Back-to-School 2023: Books to Build Resilience and Hope

Many of the new books available for this year’s back-to-school season aim to help students cope with their emotions and develop the resilience they need to thrive. Others are intended to help young people find a sense of hope and community after several tumultuous years.


Three and a half years after COVID shut down U.S. schools and nearly six months after the national public health emergency was declared at an end, the pandemic continues to influence the new books that publishers are creating for school-age children.

While the pandemic might be over officially, the damage it has done to youth mental health and wellness lingers. A 2023 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that 42 percent of high school students report persistent feelings of sadness, and the problem is much worse among girls.

“We’ve transitioned from a health pandemic to a mental health pandemic,” says clinical psychologist Donna Housman, founder and CEO of the Housman Institute.

Many of the new books available for this year’s back-to-school season aim to help students cope with their emotions and develop the resilience they need to thrive. Others are intended to help young people find a sense of hope and community after several tumultuous years.

In another back-to-school trend for this year, publishers are trying to navigate the steep rise in book banning within schools and libraries nationwide. “We’re in an interesting time right now in children’s publishing, with all of the misunderstandings that are out there,” says Ilise Levine, director of sales and marketing for Shadow Publishing. Publishers are looking to cover sensitive topics—like SEL—in a way that will appeal to a broad range of readers, while building bridges and helping students get back on track.

Here are some of the key developments in back-to-school publishing this fall.

Sequoia Kids Media

An imprint of Phoenix International Publications, Sequoia Kids Media publishes fiction and nonfiction books for schools and libraries. For this back-to-school season, the company is coming out with 10 new books in its “Kids Ask About” series, which satisfies children’s curiosity about the world around them. Written in an engaging Q-and-A format for students in grades 2–4, the latest books answer young readers’ questions about animals.

In Kids Ask About Butterflies by Darlene Freeman, illustrated by Mike Maydak, August 2023, ISBN 9798765401712, students learn fun facts such as how butterflies get their colors, which body part butterflies use to taste, and which types of butterflies avoid predators by tasting bad. Kids Ask About Frogs by Jocelyn Hubbell, illustrated by Jean Cassels, August 2023, ISBN 9798765401736, answers questions like why are frogs so slimy? How do frogs’ eyes help them eat? What makes toads different from frogs?

The other new books in the series cover farm animals (ISBN 9798765401750), fish (ISBN 9798765401743), horses (ISBN 9798765401798), insects (ISBN 9798765401705), kittens (ISBN 9798765401774), puppies (ISBN 9798765401781), safari babies (ISBN 9798765401767), and seals (ISBN 9798765401729).

Also new from Sequoia are Spanish-language versions of three picture books that were previously published in English. Bolitas de masa (Little Dumplings) by Susan Rich Brooke, illustrated by Bonnie Pang, August 2023, ISBN 9798765401378, is about a dumpling who accidentally rolls away from her family’s tent during a Dumpling Fest and must find her way back. As she does so, she meets other dumplings from around the world and discovers there are many diverse ways to be a dumpling.

Este libro está de cabeza (This Book Is Upside Down) by Erin Rose Wage, illustrated by Simona Ceccarelli, August 2023, ISBN 9798765401354, helps young children explore different points of view. Penelope Giraffe and Gus Penguin live on two different sides of the world. When something looks upside down to Penelope, it looks right-side up to Gus. Will they ever see eye-to-eye?

Los unicornios tienen malos modales (Unicorns Have Bad Manners) by Rachel Halpern, illustrated by Wendy Tan Shiau Wei, August 2023, ISBN 9798765401361, is a story about manners, friendship, and cultural differences. When Nigel sits down to tea with a unicorn, he discovers they have very different ideas of proper behavior. Can they learn to find common ground?


Based in Minnesota, Mackin is a leading distributor of print and digital books and other resources to more than 60,000 preK-12 schools and libraries nationwide. The company is well known for its exceptional customer service and consulting services that help teachers and librarians build high-quality collections in support of their students.

