Inspiring reading & meaningful conversations for readers of all ages.

What’s our vision of New Book Joy?

Explore our NEW CHAPTERS…

In every one of our endeavors, we recommend books that we’ve read personally & believe will be good for our community of readers…

What Brings Us Joy?

Sparking Communication

Shared books are a powerful vehicle to bring joy AND bridge conversations around the things that really matter with kids of all ages.

Our combined 50+ years of experience as K-12 literacy educators (and avid bookworms ourselves) fuels our passion for books, family, and the big ideas that will shape our futures.

Every two months we’ll feature a fresh theme with readings and resources inspired by our current topic and EVERY FEW WEEKS we’ll add blogs and book recommendations. Keep reading!

NOW HIGHLIGHTING: Taking A Stand


Supporting Independent Bookstores

Relationships are at the forefront of our mission…

We are proud supporters of independent bookstores with high quality children’s literature sections. These little slices of “book heaven” inspire our work.

NOW HIGHLIGHTING: PRAIRIE FOX BOOKS, a small indie bookshop in OTTAWA, IL

NEW BOOK JOY is an affiliate of Bookshop.org and will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Every order you place through NEW BOOK JOY supports our site and their pool of independent bookstores!


Supporting SMALL BUSINESSES

Our hearts go out to other hard-working small business owners, especially during COVID-19…

We love to support local Chicago shops and any other companies that deliver high-quality locally made products, especially when they compliment our Curated Book Collections and Book Club events!

NOW HIGHLIGHTING: NOIR D’EBENE in EVANSTON, IL


Giving Back

Because sometimes families need to look beyond the book for help…

We are firm believers that books open the doors to honest family conversations about deep topics. We also believe the advice of Fred Rodgers to “look for the helpers” when life events are overwhelming.

We plan to highlight relevant, high quality charities that assist families and individuals in need.

Books can truly be a refuge in times of stress, but sometimes families need more. For each theme we highlight, we will be donating a portion of our proceeds to various charities that support families in challenging situations and the development of young children.

NOW HIGHLIGHTING: WEAR ORANGE


What’s Our Current Theme?

TAKING A STAND

DON’T BE AFRAID TO SPEAK OUT FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN...

Appreciate both the path [you have] to follow to get there, as well as the rewarding and beautiful view at the end of the struggle.

Explore READINGS & RESOURCES on this topic…


What’RE We Reading?

Celebrating the Ties That Nurture (Mother’s Day)

Girl, Woman, Other

by Berndardine Evaristo


An interconnected group, twelve central characters, intersect in shared aspects of age, race, and sexuality. The Black British women paint a vivid picture of contemporary Britain, while they look back at Britain’s colonial history in Africa and the Caribbean. The multi-voiced novel is passionate, quick-witted, and humorous.  This unique and intriguing book will keep you fully engaged, in regards to family and friends (other relationships too), from beginning to end. It makes complete sense that the author, Bernardine Evaristo, was a Booker Prize winner for this stellar novel!

What I Carry

by Jennifer Longo


Since Muir has one more year until she ages out of the foster care system, she is used to being on her own and having no family. When she moves in with Francine, she begins to learn about what it means to have someone to care about, as well as someone who cares about her and the idea of having a true family and friends. This powerful and touching book is full of love and hope – I could not put it down!

Blackbird Fly

by Erin Entrada Kelly


Apple has been struggling with being different, since she and her mom moved to Louisiana from the Philippines. Her so-called friends, who are backstabbers, are not helping with the transition of the move nor the situations at school. As Apple begins to realize who her true friends are, she begins to embrace her mother more, and celebrates who she is and where she is from. Such a sweet and delightful book about identity and family!

Added bonus? References to various Beatles’ songs!

How to Spot A Mom

by Donna Amey Bhatt


Motherhood is definitely not a one-size-fits-all endeavor and this book celebrates that! It’s a picture book for older kids that is full of information and tidbits that can stir memories and spark conversation about what makes them feel nurtured. There are pages dedicated to exploring motherhood in different cultures and the “skill sets” that moms bring to the job. This would be a great gift for a mom or grandma, with little notes handwritten on the pages about their own mom (hint, hint!).

Your Mama

by NoNieqa Ramos


If the Aretha Franklin song RESPECT was a children’s picture book, this would be it. This story celebrates the joy and strength of mamas everywhere, featuring a mama that does it all with style and flare… and yes, we see her tired sometimes too! It’s real, it’s funny, it’s a love song to enjoy together. I guarantee you can’t read this without smiling! 🙂

You Hold Me Up

by Monique Gray Smith & Daniella Daniel


This book celebrates nurturing in many forms, so it’s a perfect launch to parent/child conversations. Who holds you up and how do they do it? How do you hold other people up? Spare prose and large, vivid illustrations invite the reader in. The author (of Cree, Lakota, and Scottish ancestry) states that “This book was written in the spirit of Reconciliation” for the Indigenous children of Canada. Holding each other up with respect and joy is an important family and societal goal, indeed.

Families Can

by Dan Saks


This simple board book is a gentle ode to the ways that families might look different AND love with the same joy. The rhyme and rhythm makes this a cozy read aloud: “A family can look the same or maybe not… Dad’s from somewhere cold, Mom’s from somewhere hot.” The bold colorful graphics will intrigue little ones, too!


NEW BOOK JOY is an affiliate of Bookshop.org and will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Every order you place through NBJ supports our site and their pool of independent bookstores!


MORE GREAT READS: ALL AGES – MOTHER’s DAY: CELEBRATING THE TIES THAT NURTURE


The Three Mothers

Author Feature: Anna Malaika Tubbs







Don’t miss out on NEW BOOK JOY!