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Books & Beyond

Great Outdoors

Oregon is an amazing state to explore from beaches to mountains, ancient forests to caves! Here's our collection of resources for exploring, including some fun books to get you and yours excited about outdoor adventures, wherever they may take you.

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Asian and Pacific Islander Voices

Looking for some great books by and about people of Asian and Pacific Islander heritage? Here are some of our favorites to get you started.

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Earth Day Every Day

In honor of Earth Day, here are some books to encourage kids' love of exploring and learning about nature.  We've also included titles about climate and environment. 

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Early Graphic Novels

There are so many fantastic graphic novels for younger readers, and many more on the way. Want an introduction to this fun new world in kids' lit? Here are some titles to get you started!

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Girls Take the Lead

We've gathered together books for kids that feature girls and women taking the lead in their story. From nonfiction to chapter books, these stories center on the empowerment of women.

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Disability Visibility

We've gathered together books for different ages that feature young people with disabilities. Many are memoirs or fiction that draw upon the authors' own experiences.  We hope you find books here to share with your family that can serve as mirrors for children with disabilities and doorways to deepen understanding and empathy for all.

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Women’s History Month – Picture Book Biographies

Discover picture book biographies of women who made their mark on history.

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Black Stories: Picture Books

Discover recent picture books that explore and celebrate the richness and diversity of the Black American experience.

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Black Voices: Chapter Books

Discover great new kids books by Black authors, from early readers to chapter books.

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Giving Thanks

Here is a list of picture books to share with children to cultivate an atittide of gratitude. We've included books about sharing a special meal with family and friends, a selection of books by indigenous authors as a nice options for Thanksgiving. You'll also find books celebrating everyday gratitude, and some titles for older children as well.

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Indigenous Voices: Fiction and Nonfiction for Kids

Within the pages of these books, you will find diverse perspectives on the contemporary Indigenous experience as well as history from a Native American perspective.

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Celebrating Native American Heritage with Picture Books

November is Native American Heritage Month.   The Library is highlighting recent picture books by Native authors  to celebrate.  

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What Is a Refugee?

Hundreds of refugees come to Oregon each year in hopes of finding a safe place to live. In fact, since 1975 Oregon has welcomed more than 60,000 refugees. Refugees came from all over the world, but most arriving in Oregon in recent years come from Ukraine, Somalia, Cuba, Iraq, and Afghanistan. Here are some incredible resources created for kids to introduce the stories, history, and experiences of refugees.

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Latinx Voices in Picture Books

Here's a sampling of stellar, recent picture books by Hispanic American creators.  The umbrella term "Hispanic Americans" encompasses Americans with roots in Mexico, Central America, South America, the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean, and Spain, a group far too numerous and diverse to do justice to in a short book list. That said, we've endeavored to highlight a wide variety of new titles in the hope that you find some books here to share with the children in your life. 

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Back to School

Here are some new picture books about starting school. Whether going to school for the first time or returning after more than a year at home, kids likely are feeling both worried and excited about the new school year.   Sharing a book can help children learn what to expect at school, and it can also provide an opening for them talk to about their emotions.

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Picture Books: Big Changes, Big Feelings

Starting a new school year, moving, swimming in the deep end for the first time -- big changes are often accompanied by big feelings. We've gathered some books for children about doing something new. 

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When Death Happens

In addition to wonderful first experiences, children also have their first encounters with less positively-associated subjects, including death. While no book is a substitute for gentle conversations and listening to your child, these titles seek to provide some structure and support for navigating the challenges of a subject often ignored.

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Nonfiction: Science Adventure

  Here are some of our recent favorite nonfiction titles that explore the science of the earth, the solar system, the human body, feats of endurance and ingenuity, and more.

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Color your World with Books and Art!

For summer reading we are celebrating all the ways that reading colors your world!  Here's a selection of picture books about color, each with a unique take on the topic. We've also got lots of ideas for art projects to color your world.

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Road Trip Listening

Hitting the road this summer? Check out our suggestions of listens great for the whole family. Whether you check out audiobooks on CD in the library, or download them through either of our digital services, you’ll be able to listen up while you travel out into the world.

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Juneteenth: Honoring Black History and Culture with Picture Books

The Juneteenth holiday is a time to celebrate as well as a time to examine our history, to reflect on the legacy of slavery, and to look toward the future.  Here are some picture books by Black authors and artists that celebrate African American culture, resistance and achievement.

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LGBTQIA+ Picture Books

Picture books featuring LGBTQ+ parents, children, and community

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Honoring Beverly Cleary

Discover picture book biographies of women who made their mark on history.

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Rhyme Time: Inclusive Picture Books

Discover some great new inclusive rhyming picture books!

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Modern Classics

What makes a book a "classic?" Here are some of my recent favorites that I imagine will be finding readers for many, many years to come.

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Non-Fiction to Share

So maybe your bedtime reading is more realistic than magical, it’s all good when it’s time spent reading together! Here are suggestions for exploring a range of topics, from the natural world to history, inventions to adventure.

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Let’s Laugh!

Why do we love funny books? Because it feels good to laugh. When I'm reading a book that makes me crack up uncontrollably (I'm looking at you, Catwad!) I feel a kind of inner peace afterward, a happy glow that stays with me for awhile.

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Audiobooks For Younger Listeners

I love reading to my kids, but sometimes I need a break. And other times, they want the agency to listen to a story as many times as they want. Enter the audiobook! Here are our options for listening for younger kids.

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Just One More Chapter!

