News to Wake Your Brain Cells – May 14

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

7 children’s books to celebrate Eid at home – Chicago Parent

15 great diverse picture book biographies – Book Riot

My kids won’t even pick up a book – and it is definitely all my fault – The Guardian

Read Woke: from picture books to fantasy, children’s literature can open minds and hearts – SLJ

Why Alice is the ultimate icon of children’s books – BBC

LIBRARIES

Brooklyn Public Library’s iconic Central Branch debuts a Toshiko Mori-led refresh – The Architect’s Newspaper

YA LIT

6 sensitive YA books to check out for Mental Health Awareness Week – Cultured Vultures

40 YA books by AAPI authors that release this year – BuzzFeed

Adam Silvera will adapt his novel They Both Die at the End as a TV series – Tor

Alice Oseman wins the YA Book Prize 2021 – The Bookseller

All the new young adult SFF books arriving in May! – Tor

How trans and nonbinary actors are revolutionizing audiobooks – BuzzFeed

News to Wake Your Brain Cells – May 7

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

24 beautiful kids’ books that reflect that Asian American experience – Today

25 wonderful picture book biographies for readers of all ages – Bored Teachers

31 picture books to celebrate Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month – Mutually Inclusive

65 Canadian picture books to check out in spring 2021 – CBC

Ramadan must-have books for kids – Muslim Matters

What adults can learn from reading children’s books – Wisconsin Public Radio

LIBRARIES

AASL tackles labeling practices in school libraries – Intellectual Freedom Blog

Gaining patron cooperation on mask wearing – Public Libraries

A joy of reading, sparked by a special librarian determined to ‘make a difference’ – NPR

YA LIT

The 13 best YA books of May include dreamy romances and epic adventures – PopSugar

Five debut YA authors make readers feel something – SLJ

Julia Torres and #DisruptTexts – National Writing Project

New young adult speculative fiction May 2021 – Punk-Ass Book Jockey

Peachtree teen imprint to debut next year – Publishers Weekly

News to Wake Your Brain Cells – April 30

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

12 children’s books to celebrate Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage – PBS SoCal

13 of the best middle grade science fiction books – Book Riot

80 middle grade books in verse in celebration of National Poetry Month – Pop Goes the Reader

Ava DuVernay’s Wings of Fire animated series lands at Netflix – Tor.com

Books to educate children about racism – Deccan Herald

Children read more challenging books in lockdowns, data reveals – The Guardian

Children’s books roundup – the best new picture books and novels – The Guardian

Curly Hair? This author very much cares (and wants everyone else to as well) – CafeMom

Lena Headey to adapt and star in ‘Scary Stories for Young Foxes’ animated miniseries – Collider

Science books boost beginning readers’ skills – NC State

Winners of the 2021 ABIA Awards Announced – The AU Review

LIBRARIES

Aaron Yang: voracious reader or giant pain to librarians? – NPR

Astonishing street art in Utrecht – I Am Expat

YA LIT

The 20 most anticipated YA books to read in May – Epic Reads

News to Wake Your Brain Cells – April 23

From Being to Doing: Anti-Racism as Action at Work Video

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

10 children’s books about empathy – Book Riot

17 children’s books that help kids deal with big feelings – Romper

Beyond stereotypes: 2021 AAPI Books for Young Readers – Publishers Weekly

LIBRARIES

The library’s furniture – Library Barbarian

YA LIT

18 YA verse novels to pick up during National Poetry Month – BuzzFeed

28 Canadian YA books to check out in spring 2021 – CBC

30 LGBTQ+ young adult books we think you should read this spring – BuzzFeed

Black YA authors you should read, from Angie Thomas to Walter Dean Myers – USA Today

Why is YA so popular? We ask authors Leigh Bardugo, behind the new Netflix series Shadow and Bone, and Marie Lu – The Globe and Mail

News to Wake Your Brain Cells – April 16

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

7 excellent picture books about Eid – Book Riot

8 children’s books you can read this Ramadan – Chicago Parent

Asian & Asian-American children’s books – What We Do All Day

How children’s books carry on the struggle for civil rights – Boston Globe

Jon Klassen meets Samuel Beckett in a hilariously dark picture book – The New York Times

A picture book about children at the border aims to spark family conversations – NPR

LIBRARIES

Public libraries can tap into eligible funds worth billions – Governing

The Queens Public Library is more important than ever on its 125th anniversary – The Ticker

YA LIT

20 more must-read YA verse novels – Book Riot

24 YA romance books hitting shelves this spring that are delightfully charming – BuzzFeed

Here’s to 18 of the most crushworthy queer YA novels – BuzzFeed

Jason Reynolds to serve as inaugural chair of Banned Books Week – EW

‘Love, Simon’ writer Becky Albertalli’s ‘The Upside of Unrequited’ to be adapted for film – Variety

