What Do You Do With a Problem?
One day, a little boy was minding his own business, not disturbing anything or bothering anyone, when he was confronted with a problem. He didn’t ask for it, and he surely didn’t want it, but, it refused to go away. Hoping it would go away, he tried running and hiding from it. He even tried ignoring it. When he couldn’t shake it, he began to worry. The more he worried, the more persistent the problem became, and it grew bigger and bigger until one day, he decided to face it. Facing his problem, he discovered that “every problem has an opportunity for something good. You just have to look for it.”
What Do You Do With a Problem? by Kobi Yamada, is a self-help text for children ages 4 to 8 years old. With subtlety, it shows children how to handle frustration and disappointment and how to figure things out.
The Hate U Give
This exhilarating novel by Angie Thomas is inspired by racism in America and the #blacklivesmatter movement. Starr Carter, the main character, narrates a riveting tale of events as they relate to today’s youth and their experiences. Starr moves between two worlds – the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy prep school she attends. One evening, without parental consent, Starr and her brother’s half-sister, Kenya, attend a house party. A fight breaks out. She and best friend Khalil scarcely escape the grips of the police. A short while later, stopped by police, the unimaginable happens — Khalil is shot!
Thomas, an emerging author, received the 2015 Walter Dean Myers Grant and rave reviews for The Hate U Give. Though it is targeted for 8th to 11th graders, it can be enjoyed by any mature audience. Thomas gives voice to modern-day resistance, tackling bigotry and injustice.
More books to consider:
Up to 2nd grade
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (original publication 1969), ages 2 -5
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems (2003), ages 2-6
You Are My I Love You by Maryann Cusimano Love (2010), ages 3-7
I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More by Karen Beaumont (2012), ages 3-7
Pre-K to 4th grade
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. (1989), ages 4-8
Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin & James Dean (2010), ages 4-8
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff (2009), ages 4-8
No, David! by David Shannon (1998), ages 4-8
The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce (2012), ages 4-8
Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss (1990), ages 4-8
4th to 7th grade
Diary of a Wimpy Kid series by Jeff Kinney (2007), ages 9 and up
Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine (begins in 1992), ages 7-11
Frindle by Andrew Clements (1998), ages 8-12
Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson (2010), ages 8-13
The Skin I’m In by Sharon Flake (2007), ages 12 and up
Pre-teen and up
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (1997-2007), ages 12 and up
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (2014), ages 12-16
Robin Muldor-Engram is a former branch manager and children’s librarian for the Free Library of Philadelphia.