The wait is Oct-over! Cozy up with this month’s new children’s releases, including the nighttime tale of a noisy apartment building, the quest to help save a superhero, the story of a forbidden love, and many more.

Picture Books

All Eyes on Ozzy!

K-Fai Steele. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-274858-4. Ages 4–8.

Ozzy loves attention, and the person she wants it from most of all is her music teacher, Ms. Bomba. So when it’s time to choose an instrument for the school recital, Ozzy picks the biggest, loudest, most attention-grabbing one of all: the drums. The book received a starred review from PW.

Dad Bakes

Katie Yamasaki. Norton, $17.95 (48p) ISBN 978-1-324-01541-3. Ages 6–8.

In this tale inspired by families affected by incarceration, Dad wakes early every morning before the sun, heading off to work at the bakery. He kneads, rolls, and bakes, and as the sun rises and the world starts its day, Dad heads home to his young daughter. Together they play, read, garden, and—most importantly—they bake. The book received a starred review from PW. See our q&a with Yamasaki.

Everybody in the Red Brick Building

Anne Wynter, illus. by Oge Mora. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-06-286576-2. Ages 4–8.

A chain reaction of noises wakes several children living in an apartment building. But it’s late into the night, so despite the disturbances, one by one, the building’s inhabitants return to their beds—this time, with a new set of sounds to lull them to sleep. The book received a starred review from PW.

Forty Winks: A Bedtime Adventure

Kelly DiPucchio, illus. by Lita Judge. Abrams, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-4552-2. Ages 4–8.

When the sun sets on this mouse family’s house, it’s the start of a bedtime routine for the ages. Readers can follow along as all 38 Wink children have snacks and baths, brush their teeth, read stories, and finally, finally settle down to sleep. The book received a starred review from PW.

Inside Cat

Brendan Wenzel. Chronicle, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4521-7319-1. Ages 3–5.

In this companion to They All Saw a Cat, Inside Cat is an indoor feline. But while the cat’s life is bound by the walls of an unusual house, it’s far from dull. Just when Inside Cat is sure it knows everything, a surprise awaits.

Little Loon Finds His Voice

Yvonne Pearson, illus. by Regina Shklovsky. Collective Book Studio, $17.95 (32p) ISBN 978-1-951412-33-3. Ages 5–7.

Papa Loon’s voice calls out long and strong across the water. Little Loon’s voice is nothing like his Papa’s. When an eagle attacks, will Little Loon find his voice in time? The book received a starred review from PW.

The Midnight Club

Shane Goth, illus. by Yong Ling Kang. Owlkids, $18.95 (40p) ISBN 978-1-77147-394-1. Ages 3–6.

At the stroke of midnight, Milly wakes up her big sister, Becca. It’s time for Milly’s first Midnight Club adventure. With Becca leading the way, the siblings explore the hidden wonders of their house in the dark. The book received a starred review from PW.

Mr. Watson’s Chickens

Jarrett Dapier, illus. by Andrea Tsurumi. Chronicle, $17.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-4521-7714-4. Ages 3–5.

Mr. Watson has 456 chickens. When his partner, Mr. Nelson, threatens to leave, Mr. Watson takes his chickens to town to sell, only for them to escape. When they’re all rounded up, will he have the heart to sell them? The book received a starred review from PW.

Opposites Abstract

Mo Willems. Hyperion, $14.99 (24p) ISBN 978-1-368-07097-3. Ages 0-2.

Is this dark? Is this light? Is this soft? Is this hard? Using colors, shapes, lines and textures, Willems invites readers to explore abstract concepts through bold artwork.The book received a starred review from PW. See our q&a with Willems.

The Real Santa

Nancy Redd, illus. by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow. Random House, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-593-17814-0. Ages 4–8.

It’s not Christmas without Santa. Readers join one Black family on their journey to discover what the real Santa looks like. The book received a starred review from PW.

Red and Green and Blue and White

Lee Wind, illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky. Levine Querido, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-64614-087-9. Ages 4–7.

Wind’s lightly fictionalized version of the 1993 incident wherein a community stood up to anti-Semitism, taping pictures of menorahs to their own windows in solidarity with Jewish neighbors, is conveyed with lyrical simplicity. Caldecott Medalist Zelinsky’s vibrant digital art and dramatic compositions emphasize fraught emotions in this moving historical tale that encourages taking a stand. The book received a starred review from PW.

