February 26, 2019

More of the best children's books from 2018

Ebony Elisabeth Thomas in a classroom.

Every December, Penn GSE’s Ebony Elizabeth Thomas and her team of children’s literature researchers pick the best books for young readers.

But 2018 was a banner year for great books that realistically and empathetically  dealt with issues like gender, race, ethnicity, religion, sexuality, and socioeconomic class. A few worthy titles were either released too late for the list or just missed out.

Before we get too deep into 2019, Thomas is highlighting these 2018 releases that are on their way to being new classics:

Apple in the Middle by Dawn Quigley: A story of a girl caught between Native American and white cultures who is trying to understand herself, this is the first volume in North Dakota State University Press’s Contemporary Voice of Indigenous Peoples Series.

Give Me Some Truth by Eric Gansworth: A story about growing up on a reservation in the 1980s, finding yourself, and rock n’ roll.

Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina: This winner of the Newbery Award tells the story of a sixth grader on scholarship navigating her way through an elite private school and changes at home.

Seven Pablos, written by Jorge Luján, illustrated by Chiara Carrer, and translated by Mara Lethem: This picture book from poet Luján captures the lives of seven boys named Pablo living in seven cities around the globe.

Thank You, Omu! By Oge Moran: A Caldecott honor book and recipient of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, Thank You, Omo! gives a portrait of a neighborhood and the strong women in it.

Woke Baby by Mahogany L. Browne: Released on New Year’s Eve, this board book from the author of Black Girl Magic: A Poem gives us a cradle-eye view of changing the world