Growing Reader



The Best Children’s and YA Books of August 2018

by the Brightly Editors

The days of summer are winding down, but there is no shortage of great books to read. From playful monsters to hands-on STEM projects to diverse reads, there’s plenty of reading fun to be had this month. Here are some of the best children’s and YA titles coming out this month.

  • Picture Books

  • Look! I'm an Engineer

    by DK

    Filled with fun STEM projects to show kids the basics of thinking like an engineer, this adorable activity book is perfect for 3- to 6-year-old learners. Bonus: Its thick, sturdy pages mean it will hold up to countless reads … and hands-on experiments.
    (On Sale: 8/7/18)

  • Adrian Simcox Does NOT Have a Horse

    by Marcy Campbell, illustrated by Corinna Luyken

    A young girl does not believe her classmate Adrian Simcox owns a horse. After all, he lives in a tiny house, has holes in his shoes, and his desk is very messy. The more Adrian talks about his horse, the angrier she gets. Then her mother shows her sometimes there are more important things than being right. A beautifully illustrated book with a subtle message about poverty, empathy, and compassion.
    (On Sale: 8/14/18)

  • Be Your Best Bear!

    by Stan and Jan Berenstain

    This new Berenstain Bears collection features six beloved stories that teach kids about the importance of being the best they can be. Throughout the book, the young cubs learn crucial life lessons, such as telling the truth, using their manners, learning about strangers, and more! These timeless stories will now reach an entirely new generation, introducing them to the endless joy of the McBear family.
    (On Sale: 8/14/18)

  • Eat Pete

    by Michael Rex

    A hungry monster has to eat, right? And Pete sure looks tasty. Pete doesn’t know that, though. Pete wants to race cars and play pirates with the monster, who, easily distracted, wants to play too! But for how long? A delightfully fun will-he-or-won’t-he tale that will leave little ones in stitches.
    (On Sale: 8/14/18)

  • The Day You Begin

    by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael Lopez

    In The Day You Begin, we meet a little girl who’s nervous about the first day of school. She’s worried about all the things that might make her different from her peers. But when she begins to tell the story of her summer, she feels her connection to her new classmates unexpectedly growing. It’s a beautifully written and illustrated picture book about a feeling that so many readers — of any age — will relate to.
    (On Sale: 8/28/18)

  • Middle Grade

  • Children's Illustrated History Atlas

    by DK

    Open this book and you’ll set off on a trip through history! This atlas transports readers back to the ancient world then towards our modern one with its eye-catching photos and maps. Kids who love history and facts will find so much to explore and enjoy in this book.
    (On Sale: 8/7/18)

  • The Land of Neverendings

    by Kate Saunders

    Award-winning author Kate Saunders takes readers on an emotional journey through love, loss, and acceptance with The Land of Neverendings. When Emily’s sister Holly dies, her world is completely shattered. As she learns to navigate life without her best friend, Emily finds herself missing Holly’s teddy bear, Bluey. But Bluey was buried with Holly, so he’s gone forever — or so Emily thought. When a strange dream leads her to a magical world of toys, she must decide whether finding Bluey is worth risking the lives of those she loves back home.
    (On Sale: 8/14/18)

  • Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish

    by Pablo Cartaya

    Marcus Vega isn’t a bully, but being six feet tall and 180 pounds at 14 certainly makes him look like one. His physique doesn’t help when he gets in a fight with the real school bully and faces suspension. Needing a break from their troubles, his mom whisks everyone off to Puerto Rico to visit family. Marcus meets tíos, tías, and primos, but he’s really hoping to find his father who walked out ten years ago.
    (On Sale: 8/21/18)

  • YA

  • Fresh Ink

    edited by Lamar Giles

    This moving and insightful anthology features a mix of short stories, a graphic short story, and a one-act play from recognized and celebrated diverse YA authors. Dive into stories by the likes of Jason Reynolds, Gene Luen Yang, and Nicola Yoon as they join forces with We Need Diverse Books for a collection that Kirkus claims will “serve as both mirror and window to teens from all walks of life.”
    (On Sale: 8/14/18)

  • Julia Unbound

    by Catherine Egan

    Catherine Egan’s fan-favorite fantasy trilogy centered on Julia, a young woman with a gift for being unseen, comes to an end in this final installment. With its intricate world and delightful twists, the Witch’s Child series has been riveting thus far and we can’t see where Julia ends up. It’s bound to be epic.
    (On Sale: 8/14/18)

  • Darius the Great Is Not Okay

    by Adib Khorram

    This timely debut is nothing short of stunning. Narrated by a half-Persian teen with clinical depression, subpar social skills, and self-esteem issues, this book showcases an all-too-relatable character whose life changes when he embarks on a trip to Iran to meet his grandparents for the first time. Darius the Great Is Not Okay is perfect for anyone who has ever felt different or alone, struggling to find a place in this big world of ours.
    (On Sale: 8/28/18)

  • Dance of Thieves

    by Mary E. Pearson

    Dance of Thieves is the latest novel in Pearson’s New York Times bestselling series, Remnant Chronicles. It’s an adventurous fantasy set in a lush, but brutal kingdom where a reformed thief and a young dynasty leader join together to face the biggest battle of their lives. Featuring strong and inspiring heroines, a well-curated romance, and a remarkable world, this book is one you won’t want to miss.
    (On Sale: 8/7/18)