Book Mail: 20+ New and Forthcoming Books for All Ages
Here’s what has shown up at my house in the past few weeks. Now that it’s summer and I have vast hours of time to theoretically fill with reading, I’m still barely making a dent in the stacks all around my house. But I try! And nearly everything that arrives here ends up going back out the door in some way, whether through giveaways or to my school or my kid’s high school, and so on. So I might not be reading every single thing, but these books are definitely all finding their readers!
Get out your TBR lists, your order lists, your library card, and be ready to dive into lots of new and interesting books!
All descriptions from the publishers.
This Place Is Still Beautiful by XiXi Tian (ISBN-13: 9780063086029 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 06/07/2022, Ages 13-17)
A sweeping debut novel about first love, complicated family dynamics, and the pernicious legacy of racism. Perfect for fans of Tahereh Mafi, Jandy Nelson, and Emily X.R. Pan, with crossover appeal for readers of Brit Bennett’s The Vanishing Half and Celeste Ng’s Everything I Never Told You.
The Flanagan sisters are as different as they come. Seventeen-year-old Annalie is bubbly, sweet, and self-conscious, whereas nineteen-year-old Margaret is sharp and assertive. Margaret looks just like their mother, while Annalie passes for white and looks like the father who abandoned them years ago, leaving their Chinese immigrant mama to raise the girls alone in their small, predominantly white Midwestern town.
When their house is vandalized with a shocking racial slur, Margaret rushes home from her summer internship in New York City. She expects outrage. Instead, her sister and mother would rather move on. Especially once Margaret’s own investigation begins to make members of their community uncomfortable.
For Annalie, this was meant to be a summer of new possibilities, and she resents her sister’s sudden presence and insistence on drawing negative attention to their family. Meanwhile Margaret is infuriated with Annalie’s passive acceptance of what happened. For Margaret, the summer couldn’t possibly get worse, until she crosses paths with someone she swore she’d never see again: her first love, Rajiv Agarwal.
As the sisters navigate this unexpected summer, an explosive secret threatens to break apart their relationship, once and for all.
This Place Is Still Beautiful is a luminous, captivating story about identity, sisterhood, and how our hometowns are inextricably a part of who we are, even when we outgrow them.
Deadly Setup by Lynn Slaughter (ISBN-13: 9788886530087 Publisher: Fire and Ice Young Adult Books Publication date: 07/05/2022, Ages 14-17)
The daughter of a New England heiress, seventeen-year-old Sam has tried hard to fulfill her father’s dying wish: “Take care of your mother for me.” Not an easy job. When her impulsive, romance-writing mom announces her engagement to a man whose last heiress wife died under suspicious circumstances, Sam tries to dissuade her mother. But her mom is convinced she’ll finally have the “Happily Ever After” she writes about.
And then Sam’s life implodes. Her mom’s fiancé turns up dead, and a mountain of circumstantial evidence points to Sam as the killer. On trial for murder, she fights to prove her innocence with the help of her boyfriend’s dad, an ex-homicide cop.
Just when things are looking especially bleak, Sam uncovers evidence she never expected to find. She faces a tough decision: At what point does the price of loyalty become too high?
If You’re a Kid Like Gavin by Gavin Grimm, J Yang (Illustrator), Kyle Lukoff (ISBN-13: 9780063057562 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 07/12/2022, Ages 4-8)
A celebratory and empowering story from young trans activist Gavin Grimm, two-time Stonewall Award-winning and Newbery Honor-winning author Kyle Lukoff, and illustrator J Yang follows the true story of how a young boy stood up for himself—and made history along the way.
When you’re a kid like Gavin Grimm, you know yourself best. And Gavin knew that he was a boy—even if others saw him as a girl. But when his school took away his right to something as simple as using the boy’s restroom, Gavin knew he had a big decision to make.
Because there are always more choices than the ones others give you.
Gavin chose to correct others when they got his pronouns wrong. He asked to be respected. He stood up for himself. Gavin proved that his school had violated his constitutional rights and had the Supreme Court uphold his case—bringing about a historic win for trans rights. There are many kids out there, some just like Gavin Grimm, and they might even be you.
What choices will you make?
Thirst by Varsha Bajaj (ISBN-13: 9780593354391 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 07/19/2022, Ages 10-12)
The riveting story of a heroic girl who fights for her belief that water should be for everyone.
