Each month we post an annotated bibliography of books that were rated ‘Outstanding’ at our previous month’s meeting and nominated for our year-end Distinguished List. Members can see full reviews of these books and many more in the August edition of BayViews. Not a member? Join, come to our (currently virtual) monthly meetings, and hear about these Outstanding books “in person”!
Noah’s Seal written and illustrated by Marlow, Layn; Candlewick, 2021.
A seal sculpted in the sand washes away during a storm, only to return later to guide a young boy and his Nana out to sea in their sailboat. Simple, reassuring word choices, paired with delightful illustrations, leave room for interpretation as children draw their own conclusions about the seal. (Grades Preschool-2.)
On the Trapline written by Robertson, David A. and illustrated by Flett, Julie; Tundra/Penguin Random House, 2021.
A young boy and his Swampy Cree grandfather visit the ancestral lands that the grandfather grew up on. Through an effective question and answer format, the book conveys the history of this Indigenous family and leads readers to reflect on the experiences of Native Americans in the United States. (K-3.)
Don’t Hate the Player written by Nedd, Alexis; Bloomsbury, 2021.
This sweet romance exploring the challenges a young woman of color faces when she enters the world of competitive videogaming while trying to keep the rest of her life on track is both fun and honest. A diverse cast, solid plot, and cinematic description of in-game action make this a stellar read. (9-12.)
The One Thing You’d Save written by Park, Linda Sue and illustrated by Sae-Heng, Robert; Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021.
A class project causes a group of kids to reflect on what matters most to them. Each individuals’ answer and illustration builds on and influences the next, revealing both diverse individuals and a community. Brilliant as a read aloud, a self-read and as a mentor text for a copy-cat class project. (4-6.)
The Girl From the Sea written and illustrated by Ostertag, Molly Knox; Graphix/Scholastic.
Sixteen-year-old Morgan has a plan: stay quiet and unnoticed, wait until she can leave her small island hometown for college, then come out as gay. This is a fun and encouraging read for fans of queer romance, magic, and coming of age stories. (7-11.)
The Boy Whose Head Was Filled With Stars: A Life of Edwin Hubble written by Marinov, Isabelle and illustrated by Marcero, Deborah; Enchanted Lion, 2021.
The charm and majesty of Hubble’s life is captured with richly-illustrated details that elevate understanding and convey Hubble’s massive contributions: our galaxy is not alone and our universe is expanding. Backmatter includes bibliography, author/illustrator notes and more astronomical details. (2-5.)