Mackin’s business is built on five key pillars:

Mackin Library offers a growing catalog of more than 3.5 million print titles from 18,000-plus publishers, as well as more than 3 million age-appropriate ebooks, read-alongs, audiobooks, videos, and educational databases. All digital content can be previewed before being purchased. What’s more, Mackin’s collection development team helps librarians assess their collections and curate appropriate content at no additional charge. Librarians can take advantage of this free service to broaden their collections and ensure the materials they buy meet their goals for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Staffed by former educators, Mackin Classroom helps teachers use books and other instructional materials in support of teaching and learning. “We help teachers build their classroom collections,” says Director of Classroom Services Erin Fallgatter. Teachers can create customized collections of print and digital books for guided reading, literature circles, curriculum alignment, take-home reading, and more, either by themselves or in free consultation with a dedicated Mackin Classroom Specialist.

MackinVIA is a complete digital content management system available to schools free of charge—when they buy digital content from Mackin. With a single login, users can view and manage their ebooks, audiobooks, videos, and other digital content on any desktop or mobile device. Users can take notes, highlight, and bookmark materials, and their annotations will continue to exist across all devices and platforms. Users can also easily find new content and save favorites in a digital “backpack.” Winner of 21 national awards, including Best Digital Tool from AASL, MackinVIA facilitates remote and hybrid learning. “It helped countless numbers of schools during the pandemic,” Mikell notes.

MackinMaker offers makerspace kits and other collections of materials for building and innovating from well-known companies such as LEGO Education and Raspberry Pi. “Our Take and Make Kits perfectly pair literacy and making,” Fallgatter says. Each kit includes a makerspace product, a print book on a related theme, and open-ended challenge cards that give students fun and engaging makerspace activities to complete.

Mackin Learning is the company’s professional development arm. It provides guided training for pre–K-12 employees to help transform instruction. Schools and districts can request specific training courses, or they can build their own customized training. Topics might range from how to integrate literature circles effectively into the curriculum to strategies for engaging and encouraging reluctant readers.

“We do a lot of the heavy lifting for educators,” Fallgatter concludes. “Whatever they need for their students, we can help with.”

Brown Books Publishing Group

Founded by entrepreneur, author, and publisher Milli Brown in 1994, Brown Books Publishing Group (BBPG) publishes about 50 new titles per year. About half of these are children’s titles, mostly picture books. The No. 2 Fast-Growing Independent Publisher according to Publishers Weekly, BBPG has created a Relationship Publishing® business model that introduces authors to a better way to publish by empowering them to retain the rights to their work.

One of these authors is Dr. Donna Housman, a clinical psychologist who has been helping children overcome anxiety and depression for her entire career. “A common thread among these children is their inability to deal with intense emotions,” Dr. Housman says.

To prevent the onset of these conditions, Dr. Housman founded the Housman Institute and created a program called “Begin to ECSEL” to help children understand and regulate their emotions. (ECSEL stands for “emotional, cognitive, and social early learning.”) Research shows that children who experience the program outperform their peers in tests of empathy and emotional intelligence. They also perform better academically, develop more positive relationships with others, and become natural leaders.

Dr. Housman has also published a series of books, called “ECSELent Adventures,” that integrate the Begin to ECSEL approach to teach children ages 4–8 how to understand and control their emotions. Illustrated by Renee Andriani, each book focuses on a different type of emotional situation common to young children. They feature otter siblings Hemmy and Shemmy, ambassadors of the Begin to ECSEL program.

Gilly and the Garden, September 2022, ISBN 9781612546056, focuses on challenges such as death, grief, and loss. In Theo’s Deliciously Different Dumplings, November 2022, ISBN 9781612546094, children learn about the importance of accepting the things that make us different. The Ottersons’ Eruption, May 2023, ISBN 9781612546452, helps young children control their anger.

The latest book in the series, Riley’s Really Big Worries, October 2023, ISBN 9781612546537, shows students how to become the boss of their worries, so their fears don’t end up controlling their lives.

The “ECSELent Adventures” series is especially timely as students continue to wrestle with strong emotions in the wake of the pandemic, Dr. Housman says. She observes, “These books help children understand that the emotions they feel are completely natural. What’s most important is knowing what to do with these emotions and how to master them.”