Minni lives in the poorest part of Mumbai, where access to water is limited to a few hours a day and the communal taps have long lines. Lately, though, even that access is threatened by severe water shortages and thieves who are stealing this precious commodity—an act that Minni accidentally witnesses one night. Meanwhile, in the high-rise building where she just started to work, she discovers that water streams out of every faucet and there’s even a rooftop swimming pool. What Minni also discovers there is one of the water mafia bosses. Now she must decide whether to expose him and risk her job and maybe her life. How did something as simple as access to water get so complicated?
Storybooth by Storybooth (ISBN-13: 9780063057937 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 07/19/2022, Ages 13-17)
From Storybooth—the YouTube storytelling sensation with over five million subscribers—comes a full-color, illustrated compilation of never-before-seen and classic stories that combine the compelling storytelling of Humans of New York, the affirming tone of Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, and the “you can” attitude of The Confidence Code for Girls.
Everyone has a story.
These are ours.
Each one of these tales connects you to someone you never knew. A real person, sharing their lived experience. Exciting, inspirational, heartwrenching, uplifting, humorous, devastating, thought-provoking—TRUE.
Storybooth illustrates for readers that no matter what is happening in their world, they are not alone.
Real stories submitted by real people, Storybooth allows each contributor to speak for themselves about their experiences, imparting a myriad of raw, achingly honest, and deeply soulful truths with the power to touch each and every individual reader.
Beating Heart Baby by Lio Min (ISBN-13: 9781250819093 Publisher: Flatiron Books Publication date: 07/26/2022, Ages 14-17)
Lio Min’s Beating Heart Baby is an “achingly romantic” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) love letter to internet friendships, anime, and indie rock
When artistic and sensitive Santi arrives at his new high school, everyone in the wildly talented marching band welcomes him with open arms. Everyone except for the prickly, proud musical prodigy Suwa, who doesn’t think Santi has what it takes to be in the band.
But Santi and Suwa share painful pasts, and when they open up to each other, a tentative friendship begins. And soon, that friendship turns into something more. . . .
Will their fresh start rip at the seams as Suwa seeks out a solo spotlight, and both boys come to terms with what it’ll take, and what they’ll have to let go, to realize their dreams?
It Sounds Like This by Anna Meriano (ISBN-13: 9780593116906 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 08/02/2022, Ages 12-17)
A sweet and nerdy contemporary YA novel set in the world of marching band perfect for fans of Late to the Party, Fat Chance, Charlie Vega and Kate in Waiting.
Yasmín Treviño didn’t have much of a freshman year thanks to Hurricane Humphrey, but she’s ready to take sophomore year by storm. That means mastering the marching side of marching band—fast!—so she can outshine her BFF Sofia as top of the flute section, earn first chair, and impress both her future college admission boards and her comfortably unattainable drum major crush Gilberto Reyes.
But Yasmín steps off on the wrong foot when she reports an anonymous gossip Instagram account harassing new band members and accidentally gets the entire low brass section suspended from extracurriculars. With no low brass section, the band is doomed, so Yasmín decides to take things into her own hands, learn to play the tuba, and lead a gaggle of rowdy freshman boys who are just as green to marching and playing as she is. She’ll happily wrestle an ancient school tuba if it means fixing the mess she might have caused.
But when the secret gossip Instagram escalates their campaign of harassment and Yasmín’s friendship with Sofia deteriorates, things at school might be too hard to bear. Luckily, the support of Yasmín’s new section—especially introverted section leader Bloom, a sweet ace and aro-spectrum boy—might just turn things around.
What’s Coming to Me by Francesca Padilla (ISBN-13: 9781641293358 Publisher: Soho Press, Incorporated Publication date: 08/02/2022, Ages 14-17)
Seventeen-year-old Minerva Gutiérrez plans revenge on her predatory boss in this equally poignant and thrilling contemporary YA about grief, anger, and fighting for what you deserve, perfect for fans of Tiffany D. Jackson and Erika L. Sánchez.
In the seaside town of Nautilus, Minerva Gutiérrez absolutely hates her job at the local ice cream stand, where her sexist boss makes each day worse than the last. But she needs the money: kicked out of school and stranded by her mom’s most recent hospitalization, she dreams of escaping her dead-end hometown. When an armed robbery at the ice cream stand stirs up rumors about money hidden on the property, Min teams up with her neighbor CeCe, also desperate for cash, to find it. The bonus? Getting revenge on her boss in the process.
If Minerva can do things right for once—without dirty cops, suspicious co-workers, and an ill-timed work crush getting in her way—she might have a way out . . . as long as the painful truths she’s been running from don’t catch up to her first.
