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Books about Displacement, Homelessness, and Poverty


“One of the things we can do as artists is to be truthful about what the world holds.”

—Tony Abbott, author of The Great Jeff and Firegirl


Literature is a powerful tool that both reflects our world and widens it, allowing readers to see themselves and to see how people different from themselves live.  One of the most important things literature does is allow us approach tough topics. It gives us both imagined and real spaces to explore subjects like displacement, homelessness, and poverty, gives us words to describe the emotional and psychological landscapes those realities engender, gives us trailblazers, truthtellers, and characters who populate those landscapes. Here at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers we’ve a curated list of titles that can help you address these topics with the young readers in your classrooms and libraries. They cover everything from how a parent losing her job can lead to homelessness, to a hurricane forcing a young girl and her family to find a new home, to the stories of the children of migrant workers. We’re confident these books can help spark difficult conversations that need to be held, and keep those conversations going.







Little, Brown School & Library at SLJ Teen Live 2018




















I’m Just No Good at Rhyming

I'm Just No Good at Rhyming coverThe instant New York Times bestseller featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition with Scott Simon! B. J. Novak (bestselling author of The Book With No Pictures) described this groundbreaking poetry collection as “Smart and sweet, wild and wicked, brilliantly funny–it’s everything a book for kids should be.”

Meet Chris Harris, the 21st-century Shel Silverstein! Already lauded by critics as a worthy heir to such greats as Silverstein, Seuss, Nash and Lear, Harris’s hilarious debut molds wit and wordplay, nonsense and oxymoron, and visual and verbal sleight-of-hand in masterful ways that make you look at the world in a whole new wonderfully upside-down way. With enthusiastic endorsements from bestselling luminaries such as Lemony Snicket, Judith Viorst, Andrea Beaty, and many others, this entirely unique collection offers a surprise around every corner: from the ongoing rivalry between the author and illustrator, to the mysteriously misnumbered pages that can only be deciphered by a certain code-cracking poem, to the rhyming fact-checker in the footnotes who points out when “poetic license” gets out of hand. Adding to the fun: Lane Smith, bestselling creator of beloved hits like It’s a Book and The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, has spectacularly illustrated this extraordinary collection with nearly one hundred pieces of appropriately absurd art. It’s a mischievous match made in heaven!

“Ridiculous, nonsensical, peculiar, outrageous, possibly deranged–and utterly, totally, absolutely delicious. Read it! Immediately!” –Judith Viorst, bestselling author of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day


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Booklist Editor’s Choice

Kirkus Best Children’s Books

NPR Best Books

PW Best Children’s Books

SLJ Best Books

NCTE Notable Poetry Books

Chicago Public Library Best Books

LAPL Best Kids Books

Bookish Ways to Say I Love You

Bookish Ways to Say I Love You



Bookish Ways to Say “I Love You!”





Love Matters Most coverLove Matters Most

A sweet story that will warm your heart on a cold winter’s day. Follow a mama polar bear through a beautiful wintry landscape as she searches for her lost little cub…and reminds us all that love matters most!





Love the WorldLove the World cover

All of Todd Parr’s instantly recognizable titles celebrate the importance of being yourself, appreciating others and spreading joy. None more so than Love the World! It’s a charming message of love and empathy wrapped up in an irresistible kid-friendly package!





All Kinds of Kisses cover

All little ones love kisses! From peeps to moos, take a journey through the farm to see how the mamas of the animal kingdom snuggle up with their babies. Caldecott honoree Nancy Tafuri’s inviting illustrations make this a truly special book.





Hug TimeHug Time cover

Now here’s a to-do list we can get excited about. Jules the kitten knows that hugs make the world a better place, so he makes a “Hug To-Do List” and sets off on a mission to hug all the animals he can…starting the all the endangered species. Patrick McDonnell’s signature style only adds to the charm of this absorbing little tale.





Ten Tiny Toes cover

Does anything inspire “awww’s” like teeny tiny baby feet? Beloved illustrator Marc Brown’s collage illustrations coupled with Todd Tarpley’s rhyming verse make this the perfect tribute to little toes that grow and grow.





A Crankenstein Valentine cover

Crankenstein Valentine

Cheesy cards, allergy-inducing bouquets, and heart-shaped everything? It’s enough to turn anyone into a monster! If your little Valentine is perhaps slightly more monster than lovebird, bring a smile to their face with the laugh-out-loud fun of Crankenstein Valentine.



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