Skip to main content

 

 

Jay's 2018 Summer Reading List for Lower School Students

Sunday, June 17, 2018

One morning, an educator visiting Manhattan Country School  from another school asked me, “Where do you find your books?” I said, “Well, that’s kind of complicated. It happens in a bunch of ways!”

Scribbling down a title of a book that a father is reading to his daughter on the subway.  Or sitting in a corner of a bookstore until closing. Or sifting through a myriad of book reviews, websites, tweets, etc. Or a friend tells me that I have to read this book about a boy who wants to be a mermaid.

Searching for just the right book is one of the best parts of my job as librarian. I love being a “book finder.” Another is reading out loud to a group of children. It is my hope that you find some joy inside a book or two or 20 with your children this summer. Here are three summer reading lists - one for Lower School ages, one for Upper School ages, and one for grownups. I started these list 10 years ago when some parents asked for some suggestions for reading for the summer vacation. They are not required reading. One last thing, a link to an article about reading aloud to children that affected me quite deeply: https://themillions.com/2018/04/read-it-again.html


Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love - In an exuberant picture book, a glimpse of costumed mermaids leaves one boy flooded with wonder and ready to dazzle the world. While riding the subway home from the pool with his abuela one day, Julián notices three women spectacularly dressed up. Their hair billows in brilliant hues, their dresses end in fishtails, and their joy fills the train car. When Julián gets home, daydreaming of the magic he’s seen, all he can think about is dressing up just like the ladies in his own fabulous mermaid costume: a butter-yellow curtain for his tail, the fronds of a potted fern for his headdress. But what will Abuela think about the mess he makes — and even more importantly, what will she think about how Julián sees himself? Mesmerizing and full of heart, Jessica Love’s author-illustrator debut is a jubilant picture of self-love and a radiant celebration of individuality. (4 and up)

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld - Taylor is overcome with sadness when an impressive block construction crashes to the ground, and none of his animal friends' suggestions help. Each creature proposes an outlet: Chicken wants to talk about it, Bear surmises that Taylor is angry and offers to "shout about it," Hyena suggests laughing, and so on. Taylor doesn't feel like doing any of those things and remains in a funk. But when Rabbit cuddles in close and listens, the child finally lets loose. With sadness finally dispelled, Taylor can now envision beginning again to build something "amazing." The cartoon illustrations, digitally rendered with thick black outlines, depict a curly-haired moppet in striped pajamas. The animals appear in several vignettes as they submit their ideas. Taylor builds with rapt concentration, proudly admires the work, gasps in horror at its destruction, and curls up in sadness before expressing bottled up feelings. The only background color is the deep purple against which a flock of black birds swoops down and scatters the blocks and the background against Taylor's real and imagined structures. (4 and up)

I Really Want to See You, Grandma by Taro Gomi - Yumi and her grandmother have the same great idea: They want to see each other. So they each head out to do just that, only to completely miss each other along the way! No problem—they'll just head back home and wait for the other to return. The trouble is that they have the same great idea—again—resulting in the ultimate missed connection! Will this duo ever find each other? Leave it to bestselling author-illustrator Taro Gomi to spin an action-packed story that sweetly, and humorously, celebrates the powerful grandparent-child bond. (4 and up)

Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal - If you ask her, Alma Sofia Esperanza José Pura Candela has way too many names: six! How did such a small person wind up with such a large name? Alma turns to Daddy for an answer and learns of Sofia, the grandmother who loved books and flowers; Esperanza, the great-grandmother who longed to travel; José, the grandfather who was an artist; and other namesakes, too. As she hears the story of her name, Alma starts to think it might be a perfect fit after all — and realizes that she will one day have her own story to tell. In her author-illustrator debut, Juana Martinez-Neal opens a treasure box of discovery for children who may be curious about their own origin stories or names. (4 and up)

I Hate Everyone by Naomi Danis - In spare, poignant, direct prose, I Hate Everyone paints a nuanced and honest portrait of the complex emotional lives of children. "I hate everyone." In your worst mood, it's a phrase you might want to shout out loud, even if, deep down, you don't really mean it. Set at a birthday party, this disgruntled, first-person story portrays the confusing feelings that sometimes make it impossible to be nice, even—or especially—when everyone else is in a partying mode. A gorgeous, poetic contemplation – it is sure to elicit a reaction from readers. (4 and up)

