Cultural Diversity

*Wang Mingdao by Simonetta Carr

The latest volume of the Christian Biographies series introduces Wang Mingdao, a father of the Chinese evangelical church, to young readers. *Wang Mingdao by Simonetta ...
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Kailani’s Gift by Dorian Lazo Gilmore-Young

Kailani's Gift features a young girl who wants to honor her grandparents for their 50th wedding anniversary by learning tinikling. Kailani's Gift by Dorian Lazo ...
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Global Prayer Resources: Operation World and Window on the World and More

How can we better pray for our brothers and sisters around the world? Operation World and Window on the World help us pray for God's ...
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*Rwendigo Tales by J. A. Myhre

Dr. Myhre wrote the engaging Rwendigo Tales, a middle grades series with spiritual overtones, based upon her experience as a doctor serving in Africa. Note: ...
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Picture Books about Making a Difference in Print: Amazing Abe and Holding Her Own

Two recent picture books show how trailblazing newspaper writers gave a voice to racial and ethnic minorities in America. Amazing Abe: How Abraham Cahan’s Newspaper ...
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*Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

We've updated our review of this gem: a lovely story about gratitude and Chinese mythology for middle grades. Note: this is one of our featured ...
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This Day in History for Kids by Dan Bova

This Day in History for Kids is a year-long tour through historical events political and cultural, trivial and profound. This Day in History for Kids: ...
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The Night War by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

The Night War is the WWII story of a Jewish girl in Paris choosing to be brave when Nazis take everything from her. The Night ...
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On All Other Nights, edited by Chris Baron, Joshua Levy, and Naomi Milliner

On All Other Nights uses the perspective of 14 authors to detail every step of the Seder Meal observed by Jewish families during Passover (recipes ...
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Papá’s Magical Water-Jug Clock

Jesús is excited to work with his Papá on a busy Saturday full of yards to mow, and as soon as the water jug is ...
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Julie Fogliano, Children’s Poet

Julie Fogliano's poetry for children expects them to read between the lines, to appreciate a delicate, spare language. And it works. She understands the essence ...
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The Book Scavenger Series by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

The Book Scavenger Series is an engaging middle grades mystery series for book lovers and puzzle aficionados. Book Scavenger Series by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman. Square ...
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Lauren Castillo’s Art: Nana in the Country, It’s Not Time for Sleeping, Twenty Yawns, The Ramble Shamble Children

Lauren Castillo's bold outlines and childlike compositions make these books accessible to young readers and their parents, too. Her books are universally cheerful and vibrant, ...
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*One Big Open Sky by Lesa Cline-Ransome

One Big Open Sky fills a history gap with the story of black settlers heading west in wagon trains. *One Big Open Sky by Lesa ...
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The Empty Pot by Demi

The Empty Pot is a lovely tale from China about the rewards of honesty and integrity. The Empty Pot by Demi, Square Fish. 32 pages. ...
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Something Like Home by Andrea Beatrix Arango

A poignant novel-in-verse explores the question: "What is home when your world turns upside-down?" Something Like Home, Andrea Beatrix Arango, Random House Books for Young ...
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Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina

The Juana and Lucas chapter-book series offers entertaining glimpses into the daily life of an exuberant Colombian 8-year-old. Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina. Candlewick, ...
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*Houses with a Story by Seiji Yoshida

Houses with a Story offers both a fascinating tour of storybook dwellings and a springboard to imagination. *Houses with Story: A Dragon’s Den, a Ghostly ...
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Picture Books about Latin America: Martin de Porres, A Flicker of Hope, and Water Day

Latin Americans are Americans too! Three picture books from past and present that shed light on our neighbors to the south. Martin de Porres: The ...
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Across so Many Seas by Ruth Behar

Across So Many Seas tracks the destiny of a Jewish family exiled from Spain in 1492. Across So Many Seas by Ruth Behar. Nancy Paulsen ...
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Eagle Drums by Nasugraq Raney Hopson

The Newbery Honor novel Eagle Drums portrays the mythical origin of a cherished tradition of the Iñupiat people. Eagle Drums by Nasugraq Raney Hopson. Roaring ...
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Between Two Brothers by Crystal Allen

In Between Two Brothers, a boy struggles for forgiveness and reconciliation after his older brother is seriously injured in a traffic accident. Between Two Brothers ...
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Big by Vashti Harrison

In Big, winner of the 2024 Caldecott medal, one young girl learns to be kind to herself, despite the words of others. Big by Vashti ...
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*African Heroes by Jerome Gay, Jr.

