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 March edition of BayViews. Not a member? Join, come to our (currently virtual) monthly meetings, and hear about these Outstanding books “in person”!
Mel Fell written and illustrated by Tabor, Corey R.; Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2021.
One day a young kingfisher bird named Mel decides it’s time to learn to fly. Despite her and her siblings’ fears, “she jumped. She flipped. She spread her wings. And then… she fell.” Mel’s exciting tale will be a hit for storytime. (Grades PreK-3.)
The Midnight Fair written by Sterer, Gideon and illustrated by DiGiorgio, Mariachiara; Candlewick, 2021.
A vibrant annd outstanding wordless picture book that will have children and their adults screaming more, more, more at every reading. (Baby/Toddler-2.)
Time for Kenny written and illustrated by Pinkney, Brian; Greenwillow/HarperCollins, 2021.
Brian Pinkney presents four episodic moments through a young black boys day in vibrant and joyful text and art.
Concrete Rose written by Thomas, Angie; Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2021.
A prequel to The Hate U Give, Concrete Rose follows a 17-year-old Maverick Carter while he navigates becoming a father, life in a gang, and the struggle to go straight.
Dawn Raid written by Smith, Pauline Vaeluaga and illustrated by Hunkin, Mat; Levine Querido/Chronicle, 2021.
Extensive back matter supports this compelling historical fiction in diary format about a New Zealand girl in 1976. Thirteen year old Sofia, of mixed Maori/Caucasian heritage, proves a compelling narrator as she intermingles typical teenage concerns and activism. (4-7.)
The Black Panther Party: A Graphic Novel History written by Walker, David F. and illustrated by Anderson, Marcus Kwame; Ten Speed/Penguin Random House, 2021.
This in depth examination of the Black Panther Party tells the history in all of its complexity. The art’s realistic renderings and muted color palette work beautifully with the narrative to convey the complicated legacy of Party’s people and programs. Back matter has resources for further reading. (8-Adult.)
We Are Still Here! Native American Truths Everyone Should Know written by Sorell, Traci and illustrated by Lessac, Frané; Charlesbridge, 2021.
In this companion to We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga (2018), twelve Native American children describe laws, policies, struggles, and victories that have occurred in Native life. The folk art style illustrations help to extend the brief text. (1-5.)
Gone to the Woods: Surviving a Lost Childhood written by Paulsen, Gary; Farrar Straus Giroux/Macmillan, 2021.
Gary Paulsen offers this unusual episodic memoir written in third person about “the boy.” The first and most engaging half describes his idyllic years living on a farm during WWII with relatives; a nice balance of humorous anecdotes with sad or frightening passages of abuse. (7-12.)