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Family History: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about family history?

Family is important and makes us who we are. It’s the people that came before us that helped create our life and our culture as individuals, families, and society. Hodding Carter said, “There are only two lasting bequests we can give our children - one is roots, and the other, wings.” By helping our children learn about their ancestors, we’re giving them roots and wings, which is why we’ve gathered these fabulous, fun, and sweet books about family history that will inspire your children to learn more about their own heritage.

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The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel
Written & illustrated by Natasha Lowe
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Penderwicks meets Edward Eager in this charming coming of age tale about a young witch found in a flowerpot who’s on a journey to discover her roots.

The morning Nora Ratcliff finds a baby in the flowerpot on her front steps her life changes forever. She had always wanted a child, but after her husband passed away, Nora never thought she would have one, but her flowerpot child was a miracle and she decided to name her Mabel. As Mabel grew up, she showed a distinct talent for magic.

When Mabel is accepted to the prestigious witch school, Ruthersfield Academy, she excels at the magic curriculum but is constantly in trouble for experimenting and inventing her own potions. One day she is asked to write a paper on her magical roots and discovers the truth about her birth after a mean classmate blurts out what everyone seems to know except Mabel. Mabel is shocked but the revelation does explain a lot. In rebellion, Mabel changes her name to Magnolia and tries to understand why she was left in the flowerpot and who her birth family might be.

Will Mabel find the answers she’s looking for—or will she discover that families are people who love each other and look after each other and that’s most important of all.

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Alma and How She Got Her Name
Written & illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
What's in a name? This book is all about a girl who thinks her name is too long until she learns the special meaning behind each part. It's a cute story about family and the importance of a name.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What’s in a name? For one little girl, her very long name tells the vibrant story of where she came from – and who she may one day be. If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza Jose Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; Jose, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all – and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.

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The Wishing Spell
Written by Chris Colfer & illustrated by Brandon Dorman and Chris Colfer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales. The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about. But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

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Roots: The Saga of an American Family
Written by Alex Haley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -
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The Parker Inheritance
Written by Varian Johnson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A Coretta Scott King Author Honor and Boston Globe / Horn Book Honor winner! “Powerful…. Johnson writes about the long shadows of the past with such ambition that any reader with a taste for mystery will appreciate the puzzle Candice and Brandon must solve.” – The New York Times Book Review When Candice finds a letter in an old attic in Lambert, South Carolina, she isn’t sure she should read it. It’s addressed to her grandmother, who left the town in shame. But the letter describes a young woman. An injustice that happened decades ago. A mystery enfolding its writer. And the fortune that awaits the person who solves the puzzle. So with the help of Brandon, the quiet boy across the street, she begins to decipher the clues. The challenge will lead them deep into Lambert’s history, full of ugly deeds, forgotten heroes, and one great love; and deeper into their own families, with their own unspoken secrets. Can they find the fortune and fulfill the letter’s promise before the answers slip into the past yet again? Featuring exclusive bonus content!

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  • The Mountains Sing - The International Bestseller A New York Times Editors’ Choice SelectionA Winner of the 2020 Lannan Literary Awards Fellowship A Best Book of 2020: NPR’s Book Concierge PopMatters Washington Independent Review of Books Real Simple The Buzz Magazine NB Magazine​ BookBrowse Paperback Paris Writer’s Bone * Global Atlanta “[An] absorbing, stirring novel . . . that, in more than one sense, remedies history.” –The New York Times Book Review “A triumph, a novelistic rendition of one of the most difficult times in Vietnamese history . . . Vast in scope and intimate in its telling . . . Moving and riveting.” –VIET THANH NGUYEN, author of The Sympathizer, winner of the Pulitzer Prize With the epic sweep of Min Jin Lee’s Pachinko or Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing and the lyrical beauty of Vaddey Ratner’s In the Shadow of the Banyan, The Mountains Sing tells an enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Trần family, set against the backdrop of the Việt Nam War. Trần Diệu Lan, who was born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during the Land Reform as the Communist government rose in the North. Years later in Hà Nội, her young granddaughter, Hương, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Hồ Chí Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that tore apart not just her beloved country, but also her family. Vivid, gripping, and steeped in the language and traditions of Việt Nam, The Mountains Sing brings to life the human costs of this conflict from the point of view of the Vietnamese people themselves, while showing us the true power of kindness and hope. The Mountains Sing is celebrated Vietnamese poet Nguyễn Phan Quế Mai’s first novel in English.

