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Boys And Men: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about boys and men?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to boys and men. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about boys and men.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about boys and men, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Brothers to popular sellers like Life of Pi to some of our favorite hidden gems like Grandpa Green.

We hope this list of kids books about boys and men can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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Top 10 Books About Boys And Men

#1
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The Crayon Man
Written by Natascha Biebow & illustrated by Steven Salerno
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Celebrating the inventor of the Crayola crayon! This gloriously illustrated picture book biography tells the inspiring story of Edwin Binney, the inventor of one of the world’s most beloved toys. A perfect fit among favorites like The Day the Crayons Quit and Balloons Over Broadway. purple mountains’ majesty, mauvelous, jungle green, razzmatazz… What child doesn’t love to hold a crayon in their hands? But children didn’t always have such magical boxes of crayons. Before Edwin Binney set out to change things, children couldn’t really even draw in color. Here’s the true story of an inventor who so loved nature’s vibrant colors that he found a way to bring the outside world to children – in a bright green box for only a nickel! With experimentation, and a special knack for listening, Edwin Binney and his dynamic team at Crayola created one of the world’s most enduring, best-loved childhood toys – empowering children to dream in COLOR!

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#2
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The Remember Balloons
Written by Jessie Oliveros & illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

A 2019 Schneider Family Award Honor Book!

What’s Happening to Grandpa meets Up in this tender, sensitive picture book that gently explains the memory loss associated with aging and diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

James’s Grandpa has the best balloons because he has the best memories. He has balloons showing Dad when he was young and Grandma when they were married. Grandpa has balloons about camping and Aunt Nelle’s poor cow. Grandpa also has a silver balloon filled with the memory of a fishing trip he and James took together.

But when Grandpa’s balloons begin to float away, James is heartbroken. No matter how hard he runs, James can’t catch them. One day, Grandpa lets go of the silver balloon—and he doesn’t even notice!

Grandpa no longer has balloons of his own. But James has many more than before. It’s up to him to share those balloons, one by one.

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#3
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The Tide
Written by Clare Helen Walsh & illustrated by Ashling Lindsay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A young girl loves her grandpa so much! When they spend the day at the beach, she holds his hand as they go for a walk, and they build sand castles together. But sometimes, it is difficult, because Grandpa has become forgetful. Grandpa’s memories are like the tide, Mommy explains. Sometimes, they are near and full of life. Other times, they are distant and quiet. A story about families, laughter, and how we can help a loved one with dementia live well.

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#4
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Grandpa Green
Written & illustrated by Lane Smith
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A child explores the ordinary life of his extraordinary great-grandfather, as expressed in his topiary garden.

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#5
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The Big Ideas of Buster Bickles
Written & illustrated by Dave Wasson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Buster Bickles’s big ideas are always getting him into trouble. But when Buster gets to test the newly invented What-if Machine, anything Buster imagines becomes reality. Packed with rivers of chocolate, robot dinosaurs, and eggs-ray vision, the world becomes Buster’s creation in this fantastically creative picture book by debut author-illustrator Dave Wasson.

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#6
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Big Papa and the Time Machine
Written by Daniel Bernstrom & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Discover the true meaning of being brave in this tender and whimsical picture book from Daniel Bernstrom (One Day in the Eucalytus, Eucalyptus Tree) and Shane Evans (Chocolate Me!) that follows a grandfather and grandson who travel through time in a beloved 1952 Ford.

A little boy who lives with his grandpa isn’t reprimanded for being afraid to go to school one day. Instead, Big Papa takes him away in his time machine—a 1952 Ford—back to all of the times when he, himself, was scared of something life was handing him.

Full of heartfelt moments and thrilling magical realism, Big Papa and the Time Machine speaks to the African American experience in a touching dialogue between two family members from different generations, and emerges as a voice that shares history and asks questions about one family’s experience in 20th-century black America.

*“Wasn’t you scared?”

“Oh, I was scared,” Big Papa said. “Sometimes you gotta walk with giants if you ever gonna know what you made of. That’s called being brave.”*

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#7
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I Love You for Miles and Miles
Written by & illustrated by Mike Yamada
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Love can be stronger than the strongest excavator, longer than the longest train, and taller than the tallest crane. And no matter where you go, love travels with you always. With exciting imagery and engaging, lyrical text, Alison Goldberg and Mike Yamada’s <i>I Love You for Miles and Miles </i>is an I-love-you book perfect for children who love things that go!

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#8
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Dad By My Side
Written & illustrated by Soosh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A heartwarming celebration of the special relationship between a father and daughter from Instagram sensation Soosh. Whether they’re playing make-believe, making you smile, or warding off monsters under the bed, dads are always there when you need them. Debut picture book artist Soosh celebrates fathers with a gorgeously illustrated and moving story about the parent-child bond. When Soosh first posted her initial series of images of a larger-than-life father and his adorable daughter on Instagram, fans from across the world immediately took notice with over 2 million views on a popular viral content website in a single week. These illustrations now come together in a universally relatable story of familial love for parents and children to share.

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#9
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If My Love Were a Fire Truck
Written by Luke Reynolds & illustrated by Jeff Mack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A father’s love for his son goes zoom, swoosh, vroom, boom! in this energetic, adventurous, action-packed board book tribute to fathers and sons.

The bond between a father and his son is as powerful as a rocket ship blasting into space, a giant whale splashing across the ocean, and booming, colorful fireworks lighting up the night sky. Celebrating that one-of-a-kind relationship between Dad and his favorite little guy, If My Love Were a Fire Truck is a rhyming love song from fathers to sons that will become a cherished part of their lives for many years to come.

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#10
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Ballerino Nate
Written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley & illustrated by R.W. Alley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

After seeing a ballet performance, Nate decides he wants to learn ballet but he has doubts when his brother Ben tells him that only girls can be ballerinas.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Boys And Men and...

Books About Boys And Men and Health And Daily Living

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The Remember Balloons
Written by Jessie Oliveros & illustrated by Dana Wulfekotte
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

A 2019 Schneider Family Award Honor Book!

What’s Happening to Grandpa meets Up in this tender, sensitive picture book that gently explains the memory loss associated with aging and diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

James’s Grandpa has the best balloons because he has the best memories. He has balloons showing Dad when he was young and Grandma when they were married. Grandpa has balloons about camping and Aunt Nelle’s poor cow. Grandpa also has a silver balloon filled with the memory of a fishing trip he and James took together.

But when Grandpa’s balloons begin to float away, James is heartbroken. No matter how hard he runs, James can’t catch them. One day, Grandpa lets go of the silver balloon—and he doesn’t even notice!

Grandpa no longer has balloons of his own. But James has many more than before. It’s up to him to share those balloons, one by one.

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$18.99
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$16.14
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$14.99
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Add to list
The Tide
Written by Clare Helen Walsh & illustrated by Ashling Lindsay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A young girl loves her grandpa so much! When they spend the day at the beach, she holds his hand as they go for a walk, and they build sand castles together. But sometimes, it is difficult, because Grandpa has become forgetful. Grandpa’s memories are like the tide, Mommy explains. Sometimes, they are near and full of life. Other times, they are distant and quiet. A story about families, laughter, and how we can help a loved one with dementia live well.

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With My Daddy
Written by Jo Witek & illustrated by Christine Roussey
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

A young girl describes all of the wonderful feelings she has while spending time with her father, knowing that they love one another no matter what.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Time for Kenny - Two-time Caldecott Honor artist and Coretta Scott King Medalist Brian Pinkney's Time for Kenny is simple, direct, and pitch-perfect for emerging readers. This vibrant, family-oriented picture book is full of boundless energy, action, and unlimited love. A timeless choice for fans of Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Christian Robinson, and Oge Mora.

  2. Morning with Grandpa - Now available in paperback: In this sweet, slice-of-life story, a curious and active Asian American girl spends the day learning tai chi from her grandfather, and in turn tries to teach him how to do yoga.

  3. The Day Abuelo Got Lost - A touching story about a boy and his grandfather who enjoy a special relationship—until Abuelo starts to lose his memory. Instead of building model planes and cooking together, Luis and his father have to search the neighborhood for Abuelo, and Luis and Abuelo have to find new activities to enjoy together.

  4. It Is Not Time for Sleeping - As the day comes to an end, bedtime draws near. But the little boy in this book is quite sure it is NOT time for sleeping. As each piece of his evening routine is completed—helping with the dishes, playing with the dog, getting into pajamas, brushing teeth with Dad, being tucked in by Mom, and listening to a story—he becomes a little more certain: it is definitely not time for sleeping. The question is, when WILL it be time for sleeping? A rhythmic, cumulative text and lush twilit scenes come together to create a perfect bedtime book that will be treasured for generations to come.

Books About Boys And Men and Self-esteem

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Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut
Written by Derrick Barnes & illustrated by Gordon C. James
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8

Named one of the best books of 2017 by NPR, the Huffington Post , Publishers Weekly , Kirkus Reviews , the Los Angeles Times , the Boston Globe , the Horn Book Magazine , the News & Observer , BookPage , Chicago Public Library, and more

The barbershop is where the magic happens. Boys go in as lumps of clay and, with princely robes draped around their shoulders, a dab of cool shaving cream on their foreheads, and a slow, steady cut, they become royalty. That crisp yet subtle line makes boys sharper, more visible, more aware of every great thing that could happen to them when they look good: lesser grades turn into As; girls take notice; even a mother’s hug gets a little tighter. Everyone notices.

A fresh cut makes boys fly.

