Spring has arrived and everywhere we look there are signs of new life, new beginnings, and brighter hopes for the days ahead. The books included in this month’s must read section are reminiscent of the promises of spring and the blossoming of potential. Whether the selections are lighthearted and warm, or stories of awakening and renewal, they are sure to inspire your mind in the same way Spring inspires our moods.
The Murmur of Bees
By Sofía Segovia
The birth of an “unfortunate baby” possessing special abilities tells the story of love, loss, and resiliency during the Mexican Revolution and Influenza of 1918. Was the baby a bewitched curse, or a blessing in disguise? The baby was found covered in a living blanket of bees, a swarm who would follow him as he grew, acting as his friends, and protectors. The child has a gift of sight, he can see beyond what is visible to the eye and watch the future unfold behind his closed eyelids. It’s an evocative twist on the usual take of historical fiction.
By Mary Kay Andrews
Small towns, salacious secrets, and second chances. Spring Fever is an “escapist” novel that transports the reader to the life and experiences of Annajane Hudgens, a recent divorcee who is ready to put the past behind her, or so she thought. Old flames are often left smoldering long after we think the heat has died down. A story of rekindled romance and figuring out how to live the life you’ve always dreamed of, even if others try to stand in your way. Complete with southern charm, endearingly inappropriate characters, and picturesque locales, this is the perfect read for a porch swing on a warm spring day.
The Botanist’s Daughter
By Kayte Nunn
Two women, two stories, two very different centuries, all brought together by an old house, a hidden compartment, and one mysterious flower. While renovating her late grandmother’s house among the faded floral wallpaper and peeling paint ripe with memories, a mystery unfolds. Hidden within the walls, Anna discovers a long forgotten notebook and a decorative box with a heart shaped padlock forming an unexpected connection that spans across centuries and seas. The dual storyline follows the lives of Anna (present day) and Elizabeth (circa 1886), weaving a story of romance, mystery, and new beginnings.
The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual
By Barbara Pleasant
This book shares everything you need to know about planting and caring for indoor plants. It includes advice for common struggles as well as ideas and variations to suit the needs of your space. Bring the outdoors in and enjoy not only the beauty, but also the health benefits that come with incorporating plants into your interior design.
The Green Witch: Your Complete Guide to the Natural Magic of Herbs, Flowers, Essential Oils, and More
By Arin Murphy-Hiscock
This book is perfect for teens and young adults who are a little earthy, eccentric, witchy, or naturalistic. A peek into herbalism, gemstones, essential oils, natural remedies, and the magic and potential of nature. Including history, recipes, rituals, and remedies, this is a beautiful introduction to the power of self and the connection we have with nature.
With the Fire on High
By Elizabeth Acevedo
One of my favorite things about spring is the abundant opportunity for fresh ingredients to incorporate into culinary creations. This is a story of overcoming turmoil and learning about inner strength. Emoni’s life was turned upside down with an unexpected pregnancy her freshman year. All of her struggles and concerns melt away however when she gets into the kitchen. The kitchen is the one place she feels at home, the place where magic resides, possibilities are endless, and she can truly be herself. While Emoni questions the possibility of becoming a future chef, some aspirations are impossible to ignore.
I Love You So Mochi
By Sarah Kuhn
A story of young love blossoming amidst the backdrop of spring break in Japan. Kimi is at once at home and bewildered when she arrives in Japan to spend spring break with her grandmother. A culture she has known from afar has become rich and vibrant as she gets to experience her ethnicity in its natural environment. She falls in love with the outdoor markets, the cherry blossoms and the people. This becomes a story of discovering the deeper aspects of those we love and the heritage that makes us who we are.
Felix Ever After
By Kacen Callender
Sometimes the most important relationship to tend to is the relationship we have with ourselves. This story follows Felix and his journey to self love, acceptance, and a deeper understanding of identity. Felix is Black, queer, and transgender. And while he loves the person he is becoming, not everyone is quite so accepting. Touching on topics of transphobia and bullying, this is a story of self discovery, acknowledging your worth, and what it means to truly fall in love with ourselves and others.
The Secret Lake: A children’s mystery adventure
By Karen Inglis
A missing dog, a mysterious tunnel, and a secret lake. Stella and Tom embark on a journey to find out where their neighbor’s dog continues to disappear and why he arrives back home soaking wet. They soon discover that they have found a passage that allows them to travel back in time to their home and the gardens they know as they were almost 100 years earlier.
An Elephant in the Garden
By Michael Morpurgo
Many things are found in gardens. Elephants are not usually among them. Based on a true story, set during the bombing of Dresden in World War II, two children of a zookeeper have become attached to an orphaned elephant. The elephant is set to be eliminated as a precaution to prevent wild animals from getting loose should the city be bombed. The children instead house the elephant in their garden. When their own home is bombed the family flees for safety, elephant in tow.
By Alice M Cantrell
While not quite a chapter book, this exceptional gardening journal for kids could not go unnoticed. The journal offers places to record what has been planted and any observations as well as tips for soils and seeds, garden plot ideas, and information on composting, weeding, and more!
Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt
By Kate Messner
An in-depth depiction of all that occurs both above ground and underground in the garden. There is so much to see both above and below, tiny blooms, leaves of green, ripening veggies, slithering snakes, hopping bugs, colorful birds and more!
By Kevin Henkes
A beautifully illustrated picture book detailing the imaginative garden of a young girl. While her mother’s garden may be lovely, her own garden would be a bit more magical. She would grow color changing flowers that changed with her thoughts, flowers that never died, and tomatoes as big as beach balls!
The Tiny Seed
By Eric Carle
Not only are the illustrations in the book a captivating way to tell the journey of a seed, but this book also offers a unique surprise! Hidden inside the front cover is a piece of wildflower paper that children can plant and watch their very own seeds come to life.
Jillian Amodio is a mother of two, mental health advocate and creator of Moms For Mental Health, and social work student at Salisbury School of Social Work. She is passionate about family, health and wellness, and spreading joy like glitter! She lives in Cape Saint Claire with her husband, children, and crazy dog.