We are already headed into fall and what a year this has been. With school getting back into gear, we are settling into our regular routines. Here are some new releases to add to your home libraries as days grow shorter and nighters a little chillier.
Families Belong by Dan Saks, Brooke Smart (Ages 1-3) Release date: September 1st
Together like a puzzle
One big snuggle
This deliciously warm board book is an appreciation of the unconditional love and comfort shared within a family. Through a handful of specific yet universal scenarios, from singing songs together to sharing food together, from dancing together to lying still together, this book invites the youngest readers to celebrate what it means for a family to be truly together.
I Am Every Good Thing by Derrick Barnes, Gordon C. James (Ages 3-7) Release date: September 1st
Written as a poem in the first person, I AM EVERY GOOD THING is a series of affirmations covering a range of human experiences like facing setbacks, enjoying triumphs, and being part of a family and community.
This is a joyful, fun book with serious undertones. Writer Derrick Barnes’ and illustrator Gordon C. James’ dedications in I Am Every Good Thing set the tone. Barnes dedicates the book to boys and young men who came to be known to the world only because they were killed. James dedicates it to his son. The words and pictures show Black boys engaging in fun, stereotypically boyish activities like skateboarding and making paper airplanes, pursuing aspirations like studying science and showing love to others, from helping an elder cross the street to offering a family member a shoulder to cry on. The illustrations are lush and dynamic.
Rocket Says Clean Up by Nathan Bryon, Dapo Adeola (Ages 3-7) Release date: September 1st
Rocket is off to the islands to visit her grandparents. Her family loves nothing better than to beach comb and surf together…but the beach is clogged with trash! When she finds a turtle tangled in a net, Rocket decides that something must be done! Like a mini Greta Thunberg, our young activist’s enthusiasm brings everyone together…to clean up the beach and prevent plastics from spoiling nature. Perfect for fans of Rocket Says Look Up! and Ada Twist, Scientist, this book is for any youngster concerned about our environment. Rocket Says Clean Up! will inspire readers of all ages to dream big and tackle problems head-on.
Peyton Picks a Perfect Pie: A Thanksgiving Celebration by America’s Test Kitchen Kids (Ages 4-8) Release date: September 1st
Peyton is particular. But she’s not picky. Grownups use that word a lot. Picky. Picky. Picky. It’s never a good thing. And it’s not fair. Peyton likes dogs and cats, scooters and bikes, pools, and beaches. And Peyton likes to try new things. She recently mastered long division in math class and loves to practice the saxophone–as long as her adorable dog Mila doesn’t howl! But Peyton is particular when it comes to food. Peyton doesn’t like it when two foods touch on her plate. Peyton doesn’t like green foods. Or orange foods. Or red foods. Peyton doesn’t like foods that are gooey or gummy, sticky or slimy, frosted or flaky. And Peyton most definitely doesn’t like chunky or lumpy foods.
Thanksgiving is our most universal holiday, beloved by adults and children. But Thanksgiving can also be a challenge for young eaters who struggle with new tastes and new experiences. Peyton is the hero of this food lover’s tale and she is determined to confront her fear of new foods by finding a Thanksgiving pie she truly likes, even if it’s flaky, lumpy, or chunky.
Resist! Peaceful Acts That Changed Our World by Diane Stanley (Ages 7-10) Release date: September 1st
From music to marches, from sit-ins to walk-outs, activists throughout history have defended the disenfranchised and demanded reform, refusing to back down even in the face of violent oppression and overwhelming opposition. Today, a new generation of activists has arisen, speaking up in unprecedented numbers against systemic oppression, bias, and injustice.
Resist!, a collection of 21 brief but comprehensive essays accompanied by striking artwork and rich supplementary material by Diane Stanley, reminds us of the activists who came before: the men and women who have used peaceful resistance and non-violent protests to make their voices heard.
Who Was Kobe Bryant? (Who HQ Now) by Ellen Labrecque, Gregory Copeland (Ages 8-12) Release Date: September 1st
Kobe Bryant was just an eighteen-year-old high-school basketball player when he decided to enter the National Basketball Association’s draft. Though he was the thirteenth overall pick by the Charlotte Hornets, he would never play a single game for them. Instead, Kobe was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, where he would spend his entire twenty-season career, winning five championships and numerous awards. Author Ellen Labreque takes readers through each exciting moment, from his iconic dunks to his 81-point game–all the milestones that span Kobe Bryant’s legendary career and legacy.