This rhythmic, read-aloud title is an unbridled celebration of the self-esteem, confidence, and swagger boys feel when they leave the barber’s chair—a tradition that places on their heads a figurative crown, beaming with jewels, that confirms their brilliance and worth and helps them not only love and accept themselves but also take a giant step toward caring how they present themselves to the world. The fresh cuts. That’s where it all begins.

Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut is a high-spirited, engaging salute to the beautiful, raw, assured humanity of black boys and how they see themselves when they approve of their reflections in the mirror.

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The Boys
Written & illustrated by Jeff Newman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A shy boy, seeking the courage to play baseball with the other children in a park, is coaxed out of his shell by some “old timers” sitting nearby who, in turn, discover they are still in the game.

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Snowboard Sham
Written by Jake Maddox
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

When Will Pastora’s family arrived at the Sorenson Resort for a family vacation he did not know that there was going to be a snowboarding competition; he enjoys snowboarding, but he is embarrassed to admit that he is only a beginner so he signs up at a higher level–and soon realizes that tackling the more difficult slopes is dangerous and that he needs some help to admit his error in front of his new, more experienced acquaintances.

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  1. Small Walt - Small Walt is the smallest snow plow in the fleet and he always gets picked last, but when there is a big snowstorm in the city, he will have the chance to prove his worth.

  2. I Am Every Good Thing - An upbeat, empowering, important picture book from the team that created the award-winning Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut

  3. A Boy Like You - 2020-2021 Keystone to Reading Elementary Book Award List<p> 2020 Amelia Bloomer List<p> Winner of the 2019 Eureka! Gold Awards<p> Winner of Best of 2019 Kids Books - Future Classics Category <p> There’s more to being a boy than sports, feats of daring, and keeping a stiff upper lip. A Boy Like You encourages every boy to embrace all the things that make him unique, to be brave and ask for help, to tell his own story and listen to the stories of those around him. In an age when boys are expected to fit into a particular mold, this book celebrates all the wonderful ways to be a boy.

  4. Knock Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me - Every morning, I play a game with my father.He goes knock knock on my doorand I pretend to be asleeptill he gets right next to the bed.And my papa, he tells me, “I love you.” But what happens when, one day, that “knock knock” doesn’t come? This powerful and inspiring book shows the love that an absent parent can leave behind, and the strength that children find in themselves as they grow up and follow their dreams.

Books About Boys And Men and Heroes

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The Crayon Man
Written by Natascha Biebow & illustrated by Steven Salerno
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Celebrating the inventor of the Crayola crayon! This gloriously illustrated picture book biography tells the inspiring story of Edwin Binney, the inventor of one of the world’s most beloved toys. A perfect fit among favorites like The Day the Crayons Quit and Balloons Over Broadway. purple mountains’ majesty, mauvelous, jungle green, razzmatazz… What child doesn’t love to hold a crayon in their hands? But children didn’t always have such magical boxes of crayons. Before Edwin Binney set out to change things, children couldn’t really even draw in color. Here’s the true story of an inventor who so loved nature’s vibrant colors that he found a way to bring the outside world to children – in a bright green box for only a nickel! With experimentation, and a special knack for listening, Edwin Binney and his dynamic team at Crayola created one of the world’s most enduring, best-loved childhood toys – empowering children to dream in COLOR!

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Hermes and the Horse with Wings
Written by Tracey West & illustrated by Craig Phillips and Tracey West
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Zeus and the Olympians are tasked with finding a magical horse in this Heroes in Training adventure. When Zeus meets a young boy named Hermes, he claims to have their next quest from Pythia, the Oracle at Delphi. But he wants something for the information: Zeus must hand over the winged sandals he took from Perseus after their last battle. What he doesn’t know is that Perseus had stolen those sandals from someone…Hermes! Could those sandals be another magical object? When Hermes starts to fly, Zeus knows they have found another Olympian for their group—and Hermes lets Zeus know their next adventure will be to “find the force that sings.” Since Pythia never tells them exactly the right words (her glasses tend to get a little foggy), they figure out that they are supposed to find “the horse with wings.” With the help of a reluctant Hermes and another new boy named Ron, the Olympians are off in search of a winged horse­—with a few surprises along the way!

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Dionysus and the Land of Beasts
Written by Tracey West & illustrated by Craig Phillips
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Zeus and his friends discover another Olympian who might be able to help in their quest to defeat King Cronus in this Heroes in Training adventure.

With a clue from their trusty oracle, Pythia, Zeus and his Olympian friends are off to the “Land of Grapes,” where they discover a festival. The headline act is Dion and the Goat Guys, and Zeus has a funny feeling this Dion guy might be one of them. Athena points out that this Dion guy is the right age, and he’s definitely not acting like a regular kid. Finally, Dion and the Goat Guys take a break, and Zeus and the other Olympians approach him.

Zeus informs him that he and the others are Olympians, and they think Dion might be one too. Dion (short for Dionysus, he tells them) starts to brag that he wouldn’t be surprised, because he has awesome talents and magic powers. Before the Olympians can ask him about his powers, some of the crowd members start to throng the Olympians. Are they really Olympians? Are they really going to defeat King Cronus? Dion looks kind of peeved about this, and the next thing the Olympians know, they are in a field somewhere, puzzled and not sure what happened.

What kind of magical powers does this Dion kid actually have? And will he be more of a help—or a pain—in their ultimate quest to defeat King Cronus once and for all?

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  1. Perseus and the Monstrous Medusa - Perseus and the Olympians face off against the evil, nasty Medusa, who can turn them all to stone with just one look.

  2. Blizzard - Blizzard

  3. Lucha Libre: The Man in the Silver Mask: A Bilingual Cuento - Do you know what lucha libre is? Have you ever been to a lucha libre match and seen los technicos and los rudos--the good guys and the bad guys--dressed up in their wild costumes and crazy masks? How would you feel if the most famous luchador of all time actually stopped and smiled at you? Find out what happens to Carlitos when The Man in the Silver Mask--a man he's never seen before in his whole life--turns and does that very thing to him.

  4. Stories for boys who dare to be different - Boys can be anything they want to be! This timely book joins and expands the gender-role conversation and gives middle-grade boys a welcome alternative message: that masculinity can mean many things. You won’t find any stories of slaying dragons or saving princesses here. In Stories for Boys Who Dare to Be Different, author Ben Brooks-with the help of Quinton Wintor’s striking full-color illustrations-offers a welcome alternative narrative: one that celebrates introverts and innovators, sensitivity and resilience, individuality and expression. It’s an accessible compilation of 75 famous and not-so-famous men from the past to the present day, every single one of them a rule-breaker and stereotype-smasher in his own way. Entries include Frank Ocean, Salvador Dali, Beethoven, Barack Obama, Ai Weiwei, Jesse Owens, and so many more-heroes from all walks of life and from all over the world.

Want to see books about heroes?

Books About Boys And Men and Love

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If My Love Were a Fire Truck
Written by Luke Reynolds & illustrated by Jeff Mack
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

A father’s love for his son goes zoom, swoosh, vroom, boom! in this energetic, adventurous, action-packed board book tribute to fathers and sons.

The bond between a father and his son is as powerful as a rocket ship blasting into space, a giant whale splashing across the ocean, and booming, colorful fireworks lighting up the night sky. Celebrating that one-of-a-kind relationship between Dad and his favorite little guy, If My Love Were a Fire Truck is a rhyming love song from fathers to sons that will become a cherished part of their lives for many years to come.

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When a Grandpa Says "I Love You"
Written by Douglas Wood & illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Discover all the wonderful ways grandfathers show grandchildren their love in this heartwarming companion to When a Dad Says “I Love You.” Everyone knows grandpas are best at spoiling their grandkids, but it’s just because they love them so much! Whether by attending a tea party or getting an extra scoop of ice cream, there is nothing grandpas won’t do to say “I love you!” From bestselling author Douglas Wood and illustrator Jennifer A. Bell, a clever and cozy tribute to the special bond between grandfather and grandchild.

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Made for Me
Written by Zack Bush & illustrated by Gregorio De Lauretis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Of all the children that ever could be, You are the one made just for me. From a child’s first uttered “Dada” to his or her first unsteady steps, nothing can adequately convey the joy and awe of watching the birth and growth of a new child. Filled with adorable illustrations and the refrain, “You are the one made just for me,” Made for Me is a winning presentation of tender moments that tie a father and his new child together–forever.

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  1. You and Me, Me and You - The wonder of being a dad is on display in this touching tribute to fathers. After all, the connection between a father and child yields a lifetime of learning and love. In You and Me, Me and You, that special bond is honored through poignant, tenderly rendered illustrated vignettes: a father and son walk together, discuss life amid a city’s bustle, play, and, perhaps most profoundly, grow, side by side. Bright pops of Pantone yellow infuse each spread with joy, and a cloth spine adds an irresistible specialness. At once a treasured Father’s Day gift and a year-round “I love you,” parents and children will delight in this celebration of a supremely meaningful relationship.

  2. Dad and Me in the Morning - Early one morning, a young boy wakes to the light of his alarm clock. He puts on his hearing aids and clothes, then goes to wake his father. Together they brave the cold as they walk down the dirt road that leads to the beach. Lakin’s understated story reminds readers that sometimes the best way to communicate doesn’t involve words, while Steele’s watercolor illustrations show that beauty is never far away.

  3. Dear Boy, - The follow-up picture book to the #1 New York Times bestseller Dear Girl, by beloved children’s book author Amy Krouse Rosenthal and her daughter, Paris Rosenthal Paris Rosenthal teams up with her father, Jason Rosenthal, the author of the Modern Love article “My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me,” to bring you the heartwarming and inspirational Dear Boy,. Dear Boy, is an open love letter to the special boy in your life. Boys, too, need a gentle reminder that they are cool, clever, compassionate, and one of a kind. With the same tenderness as Dear Girl,, Paris and Jason’s charming text and Holly Hatam’s stunning illustrations will make any boy reading this book feel that he’s amazing just the way he is—whether he’s offering a helping hand, singing in a choir, or reaching for the stars! …be kind …always trust magic …and pursue your dreams.

