The Legendary Miss Lena Horne by Carole Boston Weatherford

The Legendary Miss Lena Horne by Carole Boston Weatherford

Elizabeth Zunon’s evocative oil paintings and cut paper collages add power to Carole Boston Weatherford’s compelling picture book biography (for grades 2 and up) about the brilliant actress, singer, and civil rights activist Lena Horne.  The book whisks the reader along as it shows how Horne, as a child, lived out of a suitcase as […]


The End of the Wild by Nicole Helget

The End of the Wild by Nicole Helget

Many realistic middle grade novels try to tackle complex issues and do it quite well.  Add to the list of successful titles The End of the Wild, a heartfelt look (for grades 4 and up) at an 11-year-old girl named Fern who lives near a forest and loves the animals, plants, and natural foods she finds […]


Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Castle Crenshaw, a middle schooler who calls himself Ghost, knows how to run. But after an Olympic medal-winning track coach recognizes his talent and recruits him, Ghost finds himself facing completely new challenges: a schedule, teammates, and the demands of being on a team. Despite some heavier themes, Ghost is funny, charming, and perfectly captures how huge and overwhelming […]


Short by Holly Goldberg Sloane

Short by Holly Goldberg Sloane

There’s one word Julia, never says out loud anymore.  In fact she tries not to even think it. Short. Julia is tired of being short, called short and excluded because she’s short.   While summer has just kicked off for Julia, she’s not really excited for it.  She’s still mourning the loss of her beloved dog, […]


Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson

Last Day on Mars by Kevin Emerson

Wow, what a wildly exciting sci fi action novel (for adrenaline fans starting in Grade 5 and up) this is!  This promising, action-packed start to the Chronicle of the Dark Star series takes us to the year 2213 and introduces us to Liam who lives with his scientist parents on Mars (Earth is no more).  […]


Taking Flight by Michaela dePrince

Taking Flight by Michaela dePrince

By the time she was four, Mabinty Bangura was a war orphan, living in an orphanage constantly threatened by the “debils” who were indiscriminately killing men, women and children. After fleeing to Ghana, Mabinty and her best friend were adopted by an American family. They became Michaela and Mia, the eighth and ninth children in […]


A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

In Elana K. Arnold’s poignant and fast-paced chapter book (great for 3rd  to 5th graders), a 10-year-old autistic boy with the nickname of Bat befriends a baby skunk.  His veterinarian mother brings home the orphaned kit and Bat’s world changes.  He wants to spend every moment caring for the little critter, and discovers that he […]


A Perfect Day by Lane Smith

A Perfect Day by Lane Smith

Can there be a more perfect spring read aloud? Everyone is having a wonderful spring day — the dog, the cat, the bird, the squirrel — even Bert who arranges everything for these happy animals. Then from the white pages comes bear — and in the end only bear is having a perfect day! Grab […]


Finders Keepers by Keiko Kasza

Finders Keepers by Keiko Kasza

In each picture book she writes and illustrates, Keiko Kasza provides plot twists and surprises galore.  You never know where her tales will take you.  She is the perfect author to use to introduce the idea of narrative to young readers (preschoolers and early elementary).  Just look at all The Dog Who Cried Wolf, The […]


Lucia the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza, illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez

Lucia the Luchadora by Cynthia Leonor Garza, illustrated by Alyssa Bermudez

Young readers cannot help but cheer for Lucía, the cape-wearing star of this energetic, vibrant picture book.  Cynthia Leonor Garza’s text zips and bounces along as she introduces our young heroine, first seen pulling some cool superhero moves on the playground.  Alyssa Bermudez’s vibrant art leaps off the pages as Lucía flies off the monkey bars, […]