Staff Picks for Kids

Here are recommendations for recent childrens' and young adult titles, from Bookworks booksellers. For more information on any of these titles, please contact us or to special order your favorite kids book, please contact us.

Staff Pick Badge
Ophie’s Ghosts Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062915894
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Balzer + Bray - May 18th, 2021

RECOMMENDED BY JENNIFER

It's rare to find a middle grade novel I can't put down. Justine Ireland, the author of the popular Dread Nation, delivers a book that is equal parts spooky mystery and heartbreaking family troubles that stem from racism. I was hooked until the last page, even then wanting the story to continue. Twelve year old Ophie begins to see ghosts after her father is killed, beginning with her father's ghost! After that, she sees ghosts everywhere. When she moves to her Aunt Rose's house in Pittsburgh she learns that this is a gift that runs in her family. Ophie has to quit school to work as a domestic and help support herself and her mother. She discovers many ghosts haunt the house where she works fetching and carrying for a grumpy old lady. She becomes involved in a mystery of a ghost who haunts the attic while learning how to help the other ghosts move on. I highly recommend this book. Happy reading!


Staff Pick Badge
Boy from Buchenwald Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781547606009
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Children's Books - May 11th, 2021

RECOMMENDED BY JENNIFER

In The Boy from Buchenwald, Robbie Waisman reveals his heartbreaking story of what he went through after liberation from German concentration camps to integrate back into normal life. He internalized the humiliating words the Nazi's told him about Jews, the horror of their actions reinforcing the messages to such an extent that he forgot his name and just became a number. He escapes death several times, and his experiences of the camps and enslavement in a munitions factory are harrowing. That a child at this age from 10 years old or so survived this treatment for so many years is a miracle. This story is of hope too as several members of the French community mentor him, and the other boys from Buchenwald, to help him catch up in school and heal. He slowly recovers his dignity and life. What a powerful and completely riveting story. I'm sure Mr. Waisman spares us from many graphic depictions of the holocaust in order to tell his story, and is appropriate for readers 9 years old and older.


Staff Pick Badge
What Riley Wore Cover Image
By Elana K. Arnold, Linda Davick (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481472609
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Beach Lane Books - August 27th, 2019

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

This is one of my toddler's favorite picture books. It's a great short story about not judging a person based on what they wear, what their name is, and what they like to do. Riley wears all kinds of fun outfits, ranging from tutus to dinoasaur hats, and meets friends on the playground, at the hardware store, and out to dinner with Oma and Opa. The illustrations of Linda Davick are perfectly fun and cheerful, adding color to Elana Arnold's character of Riley.


Staff Pick Badge
The Day Punctuation Came to Town (Language is Fun! #2) Cover Image
By Kimberlee Gard, Sandie Sonke (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781641701457
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Familius - August 1st, 2019

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

My kids like this book for it's fun take on punctuation. Grammarians and language nerds unite and get this book for all your learning-to-read (and write) little friends.


Staff Pick Badge
The Little Snowplow Wishes for Snow Cover Image
By Lora Koehler, Jake Parker (Illustrator)
$16.99
ISBN: 9781536201178
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Candlewick - October 8th, 2019

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

A charming picture book that teaches about patience and waiting for life's pleasures to come to us. The snowplow reallllly wants snow for his birthday, but the journey to get there takes some time. In the end, good things come to those who wait. If your little one adores big machines, they will love this book, which features the snowplow and all his construction yard friends.


Staff Pick Badge
Evan and the Skygoats Cover Image
By Vanessa Vassar, Ophelia Cornet (Illustrator)
$18.95
ISBN: 9781945652042
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Leaf Storm Press - October 21st, 2019

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

Albuquerque author-illustrator team Vassar and Cornet present a lovely story about a young boy who has lost his sister, Sky. One of our store's best selling kids titles in the last few years, it's a great choice for families experiencing loss and to help young children and their friends of all ages better understand death and her mysteries. 


Staff Pick Badge
Unicorn Day Cover Image
By Diana Murray, Luke Flowers (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781492667223
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky - June 4th, 2019

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

Just fun, frolicking good unicorn times. So much happening on every page, it will delight even the most easily distracted unicorn fans. 


Seeds Move! Cover Image
By Robin Page, Robin Page (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534409156
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Beach Lane Books - March 19th, 2019

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

I love this book and its big, bold focus on showing how germination happens. Very interesting and intriuging for young scientific minds. 


Staff Pick Badge
Echo Mountain Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780525555568
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dutton Books for Young Readers - April 21st, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY CONNIE

Echo Mountain is meant to be the new home for a family uprooted by the Depression. But as the author crisply portrays, people even within the same family, differ in how each reacts to change and grief. Ellie, one of three children, feels immedIately akin to the new environment. But the mountain trails have twists and turns which she must navigate in order to find her way and as she becomes more sure footed, her looming challenge becomes finding her place in her family. Readers with a heart for dogs will find ample reason to love them even more.


In West Mills Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781635575286
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - June 16th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY JENNIFER


Staff Pick Badge
All Because You Matter Cover Image
By Tami Charles, Bryan Collier (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338574852
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Orchard Books - October 6th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

A wonderful book by the powerhouse author-illustrator team of Tami Charles and Bryan Collier. Published in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and protests of the summer of 2020, this tale reminds you to remember your importance and that your life matters. Bryan Collier is an absolutely masterful artist; his collage style keeps the reader moving through the story delighted by each page. From the time the child is growing in his mother's belly to the time he sits on her lap to read a book, the narrator explain to the child that his life matters and always will. A beautiful story.


