Children’s Book News: June 2020

With curbside pickup now being available at the Placitas Library, I would like to focus on the many new books that have been added to the children’s collection during our closure.  Since you can’t browse our new book displays in the library, I thought it might be helpful to focus on several of our new additions.

Fry Bread

Every year the American Library Association selects a variety of children’s books for specific awards.  We now have many of the 2020 award books in our collection.  A few are highlighted below.

Newbery Medal

(Most outstanding contribution to children’s literature)

New Kid, written and illustrated by Jerry Craft, suggested ages: 8-12 years

New Kid is the first graphic novel to receive the Newbery Medal. It tells the story of a 7th grade African American boy and his struggles and adjustments as he copes with unfamiliar realities at his new private school whose student body is predominantly wealthy and white.

Caldecott Medal

(Most distinguished American picture book for children) 

The Undefeated, written by Kwame Alexander, illustrated by Kadir Nelson, suggested ages: 8-12 years

The Undefeated is a poetic tribute to The Black American experience.  It highlights achievements of black writers, musicians, athletes and heroes set in the historical context of slavery and the civil rights movement through to the present.

Pura Belpre Author Award

(Honors a Latino writer whose children’s book best portrays, affirms and celebrates the Latino cultural experience)

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe, written by Carlos Hemandez, suggested ages: 8-12 years

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe is a blend of science fiction and fantasy that centers on two disparate heroes who tackle life in mid-school with humor and zaniness.

Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award

(Most distinguished informational book for children)

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story, written by Kevin Noble Maillard, illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, suggested ages: 3-6 years             Fry Bread, told in verse, honors Native American traditions and history along with the importance of family and community – an endearing picture book emitting warmth and love.

Theodor Seuss Geisel Award

(Most distinguished beginning reader book)

The winner plus two honor books are on order but a third honor book, The Book Hog, is now in our collection.

The Book Hog, written and illustrated by Greg Pizzoli, suggested ages:  3-8 years

The Book Hog celebrates books and librarians through an amusing hog who collects books, loving their feel, their smell, their appearance.  And then he meets a librarian who introduces to him the magic that books truly hold.


Because of the popularity of graphic novels for all ages, I have continued to add more children’s books of this format.  Below are a few of our most recent acquisitions.   (Hint:  Check out the moving banner of books atop the Placitas Library’s catalog page – these are the most recent books, both children and adult, that have been added to our collection.)

Historical Non-fiction

Alexander Hamilton: The Graphic History of an American Founding Father

Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales: Big Bad Ironclad! and Donner Dinner Party: A Pioneer Tale

 Graphic Novels (8-12 years)

Ghosts by popular graphic novel author, Raina Telgemeier (Guts, Smile, Sisters)

Real Friends and Best Friends by Shannon Hale

Witch Boy, Hidden Witch and Midwinter Witch by Molly Knox Ostertag – A coming of age, present-day fantasy

Stargazing, by Jen Wang – An inspiring tale of friendship expressed through sensitivity and humor

Cleopatra in Space – Target Practice by Mike Malhack – The feisty Egyptian princess is the star of this futuristic adventure.

Graphic Novels (7-10 years)

Hilo: The Boy who Crashed to Earth and Hilo: Saving the Whole Wide World by Judd Winick – The first two books of a six-book series in which Hilo, a robot boy from outer space who crashes to Earth, becomes best friends with DJ and Gina and embarks on a series of cliffhanging, rollicking adventures.

Jedi Academy, Jedi Academy-Return of the Padawan and Jedi Academy-The Phantom Bully by Jeffrey Brown – Using a combination of journal entries, comics, letters, etc., Brown tells the story of Roan, as he navigates his days in this unusual boarding school. Humor and fun are paramount in the narrative along with an eye to the common experiences and feelings of any new student.

Graphic Novels (5-8 years)

Shark King by R. Kikuo Johnson – A Hawaiian fable written for emerging readers.