Shooting for the Moon: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

In an address to Congress on May 25, 1961, John F. Kennedy declared: “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” A little over 8 years later, his wish was realized on July 20, 1969 when Apollo 11 made its historic landing. This year marks the 50th anniversary of that event, and there is no shortage of books exploring the topic of the moon, rockets, or astronauts. Whether fiction or nonfiction, the following list of books is sure to help you learn about that historic time period and inspire you to shoot for the moon.

To find more books about the moon and the space race, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “moon,” “astronauts,” “space flight,” or other space related terms or people.


Brinkley, Douglas.
American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race (Young Readers’ Edition). 2019 (Nonfiction Chapter Book)
Here the backstory of the American moonshot is reimagined for young readers, telling the story of how this possibility inspired hope for the entire country. Short chapters with black and white photos sprinkled throughout set the stage for readers to explore the America of the 1960s and why the journey to the moon was so impactful and important. This book is perfect for those who want an accessible yet in-depth look at the space race era, and an inset of color photographs, source notes, and a bibliography add to its value. A powerful tribute to this period of history, readers will gain an appreciation for both the hard work and the dreaming that occurred in order to get men to the moon.
[S-Collection S.629.40973 B7717am]

Irvine, Alex and Ben Bishop.
The Far Side of the Moon: The Story of Apollo 11’s Third Man. 2017 (Nonfiction Comic Book)
This comic book style biography of Michael Collins tells the story of how he ended up being a part of the Apollo 11 mission, the training involved, how the rocket worked, and more. The author writes, “[Neil] Armstrong and [Buzz] Aldrin might have walked on the moon, but Michael Collins made sure someone was there to bring them home.” Many people forget about him in the shadow of his more famous teammates, but he played a very important role in the success of the moon landing. Short and accessible, this book also includes a timeline of space exploration and suggested resources to explore.
[S-Collection S.629.454 Ir81f]

Kluger, Jeffrey and Ruby Shamir.
To the Moon! The True Story of the American Heroes on the Apollo 8 Spaceship. 2018 (Nonfiction Chapter Book)
Written in a narrative format from the astronauts’ points of view, this novel immediately immerses readers in the excitement of the 1960s when America was striving to get a spaceship to the moon. It brings to life the story of the 1968 Apollo 8 mission, the first crewed American spaceship to reach and orbit the moon, and shares this important piece of history with young readers. A glossary, black and white photographs, and an index for easy perusal allow readers to take full advantage of this book and go along for the ride on the monumental journey that gave all Americans new perspective on the universe.
[S-Collection S.629.454 K712to]

Pang, Hannah.
The Moon. 2019 (Nonfiction)
Two page sections of information make this illustrated nonfiction book easy to peruse and enticing to examine. There are various topics, ranging from scientific facts, to myths, to the space race and more, providing something for every reader. It includes a glossary of terms as well as a glossary of people, and it is perfect for moon lovers as well as those drawn to fun facts. Readers of all ages will enjoy this quick and easy way to learn unique things about our closest neighbor.
[S-Collection S.523.3 P1931mo]

Robbins, Dean.
Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing. 2017 (Picture Book Biography)
Cartoon-like illustrations, sometimes in almost comic book-like panels, tell the story of Margaret Hamilton. Her first love was math, and after discovering computers, she taught herself to write code. Many years and a lot of hard work later, she became the director of software programming for NASA’s Project Apollo, and readers excitedly learn how her code helped the Eagle Lunar Module land safely on the moon. Her story will inspire girls to do whatever they want and all readers to question what they see and know in order to find solutions. An author’s note, bibliography, additional reading suggestions, and real pictures of Margaret add to the power of this picture book.
[S-Collection Q. SB. H2191r]

Salas, Laura Purdie.
If You Were the Moon. 2017 (Nonfiction Picture Book)
What would you do if you were the moon? This beautifully illustrated picture book explains to readers what the moon does in an accessible dual narrative: a simple, poetic sentence on one page followed by a clear, informative explanation on the other. For example, the moon spins like “a twilight ballerina,” and the next page explains how it spins on its axis and orbits the Earth. Both soothing and enlightening, this is the perfect introduction to the moon for young readers. A glossary and further reading are included at the end for extended learning opportunities.
[S-Collection Q. S.523.3 Sa315if]

Slade, Suzanne.
Countdown: 2979 Days to the Moon. 2018 (Nonfiction Prose Picture Book)
America’s journey to get to the moon is related here in accessible prose, with concise, powerful language telling the tale. Realistic, beautifully created illustrations as well as historical photographs add a layer of storytelling, and the blend of narrative and facts works wonderfully. With quotes from the time period to provide an even greater authentic feel and split into chapters so that readers can explore just a part of the journey if they wish, this informational book is a triumph in sharing the story of the missions to get to the moon.
[S-Collection Q. S.629.454 Sl124co]

Be sure to check out Daring Dozen: The Twelve Who Walked on the Moon, also by Suzanne Slade, which you can find in the Center for Children’s Books (S.629.454 Sl124da).


