Tundra Telegram: Books For Your Moment of Zen

Hello, and thanks for joining us at Tundra Telegram, the column where we talk about the subjects on readers’ minds daily, the hot news topics, and recommend some good books for young readers to continue their investigative reporting and uncover the actual facts.

Last week, on September 29, Trevor Noah announced that after seven years as the host of The Daily Show, he would step down to focus on his stand-up career. Since 2015, Noah has interviewed everyone from astronauts who were currently in space and American Vice President Kamala Harris to climate activist Greta Thunberg and noted crystal flute player Lizzo.

This week, we feature some excellent picture books, middle-grade novels, and YA from (and about) some of The Daily Show with Trevor Noah’s best guests and interviews – and, of course, we include the young readers’ edition of Noah’s memoir, Born a Crime.

PICTURE BOOKS

Noah spoke with Chelsea Clinton and her notable mother Hillary, on Halloween 2019. Among other things, you may know Clinton for her She Persisted book series, like She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger, which features the stories of history-making women like Marie Curie, Viola Desmond, and Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.

Misty Copeland, the first Black principal dance of the American Ballet Theatre, was on The Daily Show (on September 29, 2020) to speak with Noah about her picture book Bunheads. The picture book, illustrated by Setor Fiadzigbey and partially based on Misty’s own life, tells the story of a young girl who discovers dance through the ballet Coppélia, and is inspired by its heroine Swanilda to overcome her nerve and audition though she’s never danced ballet before.

Representing the ballet of fists that takes place in the squared circle is wrestler-turned-actor John Cena, who appeared on The Daily Show back on October 1, 2020 to talk about his picture book, Elbow Grease (illustrated by Howard McWilliam). Elbow Grease is a little monster truck who is smaller than his monster truck brothers, but – through hard work and moxie – proves he has the grit it takes to crush cars and stuff.

Shortly after wowing the United States at the inauguration of President Joe Biden, poet Amanda Gorman appeared on The Daily Show (on January 27, 2021) to speak about her poem “The Hill We Climb.” Later that year, Gorman published the picture book Change Sings, illustrated by Loren Long, a poetic picture book that depicts a young girl leading a diverse group of people on a musical journey – a journey during which they make big and small changes to their world, their communities, and their selves.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has appeared on The Daily Show a few times – most recently September 16, 2019 – and has also written a few children’s books! Our favorite is Just Ask!, illustrated by Rafael López, which encourages kids to embrace their individuality by asking each other questions about those differences. Much like different kinds of plants and flowers make a garden more beautiful and healthy, different kinds of people make the world more wonderful.

CHAPTER BOOKS & MIDDLE GRADE

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor also adapted her memoir into a book for young readers: The Beloved World of Sonia Sotomayor. Within, she chronicles the difficult challenges of her childhood, growing up in the rough housing projects of the South Bronx with parents who fought and had difficulties with money, and her inspiring rise through the legal system with help along the way from mentors and the love of her extended Puerto Rican family.

Comedian Kevin Hart was literally Trevor Noah’s first guest on The Daily Show (back on September 28, 2015). Hart is known for films like Central Intelligence and Jumanji, but young readers know him best as the author of Marcus Makes a Movie, the very funny book about a boy who is determined to make a blockbuster superhero film with some help from his friends, his teachers . . . and even his enemies.

The late Congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis sat down with Trevor Noah on August 8, 2016, to speak about his graphic novel series, March, illustrated by Nate Powell and co-written with Andrew Aydin. The graphic novels are a powerful memoir of Lewis’s involvement in the American civil rights struggle, moving from his youth in rural Alabama and his student activism to his work with the Freedom Riders campaign and culminating with the march from Selma to Montgomery.

Ruby Bridges was a guest on The Daily Show on November 9, 2020 some sixty years after making history as the first Black child to desegregate her all-white elementary school in Louisiana. Bridges also wrote This Is Your Time, a heavily illustrated book written to inspire readers to effect change and continue the struggle for liberty and justice.

And on January 7, 2019, Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai spoke to Trevor Noah about the challenges of refugee girls. The Extraordinary Life of Malala Yousafzai by Hiba Noor Khan introduces young readers to Yousafzai, her story and her campaign for girls’ education in the Taliban-controlled area of Pakistan, as well as her more recent activism.

YOUNG ADULT

Indigenous climate activist and youth director of Earth Guardians Xiuhtezcatl Martinez appeared on The Daily Show on September 5, 2017, before writing a book that was part of the Pocket Change Collective series, Imaginary Borders, but his passion and advocacy for environmental activism was as evident in the interview as it is in this inspiring personal essay about how art and activism are forever connected in a push for change.

Though author Akwaeke Emezi was on The Daily Show back on June 1, 2022, to talk about their book You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty, you’d be the fool if you didn’t check out their YA novels – especially Pet. Named a best book of the year by multiple media outlets, it’s a genre-bending story about Jam, who discovers the monsters she was told had all disappeared are real, and one of them – Pet – has emerged from her mother’s painting. Soon Jam begins to question who the monsters are and why no one will admit they exist.

Award-winning chef Kwame Onwuachi was on The Daily Show on June 11, 2019, to promote his memoir, Notes from a Young Black Chef. The book, later adapted for young readers, follows Onwuachi from his troubled youth, for which he’s sent by his parents to his father’s home in Nigeria, then later to cook with his mom in Louisiana. He soon becomes a well-known young chef, attaining fame by the age of 27, but nevertheless is forced to grapple with just how unwelcoming the haute cuisine world can be for people of colour.

The February 10, 2020 episode of The Daily Show had Trevor Noah trading sci-fi and fantasy talk with author Tochi Onyebuchi. And if you liked his chat about dystopias, you’ll love War Girls, his YA novel about two sisters in the futuristic, war-torn Nigeria of 2172 (where people fight in flying mech suits – take note, Iron Widow lovers) who are willing to fight their way to a better future.

Finally, we have to mention the young readers adaptation of Trevor Noah’s own memoir, It’s Trevor Noah: Born a Crime, about growing up in Apartheid South Africa with a Black mother and white father – where it was literally against the law for a child of mixed race like him to exist.

Happy reading, news-lovers!

Women’s History Month 2022: Women in Sports

March is Women’s History Month and there are so my incredible and inspiring books to read! We’ll be sharing a new themed list every week this month so make sure to keep an eye on our blog!

