LIBRARY IDEA FOR SEPTEMBER:

HISTORY OF BOOK CENSORSHIP: This presentation is perfect for Banned Books Week or as an introduction to book burning in Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. The slides give a brief history of nine censorship and book banning incidents in world history.

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BOOK OF NIGHTCharlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn’t pick, a book she couldn’t steal, or a bad decision she wouldn’t make.

She’s spent half her life working for gloamists, magicians who manipulate shadows to peer into locked rooms, strangle people in their beds, or worse. Gloamists guard their secrets greedily, creating an underground economy of grimoires. And to rob their fellow magicians, they need Charlie Hall…

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Library Challenge #1 tasks you with an annual review (or maybe your first review) of your library's Selection and Reconsideration Policies.

LIBRARY CHALLENGE #1 Are library book challenges scary? I think so! But they are much less scary when you have a strong plan. When you know exactly what to do

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This article is 10 essential tips for new school librarians. These are the 10 things you should do FIRST in your new school library.

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This is a collection of fun ideas for middle school library orientation. Even if you don't use the ideas, the videos are a lot of fun to watch!

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New Release Spotlight: August 30, 2022

Sink your teeth into a GREAT New Release Spotlight this week! This is the best one we’ve had in a few weeks, so you know we are getting close to September, one of the biggest months of the year for new book releases.

You can tell Halloween is coming soon–check out all the new horror and scary books this week! A few are even set during Halloween. Popular authors this week include: Karen McManus, Roshani Chokshi, Dan Gemeinhart, Nick Lake, Steve Jenkins, Elana Arnold, and Matt de la Pena!

I’ve also added the scrolling slideshow for you again this week! I’ve worked the presentation creation into my schedule, so I should be able to create it every week or most every week. It’s been a popular addition! Click the link below the presentation to make a copy for your Google Drive. All titles are fleshed out in more detail in the post.

This week’s top picks:

  • Nothing More to Tell by Karen M. McManus (YA)
  • Lily and the Night Creatures by Nick Lake (MG)
  • Sal Boat: A Boat by Sal by Thyra Heder (PB)

This week’s Spotlight titles are #2697-#2718 on The Ginormous book list.


Click here to “make a copy” for your Google Drive. 100% editable!
 


*Nothing More to Tell by Karen M. McManus

Four years ago, Brynn left Saint Ambrose School following the shocking murder of her favorite teacher–a story that made headlines after the teacher’s body was found by three Saint Ambrose students in the woods behind their school. The case was never solved. Now that Brynn is moving home and starting her dream internship at a true-crime show, she’s determined to find out what really happened.

The kids who found Mr. Larkin are her way in, and her ex–best friend, Tripp Talbot, was one of them. Without his account of events, the other two kids might have gone down for Mr. Larkin’s murder–but instead, thanks to Tripp, they’re now at the top of the Saint Ambrose social pyramid. Tripp’s friends have never forgotten what Tripp did for them that day, and neither has he. Just like he hasn’t forgotten that everything he told the police was a lie.

Digging into the past is bound to shake up the present, and when Brynn begins to investigate what happened in the woods that day, she uncovers secrets that might change everything–about Saint Ambrose, about Mr. Larkin, and about her ex-best friend, Tripp Talbot.

Four years ago someone got away with murder. More terrifying is that they might be closer than anyone thinks.

Kirkus and Publishers Weekly starred.

  • Genre(s): thriller, mystery
  • Setting: Sturgis, Massachusetts; present day
  • Recommended for: Grades 9-12
  • Themes: unsolved mysteries, cold cases, murder, podcasts, internships, former best friends, lies, secrets, police, crime investigations, detectives, journalism, plot twists
  • Protagonist description: female, age 17, white; teen male, white

*This Is Why They Hate Us by Aaron H. Aceves

Debut author! Enrique “Quique” Luna has one goal this summer–get over his crush on Saleem Kanazi by pursuing his other romantic prospects. Never mind that he’s only out to his best friend, Fabiola. Never mind that he has absolutely zero game. And definitely forget the fact that good and kind and, not to mention, beautiful Saleem is leaving LA for the summer to meet a girl his parents are trying to set him up with.

