With the weather cooling down and bringing us indoors, we have some books that will continue to bring the adventure. From books that teach us about the past and embracing who we are to books that center us as protectors of the universe, there is something to captivate even the youngest book lover. There are so many books from some of our favorite authors and some new ones to discover. Here are some of our most anticipated books featuring BIPOC characters, written by BIPOC authors releasing this October.
Note: Stories of a Colorful World (SOCW) book lists feature books that star BIPOC characters by authors of those same diverse groups. This post contains affiliate links. If you buy from our links, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you.
Count to Love!:(a Bright Brown Baby Board Book)by Andrea Pinkney, Brian Pinkney (Release Date: 10/5)
Count to love on fingers and toes.
1-2-3-4, touch your nose!
Snuggle up with your little one to celebrate sweet baby love! You won’t be able to resist this adorable board book full of cutie charms, belly kisses, and magic wishes, just-right for fans of bestselling books like Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. With bouncing, rhythmic text from New York Times bestselling author Andrea Davis Pinkney and warm, winsome illustrations from Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award-winning illustrator Brian Pinkney. This joyful celebration of roly-poly, perfectly huggable, oh-so lovable little ones that is just-right for the whole family, for Valentine’s Day and all throughout the year! So get ready to count to love… because once you start, you just won’t stop! (Ages 1-3)
Liberty’s Civil Rights Road Trip by Michael Waters, Nicole Tadgell (Release date: 10/12)
Time to board the bus! Liberty and her friend Abdullah, with their families and a diverse group of passengers, head off to their first stop: Jackson, Mississippi. Next on their map are Glendora, Memphis, Birmingham, Montgomery, and finally Selma for a march across the iconic Edmund Pettus Bridge.
As told through the innocent view of a child, Liberty’s Civil Rights Road Trip serves as an early introduction to places, people, and events that transformed history. The story is inspired by an actual journey led by author Michael W. Waters, bringing together a multigenerational group to witness key locations from the civil rights movement. An author’s note and more information about each stop on Liberty’s trip offer ways for adults to expand the conversation with young readers. (Ages 3-7)
The Me I Choose to Be by Natasha Tarpley, Regis & Kahran Bethencourt (Release date: 10/12)
What will you choose to be?
A free spirit?
A weaver of words?
A star dancing across the night sky?
A limitless galaxy?
The possibilities are endless in this uplifting ode to the power of potential. This book is an immersive call for self-love and highlights the inherent beauty of all Black and brown children.
We have been anticipating this project for close to a year. When we interviewed Natasha Tarpley last year, she talked about her collaboration with the amazing team behind CreativeSoul photography. If you’ve never viewed their work, go to their Instagram page. Their work is breathtaking. (Ages 4-8)
The Perfect Gift: A Jingle Jangle Story by Lyn Sisson-Talbert, David E. Talbert (Release date: 10/12)
Is it really holiday time already?
Journey is prepared to have a magical Christmas with Buddy. But while she is introducing him to the small wonders of the world, she panics and realizes she forgot to get him a gift. Journey scours the town looking for the perfect thing until she learns she may have had it all along . . .
In this sequel to The Square Root of Possible, we follow Journey as she shows Buddy the true meaning of Christmas, doing it with her family by her side. (Ages 4-8)
Everybody in the Red Brick Building by Anne Wynter, Oge Mora (Release date: 10/19)
Everybody in the red brick building was asleep. Until . . .
Rraak! Wake up!
Pitter patter STOMP!
A chain reaction of noises wakes up several children (and a cat) living in an apartment building. But it’s late in the night, so despite the disturbances, one by one, the building’s inhabitants return to their beds–this time with a new set of sounds to lull them to sleep. (Ages 4-8)
Little Moar and the Moon by Roselynn Akulukjuk, Jasmine Gubbe (Release date: 10/12)
Moar has always loved autumn–playing outside with his friends, feeling the weather get colder–but there is one thing about autumn that really worries Moar. The moon. The days become shorter and the moon, with its creepy face and eerie smile, seems to be looking down on him before he can even get home from school! So, one day, Moar is determined to get home before the moon appears in the sky. But there are so many fun things to do on the way home, he may just run out of time! (Ages 6-8)
Marshmallow & Jordan by Alina Chau (Release date: 10/26)
Jordan’s days as star player for her school’s basketball team ended when an accident left her paralyzed from the waist down. Now, she’s still the team captain, but her competition days seem to be behind her…until an encounter with a mysterious elephant, who she names Marshmallow, helps Jordan discover a brand new sport.
Will water polo be the way for Jordan to continue her athletic dreams–or will it just come between Jordan and her best friends on the basketball team? And with the big tournament right around the corner, what secret is Marshmallow hiding? (Ages 8-12)
Playing the Cards You’re Dealt by Varian Johnson (Release date: 10/5)
Ten-year-old Anthony Joplin has made it to double digits! Which means he’s finally old enough to play in the spades tournament every Joplin Man before him seems to have won. So while Ant’s friends are stressing about fifth-grade homework and girls, Ant only has one thing on his mind: how he’ll measure up to his father’s expectations at the card table.
Then Ant’s best friend gets grounded, and he’s forced to find another spades partner. And Shirley, the new girl in his class, isn’t exactly who he has in mind. She talks a whole lot of trash — way more than his old partner. Plus, he’s not sure that his father wants him playing with a girl. But she’s smart and tough and pretty, and knows every card trick in the book. So Ant decides to join forces with Shirley — and keep his plans a secret.