On the Night of the Shooting Star by Amy Hest - For solitary neighbors Bunny and Dog, reticence overcomes curiosity — until something extraordinary happens to nudge them into friendship. Bunny and Dog live on opposite sides of the fence. Every morning, first thing, Bunny looks through the fence and the tall grass at Dog. And every morning, first thing, Dog looks through the fence and the tall grass at Bunny. Yet neither one says hello. Or hi. Or nice to see you today. But then, one night, Bunny and Dog both see a shooting star zip through the sky. Could this shared moment be the start of a friendship? From storyteller Amy Hest and artist Jenni Desmond comes a lyrical, touching, and timely picture book about finding the courage to say, “I could be your friend.” (4 and up)

Teddy’s Favorite Toy by Christian Trimmer - A mom goes to great lengths to rescue her son’s favorite doll in this delightful tribute to treasured toys—and mothers. Teddy has a lot of cool toys. But his very favorite doll has the best manners, the sickest fighting skills, and a fierce sense of style. Then one morning, something truly awful happens. And there’s only one woman fierce enough to save the day. Can Teddy’s mom reunite Teddy with his favorite toy? (4 and up)

Dad By My Side by Soosh - Whether they're playing make-believe, making you smile, or warding off monsters under the bed, dads are always there when you need them. Debut picture book artist Soosh celebrates fathers with a gorgeously illustrated and moving story about the parent-child bond. When Soosh first posted her initial series of images of a larger-than-life father and his adorable daughter on Instagram, fans from across the world immediately took notice with over 2 million views on a popular viral content website in a single week. These illustrations now come together in a universally relatable story of familial love for parents and children to share. (4 and up)

Sam and Eva by Debbie Ridpath Ohi - Harold and the Purple Crayon meets Tom and Jerry in this sweet and funny picture book about a boy and girl who must balance their creativity and figure out how to cooperate after their drawings come to life. When Sam starts drawing a super cool velociraptor, Eva decides to join in. But Sam isn’t too happy about the collaboration. Soon Eva and Sam are locked in an epic creative clash, bringing to life everything from superhero marmots to exploding confetti. But when their masterpieces turn to mayhem will Sam stay stubbornly solo or will he realize that sometimes the best work comes from teamwork? (5 and up)

The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord - It's a dark day for Itching Down. Four million wasps have just descended on the town, and the pests are relentless! What can be done? Bap the Baker has a crazy idea that just might work. Young readers will love this lyrical, rhyming text as they watch the industrious citizens of Itching Down knead, bake, and slather the biggest wasp trap there ever was! John Vernon Lord's bright ink and crayon illustrations fill the pages with humorous detail. (5 and up)

Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima - Harriet loves costumes. She wears them to the dentist, to the supermarket, and most importantly, to her super-special dress-up birthday party. Her dads have decorated everything for the party and Harriet has her most favorite costume all picked out for the big day. There’s just one thing missing—party hats! But when Harriet dons her special penguin errand-running costume and sets out to find the perfect ones, she finds something else instead—real penguins! Harriet gets carried away with the flock. She may look like a penguin, but she’s not so sure she belongs in the arctic. Can Harriet manage her way back to her dads (and the party hats!) in time for her special day? (5 and up)

My Hair is a Garden by Cozbi A. Cabrera - After a day of being taunted by classmates about her unruly hair, Mackenzie can’t take any more and she seeks guidance from her wise and comforting neighbor, Miss Tillie. Using the beautiful garden in the backyard as a metaphor, Miss Tillie shows Mackenzie that maintaining healthy hair is not a chore nor is it something to fear. Most importantly, Mackenzie learns that natural black hair is beautiful. (5 and up)

The Little Red Fort by Brenda Maier - This book begins with the line, "Ruby's mind was always full of ideas." When the child finds some old boards she decides that she wants to build something. So she asks her brothers for help. They tell her she doesn't know how, but she says, "Then I'll learn." Each step of the way Ruby asks the boys to help, but every time they reply: "Not me," said Oscar Lee; "I don't think so," said Rodrigo; and "No way" said José. So each time Ruby does everything herself. She draws the plans, gathers the supplies, cuts the boards (with her mom's help), hammers the nails (with grandma's help). Finally when the fort is complete, Ruby asked who wants to play in it. Her three brothers definitely want to do that. But Ruby tells them that they haven't done anything to help her, so she will play in the fort by herself. The boys set about to make amends by fashioning a mailbox, planting flowers, and painting the fort fire-engine red. Ruby loves it! That evening she invites her brothers to a cookie feast, which they all enjoy in the fort. The bold and dynamic artwork captures the kids' personalities and creative energy. (5 and up)

