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New Children’s Books for October 19, 2021

Hey readers! I’m back with another week of new children’s books.

Invasion of the Unicorns by David Biedryzcki

In this funny picture book, unicorn Bubble 07 heads to Earth to decide if his team of unicorns should move forward with their plan to invade Earth. Posing as a stuffed animal, he infiltrates the home of Earthling Daughter and has to put up with all manner of annoyances. He eventually has to decide if he can keep to his mission or if he’ll be overcome by Earthling Daughter’s kindness and love.

Concealed by Christina Diaz Gonzalez

In this twisty thriller, Katrina and her family have been in the Witness Protection Program for as long as she can remember, which is only as far back as ten. Katrina’s adopted multiple names and multiple backstories to preserve their secret, until their location is revealed and her parents go missing.

This Is Our Rainbow: 16 Stories of Her, Him, Them and Us by Katherine Locke and Nicole Melleby

This is the first LGBTQ anthology for middle grade readers and features stories from Justina Ireland, Mark Oshiro, Claribel Ortega, and more.

Keeping It Real by Paula Chase

In this middle grade novel, Mari’s excited to spend the summer at her family’s Style High for teenagers who love fashion. But when she gets there, Mari realizes that she doesn’t fit in with everyone else, like her best friend Justice who didn’t want any special treatment in getting in. But Mari did get special treatment, and as the summer goes on, she begins to realize some difficult truths about herself and her family.

African Icons: Ten People Who Shaped History by Tracey Baptiste and Hillary D. Wilson

This book dives into the history of pre-colonial Africa. It explores the history of the continent through ten not often discussed figures who will prove fascinating and admirable to young readers.


Until next week!

Chelsea

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Picture Books About Growing Pains

Hi Kid Lit Friends,

Before we get to the books, did you know it’s Book Riot’s tenth anniversary? Go to bookriot.com/merch to check out some great new merchandise, available only this month!


Childhood is filled with ups and downs and so many feelings! The world can be a confusing place, and I’m so thankful there are so many beautiful picture books that talk about feelings and what it’s like to live in a complicated world.

Jenny Mei is Sad by Tracy Subisak

Jenny Mei is sad, and her best friend watches Jenny as she makes people laugh and shares her orange and gives compliments. When Jenny is sad and having a bad day, her friend knows that she needs to wait and be a good listener so they can kick a rock together and buy popsicles to share. Sometimes, when a friend is sad, the best thing to do is to be there “for fun and not-fun and everything in between.”

The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh by Supriya Kelkar, illustrated by Alea Marley

Harpreet Singh likes to match his patkas to his mood: red when he needs courage, yellow when he feels sunny, and pink when there’s something to celebrate. But when Harpreet and his family move across the country, he only wears white patkas, a sign that he felt shy, and doesn’t want to be seen. Will Harpreet be able to adjust his new life, make new friends, and start wearing his colorful patkas again?

Milo Imagines the World by Matt de la Pena, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Every month, Milo gets on the subway with his big sister. He always has a notebook in hand, and he likes to imagine and draw what the lives of his fellow passenger riders are like. He imagines that the man doing a crossword is going home to his mewing cats and burrowing rats. He imagines a boy in a suit with brand new sneakers lives in a castle with a butler, two maids, and a gourmet chef. But when Milo finds the boy getting off at the same stop he is getting off of, and heading to the same place he’s heading to, Milo reimagines all the pictures he made on the train.

If You Miss Me by Jocelyn Li Langrano (10/19/21, Scholastic)

Charlie loves her grandma and they spend all of their time together, but when Charlie’s family moves out of the city, she sees Grandma less and less. Her grandma tells her that when Charlie misses her, to look at the moon and Grandma will do the same. But when Grandma passes away, Charlie is too sad to do anything, until the spring concert when she sees a sign that Grandma is always with her.

Little Messy Marcy Su by Cherie Fu, illustrated by Julie Kwon (11/30/21, Little Brown)

In this funny picture book, Marcy Su can’t help but make a mess— it’s just how she rolls. But when her mom asks her to make her proud by cleaning up the mess, Marcy Su goes into action. She does the laundry and vacuums and takes a bath, but while her room is getting clean, the rest of the house is only getting messier as Marcy knocks down flower vases and leaves the bathtub water running in her haste to clean up her space.


I need to correct an error on my part in the last newsletter. In my blurb of The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate diCamillo, I incorrectly stated that a baby was dropped off on the stoop of the monastery the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing. In actuality, the girl is found in a stall by one of the brothers in the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing. Please accept my apologies for the error!

