In and Out the Window (illustrated by Catherin Peterslund; Philomel 2024) is a creative collection of children’s poetry by Jane Yolen. Poems are divided into thematic sections with further division into the categories of “In” and “Out” of a window. The volume shares poems about many aspects of children’s lives. Different sections featured include “At

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Immediately engaging, Jerry Pinkney’s middle-grade memoir, Just Jerry (Little Brown Books for Young Readers, January 2023) draws you in instantly on the small neighborhood streets of Philly in 1950. You also might find refuge under the piano bench, where young Jerry hid to draw in peace. (Well, as much peace as he could find in

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The short middle grade novel Oh, Sal! by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow, September 2022) gives us the story of Billy Miller’s little sister, Sal. Billy Miller got two books from his perspective: The Year of Billy Miller (reviewed in 2015) and Billy Miller Makes a Wish (reviewed last month, June 2023). Now, in Sal’s book, we

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Billy Miller Makes a Wish by Kevin Henkes (Greenwillow, April 2021) continues the story of the sweet boy from The Year of Billy Miller, a growing up book with realistic kid-appropriate situations to enjoy and possibly learn from. Once again, Billy Miller Makes a Wish manages to capture a child’s realistic thoughts about how his

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What Maisie Knew by Henry James (1897) tells the story of a young girl torn between two divorced parents. Maisie learns the “games” the parents play and feels the difficulties of not having a steady life throughout her childhood, and eventually she uses her smarts to get just what she wants from life. So what

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Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell (Knopf, 2018) is a delightful romp in a neighborhood full of imaginative children during the course of one summer. This graphic novel shows the stories of more than a dozen children with a variety of unique personalities who live on a couple blocks, and to the discerning reader, it gives

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El Deafo by Cece Bell (colored by David Lasky) is a graphic novel that won the Newbery Award in 2015 for its great story. I feel like it’s well deserving for both the story and the illustration, as its graphic nature provides a unique format to tell of the author’s experiences growing up deaf in

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The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe (adapted by Slava Rubio, translated by Lilit Zekulin Thwaites, illustrated by Loreto Aroca) is a graphic novel about Dita Adler, a Jewish teenager in Czechoslovakia during World War II. She ultimately survived the WWII concentration camp Auschwitz with her love of books, stories, and imagination as a strength

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Kid Trailblazers by Robin Stevenson, illustrated by Allison Steinfeld (Quirk Books, 2022) includes brief biographies of “changemakers and leaders,” focusing on events and habits formed in each of their childhoods. I loved that some of those highlighted were from around the world. The biographies were full of pertinent information without being overwhelming. Colorful pictures accompany

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The Line by Paula Bossio (Kids Can Press, 2013) is a wordless picture book that offers a unique look at how we can all be creative. In this book, a young girl notices a line and starts playing with it. She shakes it and watches it move; she forms it into a wild animal; she

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