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Norwell, MA 02061
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64 South Street Norwell, MA 02061
Phone: 781-659-2015
Hours Directions


Covid-19 update: The Association for Library Service to Children's 2019 Tough Topics Booklist suggests books to help inspire conversations with children going through difficult situations: ALSC 2019 Tough Topics Booklist

The following titles are selected from the Norwell Public Library's collection. By clicking on the links, you will be taken to the library catalog for the opportunity to place holds on titles. Additional titles are available through the Old Colony Library Network. If you do not find what you are looking for, please contact Jessica Phillips, the Youth Services Librarian. Last updated: December 2020

Education & Learning / Emotional & Physical Development / Family & Parenting / Physical & Mental Health / Societal Issues

Education & Learning

Bullies / Neurodiversity / School
"Miss Brooks' Story Nook," by Barbara Bottner

A school librarian encourages her students to make up stories, and teaches a lesson about bullying in the process. J PICTURE BOOK BOTTNER

"Blubber" by Judy Blume

Jill goes along with the rest of the fifth-grade class in tormenting a classmate and then finds out what it's like when she, too, becomes a target. J FICTION BLUME

"Start Now! You Can Make a Difference," by Chelsea Clinton J NONFICTION 361 Cl

"Stand Up for Yourself and Your Friends: dealing with bullies and bossiness, and finding a better way" by Patti Kelley Crisswell

 This book is full of tips, from clever comebacks to the best ways to ignore someone who bullies. J NONFICTION 302.3 CR

"Extremely Cute Animals Operating Heavy Machinery" by David Gordon

When bullies try to stop the extremely cute animals from building their sand castle they band together to build something bigger and better. J PICTURE BOOK GORDON

"My Secret Bully" by Trudy Ludwig J PARENT 302.3 and J PICTURE BOOK FICTION LUDWIG

"The Recess Queen" by Alexis O'Neill

Mean Jean is the biggest bully on the school playground until a new girl arrives and challenges Jean's status as the Recess Queen. J PICTURE BOOK O'NEILL

"Bully," by Patricia Polacco

Sixth-grade friends Lyla and Jamie, both new to their school, stand up for each other when a clique of popular girls bullies them online. J PICTURE BOOK FICTION POLACCO

"How to Be a Lion" by Ed Vere

When Leonard the lion and his friend Marianne, a duck, are confronted by a pack of lion bullies, they find a creative way to stand up for themselves. J PICTURE BOOK VERE

"Felix Stands Tall" by Rosemary Wells J PICTURE BOOK WELLS



 "A Boy Called Bat" by Elena Arnold

The first book in a funny, heartfelt, and irresistible young middle grade series starring an unforgettable young boy on the autism spectrum, from acclaimed author Elana K. Arnold and with illustrations by Charles Santoso.For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises--some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat's mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter. J FICTION ARNOLD

"My Friend Has Autism" by Kaitlyn Duling  J PARENT 618.9285 DU

"It Was Supposed to be Sunny" by Samantha Cotterill

Changes in routine can be hard for any kid, but especially for kids on the autism spectrum. Samantha Cotterill's fourth book in the Little Senses series provides gentle guidance along with adorable illustrations to help every kid navigate schedule changes and overwhelming social situations. J PARENT 618.9285 CO

"If You're So Smart, How Come You Can't Spell Mississippi?" by Barbara Esham

Carolyn has been practicing cursive handwriting, but is frustrated by her lack of success. Her classmate, Stacey Coolidge, has no problem with it, creating more self doubt for Carolyn. Carolyn's teacher finds a way to convince her that creative writing and cursive handwriting are two unrelated skills. J PICTURE BOOK ESHAM

"Last to Finish: A Story About the Smartest Boy in Math Class" by Barbara Esham

Max Leonard is convinced that he will never succeed with memorizing his multiplication tables; and his brain "freezes" during timed tests. But to everyone's surprise, Max has been completing algebra problems sets in his spare time! Max, his parents and teachers are amazed by his math "potential. J PICTURE BOOK ESHAM

"Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key" by Jack Gantos

To the constant disappointment of his mother and his teachers, Joey has trouble paying attention or controlling his mood swings when his prescription medications wear off and he starts getting worked up and acting wired. J FICTION GANTOS

"Fish in a Tree" by Holly Hunt

Ally's greatest fear is that everyone will find out she is as dumb as they think she is because she still doesn't know how to read. J FICTION HUNT

"Get a Grip Vivi Cohen" by Sarah Kapit

Eleven-year-old knuckleball pitcher Vivy Cohen, who has autism, becomes pen pals with her favorite Major League baseball player after writing a letter to him as an assignment for her social skills class. J FICTION KAPIT

"Rules" by Cynthia Lord

Frustrated at life with an autistic brother, twelve-year-old Catherine longs for a normal existence but her world is further complicated by a friendship with a young paraplegic. J FICTION LORD

"Why Johnny Doesn't Flap" by Clay Morton

A picture book with a difference, Why Johnny Doesn't Flap turns the tables on common depictions of neurological difference by drolly revealing how people who are not on the autistic spectrum are perceived by those who are. The autistic narrator's bafflement at his neurotypical friend's quirks shows that 'normal' is simply a matter of perspective. J PARENT 618.9285 Mo

"My Rainbow" by DeShanna Neal

A dedicated mom puts love into action as she creates the perfect rainbow-colored wig for her transgender daughter, based on the real-life experience of mother-daughter advocate duo Trinity and DeShanna Neal. J PICTUREBOOK NEAL

"The Art of Miss Chew" by Patricia Polacco

Describes how a teacher named Miss Chew encouraged individuality, and accepted learning differences, and helped a young student with academic difficulties get extra time to take tests and permission to be in advanced art classes. Inspired by the author's memories of her art teacher. J PICTURE BOOK FICTION POLACCO

"My Life with Autism" by Mari Schuh

Meet Zen! He loves to draw and play video games. He also has autism. Zen is real and so are his experiences. Learn about his life in this illustrated narrative nonfiction picture book for elementary students. J PARENT 618.9285 Sc

"Can You See Me?" by Libby Scott

Eleven-year-old Tally is starting sixth grade at Kingswood Academy and she really wants to fit in, which means somehow hiding her autism, hypersensitivity to touch, and true self, and trying to act "normal" like her former best friend, Layla, who is distancing herself from Tally and her fourteen-year-old sister, Nell, who is always angry with Tally for being different; but as she records her thoughts and anxieties in her coping diary, Tally begins to wonder--what is "normal" anyway? J FICTION SCOTT

"Me and Sam Sam Handle the Apocalypse" by Susan Vaught

Alternates between the detective work of middle-schooler Jesse and her new friend, Springer, after her father is accused of stealing, and post-tornado rescue efforts of Jesse and her Pomeranian, Sam-Sam.



(See also: "Fears-Separation anxiety")

"Look Out Kindergarten, Here I Come!" by Nancy L. Carlson

Even though Henry is looking forward to going to kindergarten, he is not sure about staying once he first gets there.  J PICTURE BOOK CARLSON

"Wemberly Worried" by Kevin Henkes

A mouse named Wemberly, who worries about everything, finds that she has a whole list of things to worry about when she faces the first day of nursery school. J PICTURE BOOK HENKES

"Off to School, Baby Duck!" by Amy Hest

Baby Duck experiences the fear of the first day of school, but with a little help from Grampa, everything turns out okay in the end. J PICTURE BOOK HEST

"We Don't Eat Our Classmates" by Ryan Higgins   

When the class pet bites the finger of Penelope, a tyrannosaurus rex, she finally understands why she should not eat her classmates, no matter how tasty they are. J PICTURE BOOK HIGGINS

"Alice Ann Gets Ready for School" by Cynthia Jabar

Alice Ann experiences both fun and anxiety as she gets ready for the biggest event in her life.  J PICTURE BOOK JABAR

"Countdown to Kindergarten" by Alison McGhee

Ten days before the start of kindergarten, a preschooler can not tie her shoes by herself and fears the worst. J PICTURE BOOK MCGHEE

"Junie B. Jones and the Stupid, Smelly Bus" by Barbara Park       

In her own words, a young girl describes her feelings about starting kindergarten and what she does when she decides not to ride the bus home. J SERIES JUNIE B. JONES

"All Are Welcome" by Alexandra Penfold 

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text introduce a school where diversity is celebrated and songs, stories, and talents are shared. J PICTURE BOOK PENFOLD

"Vera's First Day of School" by Vera Rosenberry

Vera cannot wait for the day when she starts school, but the first day does not go exactly as she has anticipated.  J PICTURE BOOK ROSENBERRY

"I Got the School Spirit" by Connie Schofield-Morrison                                                                                                       

As a new school year begins, a young girl is filled with school spirit as she zips her book bag shut, rides the bus, enjoys her classes, and eagerly anticipates the next day. J PICTURE BOOK SCHOFIELD

"Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten" by Joseph Slate

Introduces the letters of the alphabet as Miss Bindergarten and her students get ready for kindergarten. J PICTURE BOOK SLATE

What If?...Answers to Calm First Day Jitters by Sesame Street

Elmo and his Sesame Street friends help ease anxiety about starting preschool and kindergarten with this picture book that straightforwardly answers children’s “What if…?” questions. J PICTURE BOOK SES

"Emily's First 100 Days of School" by Rosemary Wells

Starting with number one for the first day of school, Emily learns the numbers to one hundred in many different ways.  J PICTURE BOOK WELLS

"Tom Goes to Kindergarten'' by Margaret Wild

When Tom, a young panda, goes to his very first day of kindergarten, his whole family stays and plays and wishes they could be in kindergarten too.       



