Table of Contents

Up There... Old Books for Young Readers
"Hey, who you callin' old?!" I can hear Mo Willems' short-billed and long-beloved Pigeon protesting as I look back to the year 2003, when Pigeon and Willems made their tireless debut in Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! One of the unexpected and similarly inexhaustible joys of reading with children is being "interrupted" by their questions and ideas ("Why is the little boy sad?"), recognitions and rebuttals ("We saw birds on the way here!"), and -- when it comes to the Pigeon -- sudden and fervent delight in serving as disciplinarian. (After all, even pigeons have to take a bath.) The pleasures of call and response are ages old and vast in form, and picture books, even those concerning a petulant pigeon, are particularly amenable. Preorder Mo Willems' latest conversation starter, The Pigeon Has to Go to School! (on sale 7/2), and hear more from young readers with our own auspicious debut of recommendations and reviews from 57th Street Books' Young Readers Advisory Board, below. Now there's something you can say "yes" to! Colin, et al. at 57th Street Books
Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (Hyperion Books for Children)
Mo Willems

Featured Pre-Order

Why does the Pigeon have to go to school? He already knows everything! And what if he doesn’t like it? What if the teacher doesn’t like him? What if he learns TOO MUCH!?! Ask not for whom the school bell rings; it rings for the Pigeon! Pre-order The Pigeon Has to Go to School! by the one and only Mo Willems and receive a free back-to-school pigeon folder, while supplies last!

57th Street Books' Young Readers Advisory Board is comprised of bright, bold, and discerning young readers on Chicago's South Side, proudly presenting recommendations and reviews of new books each month in Middle Grade and YA literature. See a complete list of YRAB-recommended June releases at

"A Kind of Paradise by Amy Rebecca Tan is good because it makes a quiet, boring-seeming library into a fun, exciting place where lots of adventures are made. It's almost impossible not to be paradise." Adele (age 8)

"If you like zombies then you'll enjoy A Zombie Ate My Homework (Project Z #1) by Tommy Greenwald. This book is about a friendly zombie who runs away from the government and is adopted by the Kinders, a human family who teach him how to blend in and make friends." Charlie (age 9)

"Our Castle by the Sea by Lucy Strange is an amazing mystery! From the start, it hooks the reader in about a girl in WW2, facing the difficulties of sacrifice, murder, and surprise. It tells the reader of a brave woman who did everything she could to help, even under the conditions. This book is a non-stop page turner, which kept me up all night! I would highly recommend this book for 10+ though, because it contains material sensitive to some readers. It provokes a sense of nostalgia for those who experienced it." Jordan (age 9)

"Young women were inspired to create opportunities for themselves. They made mistakes, but they learned from them. They were rejected, but they got back up and tried again. Life threw obstacles at them, but they embraced those obstacles and the obstacles educated the women, improving their character and personality. 'Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without,' says Confucius, an Ancient Chinese philosopher. Yes, She Can: 10 Stories of Hope and Change from Young Female Staffers of the Obama White House is an inspiring and exciting collection that shows young girls such as I that if you try hard enough, you could see the greatness of what you could accomplish.” Karis (age 12)

"Have you ever felt that you were going crazy? Well, since her mom 'disappeared,' Minnie Sloe feels like she is losing it. How to Be Luminous by Harriet Reuter Hapgood beautifully uses Minnie's synesthesia to create metaphors for her struggle. This book is one of my favorite reads." Etienne (age 13)

Books for Young Readers

Read With (0-3 years) 
Bear's Scare
(Bloomsbury Publishing)
Jacob Grant

The only thing Bear loves more than cleaning is taking care of his small stuffed friend, Ursa. Then Bear sees a sticky spiderweb... and where there's a web there is certainly a spider! The messy guest must be found, but what Bear discovers might just be an unlikely friend.
Read Aloud (3-7 years)
Bear Came Along
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Richard T. Morris

Once there was a river flowing through a forest. The river didn't know it was capable of adventures until a big bear came along. But adventures aren't any fun by yourself, and so enters Froggy, Turtles, Beaver, Racoons, and Duck. A cheerful and action-packed adventure about the importance of friendship and community
Where Are My Books?
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Debbie Ridpath Ohi

Spencer loves to read. He reads a book every night. But one morning his favorite book goes missing, and in its place is a tulip. When he finds out what is happening to his books, Spencer devises a surprising solution that will delight readers (and librarians) everywhere.
The Peculiar Pig
(Nancy Paulsen Books)
Jay Steuerwald