African Heroes introduces children to heroes of the faith who are from Africa in this vibrantly illustrated picture book from New Growth Press. Note: this ...
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Hope in the Valley book cover

2024 Newbery Buzz #5: Hope in the Valley by Mitali Perkins

It’s no secret to long-time RR readers that we love Mitali Perkins (*and* her books). We’ve reviewed nearly all of them to date, from picture ...
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Newbery Roundup 2: Mexikid, The Swifts, and Shira and Esther’s Double-Dream Debut

This is second of our roundup series of possible Newbery contenders for 2024. See the first roundup here. Mexikid: A Graphic Memoir by Pedro Martin. ...
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Newbery Roundup 1: Jawbreaker, When Sea Becomes Sky, Duel

Two weeks from now (January 22), the American Library Association will announce their Youth Media Award winners, including the Newbery and Caldecott. We’ve kept an ...
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2024 Newbery Buzz #3: The Puppets of Spelhorst

Kate DiCamillo's very first book won a Newbery honor, and she has won two Newbery medals on top of that. Is The Puppets of Spelhorst ...
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Family Style by Thien Pham

In Family Style, cartoonist Thien Pham recalls his escape from Vietnam and growing up in America through a series of meals. Family Style: Memories of ...
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2024 Newbery Buzz #1: A First Time for Everything by Dan Santat

A First Time For Everything has already won the National Book Award for Young People's Literature. Could it also win the Newbery? We're kicking off ...
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Remember Us by Jacqueline Woodson

Remember Us is a quiet novel that ponders the conundrum of change and permanence. Remember Us by Jacqueline Woodson. Nancy Paulsen Books (PRH), 2023, 192 ...
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Two Picture Books on Words and Storytelling: Sholem’s Treasure and The Language of Angels

The Language of Angels and Sholem’s Treasure illustrate how great an influence word and history has had on Jewish culture. The Language of Angels: A ...
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*Saving H’Non: Chang and the Elephant by Trang Nguyen

Saving H'Non beautifully employs a graphic-novel format to tell the true story of an animal rescue and faithful human stewardship. *Saving H’Non: Chang and the ...
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Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust by Loic Dauvillier

Hidden: A Child’s Story of the Holocaust is a suitable introduction for grades 2-4 to this terrible chapter in history. Hidden: A Child’s Story of ...
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Children of Israel: Our Book List of Jewish Life, History, and Culture

The terrifying attack on Israel on October 7 has brought new awareness to the ancient phenomenon of antisemitism. Though small in number (and reduced by ...
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*Memories of Survival by Esther Nisenthal Krinitz and Bernice Steinhardt

A Jewish woman who lived through World War II in Poland and had to hide in order to survive tells her story through fabric and ...
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*Seeds of America Trilogy by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Seeds of America Trilogy powerfully examines some of the complex ideas of the American Revolution: freedom, justice, and equality for all. Seeds of America ...
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Chinese Menu by Grace Lin

Chinese Menu traces the origin of everybody’s favorite Chinese dishes, from wonton soup to rice fortune cookies. Chinese Menu: The History, Myths, and Legends behind ...
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The Improbable Tales of Baskerville Hall by Ali Standish

The Improbable Tales of Baskerville Hall series imagines the mysterious education of a classic mystery writer. The Improbable Tales of Baskerville Hall by Ali Standish. ...
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Once There Was by Kiyash Monsef

In the tradition of Susan Cooper, a lyrical, dark fantasy for mature middle grade readers. Once There Was by Kiyash Monsef. Simon & Schuster Books ...
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*Hope in the Valley by Mitali Perkins

