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Richie's Picks


great new and upcoming books for children and young adults



All reviews (alphabetically by title):











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GATHER by Kenneth M. Cadow, Candlewick, October 2023, 336p., ISBN: 978-1-5362-3111-3

HOW TO WRITE A POEM by Kwame Alexander, Deanna Nikaido, and Melissa Sweet, ill., HarperCollins/Quill Tree, April 2023, 32p., ISBN: 978-0-06-306090-6
FROM HERE by Luma Mufleh, Penguin Random House/Nancy Paulsen, May 2023, 320p., ISBN: 978-0-593-35445-2
FOUR EYES by Rex Ogle and Dave Valeza, ill., Scholastic Graphix, May 2023, 224p., ISBN: 978-1-338-57497-5
PENNY AND PIP by Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann, ill., S&S/Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, June 2023, 40p., ISBN: 978-1-6659-1331-7
DOWN THE HOLE by Scott Slater and Adam Ming, ill., HarperCollins/Clarion, October 2023, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-35-868334-6
PARACHUTE KIDS by Betty C. Tang, Scholastic Graphix, April 2023, 288p., ISBN: 978-1-338-83268-6
PIZZA, PICKLES, AND APPLE PIE by David Rickert, Astra/Kane, October 2023, 128p., ISBN: 978-1-6626-7013-8
A WAY TO THE STARS by David Almond and Gill Smith, Candlewick, November 2023, 32p., ISBN: 978-1-5362-3125-0
THE BLOOD YEARS by Elana K. Arnold, HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, October 2023, 400p., ISBN: 978-0-06-299085-3
KOZO THE SPARROW by Allen Say, HarperCollins/Clarion, October 2023, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-06-324846-5
TETHERED TO OTHER STARS by Elisa Stone Leahy, HarperCollins/Quill Tree, October 2023, 320p., ISBN: 978-0-06-325548-7
WATER DAY by Margarita Engle and Olivia Sua, ill., Simon & Schuster/Atheneum, August 2023, 40p., ISBN: 978-1-6659-1871-8
SMALL PLACES CLOSE TO HOME: A CHILDREN’S DECLARATION OF RIGHTS by Deborah Hopkinson and Kate Gardiner, ill., HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, October 2023, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-06-309258-7
STOMP AND CHOMP: MY FIRST BOOK OF DINOSAURS by Simon Mole and Matt Hunt, ill,, Candlewick, October 2023, 80p., ISBN: 978-1-5362-324-3
I AM STUCK by Julia Mills, HarperCollins/Clarion, September 2023, 48p., ISBN: 978-0-35-869533-2 
ACCOUNTABLE: THE TRUE STORY OF A RACIST SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT AND THE TEENAGERS WHOSE LIVES IT CHANGED by Dashka Slater, Macmillan/Farrar Straus & Giroux, August 2023, 496p., ISBN: 978-0-374-31434-7 
MORE THAN A DREAM: THE RADICAL MARCH ON WASHINGTON FOR JOBS AND FREEDOM by Yohuru Williams and Michael G. Long, Macmillan/Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, August 2023, 272p., ISBN: 978-0-374-39174-4 
GRANDPA IS HERE! by Tanya Rosie and Chuck Groenink, ill., Candlewick, August 2023, 40p., ISBN: 978-1-5362-3126-7
HIDDEN SYSTEMS: WATER, ELECTRICITY, THE INTERNET, AND THE SECRETS BEHIND THE SYSTEMS WE USE EVERY DAY by Dan Nott, Penguin Random House/RH Graphic, March 2023, 272p., ISBN: 978-1-9848-9604-9
THE PROBABILITY OF EVERYTHING by Sara Everett, HarperCollins/Clarion, June 2023, 336p., ISBN: 978-0-06-325655-2
UPS AND DOWNS: A BOOK OF EMOTIONS by Mike Wohnoutka, Candlewick, September 2023, 32p., ISVN: 978-1-5362-2737-6
HOW DOES SANTA GO DOWN THE CHIMNEY? by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, ill., Candlewick, September 2023, 32p., ISBN: 978-1-5362-2376-7
THE FIRE, THE WATER, AND MAUDIE MCGINN by Sally J. Pla, HarperCollins/Quill Tree, July 2023, 336p., ISBN: 978-0-06-326879-1

IN THE BLUE by Erin Hourigan, Little Brown, May 2022, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-316-49762-6 

