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Kids Spring Reading, 2019

Some of the best picture books, middle grade, and YA of the season, as recommended by Bookshop Santa Cruz staff.

Another by Christian Robinson

I’m a huge fan of Christian Robinson’s colorful and playful illustrations which, in previous books, have illuminated the words of notable authors like Matt de la Peña. Another is a book all his own. In this wordless romp, a little girl and her cat venture through a portal into another world where left is right, up is down, and doppelgangers abound. This topsy-turvy book is so much fun and is sure to inspire the curiosity, creativity, and imagination of young readers everywhere. - S.B.

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Another Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534421677
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum Books for Young Readers - March 5th, 2019

Because written by Mo Willems illustrated by Amber Ren

This book is an ode to the power of music and a meditation on the many hands needed to cultivate the garden of inspiration—and the power of inspiration once it takes root and blooms. Ren’s art is full of beautiful detail, all kinds of diversity, and refreshingly steering clear of gender stereotypes. This lovely and inspiring story will appeal to music and non-music fans alike. - Stephanie

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Because Cover Image
By Mo Willems, Amber Ren (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781368019019
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hyperion Books for Children - March 5th, 2019

Planting Stories written by Anika Aldamuy Denise illustrated by Paola Escobar

An enchanting glimpse into the verve and creativity of Pura Belpré, who introduced the first mainstream published Latinx stories to the U.S.. Set in 1920s New York City, this book is suffused with a sense of warm nostalgia; Escobar's hypnotically detailed illustrations are the kind that make you wish you could climb into the page. A beautiful testament to the vitality of storytelling, this homage to Belpré's “story seeds” is sure to capture the imagination. - I.D.

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Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062748683
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - January 15th, 2019

Ruby Head High by Irene Cohen-Janca

Author Cohen-Janca peers into one of the most important moments in U.S. history, not with adult hindsight, but with the innocence of childhood clarity. Whether as the subject of history, or the one learning it, Ruby Bridges’s experience of fear and bigotry, and her own strength and determination, shine through with true human consequence. Daniau’s bold paintings are emotional snapshots, leaving a lasting impression as readers learn alongside a character discovering Ruby’s story. - Jocelyn

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Ruby, Head High: Ruby Bridge's First Day of School Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781568463414
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Creative Editions - January 8th, 2019

Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee

This exciting story combines space adventures with Korean folklore. Thirteen-year-old nonbinary Min comes from a long line of fox spirits and goes on a quest to find their missing brother, discovering more about themself and their love for their family along the way. Readers will be immersed in a world of fox, dragon, and tiger spirits, vengeful ghosts, and a legendary pearl that terraforms worlds. - Kathy

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Dragon Pearl Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781368013352
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rick Riordan Presents - January 15th, 2019

Genesis Begins Again by Alicia D. Williams

Told in the voice of its hugely loveable main character, Genesis, this book is far more than the sum of its more heartbreaking parts. Written by a teacher who wanted to “heal” the wounds of her students, you'll definitely be rooting for Genesis as she navigates a new middle school, gathers the courage to share her secret singing talent with the world, and grapples with learning to love herself. - I.D.

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Genesis Begins Again Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481465809
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - January 15th, 2019

To Night Owl from Dogfish by Holly Goldberg & Meg Wolitzer

As anyone familiar with The Parent Trap will tell you, two very different girls from opposite ends of the country brought together at summer camp for some sisterly bonding is a recipe for hijinks. A modern update on an old formula, this funny, fast-paced adventure becomes a sweet, poignant tale about friendship and family. - Katherine

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To Night Owl From Dogfish Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525553236
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - February 12th, 2019

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez

Be warned—I cannot describe how awesome this book is! At a Miami arts school, Sal Vidón, new kid, and Gabi Reál, class president, clash and collaborate with intelligence, mischief, science, showmanship, sleight of hand, and delicious Cuban food—all amidst robots, alternate realities, bullying, chronic health issues, and grief. At its heart, this book is about being a unique kid, and exploring the limits of love, friendship, and yourself. Do yourself a favor and strap in. - Jocelyn

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Sal and Gabi Break the Universe (A Sal and Gabi Novel, Book 1) Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781368022828
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Rick Riordan Presents - March 5th, 2019

New Kid by Jerry Craft

Meet Jordan, an African American boy attending a prestigious New York middle school where he’s torn between two worlds—rich and working class, black and white. On the first page, Jordan says, “This is how I feel every single day of my life, like I’m falling without a parachute,” and illustrates his experiences (via a book within the book) with insight and ironic humor that all young students, especially students of color, will really appreciate. A humorous yet poignant story. - Noreen

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New Kid Cover Image
By Jerry Craft, Jerry Craft (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780062691194
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - February 5th, 2019

Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur: In the Beginning

If you don’t know Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, you need to correct that immediately! Lunella (a.k.a. Moon Girl) is a nine-year-old genius who teams up with Devil Dinosaur when he appears in her modern-day NYC neighborhood. Can Moon Girl solve the mystery of her own DNA, field havoc-wreaking cavemen and aliens bent on destruction, and still make it home for dinner? Full of laughter and lots of heart, this story of finding one’s voice is sure to delight. - Jax

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Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur: In the Beginning Cover Image
By Amy Reeder (Text by), Brandon Montclare (Text by), Natacha Bustos (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781302916541
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Marvel - February 19th, 2019

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