Baratz-Logsted, Lauren.
I Love You, Michael Collins. 2017 (Middle Grade Historical Fiction Novel)
It’s 1969, and when Mamie’s class is assigned the project of writing a letter to an astronaut, she is the only one who chooses to write to Michael Collins, the one who has to stay with the ship. Told in letter format, Mamie shares her thoughts and feelings with Michael, continuing to write to him throughout the summer. As her family falls apart, Mamie and her best friend and neighbor Buster research the Apollo 11 mission while she contemplates what friendship, loyalty, and growing up means. This coming of age novel explores important themes and is sure to resonate with readers.
[S-Collection S. B2319i]

Gibbs, Stuart.
Space Case (Moon Base Alpha). 2014 (Middle Grade Novel)
Twelve-year-old Dash is one of the first humans to live on the moon at Moon Base Alpha thanks to his lunar geologist mom and mining specialist dad, but he’s quick to assure readers that living in space is not all it’s cracked up to be – just take the toilets for example. Dash is bored because of all the restrictions he has on the base, but he gets more than he bargains for when the top scientist Dr. Holtz turns up dead. Because of a conversation overheard in the bathroom, he knows that Dr. Holtz was about to reveal an important breakthrough in his research that could change everything, but no one but Dash thinks there was foul play. It’s up to him to solve the mystery, and this adventurous novel sprinkled with excerpts from The Official Residents’ Guide to Moon Base Alpha is sure to keep readers laughing and thinking as they follow Dash in his adventures.
[S-Collection S. G35512spa]

Be sure to check out the sequels, Spaced Out (S. G35512s) and Waste of Space (S. G35512w), also found in the S-Collection!

Kuhlmann, Torben.
Armstrong: The Adventurous Journey of a Mouse to the Moon. 2016 (Fiction Picture Book)
With beautifully illustrated, detailed, full-page, artistic images, Kuhlmann makes the story of a mouse who dreams of going to the moon come to life. Readers immerse themselves in this tale of a mouse’s escapades trying to create a rocket and learning to fly, rooting for him from the beginning. A whimsical narration, this version of the moon landing claims that we humans learned how to make a rocket from the clever mouse’s designs, but the end includes an informational short history of space travel. Readers of all ages will enjoy this inspiring take on shooting for the moon.
[S-Collection Q. S. K9553a]

School Library Journal

Universe of Stories: Middle-School

School Library Journal has compiled a list of playlists for summer listening, and the middle school list in particular includes some great episodes featuring the moon in honor of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing. It includes:
• Brains On: Waves, Wind, Tides and Moon
• Why Do We Sometimes See the Moon During the Day?
• 25th May 1961: Kennedy Announces Plan for Manned Moon Landing
• Is the Moon Made of Cheese?
• 20th July 1969: Apollo Lands on the Moon
• And more!

Sweet Treats, Sweet Reads

Summertime and the living is easy – the hustle and bustle of the school year is over, and the hot weather and slower pace mean more time for dessert! There’s nothing quite like licking a refreshing ice cream cone while walking down the sidewalk on a sunny day, except for maybe curling up with a good book and a cookie while sitting on the porch. Either way, books and food go hand in hand, and there are various kinds, ranging from cookbooks to stories about cooking contests, friendships forged in the kitchen, and more. Whichever you choose, the following list is guaranteed to make you smile and immediately head to the kitchen to whip up your own delicious summer dessert.

To find more books about sweet treats, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “baking,” “cooking,” “bakeries,” “cooks,” or other food related terms.

Cali, Davide.
Good Morning, Neighbor. 2018 (Picture Book)
One morning, a mouse wanted an omelet, and went to ask his neighbor Blackbird to borrow an egg. However, Blackbird didn’t have one either, instead producing flour and suggesting that they go ask his neighbor, Dormouse, for an egg so they can make a cake. And so the delicious dream is born, and readers follow along as the ever-growing parade of animals ask their neighbors for the needed ingredients. With soft illustrations created in earth tones and repetitive narration, this soothing book about sharing helps readers see the power of what can happen when you contribute to the greater good of the group.
[S-Collection Q. SE. C12823go]

Good Housekeeping.
Kids Bake! 100+ Sweet and Savory Recipes. 2018 (Nonfiction)
This very accessible cookbook provides recipes for young bakers who are ready to whip up some delicious treats. The introduction goes over basic baking rules, like the types of equipment, common ingredients, measurements, nutrition information, vocabulary, and safety in order to make sure that kids are ready to go in the kitchen. The mouth-watering treats shown in beautiful photos include Swirl Brownies, Raspberry-Lemon Pound Cake, Fluffy Apple-Cheddar Biscuits, and more. Your taste buds better be ready for a rollercoaster of flavor with these recipes!
[S-Collection S.641.815 K541]

Hopkinson, Deborah.
Independence Cake: A Revolutionary Confection Inspired by Amelia Simmons, Whose True History is Unfortunately Unknown. 2017 (Picture Book Based on a Real Person)
The details of Amelia Simmons’ life are “lost, simmered away in the pot of time,” but we do know that she was the author of America’s first cookbook. This picture book imagines the details of her life, where perhaps she was orphaned and sent to help Mrs. Bean around the house with her six sons, who gratefully lets Amelia experiment with the cooking to her heart’s content. The bright pastel colors and fun turns of phrase related to the colonies and cooking bring Amelia’s dreams to life, and the cherry on top is when she is chosen to bake a cake for President Washington’s inauguration. The recipe for Independence Cake and an author’s note only add to this delectable delight of a book.
[S-Collection Q. SE. H777i]

Janowitz, Jessie.
The Doughnut Fix. 2018 (YA Novel)
Tristan loves to cook, with the added bonus that he is better at it than his “Gifted and Talented” younger sister Jeanine. Life is pretty good, especially with chocolate chip cookies, but when his parents decide that they’re moving to the middle of nowhere, all seems hopeless. Things start looking up when Tristan sees a sign that says, “Yes, we do have chocolate cream doughnuts!”, but even that betrays him when he discovers that the owner hasn’t made them in years. Tristan feels like the only thing he can do to make things better is get the recipe, make the doughnuts himself, and have his own doughnut stand. Can he run a successful business all on his own?
[S-Collection S. J2643do]
If you like this one, look for the sequel, The Doughnut King!

