eBooks for Adults

With your BCPL library card, you have free access to tens of thousands of eBook and eAudiobook titles — on your phone, tablet, or computer! We’ve put together a list of some of our favorite popular reads in eBook and eAudiobook format. Be sure to place titles on hold that look interesting to you! Once ready, they can be instantly downloaded to your device.

To get started downloading eBooks or eAudiobooks with any of our digital services, such as OverDrive or Axis360, visit benlib.org/download. If you need help signing up, feel free to contact the Library and we’ll be happy to help.

The Other Black Girl

by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust.

Seven Days in June

by Tia Williams

Seven days to fall in love, fifteen years to forget and seven days to get it all back again… This is a witty, romantic, and sexy-as-hell new novel of two writers and their second chance at love. Brooklynite Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer, who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning literary author who, to everyone’s surprise, shows up in New York. When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their past buried traumas, but the eyebrows of New York’s Black literati. What no one knows is that twenty years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love.

The Maidens

by Alex Michaelides

Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.
Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.

Shipped

by Angie Hockman

A witty, clever, and swoon-worthy novel following a workaholic marketing manager who is forced to go on a cruise with her arch-nemesis when they’re up for the same promotion. Between taking night classes for her MBA and her demanding day job at a cruise line, marketing manager Henley Evans barely has time for herself, let alone family, friends, or dating. But when she’s shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, all her sacrifices finally seem worth it. The only problem? Graeme Crawford-Collins, the remote social media manager and the bane of her existence, is also up for the position.

The Sweetness of Water

by Nathan Harris

A profound debut about the unlikely bond between two freedmen who are brothers and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will alter their lives, and his, forever. In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry—freed by the Emancipation Proclamation—seek refuge on the homestead of George Walker and his wife, Isabelle. The Walkers, wracked by the loss of their only son to the war, hire the brothers to work their farm, hoping through an unexpected friendship to stanch their grief. Prentiss and Landry, meanwhile, plan to save money for the journey north and a chance to reunite with their mother, who was sold away when they were boys. Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. The young men, recently returned from the war to the town of Old Ox, hold their trysts in the woods. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos, including a murder, unleashes convulsive repercussions on the entire community. 

Malibu Rising

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over-especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva. Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them… and what they will leave behind.

While Justice Sleeps

by Stacey Abrams

Aa gripping, complexly plotted thriller set within the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court. Avery Keene, a brilliant young law clerk for the legendary Justice Howard Wynn, is doing her best to hold her life together: excelling in an arduous job with the court while also dealing with a troubled family. While Justice Sleeps is a cunningly crafted, sophisticated novel, layered with myriad twists and a vibrant cast of characters. Drawing on her astute inside knowledge of the court and political landscape, Stacey Abrams shows herself to be not only a force for good in politics and voter fairness but also a major new talent in suspense fiction.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

by V.E. Schwab

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever―and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.

The President's Daughter

by Bill Clinton and James Patterson

A former president’s daughter is kidnapped in this masterful rocket-ride of a thriller. Matthew Keating, a one-time Navy SEAL—and a past president—has always defended his family as staunchly as he has his country. Now those defenses are under attack. A madman abducts Keating’s teenage daughter, Melanie—turning every parent’s deepest fear into a matter of national security. As the world watches in real time, Keating embarks on a one-man special-ops mission that tests his strengths: as a leader, a warrior, and a father.

The Last Thing He Told Me

by Laura Dave

Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers—Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, as a US marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they’re also building a new future—one neither of them could have anticipated.

With its breakneck pacing, dizzying plot twists, and evocative family drama, The Last Thing He Told Me is a riveting mystery, certain to shock you with its final, heartbreaking turn.

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!

Parish’s Picks: eBooks for Kids & Teens

Hey hey… Parish is back with a new booklist! This time he’s selected some of his favorite eBooks and eAudiobooks for kids and teens.

eBooks are a great way to read your favorite stories without having to carry multiple books! To get started downloading eBooks with any of our digital services, such as OverDrive or Axis360, visit benlib.org/download. If you need help signing up, feel free to contact the Library and we’ll be happy to help you.

They Both Die at the End

by Adam Silvera | eBook | Age: Teen (Grade 9-12)

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure—to live a lifetime in a single day.

From Parish: One of my favorite YA books to date. I decided to read this book because I was very curious to see if the characters truly die at the end. Let me tell you, the ending leaves you surprised! I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys adventure fiction with a hint of friendship, young love, and the thought of “what would you do if you knew you had one day to fully live?”. 

Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire

by John August | eAudiobook | Age: Middle School (Grade 5-8)

Arlo Finch is a newcomer to Pine Mountain, Colorado, a tiny town of mystery and magic, but he’s already attracted the attention of dark and ancient forces. At first he thinks these increasingly strange and frightening occurrences are just part of being in Rangers, the mountain scouting troop where he learns how to harness the wild magic seeping in from the mysterious Long Woods.

But soon Arlo finds himself at the center of a dangerous adventure, where he faces obstacles that test the foundations of the Ranger’s Vow: Loyalty, Bravery, Kindness, and Truth.

From Parish: Arlo Finch in the Valley of Fire is the perfect series to jump into if you’re a fan of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter. This book gives us a magical world, mythical creatures, and a boy that is discovering the streets of Pine Mountain!

Ace of Spades

by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé | eBook | Age: Teen (Grade 9-12)

A contemporary thriller by a debut author follows two Niveus Private Academy students who, selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, are pitted against an anonymous bully who reveals all of their secrets.

