January Book Club


Featured Author P.A. Flinn

About P.A. Flinn

What inspired you to write a children's novel?
I normally write for grownups but I have these little characters that I've been drawing since I was a child. In my mind, each one had a personality and a story. I thought, why not get one of them out there?

What do you feel is your message in writing this book?
Adults understand that children who bully are usually in a lot of pain. But kids only know how they feel on the receiving end. It's important for them to understand that their worth isn't defined by someone else, and their identity is theirs, alone. It's really nothing to do with the bully and everything to do with learning to love oneself.

How long have you been a patient of COPC?
I believe about 15 years.

How do you feel about our efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion through the Great Beginnings Book Club?
It's exciting and it makes sense. Books are a natural vehicle to reach children before they've developed ingrained ideas about themselves or others.

COPC Pediatrician Recommendation

Alaya and Her Sparkling River

By P.A. Flinn

Level: 5-8 years

This is Patti's first children's book about a little girl, Alaya, whose confidence in herself is questioned by another. Alaya finds her way back to her animal friends and her river that were calling for her to return. A story about shame, doubt, and restoring confidence.

Purchase on Amazon

Baby Books & Picture Books Up to Age 5

The Turtle With An Afro

By Carlotta Penn

Level: Preschool-Grade 1

A fun, beautifully–illustrated story that is a celebration of all forms of hair with a lesson of self-love and acceptance.

Everywhere Babies

By Susan Meyers

Level: 18 months-4 years

This simple rhyming book pictures babies everywhere doing all the things that babies do. Wonderfully familiar for storytime and young readers!

The Book of Mistakes

By Corrina Luyken

Level: Age 3-6 years

Artfully illustrated, this inspiring book reminds us that mistakes are a normal and important part of creating beauty.

COPC Pediatrician Recommendation

Chugga Chugga Choo Choo

By Kevin Lewis

Level: Age 2-5 years

Rhyming and loud and colorful, and of course, featuring TRAINS, this book is a favorite for read-aloud time for new readers or for storytime before bed.

Books for Ages 5-8

Company's Coming

By Arthur Yorinks

In a quirky book about not judging aliens by their spaceships! Kindness rules!

Greetings from Somewhere (Series)

By Harper Paris

Join twins Ethan and Ella as they travel the world, finding lots of mystery and adventure along the way!

Hero Mom

By Melinda Hardin

Deployed moms in the military do important work. This book tells their many stories with pride and love.

The Honest to Goodness Truth

By Patricia McKissack

After she is caught lying to her mother, Libby vows to ever only tell the truth. Follow Libby as she learns that honesty is the best policy, and also learns how and when to share truth.

Books for Ages 8-12

Charlie & Frog

By Karen Kane

While exploring his new town, Charlie meets an agitated old woman who gives him a desperate message in sign language. When the old woman later disappears, Charlie engages his friend Frog (who is Deaf) to help him solve the mystery disappearance.

Clementine (Series)

By Sara Pennypacker

Level: Ages 7-10

Silly and sweet Clementine has a knack for getting in trouble. Follow her antics as she navigates both school and her annoying big sister!

Clubhouse Mysteries (Series)

By Sharon Draper

Set in Cincinnati, this mystery-adventure series gets started when a group of fifth-grade boys find bones in their “clubhouse”!

COPC Pediatrician Recommendation

Frazzled: Ordinary Mishaps and Inevitable Catastrophes

By Booki Vivat

The second in a series, this zany graphic novel finds the slightly neurotic but oh-so-relatable Abbie learning how to cope when things go wrong in sixth grade. Great for reluctant readers!

Books for Middle-Schoolers & Tweens


By Cynthia Kadohata

12 year–old Conor’s life is in flux: because money is tight he has to choose between his new AAA hockey team and cancer care for his beloved dog, Sinbad. Read this heartwarming story to find out how love and family help Conor thru trying times.

The Toothpaste Millionaire

By Jean Merrill

Level: Ages 10-13

Set in 1960’s Cleveland, Mac, Rufus, and their sixth grade friends start their empire by finding a way to make a cheaper brand of toothpaste! Read to find out how they become rich in money and in friendship.

Inside Out & Back Again

By Thanhha Lai

Told from a child’s point of view, this award-winning book is inspired by the author’s own experience emigrating from Vietnam to Alabama.

COPC Pediatrician Recommendation


By Jacqueline Woodson

When tragedy strikes his family, Lonnie aka “Locomotion” retreats into his own world of grief and sadness. Told in verse, this story shows the power of of how the written word can be a catalyst for hope and healing.

Young Adult Books for High-school Aged Kids

Just Mercy

By Bryan Stevenson

Now adapted into a movie, this autobiographical book profiles the author’s journey as a newly minted lawyer who felt compelled to act once he discovered that the state of Alabama offered no public defenders for death-penalty appeal cases.

The Giver

By Lois Lowry

A 1994 Newberry Award-winner, this dystopian novel finds 12 year-old Jonas in a tightly–controlled, outwardly ideal world. Find out what happens when Jonas is given his “life assignment” and how he rebels.

Climbing the Stairs

By Padma Venkatraman

Set during WW2 in India, 15 year-old Vidya worries about her injured father and her society’s expectations of women at that time. How will she handle her new circumstances?

The Beauty in Breaking

By Michele Harper

Dr. Michele Harper is an emergency room physician exploring how a life of service to others taught her how to heal herself.

Additional Resources

Inclusive History of the USA

  • Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West - By Dee Brown
  • Crossing the Danger Water: Three Hundred Years of African-American Writing - Edited by Deirdre Mullane
  • March: Books 1-3: A Book Series about the Civil Rights Movement - By John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, & Nate Powell
  • My Soul Is Rested: The Story of the Civil Rights Movement in the Deep South - By Howell Raines
  • Parting the Waters: America in the King Years 1954-63 - By Taylor Branch
  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America - By Richard Rothstein
  • The Fire Next Time - By James Baldwin
  • The New Jim Crow - By Michelle Alexander
  • The Warmth of Other Suns - By Isabel Wilkerson
  • The 1619 Project from the New York Times (also a Podcast)
These books are merely suggestions from COPC and not an endorsement. Our aim is to foster empathy, and some of the books, as in life, may deal with new or touchy subjects, which in our minds provides the perfect opportunity for family discussions with the developing child in a loving safe environment.

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