Furysong by Rosaria Munda (ISBN-13: 9780525518273 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 08/09/2022 Series: Aurelian Cycle Series #3, Ages 12-17)
In this explosive conclusion to the epic trilogy that began with Fireborne, Annie and Lee are fighting for their lives—and for each other—as invading dragonfire threatens to burn their home to the ground.
A new revolution is underway, and nobody will emerge unscathed.
In New Pythos, Griff is facing an execution by the dragonborn, who are furious at his betrayal. He has allies on both sides seeking to defy his fate, but the price of his freedom might come at a dear cost. And Delo will have to make a choice: follow his family, or finally surrender to his conscience.
Meanwhile, Annie must race home to hatch a plan to save her Guardians and their dragons. With Callipolis on the brink of collapse and the triarchy set to be reinstated, she may be the one person who can save the city—if she can overcome her own doubts about her future.
Lee is a revolutionary at heart, but now he’ll have to find a way to fight with diplomacy. Going up against the dragonborn court and a foreign princess, he faces a test of loyalty that sets his head against his heart.
As the fate of Callipolis darkens, Annie and Lee must determine what they are willing to sacrifice in order to save each other, defeat their enemies, and reclaim their home.
The First Thing About You by Chaz Hayden (ISBN-13: 9781536223118 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 09/06/2022, Ages 14-17)
A high school student with spinal muscular atrophy is determined to reinvent himself in a hilarious and poignant debut from an exciting new voice.
When fifteen-year-old Harris moves with his family from California (home of beautiful-but-inaccessible beaches) to New Jersey (home of some much-hyped pizza and bagels), he’s determined to be known as more than just the kid in the powered wheelchair. Armed with his favorite getting-to-know-you question (“What’s your favorite color?”), he’ll weed out the incompatible people—the greens and the purples, people who are too close to his own blue to make for good friends—and surround himself with outgoing yellows, adventurousoranges, and even thrilling reds. But first things first: he needs to find a new nurse, stat, so that his mom doesn’t have to keep accompanying him to school.
Enter Miranda, a young nursing student who graduated from Harris’s new high school. Beautiful, confident, and the perfect blend of orange and red, Miranda sees Harris for who he really is—funny, smart, and totally worthy of the affections of Nory Fischer, the cute girl who’s in most of his classes. With Miranda at his side, Harris soon befriends geeky Zander (yellow) and even makes headway with Nory (who stubbornly refuses to reveal her favorite color). But Miranda is fighting her own demons, and Harris starts to wonder if she truly has his best interests at heart.
Coven by Jennifer Dugan, Kit Seaton (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9780593112182 Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group Publication date: 09/06/2022, Ages 12-17)
In this queer, paranormal YA graphic novel debut from the author of Some Girls Do and the illustrator of Wonder Woman: Warbringer, a young witch races to solve the grisly supernatural murders of her coven members before the killer strikes again.
Emsy has always lived in sunny California, and she’d much rather spend her days surfing with her friends or hanging out with her girlfriend than honing her powers as a fire elemental. But when members of her family’s coven back east are murdered under mysterious circumstances that can only be the result of powerful witchcraft, her family must suddenly return to dreary upstate New York. There, Emsy will have to master her neglected craft in order to find the killer . . . before her family becomes their next target.
The Gathering Dark: An Anthology of Folk Horror by Tori Bovalino (Editor) (ISBN-13: 9781645676225 Publisher: Page Street Publishing Publication date: 09/06/2022, Ages 14-17)
A cemetery full of the restless dead. A town so wicked it has already burned twice, with the breath of the third fire looming. A rural, isolated bridge with a terrifying monster waiting for the completion of its summoning ritual. A lake that allows the drowned to return, though they have been changed by the claws of death. These are the shadowed, liminal spaces where the curses and monsters lurk, refusing to be forgotten.
Hauntings, and a variety of horrifying secrets, lurk in the places we once called home. Written by New York Times bestselling, and other critically acclaimed, authors these stories shed a harsh light on the scariest tales we grew up with.
Quest Kids and the Dragon Pants of Gold by Mark Leiknes (ISBN-13: 9781454946250 Publisher: Union Square Kids Publication date: 09/13/2022 Series: Quest Kids, Ages 8-12)
Comics artist Mark Leiknes delivers a laugh-out-loud story set in a fantastic world of dragons, rock creatures, and golden loungewear.
The Quest Kids are ready for their first real quest. This time, they won’t oversleep, they won’t be put off by a little rain, and they won’t accidentally burn down the village that hired them. All they have to do is find the Golden-Fleeced Rage Beast, shave it, and make a really nice golden tracksuit to appease a furious dragon. Simple, right?
