Elementary school. Ruby tells her story, as she experienced it, when she was just six years old. Adapted for the youngest readers, this edition has beautiful illustrations that demonstrate Ruby’s words. There is a glossary to help children learn key terms. For older readers, the author and illustrator have included their own personal notes of what inspired this version. This is an excellent book to help encourage family discussions about America’s history of education. This is a children’s book. It is told from the eyes of a child. It is illustrated showing the world through a child’s eye. It is beautiful! I loved Ruby’s sass, especially when it came to her very old name. I loved her innocence and her spunk. She is, indeed, Ruby Bridges, the First!
I am Ruby Bridges by Ruby Bridges, (List Price: $18.99, Orchard Book, 9781338753882, September 2022)
Many hands make light work, and many hearts working together can accomplish great things. This is not a story about a kitten, its a story about community, the language of caring, and of the incredible powers of kindness group effort can bring.
This Story Is Not About a Kitten by Randall de Sève, (List Price: $18.99, Random House Studio, 9780593374535, October 2022)
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
“I have always felt comforted and reassured by the presence of old trees and love to spend time walking in woodlands or forests whenever I can. It might sound strange, but I really do feel a kind of connection, or perhaps access, to a different way of being when I’m immersed in the natural world.” ―C. C. Harrington, Interview,Indies Introduce
What booksellers are saying about Wildoak
This is the best book about human and animal interaction I’ve read in a long time. Such a sweet and touching story.―Judith Lafitte from Octavia Books in New Orleans, Louisiana Buy from Octavia Books
This is such a sweet story that does feel like a modern classic. Maggie has a hard time speaking for herself but finds her courage when she needs to speak for others who have no voice. This book packs a punch with disability visibility, conservation, and even PTSD.
―Melissa Taylor from E. Shaver, bookseller in Savannah, Georgia Buy from E. Shaver, bookseller
The perfect book for fans of both The War That Saved My Life and Pax, Wildoak is a lovely debut that is sure to become a new classic and a school reading list staple. Challenged by a stutter that makes it difficult to express herself, lonely Maggie befriends and helps to rehabilitate an abandoned and injured snow leopard lost in the English countryside. When the creature is threatened, Maggie finds her voice in a most powerful way. ―DM Capriola from Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Georgia Buy from Little Shop of Stories
A beautifully written and deeply inspiring story of Maggie, a young girl in 1960’s England who is labeled a behavior problem due to her stutter. When she is sent to stay with her grandfather in Cornwall, she discovers an abandoned snow leopard in the woods. While helping him, she finds solace, strength and healing in nature and discovers her voice and the power it has to help others. Wonderful!!! ―Mary Patterson from The Little Bookshop in Midlothian, Virginia Buy from The Little Bookshop
A quietly lovely novel about finding your way and using your voice. Wildoak tells the story of Maggie, Rumpus, and the importance of wild spaces and listening with your heart. Maggie finds her strength and becomes herself but the path is not easy. Fortunately, she finds hope and respite curled up with a fluffy snow leopard It’s everything I love about Middle Grade stories! ―Susan Williams from M. Judson, Booksellers in Greenville, South Carolina Buy from M. Judson, Booksellers
About C. C. Harrington
Christina Harrison grew up in the UK. She spent her summer holidays in Cornwall where she loved to climb trees and run barefoot along pebbly beaches. She loves the natural world and believes that stories, much like the roots of an ancient forest, are capable of connecting readers and listeners in essential ways. Wildoak is her first book. She graduated from Oxford University with a degree in English Literature and has since worked for a newspaper, taught literacy to children with learning differences and studied printmaking. She now lives in Maryland with her family and a dog who loves to eat manuscripts. You can learn more about her work at ccharrington.com
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
Community service gains a whole new meaning for five middle school students in this must-have dual language graphic novel. Edgar award-winning author Christina Diaz Gonzalez even adds a signature mystery twist to the story that is sure to resonate with any one who ever felt lost in the wild world of middle school.
Invisible: A Graphic Novel by Christina Diaz Gonzalez, (List Price: $12.99, Graphix, 9781338194548, August 2022)
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
With gorgeous, dreamy illustrations, But Why? asks the big questions children (and adults alike!) have about themselves and their place in the world. This picture book would be a sweet and tender springboard for meaningful discussions for the children in your life.
But Why? by Elizabeth Pulsford, (List Price: $18.95, Ethicool Books, 9780648872382, August 2022)
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
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
Okay, here is the non-fiction picture book I’ve been craving… I mean, it’s Pizza! A Slice of History! I can’t imagine any kid turning this one down for it’s subject matter alone, but topped with the vibrant illustrations of award-winning favorite, Greg Pizzoli? A real treat.
Pizza! by Greg Pizzoli, (List Price: $18.99, Viking Books for Young Readers, 9780425291078, August 2022)
Whimsical and sweet, The Mouse Who Carried a House on His Back is about acts of kindness and generosity. Beautifully illustrated, and written like a classic fable, this one will make a lovely read-aloud and gift. We should all be so lucky to come across the mouse with boots on his feet, a hat on his head, and a house on his back when we’re in need.
The Mouse Who Carried a House on His Back by Jonathan Stutzman, (List Price: 18.99, Candlewick, 9781536216790, August 2022)
Reviewed by Cristina Russell, Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida
Take a Mary Poppins-esque teacher who definitely knows more than she’s letting on, her inherited collection of seemingly magical New Yorker covers that are supposed to inspire creative writing projects, and a pair of best friends whose friendship is changing as they start middle school and you’ve got J.R. Silver Writes Her World. I loved all the little nods in here to “From the Mixed-Up Files” and the Met.
J.R. Silver Writes Her World by Melissa Dassori, (List Price: 6.99, Christy Ottaviano Books, 9780316331456, July 2022)