Another fall release from BBPG is Alithia Ramirez Was an Artist by author-illustrator Violet Lemay, October 2023, ISBN 9781612546490. It is the inaugural title from a brand-new BBPG imprint called Michael Sampson Books, from children’s author Michael Sampson. Within its first year, Michael Sampson Books plans to release 10 children’s books in alignment with its mission to promote authors and illustrators prioritizing literacy for young readers.

Lemay has written half a dozen children’s books and has illustrated nearly 50 books altogether. When she heard about the tragic shooting that claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, in 2022, she wanted to do something to honor the victims.

As Lemay drew portraits of the victims and posted them on social media, she heard back from the father of one of the children, Alithia Ramirez. Around the same time, she saw Alithia’s father, Brian, mention in an interview that Alithia was an artist who dreamed of studying in Paris one day.

“I felt like I knew her,” Lemay says—and the inspiration for her latest book emerged.

Alithia Ramirez Was an Artist is a picture book biography for children ages 5–10 that helps preserve the memory of this talented young girl through her story and her artwork. The book portrays Alithia as an artist from an early age, drawing on scraps of paper and receiving encouragement from her mother, Jessica Hernandez. With permission from Alithia’s parents, Lemay has integrated Alithia’s own artwork into the book’s illustrations in very powerful ways.

The book doesn’t mention gun violence. Instead, on the last few pages, we see Alithia’s art exploding into shards, and other people hold her drawings on the book’s final page. “When an artist dies, her art lives on in our hearts and minds,” Lemay writes. The book’s back matter includes ideas for discussing the sensitive topic of Alithia’s death with young children.

All proceeds from the sale of the book will go toward the Alithia Haven Ramirez Memorial Scholarship Fund, which benefits high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors who have artistic aspirations. Lemay and Jessica Hernandez have also created a website, Alithia’s Art Angels, with examples of Alithia’s art and other supporting materials.

“Picasso said all children are artists, and I believe that’s true,” Lemay says. “I think a lot of children can identify with Alithia.”

Fathom Reads

Created in 2019, Fathom Reads is a multilingual, interactive digital reading platform for students. The subscription-based service includes unlimited, simultaneous access to more than 1,200 ebook titles from a growing list of nearly a dozen publishers, including Arbordale Publishing, 12 Story Library, Core Knowledge, Full Tilt Press, and more.

When students click on a book in the collection, it opens a digital version of it. Students can click through the pages manually as they read the book for themselves, or they can activate a read-aloud feature to have the text read to them. Students can opt to have the words highlighted as they’re read aloud, so they can easily follow along in the text. Students can also change the font, control the speed of the audio narration, or have the book translated into 12 different languages. A bilingual mode allows students to see the text displayed in two languages at once.

Much more than just an ebook platform, Fathom Reads also includes the features of a full learning management system (LMS). Teachers can send announcements to students, assign specific books to read, give students questions to think about, administer quizzes to check for understanding, and track students’ reading progress. A chat feature allows students to discuss books online with their peers.

Students can also record themselves reading books out loud, and teachers can use these videos to assess their students’ reading ability. A video calling feature, perfect for online or hybrid learning, allows multiple people to read books online together, with the pages synched so that participants are literally on the same page.

Most of the content on Fathom Reads spans kindergarten through eighth-grade interests and reading levels, though there are also a few dozen titles appropriate for high school students—mostly classic works of literature. Users can filter their searches for content by grade or reading level, subject area, genre, and publisher. There are also categories of content such as Favorites and Recent, where students can revisit books they’ve read before.

Many of the ebooks include embedded video clips that provide additional context or information about the topic, and users can search for books with embedded videos in particular. “The videos are great for helping students develop their background knowledge,” says Director of Sales and Marketing Emma Shreves.

