Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including a YA novel featuring a ghost helping to solve his own murder, a graphic novel about a feline in space, a middle grade novel bringing together friends through music, a guide for teens to learn about finances, and many more.
Hollow Fires by Samira Ahmed. Little, Brown, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-316-28264-2. Jawad, a high school senior of Iraqi descent, is murdered following his arrest at school for bringing in a jet pack that’s mistaken for a “suicide bomber vest.” Aspiring journalist Safiya, spurred by Jawad’s ghost, works to solve the murder, a journey that forces her to face dark truths about their community. The YA book earned a starred review from PW.
The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza by Mac Barnett, illus. by Shawn Harris. HarperCollins/Tegen, $15.99; ISBN 978-0-06-308408-7. When rats from another galaxy begin devouring the moon, Earth’s smartest scientists dispatch a cybernetically enhanced cat—the First Cat in Space—to deal with the threat. The graphic novel, based on Barnett and Harris’s “Live Cartoon” Instagram series of the same name, earned a starred review from PW.
Duet by Elise Broach. Little, Brown/Ottaviano, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-316-31135-9. Narrated by a goldfinch with an exceptional voice, this story offers a bird’s-eye view of three friends who are bound together by their passion for music: singer Mirabelle, her pianist neighbor Mr. Starek, and new student and pianist Michael. The middle grade book earned a starred review from PW.
How to Money by Jean Chatzky, Kathryn Tuggle, and the team at HerMoney, illus. by Nina Cosford. Roaring Brook, $19.99 paper; ISBN 978-1-250-79169-6. Teens learn the basics of money in this illustrated guide from financial experts Chatzky and Tuggle.
Wildseed Witch by Marti Dumas. Abrams/Amulet, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-4197-5561-3. Rising eighth grader and hopeful social media starlet Hasani inadvertently draws the attention of powerful witches, after an outburst that reveals her magical capabilities. Sent to an exclusive boarding school for training witches despite her lack of magical lineage (which makes her an outsider among her new peers), Hasani learns she is more powerful than she could have imagined.
The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson. Heartdrum, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-308616-6. Working at her uncle’s ice cream shop over the summer, Lou navigates her burgeoning sexuality, the failing of her family’s business, and the return of her violent father. The YA book earned a starred review from PW.
My Dad Is a Grizzly Bear by Swapna Haddow, illus. by Dapo Adeola. Red Comet, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-63655-011-4. The patriarch of this family might be a bear, but that doesn’t get in the way of fun adventures with his family.
Layla, the Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish and Jerdine Nolen, illus. by Jessica Gibson. HarperCollins, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-06-311387-9. In this picture book by comedian and actor Haddish, Layla, the only Black unicorn in her school, struggles to fit in until a school field trip presents her with the opportunity to become class hero.
Bright by Jessica Jung. Simon & Schuster, $19.99; ISBN 978-1-534-46254-0. In the sequel to Shine, K-pop star Rachel Kim literally falls for a man on the metro and considers giving up her romance-avoidant lifestyle, though a betrayal may stop her from giving into her heart.
When Glitter Met Glue by Karen Kilpatrick, illus. by Germán Blanco. Holt, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-81760-0. Often feeling underappreciated, Glue hopes to find a way to be more creative, and their new friendship with Glitter shows them their full potential.
A Day for Sandcastles by JonArno Lawson, illus. by Qin Leng. Candlewick, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-0842-9. On a beach day, a trio of siblings work together to build a sandcastle that will last all day. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Café Con Lychee by Emery Lee. Quill Tree, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-06-321027-1. Theo and Gabi might be different on the soccer field, but they share in their desire to escape high school and their status as children of café owners. When both cafes are under threat of closing, the two come together to save their parents’ shops, while developing feelings for each other.
Answers in the Pages by David Levithan. Knopf, $17.99; 978-0-593-48468-5. When Fifth grader Donovan leaves a book on his counter, he doesn’t anticipate the fallout it holds for his town, who suspect the book has queer content. Through three perspectives, the students (and characters), learn of acceptance, bravery, and friendship. The middle grade book earned a starred review from PW.
You Are Here by Zach Manbeck. Chronicle, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-797-21010-0. This picture book aims to teach readers how to find their way in a big world, while appreciating where they are in the present.
Old Wood Boat by Nikki McClure. Candlewick, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-1658-5. An old wood boat gets a new life at sea with the arrival of a family.
The Science of Being Angry by Nicole Melleby. Algonquin, $16.95; ISBN 978-1-643750-37-8. Joey, who often reacts “with her fists” and fears her family is growing tired of her impulsive reactions, explores the origins of her anger after learning about nature vs. nurture in school.
Grab Your Pillow, Armadillo by Haily Meyers and Kevin Meyers.Gibbs Smith, $14.99; ISBN 978-1-4236-6124-5. This picture book helps readers prepare for bedtime with unique ways of saying goodnight.
Growing an Artist by John Parra. S&S/Wiseman, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-534-46927-3. Juanito’s first time following his father at his job as a landscape artist allows him to learn to be creative and fosters a newfound appreciation for his father’s hard work.
It’s a Sign! (Elephant & Piggie Like Reading) by Jarret Pumphrey, Jerome Pumphrey, and Mo Willems. illus. by Jarret Pumphrey and Jerome Pumphrey. Hyperion, $10.99; ISBN 978-1-368-07584-8. Four critters of varying size and color blend their unique talents to help announce the name of their new club. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Every Bird a Prince by Jenn Reese. Holt, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-250-78344-8. When bird princes of the magical Resplendent Nest recruit Eren and Alex as their champions in a fight against the frostfangs, the two must discover their inner truths in order to win.
Sylvie by Jean Reidy, illus. by Lucy Cummins (Atheneum, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-534-46348-6). A spider named Sylvie watches over the residents of an apartment building and concocts a plan to bring them together.
The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R.M. Romero. Peachtree Teen, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-68263-338-0. In this novel in verse, Ilana, a biracial Jewish violinist, is sent to visit her aunt in Prague where she meets Ben, a ghost who died more than a century ago. After discovering why Ben is trapped in the city, Ilana will do whatever it takes to free him. The YA book earned a starred review from i.
Richard Scarry’s 5-Minute Stories by Richard Scarry. Random House, $14.99; ISBN 978-0-593-31000-7. In this collection, readers are introduced to several characters of Busytown in stories five minutes or less.
Yonder by Ali Standish. HarperCollins, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-06-298568-2. In this story set in small-town Appalachia during WWII, 13-year-old Danny Timmons’s new friend Jack has recently gone missing. Danny’s endeavor to find his friend pushes him to discover the meaning of bravery. The middle grade book earned a starred review from PW.
Breathe and Count Back from Ten by Natalia Sylvester. Clarion Books, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-358-53686-4. When auditions open for her dream job to become a mermaid at a theme park, Verónica, a Peruvian American teen with hip dysplasia, must take matters of her body into her own hands.
The World Belonged to Us by Jacqueline Woodson, illus. by Leo Espinosa. Putnam/Paulsen, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-399-54549-8. A community of friends explore the many adventures to be had together after school, highlighting that possibility travels with them wherever they can go. The picture book novel earned a starred review from PW.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of May, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.