Only it turns out secrets are another Joplin Man tradition. And his father is hiding one so big it may tear their family apart…(Ages 8-12)
Tristan Strong Keeps Punching by Kwame Mbalia (Release date: 10/5)
Rick Riordan is the ally that understands the importance of having authors of color showing the literary world that kids of color can be the heroes of action and fantasy books too. This is the third and final book in the Tristan Strong series. We suggest buying them all.
After reuniting with Ayanna, who is now in his world, Tristan travels up the Mississippi in pursuit of his archenemy, King Cotton. Along the way, they encounter new haints who are dead set on preventing their progress north to Tristan’s hometown of Chicago. It’s going to take many Alkean friends, including the gods themselves, the black flames of the afokena gloves, and all of Tristan’s inner strength to deliver justice once and for all. (Ages 8-12)
African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History by Tracey Baptiste (Release date:10/19)
Black history begins thousands of years ago with the many cultures and people of the African continent.
Through portraits of ten heroic figures, author Tracey Baptiste takes readers on a journey across Africa to meet some of the great leaders and thinkers whose vision built a continent and shaped the world. (Ages 8-12)
Barakah Beats by Maleeha Siddiqui (Release date: 10/19)
Twelve-year-old Nimra Sharif has spent her whole life in Islamic school, but now it’s time to go to real school.
Nimra’s nervous, but as long as she has Jenna, her best friend who already goes to the public school, she figures she can take on just about anything.
Unfortunately, middle school is hard. The teachers are mean, the schedule is confusing, and Jenna starts giving hijab-wearing Nimra the cold shoulder around the other kids.
Desperate to fit in and get back in Jenna’s good graces, Nimra accepts an unlikely invitation to join the school’s popular 8th-grade boy band, Barakah Beats. The only problem is, Nimra was taught that music isn’t allowed in Islam, and she knows her parents would be disappointed if they found out. So she devises a simple plan: join the band, win Jenna back, then quietly drop out before her parents find out.
But dropping out of the band proves harder than expected. Not only is her plan to get Jenna back working, but Nimra really likes hanging out with the band — they value her contributions and respect how important her faith is to her. Then Barakah Beats signs up for a talent show to benefit refugees, and Nimra’s lies start to unravel. With the show only a few weeks away and Jenna’s friendship hanging in the balance, Nimra has to decide whether to betray her bandmates — or herself. (Ages 8-12)
The Shadow Prince by David Anthony Durham (Release date: 10/19)
Growing up in a village in the middle of the desert, Ash thinks his future holds nothing but sand, sun, a few annoying bullies, and lots of boring chores. Boy, is he wrong!
On the night before his twelfth birthday, Ash learns that he was born on the same day as Prince Khufu, which makes him eligible to compete to be the prince’s shadow, a coveted position as the friend and bodyguard of the boy destined to be pharaoh of all of Egypt. At first, Ash can’t believe it, but when a floating royal barge takes Ash and his mentor to the bustling, magical, solar-powered capital, things get real.
What awaits Ash and the candidates is deadly–five days of dangerous tests filled with demon-fighting, monster-slaying, and magical spells–each overseen by a different Egyptian god. Ash finds two friends willing to fight by his side–the first friends he’s ever made. But there are candidates who will lie, cheat, and even harm others to win. Not all will survive, and only one can become the prince’s shadow.
To make matters worse, Ash is up against Lord Set, the devious god of chaos, who is secretly working to make the candidates fail. But if they do, the very survival of the kingdom is in peril. Can Ash and his new friends save Egypt? And will any of them survive to become the shadow prince? (Ages 8-12)
Recognize!: An Anthology Honoring and Amplifying Black Life by Cheryl & Wade Hudson (Release date: 10/12)
BLACK LIVES HAVE ALWAYS MATTERED.
Prominent Black creators lend their voice, their insight, and their talent to an inspiring anthology that celebrates Black culture and Black life. Essays, poems, short stories, and historical excerpts blend with a full-color eight-page insert of spellbinding art to capture the pride, prestige, and jubilation that is being Black in America. In these pages, find the stories of the past, the journeys of the present, and the light-guiding the future.
BLACK LIVES WILL ALWAYS MATTER. (Ages 10+)
Kingston and the Echoes of Magic by Rucker Moses & Theo Gangi (Release date: 10/12)
Kingston might have saved Echo City, but the victory is bittersweet without his pops by his side. The holidays are approaching and if Kingston could have one wish, it would be to have his father, who is trapped in the Realm, come home. But as new problems arise and blackouts blanket the city, Kingston begins to have a persistent feeling of déjà vu, as if he’s lived this same day before–and he has. Echo City living up to its name, is caught in a repeating time loop.
Maestro, his father’s old rival, has found a way to overwrite reality with an alternate timeline where he rules over all. It will be up to Kingston, Too Tall, and V to find a way to enter the Realm and travel back through time to stop Maestro and save Brooklyn before it’s erased for good. (Ages 8-12)
Any books you have your eye on for October? Drop a comment below.
You can find these and hundreds of other titles in our Bookshop collections. We are constantly updating our selections. Let us know what titles excite you.