A Voice of Hope: Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.

We celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on January 21 this year, and we are called to remember the way he spoke of hope and love and respect to America. He taught this country that truth, justice, and dignity are timeless values that must be upheld if we are to move forward together. The list below includes books that commemorate this man’s life and dream as we continue to try to make it a reality. For more information about this holiday, visit The King Center website.

To find more books about Martin Luther King Jr. or the Civil Rights era, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “King, Martin Luther, Jr.,” “Civil rights movements,” “segregation,” or other key words.

Bolden, Tonya.
M.L.K.: Journey of a King. 2006 (Biography: Chapter Book)
Separated into three parts, this large format biography tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and advocacy in the civil rights movement. With an easy to read format that includes pictures and sidebars to break up the text, readers will have no problems staying engaged in his amazing journey. Many historical black and white photographs are included, which add to the immersive experience and show readers what it was really like. An author’s note, timeline, sources, and index are included at the end, making this a comprehensive source on MLK’s life that readers will love to explore.
[S-Collection SB. K537b]

Clark-Robinson, Monica.
Let the Children March. 2018 (Fiction: Picture Book)
It’s 1963, and after hearing Martin Luther King Jr. speak, children in Birmingham, Alabama have volunteered to march. This evocative picture book shows us how these children wanted to fight for their civil rights and racial equality just like the adults in their lives. Using their voices to make a difference, young readers will be inspired to see that they too can participate in social justice movements to change the world.
[S-Collection SE. C559le, also in the CCB]

Duncan, Alice Faye.
Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: The Sanitation Strike of 1968. 2018 (Picture Book)
Told from the point of view of 9-year-old Lorraine Jackson, readers learn about a part of Martin Luther King Jr.’s advocacy that is not often shared. Full page illustrations provide the backdrop for Lorraine’s memories about the sanitation strike that are told in little vignettes. With the inspirational idea that “dreamers don’t quit,” the historical facts of the march that MLK organized before his assassination in Memphis are presented in an accessible story format that focuses on Lorraine and her family, including her sanitation worker father. With a timeline of the strike and sources at the end of the book, this is a beautiful tribute to King’s life as well as how hard regular individuals fought for their rights.
[S-Collection Q. S. D9124me]

Farris, Christine King.
My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 2003 (Nonfiction: Picture Book)
Written by Martin’s sister Christine, we get to see MLK as a child and what he was like before he became the famous activist. Detailed and realistic illustrations bring their childhood to life, where we hear about how Martin pulled pranks with his brother and sister and his determination to fight for change. This picture book is a very accessible introduction to segregation and racism from the eyes of a child that also shares how important it is to stand up for what is right.
[S-Collection Q. S.323.092 F249m]

Greenberg, David.
A Tugging String: A Novel About Growing Up During the Civil Rights Era. 2008 (Fiction: Chapter Book)
Written by the son of Jack Greenberg, a civil rights lawyer who argued Brown v. Board, about growing up during this turbulent time, this fictional novel has real emotional impact. Duvy Greenberg is 12 and just trying to fit in. Meanwhile, Dorothy Milton is a black woman trying to register to vote in Alabama who reaches out to Martin Luther King Jr. for help. Despite his father’s career as a civil rights lawyer, this is the string that tugs on Duvy’s heart and opens his eyes to the racial inequality around him. Based on the Selma-Montgomery Voting Rights March, the 8 pages of inset black and white historical photographs add to the reality and gravity of this story about standing up for what you believe in.
[S-Collection S. G8293tu]

Jackson, Linda Williams.
Midnight Without a Moon (Rose Lee Carter #1). 2017 (Historical Fiction: Chapter Book)
It’s 1955, and 13-year-old Rose Lee Carter dreams that there has to be something beyond the cotton fields of Mississippi, where she is living for the moment with her sharecropper grandparents. Everything suddenly changes when Emmett Till, a 14-year-old African American boy in the next town over, is killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. Rose comes to realize that she should be part of the movement that is fighting for equality. While Rose is a fictional character, Emmett Till’s trial was a spark that inspired people to fight for change and equality within the civil rights movement that Martin Luther King Jr. was helping to lead, and readers will root for her as she learns to fight for what is right.
[S-Collection S. J1359mi, also in the CCB]
Be sure to check out the sequel, A Sky Full of Stars, also in the S-Collection (S. J1359s)!

King, Martin Luther, Jr. & Kadir Nelson.
I Have a Dream. 2012 (Nonfiction: Picture Book)
This picture book takes the text of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous speech and pairs it with beautiful, full page illustrations of that historical day. It is a perfect way to share his words with a younger audience and provides a starting point for a discussion about MLK and his life. The thought-provoking images question segregation, equality, and justice and inspire readers with what King’s dream would look like as a reality. The full-text of his speech is included at the end for curious adult readers.
[S-Collection Q. S.323.092 K585i2012, also in the CCB]

Miller, Marilyn, Ellen Scordato, & Dan Tucker.
Words That Built a Nation: Voices of Democracy That Have Shaped America’s History. 2018 (Nonfiction)
Filled with inspiring words that have created this nation, this book is a must for readers who want to learn about the statements that have affected our country and the ideals we hold. From the Declaration of Independence to Brown v. Board, the March on Washington Address by Martin Luther King Jr., and Obama’s Speech on Race, readers will love to peruse this resource and learn about our history. The engaging format includes an introduction to each document, the famous words themselves, pictures – both illustrations and historical, a bottom bar explaining the history, about the author, and the response to the words. It is very accessible and informative – perfect for the curious mind.
[S-Collection S.973 M616w2018]

Rappaport, Doreen.
Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. 2001 (Biography: Picture Book)
A Caldecott Honor Book in 2002, this picture book biography is still notable today. Direct quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. are used to enhance and emphasize the hopeful message of everyone living together in harmony, and the multimedia illustrations are used to create powerful images that provoke thought and discussion. This celebration of his life is inspiring, and the timeline and additional sources in the back make this ideal for using with children who are learning about this influential man.
[S-Collection Q. SB. K53ra]

Weatherford, Carole Boston.
Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You. 2018 (Biography: Picture Book)
“You can be a king” – the inspirational refrain repeated throughout – helps share with children how they can spread love and fight for justice. With parallel story lines of a class learning about Martin Luther King Jr. and pivotal moments of his life, this book helps readers learn to see things from other people’s points of view and how important it is to treat them fairly. The simple watercolor paintings and short text make this an easy introduction to MLK and his dreams.
[S-Collection SB. K537w]

Immersed in a Story: Books in Verse

There’s something about winter that leaves more space for contemplation – perhaps it’s the cold, or the snow, or maybe the dark. Whatever the reason, it’s the perfect time to curl up on the couch and become immersed in a good book that lets us lose ourselves in the story. The list below highlights some books in verse or rhyme written with beautiful language and captivating imagery for you to dive in and explore.

To find more books that will get you engrossed in a story, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “novels in verse,” “stories in verse,” or “stories in rhyme.”

