What are some of your favorite parts about going to the library?
Last week I made another spontaneous trip to the library to return a book and check out more. I’m starting to get the hang of how to manually find books in this new library.
I’ve been checking out a lot of picture books lately because they’re quick, easy reads that can be read in minutes. Plus, there are just so many cool stories and colorful art to explore that they’re hard to resist. They’re fun to read, review and recommend. I snagged a couple of graphic novels as well.
Here are what I got on my latest library run:
A History of Me
by Adrea Theodore, Illustrated by Erin Robinson
I like what this story is about and can relate to the main character a little. The synopsis alone radiates so much love and empowerment that I’m already predicting it will be a 5-star read.
ABOUT: Who do you see when you look in the mirror? One mother’s account of her experience as the only Black child in school serves as an empowering message to her own daughter and children of color everywhere.
Life can be hard for the only brown girl in a classroom full of white students. When the teacher talks about slavery, she can feel all of her classmates staring at her. When they talk about civil rights, she is the one that other kids whisper about on the playground. In those moments, she wants to slip away or seep into the ground; and she wonders, is that all you see when you look at me?
What really matters is what she sees when she looks at herself. She is a reflection of the courage, strength, intelligence and creativity that’s been passed down from generation to generation through her ancestors.
Inspired by the author’s daughter’s experience in school as well as her own.
The Proudest Blue : A Story of Hijab and Family
by Ibtihaj Muhammad, with S.K. Ali, Illustrated by Hatem Aly
This story has been on my radar since its publication. I’m glad I finally was able to check it out of the library. I think it’s going to be a wonderful read with a lot to learn about.
ABOUT: A powerful, vibrantly illustrated story about the first day of school–and two sisters on one’s first day of hijab–by Olympic medalist and social justice activist Ibtihaj Muhammad.
With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It’s the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab–a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong.
Paired with Hatem Aly’s beautiful, whimsical art, Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad and Morris Award finalist S.K. Ali bring readers an uplifting, universal story of new experiences, the unbreakable bond between siblings, and of being proud of who you are.
Your Name Is a Song
by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, Illustrated by Luisa Uribe
Names are important and hold so much power and meaning behind them. So I like that this book will explore that and more into an inspirational picture book that I can’t wait to read.
ABOUT: Frustrated by a day full of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her beautiful name, a little girl tells her mother she never wants to come back to school. In response, the girl’s mother teaches her about the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names on their lyrical walk home through the city. Empowered by this newfound understanding, the young girl is ready to return the next day to share her knowledge with her class. Your Name is a Song is a celebration to remind all of us about the beauty, history, and magic behind names.
The Juneteenth Story: Celebrating the End of Slavery in the United States
by Alliah L. Agostini, Illustrated by Sawyer Cloud
Better late than never, as they say. I couldn’t find this book that last time I went. I just happened to walk by it while looking for another book.
ABOUT: With colorful illustrations and a timeline, this introductory history of Juneteenth for kids details the evolution of the holiday commemorating the date the enslaved people of Texas first learned of their freedom.
On June 19, 1865—more than two years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation—the enslaved people of Texas first learned of their freedom. That day became a day of remembrance and celebration that changed and grew from year to year.
Learn about the events that led to emancipation and why it took so long for the enslaved people in Texas to hear the news. The first Juneteenth began as “Jubilee Day,” where families celebrated and learned of their new rights as citizens. As Black Texans moved to other parts of the country, they brought their traditions along with them, and Juneteenth continued to grow and develop.
Today, Juneteenth’s powerful spirit has endured through the centuries to become an official holiday in the United States in 2021. The Juneteenth Story provides an accessible introduction for kids to learn about this important American holiday.
Check, Please! Book 1: #Hockey (vol. 1)
by Ngozi Ukazu
This is the summer of graphic novels, another medium that doesn’t take too long to read. The cover is so cute as is the story it seems. This also seems in line with the kind of sports fiction I enjoy reading.
ABOUT: Helloooo, Internet Land. Bitty here!
Y’all… I might not be ready for this. I may be a former junior figure skating champion, vlogger extraordinaire, and very talented amateur pâtissier, but being a freshman on the Samwell University hockey team is a whole new challenge. It’s nothing like co-ed club hockey back in Georgia! First of all? There’s checking. And then, there is Jack—our very attractive but moody captain.
A collection of the first half of the megapopular webcomic series of the same name, Check, Please!: #Hockey is the first book of a hilarious and stirring two-volume coming-of-age story about hockey, bros, and trying to find yourself during the best four years of your life.
Fence (vol. 1)
by C.S. Pacat, Illustrated by Johanna the Mad
Another graphic novel series I’ve seen around the blog-sphere and bookstagram that I wanted to give it a try, especially with how thin of a read it is. It sounds interesting enough, so I’ll see how that goes.
ABOUT: Nicholas, the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion, is a scrappy fencing wunderkind, and dreams of getting the chance and the training to actually compete. After getting accepted to the prodigious Kings Row private school, Nicholas is thrust into a cut-throat world, and finds himself facing not only his golden-boy half-brother, but the unbeatable, mysterious Seiji Katayama…
Through clashes, rivalries, and romance between teammates, Nicholas and the boys of Kings Row will discover there’s much more to fencing than just foils and lunges. From acclaimed writer C.S. Pacat (The Captive Prince) and fan-favorite artist Johanna the Mad.