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
Written by Anika Aldamuy Denise and illustrated by Paola Escobar, Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Story Teller Pura Belpré (2019), is an exceptional biography of New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian. In addition to accessibly and inventively capturing Pura’s story, the book provides a window into US history. It is also a timely tale of Arts-based activism that speaks to ongoing struggles to secure equal access to cultural representation. 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
The Origin of Day and Night (2018), written by Paula Ikuutaq Rumboltand and illustrated by Lenny Lishchenko, is an Inuit tale passed orally from generation to generation. It’s the story of a fox who can only see to find food at night and a hare who can only see to find food in the light. The two animals struggle to find enough to eat before the other uses powerful magic language to conjure their preferred lighting. They eventually agree to strike a balance between day and night for their mutual survival. Continue reading
UnStoppable: How Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School Football Team Defeated Army
Written by Art Coulson
Illustrated by Nick Hardcastle
Published by Capstone in 2018 Continue reading
I want to introduce readers to a small press worth following – My Family!/Dodi Press. My Family! specializes in reading material featuring diverse lesbian and gay parents swimming, vacationing, and preparing for science fairs with their happy children. The fact that the families are headed by same-sex parents is clear but not a theme explored. Continue reading
Book mail is one of my favorite things about blogging! I have stumbled upon some amazing publishers and authors creating important work that I am proud to add to my bookshelf and help promote!
If you are an author or publisher working on diverse, LGBTQ* inclusive, socially relevant books for children and young adults, please contact me!
I am happy to review and promote your work on my blog (1600+ followers), Twitter (1500+) followers, as well as on GoodReads and Amazon!