Alexander, Kwame.
Booked. 2016 (Chapter Book)
Nick is your average 12-year-old boy who loves soccer, but despite having a linguistics professor for a dad, he hates words. Alexander plays with spacing and fonts in order to tell the story of how Nick deals with friendship, trying to impress a girl, and the fact that his parents are separating. Add in vocabulary word footnotes, exciting soccer action, and a rapping librarian named The Mac, and you get a novel that will have readers cheering Nick on as he learns more about how to play this game called life.
[S-Collection S. Al2715b, also in CCB and Uni High]

Becker, Shelly.
Even Superheroes Make Mistakes. 2018 (Picture Book)
In this dynamic picture book, we see superheroes depicted as down-to-earth human beings who make mistakes just like us. The comical nature of this book can help spark conversations with kids about right and wrong in a fun, rhyming way. With the discussion of problem solving and moving forward instead of dwelling on mistakes not overdone, readers will love reading about how the superhero main characters overcome adversity.
[S-Collection Q. SE. B38872ev]

Bunting, Eve.
I’m a Duck. 2018 (Picture Book)
With comforting pastel-colored illustrations in the background, we hear about the woes of a landlocked duck who, after a harrowing mishap as an egg, is scared to swim in the pond with his brothers. His friends Frog and Owl try to help him gather his courage to get in the water, but it is ultimately his decision. Readers will love the heartwarming story of this young duck’s bravery and how he embraces his identity and conquers his fears.
[S-Collection Q. SE. B886im]

Engle, Margarita.
Forest World. 2017 (Chapter Book)
In this adventurous tale, Edver is visiting his father in Cuba – a man he hardly knows – to meet a sister, Luza, he didn’t know he had. The family has been divided for many years now, and to try to connect, the siblings sneak onto the Internet, which is forbidden in Cuba, and make up a fake butterfly to try to get the attention of their cryptozoologist mother. But their lie soon catches the attention of someone far more dangerous, and Edver and Luza will have to work together to save the Cuban jungle that connects them. Told in alternating points of view with Spanish words intermingled in the text, this is a story about family and home you won’t want to miss.
[S-Collection S. En353fo, also in CCB]

Green, Shari.
Macy McMillan and the Rainbow Goddess. 2017 (Chapter Book)
Sixth-grader Macy’s house is for sale, her mom is getting remarried, her final assignment is a genealogy project she’s procrastinating on, she’s fighting with her best friend, and to top it all off, her mom sends her next door to help their elderly neighbor Iris pack boxes. She doesn’t even know sign language, but the fact that Macy is deaf doesn’t stop Iris from trying to communicate. The unlikely pair connect over baking and books, and Green tells a beautiful story full of introspection, observations about life, and embracing change.
[S-Collection S. G8263m, also in CCB]

Grimes, Nikki.
Garvey’s Choice. 2016 (Chapter Book)
Garvey’s father wants him to be an athlete, but he is a bookworm and a dreamer. With all of that pressure, he feels like a failure and eats his emotions as he is bullied and teased at school. But everything changes once his one friend encourages him to join the school chorus. When Garvey becomes the new soloist, he learns to accept himself and communicate with his father through music, the universal language. With beautiful, image-provoking metaphors, this is a quick read that will have readers rooting for Garvey and relating to his desire to be himself.
[S-Collection S. G882ga, also in CCB]

Harrington, Janice N.
Catching a Storyfish. 2016 (Chapter Book)
Moving away from Alabama is hard for Keet, but at least she gets to be by her grandfather. As a talker who loves to tell stories, Keet takes it hard when kids at school tease her about her southern accent. It is only when she is fishing with her grandfather that she learns to listen, and things are slowly starting to look up. But when he has a stroke, Keet is determined that telling him stories will help bring her grandfather back to her. This moving tale of the power of story will have readers immersed in Keet’s world and the magic of words.
[S-Collection S. H2371c]

Hilton, Marilyn.
Full Cicada Moon. 2015 (Chapter Book)
This historical fiction novel is set is 1969, right in the midst of the Apollo 11 moon mission excitement. Twelve-year-old Mimi is trying to fit in and fighting to enter science competitions as she dreams of becoming an astronaut, but being half-black and half-Japanese and having just moved to a mostly white town makes that difficult. Judged because of her appearance and stereotyped because of her gender, Mimi fights to stand up for what is right, be true to herself, and make the world a better place. Written in free verse, readers will be drawn into her journey and root for her to succeed.
[S-Collection S. H563fu]

Owen, Chris.
Pandamonia. 2017 (Picture Book)
“Pandamonia – complete and utter chaos, often following the disturbance of a blissfully sleeping panda.” In this delightful picture book that breaks the fourth wall separating audience and author, readers are told, under no circumstances, to wake the panda. Owen plays with alliteration and fun onomatopoeia sounds that are perfect for a read-aloud and the crescendo of action leading to the climax of the story is cleverly mimicked by the format of the poems. With full-page illustrations replete with diverse animals, the if-then format will have kids giggling and anxious to find out what crazy thing happens next.
[S-Collection Q. SE. Ow21p]

Woollard, Elli.
The Dragon and the Nibblesome Knight. 2018 (Picture Book)
In this fantasy adventure, the time has come for a baby dragon named Dram to go bite a knight, as all dragons have done forever. However, the tale turns topsy-turvy when Dram crashes and a boy helps nurse him back to health, thinking he’s a duck. After all the kindness shared, imagine Dram’s horror when he learns that the small lad was actually a knight and that they are supposed to be enemies! With colorful illustrations full of tongue-in-cheek details and rhythmic rhymes that beg to be read aloud, this book is a delight for readers of any age.
[S-Collection Q. SE. W8851dr]

Falling in Love with Fall

Crisp air, rosy cheeks, crunchy leaves, warm drinks, cozy sweaters – fall is in full swing and there is no better time to curl up with a blanket and a good book. The cooler temperatures and beautiful color palette of the outdoors provide the perfect setting for friends and family to gather together and make memories. The list below highlights some books that showcase the things we love best about this season: appreciating nature, working together, and giving thanks.

To find more books about this beautiful season of colors, food, and family, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “Thanksgiving Day,” “autumn,” “leaves,” “gratitude,” or other fun fall words!

Alsdurf, Phyllis.
Thanksgiving in the Woods. 2017 (Picture Book: Based on a True Story)
Based on a real-life Thanksgiving tradition, this book shares an enchanting example of a community coming together to share food, join in song, and make memories. The beautiful illustrations bring this story to life with vibrant colors that invite readers into the scene as a young boy takes them along for the magical journey. This is the perfect book to share as a family to celebrate the gratitude, community, and wonder that is the power of Thanksgiving.
[S-Collection Q. SE. Al7831t]

Balla, Trace.
The Thank You Dish. 2017 (Picture Book)
It’s dinnertime, and as usual, Mama begins to give thanks. Grace jumps in, however, and unexpectedly thanks kangaroos! As the back and forth continues, Grace embodies the true spirit of gratitude and celebrates community and the bonds created by sharing meals together. In this charming conversation between Grace and Mama, readers come to realize that there is always something to give thanks for and someone to give thanks to.
[S-Collection SE. B2108t]

Henkes, Kevin.
In the Middle of Fall. 2017 (Picture Book)
Gorgeous fall colors are radiant in the full page illustrations, highlighting the change and movement that is so visible during this season. The simple prose and defined lines help make the story accessible for young children, and kids will recognize the fall activities mentioned, such as the leaves changing color, picking pumpkins and apples, squirrels running around, and jumping into piles of fallen leaves. This is a beautiful picture book that celebrates all the beginnings and endings that are evident during fall.
[S-Collection Q. SE. H389in]

Holland, Loretta.
Fall Leaves. 2014 (Picture Book)
Readers of all ages are sure to enjoy this unique picture book. Simple two-word headings explain what happens during the fall season, while short paragraphs underneath introduce scientific concepts such as how leaves change color, migration, hibernation, and more. The illustrations seem to glow and illuminate the beautiful colors of the leaves. There are even directions for a leaf print activity at the end that children will love!
[S-Collection Q. SE. H7191f]