Bibi’s Got Game: A Story About Tennis, Meditation, and a Dog Named Coco
By Bianca Andreescu with Mary Beth Leatherdale
Illustrated by Chelsea O’Byrne
56 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735270558 | Tundra Books
From the moment she wakes up, Bibi is very busy. Even before school begins, there are cartwheels to do, world records to break (38 minutes balancing a spoon on your nose), and her dog, Coco, to snuggle. Bibi’s mother suggests she try a sport, but nothing feels right. Until she tries tennis. On the court, she feels strong and powerful. Her serve is like lightning, her backhand booms like thunder and her forehand is as fierce as a hurricane. But one day, everything changes when she is injured on the playground. Bibi is heartbroken, sad, frustrated and angry – she decides to quit tennis! But her mother, with a little help from Coco, shows her how to meditate and dispel the self-doubt and negativity. Bibi learns to focus on all the things that make her grateful and happy. And when her body is ready to go back to tennis, so is her mind. “Now every morning, I picture myself strong and powerful on the court. Just me and the fuzzy ball.”

I am Billie Jean King
By Brad Meltzer
Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos
40 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735228740 | Dial Books
This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great – the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Each book tells the story of one of America’s icons in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers and that always includes the hero’s childhood influences. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos. This volume features Billie Jean King, the world champion tennis player who fought successfully for women’s rights. From a young age, Billie Jean King loved sports – especially tennis! But as she got older, she realized that plenty of people, even respected male athletes, didn’t take women athletes seriously. She set to prove them wrong and show girls everywhere that sports are for everyone, regardless of gender.

Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of Sports
By Phil Bildner
Illustrated by Brett Helquist
40 Pages | Ages 7-10 | Paperback
ISBN 9781536205640 | Candlewick
Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert come from completely different places and play tennis in completely different ways. Chrissie is the all-American girl: practiced, poised, with perfect technique. Martina hails from Czechoslovakia, a Communist country, and her game is ruled by emotion. Everything about them is different, except one thing: they both want to be the best. But as their intense rivalry grows, something else begins to swing into place, and a friendship forms that will outlast all their tennis victories. Phil Bildner and Brett Helquist tell the engaging true story of these two masters of the court as they win title after title – and, most importantly, the hearts of the fans.

She Persisted in Sports: American Olympians Who Changed the Game
By Chelsea Clinton
Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593114544 | Philomel BFYR
She Persisted in Sports is a book for everyone who has ever aimed for a goal and been told it wasn’t theirs to hit, for everyone who has ever raced for a finish line that seemed all too far away, and for everyone who has ever felt small or unimportant while out on the field. Alexandra Boiger’s vibrant artwork accompanies this inspiring text that shows readers of all ages that, no matter what obstacles come their way, they have the power to persist and succeed. This book features: Margaret Ives Abbott, Gertrude Ederle, Mildred “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias, Wilma Rudolph, Jean Driscoll, Mia Hamm (and the 1996 Olympic soccer team), Kristi Yamaguchi, Venus and Serena Williams, Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings, Diana Taurasi, Simone Biles, Ibtihaj Muhammad and Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux.

Sisters & Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams
By Howard Bryant
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780399169069 | Philomel BFYR
Everyone knows the names Venus & Serena Williams. They’ve become synonymous with championships, hard work, and with shaking up the tennis world. This inspirational true story, written by award-winning sports journalist, Howard Bryant, and brought to beautiful life by Coretta Scott Kind Award and Honor winner, Floyd Cooper, details the sisters’ journey from a barely-there tennis court in Compton, CA, to Olympic gold medals and becoming the #1 ranked women in the sport of tennis. Here is a worthy ode to Venus and Serena Williams, the incredible sister duo who will go down in history as two of the greatest athletes of all time.

Women in Sports: Fearless Athletes Who Played to Win
By Rachel Ignotofsky
30 Pages | Ages 0-3 | Board Book
ISBN 9780593377659 | Crown BFYR
Highlighting the pioneering efforts of women athletes, this board book edition of the original bestseller features simpler text and Rachel Ignotofsky’s signature beautiful illustrations reimagined for younger readers to introduce the perfect role models for inspiring a love of sports. The collection includes diverse women across various sports, time periods, and geographic location. The perfect gift for every future athlete!

For older kids:

Fast Pitch
By Nic Stone
192 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984893017 | Crown BFYR
Shenice Lockwood, captain of the Fulton Firebirds, is hyper-focused when she steps up to the plate. Nothing can stop her from leading her team to the U12 fast-pitch softball regional championship. But life has thrown some curveballs her way.
Strike one: As the sole team of all-brown faces, Shenice and the Firebirds have to work twice as hard to prove that Black girls belong at bat.
Strike two: Shenice’s focus gets shaken when her great-uncle Jack reveals that a career-ending – and family-name-ruining – crime may have been a setup.
Strike three: Broken focus means mistakes on the field. Shenice’s teammates are beginning to wonder if she’s captain-qualified.
It’s up to Shenice to discover the truth about her family’s past – and fast – before secrets take the Firebirds out of the game forever.

On Top of Glass: My Stories as a Queer Girl in Figure Skating
By Karina Manta
336 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593308462 | Knopf BFYR
Karina Manta has had a busy few years: Not only did she capture the hearts of many with her fan-favorite performance at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships, she also became the first female figure skater on Team USA to come out as queer. Her Modern Love essay “I Can’t Hate My Body if I Love Hers” was published in the New York Times, and then she joined the circus – Cirque du Soleil’s on-ice show, AXEL. Karina’s memoir covers these experiences and much more. Attending a high school with 4,000 students, you’d expect to know more than two openly gay students, but Karina didn’t meet an out-lesbian until she was nearly seventeen – let alone any other kind of queer woman. But this isn’t just a story about her queerness. It’s also a story about her struggle with body image in a sport that prizes delicate femininity. It’s a story about panic attacks, and first crushes, and all the crushes that followed, and it’s a story about growing up, feeling different than everybody around her and then realizing that everyone else felt different too.

One Life: Young Readers Edition
By Megan Rapinoe
272 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593203415 | Razorbill
You know Megan Rapinoe as an international soccer superstar! She’s also a fierce activist, boldly speaking out about issues of equality and justice – from LGBTQ rights to the equal pay movement to Black Lives Matter. In this adaptation for middle school readers of her memoir One Life, get to know Megan: from her childhood in a small California town where she learned to play soccer and how to fight for social justice; through high school, college and beyond; to 2016 when she became the first high-profile white athlete to take a knee in support of Colin Kaepernick, and also suing the United States Soccer Federation along with her teammates over gender discrimination. Using stories from her own life and career, Rapinoe discusses the responsibility we have to speak up. In this edition specifically for young readers, she reveals the impact everyone, even kids, can have on their communities and how kids can get involved in making the world a better place.