  4. Shutout - Alex Paterson is the number-one goalie on his high-school hockey team. And he’s thrilled that his team has made the playoffs. But when graffiti that apparently can be traced back to Alex is found on the walls of the school, and a photo of Alex at a party with a beer in his hand starts making the rounds, he is suspended from the team, and his reputation as a good kid is put in doubt. Alex knows he’s innocent. The problem is, he cannot figure out who would want to frame him. Or why. Is it the other goalie who wants all the glory for himself? Or someone from a rival team looking for an advantage? With everyone assuming the worst about him, it’s up to Alex to find out who is behind it all, not only to clear his name, but to save the season.

Want to see 11 more books about boys and men and love ?

How about books about love?

Books About Boys And Men and Family Life

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Dad By My Side
Written & illustrated by Soosh
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A heartwarming celebration of the special relationship between a father and daughter from Instagram sensation Soosh. Whether they’re playing make-believe, making you smile, or warding off monsters under the bed, dads are always there when you need them. Debut picture book artist Soosh celebrates fathers with a gorgeously illustrated and moving story about the parent-child bond. When Soosh first posted her initial series of images of a larger-than-life father and his adorable daughter on Instagram, fans from across the world immediately took notice with over 2 million views on a popular viral content website in a single week. These illustrations now come together in a universally relatable story of familial love for parents and children to share.

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Going Down Home with Daddy
Written by Kelly Starling Lyons & illustrated by Daniel Minter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“On reunion morning, we rise before the sun. Daddy hums as he packs our car with suitcases and a cooler full of snacks. He says there’s nothing like going down home.” Down home is Granny’s house. Down home is where Lil’ Alan and his parents and sister will join great-grandparents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Down home is where Lil’ Alan will hear stories of the ancestors and visit the land that has meant so much to all of them. And down home is where all of the children will find their special way to pay tribute to family history. All the kids have to decide on what tribute to share, but what will Lil’ Alan do? In this rich and moving celebration of history, culture, and ritual, Kelly Starling Lyons’ eloquent text explores the power of family traditions. Stunning illustrations by Coretta Scott King Honor-winner Daniel Minter reveal the motion and connections in a large, multigenerational family.

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Henry and the Clubhouse
Written by Beverly Cleary & illustrated by Jacqueline Rogers
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Fiery Ramona Quimby and the well-meaning Henry Huggins may clash, but in this delightful and hilarious novel by Newbery Medal–winning author Beverly Cleary, it’s an unlikely compromise that wins the day.

Henry and his friends are building a no-girls-allowed clubhouse. With a private space of their own, and a top-secret password required for entry, the boys are relieved to finally have a hang-out spot they don’t have to share. But Henry’s about to find out that nothing—not even a sign—will keep gutsy Ramona out of their clubhouse…and her retaliation may just ruin Henry’s newspaper career.

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  1. All About Sam - Sam Krupnik finally gets to tell his version of life with his big sister, Lowry’s popular Anastasia Krupnik.

  2. Attaboy, Sam! - In this second book about Anastasia Krupnik’s younger brother, Sam concocts a perfume made of his mother’s favorite smells to honor her request for only homemade gifts for her birthday.

Books About Boys And Men and Dogs

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Floaty
Written & illustrated by John Himmelman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Blah! Mr. Raisin is a bit of a grump. He lives all alone in a little house, and he likes it that way just fine. One day, a mysterious basket appears on Mr. Raisin’s doorstep. When he opens it up, it seems there’s nothing inside . . . until he notices a floating dog bobbing along his ceiling. What follows is a heartwarming, hilarious tale about embracing the unexpected—and finding friendship that takes you to new heights.

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Ballerino Nate
Written by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley & illustrated by R.W. Alley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

After seeing a ballet performance, Nate decides he wants to learn ballet but he has doubts when his brother Ben tells him that only girls can be ballerinas.

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Eulalia!
Written by Brian Jacques & illustrated by Gary Chalk
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

The golden fox Vizka Longtooth and his scurrilous crew of Sea Raiders are bound for plunder and conquest; in their ship’s hold, a young badger lies captive. At the same time, the aged badger lord of Salamandastron has sent forth a haremaid, questing for his successor. A brownrat chieftain, with his savage horde, ravages Mossflower Country. The fate of all these creatures, good and evil, is caught up in this saga of war and destiny. The war cry thunders out across the land–Eulalia!

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  1. Stone Fox - Little Willy has a big job to do. When his grandfather falls ill, it is up to Willy alone to save their farm from the tax collector. But where can a ten-year-old get five hundred dollars in a hurry? Then Willy sees the poster for the National Dogsled Race. <P>The race pits Willy against the best dog teams in the country, including the Indian Stone Fox and his five beautiful Samoyeds, who have never lost a race. And Stone Fox wants the prize money as badly as Willy does. Willy’s dog, Searchlight, is every bit as fast as the competition, and Willy knows the terrain better than anyone. But can one boy and one dog be a match for the unbeatable Stone Fox?

  2. Daddies Are Awesome - Daddies are awesome! They’re warm and delicious. They tickle and hug you and shower you with kisses. Loving and thoughtful, playful and daring, cuddly and caring–daddies are awesome. This gentle rhyming text celebrates the special bond between father and child. Adorable doggy daddy and pup illustrations make this perfect for sharing!

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Books About Boys And Men and Transportation

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I Love You for Miles and Miles
Written by & illustrated by Mike Yamada
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Love can be stronger than the strongest excavator, longer than the longest train, and taller than the tallest crane. And no matter where you go, love travels with you always. With exciting imagery and engaging, lyrical text, Alison Goldberg and Mike Yamada’s <i>I Love You for Miles and Miles </i>is an I-love-you book perfect for children who love things that go!

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Mayday
Written by Karen Harrington
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the tradition of Counting By 7s and The Thing About Jellyfish, a heartwarming coming-of-age story about grief, family, friendship, and the importance of finding your voice Wayne Kovok lives in a world of After. After his uncle in the army was killed overseas. After Wayne and his mother survived a plane crash while coming back from the funeral. After he lost his voice. Wayne has always used his love of facts to communicate (“Did you know more people die each year from shaking a vending machine than from shark attacks?”). Without his voice, how will he wow the prettiest girl in school? How will he stand up to his drill-sergeant grandfather? And how will he share his hopes with his deadbeat dad? It’s not until Wayne loses his voice completely that he realizes how much he doesn’t say. Filled with Karen Harrington’s signature heart and humor, Mayday tackles an unforgettable journey of family and friendship.

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Mitchell Goes Driving
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
"Families who prefer the wear-'em-out strategy over lullabies and gentle good-night poems might consider opening their own DMV." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)
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  1. Indestructibles: Row, Row, Row Your Boat - Baby’s favorite book series (rip-proof, drool-proof, and nontoxic–designed for the way babies “read” with their mouths) now features one of baby’s favorite songs, with all the lyrics!

  2. Backhoe Joe - Fans of Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker, Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night? by Brianna Caplan Sayres, and Kate McMullan will be thrilled by this celebrated and endearing picture book about a young boy with a dream of owning the perfect pet. When Nolan finds a stray backhoe in the street, he can’t wait to adopt it. But this backhoe is not very well behaved. As Nolan tries to train his new pet truck, he learns that maybe this backhoe already has a home… This delightful story of a boy and his construction vehicle is brought to life with Craig Cameron’s vibrant illustrations, making this the perfect addition to every young reader’s library.

  3. Lucky Chuck - A young boy who throws caution and the Motor Vehicle Code to the wind during a reckless motorcycle ride is brought to his senses by a Highway Patrol officer. Simultaneous.

  4. A Fire Truck Named Red - A young boy has his heart set on a brand-new toy fire truck, so he is disappointed when he gets his grandfather’s rusty old fire truck, Red, instead. But working together, the boy and his grandfather patch Red right up while Grandpa tells his grandson all about the adventures he had with Red when he was a boy.

Books About Boys And Men and Culture

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The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come
Written by Sue Macy & illustrated by Stacy Innerst
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

“Stunning.”​ —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Inspired…[a] journalistic, propulsive narrative.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

From New York Times Best Illustrated Book artist Stacy Innerst and author Sue Macy comes a story of one man’s heroic effort to save the world’s Yiddish books.

Over the last forty years, Aaron Lansky has jumped into dumpsters, rummaged around musty basements, and crawled through cramped attics. He did all of this in pursuit of a particular kind of treasure, and he’s found plenty. Lansky’s treasure was any book written Yiddish, the language of generations of European Jews. When he started looking for Yiddish books, experts estimated there might be about 70,000 still in existence. Since then, the MacArthur Genius Grant recipient has collected close to 1.5 million books, and he’s finding more every day.

Told in a folkloric voice reminiscent of Patricia Polacco, this story celebrates the power of an individual to preserve history and culture, while exploring timely themes of identity and immigration.

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Federico and the Wolf
Written by Rebecca J. Gomez & illustrated by Elisa Chavarri
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Clever Federico outsmarts el lobo in this fresh and funny Mexican-American take on Little Red Riding Hood.

With his red hoodie on and his bicycle basket full of food, Federico is ready to visit Abuelo. But on the way, he meets a hungry wolf. And now his grandfather bears a striking resemblance to el lobo. Fortunately, Federico is quick and clever—and just happens to be carrying a spicy surprise! Federico drives the wolf away, and he and Abuelo celebrate with a special salsa. Recipe included.

