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New York: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about New York?

New York is a magical place. There is a feeling of determination in the air. Now you will be able to share this with your children whether they are newborn or reading chapter books on their own. We hope you enjoy the enthusiasm you’ll find here as much as we do.

Top 10 Books About New York

#1
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Stuart Little
Written & illustrated by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
A hardcover edition of this treasured story, for which Garth Williams's original black-and-white line drawings for the jacket of Stuart Little have been colorized by the celebrated illustrator Rosemary Wells. Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he's shy and thoughtful, he's also a true lover of adventure. Stuart's greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?
#2
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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Written by E.L. Konigsburg
Thoughts from The Goodfather
I have fond memories of this book from my own elementary days and look forward to sharing it with my own kids. The setting of the story in New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art makes it especially attractive to any readers who love the city.
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved classic From the Mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. In this winner of the Newbery Medal from E.L. Konigsburg, when suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn't just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere—to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant.
#3
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Twenty-one Elephants and Still Standing
Written by April Jones Prince & illustrated by Francois Roca
Thoughts from The Goodfather
This story memorably presents such an inspiring moment in the history of the Brooklyn Bridge. It also touches on the general history of the bridge. The soft illustration style helps create the memorable and inspiring feel of the story. This is a great book about New York City!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
After fourteen years of construction, the Brooklyn Bridge was completed, much to the delight of the sister cities it connected: Brooklyn and New York City. Fireworks and top hats filled the air in celebration when the magnificent bridge opened in 1883. But some wondered just how much weight the new bridge could hold. Was it truly safe? One man seized the opportunity to show people in Brooklyn, New York and the world that the Brooklyn Bridge was in fact strong enough to hold even the heaviest of passengers. P. T. Barnum, creator of “The Greatest Show on Earth,” would present a show too big for the Big Top and too wondrous to forget.
#4
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Her Right Foot
Written by Dave Eggers & illustrated by Shawn Harris
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I love this book about the statue of liberty! The illustrations are completely gorgeous, and the book is fact-filled and full of great vocabulary. While some of the words might go over the heads of little ones, I really like the diction choice to help introduce new words. The story tells a lot of the history and meaning behind the statue, and I learned a lot of new things from this book, myself. The story starts with the history of the statue, moves towards more facts and details about the building of the statue, and ends with what the statue represents about freedom, liberty, and immigration.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
If you had to name a statue, any statue, odds are good you'd mention the Statue of Liberty. Have you seen her? She's in New York. She's holding a torch. And she's taking one step forward. But why? In this fascinating, fun take on nonfiction, uniquely American in its frank tone and honest look at the literal foundation of our country, Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris investigate a seemingly small trait of America's most emblematic statue. What they find is about more than history, more than art. What they find in the Statue of Liberty's right foot is the powerful message of acceptance that is essential to an entire country's creation. Can you believe that?
#5
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Little Elliot, Big City
Written & illustrated by Mike Curato
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
This book has beautiful illustrations. It is very fun as it is set in New York City. The story is darling about a little elephant that feels small until he finds someone even smaller than himself that he can help. It turns the story around to show how helping others and friendship can make our life meaningful.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Elliot the little elephant has a hard time with a lot of things in the city he loves until he meets Mouse, who is even smaller--and hungrier.
#6
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Blackout
Written & illustrated by John Rocco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
When a busy family's activities come to a halt because of a blackout, they find they enjoy spending time together and not being too busy for once.
#7
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My Little Cities: New York
Written by Jennifer Adams & illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
In this delightful series written by BabyLit author Jennifer Adams and illustrated by kidlit darling Greg Pizzoli, each book showcases a different city with lighthearted baby-appropriate text and ridiculously charming illustrations. Take a whirlwind tour of the Big Apple: cheer with the roaring crowds at Yankee Stadium, chug along peacefully on the Staten Island Ferry, wonder at the bright lights of Times Square, and say good night to the famous New York City skyline.
#8
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The Cricket in Times Square
Written by George Selden & illustrated by Garth Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Tucker is a streetwise city mouse. He thought he'd seen it all. But he's never met a cricket before, which really isn't surprising, because, along with his friend Harry Cat, Tucker lives in the very heart of New York City—the Times Square subway station. Chester Cricket never intended to leave his Connecticut meadow. He'd be there still if he hadn't followed the entrancing aroma of liverwurst right into someone's picnic basket. Now, like any tourist in the city, he wants to look around. And he could not have found two better guides—and friends—than Tucker and Harry. The trio have many adventures—from taking in the sights and sounds of Broadway to escaping a smoky fire. Chester makes a third friend, too. It is a boy, Mario, who rescues Chester from a dusty corner of the subway station and brings him to live in the safety of his parents' newsstand. He hopes at first to keep Chester as a pet, but Mario soon understands that the cricket is more than that. Because Chester has a hidden talent and no one—not even Chester himself—realizes that the little country cricket may just be able to teach even the toughest New Yorkers a thing or two. The Cricket in Times Square is a 1961 Newbery Honor Book.
#9
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New York Baby
Written by Puck & illustrated by Violet Lemay
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
A fast-paced tour of the Big Apple from the viewpoint of local babies showcases where they live and play while introducing famed attractions and iconic landmarks. By the author of the Cool Counting Books series.
#10
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Freddie Ramos Rules New York
Written by Jacqueline Jules & illustrated by Miguel Benitez
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
Freddie and his mom are visiting Uncle Jorge in New York City! Just before they leave, Mr. Vaslov gives Freddie a new pair of zapatos to replace the ones that were getting too small. But Freddie worries if his new zapatos will work as well as his old ones. Will Freddie be able to save the day when Uncle Jorge misplaces an engagement ring in the middle of a New York City traffic jam?
Table of Contents
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Books About New York and Lifestyles

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Little Elliot, Big City
Written & illustrated by Mike Curato
Thoughts from Mom of Boys
This book has beautiful illustrations. It is very fun as it is set in New York City. The story is darling about a little elephant that feels small until he finds someone even smaller than himself that he can help. It turns the story around to show how helping others and friendship can make our life meaningful.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Elliot the little elephant has a hard time with a lot of things in the city he loves until he meets Mouse, who is even smaller--and hungrier.
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The Cricket in Times Square
Written by George Selden & illustrated by Garth Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Tucker is a streetwise city mouse. He thought he'd seen it all. But he's never met a cricket before, which really isn't surprising, because, along with his friend Harry Cat, Tucker lives in the very heart of New York City—the Times Square subway station. Chester Cricket never intended to leave his Connecticut meadow. He'd be there still if he hadn't followed the entrancing aroma of liverwurst right into someone's picnic basket. Now, like any tourist in the city, he wants to look around. And he could not have found two better guides—and friends—than Tucker and Harry. The trio have many adventures—from taking in the sights and sounds of Broadway to escaping a smoky fire. Chester makes a third friend, too. It is a boy, Mario, who rescues Chester from a dusty corner of the subway station and brings him to live in the safety of his parents' newsstand. He hopes at first to keep Chester as a pet, but Mario soon understands that the cricket is more than that. Because Chester has a hidden talent and no one—not even Chester himself—realizes that the little country cricket may just be able to teach even the toughest New Yorkers a thing or two. The Cricket in Times Square is a 1961 Newbery Honor Book.
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Good Morning, City
Written by Pat Kiernan & illustrated by Pascal Campion
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-6
It's dark and quiet. The moon still glimmers in the sky. While the baker, the ferry boat captain, and the TV anchorman are busy at work, most people are cozily snuggled in bed. Then dawn's first light peeks through the tree branches. Wake up, city! There is much to be done in neighborhoods all across the metropolis. As the morning gets brighter, the city streets bustle with people ready to begin the day. GOOD MORNING, CITY, by morning news anchor Pat Kiernan, is sure to start the day off right.
Honorable Mentions
A New Home book
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The Berenstain Bears Visit Big Bear City book
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When You Reach Me book
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Nelly Takes New York book
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  1. A New Home - As a girl in Mexico City and a boy in New York City ponder moving to each other’s locale, it becomes clear that the two cities — and the two children — are more alike than they might think. But I’m not sure I want to leave my home. I’m going to miss so much. Moving to a new city can be exciting. But what if your new home isn’t anything like your old home? Will you make friends? What will you eat? Where will you play? In a cleverly combined voice — accompanied by wonderfully detailed illustrations depicting parallel urban scenes — a young boy conveys his fears about moving from New York City to Mexico City while, at the same time, a young girl expresses trepidation about leaving Mexico City to move to New York City. Tania de Regil offers a heartwarming story that reminds us that home may be found wherever life leads. Fascinating details about each city are featured at the end.

  2. The Berenstain Bears Visit Big Bear City -

  3. When You Reach Me - “Like A Wrinkle in Time (Miranda’s favorite book), When You Reach Me far surpasses the usual whodunit or sci-fi adventure to become an incandescent exploration of ‘life, death, and the beauty of it all.’” —The Washington Post This Newbery Medal winner that has been called “smart and mesmerizing,” (The New York Times) and “superb” (The Wall Street Journal) will appeal to readers of all types, especially those who are looking for a thought-provoking mystery with a mind-blowing twist. Shortly after a fall-out with her best friend, sixth grader Miranda starts receiving mysterious notes, and she doesn’t know what to do. The notes tell her that she must write a letter—a true story, and that she can’t share her mission with anyone. It would be easy to ignore the strange messages, except that whoever is leaving them has an uncanny ability to predict the future. If that is the case, then Miranda has a big problem—because the notes tell her that someone is going to die, and she might be too late to stop it. Winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Fiction A New York Times Bestseller and Notable Book Five Starred Reviews A Junior Library Guild Selection “Absorbing.” —People “Readers … are likely to find themselves chewing over the details of this superb and intricate tale long afterward.” —The Wall Street Journal “Lovely and almost impossibly clever.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer “It’s easy to imagine readers studying Miranda’s story as many times as she’s read L’Engle’s, and spending hours pondering the provocative questions it raises.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred review

  4. Nelly Takes New York - The Big Apple may be hiding in the place you least expect it in this spunky introduction to the best parts of New York. Nelly lives in New York, the greatest city in the world. Every morning, she wakes up to the rumble of the subways and the honking of cars. Every morning, she can smell the food cart downstairs and hear the rat-a-tat-tat of the street musicians outside. Every morning, she goes outside to be in the city she knows like the back of her hand—or does she? One morning, Nelly and her dog Bagel decide to find out what New York is really about—or more specifically, why a city that has nothing to do with apples is the Biggest Apple of them all. Could there really be a giant apple somewhere in New York? And where is it hiding?