Meet the Quest Kids crew: Gil, a wizard (well, wizard in training . . . the beard isn’t his); Terra, a 700-year-old elf kid; Boulder, a rock troll who is more of a cook than a fighter; Ash, a flatulent pig-dog-maybe-lizard hybrid; and, Ned, the intrepid and overly optimistic leader with his own personal quest to find his missing parents. With humor, magic, mystery, and at least one acid swamp filled with skeletal alligators, Quest Kids and the Dragon Pants of Gold is a richly illustrated saga of fantasy friendship for readers from all kingdoms!
Defend the Dawn by Brigid Kemmerer (ISBN-13: 9781547610075 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 09/20/2022 Series: Defy the Night Series #2, Ages 13-17)
New York Times bestselling author Brigid Kemmerer continues her electrifying series with more intrigue, romance, and heart-stopping adventure.
The kingdom of Kandala narrowly avoided catastrophe, but the embers of revolution still simmer. While King Harristan seeks a new way to lead, Tessa and Prince Corrick attempt to foster unity between rebels and royals.
But the consuls who control the Moonflower will not back down, and Corrick realizes he must find a new source for the lifesaving Elixir. When an emissary from the neighboring kingdom of Ostriary arrives with an intriguing offer, Tessa and Corrick set out on an uncertain journey as they attempt to mend their own fractured relationship. This could be their only chance to keep the peace and bring relief to the people of Kandala, but danger strikes during the journey to Ostriary, and no one is who they claimed to be. . .
Play Like a Girl by Misty Wilson, David Wilson (Illustrator) (ISBN-13: 9780063064683 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Publication date: 09/27/2022, Ages 8-12)
Debut author Misty Wilson chronicles her seventh-grade experience as the only girl on her town’s football team in this empowering graphic memoir about teamwork, friendship, crushes, and touchdowns.
Misty never shies away from a challenge, on or off the field. So when the boys tell her she can’t play football, there’s only one thing to do: join their team and show them what she’s got.
But the training is rougher than she thought—and so are the other guys, who aren’t thrilled about having a girl on their team.
Middle school isn’t so easy, either. Misty wants to fit in with the popular kids, but they think a girl playing football is “weird.” Even her best friend doesn’t get it.
Can Misty find a way to score points with her teammates, make new friends, and show everyone—including herself—what it means to play like a girl?
“I am a huge fan of Misty and her courageous journey of staying true to herself. Readers will love her!” —Terri Libenson, New York Times bestselling author of the Emmie & Friends series
“This is the book I wish I’d had as a kid. Misty’s passion for football and her fight to play in a male-dominated sport while balancing friendship and crushes makes for a winning read!” —Dr. Jen Welter, first female NFL coach, first female running back in men’s pro football, and founder of Grrridiron Girls
Ways to Share Joy by Renée Watson, Nina Mata (Illustrator)(ISBN-13: 9781547609093 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Publication date: 09/27/2022 Series: A Ryan Hart Story #3, Ages 7-10)
Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Renée Watson continues her charming young middle grade series starring Ryan Hart, a girl who is pure spirit and sunshine.
Ryan Hart is caught in the middle. She has an older brother and a new baby sister, and she’s in a friendship tug-of-war with two friends who both want to be her best best friend. How can Ryan think about being kind to a classmate who is relentless with his teasing? Or be her signature sunny self when her brother, Ray, pulls the ultimate prank?
But even when it seems like nothing is going her way, Ryan still looks for a way to see the bright side of things, refusing to let anything steal her joy, and finding ways to share it with everyone she meets.
Victory. Stand!: Raising My Fist for Justice by Tommie Smith, Derrick Barnes, Dawud Anyabwile (ISBN-13: 9781324052159 Publisher: Norton Young Readers Publication date: 09/27/2022, Ages 13-18)
A groundbreaking and timely graphic memoir from one of the most iconic figures in American sports—and a tribute to his fight for civil rights.
On October 16, 1968, during the medal ceremony at the Mexico City Olympics, Tommie Smith, the gold medal winner in the 200-meter sprint, and John Carlos, the bronze medal winner, stood on the podium in black socks and raised their black-gloved fists to protest racial injustice inflicted upon African Americans. Both men were forced to leave the Olympics, received death threats, and faced ostracism and continuing economic hardships.
