Our reviews editors put together eight panels, each of which features the editors of several big fall titles in a given category. Here those editors talk about what makes their books special.

Literary Fiction

Moderated by PW’s David Varno, Wednesday, May 26, 2–3 p.m. ET.

Mitzi Angel, publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Beautiful World, Where Are You

Sally Rooney (FSG, $28, Sept. 7)

“Reading Beautiful World, Where Are You is like visiting a dear friend after a long time apart. Your friend is familiar, and also different: older, wiser. It’s fun to spend time with Sally again, to feel her warmth and intelligence—and to witness how her powers as an artist have deepened. She peers into the minds of her characters. Hers is a novel about work, love, friendship, sex, spirituality, success, and failure, that somehow contains all the mystery and beauty of real life.”

Nadxieli Nieto, executive editor, Flatiron

L.A. Weather

María Amparo Escandón (Flatiron, $28, Sept. 7)

L.A. Weather is an incredibly fun read. María Amparo Es-
candón has matched the pace and wink of a telenovela with a story equal parts humorous and heartbreaking. We follow the L.A.-based Alvarado family over the course of a year as they contend with everything from lies and infidelity to illness and infertility. And they do so in a rollicking, hijinks-filled page-turner that explores questions of family, loyalty, and modern romantic relationships.”

Sarah McGrath, senior v-p and editor-in-chief, Riverhead


Lauren Groff (Riverhead, $28, Sept. 7)

“Lauren Groff’s first novel since Fates and Furies, Matrix is a fast, fierce, transfixing read that might move you to tears. It’s a novel of big ideas—about power, lust, obsession, autonomy, and community—propelled across the exhilarating story arc of an orphan fighting her way to freedom. While the deep historical setting is invigorating, the read speaks poignantly to the world we live in now. Matrix could only have come from this singular writer.”

Retha Powers, editor-at-large, Henry Holt

My Monticello

Jocelyn Nicole Johnson (Holt, $27, Oct. 5)

“The first time I read a story by Joc-elyn Nicole John-
son, I was shaken to my core. In My Monticello, she creates a symphony about who gets to call America home. Miraculously, she captures the tragedies human beings are capable of while also illuminating our capacity for great acts of love. My Monticello is a fierce book, a book of this moment and a book for the ages, that takes on the past, present, and future of this nation.”

David Ebershoff, v-p and executive editor, Hogarth and Random House

Our Country Friends

Gary Shteyngart (Random House, $28, Nov. 2)

“I’ve edited three books by Gary Shteyngart, including his beloved bestseller Super Sad True Love Story, but I’ve never seen him write as tenderly and movingly as he does in Our Country Friends. Here Gary has put satire aside to write a book that reads like a great Russian novel—think Chekhov on the Hudson. Of course the book is funny (very funny), but it’s also Gary’s most emotionally rich book, and I believe his best.”

Jonathan Lee, editor-in-chief, Catapult


Chibundu Onuzo (Catapult, $26, Oct. 5)

“I knew when I read the first line of Sankofa that I needed to put everything else aside: ‘My mother was six months dead when I opened the trunk I found under her bed.’ I love the way Chibundu blends the personal and the political in her exploration of mixed-race identity, the African diaspora, and race and politics in the 1970s. And I love that the beating heart of this addictive [book] is a perfectly-drawn father/daughter dynamic.”

Sally Kim, senior v-p and publisher, G.P. Putnam’s & Sons

Still Life

Sarah Winman (Putnam, $27, Nov. 2)

Still Life breaks entirely new ground, while still showcasing Sarah’s stunning writing, her attention to the minutest details, and her unique ability to break your heart and then mend it within two lines of dialogue. It’s full of life and color, humor and whimsy, transporting you from an East End pub to the Tuscan countryside across four decades of love, war, and art, as a young British soldier’s chance meeting with an art historian sets his life, and the lives of his motley crew of friends, on a surprising course.”

Jordan Pavlin, senior v-p and editorial director, Knopf

The War for Gloria

Atticus Lish (Knopf, $28, Sept. 7)

“Atticus Lish’s second novel is resounding confirmation of his unique literary gifts. He is fiercely committed to wrestling high-stakes emotional journeys onto the page, to exploring life at the margins, to delving deeply into both the violence and the love that bind families together and rip them apart. In The War for Gloria he writes with an extraordinary combination of tenderness and rage about a son who wants to be a hero for his mother at any cost. It’s a gripping, powerful, unforgettable work.”

