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Books & Beyond

Poetry

Recent poetry titles for children and adults to explore, recite, and share with friends. 

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Earth Day

April 22, Earth Day, marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Today, Earth Day is widely recognized as the largest secular observance in the world, marked by more than a billion people every year as a day of action to change human behavior and create global, national and local policy changes to benefit the earth and its people.  Earth Day is a good time to commit to increasing our environmental awareness and deepening our understanding of the impact that humans have on our planet. With this in mind, we are highlighting books for all ages about the natural world, climate change, living with less, hiking, and more.

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Women’s History: Past & Present

March has been designated Women’s History Month to help shine light on the many unsung women who have contributed to American culture, politics and society.  Check out our booklists to find titles that chronicle the lives of some extraordinary women, many largely unknown. In addition, you’ll find fiction and nonfiction that examine historical movements and contemporary issues of importance to women.

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Black Voices & Culture

In honor of Black History Month, we’re highlighting recent notable books by Black authors that reflect upon and celebrate Black culture and history.

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Native American Voices

To celebrate Native American Heritage Month we have gathered some of the finest new indigenous fiction and nonfiction. Within the pages of these books, you will find diverse perspectives on contemporary and historical Indigenous experiences. With over 500 Federally recognized American Indian tribes and Alaska Native villages, there are many stories to discover.

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Latine Voices

In honor of Lartine Heritage Month, we are highlighting some recent notables by Latine authors. Check them out! Para celebrarlo el Mes de la Herencia Latine, hemos reunido listas de libros a continuación que destacan algunos autores latinos notables recientes.

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Pride: LGBTQ+ Voices

Read with PRIDE! Check out these recent critically acclaimed titles by LGBTQ+ authors and creators.

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Juneteenth

In honor of Juneteenth, we've pulled together books by Black authors and artists that explore the history and meaning of the holiday and celebrate African American culture, resistance, and achievement.

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Asian American & Asian Pacific Islander Voices

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month – a celebration of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States, and a tribute to the generations of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander Americans who have enriched America's history and culture. Happy Valley Library invites you to join in the celebration with books!  Here is a selection of outstanding recent titles by Asian American and Asian Pacific Islander Americans.

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Mental Health Awareness

To highlight Mental Health Awareness month we have pulled together lists of mental health resources including self-help guides, novels, nonfiction, memoirs, graphic novels, trusted websites, and help lines.  Please note that these resources are not meant to substitute for professional medical diagnosis and treatment. 

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Giving Thanks

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

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Read and Celebrate El Día de los Muertos

Day of the Dead is a holiday full of symbolism and traditions that are meticulously practiced in Mexico, Latin America and some European countries. Beautiful memorial altars are made to honor the dead, decorated with calaveras (sugar skulls), marigolds, photos, and delicious foods.

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Back to School

Celebrate the milestone of a new school year with books!

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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