Book Lists

Explore the Outdoors

Big as a Giant Snail

Big as a Giant Snail By Jess Keating; with illustrations by David DeGrand

Go big or go home! Meet the biggest weirdos on Earth in this colosally cool collection from the team that brought you Pink Is For Blobfish.

It's a big wide world, full of critters that are larger than life! Sure, there are the usual suspects: blue whales, polar bears, elephant seals . . . but others will take you by surprise. The giant snail, for instance, or the ginormous Atlas moth. Like Pink Is for Blobfish and Cute as an Axolotl, Big as a Giant Snail will cover a wide variety of species, while subtly delving into misconceptions and stereotypes associated with size. Best of all? These tall tales are totally true!

Bird Boy (An Inclusive Children's Book)

Bird Boy (An Inclusive Children's Book) By Matthew Burgess; illustrated by Shahrzad Maydani

Take flight in this heartwarming story about a boy who learns to be true to himself at school while following his love of nature.

Nico was new, and nervous about going to school. Everyone knew what to do and where to go, but Nico felt a little lost.

So, he did what he loved to do:
Watched the insects
Sat in the grass
And most importantly... befriended the birds.

Before he knew it, Nico was known as BIRD BOY. But Nico didn't mind. Soon, he made one friend, then two, as the other kids learned to appreciate Nico for who he was. Before long, Nico learned he could be completely, delighfully, himself. This dreamy story will encourage all readers to express who they are unapologetically.

The Bug Girl

The Bug Girl By by Sophia Spencer, the Bug Girl Herself, with Margaret McNamara; illustrated by Kerascoët

Real-life 7-year-old Sophia Spencer was bullied for loving bugs until hundreds of women scientists rallied around her. Now Sophie tells her inspiring story in this picture book that celebrates women in science, bugs of all kinds, and the importance of staying true to yourself. Makes a perfect gift for nature lovers on Earth Day and every day!

Sophia Spencer has loved bugs ever since a butterfly landed on her shoulder--and wouldn't leave!--at a butterfly conservancy when she was only two-and-a-half years old. In preschool and kindergarten, Sophia was thrilled to share what she knew about grasshoppers (her very favorite insects), as well as ants and fireflies... but by first grade, not everyone shared her enthusiasm. Some students bullied her, and Sophia stopped talking about bugs altogether.
 
When Sophia's mother wrote to an entomological society looking for a bug scientist to be a pen pal for her daughter, she and Sophie were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response--letters, photos, and videos came flooding in. Using the hashtag BugsR4Girls, scientists tweeted hundreds of times to tell Sophia to keep up her interest in bugs--and it worked! Sophia has since appeared on Good Morning America, The Today Show, and NPR, and she continues to share her love of bugs with others.

Snow Angel, Sand Angel

Snow Angel, Sand Angel By Lois-Ann Yamanaka; illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky

A celebration of home, family, and finding beauty in your heritage, beautifully illustrated by the artist behind Anti-Racist Baby.

Claire has been surrounded by the deep blue waves of Hapuna Beach and the magnificent mountains of Hawai'i all her life, but has never, ever seen snow. When her father drives her and her family to the top of the Mauna Kea, she can't help but to be disappointed...it's not the winter wonderland she's always dreamed of. And that's what she wants, more than anything.
 
But as Claire edges ever closer to the new year, she wonders if maybe-- just maybe--she can delight in the special joys of winter in her own way--right there, on her Big Island of Hawaii.

Includes backmatter that captures the environmental culture of Hawaii, and will teach children not only about the local flora and fauna, but also the value of being environmentally friendly.

Bug Boys: Outside and Beyond

Bug Boys: Outside and Beyond By Laura Knetzger

Little bugs, big feelings! Rhino-B and Stag-B are back for more in this all-new graphic novel perfect for readers of Investigators and Catstronauts.

These best friends are ready for new adventures!

Meeting a bat? They’re on it! Getting lost in a labyrinth? Might be scary.

Each day is new and exciting for these two beetles, and together they’ll face challenges and help their friends along the way.

Laura Knetzger returns with a story filled humor, hijinks, and a lot of adventure. Rhino-B and Stag-B lead the way on a life filled with mindfulness, fun, and an exploration of the natural world perfect for kids.

Down to Earth

Down to Earth By Betty Culley

Counting by 7s meets See You in the Cosmos in this heartwarming coming-of-age story perfect for the budding geologists and those fascinated by the mysteries of the universe.

Henry has always been fascinated by rocks. As a homeschooler, he pours through the R volume of the encyclopedia (to help him identify the rocks he finds). So, when a meteorite falls in his family's field, who better to investigate than this rock enthusiast--with his best friend, James, and his little sister, Birdie, in tow, of course.