  • The Fountains of Silence - From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray comes a gripping, extraordinary portrait of love, silence, and secrets under a Spanish dictatorship. Madrid, 1957. Under the fascist dictatorship of General Francisco Franco, Spain is hiding a dark secret. Meanwhile, tourists and foreign businessmen flood into Spain under the welcoming promise of sunshine and wine. Among them is eighteen-year-old Daniel Matheson, the son of an oil tycoon, who arrives in Madrid with his parents hoping to connect with the country of his mother’s birth through the lens of his camera. Photography–and fate–introduce him to Ana, whose family’s interweaving obstacles reveal the lingering grasp of the Spanish Civil War–as well as chilling definitions of fortune and fear. Daniel’s photographs leave him with uncomfortable questions amidst shadows of danger. He is backed into a corner of difficult decisions to protect those he loves. Lives and hearts collide, revealing an incredibly dark side to the sunny Spanish city. Master storyteller Ruta Sepetys once again shines light into one of history’s darkest corners in this epic, heart-wrenching novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence–inspired by the true postwar struggles of Spain. Includes vintage media reports, oral history commentary, photos, and more. Praise for The Fountains of Silence Spain under Francisco Franco is as dystopian a setting as Margaret Atwood’s Gilead in Ruta Sepetys’s suspenseful, romantic and timely new work of historical fiction . . . Like [Shakespeare’s family romances], ‘The Fountains of Silence’ speaks truth to power, persuading future rulers to avoid repeating the crimes of the past. –The New York Times Book Review “Full of twists and revelations…an excellent story, and timely, too.” –The Wall Street Journal A staggering tale of love, loss, and national shame. –Entertainment Weekly [Sepetys] tells a moving story made even more powerful by its placement in a lesser-known historical moment. Captivating, deft, and illuminating historical fiction. –Booklist, STARRED REVIEW This gripping, often haunting historical novel offers a memorable portrait of fascist Spain. –Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW This richly woven historical fiction . . . will keep young adults as well as adults interested from the first page to the last. –SLC, STARRED REVIEW Riveting . . . An exemplary work of historical fiction. –The Horn Book, STARRED REVIEW

  • The House of the Spirits - Spanning four generations, Isabel Allende’s family saga is populated by a memorable, often eccentric, cast of characters. Together, men and women, spirits, the forces of nature and of history, converge in a brlliantly realised novel.

  • Some Places More Than Others - All Amara wants for her birthday is to visit her father’s family in New York City–Harlem, to be exact. She can’t wait to finally meet her Grandpa Earl and cousins in person, and to stay in the brownstone where her father grew up. Maybe this will help her understand her family–and herself–in new way. But New York City is not exactly what Amara thought it would be. It’s crowded, with confusing subways, suffocating sidewalks, and her father is too busy with work to spend time with her and too angry to spend time with Grandpa Earl. As she explores, asks questions, and learns more and more about Harlem and about her father and his family history, she realizes how, in some ways more than others, she connects with him, her home, and her family.

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A Game of Thrones
Written by George R.R. Martin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -

Here is the first volume in George R. R. Martin’s magnificent cycle of novels that includes A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords. As a whole, this series comprises a genuine masterpiece of modern fantasy, bringing together the best the genre has to offer. Magic, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill these pages and transport us to a world unlike any we have ever experienced. Already hailed as a classic, George R. R. Martin’s stunning series is destined to stand as one of the great achievements of imaginative fiction. A Game of Thrones Long ago, in a time forgotten, a preternatural event threw the seasons out of balance. In a land where summers can last decades and winters a lifetime, trouble is brewing. The cold is returning, and in the frozen wastes to the north of Winterfell, sinister and supernatural forces are massing beyond the kingdom’s protective Wall. At the center of the conflict lie the Starks of Winterfell, a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. Amid plots and counterplots, tragedy and betrayal, victory and terror, the fate of the Starks, their allies, and their enemies hangs perilously in the balance, as each endeavors to win that deadliest of conflicts: thegame of thrones. “From the Trade Paperback edition.”

