In the last year young readers have been rewarded with an abundance of terrific new titles. With an inspiring new collection of stories for Rebel Girls, a new Diary of a Wimpy Kid novel, newly discovered books from Shel Silverstein AND Mark Twain, and a hilarious return to the Dragons Love Tacos universe, our list of best kids’ books of 2017 is filled with can’t-miss titles for readers of all ages.
Dragons Love Tacos 2: The Sequel, by Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri
If every day is Taco Tuesday in your house, then Dragons Love Tacos is likely a storytime favorite. And now there’s finally a follow-up! Tacos have disappeared from Earth in this story, and the dragons must undertake a time-traveling quest to recover them. Can they do it? Without any spicy funny business? Dedicated fans will remember what happened last time…
It Takes a Village, by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Marla Frazee
Clinton’s classic bestseller lends itself easily to picture book format, and young readers will instantly connect to the ideas presented in Frazee’s sunny illustrations. Watch a community grow from the ground up at your next storytime!
Pete the Cat and the Cool Cat Boogie, by James Dean
Pete has put his dancing shoes on, and he’s ready to boogie! But Grumpy Toad, whose deadpan delivery is spot-on, points out Pete’s multiple left feet. Will Pete dust himself off and get those paws moving again? Step-by-step dance moves are included for your little dancer!
Hardcover $15.95 | $17.95
Princesses Wear Pants, by Savannah Guthrie and Allison Oppenheim
Princess Penelope Pineapple wears a lot of hats as junior ruler of the Pineapple Kingdom, and most of her work requires something sturdier than a frilly dress. Indeed, every morning, she bypasses the sequins and lace, and makes a beeline for yoga pants or a flight suit – depending on what the day requires. This encouraging tale celebrates fashion and challenges gender stereotypes—the perfect recipe for an empowering storytime!
Runny Babbit Returns, by Shel Silverstein
The poems in Runny Babbit were winnowed from a large quantity of tongue-tied-rabbit themed poems Shel Silverstein wrote and illustrated, and lucky for readers, there’s enough material for a new volume that hit bookstores September 19. An editor who’d worked with Silverstein when he was alive collaborated closely with his family members to select the 41 poems for this volume. According to Publishers Weekly, they even laid out all the possible Runny Babbit poems and illustrations on the floor, covering the hallway of the publisher’s office, to help them make the final decision—a process Silverstein probably would have enjoyed.
Uni the Unicorn and the Dream Come True, by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Brigette Barrager
This sweet and sparkly sequel to Uni the Unicorn answers an important question: Why exactly is a double rainbow so magical? It’s been raining nonstop in the land of unicorns, which means that all the magic has drained out of these magical creatures. Their magic subsists on sunshine, rainbows, and the sparkle of belief. But one unicorn has managed to persist—Uni, who has never doubted the existence of little girls. Far away, a girl senses she is needed in the land of unicorns. Will she be united with Uni and restore magic to the land? Kids will love this whimsical and dreamy tale.
Hardcover $16.49 | $17.99
She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World, by Chelsea Clinton and Alexandra Boiger
This beautiful watercolor picture book from Chelsea Clinton herself details thirteen diverse women who helped change America through their tenacity and drive. The title is a play on the words used to silence Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren on the Senate floor, and the book is meant to celebrate those women who found their voices and spoke up, even when others wanted them to stop. The book features stories of women who persisted in doing what was right despite overwhelming odds, including Harriet Tubman, Sonia Sotomayor, Maria Tallchief, and Sally Ride.
Through Your Eyes: My Child’s Gift to Me, by Ainsley Earhardt and Ji-Hyuk Kim
Life can be cluttered and hectic, especially at this time of year. Simple joys and everyday miracles surround us, however, and often it’s our children who spot them first. FOX News anchor Earhardt follows up her bestselling Take Heart, My Child with a stirring reflection that reminds us to take a breath, take in the beauty, and follow our children as they wander.
We’re All Wonders, by R.J. Palacio
When Wonder wowed older kids and parents alike, and activated a meaningful new anti-bullying movement called “Choose Kind,” Palacio knew she wasn’t finished writing about kindness. So she created a picture book version of her powerful story for younger readers. Prepare to be inspired!