But soon after the meteorite's arrival, the water in Henry's small Maine town starts drying up. It's not long before news spreads that the space rock and Henry's family might be to blame. Henry is determined to defend his newest discovery, but his knowledge of geology could not have prepared him for how much this stone from the sky would change his community, his family, and even himself.

Science and wonder abound in this middle-grade debut about an inquisitive boy and the massive rock that came down to Earth to reshape his life.

Scaredy Squirrel in a Nutshell

Scaredy Squirrel in a Nutshell By Melanie Watt

The time is now for this anxious little guy: Meet Scaredy Squirrel in his brand-new graphic novel series! He's funnier (and scared-ier) than ever, and perfect for readers of Narwhal and Jelly.

Scaredy is happy to stay in his nut tree. Why would he ever leave? The outside is filled with dangers. Like aliens! And dust! And a certain fluffy bunny who likes to pop up! But things don't always go as planned, even for a super-prepared squirrel. When he has to venture out of his tree and onto the ground, Scaredy panics and plays dead . . . but maybe the fluffy bunny's not so scary after all?

In a nutshell, Scaredy might just make a new friend, if he is brave enough. . . .

Dinosaur Books

Crunch the Shy Dinosaur

Crunch the Shy Dinosaur By Cirocco Dunlap; illustrated by Greg Pizzoli

From Cirocco Dunlap (This Book Will Not Be Fun) and Theodor Seuss Geisel Award winner Greg Pizzoli (The Watermelon Seed) comes a charming, giggly read-aloud that illustrates the particular art of making a friend!

Crunch is a lovely and quiet brontosaurus who has hidden himself in some shubbery and is rather shy. He would like to play, but it will require some gentle coaxing from you! If you are patient and encouraging, you will find yourself with a new friend!

This book is a warm, funny example of how to engage with someone new, who is perhaps a bit different from you. Lessons in friend-making (such as minding personal space and demonstrating interest in another’s hobbies) are delivered so subtly that children will absorb them unconsciously as they delight in Crunch’s silly hat and dance moves!

Cirocco Dunlap (This Book Will Not Be Fun) and Greg Pizzoli (The Watermelon Seed) enchant and surprise us with their first collaboration.

Dino-Gro

Dino-Gro By Matt Myers

From the New York Times bestselling illustrator of Battle Bunny comes a laugh-out-loud story of a little sponge dinosaur that keeps growing...and growing...and growing....

Cole is very excited about his new Dino-Gro toy. He can't wait for it to reach its full size! But when Dino-Gro becomes much larger than intended, Cole goes so far as to put Dino-Gro on a liquid-free diet and an exercise regimen, which don't seem to make a difference! As Dino-Gro becomes so big that he can't fit in the house, Cole learns that growing up and getting bigger can have advantages too, even if you're not a dinosaur.

For fans of Tiny T. Rex and We Don't Eat Our Classmates, this sweet and hilarious read-aloud is fun for kids to learn the importance of growing up big and strong.

The Dinosaur Expert

The Dinosaur Expert By Margaret McNamara; illustrated by G. Brian Karas

Join Mr. Tiffin and his students on a trip to a natural history museum and learn all about dinosaurs and the scientists who discovered them!

Mr. Tiffin and his students are back in another picture book, and this time the focus is on dinosaur-loving Kimmy. During a field trip to the natural history museum, Kimmy is thrilled to share what she knows about the Stegosaurus and the Archaeopteryx and even the ginormous Titanosaurus. That changes when one of her classmates questions whether girls can be paleontologists. Kimmy starts to feel shy. What if they can't? What if no one wants to hear what she has to say? It will take some help from Mr. Tiffin--and from a famous scientist--for Kimmy to find her voice again.

Join Mr. Tiffin's class as they learn about dinosaurs big and small, feathered and scaly, winged and ocean-dwelling. And root for Kimmy, the dinosaur expert . . . who might just learn something about herself.

Library Books Are Not for Eating!

Library Books Are Not for Eating! By Todd Tarpley; illustrated by Tom Booth

A funny picture book about books...and eating them! Perfect for fans of We Don't Eat Our Classmates.

It's time for school, but Ms. Bronte has one small problem...she really loves eating books. (Did I mention she's also a dinosaur?) Math books, cookbooks, old books, new books--she just can't help herself. Will Ms. Bronte ever be able to curb her page-turning appetite, or will she continue chomping her way through a tasty book buffet? Open the fun peek-through cover of this lively picture book, and get ready for a story that will leave readers hungry for a second helping!

