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Black History Month Reads

Black History Month


Black History Month Reads for All Ages


Martin & Mahalia coverMartin & Mahalia


On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and his strong voice and powerful message were joined and lifted in song by world-renowned gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. This beautiful picture book tells each of their stories side-by-side through Andrea Davis Pinkney’s poetic prose and Brian Pinkney’s evocative illustration. It’s a truly special view of this historic event.




Fifty Cents and a Dream coverFifty Cents and a Dream 


Booker T. Washington was born into slavery. Jabari Asim’s extraordinary book, gorgeously illustrated by award-winning artist Bryan Collier follows Booker on his journey from emancipation to the Hampton Institute where he arrives with fifty cents in his pocket and a dream in his heart. The rhythmic storytelling offers an exciting way to engage young readers in the story of this great man.





Little Leaders coverLittle Leaders: Bold Women in Black History


This instant New York Times bestseller and NAACP Image Award winner has taken off for a reason! Vashti Harrison’s winning illustrations and illuminating text about black women in history, both iconic and lesser known, are truly compelling for readers of any age. The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come.





Ninth Ward coverNinth Ward 


There’s no one better than renowned author Jewell Parker Rhodes to tell this story of our recent past. Set in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward as Hurricane Katrina approaches, this Coretta Scott King Honor Book tells the story of 12-year-old Lanesha and her caretaker Mama Ya-Ya. Rhodes’ gentle approach to this American tragedy offers a new perspective that will enthrall young readers.


Celeste's Harlem Renaissance coverCeleste’s Harlem Renaissance


Was there a more exciting time in American history than Harlem in the 1920’s? Celeste moves from North Carolina to Harlem with her fabulous Aunt Valentina, a famous actress starring on Broadway. It’s not a typical view of this particular time in history, but it’s one that shows middle grade readers the grit and glamour that made the Harlem Renaissance such a spectacular era.





Harlem Stomp! coverHarlem Stomp! 


For young adult readers looking to learn more about the Harlem Renaissance, there’s no better choice than Harlem Stomp! An illustrated history that combines portraits of prominent figures like Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston with explorations of the politics of the era. Full of photographs and archival documents, this book truly brings history to life.





Dreamland Burning coverDreamland Burning

The Tulsa Race Riot is one of the lesser-known dark moments in American history. Weaving together the stories of Will, a 17-year-old in Tulsa 1921 and Rowan, a 17-year-old in present-day Tulsa, this powerful book brings history to life and allows readers to question just how far we’ve come in nearly 100 years.





47 cover47 


A stunning novel that deftly combines speculative and historical fiction by bestselling author Walter Mosley. 47 is a young slave boy living under the watchful eye of a brutal slave master. His life seems doomed until he meets a mysterious runaway slave, Tall John. Reminiscent of The Underground Railroad, Mosley gives a harrowing glimpse of slavery and a boy who rises out of it.


Bookish Ways to Say I Love You

Bookish Ways to Say I Love You



Bookish Ways to Say “I Love You!”





Love Matters Most coverLove Matters Most

A sweet story that will warm your heart on a cold winter’s day. Follow a mama polar bear through a beautiful wintry landscape as she searches for her lost little cub…and reminds us all that love matters most!





Love the WorldLove the World cover

All of Todd Parr’s instantly recognizable titles celebrate the importance of being yourself, appreciating others and spreading joy. None more so than Love the World! It’s a charming message of love and empathy wrapped up in an irresistible kid-friendly package!





All Kinds of Kisses cover

All little ones love kisses! From peeps to moos, take a journey through the farm to see how the mamas of the animal kingdom snuggle up with their babies. Caldecott honoree Nancy Tafuri’s inviting illustrations make this a truly special book.





Hug TimeHug Time cover

Now here’s a to-do list we can get excited about. Jules the kitten knows that hugs make the world a better place, so he makes a “Hug To-Do List” and sets off on a mission to hug all the animals he can…starting the all the endangered species. Patrick McDonnell’s signature style only adds to the charm of this absorbing little tale.





Ten Tiny Toes cover

Does anything inspire “awww’s” like teeny tiny baby feet? Beloved illustrator Marc Brown’s collage illustrations coupled with Todd Tarpley’s rhyming verse make this the perfect tribute to little toes that grow and grow.





A Crankenstein Valentine cover

Crankenstein Valentine

Cheesy cards, allergy-inducing bouquets, and heart-shaped everything? It’s enough to turn anyone into a monster! If your little Valentine is perhaps slightly more monster than lovebird, bring a smile to their face with the laugh-out-loud fun of Crankenstein Valentine.



