10 Vegetable Seeds to Direct Sow Right Now

Curious about starting seeds directly in your garden?

 

Let’s take a little break from the seed of the week to talk about direct sowing. It’s not too late to pick up seeds from our Seed Library! There are plenty of seeds that can be started now and sown directly in the ground outside.

 

We put together a list of ten seeds that we have in our seed library that can be started outside. What’s your favorite to grow?

Dill

Dill is easy to grow, and self-seeds easily. Dill is a versatile spice that is found in many dishes.

Pumpkin

A fall favorite, pumpkin seeds actually do better when planted directly in the garden.

Lettuce

Lettuce is cool season crop that does well sown in spring or late fall, directly in the garden.

Cilantro

A popular spice used in many Mexican dishes, cilantro is another cool season crop that can planted directly in the garden in the spring or fall.

Squash/Zucchini

Squash seedlings are sensitive to being transplanted, so direct sow is the best method to growing these veggies.

Spinach

Spinach is another vegetable that prefers the cooler weather. It will bolt as soon as the weather gets warm in summer. The Bloomsdale longstanding variety tends to withstand the heat better than other varieties.

Beans

Beans are an easy seed for beginners to grow. Beans start quick and are best started directly in the garden.

Peas

Peas are frost hardy, so they can be planted early.  Sow the seeds directly into your garden 4-6 weeks before your last frost date, once the soil is workable or in the fall in mid-August for a fall harvest.

Carrots

You should always direct sow carrots seeds because any type of root disturbance can lead to deformities. Always plant carrots in light fluffy soil.

Cucumber

Cucumbers are not fans of being transplanted, so it is better to plant seeds directly into your garden. Wait until the soil has fully warmed in the spring and plant in a sunny location.

Want more seeds? Check out our Seed Library!

With your Bensenville Community Public Library card, you may borrow up to five packets consisting of no more than two of each variety of seed. Each packet contains enough seeds to grow at least 3 plants. Please note that seeds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt

Can’t make it downtown to catch the Art Institute of Chicago’s current exhibit: Life and Afterlife in Ancient Egypt? Check out your Bensenville Library’s beautifully illustrated tomes on the Art and Architecture of Ancient Egypt!

About the exhibit: Experience over 3,000 years of arts from ancient Egypt in a dynamic new gallery. The transformed space explores aspects of life and the afterlife in the Nile Valley with the first new installation of works from the museum’s historic collection of ancient Egyptian art in a quarter-century. Striking artifacts—displayed along one wall of the gallery in a series of innovative cases that promote viewing from multiple vantage points—provide insight into the beliefs and practices of this illustrious North African culture.

Ancient Egypt: An Illustrated Reference to the Myths, Religions, Pyramids and Temples of the Land of the Pharaohs

by Lorna Oakes

This beautiful volume is a fascinating guide to the myths, religions, pyramids, temples, and more that make up the allure of ancient Egypt. Readers will gain a unique understanding of this captivating culture through breathtaking, full-color illustrations, in-depth text, detailed maps, and comprehensive chronologies.

The Art of Ancient Egypt

by Gay Robins

From the awesome grandeur of the Great Pyramids to the delicacy of a face etched on an amulet, the spellbinding power of ancient Egyptian art persists to this day. Spanning three thousand years, this beautifully illustrated history offers a thorough and delightfully readable introduction to the artwork.

The Pharaohs: Master-Builders

by Henri Stierlin

This is a popular account of Egyptian architecture which discusses building techniques and technologies before examining the great monuments of Egypt in roughly chronological succession, ending with the temples at Philae. Very attractively illustrated in colour, this remains a serious book which juxtaposes glossy (and some unusual) photos with temple plans and other pictorial sources for reconstructing the architects and builders lives.

Tutankhamun: the Golden King and the Great Pharaohs

by Zahi Hawass

Mysterious boy king Tutankhamun returns to the U.S. in 2008, bringing rare treasures never before seen outside Egypt. For the millions of fans wanting a keepsake and chronicle of this magnificent new exhibition, this book will delight. Created by world-renowned art historians under the guidance of Zahi Hawass–director of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities and a well-known media personality–it surveys 3,000 years of ancient Egyptian history by focusing on the lives and lifestyles of great pharaohs.