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The Godfather
Written by Mario Puzo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 18-

The unforgettable saga of an American crime family that became a #1 bestseller and global phenomenon. Since its release in 1969, The Godfather has made an indelible mark on American crime fiction. From the mind of master storyteller Mario Puzo, it traces the Corleone family, whose brilliant and brutal portrayal illuminated the violent and seductive allure of power in American society. A tale of family and loyalty, law and order, obedience and rebellion, it has stood the test of time as the definitive novel of the Mafia underworld. Beyond the bestselling novel, Francis Ford Coppola’s incomparable film adaptation and Academy Award winner for Best Picture cemented The Godfather’s reputation as a triumph in storytelling and a seminal classic for the ages. With a legacy of blood and honor, it is a cultural touchstone that has resonated for generations, and still mesmerizes readers to this day.

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The Most Beautiful Place in the World
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

“Seven-year-old Juan lives in Guatemala, a place of stunning beauty and grimeconomic reality. Abandoned by his mother, Juan lives with his grandmother andshines shoes. He passionately wants to attend school, but fears Grandmotherwill say no. Finally gathering his courage, he is surprised when she not onlyagrees to send him to school but also chides him about the importance ofstanding up for himself. Juan tells this bittersweet story, which readssmoothly and powerfully on several levels, with warmth anddignity.”– “Booklist. “

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The Land
Written by Mildred D. Taylor
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

The son of a prosperous landowner and a former slave, Paul-Edward Logan is unlike any other boy he knows. His white father has acknowledged him and raised him openly-something unusual in post-Civil War Georgia. But as he grows into a man he learns that life for someone like him is not easy. Black people distrust him because he looks white. White people discriminate against him when they learn of his black heritage. Even within his own family he faces betrayal and degradation. So at the age of fourteen, he sets out toward the only dream he has ever had: to find land every bit as good as his father’s, and make it his own. Once again inspired by her own history, Ms. Taylor brings truth and power to the newest addition to the award-winning Logan family stories.

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When You Trap a Tiger
Written by Tae Keller
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Would you make a deal with a magical tiger? This uplifting story brings brings Korean folklore to life as a girl goes on a quest to unlock the power of stories and save her grandmother. Some stories refuse to stay bottled up… When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now they want it back. And when one of the tigers approaches Lily with a deal–return what her grandmother stole in exchange for Halmoni’s health–Lily is tempted to agree. But deals with tigers are never what they seem! With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice…and the courage to face a tiger. Tae Keller, the award-winning author of The Science of Breakable Things, shares a sparkling tale about the power of stories and the magic of family. Think Walk Two Moons meets Where the Mountain Meets the Moon! “If stories were written in the stars … this wondrous tale would be one of the brightest.” –Booklist, Starred Review

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  • Moon Shadow - Thirteen-year-old Lucia Frank discovers that she can become the girl she’s always wanted to be with the help of a little “moon magic” in this charming novel about the value of friendship, family, and finding yourself. Lucia Frank has never had time for her mom’s “new age” nonsense. She doesn’t believe in any of that stuff. All she wants is to figure out how to get her best friend, Will, back and cope with her parents looming divorce. But then something strange happens on the night of her thirteenth birthday. When the eclipsed moon slips into the shadow of the earth, Lucia’s Shadow slips out. Now hidden in a moonstone, the Shadow waits for Lucia to sleep so it can come out to play. Lucia’s Shadow seems unlike her in almost every way: daring, outspoken, and unwilling to let anyone push her around. But it actually isn’t the anti-Lucia…in fact, her Shadow is very much like the person Lucia wishes she could be. At first, Lucia is eager to undo whatever magic happened on her birthday so life can get back to normal. But when she realizes her Shadow is doing and saying things she has only dreamed about, she wonders if maybe things aren’t all bad. With a little help from her Shadow, she’s turning into the kind of girl she’s always wanted to be.

  • Marathon Man - William Goldman’s remarkable career spans more than five decades, and his credentials run the gamut from bestselling novelist to Oscar-winning screenwriter to Hollywood raconteur. He’s beloved by millions of readers as the author of the classic comic-romantic fantasy The Princess Bride. And he’s notorious for creating the most harrowing visit to the dentist in literary and cinematic history–in one of the seminal thrillers of the twentieth century. . . . MARATHON MAN Tom “Babe” Levy is a runner in every sense: racing tirelessly toward his goals of athletic and academic excellence–and endlessly away from the specter of his famous father’s scandal-driven suicide. But an unexpected visit from his beloved older brother will set in motion a chain of events that plunge Babe into a vortex of terror, treachery, and murder–and force him into a race for his life . . . and for the answer to the fateful question, “Is it safe?”

  • One Hundred Years of Solitude - Blends the natural with the supernatural in one of the most magical reading experiences on earth. This book tells the story of seven generations of the Buendia family and of Macondo, the town they have built.

