Inspiring reading & meaningful conversations for readers of all ages.
NEW BOOK JOY CURATES BOOKS, BOOK CLUBS, READING RESOURCES & SO MUCH MORE!
Explore our NEW CHAPTERS…
BOOK CLUB IN A BOX FOR FAMILIES OF ALL AGES & SIZES
(SINGLE EXPERIENCES OR SUBSCRIPTIONS)
CURATED BOOKS & PAIRINGS IN A GIFT BOX FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS
BOOK CLUB EVENTS FOR ADULTS
(SINGLE EXPERIENCES OR SUBSCRIPTIONS)
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 IN OUR BOOK CLUBS
Shared books are a powerful vehicle to bring joy AND bridge conversations around the things that really matter with kids, teens, and adults of all ages.
Every few months our Book Clubs feature a fresh theme with readings and resources inspired by our current topics and EVERY FEW WEEKS we add blogs and book recommendations…
CURRENT BOOK CLUB TOPIC FOR KIDS & TEENS: THE BEAUTY OF DIFFERENCES
CURRENT BOOK CLUB TOPIC FOR GROWN-UPS: MARVELOUS MIXOLOGY – FANTASTICAL TALES
Supporting IndIE Bookstores & AUTHORS
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 FEATURING: PRAIRIE PATH BOOKS, a small indie bookshop in WHEATON, 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 FEATURING: SOAP DISTILLERY in Chicago, IL
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 FEATURING: GIGI’S PLAYHOUSE
What’RE We Reading?
Our Favorites This SPRING
(CLICK EACH AGE GROUP TAB FOR OUR RECOMMENDED TITLES)
by Laurie Lico Albanese
After arriving in Salem from Scotland, in the early 1800s, Edward leaves his wife, Isobel, alone and with no money when he joins a ship as a medic. Isobel and a young Nathaniel Hawthorne are instantly drawn to each other when they meet. The longer Edward is gone, the more Nathaniel and Isobel grow closer. This fresh and haunting take on Scarlet Letter should not be missed!
Other books with strong female characters:
Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley (BOOK & AUDIOBOOK)
Jackal by Erin E. Adams (BOOK & AUDIOBOOK)
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin (BOOK & AUDIOBOOK)
All My Rage
by Sabaa Tahir
Noor and Sal are outcasts in a tiny town, Juniper, California, and consider each other family. Sal is trying to keep the family motel afloat, while his mother’s health is declining and his father is drinking more. Noor is lying to her vile uncle about college applications because she does not want to spend another day living with him nor living in Juniper. After The Fight, everything begins to unravel quickly and Noor and Sal need to figure out what their friendship is worth.
Not only does this book cross generations, but also locations. It is heart-wrenching, yet beautiful, and is a National Book Award Finalist!
Other YA novels that are similar:
My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows (BOOK & AUDIOBOOK)
Conviction by Kelly Loy Gilbert (BOOK & AUDIOBOOK)
Wild Bird by Wendelin Van Draanen (BOOK & AUDIOBOOK)
The Bridge Home
by Padma Venkatraman
Viji and Ruuku run away from home and soon realize how heartless and unsafe India and the world can be. Fortunately, the girls find shelter and receive help from two homeless boys, Arul and Muthi. They end up becoming a family and learn what generosity means from each other and various strangers.
More Middle School books about generosity:
Lost in the Sun by Lisa Graff (BOOK & AUDIOBOOK)
Zack Delacruz: Me and My Big Mouth by Jeff Anderson (BOOK & AUDIOBOOK)
The Boy At the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Raúf (BOOK & AUDIOBOOK)
Weird Little Robots
by Carolyn Crimi
This illustrated chapter book mixes a little magic, a growing friendship, and quirky characters to keep kiddos reading until the end. Penny Rose makes robots so that she has some friends. Soon, a bit of magic leads to a real friendship with her neighbor, Lark, her robots come alive, and the secret science club that is her passion is in jeopardy. These problem-solving heroines are fun and exciting characters!
You might also enjoy:
Maya and the Robot by Eve L Ewing (BOOK)
The Struggle Bus
by Julie Koon
We think this is a pretty ageless book, because most everyone has “been on the struggle bus” before, as children and adults! The concept of struggle is a great one to chat about with children because the struggle they face can be emotional, academic, or physical… and this book fits them all. It acknowledges how hard it can feel, lets them know that others can share helpful tools… and on the last pages, the book gives examples of what to do when your struggle bus breaks down (take a walk, ask for a hug, draw, etc.).
This book’s metaphor can launch a thousand conversations through the potholes that kids and teenagers need to navigate through life.
I Forgive Alex
When a rambunctious friend gets carried away and accidentally ruins the art of another kid on the playground, he finds himself ostracized by the other kids. Though hurt, the artist notices that Alex is hurting too, and reaches out to him. Both characters play a part in giving the story a positive ending.
This wordless picture book speaks volumes to kids about kindness, consequences, and forgiveness. We predict there will be many good conversations with young ones about resolving conflict as a result of sharing this sweet book together.
Oh No, George!
by Chris Haughton
George the dog KNOWS he shouldn’t dig in the dirt, chase the cat, and eat the human’s cake. But, despite his best intentions, it happens. Young ones will laugh as they join in on the pages that say, “Oh NO George!”. As the book progresses, George manages to find some self-restraint and is very proud. Until that rubbish bin appears in his path… There will be baby and toddler giggles with this book, guaranteed!
You might also enjoy:
Don’t Worry, Little Crab by Chris Haughton (BOOK)
Well Done, Mommy Penguin by Chris Haughton (BOOK)
MORE GREAT READS: ALL AGES – POWERFUL & FULL-BODIED JOURNEYS (FOR SPRING)
MORE GREAT READS: ALL AGES – DEEP & TWISTY SUSPENSE STORIES
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!