Diverse Matters: Books released in January

Hi Y’all!
I hope you had a very happy holiday season and to get you ready for the new year,

I’ve found some great titles that will be coming out soon.

All these books will be available during the month of January! What a great way to start the new year…with new books!!

This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. I earn a small commission each time someone makes a purchase through one of my links, which allows me to purchase more books to be able to share with you! Click on any of the pictures or titles to grab your copy.

What is Given from the Heart by Patricia Mckissack

Released January 8, What is Given from the Heart is a story about giving. While a little boy and his mother have fallen on hard times, they still find a way to give selflessly to another family in need.  The lesson of giving should not be reserved for the holiday season and this book is a perfect way to help students remember the importance of putting others first.

A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks by Alice Faye Duncan

Did you know Gwendolyn Brooks was the first Black author to win a Pulitzer Prize?  A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks tells the story of the life of Gwendolyn Brooks all through the use of poetry.  This book will be released January 1.

The Bell Rang by James E. Ransome

James Ransome is an incredible illustrator. The story of The Bell Rang is a story of hope, something that is often missing from the modern day portrayals of slave life.  The story takes us through a week on a plantation. Day after day they live through the same routine, until one day, Ben cannot be found.  He has run away. While the family is fearful for what it means for Ben to be gone, they hope he has made his way to freedom.  The Bell Rang is available January 15.

Dress like a Girl by Patricia Toht

I remember being told to “dress like a girl” or “sit like a lady” or any other gender sayings we continue to tell our children in hopes to have them conform.  This book will be a fun and important way to explore the idea of identity. It’s important to help children understand that clothes are an opportunity for people to express themselves regardless of gender.  Dress like a Girl is available January 22.
Here’s a quote from the book:

What does it mean to dress like a girl?
Many will tell you in this big, wide world
that there are strict rules that must be addressed,
rules you will need when looking your best.
But when you are given these rules to obey,
the secret is heeding them—in your own way.

Grandpa Stops a War by Susan Robeson

If you’re not familiar with Paul Robeson, take a minute to look him up.  Written by his granddaughter Susan, Grandpa Stops a War tells the story of Paul Robeson’s bravery and activism.  From the authors’ note: ‘Grandpa Stops a War tells the story of four powers that shaped my childhood as a Robeson: the power of music to move hearts and minds, the courage to act according to your beliefs, the artist as a citizen of the world, and the power of compassion’. 
Beautifully illustrated, Grandpa Stops a War is released January 22.

Fearless Mary by Tami Charles

I had never heard of Mary Fields before I read this book.  She was an amazingly brave woman.  Fun facts: she had a pet eagle, she never lost a package on her route, and she was the first Black female stagecoach driver in America.  This book would be a great addition to your study of  Westward Expansion. I plan on using this book when we talk about community helpers, it will help reinforce the idea that women often played a large role in the establishment of jobs that are now traditionally held by men.  Fearless Mary is available January 1.

The Piñata that the Farm Maiden Hung by Samantha Vamos

Arriving January 8, The Piñata that the Farm Maiden Hung tells a story of a community coming together to surprise a little girl.  Told in the style The House that Jack Built, the story is sprinkled with Spanish words, making learning the language easy and fun.  Also included are instructions for the reader to build their own piñata. 

Planting Stories by Anika Aldamuy Denise

So so so very excited about this book! Another great story to use when talking about about famous women or community helpers, Planting Stories is the story of Pura Belpré.  Pura was NYC first Puerto Rican librarian and pushed for the incorporation of bilingual literature into libraries.  The book will also be available in Spanish on January 15.

 Mary Wears What she Wants by Keith Negley

Based on a true story, Mary Wears What she Wants is the story of a woman who decides to wear what she wants, pants.  In an age when only men wore pants, Mary decides to challenge gender norms and wear pants.  Dr. Mary Edwards Walker was an abolitionistprohibitionistprisoner of war and surgeon. She is the only woman to ever receive the Medal of HonorFemale colleagues in medical school criticized her choices, and patients often gawked at her and teased her. She nevertheless persisted in her mission to reform women’s dress. Her view that women’s dress should “protect the person, and allow freedom of motion and circulation, and not make the wearer a slave to it” made her commitment to dress reform as great as her zeal for abolitionism.  Mary Wears What she Wants is available on January 15.

Brave Ballerina by Michelle Meadows

I am VERY excited about this book, and have already featured it on my Diverse Reads Instagram page. Out January 8, the Brave Ballerina is the story of Janet Collins the first Black Ballet dancer for the Met Opera House. Did you know in order for her to perform with a company in Monte Carlo she was expected to paint her face, arms, and legs white? Can you believe? She refused and went on to do amazing things. Despite the racism she encountered she never gave up on her dreams and is an incredible pioneer dancer for women everywhere. 

Under My Hijab by Hena Khan

If you don’t own anything written by Hena Khan, please take a second and purchase everything she’s written. I can not wait for this book, which debuts January 22. Under My Hijab explores the diverse ways women wear their hijab. Each woman making a personal choice to express their personality through their hijab. 

The Roots of Rap by Carole Boston Weatherford

A new book coming to us in January 8, has my heart beating fast! The Root of Rap written by Carole Boston Weatherford and beautifully illustrated by Frank Morrison pays tribute to the founding kings and queens of rap. If you incorporate music into your classroom (as you should because…music is everything), this would be a great way to start a conversation about the pioneers of music that our students listen to now.  

Yasmin Series by Saadia Faruqi

I am just in LOVE with the Yasmin series.  They are such an amazing addition to our classroom. An early reader this new set of four books debuts January 1. The price point for these books is perfect, set right under $6 each.  The Yasmin series features a young girl name Yasmin, who goes on a number of adventures in her community.  She is a typical girl who just happens to be Muslim. I’m sure your students will fall in love with Yasmin.

Which titles are you most excited about?