Check out our most recent reviews.
- Book Review: Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez, by Kathleen Krull and illustrated by Yuyi Morales (12/2/2020) - Review by Katie Montes Depicted in this biography, Harvesting Hope, (also available as Cosechando Esperanza in Spanish) are paralleling journeys of Cesar Chavez, one of the key social justice leaders of the 20th century. Kathleen Krull not only chronicles Chavez’s journey across land, but also his journey of self-transformation as Chavez moves from the shy…
- Book Review: Islandborn by Junot Díaz and illustrated by Leo Espinosa (11/23/2020) - Review by Cindy Liliana Gonzalez What if I asked you to draw a picture of your first country? What would you draw? That is what Lola, the protagonist in Islandborn, and her entire class are asked to do as a homework assignment by their teacher Ms. Obi. Lola makes part of a culturally diverse classroom…
- Book Review: El Día En Que Descubres Quién Eres by Jacqueline Woodson and illustrated by Rafael López (11/23/2020) - Review by Gustavo Hernández When was the day you began to be you? El Día En Que Descubres Quién Eres (Eng. original The Day You Begin) talks about cultural differences during the time when children are discovering themselves and their identity. It explores children feeling like outsiders among their peers because of their home language,…
- Book Review: Something Happened in Our Town, by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, Ann Hazzard, and Jennifer Zivoin (11/22/2020) - Review by Claudia Pereira Emma asks her mom, “Why did the police shoot that man?” Josh asks his mom, “Can police go to jail?” Is police violence an appropriate topic for a children’s book? Should it be presented as reality or fiction? Something Happened takes up these difficult questions by telling a fictional story framed…
- Book Review: Julián is a Mermaid by Jessica Love (11/17/2020) - Review by Gen McNaughton It’s rare to find a book for young children that covers sensitive topics like multiculturalism and gender expression, but this book manages to address both at once in a way that is both age appropriate and engaging. Julián is a young Latinx boy who notices some women dressed up as mermaids…
- Book Review: Dreamers by Yuyi Morales (11/12/2020) - Review by Megan Wright Yuyi Morales’ Dreamers (Soñadores in its Spanish edition) tells the story of a journey from Mexico to the United States that Yuyi made with her son. At first they are intimidated by the “words unlike those of our ancestors” and refuse to speak. They struggle to adjust to their new home.…
- Book Review: Rainbow Weaver/Tejedora del Arcoíris Linda Elovitz Marshall and illustrated by Elisa Chavarri (11/12/2020) - Can garbage be turned into something beautiful? Find out
how a young Mayan girl is using ancient traditions from her culture to improve the
- Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (12/16/2019) - Navigating teenage angst is tough. Navigating teenage angst with immigrant parents, a brother in jail, and no friends is even tougher.
- Review: The Sandwich Swap, by Rania Al-Abdullah and illustrated by Tricia Tusa (12/16/2019) - Review of the Rania Al-Abdullah's The Sandwich Swap for CI 5404. A great story about differing taste in sandwiches and friends overcoming differences.
- Review: The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo (12/16/2019) - How do you express your true self in a world that says everything about you is wrong? This engaging, coming of age novel tells the story of a young poet pulled between her own desires and the expectations of others, and discovering the power of poetry to set her free.
- Review: Illegal by Eoin Colfer and illustrated by Andrew Donkin and Giovanni Rigano (12/16/2019) - Can a human be illegal? Authors E. Colfer, A. Donkin, and illustrator G. Rigano begin to unpack this question in the emotionally-gripping graphic novel, Illegal. The book serves as a counter-narrative that does much of the work that multicultural literature strives to do.
- Review: The Youngest Marcher, by Cynthia Levinson and illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton (12/16/2019) - Audrey is a young girl who is determined to do everything that everyone else can do. She marches with other Civil Rights marchers and is jailed for standing up for her rights. Her story is a great example of how everyone can (and should) participate in social justice.
- Review: No Kimchi for Me, by Aram Kim (12/16/2019) - No Kimchi for Me is a beautifully illustrated picturebook about a young cat, named Yoomi, who absolutely hates kimchi. The book introduces an important symbol of Korean culture to young readers, while also missing the mark on authentic ethnic representation.
- Review: We’re Not From Here, by Geoff Rodkey (12/9/2019) - Where can be our home when our home planet (Earth) is no longer safe for us to live? Moving to an alien planet probably isn't that easy!
- Review: Grace for President, by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by LeUyen Pham (12/9/2019) - Review by Morgan Withrow Did you know that as of 2018, women accounted for only 8% of national leaders? (Rutgers) Grace for President by Kelly DiPucchio is a story of a little girl who is aiming to up that percentage, by taking the first step as president of her elementary school. The book follows Grace…
- Some People Do, by Frank Lowe and illustrated by Josh Hara (12/9/2019) - I had the pleasure of reading and writing about Frank Lowe's Some People Do. This informative, charming book has a poetic structure with delightful visuals. It aims to explain diversity to children and normalize varying identities.
- Review: Merci Suárez Changes Gears, by Meg Medina (12/9/2019) - What do you do when everything is changing, but nobody will explain why? A Cuban-American middle school girl navigates big shifts in this Newberry Award winning novel from Meg Medina.
- Review: The Lost Rainforest: Mez’s Magic, by Eliot Schrefer (12/9/2019) - The Lost Rainforest: Mez's Magic is an epic animal adventure that brings mythology into the rainforest. In my review, I discuss its representation of different animal species and how those interactions mark them as human.
- Pax, by Sara Pennypacker (12/9/2019) - Do you know what a boy would do when their little fox is in trouble?
- Perfect Season for Dreaming / Un tiempo perfecto para soñar, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (trans. by Luis Humberto) (12/1/2019) - A story of memories and dream-sharing, Sáenz’s picturebook offers a window on intergenerational transmission of cultural heritage that will resonate with a generation of bicultural children in the U.S., such as, Latinx, Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicano, and Hispanic children.