Sponsored by Penguin Teen.
An exciting #OwnVoices middle-grade debut starring a Muslim boy with a huge imagination. Omar and his family have just moved, and he is NOT excited about starting at a new school. What if the work is too hard or the kids are mean or the teacher is a zombie alien?! But when Omar makes a new best friend, things start looking up. That is, until a Big Mean Bully named Daniel makes every day a nightmare! Omar’s funny, relatable narrative is the perfect answer to the call for both mirrors and windows to fill bookshelves with diverse stories.
I’m feeling a bit frustrated with things this week (the fact that Britain is leaving the European Union may have something to do with it..) so I’ve been turning to books to cheer myself up. The most successful one so far has been the The Moomin Craft Book which is a wonderful, wonderful thing and I recommend it to you wholeheartedly.
I also wholeheartedly recommend this week’s new releases picks. They are all stories of strength, togetherness and empowerment. I hope that, should you or your young ones be feeling similarly frustrated with life, that they bring joy.
Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes and Anecdotes from A to Z by Irene Latham and Charles Waters, illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini
Dictionary For A Better World offers a dictionary on how to make the world a better place. Each word comes with a poem, an inspirational quote, an anecdote from the authors, and an activity prompt. Amini, an exciting Iranian-British talent, delivers some beautiful artwork to accompany.
Ohana Means Family by Ilima Loomis, illustrated by Kenard Pak
I am running on a family / togetherness theme this week, and this is beautiful. Evocative of the This Is The House That Jack Built rhyme, Ohana Means Family celebrates Hawaian culture in a rich and gorgeous fashion. Pak’s artwork gives light, love and heart.
The Arabic Quilt : An Immigrant Story by Aya Khali, illustrated by Anait Semirdzhyan
Kanzi, an immigrant to America from Egypt, wants nothing more to fit in. But fitting is isn’t about forgetting, it’s about remembering… This is a lesson about cultural acceptance and togetherness, delivered softly and sympathetically.
The Legend of the Fire Princess by Gigi D.G, Noelle Stevenson and Paulina Ganucheau
Based on stories from showrunner Noelle Stevenson, this is the first She-Ra and the Princesses of Power graphic novel and it’s great. There’s a corrupted runestone demanding Adora’s attention – but she’s not the only one with her eyes on it..
Emily Writes : Emily Dickinson and Her Poetic Beginnings by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Christine Davenier
One of my key obsessions are stories of female writers and how they can inspire young creatives. This is a look at Emily Dickinson and the beginning of her creative work. As Emily reflects, she comes to realise that poems are the thing that lies between real and unreal: they are the in-between. A dreamy, exciting prospect.
See you next time!