Browse our lists of staff picks, popular topics, and school reading lists.
Native American Heritage Month
I Can Make This Promise
In her debut middle grade novel--inspired by her family's history--Christine Day tells the story of a girl who uncovers her family's secrets--and finds her own Native American identity.
All her life, Edie has known that her mom was adopted by a white couple. So, no matter how curious she might be about her Native American heritage, Edie is sure her family doesn't have any answers.
Until the day when she and her friends discover a box hidden in the attic--a box full of letters signed "Love, Edith," and photos of a woman who looks just like her.
Suddenly, Edie has a flurry of new questions about this woman who shares her name. Could she belong to the Native family that Edie never knew about? But if her mom and dad have kept this secret from her all her life, how can she trust them to tell her the truth now?
The Giant Bear
One of the most terrifying creatures to be found in traditional Inuit stories is the nanurluk, a massive bear the size of an iceberg that lives under the sea ice. Its monstrous size and ice-covered fur make it an almost impenetrable foe. But when a lone hunter spots the breathing hole of the nanurluk on the sea ice near his iglu, he uses his quick thinking and excellent hunting skills to hatch a plan to outsmart the deadly bear.
Jose Angutinngurniq, a gifted storyteller and respected elder from Kugaaruk, Nunavut, brings to life a story of the great nanurluk that has been told in the Kugaaruk region for generations.
★ "Clearly organized and educational--an incredibly useful tool for both school and public libraries." --School Library Journal, starred review
Powwow is a celebration of Indigenous song and dance. Journey through the history of powwow culture in North America, from its origins to the thriving powwow culture of today. As a lifelong competitive powwow dancer, Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane is a guide to the protocols, regalia, songs, dances and even food you can find at powwows from coast to coast, as well as the important role they play in Indigenous culture and reconciliation.
Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids
Edited by award-winning and bestselling author Cynthia Leitich Smith, this collection of intersecting stories by both new and veteran Native writers bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride.
Native families from Nations across the continent gather at the Dance for Mother Earth Powwow in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
In a high school gym full of color and song, people dance, sell beadwork and books, and celebrate friendship and heritage. Young protagonists will meet relatives from faraway, mysterious strangers, and sometimes one another (plus one scrappy rez dog).
They are the heroes of their own stories.
Featuring stories and poems by:
David A. Robertson
Andrea L. Rogers
Cynthia Leitich Smith
Monique Gray Smith
Erika T. Wurth
In partnership with We Need Diverse Books
We Are Water Protectors
Winner of the 2021 Caldecott Medal
#1 New York Times Bestseller
Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption—a bold and lyrical picture book written by Carole Lindstrom and vibrantly illustrated by Michaela Goade.
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.
We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga
2019 Sibert Honor Book
2019 Orbis Pictus Honor Book
NPR's Guide To 2018’s Great Reads
2018 Book Launch Award (SCBWI)
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2018
School Library Journal Best Books of 2018
2018 JLG selection
2019 Reading the West Picture Book Award
The Cherokee community is grateful for blessings and challenges that each season brings. This is modern Native American life as told by an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
The word otsaliheliga (oh-jah-LEE-hay-lee-gah) is used by members of the Cherokee Nation to express gratitude. Beginning in the fall with the new year and ending in summer, follow a full Cherokee year of celebrations and experiences. Written by a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, this look at one group of Native Americans is appended with a glossary and the complete Cherokee syllabary, originally created by Sequoyah.
"A gracious, warm, and loving celebration of community and gratitude"—Kirkus Reviews STARRED REVIEW
"The book underscores the importance of traditions and carrying on a Cherokee way of life"—Horn Book STARRED REVIEW
"This informative and authentic introduction to a thriving ancestral and ceremonial way of life is perfect for holiday and family sharing"—School Library Journal STARRED REVIEW
"An elegant representation"—Shelf Awareness STARRED REVIEW
We All Play
From Julie Flett, the beloved author and illustrator of Birdsong, comes a joyous new book about playtime. A sweet gift for babies, toddlers, and kids up to age 7 to cozy up with this winter!
Animals and kids love to play! This wonderful book celebrates playtime and the connection between children and the natural world. Beautiful illustrations show:
- birds who chase and chirp!
- bears who wiggle and wobble!
- whales who swim and squirt!
- owls who peek and peep!
