April is a busy month. Jam-packed into a mere thirty days, we celebrate the following annual observances: School Library Month, National Poetry Month, National Autism Awareness Month, and Occupational Therapy Month. All of this in addition to spring break and Earth Day!

In honor of National Poetry Month and National Autism Awareness Month, we have some great new titles on display in our library. Here are two of my favorites:

For National Poetry Month: Ronit & Jamil by Pamela Laskin. This lovely novel in verse tells the story of Ronit, an Israeli girl, and Jamil, a Palestinian boy, who live on opposite sides of a barrier fence separating Israel and Gaza. Despite their differences and the conflict that divides them, when these teenagers meet, sparks fly. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the book unfolds in a series of poems in the alternating voices of Ronit and Jamil, interweaving samples of classic Persian verse, hip-hop, and text messages. Unlikely Shakespeare’s tragedy, this story ends on a hopeful note.

For Autism Awareness Month: Same But Different: Teen Life on the Autism Express by Holly Robinson Peete, Ryan Elizabeth Peete, and RJ Peete. Co-authored by two real-life teen siblings and their mom, this brave and funny book is written in the voices of the two twins. Charlie has autism; Callie does not. In alternating chapters, the twins swap stories about the roller coaster ride of growing up, including the challenges of school, dating, and bullying – with autism in the mix. Whether you have autism, a sibling with special needs, or you are or have ever been a teenager, this book is for you.

Come on up to the 2nd floor of the mansion, and celebrate the month of April – and the power of school libraries!


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