From Parish: This is a thriller you won’t be able to put down! If you enjoy the movie “Get Out” and the TV series “Gossip Girl”, you’ll enjoy this book!

Twins

by Varian Johnson | eBook | Age: Elementary School (Grade 3-5)

Maureen and Francine Carter are twins and best friends. They participate in the same clubs, enjoy the same foods, and are partners on all their school projects. But just before the girls start sixth grade, Francine becomes Fran — a girl who wants to join the chorus, run for class president, and dress in fashionable outfits that set her apart from Maureen. A girl who seems happy to share only two classes with her sister!

Maureen and Francine are growing apart and there’s nothing Maureen can do to stop it. Are sisters really forever? Or will middle school change things for good.

From Parish: Recommended for fans of realistic fiction graphic novels, and stories similar to Raina Telgemeier. You’ll want to read this!

Fangirl Vol.1

by Sam Maggs & Gabi Nam | eBook | Age: Teen (Grade 9-12)

Cath doesn’t need friends IRL. She has her twin sister, Wren, and she’s a popular fanfic writer in the Simon Snow community with thousands of fans online. But now that she’s in college, Cath is completely outside of her comfort zone. There are suddenly all these new people in her life. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming boyfriend, a writing professor who thinks fanfiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome new writing partner… And she’s barely heard from Wren all semester!

From Parish: Fans of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl will enjoy this book. Titled and based off of the fiction novel, fans will feel right at home reading this series. If you haven’t read the original book, it is available to download in OverDrive

The Rise of Kyoshi Vol. 1

by F.C. Yee | eBook | Age: Teen (Grade 8-12)

The longest-living Avatar in this beloved world’s history, Kyoshi established the brave and respected Kyoshi Warriors, but also founded the secretive Dai Li, which led to the corruption, decline, and fall of her own nation. The first of two novels based on Kyoshi, The Rise of Kyoshi maps her journey from a girl of humble origins to the merciless pursuer of justice who is still feared and admired centuries after she became the Avatar.

From Parish: One of my favorite Avatar and favorite books. A must read for fans of the Avatar series! Avatar Kyoshi is a memorable Avatar who appears in the television series a few times to offer Aang guides on her journey to stop the fire nation. Known for her powerful statement in the series “Only Justice will bring peace!” This book does a fantastic job giving us the backstory we need from our favorite past Avatar. Volume 2 is also on Overdrive.

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!

Penny’s Picks: Young Adult Reads

Miss Penny from the Youth Services Department has hand-picked a selection of her current favorite books — and there’s something for a range of ages!

  • 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.

Kate in Waiting

by Becky Albertalli

Contrary to popular belief, best friends Kate Garfield and Anderson Walker are not codependent. Carpooling to and from theater rehearsals? Environmentally sound and efficient. Consulting each other on every single life decision? Basic good judgment. Pining for the same guys from afar? Shared crushes are more fun anyway. But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off-script. Matt Olsson is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson. Turns out, communal crushes aren’t so fun when real feelings are involved. This one might even bring the curtains down on Kate and Anderson’s friendship.

Perfectly Parvin

by Olivia Abtahi

Parvin Mohammadi has just been dumped–only days after receiving official girlfriend status. Not only is she heartbroken, she’s humiliated. Enter high school heartthrob Matty Fumero, who just might be the smoking-hot cure to all her boy problems. If Parvin can get Matty to ask her to Homecoming, she’s positive it will prove to herself and her ex that she’s girlfriend material after all. There’s just one problem: Matty is definitely too cool for bassoon-playing, frizzy-haired, Cheeto-eating Parvin. Since being herself hasn’t worked for her in the past (see aforementioned dumping), she decides to start acting like the women in her favorite rom-coms. But Parvin discovers that being a rom-com dream girl is much harder than it looks. Also hard? The parent-mandated Farsi lessons. A confusing friendship with a boy who’s definitely not supposed to like her. And hardest of all, the ramifications of the Muslim ban on her family in Iran. Suddenly, being herself has never been more important.

Tokyo Ever After

by Emiko Jean

Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in―it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi―or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”―and her mom against the world. But then Izumi discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity…and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess. In a whirlwind, Izumi travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight.

Izumi soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself―back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s “Japanese” enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairy tale, happily ever after?

Where Secrets Lie

by Eva V. Gibson

Amy Larsen has spent every summer with her cousin Ben and their best friend Teddy in River Run, Kentucky, loving country life and welcoming the break from her intensive ambitions and overbearing mother—until the summer she and Teddy confront the changing feelings and simmering sexual tension growing between them, destroying the threesome’s friendship in a dramatic face-off.

One year later, Amy returns to River Run dreading what she might find. But when Teddy’s sister disappears, Amy, Ben, and Teddy agree to put aside their differences to search for her. As they dig deeper into the dark history of their small town, all three friends must unearth the truths that tie their families to tragedy, cope with their own toxic upbringings and beliefs, and atone for the damage done to each other and themselves.

It’s Kind of a Cheesy Love Story

by Lauren Morrill

After her mother gave birth to her in the bathroom of a local pizzeria, Beck has been given the dubious privilege of having minor fame, free pizza for life, and a guaranteed job when she turns sixteen―a job she unfortunately can’t afford to turn down.

Now she’s stuck with her geeky co-workers instead of taking Instagram-ready shots with her best friends (and her epic crush).

But maybe the pizza people aren’t all bad. Maybe that pizza delivery guy is kind of cute. And maybe there’s a way to make this Bathroom Baby thing work for her. Because when disaster strikes the beloved pizza place that’s started to feel like home, she’s going to need a miracle―one that might even mean bringing her two worlds together.