Fathom Reads offers more than 1,600 different premade quizzes to accompany the ebooks on the platform. Most of these quizzes were developed by the books’ publishers, but teachers can create their own custom quizzes for any of the books as well. Teachers can also choose from among a library of related games to assign to students once they’ve read a particular book, which is “a great way to incentivize reading for students,” Shreves observes.

Much of the platform’s content is related to core curriculum topics, such as science or history—and this makes it perfect for classroom use. “That’s a key differentiator for us,” Shreves says. The platform’s interactive tools ensure that the books are highly accessible for anyone.

Fathom Reads offers family, school, and classroom subscription plans. Licenses are available for individual titles, multiple books, or the whole collection. “It’s entirely customizable,” Shreves explains.

Clavis Publishing

Clavis Publishing, based in Belgium and the United States, publishes fiction and nonfiction books for children ages 0–12. The company produces 80 to 100 books per year, mostly board books and picture books.

Just One Pebble: One Boy’s Quest to End Hunger by Dianna Wilson Sirkovsky, illustrated by Sara Casilda, September 2023, ISBN 9781605377674, tells the remarkable (and true) story of Braeden Mannering, who has helped provide thousands of meals for food-insecure people in his community. One day, Braeden saw a homeless man sitting by the side of the road. “Somebody should help him,” he told his mom. “You’re somebody,” she replied. So Braeden, at the age of nine, created a charitable organization called Braeden’s Brown Bags, which to date has distributed more than 60,000 bags of healthful food to combat hunger.

Intended for children ages 5–10, the book shows that “we can all do something to improve the lives of people in need,” says Marketing Consultant Carolina Schwarz.

Going to school for the first time or attending a new school can be scary for young children. Everything Is New, written and illustrated by Aylar Abraham, October 2023, ISBN 9781605379500, can help children ages 5–8 deal with new situations and experiences. It features a young boy who moves to a new house and wishes he could return to the way things were—until his dad buys him a new bicycle and he learns that new isn’t necessarily bad. A Spanish-language version, Todo es nuevo (ISBN 9781605379852), will be available on the same day as the English version.

Speaking of Spanish, Wooly Learns Spanish: Search at Home, written and illustrated by Mieke Goethals, October 2023, ISBN 9781605377810, is the first book in a new series of visual dictionaries designed to help children ages 2–5 learn Spanish. In this book, children accompany a young lamb named Wooly as he explores the rooms in his house, learning both the English and the Spanish words for various household objects. Future books in the series will feature vocabulary from other common environments.

In August, Clavis is introducing a series of six nonfiction picture books called “Want to Know.” The books feature four foldout pages that create an elongated center spread. Topics include The Rabbit (ISBN 9781605378725), The Harbor (ISBN 9781605378749), Music (ISBN 9781605378695), Insects (9781605378718), Going to the Movies (ISBN 9781605378701), and The Weather (ISBN 9781605378732).

Shadow Mountain Publishing

Shadow Mountain Publishing is a general trade publisher of clean-content books aimed at children through young adults. The company is best known for its middle grade fantasy series, as well as titles that build empathy among young readers.

Graysen Foxx and the Treasure of Principal Redbeard by J. Scott Savage, March 2023, ISBN 9781639931033, is the first book in a new series about a fedora-wearing, pint-sized Humphrey Bogart who navigates the bowels of his school to find long-lost treasures. The book is written in a colorful film noir style that is sure to engage young readers. Book 2 in the series, Graysen Foxx and the Curse of the Illuminerdy, is coming in January 2024 (ISBN 9781639931705).

Janitors School of Garbage by Tyler Whitesides, September 2023, ISBN 9781639931682, is the first book in a series for students in grades 3–6, about a teacher who’s training young garbologists to trash-talk and fight evil. The premise is that garbage comes to life as animated creatures called Junklets, who wreak havoc in elementary schools. Specially trained kids from the School of Garbage are sent to stop the rise of the trash monsters.

The book “is a great way to introduce middle graders to serious issues about our fragile ecosystem,” says Director of Sales and Marketing Ilise Levine. “It could be a starting point for a classroom discussion about land pollution.”

