The Little Liar, by Mitch Albom
Until his 11th birthday, Nico Krispis had never told a lie. When the Nazis invade his home in Salonika, Greece, the trustworthy boy is discovered by a German officer, who offers him a chance to save his family. All Nico has to do is convince his fellow Jewish residents to board trains heading toward “the East,” where they are promised jobs and safety. Unaware that this is all a cruel ruse, the honest boy tells the frightened passengers they will be safe. But when the final train is loaded, Nico sees his family being pushed inside. Only after it is too late does he realize he has been helping send everyone he loves to their doom. He never tells the truth again. Albom interweaves the stories of Nico, who becomes a pathological liar, his brother Sebastian and their schoolmate Fannie, who survive the death camps and marry as teenagers, and Udo Graf, the Nazi officer who duped Nico into losing his soul, in this deeply moving story about the harm we inflict with our deceits, and the power of love to ultimately redeem us.
The Vulnerables, by Sigrid Nunez
Elegy plus comedy is the only way to express how we live in the world today, says a character in this New York Times bestselling author’s ninth novel. A solitary female narrator asks what it means to be alive at this complex moment in history and considers how our present reality affects the way a person looks back on her past. Humor, to be sure, is a priceless refuge. Equally vital is connection with others, who here include an adrift member of Gen Z and a spirited parrot named Eureka. The Vulnerables reveals what happens when strangers are willing to open their hearts to each other, and how far even small acts of caring can go to ease another’s distress.
The Explorers Club: A Visual Journey Through the Past, Present, and Future of Exploration, edited by Jeff Wilser
The discovery of the North and South Poles. The summiting of Everest. The moon landing. The birth of climate change science. These are just some of the stories from The Explorers Club, the book released by the organization that, since its inception in 1904, has pushed the envelope of human curiosity. This guided tour of the club’s most riveting journeys includes hundreds of photos and fascinating anecdotes about its distinguished members, including Teddy Roosevelt, Neil Armstrong and Jane Goodall. From the darkest depths of the ocean to the highest points on Earth, and to outer space and beyond, this book shares the inspirational history of exploration.
A Woman I Know, by Mary Haverstick
The true story of a filmmaker whose unexpected investigation opened a new window onto the world of Cold War espionage, CIA secrets and the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Haverstick, an independent filmmaker, thought she’d stumbled onto the project of a lifetime — a biopic of a little-known aviation legend whose story seemed to embody the hopeful spirit of the dawn of the Space Age. After receiving a mysterious warning from a government agent, what she found as she dug deeper was a darker story of double identities and female spies, a tangle of intrigue that stretched from the fields of the Congo to the shores of Cuba, from the streets of Mexico City to the dark heart of the Kennedy assassination in Dallas.
Illusions in Art: Animals, by Chiêu Anh Urban
Simple illustrations of a monkey, a seal, a fox, a swan contain cleverly hidden drawings of entirely different animals in this exploration of positive and negative space. Art! Animals! Together time! There couldn’t be a more perfect “sit in my lap and read” book than this. (Ages 2-4.)
I Want 100 Dogs, by Stacy McAnulty
Getting a new pet is always a delicate negotiation between the pet “wanter” and the ultimate pet “caretaker.” This delightful new “tail” tale hilariously, yet poignantly, digs into the how, what, when and why of pet ownership. Fun for anyone considering adding a furry family member. (Ages 3-7.)
Okra Stew: A Gullah Geechee Family Celebration, by Natalie Daise
You can almost smell the salt marsh in this stunning homage to Gullah culture, father-son love, and okra. With art reminiscent of Lois Ehlert or Faith Ringgold, this one is a must for all young Southern foodies. (Ages 3-7.)
There Was a Party for Langston,
by Jason Reynolds
There was a hoopla in Harlem. A whizbanger for the wordsmiths. Young readers can celebrate the joy of Langston Hughes through the verse of Jason Reynolds and the illustrations of Jerome and Jarret Pumphrey in this must-have new picture book. (Ages 3-7.)
5,000 Years of Awesome Objects: A History of Art for Children, by Aaron Rosen, Susie Hodge, Susie Brooks,
Go on a trip through the Metropolitan Museum of Art and get lost in a book that features 5,000 years of the most unusual, bizarre, fascinating and awesome objects in history including Mayan jewelry, Egyptian amulets and even American baseball cards. (Ages 8 and up.) PS
Compiled by Kimberly Daniels Taws and Angie Tally.