Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including a palindrome-heavy picture book, the launch of a graphic novel trilogy, one fifth grader’s story of coping with ADHD, a middle grade novel that navigates race and fitting in, and many more.
Otto: A Palindrama by Jon Agee. Dial, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-8037-4162-1. Agee’s (I Want a Dog) graphic novel fantasy adventure is written entirely in 200 palindromes, following the eponymous narrator and his dog Pip through a host of places and situations.
The Witch Owl Parliament by David Bowles and Raúl the Third. Tu, $17.95; ISBN 978-1-62014-592-0. In this ultracool but information-dense first installment of Bowles (My Two Border Towns) and Raúl the Third’s (Strollercoaster) graphic novel trilogy entitled Clockwork Curandera, its creators pose the following question, taken from an author’s note: “What if a curandera... had to become a cyborg to survive?”
Fifty-Four Things Wrong with Gwendolyn Rogers by Caela Carter. Quill Tree, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-06-299663-3. Carter (How to Be a Girl in the World) draws from her own experience of undiagnosed ADHD and dyslexia in this middle grade novel about fifth grader Gwendolyn who reviews the list of 54 takeaways she noted from a school report mailed to her home, all of which have her believing she’s “sometimes not a good student or daughter or person in general.” The book earned a starred review from PW.
Keeping It Real by Paula Chase. Greenwillow, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-06-296569-1. Chase (Turning Point) delivers a contemporary narrative on the complexities of race, class privilege, and interpersonal relationships, exploring being “Black enough” through a flawed but resonant cast navigating empathy, friendship, and family.
Sheep Count Flowers by Micaela Chirif, trans. from the Spanish by Arthur A. Levine, illus. by Amanda Mijangos. Levine Querido, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-64614-119-7. Argentinian writer Chirif brings a poet’s perception to this consideration of sheep—specifically, their bedtimes. They can’t count themselves, it seems, so “sheep count flowers to fall asleep,” she posits in this picture book.
The Unfinished Corner by Dani Colman, illus. by Rachel Petrovicz. Wonderbound, $12.99; ISBN 978-1-63849-011-1. In this plot-driven graphic novel grounded in Jewish history, 12-year-old aspiring artist Miriam Feigenbaum inherits the biblical task of flushing evil from the world by completing the Unfinished Corner, a part of the universe that God left undone during creation.
Cat Dog by Mem Fox, illus. by Mark Teague. Beach Lane, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4169-8688-1. A game of cat, dog, and mouse proves itself a meta tale in the works in this wry picture book about two household pets against one mouse. The book earned a starred review from PW.
The Tiny Star by Mem Fox, illus. by Freya Blackwood. Knopf, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-593-30401-3. This picture book about a star that falls to earth and takes an anthropomorphic form shows how love can draw people closer as individuals and as a community.
How to Save a Superhero by Ruth Freeman. Holiday House, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4762-6. After her beloved grandmother dies, map-making fifth grader Adelaide “Addie” Munroe and her capricious single mother Tish leave Granny Lu’s house in Mount Repose, Maine, to move in with Uncle Tim and his family in Pennsylvania. This novel about intergenerational friendship earned a starred review from PW.
Crowbar: The Smartest Bird in the World by Jean Craighead George, with Luke and Twig George, illus. by Wendell Minor. HarperCollins/Tegen, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-000257-2. Penned by late Newbery Medalist Jean Craighead George and adapted by her children, this picture book follows the family’s real experience of rescuing and raising a baby crow foundling they named Crowbar. Back matter includes more about crows, with a list of additional resources.
Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge by Gary Golio, illus. by James Ransome. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-984813-66-4. In an evocative snapshot of a moment in a musician’s life, Golio (Dark Was the Night) celebrates Black saxophonist Sonny Rollins. The picture book biography earned a starred review from PW.
Concealed by Christina Diaz Gonzalez. Scholastic Press, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-3386-4720-4. In this middle grade thriller, 12-year-old Katrina Davis inadvertently uncovers a family secret—and the reason her family has been constantly on the run for nearly three years, since her father was involved in “bringing down one of the most notorious drug cartels in North America.”
Grand Jeté and Me by Allegra Kent, illus. by Robin Preiss Glasser. HarperCollins, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-239202-2. Kent, a principal ballerina of the New York City Ballet for three decades under George Balanchine, lends her experience to this simply told picture book following a child and her former prima ballerina grandmother, nicknamed Grand Jeté.
