Fall is in full swing and the temperatures are beginning to drop. What better way to spend time in the house than by snuggling up to a good book. We’ve collected some books that are releasing this October.
The highlights of the month:
- Sports-themed books
- Books about community and civic engagement
- Jessica Love brought Julian back for another delight.
Keep scrolling to see our picks for October 2020 book releases.
Becoming Muhammad Ali by Jimmy Patterson, Kwame Alexander, Dawud Anyabwile (Ages 8-12) Release Date: October 5th
Before he was a household name, Cassius Clay was a kid with struggles like any other. Kwame Alexander and James Patterson join forces to vividly depict his life up to age seventeen in both prose and verse, including his childhood friends, struggles in school, the racism he faced, and his discovery of boxing. Readers will learn about Cassius’ family and neighbors in Louisville, Kentucky, and how, after a thief stole his bike, Cassius began training as an amateur boxer at age twelve. Before long, he won his first Golden Gloves bout and began his transformation into the unrivaled Muhammad Ali.
Above the Rim: How Elgin Baylor Changed Basketball by Jen Bryant, Frank Morrison (Ages 4-8) Release Date: October 6th
Hall-of-famer Elgin Baylor was one of basketball’s all-time-greatest players—an innovative athlete, team player, and quiet force for change. One of the first professional African-American players, he inspired others on and off the court. But when traveling for away games, many hotels and restaurants turned Elgin away because he was black. One night, Elgin had enough and staged a one-man protest that captured the attention of the press, the public, and the NBA.
Above the Rim is a poetic, exquisitely illustrated telling of the life of an under-recognized athlete and a celebration of standing up for what is right.
All Because You Matter by Tami Charles, Bryan Collier (Ages 4-8) Release Date: October 6th
Discover this poignant, timely, and emotionally stirring picture book, an ode to black and brown children everywhere that is full of hope, assurance, and love.
Tami Charles pens a poetic, lyrical text that is part love letter, part anthem, assuring readers that they always have, and always will, matter. This powerful, rhythmic lullaby reassures readers that their matter and their worth is never diminished, no matter the circumstance: through the joy and wonder of their first steps and first laughs, through the hardship of adolescent struggles, and the pain and heartbreak of current events, they always have, and always will, matter. Accompanied by illustrations by renowned artist Bryan Collier, a four-time Caldecott Honor recipient and a nine-time Coretta Scott King Award winner or honoree, All Because You Matter empowers readers with pride, joy, and comfort, reminding them of their roots and strengthening them for the days to come.
Julián and the Wedding by Jessica Love (Ages 4-8) Release Date: October 6th
Julián and his abuela are going to a wedding. Better yet, Julián is in the wedding. Weddings have flowers and kissing and dancing and cake. And this wedding also has a new friend named Marisol. It’s not long before Julián and Marisol set off for some magic and mischief of their own, and when things take an unexpected turn, the pair learns that everything is easier with a good friend by your side. Jessica Love returns with a joyful story of friendship and individuality in this radiant follow-up to Julián Is a Mermaid.
Oh, The Things We’re For by Innosanto Nagara (Ages 4-8) Release Date: October 6th
Oh! What are we for!
That’s my favorite question
And I’m sure it’s yours too
Because you pay attention
You have so many answers
And so many options
And so many solutions that you want to impart
The only hard question is where does one start?
Oh, The Things We’re For! is a celebration of the better world that is not only possible but is here today if we choose it. Today’s kids are well aware of the many challenges that they face in a world they are inheriting, from climate change to police violence, crowded classrooms to healthcare. Poetically written and beautifully illustrated in Innosanto Nagara’s (A is for Activist) signature style, this book offers a vision of where we could go–and a future worth fighting for. Oh, the Things We’re For! is a book for kids, and for the young at heart of all ages. (We’ll be talking to Innosanto during our Author Conversations about this book. Stay tuned!)
One Girl by Andrea Beaty, Dow Phumiruk (Ages 5-7) Release Date: October 6th
One girl. One spark. Faint and fading in the dark.
Flicker . . . Flicker . . . Flicker . . . Glow. Tiny ember. Burning low.
Inspired by the global movement to empower girls through education, this lyrical story tells of one small girl who reads a book that lights a spark. She shares what she learns with her class, and the spark grows. The girl is then moved to write her own story, which she shares with girls around the globe, and it ignites a spark in them, lighting up the whole world. This heartwarming and moving narrative shows how books and education can inspire change and how one child can make a huge difference.