The Light That Shines Forever: The True Story and Remarkable Rescue of 669 Children on the Eve of World War II by David Warner, September 2023, ISBN 9781639931392, is a picture book with a timely message about the good in humanity overcoming hatred and fascism.

As Nazi armies invaded Europe, Jews found few countries that would accept them as refugees. Seeing their peril, Nicholas Winton set in motion a plan to send Jewish children to host families in England. Fifty years after World War II, Winton’s wife found his long-forgotten scrapbook—and the world learned of his extraordinary humanitarian rescue on television.

“It’s important to tell these stories so children understand in an age-appropriate way that there is hatred in the world that can lead to horrible acts of violence,” Levine says, “but there is also always humanity that can triumph over evil when people are moved enough to get involved.”

Mad Cave Studios

Founded in 2014, Mad Cave Studios is a Miami-based independent publisher of graphic novels spanning a wide array of genres. In 2021, Mad Cave started a young adult imprint called Maverick, which arose from the need for more inclusive content for teens. In 2022, Mad Cave acquired Papercutz, a leading publisher of graphic novels for middle grade readers.

School For Extraterrestrial Girls: Girls in Flight by Jeremy Whitley, illustrated by Jamie Noguchi, November 2023, ISBN 9781545806951, is the second book in a series for middle grade readers about a group of girls coming of age while they wrestle with superpowers—think “X-Men for tween girls.”

School For Extraterrestrial Girls is about how school feels,” Whitley says. “Everyone has times when they feel like an alien” as they’re growing up.

Digital Lizards of Doom, Level 1: Dizzy Doom by Gabriel Valentin, illustrated by Ernie Najerai, December 2023, ISBN 9781545811320, introduces a new sci-fi/fantasy series for middle schoolers. When a magical trickster secretly traps an entire universe inside a video game world, a young warrior named Dizzy Doom must search for answers to unravel the mystery.

Digital Lizards of Doom delivers a unique and easy-to-digest story format, with traditional prose dialogue on the left page and exciting, fully colored visuals on the right page,” Valentin says. “This medium works wonders with kids who have a hard time reading lengthy books.”

Another unique aspect is that the book uses personalized emoticons for every character to represent what they’re feeling as they’re speaking. “In advance feedback, teachers say they love the use of these emoticons because it helps students develop their EQ,” says Chief Marketing Officer Allison Pond.

Children of the Phoenix, Vol. 1: The Eye of the Storm by Oskar Källner, illustrated by Karl Johnsson, December 2023, ISBN 9781545811337, introduces a new middle grade space adventure series with a hero’s journey that readers can grow with, as each book will feature the characters “leveling up” by a year. When Elias and Alice’s mother disappears in a nearby forest, the siblings embark on a journey to find her. During their search, they learn a secret that changes everything they thought they knew about their family.

The Child’s World

The Child’s World is a small, family-owned publisher of educational titles for children in pre-K through eighth grade.

“Since our beginnings in 1968, our goal has remained simple: we want all children to truly enjoy reading and learning,” says Marketing Director Kathryn Camisa. “We carefully create content that is both educational and engaging, covering topics like early childhood literacy and social-emotional learning, as well as state standards in language arts, social studies, STEM, and more.”

"Phonics Fun!," August 2023, ISBN 9781503887435, is a new series of 33 titles that helps children learn the relationships between letters and sounds. It’s part of the company’s First Steps: The Building Blocks of Reading imprint for grades pre–K-1.

The books begin with a note to parents and educators, discussing the value of having children learn phonics. Each book then tells a simple, entertaining story that highlights a letter and its sound, with easily decodable text and vibrant photographs. The back matter includes a word list for review, as well as a simple activity to strength the book’s lesson.

Children routinely experience situations that may be stressful, difficult, or overwhelming. “Everyday Mindfulness,” August 2023, ISBN 9781503887398, is a new series of 12 titles that include practical strategies to help young children handle stress and other negative emotions.

Each book explores how kids can cope with stressful situations in a different type of environment, such as on the playground, in the classroom, and when using technology. The series is part of the company’s Wonder Books: Early Nonfiction Filled with Wonder imprint for grades 1–3.

