We’ve rounded up some of the buzziest books for young readers coming out this month. Whether you’re sharing in everyday family traditions, anticipating a visit from a favorite grandparent, or exploring the great outdoors, these titles are perfect for celebrating memorable moments big and small.
Stephen Savage. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4518-9. Ages 3–6.
In this picture book inspired by a 20th-century hospital ship and the ongoing pandemic, the boats around the harbor haven’t been feeling too well. When they send out an S.O.S., a ship called Hope comes to the rescue. To elevate the topic of child health and wellness, Savage and his publisher are partnering with Project HOPE, a global health and humanitarian organization.
Peter Brown. Little, Brown, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-316-20064-6. Ages 3–6.
A small boy scampers around his house au naturel and ends up in his parents’ bedroom, where he’s captivated by, and then caught in, his mother’s makeup and clothes. See our q&a with Brown, in which he discusses the childhood memory at the heart of this picture book.
Raakhee Mirchandani, illus. by Holly Hatam. Little, Brown, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-49530-1. Ages 4–8.
A Sikh father and daughter with a special hair bond proudly celebrate and share a family tradition. Every morning Papa combs through his daughter's waves like he does his own. Her favorite style is when he combs her hair in a tight bun on the top of her head, just like the joora he wears every day under his turban. The book received a starred review from PW.
Shawn Harris. Chronicle, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4521-8270-4. Ages 3–5.
Harris’s solo debut picture book explores the relationship between childhood and nature. In this story, one child experiences a flower with all five senses—from its color to its fragrance to the entire universe it evokes—revealing how a single flower can expand one's perspective. The book received a starred review from PW.
Gideon Sterer, illus. by Lian Cho. Dial, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-7352-2828-3. Ages 4–8.
One hot summer day, a girl decides to sell lemonade, only to find there are other young entrepreneurs on her street with the same idea. So she sets off with her lemonade stand and ends up at the river’s edge, where she discovers an unexpected and very thirsty clientele. The book received a starred review from PW.
Vera Brosgol. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-250-31487-1. Ages 4–8.
Freda is devastated when she can't eat all the blueberries she's picked. But her Gran reminds her that they can save blueberries in a jar, as jam. Freda then begins to save all her favorite things, but it turns out saving everything also means she can’t enjoy anything. Soon Freda realizes that some things are best saved as memories. Caldecott Honoree Brosgol’s new book received a starred review from PW.
David A. Robertson, illus. by Julie Flett. Tundra, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-7352-6668-1. Ages 4–8.
The Indigenous creators behind Governor General’s Award–winning When We Were Alone return for this grandparent-child exploration of traplines, “where people hunt animals and live off the land.” Robertson, who has Swampy Cree heritage, follows Moshom, a Swampy Cree Elder, who guides his grandchild through the trapline—as well as through memories of his time there as a child. The book received a starred review from PW.
Robin Stevenson, illus. by Julie McLaughlin. Orca, $19.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-4598-2484-3. Ages 3–5.
A child and their family are having a wonderful time together celebrating Pride Day, until their dog gets lost in the parade. Luckily, there are lots of people around to help reunite the pup with his family. The book received a starred review from PW.
Jeanne Birdsall, illustrated by Jane Dyer. Knopf, $16.99 (96p) ISBN 978-0-593-17911-6. Ages 5–9.
In Trelfdom, zealous chef Roog prepares elaborate desserts for the annual Strawberry Jam Party, while kindhearted Teaflet, attempting to clean their home for the fête, is distracted by a menagerie of needy animal friends. Birdsall and Dyer’s most recent picture book collaboration involved unusually tight teamwork: Birdsall wrote the story, with input from Dyer, who created doll-like characters using wool from her own sheep. See our q&a with the duo on their process.
Julie Flett. Greystone Kids, $17.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-77164-607-9. Ages up to 7.
This #OwnVoices picture book celebrates playtime and the connection between children and the natural world. At the end of the book, animals and children gently fall asleep after a fun day of playing outside. The book received a starred review from PW.
