The bright, engaging middle grade nonfiction book How Does Chocolate Taste on Everest? by Leisa Stewart-Sharpe (Charlesbridge, September 2023) highlights the most extreme places around the world. With a vacation guide book feel, How Does Chocolate Taste? emphasizes what you see, smell, taste, hear, and touch when you visit the highest, best, deepest, hottest, and coldest
Stanley Wells is one of the world’s premier Shakespearean scholars, with, as he discusses in his epilogue, more than 80 years of experience of studying, teaching, reading, and watching Shakespeare. His newest book is an exploration of the man: What Was Shakespeare Really Like? (Cambridge University Press, September 2023). He writes about Shakespeare by considering
Red, a red panda, mourns how all the books for pandas somehow omit red pandas! With the encouragement of his giant panda friend Gee, Red writes his own book about red pandas. The adorable picture book How This Book Got Red by Margaret Chiu Greanias and pictures by Melissa Iwai (Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, October 2023) narrates
Kin: Rooted in Hope by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Jeffery Boston Weatherford (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, September 2023) is a unique and personal account of the author’s search for her genealogical roots. As Alex Haley did for his adult novelization of his ancestor’s stories, Weatherford travels to Africa and scours census records and
In Something Like Home by Andrea Beatriz Arango (Random House Books for Young Readers, 2023), eleven-year-old Laura carries a heavy burden of self-blame. She suddenly finds herself separated from her parents and placed under the care of her previously unknown Aunt Silvia. Her distress stems from her decision to call 911 when she discovered her
The reader learns about the inner workings of a piano as well as watches a child’s successful piano recital in the sweet picture book My Piano by Jen Fier Jasinski, illustrated by Rita Bagdi (Gnome Road Publishing, September 2023). With a natural rhyme, the book begins with a progressive “This is the house that Jack built”
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
In 1960, Cuba was a chaotic country, as the world watched Fidel Castro rise to power and institute reforms in bringing the nation into Communism. The middle grade novel Farewell Cuba, Mi Isla by Alexandra Diaz (Paula Wiseman Books, September 2023) tells the story of the wealthy Victoria and her cousin Jackie during this time.
It is hard to find a solid science picture book for read-aloud that has photographs as illustrations. Nature Is a Sculptor: Weathering and Erosion by Heather Ferranti Kinser (Milbrook Press, September 2023) is such a book. It features photography of geological wonders from around the world, paired with soft poetry that is nice to read-aloud.
The Mona Lisa Vanishes by Nicholas Day (Random House, September 2023) is a nonfiction middle grade story about the famous Mona Lisa. With alternating chapters telling the stories of the painting’s creation and its 1911 theft, The Mona Lisa Vanishes manages to capture the attention of a young reader with a friendly and humorous tone,
In middle grade graphic novel Saving Sunshine by Saadia Faruqi (First Second, September 2023), twin teenagers must face the ultimate punishment this vacation: no cell phones. It’s not a permanent punishment, but it sure feels like it. They can only get them back when they can get along without fighting. While their parents attend a
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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