September 2021

Children’s (ages 2 – 8)

Hair Love – Matthew A. Chery

Hair Love is a story about hair, fatherhood, and love. It’s a heartwarming journey that fathers of daughters can relate to and a powerful affirmation on the wonders and beauty of kinky, curly, coily hair.

My son loves to read this one to his little sister–who is obsessed because the father in this story looks like her daddy! A homeschoolers tip that anyone can use: Having older children to read books aloud to younger siblings is a great way to practice their own reading skills and create meaningful family moments too!

Illustrated by Vashti Harrison

Available on Bookshop and more

B is for Breathe – Melissa Munro Boyd

For our little empaths, feelers, and sensitive souls B is for Breathe: The ABCs of Coping with Fussy and Frustrating Feelings is a great tool. With 26 simple skills that even our youngest children can practice, it’s a perfect introduction to emotional intelligence and self-awareness.

I personally enjoyed this book for my youngest son— a boy with big feelings. Breathing and mediation has long been part of our daily practice to help him calm and center when the emotions feel too big. I love that we now have a toolbox of skills and strategies to turn to as well!

Available on Bookshop and more

I am Loved – Nikki Giovanni

“There is nothing more important to a child than to feel loved.” A collection of poetry by the Nikki Giovanni is accompanied by the most vibrant illustrations that bring each verse to life. The purpose? To remind our children and ourselves that we are loved.

We took our time through this one. Savoring a poem each day, thinking and discussing on the words and finding the deeper and hidden meanings. A great introduction to poetry for any age. Our favorites include: Because, Three/Quarters Time, and Paula the Cat.

Illustrated by Ashley Bryan

Available at Bookshop and more

Middle Grade (ages 8 – 12)

Black Boy Joy – Edited by Kwame Mbalia

A collection of short stories epitomizing Black Boy Joy. 17 short stories by Black authors, this book is a celebration of Black boyhood.

I chose this book for my tween son who hasn’t necessarily been a big fan of reading and when I tell you, this changed the game for him! The stories, from the situations to the language, are truly relatable which I’ve found is essential when it comes to reading. And not just him! The whole family really enjoyed “There’s a Fight in the Cafeteria and You Better Not Bring Batmanand inspired a family game day.

Available at Bookshop and more

Young Adult

Children of Blood and Bone – Tomi Adeyemi

A bit of twist on the Young Adult pick as it’s coming straight from our oldest son—our family’s resident reader.

Nasir’s Review (as in, my son wrote this. proud mama moments):

Children of Blood and Bone is a very interesting fantasy/action/adventure novel written by Tomi Adeyemi that takes place  in the once magical land of Orisha. This native land was very peaceful and pretty until the Saran kingdom struck and took over, with anti-magic weapons. After that raid, the three main characters, Zelie, Amari, and Inan, were affected in different ways. Zelie lost her mother, Amari lost her best friend, and Inan lost respect for his father, who caused the madness. Zelie goes on a quest to bring back the magic to her land, with the help of her brother, Tzain. They gain friends and foes along the way as the story moves forward.

Children of Blood and Bone is also very unique because it brings an aspect to the story that you don’t get in a lot of books. This book has you read the point of view of all three characters, alternating between chapters, and taking place at around the same time. This aspect will keep you on your feet, while having you read the different thoughts and perspectives of the very different characters. This could make you alter your thoughts and feelings on certain people.

Even after you read the entire book, the fun doesn’t have to end there. There is not only a sequel to the book (Children of Virtue and Vengeance), but you could also decide which Maji Clan you belong to. If you want to, you could also come up with scenarios with your friends who haven’t read the book yet, which might get them into reading the book as well.

Furthermore, Children of Blood and Bone is an outstanding book for teenagers who enjoy series like Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and other survival-like books with any sort of twist to them.

Available at Bookshop and more