The Cardboard Kingdom – Chad Sell

Welcome to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes, and their ordinary block into cardboard kingdom. This is the summer when sixteen kids encounter knights and rogues, robots and monsters-and their own inner demons-on one last quest before school starts again. In the Cardboard Kingdom, you can be anything you want to be!

Woodward and McTwee – Jonathan Fenske

2nd graders will love the unlikely yet dynamic duo of Woodward and McTwee, a hippo and a bird who love to play pranks on each other. Perfect for fans of Mo Willems’s Elephant and Piggie, this pair of stories is sure to entertain.

Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History – Vashti Harrison

An important book for readers of all ages, this beautifully illustrated and engagingly written volume brings to life true stories of Black men in history. Among these biographies, readers will find aviators and artists, politicians and pop stars, athletes and activists.

The Tea Dragon Society – Katie O’Neill

Apprentice blacksmith Greta learns about the care and keeping of adorable and mysterious tea dragons while her friendships with teadragon owners Hesekiel, Erik, and Minette deepen. **series**

Lola Levine Is Not Mean! – Monica Brown

Lola is a high-energy, biracial, and bicultural 2nd grader who is very comfortable in her own skin. With the help of her family and her super best friend Josh, she learns how to navigate 2nd grade in true Lola fashion – with humor and the power of words.  **series**

Start Now!: You Can Make A Difference – Chelsea Clinton

With information on problems both large and small, Chelsea Clinton breaks down the concepts of health, hunger, climate change, endangered species and bullying, so readers can understand the world around them, and how they can make a difference in their own lives, as well as in their communities and the world at large.

The Bad Guys – Aaron Blabey

They sound like the Bad Guys, they look like the Bad Guys…and they even smell like the Bad Guys. But Mr Wolf, Mr. Piranha, Mr. Snake and Mr. Shark are about to change all of that! Mr Wolf has a daring plan for the Bad Guys first good mission.  **series**

Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School and other Scary Things – Lenore Look

Alvin is a 2nd grader who is afraid of everything – elevators, tunnels, girls, and most of all, school. He’s so afraid of school that while he’s there he never, ever says a word. But at home he’s a very loud superhero named Firecracker Man. This funny and touching chapter book – perfect for both beginning and reluctant readers – introduces a truly unforgettable character.

Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote – Kirsten Gillibrand

This book introduces children to strong women who have raised their voices on behalf of justice-and inspires them to raise their own voices to build our future. With gorgeous illustrations by renowned artist Maira Kalman, this is a book that will inspire and uplift, a book to be cherished and shared.

Encyclopedia Mythologica: Fairies and Magical Creatures Pop-Up – Matthew Reinhart

Visit with mythical beings around the world, from household brownies to the merfolk lurking deep below the sea, with this breathtaking 3-D book. Brimming with facts and fancy, it holds readers in its spell.

Jada Jones – Kelly Starling Lyons

Science-loving Jada Jones is a role model of the best kind, and the lessons she learns throughout the series – about making and keeping friends, and being brave enough to try new things – are wonderfully applicable.  **series**

Radiant Child: The Story of Young Artist Jean-Michel Basquiat – Javaka Steptoe

Award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe’s vivid text and bold artwork echo Basquiat’s own to introduce young readers to the powerful message that art doesn’t always have to be neat or clean – and definitely not inside the lines – to be beautiful.

When Aidan Became A Big Brother – Kyle Lukoff

This award-winning sweet and groundbreaking #ownvoices picture book celebrates the changes in a transgender boy’s life, from his initial coming-out to becoming a big brother.

The Unicorn Rescue Society – Adam Gidwitz

Join Elliot and Uchenna on their very first quest as members of the Unicorn Rescue Society in this fantasy-adventure series. Illustrated throughout, this is the perfect fit for newly independent readers looking for a story full of adventure, fun, and friendship. **series**

Dancing Hands: How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln – Margarita Engle

In soaring words and stunning illustrations, Margarita Engle and Rafael López tell the award-winning story of Teresa Carreño, a child prodigy who played piano for Abraham Lincoln.

