Humans Making an Impact: A Roundup of Yesterday, Today, and the Future

english 4-8 years Environmental Justice Activism STEM Marine Biology Girls Outdoors Various, see each review. Summary: In my ongoing Earth Day coverage, I wanted a post to focus on specific individuals who were passionate about different aspects of our natural world. Behold, an array humans that have made a difference throughout history (and one who…

While I Was Away

English & Japanese MG & Up Asian-American Experience Japanese-American Own Voices Growing Up Family Language Learning SEL Waka T. Brown summary Waka is a Japanese-American sixth grader in rural Kansas in the 1980’s. At home, her family speaks Japanese almost exclusively, but Waka is behind in reading and writing in kanji. After a few incidents…

Earth Squad: 50 People who are Saving the Planet

english MG & Up Climate Justice Historical Figures Trailblazers STEM Activism Community Alexandra Zissu & Nhung Lê summary For #SweetsAndSocialJustice this week, I want to kickoff what I’ve been calling in my brain an Earth Day social justice bonanza. Make sure you look for the earth icon I’ve put on the photo to be able…

Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever

English 4-8 years STEM Community Friendship Social-Emotional Learning Gardening Problem-Solving Ruth Spiro & Holly Hatam Summary: Maxine and Leo are best friends (along with Milton the goldfish) and also complete opposites. Leo is gentle and creative, and Maxine is practical and mathematically minded. I love the way this story not only bucks gender stereotypes, but…

Anita and the Dragons

english 4-8 years Moving Dominican Identity & Culture Immigration Imagination Community Hannah Carmona & Anna Cunha summary Anita enjoys sitting on the roof and watching the dragons in the sky. Sure, some people call them airplanes…but they look like dragons to Anita. This stunningly beautiful book follows Anita as she goes from just watching the…

America My Love, America My Heart

english 4-8 years Patriotism Society Culture Racism Social-Emotional Learning Poetry Daria Peoples-Riley summary I have a lot of complicated feelings about America. I have complicated feelings about benefiting from a history of colonization and global imperialism, and a feeling of responsibility to in some small way dismantle the systemic oppression that built this land into…

Sweet & Bitter Magic

english MG & Up fantasy witchcraft LGBTQ+ relationships magic adventure Adrienne Tooley summary This is a great fantasy novel with LGBTQ relationships (normalized throughout the society), and most importantly, the strife experienced doesn’t come from homophobia but from dark magic. Tamsin is an incredibly powerful witch, but was banished for using dark magic to save…

Our Little Kitchen

english 5-10 years community community kitchen sustainability food security food access volunteering Jillian Tamaki summary Our Little Kitchen is a bustling and energetic book about a community meal preparation, based off of author/artist Jillian Tamaki’s experiences working at a kitchen in Brooklyn. Plumes of cooking steam billow out of pots, reminding me of cooking scenes…

My Day With the Panye

English & Haitian 4-8 years Family Haitian Culture & Identity Social-Emotional Learning Tami Charles & Sara Palacios summary Fallon wants nothing more than to help her family and carry the heavy panye on her head home from the market. When she gets the chance to go with her Manman (mother) to pick up some vegetables,…

Rocket Says Look Up!

english 4-8 years STEM women in science women in STEM Black protagonists Nathan Bryon & Dapo Adeola summary Rocket LOVES space, and her hero is Mae Jemison. The story follows Rocket and her brother Jamal on the day leading up to a meteor shower that Rocket could not be more excited about. She’s made her…