The Golden King: the World of Tutankhamun

by Zahi Hawass

These books make palpable the excitement, beauty, riches, and mysteries of ancient Egypt. Zahi Hawass brings these fabled figures and their tumultuous, astonishing age to life, with an authoritative text highlighted by scores of stunning photographs, including archival images from the first great era of Egyptian archaeology, when Carter and other Westerners reawakened the world to the golden glory of the ancient civilization explored in this dazzling book.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

If You Liked… Ken Burns’ Benjamin Franklin

Ken Burns’s two-part, four-hour documentary, Benjamin Franklin, explores the revolutionary life of one of the 18th century’s most consequential and compelling personalities, whose work and words unlocked the mystery of electricity and helped create the United States. Franklin’s 84 years (1706-1790) spanned an epoch of momentous change in science, technology, literature, politics, and government — fields he himself advanced through a lifelong commitment to societal and self-improvement.

All of the titles featured here in this booklist are available in our catalog. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life

by Walter Isaacson

Benjamin Franklin is the Founding Father who winks at us… the one who seems made of flesh and blood rather than marble. In a sweeping narrative that follows Franklin’s life from Boston to Philadelphia to London and Paris and back, Walter Isaacson chronicles the adventures of the runaway apprentice who became, over the course of his eighty-four-year life, America’s best writer, inventor, media baron, scientist, diplomat, and business strategist, as well as one of its most practical and ingenious political leaders.

Young Benjamin Franklin: The Birth of Ingenuity

by Nick Bunker

From his early career as a printer and journalist to his scientific work and role as a founder of a new republic, Benjamin Franklin has always been ab embodiment of American ingenuity. But in his youth, he had to make his way through an often harsh, colonial world where he fought many battles with his rivals, and also with his own wayward emotions in trying to balance virtue against ambition. This volume chronicles that story.

Writings

by Benjamin Franklin

One of 17 children, Benjamin Franklin was born in Boston on January 17, 1706. He ended his formal education at the age of 10 and began working as an apprentice at a newspaper. Running away to Philadelphia at 17, he worked for a printer, later opening his own print shop. As a man of many talents and interests, as a writer, publisher, scientist, inventor, diplomat and politician he authored many works during his 84 years that are collected in this volume.

Autobiography, Poor Richard, and Later Writings

by Benjamin Franklin

This Library of America collection of Franklin’s works begins with letters sent from London describing events and diplomacy preceding the Revolutionary War, political satires, bagatelles, pamphlets, and letters written in Paris where he represented the revolutionary United States at the court of Louis XVI, as well as his speeches given in the Constitutional Convention… including his last published article, a searing satire against slavery. Also included are his shrewd prefaces to Poor Richard’s Almanack with their worldly, pungent maxims and finally, the classic Autobiography, Franklin’s last word on his greatest literary creation–his own invented personality—completely faithful to Franklin’s own manuscript.

Poor Richard's Almanack: Being the Choicest Morsels of Wit and Wisdom

by Benjamin Franklin

A collection of maxims, arranged in approximately thirty categories, selected from various editions of Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanack.”

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Women’s History Month | for Kids!

Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society. It has been annually observed in the United States in the month of March since 1980 when President Jimmy Carter issued the first presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8 as National Women’s History Week. The U.S. Congress followed suit the next year, passing a resolution establishing a national celebration. Six years later, the National Women’s History Project successfully petitioned Congress to expand the event to the entire month of March.

Check out these books in our collection about notable women and celebrate their contributions to the world!

 

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World

by Chelsea Clinton

Profiles the lives of thirteen American women who have left their mark on U.S. history, including Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Margaret Chase Smith, and Oprah Winfrey.

Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World

by Vashti Harrison

Featuring the true stories of women creators and thinkers from around the world, throughout history, this book shows that sometimes seeing things a little differently can lead to big changes. As you’ll see, the women profiled here not only made a place for themselves in the world but made the world a better place to live.

