. The white population stewed in resentments that
finally boiled over when a white lady screamed. Carole
Boston Weatherford and Floyd Cooper are the perfect
pair to take on this important, suppressed piece of history.
Handled with delicacy and love, I urge everyone to pick
this book and learn from the past. — Ivy
Gone to the Woods:
Surviving a Lost Childhood
by Gary Paulsen
FARRAR, STRAUS & GIROUX
Gary Paulsen, the author of Hatchet,
recounts his childhood memories in this
powerful and moving memoir. Paulsen
traverses his troubled childhood, from
finding joy and safety living in the Wisconsin woods with
his aunt and uncle, to navigating a bombed-out Manila
with his drunken parents, to meeting a kind librarian who
shows him the magic of books and encourages him to
write. This book deserves a place on the shelves of those
who fondly remember Paulsens novels, as well anyone
who loves great storytelling. — Kathy
How to Change
Everything
by Naomi Klein, with Rebecca Stefoff
ATHENEUM BOOKS
Naomi Klein and Rebecca Stefoffs new
book is absolutely engrossing and
informative. Inspired by stories of activists
around the globe (especially from the Southern
hemisphere and Indigenous communities), and
galvanized by tales of corporate greed and historical
analysis, I closed How to Change Everything and started
immediately brainstorming what to do next. For any
human (young or otherwise) who cares about climate
change, the environment, and social justice, and wants to
know more, this is a great place to start. — Jocelyn
NONFICTION
MIDDLE GRADE FICTION
Last Night at the
Telegraph Club
by Malinda Lo
DUTTON BOOKS
Set in 1950s San Francisco, this is a
beautiful coming-of-age story of a young
Chinese lesbian girl. Lily enters her senior
year with newfound curiosity about herself and why she
was interested in a club that features Tommy Andrews:
Male Impersonator. Upon befriending Kathleen, she has
an in at the club and, in turn, discovers a place where she
belongs. This book was nothing like I’d read before, and I
thoroughly enjoyed it to the very end. — Andrea
Firekeepers
Daughter
by Angeline Boulley
HENRY HOLT & COMPANY
Eighteen-year-old Daunis was meant for
great things; unfortunately, an injury and
a family tragedy have required her to stay
in her small hometown. With a white mother and an
Ojibwe father, she feels a constant sense of both
belonging and distance in her community. Integrating
Ojibwemowin with English, this crime thriller is lyrical and
suspenseful. It’s one of the most important books I’ve read
this year. — MJ
Lost in the
Never Woods
by Aiden Thomas
SWOON READS
Wendy and her brothers went missing
when she was thirteen. She returned
home after six months, without her
brothers or any memories of her time away. Five years
later, kids begin to go missing again and Wendy must
face her own trauma if shes to help the mysterious Peter
save them. A very loving retelling of a classic fairy tale,
but full of unexpected turns that keep you on your toes. I
couldn’t put it down until the mystery was solved. — Ivy
Agent 9:
Flood-A-Geddon!
by James Burks
RAZORBILL
AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK
Feline hero Agent 9 of the Super-Secret
Spy Service is on a mission to keep the
world safe from maniacal villains. King Crab has a
diabolical plan to melt the polar ice cap and build a
massive water park. Can Agent 9 save the day? Lots of
fast action, humor, and suspense. Readers who like Baby
Mouse or Mighty Robot should give this book a try.
— Noreen
Katie the Catsitter,
Book 1
Written by Colleen AF Venable
Illustrated by Stephanie Yue
RANDOM HOUSE BOOKS
AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK
Katie can’t afford to go to summer camp, so she decides
to take on odd jobs from her neighbors in order to raise
the money to join her friends. She begins catsitting for
her neighbor upstairs, whose cats—ALL 217 OF
THEM—are absolutely hilarious... and possibly evil? This
was a delightful read that had me chuckling all the way
through, and it would be perfect for fans of superheroes
or cats (like me!).
— Eli
Delicates
(Sheets, Volume 2)
by Brenna Thummler
ONI PRESS
AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK
Have you ever been friends with a
ghost? Majorie is friends with several,
and Eliza is set on photographing one, even if everyone
thinks it's weird. The setting reminds me of a pastel
Stranger Things and captures a feeling I remember from
eighth grade, of growing up where there are new friends
but being a kid is not that far behind. Delicates is a
reminder that you don’t have to feel like a middle school
ghost; there are always people who see you.
— Celeste
YOUNG ADULT
GRAPHIC NOVELS
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