Miller, Pat Zietlow.
Sharing the Bread: An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving Story. 2015 (Picture Book)
In this heartwarming tale, each member of the family plays a part in creating the Thanksgiving meal. The detailed illustrations give readers a lot to look at and the vintage tones help set the stage. The narrator is a young boy whom children can identify with, and we follow along as he shares each step of the preparation. Repetitive language invites readers to take part in the story and learn along the way that the most important part of Thanksgiving is simply being together.
[S-Collection SE. M6173sh]

Miltenburg, Sanne.
When Will Fall Arrive? 2017 (Picture Book)
Bunny and Hedgehog are best friends, and Bunny doesn’t want Hedgehog to hibernate and leave him alone during fall and winter. As a result, he tries to hide the fact that fall has arrived from Hedgehog, but as you can imagine, things soon get out of hand. This cute story of friendship is told with simple sentences and cartoon-like pictures, and readers are sure to love this unlikely duo.
[S-Collection Q. SE. M64w:E]

O’Brien, Anne Sibley.
Hocus Pocus, It’s Fall! 2016 (Picture Book)
With such a fun, magical theme, this book is sure to get kids into the fall spirit. The simple, rhyming sentences leave the beautiful, full-page illustrations to play the leading role. Readers will love examining the fold-out pages throughout the book that demonstrate the fall season in action. The warm colors and dynamic movement of the animals and kids in the book will have readers wanting to go outside and explore!
[S-Collection SE. Ob6h]

Spinelli, Eileen.
Thanksgiving at the Tappletons’. 1992 (Picture Book)
In this Thanksgiving tale, everything that can go wrong does, and the Tappleton family wonders how they can possibly celebrate the holiday without the traditional feast. With unique characters and dynamic illustrations, readers are soon pulled into the plot and find themselves rooting for the family. Ultimately, although a bit predictable, it’s a cute story about what really matters: being together.
[S-Collection Q. SE. Sp46t]

Stringer, Lauren.
Yellow Time. 2016 (Picture Book)
This book is a celebration of the anticipation of yellow time arriving, and readers will recognize the in-between feeling that occurs during summer and fall. The array of beautiful yellows and powerful use of white space in the illustrations highlight the splendor of the fall season. With poetic language and diverse children featured in the illustrations, the story is accessible for a wide audience and will appeal to those who love the beauty of the changing seasons.
[S-Collection Q. SE. St864y]

Wellington, Monica.
My Leaf Book. 2015 (Picture Book)
In this introduction to different kinds of leaves, readers explore leaves of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Fun facts about the elements of different leaves are included to add another dimension to this deceptively simple picture book. With bright and happy colors throughout and a page of suggested projects using leaves in the back, this is the perfect fall book for curious explorers.
[S-Collection Q. SE. W46my]

Read to the Rhythm

With International Music Day celebrated on October 1 and World Ballet Day on October 2 this year, this month is the perfect time to celebrate the infinite melodies that fill and shape our world. Everyone loves a good beat, and whether you play, sing, or dance to a song, there is always time for music – even in books! Check out the list below to read about how people throughout the world rejoice in the wonder and power of music.

To find more books about grooving to the rhythm, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “music,” “musician,” “dance,” or a specific type of music, instrument, dance, or person you are interested in. Many nonfiction books about music and dancing can be found in the 780 and 790 call number range.

Andrews, Troy.
Trombone Shorty. 2015 (Biography: Picture Book)
In this picture book autobiography, Troy Andrews shares with readers how he became known as “Trombone Shorty” after learning to play the instrument as a very young boy. Growing up in New Orleans, music was everywhere, and it wasn’t long until Andrews was leading his own band and sharing music of his own. This fun and colorful book is a testament to how you can do anything you put your mind to!
[S-Collection Q. SB. A571an]

Blackaby, Susan & Cicciarelli, Joellyn.
Leo’s Gift. 2017 (Fiction: Picture Book)
Leo doesn’t have that thing that is his thing yet, but he is captivated by the way his sister can play songs just by hitting the piano keys in the right order. But while she would rather play basketball, Leo spends all his time learning to coax music out of the instrument with the help of an invested music teacher. Could this be his gift? Beautifully written with warm illustrations, readers will love to see Leo discover and embrace the way he can bring joy to the world.
[S-Collection Q. SE. B561l]

Bowen, Meurig.
The School of Music. 2017 (Nonfiction)
In this fun, informational, and immersive book, children will explore the basics of music along with a cast of lively musicians that include Sergio Trunk, Diva Venus, Rufus Vibrato, Roxy Mojo, and more. From exploring the different instruments to learning the basics of how music works and making music at home, readers will not want to leave this school! This large-format book is full of engaging pictures, activities, and questions that will make learning as easy as do re mi.
[S-Collection Q. S. 780.9 B6757s]

Copeland, Misty.
Life in Motion: An Unlikely Ballerina. 2016 (Biography: Chapter Book)
With a late start to ballet and family drama that relocated her to various homes and schools, Misty Copeland defied all odds by becoming the first female African-American principal ballerina in the American Ballet Theatre’s history. In this autobiography, Copeland discusses her challenging journey to becoming one of America’s most successful ballerinas. She never gave up on her dreams and has inspired many other dancers to give it their all.
[S-Collection SB. C7826c]

Engle, Margarita.
Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music. 2015 (Fiction: Picture Book – Based on a true story)
Surrounded by music on the island of Cuba, a young girl dreams of being a drummer despite tradition saying that only boys play the drums. Still, she dreams and practices in secret and perseveres until she is able to share her music with everyone. This beautifully illustrated story was inspired by Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, the real-life drum dream girl, and will encourage children to speak out and share their talents.
[S-Collection SE. En35d]

Katz, Nikki.
The Midnight Dance. 2017 (Fiction: Young Adult)
It’s 1879, and Penny is a lead dancer under the Maestro at the Grande Teatro, an elite finishing school secluded in the woods of Italy. However, memories of a very different life start coming back to her and she soon begins to question who she is and what the Maestro is really doing. Penny confides in Cricket, the kitchen boy, and resolves to escape the stifling school and oppressive master before it’s too late.
[S-Collection S. K1595m]

Redgate, Riley.
Noteworthy. 2017 (Fiction: Young Adult)
Jordan Sun is really hoping that junior year will be the year she makes the school musical, but her unusual Alto 2 voice is not an asset in this case. However, a spot in the all-male, a cappella octet called the Sharpshooters has opened up, and Jordan auditions as a boy, hoping that her low voice will help her earn a spot and prove her skills. Once she makes it, she is soon caught between her two identities, where she struggles to make friends and has to decide what it means to be herself.
[S-Collection S. R2478n]

Singer, Marilyn.
Feel the Beat: Dance Poems That Zing from Salsa to Swing. 2017 (Poetry)
Rhythmic and spirited, these poems celebrate the energy and impact of dance! The beat of each poem matches the rhythm of the dance it focuses on and vibrant illustrations add to the experience. A CD is included where the author reads the poems set to matching music, and readers will love learning about all the ways that dance has the power to move people across the world.
[S-Collection Q. S.811 Si64fe]

Singer, Marilyn.
Tallulah’s Tap Shoes. 2015 (Fiction: Picture Book)
Tallulah is a ballet dancer. She loves the beauty and perfection of it, but at dance camp she’ll have to take tap too. Tallulah is NOT excited, and to make it worse, there’s a girl at camp who is a really good tap dancer. Could they have anything in common? In this installment of Tallulah’s dance adventures, readers are sure to empathize with her struggles and rejoice in her discoveries.
[S-Collection Q. SE. Si643tta]

Torres, Jennifer.
Finding the Music: En pos de la música. 2015 (Fiction: Bilingual Picture Book)
This side-by-side bilingual book with Spanish and English text is a beautifully written family story about the power of music to bring people together. In the beginning, Reyna accidentally knocks her grandfather’s vihuela (a guitar-like instrument) off the wall of her mother’s restaurant because customers are being loud while she is trying to read. She goes on a quest to get it fixed before her mom finds out and her journey leads her to appreciate the noise and music of her grandfather’s past as well as her heritage.
[S-Collection S. T6364f]

A Colorful World: Books about Art

Now that the school year has started, we all need to remember to set aside some time for creativity! Creating and exploring new ideas is what drives our society, and artists have the incredible opportunity to share their voices and perspectives with the world in a way that lets people connect on a deeper level. Explore the list of books below to learn about some amazing artwork and artists as well as how art has the power to change the world.

