Fall 2015’s Most Anticipated Children’s Books: The Marvels, The Sword of Summer, and More

Fall 2015’s Most Anticipated Children’s Books: The Marvels, The Sword of Summer, and More

Falls means it is time to get back to the books! Sure, that means school books. But why stop there? Reading is not to be restricted to the classroom and that’s why we’ve put together this list of the picture and middle grade books that we’re most excited to see hitting shelves this season. Fan favorite Mo Willems returns with a tale of Parisian pets, and Rick Riordan takes readers on a wild adventure through Norse mythology. Whether you like feminist mechanics or Russian folklore, zombie hunters or imaginary friends, we’ve got the perfect title for you and your young reader.


Picture Books

Little Robot

Can she fix it? Yes she can!

From the mind behind Zita the Spacegirl, this is a perfect graphic novel for readers who don’t need words to explore deep themes. Our heroine, a 5-year-old with a tool belt, fixes a tiny robot she finds in the junkyard and quickly adopts him as her new friend. She’s lonely, though, and isn’t very good at sharing. Though jealousy isn’t the only problem: This little robot went missing from a factory and is being hunted. This book ideal for fans of WALL-E, as well as science-minded readers who want a book filled with friendship and feminism.

On shelves: September 1



Waitin’ and a-watchin’

Does your child wonder what toys do when left alone? This book may have the answer: They wait. In gentle pastels, this book explores the world through the eyes of a group of toys placed along a windowsill. There’s a puppy on a sled, a pig with an umbrella, a brown bear, a spring-loaded rabbit, and a curious owl. From their perch they wait as the snow comes and goes, as the rain beats down, and as fireworks light up the night sky. This is a book about simple pleasures and tiny moments of happiness—just be prepared for your young reader to line your windowsills with toys, in the hopes that they’ll enjoy the view.

On shelves: September 1


Lizard from the Park

That’s what friends are for

Leonard is an independent child, but a lonely one. When the egg he finds in the park hatches into what he thinks is a lizard, he’s happy to care for his new friend (who he names Buster) and take him all over New York City—from the donut shop to the Natural History Museum. But Buster grows and grows and grows, until he’s not a lizard any more… he’s a dinosaur and he isn’t happy living in the crowded city. This is an adorable tale of friendship and the importance of putting someone else’s happiness first. Plus, nothing is cuter than the image of curly-haired Leonard and his tiny dinosaur sitting between the paws of one of the lions in front of the New York Public Library.

On shelves: September 8


Toys Meet Snow

Let it snow, let it snow

For toys who are not content to merely Waiting, this book has all of the excitement and adventure of exploring the world beyond the window. Lumphy (a stuffed buffalo), Plastic (a plastic ball), and StingRay (take a guess) are mesmerized by the white flakes that begin falling outside of their window. Though they don’t agree on what they are—StingRay says they’re dancers, Plastic read that they’re just frozen water—they do agree that they must investigate. If you have a child who is itching to ditch the bathing suit in favor of a scarf and gloves, this will help get you both into the winter spirit.

On shelves: September 22


The Story of Diva and Flea

Lady and the tramp

From Knuffle Bunny to Pigeon, Mo Willems has proven his ability to create characters parents and children adore. In this new book, he introduces readers to Flea (an outdoor cat who spends his days exploring Paris) and Diva (a tiny dog who guards the courtyard of her human’s apartment building). Though they don’t get off on the right foot—Flea terrifies Diva—the two eventually strike up an opposites-attract friendship and encourage each other to try new things. Readers will see that first impressions aren’t always right, that anyone can be brave, and that trying new things can be exciting.

On shelves: October 13


The Turnip

Deeply rooted

This is another book that will have readers looking forward to a cozy winter. A retelling of a Russian story, The Turnip follows a family of well-dressed badgers as they attempt to unearth a gigantic turnip. The vegetable would provide many delicious meals throughout the chilly season for this family, but it refuses to budge from the frozen ground. But perhaps with the help of a few friends (a rooster, a family of bears, a horse) they can all get exactly what they want.

On shelves: November 3


Middle Grade

The Marvels

Puzzles, puzzles, adventures and trouble

This title is already generating considerable buzz—not surprising, considering the author Brian Selznick wrote The Invention of Hugo Cabret, which was adapted into a film by Martin Scorsese and won an Oscar. Selznick’s latest once again plays with traditional storytelling. The first 400 pages (you read that right) are filled with drawings, and explore the life of the Marvel family as they go from shipwrecked silk weavers to famous actors. The next portion of the book jumps from the 1700s to the 1990s and tells, through prose, the story of Joseph Jervis—a boy who runs away to find his long lost uncle, who currently is living in the home of the Marvels.

On shelves: September 15



No child left hungry

Jackson was in first grade when his family moved out of their house and into their minivan. His imaginary friend, a giant cat named Crenshaw, kept him company during those difficult times, but disappeared once the family was stable again. But just before he starts the fifth grade, Jackson learns that his family might be facing eviction and Crenshaw comes back. Jackson’s afraid of a lot of things: that he won’t be able to go back to school, that they’ll lose their home, and the fact that he’s imagining a giant skateboarding cat. More than anything though, Jackson wishes that his parents would just be honest with him, rather than trying to hide their problems. Katherine Applegate, author of The One and Only Ivan, is back with another moving and unforgettable tale.

On shelves: September 22


The Sword of Summer

The next great adventure

Percy Jackson fans, rejoice! Rick Riordan is back and with another blockbuster adventure set 10 years after The Lightning Thief. Magnus Chase’s 16th birthday is eventful for one major reason: He learns that he’s a demigod, the human son of a Norse god. Unfortunately, the celebrations don’t last for long. Magnus finds his father’s sword, defends Boston against a fire giant, and dies in the process. But it turns out that his fatal end is actually only the beginning.

On shelves: October 6


The Nest

Be careful what you wish for

What would you give to save someone you love? In a novel that’s been compared to Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, mental illness, death, and belief are explored. Steve struggles with anxiety and OCD, though nothing compares to overcoming the fear he feels when his baby brother Theodore is diagnosed with a congenital disorder. Steve’s parents are upset and he’d do anything to cure his brother and help his family. Anything. When a wasp visits him in a dream and tells him that she can help him, he accepts without thinking of the consequences.

On shelves: October 6

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The Last Kids on Earth

The end of the world as they know it

When the monster apocalypse happens, 13-year-old Jack Sullivan is ready…. er, or not. But he has managed to hide out in a tree house with a supply of Oreos that he hopes will last him until he can find other living, breathing humans—namely his best friend Quint and his crush June. Will they survive? You never quite know in this hilarious romp, but you can expect plenty of laughs and lots of action. This is ideal for any reader who can’t get enough zombies.

On shelves: October 13


The Girl Who Could Not Dream

A dream is a dangerous thing to lose

Sophie’s parents harbor a secret. Beneath their friendly bookstore is a second store, one where dreams are bought and sold. But on Sophie’s 12th birthday, the shop is robbed and her parents disappear. As we’ve seen with other books on this list, birthdays are dangerous times. Armed only with her friend Monster—a literal monster her parents rescued from a nightmare—Sophie sets off to save her parents and save the day.

On shelves: November 3


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