Mad Scientist Academy: The Dinosaur Disaster

Mad Scientist Academy: The Dinosaur Disaster By Matthew McElligott

Fans of Ada Twist, Scientist, will want to enroll in Dr. Cosmic’s class of clever monsters at the Mad Scientist Academy as they solve the greatest challenges in science in this perfect blend of adventure and exploration.

Welcome to Mad Scientist Academy! The first day of school is always exciting, and Dr. Cosmic’s new students can’t wait to get started. After their teacher reveals that their school pet, Oscar, is a dinosaur, they quickly realize Dr. Cosmic has an unusual teaching style. To find Oscar, the class has to follow the clues through the realistic dinosaur exhibit Dr. Cosmic designed and built over the summer. But when a malfunction causes the robotic dinosaurs to come alive, this prehistoric exhibit feels a little too real!

Regina Is NOT a Little Dinosaur

Regina Is NOT a Little Dinosaur By Andrea Zuill

Meet a young dinosaur seeking her independence in this hilarious picture book from the author of WOLF CAMP and SWEETY.

When Regina's mother heads off to hunt, she tells her little dinosaur: stay in the nest and be mama's good little carnivore. But just who is she calling little?! Regina is big! And she has all the tools to hunt herself: a fear-inducing predator stare, a terrifying roar, and an uncanny ability to camouflage. And so Regina sets off on her first real hunt, all alone. ROAR! Along the way, she meets some truly huge dinosaurs, and hilariously, and miserably, fails at catching anything. What if she has to live her life as an.... herbivore?! Little kids everywhere will recognize themselves in Andrea Zuill's intrepid young dino--eager for independence, but still very much needing the safety and comfort of home.

Roar: A Dinosaur Tour

Roar: A Dinosaur Tour By Michael Paul

Discover the different types of dinosaurs that once roamed the Earth in this simplistic and vibrantly illustrated picture book perfect for young nonfiction readers.

A long, long time ago, dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Some were big, and some were little. Some were fast, and some were slow. Some lived alone, and some lived together. They are gone now, but you can still see their bones at museums all around the world.

Simple text and bold, vibrant illustrations take young explorers on a tour through the time of the dinosaurs.

T. Rexes Can't Tie Their Shoes

T. Rexes Can't Tie Their Shoes By Anna Lazowski; illustrated by Steph Laberis

A funny and encouraging alphabetic book about all the things animals CAN'T do but kids CAN! Every parent teaching their children new skills will be happy to have this super-positive picture book on hand.

Bees can't ride bicycles, penguins can't play ping-pong, and zebras can't go zip-lining. No one is good at everything, but that shouldn't stop you from trying! Here is a funny and encouraging picture book for any child learning how to tie their shoes, ride a bike, spell their name, or do a variety of new things.

Follow a hilarious alphabet of animals, and see all the things they can't do but kids can—from doing gymnastics to flipping pancakes to playing a xylophone. Along the way, young readers will learn that it's okay if they can't do everything; they can still have a LOT of fun trying.

Dinosaurs Before Dark Graphic Novel

Dinosaurs Before Dark Graphic Novel By by Mary Pope Osborne; adapted by Jenny Laird; illustrated by Kelly Matthews and Nichole Matthews

The #1 bestselling chapter book is now a graphic novel! Magic. Mystery. Time-travel. Get whisked back in time in the magic tree house with Jack and Annie!

Where did the tree house come from?

     Before Jack and Annie can find out, the mysterious tree house whisks them to the prehistoric past. Now they have to figure out how to get home. Can they do it before dark...or will they become a dinosaur's dinner?
For the first time in graphic novel--live the adventure again in the very first Magic Tree House book, with new art from comic artists Kelly and Nichole Matthews!

Books to Honor Disability Pride Month

Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah By Laurie Ann Thompson; illustrated by Sean Qualls

Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah's inspiring true story—which was turned into a film, Emmanuel's Gift, narrated by Oprah Winfrey—is nothing short of remarkable.

Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people—but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled.

Thompson's lyrical prose and Qualls's bold collage illustrations offer a powerful celebration of triumphing over adversity.

Includes an author's note with more information about Emmanuel's charity.

The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art

The Noisy Paint Box: The Colors and Sounds of Kandinsky's Abstract Art By Barb Rosenstock; illustrated by Mary GrandPre

A Caldecott Honor Book

Vasya Kandinsky was a proper little boy: he studied math and history, he practiced the piano, he sat up straight and was perfectly polite. And when his family sent him to art classes, they expected him to paint pretty houses and flowers—like a proper artist.
 