Indivisible

by Daniel Aleman

Mateo Garcia and his younger sister, Sophie, have been taught to fear one word for as long as they can remember: deportation. Over the past few years, however, the fear that their undocumented immigrant parents could be sent back to Mexico has started to fade. Ma and Pa have been in the United States for so long, they have American-born children, and they’re hard workers and good neighbors. When Mateo returns from school one day to find that his parents have been taken by ICE, he realizes that his family’s worst nightmare has become a reality. With his parents’ fate and his own future hanging in the balance, Mateo must figure out who he is and what he is capable of, even as he’s forced to question what it means to be an American.

Things That Grow

by Meredith Goldstein

When Lori’s Dorothy Parker–loving grandmother dies, Lori’s world is turned upside down. Grandma Sheryl was everything to Lori—and not just because Sheryl raised Lori when Lori’s mom got a job out of town. Now Lori’s mom is insisting on moving her away from her beloved Boston right before senior year. Desperate to stay for as long as possible, Lori insists on honoring her grandmother’s last request before she moves: to scatter Sheryl’s ashes near things that grow.

Along with her uncle Seth and Chris, best friend and love-of-her-life crush, Lori sets off on a road trip to visit her grandmother’s favorite gardens. Dodging forest bathers, scandalized volunteers, and angry homeowners, they come to terms with the shape of life after Grandma Sheryl. Saying goodbye isn’t easy, but Lori might just find a way to move forward surrounded by the people she loves.

List of Ten

by Halli Gomez

Ten: three little letters, one ordinary number. No big deal, right? But for Troy Hayes, a 16-year-old suffering from Tourette Syndrome and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, the number ten dictates his life, forcing him to do everything by its exacting rhythm. Finally, fed up with the daily humiliation, loneliness, and physical pain he endures, Troy writes a list of ten things to do by the tenth anniversary of his diagnosis—culminating in suicide on the actual day. But the process of working his way through the list changes Troy’s life: he becomes friends with Khory, a smart, beautiful classmate who has her own troubled history. Khory unwittingly helps Troy cross off items on his list, moving him ever closer to his grand finale, even as she shows him that life may have more possibilities than he imagined. This is a dark, intense story, but it’s also realistic, hopeful, and deeply authentic.

House of Hollow

by Krystal Sutherland

Iris Hollow and her two older sisters are unquestionably strange. Ever since they disappeared on a suburban street in Scotland as children only to return a month a later with no memory of what happened to them, odd, eerie occurrences seem to follow in their wake. And they’re changing. First, their dark hair turned white. Then, their blue eyes slowly turned black. They have insatiable appetites yet never gain weight. People find them disturbingly intoxicating, unbearably beautiful, and inexplicably dangerous.

But now, ten years later, seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow is doing all she can to fit in and graduate high school on time—something her two famously glamourous globe-trotting older sisters, Grey and Vivi, never managed to do. But when Grey goes missing without a trace, leaving behind bizarre clues as to what might have happened, Iris and Vivi are left to trace her last few days. They aren’t the only ones looking for her though. As they brush against the supernatural they realize that the story they’ve been told about their past is unraveling and the world that returned them seemingly unharmed ten years ago, might just be calling them home.

Fade Away

by E. B. Vickers

At 8:53 pm, thousands of people watched as Jake Foster secured the state title for his basketball team with his signature fadeaway. But by the next morning, he’s disappeared without a trace. Nobody has any idea where he is: not his best friend who knows him better than anyone else, not his ex-girlfriend who may still have feelings for him, not even his little brother who never expected Jake to abandon him. Rumors abound regarding Jake’s whereabouts. Was he abducted? Did he run away to try to take his game to the next level? Or is it something else, something darker–something they should have seen coming?

Told from the points of view of those closest to Jake, this gripping, suspenseful novel reminds us that the people we think we know best are sometimes hiding the most painful secrets.

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet

by Laekan Zea Kemp

Penelope Prado has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father’s restaurant, Nacho’s Tacos. But her mom and dad have different plans—leaving Pen to choose between not disappointing her traditional Mexican American parents or following her own path. When she confesses a secret she’s been keeping, her world is sent into a tailspin. But then she meets a cute new hire at Nacho’s who sees through her hard exterior and asks the questions she’s been too afraid to ask herself. Xander Amaro has been searching for home since he was a little boy. For him, a job at Nacho’s is an opportunity for just that—a chance at a normal life, to settle in at his abuelo’s, and to find the father who left him behind. But when both the restaurant and Xander’s immigrant status are threatened, he will do whatever it takes to protect his newfound family and himself. Together, Pen and Xander must navigate first love and discovering where they belong in order to save the place they all call home. This stunning and poignant novel from debut author Laekan Zea Kemp explores identity, found families and the power of food, all nestled within a courageous and intensely loyal Chicanx community.

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!

Juneteenth: Reads for Everyone

On Thursday, June 17, 2021, the “Juneteenth National Independence Day Act” was signed into law, designating Juneteenth National Independence Day (June 19) as a federal public holiday.

Juneteenth (a combination of “June” and “nineteenth”) commemorates the day in 1865 when slaves in Galveston, Texas finally learned that the Emancipation Proclamation had declared them free more than two years earlier. Annual celebrations of the occasion—parades, fireworks, cookouts, community gatherings, dances—spread beyond Texas as African Americans migrated across the country and traditions were passed on from family to family and community to community.