Luckily, Quique’s prospects are each intriguing in their own ways. There’s stoner-jock Tyler Montana, who might be just as interested in Fabiola as he is in Quique; straitlaced senior class president, Ziggy Jackson; and Manny Zuniga, who keeps looking at Quique like he’s carne asada fresh off the grill. With all these choices, Quique is sure to forget about Saleem in no time.

But as the summer heats up and his deep-seated fears and anxieties boil over, Quique soon realizes that getting over one guy by getting under a bunch of others may not have been the best laid plan and living his truth can come at a high cost.

Kirkus and Booklist starred.

  • Genre(s): romance
  • Setting: East LA, California; present day
  • Recommended for: Grades 9-12
  • Themes: coming out, sexual exploration, self-discovery, queer teens
  • Protagonist description: male, age 17, Mexican American, bisexual

Three Kisses, One Midnight by Roshani Chokshi (Author), Sandhya Menon (Author), and Evelyn Skye (Author)

The town of Moon Ridge was founded 400 years ago and everyone born and raised there knows the legend of the young woman who perished at the stroke of twelve that very same night, losing the life she was set to embark on with her dearest love. Every century since, one day a year, the Lady of Moon Ridge descends from the stars to walk among the townsfolk, conjuring an aura upon those willing to follow their hearts’ desires.

This year at Moon Ridge High, a group of friends known as The Coven will weave art, science, and magic during a masquerade ball unlike any other. Onny, True, and Ash believe everything is in alignment to bring them the affection, acceptance, and healing that can only come from romance–with a little help from Onny’s grandmother’s love potion.

But nothing is as simple as it first seems. And as midnight approaches, The Coven learn that it will take more than a spell to recognize those who offer their love and to embrace all the magic that follows.

SLJ starred.

  • Genre(s): romance, short stories, supernatural, fantasy
  • Setting: fictional town of Moon Ridge; around Halloween
  • Recommended for: Grades 7+
  • Themes: magic, love potions, love, interconnected stories, Halloween, tragic love stories, witches, tarot, astrology
  • Protagonist description: three best friends – Onny is Filipina American; Ash is cued as Chinese American, and True is biracial, with German and Indian heritage

That’s Debatable by Jen Doll

Millicent Chalmers isn’t here to make friends.

She’s here to win, and she’s on track to set a record if―no, when―she wins the state debate tournament for the fourth year in a row. Calm, cool, and always in control, Millie doesn’t care what anyone else thinks of her, least of all the sexist bullies bent on destroying her reputation.

Taggart Strong couldn’t care less about winning debate, much to the consternation of his teammates, school and parents. In fact, he might even enjoy losing, as long as the side he believes in wins.

But when a tournament takes a scary turn, Millie and Tag find themselves unexpectedly working together. Maybe Millie can teach Tag a thing or two about using his head, and Tag can teach Millie a little bit about following her heart.

Pair this with Michelle Quach’s Not Here to Be Liked.

  • Genre(s): realistic fiction
  • Setting: Alabama
  • Recommended for: Grades 7+
  • Themes: school debate teams, misogyny, standing up for what you believe in, dating against parents’ wishes, alternating viewpoints, feminism, female empowerment, behavior expectations differ by gender, sexism
  • Protagonist description: female, age 17, white; male, age 17, white

Seton Girls by Charlene Thomas

Seton Academic High is a prep school obsessed with its football team and their thirteen-year conference win streak, a record that players always say they’d never have without Seton’s girls.

What exactly Seton girls do to make them so valuable, though, no one ever really says. They’re just “the best.”

