Drawn from PW’s Fall Children’s Announcements Issue, here are our editors’ selections for 21 children’s and young adult books that can’t arrive soon enough. And check out our picks for this season’s most anticipated adult books as well.
Carmela Full of Wishes by Matt de la Peña, illus. by Christian Robinson (Putnam, Oct.) – From the award-winning team behind Last Stop on Market Street, a story about a birthday girl on a walk with her big brother, the puffy dandelion she finds along the way, and the series of wishes she considers, all told against the backdrop of the family’s Spanish-speaking community.
Dreamers by Yuyi Morales (Holiday House/Porter, Sept.) – In this exceedingly timely book, Caldecott Honor artist Morales (Viva Frida) traces the journey that she and her young son took when they immigrated from Mexico to the United States, and the succor that books and libraries offered as the two made their way in a new place.
Giraffe Problems by Jory John, illus. by Lane Smith (Random House, Sept.) – The creators of Penguin Problems may well have outdone the original in this companion tale about a giraffe who feels bad about his long neck; a turtle who is blue about his dinky one; and the shared dismay, assistance, and courtly manners that ensue.
Unlimited Squirrels: I Lost My Tooth! by Mo Willems (Disney-Hyperion, Oct.) – A beginning-reader series launch from Willems mixes truth and fiction in this well-paced story about a scurry of squirrels and a lost baby tooth, appended with facts and jokes.
King Alice by Matthew Cordell (Feiwel and Friends, Sept.) – In his first solo outing since the Caldecott Award-winning Wolf in the Snow, Matthew Cordell creates a recognizable snow day with a homebound family—and self-proclaimed royal daughter “King Alice”—passing the time through storytelling.
Presto Zesto in Limboland by Arthur Yorinks and Maurice Sendak, illus. by Maurice Sendak (HarperCollins/di Capua, Sept.) – In 1990, Sendak created 10 images for an orchestral performance of Czech nursery rhymes, and his friend Yorinks later proposed that they write a story to accompany them. They did, and it’s a joy to have another glimpse at Sendak’s magic.
What Can a Citizen Do? by Dave Eggers, illus. by Shawn Harris (Chronicle, Sept.) – The creators of 2017’s Her Right Foot use manifesto-style language and elaborate cut-paper illustrations to embody the messy realities and exciting potential of the civic enterprise. As Eggers writes, “Who can a citizen be?/ A citizen is just like you.”
Dactyl Hill Squad by Daniel José Older (Scholastic/Levine, Sept.) – In this series opener, Older (Shadowshaper) creates a Civil War–era New York City, rooted in real events and attitudes, in which dinosaurs never went extinct and a diverse band of orphans resists corrupt authorities during the Draft Riots of 1863.
Grenade by Alan Gratz (Scholastic Press, Oct.) – This followup to Gratz’s bestselling Refugee accompanies two young soldiers during WWII, one conscripted to the Japanese military, the other an American Marine, as they fight across the island of Okinawa.
Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson (Penguin/Paulsen, Aug.) – In her first book for young people since 2014’s Brown Girl Dreaming, Woodson shows how America’s political and social issues affect children every day: six students are placed in a classroom each week, where they discuss their realities, from bullying to a parent’s deportation.
Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick, Oct.) – Newbery Medalist DiCamillo follows Raymie Nightingale with this companion novel—the tale of Louisiana Elefante and her grandmother, a middle-of-the-night flight, and a generational curse.
Rosie Revere and the Raucous Riveters: The Questioneers Book #1 by Andrea Beaty, illus. by David Roberts (Amulet, Oct.) – A spinoff of the bestselling STEAM-based picture books, this chapter book series debut features a crew of WWII airplane-building mavens, called the Raucous Riveters, who ask Rosie for a mural-painting assist—she, along with Ada Twist and Iggy Peck, gets to work.
The Third Mushroom by Jennifer L. Holm (Random House, Sept.) – In this sequel to The Fourteenth Goldfish, Ellie and her brilliant scientist grandfather—still in a pubescent boy’s body and attending middle school as her “cousin” Melvin—team up on a county science fair project.
We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices: Words and Images of Hope, ed. by Wade Hudson Cheryl Willis Hudson (Crown, Sept.) – From a diverse group of more than 50 children’s book creators, the 30 illustrated pieces—essays, poems, stories, and letters—that comprise this empowering anthology aim to encourage and inspire children. It is, as its foreword states, “a resource for rescue from any pitfalls of the day.”
Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak (Knopf, Oct.) – “In the beginning there was one murderer, one mule, and one boy.” From the bestselling author of The Book Thief comes his first novel in 13 years, about a band of brothers and their missing father, the brother who builds a bridge, and the hardships of creating.
Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel by Val Emmich et al. (Poppy, Oct.) – Based on the Tony Award–winning musical, this adaptation follows teenager Evan Hansen, for whom a well-meaning lie results in a tortured conscience, and offers an authentic first-person narration about family dynamics and the importance of kindness.
Dry by Neal Shusterman and Jarrod Shusterman (Simon Schuster, Oct.) – This father-and-son duo has created a climate-change dystopia in which California’s denizens muddle through life during a drought—until the water runs dry and desperation sets in.
Hey, Kiddo by Jarrett J. Krosoczka (Graphix, Oct.) – In a graphic memoir, Krosoczka conveys the joys and complications of his young life in Worcester, Mass., including his relationship with his mother (a heroin addict) and his grandparents, who raised him.
Pride by Ibi Zoboi (Balzer + Bray, Sept.) – “It’s a truth universally acknowledged that when rich people move into the hood… the first thing they want to do is clean it up,” begins this Bushwick-based modernization of Pride and Prejudice, from the author of American Street.
What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera (HarperTeen, Oct.) – Authors Albertalli and Silvera team up for a sweet-natured love story between two very different boys, Arthur (written by Albertalli) and Ben (Silvera), who meet in a New York City post office. The course of meet-cute never did run smooth.
Wildcard by Marie Lu (Putnam, Sept.) – Sure to inspire even deeper devotion among Lu’s fans, and featuring secrets, intrigue, and immersive technology, this sequel to Warcross raises complicated questions about the consequences of power.