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The Best Children’s and YA Books of April 2021

by the Brightly Editors

best-kids-books-april-2021

April has some wonderful things in store for you, including better weather and beautiful books. While you’re venturing outside for those first glorious days of spring, take a few of these books with you. Soak up the sunshine while you and the children in your life read on a park bench or a blanket spread on the grass. Whether you’re in the mood for a hilarious picture book, an exciting middle grade fantasy novel, or a sweet YA romance, here are the best books publishing this month.

  • Picture Books

  • Everything Grows

    by Raffi, illustrated by Nina Mata

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    Young music lovers will adore the newest addition to the Raffi Songs to Read collection. Take a walk through a community garden and explore all the growing things, from plants to children. With lush illustrations and the lyrics from a beloved song, this book will become a storytime favorite.
    (On sale: 4/6/2021)

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  • Regina Is NOT a Little Dinosaur

    by Andrea Zuill

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    Kids will love this hilarious story about a young dinosaur who is eager to grow up. Hoping to prove her independence, Regina sets out on her very first hunt—alone. But hunting isn’t as easy as you’d think, and Regina can’t catch a thing. She might have to do the unthinkable and become an herbivore just to survive!
    (On sale: 4/13/2021)

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  • The Rock from the Sky

    by Jon Klassen

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    Any day that Jon Klassen releases a new book is a good day, so mark your calendar for April 13! Using his signature deadpan humor and charming illustrations, the Caldecott-winning creator of the Hat Trilogy brings us a new story. Friendship, fate, and premonition collide in this hilarious and suspenseful picture book.
    (On sale: 4/13/2021)

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  • Saving American Beach

    by Heidi Tyline King, illustrated by Ekua Holmes

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    This is a beautiful story about an opera singer turned conservationist who saved a beloved beach. When MaVynee was young, most public beaches were only open to white people. So her grandfather bought American Beach and turned it into a place that African Americans could enjoy. When the beach fell into disrepair, MaVynee used her influence to save the beach that had such a lasting impact on her life.
    (On sale: 4/13/2021)

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  • Hello World!

    by Kelly Corrigan, illustrated by Stacy Ebert

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    We meet new people every day, and the relationships we create are what make life meaningful. This gorgeous picture book celebrates those relationships and shows children that they can get to know some fantastic people through curiosity and asking the right questions.
    (On sale: 4/20/2021)

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  • Born Ready

    by Jodie Patterson, illustrated by Charnelle Pinkney Barlow

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    Penelope is a boy. The only problem is that everyone else thinks he’s a girl. This empowering picture book shares the story of a young transgender boy who experiences the ups and downs of being true to himself. Heartwarming and inspirational, this picture book will touch your heart.
    (On sale: 4/20/2021)

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  • No Pants!

    by Jacob Grant

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    Any parent that has tried to dress a child will appreciate this funny and relatable picture book. Pablo and his dad have a big day ahead of them, but they need to get ready first. When Pablo refuses to put on his pants, his dad comes up with a creative solution.
    (On sale: 4/27/2021)

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  • Middle Grade & Chapter Books

  • Merci Suárez Can't Dance

    by Meg Medina

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    The follow-up novel to the Newbery award-winning book, Merci Suárez Changes Gears, takes readers into seventh grade with Merci on a new heartwarming adventure. With a new school year comes new challenges and new friendships as she plans the annual Heart Ball for her entire school.
    (On sale: 4/6/2021)

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  • The Anti-Book

    by Raphael Simon

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    If your tween loves The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, they’ll adore this darkly funny and unique fantasy story. When Mickey orders a book that promises to make everyone around him go away, he eagerly starts to write in it. But using the book has unintended results, and Mickey must figure out how to escape the bizarre world he accidentally created.
    (On sale: 4/6/2021)

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  • Do Your Best Every Day to Do Your Best Every Day

    by John Cena, illustrated by Susanna Harrison

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    From entertainer and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Elbow Grease picture book series comes an inspirational book for older children. Based on his popular Twitter feed, John Cena shares uplifting words and insights with young readers through this illustrated book. It’s perfect for graduations, birthdays, and other special occasions.
    (On sale: 4/6/2021)

