Suggested Reading for Kids & Young Adults

Susan K., our children's book buyer, really knows what kids like to read. She's on top of all the latest excellent titles for kids and young adults. Here, she shares some of her selections  
The Day the Crayons Came Home Cover Image
By Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780399172755
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Philomel Books - August 18th, 2015

Hard to believe, but the sequel is even funnier than The Day the Crayons Quit. There’s a whole new cast of characters, including Neon Red, who was left behind at a motel last summer after being used to illustrate Dad’s sunburn. And Pea Green, who has decided to change his name to the more dashing “Esteban,” dreams of seeing the world (will someone open the door, please?). (Ages 4 and up)

McToad Mows Tiny Island: A Transportation Tale Cover Image
By Tom Angleberger, John Hendrix (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781419716508
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Abrams Books for Young Readers - September 2015

McToad likes Thursdays. Every other day of the week, McToad mows Big Island, but on Thursday, he takes a break and mows Tiny Island. But to transport his shiny red lawnmower there, he needs a truck and a train, a forklift, an airplane, a crane, and a few more of those machines that fascinate kids. Best truck book of the year. Also best lawnmower book. (Ages 3-7)

Thank You and Good Night Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316338011
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - October 6th, 2015

The author of the Mutts comics has created the sweetest possible homage to three of the most beloved of all children’s book authors. Young Maggie, a thoughtful little girl, is hosting a pajama party and has invited her toy friends Alan Alexander, Clement (who wears familiar blue-striped pajamas), and Jean. After the fun and games, everyone settles down to sleep, but first Maggie takes the time to say an adorable thank you for the day, for the night, and for friends. (All Ages)

Beautiful Hands Cover Image
ISBN: 9780990799306
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Blue Dot Press - September 29th, 2015

This moving picture book is based on Baumgarten’s experience of holding his daughter’s hands every morning and asking her, “What will your beautiful hands do today?” Little hands can do so many wonderful things: plant ideas, stretch imaginations, and reach for dreams. With spectacular art created using thumb- and hand-prints, the book’s uplifting message will rouse and motivate, leaving no heart untouched. (All Ages)

Bug in a Vacuum Cover Image
ISBN: 9781770496453
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Tundra Books (NY) - August 25th, 2015

It can happen in an instant. One minute you’re on top of the world, the next you’re sucked up inside a vacuum with no hope of escape. A bug flies through an open door into a house, where its entire life changes with the switch of a button. The bug moves through denial, bargaining, anger, despair, and eventually acceptance—the five stages of grief—as it comes to terms with its fate. Will there be a light at the end of the tunnel? Will there be dust bunnies in the void? This beautifully illustrated picture book works perfectly as a book for both children and adults.  (Ages 4-7 and Adults)

Hilo Book 1: The Boy Who Crashed to Earth Cover Image
ISBN: 9780385386173
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Random House Books for Young Readers - September 1st, 2015

When a mysterious boy falls from the sky, the friends who find him must discover the secrets of his identity and help him save the world. While Hilo can fly and shoot lasers out of his hands (very useful for battling the enormous robots who are after him), he doesn’t understand why going to school in only your underwear is a bad idea. Diverse characters, genuine and funny dialogue, and universal appeal make this first graphic novel of the series a winner. (Ages 7-10)

The Story of Diva and Flea Cover Image
By Mo Willems, Tony DiTerlizzi (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781484722848
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - October 13th, 2015

Multiple-award-winning Mo Willems of Knuffle Bunny and Elephant & Piggie fame makes a welcome entrance into early chapter books with this charming story set in Paris. Flea is a large cat of no fixed address who is also a flaneur: one who wanders the streets just to see what he can see. Diva is a small dog who lives comfortably in a grand apartment and “guards” its courtyard, though she is too timid to slip out into the street. Their unlikely friendship results in Diva learning to welcome some new experiences, while Flea learns the joy of a reliable “Breck-fest.” (Ages 5-9)

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter, Book 1): The Illustrated Edition Cover Image
By J. K. Rowling, Jim Kay (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780545790352
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - October 6th, 2015