But as Vasya opened his paint box and began mixing the reds, the yellows, the blues, he heard a strange sound—the swirling colors trilled like an orchestra tuning up for a symphony! And as he grew older, he continued to hear brilliant colors singing and see vibrant sounds dancing. But was Vasya brave enough to put aside his proper still lifes and portraits and paint . . . music?
 
In this exuberant celebration of creativity, Barb Rosenstock and Mary GrandPré tell the fascinating story of Vasily Kandinsky, one of the very first painters of abstract art. Throughout his life, Kandinsky experienced colors as sounds, and sounds as colors—and bold, groundbreaking works burst forth from his noisy paint box.
 
Backmatter includes four paintings by Kandinsky, an author’s note, sources, links to websites on synesthesia and abstract art.

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille

Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille By Jen Bryant; illustrated by Boris Kulikov

An inspiring picture-book biography of Louis Braille—a blind boy so determined to read that he invented his own alphabet.

**Winner of a Schneider Family Book Award!**

Louis Braille was just five years old when he lost his sight. He was a clever boy, determined to live like everyone else, and what he wanted more than anything was to be able to read.

Even at the school for the blind in Paris, there were no books for him.

And so he invented his own alphabet—a whole new system for writing that could be read by touch. A system so ingenious that it is still used by the blind community today.

Award-winning writer Jen Bryant tells Braille’s inspiring story with a lively and accessible text, filled with the sounds, the smells, and the touch of Louis’s world. Boris Kulikov’s inspired paintings help readers to understand what Louis lost, and what he was determined to gain back through books.

An author’s note and additional resources at the end of the book complement the simple story and offer more information for parents and teachers.

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin

A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin By Jen Bryant; illustrated by Melissa Sweet

A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book

Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award

An ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book

Winner of the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children

As a child in the late 1800s, Horace Pippin loved to draw: He loved the feel of the charcoal as it slid across the floor. He loved looking at something in the room and making it come alive again in front of him. He drew pictures for his sisters, his classmates, his co-workers. Even during W.W.I, Horace filled his notebooks with drawings from the trenches . . . until he was shot. Upon his return home, Horace couldn't lift his right arm, and couldn't make any art. Slowly, with lots of practice, he regained use of his arm, until once again, he was able to paint--and paint, and paint! Soon, people—including the famous painter N. C. Wyeth—started noticing Horace's art, and before long, his paintings were displayed in galleries and museums across the country.

Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet team up once again to share this inspiring story of a self-taught painter from humble beginnings who despite many obstacles, was ultimately able to do what he loved, and be recognized for who he was: an artist.

Unbound: The Life and Art of Judith Scott

Unbound: The Life and Art of Judith Scott By Joyce Scott with Brie Spangler and Melissa Sweet; illustrated by Melissa Sweet

A moving and powerful introduction to the life and art of renowned artist, Judith Scott, as told by her twin sister, Joyce Scott and illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist, Melissa Sweet.

Judith Scott was born with Down syndrome. She was deaf, and never learned to speak. She was also a talented artist. Judith was institutionalized until her sister Joyce reunited with her and enrolled her in an art class. Judith went on to become an artist of renown with her work displayed in museums and galleries around the world.

Poignantly told by Joyce Scott in collaboration with Brie Spangler and Melissa Sweet and beautifully illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist, Melissa Sweet, Unbound is inspiring and warm, showing us that we can soar beyond our perceived limitations and accomplish something extraordinary.

We're All Wonders

We're All Wonders By Written & illustrated by R. J. Palacio

The unforgettable bestseller Wonder, now a major motion picture, has inspired a nationwide movement to Choose Kind. Now parents and educators can introduce the importance of choosing kind to younger readers with this gorgeous picture book, featuring Auggie and Daisy on an original adventure, written and illustrated by R. J. Palacio.
 
Over 8 million people have fallen in love with Wonder and have joined the movement to Choose Kind. Now younger readers can meet Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, and his beloved dog, Daisy.

Countless fans have asked R. J. Palacio to write a book for younger readers. With We’re All Wonders, she makes her picture-book debut as both author and artist, with a spare, powerful text and striking, richly imagined illustrations. Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way.

We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children.

A Kind of Spark

A Kind of Spark By Elle McNicoll

Perfect for readers of Song for a Whale and Counting by 7s, a neurodivergent girl campaigns for a memorial when she learns that her small Scottish town used to burn witches simply because they were different.

Ever since Ms. Murphy told us about the witch trials that happened centuries ago right here in Juniper, I can’t stop thinking about them. Those people weren’t magic. They were like me. Different like me.
 
