2021 Starred Reviews Round-Up

Does your collection include this year’s critically acclaimed books? See what Booklist, School Library Journal, Kirkus, Horn Book, Publishers Weekly, and more, say about the top reviewed books of 2021 for kids and teens!

Click the tabs below to view more books in each age category.

Picture BooksMiddle Grade BooksYoung Adult BooksAdult Crossovers

Yes & No by Elisha Cooper
On Sale Now

From Caldecott Honor author/illustrator Elisha Cooper comes Yes & No, a timeless tale of friendship, adjusting your perspective, and the joys (and trials) of siblinghood.

★ FIVE STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“The story itself is simple and sweet in nature as we see the two main characters go from mildly interacting to fused together in their walk outside… A spare and wonderful addition to picture book collections.”—School Library Journal, starred review

“Sweetly comic . . . this sustained conversation offers giggles, reassurance, and warmth. Readers may even recognize themselves in a certain hound’s bedtime reluctance to say goodbye to the day’s pleasures.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“It’s hard to imagine a more perfect bedtime story for the end of an adventurous toddler day.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

“Serene… delightful.” —Booklist, starred review

“Cooper brings readers the sweet tale of a cat and a dog, different as can be, illustrated in the same unfussy, minimalistic style as the Caldecott Honor-winning Big Cat, Little Cat“—Horn Book, starred review


The Lost Package by Richard Ho; illustrated by Jessica Lanan
On Sale Now

The heartwarming story of a package that gets lost, then found and an in-depth behind the scenes look at what happens at the post office, in Richard Ho and Jessica Lanan’s The Lost Package.

★ FOUR STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“Serendipity perhaps best describes Richard Ho’s second picture book, The Lost Package, enhanced by writer/artist Jessica Lanan’s superbly expressive watercolors. Together, the creative pair present a wondrous story about separation and near-magical reunion…Informative and inspiring.”—Shelf Awareness, starred review

“Quietly, beautifully told, and deeply satisfying.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“[A] moving story…The richness of the tale lies in subtly textured watercolor illustrations by Lanan… An end note by Ho contextualizes this homage to the USPS, where his immigrant father worked for more than 30 years, and urges readers to support the now-struggling agency.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Appealing illustrations portray the post office’s credo ‘that neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night’ will interfere with the package reaching its final destination… A delightful tale.”—Booklist, starred review


We Wait for the Sun by Dovey Johnson Roundtree and Katie McCabe; illustrated by Raissa Figueroa
On Sale Now

A beautiful and uplifting non-fiction picture book from trailblazing civil rights lawyer and activist Dovey Johnson Roundtree.

★ FOUR STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“The illustrations match the enthralling quality of the narrative…Absolutely captivating; a first purchase for picture book collections. This peek into the childhood of a groundbreaking civil rights activist is an excellent choice for Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Grandparents Day, or any time of the year.”—School Library Journal, starred review

“Recalling a memorable moment of natural beauty, the tale is told simply and directly, underscoring the authenticity of the narrative and the warmth of the main characters’ mutual affection. In the engaging, lyrical illustrations, Figueroa makes good use of deep, soft, subtle colors in the night scenes and startlingly bright hues at dawn.”—Booklist, starred review

“With nighttime scenes bathed in deep purples and a final scene of daybreak in golden hues, this touching tale successfully conveys special moments of hushed expectation and quiet exhilaration between a child and her strong, loving adult. Makes magic out of a true moment, as the best picture books do.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Thoughtful imagery lush with sensory detail pairs seamlessly with atmospheric, luminous digital illustrations by Figueroa…This is a poignant glimpse into the childhood of a storied civil rights luminary, simultaneously serving as a testament to the love between caretaker and child and a soothing, nature-based meditation.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review


Home Is in Between by Mitali Perkins; illustrated by Lavanya Naidu
On Sale Now

In the timely yet timeless picture book Home Is in Between, critically acclaimed author Mitali Perkins and illustrator Lavanya Naidu describe the experience of navigating multiple cultures and embracing the complex but beautiful home in between.

★ THREE STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“Perkins explores a child’s experience of immigration in a sweet and child-friendly story presented in a beautifully illustrated package… This book can serve as either a validating mirror or an illuminating window. A warm read-aloud, it is a must-purchase for all ­picture book collections.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“Animation-style characters by Naidu (Susie Will Not Speak) reflect emotion clearly, while straightforward writing by Perkins (Between Us and Abuela) shows how Shanti learns to appreciate aspects of her new life while keeping people and elements from her old one close to her heart.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Lively and specific in its references, the writing sets up cultural dichotomies that work particularly well in expressive, richly colored artwork by Naidu, an Indian animator and illustrator. By shining a light on one girl’s story, this vibrant picture book illuminates the experience of many immigrant children.” —Booklist, starred review


The Wisdom of Trees: How Trees Work Together to Form a Natural Kingdom by Lita Judge
On Sale Now

With lush illustrations, poems, and accessible scientific information, The Wisdom of Trees by Lita Judge is a fascinating exploration of the hidden communities trees create to strengthen themselves and others.

★ THREE STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“The research is thorough and the details are engaging. The illustrations capture the diversity of environments and beautifully highlight the connectivity of forests…The poetry adds a wonderful lyrical quality to the text…Wonderful illustrations and poetry highlight cutting-edge scientific information about how trees communicate and share information. Don’t leave this one behind.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“In poetry, prose, and art, examples from around the world teach both basic botany and current, even cutting-edge, research about trees.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Elegant watercolor and pencil illustrations in a naturalistic color palette adeptly portray flora and fauna, encouraging readers to dwell on each detail and making for an accessible, rousing resource.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review


Memory Jars by Vera Brosgol
On Sale Now

A young girl finds a clever way to keep her favorite things—and people—close to her forever in Memory Jars, from Caldecott Honoree Vera Brosgol.

