Published: 2019
Theme: Value of Knowledge
Best for: 9 to 11

“This giant’s understanding came slowly, seasons upon seasons. I looked and looked at the markings-letters, you mans call them… The letters held open my head, like a stick propping open an oaken door on a day of snapping winds.” This is a thoughtful adventure story that makes some essential points about the need for questioning our societal beliefs, no matter what the cost.

Published: 1995
Theme: Math for Kids
Best for: 2nd and 3rd grade

“Mrs. Fibonacci has obviously put a math curse on me. Everything I look at or think about has become a math problem.” A lighthearted look at how math is found in everyday life.

Published: 2018
Theme: Biography; Science
Best for: 9 and up

“At the age of thirteen, Maria had watched, waited, and witnessed with her own eyes. And she had created a record of study, just as scholars did at universities.” This is a visually beautifully and factually rich children’s book about an important young woman who pursued art and science on her own.

Published: 2019
Theme: Speaking Up
Best for: 9 to 12

“Different isn’t wrong,” Pixit said with such utter certainty that Mina couldn’t help but believe him…Mina said, “I just need to find a different way, a way that works for me.” To get to the point, this is a must-read, about the power of children to change the world, finding their own voice along the way. Very inspiring fantasy that’s not so fantastical in the end!

Published: 2018
Theme: Knights
Best for: ages 9 and up

“Mel wavered. She was feeling beaten. The flying lizards were too large. Too fast. Too attentive. It was hopeless. But I mustn’t give up, she thought.” A very fun and entertaining book great for all genders and middle-school age kids.

Published: 2018
Theme: Fantasy; Courage
Best for: Girls age 11 and up

“I’ve been looking for a way to find out more about my powers, about my destiny. This is the sign I’ve been waiting for, I’m sure of it. This is where I need to go.” She pointed at her rough drawing of the shrine…” A sequel to Sisters of Glass, and every bit as dramatic and compelling. Fantasy genre.

Published: 2000
Theme: Power of Love
Best for: 9 to 12

“I put my hand beneath his should to steady him. I felt something there, something held in my his jacket. I reached across his back and felt something beneath his other shoulder as well. Like thin arms, folded up.” Children have the ability to see the miraculous, and to hope… and this book brings it home in a well-told story.

Published: 2011
Theme: Children’s Creativity
Best for: 9 to 12

“My name is Mina and I love the night. Anything seems possible at night when the rest of the world has gone to sleep.” The best thing to say about this children’s book is …read it. It will uplift your spirit and inspire creative teaching.

Published: 2017
Theme: Courage; Monarch Butterflies
Best for: 6 and up

“It took Kibble a few moments before he was ready to let go of that trunk again, but soon enough, he carefully walked over to me….” In this informative illustrated children’s book, Kibble overcomes his fear with the support of good friends…

Published: 2019
Theme: Fathers and Sons
Best for: 9 and up

“I decided to revolt. I mean, wiping up dog vomit, nearly drowning in an Australian tropical thunderstorm, drinking tea with mild and sugar, and I haven’t even told you about the forty-five minutes of Mr. Barkus’s word problems.” A great coming- of-age book, as well as dealing with family drama, with lots of humor.

Published: 2019
Theme: Father and Son reconciliation
Best for: 9 to 12

“It’s hard, sometimes, reconciling the difference between what you really feel about something and what you think you’re supposed to feel.” A slow-starter with a very unconventional ending worth staying with.

Published: 2018
Theme: Nature’s Wonders
Best for: 5 to 8

“Once upon a time, words began to vanish from the language of children…You hold in your hands a spellbook for conjuring back these lost words. To read it you will need to seek, find, and speak.” A gorgeous, oversized illustrated children’s book that weaves magic of language, art, and nature.

Published: 2000
Theme: Thoreau’s Simplicity
Best for: 5 to 7

“I’ll walk,” said Henry. “It’s the fastest way to travel.” “I’ll work,” Henry’s friend said, “until I have the monty to buy a ticket to ride the train to Fitchburg. We’ll see who gets there first!” A very simple, sweet illustration of a passage from Walden about the benefits of walking rather than high-speed travel.

Published: 2002
Theme: Nature Adventure and Adoption
Best for: 9 to 12

“I felt unbound. I was free as the wind. And I wasn’t in just any old canoe, but one I had made myself. She floated, she sped, she was unreal.” A great book by a classic children’s book author, about adoption, and self-sufficiency in nature.

Published: 2018
Best for: mature 12 and up
Theme: Mixed-race Love

“My mother, the pacifist, would kill me dead if she knew what I’d just done. I rescheduled my interview. For a girl. Not even a Korean girl, a black girl. A black girl I don’t really know., …who might not even like me.” Get ready for a ride on the hormones of a couple of teens who fall in love…

Published: 2018
Theme: Thomas Edison
Best for: 5 to 8

“Behind the shelves lay the University of Mice. Here any inquisitive mouse could learn everything there was to know about the history of mice: mice who had traveled the world, mice who had made great discoveries…” A beautifully illustrated, large-size children’s book with a fanciful story about Edison’s invention.

Published: 2007
Theme: Historical Fiction; French Revolution
Best for: 11 and up

“I know how to make needle lace and sew and hem and build a fire and tend it and clean the ashes out. I can make tea and toast and cook a chicken if I have to. I can empty chamber post and scrub floors…” This very well-written historical fiction about the French Revolution is based on a true incident…

Published: 2018
Theme: Historical Fiction, India’s Partition
Best for: 11 and up

“We would go somewhere fresh and new where people were happy. All kinds of people practicing all kinds of religions..[where] nobody would mind that you were Muslim and Papa was Hindu….” This is a no-holds-barred experience of the tragedy that ensued from the Partition in 1947 into India and Pakistan. For 11 and up.

Published: 2017
Theme: Light-weight Science Fiction
Best for: 9 and up

“I’ve got a doctorate in astrophysics and a black belt in karate,” the woman replies, poking me hard in the chest with her telescope. “So sit down before I knock your block off.” This book does a great job of making both space and science fiction, very readable and enjoyable.