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New and Upcoming Children’s Books: February 2018

These great books include picture books, fiction, graphic novels, and nonfiction titles that are forthcoming or new to the library.

Find more reading suggestions at Books & Media.

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Mae Among the Stars by Roda Ahmed

A picture book story inspired by the first African-American woman to travel in space describes how as a child, a persevering Little Mae dreamed of dancing in space while surrounded by billions of stars.

Grades: Kindergarten-2, Picture book

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Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson

Under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, children and teenagers march against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.

Grades: Kindergarten-3, Picture book

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Fatima and the Clementine Thieves by Mireille Messier

One morning, Fatima and her grandfather wake up to find their clementine orchard savagely ransacked. Who could be doing this? How can the culprits be stopped? A little girl faces an enormous problem. Luckily, Fatima has powerful friends: the spiders!

Grades: Preschool-2, Picture book

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Oddity by Sarah Cannon

Eleven-year-old Ada and her friends face zombie rabbits, alien mobs, and Puppet Cartels as they explore their small New Mexico town seeking Ada's missing twin sister.

Grades: 4-7, Fiction

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Time for Change by Varian Johnson

A third entry in the series starring 2017's American Girl of the Year, Gabriela, finds her continuing to champion her struggles with a speech impediment while navigating the challenges of peer dynamics in her sixth-grade year.

Grades: 3-5, Fiction

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Betty Before X by Ilyasah Shabazz

Raised by her aunt until she is six, Betty, who will later marry Malcolm X, joins her mother and stepfamily in 1940s Detroit, where she learns about the civil rights movement.

Grades: 4-6, Fiction

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The Elephant Keeper by Margriet Ruurs

Based on a true story, Ruurs recounts how a teenager named Aaron helped rescue Zambezi, an orphaned baby elephant. His heroism prompted an invitation to visit the calf at the elephant orphanage that took her in. This visit, in turn, results in a job when it emerges that Aaron is the only one who can get the calf to drink her milk.

Grades: 3-5, Nonfiction

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Big Machines by Sherri Duskey Rinker

In this loving tribute to Virginia Lee Burton, the New York Times best-selling creators Sherri Duskey Rinker and John Rocco pay homage to the storied life of one of the most beloved creators in children's literature.

Grades: Preschool-2, Nonfiction

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The Girl Who Drew Butterflies by Joyce Sidman

One of the first naturalists to observe live insects directly, Maria Sibylla Merian was also one of the first to document the metamorphosis of the butterfly. In this visual nonfiction biography, richly illustrated throughout with full-color original paintings by Merian herself.

Grades: 4-6, Nonfiction

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March Forward, Girl by Melba Beals

Long before she was one of the Little Rock Nine, Melba Pattillo Beals was a warrior. Frustrated by the laws that kept African-Americans separate but very much unequal to whites, she had questions. Why couldn't she drink from a "whites only" fountain? Why couldn't she feel safe beyond home--or even within the walls of church?  Adults all told her: Hold your tongue. Be patient. Know your place. But Beals had the heart of a fighter.

Grades: 4 and up, Nonfiction

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Grace for Gus by Harry Bliss

In this near wordless graphic picture book, Grace is the quiet girl in the class. And Gus is the class guinea pig. Grace knows that Gus is lonely, and so she sets off one night to help out her furry friend.

Grades: Kindergarten-3: Graphic Novel

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Little Leaders by Vashti Harrison

Featuring forty trailblazing black women in American history, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of breaking boundaries and achieving beyond expectations.

Grades: 1-5, Nonfiction