Rebel Girls Lead: 25 Tales of Powerful Women

by Rebel Girls

This collection of 25 stories includes the most beloved stories of leadership from the first three volumes of this New York Times best-selling series, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. Rebel Girls Lead celebrates the leadership of women from Michelle Obama to Malala Yousafzai. It is illustrated by female artists.

Brave, Black, First: 50+ African American Women Who Changed the World

by Cheryl Willis Hudson

Published in collaboration with the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, discover over fifty remarkable African American women whose unique skills and contributions paved the way for the next generation of young people.

Be Bold! Be Brave! 11 Latinas Who Made U.S. History / ¡Sé audaz, Sé valiente! 11 Latinas Que Hicieron Historia en los Estados Unidos

Available in English and Spanish, this bilingual book highlights 11 Latinas who excelled in various fields including medicine, science, sports, art and politics. By presenting the true biographical stories of these outstanding Latinas in rhyming verses, young readers will easily follow their journey to success.

Eleanor, Quiet No More: the Life of Eleanor Roosevelt

by Doreen Rappaport

A biography of Eleanor Roosevelt, the most socially and politically active — and controversial — First Lady America had ever seen. Ambassador, activist, and champion of civil rights, Eleanor Roosevelt changed the soul of America forever. Includes selected quotes from Eleanor’s own writings.

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark

by Debbie Levy

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. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.

Becoming: Adapted for Young Readers

by Michelle Obama

The honest and fascinating account of Michelle Obama’s life. She shares her views on how all young people can help themselves as well as help others, no matter their status in life. She asks readers to realize that no one is perfect, and that the process of becoming is what matters, as finding yourself is ever evolving. In telling her story with boldness, she asks young readers: Who are you, and what do you want to become?

Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice

by Nikki Grimes

Discover the incredible story of a young daughter of immigrants who would grow up to be the first woman, first Black person and first South Asian American ever elected Vice President of the United States in this moving picture biography.

I Am Sonia Sotomayor

by Brad Meltzer

Sonia Sotomayor was the first Latina Supreme Court Justice. From her home in the Bronx to law school, Sonia Sotomayor was always driven by her love of learning and her commitment to justice. With the support of her loving family and supportive mentors, she pursued a career in law and proved there’s no limit to what someone can accomplish.

Hillary Rodham Clinton: Dreams Taking Flight

by Kathleen Krull

A biography of the former first lady who has become a senator, Secretary of State, and a presidential candidate, discusses her childhood dreams of flight, her career as a lawyer, and her determination to pursue her dreams.

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World

by Malala Yousafzai

Malala is an international symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner. In these young readers edition of her best-selling memoir we hear firsthand the remarkable story of a girl who knew from a young age that she wanted to change the world – and did.

Who is Oprah Winfrey?

by Barbara Kramer

We all know Oprah Winfrey as a talk-show host, actress, producer, media mogul, and philanthropist, but the “Queen of Talk” wasn’t always so fortunate. She suffered through a rough childhood and went on to use her personal struggles as motivation. Oprah’s kindness, resilience, and determination are just some of the many reasons why her viewers, and people all around the world, love her. The richest African American person of the twentieth century, Oprah is often described as the most influential woman in the world.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul

by Carole Boston Weatherford

Aretha sang with a soaring voice that spanned more than three octaves. Her incredible talent and string of hit songs earned her the title “the Queen of Soul.” With words that sing and art that shines, this vibrant portrait of Aretha Franklin pays her the R-E-S-P-E-C-T this Queen of Soul deserves.

A Girl Named Rosita: the Story of Rita Moreno — Actor, Singer, Dancer, Trailblazer!

by Anika Denise

The life of Puerto Rican actress, dancer, and singer Rita Moreno, from her girlhood journey to the United States to her rise as a timeless superstar.

Frida Kahlo and her Animalitos

by Monica Brown

Chronicles Frida’s life, from her childhood to her rise as one of the world’s most influential painters, capturing the beauty and strength of Frida’s creative spirit, which carried her through tragedy and triumph, and the animals that inspired her along the way.