★ THREE STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“With poignant force, Brosgol’s delicious fable conveys the lesson that some things must be savored in the moment.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“This playful, off-kilter story will resonate with any kid frustrated by a good thing being over too soon.” —Booklist, starred review

“Readers will delight in Freda’s journey to keep her memories safe, as well as her subsequent understanding of what she has done, in a book that would be at home in all collections.” —School Library Journal, starred review


Outside, Inside by LeUyen Pham
On Sale Now

From Caldecott honoree LeUyen Pham, Outside, Inside is a moving picture book celebrating essential workers and the community coming together to face the challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

★ THREE STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“This powerful ode to community delivers a timeless message of humility, perseverance, and hope.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Reflecting shared experiences and hopes, here’s a welcome picture book for our times.” —Booklist, starred review

“Using simple language and detail-filled digital illustrations, Pham builds scenes with which young readers will be familiar. Outside, Inside contains a sense of hope…Pham’s excellent illustrations… are the heart of this book. Children will likely enjoy following the black cat as it interacts with people both outside and inside, and find comfort in seeing a scary time represented in such a gentle manner…This optimistic book will help even very young children make sense of Covid-19.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review


Bear Island by Matthew Cordell
On Sale Now

Louise and her family are sad over the loss of their beloved dog, Charlie. “Life will not be the same,” Louise says, as she visits a little island that Charlie loved. But on a visit to the island after Charlie’s death, something strange happens: She meets a bear… Here is a lovely, poignant story about loss and healing that will bring comfort to even the youngest readers.

★ THREE STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“A poetically beautiful story of grief and healing mirrored in the natural world has a touch of magical realism as a young girl processes her emotions and realizes that endings lead to beginnings.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“Life comes full circle…” —Horn Book, starred review

“In a story that respects grief’s slow pace, Cordell’s writing and artwork together carry grace, economy, and heart.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review


The Rescuer of Tiny Creatures by Curtis Manley; illustrated by Lucy Ruth Cummins
On Sale Now

Established Roaring Brook Press author Curtis Manley has teamed up with up-and-coming illustrator Lucy Ruth Cummins, creator of Truman and Stumpkin, to present this quirky and adorable picture book that shows that tiny creatures aren’t so scary after all.

★ TWO STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“The appealing, cartoonlike pictures illustrate the action and the characters’ emotions effectively. Well worded and engaging, Roberta’s first-person narrative is heartening in several ways… An original picture book and a rewarding read-aloud choice.”—Booklist, starred review

“Childlike images by Cummins (From Ed’s to Ned’s) use expressive, charcoal-y lines and bright colors to present information clearly… This substantive story by Manley (Just Right: Searching for the Goldilocks Planet) is both a STEM tale about insects and a lesson in staying true to oneself, as Roberta’s distinctive interest takes her from odd kid out to minor celebrity with a like-minded new friend.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review


This Very Tree: A Story of 9/11, Resilience, and Regrowth by Sean Rubin
On Sale Now

★ TWO STARRED REVIEWS! ★

A deeply moving story about community and resilience, from the point-of-view of the Callery pear tree that survived the attacks on September 11, from Eisner Award-nominated author-illustrator Sean Rubin.

“Splendid illustrations… A resonant, beautifully rendered testament to life and renewal.” —Kirkus, starred review

“Rubin’s lively and energetic cartoon art takes the focus quickly from destruction and desolation to growth and renewal, and the spare, moving account is perfectly suited to young audiences. A volume that could be part of any unit on 9/11 for children, or a lesson on resilience.” —Horn Book, starred review


Sunrise Summer by Matthew Swanson; illustrated by Robbi Behr
On Sale Now

Sunrise Summer is a picture book by writer Matthew Swanson and illustrator Robbi Behr that celebrates self-confidence and empowerment, as a girl’s role changes in her family’s fishing expeditions.

★ TWO STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“[The narrator’s] eagerness and pride over being part of this work is palpable, and each moment feels important, locked in Behr’s artwork as an individual frame among many or as a sweeping two-page spread that captures its magnitude and beauty. The excellent back matter reveals that this story is about the creators’ own family, laying out their history as commercial salmon fishers, protections in place to prevent overfishing, and how some Alaska Natives continue to catch salmon according to their traditions. Eye-opening and awesome.” —Booklist, starred review

“With irrepressible enthusiasm and an astute sense of detail, the child recounts the elaborate preparations (almost all supplies have to be brought in), the connection to nature and a close-knit community, and the grueling but exciting work itself… Readers may not be ready to sign on, but they’ll feel grateful for being afforded a spectacular front-row seat.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review


My America by Karen Katz
On Sale Now

From author and illustrator Karen Katz, My America is a picture book celebration of immigration to the United States told through the experiences of children who have come from around the world.

★ TWO STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“Karen Katz fans as well as those looking for a joyful celebration of America’s diversity will be drawn to this book. Simple, easily understood text and bright, clear, engaging pictures will help youngsters understand that America is a melting pot of nationalities.” —Booklist, starred review

“This book tells unique and interesting immigration stories from a child’s point of view… Katz’s illustrations are bold and beautiful, and each child is full of expression. Interesting details in these scenes help convey a deeper understanding of their lives.” —School Library Journal, starred review


I Dream of Popo by Livia Blackburne, illustrated by Julia Kuo
On Sale Now

From New York Times bestselling author Livia Blackburne and illustrator Julia Kuo, here is I Dream of Popo. This delicate, emotionally rich picture book celebrates a special connection that crosses time zones and oceans as Popo and her granddaughter hold each other in their hearts forever.

★ TWO STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“Readers will connect with this visual story on various levels or learn something new; possibly both. #Ownvoices tributes to childhood memories of home: It is as much an emotional space as a physical place.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A richly nuanced narrative that illuminates the interstices of one family’s diasporic experience.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review


Runaway: The Daring Escape of Ona Judge by Ray Anthony Shepard; illustrated by Keith Mallett
On Sale Now

Runaway is a powerful, lyrical picture book about the enslavement of Ona Judge and her self-emancipation from George Washington’s household.

★ TWO STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“With a distinctive, haunting voice, powerful images, and thought-provoking story structure, this unique look at a remarkable young woman’s life choices and decisions offers an utterly necessary but seldom highlighted perspective on the contradictions within our society’s foundations. A powerful antidote to whitewashed cultural mythology.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A stunning picture book debut . . . an evocative portrait that keenly interrogates the structures upon which America is built.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review


What’s the Matter, Marlo? by Andrew Arnold
On Sale Now

A picture book about best friends that highlights empathy, as well as anger and sadness, and reminds us that these aren’t feelings to run away from, but instead to help each other through.

★ TWO STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“A sweet, reassuring validation of the power of a close friendship and empathy.” —Kirkus, starred review

“Profound and reassuring.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review


Something’s Wrong: A Bear, A Hare, and Some Underwear by Jory John, illustrated by Erin Kraan
On Sale Now

A hilarious picture book from #1 New York Times bestselling author Jory John, paired with new illustrator Erin Kraan, about a bear whose friends help him make it through a bad day!

