Hitting shelves next week are a picture book about a cat seeking a home, a middle grade novel about a boy who wants to communicate with extra-terrestrials, and a YA novel in which a teen girl confronts tragedy and injustice, among many other works for kids and teens.
Life on Mars by Jon Agee. Dial, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-399-53852-0. Dramatic irony rules this picture book expedition to Mars, in which a young human roams the rocky environment, unaware that he is not alone.
Penguin Day by Nic Bishop. Scholastic Press, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-545-20636-5. Wildlife photographer Bishop builds a story around a colony of rockhopper penguins in Antarctica, focusing on a chick and its parents (the photographs actually feature several penguin families, an endnote explains).
See You in the Cosmos by Jack Cheng. Dial, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-399-18637-0. Alex Petroski, the idiosyncratic 11-year-old narrator of this debut middle grade novel, records his thoughts and adventures, “so when intelligent beings millions of light-years away find it one day they’ll know what Earth was like.” The result is a propulsive stream-of-conscious dive into Alex’s life as he sets off from Colorado with his dog, to launch the recordings into space at a festival in New Mexico. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Stranger Than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer. Little, Brown, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-316-38344-8. In Colfer’s (the Land of Stories series) first YA novel, four Illinois teens join the 20-something star of their favorite TV show, Wiz Kids, on a road trip.
Prince Ribbit by Jonathan Emmett, illus. by Poly Bernatene. Peachtree, $16.95; ISBN 978-1-56145-761-8. In this picture book, three sisters pit fairy tales against cold, hard scientific facts when they find a talking frog.
This House, Once by Deborah Freedman. Atheneum, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-4284-8. Freedman (Shy) meditates on the origins of a house in this quiet picture book. “This door was once a colossal oak tree about three hugs around and as high as the blue,” she writes, opposite a spare, clean drawing of a door against a white backdrop. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Genevieve’s War by Patricia Reilly Giff. Holiday House, $16.95; ISBN 978-0-8234-3800-6. In this standalone companion to Giff’s Newbery Honor-winning Lily’s Crossing, Genevieve, a 13-year-old American, is spending the summer in Alsace with her aloof grandmother, Mémé, when the WWII German occupation begins.
A Cat Named Swan by Holly Hobbie. Random House, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-553-53744-4. Hobbie’s latest picture book follows the story of a homeless kitten in search of a family. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Flora and the Chicks: A Counting Book by Molly Idle by Molly Idle. Chronicle, $9.99; ISBN 978-1-4521-4657-7. Idle brings her balletic heroine Flora to a younger audience in this nearly wordless board book that finds the girl struggling to keep up with a nestful of hatching chickens. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Just Fly Away by Andrew McCarthy. Algonquin Young Readers, $17.95; ISBN 978-1-61620-629-1. In this YA novel by Brat Pack actor McCarthy, 15-year-old Lucy Willows is blindsided when she learns that she has an eight-year-old half-brother, Thomas, a product of her father’s infidelity.
Just a Girl by Carrie Mesrobian. Harper, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-234991-0. In Mesrobian’s (Cut Both Ways) latest YA novel, the author writes about teens who aren’t bound for college and the complexity, intensity, and double standards of teenage sexuality.
Frogkisser! by Garth Nix. Scholastic Press, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-338-05208-4. In this humorous middle grade novel, Princess Anya just wants to be left alone to study magic. But her feckless older sister, Morven, keeps falling madly in love with visiting princes—until their “evil stepstepfather,” Duke Rikard, transforms the suitors into frogs.
Mighty, Mighty Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illus. by Tom Lichtenheld. Chronicle, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4521-5216-5. The five industrious vehicles previously spotlighted in the bestselling picture book Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site eagerly start a new day in this sequel, which brings the machines new challenges and welcome assistance. The book earned a starred review from PW.
We Love You, Rosie! by Cynthia Rylant, illus. by Linda Davick. Beach Lane, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4424-6511-4. In this picture book, Rylant (Little Penguins) and Davick (Say Hello!) introduce opposites in a series of chapter-like scenarios starring two good-natured siblings and their frisky, floppy-eared dachshund, Rosie.
Slappy Birthday to You (Goosebumps SlappyWorld #1) by R.L. Stine. Scholastic, $6.99; ISBN 978-1-338-06828-3. This first book in the Goosebumps SlappyWorld spinoff series features Slappy, the ventriloquist dummy from Stine’s original Goosebumps series.
How the Queen Found the Perfect Cup of Tea by Kate Hosford, illus. by Gabi Swiatkowska. Carolrhoda, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-4677-3904-7. An imperious monarch embarks on a global quest in this picture book [from the team]http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-authors/article/68424-illustrator-gabi-swiatkowska-s-new-york-tour-in-photos.html behind Infinity and Me.
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-249853-3. In Thomas’s debut novel, 16-year-old Starr Carter, who lives in a neighborhood riven with gang strife, is both the grocer’s daughter and an outsider, because she attends private school many miles away. But at Williamson Prep, where she’s among a handful of black students, she can’t be herself either. The book earned a starred review from PW.
The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale. S&S/McElderry, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-8841-9. In this YA high-fantasy debut from editor-turned-writer van Arsdale, young people fend off “soul eaters,” who once killed all the adults in their village.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of February, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.