Stories to share with your community on Juneteenth and beyond

On June 19, 1865 in Galveston, TX, enslaved African Americans were finally informed of their freedom, despite the passing of the Emancipation Proclamation two years prior. Juneteenth is also referred to as “Freedom Day”, “Emancipation Day”, and “Juneteenth Independence Day.” The first celebrations of Juneteenth were about honoring former enslaved people. Today celebrations of Juneteenth consist of gathering with family, BBQs, parades, festivals, beauty contests, and other celebratory events to remember the lives of their enslaved ancestors.

For those who would like to learn more, we recommend reading “Juneteenth: The Growth of an African-American Holiday” and “So You Want to Learn About Juneteenth?

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Earth Day Resource Center

Celebrate Earth Day (April 22) with these books! Keep reading to discover an entire collection of books that will inspire your young readers to become environmentally conscious.


Oceans of Possibilities

Are you participating in the Oceans of Possibilities Collaborative Summer Library Program? Add these books to your shelves today!

View our full collection of environmental books here →

Book Round-up: Talking to Kids About Current Events: Ukraine

Not sure how to talk to kids about what’s happening in world events? We’ve rounded up some books that provide an accessible way to talk to kids about lessons we can learn from history, and also included some books to use as resources for media literacy. Plus, see below to find journal entry prompts to help your kids process their emotions.

A Note:

Because talking about current events–especially those involving war–can be a triggering experience for people at any age, it can be a good idea to allow kids to process what they’ve already seen and heard before starting any new conversations. By creating a space for kids to journal, they can start digesting their own emotions and responses. Keep in mind that some children have experienced the effects of war and may feel a personal connection to the Eastern European population closely impacted by Putin’s actions. To provide you with some talking points, we’ve found a list of sources that can help educators talk about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with students.


Sources for Talking to Children About the Attack on Ukraine

Teachers can offer a safe space for students to talk about the war in Ukraine and help them take action – with entry-level talking points for kids at varying ages

Talking to Kids About the War in Ukraine – from San Diego County Office of Education, many resources for talking to children of all ages and includes social-emotional resources

Hear what teens have to say about the war in Ukraine – teen posts from the New York Times forum


Journal Entry Prompts for Processing Current Events:

Prompt 1 for early education: Think about the news events that you’ve watched or heard adults talk about this week. What was the news? Do you think it is important? How do you feel about this news?

Prompt 2 for middle graders: Think about the news events that have happened this week. Choose the one event that you think is important, and write a paragraph journal entry about it. What happened? Why do you think it is important? How do you feel about what you’ve heard?

Prompt 3 for high schoolers: Think about the current events that have happened in the world this past week. Choose a specific event that you think is important, and write a multi-paragraph journal entry about it. What happened? Why is it important? Do you feel personally impacted by this? How can you empathize with those affected by the event?


Click the tabs below to view more books in each age category.

Find a list of recommended books here →

Celebrate LATINITAS during Women’s History Month!

Discover how 40 influential Latinas became the women we celebrate today in Latinitas: Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers by Juliet Menéndez, a gorgeous collection of biographies accompanied by stunning hand-painted illustrations! Don’t miss Latinitas (Spanish Edition): Una celebración de 40 soñadoras audaces available on March 1st!

Download free educator resources and teacher’s guides (available in both English and Spanish!) to use alongside the book. Plus, enter to receive a free Latinitas art print to display in your classroom or library.

Find more resources to celebrate LATINITAS here →

Teacher’s Guide: Rise Up!: How You Can Join the Fight Against White Supremacy by Dr. Crystal M. Fleming

Rise Up!: How You Can Join the Fight Against White Supremacy
Ages 12-18
On Sale Now!

This urgent book explores the roots of racism and its legacy in modern day, all while empowering young people with actionable ways they can help foster a better world and become antiracists.

School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

Why are white supremacists still openly marching in the United States? Why are undocumented children of color separated from their families and housed in cages? Where did racism come from? Why hasn’t it already disappeared? And what can young people do about it?

Rise Up! breaks down the origins of racial injustice and its continued impact today, connecting dots between the past and present. By including contemporary examples ripped from headlines and actionable ways young people can help create a more inclusive world, sociologist Crystal Marie Fleming shares the knowledge and values that unite all antiracists: compassion, solidarity, respect, and courage in the face of adversity. Perfect for fans of Stamped: RemixThis Book is Antiracist, Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy, and The Black Friend.