Books About New York and Travel

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Good Night New York City
Written by Adam Gamble & illustrated by Joe Veno
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
Easy-to-read text introduces the sights of New York City through a full day of sightseeing.
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My Little Cities: New York
Written by Jennifer Adams & illustrated by Greg Pizzoli
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
In this delightful series written by BabyLit author Jennifer Adams and illustrated by kidlit darling Greg Pizzoli, each book showcases a different city with lighthearted baby-appropriate text and ridiculously charming illustrations. Take a whirlwind tour of the Big Apple: cheer with the roaring crowds at Yankee Stadium, chug along peacefully on the Staten Island Ferry, wonder at the bright lights of Times Square, and say good night to the famous New York City skyline.
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New York Baby
Written by Puck & illustrated by Violet Lemay
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3
A fast-paced tour of the Big Apple from the viewpoint of local babies showcases where they live and play while introducing famed attractions and iconic landmarks. By the author of the Cool Counting Books series.
Honorable Mentions
Pop-up New York book
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City Trails - New York book
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Larry Gets Lost in New York City book
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My First Book of New York book
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  1. Pop-up New York - Make the city come alive with this bold and beautiful series of pop-up books from Lonely Planet Kids. Classic icons meet modern must-sees in this stunning trip around the city. Gorgeous illustration and clever paper engineering make this the perfect introduction to the wows of New York for any age.

  2. City Trails - New York - Here’s a book about New York that’s seriously streetwise. Discover secrets and stories guaranteed to blow your mind that are definitely off the tourist trail. Find out what’s lurking in the pumpkin garden, why you might find cows underground, how eating hotdogs could make you rich and lots more! For readers aged 8 and up.

  3. Larry Gets Lost in New York City - Follow Larry as he ping-pongs around the city, hitting all five boroughs in a day, and the places and things that make New York City what it is: hot dogs, Times Square, Wall Street, Radio City Music Hall, Coney Island, Madison Square Garden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Greenwich Village, and Central Park, among others.

  4. My First Book of New York - See all the best-loved sites of New York City in this stylish big picture book by Ingela P. Arrhenius. Visit the Statue of Liberty, climb the Empire State Building, catch a show on Broadway — there’s so much to do in New York City! Take a taxi to Times Square, check out the Apollo Theater, cross the Brooklyn Bridge, and stroll in Central Park in this big word book about the Big Apple. With colorful, graphic illustrations of everything from iconic landmarks to mah-jongg players in Chinatown, this is a beautifully designed gift for New York lovers of all ages — the first in a series about the great cities of the world.

Books About New York and 1850-1899

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Her Right Foot
Written by Dave Eggers & illustrated by Shawn Harris
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
I love this book about the statue of liberty! The illustrations are completely gorgeous, and the book is fact-filled and full of great vocabulary. While some of the words might go over the heads of little ones, I really like the diction choice to help introduce new words. The story tells a lot of the history and meaning behind the statue, and I learned a lot of new things from this book, myself. The story starts with the history of the statue, moves towards more facts and details about the building of the statue, and ends with what the statue represents about freedom, liberty, and immigration.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
If you had to name a statue, any statue, odds are good you'd mention the Statue of Liberty. Have you seen her? She's in New York. She's holding a torch. And she's taking one step forward. But why? In this fascinating, fun take on nonfiction, uniquely American in its frank tone and honest look at the literal foundation of our country, Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris investigate a seemingly small trait of America's most emblematic statue. What they find is about more than history, more than art. What they find in the Statue of Liberty's right foot is the powerful message of acceptance that is essential to an entire country's creation. Can you believe that?
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King of the Tightrope: When the Great Blondin Ruled Niagara
Written by Donna Janell Bowman & illustrated by Adam Gustavson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
In 1859, Jean-Francois Gravelet, known as The Great Blondin, walked across the Niagara River on a tightrope. What kind of man would do something like that? And more importantly, how do you become that man? At the age of four, Jean-Francois Gravelet walked across his first balance beam. Later, he took to the tightrope like a spider to its web, and with his family troupe, he climbed toward stardom. Though his feats became more and more marvelous, he grew bored. That is, until he visited Niagara Falls and imagined doing something that no one else had ever accomplished. To cross the raging river, The Great Blondin needed an engineering process, determination, and a belief that what he could imagine, he could accomplish. In 1859, with all of the work completed, Blondin would step out onto the most dangerous tightrope walk he'd ever faced. Author Donna Janell Bowman's trademark in-depth research gives readers a clear and exciting look into the accomplishments of The Great Blondin, as well as the hard work, determination, and meticulous mathematic and scientific planning it took to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope. Adam Gustavson's detailed illustrations turn this book into an experience that will inspire readers of all ages.
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Molly, by Golly!
Written by Dianne Ochiltree & illustrated by Kathleen Kemly
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Introduces the first known female firefighter, Molly Williams, an African American cook for New York City's Fire Company 11, who one winter day in 1818 with many volunteers sick with influenza jumped into action to stop a house fire.
Honorable Mentions
Lizzie Demands a Seat!: Elizabeth Jennings Fights for Streetcar Rights book
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A Green Place to Be: the Creation of Central Park book
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Irving Berlin book
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Born to Ride book
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  1. Lizzie Demands a Seat!: Elizabeth Jennings Fights for Streetcar Rights - In 1854, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings, an African American schoolteacher, fought back when she was unjustly denied entry to a New York City streetcar, sparking the beginnings of the long struggle to gain equal rights on public transportation. One hundred years before Rosa Parks took her stand, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings tried to board a streetcar in New York City on her way to church. Though there were plenty of empty seats, she was denied entry, assaulted, and threatened all because of her race—even though New York was a free state at that time. Lizzie decided to fight back. She told her story, took her case to court—where future president Chester Arthur represented her—and won! Her victory was the first recorded in the fight for equal rights on public transportation, and Lizzie’s case set a precedent. Author Beth Anderson and acclaimed illustrator E. B. Lewis bring this inspiring, little-known story to life in this captivating book.

  2. A Green Place to Be: the Creation of Central Park - How did Central Park become a vibrant gem in the heart of New York City? Follow the visionaries behind the plan as it springs to green life. In 1858, New York City was growing so fast that new roads and tall buildings threatened to swallow up the remaining open space. The people needed a green place to be — a park with ponds to row on and paths for wandering through trees and over bridges. When a citywide contest solicited plans for creating a park out of barren swampland, Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted put their heads together to create the winning design, and the hard work of making their plans a reality began. By winter, the lake opened for skating. By the next summer, the waterside woodland known as the Ramble opened for all to enjoy. Meanwhile, sculptors, stone masons, and master gardeners joined in to construct thirty-four unique bridges, along with fountains, pagodas, and band shells, making New York’s Central Park a green gift to everyone. Included in the end matter are bios of Vaux and Olmsted, a bibliography, and engaging factual snippets.

  3. Irving Berlin - Irving Berlin came to the United States as a refugee from Tsarist Russia, escaping a pogrom that destroyed his village. Growing up on the streets of the lower East Side, the rhythms of jazz and blues inspired his own song-writing career. Starting with his first big hit, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Berlin created the soundtrack for American life with his catchy tunes and irresistible lyrics. With “God Bless America,” he sang his thanks to the country which had given him a home and a chance to express his creative vision.

  4. Born to Ride - Louise Belinda Bellflower lives in Rochester, New York, in 1896. She spends her days playing with her brother, Joe. But Joe gets to ride a bicycle, and Louise Belinda doesn’t. In fact, Joe issues a solemn warning: If girls ride bikes, their faces will get so scrunched up, eyes bulging from the effort of balancing, that they’ll get stuck that way FOREVER! Louise Belinda is appalled by this nonsense, so she strikes out to discover the truth about this so-called “bicycle face.” Set against the backdrop of the women’s suffrage movement, Born to Ride is the story of one girl’s courageous quest to prove that she can do everything the boys can do, while capturing the universal freedom and accomplishment children experience when riding a bike.

Want to see books about 1850-1899?

Books About New York and Siblings

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From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
Written by E.L. Konigsburg
Thoughts from The Goodfather
I have fond memories of this book from my own elementary days and look forward to sharing it with my own kids. The setting of the story in New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art makes it especially attractive to any readers who love the city.
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved classic From the Mixed-up files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. In this winner of the Newbery Medal from E.L. Konigsburg, when suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn't just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere—to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant.
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The Vanderbeekers to the Rescue
Written by Karina Yan Glaser
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
**A _New York Times_ best-selling series! Harlem’s favorite family returns in the third installment in the Vanderbeerkers series, wherein the Vanderbeeker kids find themselves racing to save their mother’s baking business from city closure. Illustrated with delightful black and white illustrations.** For the Vanderbeeker kids of Harlem’s 141st Street, spring break couldn’t be off to a better start. Isa’s back from band camp, Oliver’s building his first-ever treehouse in the backyard of the brownstone, and Laney, Jess, and Hyacinth are excited to help their mother when she gets the once-in-a-lifetime chance to star in a cooking magazine. But the Vanderbeekers’ plans go off the rails when an unexpected visit from city officials puts their mother’s bakery in jeopardy. Now they’ll have to band together to save the day before they’re out of business. Perfect for fans of _The Penderwicks _and _Front Desk_.
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Echo's Sister
Written by Paul Mosier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
From critically acclaimed author Paul Mosier, a Publishers Weekly Flying Start, comes a stunning story about the beauty of family, the power of community, and ultimately the strength of the human spirit. Twelve-year-old El has planned on making her first week at a new school fantastic. She won’t go by her given name, Laughter. She’ll sit in the back of the classroom where she can make new friends. She won’t even have time to think about all the fun her old friends are having without her. Everything will be great. But when her dad picks her up after school and tells her that her younger sister, Echo, has a life-threatening illness, her world is suddenly turned upside down. And with her parents now pressed for time and money, El feels lost and powerless. Then she befriends Octavius, the only other kid in school who gets what she’s going through. As El begins to adjust to her new life, she soon finds that maybe a little hope and a lot of love can overcome any obstacle.
Honorable Mentions
The Vanderbeekers Lost and Found book
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York: The Clockwork Ghost book
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Treasure Hunters book
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The Doughnut Fix book
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  1. The Vanderbeekers Lost and Found - New York Times best-seller Karina Yan Glaser brings everyone’s favorite Harlem family back in this poignant fourth novel in the “delightful and heartwarming” (New York Times Book Review) Vanderbeekers series. When autumn arrives on 141st Street, the Vanderbeekers are busy helping Mr. Beiderman get ready for the New York City Marathon and making sure the mysterious person sleeping in the community garden gets enough to eat. But when they discover the true identity of the person making a home in the community garden’s shed, their world turns upside down as they learn what it means to care for someone in an impossible situation. In this fourth book in the Vanderbeekers series, return to 141st Street with Isa, Jessie, Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney as they attempt to make their neighborhood a better place, one heartfelt plan at a time.

