Ready to play this year’s Kids Book Bingo (open to those ages 0-17), presented by Seattle Arts & Lectures? Here are some recommendations to help you fill your card (which you can download here). Some books can be used in multiple categories, so you get to choose the best fit. But keep in mind that each book title may only be used once per card. Find a book that interests you and disappear into another world. Suggested ages are a starting point, but anyone above the recommended ages will find joy and value in these books.

Complete a horizontal, vertical or diagonal line, or fill your entire card, and submit it to SAL by 6 p.m. Sept. 7 for a chance to win prizes. See the bingo card or go online to for details on how to submit your entries.

A Graphic Novel or Comic Book

“Hicotea: A Nightlights Story” by Lorena Alvarez. Sandy finds a turtle shell and is transported through a portal into a beautiful museum located in a wetland that includes a mysterious, incomplete painting. Hicotea, the turtle, needs Sandy’s help to finish it. Visually stunning. (Ages 7-12)

“When Stars Are Scattered” by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed. This inspirational memoir captures the perseverance and hope of Omar and Hassan as they try to survive in a refugee camp. The audiobook is excellent and read by the author, with additional information. (Ages 9+)

 “Flamer” by Mike Curato. A raw story of identity and self-discovery as Aiden navigates friendship and fights bullies at Boy Scout summer camp. (Ages 12+)


Main Character Goes on a Journey

“My First Day” by Phung Nguyen Quang and Huynh Kim Lien. The quest to go to school leads An to row the great Mekong River during rainy season, fighting waves and his own fear. The beauty of life along the Mekong during the “floating season” is perfectly depicted in this gorgeous, informative book by talented illustrators. (Ages 4-8)

“Finding Junie Kim” by Ellen Oh. This special book follows the journey of Junie as she learns how to be resilient in the face of racism and do what is right. It also follows the journey of her grandparents, who share their experiences of the Korean War. All hail the versatile author, who is also the co-creator of We Need Diverse Books, a nonprofit that “strives to create a world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of a book,” according to its website. This book is based on her mother’s story. (Ages 9+)

“The List of Things That Will Not Change” by Rebecca Stead. When Bea’s parents get divorced, they begin a list of things that are constant to help ease the journey to their new normal. Bea learns how to navigate her emotions and fears in a strategic way with help from those in her life. (Ages 8+)

“American Road Trip” by Patrick Flores-Scott. Two brothers travel the West Coast, visiting family and friends while also trying to deal with brother Manny’s post-traumatic stress disorder. These diverse, well-rounded characters find deep meaning in life but also delight. (Ages 12+)

“Firekeeper’s Daughter” by Angeline Boulley. The daughter of an Ojibwe father and a white mother, Daunis defers going to college to help her family but also has to face the devastation meth is creating in her community. Themes of race, identity, enduring friendship and finding your path make this mystery an important but riveting read. (Age 14+)

A Book with Illustrations

“Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre” by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Floyd Cooper. The story of the Greenwood District, an affluent African American community in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in the 1900s, and its tragic, violent destruction is an important piece of our racist history. (Ages 8+)


The Land of the Cranes” by Aida Salazar and illustrated by Phung Nguyen Quang and Huynh Kim Lien. Betita’s family fled the cartels and are seeking political asylum in L.A. When Betita’s father is arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and deported, she must find great strength to endure the hardships that ensue. Tragedy strikes again when she and her pregnant mother are detained in a family camp. Beautiful poetry and imagery make this stunning book shine. While the audiobook is also very good, the illustrations and layout make this a book you want in your hands. (Ages 8+)

“Wink” by Rob Harrell. What could be a tragic tale about a seventh grader with eye cancer instead is an inspirational powerhouse of a book full of laughter and art, interspersed with a comic strip featuring a superhero named Batpig. There is certainly sadness and tragedy, but the story, based on the author’s life, is a testament to the human spirit. (Ages 9+)

“Eliza and Her Monsters” by Francesca Zappia. Eliza is the silent Weird Girl, navigating privacy like a pro. She’s also the creator of an online webcomic where she is LadyConstellation, an anonymous celebrity. When her anonymity is compromised, her monsters become real. The story includes emails, texts and illustrations that create a mixed approach to storytelling. (Ages 13+)

“Let’s Make Ramen” by Hugh Amano and Sarah Becan. This graphic novel cookbook is visually helpful, beautiful and has so many delicious recipes that people of any age can make great food. (Ages 12+ and perfect for the whole family)

Asian American or Pacific Islander Author

“Ho’onani: Hula Warrior” by Heather Gale. Ho’onani is a wahine (girl) who tries out for the traditional kane (boy) hula chant for school. She feels in between genders but knows that she wants to lead the hula with its powerful chanting and stomping. Based on a true story. (Ages 4+)

“A Wish in the Dark” by Christina Soontornvat. Pong is an escapee from the juvenile prison in Thailand where he was born. Nok is the daughter of a dignitary with dreams of being a hero. As she chases Pong after his escape, she yearns for glory. Will she begin to understand the injustices in society or become part of the problem? A retelling of “Les Misérables” with a rich setting. (Ages 8-11)


“We Are Not Free” by Traci Chee. A powerful book written from the perspective of 14 teens from Japantown, California, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. First sent to Topaz incarceration camp, the group is forced apart to either join the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, remain in the camp or, as some are allowed, to settle elsewhere in the country. This is a perfect companion, for younger readers, to the new Daniel James Brown novel, “Facing the Mountain, A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in WWII,” which is geared toward adults. (Ages 12 +)

This story has been updated with the correct name of a character in “A Wish in the Dark.”