March’s bounty of books for young readers includes an excited elephant’s cycling trials, a graphic novel inspired by Indiana basketball player Judi Warren, a YA novel about one girl challenging the Greek gods, and many more notable titles.
David Álvarez with David Bowles. Levine Querido, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-64614-251-4. Ages 4–8. In this twined variation of several Mesoamerican stories, when a crafty Opossum cracks the moon and steals the precious aguamiel for himself, the orb loses its radiance, and the now-regretful animal must find a way to illuminate the world. The book received a starred review from PW.
Big Tune: Rise of the Dancehall Prince
Alliah L. Agostini, illus. by Shamar Knight-Justice. FSG, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-3743-8994-9. Ages 3–6. In 1990s Brooklyn, Shane aspires to be crowned dancehall king and when the bashment is at risk of being canceled, Shane puts his own plans on hold to save “Big Tune Saturday”—an act that’s amply rewarded. The book received a starred review from PW.
ZO-O, trans. from the Korean by Ellen Jang. Owlkids, $19.95 (64p) ISBN 978-1-77147-532-7. Ages 3–7. A black crow-like bird contemplates the empty corner of the title and begins an ambitious mural that requires creativity. The book received a starred review from PW.
Juana Medina. Candlewick, $9.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1635-6. Ages 4–6. In this story for beginning readers, enthusiastic purple elephant Elena is excited about riding her bike and works toward becoming a great cyclist. The book received a starred review from PW.
Ani Di Franco, illus. by Julia Mathew. Rise x Penguin Workshop, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-5933-8375-9. Ages 3–5. A young narrator enjoying the simple pleasures of life gets a glimpse of something great when they see a unique reflection in the mirror. See our q&a with singer-songwriter Di Franco here.
Jordan Scott, illus. by Sydney Smith. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-8234-5083-1. Ages 4–8. A child and their grandmother bond while partaking in activities in the grandmother’s garden. The book received a starred review from PW.
Augusten Burroughs, illus. by Bonnie Lui. Little, Brown/Ottaviano, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-3163-7413-2. Ages 4–8. Chloe’s friendship with a Crow leads her into a difficult debacle with friends at school. See our q&a with memoirist Burroughs about his picture book debut.
Julie Downing. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-5206-4. Ages 4–8. The residents of a community continue to bustle all throughout the night in this picture book. The book received a starred review from PW.
Joanna Ho, illus. by Faith Pray. HarperCollins, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-305692-3. Ages 4–8. A narrating parent shares the dreams and hopes they carry for their child as he finds his way in the wider world.
Joy Harjo, illus. by Michaela Goade. Random House Studio, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-59-348484-5. Ages 4–8. Former U.S. poet laureate Harjo and Caldecott Medalist Goade transform Harjo’s poem into a picture book about connection and noticing. See our In Conversation with the creators here. The book received a starred review from PW.
Jonathan Stutzman, illus. by Elizabeth Lilly. Knopf, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-593-42707-1. Three sets of children develop alongside their caregiver as they participate in activities centering their hands. Ages 3–5. The book received a starred review from PW.
Lesa Cline-Ransome, illus. by James E. Ransome. Holiday House, $19.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-8234-3702-3. Ages 6–9. This picture book highlights 19th-century Belgian musician and inventor Joseph-Antoine Adolphe Sax and his contributions to jazz music. The book received a starred review from PW.
Erika Meza. HarperCollins/Tegen, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-0630-7316-6. Ages 4–8. Two unaccompanied, Latinx-cued children face weariness but remain hopeful while heading for the U.S.-Mexico border. The book received a starred review from PW.
Aaron Becker. Candlewick, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5362-2329-3. Ages 5–9. Taking the long view of time’s passing, Becker spotlights a single tree’s life cycle against a changing backdrop of human conflicts, technological change, and natural events. The book received a starred review from PW.
Mac Barnett, illus. by Christian Robinson. Candlewick, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1513-7. Ages 4–8. Readers attempt to find answers hidden in the clues of the pages of this picture book of queries.
