Outstanding Books of the Month – January 2022
Each month we post an annotated bibliography of books that were rated ‘Outstanding’ at our previous meeting and nominated for our year-end Distinguished List. Members can see full reviews of these books and many more in the January edition of BayViews. Not a member? Join, come to our (currently virtual) monthly meetings, and hear about these Outstanding books “in person”!
The Little Wooden Robot and the Log Princess, written by Tom Gauld, illustrated by Tom Gauld, Holiday House, 2021.
In this beguiling fairy tale, a childless king and queen adopt two unusual children: a little wooden robot and a little log princess. Veering off in unexpected but totally delightful directions, the well-paced story offers plenty of room for a reader’s imagination to soar. A perfect read aloud!
Looking for a Jumbie, written by Tracey Baptiste, illustrated by Amber Ren, Balzer+Bray, 2021.
A little Afro Caribbean girl goes looking for jumbies, which are Caribbean fairies or trolls from folklore. She is not afraid and states several times “I’m looking for a jumbie. I’m going to find a scary one.” This fun alternative to the usual monster stories can be used all year long.
Watercress, written by Andrea Yang, illustrated by Jason Chin, Neal Porter Books, 2021.
A young Chinese American girl describes a car trip where the family stops to pick watercress along the road in Ohio, to eat at dinner. At first, the girl is ashamed and doesn’t want to help or eat the watercress until she learns of her mother’s past as a child of the famine in China.
The Legend of Auntie Po, written by Shing Yin Khor, illustrated by Shing Yin Khor, Kokila, 2021.
A historical coming of age story featuring a Chinese American girl growing up in a California logging camp, this graphic novel expands the idea of the keepers of American folktales.
Nubia: Real One, written by L.L. McKinney, illustrated by Robyn Smith, DC Comics, 2021.
For 17-year-old Nubia, coming of age in a world complicated by racism, misogyny and hate is even more challenging because she is also coming into her identity as a super hero stepping into her immense power as Wonder Woman’s Black twin sister. Realistic dialogue and relationships with good graphics.
Squad, written by Maggie Tokuda-Hall, illustrated by Lisa Sterle, Greenwillow, 2021.
New girl Becca is quickly adopted by the squad of popular girls, and watches them change before her eyes when she’s harassed by a boy at a party. Becca has to make the ultimate choice: join the squad and become a werewolf, or be eaten herself. Sharply feminist, but best suited for older teens.