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Children's Books--Content Area Themes and Topics

Adventure Book Display


. . . and she points the nose of the canoe down river" (Cooper, 2019, p. 19).


"Two children, accompanied by their father, wave as their mother sets off to travel 300 miles down the Hudson River on her solitary adventure. In the evenings, the woman writes and draws in her sketchbook, detailing her exploits after setting up camp for the night. Caldecott Honor Book creator Cooper offers short descriptive paragraphs that encapsulate the striking beauty and harrowing challenges she encounters. 'The moon climbs up among the stars. She is alone, but not. The river stays beside her, mumbling to her and to itself all through the night.'” --Booklist

Review Citation and Link: Owen, Maryann. 2019. “River.” Booklist 116 (1): 109.

Video read aloud:

Intended Grade: PK-2


"A small black cat wearing a red collar and an African American girl with colorful baubles in her hair take a peek into another dimension." -- Booklist

Review Citation and Link: Owen, M. (2019). Another. Booklist, 115(9/10), 91.

Intended Grade: PK-2

Puppy Truck

"So Puppy Truck led the way . . . " (Pinkney, 2019, p. 18).


"A lively imagination is a beautiful thing. 'Carter wanted a puppy. / He got a truck.' So begins this whimsical tale of a little round-faced, brown-skinned, curly-haired boy who doesn't linger over what he lacks but makes the very best of what he does have." -- Kirkus Reviews

Review Citation and Link: Puppy Truck. (2019). Kirkus Reviews, 87(8), N.PAG.

Intended Grade: PK-2

The Only Fish in the Sea

"With comic urgency, a boy races on his bicycle to tell his friend Sadie the story of spoiled Little Amy Scott, who declared that her birthday goldfish was BORING and walked across town to unceremoniously throw it off the dock." -- School Library Journal

Review Citation and Link: Fabicon, J. K. (2017). The Only Fish in the Sea. School Library Journal, 63(7), 65–66.

Intended Grade: PK-2

Mabel and Sam at Home

"Finally, Mom plugged in the moon. There was just enough light to make a landing. 'Is this the Planet Perfecto?' asked Astronaut Sam. Astronaut Mabel looked around. The new planet was surprisingly homey. 'Could be,' she said. 'We’ll need to do some exploring to be sure'” (Urban, 2018, p. 44).


'Mabel and Sam have just moved into a new home. They think that with all the unloading and bustling about, it's likely they'll get 'tripped over or smooshed or trod upon.' But over the course of one day (and three chapters), the two siblings use pretend play and empty moving boxes to help them weather the big transition." -- Publishers Weekly

Review Citation and Link: Mabel and Sam at Home: One Brave Journey in Three Adventures. (2018). Publishers Weekly, 265(15), 75.

Intended Grade: PK-2

Beyond the Pond

"And in the moment between moonset and sunrise, Ernest D. looked upon the endlessness of his newly discovered land. 'All this was hiding in a pond,' said Ernest D. 'How exceptional'” (Kuefler, 2015, p. 27).


"Kuefler answers the age-old question, 'What lies beneath?' in this tale of transformation and wonder. Ernest D. is a curious boy living in an ordinary house. He is also in need of something fun to do. So one day, he decides to explore the depths of his pond." -- School Library Journal

Review Citation and Link: Van Auken, L. (2015). Beyond the Pond. School Library Journal, 61(7), 63–64.

Intended Grade: PK-2

The Not-So-Faraway Adventure

'Are you ready for your birthday adventure, Poppa?' Theo asked the next day as they climbed onto the streetcar. 'You bet!' he said. The signal bell clanged, and the streetcar lurched forward. Poppa and Theo took their seats. They smiled at the feel of the rumble beneath their feet. 'I’m excited!' said Poppa, squeezing Theo’s hand. 'Me, too, Poppa,' said Theo, answering his squeeze with two of her own" (Larsen, 2016, p. 12).


"Theo and Poppa, introduced in The Imaginary Garden (Kids Can, 2009), return for a new adventure, this time celebrating Poppa’s birthday." -- School Library Journal

Review Citation and Link: McGinnis, M. (2016). The Not-So-Faraway Adventure. School Library Journal, 62(2), 68.

Intended Grade: PK-2

Hilda and the Runaway Baby

"Then the baby had an idea" (Hirst, 2017, p. 15).


"Hilda the red pig lives a solitary, organized, and contained life in a 'small tin house' at the foot of a hill. She has a trough, a bucket, and an almond tree. Her contentment is slightly provisional, though: 'I think I ought to be happy, thought Hilda.' By contrast, a baby in a purple jumpsuit lives in a lively village at the top of the hill, surrounded by family, neighbors, cats, birds, music, and conversation. The baby takes every opportunity to run away and explore. The two protagonists meet when the baby propels his carriage down the hill. Disaster threatens, and Hilda leaps to the rescue." -- Horn Book Magazine

Review Citation and Link: ELLIS, S. (2018). Hilda and the Runaway Baby. Horn Book Magazine, 94(1), 63–64.

Intended Grade: PK-2

Papa Brings Me the World

"Mama and I cover the wall with a giant map of the world to keep track of Papa. She asks me where I want to explore. 'Everywhere!' I shout, stretching my arms across the oceans" (Kostecki-Shaw, 2020, pp. 13-14).


