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Social Life And Customs: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about social life and customs?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to social life and customs. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about social life and customs.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

We hope this list of kids books about social life and customs can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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The Kite Runner
Written by Khaled Hosseini
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -

The remarkable debut novel from Khaled Hosseini, now out in paperback in a stunning new package

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Front Desk
Written by Kelly Yang
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Mia Tang has a lot of secrets. Number 1: She lives in a motel, not a big house. Every day, while her immigrant parents clean the rooms, ten-year-old Mia manages the front desk of the Calivista Motel and tends to its guests. Number 2: Her parents hide immigrants. And if the mean motel owner, Mr. Yao, finds out they’ve been letting them stay in the empty rooms for free, the Tangs will be doomed. Number 3: She wants to be a writer. But how can she when her mom thinks she should stick to math because English is not her first language? It will take all of Mia’s courage, kindness, and hard work to get through this year. Will she be able to hold on to her job, help the immigrants and guests, escape Mr. Yao, and go for her dreams? Featuring exclusive bonus content!

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The Importance of Being Earnest
Written by Oscar Wilde
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -

Mr Worthing invents a brother, Earnest, as an excuse to leave his dull life behind him to pursue Gwendolyn. While across town Algernon Montecrieff decides to take the name Earnest, when visiting Worthing’s young ward Cecily. The real fun and confusion begins when the two end up together and their deceptions are in danger of being revealed.

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Jane Eyre
Written by Charlotte Brontë
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -

Explore Charlotte Bronte’s world full of shocking secrets, captivating characters, and dark romance in Jane Eyre. Jane Eyre is the heart-wrenching story of a young girl saddled with both a cruel aunt and a bitter upbringing at Lowood School. Despite the terrible circumstances life has given Jane, her soul not broken from these encounters, and she becomes governess to the children of the handsome Mr. Rochester. Jane falls deeply in love with the mysterious and moody Mr. Rochester, but the dark secrets of Rochester’s past and outside influence threaten to swallow their budding romance. Witness this classic, gothic romance as Jane must choose between her fast held principles and the only love she has ever known. Complete and unabridged, Jane Eyre is an essential entry to any book lover’s library. This edition comes in a lovely, cloth bound cover and has a handy elastic enclosure to keep the pages safe while you’re on the go. The Knickerbocker Classics bring together the works of classic authors from around the world in stunning gift editions to be collected and enjoyed. Complete and unabridged, these elegantly designed cloth-bound hardcovers feature a slipcase and ribbon marker, as well as a comprehensive introduction providing the reader with enlightening information on the author’s life and works.

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Seven Years in Tibet
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 18-

Recounts how the author, an Austrian, escaped from an English internment camp in India in 1943 and spent the next seven years in Tibet, observing its social practices, religion, politics, and people.

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  • David Copperfield - Now a major film directed by Armando Iannucci, starring Dev Patel, Tilda Swinton, Hugh Laurie, Peter Capaldi and Ben Whishaw Dickens’s great coming-of-age novel, now in a beautiful clothbound Penguin edition This is the novel Dickens regarded as his ‘favourite child’ and is considered his most autobiographical. As David recounts his experiences from childhood to the discovery of his vocation as a successful novelist, Dickens draws openly and revealingly on his own life. Among the gloriously vivid cast of characters are Rosa Dartle, Dora, Steerforth, and the ‘umble Uriah Heep, along with Mr Micawber, a portrait of Dickens’s own father which evokes a mixture of love, nostalgia and guilt.Dickens’s great Bildungsroman (based, in part, on his own boyhood) is a work filled with life, both comic and tragic. Charles Dickens (1812-70) had his first, astounding success with his first novel The Pickwick Papers and never looked back. In an extraordinarily full life he wrote, campaigned and spoke on a huge range of issues, and was involved in many of the key aspects of Victorian life, by turns cajoling, moving and irritating. He completed fourteen full-length novels and volume after volume of journalism. Of all his many works, he called David Copperfield his ‘favourite child’.Jeremy Tambling is Professor of Literature at the University of Manchester.

  • The Great Gatsby - One of the classics of twentieth-century literature, “The Great Gatsby” is now available in a definitive, textually accurate edition. The story of the fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his love for the beautiful Daisy Buchanan has been acclaimed by generations of readers. But the first edition contained a number of errors resulting from Fitzgerald’s extensive revisions and a rushed production schedule. Subsequent printings introduced further departures from the author’s words. This edition, based on the Cambridge critical text, restores all the language of Fitzgerald’s masterpiece. Drawing on the manuscript and surviving proof of the novel, along with Fitzgerald’s later revisions and corrections, this is the authorized text - “The Great Gatsby” as Fitzgerald intended it.

