As soon as August rolls around, all anyone cares about is fresh school supplies, fresh sneakers and the fresh new bangs you got to kick off your new school year. With a new image comes new interests and you know what doesn’t get enough shine? Back-to-school books. (Ok, probably if you’re a teacher.) But do you ever find yourself staring at your bookshelf thinking it’s time for a refresh? Well, here are our most anticipated Kids’ & YA books for August that will have you saying, “Hey everyone, look at my new books!”
Pat Zietlow Miller
From the bestselling duo behind Be Kind, Pat Zietlow Miller and Jen Hill’s follow-up, Be Strong, carries an accessibly powerful message of “show up, speak up, and never ever give up.” Tanisha shows the reader or listener that lessons learned in school are applicable in the outside world and vice versa. A pairing of Be Strong and Be Kind fit naturally on any child’s bookshelf and also makes a great gift for anyone in need of encouragement.
Tomatoes for Neela
From bestselling author and host of “Top Chef”, Padma Lakshmi and Juana Martinez-Neal, acclaimed artist of “Fry Bread”, comes a story that can best be described like a family dish passed down from generation to generation. Full of heart, insight and delicious depth, Tomatoes for Neela is a beautifully crafted reading experience that will transport you around the world and then back to the comfort of your home. So much more than a picture book. So much more than a book about food. Tomatoes for Neela is a feast for the soul.
Jory John and Lane Smith give us an “indoor” addition to their menagerie of problematic animals. Following up two B&N favorites, Penguin Problems and Giraffe Problems, comes Cat Problems. How easy is it for an indulgent house cat to complain? Very easy! Each page is hilariously relatable and even if you aren’t a fan of the felines, John and Smith will have you laughing out loud and smiling anyway. A great gift for adults and a fancy feast for storytime!
Twinkle Twinkle Little Kid
In a story that only two real-life friends could tell, Drew Daywalt and Molly Idle share a fresh, creative tale about what happens when stars wish upon kids just like how kids wish upon stars! Friendships can be found in the unlikeliest of places, and Clyde finds out what happens when his hopes and dreams reach all the way to outer space. For everyone who loves The Day the Crayon’s Quit and Flora and the Flamingo, Twinkle Twinkle Little Kid is a natural addition to your bedtime storytime.
We Are Family
Drawing inspiration from his own life and the lives of the students at his I Promise School, LeBron James has crafted a fun and inspirational story about a determined group of middle schoolers and their quest to save their basketball season. Filled with grit, perseverance and heart, Jayden, Tamika, Chris, Anthony, and Dex team up to save their beloved Hoop Group and get back on the court.
The third book in Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham’s Real Friends graphic memoir series follows a young Shannon as she navigates her turbulent eighth-grade year, dealing with all of the insecurities and anxiety that come with growing up. Humor and heart abound in this thoughtful story that many young readers will find relatable as they learn the importance of self-love.
Black Boy Joy
What happens when 17 brilliant Black authors come together to write uplifting stories, comics, and poems about Black boyhood? Black Boy Joy, of course! This unique collaboration between bestselling authors like Jason Reynolds, B.B. Alston and Varian Johnson is an ode to young Black boys everywhere who deserve to see their childhoods celebrated on the pages of books.
Twelve-year-old Shenice is captain of her softball team, the Fulton Firebirds, which happens to be the only all-Black softball team in her league. Baseball runs in her blood and she’s determined to prove that girls like her belong on the field. When Shenice learns that her Great-Grampy JonJon may have been banned from the MLB many years ago for a crime he didn’t commit, Shenice finds herself distracted from her team and their goal of winning the Fastpitch World Series as she works to uncover the truth. This heartfelt yet action-packed sports story is not to be missed.
In a world where aliens live covertly alongside humans on Earth, 16-year-old Syd Chambers lives with his human mother after his extraterrestrial father disappeared years before. When Syd learns that his father is alive, he sets off on a mission to find him, and uncovers a deadly secret along the way. Fans of Lorien Legacies will enjoy the epic beginning to this new series.
The Hoodie Girl
Wren Martin spends her days hiding beneath her hoodie, waiting to graduate and move away to attend her dream college. Asher Reed is a star hockey player and school heartthrob. When the two meet, they can’t deny their attraction to each other. This twist on a classic YA trope feels fresh with added elements of mystery and a flawed, yet entirely endearing cast of characters.
Dark and Shallow Lies
Ginny Myers Sain
In a town as mysterious as La Cachette, Louisiana, people expect eerie things to happen. However, when 17-year-old Grey’s best friend, Elora, goes missing, the town full of psychics doesn’t know what happened to her. Dark and Shallow Lies is an enthralling and spooky small-town supernatural thriller that will leave readers stunned as La Cachette’s secrets reveal themselves.
Take Me With You When You Go
David Levithan, Jennifer Niven
Take Me With You When You Go by powerhouse YA authors David Levithan and Jennifer Niven is a heartfelt, emotional and powerful story about two siblings, Bea and Ezra, recently separated after Bea runs away from home. Told via email exchange between the two siblings, the story shines light on the abusive environment they grew up in and how they each fight to overcome it.
The Witch Haven
Sasha Peyton Smith
In gritty 1911 New York City, Frances Hallowell works as a seamstress until she accidentally kills her boss late one night as he tries to attack her. With no recollection as to how her scissors ended up his neck, Frances is whisked away to a school for witchcraft disguised as a tuberculosis sanatorium where she learns of her magical powers. The Witch Haven is a mesmerizing atmospheric historical fantasy fraught with spellbinding magic, mystery and nail-biting twists and turns.