Open Books | Open Minds
For every purchase Open Books provides the same 3 or 5 books to kids in under-resourced Chicago communities.
Titles subject to change based on availability.
New Kid by Jerry Kraft
Winner of the Newbery Medal,
Coretta Scott King Author Award
Kirkus Prize for Young Readers’ Literature
Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft.
Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.
As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?
This middle grade graphic novel is an excellent choice for tween readers, including for summer reading.
Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans by Kadir Nelson
Horn Book Fanfare
Kirkus Reviews Best Children’s Book
Coretta Scott King Honor (Illustrator)
Coretta Scott King Award (Author)
School Library Journal Best Book
Publishers Weekly Best Book
The story of America and African Americans is a story of hope and inspiration and unwavering courage. In Heart and Soul, Kadir Nelson’s stirring paintings and words grace 100-plus pages of a gorgeous picture book—a beautiful gift for readers of all ages, a treasure to share across generations at home or in the classroom.
Heart and Soul is about the men, women, and children who toiled in the hot sun picking cotton for their masters; it’s about the America ripped in two by Jim Crow laws; it’s about the brothers and sisters of all colors who rallied against those who would dare bar a child from an education. It’s a story of discrimination and broken promises, determination, and triumphs.
Kadir Nelson’s Heart and Soul—the winner of numerous awards, including the Coretta Scott King Author Award and Illustrator Honor, and the recipient of five starred reviews—is told through the unique point of view and intimate voice of a one-hundred-year-old African-American female narrator.
This inspiring book demonstrates that in striving for freedom and equal rights, African Americans help our country on the journey toward its promise of liberty and justice—the true heart and soul of our nation.
Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Twelve-year-old Jerome is shot by a police officer who mistakes his toy gun for a real threat. As a ghost, he observes the devastation that’s been unleashed on his family and community in the wake of what they see as an unjust and brutal killing.
Soon Jerome meets another ghost: Emmett Till, a boy from a very different time but similar circumstances. Emmett helps Jerome process what has happened, on a journey towards recognizing how historical racism may have led to the events that ended his life. Jerome also meets Sarah, the daughter of the police officer, who grapples with her father’s actions.
Once again Jewell Parker Rhodes deftly weaves historical and socio-political layers into a gripping and poignant story about how children and families face the complexities of today’s world, and how one boy grows to understand American blackness in the aftermath of his own death.
Rebound by Kwame Alexander
Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal
Hoop kings SOAR
in kicks with wings.
Game so sweet
it’s like bee stings.
It’s 1988. Charlie Bell is still mourning his father, and struggling to figure out how he feels for his best (girl) friend, CJ. When he gets into trouble one too many times, he’s packed off to stay with his grandparents for the summer. There his cousin Roxie introduces him to a whole new world: basketball. A legend on the courts is born. But can Charlie resist when trouble comes knocking once again?
From the New York Times-bestselling author Kwame Alexander, Rebound is a stunning coming-of-age novel in verse about basketball, family and staying true to yourself.
A prequel to The Crossover, winner of the Newbery Medal, and follow-up to Booked, highly commended for the CLiPPA prize and nominated for the Carnegie Medal.
With comic-book illustrations from award-winning graphic novel artist Dawud Anyabwile.
Ghost by Jason Reynolds
A National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature
Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read
Ghost wants to be the fastest sprinter on his elite middle school track team, but his past is slowing him down in this first electrifying novel of the acclaimed Trackseries from Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award–winning author Jason Reynolds.
Ghost. Lu. Patina. Sunny. Four kids from wildly different backgrounds with personalities that are explosive when they clash. But they are also four kids chosen for an elite middle school track team—a team that could qualify them for the Junior Olympics if they can get their acts together. They all have a lot to lose, but they also have a lot to prove, not only to each other, but to themselves.
Running. That’s all Ghost (real name Castle Cranshaw) has ever known. But Ghost has been running for the wrong reasons—it all started with running away from his father, who, when Ghost was a very little boy, chased him and his mother through their apartment, then down the street, with a loaded gun, aiming to kill. Since then, Ghost has been the one causing problems—and running away from them—until he meets Coach, an ex-Olympic Medalist who sees something in Ghost: crazy natural talent. If Ghost can stay on track, literally and figuratively, he could be the best sprinter in the city. Can Ghost harness his raw talent for speed, or will his past finally catch up to him?
To purchase books, click on your child’s grade level.