Chinese Menu by Grace Lin
Little, Brown | September 12
Chinese American food—General Tso’s Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken—is just as quintessentially American as hot dogs or apple pie (which originated from German and Dutch cuisine, respectively). Our mouths all water when we imagine a steaming takeout box of lo mein . . . but have you ever put your chopsticks down and stopped to wonder about the history behind your favorite Chinese American dishes? Acclaimed author Grace Lin—who won the American Library Association’s prestigious Children’s Literature Legacy Award in 2022—promises to whisk readers off into the origin stories of their favorite foods with Chinese Menu, a veritable feast of exciting folktales and rich illustrations.
Dogtown by Katherine Applegate and Gennifer Choldenko, illustrated by Wallace West
Feiwel & Friends | September 19
Katherine Applegate (Animorphs series, The One and Only Ivan) and Gennifer Choldenko (Tales from Alcatraz series, Dad and the Dinosaur) have both been superstars in children’s literature for decades. With countless awards between them, they’re now joining forces alongside illustrator Wallace West for this illustrated middle grade novel about a dog shelter whose abandoned inhabitants include both real and robot dogs. Regardless of circuitry, both types of dog just want to go home: a fact realized by Chance (a mutt) and Metal Head (exactly what that sounds like) as they set aside their differences and join forces in searching for a place of belonging.
Kin by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Jeffery Boston Weatherford
Atheneum | September 19
Writer carole Boston Weatherford and her son, illustrator Jeffery Boston Weatherford, are a powerful duo, with no shortage of acclaim to their names: Carole has won four Caldecott Honors, a Coretta Scott King Award and a Newbery Honor—the last of which she won with You Can Fly, which was illustrated by Jeffery. Their latest middle grade novel-in-verse, Kin, is the product of extensive and painstaking efforts to piece together their family history through genealogical research. Jeffery’s intricate black and white illustrations accentuate Carole’s poetry, which conjures the voices of her ancestors in the context of not only their enslavement and pain but also their strength and triumphs.
Oliver’s Great Big Universe by Jorge Cham
Amulet | September 26
Jorge Cham has created a hit web comic series (PHD Comics), a podcast with more than 600,000 monthly listeners (“Daniel and Jorge Explain the Universe”), a bestselling adult nonfiction book (We Have No Idea) and an Emmy-nominated PBS Kids show (“Elinor Wonders Why”). Plus, he’s got a doctorate in mechanical engineering. Now he’s ready to make kids laugh out loud while exploring big topics like black holes, the solar system and even aliens with Oliver’s Great Big Universe, the first installment in an illustrated, diary-style middle grade series featuring 11-year-old Oliver as he takes on not only astrophysics but also . . . middle school.
The First Cat in Space and the Soup of Doom by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Shawn Harris
Katherine Tegen | October 3
New York Times bestselling author Mac Barnett and Caldecott honoree Shawn Harris’ The First Cat in Space Ate Pizza adapted their hilarious online cartoon series—recorded live over Zoom during quarantine—to graphic novel format. This sequel continues the kooky adventures of First Cat, LOZ 4000 (a toenail-clipping robot) and the Moon Queen as they work to save the Queen after she gets poisoned—by soup, of all things.
Zilot & Other Important Rhymes by Bob Odenkirk, illustrated by Erin Odenkirk
Little, Brown | October 10
Hot on the heels of his legendary stint as crooked TV lawyer Saul Goodman, the beloved Emmy Award-winning actor (now starring in AMC’s “Lucky Hank”) and New York Times bestselling author (Comedy Comedy Comedy Drama) Bob Odenkirk is sure to charm both children and adults with this collection of poems, which originated twenty years ago as a way for Odenkirk to introduce the world of writing and illustrating to his children. Quarantine brought the family back to these whimsical rhymes, which feature memorable characters such as Tony Two-Feet the pigeon and a man named Willy Whimble who lives in an old tuna can. Anyway, Odenkirk’s ploy worked: His daughter, Erin Odenkirk, provides the book’s lively illustrations.
Ways to Build Dreams by Renée Watson
Bloomsbury | October 17
A recipient of the Newbery Honor and the Coretta Scott King Award, Renée Watson has delighted young readers everywhere with her bestselling Ryan Hart series, which dominated “Best of the Year” lists with its first installment, Ways to Make Sunshine. This final book celebrates Black joy as its bright titular protagonist learns more about her ancestors and local Black pioneers during Black History Month. The accomplishments and hopes of previous generations teach Ryan how to work towards her own dream—even when life isn’t so sunny.
Detective Duck: The Case of the Strange Splash by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver, illustrated by Dan Santat
Amulet | October 17
The world is seeing a well-deserved Henry Winkler renaissance due to his turn as Gene Cousineau on “Barry,” but there was a time when the Emmy Award-winner was undergoing a lull in his acting career. His manager suggested Winkler write a children’s book about his experiences with dyslexia (which Winkler didn’t know he had until he was 31). Along with writer Lin Oliver, Winkler created the bestselling Hank Zipzer series, which led to a TV adaptation, as well as three other book series . . . Now, the power duo, along with Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Dan Santat, is back with the first installment in a new, full-color chapter book series about a crime-solving little duck named Willow Feathers McBeaver, who’s here to combat the human-caused problems occurring to her home ecosystem, the lovely Dogwood Pond.
Sir Morien by Holly Black and Kaliis Smith, illustrated by Ebony Glenn
Little, Brown | October 24
Holly Black (The Spiderwick Chronicles) is no stranger to capturing the imaginations of children, and she’s just the person needed, along with poet Kaliis Smith and illustrator Ebony Glenn, to cast a spotlight on the brave but little-known North African knight, Sir Morien, from Arthurian legend. In this charming picture book, Sir Morien sets off for England in search of the father he’s never met, but he soon finds out that questing is hard—and every knight he meets is eager to fight.
Juniper’s Christmas by Eoin Colfer
Roaring Brook | October 31
Fans of the megahit Artemis Fowl series will receive an early Christmas present this year from Eoin Colfer: a new novel that promises more thrilling, fantastical escapades marked by his trademark humor and captivating style. After Juniper Lane’s mother goes missing, Juniper teams up with a mysterious, grumpy carpenter named Niko who owns flying reindeer yet insists he’s not Santa Claus.