Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including a lyrical family tale, a humorous spy story, a picture book ode to resourcefulness, and a YA psychological thriller.

The Dam by David Almond, illus. by Levi Pinfold. Candlewick, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-9597-2. In lilting prose, Hans Christian Andersen winner Almond (Skellig) tells the story of a father and daughter who look on at the dam that will flood their valley in the north of England. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.

Mac Undercover by Mac Barnett, illus. by Mike Lowery. Orchard, $12.99; ISBN 978-1-338-14359-1. In Barnett’s (The Terrible Two) series debut, as an adult recalling a 1980s childhood caper—when he was called upon to be a secret agent—the narrator insists that the story is true.

The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke, illus. by Van Thanh Rudd. Candlewick, $15.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-0031-7. In this picture book debut, readers can take a ride out into the sand on a bicycle kids have created from cans, discarded wood, and “a bell that used to be Mum’s milk pot.” The picture book earned a starred review from PW.

Born Scared by Kevin Brooks. Candlewick, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-9565-1. In this YA thriller, a young man living with a severe anxiety disorder is forced out of his comfort zone when a mix-up with his medication on Christmas Eve disrupts his carefully controlled life.

Imagine! by Raúl Colón. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-6273-0. Colón’s wordless picture book makes it clear that visiting works of art can breathe magic into the everyday and inspire further creativity. The book earned a starred review from PW.

Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech. HarperCollins, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-06-257070-3. In the latest from Creech (Moo), a boy struggles to raise a baby donkey. The middle grade novel earned a starred review from PW.

Sleepy, the Goodnight Buddy by Drew Daywalt, illus. by Scott Campbell. Disney-Hyperion, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-4847-8969-8. Daywalt (The Day the Crayons Quit) and Campbell (Hug Machine) take on the familiar story of the reluctant sleeper, and things escalate quickly. The book earned a starred review from PW.

Otherwood by Pete Hautman. Candlewick, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-9071-7. An isolated boy witnesses a strange, terrible event in the wood near his house in this haunting novel by Hautman (Eden West). The book earned a starred review from PW.

The Lantern’s Ember by Colleen Houck. Delacorte, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-399-55572-5. This standalone fantasy from Houck (the Tiger’s Curse series) focuses on 17-year-old witch Ember O’Dare and Jack, an immortal “lantern” whose soul resides inside a pumpkin and whose job it is to guard the crossroads linking the Otherworld to Ember’s sleepy village of Hallowell.

Merci Suárez Changes Gears by Meg Medina. Candlewick, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-9049-6. Medina keeps the tone light as Merci’s take-charge personality helps her to succeed in this coming-of-age tale about family and the perils of sixth grade.

Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel José Older. Scholastic/Levine, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-338-26881-2. In this middle grade historical fantasy, set during the Draft Riots of 1863, the protagonists find refuge in the Dactyl Hill community of Brooklyn, where they join a growing resistance against racism and oppression.

Holes in the Sky by Patricia Polacco. Putnam, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-5247-3948-5. This follow-up to Chicken Sunday again features Miss Eula and child Trisha, based on Polacco’s childhood self.

Paul Writes (a Letter) by Chris Raschka. Eerdmans, $17; ISBN 978-0-8028-5494-0. Caldecott Medalist Raschka paints the biblical Paul at his desk in bright colors, writing earnestly, the words floating around him on the page. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.

Me and My Fear by Francesca Sanna. Flying Eye, $17.95; ISBN 978-1-911171-53-9. In this picture book, a girl explores feelings of fear and loneliness. The book earned a starred review from PW.

Zora and Me: The Cursed Ground by T.R. Simon. Candlewick, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-4301-0. In this compelling sequel to Zora and Me (both stories fictionalize the childhood of literary great Zora Neale Hurston), two best friends unearth a town’s secret.

Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise by David Ezra Stein. Candlewick, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-8842-4. In the eponymous Chicken’s post–Caldecott Honor book, she learns something new in school: “Every story has an elephant of surprise.” Papa—whose bright red crest and spade-shaped feet match Chicken’s—gently explains that it’s element, not elephant. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.

Someone Else’s Shoes by Ellen Wittlinger. Charlesbridge, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-58089-749-5. This middle grade book by Printz Honor author Wittlinger (Saturdays with Hitchcock) shows the grief, anger, and outright havoc that suicide can leave in its wake.

For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of September, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.