  2. York: The Clockwork Ghost - National Book Award finalist Laura Ruby returns with the middle chapter in her epic alternate-history adventure—a journey that will test Tess, Theo, and Jaime and change their lives forever. It was only a few weeks ago that the Biedermann twins, Tess and Theo, along with their friend Jaime Cruz, followed the secrets of the Morningstarrs’ cipher further than anyone had in its century-and a-half history—and destroyed their beloved home in the process. But the Old York Cipher still isn’t solved. The demolition of 354 W. 73rd Street only revealed the next clue in the greatest mystery of the modern world, and if Tess, Theo, and Jaime want to discover what lies at the end of the puzzle laid into the buildings of New York by its brilliant, enigmatic architects, they will need to press on. But doing so could prove even more dangerous than they know. It is clear that the Morningstarr twins marshaled all the strange technology they had spent their lives creating in the construction of the Cipher, and that technology has its own plans for those who pursue it. It’s also clear that Tess, Theo, and Jaime are not the only ones on the trail of the treasure. As enemies both known and unknown close in on them from all sides and the very foundations of the city seem to crumble around them, they will have to ask themselves how far they will go to change the unchangeable—and whether the price of knowing the secrets of the Morningstarrs is one they are willing to pay.

  3. Treasure Hunters - From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Middle School, the Worst Years of My Life and I Funny comes a brilliantly original new adventure series, jam-packed with action, humor, and heart! The Kidd siblings have grown up diving down to shipwrecks and traveling the world, helping their famous parents recover everything from swords to gold doubloons from the bottom of the ocean. But after their parents mysteriously disappear, the kids are suddenly thrust into the biggest treasure hunt of their lives. They’ll have to work together to defeat dangerous pirates and dodge the hot pursuit by an evil treasure hunting rival, all while following cryptic clues to unravel the mystery of what really happened to their parents—and find out if they’re still alive.

  4. The Doughnut Fix - An Amazon Best Book of the Month! Superfudge meets The Lemonade War in this funny, heartwarming series debut about change, adventure, family, and of course, doughnuts. Tristan isn’t Gifted or Talented like his sister Jeanine, and he’s always been okay with that because he can make a perfect chocolate chip cookie and he lives in the greatest city in the world. But his life takes a turn for the worse when his parents decide to move to middle-of-nowhere Petersville―a town with one street and no restaurants. It’s like suddenly they’re supposed to be this other family, one that can survive without bagels and movie theaters. His suspicions about his new town are confirmed when he’s tricked into believing the local general store has life-changing chocolate cream doughnuts, when in fact the owner hasn’t made them in years. And so begins the only thing that could make life in Petersville worth living: getting the recipe, making the doughnuts, and bringing them back to the town through his very own doughnut stand. But Tristan will soon discover that when starting a business, it helps to be both Gifted and Talented, and It’s possible he’s bitten off more than he can chew…

Want to see books about siblings?

Books About New York and Sleuthing

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Stuart Little
Written & illustrated by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
A hardcover edition of this treasured story, for which Garth Williams's original black-and-white line drawings for the jacket of Stuart Little have been colorized by the celebrated illustrator Rosemary Wells. Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he's shy and thoughtful, he's also a true lover of adventure. Stuart's greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?
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The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match
Written & illustrated by Elizabeth Eulberg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Acclaimed author Elizabeth Eulberg continues her hilarious middle-grade twist on Sherlock Holmes as detective duo Shelby and Watson face a culprit who might be able to do the impossible--outsmart Shelby. Eleven-year-old John Watson never expected his first friend in his new Harlem neighborhood to be Shelby Holmes, a nine-year-old, four-foot-tall supersleuth whose incredible smarts are outweighed only by her big attitude. But it turns out that solving mysteries with Shelby is just the adventure that aspiring writer John needs. On John's very first day of school in New York, Shelby deduces that their new science teacher, Mr. Crosby, is in trouble. But as Shelby and John dig deeper to expose the truth, they discover there might be someone unexpected involved . . . Someone determined to outsmart Shelby Holmes. Can Shelby and John uncover the truth before the case goes from puzzling to downright dangerous? Don't miss the rest of the Great Shelby Holmes series: The Great Shelby Holmes The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case
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The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case
Written & illustrated by Elizabeth Eulberg
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Acclaimed author Elizabeth Eulberg continues her hilarious middle-grade twist on Sherlock Holmes as detective duo Shelby and Watson tackle their trickiest case yet--going undercover . . . as figure skaters! Being friends with a super sleuth isn't easy, especially when she's nine years old, four feet tall, and full of attitude. But for eleven-year-old John Watson, being friends with Shelby Holmes is just the adventure he's looking for. After Watson's online journal chronicling his and Shelby's case-closing abilities attracts the attention of a newspaper reporter, the pair becomes a small "media sensation" in their Harlem neighborhood. So it's no surprise (at least, to Shelby!) when the article lands them a new client--a figure skating coach whose star athlete, Jordan Nelson, is receiving strange, threatening messages, written entirely in code. There's no one better to crack the cipher than dynamic duo Shelby and Watson! But to gather information, Shelby decides that they'll have to go undercover . . . as an award-winning pair skating team. Can they use the laws of physics and their acting skills to maintain their covers and figure out who's sending Jordan such strange messages before it's too late?
Honorable Mentions
Harriet The Spy book
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Mystery of the brass-bound trunk book
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The Secret of Mirror Bay book
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The Story Collector book
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  1. Harriet The Spy - “The 50th annivesary edition of Harriet the Spy includes tributes to this timeless coming-of-age story from Judy Blume, Rebecca Stead, and other notable authors.” - Seira Wilson, Amazon Editor This special 50th Anniversary Edition of the classic and ground-breaking coming-of-age novel, Harriet the Spy, includes tributes by Judy Blume, Meg Cabot, Lois Lowry, Rebecca Stead, and many more, as well as a map of Harriet’s New York City neighborhood and spy route and original author/editor correspondence. Using her keen observation skills, 11-year-old Harriet M. Welsch writes down in her notebook what she considers the truth about everyone in and around her New York City neighborhood. When she loses track of her notebook, it ends up in the wrong hands, and before she can stop them, her friends read the sometimes awful things she’s observed and written about each of them. How can Harriet find a way to keep her integrity and also put her life and her friendships back together? “I don’t know of a better novel about the costs and rewards of being a truth teller, nor of any book that made more readers of my generation want to become fiction writers. I love the story of Harriet so much I feel as if I lived it.” —Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom and The Corrections

  2. Mystery of the brass-bound trunk - From the moment Nancy Drew boards an ocean liner leaving for New York, she becomes involved in a new and dangerous mystery. A man on the pier gestures to someone on board in sign language. BEWARE OF NANCY DREW AND NE, he signals. Who is NE? Can it be Nelda Detweiler, a young woman who shares a cabin with Nancy, Bess, and George? Mystery and intrigue follow the girls across the ocean; but with her usual ingenuity Nancy solves the mystery and defeats her enemies before the ship reaches New York.

  3. The Secret of Mirror Bay - Aunt Eloise Drew invited Nancy and her friends to Mirror Bay Bide-a-Wee cabin near Cooperstown, New York, for a visit and a chance to solve the mystery of the woman who glides across the water. Upon their arrival, Nancy becomes mixed up in a vacation hoax and is nearly arrested for fraud. On the wooded mountain near the cabin further exciting events await Nancy and the other girls. In the deep forest, a weird luminescent green sorcerer appears who threatens to cast an evil spell on anyone investigating his strange activities. In a dangerous twist of circumstances Nancy finds that solving one mystery helps to solve another. What happens when the young detective and her friends uncover a cleverly concealed criminal operation?

  4. The Story Collector - Eleven-year-old Viviani Fedeler grew up surrounded by books, but now she’s ready for her own story to begin. As thedaughter of the Library superintendent, Viviani has explored every nook, cranny, and room—except the ones her father keeps locked.When Viviani suspects that the Library is haunted, she decides to spook her friends and new girl Merit Mubarak with a harmless little prank. But what begins as a joke quickly gets out of hand. Soon Viviani and her friends have to solve two big mysteries: Is there really a ghost in the Library?And who stole the expensive stamp collection?

Want to see books about sleuthing?

Books About New York and Action And Adventure

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Freddie Ramos Rules New York
Written by Jacqueline Jules & illustrated by Miguel Benitez
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
Freddie and his mom are visiting Uncle Jorge in New York City! Just before they leave, Mr. Vaslov gives Freddie a new pair of zapatos to replace the ones that were getting too small. But Freddie worries if his new zapatos will work as well as his old ones. Will Freddie be able to save the day when Uncle Jorge misplaces an engagement ring in the middle of a New York City traffic jam?
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The Gauntlet
Written by Karuna Riazi
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
When twelve-year-old Farah and her two best friends get sucked into a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand, a puzzle game akin to a large Rubik's cube, they know it is up to them to defeat the game's diabolical architect in order to save themselves and those who are trapped inside, including her baby brother Ahmed.
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Flat Stanley’s Worldwide Adventures #15: Lost in New York
Written by Jeff Brown & illustrated by Macky Pamintuan
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
Flat Stanley and his family are on another adventure in this fifteenth book in the renowned Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures series. This time, the Lambchops are visiting the Big Apple! Stanley Lambchop has been invited to New York City to take part in an International Declaration of Friendship at the United Nations! But before anyone signs the declaration, the group goes on a whirlwind tour of New York City. What should be an adventure quickly turns scary when Stanley and his new friend Ian get separated from their group. But Stanley and Ian manage to find the fun in their situation, traveling around Manhattan: through the subway, across Times Square, and—finally—to the top of the Empire State Building. But at the end of the day, Stanley and Ian are still on the search to find their families and friends before it’s time to sign the Declaration of Friendship. Will they meet up with their group before it’s too late? And for parents and teachers, each Flat Stanley book is aligned to the Common Core State Standards, like multicultural adventure, plot and character development story elements, and compare and contrast.
Honorable Mentions
Blue Moon book
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Dark Days book
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Dead City book
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The Bear Who Couldn't Sleep book
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  1. Blue Moon - While helping the Omega team track down down the identity of the original thirteen zombies in New York City, Molly tries to keep her mother’s secret and uncovers a sinister plan of the undead.

