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Identity: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about identity?

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

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 identity, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Amazing Grace to popular sellers like The Lightning Thief to some of our favorite hidden gems like We’re All Wonders.

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

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Top 10 Books About Identity

#1
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Petra
Written & illustrated by Marianna Coppo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The humorous adventures of an irresistible little rock who finds herself in constantly changing circumstances, Petra is a picture book that celebrates the power of perspective and believing in yourself. Petra is a little rock who believes she is a mighty mountain . . . until a dog fetches her for its owner, and she is tossed into a bird’s nest. A mountain? No, Petra is now an egg! An egg of the world in a world of possibility. Until she’s flung into a pond, and becomes an amazing island . . . and, eventually, a little girl’s pet rock. What will she be tomorrow? Who knows? But she’s a rock, and this is how she rolls!

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#2
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We're All Wonders
Written & illustrated by R. J. Palacio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The unforgettable bestseller Wonder, now a major motion picture, has inspired a nationwide movement to Choose Kind. Now parents and educators can introduce the importance of choosing kind to younger readers with this gorgeous picture book, featuring Auggie and Daisy on an original adventure, written and illustrated by R. J. Palacio.

Over 6 million people have fallen in love with Wonder and have joined the movement to Choose Kind. Now younger readers can meet Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, and his beloved dog, Daisy.

Countless fans have asked R. J. Palacio to write a book for younger readers. With We’re All Wonders, she makes her picture-book debut as both author and artist, with a spare, powerful text and striking, richly imagined illustrations. Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way.

We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children.

Praise for Wonder: A #1 New York Times Bestseller A USA Today Top 100 Bestseller An Indie Bestseller A Time Magazine 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time Selection A Washington Post Best Kids’ Book A New York Times Book Review Notable Book An NPR Outstanding Backseat Book Club Pick An Entertainment Weekly 10 Great Kids’ Books Selection

“A beautiful, funny and sometimes sob-making story of quiet transformation.” —The Wall Street Journal

“A crackling page-turner filled with characters you can’t help but root for.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Rich and memorable.” —The New York Times Book Review

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#3
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Alma and How She Got Her Name
Written & illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What’s in a name? For one little girl, her very long name tells the vibrant story of where she came from – and who she may one day be. If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza Jose Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; Jose, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all – and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.

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#4
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Amazing Grace
Written by Mary Hoffman & illustrated by Caroline Binch
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Although a classmate says that she cannot play Peter Pan in the school play because she is black, Grace discovers that she can do anything she sets her mind to do.

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#5
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The Best Kind of Bear
Written by Greg Gormley & illustrated by David Barrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

When Nelly asks Bear what kind of bear he is, he isn’t entirely sure how to answer. So off he goes to find out. But none of the different bears he meets on his travels are like him. Grizzly bears don’t have stitching; polar bears don’t have tags attached to their bottoms; spectacled bears are not as soft and bouncy as Bear is; and sun bears never wear bow ties. Disheartened, he returns to Nelly . . . only to discover what kind of bear he is — her own special bear!

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#6
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Not Quite Narwhal
Written & illustrated by Jessie Sima
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Born deep in the ocean, Kelp is not like the other narwhals and one day, when he spies a creature on land that looks like him, he learns why.

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#7
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Mixed Me!
Written by Taye Diggs & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Mom and Dad say I’m a blend of dark and light: “We mixed you perfectly, and got you just right.” Mike has awesome hair. He has LOTS of energy! His parents love him. And Mike is a PERFECT blend of the two of them. Still, Mike has to answer LOTS of questions about being mixed. And he does, with LOTS of energy and joy in this charming story about a day in the life of a mixed-race child.

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#8
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Lost and Found
Written by Andrew Clements & illustrated by Mark Elliott
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Twelve-year-old identical twins Jay and Ray have long resented that everyone treats them as one person, and so they hatch a plot to take advantage of a clerical error at their new school and pretend they are just one.

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#9
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Are You a Cow?
Written & illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Are you a COW? Are you a DOG? Are you a DUCK? Are you a FROG?

A clever chicken narrates a playful inquiry in this charming and hilarious story perfect for Boynton fans new and old. As readers answer the chicken’s questions, they’ll gain animal recognition skills as well as an important understanding: No matter who we are, it’s great to just be ourselves.

From the author and illustrator of such bestselling classics as Moo, Baa, La La La! and A to Z, this cheerful, witty board book is sure to delight children and parents alike with Sandra Boynton’s trademark sense of humor.

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#10
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Replay
Written by Sharon Creech
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Leo’s papa stood in the doorway, gazing down at him. “Leo, you make gold from pebbles,” and the way he said it, Leo could tell that this was a good thing. He may have been given a bit part in the school play … but Leo dreams he is the biggest star on Broadway. Sure, his big, noisy family makes him feel like a sardine squashed in a tin … but in his fantasy he gets all the attention he wants. Yes, his papa seems sad and distracted … but Leo imagines him as a boy, tap-dancing and singing with delight. That’s why they call Leo “fog boy.” He’s always dreaming, always replaying things in his brain. He fantasizes about who he is in order to discover who he will become. As an actor in the school play, he is poised and ready for the curtain to open. But in the play that is his life, Leo is eager to discover what part will be his.

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Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Identity and...

Books About Identity and Self-esteem And Self-reliance

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Petra
Written & illustrated by Marianna Coppo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The humorous adventures of an irresistible little rock who finds herself in constantly changing circumstances, Petra is a picture book that celebrates the power of perspective and believing in yourself. Petra is a little rock who believes she is a mighty mountain . . . until a dog fetches her for its owner, and she is tossed into a bird’s nest. A mountain? No, Petra is now an egg! An egg of the world in a world of possibility. Until she’s flung into a pond, and becomes an amazing island . . . and, eventually, a little girl’s pet rock. What will she be tomorrow? Who knows? But she’s a rock, and this is how she rolls!

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$14.62
Used $5.00
Prices as of Jan 22
Add to list
Alma and How She Got Her Name
Written & illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What’s in a name? For one little girl, her very long name tells the vibrant story of where she came from – and who she may one day be. If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza Jose Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; Jose, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all – and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names.

