These featured books are from our Books Matter collection that teach about bias, promote respect for diversity and encourage social action. To help educators and parent/family members expand upon children’s learning from the book, each Book of the Month has an Educator Discussion Guide and a Parent/Family Discussion Guide, which provides discussion questions, activities, talking points and additional resources.
February 2019: Lillians' Right to Vote
An elderly African American woman, on her way to vote, remembers her family’s tumultuous voting history. As Lillian, a one-hundred-year-old African American woman, makes a “long haul up a steep hill” to her polling place, she sees more than trees and sky—she sees her family’s history. She sees the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and her great-grandfather voting for the first time. She sees her parents trying to register to vote. And she sees herself marching in a protest from Selma to Montgomery. This book recalls the battle for civil rights in an account of one woman’s fierce determination to make it up the hill and make her voice heard.
AUTHOR: Jonah Winter
ILLUSTRATOR: Shane W. Evans
AGE GROUP: 5–9
Josef, Isabel and Mahmoud all go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers—from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But there is always the hope of tomorrow. Although they are separated by continents and decades, shocking connections will tie their stories together in the end.
She brought her strength, her work, her passion, her hopes and dreams...and her stories. Yuyi and her son's passage was not easy, and Yuyi spoke no English whatsoever at the time. But together, they found an unexpected, unbelievable place: the public library. There, book by book, they untangled the language of this strange new land, and learned to make their home within it.
There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it's how you look or talk, or where you're from; maybe it's what you eat or something else just as random. It's not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.
A disaster leads Kaori, Gen and Valencia on an epic quest to find missing Virgil. Through luck, smarts, bravery and a little help from the universe, a rescue is performed, bullying behavior is put in its place and friendship blooms.
If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José 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; José, 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.
When a tornado rips through town, Ivy Aberdeen's house is destroyed and her family displaced. Ivy feels invisible and ignored in the aftermath of the storm—and what's worse, her notebook filled with secret drawings of girls holding hands has gone missing.