To find more books about the amazing art in our world, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “art,” “artists,” “painting,” “painters,” or a particular artist or style of art you want to learn more about. Many nonfiction books about art can be found in the 700 call number range.

Bryant, Jen.
A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin. 2013 (Biography: picture book)
From the time he was a little boy, Horace Pippin loved to draw. That love and his skill continued to grow throughout his life, but after he was injured in World War II, he had to relearn how to draw with his left hand supporting his right. Quotes from Pippin in the beautifully detailed and childlike illustrations make his feelings and art come alive. Short, simple sentences with a relatable main character will draw young readers in, and they will be inspired by his strength and determination to do what he loved.
[S-Collection Q. SB. P665b]

Burleigh, Robert.
Edward Hopper Paints His World. 2014 (Biography: picture book)
When Edward Hopper was a child, he decided that he would be an artist one day. It was a long and often lonely road, but he never stopped working towards his goal. The detailed and beautifully created illustrations on each page lend clarity to what Hopper’s mission as an artist was: to draw what moved him. With an afterword, descriptions of some of his famous paintings, a timeline, and more, this biography delves into Edward Hopper’s life and makes him accessible to young readers.
[S-Collection Q. SB. H798b]

Campoy, F. Isabel.
Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood. 2016 (Picture book: based on a true story)
Mira loved to draw and color and gave away her artwork to everyone she saw, making her city a little less gray, but she was only one person. One day, however, a man came to town and started creating a mural, eventually inviting the whole neighborhood to join in and help make something beautiful. The vibrant colors leap off the page and readers will love to see what happens when a community comes together.
[S-Collection Q. SE. C158m]

Harvey, Jeanne Walker.
Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines. 2017 (Picture book: biography)
This beautiful picture book tells the story of Maya Lin, the artist-architect who created the Vietnam Veterans Memorial along with many other structures and spaces. Growing up, Maya learned to see the art and beauty in the spaces around her and wanted others to see it as well, so she studied architecture. Readers will love being able to explore her creations in the detailed illustrations and be a part of her art – just like Maya Lin wants.
[S-Collection Q. SB. L735h]

Heiligman, Deborah.
Vincent and Theo: The Van Gogh Brothers. 2017 (Nonfiction: biography, chapter book)
The author paints the world of Vincent Van Gogh and his brother Theo with a beautiful and intimate storytelling that lets readers delve into their lives. Based on the 658 letters that Vincent wrote to Theo throughout his life, this in-depth novel is the winner of the 2018 YALSA Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults Award. Reading this book is like a painting – you stand aloof from it, yet still feel intimately attached to the emotions that are portrayed – and readers will want to savor the experience.
[S-Collection S.759.9492 H3636v]

Hicks, Deron R.
The Van Gogh Deception. 2017 (Fiction: chapter book)
Found at the National Gallery in Washington D.C. in front of a Degas sculpture, a boy can’t remember who he is or where he came from. As he works to discover his identity, he races against time to put together the clues of his origins with the facts he somehow knows about artists in order to stop one of the most daring art frauds in history. This exciting adventure book will keep readers on the edge of their seats and have them exploring art with the QR codes interspersed throughout the text.
[S-Collection S. H5293v]

Manning, Mick.
The Story of Paintings: A History of Art for Children. 2017 (Nonfiction)
With a narrative voice, this large format nonfiction book tells the history of art, hitting the highlights throughout the ages – from the Lascaux Cave Paintings to The Starry Night and all the way to Jean-Michel Basquiat. Depictions of various pieces of artwork are on every page, along with easy to understand summaries and fun cartoons with captions and amusing thought bubbles. Inquisitive minds will love this introduction to some of the most famous art and will want to learn more!
[S-Collection Q. S.709 M316s]

MacKnight, Wendy McLeod.
The Frame-Up. 2018 (Fiction: chapter book)
At the Beaverbrook Gallery, the one rule you must follow is not letting anyone know that the paintings are alive, and Mona Dunn just broke it. One day Sargent Singer, the son of the gallery owner, discovers her secret, and they must work together in order to do some sleuthing in order to save the gallery from a potential art heist. Adventure and fantasy abound in this novel, and readers will enjoy delving into their imaginations and exploring the world hidden behind the frame.
[S-Collection S. M2182f]

Newbold, Amy and Greg.
If Picasso Painted a Snowman. 2017 (Nonfiction: picture book)
Fun and whimsical, this picture book follows the “what if” scenario to explore how different artists would have painted a snowman. This simple concept lets children see the styles of various artists without being didactic along with a not-so-subtle nod to the adults in the room with playful versions of famous paintings such as “The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí” (melting clocks) and “American Gothic House” by Grant Wood (the farmer holding a pitchfork with his wife/daughter).
[S-Collection S.709 N425i]

Wells, Marcia.
Mystery on Museum Mile (Eddie Red Undercover #1). 2014 (Fiction: chapter book)
Edmund Xaxier Lonnrot, better known by his codename Eddie Red, is thrust into the case of a lifetime when his special skills are needed. With a photographic memory and the ability to draw whatever he sees, the NYPD needs the sixth grader’s talents in order to track down the dangerous group The Picasso Gang before they get away with the art theft of the century. Full of puzzles, fun, and art, this book is a page turner and exciting adventure for readers of all ages.
Be sure to look for Mystery in Mayan Mexico #2 (S. W46272my) and Doom at Grant’s Tomb #3 (S. W46272d) also found in the S-Collection!
[S-Collection S. W46272m]

Ingenious Inventors and Inventions

“An invention has to make sense in the world it finishes in, not in the world it started.” – Tim O’Reilly

These books are all about the amazing inventions in our world and the inventors who weren’t afraid to dream big and make mistakes along the way. These innovative individuals just wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and they came up with some incredible ideas like chocolate chip cookies, Band-Aids, frozen food, and more! If you want to learn about the brilliant and creative minds behind your favorite invention, check out the list of books below!

To find more books about the amazing ideas people have every day, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “inventions,” “inventors,” or a particular invention or field you want to learn more about. Many nonfiction books about inventions can be found in the 609 call number range.

