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One day, The Chronicles of Deltovia will be published, and then Misha, June, and Ollie will be famous authors (and will get their revenge on that kid who made fun of their drawing skills). Until then, the three friends share this journal, sketchbook, and novel-in-progress, and we get to read along while they imagine the fantasy world of Deltovia and deal with middle school gym class. Our household 6th-grader loved this hilarious, inventive book by the author of the comic strip Nancy.
What happens when a boa constrictor goes on a field trip? Nonsense, that's what. This was my favorite picture book as a child (and still is as an adult), in equal parts because of the funny chain of cause-and-effect and the vibrant illustrations. This is my go-to gift for kids' birthdays, and it has yet to disappoint.
You Bring the Distant Near is a powerful multi-generational YA tale of the women of one Indian American family. The novel is rich in character development of all of the women, and it builds for a funny and emotional story of family, love, activism, cultural identity, and more. All five women captured my whole heart, and I think they will capture yours too.
Children’s book legend Say evocatively chronicles his grandfather’s immigration from Japan to the U.S. and back, along with all the excitement and longing of that experience. Told simply, the book still manages to convey the complexity and non-linearity of his immigration story. With nostalgic, awe-inspiring watercolor illustrations that won Say the 1994 Caldecott.
A lovely little story that highlights the importance of focusing on what unites us instead of what divides us. You can’t help smiling as you turn the pages. This would be a great book to read with your child—and your cat.
MJ is feeling lost. Her dad is gone, her mom's working two jobs, and she has no friends to lean on. Enter her escape: wrestling! When she joins Mr. Arellano's wrestling school, she finds a family among her fellow fighters. But when outside forces threaten to shut down the school, MJ must fight a whole new enemy to save what she loves.
When We Were Magic is fantasy, yes, it has literal magic, yes, but the heart of it is something real—the intense bonds of female friendship (and queer romance) that can form in adolescence and the way that those are their own form of magic. (Also, covering up a murder with your friends—a bonding experience!)
Reading this made me want to live in a mushroom house (...more than I did already). Mushroom Lullaby has intricate illustrations and Dr. Seuss-like rhymes, which makes it a great choice for reading aloud to kiddos who love fairies, insects, fungi, and/or a good time.
Spooky and atmospheric with moments of bright, wry humor, this book about the power of love and friendship and intergenerational trauma is going to be on my mind for a long time. Really lovely and important take on responsibility and what communities owe each other.
A beautiful and messy and perfect portrait of the process of coming-of-age, of finding love and realizing it hurts as much as it heals, and realizing one's self-worth in spite of dark and difficult times, Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with Me is a gut punch in the best way.
Sometimes the only thing that is missing is a pal! Corner captures the joy of making a space your own and finding someone to share it with. A fun, kooky little picture book for all.
I never imagined a crayon could make me reflect deeply on my life path, purpose, or mortality...but here we are! :')
Every person who has had a period at any point in their life will want to read this heartwarming yet frustratingly real take on growing up. Sick of their school not having enough pads or tampons (or teachers who care), four friends are ready to change things, no matter how loud they have to get.
What would you do to outrun death? And is it worth it to live forever? This epic tale asks this question and more as twins Ziva and Pesah team up with a demon and attempt to outrun the Angel of Death before it comes for Pesah. In turns hilarious and heartbreaking, this is a story perfect for all ages.