Michelle Sterling, illus. by Aaron Asis. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-297285-9. Ages 4–8.
For one girl, summer doesn’t start until her lola—her grandmother from the Philippines—comes for her annual visit. Her lola fills the house with the aroma of mango jam and her quiet, sweet singing in Tagalog. The whole family gathers to share in their happiness of another season spent together. The book received a starred review from PW.
Jennifer Frank, illus. by David Ezra Stein. Random/Schwartz, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-12478-9. Ages 4–8.
Emma is excited for her worm family to have their portrait taken. But when she sees her other friends’ portraits, she gets discouraged. The worm family doesn’t have teeth… how will they show their beautiful smiles?
Ellen Oh. HarperCollins, $16.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-0629-8798-3. Ages 8–12.
While facing racist vandalism at her middle school, Junie must decide between staying silent or speaking out. When her teacher assigns an oral history project, Junie learns of her grandparents’ experiences as lost children during the Korean War and finds her inner strength, just as her grandparents did. See our q&a with Oh.
Ashley Herring Blake. Little, Brown, $16.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-316-53545-8. Ages 8–12.
Twelve-year-old Hazel Bly, her mother Evie, and five-year-old sister Peach have moved eight times in the last two years, following the death of the girls’ Mum. Wracked with guilt and physically scarred from the event that took Mum’s life, Hazel retreats into trying to keep the family safe. Newly arrived in Rose Harbor, Me., for the summer, she finds herself unwilling to face the ocean, once her most treasured escape. The book received a starred review from PW.
Brian Young. Heartdrum, $16.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-299040-2. Ages 8–12.
Inspired by Navajo beliefs, this story features a seemingly ordinary boy who must save the life of a Water Monster and help his uncle suffering from addiction by discovering his own bravery and boundless love. The book received a starred review from PW.
Nicole Melleby. Algonquin, $16.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-64375-036-1. Ages 8–12.
After an entire summer trying to figure out how to go back to being the person she was before her depression and anxiety diagnosis, Pluto finds out—with the help of the Hayden Planetarium Hotline, a new tutor, and a new friend—that there is no old or new Pluto, there’s just Pluto, growing up. The book received a starred review from PW. See our q&a with Melleby.
Dawn Quigley, illus. by Tara Audibert. Heartdrum, $15.99 (80p) ISBN 978-0-06-301538-8. Ages 6–10.
Jo Jo Makoons Azure is a spirited seven-year-old who moves through the world a little differently than anyone else on her Ojibwe reservation. It always seems like her mother, her kokum (grandmother), and her teacher have a lot to learn—about how good Jo Jo is at cleaning up, what makes a good rhyme, and what it means to be friendly. The book received a starred review from PW.
Graci Kim. Disney/Riordan, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-368-05963-3. Ages 8–12.
Riley can’t wait to see her sister get initiated into the Gom clan, a powerful lineage of Korean healing witches. Although Riley is desperate to follow in her sister's footsteps, she’s a saram—a person without magic. Then Hattie gets an idea: what if they cast a spell that would allow Riley to share Hattie’s powers?
Kwame Mbalia and Joel Makonnen. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-338-66585-7. Ages 8–12.
Yared Heywat lives an isolated life in Addis Prime. Often in trouble for his thrill-seeking antics and smart mouth, those same qualities make Yared a star player of the underground augmented reality game. But when a change in the game rules prompts Yared to log in with his real name, it triggers an attack that rocks the city and the disappearance of his uncle. The book received a starred review from PW.
Erin Entrada Kelly. Greenwillow, $16.99 (160p) ISBN 978-0-06-297042-8. Ages 8–12.
Featuring illustrations by the Newbery Medalist, this contemporary novel for younger readers stars fearful Marisol Rainey, eight, who, with a Filipina mother and a father who works away from home, stands out in her small Louisiana town.
Justina Ireland. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-291589-4. Ages 8–12.
In this paranormal middle grade debut, Ireland centers Ophelia “Ophie” Harrison, a girl living in the 1920s who must adjust to working as a maid in an old manor after experiencing tragedy and realizing a newfound skill: she can see ghosts.