Emotional and Physical Development 



"Way Past Jealous" by Hallee Adelman

Yaz is so jealous of her friend Debby's drawing ability and the attention it brings that she does something mean, then must find a way to set things right. J PARENT 155.4 ADE

"Hands are Not for Hitting" by Marine Agassi

Teaches even the youngest children to use their hands for fun and to understand that hitting is never okay. J BOARD AGASSI

"When Sophie Gets Angry--Really, Really Angry" by Molly Bang

A young girl is upset and doesn't know how to manage her anger but takes the time to cool off and regain her composure.  J PICTURE BOOK BANG

"My Mixed Emotions: Help Your Kids Handle Their Feelings" by Elinor Greenwood  J PARENT 155.4 DK

"Mad, Mad Bear" by Kimberly Gee 

Bear is very angry that he has to leave the park, but after taking a deep breath he learns to let it go.  J PICTURE BOOK GEE

"What To Do When Your Temper Flares: A Kid's Guide to Overcoming Problems with Anger" by Dawn Huebner  J NONFICTION 155.4 HU

"The Most Magnificent Thing" by Ashley Spires

A little girl has a wonderful idea. With the help of her canine assistant, she is going to make the most magnificent thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. But making the most magnificent thing turns out to be harder than she thinks. J PICTURE BOOK SPIRES

"How Do Dinosaurs Say I'm Mad?" by Jane Yolen

Illustrations and rhyming text explore some of the things that dinosaurs might do when they are angry--and how they should control their tempers. J PICTURE BOOK YOLEN



 Moving / Nightmares & Dark / Separation Anxiety

"Way Past Worred" by Hallee Adelman

Brock is worried about going to his friend's superhero birthday party alone, but while he is hiding he meets Nelly, who is just as frightened as he is. J PARENT 155.4 AD

"I'm Worried" by Michael Ian Black

Potato is worried about what might happen in the future, causing Flamingo to worry, too, but their friend, a little girl, encourages them to focus on enjoying the present, instead. J PICTURE BOOK BLACK

"The Worry Less Book: Feel Strong, Find Calm, and Tame Your Anxiety" by Rachel Brian

Playfully presented, packed with fun and helpful illustrations, and expertly vetted, author-artist Rachel Brian (co-creator of the viral " Tea Consent"video) delivers a must-have book for anyone who wonders why they worry or how to better live with their anxiety. From recognizing when you're feeling anxious and worried, to taking charge by training your brain and using awesome techniques to help you feel good again, this book will have you worrying less and living more. J NON FICTION 152.4 BRI

"The Whatifs" by Emily Kilgore 

Cora, always bothered by the Whatifs, grows much more anxious before her piano recital but a fellow performer helps her imagine what could go right, rather than wrong. Includes author's note about her own anxiety. J PICTURE BOOK KILGORE

"Ruby Finds a Worry" by Tom Percival 

A young girl's sense of adventure and exploration vanishes when she discovers a Worry that grows and grows until she learns how to get rid of it. J PICTURE BOOK PERCIVAL

"Superpowered: Transform Anxiety Into Courage, Confidence, and Resilience" by Shefali Tsabary

An anti-anxiety toolkit of easy-to-understand methods for recognizing anxious behaviors and identifying the causes of worried thinking.  J NON FICTION 155.4 JA


Moving (See also: "Fears-Separation Anxiety"

"Way Past Sad" by Hallee Adelman

Sometimes, being sad can make you feel all alone, even when you're not. J PARENT 155.4 AD

"Home Is a Window" by Stephanie Parsley Ledyard 

A family learns what home really means when they leave their beloved house and move to another.  J PICTURE BOOK LEDYARD

"Evelyn Del Ray is Moving Away" by Meg Medina J PICTURE BOOK MEDINA

"Amelia Bedelia On the Move" by Herman Parish 

When her parents suggest moving, Amelia Bedelia turns going to open houses and exploring new neighborhoods into an adventure.  J READER P

"Lenny & Lucy" by Philip Christian Stead 

A picture book about moving to a new house and making new friends.  J PICTURE BOOK STEAD

"Florette" by Anna Walker 

When Mae's family moves from the country to the city, she is sad to leave behind her beloved backyard garden but before long, she finds a way to start a new garden.  J PICTURE BOOK WALKER



"The Berenstein Bears and the Bad Dream" by Stan Berenstein

After viewing a scary movie about the Spacegrizzlies, Brother Bear has a nightmare.  J PICTURE BOOK BERENSTAIN

"The Berenstein Bears in the Dark" by Stan Berenstein

When Brother Bear brings a spooky book from the library, bedtime and the dark become ominous and threatening to Sister Bear.  J PICTURE BOOK BERENSTAIN

 "My New Big-Kid Bed" by Debbie Bertram

When his new dinosaur-themed bed casts scary shadows at night, a child seeks comfort from other family members. J PARENT 305.231 BE

"Go Away, Big Green Monster!" by Ed Emberley

Die-cut pages through which bits of a monster are revealed are designed to help a child control nighttime fears of monsters.  J PICTURE BOOK EMBERLEY

"Benny and Penny in Lights Out: A Toon Book" by Geoffrey Hayes  J GRAPHIC HAYES

"Tiger vs. Nightmare" by Emily Tetri  

Tiger is a very lucky kid: she has a monster living under her bed. Every night, Tiger and Monster play games until it's time for lights out. Of course, Monster would never try to scare Tiger--that's not what best friends do. But Monster needs to scare someone...it's a monster, after all. So while Tiger sleeps, Monster scares all of her nightmares away. J GRAPHIC NOVEL TETRI

 "I Sleep in A Big Bed" by Maria Van Leishout

 A child who used to sleep in a crib celebrates graduating to sleep in a big kids' bed--even though waking up there in the middle of the night can be a little scary. J PARENT 305.231 VA

 "Frog is Frightened" by Max Velthuijs

Strange noises in the night frighten Frog and his animal friends.  J PICTURE BOOK VELTHUIJS


Separation Anxiety (See also: "Fears-Moving" and "School")

 "Llama Llama Misses Mama" by Anna Dewdney  

Llama Llama experiences separation anxiety on his first day of nursery school.  J PICTURE BOOK DEWDNEY

"The Kissing Hand" by Audrey Penn  

When Chester the raccoon is reluctant to go to kindergarten for the first time, his mother teaches him a secret way to carry her love with him. J PICTURE BOOK PENN

"The Magic Box: when parents can't be there to tuck you in" by Marty Sederman

Casey and his father find a special way to share their love when his father has to go away on business. Includes a note to caregivers.


 Gender Stereotypes 

 "Boys Dance!" by John Robert Allman

 Illustrations and rhyming text celebrate boys who dance, from their very first day of stretching at the barre while dreaming of the exciting roles they might one day play.

 "Except When They Don't" by Laura Geihl

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text challenge the idea that boys and girls should each wear only certain colors or play with certain toys, and encourages them to be true to themselves. J PICTURE BOOK GEIHL


Growing Up

"It's Big Brother Time" by Nandini Ahuja 

 Baby's loud. Baby's messy. Sometimes Baby really smells. Maybe Baby just doesn't know the rules? Good thing it's big brother time--he can show Baby how to be the best baby ever! Told through the eyes of a big brother, this charming hardcover picture book empowers older siblings by showing them that they have very important roles to play in introducing their family's new baby to the world.From cleaning up messes to learning to share, big brother will teach the new baby everything. After all, big brother was a baby once, too--and he was really good at it. J PARENT 306.87 RO

 "It's Big Sister Time" by Nandini Ahuja 

It's Big Sister Time! shows every girl how awesome it is being a big sister. Because as we all know, being a sister RULES! J PARENT 306.87 RO

"My New Big-Kid Bed" by Debbie Bertram

When his new dinosaur-themed bed casts scary shadows at night, a child seeks comfort from other family members. J PARENT 305.231 BE

"No More Pacifier for Duck" by Michael Dahl

Little Duck is growing up, and it is time to make the decision to give up his pacifier for good--even at bedtime. J PARENT 305.231 DA

"Bye-Bye Binky" by Maria Van Leishout 

A little girl explains that she does not need a pacifier anymore, because she is a big kid now.  J PARENT 305.231 VA

"I Sleep in A Big Bed" by Maria Van Leishout

A child who used to sleep in a crib celebrates graduating to sleep in a big kids' bed--even though waking up there in the middle of the night can be a little scary. J PARENT 305.231 VA

"No More Tantrums" by Maria Van Leishout

Babies have tantrums, and do not like being told NO, but part of growing up is learning to ask nicely, and accept restrictions--that is what big kids do. J PARENT 305.231 VA



 "Worm Loves Worm" by JJ Austrian

 When a worm meets a special worm and they fall in love, you know what happens next: They get married! But their friends want to know--who will wear the dress? And who will wear the tux? The answer is: It doesn't matter. Because worm loves worm. J PICTURE BOOK AUSTRIAN

"Love Makes a Family" by Sophie Beer
Whether you have one parent, two moms, two dads, a mom and a dad, or another wonderful caregiver, there's one thing that makes a family a family ... and that's love. J BOARD B
"George" by Alex Gino

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl. George thinks she'll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte's Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can't even try out for the part because she's a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte -- but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all. J FICTION GINO

 "Rick" by Alex Gino

 Ricks gone along with his best friend Jeff even when Jeffs acted like a bully and a jerk. But now Rick wants his own life to be... understood. Even if it means breaking some old friendships and making some new ones. As they did in their groundbreaking novel George, in Rick, award-winning author Alex Gino explores what it means to search for your own place in the world... and all the steps you and the people around you need to take in order to get where you need to be. J FICTION GINO

"Maiden & Princess" by Daniel Haack 

 When a maiden reluctantly attends a ball for her friend, the prince, everyone considers her his perfect match until she surprises them--and herself--by finding true love with someone else. J PICTURE BOOK HAACK

 "Prince & Knight" by Daniel Haack

A prince and a knight in shining armor find true love in each other's embrace after fighting a dragon together. J PICTURE BOOK HAACK

 "I am Jazz" by Jessica Herthel

From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl's brain in a boy's body. She loved pink anddressing up as a mermaidand didn't feel like herself in boys' clothing. This confused her family, until they took her toa doctorwho said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born this way. Jazz's story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers,their parents, and teachers.

 "From Archie to Zach" by Vincent Kirsch

This new picture book from Vincent X. Kirsch celebrates young, queer love in a whimsical, kid-friendly way. J PICTURE BOOK KIRSCH

 "Julian is a Mermaid" by Jessica Love

 While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he's seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes -- and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? J PICTURE BOOK LOVE

"When Aidan Became a Brother" by Aidan Lukoff

 Aidan, a transgender boy, experiences complicated emotions as he and his parents prepare for the arrival of a new baby. J PICTURE BOOK LUKOFF

 "I'm Not a Girl" by Maddox Lyons

 Based on a true transgender identity journey, I'm Not a Girl is an empowering story about a boy who is determined to be himself. J PICTURE BOOK LYONS

"My Rainbow" by DeShanna Neal

A dedicated mom puts love into action as she creates the perfect rainbow-colored wig for her transgender daughter, based on the real-life experience of mother-daughter advocate duo Trinity and DeShanna Neal.  J PICTURE BOOK NEAL

"Pride Colors" by Robin Stevenson 

Through gentle rhymes and colorful photographs of adorable children, Pride Colors is a celebration of the deep unconditional love of a parent or caregiver for a young child. The profound message of this delightful board book is you are free to be whoever you choose to be; you'll always be loved. J BOARD S

"It Feels Good to Be Yourself: A Book About Gender Identity" by Theresa Thorn

Some people are boys. Some people are girls. Some people are both, neither, or somewhere in between. This sweet, straightforward exploration of gender identity will give children a fuller understanding of themselves and others. Written by the mother of a transgender child and illustrated by a non-binary transgender artist, It Feels Good to Be Yourself provides young readers and parents alike with the vocabulary to discuss this important topic with sensitivity.  J PARENT 305.3 THORN

"Introducing Teddy" by Jess Walton

Errol's best friend and teddy, Thomas, is sad because he wishes he were a girl, not a boy teddy, but what only matters to both of them is that they are friends. J PARENT 305.3 WA



"Bunk 9's Guide to Growing Up" by Ada Nuchi

This girl-powered book about puberty is written in the voice of counselors in training at the fictional Camp Silver Moon. J NON FICTION 613.042 NU

"The Care and Keeping of You for Younger Girls" by Valorie Schaefer

You'll find answers to questions about your changing body, from hair care to healthy eating, sleep troubles, and everything in between. J NON FICTION 613.042 SCH

"The Care and Keeping of You 2 for Older Girls" by Cara Natterson  J NON FICITON 613.042 NA

