Stacey’s Remarkable Books

HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray. Dec. 2022. 32p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063271852.
PreS-Gr 2–It’s a long road from being an awkward child to one of the most famous female Black political leaders in the U.S., but Abrams has not forgotten who she was as a child. Nor has she forgotten how books were her refuge. In this companion to Stacey’s Remarkable Words, Abrams and Thomas again team up to show us how words change lives. This time, Abrams uses her childhood friendship with Julie, a Vietnamese girl, to ground her story. The star of the story, Stacey, reads alone during recess and looks forward to the day she visits the library. When Julie sits down with Stacey under an apple tree, she tells Stacey that reading in English is hard for her. Stacey volunteers to read every Thursday with Julie, and the girls quickly discover that they have a shared dream. A diverse group of other students, from Gambia, Indonesia, and South Korea, soon join them, bringing with them their “own words and different histories” and bridging the social divide at school. Eventually Julie even helps Stacey overcome her fear of joining in recess games. The illustrations are joyous and vibrant, showing round-faced, big-eyed children and a beaming librarian who make their school a place where everyone belongs. At the end, Abrams has included her list of “remarkable” stories, thoughtful picture books that will help readers better understand those from different cultures.
VERDICT A book that celebrates the power of stories and libraries to forge a more inclusive society.

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