The Care and Keeping of Freddy by Susan Hill Long. S&S/Wiseman, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-7519-9. In this middle grade novel, Long (Josie Bloom and the Emergency of Life) offers an honest look at family and the challenges of loving people who may prove hurtful, one that’s both raw and warm in its compassionate telling.
Bad Girls Never Say Die by Jennifer Mathieu. Roaring Brook, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-23258-8. Differing paths cross in 1964 Houston in this novel about a city segregated by class and race: the white and Mexican American students at Eastside High are poor; the white teenagers at River Oaks High, called “tea sippers” by the Eastsiders, are wealthy and socially elite.
The Lost Language by Claudia Mills. Holiday House/Ferguson, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-5038-1. Colorado sixth-grader best friends named Elizabeth—known as “Bumble” and “Lizard,” respectively—navigate their shifting friendship in this tender novel-in-verse in which they decide to learn a dying language to save it from extinction and impress Bumble’s workaholic linguistics professor mother.
Little Thieves by Margaret Owen. Holt, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-19190-8. In this epic fantasy rooted in Germanic myth and culture, Owen (The Faithless Hawk) reimagines “The Goose Girl” as a magic-infused caper—part heist, part adventure, with a slow-burning romance at its heart. The YA novel earned a starred review from PW.
Birdie’s Bargain by Katherine Paterson. Candlewick, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-1559-5. In this middle grade novel about a tween who bargains with God for her father’s safety after he is deployed, and has her own difficulties to navigate, Newbery Medalist Paterson’s novel respects Birdie’s struggles and offers lyrical turns of phrase.
Little Loon Finds His Voice by Yvonne Pearson, illus. by Regina Shklovsky. Collective Book Studio, $17.95; ISBN 978-1-951412-33-3. Little Loon desires nothing more than to emulate Papa’s long and strong calls though he’s not quite there yet. The book earned a starred review from PW.
That Dark Infinity by Kate Pentecost. Little, Brown, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-7595-5783-3. In this mythological YA high fantasy novel that evokes Oz, Pentecost’s absorbing plot moves swiftly as the protagonists meet a series of otherworldly challenges. Instances of sexual violence and mental illness are found in the novel alongside prominent themes of healing and friendship.
Sweater Weather by Matt Phelan. Greenwillow, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-293414-7. In Phelan’s (Turtle Walk) cozy domestic world, cubs all dressed in pajamas are commanded: “Sweaters on!” by an adult, after viewing the glorious autumn day outside. The cubs’ expressions telegraph a variety of reactions: worry, skepticism, cheerful anticipation. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Song for Jimi: The Story of Guitar Legend Jimi Hendrix by Charles R. Smith Jr., illus. by Edel Rodriguez. Holiday House/Porter, $22.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4333-8. Smith relays the musical ascent of “git-tar superstar” Jimi Hendrix (1942–1970)—from birth to the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival—evoking in each of five protracted verses, plus an outro and interlude, musical styles that the left-handed guitarist famously melded to create his sound. Back matter includes an author’s note, timeline, discography, and personal playlist.
The Me I Choose to Be by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley, illus. by Regis and Kahran Bethencourt. Little, Brown, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-316-46154-2. Striking, imaginative photographic portraits of Black youth, embellished in Photoshop, fill the pages of this picture book, which shows the figures’ unlimited potential.
Opposites Abstract by Mo Willems. Hyperion, $14.99; ISBN 978-1-368-07097-3. In this high-concept, image-focused picture book, Caldecott Honor artist Willems explores the fundamentals of so-called opposites and playfully interrogates nonfigurative images’ associations. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Red and Green and Blue and White by Lee Wind, illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky. Levine Querido, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-64614-087-9. Wind’s lightly fictionalized version of a 1993 incident after a family’s menorah window display becomes the target of a hate crime, wherein a community stood up to bigotry by taping pictures of menorahs to their own windows in solidarity, is conveyed with lyrical simplicity. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Sister Corita’s Words and Shapes by Jeanette Winter. Beach Lane, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-9601-9. Winter’s picture book biography of Sister Corita Kent (1918–1986) depicts her art as “letters and words and shapes and writing” that “tell us what she believes—she believes in Goodness and in God.”
Everybody in the Red Brick Building by Anne Wynter, illus. by Oge Mora. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-286576-2. Lush collages in jewel tones by Caldecott Honoree Mora illuminate the story of a restless night in a city apartment building whose inhabitants represent many ethnicities, skin tones, and family structures. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of October, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.