Sonny Rollins Plays the Bridge

Gary Golio, illus. by James Ransome. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-984813-66-4. Ages 4–8.

Sonny Rollins loved his saxophone. As a teenager, he was playing with jazz stars and making a name for himself. But in 1959, at age 29, he took a break from performing—to work on being a better, not just famous, musician. Practicing in a city apartment didn’t please the neighbors, so Sonny found a surprising alternative: the Williamsburg Bridge. The book received a starred review from PW.

Stitch by Stitch: Cleve Jones and the AIDS Memorial Quilt

Rob Sanders, illus. by Jamey Christoph. Magination, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4338-3739-5. Ages 4–8.

Mentored by Harvey Milk, Jones first had the vision for what became the AIDS Memorial Quilt during a candlelight memorial for Milk in 1985. Along with friends, Cleve created the first panels for the quilt in 1987. The AIDS Memorial Quilt grew to be one of the largest public arts projects ever and helped grow awareness of HIV and AIDS. The book received a starred review from PW.

Sweater Weather

Matt Phelan. Greenwillow, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-293414-7. Ages 4–8.

On a perfect autumn day, Papa Bear tells his cubs to bundle up in the cozy sweaters he hand knit—but that is easier said than done. Even if this lovable bear family misses out on their planned outing, the evening sky holds a beautiful surprise. The book received a starred review from PW.

Middle Grade

Across the Desert

Dusti Bowling. Little, Brown, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-49474-8. Ages 8–12.

Jolene spends every day she can at the library watching her favorite livestream: The Desert Aviator, where 12-year-old “Addie Earhart” shares her adventures flying an ultralight plane over the desert. Then, one day, it all goes wrong: Addie’s engine abruptly stops, and Jolene watches in helpless horror as the ultralight plummets to the ground and the video goes dark. Now it’s up to Jolene to find a way to save the Desert Aviator. The book received a starred review from PW.

African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History

Tracey Baptiste, illus. by Hillary D. Wilson. Algonquin, $19.95 (176p) ISBN 978-1-61620-900-1. Ages 8–12.

Black history began long ago with the many cultures and people of the African continent. Through portraits of 10 heroic figures, Baptiste takes readers on a journey across Africa to meet some of the great leaders and thinkers whose vision built a continent and shaped the world. The book received a starred review from PW.

Children of the Fox

Kevin Sands. Viking, $17.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-593-32751-7. Ages 8–12.

Lured by the promise of more money than they’ve ever dreamed of, five young criminals are hired to steal a heavily guarded treasure from the most powerful sorcerer in the city. Though their shadowy backgrounds mean that they’ve never trusted anyone but themselves, the five must learn to rely on each other to get the job done. The book received a starred review from PW.

Clarice the Brave

Lisa McMann, illus. by Antonio Caparo. Putnam, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-593-32337-3. Ages 8 and up.

Delicately balancing hope and despair, McMann brings to life the adventurous tale of ship’s mouse Clarice and her runt-of-the-litter brother, Charles Sebastian. See highlights from McMann’s book tour.

Daughter of the Deep

Rick Riordan. Disney-Hyperion, $19.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-368-07792-7. Ages 10 and up.

In this contemporary reimagining of Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and The Mysterious Island, Riordan merges foundational science fiction adventures with a modern sensibility and an inclusive cast from across the globe, injecting the adventure with action and generation-spanning intrigue. See our q&a with Riordan.

Dust & Grim

Chuck Wendig, illus. by Jensine Eckwall. Little, Brown, $16.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-316-70623-0. Ages 8–12.

Wendig’s middle grade debut mingles age-appropriate horror with hard-won wisdom gleaned through the eyes of 13-year-old orphan Molly Grim. Molly’s always been pretty much on her own, but after her father’s death, she teams up with her paternal lawyer uncle to claim half of her mother’s business: a mortuary for monsters. See our q&a with Wendig.

Fifty-Four Things Wrong with Gwendolyn Rogers

Caela Carter. Quill Tree, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-299663-3. Ages 8–12.

