Book List | Just Books. (2024)

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NEURODIVERGENT BOOKS

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Wonder

R.J. Palacio

“August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER, now a #1 New York Times bestseller and included on the Texas Bluebonnet Award master list, begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. “

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We're All Wonders

R. J. Palacio

“Over 8 million people have fallen in love with Wonder and have joined the movement to Choose Kind. Now younger readers can meet Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, and his beloved dog, Daisy.

Countless fans have asked R. J. Palacio to write a book for younger readers. With We’re All Wonders, she makes her picture-book debut as both author and artist, with a spare, powerful text and striking, richly imagined illustrations. Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way.

We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children.”

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Left Out

Tim Green

“Landon Dorch wants to be like everyone else. But his deafness and the way he talks have always felt like insurmountable obstacles. But now he finally sees his chance to fit in. Bigger and taller than any other seventh grader in his new school, Landon plans to use his size to his advantage and join the school’s football team. But the same speech problems and the cochlear implants that help him hear continue to haunt him.

Just when it looks like Landon will be left out of football for good, an unlikely friend comes along. But in the end only Landon can fight his way off the bench and through a crowded field of bullies bent on seeing him forever left out.”

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Thank You Mr. Falker

Patricia Polacco

“Patricia Polacco is now one of America's most loved children's book creators, but once upon a time, she was a little girl named Trisha starting school. Trisha could paint and draw beautifully, but when she looked at words on a page, all she could see was jumble. It took a very special teacher to recognize little Trisha's dyslexia: Mr. Falker, who encouraged her to overcome her reading disability. Patricia Polacco will never forget him, and neither will we.”

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Have Fun Molly Lou Melon

Patty Lovell

“Molly Lou Melon's grandma taught her to be happy with herself no matter what, but that's not all she learned. Molly Lou heard all about how her grandma didn't have fancy store-bought toys when she was little. She made dolls out of twigs and flowers and created her own fun in her backyard.

So Molly Lou does just that, proving that the best thing to play with is a huge imagination!”

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Hello Goodbye Dog

Maria Gianferrari

“For Zara's dog, Moose, nothing is more important than being with her favorite girl. So when Zara has to go to school, WHOOSH, Moose escapes and rushes to her side.

Hello, Moose!

Unfortunately, dogs aren't allowed at school and Moose has to go back home.

Goodbye, Moose.

But Moose can't be held back for long. Through a series of escalating escapes, this loyal dog always finds her way back to Zara, and with a little bit of training and one great idea, the two friends find a way to be together all day long.”

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The Girl Who Thought in Pictures

Julia Finely Mosca

“When young Temple was diagnosed with autism, no one expected her to talk, let alone become one of the most powerful voices in modern science. Yet, the determined visual thinker did just that. Her unique mind allowed her to connect with animals in a special way, helping her invent groundbreaking improvements for farms around the globe!”

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Wemberly Worried

Kevin Henkes

“Wemberly worried about spilling her juice, about shrinking in the bathtub, even about snakes in the radiator. She worried morning, noon, and night. "Worry, worry, worry," her family said. "Too much worry." And Wemberly worried about one thing most of all: her first day of school. But when she meets a fellow worrywart in her class, Wemberly realizes that school is too much fun to waste time worrying!”

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Jacob's Eye Patch

Beth Kobliner and Jacob Shaw

“Jacob is in a hurry—a really big hurry—to get to the store to buy a special toy. There's only one left, and if he doesn't get to it soon, he'll never forgive his mom and dad for making him late. Strangers often stop Jacob's parents on the street to ask about him. See, Jacob is unusual: He has an eye patch. Jacob knows people like to ask questions, but do they have to ask right now?

Luckily, Jacob gets to the store in time, and he meets a new friend who has something different, too. In the end, Jacob's journey makes him more aware of other people’s feelings. Jacob's Eye Patch is the go-to book for talking about differences that kids can enjoy and parents can turn to for guidance.”

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Finding Perfect

Elly Swartz

“To twelve-year-old Molly Nathans, perfect is:

―The number four

―The tip of a newly sharpened No. 2 pencil

―A crisp white pad of paper

―Her neatly aligned glass animal figurines

What’s not perfect is Molly’s mother leaving the family to take a faraway job with the promise to return in one year. Molly knows that promises are sometimes broken, so she hatches a plan to bring her mother home: Win the Lakeville Middle School Poetry Slam Contest. The winner is honored at a fancy banquet with white tablecloths. Molly is sure her mother would never miss that. Right…?

But as time passes, writing and reciting slam poetry become harder. Actually, everything becomes harder as new habits appear, and counting, cleaning, and organizing are not enough to keep Molly's world from spinning out of control. In this fresh-voiced debut novel, one girl learns there is no such thing as perfect.”

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Christina's First Day of School: Special Not Weird

Christina Fortune and Khareen Georges

Autism has never held Christina back. Join Christina on her first day of school, where she makes new friends and teaches them that her differences make her SPECIAL, not weird.

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OCDaniel

Wesley King

Daniel is the back-up punter for the Erie Hills Elephants. Which really means he’s the water boy. He spends football practice perfectly arranging water cups—and hoping no one notices. Actually, he spends most of his time hoping no one notices his strange habits—he calls them Zaps: avoiding writing the number four, for example, or flipping a light switch on and off dozens of times over. He hopes no one notices that he’s crazy, especially his best friend Max, and Raya, the prettiest girl in school. His life gets weirder when another girl at school, who is unkindly nicknamed Psycho Sara, notices him for the first time. She doesn’t just notice him: she seems to peer through him.

Then Daniel gets a note: “I need your help,” it says, signed, Fellow Star Child—whatever that means. And suddenly Daniel, a total no one at school, is swept up in a mystery that might change everything for him.

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Out of My Mind

Sharon Draper

Eleven-year-old Melody is not like most people. She can’t walk. She can’t talk. She can’t write. All because she has cerebral palsy. But she also has a photographic memory; she can remember every detail of everything she has ever experienced. She’s the smartest kid in her whole school, but NO ONE knows it. Most people—her teachers, her doctors, her classmates—dismiss her as mentally challenged because she can’t tell them otherwise. But Melody refuses to be defined by her disability. And she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.

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Rain Reign

Ann Martin

Rose Howard is obsessed with hom*onyms. She's thrilled that her own name is a hom*onym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two hom*onyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose's rules of hom*onyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose's obsessions, her rules, and the other things that make her different―not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father.

When a storm hits their rural town, rivers overflow, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Rose's father shouldn't have let Rain out. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her routines and safe places to search.

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Awesomely Emma

Amy Webb

Emma has limb differences, but different isn't bad, sad, or strange. It's just different! But when some accessibility problems get in the way at the local art museum, it ruins the fun of a class trip...and then Emma's friend Charley makes things even worse! In the middle of a really bad day, Emma has to call upon her sense of inner awesome to stand up for herself and teach everyone a lesson about the transformative power of feeling awesome in your own skin.

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Too Sticky! Sensory Issues with Autism

Jen Malia

Holly loves doing experiments and learning new things in science class! But when she finds out the next experiment is making slime, she's worried. Slime is made with glue, and glue is sticky. Holly has sensory issues because of her autism and doesn't like anything sticky! With help from family and her teacher, Holly receives the accommodations and encouragement she needs to give slime a try.

Neurodivergent Books

LGBTQIA+ Books

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LGBTQIA+ BOOKS

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George

Alex Gino

“When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl.

George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part . . . because she's a boy.

With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte -- but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.”

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Pink is for Boys

Robb Pearlman

“Pink is for boys . . . and girls . . . and everyone! This timely and beautiful picture book rethinks and reframes the stereotypical blue/pink gender binary and empowers kids-and their grown-ups-to express themselves in every color of the rainbow. Featuring a diverse group of relatable characters, Pink Is for Boys invites and encourages girls and boys to enjoy what they love to do, whether it's racing cars and playing baseball, or loving unicorns and dressing up. Vibrant illustrations help children learn and identify the myriad colors that surround them every day, from the orange of a popsicle, to the green of a grassy field, all the way up to the wonder of a multicolored rainbow.”

