With school starting here are a few suggestions to read together as the weather starts changing.
Boo Who? Written and illustrated by Ben Clanton
Boo the shy ghost is new to the playground and has trouble fitting in with the other creatures until they find a game at which he excels. This simple picture book would be good to read with kids facing new schools or experiences.
Mighty Moby Text by Barbara DaCosta, Illustrated by Ed Young
In spite of its menacing looking cover this beautifully illustrated picture book based on the story of Moby Dick deserves a read and kids will appreciate the surprise ending. I expect this to be another Caldecott contender for Young whose mixed media panels put a new twist on the story of Mighty Moby.
Auma’s Long Run by Eucabeth Odihiambo
I gave this debut novel about the beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Kenya a starred review for School Library Journal. Auma is a track star who is determined to continue her education in spite of the cultural norms for girls in her community and find out why the disease known as “slim” is killing so many people in her village including her own parents. Auma’s determination is inspiring and this difficult subject is handled with sensitivity by Odhiambo who herself lived and studied in Kenya.
This is Just a Test by Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang
This hilarious book follows David Da-Wei Horowitz as he prepares for his bar mitzvah in the middle of the Cold War 80s. Surviving a nuclear war almost seems easier than navigating his warring Chinese and Jewish grandmothers who are always arguing. David finds there is more commonality between both the cultures and his grandmothers than it first appears as he gets ready for his rite of passage.
J Graphic Novel
Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson
This charming debut novel from graphic artist Terri Libenson portrays two girls – introverted artistic Emmie and perfect popular Katie who both like the same boy. Who he chooses may surprise you. For fans of Raina Telgemeier and awkward girls.
Windfall by Jennifer Smith
Alice buys her best friend Teddy, with whom she is secretly in love, a winning lottery ticket on his eighteenth birthday. The money will change Teddy’s life and their relationship, but will it be for the better? This is a thoughtful book about loss and friendship and letting people help you.
Solo by Kwame Alexander
Award winning author Alexander writes another engaging book in verse about the son of a rock star whose life falls spectacularly and publically apart at his high school graduation and comes back together on a mission to Africa. One reviewer called it a “contemporary hero’s journey” with a rock sound track. Also great on audio.
The Importance of Being Little by Erika Christakis
This one is for parents. Yale early childhood expert Christakis makes a powerful argument for reimagining the preschool learning environment to stress the skills advocated by Every Child Ready to Read and including more creativity and play.
Sarah Wilsman is the Head of Youth Services at the Bainbridge Branch. She is currently listening to The Radium Girls by Kate Moore and reading Vincent & Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers by Deborah Heiligman.