Category Archives: Children

June is Pride Month

Many of the titles on this list are from The Rainbow Book List is created by the Rainbow Book List Committee of the Rainbow Round Table of the American Library Association. For more information and for additional lists (and books for older children) please visit their website: https://glbtrt.ala.org/rainbowbooks/. We thank the librarians who have taken the time to select these titles each year.

Picture Books and Books for Lower Elementary Age

Uncle Bobby’s Wedding by Sarah S Brannen

Chloe is jealous and sad when her favorite uncle announces that he will be getting married, but as she gets to know Jamie better and becomes involved in planning the wedding, she discovers that she will always be special to Uncle Bobby–and to Uncle Jamie, too. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Request this title.

From Archie to Zack by Vincent X. Kirsch

Archie and Zack are inseparable, both in elementary school and outside it, but Archie is having trouble telling Zack about his love, so he writes a letter, from A. to Z.; in fact he writes a lot of letters, but they do not sound right so he hides them–and though his other friends, Zelda, Zinnia, and Zuzella, find the letters, they all understand who the letters are really for. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Request this title.


Plenty of Hugs by Fran Manushkin

This cheerful book follows a family from morning to night in lively rhyme that rolls off the tongue. There’s a buzz for each bug, and a breeze for each tree, and plenty of hugs for you and me. The toddler and mommies take a morning bike ride to a farm stand, they visit a zoo in the afternoon, and in the evening there’s the bath and storybook routine before the child is tucked cozily into bed. Recommended for ages 2 and up. Request this title.

My Rainbow by Trinity and DeShanna Neal

A dedicated mom puts love into action as she creates the perfect rainbow-colored wig for her transgender daughter, based on the real-life experience of mother-daughter advocate duo Trinity and DeShanna Neal. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Request this title.


Ho’onani : Hula Warrior by Heather Gale

An empowering celebration of identity, acceptance and Hawaiian culture based on the true story of a young girl in Hawai?i who dreams of leading the boys-only hula troupe at her school. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Request this title.

When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff

This sweet #ownvoices picture book celebrates the changes in a transgender boy’s life, from his initial coming-out to becoming a big brother. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Request this title.


My Footprintsby Bao Phi

Upset after being bullied, Thuy, a Vietnamese American, pretends she is different creatures, including an especially strong, wonderful being made up of her two mothers and herself. Includes note about the phoenix and the Sarabha. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Request this title.

A Plan for Pops by Heather Smith

In this illustrated picture book, a child helps their grandparents deal with a difficult change in abilities. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Request this title.


Neither by Airlie Anderson

Because Neither is unlike both the rabbits and birds of the Land of This and That, it sets out to find a new place where all kinds of creatures are welcome. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Request this title.

The Adventures of Honey & Leon by Alan Cumming

Determined to keep their dads safe on their trip to France, two dogs disguise themselves and follow along. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Request this title.

Chapter Books & Middle-Grade

Sal & Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

When best friends Sal and Gabi try to repair the damage they created when they altered the universe to help their families, they end up creating even more chaos. Request this title.

The Derby Daredevils by Kit Rosewater

Fifth-grade best friends Kenzie “Kenzilla” and Shelly “Bombshell” dream of becoming roller derby superstars one day, but when a junior league forms and they must recruit teammates, will their friendship survive? Request this title.


King and The Dragonflies by Kheryn Callender

In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy’s grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself. In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy’s grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself. Request this title.

A Home for goddesses and dogs by Leslie Connor

This novel sings about loss and love and finding joy in new friendships and a loving family, along with the world’s best bad dog. An uplifting middle grade novel about recovery featuring strong female characters, an adorable dog, and the girl who comes to love him. Request this title.


Ana on the edge by A. J. Sass

Twelve-year-old Ana-Marie Jin, the reigning US Juvenile figure skating champion, is not a frilly dress kind of kid. So, when Ana learns that next season’s program will be princess themed, doubt forms fast. Still, Ana tries to focus on training and putting together a stellar routine worthy of national success. Request this title.

The list of things that will not change by Rebecca Stead

Despite her parents’ divorce, her father’s coming out as gay, and his plans to marry his boyfriend, ten-year-old Bea is reassured by her parents’ unconditional love, excited about getting a stepsister, and haunted by something she did last summer at her father’s lake house. Request this title.


