Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles about muses, picky eaters, a girl and her chickens, retold fairy tales, and many more.
Muse Squad: The Cassandra Curse by Chantel Acevedo. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-06-294769-7. Acevedo deploys a mixture of imagination and sincerity in this mythic middle-grade duology opener with a message about art’s importance and awakening the hero within.
Little Green Donkey by Anuska Allepuz. Candlewick, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-0937-2. With vibrant mixed media illustrations and an exuberant, single-minded protagonist, Allepuz (That Fruit Is Mine!) presents a comic cautionary picture book for picky eaters.
Catch That Chicken! by Atinuke, illus. by Angela Brooksbank. Candlewick, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-1268-6. The team behind Baby Goes to Market tell the story of Lami, a West African girl with beaded braids, bright green sandals, and a talent for catching chickens.
Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust. Flatiron, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-19614-9. Bashardoust (Girls Made of Snow and Glass) combines Persian language and tales, particularly “The Shahnameh,” with European fairy tales and Zoroastrianism to create a world replete with deadly gardens, mothlike beings, and haunting burial grounds.
The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert. Disney-Hyperion, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-368-05329-7. This timely, politically charged novel sees Black first-time voters Marva Sheridan and Duke Crenshaw fulfilling their civic duty. The YA novel earned a starred review from PW.
Dress Coded by Carrie Firestone. Putnam, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-984816-43-6. A school’s unfair dress code, which targets young women and fails to account for socioeconomic and other circumstances that can make the code challenging to adhere to, is challenged in this YA novel, in which protagonist Molly begins a podcast where students share their experiences and try to challenge the rules. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Love, Jacaranda by Alex Flinn. HarperTeen, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-062447-869. Flinn (Girls of July) integrates serious issues such as class dynamics, the myth of meritocracy, and domestic abuse in this novel best consumed as wish-fulfillment fantasy for any teenager who belts show tunes in the shower.
We Will Rock Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-368-05959-6. In this companion to We Don’t Eat Our Classmates, Penelope the T. rex takes on the schoolwide talent show.
First Day Critter Jitters by Jory John, illus. by Liz Climo. Dial, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-7352-2855-9. The creators of Can Somebody Please Scratch My Back? present another spry animal picture book, commingling comedy and counsel while showcasing a passel of creatures braving the first day of school.
Superhero vs. School by Ethan Long. Bloomsbury, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-68119-828-6. With high-octane, bright pictures, this early reader comic may well provide a boost of confidence to wary, school-bound superheroes.
The Time of Green Magic by Hilary McKay. S&S/McElderry, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-6276-2. McKay adds the fetching family at the center of this resonant middle grade novel to her rich cache of irresistible protagonists. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power. Delacorte, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-525-64562-7. Powers examines the sometimes claustrophobic relationships of mothers and daughters with a genre twist that makes for a riveting, often frightening read in this gothic-horror YA novel. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Accidental by Alex Richards. Bloomsbury, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5476-0358-9. In this YA novel, a teen raised by her grandparents learns the truth about how she accidentally caused her mother’s death as a child, and grapples with the consequences.
I Got the School Spirit by Connie Schofield-Morrison, illus. by Frank Morrison. Bloomsbury, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5476-0261-2. The vivacious African American protagonist from I Got the Rhythm and I Got the Christmas Spirit returns in this follow-up, as she embarks on the first day of school with optimism and oomph.
All These Monsters by Amy Tintera. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-358-01240-5. Clara Rivera Pratt, 17, lives in Dallas with her abusive father and codependent mother, so when the opportunity to join a vigilante monster-killing squad arises, Clara forges her father’s signature and hops a bus to try out.
After the Worst Thing Happens by Audrey Vernick. Holiday House/Ferguson, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4490-8. With moments of humor, Vernick (Two Naomis) weaves together a middle grade novel that explores grief in all its raw pain, as well as the power of friends, family, and community to help heal.
Kerry and the Knight of the Forest by Andi Watson. Random House Graphic, $20.99; ISBN 978-1-984893-29-1. In this middle grade graphic novel, Kerry is lured into the Forest of Shadows by a mysterious girl who promises that it is the fastest route home, then vanishes.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of July, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.