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The Stars and the Blackness Between Them

Junauda Petrus

Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus's bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.

Port of Spain, Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out she's going to be sent to live in America with her father because her strictly religious mother caught her with her secret girlfriend, the pastor's daughter. Audre's grandmother Queenie (a former dancer who drives a white convertible Cadillac and who has a few secrets of her own) tries to reassure her granddaughter that she won't lose her roots, not even in some place called Minneapolis. "America have dey spirits too, believe me," she tells Audre.

Minneapolis, USA. Sixteen-year-old Mabel is lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out why she feels the way she feels--about her ex Terrell, about her girl Jada and that moment they had in the woods, and about the vague feeling of illness that's plagued her all summer. Mabel's reverie is cut short when her father announces that his best friend and his just-arrived-from-Trinidad daughter are coming for dinner.

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Felix Ever After

Kacen Callender

Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after.

When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle....But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

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Pet

Akwaeke Emezi

Pet is here to hunt a monster. Are you brave enough to look?There are no monsters anymore, or so the children in Lucille are taught. Jam and her best friend, Redemption, have grown up with the lesson that the city is safe for everyone. But when Jam meets Pet, a creature who some might call monstrous but, in reality, is anything but, she must reconsider what she's been told. Pet has emerged from one of her mother's paintings to hunt a true monster--and the shadow of something grim lurks in Redemption's house. No one has encountered monsters in years, though, and Jam's quest to protect her best friend and uncover the truth is met with doubt and disbelief.

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What Riley Wore

Elana K. Arnold

Gender-creative Riley knows just what to wear for every occasion during a busy week with family and friends in this sweet and timely picture book from Elana K. Arnold and Linda Davick. Riley wears whatever clothes feel right each day. On Monday, Riley feels shy and wears a bunny costume to school. On Tuesday, a scary trip to the dentist calls for a superhero cape. For a trip out with Otto and Oma, a ball gown is the perfect outfit.This charming picture book is a gentle exploration of self-expression and source of encouragement for being true to oneself despite the expectations of others.

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Julián is a Mermaid

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 Julián 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? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love’s author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality.

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When Aidan Became a Brother

Kyle Lukoff

When Aidan was born, everyone thought he was a girl. His parents gave him a pretty name, his room looked like a girl's room, and he wore clothes that other girls liked wearing. After he realized he was a trans boy, Aidan and his parents fixed the parts of his life that didn't fit anymore, and he settled happily into his new life. Then Mom and Dad announce that they're going to have another baby, and Aidan wants to do everything he can to make things right for his new sibling from the beginning--from choosing the perfect name to creating a beautiful room to picking out the cutest onesie. But what does "making things right" actually mean? And what happens if he messes up? With a little help, Aidan comes to understand that mistakes can be fixed with honesty and communication, and that he already knows the most important thing about being a big brother: how to love with his whole self.

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Call Me Max

Kyle Lukoff

When Max starts school, the teacher hesitates to call out the name on the attendance sheet. Something doesn't seem to fit. Max lets he know the name he wants to be called by--a boy's name. This begins Max's journey as he makes new friends and reveals his feelings about his identity to his parents. Written with warmth and sensitivity by trans writer Kyle Lukoff, this book is a sweet and age-appropriate introduction to what it means to be transgender.

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My Maddy

Gayle E. Pitman

Most mommies are girls. Most daddies are boys. But lots of parents are neither a boy nor a girl. Like my Maddy. My Maddy has hazel eyes which are not brown or green. And my Maddy likes sporks because they are not quite a spoon or a fork. Some of the best things in the world are not one thing or the other. They are something in between and entirely their own. Randall Ehrbar, PsyD, offers an insightful note with more information about parents who are members of gender minority communities, including transgender, gender non-binary, or otherwise gender diverse people.

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My Footprints

Bao Phi

Every child feels different in some way, but Thuy feels "double different." She is Vietnamese American and she has two moms. Thuy walks home one winter afternoon, angry and lonely after a bully's taunts. Then a bird catches her attention and sets Thuy on an imaginary exploration. What if she could fly away like a bird? What if she could sprint like a deer, or roar like a bear? Mimicking the footprints of each creature in the snow, she makes her way home to the arms of her moms. Together, the three of them imagine beautiful and powerful creatures who always have courage - just like Thuy.

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The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived

Daniel Errico

Knights, dragons, and princesses are the things all good fairytales are made of, but what happens when the tale has an LGBTQ ending? Follow Cedric on his journey from his days on a humble pumpkin farm to the adventures that lead him to become a full-fledged knight. Once a knight, discover how he uses his cleverness and courage to vanquish a fire-breathing dragon and rescue a beautiful prince and princess. It is only then does Sir Cedric face his most difficult challenge. Will he follow his heart, and prove that sometimes the bravest thing you can do is choose for yourself how your fairy tale ends?

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It Feels Good to be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity

Theresa Thorn

Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between. This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. With child-friendly language and vibrant art, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.

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Annie's Plaid Shirt

Stacy B. Davids

But one day her mom tells Annie that she must wear a dress to her uncle's wedding. Annie protests, but her mom insists and buys her a fancy new dress anyway. Annie is miserable. She feels weird in dresses. Why can't her mom understand?Then Annie has an idea. But will her mom agree? Annie's Plaid Shirt will inspire readers to be themselves and will touch the hearts of those who love them. Themes of gender norms, identity, individuality, tolerance, and self-esteem.

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Love Makes A Family

Sophie Beer

Love is baking a special cake. Love is lending a helping hand. Love is reading one more book. In this exuberant board book, many different families are shown in happy activity, from an early-morning wake-up to a kiss before bed. Whether a child has two moms, two dads, one parent, or one of each, this simple preschool read-aloud demonstrates that what's most important in each family's life is the love the family members share.

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Stella Brings the Family

Miriam B. Schiffer

Stella's class is having a Mother's Day celebration, but what's a girl with two daddies to do? It's not that she doesn't have someone who helps her with her homework, or tucks her in at night. Stella has her Papa and Daddy who take care of her, and a whole gaggle of other loved ones who make her feel special and supported every day. She just doesn't have a mom to invite to the party. Fortunately, Stella finds a unique solution to her party problem in this sweet story about love, acceptance, and the true meaning of family.

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Papa, Daddy, and Riley

Seamus Kirst

Riley is Papa’s princess and Daddy’s dragon. She loves her two fathers! When Riley’s classmate asks her which dad is her real one, Riley is confused. She doesn’t want to have to pick one or the other.Families are made of love in this heartwarming story that shows there are lots of ways to be part of one.

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Mommy, Mama, and Me

Leslea Newman

Rhythmic text and illustrations with universal appeal show a toddler spending the day with its mommies. From hide-and-seek to dress-up, then bath time and a kiss goodnight, there's no limit to what a loving family can do together. Shares the loving bond between same-sex parents and their children.

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A Plan for Pops

Heather Smith

Lou spends every Saturday with Grandad and Pops. They walk to the library hand in  hand, like a chain of paper dolls. Grandad reads books about science and design, Pops listens to rock and roll, and Lou bounces from lap to lap. But everything changes one Saturday. Pops has a fall. That night there is terrible news: Pops will need to use a wheelchair, not just for now, but for always. Unable to cope with his new circ*mstances, he becomes withdrawn and shuts himself in his room. Hearing Grandad trying to cheer up Pops inspires Lou to make a plan. Using skills learned from Grandad, and with a little help from their neighbors, Lou comes up with a plan for Pops

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And Tango Makes Three

Justin Richardson

The heartwarming true story of two penguins who create a nontraditional family is now available in a sturdy board book edition.At the penguin house at the Central Park Zoo, two penguins named Roy and Silo were a little bit different from the others. But their desire for a family was the same. And with the help of a kindly zookeeper, Roy and Silo got the chance to welcome a baby penguin of their very own.In time for the tenth anniversary of And Tango Makes Three, this Classic Board Book edition is the perfect size for small hands.