Barton, Chris.
Whoosh!: Lonnie Johnson’s Super-Soaking Stream of Inventions. 2016 (Nonfiction: picture book)
Lonnie Johnson has always loved building and playing with ideas, and his most memorable is definitely the Super Soaker. Most people don’t know, however, that he struggled to get a toy company to buy his product or that he invented other amazing things working for NASA. As readers learn about Lonnie’s life, they see someone who never gave up and continues to dream and create new inventions.
[S-Collection Q. S.609.2 B2854wh]

Ford, Gilbert.
How the Cookie Crumbled: The True (and Not-So-True) Stories of the Invention of the Chocolate Chip Cookie. 2017 (Nonfiction: picture book)
Have you ever thought about when the chocolate chip cookie was first made? This playful picture book tells the story of Ruth Wakefield, a chef who started a restaurant with her husband and invented (Accidentally? On purpose?) the chocolate chip cookie and shared the beloved recipe with the country. With an author’s note, recipe for Toll House Chocolate Crunch Cookies, and bibliography, this book is sure to be a hit with cookie lovers of all ages – just be sure to be ready to bake some chocolate chip cookies after you read it!
[S-Collection Q. S.641.5092 F7521h]

Gifford, Clive.
50 Things You Should Know About Inventions. 2016 (Nonfiction: chapter book)
A useful overview of important inventions throughout history, this book explores the past while leaving room to see where inventions can take us next. There are plenty of illustrations and fun facts to keep readers interested and craving more information. Kids will be amazed to think about how someone had to invent the ordinary things we take for granted and will be excited to dream up the next great invention.
[S-Collection S.609 G3663i]

Glass, Andrew.
Flying Cars: The True Story. 2015 (Nonfiction: chapter book)
Ever since airplanes and cars were invented, people have been dreaming of the combination. This book shares the stories of those inventors and the amazing things they have been able to create throughout the years. With historical pictures and plans sprinkled throughout, readers will eagerly turn the pages to find out if their dreams come true.
[S-Collection S.629.04 G4632f]

Grandin, Temple.
Calling All Minds: How to Think and Create Like an Inventor. 2018 (Nonfiction: chapter book)
Temple Grandin, a successful scientist and inventor, takes readers on a behind-the-scenes tour of inventions and the process inventors go through when thinking through problems. She not only illustrates different ways to look at the world, but she passionately shares with the readers the importance of using their imagination and developing their curiosity. With pictures, diagrams, and projects to try at home, kids won’t want to stop thinking, tinkering, or fiddling with their own inventions.
[S-Collection S.507.8 G764c]

Kurlansky, Mark.
Frozen in Time: Clarence Birdseye’s Outrageous Idea about Frozen Food. 2014 (Nonfiction biography: chapter book)
This accessible chapter book tells the life story of Clarence Birdseye, the man who invented frozen food – a topic every kid can relate to! His fascination with food preservation took him on a journey to create the freezing process for food we still use today. He didn’t stop there, however, also inventing the electric sunlamp, a harpoon gun, and more. As they learn about his life and explore the 8 pages of photos, the bibliography, and the index, readers will be inspired by Birdseye’s curiosity and want to see what they can create.
[SB. B618k]

Mosca, Julia Finley.
The Doctor with an Eye for Eyes: The Story of Dr. Patricia Bath. 2017 (Nonfiction biography: Picture book)
In this rhyming retelling of Dr. Patricia Bath’s life, kids will learn about more than just her amazing achievements in the field of optometry. The story follows a bright, inquisitive girl as she overcomes obstacles like racism, sexism, and doubt to see her dreams through – and help others see! Fun facts, quotes from Dr. Bath, a timeline of her life, a more detailed biography, and a bibliography all add to this inspirational learning opportunity that will have kids wondering what they can do to change the world.
[Q. SB. B331m]

Sweet, Melissa.
Balloons Over Broadway: The True Story of the Puppeteer of Macy’s Parade. 2011 (Nonfiction biography: picture book)
Collage and childlike illustrations bring the world of Tony Sarg to life in bright colors. Young readers will love to pore over the images as they read about the man who invented the larger-than-life puppets of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Short text blurbs make this a fast read, but it’s chockfull of information. An author’s note and bibliography is included at the end for those looking for more.
[S-Collection Q. SB. S2451s]

Turner, Tracey.
100 Inventions That Made History: Brilliant Breakthroughs That Shaped our World. 2014 (Nonfiction)
Five sections go through the ingenious inventions that have made our world the place it is today. From the wheel all the way to bionic body parts, readers will traverse the history of inventors who dreamed of making things better or easier. Each page has lots of information and illustrations in an accessible format to pore over, letting inquisitive minds explore to their heart’s content!
[S-Collection Q. S.609 T85o]

Wittenstein, Barry.
The Boo-Boos That Changed the World: A True Story about an Accidental Invention. 2018 (Nonfiction: picture book)
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and that was definitely the case for Earle Dickson. When his new wife Josephine keeps injuring herself accidentally around the house, he wonders if there is an easier way for her to bandage her own injuries – and the Band-Aid is born! It takes a while for Earle’s invention to be recognized as the genius idea it is, and readers will root for him until the final “the end.”
[S-Collection Q. S.617.13 W784b]

Mapping Your World

Maps do a lot more than get you from Point A to Point B! According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a map is “a diagram or other visual representation that shows the relative position of the parts of something,” and here at SSHEL we know that books can do the same thing. They help us explore who we are and where we come from – just like maps help us to find our place in the world. Go through the list of books below in order to read some stories all about being lost and found, following treasure maps, and traveling the world.

To find more books about maps and adventure, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “maps,” “atlases,” or “cartography.” Nonfiction books about maps and geography can generally be found in the 912 call number range.

Bryant, Jennifer.
Kaleidoscope Eyes. 2009 (Fiction: middle grade, novel in verse)
After Gramps dies, Lyza helps her dad clean out his house and she finds three maps hidden in the attic. An envelope on top reads “For Lyza ONLY,” and she knows it’s going to be the start of an amazing adventure. With the help of her two best friends, Malcolm and Carolann, they decipher a letter from Gramps that reveals that a pirate treasure from Captain Kidd could be buried in their very own town in New Jersey! Readers will turn the pages quickly in order to follow along as the three go on a secret treasure hunt all while the Vietnam War looms over their community.
[S-Collection S. B8415k]

Buckley Jr., James.
Animal Atlas. 2016 (Nonfiction: atlas)
In this large-format atlas, you can’t help but keep flipping the pages and reading about different animals on each of the continents. It combines cartoons and real images for a dazzling visual experience and an abundance of creatures, pictures, and learning opportunities. With a conversational tone, glossary, index, and fun facts galore, adults and kids alike will enjoy taking this book home to explore!
[S-Collection Q. S590 B856a]

Chen, Justina.
North of Beautiful. 2010 (Fiction: young adult)
Terra grew up in a world of maps and compasses, but she can’t seem to find herself. Hiding her face with its port-wine stain along with her feelings is natural to her. On the outside her life seems perfect: she has a popular boyfriend, a great job at an art gallery, and is very pretty. However, people don’t see what she looks like beneath her makeup or how her dad treats her mom at home. It takes Jacob, an interesting Goth Chinese-American, a trip across the ocean, and an exploration of her own art for Terra to finally find the real meaning of true beauty.
[Center for Children’s Books S. H344n]

Clements, Andrew.
The Map Trap. 2014 (Fiction: middle grade)
One day, Alton’s most prized possessions – his maps – are stolen from his locker. Which is kind of a problem, because while there are “regular” maps that provide locations and directions, there are also some special maps that explore how and what he thinks about people, including his friends, his teachers, and (gulp) his principal. Soon the “mapnapper” starts giving him instructions about what to do if he wants to see his maps again, and Alton is thrust into uncharted territory!
[S-Collection S. C5912m]