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My Shape is Sam
Written by Amanda Jackson & illustrated by Lydia Nichols
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Circles were smooth and round. Good at rolling, spinning, and pushing. They all turned together to make things go.

Squares were sturdy and even. Good at stacking, steadying, and measuring. They all fit together to make things stay.

In a world where everybody is a shape and every shape has a specific job, Sam is a square who longs for softer corners, rounder edges, and the ability to roll like a circle. But everyone knows that squares don’t roll, they stack. At least that’s what everyone thinks until the day Sam takes a tumble and discovers something wonderful. He doesn’t have to be what others want or expect him to be.

With playful imagery, this story considers identity and nonconformity through the eyes of Sam, a square struggling to find his true place in the world.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. I Like Myself! - High on energy and imagination, this ode to self-esteem encourages kids to appreciate everything about themselves—inside and out. Messy hair? Beaver breath? So what! Here’s a little girl who knows what really matters.

  2. Box Turtle - An irresistibly cute story about finding the confidence to be yourself, starring a turtle in search of the perfect shell.

  3. Ho'onani: Hula Warrior - An empowering celebration of identity, acceptance and Hawaiian culture based on the true story of a young girl in Hawaiʻi who dreams of leading the boys-only hula troupe at her school.

  4. If I Were You - Be careful what you wish for. A refreshing twist on the Freaky Friday set-up, If I Were You by Leslie Margolis is a fun, touching middle-grade story about friendship, family, and overcoming jealousy. Katie is jealous of her best friend, Melody. Turns out that Melody is jealous of Katie, too. It’s the end of what was supposed to be the best summer of their lives, before they start middle school, and the girls aren’t on speaking turns. They’ve had a big fight over-what else?-a boy. When the two girls wish for the exact same thing at the same moment-to redo the summer as each other-their wishes are granted. But, as the girls will learn, sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

Books About Identity and Feelings And Emotions

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We're All Wonders
Written & illustrated by R. J. Palacio
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The unforgettable bestseller Wonder, now a major motion picture, has inspired a nationwide movement to Choose Kind. Now parents and educators can introduce the importance of choosing kind to younger readers with this gorgeous picture book, featuring Auggie and Daisy on an original adventure, written and illustrated by R. J. Palacio.

Over 6 million people have fallen in love with Wonder and have joined the movement to Choose Kind. Now younger readers can meet Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face, and his beloved dog, Daisy.

Countless fans have asked R. J. Palacio to write a book for younger readers. With We’re All Wonders, she makes her picture-book debut as both author and artist, with a spare, powerful text and striking, richly imagined illustrations. Palacio shows readers what it’s like to live in Auggie’s world—a world in which he feels like any other kid, but he’s not always seen that way.

We’re All Wonders may be Auggie’s story, but it taps into every child’s longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It’s the perfect way for families and educators to talk about empathy and kindness with young children.

Praise for Wonder: A #1 New York Times Bestseller A USA Today Top 100 Bestseller An Indie Bestseller A Time Magazine 100 Best Young Adult Books of All Time Selection A Washington Post Best Kids’ Book A New York Times Book Review Notable Book An NPR Outstanding Backseat Book Club Pick An Entertainment Weekly 10 Great Kids’ Books Selection

“A beautiful, funny and sometimes sob-making story of quiet transformation.” —The Wall Street Journal

“A crackling page-turner filled with characters you can’t help but root for.” —Entertainment Weekly

“Rich and memorable.” —The New York Times Book Review

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$8.85
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Mixed Me!
Written by Taye Diggs & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Mom and Dad say I’m a blend of dark and light: “We mixed you perfectly, and got you just right.” Mike has awesome hair. He has LOTS of energy! His parents love him. And Mike is a PERFECT blend of the two of them. Still, Mike has to answer LOTS of questions about being mixed. And he does, with LOTS of energy and joy in this charming story about a day in the life of a mixed-race child.

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Eraser
Written by Anna Kang & illustrated by Christopher Weyant
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9

Eraser is always cleaning up everyone else’s mistakes. Except for Ruler and Pencil Sharpener, none of the other school supplies seem to appreciate her. They all love how sharp Pencil is and how Tape and Glue help everyone stick together. Eraser wants to create so that she can shine like the others. She decides to give it a try, but it’s not until the rubber meets the road that Eraser begins to understand a whole lot about herself.

Inspired by a school essay their daughter Kate wrote in the third grade, the author and illustrator behind Theodor Seuss Geisel Award–winner You Are (Not) Small have created a desktop drama about figuring out who you are, finding happiness, and the importance of second, third, and maybe even fourth chances.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. A Place for Pluto - Shocked to be stripped of his planet status, Pluto goes on a quest to find his place in the universe. Includes educational materials.

  2. I Love My Hair! - A modern classic, this whimsical story has been celebrating the beauty of African-American hair for 20 years!
    In this imaginative, evocative story, a girl named Keyana discovers the beauty and magic of her special hair, encouraging black children to be proud of their heritage and enhancing self-confidence.
    I Love My Hair! has been a staple in African-American picture books for 20 years, and now has a fresh, updated cover that shines on the shelves!

  3. Breathe and Be: A Book of Mindfulness Poems - Hear thunder crash, feel your toes touch sand, and watch leaves drift softly away on a quiet stream. The simple poems in Breathe and Be help children learn mindfulness as they connect to the beauty of the natural world. Mindfulness teaches us how to stay calm, soothe our emotions, and appreciate the world around us. Whether we’re watching tiny colored fish darting in the water or exploring the leaves, branches, and roots of a towering tree, the thoughtful words and the lovely art of Breathe and Be remind us how much joy we can find by simply living with awareness and inner peace.