"AMA Boys Guide to Becoming a Teen"  by American Medical Association 

The American Medical Association Boy's Guide to Becoming a Teen is filled with invaluable advice to get you ready for the changes you will experience during puberty. J NON FICTION 613.0423 AM



(See also: "Racial Diversity" and "Anti-Racism")

"King of Kindergarten" by Derrick Barnes

Instilled with confidence by his parents, a young boy has a great firs day of kindergarten. J PICTURE BOOK BARNES

"Jabari Jumps" and "Jabari Tries" by Gaia Cornwall 

In a sweetly appealing tale of overcoming your fears, newcomer Gaia Cornwall captures a moment between a patient and encouraging father and a determined little boy you can't help but root for.  J PICTURE BOOK CORNWALL

"Reach for the Skai: How to Inspire, Empower, and Clapback" by Skai Jackson  J BIO JACKSON

"Flying High: The story of Simone Biles" by Michelle Meadows

A lyrical picture book biography of Simone Biles, international gymnastics champion and Olympic superstar. J BIO BILES

"The Proudest Blue" by Ibtihaj Muhammad 

Faizah relates how she feels on the first day her sister, sixth-grader Asiya, wears a hijab to school. J PICTURE BOOK MUHAMMAD

"Sulwe" by Lupita Nyong'o 

When five-year-old Sulwe's classmates make fun of her dark skin, she tries lightening herself to no avail, but her encounter with a shooting star helps her understand there is beauty in every shade.  J PICTURE BOOK NYONG'O

"You Are Enough" by Maragaret O'Hair

It can be hard to be different-whether because of how you look, where you live, or what you can or can't do. But wouldn't it be boring if we were all the same? Being different is great! Being different is what makes you YOU. This inclusive and empowering picture book from Sofia Sanchez-a young model and actress with Down syndrome-reminds readers how important it is to embrace your differences, be confident, and be proud of who you are. Imagine all of the wonderful things you can do if you don't let anyone stop you! You are enough just how you are.  J PICTURE BOOK O'HAIR

"It's Okay To Be Different" by Todd Parr

Illustrations and brief text describe all kinds of differences that are "okay," such as "It's Okay to be a different color," "It's Okay to need some help," "It's Okay to be adopted," and "It's Okay to have a Different nose."

"Dear Girl" by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and "Dear Boy" by Jason Rosenthal  J PICTURE BOOK ROSENTHAL

"Your Name is a Song" by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

Frustrated by a day full of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her beautiful name, a little girl tells her mother she never wants to come back to school. In response, the girl's mother teaches her about the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names on their lyrical walk home through the city. J PICTURE BOOK THOMPKINS

"Superpowered: Transform Anxiety into Courage, Confidence, and Resilience" by Shefali Tsabary J NONFICTION 155.4 TS


Toilet Training

"Your New Potty" by Joanna Cole

Steffie and Ben learn how to use the potty as they make the transition from diapers to underpants.
J PARENT 649.62 CO 

"No More Diapers for Ducky" by Bernette Ford

When Piggy can not come out to play because he is using the potty, Ducky decides it is time for him to learn to use the potty too. J BOARD F

"Let's Go to the Potty: A Potty Training Book for Toddlers" by Allison Jandu

 Provide your toddler the gentle support and encouragement they need during potty training. Let's Go to the Potty is an engaging, story-driven guide for toddlers who are ready to break free of the diaper. Playful pictures give toddlers visual clues as to what their progress will look like, and a short, rhyming potty song teaches toddlers to communicate their needs. J PARENT 649.62 JA

 "Poop or Get Off the Potty" by Margaret McNamara

When Mason and Mia were babies, they pooped a lot--always in their diapers. Now that they're big kids, it's time to use the potty. But what is the potty for? Naps? NO. Books? NO. Playing the drums? No, no, no! Mason and Mia look ahead to official big-kid territory in this hilarious, instructive story with special emphasis on that momentous toddler milestone: pooping in the potty! J PARENT 649.62 Mc

"Dinosaur VS the Potty" by Bob Shea

Dinosaur doesn't need to use the potty. Even when he's making lemonade, running through the sprinkler, and splashing in puddles. See? He's doing his victory dance. Wait, is that a victory dance, or something else? J PICTURE BOOK SHEA 

"How to Pee: Potty Training for Boys" by Todd Specter

Out with the old and in with the new! Family physician Dr. Todd Spector presents a fresh and outrageously fun way to encourage little boys to give up their diapers. They can try it freestyle (in the backyard!), or give the potty a try with the help of a few props and plenty of imagination. Peeing in the potty is a lot more fun if you do it rocket style, cowboy style, or superhero style! J PARENT 649.62 SP

"How to Pee: Potty Training for Girls" by Todd Specter

Out with the old and in with the new! Family physician Dr. Todd Spector presents a fresh and outrageously fun way to encourage little girls to give up their diapers. They can try it fresh-air style (in the backyard!), or use the potty with the help of a few props and plenty of imagination. Peeing in the potty is a lot more fun if you do it princess style, dance-party style, or gymnast style!

"I Use the Potty" by Maria Van Lieshout

A toddler, tired of diapers, learns to use the big kid toilet. J PARENT 649.62 VA


Family & Parenting

Babies / Families


New babies

 "It's Big Brother Time" by Nandini Ahuja 

 Baby's loud. Baby's messy. Sometimes Baby really smells. Maybe Baby just doesn't know the rules? Good thing it's big brother time--he can show Baby how to be the best baby ever! Told through the eyes of a big brother, this charming hardcover picture book empowers older siblings by showing them that they have very important roles to play in introducing their family's new baby to the world.From cleaning up messes to learning to share, big brother will teach the new baby everything. After all, big brother was a baby once, too--and he was really good at it. J PARENT 306.87 RO

"It's Big Sister Time" by Nandini Ahuja 

 It's Big Sister Time! shows every girl how awesome it is being a big sister. Because as we all know, being a sister RULES! J PARENT 306.87 RO

 "I Am a Baby" by Kathryn Madeline Allen  J PICTURE BOOK ALLEN

 "The Baby Tree" by Sophie Blackall 

 After learning that his parents are expecting a baby, a young boy asks several people where babies come from and gets a different answer from each before his parents have a chance to give the right answer.  J NONFICTION 612.6 Bl

 "Arthur's Baby" by Marc Brown

 Arthur isn't sure he is happy about the new baby in the family, but when his sister asks for his help in handling the baby, Arthur feels much better. J PICTURE BOOK BROWN

 "Baby Love" by Angela DiTerlizzi 

Illustrations and rhyming text reveal the special love between a parent and baby, from button nose to tiny toes.  J PICTURE BOOK DITERLIZZI

 "It's So Amazing!: a book about eggs, sperm, birth, babies, and families" by Robie H. Harris

Uses bird and bee cartoon characters to present straightforward explanations of topics related to sexual development, love, reproduction, adoption, sexually transmitted diseases, and more. J NONFICTION 612.6 HA

"It's Not the Stork! A Book About Girls, Boys, Babies, Bodies, Families, and Friends" by Robie Harris J NONFICTION 612.6 HA

"Hi, New Baby!" by Robie Harris 

A father recalls his young daughter's first reactions to her new baby brother.  J PICTURE BOOK HARRIS

"Angelina's Baby Sister" by Katharine Holabird

Angelina's excitement over the arrival of a new baby turns to jealousy when her little sister becomes the center of attention. J PICTURE BOOK HOLABIRD

 "Welcome with Love" by Jenni Overend

A family helps Mom deliver her baby at home.  J NONFICTION 618.24 OV

"Hello Baby!" by Lizzy Rockwell

A young boy describes how a new baby is growing inside his mommy and tells what it is like when his new sister comes home from the hospital.  J PARENT 306.87 RO

"Kiss Kiss" and "We Sang You Home" "Welcome Song for Baby" by Richard Van Kamp

In this sweet and lyrical board book from the creators of the bestselling Little You , gentle rhythmic text captures the wonder new parents feel as they welcome baby into the world. A celebration of the bond between parent and child, this is the perfect song to share with your little ones. J BOARD V




"I Can Make This Promise" by Christine Day

When twelve-year-old Edie finds letters and photographs in her attic that change everything she thought she knew about her Native American mother's adoption, she realizes she has a lot to learn about her family's history and her own identity. J FICTION DAY

"Babies Come From Airports" by Erin Dealey

Babies come from airports" tells about the adventures of a boy when his mommy brings home his new sister. Calling that special day the "Gotcha Day". He knows just exactly what to say: "We met you at the airport." He waved at planes above. But right now, all she needs to know is ... Babies come from love. 

"Stay: The True Story of Ten Dogs" by Michaela Muntean

Traces the story of ten surrendered canines that were adopted and trained by renowned circus performer Luciano Anastasini, who helped them to develop their respective talents as proud and happy circus dogs. J NONFICTION 636.7 MU

"Picture Book by Dog" by Michael Realth

A dog writes the story of its adoption-and learning to live in a loving home. J PICTURE BOOK REALTH

"I'm Adopted!" by Shelley Rotner

With a perceptive text and dynamic photographs, the creators of this book demystify adoption for young children and celebrate the joy that comes with adding to a family. J NONFICTION 362.734 ROTNER

"Allison" by Allen Say

When Allison realizes that she looks more like her favorite doll than like her parents, she comes to terms with this unwelcomed discovery through the help of a stray cat. 

"Adoptive Families" by Sarah Schuette

Simple text and photographs present adoptive families, including how family members interact with one another. 

"Ladybug Girl and the Rescue Dogs" by David Soman

While at the farmers' market with her mama, Ladybug Girl spies some rescue dogs and, together with the Bug Squad, finds one of them a forever home, vowing to return again to help the others. J PICTURE BOOK SOMAN

Divorce (See also: "Families-Stepfamilies")

"It's Not the End of the World" by Judy Blume

When her parents divorce, a sixth grader struggles to understand that sometimes people are unable to live together.

"Dinosaurs Divorce: a guide for changing families" by Laurene Krasny Brown

Text and illustrations of dinosaur characters introduce aspects of divorce such as its causes and effects, living with a single parent, spending holidays in two separate households, and adjusting to a stepparent. 