But the team’s quarterback, the younger brother of the Seton star who started the streak, wants more than regular season glory. He wants a state championship before his successor, Seton’s first Black QB, has a chance to overshadow him. Bigger rewards require bigger risks, and soon the actual secrets to the team’s enduring success leak to a small group of girls who suddenly have the power to change their world forever.

  • Genre(s): realistic fiction
  • Recommended for: Grades 9-12
  • Themes: misogyny, American football, toxic masculinity, corruption, sexual abuse, high schools, private schools, social class, journalism, consent, Black students in a predominately-white high school
  • Protagonist description: female, age 16, Black, HS senior

Over My Dead Body by Sweeney Boo

Debut author! One day, everything was exactly as it was supposed to be. And the next, the closest thing Abby ever had to a sister, Noreen, was just…gone.

Distracted by the annual preparations for the Samhain festival, Abby’s classmates are quick to put Noreen’s disappearance aside. The Coven will find her, Abby’s friends say. They have it under control.

But Abby can’t let it go. Soon a search for answers leads her down a rabbit hole that uncovers more secrets than Abby can handle. As mounting evidence steers her toward the off-limits woods that surround the academy, she begins to see that Noreen’s disappearance mysteriously has a lot in common with another girl who went missing all those years ago…

  • Genre(s): mystery, fantasy, supernatural, graphic novel
  • Setting: boarding school for witches
  • Recommended for: Grades 8-12
  • Themes: Samhain, Halloween, missing persons, covens, witches, secrets, private schools, boarding schools, magic, animal companions
  • Protagonist description: female witch, white; cast is diverse in race, gender identity, and sexual orientation

How to Survive Your Murder by Danielle Valentine

Alice Lawrence is the sole witness in her sister’s murder trial.

And in the year since Claire’s death, Alice’s life has completely fallen apart. Her parents have gotten divorced, she’s moved into an apartment that smells like bologna, and she is being forced to face her sister’s killer and a courtroom full of people who doubt what she saw in the corn maze a year prior.

Claire was an all-American girl, beautiful and bubbly, and a theater star. Alice was a nerd who dreamed of becoming a forensic pathologist and would rather stay at home to watch her favorite horror movies than party. Despite their differences, they were bonded by sisterhood and were each other’s best friends.

Until Claire was taken away from her.

On the first day of the murder trial, as Alice prepares to give her testimony, she is knocked out by a Sidney Prescott look-alike in the courthouse bathroom. When she wakes up, it is Halloween night a year earlier, the same day Claire was murdered. Alice has until midnight to save her sister and find the real killer before he claims another victim.

Note that Booklist Grades 11-12 due to violence and gore. Kirkus and Publishers Weekly both recommend Grades 7+.

  • Genre(s): horror, thriller
  • Setting: Halloween
  • Recommended for: Grades 7+
  • Themes: sisters, murders, court trials, grief, parental divorce, assault, Halloween, witness to murder, horror film
  • Protagonist description: female, white

Neverlanders by Tom Taylor (Author) and Jon Sommariva (Illustrator)

Bee and her fellow runaways are their own found family. So when a stranger named Paco saves her life, Bee invites him to join their crew, thinking he’s another lost teen. Someone else the world has overlooked. The truth is Paco’s not just a lost teen, he’s a Lost Boy from Neverland. And he needs Bee and the others to come back with him.

When the group is then spirited away by a foul-mouthed Tinker Bell, they discover that Neverland is not some fun-filled hideaway. It’s a war zone under siege by a horde of pirates with a merciless new leader who will stop at nothing to steal the land’s magic. Tink leads a fairy army that barely holds them at bay. Peter Pan is gone. And rest of the Lost Boys have been killed. Paco is all that remains…but he hopes that this group of teens will become the new Lost Ones. These young runaways may be Neverland’s only hope—but they’re about to learn that it’ll take a lot more than happy thoughts to win a war.