Lubaya’s Quiet Roar by Marilyn Nelson, Philemona Williamson (Ages 5-8) Release Date: October 6th
Young Lubaya is happiest when she’s drawing, often behind the sofa while her family watches TV. There, she creates pictures on the backs of her parents’ old protest posters. But when upsetting news shouts into their living room, her parents need the posters again. The next day her family takes part in a march, and there, on one side of the posters being held high, are Lubaya’s drawings of kids holding hands and of the sun shining over the globe–rousing visual statements of how the world could be. “Lubaya’s roar may not be loud, but a quiet roar can make history.”
Sophia Valdez and the Vanishing Vote by Andrea Beaty, David Roberts (Ages 6-9) Release Date: October 6th
Miss Lila Greer announces it’s time for Grade Two to get a class pet, and she wants the kids to participate in choosing which one. After all, they will all have to share the responsibility of caring for it. The class narrows it down to two options: Team Turtle and Team Bird. Sofia is named Election Commissioner, in charge of overseeing a fair and honest election between the two teams. There’s a class-wide campaign, complete with posters, articles, and speeches. Then it’s time for the election! But when the votes are counted, there’s a tie, and one vote is missing. How will the class break the tie? And what happened to the vanishing vote? It’s up to Sofia Valdez and the Questioneers to restore democracy!
Tristan Strong Destroys the World by Kwame Mbalia (Agest 8-12) Release Date: October 6th
Tristan Strong, just back from a victorious but exhausting adventure in Alke, the land of African American folk heroes and African gods, is suffering from PTSD. But there’s no rest for the weary when his grandmother is abducted by a mysterious villain out for revenge.
Tristan must return to Alke–and reunite with his loud-mouthed sidekick, Gum Baby–in order to rescue Nana and stop the culprit from creating further devastation. Anansi, now a “web developer” in Tristan’s phone, is close at hand to offer advice, and several new folk heroes will aid Tristan in his quest, but he will only succeed if he can figure out a way to sew broken souls back together.
Twins by Varian Johnson, Shannon Wright (Ages 8-12) Release Date: October 6th
Maureen and Francine Carter are twins and best friends. They participate in the same clubs, enjoy the same foods, and are partners on all their school projects. But just before the girls start sixth grade, Francine becomes Fran — a girl who wants to join the chorus, run for class president, and dress in fashionable outfits that set her apart from Maureen. A girl who seems happy to share only two classes with her sister!
Maureen and Francine are growing apart and there’s nothing Maureen can do to stop it. Are sisters really forever? Or will middle school change things for good?
My Rainbow by Deshanna Neal, Trinity Neal, Art Twink (Ages 4-8) Release Date: October 20th
Warm morning sunlight and love fill the Neal home. And on one quiet day, playtime leads to an important realization: Trinity wants long hair like her dolls. She needs it to express who she truly is.
So her family decides to take a trip to the beauty supply store, but none of the wigs is the perfect fit. Determined, Mom leaves with bundles of hair in hand, ready to craft a wig as colorful and vibrant as her daughter is.
The All-Together Quilt by Lizzy Rockwell (Ages 5-8) Release Date: October 27th
Quilters and crafters rejoice! This story of a community coming together to make a quilt is a heartwarming celebration of creativity and teamwork.
The kids and grown-ups at a community center begin with lots of colorful fabrics and an idea. Then step by step they make that idea a reality. They design, cut, stitch, layer, and quilt. It’s the work of many hands, many hours, and many stories. And the result is something warm and wonderful they all can share.
Mexique: A Refugee Story from the Spanish Civil War by María José Ferrada, Ana Penyas (Ages 7-9) Release Date: October 27th
On May 27, 1937, over four hundred children sailed for Morelia, Mexico, fleeing the violence of the Spanish Civil War. Home was no longer safe, and Mexico was welcoming refugees by the thousands. Each child packed a suitcase and boarded the Mexique, expecting to return home in a few months. This was just a short trip, an extra-long summer vacation, they thought. But the war did not end in a few months, and the children stayed, waiting and wondering, in Mexico. When the war finally ended, a dictator–the Fascist Francisco Franco–ruled Spain. Home was even more dangerous than before.
This moving book invites readers onto the Mexique with the “children of Morelia,” many of whom never returned to Spain during Franco’s almost forty-year regime. Poignant and poetically told, Mexique opens important conversations about hope, resilience, and the lives of displaced people in the past and today.
What books are you going to be reading this October?
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