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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?

SUMMERTIME STORIES ABOUT COMPASSION

Crossing the Line: A Fearless Team of Brothers & the Sport That Changed Their Life Forever

by Kareem Rosser


Kareem and his brothers lived in West Philadelphia, a city that was ravaged by poverty and violence. Leslie Hizner, the founder of The Work to Ride stables, offered an after school job in exchange for riding lessons. After learning to ride, the love and passion for polo was born. Leslie’s compassion and the boys’ hope and strength not only helped them in establishing a bright future, but also assisted them with overcoming many obstacles. Such an inspiring book!

Hot Dog Girl

by Jennifer Dugan


Lou will do anything to have the “perfect” summer of her life, but there are a handful of hurdles in her way. She is trying to figure out who she is and what relationships she wants, while trying to save the amusement park she has been going to for years and is presently working at. With the help of her dad and friends, Lou is able to figure out who she is and what she wants to do with various avenues of her life. Such light-hearted, coming-of-age story with humor and heart!

They Call Me Güero

by David Bowles


Güero (Spanish nickname for guys with pale skin, Latino or Anglo) is entering seventh grade and is learning how to cope with school and life, while living as a border kid. Not all of his fellow students are kind nor helpful. He learns about what it means to be compassionate and why it is such a positive attribute to possess. I was instantly captivated by the poems and could not put it down. No wonder this book was recognized and won various awards!

The Cardboard Kingdom: Roar of the Beast

by Chad Sell


We are big fans of the first book in this series, The Cardboard Kingdom, and this BRAND NEW sequel doesn’t disappoint! It’s perfect for building conversations around the concept of compassion with kids in this age group because the story shows kids their age, navigating neighborhood life with a community of friends. Of course there are moments of conflict that arise, along with kid-friendly examples of big and small moments of compassion. The characters are diverse and complex and the plot is lively. Our students were so excited to see this sequel be released… it’s a perfect summer read for this age group!

Maddi’s Fridge

by Lois Brandt


This is such a beautiful, kid-friendly book about challenging subjects: hunger and poverty. Sofia notices that her best friend, Maddi, only has milk in her fridge, while Sofia’s fridge at home is full with healthy food. Maddi makes her promise not to tell, so Sofia attempts to solve the problem herself with some humorous consequences. Sofia is compassionate and empathetic, and Maddi is strong and resourceful… an empty fridge doesn’t diminish her character. This book will prompt great discussions about when it’s OK to tell an adult about a friend’s secret, and how kids can be compassionate problem-solvers.

Mel Fell

by Corey R. Tabor


This book will fascinate young readers, as the pages present in a very unique order. As a young bird, Mel, makes his first attempted flight from the nest, he falls… hard and fast.  On his way down, all of the tree animals compassionately try to save him. Readers will see him land in the water and then will turn the book and follow the pages to see him make a remarkable recovery back up the tree. Readers will learn something new about this type of bird and will cheer for Mel on his maiden flight. Such a sweet book for this age group!

Plant A Kiss

by Amy Krause Rosenthal


This book has been around for a few years, but it is such a lovely board book for little ones! Amy Krause Rosenthal’s work is enduring, charming, and absolutely good for the soul. Peter Reynolds’ illustrations illuminate the beautiful message of the text: that love and compassion beget more love and compassion. What a beautiful message this book plants in the heart of a little one!


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 – SUMMERTIME STORIES


MORE GREAT READS: ALL AGES – Pride Month (LGTBQIA+)


Book Tastings for Grown-Ups

Welcoming Summer Series







Don’t miss out on NEW BOOK JOY!