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The Flower Girl Who Wore Celery

Meryl G. Gordon

Emma can't wait for her cousin Hannah's wedding. She's going to be the flower girl. That means she'll wear a celery dress and walk down the aisle with the ring bear, leading the way for the happy bride and groom. Or at least, that's what Emma assumes. But nothing turns out to be quite what she's expecting, as Hannah's new spouse turns out to be another bride!

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The Prince and the Knight

David Haack

In this modern fairy tale, a noble prince and a brave knight come together to defeat a terrible monster and in the process find true love in a most unexpected place.

"Thank you," he told his parents.

"I appreciate that you tried,

but I'm looking for something special

in a partner by my side."

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far from here, there was a prince in line to take the throne, so his parents set out to find him a kind and worthy bride. The three of them traveled the land far and wide, but the prince didn't quite find what he was looking for in the princesses they met.While they were away, a terrible dragon threatened their land, and all the soldiers fled. The prince rushed back to save his kingdom from the perilous beast and was met by a brave knight in a suit of brightly shining armor. Together they fought the dragon and discovered that special something the prince was looking for all along. This book is published in partnership with GLAAD to accelerate LGBTQ inclusivity and acceptance.

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Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story about Gender Identity and Friendship

Jessica Walton

Errol and his teddy, Thomas, are best friends who do everything together. Whether it's riding a bike, playing in the tree house, having a tea party, or all of the above, every day holds something fun to do. One sunny day, Errol finds that Thomas is sad, even when they are playing in their favorite ways. Errol can't figure out why, until Thomas finally tells Errol what the teddy has been afraid to say: "In my heart, I've always known that I'm a girl teddy, not a boy teddy. I wish my name was Tilly, not Thomas." And Errol says, "I don't care if you're a girl teddy or a boy teddy! What matters is that you are my friend."

Multicultural Books

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MULTICULTURAL BOOKS

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Paper Wishes

Lois Sepahban

“Ten-year-old Manami did not realize how peaceful her family's life on Bainbridge Island was until the day it all changed. It's 1942, after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Manami and her family are Japanese American, which means that the government says they must leave their home by the sea and join other Japanese Americans at a prison camp in the desert. Manami is sad to go, but even worse is that they are going to have to give her and her grandfather's dog, Yujiin, to a neighbor to take care of. Manami decides to sneak Yujiin under her coat and gets as far as the mainland before she is caught and forced to abandon Yujiin. She and her grandfather are devastated, but Manami clings to the hope that somehow Yujiin will find his way to the camp and make her family whole again. It isn't until she finds a way to let go of her guilt that Manami can reclaim the piece of herself that she left behind and accept all that has happened to her family.”

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Drita, My Homegirl

Jenny Lombard

“A poignant story about the difficulties of leaving everything behind and the friendships that help you get through it.

Fleeing war-torn Kosovo, ten-year-old Drita and her family move to America with the dream of living a typical American life. But with this hope comes the struggle to adapt and fit in. How can Drita find her place at school and in her new neighborhood when she doesn't speak any English? Meanwhile, Maxie and her group of fourth-grade friends are popular in their class, and make an effort to ignore Drita. So when their teacher puts Maxie and Drita together for a class project, things get off to a rocky start. But sometimes, when you least expect it, friendship can bloom and overcome even a vast cultural divide.”

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American Born Chinese

Gene Luen Yang

“Jin Wang starts at a new school where he's the only Chinese-American student. When a boy from Taiwan joins his class, Jin doesn't want to be associated with an FOB like him. Jin just wants to be an all-American boy, because he's in love with an all-American girl. Danny is an all-American boy: great at basketball, popular with the girls. But his obnoxious Chinese cousin Chin-Kee's annual visit is such a disaster that it ruins Danny's reputation at school, leaving him with no choice but to transfer somewhere he can start all over again. The Monkey King has lived for thousands of years and mastered the arts of kung fu and the heavenly disciplines. He's ready to join the ranks of the immortal gods in heaven. But there's no place in heaven for a monkey. Each of these characters cannot help himself alone, but how can they possibly help each other? They're going to have to find a way―if they want to fix the disasters their lives have become.”

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Get Ready for Gabi! Series

Marisa Montes

“With her friends and familia by her side, Gabi* is ready for anything--sort of.

Maritza Gabriela Morales Mercado (Gabi for short) has big problemas. Her worst enemy, Johnny Wiley, is driving her crazy. He makes fun of her name. He picks on her friends. And now Gabi has to spend an entire month working with him on a school project! Gabi is so upset she can't even talk straight. Her English words keep getting jumbled up with her Spanish words. Now she's speaking a crazy mix of both, and no one knows what she's saying! Will Gabi ever make sense again? Or will she be tongue-tied forever?”

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Juana and Lucas

Juana Medina

“Fans of Judy Moody and Clarice Bean will love Juana, the spunky young Colombian girl who stars in this playful, abundantly illustrated series. Juana loves many things: drawing, living in Bogotá, Colombia, and especially her dog, Lucas, the best amigo ever. She does not love wearing her itchy school uniform, solving math problems, or learning the English. Why is it so important to learn a language that makes so little sense? Hilarious, energetic, and utterly relatable, Juana will win over los corazones (the hearts) of readers everywhere.”

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Rickshaw Girl

Mitali Perkins

“Ten-year-old Naima wants to help her father earn money for the family, but girls don't work outside the home in Bangladesh. When Naima wrecks her father's precious rickshaw, she disguises herself as a boy and goes out to get a job.”

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The Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case

Alexander McCall Smith

“Have you ever said to yourself, Wouldn’t it be nice to be a detective?

This is the story of an African girl who says just that. Her name is Precious.

When a piece of cake goes missing from her classroom, a traditionally built young boy is tagged as the culprit. Precious, however, is not convinced. She sets out to find the real thief. Along the way she learns that your first guess isn’t always right. She also learns how to be a detective.”

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Drawn Together

Minh Le

“When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens-with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words.”

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Hot Hot Roti for Dada-Ji

Farhana Zia

“Aneel's grandparents have come to stay, all the way from India. Aneel loves the sweet smell of his grandmother's incense, and his grandfather, Dada-ji, tells the world's best stories.

When he was a boy, adventurous, energetic Dada-ji had the power of a tiger. Hunh-ji! Yes, sir! He could shake mangoes off trees and wrangle wild cobras. And what gave him his power? Fluffy-puffy hot, hot roti, with a bit of tongue-burning mango pickle. Does Dada-ji still have the power? Aneel wants to find out-but first he has to figure out how to whip up a batch of hot, hot roti.”

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I Am Enough

Grace Byers

“This gorgeous, lyrical ode to loving who you are, respecting others, and being kind to one another comes from Empire actor and activist Grace Byers and talented newcomer artist Keturah A. Bobo.”

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Get Up, Stand Up

Bob Marley and Cedella Marley

“As a young girl goes on with her day in school, she comes across several instances of teasing and intimidation. But with loving action and some help from her friends, she's able to make things right for herself and others.”

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Islandborn

Junot Diaz

“So when Lola's teacher asks the students to draw a picture of where their families immigrated from, all the kids are excited. Except Lola. She can't remember The Island—she left when she was just a baby. But with the help of her family and friends, and their memories—joyous, fantastical, heartbreaking, and frightening—Lola's imagination takes her on an extraordinary journey back to The Island. As she draws closer to the heart of her family's story, Lola comes to understand the truth of her abuela's words: ‘Just because you don't remember a place doesn't mean it's not in you.’”

Book List | Just Books. (55)

Let the Children March

Monica Clark-Robinson

“In 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, thousands of African American children volunteered to march for their civil rights after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. They protested the laws that kept black people separate from white people. Facing fear, hate, and danger, these children used their voices to change the world.”