  • Daughter of Fortune - From the New York Times bestselling author of The House of the Spirits, Isabelle Allende, comes a passionate tale of one young woman’s quest to save her lover set against the chaos of the 1849 California Gold Rush. Orphaned at birth, Eliza Sommers is raised in the British colony of Valparaíso, Chile, by the well-intentioned Victorian spinster Miss Rose and her more rigid brother Jeremy. Just as she meets and falls in love with the wildly inappropriate Joaquín Andieta, a lowly clerk who works for Jeremy, gold is discovered in the hills of northern California. By 1849, Chileans of every stripe have fallen prey to feverish dreams of wealth. Joaquín takes off for San Francisco to seek his fortune, and Eliza, pregnant with his child, decides to follow him. As Eliza embarks on her perilous journey north in the hold of a ship and arrives in the rough-and-tumble world of San Francisco, she must navigate a society dominated by greedy men. But Eliza soon catches on with the help of her natural spirit and a good friend, the Chinese doctor Tao Chi’en. What began as a search for love ends up as the conquest of personal freedom. A marvel of storytelling, Daughter of Fortune confirms once again Isabel Allende’s extraordinary gift for fiction and her place as one of the world’s leading writers.

  • Don Quixote - Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read Don Quixote has become so entranced reading tales of chivalry that he decides to turn knight errant himself. In the company of his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, these exploits blossom in all sorts of wonderful ways. While Quixote’s fancy often leads him astray–he tilts at windmills, imagining them to be giants–Sancho acquires cunning and a certain sagacity. Sane madman and wise fool, they roam the world together-and together they have haunted readers’ imaginations for nearly four hundred years. With its experimental form and literary playfulness, Don Quixote has been generally recognized as the first modern novel. This Penguin Classics edition, with its beautiful new cover design, includes John Rutherford’s masterly translation, which does full justice to the energy and wit of Cervantes’s prose, as well as a brilliant critical introduction by Roberto Gonzalez Echevarriá.

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Oliver Twist
Written by Charles Dickens
chapter book
Recommend Ages: -

The Penguin English Library Edition of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens’A parish child - the orphan of a workhouse - the humble, half-starved drudge - to be cuffed and buffeted through the world, despised by all, and pitied by none’ Dark, mysterious and mordantly funny, Oliver Twist features some of the most memorably drawn villains in all of fiction - the treacherous gangmaster Fagin, the menacing thug Bill Sikes, the Artful Dodger and their den of thieves in the grimy London backstreets. Dicken’s novel is both an angry indictment of poverty, and an adventure filled with an air of threat and pervasive evil. The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War.

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The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Written by Muriel Barbery
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 18-

The phenomenal New York Times bestseller that “explores the upstairs-downstairs goings-on of a posh Parisian apartment building” (Publishers Weekly). In an elegant hôtel particulier in Paris, Renée, the concierge, is all but invisible–short, plump, middle-aged, with bunions on her feet and an addiction to television soaps. Her only genuine attachment is to her cat, Leo. In short, she’s everything society expects from a concierge at a bourgeois building in an upscale neighborhood. But Renée has a secret: she furtively, ferociously devours art, philosophy, music, and Japanese culture. With biting humor, she scrutinizes the lives of the tenants–her inferiors in every way except that of material wealth.Paloma is a twelve-year-old who lives on the fifth floor. Talented and precocious, she’s come to terms with life’s seeming futility and decided to end her own on her thirteenth birthday. Until then, she will continue hiding her extraordinary intelligence behind a mask of mediocrity, acting the part of an average pre-teen high on pop culture, a good but not outstanding student, an obedient if obstinate daughter.Paloma and Renée hide their true talents and finest qualities from a world they believe cannot or will not appreciate them. But after a wealthy Japanese man named Ozu arrives in the building, they will begin to recognize each other as kindred souls, in a novel that exalts the quiet victories of the inconspicuous among us, and “teaches philosophical lessons by shrewdly exposing rich secret lives hidden beneath conventional exteriors” (Kirkus Reviews). “The narrators’ kinetic minds and engaging voices (in Alison Anderson’s fluent translation) propel us ahead.”–The New York Times Book Review “Barbery’s sly wit . . . bestows lightness on the most ponderous cogitations.”–The New Yorker