Leone, Dee.
Dough Knights and Dragons. 2017 (Picture Book)
In this rhyming picture book that is perfect for a read aloud, a knight discovers a hidden kitchen in the forest with unique ingredients, so naturally he can’t resist making a stew. When the dragon owner returns, he asks for a share of the dinner, beginning a forbidden friendship founded on their love of cooking and creating new recipes. However, tradition states that when they come of age, a knight must kill a dragon and a dragon must eat a knight. When the unlikely pair discover a unique loophole to their terrible predicament, they work to bring the two feuding species together through food, for they know that the best friendships are forged in the cooking fire.
[S-Collection Q. SE. L5537d]

Nelson, Suzanne.
Cake Pop Crush (Wish #1). 2016 (Middle Grades Novel)
Alicia Ramirez loves baking, and her specialty is cake pops. Unfortunately, her traditional father disapproves of the trendy treat and refuses to serve them at the family bakery, Say It With Flour. However, when new kid Dane McGuire shows up and his rich CEO father opens a new branch of a fancy chain coffee shop across the street, Alicia hopes that her father will see how she can help keep the family business alive. The coffee shop is threatening their business, especially with Dane’s homemade treats. A bake-off challenge begins as Alicia and Dane fight not only for the title of cake-pop master, but for their family businesses as well. Readers will love the heaps of drama and cooking excitement, the realistic and heartwarming family relationships, and the dash of romance.
[S-Collection S. N3314c]

Neuschwander, Cindy.
Sir Cumference and the Off-the-Charts Dessert: A Math Adventure. 2013 (Teaching Picture Book)
Part of the Sir Cumference Math Adventure series, this delightful picture book is full of math puns and wordplay, helping kids learn without realizing it. Sir Cumference and Lady Di of Ameter need to select a dessert for the Harvest Faire, and so begins a baking contest between Pia of the French city of Chartres and Bart Graf of Germany. The townsfolk vote on their favorites, and Pia and Bart experiment with different methods of collecting their data to see who wins. This fun, fictional origin story of pie charts and bar graphs will entertain readers while exposing them to math concepts.
[S-Collection S.516 N398siro]

Remington, Laurel.
Secrets and Scones. 2018 (Middle Grades Novel)
Scarlett hates being star of her mom’s popular parenting blog, so she secludes herself, ending friendships and stopping activities so that there is nothing for her mom to write about, but it gets boring really fast. When an unfortunate accident leaves an elderly neighbor recovering in the hospital, the screech of a hungry cat lures Scarlett to the empty house and the most amazing kitchen she has ever seen. Unable to resist, she is soon baking a batch of scones from a handmade cookbook she found and forming a secret cooking club with a new friend. This exciting read follows Scarlett as she tries to keep her baking and friendship a secret from her nosy mom while also exploring her own identity.
[S-Collection S. R284se]

Simon, Coco.
Sunday Sundaes (Sprinkle Sundays #1). 2018 (Middle Grades Chapter Book)
Allie, Sierra, and Tamiko are best friends, but when Allie’s parents get divorced and she moves a town away, she’s scared of losing their friendship. So when her mom fulfills her dream of opening an ice cream shop, Allie thinks it would be a fantastic idea for her, Sierra, and Tamiko to work there together on Sundays to be able to spend some time together, and the Sunday Sundaes are born. However, it’s still hard dealing with new classmates and teachers, and readers will resonate with Allie’s realistic middle school feelings about change, friendship, and loneliness. This fun story is full of book references from bookworm Allie, delicious ice cream flavors to make your mouth water, and fantastic friendships both old and new.
[S-Collection S. Si531sssu]
Be sure to check out other books in the series, also found in the S-Collection! Cracks in the Cone #2, The Purr-fect Scoop #3, Ice Cream Sandwiched #4, and Sprinkles Before Sweethearts #5.

Strohm, Stephanie Kate.
Love à la Mode. 2018 (YA Novel)
Rosie Radeke is from East Liberty, Ohio, and while she loves to bake, never dreamed that she would be good enough to attend celebrity chef Denis Laurent’s cooking school. Henry Yi, on the other hand, grew up in the kitchen of his dad’s restaurant in Chicago and dreams of being a professional chef one day. They embark on the adventure of a lifetime, full of challenging cooking and academics, new friendships, and the amazing sights of Paris, desperate to prove themselves while navigating their newfound feelings. Readers will discover that if you take two teenage chefs and add an amazing opportunity at an elite cooking school in Paris where delicious food, pastries, and possibilities are everywhere, then you have the perfect recipe for romance.
[S-Collection S. St873lo]

Road Trips: Destination Discovery

The sun is shining, school’s almost out, and summer adventures are calling, making this the perfect time to start planning a road trip! Road trips have the potential to be life changing – there’s something about being on the road with family or friends that is just so exciting and liberating. Taken out of your comfort zone, you are perfectly poised to take advantage of opportunities that you would never normally consider. Because of their life altering possibilities, road trip books are a perfect way to showcase character development. The list below will equip you to start your own reading road trip, where you can meet some interesting characters, see the sights, watch their growth along the way, and they might even inspire you to plan your own adventure.