Zita the Spacegirl – Ben Hatke

Zita the Spacegirl is a fun, captivating tale of friendship and redemption. It also has more whimsical, eye-catching, Miyazaki-esque monsters than you can shake a stick at. **series**

Rise of the Earth Dragon (Dragon Masters) – Tracey West

Aimed at newly independent readers, The Dragon Masters series is How to Train Your Dragon meets the Dragon Slayers’ Academy.  The Dragon Masters must learn how to connect with and train their dragons-and they must also uncover their dragons’ special powers.

**series**

The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P.T. Barnum – Candace Fleming

Discover the true story of P.T. Barnum, the man who created the world-famous Barnum & Bailey Circus, as featured in the movie The Greatest Showman!

Giants Beware! – Jorge Aguirre, Rafael Rosado

Make way for Claudette the giant slayer in this delightful, fantastical adventure. Claudette’s fondest wish is to slay a giant, but her village is so safe and quiet, what’s a future giant slayer to do? Claudette and her friends will have you laughing out loud from page one.  **series**

The Magnificent Mya Tibbs – Crystal Allen

A hilarious and spunky new heroine in the vein of Ramona the Pest and Clementine, from Crystal Allen – the acclaimed author of How Lamar’s Bad Prank Won a Bubba-Sized Trophy. This chapter book series is an excellent choice in particular for children who are reading independently. **series**

Otis and Will Discover the Deep: the Record-Setting Dive of the Bathysphere – Barb Rosenstock

The suspenseful, little-known true story of two determined pioneers who made the first dive into the deep ocean puts readers right in the middle of the spine-tingling, record-setting journey down, down into the deep.

Dreamers – Yuyi Morales

Dreamers is a celebration of making your home with the things you always carry: your resilience, your dreams, your hopes and history. It’s the story of finding your way in a new place, of navigating an unfamiliar world and finding the best parts of it. In dark times, it’s a promise that you can make better tomorrows.

Hey Jack! The Big Adventure – Sally Rippin

One of a series full of down-to-earth, real-life, fun and funny stories that children can enjoy and relate to. With word art or illustrations on every second page, and no huge blocks of text or intimidating words, they’re perfect for newly independent readers.  **series**

Kid Activists: True Tales of Childhood from Champions of Change – Robin Stevenson

Before they were famous, they were kids, struggling with regular-kid problems like bullies, homework, and arguments with siblings. Inspiring anecdotes and playful illustrations reveal the relatable childhood escapades of celebrated presidents, great athletes, groundbreaking scientists, and other future legends.

Adventures In Cartooning – James Sturm

In this action-packed cartooning adventure, readers will have as much fun making comics as reading them. Like the characters, young readers will discover that they already have the drawing and writing skills it takes to make a comic – they just need a little know-how.  And Adventures in Cartooning supplies just that. **series**

Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel – Nikki Grimes

Dyamonde Daniel may be new in town, but that doesn’t stop her from making a place for herself in a jiffy. With her can-do attitude and awesome brain power she takes the whole neighborhood by storm. **series**

Me and the Sky – Beverley Bass, Cynthia Williams

Young readers will be swept away by the inspiring story of Beverley Bass, a groundbreaking pilot who led the first all-female crew as an American Airlines captain. Going back to Bass’ childhood, when she first realized her dream to fly, this vibrant biography is all kinds of captivating.

Bera, the One-Headed Troll – Eric Orchard

Bera doesn’t ask for much in life. She’s a solitary, humble troll, tending her island pumpkin patch in cheerful isolation. But when a human baby arrives in the realm of the trolls and nobody knows where it came from, Bera seems to be the only one who doesn’t want it dead. There’s nothing to it but to return the adorable little thing to its parents. Like it or not, Bera’s gone and found herself a quest.

Meet Yasmin! – Saadia Faruqi

Yasmin is a spirited 2nd-grader who’s always on the lookout for those “aha” moments to help her solve life’s little problems. Taking inspiration from her surroundings and her big imagination, she boldly faces any situation, assuming her imagination doesn’t get too big, of course! A creative thinker and curious explorer, Yasmin and her multi-generational Pakistani American family delight and inspire readers. **series**

I, Fly: The Buzz About Flies and How Awesome They Are – Bridget Heos

For readers who need to be grossed out to be engrossed, this is a great pick. Told from the point of view of a fly who is irritated by everyone’s fascination with butterflies, this book leaves readers with amazing knowledge about an oft-overlooked insect.