"A father's travels inspire a young child to dream of exploring the world. Lu's papa is a photojournalist who frequently leaves their cozy home to take pictures all over the world. Each time he returns, Papa brings Lu a small treasure: coins, an abacus, a game, a musical instrument." -- Kirkus Reviews

Review Citation and Link: Papa Brings Me the World. (2020). Kirkus Reviews, 88(7), N.PAG.

Intended Grade: PK-2

What to Do with a Box

"Nothing sparks a child’s imagination quite like a cardboard box. This book enumerates a variety of possibilities for this deceptively mundane container." -- School Library Journal

Review Citation and Link: Alekseyeva-Popova, Y. (2016). What to Do with a Box. School Library Journal, 62(3), 123.

Intended Grade: PK-2

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

"For the past five years, 12-year-old Coyote Sunrise and her father, Rodeo, have traveled all over the U.S. on a retired school bus converted into a home on wheels. Once upon a time, they lived in Washington State, but when her mother and two sisters died in an automobile accident, her father bought the bus, changed their names, and took off, determined to put painful memories behind them." -- Booklist

Review Citation and Link: Scanlon, D. (2018). The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise. Booklist, 115(8), 98.

Intended Grade: 4-8

Bronx Stories

Never Look Back (eBook)

"Pheus is an Afro-Dominican, bachata-singing teen whose Bronx world is upended when he meets Eury, a Puerto Rican girl visiting New York after she is forced from her home in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria." --Horn Book Magazine

Review Citation and Link: DOBBS, C. L. (2021). Never Look Back. Horn Book Magazine, 97(1), 116.

Intended Grade: 7-12

Awards: Pura Belpré Honor Book

I Can Write the World

"Eight-year-old Ava Murray is determined to become a journalist and write about the world, but first, she will start in the place she knows and loves best, her neighborhood in the Bronx, New York." --Kirkus Reviews

Review Citation and Link: I Can Write the World. (2019). Kirkus Reviews, 87(14), N.PAG.

Intended Grade: PK-2

Sonia Sotomayor

"Winter chronicles the life of the first Latina Supreme Court justice, from her childhood in the Bronx to her historic nomination." --School Library Journal

Review Citation and Link: Landrum, M. (2010). Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx/La juez que creció en el Bronx. School Library Journal, 56(1), 94.

Intended Grade: 1-8

New Kid

"Craft's engaging graphic novel follows Jordan Banks (an African American seventh grader from Washington Heights) through his first year at the prestigious Riverdale Academy Day School (RAD)." --Horn Book Magazine

Review Citation and Link: GALL, P. (2020). New Kid. Horn Book Magazine, 96(4), 38–39.

Intended Grade: 4-8

Awards: Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Author Award

Boogie Boogie, Y'all

"Esperanza establishes a groovy rhythm in this celebration of art and music, set in the Bronx." --Publishers Weekly

Review Citation and Link: Boogie Boogie, Y’All. (2021). Publishers Weekly, 268(28), 67.

Intended Grade: PK-5

A Box Full of Kittens

"Ruthie yearns to be a superhero. So when her parents ask her to keep Aunt Juanita company right before her baby is due to arrive, Ruthie flies down the street of her Puerto Rican neighborhood in the Bronx." --School Library Journal

Review Citation and Link:Hersh, M. (2008). A Box Full of Kittens. School Library Journal, 54(5), 69.

Intended Grade: PK-2

The Night Library

"On the eve of his eighth birthday, a reluctant reader's parents gift him with a book. Disappointed, he falls asleep until awakened by a lion purring outside his window." --Booklist

Review Citation and Link: Weisman, K. (2019). The Night Library. Booklist, 115(13), 61.

Intended Grade: K-2

The Education of Margot Sanchez

"A Puerto Rican teenager spends the summer working in her father's South Bronx supermarket, where she experiences myriad unfortunate developments." --Kirkus Reviews

Review Citation and Link: Rivera, L. (2016). The Education of Margot Sanchez. Kirkus Reviews, 84(22), 1.

Intended Grade: 7-12

Becoming Maria

"A groundbreaking Latina educator, TV personality, and award-winning children’s book author shares a poignantly written memoir about growing up in the South Bronx." --School Library Journal

Review Citation and Link: Diaz, S. (2015). Becoming Maria: Love and Chaos in the South Bronx. School Library Journal, 61(9), 186–187.

Intended Grade: 7-12


"Little ones can follow along in this lively board book as children have fun after school in the Bronx." --Booklist

Review Citation and Link: Paz, S. (2021). Bronxtones. Booklist, 117(11), 57.

Intended Grade: PK

Juliet Takes a Breath

"Bronx native Juliet Palante lands her dream internship in Portland, Oregon, the summer after her freshman year of college." --Kirkus Reviews

Review Citation and Link: Juliet Takes a Breath. (2019). Kirkus Reviews, 87(17), N.PAG.

Intended Grade: 7-12

Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle

"Ana Maria Reyes doesn't live in a castle, she lives in a two-bedroom apartment with her three sisters and both parents in Washington Heights, New York City." --School Library Journal

Review Citation and Link: Molinar, C. (2018). Ana María Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle. School Library Journal, 64(10), 64.

Intended Grade: 4-8


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