Sometimes here at the library, adults are afraid to ask for children’s books, but I want to tell you all that we love children’s books too! As a child, myself, I remember being delighted that my great uncle also attended every Harry Potter midnight release. So if it was okay for my 85-year-old uncle to read Children’s books, it’s okay for you too! You have O’Fallon Library’s approval–encouragement even. So come over and check out these spectacular children’s books we all can enjoy!
#1 Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
Four young lives come together on one day when it seems the stars align. Hello, Universe, an adventurous story about told from 4 perspectives, shy Virgil with his pet guinea pig, clever, but deaf Valencia, fortune-teller Kaori, and the neighborhood bully, Chet. When Chet tosses Virgil’s backpack down a well with the guinea pig inside. After Virgil goes to rescue his pet, he is trapped. That’s when these new friends band together for a rescue mission. Along the way, they discover that there isn’t just one way to be brave. It’s adventurous, heartfelt, and even a little mysterious. If you read any children’s books this year, make Hello, Universe one of them.
#2 “Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut” by Derrick Barnes
This vibrantly illustrated book takes readers on the journey of a black child getting a new haircut. It transports us to the barbershop where important people who look successful are getting their hair cut too, faux-hawks, cut-out designs, trims, and tapered sides. Just being around these successful people who look like him infuses confidence into the air. While the story is told straight like spoken word, it feels like poetry and will leave readers feeling the same calm confidence our protagonist does after this cultural experience of getting a fresh cut.
#3 The Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
After 15-year-old Will’s brother is murdered, with a gun in the back of his pants, Will sets out for revenge. As he takes an elevator down from the seventh floor, it keeps stopping, and opening up onto the next floor down where he meets person after person who are all connected in some way to Will–or were. The strange thing is that they all are dead. Offering him up their own stories, Will learns there was more to his brother’s death than he knows, but the question is if he will take their advice before claiming another victim of gun violence.
#4 Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson
Jade knows she wants to go to college, but comes from a poor neighborhood so she does everything she can to ensure her success–even if that means going to a white-dominated private school where she is always reminded that she comes from what they call a “bad neighborhood.” This powerful story trenches up the barriers that race and class and allow readers to see that equity and not just equality are necessary tools for real people trying to better their lives.
If you enjoy these, come ask us for more reading suggestions!