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Light a Candle
Written by Godfrey Nkongolo and Eric Walters & illustrated by Eva Campbell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Co-written by Eric Walters and Godfrey Nkongolo, Light a Candle weaves non- fiction with fiction to tell the story of a boy coming of age in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro and his father, the chief of their tribe. The boy climbs the mountain against his father’s wishes to fulfill a request of the country’s first leader, Julius Nyerere, to light a candle on the top of the mountain and unify the mainland of Tanganyika and the islands of Zanzibar as one country, the United Republic of Tanzania.

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  1. Little Pear and His Friends - Little Pear is a young boy who lives in a small village in China. Although his story takes place long ago, Little Pear is much like any little boy today–always on the lookout for excitement and adventure! <p/>Wherever Little Pear goes, there is fun to be had. His friends love to join his adventures–especially his best friend, Big Head. <p/>Accompany Little Pear as he goes ice fishing, masquerades as a beggar boy, finds a tiger in his house, and–best of all–gets a brand-new little brother!<br>

  2. Gentle Ben - Traces the friendship between a boy and a bear in the rugged Alaskan Territory.

  3. Mahatma Gandhi: My First Mahatma Gandhi - This board book version of _Mahatma Gandhi_—from the critically acclaimed, mulitimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series—introduces the youngest dreamers to the incredible life of the father of India. As a young teenager in India, Gandhi led a rebellious life and went against his parents’ values. But as a young man, he started to form beliefs of his own that harked back to the Hindu principles of his childhood. Gandhi began to dream of unity for all peoples and religions. Inspired by this idea, he led peaceful protests to free India from British rule and unite the country—ending violence and unfair treatment. His bravery and free-thinking made him one of the most iconic people of peace in the world, known as Mahatma, meaning “great soul.” Babies and toddlers will love to snuggle as you read to them the engaging story of this amazing activist, and will also enjoy exploring the stylish and quirky illustrations of this sturdy board book on their own. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

  4. Rudolf Nureyev: My First Rudolf Nureyev - This board book version of Rudolf Nureyev—from the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series—introduces the youngest dreamers to the incredible life of one of the greatest male ballet dancers of all time. Rudolf fell in love with dance as a child. But he was not allowed to go to ballet school until he was 17. There, he had to make up for lost time and hone his skills to compete with the other dancers. As a professional, he dazzled audiences with sensational performances and star power. He went on to become a world-renowned choreographer and master of perfection in dance. Babies and toddlers will love to snuggle as you read to them the engaging story of this fascinating dancer and will also enjoy exploring the stylish and quirky illustrations of this sturdy board book on their own. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

Books About Boys And Men and Imagination

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The Big Ideas of Buster Bickles
Written & illustrated by Dave Wasson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Buster Bickles’s big ideas are always getting him into trouble. But when Buster gets to test the newly invented What-if Machine, anything Buster imagines becomes reality. Packed with rivers of chocolate, robot dinosaurs, and eggs-ray vision, the world becomes Buster’s creation in this fantastically creative picture book by debut author-illustrator Dave Wasson.

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My Papa Is a Princess
Written & illustrated by Doug Cenko
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Cuddle up with Dad for this sweet book about a father as seen through his daughter’s eyes. When Papa braids her hair, he’s a hairdresser; when he hangs her drawings on the wall, he’s an art collector. But no matter what happens, he is always her papa, and that’s the most important thing of all!

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My Name Is Not Alexander
Written by Jennifer Fosberry & illustrated by Mike Litwin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Just How Big Can a Little kid Dream?

Who is your hero?

Alexander takes a rip-roaring historical adventure! Through his imaginative journey, Alexander discovers how great men become heroes: the roughest rider can be surprisingly gentle, a strong leader is also the most peaceful, and sometimes, being brave about what makes you different will not only help you break records, but inspire others.

Join Alexander as he learns how these remarkable men changed the world and encouraged him to find the hero within himself!

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  1. My Rainy Day Rocket Ship - Rainy summer days are no match for a little astronaut who builds the perfect rocket ship for an indoor space adventure to another galaxy, where the sky is his only limit! A stormy afternoon and an order from Mom to stay inside are no match for this little dreamer, who uses everyday household items—a rocket chair, a cardboard box, an old dish rag, and a super-duper imagination—to whip up a trip around the universe he won’t soon forget. My Rainy Day Rocket Ship is a high-spirited, engaging salute to the imagination of Black boys who use their beautiful minds to transform the mundane into the extraordinary, dream out loud, and boldly go where their sky is the only limit.

  2. I Need All of It - While Jim helps sort laundry, his father finds objects in Jim’s pants pocket that he things are worthless, but Jim recounts tales of their immense importance.

Books About Boys And Men and 20th Century

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Big Papa and the Time Machine
Written by Daniel Bernstrom & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Discover the true meaning of being brave in this tender and whimsical picture book from Daniel Bernstrom (One Day in the Eucalytus, Eucalyptus Tree) and Shane Evans (Chocolate Me!) that follows a grandfather and grandson who travel through time in a beloved 1952 Ford.

A little boy who lives with his grandpa isn’t reprimanded for being afraid to go to school one day. Instead, Big Papa takes him away in his time machine—a 1952 Ford—back to all of the times when he, himself, was scared of something life was handing him.

Full of heartfelt moments and thrilling magical realism, Big Papa and the Time Machine speaks to the African American experience in a touching dialogue between two family members from different generations, and emerges as a voice that shares history and asks questions about one family’s experience in 20th-century black America.

*“Wasn’t you scared?”

“Oh, I was scared,” Big Papa said. “Sometimes you gotta walk with giants if you ever gonna know what you made of. That’s called being brave.”*

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Rebound
Written by Kwame Alexander
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12
New York Times
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Sergeant Billy: The True Story of the Goat Who Went to War
Written by Mireille Messier & illustrated by Kass Reich
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A delightful tale inspired by the true story of a brave goat war hero. Perfect for fans of Finding Winnie and Rescue and Jessica.

During World War I, a goat named Billy was adopted by a platoon of soldiers and made his way across the ocean to be part of the war effort.

Billy . . . • Trained with the soldiers • Was smuggled across the ocean • Got snuck into the frontlines in a box of oranges • Ate some secret documents and was arrested for treason • Got trench foot • Head-butted soldiers into a trench and saved them from a shell • Came back home a decorated war hero

This charming true story follows Sergeant Billy from his small prairie town to the trenches of World War I and back, through harrowing moments, sad moments, moments of camaraderie and moments of celebration. This unforgettable goat and the platoon that loved him will capture your heart!

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  1. Radiant Child - A visually stunning picture book biography about modern art phenomenon Jean-Michel Basquiat, written and illustrated by Coretta Scott King Award winner Javaka Steptoe. Jean-Michael Basquiat and his unique, collage-style paintings rocked to fame in the 1980s as a cultural phenomenon unlike anything the art work had ever seen. But before that, he was a little boy who saw art everywhere: in poetry books and museums, in games and in the words that we speak, and in the pulsing energy of New York City. Now, award-winning illustrator Javaka Steptoe’s vivid text and bold artwork echoing Basquiat’s own introduce young readers to the powerful message and art doesn’t always have to be neat or clean–and definitely not inside the lines–to be beautiful.

  2. David Bowie: My First David Bowie - This board book version of _David Bowie_—from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series—introduces the youngest dreamers to the incredible life of this starman who dazzled audiences with his music. As a child, young David had a head full of songs and ideas. He was inspired by the pop and mod scenes in Britain to pick up the saxophone. After earning his stripes in some of the coolest bands in London, David splashed onto the solo scene. His songwriting talent and musical skill made him one of rock and roll’s all-time greatest artists. Babies and toddlers will love to snuggle as you read to them the engaging story of this fascinating star, and will also enjoy exploring the stylish and quirky illustrations of this sturdy board book on their own. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

  3. Bruce Lee: My First Bruce Lee - In this board book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Bruce Lee, the martial artist and Hollywood film star. Born in San Francisco but raised in Hong Kong, Bruce Lee was the child star of Hong Kong cinema. But, after getting into trouble as a teenager, his father sent him to live in America. Starring roles were hard to come by for Asian-American actors in Hollywood, but Bruce went on to act in blockbuster hits, featuring his skill as a martial artist. Babies and toddlers will love to snuggle as you read to them the engaging story of this fascinating star, and will also enjoy exploring the stylish and quirky illustrations of this sturdy board book on their own. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

  4. War Stories - From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Restart, a story of telling truth from lies -- and finding out what being a hero really means.

Books About Boys And Men and Teenagers

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The Great Brain Is Back
Written by John D. Fitzgerald & illustrated by Mercer Mayer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

This classic trickster is back again, and he’s up to no good in his eighth and final book of the series. Great mix of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Terrible Two series, and is perfect for fans of Roald Dahl.

Tom D. Fitzgerald–better known as The Great Brain–has turned thirteen, and pretty Polly Reagan has put a spell on him. But when it comes to swindling his younger brother J. D., and all the other kids in Adenville, Tom hasn’t changed a bit. The Great Brain is back one more time, and he’s at the top of his form with his money-making schemes and getting into big trouble. As always, life is more exciting when this brain’s around!

