Best New Kids Stories | August 2015
The Children’s Book Review | August 1, 2015
Hot New Releases & Popular Kids Stories
For many kids, August is back-to-school month. Which also means that pretty soon it is back to reading at least 20 minutes each night—although hopefully most kiddos have been doing some great summer reading. Here are some excellent titles highlighting some of the best new kids books. The stories in this month’s hot new release kids books will make back-to-school (and anytime) reading a breeze.
Written by Alice Schertle
Illustrated by Jill McElmurry
Publisher’s Synopsis:If you’re happy and you know it, beep along!
With this new take on the classic sing-along song, kids can interact with their favorite Little Blue Truck and beep his horn while they visit with all his farm animal friends. Colorful illustrations, bouncy rhyme, and a cuddly truck with built-in squeaker make this a perfect interactive choice for play time and story time.
Ages 0-4 | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | August 18, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0763668860
Written by Mac Barnett
Illustrated by Christian Robinson
Publisher’s Synopsis: You would like being friends with Leo. He likes to draw, he makes delicious snacks, and most people can’t even see him. Because Leo is also a ghost. When a new family moves into his home and Leo’s efforts to welcome them are misunderstood, Leo decides it is time to leave and see the world. That is how he meets Jane, a kid with a tremendous imagination and an open position for a worthy knight. That is how Leo and Jane become friends. And that is when their adventures begin. This charming tale of friendship—from two of the best young minds in picture books: the author of the Caldecott Honor–winning Extra Yarn and the illustrator of the Bologna Ragazzi Award–winning Josephine—is destined to become a modern classic that will delight readers for years to come.
Ages 3-5 | Publisher: Chronicle Books | August 25, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1452131566
Written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Publisher’s Synopsis: The bestselling creators of EXCLAMATION MARK! introduce a triangle, circle, square, and rectangle who celebrate the gift of friendship.
Friends shape who we are. They make us laugh. They fill us with fun. They stand by us during life’s up and downs. And even when we disagree with our friends, if they’re tried-and-true, they don’t stay bent out of shape for long. That’s the beauty of a good buddy. This joyous book rejoices in the simple beauties of friendship, and reminds readers of all ages that it’s good to have a group of pals.
Ages 3-5 | Publisher: Scholastic | August 25, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1452131566
Written and Illustrated by Antoinette Portis
Publisher’s Synopsis: As a boy and his mother move quickly through the city, they’re drawn to different things. The boy sees a dog, a butterfly, and a hungry duck while his mother rushes them toward the departing train. It’s push and pull, but in the end, they both find something to stop for.
Acclaimed author/illustrator Antoinette Portis’ signature style conveys feelings of warmth, curiosity, humor and tenderness in this simple, evocative story.
Ages 3-7 | Publisher: Roaring Brook Press | 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1596439214
Written by Drew Daywalt
Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers
Publisher’s Synopsis: The companion to the #1 blockbuster bestseller, The Day the Crayons Quit!
I’m not sure what it is about this kid Duncan, but his crayons sure are a colorful bunch of characters! Having soothed the hurt feelings of one group who threatened to quit, Duncan now faces a whole new group of crayons asking to be rescued. From Maroon Crayon, who was lost beneath the sofa cushions and then broken in two after Dad sat on him; to poor Turquoise, whose head is now stuck to one of Duncan’s stinky socks after they both ended up in the dryer together; to Pea Green, who knows darn well that no kid likes peas and who ran away—each and every crayon has a woeful tale to tell and a plea to be brought home to the crayon box.
Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers have combined to create a companion book every bit as funny and kid-friendly as the #1 bestselling The Day the Crayons Quit.
Ages 5-8 | Publisher: Philomel Books | August 18, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0399172755
Written by Kate DiCamillo
Illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
Publisher’s Synopsis: Deckawoo Drive’s intrepid animal control officer meets her match—or does she? A funny, heartfelt, and fast-paced romp from the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
Francine Poulet is the greatest animal control officer in Gizzford County. She hails from a long line of Animal Control Officers. She’s battled snakes, outwitted squirrels, and stared down a bear. “The genuine article,” Francine’s dad always called her. She is never scared—until, that is, she’s faced with a screaming raccoon that may or may not be a ghost. Maybe Francine isn’t cut out to be an animal control officer after all! But the raccoon is still on the loose, and the folks on Deckawoo Drive need Francine back. Can she face her fears, round up the raccoon, and return to the ranks of Animal Control? Join a cast of familiar characters—Frank, Stella, Mrs. Watson, and Mercy the porcine wonder—for some riotous raccoon wrangling on Deckawoo Drive.
