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111 Trees

2020

by Rina Singh and Marianne Ferrer

"In a small village in India, a boy grows up to make a huge difference in his community by planting trees to celebrate the birth of every girl. Based on a true story, this book celebrates environmental sustainability, community activism and ecofeminism. This is the story of Sundar Paliwal, who is from a small Indian village ruled by ancient customs. As he grows to be a man, Sundar suffers much heartbreak and decides it is time for change to come to his village. Sundar is determined to live in a place where girls are valued as much as boys and where the land is not devastated by irresponsible mining. Sundar's plan? To celebrate the birth of every girl with the planting of 111 trees. Though many villagers resist at first, Sundar slowly gains their support. And today, there are over a quarter of a million trees in his village, providing food, water and opportunities for women to earn a living. His efforts have turned a once barren and deforested landscape into a fertile and prosperous one where girls can thrive. Based on true events in the life of Sundar Paliwal, and written in collaboration with him, Rina Singh's uplifting story shows how one person can make a difference in a community. Beautiful illustrations by Marianne Ferrer sensitively bring the evolution of the village to life. With strong links to the science curriculum, this book offers lessons on environmental awareness, sustainability and stewardship, as well as the concept of ecofeminism. It also explores ideas of social development, community and culture, and the character education traits of responsibility and cooperation. A thoroughly researched author's note with photographs and more information about the village of Piplantri is included." -- publisher

Biography Informational Oppression & Resilience

A Bowl Full of Peace

2020

by Caren Stelson and Akira Kusaka

"In this deeply moving nonfiction picture book, award-winning author Caren Stelson brings Sachiko Yasui's story of surviving the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and her message of peace to a young audience. Sachiko's family home was about half a mile from where the atomic bomb fell on August 9, 1945. Her family experienced devastating loss. When they returned to the rubble where their home once stood, her father miraculously found their serving bowl fully intact. This delicate, green, leaf-shaped bowl—which once held their daily meals—now holds memories of the past and serves as a vessel of hope, peace, and new traditions for Sachiko and the surviving members of her family." -- publisher

Biography Informational Oppression & Resilience

Above the Rim

2020

by Jen Bryant and Frank Morrison

"Winner of 2021 Orbis Pictus Award! The story of Elgin Baylor, basketball icon and civil rights advocate, from an all-star team Hall-of-famer Elgin Baylor was one of basketball’s all-time-greatest players—an innovative athlete, team player, and quiet force for change. One of the first professional African-American players, he inspired others on and off the court. But when traveling for away games, many hotels and restaurants turned Elgin away because he was black. One night, Elgin had enough and staged a one-man protest that captured the attention of the press, the public, and the NBA. Above the Rim is a poetic, exquisitely illustrated telling of the life of an underrecognized athlete and a celebration of standing up for what is right." -- publisher

Biography Oppression & Resilience

Be Amazing

2020

by Desmond Napoles and Dylan Glynn

"This uplifting illustrated nonfiction picture book from twelve year-old social justice advocate Desmond is Amazing is an introduction to the history of the fight for LGBTQ rights, as well as a call to action on embracing your own uniqueness. Desmond is Amazing is a drag-kid, model, fashion icon, and social justice activist. When he isn’t slaying on the catwalk or performing drag, he’s an outspoken anti-bullying and LGBTQ advocate. In this uplifting picture book about being yourself, Desmond shows how he can be amazing thanks to courageous people like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, and RuPaul who paved the way for a safer, more inclusive society for LGBTQ individuals. A kid-friendly primer to LGBTQ history that covers everything from the Stonewall Riots to RuPaul's Drag Race, Be Amazing shows young readers why we should celebrate the fight for LGBTQ rights." -- publisher

Biography Incidental Informational

Beautiful Shades of Brown

2020

by Nancy Churnin and Felicia Marshall

"Growing up in the late 19th century, Laura Wheeler Waring didn't see any artists who looked like her. She didn't see any paintings of people who looked like her, either. As a young woman studying art in Paris, she found inspiration in the works of Matisse and Gaugin to paint the people she knew best. Back in Philadelphia, the Harmon Foundation commissioned her to paint portraits of accomplished African-Americans. Her portraits still hang in Washington DC's National Portrait Gallery, where children of all races can admire the beautiful shades of brown she captured." -- publisher

Biography

Colin Kaepernick

2020

by Blake Hoena and Sam LeDoyen

"This graphic biography shows readers the moments that have defined Colin Kaepernick’s life as a quarterback and an activist. His talent and determination made him a college football success and brought him to the National Football League. As a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, he led his team to multiple playoffs and even competed in the Super Bowl. When outrage over violence against African Americans became a national movement, Kaepernick joined the protests. His decision cost him his career in football, but he gained a voice heard worldwide." -- publisher

Biography Cross Group

Dark Was the Night

2020

by Gary Golio and E.B. Lewis

"The poignant story of Blind Willie Johnson—the legendary Texas musician whose song “Dark Was the Night” was included on the Voyager I space probe’s Golden Record Willie Johnson was born in 1897, and from the beginning he loved to sing—and play his cigar box guitar. But his childhood was interrupted when he lost his mother and his sight. How does a blind boy make his way in the world? Fortunately for Willie, the music saved him and brought him back into the light. His powerful voice, combined with the wailing of his slide guitar, moved people. Willie made a name for himself performing on street corners all over Texas. And one day he hit it big when he got a record deal and his songs were played on the radio. Then in 1977, his song—“Dark Was the Night”—was chosen to light up the darkness when it was launched into space on the Voyager I space probe’s famous Golden Record. His immortal song was selected for the way it expresses the loneliness humans all feel, while reminding us we’re not alone." -- publisher

Biography

Digging for Words

2020

by Angela Burke Kunkel and Paola Escobar

"A gorgeous and inspiring picture book based on the life of José Alberto Gutiérrez, a garbage collector in Bogotá, Colombia who started a library with a single discarded book found on his route. In the city of Bogata, in the barrio of La Nueva Gloria, there live two Joses. One is a boy who dreams of Saturdays—that’s the day he gets to visit Paradise, the library. The second Jose is a garbage collector. From dusk until dawn, he scans the sidewalks as he drives, squinting in the dim light, searching household trash for hidden treasure…books! Some are stacked in neat piles, as if waiting for José́. Others take a bit more digging. Ever since he found his first book, Anna Karenina, years earlier, he’s been collecting books—thick ones and thin ones, worn ones and almost new ones—to add to the collection in his home. And on Saturdays, kids like little Jose run to the steps of Paradise to discover a world filled with books and wonder." -- publisher

Biography

Dream Builder

2020

by Kelly Starling Lyons and Laura Freeman

"You've seen the building. Now meet the man whose life went into it. Philip Freelon's grandfather was an acclaimed painter of the Harlem Renaissance. His father was a successful businessman who attended the 1963 March on Washington. When Phil decided to attend architecture school, he created his own focus on African American and Islamic designers. He later chose not to build casinos or prisons, instead concentrating on schools, libraries, and museums--buildings that connect people with heritage and fill hearts with joy. And in 2009, Phil's team won a commission that let him use his personal history in service to the country's: the extraordinary Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Dream Builder: The Story of Architect Philip Freelon celebrates a contemporary black STEAM role model, a man whose quiet work enabled the creation of an iconic building reflecting America's past and future. With a stirring text by Kelly Starling Lyons, vibrant pictures by Laura Freeman, and an afterword from Philip Freelon himself, it is sure to inspire the next generation of dreamers and builders." -- publisher

Beautiful Life Biography

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