Fanelli, Sara.
My Map Book. 1995 (Fiction: picture book)
Full-page, bright, colorful, interactive illustrations fill this book that teaches kids that maps don’t have to just be of places. Readers will experience not only a traditional map of the main character’s room, but also a map of his day, a color map, and more. With so much to explore and think about, children will want to start making their own maps after reading this book, so be sure have paper and crayons handy!
[S-Collection Q. SE. F213m1995]

Hargrave, Kiran Millwood.
The Cartographer’s Daughter. 2016 (Fiction: middle grade)
The day the Governor arrived, everything changed. The songbirds left, the ports closed, and going beyond the forest was forbidden. Isabella is the daughter of the only cartographer on the island, and she yearns to follow in his footsteps and chart the Forgotten Territories. One day her best friend, who happens to be the Governor’s daughter, disappears, and Isabella soon realizes that she’s going to have follow her map and her heart in order to save her friend and the island. This fantasy adventure will take readers on an incredible journey of friendship, exploration, and magic.
[S-Collection S. H2233c]

Milford, Kate.
Greenglass House (Greenglass House #1). 2014 (Fiction: middle grade)
A ringing doorbell interrupts Milo’s plans of doing nothing and relaxing during his winter vacation. The inn is normally quiet this time of year, but soon Greenglass House is full of odd guests with strange stories and secrets. Add to the mix a strange map, an attic full of treasures, and theft and Milo has a mystery on his hands! With the help of Meddy, the cook’s daughter, the pair work together to try to discover just what secrets this rambling old inn is hiding.
Look for the sequel, Ghosts of Greenglass House in the S-Collection (S. M598gg)!
[Center for Children’s Books S. M598g]

Ritchie, Scot.
Follow That Map! A First Book of Mapping Skills. 2009 (Nonfiction: picture book)
In this fun and interactive picture book, readers follow Sally and her friends on their quest to find Max and Ollie, a dog and cat on the loose. Along the way they explore their neighborhood, city, country, and the world around them. This book helps explain the basic concepts needed to understand maps to children while also exercising their imaginations. As a fun bonus, Max and Ollie are hidden somewhere in every map for readers to find!
[S-Collection Q. S.912.014 R5108f]

Sweeny, Joan.
Me on the Map. 1996 (Fiction: picture book)
This is an easy, timeless, methodical introduction to maps for young readers. Readers follow a young girl as she draws and interacts with maps of her room, house, town, state, country, and world. As she discovers her place on the map and in the world, children learn along with her about identity as well as geography. The warm colors and detailed illustrations give readers a lot to explore and provide ample opportunity for discussion.
[S-Collection SE. SW352m]

Wolverton, Barry.
The Vanishing Island (The Chronicles of the Black Tulip #1). 2015 (Fiction: upper middle grade)
Bren Owen feels stuck in his small town of Map in the year 1599, and he longs to travel to find fame and adventure. With a cartographer for a father and sailors constantly coming into port with new tales from afar, Bren is itching to leave to see for himself what’s out there. Soon he’s caught up in the riddle of a lifetime complete with a secret code, the promise of lost treasure, and a legendary island that vanished from the map long ago. Readers will be at the edge of their seats as they race through the pages in order to see if Bren can survive the danger in order to find the treasure!
Look for The Dragon’s Gate #2 (S. W839d) and The Sea of the Dead #3 (S. W839s) also in the S-Collection!
[S-Collection S. W839v]

Get a Clue!

Everyone loves a good mystery. Our storytelling minds automatically try to piece together the clues and figure out what happened, even in our ordinary, day-to-day lives. The thrill of the chase, the suspense of waiting, and the satisfaction of figuring out whodunit all make these stories crowd favorites. To hone your detective skills and solve some mysteries, check out the list of books below!

To find more books where you can play detective alongside the characters, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “mystery and detective stories,” “criminal investigation,” “spies,” or “detectives.”

Barnes, Jennifer Lynn.
The Naturals (The Naturals #1). 2013. (Fiction: chapter book – young adult)
When you put together a group of teenagers with unusual gifts, what do you get? Like a YA Criminal Minds, the FBI has just started a classified program where teenagers with special skills work to solve cold cases. Cassie is naturally good at reading people and figuring out their intentions, but in this group of geniuses she’s not the only one trying to hide the secrets of her past. When a new killer is on the loose, Cassie and the other Naturals have their skills put to the test. Readers won’t be able to put this book down.
(Also look for Killer Instinct #2 S. B262k, All In #3 S. B262a, and Bad Blood #4 S. B262b – all found in the S-Collection!)
[Center for Children’s Books S. B262n]

Beil, Michael D.
A New Recruit (Agents of the Glass #1). 2016. (Fiction: chapter book – middle grades)
When Andy does a good deed by turning in the money he found after a bank robbery, he doesn’t want it to be a big deal. However, the Agents of the Glass hear about it and recruit Andy to work with them in the fight against a company called NTRP. As a new 12-year-old agent, Andy doesn’t know who to trust anymore, and it’s a race against time to make sure that good wins over evil. Readers will definitely speed through this fast-paced adventure to see if Andy succeeds in his mission and will eagerly await the sequel.
[S-Collection S. B3965n]

Biedrzycki, David.
Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective (Ace Lacewing #1). 2005. (Fiction: picture book)
In a traditional private eye narration, we follow ace detective Ace Lacewing as he investigates the kidnapping of Queenie Bee. Is there more going on than meets the eye? Along with Doctor Xerces Blue and Sergeant Zito, Ace is on the case to find the missing owner of the Hive Rise Honey Company. Full of bug jokes, suspense, and playful images, kids will enjoy solving the mystery with Ace Lacewing, Bug Detective.
(Also look for Bad Bugs Are My Business #2 SE. B475ac and The Big Swat #3 SE. B475ace – found in the S-Collection!)
[S-Collection SE. B475a]

Carter, Ally
I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls #1). 2006. (Fiction: chapter book – middle grades)
Cammie Morgan is the daughter of the headmistress at the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, so she’s used to fading into the background. Literally. The Gallagher Academy is actually an elite school for spies, and Cammie and her friends Bex and Liz are training for top secret missions. But when Cammie falls for a normal boy, she’s lost. She can hack his computer and track him through town, but she doesn’t know if she can have a real relationship with someone who can never know who she really is. The start of a 6 book series, this is a lighthearted introduction about friendship, espionage, and identity that becomes multi-layered and more profound with each installment.
Also be sure to check out the author’s Heist Society series about a group of teenage thieves! (S-Collection S. C2452h)
(Also look for Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy #2 S. C2452c, Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover #3 S. C2452d, Only the Good Spy Young #4, Out of Sight, Out of Time #5 S. C2452o, and United We Spy #6 S. C2452un – in the S-Collection!)
[S-Collection S. C2452i]

Cavallaro, Brittany.
A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1). 2016. (Fiction: chapter book – young adult)
Jamie Watson does not want to be playing rugby at prep school Sherringford far away from his London home in Connecticut, partly because his dad, who he hasn’t seen since he was 10, is nearby, and partly because Charlotte Holmes is there. Take one descendant from Dr. Watson and the descendant from the famous Sherlock Holmes and it should’ve been fate, but instead it seems like Jamie and Charlotte are destined to be enemies until a fellow student is murdered and they are both suspects. Now it’s up to Charlotte to clear their names. This YA mystery tribute is sure to thrill audiences and keep them on the edge of their seats.
(Also look for The Last of August #2 – Uni High Fiction Av13la)
[S-Collection S. C3141c1]