Drum roll, please by Lisa Jenn Bigelow

 Melly only joined the school band because her best friend, Olivia, begged her to. But to her surprise, quiet Melly loves playing the drums. It’s the only time she doesn’t feel like a mouse. Now she and Olivia are about to spend the next two weeks at Camp Rockaway, jamming under the stars in the Michigan woods.  Request this title.

Too bright to see by Kyle Lukoff

t’s the summer before middle school and eleven-year-old Bug’s best friend Moira has decided the two of them need to use the next few months to prepare. For Moira, this means figuring out the right clothes to wear, learning how to put on makeup, and deciding which boys are cuter in their yearbook photos than in real life. But none of this is all that appealing to Bug, who doesn’t particularly want to spend more time trying to understand how to be a girl. Request this title.


The best at it by Maulik Pancholy

Twelve-year-old Rahul Kapoor, an Indian-American boy growing up in small-town Indiana, struggles to come to terms with his identity, including that he may be gay. Request this title.

Elle of the ball by Elena Delle Donne

Having shot up to six feet tall over the summer, seventh-grader Elle not only has trouble controlling her limbs on the basketball court, she dreads the upcoming school cotillion. Request this title.

Books for Teens

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

In a novel-in-verse that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives. Request this title.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta

In this uplifting coming-of-age novel told in accessible verse, Atta chronicles the growth and glory of Michael Angeli, a mixed-race kid from London, as he navigates his cultural identity as Cypriot and Jamaican as well as his emerging sexuality. Request this title.


Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

Felix Love, a transgender seventeen-year-old, attempts to get revenge by catfishing his anonymous bully, but lands in a quasi-love triangle with his former enemy and his best friend. Request this title.

Sword in the Stars by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy

In this epic sequel to Once & Future, Ari and her Rainbow knights must pull off a Holy Grail heist thousands of years in the past — without destroying their own destinies. Request this title.


The Never Tilting World by Rin Chupeco

“After an ancient prophecy is betrayed, a world ruled by a long line of goddesses is split in two–one half in perpetual day, and the other in an endless night–and two young twin goddesses set out on separate and equally dangerous journeys to the Breach that divides them, hoping to save their broken world. Request this title.

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves pop music work together to save humanity? A beautiful and thrilling debut novel for fans of Marie Lu and Veronica Roth. Request this title.


Verona Comics by Jennifer Dugan

Told in two voices, cellist Jubilee and anxiety-ridden Ridley meet at a comic con where both of their families have booths, and begin a relationship they must hide from their parents. Request this title.

When We Were Magic by Sarah Gailey

When Alexis accidentally kills a classmate on prom night using magic, her best friends Roya, Iris, Paulie, Marcelina, and Maryam join in using their powers to try to set things right. Request this title.


Let’s Call it a Doomsday by Katie Henry

Ellis Kimball, sixteen, whose anxiety disorder causes her to prepare for the imminent end of the world, meets Hannah, who claims to know when it will happen. Request this title.

The Mermaid, the Witch, and the Sea by Maggie Tokuda-Hall

In a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic, a desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial lady find a connection on the high seas. Request this title.

Books for Adults

The Prophets by Robert Jones Jr.

A singular and stunning debut novel about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence. Request this title.

Malice by Heather Walter

A princess isn’t supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this “bewitching and fascinating” (Tamora Pierce) retelling of “Sleeping Beauty,” true love is more than a simple fairy tale. Request this title.


Less by Andrew Sean Greer

Facing his erstwhile boyfriend’s wedding to another man, his 50th birthday, and his publisher’s rejection of his latest manuscript, a miserable midlist novelist heads for the airport…a very funny and occasionally wise book (Kirkus). Request this title.

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel

This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel’s sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, it’s a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form. Request this title.


The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune

An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place-and realizing that family is yours. Request this title.

You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat

Opening up the fantasies and desires of one young woman caught between cultural, religious, and sexual identities, You Exist Too Much is a captivating story charting two of our most intense longings–for love, and a place to call home. Request this title.


No Ashes in the Fire by Darnell L. Moore

Moore reminds us that liberation is possible if we commit ourselves to fighting for it, and if we dream and create futures where those who survive on society’s edges can thrive. Request this title.

The Deviant’s War by Eric Cervini

From a young Harvard- and Cambridge-trained historian, the secret history of the fight for gay rights that began a generation before Stonewall. Request this title.


