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Kids Fall Reading, 2019

Some of the best picture books, middle grade, and YA of the season, as recommended by Bookshop Santa Cruz staff. You can see our recommendations from the season for adults here.


Chirri & Chirra, On the Town written & illus. by Kaya Doi, trans. David Boyd

You don’t have to be familiar with previous Chirri & Chirra books to enjoy this utterly charming newest installment. This time, the adventurous sisters bike around an old town full of practical, yet magical, shops. I would have loved pouring over the details of Doi’s delightful soft watercolor illustrations as a child and still do as an adult. A great choice for readers who enjoy fun, light adventures with a hint of magic. Don’t forget to read Chirri & Chirra’s other stories, too! - Stephanie

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Chirri & Chirra, on the Town Cover Image
By Kaya Doi, David Boyd (Translator)
ISBN: 9781592702787
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Enchanted Lion Books - December 3rd, 2019

Common Threads: Adam's Day at the Market written by Huda Essa, illus. by Mercè Tous

During a trip to the market, Adam is separated from his parents and mistakes adults in a variety of cultural and religious garb for them. With minimal text, the pictures are given the story-telling power here, making this a great choice for younger readers, or as a jumping-off point for conversations about diversity. Backmatter explains the concept of clothing with religious and/or cultural significance and encourages readers to learn about other cultures and practice kindness and respect for all people. - Molly

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By Huda Essa, Merc Tous (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781534110106
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sleeping Bear Press - August 15th, 2019

The House at the End of the Road by Kari Rust

There’s nothing quite like summer and the unexpected gifts exploration brings. When three cousins approach a dilapidated house, a face appears at the window and they run from the “ghost”. After spilling the beans to their grandmother, she makes them apologize to the kind old man living there and thus begins a beautiful intergenerational friendship. This excellent story uses the comic book form to draw you in. I won’t soon forget that kindness and friendship can be found in surprising places. - Ivy

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The House at the End of the Road Cover Image
ISBN: 9781771473354
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Owlkids - September 17th, 2019

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh written by Supriya Kelkar, illus. by Alea Marley

Harpreet Singh is excited about colors and loves wearing different colorful patkas—he has one for every occasion—to express his feelings. What Harpreet isn’t excited about: moving across the country. The charming, vibrant art makes this tale about transition and emotional awareness even more beautiful. A good story for any reader, this book is also a great tool for helping children explore their feelings and process change. - Stephanie

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The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh Cover Image
By Supriya Kelkar, Alea Marley (Illustrator), Simran Jeet Singh (Afterword by)
ISBN: 9781454931843
Availability: Hard to Find - Contact Store for Availability
Published: Sterling Children's Books - September 3rd, 2019

Octopus Stew written and illus. by Eric Velasquez

Hilarity ensues when Ramsey and his Grandma battle a giant octopus that was supposed to be dinner. The representation of their Afro-Latinx family is warm and spirited and the details—like Ramsey’s tech-fluency and love of superheroes—make this feel like a first-hand account (which is confirmed in the author’s note about the family story the book is based on). Full of expressive faces, action-packed tableus, and a humorous ending, this one makes for an excellent family meal (or bedtime story). - Molly

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ISBN: 9780823437542
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Holiday House - September 17th, 2019

Sulwe written by Lupita Nyong'o, illus. by Vashti Harrison

Sulwe, like too many real children, cannot see her own beauty, outside or in. A myth about the sisters Night and Day helps her see her true self, “Dark and beautiful, bright and strong.” Vashti Harrison’s gorgeous art brings life this all-too-real story by Lupita Nyong’o that will lift your heart. It’s perfect for any child who needs help seeing themselves, to be reminded that not all beauty is the same, or who dreams of stories the stars might tell. - Jocelyn

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Sulwe Cover Image
By Lupita Nyong'o, Vashti Harrison (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781534425361
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - October 15th, 2019

Child of the Dream (A Memoir of 1963) by Sharon Robinson

In 1963, the Children’s March brought urgency to the Civil Rights Movement and the March on Washington planted Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s dream in the world’s heads and hearts. Thirteen-year old Sharon, daughter of baseball legend and activist Jackie Robinson, yearned to do her part, but felt small in a large movement. Robinson offers an amazing front row seat to some of the greatest moments in history. Her memoir is an excellent and necessary reminder for this uncertain age. - Ivy

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ISBN: 9781338282801
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - September 3rd, 2019

Cog by Greg Van Eekhout

Like a typical 12-year-old, Cog (short for “cognitive development”) is a learning machine. However, he’s also an actual machine who takes his job of gaining knowledge by making mistakes quite seriously. In this futuristic version of The Incredible Journey, readers get to experience an epic road trip through the eyes of Cog and his motley robot crew. While fans of The Wild Robot will certainly eat this up, all of us will relish its timely message about the dangers of uniMIND. - Michelle

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By Greg van Eekhout, Beatrice Blue (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780062686077
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - October 1st, 2019

Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson

This book is heartwarming and real. Amara plunges into her school assignment when she convinces her parents it’s time for her to see Harlem and meet her grandfather for the first time. Amara’s curiosity about the silence between her father and grandfather keeps the pages turning. A great read for any adolescent curious about where they really come from and why family is important. - Noreen

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ISBN: 9781681191089
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - September 3rd, 2019

Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy

Tackling divorce, body image, new friends, and first crushes with humor and love, Sweet Pea was a delight from start to finish. The main character, the hilarious and kind Sweet Pea, simply jumps off the page and I was rooting for her from the start. Great for aspiring journalists, and everyone who feels like they don’t fit in. - Emma

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ISBN: 9780062473073
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Balzer + Bray - October 1st, 2019


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