- and a diverse group of kids who love to do the same, shouting:
We play too! / kimêtawânaw mîna
At the end of the book, animals and children gently fall asleep after a fun day of playing outside, making this book a great bedtime story. A beautiful ode to the animals and humans we share our world with, We All Play belongs on every bookshelf.
This book also includes:
- A glossary of Cree words for wild animals in the book
- A pronunciation guide and link to audio pronunciation recordings
Praise for Julie Flett's previous book, Birdsong:
An American Indian Youth Literature Honor Title
A 2020 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award Honor Title
A Best Book of 2019 in Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, and Horn Book.
"Cree-Métis author/illustrator Julie Flett's smooth and lyrical words and gorgeous... images truly capture the warmth and solidarity of the female protagonists in this tender intergenerational friendship story."--The Horn Book
"Emotionally stunning."--Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Simple and profound, this tender story is a reminder that finding a new friend can make a new place feel like home. Highly recommended for purchase."--School Library Journal (Starred Review)
"Flett's subtle, sensitive story delicately traces filaments of growth and loss through intergenerational friendship, art making, and changing moons and seasons."--Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
****Four starred reviews!****
From the U.S.'s foremost Indigenous children's author comes a middle grade verse novel set during the COVID-19 pandemic, about a Wabanaki girl's quarantine on her grandparents' reservation and the local dog that becomes her best friend
Malian loves spending time with her grandparents at their home on a Wabanaki reservation. She's there for a visit when, suddenly, all travel shuts down. There's a new virus making people sick, and Malian will have to stay with her grandparents for the duration.
Everyone is worried about the pandemic, but Malian knows how to keep her family and community safe: She protects her grandparents, and they protect her. She doesn't go outside to play with friends, she helps her grandparents use video chat, and she listens to and learns from their stories. And when Malsum, one of the dogs living on the rez, shows up at their door, Malian's family knows that he'll protect them too.
Told in verse inspired by oral storytelling, this novel about the COVID-19 pandemic highlights the ways Malian's community has cared for one another through plagues of the past, and how they keep caring for one another today.
Winner of the 2020 Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Medal
A 2020 American Indian Youth Literature Picture Book Honor Winner
“A wonderful and sweet book . . . Lovely stuff.” —The New York Times Book Review
Told in lively and powerful verse by debut author Kevin Noble Maillard, Fry Bread is an evocative depiction of a modern Native American family, vibrantly illustrated by Pura Belpre Award winner and Caldecott Honoree Juana Martinez-Neal.
Fry bread is food.
It is warm and delicious, piled high on a plate.
Fry bread is time.
It brings families together for meals and new memories.
Fry bread is nation.
It is shared by many, from coast to coast and beyond.
Fry bread is us.
It is a celebration of old and new, traditional and modern, similarity and difference.
A 2020 Charlotte Huck Recommended Book
A Publishers Weekly Best Picture Book of 2019
A Kirkus Reviews Best Picture Book of 2019
A School Library Journal Best Picture Book of 2019
A Booklist 2019 Editor's Choice
A Shelf Awareness Best Children's Book of 2019
A Goodreads Choice Award 2019 Semifinalist
A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book of 2019
A National Public Radio (NPR) Best Book of 2019
An NCTE Notable Poetry Book
A 2020 NCSS Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People
A 2020 ALA Notable Children's Book
A 2020 ILA Notable Book for a Global Society
2020 Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Books of the Year List
One of NPR's 100 Favorite Books for Young Readers
Nominee, Pennsylvania Young Readers Choice Award 2022-2022
Nominee, Illinois Monarch Award 2022
This poetry anthology, edited by Miranda Paul, explores a wide range of ways to be grateful (from gratitude for a puppy to gratitude for family to gratitude for the sky) with poems by a diverse group of contributors, including Joseph Bruchac, Margarita Engle, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Naomi Shihab Nye, Charles Waters, and Jane Yolen.
Stunning, diorama illustrations bring to life this lullaby of a picture book about celebrating everyday things that make life wonderful.
I am thankful for a home where I am safe and warm.
Thankful for parents who read me stories and comb my hair gently, gently.
Who whisper the same poem every night when they tuck me in.
When the first snow falls, a little girl writes down the things she’s thankful for on strips of paper and links them together. As one idea leads to another, her chain grows longer. There’s so much good in her life: a friend, things that are warm, things that are cold, color, things that can be fixed. This beautiful story is a much-needed reminder to observe and honor life’s small joys.
