As we find new ways to fill our summer days, basking in the sun with a good book is always a free and social distancing safe option. Here are a few books released this month:
Catch That Chicken by Atinuke, Angela Brooksbank (Ages 2 – 5)
Lami is the best chicken catcher in her whole Nigerian village. Her sister may be speedy at spelling, her friend fast at braiding hair, and her brother brave with bulls, but when it comes to chickens, nobody is faster or braver than Lami. That is, until the day when Lami chases a little too fast, up the baobab tree, and reaches a little too far . . . ow! How can she catch chickens with an ankle that’s puffed up like an angry lizard? Could it be, as Nana Nadia says, that quick thinking is more important than quick running?
Summer is over, and this little girl has got the school spirit! She hears the school spirit in the bus driving up the street–VROOM, VROOM!–and in the bell sounding in the halls–RING-A-DING! She sings the school spirit in class with her friends–ABC, 123!
The school spirit helps us all strive and grow. What will you learn today?
Your Name is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow (Ages 4 – 8)
Frustrated by a day full of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her beautiful name, a little girl tells her mother she never wants to come back to school. In response, the girl’s mother teaches her about the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names on their lyrical walk home through the city. Empowered by this newfound understanding, the young girl is ready to return the next day to share her knowledge with her class. Your Name is a Song is a celebration to remind all of us about the beauty, history, and magic behind names.
Black Heroes: A Black History Book for Kids: 50 Inspiring People from Ancient Africa to Modern-Day U.S.A. by Arlisha Norwood (Ages 8 – 12)
Explore the stories of well-known people like Rosa Parks and Barack Obama, and lesser-known figures like Rebecca Lee Crumpler, the first African-American doctor, and Benjamin Banneker, an astronomer and mathematician. This vibrant black history book for kids makes it fun to learn about how these individuals created lasting change and paved the way for future leaders.
The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert (Ages 12+)
When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted. She hasn’t spent months doorbelling and registering voters just to see someone denied their right.
And that’s how their whirlwind day begins, rushing from precinct to precinct, cutting school, waiting in endless lines, turned away time and again, trying to do one simple thing: vote. They may have started out as strangers, but as Duke and Marva team up to beat a rigged system (and find Marva’s missing cat), it’s clear that there’s more to their connection than a shared mission for democracy.
A Place Inside of Me: A Poem to Heal the Heart by Zetta Elliott, Noa Demnon (Ages 4–8)
In this powerful, affirming poem by award-winning author Zetta Elliott, a Black child explores his shifting emotions throughout the year. Summertime is filled with joy―skateboarding and playing basketball―until his community is deeply wounded by a police shooting. As fall turns to winter and then spring, fear grows into anger, then pride and peace. (Pre-order for a July 21st release)
Shirley Chisholm Is a Verb by Veronica Chambers, illustrated by Rachelle Baker (Ages 4 – 8)
Shirley Chisholm famously said, “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” This dynamic biography illuminates how Chisholm was a doer, an active and vocal participant in our nation’s democracy, and a force to be reckoned with. Now young readers will learn about her early years, her time in Congress, her presidential bid and how her actions left a lasting legacy that continues to inspire, uplift, and instruct. (Pre-order for a July 28th release)