Back-to-school season arrives with a list of plenty of reading material that doesn’t feel like homework. Readers can discover the origins of classic superheroes, help a disgruntled chimpanzee learn to apologize, follow a famous detective’s younger sister as she takes a crack at her own cases, and much more in this month’s sequels roundup.
Picture Books and Graphic Novels
123s of Kindness by Patricia Hegarty, illus. by Summer Macon (Random House/Rodale Kids, Sept. 20 $8.99 board book; ISBN 978-0-593-56588-9). The sixth addition to the Books of Kindness series highlights acts of kindness in three easy steps for readers.
Believe: A Celebration of Mindfulness by Katie Wilson (Flowerpot, Sept. 6 $7.99 board book; ISBN 978-1-4867-2266-2). The power of self-motivation is at the center of the fourth addition to the Celebration of Mindfulness series, in which a group of children envision bright futures for themselves.
Besties Find Their Groove by Kayla Miller, illus. by Kristina Luu (Clarion, Sept. 27 $13.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-35-856192-7). In the second book in the World of Click series, best friends Beth and Chanda want their first school dance to be perfect, but when the pressure becomes overwhelming, they realize that all they need is each other in order to have a good time.
The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library Super-Dee-Dooper Book of Animal Facts by Courtney Carbone (Random House, Sept. 6 $19.99; ISBN 978-0-525-58164-2). New to The Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library series, this encyclopedia draws from nature to showcase a variety of animals across the world, teaching readers trivia facts and history about nature’s finest creatures.
The Cool Bean Presents: As Cool as It Gets by Jory John, illus. by Pete Oswald (HarperCollins, Sept. 13 $10.99; ISBN 978-0-06-304542-2). Cool Bean worries when he pulls the most popular bean for a secret Santa exchange but learns the true value of gift giving in the latest addition to the Food Group series, a spinoff that includes more than 150 stickers.
Dragonboy and the Wonderful Night by Fabio Napoleoni (Little, Brown, Sept. 13 $17.99; ISBN 978-0-316-46218-1). In the second installment to the Dragonboy series, Dragonboy and his friends take a nighttime adventure to his backyard and find that there is nothing to fear as long as they have each other.
Even Robots Can Be Thankful! by Jan Thomas (Beach Lane, Sept. 6 S&S $17.99 ISBN 978-1-66591-167-2) Red Robot and Blue Robot learn about the difficulties of friendship and always finding appreciation for our pals in this picture book companion to Even Robots Aren’t Perfect!
For Your Smile by Loryn Brantz (HarperFestival, Sept. 6 $8.99, board book; ISBN 978-0-06-308634-02. The second in the A Love Poem Your Baby Can See picture book series features caretakers and their babies vocalizing how much they love one another.
Friends Through Rain or Shine by Dylan Dreyer, illus. by Rosie Butcher (Random House, Sept. 13 $19.99; ISBN 978-0-593-18042-6). In this sequel to Misty the Cloud: A Very Stormy Day, Misty is perturbed when a group of sunbeams interrupt her party, but together they find a game that is fun for all to play.
Grumpy Monkey Who Threw That? by Suzanne Lang, illus. by Max Lang (Random House Studio, Sept. 27 $9.99; ISBN 978-0-593-30605-5). In the ninth addition to the Grumpy Monkey series, when frustrated Jim Panzee throws a banana peel at other animals and gets kicked out of the jungle, his only way back in is to learn how to apologize.
The Ghost with the Smelly Old Underwear by José Carlos Andrés, illus. by Gómez (NubeOcho, Sept. 6 $16.95; ISBN 978-8-418-59943-9). Joining the Somos8 series, this book follows residents of Scaryville as they confront a ghost with foul smelling undergarments, and discover that the ghost’s intentions may not have been as frightening as they perceived.
Harvest Days: Giving Thanks Around the World by Kate Depalma (Barefoot, Sept. 20 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-64686-626-7). In this picture book about interconnectedness, the third book in the World of Celebrations series, readers can discover harvest festivals and traditions of giving thanks from across the globe.
Hey, Bruce!: An Interactive Book by Ryan Higgins (Disney-Hyperion, Sept. 20 $17.99 ISBN 978-1-368-08411-6) In this interactive addition to the Hey Bruce series that puts readers at the rein, the mice are once again up to fun tricks with Bruce.
Hispanic Star: Celia Cruz by Claudia Edelman and William Alexander, illus. by Alexandra Beguez (Roaring Brook, Sept. 6 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-250-82812-5; $5.99 paper; ISBN 978-1-250-82813-2; $5.99 paper, Spanish edition; ISBN 978-1-250-84014-1). The second in the Hispanic Stars series is a picture book biography centering “queen of salsa” Celia Cruz, following her childhood in Havana to her illustrious career as one of music’s most iconic voices.