What are you reading these days? Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at KarinaBookRiot@gmail.com.

Until next time!
Karina

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

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New Children’s Book Releases for October 12, 2021

Hey readers! I’m back with another batch of new children’s books! Don’t forget we’re celebrating our tenth anniversary here at Book Riot and you have this month only to treat yourself to some limited edition merch!

Violets Are Blue by Barbara Dee

Twelve year old Wren is is a makeup artist struggling with her best friend and her parent’s divorce. A move to a new town seems like the perfect chance for starting over, especially as the makeup artist on a new production. But Wren worries about her mom, who’s sleeping a lot and snapping at her, and soon Wren learns there’s something going on that can’t be concealed with makeup.

Imaginary by Lee Bacon and Katy Wu

Though eleven year old Zach knows he’s too old now for his imaginary friend, Shovel, their friendship is only growing stronger. And now that he’s in middle school Zach needs Shovel more than ever. But Shovel, the narrator of the story, wonders if he’s really helping Zach cope or if he’s pushing real life friends away.

The Last Cuentista by Donna Barba Higuera

In this imaginative sci-fi novel, Petra’s longed to be a storyteller like her grandmother. But now the world is ending. Earth’s been destroyed by a comet, and Petra and her family have been chosen to move to a new planet. But when Petra awakens on the ship, she realizes she’s the only one who remembers Earth. A dangerous group aboard the ship is purging people’s memories, and Petra’s the only one with the stories of their past.

The Troubled Girls of Dragomir Academy by Anne Ursu

In the land of Illyria, where boys have the chance to become powerful sorcerers to fend off the Dread, girls like Marya are little more than an afterthought. But after Marya makes a mistake, she’s funneled off to Dragomir Academy, full of other girls like her. As they train to work in service of one of the sorcerers, Marya and the others learn secrets about Illyria’s magic that threaten to upend life as they know it in Illyria.


Until next week!

Chelsea

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The Kids Are All Right

Great New Middle Grade Books!

Hi Kid Lit Friends,

Before I dive into today’s topic, did you know that it’s Book Riot’s ten year anniversary! Woohoo! To celebrate, we’re running a limited-edition merchandise line that includes hoodies, sweatshirts, totes and more. Go to bookriot.com/merch to check it out!

Whenever I open my book mail, I’m astonished by how many excellent new books come out each week. You would think that beautifully written, engaging books would cease to exist after awhile, but in my opinion books just keep getting better and better. Here are five new middle grade books I think you should definitely put on your TBR!

Playing the Cards You’re Dealt by Varian Johnson

I read this book in one day, beginning it on the subway on the way to pick up my kids from school and not going to bed until I read the last page. This story, about a young boy who is determined to carry on his family’s legacy and winning the annual Spades tournament, is filled with growing pains and family trouble and friend complications. It is a wonderful coming of age story that is beautifully written as only Varian Johnson can do.

Concealed by Christina Diaz Gonzalez (October 19, 2021, Scholastic)

Fans of Spy School, City Spies, and Mrs. Smith’s Spy School for Girls rejoice! Here is a brand new mystery book that is a real page turner. Katrina and her parents are in the Witness Protection Program, and whenever her parents have to move Katrina has to take up a new identity. When her parents disappear, Katrina knows it’s up to her to rescue them. But as she dives deeper into their disappearance, she realizes that now everything she knows has been true and that her parents were actually the ones keeping the biggest secret of all…

The Beatryce Prophecy by Kate DiCamillo

The Beatryce Prophecy is classic Kate DiCamillo. The writing is gorgeous, the story is thought provoking, and the characters are unique and utterly human. The story begins in a time of war when a baby is dropped on the stoop of the monastery the Order of the Chronicles of Sorrowing. She is holding the ear of Answelica, a bad tempered goat who loves no one but her. As time goes by, Beatryce discovers that the king of the land seeks to kill her, and she sets out in search of the castle to find out why. This book is beautifully illustrated by Sophie Blackall!

What Lane by Torrey Maldonado

I just moderated a panel with Torrey Maldonado, and I loved hearing about his most recent book What Lane. In this book, Stephen is confronted by big issues. As a biracial boy, he has both white friends and black friends. But when the cousin of his best white friend starts egging him on, Stephen’s eyes open to how he’s treated differently from his white friends. He starts learning more about the Black Lives Matter movement as he tries to swerves in and out of various lanes, trying to figure out which one he belongs in. This is a terrific book that captures the highs and lows of growing up.

