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 1972
Theme: WWII refugee
Best for: 9 and up

“Next morning before school Anna ran into Papa’s room to see him. The desk was tidy. The bed was neatly made. Papa had gone.” Neither overly melodramatic nor depressing, this is an excellent look at the life of a WWII Jewish refugee family…

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: 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
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: Breaking Stereotypes
Best for: 8 to 11

“Ellie hated it when her friends got in trouble in front of her, especially when she had something to do with it. She thought about what her dad said – that engineering was supposed to help people- and her stomach went squiggly.” . Let’s hear it for books that let girls be engineers, boys like dolls, and old people doing more than just drinking tea…

Published: 2018
Theme: Saving the World
Best for: 8 to 11

“Max didn’t have a mother or father to tell her when it was time to wake up, go to bed, do her homework, eat her vegetables, turn off the TV, or hurry because she’d miss the subway. Max was completely on her own.” An odd and quirky book that tries to have children solve the mess of the world, with a bit of adventure thrown in.

Published: 2018
Theme: Healing through books
Best for: 9 and up

“It’s better to read in the library. Sitting at my favorite table… reading and listening to the sound of other folks turning pages makes me feel I’m in a house full of company I don’t have to talk to.” A beautiful and lyrical small book set in 1946, exploring the loneliness that comes from being uprooted from South to North.

Published: English: 2018 (original: 1945)
Theme: Imaginative Tale
Best for: 6 to 9

“At first Moominmamma was frightened too, but then she said soothingly: “It’s really a very little creature. Wait, and I’ll shine a light on it. Everything looks worse in the dark, you know.” This is wonderful way to be introduced to the family of Moomintrolls, since it is the story where they first came to life…

Published: 2018
Theme: Refugees, Compassion
Best for: 9 and up

“The middle school cafeteria always makes me wish for the school in Istanbul. We often shared meals there, seated on the ground, with little to give. But most important, it was quiet.” It is time, past time, to bring our children into the conversation about religious tolerance, and immigration. This book is a start.

Published: 2018
Theme: Optimism
Best for: 10 and up

“No one knew where the Mona Lisa was hiding. Chantal made a fist. How she hated the war. It had scared all the art way from the city.” A truly uplifting story about hope even during the direst of times, this will make your heart smile.

Published: 2018
Theme: Fantasy Adventure with Books
Best for: 10 and up

He’d been trained as a solider, after all. He knew how to fight. The same rules applied, if you thought about it, to books and to swords. For one thing, you didn’t run away from a challenge. You met it head-on. This is a non-stop, action packed books about libraries and librarians, and if you thing that’s an oxymoron, you’ll need to read this yourself…