Learn more about RISE UP! here →

Snacktime with Debbi Michiko Florence & Jamie Michalak, co-authors of Niki Nakayama: A Chef’s Tale in 13 Bites

Join authors Debbi Michiko Florence and Jamie Michalak for a cooking lesson and make wonton pizzas, a recipe from their new picture book, Niki Nakayama: A Chef’s Tale in 13 Bites!

Niki Nakayama: A Chef’s Tale in 13 Bites by Debbi Michiko Florence and Jamie Michalak; illustrated by Yuko Jones
On Sale Now!
Ages 4-8

Niki Nakayama: A Chef’s Tale in 13 Bites is a picture book biography that tells the story of the powerhouse female Japanese-American chef and her rise to fame

As a child and adult, Niki faced many naysayers in her pursuit of haute cuisine. Using the structure of a traditional kaiseki meal, the authors Debbi Michiko Florence and Jamie Michalak playfully detail Niki’s hunger for success in thirteen “bites” — from wonton wrappers she used to make pizza as a kid to yuzu-tomatillo sauce in her own upscale Los Angeles Michelin-starred restaurant, n/naka.

To anyone who tells her a woman can’t be a master chef, Niki lets her food do the talking. And oh, does it talk. Niki was featured on the first season of Netflix’s culinary documentary series Chef’s Table. And Chrissy Teigen proclaimed that Niki’s restaurant was one of her absolute favorites. She’s currently a featured teacher on MasterClass.

A smart, strong woman with starpower, Niki is only just getting started — like the young readers who will devour this book, featuring illustrations by Yuko Jones!

Praise for Niki Nakayama: A Chef’s Tale in 13 Bites:

★ “In 13 ‘Bites,’ the duo follows Nakayama through food-centered memories, including bonding moments with her grandmother, embarking on a post-high school Tokyo food tour, and trying and then studying kaiseki at a cousin’s ryokan…Mixed media and digital art by Jones make each vignette atmospheric, with varying angles and insets, toothsome details, and watercolor washes.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ “Art, storytelling, and food work together on so many levels in this beautiful tale about master chef Niki Nakayama’s life… Young readers will be inspired.”Booklist, starred review

“The meticulously detailed illustrations highlight the food, experiences, and Japanese culture. Included at the end are a timeline of Nakayama’s life, deeper explanations of the concepts of kuyashii and kaiseki, and a recipe for wonton pizza. A flavorful, inspirational biography of a woman who showed the world what she could cook up.” —Kirkus Reviews

Watch our Anti-Racist Education Webinar & find Reading List Recommendations

Watch our anti-racist education webinar, featuring authors Dr. Crystal M. Fleming (Rise Up: How You Can Join the Fight Against White Supremacy), Bethany C. Morrow (So Many Beginnings: A Little Women Remix), and Aminah Mae Safi (Travelers Along the Way: A Robin Hood Remix). In this conversation moderated by Julia Torres, a teacher-librarian in Denver Public Schools, the authors discussed how educators and librarians can build a more inclusive collection for their schools and libraries.

Find more resources mentioned during the event below:

More Resources for Continuing Anti-Racist Education: 
ILA Children’s Right to Read
NCTE Intellectual Freedom Center
NCTE Committee Against Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English (CARBTE)
American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom
Disrupt Texts
Diversity in Children’s Books Infographic (2018) by Sarah Park Dahlen

More Anti-Racist Book Lists to Build Your Collection 
Social Justice Books
We are KidLit Collective

Nonfiction to Pair with So Many Beginnings by Bethany C. Morrow:
Time Full of Trial: The Roanoke Island Freedmen’s Colony, 1862-1867 by Patricia C. Click 

Nonfiction to Pair with Travelers Along the Way by Aminah Mae Safi:
The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf

Nonfiction to Pair with Rise Up by Crystal M. Fleming:
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen 

Check out our list nonfiction and fiction books to add to your anti-racist collections and classroom curriculums. Create more inclusive, representative and equitable collections by incorporating these newly published works and backlist favorites into your school and library collections!