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Looking for Bongo

Eric Velasquez

“The boy knows Bongo was right there with him this morning—but suddenly, Bongo is missing. He asks his whole family if they've seen the stuffed toy. "Yo no sé," says abuela, "I don't know."

Mom and Dad haven't seen him either. And Gato just meows and runs away.

When he finds Bongo, the boy is thrilled—but he still doesn't understand how his toy ended up there. So he sets a trap to catch the Bongo thief. . . .”

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The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq

Jeanette Winter

“Alia Muhammad Baker’s library in Basra, Iraq, has been a meeting place for those who love books for the past fourteen years. Now war has come, and Alia fears that the library—along with the thirty thousand books within it—will be destroyed forever.

In this incredible true story of a war-stricken country where civilians seem powerless in the face of battle, this feminist and inspirational tale about a librarian’s struggle to save her community’s priceless collection of books reminds us how, throughout the world, the love of literature can unite us all.”

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The Name Jar

Yangsook Choi

“The new kid in school needs a new name! Or does she?

Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what about when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she tells the class that she will choose a name by the following week. Her new classmates are fascinated by this no-name girl and decide to help out by filling a glass jar with names for her to pick from. But while Unhei practices being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, one of her classmates comes to her neighborhood and discovers her real name and its special meaning. On the day of her name choosing, the name jar has mysteriously disappeared. Encouraged by her new friends, Unhei chooses her own Korean name and helps everyone pronounce it”

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Dreamers

Yuyi Morales

“Yuyi Morales brought her hopes, her passion, her strength, and her stories with her, when she came to the United States in 1994 with her infant son. She left behind nearly everything she owned, but she didn't come empty-handed.”

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Hair Love

Matthew A. Cherry

“Zuri's hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it's beautiful. When Daddy steps in to style it for an extra special occasion, he has a lot to learn. But he LOVES his Zuri, and he'll do anything to make her -- and her hair -- happy.”

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Hair Like Mine

LaTashia M. Perry

“Hair Like Mine is a fun and easy read following a little girl who doesn't like that her naturally curly hair looks different from the other kids around her. On her quest to find someone with hair like hers, she soon realizes we are all unique and special in our own way.”

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My Hair

Hannah Lee

“Will it be dreads or a twist out? Braids or a high-top fade? Joyous and vibrant, this captures perfectly the excitement of getting ready for a celebration, as well as showcasing a dazzling array of intricate hairstyles.”

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My Curly Perfection

Chelsetia Davis

“‘My Curly Perfection’ is a story about a young girl who struggles to accept her hair texture. This book seeks to empower girls with curls to embrace their curl patterns.”

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Afros, Braids & Curls: ABCs for Curly Girls

Daniela J Lopez

“Afros, Braids, & Curls: ABCs for Curly Girls, is an alphabet book written and illustrated to promote self-love and pride in girls with naturally curly and textured hair. With a colorful and unique illustration for each and every letter, this rhyming alphabet book is a must-read for girls with natural curls. A beautiful variety of styles, textures, and hair care basics makes ABCs for Curly Girls a library staple for girls of all ages.”

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Emi's Curly, Coily, Cotton Candy Hair

Tina Olajide

“Emi is a creative 7-year-old black girl with a BIG imagination. In this story Emi shares a positive message about her Curly, Coily, Cotton Candy Hair and what she likes most about it.The vibrant illustrations and fun story teach basic natural hair care techniques and tips in a playful and memorable way.”

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I Love My Hair!

Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

“In this imaginative, evocative story, a girl named Keyana discovers the beauty and magic of her special hair, encouraging black children to be proud of their heritage and enhancing self-confidence.”

Book List | Just Books. (67)

President of the Whole Fifth Grade

Sherri Winston

Age 8-12

“When Brianna Justice's hero, the famous celebrity chef Miss Delicious, speaks at her school and traces her own success back to being president of her fifth grade class, Brianna determines she must do the same. She just knows that becoming president of her class is the first step toward her own cupcake-baking empire!

But when new student Jasmine Moon announces she is also running for president, Brianna learns that she may have more competition than she expected. Will Brianna be able to stick to her plan of working with her friends to win the election fairly? Or will she jump at the opportunity to steal votes from Jasmine by revealing an embarrassing secret?”

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The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family

Ibthaj Muhammad

“With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It's the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it's her older sister Asiya's first day of hijab--a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong.”

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Of Thee I Sing: A Letter to My Daughters

Barack Obama

“In this tender, beautiful letter to his daughters, President Barack Obama has written a moving tribute to thirteen groundbreaking Americans and the ideals that have shaped our nation. From the artistry of Georgia O'Keeffe, to the courage of Jackie Robinson, to the patriotism of George Washington, President Obama sees the traits of these heroes within his own children, and within all of America’s children.”

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Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpre

Anika Aldamuy Denise

“When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy.”

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The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street

Karina Yan Glaser

“The Vanderbeekers have always lived in the brownstone on 141st Street. It's practically another member of the family. So when their reclusive, curmudgeonly landlord decides not to renew their lease, the five siblings have eleven days to do whatever it takes to stay in their beloved home and convince the dreaded Beiderman just how wonderful they are. And all is fair in love and war when it comes to keeping their home.”

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A Big Mooncake for Little Star

Grace Lin

“Pat, pat, pat…

Little Star's soft feet tiptoed to the Big Mooncake.

Little Star loves the delicious Mooncake that she bakes with her mama. But she's not supposed to eat any yet! What happens when she can't resist a nibble?”

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A Different Pond

Bao Phi

“A 2018 Caldecott Honor Book that Kirkus Reviews calls "a must-read for our times," A Different Pond is an unforgettable story about a simple event - a long-ago fishing trip. Graphic novelist Thi Bui and acclaimed poet Bao Phi deliver a powerful, honest glimpse into a relationship between father and son - and between cultures, old and new. As a young boy, Bao and his father awoke early, hours before his father's long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. A successful catch meant a fed family. Between hope-filled casts, Bao's father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. Thi Bui's striking, evocative art paired with Phi's expertly crafted prose has earned this powerful picture books six starred reviews and numerous awards.”

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A Gift From Abuela

Cecelia Ruiz

“The first time Abuela holds Nina, her heart overflows with tenderness. And as Nina grows up, she and Abuela spend plenty of time together. Abuela can’t help thinking how much she’d like to give Nina a very special treat, so she saves a little bit of her money every week — a few pesos here, a few pesos there. When the world turns upside down, Abuela’s dream of a surprise for Nina seems impossible. Luckily, time spent together — and the love Abuela and Nina have for each other — could turn out to be the very best gift of all. With a soft and subtle hand, author-illustrator Cecilia Ruiz draws from her own history to share a deeply personal tale about remembering what’s most important when life starts to get in the way.”

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Alma and How She Got Her Name

Juana Martinez-Neal

“If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.”

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Because

Mo Willems

“Mo Willems, a number one New York Times best-selling author and illustrator, composes a powerful symphony of chance, discovery, persistence, and magic in this moving tale of a young girl's journey to center stage. Illustrator Amber Ren brings Willems' music to life, conducting a stunning picture-book debut.”

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Be Kind

Pat Zietlow Miller

“When Tanisha spills grape juice all over her new dress, her classmate wants to make her feel better, wondering: What does it mean to be kind?

From asking the new girl to play to standing up for someone being bullied, this moving story explores what kindness is, and how any act, big or small, can make a difference―or at least help a friend.”

Book List | Just Books. (78)

Big Red Lollipop

Rukhsana Khan

“Rubina has been invited to her first birthday party, and her mother, Ami, insists that she bring her little sister along. Rubina is mortified, but she can't convince Ami that you just don't bring your younger sister to your friend's party. So both girls go, and not only does Sana demand to win every game, but after the party she steals Rubina's prized party favor, a red lollipop. What's a fed-up big sister to do?”