Mommy’s Khimar by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow - A young Muslim girl spends a busy day wrapped up in her mother’s colorful headscarf in this sweet and fanciful picture book from debut author and illustrator Jamilah Tompkins-Bigelow and Ebony Glenn. A khimar is a flowing scarf that my mommy wears. Before she walks out the door each day, she wraps one around her head. A young girl plays dress up with her mother’s headscarves, feeling her mother’s love with every one she tries on. Charming and vibrant illustrations showcase the beauty of the diverse and welcoming community in this portrait of a young Muslim American girl’s life. (5 and up)

I Know A Lady by Charlotte Zolotow - A lean, resonant Zolotow text expands, in Stevenson's free, expressive watercolor drawings, into a celebration of elders and the generation jump. "On our block there is a lady who lives alone. She works in her garden and gives us daffodils in the spring, zinnias in the summer, chrysanthemums in the fall, and red holly berries when the snow falls." The full-page landscape drawings of house and trees through the seasons reflect a deepening feeling that the youth in the story experience on many levels. All in all, this will be a much cherished story in the picture book canon. (5 and up)

Mabel and Sam at Home: One Brave Journey in Three Adventures by Linda Urban - At the new house, there were movers and shouting and boxes and blankets. There were many places a girl like Mabel and a boy like Sam could be tripped over or smooshed or trod upon. There was one safe place where they would not. And that is how Mabel became a Sea Captain. In this three-part picture book of moving house and imaginative play, Mabel and Sam sail the high seas of their new home; tour the intriguing museum of their living room; journey through outer space to the safety of their own beds; and discover how far afield—and how close to home—imagination can take them. (5 and up)

Natsumi by Sharon Lendroth - Natsumi is small but full of big exuberance, and puts her girl-power to good use when she discovers a Japanese tradition as energetic as she is. When Natsumi's family practices for their town's Japanese arts festival, Natsumi tries everything. But her stirring is way too vigorous for the tea ceremony, her dancing is just too imaginative, and flower arranging doesn't go any better. Can she find just the right way to put her exuberance to good use? This heartwarming tale about being true to yourself is perfect for readers who march to their own beat. (5 and up)

Saffron Ice Cream by Rashin - Rashin is excited about her first visit to the beach in her family's new home. On the way there, she remembers what beach trips were like in Iran, the beautiful Caspian Sea, the Persian music, and most of all, the saffron ice cream she shared with her best friend, Azadeh. But there are wonderful things in this new place as well -- a subway train, exciting music... and maybe even a new friend! (6 and up)

Prince and Knight by Daniel Haack - In this modern fairy tale, a noble prince and a brave knight come together to defeat a terrible monster and in the process find true love in a most unexpected place. Once upon a time, in a kingdom far from here, there was a prince in line to take the throne, so his parents set out to find him a kind and worthy bride. The three of them traveled the land far and wide, but the prince didn't quite find what he was looking for in the princesses they met. While they were away, a terrible dragon threatened their land, and all the soldiers fled. The prince rushed back to save his kingdom from the perilous beast and was met by a brave knight in a suit of brightly shining armor. Together they fought the dragon and discovered that special something the prince was looking for all along. (6 and up)

Florette by Anna Walker - When Mae’s family moves to a new home, she wishes she could bring her garden with her. She’ll miss the apple trees, the daffodils, and chasing butterflies in the wavy grass. But there’s no room for a garden in the city. Or is there? Mae’s story, gorgeously illustrated in watercolor, is a celebration of friendship, resilience in the face of change, and the magic of the natural world. (6 and up)

Sisters and Champions: The True Story of Venus and Serena Williams by Howard Bryant - An inspiring picture book sports biography about two of the greatest female tennis players of all-time! Venus and Serena Williams: Best friends. Sisters. Champions. Everyone knows the names Venus & Serena Williams. They've become synonymous with championships, hard work, and with shaking up the tennis world. This inspirational true story, written by award-winning sports journalist, Howard Bryant, and brought to beautiful life by Coretta Scott Kind Award and Honor winner, Floyd Cooper, details the sisters' journey from a barely-there tennis court in Compton, CA, to Olympic gold medals and becoming the #1 ranked women in the sport of tennis. Here is a worthy ode to Venus and Serena Williams, the incredible sister duo who will go down in history as two of the greatest athletes of all time. (6 and up)