Everything Is Mama, by Jimmy Fallon and Miguel Ordonez
“Everything is Mama according to you, but there are other fun words you’ll want to know too,” begins Jimmy Fallon’s latest children’s book. In Fallon’s first kids’ book, Your Baby’s First Word Will Be Dada, a bunch of animal dads set out to make their little ones’ first word to be “Dada!” But in this sweet and rhyming picture book, all the little baby animals call everything “Mama!”—the sun, their shoes, and even a balloon. Can the animal parents set them straight? Find out in this colorful and lighthearted read.
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2, by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
Send your little girl off to sleep with some incredible real-life fairy tales about strong and accomplished women throughout history and the present day. This second installment of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls includes short biographies about 100 amazing women like Nefertiti, Audrey Hepburn, Rachel Carson, Sophie Scholl, Aisholpan, Beyonce, and more. The book also includes a detachable map, a glossary, and 100 beautiful portraits created by female artists.
Malala’s Magic Pencil, by Malala Yousafzai and Kerascoet
As a child, Nobel Peace Prize winner and bestselling author Malala Yousafzai would wish for a magic pencil to improve the lives of those around her. She tells the story of her own childhood and that nightly wish in her first picture book. She recalls realizing that wishes weren’t enough, and she needed to take action. “One child, one teacher, one book, and one pen can change the world,” she reminds readers. This wonderful read encourages young readers to find their own magic and to share it with the world.
Books for Young Readers
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.
Tales from a Not-So-Secret Crush Catastrophe (Dork Diaries Series #12), by Rachel Renée Russell
Dork Diaries fans, more dorktastic fun and drama is coming your way with this 12th book in Rachel Renée Russell’s bestselling series. With the end of the school year fast approaching, Nikki Maxwell is busy trying to figure out how she’s going to spend her summer in her latest diary. Not only that, but she’s facing a major crush catastrophe when she starts hanging out with a super-cute new visiting student. Nikki doesn’t want to hurt Brandon or her BFFs, Chloe and Zoey, so what will she do? Find out in this fun new illustrated diary that shows everyone it’s OK to let their inner dork shine.
Hardcover $8.99 | $9.99
Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties (Captain Underpants: Dog Man Series #3), by Dav Pilkey
The hero that no one knew they needed but readers can’t get enough of, Dog Man has the head of a dog and the body of a human, and he’s all set to sniff out a crafty cat criminal in Dav Pilkey’s latest in the hilarious series. Can Dog Man continue to prove he’s a worthy member of the police force and nail this cuddly crook? This Barnes & Noble exclusive edition includes a coloring poster featuring a sneak peek at the upcoming fourth book in the series.
Hardcover $12.45 | $13.95
The Getaway (B&N Exclusive Edition), Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series #12, by Jeff Kinney
Get ready, Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans—the twelfth book in Kinney’s beloved series hits B&N bookshelves November 7! The Getaway finds the hapless Heffley family headed for a relaxing vacation at a tropical island resort. If you’re already snickering at the thought of Greg Heffley and his family in paradise, you know you’re going to be in for a treat. Fans know Greg’s traveling misadventures are going to run the gamut, from tummy troubles, to sun poisoning, to problematic pests, and that the hilarious situations (and illustrations) will leave young readers howling with laughter.
The Magic Misfits (Magic Misfits Series #1), by Neil Patrick Harris and Lissy Marlin
Award-winning actor Neil Patrick Harris introduces young readers to a magical new series. In this kick-off book, young street magician Carter, whose parents vanished years ago, has had enough of helping his “uncle” Sly Mike, so he runs away to a small New England town. There he finds a group of like-minded, talented kids and an illusionist named Dante Vernon. And it’s up to Carter and his newfound friends to save this town from crooked carny B.B. Bosso. Fans of Lemony Snicket and Pseudonymous Bosch will love this fun and adventurous new read.