Hope in the Valley captures one girl’s momentous summer as she processes grief, grapples with change, and finds her own voice along the way. *Hope ...
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In the Tunnel by Julie Lee

In the Tunnel takes readers into the savagery and family upheaval of the Korean War . In the Tunnel by Julie Lee. Holiday House, 2023, ...
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When Clouds Touch Us by Thanhhà Lai

When Clouds Touch Us follows up the award-winning Inside Out and Back Again with the further adventures of a Vietnamese refugee family in the 1970s. ...
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*Nearer My Freedom by Monica Edinger and Lesley Younge

Nearer My Freedom uses the actual text of an 18th-century memoir to create a poetic account of an extraordinary life story. *Nearer My Freedom: The ...
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American Born Chinese by Gene Yuen Yang

American Born Chinese is a coming-of-age story with great spiritual insight in graphic novel format. American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang. FirstSecond, 2021 (reprint). ...
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Songs of America by Jon Meacham and Tim McGraw

Songs of America takes an interesting approach to American history—tracing our story through popular tunes and lyrics. Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music ...
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Gladys Hunt on Diversity

“Teacher, do you have any books with pictures of kids that look like me?” Originally published on the Tumblon website, October 10, 2009 Probably more ...
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The Guardian Test by Christina Soontornvat

The Legends of Lotus Island series follows a child of destiny as she seeks to pass “The Guardian Test.” The Guardian Test (Legends of Lotus ...
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The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams by Daniel Nayeri: A Book Discussion

The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams by Daniel Nayeri: Betsy and Janie Discuss Betsy: Janie, you and I both (eagerly) received advance ...
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*Bright April by Marguerite De Angeli

Themes of loving nature, loving one's neighbor, and loving Truth are woven through Bright April, a story that gracefully handles racism and the dignity of ...
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School Trip by Jerry Craft

School Trip, a companion novel to Newbery-winning New Kid, launches the Riverdale Academy students on a tour of Paris. School Trip by Jerry Craft. Quill ...
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Not an Easy Win by Chrystal D. Giles

Not an Easy Win is the encouraging story of a displaced young man finding purpose and life lessons in the game of chess. Not an ...
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The Silence of Bones by June Hur

Can Seol figure out what happened to her brother even as she investigates a murder? The Silence of Bones is a gritty, historical mystery for ...
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Honey and Me by Meira Drazin

Honey and Me explores the fun and challenge of middle-grade friendship in the context of the Orthodox Jewish community. Honey and Me by Meira Drazin. ...
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All My Rage by Saaba Tahir

All My Rage, winner of the 2023 Printz Award, follows a pair of Pakistani-American teens from uncertainty through trauma to stability and hope. All My ...
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*Dragonfly Eyes by Cao Wenxuan

Dragonfly Eyes is a slowly-unfolding, beautiful picture of family love and loyalty during the stressful days of China’s Cultural Revolution. *Dragonfly Eyes by Cao Wenxuan, ...
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CSK Illlustrator Roundup: Standing in the Need of Prayer, Me and the Boss, and The Talk

The Coretta Scott King award, an prominent part of the annual ALA Youth Media Awards, honors African American authors and illustrators of outstanding books for ...
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Victory, Stand! by Tommie Smith and Derrick Barnes

Victory, Stand!, this year's ALA YA nonfiction award winner, tells the story of the notorious "Olympic fist" from a point of view that makes it ...
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2023 Newbery Winner: Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson

Freewater, this year's Newbery Medal winner, is as much an adventure tale as little-known history. Freewater by Amina Luqman-Dawson. Little, Brown (James Patterson Presents), 2022, ...
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When Winter Robeson Came

When Winter Robeson Came by Brenda Woods

History and a summer adventure combine in an engaging, slim, novel-in-verse for middle grade readers. When Winter Robeson Came by Brenda Woods. Nancy Paulsen Books, ...
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The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen by Isaac Blum

“Hoodie Rosen” introduces teen readers to the Orthodox Jewish world and the reality of antisemitism. The Life and Crimes of Hoodie Rosen by Isaac Blum. ...
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Caldecott Honor Roundup: Ain’t Burned All the Bright, Berry Song, Choosing Brave, and Knight Owl

