June means the beginning of the summer and the perfect time to catch up on some favorite continuing series. Find out what happens when an evil unicorn decides to enact revenge, what’s in store for a new generation of super spies, the fate of a former queen bee who decides to take a fake date to a dance, and more.
Picture Books and Graphic Novels
Escape from Balloonia by Dan & Jason (First Second, June 8 $12.99; ISBN 978-1-250-25556-3)
In the second volume of the Blue, Barry & Pancakes graphic novel series, Blue and Barry just want a quiet day to themselves. Unfortunately for them, Pancakes has other ideas—ginormous, inflatable, intergalactic-adventure-sized ideas.
Grumpy Monkey Freshly Squeezed by Suzanne Lang, illus. by Max Lang (Random House Studio, June 29 $9.99; ISBN 978-0-593-30601-7)
Grumpy Money, Jim Panzee, returns in the follow up to Grumpy Monkey. Jim’s favorite part of his Wednesday walk is the blissful silence. When he’s alone, he can hear all the jungle sounds... until his best buddy, Norman, decides to join him. And before he knows it, Jim is followed by every animal in the jungle.
Horn Slayer by J.C. Phillipps (Random House, June 1 $12.99; ISBN 978-1-984-85057-7)
Pacey and Slasher the Unicorn are back. The last time Pacey was in Rundalyn, she sliced the horn off of Arkane, the Evil Apha Unicorn, and was dubbed “The Horn Slayer.” But she didn’t finish the job. With Slasher’s help, she must use the power of the unicorn horn to rescue the statue kids and escape the fury of the Great Arkane.
Roar of the Beast by Chad Sell (Knopf, June 1 $12.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-593-12555-7)
A mystery is afoot in this Cardboard Kingdom sequel. Vijay, the Beast, renounces his title after being bullied by neighborhood teenagers, and no one can get him out of his shell. That same night, an unknown monster is spotted roaming the Kingdom after dark. The newly minted Monster Mashers will go to any lengths to protect the Kingdom.
Shock Waves by Justin A. Reynolds, illus. by Pablo Leon (Graphix, June 1 $12.99 paper; ISBN 978-1-338-64803-4)
Miles Morales is a normal kid who happens to juggle school while swinging through the streets of Brooklyn as Spider-Man. After an earthquake strikes his mother’s birthplace of Puerto Rico, Miles sets up a fundraiser for the devastated island. But when a new student’s father goes missing, Miles begins to make connections between the disappearance and a giant corporation sponsoring Miles’s fundraiser.
Sleepaway Champs by Brian Yanish (Random House, June 15 $9.99; ISBN 978-0-593-17338-1)
It’s summer vacation and Shark and Bot have a new adventure at sleepaway camp in the follow-up to Shark and Bot. Shark quickly starts feeling homesick. Can he make it through the week with his best friend by his side? Of course he can, unless Bot short-circuits at the lake.
The Tea Dragon Tapestry by K. O’Neill (Oni Press, June 1 $21.99; ISBN 978-1-62010-774-4)
In the third book in the Tea Dragon Society series, it’s been over a year since Greta has been entrusted with Ginseng’s care, but she still can’t chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. Meanwhile, Minette receives a surprise package from the monastery where she was once training to be a prophetess.
Time for School, Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle, illus. by Jill McElmurry (HMH, June 22 $18.99; ISBN 978-0-358-41224-3)
The next installment in the Little Blue Truck series finds Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad excited to meet a bright yellow school bus. They see all the animals lined up in the bus’s many windows, and Blue wishes he could be a school bus too. When somebody misses the bus, it’s up to Blue to get his friend to school on time.
Early Readers and Novels
The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson (HarperCollins/Tegen, June 15, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-303260-6)
Stevie Bell investigates her first mystery outside of Ellingham Academy in this stand-alone tale, part of the Truly Devious series. When she gets a message from the owner of Sunny Pines, the site of an unsolved murder, inviting her to help with research for a true crime podcast, Stevie agrees. But when she opens the lid on this long-dormant case, she gets much more than she bargained for.
The Curse of the Specter Queen by Jenny Elder Moke (Disney-Hyperion, June 1 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-368-06398-2)
In this new Samantha Knox novel, the titular heroine put away her childish fantasies of archaeological adventure the day her father didn’t return home from the Great War. But when a mysterious package arrives with a damaged diary inside, her peaceful life is obliterated. There are men intent on reclaiming the diary, and Samantha and her friends are thrust into a high stakes quest where they discover an ancient order with a dark purpose.
Force of Fire by Sayantani DasGupta (Scholastic Press, June 1 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-338-63664-2)
In the latest installment in the A Kingdom Beyond series, Pinki comes from a long line of rakkhosh resisters, demons who have spent years working together to overthrow the snakey oppressors and taking back their rights. Then Sesha, the charming son of the Serpentine Governor, calls on Pinki for help in defeating the resistance, promising to give her what she most desires in return—the ability to control her fire.
Like Father, Like Son by James Patterson (Little, Brown/Patterson, June 28 $16; ISBN 978-0-316-50013-5)
Ali Cross is following in his father’s footsteps, in this second book in the Ali Cross series. When Ali sees a friend get hurt, he’s the best person to find out who did it, even if he’s only a kid. After all, solving crimes runs in the family.
Mac Saves the World by Mac Barnett, illus. by Mike Lowery (Orchard, June 1 $12.99; ISBN 978-1-338-74245-9)
The Queen of England calls on her trusty spy, Mac B., in this sixth series installment. But this time Mac must navigate secret tunnels beneath the Berlin Wall in order to retrieve cheat codes from a Soviet scientist. Now Mac is trapped in East Germany, stuck between the wall and the Stasi. How will he escape?
My Contrary Mary by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (HarperTeen, June 22 $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-293004-0)
From the authors of My Lady Jane comes a historical tale about Mary, Queen of Scots. Mary may be the queen of Scotland, but she can also shapeshift into a mouse, a secret that could cost her life. Luckily, Mary has a confidant in her betrothed, Francis. But after the king meets a suspicious end, things at the gilded court take a treacherous turn.
Of Princes and Promises by Sandhya Menon (Simon & Schuster, June 8 $19.99; ISBN 978-1-534-41757-1)
In the second entry in the Rosetta Academy series, Caterina is determined to show she’s still the queen of St. Rosetta’s Academy. Rahul knows that moment he shared with Caterina at the winter formal meant something. When Caterina finds out her ex is taking a supermodel to the upcoming gala, she knows she can’t be without the perfect date. The solution? Rahul and a mysterious pot of hair gel with the power to alter the wearer into whatever his heart desires. See Menon’s essay for PW on her passion for diversifying fairy tales.
Deepest Darkest by William Ritter (Algonquin, June 22 $16.96; ISBN 978-1-64375-092-7)
Brothers Cole and Tinn are back in the third addition to the Oddmire series, and they are determined to find their missing father. Tinn and Cole set out on a dangerous quest to the deepest, most deadly limits of the Wild Wood. Meanwhile, a shudder runs through the forest as increasingly powerful earthquakes shake the land, sinkholes form, and creatures along their path speak of an ancient evil on the rise.
Witchshadow by Susan Dennard (Tor Teen, June 22 $18.99; ISBN 978-0-7653-7934-4)
Iseult has found her heartsister Safi in the fourth Witchshadow book. For Iseult to stay alive, she must flee Cartorra while Safi remains. And though Iseult has plans to save her friend, they will require her to summon magic more dangerous than anything she has ever faced before.