100 MIGHTY DRAGONS ALL NAMED BROCCOLI by David LaRochelle and Lian Cho, ill., Penguin Random House/Dial, April 2023, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-525-55544-5
ANCESTORY by Hannah Salyer, HarperCollins/Clarion, April 2023, 48p., ISBN: 978-0-350846984-1
FISH AND WORM (I Can Read! Comics, Level 1) by Sergio Ruzzier, Harper Alley, May 2023, 48p., ISBN: 978-0-06-329035-8
THE MANY ASSASSINATIONS OF SAMIR, THE SELLER OF DREAMS by Daniel Nayeri and Daniel Miyares, ill., Levine Querido, March 2023, 224p., ISBN: 978-1-64614-303-0
SIMON AND THE BETTER BONE by Corey R. Tabor, HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, May 2023, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-06-327555-3
WHAT MY DADDY LOVES by Raissa Figueroa, HarperCollins/Clarion, May 2023, 32p., ISBN: 978-0-35-858877-1
I AM NOT ALONE by Francisco X. Stork, Scholastic Press, July 2023, 320p., ISBN: 978-1-338-73626-7
HANDS by Torrey Maldonado, Penguin Random House/Nancy Paulsen, January 2023, 144p., ISBN: 978-0-593-32379-3
THE LABORS OF HERCULES BEAL by Gary D. Schmidt, HarperCollins/Clarion, May 2023, 352p., ISBN: 978-0-358-65963-1
JUST JERRY: HOW DRAWING SHAPED MY LIFE by Jerry Pinkney, Little Brown, January 2023, 160p., ISBN: 978-0-316-38385-1
A LONG TIME COMING: A LYRICAL BIOGRAPHY OF RACE IN AMERICA FROM ONA JUDGE TO BARACK OBAMA by Ray Anthony Shepard and R. Gregory Christie, ill., Astra/Calkins Creek, August 2023, 336p., ISBN: 978-1-6626-8066-3
IMPOSSIBLE ESCAPE: A TRUE STORY OF SURVIVAL AND HEROISM IN NAZI EUROPE by Steve Sheinkin, Roaring Brook, August 2023, 256p., ISBN: 978-1-250-26572-2
BIG TREE by Brian Selznick, Scholastic Press, April 2023, 528p., ISBN: 978-1-338-18063-3
SIMON SORT OF SAYS by Erin Bow, Disney/Hyperion, January 2023, 320p., ISBN: 978-1-36808285-3
THE GREATEST KID IN THE WORLD by John David Anderson, HarperCollins/Walden Pond Press, May 2023, 368p., ISBN: 978-0-06-298603-0
HOW DO YOU SPELL UNFAIR? MACNOLIA COX AND THE NATIONAL SPELLING BEE by Carole Boston Weatherford and Frank Morrison, ill., Candlewick, April 2023, 40p., ISBN: 978-1-5362-1554-0
WHAT HAPPENED TO RACHEL RILEY? by Claire Swinarski, HarperCollins/Quill Tree, January 2023, 352p., ISBN: 978-0-06-321309-8
FINALLY SEEN by Kelly Yang, Simon & Schuster, February 2023, 304p., ISBN: 978-1-5344-8833-5
HOT DOG by Doug Salati, Random House/Alfred A. Knopf, May 2022, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-593-30843-1
IN EVERY LIFE by Marla Frazee, Simon & Schuster/Beach Lane, February 2023, 32p., ISBN: 978-1-6659-1248-8
FINDING PAPA by Angela Pham Krans and Thi Bui, ill., Harper, February 2023, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-06-306096-8
THAT FLAG by Tameka Fryer Brown and Nikkolas Smith, ill., HarperCollins, January 2023, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-06-309344-7
GRANNY AND BEAN by Karen Hesse and Charlotte Voake, ill., Candlewick, January 2023, 32p., ISBN: 978-1-5362-1404-8
THE MONKEY TRIAL: JOHN SCOPES AND THE BATTLE OVER TEACHING EVOLUTION by Anita Sanchez, Clarion, March 2023, 192p., ISBN: 978-0-35-845769-5
FIRE CHIEF FRAN by Linda Ashman and Nancy Carpenter, ill., Astra, October 2022, 32p., ISBN: 978-1-63592-426-8
A LIBRARY by Nikki Giovanni and Erin K. Robinson, ill., HarperCollins/Versify, September 2023, 32p., ISBN: 978-0-35-838765-7
THE YAWN BOOK by Diana Kim, Clarion, November 2022, 32p., ISBN: 978-0-35-852593-6
WHAT’S SWEETER by June Tate, HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen, December 2022, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-06-311413-5
THE BIRD BOOK by Steve Jenkins and Robin Page, Clarion, December 2022, 48p., ISBN: 978-0-35-832569-7
WELL DONE, MOMMY PENGUIN by Chris Haughton, Candlewick, October 2022, 40p., ISBN: 987-1-5362-2865-6
A FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING by Dan Santat, FirstSecond, February 2023, 320p., ISBN: 978--1-62672-415-6
THE THREE BILLY GOATS GRUFF by Mac Barnett and John Klassen, ill,, Orchard, October 2022, 48p., ISBN: 978-1-338-67384-5
YOU ARE MY PRIDE: A LOVE LETTER FROM YOUR MOTHERLAND by Carole Boston Weatherford and E.B. Lewis, ill., Astra Young Readers, January 2023, 40p., ISBN: 978-1-63592-387-2
WILD BIRD by Diane Zahler, Roaring Brook, March 2023, 320p., ISBN: 978-1-250-83340-2
TWO DEGREES by Alan Gratz, Scholastic Press, October 2022, 384p., ISBN: 978-1-338-73567-3
PLAYING THROUGH THE TURNAROUND by Mylisa Larsen, Clarion, October 2022, 272p., ISBN: 978-0-35-864549-8
MY SELMA: STORIES OF A SOUTHERN CHILDHOOD AT THE HEIGHT OF  THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT by Willie Mae Brown, Farrar Straus & Giroux, January 2023, 240p., ISBN: 978-0-374-39023-1
A ROVER’S STORY by Jasmine Warga, HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, October 2022, 320p., ISBN: 978-0-06-311392-1

