Post-It Note Reviews: A return to Berrybrook, pronouns, a pet-sitting service, and more!
Not as many reviews as usual this month, thanks to an infinite sinus infection eating my ability to concentrate, but I still managed to get SOME reading done.
Post-it Note Reviews are a great way to display books in your library or classroom, a way to let kids recommend their favorite titles without having to get up in front of everyone and do a book talk, and an easy way to offer a more personal recommendation than just the flap copy offers.
All descriptions from the publishers. Transcriptions of the Post-It notes are below each description. Reading those is your best bet—carpal tunnel has made my handwriting mostly a disaster.
Enemies by Svetlana Chmakova (ISBN-13: 9781975312725 Publisher: Yen Press Publication date: 09/27/2022 Series: Berrybrook Middle School Series #5, Ages 10+)
Felicity’s sure she’s going to do something big. Exactly what is still a mystery, but she’ll figure it out. Her sister, Letty, teases Felicity that she never finishes stuff, but that’s just because Letty is so perfect. Still, life is good with plenty of friends—drawing with the art club and playing games with her buddies keep her busy. But when she decides to join a contest to show Letty that she can get things done, Felicity begins to wonder if friends becoming enemies is easier than she thought. Are they really enemies, though…? What does it even mean to be enemies? And…who is it that she needs the most on her side…?
(POST-IT SAYS: Excited to see a new volume in this very popular series. Great messages about failure and success mixed with lots of minor friend and sibling drama. Another hit!)
Payden’s Pronoun Party by Blue Jaryn, Xochitl Cornejo (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9781645675587 Publisher: Page Street Publishing Publication date: 10/04/2022, Ages 4-8)
“I’m not sure I’m a boy… so maybe he is not best for me.”
Payden has always used he/him pronouns, until one day Payden realizes those words might not fit. Payden’s parents promise to throw a big party to introduce whatever pronouns Payden chooses—but which pronouns are the best match? On a colorful quest, Payden talks to friends about a rainbow of possibilities: he, she, they, ze, and so many more! The right pronouns are just waiting to be tried on.
Put on your party hats and learn about the magical variety of pronouns in this thoughtful story that imagines a world of unquestioning support for gender exploration, celebrates all the different ways a person can present, and provides a blueprint for people of any age who are pondering what gender means to them.
(POST-IT SAYS: Captures the joy that can come with gender exploration and finding the right words. Love the vibrant community and supportive parents. There’s nothing better than being yourself!)
We Are Here: 30 Inspiring Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Who Have Shaped the United States by Naomi Hirahara, Illianette Ferandez (Illustrator), Smithsonian Institution (ISBN-13: 9780762479658 Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers Publication date: 10/18/2022, Ages 8-12)
A stunning anthology licensed in partnership with the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, We Are Here celebrates 30 of the most inspiring Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in U.S. history.
There are more than 23 million people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent living in the United States. Their stories span across generations, as well as across the world. We Are Here highlights thirty Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the impact they’ve had on the cultural, social, and political fabric of the United States.
Profiles include: Amanda Nguyen * Bruno Mars * Grace Lee Boggs * Lakshmi Singh * Naomi Osaka * Philip Vera Cruz * Vishavjit Singh * Shirin Neshat * Thenmozhi Soundararajan * Schuyler Miwon Hong Bailar * Channapha Khamvongsa * Lydia XZ Brown * Etel Adnan * Chien-Shiung Wu * Jerry Yang * Carissa Moore * Craig Santos Perez * Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson * Eddie Aikau * John Kneubuhl * Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner * Keanu Reeves * Hinaleimoana Kwai Kong Wong-Kalu * Manny Crisostomo * Momi Cazimero * Teresa Teaiwa * Mau Piailug * Taimane Gardner * Calvin and Charlene Hoe * Dinah Jane
(POST-IT SAYS: Really beautiful collection of biographies that shows a wide range of experiences and identities. Includes reflection guide with questions, links, and a glossary. An essential purchase.)
Friends Fur-ever (Must Love Pets #1) by Saadia Faruqi (ISBN-13: 9781338783421 Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Publication date: 05/31/2022, Ages 8-12)
A new, young middle grade series that combines the heart and friendship of the Baby-sitters Club, with the irresistible appeal of adorable animals!
Pet-sitters for hire!
Imaan Bashir loves dogs, but she doesn’t have one. Yet. If only there were a surefire way to demonstrate her special canine connection to her mom. Then she’d be well on her way to pampering a pup of her very own.