Ages 6-9 | Publisher: Candlewick | August 25, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0544568129
Written by Ellen Potter
Publisher’s Synopsis: From award-winning author Ellen Potter comes a charming new chapter book series where kids, lobster boats, and a hint of magic are part of everyday life.
There are three things you should know about Piper Green:
1. She always says what’s on her mind (even when she probably shouldn’t).
2. She rides a lobster boat to school.
3. There is a Fairy Tree in her front yard.
Life on an island in Maine is always interesting. But when a new teacher starts at Piper’s school—and doesn’t appreciate the special, um, accessory that Piper has decided to wear—there may be trouble on the horizon. Then Piper discovers the Fairy Tree in her front yard. Is the Fairy Tree really magic? And can it fix Piper’s problems?
Ages 7-9 | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers | August 4, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0553499230
Written by Rick Riordan
Illustrated by John Rocco
Publisher’s Synopsis: Who cut off Medusa’s head? Who was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus? It takes a demigod to know, and Percy Jackson can fill you in on the all the daring deeds of Perseus, Atalanta, Bellerophon, and the rest of the major Greek heroes. Told in the funny, irreverent style readers have come to expect from Percy, (I’ve had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I’m going to tell you about were the original old school hard luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. . .) and enhanced with vibrant artwork by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco, this story collection will become the new must-have classic for Rick Riordan’s legions of devoted fans–and for anyone who needs a hero.
So get your flaming spear. Put on your lion skin cape. Polish your shield and make sure you’ve got arrows in your quiver. We’re going back about four thousand years to decapitate monsters, save some kingdoms, shoot a few gods in the butt, raid the Underworld, and steal loot from evil people.Then, for dessert, we’ll die painful tragic deaths.Ready? Sweet. Let’s do this.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Disney-Hyperion | August 18, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1423183655
Written by R. J. Palacio
Publisher’s Synopsis: Over 2 million people have read the #1 New York Times bestseller Wonder and have fallen in love with Auggie Pullman, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary face. Readers have also been treated to three stories offering a special look at Auggie’s world through new points of view. Previously only available in ebook, now they’ll be published all together–complete with an introduction from the author on how she came to write them–in a gorgeous hardcover package!
These stories are an extra peek at Auggie before he started at Beecher Prep and during his first year there. Readers get to see him through the eyes of Julian, the bully; Christopher, Auggie’s oldest friend; and Charlotte, Auggie’s new friend at school. Together, these three stories are a treasure for readers who don’t want to leave Auggie behind when they finish Wonder.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers | August 18, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1101934852
Written by Jennifer L. Holm
Illustrated by Matthew Holm
Publisher’s Synopsis: From the groundbreaking and award-winning sister-brother team behind Babymouse comes a middle-grade, semi-autobiographical graphic novel.
Following the lives of kids whose older brother’s delinquent behavior has thrown their family into chaos, Sunny Side Up is at once a compelling “problem” story and a love letter to the comic books that help the protagonist make sense of her world.
By sister-bother team Jennifer and Matthew Holm. A 200-page, full-color graphic novel in the vein of Raina Telgemeier’s Smile.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: GRAPHIX | August 25, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0545741668
Written by Alex Gino
Publisher’s Synopsis: BE WHO YOU ARE.
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl.
George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy.
With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.
Ages 8-12 | Publisher: Scholastic Press | August 25, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0545812542
Written by Rebecca Stead
Publisher’s Synopsis: Bridge has always been a bit of an oddball, but since she recovered from a serious accident, she’s found fitting in with her friends increasingly hard. Tab and Em are getting cooler and better and they don’t get why she insists on wearing novelty cat ears every day. Bridge just thinks they look good. It’s getting harder to keep their promise of no fights, especially when they start keeping secrets from each other. Sherm wants to get to know Bridge better. But he’s hiding the anger he feels at his grandfather for walking out. And then there is another girl, who is struggling with an altogether more serious set of friendship troubles…Told from interlinked points of view, this is a bittersweet story about the trials of friendship and growing up.