★ TWO STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“This is a wonderful example of illustration adding further to a very funny text… Expect hilarity to ensue wherever underwear stories are a hit with the add-on bonus of this being a great title for discussions on the topic of ­allyship.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“The book is also a clever primer on handling embarrassment and how it can sometimes be dealt with by simply changing the perspective of what’s happening… This underwear affair is wise, witty, and just brief enough.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review


Stella’s Stellar Hair by Yesenia Moises
On Sale Now

Black girl magic takes the solar system in Stella’s Stellar Hair, a celebration of hair, family, and self-love from debut author-illustrator Yesenia Moises!

“An astronomically creative mix of science, fantasy, and African American culture….An innovative, refreshing, out-of-this-world tale about the incredible versatility of afro hair.” —Kirkus, starred review


I Love You, Baby Burrito by Angela Dominguez
On Sale Now

From Pura Belpre honoree Angela Dominguez, I Love You Baby Burrito is a modern classic picture book celebrating the act of swaddling a newborn into a “baby burrito.”

“This celebration of the “baby burrito” is a playful and loving take on life in a Latinx family.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review


Watch Me: A Story of Immigration and Inspiration by Doyin Richards, illustrated by Joe Cepeda
On Sale Now

“In an inviting, conversational tone, Richards introduces Joe, who is from Sierra Leone and wants to study in America…Cepeda’s scumbled sunlit paintings, created with oil over acrylic on board, emphasize warmth and openness. A personal story with universal impact.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review


If Bees Disappeared by Lily Williams
On Sale Now

What would happen if bees disappeared? Find out in this fourth book from Lily Williams in the award-winning If Animals Disappeared Series that imagines the consequences of a world without bees.

“A rich, well-designed offering with multiple uses for teachers and students. A standout among the many books about honeybees.”—School Library Journal, starred review


First Friend: How Dogs Evolved from Wolves to Become Our Best Friends by Kersten Hamilton; illustrated by Jaime Kim
On Sale Now

With lyrical text by Kersten Hamilton and luminous illustrations by Jaime Kim, First Friend is an exploration of how the wild wolves became dogs, and how we learned to communicate and grow alongside the creatures we love.

“Hamilton’s repetitive story is simple but effective in conveying the evolution of wolves into dogs. Kids will love noticing the difference in the humans’ lives as the years pass. . .Kim’s watercolor, acrylic, and gouache artwork adds warmth and familiarity to the story with its friendly faces, guarded-then-playful pups, and use of vivid colors. . .A great story time choice for all libraries, perfect for launching discussions of fact and speculation, and how they can be combined.” —School Library Journal, starred review


Trillions of Trees by Kurt Cyrus
On Sale Now

Kurt Cyrus’s Trillions of Trees is an ecological picture book companion to the popular Billions of Bricks, about counting and planting trees.

“This rhyming story playfully melds an often ignored counting concept—a trillion—with the importance of tree planting and preservation, while also introducing a great number of tree species to a young audience. Like Billions of Bricks, the story’s catchy, upbeat vibe reflects hard but necessary work, while the quick pace and energetic rhyme scheme both fascinates and instructs its young listeners about caring for trees. Illustrated with vibrant natural vistas to amplify quick, upbeat rhymes, Cyrus beckons early elementary readers to a newfound sense of the immensity and importance of trees in the world.” —School Library Journal, starred review


Sarah and the Big Wave: The True Story of the First Woman to Surf Mavericks by Bonnie Tsui; illustrations by Sophie Diao
On Sale Now

This tale of perseverance and indomitable spirit is about Sarah Gerhardt, the first woman to ride the waves at Mavericks, one of the biggest and most dangerous surf breaks in the world.

This inspiring and exciting picture-book biography….arrives just in time for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, which will include surfing for the first time… The engaging story moves along briskly, and the digitally created illustrations align perfectly with the action… The pictures capture the majesty of the waves, and the underlying theme of determination helps make this a timely and enjoyable offering. There aren’t that many books out there about surfing, and this upbeat account fills that gap nicely.” —Booklist, starred review


Wilbur Wright Meets Lady Liberty by Robert Burleigh; illustrated by Wendell Minor
On Sale Now

In Robert Burleigh’s nonfiction picture book Wilbur Wright Meets Lady Liberty, illustrated by Wendell Minor, two American icons meet during Wilbur Wright’s dramatic flight circling the Statue of Liberty.

“Burleigh’s compelling narrative allows readers to feel the excitement of the crowd and Wright’s anxiety over the machine working properly and fears for his own safety… This is a must-have for any collection that has elementary school aged patrons. It would be an excellent book for teaching lessons on perseverance, inventions, American history, narrative nonfiction, or biographies.” —School Library Journal, starred review


The One and Only Sparkella by Channing Tatum; illustrated by Kim Barnes
On Sale Now

Leading actor, producer and director Channing Tatum’s picture book debut, The One and Only Sparkella is a charming ode to self-esteem and the love between a father and daughter—illustrated by Kim Barnes.

“The endearing representation of a supportive single father makes this book shine; similarly, the illustrations delight throughout, tenderly reflecting Sparkella’s struggles and successes. A charming story of self-reliance, and a solid addition to many collections.” —School Library Journal, starred review


A Tree for Mr. Fish by Peter Stein
On Sale Now

In this humorous and heartwarming picture book, Mr. Fish refuses to share his tree with Bird and Cat—until he learns that making friends is more rewarding than losing them.

“This laugh-out-loud story centers a literal, and very grumpy, fish out of water… If this were Aesop, Mr. Fish would reap what he sowed, but Stein resolves this story in a spirit of trans-species collaboration and friendship, and some ingenious construction likely to draw giggles and requests for repeat reading.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review


Starboy: Inspired by the Life and Lyrics of David Bowie by Jami Gigot
On Sale Now

A starry-eyed ode to self-expression and staying true to yourself, inspired by the life and lyrics of beloved icon David Bowie.

“Gigot’s gorgeous mixed-media illustrations bring the story to life… Regardless of children’s knowledge of Bowie, the message of an outsider who finds his way will resonate and delight. Recommended for all collections.” —School Library Journal, starred review


I Is for Immigrants by Selina Alko
On Sale Now

This alphabet picture book companion to the popular B Is for Brooklyn weaves together a multitude of immigrant experiences in a concise, joyful package. For readers of Dreamers by Yuyi Morales.

“The text is hand-lettered in varying sizes, incorporated into the overall compositions, and the accompanying images are painted and collaged with verve, emphasizing a folk-art–like artistic sensibility with saturated colors, bold brush strokes, and found objects… Readers from all backgrounds with have a blast looking for references to their own heritages and finding commonalities..” —Kirkus, starred review


Dessert Island by Ben Zhu
On Sale Now

Ben Zhu’s Dessert Island is an irresistible picture book about sharing and caring. This wonderfully layered story has themes of consumption and conservation at its center, and wraps up with a sweet and satisfying ending.