I’m autistic. I see things that others do not. I hear sounds that they can ignore. And sometimes I feel things all at once. I think about the witches, with no one to speak for them. Not everyone in our small town understands. But if I keep trying, maybe someone will. I won’t let the witches be forgotten. Because there is more to their story. Just like there is more to mine.
 
Award-winning and neurodivergent author Elle McNicoll delivers an insightful and stirring debut about the European witch trials and a girl who refuses to relent in the fight for what she knows is right.

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl

The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl By Stacy McAnulty

A lightning strike gave her a super power…but even a super genius can’t solve the problem of middle school. This smart and funny novel is perfect for fans of The Fourteenth GoldfishRain Reign, and Counting by Sevens.

Lucy Callahan’s life was changed forever when she was struck by lightning. She doesn’t remember it, but the zap gave her genius-level math skills, and she’s been homeschooled ever since. Now, at 12 years old, she’s technically ready for college. She just has to pass 1 more test–middle school!

Lucy’s grandma insists: Go to middle school for 1 year. Make 1 friend. Join 1 activity. And read 1 book (that’s not a math textbook!). Lucy’s not sure what a girl who does calculus homework for fun can possibly learn in 7th grade. She has everything she needs at home, where nobody can make fun of her rigid routines or her superpowered brain. The equation of Lucy’s life has already been solved. Unless there’s been a miscalculation?

A celebration of friendship, Stacy McAnulty’s smart and thoughtful middle-grade debut reminds us all to get out of our comfort zones and embrace what makes us different.

One-Third Nerd

One-Third Nerd By Gennifer Choldenko; illustrated by Églantine Ceulemans

A funny story about a lovable family and the best dog ever from the Newbery Honor-winning author of Al Capone Does My Shirts and the Tales from Alcatraz series.

Fifth grade is not for amateurs, according to Liam. Luckily, he knows that being more than one-third nerd is not cool. Liam lives in the Bay area near San Francisco with his mom and two younger sisters. Dakota is fascinated by science and has a big personality but struggles to make friends; Izzy, a child with Down syndrome, makes friends easily and notices things that go past everyone else. Dad lives across town, but he’s over a lot. And then there’s Cupcake, their lovable German shepherd, who guards their basement apartment.

Recently, Cupcake has a problem–she’s peeing in the house. The kids need to make enough money to take her to the vet before their landlord upstairs finds out. And Mom and Dad have said if Cupcake doesn’t stop, they will find her a new home. But the kids will never let Cupcake go. Can they save her?

Planet Earth Is Blue

Planet Earth Is Blue By Nicole Panteleakos

"Tender and illuminating. A beautiful debut." --Rebecca Stead, Newbery Medal-winning author of When You Reach Me

A heartrending and hopeful story about a nonverbal girl and her passion for space exploration, for fans of See You in the Cosmos, Mockingbird, and The Thing About Jellyfish.


Twelve-year-old Nova is eagerly awaiting the launch of the space shuttle Challenger--it's the first time a teacher is going into space, and kids across America will watch the event on live TV in their classrooms. Nova and her big sister, Bridget, share a love of astronomy and the space program. They planned to watch the launch together. But Bridget has disappeared, and Nova is in a new foster home.

While foster families and teachers dismiss Nova as severely autistic and nonverbal, Bridget understands how intelligent and special Nova is, and all that she can't express. As the liftoff draws closer, Nova's new foster family and teachers begin to see her potential, and for the first time, she is making friends without Bridget. But every day, she's counting down to the launch, and to the moment when she'll see Bridget again. Because as Bridget said, "No matter what, I'll be there. I promise."

Song for a Whale

Song for a Whale By Lynne Kelly

In the spirit of modern-day classics like Fish in a Tree and Counting by 7s comes the Schneider Family Book Award-winning story of a deaf girl’s connection to a whale whose song can’t be heard by his species, and the journey she takes to help him.

From fixing the class computer to repairing old radios, twelve-year-old Iris is a tech genius. But she’s the only deaf person in her school, so people often treat her like she’s not very smart. If you’ve ever felt like no one was listening to you, then you know how hard that can be.

When she learns about Blue 55, a real whale who is unable to speak to other whales, Iris understands how he must feel. Then she has an idea: she should invent a way to “sing” to him! But he’s three thousand miles away. How will she play her song for him?

Full of heart and poignancy, this affecting story by sign language interpreter Lynne Kelly shows how a little determination can make big waves.

Wonder

Wonder By R. J. Palacio

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Millions of people have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary facewho shows us that kindness brings us together no matter how far apart we are. Read the book that inspired the Choose Kind movement, a major motion picture, and the critically acclaimed graphic novel White Bird.

And don't miss R.J. Palacio's highly anticipated new novel, Pony, available September 2021!