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Dia de Los Muertos
Written by Roseanne Greenfield Thong & illustrated by Carles Ballesteros
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) and children throughout the pueblo, or town, are getting ready to celebrate! They decorate with colored streamers, calaveras, or sugar skulls, and pan de muertos, or bread of the dead. There are altars draped in cloth and covered in marigolds and twinkling candles. Music fills the streets. Join the fun and festivities, learn about a different cultural tradition, and brush up on your Spanish vocabulary, as the town honors their dearly departed in a traditional, time-honored style. ¡Es el Día de los Muertos y todos los niños del pueblo y ciudad están listos para celebrar! Decoran con calaveras lo calavera de azucar, pan de muertos y banderas. Hay altares cubriertos de manta con muchas flores, y velas parpadiendo. Musica llena las calles. Hay que unirse con los festivales y abrender una diferente cultura y traduciones y repasar el vocabulario en español, mientras el pueblo honra sus queridos en una tradución con el transcurso y con el estilo del tiempo.

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Maps
Written & illustrated by Aleksandra Mizielinska and Daniel Mizielinski
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Provides an illustrated collection of maps covering the continents and major nations of the world, detailing cities, landmarks, and cultural icons for each.

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Ten Little Rabbits
Written by Virginia Grossman & illustrated by Sylvia Long
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

A counting rhyme with illustrations of rabbits in Native American costume, depicting traditional customs such as rain dances, hunting, and smoke signals. On board pages.

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  • Día de los Muertos - 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.

  • Juneteenth for Mazie - Mazie is ready to celebrate liberty. She is ready to celebrate freedom. She is ready to celebrate a great day in American history – the day her ancestors were no longer slaves. Mazie remembers the struggles and the triumph, as she gets ready to celebrate Juneteenth. This beautiful story by award-winning author and illustrator Floyd Cooper will captivate both children and adults.

  • Juneteenth -

  • What Were the Roaring Twenties? - Flappers, flag-pole sitting, and the Ford Model T–these are just a few of the things that instantly conjure up a unique era–the Roaring Twenties. It was the bees’ knees, the cat’s meow. If you’re not familiar with 1920s slang, all the more reason to read this fascinating look at that wild, exciting decade. It began on the heels of one tragedy–the flu pandemic of 1918–and ended with another: the start of the Great Depression. But in between there were plenty of good times–the Model T cars that Henry Ford made were cheap enough for the masses, the new sound of jazz heated up speakeasies and nightclubs during the time of Prohibition. Women, recently given the right to vote, cut their long hair into bobs, wore short skirts and makeup, and danced the Charleston (sometimes in marathons that lasted days). Michele Mortlock hits all the highlights of this heady age that still feels modern even a hundred years later.

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A Little Princess
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Following Sterling’s spectacularly successful launch of its children’s classic novels (240,000 books in print to date), comes a dazzling new series: Classic Starts. The stories are abridged; the quality is complete. Classic Starts treats the world’s beloved tales (and children) with the respect they deserve–all at an incomparable price. Poor Sara Crewe. Once upon a time her beloved father pampered and adored her. But ever since he died, leaving her alone and penniless, she’s been caught in the cruel clutches of Miss Minchin, the headmistress at the Select Seminary for Young Ladies, where Sara once studied. But no matter how terrible things get, Sara always has her imagination and goodness of heart to carry her through. This timeless tale of a poor orphan has won children’s hearts for a century–and continues to be a favorite.

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Fall of Giants
Written by Ken Follett
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 18-

Ken Follett’s magnificent new historical epic begins as five interrelated families move through the momentous dramas of the First World War, the Russian Revolution, and the struggle for women’s suffrage. A thirteen-year-old Welsh boy enters a man’s world in the mining pits. . . . An American law student rejected in love finds a surprising new career in Woodrow Wilson’s White House. . . . A housekeeper for the aristocratic Fitzherberts takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert herself crosses deep into forbidden territory when she falls in love with a German spy. . . . And two orphaned Russian brothers embark on radically different paths when their plan to emigrate to America falls afoul of war, conscription, and revolution. From the dirt and danger of a coal mine to the glittering chandeliers of a palace, from the corridors of power to the bedrooms of the mighty, Fall of Giants takes us into the inextricably entangled fates of five families–and into a century that we thought we knew, but that now will never seem the same again. . . . Look out for Ken’s newest book, A Column of Fire, available now.