  4. Thunder Boy Jr. - From New York Times bestselling author Sherman Alexie and Caldecott Honor winning Yuyi Morales comes a striking and beautifully illustrated picture book celebrating the special relationship between father and son. Thunder Boy Jr. wants a normal name…one that’s all his own. Dad is known as big Thunder, but little thunder doesn’t want to share a name. He wants a name that celebrates something cool he’s done like Touch the Clouds, Not Afraid of Ten Thousand Teeth, or Full of Wonder. But just when Little Thunder thinks all hope is lost, dad picks the best name…Lightning! Their love will be loud and bright, and together they will light up the sky.

Books About Identity and Self-discovery

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The Best Kind of Bear
Written by Greg Gormley & illustrated by David Barrow
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

When Nelly asks Bear what kind of bear he is, he isn’t entirely sure how to answer. So off he goes to find out. But none of the different bears he meets on his travels are like him. Grizzly bears don’t have stitching; polar bears don’t have tags attached to their bottoms; spectacled bears are not as soft and bouncy as Bear is; and sun bears never wear bow ties. Disheartened, he returns to Nelly . . . only to discover what kind of bear he is — her own special bear!

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Not Quite Narwhal
Written & illustrated by Jessie Sima
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Born deep in the ocean, Kelp is not like the other narwhals and one day, when he spies a creature on land that looks like him, he learns why.

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Where Oliver Fits
Written & illustrated by Cale Atkinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

Oliver has always dreamed about where he will fit. Will he be in the mane of a unicorn? The tentacle of a pirate squid? The helmet of an astronaut? When he finally goes in search of his perfect place, he finds that trying to fit in is a lot harder than he thought. But like any puzzle, a little trial and error leads to a solution, and Oliver figures out exactly where he belongs.

Where Oliver Fits is a sweet and funny story that explores all the highs and lows of learning to be yourself and shows that fitting in isn’t always the best fit.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Maybe: A Story About the Endless Potential in All of Us - “You are the only you there ever has been or ever will be. You are unique in all the universe. Just the odds of you being here at this exact place and this exact time are so great and so rare that it will never happen again. Written by New York Times best-selling author Kobi Yamada, this is a story for everything you will do and everything you can be. It’s a story about all the possibilities ahead of you. It’s for who you are right now and it’s for all the magical, unbounded potential you hold inside. With its beautiful visual storytelling and timeless message, Maybe is an inspiring story for kids of all ages. “

  2. Keeper of the Lost Cities - At age 12, Sophie learns that the remarkable abilities that have always made her different from others actually identify her as an elf, and after being brought to Eternalia to hone her skills, she discovers that she has secrets buried in her memory for which some would kill.

  3. Princess Angelica, Camp Catastrophe - Angelica isn’t a liar. She just loves making up stories. When she goes to sleepaway camp and is mistaken for a princess, she could easily clear up the misunderstanding… but pretending to be royalty is way more fun! When her best friend from home surprises her at camp, Angelica is forced to fess up. Luckily, she also has a talent for repairing things, and when disaster strikes on the girls’ kayaking trip, Jelly has to repair more than just her newfound friendships.

  4. Blended - Eleven-year-old Isabella’s blended family is more divided than ever in this thoughtful story about divorce and racial identity from the award-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Out of My Mind, Sharon M. Draper. Eleven-year-old Isabella’s parents are divorced, so she has to switch lives every week: One week she’s Isabella with her dad, his girlfriend Anastasia, and her son Darren living in a fancy house where they are one of the only black families in the neighborhood. The next week she’s Izzy with her mom and her boyfriend John-Mark in a small, not-so-fancy house that she loves. Because of this, Isabella has always felt pulled between two worlds. And now that her parents are divorced, it seems their fights are even worse, and they’re always about HER. Isabella feels even more stuck in the middle, split and divided between them than ever. And she’s is beginning to realize that being split between Mom and Dad is more than switching houses, switching nicknames, switching backpacks: it’s also about switching identities. Her dad is black, her mom is white, and strangers are always commenting: “You’re so exotic!” “You look so unusual.” “But what are you really?” She knows what they’re really saying: “You don’t look like your parents.” “You’re different.” “What race are you really?” And when her parents, who both get engaged at the same time, get in their biggest fight ever, Isabella doesn’t just feel divided, she feels ripped in two. What does it mean to be half white or half black? To belong to half mom and half dad? And if you’re only seen as half of this and half of that, how can you ever feel whole? It seems like nothing can bring Isabella’s family together again—until the worst happens. Isabella and Darren are stopped by the police. A cell phone is mistaken for a gun. And shots are fired.

Books About Identity and Animals

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Are You a Cow?
Written & illustrated by Sandra Boynton
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Are you a COW? Are you a DOG? Are you a DUCK? Are you a FROG?

A clever chicken narrates a playful inquiry in this charming and hilarious story perfect for Boynton fans new and old. As readers answer the chicken’s questions, they’ll gain animal recognition skills as well as an important understanding: No matter who we are, it’s great to just be ourselves.

From the author and illustrator of such bestselling classics as Moo, Baa, La La La! and A to Z, this cheerful, witty board book is sure to delight children and parents alike with Sandra Boynton’s trademark sense of humor.

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Clover Fields Fiasco
Written by Cari Meister & illustrated by Stephen Park Gilpin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Princess is a show pony who is absolutely convinced that she is a cat and needs to hunt for her dinner, Blizzard (otherwise known as Snowy) is a Shetland pony who needs material for the book he is writing, and Sebastian is a draft horse who knows how to break out of the barn; so together the Tres Caballos Incognito set out for the clover fields looking for adventure–where Princess chases a squirrel and gets stuck in a tree.

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When I Grow Up
Written & illustrated by Paula Vasquez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

What is your family like? All of the children in Miss Ester’s class know what they want to be like when they grow up: their families! And each family is special and unique. Readers will be surprised and delighted to find that Johnny the duckling’s mom and dad have curly tails, stubby noses, and hooves.

Johnny and his classmates make it easy for parents to show their little ones that there are many types of families, and they’re all made of love. Paula Vásquez’s fun illustrations and sweet writing style make this unique family story a must-have.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Super Rabbit Boy vs. Super Rabbit Boss - The world has flipped upside-down and everything good is now bad! This can only mean trouble for Super Rabbit Boy!

