Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including an early reader series opener, a picture book about an influential astronomer, the first volume in a fantasy trilogy inspired by Africa, and a slapstick picture book.
Hi, Jack! by Mac Barnett, illus. by Greg Pizzoli. Viking, $9.99; ISBN 978-0-593-11379-0. In this beginning-reader series opener, Barnett and Pizzoli introduce a mischievous rabbit named Jack, a lady named “the Lady,” and a dog named Rex. The book earned a starred review from PW.
What Miss Mitchell Saw by Hayley Barrett, illus. by Diana Sudyka. Beach Lane, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-8759-7. A bright-eyed baby peers up from a star-studded swaddle; the baby will become one of history’s most famous female astronomers, Maria Mitchell, who is the subject of this picture book biography.
Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron. HarperTeen, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-287095-7. First in a planned trilogy, Barron’s West Africa-inspired fantasy debut is a character-driven tale of vengeance, greed, sacrifice, and star-crossed romance.
Chick and Brain: Smell My Foot! by Cece Bell. Candlewick, $12.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-7936-1. The title says it all: this early reader comic by Newbery Honor author Bell features plenty of bonkers humor.
Fever Year: The Killer Flu of 1918 by Don Brown. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-544-83740-9. Organized as “a three-act tragedy,” this slim graphic novel describes the spread of the 1918 Spanish flu with an unemotional narrative voice supplemented by direct quotes from historical accounts.
Grown-Ups Never Do That by Davide Cali, illus. by Benjamin Chaud. Chronicle, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-4521-3169-6. Hypocrisy, thy name is grown-up: that’s what a bunch of kid sleuths discover when they tail the adults in their lives in this picture book.
Verify by Joelle Charbonneau. HarperTeen, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-280362-7. In this dystopian thriller set in America nearly a century from now, a young woman discovers lies undermining her community when she seeks to complete her late mother’s unfinished paintings.
Girl Under a Red Moon: Growing Up During China’s Cultural Revolution by Da Chen. Scholastic Focus, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-338-26386-2. Chen (China’s Son) casts his steadfast oldest sister, Sisi, as the heroine of this middle grade memoir, which depicts the tense atmosphere at the dawn of China’s Cultural Revolution.
Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi. Simon & Schuster, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-4597-0. In this YA novel, a directionless 19-year-old dropout working the night shift at an NYC bodega meets a charismatic pop star and embarks on a whirlwind romance with her.
The Star Shepherd by MarcyKate Connolly and Dan Haring, illus. by Dan Haring. Sourcebooks, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4926-5820-7. This middle grade novel by Connolly (Shadow Weaver) and animator Haring, in his authorial debut, is an engaging entrée into fantasy.
The Scarecrow by Beth Ferry, illus. by the Fan Brothers. HarperCollins, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-247576-3. Ferry’s picture book is a twist on the theme of love between adversaries, while the Fan Brothers’ finely worked art grounds the story in the movement of the seasons.
Idriss and His Marble by René Gouichoux, illus. by Zaü. StarBerry, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-63592-132-8. This refugee story for younger readers follows a boy named Idriss and his most prized possession.
Rated by Melissa Grey. Scholastic Press, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-338-28357-0. At elite Maplethorpe Academy, six students receive riddles and clues suggesting that all is not right with their society’s universal rating system, which decides everything from education and healthcare to social standing.
Remarkables by Margaret Peterson Haddix. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06283846-9. Haddix plots her satisfying mystery with careful touch points and reveals in this drama of family dynamics.
Mighty Jack and Zita the Spacegirl by Ben Hatke. First Second, $22.99; ISBN 978-1-250-19173-1. This middle grade graphic novel retains the humor, daring exploits, and dynamic cartooning of Hatke’s previous books.
More to the Story by Hena Khan. Salaam Reads, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-9209-6. This contemporary update of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women follows the Muslim, Pakistani-American Mizra family of Atlanta. The middle grade novel earned a starred review from PW.
Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai. HarperCollins, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-222921-2. Lai (Listen, Slowly) centers her remarkable YA debut on two 18-year-old protagonists: Hằng, a determined Vietnamese refugee, and LeeRoy, an aspiring cowboy. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Loki: Where Mischief Lies by Mackenzi Lee. Marvel, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-3680-2226-2. One does not have to be a Marvel film franchise fan to enjoy this action-packed, emotionally resonant origin story of trickster deity and sorcerer Loki.
Mama’s Work Shoes by Caron Levis, illus. by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. Abrams, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-4197-2554-8. In this picture book, Perry and her mother spend a lot of time together, so much so that Perry knows all of her mother’s shoes by heart.
The Hive by Barry Lyga and Morgan Baden. Kids Can, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5253-0060-8. This well-paced collaboration between spouses Lyga (Bang) and Baden, a ghostwriter, takes social media, mob violence, and hacking to extremes, pitting a 17-year-old against a frighteningly believable crowdsourced justice system.
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin. HarperTeen, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-287802-1. Tender romance and a rebellious, resilient heroine buoy this YA novel, which counsels understanding and forgiveness in the face of zealotry and persecution.
Get Up, Stand Up by Bob Marley and Cedella Marley, illus. by John Jay Cabuay. Chronicle, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-452171-72-2. Carrying on her father’s legacy of banding people together in solidarity, Cedella Marley adds to her collection of picture book adaptations of the singer-songwriter’s beloved work with this new installment.
Legacy and the Queen by Annie Matthew, created by Kobe Bryant. Granity Studios, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-949520-03-3. In this sports-themed fantasy debut created by Matthew in collaboration with Bryant, a girl must win a tennis tournament in order to save the orphanage run by her father and help her best friend, who faces factory work instead of school.
Listen by Holly M. McGhee, illus. by Pascal Lemaître. Roaring Brook, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-250318-12-1. In short, lyrical selections, McGhee invites young readers to listen, look, breathe, taste, and dig in the natural world, highlighting the ways in which sensory reflexes and experiences unite people.
American Royals by Katharine McGee. Random House, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-9848-3017-3. In this drama’s reimagined U.S.A., George Washington was crowned king rather than becoming the country’s first elected president. Now, hundreds of years later, his descendent, Princess Beatrice Georgina Fredericka Louise of the House of Washington, the first female heir to the crown, is 21 and expected to find a husband.
The Piano Recital by Akiko Miyakoshi. Kids Can, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5253-0257-2. This picture book (and its natural-sounding, uncredited translation from the Japanese) fulfills the wish of reluctant recital players (and some nonrecitalists as well) to find themselves in another world entirely.
Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika and Maritza Moulite. Inkyard, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-335-77709-6. Written as a series of intimate personal letters and emotional diary entries from Alaine, her mother, and her female ancestors, the Moulite sisters’ well-conceived debut is an alternately funny and bittersweet story of loss, regret, love, and sacrifice, centered on the fictional female descendants of real-life Haitian queen Marie-Louise Coidavid. The YA novel earned a starred review from PW.
The President Sang Amazing Grace by Zoe Mulford, illus. by Jeff Scher. Cameron Kids, $18.95; ISBN 978-1-944903-84-8. In this picture book, following the 2015 shooting that killed nine African-Americans at a Charleston, S.C., prayer service, President Obama read a eulogy before leading those gathered in song.
Nya’s Long Walk: A Step at a Time by Linda Sue Park, illus. by Brian Pinkney. Clarion, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-328-78133-8. Newbery Medalist Park takes a character from her 2010 novel, A Long Walk to Water, and tells her story in a new format.
Little Libraries, Big Heroes by Miranda Paul, illus. by John Parra. Clarion, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-544-80027-4. Paul (Nine Months) frames her nonfiction picture book about Little Free Libraries as a story about ordinary heroes.
Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers by Celia C. Peréz. Kokila, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-4252-9043-9. The book earned a starred review from PW. Four unique personalities form a crew with a mission in this engaging, well-plotted second novel, set in Florida, from Peréz (The First Rule of Punk). The middle grade book earned a starred review from PW.