Paradise on Fire by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Jewell Parker Rhodes always does a wonderful job of writing timely stories and never shies away from the big problems of our time. In this book, she writes about Addy, a young girl haunted by the fire that killed her parents. Now living with her grandmother, she heads off to a summer wilderness program. Together with five other Black kids, they head deep into the forest to learn how to camp, hike, rock climb, and safely put out fires. But when they are faced with a devastating forest fire, Addy must confront her worst fears.


What are you reading these days? Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at KarinaBookRiot@gmail.com.

Until next time!
Karina

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

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New Children’s Books for October 5, 2021

Hey readers! I’m back with another batch of new children’s books. If you didn’t know, Book Riot‘s officially been around for 10 years and to celebrate we’ve launched some new merch that’ll be available for this month only.

The Queen on Our Corner by Lucy Christopher and Nia Tudor

In this picture book, a young girl is the only one who pays any attention to the homeless woman who lives on the corner except for those who want her to leave. But the little girl imagines her as a queen who protects their street. When the queen raises the alarm when a fire threatens to destroy a building, the girl reminds everyone that she deserves thanks…and a home.

Playing the Cards You’re Dealt by Varian Johnson

In this middle grade novel, ten year old Anthony is finally old enough to compete in the Spades tournament the men in his family have dominated at for years. When he loses his partner, Anthony thinks his chances of proving himself to his dad have gone up in smoke. A new potential partner arrives in Shirley, but Anthony’s dad probably won’t like him playing with a girl. Anthony keeps their partnership a secret, not realizing that his dad has his own secrets that could tear the Joplin family apart.

The Outlaws Scarlett and Browne by Jonathan Stroud

In this rollicking middle grade adventure, bank robber Scarlett encounters Albert, the sole survivor of a horrible incident. Together the two are thrust into an adventure, avoiding determined pursuers who chase them across the fractured Britain setting.

Tristan Strong Keeps Punching by Kwame Mbalia

The Tristan Strong trilogy concludes with Tristan’s final confrontation with King Cotton. Traveling up the Mississippi toward his hometown of Chicago, Tristan will need all of his friends and all of his strength to take on the haints trying to stop their progress and finally stop King Cotton for good.

Stealing Home by J. Torres and David Namisato

In this historical graphic novel, Sandy Saito and his family adore the Vancouver Asahi team, the pride of their Japanese-Canadian community. When Sandy and his family are forced into an internment camp, joined by some of the Asahi players themselves, Sandy finds a way to cope through baseball.

Until next week!

Chelsea

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The Kids Are All Right

Children’s Books about Rescue Animals!

Hi Kid Lit Friends,

Many of you know that I am a huge fan of adopting pets from rescues. Our three cats and one of our dogs are from shelters, and I always love children’s books that touch on this topic! Here are some good ones, and yes, they will definitely pull on your heartstrings. (Read with tissues!)

Stormy: A Story About Finding a Forever Home by Guojing (picture book)

This wordless picture book is so sweet and beautiful and adorable. It tells the story of a friendship between a girl and a dog. At first they are tentative around each other, but as trust builds they get closer and closer. When a ferocious rainstorm sweeps the area, will they be able to find their way to each other?

Roo the Rabbit: My Furry Foster Family by Debbi Michiko Florence (chapter book)

As someone who has adopted a rabbit in the past, I really relate to this fun chapter book by Debbi Michiko Florence. When eight-year-old Kaita and her family foster a rabbit, Kaita is over the moon! But Roo is a little different from the other animals she’s fostered in the past, and she can’t be sure if Roo is happy or not. Roo doesn’t lick her face or run in circles when Kaita comes home from school. Will Kaita find a way to make friends with this new foster friend?

Bad Bella by Ali Standish (early middle grade)

Bella loves her family, but the McBrides find her a nuisance, especially when Mrs. McBride becomes pregnant. She is abandoned at the pound after an unfortunate accident with the Christmas tree, and Bella is left wondering what she did wrong. When a new couple adopts her, Bella is thrilled. But then she starts worrying again – will her new family keep her forever, or will she end up in the pound again? This sweet, adorable book is sure to win your heart.

Wish by Barbara O’Connor (middle grade)

I love every book that Barbara O’Connor writes, but Wish might be one of my favorites. When Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her one and only wish will ever come true. But then she meets Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves to be surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all. 

When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin (middle grade)

Oh how I adore this book! It is one of my absolute favorites. Ben Coffin is a former foster kid and has never really made a real, true friend. But when he rescues an abandoned mutt from the alley next-door to the Coney Island Library, Flip the dog leads Ben to befriend a fellow book-lover named Halley. Ben and Halley are friends until the unthinkable happens. Ben knows that Flip pointed him toward friendship, but can Flip also point him toward home?


