Great Reads from Great Places

By Empire State Center for Book

By Empire State Center for Book

Manhattan: Mapping the Story of an Island

Jennifer Thermes

$19.99 $18.39

Told in dazzling maps and informative sidebars, Manhattan explores the 400+ year history of Manhattan Island. From before its earliest settlement to the vibrant metropolis that exists today, the island of Manhattan has always been a place of struggle, growth, and radical transformation. Humans, history, and natural events have shaped this tiny sliver of land for more than 400 years. In Manhattan, travel back in time to discover how a small rodent began an era of rapid change for the island. Learn about immigration, the slave trade, and the people who built New York City. See how a street plan projected the city’s future, and how epic fires and storms led to major feats of engineering above and below ground. Through dramatic illustrations, informative sidebars, and detailed maps inspired by historic archives, Manhattan explores the rich history that still draws people from all around the world to the island’s shores today. From The Battery downtown up to Inwood, every inch of the island has a story to tell.

The Night the Forest Came to Town

Charles Ghigna and Annie Wilkinson


With vibrant and engaging illustrations, this picture book sings the story of a paved parking lot returning to a paradise.

Children of the First People: Fresh Voices of Alaska's Native Kids

$13.99 $12.87

Presents the voices of a new generation of young Alaska Natives and how they celebrate their unique cultures and traditions from the southeast rainforest to the arctic tundra.

Fry Bread: A Native American Family Story

Kevin Noble Maillard and Juana Martinez-Neal

$18.99 $17.47

Told in lively and powerful verse by debut author Kevin Noble Maillard, Fry Bread is an evocative depiction of a modern Native American family, vibrantly illustrated by Pura Belpre Award winner and Caldecott Honoree Juana Martinez-Neal.

Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters

Emily Roberson

$17.99 $16.55

Greek mythology meets the Kardashians in Emily Roberson's Lifestyles of Gods and Monsters, a fresh, fast-paced debut young adult novel about celebrity culture, family dynamics, and finding love amidst it all.

My Papi Has a Motorcycle

Isabel Quintero and Zeke Peña

$17.98 $16.54

When Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle, she sees the people and places she's always known. She also sees a community that is rapidly changing around her. But as the sun sets purple-blue-gold behind Daisy Ramona and her papi, she knows that the love she feels will always be there. With vivid illustrations and text bursting with heart, My Papi Has a Motorcycle is a young girl's love letter to her hardworking dad and to memories of home that we hold close in the midst of change.


Jean Reidy and Lucy Ruth Cummins

$17.99 $16.55

After his best friend Sarah leaves for her first day of school, a tortoise named Truman goes on an adventure across the living room and learns to be brave in this thoughtful and heartwarming twist on a first experience story.

New Kid

Jerry Craft

$21.99 $20.23

Jordan Banks is enrolled in a pretigious private school, where it turns out he is one of the few kids of color. This graphic novel tells the story of being the new kid in a very different school.

Speak No Evil

Uzodinma Iweala

$26.99 $24.83

Caldecott Medalist, Matthew Cordell, lovingly shares the quiet joy of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood in the only authorized picture book biography of Fred Rogers.

Wake Up, Woods

Michael A. Homoya, Shane Gibson, et al.

$18.95 $17.43

Wake Up, Woods is a delightful nonfiction and verse picture book showcasing plants native to Indiana specifically, and more broadly, parts of North America.

Voices of Justice: Poems about People Working for a Better World

George Ella Lyon and Jennifer M. Potter

$19.99 $18.39

A bold, lyrical collection of poems that highlight some of the most celebrated activists from around the world and throughout history.

The Word Collector

Peter H. Reynolds

$17.99 $16.55

Words connect, transform, and empower in the story of Jerome. who captures, organizes, and then reimagines the magic of the words all around him -- short and sweet words, two-syllable treats, and multi-syllable words that sound like little songs.

A Map Into the World

Kao Kalia Yang and Seo Kim

$17.99 $16.55

A Map Into the World - the first published children’s book by a Hmong-American writer, and centered around a Hmong family - explores the changing of seasons and the changing of the "seasons" of life.