That "different" piglet is named Penny, and she's really not a piglet at all... she's a puppy. A puppy who gets longer and longer as her piglet siblings get bigger and bigger! When danger strikes and Penny's peculiarities prove to be strengths, the piglets see that sometimes it's good to be a little different!
Leila in Saffron
(Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers)
Rukhsanna Guidroz, illus. by Dinara Mirtalipova

When Leila looks in the mirror, she doesn't know if she likes what she sees. But when her grandmother tells her the saffron beads on her scarf suit her, she feels a tiny bit better. Follow Leila's journey as she uses her senses of sight, smell, taste, touch to seek out the characteristics that make up her unique identity, and finds reasons to feel proud of herself, just as she is.
Bug Off!
(Farrar, Strauss & Giroux)
Cari Best, illus. by Jennifer Plecas

Lightning-bug-loving Maude wants to be a member of the Bug-of-the-Month Club in her new neighborhood. She reads, she researches, she prepares, and she delivers a speech that all the club members love—except for hard-to-please Louise. A sparkly story about friendship, kindness, and inclusion—packed with info about fireflies!
How to Walk a Dump Truck
Peter Pearson

From the creators of the absurdly funny picture book How to Eat an Airplane comes a new spin on adopting a pet... truck. Just like a new pet, a new dump truck is a heap of responsibility, but it's also loads of fun. If you take care of it well, your dump truck will be your forever friend.
Read Alone (8 and up)
All the Greys on Greene Street
(Viking Books for Young Readers)
Laura Tucker, illus. by Kelly Murphy

Twelve-year-old Olympia is an artist—and in her neighborhood, that's normal. Her dad and his business partner Apollo bring antique paintings back to life, while her mother makes intricate sculptures in a corner of their loft. When everything falls apart, Olympia knows her dad is the key—but first, she has to find him, and time is running out.
Midsummer's Mayhem
(Yellow Jacket)
Rajani LaRocca

Can Mimi undo the mayhem caused by her baking in this contemporary-fantasy retelling of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream? She needs to use her skills, deductive and epicurean, to uncover the mystery behind her father's lost sense of taste. In the process, she learns that in life, as in baking, not everything is sweet.
All of Me
(Feiwel & Friends)
Chris Baron

"Beautifully written, brilliant, and necessary." Matt de la Pena, Newbery Medalist

After an upsetting incident, Ari's mom suggests he go on a diet, and she gives him a book to help. But the book—and the diet—can't fix everything. As Ari faces the demise of his parents' marriage, he also feels himself changing, both emotionally and physically. Here is a much-needed story about accepting the imperfect in oneself and in life.
The Story Web
(Bloomsbury Publishing)
Megan Frazer Blakemore

Alice's dad has gone away for reasons Alice is sure are her fault. Now she won't even talk about her dad and definitely no longer believes his farfetched stories. But when animals in town start acting strangely, she can't ignore them. The Story Web is in danger—and the fabric of our world is breaking. The only way to mend it is to tell honest tales from the heart, even if they are difficult to share.
Sorry For Your Loss
Jessie Ann Foley

When Pup excels at a photography assignment he thought he'd bomb, things start to come into focus. His dream girl shows her true colors. An unexpected friend exposes Pup to a whole new world, right under his nose. And the photograph that was supposed to show Pup a way out of his grief ultimately reveals someone else who is still stuck in their own. Someone with a secret regret Pup never could have imagined.
Finding Yvonne
(Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Brandy Colbert

Full of doubt and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her successful but emotionally closed-off father, Yvonne meets a street musician and fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He's mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. But when Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future.
Misa Sugiura

The author of the Asian Pacific American Award-winning It's Not Like It's a Secret is back with another smartly drawn coming-of-age novel that weaves riveting family drama, surprising humor, and delightful romance into a story that will draw you in from the very first page.
The Grief Keeper
(G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers)
Alexandra Villasante

Marisol never pictured fleeing her home in El Salvador under threat of death and stealing across the US border as "an illegal." With truly no options remaining, she jumps at an unusual opportunity to stay in the United States. She's asked to become a grief keeper, taking the grief of another into her own body to save a life. It's a risky, experimental study, but if it means Marisol can keep her sister safe, she will risk anything. She just never imagined one of the risks would be falling in love.
Hungry Hearts
(Simon Pulse)
Edited by Elsie Chapman & Caroline Tung Richmond

Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life's hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same. From bestselling and critically acclaimed authors—including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco—comes a collection of interconnected short stories that explore the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of thirteen teens.
Young Adult

The Ables
(Clovercroft Publishing)
Jeremy Scott

In a world of secret superheroes who protect mankind unknowingly, Philip and his friends—the Ables—must overcome more than villains if they are to defeat the growing evil threatening humanity.

