Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including a fantasy about a budding astronomer, an historical thriller, a middle grade novel set in 1960s Cuba, a YA novel about forgiveness, and many more.
Amira & Hamza: The War to Save the Worlds by Samira Ahmed. Little, Brown, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-316-54046-9. Ahmed (Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know) centers her fast-paced middle grade fantasy debut on a deeply engaging heroine—a Muslim girl from Chicago who aims to be an astronomer—who acts as a foil to her more reckless and charming brother.
All These Bodies by Kendare Blake. Quill Tree, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-297716-8. Through an assured voice and a vividly wrought small-town atmosphere, Blake (the Three Dark Crowns series) draws readers into this tense historical thriller inspired by a real-life murder spree.
Cuba in My Pocket by Adrianna Cuevas. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-374-31467-5. Cuevas (The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez) excavates family history to illuminate the Cuba of 1961 during Fidel Castro’s reign. The middle grade novel earned a starred review from PW.
Maybe We’re Electric by Val Emmich. Poppy, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-316-53570-0. New Jersey’s Thomas Edison Center might not seem like the best place to wait out a snowstorm, but two teens bond there after hours in Emmich’s (Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel) quirky book about the power of honesty and forgiveness—and the temptations of internet anonymity.
Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman, illus. by Loren Long. Viking, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-593-20322-4. This rallying cry, the picture book debut of presidential inaugural poet Gorman, opens with confident first-person rhyming narration. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Ten Spooky Pumpkins by Gris Grimly. Orchard, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-338-11244-3. Grimly returns with stylized macabre fun in this Halloween-centric counting book following a boy in a clown costume through a pumpkin patch. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
The Monsters of Rookhaven by Pádraig Kenny, illus. by Edward Bettison. Holt, $16.99; ISBN 978-1-250-62394-2. Full of gruesome charm and heart-wrenching pathos, this story set in a postwar England offers a satisfying gothic fantasy at once chilling and affecting.
City of Thieves (Battle Dragons #1) by Alex London. Scholastic, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-338-71654-2. “Reckless, easily distracted, and afraid of heights,” Abel, 13, is secretly glad that he failed the Dragon Rider Academy Entrance Exam, though it means he can’t follow in the footsteps of his older brother Silas, in this fantastical middle grade series opener.
Time Is a Flower by Julie Morstad. Tundra, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-7352-6754-1. “Time is the tick tick tock/ of the/ clock/ and/ numbers and words on a calendar.// But what else is time?” This ethereal book of ideas by Morstad (Girl on a Motorcycle) captures variations on how time passes in lyrical writing and images that offer moments of wonder and change. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
The Insiders by Mark Oshiro. HarperCollins, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-063-00810-6. Injecting a contemporary story of middle school cliques with magical realism, Oshiro’s (Each of Us a Desert) imaginative novel drops 12-year-old Héctor Muñoz, a gay theater kid of Mexican descent from San Francisco, into an inland suburb where his family moves for his mother’s new teaching job. The book earned a starred review from PW.
The Barking Ballad: A Bark-Along Meow-Along Book by Julie Paschkis. Atheneum, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-9260-8. Paschkis (Delicious!) opens this interactive, interspecies friendship story with instructions: when readers see one of many red circles in the text, they’re invited to sound off like a dog; a yellow diamond, likewise, cues readers to make like a cat.
Big Bear, Little Bear by Marine Schneider. Cameron Kids, $9.99; ISBN 978-1-951836-28-3. In this expertly crafted board book, readers can compare the personal effects of a brown, anthropomorphic Big Bear and child Little Bear. The book earned a starred review from PW.
The Other Merlin by Robyn Schneider. Viking, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-593-35102-4. Schneider’s (You Don’t Live Here) first foray into fantasy, a trilogy starter based in the King Arthur mythos, changes most of the canonical facts but gets everything that matters right in this [funny, sharp, romantic novel in which Merlin is neither revered nor an old male wizard, but a bisexual 18-year-old girl, Emry. The YA novel earned a starred review from PW.
The Samosa Rebellion by Shanthi Sekaran. HarperCollins/Tegen, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-06-305153-9. Part age-appropriate parable about fascism, part quest adventure, this dystopian middle grade debut by Sekaran (Lucky Boy) draws from events both historical and current to craft a resonant narrative set on a fictional Pacific island.
Kaleidoscope by Brian Selznick. Scholastic, $19.99; ISBN 978-1-338-77724-6. In a sophisticated, iterative work of connection through time, space, and embodiment, Selznick (The Marvels) layers prose and graphite art to craft a series of stories whose components fragment and repeat.
The Ghost of Midnight Lake by Lucy Strange. Chicken House, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-338-68643-2. Set in England’s Lake District in 1899, Strange’s (Our Castle by the Sea) gripping riches-to-rags middle grade novel hearkens back to Victorian classics, employing strong gothic elements alongside matters of inheritance and parenthood.
Every Cake Has a Story by Christina Tosi, illus. by Emily Balsley. Dial, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-593-11068-3. Tosi, a two-time James Beard Award–winning chef and owner of the Milk Bar bakery chain, makes her picture book debut in a story that begins in the world of Samesville, where the baker protagonist decides to bake a vibrant cake.
Little Witch Hazel: A Year in the Forest by Phoebe Wahl. Tundra, $19.99; ISBN 978-0-7352-6489-2. In four tales that follow the seasons, with illustrations that evoke woodblock printing, Little Witch Hazel serves as her woodland community’s conscientious caretaker. The book earned a starred review from PW.
The Wolf’s Curse by Jessica Vitalis. Greenwillow, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-06-306741-7. In a thought-provoking middle grade debut, Vitalis considers grief, the end of life, and the industry of death through the eyes of an otherworldly, psychopompic wolf.
Last Gamer Standing by Katie Zhao. Scholastic, $7.99; ISBN 978-1-338-74150-6. Combining ruthless online rivalry and real-life dilemmas, Zhao (How We Fall Apart) pushes her inspirational heroine to the limit in the pursuit of success, validation, and financial security in this futuristic middle grade novel.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of September, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.