Children’s literature is one of the most prolific parts of the publishing industry. Besides tried-and-true classics, hundreds of new children’s books hit the shelves each year. That gives teachers and librarians the chance to find and share new stories and new perspectives — and potentially reach more students with compelling tales that build a love of reading.
If you’re looking to update your classroom or campus library, consider some of these recently published books from children’s authors, covering important social-emotional learning skills, lessons to take from the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, and more to help students make sense of a complex world while building a love of reading.
The Science of Surfing: A Surfside Girls Guide to the Ocean
For ages nine and up, this nonfiction graphic novel uses bright, flowing illustrations to explore ocean-centric STEAM topics like tides and marine life. If you like this one, you’ll be happy to know it’s the third in a series by author Kim Dwinell.
Nano: The Spectacular Science of the Very (Very) Small
Physicist Jess Wade and illustrator Melissa Castrillón team up to engage readers with the science behind the very tiniest parts of our universe, like atoms, all while introducing students to the many scientific fields they might consider for a career.
Benjamin Zephaniah’s Nature Trail
The poet and titular author takes readers on a journey through the wonders of nature, imaging the tiny lifeforms you’d see on a walk doing various human activities. It all adds up to a lyrical book designed to get young people to take a closer look when they’re outside.
Told in verse, this book from Abenaki writer and scholar Joseph Bruchac tells the story of an eighth-grader who is visiting relatives on the Wabanaki reservation when the COVID-19 lockdown begins. The story reveals a “powerful message of family, friendship, community, and the bonds that connect us in the hardest of times” for ages nine and up.
The Exploding Life of Scarlett Fife
This book, from Maz Evans and illustrator Chris Jevons, explores big feelings and how they can sometimes get us into trouble. For age eight and up, this funny, over-the-top tale helps students consider what can happen when we keep feelings bottled up.
When the Sky Falls
Phil Earle’s novel explores life in World War II during the London blitz through the eyes of Joseph, a 12 year old who’s dyslexia is poorly understood by the people around him. As the world grows more dangerous, he bonds with a zoo’s last gorilla, Adonis. When Adonis’ cage is taken apart by bombs, Philip has some very serious decisions to make. For ages eight and up.
When You Trap a Tiger
Tae Keller’s 2021 Newberry-winning book brings Korean folk tales to life as Lily meets the tiger from her grandmother’s stories — and the tiger offers a bargain that challenges Lily. This novel is about the impact storytelling can have and it’s for ages eight and up.
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