Apply Now! for the Butler Youth Services Scholarship

Does this sound like you (or someone you know)?

  • Have you applied to DU’s School of Information Studies for Fall 2023?
  • Do you love youth literature?
  • Can’t wait to work with kids and teens?
  • Are you interested in becoming part of a diverse and engaged youth-services-focused library community?
  • Do you identify as part of an underrepresented group in librarianship?

Applications are now being accepted for the 2023-2024 Butler Youth Services Scholarship for Underrepresented Groups in the Field of Library Science. This $15,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student seeking to earn an MLIS with a planned focus on service to children and young adults.

For eligibility requirements and application procedures, please visit our website or contact Butler Children’s Literature Center Curator, Jen Clemons—

Applications for Fall 2023 are being accepted until July 7, 2023.

Butler Bookshelf

Have you ever wondered what could be on the ocean’s floor? From Shore to Ocean Floor: The Human Journey to the Deep gives a deep dive into what mysterious creatures could be down in the inky depth of the big blue and the animals that live near it. This story explores the history of how humans went from building boats to finally taking a step into the world’s most unexplored region with fantastical creatures and new exciting discoveries. 

Check it out along with other books we got last week below!

Written by Jennifer De Leon
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Available Today!

Counting Our Blessings
Written & Illustrated by Emma Dodd
Published by Templar Books
Available May 2nd!

Dakota Crumb and the Secret Bookshop (A Tiny Treasure Hunt)
Written by Jamie Michalak & Illustrated by Kelly Murphy
Published by Candlewick
Available May 2nd!

A Day in the Life of an Astronaut, Mars, and the Distant Star
Written by Mike Barfield & Illustrated by Jess Bradley
Published by Aladdin
Available Today!

Far Out!
Written by Anne Bustard
Published by Simon & Schuster For Young Readers
Available Now!

From Shore to Ocean Floor: The Human Journey to the Deep
Written by Gill Arbuthnott & Illustrated by Christopher Nielsen 
Published by Big Picture Press
Available May 2nd!

Spring Break Self-Discovery: A Review of Imogen, Obviously

Imogen, Obviously cover art

Imogen, Obviously
Becky Albertalli
Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins
Available May 2, 2023
Age 14+

During a Spring Break visit with her slightly distant best friend, introspective Imogen’s emersion in college life is complete—first proper party, first drink, first made up queer relationship. But Imogen is the best ally, and doesn’t hesitate to support Lili in any way she needs, even as a faux backstory. As she gets to know and like Lili’s friend group, especially cute and flirty Tessa, the lie weighs on her conscience as an appropriation. But maybe she’s comfortable in the role of bisexual because she’s more than just an ally?

In a very personal exploration of the “ways” to be queer, Becky Albertalli makes space for readers sure of their identity and those still figuring themselves out. Her author’s note shares her own “queer awakening,” that like Imogen’s, moves from very-straight-woman-allyship, to a slow connect the dots of experiences that helped her make sense of her feelings and her identity. The narrative centers Imogen’s experience and emotions as she reconnects with Lili, makes new friends, and loses old ones in her self-discovery. At the same time, a well-developed cast of secondary characters creates an ensemble cast feeling, their clever and fast-paced dialog bringing the college campus and relationships to life. Themes of friendship, gatekeeping, and identity are woven throughout the thoughtful and often sharply funny text that is as much coming out story as growing up story.

Butler Bookshelf

Jack Wong draws from his lived experience growing up with his grandmother and mother, who spent her childhood in China forbidden to learn how to swim. Including a diverse cast of children and families, When You Can Swim delivers an empowering journey inviting children to discover their confidence and the joy in the natural world. 

Check it out along with other ARCs featured below!

Carina Felina
Written by Carmen Agra Deedy & Illustrated by Henry Cole
Published by Scholastic Press
Available August 15th!

Mixed Up
Written by Gordon Korman 
Published by Scholastic Press
Available July 17th!

Sometimes I Kaploom (A Big Feeling Book)
Written by Rachel Vail & Illustrated by Hyewon Yum
Published by Orchard Books
Available August 1st!

What a Desi Girl Wants
Written by Sabina Khan
Published by Scholastic Press
Available July 18th!

When You Can Swim
Written & Illustrated by Jack Wong
Published by Orchard Books
Available May 2nd!