  2. Dark Days - Molly Bigelow and her Omega team have been banned from investigating Marek Blackwell and his plans for New York City. But when they discover that Blackwell is raising money for a zombie army they have to act. But will they be in time?

  3. Dead City - Seventh-grader Molly has always been an outsider, even at New York City’s elite Metropolitan Institute of Science and Technology, but that changes when she is recruited to join the Omegas, a secret group that polices and protects zombies.

  4. The Bear Who Couldn't Sleep - There’s no place like home when it’s time for bed. When Bear can’t sleep, he goes on an adventure and discovers the wonders of New York City—a parade, Central Park, hot dogs, and more! But when he finally gets tired and looks for a place to rest . . . he learns why it’s called the city that never sleeps. What’s a bear to do? Caroline Nastro’s gentle adventure and Vanya Nastanlieva’s engaging illustrations are sure to comfort and delight!

Books About New York and City Life And Urban Living

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Blackout
Written & illustrated by John Rocco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7
When a busy family's activities come to a halt because of a blackout, they find they enjoy spending time together and not being too busy for once.
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Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood
Written by Tony Hillery & illustrated by Jessie Hartland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
**“An inspiring picture book for youngsters with meaningful ties to the environment, sustainability, and community engagement.” —_Booklist_** **“Hartland’s gouache illustrations wobble endearingly, colorfully capturing the children’s triumph, and the kinetic energy and colorful vibrancy of the city neighborhood.” —_Publishers Weekly_** **Discover the incredible true story of Harlem Grown, a lush garden in New York City that grew out of an abandoned lot and now feeds a neighborhood.** _Once_ _In a big city called New York_ _In a bustling neighborhood_ _There was an empty lot._ _Nevaeh called it the haunted garden._ _Harlem Grown_ tells the inspiring true story of how one man made a big difference in a neighborhood. After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration. Five years later, the kids and their parents, with the support of the Harlem Grown staff, grow hundreds of pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. All of it is given to the kids and their families. The incredible story is vividly brought to life with Jessie Hartland’s “charmingly busy art” (_Booklist_) that readers will pore over in search of new details as they revisit this poignant and uplifting tale over and over again. Harlem Grown is an independent, not-for-profit organization. The author’s share of the proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to Harlem Grown.
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How Little Lori Visited Times Square
Written by Amos Vogel & illustrated by Maurice Sendak
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A Sendak treasure long out of print available for the first time in decades.
Honorable Mentions
Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City book
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P.S. Be Eleven book
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Old Manhattan Has Some Farms book
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Eloise book
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  1. Pale Male: Citizen Hawk of New York City - The birdwatchers of Central Park were buzzing–a young red-tailed hawk had been spotted, would he stay? The bird they dubbed Pale Male not only stayed, he became one of New York City’s most famous residents. Pale Male and his mate built their nest near the top of one of Fifth Avenue’s swankiest apartment buildings. Nine years and 23 chicks later, Pale Male’s fame had grown so large that a CBS newsman named him Father of the Year! But Pale Male was less beloved by the residents of the building, and in 2004 the owners suddenly removed the nest–setting off an international outcry on behalf of the birds.

  2. P.S. Be Eleven - The Gaither sisters are at it again! A sequel to the Newbery Honor Book One Crazy Summer, this Coretta Scott King Award-winning novel will find a home in the hearts of readers who loved Brown Girl Dreaming and As Brave as You. After spending the summer in Oakland, California, with their mother and the Black Panthers, Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern arrive home with a newfound streak of independence. That doesn’t sit well with Big Ma, who doesn’t like the way things are changing. Neither does Delphine. Pa has a new girlfriend. Uncle Darnell comes home from Vietnam, but he’s not the same. And her new sixth-grade teacher isn’t the fun, stylish Miss Honeywell—it’s Mr. Mwila, a stern exchange teacher from Zambia. But the one thing that doesn’t change during this turbulent year is the advice that Delphine receives from her mother, who reminds her not to grow up too fast. To be eleven while she can.

  3. Old Manhattan Has Some Farms - A clever new spin on “Old MacDonald,” this fun book explores the popular trend of urban farming. From rooftop farms and gardens on Manhattan high rises to neighborhood gardens in empty lots in Atlanta to hydroponic gardens in Seattle, growing food locally has become an important part of city-dwelling life. Set to the tune of the popular children’s song, this bouncy rhyming text will get everyone reading (or singing) out loud. If you’re not comfortable singing aloud, download the free recording of the song created by popular children’s performer Caspar Babypants (aka Chris Ballew, lead singer and songwriter for the band The Presidents of the United States of America). Six North American cities are highlighted, but included in the back matter are tips and tricks on how to alter the text so you can sing about your own hometown gardens. Back matter also includes more information about the different types of gardens introduced, additional resources, and the sheet music for the song.

  4. Eloise - Meet Eloise, the precocious darling of the Plaza Hotel! Eloise is a little girl who lives at The Plaza Hotel in New York. She is not yet pretty but she is already a Person. Henry James would want to study her. Queen Victoria would recognize her as an Equal. The New York Jets would want to have her on their side. Lewis Carroll would love her (once he got over the initial shock). She knows everything about The Plaza. She is interested in people when they are not boring. She has Inner Resources. If you take her home with you, you will always be glad you did.

Books About New York and Transportation

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When Jackie Saved Grand Central
Written by Natasha Wing & illustrated by Alexandra Boiger
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Before she was an iconic First Lady of the United States, Jackie Kennedy was a born-and-raised New Yorker. She loved everything about her city, from the natural beauty of the parks to the architectural history of the buildings. So when the owners of Grand Central wanted to build a skyscraper on top of the famous train station, Jackie knew they had to be stopped. She helped inspire thousands of people to come together and fight to protect the historic landmark. From letter-writing campaigns all the way to the Supreme Court, this little-known story celebrates winning in the face of immeasurable odds and how one person can make a big difference.
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Overground Railroad
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome & illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
****A window into a child's experience of the Great Migration from the award-winning creators of** **_Before She Was Harriet_** **and** **_Finding Langston_****.**** As she climbs aboard the New York bound Silver Meteor train, Ruth Ellen embarks upon a journey toward a new life up North-- one she can't begin to imagine. Stop by stop, the perceptive young narrator tells her journey in poems, leaving behind the cotton fields and distant Blue Ridge mountains. Each leg of the trip brings new revelations as scenes out the window of folks working in fields give way to the Delaware River, the curtain that separates the colored car is removed, and glimpses of the freedom and opportunity the family hopes to find come into view. As they travel, Ruth Ellen reads from _Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass,_ reflecting on how her journey mirrors her own-- until finally the train arrives at its last stop, New York's Penn Station, and the family heads out into a night filled with bright lights, glimmering stars, and new possiblity. James Ransome's mixed-media illustrations are full of bold color and texture, bringing Ruth Ellen's journey to life, from sprawling cotton fields to cramped train cars, the wary glances of other passengers and the dark forest through which Frederick Douglass traveled towards freedom. _Overground Railroad_ is, as Lesa notes, a story "of people who were running from and running to at the same time," and it's a story that will stay with readers long after the final pages. **A Junior Library Guild Selection** **Praise for Lesa Cline-Ransome and James Ransome's** **_Before She Was Harriet_****, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and winner of the Christopher Award** \* "Ransome's lavishly detailed and expansive double-page spreads situate young readers in each time and place as the text takes them further into the past."--_Kirkus Reviews_, Starred Review \* "a powerful reminder of how all children carry within them the potential for greatness."--_Publishers Weekly_, Starred Review
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Mr. Boddington's Studio: NYC ABCs
Written & illustrated by Mr. Boddington's Studio
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Based on the beautiful designs of Mr. Boddington's Studio, this board book is the perfect introduction to the ABCs of NYC. This board book teaches the letters of the alphabet with illustrations of people, places, and things unique to the greatest city in the world. It is the perfect gift for anyone who loves New York!
Honorable Mentions
Old Penn Station book
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New York book
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Subway book
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  1. Old Penn Station - An illustrated account of the construction, history, and demolition of one of the most famous railroad stations in America— New York City’s Penn Station.

  2. New York - Introducing Hello, World, an exciting new book series that pairs early learning concepts with colorful, stylish illustrations of cities around the world. In New York City, you can visit the green Statue of Liberty, hail a yellow taxi, and see blue lights in Times Square. Explore colors all over New York City in this gorgeous board book!

  3. Subway - A father. Two children. And more than 840 miles of track. What does it addup to? Something thrilling. Are you ready for Subway?

Books About New York and School

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Nova in New York
Written & illustrated by Katherine Richards
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Seventeen-year-old Nova Abbott grew up dancing barefoot in the backyard with her aunt Ivy, whose dreams of becoming a professional ballerina were cut short by cystic fibrosis. Nova is invited to attend a prestigious ballet school’s summer intensive program. She is a bit overwhelmed by New York City: the bustle of people, the talent of the other dancers, the demands of the instructors and being separated from her beloved aunt, whose health is deteriorating rapidly. With a coveted apprenticeship up for grabs, Nova isn’t sure she’ll make it in the big leagues, and now she’s not even sure she wants to.
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Absolutely Almost
Written by Lisa Graff
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Ten-year-old Albie has never been the smartest, tallest, most athletic, greatest artist, or most musical in his class, as his parents keep reminding him, but new nanny Calista helps him uncover his strengths and take pride in himself. Simultaneous eBook.
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All Four Stars
Written & illustrated by Tara Dairman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
A zesty new series for fans of MasterChef Jr. and Kids Cook-off! It's "lights, camera, cook!" for four tween contestants--energetic Tate, charming Rae, worldly Caroline, and hyper-competitive Oliver--who are all about to enter a televised cooking competition. What will the kids cook up? How will they all get along on and off camera? Which junior chef will have the grit--and maybe the grits--to make it through each elimination challenge? And which junior chef will have to hang their apron up for good?
Honorable Mentions
The Wednesday Wars book
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The Tapper Twins Go to War book
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Goodbye Stranger book
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Liar & Spy book
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  1. The Wednesday Wars - During the 1967 school year, on Wednesday afternoons when all his classmates go to either Catechism or Hebrew school, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood stays in Mrs. Baker’s classroom where they read the plays of William Shakespeare and Holling learns muchof value about the world he lives in.