How to Become a Superhero by Davide Calì, illus. by Gómez (NubeOcho, Sept. 27 $17.99; ISBN 978-8-418-13329-9). Becoming a superhero has many steps, and this instructive manual aims to help young readers with all they need to know before they save the day, in another addition to the Somos8 series.
How Do Satellites Stay in Space? by Jessica Taylor, illus. by Srimalie Bassani (Flowerpot, Sept. 6 $9.99; ISBN 978-1-4867-2277-8). The newest in the How Do series tackles the inner working of satellites, their functions, and their use in modern society for young readers interested in STEM subjects.
I Am Me: A Book of Authenticity by Susan Verde, illus. by Peter H. Reynolds (Abrams, Sept. 27 $15.99; ISBN 978-1-4197-4648-2). The sixth entry in the I Am Books series explores being one’s truest self and learning not to conform in the face of pressure.
Jessi’s Secret Language by Ann M. Martin, illus. by Chan Chau (Scholastic/Graphix, Sept. 6 $12.99 paper; ISBN 978-1-338-61607-1). In this new Baby-sitters Club Graphic Novel, newly minted Baby-sitters Club member Jessi has started sitting Matt who is deaf, and together they use their secret language, sign language, to communicate.
The Last Kids on Earth and the Forbidden Fortress by Max Brallier, illus. by Douglas Holgate (Viking, Sept. 13 $14.99; ISBN 978-0-593-40523-9). In the eighth The Last Kids on Earth graphic novel title, Jack, Quint, June, and Dirk race to break into their nemesis’s lair to prevent him from building a tool that could destroy their dimension.
Let’s Go Bike! by Kristen Bell and Benjamin Hart, illus. by Daniel Wiseman (Random House, Sept. 6 $4.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-593-43444-4). Reviving the characters of The World Needs More Purple People series, Penny takes a ride on her bike across her neighborhood to share the “purple skill” of kindness across town.
Little Blue Truck Makes a Friend by Alice Schertle, illus. by Jill McElmurry (Clarion, Sept. 6 $18.99; ISBN 978-0-35-872282-3). In the latest addition to the Little Blue Truck series, Blue welcomes a newcomer to the farm with a scenic drive, bringing along old friends to tag along.
Mary Had a Little Plan by Tammi Sauer, illus. by Vanessa Brantley-Newton (Union Square Kids, Sept. 6 $17.99; 978-1-4549-3303-8). In this sequel to Mary Had a Little Glam, Mary spots an abandoned lot and, with the help of her neighbors, she turns the lot into a fun new space.
Mayor Good Boy Goes Hollywood (Graphic Novel) by Dave Scheidt and Miranda Harmon (Random House Graphic, Sept. 20 $9.99; ISBN 978-0-593-12489-5). In the second book in the Mayor Good Boy graphic novel series, Mayor Good Boy is starring in his own movie, but it seems someone is determined to ruin the show, and it is up to the mayor to uncover who.
The Night Before the Nutcracker by John Robert Allman, illus. by Julianna Swaney (Random House, Sept. 6 $18.99; ISBN 978-0-593-18091-4). An excited group of young ballerinas prepare to dance in their opening performance of the Nutcracker in the fifth entry in the American Ballet Theatre series.
Noodleheads Take It Easy by Tedd Arnold, Martha Hamilton, and Mitch Weiss, illus. by Arnold (Holiday House, Sept. 27 $15.99; ISBN 978-0-8234-4758-9). Mac and Mac discover that baking their favorite pastry isn’t quite the slice-of-pie they’d thought in the seventh addition to the Noodleheads graphic novel series.
Over and Under the Waves by Kate Messner, illus. by Christopher Silas Neal (Chronicle, Sept. 13 $18.99 USD ISBN 978-1-79720-347-8). The latest addition to the Over and Under Series explores the ocean and its vast ecosystem from the creatures flying high to those swimming its deepest depths.
Penguin and Penelope by Salina Yoon (Bloomsbury, Sept. 6 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-6811-9344-1). In the seventh entry in the Penguin series, Penguin discovers Penelope, a little elephant separated from her herd, and Penguin helps to guide the elephant safely back to her home.
Pete the Cat Plays Hide-and-Seek by James Dean (HarperCollins, Sept. 13 $19.99; ISBN 978-0-06-309592-2). The latest in the Pete the Cat series finds Pete as It in a game of hide and seek, and he will have to take his time if he plans to capture all of his friends.
