Somebody Give This Heart A Pen

From acclaimed performance poet Sophia Thakur comes a stirring collection of coming-of-age poems exploring issues of identity, difference, perseverance, relationships, fear, loss, and joy. From youth to school to family life to falling in love and falling back out again—the poems draw on the author’s experience as a young mixed-race woman trying to make sense of a lonely and complicated world. With a strong narrative voice and emotional empathy, this is poetry that will resonate with all young people, whatever their background and whatever their dreams

The Last Tree Town

Cassi has always been proud to be Puerto Rican, but when others comment on her appearance, telling her she doesn’t look like the rest of her family, Cassi begins to question everything.

My Best Friend

A mysterious shadow walks the corridors. It goes from room to room, and sometimes leaves with someone in its arms, taking them to the land of dreams. Until one day a patient at the hospital―a young child―speaks to the shadow, offering it a drink of water. The child is fearful at first, but as he gets to know the shadow through their conversations, he realizes that she has feelings of her own. So begins a great friendship between an unlikely pair: a young child, and Death.

Felix After The Rain

A young man called Felix hides all of his sorrow inside a large black suitcase that he carries with him wherever he goes. One day, a small boy opens the suitcase whilst Felix is sleeping. Felix wakes and the tears that he had been carrying for so long suddenly pour from him. Felix is uplifted, free and his heart is full of joy. Felix embraces the world, and the world embraces him. This book is a wonderful resource for young children to talk about sad feelings and how they might feel better if they confide in another person.

Get Off That Camel!

From the time Meena was a baby, she’s been obsessed with camels. This fixation only becomes stronger when she’s gifted a real camel for her birthday! Absolutely thrilled with her new pet, Meena simply refuses to get off that camel! This delightful story by veteran children’s author A.H. Benjamin is accompanied by Krishna Bala Shenoi’s vibrant, colorful illustrations, and promises to take readers on a ride they’ll never forget.

Bon Voyage, Mister Rodriguez

Every afternoon at four o’clock, Mister Rodriguez steps out of a narrow laneway and strolls through the street. The village children watch him go, ever more curious about the enigmatic old man with the bushy white mustache. Some say they’ve seen him float above the ground. Others say he played a piano without touching a single key. The truth, though, is more beautiful than any of the children could have imagined.

A Stopwatch From Grampa

Loretta Garbutt uses subtlety and sensitivity to explore the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) in this moving picture book story of loss. It features a gender-neutral main character (no first name or pronouns are given) making the story universally relatable. This is a perfect choice for fostering discussions with children about their emotions, particularly the feeling of loss. It also offers a poignant representation of an intergenerational relationship between a grandfather and grandchild. Carmen Mok’s expressive and thoughtful illustrations employ a limited color palette to convey the character’s emotional trajectory. There are curriculum applications here in social-emotional development as well as character education lessons in caring and resilience.