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The Eleventh Trade
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

From debut author Alyssa Hollingsworth comes a story about living with fear, being a friend, and finding a new place to call home. They say you can’t get something for nothing, but nothing is all Sami has. When his grandfather’s most-prized possession—a traditional Afghan instrument called a rebab—is stolen, Sami resolves to get it back. He finds it at a music store, but it costs $700, and Sami doesn’t have even one penny. What he does have is a keychain that has caught the eye of his classmate. If he trades the keychain for something more valuable, could he keep trading until he has $700? Sami is about to find out. The Eleventh Trade is both a classic middle school story and a story about being a refugee. Like Katherine Applegate, author of Wishtree, Alyssa Hollingsworth tackles a big issue with a light touch.

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Home of the Brave
Written by Katherine Applegate
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

A man I helped to settle here taught me a saying from Africa. I’ll bet you would like it: A cow is God with a wet nose. Kek comes from Africa where he lived with his mother, father, and brother. But only he and his mother have survived. Now she’s missing, and Kek has been sent to a new home. In America, he sees snow for the first time, and feels its sting. He wonders if the people in this new place will be like the winter—cold and unkind. But slowly he makes friends: a girl in foster care, an old woman with a rundown farm, and a sweet, sad cow that reminds Kek of home. As he waits for word of his mother’s fate, Kek weathers the tough Minnesota winter by finding warmth in his new friendships, strength in his memories, and belief in his new country.

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  1. The Secret of the Silver Mines - Just when Dylan Maples is settling down after last summer’s trip to Ireland’s Eye, the parental units are at it again–planning another family adventure. Only this time, it’s not a summer vacation, but an extended trip way up north to Cobalt, Ontario, in the middle of a bitter winter. Once a thriving silver mining community, all that’s left of the town’s rich history are the long abandoned mines. A Toronto millionaire has hired Dylan’s dad to retrieve a fortune in silver allegedly stolen from his grandfather back in the early part of the twentieth century. But was the fortune really stolen? And if so, where has it been hidden? The answers to these questions reside with one man–Theobald T. Larocque, Cobalt’s oldest citizen. But no one has seen him in years. And no one seems at all eager to help Dylan’s dad locate him–except, of course, his devoted son Dylan, and Dylan’s newfound friend and accomplice, Wynona Dixon.

  2. Life of Pi - The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional–but is it more true?

  3. Alida's Song - A remarkable novel about one of the most important, and loving, relationships in Gary Paulsen’s life. <p/>The wonderful grandmother seen through the eyes of a young boy in The Cookcamp reaches out to him at 14, offering him a haven from his harsh and painful family life. She arranges a summer job for him on the farm where she is a cook for Gunnar and Olaf, elderly brothers. Farm life offers the camaraderie and routine of hard work, good food, peaceful evenings spent making music together, even learning to dance. Life with Alicia gives the boy strength and faith in himself, drawing him away from the edge and into the center of life.<br>

  4. Sci-Fu Vol. 1 - Set in 1980s Brooklyn, a young DJ accidentally summons a UFO that transports his family, best friend, and current crush to the robot-dominated planet of Discopia. <p/>Hip-hop, sci-fi and kung fu all hit the turntables for the mash-up mix of the year! Cartoonist/force of nature Yehudi Mercado (<i>Pantalones, TX</i>, <i>Rocket Salvage</i>) sets his sights on 1980s Brooklyn and Wax, a young mix-master who scratches the perfect beat and accidentally summons a UFO that transports his family, best friend, and current crush to the robot-dominated planet of Discopia. Now Wax and his crew must master the intergalactic musical martial art of Sci-Fu to fight the power and save Earth. Word to your mother.

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Books About Boys And Men and Holidays

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When Grandpa Gives You a Toolbox
Written by Jamie L. B. Deenihan & illustrated by Lorraine Rocha
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In this delightful story, by the same author who wrote When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree, a boy is disappointed with his grandfather’s gift—until he learns he can use it to build exactly what he wanted with his own two hands, and a little help from grandpa, of course!

You asked for a special house for your dolls; but instead Grandpa gives you a toolbox! What do you do? Launching it into outer space is a bad idea. So is feeding it to a T. rex! Instead, be patient, pay attention, and you might find that you’re pretty handy. And just maybe, with grandpa’s help, you’ll get that dollhouse after all. This clever story celebrates kindness, hard work, and community, as well as variety in gender expression: the male main character proudly engages in activities that might be considered typically girl (playing with dolls) and typically boy (building with tools).

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Hello, Jimmy!
Written & illustrated by Anna Walker
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
A funny, noisy parrot comes into Jack's life and brings him closer to his dad in an unexpected and moving way in this gorgeous, emotionally resonant picture book from the creator of Florette.
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My Dad Loves Me!
Written by Marianne Richmond
board book
Recommend Ages: -8

A USA Today Bestseller! A great Father's Day gift, birthday gift, or just a way to show love to dad any day, featuring adorable illustrations from bestselling author Marianne Richmond.

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  1. Your Baby's First Word Will Be DADA - Jimmy Fallon, host of NBC’s The Tonight Show, is also a father and his hilarious picture book reveals what everyone already knows: that fathers wage a secret campaign to ensure that their babies’ first word is “Dada!” Here he shows us just how it’s done…

  2. You Made Me a Dad - A picture book for expectant fathers and already-fathers everywhere created by the author of You Made Me a Mother, Laurenne Sala, and the Marigold Bakes a Cake author-illustrator, Mike Malbrough. In this touching celebration of fatherhood, the close bond between parent and child comes to life with heartwarming resonance. Laurenne Sala’s tranquil text, accompanied by Mike Malbrough’s tender watercolor illustrations, creates a warm look at the joys, fears, and responsibilities of being a dad over the years. A perfect gift for Father’s Day! I loved you before I saw you. When you were just a heartbeat. Then a picture. Then a teeny-tiny kick…

  3. Hero Dad - Some superheroes wear rocket-propelled boots, drive super-powered cars and have X-ray vision. But other superheroes wear army boots, drive tanks, and go away for long trips to make the world a safer place. It's a tough job, but that's what superheroes have to do. With Melinda Hardin's simple text and with Bryan Langdo's endearing watercolor-and-pencil illustrations, Hero Dad makes a difficult and tender subject more accessible to children with parents serving far from home.

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Books About Boys And Men and Bullying

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The Size of the Truth
Written by Andrew Smith
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A boy who spent three days trapped in a well tries to overcome his PTSD and claustrophobia so he can fulfill his dream of becoming a famous chef in Andrew Smith’s first middle grade novel.

When he was four years old, Sam Abernathy was trapped at the bottom of a well for three days, where he was teased by a smart-aleck armadillo named Bartleby. Since then, his parents plan every move he makes.

But Sam doesn’t like their plans. He doesn’t want to go to MIT. And he doesn’t want to skip two grades, being stuck in the eighth grade as an eleven-year-old with James Jenkins, the boy he’s sure pushed him into the well in the first place. He wants to be a chef. And he’s going to start by entering the first annual Blue Creek Days Colonel Jenkins Macaroni and Cheese Cook-Off.

That is, if he can survive eighth grade, and figure out the size of the truth that has slipped Sam’s memory for seven years.

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Mister Lincoln's Way
Written & illustrated by Patricia Polacco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

When Mr. Lincoln, “the coolest principal in the whole world,” discovers that Eugene, the school bully, knows a lot about birds, he uses this interest to help Eugene overcome his intolerance.

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Swim Or Sink
Written by Jake Maddox
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Although only in eighth grade Baxter Reilly is an important member of the Edgeview High School in Tempe, Arizona, and lately the pool has been his place of refuge from the stress of his parents’ separation–but now, between the pending divorce, his father’s miserable apartment, his mother’s new boyfriend, and the resentment and bullying from his older teammates, it is getting harder to focus on his role as the anchor of the 4 x 400 freestyle relay in the upcoming races.

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  1. Frog Boots - There’s only one thing Dylan wants: frog boots! But what happens when this little boy discovers they’re meant for . . . girls? School shopping is no fun for Dylan—until he spots a pair of boots decorated with poison-dart frogs. They’re so cool that he even wears them to bed, where he discovers they glow in the dark! He can’t wait to wear them to class. But before he can show them off in circle time, a kid exclaims: “Ms. Kory, that boy’s wearing girl boots.” And, suddenly, when everyone’s laughing at him, the boots don’t seem so wonderful anymore. Will he ever want to wear them again? A timely story about embracing what you love, staying true to yourself, and defying stereotypes.

  2. Back to the Future - Great Scott!! The latest in Quirk’s series of Pop Classic Picture Books (following HOME ALONE, THE X-FILES, and E.T.) takes readers on a wild time-traveling trip BACK TO THE FUTURE! The biggest movie of 1985 is now the wildest and wackiest picture book of 2018! Even 30 years after its theatrical debut, BACK TO THE FUTURE is a perennial favorite in classrooms and family movie nights across the country. This picture book by Kim Smith captures all the classic moments of the film. We’ll follow teenage Marty McFly as he travels from 1985 to 1955, meets his parents (as teenagers), and teaches his father how to stand up to bullies. Complete with a time-traveling DeLorean, a crazy mad scientist companion, and a lightning-fueled finale!

  3. I Am Fartacus - When Chub leads his cadre of middle school misfits in an effort to bring down the evil empire led by his nemesis Arch, he inadvertently becomes the school hero.

  4. Kart Rival - When Sheldon spends the day with his aunt, he has no idea he’s about to enter the fast-paced world of kart racing. Sheldon’s not one for sports, but the combination of technical skill and adrenaline, along with an opposing bully, pulls him onto the track. Will Sheldon cross the finish line first, or will his dreams of kart racing break down?