Binky the Space Cat – Ashley Spires

Binky is a space cat – at least in his mind. He’s really a house cat who has never left the family space station. Unlike other cats, Binky has a mission: to blast off into outer space (outside), explore unknown places (the backyard) and battle aliens (bugs). **series**

Overboard! (Survivor Diaries) – Terry Lynn Johnson

A high-stakes adventure series perfect for fans of the I Survived series and Hatchet. **series**

The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs – America’s Test Kitchen Kids

Recipes were thoroughly tested by more than 5,000 kids to get them just right for cooks of all skill levels – includes recipes for breakfast, breads, pizzas, cookies, cupcakes, and more. Step-by-step photos of tips and techniques help empower young chefs.

Bug Boys – Laura Knetzger

This early graphic novel series follows Stag-B and Rhino-B, two young beetles who live in Bug Village and are best friends and roommates. Together, these charming best beetle buddies go on a series of adventures that lead them to encounters in the wider natural world, in the human world, and even within themselves. Perfect for fans of Narwhal and Jelly**series**

A True Home (Heartwood Hotel series) – Kallie George

Mona the mouse is lost in a terrible storm. She stumbles upon the famous Heartwood Hotel, a stopping place for animals from all over Fernwood. She gets a job as a maid and eagerly tries to prove her worth to Mr. Heartwood the Badger and his staff. But it isn’t easy going, especially when the hotel is threatened by a pack of hungry wolves. Mona has to use all her wits to save her new home. This whimsical, sweet story is a good next step for lovers of the Magic Tree House. **series**

Emmanuel’s Dream: the True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah – Laurie Ann Thompson

true story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, who bicycled across Ghana – nearly 400 miles – with only one leg. With that achievement he forever changed how his country treats people with disabilities, and he shows us all that one person is enough to change the world.

Bird & Squirrel: On the Run! – James Burks

Bird and Squirrel outwit Cat and become best friends in this zany adventure. **series**

The Witches – Roald Dahl

The Witches is an exceptional children’s dark fantasy novel that features the experiences of a young British boy and his Norwegian grandmother in a world where child-hating societies of witches secretly exist in every country.

The Animal Book – Steve Jenkins

Animals smooth and spiky, fast and slow, hop and waddle through the 200+ pages of the Caldecott Honor artist Steve Jenkins’s most impressive nonfiction offering yet. Jenkins’s color-rich cut- and torn-paper artwork is strikingly vivid. Rounding out this bountiful almanac of more than 300 animals is a discussion of the artist’s bookmaking process, an animal index, a glossary, and a bibliography.

Witches of Brooklyn – Sophie Escabasse

A wonderful graphic novel for advanced readers, it’s filled with magical hijinks (think: Phoebe and Her Unicorn). Effie lost her mom and her home. Now she has to live with two strange aunts she’s never met before. Life in Brooklyn takes a strange twist for Effie as she learns more about her magically-inclined family and herself.  **series**

Zoey and Sassafras: Dragons and Marshmallows – Asia Citro

With magical animals, science, mystery, and adventure – this series has something for everyone. In the first book, Zoey discovers a glowing photo and learns an amazing secret. Injured magical animals come to their backyard barn for help! When a sick baby dragon appears, it’s up to Zoey and Sassafras to figure out what’s wrong. **series**

A Boy and a Jaguar – Alan Rabinowitz

Alan loves animals, but the great cat house at the Bronx Zoo makes him sad. Why are they all alone in empty cages? Are they being punished? More than anything, he wants to be their champion—their voice—but he stutters uncontrollably. Follow the real-life story of the man Time Magazine calls, “the Indiana Jones of wildlife conservation “as he searches for his voice and fulfills a promise to speak for animals, and people, who cannot speak for themselves.

Sidekicks – Dan Santat

Captain Amazing, hero of Metro City, is so busy catching criminals that he rarely has time for his pets at home. He doesn’t even notice when they develop superpowers of their own.

