April showers bring May flowers, and we bring a roundup of the next installments of several popular children’s and YA titles. Sequels hitting shelves this month include a super fan turned super villain, the return to Julie Murphy’s Clover City, the Earth’s final stand against an alien invasion, and much more.

Picture Books and Graphic Novels

Awesome Dog 5000 vs. the Kitty-Cat Cyber Squad

by Justin Dean (Random House, May 4 $13.99; ISBN 978-0-593-17282-7)

Tina Tinkerwith is an obsessive toy designer who’ll stop at nothing to get close to her idol, Awesome Dog—even if it means becoming a supervillain. Awesome Dog and his pals face off against Tina and her army of robotic kitty toys in the third installment of the Awesome Dog series.

The Bruce Swap

by Ryan T. Higgins (Disney-Hyperion, May 4 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-368-02856-1)

In the latest installment in the Mother Bruce series, Bruce’s friends wish he were more fun. The next morning their wish comes true: Bruce is cheerful and adventurous. Except Bruce is not exactly Bruce. He’s Kevin, Bruce’s fun cousin.

Truly Tyler

by Terri Libenson (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, May 4 $12.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-06-289456-4)

In the fifth book in the Emmie & Friends series, ever since Tyler became interested in art and started hanging out with Emmie, who has a crush on him, Tyler’s friends have been giving him a hard time. Why can’t he like drawing and play ball? Emmie is psyched that she gets to work on a comics project with Tyler, but she gets the feeling that his friends don’t think she’s cool enough.

Early Readers and Novels

Ballerina Birthday

by Swapna Reddy, illus. by Binny Talib (Random House, May 11 $6.99 trade paper; ISBN 978-0-593-30569-0)

It’s Millie’s birthday in the third book of the Ballet Bunnies series, and the Ballet Bunnies can’t wait to celebrate with her. The teeny dancer bunnies sneak into her bag and steal away to Millie’s house. When it’s time for Millie’s party, the bunnies secretly dash beneath tables and chairs to get a glimpse of all the festivities.

Bear Bottom

by Stuart Gibbs (Simon & Schuster, May 11 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-534-47946-3)

In the seventh book in the FunJungle series, Teddy, his family, and some other FunJungle employees have been invited to visit a bison ranch. But the ranch’s endangered bison have been mysteriously disappearing. Then Kandace McCracken discovers that her expensive necklace has vanished. With more than a dozen suspects, it’s up to Teddy to detangle this hairy situation.

The Birthday Blastoff

by Kate Biberdorf (Philomel, May 11 $12.99; ISBN 978-0-593-11664-7)

Book four in the Kate the Chemist series finds Kate’s brother Liam having a science-themed birthday party the same day the school science club is planning a rocket launch experiment. Kate isn’t sure how she’ll manage to do it all. But then Kate figures out how to be in two places at once.

Diana and the Underworld Odyssey

by Aisha Saeed (Random House, May 25 $16.99; ISBN 978-0-593-17837-9)

After Diana thwarts an attempt to defeat the Amazons and Themyscira, she’s finally granted permission to start training as a warrior. Except, the goddess Artemis brings news that children all over are disappearing without a trace and Diana is the only one who can be trusted to save them, in this sequel to Diana and the Island of No Return.

Going Up

by Greg Pizzoli (Little, Brown, May 4 $12.99; ISBN 978-0-7595-5480-1)

In the second Baloney and Friends book of mini-comics, Baloney the pig, Bizz the bumblebee, Peanut the horse, and Krabbit the grumpy rabbit are back. Readers can follow along as they write the lyrics to their own theme song, have a tent sleepover, experiment with a new device that lets the gang reach for the sky, and think deeply about the world.

Iggy Is the Hero of Everything

by Annie Barrows, illus. by Sam Ricks (Putnam, May 4 $13.99; ISBN 978-1-984813-36-7)

From Iggy’s point of view, his plan was genius. But Rudy Heckie disagrees. This third installment of Barrows’s series about the secret joys of causing trouble explores the power of interpretation.


by Zoraida Córdova (Little, Brown, May 11 $18.99; ISBN 978-0-7595-5603-4)

Reeling from betrayal at the hands of the Whispers, Renata is on the run in the second book of the Hollow Crown series. With few options and fewer allies, she has reluctantly joined forces with her enemy, Prince Castian to find the Knife of Memory, kill King Fernando, and bring peace to the nation. Together, Ren and Castian have a chance to save everything, if only they can set aside their complex and intense feelings for each other.