Real Queer America by Samantha Allen

Allen takes us on a cross-country road-trip stretching all the way from Provo, Utah to the Rio Grande Valley to the Bible Belt to the Deep South. Her motto for the trip: “Something gay every day.” Request this title.

Tomorrow Will be Different by Sarah McBride

Sarah’s story of identity, love, and tragic loss serves as a powerful entry point for readers who want to gain a deeper understanding of gender identity and what it means to be openly transgender. Request this title.


Descriptions of the books are taken from our catalog and recommended age suggestions are from resources such as Publisher Weekly and Kirkus.

Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American & Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Feel free to request one of our titles and arrange contact free pick up. Need a library card? Fill out our online form or contact us at [email protected] Our list includes picture books, chapter books, and more!

Picture Books

Laxmi’s Mooch by Shelly Anand

After Laxmi’s friend Zoe points out the hairs on her lip, Laxmi is very self-conscious until her East Indian parents help her to accept and celebrate her appearance. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Request this title.

I dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne

When a young girl and her family emigrate from Taiwan to America, she leaves behind her beloved popo, her grandmother. She misses her popo every day, but even if their visits are fleeting, their love is ever true and strong. Includes author’s and illustrator’s notes detailing their personal experiences, and glossary of Chinese words connected to the story. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Request this title.

Ho’onani : hula warrior by Heather Gale

Based on a true story, Ho’onani: Hula Warrior is a celebration of Hawaiian culture and an empowering story of a girl who learns to lead and learns to accept who she really is – and in doing so, gains the respect of all those around her. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Request this title.

Eyes that kiss in the corners by Joanna Ho

This lyrical, stunning picture book tells a story about learning to love and celebrate your Asian-shaped eyes, in the spirit of Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry, and is a celebration of diversity. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Request this title in print or electronic format.

The many colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar

Harpreet Singh has a different color for every mood and occasion, from pink for dancing to bhangra beats to red for courage. He especially takes care with his patka–his turban–smoothing it out and making sure it always matches his outfit. But when Harpreet’s mom finds a new job in a snowy city and they have to move, all he wants is to be invisible. Will he ever feel a happy sunny yellow again? Recommended for ages 3 and up. Request this title.

Drawn together by Minh Lê

When a young boy visits his grandfather, their lack of a common language leads to confusion, frustration, and silence. But as they sit down to draw together, something magical happens – with a shared love of art and storytelling, the two form a bond that goes beyond words. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Request this title.

Let Me Finish! by Minh Lê

A young boy wants to read his favorite books without interruption, but the creatures around him keep spoiling the ending! Recommended for ages 5 and up. Request this title.

Ohana means family by Ilima Loomis

In this cumulative rhyme in the style of “The House That Jack Built,” a family celebrates Hawaii and its culture while serving poi at a luau. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Request this title.

Grandpa grumps by Katrina Moore

When Daisy’s grandfather, or Yeh-Yeh, visits from China, she does everything she can think of to make him smile and finally finds a way. Includes glossary of Chinese words and recipe for fried rice. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Request this title.

Goodbye winter, hello spring by Kenard Pak

Join a boy and his dog as they explore nature and take a stroll through the countryside, greeting all the signs of the coming season. Recommended for children ages 4 and up. Request this title.

A different pond by Bao Phi

As a young boy, Bao Phi awoke early, hours before his father’s long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. Between hope-filled casts, Bao’s father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Request this title.

Hello, mandarin duck! by Bao Phi

On their way to a May Day parade, twins Hue and Hoa spy a confused-looking duck and try to help it reach the pond, while neighbors from many countries offer help and greetings in different languages. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Request this title.

Fatima’s Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq

Excitedly joining her family for an outdoor camping trip in a Midwestern state park, Fatima Khazi helps set up a tent, build a fire, and fend off a daddy longlegs before settling down to sleep surrounded by the near-magical sounds of the forest. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Request this title.

Ojiichan’s gift by Chieri Uegaki

A young girl finds a way to give the gift of a traditional Japanese garden back to her beloved grandfather and accept a difficult change. Recommended for ages 3 and up. Request this title.

The Nian monster by Andrea Wang

Tong tong! The legendary Nian monster has returned at Chinese New Year. With horns, scales, and wide, wicked jaws, Nian is intent on devouring Shanghai, starting with Xingling! The old tricks to keep him away don’t work on Nian anymore, but Xingling is clever. Will her quick thinking be enough to save the city from the Nian Monster? Recommended for ages 4 and up. Request this title.