"Dear Mr. Henshaw" by Beverly Cleary

In his letters to his favorite author, ten-year-old Leigh reveals his problems in coping with his parents' divorce, being the new boy in school, and generally finding his own place in the world. J FICTION NEWBERY CLEARY

"Fred Stays with Me" by Nancy Coffelt

A child describes how she lives sometimes with her mother and sometimes with her father, but her dog is her constant companion. J PICTURE BOOK COFFELT

"Emily's Blue Period" by Cathleen Daly

After her parents get divorced, Emily finds comfort in making and learning about art. J PARENT 155.4 DA

"The Great Treehouse War" by Lisa Graff

Fifth-grader Winnie, with notes from her friends, writes of turning her treehouse into an embassy after her newly-divorced parents become unreasonable, where she is joined by nine others with complaints. J FICTION GRAFF

"Divorce is the Worst" by Anastasia Higginbotham

A lovingly crafted picture book speaking to the child's perspective on divorce. The book offers advice, sympathy, and wit to match without being pandering or authoritative. While admitting that divorces are painful, it above all empowers its young reader to cope with and even make the best of a difficult situation. J NONFICTION 306.89 HIG

"The Year We Fell From Space" by AS King

Middle schooler Liberty likes to make her own maps of the stars, in fact she is obsessed with them, especially since her family is falling apart; her parents are getting divorced, her nine-year-old sister will barely leave the house and carries a stuffed tiger at all times, her father is suffering from depression, but will not talk about it, and the brothers down the street, once friends, have turned into bullies--so when a tiny meteorite literally falls in her lap it is like a sign, but a sign of what? J FICTION KING

"Stepping Stones" by Louis Knisley

Jen moves out to the country and has to put up with her mom and her mom's new boyfriend, as well as his kids. Suddenly part of a larger family in a new place, Jen isn't sure there is a place for her in this different world. J GRAPHIC KNISLEY

"Why Do Families Change? Our First Talk about Separation and Divorce" by Dr. Jillian Roberts

A nonfiction picture book that introduces very young children to the concept of separation and divorce in a reassuring and straightforward way. J PARENT 306.89 ROB

"I Have Two Homes" By Marian Smet

A young girl named Nina recounts her feelings about her parents' divorce and describes what it is like to live in two households in this touching picture book. Everything is different from the way it was, and sometimes the behavior of the adults around her is upsetting to Nina. This honest, uncomplicated account of divorce from a child's point of view will reassure and comfort young readers who are experiencing the changes that divorce brings to a family. J PARENT 306.89 SM

"Living with Mom and Living with Dad" by Melanie Walsh

Her parents don't live together anymore, so sometimes the child in this book lives with her mom and cat, and sometimes with Dad. Her bedroom looks a little different in each house, and she keeps some toys in one place and some in another. But her favorite toys she takes with her wherever she goes. In an inviting lift-the-flap format saturated with colorful illustrations, Melanie Walsh visits the changes in routine that are familiar to many children whose parents live apart, but whose love and involvement remain as constant as ever. J PARENT 306.98


Foster Care

"The Way to Rio Luna" by Zoradia Corodova

Eleven-year-old Danny Monteverde believes in magic, he believes that the enchanted land of Rio Luna in his older sister's favorite book is real, and most of all he believes that if he can find the way to Rio Luna he will find his sister Pili there, because he does not believe that his sister would run away from the group home where they lived and leave him behind; but after years of being passed from one foster family to another his faith begins to fade--until one day he finds a mysterious book in the library that contains a map to Rio Luna...and a way to find Pili. J FICTION CORDOVA

"Otto and Pio" by Marianne Dubuc

Otto the squirrel reluctantly becomes a foster parent when a strange, furry creature hatches outside his home, saying nothing but "Pio" and growing very, very quickly. J PICTURE BOOK DUBUC

"Just Like Mamma" by Alice Faye Duncan

Carol Olivia Clementine wishes her parents did not live so far away, but Mama Rose provides a home, loves her, and cares for her just like a mother would.

"What's Life Like in Foster Care?" by Dwayne Hicks

Being placed into foster care can be a confusing experience for children. They might not understand why their parents can't care for them, and they may have trouble adjusting to life with a new family. This book shows readers what they might expect when entering foster care. The age-appropriate text provides guidance for dealing with the many emotions that come with a major life event such as meeting a new foster family. The book also touches on what to expect if a foster family situation doesn't work out. 

 "Home for a While" by Lauren Kerstein

 Calvin has lived in many houses that never felt like home, but Maggie, his new foster mother, helps him deal with his emotions when he misbehaves, and still offers hugs. J PARENT 

"A Game of Fox & Squirrels" by Jen Reese

After an incident shatters their family, eleven-year-old Samantha Littlefield and her older sister, Caitlin, are sent to live in rural Oregon with an aunt they've never met. Sam wants nothing more than to go back to the way thing were ... before she spoke up. When Aunt Vicky gives Sam a mysterious card game called A Game of Fox & Squirrels, Sam falls in love with the animal characters, especially the charming trickster fox, Ashander. J FICTION REESE


 LGBTQI Parents

"A Home for Goddesses and Dogs" by Leslie Connor

After the death of her mother, Lydia moves in with her aunts and learns to find a new family of inspiring women and loving dogs. J FICTION TAHOMA

"Heather Has Two Mommies" by Leslea Newman

Heather's favorite number is two. She has two arms, two legs, two eyes, two ears, two hands, and two feet. Heather also has two mommies. J PARENT NEWMAN

 "Love Makes a Family" by Sophie Beer

Whether you have one parent, two moms, two dads, a mom and a dad, or another wonderful caregiver, there's one thing that makes a family a family ... and that's love. J BOARD B

"Nothing Ever Happens Here" by Sarah Hagger-Holt

Seventh-grader Izzy, a shy girl who surprisingly loves acting and being onstage, wonders if her family will ever be normal again after her father announces that he is transgender. J FIC HAGGER-HOLT

 "Mommy, Mamma and Me" by Leslea Newman

A baby enjoys a number of fun activities with her two mothers. J BOARD N

"The Family Book" by Todd Parr

Represents a variety of families, some big and some small, some with only one parent and some with two moms or dads, some quiet and some noisy, but all alike in some ways and special no matter what. J PICTURE BOOK PARR

"In Our Mother's House" by Patricia Polacco

Three young children experience the joys and challenges of being raised by two mothers. J PICTURE BOOK FICTION POLACCO

"And Tango Makes Three" by Justin Richardson

At New York City's Central Park Zoo, two male penguins fall in love and start a family by taking turns sitting on an abandoned egg until it hatches. J PICTURE BOOK RICHARDSON

"Year of the Jungle" by Suzanne Collins
Suzy spends her year in first grade waiting for her father, who is serving in Vietnam, and when the postcards stop coming she worries that he will never make it home. J PARENT 303.66 CO
"Whats His Face" by Gordon Korman

Twelve-year-old Cooper Vega and his military family has moved so often that he is used to new schoolmates not knowing his name, but at the moment he has a bigger problem--his new phone is haunted by the ghost of Roderick Northrop, a boy from the sixteenth-century, who needs his help to finish a quest, which is somehow tied up in the Stratford Middle School production of Romeo and Juliet. J FICTION KORMAN

"My Military Parent" by Julie Murray


 "All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook" by Leslie Connor

Eleven-year-old Perry was born and raised by his mom at the Blue River Co-ed Correctional Facility in tiny Surprise, Nebraska. His mom is a resident on Cell Block C, and so far Warden Daugherty has made it possible for them to be together. That is, until a new district attorney discovers the truth--and Perry is removed from the facility and forced into a foster home.

When Perry moves to the "outside" world, he feels trapped. Desperate to be reunited with his mom, Perry goes on a quest for answers about her past crime. As he gets closer to the truth, he will discover that love makes people resilient no matter where they come from . . . but can he find a way to tell everyone what home truly means? J FICTION CONNOR

"Milo Imagines the World" by Matt de la Pena

While Milo and his sister travel to a detention center to visit their incarcerated mother, he observes strangers on the subway and draws what he imagines their lives to be. J PICTURE BOOK DE LA PENA

"From the Desk of Zoe Washington" by Janae Marks

Avid baker Zoe Washington receives a letter on her twelfth birthday from her biological father, who is in prison for a terrible crime. J FICTION MARKS

"A Wish in the Dark" by Christina Soontornvat 

Set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world, Christina Soontornvat's twist on Victor Hugo's Les Misérables is a dazzling, fast-paced adventure that explores the difference between law and justice -- and asks whether one child can shine a light in the dark. J FICTION SOONTORNVAT

"Visiting Day" by Jacqueline Woodson
A young girl and her grandmother visit the girl's father in prison. J PICTURE BOOK FICTION WOODSON


Stepfamilies (See also: "Families-Divorce")

"Maren's New Family" by Jen Jones 

Maren has been very close to her mother, so she is not happy when she discovers that she will soon have a new stepfather, and when she meets his twin children she is not sure that even her three friends, Delaney, Ashley, and Willow, can pull her through--especially after the twins shave Ashley's dog Coco during a particularly disastrous sleepover.

"Do you Sing Twinkle? A Story About Remarriage and New Family" by Sandra Levins

A boy's parents help him adjust to his new stepfamily when his mother remarries after a divorce. Includes note to parents. 

"Babysitter's Club #6: Kristy's Big Day" by Anne M Martin

Kristy's mom is getting married, and Kristy is going to be a bridesmaid! The only problem? Fourteen kids are coming to town for the wedding! J GRAPHIC MARTIN


Physical & Mental Health


General (See also: "Illness")

"When People Die" by Joanne Bernstein
Explains in simple terms the reasons for death, theories on afterlife, burial practices, grief, and the naturalness of death in the chain of life.

"When Dinosaurs Die: a guide to understanding death" by Laurene Krasny Brown

Explains in simple language the feelings people may have regarding the death of a loved one and the ways to honor the memory of someone who has died. J NON FICTION 155.937 BR

"The Snowman" by Raymond Briggs
When his snowman comes to life, a little boy invites him home and in return is taken on a flight high above the countryside. J PICTURE BOOK BRIGGS

 "You'll Find Me" by Amanda Rawson Hill

 Illustrations and easy-to-read text highlight ways to find reminders of loved ones in everyday actions, even after they are gone.  J PARENT 155.937 HI

"The Goodbye Book" by Todd Parr

Illustrations and brief text relate how a person might feel when they lose someone they love. J PICTURE BOOK PARR

 "This Year's Garden" by Cynthia Rylant

Follows the seasons of the year as reflected in the growth, life, and death of the garden of a large rural family.

"Something Very Sad Happened: A Toddler's Guide to Understanding Death" by Bonnie Zucker

 When a loved one dies, it can be hard to know how to explain it to a young child, particularly if you are grieving the loss yourself. Sensitively written and gently illustrated, Something Very Sad Happened explains death in developmentally appropriate terms for two-and three-year-old childern. It reassures the child that it is okay to feel sad, and that love never dies. Includes a Note to Parents and Caregivers with more information about how to talk about death, answer your child's questions, and maintain your connection throughout the grieving process. J PARENT 155.937 ZU



"Is Daddy Coming Back in a Minute?" by Elke Barber

This honest, sensitive and beautifully illustrated picture book is designed to help explain the concept of death to children aged 3-7.  J PARENT 155.937 BA

"How It Feels When a Parent Dies" by Jill Krementz
Eighteen young people ranging in age from seven to sixteen discuss the questions, fears, and bereavement they experienced when one of their parents died.