To find more books about crazy and enlightening road trips, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “road trips,” “automobile travel,” or “travel and transportation.”

Adkins, Jan.
Bertha Takes a Drive: How the Benz Automobile Changed the World. 2017 (Nonfiction Picture Book)
In 1888, Bertha Benz sneaks out of her house with her two sons, avoiding the police, in order to illegally drive about 100 miles in her husband Karl’s invention, the Benz Motorwagen, to Grandma’s house. She wanted to prove that the car could make the trip and was safe, and the detailed, old-fashioned illustrations transport readers back in time. With every roadblock or problem, readers watch as Bertha figures out a way to solve it with common sense and ingenuity, only improving upon the design of the machine, declaring that “it was simply time to take a drive.” Including a timeline of automobile evolution and a diagram of the Benz Motorwagen III as well as an author’s note about Bertha’s story, readers will zoom right through this book.
[S-Collection Q. S.796.70943 Ad53b]

Brody, Jessica.
The Geography of Lost Things. 2018 (YA Novel)
When Ali’s father dies and leaves her his 1968 Firebird convertible, she wants nothing to do with it and the way it reminds her of how he was never there for her. She finds a buyer 300 miles north who is willing to pay enough for the car to save her home, and Ali desperately needs to get there, but there’s one problem – she can’t drive a stick shift. Her ex-boyfriend Nico can, however, and readers will go along for the ride as he persuades Ali that they should instead “trade up” the items they collect along their journey in order to raise enough money. What ensues is a crazy adventure where Ali and Nico talk to strangers about the things they value and why, helping Ali gain some perspective on how she feels about her father.
[S-Collection S. B7856ge]

Flores-Scott, Patrick.
American Road Trip. 2018 (YA Novel)
Teodoro “T” Avila is gearing up for his senior year when his older brother Manny, whom he has always looked up to, returns from a tour in Iraq battling PTSD. To make matters worse, the family is struggling with money, T is putting no effort into his education or future, and things seem to be falling apart. However, when he meets a girl who believes he can do more, he starts thinking that maybe he can turn things around. Then T’s sister Xochitl has an ambitious plan to bring their family back together by tricking her brothers into a road trip, hoping to get T back on track while saving Manny from his past. Delicately dealing with all kinds of problems ranging from mental health, socioeconomic status, education, and more, this road trip is about more than the physical trek, and readers will resonate with T’s internal journey as he works to figure out who he is, what his dreams are, and how important it is to have people to support you.
[S-Collection S. F66318am]

Gemeinhart, Dan.
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise. 2019 (Middle Grade Novel)
It’s been five years since Coyote’s mom and two sisters died in a car crash, and she and her dad Rodeo have been roaming around the country in an old school bus ever since. She’s had to learn to be tough, but something inside her finally breaks when she learns that a park in her old neighborhood is going to be demolished, the place where she, her mom, and her sisters had buried a memory box years ago. Springing into action, Coyote hatches a plan to get her dad to drive the 3,600 miles back home in only four days without him realizing it. Picking up misfit travelers along the way, readers go along for the ride on a truly remarkable journey where Coyote comes to redefine her ideas of home and family.
[S-Collection S. G2843re]

Hatanaka, Kellen.
Drive: A Look at Roadside Opposites. 2015 (Picture Book)
Colorful illustrations and sparse text showcase a fun look at opposites through the lens of a road trip. All the possibilities are displayed in the pages, such as changes in the weather, differing landscapes, recognizable landmarks, and experiences of being on the road. Momentum builds throughout the book, illuminating the unique dichotomy of the excitement and monotony of a road trip, engaging young readers as they explore both opposites and the road trip journey.
[S-Collection S.428.1 H28d]

Norman, Kim.
This Old Van. 2015 (Picture Book)
A play on the “This Old Man” song, this book will have you singing out loud as you read and tapping your foot to the cheerful cadence. The heartwarming story of grandparents taking a road trip to see their grandson is visible through the colorful and happy illustrations while the song plays out in the text. Showcasing some things you might pass on a road trip, such as construction, nature, other types of vehicles, restaurants, people, etc., readers will love to explore the detailed illustrations while they eagerly await finding out the journey’s destination.
[S-Collection Q. SE. N781t]

Parish, Herman.
Amelia Bedelia Road Trip! (Amelia Bedelia Chapter Books #3). 2013 (Young Readers Chapter Book)
Amelia Bedelia takes everything literally, and this new series tells of her adventures as a child with the classic and hilarious misunderstandings we have grown to know and love. The illustrated chapter books bring her thoughts to life, sharing the timeless comedy with another generation. In this installment, Amelia’s dad tells her they are going to go off to roam for vacation and she gets excited about going to Rome. And then when she is told to pack light, she packs her desk lamp. Little does she know the actual adventures and enlightenment in store for her on their road trip!
[S-Collection S. P2192ar]

