October’s Top Picks for Young Readers


Crisp weather, changing leaves, cozy sweaters, and pumpkin-flavored everything—fall is the perfect time to curl up with a good book, and we’ve got some awesome young readers’ picks coming out this month to get you started. Rick Riordan’s much-anticipated new series Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard kicks off with The Sword of Summer. Dork Diaries and Ever After High fans both get brand-new stories with furry plotlines. Harry Potter, The One and Only Ivan, and The Baby-Sitters Club all get the full-color graphics treatment. And Minecraft players have a whole host of new books to choose from. Check out our top picks for young readers in October.

The Sword of Summer (B&N Exclusive Edition) (Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard Series #1), by Rick Riordan
“I’m sixteen years old, and this is the story of how my life went downhill after I got myself killed.” Meet Magnus Chase, the troubled protagonist in Rick Riordan’s new series, Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard. The author of the crazy-popular Percy Jackson & the Olympians books is making the jump from Greek to Norse mythology—Vikings!—with the new books, the first volume of which hits shelves October 6 (but you can pre-order it now!). As the book’s description ominously states, “Sometimes, the only way to start a new life is to die.” And while Magnus, who discovers that he’s the son of a Norse god, does make a fatal decision, it seems that the end of his life is only the beginning of The Sword of Summer and Magnus’s many adventures to come.

Dork Diaries 10: Tales from a Not-So-Perfect Pet Sitter, by Rachel Renée Russell
OMG. Dork Diaries + adorable puppies?! It’s a tweenage dream—or just the latest from author Rachel Renée Russell. Middle-schooler Nikki and her friends Brandon, Chloe, and Zoey are back for an all-new Dork Diaries adventure, Tales from a Not-So-Perfect Pet Sitter, the tenth in the crazy-popular tween series. This time Nikki’s on a mission to hide seven puppies who were left at Fuzzy Friends where she volunteers. Her family cannot find out about these pups! Plus, something strange is going on with mean-girl Mackenzie since she switched schools—but what else is new?

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter Series #1), by J. K. Rowling and Jim Kay 
Harry Potter has led a pretty miserable existence for the past decade, living in a small cupboard under the stairs in his aunt and uncle’s home. He’s mistreated and neglected by his adoptive parents and tormented by his horrible cousin, Dudley Dursley. But when Harry turns 11, all of that changes: He learns the truth about how his parents died, and that he’s a wizard. And now readers can experience Rowling’s first book in the bestselling series with full-color illustrations from Kate Greenaway award-winning artist Jim Kay.

Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner: Time-Travel Adventures with Exceptional Americans, by Rush Limbaugh
Young readers will love donning their tricornered hats and traveling back in time to learn about exceptional Americans in history! Join Rush Revere and his trusty steed, Liberty, as they learn about the Constitution from James Madison himself, and later help his courageous wife Dolley avert a major White House catastrophe. There’s nonstop action and (shh!) opportunities to learn about the brave men and women who risked everything to shape America’s rich history. This book is the fourth in Limbaugh’s savvy, fast-paced series and the follow-up to the exciting Rush Revere and the American Revolution.

Ever After High: Once Upon a Pet: A Collection of Little Pet Stories, by Suzanne Selfors
The Royals and Rebels of Ever After High are showing off their fuzzier sides in this collection of short stories about your favorite characters from Suzanne Selfors’s series, and their unique pets. These stories were previously only available as digital shorts but are now all together in print for the first time. The tales include “Duchess Swan and the Next Top Bird”, “Lizzie Hearts and the Hedgehog’s Hexcellent Adventure”, “Ginger Breadhouse and the Candy Fish Wish”, along with two brand-new stories.

Big Game, by Stuart Gibbs (B&N Exclusive Edition)
The third novel in Gibbs’ madcap Funjungle series finds beloved zoo sleuth Teddy Fitzroy called upon to help protect Rhonda, the zoo’s endangered (and pregnant) Asian greater one-horned rhinoceros, from villains who may be after her highly prized horn. The fact that that the zoo is actually enlisting Teddy’s help and he doesn’t have to sneak around behind the scenes, means things are about to get extra hairy! The B&N Exclusive Edition contains has a shiny silver cover, a full-color blueprint of the FunJungle, and 32 pages of bonus content! Fans of Gibbs’ masterful plotting and great comic sensibilities will love this one.

