Celebrate with a Book

Your own birthday comes but once a year, but there’s always one to celebrate for a friend or family member.

When it comes to that special day, New Orleans Public Library has you covered–from book recommendations for all ages to free outings with the family.

If you have a birthday coming up for a child, reading books about birthdays leading up to their big day can amp up the excitement for them. In When’s My Birthday? author Julie Fogliano, along with award-winning illustrator Christian Robinson, center their story on that very feeling. The young narrator enthusiastically lists what will make this the best birthday ever, including “a big cake….with lots of chocolate.”

For slightly older readers, If You Had Your Birthday Party on the Moon by Joyce Lapin, is an entertaining and educational journey through anti-gravity. Readers will see normal birthday party staples such as balloons and candles behaving in new ways in the moon’s atmosphere, and learn the science behind why.

For teenagers wanting to get into some birthday-themed literature, Birthday by Meredith Russo is a young adult LBGTQIA+ romance between two best friends, a transgender girl and a cisgender boy, who share the same birthday. Once Upon a Quinceañera by Monica Gomez-Hira follows Carmen through an unpaid summer internship in Miami leading up to her cousin’s Quinceañera, a fifteenth birthday party celebration.

For adults looking for a birthday-themed read, Liane Moriarity of Big Little Lies and Nine Perfect Strangers fame has Three Wishes, her debut novel from 2003. Set against a backdrop of family tension and one champagne-soaked birthday, Three Wishes is a fun and dramatic read.

Looking to understand more of what your date of birth says about you? Adults and teens can check out The Birthday Book by Shelley von Strunckel, which discusses astrology in an informative and entertaining way. Younger readers will enjoy Astrological Signs: Facts, Trivia, and Quizzes by Elsie Olsen.

All of these titles have several copies available at the New Orleans Public Library, and many have e-book and audio versions available. Reserve a copy online at, or by calling your Library.

Last, but not least, if you are in charge of planning a birthday outing, make sure to check out the Library’s Culture Pass program. Orleans Parish residents can use their library card for free tickets to the Audubon Zoo, Audubon Aquarium, World War II Museum, and more. Passes must be reserved in advance for entry, and there are limited numbers available every day. Visit for more information.

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