Fall is here, so prepare to cozy up with new books out this month including a picture book about an uncle-nephew duo, a middle grade adventure featuring an escape from a shelter, a YA debut following a young woman’s entrance into a cutthroat heist competition, and more.
Nikkolas Smith. Kokila, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-61965-0. Ages 4–8. A Black child who is both activist and artist combines those concepts in this layered work from Smith. Bringing their identities together to effect change, the child determines to make art that will “show everyone what isn’t working right.” See our q&a with Smith. The book received a starred review from PW.
Eva Lindström, trans. from the Swedish by Julia Marshall. Gecko, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-77657-527-5. Ages 3–5. Astrid Lindgren Award recipient Lindström highlights the everyday life of bird siblings Lena and Bo, from playing a game with vehicles to sorting through parental debates on what to eat.
Kirsten Hubbard, illus. by Susan Gal. Penguin/Paulsen, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-5931-1000-3. Ages 3–7. At a feline adoption event, a brooding child is drawn to a cat with a prickly demeanor, feeling they view the world in similar ways. A day spent together enables each to let down their guard and realize comfort and vulnerability. The book received a starred review from PW.
Adam Rubin, illus. by Daniel Salmieri. Dial, $8.99 (18p) ISBN 978-0-5935-3317-8. Ages 1–3. In this board book companion to Dragons Love Tacos, a dragon introduces readers to its favorite food and helps guide them into making their own delicious versions.
Brendan Wenzel. Little, Brown, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-316-51253-4. Ages 4–8. Caldecott Honoree Wenzel imagines a young dreamer inhabiting the body and consciousness of a succession of animals including a salamander, an octopus, and more. The book received a starred review from PW.
Rowboat Watkins. Chronicle, $15.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-79720-571-7. Ages 6–9. A trio of Weeble-esque kids struggle to fall asleep, saying their “Go-Go brains” won’t rest. When they attempt to dream of counting sheep, the sheep instead help send them off on a rocket-ship adventure into space. The book received a starred review from PW.
Shinsuke Yoshitake, trans. from the Japanese by Lisa Wilcut. Chronicle, $15.99 (52p) ISBN 978-1-79721-994-3. Ages 3–5. After struggling to unwrap a piece of chocolate, a child considers how he’ll soon be able to open anything and races around the house imagining his new capabilities. The book received a starred review from PW.
Gary R. Gray Jr., illus. by Oge Mora. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $19.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-308996-9. Ages 4–8. A boy navigates a busy day, from preparing for school to riding on the packed bus and interacting with his peers, while also considering the many different identities he holds. The book received a starred review from PW.
Matthew McConaughey, illus. by Renée Kurilla. Viking, $19.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-5936-2203-2. Ages 4–8. Actor McConaughey makes his picture book debut, highlighting life’s often contradictory nature by tracing a child’s moments of kindness and hurt, clarity and befuddlement, and achievement and catastrophe.
Eddie Muller and Jessica Schmidt, illus. by Forrest Burdett. Running Press Kids, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-7624-8168-2. Ages 4 and up. Muller and Schmidt both make their children’s debuts with this hardboiled spoof featuring a cat detective. When Kitty Feral overhears how children have been scammed, they head into the city to interview a rogue’s gallery of anthropomorphized informants and thieves. See our q&a with TCM host Muller.
Matthew Gray Gubler. Amulet, $19.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-4197-7122-4. Ages 6–up. In this graphic novel by actor Gubler, Lenore struggles to accept her large green hand, which makes her different from others, and learns important lessons about self-perception.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, writing as Nwa Grace-James, illus. by Joelle Avelino. Knopf, $18.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-593-53557-8. Ages 3–7. Chino deeply admires her mother’s beautifully designed sleeping scarf, and when her mother leaves the scarf with the child for the day, Chino takes special care of the treasured gift. See our q&a with Adichie.
Cindy Derby. Knopf, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-56472-1. Ages 2–5. A slightly overbearing narrator has a suggestion for what the titular Panda of this picture book should do for the day. But when Panda instead follows a butterfly and soon becomes lost on a mountain, it’s up to the narrator to offer Panda genuine help . The book received a starred review from PW.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Greta Caruso, illus. by Dan Santat. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $18.99 (48p) ISBN 978-1-2507-7699-0. Ages 4–8. Leo and his stickler Uncle Mo get sucked into an alternate world by the Secret Society of Aunts & Uncles, who help Uncle Mo and Leo forge a new connection that’s less bound by strict rules.
Amanda Gorman, illus. by Christian Robinson. Viking, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-593-20325-5. Ages 4–8. In this picture book by National Youth Poet Laureate Gorman and Caldecott Honoree Robinson, a child notices the growing pile of trash in their community and begins a journey to help take care of their neighborhood by clearing the garbage to plant seeds. The book received a starred review from PW.
Raj Haldar, illus. by Julia Patton. Sourcebooks Explore, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-72827-656-4. Ages 4–8. Haldar and Patton employ absurdist hijinks in this self-referential book that increasingly bans its own characters.
Angela and Tony DiTerlizzi. Quill Tree, $19.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-06-320667-0. Ages 4–8. Married collaborators Angela and Tony DiTerlizzi’s picture book features a blue hardcover book named Cranky who doesn’t want to be read. But when the other books gather for a bedtime story, Cranky soon wants to partake as he witnesses the community that the read-aloud experience shapes. See our In Conversation with the DiTerlizzis.
Nikki Grimes, illus. by Jerry and Brian Pinkney. Holiday House/Porter, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-823-44965-1. Ages 4–8. The collaborative picture book from Nikki Grimes, Brian Pinkney, and the late Jerry Pinkney follows a Black child after the loss of his father. When the child uncovers a box in the woods, he discovers a trove of items left behind by his late parent. Read more about the making of the book. The book received a starred review from PW.
Bruce Handy, illus. by Ashleigh Corrin. Enchanted Lion, $19.95 (80p) ISBN 978-1-59270-383-8. Ages 5–8. A child portrays a sense of gratitude for nature by considering the space that beloved entities might leave behind. The book received a starred review from PW.
Terry J. Benton-Walker. Labyrinth Road, $18.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-593-56429-5. Ages 8–12. Twelve-year-old Alex Wise is setting sail on a cruise with his father, whom he and his siblings haven’t seen since their parents divorced two years ago. But the cruise turns dire when his sister Mags is taken by the Shadow Man and possessed by the spirit of Death, and Alex endeavors to save her. Benton-Walker was selected as a spring 2023 Flying Starts author.
Grace Lin. Little, Brown, $24.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-316-48600-2. Ages 8–12. Newbery and Caldecott Honoree Lin chronicles the origins of the most ubiquitous dishes in American Chinese restaurants. Each selection, often prefaced with a personal anecdote and historical or folkloric context, highlight ancient tales, while others address troubling periods of strife and discrimination. See our q&a with Lin here. The book received a starred review from PW.
G.Z. Schmidt. Holiday House, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8234-5073-2. Ages 8–12. In the remote town of Nevermore, a child disappears each year around All Hallows’ Eve. Even so, 13 years ago, the vanishing of the mayor’s daughter from the Amadeus family’s annual All Hallows’ Eve party rocked the community. When six townspeople receive invitations to return to the mansion, a Clue-style caper intended to root out the kidnapper ensues. The book received a starred review from PW.
Patricia C. Wrede. Random House, $17.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-553-53620-1. Ages 8–12. Kayla Jones and her family are whisked off to Zaradwin, where Kayla is greeted as the realm’s prospective Dark Lady, a role in which she would follow in her father’s footsteps. However, Kayla is unable to return home until she’s accessed enough of her magic, and her presence in this new realm acts as a catalyst in a longstanding war. See our q&a with Wrede on her first new release in a decade.
Katherine Applegate and Gennifer Choldenko, illus. by Wallace West. Macmillan/Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-81160-8. Ages 8–12. Newbery Medalist Applegate and Newbery Honoree Choldenko deliver a tale about a shelter for dogs both mammalian and robotic, where collie Chance resides. Chance unexpectedly befriends robot dog Metal Head, and the pair make a plan to escape the shelter. See our q&a with Applegate on her busy year.
Michelle Cuevas. Rocky Pond, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-593-53222-5. Ages 8–12. Dormir acts as a stagehand for the Dreamatics, a mythical theater troupe that performs dreams for a sleeping child nightly. When the dreams of 11-year-old Luna begin to take a dark turn, the troupe must figure out how to reverse things. See our q&a with Cuevas. The book received a starred review from PW.
Minh Lê, illus. by Chan Chau. Little, Brown Ink, $24.99 (144p) ISBN 978-0-7595-5547-1; $12.99 paper ISBN 978-0-7595-5548-8. Ages 8–12. Vietnamese American tween Bình is sent to a silent meditation getawaywithout his favorite gaming system after an altercation at school. At the meditation retreat, Bình reimagines the Jataka tales of Buddha’s past lives as adventures in a game to help him connect with the stories. The book received a starred review from PW.
Janet Tashjian, illus. by Jake Tashjian. Little, Brown/Ottaviano, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-316-31980-5. Ages 8–12. When autistic artist Hannah Sharpe notices a string of package thefts in her family’s Northern California neighborhood, she employs her observational skills, noticing patterns that add up to a curveball that Hannah cannot handle alone. See our In Conversation with the mother-son collaborators.
Ali Standish. HarperCollins, $19.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-327557-7. Ages 8–12. In 1868 Edinburgh, observant Arthur Conan Doyle receives an unexpected scholarship to Britain’s prestigious Baskerville Hall, where a chance to join a powerful secret society tests his integrity, and a string of mysterious break-ins lead Arthur and his friends on a perilous investigation. The book, written in partnership with the Conan Doyle estate, received a starred review from PW.
Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by Jeffery Boston Weatherford. Atheneum, $18.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-6659-1362-1. Ages 10 and up. The mother-son duo pay tribute to their enslaved ancestors’ pain and resilience across generations in this moving collection of illustrated poems, inspired by Alex Haley’s Roots.
Charles Waters and Traci Sorell. Charlesbridge, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-62354-380-8. Ages 10 and up. This collaboration in verse follows Callie Crossland, a new student at a Virginia middle school with a caricature of an Indigenous person as its mascot. When Callie expresses her disapproval about the mascot to her peers and teachers, the controversy has effects on individual relationships and the community beyond their school. The book received a starred review from PW.
Nicholas Day, illus. by Brett Helquist. Random House Studio, $19.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-593-64384-6. Ages 10 and up. This nonfiction account highlights how the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre, an “impossible” act that—thanks to an era-specific uptick in literacy and technology, including newspaper reportage—created a massive media spectacle. The book received a starred review from PW.
Rebecca Mix. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $19.99 (432p) ISBN 978-0-063254-05-3. Ages 8–12. Fairy Ary Mossheart fears the mold that is taking over her terrarium community, and when it affects her mother, Ary has no choice but to strike off on her own to find a cure. The book received a starred review from PW.
Kate Albus. Holiday House/Ferguson, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-82345-163-0. Ages 9–12. Siblings Dory, Fish, and Pike face losing their home when their new landlord discovers they’re living without a guardian and threatens to kick them out. The book received a starred review from PW.
Justine Pucella Winans. Bloomsbury, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-5476-1254-3. Ages 8–12. River Rydell has so far managed to resist the call of the Otherwoods, a monster-ruled realm. But when the Otherwoods snatches his new crush, River ignores self-preservation instincts and launches a rescue mission. The book received a starred review from PW.