Award-winning and worldwide bestselling author Tom Taylor (Dark Knights of Steel, Marvel’s Dark Ages, Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man) and artist Jon Sommariva (Marvel Action: Avengers, Batman/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) take readers back to the world of Peter Pan, but this explosive reimagining is not your parents’ Neverland.

  • Genre(s): retelling, fantasy, steampunk, graphic novel
  • Setting: Neverland
  • Recommended for: Grades 7-10
  • Themes: Peter Pan, Lost Boys, Neverland, magical war, chosen family
  • Protagonist description: cast is racially diverse

Dead Flip by Sara Farizan

Growing up, Cori, Maz, and Sam were inseparable best friends, sharing their love for Halloween, arcade games, and one another. Now it’s 1992, Sam has been missing for five years, and Cori and Maz aren’t speaking anymore. How could they be, when Cori is sure Sam is dead and Maz thinks he may have been kidnapped by a supernatural pinball machine?

These days, all Maz wants to do is party, buy CDs at Sam Goody, and run away from his past. Meanwhile, Cori is a homecoming queen, hiding her abiding love of horror movies and her queer self under the bubblegum veneer of a high school queen bee. But when Sam returns–still twelve years old while his best friends are now seventeen–Maz and Cori are thrown back together to solve the mystery of what really happened to Sam the night he went missing.

Beneath the surface of that mystery lurk secrets the friends never told one another, then and now. And Sam’s is the darkest of all…

Booklist starred.

  • Genre(s): mystery, horror
  • Setting: 1992
  • Recommended for: Grades 7+
  • Themes: Halloween, missing persons, best friends, 1990s, secrets, LGBTQIA+, homecoming queens, alternating perspectives, alcohol dependency, coming of age
  • Protagonist description: female, age 17, white; male, age 17, Iranian; male, age 12 (but should be age 17), white

*Three Strike Summer by Skyler Schrempp

When the skies dried up, Gloria thought it was temporary. When the dust storms rolled in, she thought they would pass. But now the bank man’s come to take the family farm, and Pa’s decided to up and move to California in search of work. They’ll pick fruit, he says, until they can save up enough money to buy land of their own again.

There are only three rules at the Santa Ana Holdsten Peach Orchard:
–No stealing product.
–No drunkenness or gambling.
–And absolutely no organizing.

Well, Gloria Mae Willard isn’t about to organize any peaches, no ma’am. She’s got more on her mind than that. Like the secret, all-boys baseball team she’s desperate to play for, if only they’d give her a chance. Or the way that wages keep going down. The way their company lodgings are dirty and smelly, and everyone seems intent on leaving her out of everything.

But Gloria has never been the type to wait around for permission. If the boys won’t let her play, she’ll find a way to make them. If the people around her are keeping secrets, then she’ll keep a few of her own. And if the boss men at the Santa Ana Holdsten Peach Orchard say she can’t organize peaches, then by golly she’ll organize a whole ball game.

THREE starred reviews!

  • Genre(s): historical fiction
  • Setting: Oklahoma and California, 1930s
  • Recommended for: Grades 3-7
  • Themes: Dust Bowl, Great Depression, 1930s, drought, farming, migrant farm workers, baseball, family, labor rights, worker strikes, labor movements
  • Protagonist description: female protagonist; all characters present as white

*The Midnight Children by Dan Gemeinhart

In the dead of night, a truck arrives in Slaughterville, a small town curiously named after its windowless slaughterhouse. Seven mysterious kids with suitcases step out of the vehicle and into an abandoned home on a dead-end street, looking over their shoulders to make sure they aren’t noticed.

But Ravani Foster covertly witnesses their arrival from his bedroom window. Timid and lonely, Ravani is eager to learn everything he can about his new neighbors: What secrets are they hiding? And most mysterious of all…where are the adults?

Yet amid this shadowy group of children, Ravani finds an unexpected friend in the warm and gutsy Virginia. But with this friendship comes secrets revealed–and danger. When Ravani learns of a threat to his new friends, he must fight to keep them safe, or lose the only person who has ever understood him.

