Book of the Month

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.

June 2017 Book of the Month: The Best Man

Archer Magill has spent a lively five years of grade school in search of grown-up role models. Three of the best are his grandpa, the great architect; his dad, the great vintage car customizer; and his uncle Paul, who is just plain great. These are the three he wants to be like. 

AUTHOR(S):  Richard Peck

AGE GROUP: 9-12

Amina's Voice (May 2017)

While Amina, a Pakistani-American middle school student, grapples with questions of friendship and identity, she is devastated when her local mosque is vandalized. This book highlights the many ways in which one girl’s voice can help bring a diverse community together.

The Journey (April 2017)

What is it like to have to leave everything behind and travel many miles to somewhere unfamiliar and strange? A mother and her two children set out on such a journey; one filled with fear of the unknown but also great hope.

Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers' Strike of 1909 (March 2017) 

This book tells the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.

Firebird (February 2017)

In her debut picture book, Misty Copeland tells the story of a young girl whose confidence is fragile and who is questioning her own ability to reach the heights that Misty has reached.

Towers Falling (January 2017)

When her fifth-grade teacher hints that a series of lessons about home and community will culminate with one big answer about two tall towers once visible outside their classroom window, Deja sets off on a journey of discovery.

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburn Makes her Mark (December 2016)

Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere.

Thunder Boy Jr. (November 2016)

Thunder Boy Jr. is named after his dad, but he wants a name that's all his own.

Out of My Mind (October 2016)

Melody refuses to be defined by cerebral palsy and she’s determined to let everyone know it…somehow.

Mango, Abuela, and Me (September 2016)

Mia's Abuela has left her sunny house with parrots and palm trees to live with Mia and her parents in the city.

Mama's Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation (August 2016)

After Saya's mother is sent to an immigration detention center, Saya finds comfort in listening to her mother's warm greeting on their answering machine.

George (June 2016)

When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she's not a boy. She knows she's a girl.

Juna's Jar (May 2016)

Determined to find her friend Hector who unexpectedly moved away, Juna turns to her special kimchi jar for help each night, plunging into the depths of the ocean, swinging on vines through the jungle, and flying through the night sky in search of her friend.

The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond (April 2016)

Violet is smart, funny and biracial. But her African American father died before she was born and she has grown up with just her white mother and white older sister.

Rosie Revere Engineer (March 2016)

Rosie may seem quiet during the day, but at night she's a brilliant inventor of gizmos and gadgets who dreams of becoming a great engineer. 

March: Book One (February 2016)

This graphic novel trilogy spans Congressman John Lewis' youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins.

Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan (January 2016)

This story is based on real-life experiences of a band of approximately 30,000 southern Sudanese boys who walked nearly 1000 miles searching for a safe refuge.

Rules (December 2015)

Twelve-year-old Catherine just wants a normal life, which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability.

Lailah's Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story (November 2015)

When Ramadan begins, Lailah is excited that she is finally old enough to participate in the fasting but worries that her classmates won't understand why she doesn't join them in the lunchroom.

The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade (October 2015)

When Sally takes a chance and stands up to the bullying, she finds that one small girl can make a big difference.

Gaby, Lost and Found (September 2015)

When Gaby Ramirez Howard starts volunteering at the local animal shelter, she takes special pride in writing adoption advertisements. Gaby is in need of a forever home herself because her mother recently was deported to Honduras.

Maddi's Fridge (August 2015)

Best friends Sofia and Maddi live in the same neighborhood, go to the same school, and play in the same park, but while Sofia’s fridge at home is full of nutritious food, the fridge at Maddi’s house is empty.

Gracefully Grayson (July 2015)

Grayson Sender has been holding onto a secret for what seems like forever: "he" is a girl on the inside.

Stella Brings The Family (June 2015)

Stella's class is having a Mother's Day celebration, but what's a girl with two Daddies to do?

Fish for Jimmy (May 2015)

For two brothers in a Japanese-American family, everything changed when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States went to war.

El Deafo (April 2015)

The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear—sometimes things she shouldn’t—but also isolates her from her classmates.

Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx (March 2015)

Before Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor took her seat in our nation's highest court, she was a little girl in the South Bronx.

Little Melba and Her Big Trombone (February 2015)

Melba Doretta Listons loved the sounds of music as far back and she could remember; she overcame race and gender obstacles to become a famed trombone player, composer and arranger.

The Year of the Rat (January 2015)

The Year of the Rat brings many changes for Pacy: her best friend moving away, dealing with the prejudice directed toward a new student from China and learning to face some of her own flaws.

Jeremy's Dreidel (December 2014)

At the dreidel-making workshop, Jeremy’s friends think he is molding a secret code on his clay dreidel but he is making a special gift for his father, who is blind.

Shin-chi's Canoe (November 2014)

When Shi-shi-etko and Shin-chi arrive at the Indian Residential School, Shi-shi-etko reminds her younger brother that they can only use their English names and that they are not allowed to speak to each other.

Confessions of a Former Bully (October 2014)

After Katie gets caught teasing a schoolmate, she's told to meet with Mrs. Petrowski, the school counselor, so she can make right her wrong and learn to be a better friend.

How Tia Lola Came to Stay (September 2014)

When ten-year-old Miguel moves to Vermont with his mami after his parents’ divorce, guess who flies up from the Island to help take care of him and his little sister, Juanita?

Each Kindness (August 2014)

Chloe doesn’t really know why she turns away from the new girl, Maya, when Maya tries to befriend her and every time Maya asks if she can play with Chloe and the other girls, the answer is always no.

Jacob's New Dress (July 2014)

This heartwarming story speaks to the unique challenges faced by boys who don’t identify with traditional gender roles and promises to spark discussions of gender, identity and self-confidence.

Same Sun Here (June 2014)

With honesty and humor and narrated in two voices, Meena and River bridge the miles between them, creating a friendship that inspires bravery and defeats cultural misconceptions.

Separate Is Never Equal (May 2014)

Sylvia Mendez and her brothers are excited to attend the neighborhood schools but are turned away and told they have to attend the Mexican school instead.

Wonder (April 2014)

August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that has prevented him from attending a mainstream school—until now.

Grace for President (March 2014)

When Grace’s teacher reveals that the United States has never had a female president, Grace decides to be the first.