Novel sequels hitting shelves this month include another illustrated chapter book featuring a famously stubborn feline; the continuation of a “Beauty and the Beast” fantasy retelling; a companion novel to a Coretta Scott King Honor middle grade; a standalone mystery with ghosts and puzzles, set in an established fantastical world; and many more.

Bad Kitty Joins the Team

by Nick Bruel (Roaring Brook, Jan. 7, $13.99, ISBN 978-1-250-20807-1)

In the latest installment of the Bad Kitty chapter book series, the eponymous housecat is spurred to exercise by her owner, the narrator of the story. Meanwhile, Mouse finds out that cats usually chase and eat mice, and, indignant, he challenges Strange Kitty to a battle of the species: Rodents vs. Cats.


by Kiersten White (Simon Pulse, Jan. 7, $18.99, ISBN 978-1-5344-0498-4)

Set in the world of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this YA sequel to Slayer finds Nina dealing with the aftershocks of the first book, as well as several new challenges. Despite regaining her Slayer powers from Watcher Leo before he died, Nina is feeling a bit off—especially with her twin sister Artemis gone, and with her powers having been held by an evil succubus.

City of Stone and Silence

by Django Wexler (Tor Teen, Jan. 7, $17.99, ISBN 978-0-7653-9727-0)

Second in the Wells of Sorcery trilogy, after last year’s Ships of Smoke and Steel, this epic YA fantasy follows combat mage Isoka, Princess Meroe, and the rest of the Soliton crew as they attempt to capture and return the ghost ship, as well as Tori, Isoka’s younger sister, who is coming into power of her own and wants Isoka back—at any cost.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken

by Brigid Kemmerer (Bloomsbury, Jan. 7, $18.99, ISBN 978-1-68119-511-7)

Returning to the kingdom of Emberfall, this YA fantasy sequel picks up where last year’s A Curse So Dark and Lonely left off. Though the curse is broken, rumors swirl about unleashed forbidden magic and the legitimacy of Prince Rhen’s reign. True heir Grey, Rhen’s guardsman, is on the run, until a dormant enemy’s proposition complicates the situation.

Leaving Lymon

by Lesa Cline-Ransome (Holiday House, Jan. 7, $16.99, ISBN 978-0-8234-4442-7)

Set in the 1940s, this companion to the Coretta Scott King Honor-winning middle grade novel Finding Langston features Lymon, the boy who bullied Langston. Abandoned by his mother as a baby, with his father in the state penitentiary, Lymon lives with his grandparents in Mississippi. But when Grandpops dies, Ma and Lymon move to Milwaukee to live with Aunt Vera, and soon circumstances cause Lymon to be sent to Chicago to live with his Momma.

The Map from Here to There

by Emery Lord (Bloomsbury, Jan. 7, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-68119-938-2)

The sequel to Lord’s 2015 sophomore novel, The Start of Me and You, finds Paige Hancock in her senior year of high school, with seemingly everything in line. She has a sweet boyfriend, a solid group of friends, and new ideas for college applications after a summer program in screenwriting at NYU. But what happens when things don’t go to plan?

The Night Country

by Melissa Albert (Flatiron, Jan. 7, $18.99, ISBN 978-1-250-24607-3)

This follow-up to Albert’s bestselling YA debut heralds the return of Alice Proserpine and Ellery Finch as they deal with the aftermath of The Hazel Wood. In New York City, Alice attempts to assimilate with humans—until she learns that something is picking off former Hinterland citizens. Meanwhile, Finch is in the Hinterland, trying to get home.

Shadowshaper Legacy

by Daniel José Older (Scholastic Press, Jan. 7, $18.99, ISBN 978-0-545-95300-9)

The finale to the urban fantasy Shadowshaper Cypher YA trilogy features Afro-Boricua teenager Sierra Santiago, who is desperate to defend her crew of shadowshapers in the war brewing amongst the houses. But Sierra must learn to harness the Deck of Worlds and navigate a deal with Death by one of her ancestors if she wants to save the worlds.

The Lost Tide Warriors

by Catherine Doyle (Bloomsbury, Jan. 14, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-5476-0272-8)

Fionn Boyle returns to the magical Arranmore Island in this middle grade sequel to The Storm Keeper’s Island, inspired by Irish mythology. As Morrigan, the evil sorceress, haunts Fionn’s dreams, he tries in vain to summon his trapped Storm Keeper magic. But with time ticking, he must rally the army of merrows to help save Arranmore—if he can find them.

Stella Díaz Never Gives Up

by Angela Dominguez (Roaring Brook, Jan. 14, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-250-22911-3)

In this illustrated middle grade follow-up to Stella Díaz Has Something to Say, Mexican-American Stella spends her summer taking on marine pollution, with the help of new and old friends alike.

The Thief Knot

by Kate Milford, illus. by Jaime Zollars (Clarion, Jan. 14, $17.99, ISBN 978-1-328-46689-1)

This standalone fantastical middle grade mystery, set in the world of the Greenglass House books, stars the eponymous group of six kids, who are intent on solving the case of Peony Hyde. When Marzana Hakelbarend’s parents are asked to investigate kidnapping suspects, Marzana and Nialla Giddis, her best friend, set out to solve the case themselves, with the help of a magician, a ghost, and a few others with useful skills. What follows is an adventure filled with puzzles, family secrets, and friendship.

Maximilian and the Curse of the Fallen Angel

by Xavier Garza (Cinco Puntos, Jan. 17, $12.95, ISBN 978-1-947627-31-4)

In the fourth illustrated book starring the offspring of lucha libre legends, Mexican-American eighth grader Maximilian must deal with his disappointment regarding his tio’s retirement. Max has always dreamed of assuming his great uncle Rodolfo’s legendary wrestling persona, Guardian Angel, but when Rodolfo retires to get married, Max’s plans seem impossible.

The Girl Who Fell Out of the Sky

by Victoria Forester (Feiwel and Friends, Jan. 28, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-250-08931-1)

The conclusion to Forester’s bestselling middle grade Piper McCloud series, after The Boy Who Knew Everything, revisits Piper, who has lost her ability to fly. Suddenly unmoored as her exceptional friends leave to fight an old foe, Piper attempts to regain her identity and self-confidence in the wake of her loss.

The Storm of Life

by Amy Rose Capetta (Viking, Jan. 28, $18.99, ISBN 978-0-451-47847-4)

In this queer sensual fantasy, after The Brilliant Death, genderfluid strega Teodora “Teo” di Sangro has almost limitless power, but an indeterminate amount of control. With the help of her genderfluid strega love, Cielo Malfara, Teo must unite the streghe of the five families of Vinalia to face the warmongering Capo she escaped, as well as Beniamo, the brother whose cruelty she’s been attempting to escape her whole life.

The Story Seeker: A New York Public Library Book

by Kristin O’Donnell Tubb, illus. by Iacopo Bruno (Holt, Jan. 28, $16.99, ISBN 978-1-250-30109-3)

This illustrated middle grade sequel to The Story Collector, set in the 1920s, features a protagonist based on a real person: Viviani Joffre Fedeler, who was born and raised in an apartment in the 42nd Street branch of the New York Public Library. In this installment, Viviani battles writer’s block while simultaneously taking on a new mystery.