G My Name is Girl by Dawn Masi

Masi celebrates friends from A to Z from around the world through a remixed, old-school playground song. Friends, neighbors, and family accompany each girl as they alliteratively chant their names, the countries they live in, and qualities about themselves. “N, my name is NELLY, and my granny’s name is NINA./ We come from NEW ZEALAND, and we are NURTURING.” Although the colorful illustrations honor ethnic and racial diversity along with depictions of varied abilities, face and body shape remains consistent throughout. The descriptive vocabulary included in this text can spark interesting discussions, in addition to exploring the geography of the world.

Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Peña

Milo Imagines The World

A young child named Milo and his older sister are taking a long subway ride. To pass the time, and distract himself from “the excitement stacked on top of worry on top of confusion on top of love,” Milo takes out his sketchpad and draws the people he sees on the subway, imagining what their lives are like. A boy wearing a suit and bright white Nikes enters their subway. Milo draws a picture of him as a prince in a castle with service staff and a petit crown on his head. Milo tries to think of what people might imagine about his own life and draws that too. Above ground, the sibling pair head into a brick building with metal detectors. To Milo’s surprise, he sees the boys with the white Nikes. They are going to the same place, to visit their mothers in prison. Milo learns you can’t know everything about someone just by looking at them, but it is fun to imagine. 

This book’s descriptive text and narrative illustrations compliment each other perfectly. Diversity in race, family structure, and socioeconomic representation. Another home-run for this author and illustrator team and a must have for 2021.

As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds

Another favorite from Jason Reynolds!
Two brothers from Brooklyn spend a month during summer vacation with their grandparents in Virginia. It is not just the scenery that is different- there’s no cell reception, no internet, chores to be done, and their grandparents to mind them. Complex family dynamics, rich character development, and small mysteries unravel in this heartwarming story of what it means to be brave.

The Diviners by Libba Bray

The DivinersAn enchanting mystery that will have you on the edge of your seat until the very end! A dark story of the supernatural set in 1920s New York City. Speakeasies, theater, jazz and plenty of twenties slang to keep you giggling.

The story follows a young woman named Evie O’Neill who possesses a power she just can’t explain. After Evie’s brother dies, she is sent to New York City to live with her uncle, a professor of the occult. A chilling murder takes place and Evie’s uncle is called in to help the police investigate the mysterious circumstances. Could Evie’s power help solve this disturbing mystery?

Bray’s characters will stay with you long after you finish reading. Stay tuned for the second book in this series, Lair of Dreams.

Hidden by Loïc Dauvillier

HiddenMemories of being hidden, and keeping those memories hidden… A grandmother tells a special story from her childhood in this touching graphic novel about being young during World War II.

Douina’s lives with her mother and father in Paris. Her life is relatively normal until she is made to wear a star on her jacket. Her father had told her it was a sheriff’s star but everyone begins to treat her differently. Soon her parents are taken away to work camps and Douina is left to be cared for by neighbors and kind strangers. As she settles into her new life and new name, Simone, she can’t help but miss her mother and father. Once the war has ended and it is safe again, she travels back home and begins the search for her parents.

This book offers children a glimpse into the past- what it was like to be young during WWII and how some children and families were affected by the Holocaust in France. Words by Loïc Dauvillier and art by Marc Lizano and Greg Salsedo.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

FanGirlFangirl is a coming of age tale about a young woman named Cath who is starting her freshman year of college. Cath and her twin sister Wren are both obsessed with Simon Snow (think Harry Potter.) Cath writes fan fiction online and has a multitude of followers. As the year progresses, Cath’s new college life gets in the way of the relationship with her sister, their father, and even Simon.

Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown


A wonderful book about self confidence and being an individual! The story centers around a young Scottish-Peruvian girl who is extremely creative, confident, and embraces her mixed heritage. Everyone in Marisol’s life tells her that she doesn’t match- her clothes, her name, even her red hair. Marisol tries to change her appearance and the way she acts but ends up very unhappy. Her teacher asks her why she changed and Marisol could not find a reasons. In the end she realizes that other people’s opinions don’t matter and she is happy to be herself.