Full of wonder, friendship, and mystery, The Midnight Children explores the meaning of “home,” what makes a family, and what it takes to find the courage to believe in yourself.

FOUR starred reviews!

  • Genre(s): mystery
  • Setting: small town
  • Recommended for: Grades 3-8
  • Themes: slaughterhouses, neighbors, friendship, loneliness, orphans, found families, bullying
  • Protagonist description: boy, age 12; all main characters cue as white

*Lily and the Night Creatures by Nick Lake (Author) and Emily Gravett (Illustrator)

Lily is used to hospitals–she’s spent more time in them than out of them thanks to her recent health issues. But when her mother goes into labor, her parents drop her off at her grandmother’s house and rush to the hospital without her. Lily doesn’t want the new baby to replace her and she certainly doesn’t want to be sick anymore.

Most frustrating of all, she forgot to pack Willo, her favorite toy. Under her grandma’s not-so-watchful supervision, Lily sneaks back home to get Willo. Expecting to find an empty house, she is surprised to find her parents there. But something isn’t right…They look just like her mom and dad until she gets closer and sees their coal black eyes. And they refuse to let her in–it’s their house now.

With the help of some surprising new friends that she meets in her garden, Lily is determined to beat these shadowy replacements and be reunited with her real parents. But is she strong enough to triumph?

Booklist and Publishers Weekly starred. Includes grayscale illustrations. The obvious comparison here is to Coraline, but according to the Kirkus review, “there is plenty to differentiate the tales.” The animal friends in the garden are a crow, mouse, mole, and snake.

  • Genre(s): horror, animal fantasy
  • Setting: family’s home and garden
  • Recommended for: Grades 3-7
  • Themes: chronic illness (child), parent pregnancy, grandparents, new sibling, parent-child relationships, monsters, doppelgangers, talking animals, jealousy, metaphors
  • Protagonist description: female, English, white

The Polter-Ghost Problem by Betsy Uhrig

One haunted orphanage + two types of ghosts + three freaked-out friends = plenty of trouble.

Best friends Aldo, Pen, and Jasper are braced for a boring summer. And equally dull summer journal writing assignments. That is, until they see a slightly transparent boy with a bad haircut appear by the soccer field and then disappear into the woods beyond. The boys follow him and discover the long-abandoned Grauche Orphanage for Orphans, a house in the woods that is most definitely haunted.

But the ghosts are not the problem. They have been trapped at the orphanage by a cranky poltergeist who erupts into violent tantrums if they put even a spectral toe across the property line. The ghosts ask the boys to help free them–but who is the angry poltergeist and what does it want?

To solve the mystery, the trio must investigate the orphanage’s dark past, evade Aldo’s ghastly older brother, borrow a skeptical librarian, and duck lots of flying furniture, all while failing to agree on almost anything. Can they defeat the evil entity and rescue the ghosts before their parents catch on and ground them for eternity?

Kirkus starred.

  • Genre(s): supernatural, mystery, humor
  • Setting: summer, orphanage
  • Recommended for: Grades 3-7
  • Themes: ghosts, poltergeists, orphans, friendship, good v. evil, wit
  • Protagonist description: three boys; not really described physically, but one has a Korean surname

Infinity: Figuring Out Forever by Sarah C. Campbell (Author, Photographer) and Richard P. Campbell (Photographer)

Defining infinity is difficult. But there is one thing people do every day that leads to infinity–counting. No matter what large number you name, there is always a larger number.

By reading this book, kids can begin to think about this and other powerful ideas involving infinity, including how infinity relates to rocket science. Featuring clear text and beautiful photographs, this is an excellent choice for kids who want to delve deeper into math and science and for those ready to look at the world in a new way.

