This Month in Kids Books: February 2023

Reading recommendations for kids
February 13, 2023
A new middle-grade novel by Chrystal D. Giles that is getting a lot of positive buzz is on the way to library shelves.
Not an Easy Win by Chrystal D. Giles
Nothing’s gone right for Lawrence since he had to move from Charlotte to Larenville, North Carolina, to live with his granny. When Lawrence ends up in one too many fights at his new school, he gets expelled. The fight wasn’t his fault, but since his pop’s been gone, it feels like no one listens to what Lawrence has to say. Instead of going to school, Lawrence starts spending his days at the rec center, helping out a neighbor who runs a chess program. Some of the kids in the program will be picked to compete in the Charlotte Classic chess tournament. Could this be Lawrence's chance to go home? Lawrence doesn’t know anything about chess, but something about the center—and the kids there—feels right. Lawrence thought the game was over, but does he have more moves left than he thought?

What’s New This Month
Some exciting new comics and graphic novels are also heading our way, including a new books from the creators of The Tea Dragon Society and Allergic, as well as new Hilo and Plants vs. Zombies comics and a spinoff series from InvestiGators. Also incoming are new books from authors like Kelly Yang, Dan Santat, Stuart Gibbs, Misa Sugiura, Nisi Shawl, and more.  
What We’re Reading
Here are some quotes from library staff about their latest recommended picks:

Chunky by Yehudi Mercado: “Can you love your child for who they are, even when it’s not who you dreamed they would be? Can you love yourself, even if you’re different? This brightly-colored, funny graphic novel shows that you can!”
The Blue House by Phoebe Wahl: “Detailed, colorful illustrations (also by the author) accompany a rollercoaster of emotions that goes along with being forced to move out of one's home due to rising costs and gentrification.”
The First Rule of Punk by Celia C. Pérez: “Malu doesn't fit in at her new school, but holds on tight to something her dad told her: the first rule of punk is to be yourself. She finds her people and fights the anti-punk school administration in a positive way. I loved this book and learning about Mexican punk!”
For more lists of recommended reads from the book world and beyond:
  • Noteworthy picture book and kids’ novel sequels from Publishers Weekly
  • Spring 2023 middle grade comic announcements from Publishers Weekly