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Who Is Jane Goodall?
Written by Roberta Edwards and Who HQ & illustrated by John O'Brien
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A life in the wild! Jane Goodall, born in London, England, always loved animals and wanted to study them in their natural habitats. So at age twenty-six, off she went to Africa! Goodall’s up-close observations of chimpanzees changed what we know about them and paved the way for many female scientists who came after her. Now her story comes to life in this biography with black-and-white illustrations throughout.

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Freedom in Congo Square
Written by Carole Boston Weatherford & illustrated by R Gregory Christie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Chosen as a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of 2016, this poetic, nonfiction story about a little-known piece of African American history captures a human’s capacity to find hope and joy in difficult circumstances and demonstrates how New Orleans’ Congo Square was truly freedom’s heart. Mondays, there were hogs to slop, mules to train, and logs to chop. Slavery was no ways fair. Six more days to Congo Square. As slaves relentlessly toiled in an unjust system in 19th century Louisiana, they all counted down the days until Sunday, when at least for half a day they were briefly able to congregate in Congo Square in New Orleans. Here they were free to set up an open market, sing, dance, and play music. They were free to forget their cares, their struggles, and their oppression. This story chronicles slaves’ duties each day, from chopping logs on Mondays to baking bread on Wednesdays to plucking hens on Saturday, and builds to the freedom of Sundays and the special experience of an afternoon spent in Congo Square. This book will have a forward from Freddi Williams Evans (freddievans.com), a historian and Congo Square expert, as well as a glossary of terms with pronunciations and definitions.

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The 5 O'Clock Band
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this companion to the Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award-winning Trombone Shorty, join a scrappy young musician named Shorty on a tour of his beloved New Orleans. After letting his band down by missing rehearsal, Shorty has some serious questions about what it means to be a leader. He hits the streets of New Orleans to find some answers and soak up inspiration. Along the way he’ll meet street musicians, a favorite restaurant owner, and the famous Mardi Gras Indians. Each has some NOLA-bred wisdom to share with Shorty about being an artist, a leader, and a friend. In The 5 O’Clock Band, Troy Andrews has crafted another unforgettable love letter to New Orleans illustrated by the incomparable Bryan Collier.

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  • Thank You, Sarah - Relates how Sarah Hale, a magazine editor and author, persuaded President Lincoln to transform Thanksgiving Day into a national holiday.

  • Pride and Prejudice - BabyLit Storybooks are a great way to introduce young readers to the classics, with easy to read storylines and bright illustrations. They are part of the bestselling BabyLit series, which provides a literary education for your brilliant children. In Pride & Prejudice, children are invited into the Regency period to meet the Bennet sisters, Mr. Darcy, Mr. Bingley, and other beloved characters from Jane Austen’s classic tale. Elegant balls, surprise proposals, and a visit to Pemberley are just a few events to look forward to in this story about appearances, misunderstandings, and love. Quotes from the original text are woven throughout this retelling, and the imaginative artwork will engage readers of all ages. This is a book to be treasured throughout childhood and beyond. BabyLit® primers have become the chic, smart way to introduce babies to the most beloved and readable literature of our time. Now presenting a delightful collection of hardcover lap books for early readers and their parents. Each book in the BabyLit Storybook series retells a story from literary canon with easy-to-follow text and engaging artwork. These delightful, engaging books are ideal for ages 3 to 7, with their oversized trim and sturdy pages, but will be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

  • Alice-Miranda in China - When a surprise letter arrives at Winchesterfield-Downsfordvale Academy for Proper Young Ladies offering a cultural exchange to Beijing, Alice-Miranda and her friends are quick to sign up. They can’t wait to experience the delights of one of the world’s busiest cities! While there, the visitors will attend The Bright Star Academy and be billeted among the local students. Excitingly, Alice-Miranda and Jacinta are placed with a family who own one of the most famous acrobatic circus troupes in China. Their shows are spectacular but on closer inspection it appears that attempts are being made to sabotage the performances. Is it an insider, or is someone else trying to bring the family down? When Alice-Miranda stumbles upon a priceless missing antiquity in her host’s home the mystery deepens. Will the saboteur be caught before it’s too late?