The books below, both fiction and nonfiction and for a a variety of ages, explore the Juneteenth holiday directly or take place during the joyous, yet tumultuous time period as slavery officially ended and freed Black people faced new forms of economic, legal, and societal barriers rooted in racism.

  • 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

Kids

Juneteenth for Mazie

by Floyd Cooper

Little Mazie wants the freedom to stay up late, but her father explains what freedom really means in the story of Juneteenth, and how her ancestors celebrated their true freedom.

 

Juneteenth: Traditions and Celebrations

by Lisa A. Crayton

Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. Across the country, people observe the day with speeches, poetry readings, festivals, picnics, street fairs, and family reunions. It is a day for people to come together and continue working toward equality. Readers will discover how a shared holiday can have multiple traditions and be celebrated in all sorts of ways.

Juneteenth

by Drew Nelson

June 19th, 1865, began as another hot day in Texas. Enslaved African Americans worked in fields, in barns, and in the homes of the white people who owned them. Then a message arrived. Freedom! Slavery had ended! The Civil War had actually ended in April. It took two months for word to reach Texas. Still the joy of that amazing day has never been forgotten. Every year, people all over the United States come together on June 19th to celebrate the end of slavery. Join in the celebration of Juneteenth, a day to remember and honor freedom for all people.

The Story of Juneteenth: An Interactive History Adventure

by Steven Otfinoski

The Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil War have brought an official end to slavery, yet some Southern slave owners are refusing to comply. The road to freedom is still long and hard for many African Americans, but you’re not giving up. Will you: Overcome obstacles as you make your way north from Texas, looking to begin a new life of freedom? Seek out your family, from whom you were separated as a child, after emancipation? Fight back when you take work as an apprentice but find that you’re still treated as a slave? YOU CHOOSE offers multiple perspectives on history, supporting Common Core reading standards and providing readers a front-row seat to the past.

Teens

Come Juneteenth

by Ann Rinaldi

Although born a slave to Luli’s family, Goose feels loved and respected by the family to which she is attached, but when Union soldiers arrive and tell her that slavery ended more than two years prior, Goose feels betrayed like never before and runs away to experience real freedom for the first time in her life.

A Sitting in St. James

by Rita Williams-Garcia

1860, Louisiana. After serving as mistress of Le Petit Cottage for more than six decades, Madame Sylvie Guilbert has decided, in spite of her family’s objections, to sit for a portrait.

While Madame plots her last hurrah, stories that span generations—from the big house to out in the fields—of routine horrors, secrets buried as deep as the family fortune, and the tangled bonds of descendants and enslaved, come to light to reveal a true portrait of the Guilberts.

This astonishing novel from three-time National Book Award finalist Rita Williams-Garcia about the interwoven lives of those bound to a plantation in antebellum America is an epic masterwork—empathetic, brutal, and entirely human—and essential reading for both teens and adults grappling with the long history of American racism.

Daughters of Jubilation

by Kara Lee Corthron

In the Jim Crow South, white supremacy reigns and tensions are high. But Evalene Deschamps has other things to worry about. She has two little sisters to look after, an overworked single mother, and a longtime crush who is finally making a move.

On top of all that, Evvie’s magic abilities are growing stronger by the day. Her family calls it jubilation—a gift passed down from generations of black women since the time of slavery. And as Evvie’s talents waken, something dark comes loose and threatens to resurface…

And when the demons of Evvie’s past finally shake free, she must embrace her mighty lineage, and summon the power that lies within her.

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You

by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future. It takes you on a race journey from then to now, shows you why we feel how we feel, and why the poison of racism lingers. It also proves that while racist ideas have always been easy to fabricate and distribute, they can also be discredited.

Through a gripping, fast-paced, and energizing narrative written by beloved award-winner Jason Reynolds, this book shines a light on the many insidious forms of racist ideas–and on ways readers can identify and stamp out racist thoughts in their daily lives.

Adults

On Juneteenth

by Annette Gordon-Reed

Combining personal anecdotes with poignant facts gleaned from the annals of American history, Gordon-Reed shows how, from the earliest presence of Black people in Texas to the day in Galveston on June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger announced the end of legalized slavery in the state, African Americans played an integral role in the Texas story. Reworking the traditional “Alamo” framework, she powerfully demonstrates, among other things, that the slave- and race-based economy not only defined the fractious era of Texas independence but precipitated the Mexican-American War and, indeed, the Civil War itself.

Juneteenth

by Ralph Ellison

From the author of bestselling Invisible Man—the classic novel of African-American experience—this long-awaited second novel tells an evocative tale of a prodigal of the twentieth century. Brilliantly crafted, moving, and wise, Juneteenth is the work of an American master.

“Tell me what happened while there’s still time,” demands the dying Senator Adam Sunraider to the itinerate preacher whom he calls Daddy Hickman. As a young man, Sunraider was Bliss, an orphan taken in by Hickman and raised to be a preacher like himself. Bliss’s history encompasses the joys of young southern boyhood; bucolic days as a filmmaker, lovemaking in a field in the Oklahoma sun. And behind it all lies a mystery: how did this chosen child become the man who would deny everything to achieve his goals?

The Underground Railroad

by Colson Whitehead

Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood—where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him.

In Colson Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop.

Beloved

by Toni Morrison

Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe’s new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.

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!

June is Zoo & Aquarium Month!

Celebrate National Zoo and Aquarium Month with some great reads from our youth non-fiction collection. (And remember, you can check out a pass to the Brookfield Zoo through the library’s Museum Adventure Pass program!)

National Zoo and Aquarium Month is celebrated annually to honor the role of zoos and aquariums in conservation, education, recreation, and research. It is also intended to promote and encourage more individuals to visit zoos and aquariums.