Why Did the Monster Cross the Road?
Written by R.L. Stine & Illustrated by Marc Brown
Published by Orchard Books
Available August 1st!

A Bilingual Adventure: A Review of Too-Small Tyson 

Tyson, El pequenito (Too- small Tyson): Storytelling Math, A Spanish Bilingual Edition
JaNay Brown-Wood
Illustrated by Anastasia Magloire Williams
Publish date: April 11, 2023 
Ages: 6+ 

Tyson is the youngest, and smallest, of his siblings. When his family’s pet gerbil Swish goes missing, Tyson steps up, proving that age and size don’t diminish heart and brains. And that even the youngest and the smallest can be the most determined. Using math and intellectual grit, he imagines a way to catch Swish safely. He earns his older brothers’ respect when he successfully rescues Swish, and teaches them to appreciate their sibling. 

This bright and colorful picture book is a celebration of wit and boldness, reminding readers that they are more than capable of getting things done and solving problems, even when others doubt or overlook them. The vibrant, full-color digital illustrations highlight the descriptive expressions of the characters, drawing the reader into Tyson’s world. Conversation bubbles help to clarify the speaker, whether Tyson or one of his many brothers. 

Written in both English and Spanish, this bilingual adventure makes it easy for a native Spanish speaker or non-Spanish speaker to follow along with Tyson and learn simple math as well as a new language.  

Butler Bookshelf

In this second installment of the Spy School series, Stuart Gibbs and Anjan Sarkar bring adrenaline-fueled spy adventures as a middle schooler attends the famous top-secret training school in Spy Camp: The Graphic Novel (Spy School #2). Ben Ripley just wants a break after training the last year to be a top-level spy, but his summer break turns into a need to survive when the enemy spy organization, SPYDER, infiltrates his wilderness camp.

For more amazing titles, check out the list below!

Don’t Worry, Little Crab
Written & Illustrated by Chris Haughton 
Published by Candlewick Press
Available Now!

Let’s Go Puddling!
Written by Emma Perry & Illustrated by Claire Alexander
Published by Candlewick Press
Available April 25th!

Once There Was
Written by Kiyash Monsef
Published by Simon & Schuster For Young
Available Now!

So You Want to Be a Frog
Written by Jane Porter & Illustrated by Neil Clark
Published by Candlewick Press
Available April 25th!

Spy Camp: The Graphic Novel (Spy School #2)
Written by Stuart Gibbs & Illustrated by Anjan Sarkar
Published by Simon & Schuster For Young
Available Now!

Time to Roll
Written by Jamie Sumner
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Available Now!

Literature For Parents: A Review of Book Bonding: Building Connections Through Family Reading

Book Bonding: Building Connections Through Family Reading
Megan Dowd Lambert
Illustrated by Mia Saine
Adult Audience/Professional Reading
April 18, 2023

In this collection of 21 essays, Megan Dowd Lambert divides her essays into four categories that touch upon her own experiences and perspective of being a parent of seven children, four of whom are adopted. Her evolving focus around the categories of parenting, adoption, race, and healing reveal an evolution of thinking and encourage parents and educators to try connecting with their children through a variety of literature.

Lambert discusses her nerve-wracking search for children’s books that have characters that mirror her “multiracial, foster-adoptive, queer, blended family” (pg. 9). Her search proved difficult as she found topics surrounding LGBTQA+, mental health, and disabilities have only been recently, and slowly, integrated into children’s books. With the limited number of books she was able to find on those topics, Lambert made sure to introduce them to her kids to show representation and a reflection of who they are and who they can be. Revealing her faults as a parent, and the mistakes that she’s made with her kids, provides an example of an imperfect parent, but one trying to do better for her kids. Lambert brings lightheartedness in the face of hard issues she’s had to face through humor and tear-jerking stories. This book would be useful for parents looking to find a way to connect to their child and would be great recommendation from librarians or other educational professionals. Children’s and other educational literature are mentioned with limited context, but Lambert later expands on the moral of each story to illustrate personal lessons learned about parenting and the importance of spending quality time with kids. Created digitally and primarily using darker colors, the limited illustrations represent a variety of skin colors and realistic actions happening in each scene, matching Lambert and her messages about parenting her children through a variety of literature. Connecting adults through heartfelt stories about parenting and healing, Book Bonding: Building Connections Through Family Reading inspires readers to bond with children through books, as they will teach kids the value of connection and maybe learn something themselves along the way.


