News & Media

Virtual Booth: ABFYR at LibLearnX 2023 Conference

What is the tallest building in the world? The library, because it has the most stories! This year, the American Library Association (ALA) is meeting in New Orleans to talk about books. With an opening keynote by Ibram X. Kendi and Nic Stone, author speakers including Willa Mae Brown and Cory Doctorow, and a closing by the inimitable Ani Di Franco, LibLearnX 2023 is going to be amazing.

If you’re attending the conference, stop by and say hello to Astra Books for Young Readers at Booth #632. We’ve got some incredible new books and giveaways and can’t wait to meet you.

Whether you’re attending and want more information, or can’t make it this year but would like a peek at our booth, we’ve created this “Virtual Booth” blog post for you to browse our books and get plenty of bonus material for reading groups.

Scroll down to explore these spotlighted titles:

  • American Murderer by Gail Jarrow
  • One Cool Duck #1: King of Cool by Mike Petrik
  • Garvey’s Choice Graphic Novel by Nikki Grimes, Illustrated by Theodore Taylor III

Virtual Booth Spotlight: American Murderer: The Parasite that Haunted the South by Gail Jarrow

  • Finalist, 2023 YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction
  • School Library Journal Best Book
  • NSTA/CBC Best STEM Book
  • NSTA/CBC Outstanding Science Trade Book
  • Eureka! Nonfiction Silver Honor Award (California Reading Association)
  • Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book
  • Evanston (IL) Public Library’s 101 Great Books for Kids 2022

★ “Jarrow’s impeccable research and fascinating details will keep [readers] hooked, especially when they discover that this creature, known as Necator americanus—the American murderer—is a hookworm that once plagued the South…Numerous archival photos place readers in the time period, while a concluding chapter looks at ongoing parasitic-worm dangers across the globe…An engrossing blend of history and STEM.” —Booklist, starred review

Book Club Kit Materials for Educators & Librarians!

Educator Guide for AMERICAN MURDERER

Watch a conversation with Gail Jarrow and other award-winning young adult authors.

Virtual Booth Spotlight: One Cool Duck #1: King of Cool by Mike Petrik

What’s cool, anyway? Skateboards, pizza, arcade games—and being kind! This buoyant young graphic chapter book introduces Duck and pals, kicking off a series that makes real-life friendship issues fun.

“The second I saw this fun duck on the cover, I was excited to dive in….it’s fun and will hold readers’ interest the entire way through….It’s a message about caring for others, learning that everyone has weaknesses, and forgiveness….an entertaining start to what promises to be a fun series.” — Bookworm for Kids

Bonus Materials for Educators & Librarians!

Peek inside and read an excerpt:

Virtual Booth Spotlight: Garvey’s Choice Graphic Novel by Nikki Grimes

  • Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
  • School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

★ ‘Grimes returns to the novel-in-verse format, creating voice, characters, and plot in a series of pithy tanka poems, a traditional Japanese form similar to haiku, but using five lines…. (w)ritten from Garvey’s point of view, the succinct verses convey the narrative as well as his emotions with brevity, clarity, and finesse.’  —Booklist, starred review

★ “(A) sensitively written middle grade novel in verse… (readers) will fall hard for Garvey, a tender, sincere boy who dislikes athletics. Grimes writes about adolescent friendships in a way that feels deeply human. A short, sweet, satisfying novel in verse that educators and readers alike will love.” —School Library Journal, starred review

★ “Grimes’ newest follows a young black boy searching for his own unique voice, lost among his father’s wishes and society’s mischaracterizations. This compassionate, courageous, and hopeful novel explores the constraints placed on black male identity and the corresponding pains and struggles that follow when a young black boy must confront these realities both at home and in school…. This graceful novel risks stretching beyond easy, reductive constructions of black male coming-of-age stories and delivers a sincere, authentic story of resilience and finding one’s voice.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Bonus Materials for Educators & Librarians!

Peek inside and read an excerpt:

Download the Educator’s Guide:

New and Exciting 2023 Non-Fiction

Brand-New Fiction for 2023

Free Bonus Book Club Kit Materials for Librarians

Browse all Astra Books for Young Readers free activities & resources

A Bear, a Bee, and a Honey Tree

A Name from the Sky

Blast Off!

Born Hungry

City Under the City

Cloaked in Courage

Come On In

Dazzlin’ Dolly

Ethel’s Song


Fire Chief Fran

Garvey in the Dark

Herbert on the Slide

How to Draw a Happy Cat

If This Bird Had Pockets

Loujain Dreams of Sunflowers

Mr. McCloskey’s Marvelous Mallards

Revolutionary Prudence Wright

The Flying Man

The Many Half-Lived Lives of Sam Sylvester

The Path

Tiny Spoon vs. Little Fork