  2. Serafina and the Twisted Staff (the Serafina Series Book 2) - Serafina’s defeat of the Man in the Black Cloak has brought her out of the shadows and into the daylight realm of her home, Biltmore Estate. Every night she visits her mother in the forest, eager to learn the ways of the catamount. But Serafina finds herself caught between her two worlds: she’s too wild for Biltmore’s beautifully dressed ladies and formal customs, and too human to fully join her kin. </p>When a mysterious series of attacks test Serafina’s role as Biltmore’s protector, she finds herself torn from the side of her best friend and only ally, Braeden Vanderbilt. Heartbroken, she flees.</p>Deep in the forest, Serafina comes face-to-face with the evil infecting Biltmore-and discovers its reach is far greater than she’d ever imagined. All the humans and creatures of the Blue Ridge Mountains are in terrible danger. For Serafina to defeat this new evil before it engulfs her beloved home, she must search deep inside herself and embrace the destiny that has always awaited her.</p><br>

  3. Bear Who Wasn't There - A magical, lyrical picture book debut from acclaimed composer and playwright Oren Lavie, illustrated by beloved German illustrator Wolf Erlbruch. One day, a few minutes after Once Upon a Time, a bear awakes to find he has lost something very important: himself! He sets out into the Fabulous Forest to find himself, using only a few clues scrawled on a piece of paper: the bear he’s looking for is a nice bear; he is a happy bear; and he’s very handsome too! These sound like pretty good qualities to Bear, and so begins his memorable journey. With the help of Fabulous Forest critters like the Convenience Cow, the Lazy Lizard, and the Penultimate Penguin, Bear finds that he himself is just what he’s been looking for all along: a nice, happy bear–and handsome too! As whimsical as Winnie-the-Pooh and as wryly comic as Klassen’s bear who wants his hat back, The Bear Who Wasn’t There joins a select crew of unusual bears who have captured the imagination of children for generations. Wolf Erlbruch is one of Germany’s most renowned illustrators; his work is respected and loved around the world. Among his many awards, Erlbruch received both the Gutenberg and the German Children’s Literature Award, as well as a Hans Christian Andersen Illustrator Award. His previous book, Duck, Death and the Tulip, sold more than 100,000 copies and was published in nineteen countries. Oren Lavie is a composer, musician, and playwright. His debut album, The Opposite Side of the Sea, was released worldwide to critical acclaim. The music video for “Her Morning Elegance” was nominated for a Grammy and became a YouTube hit with over twenty-five million views. Lavie’s song “A Dance ‘Round the Memory Tree” was featured in Disney’s film The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian. He currently lives in Tel Aviv, Israel.

  4. The Big Secret - In the first book of the <i>Tales of Sasha</i> series, a young horse named Sasha discovers a big secret about what makes her different from her friends and family. <p/>Sasha has always felt a little bit different from the other horses in her home of Verdant Valley. She loves running and jumping and the feeling of being in the air, and she longs to explore the forest beyond her valley. <p/>One day during class, the white patch on Sasha’s back gives her an itching feeling that makes her want to <i>soar</i>, and she leaps over a big rock. When she lands, she realizes that her patch is sparkling! But what does it mean? Find out in the first book of this magical new series!

Want to see books about animals?

Books About Identity and Girls And Women

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Amazing Grace
Written by Mary Hoffman & illustrated by Caroline Binch
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Although a classmate says that she cannot play Peter Pan in the school play because she is black, Grace discovers that she can do anything she sets her mind to do.

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Isabella: Girl in Charge
Written by Jennifer Fosberry & illustrated by Mike Litwin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Plucky, purple-haired Isabella, star of the New York Times bestselling picture book series, is back for another adventure! Just how high can a little girl dream? A big event has Isabella ready to leave home at the crack of dawn. But that’s a motion her parents are not likely to pass. After a two-to-one vote, it’s decided that some things need to happen before Isabellacan leave the house-like eating breakfast and brushing her teeth! If her house is going to work like a democracy, Isabella knows what she has to do; call an assembly and campaign her way out the door! Taking inspiration from the women who trail blazed their way onto the political map of America, Isabella celebrates the women who were first to hold their offices. And if Isabella can get her parents out the door, she might just witness the first woman voted into the highest position of all…

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

Isabella imagines she is a variety of prominent women throughout history, including Sally Ride, Annie Oakley, Rosa Parks, and Marie Curie.

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  1. Skin Like Mine -

  2. Intersectionallies: We Make Room for All - [A] celebration of solidarity, allyship, and community...A welcoming resource for conversations about equality and social justice that shows readers how identities are made up of myriad influences.--PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

  3. My Name Is Not Alexander - 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!

  4. Beholding Bee - In 1942, when life turns sour at the carnival that has always been her home, eleven-year-old Bee takes her dog, Peabody, and piglet, Cordelia, and sets out to find a real home, aided by two women only Bee and her pets can see.

Books About Identity and Friendship

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Lost and Found
Written by Andrew Clements & illustrated by Mark Elliott
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Twelve-year-old identical twins Jay and Ray have long resented that everyone treats them as one person, and so they hatch a plot to take advantage of a clerical error at their new school and pretend they are just one.

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Nightfall
Written by Shannon Messenger
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A New York Times bestselling series A USA TODAY bestselling series A California Young Reader Medal–winning series

Sophie and her friends face battles unlike anything they’ve seen before in this thrilling sixth book of the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series.

Sophie Foster is struggling. Grieving. Scrambling. But she knows one thing: she will not be defeated.

The Neverseen have had their victories—but the battle is far from over. It’s time to change tactics. Make sacrifices. Reexamine everything. Maybe even time for Sophie to trust her enemies.

All paths lead to Nightfall—an ominous door to an even more ominous place—and Sophie and her friends strike a dangerous bargain to get there. But nothing can prepare them for what they discover. The problems they’re facing stretch deep into their history. And with time running out, and mistakes catching up with them, Sophie and her allies must join forces in ways they never have before.