The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown

by Mac Barnett and Sarah Jacoby

An exceptional picture book biography of Margaret Wise Brown, the legendary author of Goodnight Moon, The Runaway Bunny, and other beloved children’s classics, that’s as groundbreaking as the icon she was herself.

Fossil Huntress: Mary Leaky, Paleontologist

by Andi Diehn

What was the world like millions of years ago? Did early humans walk on all fours? Did giant sloths lie in trees? Did dinosaurs have feathers? Even as a young girl, Mary Leakey was fascinated by questions like these! Meet Mary as a girl growing up in France and visiting the site of archeological wonders, such as Pech Merle, Fond de Gaume, and La Mouthe. As an adult, Mary leaps at the chance to travel to Africa, where she spends much of her life working in the field in Tanzania, making discoveries that change the face of paleontology forever. True grit, passion, and high standards for scientific rigor made Mary a pioneer in the field of paleontology!

Maria Tallchief

by Christine Day

Maria Tallchief loved to dance, but was told that she might need to change her Osage name to one that sounded more Russian to make it as a professional ballerina. She refused, and worked hard at dancing her best, becoming America’s first Indigenous American prima ballerina.

Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement

by Stephanie Roth Sisson

As a child, Rachel Carson lived by the rhythms of the natural world. Spring after spring, year after year, she observed how all living things are connected. And as an adult, Rachel watched and listened as the natural world she loved so much began to fall silent. Spring After Spring traces Rachel’s journey as scientist and writer, courageously speaking truth to an often hostile world through her book, and ultimately paving the way for the modern environmental movement.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Aspen: A New and Improved Catalog Experience!


Beginning Tuesday, April 26, 2022, the Bensenville Community Public Library will be transitioning over to a new catalog, Aspen.

Aspen has all the features of the previous catalog — plus many more — to make it easier to search for materials and manage your account. Aspen also includes all of the Bensenville Community Public Library’s resources as well as materials from 99 other libraries in the SWAN consortium.

Our current catalog, Enterprise, will be discontinued as of April 26. If you have created lists in our current catalog, please transfer them over to the new catalog, as they will not be accessible after April 26! Watch our video for a step-by-step tutorial. If you have opted into saving your checkout history, those will be transferring over to the new catalog.

If you have any questions about how to transfer lists over, how to set up an account, or other questions about our new catalog, please contact the Library at (630) 766-4642.

What are some of Aspen's new features?

  • Rate the materials you read, listen to, or watch. Your ratings will help the catalog recommend other titles you may be interested in.
  • Easily and conveniently add items to your lists without clicking into a title’s detail page.
  • Make purchase suggestions through your account if you cannot find what you are looking for.
  • Results are now grouped by format! Easily view what formats are available, such as: print books, audiobooks, eBooks/eAudiobooks, OverDrive, Axis360, Kindle, DVD and CD.
  • Searching in the catalog clearly shows if items are on shelf, available from another library, available online to download, or if all copies are checked out. You will see how many copies are owned and how many people are on the wait list for an item.
  • View “Explore More” features, which provide access to online resources such as newspapers, magazines, and research databases relevant to your search.

What will I be able to do in my account?

  • View materials you have checked out, including Overdrive (eMediaLibrary) and Axis360
  • View titles you have on hold. You can cancel holds, freeze holds, choose the hold pickup location, and see recommended titles based on your holds
  • View titles you have rated and recommendations based on what you have rated
  • Set pickup location preferences
  • Change contact information
  • Pay for lost books and fines your account with a debit/credit card or with PayPal
  • Opt into saving your checkout history
  • Set up text messaging to receive notices
  • Link family accounts to manage them all
  • Reset your PIN
  • Set preferences for Overdrive
  • View your search history
  • Create and manage lists of materials

If You Like… Julian Fellowe’s The Gilded Age

Enjoying Julian Fellowe’s HBO original drama series, The Gilded Age?

If you’re interested the times and social milieu of this era, check out this booklist!

The American Gilded Age was a period of immense economic change, of great conflict between the old ways and brand new systems, and of huge fortunes made and lost.

