Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including a YA fantasy novel, a picture book about the border, a duology opener, the story of an influential musician, and many more.
The Robber Girl by Franny Billingsley. Candlewick, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-6956-0. A lyrical first-person narration lightens Billingsley’s plot, which sensitively explores topics such as trauma, healing, and gratitude, relating events prior to Chime.
My Two Border Towns by David Bowles, illus. by Erika Meza. Kokila, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-593-11104-8. This story’s child narrator and his father, who reside in the U.S., set out for the Mexican side of the border near where they live every week. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
The Raven Heir by Stephanie Burgis. Bloomsbury, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5476-0637-5. Burgis’s (the Tales from the Chocolate Heart series) high fantasy duology opener focuses on how the land influences a closely knit family—each bearing complementary and unique gifts—resulting in a strong, shifting sibling dynamic.
King of Ragtime: The Story of Scott Joplin by Stephen Costanza. Atheneum, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-1036-7. In this picture book biography of the ragtime composer, Costanza regales readers with Joplin’s journey: born the son of a formerly enslaved man and eventually earning the title “the King of Ragtime Writers.” The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Antonia: A Journey to a New Home by Dipacho. MineditionUS/Russo, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-66265-045-1. Families must go on in this bittersweet picture book, which powerfully conveys one child’s loss from forced migration.
Bear Wants to Sing by Cary Fagan, illus. by Dena Seiferling. Tundra, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-7352-6803-6. When a young tricyclist loses their cargo, musical instruments bounce into the grass unnoticed. Strumming a newfound ukulele, Bear requests an audience in this picture book which earned a starred review from PW.
The Corpse Queen by Heather M. Herrman. Putnam, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-984816-70-2. Smartly written with a decidedly dark demeanor, Herrman’s (Consumption, for adults) YA debut interweaves death and self-determination in 1850s Philadelphia.
Circle Under Berry by Carter Higgins. Chronicle, $15.99; ISBN 978-1-79720-508-3. Using hand-painted paper to create brilliantly hued, shape-based forms that appear against a clean white backdrop, Higgins (Bikes for Sale) examines ways to observe color, shape, pattern, and position. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
What About Will? by Ellen Hopkins. Putnam, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-593-10864-2. In verse, Hopkins (Closer to Nowhere) tells an honest and moving portrait of a family in flux as they navigate newfound emotional and physical distance.
White Smoke by Tiffany D. Jackson. HarperCollins/Tegen, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-302909-5. After being expelled from her Carmel, Calif., high school for drug use, track star Marigold Anderson moves to Detroit-inspired Cedarville with her newly blended interracial family.
Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer. Bloomsbury, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-5476-0466-1. This YA high fantasy series starter from Kemmerer (A Curse So Dark and Lonely) centers on an illness that divides the kingdom of Kandala into those who can afford the Moonflower petal elixir that keeps the deadly fever at bay and those who cannot.
The Shape of Home by Rashin Kheiriyeh. Levine Querido, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-64614-098-5. In this buoyant, vibrantly illustrated picture book, Kheiriyeh centers an Iranian girl’s first day of school in America.
The List of Unspeakable Fears by J. Kasper Kramer. Atheneum, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-8074-2. It is January 1910, and nine-year-old narrator Essie O’Neill and her Irish-born mother are moving from their tenement apartment to the island that houses New York City’s quarantine hospital. The book earned a starred review from PW.
A Soft Place to Land by Janae Marks. HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-06-287587-7. When her Black family moves from a house to an apartment across town after her father’s layoff, aspiring film score composer Joy Taylor, 12, assumes the worst is over. The sophomore novel by Marks (From the Desk of Zoe Washington) imparts messages on growing up, being honest, and communicating feelings to loved ones. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Twisty-Turny House by Lisa Mantchev, illus. by E.G. Keller. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-3847-7. In the titular residence, “the cats stay upstairs, doing their cat things, and the dogs stay downstairs, doing their dog things,” and the creators show how, from very separate lives, a community of mutual joy and mischief is forged.
Niki Nakayama: A Chef’s Tale in 13 Bites by Jamie Michalak and Debbi Michiko Florence, illus. by Yuko Jones. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-374-31387-6. Employing the 13-course structure of a traditional kaiseki meal, Michalak and Florence profile Japanese American chef Niki Nakayama, whose Los Angeles restaurant N/Naka holds two Michelin stars. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Dragonboy by Fabio Napoleoni. Little, Brown, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-316-46216-7. In this picture book series starter, Dragonboy is a round-headed boy who loves to dress up in an impressively detailed dragon suit and use his imagination.
Beautifully Me by Nabela Noor, illus. by Nabi H. Ali. Simon & Schuster, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-8587-7. It’s the first day of school for exuberant narrator Zubi Chowdhury, a round, Muslim Bangladeshi American child in this cheerful story of self-love.
How to Have a Birthday by Mary Lyn Ray, illus. by Cindy Derby. Candlewick, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-0741-5. Using radiant, translucent pastels, pencil, watercolor, and gouache to show celebrations in different seasons, Derby (Two Many Birds) centers three children throughout this book’s spreads in a tribute to one of the greatest days on the kid calendar.
Paradise on Fire by Jewell Parker Rhodes. Little, Brown, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-316-49383-3. Inspired by real events, Parker Rhodes (Black Brother, Black Brother) makes her entrée into climate fiction with the story of narrator Adaugo (Addy), a Black 15-year-old from the Bronx.
The Dreamweavers by G.Z. Schmidt. Holiday House, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4423-6. In this middle grade story about twins and an 0homage to her Chinese roots, Schmidt interweaves fantastical mythology with the historical context of the Ming Dynasty.
Bear Is a Bear by Jonathan Stutzman, illus. by Dan Santat. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-288051-2. When a parent introduces her infant child to a gigantic brown bear, it seems like misguided parenting, but after the kid slobbers and blows their nose on Bear, the two become inseparable.
Idol Gossip by Alexandra Leigh Young. Walker US, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-1364-5. In Young’s proficient debut, a reserved Chinese American 17-year-old navigates the tension between her reserve and her aspirations of becoming a singer after being scouted at a karaoke bar.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of September, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.