It is not often that I hear of a “new” book by a classic author, but Barracoon by Zora Neale Hurston never was published during her lifetime due to the subject matter: interviews from the 1920s with one of the last enslaved people from Africa. Finally, it was published in 2018. Now, Ibram X. Kendi

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World War II was in full-force when Dory Byrne’s father left to fight. Now Dory and her two brothers are on their own, with their father’s assurance that the community will help them while he’s gone. Nothing Else but Miracles by Kate Albus (Margaret Ferguson Books, September 2023) tells the story of this spunky tween

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The Einstein Effect by Benyamin Cohen (Sourcebooks, July 2023) shows the ways in which Albert Einstein has influenced life and culture today, from the providing of refugee aid, to the creation of GPS and so much more. With the subtitle “How the World’s Favorite Genius Got into Our Cars, Our Bathrooms, and Our Minds,” Cohen

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Before Silicon Valley was what we imagine today, it was the Valley of Heart’s Delight. Hope in the Valley by Mitali Perkins (Farrar, Straus and Giroux July 2023) is a captivating middle grade novel set in 1980 in those early days of the changing Silicon Valley. Pandita Paul, a 13-year-old Indian-American girl, grapples with the

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Front Desk by Kelly Yang (Scholastic, 2018) is a story about a family of immigrants from China who are trying to achieve the American dream, but they haven’t been having much success. In this first novel of a middle-grade series, Mia begins to see just how she can help her family with her skills and

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I had so much fun when my kids and I visited Washington, D.C., and visited the National Postal Museum, so I was excited to read a review copy of Who’s Got Mail?: The History of Mail in America by Linda Barrett Osborne (Abrams Books, May 2023). This middle-grade nonfiction book covers the details of the

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I have read many books and novels about the Japanese-American Internment program during World War II, but nothing quite as unique as Seen and Unseen by Elizabeth Partridge and Lauren Tamaki (Chronicle Books, 2022). This nonfiction middle-grade Siebert Award winner is subtitled “What Dorothea Lange, Toyo Miyatake, and Ansel Adam’s Photographs Reveal about the Japanese

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The middle-grade volume Native Americans in History by Jimmy Beason (Rockridge Press, 2021) shares the powerful stories of Native American leaders, artists, activists and athletes from history and today. The ninety-page volume is easily readable and nicely formatted for either reference or a straight readthrough. The fifteen people discussed receive about 5 pages of text

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Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley (Doubleday, March 1976) is a truly powerful book. It follows the life of one man’s descendants, beginning in the mid-1700s, and following through to the author himself. The most amazing thing is that all of it was based on a family story passed down for

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