  • The Astonishing Color of After - A Time Magazine 100 Best YA Books of All Time Selection A stunning, heartbreaking debut novel about grief, love, and family, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Celeste Ng. Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird. Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life. Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love. “Emily X.R. Pan’s brilliantly crafted, harrowing first novel portrays the vast spectrum of love and grief with heart-wrenching beauty and candor. This is a very special book.”–John Green, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down

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The Poisonwood Bible
Written by Barbara Kingsolver
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -

“A powerful new epic . . . [Kingsolver] has with infinitely steady hands worked the prickly threads of religion, politics, race, sin and redemption into a thing of terrible beauty.” –Los Angeles Times Book Review The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them everything they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it–from garden seeds to Scripture–is calamitously transformed on African soil. What follows is a suspenseful epic of one family’s tragic undoing and remarkable reconstruction over the course of three decades in postcolonial Africa.The novel is set against one of the most dramatic political chronicles of the twentieth century: the Congo’s fight for independence from Belgium, the murder of its first elected prime minister, the CIA coup to install his replacement, and the insidious progress of a world economic order that robs the fledgling African nation of its autonomy. Taking its place alongside the classic works of postcolonial literature, this ambitious novel establishes Kingsolver as one of the most thoughtful and daring of modern writers.

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The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
Written by Leslye Walton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-18

A 2015 William C. Morris YA Debut Award FinalistMagical realism, lyrical prose, and the pain and passion of human love haunt this hypnotic generational saga. Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava – in all other ways a normal girl – is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naive to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the summer solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo. First-time author Leslye Walton has constructed a layered and unforgettable mythology of what it means to be born with hearts that are tragically, exquisitely human.

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Moon Over Manifest
Written by Clare Vanderpool
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Winner of the 2011 Newbery Award.

The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I’d seen only in Gideon’s stories: Manifest—A Town with a rich past and a bright future.

Abilene Tucker feels abandoned. Her father has put her on a train, sending her off to live with an old friend for the summer while he works a railroad job. Armed only with a few possessions and her list of universals, Abilene jumps off the train in Manifest, Kansas, aiming to learn about the boy her father once was.

Having heard stories about Manifest, Abilene is disappointed to find that it’s just a dried-up, worn-out old town. But her disappointment quickly turns to excitement when she discovers a hidden cigar box full of mementos, including some old letters that mention a spy known as the Rattler. These mysterious letters send Abilene and her new friends, Lettie and Ruthanne, on an honest-to-goodness spy hunt, even though they are warned to “Leave Well Enough Alone.”

Abilene throws all caution aside when she heads down the mysterious Path to Perdition to pay a debt to the reclusive Miss Sadie, a diviner who only tells stories from the past. It seems that Manifest’s history is full of colorful and shadowy characters—and long-held secrets. The more Abilene hears, the more determined she is to learn just what role her father played in that history. And as Manifest’s secrets are laid bare one by one, Abilene begins to weave her own story into the fabric of the town.

Powerful in its simplicity and rich in historical detail, Clare Vanderpool’s debut is a gripping story of loss and redemption.

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Harley in the Sky
Written by Akemi Dawn Bowman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-18

“Earnest, poetic.” –Booklist “Raw, engaging.” –Kirkus Reviews The Greatest Showman meets This Is Us by way of Sarah Dessen in this heart-wrenching, hopeful contemporary novel about a multiracial teen who risks it all to follow her dreams by joining the circus, from the award-winning author of Starfish. Harley Milano has dreamed of becoming a trapeze artist for as long as she can remember. With parents who run a famous circus in Las Vegas, she spends almost every night in the big top watching their lead aerialist perform, wishing with all her heart and soul that she would be up there herself one day. After a huge fight with her parents, who continue to insist she go to school instead, Harley leaves home, betrays her family, and joins the rival traveling circus Maison du Mystère. There, she is thrust into a world that is both brutal and beautiful, where she learns the value of hard work, passion, and collaboration. At the same time, Harley must come to terms with the truth of her family and her past–and reckon with the sacrifices she made and the people she hurt in order to follow her dreams. From award-winning author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes a luminous, unforgettable examination of love, loyalty, and the hard choices we must make to find where we truly belong.

