Another week of social distancing has come and gone. This week included the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and since we can’t celebrate by planting trees or giving back to nature (although it seems as though our staying indoors has definitely been helping out the planet), LitHub has collected four very comprehensive lists of Earth Day books to read instead. This week also included World Book Day, and we would love to hear which books positively changed your life in the comments! Now onto Book News:

There have been several new publishing initiatives to support different workers. First, a doctor and his son have created a children’s book for the families of health care workers.

UNC doctor, son create children’s book for families of healthcare workers ::

Certain jobs require more sacrifice than the average career. That’s especially true for healthcare workers and their families as they work during the COVID-19 virus. The pandemic is not what inspired UNC pulmonologist and critical care specialist Dr. Kenton Dover to write a children’s book, but he said it certainly gave the project more importance.

Penguin Random House has joined forces with a group of chefs to publish a cookbook to help support restaurant workers.

PRH to Publish Digital Cookbook to Benefit Restaurant Workers

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And several experts have come together to create a children’s book that helps explain the pandemic to kids.

New children’s book helps kids cope with COVID-19 pandemic | CBC Radio

When a pandemic sweeps the globe, it’s impossible for adults to fully understand what’s happening. So how can they possibly explain it to their kids? A new book that’s been released in partnership with 50 different humanitarian organizations, among them the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Red Cross and Save the Children, is aiming to help.

The American Federal Appeals Court has declared that literacy is a right protected by the constitution.

Federal Appeals Court Declares Literacy a Constitutional Right

In a potential landmark ruling, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals held this week that access to a basic minimum education “that can plausibly impart literacy” is a fundamental, Constitutionally protected right.

The American Library Association has released their list of the most challenged books in 2019.

There’s a Common Thread Tying Together 2019’s ‘Most Challenged’ Books: L.G.B.T.Q. Issues

Eight of the 10 titles identified in the American Library Association’s annual ranking of the most frequently banned or protested books featured L.G.B.T.Q. subject matter. Eight of the 10 most challenged books last year were based on L.G.B.T.Q. subjects or narratives, the American Library Association said in its annual ranking of books that were banned or protested in schools and public libraries.

It has been that the anonymous donor that contributed 250,000 pounds to help save indie bookstores in the UK is Amazon, a company believed to be responsible for putting indie bookstores in a precarious place to begin with.

Amazon revealed as mystery £250,000 donor to UK bookshops

Amazon, the internet retail giant vilified for years as public enemy No 1 to booksellers, has been revealed as the surprise mystery benefactor that donated £250,000 to help UK bookshops weather the coronavirus pandemic.

The International Booker Prize has been postponed announcing the winner due to Covid-19.

International Booker prize postponed due to coronavirus

The six authors up for this year’s International Booker prize will have to wait a little longer to find out who won. The announcement has been postponed until the summer due to the severe impact of the coronavirus outbreak on book sales.

The finalists for the Women’s Prize for Fiction have been announced.

Bernardine Evaristo and Hilary Mantel among finalists for $52K Women’s Prize for Fiction | CBC Books

Books Now in its 25th year, the £30,000 prize recognizes the year’s best novel written by a woman in English. Bernardine Evaristo and Hilary Mantel have been shortlisted for this year’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. Evaristo and Mantel are contending with their novels Girl, Woman, Other and The Mirror and the Light, respectively.

Nine students have been awarded 25k in prizes at the virtual poetry in voice finals.

Nine students win $25K in prizes at 2020 Poetry In Voice finals | CBC Books

Nine students from across Canada came out on top at the 2020 Poetry In Voice national poetry recitation competition, collectively winning $25,000 in prizes. As a result of COVID-19, this year’s national finals, hosted by former CBC Radio personality Johanne Blais, took place online.

The number of virtual literary events continues to grow! AirBnB Experiences have now added online literary experiences to their repertoire.

You Can Chat With a Famous Author or Listen to Drag Queen Storytime With Airbnb’s New Literary Experiences

Thursday, April 23 marks World Book Day and Airbnb isn’t letting this day go by without a massive celebration. In honor of all our favorite reads, Airbnb is launching a collection of literary Online Experiences meant to further inspire your love of books.

Michelle Obama is starting a weekly virtual story time for children in isolation.

Michelle Obama launches weekly read-aloud series for children in isolation | CBC Books

In an effort to promote literacy among families sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, Michelle Obama has launched a weekly read-aloud series. Mondays with Michelle Obama features the former first lady of the United States reading from her favourite picture books, streamed live on the PBS Kids Facebook page and YouTube channel and Penguin Random House’s Facebook page every Monday at 12 p.m.

Random House has launched a virtual Magic Tree House program in an effort to keep young readers engaged at home.

Random House Launches Virtual ‘Magic Tree House’ Program

Random House Children’s Books and Mary Pope Osborne, author of the popular Magic Tree House series, have announced a new online program, aimed at keeping young readers engaged during the coronavirus crisis. Magic Tree House Home Adventures will run from April 27 to May 22, featuring weekly themed videos, crafts, games, reading challenges, recipes, trivia, and other activities tied to the series and its characters.

David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas, is set to release a new novel in July.

Cloud Atlas author David Mitchell to release new novel in July 2020 | CBC Books

Books Utopia Avenue tells the story of a British band of the same name that emerged from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967 and their brief, yet blazing journey through the city’s music scene to the international stage. Two-time Booker Prize-nominated novelist David Mitchell is plotting his return with a new book entitled Utopia Avenue , slated for release on July 14, 2020.

In a move that will surprise no one, Lionsgate has announced a film adaptation for the Hunger Games prequel.

‘Hunger Games’ Prequel Movie in the Works at Lionsgate

Lionsgate’s blockbuster film franchise also helped make YA postapocalyptic fiction a hot property in Hollywood, paving the way for such other movie series as The Maze Runner and Divergent. There’s no word yet on casting for the Hunger Games prequel, which was announced by Joe Drake, chairman of the Lionsgate Motion Picture Group.

If you find yourself needing a laugh, might I recommend this collection of one star reviews for the Dictionary.

The 30 Best One-Star Amazon Reviews of . . . The Dictionary

Oh yes. In this the latest installment of my one-star reviews series, I decided to go back to the basics: words themselves. Or, to be more precise, our compendiums of words, and what they mean. You wouldn’t think internet reviewers would have particularly strong opinions about the dictionary, as a book, because generally dictionaries = good, but you would be wrong about that.

And if you’re going to watch anything book-related this weekend, please let it be either Danny Devito reading The Lorax or Kate Winslet reading Green Eggs and Ham. I promise you won’t be disappointed. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Watch Danny DeVito reading Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Lorax’ on Earth Day

Danny DeVito is celebrating Earth Day’s 50th anniversary by revisiting one of his favorite literary characters. DeVito dove into Dr. Seuss’ for a special reading and EW has your exclusive first look. The 1971 children’s book is a cautionary tale about environmental destruction that teaches young readers to stand up for those who can’t.

Staff Pick and Social Distancing Update
Tara, Senior Manager, Author Experience

“I decided to take a break from the screen this weekend. I’m attempting to turn my phone off Friday after work and keep it off until Monday. This also means no tv. The only screen I’ll look at is the eInk screen of my Kobo. Whether I survive and thrive or cave immediately is yet to be seen. I’ve been reading this book since November and plan to finally finish it.”

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