This year's Caldecott honor books explore a range of moods from wistful to whimsical. Ain’t Burned All the Bright by Jason Reynolds, illustrated by Jason ...
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Too Small Tola and the Three Fine Girls by Atinuke

"Too Small Tola" returns in a second volume of this warm-hearted series of Nigerian family life. Too Small Tola and the Three Fine Girls by ...
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2023 Newbery Buzz Roundup #2: Frizzy, How to Build a Human, and Attack of the Black Rectangles

The American Library Association will announce the winners of its very influential Youth Media Awards, headed by the Newbery and Caldecott. Since we can't help ...
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Newbery Roundup #1: Freestyle, Swim Team, and Maizy Chen’s Last Chance

Three novels for middle-grades that may be under consideration for this year's top prize Freestyle by Gale Galligan. Graphix; (Scholastic), 2022, 322 pages. (Ages 10-14) ...
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2023 Newbery Buzz #2: The Door of No Return

Back for our second buzz, Janie and Betsy talk over a troubling but moving verse novel. Out of Africa Janie: Kwame Alexander scored a gold ...
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The Lucky Ones by Linda Williams Jackson

In The Lucky Ones, an impoverished family in the rural south takes a big step up during the Civil Rights struggles of the 1960s. The ...
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2023 Newbery Buzz #1: A Rover’s Story

It's that time again, readers! The hour for selecting winners of the world's most prestigious children's book award draws near. Redeemed Reader has little (that ...
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cover of two old women

*Two Old Women by Velma Wallis

Two Old Women, a legend from Alaska, reminds us to persevere and to seek the good of those around us. *Two Old Women: An Alaska ...
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Peace Is a Chain Reaction by Tanya Lee Stone

Peace Is a Chain Reaction tells a little-known story of World War II and how former enemies of opposite sides of an ocean came together ...
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Cover of The Star that Always Stays

*The Star that Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson

In a debut novel reminiscent of Maud Hart Lovelace and Laura Ingalls Wilder, a young girl discovers new friends, family, and hope. *The Star that ...
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A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga

A Rover's Story employs an unusual protagonist to celebrate science, space exploration, and humanity. A Rover’s Story by Jasmine Warga. Balzer+Bray, 2022, 294 pages. Reading ...
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cover of king of christmas

The King of Christmas by Todd R. Hains and illustrated by Natasha Kennedy

The King of Christmas reminds young children where to look for Jesus, just as the wise men looked for Him at that first Christmas. The ...
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The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander

The Door of No Return uses beautifully modulated verse to communicate the humanity of the Ashanti people and the horrors of the African slave trade. ...
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Black Bird, Blue Road by Sofiya Pasternack

Black Bird, Blue Road is set in a neglected period of world history and explores the subject of death through a lens of Jewish mythology. ...
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cover of the red palace

*The Red Palace by June Hur

Eighteenth century Korea comes to life in The Red Palace, a gripping—and gritty—historical mystery for teens. *The Red Palace by June Hur. Feiwel and Friends, ...
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*Jack Zulu and the Waylander’s Key by S.D. Smith and J. C. Smith

Jack Zulu finds adventure where he least expects it in this new middle grades fantasy series opener from S. D. Smith. Jack Zulu and the ...
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Brand New Kid by David Almond

Brand New Boy explores the "humanity" of manufactured humans through the eyes of curious middle-school students. Brand New Boy by David Almond, with pictures by ...
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New From Here by Kelly Yang

New from Here looks at the recent pandemic through the perspective of an Asian-American family hoping to escape the virus in California. New from Here ...
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Picture Book Round Up: Cora Cooks Pancit, Thoughtfull, Rice From Heaven, My Breakfast With Jesus

Four picture books encourage young listeners to notice the people around them, to serve with kindness, and to celebrate the diversity of God's church. Some ...
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Cookies & Milk by Shawn Amos