"My Father's Words" by Patricia MacLachlan

Declan O'Brien always had a gentle word to share, odd phrases he liked to repeat, and songs to sing while he played basketball. His favorite song was Dona Nobis Pacem, 'Grant Us Peace.' His family loved him deeply and always knew they were loved in return. but a terrible accident one day changes their lives forever, and Fiona and Finn O'Brien are left without a father. Their mother is at a loss. J FICTION MACLACHLAN

"Birdie and Me" by J. M. M Nuanez

Ever since their free-spirited mama died ten months ago, twelve-year-old Jack and her gender creative nine-year-old brother, Birdie, have been living with their fun-loving Uncle Carl, but now their conservative Uncle Patrick insists on being their guardian which forces all four of them to confront grief, prejudice, and loss, all while exploring what 'home' really means. J FICTION NUANEZ


"I Dream of Popo" by Livia Blackburne 

From New York Times bestselling author Livia Blackburne and illustrator Julia Kuo, here is I Dream of Popo. This delicate, emotionally rich picture book celebrates a special connection that crosses time zones and oceans as Popo and her granddaughter hold each other in their hearts forever. J PICTURE BOOK BLACKBURNE

"Grandma's Purple Flowers" by Adjoa J. Burrowes

A child narrates this bittersweet story about her relationship with her favorite grandma. J PARENT 155.937 BU

"Nana Upstairs & Nana Downstairs" by Tomie DePaolo
A small boy enjoys his relationship with his grandmother and his great-grandmother, but he learns to face their inevitable death.|

"Sun and Spoon" by Kevin Henkes

After the death of his grandmother, ten-year-old Spoon observes the changes in his grandfather and tries to find the perfect artifact to preserve his memories of her. J FICTION HENKES

"Alvin Ho #4: Allergic to Dead Bodies, Funerals and Other Fatal Circumstances" by Leonore Look

A fearful second grader in Concord, Massachusetts, learns about death when his grandfather's best friend dies and he offers to accompany his grandfather to the funeral. J FICTION LOOK


Other family member

"The Funeral" by Matt James

Norma and her parents are going to her great-uncle Frank's funeral, and Norma is more excited than sad. She is looking forward to playing with her favorite cousin, Ray, but when she arrives at the church, she is confronted with rituals and ideas that have never occurred to her before. While not all questions can be answered, when the day is over Norma is certain of one thing: Uncle Frank would have enjoyed his funeral. This sensitive and life-affirming story will lead young readers to ask their own questions about life, death and how we remember those who have gone before us. J PARENT 155.937 JA

"Summer of the Gypsy Moths" by Sara Pennypacker

A foster child named Angel and twelve-year-old Stella, who are living with Stella's great-aunt Louise at the Linger Longer Cottage Colony on Cape Cod, secretly assume responsibility for the vacation rentals when Louise unexpectedly dies and the girls are afraid of being returned to the foster care system. J FICTION PENNYPACKER

"What's Heaven?" by Maria Shriver

After her great-grandmother's death, a young girl learns about heaven by asking her mother all kinds of questions.



"If Nathan Were Here" by Mary Bahr Fritts

A young boy grieves the loss of his best friend and thinks about how things would be if he were still alive. J PARENT 155.937 FI

"Bridge to Terabithia" by Katherine Paterson

The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm. J NEWBERY PATERSON


"Bear Island" by Matthew Cordell

Bear Island is a heartfelt picture book about healing after loss by Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell. J PARENT 155.937 CO

"A Dog like Jack" by DyAnne Disalvo

After a long life of chasing squirrels, licking ice cream cones, and loving his adoptive family, an old dog comes to the end of his days.
J PARENT 155.937 DI

"Rough Patch" by Brian Lies 

 Farmer Evan and his dog do everything together and, especially, in the garden but when his dog passes away Evan lets his garden fill with weeds until a pumpkin vine brings new hope. J PARENT 155.937 LI

 "Goodbye Mitch" by Ruth Wallace-Brodeur

A young boy describes how he feels when the family cat dies. J 155.937 WA


In Just Ask , United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges--and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. As the kids work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other along the way, this book encourages readers to do the same- When we come across someone who is different from us but we're not sure why, all we have to do is Just Ask. J PICTURE BOOK SOTOMAYOR


Person with Deafness or Hard of Hearing

"Proud to Be Deaf" by LILLI Beese

A wonderful child-led book that celebrates Deaf culture and introduces readers to British Sign Language. J NON FICTION 419.7 BE

"El Deafo" by CeCe Bell

Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful--and very awkward--hearing aid. J GRAPHIC BELL

"The Gallaudet children's dictionary of American Sign Language" 

Features more than 1,000 ASL sign drawings; all signs paired with ... color illustrations; introduction [explains] how to sign ASL and fingerspell; complete index of English terms for each sign, including synonyms; sample sentences using specific words to match every sign's meaning. J NON FICTION 419.7 GO  (Dictionary for free online)

"You Don't Know Anything, Gilly P!" by Alex Gino

When her new baby sister is born deaf, Jilly makes an online connection with a fellow fantasy fan, who happens to be black and deaf, and begins to learn about the many obstacles that exist in the world for people who are different from her. J FICTION GINO

"Charlie and Frog" by Karen Kane

While staying with his grandparents in Castle-on-the-Hudson, Charlie stumbles upon a mystery but must learn American Sign Language to keep up with Frog, a deaf girl who wants to help solve it. J MYSTERY KANE

 "Song for a Whale" by Lynne Kelly

 Twelve-year-old Iris and her grandmother, both deaf, drive from Texas to Alaska armed with Iris's plan to help Blue-55, a whale unable to communicate with other whales. J FICTION KELLY

 "Show Me a Sign" by Ann Clare LeZotte

It is 1805 and Mary Lambert has always felt safe among the deaf community of Chilmark on Martha's Vineyard where practically everyone communicates in a shared sign language, but recent events have shattered her life; her brother George has died, land disputes between English settlers and the Wampanoag people are becoming increasingly bitter, and a "scientist" determined to discover the origins of the islands' widespread deafness has decided she makes the perfect "live specimen"--and kidnapped her. J FICTION LEZOTTE

"Nita's First Signs" by Kathy MacMillan

Nita communicates with her parents in sign language to ask for snacks, play ball, and express love.  J PARENT 419.7 MA

"Emma Everyday Series" by C.C. Reid 

Join Emma on different adventures through 3rd grade. J SERIES EMMA

Signing Time DVD Series

Sing along with songs while learning sign language.  J DVD SIGN

"Listening with Your Eyes" by Shelia Stewart

Kids who are deaf or hard of hearing might not be able [to] hear what's going on around them, but their eyes give them a lot of information about the world. Some people who are deaf or hard of hearing might wear hearing aids or have surgery to help their ears better, while others rely even more on their eyes for help.

"Who was Helen Keller?" by Gare Thompson

A biography of the woman who, with the assistance of her devoted teacher Annie Sullivan, achieved success and fame despite being blind and deaf. J BIO WHO WAS


Person with Down Syndrome

"We'll Paint the Octopus Red" by S.A. Bodeen

Emma and her father discuss what they will do when the new baby arrives, but they adjust their expectations when he is born with Down syndrome. J PARENT STU

"The Summer of the Swans" by Betsy Byars

A teen-age girl gains new insight into herself and her family when her mentally challenged brother gets lost. J NEWBERY BYARS

"Marcus Vega Doesn't Speak Spanish" by Pablo Cartaya

After a fight at school leaves Marcus facing suspension, Marcus's mother takes him and his younger brother, who had Down's syndrome, to Puerto Rico to visit relatives they do not remember or have never met, and while there Marcus starts searching for his father, who left their family ten years ago and is somewhere on the island. J FICTION CARTAYA

"One Third Nerd" by Gennifer Choldenko 

Ten-year-old Liam and his two younger sisters, precocious third-grader Dakota and second-grader Izzy, who has Down syndrome, face the possibility of losing their beloved dog, Cupcake, who keeps urinating on their apartment's carpet.  J FICTION CHOLDENKO

"Janine" by Maryanne Cocoa-Leffler 

Janine is one of a kind. She focuses on the positive while navigating life with disabilities. She makes a difference just by being herself.  J PICTURE BOOK COCOA

"You Are Enough" by Maragaret O'Hair

 It can be hard to be different-whether because of how you look, where you live, or what you can or can't do. But wouldn't it be boring if we were all the same? Being different is great! Being different is what makes you YOU. This inclusive and empowering picture book from Sofia Sanchez-a young model and actress with Down syndrome-reminds readers how important it is to embrace your differences, be confident, and be proud of who you are. Imagine all of the wonderful things you can do if you don't let anyone stop you! You are enough just how you are.  J PICTURE BOOK O'HAIR

"Russ and the Almost Perfect Day" by Janet Elizabeth Rickert

 Russ, a student with Down syndrome, is having a perfect day until he realizes that the five-dollar bill he has found probably belongs to a classmate.

"Sunnyside Plaza" by Simon Scott

While helping police officers Esther and Lon investigate a suspicious death at her group home, nineteen-year-old Sal Miyake, who is mentally challenged, gains insights into herself and makes new friends. J FICTION SCOTT

Person with Blindness or Vision Impairment

Braille with Sign Language Blocks Toy-local holds only

"Douglas You Need Glasses" by Ged Adamson

After visiting the eye doctor, a near-sighted dog gets glasses. J PICTURE BOOK ADAMSON

"Glasses for D.W." by Marc Brown
Arthur's little sister wants to wear glasses like her brother and tries to prove she needs them. J READER BRO

"6 Dots: A story of young Lewis Braille" by Jennifer Bryant  J BIO BRA

"My Friend is Blind" by Kirsten Chang J PARENT 305.908 CH

"Heidi Heckelbeck Needs Glasses" by Wanda Coven

When she gets glasses, Heidi's friend Lucy gets a lot of attention at school, and eight-year-old Heidi decides that she must have glasses too, until her Aunt Trudy helps her to see that she really does not need them. J SERIES HEIDI

"DK Braille: It Can't Be True" by DK  J NON FICTION 031.02 IT

"DK Braille: On the Move" by DK J BOARD DK

"Smiley: A Journey of Love" by Joanne George 

Smiley, a most remarkable Golden Retriever, was born without eyes. He was rescued from a puppy mill and has become a superb therapy dog, providing therapy to people all over the world through social media and television. This is his story. J NONFICTION 636.7 GEO

"Who was Lewis Braille?" by Margaret Frith  J BIO WHO WAS

"Looking Out for Sara" by Glenna Lang

Describes a day in the life of a seeing eye dog, from going with his owner to the grocery store and post office, to visiting a class of school children, and playing ball. Also describes their three hundred mile walk from Boston to New York.

"Fancy Nancy: Spectacular Spectacles" by Jane O'Connor

When Nancy's friend Bree gets some glittery glasses to help her see better, Nancy, who likes to be fancy, wants to wear glasses too. J READER O

"Junie B., First Grader (At Last!)" by Barbara Park

Junie B. thinks first grade is a flop when her kindergarten friend Lucille prefers the company of twins Camille and Chenille and Junie B. needs glasses.
J Chapter Park

"As Brave As You" by Jason Reynolds  J FICTION REY


Wheelchair Users

"My Friend Uses a Wheelchair" by Kirsten Chang

In My Friend Uses a Wheelchair, beginning readers are introduced to different characters who use wheelchairs, how using a wheelchair may affect their actions, and how we can be good friends to people who use wheelchairs.

"Questions About: Having a Disability" by Louise Spilsbury

Many children who have a disability feel left out. How can you help address this issue? An inclusive and accessible picture book from the Questions and Feelings About ... series uses child-friendly text and examples to explore that very question. It includes a helpful section with advice, practical tips, and activities for caregivers and teachers.