La Princesa and the Pea by Susan Middleton Elya - The traditional Hans Christian Andersen tale gets a makeover in this modern version with a twist. In her signature style of stories peppered with a liberal dose of Spanish and humor, Elya relates the account of a prince who wants to marry and his mother, the queen, who takes charge of vetting the possible candidates. In rhyming text, the author describes the lonely prince. Then one day "came a maiden, en route to her castle…/She winked at the prince, who fell for her fast. /No matter what Mom does, I'll marry this lass!" The endearing and playful illustrations set the story in Peru. The Spanish words sprinkled throughout the text are in a different color and font, and kids will easily understand them through the context. (6 and up)

Fox & Chick – The Party by Sergio Ruzzier - Fox and Chick don't always agree. But Fox and Chick are always friends. With sly humor and companionable warmth, Sergio Ruzzier deftly captures the adventures of these two seemingly opposite friends. The luminous watercolor images showcased in comic-book panel form will entice emerging readers, while the spare text and airiness of the images make this early chapter book accessible to a picture book audience as well. (6 and up)

Noodleheads See the Future by Tedd Arnold - When Meatball sees Mac and Mac sitting on a tree branch and sawing it, he predicts they will fall and bruise their bottoms. And they do! Mac and Mac conclude that Meatball can see the future! What the boys really want in their future is for Mom to bake them a cake. But they don't want to oblige her request to dig holes for her garden. Thanks to Meatball's trickery, the boys unknowingly dig dozens of holes. Mom gets her garden and the boys get their cake. Puns based on "lend a hand," "listen up" and "a piece of cake" as well as slapstick and other visual humor tell a wacky story that is based upon traditional folktale motifs. Back matter traces the folk origins of various incidents in the story. (6 and up)

Dory Fantasmagory: Head in the Clouds by Abby Hanlon - Dory has her first loose tooth, and, with her usual over-the-top excitement, she cannot stop talking about the tooth fairy. Naturally, this drives her brother and sister crazy. But it also sparks a serious jealous streak in her nemesis, Mrs. Gobble Gracker, who wants all of Dory's attention to herself. But Mrs. Gobble Gracker has decided to steal the tooth fairy's job, and flying around in a tutu from Rosabelle, she heads for Dory's house. It's time for Dory to come up with a serious plan to get the tooth fairy her job back. The fourth installment in the wildly popular Dory Fantasmagory series delivers laughs on every page as Dory teams up with her pals, real and imaginary, to save the tooth fairy for all the world's children--and get her dollar! (6 and up)

Duck, Duck, Porcupine by Salina Yoon - Big Duck likes to boss around her younger brother, Little Duck, and she fancies herself the leader of their trio--when joined by their gentle friend Porcupine. Little Duck doesn’t speak yet, but through his expressions and his actions, he shows that he has a better grasp on any situation than his older sister. Told entirely through dialogue and visual storytelling with subtle humor throughout, Little Duck ends up getting the trio out of whatever jam they are in. Moving into an exciting new paper over board reader format, Salina Yoon's early readers are perfect for fans of bestselling series like Elephant & Piggie and Ballet Cat, giving all her picture book fans a fantastic next step for reading fun. (6 and up)

Trailblazer: The Story of Ballerina Raven Wilkinson by Leda Schubert - Raven Wilkinson was born on February 2, 1935, in New York City. From the time she was a little girl, all she wanted to do was dance. On Raven's ninth birthday, her uncle gifted her with ballet lessons, and she completely fell in love with dance. While she was a student at Columbia University, Raven auditioned for the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo and was finally accepted on her third try, even after being told she couldn't dance with them because of her skin color. When she started touring with her troupe in the United States in 1955, Raven encountered much racism in the South, but the applause, alongside the opportunity to dance, made all the hardship worth it. Several years later she would dance for royalty with the Dutch National Ballet and regularly performed with the New York City Opera until she was fifty. This beautiful picture book tells the uplifting story of the first African American woman to dance for a major classical ballet company and how she became a huge inspiration for Misty Copeland. (7 and up)

Polly Diamond and the Magic Book by Alice Kuipers - The first in a delightfully funny and magical chapter book series perfect for fans of Ivy + Bean, Amelia Bedelia, and Dory Fantasmagory! Polly loves words. And she loves writing stories. So when a magic book appears on her doorstep that can make everything she writes happen in real life, Polly is certain all of her dreams are about to come true. But she soon learns that what you write and what you mean are not always the same thing! (6 and up)

