Valentine’s Day may be over, but there are still plenty of books out this month for young readers to love, including a previously unpublished work from a late Caldecott Medalist, a middle grade tale about the questionable intentions of a school for monster descendents, a poetry collection highlighting the experiences of Black girlhood, and more.

Picture Books

Are You Big?

Mo Willems. Union Square Kids, $17.99 ISBN 978-1-4549-4818-6. Ages 3–5. Willems takes the idea of relative size and pursues it all the way out into the universe in this conceptual title. The book received a starred review from PW.

A Flicker of Hope: A Story of Migration

Cynthia Harmony, illus. by Devon Holzwarth. Viking, $18.99 ISBN 978-0-5935-2576-0. Ages 4–8. A Mexican girl waits for the return of her migrant farmworker father, whose departure parallels the migratory pattern of monarch butterflies. The book received a starred review from PW.

Jam, Too?

JaNay Brown-Wood, illus. by Jacqueline Alcántara. Penguin/Paulsen, $18.99 ISBN 978-0-593-32376-2. Ages 3–6. A conga player on a beach attracts other percussionists, the impromptu ensemble growing to include a variety of instruments. The book received a starred review from PW.

My Thoughts Have Wings

Maggie Smith, illus. by Leanne Hatch. HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $19.99 ISBN 978-0-06-321458-3. Ages 4–8. A child attempts to soothe herself from nighttime fears in this picture book debut from poet Smith. See our q&a here.

Nana in the Country

Lauren Castillo. Clarion, $19.99 ISBN 978-0-544-10217-0. Ages 4–8. In the companion to Castillo’s Newbery Honor-winning Nana in the City, Nana visits the child narrator in the country, and the child hopes to impress Nana with her knowledge of nature.

A Plate of Hope: The Inspiring Story of Chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen

Erin Frankel, illus. by Paola Escobar. Random House Studio, $18.99 ISBN 978-0-5933-8057-4. Ages 4–8. This biography of a chef renowned for global disaster relief efforts traces how he came to feed “the few AND the many.” See our In Conversation between Frankel and fellow author David Unger on their new picture books on Andrés.

Pretty Ugly

David Sedaris, illus. by Ian Falconer. Toon, $18.99 ISBN 978-1-66266-527-1. Ages 5–7.Reworked from a Little Lit anthology comic, this twisted fable by Sedaris and the late Falconer follows a young ogre as she learns an unexpected lesson about inner beauty. See our q&a with Sedaris on his picture book debut.

Ten Little Rabbits

Maurice Sendak. HarperCollins, $19.99 ISBN 978-0-06-264467-1. Ages 4–8. This previously unpublished treasure from the late Caldecott Medalist recalls the creator’s Nutshell Library in its gentle-hued simplicity. Read more about the picture book. The book received a starred review from PW.

This Baby. That Baby.

Cari Best, illus. by Rashin Kheiriyeh. Random House/Schwartz, $18.99 ISBN 978-0-593-56463-9. Ages 3–7. Best gives a parallel portrait of two babies living across the street from one another and their joyful experiences with their families. The book received a starred review from PW.

Tomorrow’s Lily

Chris Raschka. Greenwillow, $19.99 ISBN 978-0-06-304937-6. Ages 4–8. Raschka draws the connection between life and nature in this picture book by the Caldecott Medalist. The book received a starred review from PW.

Middle Grade

Across So Many Seas

Ruth Behar. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99 ISBN 978-0-593-32340-3. Ages 10 and up. Four generations of a Sephardic Jewish family navigate cultural and societal upheaval from 1492 to 2003. See our q&a with Behar about the story’s personal roots. The book received a starred review from PW.

Bumps in the Night

Amalie Howard. Delacorte, $17.99 ISBN 978-0-593-64587-1. Ages 8–12. Incoming eighth grader Rika moves to Trinidad for the summer, where she delves into her family’s history and learns that monsters and magic are real. See our q&a with Howard. The book received a starred review from PW.

Drawing Deena

Hena Khan. Salaam Reads, $17.99 ISBN 978-1-5344-5991-5. Ages 8–12. Pakistani American middle schooler Deena copes with the stress surrounding family finances and interpersonal relationships via her art. See our q&a with Khan on her five new books out this year.

