Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including a tale of animal friendship set in Texas, a fantastical middle grade, a YA novel about a teen contending with transphobia, a pandemic love story, and many more.
Once Upon a Camel by Kathi Appelt, illus. by Eric Rohmann. Atheneum/Dlouhy, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-0643-8. Newbery Honoree Appelt’s new novel, set in 1910, features an unlikely friendship between an aging camel and a family of American kestrels in the West Texas desert.
Willodeen by Katherine Applegate. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-250-14740-0. Employing candid prose that belies deeper messages, Newbery Medalist Applegate again considers the complex relationship between humans and the natural world. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Obie Is Man Enough by Schuyler Bailar. Crown, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-593-37946-2. This YA novel about a swimmer dealing with transphobia demonstrates the importance of a solid support system and the ways in which transphobia, homophobia, and toxic masculinity are often intertwined. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Hello (from Here) by Chandler Baker and Wesley King. Dial, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-593-32612-1. It’s meet-cute pandemic style as Maxine “Max” Mauro and Jonah Stephens trade toilet paper for Clorox wipes the day that Los Angeles goes into lockdown. The YA novel earned a starred review from PW.
Cranky Chicken by Katherine Battersby. S&S/McElderry, $12.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-6988-4. A curmudgeonly chicken and a sprightly worm become unlikely BFFs (“Best Feathered Friends”) in this early reader comic in five parts by Battersby (Trouble).
The Midnight Brigade by Adam Borba, illus. by Adam Borba and Karl Kwasny. Little, Brown, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-316-54251-7. In this middle grade novel, Carl Chesterfield loves his parents, his home of Pittsburgh, and the city’s 400 bridges—which the men on his father’s side have engineered for generations—but his shyness prevents him from speaking up much at home or at school.
Animal Architects by Amy Cherrix, illus. by Chris Sasaki. Beach Lane, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-5625-9. Inviting readers to view the natural world as a “construction zone,” Cherrix (In the Shadow of the Moon) looks at animals, insects, and invertebrates that build unusual dwelling places.
New in Town by Kevin Cornell. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-374-30609-0. After the bridge that joins the village of Puddletrunk to the mainland is mysteriously eaten by termites, Mortimer Gulch sets about organizing a repair fund for the bridge’s 273rd replacement.
Magic Like That by Samara Cole Doyon, illus. by Geneva Bowers. Lee & Low, $18.95; ISBN 978-1-64379-070-1. Framed by a bespectacled Black mother doing her child’s natural hair, this affirming series of lyrical vignettes draws immersive parallels between a Black child’s varying hairstyles and myriad elements from nature: on each spread, her hair is variously compared to “regal pine trees,” “a million ocean currents,” “a bouquet of hydrangea blossoms,” and more.
Have You Seen Gordon? by Adam Jay Epstein, illus. by Ruth Chan. Simon & Schuster, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-7736-0. Gordon, the narrator of this book, rebels against the seek-and-find format of this playful, meta picture book, which earned a starred review from PW.
What Isabella Wanted by Candace Fleming, illus. by Matthew Cordell. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4263-8. In a picture book that’s as much about Isabella Stewart Gardner’s Boston museum as it is about her, the story of treasure gained and lost offers a fascinating look at one person’s whims made reality.
Battle of the Bands by Edited by Lauren Gibaldi and Eric Smith. Candlewick, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-1433-8. Edited by Smith (Don’t Read the Comments) and Gibaldi (This Tiny Perfect World), this entertaining collection of 16 interconnected contemporary tales centers a battle of the bands at a New Jersey high school. The book earned a starred review from PW.
This Magical, Musical Night by Rhonda Gowler Greene, illus. by James Rey Sanchez. Little Bee, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4998-1172-8. Greene makes classical music energetically inviting in this picture book that describes a night at the symphony.
The Thirteenth Cat by Mary Downing Hahn. Clarion, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-358394-08-2. Shaken by their encounters with a neighboring elderly woman, Zoey and new friend Lila seek to avoid her and the ever-spying cats. But after a visit from Miss Dupree’s fashionable niece Zleta bewitches Zoey, she realizes that there is more to the cats—and Miss Dupree—than meets the eye.
Norman Didn’t Do It!: (Yes, He Did) by Ryan T. Higgins. Disney Hyperion, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-368-02623-9. Readers will likely relate to Norman, the porcupine protagonist of this picture book who fiercely loves his tree friend Mildred, as he revels in unconditional love, while prone to impulsiveness and rumination. The book earned a starred review from PW.
We Are Not Broken by George M. Johnson. Little, Brown, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-7595-5460-3. In an intensely emotional read, Johnson memorializes the legacy of their grandmother—and all of the Black grandmothers who have built the foundations necessary to ensure that their families would not only survive but flourish. The YA memoir earned a starred review from PW.
Borders by Thomas King, illus. by Natasha Donovan. Little, Brown, $24.99; ISBN 978-0-316-59306-9. In this sparsely worded, moving graphic novel adaptation of King’s 1993 short story of the same name, the team captures the dilemma of Native Nations whose homelands were split by political borders. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Ada and the Galaxies by Alan Lightman and Olga Pastuchiv, illus. by Susanna Chapman. MIT Kids and Candlewick, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-1561-8. A girl and her grandfather bond over astrophysics, and it’s this dynamic that physicist and debut picture book author Lightman and Pastuchiv (Riparia’s River) hold up: what it’s like to gain and share enthusiasm for the wonder that touches every part of the universe. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Your Life Has Been Delayed by Michelle I. Mason. Bloomsbury, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5476-0408-1. A plane trip home from New York to St. Louis upends a rising senior’s existence when the aircraft, taking off in 1995, lands 25 years later, in (a Covid-free) 2020.
Bright Star by Yuyi Morales. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4328-4. Morales (Dreamers) writes a love song to the land that forms the border between the U.S. and Mexico with portraits of the flora and fauna of the area. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
When You Adopt a Pugicorn by Matilda Rose, illus. by Tim Budgen. Abrams Appleseed, $12.99; ISBN 978-1-4197-4724-3. The team behind When You Adopt a Starwhal offers a rainbow-hued lesson in acceptance, when a girl begrudgingly adopts a pugicorn, only to ultimately fall for her new pet.
Dark and Shallow Lies by Ginny Myers Sain. Razorbill, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-5934-0396-9. Infused with Creole and Cajun legends and language, debut author Myers Sain’s dreamy prose conjures a mythical Southern Gothic atmosphere, mixing violence with Byronic characters. Taut pacing builds sustained terror on the page with each successive suspect. The YA novel earned a starred review from PW.
We’re All in the Same Boat by Barney Saltzberg. Creston, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-939547-96-5. Saltzberg offers a comedic take on a fable-like situation: a goat, a pig, a cat, and a dog set off in a rowboat together in this teamwork-affirming picture book.
Chez Bob by Bob Shea. Little, Brown, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-316-48311-7. Bob, a bright yellow alligator intent on laziness, plans to open a birdseed restaurant for birds—on his nose—and to get rich franchising it. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Lotería by Karla Arenas Valenti, illus. by Dana Sanmar. Knopf, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-593-17696-2. Fans of Coco will savor this tale and Sanmar’s occasional illustrations, which visualize Clara and Esteban’s journeys and the Lotería cards as a game progresses. The middle grade novel earned a starred review from PW.
The Last Legacy by Adrienne Young. Wednesday, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-82372-4. In this sumptuously rendered historical quasi-Victorian fantasy novel, Young (Fable) explores concepts of family, loyalty, and growing into one’s destiny.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of September, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.