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May 2021 New Book Releases

May 2021 New Book Releases

We are so excited about some of the books that are coming out in May. There are books for every young reader, from books about emotions to tools to help discuss race and systematic racism. Here are a few that we have our eyes set on.



Hair Twins by Raakhee Mirchandani, Holly Hatam (Release date: 5/4): 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.” Such a great book to celebrate father-daughter bonds and embracing diverse cultures.  (Ages 4-8)


The illustrator Holly Hatam, also get a sneak peek of, Cranky, Right Now, by Julie Berry This is such a much-needed book. 2020 created an environment where there were high levels of varied emotions and families spending more time in close proximity than usual. We were all a little cranky, learning to deal with our emotions and navigate our relationships with others. The little girl in this book provides the vocabulary for how she’s experiencing her cranky mood. “I’m cranky and crabby and grumpy, and gloomy/I don’t like my mood/ I don’t like this food.” Kids may finally feel heard. (Release date: 5/11) 


Sophia Valdez’s Big Project Book for Awesome Activists by Andrea Beaty, David Roberts (Release Date: 5/4): We love Sophia Valdez.  Through this activity book, Sophie will continue to teach young readers ways to engage in politics, activism and government.   (Ages 4-8)



We All  Play by Julie Flett (Release date: 5/25): Julie Flett’s artwork is always so beautiful.  Just like her other books, she wonderfully connects her Cree heritage and nature.  She shows how we all play. (Ages 0-7)




Shady Baby by Gabrielle Union, Dwayne Wade, Tara Nicole Whitaker (Release date: 5/18): Once again, the Wade’s pen another book inspired by their beautiful baby girl, Kaavia James. When the Shady Baby encounters some bullying at the park, what will she do? (Ages 4-8)


Memory Jars by Vera Brosgol  (Release date: 5/25): When Freda finds out that she can’t eat the blueberries she picked, she can’t quite understand why.  When her grandmother tells her that she can save them in a jar, she realizes that she can save some of the best things in her life. When she is just about borderline hoarder status, she sees that some things are better to be kept as memories.  (Ages 4-8)





Stamped (For Kids) Racism, Antiracism and You: by Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi, Sonja Cherry-Paul (Release Date: 5/11): From adult novel to YA and now it has been adapted for younger readers. We read Jason Reynold’s adaptation last summer with our family and am so excited for this book to be adapted for elementary and middle schoolers.. This book follows the journey of racist ideas, helps explain racism’s long history in America and how we can actively stamp it out. (Ages 6-10)


Disney Raya and the Last Dragon: The Graphic Novel by Random House Disney (Release Date: 5/4): For all the fans of the movie, Raya and the Last Dragon, they’ll want this graphic novel.  It details Raya’s action-packed journey as she searches for the last dragon. So great for kids that love fantasy and/or graphic novels. (Ages 6-8)



That Thing About Bollywood by Supriya Kelkar (Release date 5/18): Sonali sees the writing on the wall.  Her parents aren’t getting along and it looks like they’re headed toward divorce.  Instead of confronting her emotions, she suppresses them and pours them out in the form of Bollywood routines.  Will this be the best strategy for dealing with her feelings?  🤷🏾‍♀️  (Ages 8-12)  


Force of Fire by Sayantani DasGupta (Release date 5/18): This is the perfect book for fantasy lovers.  Pinki is a Rakkosh, demon that is resisting the rule of the Serpent King.  She is young and trying to figure out who she is and how to control her powers.  She is also dealing with her resentment for her parents who spend more time involved with the freedom movement.  She learns to work with others and trust in her own powers. (Ages 8-12) 


Last Gate of the Emperor by Kwame Mbalia, Prince Joel Makonnen (Release date 5/4): Yared Heywat has lived with his uncle Moti since his parent’s death.  He’s learned many skills from his uncle, along with mythological tales about Addis Prime and Akum.  When Yared decides to sneak out to play an augmented reality game, things go extremely badly.  Even though Yaris is a top player, the game was reset and it requires all players to start from the beginning.  He has to register under his own name, even though his worrywart uncle recommended always using an alias.  It also now requires that players have a partner, so he pairs with a girl named Ibis.    (Ages 8-12


Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy by Emmanuel Acho  (Release date 5/4): .Adapted from Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, this book gives young books the tools to open the dialogue about systemic racism.    (Ages 10-14







What are you in the mood to read this month?  Drop a comment below.  

You can find these and hundreds of other titles in our Bookshop collections.  We are constantly updating our selections.  Let us know what titles excite you.  


Kanika Mobley

Hi! I'm Kanika. I'm a mother and 20+ year educator. I started my career as a kindergarten teacher and fell in love with helping kids discover their reading identities. As they asked for certain books, I tried with all my might to keep the classroom library filled with high-engaging books that were both mirrors and windows for their experiences.

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