Here are some of our favorite family read alouds, great for preschoolers through 3rd grade or so. Included is a rough estimate of how many sittings it might take to finish them. Whether you read to your child at breakfast, before dinner or at bedtime, it's all good!

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Sharing Mindfulness with Children

These books encourage children (and their grownups) to slow down and bring their awareness to the present moment. Mindfulness for kids might mean taking time to explore a flower or to taste a single strawberry.  Just like grownups, being mindful can support children in navigating strong emotions or worry.  These mindful titles encourage us all to take a breath with awareness, to be in the moment, and to practice kindness to ourselves and others.

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Exploring Seasons: Winter

January and February can feel like such long, cold months, but there's joy and excitement in the season of winter! Here are some of our ideas for finding the fun in freezing cold. So wrap up in warm clothes and head outside to explore the wonderfully, often rainy, season of winter in Oregon! 

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You Can Never Read Too Many Graphic Novels

I like to think of certain graphic novels as being so good, such instant classics with wide-ranging appeal, that they serve as entrance points into a lifetime of reading for many a kiddo. Let's look at these as pathways through the world of graphic novels - from around Kindergarten level up to upper elementary.

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Audiobooks for Older Listeners

When children are young, it’s easy to see the benefit in parents reading out loud to their child. Children who are read to have better vocabularies, stronger reading skills and healthy social/emotional development. But why stop there?! Keep reading for some of our favorite books to listen to for upper elementary through middle school.

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Start with Episode One: Epic Podcast Storytelling for Older Kids (and their grown-ups!)

I've started thinking about capturing that special-event feeling of movie night with the joy of listening to podcasts, and I've found some wonderful works of storytelling art I just have to share.

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Book Gift Giving

Don't know if you know, but librarians love books! We love sharing books and especially giving books as gifts. Books are great gifts on their own, but sometimes it's nice to make a whole bundle of fun to go with it.

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Rethinking Native American Stories

We're sharing some wonderful books by Native authors. We've selected a few picture books that offer diverse perspectives on the contemporary Indigenous experience, some historical fiction for middle grade readers, and some alternatives to the traditional Thanksgiving storybooks.

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Latinx Voices: Picture Books

Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15 - October 15, celebrates the contributions  to American society and culture of Americans with roots in Mexico, Central America, South America, the Spanish-speaking nations of the Caribbean, and Spain. To celebrate, we're highlighting some recent books by phenomenal Latinx authors and illustrators. 

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Start a Family Book Club

Most parents are in the know about reading to their young child. But as kids grow up and start reading independently, did you know that it is still important to read together? And yes, it might feel strange to read Brown Bear, Brown Bear with your 4th grader. Good news, there are some amazing books you and your child can share! Here are our recommendations for starting your own family book club with your 3rd-8th grade family members.

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Politics for Kids

More and more families are having open conversations about big issues, including politics. We most often associate politics with big moments in history, things like presidential elections. But when you boil it down, politics is how people in groups make decisions, at many different levels. Here are some ideas of how to introduce this concept of politics, voting, and what it means to be a citizen to your kid.

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Early Reader Levels…What Do They Mean?!

If you’ve ever browsed our Early Reader section, you’ve probably noticed numbers on the sides of many of the books, or friendly names or colors. To make it more complicated, your child might have really like a Level 1 of a particular series, but when you pick up a Level 1 of another series it’s way too hard or too easy. Why is it so difficult?!

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Very Beginning Readers

Is your kiddo ready to start reading? Each kid is ready in their own time, but sharing simple text with lots of repetition can help develop their literacy skills. The world of early readers can be a complex place with leveling (set by publishers), movie/franchise tie-ins (with complicated words), and lots of very little spines. Here are our suggestions of great first books to share with your kid.

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What to read after watching Avatar, the Last Airbender

I understand your situation- you've just finished watching all 61 episodes of Avatar, the Last Airbender, and now you need a good book. But what can compare to Avatar's blend of fantasy, friendship, philosophy, and frenetic action?

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Diverse Board Books:  A Place to Begin

When should you start talking to your child about race?  Today!  Babies as young as 6 months old notice and categorize people by race.  Ibram X. Kendi, in his new book, Antiracist Baby outlines nine steps to raise an antiracist child.  Number one is, “Open your eyes to all skin colors”. Here is a list of board books that illustrate the beautiful range of skin tones in our world.

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Weeding…Books

Parting with things, especially books, is never easy. Here are some tips on how to go through your book collection with your kids.

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Rainbow Reads: Chapter Books

Looking for elementary and middle school books featuring LGBTQIA+ characters?   We’ve got you covered!  Here are a few new titles we love.   Chapter Books with Lesbian Characters The Mighty Heart of Sunny Saint James by Ashley Herring Blake Hurricane Child by Kacen Calendar One True Way by Shannon Hitchcock Redwood and Ponytail by K. A. ...  

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Rainbow Reads: Picture Books & Parenting

LGBTQIA+ Picture Books & Parenting Resources

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Social Justice for Kids

Parenting is hard. Having big discussions, even with other grownups much less kids, can feel daunting. Navigating what to share, how much detail and all of the other decisions can make you feel like it’s easier just not to talk about it. But kids know stuff happens. They hear it from friends, hear their grownups ...  

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Podcasts for Kids

Podcasts can be completely overwhelming, but once you’ve found ones you like it’s great to have new episodes queued up and ready to go! Here’s some of my current favorites for sharing with my kids.

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Time for Comics!

Hey kids! Do you miss coming into the library to check out what’s new in the comics section? I know I do.

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