"Roll with It" by Jamie Sumner

Twelve-year-old Ellie, who has cerebral palsy, finds her life transformed when she moves with her mother to small-town Oklahoma to help care for her grandfather, who has Alzheimer's Disease. J GRAPHIC SUMNER


People with Cerebral Palsy

 "Out of My Mind" by Sharon Draper 

 A brilliant, impatient fifth-grader with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that will allow her to speak for the first time. J FICTION DRAPER

 "I Will Dance" by Nancy Jo Flood

 Eva's cerebral palsy makes it difficult for her to do many things, but she longs to dance and, finally, her dream is realized. Includes author's note and information about Young Dance Company. J PICTURE BOOK FLOOD

 "Woodpecker Girl" by Chingyen Liu

Based on an actual story, a girl with cerebral palsy feels trapped in her body and unable to communicate. It causes her to grunt in anger, scaring off children and making it impossible to make friends. When her art teacher straps a paintbrush to her head, the children nickname her "Woodpecker Girl." But the girl begins to paint her thoughts and feelings and her talent bursts through. Illustrator Heidi Doll mimicked the girl's style for the book, and the girl's real paintings are displayed in the backmatter. J PICTURE BOOK LIU


Sensory Processing Disorder

"Tune It Out" by Jamie Sumner

Twelve-year-old Lou Montgomery's life has been centered on her mother's terrifying plan to make her a singing star, but a crisis reveals Lou's sensory processing disorder and people determined to help her address it. J FICTION SUMNER

 "This Beach is Too Loud" by Samantha Cotterrill

A sensitive boy gets overwhelmed by all the sights, sounds, and sensations at the beach, but his dad has a trick to help his son face these unexpected obstacles.  J PARENT 618.92856 CO



(See also: "Death")

Allergies & Asthma / Cancer / COVIDDiabetes / Lice


Allergies & Asthma


"I'm a Gluten-Sniffing Service Dog" Michal Babay

 A service dog and his human share a special bond. J PARENT 616.399 BA

 "Living With Allergies" by Michelle Levine

"Asthma" by Elaine Landau

"Allergic" by Meghan Wagner Lloyd

A coming-of-age middle-grade graphic novel featuring a girl with severe allergies who just wants to find the perfect pet! J GN LLOYD



 "You are the Best Medicine" by Julie Aiger-Clark

 A mother who has cancer gently informs her child of what the effects will be, and reminds her little one of all the special times they have shared, and will continue to share, even while she undergoes treatment. J PICTURE BOOK CLARK

 "Helping Children Understand: a guide for a parent with cancer" by American Cancer Society 

J PARENT 616.994 AM

"Nanna, What's Cancer?" by Beverlye Hyma Fead J PARENT 616.99 FEA

"I'm a Kid Living with Cancer" by Jenevieve Fisher J PARENT 616.99 FIS

"When a Kid Like Me Fights Cancer" by Catherine Stier

Ben has cancer, but he also has a loving family and friends, a community fighting for him--and hope. J PARENT 616.994 ST



"Why Did the Whole World Stop?" by Heather Black

Children ask a lot of questions. Sometimes the answers are simple, other times they leave you stumped for how to respond. Use this book as a springboard for conversation on the tricky topic of discussing a global pandemic at a child's level. J NON FICTION 614.58 BL

"Any Bunny's COVID-19 ABC" by Debbie & Grace Blackington

No bunny wants to be sick. Come learn your ABCs and see how you can help!  J PICTURE BOOK BLACKINGTON

"Understanding COVID-19" by Douglas Hustad

COVID-19 is a disease caused by a virus called SARS-CoV2. Like all viruses, it is far too small to be seen by the naked eye. Yet this virus and the disease it caused had an enormous impact on the world. Understanding COVID-19 explores how the virus and the disease work, examining what made them so dangerous and what health officials learned about fighting them. Features include a glossary, references, websites, source notes, and an index. J NON FICTION 614.58 HU

 "We Wear Masks" by Marla Lesage

 In this picture book, readers are introduced to all sorts of professionals and other people who wear masks in their daily lives and are reminded that wearing a mask to limit the spread of germs is an act of kindness. J PICTURE BOOK LESAGE

"Outside, Inside" by Leuyen Pham

From Caldecott honoree LeUyen Pham, Outside, Inside is a moving picture book celebrating essential workers and the community coming together to face the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

"The World Made a Rainbow" by Michelle Robinson

When all the world has to stay home, a little girl who misses her grandma, friends, and school works with her parents to make a rainbow to display in their window to give others hope. J PICTURE BOOK ROBINSON

 "Heroes Wear Masks" by Sesame Street

Starring Elmo of Sesame Street. J PICTURE BOOK SESAME



"The Truth About Stacey" by Ann Martin

Joining the Baby-sitter's Club after moving to a new town, Stacey helps her new friends outmaneuver a rival sitter group while coming to terms with her diabetes.



"George Brown Class Clown: Lice Check" by Katie Krulik

During an outbreak at school, George tries to remain lice-free while ensuring that his dad's booth at Career Day is more popular than his rival Louis Farley's dad's.

"Head Lice" by Elaine Landau


 Dentists / Doctors / Surgery & Hospitals



"The Crocodile and the Dentist" by Taro Gomi

Crocodile goes to the dentist, and both of them have to overcome their fears--not only of tooth extractions, but of each other. J PICTURE BOOK GOMI

"A Visit to the Dentist" by James Morenco
Does that smile sparkle? -- During a dental exam -- What does the dentist do? J NON FICTION 617.6 MO

"Open Wide: tooth school inside" by Laurie Keller
Through a classroom setting in which teeth are the students, presents information about the structure and care of teeth and the services provided by dentists.



"Pete the Kitty Goes to the Doctor" by James Dean J READER P

"Who Says Women Can't Be Doctors? The Story of Elizabeth Blackwell" by Tanya Lee Stone J BIO BLACKWELL

"Doctors" by Carl Meister

This photo-illustrated book for early readers gives examples of different things doctors do: setting broken bones, yearly check-ups, taking care of cancer patients, and more.

"Katie Goes to the Doctors" by Liesbet Slegers

When Katie doesn't feel well, her mother explains that she has a fever and takes Katie to see the doctor, with her favorite toy in tow--using simple language and vivid illustrations, this soothing tale is an ideal way to prepare children for their first visit to a medical practitioner.  J PICTURE BOOK SLEGERS


Surgery & Hospitals

"Harry Goes to the Hospital" by Howard Bennett J PICTURE BOOK BENNETT

"Clifford Visits the Hospital" by Norman Bridwell

Clifford visits the hospital and gets into mischief everywhere he goes. J PICTURE BOOK BRIDWELL

"Curious George Visits the Hospital" by Margaret Rey

A curious monkey goes to the hospital after swallowing a piece of jigsaw puzzle. J PICTURE BOOK REY



"What's on My Plate?" by Jennifer Boothroyd

Eating a balanced diet from the five food groups is important to your health and well-being! Boothroyd helps you learn about good food choices, and explains how each of the food groups contributes to a strong body. 

"How Did That Get in My Lunchbox? A Story about Food" by Christine Butterworth

The best part of a young child's day is often opening a lunchbox and diving in. But how did all that delicious food get there? Who made the bread for the sandwich? What about the cheese inside? Who plucked the fruit? And where did the chocolate in that cookie get its start? From planting wheat to mixing flour into dough, climbing trees to machine-squeezing fruit, picking cocoa pods to stirring a vat of melted bliss, here is a clear, engaging look at the steps involved in producing some common foods. Healthy tips and a peek at basic food groups complete the menu. J NON FICTION 641. 3 GA

"Chop Chop Magazine"

"Our Food" by Grace Lin

Newbery Honor-winning Lin and science author McKneally join forces with illustrator Zong to explore the five food groups fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy as well as the nutritional balance needed to give children energy and keep them healthy. J NON FICTION 613.2 LI

"Cool Dairy Free Recipies: Delicious and Fun Foods with Dairy" by Nancy Tuminelli

The Cool Recipes for Your Health series gives young readers the tools to make healthy, tasty--and safe--dishes for anybody, anytime. J NON FICTION 641.5 TU

"Cool Wheat Free Recipes: Delicious and Fun Foods with Gluten" by Nancy Tuminelli

The Cool Recipes for Your Health series gives young readers the tools to make healthy, tasty--and safe--dishes for anybody, anytime.  J NON FICTION 641.5 TU


 Physical & Sexual Abuse

"Lauren's Kingdom" by Lauren Book

Lauren is happy until a babysitter makes her feel uncomfortable. Lauren's courage helps her overcome her problem and help a friend as well. J PARENT BOO

"Fighting Words" by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

In this powerful novel that explodes the stigma around child sexual abuse and leavens an intense tale with compassion and humor, Kimberly Brubaker Bradley tells a story about two sisters, linked by love and trauma, who must find their own voices before they can find their way back to each other. J FICTION BRADLEY

"The Big Bad Wolf in My House" by Valerie Fontaine

The young girl tells us that her mom's new friend is just like the big bad wolf. At first the wolf is sweet and kind to her mom, though the girl notices the wolf's cold eyes from the very beginning. When her mom arrives home late one day, the wolf suddenly hurls angry words and terrible names at her. From that day on her mother doesn't smile anymore. The girl is careful to clean her room and brush her teeth and do everything to keep the peace, but the wolf is unpredictable, throwing plates on the floor, yelling at her mother and holding the girl's arm so tightly she is left with bruises. Whenever the yelling begins, she hides under the covers in her room. How will she and her mom cope as the wolf becomes increasingly fierce? Valérie Fontaine and Nathalie Dion have created a powerful, moving story about violence in the home that ends on a note of hope. J PARENT 362.76 FO

"Chirp" by Kate Messner

Moving to Vermont the summer after seventh grade, a young gymnast hides a secret as she makes new friends and investigates her grandmother's claim that someone is trying to destroy her cricket farm. J FICTION MESSNER

"Under Our Clothes: Our First Talk About Our Bodies" by Jillian Roberts

In this illustrated nonfiction picture book, child psychologist Dr. Jillian Roberts introduces young readers to the ideas of body safety and body image.  

"My Body! What I Say Goes" by Jayneen Sanders J PARENT 362.76 SA



"Time for Bed's Story" by Monica Arnaldo

Monica Arnaldo's hilarious picture book explores the point of view of an unusual narrator: a child's bed. Irreverent and full of personality, Arnaldo's Bed is also full of love and compassion, making for a relatable and, ultimately, endearing story. This playful and highly original book offers a light-hearted way to approach discussions on communication, perspective and viewpoint. It can be used to promote critical thinking in young children and an understanding that there are at least two sides to every story. J PICTURE BOOK ARN

"Sheep Won't Sleep: Counting by 2s, 5s and 10s" by Judith Cox

A girl who cannot sleep decides to count sheep and other woolly animals by ones, twos, fives, and tens. J PICTURE BOOK COX

"What is Sleep?" by Katie Daynes

Why do I have to go to sleep? What happens when you sleep? Where do animals sleep? What are dreams? These curious questions are explored through delightful illustrations, intriguing flaps and simple words.