“The story’s climax, unfolding across a number of double-page spreads, relates a beautiful and universal message of kindness and community. Zhu employs an expert use of parallelism throughout the story, with minimal text and alternating spreads depicting the contrast and eventual union of the animals’ circumstances.” —School Library Journal, starred review


Niki Nakayama: A Chef’s Tale in 13 Bites by Debbi Michiko Florence and Jamie Michalak; illustrated by Yuko Jones
On Sale September 14, 2021

Niki Nakayama: A Chef’s Tale in 13 Bites is a picture book biography that tells the story of the powerhouse female Japanese-American chef and her rise to fame.

“Mixed media and digital art by Jones make each vignette atmospheric, with varying angles and insets, toothsome details, and watercolor washes. This biography aptly emphasizes the sexism that trailblazer Nakayama faces, both in the male-dominated restaurant industry at large and as ‘perhaps the world’s only female kaiseki chef.’ ” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

Gone to the Woods by Gary Paulsen
On Sale Now

A middle grade memoir from a living literary legend, giving readers a new perspective on the origins of Gary Paulsen’s famed survival stories.

★ FOUR STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“The prolific Paulsen dips into his seemingly inexhaustible well of memories to pen yet another memoir… Resonant themes and beautiful writing unify the memoir’s episodic structure.” —Horn Book, starred review

“A rich, compelling read that is emotive and expressive without forcing empathy from the reader. Both brightly funny and darkly tragic, it is fresh in its honest portrayal of difficult themes… Readers will fall into this narrative of succeeding against overwhelming odds amid deep trauma.” —Kirkus, starred review

“A riveting, hopeful survival story about personal resilience amid trauma.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“In a memoir that reads like the fiction that has made him famous, Gary Paulsen leads his audience through the rugged terrain of his childhood…Paulsen exposes his early life with raw honesty and heartwarming humor…Some of the most inspiring moments come in Paulsen’s discovery of the library and the joy of reading…This awakening of Paulsen’s love of story ignites hope in his dark world, offering readers a buoyancy that counters the heaviness of his struggles…Gone to the Woods is labeled for middle grade children, but this literary treasure is written for book lovers of any age.” —Shelf Awareness, starred review


Race to the Bottom of the Earth: Surviving Antarctica by Rebecca E. F. Barone
On Sale Now

Equal parts adventure and STEM, Rebecca E. F. Barone’s Race to the Bottom of the Earth: Surviving Antarctica is a thrilling nonfiction book for young readers chronicling two treacherous, groundbreaking expeditions to the South Poleand includes eye-catching photos of the Antarctic landscape.

★ FOUR STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“A riveting tribute to epic tests of men against the elements.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Readers will be caught up in the real-time action sequences and should end up rooting for everybody as these determined individuals face unimaginable physical and mental hardships.” —Booklist, starred review

“Exemplary organization… keeps the narratives gliding effortlessly.” —BCCB, starred review

“Readers who can’t tell pulks from pogies will appreciate how smoothly Barone gets them up to speed, and middle schoolers familiar with the featured rivalries are likely to discover insights into strategies, twists of fortune, and personality traits that contributed to each success or failure. Tracking two sets of two expeditions is no mean feat, but Barone’s exemplary organization under consistent section and chapter headings keeps the narratives gliding effortlessly.” —School Library Journal, starred review


The Comeback by E. L. Shen
On Sale Now

E. L. Shen’s The Comeback is a heartfelt, #OwnVoices middle-grade debut about a young girl trying to be a champ—in figure skating and in life.

★ TWO STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“Shen does an excellent job of depicting what racist bullying is like, how it can escalate, and the way it begins to take over every part of a victim’s life. Fast-paced chapters filled with competition, friendship, and inspiration make this a worthy addition to any middle-grade collection.” —Booklist, starred review

“Shen has created a wonderfully grounded character who navigates both middle school and the world of elite athletic competition with an authentic voice—foibles, insecurities, and all. And deftly woven around edge-of-your seat competition scenes are more mundane but significant issues: everyday racism, sportsmanship, burnout among young athletes, the value of true friendships, and the unfaltering love and support of family…That Maxine’s figure-skating idols are all Asian (and that there are so many of them) reminds readers of how important representation is. On-ice excitement and a fierce-but-vulnerable protagonist make this a winner.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review


Meltdown: Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Disaster in Fukushima by Deirdre Langeland
On Sale Now

Deirdre Langeland’s Meltdown explores for middle grade readers the harrowing story of the deadly earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown that caused the 2011 Fukushima power plant disaster.

★ TWO STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“Comprehensive…Eyewitness accounts from survivors woven throughout the expertly narrated text reveal the horror and devastation of the earthquake and subsequent tsunami…[An] impressive and compelling work of nonfiction.” —Horn Book, starred review

“Langeland’s narrative is impressively concise, with accessible explanations for such complicated technical subjects as plate tectonics, seismology, the fission process of nuclear power plants, radiation and radioactivity…[V]ividly depicted….Riveting…A well-researched, sharply written, engrossing account of natural and nuclear disaster.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review


The Ambassador of Nowhere Texas by Kimberly Willis Holt
On Sale Now

Kimberly Willis Holt’s The Ambassador of Nowhere, Texas is a stunning post-9/11 companion to the National Book Award-winner When Zachary Beaver Came to Town.

“In this companion to the author’s memorable When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, 30 years have passed and it’s 2001. Evocatively written, this is an altogether absorbing and affecting novel. It’s obvious that Holt loves her fully realized characters and their small-town setting, and readers can’t help but feel the same.”—Booklist, starred review


Starla Jean by Elana K. Arnold, illustrated by A. N. Kang
On Sale Now

Printz Honor winner and National Book Award Finalist Elana K. Arnold makes her chapter book debut with this charming story of a girl and her chicken, irresistibly illustrated by A. N. Kang.

“This series starter features Starla Jean’s exuberant first-person narration, liberally punctuated with dialogue with her family and neighbors. Readers transitioning to early chapter books will appreciate the four short chapters and the limited amount of text per page, wide margins, and ample space between lines of text. Mercy Watson fans will flock to this whimsical new series for developing readers.”—Kirkus, starred review


Seven Voyages: How China’s Treasure Fleet Conquered the Sea by Laurence Bergreen and Sara Fray
On Sale Now

From New York Times bestselling author Laurence Bergreen and author Sara Fray comes this immaculately researched history for young readers detailing the life of Zheng He, his complex and enduring friendship with his emperor, and the epic Seven Voyages he led that would establish China as a global power.