Mysteries & Thrillers

Moderated by PW’s Peter Cannon, Wednesday, May 26, 10:45–11:45 a.m. ET.

Helen O’Hare, editor, Mulholland and Little, Brown

The Apollo Murders

Chris Hadfield (Mulholland, $28, Oct. 12)

“From the moment I heard that astronaut Chris Hadfield was writing his first novel, a thriller, I knew it’d be special. What could be more terrifying than finding yourself in danger in deep space—as written by someone who has actually been there? Chris’s singular background as a fighter pilot, commander of the International Space Station, and devoted mystery reader informs every twist and turn of The Apollo Murders, making this debut grippingly authentic and a must-read for thriller fans.”

Jennifer Brehl, senior v-p, executive editor and director of editorial development, Morrow

City on Fire

Don Winslow (Morrow, $28.99, Sept. 21)

City on Fire begins an epic new crime saga, a modern-day Iliad that explores classic themes of loyalty, betrayal, and honor. It is a powerful portrait of an unlikely hero caught in a war between two criminal empires who must rise above himself to protect those he loves—and live with the consequences. I loved the immediacy of the situation, the gritty, real-world setting, and of course, the inimitable cadence of Winslow’s voice.”

Catherine Richards, executive editor, Minotaur

The Heron’s Cry

Ann Cleeves (Minotaur, $27.99, Sept. 7)

“To publish an author as talented, gracious and generous as Ann Cleeves is a dream. Her career spans 35 years and as many books, and The Heron’s Cry showcases more than ever what a truly exceptional crime writer she is: Det. Matthew Venn—this being his second outing following The Long Call—is a nuanced character, thoughtfully developed as the story moves forward. And the beautiful, wild coastal Devon setting feels like its own character.”

Wendy McCurdy, editorial director, Kensington

Murder at Mallowan Hall

Colleen Cambridge (Kensington, $26, Oct. 26)

Murder at Mallowan Hall poses the question, what if a dead body turned up in Agatha Christie’s own library and is discovered by her housekeeper? And what if that housekeeper was not someone to stand by while the local police constable makes a hash of it all. Who could blame her for taking matters into her own hands? This is one of the cleverest and most charming mystery novels I have ever read, and a brilliant homage to the legendary dame of detective fiction.”

Jen Monroe, senior editor, Berkley

My Sweet Girl

Amanda Jayatissa (Berkley, $26, Sept. 14)

“Amanda Jayatissa is one of the first Sri Lankan women to ever land an international book deal, making her twisty, voice-driven debut, My Sweet Girl, one of those special finds for an editor. In the guise of a playful, nail-biting thriller about a woman clinging to her new life in America, Amanda seamlessly weaves in Sri Lankan culture, incisive commentary on ‘white savior complex’ and the dissonance our protagonist Paloma feels growing up adopted in a very white, very privileged society.”

Sarah McGrath, senior v-p and editor-in-chief, Riverhead

A Slow Fire Burning

Paula Hawkins (Riverhead, $28, Aug. 31)

A Slow Fire Burning is a gripping, twisting story of deceit, murder, and revenge. Readers will be hooked by the mystery but find themselves caught up in the emotional current of the characters: each carries damage that could be the seed of their self-destruction. How long can resentment simmer in any one of us, before it explodes into flames? The intense emotions (and the surprises you never see coming) make for a powerful, page-turning story.”

Current Affairs

Moderated by PW’s David Adams, Wednesday, May 26, 4–5 p.m. ET.

Rakia Clark, senior editor, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

A Bigger Picture: My Fight to Bring a New African Voice to the Climate Crisis

Vanessa Nakate (HMH, $22, Nov. 2)

“I’m excited about the world getting to know Vanessa Nakate and her work because she’s stirring up the conversation between climate justice and race. Vanessa maintains that climate justice is only justice if it’s global and affects the most vulnerable. Time and time again, we’re not hearing all the right voices in the rooms where decisions about the climate crisis get made. A Bigger Picture is about getting in those rooms. And then what can happen once you cross the threshold.”

Riva Hocherman, associate publisher, Metropolitan

The End of Bias, a Beginning: The Science and Practice of Overcoming Unconscious Bias

Jessica Nordell (Metropolitan, $28.99, Sept. 21)

“If there’s been progress in diagnosing unconscious bias, there has, until now, been little in the way of prevention and a cure. Jessica Nordell offers a breakthrough. Drawing on cutting-edge science and research from around the world, the book brings the news that change is possible. Nordell’s vivid narration explores revolutionary programs that have made a measurable dent in bias of all kinds, in policing, medicine, education, and more. This is a book that will actually do good in the world.”