Pla, Sally J.
The Someday Birds. 2017 (Middle Grades Novel)
Twelve-year-old Charlie likes things to be predictable and organized. He has his routines, his birds, and his chicken nuggets, and everything is going fine until his father is injured in Afghanistan while working as a war journalist. When he’s moved across the country for better medical treatment, Charlie, his sister, twin brothers, and a mysterious new family friend go on an eventful road trip to meet him there. In order to feel some sense of control and order, Charlie decides to try to find all the birds he and his dad had been hoping to see together, believing that if he can check off all the boxes on the “Someday Birds” list, then maybe his dad will be okay. This coming of age story about a young boy on the autism spectrum trying to hold everything together will warm the hearts of readers as they root for this family to unite on their journey.
[S-Collection S. P6901so]

Teague, Mark.
LaRue Across America: Postcards from the Vacation. 2011 (Picture Book)
When Mrs. Hibbins faints and has to be rushed to the hospital, Mrs. LaRue agrees to watch her two cats and decides to go on a road trip with them and her dog Ike, who do not get along. Told in postcards from Ike to Mrs. Hibbins, the group travels around the country to landmarks such as the Empire State Building, the Great Lakes, and the Grand Canyon while Ike complains about having to miss the cruise he and Mrs. LaRue had planned because of the cats. With fun, full page illustrations and Ike’s laughable lamentations, hilarity ensues in this tale of road trip fiascos.
[S-Collection Q. SE. T221la]

Welch, Jenna Evans.
Love and Luck. 2018 (YA Novel)
While visiting Ireland for her aunt’s destination wedding, Addie tries to forget about the horrible thing she did so that she can finally stop feeling miserable, heartbroken, and lost. However, her brother Ian – who she was once really close to – won’t let her forget, and they have a terrible fight. All seems lost until Addie discovers an unusual guidebook, “Ireland for the Brokenhearted,” in the hotel library, and she latches onto it as a potential solution. Suddenly she, Ian, and his Irish friend Rowan are crammed together in a tiny car on a crazy road trip around Ireland, trying not to get lost while experiencing the breathtakingly beautiful scenery straight out of a fairy tale. Addie finds herself hoping that the guidebook will work its magic and heal her broken heart as well as her damaged relationship with her brother, and readers will wish her luck on her journey.
[S-Collection S. W444l]

Superhero Stories: Inspiring Readers to Do Good

Superheroes are fascinating characters – from their awesome powers to their impressive crime-fighting skills, colorful disguises, and secret identities, we want to know everything about them. They give us hope that we can fight for a better world and teach us lessons about good and evil, inspiring us to make a difference. After all, with great power comes great responsibility, so be sure to check out the list of books below for books about superheroes that will have you smiling, reading on the edge of your seat, and feeling motivated to do some good.

To find more books about superheroes and their awesome powers, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile” for children’s and young adult books along with “superheroes,” “good and evil,” or a specific superhero name or group.

Banas, Danielle.
The Supervillain and Me. 2018 (YA Novel)
Abby’s older brother is the superhero Red Comet, giving her a close-up look at the life of a caped crusader, and she promises that it’s not as glamorous as you think. Without any powers of her own, she is just focused on being a normal teenage girl, but everything changes when she meets the city’s newest vigilante – Iron Phantom. Thrust into an adventure full of secrets, twists and turns, discoveries, and a little romance, Abby comes to see that people aren’t always what they seem. Readers will follow Abby as she wonders who she can trust and tries to save her city in this exciting debut novel.
[S-Collection S. B2202s]

Brunner, Max and Dustin Mackay.
Superfail. 2017 (Middle Grades Graphic Novel)
Marshall has superpowers, but they’re not as great as you think: you can’t aim your awesome laser vision if you’re cross-eyed, and you definitely can’t fly if you have motion sickness. Labeled as a Defective, all he dreams about is being recruited to a superhero team, but that doesn’t seem likely. However, when Marshall and his fellow Defectives uncover a sinister plot to destroy a famous superhero team, they work together to save the day despite their shortcomings. Through it all, Marshall learns that you don’t need superpowers to make a difference – an important message for us all.
[S-Collection S. B8366s]

Carr, Matt.
Superbat. 2017 (Picture Book)
Pat the bat wants to be a superhero just like the characters in his favorite comics, so he makes himself a costume and is ready to save the day! However, his superpowers – super hearing, flying, and echolocation – don’t seem to be that special among his bat friends, and he becomes discouraged. When his super hearing picks up a cry for help, Pat immediately flies to the rescue and discovers his true superpower. The simple but dynamic illustrations showcase Pat in all his superhero glory and add a layer to the story that kids will enjoy.
[S-Collection Q. SE. C2306s]

Cody, Matthew.
Powerless. 2009 (Middle Grades Novel)
A group of superkids use their powers to do good in their town, but when they turn 13, their abilities suddenly disappear. Which wouldn’t be too crazy, except for the fact that they also have no memory of ever having powers. Is this a diabolical supervillain scheme? Daniel is new to town and doesn’t have powers, but he just might be the key to solving the mystery. In this crazy adventure, Daniel and his superhero friends work to find the answer to their disappearing powers, and along the way they just might discover the true meaning of a hero.
[S-Collection S. C649p]
Be sure to check out the rest of the series – Super #2 (S. C649s) and Villainous #3 (S. C649p) – also found in the S-Collection!