Who Stole the Hazelnuts? by Marcus Pfister, trans. from the German by David Henry Wilson. NorthSouth, $17.95; ISBN 978-0-7358-4382-0. Rainbow Fish creator Pfister sets this picture book caper on terra firma, introducing a squirrel who can’t find his hazelnuts.
Three Cheers for Kid McGear! by Sherri Duskey Rinker, illus. by A.G. Ford. Chronicle, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4521-5582-1. A peppy little skid steer called Kid McGear joins the Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site creators’ crew, but while their welcome is cordial, the five trucks underestimate Kid’s size and strength.
Child of the Dream (a Memoir of 1963) by Sharon Robinson. Scholastic Press, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-338-28280-1. In this coming-of-age memoir, Robinson (The Hero Two Doors Down), daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson, focuses on the year 1963, when she was 13, illuminating how political activism on the national stage intertwined with her growing awareness of the civil rights movement.
Dr. Seuss’s Horse Museum by Dr. Seuss, illus. by Andrew Joyner. Random House, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-399-55912-9. Constructed from a manuscript and sketches found by the author’s widow, this picture book is a lively excursion into the world of art, which explores the artist’s vision by focusing on works that take the horse as their subject.
Mr. Nogginbody Gets a Hammer by David Shannon. Norton, $17.95; ISBN 978-1-324-00344-1. Thrilled to discover that a hammer can fix a nail that has popped up from his floor, the protagonist of this picture book starts seeing nails everywhere. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Alma and the Beast by Esmé Shapiro. Tundra, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-7352-6396-3. In this picture book, a little beast—a human girl—strays into Alma’s garden.
Dear Mr. President by Sophie Siers, illus. by Anne Villeneuve. Owlkids, $16.95; ISBN 978-1-77147-391-0. When Sam sees the U.S. president on TV announcing the need for a wall he fires off a letter to POTUS declaring that he needs a wall, too: he’s forced to share a bedroom with his older brother.
Small in the City by Sydney Smith. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4261-4. In his solo debut picture book, Smith (Town Is by the Sea) follows a bundled-up child walking in winter amid tall buildings, traffic, and telephone poles. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Hungry Jim by Laurel Snyder, illus. by Chuck Groenink. Chronicle, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4521-4987-5. In this clever tribute to Maurice Sendak, Snyder and Groenink gleefully subvert picture book norms by embracing the beastliest behavior. The book earned a starred review from PW.
My Jasper June by Laurel Snyder. Walden Pond, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-06-283662-5. In the wake of her brother’s death, a girl makes a new friend. The middle grade novel earned a starred review from PW.
Just Ask: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor, illus. by Rafael López. Philomel, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-525-51412-1. Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor’s (Turning Pages) experience as a child with juvenile diabetes spurred this picture book meditation on the idea that we’re all different.
The Couch Potato by Kerry Lyn Sparrow, illus. by Yinfan Huang. Kids Can, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5253-0005-9. It’s not clear what an actual potato is doing on the Russet family’s living room sofa, but that’s all it takes to send Mr. Russet, who is responsible for the housekeeping, over the edge in this picture book.
She’s the Worst by Lauren Spieller. Simon & Schuster, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-3658-9. In her newest YA novel, Spieller (Your Destination Is on the Left) explores complicated family issues between two sisters and their respective relationships with their always arguing parents.
Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki, illus. by Steve Pugh. DC Ink, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-4012-8329-2. Harleen Quinzel pulls into Gotham as a broke teenage drifter in this tale of gentrification and class struggle.
Octopus Stew by Eric Velasquez. Holiday House, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-3754-2. Ramsey, the young narrator, has a grandmother with a steel will, and when his painting of Super Octo inspires her to make pulpo guisado—octopus stew—there’s no dissuading her.
Thurgood by Jonah Winter, illus. by Bryan Collier. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5247-6533-0. Excellent storytelling in word and image unite in this essential picture book biography of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall (1908–1993). The book earned a starred review from PW.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of September, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.