Diversity Matters: Books released in May

Hi Y’all!
I’m back again with some new releases for the month of May. I’m so sorry for missing March and April, I got so busy with school, I didn’t make the time to blog. But I’m back with some great suggestions for May.
Don’t forget to check my Instagram accounts (@diversereads and @thetututeacher) to see new books featured all the time!

This post contains affiliate links for your shopping convenience. I earn a small (very 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 yourself a copy.

 Diverse reads for May

My Shoes and I: Crossing the Borders by René Colato Laínez

René’s mother has sent him new shoes.  He is excited to wear his shoes as they travel with him to a new adventure. He and his father are leaving El Salvador to be with his mother in the United States.
Through the difficult journey, his shoes lose their shine.  They get dirty and develop holes. But René and his father never give up, they walk on.  
“They walk everywhere I walk. They jump every time I jump. They run as fast as me. We always cross the finish line at the same time.”
This is the bilingual version of My Shoes and I and is available May 31.

Queer Heroes by Arabelle Sicardi

Did you know that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising?
Queer Heroes celebrates 52 LGBTQ heroes. Here are just a few people celebrated in the book: Marsha Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, David Bowie, Kasha Nabagsera, Lili Elbe, Matthew Bourne, Alvin Ailey, Harvey Milk, Willem Arondeus, Nergis Mavalvala, Rufus Wainwright, Marlene Dietrich, Larry Kramer, Didier Lestrade, Nabuko Yoshiya, Bayard Rustin, Claire Harvey, Barbara Jordan and many more.  
I know that many of these heroes are well known to many of my students. It’s so important to ensure we are honoring the work of ALL people. Educators cannot continue to celebrate only one “type” of individual or group of people. I’m excited to incorporated Queer Heroes into our classroom library. Queer Heroes debuts May 7.

 Be brave, Be brave, Be brave

Be Brave, Be Brave, Be Brave by F. Anthony Falcon

Be Brave is the true story of the birth of Falcon’s son.  It is the story of a reconnection to the author’s Native American Heritage. The entire book is written in verse and is beautifully illustrated. The message of strength and perseverance is threaded throughout every page.
“Your mother labored for many hours, to bring you into this world, and she was so brave.”
“We wanted to pay tribute to my Native American ancestry so we named you Lakota, after the Lakota Sioux people, who in their time had to be so brave.”
Be Brave is available May 7.

 Sofi paints her dreams

Sofi Paints her Dreams by Raquel M. Ortiz

Another bilingual picture book, Sofi Paints her Dreams is the story of Sofi, who is magically transported to the Dominican Republic where she meets a young Juan Luis Guerra. Together, the pair work on a song and after, are transported again to Haiti. There, they meet the young artist, Guerlande Balan.  Together, they create a work of art.  This story is a colorful celebration of Caribbean musicians and artists. I know many of my students will love to see their culture and language highlighted in this story. Sofi Paints her Dreams is available May 31.

My Papi has a Motorcycle

My Papi has a Motorcycle by Isabel Quintero

I am captivated by the illustrations in this book. I can remember holding onto my father’s waist as he slowly drove me around the block in his motorcycle.  My mother was in complete panic, but I can remember feeling as if I was flying.  In this story, Daisy Ramona celebrates the community she is growing up in and the memories she makes with her hardworking father.  Available May 14, My Papi has a Motorcycle will be a MUST HAVE for your classroom library.

 Nighttime Symphony

Nighttime Symphony by Timbaland and Christopher Myers

When I first moved to Brooklyn, I had the hardest time falling asleep.  The city is constantly singing a very busy lullaby. Sirens, people on the street, cars zooming, music playing next door, the sounds never stop.  Timbaland and Christopher Myers take the sounds of a busy city and turn them into a symphony to lull a young boy to sleep.  Nighttime Symphony is a celebration of city life, sounds, and the rhyme of life.  Nighttime Symphony is available May 14. 

 Except when they don't

Except When They Don’t by Laura Gehl

Girls like dolls and pink.
Boys like sports and blue.
Except When They Don’t celebrates the individuality in all of us! It’s ok for children to like what they like, simply because they like it.  As a kindergarten teacher, I often have conversations with my students about gendering things like colors, books, or toys.  We talk about how people like what they like, it doesn’t matter if they are boys or girls. Except When They Don’t would be the perfect addition to any early childhood classroom. Except When They Don’t debuts May 21.

 We are the change

We Are the Change introduction by Harry Belafonte

I had the privilege of previewing this book at the NCTE conference last November. I don’t know what else to say other than you need this book.
Every teacher needs this book.
It is a beautiful collections of words of inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders throughout time.  Their quotes are then illustrated by some very well know children’s book illustrators.  The illustrators then explain the significance of the quotes and the inspiration it has on their own lives.

If you purchase any one book from this list, let it be this one.
We Are the Change is available May 7.

 Other words for home

Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

Written in verse, this middle grade novel is about a young girl’s journey on finding what “home” really means.  Due the violence in Syria, Jude and her mother leave Syria for Cincinnati. There, Jude struggles to adapt to American life.  Jude takes us on her journey for acceptance, identity, and home.
You can find Other Words for Home in stores on May 28.

 Daniel's Good Day by Micha Archer

Daniel’s Good Day by Micha Archer 

This is the second book in a Daniel series.  The first, Daniel Finds a Poem is about Daniel’s quest to find what exactly makes a poem.  In this book, Daniel is on the search for what makes a good day. Daniel travels through his neighborhood asking his neighbors what exactly makes a day “good” for them.  The illustrations in this story remind me of Eric Carle or Ezra Jack Keats work.  Daniel’s Good Day is available May 14.

 Hair love by Matthew A. Cherry

Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry

Hair Love is the perfect Daddy/Daughter story. I n a magnificent display of #blackgirlmagic, a little girl shows off her beautiful hair.  The different styles turn her into powerful characters and show her endless self love. Zuri is so excited for today, because today her Daddy will do her hair in a very special way.  Through trial and error (and even more error), Zuri and Daddy find the perfect way to style her natural hair. This celebration of Black natural hair is a must have for our classroom libraries.  Studies have linked Black girl’s positive self esteem to higher academic achievement, which is why it is so important for teachers to incorporate books that celebrate Black identity into their classroom libraries.
Hair Love is available May 14.

 Titan and the Wild Boars by Susan Hood

Titan and the Wild Boars by Susan Hood and Pathana Sornhiran

I’m sure you remember the heroic rescue of the Thai Soccer Team. The boys crawled through tunnels, but due to heavy rains found themselves trapped and unable to get back out.  These young boys were trapped in the cave for 18 days. Pathana Sornhiran, the Thai journalist who covered the story first hand, works with Susan Hood to retell the heroic rescue of the Thai Soccer Team.  Titan and the Wild Boars debuts May 7.

Which of these titles are you looking forward to reading?
You can find the list of all my monthly selections here.