Cookies & Milk is an enjoyable fictionalized account of the world’s first chocolate-chip cookie store and the launch of a “famous” business. Cookies & Milk ...
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Crazy Horse and Custer: Born Enemies by S. D. Nelson

Crazy Horse and Custer: Born Enemies addresses the bloody and complex history of the U.S. Indian Wars with honesty and clarity. Crazy Horse and Custer: ...
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born behind bars

Born Behind Bars by Padma Venkatramen

When Kabir leaves jail at age nine, he enters a world unknown to him: the free world. A delicate and sensitive novel for middle grades. ...
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*Psalm Twenty-Three and *The Lord’s Prayer, both illustrated by Tim Ladwig

Tim Ladwig illustrates two well-known Biblical texts, using Black families in urban settings in these picture books. *Psalm Twenty-Three, illustrated by Tim Ladwig. Eerdmans, 1997. ...
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*When Daddy Prays by Nikki Grimes and illustrated by Tim Ladwig

When Daddy Prays shows a child's view of his pastor father, praying during all of life. Beautifully illustrated. *When Daddy Prays by Nikki Grimes and ...
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Each of Us a Universe by Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo

Two girls with big problems draw resilience from each other and the "Magic" of the Universe. Each of Us a Universe by Jeanne Zulick Ferruolo ...
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cover image of the big wide welcome

Picture Book Round Up: The Big Wide Welcome, God Cares for Me, Love Is, Rice From Heaven, My Breakfast With Jesus

Three picture books remind young listeners to love people as Jesus loves, to show compassion for the sick, and provide an opportunity to see a ...
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Bestselling YA: A Look at the 2022 Market

Aside from one graphic-novel romance series, novels about death and murder dominate the current YA scene. Where's hope? What are kids reading these days? As ...
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The Last Mapmaker by Christina Soontornvat

In The Last Mapmaker, a low-born but spirited girl, an aged craftsman, and high stakes at sea make for a satisfying adventure. The Last Mapmaker ...
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Polo Cowboy by G. Neri

Cole learns to be a polo cowboy despite bullying and prejudice in this interesting follow-up to Ghetto Cowboy. Polo Cowboy by G. Neri and illustrated ...
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For Every Little Thing by June Cotner and Nancy Tupper Ling

For Every Little Thing invites children to celebrate each moment of the day through poems and prayers drawn from a wide range of religious and ...
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New Picture Books: Knight Owl, Hello Puddle!, All from a Walnut, Hundred Years of Happiness

Four new picture books take a humorous look at knighthood, explore backyard science, and appreciate grandparents. Knight Owl by Christopher Denise. Little, Brown, 2022,40 pages ...
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Troublemaker by John Cho

Troublemaker honestly pictures generational, cultural, and racial conflict against the background of the Los Angeles riots of 1992. Troublemaker by John Cho. Little, Brown, 2022, ...
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*A Duet for Home by Karina Yan Glaser

A Duet for Home portrays the plight of the homeless as far from hopeless—or helpless. *A Duet for Home by Karina Yan Glaser. Clarion Books, ...
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Blue by Nan Ekua Brew-Hammon

What’s special about the color blue? A lot! Blue: A History of the Color as Deep as the Sea and Wide as the Sky Nana ...
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cover of Becoming

Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers by Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama's Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers is a winsome, engaging look at how one young woman went from Chicago's South Side to the White ...
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Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall

Prisoners of Geography helps kids understand how natural features shape history and economics. Prisoners of Geography: Our World Explained in 12 Simple Maps by Tim ...
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Printz Honor Books Roundup: Last Night at the Telegraph Club, Concrete Rose, Revolution in Our Time, Starfish

The Michael L. Printz Award is given by the American Library Association for “Excellence in literature written for young adults.” Last year’s winner was Everything ...
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Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

A striking debut novel for older teens that is simultaneously gritty and tender, gripping and thought-provoking. Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley. Henry Holt, 2021. 496 ...
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Revolution in Our Time by Kekla Magoon

The award-winning Revolution in Our Time offers a compelling but incomplete picture of the rise and fall of the Black Panther Party. Revolution in Our ...
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