Children’s Book Week: Reading is a Superpower
Children’s Book Week takes place two times a year, and is the perfect time to recommit to nurturing a love of reading in children. This year’s theme is “Reading is a Superpower!” Reading is an opportunity for children to expand their hearts and minds - to empathize more with others, affirm their own identities, and learn about the world around them and what is possible in the future.
We have selected some of our favorite superhero inspired children’s books to share with the young readers in your life. We have also compiled a collection of resources to use both at home and school, including bookmarks, reading challenges, and ways to connect with others. We especially love the “superpower challenge” that helps children identify what their superpowers are - click here for lesson ideas and resources rooted in topics like STEM, social activism, mental health and wellness, physical fitness and sports, and more.
We hope that these books give the children in your life the extra boost of confidence to pursue reading and books that make them feel joyful, and affirm and reflect the world around them. Each of these books will make any child feel like a superhero!
You can find these recommendations and more on our Bookshop page.
Superheroes are Everywhere
Author: Kamala Harris | Illustrator: Mechel Renee Roe | Publisher: Philomel Books
This book is a wonderful jumping off point for discussing what it means to be an everyday superhero, in all the big and little ways - being a friend, showing kindness, standing up for what feels right, and making the world a better place. It chronicles the life of the Vice President Kamala Harris, and reminds children to look to the people around them to see the good. It also includes a “Hero Code” at the end of the book that encourages children to be the best they can be.
My Voice is a Trumpet
Author: Jimmie Allen | Illustrator: Cathy Ann Johnson | Publisher: Flamingo Books
My Voice is a Trumpet is a beautiful new release that teaches children that all voices have the power to make change - loud ones, quiet ones, ones that communicate with hands or written words. It is particularly powerful for all kids to know that you do not have to change anything about who you are to be a superhero. The illustrations in this story are also authentic and inclusive of all types of people. This encouraging book is a must have for home and school libraries.
Tough Guys (Have Feelings Too)
Author/Illustrator: Keith Negley | Publisher: Flying Eye Books
Don’t be fooled by the macho superhero on the front cover - this book is all about challenging gender constructs related to males and masculinity. The bright and lively illustrations showcase a variety of “tough guys,” like ninjas, astronauts, knights and race car drivers, processing their feelings. The overall message is that everyone has feelings, and it is always okay to show them.
Lucia the Luchadora
Author: Cynthia Leonor Garza | Illustrator: Allyssa Bermudez | Publisher: POW! Kids Books
Lucia is full of moxie and spunk. She is brave and fun, and more than disappointed when the boys on the play yard tell her that girls cannot be superheroes. Her abuela teaches her about luchadoras, or mask-wearing wrestlers popularized in Mexico, and they hatch a brilliant plan to help Lucia stand out. This story chronicles how one child has the power to disrupt limiting gender constructs for a whole group, and save the day in the process!
Super Satya Saves the Day
Author: Raakhee Mirchandani | Illustrator: Tim Palin | Publisher: Mango and Marigold Press
Satya feels like she is part of a superhero family - everything she, her mama and dada do is special - but only when she has her cape on. When the cape is being cleaned and she cannot wear it to school, she resigns herself to have the worst day ever. Suddenly though, things start happening that make her feel like she has superpowers again. Could it be possible that she doesn’t need the cape after all?
Early Chapter Books
Yasmin: The Superhero
Author: Saadia Faruqi | Illustrator: Hatem Aly | Publisher: Picture Window Books
The Yasmin book series is perfect for newer readers who are excited about chapter books and still working on stamina. Yasmin is a Pakistani girl who loves superheroes and wants nothing more than to vanquish evil villain's just like she sees in tv shows and movies! Instead, she discovers that her superpowers may have a lot less to do with villains and a lot more to do with helping others. This book also features information and facts about some of the language used in the book as well as crafts and discussion prompts.
Mia Mayhem: Steals the Show
Author: Kara West | Illustrator: Leeza Hernandez | Publisher: Little Simon
The Mia Mayhem series is another great emerging readers series. Mia is part of a top secret superhero academy, and goes on lots of adventures with her friends and family. In this book, Mia is excited that her regular school is putting on a superhero play! It feels meant to be - she can finally be who she really is with all friends. Unfortunately, she discovers that even superheroes get stage fright! This is a fun and relatable book that kids will love.
Ellie Ultra: Super Fluffy to the Rescue
Author: Gina Bellisario | Illustrator: Jessika von Innerebner | Publisher: Capstone Press
Ellie Ultra is a great series for young readers who can tackle chapter books with more than 100 pages. Ellie is a superhero who can solve most problems, but often is confronted with challenges that require bravery and creative problem solving. In this book, Ellie tries to bring her favorite stuffed animal to life but when the machine does the same thing with a villain from her favorite comic book series, she realizes she has a big problem! Can she still save the day?
Zapato Power: Freddie Ramos Tracks Down a Drone
Author: Jacqueline Jules | Illustrator: Miguel Benitez | Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
In the Zapato Power series, Freddie is a neighborhood kid who gets a pair of Zapato Power shoes that completely change his life - suddenly he has the gift of super speed! We love how he always uses his powers for good, and to help others. Freddie and his family live in an apartment and do not have a lot of money. Each story showcases the love he shares with his family and friends, while also being a welcome departure from a lot of chapter books that only focus on middle class families. In Freddie Ramos Tracks Down a Drone, Freddie finds out his mom has a new boyfriend and must figure out how to use zapato power to navigate this latest hurtle and make sure that their relationship stays strong as ever.
Graphic Novels & Middle Grade Books
Check out these graphic novels and middle grade books for the older kids in your life!
Miles Morales Shock Waves Author: Justin A. Reynolds | Illustrator: Pablo Leon | Publisher: Graphix
My So Called Super Powers Author: Heather Nuhfer | Publisher: Square Fish
Black Panther: The Young Prince Author: Ronald Smith | Publisher: Marvel Press
Orientation: Avengers Assemble Author: Preeti Chhibber | Illustrator: James Lancett | Publisher: Scholastic Inc.