Our Most Anticipated New Kids’ & YA Book Releases of October 2021

From new releases to popular series like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Tristan Strong to debuts like Jade Fire Gold, this October is shaping up to be quite the adventure! Rick Riordan is taking us under the sea — 20,000 leagues to be exact — and there are sequels to #BookTok favorites like Kingdom of the Wicked and Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. There are so many new stories from some of our favorite authors plus, plenty of new ones to discover! Wouldn’t it be such a pity to miss out on what everyone else was talking about it? (Peer pressure is awful, but we’re pretty sure that doesn’t apply to books.) Here are our most anticipated Kids’ & YA new book releases for October.


Gladys the Magic Chicken
Adam Rubin

From the hilarious author of Dragons Love Tacos, Adam Rubin, and the riotous illustrator of The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors, Adam Rex, comes Gladys the Magic Chicken. The two Adams take us on an epic adventure that follows a tantalizing chicken, Gladys, as she unknowingly enchants her way through Ancient Times. What came first, the chicken or the egg? The answer: Gladys! Gladys came first.

Room for Everyone
Naaz Khan

Naaz Khan’s picture book debut, Room for Everyone, is a laugh-out-loud, lyrical masterpiece. Giving us a light-hearted and fast paced story that’s perfect for fans of Room on the BroomRoom for Everyone takes place in Zanzibar as Musa rides the already crowded bus towards the beach. With each passing page, there’s another community member that could use a ride. Between the vibrant art of Mercè López and Khan’s masterfully expressive text and fresh scenery, this might be the most fun you can have while reading a picture book.

Do You Speak Fish?: A story about communicating and understanding
DJ Corchin, Dan Dougherty (Illustrator)

From the duo behind A Thousand No’s comes a quirky, clever, and thought-provoking story about a boy who is frustrated when finding out that animals don’t understand him. “What a rude fish”, “Hey Lion, talk to me!”, “What’s your problem, bee?” With full-color illustrations, Do You Speak Fish is the perfect opportunity to introduce differences in language, culture and opinion to young children.

Daughter of the Deep (B&N Exclusive Edition)
Rick Riordan

Rick Riordan is a master of storytelling, and his twists on classic tales are some of the most captivating and imaginative that we’ve read. So, imagine our delight when he announced his standalone take on one of our favorites, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea! We can’t wait for this adventure at sea to begin!

Tristan Strong Keeps Punching (Tristan Strong Series #3)
Kwame Mbalia

This triumphant third and final book in the Tristan Strong series by Kwame Mbalia is just as punchy as the title suggests. After a whirlwind adventure, Tristan finally confronts his archenemy, King Cotton, for the last time in this epic series finale. With fantastical world-building and roots in West African folklore, Tristan Strong is a standout series perfect for fans of Percy Jackson.

Big Shot (Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 16)
Jeff Kinney

Greg Heffley is back with another laugh-out-loud adventure, and this time, he’s trying his hand on a less-than-talented basketball team. Are Greg and his team doomed to lose every game? Or will luck by on their side? As usual, hilarity ensues in this 16th volume of the beloved Diary of a Wimpy Kid series.

Pages & Co.: The Book Smugglers
Anna James

In this fourth page-turning adventure in the beloved Pages & Co. series, Tilly teams up with Milo, a book smuggler who has spent most of his life assisting his uncle on a magical bookwandering train. This joyful romp through classic tales is a must-read series for book lovers everywhere.

The Christmas Pig
J. K. Rowling

This sweet story of a boy and his favorite toy is a rollicking adventure from start to finish. When Jack’s favorite toy, Dur Pig, goes missing, he teams up with DP’s replacement, the Christmas Pig, on the adventure of a lifetime to find him — all on Christmas Eve, of course. This clever tale is sure to bring a smile to readers of all ages who have ever wondered where things go when they go missing.

Frankie & Bug
Gayle Forman

Forman’s first-ever middle grade novel is a bittersweet coming-of-age story about two young friends set in 1987 Venice, California. When ten-year-old Bug meets her neighbor’s nephew, Frankie, she’s less than thrilled about spending the summer with someone new. However, the two soon grow closer as they gain understanding about each other and the world around them. Frankie & Bug is a poignant tale about friendship, allyship, and the power of found family.

Clarice the Brave
Lisa McMann

This gorgeously written tale about a small mouse with a big heart and her perilous journey to reunite with her brother is an adventure for the ages. From the author of The Unwanteds seriesClarice the Brave is a story of family, friendship, and hope that young readers are sure to enjoy.

Barakah Beats
Maleeha Siddiqui

Readers will love rooting for 12-year-old Nimra as she navigates life at her new school — starting by joining the popular 8th grade boy band, Barakah Beats. Unfortunately, Nimra knows that her traditional Muslim parents wouldn’t approve, and she has to figure out how to stay true to both herself and her culture without disappointing her bandmates (and now friends). This heartwarming story is delightfully endearing and relatable.

Playing the Card You’re Dealt
Varian Johnson

Fifth-grader Anthony Joplin has one goal: to follow in the footsteps of the men in his family and win his local spades tournament. However, he quickly learns that in both cards and life, sometimes you have to make your own rules. Playing the Cards You’re Dealt is a moving novel about family, empathy, and the culture of toxic masculinity that is sure to spark important conversations.

Kingdom of the Cursed (B&N Exclusive Edition)
Kerri Maniscalco

In this stunning sequel to Kingdom of the Wicked, Emilia journeys to the Seven Circles on her quest to avenge the death of her sister, Vittoria. Luxe world-building, dark magic, and twists and turns on every page make this follow-up just as enthralling as its predecessor.

Aristotle and Dante Dive into the Waters of the World
Benjamin Alire Sáenz

This long-awaited sequel to Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe is just as heart-wrenchingly beautiful as we hoped. Now in love, Aristotle and Dante must figure out how to navigate their relationship and the world around them as they continue to grow and change. This tender story is perfect for fans of They Both Die at the End.

Jade Fire Gold
June CL Tan

A young peasant with ancient magic and an exiled prince hellbent on revenge join forces in this sweeping fantasy debut rooted in Chinese mythology. With atmospheric world-building and non-stop action, Jade Fire Gold is perfect for fans of We Hunt the Flame and Girls of Paper and Fire.

Tonight We Rule the World
Zack Smedley

Heart-wrenching yet so important, Tonight We Rule the World is the story of a teenage boy whose world is upended when he is revealed as the victim of sexual assault. This haunting, emotional coming-of-age story is sure to linger with readers long after the last page.

Sharon Cameron

Equal parts enthralling and frightening, Bluebird is a fictionalized story based on true events following World War II. German teenager Eva Gerst arrives in New York City in 1946 under the pretense that she is there to start a new life. However, she holds the key to a deadly secret and will stop at nothing to exact revenge against a Nazi in hiding. This sweeping tale is perfect for fans of Ruta Sepetys.

Why We Fly
Kimberly Jones, Gilly Segal

Best friends and cheerleaders Eleanor and Chanel are inseparable, even as the pressures of senior year threaten to pull them apart. However, when the cheerleading squad decides to take a knee at the school football game, the ramifications of what was supposed to be a showing of solidarity impact them in ways they never expected. This timely story about friendship, race, and privilege is sure to be a conversation starter.

Black Birds in the Sky: The Story and Legacy of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre
Brandy Colbert

The Tulsa Race Massacre is one of the most devastating and significant events in United States history, and yet students rarely learn about it in school. In Black Birds in the Sky, author Brandy Colbert provides an unflinching account of the Tulsa Race Massacre and answers questions about why it happened and how it continues to affect our country today. Informative and immersive, this is a must-read for all.

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