Wild Girl: How to Have Incredible Outdoor Adventures
By Helen Skelton
Illustrated by Liz Kay
144 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536212860 | Candlewick
From kayaking the length of the Amazon to biking to the South Pole and running an ultramarathon across the Namib desert, Helen Skelton shares the stories of her most daring feats of endurance and grit in some of the world’s most extreme wildernesses – overcoming challenges, embracing her fears, and finding the positives in the toughest situations. Alongside each exciting account are ideas for outdoor adventures readers can have closer to home, as well as gear lists, information about Helen’s support teams, statistics, tips for physical and mental preparation, and a Wild Girl Wall of Fame featuring the diverse women who inspired Helen with their own achievements. A likable, no-nonsense tone paired with a combination of photographs and fun art will inspire young people to get outside and dream big.

Women’s History Month 2022: Women in Math & Science

March is Women’s History Month and there are so many incredible and inspiring books to read! We’ll be sharing a new themed list every week this month so make sure to keep an eye on our blog!

Alis the AviatorAlis the Aviator
By Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail
Illustrated by Kalpna Patel
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101919057 | Tundra Books
Come along on an aviation journey with Alis! This spunky female guide will take you through an ABC of planes featuring gorgeous cut-paper art. An A to Z of planes past and present, this book has stunning cut-paper art and a cute-as-a-button guide named Alis. Named for Dr. Alis Kennedy, likely one of the first Indigenous women to obtain a commercial pilot license in Canada, Alis will take you on an aviation tour from the Avro Arrow to the Zeppelin and everything in between. Meticulously researched and uniquely crafted, this is a one-of-a-kind book that will delight aviation fans big and little.

Blast Off! How Mary Sherman Morgan Fueled America into Space
By Suzanne Slade
Illustrated by Sally W. Comport
48 Pages | Ages 7-10 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781684372416 | Calkins Creek
Growing up in the 1920s on a dirt-poor farm in North Dakota, Mary Sherman’s life was filled with chores – until she finally began school and discovered she loved to learn. Mary excelled at science, especially chemistry, and leaped at the chance to work in a laboratory during World War II designing rocket fuels. And when the US decided to enter the space race, Mary was chosen over her male colleagues to create the fuel to launch a rocket carrying America’s first satellite. With courage and perseverance, Mary’s hard work and calculations paid off, opening up a brand-new frontier for exploration. This STEM biography of an unsung and courageous woman in science will inspire and motivate young readers.

Count on MeCount on Me
By Miguel Tanco
48 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265752 | Tundra Books
Everyone has a passion. For some, it’s music. For others, it’s art. For our heroine, it’s math. When she looks around the world, she sees math in all the beautiful things: the concentric circles a stone makes in a lake, the curve of a slide, the geometric shapes in the playground. Others don’t understand her passion, but she doesn’t mind. There are infinite ways to see the world. And through math is one of them. This book is a gorgeous ode to something vital but rarely celebrated. In the eyes of this little girl, math takes its place alongside painting, drawing and song as a way to ponder the beauty of the world.

Dr. Jo: How Sara Josephine Baker Saved the Lives of America’s Children
By Monica Kulling
Illustrated by Julianna Swaney
32 Pages | Ages 5-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101917893 | Tundra Books
Growing up in New York in the late 1800s was not easy. When she lost her brother and father to typhoid fever, Sara Josephine Baker became determined to pursue her dream of becoming a doctor. When she graduated in 1898, Dr. Jo still faced prejudice against women in her field. Not many people were willing to be seen by a female doctor, and Dr. Jo’s waiting room remained mostly empty. She accepted a job in public health and was sent to Hell’s Kitchen, one of New York’s poorest neighborhoods where many immigrants lived. There, she was able to treat the most vulnerable patients: babies and children. She realized that the best treatment was to help babies get a stronger start in life. Babies need fresh air, clean and safe environments, and proper food. Dr. Jo’s successes, fueled by her determination, compassion and ingenuity, made her famous across the nation for saving the lives of 90,000 inner city infants and children.

Etty Darwin and the Four Pebble Problem
By Lauren Soloy
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266087 | Tundra Books
Etty loves make-believe. Her dad loves science. Etty believes in fairies. Her dad would need to see some proof that they exist. But they both love nature, conversation, and each other. A gorgeous rumination on belief and imagination featuring Henrietta (Etty) Darwin and her famous father, Charles. Etty went on to become a valued and keen editor of Charles’ work and a thoughtful and intellectual being in her own right. This imagined conversation between Etty and Charles as they stroll around Charles’s real-life “thinking track” explores their close relationship and shows that even science is nothing without an open mind and imagination.

How to Hear the Universe: Gaby González and the Search for Einstein’s Ripples in Space-Time
By Patricia Valdez
Illustrated by Sara Palacios
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984894595 | Knopf BFYR
In 1916, Albert Einstein had a theory. He thought that somewhere out in the universe, there were collisions in space. These collisions could cause little sound waves in the fabric of space-time that might carry many secrets of the distant universe. But it was only a theory. He could not prove it in his lifetime. Many years later, an immigrant scientist named Gabriela Gonzalez asked the same questions. Armed with modern technology, she joined a team of physicists who set out to prove Einstein’s theory. At first, there was nothing. But then . . . they heard a sound. Gabriela and her team examined, and measured, and re-measured until they were sure. Completing the work that Albert Einstein had begun 100 years earlier, Gonzalez broke ground for new space-time research. In a fascinating picture book that covers 100 years, 2 pioneering scientists, and 1 trailblazing discovery, Patricia Valdez sheds light on a little known but extraordinary story.

Ocean SpeaksOcean Speaks: How Marie Tharp Revealed the Ocean’s Biggest Secret
By Jess Keating
Illustrated by Katie Hickey
34 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735265080 | Tundra Books
From a young age, Marie Tharp loved watching the world. She loved solving problems. And she loved pushing the limits of what girls and women were expected to do and be. In the mid-twentieth century, women were not welcome in the sciences, but Marie was tenacious. She got a job at a laboratory in New York. But then she faced another barrier: women were not allowed on the research ships (they were considered bad luck on boats). So instead, Marie stayed back and dove deep into the data her colleagues recorded. She mapped point after point and slowly revealed a deep rift valley in the ocean floor. At first the scientific community refused to believe her, but her evidence was irrefutable. She proved to the world that her research was correct. The mid-ocean ridge that Marie discovered is the single largest geographic feature on the planet, and she mapped it all from her small, cramped office.

She Persisted in Science
By Chelsea Clinton
Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593353295 | Philomel BFYR
Throughout history, women have been told that science isn’t for them. They’ve been told that they’re not smart enough, or that their brains just aren’t able to handle it. In this book, Chelsea Clinton introduces readers to women scientists who didn’t listen to those who told them “no” and who used their smarts, their skills and their persistence to discover, invent, create and explain. She Persisted in Science is for everyone who’s ever had questions about the world around them or the way things work, and who won’t give up until they find their answers. This book features: Florence Nightingale, Rebecca Lee Crumpler, Ynes Enriquetta Julietta Mexia, Grace Hopper, Rosalind Franklin, Gladys West, Jane Goodall, Flossie Wong-Staal, Temple Grandin, Zaha Hadid, Ellen Ochoa, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha & Mari Copeny, and Autumn Peltier, Greta Thunberg & Wanjiru Wathuti.

