Some of the big titles hitting shelves this month include the story of a boy learning about loss with the help of his gorilla friend; the companion to Newbery-winning graphic novel New Kid; a YA novel about a teenage girl reassessing the meaning of love after being caught in a student-teacher affair; and much more.
Elena Favilli. Rebel Girls, $35 (224p) ISBN 978-1-73332-929-3. Ages 7 and up.
The latest installment in the Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls series features 100 immigrant women who have shaped and will continue to shape our world.
Jen Bryant, illus. by Frank Morrison. Abrams, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4108-1. Ages 4–8.
Hall of Famer Elgin Baylor, one of the first professional African American players, inspired others on and off the court. But when traveling for away games, many hotels and restaurants turned him away because he was Black. One night, Elgin had enough and staged a one-man protest, which captured the attention of the press, public, and the NBA.
Tami Charles, illus. by Bryan Collier. Orchard, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-338-57485-2. Ages 4–8. Tami
Charles pens a poetic, lyrical text that is part love letter, part anthem reassuring readers that their matter and their worth is never diminished, no matter the circumstance. The book received a starred review from PW.
Chris Raschka. Greenwillow, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-293776-6. Ages 4–8.
Family members spend the day around the heart of a home: the blue table. A shopping list is written, food is prepared, and the table is set. Guests arrive, thanks are given, and a meal is shared. The book received a starred review from PW.
Jackie Azúa Kramer, illus. by Cindy Derby. Candlewick, $16.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9832-4. Ages 4–8.
On the day of his mother’s funeral, a boy conjures the very visitor he needs to see: a gorilla. Wise and gentle, the gorilla stays on to answer the heart-heavy questions the boy hesitates to ask his father about his mother’s death. The book received a starred review from PW.
Carson Ellis. Candlewick, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1456-7. Ages 4–8.
The half room is full of half things: a half chair, a half cat, even half shoes. When half a knock comes on half a door, who in the world could it be? Caldecott Honoree Ellis explores halves and wholes in this picture book celebrating the surreal and the serendipitous. The book received a starred review from PW. Read Ellis’s personal quarantine story here.
Philip Waechter, trans. from the German by Elisabeth Lauffer. Blue Dot Kids, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-73312-126-2. Ages 3–7.
When his parents plan a trip to the sea, Jacob says he will fly there himself. Along the way, he meets new friends and has wonderful adventures. And when his bird friends need help, Jacob and the flock work together to rescue their friend and outsmart the nefarious bird catcher. The book received a starred review from PW. See our spotlight on new and forthcoming children’s books in translation.
Jessica Love. Candlewick, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1238-9. Ages 4–8.
Julián from Julián Is a Mermaid returns, and he is going to be in a wedding; he arrives, dressed in a sharp lavender suit and magenta shoes, with his abuela. “A wedding is a party for love,” Love writes. The book earned a starred review from PW. See our q&a with Flying Starts author Love here.
David Goodner, illus. by Andrea Tsurumi. Disney-Hyperion, $14.99 (80p) ISBN 978-1-368-02577-5. Ages 6–8.
Kondo and Kezumi live on an island with fruit trees and berry bushes and flitter-birds and fluffle-bunnies. When a surprise bottle washes ashore, they discover a map with the mysterious message: “WE ARE NOT ALONE.” So begin their adventures, where islands of cheese and giant mountains await. The book received a starred review from PW.
Robert Macfarlane, illus. by Jackie Morris. Anansi International, $26 (120p) ISBN 978-1-487007799. All ages.
This follow-up to The Lost Words offers a collection of poems and illustrations that evoke the magic of the everyday natural world. The book received a starred review from PW.
M.L. Marroquin, illus. by Tonya Engel. Page Street Kids, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-6241-4981-8. Ages 4–8.
A Black girl loves her beautiful, natural hair and celebrates it in creative and inventive ways. While some might worry about how it’s different and try to contain it, she gives it the freedom to be so extraordinary it almost has a life of its own. The book received a starred review from PW.
DeShanna Neal and Trinity Neal, illus. by Art Twink. Kokila, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-9848-1460-9. Ages 4–8.
A dedicated mother puts love into action as she creates the perfect rainbow-colored wig for her transgender daughter. The story is based on the real-life experience of mother-daughter advocate duo Trinity and DeShanna Neal. The book received a starred review from PW.
Innosanto Nagara. Triangle Square, $17.95 (36p) ISBN 978-1-64421-014-7. Ages 4–8.
In Seussian rhyme, Nagara crafts a progressive call-to-arms about social justice topics, including universal health care, climate change, free public education, and prison abolition. This primer offers a useful starting point for readers seeking to begin conversations about social justice.
Christy Hale. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4644-5. Ages 3–6.
Intricate, textural cut-paper collage distinguishes this directional tale, which follows a brown-skinned child sporting a red jacket through a weekday commute via the New York subway—from a Brooklyn brownstone to school and back. The book received a starred review from PW.
Mac Barnett, illus. by Shawn Harris. Candlewick, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0396-7. Ages 3–7.
Readers can follow a magnificent polar bear through a world of snow and shockingly blue sea. Barnett’s humor, just right for the littlest readers, adds warmth, while Harris concentrates on the elemental beauty of Arctic life with minimalist forms. The book received a starred review from PW.
Matt Phelan. Greenwillow, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-293413-0. Ages 4–8.
Turtle children experience extremely delayed gratification when their parents announce a local adventure in this winning picture book. The gentle joke at the heart of the story is that the destination is a hillside above the meadow where the turtles live; being turtles, though, it takes the family four seasons to arrive there. The book received a starred review from PW.
