Oh COVID. You have been with us for about a year now. Our lives have changed and been uprooted. But there are some things you haven’t taken from us. Books. People are still writing and providing us with new works related to this pandemic. Here are some of them.
First, I have come across some children’s books related to COVID. I have wanted to collect some of these as a way to remember this time and to have something tangible to look back on.
- The World Made a Rainbow
Did you ever paint a rainbow and hang it in your window? Did you see that your neighbors did, too? Did it make you feel a little less lonely?
The World Made a Rainbow is a story to remind us that light can’t shine without dark, rainbows can’t color the sky without rain, and the world is always full of hope and possibility, even when we feel lost and alone.
This beautiful, reassuring picture book is the perfect reminder of the power of creativity, joy, and togetherness.
- While We Can’t Hug
Hedgehog and Tortoise were the best of friends. They wanted to give each other a great, big hug. But they weren’t allowed to touch.
“Don’t worry,” said Owl. “There are lots of ways to show someone you love them.”
So the two friends wave to each other, blow kisses, sing songs, dance around and write letters. And even though they can’t hug and they can’t touch, they both know that they are loved.
A gorgeous, uplifting, inspiring picture book that makes social distancing fun!
- And The People Stayed Home
Kitty O’Meara, author of And the People Stayed Home, has been called the “poet laureate of the pandemic.” This illustrated children’s book (ages 4-8) will also appeal to readers of all ages.
O’Meara’s thoughtful poem about the pandemic, quarantine, and the future suggests there is meaning to be found in our shared experience of the coronavirus and conveys an optimistic message about the possibility of profound healing for people and the planet. Her words encourage us to look within, listen deeply, and connect with ourselves and the earth in order to heal.
- If You Can’t Bear Hug, Air Hug
Join fuzzy bears, flapping owls, and more adorable animal friends as they prove that distance can’t overcome love and friendship!
“If You Can’t Bear Hug, Air Hug” is an uplifting book of rhymes for children that explores the creative ways animals might show affection while socially distancing and delivers a reassuring message of love and resilience.
Out the window, I can see a new world looking back at me. The streets are still, there are no crowds … but looking up, I see the clouds.
Told through the voices―and windows―of children from around the world, this story’s comforting message and bright illustrations bring hope into your home even as our world changes outside. The book’s beautiful design reveals similarities―“In different windows everywhere, I see rainbows, hearts, and teddy bears”―that can comfort and unite us, even in hard times.
Author Patrick Guest was inspired to write this story when he was forced to isolate from his family as a medical worker. His lyrical writing gives hope to our shared experience.
When you look out your window, don’t forget that we’re all looking out―together.
- Alone Together
It isn’t a normal sort of a day. The sun is up, the birds are out, but everybody’s indoors.
Having to stay home can be confusing and lonely for children. This heart-warming story by author-illustrator Julia Seal highlights the importance of friendship and community during these challenging times. The beautiful illustrations and message of hope will help children see the power of togetherness, and understand that even though we might feel like we’re alone, we’re alone together.
- The Great Realization
We all need hope. Humans have an extraordinary capacity to battle through adversity, but only if they have something to cling onto: a belief or hope that maybe, one day, things will be better.
This idea sparked The Great Realization. Sharing the truths we may find hard to tell but also celebrating the things—from simple acts of kindness and finding joy in everyday activities, to the creativity within us all—that have brought us together during lockdown, it gives us hope in this time of global crisis.
We now call it The Great Realization and, yes, since then there have been many. But that’s the story of how it started . . . and why hindsight’s 2020.
- Outside, Inside
Something strange happened on an unremarkable day just before the season changed. Everybody who was outside . . . . . . went inside. Outside, it was quieter, wilder, and different. Inside, we laughed, we cried, and we grew. We remembered to protect the ones we love and love the ones who protect us. While the world changed outside, we became stronger on the inside and believed that someday soon spring would come again.
Next, these books are a collection of short stories and poems. Some from America, some from all over the world, some from kids, some from young adults. There are fiction and non-fiction short stories related to exeriences during the pandemic, poems about feelings and emotions and some that were just written during the pandemic.