Butler Bookshelf

In her love letter to the Philippines and to grandmothers everywhere, Lynnor Bontigao brings us an endearing picture book about intergenerational relationships with soft illustrations in her book, Sari Sari Summers. Nora, a young girl, loves spending summers with Lola, her grandmother, at her sari-sari store, but when a heat wave strikes and customers no longer want to come in, Nora must find a way to attract new customers to help her grandmother.

For more amazing picture books coming out in April, check out the list below!

Nuestro Techo es Azul
Written by Sara E. Echenique & illustrated by Ashley Vargas
Published by Charlesbridge
Available April 11th!

Tyson, El Pequenito/Too-Small Tyson (Storytelling Math)
Written by JaNay Brown-Wood & illustrated by Anastasia Magloire Williams
Published by Charlesbridge
Available April 11th!

I Want to Be Big!
Written by Tiffany Golden & Sawyer Cloud
Published by Page Street Kids
Available April 11th!

Cloud Babies
Written by Eoin Colfer & illustrated by Chris Judge
Published by Candlewick Press
Available April 11th!

The Fastest Tortoise in Town
Written by Howard Calvert & illustrated by Karen Obuhanych
Published by Candlewick Press
Available April 11th!

Sari Sari Summers
Written & illustrated by Lynnor Bontigao
Published by Candlewick Press
Available April 11th!

Breaking Free: A Review of I Kick and I Fly

I Kick and I Fly
Ruchira Gupta
April 18, 2023
Age 12+

Fourteen-year-old Heera’s life in Girls Bazaar is one of poverty, degradation, and eventual prostitution. But Heera knows she’s meant for something more than the struggles of the Nat caste she was born to. Fights at school and home lead her to safety, and kung fu, at a local hostel for at risk girls. Through king fu practice and competition, she builds skill and confidence that start a domino effect of changes in her life, her family, and her community.

Inspired by her experiences with an anti-trafficking NGO in India, Ruchira Gupta’s novel, the hostel, character ideas, and martial arts influence all spring from the community she serves. Gupta tells their inspiring story from Heera’s no nonsense point of view, making the brutal setting and secondary characters even more heartbreaking. Stark descriptions of Girls Bazaar, from the filth, to the substance abuse, to the organized crime, paint a harsh picture of Heera’s world. Her struggles with hunger, school, and family expectations to contribute focus her motivation and reveal her guilt about trying to break free. Innately independent, but committed to her family, Heera builds a confidence and self-worth through kung fu that push her through fear and doubt, and to succeed for all their benefit. Moments of triumph, like kung fu wins and rescuing a friend, help to balance darker themes of human trafficking, abuse, and deprivation, and keep the plot from veering too dismal.

What may feel like small steps—and kicks, and blocks, and punches—move Heera and her family toward independence in an empowering story of perseverance and self-worth.

The Joy of Remembering: A Review of The Memory Jar 

The Memory Jar 
Debra Daugherty
Illustrated by Victoria Marble 
Young Dragons Press 
April 11, 2023 
Ages 4 to 8 

As Amelia grapples with her grandmother’s dementia, she starts a project to help save the memories that are slowly slipping away. Amelia writes her grandmother’s stories—memories of her husband, stories of her children, and adventures shared with Amelia. The project helps her grandmother to laugh, smile, and ultimately remember the granddaughter that loves her. Overjoyed with this, Amelia writes a fresh memory for the jar, so that when her Grammy forgets who she is, or about her past, she can look at this memory, and all the other memories in the jar, and remember.  

The tone of the story is hopeful and empathetic, though it deals with a serious and often heartbreaking topic. Events from the author’s life inspired The Memory Jar, and she writes from a place of knowing what it’s like to have a close family member diagnosed with dementia. This story inspires by using the power of a child’s imagination to help a family member who has no control over losing their memories. Amelia is an innovative protagonist who draws you in, prompting you to root for her as she deals with her grandmother’s diagnosis as she devises a plan to design a jar system where she writes and stores her favorite memories with her grandma and about her grandma’s life. Through Amelia’s story, young readers can learn about processing when someone they love is dealing with dementia.