In My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Washington Square Press, 2005), thirteen-year-old Anna sues her parents for bodily autonomy. Although she’s not sick, she’s had a dozen hospital stays and medical interventions throughout her life, all in the name of saving her older sister, Kate, who has leukemia. To complicate matters, her mother and father

With a rhythm and rhyme of just a few syllables per page, Bloom Boom by April Pulley Sayre (Beach Lane Books, 2019) provides not just a simple read-aloud for young children but also a great book of inspiration for finding flowers and other blooming plants that one enjoys. This book of flower photography is a

The Dream Coach by Anne Parrish (illustrated by Dillwyn Parrish; Macmillan, 1924) is a collection of a poem and four stories that are named the dreams of four children around the world. The children include a princess, a boy from Norway, a young Chinese boy “emperor,” and a French boy in the countryside. Each story

History in the Making by Kyle Ward (The New Press, 2006) is a nonfiction volume of curated and categorized passages from a variety of high school American history textbooks, from the early days until 1999, showing the ways various stories from history have been told to students over the years. The lengthy subtitle of the

As the title suggests, Fungi Grow by Maria Gianferrari (illustrated by Diana Sudyka; Beach Lane Books, 2023) is a nonfiction picture book focusing on the growth, spread, and purpose of fungi through the world. With realistic illustrations, a variety of fonts, and both a storyline and sidebar facts, this picture book provides a welcome and

Because of an Acorn by Lola and Adam Schaefer (Chronicle Books, 2016; illustrated by Fran Preston-Gannon) has pretty pictures and simple text to show the connection between an acorn growing and the other types of life surrounding it. Birds, fruit, deer, chipmunks, and other animals all are able to live. They also contribute to adding

The picture book Scroll by Hui Lu (Christy Ottaviano Books, September 2023) teaches about Chinese characters and calligraphy with an imaginative dialog and dream featuring a grandfather and his granddaughter. This illustrated and imaginative approach to learning about the character-based language is a perfect match for a young child to become engaged and interested in

Middle grade readers will find themselves in for a fantastic and magical “backyard” adventure when they read Elf Dog and Owl Head by M.T. Anderson (illustrated by Junyi Wu; Candlewick 2023). This novel’s summary threw me off, because it sounded like it would be about a boy dealing with the annoyance of remaining home during

Middle grade novel Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga (HarperCollins, 2019) captures one teen girl’s perspective as a Syrian refugee to America. Even without using dates within the text, Other Words for Home feels sadly applicable today since the Syrian conflict still rages and refugees flee to America from many different countries. Jude’s life