The Aquanaut
By Jill Heinerth
Illustrated by Jaime Kim
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263635 | Tundra Books
Through beautiful, spare text, Jill Heinerth tells her story about a girl who feels too young, too little, and too far away from her dreams. But you don’t need to wait to grow up. It doesn’t take much to imagine all the things you can do and be. What if your bedroom were a space station? What would it be like to have flippers or tusks? In your own home you can explore new worlds and meet new friends. Jaime Kim’s luminous art transports readers back and forth through time to see how Jill’s imagination as a young girl laid the pathway to her accomplishments and experiences as an underwater explorer.

The Bug GirlThe Bug Girl
By Sophia Spencer and Margaret McNamara
Illustrated by KERASCOET
44 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735267527 | Tundra Books
Sophia Spencer has loved bugs ever since a butterfly landed on her shoulder–and wouldn’t leave! – at a butterfly conservancy when she was only two-and-a-half years old. In preschool and kindergarten, Sophia was thrilled to share what she knew about grasshoppers (her very favorite insects), as well as ants and fireflies . . . but by first grade, not everyone shared her enthusiasm. Some students bullied her, and Sophia stopped talking about bugs altogether. When Sophia’s mother wrote to an entomological society looking for a bug scientist to be a pen pal for her daughter, she and Sophie were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response – letters, photos and videos came flooding in. Using the hashtag #BugsR4Girls, scientists tweeted hundreds of times to tell Sophia to keep up her interest in bugs – and it worked!

The Girl Who Could Fix Anything: Beatrice Shilling, World War II Engineer
By Mara Rockliff
Illustrated by Daniel Duncan
48 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536212525 | Candlewick
Beatrice Shilling wasn’t quite like other children. She could make anything. She could fix anything. And when she took a thing apart, she put it back together better than before. When Beatrice left home to study engineering, she knew that as a girl she wouldn’t be quite like the other engineers – and she wasn’t. She was better. Still, it took hard work and perseverance to persuade the Royal Aircraft Establishment to give her a chance. But when World War II broke out and British fighter pilots took to the skies in a desperate struggle for survival against Hitler’s bombers, it was clearly time for new ideas. Could Beatrice solve an engine puzzle and help Britain win the war? American author Mara Rockliff and British illustrator Daniel Duncan team up for a fresh look at a turning point in modern history – and the role of a remarkable woman whose ingenuity, persistence, and way with a wrench (or spanner) made her quite unlike anyone else. An author’s note and a list of selective sources provide additional information for curious readers.

This Is Ruby
By Sara O’Leary
Illustrated by Alea Marley
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263611 | Tundra Books
Ruby is a little girl with a sense of curiosity and enthusiasm that’s too big to contain! Ruby is always busy – she loves to make things, watch things grow and figure out how things work, with her dog Teddy by her side. And Ruby has lots of ideas about what she wants to be: maybe an animal conservationist? Or an archaeologist? She’s great at excavating (i.e. digging holes). Or maybe an inventor? She’s already invented a book with smells instead of words (so dogs can read it) and a time machine (the dinosaurs did have feathers after all, and the future is looking wild). This is Ruby, and this is her world.

For older kids:

Girls Who Green the World: Thirty-Four Rebel Women Out to Save Our Planet
By Diana Kapp
Illustrated by Ana Jarén
336 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593428054 | Delacorte BFYR
An inspired collection of profiles, featuring environmental changemakers, social entrepreneurs, visionaries and activists.  Journalist Diana Kapp has crisscrossed this country writing for and about empowered girls, girls who expect to be leaders, founders and inventors. This book takes it a step further. It says to girls: while you’re striving to be CEOs and world leaders, consider solving the biggest challenge of our lifetime, too – because you can do both at the same time, and here are 34 women doing just that.

The Outdoor Scientist: The Wonder of Observing the Natural World
By Temple Grandin, Ph.D.
208 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593115558 | Philomel BFYR
What are the aerodynamics of skipping stones or the physics of making sandcastles? Do birds use GPS to navigate their migratory routes? In this book, Dr. Temple Grandin, an inventor and world-renowned scientist, introduces readers to geologists, astrophysicists, oceanographers, and many other scientists who unlock the wonders of the natural world. She shares her childhood experiences and observations, whether on the beach, in the woods, working with horses, or gazing up at the night sky. This book explores all areas of nature and gives readers the tools to discover even more on their own. With forty projects to give readers a deeper understanding of the world around them, from the depths of space to their own backyard, this is a perfect read for budding scientists, inventors, and creators!

Wonder Women of Science: How 12 Geniuses Are Rocking Science, Technology, and the World
By Tiera Fletcher and Ginger Rue
Illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
208 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536207347 | Candlewick
Searching the cosmos for a new Earth. Using math to fight human trafficking. Designing invisible (and safer) cars. Unlocking climate-change secrets. All of this groundbreaking science, and much more, is happening right now, spearheaded by the diverse female scientists and engineers profiled in this book. Meet award-winning aerospace engineer Tiera Fletcher and twelve other science superstars and hear them tell in their own words not only about their fascinating work, but also about their childhoods and the paths they traveled to get where they are – paths that often involved failures and unexpected changes in direction, but also persistence, serendipity, and brilliant insights. Their careers range from computer scientist to microbiologist to unique specialties that didn’t exist before some amazing women profiled here created them. Here is a book to surprise and inspire not only die-hard science fans, but also those who don’t (yet!) think of themselves as scientists. Back matter includes reading suggestions, an index, a glossary, and some surprising ideas for how to get involved in the world of STEM.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2022

February 11 is International Day of Women and Girls in Science! Here are some of our favorite books featuring girls – both fictional and historical – and the strides they made in the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.

Astro Girl
By Ken Wilson-Max
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Paperback
ISBN 9781536221954 | Candlewick
Astrid has loved the stars and space for as long as she can remember. “I want to be an astronaut!” she says to everyone who will listen. While her mama is away, Astrid and her papa have fun acting out the challenges an astronaut faces on a space mission – like being in zero gravity (“I can do that all day long!” she says), eating food from a kind of tube, and doing science experiments with the help of cookie sheets. When at last it’s time to meet Mama at the air base, Astrid wears her favorite space T-shirt to greet her. But where exactly has Mama been? Channeling a sense of childlike delight, Ken Wilson-Max brings space travel up close for young readers and offers an inspiring ending.