In this spectacular sixth book in the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must uncover the truth about the Lost Cities’ insidious past, before it repeats itself and changes reality.

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Everblaze
Written & illustrated by Shannon Messenger
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Sophie uncovers shocking secrets—and faces treacherous new enemies—in this electrifying third book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series. Sophie Foster is ready to fight back. Her talents are getting stronger, and with the elusive Black Swan group ignoring her calls for help, she’s determined to find her kidnappers—before they come after her again. But a daring mistake leaves her world teetering on the edge of war, and causes many to fear that she has finally gone too far. And the deeper Sophie searches, the farther the conspiracy stretches, proving that her most dangerous enemy might be closer than she realizes. In this nail-biting third book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must fight the flames of rebellion, before they destroy everyone and everything she loves.

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  1. Legacy - Illusions shatter--and Sophie and her friends face impossible choices--in this astonishing eighth book in the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series.

  2. You Are a Beautiful Beginning - It is not the destination, but the journey. Inspired by this timeless adage, You Are a Beautiful Beginning combines lyrical storytelling and lovely art, blossoming into a celebration of self-love, friendship, and community. With beautiful simplicity and hidden depth, this meditative and magical picture book encourages readers old and young to discover their own endless potential. Kelsey Garrity-Riley's inviting, gently magical art pairs beautifully with a lyrical, deceptively simple text by Nina Laden to create a picture book that is equal parts inspirational story and peaceful lullaby. It is not wishing to be different.
    It is learning to love being you. It is not the end of your story.
    It is a beautiful beginning, too.
    This is another uplifting and original book from bestseller Nina Laden, the creator of Peek-A-Who and the author of If I Had a Little Dream and Yellow Kayak.

  3. Come All You Little Persons - From above earth, from above sky, from below earth, from under water, come all you little persons come exactly as you are. Come little bird person, come little bee person, come little tree person - little persons from all over the world join together to celebrate the dance of life and love in this stunning poem from John Agard. Stunningly illustrated by Jessica Courtney-Tickle, this is a book that both little persons and big persons will treasure and pore over for a lifetime, and is a true poem of our time.

  4. The Lightning Thief - Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse-Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends – one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena – Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.

Books About Identity and Family Life

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Replay
Written by Sharon Creech
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Leo’s papa stood in the doorway, gazing down at him. “Leo, you make gold from pebbles,” and the way he said it, Leo could tell that this was a good thing. He may have been given a bit part in the school play … but Leo dreams he is the biggest star on Broadway. Sure, his big, noisy family makes him feel like a sardine squashed in a tin … but in his fantasy he gets all the attention he wants. Yes, his papa seems sad and distracted … but Leo imagines him as a boy, tap-dancing and singing with delight. That’s why they call Leo “fog boy.” He’s always dreaming, always replaying things in his brain. He fantasizes about who he is in order to discover who he will become. As an actor in the school play, he is poised and ready for the curtain to open. But in the play that is his life, Leo is eager to discover what part will be his.

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The Prince and the Dressmaker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-17

Paris, at the dawn of the modern age:

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On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY AND ECPA BESTSELLER - Now in hardcover for the first time, featuring all-new illustrations! Once, in a cottage above the cliffs on the Dark Sea of Darkness, there lived three children and their trusty dog, Nugget.
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  1. Best at It - From award-winning actor Maulik Pancholy comes a hilarious and heartfelt middle grade debut about a gay Indian American boy coming into his own. One of Time Out's "LGBTQ+ books for kids to read during Pride Month," this is perfect for fans of Tim Federle's Nate series. A Stonewall Honor Book!

  2. Eleanor, Ellatony, Ellencake, and Me - Eleanor, Ellatony, Ellencake and Me Everyone in Eleanor’s family thinks they have the perfect nickname for her. Nana thinks “Eleanor” is boring and insists on calling her “Elle,” her perfect “mademoiselle.” Papa wants to call her “Punch,” his favorite “crunch.” Dad insists on naming her “Eleanora, the movie star with so much mora.” Even Mom gets into the act, shortening her name until it’s just one letter–E! Finally, Eleanor realizes that the only person who can come up with the perfect nickname is the one who is going to use it–herself! This endearing story, told in clever and humorous rhyme, offer a unique insight into how one spunky kid relies on her sense of self to solve her problem. A clever story about identity and the power of names, as told by Eleanor, out spunkiest heroine.

  3. I Can Make This Promise - In her debut middle grade novel--inspired by her family's history--Christine Day tells the story of a girl who uncovers her family's secrets--and finds her own Native American identity.

  4. Jack (Not Jackie) - In this heartwarming picture book, a big sister realizes that her little sister, Jackie, doesn’t like dresses or fairies-she likes ties and bugs! Will she and her family be able to accept that Jackie identifies more as “Jack”? Susan thinks her little sister Jackie has the best giggle! She can’t wait for Jackie to get older so they can do all sorts of things like play forest fairies and be explorers together. But as Jackie grows, she doesn’t want to play those games. She wants to play with mud and be a super bug! Jackie also doesn’t like dresses or her long hair, and she would rather be called Jack. Readers will love this sweet story about change and acceptance.

Books About Identity and Adventure And Adventurers

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Talons of Power (Wings of Fire, Book 9), Volume 9
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

For every villain, there is a hero …<br></br>Turtle isn’t one of the heroes he reads about in stories. If he were, he’d use his animus powers to help Pyrrhia – instead of keeping his abilities a secret, even from his own sister. Now that Darkstalker, the sinister and impossibly old dragon from Pyrrhia’s most notorious legends, has returned, Turtle knows his own role is simple: hide. And stay hidden.<br></br>The more he watches Darkstalker from the shadows, the more Turtle knows that someone needs to stop the powerful dragon. A real hero. But Turtle is running out of time to find one, which means … he might have to try to save the day himself.