In his first-ever memoir for young readers, Tommie Smith looks back on his childhood growing up in rural Texas through to his stellar athletic career, culminating in his historic victory and Olympic podium protest. Cowritten with Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Honor recipient Derrick Barnes and illustrated with bold and muscular artwork from Emmy Award–winning illustrator Dawud Anyabwile, Victory. Stand! paints a stirring portrait of an iconic moment in Olympic history that still resonates today.
How to Heal a Gryphon by Meg Cannistra (ISBN-13: 9781335426871 Publisher: Inkyard Press Publication date: 10/04/2022 Series: A Giada the Healer Novel #1, Ages 8-12)
To save her family, she’ll have to make a dangerous bargain and tip the scales of balance.
With her thirteenth birthday just around the corner, Giada Bellantuono has to make a big decision: Will she join the family business and become a healer or follow her dreams? But even though she knows her calling is to heal vulnerable animals, using her powers to treat magical creatures is decidedly not allowed.
When a group of witches kidnaps her beloved older brother, Rocco, and her parents are away, Giada is the only person left who can rescue him. Swept into the magical underground city of Malavita, Giada will need the help of her new companions to save her brother—or risk losing him forever.
The Rat Queen by Pete Hautman (ISBN-13: 9781536218589 Publisher: Candlewick Press Publication date: 10/11/2022, Ages 9-12)
From National Book Award winner Pete Hautman comes a mysterious modern-day fairy tale about developing a moral compass—and the slippery nature of conscience.
For Annie’s tenth birthday, her papa gives her a pad of paper, some colored pencils, and the Klimas family secret. It’s called the nuodeema burna, or eater of sins. Every time Annie misbehaves, she has to write down her transgression and stick the paper into a hidey-hole in the floor of their house. But Annie’s inheritance has a dark side: with each paper fed to the burna, she feels less guilty about the mean things she says and does. As a plague of rats threatens her small suburban town and the mystery of her birthright grows, Annie—caught in a cycle of purging her misdeeds—begins to stop growing. It is only when she travels to her family’s home country of Litvania to learn more about the burna that Annie uncovers the magnitude of the truth. Gripping and emotionally complex, Pete Hautman’s inventive yarn for middle-grade readers draws on magical realism to explore coming of age and the path to moral responsibility.
Gleanings: Stories from the Arc of a Scythe by Neal Shusterman (ISBN-13: 9781534499973 Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers Publication date: 11/08/2022 Series: Arc of a Scythe Series, Ages 12-18)
The New York Times bestselling Arc of the Scythe series continues with thrilling stories that span the timeline. Storylines continue. Origin stories are revealed. And new Scythes emerge!
There are still countless tales of the Scythedom to tell. Centuries passed between the Thunderhead cradling humanity and Scythe Goddard trying to turn it upside down. For years humans lived in a world without hunger, disease, or death with Scythes as the living instruments of population control.
Neal Shusterman—along with collaborators David Yoon, Jarrod Shusterman, Sofía Lapuente, Michael H. Payne, Michelle Knowlden, and Joelle Shusterman—returns to the world throughout the timeline of the Arc of a Scythe series. Discover secrets and histories of characters you’ve followed for three volumes and meet new heroes, new foes, and some figures in between.
Gleanings shows just how expansive, terrifying, and thrilling the world that began with the Printz Honor–winning Scythe truly is.
A Pros and Cons List for Strong Feelings by Will Betke-Brunswick (ISBN-13: 9781953534453 Publisher: Tin House Books Publication date: 11/15/2022)
An unexpected and poignant debut graphic memoir about a close-knit family approaching loss, and the wonder and joy discovered along the way.
During Will Betke-Brunswick’s sophomore year of college, their beloved mother, Elizabeth, is diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. They only have ten more months together, which Will documents in fully illustrated pages. But as we follow Will and their mom through chemo and hospital visits, their time together is buoyed by laughter, jigsaw puzzles, modern art, and vegan BLTs. Best of all: the family is drawn as penguins and their friends are cast as a menagerie of birds. Together, they navigate uniquely human challenges: preparing for math exams, negotiating familial tension, and coming out as genderqueer in between chemo appointments and bedside chats with their mom.
In evocative two-color illustrations, A Pros and Cons List for Strong Feelings is an act of loving others and loving oneself, offering a story of coming-of-age, illness, death, and life that announces the arrival of a talented debut storyteller in Will Betke-Brunswick. At its heart, Will’s story is a celebration of a mother-child relationship filled with unconditional devotion, humor, care, and openness.
Filed under: New Releases
About Amanda MacGregor
Amanda MacGregor works in an elementary library, loves dogs, and can be found on Twitter @CiteSomething.
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