When one of Imaan’s neighbors needs a last minute pet-sitter for her dog, Sir Teddy, a great idea is hatched. Imaan and her friends London and Olivia will step in as pet-sitters! Imaan’s mom will be so blown away by Imaan’s amazing animal abilities that she will beg her to adopt her own dog. Or something like that. . . But the reality of pet-sitting is a little more complicated—Imaan soon discovers that Sir Teddy is a real paw-full!
(POST-IT SAYS: This new series has easy appeal—friends + animals + a business = great. I love how Imaan and London balance each other out and also how they argue but move on. A good read.)
You Don’t Know What War Is: The Diary of a Young Girl from Ukraine by Yeva Skalietska (ISBN-13: 9781454949695 Publisher: Union Square & Co. Publication date: 10/25/2022)
An inspiring memoir of resilience by a young survivor of the war in Ukraine, as told through her diary entries—a harrowing and ultimately hopeful survival story.
Yeva Skalietska’s story begins on her twelfth birthday in Kharkiv, where she has been living with her grandmother since she was a baby. Ten days later, the only life she’d ever known was shattered. On February 24, 2022, her city was suddenly under attack as Russia launched its horrifying invasion of Ukraine. Yeva and her grandmother took shelter in a basement bunker, where she began writing this diary. She describes the bombings she endured while sheltering underground and her desperate journey west to escape the conflict raging around them. After many endless train rides and a prolonged stay in an overcrowded refugee center in western Ukraine, Yeva and her beloved grandmother eventually find refuge in Ireland. There, she bravely begins to forge a new life, hoping she’ll be able to return home one day.
(POST-IT SAYS: Shows how quickly life can change. An authentic look at seeking safety in war and the upheaval of suddenly losing everything. A quick, powerful read.)
Santiago!: Santiago Ramón y Cajal–Artist, Scientist, Troublemaker by Jay Hosler (ISBN-13: 9780823450367 Publisher: Holiday House Publication date: 11/22/2022, Ages 8-12)
A graphic novel retelling of the inspiring true story of polymath Santiago Ramón y Cajal, visionary pioneer of modern neuroscience, and his early dreams of becoming an artist.
Based on a true story, Santiago Ramón y Cajal is every child who has struggled to navigate the expectations of adults.
As a young boy, all Santiago wanted to do was be an artist. But his father wanted him to become a doctor, insisting that pursuing art was not a true profession. Although Santiago was forbidden by his parents to make art, Santiago secretly kept at it—making homemade paints and brushes and honing his craftsmanship. He also loved figuring out how things worked and made slingshots for his friends and even a fully functioning (and very dangerous) cannon. Sadly, the one thing he couldn’t figure out was his father.
After years of locking horns, Santiago’s father seemed to win, and Santiago was sent to medical school. As a medical student he discovered the wonders of how animal bodies work, and his studies eventually led him to the microscopic mysteries of the brain. Using the artistic skills he honed as a child, Santiago painted brain cells to unlock their secrets. His pursuit of art had trained him to be observant, persistent, resourceful, and creative in his research. In 1906, he won the Nobel Prize for medicine and is considered the father of modern neuroscience—proving anything is possible, even for a mischief maker.
(POST-IT SAYS: I love graphic novels and biographies, so this was perfect for me. A fascinating look at a neuroscientist I’d never heard of. Don’t overlook the “troublemaker” in the title—this is an active, funny, and mischievous child!)
Remarkably Ruby by Terri Libenson (ISBN-13: 9780063139183 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 05/03/2022 Series: Emmie & Friends Series #6, Ages 8-12)
From bestselling author Terri Libenson, this is a story about how there’s more to everyone than meets the eye.
Pride. Popularity . . . Poetry? Middle school.
Ruby and Mia are total opposites:
Ruby is a little awkward, not a “joiner,” and loves to write poetry.
While Mia is type A, popular(ish), and wants to be class prez.
They used to be friends. But now they have nothing in common anymore. . . . Or do they?
Don’t miss the rest of the Emmie & Friends series: Invisible Emmie, Positively Izzy, Just Jaime, Becoming Brianna, Truly Tyler, and You-Niquely You: An Emmie & Friends Interactive Journal!
(POST-IT SAYS: Finally! Baked Bean Girl! I love this whole series and Ruby’s story of anxiety and making new friends and Mia’s story of being a better friend will be relatable to many readers.)
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About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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