Picture Books and Beginner Readers
Festival of Colors Kabir Sehgal & Surishtha Sehga, Illustrated by Vashti Harrison Sibilings Chintoo and Mintoo collect flowers and press the petals into a fine powder as they prepare for Holi, the Indian springtime Festival of Colors.
Hello Lighthouse by Sophie Blackall, Explores the life of one lighthouse as it beams its message out to sea through shifting seasons, changeable weather, and the tenure of its final keeper
Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love, While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Juliań gets home, daydreaming of the magic he's seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes--and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself?
Yasmin the Builder by Saadia Faruqi, Illustrated by Hatem Aly As their makerspace project the students in Yasmin's second grade class are building a city: there are houses, a school, a church, even a castle, but Yasmin is not sure what to build--until inspiration strikes.
Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed In Pakistan, Amal holds onto her dream of being a teacher even after becoming an indentured servant to pay off her family's debt to the wealthy and corrupt Khan family.
Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T Anderson Uptight elfin historian Brangwain Spurge is on a mission: survive being catapulted across the mountains into goblin territory, deliver a priceless peace offering to their mysterious dark lord, and spy on the goblin kingdom - from which no elf has returned alive in more than a hundred years. Brangwain's host, the goblin archivist Werfel, is delighted to show Brangwain around. They should be the best of friends, but a series of extraordinary double crosses, blunders, and cultural misunderstandings throws these two bumbling scholars into the middle of an international crisis that may spell death for them -- and war for their nation
Breakout by Kate Messner From multiple perspectives, tells of a time capsule project and the middle schoolers who contribute, including future journalist Nora Tucker and newcomer Elidee Jones, whose brother is in the local prison
The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis When his poor sharecropper father is killed in an accident and leaves the family in debt, twelve-year-old Little Charlie agrees to accompany fearsome plantation overseer Cap'n Buck north in pursuit of people who have stolen from him. Cap'n Buck tells Little Charlie that his father's debt will be cleared when the fugitives are captured, which seems like a good deal until Little Charlie comes face-to-face with the people he is chasing
Stella Diaz Has Something to Say by Angel Dominguez Stella Díaz loves marine animals, especially her betta fish, Pancho. But Stella Díaz is not a betta fish. Betta fish like to be alone, while Stella loves spending time with her mom and brother and her best friend Jenny. Trouble is, Jenny is in another class this year, and Stella feels very lonely. When a new boy arrives in Stella's class, she really wants to be his friend, but sometimes Stella accidentally speaks Spanish instead of English and pronounces words wrong, which makes her turn roja. Plus, she has to speak in front of her whole class for a big presentation at school! But she better get over her fears soon, because Stella Díaz has something to say!
The Truth As Told by Mason Buttle by Leslie Connor Mason Buttle is the biggest, sweatiest kid in his grade, and everyone knows he can barely read or write. Mason's learning disabilities are compounded by grief. Fifteen months ago, Mason's best friend, Benny Kilmartin, turned up dead in the Buttle family's orchard. An investigation drags on, and Mason, honest as the day is long, can't understand why Lieutenant Baird won't believe the story Mason has told about that day. Both Mason and his new friend, tiny Calvin Chumsky, are relentlessly bullied by the other boys in their neighborhood, so they create an underground club space for themselves. When Calvin goes missing, Mason finds himself in trouble again. He's desperate to figure out what happened to Calvin, and eventually, Benny. But will anyone believe him?
Blood Water Paint by Joy McCullough, In Renaissance Italy, Artemisia Gentileschi endures the subjugation of women that allows her father to take credit for her extraordinary paintings, rape and the ensuing trial, and torture, buoyed by her deceased mother's stories of strong women of the Bible.
Children of Blood and Bone by Toi Adyemi Seventeen-year-old Zélie, her older brother Tzain, and rogue princess Amari fight to restore magic to the land and activate a new generation of magi, but they are ruthlessly pursued by the crown prince, who believes the return of magic will mean the end of the monarchy.
The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo, Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about. With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems. Because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.
Circe by Madeline Miller, Follow Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios, as she hones her powers and interacts with famous mythological beings before a conflict with one of the most vengeful Olympians forces her to choose between the worlds of the gods and mortals"
Pachinko by Min Jee Lee, Follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan. So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik, A retelling of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale. Miryem is the daughter and granddaughter of moneylenders, but her father is not a very good one. Free to lend and reluctant to collect, he has left his family on the edge of poverty, until Miryem intercedes. Hardening her heart, she sets out to retrieve what is owed, and soon gains a reputation for being able to turn silver into gold. But when an ill-advised boast brings her to the attention of the cold creatures who haunt the wood, nothing will be the same again. For words have power, and the fate of a kingdom will be forever altered by the challenge she issued.
The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell, A group of neighborhood children create[s] costumes from cardboard and use their imagination in adventures with knights, robots, and monsters
Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide by Isabel Quintero, In graphic novel format looks at the life of Mexican photographer, Graciela Iturbide.
The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang, Prince Sebastian is looking for a bride or rather, his parents are looking for one for him. Sebastian is too busy hiding his secret life from everyone. At night he puts on daring dresses and takes Paris by storm as the fabulous Lady Crystallia, the hottest fashion icon in the world capital of fashion! Sebastian's secret weapon (and best friend) is the brilliant dressmaker Frances one of only two people who know the truth: sometimes this boy wears dresses. But Frances dreams of greatness, and being someone's secret weapon means being a secret. Forever. How long can Frances defer her dreams to protect a friend?
The Unwanted: Stories of Syrian Refugees by Don Brown, Don Brown depicts moments of both heartbreaking horror and hope in the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis
Boots on the Ground America's War in Vietnam by Elizabeth Partridge, An exploration of the Vietnam War from many different perspectives including an American soldiers, a nurse, and a Vietnamese refugee
Joan Procter, Dragon Doctor: The Woman Who Loved Reptiles by Patricia Valdez, A picture book biography of Joan Procter, an English woman who loved reptiles and, while a curator of reptiles at the London Zoo in the 1920s, worked with Komodo dragons.