Booklist starred. The SLJ review is a bit less flattering, writing that ” Although there is a wealth of paratextual elements that provide more details on infinity, specifically the author’s note and a word problem, rather than comprehending the concept of infinity, children may be left more confused.” I’ve included this book on this list anyway because I know plenty of elementary students who will love the photography, plus I think it’s a great way for elementary teachers to present the concept of infinity. Perhaps it isn’t for every elementary child, but I think it will still be a great addition to elementary and possibly middle school libraries.

  • Genre(s): nonfiction, photography, picture book
  • Recommended for: Grades 1-6
  • Themes: numbers, math, physics, infinity, counting, STEAM, rocket science, string theory

*Sal Boat: A Boat by Sal by Thyra Heder

Sal loves the water. All day, he thinks about it: being out there, just him and the waves, alone. More than anything else, he wants a boat. And he knows just what it would look like. So he decides to build it himself.

It isn’t long before everyone in town starts sharing advice. But Sal doesn’t need their help. He knows just what he’s building. And he does it! Except…he forgets one crucial detail–that no project, big or small, can be launched without a little help.

THREE starred reviews!

  • Genre(s): picture book
  • Setting: town near water
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 3
  • Themes: boats, construction, found objects, advice, imagination, skepticism, persistence, trial and error, STEAM, neighbors, community
  • Protagonist description: boy, light-skinned; community members are diverse

*Marcel’s Masterpiece: How a Toilet Shaped the History of Art by Jeff Mack

This is the story of Marcel Duchamp and how the Dada art movement changed the way people thought about what art could be, and what could be art. From drawing a moustache on the Mona Lisa to attaching a bicycle wheel to a stool, Duchamp’s work challenged long-held notions of art and how it should be made. People were amused, confused, and sometimes offended, and that was just the way Marcel Duchamp liked it.

With Marcel’s Masterpiece, Jeff Mack explores Duchamp’s most famous provocation, and asks readers to ponder the ideas that help us see the world in new and interesting ways.

Kirkus and Publishers Weekly starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book biography, humor
  • Setting: New York City; 1917
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 3
  • Themes: art, Marcel Duchamp, Dada art, creativity, new ways of seeing, toilets, what is art, defining art, who decides what art is, potty humor, wordplay, artistic icons
  • Protagonist description: male artist, French

*The Blanket Where Violet Sits by Allan Wolf (Author) and Lauren Tobia (Illustrator)

A picture-book ode to wonder and safety, told in cumulative rhyme and with earthy illustrations evoking brick brownstones and crisp autumn skies.

In a galaxy spiraling white, on a small blue planet with a moon so pretty, in a green park in a bustling city, a little girl sits on a blanket with her family, eating a sandwich, an apple, and chips.

Equipped with telescope and space book, Violet gazes up into the great beyond, imagining a rocket ride to the stars…and a soft, sleepy return to her blanket. Lyrical and meditative, this is the perfect picture book to savor and share during a late-night picnic under the moon–or anytime.

Kirkus and Publishers Weekly starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book
  • Setting: sunset, in a city park
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 2
  • Themes: rhyming books, autumn, outer space, wonder, telescopes, imagination, family picnic, astronomy, cumulative stories, shift in visual perspective, “The House That Jack Built”
  • Protagonist description: young girl and two adults, brown-skinned

Ways to Make Friends by Jairo Buitrago (Author) and Mariana Ruiz Johnson (Illustrator)

What’s the best way to make friends? Toad has the most magnificent ideas! Sometimes they don’t go according to plan…but that’s okay. Eventually Toad tires of making new friends, but comes to a marvelous conclusion: sometimes being with yourself is a good way to pass the time too.

A hilarious and heartfelt read for kids who are starting school or experiencing other unfamiliar social situations, Ways to Make Friends will give them the courage to stand on their own–and maybe try one of Toad’s unconventional methods to make a friend for themselves.

