The award-winning author of The Crossover
has a new novel-in-verse on the way to library shelves, this one set in the Asante Empire of nineteenth-century West Africa.
The Door of No Return by Kwame Alexander
11-year-old Kofi Offin loves these things above all else: his family, the fireside tales of his father’s father, a girl named Ama, and, of course, swimming. Some say he moves like a minnow, so he’s hoping to finally prove himself in front of Ama and his friends in a swimming contest against his older, stronger cousin. But before this can take place, a festival comes to the villages of Upper and Lower Kwanta and Kofi’s brother is chosen to represent Upper Kwanta in the wrestling contest. Encircled by cheering spectators and sounding drums, the two wrestlers from different villages kneel, ready to fight. The match is over before it has barely begun, when the unthinkable–a sudden death–occurs. As his world turns upside down, Kofi soon ends up on a harrowing journey across land and sea, and away from everything he loves.
What’s New This Month
Lots of new volumes in popular kids’ series are incoming, including Narwhal and Jelly, Rick Riordan Presents
, The 13-Story Treehouse
, and The Vanderbeekers
. Also on deck are some great picture books from Aaron Blabey, Raúl the Third, Oliver Jeffers, and Jory John, and chapter books from authors like Maleeha Siddiqui, Sayantani DasGupta, K.A. Holt, George Jreije, Kaylynn Bayron, and more.
What We’re Reading
Here are some quotes from library staff about their latest recommended picks:
The Girl Who Could Fix Anything
by Mara Rockliff – “Did you know that a woman saved a lot of lives in WWII by fixing a default in the planes’ engines? Neither did I! What a great read.”
by Megan Wagner Lloyd – “This graphic novel has little hints of Northern California and Sacramento throughout the story of a young girl’s journey to have a pet of her own while she adjusts to having a new baby in the house. Really relatable to us eczema and wheezy kids.”
New From Here
by Kelly Yang – “There is lots of humor regarding sibling misadventures, but also some frank discussion of the racism Asian people faced during the pandemic. Ultimately, however, this is not a story about the pandemic, but a lovely story about family and what brings them together.”
by Ryan T. Higgins – “Goslings imprint on Bruce the grumpy ol' bear, who does his best.”
by Anh Do – “This series is funny and packed full of action. The main character is 10, making it a great option for older chapter-book readers (though younger kids will certainly enjoy it as well!)”
Check out these and other staff picks for kids.
For more lists of recommended reads from the book world and beyond: