Young readers can jumpstart their summer TBR with big books out this month, including a picture book tale about friendships and boundaries, a middle grade book featuring one Chinese American boy tackling changes at home and school, a semi-autobiographical graphic novel debut, and many more.

Picture Books

Before, Now

Daniel Salmieri. Rocky Pond, $19.99 (48p) ISBN 978-0-5934-6197-6. Ages 4–7. Salmieri highlights how life is made up of paradoxes and opposites through examples found in the everyday routine. See our q&a with the author-illustrator on the inspiration behind his second solo picture book. The book received a starred review from PW.

Papá’s Magical Water-Jug Clock

Jesús Trejo, illus. by Eliza Kinkz. Minerva, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-6626-5104-5. Ages 4–8. In this autobiographical picture book debut by comedian Trejo, young Jesús is left in charge of his father’s water jug while assisting him at his job as a landscaper. The book received a starred review from PW.

Penny & Pip

Candace Fleming, illus. by Eric Rohmann. Atheneum/Dlouhy, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-6659-1331-7. Ages 4–8. Penny is the lone witness to a dinosaur egg’s hatching during a class trip to the Museum of National History. See our profile of longtime collaborators and married couple Fleming and Rohmann, in which they discuss their creative process.

Salat in Secret

Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, illus. by Hatem Aly. Random House Studio, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-984848-09-3. Ages 4–8. When Muhammad receives his first prayer rug for his birthday, he worries about where he will pray when he’s in public. The book received a starred review from PW.

A Vaccine Is Like a Memory

Rajani LaRocca, illus. by Kathleen Marcotte. Little Bee, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4998-1326-5. Ages 4–8. Kicking off with a straightforward explanation of vaccines, this picture book guide gives young readers the history and science behind this topic. A final section focuses on the Covid-19 pandemic, saluting scientists who raced to develop the vaccine, which offered “a glimmer of hope” amid pervasive fear and isolation.

We Are Going to Be Pals!

Mark Teague. S&S/Beach Lane, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-6659-1186-3. Ages 4–8. Even a classic symbiotic relationship can get off to a rocky start, Teague shows in this picture book comedy. An egret learns the value of boundaries while attempting to befriend a stoic rhinoceros.

You Go First

Ariel Bernstein, illus. by Marc Rosenthal. S&S/Wiseman, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-6659-1151-1. Ages 4–8. In this second match-up from collaborators Bernstein and Rosenthal, there’s a new, taller, curvier slide on the playground. Friends Cat and Duck respond differently: Duck is outwardly eager, and Cat clearly is not, though the kitty doesn’t admit it.

Middle Grade

Camp Sylvania

Julie Murphy. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $18.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-0631-1402-9. Ages 8–12. Sent to what seems to be a weight loss camp by her mother, young Maggie discovers that there are more sinister things happening at her summer program. Murphy takes on anti-fat bias while underscoring how parents don’t always get things right.

Ginny Off the Map

Caroline Hickey, illus. by Kelly Murphy. Little, Brown/Ottaviano, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-32462-5. Ages 8–12. In the early 2010s, 11-year-old Ginny, an aspiring geoscientist, works to cope with a summer of change in her frequently moving Army family. The book received a starred review from PW.

The Gray

Chris Baron. Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-86471-0. Ages 10–14. Thirteen-year-old New Yorker Sasha reconnects with nature during a device-free summer to mitigate his generalized anxiety condition and occasional panic, which take him to a misty, distorted world he calls “the Gray.” See our q&a with Baron about his career as a teacher and author.

Half Moon Summer

Elaine Vickers. Peachtree, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-68263-539-1. Ages 8–12. Twelve-year-olds Drew and Mia rekindle their friendship when Mia returns to Sacramento, and the pair pick up the hobby of running together. The book received a starred review from PW.

The Many Masks of Andy Zhou

Jack Cheng. Dial, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-525-55382-3. Ages 10 and up. In Detroit, artistic sixth grader Andy navigates changes at home with the arrival of his grandparents and microaggressions at his school. See our q&a with Cheng and other children’s authors on their books celebrating AAPI identities and cultures.

The Order of Things

Kaija Langley. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-59353-090-0. Ages 10 and up. April must navigate grief, guilt, and her passion for drumming following the loss of a close friend. The book received a starred review from PW.

The Probability of Everything

Sarah Everett. Clarion, $19.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-063-25655-2. Ages 8–12. After learning that an asteroid is set to destroy Earth, sixth grader Kemi builds a time capsule to commemorate her family. The debut novel received a starred review from PW.

Will on the Inside

Andrew Eliopulos. Quill Tree, $19.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-322870-2. Ages 8–12. Based on lived experience, Eliopulos presents a look at the myriad emotions surrounding chronic illness and growing up “not straight” in a religious Georgia town. The book received a starred review from PW.