Vanessa Mobley, v-p, executive editor, Little, Brown

Learning in Public: Lessons for a Racially Divided America from My Daughter’s School

Courtney E. Martin (Little, Brown, $28, Aug. 3)

“In Learning in Public, Courtney E. Martin tells the story of enrolling her daughter in her first school, Emerson Elementary in Oakland [Calif.], which has remained a largely Black school even as the neighborhood around it has grown more diverse and also gentrified. Courtney’s book investigates, from the point of view of a first-time mom, what happens when White parents make different decisions. We hope that this moving, eye-opening book will continue the conversation about educational equity in America today.”

Anton Mueller, executive editor, Bloomsbury USA

The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Age of Fentanyl and Meth

Sam Quinones (Bloomsbury, $28, Oct. 12)

“Sam picked up the story of the opioid epidemic that was the subject of his award-winning Dreamland, because it wouldn’t let go of him. He again threw himself at the evolving story to bring us up-to-date. Sam has a sixth sense for the human detail that make stories pop. The new twists will make news, but where the book truly shines are the stories of people and communities finding ways to push back. The match between Sam’s humanity and the people whose stories he tells results in a moving and inspiring book.”

Bryn Clark, senior editor, Flatiron

The Power of Women

Denis Mukwege (Flatiron/Oprah, $28, Nov. 2)

“Dr. Mukwege’s work treating victims of sexual violence in the Congo earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018, but this book is the first time he shares his story. The Power of Women gives a voice to his patients, women who have suffered horrors the Western world would rather turn a blind eye to, but it is through these stories of tragedy, love, strength, and joy that we can begin to imagine a better world.”

Ben Woodward, editor, the New Press

Refugee High: Coming of Age in America

Elly Fishman (New Press, $26.99, Aug. 10)

“Elly Fishman’s Refugee High is a brilliant work of narrative nonfiction, a riveting account of a year in the life of a Chicago high school where more than half of the students are immigrants or refugees. This is the powerful, moving, unforgettable story of young teenagers navigating their way in a new country, as well as the teachers who have dedicated themselves to helping them along the way.”

Gayatri Patnaik, associate director and editorial director, Beacon

Until I Am Free: Fannie Lou Hamer’s Enduring Message to America

Keisha N. Blain (Beacon, $25.95, Oct. 5)

“Keisha Blain’s biography of Fannie Lou Hamer convinced me that this uncompromising and visionary activist should be a household name—like Dr. King and Rosa Parks. Everything Hamer fought for—voting rights, racial equality, women’s empowerment, economic rights, and against police brutality—are all issues we still grapple with. I’m grateful to Blain for bringing Hamer to life at a time when we desperately need to employ her political strategies to fight for social justice.”

Brandon Proia, editor, University of North Carolina Press

The Vote Collectors: The True Story of the Scamsters, Politicians, and Preachers Behind the Nation’s Greatest Electoral Fraud

Michael Graff and Nick Ochsner (Ferris and Ferris, $28, Nov. 16)

The Vote Collectors is exciting for telling the story of how election fraud works on the ground. It shows what that fraud actually looks like, the local context and characters involved, and the underlying historical roots of racism, all with more clarity than we’ve ever seen before. It’s also a feat that only these reporters could pull off—a deep, expertly-told local story of corruption in the rural South with massive political repercussions nationally.”

Bios & Memoirs

Moderated by PW’s Carliann Rittman, Wednesday, May 26, noon–1 p.m. ET.

Lizzie Davis, editor, Coffee House Press

The Breaks

Julietta Singh (Coffee House, $16.95 trade paper, Sept. 7)

The Breaks was pitched to us as an essay on race, inheritance, and mothering at the end of the world, but it’s much more about future possibility than it is about present collapse. In a letter to her six-year-old daughter, Singh lovingly plots one path forward—through, not around, climate change, extractive capitalism, institutionalized racism, and the violent legacies of colonialism and patriarchy. She manifests another way to live, love, parent, and protest, one I suspect many of us crave.”

