Staff Picks by Tag

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Brown Girl Dreaming By Jacqueline Woodson Cover Image
ISBN: 9780147515827
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Nancy Paulsen Books - October 11th, 2016

A perfect example of a book for children and adults alike; give this to everyone you know! Woodson writes in verse, beautifully combining prose and poetry, to tell the autobiographical story of a brown girl coming of age at the tailend of Jim Crow. She grapples with identity and the idea of home, growing up in South Carolina and New York, while still trying to be a kid with dreams of becoming a writer. It's powerful, it's beautiful, it's no wonder it was a Newbery Award nominee.

Review by Emily

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My City By Joanne Liu Cover Image
ISBN: 9783791373775
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Prestel Junior - April 16th, 2019

My City shows that even the simplest errand can be full of discovery, if you aren't too busy to notice. Max is on a mission to deliver a letter, and every step of his journey reveals some small wonder: bright colors dancing in a laundromat window, the world mirrored in a puddle, the sky's shifting hues at sunset. Every time I open this book I find something new to marvel at, right alongside Max.

Review by Theo

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The Cardboard Kingdom: (A Graphic Novel) By Chad Sell Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524719388
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - June 5th, 2018

This gem of a graphic novel details the imaginative escapades of a neighborhood of kids with serious creativity, major crafting skills, and an overwhelming capacity for dynamic supportiveness. Through ups and downs of relationships with family and friends, these characters give each other the emotional and creative encouragement they need to be their best, most authentic selves. A reminder to all that the more you connect with your community, the brighter you (and it) shine!

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Julián Is a Mermaid By Jessica Love, Jessica Love (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Jessica Love, Jessica Love (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780763690458
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Candlewick - April 23rd, 2018

Julian is a mermaid - of this there is no doubt. But how will this identity expression be met by his family? This is a question we get to explore through this book's resplendent watercolor illustrations and streamlined story. It's about the transformative power of loving acceptance during pivotal moments of self-doubt. For the mermaid in all of us. 

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A Wrinkle in Time: (Newbery Medal Winner) (A Wrinkle in Time Quintet #1) By Madeleine L'Engle Cover Image
ISBN: 9780312367541
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Square Fish - May 1st, 2007

Though this book is short, it is nothing short of profound. Meg was my first fictional hero, and she taught me something fundamentally important: that you can be flawed and still heroic. You can be angry and amazing, full of fear and love at the same time, and all of those layers stack together to make you strong. A book to combat darkness, in all its forms.

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George (Scholastic Gold) By Alex Gino Cover Image
Unavailable at this time.
ISBN: 9780545812573
Published: Scholastic Inc. - April 25th, 2017

The titular character of this book is a transgender 4th grade girl whose unwavering faith in herself provides a model for all readers to aspire to. The supportive relationship that Melissa has with her best friend Kelly assures readers that, with friends who encourage you to be your most authentic self, anything is possible. 

Additionally, the author has encouraged folks to change the title of their own copies of this book (so as not to deadname the protagonist) to "Melissa's Story." I think this is such an inventive way to encourage a book's evolution long after it leaves our bookstore shelves and what kid could resist an author's permission to scribble on a book?

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Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut By Derrick Barnes, Gordon C. James (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Derrick Barnes, Gordon C. James (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781572842243
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Agate Bolden - October 10th, 2017

Dedicated lovingly and joyfully to the art of the haircut, Crown celebrates the confidence and cool a fresh cut can lend to a kid's spirit. James's impressionist illustrations ooze with spunk and swoop with sureness, inspiring an infectious self-confidence. For best results, share aloud with reinvigorated aplomb!

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The Totally Secret Secret (Ballet Cat #1) By Bob Shea, Bob Shea (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Bob Shea, Bob Shea (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781484713785
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - May 5th, 2015

Ballet Cat and Sparkles are best friends. Ballet Cat loves ballet, A LOT. Sparkles? Not so much. Ballet Cat notices Sparkles is unhappy and asks what's wrong. That's when Sparkles tells Ballet Cat a very SECRET secret. Which shocks Ballet Cat. But Ballet Cat has a secret too...

If you like Elephant and Piggie, you'll be fast friends with Ballet Cat and Sparkles in no time. 

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Last Stop on Market Street By Matt de la Peña, Christian Robinson (Illustrator) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780399257742
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers - January 8th, 2015

An inclusive and affirming snapshot of city life, this picture book follows CJ and his grandmother as they depart church and take a bus ride to the very last stop on Market Street. CJ wishes they could take a car home, but his grandmother shows him the beauty that exists all around him in the city, especially on the city bus. Christian Robinson's illustrations are timeless and full of compassion that CJ learns along the way. A gorgeous read. 

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The Pink Umbrella By Amelie Callot, Geneviève Godbout (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Amelie Callot, Geneviève Godbout (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781101919231
Availability: Out of stock, usually available in 3-10 days
Published: Tundra Books - January 2nd, 2018

Do you love:

  • cafés with adorable proprietors
  • community-building fit to rival Stars Hollow's (sans Taylor)
  • spunky rainwear worn to combat seasonal affective disorder
  • frustratingly alluring colored pencil and pastel illustrations
  • any or all of the above?

Then this rom-com of a picturebook is for you!!