Incredible Rescue Mission

by Zanib Mian, illus. by Nasaya Mafaridik (Putnam, May 11 $13.99; ISBN 978-0-593-10927-4)

Omar is back in the third book of the Planet Omar series, and going on his biggest adventure yet—a trip to Pakistan. But his excitement about the trip is interrupted by some shocking news: his amazing teacher is not coming back to school, and no one will say why.

Misfit in Love

by S.K. Ali (S&S/Salaam Reads, May 25 $19.99 ISBN 978-1-5344-4275-7)

In the sequel to Saints and Misfits, Janna Yusuf is excited for the weekend when she gets to reunite with her mother at her brother’s wedding. Nuah is also arriving that weekend. The last time she saw him, Janna wasn’t ready to reciprocate his feelings for her. Now she’s ready for Nuah, but unfortunately Nuah’s treating her differently. And two newcomers have Janna more confused than ever about what her heart really wants.

Mister Impossible

by Maggie Stiefvater (Scholastic Press, May 18 $19.99; ISBN 978-1-338-18836-3)

The second instalment in the Dreamer Trilogy picks up as something is happening to the source of the dreamers’ power. It is blocked, diminished, weak. If it goes away entirely, what will happen to the dreamers and those who depend on them? See our w&a with Stiefvater on her trilogy.

The Mystery in Manhattan

by Alex Shibutani, Maia Shibutani, and Michelle Schusterman, illus. by Yaoyao Ma Van As (Razorbill, May 4 $17.99; ISBN 978-0-593-11376-9)

The Kudo Kids are visiting New York City for the first time and they’re ready to see the sights. But the siblings quickly realize that they’re excited for very different reasons. Both of their plans derail when they learn that Aunt Kei is in desperate need of assistance. When a very special dress goes missing, they find themselves on a chase around the city in the second book of the Kudo Kids series.

Pumpkin by Julie Murphy (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, May 25 $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-288045-1)

Murphy revisits the world of Dumplin’ in her final companion novel. Waylon is a fat, openly gay boy stuck in the small town of Clover City. His plan is to bide his time until he can graduate and move to Austin with his twin sister. But when his sister deviates from the plan and Waylon gets dumped, he creates an audition tape for his favorite TV drag show. What he doesn’t count on is the tape accidentally getting shared with the entire school and his subsequently getting nominated as prom queen as a joke.

The Secrets of the Himalayas

by Adam Gidwitz and Hena Khan, illus. by Hatem Aly (Dutton, May 4 $14.99; ISBN 978-0-7352-3145-0)

The Unicorn Rescue Society is back in the sixth addition to the series. When Uchenna and Elliot’s classmate publishes an article in the school newspaper about the Schmoke Brothers’ latest scheme, Professor Fauna notices something alarming: a unicorn horn mounted on the wall. Determined to stop the Schmoke Brothers from poaching more creatures, the Unicorn Rescue Society heads to Pakistan.


by Randy Wayne White (Roaring Brook, May 11 $16.99; ISBN 978-1-250-24463-5)

The brave friends who make up Shark, Inc.—Luke, Maribel and Sabina—dive back into adventure in this follow-up to Fins. When the trio finds precious artifacts, they agree to guard the secret until they’ve thoroughly explored the spot. Soon, outlaws are searching for the three kids, in hopes they will lead them to riches.

TBH, I Don’t Want to Say Good-bye

by Lisa Greenwald (HarperCollins/Tegen, May 4 $12.99; ISBN 978-0-06-299183-6)

The group starts to fall apart when Gabby’s mother gets a new job in Texas, in the eighth and final book of the TBH series. Could this really be Cece, Prianka, Gabby, and Victoria’s last summer together?


by Kenneth Oppel (Knopf, May 4 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-984-89480-9)

In the conclusion to the Overthrow trilogy, the alien invasion of Earth is imminent. But maybe not all the aliens are united. A rebel faction has reached out to Anaya, saying there’s a way to stop the larger invasion—a way for humans and hybrids and cryptogens to work together. Can they be trusted, or is this a trap?

Willa of Dark Hollow

by Robert Beatty (Disney-Hyperion, May 4 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-368-00760-3)

The companion to Willa of the Wood kicks off when Willa discovers a mysterious dark hollow filled with strange creatures and comes to realize that it contains a terrifying force that hunts humans. Unleashing these dangerous spirits could be the key to stopping the loggers.