Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles including a novel about an impoverished teen, an anthology of immigrant’s stories, a picture book about fishing, a witchy middle grade novel, and many more.
Junk Boy by Tony Abbott. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-249125-1. Abbott (The Summer of Owen Todd) deftly captures the characters’ hurt at feeling forgotten and misunderstood, the isolation of coming-of-age under traumatic circumstances, and the solace, in the form of the local priest, of being seen and accepted.
Come On In edited by Adi Alsaid. Inkyard, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-335-14649-6. Edited by Alsaid (We Didn’t Ask for This), this topical anthology unites 15 short stories depicting a variety of immigrant experiences. The book earned a starred review from PW.
What a Lucky Day! by Jashar Awan. Norton, $17.95; ISBN 978-1-324-01552-9. Four animal anglers head individually to a waterside dock, each hoping to catch some dinner in this picture book.
Cinders & Sparrows by Stefan Bachmann. Greenwillow, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-06-228995-7. When an animated scarecrow delivers a letter naming her sole heir to a powerful family’s ancient estate, 12-year-old orphan and maid Zita Brydgeborn discovers that witches are real—and that she is descended from one of the last great witching families on the continent.
A Polar Bear in the Snow by Mac Barnett, illus. by Shawn Harris. Candlewick, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-0396-7. Barnett’s humor, just right for the littlest readers, adds warmth, while Harris concentrates on the elemental beauty of Arctic life. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Wishes and Wellingtons by Julie Berry. Sourcebooks Young Readers, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-7282-2325-4. After 13-year-old Maeve Merritt’s temper gets her in trouble (yet again) at Miss Salamanca’s School for Upright Young Ladies, she’s sentenced to several days of rubbish sorting, where she makes a startling discovery: a sardine can in which resides bad-tempered djinni Mermero. This book is the first in a middle grade fantasy series.
The Sisters of Straygarden Place by Hayley Chewins. Candlewick, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-1227-3. Since their parents vanished seven years ago, leaving them a list of rules (“Do not leave the house. Do not go into the grass. Wait for us. Sleep darkly”), the Ballastian sisters have lived alone at Straygarden Place, a semi-sentient house that fulfills their every need. The middle grade novel earned a starred review from PW.
The Puppetmaster’s Apprentice by Lisa DeSelm. Page Street Kids, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-6456-7080-3. DeSelm’s fantastical YA debut, an elegantly styled, gender-swapped retelling of “Pinocchio,” transports readers into a wood in which magic’s price must always be paid. The book earned a starred review from PW.
The Runaway Belly Button by John Flannery, illus. by Mika Song. Roaring Brook, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-20284-0. The novelty of a sentient navel protagonist enables this picture book to work as both solid entertainment and useful hygiene instruction.
You Know I’m No Good by Jessie Ann Foley. Quill Tree, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-0629-5708-5. In this YA novel, a teen goes to a boarding school for troubled teens and begins to heal from the trauma she has experienced.
Ginger and Chrysanthemum by Kristen Mai Giang, illus. by Shirley Chan. Levine Querido, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-64614-001-5. A traditional Chinese belief categorizes food as either warming or cooling, explains an author’s note; this inspires Giang’s debut, which follows the eponymous two cousins, “as close as two beans in a pod” despite their contrasting personalities, as they prepare for their grandmother’s birthday.
The Wrench by Elise Gravel, trans. from the French by Charles Simard. Orca, $19.95; ISBN 978-1-4598-2449-2. Gravel (I Am Scary) pokes fun at consumer culture in this lighthearted picture book.
The Boy and the Gorilla by Jackie Azúa Kramer, illus. by Cindy Derby. Candlewick, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-9832-4. Following a mother’s death, a gorilla lumbers slowly into the family’s house, then the garden, as grown-ups wearing somber colors disperse. The allegorical picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Above All Else by Dana Alison Levy. Charlesbridge Teen, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-62354-140-8. In her YA debut, children’s author Levy (It Wasn’t Me) offers a nail-biting adventure set in Nepal, where two recent high school graduates prepare for “the ultimate goal”: climbing Mount Everest.
The Truth Project by Dante Medema. Quill Tree, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-295440-4. Delia, a high school senior in Alaska, experiences a major life change after a DNA test, launching an exploration of identity, secrets, and what family means.
No Ordinary Thing by G.Z. Schmidt. Holiday House, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4422-9. Schmidt’s complex, tightly constructed middle grade debut explores time travel and fantasies about altering the past for the better.
The Popper Penguin Rescue by Eliot Schrefer, illus. by Jim Madsen. Little, Brown, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-316-49542-4. Inspired by the 1938 classic Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Schrefer imagines a Popper descendant accidentally taking up her ancestor’s mantle in this middle grade novel.
Everything I Thought I Knew by Shannon Takaoka. Candlewick, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-0776-7. Debut author Takaoka weaves a compelling tale of following one’s instincts and seeking connections that outlast physical life in this YA novel.
Jacob’s Fantastic Flight by Philip Waechter, trans. from the German by Elisabeth Lauffer. Blue Dot Kids, $17.95; ISBN 978-1-73312-126-2. This journey, depicted in softly washed ink and crayon drawings reminiscent of R.O. Blechman, is every kid’s dream of independence and community as the protagonist gets a chance to fly. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Mellybean and the Giant Monster by Mike White. Razorbill, $20.99; ISBN 978-0-5932-0280-7. In this middle grade comics series starter told in brief chapters, adopted dog Mellybean wants nothing more than to play with her cat siblings, but when they trick Mellybean into burying their owner’s shoe, she discovers a portal to a medieval fantasy world.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of October, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.