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Festival of Colors

Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal

“Spring is here, and it’s almost time for Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors. Siblings Mintoo and Chintoo are busy gathering flowers to make into colorful powders to toss during the festival. And when at last the big day comes, they gather with their friends, family, and neighbors for a vibrant celebration of fresh starts, friendship, forgiveness, and, of course, fun!”

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Firebird

Misty Copeland

“In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl--an every girl--whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached. Misty encourages this young girl's faith in herself and shows her exactly how, through hard work and dedication, she too can become Firebird.”

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Here We Are

Oliver Jeffers

“Insightfully sweet, with a gentle humor and poignancy, here is Oliver Jeffers' user's guide to life on Earth. He created it specially for his son, yet with a universality that embraces all children and their parents. Be it a complex view of our planet's terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), or a guide to all of humanity (don’t be fooled, we are all people), Oliver's signature wit and humor combine with a value system of kindness and tolerance to create a must-have book for parents.”

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Hey, Wall

Susan Verde

“One creative boy.

One bare, abandoned wall.

One BIG idea.

There is a wall in Ángel’s neighborhood. Around it, the community bustles with life: music, dancing, laughing. Not the wall. It is bleak. One boy decides to change that. But he can’t do it alone.”

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I Will Make Miracles

Susie Morgenstern

“Children everywhere know that our world needs fixing, but it is the rare author who can put herself in children's shoes, and capture their complicated feelings in words. Susie Morgenstern has a gift for taking serious subjects and making sure they're clever, touching, and never too heavy. In this striking new picture book, she tackles the penetrating question Who is taking care of our world?”

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Imagine

Juan Felipe Herrera

“Have you ever imagined what you might be when you grow up? When he was very young, Juan Felipe Herrera picked chamomile flowers in windy fields and let tadpoles swim across his hands in a creek. He slept outside and learned to say good-bye to his amiguitos each time his family moved to a new town. He went to school and taught himself to read and write English and filled paper pads with rivers of ink as he walked down the street after school. And when he grew up, he became the United States Poet Laureate and read his poems aloud on the steps of the Library of Congress. If he could do all of that . . . what could you do? With this illustrated poem of endless possibility, Juan Felipe Herrera and Lauren Castillo breathe magic into the hopes and dreams of readers searching for their place in life.”

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Juna's Jar

Jane Bahk

“Juna and her best friend, Hector, have many adventures together, and they love to collect things in empty kimchi jars. Then one day, Hector moves away without having a chance to say good-bye. Juna is heartbroken and left to wonder who will go on adventures with her. Determined to find Hector, Juna turns to her special kimchi jar for help each night. She plunges into the depths of the ocean, swings on vines through the jungle, and flies through the night sky in search of her friend. What Juna learns is that adventure -- and new friends -- can be found in the most unexpected places.”

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Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michael Basquiat

Javaka Steptoe

“Jean-Michel Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocketed to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art world had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe's vivid text and bold artwork echoing Basquiat's own introduce young readers to the powerful message that art doesn't always have to be neat or clean--and definitely not inside the lines--to be beautiful.”

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Love

Matt de la Peña

"In the beginning there is light

and two wide-eyed figures standing near the foot of your bed

and the sound of their voices is love.

...

A cab driver plays love softly on his radio

while you bounce in back with the bumps of the city

and everything smells new, and it smells like life."

Book List | Just Books. (88)

Same, Same But Different

Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw

“Elliot lives in America, and Kailash lives in India. They are pen pals. By exchanging letters and pictures, they learn that they both love to climb trees, have pets, and go to school. Their worlds might look different, but they are actually similar. Same, same. But different!”

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Say Something

Peter H. Reynolds

“In this empowering new picture book, beloved author Peter H. Reynolds explores the many ways that a single voice can make a difference. Each of us, each and every day, have the chance to say something: with our actions, our words, and our voices. Perfect for kid activists everywhere, this timely story reminds readers of the undeniable importance and power of their voice. There are so many ways to tell the world who you are... what you are thinking... and what you believe. And how you'll make it better. The time is now: SAY SOMETHING!”

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Stars

Mary Lyn Ray

“A star is how you know it’s almost night.

As soon as you see one, there’s another, and another.

And the dark that comes doesn’t feel so dark.

What if you could have a star?

Look very closely in this lovely Classic Board Book for all kinds of stars both near and far…because stars are everywhere. Not just in the sky.”

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Thank you, Omu!

Oge Mora

“Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu's delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?”

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The Big Umbrella

Amy June Bates

“By the door there is an umbrella. It is big. It is so big that when it starts to rain there is room for everyone underneath. It doesn’t matter if you are tall. Or plaid. Or hairy. It doesn’t matter how many legs you have.

Don’t worry that there won’t be enough room under the umbrella. Because there will always be room.”

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The Day You Begin

Jacqueline Woodson

“There will be times when you walk into a room

and no one there is quite like you.

There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat, or something just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.”

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The Ugly Vegetables

Grace Lin

“In this charming story about celebrating differences a Chinese-American girl wishes for a garden of bright flowers instead of one full of bumpy, ugly, vegetables. The neighbors' gardens look so much prettier and so much more inviting to the young gardener than the garden of "black-purple-green vines, fuzzy wrinkled leaves, prickly stems, and a few little yellow flowers" that she and her mother grow. Nevertheless, mother assures her that "these are better than flowers." Come harvest time, everyone agrees as those ugly Chinese vegetables become the tastiest, most aromatic soup they have ever known. As the neighborhood comes together to share flowers and ugly vegetable soup, the young gardener learns that regardless of appearances, everything has its own beauty and purpose.”

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Thunder Boy Jr.

Sherman Alexie

“Thunder Boy Jr. wants a normal name...one that's all his own. Dad is known as big Thunder, but little thunder doesn't want to share a name. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he's done like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder.

But just when Little Thunder thinks all hope is lost, dad picks the best name...Lightning! Their love will be loud and bright, and together they will light up the sky.”

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The Girl with a Brave Heart: A Story from Tehran

Rita Jahanforuz

“After showing kindness to a strange old woman, Shiraz receives the gift of beauty but her lazy and unkind stepsister, Nargues, suffers a less pleasant fate in this adaptation of the Grimm's fairy tale, OMother Hulda, O reset in Tehran, Iran.”

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I Promise

LeBron James

“Just a kid from Akron, Ohio, who is dedicated to uplifting youth everywhere, LeBron James knows the key to a better future is to excel in school, do your best, and keep your family close.

I Promise is a lively and inspiring picture book that reminds us that tomorrow’s success starts with the promises we make to ourselves and our community today.”

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AntiRacist Baby

Ibram X Kendi

Take your first steps with Antiracist Baby! Or rather, follow Antiracist Baby's nine easy steps for building a more equitable world.

With bold art and thoughtful yet playful text, Antiracist Baby introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism. Providing the language necessary to begin critical conversations at the earliest age, Antiracist Baby is the perfect gift for readers of all ages dedicated to forming a just society.

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Tikki Tikki Tembo

Arlene Mosel

Three decades and more than one million copies later children still love hearing about the boy with the long name who fell down the well. Arlene Mosel and Blair Lent's classic re-creation of an ancient Chinese folktale has hooked legions of children, teachers, and parents, who return, generation after generation, to learn about the danger of having such an honorable name as Tikki tikki tembo-no sa rembo-chari bari ruchi-pip peri pembo.

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The Little Mermaid

Jerry Pinkney

Melody, the littlest sea princess, is not content just to sing in the choir of mermaids like her sisters. She is an explorer who wonders about what lies above the water's surface . . . especially the young girl she has spied from a distance. To meet her requires a terrible sacrifice: she trades her beautiful voice for a potion that gives her legs, so that she may live on land instead. It seems like a dream come true at first. But when trouble stirs beneath the ocean, Melody faces another impossible choice -- stay with her friend, or reclaim her true identity and save her family.