Jeanne DuPrau. Random House, $17.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-593-64380-8. Ages 8–12. This fall, two decades after the author made a splash with her debut The City of Ember, comes DuPrau’s latest novel, about a futuristic world without fossil fuels. Read more in our Cover Reveal.
Letisha Marrero. Levine Querido, $18.99 (228p) ISBN 978-1-64614-260-6. Ages 8–12. When Maya’s estranged aunt appears at her family’s Brooklyn restaurant, the family allow her to stay but warn Maya against speaking to her. Disobeying her family, Maya learns from her aunt that she is next in line to become a bruja blessed by a goddess. The book received a starred review from PW.
Saadia Faruqi, illus. by Shazleen Khan. First Second, $22.99 (224p) ISBN 978-1-250-79380-5; $14.99 paper ISBN 978-1-250-79381-2. Ages 8–12. Tween twins Zara and Zeeshan have been struggling to get along, and on a family trip to Florida, both of their devices are confiscated until they can find a way to keep the peace. The book received a starred review from PW.
Andrea Beatriz Arango. Random House, $17.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-593-56618-3. Ages 10–14. Grappling with guilt over her parents’ arrest, Laura is excited when her grandmother allows her to take in a stray pup. Laura resolves to train her new pet to become a therapy dog, as an excuse to get visitation to see her parents. The book received a starred review from PW.
Roshani Chokshi. Disney/Riordan, $16.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-3680-9339-2. Ages 8–12. Corazon awaits her 12th birthday, the day her powers will finally manifest themselves and she can use her soul key to resurrect her parents. However, a specter steals her key while Corazon is on a visit to a spirit realm and she races to retrieve it before it’s used for harm. The book received a starred review from PW.
Melissa de la Cruz. Disney-Hyperion, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-368-08374-4. Ages 8–12. Eight American sixth graders are invited to Montana’s prestigious Octagon Valley Institute to study under the program’s brilliant founder Onasander Octagon, but soon discover ulterior motives behind their invitation.
Carmen Tafolla. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99 (224p) ISBN 978-0-593-35471-1. Ages 10 and up. After her father is deported, 12-year-old Celi and her mother move in with Celi’s grandmother. While Celi attempts to assimilate to her new community and school, lessons from her grandmother about their family ancestors help Celi find strength in moments of adversity. The book received a starred review from PW.
Cressida Cowell. Little, Brown, $17.99 (528p) ISBN 978-0-316-53639-4. Ages 8–12. Twelve-year-old twins K2 and Izzabird O’Hero know they come from a long line of magical explorers, and the mundane lineage of their new stepsiblings—12-year-old Theo and eight-year-old Mabel Smith—leads to friction between the sibling groups. The arrival of sinister professor Cyril Sidewinder kicks off a series of incidents culminating in an interstellar adventure.
Breena Bard. Little, Brown Ink, $24.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-316-27768-6; $12.99 paper ISBN 978-0-316-27765-5. Ages 8–14. A sudden wildfire uproots the lives of Oregon residents Julianna and her family in this graphic novel. When Julianna starts at a new school, she spots an old friend she saw playing in the woods on the day of the fire, and struggles to reconcile her bitter feelings toward him. See our q&a with Bard. The book received a starred review from PW.
Carl Hiaasen. Knopf, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-37628-7. Ages 10 and up. An encounter out at sea with a group of mysterious fishermen follows 15-year-old Valdez back home. When he starts to see the same fishermen all over his town, Wrecker worries that he’s gotten himself involved in something sketchy. See our Cover Reveal.
Kendare Blake. Quill Tree, $19.99 (480p) ISBN 978-0-06-297720-5. Ages 14 and up. As the last survivor of her village, Reed is determined to join the ranks of the immortal female warriors who rescued her. For her Hero’s Trial, Reed must help Prince Hestion defeat a king determined to kill him, or face banishment should she fail.