Before the Ever After by Jacqueline Woodson (Ages 10-12) Release date: September 1st
For as long as ZJ can remember, his dad has been everyone’s hero. As a charming, talented pro football star, he’s as beloved to the neighborhood kids he plays with as he is to his millions of adoring sports fans. But lately, life at ZJ’s house is anything but charming. His dad is having trouble remembering things and seems to be angry all the time. ZJ’s mom explains it’s because of all the head injuries his dad sustained during his career. ZJ can understand that–but it doesn’t make the sting any less real when his own father forgets his name. As ZJ contemplates his new reality, he has to figure out how to hold on tight to family traditions and recollections of the glory days, all the while wondering what their past amounts to if his father can’t remember it. And most importantly, can those happy feelings ever be reclaimed when they are all so busy aching for the past?
BronxShapes (Bronx Babies) by Alex Rivera (Ages 0-3) Release date: September 8th
Take a walk through the Bronx and what do you see? CIRCLE wheels on a classic tricycle, a vast DIAMOND where the Yankees play baseball, colorful TRIANGLE flags above the bodega, and more! Bronxshapes, the second board book in a new series, teaches young readers about shapes through Bronx native Alex Rivera’s eye-catching photographs and creative design. The small square trim (7″ x 7″) and sturdy pages are a perfect format for toddlers, and the content inside promotes language acquisition and concept learning in both English and Spanish. Curl up with your little one for a bilingual storytime that helps them reach important developmental milestones.
Counting Kindness: 10 Ways to Welcome Refugee Children by Hollis Kurman, Barroux (Ages 3-6) Release date: September 8th
More than half of the world’s refugees are children, with millions of kids fleeing wars, floods, and other scary situations in search of a safe place to live.
Arriving in a new place is stressful for both newcomers and their new communities, especially when the newcomers are little ones. But this beautiful counting book captures the joy of finding a home and the power of a welcoming community. From playing to sleeping, eating to reading, celebrating to learning, Counting Kindness proves we can lift the heaviest hearts when we come together. Endorsed by Amnesty International.
Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutiérrez and the Library He Built by Angela Burke Kunkel, Paola Escobar (Ages 4-8)Release date: September 8th
In the city of Bogata, in the barrio of La Nueva Gloria, there live two Joses. One is a boy who dreams of Saturdays– that’s the day he gets to visit Paradise, the library. The second Jose is a garbage collector. From dusk until dawn, he scans the sidewalks as he drives, squinting in the dim light, searching household trash for hidden treasure . . . books! Some are stacked in neat piles as if waiting for Jose; Others take a bit more digging. Ever since he found his first book, Anna Karenina, years earlier, he’s been collecting books–thick ones and thin ones, worn ones and almost new ones– to add to the collection in his home. And on Saturdays, kids like little Jose run to the steps of Paradise to discover a world filled with books and wonder.
Speak Up Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell, David Catrow (Ages 4-8) Release date: September 8th
Molly Lou Melon’s mother taught her to use her big voice for good–to speak up for what’s right, for those who can’t, and even when it’s hard. So she does.
When school starts and a bully begins teasing everyone, including a new student, Molly Lou knows just what to do.
From standing up for a friend to admitting when you’ve made a mistake, Molly Lou shows us how speaking up is always the right choice.
Jabari Tries by Gaia Cornwall (Ages 4-8) Release date: September 8th
Jabari is making a flying machine in his backyard! “It’ll be easy. I don’t need any help,” he declares. But it doesn’t work! Jabari is frustrated. Good thing Dad is there for a pep talk and his little sister, Nika, is there to assist, fairy wings and all. With the endearing father-child dynamic of Jabari Jumps and engaging mixed-media illustrations, Gaia Cornwall’s tale shows that through perseverance and flexibility, an inventive thought can become a brilliant reality.
Evelyn Del Rey is Moving Away by Meg Medina, Sonia Sanchez (Ages 5-7)Release Date: September 8th
A big truck with its mouth wide open is parked at the curb, ready to gobble up Evelyn’s mirror with the stickers around the edge . . . and the sofa that we bounce on to get to the moon.
Evelyn Del Rey is Daniela’s best friend. They do everything together and even live in twin apartments across the street from each other: Daniela with her mami and hamster, and Evelyn with her mami, papi, and cat. But not after today—not after Evelyn moves away. Until then, the girls play amid the moving boxes until it’s time to say goodbye, making promises to keep in touch, because they know that their friendship will always be special. The tenderness of Meg Medina’s beautifully written story about friendship and change is balanced by Sonia Sánchez’s colorful and vibrant depictions of the girls’ urban neighborhood.