Our favorite boy wizard goes back to square one—the closet under the Dursleys’ stairs—in this oversize, fully illustrated gift book. This beautiful volume is both a perfect introduction to the series for first-timers and a reimagined blast from the past for true fans. Further HP titles will be released each year. (Ages 8 and up)

Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes Cover Image
By Rick Riordan, John Rocco (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9781423183655
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Disney-Hyperion - August 18th, 2015

Who cut off Medusa’s head? Who was raised by a she-bear? Who tamed Pegasus? It takes a demigod to know, and Percy Jackson can fill you in on all the daring deeds of all the major Greek heroes. Told in the funny, irreverent style readers have come to expect from Percy (“I’ve had some bad experiences in my time, but the heroes I’m going to tell you about were the original old school hard luck cases. They boldly screwed up where no one had screwed up before. . .”). Gorgeously illustrated by John Rocco. (Ages 8 and up)

Crenshaw Cover Image
ISBN: 9781250043238
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Feiwel & Friends - September 22nd, 2015

Jackson is a 5th grader; too old, he believes, for an imaginary friend. Especially one as weird as his: Crenshaw, a 7-foot-tall, talking, Harvey-esque tuxedo cat. Jackson is worried because the last time he saw Crenshaw, his dad had just been diagnosed with MS, his mom had lost her job, and the family ended up living in their minivan- his parents called it “car camping.”  Though the family’s finances eventually stabilized, now his parents are whispering about money again. Crenshaw introduces the important topics of food insecurity and homelessness, with humor and insight. (Ages 9-13)

The Marvels Cover Image
By Brian Selznick, Brian Selznick (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780545448680
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scholastic Press - September 15th, 2015

In this magnificent reimagining of the form he originated, Selznick gives us two stand-alone stories- the first in nearly 400 pages of continuous pictures, the second in prose. The journey begins on a ship at sea in 1766, with a boy named Billy Marvel. After surviving a shipwreck, he finds work in a London theatre. There, his family flourishes for generations as brilliant actors until 1900, when young Leontes Marvel is banished from the stage. Nearly a century later, Joseph Jervis runs away from school and seeks refuge with an uncle in London. Albert Nightingale’s strange, beautiful house, with its mysterious portraits and ghostly presences, captivates Joseph and leads him on a search for clues about the house, his family, and the past. The Marvels is a gripping adventure and an intriguing invitation to decipher how the two narratives connect. (Ages 9 and up)

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book One: The Sword of Summer Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101916988
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Listening Library (Audio) - October 6th, 2015

Here’s the highly anticipated (just ask your kids!) beginning to a new Riordan series, this one based on Norse mythology. Magnus Chase has always been a troubled kid. Since his mother’s mysterious death, he’s lived alone on the streets of Boston, surviving by his wits, keeping one step ahead of the police and the truant officers. One day, he’s tracked down by an uncle he barely knows, who tells him an impossible secret: Magnus is the son of a Norse god. The Viking myths are true. The gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Trolls, giants, and worse monsters are stirring for doomsday. To prevent Ragnarok, Magnus must search the Nine Worlds for a weapon that has been lost for thousands of years. (Ages 9-14)

Walk on Earth a Stranger Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062242914
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Greenwillow Books - September 22nd, 2015

The first book in the Gold Seer trilogy introduces Lee Westfall, a young woman who can sense gold the way a dowser can sense water. Veins deep beneath the earth, pebbles in the river, nuggets dug up from the forest floor. The buzz of gold means warmth and life and home until everything is ripped away by a man who wants to control her. Left with nothing, Lee disguises herself as a boy and joins the westward migration on the Oregon Trail. Gold has been discovered in California; Perhaps this will be the one place a magical girl can be herself. If she survives the journey. (Ages 12-18)

The War That Saved My Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9780803740815
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Dial Books - January 8th, 2015

Nine-year-old Ada has never left her one-room apartment. Her mother is too humiliated by Ada’s twisted foot to let her outside. When her little brother Jamie is shipped out of London to escape the war, Ada sneaks out to join him. So begins a new adventure for Ada, and for Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take in the two kids. As Ada teaches herself to ride a pony, learns to read, and watches for German spies, she also learns to trust and to speak up for herself. It’s a beautiful story of family and self acceptance.(Ages 9-12)