Picture Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg, illus. by Judy Love (Charlesbridge, Sept. 13 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-62354-157-6). Mrs. Hartwell wants her students to look picture perfect for Picture Day, but when she goes to great lengths to ensure everyone looks their best, she remembers to prioritize their feelings too, in this new addition to the Jitters series.
Pirates Past Noon (Graphic Novel) by Mary Pope Osborne, adapted by Jenny Laird, illus. by Kelly Matthews (Random House, Sept. 27 $16.99; ISBN 978-0-593-17480-7; $9.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-593-17483-8). In the fourth entry in the Magic Tree House graphic novel series, Jack and Annie are captured by a pirate who believes the siblings know where hidden treasure is buried and won’t let them leave until they help him find it.
Reindeer Helper by Amy Krouse Rosenthal, illus. by Brigette Barrager (Random House, Sept. 13 $10.99; 978-0-593-17809-6). Uni the Unicorn attempts to help save Christmas by finding one of Santa’s lost reindeers in the newest Uni the Unicorn title.
Sea (Look, Touch, Learn) by Charlotte Archer (Child’s Play, Sept. 1 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-78628-627-7). The newest entry in the Look, Touch, Learn series offers a picture book about the sea with interactive illustrations developed by infant psychologists.
The Silly Sounds of Christmas by Mike Petrik (HarperFestival, Sept. 20 $7.99 board book; ISBN 978-0-06-306622-9). In a companion to Silly Sounds of Halloween, this board book reveals the humorous sounds that happen around the holiday season to readers.
Sky (Look, Touch, Learn) by Charlotte Archer (Child’s Play, Sept. 1 $17.99; ISBN978-1-78628-626-0). Early readers can follow this picture book about the sea in this new Look, Touch, Learn book.
S’More Magic by Sophie Escabasse (Random House Graphic, Sept. 6 $12.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-593-11933-4). In the third installment in the Witches of Brooklyn series, Effie is off to summer camp and must navigate being away from her old friends, exploring new friendships, and learning new magic.
There’s a Unicorn in Your Book by Tom Fletcher, illus. by Greg Abbott (Random House, Sept. 6 $8.99; ISBN 978-0-593-48441-8). The fifth Who’s in Your Book? title follows a singing unicorn who needs readers’ help to starting singing again when they begin having doubts.
Too Small Tola and the Three Fine Girls by Atinuke, illus. by Onyinye Iwu (Candlewick, Sept. 27 $15.99 USD; ISBN 978-1-5362-2517-4). In the second in the Too Small Tola series, Tola uses her strengths to help her family in situations where only she can fit and admires three cool new girls she aspires to be like.
Trash vs. Trucks by Wes Hargis (HarperCollins, Sept. 13 $5.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-06-291016-5). In the second Down in the Dumps title, Nana’s home at the Westerfield Waste Transfer and Recycling Center is threatened when trucks plan to move her to a trash barge, and she calls on her friends to keep her home safe.
Ty’s Travels: Winter Wonderland by Kelly Starling Lyons, illus. by Niña Mata (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, Sept. 13 $4.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-06-308362-2). In the sequel to Ty’s Travels: Zip, Zoom!, Ty ventures to the North Pole in time for the holidays. But will he be able to spot Santa before he takes off for Christmas?
Uni’s Wish for Wings by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illus. by Brigette Barrager (Random House, Sept. 6 $5.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-593-56478-3). Uni the Unicorn’s new friend Pegasus gives Uni hope for finding her own wings and being able to fly.
A Very Mercy Christmas by Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Chris Van Dusen (Candlewick, Sept. 27 $18.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-1360-7). With her friends and family busy preparing for the holidays, Stella Endicott turns to her gang of animal friends when she wants to go caroling in the latest story in the Mercy Watson series.
The Very Merry Poop Christmas by Samantha Berger, illus. by Manny Galán (Holt, Sept. 13 $14.99; ISBN 978-1-250-83710-3). In the sequel to The Great Big Poop Party, Santa is surprised when all his lists are filled with poop-centric gifts and gains a sense of humor to oblige the kids’ desires.
A Very Trashy Christmas by Wes Hargis (HarperCollins, Sept. 13 $5.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-06-291020-2). The third Down in the Dumps installment follows Santa as he gets stuck in the dumps when his sleigh is mistaken for trash. Now it’s up to Nana to get him out and save Christmas.
Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn, illus. by Meredith Laxton (Clarion, Sept. 20 $12.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-35-853689-5). In this graphic novel adaptation of the book of the same title, Molly and Michael are distrustful of their new sibling Heather, especially when she claims to speak to a ghost in a graveyard.