Oliver Jeffers. Philomel, $19.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-593-20675-1. Ages 4–8.
In this standalone companion to Here We Are! that is dedicated to his daughter, Jeffers imagines a stream of fanciful projects that a father, sporting a wool hat, and his sailor dress–clad daughter might do together. Jeffers’s benediction portrays a parent who surrounds his child with love and steadies her as she learns how to bring her dreams to fruition.
Marianne Dubuc. Kids Can, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5253-0490-3. Ages 3–7.
This day-in-the-life tale takes place in a modest apartment building seen in Richard Scarry–style cutaways. Sweetly tinted spreads by Dubuc show three floors of flats, plus an attic garret and storage, all of whose inhabitants are busy with their own, sometimes intersecting story arcs. The book received a starred review from PW.
James Patterson and Kwame Alexander, illus. by Dawud Anyabwile. Little, Brown/Patterson and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-3164-9816-6. Ages 8–12.
Alexander and Patterson join forces to depict Cassius Clay’s life up to age 17 in both prose and verse, including his childhood friends, struggles in school, the racism he faced, his discovery of boxing, and his transformation into the unrivaled Muhammad Ali. The book received a starred review from PW.
Jerry Craft. HarperAlley/Quill Tree, $12.99 paper (256p) ISBN 978-0-06-288551-7. Ages 8–12.
Following New Kid, this poignant and humorous companion graphic novel centers on Jordan’s friend Drew, who has his own struggles with racism, classism, and shifting friendships at Riverdale Academy Day School. The book received a starred review from PW. See our interview with Newbery Medalist Craft here.
Ellen Hopkins. Putnam, $17.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-593-10861-1. Ages 10 and up.
Hannah’s life is just how she wants it—until her cousin Cal moves in with her family and everything changes. Hopkins tells the story of two cousins who are more alike than they realize and the family they both want to save.
Cassandra Rose Clarke. Holiday House, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-82344-608-7. Ages 14 and up.
In June 1993, Claire has been dumped in rural Indianola, Texas, to spend her vacation taking care of mean, sickly Grammy. But something remarkable is happening: a red-lightning storm from beyond our world may just wipe the whole town off the map, if Claire and her maybe-girlfriend Julie can’t stop it. The book received a starred review from PW.
Van Hoang, illus. by Nguyen Quang and Kim Lien. Roaring Brook, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-250-24041-5. Ages 8–12.
Eleven-year-old Thom Ngoh is keeping a secret: she’s freakishly strong. And it’s making it impossible for her to fit in. In a desperate bid to get rid of her super strength, Thom makes a deal with the Monkey King, a powerful deity and legendary trickster. The book received a starred review from PW.
John Rocco. Crown, $29.99 (264p) ISBN 978-0-525-64741-6. Ages 10 and up.
Rocco tells the stories of 400,000 unsung heroes, their innovations, and life-changing technological leaps forward that allowed NASA to achieve the accomplishment of Apollo 11. Each challenging step in the space race is displayed through experiments, moments of crisis, and unforgettable human stories. The book received a starred review from PW.
G.Z. Schmidt. Holiday House, $17.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4422-9. Ages 8–12.
It’s 1999 and Adam doesn’t mind living at his uncle’s bakery, even if he misses his dead parents. But when a mysterious customer shows Adam a snow globe saying that adventures await him, it’s too strange to be true. Days later, Adam finds a similar snow globe and immediately travels back in time.
Saadia Faruqi. Quill Tree, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-294320-0. Ages 8–12.
Two girls navigate a summer of change and family upheaval with kind hearts, big dreams, and all the right questions. Although the girls seem incompatible at first, as the summer goes on, Sakina and Mimi realize that they have plenty in common—and they each need to get what they want most.
Jennifer Niven. Knopf, $18.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-5247-0196-3. Ages 14 and up.
With graduation on the horizon, Claudine is focused on three things: starting college, becoming a famous author, and sex. But when her parents announce their breakup, her world feels like it’s falling apart. When she meets Jeremiah, their chemistry is immediate and irresistible.
Edited by Adi Alsaid. Inkyard, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-335-14649-6. Ages 13 and up.
This collection of stories featuring teen immigrants examines the joys, heartbreaks, and triumphs of immigration, with stories by acclaimed and bestselling YA authors who have been shaped by the journeys they and their families have taken from home—and to find home. The book received a starred review from PW.
Dylan Farrow. Wednesday, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-23590-9. Ages 14 and up.
Shae has led a seemingly quiet life. But when her mother is murdered, Shae journeys to unlock the truth, instead finding a new enemy keen to destroy her; a brooding boy with dark secrets; and an untold power she never thought possible.
Abby Howard. Iron Circus, $25 paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-9458-2066-3. Ages 13 and up.
In a grisly gothic adventure at the end of the world, 10-year-old Mona and her motley crew of good-hearted ghouls must stop an invading horde of monsters. The book received a starred review from PW. See more Halloween Reads for Kids and Teens here.
Laurel Flores Fantauzzo. Quill Tree, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-297228-6. Ages 14 and up.
In this #OwnVoices story, after Corazon’s mother catches her kissing her older female teacher, Corazon is sent to the Philippines to live with a half-brother she barely knows. There she learns more about loss and love than she could have imagined. The book received a starred review from PW.
Lisa DeSelm. Page Street Kids, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-6456-7080-3. Ages 14 and up.
DeSelm’s dark “Pinocchio” retelling stars a girl who is commissioned to build an assassin for a dark-hearted tyrant. With her town teetering on the brink of war and her father dying in the dungeons, Pirouette has no choice but to accept the task. The book received a starred review from PW.