6 January Books You May Have Missed

9 January Reads You May Have Missed

6 January Books You May Have Missed



Dino Duckling coverDino Duckling by Alison Murray

Even as an egg, Dino Duckling is different from all the other baby ducks. And when he’s born, no one seems to notice that he’s actually a dinosaur! Will he ever really belong? This sweet retelling of “The Ugly Duckling” is perfect for a new generation of children.





Bad News by Pseudonymous Bosch (paperback)Bad News cover

The finale of the beloved Bad Books series is now out in paperback! Old friends return and new foes appear as Pseudonymous Bosch answers long-simmering questions in his most exciting adventure ever.





The Sweetest Sound cover

The Sweetest Sound by Sherry Winston (paperback)

Sherri Winson’s whimsical, hopeful tale, now in paperback, tells the story of Cadence Jolly. Cadence inherited her mother’s musical soul, but she’s shy as can be. When a recording of her singing leaks, will she slip back into the shadows or find her voice?





The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin (paperback)The Year of the Dog cover

Rediscover Grace Lin’s first novel, now with a fresh cover! When Pacy’s mom tells her that the Lunar Year of the Dog is good for friends, family, and finding herself, Pacy starts searching right away… with mixed results. Come along on her journey to figure out why this year of ups and downs may be lucky after all.





Mayday paperback coverMayday by Karen Harrington (paperback)

Wayne has always used his love of facts to communicate, but then a series of tragedies takes away his voice. Can he find a way to impress the prettiest girl in school, stand up to his grandfather, and find out how to speak again?





The Cruel Prince by Holly BlackThe Cruel Prince cover

The New York Times bestselling book by fantasy veteran Holly Black is full of faerie intrigue, political machinations, and delicious romance. Jude, a human girl living in the faerie court, muse use all her skills and smarts to best wicked Prince Cardan and prove herself worthy in the eyes of the fey.

The Map to Everywhere Event Kit

The Map to Everywhere Activity Kit



Adventure awaits on the waters of the Pirate Stream! The Map to Everywhere series is an epic action-packed journey. The series comes to a mind-blowing conclusion with IRON TIDE RISING. Don’t miss a minute of these fantastic adventures and download the official activity kit for puzzles, games, and more!


The Map to Everywhere Activity Kit

Download the Bad Books Event Kit!

Bad Books Event Kit


Bad Books Event Kit

Do you read Bad Books? Then you’ll love this Bad Party Kit! Continue the adventures of Pseudonymous Bosch’s outrageous series with this kit chock-full of party game ideas, discussion questions and reproducible activity sheets sure to inspire hours of goofy laughter. You’ll find everything you need for hours of Bad Books-inspired fun. Well, everything except for Spanish-speaking llamas and sneezy dragons—they were too large to fit on these pages.


The Wild Robot Book Club Guide

Wild Robot Book Club Guide





There’s only two more months until the highly anticipated sequel The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown! It’s time to pull The Wild Robot off your shelf and revisit all the important themes before embarking on a new adventure with Roz. Check the Book Club Guide below for discussion topics and questions.


Wild Robot Book Club Guide link


I’ts NOT Just a Book, It’s a ________


It's Not Just a Book


IT’S NOT JUST A BOOK, IT’S ___________.


Happy holidays, LBYR parents! How has your season of giving been going so far? Have you bought all of your presents yet? Well, we’re of course a bit biased, but we have to suggest books (and they’re easy to wrap, for those of us who will never be Martha Stewart in that department). Because books aren’t just books—they’re so much more. They’re a winter break vacation without ever leaving home, a wild adventure when you’re snowed in, stuffed full of sugar cookies, and feeling stir-crazy. So check out our graphics to discover the wondrous journeys that each of these reads contains!


Not Just a Book






DIY: Space Taxi Snow Globe!

How to Make Your Own Space Taxi Snow Globe


How to Make Your Own Taxi Snow Globe


December is here, which means that magical snowflakes will soon begin sprinkling the Earth, creating a beautiful canvas for igloos and snowmen galore! But if you live in a warmer climate, or if you just can’t wait, then follow these instructions to create a Space Taxi-inspired snow globe of your own. Feel free to add your choice of glitter and different kinds of figurines! After all, each snowflake is unique.