  2. The Tapper Twins Go to War - This bestselling first book in the Tapper Twins series is a hilariously authentic showcase of what it’s like to be in middle school in our digitally-saturated world, told as a colorful “oral history” with photos, screenshots, text messages, chat logs, and online gaming digital art. Twelve-year-old twins, Claudia and Reese, who couldn’t be more different…except in their determination to come out on top in a vicious prank war. But when the competition escalates into an all-out battle that’s fought from the cafeteria of their New York City private school all the way to the fictional universe of an online video game, the twins have to decide if their efforts to destroy each other are worth the price.

  3. Goodbye Stranger - This brilliant, New York Times bestselling novel from the author of the Newbery Medal winner When You Reach Me explores multiple perspectives on the bonds and limits of friendship. Long ago, best friends Bridge, Emily, and Tab made a pact: no fighting. But it’s the start of seventh grade, and everything is changing. Emily’s new curves are attracting attention, and Tab is suddenly a member of the Human Rights Club. And then there’s Bridge. She’s started wearing cat ears and is the only one who’s still tempted to draw funny cartoons on her homework. It’s also the beginning of seventh grade for Sherm Russo. He wonders: what does it mean to fall for a girl—as a friend? By the time Valentine’s Day approaches, the girls have begun to question the bonds—and the limits—of friendship. Can they grow up without growing apart? “Sensitively explores togetherness, aloneness, betrayal and love.” —The New York Times A Boston Globe–Horn Book Honor Book for Fiction Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, NPR, and more!

  4. Liar & Spy - Seventh-grader Georges adjusts to moving from a house to an apartment, his father’s efforts to start a new business, his mother’s extra shifts as a nurse, being picked on at school, and Safer, a boy who wants his help spying on another resident of their building.

Want to see books about school?

Books About New York and Holidays

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Balloons Over Broadway
Written & illustrated by Melissa Sweet
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Presents a tribute to the creator of the giant balloons that fill the sky during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, tracing the work of artist Tony Sarg, whose innovative "upside-down puppet" creations have become the parade's trademark.
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Red and Lulu
Written & illustrated by Matt Tavares
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7
Separation and miles cannot keep a determined cardinal from his loved one in this heart-tugging story combining the cheer of Christmas, the magic of New York City, and the real meaning of the holiday season: how important it is to be surrounded by love. Full color.
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Merry Christmas, Little Elliot
Written & illustrated by Mike Curato
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Best friends Little Elliot and Mouse are back for another adventure—and this time, they're looking for Christmas spirit! Little Elliot the elephant isn't quite sure what Christmas spirit is, but he suspects he doesn't have it. Not even a visit to Santa Claus can put Elliot in the right mood. But when chance blows a letter for Santa into Elliot and Mouse's path, the two friends discover what Christmas is all about—and make a new friend, too. A heartfelt celebration of the season of giving! Perfect for sharing around the holidays. Godwin Books
Honorable Mentions
Rachel's Roses book
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The Hula Hoopin' Queen book
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Miracle on 34th Street book
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A Moon for Moe and Mo book
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  1. Rachel's Roses - Rachel Berger needs twenty-five cents to make her dream come true. But for Rachel, twenty-five cents is a fortune—and she’s running out of time. Third-grader Rachel Berger longs to be different. At the very least, she’d like to be set apart from her copycat little sister, Hannah. The second Rachel spots the glass rose buttons at Mr. Solomon’s button shop, her heart stops. They’ll be the perfect, unique touch on the skirt her mother is making her for Rosh Hashanah. There’s just one problem: Rachel can’t afford them. With her focus set on earning enough to buy them before the holiday, will Rachel lose sight of what’s really important? Themes of sisterhood, sibling rivalry, and strong family values are organically woven in to this charmingly illustrated chapter book set on the Lower East Side of Manhattan in the early twentieth century.

  2. The Hula Hoopin' Queen - A spunky girl has a hula-hooping competition with her friends in Harlem, and soon everyone in the neighborhood—young and old alike—joins in on the fun. Kameeka is confident that today she will finally beat her rival, Jamara, and become the Hula-Hoopin’ Queen of 139th Street. But then Mama reminds her that today is their neighbor Miz Adeline’s birthday, and Kameeka has a ton of chores to do to get ready for the party they are hosting. Kameeka’s disappointed to be stuck at home and can only think about the hoopin’ competition. Distracted, Kameeka accidentally ruins Miz Adeline’s birthday cake, and has to confess to her that there won’t be a cake for her special day. But then Miz Adeline’s confesses something too: she’s also got the itch—the hula-hoopin’ itch! Her fingers start snappin’. Her hips start swingin’. Soon everyone’s hips are swinging as the party spills out onto the street. The whole neighborhood’s got the itch—the hula-hoopin’ itch! With vibrant illustrations by Vanessa Brantley-Newton, The Hula-Hoopin’ Queen is a charming celebration of family and community ties. Set in Harlem, this intergenerational story shows the importance of staying young at heart.

  3. Miracle on 34th Street - For a little girl named Susan, Christmas could be any other day. She doesn’t believe in Santa Claus or magic or miracles of any kind. Then one day she meets Kriss Kringle. As she doubtfully tells him the gifts she most wishes for, deep down Susan finds herself hoping that just maybe, he is the real thing. Based on the original holiday classic, Miracle on 34th Street is a heartwarming story about generosity, imagination, and the spirit of Christmas.

  4. A Moon for Moe and Mo - An interfaith friendship develops when Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, overlaps with the Muslim holiday of Ramadan—an occurence that happens only once every thirty years or so. Moses Feldman, a Jewish boy, lives at one end of Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, New York, while Mohammed Hassan, a Muslim boy, lives at the other. One day they meet at Sahadi’s market while out shopping with their mothers and are mistaken for brothers. A friendship is born, and the boys bring their families together to share rugelach and date cookies in the park as they make a wish for peace.

Want to see books about holidays?

Books About New York and Performing Arts

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Hosea Plays On
Written by Kathleen M. Blasi & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-9
This heartwarming picture book (based on a true story) depicts a day in the life of Hosea Taylor, a musician who—with his charm, talent, and generosity—brought joy to everyone he met. Every day, Hosea takes the Number 42 bus into the city to play his shiny brass saxophone—and to hopefully earn enough money. Setting up in his favorite place, Hosea makes sweet music as people greet him with a smile, a little girl dances, and crowds surround him. A surprise ending reveals what the money is really for. Kathleen Blasi’s delightful text and Shane Evan’s colorful images capture the real-life closeness between the much-loved Hosea—who shared his passion for music and life with everyone—and his community. An Author's Note explains how Blasi learned about Hosea Taylor (1948-2016), and what compelled her to write his story.
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The Man Who Walked Between the Towers
Written & illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
A lyrical evocation of Philippe Petit's 1974 tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers.
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New York Melody
Written & illustrated by Helene Druvert
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
Soar through New York and discover its magic and monuments in this evocatively illustrated children’s book enriched by intricate lasercut pages. A musical note filled with wanderlust breaks away from its sheet music to roam all around New York City. It visits Carnegie Hall, the bright lights of Broadway, and a hidden jazz club. It soars between skyscrapers, flies into a bass, improvises in a trumpet, and dances a little swing with a trombone, until it finally finds its place in a guitar playing in Central Park. There, it makes all the difference, and the guitar’s melody becomes a song that enchants passersby. Beautifully crafted with He´le`ne Druvert’s intricate lasercuts, New York Melody is a wonderfully imaginative introduction to New York and its many unique rhythms for young children.
Honorable Mentions
Olive Becomes Famous (and Hopes She Can Become Un-Famous) book
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A Dance Like Starlight book
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Better Nate Than Ever book
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  1. Olive Becomes Famous (and Hopes She Can Become Un-Famous) - Olive is going to be in a commercial! The only problem is that Olive can’t land the gymnastics stunt for it, and she is afraid to tell the truth. Meanwhile, her cross-country pen pal, Molly, has started taken acting classes and is super jealous of Olive, but doesn’t want to tell her. Molly goes on a mission to get on a commercial, too, with her new friend from class. Follow the secrets and threatened friendship through reading the jealous emails and alternating first-person points of view to discover Olive’s plan to make everything right.

  2. A Dance Like Starlight - Little ballerinas have big dreams. Dreams of pirouettes and grande jetes, dreams of attending the best ballet schools and of dancing starring roles on stage. But in Harlem in the 1950s, dreams don’t always come true—they take a lot of work and a lot of hope. And sometimes hope is hard to come by. But the first African-American prima ballerina, Janet Collins, did make her dreams come true. And those dreams inspired ballerinas everywhere, showing them that the color of their skin couldn’t stop them from becoming a star. In a lyrical tale as beautiful as a dance en pointe, Kristy Dempsey and Floyd Cooper tell the story of one little ballerina who was inspired by Janet Collins to make her own dreams come true.

  3. Better Nate Than Ever - An eighth-grader who dreams of performing in a Broadway musical devises a plan to run away to New York and audition for the role of Elliot in the musical version of E.T.

Books About New York and Family Life

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Raffie on the Run
Written by Jacqueline Resnick & illustrated by Joe Sutphin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
"The Cricket in Times Square" meets "Finding Nemo" in this Pixar-style adventure in which a subway rat must cross New York City to bring his lost little brother home. Illustrations.
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Farmer Boy
Written by Laura Ingalls Wilder & illustrated by Garth Williams
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
While Laura Ingalls grows up in a little house on the western prairie, Almanzo Wilder is living on a big farm in New York State. Here Almanzo and his brother and sisters help with the summer planting and fall harvest. In winter there is wood to be chopped and great slabs of ice to be cut from the river and stored. Time for fun comes when the jolly tin peddler visits, or best of all, when the fair comes to town. This is Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved story of how her husband Almanzo grew up as a farmer boy far from the little house where Laura lived.
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Some Places More Than Others
Written & illustrated by Renee Watson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
All Amara wants for her birthday is to visit her father's family in New York City--Harlem, to be exact. She can't wait to finally meet her Grandpa Earl and cousins in person, and to stay in the brownstone where her father grew up. Maybe this will help her understand her family--and herself--in new way. But New York City is not exactly what Amara thought it would be. It's crowded, with confusing subways, suffocating sidewalks, and her father is too busy with work to spend time with her and too angry to spend time with Grandpa Earl. As she explores, asks questions, and learns more and more about Harlem and about her father and his family history, she realizes how, in some ways more than others, she connects with him, her home, and her family.
Honorable Mentions
All-of-a-kind Family book
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The Relatives Came book
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Then Again, Maybe I Won't book
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  1. All-of-a-kind Family - Portrays the joys and troubles of five high-spirited Jewish sisters as they grow up in New York City.