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The Watsons Go to Birmingham—1963
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Enter the hilarious world of 10-year-old Kenny and his family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. There’s Momma, Dad, little sister Joetta, Kenny, and Byron, who’s 13 and an official “juvenile delinquent.” When Momma and Dad decide it’s time for a visit to Grandma, Dad comes home with the amazing Ultra Glide, and the Watsons set out on a trip like no other. They’re heading south. They’re going to Birmingham, Alabama, toward one of the darkest moments in American history.

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  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - A New York Times Bestseller - Named A Best Book of the Year by the Los Angeles Times, Washington Post Book World, Chicago Tribune, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Rocky Mountain News Nine-year-old Oskar Schell has embarked on an urgent, secret mission that will take him through the five boroughs of New York. His goal is to find the lock that matches a mysterious key that belonged to his father who died in the World Trade Center on the morning of September 11. This seemingly impossible task will bring Oskar into contact with survivors of all sorts of an exhilarating, affecting, often hilarious, and ultimately healing journey.

  • The Joy Luck Club -

  • The Princess Diaries - The one and only Mia Thermopolis is back and ready to reign! Celebrate the 20th anniversary of Meg Cabot’s blockbuster series in royal style–with all-new middle grade editions of the first three books!Mia Thermopolis is pretty sure there’s nothing worse than being a five-foot-nine, flat-chested freshman, who also happens to be flunking Algebra. Is she ever in for a surprise.First Mom announces that she’s dating Mia’s Algebra teacher. Then Dad has to go and reveal that he is the crown prince of Genovia. And guess who still doesn’t have a date for the Cultural Diversity Dance?The Princess Diaries is the first book in the beloved, bestselling series that inspired the feature film starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews.

  • Practical Magic - 25th Anniversary Edition–with an Introduction by the Author! The Owens sisters confront the challenges of life and love in this bewitching novel from the New York Times bestselling author of The Rules of Magic, Magic Lessons, and The Book of Magic. For more than two hundred years, the Owens women have been blamed for everything that has gone wrong in their Massachusetts town. Gillian and Sally have endured that fate as well: as children, the sisters were forever outsiders, taunted, talked about, pointed at. Their elderly aunts almost seemed to encourage the whispers of witchery, with their musty house and their exotic concoctions and their crowd of black cats. But all Gillian and Sally wanted was to escape. One will do so by marrying, the other by running away. But the bonds they share will bring them back–almost as if by magic… “Splendid…Practical Magic is one of [Hoffman’s] best novels, showing on every page her gift for touching ordinary life as if with a wand, to reveal how extraordinary life really is.”–Newsweek “[A] delicious fantasy of witchcraft and love in a world where gardens smell of lemon verbena and happy endings are possible.”–Cosmopolitan

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Half Upon a Time
Written by James Riley
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I love that Half Upon a time is a more modern, beautiful tangle of all of the fairy tale stories we know--or thought we knew. With a few fun twists, you won't want to put the book down! Jack and May are on the run from the Hunstman and have so many adventures along the way. I didn't want to put this book down. :)
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the village of Giant’s Hand Jack’s grandfather has been pushing him to find a princess and get married, so when a young lady falls out of the sky wearing a shirt that says “Punk Princess,” and she tells Jack that her grandmother, who looks suspiciously like the long-missing Snow White, has been kidnapped, Jack decides to help her.

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The Frank Show
Written & illustrated by David Mackintosh
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom
This is one of my favorite grandparent books! It tells the story of a little boy who has to talk about his grandfather for one full minute during a show-and-tell and is increasingly nervous and embarrassed about it because he believes his grandfather isn't nearly as interesting as any other family member. When his grandfather saves the day for him, we all learn a little something about how amazing his grandpa is, and might just be inspired to learn a little more about our own grandparents! The illustrations are marvelously expressive and add a lot to the story too!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

This hilarious, offbeat picture book from the creator of Marshall Armstrong Is New to Our School reveals that there is more to the older generation than meets the eye. Grandpa Frank doesn’t have any interesting hobbies, unless you count complaining about how everything was better in the old days. He doesn’t speak Italian like Paolo’s mom, or play the drums like Tom’s uncle. He’s just a grandpa. So when the young narrator of this story is forced to bring Frank to school for show-and-tell, he’s sure it’s going to be a disaster. But Frank has a trick—make that a tattoo—up his sleeve! And a story to go with it. After all, the longer you’ve been around, the more time you’ve had for wild adventures.

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The Matchbox Diary
Written by Paul Fleischman & illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Follows a girl’s perusal of her great-grandfather’s collection of matchboxes and small curios that document his poignant immigration journey from Italy to a new country.