  • 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.

My Visit to the Aquarium

by Aliki

Come along on a trip to a wonderful place where you can visit aquatic creatures from all over the world-all in one very special day!

My Visit to the Zoo

by Aliki

Meet your favorite animals as a boy and his cousin visit the zoo and see how animals really live in the wild —from the tropical rain forests to the African plains.

Baby Dolphin's First Swim

by American Museum of Natural History

Meet a baby dolphin and see how he spends his first day in the ocean! This picture book follows a dolphin from birth as he swims with his mom; learns to eat, jump, and play with his pod; and even escapes a shark.

Ivan

by Katherine Applegate

The true story of Ivan, known as the Shopping Mall Gorilla, who lived alone in a small cage for almost 30 years before being relocated to the gorilla habitat at ZooAtlanta.

Tiger Time

by Kama Einhorn

Go inside Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, where you will meet a tiger named Kamal, one of 500 animals who has been rescued and now lives in safety.

Jack Hanna's Wild But True

by Jack Hanna

Jack Hanna offers 200 really delightful facts and anecdotes about wild animals. Stories include animal friends, endangered animals, hilarious stories, surprising animal species, and crazy, unbelievable animal stories that will warm your heart.

First Big Book of the Ocean

by Catherine D. Hughes

National Geographic Kids First Big Book of the Ocean is an adorable animal reference that includes the sea’s high-interest animals, such as dolphins, sharks, sea otters, and penguins, and introduces kids to some of its lesser-known creatures.

I Wish I Was a Lion

by Sandra Markle

Dig into the lives of lions in this beginning reader with full-color photos of lions in the wild! What if you wished you were a lion? And then you became one? Could you eat like a lion? Sleep like a lion? Live in a lion family? And would you want to? Find out!

Giraffes

by Laura Marsh

Explore the African savanna with giraffes in this exciting National Geographic Kids reader. Packed with beautiful and engaging photos, kids will learn all about these amazing animals.

Pierre the Penguin

by Jean Marzollo

Rhyming text and colorful illustrations describe the efforts of aquatic biologist Pam to help Pierre, an African penguin living at the California Academy of Sciences, when he begins to go bald.

Finding Winnie

by Lindsay Mattick

A woman tells her young son the true story of how his great-great-grandfather, Captain Harry Colebourn, rescued and learned to love a bear cub that he named Winnie in 1914 as he was on his way to take care of soldiers’ horses during World War I. He finally brings her to the London Zoo, where Winnie made another new friend: a real boy named Christopher Robin.

A Trip to the Zoo

by Karen Wallace

Join Billy and Matt for a day at the zoo. It’s a chance to see and learn about all kinds of animals—from a hungry giraffe to performing sea lions!

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!

Remembering Eric Carle

Eric Carle, beloved artist, illustrator, and writer, passed away on May 23, 2021. Eric was 91.

Eric Carle is renowned for his multi-dimensional practice, spanning a large body of fine art works in collage, painting, works on paper and fabric, and sculpture; theater and furniture design; and the stories he envisioned in over 70 brilliantly illustrated and designed children’s picture books. The books Eric created across more than 5 decades and include timeless classics such as Do You Want to Be My Friend? (1971), The Grouchy Ladybug (1977), Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me (1986), “Slowly, Slowly, Slowly,” said the Sloth (2002), The Very Quiet Cricket (2017), and so many more. His best-known work, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, has been translated into over 70 languages and shared around the world since its publication in 1969.

  • 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 Very Hungry Caterpillar

Carle’s classic tale of a voracious caterpillar who eats his way through the days of the week and then turns into a beautiful butterfly.

The Grouchy Lady Bug

As children follow the Grouchy Ladybug on her journey, they will learn the important concepts of time, size, and shape, as well as the benefits of friendship and good manners. For generations, The Grouchy Ladybug has delighted readers of all ages with the story of a bad-tempered bug who won’t say “please” or “thank you,” won’t share, and thinks she is bigger and better than anyone else. Readers will love how this testy ladybug introduces them to many new animals and learns that maybe being grouchy isn’t always the best option.

Hello Red Fox

It’s Little Frog’s birthday, and Mama Frog gets a big surprise when the guests show up for his party—all the animals are the wrong color! Little Frog tells her she’s not looking long enough, and he’s right.

Does A Kangaroo have a Mother, Too?

Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too? answers curious kids who wonder whether lions, bears, and monkeys have mothers, too. Bright collage illustrations and simple text reinforce the theme that everyone has a mother, and every mother loves her child. Meet the little joey bouncing in mother kangaroo’s pouch. Watch little cubs prance around mother lion. Swim with a baby dolphin calf in the deep blue sea. Eric Carle’s classic, colorful collages of baby animals and their mothers will delight and comfort young readers.

The Very Quiet Cricket

One day, a little cricket is born and meets a big cricket who chirps his welcome. But the little cricket cannot make a sound. The cricket meets many insects, but it isn’t until he meets a beautiful female cricket that he can finally chirp “hello!”

From Head to Toe

Giraffes can bend their necks, monkeys can wave their hands, and donkeys can kick their legs. And so can you! Through Carle’s vibrant collages and simple instructions, children will learn the importance of listening, exercising, and taking on a new challenge. Join the giraffes, monkeys, donkeys, seals, and more for a frolicking, fun adventure!