Ada and the Galaxies
By Alan Lightman and Olga Pastuchiv
Illustrated by Susanna Chapman
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536215618 | MIT Kids Press
New York Times best-selling author Alan Lightman, in collaboration with Olga Pastuchiv, brings galaxies close in a stunning picture-book tribute to the interconnectedness of the natural world. Layering photographs taken from the Hubble telescope into charming and expressive art, illustrator Susanna Chapman zooms in on one child’s experiences: Ada knows that the best place for star-gazing is on the island in Maine where she vacations with her grandparents. By day, she tracks osprey in the trees, paddles a kayak, and hunts for shells. But she’s most in her element when the sun goes down and the stars blink to life. Will the fog this year foil her plans, or will her grandfather find a way to shine a spotlight on the vast puzzle of the universe . . . until the weather turns?

Etty Darwin and the Four Pebble Problem
By Lauren Soloy
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735266087 | Tundra Books
Etty loves make-believe. Her dad loves science. Etty believes in fairies. Her dad would need to see some proof that they exist. But they both love nature, conversation, and each other. A gorgeous rumination on belief and imagination featuring Henrietta (Etty) Darwin and her famous father, Charles. Etty went on to become a valued and keen editor of Charles’ work and a thoughtful and intellectual being in her own right. This imagined conversation between Etty and Charles as they stroll around Charles’s real-life “thinking track” explores their close relationship and shows that even science is nothing without an open mind and imagination.

Isobel Adds It Up
By Kristy Everington
Illustrated by AG Ford
40 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593178102 | Random House Studio
Math-loving kids, especially those who are often bothered by loud noises, will be happy there aren’t any elephants around. Isobel is a problem solver . . . addition, subtraction, multiplication, division! But trying to figure out who is causing all the noise next door is one problem she can’t quite work out. Is it a marching band? A basketball team in the middle of a practice? Could it be a family of elephants? Isobel doesn’t know what to do about all the noise, but the solution just might come from the most unlikely place!

Journey to the Moon: Astronaut Girl #1
By Cathy Hapka and Ellen Vandenberg
Illustrated by Gillian Reid
96 Pages | Ages 6-8 | Paperback
ISBN 9780593095713 | Penguin Workshop
Val, aka Astronaut Girl, is just your typical eight-year-old scientist. She has her own laboratory and conducts experiments with her crew – her cat and baby brother. She loves science and knows everything about outer space. That’s why she’s surprised to learn that her new neighbor Wallace would rather talk about a fake space show than about real missions. But when Astronaut Girl, Wallace, and the Astro crew get lost on their own lunar adventure, they must all work together to find their way back home.

Kate the Chemist: The Awesome Book of Edible Experiments for Kids
By Dr. Kate Biberdorf
112 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593116197 | Philomel Books
Did you know that all cooking is really chemistry? And that chocolate chip cookies will look – and taste – completely different if you swap out baking powder for baking soda? Or swap out brown sugar for white sugar? In this cookbook packed with 25 edible science experiment recipes kids can do in their own kitchen, chemistry professor and science entertainer Kate the Chemist introduces young scientists to the fascinating world of STEM – and cooking! Each recipe includes step-by-step instructions, an ingredients list, full-color photographs, a messiness factor rating, and a note from Kate explaining the science behind each delicious treat.

Maxine and the Greatest Garden Ever
By Ruth Spiro
Illustrated by Holly Hatam
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780399186301 | Dial BFYR
After sketching and plotting and planting, Maxine and Leo know they’ve made The Greatest Garden Ever! But they’re not the only ones who think so. Soon, all sorts of animals make their way in, munching on carrots and knocking over pots. When Leo and Maxine can’t agree on a way to deter these unwelcome critters, it looks like there’s more on the line than saving their garden – they just might need to save their friendship too.

Maya and the Robot
By Eve L. Ewing
Illustrated by Christine Almeda
224 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984814630 | Kokila
Maya’s nervous about fifth grade. She tries to keep calm by reminding herself she knows what to expect. But then she learns that this year won’t be anything like the last. For the first time since kindergarten, her best friends Jada and MJ are placed in a different class without her, and introverted Maya has trouble making new friends. She tries to put on a brave face since they are in fifth grade now, but Maya is nervous! Just when too much seems to be changing, she finds a robot named Ralph in the back of Mr. Mac’s convenience store closet. Once she uses her science skills to get him up and running, a whole new world of connection opens up as Ralph becomes a member of her family and Maya begins to step into her power. In this touching novel, Eve L. Ewing melds together a story about community, adapting to change, and the magic of ingenuity that reminds young readers that they can always turn to their own curiosity when feeling lost.

Project Start Up: Eat Bugs #1
By Laura D’Asaro, Rose Wang, and Heather Alexander
Illustrated by Vanessa Flores
224 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9780593096178 | Penguin Workshop
Hallie and Jaye are two very different sixth graders who both attend Brookdale Middle School. When they get paired as partners for their business class pitch competition, it’s not exactly a perfect match. Jaye doesn’t want to be seen with the kid who was called “Bug Girl” after eating a fried cricket during a trip to the zoo! But they’re stuck with each other, and together try to come up with creative ways to sell bugs as food. As the competition heats up, can Hallie and Jaye make the judges say “Bug appétit!” or will they only hear crickets? Based on the true story of a sustainable protein start-up company, this relatable illustrated novel is a heartwarming reimagining for any middle-grade reader interested in STEM, entrepreneurship, or fitting in and finding friends.

She Persisted in Science
By Chelsea Clinton
Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593353295 | Philomel BFYR
Throughout history, women have been told that science isn’t for them. They’ve been told that they’re not smart enough, or that their brains just aren’t able to handle it. In this book, Chelsea Clinton introduces readers to women scientists who didn’t listen to those who told them “no” and who used their smarts, their skills and their persistence to discover, invent, create and explain. She Persisted in Science is for everyone who’s ever had questions about the world around them or the way things work, and who won’t give up until they find their answers. This book features: Florence Nightingale, Rebecca Lee Crumpler, Ynes Enriquetta Julietta Mexia, Grace Hopper, Rosalind Franklin, Gladys West, Jane Goodall, Flossie Wong-Staal, Temple Grandin, Zaha Hadid, Ellen Ochoa, Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha & Mari Copeny, and Autumn Peltier, Greta Thunberg & Wanjiru Wathuti

The Girl Who Could Fix Anything: Beatrice Shilling, World War II Engineer
By Mara Rockliff
Illustrated by Daniel Duncan
48 Pages | Ages 5-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536212525 | Candlewick
Beatrice Shilling wasn’t quite like other children. She could make anything. She could fix anything. And when she took a thing apart, she put it back together better than before. When Beatrice left home to study engineering, she knew that as a girl she wouldn’t be quite like the other engineers – and she wasn’t. She was better. Still, it took hard work and perseverance to persuade the Royal Aircraft Establishment to give her a chance. But when World War II broke out and British fighter pilots took to the skies in a desperate struggle for survival against Hitler’s bombers, it was clearly time for new ideas. Could Beatrice solve an engine puzzle and help Britain win the war? American author Mara Rockliff and British illustrator Daniel Duncan team up for a fresh look at a turning point in modern history – and the role of a remarkable woman whose ingenuity, persistence, and way with a wrench (or spanner) made her quite unlike anyone else. An author’s note and a list of selective sources provide additional information for curious readers.

