The School & Library team shares some of our favorite upcoming middle grade books here. Plus, request digital ARCs of these staff picks on NetGalley!Find out why our team loves these books →
Dita Kraus grew up in Prague in an intellectual, middle-class Jewish family. Taken, along with her mother and father, from the Terezín ghetto in Prague, fourteen-year-old Dita was one of the many imprisoned by the Nazis at Auschwitz. There, she met Jewish leader Freddy Hirsch, who put Dita in charge of protecting eight precious volumes that prisoners managed to sneak past the guards. And so, Dita became known as the Librarian of Auschwitz.
Dita shares her remarkable life story in her breathtaking new memoir for teens and adults, A DELAYED LIFE. Dita’s incredible story was also fictionalized in the outstanding young adult novel, THE LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ.
Read an interview with Dita Kraus and find more books to share with young readers for Holocaust Remembrance Day here.
A great read-aloud for National Poetry Month! Author Charles R. Smith Jr. gives a read-aloud performance of BLACK JACK: THE BALLAD OF JACK JOHNSON, giving readers and listeners some fascinating historical insight throughout his reading.
Jack Johnson was one of the most renowned Black boxers of the twentieth century. Through hard work and persistence, he climbed the ranks, taking a swing and a jab and eventually busting the color barrier. As the first black man to win the Heavyweight Championship, there was more than a title on the line.
This beautiful picture book is an extraordinary marriage of poetry and fabulous collage artwork by Shane W. Evans.
“Charles Smith’s poetry surges along, with a forceful rhythm that joins ballad and rap, as he follows ‘a mighty, fightin’ man,’ challenging the color line as well as individual opponents around the world. Shane Evans’ illustrations make Johnson’s body a monument to intelligence and power.” —Chicago Tribune
★ “This book is sure to be championed by reluctant readers with energy and restlessness just like Johnson’s, but it is a strong selection for library and classroom read-alouds as well.” —School Library Journal starred review
★ “The elegant simplicity and rat-a-tat rhythms land some stunners . . . enhanced by Evans’ lithe and swaggering artwork, which lends a tremendous visual charisma, grace, and grandeur.” —Booklist starred review