The Children’s Book Review | September 1, 2015
Hot New Releases & Popular Kids Stories
Our list of the best new kids books for September highlights some amazing books from many different genres: non-fiction, reality fiction, fantasy, and even a beautiful picture book that addresses gender identity. Take a gander and let us know which titles and covers catch your eye …
Written by Deborah Diesen
Illustrated by Dan Hanna
Publisher’s Synopsis: “A gift should be big,
And a gift should be bright.
And a gift should be perfect–
Guaranteed to bring delight.
And a gift should have meaning
Plus a bit of bling-zing,
So I’ll shop till I drop
For each just-right thing!”
Will Mr. Fish find perfect gifts for everyone on his list? Will he finish his shopping in time?
Swim along with Mr. Fish on his holiday shopping quest. He might just discover that the best gifts of all come straight from the heart.
Ages 2-6 | Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux | Sept. 8, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0374355494
Written and Illustrated by Anna Dewdney
Publisher’s Synopsis: It’s an exciting day for Llama Llama; he’s going to visit Gram and Grandpa Llama and spend the night! His first night away from home….and from Mama. But he makes sure to pack everything he needs. And there are so many fun things to do with Gram and Grandpa. It’s not until he gets ready for bed that he realizes that he’s forgotten something important. Fuzzy Llama! Fortunately, Grandpa Llama has a wonderful solution and soon Llama Llama is having sweet dreams.
Ages 3-5 | Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0670013968
Written by Audrey Wood
Illustrated by Don Wood
Publisher’s Synopsis:In the wide-awake bed in the full-moon house, everyone is restless! The moonlight is pouring in and no one can get to sleep: not Granny, her grandchild, the dog, the cat, or even a mouse. It’s not until a tiny musical visitor offers up a soothing song does the menagerie settle down, and finally everyone is off to dreamland.
With a perfectly crafted text and stunning paintings, Audrey and Don Wood reveal once again why they are picture book creators of the highest order. The Full Moon at the Napping House, the highly anticipated follow-up to their beloved classic The Napping House, is the ideal book to share at bedtime or anytime.
Ages 4-7 | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0544308329
Written and Illustrated by Kevin Henkes
Publisher’s Synopsis: What are you waiting for? An owl, a puppy, a bear, a rabbit, and a pig—all toys arranged on a child’s windowsill—wait for marvelous things to happen in this irresistible picture book by the New York Times–bestselling and Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes.
Five friends sit happily on a windowsill, waiting for something amazing to happen. The owl is waiting for the moon. The pig is waiting for the rain. The bear is waiting for the wind. The puppy is waiting for the snow. And the rabbit is just looking out the window because he likes to wait! What will happen? Will patience win in the end? Or someday will the friends stop waiting and do something unexpected?
Waiting is a big part of childhood—waiting in line, waiting to grow up, waiting for something special to happen—but in this book, a child sets the stage and pulls the strings. Timeless, beautiful, and deeply heartfelt, this picture book about imaginative play, the seasons, friendship, and surprises marks a new pinnacle in Caldecott Medalist Kevin Henkes’s extraordinary career.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Greenwillow Books | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0062368430
Written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
Illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
Publisher’s Synopsis: The story of a transgender child based on the real-life experience of Jazz Jennings, who has become a spokesperson for transkids everywhere
“This is an essential tool for parents and teachers to share with children whether those kids identify as trans or not. I wish I had had a book like this when I was a kid struggling with gender identity questions. I found it deeply moving in its simplicity and honesty.”—Laverne Cox (who plays Sophia in “Orange Is the New Black”)
From the time she was two years old, Jazz knew that she had a girl’s brain in a boy’s body. She loved pink and dressing up as a mermaid and didn’t feel like herself in boys’ clothing. This confused her family, until they took her to a doctor who said that Jazz was transgender and that she was born that way. Jazz’s story is based on her real-life experience and she tells it in a simple, clear way that will be appreciated by picture book readers, their parents, and teachers.
Ages 4-8 | Publisher: Dial Books | Sept. 4, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0803741072
Written by Daniel Lipkowitz
Publisher’s Synopsis: LEGO® Awesome Ideas is an all-new ideas book that unlocks the secrets of LEGO building and shows fans how to create a world with their imagination. Beautifully clear photography and informative text demonstrates how entire models are built up while also providing step-by-step visual breakdowns and offering alternative ways to build models.
Explore each chapter as it steadily creates a themed world and ultimately showcases a dynamic diorama of the complete build, showing readers that they too can build up an entire LEGO world from scratch — model by model, brick by brick.
With creative model ideas and visual tips and techniques, LEGO Awesome Ideas will inspire anyone, from beginners to accomplished builders.
LEGO, the LEGO logo, the Brick and Knob configurations and the Minifigure are trademarks of the LEGO Group. © 2015 The LEGO Group.
Produced by DK Publishing under license from the LEGO Group.
Ages 7-10 | Publisher: DK Children | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1465437884
Publisher’s Synopsis: In her first novel since The One and Only Ivan, winner of the Newbery Medal, Katherine Applegate delivers an unforgettable and magical story about family, friendship, and resilience.
Jackson and his family have fallen on hard times. There’s no more money for rent. And not much for food, either. His parents, his little sister, and their dog may have to live in their minivan. Again.
Crenshaw is a cat. He’s large, he’s outspoken, and he’s imaginary. He has come back into Jackson’s life to help him. But is an imaginary friend enough to save this family from losing everything?
