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10 Titles for Young Readers to Cherish

Happy Valentine’s Day! There’s a lot to love about this month and also these 10 books that share stories about all kinds of relationships.

‘I Love All of Me by Lorie Ann Grover

A short and sweet book that identifies all of the lovable parts of the body and the things that they do. Featuring a diverse cast of joyful children, this book has pages that are perfect for toddler hands to turn.

‘Who? A Celebration of Babies’ by Robie H. Harris

A wonderful read-aloud with bright colors depicting babies from many kinds of families. This one will get lots of reads.

Picture Books
‘Dragons Love Tacos’ by Adam Rubin

Everyone loves tacos. Dragons really love tacos, but they do not love spicy salsa. Readers will discover the shenanigans that happen when there is a salsa mix-up.

‘Leyla’ by Galia Bernstein

As a monkey, Leyla is part of a loud and busy family. But when she wants some peace and quiet, she has to run far away to find some. On her journey to calm, she meets a lizard, who has both very much and very little, to tell her about finding peace and quiet.

Young Readers
‘The Day of Your Arrival’ by Dolores Brown and  Reza Dalvand

This colorful new picture book is the story of a couple awaiting the arrival of their adopted child. The parents work to prepare their home with special comforts such as a stuffed rabbit and a bathtub duck. The illustrations, use of white space and the multicultural theme make for a beautiful story of long-awaited love fulfilled.

‘Jasmine Toguchi, Drummer Girl’ by Debbi Michiko Florence

When an exciting announcement is made in Jasmine’s third-grade class, all anyone can talk about is the upcoming talent show. More anxious than excited, Jasmine wonders if she has a suitable talent. Her mom comes to the rescue by introducing her to the taiko, a traditional Japanese drum. Jasmine’s experience learning to play the instrument is both fun and frustrating, and readers will recall times they’ve had to try and try again. This humorous chapter book features black and white illustrations and instructions for a simple craft.

Middle Readers

Charlie Hernandez and  the League of Shadows’ by Ryan Calejo

Life is hard when you start to grow feathers all over your body and horns on your head. It is even harder when you realize that all of the Latino and Hispanic myths your abuela told you are true. Charlie Hernández sets out to find his missing parents with only a bizarre map but dives deep into a world rich with beautiful scenery and eccentric characters. This fast-paced story is perfect for fans of Percy Jackson and folklore.

‘Homerooms and Hall Passes’ by Tom O’Donnell

Five daring Dungeons and Dragons adventurers find themselves in a real-world middle school after stealing a cursed diamond. Can they successfully navigate this new adventure and get back to their own world without flunking a class?

Young Adults
‘Are You Listening?’ by Tillie Walden

Tillie Walden’s atmospheric road-trip graphic novel is perfect for teen readers. This melancholic story is about two people who have to learn to trust each other as their journey gets stranger and stranger.

‘I Love You So Mochi’ by Sarah Kuhn

Having had a falling out with her parents, Kimi Nakamura is invited by grandparents she barely knows to Kyoto, Japan to see the city’s Cherry Blossom Festival. Soon after she arrives, Kimi meets Akira, a cute student who moonlights as a mochi mascot for a local business. This sweet rom-com explores the process of Kimi figuring out who she is and who she wants to become in a culture and setting that readers will want to know more about.

Compiled by Conni L. Strittmatter, Youth & Family Engagement Manager at the Baltimore County Public Library. This article originally appeared in the February issue of Baltimore’s Child Magazine.  

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