Love is Powerful by Heather Dean Brewer, LeUyen Pham (Ages 5-8) Release Date: September 8th
Mari raised her sign for everyone to see.
Even though she was small and the crowd was very big,
and she didn’t think anyone would hear,
she yelled out.
Mari is getting ready to make a sign with crayon as the streets below her fill up with people. “What are we making, Mama?” she asks. “A message for the world,” Mama says. “How will the whole world hear?” Mari wonders. “They’ll hear,” says Mama, “because love is powerful.” Inspired by a girl who participated in the January 2017 Women’s March in New York City, Heather Dean Brewer’s simple and uplifting story, delightfully illustrated by LeUyen Pham, is a reminder of what young people can do to promote change and equality at a time when our country is divided by politics, race, gender, and religion.
Red Shoes by Karen English, Ebony Glenn (Ages 3-5) Release date: September 15th
Red shoes glowing–
Perched on a pedestal in the shop window
as if on a throne.
“I want those, Nana,” Malika says, as they pass the shop.
“We’ll see,” Nana says with a wink. “Looks like you could use a new pair.”
Malika is delighted when Nana surprises her with a beautiful new pair of red shoes! And with a click-clack-click and a swish, swish, swish, Malika wears her wonderful new shoes everywhere she goes. But one day, the shoes begin to pinch Malika’s toes. And alas, they don’t let her forget that her feet have grown! Soon Malika and Nana are off to the Rare Finds Resale Shop, where the shoes can be resold — so somebody else can enjoy them!
Who will be the next to wear the red shoes? Malika wonders.
I Am One: A Book of Action (I Am Books) by Susan Verde, Peter Reynolds (Ages 4-8) Release date: September 15th
One seed to start a garden, one note to start a melody, one brick to start breaking down walls: Every movement and moment of change starts with purpose, with intention, with one. With me. With you.
Everything Naomi Loved by Katie Yamasaki, Ian Lendler (Ages 6-8) Release date: September 15th
11th Street: it wasn’t pretty, but it was home. Naomi spends her afternoons scooting down the streets and drawing with chalk on the sidewalks with her best friend Ada, getting a slice of pizza and visiting her neighbor Mister Ray at his auto shop, and dreaming of fantastic worlds within her own.
But her beloved neighborhood is changing. Trees are chopped down, flashy new buildings spring up, and one by one Naomi’s neighbors are forced to move away. Faced with the rapid transformation of her once-familiar city block, Naomi turns to painting murals to preserve her favorite 11th Street memories. When something we love goes away we paint it on the wall so it’s always with us, Mister Ray tells her, and Naomi discovers that no matter how her world changes, as long as she has places and people to love, she will always have a home.
The Teachers March!: How Selma’s Teachers Changed History by Sandra Neil Wallace, Charly Palmer (Ages 7-10) Release date: September 22nd
Reverend F.D. Reese was a leader of the Voting Rights Movement in Selma, Alabama. As a teacher and principal, he recognized that his colleagues were viewed with great respect in the city. Could he convince them to risk their jobs–and perhaps their lives–by organizing a teachers-only march to the county courthouse to demand their right to vote? On January 22, 1965, the Black teachers left their classrooms and did just that, with Reverend Reese leading the way. Noted nonfiction authors Sandra Neil Wallace and Rich Wallace conducted the last interviews with Reverend Reese before his death in 2018 and interviewed several teachers and their family members in order to tell this important story, which is especially important today.
Bunheads by Misty Copeland, Setor Fiadzigbey (Ages 5-8) Release date: September 29th
From prima ballerina and New York Times bestselling author Misty Copeland comes the story of a young Misty, who discovers her love of dance through the ballet Coppélia–a story about a toymaker who devises a villainous plan to bring a doll to life.
Misty is so captivated by the tale and its heroine, Swanilda, she decides to audition for the role. But she’s never danced ballet before; in fact, this is the very first day of her very first dance class!
Though Misty is excited, she’s also nervous. But as she learns from her fellow bunheads, she makes wonderful friends who encourage her to do her very best. Misty’s nerves quickly fall away, and with a little teamwork, the bunheads put on a show to remember.
Do you spy any new releases that you can’t wait to read?