All of the titles featured here in this booklist are available in our catalog. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

What Would Mrs. Astor Do? The Essential Guide to Manners and Mores of the Gilded Age

by Cecilia Tichi

A beautifully illustrated tour of the Gilded Age, transporting readers to New York at its most fashionable. A colorful tapestry of fun facts and true tales presenting a vivid portrait of this remarkable time of social metamorphosis.

The Gilded Age: 1876-1912 — Overture to the American Century

by Alan Axelrod

The Gilded Age–the name coined by Mark Twain to refer to the period of rapid economic growth in America between the 1870s and 1900–offers some intriguing parallels to our own time. As, truly, the overture of the ‘American Century, the author also looks at how it presaged our current time, which many are calling the “Second Gilded Age.” Photographs, political cartoons, engravings, news clippings, help bring this fascinating period into focus.

An American Princess: The Many Lives of Allene Tew

by Annejet van der Zijl

Born to a pioneering family in Upstate New York in the late 1800s, Allene Tew was beautiful, impetuous, and frustrated by the confines of her small hometown. At eighteen, she met Tod Hostetter at a local dance, heir to one of the wealthiest families in America. From the vantage point of the American upper class, Allene embodied the tumultuous Gilded Age. And from the hopes of a young girl from Jamestown, New York, Allene Tew would become the epitome of both a pursuer and survivor of the American Dream.

The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation's Largest Home

by Denise Kiernan

The fascinating true story behind the magnificent Gilded Age mansion Biltmore–the largest, grandest residence ever built in the United States by railroad/shipping magnate George Vanderbilt.

The Husband Hunters: American Heiresses Who Married Into the British Aristocracy

by Anne de Courcy

A deliciously told group biography of the young, rich, American heiresses who crossed The Pond and married into the impoverished British aristocracy at the turn of the twentieth century.

Gilded: How Newport Became America’s Richest Resort

by Deborah Davis

Gilded takes you along as you explore the fascinating heritage of the Newport elite, from its first gilded residents the Astors, the Vanderbilts, Edith Wharton and others to the newest of its new millennium millionaires in a narrative filled with colorful characters and lively tales.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

2022 Seed List

2022 Seed Offerings

Below is a list of the BCPL Seed Library’s offerings for the 2022 season. Click on any seed for a photo and description; on that page, be sure to scroll down to “Links” where you can learn more about each seed’s growing information. You can also browse all of our seeds in the Library’s online catalog, by searching “BVD seed“. 

With your Bensenville Community Public Library card, you may borrow up to five packets consisting of no more than two of each variety of seed. Please note that seeds are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

In Honor of Black History Month: 20 Must Read Young Adult Novels!

Every February, people in the United States celebrate the achievements and history of African Americans as part of Black History Month.

Take a look at this list, compiled by our Youth Services Department, that highlights young adult novels!

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

The Hate U Give

by Angie Thomas

Our #1 recommendation for Black History Month is already a classic. This stunning novel is inspired by the activists of Black Lives Matter. Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. He was unarmed. Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night?

Concrete Rose

by Angie Thomas

In the prequel to The Hate U Give, Maverick Carter is a force to be reckoned with. If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad is in prison. Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control. Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father. But when King Lord blood runs through your veins, you can’t just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He’ll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.

Punching the Air

by Ibi Zoboi & Yusef Salaam

This incredible novel-in-verse based on real life events is a must-read for everyone! This story will move you to your core and inspire you to dig deeper into prison reform. Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, because of a biased system he’s seen as disruptive and unmotivated. Then, one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy. “Boys just being boys” turns out to be true only when those boys are white. Suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words, his art. This never should have been his story. But can he change it?

Kingdom of Souls

by Rena Barron

So much of YA fantasy is set in European-inspired worlds, and while we love it, we are always craving something more. Rena’s West-African inspired high fantasy gives us the magic we need this Black History Month. Born into a family of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. But each year she fails to call forth her ancestral powers, while her ambitious mother watches with growing disapproval. There’s only one thing Arrah hasn’t tried, a deadly last resort: trading years of her own life for scraps of magic. Until the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, and Arrah is desperate to find the culprit. She uncovers something worse. The long-imprisoned Demon King is stirring. And if he rises, his hunger for souls will bring the world to its knees… unless Arrah pays the price for the magic to stop him.