Early Readers & Chapter Books

The year of the book by Andrea Cheng

Follows a young Chinese American girl, as she navigates relationships with family, friends, and her fourth-grade classroom, and finds a true best friend. Recommended for ages 7 and up. Request this title.

Meet Yasmin! by Saadia Faruqi – BOOK SERIES!

Meet Yasmin! Yasmin is a spirited second-grader who’s always on the lookout for those “aha” moments to help her solve life’s little problems. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Request this series.

Jasmine Toguchi by Debbi Michiko Florence – BOOK SERIES!

Eight-year-old Jasmine Toguchi is a flamingo fan, tree climber, and top-notch mess-maker! Recommended for ages 6 and up. Request this series.

Book Uncle and me by Uma Krishnaswami

An energetic, funny and quirky story that explores the themes of community activism, friendship, and the love of books. Recommended for ages 7 and up. Request this title.

Alvin Ho by Lenore Look BOOK SERIES!

Alvin, an Asian American second grader, is afraid of everything—elevators, tunnels, girls, and, most of all, school. Recommended for ages 6 and up. Request this series.

Cilla Lee-Jenkins : this book is a classic by Susan Tan

Priscilla Cilla Lee-Jenkins has just finished her (future) bestselling memoir, and now she’s ready to write a Classic. This one promises to have everything: romance, adventure, and plenty of drama like Cilla’s struggles to be more Chinese, to be the perfect flower girl at Aunt Eva’s wedding, and to learn how to share her best friend. Recommended for ages 7 and up. Request this title.

Middle Grade Books

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Priyanka “Pri” Das, attempts to reconnect with her mother’s homeland through a magical pashmina shawl. Recommended for ages 10 and up. Request this title.

See you in the cosmos by Jack Cheng

Eleven-year-old Alex Petroski, along with his dog, Carl Sagan, makes big discoveries about his family on a road trip and he records it all on a golden iPod he intends to launch into space. Recommended for ages 10 and up. Request this title.

Aru Shah and the end of time : a Pandava novel by Roshani Chokshi

Twelve-year-old Aru stretches the truth to fit in at her private school, but when she is dared to prove an ancient lamp is cursed, she inadvertently frees an ancient demon. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Request this title – available in print and electronically.

The night diary by Veera Hiranandani

Shy twelve-year-old Nisha, forced to flee her home with her Hindu family during the 1947 partition of India, tries to find her voice and make sense of the world falling apart around her by writing to her deceased Muslim mother in the pages of her diary. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Request this title.

When you trap a tiger by Tae Keller

When Lily, her sister Sam, and their mother move in with her sick grandmother, Lily traps a tiger and makes a deal with him to heal Halmoni. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Request this title.

Stand up, Yumi Chung! by Jessica Kim

When eleven-year-old Yumi Chung stumbles into a kids’ comedy camp she is mistaken for another student, so she decides to play the part. Recommended for ages 9 and up. Request this title.

I’m Ok by Patti Kim

Ok, a Korean American boy, tries a get rich quick scheme of starting a hair braiding business and winning the school talent competition to hide the fact that he is struggling with the loss of his father and the financial hardships he and his mother must now bear. Recommended for ages 10 and up. Request this title.

The best at it by Maulik Pancholy

Twelve-year-old Rahul Kapoor, an Indian-American boy growing up in small-town Indiana, struggles to come to terms with his identity, including that he may be gay. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Request this title.

Other words for home by Jasmine Warga

Sent with her mother to the safety of a relative’s home in Cincinnati when her Syrian hometown is overshadowed by violence, Jude worries for the family members who were left behind as she adjusts to a new life with unexpected surprises. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Request this title.

Front desk by Kelly Yang

Recent immigrants from China and desperate for work and money, ten-year-old Mia Tang’s parents take a job managing a rundown motel in Southern California, even though the owner, Mr. Yao is a nasty skinflint who exploits them; while her mother (who was an engineer in China) does the cleaning, Mia works the front desk and tries to cope with demanding customers and other recent immigrants–not to mention being only one of two Chinese in her fifth grade class, the other being Mr. Yao’s son, Jason. Recommended for ages 8 and up. Request this title – available in print and electronically.