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Grandpa Green
Written & illustrated by Lane Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A child explores the ordinary life of his extraordinary great-grandfather, as expressed in his topiary garden.

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Big Papa and the Time Machine
Written by Daniel Bernstrom & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Discover the true meaning of being brave in this tender and whimsical picture book from Daniel Bernstrom (One Day in the Eucalytus, Eucalyptus Tree) and Shane Evans (Chocolate Me!) that follows a grandfather and grandson who travel through time in a beloved 1952 Ford.

A little boy who lives with his grandpa isn’t reprimanded for being afraid to go to school one day. Instead, Big Papa takes him away in his time machine—a 1952 Ford—back to all of the times when he, himself, was scared of something life was handing him.

Full of heartfelt moments and thrilling magical realism, Big Papa and the Time Machine speaks to the African American experience in a touching dialogue between two family members from different generations, and emerges as a voice that shares history and asks questions about one family’s experience in 20th-century black America.

*“Wasn’t you scared?”

“Oh, I was scared,” Big Papa said. “Sometimes you gotta walk with giants if you ever gonna know what you made of. That’s called being brave.”*

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  • Mama Seeton's Whistle - B is for Bookworm -

    This is the sweetest book about a mother's love for her children! I love the sweet text and that the tradition of whistling was passed down to her children. The illustrations are lovely, too!

  • Grandpa's Stories - One young girl reflects on a year with her beloved grandpa. She remembers the fields and parks they explored in the springtime and the old toys they fixed up in the summer. She remembers the handmade gifts they exchanged in the fall and the stories Grandpa told by the fi re each winter. But this year, the girl must say good-bye to Grandpa. In the face of her grief, she is determined to find a way to honor him. She decides to record her Grandpa stories in the notebook he made for her and carry Grandpa with her as she grows. An honest and relatable depiction of loss, Grandpa’s Stories celebrates life and the ways in which love lives on.

  • Auntie Claus - A deluxe gift edition of the modern Christmas classic, featuring an access code to a printable Christmas party kit, plus downloadable audio read by Academy Award-winning actress Ellen Burstyn! Auntie Claus is just another eccentric New Yorker—or is she? Young Sophie has often wondered about her unusual great-aunt, Auntie Claus. She lives in penthouse 25C at the Bing Cherry Hotel and is so curioso! After all, Auntie Claus serves Christmas cookies all year long and her tree is always the best-decorated in the city. And then there’s her annual “business trip,” right around the holidays. This year Sophie is determined to get to the bottom of Auntie Claus’s mysterious ways. Put on your mittens and bundle up for an adventure beyond your wildest dreams. Ho, ho, ho!

  • A Bowl Full of Peace: A True Story - In this deeply moving nonfiction picture book, award-winning author Caren Stelson brings Sachiko Yasui’s story of surviving the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and her message of peace to a young audience. Sachiko’s family home was about half a mile from where the atomic bomb fell on August 9, 1945. Her family experienced devastating loss. When they returned to the rubble where their home once stood, her father miraculously found their serving bowl fully intact. This delicate, green, leaf-shaped bowl–which once held their daily meals–now holds memories of the past and serves as a vessel of hope, peace, and new traditions for Sachiko and the surviving members of her family.

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Día de los Muertos
Written by Hannah Eliot & illustrated by Jorge R. Gutierrez
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

At the end of October each year, it’s time to celebrate an ancient tradition: Dia de los Muertos! With vibrant illustrations by Golden Globe–winning Mexican illustrator Jorge Gutierrez, this festive board book teaches that Dia de los Muertos honors ancestors and loved ones who have passed. From sugar skulls to papel picado, this is a holiday that truly commemorates the cycle of life.

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A Wolf's Tale
Written & illustrated by Eva Montanari
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This darling spin-off of the three little pigs story is so fun and has a wonderful ending. Grandpa wolf tells everyone about his story, and I love the theme that being good, not bad, let's you live happily every after with your family. :) The illustrations in this book are gorgeous--I love the unique style that fits so perfectly with the story!
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

We all know the story of the Big Bad Wolf and the three little pigs … or do we? Meet the great-great-great-great-grandson of the original Big Bad Wolf, also hot on the trail of some little pigs. Is he also up to no goodor is he trying to make friends at last? A hilarious twist on the original Three Little Pigs story, with stunning illustrations from acclaimed artist Eva Montanari.