Louie Lets Loose: Unicorn in New York by Rachel Hamilton - Louie the Unicorn is a star! At least, he will be once he polishes his act at performing arts school. With a song in his heart, a spring in his step, and an unwaveringly sunny outlook, he's about to take the big city by storm. It's time for this unicorn to shine! But his ride to super stardom is bumpy -- the school already has a superstar unicorn, not to mention singing mermaids and dancing trolls. And apparently you can't pay for things with glitter! But Louie isn't giving up. His irrepressible spirit can't be tamed. And he's about to take a big bite out of the Big Apple so he can see his name in lights! (7 and up)

Wedgie and Gizmo vs. The Toof by Suzanne Selfors - Wedgie LOVES the new micro-pig next door. And she LOVES him! They both like to go for walks and roll in smelly things. They are going to be in the school pet parade together. They are best friends. But Gizmo knows the truth. The pig is Wedgie’s new sidekick. Super Wedgie and the Toof have teamed up to stop Gizmo from taking over the world. But they will not win! Gizmo is an evil genius. He is smarter than most comic book villains. And more powerful than even Darth Vader! He ordered a flying machine online and he will use it to set free all the guinea pigs at the pet parade. (7 and up)

Sam the Man and the Dragon Van Plan by Frances O’Roark Dowell - Sam the Man is back with not one, but TWO plans in this third hilarious chapter book in the Sam the Man series from Frances O’Roark Dowell. Sam Graham is a dragon fan and a big truck man. Monster trucks to be specific. And when the family minivan needs replacing, Sam has the perfect plan: get a family monster truck instead! But convincing Mom that a monster truck is the way to go may prove to be a little too difficult, even for Sam. So he comes up with another plan: Turn the minivan into a monster minivan with a super-cool dragon painted on it! First, though, Sam has to convince his family why a monster minivan is the best choice—oh, and learn how to paint a dragon. (7 and up)

Mango & Bambang: The Not-a-Pig by Polly Faber - A charming collection of four beautifully illustrated stories about the unlikely friendship between Mango, a little girl, and Bambang, a tapir. A charming collection of four beautifully illustrated stories about the unlikely friendship between Mango, a little girl, and Bambang, an Asian tapir. Mango Allsorts is good at all sorts of things, not just karate and chess. Bambang is most definitely not-a-pig and is now lost in a very busy city. When the two unexpectedly meet, a friendship begins, filled with adventures, and of course, plenty of banana pancakes. The Not-a-Pig is Book One in a brilliant series from Polly Faber and Clara Vulliamy. (7 and up)

Two Dogs in a Trench Coat Go to School by Julie Falatko - Sassy and Waldo are good dogs. They spend the day keeping their house safe. Has a squirrel ever gotten inside? No! But every day their boy, Stewart, comes home from this terrible place called school smelling like anxiety and looseleaf paper. Sassy and Waldo decide to save Stewart. But they don't let dogs into school. So Sassy and Waldo decide to get creative. They put on an old trench coat, and now everyone at Bea Arthur Elementary thinks they are a new student named Salty from Liver, Ohio. Well, everyone except Stewart. Sassy and Waldo love school! Everything smells like meat and dirty socks. And they discover a whole other way to help out Stewart! (7 and up)

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison - This beautifully illustrated book introduces readers of all ages to 40 women who changed the world. Featuring forty trailblazing black women in American history, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of breaking boundaries and achieving beyond expectations. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash. Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things - bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn't always accept them. (7 and up)

An Atlas of Imaginary Places by Mia Cassany - Upside-down mountains, volcanoes that spew bubble gum, a gentle humpback whale keeping an entire city afloat. These and other wonderful worlds may not exist on Earth, but elsewhere--who knows? Each spread of this captivating book invites readers on a fantastic voyage. Ana de Lima's whimsical, softly colored illustrations are filled with surprising details that reward close examination, while Mia Cassany's soothing narrator is a nameless fellow traveler. A jungle where the animals exchange stripes, spots, and markings each time they sneeze, an archipelago made up of dessert-shaped islands, and a lighthouse so tall you can draw a new galaxy with your finger are just some of the wild places to visit. Perfect for before-bed reading, or daytime dreaming, this stunningly illustrated book will delight young readers and encourage them to conjure their own imaginary places. (7 and up)