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The Invisible Alphabet

Joshua David Stein

There is nothing to see in this A to Z, other than clues to what was once or may soon be there. The 26 alphabetical scenarios are conceptual, mysterious, and meticulous, deliberately hinting at a story that has happened off the page. Readers are encouraged to explore each letter and soak in the wonder and curiosity of the alphabet unseen. Cleverly illustrated by the beloved Ron Barrett of Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, this hardcover picture book is less about the letters you see, and more about the story you don't.

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Simon B. Rhymin'

Dwayne Reed

Eleven-year-old Simon Barnes dreams of becoming a world-famous rapper that everyone calls Notorious D.O.G. But for now, he's just a Chicago fifth grader who's small for his age and afraid to use his voice.

Simon prefers to lay low at school and at home, even though he's constantly spitting rhymes in his head. But when his new teacher assigns the class an oral presentation on something that affects their community, Simon must face his fears.

With some help from an unexpected ally and his neighborhood crew, will Simon gain the confidence to rap his way to an A and prove that one kid can make a difference in his 'hood?

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I Am Every Good Thing

Derrick Barnes

The confident Black narrator of this book is proud of everything that makes him who he is. He's got big plans, and no doubt he'll see them through--as he's creative, adventurous, smart, funny, and a good friend. Sometimes he falls, but he always gets back up. And other times he's afraid, because he's so often misunderstood and called what he is not. So slow down and really look and listen, when somebody tells you--and shows you--who they are. There are superheroes in our midst!

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Jabari Tries

Gaia Cornwall

Jabari is making a flying machine in his backyard! “It’ll be easy. I don’t need any help,” he declares. But it doesn’t work! Jabari is frustrated. Good thing Dad is there for a pep talk and his little sister, Nika, is there to assist, fairy wings and all. With the endearing father-child dynamic of Jabari Jumps and engaging mixed-media illustrations, Gaia Cornwall’s tale shows that through perseverance and flexibility, an inventive thought can become a brilliant reality.

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Sulwe

Lupita Nyong'o

Sulwe has skin the color of midnight. She is darker than everyone in her family. She is darker than anyone in her school. Sulwe just wants to be beautiful and bright, like her mother and sister. Then a magical journey in the night sky opens her eyes and changes everything.

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All the Way to Havana

Margarita Engle

So we purr, cara cara, and we glide, taka taka, and we zoom, zoom, ZOOM!

Together, a boy and his parents drive to the city of Havana, Cuba, in their old family car. Along the way, they experience the sights and sounds of the streets―neighbors talking, musicians performing, and beautiful, colorful cars putt-putting and bumpety-bumping along. In the end, though, it’s their old car, Cara Cara, that the boy loves best. A joyful celebration of the Cuban people and their resourceful innovation.

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Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away

Meg Medina

Evelyn Del Rey is Daniela’s best friend. They do everything together and even live in twin apartments across the street from each other: Daniela with her mami and hamster, and Evelyn with her mami, papi, and cat. But not after today—not after Evelyn moves away. Until then, the girls play amid the moving boxes until it’s time to say goodbye, making promises to keep in touch, because they know that their friendship will always be special. The tenderness of Meg Medina’s beautifully written story about friendship and change is balanced by Sonia Sánchez’s colorful and vibrant depictions of the girls’ urban neighborhood.

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Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx

Jonah Winter

The inspiring and timely story of Sonia Sotomayor, who rose up from a childhood of poverty and prejudice to become the first Latino to be nominated to the US Supreme Court.

Before Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor took her seat in our nation's highest court, she was just a little girl in the South Bronx. Justice Sotomayor didn't have a lot growing up, but she had what she needed -- her mother's love, a will to learn, and her own determination. With bravery she became the person she wanted to be. With hard work she succeeded. With little sunlight and only a modest plot from which to grow, Justice Sotomayor bloomed for the whole world to see.

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Too Many Tamales

Gary Soto

Christmas Eve started out so perfectly for Maria. Snow had fallen and the streets glittered. Maria's favorite cousins were coming over and she got to help make the tamales for Christmas dinner. It was almost too good to be true when her mother left the kitchen for a moment and Maria got to try on her beautiful diamond ring . .

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Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin

Duncan Tonatiuh

Two cousins—one in the United States and one in Mexico—learn their lives aren’t so different in this charming picture book from award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh

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Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers

Sarah Warren

Dolores is a teacher, a mother, and a friend. She wants to know why her students are too hungry to listen, why they don't have shoes to wear to school. Dolores is a warrior, an organizer, and a peacemaker. When she finds out that the farm workers in her community are poorly paid and working under dangerous conditions, she stands up for their rights.

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Separate is Never Equal

Duncan Tonatiuh

When her family moved to the town of Westminster, California, young Sylvia Mendez was excited about enrolling in her neighborhood school. But she and her brothers were turned away and told they had to attend the Mexican school instead. Sylvia could not understand why—she was an American citizen who spoke perfect English. Why were the children of Mexican families forced to attend a separate school? Unable to get a satisfactory answer from the school board, the Mendez family decided to take matters into its own hands and organize a lawsuit.

In the end, the Mendez family’s efforts helped bring an end to segregated schooling in California in 1947, seven years before the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education ended segregation in schools across America.

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Where Are You From?

Yamile Saied Mendez

When a girl is asked where she’s from—where she’s really from—none of her answers seems to be the right one.

Unsure about how to reply, she turns to her loving abuelo for help. He doesn’t give her the response she expects. She gets an even better one.

Where am I from?

You’re from hurricanes and dark storms, and a tiny singing frog that calls the island people home when the sun goes to sleep....

With themes of self-acceptance, identity, and home, this powerful, lyrical picture book will resonate with readers young and old, from all backgrounds and of all colors—especially anyone who ever felt that they don’t belong.

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Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez

Kathleen Krull

Cesar Chavez is known as one of America's greatest civil rights leaders. When he led a 340-mile peaceful protest march through California, he ignited a cause and improved the lives of thousands of migrant farmworkers. But Cesar wasn't always a leader. As a boy, he was shy and teased at school. His family slaved in the fields for barely enough money to survive.

Cesar knew things had to change, and he thought that--maybe--he could help change them. So he took charge. He spoke up. And an entire country listened.

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Frida Kahlo

Isabel Munoz

Mexican artist Frida Kahlo created vibrantly hued paintings . . . and led an equally colorful life. Known for her self-portraits, she became a feminist icon whose work now sells for millions of dollars. This lively biography looks at Frida’s childhood—including her bout with polio—as well as her devotion to Mexican culture and political causes; the bus accident that left her in chronic pain but also sparked her career; and her marriage to Diego Rivera. Appealing illustrations, information on her breakthroughs and successes, and an index of major events reveal how Frida left her mark on humanity. A timeline and simple quiz help kids test their understanding and knowledge.

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Turning Pages: My Life Story

Sonia Sotomayor

As the first Latina Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor has inspired young people around the world to reach for their dreams. But what inspired her? For young Sonia, the answer was books! They were her mirrors, her maps, her friends, and her teachers. They helped her to connect with her family in New York and in Puerto Rico, to deal with her diabetes diagnosis, to cope with her father's death, to uncover the secrets of the world, and to dream of a future for herself in which anything was possible.

Book List | Just Books. (117)

Adelita

Tomie dePaola

Hace mucho tiempo—a long time ago—there lived a beautiful young woman named Adelita. So begins the age-old tale of a kindhearted young woman, her jealous stepmother, two hateful stepsisters, and a young man in search of a wife. The young man, Javier, falls madly in love with beautiful Adelita, but she disappears from his fiesta at midnight, leaving him with only one clue to her hidden identity: a beautiful rebozo—shawl. With the rebozo in place of a glass slipper, this favorite fairy tale takes a delightful twist. Tomie dePaola's exquisite paintings, filled with the folk art of Mexico, make this a Cinderella story like no other.