Let Me Hear a Rhyme

by Tiffany D. Jackson

Brooklyn, 1998. Biggie Smalls was right: Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are cool letting their best friend Steph’s music lie forgotten under his bed after he’s murdered—not when his rhymes could turn any Bed Stuy corner into a party. With the help of Steph’s younger sister Jasmine, they come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: the Architect. Soon, everyone wants a piece of him. When his demo catches the attention of a hotheaded music label rep, the trio must prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave. As the pressure of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only, each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, they need to decide what they stand for or lose all that they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.

On the Come Up

by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least win her first battle. As the daughter of an underground hip hop legend who died right before he hit big, Bri’s got massive shoes to fill. But it’s hard to get your come up when you’re labeled a hoodlum at school, and your fridge at home is empty after your mom loses her job. So Bri pours her anger and frustration into her first song, which goes viral . . . for all the wrong reasons. Bri soon finds herself at the center of a controversy, portrayed by the media as more menace than MC. But with an eviction notice staring her family down,

Bri doesn’t just want to make it—she has to. Even if it means becoming the very thing the public has made her out to be.

Dread Nation

by Justina Ireland

When families go missing in Baltimore County, Jane McKeene, who is studying to become an Attendant, finds herself in the middle of a conspiracy that has her fighting for her life against powerful enemies. Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania– derailing the War Between the States and changing the nation forever. Now laws like the Native and Negro Education Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. But it’s not a life Jane wants. When families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy… and the restless dead are the least of her problems.

Not So Pure and Simple

by Justina Ireland

What does it mean to be a “real man?” Lamar Giles tackles this subject and more in this masterful contemporary, a perfect add to any TBR at any time. Del has had a crush on Kiera Westing since kindergarten. And now, during their junior year, she’s finally available. So when Kiera volunteers for an opportunity at their church, Del’s right behind her. Though he quickly realizes he’s inadvertently signed up for a Purity Pledge. His dad thinks his wires are crossed, and his best friend, Qwan, doesn’t believe any girl is worth the long game. But Del’s not about to lose his dream girl, and that’s where fellow pledger Jameer comes in. He can put in the good word. In exchange, Del just has to get answers to the Pledgers’ questions…about sex ed. With other boys circling Kiera like sharks, Del needs to make his move fast. But as he plots and plans, he neglects to ask the most important question: What does Kiera want? He can’t think about that too much, though, because once he gets the girl, it’ll all sort itself out. Right?

The Voting Booth

by Brandy Colbert

Marva Sheridan was born ready for this day. She’s always been driven to make a difference in the world, and what better way than to vote in her first election? Duke Crenshaw is so done with this election. He

just wants to get voting over with so he can prepare for his band’s first paying gig tonight. Only problem? Duke can’t vote. When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted. She hasn’t spent months doorbelling and registering voters just to see someone denied their right. And that’s how their whirlwind day begins, rushing from precinct to precinct, cutting school, waiting in endless lines, turned away time and again, trying to do one simple thing: vote. They may have started out as strangers, but as Duke and Marva team up to beat a rigged system (and find Marva’s missing cat), it’s clear that there’s more to their connection than a shared mission for democracy.

Felix Ever After

by Kacen Callender

Felix Love has never been in love—and, yes, he’s painfully aware of the irony. He desperately wants to know what it’s like and why it seems so easy for everyone but him to find someone. What’s worse is that, even though he is proud of his identity, Felix also secretly fears that he’s one marginalization too many—Black, queer, and transgender—to ever get his own happily-ever-after. When an anonymous student begins sending him transphobic messages—after publicly posting Felix’s deadname alongside images of him before he transitioned—Felix comes up with a plan for revenge. What he didn’t count on: his catfish scenario landing him in a quasi–love triangle….But as he navigates his complicated feelings, Felix begins a journey of questioning and self-discovery that helps redefine his most important relationship: how he feels about himself.

