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Meeting Challenges: 4 New Books for Young Readers

Beep Beep Bubbie by Bonnie Sherr Klein, illustrated by Élisabeth Eudes-Pascal (Tradewind Books, $19.95) Planning to go shopping together for apples for Rosh Hashana, two grandchildren are concerned when their grandmother surprises them with her motorized scooter. She shows them all the things it enables her to do, and how they can continue to have fun with her.

I Am the Storm by Jane Yolen and Heidi E. Y. Stemple, illustrated by Kristen Howdeshell and Kevin Howdeshell (Penguin $17.99). Extreme weather, hurricanes, forest fires, blizzards can be frightening. But people too, can be powerful, can prepare and protect themselves. A child narrator notices it all, and can be powerful in being resilient too.

I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott, illustrated by Sydney Smith (Neal Porter, $18.99) “I wake up each morning with the sounds of words all around me. And I can’t say them all.” This lyrical book about speech difficulty is narrated by a boy whose caring father takes him to a favorite place by a river. We learn in the author’s note that his own father did this for him when he had “bad speech days” as a child.

The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth, edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson (Crown, $16.99). This often heartbreaking but hopeful anthology shares difficult conversations parents have with their children to keep them safe in threatening everyday situations. “Moving through life as a responsible member of society requires an intense alertness,” writes one of the many talented kidlit author contributors, Min Le, a Vietnamese American, who addresses his young children: “I am Buddhist, and your mom is Jewish. While we will always rejoice in this blending of faiths, spirituality can feel tenuous when the headlines are riddled with attacks on places of worship.”