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  • Thornwood

    by Leah Cypress

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    Kids that enjoy fairy tales will love reading this retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Like everyone else in the kingdom, Briony dreads the fateful day when her older sister Rosalin will prick her finger on a spinning wheel. But when Briony wakes up from a magical 100-year slumber, she realizes that the danger isn’t over. The Thornwood is still thick and menacing, and it’s starting to creep inside the castle. Filled with twists, turns, magic, and sisterhood, this middle grade fantasy novel will keep young readers glued to the page.
    (On sale: 4/6/2021)

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  • She Persisted: Virginia Apgar

    by Sayantani DasGupta and Chelsea Clinton, illustrated by Alexandra Boiger and Gillian Flint

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    Introduce your young reader to Virginia Apgar with this chapter book biography. Virginia was one of the only women in her medical school, but she didn’t get discouraged. She obtained her medical degree, became an anesthesiologist, and developed the Apgar test that doctors still use to check a newborn baby’s health.
    (On sale: 4/6/2021)

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  • War and Millie McGonigle

    by Karen Cushman

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    From the beloved Newbery award-winning author of Catherine Called Birdy and The Midwife’s Apprentice comes a new historical fiction novel about World War II. Millie lives in California, where there’s sunshine, sand, and cute boys. But the United States might be going to war, food is scarce, and her younger sister is both sickly and annoying. This moving story is perfect for readers who enjoy historical novels about family and friendship.
    (On sale: 4/6/2021)

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  • Trouble in the Stars

    by Sarah Prineas

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    Aliens, gut-busting humor, and a chase across the galaxy make this book perfect for any Star Wars fan. A young shape-shifter named Trouble is running from the law — but they don’t know why. They stow away on a ship until a StarLeague cadet shows up and sends Trouble on a hilarious and fast-paced race through space. This science-fiction adventure will keep your kid happily turning pages for hours.
    (On sale: 4/27/2021)

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  • River Magic

    by Ellen Booraem

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    When Donna’s best friend dumps her and her family faces financial trouble, she thinks things can’t get worse. But then an ancient thunder mage with a temper moves in next door, a mysterious monster lurks in the river, and a quirky new boy wants to be her friend. With a mixture of family trouble, friendship drama, and chicken magic, this humorous story is both thoughtful and playful.
    (On sale: 4/27/2021)

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  • YA

  • House of Hollow

    by Krystal Sutherland

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    Prepare yourself for a spooky, modern fairy tale that will keep you reading well past your bedtime. It’s about three sisters with a mysterious past and a troubled history. When one of the sisters goes missing, the other two search for answers and find something far more terrifying. Sisterhood, magic, and the supernatural combine into an unputdownable story that you’ll love.
    (On sale: 4/6/2021)

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  • My Epic Spring Break (Up)

    by Kristin Rockaway

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    Get ready for a whirlwind of fun, dates, and romance! When her summer plans go up in smoke, Ashley decides to make the most of her spring break. She’s always been too busy to date before, and now she’s ready to make up for lost time. She’ll meet a boy or two, fall in love, and have her heart broken — all before spring break ends.
    (On sale: 4/6/2021)

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  • Kisses and Croissants

    by Anne-Sophie Jouhanneau

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    If you’re missing the excitement of traveling the globe, pick up this darling YA romance. Mia is attending a prestigious ballet school in Paris for the summer. There, she faces tough competition, cute (and distracting) French boys, and the chance to audition for the ballet company of her dreams. If you’re in the mood for a feel-good YA romance with tasty food, gorgeous sights, and pulse-pounding kisses, look no further!
    (On sale: 4/6/2021)

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  • What’s Not to Love

    by Austin Siegemund-Broka and Emily Wibberley

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    Spring is the perfect time to read a light-hearted YA romance novel, and nobody does rom-coms like this author duo. Alison and Ethan have been rivals since their first day of high school. But when these two over-achievers get stuck planning a ten-year reunion together, they discover that they have more in common than they thought. You’ll love this sweet and funny enemies o lovers romance!
    (On sale: 4/20/2021)

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