Staff Pick Badge
Antiracist Baby Picture Book Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780593110508
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Kokila - July 14th, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

A great primer for teaching toddlers the basics of being antiracist. Kendi converts his book for adults easily in this sweet board book illustrated with babies of all skin types and looks. Little ones will love seeing their contemporaries in this book, and family is at the heart of the story as Antiracist Baby learns how to be always learning and curious.


Staff Pick Badge
Pirate Stew Cover Image
By Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell (Illustrator)
$19.99
ISBN: 9780062934574
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Quill Tree Books - December 1st, 2020

RECOMMENDED BY AMANDA

Everything you'd expect a pirate story to be: funny, frolicking, silly, and whimsical. Gaiman and Riddell take kids on a marvelous journey with the charming babysitters of their dreams: a cast of pirates that create an unforgettable stew, sail the children on a magical ship, and visit a donut shop downtown. You'll be singing pirate chants and dreaming of pirate stew after this one! So much fun for everyone.


Staff Pick Badge
Barely Missing Everything Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781534404458
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books - March 5th, 2019

RECOMMENDED BY JENNIFER

This book was so good I couldn't put it down. I recognized the characters that read like people I know, and my own community. I cheered for Juan, JD, and Juan's mom. The combination of pressures from living in a poor neighborhood, trying to avoid gang members and the police, have them boxed into a corner it feels very hard to escape. The end was a surprise and left me heartbroken. I hope this book is a success and that Matt Mendez keeps writing. I'm recommending this book to everyone. 

My favorite quote from Juan's abuelo "You know why they took the draft away? The draft turned everyone into something. A draft-dodger. A prisoner. A protester. Or a soldier. The war got everyone, one way or another. Now, no one even notices the war. Because no one notices poor people."


Pre-Order Now Badge
Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781728234656
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Sourcebooks Young Readers - September 14th, 2021

RECOMMENDED BY CONNIE

"The Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna takes readers into the heart of war through the eyes of a girl named Petra whose world calls for bravery, stamina and hope. When her home is destroyed, she and remaining family members become refugees, holding on to life in a brutal landscape, while searching for a place to survive. The Mexican Revolution 1913 is the perilous, heart-breaking environment Petra must navigate.  Her story is exquisitely written and invites readers to delve into history to learn more about this time period."


Pre-Order Now Badge
Barakah Beats Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781338702064
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Scholastic Press - October 19th, 2021

RECOMMENDED BY CONNIE

For the first time Nimra and her friend Jenna will be going to the same school. Nimra will be leaving her private Islamic school and starting seventh grade at a public school. From the start, her friendship with Jenna begins to teeter and middle school throws some big challenges her way. But Nimra bravely perseveres learning about herself and her ability to make make decisions and new friends. Author Barakah Beats is an upbeat take on maneuvering through middle school and remaining steady when life gets rocky.


Pre-Order Now Badge
When We Make It Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593324486
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Dial Books - September 21st, 2021

RECOMMENDED BY CONNIE

The extraordinary poetry of Elisabet Velasquez takes the reader through the streets Bushwick, Brooklyn.  It’s a journey of energy, turning corners, facing roadblocks and finding paths.  Sarai, her sister and mother are almost always moving and survival is almost always on the line.  Nothing is easy with her mother but through it all Sarai keeps telling her story in this heart breaking heart mending novel in verse.  Her voice is powerful. Her story looks fragile but steel runs through it. Read it once, read it again, then look for more poetry by Velasquez!


Pre-Order Now Badge
Neverforgotten Cover Image
By Alejandra Algorta, Aida Salazar (Translated by), Iván Rickenmann (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781646140947
Availability: Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order Now
Published: Levine Querido - August 31st, 2021

RECOMMENDED BY CONNIE

Neverforgotten is gorgeous. It is as simple as that, simply gorgeous. But it is as complicated as the human heart and words that pour in and out of hearts everyday in a million different ways as people, young and old, try to make sense of their worlds.

Neverforgotten is about a boy, a bicycle, a city.  Movement. Growth. Transformation.  
But it is also about all of us.
It’s about things and people we thought we could hold on to.  Stories we thought would help us make sense. 

It’s a story that absorbs the reader, that through words and drawings carries us to Bogota while at the same time brings us to our own thoughts and memories of moments when our lives shifted.


Staff Pick Badge
Sisters of the Neversea Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062869975
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Heartdrum - June 1st, 2021

RECOMMENDED BY CONNIE

This book is a grand exploration of the Island of Neverland, story and family. This is an adventure book to kick off summer reading and delve into twists and turns as Wendy, Lily, and Michael swept from home, remain determined to find their way back despite time that does as it pleases, and needing to traverse an island of caves, lagoons, and woods. 

Their parents aren’t getting along, the girls are looking at spending the summer apart which has strained their friendship. When a boy named Peter Pan, quite unexpectedly turns their already quaking world upside down.

The book provides a steady stepping stone for discussions of families, and identity. Inspired by J.M. Barrie’s Peter and Wendy, Leitich Smith, through story, guides readers to look at how labels have been applied to people and how to move beyond them. Author Cynthia Leitich Smith is the author-curator of Heartdrum, A Native-focused imprint at HarperCollins Children’s Books.