I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.
 
August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. Beginning from Auggie’s point of view and expanding to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others, the perspectives converge to form a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance. In a world where bullying among young people is an epidemic, this is a refreshing new narrative full of heart and hope.

R.J. Palacio has called her debut novel “a meditation on kindness” —indeed, every reader will come away with a greater appreciation for the simple courage of friendship. Auggie is a hero to root for, a diamond in the rough who proves that you can’t blend in when you were born to stand out.

Disability Visibility (Adapted for Young Adults)

Disability Visibility (Adapted for Young Adults) By Edited by Alice Wong

Disabled young people will be proud to see themselves reflected in this hopeful, compelling, and insightful essay collection, adapted for young adults from the critically acclaimed adult book, Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century that "sheds light on the experience of life as an individual with disabilities, as told by none other than authors with these life experiences." --Chicago Tribune, "Best books published in summer 2020" (Vintage/Knopf Doubleday edition).

The seventeen eye-opening essays in Disability Visibility, all written by disabled people, offer keen insight into the complex and rich disability experience, examining life's ableism and inequality, its challenges and losses, and celebrating its wisdom, passion, and joy.
 
The accounts in this collection ask readers to think about disabled people not as individuals who need to be “fixed,” but as members of a community with its own history, culture, and movements. They offer diverse perspectives that speak to past, present, and future generations. It is essential reading for all.

The Running Dream

The Running Dream By Wendelin Van Draanen

When Jessica is told she’ll never run again, she puts herself back together—and learns to dream bigger than ever before. The acclaimed author of Flipped delivers a powerful and healing story.

Jessica thinks her life is over when she loses a leg in a car accident. She’s not comforted by the news that she’ll be able to walk with the help of a prosthetic leg. Who cares about walking when you live to run?

As she struggles to cope, Jessica feels that she’s both in the spotlight and invisible. People who don’t know what to say act like she’s not there. Jessica’s embarrassed to realize that she’s done the same to a girl with CP named Rosa. A girl who is going to tutor her through all the math she’s missed. A girl who sees right into the heart of her.

With the support of family, friends, a coach, and her track teammates, Jessica may actually be able to run again. But that’s not enough for her now. She doesn’t just want to cross finish lines herself—she wants to take Rosa with her.

Small Steps

Small Steps By Louis Sachar

SMALL STEPS is a contemporary young adult novel from Louis Sachar, the New York Times bestselling author of the Newbery Award–winning smash hit phenomenon book and movie/DVD sensation Holes, and The Cardturner.

 Two years after being released from Camp Green Lake, Armpit is home in Austin, Texas, trying to turn his life around. But it's hard when you have a record and everyone expects the worst from you. The only person who believes in Armpit is Ginny, his ten-year-old disabled neighbor. Together, they are learning to take small steps.

 Armpit seems to be on the right path until X-Ray, a buddy from Camp Green Lake, comes up with a get-rich-quick scheme. X-Ray's plan leads to a chance encounter with teen pop sensation Kaira DeLeon, the Beyoncé of her time, and suddenly Armpit's life spins out of control. Only one thing is certain: he'll never be the same again.

 Combining his signature wit with a unique blend of adventure and deeply felt characters, Sachar explores issues of race, the nature of celebrity, the invisible connections that shape a person's life, and what it takes to stay the course. Doing the right thing is never a wrong choice—but always a small step in right direction.

What to Say Next

What to Say Next By Julie Buxbaum

From the New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me Three Things comes a story about two struggling teenagers who find an unexpected connection just when they need it most. Nicola Yoon, the bestselling author of Everything, Everything, calls it “charming, funny, and deeply affecting.”

Sometimes a new perspective is all that is needed to make sense of the world.

KIT: I don’t know why I decide not to sit with Annie and Violet at lunch. It feels like no one here gets what I’m going through. How could they?  I don’t even understand.
 
DAVID: In the 622 days I’ve attended Mapleview High, Kit Lowell is the first person to sit at my lunch table. I mean, I’ve never once sat with someone until now. “So your dad is dead,” I say to Kit, because this is a fact I’ve recently learned about her.

When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David.  Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find. Can their friendship survive the truth?

You're Welcome, Universe

You're Welcome, Universe By Whitney Gardner

A vibrant, edgy, fresh new YA voice for fans of More Happy Than Not and Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, packed with interior graffiti.

Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award!
 
When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural.

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war.

Told with wit and grit by debut author Whitney Gardner, who also provides gorgeous interior illustrations of Julia’s graffiti tags, You’re Welcome, Universe introduces audiences to a one-of-a-kind protagonist who is unabashedly herself no matter what life throws in her way.

