The Insiders

English & Spanish MG LGBTQ Friendship Bullying Queer Friendships Latinx Family Moving New School Fantasy/Magic Mark Oshiro summary Ahh middle school. Hormones, moving to new schools, wanting to look cool…secret rooms that respond to your needs? Maybe not for all of us, but for Héctor and his new middle school this seems to be the…

The Proudest Color

English 4-8 Social-Emotional Learning New school BIPOC Narratives Self-Esteem Confidence Sheila Modir, Jeff Kashou, & Monica Mikai summary Zahra experiences her emotions as colors, and is about to start school. Something that Zahra understands is that while emotions are fleeting and sometimes unseen by those around her, her glowing brown skin is perceivable immediately. When…

Over and Under the Canyon

English 4-8 BIPOC Characters Nature Canyons Desert Wildlife Pint-Sized Professor Interracial Families Kate Messner & Christopher Silas Neal summary People! Of! Color! Enjoying! Nature! This not an unbelievable concept, and I REALLY LOVE how the family within this lovely and educational story is portrayed. The family is interracial, and the mom is the head adventurer,…

The Wild Ones & a Love of Dessert

English YA Feminism Sci-Fi Fantasy BIPOC Narratives Anger Chosen Family Magic Love CW: Mentions of assault Nafiza Azad summary This. Book. Is. Everything. When a publicist got in touch and told me about The Wild Ones, I was instantly hooked. A roving band of girls that weaponize their screams in retaliation for the times they’ve…

Paletas for All!

English & Spanish All Ages Paletas STEM Cooking Kindness LA Food Scene summary Popsicle season is year-round, and that’s something I’m prepared to fight about. Today I have two fantastic books that celebrate the paleta in all forms, a picture book and a cookbook! If you haven’t checked out Ericka Sanchez’s website Nibbles & Feasts…

Starting Over in Sunset Park

English & Spanish 4-8 years Immigration Single-Parent Family New Beginnings NYC Animals Cat-sitting José Pelaez, Lynn McGee, & Bianca Diaz summary Our story opens with a young girl and her mother arriving to NYC from the Dominican Republic, ready to begin a new life for themselves. Initially staying with relatives, the pair is looking forward…

Hot Pot Night!

English 2+ years Community Cooking Friendship Vincent Chen summary If you don’t like hot pot, I just don’t know if I can trust your tastebuds and #SorryNotSorry about that. In this simple story, an apartment building comes together (think old-school Stone Soup style) to make a communal meal. It is in a similar vein of…

Amara and the Bats

English 4+ Environmental Activism BIPOC Narratives Community Single-Parent Family Nature Pint-Sized Professor Bats Emma Reynolds summary Amara looooves bats! She’s enamored by their fuzzy flying hamster-like bodies and flappy wings. Amara, her mom, and brother Samir love to watch them fly around at the park near their home. When the family moves to a new…

The Adventures of Team Pom: Squid Happens

English 8+ Fantasy Synchronized Swimming Bao Friendship Social-Emotional Learning Mystery Sci-Fi Isabel Roxas summary Team Pom (comprised of Ruby, Agnes, and Roberta) is a group of misfits that’s main goal is winning the illustrious local synchronized swimming competition. Unfortunately, they need some sweet moves and an infinite supply of bao to get their creativity flowing….

Let’s Go For a Walk with Ranger Hamza

English 4 years & up Nature Pint-Sized Professor BIPOC Narratives Girls Outdoors CBeebies Text: Hamza Yassin & Hello Halo Productions Limited Illustrations: Kate Kronreif summary A few days ago, our cousins came over and we got the chance to stomp around in the woods for awhile which was just what I needed. This morning when…