American Murderer: The Parasite That Haunted the South by Gail Jarrow (Astra/Calkins Creek, Sept. 27 $24.99; ISBN 978-1-68437-815-9). In the third book in the Medical Fiascoes series, Jarrow explores hookworms, the cause of sudden tiredness and sickness in 19th and 20th century, and the zoologist who helped put an end to the plague.
Amira & Hamza: The Quest for the Ring of Power by Samira Ahmed (Little, Brown, Sept. 20 $16.99; ISBN 978-0-316-31861-7). In the sequel to Amira & Hamza: The War to Save the Worlds, the siblings must go up against an ancient fire spirit in search of the lost Ring of Power, which will allow him to take over the world.
The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber (Flatiron, Sept. 13 $19.99; ISBN 978-1-250-26842-6). In the sequel to Once Upon a Broken Heart, the casting of a murderous spell over Evangeline’s life forces her to work with the one person she could never trust after his last heartbreaking betrayal: Prince of Hearts Jack.
Bastille vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson (Starscape, Sept. 20 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-250-81106-6). In the sixth installment to the Alcatraz vs.the Evil Librarians series, after Alcatraz loses his father, Bastille takes the reins to lead their team to find his killer and stop him from destroying everyone who is not under Evil Librarian power.
Blood of Troy by Claire Andrews (Little, Brown, Sept. 6 $18.99; ISBN 978-0-316-36674-8). In the second book in the Daughter of Sparta series, Daphne must find a way to become one of Queen Helen’s new guards, but when she discovers that some of their allies are deceiving them, Daphne must choose whose side she will fight for.
Charlie Hernández & the Golden Dooms by Ryan Calejo (Aladdin, Sept. 13 $18.99; ISBN 978-1-534-48421-4). In the third Charlie Hernández title, trouble is after Charlie, the fifth and only morphling, and he’ll need the help of his journalist friend Violet in order to prevent the takeover of the dead by uncovering the reason behind the strange occurrences in their neighborhood.
The Collectors by Philip Pullman, illus. by Tom Duxbury (Knopf, Sept. 20 $12.99; ISBN 978-0-593-37834-2). This companion book to Pullman’s His Dark Materials series depicts Mrs. Coulter’s ominous backstory, when two art collectors discover portraits that were never meant to be found.
Defend the Dawn by Brigid Kemmerer (Bloomsbury, Sept. 20 $18.99; ISBN 978-1-5476-1007-5). In the sequel to Defy the Night, the kingdom is still suffering from sickness and the only way Tessa and Prince Corrick can acquire more elixir is through a dangerous journey in which Tessa and the prince question who they can trust, even each other.
Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche by Nancy Springer (Wednesday Books, Sept. 6 $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-84675-4). Little sister to Detective Sherlock Holmes, Enola Holmes discovers an Earl whose wives mysteriously keep dying and goes undercover to learn the truth behind their deaths.
Enola Holmes and the Elegant Escapade by Nancy Springer (Wednesday Books, Sept. 6 $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-82297-0). Sherlock Holmes’s younger sister Enola attempts to save her friend Lady Cecily from being married off, but when Lady Cecily runs away and Enola discovers Cecily’s dual personalities, only Enola can find her friend before it’s too late.
Heist and Seek by John Patrick Green (First Second, Sept. 27 $10.99; ISBN 978-1-250-84988-5). In the sixth InverstiGators title, art pieces from the museum are going missing and it’s up to Mango and Brash to uncover the thief and save the museum’s art gala.
Key Player by Kelly Yang (Scholastic Press, Sept. $17.99; ISBN 978-1-338-77625-6). Soccer player Mia Tang decides to take her passion for soccer as inspiration for a class assignment and embraces her identities in the fourth installment of the Front Desk series.
Memories and Life Lessons from the Magic Tree House by Mary Pope Osborne, illus. by Sal Murdocca (Random House, Sept. 6 $16.99; ISBN 978-0-593-48454-8). Magic Tree House author Mary Pope Osborne recounts her own hardships and the lessons she’s imparted through her bestselling series in this nonfiction volume.
Miss Peregrine’s Museum of Wonders by Ransom Riggs (Dutton, Sept. 27 $24.99; ISBN 978-0-399-53856-8). This deluxe companion guide offers readers a deeper look into the world of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, including character backstories, budding and developing relationships, new locations in the Peregrine universe to explore, and an expansive list of new familiars.
Pippa Park Crush at First Sight by Erin Yun (Fabled Films, Sept. 13 $16.99; ISBN 978-1-944020-80-4). Pippa Park must pull off planning the most epic Christmas Eve party to impress her new group of friends while juggling her feelings for her childhood best friend and her new tutor in the newest addition to the Pippa Park series.