Christine Pride, freelance editor, Simon & Schuster

The Girls from Bronzeville

Dawn Turner (S&S, $26, Sept. 7)

“As an editor I thrill at a memoir that’s heartrendingly intimate but also offers incisive revelations about big ideas and themes. Which is exactly the singular achievement of Three Girls from Bronzeville. Dawn’s quest to unpack the insidious forces of race and class, and to celebrate the power of her deepest relationships, yields a timely and piercing reading experience that’s universal in its scope, and never fails to leave me with one reaction: wow.”

Gerry Howard, former v-p and executive editor, Doubleday

Madam: The Biography of Polly Adler, Icon of the Jazz Age

Debby Applegate (Doubleday, $32.50, Nov. 2)

“Debby Apple-gate vaulted to star biographer status with her first book, the Pulitzer Prize–winning biography of Henry Ward Beecher. How delicious it is that 14 years later she follows a book about a superstar preacher with the biography of the most famous madam in America, Polly Adler. A Jewish immigrant from eastern Europe, Adler’s deluxe brothels catered to the elite of 1920s New York. Madam is a virtuoso exercise in biography and one of the best books about the Roaring ’20s ever written.”

Megha Majumdar, senior editor, Catapult

Made in China: A Memoir of Love and Labor

Anna Qu (Catapult, $26, Aug. 3)

“Anna Qu’s Made in China is a debut memoir in which a young Chinese immigrant in Queens calls Child Services on her mother and stepfather after being forced to work at a sweatshop that they own. It’s an immigration story that we don’t see very much because it is complicated—it’s not just an upward arc to a better life. The book is morally and emotionally thorny, and asks big questions about work, identity, productivity, and self-worth.”

Tracy Sherrod, v-p, editorial director, Amistad

Miss Chloe and the Good Negress: A Literary Friendship with Toni Morrison

A.J. Verdelle (Amistad, $24.99, Oct. 19)

“A.J. Verdelle is a gorgeous writer and great talent. I haven’t been able to think of a single book that has dealt with Black literary friendship. I hope Miss Chloe will inspire other writers to begin to fill this void. In the meantime, we can only wonder what it was like for James Baldwin and Lorraine Hansberry, bell hooks and Toni Cade Bambara, and so many more. There’s an enormous amount of Black literature that has yet to be written and is deserving of a place in the world.”

Molly Walls, assistant editor, Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Shelf Life: Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller

Nadia Wassef (FSG, $27, Oct. 5)

Shelf Life is first and foremost a great story: an against-all-odds tale of building a life out of literature. But it’s also a portrait of a country on the brink of revolution, a crackling feminist manifesto, a reader’s guide to reading, and an unlikely entrepreneur’s unapologetic tell-all. Nadia’s voice really holds it all together. She’s wise, warm, wry, and candid, with an acrobat’s fearlessness and a poet’s ear.”

Alison Callahan, v-p and executive editor, Scout Press and Gallery

Taste: My Life Through Food

Stanley Tucci (Gallery, $28, Oct. 5)

“In Taste, Stanley Tucci invites us to his family table and, in his signature elegant and wry voice, serves the story of his life through food, each morsel of reflection brimming with insight and humor. His love of food—its ritualistic preparation and boisterous, celebrated consumption—reminded me of dinners at my friends’ houses, growing up in New Jersey. And, after a year of isolation, had me craving a large gathering of friends and family to share in a feast of pasta and martinis.”

Elisabeth Schmitz, v-p, editorial director, Grove Atlantic

Things I Have Withheld

Kei Miller (Grove, $26, Sept. 14)

“Kei Miller’s beautiful book of essays took my breath away when it first landed on my desk. In every read since, I smile and weep and marvel at his elegant, seamless blending of memoir, journalism, and literary commentary. Kei is unique and yet reading him reminds me of the wide-ranging pleasures of reading the concise essayistic work of Zadie Smith and Maggie Nelson. He portrays up-to-the-minute contemporary fraught encounters—often to do with race, sex, and gender—while also looking back to a rich personal history for context.”


Moderated by PW’s Meg Lemke, Tuesday, May 25, 2–3 p.m. ET.

John Jennings, curator and founder, Megascope

The Eightfold Path

Steven Barnes and Charles Johnson, illus. by Bryan Christopher Moss (Megascope, $24.99, Jan. 4, 2022)

“Charles Johnson wanted to do a series of stories using the idea of via negativa. Basically, the idea was to teach morality by showing what the inverse of that morality could be. The desired effect was that pupils would be so moved by the negative act that they would then never stray from the path. He and Steven always wanted to do a book together, and both loved EC Comics. Adding Bryan Moss to this project made it irresistible.”