Black Enough

edited by Ibi Zoboi

This author lineup is unmatched. This collection of unflinching stories about being young and Black in America is one of the best YA anthologies to hit shelves, ever. Black is…sisters navigating their relationship at summer camp in Portland, Oregon, as written by Renée Watson. Black is…three friends walking back from the community pool talking about nothing and everything, in a story by Jason Reynolds. Black is…Nic Stone’s high-class beauty dating a boy her momma would never approve of. Black is…two girls kissing in Justina Ireland’s story set in Maryland. Black is urban and rural, wealthy and poor, mixed race, immigrants, and more—because there are countless ways to be Black enough.

Monster: A Graphic Novel

by Walter Dean Myers, adapted by Guy A. Sims

Monster is the ultimate classic, an ever-important story that opens up conversations about what “justice” often looks like for black teenagers. The graphic novel adaptation is just as utterly stunning and the perfect read for Black History month. Monster is a multi-award-winning, provocative coming-of-age story about Steve Harmon, a teenager awaiting trial for a murder and robbery. As Steve acclimates to juvenile detention and goes to trial, he envisions how his ordeal would play out on the big screen. Guy A. Sims, the acclaimed author of the Brotherman series of comic books, collaborated with his brother, the illustrator Dawud Anyabwile, in this thrilling black-and-white graphic novel adaption of Monster.

The Black Flamingo

by Dean Atta

We LOVE poetry, and this author’s background as an acclaimed poet and performer is evident in his debut YA novel! Start reading this lyrical Stonewall Book Award Winner now. Michael is a mixed-race gay teen growing up in London. All his life, he’s navigated what it means to be Greek-Cypriot and Jamaican—but never quite feeling Greek or Black enough. As he gets older, Michael’s coming out is only the start of learning who he is and where he fits in. When he discovers the Drag Society, he finally finds where he belongs—and the Black Flamingo is born. Told with raw honesty, insight, and lyricism, this debut explores the layers of identity that make us who we are—and allow us to shine.

Pride

by Ibi Zoboi

Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable. When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding. But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.

Opposite of Always

by Justin A. Reynolds

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack. But then Kate dies. And their story should end there. Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind. Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves.

A Blade So Black

by L.L. McKinney

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew. Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head… literally.

Long Way Down

by Jason Reynolds

Fifteen-year-old Will—has a cannon, a strap, a tool, a gun—shoved in the back waistband of his jeans. See, his brother Shawn was just murdered. And Will knows the rules. No crying. No snitching. Revenge. That’s where Will’s now heading, with that gun shoved in the back waistband of his jeans, the gun that was his brother’s gun. He gets on the elevator, seventh floor, stoked. He knows who he’s after. Or does he? As the elevator stops on the sixth floor, on comes Buck. Buck, Will finds out, is who gave Shawn the gun before Will took the gun. Buck tells Will to check that the gun is even loaded. And that’s when Will sees that one bullet is missing. And the only one who could have fired Shawn’s gun was Shawn. Huh. Will didn’t know that Shawn had ever actually USED his gun. Bigger huh. BUCK IS DEAD. But Buck’s in the elevator? And so it goes, the whole long way down, as the elevator stops on each floor, and at each stop someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

Children of Blood and Bone

by Tomi Adeyemi

If you’re looking for a book where the world, the characters, and the magic are rich and captivating, then this is the book for you. We anticipate seeing Children of Blood and Bone in required reading roundups everywhere. We know it’s on ours. Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls. But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope. Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree

by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

Based on real-life experiences of Nigerian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram, Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree sheds new light on the victims’ perspectives. It implores readers to see the victims as more than just a number and tells a side of history that not many people know. A new pair of shoes, a university degree, a husband—these are the things that a girl dreams of in a Nigerian village. And with a government scholarship right around the corner, everyone can see that these dreams aren’t too far out of reach. But the girl’s dreams turn to nightmares when her village is attacked by Boko Haram, a terrorist group, in the middle of the night. Kidnapped, she is taken with other girls and women into the forest where she is forced to follow her captors’ radical beliefs and watch as her best friend slowly accepts everything she’s been told. Still, the girl defends her existence. As impossible as escape may seem, her life—her future—is hers to fight for.