No one can figure out what Gwendolyn Rogers’s problem is. But Gwendolyn knows she doesn’t just have one thing wrong with her: she has 54. If Gwendolyn wants to go to horse camp this summer with her half-brother, Tyler, she’ll need a plan to get those 54 things under control. The book received a starred review from PW.

Frankie & Bug

Gayle Forman. Aladdin, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-5344-8253-1. Ages 8–12.

All Bug wants to do is go to the beach with her older brother and hang out with the locals on the boardwalk. But Danny wants to be with his own friends, and Bug’s mother is too busy, so Bug is stuck with their neighbor Philip’s nephew, Frankie. Bug’s not excited about hanging out with someone she’s never met, but soon they find common ground. And as the summer unfolds, they find themselves learning important lessons about each other, and the world. See our story on Forman’s middle grade debut.

The Genius Under the Table: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain

Eugene Yelchin. Candlewick, $16.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1552-6. Ages 9–12.

Award-winning author and artist Eugene Yelchin recounts his childhood in Cold War Russia as a boy desperate to understand his place in his family. The book received a starred review from PW. See our q&a with Yelchin.

How to Save a Superhero

Ruth Freeman. Holiday House, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4762-6. Ages 8–12.

Addie and her mother never stay in one place too long. When her mom gets a new job at Happy Valley Village Retirement Community, Addie believes they’ll be on the road again in a month. But this time, something is different. Is Mr. Norris, a grumpy resident, actually a former superhero? The book received a starred review from PW.

Mighty Inside

Sundee T. Frazier. Levine Querido, $17.99 (248p) ISBN 978-1-64614-091-6. Ages 8–12.

Melvin Robinson wants a strong, smooth, He-Man voice that lets him say what he wants, when he wants. But the thought of starting high school is only making his stutter worse. And Melvin’s growing awareness that racism is everywhere is making him realize that he can’t mutely stand by. The book received a starred review from PW.

The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne

Jonathan Stroud. Knopf, $17.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-593-43036-1. Ages 10 and up.

Scarlett McCain is a shoot-first ask-questions-later kind of outlaw. She’s on the run from her latest crime when she comes across Albert Browne, the sole survivor of a horrific accident. Against her better judgment, Scarlett agrees to guide him to safety. Soon there are men with dogs and guns and explosives hot on their heels. The book received a starred review from PW. See our q&a with Stroud.

Playing the Cards You’re Dealt

Varian Johnson. Scholastic Press, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-338-34853-8. Ages 8–12.

Anthony Joplin is finally old enough to play in the spades tournament that every Joplin man before him seems to have won. Then Ant’s best friend gets grounded, and he’s forced to find another spades partner. Shirley, the new girl in class, isn’t exactly who he has in mind, but she’s smart and tough and knows every card trick in the book. The book received a starred review from PW.

The School Between Winter and Fairyland

Heather Fawcett. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-304331-2. Ages 8–12.

Autumn Malog is a servant at the enchanting Inglenook School, where young magicians study to become the king’s future monster-hunters. When she isn’t mucking out the wyvern stalls, Autumn searches for clues about her twin brother’s mysterious disappearance. Autumn is convinced she’s heard—and glimpsed—him calling to her from within the castle walls. But who will believe a lowly servant? The book received a starred review from PW.

This Is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them, and Us

Edited by Katherine Locke and Nicole Melleby. Knopf, $16.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-5933-0394-8. Ages 8–12.

In this stellar middle grade anthology, editors and contributors Locke and Melleby assemble the works of 16 authors whose pieces present a wide range of LGBTQ experiences across genres and formats. The book received a starred review from PW.

Recognize! An Anthology Honoring and Amplifying Black Life

Edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson. Crown, $16.99 (208p) ISBN 978-0-593-38159-5. Ages 10 and up.

Prominent Black creators lend their voice, their insight, and their talent to an inspiring anthology that celebrates Black culture and Black life. The book received a starred review from PW.

The Swallows’ Flight

Hilary McKay. S&S/McElderry, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-66590-091-1. Ages 8–12.

