Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles including a postapocalyptic novel, a spooky series starter, a YA novel set in a quarantined city, a very English romance, and many more.
The Electric Kingdom by David Arnold. Viking, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-593-20222-7. With a haunting, deliberately paced tale of postapocalyptic survival, Arnold (Mosquitoland) creates a devastated world held together by myth and memory.
Super Detectives (Simon and Chester Book #1) by Cale Atkinson. Tundra, $12.99; ISBN 978-0-7352-6742-8. Atkinson revisits the banter-filled unlikely friendship between the ghostly Sir Simon Spookington and his dark-skinned human housemate, Chester, in this entertaining graphic novel for early readers, the first in a series and a spin-off to picture book Sir Simon: Super Scarer.
City of the Uncommon Thief by Lynne Bertrand. Dutton, $19.99; ISBN 978-0-525-55532-2. Odd Thebes travels the aerial lines that connect the thousand towers of his ancient, long-quarantined city, running errands for each sequestered structure’s inhabitants, who produce their respective guild’s crafts.
Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce. HarperTeen, $11.99; ISBN 978-0-06-302591-2. Determined to leave a public humiliation behind, Ellie plans to skate by academically while taking in England and landing a hot British boyfriend in this YA novel.
In the Shadow of the Moon: America, Russia, and the Hidden History of the Space Race by Amy Cherrix. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-288875-4. Cherrix (Backyard Bears) uncovers how a quest for weapons transformed into space initiatives culminating in the moon walk, and reveals national secrets on both sides, such as how the U.S. side concealed the Nazi past of involved scientists.
The Girl from Shadow Springs by Ellie Cypher. Simon & Schuster, $19.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-6569-5. Blood Red Road meets “The Snow Queen” in this winter-bound Western YA novel following 16-year-old Jorie Harrow, who scavenges dead men outside the Gold Rush town of Shadow Springs, where spring hasn’t come for a generation.
Sunny-Side Up by Jacky Davis, illus. by Fiona Woodcock. Greenwillow, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-257307-0. This picture book offers a realistic take on how much emotional stamina can be required to make it through a day gone wrong when the protagonist’s mother leaves for the day.
Paris by Phone by Pamela Druckerman, illus. by Benjamin Chaud. Putnam, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-399-16506-1. Having shown adults the ways of French parenting in 2014’s Bringing Up Bébé, Druckerman now turns to the picture book set. Her protagonist, Josephine, yearns for la vie Parisienne.
One Jar of Magic by Corey Ann Haydu. HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-06-268985-6. With taut underlying tension and a sympathetically flawed protagonist, Haydu’s (Ever Cursed) middle grade novel literalizes magic’s effects on a family and community. The book earned a starred review from PW.
The Best Place in the World by Petr Horáček. Candlewick, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-1285-3. In this picture book, Hare surveys his animal friends one by one to ask if they think the meadow where they all live is the best place in the world.
The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa. Inkyard, $19.99; ISBN 978-1-335-09176-5. Told from the first-person perspective of Robin Goodfellow, also known as the fast-talking chaos causer Puck, this series starter set in the world of Kagawa’s Iron Fey saga follows Robin and Keirran, King of the Forgotten—exiled son of Iron Queen Meghan Chase, and sole wielder of “all three glamours, Summer, Winter, and Iron”—as they investigate a malevolent darkness in the Between.
Road Trip! A Whiskers Hollow Adventure by Steve Light. Candlewick, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-0947-1. Light (Black Bird Yellow Sun) does some whimsical world-building in welcoming picture book readers to Whiskers Hollow, where the animals are avid motorists and the roadways are huge tree branches.
We Are the Ashes, We Are the Fire by Joy McCullough, illus. by Maia Kobabe. Dutton, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-5255-5605-3. McCullough (Blood Water Paint) uses the legend of Marguerite de Bressieux, a medieval French noblewoman who avenged her sexual assault by going into battle against her attackers, to view the story of Em Morales, a biracial (Guatemalan and presumed white) Seattle high schooler reeling after her sister Nor’s brutal rape at a fraternity house. The illustrated YA novel earned a starred review from PW.
How to Catch a Clover Thief by Elise Parsley. Little, Brown, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-316-53428-4. Parsley (Neck & Neck) channels the irreverent spirit of classic Warner Bros. cartoons in this battle of wills in which a warthog and a gopher compete over a clover patch. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Game Changer by Neal Shusterman. Quill Tree, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-199867-6. The protagonist of this YA novel enters an alternative reality in which he leads a wealthy existence at an all-white high school in a world where segregation never ended, and finds himself grappling with realities of class, gender, race, and sexuality.
Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids by Edited by Cynthia Leitich Smith. Heartdrum, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-06-286994-4. In a letter to reviewers, editor Smith (enrolled Muscogee Creek) describes this anthology as a “sampling of the many rising Indigenous voices who are changing children’s literature for the better.” Using the framework of an intertribal powwow, 17 Indigenous authors craft stories that explore themes such as ethnic identity and ancestry. The middle grade volume earned a starred review from PW.
As Far as You'll Take Me by Phil Stamper. Bloomsbury, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5476-0017-5. Seventeen-year-old Marty Pierce is a rule follower who Googles everything in advance to avoid surprises. He’s also “pretty good at lying”—first to keep his sexuality a secret from his religious, homophobic parents, and now to craft an elaborate escape plan from his “suffocating” life in Kentucky.
The Last Rabbit by Shelley Moore Thomas, illus. by Julie Mellan. Random/Lamb, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-593-17353-4. Thomas (Secrets of Selkie Bay) blends life lessons and magical elements in an imaginative journey of mourning and maturation following a magician’s rabbit. The middle grade novel earned a starred review from PW.
Hello, Jimmy! by Anna Walker. Clarion, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-358-19358-6. A boy’s connection with his father, which has dimmed after his parents’ divorce, is renewed after Dad adopts a flamboyant parrot. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
No Buddy Like a Book by Allan Wolf, illus. by Brianne Farley. Candlewick, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-0307-3. In this snappy addition to the shelf of book-extolling books, Wolf (The Snow Fell Three Graves Deep) supplies a string of examples showing how books can teach and enlighten.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of February, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.