Forgiving Moses

The tenth installment in Velásquez s acclaimed Roosevelt High School Series that focuses on social issues relevant to teens, Forgiving Moses addresses the painful issue of children, particularly brown and black youth, whose fathers are not present in their lives. Touching on the disproportionately high number of men of color in prison and its effects on society, this short novel for teens will generate conversations about the possible consequences of making bad choices, responsibility to family and the impact of incarceration.

Away

Love shines through in the sticky notes shared between a mother and daughter in this picture book about making time for family in the midst of our busy lives.Between work and school, homework and housework, a mother and daughter don’t always get to spend as much time together as they’d like. Add to that a little girl’s fears about leaving home for the first time, and the need to stay close through handwritten notes becomes even more important. As the camp departure date gets closer, Mom does her best to soothe her daughter’s nerves. A visit from her grandmother helps to calm her fears and convince her that she’ll have a good time, even away from her mother and beloved cat. Camp ends up being a wonderful adventure but nothing is sweeter than a back-at-home reunion. Qin Leng’s watercolor illustrations are the perfect complement to Emil Sher’s simple text. This nuanced story about a parent and child’s unconventional way of connecting is full of humor and affection. Young readers will enjoy spotting Lester the cat as he paws his way into the story.

Snow Bears

Three little bears love to pretend and a Mommy Bear loves to play along. “But where are my baby bears?” Mommy Bear asked. “I don’t know where we are,” said the biggest snow bear. When Mommy Bear comes to look for her baby bears, she finds three snow bears instead. They don’t look quite like her bears, but they do like to slide down the snowy slope and throw snowballs, just like her bears do.