Biographies

The Ocean Calls By Tina Cho

Wanting to follow in the footsteps of her free-diving haenyeo grandmother, a young Korean girl dutifully consumes her grandmother’s strength-building abalone porridge and practices her breath control before suiting up and overcoming fears to make remarkable discoveries. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Request this title.

Shark Lady: The True Story of How Eugenie Clark Became the Ocean’s Most Fearless Scientist by Jess Keating and Marta Alvarez Miguéns

At 9 years old, Eugenie Clark developed an unexpected passion for sharks after a visit to the Battery Park Aquarium in New York City. At the time, sharks were seen as mindless killing machines, but Eugenie knew better and set out to prove it. Despite many obstacles in her path, Eugenie was able to study the creatures she loved so much. From her many discoveries to the shark-related myths she dispelled, Eugenie’s wide scientific contributions led to the well-earned nickname “Shark Lady.” Recommended for ages 4 and up. Request this title.

It began with a page : how Gyo Fujikawa drew the way by Kyo Maclear

Presents the life of the influential illustrator and author, including her childhood, her love of drawing, her family’s internment during World War II, and her groundbreaking work in children’s literature. Recommended for ages 4 and up. Request this title.

Chef Roy Choi and the Street Food Remix by Jacqueline Briggs Martin

Describes the popular street cook’s life, including working in his family’s restaurant as a child, figuring out what he wanted to do with his life, and his success with his food truck and restaurant. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Request this title.

Sky high : the true story of Maggie Gee by Marissa Moss

Based on the true adventures of a girl not bound by gravity, Marissa Moss’s stirring story and Carl Angel’s brilliant illustrations depict what determination, bravery, and boundless possibilities look like when dreams are allowed to soar sky high. Recommended for ages 9 and up. Request this title.

Queen of physics : how Wu Chien Shiung helped unlock the secrets of the atom by Teresa Robeson

When Wu Chien Shiung was born in China 100 years ago, girls did not attend school. But her parents named their daughter “Courageous Hero” and encouraged her love of science. This biography follows Wu as she battles sexism at home and racism in the United States of America to become what Newsweek magazine called the “Queen of Physics” for her work on how atoms split. Recommended for ages 5 and up. Request this title.


Note: Summaries are taken from our online catalog & recommended ages are from publisher guidelines and sources from Publisher Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.

Books for Earth Day

Feel free to request one of our titles and arrange contact free pick up. Need a library card? Fill out our online form or contact us at [email protected] Our list includes picture books, non-fiction fiction titles and biographies.

Picture Books

Wonder walkers by Micha Archer

Two curious children go for a walk, asking imaginative questions about the natural beauty that surrounds them. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 3 and up.

Junkyard by Mike Austin

Munching Machines enter a huge junkyard and consume all of the waste, then smooth the ground, plant trees and flowers, create a lake and playground, and much more. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 4 and up.

The curious garden by Peter Brown

Liam discovers a hidden garden and through his care, he spreads color throughout the gray city. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 3 and up.

Call me tree by Maya Christina Gonzalez

A bilingual poetic tale that follows one child/tree from the depths of Mami/Earth to the heights of the sky, telling a story about being free to grow and be who we are meant to be and honoring our relationship with the natural world. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 3 and up.

Here we are : notes for living on planet Earth by Oliver Jeffers

In this salutation from Earth, the chronicler gives a tour of the planet and introduces those who call it home. Request this title. Recommended for children ages 3 and up.

Blue floats away by Travis Jonker

Little Blue is very close to his iceberg parents so when he suddenly breaks away from them, he promises to return and, after traveling far and undergoing big changes, he may succeed. Request this title. Recommended for children ages 4 and up.

We are water protectors by Carole Lindstrom

Water is the first medicine. It affects and connects us all… When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth and poison her people’s water, one young water protector takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 3 and up.

The tree in me by Corinna Luyken

Through text and illustrations of children reveling in nature, explores the various ways we as human beings are strong, creative, and connected to others. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 4 and up.

Zonia’s rain forest by Juana Martinez-Neal

Enjoying days spent with animal friends near her home in the Amazon, young Zonia wonders what to do on a day when the rainforest calls out to her for help, in a lushly illustrated story that is complemented by back matter about the Asháninka community. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 4 and up.

We planted a tree by Diane Muldrow

Simple text reveals the benefits of planting a single tree, both to those who see it grow and to the world as a whole. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 5 and up.