Advancements in technology often build upon one another. “Milestones in Technology,” August 2023, ISBN 9781503887367, is a new eight-title series from the company’s Momentum: Engaging Narrative Nonfiction imprint for grades 3–6. The series examines cutting-edge technologies used today and explains how earlier inventions helped pave the way for new ones.

Each title examines a different area of technology, offering young readers a look at the advancements involved in high-interest topics such as movies, space, sports, cars, video games, and robots and drones. The books include informative sidebars and infographics, as well as sources for further research and questions that encourage critical thinking.

Claire Rubman

Cognitive psychologist Claire N. Rubman, PhD, grew up in Scotland and now teaches child, adolescent, and human development at Suffolk County Community College in New York. She has been interested in how we learn to read for many years but has been surprised by the lack of progress we’ve made as a nation in terms of students’ reading scores.

“Motivating children to read seems to be a universal problem on both sides of the pond,” she says. “We can do better.”

Rubman has self-published a book that aims to help parents, educators, and other caregivers teach children how to read effectively and develop a lifelong love for this activity.

This May Be Difficult to Read: But You Really Should (for Your Child’s Sake), November 2022, ISBN 9798987086117, helps caregivers learn to think as a child thinks and read as a child reads. Rubman begins by dispelling common myths about how children learn to read, and she explains the science behind her assertions. She describes how strategies such as reading in small groups and acting out scenes from stories can help bring words to life for students. She also includes a fun, four-stage reading program to help young children learn to extract meaning from the printed word.

“One of my goals in writing this book was to make reading a natural part of what we do with our children,” Rubman observes.

Available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and, Rubman’s book has received a Kirkus Star, a Mom’s Choice Gold Award, and a National Parenting Product Award for 2023, among other acclaim.

“Librarians do exactly what’s in the book already,” she says, “such as connecting reading with stories. This book is validation for what librarians have been doing all along to teach children how to read.”

Tumbleweed Press

Based in Toronto, Tumbleweed Press began in 1990 when Founder, President, and CEO Ron Zevy was looking for a book to help his niece Samantha cope with her deadly nut allergy. “I couldn’t find one, so I decided to write one myself,” he says.

At the time, nut allergies weren’t as widely known or understood as they are today. Zevy’s book, No Nuts for Me, was a seminal work that helped bring attention to this life-threatening medical condition.

In an innovative business model, Zevy partnered with peanut butter companies such as Kraft and Skippy to publish and distribute the book. With funding from these companies, 50,000 copies were given to schools and libraries free of charge. From this effort, Tumbleweed Press was born, specializing in cause-related publishing. For instance, Tumbleweed also partnered with pharmaceutical companies to publish and distribute a book about growing up with asthma.

In the mid-1990s, Tumbleweed created downloadable, animated versions of books to engage kids in reading, called TumbleBooks. “This was before ebooks even existed,” Zevy says. “We were ahead of our time.” The TumbleBook Library, a curated collection of more than 1,100 TumbleBooks and other ebooks for children through the sixth grade, is available via subscription to schools and libraries worldwide.

Thirty years after Samantha inspired Zevy to write his first book, Samantha’s son, Joey—Zevy’s grandnephew—inspired him to write another. Zevy saw Joey looking at himself in a mirror, and he got the idea for My Afternoon Guest, a story about a child’s first encounter with a mirror. Written in a distinctly irreverent style and published in ebook format in 2022, it was the most widely read book in the TumbleBook Library last year.

Now, Tumbleweed Press has partnered with Orca Book Publishers to produce a printed version of this picture book for children in grades pre–K-1. In My Afternoon Guest by Aaron Zevy, illustrated by Jeric Tan, June 2023, ISBN 9781778201783, a young boy sees himself in a mirror for the first time and imagines that he has a house guest.

“From an educational point of view, the interaction of a child with a mirror is an important developmental milestone,” Zevy notes. “It helps them realize their self-identity.”

Zevy says the book appeals to children as well as adults. “I know parents and teachers are going to read this book to their kids many times,” he says. “I’ve tried to be clever by including humor that kids will love but adults will also enjoy.”

