Here are our five favorite books to read this November — a bilingual special edition and one part of a witty and well-illustrated history series are just two of this month’s favorites!
PreK-K (Ages 2-5):
Goodnight Moon (Bilingual Board Book Special Edition) written by Margaret Wise Brown and illustrated by Clement Hurd
Children have been drifting off to sleep to the soothing sounds of Goodnight Moon for over 65 years. And now, we are beyond delighted to offer this classic bedtime story for the first time as a Spanish-English bilingual board book. More kids than ever before will be able to experience the tender warmth of the great green room and say good night to balloons and moons, kittens and mittens, bears and chairs.
Grades 1-2 (Ages 6-8):
I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel & Jazz Jennings; illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
“I am Jazz!” This is the proud, bold, and life-affirming statement that begins and ends the story of now thirteen-year-old Jazz Jennings, who explains in simple terms that she was born with a girl’s brain and a boy’s body. Jazz’s story grabbed our attention immediately with its ability to give young students a clear and accurate window into the life and experiences of a transgender child. By acknowledging the realistic lack of understanding from some peers and balancing it alongside the overwhelming acceptance of family and close friends, this warmly illustrated picture book is an ideal way to begin conversations with young readers about accepting differences.
Grades 3-4 (Ages 8-10):
Lulu and the Duck in the Park written by Hilary McKay
In this early chapter book, Lulu rescues a duck egg from disaster by tucking into her pocket, unbeknownst to her teacher! Her plan to keep the egg safe begins to crack when the duckling decides it’s hatching time. This is the first of several books starring Lulu, each depicting lively adventures and animal friends. While Lulu is best known for her devotion to animals, she is also an adventurous, kindhearted friend, which makes her the perfect companion for any student who’s ready to transition from beginning readers to longer stories.
Grades 5-6 (Ages 10-12):
Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: One Dead Spy written and illustrated by Nathan Hale
After being swallowed whole by a humongous magical history book moments before he is hanged as a Revolutionary War spy, Nathan Hale delays his executioners by telling them everything he has learned about the future of the new nation. With unmatched wit and engaging illustrations, Nathan Hale (the graphic novelist, no relation to the spy) brings the American Revolution, the Civil War, an unappetizing dinner party at the Donner Pass, and World War I to life. And stay tuned – there’s plenty more history to illustrate!
Grades 5+ (Ages 10+):
El Deafo written and illustrated by Cece Bell
Inspired by the author’s own childhood, this hilarious graphic novel is a warm, sincere invitation into the life of a young bunny who feels isolated by her hearing loss and the humongous Phonic Ear she wears daily to boost her hearing. It is impossible not to root for Cece as she searches for true friendship, and turns often to her super hero alter ego, El Deafo, for confidence while coping with real-life issues like bossy friends and cute boys. The underlying message here is that we should each embrace what makes us different and understand that the power to define who we are ultimately rests in our own hands (or paws).