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The Hidden Kingdom
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Deep in the rain forest, danger awaits… <p/>Glory knows the dragon world is wrong about her tribe. After all, she isn’t as lazy as a RainWing – she isn’t lazy at all! Maybe she wasn’t meant to be one of the dragonets of destiny, as the older dragons constantly remind her, but Glory is sharp and her venom is deadly… except, of course, no one knows it. <p/>When the dragonets seek shelter in the rain forest, Glory is devastated to find that the treetops are full of RainWings that no dragon could ever call dangerous. They nap all day and know nothing of the rest of Pyrrhia. Worst of all, they don’t realize – or care – that RainWings are going missing from their beautiful forest. But Glory and the dragonets are determined to find the missing dragons, even if it drags the peaceful RainWing kingdom where they never wanted to be-in the middle of the war.

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Unlocked Book 8.5
Written by Shannon Messenger
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Book 8.5 in the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series delivers what fans of the series have been begging for! Told in an exciting new way, the saga continues with plenty of huge reveals and shocking new twists--plus a complete series guide with beautiful color and black-and-white illustrations and other awesome bonuses!
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  1. The Polar Bear Explorers' Club - A precocious young girl is determined to prove herself as an explorer in the first novel in the whimsical Polar Bear Explorers’ Club series. Stella Starflake Pearl knows, without a doubt, that she was born to be an adventurer. It’s too bad girls are forbidden from becoming explorers. But Stella’s father has never been one to play by the rules. Leaving behind her pet polar bear, Gruff, and beloved unicorn, Magic, Stella and Felix set off on an expedition to the snowy Icelands. There, Stella plans to prove herself as a junior explorer, worthy of membership in the Polar Bear Explorers’ Club. So when Stella and three other junior explorers are separated from the rest of their expedition, she has the perfect opportunity. Can they explore the frozen wilderness and live to tell the tale? The first in Alex Bell’s imaginative new series, The Polar Bear Explorers’ Club is a fun and daring adventure filled with magic, outlaws, and fantastic faraway lands.

  2. Withering-by-Sea - A stalwart orphan sets out on a spine-tingling adventure in this wildly imaginative and darkly funny Victorian middle grade novel. High on a cliff above the gloomy Victorian town of Withering-by-Sea stands the Hotel Majestic. Inside the walls of the damp, dull hotel, eleven-year-old orphan Stella Montgomery leads a miserable life with her three dreadful aunts. Stella dreams of adventuring on the Amazon—or anyplace, really, as long as it isn’t this dreary town where nothing ever happens. Then one night Stella sees something she shouldn’t have. Soon she finds herself on the run from terrifying Professor Stark and his gang of thugs. But how can one young girl outwit an evil magician, much less rescue his poor, mistreated assistant? With the help of a mysterious maestro, his musical cats, and a lively girl named Gert, Stella Montgomery sets out to do the impossible.

  3. The Sign of the Cat - Talking cats, a missing princess, swordfights with villains, and secret identities combine in this epic tale of bravery and self-discovery on the high seas. Duncan is very smart. He also has a most unusual gift. So why does his mother encourage him to be perfectly average and insist he only get mediocre grades? His special talent is the ability to talk to cats―but Duncan longs more than anything for academic success. When Duncan rebels and gets a perfect test score, people start taking notice of him. And it turns out that some of those people may not have the best intentions . . . not by a long shot. From the same author of The Secret of Zoom and Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat, Lynne Jonell delivers another magical and unforgettable adventure in The Sign of the Cat.

Books About Identity and Aliens And Extraterrestrial Beings

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Hilo Book 4: Waking the Monsters
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
"An action-packed page turner with heart!"--Dav Pilkey, author of
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Hilo Book 5: Then Everything Went Wrong
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
"An action-packed page turner with heart!"--Dav Pilkey, author of
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A Hero for Wondla
Written & illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14
The second novel in the New York Times bestselling The Search for WondLa series, from the cocreator of The Spiderwick Chronicles.
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  1. Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth - "An action-packed page turner with heart!"--Dav Pilkey, author of DOG MAN Take off on an action packed adventure with HILO Book 1! Dog Manmeets Big Nate in this hilarious New York Times bestselling graphic novel series that kids love!

  2. Search for WondLa - When a marauder destroys the underground sanctuary that Eva Nine was raised in by the robot Muthr, the twelve-year-year-old girl is forced to flee aboveground. Eva Nine is searching for anyone else like her, for she knows that other humans exist, because of an item she treasures–a scrap of cardboard on which is depicted a young girl, an adult, and a robot, with the strange word, “WondLa.” Tony DiTerlizzi honors traditional children’s literature in this totally original space age adventure: one that is as complex as an alien planet, but as simple as a child’s wish for a place to belong.

Books About Identity and Multicultural

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For Black Girls Like Me
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

I am a girl but most days I feel like a question mark. Makeda June Kirkland is eleven-years-old, adopted, and black. Her parents and big sister are white, and even though she loves her family very much, Makeda often feels left out. When Makeda’s family moves from Maryland to New Mexico, she leaves behind her best friend, Lena- the only other adopted black girl she knows- for a new life. In New Mexico, everything is different. At home, Makeda’s sister is too cool to hang out with her anymore and at school, she can’t seem to find one true friend. Through it all, Makeda can’t help wondering: What would it feel like to grow up with a family that looks like me? Through singing, dreaming, and writing secret messages back and forth with Lena, Makeda might just carve a small place for herself in the world.

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The Length of a String
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

Imani is adopted, and she’s ready to search for her birth parents. But when she discovers the diary her Jewish great-grandmother wrote chronicling her escape from Holocaust-era Europe, Imani begins to see family in a new way. Imani knows exactly what she wants as her big bat mitzvah gift: to find her birth parents. She loves her family and her Jewish community in Baltimore, but she has always wondered where she came from, especially since she’s black and almost everyone she knows is white. Then her mom’s grandmother–Imani’s great-grandma Anna–passes away, and Imani discovers an old journal among her books. It’s Anna’s diary from 1941, the year she was twelve and fled Nazi-occupied Luxembourg alone, sent by her parents to seek refuge in Brooklyn, New York. Anna’s diary records her journey to America and her new life with an adoptive family of her own. And as Imani reads the diary, she begins to see her family, and her place in it, in a whole new way.