  • Marshfield Dreams: When I Was a Kid - The colorful boyhood of a popular author comes to life in this personal account Imagine learning from a nosy classmate that your mother is having yet another baby. To Ralph’s classmates, news of one more Fletcher baby is just “scuttlebutt.” But for Ralph, the oldest of nine, being part of a large family means more kids to join in the fun–from making tripods in the woods and “snicking” up the rug to raising chicks and even discovering a meteor (well, maybe). It doesn’t feel like there’s life beyond Marshfield, Massachusetts. Then one day Dad’s new job moves the family to Chicago, and there’s so much Ralph has to leave behind. In this humorous and captivating memoir, Ralph Fletcher traces the roots of his storytelling.

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More Stories from Grandma's Attic
Written by & illustrated by Patrice Barton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A young girl delights in her grandmother’s stories of days gone by, sparked by keepsakes and simple questions, Grandma shares marvelous stories of mischief, discovery, and laughter, such as a beautiful heart-shaped locket and a curl that cost Grandma more than a lock of hair. Part of the bestselling Grandma’s Attic series, these charming tales–updated with delightful new illustrations–will whisk you away to another time and place. And you’ll find something worth far more than any treasure or keepsake…timeless lessons of life and faith!

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A Ticket Around the World
Written by Natalia Diaz and Melissa Owens & illustrated by Kim Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

An introduction to the world’s diversity follows the journeys of a young boy who visits friends in thirteen different countries and explores their respective cultures, languages, foods, geography, wildlife, and landmarks.

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A Last Goodbye
Written by Elin Kelsey & illustrated by Soyeon Kim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-

How do we say goodbye to a loved one after they die? This book broaches a difficult topic in a heartfelt way by exploring the beauty in how animals mourn. From elephants to whales, parrots to bonobos, and lemurs to humans, we all have rituals to commemorate our loved ones and to lift each other up in difficult times.New from the award-winning team behind You Are Stardust, Wild Ideas, and You Are Never Alone, this book gently recognizes death as a natural part of life for humans and all animals. Written in spare, poetic language and illustrated with stunning dioramas, it draws out our similarities with other animals as it honors the universal experience of mourning. The touching and uplifting book ends on a hopeful note, showing how we live on both in memories and on the planet, our bodies nourishing new life in the Earth and the oceans.

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In Grandma's Attic
Written by Arleta Richardson & illustrated by Patrice Barton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A young girl delights in her grandmother’s stories of days gone by, sparked by keepsakes and simple questions, Grandma shares marvelous stories of mischief, discovery, and laughter, such as the time she accidentally lost the family buggy. Part of the bestselling Grandma’s Attic series, these charming tales–updated with delightful new illustrations–will whisk you away to another time and place. And you’ll find something worth far more than any treasure or keepsake…timeless lessons of life and faith!

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Calling the Doves / El Canto de Las Palomas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Bilingual English/Spanish. Calling the Doves is Poet Laureate Juan Felipe Herrera’s story of his migrant farmworker childhood. Calling the Doves is poet Juan Felipe Herrera’s story of his migrant farmworker childhood. In delightful and lyrical language, he recreates the joy of eating breakfast under the open sky, listening to Mexican songs in the little trailer house his father built, and celebrating with other families at a fiesta in the mountains. He remembers his mother’s songs and poetry, and his father’s stories and his calling the doves. For Juan Felipe, the farmworker road was also the beginning of his personal road to becoming a writer.

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  • The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome: A Handbook for Time Travelers - From the publishing house that brought you the Who Was? books comes the next big series to make history approachable, engaging, and funny!The Thrifty Guide to Ancient Rome contains information vital to the sensible time traveler: - Where can I find a decent hotel room in ancient Rome for under five sesterces a day? Is horse parking included? - What do I do if I’m attacked by barbarians? - What are my legal options if I’m fed to the lions at the Colosseum? All this is answered and more. There is handy advice on finding the best picnicking spots to watch Julius Caesar’s assassination at the Roman Forum in 44 BC, as well as helpful real estate tips to profit from the great Roman fire of AD 64. There are even useful recommendations on which famous historical figures to meet for lunch, and a few nifty pointers on how to avoid being poisoned, beheaded, or torn apart by an angry mob. If you had a time travel machine and could take a vacation anywhere in history, this is the only guidebook you would need!

  • What Was the Gold Rush? - In 1848, gold was discovered in California, attracting over 300,000 people from all over the world, some who struck it rich and many more who didn’t. Hear the stories about the gold-seeking “forty-niners!” With black-and white illustrations and sixteen pages of photos, a nugget from history is brought to life!

