Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles including a YA series launch, an historical WWII story based on real events, a middle grade paranormal mystery, a picture book biography of a v-p candidate, and many more.
Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles. Wednesday, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-20435-6. Although Kallia routinely dazzles audiences at Hellfire House, where she performs magic as a masked showgirl, the brown-skinned 17-year-old dreams of headlining her own act in this YA series launch.
Letters from Cuba by Ruth Behar. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-525-51647-7. In 1938, Esther, 11, travels alone from her small Jewish village in Poland to join her father in Cuba, vowing to help earn enough money to pay for the rest of their family to join them. The middle grade historical novel was inspired by the life of the author’s grandmother.
Midnight at the Barclay Hotel by Fleur Bradley, illus. by Xavier Bonet. Viking, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-593-20290-6. When 12-year-old JJ Jacobson’s CEO mom wins a weekend at the haunted Barclay Hotel in Aspen Springs, Colo., paranormal investigation enthusiast JJ convinces her to bring him along in this illustrated middle grade mystery novel.
Kamala Harris: Rooted in Justice by Nikki Grimes, illus. by Laura Freeman. Atheneum, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-6267-0. Lightly framed as a conversation between a girl and her mother, this comprehensive picture book biography follows formative events in the life of Democratic vice-presidential candidate and “lawyer, prosecutor, Senator” Kamala Harris.
Rip to the Rescue by Miriam Halahmy. Holiday House, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4441-0. In WWII London, 13-year-old Jack serves as a bike messenger; when he finds a dog that can sniff out survivors under the rubble, the two become an unlikely rescue team.
Kind of a Big Deal by Shannon Hale. Roaring Brook, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-20623-7. Hale’s playful cross-genre adventure reveals the fallibility of ourselves and those we trust. This coming-of-age story should especially appeal to readers exploring post-high school liminal spaces.
The Whatifs by Emily Kilgore, illus. by Zoe Persico. Little Bee, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4998-1029-5. In this picture book about anxiety, Kilgore anthropomorphizes nettling questions as small, erratic critters called Whatifs, who “slink in from unknown places and/ swiftly attach themselves to people,” while relaying the life of Cora, “a nervous girl” of whom the Whatifs are particularly fond.
Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger, illus. by Rovina Cai. Levine Querido, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-64614-005-3. Indigenous stories, modern-day technology, and the supernatural blend to build a fast-paced murder mystery in Little Badger’s intriguing solo debut. The middle grade novel earned a starred review from PW.
Queen of Tejano Music: Selena by Silvia López, illus. by Paola Escobar. Little Bee, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-4998-1142-1. This engaging, narrative-heavy picture book biography of Mexican American superstar Selena Quintanilla (1971–1995) follows her journey from childhood to adulthood, illustrating her struggles and triumphs on her path to prominence.
Everything Sad Is Untrue: (a True Story) by Daniel Nayeri. Levine Querido, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-64614-000-8. Marked by a distinctive voice, Nayeri’s autobiographical novel is narrated by 12-year-old Khosrou, known as Daniel, who models himself after the legendary Scheherazade. The chapterless “patchwork story” follows Daniel through his dreamlike early childhood in Iran, a year in an Italian refugee camp with his sister and “unstoppable” mother (but without his larger-than-life father, who chose to stay behind), and their eventual asylum in Oklahoma. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Every Color of Light: A Book About the Sky by Hiroshi Osada, trans. from the Japanese by David Boyd, illus. by Ryōji Arai. Enchanted Lion, $16.95; ISBN 978-1-59270-291-6. In a strong translation by Boyd, a Japanese team captures the magic of a summer rainstorm. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Respect: Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Frank Morrison. Atheneum, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-5228-2. Riffing on the memorably sung spelling of Franklin’s hit “Respect,” each spread of this picture book biography pairs a single word with a rhyming couplet to trace the sweep of Franklin’s life.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of August, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.