Kiara Valdez, associate editor, First Second

Himawari House

Harmony Becker (First Second, $24.99, Sept. 14)

“I first came across Himawari House as a webcomic and instantly fell in love. The way it uses multiple languages to replicate what it feels like to study and live in another country is truly masterful. The book distills this specific experience to its core emotional elements while also showing us a hopeful future—one where we can all connect as humans despite
language and cultural barriers.”

Michael Petranek, executive editor and manager, AFK and Graphix Media

Magical Boy

The Kao (Graphix, $24.99, Nov. 2)

“I love that this graphic novel is funny and has a ton of awesome fight scenes that can go toe-to-toe with those from any superhero comic. Additionally, I believe every kid should be able to pick up a graphic novel and see themselves represented, and I know there are a ton of trans and nonbinary kids out there who don’t get to experience that nearly enough. Magical Boy kicks butt; the characters are both lovable and identifiable, and it has a great message.”

Eric Reynolds, associate publisher, Fantagraphics

No One Else

R. Kikuo Johnson (Fantagraphics, $16.99 trade paper, Nov. 9)

No One Else fulfills a 15-year desire to publish R. Kikuo Johnson’s follow-up to his masterful 2005 debut, Night Fisher. And it is well worth the wait. The intervening years have seen Kikuo grow into one of the master craftsmen of his generation, primarily via the New Yorker, and to see him return to long-form comics storytelling is personally very gratifying to me, and I can’t wait for others to read it.”

Susan Rich, editor-at-large, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers


Sophia Glock (Little, Brown, $24.99, Oct. 19)

“I was already smitten with the work of Sophia Glock, certain that she could render any story brilliantly with her graphic storytelling chops. But then she revealed what she was setting out to tell in her debut graphic novel, Passport—the true story of her own globe-trotting adolescence, a tale so shrouded in secrets it would need vetting by the CIA. Well, how could I resist?”

Liz Frances, publisher and founder, Street Noise Books

Power Born of Dreams: My Story Is Palestine

Mohammad Sabaaneh (Street Noise, $15.99 trade paper, Sept. 21)

“On meeting Mohammad two years ago near his home in Ramallah, in the West Bank, I was profoundly moved by his ability to capture the experience of Palestinians living in occupied territory through his art. I am honored to share his vision and perspective with the world. I believe in the power of art and storytelling to humanize issues. That is one of the principles upon which I founded Street Noise Books. It is my hope that Power Born of Dreams will do just that.”

Rebecca Taylor, managing editor, Wonderbound

The Unfinished Corner

Dani Colman, illus. by Rachel “Tuna” Petrovicz (Wonderbound, $12.99 trade paper, Oct. 19)

The Unfinished Corner gives us a brand-new world full of lions and golems, deserts and demons, and folklore rarely explored in fantasy: that of Jewish heritage. In a very personal story for Colman about growing up Jewish in an often hostile world, she and Petrovicz explore themes of identity and community that will connect with readers of all backgrounds. Their ragtag group of kiddos bursts at the seams with heart, humor, and joy.”

Tracy Hurren, senior editor, Drawn & Quarterly

The Waiting

Keum Suk Gendry-Kim (Drawn & Quarterly, $24.95 trade paper, Sept. 19)

The Waiting is such an important work. While familial separation is not uncommon during war or migration, the uniqueness of this Korean experience comes from the complete lack of communication available to those left behind in North Korea. Seventy years later, there’s still folks waiting, not knowing if they’ll ever see their families again, or if they are even alive. And time’s running out. Keum Suk Gendry-Kim captures the longing, hope, and heartbreak of a lifetime of waiting with vibrant characters and gorgeous, inky lines.”

Picture Books

Moderated by PW’s Amanda Bruns, Thursday, May 26, 10:45–11:45 a.m. ET.

Neal Porter, v-p and publisher, Neal Porter Books

Bright Star

Yuyi Morales (Holiday House/Porter, $18.99, Sept. 7)

“Yuyi Morales’s new book, her first since the bestselling Dreamers, is a lullaby—a soft, warm blanket that offers comfort to young children everywhere. But as it’s a work by Yuyi, it’s also a complex, carefully crafted book that touches on immigration, wildlife, and the importance of finding your voice and standing strong. I think that blanket is also a cloak of empowerment, and I can’t wait for readers to try it on.”

