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Gift Books for Kids 2021

Book suggestions for gift giving. 

Board Books & Picture Books

Cover of Count to Love
Andrea Davis
Pickney
J. Brian Pinkney
Cartwheel Books
2021

Count all the baby love with warm illustrations and rhythmic, bouncing text.

Cover of Pizza With Everything On I
Kyle J.
Scheele
Andy J. Miller
Chronicle Books
2021

What if the pizza chefs added everything, the sauce, a house, penguins and more until they accidentally created a pizza black hole?

Cover of Change Sings
Amanda
Gorman
Loren Long
Vikings Book
2021

One voice becomes many in National Youth Poet Laureate, Amanda Gorman’s book about taking action to change the world for the better. 

Cover of Itty Bitty Kitty-Corn
Shannon
Hale
LeUyen Pham
Harry N. Abrams
2021

She’s got all the wrong stuff, soft ears, round paws, fluffy tail, yet Kitty feels determinedly unicorn-y.

Cover of Strollercoaster
Matt
Ringler
Raúl the Third and Elaine Bay
Little Brown Books for Young Readers

It’s a song, it’s a book, it’s a wild ride through a vibrant urban landscape!

Early Readers & Young Fiction

Cover of Dragons and Marshmallows (
Asia
Citro
Marion Lindsay
Innovation Press
2017

A girl, Zoey, and her cat, Sassafras, use science experiments to help a dragon with a problem.

Cover of Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey
Erin Entrada
Kelly
Greenwillow Books
2021

This is an illustrated novel about summer, friendship, and overcoming fears, told with warm humor and undeniable appeal. Fans of Clementine, The Year of Billy Miller, and Ramona the Pest will be thrilled to meet Marisol.

Cover of The Scrumptious Life of Az
Gloria
Felix
Nikki Shannon Smith
Picture Window Books
2021

Azaleah and her sisters are delighted to spend a weekend at Auntie Sam's while their parents are away, but the cookies Azaleah tries to bake are awful and she is determined to learn why.

Cover of Tag Team (El Toro and Frie
Raúl the Third
Versify
2021

Luchadores El Toro and La Oink Oink are the perfect tag team as they clean up together in this playful and visually stunning early reader! Perfect for fans of Elephant and Piggie, comic book fans, and kids looking to practice both Spanish and English.

Cover of Word Travelers and the Taj
Raj
Halder
Neha Rawat
Sourcebooks Explore
2021

Eddie and MJ are suddenly transported to India where they must use their word knowledge to solve a mystery and help their new friend.

Elementary and Middle Grade Chapter Books

Cover of Ancestor Approved: Intertr
Cynthia L.
Smith (editor)
Heartdrum
2021

This collection of intersecting stories by both new and veteran Native writers bursts with hope, joy, resilience, the strength of community, and Native pride.

Cover of Cuba in My Pocket
Adrianna
Cuevas
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
2021

In 1961 Cuba, with the threat of military service for children looming, twelve-year-old Cumba's parents send him to Miami, where he lives with a new family and misses his homeland.

Cover of Fly On the Wall
Remy
Lai
Henry Holt & Company
2020

Twelve-year-old Henry Khoo embarks on a forbidden journey from Australia to Singapore to prove his independence to his overprotective family, while working out some problems with friends. Told in comics and prose.

Cover of Leonard (My Life as a Cat)
Carlie
Sorosiak
Walker Books US
2021

He's not a stray house cat, he's an immortal being. And now he must choose whether to return to his planet or remain with his new human friend in a humorous, heart-tugging story.

Cover of Ophie's Ghost
Justina
Ireland
Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
2021

Ophelia Harrison can see ghosts and forms a friendship with a spirit whose life ended suddenly and unjustly. She realizes that her new workplace, Daffodil Manor, may hold more secrets than she bargained for.

Elementary and Middle Grade Graphic Novels

Cover of Donut Feed the Squirrels
Mika
Song
Random House Graphic
2020

Two squirrel best friends meet their match: a donut food truck! A hilarious young graphic novel perfect for fans of Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea and anyone who would do ANYTHING for a donut.

Cover of Measuring Up
Lily
Lamotte
Ann Xu
Harperalley
2020

Twelve-year-old Cici has just moved from Taiwan to Seattle, and the only thing she wants more than to fit in at her new school is to celebrate her grandmother, A-má's, seventieth birthday together. Cici cooks up a plan to bring A-má to her by winning the grand prize in a kids' cooking contest to pay for A-má's plane ticket! 

