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What’s New in Children’s Literature? February 2019

The cold winter months are the perfect time to cozy up with a great read, and the perfect fit awaits in these new releases.

By Lani Aquino

While reading is a necessary fundamental, it is also a wonderful pastime to introduce to students. The more options for engaging titles, the easier it is to build a lifelong love of reading. These new releases may just hold the spark for igniting a reading habit that will last a lifetime.

A Is for Awesome!: 23 Iconic Women Who Changed the World- This simple board book is a great introduction to some amazing women. Author Eva Chen and illustrator Derek Desierto have teamed up to share some brief biopic information about woman, including: Amelia Earhart, Nina Simone, Julia Child, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and more. A short description is shared, and quotes from the iconic women are shared on many of the pages. A nice way to quickly share information about a variety of women.

Narwhal’s Otter Friend (A Narwhal and Jelly Book #4)- The fourth installment in this series by Ben Clanton shares three new stories about the friendship and adventures of Narwhal and Jelly. Otty makes her debut and rocks the friendship boat of the two protagonists a bit. As the stories progress, readers are able to see the benefits of embracing new friendships. Readers will delight in the adventures as the beloved duo becomes a lovable trio.

New Kid- Jerry Craft offers readers a glimpse into what it likes to be the new kid. The aptly named graphic novel follows Jordan Banks as he starts a new school with limited diversity. As he struggles to fit into this new setting that is heavy on the academics, Jordan is torn by his strong desire to revel in his love of drawing cartoons and to stay connected to his neighborhood friends. A great read for the middle grades that explores a lot of relevant issues.

Astrophysics for Young People in a Hurry- Neil deGrasse Tyson’s bestselling look at the cosmos finds itself ready to be embraced by younger readers with Gregory Mone’s photos, infographics, and extra explanations tossed into the mix. Everything from the basics of physics to the big ideas about nature and time are explored in an engagingly understandable fashion. This is an excellent choice for kids already showing an interest and a great way to hook others on the wonders of scientific discovery.

Say Something- This picture book written and illustrated by Peter Reynolds encourages young readers to find their voices and use them to make a difference. Reynolds explores the variety of ways that a single voice can impact the world. A perfect way to introduce activism and doing the right thing to young audiences.

Pay Attention, Carter Jones- In this novel for the middle grades, author Gary D. Schmidt explores a wide range of issues including family, school, disappointment, and grief. A butler arrives on Carter’s doorstep, sent by his late grandfather to help out while Carter’s father is deployed. Now, Carter has to navigate life under the watchful and precise eye of this new addition to the household. What Carter comes to realize is that sometimes sharing the burden makes life much more manageable.

Lion Down- Stuart Gibbs’ FunJungle series introduces another page turner. Teddy Fitzroy must call upon his sleuthing skills once again as a lion stands falsely accused of killing a distinguished dog. Just when Teddy thought an even keel was in place, the enormous zoo/theme park is thrown into upheaval as the dog’s owner, a boisterous radio host, makes it a personal mission to see the lion hunted. Add a case of poisoned giraffes to the mix, and Teddy’s dangerously comical capers are just beginning.

I am Billie Jean King (Ordinary People Change the World)- Brad Meltzer and Christopher Eliopoulos have crafted another edition for their biographical series. The non-fiction text coupled with photographs and graphics makes for an enjoyable and informative read. Students can follow King’s story and learn about the mark she made in both sports and women’s rights.

Helping students find that just-right read is a lot easier with a collection of new releases to share. From nonfiction to talking animals to navigating the teenaged years, a wide variety of reading levels and interests have hit the shelves. These 8 newcomers may just include the book(s) that spark that lifelong love of reading!

If you enjoyed the thoughts and ideas shared here, check out the trainings and tools (for teachers and for families) that we offer.

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