Every color of light by Hiroshi Osada

Illustrations and easy-to-read, rhyming text depict nature darkened by a brief rainstorm then, at sunset, colors brighten, rain drips like crystals, and the bright white moon shines as we fall asleep. Request this title. Recommended for children ages 4 and up.

Compost stew : an A to Z recipe for the earth by Mary McKenna Siddals

A rhyming recipe explains how to make the dark, crumbly, rich, earth-friendly food called compost. Request this title. Recommended for children ages 4 and up.

Penguins don’t wear sweaters! by Marikka Tamura

When an oil spill prevents penguins from doing the things they love to do, Big Boots come and dress them in sweaters until they–and the water–can be cleaned. Includes facts about penguins and why dressing them in sweaters is not always a good idea. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 3 and up.

Watercress by Andrea Wang

Embarrassed about gathering watercress from a roadside ditch, a girl learns to appreciate her Chinese heritage after learning why the plant is so important to her parents. Request this title. Recommended for children ages 4 and up.

Non-Fiction & Biographies

Don’t let them disappear : 12 endangered species across the globe by Chelsea Clinton

Profiles twelve endangered species around the world, including giraffes, gorillas, giant pandas, and polar bears, and describes why it is important to save each animal from extinction. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 4 and up.

Ada’s violin : the story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood

The extraordinary true tale of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay, an orchestra made up of children playing instruments built from recycled trash. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 4 and up.

The last straw : kids vs. plastics by Susan Hood

There’s no doubt about it-plastic is in almost everything. From our phones and computers to our toys and utensils, plastic is everywhere. But the amount of plastic we throw away is hurting the health of our planet. With The Last Straw: Kids vs. Plastics, readers will be fascinated as they learn about the growing plastic problem and meet just a few of the young activists who are standing up and speaking out for change. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 4 and up.

The wisdom of trees : how trees work together to form a natural kingdom by Lita Judge

A lyrical and informational nonfiction picture book that tells the story of trees and the hidden ecosystems they create. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 5 and up.

Saving American Beach : the biography of African American environmentalist MaVynee Betsch by Heidi Tyline King

A biography of MaVynee Betsch, an African American opera singer turned environmentalist who worked to preserve American Beach, Florida as a historical landmark. Request this title. Recommended for children ages 4 and up.

The bee book by Charlotte Milner

Introduces the honeybee and its social and industrious nature, emphasizes its importance in the environment, and describes what people can do to protect its habitat. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 5 and up.

One plastic bag : Isatou Ceesay and the recycling women of the Gambia by Miranda Paul

The inspiring true story of how one African woman began a movement to recycle the plastic bags that were polluting her community. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 5 and up.

Wangari Maathai : the woman who planted millions of trees by Franck Prévot

Wangari Maathai received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her efforts to lead women in a nonviolent struggle to bring peace and democracy to Africa through its reforestation. Her organization planted over thirty million trees in thirty years. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 6 and up.

Butterfly for a king : saving Hawaiʻi’s Kamehameha butterflies by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore

A combined history of the Hawaiian islands and the native Kamehameha butterfly up to and including current-day efforts of Hawaiʻi’s Pulelehua Project, a group of professional and citizen scientists working to restore the butterfly’s declining habitats and population. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 8 and up.

What happens to our trash? by D.J. Ward

People in the United States make more trash per person every day than people in any other country. What do we throw away, and where does it go? How can we reduce, reuse, and recycle? Request this book. Recommended for children ages 7 and up.

Lily Williams in the award-winning If Animals Disappeared Series:

Recommended for children ages 6 and up.

Wangari’s trees of peace : a true story from Africa by Jeanette Winter

This true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman’s passion, vision, and determination inspired great change. Request this book. Recommended for children ages 3 and up.


Note: Summaries are taken from our online catalog & recommended ages are from publisher guidelines and sources from Publisher Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.

National Poetry Month

Enjoy these poetry titles during April, National Poetry Month, as well as throughout the rest of the year!

You can also visit Jerseyland Park during the month to read poetry by some of our hometown elementary school poets while enjoying the spring weather!

NJ Makers Day

Please enjoy some of these fun screen-free activities to do with your children!

Ages 2-5

Playdough

Step 1: Combine 1 cup flour and 1/2 cup salt.

Step 2: Slowly stir in 1 Tbsp vegetable oil, 1/2 cup warm water, and 2-3 drops food coloring until well combined.