resources: fish in the sea; trees in the forests; coal and petroleum deposits; and fresh water. In a succinct picture book text, she shows how decisions made today regarding these essential resources will significantly impact the quality of life in the present time as well as the condition of the planet that we will leave for future generations.

COMMON GROUND has been around for 23 years, and I still haven't found a book that does a better job of explaining so clearly what is at stake. 

The author concludes by pointing out that, unlike the long-ago villagers who could just move on, “Now we don’t have anyplace else to go.”

Richie Partington, MLIS

Richie's Picks  http://richiespicks.pbworks.com



BEST DAY EVER! by Marilyn Singer and Leah Nixon, ill., Clarion, May 2021, 32p., ISBN: 978-1-328-98783-9


THE MONKEY TRIAL: JOHN SCOPES AND THE BATTLE OVER TEACHING EVOLUTION by Anita Sanchez, Clarion, March 2023, 192p., ISBN: 978-0-35-845769-5

Richie’s Picks: SMALL PLACES CLOSE TO HOME: A CHILDREN’S DECLARATION OF RIGHTS by Deborah Hopkinson and Kate Gardiner, ill., HarperCollins/Balzer+Bray, October 2023, 40p., ISBN: 978-0-06-309258-7

“You've got to try a little kindness

Yes, show a little kindness

Just shine your light for everyone to see

And if you try a little kindness

Then you'll overlook the blindness

Of narrow-minded people on the narrow-minded streets”

– Glen Campbell (1970)

SMALL PLACES CLOSE TO HOME by Deborah Hopkinson is rich in history and incredibly significant for today’s young readers:

“I am part of my family 

and the human family.

I was born free and equal, 

like each and every person 

in the world.

I deserve to live in freedom, 

in a just and peaceful place, 

and to be treated equally and fairly 

no matter what I look like, 

how I speak, dress, 

or wear my hair, 

who I love, 

or where I live. 

And it’s up to me to respect the rights 

of others to do the same.

I have the right to my own 

private thoughts. 

I am free to choose what I 

think and believe. 

And it’s up to me to listen 

and respect how others think 

and believe too”

This excellent piece of illustrated nonfiction is inspired by–and depicts the power and sanctity of–the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Back in 1948, in the aftermath of the Holocaust and WWII, this Declaration was a potent document. Its crafting and adoption by the General Assembly of the then-brand-new United Nations, was overseen by Eleanor Roosevelt. Ms. Roosevelt, the recently-widowed former First Lady, was one of America’s first delegates to the international body.

SMALL PLACES CLOSE TO HOME focuses visually on a young child of color from a mixed-race household. In illustrating the rights of the universal child, the book is organized into sections of “Me,” “My School and Community,” “My Country and World.”

“I have the right to peace,

in a world where all human beings,

as well as animals, birds,

insects, fish, plants,

and trees are treasured.

I have the right to live on Earth

and to work with others to 

restore and care for our planet

and its wondrous mountains,

wildlands, rivers, and seas.

I have the right to dream

of what I want to do in this world

to make life better for all living things.”

Kate Gardiner’s muted gouache and colored-pencil illustrations depict a broad diversity of people and critters on the planet.

Seventy-five years after its adoption, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights remains far more an aspirational dream, rather than reality, for far too many of our fellow humans. Hopefully, teachers, librarians, and parents will share this book and point out how these rights can and should, indeed, begin at home, in the classroom, and in the community. Learning to express respect for and kindness toward the diverse people and creatures in our own spaces–as opposed to bullying, name-calling, and scorning differences–is great practice for growing up to empathize with those whose appearances, cultures, and beliefs are foreign to us.

This all makes SMALL PLACES CLOSE TO HOME an essential purchase and read.

Richie Partington, MLIS

Richie's Picks  http://richiespicks.pbworks.com



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