Bookmarks

We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds

Poignant, moving, and utterly captivating from the first page to the last, We Deserve Monuments is in a league of its own. Both a riveting exploration of the South’s intrinsic and rampant racism and a love story that revels in the beauty of queer Black girls, Jas Hammonds’ debut should be required reading. A beautifully rendered love story both to the family we’re born into and the family we choose, I know I will be neither the first nor the last to say that this book, and all those who see themselves reflected in its pages, deserves monuments.

We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds, (List Price: $18.99, Roaring Brook Press, 9781250816559, November 2022)

Reviewed by Mary Louise Callaghan, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

The Talk by Alicia D. Williams

Charming black kids growing up together, neighborhood friends through the years. But as they grow and age from chubby-cheeked helpers and adventurers into young men and women, still respectful and helpful, just looking more adult, the parents and grandparents sit them down for "the talk". That not everyone will see their fun-loving enthusiasm, or a hoodie or earphones as childhood innocence by default. Briana Mukodiri Uchendu’s pastels show such expressiveness, from hugs of closeness, to silly play and gap-toothed smiles of children, to heartbreaking empathy. Now I know black families and brown families have to know about the talk, but this is a great conversation starter for people who may not need to have the talk to know that not everyone is so fortunate, and maybe that window will help them be better allies.

The Talk by Alicia D. Williams, (List Price: $18.99, Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books, 9781534495296, October 2022)

Reviewed by Lisa Yee Swope, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Freestyle: A Graphic Novel by Gale Galligan

Gale Galligan is THE BEST! I have been so excited to see her first post-BSC graphic novel and Freestyle surpasses all expectations. It’s quirky, inclusive, inspiring, and so very real. And what a concept! Competitive B-boying yo-yo-ing was fun and interesting to read about and I love the way that Galligan captured motion in her art. This will likely be my favorite kids book of the year!

Freestyle: A Graphic Novel by Gale Galligan, (List Price: $12.99, Graphix, 9781338045802, October 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Spirit Week by Ira Marcks

A charmingly illustrated and just-spooky-enough graphic novel, Spirit Week is sure to delight readers looking for an inventive mystery to unravel. A clever homage to the works of Stephen King and The Shining, Marck’s middle grade graphic novel follows a group of intrepid kids as they attempt to uncover the secrets of The Underlook Hotel and its reclusive author Jack Axworth. A whole lot of fun!

Spirit Week by Ira Marcks, (List Price: $12.99, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 9780316278065, October 2022)

Reviewed by Caleb Masters, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Brown Is Beautiful by Supriya Kelkar

I love the beauty of Brown is Beautiful. A young Indian American girl walks through nature with her grandparents, celebrating all the beauty of things that are brown – leaves and bears and canyons. The book transitions to houses and families and babies, all brown and beautiful. This is a story of joy and celebration!

Brown Is Beautiful by Supriya Kelkar, (List Price: $18.99, Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR), 9780374389529, October 2022)

Reviewed by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

If Your Babysitter Is a Bruja by Ana Siqueira

Super cute story that balances English and Spanish! Perfect for Halloween but really you can read this one year-round — witches are cool! And I’m always a fan of any picture book that requires you to rotate the book to see the words.

If Your Babysitter Is a Bruja by Ana Siqueira, (List Price: $18.99, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Reader, 9781534488748, August 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega

I needed this book so bad when I was younger! From middle school to high school, I hated my curly, frizzy, thick hair. I didn’t know what to do with it other than straightening it to make it look ‘pretty’ and I didn’t have anyone in my life with hair like mine, so my hair always felt like a problem. I loved that Marlene wanted to embrace her curly hair and started that journey for herself without permission. She unapologetically wanted to be her self and it completely warmed my heart. Thank you Claribel A. Ortega for this story! I cannot wait for other kids to read this and learn to love their hair!