I did have fantastic hearing, mostly by virtue of being blind. But that couldn't actually mean that he's trying to tell me I have super powers, right?
Queen of the Sea
(Walker Books)
Dylan Meconis

In a hybrid novel of fictionalized history (loosely based on the exile of Queen Elizabeth I by her sister, Queen Mary), Dylan Meconis paints Margaret's world in soft greens, grays, and reds, transporting readers to a quiet, windswept island at the heart of a treasonous royal plot.
Poetry, Nonfiction & Folk
Up Verses Down
(Henry Holt & Company)
Calef Brown

This stupendous poetry collection is full of zany characters—from Sleepy LaFeete, who chooses to snooze in the busiest spots, to Mister Adam Hatter and the Lovely Lady Wigg, who had a fig banquet and danced a fancy jig, to a guy named Rexx who uses exxtra Xs every now and then. It's an irresistible feast: whimsical, hilarious, and always inspired.
(Page Street Kids)
Adrienne Wright

On June 16, 1976, Hector Pieterson, an ordinary boy, lost his life after getting caught up in what was supposed to be a peaceful protest. Black South African students were marching against a new law requiring that they be taught half of their subjects in Afrikaans, the language of the White government. Heartbreaking yet relevant, this powerful story gives voice to an ordinary boy and sheds light on events that helped lead to the end of apartheid.
It is crucial for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth to know their history. But this history is not easy to find since it's rarely taught in schools or commemorated in other ways. A Queer History of the United States for Young People corrects this and demonstrates that LGBTQ people have long been vital to shaping our understanding of what America is today.

Events for Young Readers

Events for Young Readers at 57th Street Books 
Max Brallier stopped in to sign copies of his bestselling series, The Last Kids on Earth. Grab a signed copy of The Last Kids on Earth Survival Guide or The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air's Karyn Parsons' How High the Moon, a Washington Post KidsPost Summer Book Club selection that YRAB member Zoey (age 11) says reads smooth "until controversy pops up like a sharp sting," while supplies last! And don't miss your chance to meet the authors below in person this summer at 57th Street Books!
Julissa Arce presents Someone Like Me with José Olivarez
Monday, June 3rd 6pm at 57th Street Books
Someone Like Me: How One Undocumented Girl Fought for her American Dream is the remarkable true story from social justice advocate and national bestselling author Julissa Arce about her journey to belong in America while growing up undocumented in Texas. Join us on June 3rd for a conversation with Arce and poet Jose Olivarez, 2018 Chicago Review of Books Poetry Prize winner for Citizen Illegal. Learn more and RSVP here.
Malayna Evans presents Jagger Jones and the Mummy's Ankh with Rosaria Munda
Saturday, June 29th 2pm at 57th Street Books
Jagger Jones is a whiz kid from Chicago's South Side. Ask him anything about Ancient Egypt, and Jagger can fill hours describing all that he knows. But when he and his precocious little sister Aria fall more than three thousand years back in time to the court of Amarna, Egypt, Jagger discovers a truth that rocks his world. Join us on June 29th for a conversation with Egypt historian Malayna Evans and Rosaria Munda on Jagger Jones & the Mummy's AnkhLearn more and RSVP here!
John Hare presents Field Trip to the Moon with the Museum of Science & Industry
Satruday, July 20th 2pm at 57th Street Books
Climb aboard the spaceship bus for a fantastic field trip adventure to the moon. Published in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the first moon walk, Field Trip to the Moon is a perfect guide to the galaxy near and far. Join author-illustrator John Hare and educators from the Museum of Science & Industry on July 20th for a space adventure and rocket-making activities! Learn more and RSVP here
Storytime in the key of 3! Catch Colin, Franny, Ms. April and special guests each week at one of our three weekly storytimes, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings at 10:30am at 57th Street Books! 

"If you ever find yourself in the wrong story, leave." Mo Willems
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