Peter and Ernesto – A Tale of Two Sloths: A Graphic Novel by Graham Annable - Peter and Ernesto are sloths. Peter and Ernesto are friends. But Peter and Ernesto are nothing alike. Peter loves their tree and never wants to leave, while Ernesto loves the sky and wants to see it from every place on Earth. When Ernesto leaves to have a grand adventure, Peter stays behind and frets. The two friends grow even closer in separation, as Peter the homebody expands his horizons and Ernesto the wanderer learns the value of home. With ridiculously cute art and simple, funny text, their reunion is even more adorable than you are imagining. (7 and up)

The Dragon Slayer: Folktales from Latin America by Jaime Hernandez - How would a kitchen maid fare against a seven-headed dragon? What happens when a woman marries a mouse? And what can a young man learn from a thousand leaf cutter ants? Famed Love and Rockets creator Jaime Hernandez asks these questions and more as he transforms beloved myths into bold, stunning, and utterly contemporary comics. Guided by the classic works of F. Isabel Campoy and Alma Flor Ada, Hernandez’s first book for young readers brings the sights and stories of Latin America to a new generation of graphic-novel fans around the world. (8 and up)

The Creature of the Pines: The Unicorn Rescue Society Book 1 by Adam Gidwitz - Are you ready to protect the creatures of myth and legend? Then you belong in The Unicorn Rescue Society. HURRY–THE CREATURES NEED YOU! Elliot Eisner isn't exactly thrilled with the first day at his new school. His class is going on a field trip to a creepy forest called the Pine Barrens. Professor Fauna, the weirdest teacher Elliot has ever met, is leading the trip. And the only kid who will talk to Elliot, Uchenna Devereaux, isn’t afraid of danger. She likes danger. Elliot and Uchenna are about to become part of a secret group of adventurers, The Unicorn Rescue Society, whose goal is to protect and defend the world’s mythical creatures. Together with Professor Fauna, Elliot and Uchenna must help rescue a Jersey Devil from a duo of conniving, greedy billionaires, the Schmoke Brothers. Join Elliot and Uchenna on their very first quest as members of the Unicorn Rescue Society in this brand-new fantasy-adventure series from Adam Gidwitz, the beloved bestselling and Newbery Honor-winning author of The Inquisitors Tale and A Tale Dark & Grimm. Illustrated throughout, this is the perfect fit for newly independent readers looking for a story full of adventure, fun, and friendship. (8 and up)

Fairy Tale Detectives: Sisters Grimm #1 by Michael Buckley – Fans of fractured fairy tales will be delighted to discover the fantasy, mystery, adventure, and humor in the beloved New York Times bestselling Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley, now with new cover art. As featured on NBC’s The Today Show, the nine wildly popular books are favorites around the world. They were among the first books to bring a distinctly girl-power spin to fairy tales—a spin taken up by hit movies and shows TV such as Once Upon a Time, Grimm,and Maleficent, the bestselling book series The Land of Stories, and other. New covers will appear on book one, The Sisters Grimm: The Fairy-Tale Detectives; book two, The Sisters Grimm: The Unusual Suspects; and book three, The Sisters Grimm: The Problem Child. Books four through nine will be available in revised editions soon. In this first book in the series, orphaned sisters Sabrina and Daphne are sent to live with their recently discovered grandmother, Relda Grimm. The girls learn that they are descendants of the Brothers Grimm, whose famous tome of fairy tales is actually a history book. The girls are pitted against a giant, who has been rampaging through town. But who set the giant loose in the first place? Was it Mayor Charming (formerly Prince Charming), who has plans to get his kingdom back? The Three Not-So-Little Pigs, now working as police officers? Or a giant-killer named Jack, currently working at a Big & Tall store? With an irresistible combination of adventure and imagination, the Sisters Grimm series injects classic fairy tales with modern day sensibilities and suspense, creating a fantastical combination readers of all ages will love. 

Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring by Angela Cervantes - A room locked for fifty years. A valuable peacock ring. A mysterious brother-sister duo. Paloma Marquez is traveling to Mexico City, birthplace of her deceased father, for the very first time. She's hoping that spending time in Mexico will help her unlock memories of the too-brief time they spent together. While in Mexico, Paloma meets Lizzie and Gael, who present her with an irresistible challenge: The siblings want her to help them find a valuable ring that once belonged to beloved Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Finding the ring means a big reward -- and the thanks of all Mexico. What better way to honor her father than returning a priceless piece of jewelry that once belonged to his favorite artist! But the brother and sister have a secret. Do they really want to return the ring, or are they after something else entirely? (8 and up)