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Abuela

Arthur Dorros

Come join Rosalba and her grandmother, her abuela, on a magical journey as they fly over the streets, sights, and people of New York City which sparkles below. The story is narrated in English, and sprinkled with Spanish phrases as Abuela points out places that they explore together. The exhilaration in Rosalba’s and Abuela's story is magnified by the loving bond that only a grandmother and granddaughter can share.

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Duncan Tonatiuh

As a child, Amalia Hernández saw a pair of dancers in the town square. The way they stomped and swayed to the rhythm of the beat inspired her. She knew one day she would become a dancer.

Amalia studied ballet and modern dance under the direction of skilled teachers who had performed in world-renowned dance companies. But she never forgot the folk dance she had seen years earlier. She began traveling through the Mexican countryside, witnessing the dances of many regions, and she used her knowledge of ballet and modern dance to adapt the traditional dances to the stage. She founded her own dance company, a group that became known as el Ballet Folklórico de México.

Book List | Just Books. (120)

Clean Getaway

Nic Stone

How to Go on an Unplanned Road Trip with Your Grandma:

Grab a Suitcase: Prepacked from the big spring break trip that got CANCELLED.

Fasten Your Seatbelt: G'ma's never conventional, so this trip won't be either.

Use the Green Book: G'ma's most treasured possession. It holds history, memories, and most important, the way home.

What Not to Bring:

A Cell Phone: Avoid contact with Dad at all costs. Even when G'ma starts acting stranger than usual.

Set against the backdrop of the segregation history of the American South, take a trip with this New York Times bestseller and an eleven-year-old boy who is about to discover that the world hasn't always been a welcoming place for kids like him, and things aren't always what they seem--his G'ma included.

Book List | Just Books. (121)

A Place Where Sunflowers Grow

Amy Lee-Tai

Under the harsh summer sun, Mari’s art class has begun. But it’s hard to think of anything to draw in a place where nothing beautiful grows — especially a place like Topaz, the internment camp where Mari’s family and thousands of other Japanese Americans have been sent to live during World War II. Somehow, glimmers of hope begin to surface — in the eyes of a kindly art teacher, in the tender words of Mari’s parents, and in the smile of a new friend. Amy Lee-Tai’s sensitive prose and Felicia Hoshino’s stunning mixed-media images show that hope can survive alongside even the harshest injustice. (Bilingual Book in English and Japanese)

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Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match

Monica Brown

My name is Marisol McDonald, and I don’t match. At least, that’s what everyone tells me.

Marisol McDonald has flaming red hair and nut-brown skin. Polka dots and stripes are her favorite combination. She prefers peanut butter and jelly burritos in her lunch box. And don’t even think of asking her to choose one or the other activity at recess—she’ll just be a soccer playing pirate princess, thank you very much. To Marisol McDonald, these seemingly mismatched things make perfect sense together.

Unfortunately, they don’t always make sense to everyone else. Other people wrinkle their nose in confusion at Marisol—can’t she just be one or the other? Try as she might, in a world where everyone tries to put this biracial, Peruvian-Scottish-American girl into a box, Marisol McDonald doesn’t match. And that’s just fine with her. (Bilingual Book in English and Spanish)

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Baseball Saved Us

Ken Mochizuki

Shorty and his family, along with thousands of other Japanese Americans, have been forced to relocate from their homes to a camp after the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Fighting the heat, dust, and freezing cold nights of the desert, Shorty and the others at the camp need something to look forward to, even if only for nine innings. So they build a playing field, and in this unlikely place, a baseball league is formed. Surrounded by barbed-wire fences and guards in towers, Shorty soon finds that he is playing not only to win, but to gain dignity and self-respect as well.

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Mama the Alien

Rene Colato Lainez

When Mama’s purse falls on the floor, Sofia gets a peek at Mama's old Resident Alien card and comes to the conclusion that Mama might be an alien from outer space. Sofia heads to the library to learn more about aliens. Some are small and some are tall. Some have four fingers on each hand and some have large, round eyes. Their skin can be gray or blue or green. But Mama looks like a human mother! Could she really be an alien? Sofia is still puzzling out this mystery when she sees an alien-looking Mama one night. It turns out Mama is doing a beauty treatment so she will look her best for her citizenship ceremony. That's when Sofia realizes that in English, an alien can be someone from another planet, and it can also be a person from another country. Just like Mama! Filled with imagination and humor, Mama the Alien/Mama la extraterrestre is a lighthearted immigration tale and a celebration of family, no matter where that family comes from. Even if it’s outer space!" (Bilingual Book in English and Spanish)

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Black All Around

Patricia Hubbell

In this lively, poetic celebration of the colour black, a young girl experiences the wonder and joy of all the black objects she finds around her. The letters and words on the pages of a book, a limousine, a big workhorse, beetles, firefighter's boots, piano keys, and more all capture the young girl's attention in joyously illustrated spreads that combine seemingly unrelated objects in imaginative interactions.

Book List | Just Books. (126)

Tan to Tamarind

Malathi Iyengra

In Tan to Tamarind, poet Malathi Michelle Iyengar asks young readers this question: When you look in the mirror, what do you see? Through her colorful poetry she travels the rich spectrum of shades within the color brown, from swirls of henna decorating ochre hands and feet at an Indian wedding to cinnamon lips smiling over a cup of café con leche to leaves drifting like stars onto upturned russet faces in the fall. The poetry, along with Jamel Akib's pastel illustrations, encourages young ones to embrace each other's differences while building self-esteem and a healthy self-image.

Book List | Just Books. (127)

Cooper's Lesson

Sun Yung Shin

Cooper caught his reflection in the window. Brown hair, fair skin, and some freckles. Grandmother Park always said, "Such white skin!" and Grandmother Daly always said, "What brown skin!" One cousin always teased him about being "half and half." Cooper has had about enough of being half and half. And he's certainly had enough of Mr. Lee, the owner of his neighborhood grocery store, speaking to him in Korean even though Cooper can't keep up. Why can't things be simple? Why can't he just be one thing or the other? One moment in Mr. Lee's store changes everything for Cooper. Before long he realizes that the question of who we are is never simple-whether you talk about it in English or Korean. Kim Cogan's richly hued oil paintings perfectly complement this story of identity and intergenerational friendship, and author Sun Yung Shin brings her characters to life with tender, vivid prose. (Bilingual Book in English and Korean)

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Under My Hijab

Hena Khan

Grandma wears it clasped under her chin. Aunty pins hers up with a beautiful brooch. Jenna puts it under a sun hat when she hikes. Zara styles hers to match her outfit. As a young girl observes six very different women in her life who each wear the hijab in a unique way, she also dreams of the rich possibilities of her own future, and how she will express her own personality through her hijab. Written in sprightly rhyme and illustrated by a talented newcomer, Under My Hijab honors the diverse lives of contemporary Muslim women and girls, their love for each other, and their pride in their culture and faith.

Book List | Just Books. (129)

DeShawn Days

Tony Medina

Based on the author's own experiences as a child growing up in the projects, a delightful picture book follows DeShawn Williams, who wants to be a rap star and who is terrified that the graffiti in his neighborhood will come alive.

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When the Shadbush Blooms

Carla Messinger and Susan Katz

Today when a Lenape Indian girl ventures to the stream to fish for shad, she knows that another girl did the same generations before her. Through the cycle of the seasons, what is important has remained: being with family, knowing when berries are ripe for picking, listening to stories in a warm home. Told by Traditional Sister and Contemporary Sister, each from her own time, this is a book about tradition and about change. Then and now are not so very different when the shadbush blooms.

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We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know

Traci Sorell

Too often, Native American history is treated as a finished chapter instead of relevant and ongoing. This companion book to the award-winning We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga offers readers everything they never learned in school about Native American people's past, present, and future. Precise, lyrical writing presents topics including: forced assimilation (such as boarding schools), land allotment and Native tribal reorganization, termination (the US government not recognizing tribes as nations), Native urban relocation (from reservations), self-determination (tribal self-empowerment), Native civil rights, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), religious freedom, economic development (including casino development), Native language revival efforts, cultural persistence, and nationhood.