Rosie’s Rhythm by Emily Bliss (Bloomsbury, Sept. 20 $5.99 paper; ISBN 978-1-5476-0968-0). In the fifth installment in the Pegasus Princesses series, Rosie’s preparations for the upcoming concert go awry when she and friend Clara accidentally awaken something in the garden and must prevent their concert from being canceled for everyone.
Secrets of the Looking Glass by J. Scott Savage (Shadow Mountain, Sept. 13 $19.99; ISBN 978-1-63993-044-9). In this standalone title in The Lost Wonderland Diaries series, Celia and Tyrus end up in the Looking-Glass World where they must get past a number of fairy tale characters and catch their dopplegangers in order to get back home.
Self-Made Boys: A Great Gatsby Remix by Anna-Marie McLemore (Feiwel and Friends, Sept. 6 $18.99; ISBN 978-1-250-77493-4). In the fifth installment in the Remixed Classics series, retelling The Great Gatsby, queer Nicolás moves in with his cousin Daisy and develops feelings for the rich party thrower next door, Jay Gatsby.
She Persisted: Diana Taurasi by Monica Brown (Philomel, Sept. 6 $5.99 paper; ISBN 978-0-593-40296-2). The She Persisted series adds a chapter book biography of professional basketball player and Olympian Diana Taurasi.
Show-How Guides: Gingerbread Houses by Renée Kurilla, illus. by Keith Zoo (Odd Dot, Sept. 13 $6.99 paper; ISBN 978-1-250-79307-2). In the 11th Show-How Guide, readers will break down how to build the perfect holiday treat: the gingerbread house.
Snow’s Slide by Emily Bliss (Bloomsbury, Sept. 20 $5.99 paper; ISBN 978-1-5476-0972-7). In the sixth Pegasus Princesses title, a typo in Lucinda’s invitations to the Pegasus Winter Games brings some warm visitors to play, and it’s up to Lucinda and friend Clara to get the games running.
Soul of the Deep by Natasha Bowen (Random House, Sept. 27 $19.99; ISBN 978-0-593-12098-9). In the sequel to Skin of the Sea, mami wata Simi sacrificed the love of her life to save her family, but when her trade seems to have further consequences, Simi must work with a trickster god to save the human realm.
Spy School Project X by Stuart Gibbs (Simon & Schusterw, Sept. 6 $17.99 USD; ISBN 978-1-5344-7949-4). The 10th Spy School novel follows Ben as he attempts to escape killers and conspiracy theorists after his rival accuses him of being at the center of a conspiracy online.
Tales from the Treehouse: Too Silly to Be Told… Until NOW! by Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton (Feiwel and Friends, Sept. 20 $13.99; ISBN 978-1-250-85014-0). The latest addition to the Treehouse Books introduces 13 standalone stories of adventures in the treehouse that didn’t make it into the chapter books.
Tall Tales by James Riley (Aladdin, Sept. 20 $18.99 USD; ISBN 978-1-5344-2590-3). In the second entry in the Once Upon Another Time series, the Golden King has returned for revenge and only Lena can stop him, but only if she’s able to prove she’s worthy to access a magical relic by finishing three risky challenges.
The Troll’s Toe Cheese by Aaron Reynolds, illus. by Cam Kendell (Roaring Brook, Sept. 20 $13.99; ISBN 978-1-250-20646-6). In the finale in the Fart Quest series, Fart, Pan, Moxie, and TickTock have completed the tasks Powerful Kevin asked in exchange for Pan to see her mother again, but the team must determine if Powerful Kevin ever planned to make good on his promise.
Vampiric Vacation by Kiersten White (Delacorte, Sept. 27 $17.99; ISBN 978-0-593-37908-0). The second in the Sinister Summer series finds Theo, Alexander, and Wil at the Sanguine Spa with a family with vampire-esque qualities, and as they explore the grounds, they may find answers to what happened to their parents.
The Vanderbeekers on the Road by Karina Yan Glaser (Clarion, Sept. 20 $17.99; ISBN 978-0-35-843457-3). The sixth installment to the Vanderbeekers series follows the Vanderbeeker clan on a road trip for Papa’s birthday that takes many tumultuous turns, the most difficult being Laney’s discovery that two of her siblings may potentially go to college far away from home.
Ways to Share Joy by Renée Watson, illus. by Nina Mata (Bloomsbury, Sept. 27 $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5476-0909-3). In the third Ryan Hart Story, despite Ryan being stuck between two friends vying to be her favorite and her prank-pulling brother who ruins her baking project, Ryan still manages to find ways to share joy with those around her.