  2. The Relatives Came - The relatives come to visit from Virginia and everyone has a wonderful time.

  3. Then Again, Maybe I Won't - Get a guy’s perspective on adolescent hang-ups in this classic Judy Blume novel, now with a fresh new look. “That’s an interesting way to solve the problem, Tony.” Miss Tobin is talking about a math problem on the blackboard, but Tony is thinking about real problems. If his parents or his friend Joel or Joel’s sixteen-year-old sister Lisa knew what Tony was thinking about a lot of the time, they’d probably freak out. About snitching on Joel, who Tony knows is a shoplifter. About watching Lisa undress each night and liking what he sees. About money and the changes money makes in people (especially his mother). Hung up at thirteen. That’s Tony Miglione—especially this morning in math class in front of Miss Tobin, for everyone to see…

Books About New York and Social Themes

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Ida, Always
Written by Caron Levis & illustrated by Charles Santoso
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
A beautiful, honest portrait of loss and deep friendship told through the story of two iconic polar bears. Gus lives in a big park in the middle of an even bigger city, and he spends his days with Ida. Ida is right there. Always. Then one sad day, Gus learns that Ida is very sick, and she isn’t going to get better. The friends help each other face the difficult news with whispers, sniffles, cuddles, and even laughs. Slowly Gus realizes that even after Ida is gone, she will still be with him—through the sounds of their city, and the memories that live in their favorite spots. Ida, Always is an exquisitely told story of two best friends—inspired by a real bear friendship—and a gentle, moving, needed reminder that loved ones lost will stay in our hearts, always.
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Tar Beach
Written & illustrated by Faith Ringgold
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Illus. in full color. "Ringgold recounts the dream adventure of eight-year-old Cassie Louise Lightfoot, who flies above her apartment-building rooftop, the 'tar beach' of the title, looking down on 1939 Harlem. Part autobiographical, part fictional, this allegorical tale sparkles with symbolic and historical references central to African-American culture. The spectacular artwork resonates with color and texture. Children will delight in the universal dream of mastering one's world by flying over it. A practical and stunningly beautiful book."--(starred) Horn Book.
Honorable Mentions
Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great book
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The Garden of Eve book
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  1. Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great - **Celebrate 45 years of Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great! **Part of the classic Fudge series from Judy Blume, bestselling author of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Who is Sheila Tubman? Even Sheila isn’t sure. Sometimesshe feels like confident Sheila the Great, and other timesshe’s secret Sheila, who’s afraid of spiders, swimming,and, most of all, dogs. When her family decides to leavethe city for a summer in the country, Sheila will haveto suffer everything from long-eared dogs to swimminglessons to creepy spiders. That’s enough to drive a city girlnuts! If she survives at all, Sheila may be forced to admitthat she’s no supergirl. “As a kid, Judy Blume was my favorite author, and _Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing_ was my favorite book.”—Jeff Kinney, author of the bestselling Wimpy Kid series Love Fudge, Peter, and Sheila? Read all these books featuring your favorite characters:
    Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
    Superfudge

    Fudge-a-Mania
    Double Fudge 

  2. The Garden of Eve - Evie reluctantly moves with her widowed father to Beaumont, New York, where he has bought an apple orchard, dismissing rumors that the town is cursed and the trees haven’t borne fruit in decades. Evie doesn’t believe in things like curses and fairy tales anymore—if fairy tales were real, her mom would still be alive. But odd things happen in Beaumont. Evie meets a boy who claims to be dead and receives a mysterious seed as an eleventh-birthday gift. Once planted, the seed grows into a tree overnight, but only Evie and the dead boy can see it—or go where it leads.

Books About New York and 1900-1949

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The Story Seeker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Viviani Fedeler, proud resident of the New York Public Library, has set her sights on becoming a star reporter. She's thrilled when Miss Hutch announces a story contest where the winner gets their essay printed in The New York Times! But when it's time to write, Viviani is out of stories. As she struggles to find inspiration, the library is struck with a string of mysterious disappearances. Rare medical texts keep vanishing off the shelves, nowhere to be found! Will Viviani be able to return the books to their rightful shelves and find the perfect story to impress the Times? The Story Seeker delivers an unforgettable mystery adventure set in the iconic New York Public Library during the Roaring Twenties.
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Before the Devil Breaks You
Written by Libba Bray
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 15-99
The Diviners are back in this thrilling and eerie third installment by #1 New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray. New York City.1927.Lights are bright.Jazz is king.Parties are wild.And the dead are coming... After battling a supernatural sleeping sickness that early claimed two of their own, the Diviners have had enough of lies. They're more determined than ever to uncover the mystery behind their extraordinary powers, even as they face off against an all-new terror. Out on Ward's Island, far from the city's bustle, sits a mental hospital haunted by the lost souls of people long forgotten--ghosts who have unusual and dangerous ties to the man in the stovepipe hat, also known as the King of Crows. With terrible accounts of murder and possession flooding in from all over, and New York City on the verge of panic, the Diviners must band together and brave the sinister ghosts invading the asylum, a fight that will bring them fact-to-face with the King of Crows. But as the explosive secrets of the past come to light, loyalties and friendships will be tested, love will hang in the balance, and the Diviners will question all that they've ever known. All the while, malevolent forces gather from every corner in a battle for the very soul of a nation--a fight that could claim the Diviners themselves. Heart-pounding action and terrifying moments will leave you breathless in the third book of the four-book Diviners series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Libba Bray.
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Gittel's Journey
Written by Leslea Newman & illustrated by Amy June Bates
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8
Gittel and her mother were supposed to immigrate to America together, but when her mother is stopped by the health inspector, Gittel must make the journey alone. Her mother writes her cousin’s address in New York on a piece of paper. However, when Gittel arrives at Ellis Island, she discovers the ink has run and the address is illegible! How will she find her family? Both a heart-wrenching and heartwarming story, Gittel’s Journey offers a fresh perspective on the immigration journey to Ellis Island. The book includes an author’s note explaining how Gittel’s story is based on the journey to America taken by Lesléa Newman’s grandmother and family friend.
Honorable Mentions
Sugar Hill book
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The Doll Shop Downstairs book
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Harlem Hellfighters book
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When Everybody Wore a Hat book
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  1. Sugar Hill - Take a walk through Harlem’s Sugar Hill and meet all the amazing people who made this neighborhood legendary. With upbeat rhyming, read-aloud text, Sugar Hill celebrates the Harlem neighborhood that successful African Americans first called home during the 1920s. Children raised in Sugar Hill not only looked up to these achievers but also experienced art and culture at home, at church, and in the community. Books, music lessons, and art classes expanded their horizons beyond the narrow limits of segregation. Includes brief biographies of jazz greats Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sonny Rollins, and Miles Davis; artists Aaron Douglas and Faith Ringgold; entertainers Lena Horne and the Nicholas Brothers; writer Zora Neale Hurston; civil rights leader W. E. B. DuBois and lawyer Thurgood Marshall.

  2. The Doll Shop Downstairs - Nine-year-old Anna and her sisters love to play with the dolls in their parents’ doll repair shop. But when World War I begins, an embargo on German-made goods-including the parts Papa needs to repair the dolls-threatens to put the family’s shop out of business. Fortunately, Anna has an idea that just might save the day. Inspired by the true story of Madame Alexander, this is a timeless tale of family and imagination. This beautiful gift edition of The Doll Shop Downstairs, featuring an eye-catching foil embossed cover, will make a perfect holiday present for dreamers and doll lovers everywhere.

  3. Harlem Hellfighters - They went by many names, but the world came to know them best as the Harlem Hellfighters. Two thousand strong, these black Americans from New York picked up brass instruments—under the leadership of famed bandleader and lieutenant James Reese Europe—to take the musical sound of Harlem into the heart of war. From the creators of the 2012 Boston Globe–Horn Book Award Honor Book, And the Soldiers Sang, this remarkable narrative nonfiction rendering of WWI — and American — history uses free-verse poetry and captivating art to tell century-old story of hellish combat, racist times, rare courage, and inspired music.

  4. When Everybody Wore a Hat - This is the story of when I was a boy, almost 100 years ago, when fire engines were pulled by horses, boys did not play with girls, kids went to libraries for books, there was no TV, you could see a movie for a nickel, and everybody wore a hat.

Want to see books about 1900-1949?

Books About New York and America

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Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
Written by Anika Denise & illustrated by Paola Escobar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
An inspiring picture book biography of storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, who championed bilingual literature. When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy. Brought to colorful life by Paola Escobar’s elegant and exuberant illustrations and Anika Aldamuy Denise’s lyrical text, this gorgeous book is perfect for the pioneers in your life. Informative backmatter and suggested further reading included.
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True Story of Zippy Chippy: The Little Horse That Couldn't
Written by Artie Bennett & illustrated by Dave Szalay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Zippy Chippy is descended from the leading legends of horse racing. He is destined for greatness and glory. But . . . when the starting bell rings, it's anybody's guess what Zippy will do. Will Zippy go for a gentle trot around the track or stop and smell the roses? Or, perhaps, never even leave the starting gate?! With mischief in his makeup, he's known to stick his tongue out at people and chew up the hats of passersby. And he's always trying to break out of his stall. What's an owner to do? Try and try again! After all, he believes in Zippy--and, besides, the horse is now a part of the family. But as Zippy's losses mount, a funny thing happens. People start to take notice of the hapless, cupcake-eating horse. Could it be that they're betting on Zippy to win? This remarkable story of the famed racehorse who lost every race is sure to win your heart!
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Anna Strong: A Spy During the American Revolution
Written by Sarah Glenn Marsh & illustrated by Sarah Green
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
**The thrilling true story of the female spy who helped save the American Revolution** Anna Smith Strong (1790–1812) was a fearless woman who acted as a spy for George Washington during the Revolutionary War. Recruited by Washington’s spymaster, Major Benjamin Tallmadge, she joined the Culper Ring, a group of American spies. General Washington placed a huge amount of trust in his spies, and Anna helped pass him important messages at a great risk to herself and her family. One of her cleverer devices was to hang laundry on the line in a planned fashion so that other spies could read the “message.” Had she been discovered by the British, she would have faced jail or execution. Thrilling and dramatic, *Anna Strong* tells the story of how one brave woman helped change the course of American history. The book includes an author’s note, a bibliography, an index, and a spy code so kids can get involved in the action.
Honorable Mentions
Sophia's War book
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Lady Liberty's Holiday book
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The Matchlock Gun book
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  1. Sophia's War - In 1776, young Sophia Calderwood witnesses the execution of Nathan Hale in New York City, which is newly occupied by the British army. Sophia is horrified by the event and resolves to do all she can to help the American cause. Recruited as a spy, she becomes a maid in the home of General Clinton, the supreme commander of the British forces in America. Through her work she becomes aware that someone in the American army might be switching sides, and she uncovers a plot that will grievously damage the Americans if it succeeds. But the identity of the would-be traitor is so shocking that no one believes her, and so Sophia decides to stop the treacherous plot herself, at great personal peril: She’s young, she’s a girl, and she’s running out of time. And if she fails, she’s facing an execution of her own. Master storyteller Avi shows exactly how personal politics can be in this “nail-biting thriller” (Publishers Weekly) that is rich in historical detail and rife with action.