Denene Millner, v-p and publisher, Denene Millner Books

Carla and the Christmas Cornbread

Carla Hall, illus. by Cherise Harris (S&S/Millner, $17.99, Nov. 2)

“How could I resist a gorgeous Christmas tale about family, tradition, and food, as told by one of America’s favorite chefs? Carla Hall’s picture book is everything good—full of memories I just know will resonate with readers of any age, race, culture, and background, as its base story is rooted in what we all need and want: love. Plus, Carla included a cornbread recipe and debut illustrator Cherise Harris tucked in a surprise and rare sighting: a Black Santa enjoying his Christmas cornbread!”

Simon Boughton, publishing director, Norton Young Readers

Dad Bakes

Katie Yamasaki (Norton Young Readers, $17.95, Sept. 14)

“One of the things I admire about Katie is that she carries a strong sense of justice into her books—but does so lightly; you never feel message overpowers storytelling. Dad Bakes is a story about spending time together that will be familiar to any family. But as the author’s note explains, the bakery is a hint that the dad in the book is recently out of prison, and this is also an illuminating and powerful story about reclaiming family and rebuilding a life.”

Anne Schwartz, v-p and publisher, Anne Schwartz Books

Dream Street

Tricia Elam Walker, illus. by Ekua Holmes (Random/Schwartz, $17.99, Sept. 7)

“The story-behind-the-story of Dream Street is surprising and unique, which makes it a real joy to share with you all. Here’s a sneak peek: Tricia Elam Walker and Ekua Holmes are cousins who grew up together in Roxbury, a Boston neighborhood, and dreamed of becoming a writer and an illustrator one day. This is their semi-autobiographical portrait of the nurturing community they remember, where everyone is special and dreams can come true.”

Joanna Cárdenas, senior editor, Kokila

My Two Border Towns

David Bowles, illus. by Erika Meza (Kokila, $17.99, Aug. 24)

My Two Border Towns is the kind of picture book that’s firing on all cylinders. It’s a tender father-son story; it celebrates the dynamic, fluid, and distinct culture of border town life; and it shows us how borders can’t truly separate people and cultures. What I love most is that it’s a call to action for community care, reminding us of our responsibility to our neighbors on both sides of the border, especially for those with the privilege to cross back and forth without trauma. David Bowles and Erika Meza are exciting creative partners, and their work leads with love.”

Stacey Barney, executive editor, G.P. Putnam’s Books for Young Readers

Nina: A Story of Nina Simone

Traci N. Todd, illus. by Christian Robinson (Putnam, $18.99, Sept. 14)

Nina: A Story of Nina Simone was a dream project. I’ve been a disciple of Nina Simone’s since childhood when I first heard her sultry, soulful voice call out from a record player. I similarly became an instant fan of Traci N. Todd’s lyrical narration of Nina’s life the very first time I read it. The text isn’t just musical, it is music. Perfectly complemented by Caldecott Honoree Christian Robinson’s syncopated illustrations, this book is a worthy homage to one of the most distinguished figures of our time.”

Alessandra Balzer, v-p and co-publisher, Balzer + Bray

The People Remember

Ibi Zoboi, illus. by Loveis Wise (HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray, $19.99, Sept. 28)

“As the editor of Ibi Zoboi’s acclaimed teen novels, I was already familiar with her prodigious talents. But I was blown away by her ambitious first picture book, The People Remember, which uses rhythmic verse to connect the principles of Kwanzaa to the history of African Americans. Loveis Wise is the dream artist for this project—their bold and sophisticated artwork makes the book feel timeless. The result is a tour de force, a moving tribute to Black perseverance, joy, and innovation.”

Ginee Seo, executive publishing director, children’s, Chronicle Books

What Is Love?

Mac Barnett, illus. by Carson Ellis (Chronicle, $17.99, Oct. 19)

“There are people you dream about publishing, and if you’re very lucky, you do. And this is definitely a dream project! A wonderfully tender text from Mac Barnett, who’s known for being funny, but who is also a writer of extraordinary depth and subtlety. And astonishing pictures from Carson Ellis, who makes every page-turn beautiful and unexpected. Together they’ve made a love story that gloriously defies clichés while making the most stonyhearted reader cry.”

Middle Grade

Moderated by PW reviewer Gnesis Villar, Thursday, May 27, 1:30–2:30 p.m. ET.

