Recommended Titles from the ALA

The Best Man
Richard Peck. Dial.

Four men in Archer’s family become his heroes in this story of small-town life, family, and marriage.

Kwame Alexander. HMH.

Twelve-year-old Nick excels on the soccer field but struggles to deal with his parents' divorce in this touching yet humorous novel in verse.

Full of Beans
Jennifer L. Holm. Random.

Bean and his gang of friends find the resources to survive the Great Depression’s hardships in their hometown of Key West, Florida.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon
Kelly Barnhill. Algonquin.

Saved by a witch as a baby, Luna is accidentally filled with extraordinarily powerful magic. (Newbery Medal Book)

I Am Not a Number
Jenny Kay Dupuis and Kathy Kacer; Illustrated by Gillian Newland. Second Story.

Sent to a residential boarding school in Canada, Irene reminds herself that her family, language, and Anishinaabe culture are a source of great strength and pride.

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
By Debbie Levy. Illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley. Simon & Schuster.

Discover the life of Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in this picture-book biography about how one small yet powerful woman persisted against great odds.

In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives
By Kenneth C. Davis; Illustrated by Holt.

The lives of five enslaved people owned by four U.S. presidents reveal the contradictions of a land founded upon the idea of freedom.

Juana & Lucas
By Juana Medina. Illustrated by the author. Candlewick.

Juana, a spirited young girl in Bogotá, Colombia, shares her frustrations and successes in learning English. (Belpré Author Medal Book)

Ms. Bixby’s Last Day
By John David Anderson. HarperCollins/Walden Pond.

Ms. Bixby is the sort of teacher that makes going to school worthwhile. When she is diagnosed with cancer, three boys decide to make sure her last day is perfect.

By Sara Pennypacker. Illustrated by Jon Klassen. HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray.

Readers join a stirring search for peace in this poignant tale of loss and reconciliation, told in the alternating views of a fox and his boy.

A Poem for Peter: The Story of Ezra Jack Keats and the Creation of The Snowy Day
By Andrea Davis Pinkney. Illustrated by Lou Fancher and Steve Johnson. Viking.

This homage to Ezra Jack Keats takes the form of a biographical poem, telling of his creation of Peter, the young, black protagonist of The Snowy Day, and Keats’ impact on children's literature.

Preaching to the Chickens: The Story of Young John Lewis
By Jabari Asim. Illustrated by E. B. Lewis. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen.

Civil rights leader and Georgia Congressman John Lewis grew up in rural Alabama. Emulating preachers at church, young John literally fed and ministered to his farmyard congregation of chickens.

The Princess and the Warrior
By Duncan Tonatiuh. Illustrated by the author. Abrams.

The origin of two volcanoes near Mexico City, Iztaccíhuatl (the Sleeping Woman) and Popocatépetl (from words meaning smoking and mountain), is told in this original version of an ancient legend. (Belpré Illustrator Honor Book)

Raymie Nightingale
By Kate DiCamillo. Candlewick.

DiCamillo’s writing sparkles with humor and hope as new friends Raymie, Beverly, and Louisiana endeavor to find their places in the world.

The Secret Keepers
By Trenton Lee Stewart. Illustrated by Diana Sudyka. Little, Brown/Megan Tingley.

When 12-year-old Reuben finds a peculiar, magical watch that has the power to turn its owner invisible, he’s propelled on the adventure of a lifetime.

Steamboat School
By Deborah Hopkinson. Illustrated by Ron Husband. Disney/Jump at the Sun.

When James’ school is closed by a law forbidding the education of African Americans, he helps create a clever alternative.

Step Right Up: How Doc and Jim Key Taught the World about Kindness
By Donna Janell Bowman. Illustrated by Daniel Minter. Lee & Low.

Born a slave, William “Doc” Key, became a self-taught veterinarian. With much kindness, he raised a remarkable horse, named Jim Key, which he taught to answer questions, spell, and write.

The Storyteller
By Evan Turk. Illustrated by the author. Atheneum.

During a time of drought, a storyteller and his apprentice weave a complex tale to rescue their city from a menacing sandstorm.

The Tragic Tale of the Great Auk
By Jan Thornhill. Illustrated by the author. Groundwood.

Great Auks, flightless birds resembling penguins, were prolific in the icy waters of the northern Atlantic until human hunters, egg collectors, and climate change led to their extinction.

A Voyage in the Clouds: The (Mostly) True Story of the First International Flight by Balloon in 1785.
By Matthew Olshan. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Farrar.

Based on the first hot air balloon trip from England to France, this is the funny and wise account of two adventurous men who must work together to avoid disaster.

Wet Cement
By Bob Raczka. Roaring Brook.

Children will enjoy the unusual format of the poems and their titles in this kid-friendly collection of concrete poetry.

When Mischief Came to Town
By Katrina Nannestad. Harcourt. 

Recently orphaned, Inge Maria goes to live with her grandmother. Through her wild and spirited ways, Inge soon endears herself to the villagers, bringing joy to all. 

When the Sea Turned to Silver
By Grace Lin. Illustrated by the author. Little, Brown.

Chinese folklore intertwines with Pinmei and Yishan’s perilous journey to save Pinmei's storyteller grandmother from the clutches of the evil Tiger Emperor.