Dempsey, Kristy.
Superhero Instruction Manual. 2016 (Picture Book)
This enjoyable and humorous picture book promises that “seven easy steps” will turn you into a superhero! Readers watch as a young boy strives to follow the steps, and references to famous superheroes, amusing commentary, and descriptive illustrations add to the fun. Vigilant readers will notice a parallel plot line with the boy’s sister, and by the end, we come to see that the world needs all kinds of heroes.
[SE. D3995su]

DiPucchio, Kelly.
Super Manny Cleans Up! 2018 (Picture Book)
Best friends Manny and Gertie become an unstoppable dynamic duo who save the planet when they put on their superhero capes. Creative illustrations showcase the villains born in their imaginations, and the pair fight to save the day. After facing all kinds of monsters, Manny and Gertie see a bunch of trash all over the park and decide to do something to stand up to the evil litterbugs! Soon other people join in to help them fight the battle, and the subtly didactic message comes through in an engaging story about how we can all be superheroes who fight to save the day.
[S-Collection Q. SE. D626sucl]

Harper, Benjamin.
Bug Girl. 2017 (Middle Grades Chapter Book)
Amanda Price loves bugs, but most of the other 6th graders are grossed out by her weird obsession, especially her ex-best friend Emily. Middle school is hard enough, but when Amanda and Emily’s mothers are kidnapped, Amanda suddenly has super insect-like powers – antennae and an exoskeleton! After uncovering a secret, she needs to figure out how save the two moms, but to do that, she’ll need to adjust to her new superpowers, and, unfortunately, ask Emily for help. Readers will love following along this fast-paced superhero adventure to see if Amanda and Emily can work together to save their moms and their town before it’s too late.
[Center for Children’s Books S. H2301bg]
Be sure to check out the sequel – Fury on the Dance Floor (S. H2301bgfu) – in the S-Collection!

King, Bart.
The Big Book of Superheroes. 2014 (Illustrated Chapter Book)
This book promises to cover everything you ever wanted to know about superheroes and how to become one, including powers – the best, the worst, and in-between; how to act like a superhero; training and fighting; and figuring out right from wrong. It even includes a history of superheroes, a pop quiz, and a bibliography to keep the fun going. The engaging format presents the ideas in a colloquial way with dynamic illustrations to attract readers. For superhero fans with a sense of humor, this is a must read!
[S-collection S.741.5352 K58b]

Meyer, Marissa.
Renegades. 2017 (YA Novel)
The Renegades are a group of prodigies with special abilities who are working to rebuild society after they overthrew the Anarchists. To most of the world, they represent justice, hope, and peace, but to Nova, they represent disappointment and failure. Nova is loyal to the Anarchists, but when an undercover scheme places her in the perfect position to get some revenge, she hesitates. Things get tricky as she grows closer to the Renegades, and Aiden in particular, who truly believes in justice for all. The lines get blurred as Nova struggles with the distinction between good and evil and what she thought she knew. With awesome superhero powers, innovative technology, a lot of action, and moral dilemmas galore, readers will speed through this book and eagerly pick up the sequel.
[Center for Children’s Books S. M57572re]
Be sure to check out the sequel – Archenemies (S. M57572rear) – found in the S-Collection!

Puller, J. S.
Captain Superlative. 2018 (Middle Grades Novel)
When a new girl shows up at Deerwood Park Middle School dressed in a red mask, blue wig, silver swimsuit, rubber gloves, tights, sneakers, and a cape calling herself Captain Superlative, Janey – who usually tries to stay unobtrusively on the sidelines – can’t help but wonder who this girl is. As an unexpected friendship blooms, readers see Captain Superlative fighting bullies and standing out from the crowd, but she has secrets too. In this middle grade novel about identity and other big issues, Janey has to step out from the shadows and figure out what it means to be a hero and a friend.
[S-Collection S. P9671c]

Discovering Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs roamed the earth for over 165 million years, so it’s no wonder so many books about them exist! There are many different types of these prehistoric creatures, and from factual forays to fictional interpretations, it is clear that we are fascinated by them. Be sure to check out the list below for books about dinosaurs that will teach you something, make you smile, intrigue you, or take you on an exciting adventure.

To find more books about the dinosaurs that walked the earth millions of years ago, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “dinosaurs,” “prehistoric creatures,” “fossils,” or a specific dinosaur like “pterodactyls.”

Elliott, David.
In the Past. 2018 (Poetry Picture Book)
Take a journey into the past with this informative poetry tour guide – a timeline along the bottom of the page orients readers, and detailed, full-page illustrations bring the dinosaurs to life. Short stanzas of poetry provide amusing observations and information about various dinosaurs, and at the end there are more detailed notes about the species mentioned for those who are interested. This would be an engaging introduction to poetry for young dinosaur lovers.
[S-Collecton Q. S.811 El583in]

Hansen, Dustin.
Follow That Tiny-Dactyl (Microsaurs #1). 2017 (Middle Grade Chapter Book)
Best friends Danny and Lin love adventure, so they just have to follow the tiny dinosaur that crashed into Lin’s helmet during her skateboarding tryouts. Their investigations lead them to a secret lab where they end up shrinking to the size of ants, and soon the race is on to unshrink themselves and avoid getting crushed by dinosaurs before Lin’s skateboarding competition! The illustrations bring to life this reality and fantasy mash-up, making this sure to be a hit with adventurous young readers who love dinosaurs.
[S-Collection S. H1987f]

Be sure to check out the rest of the series – Tiny-Raptor Pack Attack #2 (S. H1987mitr), That’s My Tiny-Saurus Rex #3 (S. H1987mith), and Tiny-Stego Stampede #4 (S. H1987mits) – also found in the S-Collection!

