December’s recommended reads focuses on cozy family reads. When you find a book you would like to explore, click on the title and be taken directly to our catalog. Happy reading!

Children

Alma and How She got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
A charming picture book featuring Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela, who feels overwhelmed writing her very long name, until her Dad introduces her to all the remarkable people in her family for whom she is named. 

Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer
A board book that uses simple text and colorful illustrations to introduce young people to diverse, loving families. 

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De la Peňa
CJ has many questions about his world and where he fits in it, and his grandmother has a loving and patient way of explaining it. Bright and detailed illustrations by Christian Robinson and poetic words by Matt de la Peňa pair to create a vivid depiction of the cityscape young CJ and his grandmother live in.

Papa, Daddy, and Riley by Seasmus Kirst
When Riley is asked at school to introduce her family, her classmates have questions about their relationship that have always come naturally to her. Kirst’s evocative illustrations depict Riley’s emotions and her parent’s love beautifully.

Stepping Stones by Lucy Knisley 
Lucy Knisely is a graphic memoirist, whose works like Relish and Kid Gloves illustrate meaningful periods in her incredible life. Stepping Stones is her middle grade debut that is only loosely based on her own experience. After her parent’s divorce, Jen has to navigate a new life with her Mom, stepdad, and two new stepsisters on a farm in rural New York.

Twins by Varian Johnson
A middle grade graphic novel featuring Maureen and Francine- Identical twins who are entering middle school with very different ambitions. Their diverging personalities create some division within their family and friends – especially when they both decide to run for Class President!

Fry Bread by Noble Maillard
Fry Bread is a beautifully illustrated picture book about food, family, and tradition- with a recipe in the back to begin a new tradition in your own home!

Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy
A middle grade debut from the author of young adult bestsellers Dumplin’ and Puddin’- Meet Patricia “Sweet Pea” DiMarco, a quirky, thoughtful 13 year-old  whose parents attempt to ease the transition of their divorce for her as she navigates trials of identity and friendship.

Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Kelly Yang’s Front Desk is loosely based on her own experiences as a first-generation American whose ambitious parents manage and live in a motel in southern California. Young Mia, our protagonist, uses her wit, heart, and hard work to help her parents succeed in an unfriendly (to say the least) environment.

The Vanderbeekers (Series) by Karina Yan Glaser
The Vanderbeekers is a 4 part (so far!) heartwarming middle grade series about a  family of 7 whose well-intentioned ambitions get them into some trouble, but make it through with hard work, compassion, and the support of one another.

Teen​

Watch Over Me by Nina LaCour
Mila escapes from her mysterious and complicated past as an educator in a remote family compound which she soon discovers has mysterious secrets of its own. She, her student, and her colleagues learn how to cope with the traumas in their respective pasts, and develop a loving familial relationship in the process.

Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Darius is a loveable, nerdy, tea-obsessed, Persian-American teenager who is battling depression, bullying, and feeling disconnected from all the worlds he belongs to. When his grandfather in Iran becomes ill, Darius and his family’s visit has a life-changing impact.

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo
Two girls in different countries who have never heard of one another one day discover their father has died in a plane crash. Yahaira and Camino are the sisters they never knew they had to the sisters they never knew they needed.

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
In a utopia where child abuse, racism, and hate have been eliminated, trans teen Jam and her parents live comfortably. Until one day, Jam’s mother creates a “monster” whose existence proves the world is not what they thought.

Far From the Tree by Robin Benway
When Grace puts her baby up for adoption, she seeks out her adopted siblings and discovers what it means to be a family to one another.

Anger is a Gift by Mark Oshiro
After losing his father to police brutality six years ago, Moss has significant trauma and anxiety. When his own circumstances threaten to have the same outcome for his friends, he and his mother are compelled to fight racial injustice once again.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Starr is caught between two worlds, her neighborhood and school, when the murder of her friend throws her carefully separated life into turmoil. Only she can tell the truth of what happened that night, and with the support of her family, she finds the strength to set the story straight.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire enz
Ari is conflicted with personal and familial issues when he meets Dante, who teaches him how to fearlessly love himself and the world.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Persepolis is a graphic memoir by Marjane Satrapi about growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. Marjane has modern interests and non-conformist family members, which make them constant targets of violence and assassinations. 

Bloom by Kevin Panetta
Ari is sure his band will be a success if he can just get away from his parent’s bakery and their expectations for his life. It isn’t until he gets to know their new employee that he sees what (and who) he’d be missing out on.

Adult

This is How it Always is by Laurie Frankel
Rosie and Penn have a happy family of boys but have always wanted a daughter. When their youngest child starts to question his gender, they discover how meaningful their roles as parents can be.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
An intergenerational story of conflict, tradition, and sacrifice starting in 1900’s Korea and ending in 2000’s Japan.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
In 1984 Henry encounters artifacts from the family of a girl he once loved before she was sent to a Japanese internment camp. Memories are told in powerful flashbacks that tackle love, sacrifice, and fear in the WWII era.

The Overstory by Richard Powers
The Overstory is a series of interloping stories from very different protagonists who find their lives centered around, or profoundly influenced by trees. What these stories tell is ultimately how we are all connected, and can choose to support one another in their times of need.

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
Written in the perspectives of four Chinese women who emigrated to San Francisco during WWII. Each woman’s children, unburdened with the histories their parents carry, believe their lives separate from the previous generations. When their children come to recognize their ancestral trauma, they begin to understand how interconnected they are.

Go To Sleep (I Miss You) by Lucy Knisley
The latest graphic memoir from Lucy Knisely, a short collection of doodles about parenting’s good and bad days.

The Book of Unknown Americans by Christina Henriquez
A tale of immigration in the US written through complex and well-written characters in a variety of circumstances.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
When Marilyn and James Lee lose their favorite daughter, the secrets they have been keeping come out with the circumstances surrounding their daughter

Dear Mother: Poems on the Hot Mess of Motherhood by Bunmi Latidan
A fiercely honest and hilarious set of poems about being a mom from Bunmi Latidan, the author of @HonestToddler on Twitter.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Homegoing is an intergenerational story encompassing 300 years of fortune, culture, and love from the families of two sisters on very different paths.

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