Hello, Kid Lit Friends!
It’s a beautiful spring day in New York City. I just finished a road race with New York Road Runners, and it was incredibly windy! Even though running outside can be so unpredictable, I much prefer it to running on a treadmill. When I run outside, I can see the seasons change and look at all the interesting things New York City has to share. Often, when I run in my neighborhood, people will give a little cheer or say some words of encouragement as I run by. I love Harlem!
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When Impossible Happens by Jane De Suza (middle grade)
This middle grade book follows 9-year-old Swara who lives in India. When COVID-19 forces her neighborhood into lockdown, Swara takes to communicating with her grandmother via video chat. But her grandmother contracts the virus and passes away. Swara can’t believe she is gone and decides to do some investigative work into her grandmother’s disappearance.
Best Wishes: The Sister Switch by Sarah Mlynowski and Debbie Rigaud (middle grade)
In the first book of the series, Becca receives a magic bracelet that will grant her any wish. Unfortunately, things don’t get as planned…and in the second installment, more mayhem ensues when Addie Asante of Columbus, Ohio receives the box with the mysterious wish-granting bracelet. Addie, who feels stuck in the middle between her sisters, wishes to no longer be the middle kid. Suddenly, the bracelet does its magic and Addie becomes the older sister! But being the oldest isn’t what it’s cracked up to be…
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As the weather warms in the northern hemisphere, my thoughts go to swimming. I’m not a great swimmer despite growing up in Los Angeles, but I’ve recently taken lessons at the Harlem YMCA (with retirees!) and have learned some new strokes and gained some confidence in the water. As such, I relate to a lot of books about swimming and am always excited to share them!
When You Can Swim by Jack Wong (May 2, 2023, Scholastic) (picture book)
In this lyrical and beautifully illustrated picture book, we see children and adults enjoying a swim in many places across the world. All of the various perspectives of people swimming is quite lovely, from beaches to swimming pools to canals and oceans.
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall (picture book)
One of my favorite picture books, Jabari Jumps is centered around that pivotal childhood milestone: jumping off of the diving board. I adore the illustrations and the wonderfully encouraging father in this book.
Swim Team by Johnnie Christmas (middle grade)
This was one of my favorite books of 2019! Swim Team is a graphic novel about a young girl who moves with her dad to Florida and joins a school where one of their required classes is swimming. Afraid of the water, Bree avoids class until she gets help from a neighbor to find confidence in the water and in life.
Obie is Man Enough by Schuyler Bailar (middle grade)
When Obie transitioned, he expected to get some hate. But he didn’t expect that one of his best friends from swim team would react so strongly, intent on bullying and hurting Obie. And while Obie had to leave his old swim team, he feels supported by his new team and his coach. But his old coach’s hurtful and demeaning words ring in his head at each practice. Can Obie find the courage to face his fears and believe in himself?