Cover of Red Panda and Moon Bear
Jarod
Roselló
Top Shelf Productions
2019

Two Latinx kids battle supernatural threats to their working-class neighborhood with the power of science, magic, and a pair of very special hoodies. 

Cover of Simon and Chester: Super D
Cale
Atkinson
Tundra Books
2021

Welcome to the world of Simon and Chester, ghost and boy duo extraordinaire. They like to kick butt and take names. They don't like chores. They are best friends. And they are about to solve the mystery of a lifetime.

Cover of When Stars Are Scattered
Victoria Jamieson and
Omar Mohamed
Victoria Jamieson and Iman Geddy
Dial Books
2020

Omar and his younger brother Hassan live in a refugee camp, and when an opportunity for Omar to get an education comes along, he must decide between going to school every day or caring for his nonverbal brother in this portrayal of family and daily life in a refugee camp.

Elementary and Middle Grade Nonfiction

Cover of Britannica First Big Book
Sally Symes, Stephanie Drimmer and
Britannica Group
Kate Slater
Britannica Books
2021

Why can’t penguins fly? Why do we brush our teeth? Why does popcorn pop? Experts answer 100 questions for curious minds.

Cover of Doodling 101: A Silly Symp
Mo
Willems
Hyperion Books for Children
2021

Draw impossible buildings, make puppets, create abstract art and more with Mo Willems!

Cover of History Smashers: The Tita
Kate
Messner
Matt Aytch Taylor
Random House Books for Young Readers
2021

Well-researched books in the History Smashers series reveal the hidden truths behind this and other famous historical events.

Cover of Rebel Girls Lead: 25 Tales
Rebel Girls
Rebel Girls
2021

Inspiring stories of women leading the way for little leaders everywhere.

Cover of  Waffles + Mochi: Get Cook
Yewande
Komolafe
Clarkson Potter Publishers
2021

Join Waffles and Mochi on cooking adventures that take you around the globe. 

Teen and Young Adult

Cover of American Betiya
Anuradha D.
Rajurkar
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
2021

Eighteen-year-old Rani, a budding photographer, grapples with first love, family boundaries, and the complications of a cross-cultural relationship.

Cover of Dire Days of Wilowweep Man
Shaenon K.
Garrity
Christopher Baldwin
Margaret K. McElderry Books
2021

Nimona meets Paper Girls with a literary twist in this wickedly funny graphic novel about a teenager who is swept up in a strange new universe and must save it from an all-consuming evil in order to return home.

Cover of In the Wild Light
Jeff
Zentner
Crown Books for Young Readers
2021

Life in a small Appalachian town is not easy. When Cash and best friend, Delaney, get full rides to an elite prep school in Connecticut, Cash will have to grapple with his need to protect and love Delaney, and his love for the grandparents who saved him and the town he would have to leave behind.

Cover of The Magic Fish
Trung Le
Nguyen
Random House Graphic
2020

It's hard enough trying to communicate with your parents as a kid, but for Tié̂n, he doesn't even have the right words because his parents are struggling with their English. Is there a Vietnamese word for what he's going through? Is there a way to tell them he's gay?

Cover of Sugar Town Queens
Malla
Nunn
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
2021

Amandla, a biracial girl living in post-apartheid South Africa, is determined to unveil the mystery of her white mother's hidden past. What she discovers will change the shape and size of her family forever. 

Cover of The Power of Style: How Fa
Christian
Allaire
Annick Press
2021

As a fashion-obsessed Ojibwe teen, Christian Allaire rarely saw anyone that looked like him in the magazines or movies he looked to for inspiration. Now the Fashion and Style Writer for Vogue, he is working to change that--because clothes are never just clothes.

Cover of The Rise and Fall of Charl
Candace
Fleming
Schwartz & Wade Books
2020

Here is a rich, multi-faceted, utterly spellbinding biography about an American hero who was also a deeply flawed man. Essential reading for teens and history fanatics alike.

Cover of Wild Tongues Can't Be Tame
Saraciea
Fennell (editor)
Flatiron Books
2021

Bestselling and award-winning authors as well as up-and-coming voices interrogate the different myths and stereotypes about the Latinx diaspora. These fifteen original pieces delve into everything from ghost stories and superheroes, to memories in the kitchen and travels around the world, to addiction and grief, to identity and anti-Blackness, to finding love and speaking your truth.