  • Lucia the Luchadora - Lucía zips through the playground in her cape just like the boys, but when theytell her girls can’t be superheroes, suddenly she doesn’t feel so mighty. That’swhen her beloved abuela reveals a dazzling secret: Lucía comes from a family ofluchadoras, the bold and valiant women of the Mexican lucha libre tradition.Cloaked in a flashy new disguise, Lucía returns as a recess sensation! But whenshe’s confronted with a case of injustice, Lucía must decide if she can stay true tothe ways of the luchadora and fight for what is right, even if it means breaking thesacred rule of never revealing the identity behind her mask. A story about courageand cultural legacy, Lucía the Luchadora is full of pluck, daring, and heart.

  • Birrarung Wilam: A Story from Aboriginal Australia - Travel along Melbourne’s twisting Yarra River in a glorious celebration of Indigenous culture and Australia’s unique flora and fauna. As ngua rises, Bunjil soars over mountain ash, flying higher and higher as the wind warms. Below, Birrarung begins its long winding path down to palem warreen. Yarra Riverkeeper Andrew Kelly and Aboriginal Elder of the Wurundjeri people Aunty Joy Murphy join to tell the Indigenous and geographical story of Melbourne’s beautiful Yarra River – from its source to its mouth and from its prehistory to the present day. The writing dazzles with poetic descriptions of the trees, plants, and wildlife that thrive in harmony along the iconic waterway. Lush and vibrant acrylic paintings from Indigenous illustrator Lisa Kennedy make the mighty Yarra come to life – coursing under a starry sky, drawing people to its sunny shores, mirroring a searing orange sunset. Jewel-like details in the illustrations offer opportunities for discovery on every page. As gorgeous and powerful as the river itself, this stunner invites all to come to Wilam: home. End matter includes an authors’ note and a glossary of the Woiwurrung words used in the story.

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Boy: Tales of Childhood
Written by Roald Dahl & illustrated by Quentin Blake
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Find out where the bestselling author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The BFG got all his wonderful story ideas in this autobiographical account of his childhood!

From his own life, of course! As full of excitement and the unexpected as his world-famous, best-selling books, Roald Dahl’s tales of his own childhood are completely fascinating and fiendishly funny. Did you know that Roald Dahl nearly lost his nose in a car accident? Or that he was once a chocolate candy tester for Cadbury’s? Have you heard about his involvement in the Great Mouse Plot of 1924? If not, you don’t yet know all there is to know about Roald Dahl. Sure to captivate and delight you, the boyhood antics of this master storyteller are not to be missed!

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Sarah Morton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Girl
Written by Kate Waters & illustrated by Russ Kendall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Text and photographs of Plimoth Plantation follow a pilgrim girl through a typical day as she milks the goats, cooks and serves meals, learns her letters, and adjusts to her new stepfather.

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Child of St Kilda
Written & illustrated by Beth Waters
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9

Norman John Gillies was one of the last children ever born on St Kilda, five years before the whole population was evacuated forever to the British mainland. People had lived on these islands for over four thousand years, developing a thriving, tightly-knit society that knew nothing of crime or money, and took care of its weakest members without hesitation. At the mercy of the seasons and the elements, a unique lifestyle evolved, based around resilience, mutual trust and caring. What was it like to grow up in such harsh conditions? Why and how did this ancient way of life suddenly cease in 1930? Where did the islanders go, and what became of them? And what became of Norman John, child of St Kilda?

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Ohana Means Family
Written by Ilima Loomis & illustrated by Kenard Pak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Join the family, or ohana, as they farm taro for poi to prepare for a traditional luau celebration with a poetic text in the style of The House That Jack Built.**

“This is the land that’s never been sold, where work the hands, so wise and old, that reach through the water, clear and cold, into the mud to pick the taro to make the poi for our ohana’s luau.”

Acclaimed illustrator and animator Kenard Pak’s light-filled, dramatic illustrations pair exquisitely with Ilima Loomis’ text to celebrate Hawaiian land and culture.

The backmatter includes a glossary of Hawaiian terms used, as well as an author’s note.

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Samuel Eaton's Day: A Day in the Life of a Pilgrim Boy
Written by Kate Waters & illustrated by Russ Kendall
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Young Samuel Eaton has hardly slept from excitement! Today he will do a man’s work–helping with his first rye harvest. But as his hands become blistered and the sun beats down, he wonders if he’s up to the task.

