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Blog 03.18.2021

Children’s Books To Read In 2021

Parents and caregivers inevitably wonder, at some point, what books they should be reading to their children, along with themes to which they should and will most likely be exposed. Learning to read opens up an entirely new world to young minds, but what should they be reading right now, in 2021? The choices are endless! One thing is for sure: we can all agree that we should surround the children in our lives with tales of courage, kindness, inclusivity, whimsy, beauty, adventure, and wonder.

  • Amelia Bedelia (1963) is a childhood classic character that appeared in a series of books written by Peggy Parish and illustrated by Fritz Siebel that detail the daily activities of a domestic worker who interprets directions literally. This wacky premise is goofy and clever with fun to spare. For instance, when asked to “draw the curtains,” instead of closing them, Amelia sketches a picture of the drapes. When asked to “put out the lights,” she hangs the light bulbs on a clothesline outdoors. The Amelia Bedelia books shine a light on the delights of daffy behavior and, when revisited by The New Yorker in 2019, were considered a “secret rebellion.”

  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery (1908) is the classic story of a delightfully charming and precocious red-haired orphan called Anne (“with an ‘E’”) who is adopted by two siblings who, at first, wanted a boy but learned to love her unconditionally anyway. The novel has been a children’s favorite since it was published in the early twentieth century but is also treasured and beloved by those of all ages—kids and adults alike.

  • A Wrinkle in Time is a fantastical young adult novel by Madeleine L’Engle (1962) that deals with the notion of time travel and, although it technically falls into the genre of science fiction, tackles universal themes such as goodness, spirituality, and love.

  • What If We Were All The Same!: A Children’s Book about Ethnic Diversity and Inclusion by C.M. Harris with illustrations by Eric Everett (2019) is a must for parents to share with their children. It’s a straightforward narrative about embracing our differences, how each one of us is unique, and that acceptance is the only option. This is a very timely issue and reading about it is the perfect way for parents and caregivers to broach such subject matter.

  • The Story of John Lewis: A Biography Book for Young Readers by Tonya Leslie (2021) tells the life story of the civil rights leader and Georgia congressman John Lewis (1940-2020). This book is essential reading for children to learn about recent history, the fight for equality, and getting into “good trouble.”

  • Ambitious Girl by Meena Harris (2021) is a brand new book that discusses feminist themes in a way that is understandable for children. With illustrations by Melissa Valdez, this story has been hailed as “inspiring” and is, above all, about having confidence and being unabashedly proud of one’s accomplishments.

For more information on publications mentioned in this blog post, consult the links below (and for all your other literary needs, don’t forget to refer to Full Cycle Publications).

https://bookauthority.org/books/new-childrens-books
http://hereweeread.com/2020/12/the-2021-ultimate-list-of-diverse-childrens-books.html
https://www.nypl.org/spotlight/womenshistorymonth/page-turners-reading-recommendations

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