- Alone Together
ALONE TOGETHER: Love, Grief, and Comfort During the Time of COVID-19 is a collection of essays, poems, and interviews to serve as a lifeline for negotiating how to connect and thrive during this stressful time of isolation as well as a historical perspective that will remain relevant for years to come. Ms. Haupt rallied a diverse roster of more than 90 authors to contribute their work to ALONE TOGETHER, free of charge, including Kwame Alexander, Jenna Blum, Andre Dubus III, Jamie Ford, Nikki Giovanni, Pam Houston, Jean Kwok, Major Jackson, Caroline Leavitt, Ada Limón, Dani Shapiro, David Sheff, Garth Stein, Luis Alberto Urrea, Steve Yarbrough, and Lidia Yuknavitch. All net profits will be donated to The Book Industry Charitable Foundation, to benefit booksellers in financial need.
- Young People Of The Pandemic
“Young People of the Pandemic” is an intimate glimpse into the psyche of American youth living through the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. A diverse group of young writers from across the country illustrates what it is to be a member of Gen Z in a divided country attempting to conquer the greatest crises of our time. An anthology for readers aged 10 to 110, the book presents a selection of voices from the generation that will inherit a wounded nation. With resilience, bravery, wisdom, honesty, and humor, these young writers tell their stories. The writing is not only used as a form of emotional expression, but also as an exploration into the journeys of young people as they navigate an uncertain and turbulent time. The collection of 120 young writers is heartbreaking yet heartwarming, presented in an extremely readable format. Throughout these stories, poems, and anecdotes there is hope on every page, with each written piece serving as an example of creative courage. A book for today and tomorrow, “Young People of the Pandemic” captures voices that will be remembered throughout history.
- Together, Apart
A collection of original contemporary love stories set during life in lockdown by some of today’s most popular YA authors.
Erin Craig “delivers” on a story about a cute pizza delivery boy, Auriane Desombre captures a girl trying to impress her crush on TikTok, and Bill Konigsberg takes readers along on daily walks where every step brings two boys closer to love. There’s roommates-to-enemies-to-something more from Rachael Lippincott, a tale of a girl with a mask-making business and her potentially famous crush from Erin Hahn, and a music-inspired meet cute from Sajni Patel. Brittney Morris sparks a connection with the help of two balcony herb gardens, Jennifer Yen writes an unconventional romance that starts with a fortune reading and a take-out order, and Natasha Preston steals hearts when a girl meets up with the boy next door in a storybook oak tree.
Romantic, realistic, sweet and uplifting, TOGETHER, APART is a collection of finding love in unexpected places during an unprecedented time . . . each with the one thing we all want: a guaranteed happy ending.
- And We Came Outside And Saw The Stars Again
In this rich, eye-opening, and uplifting anthology, dozens of esteemed writers, poets, artists, and translators from more than thirty countries send literary dispatches from life during the pandemic. A portion of proceeds benefit booksellers in need.
As our world is transformed by the coronavirus pandemic, writers offer a powerful antidote to the fearful confines of isolation: a window onto lives and corners of the world beyond our own. In Mauritius, a journalist contends with denialism and mourns the last days of summer, lost to the lockdown. In Paris, a writer struggles to protect his young son from fear. In Chile, protesters who prevailed against tear gas and rubber bullets are now halted by a virus. In Queens, after thirteen-hour shifts in the ER, a doctor dons running shoes and makes the long jog home.
And We Came Outside and Saw the Stars Again takes its title from the last line of Dante’s Inferno, when the poet and his guide emerge from hell to once again behold the beauty of the heavens. In that spirit, the stories, essays, poems, and artwork in this collection―from beloved authors including Jhumpa Lahiri, Mario Vargas Llosa, Eavan Boland, Daniel Alarcón, Jon Lee Anderson, Claire Messud, Ariel Dorfman, and many more―detail the harrowing experiences of life in the pandemic, while pointing toward a less isolated future. Together they comprise a profound global portrait of the defining moment of our time, and send a clarion call for solidarity across borders.
And finally, I came across a link from the Chicago Public Library which lists a bunch of other books and some of them are more technical books about the pandemic. A couple on this list, I have included as well. These might be for you if you are looking for something with more scientific information and not just some personal stories and experiences.
Some of these I have read, and some are still on my list. Follow me on @minihaysreads for my reviews and thoughts on some of these.
- Have you read any books about the pandemic, during the pandemic?
- Do you think you might read some in the future?
- Do any of these books look intriguing to you?