The Tournament at Gorlan, by John A. Flanagan
For fans of John Flanagan’s bestselling Ranger’s Apprentice books comes The Tournament at Gorlan, the first in a new prequel series that features Halt before he becomes a full-fledged Ranger. He and Crowley team up against Morgarath, whom they discover has been infiltrating the Rangers in order to corrupt the Corps. Upon their arrival in Gorlan, Halt and Crowley see just how close Morgarath is to stealing the throne from the King. Newbies to Flanagan’s books will enjoy the dynamic mix of action and humor that long-time fans of the series have come to know and love.

The One and Only Ivan Full-Color Collector’s Edition, by Katherine Applegate and Patricia Castelao 
“Patient is a useful way to be when you’re an ape,” says Ivan, a silverback gorilla who lives in a glass cage at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade. “Gorillas are as patient as stones. Humans, not so much.” Ivan has been there for so long—27 years—that he doesn’t remember much about his life in the jungle. While humans file in off the freeway to stare at him, Ivan watches TV, creates art, eats bananas, and hangs out with his friends Stella, an elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. One day, Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, arrives at the mall, and Ivan is forced to recall his life as a free animal, compelling him to secure a better life for Ruby and himself. Inspired by the true story of a captive gorilla named Ivan, this new full-color collector’s edition of Katherine Applegate’s bestselling book includes full-color artwork from illustrator Patricia Castelao, a letter from the author, her Newbery Medal acceptance speech, a letter from the real Ivan’s caretaker at Zoo Atlanta, and more.

Mary Anne Saves the Day (The Baby-Sitters Club Graphix #3), by Raina Telgemeier
Both Baby-Sitters Club nostalgists and newcomers to the series will love Raina Telgemeier’s graphic novel adaptation of Ann M. Martin’s books about a group of middle school babysitters. The bestselling author and illustrator of Smile breathes new life into the books with her expressive and detailed artwork—now in full color in this latest edition. Mary Anne Saves the Day is the third BSC book to get the graphic treatment. It tells the story of usually shy and reserved seventh-grader Mary Anne Spier, who, after a big fight with her pals in the club, is forced to make a new friend and handle a babysitting emergency without her normal circle of support. But Mary Anne totally rises to the occasion, as does Telgemeier in what will hopefully be a long line of graphic adaptations of Martin’s books.

The Elementia Chronicles #2: The New Order: An Unofficial Minecraft-Fan Adventure, by Sean Fay Wolfe
Can’t drag your kids away from playing Minecraft? Get this book into their hands. The second in a series inspired by the game, The New Order finds President Stan facing a new adversary, the Noctem Alliance. Plus, King Kev’s loyal followers are still out there, threatening peace in the Republic of Elementia. How will Stan protect and lead his people with these new dangers looming on the horizon? Find out in this action-packed new read for middle-graders.

Discoveries in the Overworld: Lost Minecraft Journals, Book One, by Winter Morgan
More Minecraft! The first in a new series, Discoveries in the Overworld follows treasure hunters Harriet, Jack, and Toby as they search the Minecraft world and discover a journal that once belonged to William, one of Minecraft’s greatest explorers. Of course, the trio totally ignores the warning on the journal’s cover that says, “DO NOT OPEN THIS BOOK!” The prospect of finding treasure is just too tempting. The chapters alternate between William’s journal entries and the treasure hunters’ story as they embark on an epic journey.

Spawn Point Zero: Defenders of the Overworld #3, by Nancy Osa
Another book to add to every video game lovers must-read list, Spawn Point Zero is the third in the unofficial Defenders of the Overworld series. Captain Rob, Corporal Frida, and the members of Battalion Zero have the difficult task ahead of them of rebuilding the United Biomes of the Overworld alliance. After repeated attacks by Dr. Dirt and Lady Craven, it won’t be an easy road for the Defenders of the Overworld. But if anyone can do it, it’s definitely this crew.

What are you excited to read in October?

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