Last Stop on Market Street
#1 New York Times Bestseller
A USA Today Bestseller
Winner of the Newbery Medal
A Caldecott Honor Book
A Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book
This award-winning modern classic--a must-have for every child's home library--is an inclusive ode to kindness, empathy, gratitude, and finding joy in unexpected places, and celebrates the special bond between a curious young boy and his loving grandmother.
Every Sunday after church, CJ and his grandma ride the bus across town. But today, CJ wonders why they don't own a car like his friend Colby. Why doesn't he have an iPod like the boys on the bus? How come they always have to get off in the dirty part of town? Each question is met with an encouraging answer from grandma, who helps him see the beauty--and fun--in their routine and the world around them.
This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Peña's vibrant text and Christian Robinson's radiant illustrations.
Thank You, Mr. Panda
Bestselling Mr. Panda is back with a funny message about saying thank you!
Generous Mr. Panda is giving away presents to all his animal friends, including a mouse, an octopus, an elephant, and a lemur, but they aren't being very grateful about the gifts they receive. It may be because the presents aren't quite right. Mouse receives a sweater that's too big, and Octopus gets six colorful socks even though he has eight legs. Fortunately, thoughtful little Lemur knows that even if the present isn't perfect, it's the thought that counts most of all.Just as Mr. Panda introduced good manners in Please, Mr. Panda and the importance of being patient in I'll Wait, Mr. Panda, Thank You, Mr. Panda is a graphic, kid-friendly way of teaching little ones the importance of saying thank you and recognizing that it's the thought that counts most of all behind every gift.
The Thank You Book (An Elephant and Piggie Book)
Gerald is careful. Piggie is not.
Piggie cannot help smiling. Gerald can.
Gerald worries so that Piggie does not have to.
Gerald and Piggie are best friends.
In The Thank You Book!, Piggie wants to thank EVERYONE. But Gerald is worried Piggie will forget someone . . . someone important.
The Thankful Book
I am thankful for music because it makes me want to dance.
I am thankful for my feet because they help me run and play.
I am thankful for kisses because they make me feel loved.
Todd Parr's bestselling books have taught kids about unconditional love, respecting the earth, facing fears, and more, all with his signature blend of playfulness and sensitivity. Now, The Thankful Book celebrates all the little things children can give thanks for. From everyday activities like reading and bathtime to big family meals together and special alone time between parent and child, Todd inspires readers to remember all of life's special moments. The perfect book to treasure and share, around the holidays and throughout the year.
Best Children's Books of the Year
Notable Children's Book
Pura Belpré Illustrator Award Honor
Gelett Burgess Children's Book Award
Golden Kite Award
Picture Book Illustration
Suggested Reading List
In a series of poetic sentences, a young boy (biracial Mexican/Caucasian) tells about some of the everyday things for which he is thankful.
There are so many things to be thankful for.
For one young boy, it's
splashing ocean waves,
a best friend,
Dad's thick chocolate syrup,
and much more.
Straight from the heart of a child flows this lighthearted bilingual celebration of family, friendship, and fun. Come share the joy, and think about all the things for which you can say, ¡Gracias! Thanks!
Thank You, Omu!
A 2019 Caldecott Honor Book
Winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award
In this remarkable author-illustrator debut that's perfect for fans of Last Stop on Market Street and Extra Yarn, a generous woman is rewarded by her community.
Everyone in the neighborhood dreams of a taste of Omu's delicious stew! One by one, they follow their noses toward the scrumptious scent. And one by one, Omu offers a portion of her meal. Soon the pot is empty. Has she been so generous that she has nothing left for herself?
Debut author-illustrator Oge Mora brings to life a heartwarming story of sharing and community in colorful cut-paper designs as luscious as Omu's stew, with an extra serving of love. An author's note explains that "Omu" (pronounced AH-moo) means "queen" in the Igbo language of her parents, but growing up, she used it to mean "Grandma." This book was inspired by the strong female role models in Oge Mora's life.
Kids Book Match
Want personalized recommendations from a children’s librarian? Fill out our Kids Book Match form, and we’ll email you a list of new favorites within two weeks.
Wondering What to Read Next?
Novelist K-8 - Find new titles and authors to read. Looking for a book similar to Percy Jackson? Want to read stories about animals? Prefer your books action-packed and plot driven? Let Novelist give you some new suggestions!