  2. Lady Liberty's Holiday - The Statue of Liberty is feeling a little blue, despite being green. As much as she loves welcoming people to America, standing still for over a hundred years has left her with a stiff neck, aching arms, and a cramp in her leg. This lady could use a vacation!

  3. The Matchlock Gun - A Newbery Medal Winner In 1756, New York State was still a British colony, and the French and the Indians were constant threats to Edward and his family. When his father was called away to watch for a raid from the north, only Edward was left to protect Mama and little Trudy. His father had shown him how to use the huge matchlock gun, an old Spanish gun that was twice as long as he was, but would Edward be able to handle it if trouble actually came? This classic, first published in 1941, has an updated, kid-friendly format that includes the original black-and-white illustrations.

Books About New York and Northeast United States

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This is New York
Written & illustrated by Miroslav Sasek
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
A pictorial tour of Manhattan's neighborhoods, transportation and traffic, buildings, and the city's activities, from the local shoeshine stall to Wall Street.
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One Times Square: A Century of Change at the Crossroads of the World
Written & illustrated by Joe McKendry
picture book
Recommend Ages: 11-14
At the heart of the non-stop bustle of modern Times Square stands One Times Square, the former headquarters of the New York Times and the skyscraper -- now all but invisible behind billboards -- that gave the square its name in 1904. Around it, a once-humble district of carriage houses and coal merchants at the intersection of Broadway and Seventh Avenue evolved into "The Crossroads of the World." Here impresarios and real-estate moguls vied to outdo each other as they built theaters and hotels, penny arcades and restaurants, dime museums and office towers in an unending cycle of reinvention and reimagination. More than any other public space in New York City, Times Square is the place where Americans have gathered, in good times and in bad, to catch up on the latest news, to mark historic occasions, or just to meet a few friends. From the Stock Market crash in 1929 -- when the building's iconic "Zipper" provided up-to-the-minute information -- to the celebrations marking the end of the Second World War, to annual New Year's Eve festivities with the iconic descending lighted ball, the square and its tower have been an integral part of our history. One Times Square explores the story of this fascinating intersection, starting when Broadway was a mere dirt path known as Bloomingdale Road, through the district's decades of postwar decay, to its renewal as a glittering tourist-friendly media mecca. McKendry's meticulous, lush watercolors take readers behind the famous Camel billboard to find out how it blew smoke rings over the square for 25 years, to the top of the Times Tower to see how the New Year's ball has made its descent for over 100 years, and onto construction sites as buildings grow up around One Times Square to dwarf what once ranked among the tallest buildings in the world.
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Miracle on 34th Street
Written by Valentine Davies
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Generations of believers in hope and goodwill have made Valentine Davies’ _Miracle on 34th Street_ a treasured part of their holiday traditions. Millions of copies of this award-winning story have sold since its first publication in 1947, delighting readers of all ages. A facsimile edition of the book is now faithfully re-created, offering a new generation--and fans of the original--the beauty of the classic 1940s design. Details of how the book came to be written, and made into a beloved film, are included in a brief historical note.
Honorable Mentions
September Roses book
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Wow! City! book
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Roller Skates book
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Wild Blues book
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  1. September Roses - A tribute to the memory of September 11 On September 11, 2001, two sisters from South Africa are flying to New York City with 2,400 roses to be displayed at a flower show. As their plane approaches the airport, a cloud of black smoke billows over the Manhattan skyline. When they land, they learn of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. All flights are canceled; the sisters cannot go home, and they are stranded with boxes and boxes of roses. In the days that followed September 11, Jeanette Winter was drawn to Union Square and saw, among the hundreds of memorial offerings, twin towers made of roses. In the pages of this small and vibrant book, she tells a moving story.

  2. Wow! City! - Everyone dreams of visiting the big city, with its bright lights, tall buildings, and millions and millions of people. One lucky girl named Izzy climbs in her stroller and rides through all the hustle and bustle, impressed by the sheer magnitude of everything she sees. Wow! City! is based on Izzy’s real-life escapade, as page after page she is quoted verbatim. (Izzy was just learning to speak at the time.) Every illustration captures the grandeur, energy, and exuberance of Izzy’s great adventure with her dad, in a book children will quickly learn by heart and ask to read over and over and over.

  3. Roller Skates - A Newbery Medal Winner! Growing up in a well-to-do family with strict rules and routines can be tough for a ten-year-old girl who only wants to roller skate. But when Lucinda Wyman’s parents go overseas on a trip to Italy and leave her behind in the care of Miss Peters and Miss Nettie in New York City, she suddenly gets all the freedom she wants! Lucinda zips around New York on her roller skates, meeting tons of new friends and having new adventures every day. But Lucinda has no idea what new experiences the city will show her…. Some of which will change her life forever. “A refreshingly lively and genuine story.”—The New York Times

  4. Wild Blues - The threat of two escaped convicts and a missing friend lead Lizzie on a harrowing journey through the wilds of the Adirondacks in this stunning novel from National Book Award finalist Beth Kephart. Thirteen-year-old Lizzie’s favorite place in the world is her uncle’s cabin. Uncle Davy’s renovated schoolhouse cabin, filled with antiques and on the edge of the Adirondacks, disconnected from the rest of the world, is like something out of a fairy tale. And an escape from reality is exactly what Lizzie needs. Life hasn’t been easy for Lizzie lately. Her father abandoned their family, leaving Lizzie with her oftentimes irresponsible mother. Now, her mom has cancer and being unable to care for Lizzie during her chemotherapy, Mom asks her where she’d like to spend the summer. The answer is simple: Uncle Davy’s cabin. Lizzie loves her uncle’s home for many reasons, but the main one is Matias, Uncle Davy’s neighbor and Lizzie’s best friend. Matias has proportionate dwarfism, but that doesn’t stop him and Lizzie from wandering in the woods. Every day they go to their favorite nook where Matias paints with watercolors and Lizzie writes. Until one day when Matias never arrives. When news breaks about two escaped convicts from the nearby prison, Lizzie fears the worst. And when Uncle Davy goes missing, too, Lizzie knows she’s the only one who knows this area of woods well enough to save them. Armed with her trusted Keppy survival book, Lizzie sets out into the wilds of the Adirondacks, proving just how far she’ll go to save the people she loves.

Books About New York and Art

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Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee!
Written by Andrea J Loney & illustrated by Keith Mallett
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
James Van Der Zee was just a young boy when he saved enough money to buy his first camera. He took photos of his family, classmates, and anyone who would sit still for a portrait. By the fifth grade, James was the school photographer and unofficial town photographer. Eventually he outgrew his small town and moved to the exciting, fast-paced world of New York City. After being told by his boss that no one would want his or her photo taken -by a black man, - James opened his own portrait studio in Harlem. He took photographs of legendary figures of the Harlem Renaissance--politicians such as Marcus Garvey, performers including Florence Mills, Bill -Bojangles- Robinson, and Mamie Smith--and ordinary folks in the neighborhood too. Everyone wanted fancy portraits by James Van Der Zee. Winner of Lee & Low's New Voices Award, Take a Picture of Me, James Van Der Zee! tells the story of a groundbreaking artist who chronicled an important era in Harlem and showed the beauty and pride of its people.
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Radiant Child
Written & illustrated by Javaka Steptoe
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
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.
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The inside-outside book of New York City
Written by Roxie Munro
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8
Captioned illustrations depict noted sights in New York City, including the American Museum of Natural History, Statue of Liberty, subway at Times Square, and New York Zoological Park. Includes a section of text in the back of the book providing information on each sight.
Honorable Mentions
All the Greys on Greene Street book
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Polka Dot Parade book
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Masterpiece book
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Ella and Monkey at Sea book
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  1. All the Greys on Greene Street - SoHo, 1981. Twelve-year-old Olympia is an artist–and in her neighborhood, that’s normal. Her dad and his business partner Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother makes intricate sculptures in a corner of their loft, leaving Ollie to roam the streets of New York with her best friends Richard and Alex, drawing everything that catches her eye. Then everything falls apart. Ollie’s dad disappears in the middle of the night, leaving her only a cryptic note and instructions to destroy it. Her mom has gone to bed, and she’s not getting up. Apollo is hiding something, Alex is acting strange, and Richard has questions about the mysterious stranger he saw outside. And someone keeps calling, looking for a missing piece of art. . . . Olympia knows her dad is the key–but first, she has to find him, and time is running out.

  2. Polka Dot Parade - “Beautifully rendered and told, the book brings to life the work of a gifted 20th-century artist whose creative vision will always be in vogue.” Kirkus Reviews, Starred review This is a moving and impassioned picture book about the iconic fashion photographer Bill Cunningham that will inspire young readers to go discover their own ideas of beauty and embolden the world with their own creativity! He found “sheer poetry” in the drape of an evening dress, delight in the swoosh of a knife-pleated skirt, and sartorial splendor in Jazz Age garb. Every day, Bill Cunningham pedaled his bike through New York City searching for beauty. As he took picture after picture, Bill found beauty not in people, but in their clothes. Drawn to bold and creative choices, Bill’s photos captured the attention of the New York Times. He traveled to Paris for Fashion Week, and admiration for his work grew. With his sense of creativity and daringness, his own personal style of photography came to be known as street art photography. His photos left a lasting impression on all those who came across his work and they continue to inspire creativity today. This is the story of the legend who created street fashion photography and left behind a legacy of glorious pictures. Bill Cunningham used his passion and talent to capture the beauty he saw in fashion and the ultimate freedom that it represents to each and every person. This is an inspiring picture book about finding your path and being creative.

