Read below to find our staff picks for January 2023 and learn more about these must-reads!Learn more about these staff picks →
Tag: Diverse Books
Celebrate Black Creators: Share these books by Black authors and illustrators with your community
Browse our collection of books created by Black authors and illustrators including picture books, middle grade, and young adult books. Download our interactive digital catalog, preview new books coming soon and request digital ARCs on NetGalley!Browse our collection of books here →
MacKids Spotlight: Willie Mae Brown
Meet Willie Mae Brown, author of My Selma: True Stories of a Southern Childhood at the Height of the Civil Rights Movement. Combining family stories of the everyday and the extraordinary as seen through the eyes of her twelve-year-old self, Willie Mae Brown gives readers an unforgettable portrayal of her coming of age in a town at the crossroads of history.Read our Q&A with willie mae brown here →
Teacher’s Guide: The Lost Year
The Lost Year: A Survival Story of the Ukrainian Famine
By Katherine Marsh
On Sale January 17
From the author of Nowhere Boy – called “a resistance novel for our times” by The New York Times – comes a brilliant middle-grade survival story that traces a harrowing family secret back to the Holodomor, a terrible famine that devastated Soviet Ukraine in the 1930s.
Thirteen-year-old Matthew is miserable. His journalist dad is stuck overseas indefinitely, and his mom has moved in his one-hundred-year-old great-grandmother to ride out the pandemic, adding to his stress and isolation.
But when Matthew finds a tattered black-and-white photo in his great-grandmother’s belongings, he discovers a clue to a hidden chapter of her past, one that will lead to a life-shattering family secret. Set in alternating timelines that connect the present-day to the 1930s and the US to the USSR, Katherine Marsh’s latest novel sheds fresh light on the Holodomor – the horrific famine that killed millions of Ukrainians, and which the Soviet government covered up for decades.
An incredibly timely, page-turning story of family, survival, and sacrifice, inspired by Marsh’s own family history, The Lost Year is perfect for fans of Ruta Sepetys’ Between Shades of Gray and Alan Gratz’s Refugee.Find out more about THE LOST YEAR HERE→
Discussion Guide: We Are All So Good at Smiling by Amber McBride
We Are All So Good at Smiling
by Amber McBride
On Sale 1/10/2023
They Both Die at the End meets The Bell Jar in this haunting, beautiful young adult novel-in-verse about clinical depression and healing from trauma, from National Book Award Finalist Amber McBride.
Whimsy is back in the hospital for treatment of clinical depression. When she meets a boy named Faerry, she recognizes they both have magic in the marrow of their bones. And when Faerry and his family move to the same street, the two start to realize that their lifelines may have twined and untwined many times before.
They are both terrified of the forest at the end of Marsh Creek Lane.
The Forest whispers to Whimsy. The Forest might hold the answers to the part of Faerry he feels is missing. They discover the Forest holds monsters, fairy tales, and pain that they have both been running from for 11 years.
Praise for We Are All So Good at Smiling
“The choice of verse to tell this absorbing story is a strong one; readers are drawn along by the intense and vivid imagery, and the depictions of clinical depression, guilt, and grief are visceral. McBride explores the impact of the intersection between Blackness and mental illness … and the difficulties of two unusual young people finding refuge through friendship from the pressures the world exerts on them. Whimsy’s practice of Hoodoo and the empowerment she receives from the magic inside and around her help her contend with her depression and unravel her grief without negating a brutal, yet ultimately hopeful, reality. ..Important messages uniquely delivered.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“McBride makes exceptional use of the verse novel format, with some poems reading almost as detailed and descriptive prose, while other entries are just a few judiciously chosen lines that make readers slow down and work a bit to parse out full meaning.” —Bulletin of the Center of Children’s Books, starred review
“Raw and poignant and promising hope, even when it seems there is no way out… promises hope.” —Shelf Awareness
“McBride’s lush free-verse poetry creates a vibrant world teetering between the real and the magical, but the images and atmosphere act as background to serious issues … Although the subject matter is heavy, the book serves as a reminder that, as sorrow and loss come for everyone, no one is alone. Back matter addresses mental health and expands on the story’s elements from fairy tales and folklore.” —The Horn Book
Teacher’s Guide: She Sang for India
She Sang for India: How M.S. Subbulakshmi Used Her Voice for Change by Suma Subramaniam; illustrated by Shreya Gupta
On Sale Now!
A picture book biography about M.S. Subbulakshmi, a powerful Indian singer who advocated for justice and peace through song.
Before M.S. Subbulakshmi was a famous Carnatic singer and the first Indian woman to perform at the United Nations, she was a young girl with a prodigious voice.
But Subbulakshmi was not free to sing everywhere. In early 1900s India, girls were not allowed to perform for the public. So Subbulakshmi busted barriers to sing at small festivals. Eventually, she broke tradition to record her first album. She did not stop here. At Gandhi’s request, Subbulakshmi sang for India’s freedom. Her fascinating odyssey stretched across borders, and soon she was no longer just a young prodigy. She was a woman who changed the world.
NCTE 2022 Conference Resource Center
We’re so excited to see our educator friends November 17-20 in Anaheim, CA!
What’s inside our NCTE and ALAN Workshop Resource Center:
- Make the most of your NCTE and ALAN Workshop experience + meet your favorite authors & illustrators!
Check our NCTE and ALAN Workshop schedule for a full list of in-person author programs and book signings.
- We’ve collected our digital resources for you in this handy resource center!
Download our digital catalogs, request digital preview copies, and fill out our checklist survey for your chance to win a collection of free books for your library!
- Not attending NCTE?
You can still download digital resources, request preview copies, and more!
Staff Picks – November 2022
Watch our staff picks video to hear from our team and learn more about these must-reads below!Learn more about these staff picks →
Remixed Classics Educator’s Guide
In the Remixed Classics series, authors from diverse backgrounds take different literary classics from centuries past and reinterpret them through their own unique cultural lens. This collection will serve young adult readers as both a series of fun, engaging reads as well as a subversive overall look at what our society has deemed “classic”— works that are overwhelmingly cishet, white, and male.
Learn more about how to use Remixed Classics in the classroom and find nonfiction pairings for each book in the series in this new educator guide!
Download a discussion guide for So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix
by Bethany C. Morrow here!
Download a discussion guide for A Clash of Steel: A Treasure Island Remix
by C.B. Lee here!
Click the covers to learn more about these books:
More Remixed Classics Coming Soon!
Into the Bright Open: A Secret Garden Remix
By Cherie Dimaline
On sale September 5, 2023
Teacher’s Guide: Call Him Jack
Call Him Jack: The Story of Jackie Robinson, Black Freedom Fighter
By Yohuru Williams and Michael G. Long
On Sale Now!
An enthralling, eye-opening portrayal of this barrier-breaking American hero as a lifelong, relentlessly proud fighter for Black justice and civil rights.
According to Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackie Robinson was “a sit-inner before the sit-ins, a freedom rider before the Freedom Rides.” According to Hank Aaron, Robinson was a leader of the Black Power movement before there was a Black Power movement. According to his wife, Rachel Robinson, he was always Jack, not Jackie—the diminutive form of his name bestowed on him in college by white sports writers. And throughout his whole life, Jack Robinson was a fighter for justice, an advocate for equality, and an inspiration beyond just baseball.
From prominent Robinson scholars Yohuru Williams and Michael G. Long comes Call Him Jack, an exciting biography that recovers the real person behind the legend, reanimating this famed figure’s legacy for new generations, widening our focus from the sportsman to the man as a whole, and deepening our appreciation for his achievements on the playing field in the process.Find out more about CALL HIM JACK here →