Drawn from our recent Fall 2017 Children’s Announcements Issue, here are our editors’ picks for some of the children’s and young adult books we’re already looking forward to. And be sure to check out PW's most anticipated fall books for adults, too.
After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) by Dan Santat (Little, Brown, Oct.) - Santat remains one of the busier artists working today (this spring alone, he illustrated Rob Sanders’s Rodzilla and Gennifer Choldenko’s Dad and the Dinosaur). But this is the Caldecott Medalist’s first outing as author since 2016’s time-bending Are We There Yet?, and it packs a punch: Santat imagines the difficult psychological aftermath of Humpty Dumpty’s fall from the wall, and the fears and trauma that have become part of his life.
Good Day, Good Night by Margaret Wise Brown, illus. by Loren Long (Harper, Oct.) - It’s not hard to see some Goodnight Moon in this previously unpublished picture book from Brown. It features a small bunny, for starters, and that bunny spends the book bidding good day to his surroundings after morning arrives, and then good night as evening falls. And although Long blazes his own trail in his acrylic paintings, he includes some visual treats for Clement Hurd fans.
It Takes a Village by Hillary Rodham Clinton, illus. by Marla Frazee (S&S/Wiseman, Sept.) - The country—the world, even—might feel more divided than ever, but this first picture book from the 2016 Democratic nominee for President, inspired by her bestselling 1996 book for adults, champions the idea that we’re stronger and better off together. It’s a message that Frazee’s artwork, which so often emphasizes community and connection, is ideally suited to.
La La La: A Story of Hope by Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Jaime Kim (Candlewick, Oct.) - DiCamillo, a Newbery Medalist and former National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature, has received no shortage of acclaim for her writing, but she uses only one word—a girl’s sung “La”—in this picture book. It’s up to Kim, a busy newcomer who’s illustrated four picture books in just the past year, to reveal how much meaning that single syllable can have.
Robinson by Peter Sís (Scholastic Press, Sept.) - Sís returns to the subject of his childhood years in a story based on an incident in which he wore a homemade Robinson Crusoe costume to school. After being teased by classmates dressed as pirates, the young Peter retreats into the fantastical imagined world of Crusoe’s island, letting readers come along for the ride.
The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse by Mac Barnett, illus. by Jon Klassen (Candlewick, Oct.) - Barnett and Klassen’s Triangle made our spring 2017 most anticipated list, and they’re back this fall with a book about making the best of a bad situation. After a mouse gets swallowed by a wolf, he finds a duck already in there, living the good life. There isn’t much of a view, but with records to listen to and wine to drink, what’s not to like?
All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson (Dial, Sept.) - Having picked up a Newbery Honor for her 2015 graphic novel, Roller Girl, Jamieson returns with another empathic story of a girl coming into her own. In this case, it’s Imogen Vega, the homeschooled daughter of parents employed at the local Renaissance fair, who is entering public school for the first time.
The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente (S&S/McElderry, Sept.) - Valente closed out her five-book Fairyland series last fall with The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home, so the timing is just right for this standalone adventure. It’s based on the imaginary world concocted (and written about) by the real-life Brontë siblings—only in Valente’s novel, the cockeyed and unpredictable world of Glass Town comes to dazzling life for the children.
I’m Just No Good at Rhyming: And Other Nonsense for Mischievous Kids and Immature Grown-Ups by Chris Harris, illus. by Lane Smith (Little, Brown, Sept.) - Harris, a TV writer and producer whose credits include How I Met Your Mother, makes a wildly entertaining foray into children’s books with a poetry collection bursting with creativity and wit. Beyond just illustrating Harris’s verse, Smith’s artwork is part of the fun, as he and Harris spar with each other using images and words.
The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine by Mark Twain and Philip C. Stead, illus. by Erin Stead (Doubleday, Sept.) - Based on Twain’s notes about a bedtime story he told his children, the Steads’ adaptation expands on the epic quest of a boy named Johnny, who has the ability to speak to animals. It’s a talent that comes in handy as he attempts to locate a lost prince.
The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid by Colin Meloy, illus. by Carson Ellis (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, Oct.) - Meloy and Ellis’s Wildwood Chronicles came to a close in 2014 with Wildwood Imperium; their first literary collaboration since then introduces Charlie Fisher, a boy who gets drawn into a world of young pickpockets and thieves—suddenly his life is far more exciting (and dangerous) than he ever imagined.
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate, illus. by Charles Santoso (Feiwel and Feiends, Sept.) - Newbery Medalist Applegate (The One and Only Ivan) movingly explores the way that prejudice affects a neighborhood after a Muslim family moves in. The novel unfolds through the memorable voice of a character with real perspective on the area: an oak tree that has been around for more than 200 years.
All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic Press, Oct.) - Having wrapped up her Raven Cycle series last fall (it was recently announced that a TV adaptation is headed to Syfy), Stiefvater turns to a standalone story of miracles, owls, and radio waves. Set in 1960s Colorado, it stars a trio of cousins from a family with the ability to perform miracles.
The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman (Knopf, Oct.) - More than 20 years after the release of The Golden Compass, Pullman returns to his world of dust and daemons in a novel set 10 years before the His Dark Materials books. First in a trilogy, the story will again focus on Lyra Belacqua though, as Pullman has said, “It’s not a sequel, and it’s not a prequel, it’s an equal.”
Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart (Delacorte, Sept.) - Lockhart’s 2014 YA novel, We Were Liars, made waves with its twisty plot and narration, and she unleashes even more trickery in this thriller. Centered on the uneasy friendship between two teenage girls, the novel essentially unfolds in reverse, and is no less gripping for it.
Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds (Atheneum/Dlouhy, Oct.) - Reynolds sets this intense and claustrophobic story in an apartment building’s elevator, expanding what should be a seven-story trip into a harrowing examination of gun violence. In the elevator is 15-year-old Will, a gun shoved in his waistband and ready to avenge his brother’s murder. But this is no ordinary elevator ride.
Tool of War by Paolo Bacigalupi (Little, Brown, Oct.) - Five years after The Drowned Cities, Bacigalupi returns with the third book in the series that began with his Printz Award–winning Ship Breaker. Set in a future America ravaged by climate change, this book turns its attention to Boston and the genetically enhanced half-man Tool.
Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (Dutton, Oct.) - Few details are known about Green’s first novel since The Fault in Our Stars, which was revealed in a surprise announcement this summer. In the book, Aza a 16-year-old with a mental illness, looks into the disappearance of a billionaire. There’s no question that the author’s fans will be all over it.