Grown-up readers passionate about children’s literature will find these recent and upcoming adult titles a welcome addition to their shelves. Two books provide thematic, age-appropriate reading lists for babies through teens, while others explore the cultural resonance of classic characters and give insight into creators that have significantly influenced children’s literature.

Live Oak, with Moss

by Walt Whitman, illus. by Brian Selznick (Abrams ComicArts, Apr. 9, $29.99, ISBN 978-1-4197-3405-2)

This never-before-published collection of 12 poems written by Walt Whitman as he turned 40 features private reflections on his attraction to and affection for other men, and his most unflinching explorations of the theme of same-sex love. The accompanying images by Caldecott Medalist Selznick offer a thought-provoking visual chronicle of the collection.

Better with Books: 500 Diverse Books to Ignite Empathy and Encourage Self-Acceptance in Tweens and Teens

by Melissa Hart (Sasquatch, Apr. 23, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-63217-227-3)

This collection of themed book lists is a valuable resource for educators, librarians, parents, and other adults who recognize the power of literature in the lives of young people. The lists, which include books published in the last decade, are grouped by age (middle grade and young adult) and theme, such as body image, mental health, poverty and homelessness, and religion and spirituality.

Words and Worlds: From Autobiography to Zippers

by Alison Lurie (Delphinium, May 14, $25, ISBN 978-1-883285-78-4)

This anthology of essays by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author spans a variety of topics from recollections of her writing life; memories of inspiring friends (from poet James Merrill to illustrator Edward Gorey); and commentary on her passions, including children’s literature, fashion, and feminism.

The Dark Fantastic: Race and the Imagination from Harry Potter to the Hunger Games March

by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas. (Postmillennial Pop, May 21, $28, ISBN 978-1-4798-0065-0)

YA novelist, fanfiction writer, and education scholar Thomas argues that the diversity crisis in children’s and young adult media is a failure of both representation and imagination. She looks at pop culture and four black protagonists from recent media, including Rue from The Hunger Games and Angelina Johnson from the Harry Potter books, to analyze their narratives, audience reactions, and how these characters mirror real-world violence against people of color.

March Sisters: On Life, Death and Little Women

by Kate Bolick, Carmen Maria Machado, Jane Smiley, and Jenny Zhang (Library of America, Aug. 27, ISBN 978-1-59853-628-7)

Four authors offer personal reflections on Alcott’s Little Women to coincide with the novel’s 150th anniversary. Each writer centers one of the four March sisters, reflecting on their stories and their message for contemporary readers and, along the way, exploring the power of great literature to change lives.

How to Raise a Reader

by Pamela Paul and Maria Russo (Workman, Sept. 3, $19.95, ISBN 978-1-5235-0530-2)

Written by two editors at the New York Times Book Review, this guide to raising a lifelong reader contains practical ideas for engaging children of all ages with literature, as well as book lists arranged by age and theme. With four sections, for babies through teens, each illustrated by a different artist, plus a fifth section of additional book recommendations, parents and educators will find tips, reassurances, and titles to explore.

Wonderland: An Anthology

edited by Marie O’Regan and Paul Kane (Titan, Sept. 17, $14.95, ISBN 978-1-78909-148-9)\t

This compilation of stories inspired by Alice in Wonderland includes a wide-ranging list of fantasy and horror authors, including M.R. Carey, L.L. McKinney, Juliet Marillier, and Jane Yolen.

Fabulous Monsters: Dracula, Alice, Superman, and Other Literary Friends

by Alberto Manguel (Yale University Press, Sept. 24, $19.95, ISBN 978-0-300-24738-1)

Translator and critic Manguel explores the ways in which literary characters transcend the pages of books to influence the lives of readers from childhood through adulthood.

The Life and Loves of E. Nesbit: Victorian Iconoclast, Children’s Author, and Creator of The Railway Children

by Eleanor Fitzsimons (Abrams, Oct. 8, $35.00, ISBN 978-1-4197-3897-5)

In this first biography of trailblazing and controversial children’s author E. Nesbit, considered the first modern writer for children and inventor of the children’s adventure story, Fitzsimons analyzes Nesbit’s letters and conducts archival research to uncover her influences, ideas about socialism, and impact on a generation of children.

The Reading Life: The Joy of Seeing New Worlds Through Others’ Eyes

by C.S. Lewis (HarperOne, Oct. 15, $19.99, ISBN 978-0-06-284997-7)

This collection of essays drawn from Lewis’s wide body of writing reflects on the power, importance, and joy of a life dedicated to reading and books. The volume includes reflections on science fiction, the ways in which children’s literature is essential for all ages, and why we should read two old books for every one new book.

Imagining Anne: L.M. Montgomery’s Island Scrapbooks

by Elizabeth Rollins Epperly (Nimbus, Dec. 30, $32.95, ISBN 978-1-77108-770-4)

Montgomery scholar Epperly has annotated Montgomery’s scrapbooks from 1893 to 1910 in this full-color collection, giving readers insight into the young author during the period when heroine Anne Shirley came to life.

Anne of Green Gables: The Original Manuscript

by L.M. Montgomery, ed. by Carolyn Strom Collins (Nimbus, Jan. 30, 2020, $24.95, ISBN 978-1-77108-721-6)

This volume presents the original text of Montgomery’s most famous manuscript, complete with notes from the author, additions, deletions, and other editorial details, and an appendix of rare foreign-language covers. The culmination of years of research by Montgomery scholar Collins, it offers a unique look into Montgomery’s creative process.