Step 3: Transfer to a flat surface and let sit for a few minutes. It may be sticky, but the salt will absorb any extra water. After about 5 minutes, knead well. If it is still sticky, add flour 1 Tbsp at a time.

Step 4: Store in an air tight container, in the refrigerator.

Noise Makers

You can customize this activity to suit whatever supplies you have on hand. Using any container (water bottle, two paper plates stapled together, plastic eggs) and some small noisy materials (dried pasta, dried beans, beads). Seal tightly and allow your child to shake away!

Paper Bag Kite

You will need a paper bag, yarn or string, a popsicle stick, scissors, and decorations.

Step 1: Allow your child to decorate the outside of the paper bag.

Step 2: Using a scissors, cut a small slit in the bottom base of the bag.

Step 3: Cut the yarn or string to 18″- 24″ in length. Tie one end to the popsicle stick and thread the other end through the hole in the bottom of the bag, leaving the popsicle inside the bag.

Step 4: Go fly your kite!

Grades K-2

Bubble Science

You will need bubble solution, straw, a surface that can be wet, a cup, and water in a spray bottle

Step 1: Pour some of the bubble solution in the cup so at least half of the straw is covered.

Step 2: Dip your straw in the solution (at least 1/4 of solution) and on an angle try to blow bubbles on the dry surface. What happens? Are you able to create bubbles? Do they pop fast?

Step 3: Now spray your surface with water and try again. Did anything different happen? Can you blow a bubble into another bubble? Are the bubbles small or large?

Pom Pom Drop

You will need pom poms, painters tape, and a mix of empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls. For this activity, you can have your child experiment placing empty rolls with the painters tape on your wall. They can create a design and see if the pom poms will fall down from different angels or race to see which one falls down first.

Rainbow Mason Jar Lantern

You will need a mason jar (or any glass jar), difficult color tissue paper, small bowl or plate, wet glue, scissors, sponge or paint brush, and a battery operated tea light candle or twinkle lights.

Step 1: Make sure your jar is cleaned and dry. While it dries, cut up or rip up your tissue paper.

Step 2. Place a generous of glue in a bowl or plate, and have fun gluing the tissue paper to the inside of your mason jar.

Step 3: Once dry, place your battery operated tea light candle or twinkle lights inside and enjoy!

Grades 3-5

Create Your Own Harmonica

You will need 2 popsicle sticks, 3 elastic bands, 1 straw and scissors.

Step 1: Cut two pieces of the straw so they are just longer than the width of your popsicle stick.

Step 2: Stretch out one of the elastic bands so it goes around one of the popsicle sticks (from top to bottom – long wise).

Step 3: Place your straw pieces about a half of inch from each of the end of the popsicle stick with the rubber band (you want them to be placed horizontally so they stick out a little).

Step 4: Place your second popsicle stick on top of the straw pieces and wrap the additional bands on the ends of the sticks, connecting the two popsicle sticks. Now give it a try by blowing air between the two popsicle sticks — just like a harmonica!

Tissue Box Guitar

You will need an empty tissue box (long boxes work better), an empty paper towel roll, elastic bands, a marker or pen, tape, scissors, and an X-Acto knife (Note: X-Acto knives should be handled by an adult only)

Step 1: Remove the top cellophane or cardboard from the tissue box (you may need to use scissors)

Step 2: Put the paper roll on the short side of the tissue box and trace the circle with your pen or marker, cut out the circle.

Step 3: Place the paper towel roll inside the tissue box about 2 to 3 inches in. You may need to use tape to hold it in place.

Step 4: Add your elastic bands around the long side of the box. Make sure there is at least one elastic band around each side of the paper towel roll.

Step 5: Decorate your guitar and you’re all set!

Tin Can Windsock :

You will need scissors, ribbon, twine, an empty soup can with no sharp edges, paint, a paint brush, misc. paper, plastic jewels or gems (not required) and a glue gun. To string your handle you will need a hammer and long nail (Note – this should be a supervised activity and your child may need help)

Step 1: Create holes using the hammer and nail on the closed side of the can (bottom of the can).

Step 2: Paint the tin can and cut out shapes from your paper which are smaller than the can (you can do a heart, leaf, etc.)

Step 3: Using the glue gun, decorate your tin can using your cut outs or jewels.