Kirkus starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book, humor
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 3
  • Themes: being oneself, making friends, toads, amphibians, friendship, details in illustrations
  • Protagonist description: young male toad + other anthropomorphic animals

The Animal Toolkit: How Animals Use Tools by Steve Jenkins (Author, Illustrator) and Robin Page (Author)

Until 1960, when Jane Goodall observed a chimpanzee using a blade of grass to “fish” for termites, it was believed that humans were the only animal to use tools. Since her discovery, we’ve learned that many creatures use sticks, leaves, rocks, and other natural items as tools.

In this latest nonfiction picture book from Caldecott Honor–winning team Steve Jenkins and Robin Page, readers learn all about what makes a tool a tool–and the remarkable ways animals that use them to interact with our world. From the tailorbird, which repurposes spider silk to stitch a leaf into its nest, to the gorilla, which uses sticks to test water depth and build bridges, these animals are intelligent, innovative, and creative.

Kirkus starred.

  • Genre(s): nonfiction picture book
  • Recommended for: Grades K-5
  • Themes: tools, animals, nature, Jane Goodall, animal intelligence, primates, crows, crabs, wasps, spiders

Dadaji’s Paintbrush by Rashmi Sirdeshpande (Author) and Ruchi Mhasane (Illustrator)

Once, in a tiny village in India, there was a young boy who loved to paint. He lived with his grandfather, who taught him to paint with his fingers, to make paints from marigolds and brushes made from jasmine flowers. Sometimes, the village children would watch them painting together, and the boy’s grandfather would invite them to join in.

They didn’t have much, but they had each other.

After his grandfather dies, the boy notices a little box wrapped in string with a note that read: “From Dadaji, with love,” with his grandfather’s best paintbrush tucked away inside. But he feels he will never want to paint again.

Will the boy overcome his grief and find joy in painting and his dadaji’s memory again?

SLJ starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book
  • Setting: small village in India
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 3
  • Themes: art, painting, grandfathers, grief, Asia
  • Protagonist description: boy, Indian

Patchwork by Matt de la Peña

A young dancer may grow into a computer coder; a basketball player might become a poet; a class clown may one day serve as an inspiring teacher; and today’s quiet empath might be tomorrow’s great leader.

Here’s a profound and uplifting new classic with an empowering message for readers of all ages: Your story is still being written.

Kirkus starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 5
  • Themes: careers, future possibilities, individuality, self-awareness, growing up, self-discovery
  • Protagonist description: diverse group of children

Pip and Zip by Elana K. Arnold (Author) and Doug Salati (Illustrator)

Once, when we all had to stay home for the whole long springtime,
When schools were closed
And work was closed
And everything fun was canceled

After we were all so bored of TV
And computers
And video games
And screens of every kind

Dad said, “Let’s take a walk.”

On this walk, the family discovers two abandoned duck eggs and takes them home to wait for them to hatch. They read and learn and laugh together until one day…Pip and Zip are born!

Publishers Weekly starred.

  • Genre(s): picture book
  • Setting: spring, presumably in 2020; home near a lake
  • Recommended for: PreS-Grade 2
  • Themes: ducks, eggs, incubation, life cycles, COVID pandemic, lockdown, nature, wildlife, animals
  • Protagonist description: two sisters and their parents, cued as white

THIS WEEK’S SEQUELS (YA):

THIS WEEK’S SEQUELS (MIDDLE GRADES):

THIS WEEK’S SEQUELS & FAVORITE CHARACTERS (ELEMENTARY):

ABOUT THE SPOTLIGHT

The New Release Spotlight began in May 2016 as a way to help librarians keep up with the many new children’s and YA books that are released each week. Every Tuesday, school librarian Leigh Collazo compiles the New Release Spotlight using a combination of Follett’s Titlewave, Amazon, Goodreads, and Barnes and Noble. Titles with a * by them received two or more starred professional reviews. Recommended grade levels represent the range of grade levels recommended by professional book reviewers.

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