The Wild Robot Escapes by Peter Brown - Shipwrecked on a remote, wild island, Robot Roz learned from the unwelcoming animal inhabitants and adapted to her surroundings--but can she survive the challenges of the civilized world and find her way home to Brightbill and the island? From bestselling and award-winning author and illustrator Peter Brown comes a heartwarming and action-packed sequel to his New York Times bestselling The Wild Robot, about what happens when nature and technology collide. (8 and up)

Monsters Beware by Jorge Aguirre - Claudette is back AGAIN, and she’s ready to kick major monster butt! She’s fought giants, clobbered dragons, and now Claudette faces her biggest challenge yet… herself! Well, that and a gang of vile monsters. It all begins when Claudette’s town hosts the annual Warrior Games. After some sneaky maneuvering, Claudette manages to gets herself, Marie, and Gaston chosen as her town's representatives. But none of Claudette’s past battles has prepared her for this. And to make matters worse, they must stop the vicious Sea Queen and her evil children from using the Warrior Games to free the dark Wizard Grombach and conquer the world! In Monsters Beware!, the third and final book of the Claudette graphic novel series, Claudette is put the ultimate test. With her honor on the line will she learn that there's more to a fight than just winning? (8 and up)

The Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell - The Cardboard Kingdom is a love letter to make-believers. The kids in Sell’s fictional neighborhood spend the summer creating elaborate costumes (including an evil sorceress, an alchemist, a banshee, and a gargoyle), weapons, and secret hideouts from cardboard boxes. Many of the kids face resistance from their parents, such as the professor whose father doesn’t understand why she wants to dress up in a mustache or the banshee whose grandmother constantly tells her that ‘nice girls don’t talk so loud,’ but each finds strength in their alter ego. The Cardboard Kingdom is a wonderfully crafted world that has something for everyone, including your inner child. (8 and up)

How to Merit in Monsters (Strange Scout Tales) by Matthew Cody - A new chapter book series teeming with monsters, the biomes they roam, and the hopeless scout troop out to save them. When a scout troop learns that their sleepaway camp is really a training ground for protecting the earth’s most endangered species—monsters—the lowest-ranked Troop D (or Troop Dweeb, as the other troops refer to them) is next in line to earn their Monster Merit Badges. In How to Merit in Monsters, join Troop D on a mission to rescue the legendary Big Foot, whose water supply has been contaminated. With the help of their troop master and the ever-handy century-old Scout’s Handbook, they might just have a chance! (9 and up)

Secret Sister of the Salty Sea by Lynne Rae Perkins - Alix and her sister, Jools, have never seen the ocean. When their parents pack them up for a week at the shore, Alix is nervous about leaving home, but excited, too. At the beach, the girls make friends, go exploring, and have adventures both big and small. They pick periwinkles, spot crabs, and discover that the beach is full of endless possibilities. As the week comes to an end, Alix is surprised to find she doesn’t want to leave! Award-winning author Lynne Rae Perkins has beautifully crafted a genuine and engaging novel about sisters, family, and exploration. Features stunning pencil and ink drawings. A great read-aloud as well as a good choice for newly independent readers. (9 and up)

Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel by L.M. Montgomery - The magic of L.M. Montgomery’s treasured classic is reimagined in a whimsically-illustrated graphic novel adaptation perfect for newcomers and kindred spirits alike. When Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert decide to adopt an orphan who can help manage their family farm, they have no idea what delightful trouble awaits them. With flame-red hair and an unstoppable imagination, 11-year-old Anne Shirley takes Green Gables by storm. Anne’s misadventures bring a little romance to the lives of everyone she meets: her bosom friend, Diana Barry; the town gossip, Mrs. Lynde; and that infuriating tease, Gilbert Blythe. From triumphs and thrills to the depths of despair, Anne turns each everyday moment into something extraordinary. (9 and up)

Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi – A tantalizing adventure with twelve-year-old Aru Shah, who has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she'll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur? One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru's doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don't believe her claim that the museum's Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again. But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it's up to Aru to save them. The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that? (9 and up)

Max Tilt: Fire the Depths by Peter Lerangis - When thirteen-year-old Max Tilt happens upon his great-great-great-grandfather Jules Verne's unfinished, unpublished manuscript, The Lost Treasures, he doesn't realize that he's found the answers to all his problems. And Max has a lot of problems — his mother is sick, his father is out of work, and his home is about to be foreclosed on.  But when Max and his cousin Alex discover that Verne's last work reveals everything he wrote was fact, not fiction, they realize that the book holds the key to something incredibly valuable. A treasure that can save his house — and maybe his entire family. But Max and Alex aren't the only ones who know about Verne's clues. Spencer Niemand, a strange skunk-haired man who has spent his life researching Verne's works, is bent on reshaping the world with the hidden treasure. To find it first, Max and Alex must go on an adventure that'll take them from the broken remains of an underwater city to the very jaws of a giant squid to the edges of a whirlpool from which no one has ever emerged alive. (9 and up)

