We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know

english 6-10 years Indigenous History Own Voices Activism Human Rights Historical Figures Empowerment Traci Sorell & Frané Lessac summary Framed around an Indigenous Peoples Day presentation night at a school, We Are Still Here gives snippets of information in the history of Native Peoples in what is now called the United States. The story is…

a dark and hollow star

The ease with which Shuttleworth infuses the existing mythology and lore with nonbinary characters and frank discussions of the trauma inherent in growing up with a marginalized identity is striking.

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…

The Arabic Quilt

Written By: Aya Khalil Illustrated by: Anait Semirdzhyan For Ages: 6 years and up Language: English & Arabic Topics Covered: Immigration, Muslim, Family, Resilience, Own Voices. Summary: When Kanzi starts school in America, she misses her home and her family in Egypt. She desperately wants to make friends and fit in. Kanzi ends up forgetting…

The Proudest Blue

Written by: Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali Illustrated by: Hatem Aly For ages: 4-8 years Language: English Topics Covered: Muslim Identity, Islamophobia, Family, Growing Up, Siblings, Own Voices, Lived Experiences, POC-Centric Narratives, Resilience, Strength.  Summary: The Proudest Blue is a story about Asiya’s first day hijab, which she has chosen because it’s the color of the sky.  Faizah, Asiya’s younger sister, is our narrator…

The Undefeated

Written by: Kwame Alexander Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson For ages: 7 years and up Language: English Topics Covered: Black Identity & Culture, Resilience, Trailblazers, History, Oppression, Enslavement.  Summary:  Honestly, I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to review The Undefeated.  It’s beautiful and powerful and required reading.  For #sweetsandsocialjustice this week I’ve paired some baked donuts and the oh-so-trendy whipped coffee (seriously…

Sunny

Written by: Jason Reynolds Cover Art by: Vanessa Brantley Newton For ages: YA Middle Grades (mention of maternal death) Language: English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Growing Up, Sports, Black Culture & Identity, Track & Field, Dance, Single Parenthood, Friendship, Homeschooling, Resilience, Own Voices.  Summary: This is the third in Jason Reynolds’ Track series, this time about team member Sunny. We find out that…

The Escape of Robert Smalls: A Daring Voyage Out of Slavery

Written by: Jehan Jones-Radgowski Illustrated by: Poppy Kang For ages: 9-13 years Language: English Topics Covered: Enslavement, Historical Figure, Historical Events, Abolition, POC-Centric Narratives, Resilience, Strength, Own Voices. Summary: This book is phenomenal.  Robert Smalls was an enslaved man that was able to hold a job away from the person that enslaved him.  Because of this, he worked on a ship…

Granddaddy’s Gift

Written by: Margaree King Mitchell Illustrated by: Larry Johnson For ages: 5 years and up Language: English Topics Covered: POC-Centric Narratives, Modern Back Freedom Struggle, Voting Rights, Family, Activism, Racism, Strength, Resilience, Education, Own Voices, Historical Fiction.  Summary: This story is told from the perspective of a young girl, who everyone calls Little Joe on account of the fact that she follows…

I’m Gonna Push Through [released Feb. 18th]

Written by: Jasmyn Wright Illustrated by: Shannon Wright For ages: 4-8 years Language: English Topics Covered: Empowerment, Self-Confidence, Resiliency, Disability, Diverse Experiences, Growth Mindset. Summary:  This book is awesome!  I’m Gonna Push Through! delivers an empowering message for young people to step into their power and overcome anything in their path.  The book is based on a mantra that the author…