April showers bring new releases to devour. This month we’re showing our appreciation for the workers who have helped keep our cities going during quarantine, a story of self-discovery while discovering a ghostly presence, love found in unexpected places, and many more.

Picture Books

The Capybaras

Alfredo Soderguit, trans. from the Spanish by Elisa Amado. Greystone Kids, $18.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-77164-782-3. Ages 3–8.

The hens and their chicks are living safe and secure in their coop, happy with life as it is—until the day the capybaras appear. To the hens, the capybaras are too wet, and too hairy. But it’s hunting season, and the capybaras need somewhere to hide. The hens decide they can stay, but only if rules are followed. The book received a starred review from PW.

The Farmer and the Circus

Marla Frazee. Beach Lane, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5344-4621-2. Ages 4–8.

In this picture book trilogy finale, the little clown and monkey miss their friend the farmer, until one day they get a surprise: Farmer has come to visit the circus! The book received a starred review from PW.

Hear My Voice: The Testimonies of Children Detained at the Southern Border of the United States

Compiled by Warren Binford, illus. by Cecilia Ruiz et al. Workman, $19.95 (96p) ISBN 978-1-5235-1348-2. Ages 8 and up.

Every day, immigrant children are detained at the U.S.-Mexico border. They are scared, alone, and their lives are in limbo. Hear My Voice/Escucha mi voz shares the stories of 61 of these children. Assembled to tell one heartbreaking story—in both English and Spanish—each spread is illustrated by a different Latinx artist. The book received a starred review from PW.

I Sang You Down from the Stars

Tasha Spillett-Sumner, illus. by Michaela Goade. Little, Brown, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-31-649316-1. Ages 4–8.

As she waits for the arrival of her new baby, a mother-to-be gathers gifts to create a sacred bundle. Each addition to the bundle will offer the child strength and connection to tradition, family, and community. Caldecott Medalist Goade (who is Tlingit) contributes expansive, star-stippled landscapes done in watercolor and mixed media. The book received a starred review from PW.

Keeping the City Going

Brian Floca. Atheneum/Dlouhy, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5344-9377-3. Ages 4–8.

Caldecott Medalist Floca gives a heartfelt thank you to the essential workers who have kept their cities running during the pandemic. The book received a starred review from PW. See our interview with Floca about the book here.

On the Other Side of the Forest

Nadine Robert, illus. by Gérard DuBois. Greystone Kids, $18.95 (72p) ISBN 978-1-77164-796-0. Ages 3–8.

Some say that wolves, ogres, and giant badgers live in the forest beside Arthur’s house. That’s why no one goes there. One day, Arthur’s father has an idea to build a tower to look over the treetops. But the idea takes a lot of work. The book received a starred review from PW.

The People’s Painter: How Ben Shahn Fought for Justice with Art

Cynthia Levinson, illus. by Evan Turk. Abrams, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4130-2. Ages 4–8.

This profile of Jewish artist and activist Ben Shahn, who emigrated from Lithuania to America in 1906, highlights the threads of compassion and activism that ran through his work. The book received a starred review from PW. Bold multimedia illustrations by Turk feature abstracted characters in Shahn’s style, while Levinson’s well-researched narrative provides a comprehensive introduction to this justice-minded painter. See our In Conversation with Levinson and Turk.

The Rock from the Sky

Jon Klassen. Candlewick, $18.99 (96p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1562-5. Ages 4–8.

In five brief stories, Caldecott Medalist Klassen’s new solo book The Rock from the Sky follows a sulky turtle and a personable mole whose exchanges are punctuated by random moments of vintage sci-fi movie-level doom. The book received a starred review from PW. See our q&a with the author-illustrator here.

Saving American Beach: The Biography of African American Environmentalist MaVynee Betsch

Heidi Tyline King, illus. by Ekua Holmes. Putnam, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-101-99629-4. Ages 4–8.

In her picture book debut, King profiles MaVynee Betsch (1935–2005), a Black opera singer who devoted herself to maintaining American Beach on the Florida coast, which her great-grandfather bought during the Jim Crow era to make “open to everyone.” When her mother falls ill, Betsch returns to Florida and, remembering the deteriorated beach’s better days, sets out to protect it. The book received a starred review from PW.

