2021 Summer Reading List
Author: Christian Robinson
An uplifting and inspiring book encourages readers to explore the many different people we encounter in our world and our connection to them, highlighting the important mantra of the title, “You matter.
Author: José-Luis Orozco
Illustrator: Sara Palacios
Enjoy six classic children’s songs in both English and Spanish, with charming illustrations.
Author: Lucky Diaz
Illustrator: Micah Player
On a hot day, there is nothing better than a cool treat. Race through the streets with a boy, as he searches for Paletero José.
Author: Tameka Fryer Brown
Illustrator: Shane W. Evans
Most of us are familiar with days and moods that seem to be blue. But there are so many moods that we might experience on any given day. This book takes us on a journey through the changing moods of a boy named Jamie.
Author: Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrator: Rafael López
This book beautifully illustrates the many reasons there are to feel different in the world. Maybe it’s the way you look or talk or the clothes you wear. This book validates each reader’s individuality and makes room to teach kids about making connections, respecting differences and showing kindness.
Author: Derrick Barnes
illustrator: Gordon C. James
This empowering book is a love letter to Black boys. It celebrates how dynamic they are and what they have the potential to become.
Author: Roda Ahmed
Illustrator: Stasia Burrington
Before Mae Jemison famously became the first Black woman in space on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1992, she was a little girl who dreamed of dancing in space. Her mother told her, “If you believe it, and work hard for it, anything is possible.”
Author: Yuyi Morales
“Senoras y Senores put your hands together for the fantastic, spectacular, one of a kind…Niño!” With an opening like that, you know you’re in for an amazing time. Follow a little boy (niño) whose extraordinary wrestling skills help defeat the many monstrous folklore natives to Mexico.
Author: Parker & Jessica Curry
Illustrator: Brittany Jackson
Follow Parker as she walks the halls of a museum, seeing paintings of everyone and everything from George Washington Carver to Frida Kahlo, exotic flowers to graceful ballerinas. Then, Parker walks by Sherald’s portrait of Michelle Obama…and almost passes it. But she stops…and looks up!
Author: Tonya & Spike Lee
illustrator: Kadir Nelson
Get ready to take a look at what happens when a brother and sister meet their match against a rambunctious pup.
Author: Carole Boston Weatherford
illustrator: Frank Morrison
This fascinating and artful trip through musical history will fascinate kids (and adults too). Learn about how artists from so many domains—storytelling, poetry, funk, street art, breakdancing, deejaying, and more—helped rap and hip-hop become what they are today.
Author: Joanna Ho
Illustrator: Dung Ho
This is a poetic and powerful book about self-love. The girl notices that “Some people’s eyes like sapphire lagoons / with lashes like lace trim on ballgowns.” But her eyes are different: they “kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea.” They carry the tradition of the women that came before her.
Author: Alissa Holder & Zulekha Holder-Young
Illustrator: Nneka Myers
We can’t forget little Aayan, who went viral, reciting his daily affirmations on the way to school. This book is a perfect reminder to kids that they can do ANYTHING they set their minds to.
Author: Ibtihaj Muhammad
Illustrator: Hatem Ali
Faizah is excited about the first day of school but she is most excited about her older sister, Asiya’s first day of hijab. Not everyone sees the hijab as beautiful but luckily Faizah is a fierce little sister.
Author: Keaira Faña-Ruiz
Illustrator: TK Paigee
Black boys are…highly intelligent, gentle giants, innovators, full of personality, and so much more. This book celebrates boys and all of their positive attributes.
Author: Grace Lin
Little Star loves the delicious Mooncake that she bakes with her mama. But she’s not supposed to eat any yet. What happens when she can’t resist a nibble?
Author: Daniel J. O’Brien
Meet the spirited and fierce Little Miss Sugarcane. She is determined to show that she’s the best Midnight Robber masquerading at Carnival.
Author: Sherman Alexie
Illustrator: Yuyi Morales
Thunder Boy Smith Jr. HATES his name. He just wants a normal name, not one like his dad. As much as he hates his name, he doesn’t want to disappoint his dad. Would his dad feel hurt that he doesn’t want to share his name? He just wants to celebrate his own uniqueness.
Author: Raahkee Mirchandani
Illustrator: Holly Hatem
In the spirit of Hair Love by Matthew Cherry, a girl and her father have a special bond around their hair. Papa spends each morning combing through his daughter’s hair, but her favorite style is when Papa makes her his “hair twin.”
Author: Rebecca G. Gomez
Illustrator: Elisa Chavarri
In this adapted Little Red Riding Hood tale, Federico is headed to his Abuelo’s house for lunch when el Lobo stops him. Let’s see if the wolf is a match for chili powder and habanero peppers.
Author: Asha Gore & Serena Minott
Illustrator: Caroline Búzio
Follow Aya and Pete as they travel to New York City. They journey to some of NYC’s most iconic sites. You can also check out their adventure to London.
Author: Nathan Bryon
Illustrator: Dapo Adeola
When this budding environmentalist goes to the islands to visit her grandparents, she is concerned about all of the pollution in the water. She decides to bring the community together to do something about it.
Author: Mia Wenjen
Illustrator: Nat Iwata
Sumo Joe is good at two things-being a sumo wrestler and a big brother. But, what happens when his two worlds collide? Can he be both?
Author: Jasmine R. Owens
Illustrator: Morenike Olusanya
This ABC book features 26 careers that every bold, brave, and beautiful girl can dream of being. From aviator to zookeeper, there are so many possibilities.