Jasminne Mendez. Dial, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-593-53181-5. Ages 8–12. Twelve-year-old swimmer Aniana del Mar keeps her passion a secret from her mother, who is worried about the girl’s juvenile arthritis, and struggles when she’s found out and is pulled out of swimming. The book received a starred review from PW.
L.M. Elliott. HarperCollins/Tegen, $19.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-063219-00-7. Ages 10 and up.. After being abandoned by her father during a family financial crisis, Beatrice Davis enters horse competitions with a difficult horse to stave off bankruptcy at her adoptive home. The book received a starred review from PW
Calling the Moon: 16 Period Stories from BIPOC Authors
Edited by Aida Salazar and Yamile Saied Méndez. Candlewick, $22.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-5362-1634-9. Ages 10 and up. Writers including Saadia Faruqi, Nikki Grimes, Erin Entrada Kelly, Christina Soontornvat, and more craft empowering stories about young people and their menstrual cycles. The book received a starred review from PW.
Barry Jonsberg. Groundwood, $17.99 paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-77306-891-6. Ages 9–12. Twelve-year-old privileged siblings Aiden and Ashleigh are awakened to the larger world’s grim realities after Aiden suffers a grave injury. The book received a starred review from PW.
Tara Dairman. Candlewick, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-5362-2480-1. Ages 8–12. Henna Quinn-Correira abandons her home with her two fathers to attend a plant sciences academy in hopes of accessing the rare nightwalker plant that could potentially save Papa Niall’s life. The book received a starred review from PW.
Meg Eden Kuyatt. Scholastic Press, $18.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-338-81610-5. Ages 8–12. Twelve-year old autistic student Selah struggles with the overwhelming structure of her seventh-grade school and faces social isolation after an incident with a classmate. The book received a starred review from PW.
Jarrett and Jerome Pumphrey. Norton Young Readers, $16.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-324-01609-0. Ages 9–12. Brothers Lincoln and Hudson Dupré attempt to bring back a former babysitter when they realize how their shenanigans affect their family. See our In Conversation with the Pumphreys. The book received a starred review from PW.
Matt Tavares. Candlewick, $22.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-5362-0136-9. Ages 8–12. Inspired by Indiana basketball player Judi Warren, this graphic novel follows fictional high schooler Judi Wilson as she starts on her school’s first girls’ basketball team and navigates sexist policies from the administration. See our q&a with Tavares.
Kiran Millwood Hargrave, illus. by Tom de Freston. Union Square Kids, $18.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4549-4868-1. Ages 10 and up. After a sudden move to help her marine biologist mother, Julie takes a new interest in her mother’s work as their family works together to adjust to a new setting. The book received a starred review from PW.
The Many Assassinations of Samir, the Seller of Dreams
Daniel Nayeri, illus. by Daniel Miyares. Levine Querido, $21.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-64614-303-0. Ages 8–12. Traveling across the Silk Road with savvy 12-year-old traveling merchant Samir, Monk attempts to evade assassins that are hunting them. The book received a starred review from PW.
Michelle Lam. Knopf, $21.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0593372876. Ages 8–12. It’s up to oft-underestimated tween demon Meesh to rescue her community after everyone has been turned to stone. The book received a starred review from PW.
The Monkey Trial: John Scopes and the Battle over Teaching Evolution
Anita Sanchez. Clarion, $19.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-3584-5769-5. Ages 8–12. This nonfiction telling explores the 1925 trial of John Scopes, a Dayton, Tenn., educator who taught Darwin’s theory of evolution, violating a state law that criminalized such actions at the time. The book received a starred review from PW.
K. O’Neill. Random House Graphic, $21.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-593-18226-0. Ages 8–12. Anya, a young humanoid villager, faces the trials of being the newly initiated apprentice Moth Keeper, a responsibility that keeps her isolated from loved ones while caring for the Moon-Moths. The book received a starred review from PW.
Nearer My Freedom: The Interesting Life of Olaudah Equiano by Himself
Monica Edinger and Lesley Younge. Zest, $17.99 paper (216p) ISBN 978-1-7284-6407-7. Ages 10 and up. This found-verse book pulls inspiration from the historic autobiography The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, to develop a new telling of Olaudah Equiano through his own words. The book received a starred review from PW.