"Slowly, Slowly, Slowly", Said the Sloth

Slowly, slowly, slowly . . . that’s the way the sloth moves. Slowly, it eats and then, slowly, it falls asleep. “What strange kind of creature is this?” the other animals wonder. Why doesn’t it run or fly or play or hunt like the rest of us? “Why are you so slow?” the howler monkey inquires. But the sloth doesn’t answer any questions until the jaguar asks, “Why are you so lazy?”

Anyone who has ever felt too busy will appreciate the sloth’s peaceful lifestyle and realize that it’s okay to take time to enjoy life. Eric Carle’ s dazzling collage illustrations introduce readers to the exotic beauty of the Amazon rain forest and the many unusual animals living there.

The Very Lonely Firefly

When a very lonely firefly goes out into the night searching for other fireflies, it sees a lantern, a candle, and the eyes of a dog, cat, and owl all glowing in the darkness. It even sees a surprise celebration of light. But it is not until it discovers other fireflies that it finds exactly what it’s looking for–a surprise sure to bring smiles to anyone who turn the final page!

Mister Seahorse

When Mrs. Seahorse lays her eggs, she does it on Mr. Seahorse’s belly! She knows he will take good care of them. While he swims waiting for the eggs to hatch, he meets other underwater fathers caring for their babies.

House for Hermit Crab

Join Hermit Crab as he learns an important lesson about growing up: For every friend and adventure left behind, there are new ones just ahead!

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!

What to read after you’ve watched Shadow and Bone on Netflix | YA High Fantasy

Netflix’s highly anticipated fantasy series Shadow and Bone, adapted from Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse books, draws fans into the world of Ravka, a country populated with element-manipulating powers and divided by a region of tangible darkness filled with monsters called the Shadow Fold. 

Loving season one so far? Check out these Young Adult fantasy read-alikes!

  • 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.

Shadow and Bone

by Leigh Bardugo

Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his lifea power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free.  

Truthwitch

by Susan Dennard

On a continent ruled by three empires, some are born with a ‘witchery,’ a magical skill that sets them apart from others. In the Witchlands, there are almost as many types of magic as there are ways to get in troubleas two desperate young women know all too well. 

Throne of Glass

by Sarah J. Maas

After she has served a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, Crown Prince Dorian offers eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien her freedom on the condition that she act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin. 

The Young Elites

by Marie Lu

Adelina Amouteru is a survivor of the blood fever. A decade ago, the deadly illness swept through her nation. Most of the infected perished, while many of the children who survived were left with strange markings. But some of the fever’s survivors are rumored to possess more than just scars—they are believed to have mysterious and powerful gifts, and though their identities remain secret, they have come to be called the Young Elites. 

There Will Come a Darkness

by Katy Rose Pool

For generations the Seven Prophets guided humanity with their visions, ending wars and uniting nations–until the day they vanished, leaving behind the promise of a looming Age of Darkness and the birth of a Prophet who could be the world’s salvation…or the cause of its destruction. 

Dance of Thieves

by Mary E. Pearson

A formidable outlaw family that claims to be the first among nations. A son destined to lead, thrust suddenly into power. Three fierce young women of the Rahtan, the queen’s premier guard. A legendary street thief leading a mission, determined to prove herself. A dark secret that is a threat to the entire continent. A dark secret that is a threat to the entire continent. When outlaw leader meets reformed thief, a cat-and-mouse game of false moves ensues, bringing them intimately together in a battle that may cost them their livesand their hearts. 

Falling Kingdoms

by Morgan Rhodes

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface. As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed…and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love. 

Children of Blood and Bone

by Tomi Adeyemi

Seventeen-year-old Zélie, her older brother Tzain, and rogue princess Amari fight to restore magic to the land and activate a new generation of magi, but they are ruthlessly pursued by the crown prince, who believes the return of magic will mean the end of the monarchy.

The Belles

by Dhonielle Clayton

In a world where Beauty is a commodity only a few control, one Belle will learn the dark secrets behind her powers, and rise up to change the world.

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!

Celebrating Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month! This is the celebration and recognition of the contributions and influence of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

The month of May was officially designated as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month by the U.S. Congress in 1992. Learn more at asianpacificheritage.gov.

Scroll through the titles below to explore a booklist compiled by our staff that honors AAPI characters, authors, history, and culture! There’s something for all age groups — picture books, graphic novels, fiction, and non-fiction.

Fiction | Adult

Non-Fiction | Adult

Picture Books | Kids

Graphic Novels | Youth and Teens

Fiction | Teens

Fiction | Youth

You can find all of the titles above available in either our collection via the online catalog, or through our digital resources, OverDrive and Axis360.

Picture Books for Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9! Mother’s Day is a celebration honoring the mother of the family, as well as motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society. 

Celebrate mom and all things motherhood with this list of our favorite Mother’s Day picture books, 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.

Does a Kangaroo Have a Mother, Too?

by Eric Carle

Meet the little joey bouncing in mother kangaroo’s pouch. Watch little cubs prance around mother lion. Swim with a baby dolphin calf in the deep blue sea. Eric Carle’s classic, colorful collages of baby animals and their mothers will delight and comfort young readers. 

Just Like Mama

by Lesléa Newman

A young girl enumerates all the things that her mother does in inimitable fashion, from scooping her up in a hug in the morning to tucking her in at night.

Mommy Hugs

by Karen Katz

A loving mother counts the hugs she gives her baby throughout the day.

My Mama is a Mechanic

by Doug Cenko

View a mother through the eyes of her son as they play, cook, and imagine together. 

Bedtime for Mommy

by Amy Rosenthal

In a reversal of the classic bedtime story, a child helps her mommy get ready for bed, enduring pleas for one more book, five more minutes of play time, and a glass of water before the lights go out.

