The Kids Are All Right

Books for Juneteenth, Black History Tee, and More!

Hi Kid Lit Friends!

Doesn’t it truly feel like summer? In New York City, we’ve had a string of beautiful late spring/early summer days. It’s ironic, then, when I ran the Brooklyn Half Marathon a couple of weeks ago, there was torrential downpour. It was a muggy, humid morning, and we got a nice shower at the end of the race. As the weather warms up, I’m feeling a little nervous about training in the hot and humid New York City weather!

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Bookish Goods

Pink Tee with figures corresponding to Black History

ABCs of Black History T-Shirt by EleganceApparelUS

I love this tee with cartoon figures important to African American History corresponding to the letters of the alphabet. Comes in a variety of colors! $13

New Releases

Lei and the Fire Goddess cover

Lei and the Fire Goddess by Malia Maunakea

For middle grade readers who love fantasy, check out this new book releasing this Tuesday. When Anna leaves Colorado to visit her grandmother Tūtū in Hawaiʻi, she is surrounded by folktales of the island. Anna dismisses these stories as fiction until she accidentally destroys Pele the fire goddess’s lehua blossom. As a result, a giant hawk swoops in and kidnaps her best friend, and she quickly learns just how real these moʻolelo are.

ABC and You and Me cover

ABC and You and Me by Corinna Luyken

I love every book that Corinna Luyken creates, and this one is another winner. An interactive story that reinvents the ABC book, this book encourages wiggling, moving, and stretching. A perfect read for active toddlers!

For a more comprehensive list, check out our New Books newsletter.

Riot Recommendations

Juneteenth is coming up on June 19th, and what better way to celebrate the holiday than to read about the history of this day. Check out these great picture books!

The Night Before Freedom: A Juneteenth Story cover

The Night Before Freedom: A Juneteenth Story by Glenda Armand, illustrated by Corey Barksdale

Written in the same meter as Clement C. Moore’s The Night Before Christmas, a grandmother recounts the story of anticipation, emancipation, and jubilation just as it was told to her many years before by her own grandmother. As 8-year-old David listens to this story at the annual Juneteenth gathering in Galveston, he lets the words of his grandmother flow around him and remind him of their very powerful history.

Opal Lee and What It Means to be Free cover

Opal Lee and What It Means to be Free: The True Story of Juneteenth by Alice Faye Duncan, illustrations by Keturah A Bobo

Growing up, Opal Lee knew all about Juneteenth from the stories her grandfather told. But when she realized that most Americans didn’t know what Juneteenth was, she set off to have Juneteenth recognized as a national holiday.

All Different Now cover

All Different Now: Juneteeth, The First Day of Freedom by Angela Johnson, illustrated by E.B. Lewis

I adore E.B. Lewis’s wonderful illustrations, and this story is a declaration of freedom and joy that came with African American Emancipation Day. The back matter includes notes from the author and illustrator, a timeline of important dates, and a glossary of important terms.

Juneteeth for Mazie cover

Juneteeth for Mazie by Floyd Cooper

Mazie is excited to celebrate liberty, and her father helps her understand her history and the long struggle of African Americans living in America. This powerful book offers another perspective of this holiday and honors the long history of people fighting for equality.

Two cats with black and white hair snuggled together in a cat bed

What are you reading these days?

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Happy reading!