Bloomsbury Publishing

Bloomsbury is a worldwide publisher of adult and children’s books, including fiction, nonfiction, and academic titles. Based in the U.K., the company’s Alma Classics imprint is committed to bringing a wide range of literature from around the globe to readers of all ages. “We publish affordable, beautiful works,” says Rachel Ewan, associate director of marketing and publicity.

Alma Classics produces about 20 new books per year. Among its fall 2023 titles are two books by the American author and screenwriter Albert Maltz, one of the “Hollywood Ten” who were jailed in 1950 for their refusal to testify before Congress about their involvement with the Communist Party. As a result of this decision, Maltz was blacklisted by publishers and studio executives. One of the two books from Maltz that Alma Classics is publishing has been out of print for many years—and the other has never been available in America.

A Tale of One January by Albert Maltz, July 2023, ISBN 9780714550626, is a Holocaust novel about four men and two women who escape from a Nazi death march and take refuge in an abandoned factory. Published in the U.K. in the 1960s, this highly personal novel from Maltz, who was Jewish, has not been published in the U.S. before now.

A Long Day in a Short Life by Albert Maltz, November 2023, ISBN 9780714550633, was written while Maltz was in self-imposed exile in Mexico and is based on his nine-month incarceration in federal prison. Published in the U.S. in 1957, the book has been out of print for several decades.

Alma Books Founder and Publisher Elisabetta Minervi describes these books as “an extraordinary find.” She calls Maltz “an unjustly suppressed American voice of the highest caliber, a brilliant writer with razor-sharp powers of observation and a sparse, true-to-life style.”

Alma Classics will publish six more of Maltz’s works over the next two years, including two previously unpublished novels. Other new titles from Alma Classics in 2023 include The Raven and Other Poems by Edgar Allan Poe, June 2023, ISBN 9781847498885, as well as collections of stories featuring Sherlock Holmes and Peter Rabbit. “It’s an eclectic mix,” Ewan says. “We’re trying to appeal to as many readers as we can.”

Cuento de Luz

Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Madrid, Spain, Cuento de Luz is an independent publisher specializing in illustrated children’s books. The company produces books in English and Spanish.

“Cuento de Luz publishes stories that take the imagination on a journey, help care for our planet, respect differences, and promote peace,” says Founder Ana Eulate. “We are committed to preserving the environment through the integration of sustainable materials in our books, and we have used stone paper since January 2017. It’s a new generation of paper that does not need trees, water, or chemicals, saving more than 50 percent of the energy consumed compared with tree-based paper.”

Cuento de Luz is also proud to be a certified B Corporation. “B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance and public transparency,” Eulate notes. “Collectively, B Corps lead a growing global movement of people using business as a force for good and aspiring to use the power of markets to solve social and environmental problems.”

Cuento de Luz has received numerous awards in the United States, including the one awarded by the New York Times and the New York Public Library to Ayobami and the Names of the Animals as Best Illustrated Book of 2018.

Abuelos (Grandparents) by Ariel Andres Almada, illustrated by Sonja Wimmer, March 2023, ISBN 9788418302909, is the fifth book in a best-selling saga about family love. Published in Spanish for children ages 4–8, it’s a tribute to the lifelong bond between grandparents and their grandchildren. “This story about unconditional love and gratitude toward life will fill hearts with tenderness and create a safe environment to share a magic moment with children,” Eulate says.

In The Voice of the Forest by Susanna Isern, illustrated by Daniel Montero Galan, April 2023, ISBN 9788418302985, the characters from Isern’s previous books, The Lonely Mailman and A Mystery in the Forest, return in a story about bullying. Published in English and intended for children ages 4–8, it shows the importance of speaking up when children see bullying happening around them.

Silencio by Nívola Úya, September 2022, ISBN 9788418302862, takes children ages 4–8 on a silent journey through various landscapes in nature, where anything is possible. Published in Spanish, the book features paper cutout illustrations by the author—and was a winner of the 2023 Independent Publisher Book Awards.



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