Muddy: The Story of Blues Legend Muddy Waters

Michael Mahin and Evan Turk

$17.99 $16.55

Muddy is the story of the early life of native Mississippian and blues legend Muddy Waters.

Cinder Yeti

Precious McKenzie and Edward Tanzosh

$11.95 $10.99

A nice yeti with two bratty stepsisters wants to go to the dance with humans but is told that yetis and people never, ever, ever mix.


David Wiesner

$17.99 $16.55

Hilarity ensues when robot baby Flange comes home in component parts and his robot parents can't figure out how to put him together - until techie big sister comes to the rescue.

Through Georgia's Eyes

Rachel Victoria Rodriguez and Julie Paschkis

$18.99 $17.47

Georgia O'Keefe, the artist, saw the world in a unique way and she found inspiration in New Mexico.

My N.C. from A-Z

Michelle Lanier and Dare Coulter

$14.95 $13.75

This colorful board book celebrates pride of place and creates connections to North Carolina's rich African American heritage.

American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race

Douglas Brinkley

$16.99 $15.63

New York Times bestselling author and historian Douglas Brinkley delivers a young readers’ edition of a story rooted in heroism, bravery, and patriotism: America’s race to the moon. (excerpt from publisher)

Bear Is Awake!: An Alphabet Story

Hannah E. Harrison

$17.99 $16.55

Suddenly "awake" in the middle of winter, a "big bear" explores a "cozy cabin," which Bear of course "enters excitedly." But the cabin isn't empty--a little girl lives there. So begins an unlikely friendship and an unexpected adventure as the girl attempts to figure out what a bear is supposed to be doing in the winter. (Hint: It's not eating pancakes or visiting the library!) With her trademark humor and warmth, Hannah E. Harrison puts her own irresistible spin on the classic alphabet book.

How to Be an Elephant

Katherine Roy

$19.99 $18.39

This book tells what it takes for a baby African elephant to grow up on the savanna.

The Bridge Home

Padma Venkatraman

$8.99 $8.27

Four determined homeless children make a life for themselves in Padma Venkatraman's stirring middle-grade debut.

This Is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration

Jacqueline Woodson and James Ransome

$8.99 $8.27

The story of one family’s journey north during the Great Migration starts with a little girl in South Carolina who finds a rope under a tree one summer.

Spotted Tail

David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Pat Kinsella, et al.

$9.95 $9.15

A biography of the Lakota leader who expertly guided his people through tumultuous times as they fought and then negotiated with the U.S. government.

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read

Rita Lorraine Hubbard and Oge Mora

$17.99 $16.55

Imagine learning to read at the age of 116! Discover the true story of Mary Walker, the nation’s oldest student who did just that

Right as Rain

Lindsey Stoddard

$16.99 $15.63

It’s been almost a year since Rain’s bother died, and her parents still have no idea that it’s all her fault, but after her family moves from Vermont to New York City and with the anniversary her brother's death approaching, she will do everything she can to pick up the pieces around her— but will it be enough?

The Undefeated

Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson

$17.99 $16.55

The Undefeated is a love letter to black life in the United States, highlighting the unspeakable trauma of slavery, the faith and fire of the civil rights movement, and the grit, passion, and perseverance of some of the world's greatest heroes.

Free Verse

Sarah Dooley


After the death of her immediate family, Sarah discovers family, and poetry, doesn't take the form you intend.

Little Libraries, Big Heroes

Miranda Paul and John Parra

$17.99 $16.55

Little Libraries, Big Heroes is an the inspiring story of how the Little Free Library organization brings communities together through books, from founder Todd Bol's first installation to the creation of more than 75,000 mini-libraries around the world.

World War II POW Camps of Wyoming

Cheryl O'Brien

$21.99 $20.23

Exploring a little-known part of the state’s history, O'Brien weaves together historical records, photographs, and personal stories that detail Wyoming's nineteen World War II prisoner of war camps, which housed several thousand incarcerated Italian and German prisoners.