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This Is Me
Written by Jamie Lee Curtis & illustrated by Laura Cornell
board book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From the #1 New York Times bestselling creative team of Jamie Lee Curtis and Laura Cornell comes a timely picture book about immigration. Raising important identity issues like “Where did we come from?” and “Who are we?” This Is Me is as delightful as it is important, sure to stimulate dinner table conversation.

In This Is Me a teacher tells her class about her great-grandmother’s dislocating journey from home to a new country with nothing but a small suitcase to bring along. And she asks: What would you pack? What are the things you love best? What says “This is me!” With its lively, rhyming language and endearing illustrations, it’s a book to read again and again, imagining the lives of the different characters, finding new details in the art, thinking about what it would be like to move someplace completely different.

It’s an interactive book, too: Tucked into the back cover is a sturdy pop-up suitcase. And as a younger reader fills the suitcase, he or she learns a lot about what really matters: Now YOU take this case/ and imagine it’s true,/ that you’re leaving and needing/ to choose what says YOU.

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  1. Honeysmoke: A Story of Finding Your Color - A young biracial girl looks around her world for her color. She finally chooses her own, and creates a new word for herself--honeysmoke.

  2. Other Half of Happy - 2020 Pura Belpré Honor Book
    A Junior Library Guild Selection
    ALSC Notable Children’s Book
    2020 Jean Flynn Award for Best Middle Grade Book
    2020 Spirit of Texas Reading Program Recommended Title
    This immersive and beautifully written novel follows the story of Quijana, a girl in pieces. Quijana must figure out which parts of herself are most important, and which pieces come together to make her whole. This is a heartfelt poetic portrayal of a girl growing up, fitting in, and learning what it means to belong. - Lyrical middle grade debut from author Rebecca Balcárcel
    - A diverse and family-centered story that resonates with anyone who remembers, or is going through, growing pains
    - Inclusively embraces real life experiences with biracial, autistic, and gay characters
    One-half Guatemalan, one-half American: When Quijana’s Guatemalan cousins move to town, her dad seems ashamed that she doesn’t know more about her family’s heritage. One-half crush, one-half buddy: When Quijana meets Zuri and Jayden, she knows she’s found true friends. But she can’t help the growing feelings she has for Jayden. One-half kid, one-half grown-up: Quijana spends her nights Skyping with her ailing grandma and trying to figure out what’s going on with her increasingly hard-to-reach brother. - A wonderful gift for bilingual and bicultural readers, introspective tweens and teens, and parents and educators
    - Perfect for those who love the heart of Matt de la Peña, the honesty of Meg Medina, and the poetry of Kate DiCamillo
    - Add it to the shelf with books like We Were Here by Matt de la Peña, Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina, and I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

  3. Change Your Name Store - An exciting story of self-discovery from Leanne Shirtliffe (of the humor blog IronicMom), with fun, colorful illustrations takes children on a journey to find their true identity and to celebrate who they are--name and all.

  4. Why Am I Me? - Presented as a thoughtful, poetic exchange between two characters – who don’t realize they are thinking and asking the very same questions – this beautiful celebration of our humanity and diversity invites readers of all ages to imagine a world where there is no you or me, only we. <p/>If the first step toward healing the world is to build bridges of empathy and celebrate rather than discriminate, <i>Why Am I Me?</i> helps foster a much-needed sense of connection, compassion, and love.

Books About Identity and Family

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Where Are You From?
Written by Yamile Saied Méndez & illustrated by Jaime Kim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This resonant picture book tells the story of one girl who constantly gets asked a simple question that doesn’t have a simple answer. A great conversation starter in the home or classroom—a book to share, in the spirit of I Am Enough by Grace Byers and Keturah A. Bobo. When a girl is asked where she’s from—where she’s really from—none of her answers seems to be the right one. Unsure about how to reply, she turns to her loving abuelo for help. He doesn’t give her the response she expects. She gets an even better one. Where am I from? You’re from hurricanes and dark storms, and a tiny singing frog that calls the island people home when the sun goes to sleep…. With themes of self-acceptance, identity, and home, this powerful, lyrical picture book will resonate with readers young and old, from all backgrounds and of all colors—especially anyone who ever felt that they don’t belong.

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Over the Moon
Written by James Proimos & illustrated by Zoey Abbott
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

This sweet-natured bedtime book proves that a family is wherever you find love.

When two wolves see a baby floating down a river, what do they do? Why, they take the baby home. Over the moon with joy, they nourish and teach her. And when that baby grows into a child, she and the wolves know that she will be ready to make her way in the world. Because when a child is loved, she has everything she needs.

• A classic fairy-tale premise told with warmth and an inclusive sensibility for all types of families to enjoy • A touching read-aloud books for families, caregivers, and classroom storytime • James Proimos has written and/or illustrated over 20 critically lauded children’s books.

This gently humorous story shows that families come in many forms, and that love is about both holding on and letting go.

Fans of Finn’s Feather, Wild, and Wolfie the Bunnie will find Over the Moon a delightful tale for all ages.

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Lone Wolf
Written & illustrated by Sarah Kurpiel
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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  1. Wormwood Mire - This spine-tingling sequel to Withering-by-Sea sees Stella sent away to the moldering old family estate, where she discovers two odd cousins—and a mystery. Eleven-year-old Stella Montgomery has always wondered about her family. What happened to her mother? And could she have a long-lost sister somewhere? Stella’s awful Aunts refuse to tell her anything, and now they have sent her away to the old family home at Wormwood Mire, where she must live with two strange cousins and their governess. But dark secrets slither and skulk within overgrown grounds of the house, and Stella must be brave if she’s to find out who—or what—she really is…

  2. The Second Story - From award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris comes the magical second book in the New York Times bestselling Magic Misfits series--with even more tricks up its sleeve.