Wishing Season

Anica Mrose Rissi. Quill Tree, $18.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-06-325890-7. Ages 8–12. After her brother Anders’s death, Lily finds him in “the overlap,” a secret meeting place where Ander is able to speak with her. But when the overlap seems to be closing, Lily grows fearful of losing her only connection to her brother. The book received a starred review from PW.

Young Adult

At the Speed of Lies

Cindy L. Otis. Scholastic Press, $19.99 (368p) ISBN 978-1-3388-0676-2. Ages 12 and up. In this thriller from former CIA officer Otis, high school junior Quinn Calvet gets caught in a media storm when her community-focused Instagram account goes viral during the search for two missing teens. The book received a starred review from PW.

A Crooked Mark

Linda Kao. Razorbill, $19.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-593-52757-3. Ages 14 and up. Seventeen-year-old agent Matt Watts, assigned to help track down those who have escaped death from Lucifer, grows conflicted when he befriends his latest target. The book received a starred review from PW.

Everyone Wants to Know

Kelly Loy Gilbert. Simon & Schuster, $19.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-6659-0136-9. Ages 12 and up. Child reality star Honor Lo grapples with protecting her family’s brand when a move to Brooklyn bring up issues of privacy. The book received a starred review from PW.

Family Style: Memories of an American from Vietnam

Thien Pham. First Second, $25.99 (240p) ISBN 978-1-250-80971-1; $17.99 paper ISBN 978-1-2508-0972-8. Ages 14 and up. Pham employs food as a vehicle to chronicle his and his family’s experience as Vietnamese refugees in this graphic novel memoir. The book received a starred review from PW.

Garden of the Cursed

Katy Rose Pool. Holt, $19.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-84666-2. Ages 14 and up. Cursebreaker Marlow Briggs teams up with a former friend to gain access to the magical elites who may know more about the death of her mother. The book received a starred review from PW.

The Grimoire of Grave Fates

Edited by Margaret Owen and Hanna Alkaf. Delacorte, $18.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-593-42745-3. Ages 12 and up. In an intricately constructed fantasy told in 18 narratives—written by 18 authors including Kat Cho, Karuna Riazi, and Julian Winters—the student body of Galileo Academy tries to uncover the culprit behind the murder of a prejudiced teacher. As the investigation unfolds, however, it becomes clear that every student at Galileo is a suspect.

House Party

Edited by justin a. reynolds. Joy Revolution, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-593-48815-7. Ages 12 and up. Ten authors, including Angeline Boulley, Ryan La Sala, and Randy Ribay, deliver an alternating-POV novel about an intersectionally diverse group of teenagers enjoying their last house party before graduation. The mashup of prose and rapid-fire text message chains, interspersed with b&w comics by Jerry Craft, present a tale that unfolds over a single night.

How to Stay Invisible

Maggie C. Rudd. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $17.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-3743-9033-4. Ages 10–14. When 12-year old Raymond is abandoned by his parents and is forced to learn how to survive on his own, his new friendships at school prompt him to question the long-term effects of his solitude and secrecy. The book received a starred review from PW.

Invisible Son

Kim Johnson. Random House, $18.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-593-48210-0. Ages 14 and up. Dre Jackson investigates the disappearance of his best friend, who is also responsible for landing him in a juvenile correction facility for a crime Dre didn’t commit. The book received a starred review from PW.

Pedro & Daniel

Federico Erebia, illus. by Julie Kwon. Levine Querido, $19.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-64614-304-7. Ages 12 and up. In this semi-autobiographical debut, Erebia follows his and his brother’s journeys from 1968 toddlerhood to young adulthood in 1992. The book received a starred review from PW.

The Queens of New York

E.L. Shen. Quill Tree, $19.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06323-795-7. Ages 13 and up. Lifelong friends Everett, Ariel, and Jia spend their first summer apart pursuing their individual passions. Via the trio’s alternating perspectives, Shen chronicles their tumultuous summers as they come into their own identities and learn how to get by without each other’s constant support.

The Shadow Sister

Lily Meade. Sourcebooks Fire, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-1-7282-6447-9. Ages 14 and up. Casey questions what happened to her older sister Sutton after Sutton disappeared and suddenly returns. See Meade’s essay for PW about the complicated family history that inspired her YA debut.

Sing Me to Sleep

Gabi Burton. Bloomsbury, $19.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-5476-1037-2. Ages 13 and up. Black siren Saoirse ingratiates herself with the prince to find out who has discovered her secret identity. See our roundup of new kids’ and YA books featuring mermaids. The book received a starred review from PW.

Where Echoes Die

Courtney Gould. Wednesday, $20 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-82579-7. Ages 14 and up. Sisters Beth and Riley return to the desert town of their late mother’s final investigation and discover an isolated community keeping secrets. The book received a starred review from PW.