Hitting shelves next week are a picture book featuring a tiny tyrant, a middle grade graphic novel about two sisters confronting mortality on the Day of the Dead, and a YA novel set in a world where one night of lawlessness is followed by a memory erasure.
King Baby by Kate Beaton. Scholastic/Levine, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-545-63754-1. In Beaton’s (The Princess and the Pony) second picture book, a swaddled egg of an infant addresses his many adorers. The book earned a starred review from PW.
The Bill the Cat Story: A Bloom County Epic by Berkeley Breathed. Philomel, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-399-54662-4. The heart wants what the heart wants, and in this origin story, readers learn that Binkley, the human fulcrum of Breathed’s Bloom County, really wanted a cat that looks like it’s suffering from a combination of the world’s worst hangover and the world’s worst hair ball.
Leave Me Alone by Vera Brosgol. Roaring Brook, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-62672-441-9. Graphic novelist Brosgol’s (Anya’s Ghost) first picture book opens in a traditional folktale setting as a Russian grandmother in a tiny cottage struggles to finish her winter knitting. She has dozens of grandchildren, and they swarm all over her yarn, and all she wants is to complete her work. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan by Ashley Bryan. Atheneum/Dlouhy, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-5690-6. Using a document from 1828 that lists the value of a U.S. landowner’s 11 slaves, Bryan (Sail Away) creates distinct personalities and voices for each, painting their portraits and imagining their dreams. The book earned a starred review from PW.
The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron. Scholastic Press, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-545-94521-9. In this YA novel, a consequence-free night of lawlessness and bloodshed accompanied by a total loss of memory comes to the walled city of Canaan every 12 years, and its citizens rely on their books to remember who they are afterward, unless they decide to start new lives.
The Peculiar Night of the Blue Heart by Lauren DeStefano. Bloomsbury, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-61963-643-9. In a moving story from the author of the Chemical Garden trilogy, about the lengths children will go to help a friend, Lionel and Marybeth live in an orphanage run by Mrs. Mannerd, a kindly widow who never had children of her own.
Children of Exile by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Simon & Schuster, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-4424-5003-5. In this trilogy opener, Rosi and her younger brother are two of many children raised by Fred-mamas and Fred-daddies in Fredtown, a place of equality and harmony.
Pond by Jim LaMarche. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-4735-5. Stories about nature often feature disappearing wildlife and dwindling habitats, but LaMarche (Winter Is Coming) shows how nature can rebound.
Every Falling Star: The True Story of How I Survived and Escaped North Korea by Sungju Lee and Susan Elizabeth McClelland. Amulet, $16.95; ISBN 978-1-4197-2132-8. This memoir highlights a boy’s survival and eventual escape from North Korea.
The Poet’s Dog by Patricia MacLachlan. HarperCollins/Tegen, $14.99; ISBN 978-0-06-229262-9. Newbery Medalist MacLachlan offers a middle grade novel from the perspective of Teddy, the dog of the title. The book earned a starred review from PW.
The Plot to Kill Hitler: Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Spy, Unlikely Hero by Patricia McCormick. Balzer + Bray, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-241108-2. In short chapters, two-time NBA finalist McCormick (Never Fall Down) recounts the life of theologian and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, his efforts to alert the world to the horrors of Hitler’s Germany, and his conversion from pacifism to would-be assassin in a failed effort to overthrow the dictator. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Eat, Sleep, Poop by Alexandra Penfold, illus. by Jane Massey. Knopf, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-385-75503-0. Penfold, a literary agent making her children’s book debut, gives her young narrator the offhand but pointed tone of a busy adult professional. “It’s a lot to fit in a single day, but I manage,” the infant notes in a perfectly world-weary humblebrag.
Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan. Candlewick, $19.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-7233-1. Phelan (Bluffton) delivers a spectacular 20th-century update of “Snow White,” transplanting the story to Jazz Age and Depression-era New York City, where themes of jealousy, beauty, and power find a comfortable home. The book earned a starred review from PW.
The Journey by Francesca Sanna. Flying Eye (Consortium, dist.), $18.95; ISBN 978-1-909263-99-4. Storybook imagery – foreboding woods, looming giants, and creatures of forest and sea – collides with desperately real circumstances as a family seeks haven from encroaching war in this debut picture book. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier. Graphix, $10.99 trade paper; ISBN 978-0-545-54062-9. Telgemeier’s stirring graphic novel opens on moving day; Cat’s younger sister, Maya, has cystic fibrosis and needs the sea air. While Cat is the worrier in the family, chronically ill Maya is an irrepressible optimist. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Is That Wise, Pig? by Jan Thomas. Beach Lane, $14.99; ISBN 978-1-4169-8582-2. Cow and Mouse respond to Pig’s unconventional ideas with the declaration of the book’s title – a relatively even-tempered approach that nods to non-confrontational, teachable-moment parenting techniques.
The Water Princess by Susan Verde, illus. by Peter H. Reynolds. Putnam, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-399-17258-8. In this picture book based on the childhood of model Georgie Badiel in Burkina Faso, Verde and Reynolds follow a girl and her mother as they retrieve water for the family’s use.
Dark Horses by Cecily Von Ziegesar. Soho Teen, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-61695-517-5. Gossip Girl author Von Ziegesar turns her attention to the competitive horse show circuit. Seventeen-year-old loner Merritt Wenner, still mourning her grandmother’s death a year ago, resorts to destructive behavior that gets her self-absorbed parents to seek help for her at an equine therapy program.
The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner, illus. by Sara Mulvanny. Aladdin, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-7074-2. Bestselling adult author Weiner (In Her Shoes) makes her children’s book debut with this witty story of outcasts coming together, first in a trilogy.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of September, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.