“The research for this book must have been as formidable as the voyages, with the authors covering everything from Chinese daily life in the 1400s to shipbuilding and regional politics. It’s never overwhelming, though, since as well as being fascinating on their own, these facts contextualize the swashbuckling drama.”—Booklist, starred review


Life in the Balance by Jen Petro-Roy
On Sale Now

Veronica struggles to balance softball, friends, and family turmoil in this new honest and heartfelt middle grade novel by Jen Petro-Roy, Life in the Balance.

“This marvelous middle grade novel provides an honest depiction of alcoholism and addiction. Petro-Roy’s description of Veronica’s anxiety will be relatable to many readers, as will her hope upon finding people with whom she can share her concerns… Hand this to readers who don’t mind a few tears on their way to a happy ending.” —School Library Journal, starred review


Pepper Page Saves the Universe by Landry Q. Walker; illustrated by Eric Jones
On Sale Now

Landry Walker and Eric Jones’ Pepper Page Saves the Universe is a middle-grade futuristic superhero story about a shy comic book girl-geek becoming her own superhero inspiration!

“A gallery of images in a highly readable afterword gives some insight into just how much work goes into a well-developed graphic novel… It’s a relief to see this is a planned series, so readers need not fret that this is the last of Pepper.”—BCCB, starred review


Spin with Me by Ami Polinsky
On Sale Now

From the author of the critically acclaimed Gracefully Grayson comes a thoughtful and sensitive middle-grade novel about non-binary identity and first love.

“Hopeful and real, this story is electric. There’s a lot to love here; recommended as a first purchase everywhere.” —School Library Journal, starred review


Latinitas: Celebrating 40 Big Dreamers by Juliet Menéndez
On Sale Now

Discover how 40 influential Latinas became the women we celebrate today! In this collection of short biographies from all over Latin America and across the United States, Juliet Menéndez explores the first small steps that set the Latinitas off on their journeys. With gorgeous, hand-painted illustrations, Menéndez shines a spotlight on the power of childhood dreams.

“The women represent different nationalities, ethnicities, races, cultural, and economic backgrounds, and life paths followed, but they are all highly successful role models that will inspire young children to follow their own dream…This book belongs in any child’s hands.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review


The Road to Wherever by John Ed Bradley
On Sale May 11, 2021

A middle grade road novel about a boy stuck on a summer trip with his offbeat auto-mechanic cousins—a humor- and heart-filled journey that leads the boy to an unexpected confrontation with some broken-down parts of himself.

“Combining all the best features of a road trip and a coming-of-age tale . . . The back-roads odyssey, which takes on a ritualistic, dreamlike quality even as it takes the travelers from Wisconsin to Louisiana, of course parallels an inner one as June works through the grief-fueled anger sparked by the sudden disappearance of his dad . . . The journey ends where it began, while leaving the travelers—and readers who go with them—changed.” —School Library Journal, starred review


The Leak by Kate Reed Petty; illustrated by Andrea Bell
On Sale Now

In this compelling middle-grade graphic novel The Leak, Ruth, a young journalist, is determined to uncover a secret that threatens her town.

“Bell’s rounded figures, sun-dappled scenes, and warm palette of colors are in striking contrast to the rather serious stakes of the story, and that approachable look will help give this an even wider audience. …this is a surprisingly deep dive into investigative journalism that will appeal to fans of classic middle-school drama. “—Booklist, starred review


Not All Heroes by Josephine Cameron
On Sale May 18, 2021

From author of the commercial hit Maybe A Mermaid comes a middle-grade adventure about heroics in the face of grief. Even though her family moved across the country for a “fresh start” after her little brother’s death, eleven-year-old Zinnia Helinski still feels like she’s stuck waiting for her new life to begin. Then she spots her new neighbor, Kris, climbing down the fire escape of their apartment building. He’s wearing a black eye mask! And Spandex leggings… And a blue body suit?

“With its clear, accessible writing, this suspenseful story masterfully juggles many topics: grief; self-assurance; the need for individual, collective, and systemic approaches to ableism, poverty, and other social ills; and the fine line between ‘extreme altruism’ and self-aggrandizement. Morally complex and extremely fun.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review


Doggo and Pupper by Katherine Applegate, illustrated by Charlie Alder

An old dog has to welcome a new puppy to the household, in this chapter book by #1 New York Times bestselling author Katherine Applegate.

“Applegate’s series starter for the younger set utilizes wonderful humor and timing, deftly capturing the personalities and situations with easy accessibility. Alder’s colorful cartoon illustrations ramp up the silliness… A winning new series.” —Booklist, starred review


Breathing Underwater by Sarah Allen
On Sale Now

A sparkly, moving middle grade novel from Sarah Allen, and a big-hearted exploration of sisterhood, dreams, and what it means to be there for someone you love.

“This is an important story that captures not just the struggles many teens have with mental illness but also the complex and meaningful relationship between two sisters who care deeply for each other, even if they show it in different ways. . .Beautifully written, this tender novel should be read by anyone who understands how challenging navigating mental illness can be. A first purchase for all shelves; buy more than one copy.” —School Library Journal, starred review


Island Book: The Infinite Land by Evan Dahm
On Sale May 18, 2021

Set sail with Island Book: The Infinite Land, the second volume in an Evan Dahm’s epic fantasy graphic novel trilogy rich with allegory and underlying themes.

“Bright, well-defined panels feature action set against backdrops of sea and sky that are stunning in their visual impact. The concise dialogue telegraphs deeper meanings while leaving much about the characters’ relationships and motivations to imagination and individual interpretation. A dazzling mix of excitement and philosophical adventure.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review


Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Boy by Emmanuel Acho
On Sale Now

Adapted from Emmanuel Acho’s New York Times bestseller Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man, comes an essential young readers edition aimed at opening a dialogue about systemic racism with our youngest generation.

“There is humor, lightness, and relatability in Acho’s reliance on pop culture and experience that will make this title a standout for use in classrooms, libraries, and homes. Included are extensive recommendations for further learning and a “Quick Talks” section that offers brief responses to commonly asked questions surrounding blackness. This book may be marketed to a middle-grade audience, but whether you are 18 or 80, there’s something to learn from in this thought-provoking pick.” —Booklist, starred review


Outdoor School: Hiking and Camping by Jennifer Pharr Davis and Haley Blevins; illustrations by Aliki Karkoulia
On Sale Now

Outdoor School: Hiking & Camping is your go-to wilderness guide from Odd Dot, featuring sturdy, metal corners and more than 400 full-color, highly-illustrated pages from Aliki Karkoulia.