Beloved author Katherine Applegate proves in unexpected ways that friends matter, whether real or imaginary.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Feiwel & Friends | Sept. 22, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1250043238
Written and Illustrated by Brian Selznick
Publisher’s Synopsis: Caldecott Award winner and bookmaking trailblazer Brian Selznick once again plays with the form he invented and delivers a moving and mesmerizing adventure about the power of story. Two seemingly unrelated stories — one in words, the other in pictures — come together with spellbinding synergy! The illustrated story begins in 1766 with Billy Marvel, the lone survivor of a shipwreck, and charts the adventures of his family of actors over five generations. The prose story opens in 1990 and follows Joseph, who has run away from school to an estranged uncle’s puzzling house in London, where he, along with the reader, must piece together many mysteries. How the picture and word stories intersect will leave readers marveling over Selznick’s storytelling prowess. Filled with mystery, vibrant characters, surprise twists, and heartrending beauty, and featuring Selznick’s most arresting art to date, The Marvels is a moving tribute to the power of story.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Scholastic Press | Sept. 15, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0545448680
Publisher’s Synopsis: Callum Hunt’s summer break isn’t like other kids’. His closest companion is a Chaos-ridden wolf, Havoc. His father suspects him of being secretly evil. And, of course, most kids aren’t heading back to the magical world of the Magisterium in the fall.
It’s not easy for Call . . . and it gets even harder after he checks out his basement and discovers that his dad might be trying to destroy both him and Havoc.
Call escapes to the Magisterium — but things only intensify there. The Alkahest — a copper gauntlet capable of separating certain magicians from their magic — has been stolen. And in their search to discover the culprit, Call and his friends Aaron and Tamara awaken the attention of some very dangerous foes — and get closer to an even more dangerous truth.
As the mysteries of the Magisterium deepen and widen, bestselling authors Holly Black and Cassandra Clare take readers on an extraordinary journey through one boy’s conflict — and a whole world’s fate.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Scholastic Press | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0545522281
Written by Megan H. Rothrock
Publisher’s Synopsis: In this volume of the LEGO Adventure Book series, Megs and Brickbot face their toughest challenge yet. The Destructor is on the loose again, demolishing LEGO models and shaking things up! Join Megs as she rebuilds the models and meets some of the world’s best builders. Learn to create a Renaissance house, a classic movie theater, sushi, Miniland-scale marvels, an ice cream truck, street lamps, and even a chicken coop. With 40 step-by-step breakdowns and nearly 150 example models, The LEGO Adventure Book will surely inspire you and keep you building!
Ages 9+ | Publisher: No Starch Press | Sept. 25, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1593276102
The Boys in the Boat (Young Readers Adaptation): The True Story of an American Team’s Epic Journey to Win Gold at the 1936 Olympics
Written by Daniel James Brown
Publisher’s Synopsis: A beloved story about the Greatest Generation freshly adapted for the next generation.
Out of the depths of the Great Depression comes the astonishing tale of nine working-class boys from the American West who at the 1936 Olympics showed the world what true grit really meant. With rowers who were the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew was never expected to defeat the elite East Coast teams, yet they did, going on to shock the world by challenging the German boat rowing for Adolf Hitler.
At the center of the tale is Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, whose personal quest captures the spirit of his generation—the generation that would prove in the coming years that the Nazis could not prevail over American determination and optimism.
This deeply emotional yet easily accessible young readers adaptation of the award-winning #1 New York Times bestseller features never-before-seen photographs, highly visual back matter, and an exclusive new introduction.
Ages 10+ | Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers | Sept. 8, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0451475923
Written by Tom Alphin
Publisher’s Synopsis: Travel through the history of architecture in The LEGO Architect. You’ll learn about styles like Art Deco, Modernism, and High-Tech, and find inspiration in galleries of LEGO models. Then take your turn building 12 models in a variety of styles. Snap together some bricks and learn architecture the fun way!
Ages 10+ | Publisher: No Starch Press | Sept. 25, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1593276133
Written by Nicola Yoon
Publisher’s Synopsis: If you love Eleanor and Park, Hazel and Augustus, and Mia and Adam, you’ll love the story of Maddy, a girl who’s literally allergic to the outside world, and Olly, the boy who moves in next door . . . and becomes the greatest risk she’s ever taken. This innovative and heartfelt debut novel unfolds via vignettes, diary entries, illustrations, and more.
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.
But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.
Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.
Ages 12+ | Publisher: Delacorte Press | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0553496642
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…
A convict with a thirst for revenge.
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.
A runaway with a privileged past.
A spy known as the Wraith.
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.
Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction–if they don’t kill each other first.
Ages 12-18 | Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. | Sept. 29, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1627792127
Written by Pittacus Lore
Publisher’s Synopsis: The sixth and penultimate book in the New York Times bestselling I Am Number Four series! For years the Garde have fought the Mogadorians in secret. Now all of that has changed. The invasion has begun. John is on the front lines of the fight in New York City. And just as the odds seem stacked against him, his best friend, Sam, a human, inexplicably develops a Legacy—and Sam isn’t the only one.
While the pair try to track down Five and Nine amid the chaos, they encounter another teen who can wield abilities that were once only meant for the Garde. Whether she is a friend or a foe, however, remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, Six, Marina, and Adam are trapped in Mexico. They fought their way into the Sanctuary and were able to awaken the power hidden within, but their preceding battle has left them without any way to reach the others. The Mogs are returning in full force, and it will take a miracle to escape.
The Garde are stretched thin, fighting this war on many fronts. The only chance they have is to take out the Mogadorian leader once and for all—but his fate is now irrevocably tied with Ella’s. They can’t destroy one without the other. But if the Garde can’t find another way to stop the Mogs, humanity will suffer the same fate as the Loric: annihilation.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: HarperCollins | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0062194756
Written by Julie Murphy
Publisher’s Synopsis: For fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell comes this powerful novel with the most fearless heroine—self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson—from Julie Murphy, the acclaimed author of Side Effects May Vary. With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.
Dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom, Willowdean has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American-beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.
Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Balzer + Bray | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0062327185
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