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Always Neverland
Written by Zoe Barton
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This modern-day take on the story of Peter Pan will have readers interested from the get-go, and I love the emphasis from the "new Wendy" that women can do hard things. This sequel to Peter Pan will tell you what's happened since the first "Wendy girl" went to Neverland. With a lot of pixie dust, adventure, and fun, you'll be sure to love the time you spend with Peter, Ashley, and all the lost boys while reading this book! I loved that Ashley surprised the lost boys by doing a lot more than just making food for the boys--she's a strong female character that uses her knowledge to problem solve and help Peter Pan and all his boys!
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Move over, Wendy Darling. There’s a new girl in Neverland! Swimming with mermaids, fighting off pirates, and befriending Tiger Lily is all Ashley can think about when she finds Peter Pan in her room one night. With a pinch of fairy dust and a few happy thoughts, she follows him all the way to Neverland. But Ashley’s plans for adventure are thwarted when Peter and the Lost Boys expect her to be the new “Wendy girl” and help with the spring cleaning. Spring cleaning? This is not what Ashley has in mind! Will Ashley win them over?

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Going Down Home with Daddy
Written by Kelly Starling Lyons & illustrated by Daniel Minter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“On reunion morning, we rise before the sun. Daddy hums as he packs our car with suitcases and a cooler full of snacks. He says there’s nothing like going down home.” Down home is Granny’s house. Down home is where Lil’ Alan and his parents and sister will join great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Down home is where Lil’ Alan will hear stories of the ancestors and visit the land that has meant so much to all of them. And down home is where all of the children will find their special way to pay tribute to family history. All the kids have to decide on what tribute to share, but what will Lil’ Alan do? In this rich and moving celebration of history, culture, and ritual, Kelly Starling Lyons’ eloquent text explores the power of family traditions. Stunning illustrations by Coretta Scott King Honor-winner Daniel Minter reveal the motion and connections in a large, multigenerational family.

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When Grandpa Gives You a Toolbox
Written by Jamie L. B. Deenihan & illustrated by Lorraine Rocha
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In this delightful story, by the same author who wrote When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree, a boy is disappointed with his grandfather’s gift—until he learns he can use it to build exactly what he wanted with his own two hands, and a little help from grandpa, of course!

You asked for a special house for your dolls; but instead Grandpa gives you a toolbox! What do you do? Launching it into outer space is a bad idea. So is feeding it to a T. rex! Instead, be patient, pay attention, and you might find that you’re pretty handy. And just maybe, with grandpa’s help, you’ll get that dollhouse after all. This clever story celebrates kindness, hard work, and community, as well as variety in gender expression: the male main character proudly engages in activities that might be considered typically girl (playing with dolls) and typically boy (building with tools).

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  • The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come - “Stunning.”​ —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “Inspired…[a] journalistic, propulsive narrative.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review) From New York Times Best Illustrated Book artist Stacy Innerst and author Sue Macy comes a story of one man’s heroic effort to save the world’s Yiddish books. Over the last forty years, Aaron Lansky has jumped into dumpsters, rummaged around musty basements, and crawled through cramped attics. He did all of this in pursuit of a particular kind of treasure, and he’s found plenty. Lansky’s treasure was any book written Yiddish, the language of generations of European Jews. When he started looking for Yiddish books, experts estimated there might be about 70,000 still in existence. Since then, the MacArthur Genius Grant recipient has collected close to 1.5 million books, and he’s finding more every day. Told in a folkloric voice reminiscent of Patricia Polacco, this story celebrates the power of an individual to preserve history and culture, while exploring timely themes of identity and immigration.