Alvina Ling, v-p and editor-in-chief, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Amira and Hamza: The War to Save the Worlds

Samira Ahmed (Little, Brown, $16.99, Sept. 21)

“After we published Samira Ahmed’s bestselling Internment, I was excited to see what was next, and thrilled when I heard she was writing middle grade. Amira and Hamza: The War to Save the Worlds is a masterfully written, fun, and funny fantasy adventure featuring two brown Indian Muslim kids who get to be the heroes of their own book. For me, it was a real bright spot editing this book during the uncertain first months of the pandemic—I love this book so much!”

Andrea Tompa, executive editor, Candlewick Press

The Beatryce Prophecy

Kate DiCamillo, illus. by Sophie Blackall (Candlewick, $19.99, Sept. 28)

“From the very first page of this luminous novel, readers will be drawn into a world of monks and soldiers, prophecies and adventure. They will fall in love with Beatryce, the abandoned child who takes her destiny into her own hands, along with the ferocious goat Answelica. Together, two-time Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo and two-time Caldecott Medalist Sophie Blackall have created a fiercely beautiful story about the power of love, community, and the written word.”

Weslie Turner, senior editor, Versify

Call and Response: The Story of Black Lives Matter

Veronica Chambers and the New York Times (Versify, $21.99, Aug. 17)

Call and Response is an exploration of living history and an invaluable resource for readers everywhere, both young and old, who need concrete, factual information about the Black Lives Matter movement. I wish this book wasn’t still so timely. These striking photographs, visual timelines, in-depth reporting, and first-person accounts provide a solid starting point to understand current events. Everyone will get something out of this book.”

Phoebe Yeh, v-p and publisher, Crown Books for Young Readers

Fast Pitch

Nic Stone (Crown, $17.99, Aug. 31)

“Shenice ‘Lightning’ Lockwood, captain of the Fulton Firebirds, the first all-Black girls’ softball team chooses between going for the win or exonerating her ancestor, who had been falsely accused of theft. This entertaining, thoughtful, textured novel is about intersectionality, rediscovering family history, and what it means to be a hero. [The book was] inspired by a favorite movie, Sandlot, and Stone’s softball playing days. It’s about time we had a novel about an African American girl brainiac athlete. Thank you, Nic Stone.”

Namrata Tripathi, v-p and publisher, Kokila

How to Find What You’re Not Looking For

Veera Hiranandani (Kokila, $17.99, Sept. 14)

“Veera Hiranandani has an extraordinary capacity to take big, historical moments and render them so immediate and so intimate through her storytelling. I love How to Find What You’re Not Looking For, not just because it gives us a peek into a story from the 1960s that has great resonance for Veera, but for how it gives readers a tool for today—about how to find our voices when confronting the people we love most on the prejudices they may hold.”

David Levithan, v-p, publisher, and editorial director, Scholastic Press


Brian Selznick (Scholastic, $19.99, Sept. 21)

“With Kaleidoscope, Brian somehow manages to tap into the feelings so many of us are having these days—confusion, grief, and loss, as well as love, attachment, and gratitude to be alive—and transforms them into a stunning story that will mean something different to every kid or adult who reads it. I have read it dozens of times now, and it astonishes and moves me every time.”

Caitlyn Dlouhy, v-p and editorial director, Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

Stuntboy, in the Meantime

Jason Reynolds, illus. by Raúl the Third (Atheneum/Dlouhy, $13.99, Nov. 9)

“Who is Stuntboy? Basically the greatest superhero you’ve never heard of. The reason you’ve never heard of him? Because Stuntboy’s superpower is ensuring all the other superheroes (i.e., folks he loves) stay super. Which he does all in secret. But our modest superhero might need a superhero of his own to battle ‘the frets’ he develops as his parents endlessly bicker. The uncanny capturing of a pre-tween’s angst and silliness, melds with hundreds of exquisitely madcap illustrations to create a new superhero I’m utterly besotted with.”

Rosemary Brosnan, v-p and editorial director, Quill Tree and Heartdrum

Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero

Saadia Faruqi (Quill Tree, $16.99, Sept. 7)

“In Yusuf Azeem Is Not a Hero, Saadia Faruqi brilliantly explores what life is like for a Muslim boy living in small-town Texas 20 years after the attacks of 9/11, as his neighbors plan a 20th-anniversary commemorative parade, and old resentments are stirred up. By reading his uncle’s journal from 20 years earlier, Yusuf learns what his uncle endured at that time. This is a strong and thought-provoking portrait of bravery, family, and community.”

