iRead features the best ebooks and eaudiobooks for children and teens curated by the Children's Room and Teen Center staff.
Family is home. During hard times and happy times, we cannot resist pulling them close to us and holding tight.
Celebrate family with Lil Alan, the Gaither sisters and the Watsons by sharing their stories, their connection and their love.
Going Down Home with Daddy by Kelly Starling Lyons | illustrated by Daniel Minter
available as a streaming video and streaming video with read-along through Hoopla
This 2020 Caldecott Honor book gently and proudly tells the story of Lil Alan and his family as they return to his father’s childhood home in the South to celebrate traditions and family history. Cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents, and siblings all are prepared to share the meaning of the homestead that has been in the family for generations. Lil Alan feels he has nothing to contribute, until he reflects on what it means to be ‘home with daddy’ and the rest of his family and finds his voice. This joyful picture book, a celebration of ritual and family, is beautifully illustrated by Coretta Scott King Honor winner Daniel Minter, with motion and emotion on every page.
- 2020 Caldecott Honor Book
The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
available as an eaudiobook through Overdrive
available as an ebook through Cloud Library
Join ten year-old Kenny and his family as they make the trip from their home in Flint, Michigan to visit their grandmother in Birmingham, Alabama during the summer of 1963 - one of the most turbulent times in American history. Kenny, his sister Joetta and brother Byron are making the trip down south due to Byron’s recent misbehavior. Their parents hope spending some time with his grandma will straighten Byron out. Wonderful descriptions of life during the 1960s are the backdrop for the family trip as they travel by car from one part of the country to another where everyday life is very different in many ways. There are plenty of good times and hilarious lines. Things turn serious near the end of the book as the family arrives in Birmingham and personally experience the unsettling events. This award winning novel weaves family dynamics and drama with coming of age and the realities of racism and segregation. Middle grade and older children will enjoy this entertaining but powerful story of the Watson family which offers many opportunities for family discussion.
- 1995 Golden Kite Award for Fiction
- 1996 Coretta Scott King Author Honor
- 1996 Newbery Medal Honor
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
available as an eaudiobook through Overdrive
It’s the summer of 1968, and three sisters, Delphine, Fern and Vonetta are on their way from Brooklyn, New York to Oakland, California to spend a month with a mother they hardly know. Abandoned by her six years earlier, they have learned to fend for themselves while living with their father and grandmother. Winner of multiple awards, including the 2011 Newbery Medal, this novel, the first of the trilogy, tells the story of the sisters’ journey from their world on one side of the country to another that couldn’t be further away from the one they’ve known. While the girls dream of learning to surf and a trip to Disneyland, they instead find themselves attending a day camp run by the Black Panthers. They discover their mother Cecile, an activist and a poet, is not exactly the person they’ve been planning to meet. She’s definitely not welcoming – in fact, she seems like she doesn’t even wants them there at all. She won’t let her daughters into the kitchen or into her life, leaving the Gaither sisters to their own devices. Readers will be entranced by the unforgettable characters in this story as well as the locations the author describes with language that will put you right there in the middle of it all. The sisters learn a lot over the summer – about themselves, their country, their heritage and self-reliance. Interesting historical details complement this story of family and resilience and will leave readers wanting more. After finishing One Crazy Summer, continue the story of the Gaither sisters in P.S. Be Eleven and Gone Crazy in Alabama.
- 2010 National Book Award for Young People's Literature
- 2011 Coretta Scott King Author Award
- 2011 Newbery Medal Honor
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