Minecraft: The Island, by Max Brooks
Minecraft fans, the first official book based on the insanely popular game has arrived! A hero is stranded on an island in the world of Minecraft. His priorities are finding food and not becoming food for the armies of zombies that emerge after nightfall. Can our hero unravel the mysteries of this strange place and survive all that’s in store for him? Find out in this exciting adventure book for middle graders.
Rise of the Isle of the Lost (Descendants Series #3), by Melissa de la Cruz
The baddies-turned-mostly-goodies Mal, Evie, Carlos, and Jay are facing another threat to Auradon in this third installment of Disney’s Descendants series. King Triton’s magical trident has passed through the barrier around the Isle of Lost. And Uma, daughter of Ursula, is assembling a villainous pirate crew—including Harry, son of Captain Hook, and Gil, son of Gaston—to get her hands on it before Mal and her gang do. Bonus: This Barnes & Noble exclusive edition includes a pirate contract.
Hardcover $17.99 | $19.99
The Ship of the Dead (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Series #3), by Rick Riordan
Once-homeless teen/now one of Odin’s chosen warriors, Magnus Chase, returns for the third installment in Rick Riordan’s thrilling series. Thus far, Magnus has managed incredible feats with the help of his friends Hearthstone the elf, Blitzen the dwarf, and Samirah the Valkyrie, but now this crew is up against its most dangerous challenge yet. Loki is free of his chains and is prepping Naglfar, the Ship of the Dead, to sail into battle against the gods of Asgard, thus beginning the final battle of Ragnarok. And it’s up to Magnus and his pals to sail across the oceans of Midgard, Jotunheim, and Niflheim to stop him in this page-turning new read.
Dream Big Dreams: Photographs from Barack Obama’s Inspiring and Historic Presidency, by Pete Souza
During his historic eight years in office, President Obama encouraged young people to do their best and “dream big dreams.” Inspire young readers to continue to dream big with this beautiful book of photos from former White House photographer Pete Souza. The volume features more than 75 full-color photographs of our former president with his family, colleagues, and other world leaders. Alongside the photos are interesting behind-the-scenes stories of these iconic images, making this an excellent keepsake to have for years to come.
The Elements Book, by Dorling Kindersley Publishing Staff
Have a budding young scientist in your house? Take them on a visual tour of the 118 chemical elements in the periodic table with this incredible encyclopedia packed with more than 1,000 full-color photos, fun facts, and more. The book beautifully showcases the elements in their natural forms and also shows kids everyday objects in which these elements are found. Plus, this Barnes & Noble exclusive edition includes a poster of the periodic table.
The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine, by Mark Twain, Philip C. Stead, and Erin Stead
Author Philip C. Stead has brought to life a never-before-published, previously unfinished children’s book by Mark Twain—the story began as a tale Twain told his young daughters one evening in 1879. He then scribbled down some notes on the story about a boy named Johnny who had some magical seeds, but the tale remained unfinished, archived at the University of California at Berkeley. Stead picked up the fragments and created a whimsical book, artfully illustrated by Erin Stead, of which Twain himself would be proud.
Worlds Collide (The Land of Stories Series #6), by Chris Colfer
Actor and bestselling author Chris Colfer is back with the exciting conclusion to his enchanting The Land of Stories series. This time, twins Conner and Alex face a new challenge: The fairy tale characters are no longer confined to their stories, which means heroes and villains are loose and causing mayhem in the world at large. Can Conner and Alex restore order to the human world and the fairy tale world? This special Barnes & Noble exclusive edition includes “Mother Goose Interviews Chris Colfer,” a never-before-seen piece written by Colfer.
Spy School Secret Service, by Stuart Gibbs
In this fifth installment of Stuart Gibbs’s bestselling Spy School series, 13-year-old Ben Ripley is beginning his second year of Spy School, and he’s been called upon for an important solo mission. He must prevent a presidential assassination and locate the enemy operative. But the person he thought was his in—the president’s son—has proven to be not-so-helpful, and Ben may be in over his head. This Barnes & Noble exclusive edition features a shiny jacket with silver and red foil and a map of Washington, D.C., on the other side. Plus, it includes 16 pages of bonus content like super-secret internal memos and a post-operational interview.