Butterfly Yellow

Thanhhà Lai

$17.99 $16.55

In the final days of the Việt Nam War, Hằng takes her little brother, Linh, to the airport, determined to find a way to safety in America. In a split second, Linh is ripped from her arms--and Hằng is left behind in the war-torn country. Six years later, Hằng has made the brutal journey from Việt Nam and is now in Texas as a refugee. She doesn't know how she will find the little brother who was taken from her until she meets LeeRoy, a city boy with big rodeo dreams, who decides to help her. Hằng is overjoyed when she reunites with Linh. But when she realizes he doesn't remember her, their family, or Việt Nam, her heart is crushed. Though the distance between them feels greater than ever, Hằng has come so far that she will do anything to bridge the gap.

Hello, Neighbor!: The Kind and Caring World of Mister Rogers

Matthew Cordell

$18.99 $17.47

In difficult times, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood provided a refuge for children and their families alike; a way to understand and talk about what was happening, and find hope for a brighter tomorrow. Groundbreaking in a quiet, generous way, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood introduced a generation of children to the wonders of the world in the comfort of their own living rooms. Fred Rogers took young viewers to art museums, introduced them to different professions, and talked through difficult subjects like losing a loved one, or experiencing parents' divorce, with compassion and reassurance. Share that deep respect, care, and quiet joy in the day-to-day with the only authorized picture book biography of Fred Rogers--lovingly created by Caldecott Medalist Matt Cordell. Lively, colorful illustrations explore Fred Rogers' early life and the events that led him to create his enduring show. Exclusively published archival photographs, provided by Fred Rogers Productions, offer a behind-the-scenes look at this historic show and the people whose hard work made it possible. A brief biography of Mister Rogers and a history of the show is included, as well as a note from author-illustrator Matt Cordell about his inspiration and longtime admiration for Fred Rogers and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. Perfect for fans of the film A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks, or anyone who wants to bring home the ideals of compassion, kindness, and patience that make us all good neighbors, this captivating picture book should not be missed.

Peanut Butter and Jelly (a Narwhal and Jelly Book #3)

Ben Clanton

$7.99 $7.35

Narwhal’s obsession with his new favorite food leads him into hijinks and hilarity in the third book of this all-star early graphic novel series!

We Dream of Space

Erin Entrada Kelly

$16.99 $15.63

Cash, Fitch, and Bird Thomas are three siblings in seventh grade together in Park, Delaware. In 1986, as the country waits expectantly for the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger, they each struggle with their own personal anxieties.

Life in a Frozen World: Wildlife of Antarctica

Mary Batten and Thomas Gonzalez

$18.99 $17.47

Over millions of years, organisms in Antarctica—one of the most extreme environments on Earth—have evolved in amazing ways that enable them to thrive on the ice, in the ice, and under the ice. How is climate change affecting the creatures that live in this frozen world? Even in the intensely cold, windy, and dry environment of Antarctica, a wide variety of wildlife—from the massive swarms of krill in the Southern Ocean to the throngs of penguins on its icy shores— finds ways to thrive. Some species of Antarctic fishes make a natural antifreeze that prevents their blood from freezing solid, and although no trees grow on Antarctica, a forest of giant seaweed flourishes under the sea. Antarctica’s creatures are exquisitely adapted to their extreme habitat, but can they survive warmer waters and atmosphere? Scientists are racing to find out. Climate change is already affecting the frozen continent. Though it seems very far away from us at the bottom of the world, we need to remember that Antarctica affects weather, ocean currents, and sea levels all over the planet. Antarctica’s creatures depend on the ice. And in the long run, so do we.

Journey to a Promised Land: A Story of the Exodusters

Allison Lassieur and Eric Freeberg


Hattie Jacobs dreams of becoming a teacher, but her parents were formerly enslaved and are struggling to survive in Nashville, Tennessee when her family join the Great Exodus of 1879 to Kansas in search of a better life.

Magnificent Homespun Brown: A Celebration

Samara Cole Doyon and Kaylani Juanita

$16.95 $15.59

Told by a succession of exuberant young narrators, Magnificent Homespun Brown is a story -- a song, a poem, a celebration -- about feeling at home in one’s own beloved skin.