What are you reading these days? Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at KarinaBookRiot@gmail.com.

Until next time!
Karina

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

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New Children’s Book Releases for September 28, 2021

Hey readers! I’m back with another week of new kids’s books!

Nina: A Story of Nina Simone by Traci N. Todd and Christian Robinson

This biographical picture book retells the story of musical legend Nina Simone, born Eunice Kathleen Waymond. It traces her musical childhood and her rise to performing as Nina Simone and how she used her incredible voice to speak out during the Civil Rights Movement.

The People Remember by Ibi Zoboi and Loveis Wise

This lyrical picture book uses the principles of Kwanzaa to retell the history of African descendants in America. It begins in Africa, where people were taken from their homes and forced onto ships that crossed the sea, and ends in the modern world where they combine old traditions with new to thrive in a new place.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Real-Life Tales of Black Girl Magic edited by Lilly Workneh

The popular Rebel Girls franchise expands yet again in this collection of biographies that feature the work of female and nonbinary writers and artists to retell the stories of Black women like Kamala Harris, Naomi Osaka, Toni Morrison and Meghan Markle.

Other Boys by Damian Alexander

In this touching graphic novel/memoir, Damian is new in school and determined to avoid the bullying that he endured at his last school. But it’s like his new classmate can tell something’s different about him. He plays with Barbies and is being raised by his grandparents after his mom’s murder, and as Damian begins to develop a crush on another boy, seventh grade only gets harder.

The Hungry Ghosts by Miguel Flores

With witches banned for years, Milly just ignores the tingle of magic she feels in her palms sometimes, focusing instead on the many responsibilities she has at the orphanage where she lives. But when Milly’s friend Cilla is thought to have magic and is kidnapped by an exiled witch, Milly has to embrace her magic and bring her back.


Until next week!

Chelsea

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Chapter Books for Newly Independent Readers!

Hi Kid Lit Friends!

This morning I was going through my upcoming and new release bookshelf, and I realized there are quite a few new chapter books that would be great for newly independent readers. This is a genre that I get very excited about because it’s when kids start getting really into reading! I know it can be tricky to find books for this age group, so I’m so happy to see some new releases that young readers will love.

Sona Sharma, Very Best Big Sister by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Jen Khatun

This is such a sweet chapter book filled with charming illustrations on each page. It’s about a young girl named Sona who is used to having lots of people around: Amma, Appa, Thatha, Paatti, and so many others. When Amma tells Sona that she will be a big sister, Sona isn’t so sure about having to share all the special people in her life with a new baby. Can Sona learn how to be a good big sister?

Jada Jones, Dancing Queen by Kelly Starling Lyons, illustrated by Nneka Myers

When the student council announces that their next fundraiser will involve a school dance, Jada isn’t so excited. She has no idea how to dance! Can Jada figure out how to not embarrass herself at the dance while also raising awareness for the fundraiser and making a difference in her community?

Audrey L and Audrey W, Best Friends-ish by Carter Higgins, illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann (October 5, 2021, Chronicle)

This delightful book is perfect for early elementary readers who are trying to figure out a confusing a complicated world. Audrey enters second grade with lots of optimism, but then second grade doesn’t turn out to be as great as she thought it was going to be. To make matters worse, a new student enters the class and Audrey isn’t Audrey anymore. She’s Audrey L, because the new student is also named Audrey! Is Audrey doomed to be second best at everything?

Blackberry Farm, All Pets Allowed (book 2 in a series) by Adele Griffin, illustrated by LeUyen Pham

The second book in the Blackberry Farm series is as sweet as the first one. Becket Branch’s birthday wish is a dog and his twin brother Nicholas’s birthday wish is for a cat. They head to the shelter, but the dog Becket chooses isn’t the outgoing and friendly like he wanted. The dog turns out to be scared and shy. And while Nicholas wants a cat that is quiet and loves to be indoors like him, the cat he takes home ends up being outgoing and loves being the farm greeter. Was getting these pets a mistake?

Bad Nana: Older Not Wiser by Sophy Henn

Fans of Dory Fantasmagory will love Bad Nana! Filled with quirky illustrations with pops of neon pink, this book is funny, goofy, and silly. Seven year old Jeanie had two grandmothers. One is sort of normal, but the other one is bad. And Jeanie quite likes Bad Nana even though Bad Nana sometimes gets them into bad scrapes! This is such a fun book!


What are you reading these days? Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at KarinaBookRiot@gmail.com.