My Mother's Sari

by Sandhya Rao

A little girl is fascinated by her mother’s sari and finds many uses for it. 

Mother's Day

by Anne F. Rockwell

The students in Mrs. Madoff’s class share how they will celebrate Mother’s Day with their families.

I Love You With All My Heart

by Jane Chapman

Little Bear has broken Mommy’s favorite sunflower plant. What if her mom won’t love her anymore? Luckily, Mommy knows just what to do… “Put your paw on your heart,” she smiles, “and you’ll feel my love going on and on forever!” 

I Love Mom with the Very Hungry Caterpillar

by Eric Carle

Join The Very Hungry Caterpillar as he honors Mother’s Day and celebrates incredible parents everywhere. 

Everything is Mama

by Jimmy Fallon

A lot of babies’ first words were Dada. However, everything after that was Mama. Readers take a look from a baby’s point of view as different animals try to teach their children that there are other words in addition to Mama for familiar objects and activities. 

Runaway Bunny

by Margaret Wise Brown

A little rabbit who wants to run away tells his mother how he will escape, but she is always right behind him. 

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!

National Poetry Month | A Booklist for Kids & Teens

Launched by the Academy of American Poets in April 1996, National Poetry Month reminds the public that poets have an integral role to play in our culture and that poetry matters. Over the years, it has become the largest literary celebration in the world, with tens of millions of readers, students, K–12 teachers, librarians, booksellers, literary events curators, publishers, families, and, of course, poets, marking poetry’s important place in our lives. 

Our Youth Services Department put together a wide selection of diverse books, from a range of voices and on a range of topics, to help introduce kids and teens to the world of poetry!

  • 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.

Out of Wonder

by Kwame Alexander — ALL AGES

Newbery Medalist and a Caldecott Honoree offer a glorious, lyrical ode to poets who have sparked a sense of wonder. Out of gratitude for the poet’s art form, Newbery Award-winning author and poet Kwame Alexander, along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, present original poems that pay homage to twenty famed poets who have made the authors’ hearts sing and their minds wonder. Stunning mixed-media images by Ekua Holmes, winner of a Caldecott Honor and a John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, complete the celebration and invite the reader to listen, wonder, and perhaps even pick up a pen.

And the People Stayed Home

by Kitty O'Meara — ALL AGES

Kitty O’Meara has been called the ‘poet laureate of the pandemic’ by O, The Oprah Magazine. This illustrated and beautifully produced children’s book will also appeal to readers of all ages. O’Meara’s prose poem, with its hopeful and timeless message about healing of people and the Earth, written in March 2020, quickly went viral on a global level. O’Meara, a former teacher and chaplain, clearly captured an important aspect of the pandemic experience’s zeitgeist while offering a thoughtful and optimistic view of the future.

The Village Blacksmith

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow — ALL AGES

The neighborhood blacksmith is a quiet and unassuming presence, tucked in his smithy under the chestnut tree. Sturdy, generous, and with sadness of his own, he toils through the day, passing on the tools of his trade, and come evening, takes a well-deserved rest. Longfellow’s timeless poem is enhanced by G. Brian Karas’s thoughtful and contemporary art in this modern retelling of the tender tale of a humble craftsman. An afterword about the tools and the trade of blacksmithing will draw readers curious about this age-honored endeavor, which has seen renewed interest in developed countries and continues to be plied around the world.

Guess Again!

by Mac Barnett — ALL AGES

For each round of guessing, readers are presented with a page of illustrations opposite a rhyming quatrain. The unexpected conclusion of the verse’s final line is revealed on the next page.

Old Mother Hubbard

by Jane Cabrera

Light-hearted illustrations accompany this version of the familiar nursery rhyme about an old woman and her playful dog.

Octopus, Oyster, Hermit Crab, Snail: A Poem of the Sea

by Sara Anderson — ALL AGES

A journey through the ocean is imaginatively plumbed in words and pictures. Informative, clear, and graphically lovely, readers of all ages who dive into this book will never look at the sea in quite the same way.

Where the Sidewalk Ends

by Shel Silverstein — ALL AGES

A boy who turns into a TV set and a girl who eats a whale are only two of the characters in a collection of humorous poetry illustrated with the author’s own drawings. Come in – for where the sidewalk ends, Shel Silverstein’s world begins. The Unicorn and the Bloath live there, and so does Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout who will not take the garbage out. It is a place where you wash your shadow and plant diamond gardens, a place where shoes fly, sisters are auctioned off, and crocodiles go to the dentist.

Zen Shorts

by Jon J. Muth — ALL AGES

“Michael,” said Karl. “There’s a really big bear in the backyard.” This is how three children meet Stillwater, a giant panda who moves into the neighborhood and tells amazing tales. To Addy he tells a story about the value of material goods. To Michael he pushes the boundaries of good and bad. And to Karl he demonstrates what it means to hold on to frustration. With graceful art and simple stories that are filled with love and enlightenment, Jon Muth — and Stillwater the bear — present three ancient Zen tales that are sure to strike a chord in everyone they touch.

Lion of the Sky: Haiku for All Seasons

by Laura Purdie Salas — ALL AGES

Haiku meet riddles in this wonderful collection from Laura Purdie Salas. The poems celebrate the seasons and describe everything from an earthworm to a baseball to an apple to snow angels, alongside full-color illustrations.

Big, Bad, and a Little Bit Scary: Poems That Bite Back!

by Wade Zahares — ALL AGES

Bristling with sly humor and just a hint of danger, this irresistible collection of poems pays homage to everyone’s favorite member of the animal kingdom–the villains!