Ponti, James
Framed! (A T.O.A.S.T. Mystery #1). 2016. (Fiction: chapter book – middle grades)
Twelve-year-old Florian Bates is an FBI agent, and in between doing his homework and being a normal kid, he developed his Theory of All Small Things (T.O.A.S.T.) to solve life’s little mysteries. When he shares his theory with his friend Margaret, they unknowingly stumble upon a big mystery involving the National Gallery and an infamous crime syndicate. With Florian as the charismatic narrator, readers will hone their detective skills and find themselves using T.O.A.S.T. as he and Margaret solve the mystery!
(Also look for Vanished! #2, found in the S-Collection S. P778v)
[Center for Children’s Books S. P778fr]

Ransom, Jeanie Franz.
What Really Happened to Humpty? (From the Files of a Hard-Boiled Detective). 2009. (Fiction: picture book)
Detective Joe Dumpty is Humpty Dumpty’s younger brother, and when Humpty mysteriously falls off the Wall, Joe thinks there is foul play and is determined to figure out what or who caused it. He goes around Mother Gooseland to interview familiar characters like Miss Muffet, the Three Little Pigs, Chicken Little, and others to see if they saw anything out of the ordinary storyline. With comic book style illustrations and a surprising culprit, this twist on traditional fairy tales is an entertaining mystery read.
[S-Collection Q. SE. R1741w]

Selznick, Brian and Serlin, David.
Baby Monkey, Private Eye. 2018. (Fiction: picture book, beginning reader, graphic novel)
Baby Monkey stars in this picture book/beginning reader/graphic novel. While hard to categorize what type of book this is, you do know what Baby Monkey is. He is a baby, and he is a monkey, but he is also a private investigator. With kid and adult humor sprinkled throughout, thoughtfully and artistically created illustrations, and mysteries to solve, this book is a winner for all ages.
[Center for Children’s Books S. Se492ba]

Tarpley, Natasha.
The Harlem Charade. 2017. (Fiction: chapter book – middles grades)
In Harlem, anything can happen. Jin watches the neighborhood from her family’s bodega, Alex tries to secretly help the needy, and Elvin survives on the streets after his grandfather is attacked. These three kids couldn’t be any more different, but when they come together to try to solve the mystery of the attack on Elvin’s grandfather, the trio discover a plot to take over their neighborhood for a theme park that some missing paintings just might prevent. Full of action and daring, Jin, Alex, and Elvin redefine community, art, and home in a compelling middle school read.
[S-Collection S. T176ha]

Van Steenwyk, Elizabeth.
How Kate Warne Saved President Lincoln: A Story about the Nation’s First Woman Detective. 2016. (Nonfiction: picture book)
A true story, this is the inspiring tale of how Kate Warne became a detective with the famous Pinkerton Agency. As a woman, she could go where men could not, and was skilled at getting people to trust and talk to her. When Abraham Lincoln was elected as president, there were rumors about preventing him from getting to Washington D.C. for the inauguration and it was up to Kate and other agents to make sure he got there safely. Gorgeously textured and colorful illustrations help tell the tale of the important role Kate Warne played back in 1860 and how she paved the road for women in a historically male dominated profession.
[S-Collection S.363.25092 V366h]

Journeying Into Space

Who doesn’t love looking up at the sky and imagining what exists beyond what the eye can see? Our universe is full of amazing phenomena, from the planets in the Solar System, to shooting stars, black holes, meteors, dark matter, and more. The Milky Way Galaxy is 13.6 billion years old with more than a hundred billions stars, so there’s a lot for astronauts and space ships to explore. To join them on a trip through space and time, go through the list of books below to see what you can discover!

To find more books that take you on an adventure out of this world, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “outer space,” “extraterrestrial beings,” “space ships,” or “astronauts.”

Ball, Nate.
Let’s Investigate with Nate: The Solar System. 2017. (Nonfiction: picture book)
Nate takes kid investigators Felix, Wendy, Braden, and Rosa on the adventure of a lifetime as they travel through the Solar System in a race against time to figure out if Pluto is a planet or not. The varying forms of text – speech bubbles, the narrator, and entries from Braden’s Journal – will engage children and keep them turning the pages. Filled with facts about space, readers will learn along with the characters and will be asking for another adventure with Nate!
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. S.523.2 B2101s]

Buckingham, Will.
Lucy and the Rocket Dog. 2017. (Fiction: chapter book)
Lucy is fascinated by space, and Laika, her dog, is fascinated by Lucy. Told in their alternating perspectives, this is the story of how Laika accidentally wanders into Prototype I – the rocket Lucy has built – and is launched into space! What follows is Lucy’s lifelong journey trying to bring Laika home that is full of love, wonder, and exploration.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. B8561l]

Englert, Christoph.
Destination: Space. 2016. (Nonfiction: picture book)
With beautiful illustrations and accessible explanations, readers will want to explore this book in depth. The two-page spreads about various topics in space are made for perusing, and the question and answer format is a natural way for kids to learn. Children and adults alike will find something fascinating that captures their attention, makes them take a second look, and inspires further research.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. S.520 En35d]

Hawking, Lucy & Steven.
George’s Secret Key to the Universe. 2007. (Fiction: chapter book)
In this action packed novel from father-daughter duo Lucy and Steven Hawking, George’s pet pig has escaped into the abandoned yard next door, and much to his surprise, he finds new neighbors! A scientist named Eric has moved in with his daughter Annie, and soon they’re exploring the universe with the help of supercomputer Cosmos on a crazy adventure through space while racing to protect the world. Readers will enjoy the scientific explanations interspersed throughout the text along with the creative illustrations and color photographs of space phenomena.
[SSHEL S-Collection S.H313g]

Kelly, Mark.
Astrotwins: Project Blastoff (Astrotwins #1). 2015. (Fiction: chapter book)
Loosely based on the childhood of retired astronauts Mark and Scott Kelly, this is the story of how one summer, the twins are in trouble as usual and get sent to their grandpa’s house as a punishment. With nothing to do, Grandpa suggests they build a go-kart, but Mark and Scott decide to build a rocket instead. Amidst the middle-school drama and dreams of being an astronaut, readers will connect with the characters and explore outer space as well as friendship.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. K2978a]

Melvin, Leland.
Chasing Space (Young Readers’ Edition). 2017. (Autobiography)
In this moving memoir, Leland Melvin shares with readers how he has spent his life chasing his dreams – even following them to outer space. When an injury cut his time as a professional football player with the Detroit Lions short, Leland didn’t give up, and instead became an astronaut who helped build the International Space Station. With hope, photos, experiments to try at home, inspiration, and adventure galore, readers are sure to race through this book and start chasing dreams of their own.
[SSHEL S-Collection SB. M5312m]

Pittman, Eddie.
Red’s Planet (Red’s Planet #1). 2016. (Fiction: graphic novel)
Red is a 10-year-old orphan who yearns to get away from her foster family, but she doesn’t expect to be kidnapped by a UFO! Soon she’s definitely far, far away from Earth and the ship she is on has crash landed on a small deserted planet. Along with Red, readers will meet the cast of misfit aliens who live there as she tries to survive this crazy new world and maybe find a new family without trying.
[SSHEL S-Collection S.741.5973 P6871r]

Shetterly, Margot Lee.
Hidden Figures: The Untold True Story of Four African-American Women Who Helped Launch Our Nation Into Space (Young Readers’ Edition). 2016. (Nonfiction: chapter book)
A companion to the movie of the same name, this book helps bring to life and light the amazing accomplishments of the female mathematicians that helped men get to space. Called human computers, Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were just four of the women at NASA who helped perform the calculations for the launch of astronaut John Glenn. In the race to get to space, these women defied all the odds placed against them because of gender, race, and status, and readers will love learning about their fight for well-deserved recognition.
[SSHEL S-Collection S.510.92520973 L515h]