Step 4: Create a handle by placing your string through the nail holes that you previously hammered. Tie a knot on the inside of the can to keep it attached.

Step 5: Glue ribbons to the inside of the open part of the can.

Children’s Books for National Women’s History Month

Check out our lists of non-fiction & biography picture books and Middle Grade Books to celebrate National Women’s History Month. Looking for more recommendations? Contact us at [email protected]

Picture Book Biographies & Non-Fiction

Middle Grade Biographies & Non-Fiction

Children’s Books for Black History Month

Check out our lists of recommended picture books, chapter books, non-fiction, and biographies to celebrate Black History Month and beyond.

Picture Books

Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall

Jabari is making a flying machine all by himself, but when it doesn’t work the way he imagined, he learns about perseverance and problem-solving.


Layla’s Happiness by Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie

Seven-year-old Layla divulges many things that make her happy, especially her family and their community garden.


Brown: the many shades of love by Nancy Johnson James

In this loving ode to the color brown, a boy describes the many hues of his family.


Saturday by Oge Mora

When all of their special Saturday plans go awry, Ava and her mother still find a way to appreciate one another and their time together.

Find more picture books here.


Middle Grade Books

Betty before X by Ilyasah Shabazz

Raised by her aunt until she is six, Betty, who will later marry Malcolm X, joins her mother and stepfamily in 1940s Detroit, where she learns about the civil rights movement.


Look both ways : a tale told in ten blocks by Jason Reynolds

A collection of ten short stories that all take place in the same day about kids walking home from school.


My life as an ice cream sandwich by Ibi Zoboi

In the summer of 1984, twelve-year-old Ebony-Grace of Huntsville, Alabama, visits her father in Harlem, where her fascination with outer space and science fiction interfere with her finding acceptance.


King and the dragonflies by Kheryn Callender

In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy’s grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself

Find more books here.

Non-Fiction Titles

Brave. Black. First. : 50+ African American women who changed the world by Cheryl Willis Hudson

Profiles notable African American women in various fields from Phillis Wheatley, Harriet Tubman, and Ida B. Wells to Condoleeza Rice, Beyoncé, and the founders of Black Lives Matte.


The undefeated by Kwame Alexander 

Originally performed for ESPN’s The Undefeated, this poem is a love letter to black life in the United States. It highlights the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world’s greatest heroes.


28 days : moments in Black history that changed the world by Charles R. Smith Jr.

A picture book look at many of the men and women who revolutionized life for African Americans throughout history.


A ride to remember : a civil rights story by Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan

A Ride to Remember tells how a community came together–both black and white–to make a change. When Sharon Langley was born in the early 1960s, many amusement parks were segregated, and African-American families were not allowed entry. 

Find more books here.

Biographies

The oldest student : how Mary Walker learned to read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard 

A picture book biography sharing the inspiring and incredible true story of the nation’s oldest student, Mary Walker, who learned to read at the age of 116.


Chasing space by Leland Melvin

A memoir by the former NASA astronaut and NFL wide receiver traces his personal journey from the gridiron to the stars, examining the intersecting roles of community, perseverance, and grace that create opportunities for success.


Schomburg : the man who built a library by Carole Boston Weatherford

Traces legal clerk Arturo Schomburg’s efforts to curate a collection of African books, letters, music, and art.


Trailblazer : the story of ballerina Raven Wilkinson by Leda Schubert

This picture book tells the uplifting story of the first African American woman to dance for a major classical ballet company and how she became a huge inspiration for Misty Copeland.

Find more books here.


Complied by our Youth Services Department. Note: Excerpts are taken from our LS2 PAC.

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Picture Books

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Winter is here!

Books for Little Ones

A big bed for little snow by Grace Lin
A day so gray by Marie Lamba
I wish it would snow by Sarah Dillard
Little Penguins by Cynthia Rylant
When the snow is deeper than my boots are tall by Jean Reidy
Winter is for Snow by Robert Neubecker
Winter is here by Kevin Henkes
The winter visitors by Karel Hayes

Books for Early Readers

Snowy surprise by Kallie George
Snow Trucking by Jon Scieszka
Biscuit’s snow day race by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
Penny and her sled by Kevin Henkes
Mouse loves snow by Lauren Thompson
Mr. Putter and Tabby hit the slope by Cynthia Rylant
Snow day by Candace F. Ransom
Woof and Quack in winter by Jamie Swenson

Screen Free Activities