Featured Books: January Highlights

Be a KingBe a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream of You
By Carol Boston Weatherford, illustrated by James E. Ransome
Ages 4-10, available January 2nd

The lyrical text, accompanied by stunning illustrations, introduce inspirational concepts that make this a picture that can be appreciated by all ages! You can be a King. Stamp out hatred. Put your foot down and walk tall. You can be a King. Beat the drum for justice. March to your own conscience. Featuring a dual narrative of the key moments of Dr. King’s life alongside a modern class as the students learn about him, Carole Weatherford’s poetic text encapsulates the moments that readers today can reenact in their own lives. See a class of young students as they begin a school project inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and learn to follow his example, as he dealt with adversity and never lost hope that a future of equality and justice would soon be a reality. As times change, Dr. King’s example remains, encouraging a new generation of children to take charge and change the world.

The United States v. Jackie RobinsonThe United States V. Jackie Robinson
By Supita Bardham-Quallen, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie
Ages 4-8, available January 2nd

A moving and inspiring nonfiction picture book about Jackie Robinson’s court martial trial-an important lesser-known moment in his lifetime of fighting prejudice with strength and grace. Jackie Robinson broke boundaries as the first African American player in Major League Baseball. But long before Jackie changed the world in a Dodger uniform, he did it in an army uniform. As a soldier during World War II, Jackie experienced segregation every day-separate places for black soldiers to sit, to eat, and to live. When the army outlawed segregation on military posts and buses, things were supposed to change.

So when Jackie was ordered by a white bus driver to move to the back of a military bus, he refused. Instead of defending Jackie’s rights, the military police took him to trial. But Jackie would stand up for what was right, even when it was difficult to do.

Shaking Things UpShaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World
By Susan Hood, multiple illustrators
Ages 4-8, available January 23rd

Fresh, accessible, and inspiring, Shaking Things Up introduces fourteen revolutionary young women–each paired with a noteworthy female artist–to the next generation of activists, trail-blazers, and rabble-rousers. You will find Mary Anning, who was just thirteen when she unearthed a prehistoric fossil. You’ll meet Ruby Bridges, the brave six-year-old who helped end segregation in the South. And Maya Lin, who at twenty-one won a competition to create a war memorial, and then had to appear before Congress to defend her right to create. Readers will also hear about Molly Williams, Annette Kellerman, Nellie Bly, Pura Belprè, Frida Kahlo, Jacqueline and Eileen Nearne, Frances Moore Lappè, Mae Jemison, Angela Zhang, and Malala Yousafzai-all whose stories will enthrall and inspire. Shaking Things Up is a poetic and visual celebration of persistent women throughout history, with artwork by notable artists including Selina Alko, Sophie Blackall, Lisa Brown, Hadley Hooper, Emily Winfield Martin, Oge Mora, Julie Morstad, Sara Palacios, LeUyen Pham, Erin Robinson, Isabel Roxas, Shadra Strickland, and Melissa Sweet.

The Word CollectorThe Word Collector
By Peter H. Reynolds
Ages 4-8 , available January 30th

Some people collect stamps. Some people collect coins. Some people collect art. And Jerome?

Jerome collected words. In this extraordinary new tale from Peter H. Reynolds, Jerome discovers the magic of the words all around him–short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multisyllable words that sound like little songs. Words that connect, transform, and empower. From the creator of The Dot and Happy Dreamer comes a celebration of finding your own words–and the impact you can have when you share them with the world.