Matt Mendez’s emotionally demanding Barely Missing Everything (2019) explores the lives of working-class Mexican Americans living in El Paso, TX. A teenage boy named Juan anchors the text, which focalizes his experiences as well as those of his mother, Fabi, and his best friend, JD.
Juan and JD are high school seniors planning life after high school, but just barely. They both have hazy visions of the future. JD, a film enthusiast, aspires to make movies and carries a camera wherever he goes. Juan, a high school basketball star on a mediocre team, doesn’t imagine himself doing anything else. Additionally, Fabi, a teen mom turned 30-something mom of a teenager, tends bar to make ends meet. Continue reading
I love book mail. Keri T. Collins You Can Call Me Katelyn is an amazing book about empowering children to shape their identities and lives! Full review coming soon!
Look for this title MAY 2019!
As the mother of a four-year-old who attends a Montessori school, I was excited to see this accessible biography about Maria Montessori! Dr. Montessori developed a pedagogical approach that empowered students to take control of their environments and their behaviors while simultaneously foregrounding the importance of community. This short biography, written by Isabel Sanchez Vegara and illustrated by Raquel Martin, introduces students to the work of this remarkable woman from early experiences that prompted her to pursue teaching to her activist work that provide children with developmental disabilities agency and improved life chances. This is a wonderful book, great for parents and educators interested in introducing young children to strong and impactful women! Continue reading
City Life (2010), written by Jeannelle Ferreira and illustrated by J. Cecelia Haytko, is a self-published book told from the point-of-view of a child with two moms. As her moms tuck her into bed at night, the little girl’s thoughts drift to everything she might do with her moms the next day. The city has much to offer, from museums to parks and zoos. This is clearly a low-budget book, but the simple story is a pleasure to read aloud and would make a nice bedtime story for a young child being tucked in by two loving moms. Continue reading
Phoenix Goes to School (2018) is written by mother and daughter team Michelle and Phoenix Finch and illustrated by Sharon Davey. The story is based on the experiences of co-author Phoenix Finch, a gender non-conforming transgender girl, as she prepares for her first day of school.
Phoenix’s gender identity is affirmed at home but she is worried about wearing a dress to school. Her supportive mother helps her process her anxiety and find the confidence to be herself. Once at school, Phoenix is accepted by her peers and makes many new friends. Continue reading
Written by Rob Sanders and illustrated by Jared Andrew Schorr, Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights, is a wonderful conversation starter about injustice, civil disobedience, and social change.
Sanders uses alliteration to introduce activist-minded words and ideas to children, making the book a fun read-aloud that will help build vocabulary. Schorr’s illustrations transmit important content about specific civil rights leaders and issues, often drawing on current events. His illustrations really extend and expand the text’s message while providing opportunity for discussion and reflection. Continue reading
Introducing Teddy: A Gentle Story About Gender and Friendship (2016), written by Jessica Walton and illustrated by Dougal MacPherson, is a whimsical and accessible picture book about gender expression and the power of self-identification. The teddy bear protagonist does everything with a friend named Errol. They climb trees, play in their garden, and have tea parties. Continue reading