The holidays aren’t the only reason for cheer! New releases due out this month, including a picture book etiquette lesson gone wrong, a queer YA fake romance, a YA heist taking place on the Titanic, and more are sure to be yet another bright light amid the festive season.

Picture Books

The Bird Book

Steve Jenkins and Robin Page, illus. by Steve Jenkins. Clarion, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-35-832569-7. Ages 6–10. This guide by Jenkins and Page presents some of the world’s 10,000-plus bird species through naturalistic portraits.

Blurp’s Book of Manners

Cindy Derby. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-2508-1035-9. Ages 3–6. An unruly student forces etiquette instructor Ms. Picklepop to remember the core value of manners: kindness. The book received a starred review from PW.

Dragon Noodle Party

Ying Chang Compestine, illus. by Paula Pang. Holiday House, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-4950-7. Ages 4–7. The animals of the zodiac prepare for a party for a special guest.

The Story of Ukraine: An Anthem of Glory and Freedom

Olena Kharchenko and Michael Sampson, illus. by Polina Doroshenko. Brown, $17.99 (36p) ISBN 978-1-61254-608-7. Ages 4–8. The lyrics to the Ukrainian national anthem offer readers a look into the “multi-ethnic, multi-language and multicultural” country’s values.


Acting the Part

Z.R. Ellor. HarperTeen, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-06-315788-0. Ages 13 and up. Queer actor Lily starts up a fake relationship with their costar to keep their characters on the air, while navigating their gender identity as an anonymous online gamer.

Heartbreak Boys

Simon James Green. Clarion, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-358-61725-9. Ages 13 and up. After being dumped by their boyfriends, Jack and Nate fake a relationship while on a road trip in hopes of making their exes jealous, and rekindle their friendship.

A Million to One

Adiba Jaigirdar. HarperCollins, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-291632-7. Ages 13 and up. An all-female heist crew face trouble getting to their target aboard the ill-fated Titanic.

Nine Liars

Maureen Johnson. HarperCollins/Tegen, $19.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-06-303265-1. Ages 14 and up.

In this mystery set in the author’s Truly Devious world, Stevie and the Ellingham Academy crew head to London where they discover a cold case featuring nine friends, a deadly game of hide-and-seek, two victims, and survivors with secrets they’re determined to keep. The book received a starred review from PW.