Ages 10+ | Publisher: Wendy Lamb Books | August 4, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0385743174
Written by Erin E. Moulton
Publisher’s Synopsis: Courage is tested, myths come to life, and long-held secrets are revealed
Lilith Bennette runs at midnight. She scales walls in the dark and climbs without a harness. She hopes that if she follows exactly in the steps of her strong air force pilot mother, she’ll somehow figure out the mystery of her mother’s death—and the reason why her necklace of Greek symbols has been missing ever since.
So when Lil is invited to Crete for a Future Leaders International conference, the same conference her mom attended years ago, she jumps at the chance to find some answers. But things in Melios Manor are not what they seem. Lil finds herself ensnared in an adventure of mythological proportions that leads her and her friends through the very labyrinth in which the real Minotaur was imprisoned. And they’re not in there alone. What secrets does the labyrinth hold, and will they help Lil find the truth about her mother?
This book is perfect for older fans of Percy Jackson and the Olympians and the Heroes of Olympus–and anyone who wants to find out the true story behind the magic of the Greek gods.
Ages 12+ | Publisher: Philomel Books | August 25, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0399164590
Written by Eleanor Herman
Publisher’s Synopsis: Imagine a time when the gods turn a blind eye to the agony of men, when the last of the hellions roam the plains, and evil stirs beyond the edges of the map. A time when cities burn, and in their ashes, empires rise.
Alexander, Macedon’s sixteen-year-old heir, is on the brink of discovering his fated role in conquering the known world, but finds himself drawn to a newcomer…
Katerina must navigate the dark secrets of court life while keeping hidden her own mission: kill the queen. But she doesn’t account for her first love…
Jacob will go to unthinkable lengths to win Katerina, even if it means having to compete with Hephaestion, a murderer sheltered by the prince.
And far across the sea, Zofia, a Persian princess and Alexander’s unmet betrothed, wants to alter her destiny by seeking the famed and deadly Spirit Eaters.
Weaving fantasy with the shocking details of real history, New York Timesbestselling author of Sex with Kings Eleanor Herman reimagines the greatest emperor the world has ever known, Alexander the Great, in the first book of the Blood of Gods and Royals series.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Harlequin Teen | August 18, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-0373211722
Written by Jessica Verdi
Publisher’s Synopsis: Jessica Verdi, the author of My Life After Now and The Summer I Wasn’t Me, returns with a heartbreaking and poignant novel of grief and guilt that reads like Nicholas Sparks for teens.
It’s all Ryden’s fault. If he hadn’t gotten Meg pregnant, she would have never stopped her chemo treatments and would still be alive. Instead he’s failing fatherhood one dirty diaper at a time. And it’s not like he’s had time to grieve while struggling to care for their infant daughter, start his senior year, and earn the soccer scholarship he needs to go to college.
The one person who makes Ryden feel like his old self is Joni. She’s fun and energetic-and doesn’t know he has a baby. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to keep his two worlds separate. Finding one of Meg’s journals only stirs up old emotions. Ryden’s convinced Meg left other notebooks for him to find, some message to help his new life make sense. But how is he going to have a future if he can’t let go of the past?
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire | August 4, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1492614401
Written by Shannon Grogan
Publisher’s Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Kara is about to realize her dream of becoming a professional baker. Beautifully designed and piped, her cookies are masterpieces, but also her ticket out of rainy Seattle—if she wins the upcoming national baking competition and its scholarship prize to culinary school in California. Kara can no longer stand the home where her family lived, laughed, and ultimately imploded after her mean-spirited big sister Kellen died in a drowning accident. Kara’s dad has since fled, and her mom has turned from a high-powered attorney into a nutty holy-rolling Christian fundamentalist peddling “Soul Soup” in the family café. All Kara has left are memories of better times.
But the past holds many secrets, and they come to light as Kara faces an anonymous terror: Someone is leaving her handwritten notes. Someone who knows exactly where she is and what she’s doing. As the notes lead her to piece together the events that preceded Kellen’s terrible, life-changing betrayal years before, she starts to catch glimpses of her dead sister: an unwelcome ghost in filthy Ugg boots. If Kara doesn’t figure out who her stalker is, and soon, she could lose everything. Her chance of escape. The boy she’s beginning to love and trust. Even her life.
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Soho Teen | August 4, 2015 | ISBN-13: 978-1616955540
For more of the best new kids stories and popular books for kids, follow along with our tag for Popular Kids Stories.