  • The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea - A New York Times Bestseller!Axie Oh’s The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea is an enthralling feminist retelling of the classic Korean folktale The Tale of Shim Cheong, perfect for fans of Wintersong, Uprooted, and Miyazaki’s Spirited Away. Deadly storms have ravaged Mina’s homeland for generations. Floods sweep away entire villages, while bloody wars are waged over the few remaining resources. Her people believe the Sea God, once their protector, now curses them with death and despair. In an attempt to appease him, each year a beautiful maiden is thrown into the sea to serve as the Sea God’s bride, in the hopes that one day the “true bride” will be chosen and end the suffering. Many believe that Shim Cheong, the most beautiful girl in the village–and the beloved of Mina’s older brother Joon–may be the legendary true bride. But on the night Cheong is to be sacrificed, Joon follows Cheong out to sea, even knowing that to interfere is a death sentence. To save her brother, Mina throws herself into the water in Cheong’s stead. Swept away to the Spirit Realm, a magical city of lesser gods and mythical beasts, Mina seeks out the Sea God, only to find him caught in an enchanted sleep. With the help of a mysterious young man named Shin–as well as a motley crew of demons, gods and spirits–Mina sets out to wake the Sea God and bring an end to the killer storms once and for all. But she doesn’t have much time: A human cannot live long in the land of the spirits. And there are those who would do anything to keep the Sea God from waking… Praise for The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea: An ABA Indie Bestseller On every page I found something marvelous and new, and I was eager to keep reading because I wanted to further explore this wondrous new world. –The New York Times A beautiful, mesmerizing retelling I wish I’d had when I was growing up. … A heartfelt tale that I will be recommending for years to come. –Elizabeth Lim, New York Times-bestselling author of Six Crimson Cranes A clever, creative, and exquisitely written tale of sacrifice, love, and fate. –Stephanie Garber, New York Times-bestselling author of Caraval

  • Nowhere Boy - A timely, poignant tale of family, sacrifice and the friendship between a young Syrian refugee and an American boy living in Brussels.

  • Just Right Family: An Adoption Story - Meili, who is six years old and adopted from China, learns that her parents are going to adopt a baby from Haiti. She’s not happy. Why do they need a new baby? Their family is just right as it is. As Meili learns more about her new sibling and the importance of being a big sister, will she realize that a new addition can be just right for their family too?

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The Length of a String
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Imani is adopted, and she’s ready to search for her birth parents. But when she discovers the diary her Jewish great-grandmother wrote chronicling her escape from Holocaust-era Europe, Imani begins to see family in a new way. Imani knows exactly what she wants as her big bat mitzvah gift: to find her birth parents. She loves her family and her Jewish community in Baltimore, but she has always wondered where she came from, especially since she’s black and almost everyone she knows is white. Then her mom’s grandmother–Imani’s great-grandma Anna–passes away, and Imani discovers an old journal among her books. It’s Anna’s diary from 1941, the year she was twelve and fled Nazi-occupied Luxembourg alone, sent by her parents to seek refuge in Brooklyn, New York. Anna’s diary records her journey to America and her new life with an adoptive family of her own. And as Imani reads the diary, she begins to see her family, and her place in it, in a whole new way.

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Eyes That Kiss in the Corners
Written by Joanna Ho & illustrated by Dung Ho
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This lyrical and stunning picture book tells a story about learning to love and celebrate your Asian-shaped eyes, in the of spirit of Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers’. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother’s, and her little sister’s. They have eyes that kiss in the corners and glow like warm tea, crinkle into crescent moons, and are filled with stories of the past and hope for the future.Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self love and empowerment. This powerful, poetic picture book will resonate with readers of all ages and is a celebration of diversity.

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Judy Moody and the Right Royal Tea Party
Written by Megan McDonald & illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Jolly smashing! Could the Moodys really have royal blood? Judy brings her new look to a comical episode about the ups and downs of exploring a family tree. Judy Moody is in a royal purple-mountain-majesties mood. Make that Majesty with a capital M! With Grandma Lou’s help, Judy has dug up proof that some old-timey Moodys (aka the brave Mudeyes) lived in merry olde England. In fact, if her grandpa’s notes are right, Judy might even be related to – royal fanfare, please – the Queen herself! Should Judy start packing her purple robe for a sleepover at Buckingham Palace? But then Judy’s family tree gets a few more shakes – thanks to her nemesis, Jessica “Fink” Finch – and some more surprises come tumbling out. Crikey! These new gems are not nearly as shiny or sparkly as the crown jewels. Now Judy has some right royal family secrets she’d like to keep hidden away in a dungeon somewhere – and especially away from Jessica, the princess in pink herself!

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A King's Ransom
Written by Jude Watson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Amy and Dan are in a race for their lives . . . and the enemy may be even closer than they think. When seven members of their family were kidnapped by a sinister organization known as the Vespers, thirteen-year-old Dan Cahill and his older sister, Amy, vowed they’d stop at nothing to bring the hostages home. But then the ransom comes in and the Vespers demand the impossible. Amy and Dan have just days to track down and steal an ancient map. The only catch? No one has seen the map for half a century. Now Amy and Dan are on a desperate search that will lead them to the Nazis, spies, a mad king and some of history’s dirtiest secrets. It’s the race of their lives . . . and one misstep will mean certain death for the hostages.

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