Book List | Just Books. (132)

Binny's Diwali

Thrity Umrigar

Binny is excited to talk to her class about her favorite holiday. But she struggles to find the words.Taking a deep breath, she tells her classmates about the fireworks that burst like stars in the night sky, leaving streaks of gold and red and green. She shares with them delicious pedas and jalebis. And she shows them clay lamps, called diyas, which look so pretty all the children ooh and aah.Featuring a heartwarming story by Thrity Umrigar, enchanting illustrations by Nidhi Chanani, and detailed information about the Hindu festival of lights, Binny's Diwali is a holiday treat.

Book List | Just Books. (133)

ANTI-BIAS BOOKS

Anti-Bias Books

Book List | Just Books. (134)

Red: A Crayon's Story

Michael Hall

“A blue crayon mistakenly labeled as "red" suffers an identity crisis in this picture book by the New York Times–bestselling creator of My Heart Is Like a Zoo and It's an Orange Aardvark! Funny, insightful, and colorful, Red: A Crayon's Story, by Michael Hall, is about being true to your inner self and following your own path despite obstacles that may come your way. Red will appeal to fans of Lois Ehlert, Eric Carle, and The Day the Crayons Quit, and makes a great gift for readers of any age!

Red has a bright red label, but he is, in fact, blue. His teacher tries to help him be red (let's draw strawberries!), his mother tries to help him be red by sending him out on a playdate with a yellow classmate (go draw a nice orange!), and the scissors try to help him be red by snipping his label so that he has room to breathe. But Red is miserable. He just can't be red, no matter how hard he tries! Finally, a brand-new friend offers a brand-new perspective, and Red discovers what readers have known all along. He's blue! This funny, heartwarming, colorful picture book about finding the courage to be true to your inner self can be read on multiple levels, and it offers something for everyone.”

Book List | Just Books. (135)

Deena Misses Her Mom

Jonae Haynesworth, Jesse Holmes, Layonnie Jones, and Kahliya Ruffin

“Lately, Deena has been getting angry. A lot. She acts out in school and keeps getting in trouble. Everyone is surprised because she used to be very calm, but that was before her mother went to jail. Her dad, her grandma, and her best friend Josey all do their best to help her out, but Deena doesn’t want to talk about it. Will a day at the carnival with her Dad help her open up?”

Book List | Just Books. (136)

We Are Family

Patricia Hegarty

“Through illness and health, in celebration and disappointment, families stick together. Some families are made up of many people, and some are much smaller. Sometimes family members look like each other, and sometimes they don’t! But even though every family is different, the love is all the same.”

Book List | Just Books. (137)

Last Stop on Market Street

Matt de la Peña

“Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don't own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn’t he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty—and fun—in their routine and the world around them.”

Book List | Just Books. (138)

All Are Welcome

Alexandra Penfold

“Discover a school where—no matter what—young children have a place, have a space, and are loved and appreciated.

Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other's traditions. A school that shows the world as we will make it to be.”

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Mixed: A Colorful Story

Arree Chung

“In the beginning, there were three colors . . .

Reds,

Yellows,

and Blues.

All special in their own ways, all living in harmony―until one day, a Red says "Reds are the best!" and starts a color kerfuffle. When the colors decide to separate, is there anything that can change their minds?

A Yellow, a Blue, and a never-before-seen color might just save the day in this inspiring book about color, tolerance, and embracing differences.”

Book List | Just Books. (140)

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

Debbie Levy

“Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.”

Book List | Just Books. (141)

Keep Climbing, Girls

Beah E. Richards

“The dynamic ode to girl power was written by noted Afro-American actor, poet, and playwright Beah E. Richards. First published in 1951, her poem is given new life in this edition that includes an introduction by LisaGay Hamilton and stunning illustrations by R. Gregory Christie. With its inspirational message, this book will empower children with the realization that "the path of life goes up and up/not down!"”

Book List | Just Books. (142)

The Barefoot Book of Children

Tessa Strickland and Kate Depalma

“Innovative and inclusive, Barefoot Books Children of the World empowers young readers to learn about children around the globe and ponder their own place in it. Created with the guidance of diversity specialists, this groundbreaking work of narrative nonfiction addresses the need for children's books that depict diversity, while demonstrating the interconnectedness and uniqueness of all people.”

Book List | Just Books. (143)

Little Big Sister

Amy B. McCoy

“WINNER of the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Children’s Fiction! Meet nine-year-old Katie, the little sister who feels like a big sister. Her eleven-year-old brother, Mikey, has autism. Katie can ride a two-wheeler, but Mikey’s bike still has training wheels. Katie rides the bus to school, while Mikey takes the special needs van. When a new student with special needs joins Katie’s class, she notices that some kids just don’t “get it” about autism and other disabilities. Discover how Katie, along with her friends Lauren and Bella, are determined to make a difference at their school.”

Book List | Just Books. (144)

Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints

Daneen Akers

“"Holy Troublemakers & Unconventional Saints" is an illustrated children's book about people of diverse faiths working for more love and justice in their corners of the world, even when that means rocking the religious boat. With original portraits from more than two dozen artists and engaging profiles of people from different faiths and different eras, these are stories that inspire, educate, challenge, and encourage”

Book List | Just Books. (145)

Lulu is a Rhinoceros

Jason Flom and Allison Flom

Everyone thinks Lulu is a bulldog, but she knows that can't be true, because Lulu is a Rhinoceros-that is what she sees staring back at her when she looks in the mirror. But sometimes, being yourself can be a difficult road to walk. And just when all hope seems lost, Lulu finds a small friend that makes a big difference in her life when she realizes that the courage to be herself has been inside of her all along...

Book List | Just Books. (146)

Suee and the Shadow

Ginger Ly and Molly Park

Meet Suee: Twelve years old, wears her hair to the left in a point, favors a black dress, has no friends—and she likes it that way! When Suee transfers to the dull and ordinary Outskirts Elementary, she doesn’t expect to hear a strange voice speaking to her from the darkness of the school’s exhibit room, and she certainly doesn’t expect to see her shadow come to life. Then things start to get really weird: One by one, her classmates at school turn into zombie-like, hollow-eyed Zeroes. While Suee investigates why this is happening, her shadow gains power. Soon, Suee must confront a stunning secret that her shadow has been hiding under her own two feet—something very dark and sinister that could put Suee and her newfound friends at risk!

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Rise Up and Write It

Nandini Ahuja

When Farah Patel realizes that the butterflies have disappeared from her neighborhood, she discovers that it’s likely because there aren’t enough flowers to attract them. She can’t help but think, “This isn’t right.”

Luckily enough, Grove Hills is looking for ideas on what to do with the empty lot next door. And Farah has the perfect one—make it into a community garden to bring back a little green to their block! But when Farah finds out that she isn’t the only one with a plan for the future of Grove Hills, she’ll have to turn to her community for help.

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Flying High: The Story of GymnasticsChampion Simone Biles

Michelle Meadows

Before she was a record-breaking gymnast competing on the world stage, Simone Biles spent time in foster care as a young child. Nimble and boundlessly energetic, she cherished every playground and each new backyard.

When she was six years old, Simone's family took shape in a different way. Her grandparents Ron and Nellie Biles adopted Simone and her sister Adria. Ron and Nellie became their parents. Simone was also introduced to gymnastics that same year, launching a lifelong passion fueled by remarkable talent, sacrifice, and the undying support of her family.

From her athletic early childhood to the height of her success as an Olympic champion, Flying High is the story of the world's greatest gymnast from author Michelle Meadows and illustrator Ebony Glenn.

*Book descriptions are all from Amazon.com

Book List | Just Books. (2024)

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