Here we round up new and forthcoming children’s titles, including the story of the first American English dictionary, a high fantasy middle grade, a chimney sweep adventure, and the story of a “royal” girl.
An Inconvenient Alphabet: Ben Franklin Noah Webster’s Spelling Revolution by Beth Anderson, illus. by Elizabeth Baddeley. SS/Wiseman, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-0555-4. Anderson’s debut picture book details the origins of Noah Webster’s first American English dictionary and the struggles of Webster and Benjamin Franklin to help unify the new country through language in the 1780s.
The Assassination of Brangwain Spurge by M.T. Anderson, illus. by Eugene Yelchin. Candlewick, $24.99; ISBN 978-0-7636-9822-5. In a witty, offbeat middle grade adventure, an elfin historian goes on a peacekeeping mission to a goblin court. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster by Jonathan Auxier. Amulet, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-4197-3140-2. A chimney sweep disappears from a London rooftop, leaving six-year-old Nan Sparrow alone, save for a hat and a lump of mysteriously ever-warm charcoal. The middle grade novel earned a starred review from PW.
King Alice by Matthew Cordell. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-25004749-6. In this picture book, Caldecott Award–winner Cordell (Wolf in the Snow) mimics child-style print and crayon drawings for his story of a girl who insists she is king.
A Winter’s Promise: Volume 1 of the Mirror Visitor Quartet by Christelle Dabos, trans. from the French by Hildegarde Serle. Europa, $19.95; ISBN 978-1-60945-483-8. Author Dabos’s debut, a French bestseller, is a high fantasy about a teenage girl’s journey toward self-determination, culminating in a dramatic cliffhanger that teases book two. The YA novel earned a starred review from PW.
You Don’t Know Everything, Jilly P! by Alex Gino. Scholastic Press, $16.99; ISBN 978-0-545-95624-6. In a novel that carries a strong social message, Gino (George) traces the stages of 12-year-old Jilly’s enlightenment about disability and race across multiple events. The middle grade earned a starred review from PW.
Surprise! by Caroline Hadilaksono. Scholastic/Levine, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-338-13919-8. Bear, Raccoon, and Squirrel, “friends for a really long time,” decide to enlarge their circle of acquaintances. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
The War Outside by Monica Hesse. Little, Brown, $17.99; ISBN 978-0-316-31669-9. In 1944, 17-year-old Japanese-American Haruko, from Colorado, and German-American Margot, from Iowa, are imprisoned with their families in a Department of Justice–run internment camp for “enemy aliens” suspected by the U.S. government of being spies. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Squirm by Carl Hiaasen. Knopf, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-385-75297-8. The focus of the latest eco-adventure by Hiaasen (Chomp) is not an endangered animal but an elusive one: Billy Dickens’s absent father.
When You Grow Up to Vote: How Our Government Works for You by Eleanor Roosevelt, with Michelle Markel, illus. by Grace Lin. Roaring Brook, $19.99; ISBN 978-1-62672-879-0. A fresh reworking of Roosevelt’s 1932 book explains the roles of government workers and elected officials, election processes, and the civic responsibilities of U.S. citizens.
Through the Window: Views of Marc Chagall’s Life and Art by Barb Rosenstock, illus. by Mary GrandPré. Knopf, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5247-1751-3. Beginning with Chagall’s childhood in the village of Vitebsk, Belarus, Rosenstock’s expressive ode to the artist is laced with references to familiar moments from Chagall’s oeuvre. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights by Rob Sanders, illus. by Jared Andrew Schorr. Simon Schuster, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-2943-7. This picture book anthem, dedicated to “those who lost their lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,” encourages peaceful resistance.
So Tall Within: Sojourner Truth’s Long Walk Toward Freedom by Gary D. Schmidt, illus. by Daniel Minter. Roaring Brook, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-62672-872-1. Schmidt tells the powerful story of Sojourner Truth (born Isabella), highlighting the context of her courageous actions. The picture book biography earned a starred review from PW.
Rabbit Robot by Andrew Smith. Simon Schuster, $18.99; ISBN 978-1-5344-2220-9. This provocative YA novel from Smith (Grasshopper Jungle) dissects society, technology, othering, and what makes humanity human. The book earned a starred review from PW.
Kitten and the Night Watchman by John Sullivan, illus. by Taeeun Yoo. SS/Wiseman, $17.99; ISBN 978-1-4814-6191-7. A night watchman hugs his family and goes to work, where he makes his rounds through an empty construction site, joined by a stray kitten. The picture book earned a starred review from PW.
Tales from the Inner City by Shaun Tan. Scholastic/Levine, $24.99; ISBN 978-1-338-29840-6. Like its predecessor, Tales from Outer Suburbia, these short stories imagine a collection of alternate worlds; here, they chronicle the lives of animals who dwell cheek by jowl with humans amid urban sprawl. The book earned a starred review from PW.
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White. Delacorte, $18.99; ISBN 978-0-525-57794-2. With this retelling of the birth of a monster, White (Beanstalker and Other Hilarious Scarytales) resurrects the Gothic tale of survival found in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, which turns 200 this year. The book earned a starred review from PW.
For more children’s and YA titles on sale throughout the month of September, check out PW’s full On-Sale Calendar.