Breaking Barriers

Discover inspiring people from history who propelled us forward!

The Fastest Girl on Earth!

The Fastest Girl on Earth! By Dean Robbins; illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley

Gear up for this high-powered picture book biography about Kitty O'Neil, the stuntwoman and racecar driver who broke the women's land speed record!

Kitty O'Neil was a force to be reckoned with. She became deaf as a child, and grew up loving sports and action. Kitty jumped, ran, raced, and swam, all while learning to read lips and communicating through sign language. Eventually, Kitty took a job as a stuntwoman, doing the most dangerous job on set and even filming stunts for films like Wonder Woman!

Still, Kitty wanted more thrills. She became a racecar driver and sought to do what no woman had done before. She chose the aptly named Motivator and trained like a true champion. In 1976, Kitty and the Motivator broke the land speed record, racing at over 600 miles per hour! Kitty was a hero to fans everywhere, and proved that she was truly unstoppable.

Indelible Ann

Indelible Ann By Meghan P. Browne; illustrated by Carlynn Whitt

A folksy, larger-than-life picture book biography about Ann Richards, the late governor of Texas who has inspired countless women in politics today.

Dorothy Ann Willis hailed from a small Texas town, but early on she found her voice and the guts to use it.

During her childhood in San Diego and her high school years back in Texas (when she dropped the "Dorothy"), Ann discovered a spark and passion for civic duty. It led her all the way to Washington, DC, where she, along with other girls from around the country, learned about the business of politics. Fast forward to Ann taking on the political boys' club: she became county commissioner, then state treasurer, and finally governor of Texas. In this stunning picture book biography, full of vim, vigor, and folksy charm, two Texan creators take us through the life of the legendary "big mouth, big hair" governor of Texas, a woman who was inspired by Eleanor Roosevelt, and in turn became an inspiration to Hillary Clinton and countless others.

Shirley Chisholm Dared

Shirley Chisholm Dared By Alicia D. Williams; illustrated by April Harrison

Discover the inspiring story of the first black woman elected to Congress and to run for president in this picture book biography from a Newbery Honor-winning author and a Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe New Talent Award-winning illustrator.

Meet Shirley, a little girl who asks way too many questions! After spending her early years on her grandparents' farm in Barbados, she returns home to Brooklyn and immediately makes herself known. Shirley kicks butt in school; she breaks her mother's curfew; she plays jazz piano instead of classical. And as a young adult, she fights against the injustice she sees around her, against women and black people. Soon she is running for state assembly...and winning in a landslide. Three years later, she is on the campaign trail again, as the first black woman to run for Congress. Her slogan? "Fighting Shirley Chisholm--Unbought and Unbossed!" Does she win? You bet she does.

Sprouting Wings

Sprouting Wings By Louisa Jaggar and Shari Becker; illustrated by Floyd Cooper

The inspirational and true story of James Herman Banning, the first African American pilot to fly across the country, comes to life in this picture book biography perfect for fans of Hidden Figures and Little Leaders. Includes art from a Coretta Scott King award-winning illustrator.

James Herman Banning always dreamed of touching the sky. But how could a farm boy from Oklahoma find a plane? And how would he learn to fly it? None of the other pilots looked like him.

In a journey that would span 3,300 miles, take twenty-one days, and inspire a nation, James Herman Banning proved that you can't put barriers on dreams. Louisa Jaggar incorporates over seven years of research, including Banning's own writings and an interview with the aviator's great-nephew. She teams up with cowriter Shari Becker and award-winning illustrator Floyd Cooper to capture Banning's historic flight across the United States.

Were I Not A Girl

Were I Not A Girl By Lisa Robinson; illustrated by Lauren Simkin Berke

This unique picture book biography tells the story of Dr. James Barry, born female, who lived as a man from age 18 to his death.

Like other girls of her time, Margaret Bulkley didn't go to school. She wouldn't grow up to own property, be a soldier, a doctor, or hold any job other than perhaps maid or governor--such was a girl's lot in 19th century England. And was she comfortable born in a girl's body? We will never know. What we do know is that at the age of 18, she tugged off her stockings and dress, cut her red-gold curls, and vanished. In her place appeared a young man. Margaret became James Barry. James would attend medical school, become a doctor and a soldier, travel the world. He would fall in love, deliver babies, and fight in a duel. And he would live a rich full life.

Here is a picure book that is both a fascinating and sensitively drawn portrait of someone who would not be undervalued, and an important introduction to the concept of gender identity.

New Graphic Novels: Second in a Series

A Total Waste of Space-Time!

