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…

Red, White, and Whole

English MG & Up Bicultural Kids Indian Culture Parents Cancer CW: Parent Death Rajani LaRocca Summary: This beautiful novel in verse set in 1983 is narrated by Reha, whose parents moved from Bangalore. Reha is sometimes frustrated that she can’t do the “typical American” teen thing, and feels like her mother in particular doesn’t understand…

Off to See the Sea

Written & Illustrated by:  Nikki Grimes & Elizabeth Zunon For ages: 4-8 years Language: English Topics Covered: Black Protagonists Own Voices Imagination Family   Summary:  In this followup story by the pair that brought you Bedtime for Sweet Creatures (winner of the #bookstagang_bestof2020 Future Classics category!) now brings Off to See the Sea, another installment of…

Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou

Written by: Bethany Hegedus, forward by Colin Johnson Illustrated by: Tonya Engel For ages: 7-10 years  Language: English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Historical Figure, Writer, Activism, Activist. Summary: This is an incredible and lyrical retelling of Maya Angelou’s life, I was hooked instantly upon opening the book.  The poetic words take the reader through the life of Maya from a young…

Taking Time

Written & Illustrated by: Jo Loring-Fisher For ages: 4-8 years Language: English Topics Covered: Poetry, Mindfulness, Childhood, Observation, Global Community, Social-Emotional Learning.  Summary:  This sweet poem celebrates mindfulness as the reader sees what children all over the world are taking a moment to do.  The beginning of the book also helpfully has a map with the countries labeled that the…

Firebird

Written by: Misty Copeland with Charisse Jones Illustrated by: Christopher Myers For ages: 4 years and up Language: English Topics Covered: Trailblazers, POC-Centric Narratives, Poetry, Ballet, Historical Figure, Historical Events, Art, Growing Up, Hard Work, Inspiration.  Summary: This book is a beautiful conversation between trailblazing ballerina Misty Copeland and a young hopeful.  Lyrical text and flowing illustrations help capture the long…

A Likkle Miss Lou: How Jamaican Poet Louise Bennett Coverley Found Her Voice

Written by: Nadia L. Hohn Illustrated by: Eugenie Fernandes For ages: 4-8 years  Language: English & Jamaican/Caribbean Patois  Topics Covered: Historical Figure, POC-Centric Narratives, Poetry, Global Community, Trailblazer, Black Culture & Identity, Jamaica, Language, Literacy.  Summary: Louise is a young girl living in Kingston, Jamaica.  She loves words and writing poetry, but the words get stuck when she tries to speak.  Louise gains inspiration…

Freedom over me; Eleven slaves, their lives and dreams brought to life

Written & Illustrated by: Ashley Bryan For ages: 10-12 years (grades 4-6) Language: English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Enslavement, Enslaved People, Historical Figures, Historical Events, Poetry, Historic Narratives, Narratives of Enslavement.  Summary: This book is comprised of poems telling the stories of 11 enslaved people.  Records of these individuals were found in a historical document owned by the author himself, who…

Keep Climbing, Girls

Written by: Beah E. Richards (Introduction by LisaGay Hamilton) Illustrated by: R. Gregory Christie For ages: 4 years and up Language: English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Self-Expression, Acceptance, Self-Acceptance, Independence. Summary: This is a poem about girl power!  The main character is determined to prove her bravery and climb to the top of the tree, despite threats from the intimidating figure…

A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks

Written by: Alice Faye Duncan Illustrated by: Xia Gordon For ages: 4 years and up Language: English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Poetry, Black Culture & Identity, Women Poets, Own Voices, Trailblazer, Historical Figure, Historical Events. Summary: This book is a fascinating rendition of poetry surrounding Gwendolyn Brooks, some of it is her own poetry and some is the author’s.  The author…