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  • Ashanti to Zulu - Artists Leo and Diane Dillon won their second consecutive Caldecott Medal for this stunning ABC of African culture. “Another virtuoso performance. . . . Such an astute blend of aesthetics and information is admirable, the child’s eye will be rewarded many times over.”–Booklist. ALA Notable Book; Caldecott Medal.

  • The Endless Steppe - It is June 1941. The Rudomin family has been arrested by the Russians. They are “capitalists - enemies of the people.” Forced from their home and friends in Vilna, Poland, they are herded into crowded cattle cars. They destination: the endless steppe of Siberia.

  • War Boy: A Country Childhood - The author, an illustrator of children’s books, recounts his childhood experiences growing up on the east coast of England during World War II

  • If You Want a Friend in Washington: Wacky, Wild & Wonderful Presidential Pets - A clever, funny, and informative look at the pets–from Calvin Coolidge’s wallaby to Teddy Roosevelt’s flying squirrels–that have passed through the White House gates. Perfect for fans of I Am George Washington and So You Want to Be President? President Truman famously said, If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog. And a dog is what many presidents got. From James Garfield to Calvin Coolidge to Richard Nixon, presidents often found a friend in Fido (in fact, Abe Lincoln’s pup was actually named Fido). Others preferred cats, horses, small critters, or even big, ferocious animals like bears and alligators. With a catchy refrain (If you want a friend in Washington . . ., ), this is a funny, educational book about the animals that have passed through the White House. Whether it’s favorite dogs like Barbara Bush’s Millie or the Obamas’ Bo; Abraham Lincoln’s cat, Dixie; Calvin Coolidge’s hippo, Billy; or Andrew Jackson’s foul-mouthed parrot, Poll, Erin McGill brings to life a menagerie of presidential pets in this entertaining, whimsical, and carefully researched picture book that’s perfect for animal lovers and history buffs alike.

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Calavera Abecedario: A Day of the Dead Alphabet Book
Written & illustrated by Jeanette Winter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Every year Don Pedro and his family make papier-mâché skeletons, or calaveras, for Mexico’s Day of the Dead fiesta. From the Angel and Doctor to the Mariachi and Unicornio, there’s a special calavera for each letter of the alphabet. Come dance with them! Includes a glossary of Spanish words and an author’s note.

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Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast Around the World
Written by Alice B. McGinty & illustrated by Tomoko Suzuki
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Breakfast varies from country to country, but it’s how all children begin their day. Explore the meals of twelve countries in this playful approach to the world!

From Australia to India to the USA, come travel around the world at dawn. Children everywhere are waking up to breakfast. In Japan, students eat soured soybeans called natto. In Brazil, even kids drink coffee–with lots of milk! With rhythm and rhymes and bold, graphic art, Pancakes to Parathas invites young readers to explore the world through the most important meal of the day.

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Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions
Written by Margaret Musgrove & illustrated by Diane Dillon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Artists Leo and Diane Dillon won their second consecutive Caldecott Medal for this stunning ABC of African culture. “Another virtuoso performance. . . . Such an astute blend of aesthetics and information is admirable, the child’s eye will be rewarded many times over.”–Booklist. ALA Notable Book; Caldecott Medal.

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Saffron Ice Cream
Written & illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

With her colorful, exuberant folk-art illustrations and upbeat, friendly tone, Rashin makes a daunting cross-cultural leap seem as easy as a summer breeze. – New York Times Book Review Rashin is excited about her first visit to the beach in her family’s new home. On the way there, she remembers what beach trips were like in Iran, the beautiful Caspian Sea, the Persian music, and most of all, the saffron ice cream she shared with her best friend, Azadeh. But there are wonderful things in this new place as well – a subway train, exciting music… and maybe even a new friend!

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Pioneer Girl: A True Story of Growing Up on the Prairie
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-17

Pioneer Girl is the true story of Grace McCance Snyder. In 1885, when Grace was three, she and her family became homesteaders on the windswept prairie of central Nebraska. They settled into a small sod house and hauled their water in barrels. Together they endured violent storms, drought, blizzards, and prairie fires. Despite the hardships and dangers, Grace loved her life on the prairie. Weaving Grace’s story into the history of America’s heartland, award-winning author Andrea Warren writes not just of one spirited girl but of all the children who homesteaded with their families in the late 1800s, sharing the heartbreaks and joys of pioneer life.

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