Siy, Alexandra.
Voyager’s Greatest Hits: The Epic Trek to Interstellar Space. 2017. (Nonfiction: chapter book)
Learn all about the space probes Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 in this nonfiction medley of fact, narrative, and photographs that will have readers wishing for more. The twin probes went on a mission to travel to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in order to take pictures and gather other data to send back to Earth, but they didn’t stop there. Now on a journey into interstellar space, Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 both have a copy of a record titled “The Sounds of Earth” – just in case they need to communicate with other (possibly alien!) life forms.
[SSHEL S-Collection S.523.4 Si99v]

Underwood, Deborah.
Interstellar Cinderella. 2015. (fairy tale picture book)
In this rhyming, rollicking, rocket-full retelling, Cinderella is an aspiring mechanic once upon a planetoid. With her trusty sidekick Murgatroyd the robot mouse, her fairy godrobot, and her socket wrench in her pocket, Cinderella is ready for anything. Readers will love the twists in this traditional tale and will be captivated by the out-of-this-world illustrations and message that you can do whatever you set your mind to.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. S.398.2 Un25i]

El día de los niños/El día de los libros – Children’s Day/Book Day

El día de los niños/El día de los libros, or Children’s Day/Book Day, is a celebration of children, families, and reading that promotes literacy for all. This yearlong event is celebrated on April 30, so there’s still plenty of time to prepare and join in the fun! Author Pat Mora added the festival of El día de los libros to the traditional Mexican Children’s Day in 1997 as a “commitment to linking children and their families to diverse books, languages and cultures.” The goal is to unite communities through literacy and reading. The books listed below are united in their emphasis on the power of books and libraries to make a difference in people’s lives.

El día de los niños/El día de los libros es una celebración de niños, familias y lectura que promueve la alfabetización para todos. ¡Este evento se celebra el 30 de abril, por lo tanto, todavía hay mucho tiempo para prepararse y unirse a la diversión! La autora Pat Mora añadió el festival de El día de los libros al tradicional El día de los niños de México en 1997 como un “compromiso de vincular a los niños y sus familias a diversos los libros, idiomas y culturas.” El objetivo es unir las comunidades a través de la alfabetización y la lectura. Los libros en esta lista están unidos en su énfasis en el poder de los libros y las bibliotecas para hacer una diferencia en las vidas de las personas.

For more information, please visit the Día website/Para más información, por favor visite el sitio web de Día: http://dia.ala.org/content/about-día

To find more books celebrating kids reading, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “book,” “read,” and “library.” Happy reading! ¡Feliz lectura!

Barton, Chris
Book or Bell? 2017 (picture book)
Henry is reading the best book he’s every read, maybe the best book ever, and he can’t wait to finish it! Then the bell rings, and he’ll have to save the rest for later…unless he just stays put. This chuckle-inducing tale about the mesmerizing power of a book will have kids laughing at the increasing antics of the adults in charge to get Henry to stop reading and adults smiling knowingly.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. SE. B2854b]

Brown, Monica
Waiting for the Biblioburro. 2011 (picture book)
One day, Ana realizes that she has read all the books in her small village. Soon, she sees the most magical sight – there’s two burros carrying a library on their backs! The librarian (Luis Soriano in real life) has not only come to bring the stories found in the books, but also to inspire Ana to keep creating her own. The Biblioburro travels throughout Colombia bringing the library to the people in small villages and supporting literacy, and children will be fascinated with this kind of library they’ve never heard of before.
[SSHEL S-Collection SE. B8146w]

Chapin, Tom
The Library Book. 2017 (picture book)
Based on a song written by Tom Chapin and Michael Mark, this is the story of a young girl who goes to the library on a rainy day. Kids will love trying to guess which of their favorite characters she will meet next, like folktale classic Cinderella or the beloved bear Winnie the Pooh. This is a celebration of children’s literature and the way that the world expands for kids when they read.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. SE. C3656l]

Gonzalez, Lucia M.
The Storyteller’s Candle/La velita de los cuentos. 2008 (picture book)
In this side-by-side bilingual Spanish and English picture book about New York librarian Pura Belpré, Hildamar and Santiago have just moved from Puerto Rico. Feeling lost in the Big Apple, they are soon introduced to the magic of the library by storyteller Pura Belpré. The collage-like illustrations bring to a life a true story about how a librarian brought a community together just when they needed it the most.
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. SE. G5896s]

Gourley, Catherine
Journeys: Young Readers’ Letters to Authors Who Changed Their Lives. 2017 (nonfiction)
This heartwarming and hopeful collection of letters provides ample evidence of the inspiring and healing power of books. Children have written to authors about the books that changed the way they see the world, and they just might change your point of view too. Be prepared to add a lot of books to your to-read list!
[SSHEL S-Collection S.810.8 J8269]

Grabenstein, Chris
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library. 2013 (chapter book)
Kyle Keeley loves all games, and the eccentric genius gamemaker Luigi Lemoncello (reminiscent of Willy Wonka) has rebuilt the town library, pulling out all the stops and whistles. For the grand opening, Kyle and 11 other kids are soon thrust into a frantic race to solve the clues and untangle riddles in order to escape the locked library. Grabenstein’s love of the library is evident, and kids will enjoy playing the games along with the characters.
[SSHEL S-Collection S. G7512e]

Hopkins, Lee Bennett
Jumping Off Library Shelves: A Book of Poems. 2015 (poetry)
This enchanting book invites children to experience the magic of words as they read poems about books, stories, and reading. The watercolor illustrations are captivating and stimulate the imagination, adding to the poetry. Each entry has a different voice, and readers will love to peruse this collection. Maybe they’ll even be inspired to write a few poems of their own!
[SSHEL S-Collection Q. S.808.81 J951]

King, M.G.
Librarian on the Roof!: A True Story. 2010 (nonfiction picture book)
Librarian RoseAleta Laurell revitalized the Dr. Eugene Clark Library in Lockhart, Texas, updating the collections and technology, restoring the building, and acquiring resources for the Spanish-speaking population; she made it a place that people wanted to be. However, something was still missing – the kids! So she stayed 50 feet in the air on the roof of the library in order to raise money for a children’s section designed just for them. Children will love reading about her harrowing adventures on the roof to buy books and create a place in the library for kids like them.
[SSHEL S-Collection S.027.476433 K585l]

Mora, Pat.
Book Fiesta! Celebrate Children’s Day/Book Day; Celebremos El día de los niños/El día de los libros. 2009 (picture book)
Filled with full-page, entrancing, and colorful illustrations, this book really is a fiesta! The act of reading, children, and families are celebrated, and kids read anything, with anyone, anywhere: to puppies, in trains, floating in a hot-air balloon, and more. The side-by-side Spanish and English bilingual text highlights the history of El día de los niños/El día de los libros and more information about how you can celebrate this holiday is included at the end.
[SSHEL S-Collection SE. M79b]

Pinbourough, Jan
Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children. 2013. (picture book)
Beautiful illustrations depict the life of Anne Carroll Moore, the woman who created the first children’s room at the New York Public Library. Simple text with the refrain of “but Miss Moore thought otherwise” will keep young readers involved, and the celebration of reading is inspiring to see. Her passion for books, libraries, and children shines through, and more information about Moore is included at the end.
[Center for Children’s Books (non-circulating) SB. M8216p]