Published in English: 2003
Theme: Courage and Loyalty
Best for: 8 to 10

“Do the stars care if you play for them?” I wondered. I asked Nonno and he said he believed they did. So we sat around the fire, took out our flutes and played a little song for the stars.” This is a classic fantasy children’s book, one that easily transcends time and place.

Published 2017
Theme: Books and Readers
Best for: 9 and up

“Books are the external memory of mankind–a warehouse of memories.” Translated from Spanish, this excellent children’s book leads us into the investigation of the value and power of books and how to befriend them.

Published: 2018
Theme: Protection of Endangered Species
Best for: 9 to 12

“This story is for all who have the courage to protect instead of dominate, to save instead of plunder, and to preserve instead of destroy.” A sequel to Dragon Rider, this action-packed adventure with fantasy animals, is all about protecting all living beings.

Published: 2003
Theme: Valuing Community
Best for: 9 and up

“Tee ball is killing baseball… They’re killing the ability of kids to learn the most important part of the game- to follow a ball with their eyes. And to swing and hit a moving target..” This is a lovely children’s book for kids who love their hometown baseball, played on their own local field, worth more than money can buy…

Published: 2014
Theme: Resilience and family
Best for: ages 10 and up

“We don’t look much like brother and sister. Sometimes I reckon that might even be part of the problem. Maybe if we looked a little bit like each other, it might help” This book is transformative; we start out in despair, and end up in acceptance and love.

Published: 2017
Theme: Knights
Best for: 9 and up

“They may be young, but Sir Odo found me and awoke me. The mighty quest is his,” said Biter the sword. “By the same token, your daughter is small but seems valiant and my knight must have a squire.” A great fantasy adventure about two young children and their enchanted sword on a quest…

Published: 2018
Theme: Truth and Lies
Best for: 11 and up

A lie is just a wall round the truth. Could be that it’s built strong like a wall, or it could be built out of something that’ll collapse. But no matter what it’s made of, the truth is always going to want to get out. A compelling and dramatic children’s book about truth and lies. Who do you trust?

Published: 2018
Theme: Overcoming Discrimination
Best for: 9 and up

“It wasn’t surprising that Siobhan Washington became a librarian. She grew up surrounded by books, spending just as much time in her school library as she did on the tennis courts. ” This authentic peek back in time to the struggles of African-Americans to be accepted is well-done, written in the form of a puzzle-solving adventure.

Published: 2005
Themes: Mythology, Courage, Loyalty
Best for: 10 and up

“The next few days I settled into a routine that felt almost normal, if you don’t count the fact that I was getting lessons from satyrs, nymphs, and a centaur.” This wildly popular children’s book series, based on Greek mythology is non-stop action, not for the faint of heart…

Published: 2018
Theme: Indian Mythology, Courage
Best for: 9 to 11

People are a lot like magical pockets. They’re far bigger on the inside than they appear on the outside. And it was like that with Aru. She found a place deep within her that had been hidden until now… The first in a series on Indian mythology, similar to Percy Jackson, but much funnier and much lighter, and much more girl-friendly…

Published: 2004
Theme: Indian culture, Dealing with Divorce
Best for: Girls 10 and up

“Lakshmi Auntie drops Sumai off with us a couple of days later, and scurries a protesting Ashwin away for a haircut…The day promises to turn from plain hot to furnace hot.” In this multicultural children’s book set in India, a young girl grapples with the divorce of her parents, and memory loss of a family friend.

Published: 2017
Theme: Wildlife
Best for: 10 and up

“I’m a coward. There, I’ve said said it now. I’m a coward. It’s true. Dad never actually said it out loud but it was always in his eyes.” This is a wonderful children’s book, that combines growing up with standing up for your own values.

Published: 1997
Theme: Reality Check and Humor
Best for: Boys 9 to 11
“Now running away from home in the fourteenth century was by no means an easy thing to do. Everyone in the village would know exactly who you were… Nobody would be sitting inside watching television.” A funny book with a serious message- maybe knights are not all they appear to be on the surface, and war is war, never nice.

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

“I’m terrified to see my mother being taken away. I want to pull her out of there, and hold her hand as we run back to our apartment. I don’t do any of that. I’m sacred and angry and sad.” From beginning to end, this adventure in New York City brings us to see the immense courage of immigrant families under threat.

Published: 2015
Theme: Fantasy, Inner Strengths
Best for: 9 to 11

“Many times we carry our magic within us, an inner magic that takes many forms, such as love, friendship, courage, and tolerance.” . In this lovely children’s book, fantasy has been crafted to suit younger children, without the violence and scare factors.

Published: 2000
Theme: Women Heroines
Best for: 5 to 10

“In the dark time of the year, when the days are short and a cold wind blows from the north, a serpent came to live in an old cave on the mountain of Yung Ling…” From time to time, it’s great to read about a young girl who takes on the challenge of slaying the perennial serpent. This children’s book is a lovely collection of such stories.

Published: 2017
Theme: Multicultural Stories
Best for: 9 – 12

“You plead with the guys standing on the sidelines. “You gotta let me play, man. I can ball. I swear.” But these outbursts of self-promotion will fall on deaf ears.” This collection of short stories is part of the mission for Diversity.org, where every child can see themselves in the pages of a book. A great mission…

Published: 2012
Theme: Genuine Kindness
Best for: Third Grade

“I couldn’t believe myself. All of a sudden it was like there was no door between my brain and my mouth. As for Gerald Willis, he was a fifth-grader, a troublemaker, and a bully.” In this well-written children’s book, we find out that being kind is a 24/7 occupation, not reserved for winning points.

Published: 2009
Theme: Humor
Best for: 8 to 10

“I think,” Clyde said to his friends, “that bird is special. He has powers. Maybe…he’s psychic.” By the end of the day the word was all over school. Need some humor to lighten the day? Here’s a quick and lighthearted read…

Published: 1999
Theme: Finding oneself
Best for: boys 11 and up

“It was so beautiful it took his breath and he stood, his arms full of wood, staring at the sky until the sun, the star, and the light were gone, wanting it all to mean more.” A worthy sequel to the best-seller Hatchet, we find out how challenging it is to adapt to civilization that has lost its soul.

Published: 2017
Theme: Being oneself
Best for: 5th grade and up

“Some people had comfort food, but Alec has comfort books–stories so familiar that they made reading feel like coasting downhill on a bike, or water-skiing on a smooth lake…” This is a fabulous children’s book about fitting in, without losing ones own sense of self, and a little bit about coming of age…

Published: 2017
Theme: Holding Loss
Best for: 9 and up

” I closed my eyes, feeling a point of infinite love and infinite grief, and comfort in knowing, for the first time, that I have infinite space inside for both.” This well-written and creative book takes on the grieving process with skill and courage, and shows the beauty of a life can include both joy and sorrow.

Published: 2017
Theme: Speaking up
Best for: 8 and up

“All through math I sucked on my braids and imagined all the awful things that would happen if I was caught with all those books in my locker. Every parent…would like up to sue me.” This is a not-to-be-missed book about helping children understand how to speak up against injustices, small and large.