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood: The Poetry of Mister Rogers — ALL AGES

Through songs, puppets, and honest conversations, Mister Rogers instilled the values of kindness, patience, self-awareness, and self-esteem in his young viewers. But most of all, he taught children that they were loved, just by being who they were. With classics such as “It’s You I Like” and “Many Ways to Say I Love You” as well as dozens of others that range from funny to sweet, silly to sincere, the 75 songs in this collection deal with such universal topics as difficult feelings, new siblings, everyday routines, imagination, and more. Perfect for bedtime, sing-along, or quiet time alone, this beautiful book of meaningful poetry is the perfect gift for every child-including the child in every one of us.

Here's a Little Poem: A Very First Book of Poetry — ALL AGES

A collection of poems for children with the various themes of self, family, going outside, and when it is time for bed. This exuberant celebration of poetry is an essential book for every young one’s library and a gorgeous gift to be both shared and treasured. Sit back and savor a superb collection of more than sixty poems by a wide range of talented writers, from Margaret Wise Brown to Gertrude Stein, Langston Hughes to A. A. Milne. Greeting the morning, enjoying the adventures of the day, cuddling up to a cozy bedtime – these are poems that highlight the moments of a toddler’s world from dawn to dusk. 

The Skin You Live In

by Michael Tyler — ALL AGES

Rhyming text and illustrations celebrate being content with the skin in which one lives, whatever that skin might be.

'Twas the Night Before Christmas on Sesame Street

by Lillian Jaine — ALL AGES

It’s the night before Christmas, and Cookie Monster is dozing peacefully, until a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer land on Sesame Street. Cookie Monster is delighted to have a visit from Santa, but there’s just one problem, he’s already eaten all of Santa’s cookies! Luckily, Elmo and the rest of the Sesame Street friends are ready to help! Includes reading tips for parents and guided prompts to help extend story time and make reading together a more interactive experience.

Writing a Poem

by Cecilia Minden and Kate Roth — SCHOOL AGE

Writing is an important skill that kids use almost every day. The goal of the Write it Right series is to make kids writing experts. Writing a Poem is full of tips and tricks to help kids channel their creativity, from distinguishing rhyme from rhythm to organizing stanzas.

Write Your Own Haiku for Kids

by Patricia Donegan — SCHOOL AGE

In this fun Japanese children’s book, kids will learn to create haiku– elegant and simplistic Japanese poems. Haiku is a uniquely Japanese form of poetry that uses vivid words and imagery to capture a feeling or a moment in just three lines. Short but powerful, haiku poems are easy and fun to write and share with your friends. Haiku has become increasingly popular in school curriculums around the world, particularly among teachers introducing students to the art of poetry as well as Asian history and heritage. The activities in this haiku-for-kids book will show you how to create haiku and will help you to think up meaningful words and images with which you can write beautiful poetry.

Punching the Air

by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam — TEENS

From award-winning, bestselling author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five comes a powerful YA novel in verse about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated. With spellbinding lyricism, award-winning author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam tell a moving and deeply profound story about how one boy is able to maintain his humanity and fight for the truth, in a system designed to strip him of both.

Shout: A Poetry Memoir

by Laurie Halse Anderson —TEENS

Bestselling author Laurie Halse Anderson is known for the unflinching way she writes about, and advocates for, survivors of sexual assault. Now, inspired by her fans and enraged by how little in our culture has changed since her groundbreaking novel Speak was first published twenty years ago, she has written a poetry memoir that is as vulnerable as it is rallying, as timely as it is timeless. In free verse, Anderson shares reflections, rants, and calls to action woven between deeply personal stories from her life that she’s never written about before. Searing and soul-searching, this important memoir is a denouncement of our society’s failures and a love letter to all the people with the courage to say #MeToo and #TimesUp, whether aloud, online, or only in their own hearts. Shout speaks truth to power in a loud, clear voice– and once you hear it, it is impossible to ignore.

Crank

by Ellen Hopkins — TEENS

Kristina Georgia Snow is the perfect daughter, gifted high school junior, quiet, never any trouble. But on a trip to visit her absentee father, Kristina disappears and Bree takes her place. Bree is the exact opposite of Kristina. Through a boy, Bree meets the monster: crank. And what begins as a wild ecstatic ride turns into a struggle through hell for her mind, her soul – her life.

For Every One

by Jason Reynolds —TEENS

Originally performed at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and later as a tribute to Walter Dean Myers, this stirring and inspirational poem is New York Times bestselling author and National Book Award finalist Jason Reynolds’s rallying cry to the young dreamers of the world.

For Every One is just that: for every one. For every one person. For every one dream. But especially for every one kid. The kids who dream of being better than they are. Kids who dream of doing more than they almost dare to dream. Kids who are like Jason Reynolds, a self-professed dreamer. Jason does not claim to know how to make dreams come true; he has, in fact, been fighting on the front line of his own battle to make his own dreams a reality. He expected to make it when he was sixteen. Then eighteen. Then twenty-five. Now, some of those expectations have been realized. But others, the most important ones, lay ahead, and a lot of them involve kids, how to inspire them. All the kids who are scared to dream, or don’t know how to dream, or don’t dare to dream because they’ve NEVER seen a dream come true. Jason wants kids to know that dreams take time. They involve countless struggles. But no matter how many times a dreamer gets beat down, the drive and the passion and the hope never fully extinguish—because just having the dream is the start you need, or you won’t get anywhere anyway, and that is when you have to take a leap of faith.

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!