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Books About Boys And Men and Father And Child

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I Love My Daddy
Written & illustrated by Sebastien Braun
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Sebastien Braun’s celebrated I Love My Daddy is now in board book format—perfect for little hands in strollers and highchairs! Sometimes daddies are loud and playful. Other times they are quiet and compassionate. And they are always loving. Sebastien Braun’s appealing text and charming illustrations follow a day in the life of a bear and his bear cub in this celebration of the bond between father and child.

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I Love Dad
Written by Joanna Walsh & illustrated by Judi Abbot
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Show Dad how much you care with this delightful board book from the creators of The Perfect Hug and The Biggest Kiss.

From his stubbly kisses to his sky high piggyback rides to his bedtime stories, no one is quite like Dad.

This charming Classic Board Book is a celebration of dads everywhere!

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When a Dad Says "I Love You"
Written by Douglas Wood & illustrated by Jennifer A. Bell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

How do you like to hear “I love you”? This cozy picture book shows all the ways dads can say it best. Dads know how to do everything. They can help with homework and carry you on their shoulders. They can make pancakes and teach you how to sing songs. These loving actions are just some of the ways dads show how much they care—and no matter how he says it, “I love you” is wonderful to hear! From bestselling author Douglas Wood and illustrator Jennifer Bell, a sunny, cuddly testament to the bond between father and child.

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  1. Just Like Daddy - Who wouldn’t want to be just like Daddy? He’s strong, kind, and practical–and he knows how to have fun! Even if he messes up, it’s never a big deal. Plus, he handles scary monsters (well, spiders), keeps his eyes open on the roller coaster (mostly), and puts on silly voices when he reads a bedtime story. This heartwarming picture book shows why Daddy is the BEST.

  2. The Color Thief - A child recounts his experience of losing his father to depression in this poignant and beautifully illustrated picture book. The boy’s father disappears into a world without color. As the father seeks help, color begins to reappear and with it hope. An ideal book for parents and caregivers to share with children to help them make sense of the devastating effects that depression can cause.

  3. Daddies Do - "This book is a comforting choice for young readers . . . . a solid choice for Father's Day or anytime sharing." --School Library Journal

  4. A Father's Love - This heartwarming book celebrates the love that fathers and children share in the animal kingdom, while also teaching young readers about colors. Perfect for new babies, new fathers, baby shower gifts, Father’s Day gifts, and for kids who love their dads on any old day. Throughout the animal kingdom, in every part of the world, fathers love and care for their babies. This book takes readers around the globe and across the animal kingdom, showcasing the many ways fathers have of demonstrating their love. Whether it’s a penguin papa snuggling with his baby in the frosty white snow, a lion dad playing with his cub in a yellow field, or a seahorse father protecting his young inside his pouch in the deep blue ocean, we see that a father’s love comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors. With beautiful art that brings all of the dads and babies, and the love between them, to vivid, colorful life, this book is a celebration of the special bond that a father shares with his children.

Books About Boys And Men and Father-son Relationships

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My Dad Used to Be So Cool
Written & illustrated by Keith Negley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

A perfect baby shower gift for new dads in your life!

Keith Negley’s playful and emotional art tells this story of a new father who is no longer the cool guy he once was. He looks back wistfully on his crazy times playing in a band, riding a motorcycle, and getting tattoos. Those days may be behind him, but his young son still thinks he’s the coolest guy in the world.

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Superhero Dad
Written by Timothy Knapman & illustrated by Joe Berger
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

“Blazing with energy and saturated with love.” – Booklist Dad might not have a superhero mask or wear his underwear outside his pants, but his super snores can be heard a thousand miles away, he tells super-funny jokes, and he can even make super-scary monsters go away at bedtime! This vibrant, humorous, and warmhearted celebration of all the incredible things a dad can do is a fun tribute to the specialness of dads (and their superhero children!).

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Beard Boy
Written by John Flannery & illustrated by Steven Weinberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Young Ben wants to be just like his awesome dad—bearded.

Ben wants a beard. All the most boss people in his town have them. The baker, the barbers, the butcher, they’re all bewhiskered—even the old lady who waits at the bus stop has one. Most of all though, Ben wants a beard just like his dad.

He tries his best to start on some scruff, but nothing works quite right. And when his dad explains he might have to wait ’til he’s older for a beard of his own, he decides to take some more permanent action—with a marker that is. In the end, Ben and his dad find the perfect solution in this hilarious and heartwarming picture book celebrating the bond between father and son.

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  1. Just Like Daddy - A vivdly illustrated day in the life of a little boy and his daddy, this charming picture book paints a gently ironic comparison of how the day unfolds for each of them. The toddler is filled with glee as he tackles each new challenge, while the dad faces his day with a a more grown-up combination of perseverance and resignation--yet he finds himself inspired by his son's open-hearted optimism. Spreads alternate between perspectives--the little boy's excitement at driving his toy car around compared with his father trying to navigate traffic, for example. The tension is resolved by a transcendent final spread that shows what makes it all worthwhile. In its unvarnished yet loving acceptance of the travails of being a working parent, Just Like Daddy is a perfect Father's Day gift for today's dads.

  2. The Blue House - In the tradition of Virginia Lee Burton's

  3. A Long Road on a Short Day - A tender story of a father-son adventure with themes of community and kindness, in short chapters with vivid full-color illustrations, by bestseller and Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt and acclaimed artist Eugene Yelchin. In a story of perseverance and determination told with warmth and sparkling with humor, a short winter day finds Samuel and Papa walking a long road on Samuel’s first trading trip. Meeting strangers, practicing good manners, and proud to be in Papa’s company, Samuel watches and learns as Papa trades up from almost nothing to the milk cow Mama is yearning for. Simple text combines with vivid illustrations for a satisfying tale that will resonate with readers who enjoy an adventure with dad.

  4. Almost Time - A tender father-and-son story about the passage of time, the change of seasons, and the excitement of reaching a goal.

Books About Boys And Men and Grandparents

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Grandpa's Wish List
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-2

Strengthens bonds & emotional security Reinforces use of language patterns Encourages understanding of unconditional love Grandpa Badger has so many wishes for his new grandbaby! With gorgeous artwork and a loving message, this keepsake board book makes the perfect gift for new grandfathers and their grandchildren.

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Stolen Words / Kimotinaniwiw Pikiskwewina
Written by Melanie Florence & illustrated by Gabrielle Grimard
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

The dual language edition, in Cree and English, of the award-winning story of the beautiful relationship between a little girl and her grandfather. When she asks her grandfather how to say something in Cree, he tells her that his language was stolen from him when he was a boy. The little girl then sets out to help her grandfather find his language again. This sensitive and warmly illustrated picture book explores the intergenerational impact of the residential school system that separated young Indigenous children from their families. The story recognizes the pain of those whose culture and language were taken from them, how that pain is passed down, and how healing can also be shared.

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Go, Grandpa, Go!
Written by Lynn Plourde & illustrated by Sophie Beer
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-4

Perfect for all the grandpas who steer the stroller, splash in puddles, and love their grandchildren dearly, this charming board book celebrates the special relationship between grandfathers and their grandkids.

Zig! Zag! Zip! Zoom! Go, Grandpa, go!

Puddle stomp Muddy romp Go, Grandpa, go!

Grandpa is on the go in this charming board book! From pulling the wagon, to swinging on swings, to splashing in puddles, grandpa and grandchild are always having a blast! This board book perfectly captures the special bond that grandfathers have with their grandchildren.

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  1. Grandpa's Great Escape - David Walliams, hailed as “the heir to Roald Dahl” by The Spectator, burst onto the American scene with the New York Times bestseller Demon Dentist. Now the UK’s #1 bestselling children’s author is back with this high-flying adventure about a boy and his grandfather, perfect for fans of Jeff Kinney and Rachel Renee Russell. Grandpa is Jack’s favorite person in the world. It doesn’t matter that he wears his slippers to the supermarket, serves Spam a la Custard for dinner, and often doesn’t remember Jack’s name. But then Grandpa starts to believe he’s back in World War II, when he was a Spitfire fighter pilot, and he’s sent to live in an old folk’s home run by the sinister Matron Swine. Now it’s up to Jack to help Grandpa plot a daring escape!

  2. While Grandpa Naps - A moving, funny, elegant meditation on love, childhood, and one’s place in a family. Gilbert spends a sunny summer afternoon obediently keeping watch over his napping grandpa to shoo the pesky flies away. Unsure of exactly how long he’s really supposed to sit there, watching for non-existent bugs, he passes time contemplating his ever-changing family: His grandma Sarah recently died, a new baby is on the way, his siblings and cousins race in and out. While the temptations to abandon his post beckon, Gilbert’s loyalty to his grandpa stays true, and his quiet dedication finds a sweet reward.

  3. Lost Property Office - A little girl and her mother are on the train, going to visit Grandpa. It’s very busy–hold on tight! But when they arrive at their destination and get off the train they realize something is wrong: the little girl’s beloved teddy bear has gone missing! Just when it looks like she’ll never see Teddy again, Grandpa has an idea! And suddenly the little girl is off on a magical journey to rescue her favorite stuffed friend. Have you ever wondered where your lost objects go? With charming and stylish illustrations, this book is perfect for curious minds.

Books About Boys And Men and America

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How to Train with a T. Rex and Win 8 Gold Medals
Written by Michael Phelps & illustrated by Ward Jenkins and Alan Abrahamson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

With his record-breaking eight gold medals won for swimming in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Phelps became an international sensation. In this picture book, Phelps explains the mind-boggling statistics of his years of training in terms young kids can understand. Full color.