Frizzy by Claribel A. Ortega, (List Price: $12.99, First Second, 9781250259639, October 2022)

Reviewed by Juliana Reyes, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Maybe An Artist, A Graphic Memoir by Liz Montague

This graphic memoir should be put into every middle and high school library in the country! As kids we are often told to do what we love, but there’s so much pressure on kids to succeed before they get a chance to figure out what success may look like for them. In this book Liz Montague documents the stress of trying to become something she wasn’t and how she eventually acknowledged and achieved her dreams of becoming an artist. I loved her illustration style — it is so simple and so effective!

Maybe An Artist, A Graphic Memoir by Liz Montague, (List Price: $17.99, Random House Studio, 9780593307823, October 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Artemis Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer

A September 2022 Read This Next! Title

Trista Mateer punched me directly in the chest with this poetry collection. Carved my heart out and served it back to me with a sprig of parsley on top. Every page of this book is chock full of beautiful, enchanting words that dig in deep and tear up the soil to reveal things you might not have thought about in years. Even if a poem doesn’t directly connect with you, it will in fact, ruin you.

Artemis Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer, (List Price: $16.99, Central Avenuel Publishing, 9781771682725, September 2022)

Reviewed by Caitlyn Vanorder, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

When You Take a Step by Bethanie Deeney Murguia

A September 2022 Read This Next! Title

Follow a trail of color through this book as you see where taking a step will lead. Each page follows a child as they explore the world. And even though everyone’s journey will be different, they can all make a difference. This book has a similar feel to Jacqueline Woodson’s The Day You Begin.

When You Take a Step by Bethanie Deeney Murguia, (List Price: $18.99, Beach Lane Books, 9781534473676, September 2022)

Reviewed by Jamie Southern, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Acceptance by Emi Nietfeld

From the very first chapter in Acceptance you feel Neitfeld’s urgency to change her future and outrun the circumstances of her childhood. A memoir of mental health, foster care and homelessness, abuse, and this book is also the story of the struggle for education, for a way out, and to find one’s true path. Not since Educated have I felt as compelled by a memoir as I did by Acceptance; highly recommended for all readers.

Acceptance by Emi Nietfeld, (List Price: $17.95, Penguin Press, 9780593489475, August 2022)

Reviewed by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Courage Like Kate by Anna Crowley Redding

I really enjoy biographical picture books, especially when I get to learn about individuals in history I never knew about. Courage Like Kate is the tale of Kate Moore, who was raised on Fayerweather Island, by her father, who was the lighthouse keeper. Calling herself his assistant, she learned under his guidance, not only how to maintain the island and the lighthouse, but also how to rescue people from the choppy seas. Kate spent the majority of her life on the island, officially became the lighthouse keeper after her father’s death; her ambition, courage, and dedication are excellent examples for children!

Courage Like Kate by Anna Crowley Redding, (List Price: $17.99, Random House Studio, 9780593373408, August 2022)

Reviewed by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

This Little Voter by Carol Herring (Illus.), Ann Bonnie

With the same structure and rhyming pattern as This Little Piggy, This Little Voter celebrates all the things voters can do to participate in the electoral process – register to vote, campaign, vote, and more. This is the perfect addition for the youngest of readers to an Election Day storytime!

This Little Voter by Carol Herring (Illus.), Ann Bonnie, (List Price: $6.99, little bee books, 9781499813241, August 2022)

Reviewed by Beth Seufer Buss, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Everything in Its Place by Pauline David-Sax

This is a quiet and sweet story that’s perfect for readers of all ages; it truly feels like a picture book for any reader. It perfectly captures the way books can cure loneliness. I loved the combination of collage and colored-pencil illustrations.

Everything in Its Place by Pauline David-Sax, (List Price: $17.99, Doubleday Books for Young Readers, 9780593378823, July 2022)

Reviewed by Kate Storhoff, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Crumbs by Danie Stirling

This graphic novel is absolutely adorable! What could be better than first loves, witchy powers, and magical bakeries? Ray is such a sweet and relatable protagonist, and I found myself rooting for her wholeheartedly throughout the book. At its core, Crumbs is a novel about self empowerment and the importance of personal choice– I loved it!

Crumbs by Danie Stirling, (List Price: $24.99, Clarion Books, 9780358467793, July 2022)

Reviewed by Jessica Baker, Bookmarks in Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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