  3. The Alarming Career of Sir Richard Blackstone - Twelve-year-old Henry Hewitt has been living by his wits on the streets of London, dodging his parents, who are determined to sell him as an apprentice. Searching for a way out of the city, Henry lands a position in Hampshire as an assistant to Sir Richard Blackstone, an aristocratic scientist who performs unorthodox experiments in his country manor. The manor house is comfortable, and the cook is delighted to feed Henry as much as he can eat. Sir Richard is also kind, and Henry knows he has finally found a place where he belongs. But everything changes when one of Sir Richard’s experiments accidentally transforms a normal-sized tarantula into a colossal beast that escapes and roams the neighborhood. After a man goes missing and Sir Richard is accused of witchcraft, it is left to young Henry to find an antidote for the oversized arachnid. Things are not as they seem, and in saving Sir Richard from the gallows, Henry also unravels a mystery about his own identity.

  4. Nooks & Crannies - Eleven-year-old Tabitha Crum, whose parents were just about to abandon her, is invited to the country estate of a wealthy countess along with five other children and told that one of them will become her heir.

Want to see 23 more books about identity and family ?

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Books About Identity and Culture

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Name Jar
Written & illustrated by Yangsook Choi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

The new kid in school needs a new name! Or does she? <p/>Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what about when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she tells the class that she will choose a name by the following week. Her new classmates are fascinated by this no-name girl and decide to help out by filling a glass jar with names for her to pick from. But while Unhei practices being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, one of her classmates comes to her neighborhood and discovers her real name and its special meaning. On the day of her name choosing, the name jar has mysteriously disappeared. Encouraged by her new friends, Unhei chooses her own Korean name and helps everyone pronounce it–<i>Yoon-Hey</i>.

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Book of a Thousand Days
Written by Shannon Hale
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-

Based on a classic Grimm’s fairy tale, this is the story told by Dashti, a maid from the steppes of a medieval land, who sacrifices her freedom to accompany her mistress into exile. Imprisoned in a remote tower after Lady Saren refuses to marry the man her father has chosen, the maid and the lady have almost nothing in common. But the loyalty that grows between the two, the man they love in different ways for different reasons, and the lies they tell because of and in spite of each other, combine to evoke the deepest bonds, transcend the loneliest landscapes, and erupt in a conclusion so romantic, so clever, and so right that no reader will be left dry-eyed.

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Two Roads
Written by Joseph Bruchac
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

In 1932, twelve-year-old Cal must stop being a hobo with his father and go to a Bureau of Indian Affairs boarding school, where he begins learning about his history and heritage as a Creek Indian.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Pashmina - A Junior Library Guild Selection 2017
    Amazon Top Twenty Children's Book of the Year 2017
    Amazon Best Book of the month December 2017
    Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2017
    Texas Maverick Graphic Novel 2017
    Northern California Indie Bookseller Association Long-List Title

  2. Crispin: The Cross of Lead - “Avi’s plot is engineered for maximum thrills, with twists, turns, and treachery aplenty. . . . A page-turner to delight Avi’s fans, it will leave readers hoping for a sequel.”-Publishers Weekly (starred review) “ . . . [T]he book is a page-turner from beginning to end . . . [A] meticulously crafted story, full of adventure, mystery, and action.” -School Library Journal (starred review) “Historical fiction at its finest.”-VOYA

Want to see books about culture?

Books About Identity and Social Themes

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Of Course They Do!
Written by Marie-Sabine Roger & illustrated by Anne Sol
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Using sparse text and large, bright photographs, the book debunks commonly-held gender-myths. Misconceptions are stated matter-of-factly (Boys don’t cook.), but when the page is turned, each myth is proven false with playful language (Are you sure?) and a contradictory photo (a male professional chef). This jacketless book is perfect for young readers as well as read-alouds and will generate discussions about gender-based assumptions around play and work.

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A Page in the Wind
Written by Jose Sanabria
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A whimsical and moving story about discovering your purpose by José Sanabria. The last little newspaper on a newsstand wonders what its life will be like until a gust of wind sends its individual pages flying. Each page travels to a different place and experiences a vastly different life—from being used to clean a mirror and line the cage of a pet to being formed into a boat by a child and sheltering a homeless person from the cold—until, at last, the final page finds it’s true calling. Sanabria’s expressive art and thoughtful story reflect many ways our lives can be touched.

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Over the Rooftops, Under the Moon
Written by JonArno Lawson & illustrated by Nahid Kazemi
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Feeling both like a bird and yet other to himself, a young bird finds unexpected connection in the eyes of a little girl. is identification carries him into the human world, making him forget his flock for a time. He wonders about the nature of life: What does it mean to be a bird? What does it mean to feel different? What are the possibilities for transcending the self as which you are born? This is a sparse, thought-provoking story about belonging and selfhood.

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Honorable Mentions
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  1. Under the Bottle Bridge - In the tradition of Counting by 7s and Three Times Lucky, critically acclaimed author Jessica Lawson returns with her fourth whimsical, lyrical, and heartfelt middle grade novel about a girl who’s desperately trying to keep her life together, when everything seems to be falling apart. In the weeks leading up to Gilbreth, New York’s annual AutumnFest, twelve-year-old woodcraft legacy Minna Treat is struggling with looming deadlines, an uncle trying to hide Very Bad News, and a secret personal quest. When she discovers mysterious bottle messages under one of the village’s 300-year-old bridges, she can’t help but wonder who’s leaving them, what they mean, and, most importantly…could the messages be for her? Along with best friend Crash and a mystery-loving newcomer full of suspicious theories, Minna is determined to discover whether the bottles are miraculously leading her toward the long-lost answers she’s been looking for, or drawing her into a disaster of historic proportions.

  2. In My Room - In her room, one little girl can be anything she wants to be and go anywhere she wishes to go, all with the power of her imagination (and paper, markers, and crayons, of course!). She can go on safari or sail the seven seas. She can be a doctor, teacher, or high-powered businesswoman. The sky’s the limit! And when the day is over, she can become a little girl again, safe in her room. Like the classic Where the Wild Things Are, this latest addition to the Growing Hearts series celebrates imagination as a means to try on different identities and work through difficult emotions, all while having fun.

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