The writing is engagingly informative and accurate without being overwhelming… A thorough, detailed compendium of most everything readers will want and need to know about being in the outdoors.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review


Outdoor School: Animal Watching by Mary Kay Carson; illustrations by Emily Dahl
On Sale Now

Rewild your life with Odd Dot’s series of Outdoor School activity books, perfect for young explorers and nature lovers! With its metal corners and over 400 full-color, highly-illustrated pages by Emily Dahl, Mary Kay Carson’s Outdoor School: Animal Watching is your indispensable guide to the wilderness.

“Presented in easily digestible segments interspersed with plenty of full-color illustrations… Sure to encourage readers to go outside and get to know their animal neighbors.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review


Outdoor School: Rock, Fossil, and Shell Hunting by Jennifer Swanson; illustrations by John D. Dawson
On Sale Now

“Divided into well-organized, color-coded parts, this entry in the Outdoor School series promotes a get-out-there-and-do-it approach… Accessible and encouraging language as well as space to write down findings and check off tasks accomplished make this science fun and personal… The superb content is presented in a sturdily bound volume with metal-edged corners that will hold up well in field conditions. A stellar guide that engages readers with rocks, minerals, fossils, and shells.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review


Pawcasso by Remy Lai
On Sale Now

Remy Lai, the award-winning creator of Pie in the Sky makes her middle-grade graphic novel debut, Pawcasso, about the unexpected friendship between the loneliest girl in class and the coolest canine in town.

“Lai’s brightly colored, inviting artwork has easy-to-follow panels and speech balloons, and the facial expressions and body language add depth to the emotional stakes. This cute and charming story of missing family, making friends, and figuring out how to make amends is a fun treat, and the subplot about learning how to mend strife in a community adds meaningful depth.” —Booklist, starred review


The Fifth Quarter by Mike Dawson
On Sale Now

Get ready to hit the court in this heartfelt, sporty, graphic novel!

“Dawson’s visuals are outstanding, whip fast, and energetic for the sports action and emotive and expressive for the family and friendship moments, with bright, lively colors and figures that have the big, instantly distinct features of classic comic strip characters. With its insightful emotional balance for kids and adults and its easy narrative and visual flow, this is the rare middle-grade graphic novel that will invite read-alouds in classrooms and at home.” —Booklist, starred review


The Magical Imperfect by Chris Baron
On Sale Now

Set against the backdrop of the 1989 San Francisco earthquake in a town of refugees who came to America via Angel Island, this middle grade novel in verse is about a boy who is selectively mute and a girl who won’t leave her house because of a skin condition and the magical Jewish clay that allows them to help each other.

“Throughout this novel in verse, Baron uses every word to advantage, capturing the fears and joys of two young people, who are stronger than they realize. Though quick to read, readers will want to savor the magic in the words and the delight of the resolution. Highly recommended, this historical novel satisfyingly blends empathy, a range of diversity, and youthful possibility with serendipity’s sparkle. Perfect for readers of Wonder (2012) and Erin Entrada Kelly’s Hello, Universe (2017).” —Booklist, starred review


My Own World by Mike Holmes
On Sale June 22, 2021

Mike Holmes, the artist behind the hit series Secret Coders and Wings of Fire, delivers his solo debut: My Own World, a middle grade memoir-inflected fantasy graphic novel.

“In both story and art, My Own World evokes the tone and technique of Ben Hatke, with cartooning that captures genuine emotion in every line of a face but crafts an entire cosmos that is by turns naturalistic and filled with wonder…The extraordinary weaving together of disparate feelings is magnificently summed up by the breathtaking and liberating flying sequence that concludes the story.” —Booklist, starred review


Bad Sister by Charise Mericle Harper; illustrated by Rory Lucey
On Sale July 27, 2021

A middle-grade graphic novel memoir written by Charise Mericle Harper and illustrated by Rory Lucey about a girl who grows into her role as a bad sister after the arrival of her baby brother.

“Readers will relate to the rivalry, ambivalent feelings, and raw honesty—and they, unlike Charise’s parents, will see the full picture: It takes two to tango; sometimes four, counting their parents’ roles in exacerbating everything… This is a powerful story of growth, self-awareness, and genuine insight into family relationships… Cathartic proof that childhood provides lessons for a lifetime and that change is possible.” —Kirkus, starred review


Cuba in My Pocket by Adrianna Cuevas
On Sale September 21, 2021

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.

“Drawing from her father’s boyhood experiences, Cuevas does an outstanding job of eliciting the confusing array of emotions Cumba feels as he is thrown into life in a new country, where he understands only a smattering of English and desperately misses his family in Cuba. Cuevas takes care not to depict Cubans with broad strokes, emphasizing their individuality within a shared culture, and she lovingly raises up family, biological and made, as essential to finding a way forward.” —Booklist, starred review

Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
On Sale Now

An instant #1 New York Times bestseller, Angeline Boulley’s debut novel, Firekeeper’s Daughter, is a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, perfect for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange.

★ FOUR STARRED REVIEWS! ★

★ “Hitting hard when it comes to issues such as citizenship, language revitalization, and the corrosive presence of drugs on Native communities, this novel will long stand in the hearts of both Native and non-Native audiences.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ “Though Firekeeper’s Daughter contains gripping action sequences and gasp-inducing twists, it’s Daunis’ mission of self-discovery, which begins as a low and steady growl and grows to a fierce, proud roar, that has the most impact… Though it both shocks and thrills, in the end, what leaves you breathless is Firekeeper’s Daughter’s blazing heart.” —BookPage, starred review

★ “Boulley, herself an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, writes from a place of love for her community and shares some key teachings from her culture, even mixing languages within the context of the story. She doesn’t shy away from or sugar-coat the very real circumstances that plague reservations across the country, and she tackles these through her biracial hero who gets involved in the criminal investigation into the corruption that led to this pain. An incredible thriller, not to be missed.” —Booklist, starred review

★ “This suspenseful upper-YA novel will keep readers wondering who Daunis can trust.” —Horn Book, starred review


The Awakening of Malcolm X by Ilyasah Shabazz and Tiffany D. Jackson
On Sale Now

A powerful narrative account of the activist’s adolescent years in jail, written by his daughter Ilyasah Shabazz along with 2019 Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe award-winning author, Tiffany D. Jackson.

