Spring is officially here! Longer days mean more time for reading, and we’ve got the perfect list for our kids and YA readers. From inspiring and hilarious new storytime fun to action-packed graphic novels, heart-warming coming-of-age stories, gothic fantasy, and a modern spin on a treasured Jane Austen classic, here are our picks for the best new kids’ and YA books to look out for this April.
The Rock from the Sky
Jon Klassen is back with his classic wit and dry humor — this time, exploring friendship, life’s ambiguity and what the future may hold. The only thing better than a Klassen creation is a Klassen creation that’s 96 pages! A natural addition to anyone’s bookshelf. Another gem from the Caldecott Medal-winning creator of the Hat Trilogy.
Anita and the Dragons
Hannah Carmona, Anna Cunha (Illustrator)
Fall in love with the innocence and insight of Anita, a young girl from the Dominican Republic, as she prepares to move to the United States. Hannah Carmona and Anna Cunha create a truly special and unique story about bravery and the power of imagination and family.
A beautiful, articulate, delicately illustrated tale of survival, acceptance and comradery. Alfredo Soderguit manages to simultaneously educate and entertain the reader in this special edition translated from the original Spanish. A powerful story that’s more relevant than ever.
Do Your Best Every Day to Do Your Best Every Day: Encouraging Words from John Cena
John Cena, Susanna Harrison (Illustrator)
Hope + Effort = Making the impossible possible. With notes of encouragement on every page, this brightly illustrated collection of inspirational quotes from John Cena makes the perfect gift for all of life’s most celebratory moments, thoughtfully compiled into one volume. Join us as we welcome John Cena for a live virtual event on Wednesday, April 7 at 7 PM EST. Click here to learn more.
Ways to Grow Love
Renée Watson, Nina Mata (Illustrator)
This delightfully charming follow-up to Ways to Make Sunshine follows Ryan Hart on her summer break. While she’s excited about her library’s summer reading program and her first time at church summer camp, she’s also nervous about how her life is going to change with a new baby sibling on the way. With the support of her close-knit family, ultimately Ryan learns that there is always room for love to grow.
Mystery and musical theater collide in this enchanting debut by Broadway star Mandy Gonzalez. When strange accidents continue to cause problems for shows in Broadway’s Ethel Merman Theater, it’s up to 12-year-old Monica and her young castmates to find out what — or who — is haunting the theater before the long-awaited opening night.
Merci Suárez Can’t Dance
In this endearing follow-up to Newbery Medal-winning Merci Suarez Changes Gears, Merci is put in charge of her school’s Heart Ball, but there is one big problem — she can’t dance! Merci Suarez Can’t Dance is a sweet and clever read about navigating all the ups and downs of middle school, family life, and believing in yourself.
FGTeeV Saves the World!
FGTeeV, Miguel Díaz Rivas (Illustrator)
YouTube sensations FGTeeV are back with another action-packed graphic novel full of fantastic gaming fun. This time, the family has to fight against themselves (in avatar form, of course) to save the world from zombie chaos before the escaped video game villains vanquish their real-world rivals. With more than 18 MILLION subscribers and over 18.6 BILLION views, if you’re not familiar with FGTeeV, it’s time to join the fun.
Hardcover $11.99 | $13.99
The Last Kids on Earth: Thrilling Tales from the Tree House
Max Brallier, Douglas Holgate (Illustrator), Jay Cooper (Illustrator), Anoosha Syed (Illustrator), Lorena Alvarez (Illustrator)
What’s better than a new Last Kids on Earth book? Well, nothing, but a new Last Kids on Earth graphic novel with six brand new short stories comes very, very close. Featuring full-color art from six incredible illustrators, Last Kids on Earth: Thrilling Tales from the Tree House is a wild ride full of hilarious, action-packed tales from our favorite crew, with an ending readers won’t want to miss.
Aru Shah and the City of Gold (Pandava Series #4)
This fourth book in Roshani Chokshi’s epic Pandava series will grip readers from the start and leave them begging for the final installment. With a city on the brink of war, Aru must decide where her allegiances lie before it’s too late. Filled with magic, myth and heart-stopping adventure, the Pandava series is a must-read for any young fantasy fan.
The Chance to Fly
Ali Stroker, Stacy Davidowitz
Thirteen-year-old Nat loves everything about musical theater, so when she gets the chance to be in a production of Wicked, she doesn’t let the fact that she uses a wheelchair hold her back. The Chance to Fly is a sweet and uplifting story about following your dreams, no matter what perceived obstacles may be in your way.
Kate in Waiting
Normally two best friends crushing on the same guy would be a recipe for drama, but for Kate and Anderson, that’s par for the course. They prefer to get their drama during school theater rehearsals. But when their latest shared crush is cast opposite Kate, things get a little more complicated than usual. This swoon-worthy rom-com from YA favorite Becky Albertalli is a delightfully heartwarming story of friendship and of course, romance, with a diverse and lovable cast of characters.
Hardcover $14.99 | $17.99
Pride and Premeditation
Pride and Premeditation is the fresh and fun spin on a treasured Jane Austen classic we didn’t know we needed. Rather than getting married, 17-year-old Lizzie Bennett is set on becoming a barrister just like her father. When Charles Bingley is accused of murder, Lizzie takes it upon herself to prove his innocence and her legal prowess. Twists and turns abound in this delightfully authentic, yet still utterly original reinterpretation of Pride and Prejudice.
Witches Steeped in Gold
Debut author Ciannon Smart’s Jamaican folklore-inspired fantasy is about two witches from opposing castes who reluctantly band together to take down a mutual threat. With plenty of magical intrigue, lush world-building, and rich lore, Witches Steeped in Gold will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they try to understand the dichotomy between good and evil.
The Cost of Knowing
The Cost of Knowing follows Alex, a teenage boy with the power to see the future of everything he touches. When this power shows him that his younger brother’s death is imminent, Alex tries to spend as much time as possible with him, all while knowing that danger is always present when you’re a young Black man in America. Heartbreaking yet so powerful, The Cost of Knowing will sit with you long after the last page.
Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet
Laekan Zea Kemp
Authentic and emotional, Somewhere Between Bitter and Sweet is a coming-of-age story about two teenagers on the verge of adulthood as they navigate first love and the struggles that come with growing up. Rich with Mexican culture and mouth-watering descriptions of the food that connects them, this emotional contemporary is sure to resonate with many readers who have questioned their place in the world.