Remy Lai. Henry Holt, $21.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-250-77448-4. Ages 8–12.
Every Saturday, a dog named Pawcasso trots into town with a basket in paw to buy groceries for his family. One day, he passes Jo, peering out the window of her house, bored and lonely. Astonished by the sight of a basket-toting dog, Jo follows Pawcasso, and when she’s seen alongside him by a group of kids from her school, they mistake her for Pawcasso’s owner. See our q&a with Lai.
L.D. Lapinski. Aladdin, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8351-4. Ages 8–12.
When 12-year-old Flick Hudson accidentally ends up in the Strangeworlds Travel Agency, she uncovers a fantastic secret: there are hundreds more worlds just steps away from hers. Then Flick gets the invitation of a lifetime, to join Strangeworlds’ magical travel society and explore other worlds. The book received a starred review from PW.
J. Albert Mann. Little, Brown, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-316-49349-9. Ages 14 and up.
After extensive surgery, 16-year-old scoliosis patient Eve Abbott is “fixed.” With the help of bars, screws, and many staples, the “tilty twist” of her spine is gone. Still experiencing excruciating physical pain and rejected by her best friend Lidia, “born with a single hand,” whose trust she betrayed, Eve turns to self-medication for escape. See our In Conversation with Mann and her editor Lisa Yoskowitz.
Stacey Lee. Putnam, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-5247-4098-6. Ages 12 and up.
Valora has two things: a ticket for the most luxurious ocean liner in the world, and a dream of leaving England behind and making a life as a circus performer. Much to her surprise, she’s turned away at the gangway because Chinese people aren’t allowed into America. But there’s not much a trained acrobat like Val can’t overcome when she puts her mind to it. She’ll need that determination more than ever when disaster strikes the ship. The book received a starred review from PW.
Camryn Garrett. Knopf, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-984829-99-3. Ages 14 and up.
In her second novel, Garrett responds to the #MeToo movement while addressing mental health issues and fatphobia. The novel follows 17-year-old Josie, who earns the opportunity to write a profile about an up-and-coming actor for a major magazine, gaining in-depth access during a multi-city press tour, only to discover the open secret that a celebrated director has assaulted and harassed countless women with no repercussions. The book received a starred review from PW. See our q&a with Garrett.
Francisco X. Stork. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-338-69215-0. Ages 12 and up.
Teen chess champion Hector has always minded his own business, working hard to make a better life for himself. But when he is caught up in gang violence, Hector is forced to take a stand. The book received a starred review from PW.
Joan He. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-250-25856-4. Ages 12 and up.
In this story that centers on Asian sisterhood and family, Cee awoke on an abandoned island three years ago. With no idea of how she was marooned, she only has a rickety house, an old android, and a single memory: she has a sister, and Cee needs to find her. The book received a starred review from PW. See our q&a with He.
Victoria Aveyard. HarperTeen, $19.99 (576p) ISBN 978-0-06-287262-3. Ages 13 and up.
A strange darkness grows in Allward. Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea. She soon discovers the truth: she is the last of an ancient lineage—and the last hope to save the world from destruction. See our q&a with Aveyard about her new duology.
Rita Williams-Garcia. Quill Tree, $17.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06236729-7. Ages 16 and up.
In 1860 Louisiana, after serving as mistress of Le Petit Cottage for more than six decades, Madame Sylvie Guilbert has decided to sit for a portrait. But there are other important stories to be told on the Guilbert plantation—stories that span generations, from the big house to out in the fields, and the tangled bonds of descendants and enslaved.
Sarah Dass. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-301852-5. Ages 13 and up.
In this novel inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion and set in the author’s native Trinidad and Tobago, Reyna has spent most of her life at the Plumeria. But what once seemed like paradise is starting to feel more like purgatory. It’s been two years since Reyna’s mother died, two years since Aiden—her first love—left the island to pursue his music dreams. And then Aiden comes roaring back into her life. The book received a starred review from PW.