★ THREE STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“Libraries will be incomplete without the inclusion of this captivating historical novel by Malcom X’s daughter.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“Shabazz and Jackson effectively illuminate not only the figure’s religious and political awakening, but the injustice historically leveled against the Black community by mass incarceration and systemic racism.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Readers will make connections to persistent injustices faced by Black communities—and the beautiful ways which, despite that terror, Black families have found to craft visions of freedom and lives of dignity and love. A must-read reminder that transformation is made possible through community.” —Kirkus, starred review


What Beauty There Is by Cory Anderson
On Sale Now

What Beauty There Is is Cory Anderson’s stunning YA novel about brutality and beauty, and about broken people trying to survive—perfect for fans of Patrick Ness, Laura Ruby, and Meg Rosoff.

★ THREE STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“A ­gorgeous, intense, and shocking look at chaos, survival, fate, and betrayal… A first purchase and a must-read. Prepare to be haunted and chilled to the bone by this exceptional story.” —School Library Journal starred review

“Intense, brutal, and searingly honest, Anderson’s debut features intricate plotting and action that hold up against the best thriller novels, yet it is all the more remarkable for its tender, multidimensional characterization and sharp, crystalline prose. Riveting and unforgettable.” —Kirkus starred review

“Debut author [Cory] Anderson captures the setting and souls of her characters through her sparse yet lyrical text, creating a suspenseful, throbbing tale of love and survival, choices and consequences. Told in alternating voices, this powerful story will mesmerize.” —Booklist starred review


The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore
On Sale Now

When two teens discover that they were both sexually assaulted at the same party, they develop a cautious friendship through her family’s possibly-magical pastelería, his secret forest of otherworldly trees, and the swallows returning to their hometown.

★ THREE STARRED REVIEWS! ★

★ “An empowering story of two survivors healing together… Their vulnerable, spellbinding story, colored with magic realism and achingly beautiful prose, is about healing after trauma, reclaiming your body and choices, and the empathetic understanding between survivors…McLemore doesn’t shy away from the complexity and impact of trauma, but this is ultimately a transformative story about healing and finding the way back to your own magic.” —Booklist, starred review

★ “McLemore whips up a magical realist tale as spellbinding as the pan dulce creations described within this novel’s pages…With haunting prose and sharp insight, McLemore expertly combines the piquant with the sweet.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ “Aching, vivid narrative…The poetic and vulnerable prose illuminates the need for more open conversation about sexuality, consent, and abuse without the limits of the gender binary…Piercing magic.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review


The Burning (Young Readers Edition): Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921 by Tim Madigan; adapted by Hilary Beard
On Sale Now

One of the worst acts of racial violence in American history took place in 1921, when a White mob numbering in the thousands decimated the thriving Black community of Greenwood in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

★ TWO STARRED REVIEWS! ★

“The text shows how systemic racism covered up the massacre and how a move for reparations began to uncover it. In this revised edition, Beard also concludes with a new section that relates the Tulsa massacre to more recent racial injustices and the BLM movement. Eye-opening and unforgettable.” —Booklist, starred review

★ “The decades-long silence both of Black and white Tulsans on the event is explored here with compassion, understanding that the attempt to erase trauma is a natural human instinct. Final chapters discuss the idea of reparations, the formation of the Black Lives Matter movement, the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, and concludes with the simple but powerful statement, ‘We have a lot of work to do.’ ” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review


She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heart
On Sale Now

An electric romance set against a rebel art scene sparks lethal danger for two girls in She’s Too Pretty to Burn, an expertly plotted YA thriller by Wendy Heard.

★ TWO STARRED REVIEWS! ★

★ “This thriller is expertly paced, with Heard starting out slow to introduce her flawed, complex teen protagonists and later escalating events into a page-turning crescendo. With the already intriguing premise of a lesbian thriller that takes inspiration from Portrait of Dorian Gray in its focus on a single picture’s effect (if not the theme of aging), Heard follows through on the promises this concept offers while deftly integrating social media and a thriller plot with creepy, well-executed twists.” —The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

★ “A romantic, fast-paced thriller inspired by a classic. The story unravels in colorful, electric prose…leading to exhilarating and twisty final third. This dark, winding novel expertly interweaves suspense and romance. A wild and satisfying romp.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review


Angel of Greenwood by Randi Pink
On Sale Now

Randi Pink’s The Angel of Greenwood is a historical YA novel that takes place during the Greenwood Massacre of 1921, in an area of Tulsa, OK, known as the “Black Wall Street.”

★ “Rich in its discussion of Black literature, this novel brilliantly juxtaposes a lighthearted story of young Black love with a deft reminder that such beauty has often been violently seized from Black people, and that these instances deserve remembrance.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review


We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal (Sands or Arawiya, Volume 2)
On Sale Now

The second book in the Sands of Arawiya duology by the masterful Hafsah Faizal—the follow-up to the smash New York Times bestselling novel We Hunt the Flame.

★ “Each achingly raw character arc is fully realized, delivering a satisfying close to the zumra’s story. Faizal’s craft continues to evolve as she demonstrates a facility with language and literary technique, drawing readers into a fantasy world and into the lives of characters that feel impressively real. Moments of humor and edge-of-your-seat action easily balance the book’s dark, tragic depths, creating a memorable story at the height of the fantasy genre.” —Booklist, starred review


What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo
On Sale Now

Rose Szabo’s thrilling debut is a dark and thrilling novel about a teen girl who returns home to her strange, wild family after years of estrangement, perfect for fans of Wilder Girls.

★ “Deliciously gothic and wonderfully creepy.” —BCCB, starred review


Love is for Losers by Wibke Brueggemann
On Sale Now

This is a laugh-out-loud exploration of sexuality, family, female friendship, grief, and community. With the heart and hilarity of Netflix’s critically-acclaimed Sex Education, Wibke Brueggemann’s sex positive debut Love Is for Losers is required reading for Generation Z teens.

★ “A sarcastic 15-year-old records angst—about her parents, first love and loss, and failure—in six months of achingly universal journal entries. Via journal entries told in Phoebe’s no-nonsense tone, debut author Brueggemann details the snarky, socially awkward protagonist’s growth as she experiences the messiness of attraction and love, and comes to appreciate the joy and pain of connection. Phoebe’s frequent internet searches and frank narration style manage to both entertain and inform on a wide variety of topics pertaining to sexuality and identity.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review


She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen
On Sale Now

High school nemeses fall in love in Kelly Quindlen’s She Drives Me Crazy, a queer YA rom com perfect for fans of Becky Albertalli and Casey McQuisten.

