Anyone need some space?

English 5 years & up STEM Space Science Historical Figures Imagination Poetry SEL Various, see each book. Space is cool, amirite? Who isn’t preoccupied at some point with what’s up there, only accessible by rocket? I have three books with space as an overarching theme, but in different and creative ways. The vastness of the…

Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel

English YA Black Culture & Identity Gun Violence Loss Family Poetry Jason Reynolds & Danica Novgorodoff summary Long Way Down is a poetic masterpiece. A teenager named Will witnesses his brother get shot in the street, and knows he must follow The Rules and seek revenge. The graphic novel is based on Jason Reynolds’ novel…

Like a Dandelion

English 4-8 years Own Voices Cambodian-American Creator Refugee Experiences Immigration Joy Mindfulness Huy Voun Lee summary Like a Dandelion is such a sweet book, and follows a young child as she moves with her mother to a new place. Using the metaphor of a dandelion’s life cycle, the pair take root in a new place…

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…

If Dominican Were a Color

English & 4-8 years Afro-Dominican Identity Own Voices Dominican Republic Poetry Self-Love Sili Recio & Brianna McCarthy Summary: If Dominican Were a Color is a beautiful book that describes aspects of life in the DR as well as pays homage to their strong roots in Africa, as it is “estimated that 73% of the population…

A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart

English 4 years and up Poetry Own Voices Black Lives Matter Social-Emotional Learning Critical Thinking Skills Media Consumption Zetta Elliott & Noa Denmon Summary: This book just received a Caldecott Honor, which is incredibly well-deserved! This poetic story centers around the narrator working through feelings surrounding a police shooting of a young girl, which is…

Rain Before Rainbows

Written & Illustrated by:  Smriti Prasadam-Halls & David Litchfield For ages: 4 years & up Language: English Topics Covered: Friendship Poetry BIPOC Protagonists Social-Emotional Learning Bravery Courage Summary: Rain Before Rainbows is filled with lyrical and poetic text with illustrations that are truly resplendent and enticing to the eyes, urging the reader to turn the page. In…

All Because You Matter

Written By: Tami Charles Illustrated by: Bryan Collier For Ages: 4 years and up Language: English Topics Covered: Poetry, Black Families, Children, Social-Emotional Learning, Growing Up, Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, Own Voices. Summary: This gorgeous book is an ode to Black sons, and a mother’s deepest wishes for her son to know his worth and that he…

Brown: The Many Shades of Love

Written By: Nancy Johnson James Illustrated by: Constance Moore For Ages: 3 years and up Language: English Topics Covered: Family, BIPOC Families, Poetry, Self-Esteem, Own Voices. Summary: This beautiful poem is told from the perspective of a child describing the variety of skin tones found in their family. The child uses intentionally sweet (pun intended)…

Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation

Written By: Edwidge Danticat Illustrated by: Leslie Staub For Ages: 5 years and up Language: English & Haitian Creole Topics Covered: Immigration, ICE, Activism, Family, Undocumented, Family, Detainment, Poetry, Imagination, Own Voices. Summary: Mama’s Nightingale follows a young girl named Saya whose mother is detained for being undocumented. In an emotional narrative, Saya yearns for…