Diane Zahler. Roaring Brook, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-2508-3340-2. Ages 8–12. A British shipmaster and his son Rype wander the European countryside during the height of the Black Plague. The book received a starred review from PW.
You Are Here: Connecting Flights
Edited by Ellen Oh. Allida, $18.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-0632-3908-1. Ages 8–12. Twelve overlapping stories center East and Southeast Asian American characters at a Chicago airport as a thunderstorm delays departing flights. See our In Conversation with editor Oh and imprint founder Linda Sue Park. The book received a starred review from PW.
Mae Coyiuto. Putnam, $18.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-5934-6163-1. Ages 12 and up. Chinese Filipina teen Chloe Liang’s family plans on turning her 18th birthday party into a traditional Filipino debut, proceeding to “kaishao” her (set up potential-partner introductions) with a variety of boys to become her party escort.
Olivia A. Cole. Labyrinth Road, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-593-48573-6. Ages 14 and up. In this novel in verse, after being assaulted by a beloved teacher, 16-year-old Alicia Rivers considers speaking out about her trauma when she learns of other victims. The book received a starred review from PW.
Patrick Ness, illus. by Tea Bendix. Walker US, $18.99 (104p) ISBN 978-1-5362-2889-2. Ages 14 and up. A new classroom setup seats Ant between his best friend with benefits Charlie and drama kid Jack, who is confronting his feelings about his identity. The book received a starred review from PW.
Scott Reintgen. McElderry, $19.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-66591-868-8. Ages 14 and up. Balmerick University scholarship student Ren Monroe and five other students must navigate their way back to their city after a portal drops them in the dangerous land of the Dires. The book received a starred review from PW.
Catherine Bakewell. HarperTeen, $19.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06321-459-0. Ages 13 and up. When her seemingly innocuous power accidentally places a poisonous flower within her father’s heart, Clara Lucas turns to her former best friend to help her undo the spell. The book received a starred review from PW.
Lila Riesen. Penguin/Paulsen, $19.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-593-40771-4. Ages 12 and up. Mafi Shahin’s vengeful school pranks land her in trouble when her lies draw unneeded attention to her family and their secrets. The book received a starred review from PW.
April Henry. Little, Brown/Ottaviano, $18.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-316-32259-1. Ages 12 and up. Piper Gray’s podcast investigation into the murder of a former student more than a decade ago threatens her life when she realizes the killer may be listening. See our q&a with Henry.
Sarah Lyu. Simon & Schuster, $19.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-5344-6515-2. Ages 14 and up. After the disappearance and then suspected suicide of her ex-girlfriend Lia, Chase Ohara investigates what led to her death. The book received a starred review from PW.
Mark Oshiro. Tor Teen, $19.99 (448p) ISBN 978-1-250-81225-4. Ages 13 and up. The lives of Manny, a nomadic teen looking for his sister, and Eli, a member of a religious camp, become increasingly intertwined when they both begin to question the intentions of the camp. The book received a starred review from PW.
Brittney Morris. Simon & Schuster, $19.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-66590-398-1. Ages 12 and up. Teen cryptographers Jax, Han, Spider, and Yas race to complete the puzzles of an online vigilante group to help save their community from the creation of a refinery. See our q&a with Morris.
Rebecca Mahoney. Razorbill, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-52460-2. Ages 12 and up. Alana is responsible for watching the imprisoned memory-eating monster of her town but must face her past when the monster escapes. The book received a starred review from PW.
Rebecca Caprara. Atheneum, $19.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-6659-0619-7. Ages 12 and up. Talented weaver Arachne faces the wrath of the gods when she questions their station in society. The book received a starred review from PW.
B.L. Radley. Feiwel and Friends, $19.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-81847-8. Ages 14 and up. Riley Jones takes up a job as a henchperson in a world full of superheroes. The book received a starred review from PW.
Jade Adia. Disney-Hyperion, $18.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-368-08432-1. Ages 12 and up. Best friends Rhea, Malachi, and Zeke hatch a scheme to protect their neighborhood from gentrifiers but face the consequences when someone in the community turns up dead. See our q&a with Adia.