★ “In addition to nailing the enemies-to-lovers romance (with a side of fake dating to boot), Quindlen also fleshes out white Scottie’s and Indian American Irene’s families and emotional lives…A little sweet, a little sharp, this romance will resonate with readers looking for an emotional journey.” —Booklist, starred review


The Mary Shelley Club by Goldy Moldavsky
On Sale Now

New York Times-bestselling author Goldy Moldavsky delivers a deliciously twisty YA thriller that’s Scream meets Karen McManus about a mysterious club with an obsession for horror.

★ “This twisty tour de force from Moldavsky (No Good Deed) is at once a gripping teen melodrama, an incisive meditation on fear, and a love letter to horror and the genre’s tropes.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review


Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas
On Sale Now

When children start to go missing in the local woods, a teen girl must face her fears and a past she can’t remember to rescue them in this atmospheric YA novel, Lost in the Never Woods from the author of Cemetery Boys.

★ “A poignant novel about resilience, the magic of childhood, and the impossible choices that survivors often have to make in order to move forward, this will haunt readers long after they put it down—but will also leave them looking up at the stars.” — Booklist, starred review


The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur
On Sale Now

Suspenseful and richly atmospheric, June Hur’s The Forest of Stolen Girls is a haunting historical mystery sure to keep readers guessing until the last page.

★ “A breathtaking journey through 1400s Korea… The mystery complements the setting perfectly, and the conclusion is well-plotted and satisfying… A must for all collections.” —School Library Journal, starred review


The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He
On Sale Now

Perfect for fans of Marie Lu and E. Lockhart, The Ones We’re Meant to Find is a gripping and heartfelt YA sci-fi with mind-blowing twists. Set in a climate-ravaged future, Joan He’s beautifully written novel follows the story of two sisters, separated by an ocean, desperately trying to find each other.

★ “Interweaving Cee’s immediate first-person voice and Kasey’s more removed third-person narration, He crafts an intricate, well-paced rumination on human nature, choice, and consequence.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review


May the Best Man Win by ZR Ellor
On Sale Now

A trans boy enters a throw-down battle for the title of Homecoming King with the boy he dumped last summer in ZR Ellor’s contemporary YA debut.

★ “Ellor delivers an intense story about self-discovery, pain, and forgiveness. [A] nuanced conversation about the challenges that coming out as trans brings for the transgender person and the relationships they must navigate. Fans of Leah Johnson’s You Should See Me in a Crown (2020) won’t want to miss this thoughtful lovers-to-enemies-to-lovers high-school dramedy with a romantic core.” —Booklist, starred review


Blade of Secrets by Tricia Levenseller
On Sale Now

In Blade of Secrets, the first book in Tricia Levenseller’s exciting new YA fantasy duology, a teenage blacksmith with social anxiety is forced to go on the run to protect the world from the most powerful magical sword she’s ever made.

★ “Levenseller (The Shadows between Us, 2020) elevates her already intriguing fantasy world through her depiction of Ziva, whose anxiety will ring true for anyone who’s ever had a panic attack. Added details about how Ziva functions in everyday life with her anxiety, something not often addressed in fantasy, bring additional depth. Grab this and devour it.” — Booklist, starred review


A Night Twice as Long by Andrew Simonet
On Sale Now

What do you call the difference between what you should feel and what you do feel? Life?

“Simonet (Wilder, 2018) writes with fierce, compact lyricism of the intimacy of such a sibling relationship and the understanding that Alex’s familiarity with Georgie and his cohort brings her about the world (‘Normies live in a gated cognitive community’), making it a loving challenge to the medical model of disability. Readers emerging from the pandemic’s darkest shadows will empathize with Alex’s experience, and they’ll appreciate her philosophy: ‘You’re not like everybody else. But neither is everybody else.’ ” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review


Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
On Sale Now

Gossip Girl meets Get Out in Ace of Spades, a YA contemporary thriller by debut author Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé about two students, Devon & Chiamaka, and their struggles against an anonymous bully.

“… once the focus moves to their efforts toward finding out what the heck is going on, the tension ratchets up and the pages nearly turn themselves. Comparisons to Get Out are inevitable, and, like that movie, this examines the hidden but powerful ways white supremacy establishes itself.” —Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, starred review

What Unites Us: The Graphic Novel (World Citizen Comics) by Dan Rather and Elliot Kirschner; illustrated by Tim Foley
On Sale Now

In this graphic novel adaptation of his bestselling collection of essays, legendary news anchor Dan Rather provides a voice of reason and explores what it means to be a true patriot.

★ TWO STARRED REVIEWS! ★

★ “[Dan Rather’s] decades as a reporter provide vivid jumping-off points to dissect issues from racism to war to homophobia… Rather and his collaborators’ work of clear-eyed optimism delicately threads American idealism and realism.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

★ “The expressive portraits, spare yet vivid settings, and perfect pacing add dimension and emotion to Rather’s stirring insights into the deep meanings of freedom, community, and responsibility. Everything is crystal-clear, genuine, and bracing as Rather calls for a unity of purpose for the common good and our active participation in protecting and bettering our precious democracy.”— Booklist, starred review


Shadow Life by Hiromi Goto; illustrated by Ann Xu
On Sale Now

Poet and novelist Hiromi Goto effortlessly blends wry, observational slice-of-life literary fiction with poetic magical realism in the tender and surprising graphic novel Shadow Life, with haunting art from debut artist Ann Xu.

★ TWO STARRED REVIEWS! ★

★ “Sprinkled with fabulism (a vacuum and salt can stop death), confronting racist history (Canada’s WWII prison camps for Japanese Canadians), and questioning institutionalized eldercare, Goto’s latest is an empowering, emotional tribute to defiant, independent, kick-ass old women living their best lives.”—Booklist, starred review

★ “The loose black-and-white line art by Xu, including interspersed wordless panels, perfectly captures the progression of Kumiko’s emotions from serenity to revelation to distress to determined defiance, as well as the narrative’s fantastical and surreal turns. Quiet sensitivity and humor shine throughout, lighting the bright triumph in one woman’s twilight.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review


Bubble by Jordan Morris and Sarah Morgan; illustrated by Tony Cliff; colors by Natalie Riess
On Sale July 13, 2021

Based on the smash-hit audio serial, Bubble is a hilarious high-energy graphic novel with a satirical take on the “gig economy.”

Barely ever stopping for a breath, this sci-fi adventure comedy (adapted from the popular podcast) bounds from one escapade to another while keeping up a running satirical patter…The critique of the gig economy is just discernible beneath the smashmouth confrontations, and the relationship comedy (tangled on-again, off-again connections and flirtations throughout) is surprisingly earnest. It’s a recklessly fun, hoot and holler of a ride.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review