In England, Ruby has no friends because of the speckled blotches on her face that kids say look like dirt. And Kate is sickly all the time, her older siblings each taking turns looking after her. The two girls soon strike up a friendship, and their connection becomes all the more important when England joins the war against Germany and the blitz begins overhead. The book received a starred review from PW.

Young Adult

Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World

Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Simon & Schuster, $19.99 (544p) ISBN 978-1-5344-9619-4. Ages 14 and up.

In the highly anticipated sequel to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, the two boys who fell in love in a border town must discover what it means to stay in love and build a relationship in a world that challenges their existence. See our q&a with the author.

Any Sign of Life

Rae Carson. Greenwillow, $17.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-269193-4. Ages 13 and up.

Paige Miller falls deathly ill and wakes up days later attached to an IV, and learns that the whole world has perished. As she gets through each day, Paige encounters a few more young survivors. But as they struggle to endure their new reality, they learn that the apocalypse did not happen by accident. The book received a starred review from PW.

Bad Girls Never Say Die

Jennifer Mathieu. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-23258-8. Ages 12 and up.

In this gender-flipped reimagining of The Outsiders, Evie Barnes is a bad girl. So are all her friends. When Evie is saved from a sinister encounter by a good girl from the “right” side of the tracks, every rule she’s always lived by is called into question.

Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre

Brandy Colbert. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $19.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-06-305666-4. Ages 14 and up.

Colbert examines the tension that was brought to a boil by many factors in the Tulsa Race Massacre. It is part of a legacy of white violence that can be traced from our country’s earliest days through Reconstruction, the civil rights movement in the mid-20th century, and the fight for justice and accountability Black Americans still face today. The book received a starred review from PW.


Claire McFall. Walker US, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1845-9. Ages 12 and up.

In this story taking inspiration from the Greek myth of Charon, Dylan thinks she has survived a train crash but wakes up in a wasteland of the afterlife. There she meets a teenage boy, Tristan, a Ferryman tasked with guiding Dylan’s soul safely across the treacherous landscape. But as they travel together and an unexpected connection develops, Dylan begins to wonder where she is truly meant to be. See our profile on the book, which was originally released in the U.K. in 2013.

Jade Fire Gold

June CL Tan. HarperTeen, $17.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-06-305636-7. Ages 13 and up.

Ahn is no one, with no past and no family. Altan is a lost heir, his future stolen away as a child. When they meet, Altan sees in Ahn a path to reclaiming the throne, and Ahn sees a way to unlock her past and understand her arcane magical abilities. But they may have to pay a far deadlier price than either could have imagined. The book received a starred review from PW.

Little Thieves

Margaret Owen. Holt, $18.99 (512p) ISBN 978-1-250-19190-8. Ages 14 and up.

The wicked maid at the heart of the Brothers Grimm classic “The Goose Girl” tells her story in this new Bavarian-inspired YA fantasy. Vanja Schmidt is the 13th daughter of a 13th daughter, and wherever she goes, misfortune follows. Her godmothers, Death and Fortune, bless her with magic in exchange for a life of servitude when she comes of age. When the time comes, Vanja flees, swiping an enchanted string of pearls that allows her to impersonate a princess. The book received a starred review from PW.


Mari Ahokoivu, trans. from the Finnish by Silja-Maaria Aronpuro. Levine Querido, $24.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-64614-112-8. Ages 12 and up.

Elements of ancient Finnish myth and song undergird Ahokoivu’s dark worldbuilding in this YA graphic novel rendered in inky b&w washes; accents of color leap off the page as the translation by Aronpuro flows smoothly. The book received a starred review from PW.

We Light Up the Sky

Lilliam Rivera. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5476-0376-3. Ages 13 and up.

Pedro, Luna, and Rafa may attend Fairfax High School together in Los Angeles, but they run in separate spheres. They soon find themselves thrown together when an extraterrestrial visitor lands in their city and takes the form of Luna’s cousin Tasha. See our q&a with Rivera.

The Woman All Spies Fear: Code Breaker Elizebeth Smith Friedman and Her Hidden Life.

Amy Butler Greenfield. Random House, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-12719-3. Ages 12 and up.

Elizebeth Smith Friedman had a rare talent for spotting patterns and solving puzzles. These skills led her to become one of the top cryptanalysts in America during both World War I and World War II. The biography received a starred review from PW.