EllRay Jakes is NOT a Chicken! – Sally Warner

EllRay, a 3rd grader with a penchant for getting into trouble, deals with pressure from parents and peers alike in this comical and true-to-life series.

Muslim Girls Rise: Inspirational Champions of our Time – Saira Mir

Little Leaders meets Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls in this gorgeous nonfiction picture book that introduces readers to nineteen powerhouse Muslim women who rose up and made their voices heard.

Found – Bruce Pascoe

This gentle, award-winning story set in the rugged Australian bush is about a small calf who becomes separated from his family. The little calf is alone and simply wants his mother, sisters and brothers. He can see other animals, and after running to the river, manages to ask some horses if they are his family. The calf’s family have been taken away in the back of a noisy truck. So begins the little calf’s journey to find his family.

Humphrey’s Really Wheely Racing Day – Betty G. Birney

Humphrey spends his days as the class pet of Room 26 at Longfellow School. WIth a room full of friends, so much to learn, and a cage with a broken lock, Humphrey’s many adventures are perfect for fans of animal-centered stories.  **series**

Weird But True! Food: 300 Bite-size Facts About Incredible Edibles – Julie Beer, National Geographic Kids

This latest addition to the Weird but True series serves up tons more zany fun, focused totally on the subject of food – 300 of the most amazing facts plus photos that kids just can’t get enough of.

Rainbow Weaver – Linda Elovitz Marshall

Ixchel, a young Mayan girl who is not allowed to use her mother’s thread to weave, exercises her ingenuity and repurposes plastic bags to create colorful weavings. Includes glossary and author’s note.

Tales of Bunjitsu Bunny – John Himmelman

Introducing Isabel, aka Bunjitsu Bunny. She is the BEST bunjitsu artist in her school, and she can throw farther, kick higher, and hit harder than anyone else! But she never hurts another creature…unless she has to. Isabel’s adventures are a beguiling combination of child-friendly scenarios and Eastern wisdom perfect for newly independent readers. **series**

Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome – Brad Montague, Robby Novak

Kid President pulls together lists of awesome ideas to help the world, awesome interviews with his awesome celebrity friends (he interviewed Beyoncé!), and a step-by-step guide to make pretty much everything a little bit awesomer, to spread love and inspire the world.

Press Start! Game Over, Super Rabbit Boy! – Thomas Flintham

Animal Town is in trouble! Meanie King Viking created a dreaded robot army to spread No Fun across the land. And he stole the happiest/most fun animal ever, Singing Dog. There is only one person who can save the day – Super Rabbit Boy! He’s super fast and super brave, but he’s also a video game character living in a video game world. What will happen when Sunny, the boy playing the game, loses each level? **series**

The Story of Diva and Flea – Mo Willems

Diva, a small yet brave dog, and Flea, a curious streetwise cat, develop an unexpected friendship in this unforgettable tale of discovery.

Legends, Icons & Rebels: Music That Changed the World – Robbie Robertson

Music industry veterans Robbie Robertson, Jim Guerinot, Jared Levine, and Sebastian Robertson invite young readers to share with them in celebrating 27 musical legends. Short profiles chronicle personal stories and achievements of extraordinarily talented artists whose innovations changed the landscape of music for generations to come.

The Lizard and the Sun – Alma Flor Ada

A long, long time ago in ancient Mexico, the sun disappeared. Everything was dark, and the people were afraid. The animals decided to search for the sun through the fields and forests, rivers and lakes. But the sun was nowhere to be found. At last the animals stopped looking – all except the lizard. This is the story of a brave little lizard who would not give up until she had brought back light and warmth to everyone.

Tales from the Odyssey – Mary Pope Osborne

Brave Odysseus is far from home, tossed by stormy seas, and cursed by an angry one-eyed giant. If he ever wants to see his family again, he will have to face hungry cannibals, outwit a beautiful witch, and sail past a six-headed serpent. His journey is the ultimate test of endurance and courage. In this exciting series, best-selling author Mary Pope Osborne retells Homer’s Odyssey, one of the most thrilling adventure stories of all time.  **series**

I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark – Debbie Levy

Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.