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Marshfield Dreams
Written by Ralph Fletcher
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

The colorful boyhood of a popular author comes to life in this personal account Imagine learning from a nosy classmate that your mother is having yet another baby. To Ralph’s classmates, news of one more Fletcher baby is just “scuttlebutt.” But for Ralph, the oldest of nine, being part of a large family means more kids to join in the fun–from making tripods in the woods and “snicking” up the rug to raising chicks and even discovering a meteor (well, maybe). It doesn’t feel like there’s life beyond Marshfield, Massachusetts. Then one day Dad’s new job moves the family to Chicago, and there’s so much Ralph has to leave behind. In this humorous and captivating memoir, Ralph Fletcher traces the roots of his storytelling.

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Preaching to the Chickens
Written by Jabari Asim & illustrated by E.B. Lewis
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Critically acclaimed author Jabari Asim and Caldecott Honor-winning illustrator E. B. Lewis give readers a fascinating glimpse into the boyhood of Civil Rights leader John Lewis.

John wants to be a preacher when he grows up—a leader whose words stir hearts to change, minds to think, and bodies to take action. But why wait? When John is put in charge of the family farm’s flock of chickens, he discovers that they make a wonderful congregation! So he preaches to his flock, and they listen, content under his watchful care, riveted by the rhythm of his voice.

Celebrating ingenuity and dreaming big, this inspirational story, featuring Jabari Asim’s stirring prose and E. B. Lewis’s stunning, light-filled impressionistic watercolor paintings, includes an author’s note about John Lewis, who grew up to be a member of the Freedom Riders, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and demonstrator on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. John Lewis is now a Georgia congressman, who is still an activist today, recently holding a sit-in on the House floor of the U.S. Capitol to try to force a vote on gun violence. His March: Book Three recently won the National Book Award, as well as the American Library Association’s Coretta Scott King Author Award, Printz Award, and Sibert Award.

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  1. A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln - Follows the life of the popular president, from his childhood on the frontier to his assassination after the end of the Civil War.

  2. Gingerbread for Liberty!: How a German Baker Helped Win the American Revolution - Christopher Ludwick was a German-born American patriot with a big heart and a talent for baking. When cries of “Revolution!” began, Christopher was determined to help General George Washington and his hungry troops. Not with muskets or cannons, but with gingerbread! Cheerfully told by Mara Rockliff and brought to life by Vincent Kirsch’s inventive cut-paper illustrations, <i>Gingerbread for Liberty</i> is the story of an unsung hero of the Revolutionary War who changed the course of history one loaf at a time.

  3. Twelve Bots of Christmas - Take one robotic Santa, nine cyber-reindeer pulling his techno-sleigh, and twelve days of Christmas circuitry and wizardry-and this incredible holiday offering is guaranteed to add up to every gear-head's delight!

  4. Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America - HAND IN HAND presents the stories of ten men from different eras in American history, organized chronologically to provide a scope from slavery to the modern day. The stories are accessible, fully-drawn narratives offering the subjects’ childhood influences, the time and place in which they lived, their accomplishments and motivations, and the legacies they left for future generations as links in the “freedom chain.” This book will be the definitive family volume on the subject, punctuated with dynamic full color portraits and spot illustrations by two-time Caldecott Honor winner and multiple Coretta Scott King Book Award recipient Brian Pinkney. Backmatter includes a civil rights timeline, sources, and further reading.

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Books About Boys And Men and Siblings

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Goodnight, Little Dancer
Written by Jennifer Adams & illustrated by Alea Marley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 1-6

In this soothing, gentle rhyming picture book, author Jennifer Adams bids sweet dreams to the youngest readers who identify as ballerinas by day and tender, sleepy children by night. With luminous art from illustrator Alea Marley, Goodnight, Little Dancer is sure to send little ones to sleep with twirling, dancing dreams.

It’s time for bed now, little dancer.
Time to tell the world goodnight.
Let down your bun, shake out your hair.
Breathe in, relax, and dim the light.

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Tom Gates: Genius Ideas (Mostly)
Written & illustrated by L. Pichon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Dreams of rock stardom take the edge off embarrassing family activities in Tom’s fourth “homework diary” crammed with doodles and stories. After receiving the shock of a lifetime – seeing his big sister, Delia, without her sunglasses on – Tom is trying to gear himself up for sports day at school. It does not help that his dad is training for the parents’ race on that day – and plans to wear bizarre cycling shorts! Meanwhile, Tom’s band, DogZombies, is supposed to play in the school talent show, meaning they’d better start practicing – a lot. It might all be worth it, though, if the absolutely brilliant band DUDE3 appears as special guests!

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Black Brother, Black Brother
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
From award-winning and bestselling author, Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful coming-of-age story about two brothers, one who presents as white, the other as black, and the complex ways in which they are forced to navigate the world, all while training for a fencing competition.
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  1. You and Me, Me and You: Brothers - The beauty of the brotherly bond is on display in this touching tribute to a special sibling relationship. Whimsi-cal illustrations capture the highlights of brotherhood: building sandcastles, flying a kite, making mischief, and cherishing childhood moments together. Bright pops of Pantone orange bestow each illustrated spread with charm, and a cloth spine adds a delightful specialness. At once a sweet picture book for young children and a treasured gift for parents, this heartfelt testament to the inimitable brotherly bond goes straight to the heart

  2. Pay Attention, Carter Jones - Carter Jones is astonished early one morning when he finds a real English butler, bowler hat and all, on the doorstep—one who stays to help the Jones family, which is a little bit broken. In addition to figuring out middle school, Carter has to adjust to the unwelcome presence of this new know-it-all adult in his life and navigate the butler’s notions of decorum. And ultimately, when his burden of grief and anger from the past can no longer be ignored, Carter learns that a burden becomes lighter when it is shared. Sparkling with humor, this insightful and compassionate story will resonate with readers who have confronted secrets of their own.

  3. The Brother Book - Bestselling and beloved creator Todd Parr brings his trademark wit and wisdom to this celebration of all different kinds of brothers! Some brothers are big. Some brothers are little. Some brothers are quiet. Some brothers are a little wild. All brothers are a special part of your family! Following up on his family classics The Mommy Book, The Daddy Book, The Grandma Book, and The Grandpa Book, Todd Parr turns to siblings! With his trademark childlike art, Todd celebrates all different kinds of brothers. Whether they are older or younger, enjoy playing sports or dancing, or prefer to hang out together or need time to themselves, brothers are always a special part of your family. This sibling celebration is perfect for brothers of all ages, and for older boys and girls who are expecting a new little one.

  4. Locomotion - When Lonnie was seven years old, his parents died in a fire. Now he’s eleven, and he still misses them terribly. And he misses his little sister, Lili, who was put into a different foster home because “not a lot of people want boys-not foster boys that ain’t babies.” But Lonnie hasn’t given up. His foster mother, Miss Edna, is growing on him. She’s already raised two sons and she seems to know what makes them tick. And his teacher, Ms. Marcus, is showing him ways to put his jumbled feelings on paper. Told entirely through Lonnie’s poetry, we see his heartbreak over his lost family, his thoughtful perspective on the world around him, and most of all his love for Lili and his determination to one day put at least half of their family back together. Jacqueline Woodson’s poignant story of love, loss, and hope is lyrically written and enormously accessible.

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Books About Boys And Men and Science And Nature

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Guyku: A Year of Haiku for Boys
Written by Bob Raczka & illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

The wind and I play tug-of-war with my new kite. The wind is winning.

When you’re a guy, nature is one big playground—no matter what the season. There are puddles to splash through in the spring, pine trees to climb in the summer, maple seeds to catch in the fall, and icicles to sword fight with in the winter. Nature also has a way of making a guy appreciate important stuff—like how many rocks it takes to dam up a stream, or how much snow equals a day off from school. So what kind of poetry best captures these special moments, at a length that lets guys get right back to tree climbing and kite flying? Why, guyku, of course!

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The Boy and the Whale
Written & illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A boy and his father discover a whale tangled in their only fishing net. Is the whale dead? While the man worries about losing their net, the boy worries about the whale. He remembers the fear he felt when, caught in a net himself in childhood, he almost drowned before being rescued by his father. When the whale blinks an enormous eye, the boy knows that he has to try to save the creature, no matter how dangerous doing so may be.

Expressive and perfectly paced, this powerful story, The Boy and the Whale, by Caldecott Medal–winner Mordicai Gerstein was inspired in part by a real-life video of a whale’s rescue, and the creature’s joyful dance through the waves after being freed.

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Seeking an Aurora
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

In the quiet of the night, a child's father bundles them up and shows them the majesty of an aurora. This book is perfect for those who love Owl Moon.

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  1. Thing about Bees: A Love Letter - A LOVE POEM FROM A FATHER TO HIS TWO SONS, AND A TRIBUTE TO THE BEES THAT POLLINATE THE FOODS WE LOVE TO EAT.

  2. Bug Collector - After George visits the Museum of Wildlife with Grandad, all he can think about is bugs! The very next day he goes out hunting, but he soon finds there are no more insects left in the garden, and the ones he has captured in jars don't look very happy. George is about to learn exactly why bugs are so important. This is a brilliant, vibrant debut from Alex G. Griffiths.

  3. Tool of War - This third book in a major series by a bestselling science fiction author, Printz Award winner, and National Book Award finalist is the gripping story of the most provocative character from his acclaimed novels Ship Breaker and The Drowned Cities. Tool, a half-man/half-beast designed for combat, is capable of so much more than his creators had ever dreamed. He has gone rogue from his pack of bioengineered “augments” and emerged a victorious leader of a pack of human soldier boys. But he is hunted relentlessly by someone determined to destroy him, who knows an alarming secret: Tool has found the way to resist his genetically ingrained impulses of submission and loyalty toward his masters… The time is coming when Tool will embark on an all-out war against those who have enslaved him. From one of science fiction’s undisputed masters comes a riveting page-turner that pulls no punches. “Suzanne Collins may have put dystopian literature on the YA map with ‘The Hunger Games’…but Bacigalupi is one of the genre’s masters, employing inventively terrifying details in equally imaginative story lines.” –Los Angeles Times

  4. Noah Chases the Wind - A magical adventure that celebrates the wonderful inquisitiveness of all children

Books About Boys And Men and Sports And Recreation

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Dragon Hoops
Written by Gene Luen Yang
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 14-18

In his latest graphic novel, Dragon Hoops, New York Times bestselling author Gene Luen Yang turns the spotlight on his life, his family, and the high school where he teaches.

