Drawn from PW’s Fall Children’s Announcements Issue, here are our editors’ selections for 21 children’s and young adult books that can’t arrive soon enough. And check out our picks for this season’s most anticipated adult books as well.
Nya's Long Walk: A Step at a Time by Linda Sue Park, illus. by Brian Pinkney (Clarion, Sept.) - Newbery Medalist Park takes a character from her acclaimed 2010 novel, A Long Walk to Water, and tells the story in an illustrated format.
Pokko and the Drum by Matthew Forsythe (S&S/Wiseman, Oct.) - “The biggest mistake Pokko’s parents ever made was giving her a drum” begins this dark, hilarious tale about the instrument-laden progeny of quiet frog parents.
Roar Like a Dandelion by Ruth Krauss, illus. by Sergio Ruzzier (HarperCollins, Oct.) - In this mischievous, long-unpublished abecedarian by the late Krauss, unexpected commands poke fun at the tedium of traditional, noun-based ABC fare; Ruzzier extends the surreal mood expertly in playful vignettes reminiscent of early Sendak.
Saturday by Oge Mora (Little, Brown, Oct.) - When one Saturday—Ava and her mother’s only day off together—goes awry, the family handles dashed expectations in a way that acknowledges disappointment while conveying the buoyancy of resilience and the joy of their bond.
The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper, illus. by Carson Ellis (Candlewick, Oct.) - This cyclical volume by award-winning creators Cooper and Ellis observes winter solstice, offering an alluringly haunting alternative to more familiar seasonal stories.
Small in the City by Sydney Smith (Holiday House/Porter, Oct.) - Smith’s understated solo debut follows a bundled-up child walking on a snowy winter day amid tall buildings, traffic, and telephone poles. “I know what it’s like to be small in the city,” the narration begins.
A Stone Sat Still by Brendan Wenzel (Chronicle, Aug.) - As in his They All Saw a Cat, Wenzel’s quiet, meaningful poem focuses on how point of view affects experience. This time, the subject is a humble stone encountered variably by a host of creatures.
Best Friends by Shannon Hale, illus. by LeUyen Pham (First Second, Aug.) - The sequel to graphic memoir Real Friends follows Shannon into sixth grade, where she contends with the foibles of popularity.
Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick, Sept.) - The thoughtful companion to two-time Newbery Medalist DiCamillo’s Raymie Nightingale and Louisiana’s Way Home follows Beverly Tapinski, the third of the Three Rancheros, four years after the first book’s events.
Guts by Raina Telgemeier (Graphix, Sept.) - With disarming candor and in her now instantly recognizable panel artwork, Eisner Award winner Telgemeier weaves a tangle of personal preadolescent traumas into another compelling graphic memoir.
Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly (Greenwillow, Sept.) - A fantasy inspired by Filipino folklore, this vibrant story by the Newbery Medalist follows Lalani, 12, on a harrowing quest to save her mother and her island from the horrible fates for which they seem destined.
Strange Birds by Celia C. Peréz (Kokila, Sept.) – In Florida, four unique personalities form a crew with a mission in Peréz’s engaging, well-plotted second novel, which prompts its characters to a deeper understanding of intersectionality and activism.
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia (Disney-Hyperion/Riordan, Oct.) - This thrilling middle grade debut, inspired both by West African mythology and African-American folk tales, follows seventh-grader Tristan Strong from Chicago to Alabama to another realm populated by black folk heroes.
White Bird by R.J. Palacio (Knopf, Oct.) - Branded as “A Wonder Story,” Palacio’s well-paced graphic novel debut expands upon a story introduced in Auggie & Me—Grandmère’s reluctantly told tale of her childhood in German-occupied France.
Call Down the Hawk (The Dreamer Trilogy #1) by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic Press, Nov.) - Kicking off a new fantasy trilogy, Stiefvater weaves together the stories of a hunter, a thief, and a dreamer who wields the power to shape reality.
Children of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy of Orïsha #2) by Tomi Adeyemi (Holt, Dec.) - The second entry in Adeyemi’s bestselling #BlackLivesMatter-inspired fantasy finds Zélie on a mission to save the Orïsha from a civil war.
The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys (Philomel, Oct.) - In a gripping, often haunting historical novel that includes primary source materials, Sepetys again deftly explores a painful chapter in history, this time Franco’s Madrid.
Frankly in Love by David Yoon (Putnam, Sept.) - Caught in a brawl between romance and family expectations, Korean-American Frank Li isn’t sure which one will knock him out first. His parents have already disowned his sister for dating a non-Korean, so when Frank falls for a white classmate, he finds a way around them.
Pet by Akwaeke Emezi (Make Me a World, Sept.) - Carnegie Medal nominee Emezi makes their young adult debut in this compelling, nuanced tale of a transgender, selectively nonverbal girl named Jam, and the monstrous figure that finds its way into her allegedly utopian universe.
SLAY by Brittney Morris (Simon Pulse, Sept.) - In Morris’s not-to-be-missed YA debut, Kiera Johnson creates a virtual reality game called SLAY as a safe space for black gamers, but things take a turn when the massively popular game’s existence is threatened after a dispute results in a player’s murder.
Wayward Son (Simon Snow Series #2) by Rainbow Rowell (Wednesday, Sept.) - This sequel to Rowell’s Carry On follows Chosen One Simon Snow and his friends, fresh from saving the world, into happily-ever-after—in the American West.