Celebrate Everyday Heroes with Amos McGee!

Thank your everyday hero
for all the ways they make a difference!

To celebrate the release of the new picture book Amos McGee Misses the Bus (on sale November 23, 2021), let’s thank everyday heroes for their kindness and generosity! Nominate someone who has made a difference in your life or your community for their chance to win a grand prize including a $500 gift card and a set of books including Amos McGee Misses the Bus and Caldecott Medal winner A Sick Day for Amos McGee. Two first prize winners will also be selected to win a set of books! Only everyday hero nominees are eligible to win prizes. Sweepstakes ends 10/22!

Learn more about these books here →

WATCH OUR WINTER 2022 SCHOOL & LIBRARY PREVIEW, FEATURING AUTHORS LIZZ HUERTA AND GARY PAULSEN!

Discover your next favorite book with the MacKids School & Library Fall 2021 Preview! Hear from our team as they present some of our wonderful upcoming titles, including picture books, middle grade, and young adult titles! Hosted by Booklist.

Lizz Huerta, debut young adult author of The Lost Dreamer, joining us to talk about her upcoming YA fantasy available March 2022. Plus, Gary Paulsen joins us to give a special preview of his upcoming book, Northwind! Click the image below to watch!

Click the image to watch!

Timestamps:
3:08 – editor Trisha de Guzman and author Lizz Huerta in conversation with a Q&A
14:47 – Picture Books
29:28 – Introduction to our newest imprint, Neon Squid
32:41 – Middle Grade Books
42:36 – Young Adult Books
53:35 – Gary Paulsen

Celebrating Indigenous Literature: Watch Firekeeper’s Daughter author Angeline Boulley in conversation with educator Kit Robinson + download the We Are Water Protectors activity kit!

Watch author Angeline Boulley discuss her inspiration, storytelling, and research process for her bestselling debut novel Firekeeper’s Daughter. Plus, educator Kit Robinson shares how teachers can use Firekeeper’s Daughter in the classroom.

An instant New York Times bestseller, Angeline Boulley’s debut novel, Firekeeper’s Daughter, is a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, perfect for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange.

Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team.

Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. At the same time, she grows concerned with an investigation that seems more focused on punishing the offenders than protecting the victims.

Now, as the deceptions—and deaths—keep growing, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go for her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.


Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors is a bold and lyrical picture book by Carole Lindstrom and illustrated by Michaela Goade. It issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption.

In the spirit of this stunning book, we want YOU to take the Protector’s Pledge!

Download the Pledge Sheet to take the pledge. Then let everyone know that you took the pledge by sharing the “I Took the Pledge!” graphic. Simply add your photo above “I AM A WATER PROTECTOR” and share on social media! Don’t forget to use the hashtag #WeAreWaterProtectors and tag us on Twitter at @MacKidsSL!

Looking for an interactive way to take the pledge with students? Download the Activity Kit to learn how you can help protect the water and environment.

MacKids Spotlight: Jennifer Mathieu

Jennifer Mathieu is the author of DevotedAfterwardThe Liars of Mariposa Island, and The Truth About Alice, which won the Teen Choice Debut Author Award. Her 2017 novel, Moxie, was developed into a film by Amy Poehler for Netflix. Jennifer teaches high school English in Texas, where she lives in the Houston area with her husband and son.

Jennifer shares more about her inspiration for the story and her advice for young writers here!

Read our Q&A with jennifer mathieu here →

Graphic Novel Preview: Himawari House

Our new Graphic Novel Preview series invites readers to look inside graphic novels. This month, we’re highlighting Himawari House by Harmony Becker, one of our must read books of 2021. But don’t take our word for it, here’s what the trades have to say:

★ “This work exemplifies what the graphic novel format can achieve. An unforgettable story of personal growth in an exquisitely rendered setting.” —Kirkusstarred review

★ “
This lighthearted yet serious-minded journey of discovery will delight, educate, and challenge teens interested in language and cultural exploration.” —School Library Journal, starred review

★ “[Becker] makes her stupendous solo debut in what will prove to one of the best graphic titles of the year….Audiences can expect absolute delight.” —Booklist, starred review

Himawari House is a young adult graphic novel about three foreign exchange students and the pleasures, and difficulties, of adjusting to living in Japan. Take a look inside below and request a digital review copy!

Living in a new country is no walk in the park—Nao, Hyejung, and Tina can all attest to that. The three of them became fast friends through living together in the Himawari House in Tokyo and attending the same Japanese cram school. Nao came to Japan to reconnect with her Japanese heritage, while Hyejung and Tina came to find freedom and their own paths. Though each of them has her own motivations and challenges, they all deal with language barriers, being a fish out of water, self discovery, love, and family.

STORYTIME: Katherine Applegate reads her new middle grade novel Willodeen

Willodeen by Katherine Applegate
Ages 8-12

From #1 New York Times bestseller Katherine Applegate, a singular middle-grade novel about a girl who risks everything to help a handmade creature who comes to life.

The earth is old and we are not, and that is all you must remember . . .

Eleven-year-old Willodeen adores creatures of all kinds, but her favorites are the most unlovable beasts in the land: strange beasts known as “screechers.” The villagers of Perchance call them pests, even monsters, but Willodeen believes the animals serve a vital role in the complicated web of nature.

Lately, though, nature has seemed angry indeed. Perchance has been cursed with fires and mudslides, droughts and fevers, and even the annual migration of hummingbears, a source of local pride and income, has dwindled. For as long as anyone can remember, the tiny animals have overwintered in shimmering bubble nests perched atop blue willow trees, drawing tourists from far and wide. This year, however, not a single hummingbear has returned to Perchance, and no one knows why.

When a handmade birthday gift brings unexpected magic to Willodeen and her new friend, Connor, she’s determined to speak up for the animals she loves, and perhaps even uncover the answer to the mystery of the missing hummingbears.

A timely and timeless tale about our fragile earth, and one girl’s fierce determination to make a difference.


Praise for Willodeen:

“Employing flawlessly simple, candid prose that belies deeper messages, Newbery Medalist Applegate again considers the complex relationship between humans and the natural world. … Fiercely protective Willodeen is easy to champion, and her belief that “nature knows more than we do” is a message worth sharing.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Applegate’s gentle yet honest tale mixes magic with very real environmental messaging, both warning of human-caused harm and pointing to nature’s resilience and interconnectedness… Applegate empowers her young characters by not only granting them courage but also ensuring they earn the respect of their elders.”—Booklist, starred review

“An endearing fable that illuminates the importance of recognizing that all living things serve a purpose in our beautifully complex world and are worthy of care and dignity.” —BookPage


Watch more author storytimes here!

MacKids Spotlight: John Patrick Green

Meet the creator of the graphic novel series InvestiGators, John Patrick Green! This laugh-out-loud sleuth series introduces two gumshoe gators Mango and Brash, the super spy duo who crack cases and catch criminals in the jaws of justice! John shares more about his inspiration for this series, his most memorable teachers and librarians, his favorite childhood books, and more here.

Read a Q&A with John Patrick Green here →

Celebrate your freedom to read during Banned Books Week

Share these remarkable books from the ALA’s Top 100 Most Challenged Books 2010-2019.
Find ALA’s 10 Most Challenged Books from 2020 here.

Find more ideas to fight censorship at your school or library
on ALA’s Banned Books Week website.