7 Tips & (Magic) Tricks for Reading


Magic comes in all shapes and sizes, sometimes even in the shape of a book. But sometimes it takes a little while to appreciate the magic that comes with reading. Here are a few tips—and tricks!—to conjure up the book nerd in all of us! And don’t miss THE MAGIC MISFITS, Neil Patrick Harris’s magical first book in a new series with plenty of tricks up its sleeve.



Everyone knows this classic magic word, but all words can bring magic when they’re strung together in the perfect story. One of the best tricks for reading is to sound everything out.


Start Small

Beginner magicians don’t immediately try to levitate and beginner readers shouldn’t start with War and Peace. Instead find appropriate reading material for your reader. You don’t always have to worry about getting the most advanced texts possible. Even re-reading easier, older favorite titles increases accuracy and confidence to dive into newer, trickier titles.




Make a Book Appear

Not everyone can pull a bunny—or a book—out of a hat, but it’s a good idea to always be able to pull one out of your bag or off the shelf. Always having a book nearby creates the perfect environment for developing a love of reading both in the classroom and also for fun.





A good magician knows a thing or two about performance and so does a good reader! While reading out loud add some character voices and a few funny faces, and the story comes to life. Encourage young readers to test out their own acting skills as they improve on their reading. It makes reading out loud a little less scary and a lot more fun.


See a Show

Check out local story times and author events. Not only are there usually fun activities and other fans at these events, seeing the person behind your favorite stories is amazing!



Whether sawing an assistant in half, making a coin appear from thin air, or reading—it all takes practice! Whether it’s picture books, comic books, chapter books, or novels, all reading is great. The more you practice reading, the more adventures there are to discover, which creates a lifelong reader.




Set a Goal

Decided on a number of books to read over the course of the year and work towards that number with an exciting prize at the end. Try 52! Just like a lucky deck of cards, there are 52 weeks in the year. Read one book a week and you’ll be the king or queen of reading! Aces!




9 Purr-ific Books That Costar Cats

9 Purr-ific Books that Costar Cats

Because YouTube isn’t the only place to get your cat fix!


Curl up with one of these claw-some reads, each costarring someone who is the cat’s pajamas.





The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Aslan is not your typical housecat. The “Great Lion” is regal, mysterious, authoritative, and anything but tame. The King of Narnia protects and guides the Pevensie children—and who wouldn’t want a magical talking Lion on their side?


Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

The magic of Nevermoor is wondrous (or should we say Wundrous?), and it will have you too longing for a Magnificat! What *is* a Magnificat? Imagine a cat, and then make that cat giant and able to talk and utterly magnificent, and you’re starting to get the idea. Fenestra the Magnifcat runs the Hotel Deucalion, and she is as unfiltered and snarky as we know all cats to be.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

In the wizarding world there is no shortage of feline friends…or friends that have half-turned themselves into felines. But we’ll refrain from any spoilers! For a cat that “was either a very big cat or quite a small tiger,” refer to Hermione’s cat, Crookshanks. While Ron’s rat, Scabbers, may not be a big fan of the half-kneazle, he’s a faithful, furry companion who might get a little rambunctious but helps sniff out deception and protect Hermione and her friends.


The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell

From the start of this story Kingcat, a Snowcat, is described as “far too regal for his cheeky master Xar.” But isn’t that all cats? So many of them walk with a confidence built to match their curiosity. Just because this giant arctic lynx of a creature is quite a bit more regal than one of the main characters, doesn’t make him any less of a purrfect companion.


 The Cricket in Times Square by George Selden

When Chester the cricket finds himself in New York City, Harry the Cat, along with Tucker the Mouse, is there to show him around. Harry knows the city like the back of his paw—plus he’s even friends with a mouse! That’s one calm cat! Harry will be there for you, whether it’s finding the best leftovers this side of the Hudson, or encouraging Chester to follow his heart.


Sabriel by Garth Nix

Mogget is a small white cat…usually. There is way more to this mysterious being than meets the (cat)eye, but it makes him all the more intriguing of a character.




The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

Fat Louie is a feline friend fit for a queen…or at least a princess. He’s been by Mia’s side since before her royal makeover, although there is a distinct possibility he has always assumed he himself was quite regal.


A Mango-Shaped Space by Wendy Mass

An important part of main character Mia’s life, Mango the cat shows that sometimes animal friends help us cope with difficult situations in life, but they can also teach us some of life’s biggest—and toughest—lessons.



Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

The title character of this laugh-out-loud young adult series is “half domestic tabby, half Scottish wildcat.” And there’s a possibility he’s after the dog next door.