Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles including a picture book based on a true story, a middle grade fantasy novel, a graphic novel about a budding reporter, the launch of a fantasy series, and more.

Week of December 30

Hosea Plays On by Kathleen M. Blasi, illus. by Shane W. Evans. Sterling, $16.95; ISBN 978-1454-9268-32. Based on the story of a beloved musician from Rochester, N.Y., this day-in-the-life tale by Blasi (A Name of Honor) introduces Hosea, a black street performer who saves the money he earns to buy band instruments for the children in his neighborhood.

Cub Cynthia L. Copeland. Algonquin, $24.95; ISBN 978-1-61620-993-3. In her debut graphic novel for young readers, Copeland (Middle School Secrets) presents a memoir set in 1972–1973, when the then-12-year-old job-shadowed a local news reporter. The book earned a starred review from PW.

Casper Tock and the Everdark Wings by Abi Elphinstone. Aladdin, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-4307-5. A boy is transported to the magical realms responsible for creating the Earth’s weather, in this middle grade fantasy novel that launches the Unmapped Chronicles series.

Notorious by Gordon Korman. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-06-279886-2. Korman (The Unteachables) brings his usual humor and heart to this well-plotted mystery that sensitively explores themes of friendship and family.

Just Breathe by Cammie McGovern. HarperTeen, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-246335-7. In this YA novel, an unlikely friendship forms between two teens when they become acquainted at a hospital.

Althea Gibson: The Story of Tennis’ Fleet-Of-Foot Girl by Megan Reid, illus. by Laura Freeman. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-285109-3. In this picture book biography of the tennis legend, Reid emphasizes Gibson’s athleticism and tenacity, tracing her journey from Harlem’s Cosmopolitan Tennis Club, where she did odd jobs to pay for lessons, to winning titles on the elite grass of Wimbledon despite racism and prejudice.

Week of January 6

Dare to Dream Big by Lorna Gutierrez, illus. by Polly Noakes. Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, $10.99; ISBN 978-1-4926-9485-4. This picture book poem expressed through rhyme invites children to explore and fully embody their personalities.

Overground Railroad by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illus. by James E. Ransome. Holiday House, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-3873-0. Warm portraiture and vivid writing by married collaborators Cline-Ransome and Ransome (Before She Was Harriet) mark this story of a family’s journey north during the Great Migration. The book earned a starred review from PW.

Furious Thing by Jenny Downham. Scholastic/Fickling, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-338-54065-9. In this thought-provoking novel, British YA author Downham (Before I Die) frankly conveys the effects of emotional abuse through her intimate portrait of a furious teen.

Hollow Dolls by MarcyKate Connolly. Sourcebooks, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-4926-8819-8. In this start to a new series set in the same world as the Shadow Weaver duology, a young woman whose memories were magically stripped away searches for her long-lost family, only to discover that a terrifying foe may be hunting her.

This Light Between Us: A Novel of World War II by Andrew Fukuda. Tor Teen, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-250-19238-7. When Alex Maki of Bainbridge Island, Wash., and Charlie Lévy of Paris, France, are assigned to be pen pals in 1935, their correspondence progresses against history, as discrimination against Charlie’s Jewish family gets worse, and after Pearl Harbor, Alex’s Japanese-American family is interned far from their home.

Flowers in the Gutter: The True Story of the Edelweiss Pirates, Teenagers Who Resisted the Nazis by K.R. Gaddy. Dutton, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-5255-5541-4. Gaddy’s debut draws from memoirs and extensive research to share the true stories of three teens in Nazi Germany.

What’s Up, Maloo? by Geneviève Godbout. Tundra, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-7352-6664-3. In her solo debut, Godbout (The Pink Umbrella) presents a quiet meditation on sadness and friendship.

Stolen Justice: The Struggle for African American Voting Rights by Lawrence Goldstone. Scholastic Focus, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-338-32348-1. In clear, vivid language, this timely volume recounts the layered history of African-American voting rights, from the 1787 Constitutional Convention to Georgia’s 2018 block against voter registration for 53,000 residents, the majority of whom were African-American.

This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work by Tiffany Jewell, illus. by Aurelia Durand. Frances Lincoln, $14.99; ISBN 978-0-7112-4521-1. Jewell employs four sections to deftly explain progressive understandings of identity, history, action, and solidarity as tools to encourage antiracist reflection, thought, and action. The book earned a starred review from PW.

A Ride to Remember: A Civil Rights Story by Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan, illus. by Floyd Cooper. Abrams, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-4197-3685-8. Like many children, Sharon Langley took her first carousel ride supported by a parent’s steadying hand. But Langley’s August 1963 ride, a month before her first birthday, was also a landmark: the culmination of a sustained civil rights struggle to integrate the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Baltimore. The picture book biography earned a starred review from PW.

Josie Bloom and the Emergency of Life by Susan Hill Long. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-4427-0. In Long’s (The Magic Mirror) novel set in small-town Maine, it’s 1977, and intrepid sixth grader Josie Bloom is doing her best to make ends meet.

The Oldest Student: How Mary Walker Learned to Read by Rita Lorraine Hubbard, illus. by Oge Mora. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5247-6828-7. Mary Walker, born enslaved in 1848 Alabama, eventually learns to read in this picture book biography based on a true story. The book earned a starred review from PW.

One of Us Is Next by Karen M. McManus. Delacorte, $19.99; ISBN 978-0-525-70796-7. Full of exciting and unexpected twists and racing toward a shocking conclusion, this YA novel from the author of the bestselling One of Us Is Lying earned a starred review from PW.

The Old Truck by Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey. Norton Young Readers, $17.95; ISBN 978-1-324-00519-3. In the Pumphrey brothers’debut, an old truck’s maturation mirrors a brown-skinned girl’s growth into adulthood. The book earned a starred review from PW.

The President of the Jungle by André Rodrigues et al., trans. from the Portuguese by Lyn Miller-Lachmann. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-9848-1474-6. When Lion, the King of the Jungle, reroutes the river to create a swimming pool at his house, his subjects promptly launch a demonstration in this picture book.

Cowie by Elizabeth Rose Stanton. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-2174-5. Stanton’s (Peddles) newest addition to her gallery of animal outsiders is a little donkey with red ribbons in his tail who sees perfection in cows.

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