A Total Waste of Space-Time! By Jeffrey Brown

Travel to planets unknown in book two of the Space-Time graphic novel series from the author of the New York Times bestselling Jedi Academy books!

Jide, Petra, and their intergalactic friends are back on the Potato (their orbiting classroom) for another out-of-this-world adventure. Their latest space mission brings them to the home planets of their schoolmates, where pranks must be avenged, new terrains must be explored, and the patience of Commander G must be tested!

Buckle up! The next Space-Time series mission from New York Times bestselling author Jeffrey Brown is ready for blast off!

Pacey Packer Unicorn Tracker 2: Horn Slayer

Pacey Packer Unicorn Tracker 2: Horn Slayer By J.C. Phillipps

Pacey and Slasher the Unicorn are back and THIS time it's personal in this laugh-out-loud graphic novel series with ATTITUDE that's just right for fans of Phoebe and Her Unicorn, Bad Guys, and anyone who loves (or hates!) unicorns!

The last time Pacey Packer was in Rundalyn, the world of unicorns, she sliced the horn off of Arkane, the Evil Apha Unicorn, and took away his power. KI-AHHHH! TAKE THAT BAD GUYS! Now the unicorns and other creatures under Arkane's rule call her . . . THE HORN SLAYER!

Pacey may be a LEGEND in the world of unicorns, but she didn't finish the job. With Slasher's help, can she use the power of the unicorn horn to rescue the statue kids and escape the fury of the Great (but seriously horn-less and now SERIOUSLY mad at her) Arkane?!

Shark and Bot #2: Sleepaway Champs

Shark and Bot #2: Sleepaway Champs By Brian Yanish

Two besties on a brave new adventure... sleeping away from home for the first time! Friendship, hilarity, and superhero donuts await!  

It's Summer vacation and Shark and Bot have a new adventure-- at sleepaway camp! Shark (always the anxious one!) quickly starts feeling homesick. Can he make it through the week? With his best friend by his side, of course he will... Unless Bot short circuits at the lake! 
 
This funny and fresh graphic series has new readers laughing and longing for more!

Super Sidekicks #2: Ocean's Revenge

Super Sidekicks #2: Ocean's Revenge By Written and illustrated by Gavin Aung Than

"Everyone loves an underdog. Super Sidekicks is a WINNER!" --Lincoln Peirce, New York Times bestselling author of the BIG NATE series

Calling fans of CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS and HILO! Sidekicks are SUPER in this humor- and action-packed graphic novel series. Expect bugs, well-read dinosaurs, and lots of goo!


The Super Sidekicks are back! JJ, Flygirl, Dinomite, and Goo are settling into their fancy new headquarters and living the sweet life of superheroes. The Mother of the Seas, on the other hand, is NOT happy. She's sick of land dwellers using the ocean as a dumping ground . . . and she's seeking revenge! Can the Sidekicks step up and save humanity from the ocean's rage?
BONUS: Includes tips for kids who want to help SAVE the environment + How to draw DINOMITE and GOO!

"A super side-splitting good time!" --Andrew McDonald and Ben Wood, creators of the Real Pigeons series

**Winner of the Wilderness Society's 2020 Environment Award for Children's Literature**

Kick it up a notch in Super Sidekicks #3: Trial of Heroes. Coming in 2022!

The Cardboard Kingdom #2: Roar of the Beast

The Cardboard Kingdom #2: Roar of the Beast By Chad Sell

Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and All's Faire in Middle School, this sequel to the Eisner Award-nominated The Cardboard Kingdom follows the kids as they solve the mystery of a new neighborhood monster.

A mystery is afoot in the Cardboard Kingdom.

Vijay, the Beast, renounces his title after being bullied by neighborhood teenagers. No one--not his big sister Shikha or his friends--can seem to draw him back out of his shell.

That very night is when it starts. At first, no one believes Nate, who breaks his leg trying to pursue what he saw from his bedroom window. But then there's another, and another. An unknown monster has been spotted roaming the Kingdom after dark. It's ghastly, it's quick, and it might even have giant tentacles. Or claws. Or wings. Okay, there might be some varied testimonies on what exactly this monster looks like.

Forget Halloween--the newly minted Monster Mashers will go to any lengths to protect the Kingdom and uncover this mystery. But how did the monster get here? What does it want? And mostly importantly, who is behind its creation?

The Cardboard Kingdom: Roar of the Beast was created, organized, and drawn by Chad Sell with writing from nine other authors: Jay Fuller, David DeMeo, Katie Schenkel, Molly Muldoon, Vid Alliger, Manuel Betancourt, Michael Cole, Cloud Jacobs, and Barbara Perez Marquez.

Random House Teachers and Librarians