Latimer, Alex.
Am I Yours? 2018 (Picture Book)
With a rhyming text that begs to be read aloud, this picture book is reminiscent of the classic Are You My Mother? text. The colorful and bright illustrations are just detailed enough to help introduce readers to the features of popular dinosaurs such as the spikes on a stegosaurus or the long neck of the brachiosaurus in this tale of an egg trying to find its parents. This heartwarming story of community and belonging somewhere will definitely bring a smile to every reader’s face.
[S-Collection SE. L3491am]

Letherland, Lucy.
Atlas of Dinosaur Adventures. 2017 (Large-Format Nonfiction Atlas)
This large-format atlas provides an immersive experience with detailed illustrations that are fun to explore. It discusses the different stages of the Mesozoic era, fossils, where dinosaurs lived, and more. Each spread focuses on one dinosaur in a particular part of the world and its life story as well as fast facts. Perfect for both dinosaur experts and those looking to learn more, this easy to understand book can provide learning opportunities and entertainment for hours.
[S-Collection Q. S.567.9 H3143a]

Levine, Sara.
Fossil by Fossil: Comparing Dinosaur Bones. 2018 (Nonfiction Picture Book)
Comparing and contrasting human skeletons with those of dinosaurs has never been more fun! The conversational tone uses a question and answer format to explain the features of common dinosaurs through their bones. Helpful and accessible illustrations and diagrams help readers learn about the bones and their purpose along with a cast of diverse characters. With fun fold out pages in the middle, a glossary and pronunciation guide, and sources to “keep digging,” readers will want to visit a museum to see these creatures up close.
[S-Collection Q. S.567.9 L5785fo]

Murray, Alison.
Dino Duckling. 2018 (Picture Book)
In this retelling of the ugly duckling story, a T. Rex has found its way into a family of ducks. Dynamic and dramatic placement of text help communicate the meaning, and readers will root for the odd duck out as he learns what it means to be part of a family. Mama Duck is wise and committed to loving her ducklings no matter how different they may seem, and this celebration of differences and talents is a delightful tale that readers will enjoy.
[S-Collection Q. SE. M961d]

O’Hara, Mo.
Romeosaurus and Juliet Rex. 2018 (Picture Book)
This version of Shakespeare’s most beloved play has Romeosaurus as an herbivore and Juliet Rex as a carnivore – classic enemies. When they meet at a masked ball, they laugh and have fun together, soon becoming fast friends. Cartoon-like illustrations and comedic tongue-in-cheek narration make this story a fun romp for kids and adults alike as the two dinosaurs try to figure out if their families can be friends after all.
[S-Collection SE. Oh15ro]

Sampson, Scott D.
You Can Be a Paleontologist! 2017 (Nonfiction Picture Book)
Paleontologist Scott Sampson uses an easy to read and engaging text in order to teach kids about finding fossils, cleaning and studying them, the role of paleontologists, how dinosaurs lived, and more. Each section of this book has a focus question in order to keep readers organized and lets them browse for what they are most interested in. It includes many photographs that are clearly labeled and colorful illustrations that bring the dinosaurs to life. With a message that encourages kids to make their own discoveries, this is perfect for that budding scientist who is curious about the world.
[S-Collection Q. S.560.23 Sa48y]

Sewell, Matt.
The Colorful World of Dinosaurs. 2018 (Nonfiction Picture Book)
This large-format book focuses on imagining what 50 different dinosaurs would have looked like when they were alive. The illustrations are colorful and a bit cartoon-like, but still detailed and helpful for readers wanting to know about these creatures. Each full-page spread includes 1-2 dinosaurs; facts about their size, what time period they lived in, and diet; and a paragraph written in a conversational tone with more information about their characteristics. An informative and accessible introduction to lots of dinosaurs, this is a fun book for dinosaur lovers to explore.
[S-Collection Q. S.567.9 Se89co]

Sharpe, Tess.
The Evolution of Claire. 2018 (YA Chapter Book)
A prequel to the Jurassic World movies, this YA novel lets readers steep themselves in that universe. In 2004, Claire is just a college freshman interning at the Jurassic World theme park before it opens to the public. Readers follow her as she falls in love with fellow student Justin and investigates rumors and suspicions of a sinister plot. Claire soon begins to question everything she thought she knew and is just trying to survive another day.
[S-Collection S. Sh229e]

The Magic of Dreams

“A book is a dream you hold in your hand” – Neil Gaiman

We are naturally curious about the magical stories we experience in our minds as we sleep, trying to record, interpret, and control them. Authors are no different, and these books explore a range of dream experiences – from terrifying nightmares to idyllic daydreams. Dreams can be pleasant, thought-provoking, scary, inspiring, and more, just like books. Be sure to check out the list below and read about some characters who have incredible dreams – but don’t forget to wake up and experience the real world too!

To find more books about the magic of dreams, try searching the catalog using a combination of subject terms like “juvenile fiction” for fiction books or “juvenile literature” for nonfiction books along with “dreams,” “bedtime,” or “sleep.”