Young Adult

Moderated by PW reviewer Sanina Clark, Thursday, May 27, 3:15–4:15 p.m. ET.

Ali Fisher, senior editor, Tor Teen

All of Us Villains

Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman (Tor Teen, $18.99, Nov. 9)

“I’m obsessed. All of Us Villains is full of everything a dark death-tournament fantasy should be—impossible odds, meddling spellmakers, boys in dark eyeliner, enemies to lovers, magic used for bad things, spilled blood, and sweet, sweet revenge. Not to mention it’s also an exploration of generational wealth, power, and privilege in the long shadow of a cruel legacy. It’s basically ‘the Hunger Games with magic’ and it lives up to the hype.”

Kendra Levin, editorial director, Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World

Benjamin Alire Sáenz (S&S, $19.99, Oct. 12)

“It’s been an honor to carry forward the editorial legacy of David Gale, who first brought Ari and Dante to Simon & Schuster, and to get to work with Benjamin Alire Sáenz, a poet and an icon. These beloved characters, Aristotle and Dante, have so much to teach us about life and love, and watching Ari and Dante continue their journey in this book is like reconnecting with dear friends after a long time apart.”

Dana Chidiac, editor, Dial Books for Young Readers

Huda F Are You?

Huda Fahmy (Dial, $22.95, Nov. 2)

“I’ve been a huge fan of Huda Fahmy’s webcomic, Yes I’m Hot in This, for years, and immediately fell in love with her new YA graphic novel, Huda F Are You? Through Huda’s eyes, being a Muslim kid and child of immigrants in America is a weird, funny, confusing experience, with lots of big identity questions in the mix. Huda’s signature tongue-in-cheek sense of humor captures all of that and truly makes me laugh out loud every time I read the book.”

Andrea Tompa, executive editor, Candlewick

Revolution in Our Time: The Black Panther Party’s Promise to the People

Kekla Magoon (Candlewick, $24.99, Sept. 28)

“Margaret A. Edwards Award–winning author Kekla Magoon has produced a true masterpiece: a fascinating, brilliantly researched and written history of the Black Panther Party, placed in the context of the African American experience from slavery to Black Lives Matter. Learning about the heartbreakingly young, brave, and passionate members of the party and the lengths the U.S. government went to destroy them was a revelation for me, and young readers deserve to read their story.”

Nick Thomas, senior editor, Levine Querido

A Snake Falls to Earth

Darcie Little Badger (Levine Querido, $18.99, Oct. 12)

“Reading Darcie Little Badger’s writing is a pure joy. I’ll admit a little voice in my head said, how is she going to top Elatsoe? But now that little voice is pretty damn quiet because Darcie has written a masterpiece. It’s a bold, surprising, imaginative tale, influenced by traditional Lipan Apache storytelling structure, and one that makes me whip through the pages and think—and feel—deeply about the families we’re given, and the ones we find.”

Katherine Tegen, v-p and publisher, Katherine Tegen Books

Terciel and Elinor

Garth Nix (HarperCollins/Tegen, $19.99, Nov. 2)

“There are few greater pleasures than reading a new book in the Old Kingdom series by Garth Nix. The series began 25 years ago with Sabriel, a genre creator in feminist YA fantasy. Terciel and Elinor is the spellbinding story of two young people discovering their magical powers and falling in love, and it lays the groundwork for the mythology of the Old Kingdom. It is a stunning standalone as well as a delicious prequel to a beloved series.”

Mary Kate Castellani, publishing director, Bloomsbury Children’s Books

We Light Up the Sky

Lilliam Rivera (Bloomsbury, $17.99, Oct. 5)

We Light Up the Sky is a taut, impactful story that truly defies genre. I fell so hard for Luna, Pedro, and Rafa, and would have eagerly read a realistic contemporary novel about their lives. But then Lilliam introduced an extraterrestrial Visitor and took the stakes to a whole new level. The result is exciting and chilling and fresh, with a searing social commentary that really gets readers thinking.”

Alexandra Hightower, editor, Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

We Are Not Broken

George M. Johnson (Little, Brown, $17.99, Sept. 7)

“Reading We Are Not Broken feels like falling into a story told by the closest of friends. From the very first chapter, George speaks with both warmth and authority and digs into the topics of family, boyhood, matriarchal love, and joy like no one else. I’m honored to work with them and bring this honest, hopeful title to readers everywhere.”

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This article has been edited for clarity.