Training Day (El Toro and Friends)

Raúl the Third. Versify, $9.99 (56p) ISBN 978-0-358-38038-2. Ages 4–7.

Pura Belpré Medalist Raúl the Third expands the ¡Vamos! universe in this jaunty spin-off series opener following the luchador El Toro and his friends. In this installment, rooster and unrelenting luchador trainer Kooky Dooky endeavors to motivate a lethargic El Toro to prepare for his match against The Wall, a powerfully built wrestler “made out of bricks” and “undefeated champion of the world.”

Yes & No

Elisha Cooper. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-250-25733-8. Ages 2–6.

This companion to Cooper’s Caldecott Honor-winning picture book Big Cat, Little Cat shows a day in the life of a cat and puppy pair—including the ups of being fed and romping through grass, and the downs of days that are too short and things that don’t go as planned. See Cooper’s reflection on creating the artwork for his new book.

Middle Grade

The Anti-Book

Raphael Simon, illus. by Ben Scruton. Dial, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-55241-3. Ages 8–12.

After writing nearly a dozen books under the tongue-in-cheek pen name of Pseudonymous Bosch, Raphael Simon has stepped out of the shadows to write his own middle grade adventure. In The Anti-Book, a 12-year-old boy is transported to a strange new world where he confronts his emotional issues while encountering warped reflections of his everyday life. See our q&a with Simon here.

Before They Were Artists: Famous Illustrators as Kids

Elizabeth Haidle. Etch, $17.99 (64p) ISBN 978-1-328-80154-8. Ages 8–12.

In her new graphic novel anthology, Before They Were Artists, Elizabeth Haidle brings to life the childhood experiences of six legendary children’s illustrators: Wanda Gág, Tove Jansson, Hayao Miyazaki, Yuyi Morales, Jerry Pinkney, and Maurice Sendak, capturing the early triumphs, failures, and inspirations that paved the way for their artistic careers. See our inside look at the book.

Billy Miller Makes a Wish

Kevin Henkes. Greenwillow, $16.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-06-304279-7. Ages 8–12.

Henkes’s latest middle grade book is a follow-up to the Newbery Honor-winning The Year of Billy Miller, released in 2014. In this sequel, Billy celebrates his eighth birthday at the start of the summer before third grade, wishing that “something exciting would happen.” In the pages that follow, Billy’s wish brings both him and his little sister Sal more excitement than either of them anticipated. See our q&a with Henkes.

Cece Rios and the Desert of Souls

Kaela Rivera. HarperCollins, $16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-294755-0. Ages 8–12.

Pretending to be an apprentice bruja, an unassuming preteen enters a dangerous competition to rescue her 15-year-old sister from monstrous forces in this mesmerizing middle grade fantasy. Debut author Rivera immerses readers in the landscape of Tierra del Sol and Cece’s journey. The book received a starred review from PW.

Merci Suárez Can’t Dance

Meg Medina. Candlewick, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-7636-9050-2. Ages 8–12.

Newbery Medalist Medina artfully chronicles another year of highs and lows in the life of Cuban American middle schooler Merci Suárez via this winning sequel to Merci Suárez Changes Gears. Now a seventh grader, 12-year-old Merci has taken on more responsibilities at home and at school, including caring for her beloved grandfather, Lolo, as his Alzheimer’s advances, and managing the school store with her classmate, “human calculator” Wilson Bellevue, a quiet Cajun and Creole boy who wears a foot brace. The book received a starred review from PW.


Sarah Moon. Levine Querido, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-64614-042-8. Ages 8–12.

Thirteen-year-old Eli likes baggy clothes, baseball caps, and one girl in particular. Her 17-year-old sister Anna is more traditionally feminine; she loves boys and staying out late. They are sisters and the only family each can count on. When their mother lands in rehab, Anna and Eli are forced to fend for themselves in order to stay out of foster care. The book received a starred review from PW.

Too Bright to See

Kyle Lukoff. Dial, $16.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-5931-1115-4. Ages 10 and up.

It’s the summer before middle school and Bug’s best friend Moira has decided they need to use the next few months to prepare. For Moira this means figuring out clothes and makeup but Bug doesn’t want to spend time trying to understand how to be a girl. Not when there’s a ghost haunting Bug’s house. As Bug begins to untangle the mystery of the ghost, a different truth comes to light—Bug is transgender. The book received a starred review from PW.