Gene understands stories–comic book stories, in particular. Big action. Bigger thrills. And the hero always wins.

But Gene doesn’t get sports. As a kid, his friends called him “Stick” and every basketball game he played ended in pain. He lost interest in basketball long ago, but at the high school where he now teaches, it’s all anyone can talk about. The men’s varsity team, the Dragons, is having a phenomenal season that’s been decades in the making. Each victory brings them closer to their ultimate goal: the California State Championships.

Once Gene gets to know these young all-stars, he realizes that their story is just as thrilling as anything he’s seen on a comic book page. He knows he has to follow this epic to its end. What he doesn’t know yet is that this season is not only going to change the Dragons’s lives, but his own life as well.

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Climbing Strong
Written by Jake Maddox
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Mike Gordon loves a good thrill. And he’s not afraid to break the rules to get one. But when Mike goes too far, a friend steers him in the right direction: up. Rock climbing gives Mike all the excitement he needs. But when things get tough, will Mike fall back into his old habits?

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Playbook: 52 Rules to Aim, Shoot, and Score in This Game Called Life
Written by Kwame Alexander
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-12

New York Times bestseller ∙ Indie Next Pick

You gotta know the rules to play the game. Ball is life. Take it to the hoop. Soar. What can we imagine for our lives? What if we were the star players, moving and grooving through the game of life? What if we had our own rules of the game to help us get what we want, what we aspire to, what will enrich our lives?

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Little Shaq - The start of a brand new series by Shaquille O'Neal and illustrated by 2014 Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent award winner Theodore Taylor III, Little Shaq is sure to be a hit with young readers. When Little Shaq and his cousin Barry accidentally break their favorite video game, they need to find a way to replace it. That's when Little Shaq's science project inspires a solution: a gardening business. They can water their neighbors' gardens to raise money for a new game! Little Shaq and Barry make a great team both on and off the basketball court, but will their business be as successful as they hoped? Showing kids that anything is possible with the support of friends and family, Little Shaq will inspire them to love reading, play fair, and have fun! Read all the books in the Little Shaq series!
    Little Shaq
    Little Shaq Takes a Chance
    Little Shaq: Star of the Week

  2. Leo Can Swim - Leo, Lola’s little brother from Leo Loves Baby Time, is back in a new adventure at the pool. Leo and Daddy go to swim class where they kick, bounce, and dive like little fish. Joining other babies and their caretakers in the pool is a guarantee for unforgettable fun.

  3. Hooked - Joe loves fishing. He loves watching the water and looking at the sky, he loves the peacefulness, and he especially loves dreaming about catching the Big One. Joe’s dad does not love fishing. He doesn’t like the waiting, or the worms, or the fact that nothing much happens. But when Joe needs a parental chaperone for an ice-fishing field trip, his dad agrees to go along. And when the waiting turns into talking, exchanging jokes, and sharing hot chocolate, Joe’s dad discovers something unexpected. He doesn’t just like fishing with Joe—he loves it. You could even say he’s hooked.

  4. Day Dad Joined My Soccer Team, The - A soccer dad misunderstands when he hears that his son’s team needs his help. Instead of taking care of halftime snacks, the dad grabs a jersey and runs onto the field to play! And what an embarrassment he is: he hogs the ball, complains about his teammates and throws a hairy fit when the referee doesn’t call a play his way! Can the boy find a way to teach his dad how to be a good sport before he drives the whole team crazy?

Books About Boys And Men and Death

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One Wave at a Time
Written by Holly Thompson & illustrated by Ashley Crowley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

After his father dies, Kai experiences all kinds of emotions: sadness, anger, fear, guilt. Sometimes they crash and mix together. Other times, there are no emotions at all—just flatness. As Kai and his family adjust to life without Dad, the waves still roll in. But with the help of friends and one another, they learn to cope—and, eventually, heal. A lyrical story about grieving for anyone encountering loss.

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Grandpa's Stories
Written by Joseph Coelho & illustrated by Allison Colpoys
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

One young girl reflects on a year with her beloved grandpa. She remembers the fields and parks they explored in the springtime and the old toys they fixed up in the summer. She remembers the handmade gifts they exchanged in the fall and the stories Grandpa told by the fi re each winter. But this year, the girl must say good-bye to Grandpa. In the face of her grief, she is determined to find a way to honor him. She decides to record her Grandpa stories in the notebook he made for her and carry Grandpa with her as she grows. An honest and relatable depiction of loss, Grandpa’s Stories celebrates life and the ways in which love lives on.

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King and the Dragonflies
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
In a small but turbulent Louisiana town, one boy's grief takes him beyond the bayous of his backyard, to learn that there is no right way to be yourself.
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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Aim - As World War II threatens the United States in 1941, fourteen-year-old Junior Bledsoe fights his own battles at home. Junior struggles with school and with anger–at his father, his insufferable granddaddy, his neighbors, and himself–as he desperately tries to understand himself and find his own aim in life. But he finds relief in escaping to the quiet of the nearby woods and tinkering with cars, something he learned from his Pop, and a fatherly neighbor provides much-needed guidance. This heartfelt and inspiring prequel to the author’sBlue andComfort also includes an author’s note and bibliography.

  2. I Miss My Grandpa - For fans of Ed Young and Peter Sis, this breathtaking picture book, from LBYR’s first Emerging Artist Award Winner, Jin Xiaojing, is the perfect read for anyone who has lost a loved one. A young girl has never met her grandpa. He passed away before she was born, but she misses him every day. She often wonders…what did he look like? Grandma says: His face was shaped like the moon, his mouth was good at telling stories, and his hair was as curly as a bird’s nest. With the help of her grandma and the rest of her loving family, will this young girl be able to imagine her grandpa’s face in her mind–and feel the love that he shared with others?

Want to see books about death?

Books About Boys And Men and School

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Talent Show Tricks
Written & illustrated by Franklin W. Dixon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Detective brothers Frank and Joe must figure out who is sabotaging their school talent show in the fourth book in an all-new, interactive Hardy Boys chapter book mystery series.

Frank and Joe Hardy are excited to compete in the annual Bayport Elementary Talent Show. Frank is going to work behind the scenes, and Joe wants to show off his sweet juggling skills.

But during the first rehearsal, strange things start to happen—their friend’s trumpet is filled with bubbles, someone’s backing track is switched to croaking frogs, and a strategically placed batch of hair dye gives one of their classmates a bad hair day to remember. Can Frank and Joe figure out how to stop the pranks before the curtain falls early on the show?

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Sam the Man & the Secret Detective Club Plan
Written by Frances O’Roark Dowell & illustrated by Amy June Bates
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Sam Graham is a mystery man. But when there are no mysteries to solve, Sam comes up with a plan to find one in this hilarious fourth chapter book in the Sam the Man series from Frances O’Roark Dowell. Sam Graham loves solving mysteries. After successfully solving the mystery of Annabelle’s lost sock, Sam decides to make mystery-solving his main hobby (after tending the chickens, of course). He recruits his best friend Gavin and a couple of their classmates for a detective club, and together they’re ready for any mystery that comes their way. There’s a problem though…there are no cases to solve! So, Sam comes up with a plan: They’ll take the most interesting things in the lost and found and try to find out who lost what. But who could a locked box, a very long stuffed snake, and a red jacket belong to? And how will Sam and his friends find them? And…why does that jacket smell so bad?!?

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Otis Spofford
Written by Beverly Cleary & illustrated by Tracy Dockray
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When it comes to stirring up a little excitement in class, Otis Spofford knows just what to do. He can turn a folk dance fiesta into a three-ring circus . . . or an arithmetic lesson into a spitball marathon. Best of all, Otis likes teasing neat, well-behaved Ellen Tebbits—until the day his teasing goes too far. Now Otis is nervous, because Ellen isn’t just mad . . . she’s planning something!

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Love and First Sight - A stunning debut novel about the nature of love, trust, and new perspectives from memoirist and YouTuber Josh Sundquist—now in paperback! As blind sixteen-year-old Will Porter starts to find his footing at a new school, he develops a crush on a quiet girl named Cecily. Then, an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that will give Will eyesight for the first time. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon learns that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn’t meet traditional definitions of beauty—in fact, everything he’d heard about her appearance was a lie by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?

  2. The 6th Grade Nickname Game - Best friends Jeff and Wiley are legends. There is practically no one in their school who hasn’t been nicknamed by the duo. They’ve dubbed their own underachieving class “The Dim Bulbs”; their pop-eyed principal is better known as “Deer in Headlights”; and their enormous new English teacher, Mr. Hughes, is “Mr. Huge.” But now some of the nicknames that Jeff and Wiley have invented are backfiring on them. Will the nicknamers be able to get it together before it’s too late? *A New York Public Library Best Book for Reading and Sharing *A Bank Street Best Book of the Year

    • “A fast-paced novel with lots of laughs . . .”
    -School Library Journal (starred review) “Captures the ambience of sixth grade with humor and empathy.” -Booklist “Korman is at his amusing best here. . . .” -The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

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