The Leaf Detective: How Margaret Lowman Uncovered Secrets in the Rainforest
By Heather Lang
Illustrated by Jana Christy
48 Pages | Ages 7-10 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781684371778 | Calkins Creek
Meg Lowman was always fascinated by the natural world above her head – the colors, the branches, and, most of all, the leaves and mysterious organisms living there. Meg set out to climb up and investigate the rain forest tree canopies – and to be the first scientist to do so. But she encountered challenge after challenge. Male teachers would not let her into their classrooms, the high canopy was difficult to get to, and worst of all, people were logging and clearing the forests. Meg never gave up or gave in. She studied, invented, and persevered, not only creating a future for herself as a scientist, but making sure that the rainforests had a future as well. Working closely with Meg Lowman, author Heather Lang and artist Jana Christy beautifully capture Meg’s world in the treetops.

The Outdoor Scientist: The Wonder of Observing the Natural World
By Temple Grandin, Ph.D.
208 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593115558 | Philomel BFYR
What are the aerodynamics of skipping stones or the physics of making sandcastles? Do birds use GPS to navigate their migratory routes? In this book, Dr. Temple Grandin, an inventor and world-renowned scientist, introduces readers to geologists, astrophysicists, oceanographers, and many other scientists who unlock the wonders of the natural world. She shares her childhood experiences and observations, whether on the beach, in the woods, working with horses, or gazing up at the night sky. This book explores all areas of nature and gives readers the tools to discover even more on their own. With forty projects to give readers a deeper understanding of the world around them, from the depths of space to their own backyard, this is a perfect read for budding scientists, inventors, and creators!

This Is Ruby
By Sara O’Leary
Illustrated by Alea Marley
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780735263611 | Tundra Books
Ruby is a little girl with a sense of curiosity and enthusiasm that’s too big to contain! Ruby is always busy – she loves to make things, watch things grow and figure out how things work, with her dog Teddy by her side. And Ruby has lots of ideas about what she wants to be: maybe an animal conservationist? Or an archaeologist? She’s great at excavating (i.e. digging holes). Or maybe an inventor? She’s already invented a book with smells instead of words (so dogs can read it) and a time machine (the dinosaurs did have feathers after all, and the future is looking wild). This is Ruby, and this is her world.

Uma Wimple Charts Her House
By Reif Larsen and Ben Gibson
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593181188 | Anne Schwartz Books
Uma’s been making charts since she was a little kid. But when her teacher gives the class Uma’s dream assignment – to make a chart of their own homes – she is thrown for a loop. Oh, the possibilities! Oh, the pressure! What makes a house housey? she wonders. In order to figure it out, she asks each member of her family – Mom, Dad, and brothers Rex, Bram, and Lukey. But it’s not until she has a meltdown and Lukey comforts her that Uma figures out the secret to her chart – and her family. It’s the love that is shared inside a house’s walls.

Wonder Women of Science: How 12 Geniuses Are Rocking Science, Technology, and the World
By Tiera Fletcher and Ginger Rue
Illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
208 Pages | Ages 9-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536207347 | Candlewick
Searching the cosmos for a new Earth. Using math to fight human trafficking. Designing invisible (and safer) cars. Unlocking climate-change secrets. All of this groundbreaking science, and much more, is happening right now, spearheaded by the diverse female scientists and engineers profiled in this book. Meet award-winning aerospace engineer Tiera Fletcher and twelve other science superstars and hear them tell in their own words not only about their fascinating work, but also about their childhoods and the paths they traveled to get where they are – paths that often involved failures and unexpected changes in direction, but also persistence, serendipity, and brilliant insights. Their careers range from computer scientist to microbiologist to unique specialties that didn’t exist before some amazing women profiled here created them. Here is a book to surprise and inspire not only die-hard science fans, but also those who don’t (yet!) think of themselves as scientists. Back matter includes reading suggestions, an index, a glossary, and some surprising ideas for how to get involved in the world of STEM.

Black History Month Reading List 2022

February is Black History Month, and we encourage you to visit your local bookstore or library to learn more. In the meantime, we have compiled our reading recommendations for you. For more recommendations, check out last year’s list or our list for World Day for African and Afrodescendant Culture.

Picture Books:

Africa, Amazing Africa: Country by Country
By Atinuke
Illustrated by Mouni Feddag
80 Pages | Ages 7-10 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536205374 | Candlewick
A Nigerian storyteller explores the continent of Africa country by country: its geography, peoples, animals, history, resources, and cultural diversity. The book is divided into five distinct sections – South, East, West, Central, and North – and each country is showcased on its own bright, energetic page brimming with friendly facts on science, industry, food, sports, music, wildlife, landscape features, even snippets of local languages. The richest king, the tallest sand dunes, and the planet’s largest waterfall all make appearances along with drummers, cocoa growers, inventors, balancing stones, salt lakes, high-tech cities, and nomads who use GPS! Atinuke’s lively and comprehensive introduction to all fifty-five African countries – a celebration scaled to dazzle and delight even very young readers – evokes the continent’s unique blend of modern and traditional. Complete with colorful maps, an index, and richly patterned and textured illustrations by debut children’s book artist Mouni Feddag, Africa, Amazing Africa is both a beautiful gift book and an essential classroom and social studies resource.

Because Claudette
By Tracey Baptiste
Illustrated by Tonya Engel
32 Pages | Ages 6-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593326404 | Dial BFYR
When fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin boarded a segregated bus on March 2, 1955, she had no idea she was about to make history. At school she was learning about abolitionists like Harriet Tubman and Sojourner Truth, which helped inspire her decision to refuse to give up her seat to a white woman, which led to her arrest, which began a crucial chain of events: Rosa Park’s sit-in nine months later, the organization of the Montgomery bus boycott by activists like Professor Jo Ann Robinson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the Supreme Court decision that Alabama’s bus segregation was unconstitutional – a major triumph for the civil rights movement. Because of Claudette’s brave stand against injustice, history was transformed. Now it’s time for young readers to learn about this living legend, her pivotal role in the civil rights movement, and the power of one person reaching out to another in the fight for change.

