As it begins to cool down, diving into a book brings comfort in the midst of spooky season. October is also Bullying Prevention Month, where children and adults advocate and support victims of bullying. For our October Book Corner, we included books on acceptance, self-empowerment, and courage.
Through the Shadow Forest
By Anthony Ruggieri, illustrated by Doan Trang and Anthony Ruggieri
Best known for recurring roles in the popular web series, “Dhar Mann,” 13-year-old Anthony Ruggieri publishes his first book, “Through the Shadow Forest.” In the book, the protagonist Dan finds and befriends a magic skateboard. Dan and the magic skateboard travel through a welcoming village and a spooky forest to find a magic stone. Along the way, Dan makes friends and foes. “Through the Shadow Forest” is a mysterious and exciting book for elementary school aged kids that touches on themes such as bravery and acceptance. Ages 9-12.
Three Ways to be Brave
By Karla Clark, illustrated by Jeff Östberg
An author of three novels and two children’s picture books, Karla Clark collaborates with illustrator Jeff Östberg for “Three Ways to be Brave”. Told in rhyming couplets, this series of stories touches on finding the comfort in life’s uncomfortable moments. Stories includes a child’s first day of preschool and a nighttime thunderstorm. The soft, soothing colors used by Jeff Östberg provides a fresh, yet classic feel to the stories. “Three Ways to be Brave” reminds readers the importance of resilience and self-empowerment. Ages 3-5.
The Big Bath House
By Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Gracey Zhang
Critically acclaimed author Kyo Maclear’s “The Big Bath House” is a children’s book celebrating Japanese cultural traditions and body positivity. Inspired by the author’s own childhood memories, the story follows a young girl visiting a bath house with her aunties and grandmothers. Paired with compelling illustrations by Gracey Zhang and lyrical text, “The Big Bath House” showcase the uniqueness and beauty of human bodies. Ages 4-8.
The Kids of Widney Junior High
By Matthew Klickstein, illustrated by Michael S. Bracco
Writer and filmmaker Mathew Klickstein pays homage to the rock band The Kids of Widney High in his book, “The Kids of Widney Junior High.” Loosely based on the band, this fictional chapter book is told from the perspective of Robbie, a new middle school student at Widney Junior High. Robbie encounters the members of the band, who all have developmental disabilities. Robbie and the members of the band navigate the adventures and conflicts of middle school, while acknowledging the unique differences of those with special needs. In each chapter, the book features action packed, comic illustrations from Michael Bracco. Ages 8-12.
What Will My Story Be?
By Nidhi Chanani
Author and illustrator Nidhi Chanani introduces the children’s picture book, “What Will My Story Be.” Featuring illustration with vibrant colors, the story follows a young girl listening to the accomplishments of her three aunties, from traveling across the world to learning new languages. Inspired by their journey, the young girl comes up with endless possibilities of her own destiny. This story encourages children to take pride in their cultural heritage and chase after their dreams without fear. Ages 3 – 5.
The Me I Choose to Be
By Natasha Tarpley, illustrated by Regis and Kahran Bethencourt
New York Times best-selling author Natasha Tarpley releases her new children’s book, “The Me I Choose to Be.” The picture book promotes self-love for Black and Brown children. Tarpley acknowledges how children may feel out of place or sad but have the creativity and strength to accomplish anything, from being a free spirit to a limitless galaxy. Husband-and-wife duo Regis and Kahran Bethencourt of CreativeSoul Photography illustrate a variety of places and poses that showcase strength and enable empowerment in children. Known for their AfroArt series, the story highlights the beauty of Black hair. Ages 4-8.
For more book suggestions, check out the September Book Corner and our Fall Into Reading roundup.