Dear Martin

by Nic Stone

In a debut told in the view of a young Black male living in today’s America, Nic Stone boldly takes on the topics of police brutality and racism—something that doesn’t exist only in Black history, but unfortunately in today’s world as well. Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out. Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!

Happy Lunar New Year 2022! | Picture Books

The Lunar New Year falls on February 1st, and it’s the Year of the Tiger!

Tied to the Chinese lunar calendar, the holiday was traditionally a time to honor household and heavenly deities as well as ancestors. It was also a time to bring family together for feasting. Check out this list picture books all about Chinese (Lunar) New Year, hand-picked by our Youth Services Department staff! 

  • All of the titles featured here we have in our collection. To see if an item is available to check out or place on hold, click the cover image or button to the right of the description.

Chinese New Year Colors

by Rich Lo

This bilingual color concept book celebrates a rainbow of traditional objects seen during the Chinese New Year. Hóng is the color of explosive firecrackers! Jīn is the hue of lucky coins. Zŏng is the shade of sweet peanut puffs. Welcome to the festivities of the Chinese New Year, where symbolic gifts, foods, and objects come together in a celebration of beautiful colors. This vibrant, simple, and highly graphic bilingual book is the perfect introduction to Chinese and English words for colors as it honors one of the biggest holidays around the world.

Nian, the Chinese New Year Dragon

by Virginia Loh-Hagan

An illustrated retelling for young readers of the Chinese folktale about a dragon that threatens a village each spring and Mei, the young girl who is destined to defeat him.

Mulan’s Lunar New Year

by Natasha Yim

It’s the Lunar New Year, which just happens to be Mulan’s favorite festival! There is a lot to do to prepare for this important celebration, and for the first time, Mulan is old enough to help out. But everthing Mulan does seems to turn out wrong.

Maisy’s Chinese New Year

by Lucy Cousins

Spending Chinese New Year with her friend Tiger, Maisy learns about traditional symbols, shares a delicious cultural feast and exchanges lucky red hongbao envelopes before listening to a story about the holiday and staying up late to watch a fireworks display.

Ruby’s Chinese New Year

by Vickie Lee

As Ruby travels to her grandmother’s house to bring her a gift for Chinese New Year, she is joined by all of the animals of the zodiac. Includes the legend of the Chinese horoscope and instructions for crafts.

The Great Race: Story of the Chinese Zodiac

by Christopher Corr

Celebrate Chinese New Year and learn how every animal earned its place in the Chinese zodiac by taking part in the Great Race! Discover who will come first to win the ultimate prize, and find out why Cat will never forgive his friend Rat in this ancient folk tale that has been passed from generation to generation.

Curious George Dragon Dance

by Adah Nuchi

George, Marco, and their new friend Lily get to dance in the dragon costume during the Chinese New Year parade.

Bringing in the New Year

by Grace Lin

A Chinese American family prepares for and celebrates the Lunar New Year. End notes discuss the customs and traditions of Chinese New Year.

This Next New Year

by Janet S. Wong

A family prepares to celebrate the Lunar New Year and looks forward to the good luck they hope it will bring.

It’s Chinese New Year

by Richard Sebra

Presents an introduction to the Chinese New Year holiday and discusses its traditions, including family meals, remembering loved ones, decorating with the color red, and giving gifts.

How to Catch a Dragon

by Adam Wallace

A real, wily dragon winds through streets in China, eluding the traps set by a group of children during the Chinese New Year celebration.

Lunar New Year

by Hannah Eliot

Introduces lunar new year, describing the food, decorations, and activities of the holiday.

Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas

by Natasha Yim

One Chinese New Year, her mother sends Goldy Luck to the pandas next door with a plate of turnip cakes, but the pandas are out and disaster follows. Includes a recipe for turnip cakes and an explanation of Chinese New Year.

Want more recommendations?

 

You can check out all of our online booklists (for kids and for adults), or reach out to us! Our staff is ready and willing to make reading, listening, or viewing recommendations to you! Email us at reference@benlib.org or contact us via our online form!