News to Wake Your Brain Cells – April 9

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

14 LGBTQ board books to diversify your baby’s bookshelves – Book Riot

Beverly Cleary saw kids as they are – The Atlantic

I’m a Black mother and educator. Here’s why I let my kids read racist books. – HuffPost

Macmillan Children’s to add Neon Squid nonfiction imprint – Publishers Weekly

Racial diversity in children’s books grows, but slowly – The Star

What children’s books have had the biggest impact on you? – The New York Times

LIBRARIES

ALA to Biden Administration: Don’t overlook libraries in infrastructure plan – Publishers Weekly

The Complicated Role of the Modern Public Library – National Endowment for the Humanities

Madison Public Library says concerned staff led to further delay in opening – now hoping for late May return – Channel3000

YA LIT

10 great new April YA books to TBR – Book Riot

20 YA books you can finally read in paperback this April – Epic Reads

Sequel to Rep. John Lewis’ ‘March’ graphic novel to debut this summer – ScreenRant

Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2020

The American Library Association has released their annual list of the most challenged books of the previous year. These are the top titles among the 273 books that were challenged in 2020. It’s fascinating and saddening to see racism and anti-racism books take over more of the list this year.

George by Alex Gino

Challenged, banned, and restricted for LGBTQIA+ content, conflicting with a religious viewpoint, and not reflecting “the values of our community”

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You by Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Reynolds

Banned and challenged because of the author’s public statements, and because of claims that the book contains “selective storytelling incidents” and does not encompass racism against all people

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

Banned and challenged for profanity, drug use, and alcoholism, and because it was thought to promote anti-police views, contain divisive topics, and be “too much of a sensitive matter right now”

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Banned, challenged, and restricted because it was thought to contain a political viewpoint, it was claimed to be biased against male students, and for the novel’s inclusion of rape and profanity

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Banned and challenged for profanity, sexual references, and allegations of sexual misconduct by the author

Something Happened in Our Town: A Child’s Story about Racial Injustice by Marianne Celano, Marietta Collins, and Ann Hazzard, illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin

Challenged for “divisive language” and because it was thought to promote anti-police views

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Banned and challenged for racial slurs and their negative effect on students, featuring a “white savior” character, and its perception of the Black experience

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Banned and challenged for racial slurs and racist stereotypes, and their negative effect on students

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Banned and challenged because it was considered sexually explicit and depicts child sexual abuse

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Challenged for profanity, and it was thought to promote an anti-police message

News to Wake Your Brain Cells – April 2

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

8 fun facts about The Monster at the End of This Book – Mental Floss

10 extraordinary children’s books that inspire the best in all of us – Booktrib

18 books to help grieving children and teens heal – KQED

Children’s books roundup – the best new picture books and novels – The Guardian

Chris Van Dusen talks about the process illustrating children’s books (video) – News Center Maine

Jason Reynolds, National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, embarks on second virtual tour this spring – CBC

Joan Walsh Anglund obituary: Her children’s books captured the innocence of youth – The Irish Times

Judy Blume shares the advice Beverly Cleary gave her, even though they never met – Today

Remembering the first Indian author who won America’s top children’s literature prize – Scroll.in

Scholastic halts distribution of book by ‘Captain Underpants’ author – The New York Times

LIBRARIES

Build America’s Libraries – Intellectual Freedom Blog

Libraries are key tools for people getting out of prison, even during a pandemic – Maine Public

Readers rejoice: Madison’s public libraries could reopen next month – Wisconsin State Journal

YA BOOKS

5 new YA books to pick up for Trans Day of Visibility – Book Riot

10 of the most notable YA books of 2021 (so far) – Forbes

March 2021’s 12 best YA books, including Leigh Bardugo’s latest – PopSugar

Sarah J. Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses is headed to Hulu – Tor

To All the Boys spinoff series in development at Netflix – ComingSoon.net

VIZ originals take manga mainstream – Publishers Weekly

News to Wake Your Brain Cells – March 26

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

30 AAPI books for kids of all ages – Chicago Parent

Books about consent and bodily autonomy for kids and teens – HuffPost

From awareness to acceptance: 10 children’s books that accurately portray what it is to be autistic – PBS SoCal

Illustrators build a bridge for young readers, says artist James Ransome – NPR

Stop Asian hate book lists and resources – The Children’s Book Council

Thai, Texas roots major influence on award-winning author of children’s books – Fort Worth Star-Telegram

LIBRARIES

Wisconsin public school libraries to receive $39 million – WKOW

YA LIT

Black girl magic comes to life in these 15 mystical YA books – PopSugar

How crying on TikTok sells books – The New York Times

Teen girls of color in YA historical fiction – Book Riot

YA thrillers starring marginalized teens – Book Riot