Endling #1: The Last by Katherine Applegate - Byx is the youngest member of her dairne pack. Believed to possess remarkable abilities, her mythical doglike species has been hunted to near extinction in the war-torn kingdom of Nedarra. After her pack is hunted down and killed, Byx fears she may be the last of her species. The Endling. So Byx sets out to find safe haven, and to see if the legends of other hidden dairnes are true. Along the way, she meets new allies—both animals and humans alike—who each have their own motivations for joining her quest. And although they begin as strangers, they become their own kind of family—one that will ultimately uncover a secret that may threaten every creature in their world. (9 and up)

Peasprout Chen, Future Legend of Skate and Sword by Henry Lien - Welcome to Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword, where the blades are sharp and the competition is fierce. Peasprout Chen dreams of becoming a legend of wu liu, the deadly and beautiful art of martial arts figure skating. As the first students from the rural country of Shin to attend Pearl Famous Academy of Skate and Sword, Peasprout and her little brother Cricket have some pretty big skates to fill. They soon find themselves in a heated competition for top ranking. Tensions rise when the dazzling pearl buildings of the Academy are vandalized and outsider Peasprout is blamed for the attacks by her rivals ... and even some friends. Now, she must uncover the true vandal to ensure peace between Shin and Pearl – all while becoming a champion. (9 and up)

Rules by Cynthia Lord - Twelve-year-old Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She's spent years trying to teach David the rules from "a peach is not a funny-looking apple" to "keep your pants on in public" -- in order to head off David's embarrassing behaviors. But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a surprising, new sort-of friend, and Kristi, the next-door friend she's always wished for, it's her own shocking behavior that turns everything upside down and forces her to ask: What is normal? (9 and up)

Elementals: Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman - Everyone in Vallen knows that ice wolves and scorch dragons are sworn enemies who live deeply separate lives. So when twelve-year-old orphan Anders takes one elemental form and his twin sister, Rayna, takes another, he wonders whether they are even related. Still, whether or not they’re family, Rayna is Anders’s only true friend. She’s nothing like the brutal, cruel dragons who claimed her as one of their own and stole her away. In order to rescue her, Anders must enlist at the foreboding Ulfar Academy, a school for young wolves that values loyalty to the pack above all else. But for Anders, loyalty is more complicated than obedience, and friendship is the most powerful shapeshifting force of all. (9 and up)

Ban This Book by Alan Gratz - In Ban This Book by Alan Gratz, a fourth grader fights back when From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg is challenged by a well-meaning parent and taken off the shelves of her school library. Amy Anne is shy and soft-spoken, but don’t mess with her when it comes to her favorite book in the whole world. Amy Anne and her lieutenants wage a battle for the books that will make you laugh and pump your fists as they start a secret banned books locker library, make up ridiculous reasons to ban every single book in the library to make a point, and take a stand against censorship. Ban This Book is a stirring defense against censorship that’s perfect for middle grade readers. Let kids know that they can make a difference in their schools, communities, and lives! (9 and up)

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser - Glaser's pitch-perfect debut novel set in Harlem introduces the endearing biracial Vanderbeeker family. Twins Isa and Jessie, along with siblings Oliver, Hyacinth, and Laney (ranging from ages four-and-three-quarters to 12), plus a dog, a cat, a bunny, and their parents, all live together in a brownstone on 141st Street. Unfortunately, cantankerous landlord Mr. Biederman refuses to renew the lease. They have the five days before Christmas to change his mind or they will have to move out of the only home they have ever known. Each child has a plan and a distinct personality to match; the neighbors and friends all do, too. Glaser's detailed line drawings of the block's brownstones emphasize that this book is not just about one family; rather, it encompasses the stories of an interconnected community. Jessie creates a Rube Goldberg contraption that makes music while watering the building garden. Elderly Miss Josie and Mr. Jeet live above the Vanderbeekers and count on their support. A school dance, sibling rivalry, and preparing just the right gifts for Christmas are all subplots that Glaser deftly uses as a tool to both develop the characters and engage readers in the family's entertaining daily chaos. Glaser's love for the Vanderbeekers shines through in her prose and stick drawings. (9 and up)