February’s Best Books for Young Readers

Roses are red, violets are blue, February’s coming, and we’ve got book picks for you! Show your love for your little valentines by keeping their bookshelves fully stocked for the month with brand-new releases like Sci-Fi Junior High, Amy Ephron’s Castle in the Mist, and a new illustrated novel from the team behind Demon Dentist. Plus, there are new installments in favorite series like School of Secrets, My Weirdest School, and Plants vs. Zombies. Check out these and more in our list of the top books in young readers for February.

School of Secrets: Ally’s Mad Mystery (Disney Descendants), by Jessica Brody
School of Secrets, a Descendants spinoff chapter book series, continues with the third book in this exciting Disney series. This time, however, the main character isn’t an offspring of a well-known villain—it’s Ally, an Auradon kid and daughter of Alice (you know, of Wonderland fame). And she has a crazy mystery to solve, but she won’t be in this alone. Fairy Godmother’s daughter, Jane—another AK!—will be right there by her side in this page-turning read.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Broadway Tie-In, by Roald Dahl
Roald Dahl’s richly imaginative Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is coming to Broadway in March. To celebrate, revisit this magical tale of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory and Charlie Bucket, who is one of five lucky golden ticket winners to be allowed inside. The enchanting nature of Wonka’s factory provides quite the fanciful contrast to Charlie’s bleak life outside of it. But the most delectable thing about the tale is Charlie’s discovery of the truly sweeter things in life. This beautiful new edition has the upcoming musical’s poster on the cover.

Sci-Fi Junior High (Sci-Fi Junior High Series #1), by Scott Seegert and John Martin
From James Patterson’s new children’s imprint comes an illustrated intergalactic adventure for middle grade readers. As the son of two genius scientists, Kelvin Klosmo is the smartest kid in the universe—at least that’s what everyone at his new school, Sciriustrati Fibronoculareus Junior High (aka Sci-Fi Junior High), thinks. But Kelvin’s not so sure he can keep up this act, especially once an evil scientist threatens his new community. Can Kelvin live up to everyone’s expectations? Find out in this hilarious new book for even the most reluctant readers.

The Castle in the Mist, by Amy Ephron
Amy Ephron’s imaginative new novel for middle grade readers finds 11-year-old Tess and her little brother, Max, being sent to their Aunt Evie’s English countryside house for the summer. The siblings are certain they’re in for weeks of boredom, but Tess’s discovery of an old key that opens the gates to the estate next door changes everything. Within the walls, Tess and Max discover a garden, a castle, and a lonely boy named William in a magical fantasy world where everything is not as it seems. Fans of The Secret Garden will love this tale.

Grandpa’s Great Escape, by David Walliams and Tony Ross
The author-illustrator team behind the bestselling Demon Dentist is back with a brand-new adventurous tale about a 12-year-old boy and his grandfather. Even though it’s 1983, Jack’s grandfather thinks it’s still 1940, when he was a pilot serving in World War II. Jack’s parents are worried enough to send him to Twilight Towers home for the elderly, while Jack sees his grandpa’s mind as “nothing short of magical.” So now it’s up to Jack to help Grandpa plot an escape from his terrible new surroundings. Kids will love the whimsical drawings, funny story, and undeniable bond between Jack and his grandfather.

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World, by Shannon Hale and Dean Hale
Fans of Marvel Comics’ quirky Squirrel Girl will be all over this origin story for this fun and furry superheroine. Doreen Green was born with special squirrel abilities and a big, fluffy tail, which doesn’t really help her fit in at her new school full of mean girls. But when she comes up against an aspiring supervillain, Doreen’s true heroic spirit has a chance to soar. With the help of her friends—a squirrel named Tippy-Toe and a deaf girl named Ana Sofía—Doreen/Squirrel Girl will put this would-be villain in his place. Young readers will go nuts over this tale.

My Weirdest School #7: Ms. Joni Is a Phony!, by Dan Gutman
It’s picture day at Ella Mentry School in this seventh book in the bestselling My Weirdest School series, and the photographer Mr. Klutz hired is so WEIRD! Her name is Ms. Joni, and she keeps saying everything is “fabulous”—even though everything is most definitely not fabulous. And—superweird—she thinks A.J. should be a supermodel. Weirdest of all is the surprise appearance by the Picture Day Zombie! Kids will whip through this zany chapter book.

Plants vs. Zombies Volume 6: Boom Boom Mushroom, by Paul Tobin and Jacob Chabot
Plants vs. Zombies gamers will quickly devour this sixth edition of the hilarious comics based on the popular game. In it, Crazy Dave’s niece discovers the aptly titled “Zomboss’s Secret Plan for Raising a Zombie Army Underground and Then Swallowing the Entire City of Neighborville Whole!” Now Crazy Dave and a new animal friend must find a rare Boom Boom Mushroom in order the save the humans.

Monster High: Electrified: The Deluxe Junior Novel, by Perdita Finn
Kiddos can’t wait for the new Monster High movie? Get them amped with this deluxe junior novel based on the upcoming film. Clawdeen Wolf wants to open a salon for both monsters and Normies, and the ghouls want to help make her dream a reality. But then Twyla discovers Moanica D’Kay has plans of her own—and she has Frankie Stein’s super-powerful battery, which could endanger the whole Normie World. Can the ghouls help Clawdeen with her dream salon and save the Normies? Find out in this exciting read, which includes an eight-page color insert and poster.

Big Nate: What’s a Little Noogie Between Friends?, by Lincoln Peirce
Nate’s been a little down in the dumps lately. The eleven year old record-holding detention star has been facing some tough breaks—including a crush who’s just moved across the country, and an underperforming soccer team (that loses against a team with a winless streak a mile long). Fortunately, Nate’s got some good pals who know how to cheer him up: with noogies, right? Well, we can’t fault them for trying. Perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid, this cheerful, cheeky series delivers big laughs for young readers.

Dragon Captives: B&N Exclusive Edition, by Lisa McMann
Fans of the popular fantasy-filled Unwanteds books rejoiced when the Unwanteds Quests sequel series began—and this B&N Exclusive Edition of the first Unwanteds Quests novel contains a bonus short story set during the time between the two series, which reveals insights into new characters, and contains a pivotal scene for Aaron Stowe fans! A must-read for young Unwanteds devotees.

What are your young readers looking forward to in February?

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