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September 2021 New Book Releases

September 2021 New Book Releases

Wondering what to fill your young readers’ shelves with this fall?  As kids head back to school and get back into their routines, it’s a perfect time to add some new books. Here are some hot new picture books and middle-grade readers releasing this September that we have our eyes on.  

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, at no additional cost to you, we get a small commission.


Amara’s Farm Where in the Garden Series, Book 1 by JaNay Brown-Wood, Samara Hardy (Release Date: 9/1)

A young girl searches for pumpkins on her farm in this joyful celebration of cool-weather fruits and vegetables, from the new Where in the Garden? series (Ages 3-7)

Dumpling Day by Meera Sriram, Inés de Antuñano (Release date: 9/17)

Savor a rhyming celebration of one of the world’s most universal foods! Readers follow ten diverse families as they cook dumplings inside their homes in preparation for a neighborhood potluck. (Ages 4-7)

Better Together, Cinderella by Ashley Franklin, Ebony Glenn (Release date: 9/7)

We’re so excited about this one. In this magical follow-up picture book to Ashley Franklin’s and Ebony Glenn’s celebrated fairy tale twist, Not Quite Snow White, princess Tameika becomes a big sister . . . to twins! (Ages 4-8)

Beautifully Me by Nabela Noor, Nabi H. Ali (Release date: 9/14)

From designer, creator, and self-love advocate Nabela Noor comes a much-needed picture book about loving yourself just as you are. (Ages 4-8)



Change Sings: A Children’s Anthem by Amanda Gorman, Loren Long (Release date: 9/21)

We have been anticipating this one since Amanda Gorman wowed the nation on inauguration day.  With lyrical text and rhythmic illustrations that build to a dazzling crescendo by #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator Loren Long, Change Sings is a triumphant call to action for everyone to use their abilities to make a difference. (Ages 4-8)

Looking for a Jumbie by Traci Baptiste, Amber Ren (Release date: 9/21)

Traci Baptiste always marvels us with her storytelling and infusion of Caribean folklore.  In this picture book, she takes readers on a fun, creepy, storytime-ready romp through a forest filled with creatures inspired by traditional Caribbean tales. (Ages 4-8)

Nina: The Story of Nina Simone by Traci Todd, Christian Robinson (Release date: 9/28)

This illuminating and defining picture book biography illustrated by Caldecott Honoree Christian Robinson, tells the story of little Eunice who grew up to become the acclaimed singer Nina Simone and her bold, defiant, and exultant legacy.  (Ages 4-8)

The People Remember by Ibi Zoboi, Loveis Wise (Release date: 9/28)

It’s so exciting to see so many amazing YA or MG authors dabble into the land of picture booksFrom award-winning, New York Times bestselling author Ibi Zoboi comes her debut picture book–a tour de force that uses the principles of Kwanzaa to talk about the history of African Americans. This lyrical, powerful tribute is sumptuously illustrated by New Yorker artist and rising star Loveis Wise. (Ages 4-8)

Remember to Dream, Ebere by Cynthia Erivo, Charnelle Pinkney Barlow (Release date: 9/28)

A message of hope and possibility, award-winning star of stage and screen Cynthia Erivo’s debut picture book is an ode to a child’s imagination, a parent’s love, and the big dreams shared by both. (Ages 4-8)

Rapunzel: An Islamic Tale by Fawzia Gilani, Sara Nesti Willard (Release date: 9/21)

This is a classic retelling of the tale of the woodcutter’s daughter that was taken from her parents by an old woman. (Ages 5-8)



Danny Chung Sums It Up by Maisie Chan, Natelle Quek (Release date: 9/7)

A touching and funny middle-grade story about a boy whose life is turned upside down when his Chinese grandmother moves in. (Ages 8-12)


Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna by Alda P. Dobbs (Release date: 9/14)

Based on a true story, the tale of one girl’s perilous journey to cross the U.S. border and lead her family to safety during the Mexican Revolution. (Ages 8-12)


Paradise on Fire by Jewell Parker Rhodes (Release date: 9/14)

From award-winning and bestselling author Jewell Parker Rhodes comes a powerful coming-of-age survival tale exploring issues of race, class, and climate change. (Ages 8-12)


Amira & Hamza: The War to Save the Worlds (Amira & Hamza, 1) by Samira Ahmed (Release date: 9/21)

From bestselling author, Samira Ahmed comes a thrilling fantasy adventure intertwining Islamic legend and history, perfect for fans of Aru Shah and the Land of Stories. (Ages 8-12)

Cuba in My Pocket by Adrianna Cuevas (Release date: 9/21)

By the author of 2021 Pura Belpré Honor Book The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopez, a sweeping, emotional middle-grade historical novel about a twelve-year-old boy who leaves his family in Cuba to immigrate to the U.S. by himself, based on the author’s family history. (Ages 8-12)


Maya and the Return of the Godlings (Maya and the Rising Dark) by Rena Barron (Release date: 9/21)

In this highly anticipated sequel, Maya and the godlings must return to the sinister world of The Dark to retrieve the one thing keeping the veil between the worlds from crumbling: her father’s soul. Perfect for fans of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky and Willa of the Wood(Ages 8-12)

Room to Dream (A Front Desk Novel) by Kelly Yang (Release date: 9/21)

This is the third book in Kelly Yang’s Front Desk series.  Follow Mia and her friends as they tackle the ever-present changes in their lives. (Ages 8-12)


Born Behind Bars by Padma Venkatraman (Release date: 9/7)

The author of the award-winning The Bridge Home brings readers another gripping novel set in Chennai, India, featuring a boy who’s unexpectedly released into the world after spending his whole life in jail with his mom. (Ages 10+)


There are so many books on this list from some authors we really enjoy.  It’s also exciting to see celebrities and older grade authors getting their toes wet in the world of picture books. 

Any books you have your eye on for September?  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.  


Kanika Mobley

Hi! I'm Kanika. I'm a mother and 20+ year educator. I started my career as a kindergarten teacher and fell in love with helping kids discover their reading identities. As they asked for certain books, I tried with all my might to keep the classroom library filled with high-engaging books that were both mirrors and windows for their experiences.

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