Staff Picks 4 Kids Category: Historical Fiction

Black History Month 2021

Today is the first day of Black History Month! According to Britannica Library for Children:

The month of February is African American History Month, also known as Black History Month, in the United States. It was first celebrated in 1926 as Negro History Week. It was created to highlight the contributions Blacks have made to American history and culture. Within a few decades, the event had become an important part of African American life and had spread throughout the country. The United States government declared it a monthlong celebration in 1976.

You can learn more about Black history by researching in our online databases, or come into the library and check our display on Black History Month, which features just a handful of the materials we have about the achievements and history of Black Americans.

Black History Month books
the Black History Month display in youth services

You might also enjoy checking out our Black Joy reading recommendations, featuring many #OwnVoices* authors.

*The term #OwnVoices was coined by the writer Corinne Duyvis, and refers to an author from a marginalized or under-represented group writing about their own experiences/from their own perspective, rather than someone from an outside perspective writing as a character from an underrepresented group. (thanks to Seattle Public Library for this concise definition.)

Staff Picks Best Books of 2020

Staff Picks Best Books of 2020

The Youth Services staff at MPPL are happy to announce our picks for best books for kids published in 2020! Whether you need some great choices to meet your reading goal for the year, or want to buy some great books as gifts for the kids in your life, our selections have you covered! Check them out on our website.

Staff Picks Best Books of 2020

And for more great books you might have missed, here are some other end of year lists you will want to check out!

School Library Journal

Kirkus: Middle Grade

Kirkus: Picture books

Publishers Weekly Best Children’s and YA

Time Magazine: 10 Best Children’s and YA books of 2020

Learn About Loving Day

Loving v. Virginia (1967) was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that struck down laws banning interracial marriage. The decision was followed by an increase in interracial marriages in the U.S. and is remembered annually on June 12th, Loving Day.

Check out these resources to learn more about multi-racial families and friendships, Loving v. Virginia, and the couple at the heart of it, Richard and Mildred Loving.

Anti-racist Books and Resources for Families

In turbulent times, we realize it can be helpful to use literature as a way to discuss and explain difficult situations with your children. MPPL Youth Services staff have curated a collection of books and resources to assist you as you discuss events with the youngest members of your family.

Books @ MPPL

Anti-racist Books for Families
Anti-racist Books for Pre-K-K
Anti-racist Books for grades 2-4
Anti-racist Books for Tweens (4th-6th grade)

You can place holds on these items for parking lot pick up, or many of them are also available from Hoopla, Overdrive/Libby, and RBdigital.

Hoopla collection of Audiobooks, “Talking to Kids About Race”

Resources

These resources have been vetted by library staff, however, since they are outside sites, we are not responsible for the content.

31 Children’s books to support conversations on race, racism and resistance

How White Parents Can Use Media to Raise Anti-Racist Kids

RESOURCES FOR TALKING ABOUT RACE, RACISM AND RACIALIZED VIOLENCE WITH KIDS

Becoming Upended: Teaching and Learning about Race and Racism with Young Children and Their Families

Racial Equity Tools: Children, Families, and Youth Development

Talking to Kids About Race

Your Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup

Anti-racism Resources for All Ages, curated by Dr. Nicole Cooke

E-Book & E-Audiobook – Refugee by Alan Gratz

Refugee OverDrive Book & Audio

Refugee by Alan Gratz, a captivating novel, is written with an interlacing of three different stories, following the lives of three disparate children, and their families. These emigrants are grappling to find the courage they need to escape from the country they have loved. All are fleeing from their oppressed, unstable homeland and searching for a new frontier. A brand-new beginning.  

All these stories are set at various times and places in the 20th century. You will meet a Jewish boy named Josef, fleeing from his beloved Germany during WWII. Also, Isabel, escaping Cuba in the midst of rioting and turmoil, takes a makeshift boat fleeing to America. Finally, there is Mahmoud, a Syrian refugee, his home torn apart by violence and war, fleeing to wherever they will be welcomed. 

These engaging stories, meant for more mature readers, are so captivating, you won’t be able to set this book down. 

This book is also available as an ebook  and e-audiobook in Overdrive’s Digital Library. It is also available as an e-audiobook on Hoopla. 

Book reviewed by Darice C., Youth Services Assistant