Max in the House of Spies (Operation Kinderspion #1)

Adam Gidwitz. Dutton, $18.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-593-11208-3. Ages 8–12. Highly intelligent German Jewish 11-year-old Max Bretzfeld is sent to England as part of the Kindertransport. When he discovers that his host family might be British agents, he attempts to return home by becoming a spy himself. See our q&a with Gidwitz. The book received a starred review from PW.

Medusa (The Myth of Monsters #1)

Katherine Marsh. Clarion, $19.99 ISBN 978-0-06-330374-4. Ages 8–12. After discovering her powers, seventh grader Ava Baldwin is whisked off to Accademia del Forte in Venice, where she learns that all the students are descended from monsters of myth. The book received a starred review from PW.

The Observologist: A Handbook for Mounting Very Small Scientific Expeditions

Giselle Clarkson. Gecko, $24.99 (120p) ISBN 978-1-77657-519-0. Ages 7–12. In this book styled as a naturalist’s sketchbook, Clarkson spotlights larger-than-life bugs and their damp, shadowy habitats. The book received a starred review from PW.

The Partition Project

Saadia Faruqi. Quill Tree, $19.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-0631-1581-1. Ages 8–12. Pakistani American 12-year-old aspiring journalist Mahnoor Raheem interviews her grandmother for a media project and uncovers the horrors her grandmother witnessed as a young refugee.


Barbara Dee. Aladdin, $17.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-534489-86-8. Ages 9–13. After experiencing her first bout of writer’s block, seventh grader Lyla Benjamin struggles to get back on track for a town-wide writing contest. See Dee’s essay for PW on the inspiration for her new book.

Young Adult

The Absinthe Underground

Jamie Pacton. Peachtree Teen, $19.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-68263-492-9. Ages 14 and up. When 17-year-old Sybil swipes a valuable poster for the popular cabaret Absinthe Underground, the owner offers her a deal—sneak into the Fae realm and steal the crown jewels and the owner will set her up financially. The book received a starred review from PW.

The Bad Ones

Melissa Albert. Flatiron, $19.99 ISBN 978-1-250-89489-2. Ages 14 and up. After four seemingly unconnected individuals vanish from suburban Illinois, teen Nora’s investigation into their disappearance reveals a link to a dangerous childhood game. See our q&a with Albert.

Black Girl You Are Atlas

Renée Watson, illus. by Ekua Holmes. Kokila, $18.99 ISBN 978-0-593-46170-9. Ages 12 and up. Watson crafts a semi-autobiographical poetry collection that speaks to the girl she was in her youth and the expansive experience of Black girlhood as it cycles toward womanhood.

Bless the Blood

Walela Nehanda. Kokila, $19.99 ISBN 978-0-593-52949-2. Ages 14 and up. Poet Nehanda delivers an unflinching account of living with leukemia as a Black, queer, nonbinary person. The book received a starred review from PW.

Conditions of a Heart

Bethany Mangle. McElderry, $19.99 ISBN 978-1-6659-3763-4. Ages 14 and up. Sixteen-year-old Brynn Kwan grapples with the reality of her recent Ehlers-Danlos syndrome diagnosis while on suspension from school. The book received a starred review from PW.

Even If It Breaks Your Heart

Erin Hahn. Wednesday, $21 ISBN 978-1-250761-27-9. Ages 13 and up. Grappling with the recent death of his best friend Walker, Case Michaels, who comes from a long line of cowboys and bull-riders, determines to accomplish the list of goals they’d created. The book received a starred review from PW.

Infinity Alchemist

Kacen Callender. Tor Teen, $19.99 ISBN 978-1-2508-9025-2. Ages 13 and up. Ash Woods strikes up a deal with college student Ramsay Thorne: assist Ramsay in finding a magical relic and they’ll teach Ash alchemy. The book received a starred review from PW.


Soyoung Park, trans. from the Korean by Joungmin Lee Comfort. Delacorte, $20.99 ISBN 978-0-593-48497-5. Ages 12 and up. In a world ravaged by snow, Chobahm gains an opportunity to live in the exclusive Snowglobe, where she’s been hired to replace an actor whose death must be kept a secret. Read about the buzz behind the book here.

A Tempest of Tea (Blood and Tea #1)

Hafsah Faizal. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $19.99 ISBN 978-0-374-38940-6. Ages 14 and up. Arthie Casimir’s Spindrift, a popular tearoom by day and a “bloodhouse” covertly frequented by vampires by night, is under threat of being shut down by the monarchy unless she makes a dangerous deal. The book received a starred review from PW.