We have to bid 2023 farewell, but young readers won’t have to say goodbye to beloved characters quite yet. Catch up on the latest series additions, including a boy and his stuffed animal companion’s latest adventure, a middle grade series finale following a family’s search for a beloved pet, a YA quartet closer about an epic battle, and more.

Picture Books and Graphic Novels

Claudia and the Bad Joke by Ann M. Martin, illus. by Arley Marie (Graphix, Dec. 26 $12.99; ISBN 978-1-338-83550-2). In the 15th graphic novel in The Baby-Sitters Club series, Claudia’s new gig is watching notable prankster Betsy, and after one of Betsy’s jokes goes too far, the club plans to teach her a lesson with a prank of their own.

Dragonboy and the 100 Hearts by Fabio Napoleoni (Little, Brown, Dec. 12 $18.99; ISBN 978-0-316-46221-1). In the third picture book in the Dragonboy series, titular character Dragonboy and his stuffed animal companions find a creative way to enjoy the indoors when gloomy weather strikes.

Heartstopper #5 by Alice Oseman (Graphix, Dec. 19 $15.99; ISBN 978-1-338-80748-6).Charlie considers taking a big step in his relationship with Nick ahead of Nick’s departure for college, in the fifth installment of the Heartstopper graphic novel series.

Hippos Remain Calm by Sandra Boynton (Little Simon/Boynton Bookworks, Dec. 12 $18.99; ISBN 978-1-665-93853-2). Boynton revisits the characters of her perennially popular Hippos Go Berserk! in this sequel, which follows the hippos throughout a peaceful day.

The Little Tiger by Nicola Killen (S&S/Wiseman, Dec. 12 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-665-94098-6). When young Ollie receives a tiger costume for her birthday, she makes a visit to the forest where she befriends plenty of wildlife, in the latest book in the My Little Animal Friend series.

Winter Turning by Tui T. Sutherland, illus. by Mike Holmes (Graphix, Dec. 26 $12.99; ISBN 978-1-338-73092-0). Winter and his dragon friends search for his sister in the seventh book in the Wings of Fire Graphix series.


Mercy Watson Is Missing! by Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Chris Van Dusen (Candlewick, Dec. 5 $16.99; ISBN 978-1-5362-1023-1). In the final installment in the Tales from Deckawoo Drive chapter book series, Mercy the pig has gone missing and the Watsons enlist the help of their community to find her.

The Missing Sword by Melissa de la Cruz (Roaring Brook, Dec. 5 $17.99; ISBN 978-1-250-86629-5). While searching for a sword in the land of Camelo, Filomena discovers a new plot from villainous Olga in the fourth book in The Chronicles of Never After series.

Piggy: Hunt by Terrance Crawford, illus. by Dan Widdowson (Scholastic, Dec. 26 $7.99; ISBN 978-1-339-03943-5). Ben and his crew search for the original cause of the Infection in the third book in the Piggy series based on the popular video game.

The Ruined by Renée Ahdieh (Putnam, Dec. 5 $19.99; ISBN 978-1-9848-1264-3). In the fourth and final installment of the Beautiful Quartet, Bastien draws the attention of enemies amid a looming war, as Celine traverses the kingdom to find and help him.

This Cursed Light by Emily Thiede (Wednesday Books, Dec. 5 $20; 978-1-250-79407-9). Dante searches for a magical artifact to help regain his powers, and Alessa struggles to hide a growing ailment in the second book in The Last Finestra series.