Darryl’s Dream
By Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, Shawnee Warfield, Johnny Warfield, and Adam Padilla
Illustrated by Tristan Tait
32 Pages | Ages 3-7 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593487747 | Random House BFYR
Meet Darryl, a quiet third grader with big hopes and dreams. He loves writing and wants to share his talents, but he’s shy – and the kids who make fun of his glasses only make things worse. Will the school talent show be his chance to shine? Darryl’s Dream, by iconic performer Darryl “DMC” McDaniels, is a story about finding confidence, facing bullies, and celebrating yourself. This full-color picture book is certain to entertain children and parents with its charming art and important message.

Hey You! An Empowering Celebration of Growing Up Black
By Dapo Adeola
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593529423 | Nancy Paulsen Books
This book addresses – honestly, yet hopefully – the experiences Black children face growing up with systemic racism, as well as providing hope for the future and delivering a message of empowerment to a new generation of dreamers. It’s a message that is both urgent and timeless – and offers a rich and rewarding reading experience for every child. To mirror the rich variety of the Black diaspora, this book showcases artwork from Dapo Adeola and eighteen more incredible Black illustrators in one remarkable and cohesive reading experience.

My Little Golden Book about Kamala Harris
By Rajani LaRocca
Illustrated by Ashley Evans
24 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593430224 | Golden Books
Help your little one dream big with a Little Golden Book biography all about the first female Vice President Kamala Harris! The perfect introduction to nonfiction for preschoolers! This Little Golden Book about Kamala Harris – the first woman, first African American woman, and first Indian American woman to be elected Vice President of the United States – is an inspiring read-aloud for young girls and boys.

My Little Golden Book about Misty Copeland
By Sherri L. Smith
Illustrated by Tara Nicole Whitaker
24 Pages | Ages 2-5 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593380673 | Golden Books
Help your little one dream big with a Little Golden Book biography all about Misty Copeland, the American Ballet Theatre’s first Black principal dancer! The perfect introduction to nonfiction for preschoolers! This Little Golden Book introduces ballet prodigy Misty Copeland to the youngest readers. The first Black principal dancer in the history of the American Ballet Theatre – who didn’t start dancing until she was almost thirteen – continues to impress the world and pave the way for young Black girls to chase their dreams.

Nina: A Story of Nina Simone
By Traci N. Todd
Illustrated by Christian Robinson
56 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781524737283 | Putnam BFYR
Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in small town North Carolina, Nina Simone was a musical child. She sang before she talked and learned to play piano at a very young age. With the support of her family and community, she received music lessons that introduced her to classical composers like Bach who remained with her and influenced her music throughout her life. She loved the way his music began softly and then tumbled to thunder, like her mother’s preaching, and in much the same way as her career. During her first performances under the name of Nina Simone her voice was rich and sweet but as the Civil Rights Movement gained steam, Nina’s voice soon became a thunderous roar as she raised her voice in powerful protest in the fight against racial inequality and discrimination.

Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist MaVynee Betsch
By Heidi Tyline King
Illustrated by Ekua Holmes
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781101996294 | Putnam BFYR
MaVynee loved going to the beach. But in the days of Jim Crow, she couldn’t just go to any beach – most of the beaches in Jacksonville were for whites only. Knowing something must be done, her grandfather bought a beach that African American families could enjoy without being reminded they were second class citizens; he called it American Beach. Artists like Zora Neale Hurston and Ray Charles vacationed on its sunny shores. It’s here that MaVynee was first inspired to sing, propelling her to later become a widely acclaimed opera singer who routinely performed on an international stage. But her first love would always be American Beach. After the Civil Rights Act desegregated public places, there was no longer a need for a place like American Beach and it slowly fell into disrepair. MaVynee remembered the importance of American Beach to her family and so many others, so determined to preserve this integral piece of American history, she began her second act as an activist and conservationist, ultimately saving the place that had always felt most like home.

She Persisted: Coretta Scott King
By Kelly Starling Lyons and Chelsea Clinton
Illustrated by Alexandra Boiger and Gillian Flint
80 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593353509 | Philomel BFYR
In this chapter book biography by award-winning author Kelly Starling Lyons, readers learn about the amazing life of Coretta Scott King – and how she persisted. Coretta Scott King is known for being the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., but she was a civil rights activist and leader in her own right! She was a singer and an author too, and her work made a difference for Black Americans and for all women for decades to come. Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Coretta Scott King’s footsteps and make a difference! And don’t miss out on the rest of the books in the She Persisted series, featuring so many more women who persisted!

Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress
By Alicia D. Williams
Illustrated by April Harrison
48 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593123683 | Anne Schwartz Books
Meet Shirley, a little girl who asks way too many questions! After spending her early years on her grandparents’ farm in Barbados, she returns home to Brooklyn and immediately makes herself known. Shirley kicks butt in school; she breaks her mother’s curfew; she plays jazz piano instead of classical. And as a young adult, she fights against the injustice she sees around her, against women and black people. Soon she is running for state assembly . . . and winning in a landslide. Three years later, she is on the campaign trail again, as the first black woman to run for Congress. Her slogan? “Fighting Shirley Chisholm – Unbought and Unbossed!” Does she win? You bet she does.

Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge
By Gary Golio
Illustrated by James Ransome
32 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984813664 | Nancy Paulsen Books
Sonny Rollins loved his saxophone. As a teenager, he was already playing with jazz stars and making a name for himself. But in 1959, at age twenty-nine, he took a break from performing – to work on being a better, not just famous, musician. Practicing in a city apartment didn’t please the neighbors, so Sonny found a surprising alternative – the Williamsburg Bridge. There, with his head in the clouds and foghorns for company, Sonny could play to his heart’s content and perfect his craft. It was a bold choice, for a bold young man and musician. Sonny’s passion for music comes alive in jazzy text and vivid, evocative paintings of New York City. His story celebrates striving to be your very best self, an inspiration to music lovers young and old.

Sweet Justice: Georgia Gilmore and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
By Mara Rockliff
Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
40 Pages | Ages 4-8 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781524720643 | Random House Studio
Georgia Gilmore was cooking when she heard the news Mrs. Rosa Parks had been arrested – pulled off a city bus and thrown in jail all because she wouldn’t let a white man take her seat. To protest, the radio urged everyone to stay off city buses for one day: December 5, 1955. Throughout the boycott – at Holt Street Baptist Church meetings led by a young minister named Martin Luther King, Jr. – and throughout the struggle for justice, Georgia served up her mouth-watering fried chicken, her spicy collard greens, and her sweet potato pie, eventually selling them to raise money to help the cause. Here is the vibrant true story of a hidden figure of the civil rights movement, told in flavorful language by a picture-book master, and stunningly illustrated by a Caldecott Honor recipient and seven-time Coretta Scott King award-winning artist.