Also, did you know that the fifth book is the Vanderbeekers series is out now? The Vanderbeekers Make a Wish is about family mysteries, unexpected guests, and a found letter. I hope you enjoy it!

Until next time!
Karina

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*

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New Children’s Books for September 21, 2021

Hey readers! I’m back with another week of new children’s books.

Change Sings by Amanda Gorman and Loren Long

This inspiring and lyrical picture book is the much-hyped, highly-anticipated work of inaugural poet Amanda Gorman. This is a magical call to action that reminds kids that they have the power to make change in the world.

Looking for a Jumbie by Tracey Baptiste and Amber Ren

In this spooky picture book, Naya sets off to find a Jumbie. Though her mom says they only exist in stories, Naya’s sure they’re real and is determined to see one for herself.

The Samosa Rebellion by Shanthi Sekaran

When his grandma moves from India to the island of Mariposa with his family, Muki is miserable. He has to share his room with her, tolerate her snoring and her early morning yoga. But when Mariposa’s president begins dividing the citizens into Butterflies, who have lived there for several generations, and Moths, who have recently emigrated, Muki’s grandmother is captured and taken to a camp for Moths. And Muki begins plotting her escape.

Amira and Hanza: The War to Save the Worlds by Samira Ahmed

When Amira and her brother Hamza stumble upon the Box of the Moon, they accidentally set off a chain reaction that risks destroying the world. Visited by two jinn, Amira and Hamza learn of their role in an ancient prophecy and travel to the world of Qaf to stop a great evil that threatens to set loose terrifying creatures onto earth.

The Insiders by Mark Oshiro

When Hector has to move to a new town, he quickly becomes unhappy at his new school where he’s targeted by both a school security officer and a relentless bully. But one day Hector discovers a room behind the door of a janitor’s closet, open whenever he needs it, that leads to new friends from other parts of the country.


Until next week!

Chelsea

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Picture Books About Journeys

Hi Kid Lit Friends!

It’s back to school in New York City, and the sidewalks are filled with young people reconnecting with friends and commiserating over homework. It’s so nice to see the city busy again, filled with life and hope. My mind has been thinking a lot about journeys – where we’ve been, where we’re going, and the adventures that are still before us. I think that’s why I decided to make journey the theme of today’s newsletters.

My First Day by Phung Nguyen Quang and Huynh Kim Lien

I’ve shared this book a couple of times before, but I really thought it so embodied the theme of journey that I had to incorporate it in today’s newsletter. The book begins with a child setting out on a boat, traveling through both calm and rocky waters in hopes of arriving to his destination safely. Set in the waters of the Mekong Delta, this book brims with beauty on every page spread.

The People Remember by Ibi Zoboi, illustrated by Loveis Wise

This beautiful picture book is a wonderful read aloud to deepen understanding of African American history and how it relates to our lives and the social justice movements today. The book begins with the journey of African descendants in America by connecting their history to the seven principles of Kwanzaa. While they spoke different languages and had different customs, when they were stolen from their homes they had to learn one common language and create a culture that combined their memories of home with new traditions that enabled them to thrive in a new land. 

The Most Beautiful Thing by Kao Kalia Yang, illustrated by Khoa Le

I love this book because it interweaves two stories: the life of a young girl who is unhappy with having to do without, and that of her grandmother who journeyed through Laos and ended up in the United States as a Hmong refugee. Together they discover what true beauty is and how sometimes it’s found in the most unexpected places.

What is Love? by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Carson Ellis (November 9, 2021, Chronicle)

I really love the illustration style of this fable-like book where a young boy explores the age old question: What is love? When his grandmother can’t give him an answer, he sets out as a young boy asking the people he meets along the way. The gouache paintings evoked in me a feeling of nostalgia and paired so beautifully with the story.

Gladys the Magic Chicken by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Adam Rex (October 26, 2021, G.P. Putnam and Sons)

Just the title of this book and the illustration on the cover makes me smile. This is not your typical journey book. For one, Gladys the chicken is the one doing the traveling, and not by choice. Seen as a lucky chicken who grants people’s deepest wishes, she gets passed from person to person. But is she really magic? Let the reader decide!


What are you reading these days? Let me know! Find me on Twitter at @KarinaYanGlaser, on Instagram at @KarinaIsReadingAndWriting, or email me at KarinaBookRiot@gmail.com.

Until next time!
Karina

*If this e-mail was forwarded to you, follow this link to subscribe to “The Kids Are All Right” newsletter and other fabulous Book Riot newsletters for your own customized e-mail delivery. Thank you!*