Young Adult

Between the Bliss and Me

Lizzy Mason. Soho Teen, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-64129-115-6. Ages 14 and up.

When Sydney announces that she has decided to attend NYU, her overprotective mother is devastated because she won’t be close to home. While she dreams of her new life, Sydney discovers a world-changing truth about her father—that he has schizophrenia and is currently living on the streets of New York City.

The Cost of Knowing

Brittney Morris. Simon & Schuster, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-5344-4545-1. Ages 12 and up.

In breakout author Morris’s sophomore novel, every time 16-year-old Alex Rufus touches an object or person, Alex sees into its future, making him anxious and unable to live an ordinary life. When he touches a photo that gives him a vision of his brother’s imminent death, everything changes. The book received a starred review from PW.

The Forest of Stolen Girls

June Hur. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-22958-8. Ages 14 and up.

In 1462 Joseon Korea, Min Hwani, 18, returns to her hometown on Jeju Island to find the renowned detective Min Jewoo—her missing father, who disappeared a year ago after going to investigate the case of “13 girls missing in the past four years.” Hur crafts a suspenseful, atmospheric historical mystery.

The Great Godden

Meg Rosoff. Candlewick, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1585-4. Ages 14 and up.

Through an unnamed, ungendered teen’s sharp eye and knowing narration, Printz Medalist Rosoff tells a dryly humorous story of summer and love gone awry. The effective character study and depiction of childhood’s end build toward a surprising climax.

Kate in Waiting

Becky Albertalli. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $18.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-264383-4. Ages 14 and up.

Contrary to popular belief, best friends Kate Garfield and Anderson Walker are not codependent. But when Kate and Andy’s latest long-distance crush shows up at their school, everything goes off script. Matt Olsson is talented and sweet, and Kate likes him. She really likes him. The only problem? So does Anderson. The book received a starred review from PW.

The Mary Shelley Club

Goldy Moldavsky. Holt, $18.99 (480p) ISBN 978-1-250-23010-2. Ages 14 and up.

The “final girl” at the heart of Moldavsky’s new YA horror novel is teenage Latina Rachel Chavez, who moves to Brooklyn with her mother after a home invasion leaves them fearful of the Long Island suburbs. While attending an exclusive prep school on the Upper East Side, Rachel discovers a secret society whose members try to terrify their classmates by staging scenarios inspired by scary movies. The book received a starred review from PW. See our q&a with Moldavsky.

She Drives Me Crazy

Kelly Quindlen. Roaring Brook, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-20915-3. Ages 12 and up.

After losing to her ex-girlfriend in the first basketball game of the season, Scottie gets into an accident with her nemesis, Irene. The damage sends Irene’s car to the shop for weeks, and the girls are forced to carpool for the foreseeable future. When an opportunity arises for Scottie to get back at her ex and climb the school’s social ladder at the same time, she bribes Irene into playing along.

Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet

Laekan Zea Kemp. Little, Brown, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-46027-9. Ages 14 and up.

Penelope has always dreamed of opening her own pastelería next to her father’s restaurant, Nacho’s Tacos. But her parents have different plans. After she confesses a secret she’s been keeping, her world is sent into a tailspin. Xander has been searching for home since he was young. For him, a job at Nacho’s is an opportunity for a normal life. But when the restaurant and Xander’s immigrant status are threatened, he will do whatever it takes to protect his newfound family and himself. The book received a starred review from PW.

Victories Greater than Death

Charlie Jane Anders. Tor Teen, $18.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-31731-5. Ages 13 and up.

Tina has always known her destiny is outside the norm—after all, she is the human clone of the most brilliant alien commander in all the galaxies. But she is tired of waiting for her life to begin. And suddenly, it does. At least she has a crew around her that she can trust. Now, they just have to save the world. See our q&a with Anders.

Zara Hossain Is Here

Sabina Khan. Scholastic, $18.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-338-58087-7. Ages 14 and up.

As the only Muslim student at her Corpus Christi, Tex., high school, Zara Hossain, 17, faces microaggressions every day but cannot allow herself to show her frustration. She and her family are Pakistani immigrants and have been waiting almost nine years for the end of the long approval process for American green cards; any justice she seeks would threaten that goal. See our q&a with Khan about how her own family’s immigrant experience helped inspire the novel.