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!


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.


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!


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: Edgewater Candles in EVANSTON, IL for World Candle Month

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.


What’s Our Current Theme?



Perseverance is what gets us through the rough times, gets us to the good times, and gives us pride when looking back.

Explore READINGS & RESOURCES on this topic…

What’RE We Reading?


The Guncle

by Steven Rowley

When Massie and Grant lose their mother and Patrick’s brother has a health crisis of his own, Patrick becomes the primary guardian for his niece and nephew. No matter what the family has to endure and overcome, they support each other (as much as possible) and refuse to give up. 

No wonder this book is included on several “must read” lists!

I laughed, cried, and wanted to hug every character in the book. If you are looking for a late summer read with loss, love, and humor, this is the book for you


by L.M. Elliott

Drew lives in West Berlin because his dad is one of the soldiers that hold an outpost of democracy against communist Russia. Matthias, Drew’s cousin, lives in East Berlin and has to live in the wreckage of Allied war bombing and deal with the secret police. Due to the unexpected and unwanted events, the boys bond during the turbulent year leading up to the surprise raising of the Berlin Wall in August 1961. The story and real-life photographs (included throughout the book) showcase the perseverance everyone embodied during the heroic and tragic events of the Cold War.

A poignant YA novel that both teens and grown-ups are sure to enjoy!


by Nnedi Okorafor

Nnamdi vows to avenge his father after he is murdered, but is only 12. He stumbles upon a magical object, Ikenga, that gives him super powers, which he uses for good and solving his father’s murder. Nnamdi perseveres and refuses to give up, no matter what obstacles lie before him.

This magical book is a must-read for all middle schoolers (high schoolers and grown-ups too!) and it is no surprise that it is an “NPR Best Book of the Year” and an “Amazon Best Children’s Book of 2020”!!

Loretta Little Looks Back

by Andrea Davis Pinkney

This is a completely unique book that tells a story of courage and persistence through generations. It is composed as a series of monologues, told in the voices of children who lived across many decades (1927-1968).

These theatrical vignettes with rich dialogue make you feel that you have met the children and they have shared their civil rights stories with you first-hand. This is a powerful, beautiful, and important book to inspire thoughtful conversations.

Be Strong

by Pat Zietlow Miller

A perfect book for this time! As many kids return to school campuses after a year of isolation, they may need to call upon their own inner resilience. This book describes so many examples of resilience: doing something hard physically, standing up for what’s right, taking small steps toward an overwhelming goal.

A gentle theme woven through the book is “get a little help from a friend (or give a little help to someone else!).”

We predict that this book will draw kids into some great conversations with their families as they talk about circumstances that require persistence in the book and their own lives.

The Power of Yet

by Maryann Cocca-Leffler

“Yet” is a concept that is pretty well understood by this age group (as in, “Are we there yet???”). In this book, the word takes an important twist: when something is hard, remember that you can’t do it YET… but if you keep trying, it can happen!

This is a great book to read and talk about with kids who are stepping into new territory such as riding a bike, reading, writing, and playing on teams. Instead of kicking that new bike when they fall, maybe they’ll say, “I can’t do it… YET. But I will!”

Crash! Boom! A Math Tale

by Robie H. Harris

This is such an engaging book for the littlest ones on so many levels! When they are very tiny, you will hear those baby giggles when you read “Crash!  Boom!” When they are a little older and have had some experience with blocks, they will like the story about the elephant who is frustrated when his lovely tall tower comes crashing down. When they are learning to count, this book gives lots of opportunities for counting the blocks.

The illustrations will draw them in, too: big, vivid photos of the blocks are mixed with cheery crayon drawings of the elephant.

Keep those blocks handy: this book will inspire tall towers and conversations about patience and navigating frustration.

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!

FEATURED Book CLUB Tastings for Grown-Ups

Deep & Twisty : Suspense Stories


A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

More Great Reads: Grown-Ups – A Little Life

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