"Nighty-Night Cooper" by Laura Numeroff

It is bedtime, but Cooper is not ready to climb into his mother's pouch and go to sleep until they enjoy some lullabies. 

 "How I Sleep" by Ruth Owen

Your body goes through a cycle of five different stages when you sleep. The fifth stage is known as Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep. Learn about the fascinating ways the human body functions in How I Sleep, a My Body title. Each title in the series introduces readers to the ways in which their body senses things, grows, and interacts with the world around them.

"No Cry Sleep Solution for Babies" by Elizabeth Pantley

Nearly all babies fight sleep. Some people argue that parents should let their baby "cry it out" until the child falls asleep; others say parents should tough it out from dusk until dawn. Neither tactic fosters happiness in the family. The No-Cry Sleep Solution gives parents a third option: a proven method to pin-point the root of sleep problems and solve them in a way that is gentle to babies, effective for parents, and provides peace in the home. One of today's leading experts on children's sleep, Elizabeth Pantley delivers clear, step-by-step ideas for guiding your child to a good night's sleep--without any crying.

"No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers" by Elizabeth Pantley


 Yoga & Mindfulness

"Dinos Don't Do Yoga" by Catherine Bailey

Rex is a dinosaur with a rough, tough crew. But when a yoga-loving dinosaur comes to town, Rex and his fierce friends discover there's more to strength than big muscles and bad attitudes. Renowned author Catherine Bailey offers a fun-filled story with timely themes about kindness, friendship, and being able to see past our differences. J PICTURE BOOK BAILEY

"My First Yoga Class" by Alyssa Satin Capucilli

Learn all about what happens at yoga class and see kids practicing yoga. J READER C

"Yoga Baby" by Amanda Flinn

Illustrations and simple, rhyming text reveal the fun a mother and baby have throughout their day as one practices yoga and the other reaches, bends, and rocks with her. Includes tips for incorporating yoga practice into daily life with a young child. J BOARD F

"Good Morning Yoga: A Pose by Pose Wake Up Story" by Mariam Gates

Calm and awake, "I can do this!"is all I need to say.A deep breath in, a long breath out--I am ready for the day!This "wake up" story is so much more than a story. It's a practice for kids and parents to greet the morning with joy and embark on their daily adventures with intention and confidence. Turn the page and reach up to the sky, press your feet into the earth, and get ready for a great day! J NONFICTION 613.7 GA

"Good Night Yoga: A Pose by Pose Bedtime Story" by Mariam Gates

For parents and caregivers looking for a fun and effective new routine for bedtime, innovative educator Mariam Gates presents Good Night Yoga, a playful yet wholly practical book for preparing for sleep. This beautifully illustrated, full-color book tells the story of the natural world as it closes down for the night, while teaching children a simple flow of yoga postures inspired by their favorite characters from nature. J NONFICTION 613.7 GA

"DK Calm Mindfullness for Kids" by Wynne Kinder

This book is packed with activities--make a mindfulness jar, learn how to appreciate food with mindful eating, and get out into nature and explore the outside world. An illustrated journal section at the back of the book encourages children to make notes about their own thoughts and feelings. J NON FICTION 158.13 KIN

"Elmo is Mindful" by Joel Mathieu

Just like kids everywhere, Elmo, Grover, Cookie Monster, and their Sesame Street friends sometimes have trouble controlling their emotions. This board book offers thoughtful suggestions as to what to do when you're scared, angry, frustrated, upset, and overwhelmed.  J NON FICTION 158.13 SE

"My Magic Breath: Finding Calm Through Mindful Breathing" by Nick Ortner

Encourages children to discover their magic breath and use it when they are sad, nervous, or worried, offering clear, simple instructions for using breathing and mindfulness to guide emotions. 

"Yoga Animals" by Page Towler

Roar like a lion! Arch like a kitten! Stretch like a cobra! Did you know that many yoga poses were inspired by animals? Let these creatures inspire your young ones to get moving, practice mindfulness, or calm down after a long day. Simple step-by-step instructions explain the kid-friendly moves. Kids will get a kick out of the accompanying photos of animals that mimic each pose, and the sweet poem is sure to delight. J NONFICTION 613.7046 TO

"Little Yoga: A Toddler's First Book of Yoga" by Rebecca Whitford

Toddlers will enjoy moving along with Yoga Baby as they follow the basic poses. J PICTURE BOOK WHITFORD

"Breathe Like a Bear" by Kira Willey

 We all want to bring more calm into our lives. We all want to feel more focused and positive. Mindfulness is the key to making it happen. Breathe like a bear guides us through fun exercises to help us relax and stretch our imaginations. Because just like we need to exercise our bodies, we need to flex our mindfulness muscles. J NON FICTION 158.12 WIL


"Something Bad Happened: A Kid's Guide to Coping with Events in the News" by Dawn Huebner PHD

 Something Bad Happened guides children ages 6 to 12 and the adults who care about them through tough conversations about national and international tragedies. The non-specific term "bad thing" is used throughout, keeping this a flexible tool, and so children are never inadvertently exposed to events their parents have chosen not to share. Fear, sadness and uncertainty about the "bad thing" all are normalized, and immediately usable coping tools provided. J NON FICTION 155.41 HU



This unique DIY party guide features thirty-six ideas on how to transform any holiday or social gathering into a chance to give back. A PhilanthroParty is a party with a purpose that will give you ideas for making social activism a part of your life. This book details over sixty-five causes and charities that Lulu and her LemonAID Warriors have helped over the years. In addition to the party and charity ideas, Lulu provides helpful checklists, recipes, crafts, and activities to inspire you, your friends, your school, and your community that we do have to power to make a difference. J NON FICTION 361.7 CE

"Every Child a Song: Conventions on the Rights of A Child" by Nicola Davies

An international look at children's rights, exploring global issues faced by children, encouraging compassion and empathy.

"Intersection Allies: We Make Room for All" by Chelsea Johnson

A handy book about intersectionality that depicts the nuances of identity and embraces difference as a source of community. 

"A is for Activism" by Innosanto Nagara

This bestselling ABC book is written and illustrated for the next generation of progressives- families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and everything else that activists believe in and fight for. A continuous bestseller for Triangle Square, we heard from booksellers around the country who clamored for a large format edition that would appeal to children over the age of 5. Now with ASL pictures of each letter in keeping with Nagara's inclusive vision, this engaging book carries huge messages as it inspires hope for the future, and calls children and parents to action.  J NON FICTION 323 NA

"Breaking News" by Sarah Lynne Ruel

When devastating news rattles a young girl's community, her normally attentive parents and neighbors are suddenly exhausted and distracted. At school, her teacher tells the class to look for the helpers-the good people working to make things better in big and small ways. She wants more than anything to help in a BIG way, but maybe she can start with one small act of kindness instead ... and then another, and another. Small things can compound, after all, to make a world of difference. Both timely and timeless, this charmingly illustrated debut picture book from Sarah Lynne Reul touches on themes of community, resilience, and optimism with an authenticity that will resonate with readers young and old.

"Do Something in Your Community" by Amanda Rondeau

Highlights how people can make a difference in their communities. J NON FICTION 361 RO

"Activists Assemble: We are all Equal! Get your Voice Heard and Become an Equality Champion" by Shannon Weber and Jade Orlando

What is equality? A big question to answer and an even bigger topic to implement. Activists Assemble - We Are All Equal explains what it is to be a citizen, how important it is to treat, and be treated, as equal within the society, and how you can use your voice to champion equality. Discover the history of equality--both the successes and the tragedies, meet past and present faces who overcame discrimination to be a voice for us all, and explore ways you can make a difference and challenge inequality. J NON FICTION 323 WE


Racial Diversity

(See also: "Self-acceptance/Self-Esteem" and "Anti-Racism")

"Laxmi's Mooch" by Shelly Anand

After Laxmi's friend Zoe points out the hairs on her lip, Laxmi is very self-conscious until her East Indian parents help her to accept and celebrate her appearance. J PICTURE BOOK ANAD

"I am Brown" by Ashok Banker

I am brown. I am beautiful. I am perfect. I designed this computer. I ran this race. I won this prize. I wrote this book. A joyful celebration of the skin you're in--of being brown, of being amazing, of being you.

 "I am Every Good Thing" by Derrick Barnes 

 Illustrations and easy-to-read text pay homage to the strength, character, and worth of a child. J PICTURE BOOK BARNES

"May We Have Enough to Share" by Richard Van Camp

A beautiful board book about gratitude by celebrated Indigenous author Richard Van Camp, complemented by photos from tea&bannock, a collective blog by Indigenous women photographers. J BOARD V

"All Because You Matter" by Tami Charles 

This powerful book reassures readers that black lives matter and their worth is never diminished, no matter the circumstance: through the joy of their first steps, the hardship of adolescent struggles and the heartbreak of current events. A conversation starter, a community touchstone, and a deep affirmation of worth for the young readers who need it most. Accompanied by illustrations by Bryan Collier, a four-time Caldecott Honor recipient. J PICTURE BOOK CHARLES

"Love" by Matt De La Pena

Illustrations and easy-to-read text celebrate the bonds of love that connect us all. J PICTURE BOOK DE LA PENA

"Magnificent Homespun Brown" by Samara Cole Doyon

With vivid illustrations by Kaylani Juanita, SamaraCole Doyon sings a carol for the plenitude that surrounds us and the self eachof us is meant to inhabit. J PICTURE BOOK DOYON

"Eyes that Kiss the Corners" by Joanna Ho

A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother's, her grandmother's, and her little sister's. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future. J PICTURE BOOK HO

"Black is a Rainbow Color" by Angela Joy

A child reflects on the meaning of being Black in this anthem about a people, a culture, a history, and a legacy that lives on. J PICTURE BOOK JOY

"Happy in Our Skin" by Fran Manushkin

Bouquets of babies sweet to hold: cocoa-brown, cinnamon, and honey gold. Ginger-coloured babies, peaches and cream, too--splendid skin for me, splendid skin for you! A delightfully rhythmical read-aloud text is paired with bright, bustling art from the award-winning Lauren Tobia, illustrator of Anna Hibiscus, in this joyful exploration of the new skin of babyhood. A wonderful gift book for new mums and toddlers; all children can see themselves, and open their eyes to the world around them, in this sweet, scrumptious celebration of skin in all its many, many, wonderful forms.

"Lulu the One and Only" by Lynette Mawhinney

Lulu gets help from her brother, Zane, to respond to other people's confusion about her racial identity by using a "power phrase" to declare who she is, rather than what. J PICTURE BOOK MAWHINNEY

"You Matter" by Christian Robinson

Illustrations and easy-to-read text remind the reader that no matter what happens or how one feels, he or she matters. J PICTURE BOOK ROBINSON

"Your Name is a Song" by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

Frustrated by a day full of teachers and classmates mispronouncing her beautiful name, a little girl tells her mother she never wants to come back to school. In response, the girl's mother teaches her about the musicality of African, Asian, Black-American, Latinx, and Middle Eastern names on their lyrical walk home through the city. Empowered by this newfound understanding, the young girl is ready to return the next day to share her knowledge with her class. Your Name is a Song is a celebration to remind all of us about the beauty, history, and magic behind namesJ PICTURE BOOK THOMPKINS

"The Skin You Live in" by Michael Tyler 

With the ease and simplicity of a nursery rhyme, this lively story delivers an important message of social acceptance to young readers. Themes associated with child development and social harmony, such as friendship, acceptance, self-esteem, and diversity are promoted in simple and straightforward prose. Vivid illustrations of children's activities for all cultures, such as swimming in the ocean, hugging, catching butterflies, and eating birthday cake are also provided. This delightful picturebook offers a wonderful venue through which parents and teachers can discuss important social concepts with their children.