Farah Rocks Fifth Grade

Susan Muaddi Darraj and Ruaida Mannaa

$15.95 $14.67

Farah and her best friend, Allie Liu, are getting excited to turn in their applications to the Magnet Academy, where they both hope to attend sixth grade. But when new girl Dana Denver shows up, Farah's world is turned upside down. As Dana starts bullying Farah's little brother, Samir, Farah begins to second-guess her choice to leave him behind at Harbortown Elementary/Middle School. Determined to handle it on her own, Farah comes up with a plan--a plan that involves lying to those closest to her. Will her lies catch up with her, or can Farah find a way to defeat the bully and rock fifth grade?

Sport: Ship Dog of the Great Lakes

Pamela Cameron and Renée Graef

$17.95 $16.51

In 1914 crew members of the lighthouse tender Hyacinth rescued a stray puppy from the Milwaukee River and named him Sport. For the next twelve years, this charming Newfoundland-retriever mix lived the life of a ship dog, helping the Hyacinth crew as they carried supplies to lighthouses and maintained the buoys and other safety features around Lake Michigan. Sport quickly became a valued companion to his crew and a recognizable mascot of the lake—making friends in every port.

Big Papa and the Time Machine

Daniel Bernstrom and Shane W. Evans

$17.99 $16.55

Kansas City, Missouri Illustrator, Shane Evans has created a whimsical masterpiece about a boy who learns what it means to be brave with the help of his grandpa.

A is for Astronaut: Blasting Through the Alphabet

Clayton Anderson and Scott Brundage

$16.99 $15.63

Winner! 2019 Nebraska Book Award Retired astronaut Clayton Anderson takes readers on an A to Z flight through the alphabet from astronaut and blastoff to spacewalk and Zulu Time.

The Night Watchman

Louise Erdrich

$28.99 $26.67

Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich’s grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C., this powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth of feeling of a master craftsman.

Zora and Me

T. R. Simon and Victoria Bond

$7.99 $7.35

Whether she’s telling the truth or stretching it, Zora Neale Hurston is a riveting storyteller. Her latest creation is a shape-shifting gator man who lurks in the marshes, waiting to steal human souls. But when boastful Sonny Wrapped loses a wrestling match with an elusive alligator named Ghost — and a man is found murdered by the railroad tracks soon after — young Zora’s tales of a mythical evil creature take on an ominous and far more complicated complexion, jeopardizing the peace and security of an entire town and forcing three children to come to terms with the dual-edged power of pretending. Zora’s best friend, Carrie, narrates this coming-of-age story set in the Eden-like town of Eatonville, Florida, where justice isn’t merely an exercise in retribution, but a testimony to the power of community, love, and pride. A fictionalization of the early years of a literary giant, this astonishing novel is the first project ever to be endorsed by the Zora Neale Hurston Trust that was not authored by Hurston herself.

Daughter of Moloka'i

Alan Brennert

$16.99 $15.63

Beauty and the Beak: How Science, Technology, and a 3D-Printed Beak Rescued a Bald Eagle

Deborah Lee Rose and Jane Veltkamp

$8.95 $8.23

Beauty and the Beak is a nonfiction picture book about Beauty, the wild bald eagle that made world news when she was illegally shot, rescued, and received a pioneering, 3D-printed prosthetic beak. Beauty and the Beak follows Beauty close up from the moment she uses her baby beak to emerge from her egg, through her hunt when she uses her powerful adult beak to feed herself, to the day her beak is shot off, leaving her helpless. This brave and uplifting story continues through her rescue, into the months of engineering her 3D-printed prosthetic beak and intense hours of her beak surgery, to the moment she takes the first drink of water by herself with her new beak.

The Girl and the Witch's Garden

Erin Bowman

$17.99 $16.55

This rich, charming middle grade adventure is about a girl determined to infiltrate her grandmother’s enchanted garden with the help of some magically gifted friends.

Feed Your Mind: A Story of August Wilson

Jen Bryant and Cannaday Chapman

$17.99 $16.55

A biography of August Wilson, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright. He had a talent for capturing the authentic, everyday voice of black Americans. The book includes an author's note, a timeline of Wilson's life, a list of his plays and a bibliography.

Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness

Edward Abbey

$8.99 $8.27

Edward Abbey lived for three seasons in the desert at Moab, Utah, and what he discovered about the land before him, the world around him, and the heart that beat within, is a fascinating, sometimes raucous, always personal account of a place that has already disappeared, but is worth remembering and living through again and again.