The Faith of Elijah Cummings: The North Star of Equal Justice
By Carole Boston Weatherford
Illustrated by Laura Freeman
40 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593306505 | Random House Studio
When Elijah Cummings was a little boy, he struggled in school. His teachers thought he talked too much and asked too many questions. They said he’d never be able to read or write well. Despite his difficulties, Elijah never gave up. He persevered, having faith that with hard work, he’d be able to achieve his goals. Best known as a voice for people of color and an advocate for equal opportunity, Elijah Cummings was a man of faith and dignity, a beacon of justice, and an unrelenting warrior for equality and change. Carole Boston Weatherford and Laura Freeman marry words and images beautifully in this picture book biography of politician and civil rights champion Elijah Cummings, detailing his inspiring journey – from his humble beginnings as the son of former sharecroppers to his unwavering faith as he became a lawyer, state legislator, and leading congressman. Best known as a voice for people of color and an advocate for equal opportunity, Elijah Cummings was a man of faith and dignity, a beacon of justice, and an unrelenting warrior for equality and change.

When We Say Black Lives Matter
By Maxine Beneba Clarke
32 Pages | Ages 6-9 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536222388 | Candlewick
In this joyful exploration of the Black Lives Matter motto, a loving narrator relays to a young Black child the strength and resonance behind the words. In family life, through school and beyond, the refrains echo and gain in power, among vignettes of protests and scenes of ancestors creating music on djembe drums. With deeply saturated illustrations rendered in jewel tones, Maxine Beneba Clarke offers a gorgeous, moving, and essential picture book.

Middle Grade:

Defiant: Growing Up in the Jim Crow South
By Wade Hudson
272 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593126356 | Crown BFYR
Born in 1946 in Mansfield, Louisiana, Wade Hudson came of age against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. From their home on Mary Street, his close-knit family watched as the country grappled with desegregation, as the Klan targeted the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, and as systemic racism struck across the nation and in their hometown. Amidst it all, Wade was growing up. Getting into scuffles, playing baseball, immersing himself in his church community, and starting to write. Most important, Wade learned how to find his voice and use it. From his family, his community, and his college classmates, Wade learned the importance of fighting for change by confronting the laws and customs that marginalized and demeaned people. This powerful memoir reveals the struggles, joys, love, and ongoing resilience that it took to grow up Black in segregated America, and the lessons that carry over to our fight for a better future.

Fast Pitch
By Nic Stone
192 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781984893017 | Crown BFYR
Shenice Lockwood, captain of the Fulton Firebirds, is hyper-focused when she steps up to the plate. Nothing can stop her from leading her team to the U12 fast-pitch softball regional championship. But life has thrown some curveballs her way.
Strike one: As the sole team of all-brown faces, Shenice and the Firebirds have to work twice as hard to prove that Black girls belong at bat.
Strike two: Shenice’s focus gets shaken when her great-uncle Jack reveals that a career-ending – and family-name-ruining – crime may have been a setup.
Strike three: Broken focus means mistakes on the field. Shenice’s teammates are beginning to wonder if she’s captain-qualified.
It’s up to Shenice to discover the truth about her family’s past – and fast – before secrets take the Firebirds out of the game forever.

Martin Luther King: The Peaceful Warrior
By Ed Clayton
Illustrated by Donald Bermudez
128 Pages | Ages 8-12 | Paperback
ISBN 9781536222906 | Candlewick
Martin Luther King Jr. devoted his life to helping people, first as a Baptist minister and scholar and later as the foremost leader in the African-American civil rights movement. An organizer of the Montgomery bus boycott and cofounder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Dr. King won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. As a result of his actions, the United States Congress passed the historic Civil Rights Act of 1964. This book’s powerful story and important message, originally published in 1964, remain as relevant today as they were more than fifty years ago. With a new foreword by the author’s widow, Xernona Clayton, the text has been reviewed and updated for a new generation and features striking new illustrations by Donald Bermudez.

Polo Cowboy
By G. Neri
Illustrated by Jesse Joshua Watson
288 Pages | Ages 10-14 | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536207118 | Candlewick
When Cole moves in with his dad, Harp, he thinks life will be sweet – just him and his horse, Boo, hanging out with Philadelphia’s urban cowboys. But when Harp says he has to get a job, Cole winds up as a stable hand for the polo team at George Washington Military Academy, where the players are rich, white, and stuck-up – all except Ruthie, the team’s first and only girl, who’s determined to show the others she can beat them at their own game. As Cole and Ruthie become friends – and maybe more – he starts imagining his future, maybe even at the academy. But between long workdays, arrogant polo players, and a cousin trying to pull Cole into his dangerous business, that future seems remote. Will Cole find the courage to stand and be seen in a world determined to keep him out? With striking illustrations by Jesse Joshua Watson, celebrated author G. Neri’s novel weaves themes of tenacity and community into a rousing sports story inspired by Philadelphia’s real-life urban cowboys and polo players.

Recognize! An Anthology Honoring and Amplifying Black Life
Edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson
208 Pages | Ages 10+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9780593381595 | Crown BFYR
In the stunning follow-up to The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love & Truth, award-winning Black authors and artists come together to create a moving anthology collection celebrating Black love, Black creativity, Black resistance, and Black life. Prominent Black creators lend their voice, their insight, and their talent to an inspiring anthology that celebrates Black culture and Black life. Essays, poems, short stories, and historical excerpts blend with a full-color eight-page insert of spellbinding art to capture the pride, prestige, and jubilation that is being Black in America. In these pages, find the stories of the past, the journeys of the present, and the light guiding the future.

Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People
By Kekla Magoon
400 Pages | Ages 12+ | Hardcover
ISBN 9781536214185 | Candlewick
In this comprehensive, inspiring, and all-too-relevant history of the Black Panther Party, Kekla Magoon introduces readers to the Panthers’ community activism, grounded in the concept of self-defense, which taught Black Americans how to protect and support themselves in a country that treated them like second-class citizens. For too long the Panthers’ story has been a footnote to the civil rights movement rather than what it was: a revolutionary socialist movement that drew thousands of members – mostly women – and became the target of one of the most sustained repression efforts ever made by the U.S. government against its own citizens. Revolution in Our Time puts the Panthers in the proper context of Black American history, from the first arrival of enslaved people to the Black Lives Matter movement of today. Kekla Magoon’s eye-opening work invites a new generation of readers grappling with injustices in the United States to learn from the Panthers’ history and courage, inspiring them to take their own place in the ongoing fight for justice.