"Crenshaw" by Katherine Applegate

Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There's no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again. Crenshaw is a cat. He's large, he's outspoken, and he's imaginary. He has come back into Jackson's life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything? J FICTION APPLEGATE

"Fly Away Home" by Eve Bunting

A homeless boy who lives in an airport with his father, moving from terminal to terminal and trying not to be noticed, is given hope when he sees a trapped bird find its freedom.

"The Exact Location of Home" by Kate Messner

Believing his long-absent father is missing and leaving clues behind through geocaching, Zig, thirteen, relies on his love of electronics, a garage sale GPS unit, and his best friend, Gianna, to search for answers. J FICTION MESSNER

"On Our Street: Our First Talk About Poverty" by Jillian Roberts

Using illustrations, full-color photographs and straightforward text, this nonfiction picture book introduces the topics of homelessness and poverty to young readers.


Emigration & Immigration

"Ways to Welcome" by Linda Ashman

Illustrations and easy-to-read, rhyming text show how to give a friendly welcome at school, in the neighborhood, or at home. J PICTURE BOOK ASHMAN

"The Big Umbrella" by Amy Bates

A spacious umbrella welcomes anyone and everyone who needs shelter from the rain. J PICTURE BOOK BATES

"Santiago's Road Home" by Alexandra Diaz

Fleeing abusive relatives and extreme poverty in Mexico, young Santiago endures being detained by ICE while crossing the border into the United States.  J FICTION DIAZ

"Islandborn" by Junat Diaz

Lola was just a baby when her family left the Island, so when she has to draw it for a school assignment, she asks her family, friends, and neighbors about their memories of her homeland...and in the process, comes up with a new way of understanding her own heritage. J PICTURE BOOK DIAZ

"When Jessie Came Across the Sea" by Amy Hest

A thirteen-year-old Jewish orphan reluctantly leaves her grandmother and immigrates to New York City, where she works for three years sewing lace and earning money to bring Grandmother to the United States, too.

"The Color of Home" by Mary Hoffman

Hassan, newly-arrived in the United States and feeling homesick, paints a picture at school that shows his old home in Somalia as well as the reason his family had to leave.

"When Stars are Scattered" by Victoria Jamieson

Omar and his younger brother Hassan live in a refugee camp, and when an opportunity for Omar to get an education comes along, he must decide between going to school every day or caring for his nonverbal brother in this intimate and touching portrayal of family and daily life in a refugee camp. J GRAPHIC JAMIESON

"Counting Kindness: Ten Ways to Welcome Refugee Children" by Hollis Kurman

Follow the journey of immigrant and refugee children from leaky boat to a new country, a new school, and new friends in this simple counting book. J PICTURE BOOK KURMAN

"Lubna and Pebble" by Wendy Meddour

In an unforgettable story that subtly addresses the refugee crisis, a young girl must decide if friendship means giving up the one item that brings her comfort during a time of utter uncertainty.

"Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales

An illustrated picture book autobiography in which award-winning author Yuyi Morales tells her own immigration story. J PICTURE BOOK MORALES

"The Keeping Quilt" by Patricia Polacco

A homemade quilt ties together the lives of four generations of an immigrant Jewish family, remaining a symbol of their enduring love and faith.

"My Name is Yoon" by Helen Recorvits

Disliking her name as written in English, Korean-born Yoon, or "shining wisdom," refers to herself as "cat," "bird," and "cupcake," as a way to feel more comfortable in her new school and new country. J PICTURE BOOK RECORVITS

"We Came to America" by Faith Ringgold

Celebrates United States immigration and the country's diverse immigrant heritage.

"The Journey" by Francesca Sanna

With haunting echoes of the current refugee crisis this beautifully illustrated book explores the unimaginable decisions made as a family leave their home and everything they know to escape the turmoil and tragedy brought by war. This book will stay with you long after the last page is turned.  J PICTURE BOOK SANNA

 "Other Words for Home" by Jasmine Warga

A gorgeously written, hopeful middle grade novel in verse about a young girl who must leave Syria to move to the United States, perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Aisha Saeed. J FICTION WARGA

"The Day You Begin" by Jacqueline Woodson

Other students laugh when Rigoberto, an immigrant from Venezuela, introduces himself but later, he meets Angelina and discovers that he is not the only one who feels like an outsider. J PICTURE BOOK WOODSON

"Teacup" by Rebecca Young

A boy travels across the sea in a rowboat in search of a new home, making a journey that is long and difficult--but also filled with beauty and hope. J PICTURE BOOK YOUNG



(See also: "Diversity, "Self acceptance/self-esteem") No Place for Hate is a community based campaign that empowers participants to challenge anti-Semitism, racism, hate, and bigotry of all forms.



 "Woke a Young Poet's Call to Justice" by Mahogany Browne

 A collection of poems by women that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice, tackling topics from discrimination to empathy, and acceptance to speaking out. 


Race Cars: A Book about White Privlidge by Jenny Devenny 

Race Cars is a children's book about white privilege created to help parents and educators facilitate tough conversations about race, privilege, and oppression.Written by a clinical social worker and child therapist with experience in anti-bias training and edited by a diversity expert , Race Cars tells the story of 2 best friends, a white car and a black car, that have different experiences and face different rules while entering the same race. J PARENT 305.8 DE

How Can I Be An Ally?" by Fatima ElMekki

How Can I Be an Ally? explores the idea of how people can use their privilege to advance the culture of inclusion in a comprehensive, honest, and age-appropriate way. Developed in conjunction with educator, advocate, and author Kelisa Wing to reach children of all races and encourage them to approach race issues with open eyes and minds. J NON FICTION 305.8 EL

"What Does It Mean to Defund the Police?" by Jessica Henry

What Does It Mean to Defund the Police? explores the concept of defunding while addressing the reasons people are calling for it in a comprehensive, honest, and age-appropriate way. Developed in conjunction with educator, advocate, and author Kelisa Wing to reach children of all races and encourage them to approach race issues with open eyes and minds. J NON FICTION 363.2 HE

"The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love and Truthby Wade Hudson

Thirty diverse and award-winning authors and illustrators capture frank discussions about racism, identity, and self-esteem.

"We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices"  by Wade Hudson

What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With 96 lavishly designed pages of original art, poetry, and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice and comfort to young activists. J NONFICTION 810.803 HU

"What is the Black Lives Matter Movement?" by Heidrich Nichols

What Is the Black Lives Matter Movement? explores the goals and history of the movement in a comprehensive, honest, and age-appropriate way. J NON FICTION 323.11 NI

  "This Book is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action and Do the Work" by Tiffany Jewell J NON FICTION 305.8 JE

 "Anti-Racist Baby" by Ibram X Kendi

 Illustrations and rhyming text present nine steps Antiracist Baby can take to improve equity, such as opening our eyes to all skin colors and celebrating all our differences. J BOARD K

 "Activists Assemble: We are all Equal! Get your Voice Heard and Become an Equality Champion" by Shannon Weber and Jade Orlando

 What is equality? A big question to answer and an even bigger topic to implement. Activists Assemble - We Are All Equal explains what it is to be a citizen, how important it is to treat, and be treated, as equal within the society, and how you can use your voice to champion equality. Discover the history of equality--both the successes and the tragedies, meet past and present faces who overcame discrimination to be a voice for us all, and explore ways you can make a difference and challenge inequality. J NON FICTION 323 WE



We Need Diverse Books- includes list of own voices authors  

Project Ready- Free moduled curriculum on addressing issues of race and racism

PBS- Talking to kids about Racism

Sesame Street Communities- Violence

Sesame Street Coming Together to talk about Race

Embrace Race: 20 PICTUREBOOKS FOR 2020

"Ted Talk: Is My Skin Brown Because I Drank Chocolate Milk?"

Today Show- Talking to kids about Racism


Adult Non Fiction

"Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" by Beverly Daniel Tatum.

This well-balanced book by a renowned psychiatrist brings new insights and a fresh perspective to the issue of racial identity development.
305.8 TA

"Ten Talks Parents Must Have with Their Children About Violence" by Dominic Cappello

Offers parents useful advice on speaking with their children about vital issues. Includes ten scripted "family talks" tested by moms, dads, and kids.
649.1 CA

"Raising Compassionate, Courageous Children in a Violent World" by Janice Cohn
This guidebook shows how to raise children who are able to love and trust, help others in need, take a stand against intolerance, and more.
649.1 CO



First Name Basis- a podcast of how to talk to kids about racism 


September 11th

"Nine, Ten: a Sept. 11 Story" by Nora Raleigh Baskin

Relates how the lives of four children living in different parts of the country intersect and are affected by the events of September 11, 2001. J FICTION BASKIN

"America is Under Attack" by Don Brown

Narrates the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, from the plane hijackings to the collapse of the World Trade Center. J NONFICTION 973.931 BRO

"Chief: the life of Peter J. Ganci, a New York City firefighter" by Chris Ganci

With an emotional, worshipful tone only a loved one could provide, the author remembers the life and career of his late father, chief of the Fire Department of New York, who died at the age of 54 in the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center.

"Fireboat: the heroic adventures of the John J. Harvey" by Maira Kalman

A fireboat, launched in 1931, is retired after many years of fighting fires along the Hudson River, but is saved from being scrapped and then called into service again on September 11, 2001.

"9.11.01: terrorists attack the U.S." by Pat Lalley

Covers the events of September 11th and provides brief background on the World Trade Center, Islamic extremism, and Osama bin Laden. Also comments on the impact the terrorists' attacks have had both here and abroad.

"Heroes of the Day" by Nancy Louis

Describes the actions of emergency telephone operators, police officers, firefighters, trained dogs, and individual citizens who helped in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on September 11, 2001.

"NYT: A Nation Challenged"

Text, photographs, and illustrations from the New York Times section, "A Nation Challenged," record how the world was changed due to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States and their aftermath. J NONFICTION 973.931 NA

"I Survived the Attacks of Sept. 11 2001" by Lauren Tarshis

The only thing Lucas loves more than football is his Uncle Benny, his dad's best friend at the fire department where they both work. Benny taught Lucas everything about football. So when Lucas's parents decide the sport is too dangerous and he needs to quit, Lucas has to talk to his biggest fan. So the next morning, Lucas takes the train to the city instead of the bus to school. It's a bright, beautiful day in New York. But just as Lucas arrives at his uncle's firehouse, everything changes -- and nothing will ever be the same again.  J SERIES I SURVIVED

"September 11, 2001: the day that changed America" by Jill C. Wheeler

Describes the events and immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, in which planes were crashed into the Twin Towers buildings in New York City as well as into the Pentagon building near Washington, D.C.