Here at First Book, we love books (surprise, surprise) and love sharing great books with friends like you.
Starting today, we’ll share a new list of the books each month that our book enthusiasts on staff can’t stop raving about! You’ll find books full of rich illustrations, diverse characters and compelling tales that span multiple age ranges.
PreK-K (Ages 2-5):
My Big Barefoot Book of Wonderful Words written and illustrated by Sophie Fatus
The Palabra family has a busy day ahead of them, and this jam-packed picture book (available as a First Book special edition!) allows readers to follow along while exploring over 700 words, each serving as a label for a corresponding image. There is an infusion of useful vocabulary on each page, but the magic of this book is in the charming illustrations, which transform it into an interactive adventure through a multicultural world.
Grades 1-2 (Ages 6-8):
Viva Frida written and illustrated by Yuyi Morales
You have never read a book like Viva Frida. This sparsely written bilingual picture book employs a unique art style – a mix of painting and photographs of hand-made puppets – to celebrate the life and emotional depth of Frida Kahlo. While not a traditional biography, the author’s profound tribute to the famous Mexican artist will leave readers hungry to learn more.
Grades 3-4 (Ages 8-10):
Firebird written by Misty Copeland and illustrated by Christopher Myers
Misty Copeland’s life is a story of its own, from “nonexistence as a young girl,” to the second African-American soloist in the history of the American Ballet Theater. Copeland wrote Firebird in order to empower young girls to follow her example and achieve impossible dreams. Christopher Myers’s dramatic use of color through paint and collage captures Copeland’s bold personality and her unwavering determination in the face of discouragement from critics.
Grades 5-6 (Ages 10-12):
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson
Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson was born into the world of the Civil Right movement, raised in the Deep South and then the packed city blocks of New York. She lived her life for the written word, from the first “J” she ever wrote to the stories that became the air she breathes. Brown Girl Dreaming is the story of that life, told in the same verse style as many of her novels. By choosing to share her childhood memories through poetry, Woodson creates a personal story that allows readers to explore her depth, warmth, and uniquely perceptive eye for the beautiful world around her.
Grades 7+ (Ages 13+):
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Combining the emotional impact of traditional poetry with the power of modern hip hop, The Crossover is an unputdownable novel sure to engage even the most reluctant of readers. Kwame Alexander gives teens a window into the mind of Josh “Filthy McNasty” Bell: a 13-year-old basketball superstar navigating the social realities of school, the crumbling foundation of his family, and his passion for the game that ties it all together. Few books are able to say so much with so few words.