Berkner, Laurie.
Pillowland. 2017 (Picture Book)
Treasured song turned into picture book, Pillowland tells the tale of the wonderful, magical dream-world made of pillows. With cut-outs that are positioned to appear three dimensional, the illustrations evoke the creativity of playtime and allow the story to come alive. The promises of dreams and grand adventures are celebrated as the words welcome readers into the possibilities and give them room for their imaginations to take flight.
[S-Collection Q. SE. B4556p]

Calle, Juan.
Good Dream, Bad Dream: The World’s Heroes Save the Night! / Sueño Bueno, sueño malo: ¡los héroes del mundo salvan la noche!. 2014 (Bilingual Picture Book)
In this dynamic bilingual side-by-side text, Papa explains to Julio that “for every bad dream, you can have a good dream to help defeat your fears.” The subsequent pages feature and celebrate heroes defeating monsters from cultures around the world, including the Egyptians, Aztecs, Greeks, Vikings, and more that spark curiosity. The key words are color-coded and bolded in both Spanish and English so that readers can identify and match them. By the end Julio realizes that he is a hero too and has the power to conquer whatever nightmares come his way.
[S-Collection Q. SE. C1321g]

Coelho, Rogerio.
Boat of Dreams. 2017 (Wordless Picture Book)
This wordless picture book features intricate illustrations delicately drawn in sepia tones and black and white that invoke a dreamlike state. When a man who lives with a seagull in a peculiar house on the beach finds a blank sheet of paper in a bottle, he draws a flying ship and sends it back over the water. When a young boy in a city finds it, he adds himself to the drawing and the adventure truly begins. Are the old man and the boy the same person? Is this only a dream? A memory? How far can imagination take us? Readers will have the opportunity to explore these questions and more with this thought-provoking book.
[S-Collection Q. SE. C6509b:E]

DeStefano, Lauren.
Dreaming Dangerous. 2018 (Middle Grade Chapter Book)
At Brassmere Academy for the Extraordinary, Plum and her best friends Vien, Gwendle, and Artem are orphans with a strange shared gift: they fight monsters and go on dangerous journeys together in their dreams each night. After a warning that they are in danger, Artem disappears. Plum and her friends try to search for him and along the way uncover dark secrets about Brassmere. Will they escape and find Artem before it’s too late? This thrilling middle grade novel is sure to keep readers in suspense as Plum and her friends question everything they thought they knew.
[S-Collection S. D473d]

Dufft, Sanne.
The Night Lion. 2018 (Picture Book)
A little reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are, this book introduces readers to Morgan, a boy who imagines himself as a knight. When he dreams that a robber wants to steal his sword and hat, Nana brings him a stuffed lion to help guard him. The next night Morgan rides on his lion’s back as they gallop swiftly through the woods to chase the robber away, conquering his bad dreams once and for all as he learns to be brave.
[S-Collection SE. D8739ma:E]

Herz, Henry.
Mabel and the Queen of Dreams. 2016 (Picture Book)
Mabel does not like bedtime and has a million excuses not to go to sleep until her mom tells her that the Queen of Fae won’t visit her to give her dreams until she closes her eyes. The story continues as her mom illustrates all the potential dreams Mabel could have, lulling her to sleep with the possibilities. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Queen Mab (the author’s note includes the passage from Romeo and Juliet), the evocative descriptions are what really shine in this book that celebrates the imagination.
[S-Collection Q. SE. H447m]

Laden, Nina.
If I Had a Little Dream. 2017 (Picture Book)
Look, imagine, dream: readers are immersed in the dreams of a child and have the chance to experience the world through her eyes in this picture book. Beautifully intricate illustrations in a blue and orange color scheme give young readers a lot to explore as they take in the simple lyrical text that explores what the little girl would do if she had a… Her profound observations and gratefulness about the beauty and blessings of the world will warm the hearts of adults and children alike.
[S-Collection SE. L122i]

O’Brien, Caragh M.
The Vault of Dreamers. 2014 (YA Chapter Book)
At the prestigious Forge School, the students are all contestants on a reality show where they are put through a rigorous schedule that includes 12 hours of induced sleep designed to enhance creativity. However, one night Rosie Sinclair skips her sleeping pill and discovers that everything is not what it seems. When she finds out that the show and the school are covering up an elaborate scheme that involves dream harvesting, Rosie wrestles with whether she can trust her own mind any more. The mind games in this thought-provoking novel are sure to thrill readers as they work to figure out what it means when someone takes your dreams.
[S-Collection S. Ob621v, also in the CCB]
Be sure the check out the rest of the trilogy – The Rule of Mirrors #2 and The Keep of Ages #3 – also found in the S-Collection! (S. Ob621r and S. Ob621k)

Plum, Amy.
Dreamfall. 2017 (YA Chapter Book)
Cata Cordova suffers from terrible insomnia and agrees to an experimental new procedure as a last resort. However, a malfunction with the equipment leaves her and six other teens stuck in a shared dreamworld where their worst nightmares haunt them. The teens must come together in order to face their fears and defeat their dreams because if they don’t, they will never wake up. The intriguing concept and suspense will definitely keep readers on the edge of their seats – and maybe even give them nightmares.
[Center for Children’s Books S. P732dr]
The sequel, Neverwake, is located in the S-Collection (S. P732drne)!

VanDerwater, Amy Ludwig.
Dreaming of You. 2018 (Picture Book)
A sweet lullaby of a picture book, this story is perfect for bedtime. The comforting, colorful illustrations depict the dreams of various animals, ranging from kittens to turtles, chipmunks, horses, and more. The rhythmic refrain of what animals dream about provides the perfect opportunity to readers to use their imagination and drift off into dreamland.
[S-Collection Q. SE. V286d]

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]