Seattle's Child

Your guide to a kid-friendly city

Book picks: ‘This Is a School’ celebrates friendship and learning

Also, an in-depth biography of poet Paul Laurence Dunbar

Book picks for kids (and adults):

Looking for some reading inspiration? Here’s a peek at what KCLS staff and the young readers in their lives are digging into this month!

All KCLS libraries are open. Plan your next visit at

Adults: “Paul Laurence Dunbar: The Life and Times of a Caged Bird,” by Gene Andrew Jarrett

Paul Laurence Dunbar’s dialectical verse made him a literary celebrity during America’s Gilded Age. Professor Jarrett’s engrossing and deeply researched biography about the acclaimed poet, who was a contemporary and friend of luminaries like James Weldon Johnson and Frederick Douglass, relies heavily on Dunbar’s personal writing and correspondence. Jarrett addresses Dunbar’s struggles with his health and relationships, and offers illuminating perspectives on his success within the confines of racism. Jarrett brings especially rich context to Dunbar’s poem, “Sympathy,” in which he famously compares himself to a caged bird.

Kids: “This Is a School,” by John Schu, illustrated by Veronica Miller Jamison

Librarian and author John Schu reveals how a school can be much more than a building in his picture book debut. Follow children and adults throughout the school day as they work together to learn and grow, respecting and caring for each other along the way. This cheerful story introduces children to the concept of school and celebrates teamwork, curiosity, friendship and the joy of learning with vibrant, colorful illustrations.

More book picks for kids (and other book news):

“Carpenter’s Helper” a heartwarming story about nature

Dad Next Door: Harry Potter will set you free (from reading tedious bedtime stories to your kids)

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About the Author

Rekha Kuver

Librarian Rekha Kuver is the youth and family services manager for the King County Library System. As a reader, she likes characters with rich internal lives and settings with a vivid sense of time and place. When she’s not reading or listening to audiobooks, she’s making art or spending time outdoors.