  3. Masterpiece - Marvin lives with his family under the kitchen sink in the Pompadays’ apartment. He is very much a beetle. James Pompaday lives with his family in New York City. He is very much an eleven-year-old boy.After James gets a pen-and-ink set for his birthday, Marvin surprises him by creating an elaborate miniature drawing. James gets all the credit for the picture and before these unlikely friends know it they are caught up in a staged art heist at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that could help recover a famous drawing by Albrecht Dürer. But James can’t go through with the plan without Marvin’s help. And that’s where things get really complicated (and interesting!). This fast-paced mystery will have young readers on the edge of their seats as they root for boy and beetle. In Shakespeare’s Secret Elise Broach showed her keen ability to weave storytelling with history and suspense, and Masterpiece is yet another example of her talent. This time around it’s an irresistible miniature world, fascinating art history, all wrapped up in a special friendship— something for everyone to enjoy. Masterpiece is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children’s Book of the Year.

  4. Ella and Monkey at Sea - Ella’s best friend, Monkey, doesn’t like good-bye hugs. He doesn’t want to say good-bye to Oma. And he doesn’t want to move away forever. Neither does Ella. But Papa is waiting for them in New York. So Ella and Monkey must board the ship with Mama and leave their old home in Holland for their new home in America. Along the way, there is fish for dinner (Monkey hates fish), a playroom full of new kids (Monkey doesn’t like strangers), and stormy seas that leave everyone feeling sick. Can Ella and Monkey find a way to weather the storm? Will they ever feel at home again? This sweetly illustrated picture book will appeal to anyone who has left home behind— and to children who find creative ways to share their emotions

Want to see books about art?

Books About New York and African Americans

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The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem's Greatest Bookstore
Written by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson & illustrated by R Gregory Christie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
In the 1930s, Lewis's dad, Lewis Michaux Sr., had an itch he needed to scratch―a book itch. How to scratch it? He started a bookstore in Harlem and named it the National Memorial African Bookstore. And as far as Lewis Michaux Jr. could tell, his father's bookstore was one of a kind. People from all over came to visit the store, even famous people―Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, and Langston Hughes, to name a few. In his father's bookstore people bought and read books, and they also learned from each other. People swapped and traded ideas and talked about how things could change. They came together here all because of his father's book itch. Read the story of how Lewis Michaux Sr. and his bookstore fostered new ideas and helped people stand up for what they believed in.
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Jazz Day: The Making of a Famous Photograph
Written by Roxane Orgill & illustrated by Francis Vallejo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
What happens when you invite as many jazz musicians as you can to pose for a photo in 1950s Harlem? Playful verse and glorious artwork capture an iconic moment for American jazz. When Esquire magazine planned an issue to salute the American jazz scene in 1958, graphic designer Art Kane pitched a crazy idea: how about gathering a group of beloved jazz musicians and photographing them? He didn't own a good camera, didn't know if any musicians would show up, and insisted on setting up the shoot in front of a Harlem brownstone. Could he pull it off? In a captivating collection of poems, Roxane Orgill steps into the frame of Harlem 1958, bringing to life the musicians' mischief and quirks, their memorable style, and the vivacious atmosphere of a Harlem block full of kids on a hot summer's day. Francis Vallejo's vibrant, detailed, and wonderfully expressive paintings do loving justice to the larger-than-life quality of jazz musicians of the era. Includes bios of several of the fifty-seven musicians, an author's note, sources, a bibliography, and a foldout of Art Kane's famous photograph.
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This Is My Eye: A New York Story
Written & illustrated by Neela Vaswani
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8
Shapes, colors, patterns, and people are everywhere, and things look different depending on how you look at them—and who is doing the looking. In this playful ode to photography and point of view, a poetic story posits how one young girl might capture moments of insight, community, and art in her beloved hometown, New York City. With the popularity of camera phones, photo-journaling, and photo-posting sites, this fictional exploration of photography as one young girl’s form of self-expression is guaranteed to appeal to budding photographers.
Honorable Mentions
Schomburg: the Man Who Built a Library book
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Home Is with Our Family book
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Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth book
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Trace book
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  1. Schomburg: the Man Who Built a Library - In luminous paintings and arresting poems, two of children’s literature’s top African-American scholars track Arturo Schomburg’s quest to correct history. Where is our historian to give us our side? Arturo asked. Amid the scholars, poets, authors, and artists of the Harlem Renaissance stood an Afro–Puerto Rican named Arturo Schomburg. This law clerk’s life’s passion was to collect books, letters, music, and art from Africa and the African diaspora and bring to light the achievements of people of African descent through the ages. When Schomburg’s collection became so big it began to overflow his house (and his wife threatened to mutiny), he turned to the New York Public Library, where he created and curated a collection that was the cornerstone of a new Negro Division. A century later, his groundbreaking collection, known as the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, has become a beacon to scholars all over the world.

  2. Home Is with Our Family - Now that she is turning thirteen, Maria Peterson envisions new adult prestige and responsibility, like attending abolitionist meetings and listening to inspiring speakers such as Sojourner Truth. The year also brings trials and tribulations for her family and friends, however. The City of New York wants to turn her community’s settlement into a park. Now that Maria has made a new friend, she’s even more determined to stay put. But soon Maria discovers that her friend has a problem even more dire than being thrown out of her home. Will Maria be able to help her? And what will happen to her own family’s home? 
    Filled with vivid period detail, action, and pathos, Home is with Our Family draws on the talents of two Coretta Scott King Award-winners to create a complete picture of a little known settlement in nineteenth century New York City. Like Little House on the Prairie and The Birch Bark House, _Home Is with Our Family_ provides an intimate view of daily life in a time gone by.

  3. Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth - 2017 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved classic Jennifer, Hecatate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth. Elizabeth is an only child, new in town, and the shortest kid in her class. She’s also pretty lonely, until she meets Jennifer. Jennifer is…well, different. She’s read Macbeth. She never wears jeans or shorts. She never says “please” or “thank you.” And she says she is a witch. It’s not always easy being friends with a witch, but it’s never boring. At first an apprentice and then a journeyman witch, Elizabeth learns to eat raw eggs and how to cast small spells. And she and Jennifer collaborate on cooking up an ointment that will enable them to fly. That’s when a marvelous toad, Hilary Ezra, enters their lives. And that’s when trouble starts to brew.

  4. Trace - In a debut novel that’s perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds and Erin Entrada Kelly, award-winning author/illustrator and educator Pat Cummings tells a poignant story about grief, love, and the untold stories that echo across time. Trace Carter doesn’t know how to feel at ease in his new life in New York. Even though his artsy Auntie Lea is cool, her brownstone still isn’t his home. Haunted by flashbacks of the accident that killed his parents, the best he can do is try to distract himself from memories of the past. But the past isn’t done with him. When Trace takes a wrong turn in the New York Public Library, he finds someone else lost in the stacks with him: a crying little boy, wearing old, tattered clothes. And though at first he can’t quite believe he’s seen a ghost, Trace soon discovers that the boy he saw has ties to Trace’s own history—and that he himself may be the key to setting the dead to rest.

Books About New York and Friendship

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Skylark and Wallcreeper
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
While helping her granny Collette evacuate to a makeshift shelter in Brooklyn during Superstorm Sandy, Lily uncovers secrets of her grandmother's past as a member of the French Resistance during WWII. Queens, 2012. Hurricane Sandy is flooding New York City, and Lily is at a nursing home with her grandmother, Collette. Lily visits Collette often, as she is beginning to lose her memories. When the National Guard shows up to evacuate the building and take them to safety at the Park Slope armory in Brooklyn, Lily's granny suddenly produces a red box she's hidden in a closet for years. Once they get to safety, Lily opens the box, where she finds an old, beautiful Montblanc pen. Granny tells Lily that the pen is very important and that she has to take care of it, as well as some letters written in French. But Lily loses the pen in the course of helping other nursing home residents, and as she searches the city trying to find it, she learns more about her grandmother's past in France and begins to uncover the significance of the pen with the help of her best friend, a quirky pen expert, and a larger-than-life, off-Broadway understudy. Told in alternating sections (2012 and 1944), this engaging book explores a deep friendship during difficult times and the importance of family.
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Curiosity House: The Fearsome Firebird
Written by Lauren Oliver & illustrated by H. C. Chester
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
In this third book in the exceptional Curiosity House mystery series by bestselling author Lauren Oliver and mysterious recluse H. C. Chester, four children must uncover the evil Nicholas Rattigan’s newest dastardly scheme, wage war with a rival freak show, and deal with a spy who may have infiltrated their happy home. Sam, Philippa, Thomas, and Max have just started to recover from their capture and subsequent escape from Rattigan. But the children’s lives don’t stay quiet for long. A slew of bank robberies is terrorizing the city. And when Professor Farnum, the ringmaster of the museum’s now immensely popular flea circus, is charged with murder, the search for the real killer uncovers a plot much bigger than any individual crime—a plot that can only be the work of Nicholas Rattigan. This is the third book in the series and contains even more exciting marvels, such as: A nefarious spy within the museum A very unfortunate flea circus The heavenly Georgie Rawls, from the original cast of Last Chance A beautiful and mysterious tattooed lady It continues not to have: A comprehensive review of the top ten toothbrushes A heaping bowl of sugarless cereal A long and boring family vacation A handmade, scratchy wool sweater Learn more about the series online at www.thecuriosityhouse.com
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Same Sun Here
Written by Silas House and Neela Vaswani & illustrated by Hilary Schenker
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-16
A twelve-year-old Indian immigrant in New York City and a Kentucky coal miner's son become pen pals, and eventually best friends, through a series of revealing letters exploring such topics as environmental activism, immigration, and racism.
Honorable Mentions
Little Bigfoot, Big City book
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Alexander Hamilton: Little Lion book
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  1. Little Bigfoot, Big City - From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes the second book in the “smartly crafted” (BCCB) and “heartwarming” (School Library Journal) trilogy about friendship, furry creatures, and finding the place where you belong.

  2. Alexander Hamilton: Little Lion - Now that the twins have begun to settle into their new lives at Elm Medona, they delve deeper into The Treasure Chest and uncover more about the Pickworth family, including the disappearance of their great-uncle Thorne and the theft of priceless family artifacts. In this adventure, The Treasure Chest transports Felix and Maisie to tropical St. Croix in 1772. There they meet a young man named Alexander Hamilton who is about to embark on a journey to New York. Felix and Maisie aren’t sure why The Treasure Chest has brought them to meet Alexander, but they are determined to not let him out of their sights . . .even if that means stowing away on the very ship he is sailing off on!

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