Edited by A.S. King. Dutton, $19.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-5936-2028-1. Ages 14 and up. King collaborates with nine other writers—including M.T. Anderson, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Randy Ribay—to ruminate on the diverse range of collections, collectors, and storytelling conventions. See our q&a with King about the anthology.
Maddie Gallegos. First Second, $22.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-250-78415-5; $14.99 paper ISBN 978-1-250-78414-8. Ages 10–14. Rosie loves her racquetball-playing father but resents the fact that he wants her to share his passion for the sport. When Rosie befriends Blair, a racquetball enthusiast, Rosie schemes to pair the two up so he can train Blair for an upcoming youth tournament instead of her. The book received a starred review from PW.
Stephanie Oakes. Dial, $20.99 (448p) ISBN 978-0-5931-1148-2. Ages 14 and up. Fourteen-year-old Eleanor arrives at an exclusive private school to discover her education there involves performing toxic, government-enforced gender roles. After the death of her lover, Eleanor begins to push back against the establishment in hopes of setting everyone free. The book received a starred review from PW.
Jessica Lewis. Delacorte, $12.99 paper (432p) ISBN 978-0-5934-3481-9. Ages 14 and up. Gay Black 18-year-old Latavia Johnson is surprised to find that the residents of her new town were willing to sacrifice her to a monster in the woods. When the monster offers her a deal, Latavia must choose between saving the town or seeking revenge. The book received a starred review from PW.
Phoebe Wahl. Little, Brown, $19.99 (464p) ISBN 978-0-3163-6356-3. Ages 14 and up. Wahl revisits her high school diaries to deliver a fictional adaptation of her adolescence, highlighting her experiences with art, crushes, and her identity as a fat Jewish girl. The book received a starred review from PW.
Karen Rivers. Algonquin, $18.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-61620-816-5. Ages 12 and up. Competitive swimmer Hattie and Canadian transplant Presley, a decorated figure skater, bond over the recent deaths of loved ones, and feelings of guilt, as wildfires threaten their town. The book received a starred review from PW.
David Levithan. Knopf, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-399-55309-7. Ages 12 and up. Levithan revisits Ryan and Avery, characters from his novel Two Boys Kissing, as the pair try to define their relationship over the course of 10 dates.
Andrew Joseph White. Peachtree Teen, $19.99 (400p) ISBN 978-1-68263-611-4. Ages 14 and up. In this new novel from Flying Starts author White, transgender medium Silas is sent to the Braxton’s Finishing School and Sanitorium after posing as a powerful society member. When Silas learns of the school’s history of disappearing students, he investigates Braxton’s treacherous secrets, even as he plots his escape. The book received a starred review from PW.
Ava Reid. HarperTeen, $19.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-06-321150-6. Ages 14 and up. Effy Sayre is delighted to learn she has been invited to help design a house in honor of her favorite author, until she learns her rival Preston has also been extended an invitation. When Preston voices doubts about the author’s credibility, the two launch an investigation that leads to strange happenings around the manor. The book received a starred review from PW.
Lauren Muñoz. Putnam, $18.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-5936-1753-3. Ages 12 and up. Izzy and her friends plan to celebrate graduation with a blowout 1920s party. But things take a turn for the worse when a guest winds up dead, and the police inquiry forces everyone’s loyalties into question. See Muñoz’s essay for PW on putting a Latinx spin on Golden Age detective fiction tropes.
Kayvion Lewis. Penguin/Paulsen, $19.99 (384p) ISBN 978-0-593-62536-1. Ages 12 and up. To save her mother from kidnappers, 17-year-old Ross must enter the Thieves’ Gambit, a legendary, potentially fatal tournament in which the world’s top teen thieves complete a series of heists. Read more about the buzz surrounding the book here.
Sarah Hollowell. Clarion, $19.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-06-325181-6. Ages 13 and up. High school seniors and queer best friends Sadie and Logan stumble across an impossibly large, unseasonal corn maze, only to find themselves trapped in a loop of horrifying encounters. The book received a starred review from PW.